Gloria Estefan Named Icon at 16th Annual BMI Latin Music Awards
BMI held its 16th annual Latin Music Awards Thursday, March 12 at The Breakers Ponce De Leon Ballroom in Palm Beach, Florida. Gloria Estefan was named a BMI Icon; singer/songwriter Espinoza Paz earned his second consecutive Latin Songwriter of the Year; “A Ti Si Puedo Decirte” garnered Song of the Year honors for writer Javier Sanroman and publisher Siempre Music; and Editora Arpa Musical received the Latin Publisher of the Year crown. Hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Assistant Vice President, Latin Music, Delia Orjuela, the black-tie dinner also touted the writers and publishers of the past year’s 50 most-performed Latin songs on U.S. radio and television.
The BMI Icon award is bestowed on creators who have had a “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.” An all-star musical tribute featuring Crespo, Jon Secada, Angeles Ochoa, Arthur Hanlon, Anthony Fedorov, Jorge Villamizar, Pitbull, and Fanny Lu paid homage to the achievements of Gloria Estefan, who joins an elite list of past honorees that includes Latin music titans Gustavo Santaolalla, Los Tigres Del Norte, Juan Luis Guerra and Carlos Santana, along with legends Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson, Isaac Hayes, Paul Simon, Dolly Parton and the late James Brown.
Gloria Estefan inarguably ranks in the top tier of the world’s most recognizable and beloved performers, but it is her artistic gumption and seamless genre-weaving that has made Estefan one of the world’s most pivotal musical pioneers. From her international breakout success with the Miami Sound Machine to her current award-winning music, Estefan has combined traditional sounds of her native Cuba with infectious pop, dance, and other Latin grooves to create a distinct sound capable of topping charts and uniting people. A longtime BMI songwriter, she has created many of her standards, often alone: solo compositions “Can’t Stay Away From You,” “Cuts Both Ways,” “Si Voy a Perderte,” “Anything for You,” “Words Get in the Way,” and “Here We Are” number among her most performed songs. Also a skilled collaborator, Estefan has co-written her hits including “Coming Out of the Dark,” “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” “1, 2, 3,” “Live for Loving You,” “Reach,” and “Con Los Años Que Me Quedan,” along with Shakira’s “Whenever, Wherever” and Jon Secada’s “Otro Día Más Sin Verte,” named 1993’s BMI Latin Song of the Year. Her catalog boasts 22 BMI Latin and Pop Awards, along with 11 BMI Million-Air Awards. With her music and life’s soul mate Emilio Estefan, whose unrivaled skills as a producer, musician, and composer have helped shape his wife’s art, Gloria Estefan has sold more than 70 million albums. Three Grammys, four Latin Grammys, numerous MTV, VMA, and Cable ACE Awards, along with a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, line her career, and elite retrospective honors including an American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement, the BMI President’s Award, and the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor have recognized her significance. Following her induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997, she, along with Emilio, received the organization’s prestigious Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. An influential proponent of human rights, Gloria Estefan received the National Music Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year honor as well as the MusiCares Person of the Year title, and, in 2008, was named the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.
Charismatic troubadour Espinoza Paz earned the prestigious Latin Songwriter of the Year title, underscoring his significant role in the regional Mexican genre’s recent surge in popularity. He contributed a jaw-dropping total of six songs to the most-performed list: El Potro de Sinaloa’s “El Vaso Derrama,” La Auténtica de Jerez Patrimonio Zacatecano’s “La Rata Flaca,” “Olvídame Tú” recorded by Duelo, El Coyote y su Banda Tierra Santa’s “Para Impresionarte,” Banda Cuisillos’ “Perdóname” and “Sobre Mis Pies,” recorded by La Arrolladora Banda El Limón. A native of La Angostura, Mexico, a small town just north of Sinaloa, Paz earned his first Songwriter of the Year trophy last year.
“A Ti Si Puedo Decirte” garnered BMI Latin Song of the Year honors for the song’s composer, Veracruz native Javier Sanroman. Regional Mexican favorite El Chapo de Sinaloa recorded the song for his top-selling album Te Va a Gustar. Published by Siempre Music, the song was also named Regional Mexican Airplay Song of The Year by a male artist at the 2008 Billboard Latin Music Awards.
With the highest percentage of copyright ownership of the year’s most-performed songs, Editora Arpa Musical garnered their second consecutive Latin Publisher of the Year crown. A catalog with hits including La Arrolladora Banda El Limón’s “De Ti Exclusivo,” El Potro de Sinaloa’s “Chuy Y Mauricio,” and all six of Songwriter of the Year Espinoza Paz’s substantial contributions catapulted Guadalajara- and Los Angeles-based Editora Arpa Musical to the top.
The ceremony also featured the presentation of the BMI Foundation's sixth annual peermusic Latin Scholarship to 21 year-old José Luis Rodríguez Enchautegui in recognition of his original composition, “Aunque No Vuelva Amanecer.” A Puerto Rico native and student at Puerto Rico’s Universidad del Turabo, Enchautegui will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Established by the BMI Foundation and funded by the generosity of Ralph Peer II and the peermusic companies, the scholarship is awarded annually through a competition for original Latin songs and instrumental compositions. The 2009 competition was open to college students between the ages of 16 and 24 currently attending school throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. For more information on the BMI Foundation, visit www.bmifoundation.com.
Premier Latin songwriter Ramón González Mora and international superstar Juanes took home two awards each. Additional big winners included Wisin & Yandel along with co-writer Nesty for “Sexy Movimiento,” 2006 BMI Icon Juan Luis Guerra for “La Llave De Mi Corazón,” José a.k.a. “Pepe” A. Sosa for “Lágrimas Del Corazón,” Don Omar for “Ayer La Vi,” Edgar Cortázar for “Como En Los Buenos Tiempos,” Flex for “Te Quiero,” and Julieta Venegas (SGAE) for Te Voy A Mostrar.” Crossover songwriting titans Kara DioGuardi, Ben Moody and Sean Garrett, along with legend Lamont Dozier, also took home awards.
Publishers claiming two or more songs among the top 50 were Universal Music Publishing Group (Universal Music-Careers/Universal-Música Unica Publishing/Songs of Universal, Inc.); EMI Music Publishing (EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc./EMI-Virgin Music Publishing SRL [SIAE]/EMI-Virgin Songs, Inc.); SER-CA Publishing, Inc.; Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.; Máximo Aguirre Music Publishing, Inc.; Peer Music Group (Peer International Corp./peermusic III, Ltd.); Siempre Music; Seg-Son Music, Inc.; Gar-Mex Music; and Songs of Camaleon. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.