Latin Women in Music 2023: Highlights From the First-Ever Event Honoring Shakira, Thalia, Goyo & More
During a night filled with power women, here’s what went down during the first-ever Latin Women in Music.
Saba Martinez, Nelfa Martinez and Goyo at Billboard Latin Women In Music held at the Watsco Center on May 6, 2023 in Coral Gables, Florida. The show airs on Sunday, May 7, 2023 on Telemundo.
Shakira, Thalia, Ana Gabriel, Evaluna Montaner, Goyo, Emilia and Maria Becerra reunited in one room — along with many other powerful women in the Latin music industry — where they were honored as the first class of the Billboard Latin Women in Music on Saturday (May 6) in Miami.
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Hosted by Ivy Queen and Jacqueline Bracamontes, the inaugural Mujeres Latinas en la Música, presented by Billboard in partnership with Telemundo, which aired Sunday (May 7), kicked off with a bang thanks to Thalia’s epic medley (including “Amor a la Mexicana” and “A Quién Le Importa”) that showcased her prowess onstage.
The exhilarating performance set up the vibe for the night, one that included not only riveting performances but also speeches that either made you tear up or feel like you could conquer the world. Take Goyo’s mother who stole the night with an emotional speech that really pulled at everyone’s heartstrings.
“Buenas noches, there aren’t words when emotions speak for themselves,” Nelfa Perea said about her daughter, who was awarded with the Agent of Change Award. “It’s an honor to give this award to my daughter, whom with lots of love we call Goyo. Ladies and gentleman, thank you Billboard, God for giving me this daughter and thanks to all of you for supporting [women] day after day.”
If that wasn’t enough, Goyo’s adorable daughter also said a few words to honor her mother. “I want to thank my mom for always inspiring me and encouraging me to chase my dreams. I love her, I love you mom and thank you Billboard for giving her this award, I really think she deserves it,” added Saba Perea.
Emilia, Maria Becerra and Evaluna all took the stage to sing and accept their awards. Emilia thanked her mother, Becerra thanked her team and Evaluna her family. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for la madre que me parió (the mother that birthed me),” the “Índigo” singer said.
Ana Gabriel, as the powerhouse that she is, gave one of the best performances of the night. She passionately sang the certified anthem “Simplemente Amigos,” in which she was joined by literally the entire crowd in attendance at the Watsco Center. She, of course, received a standing ovation and then was honored the Living Legend Award, which was given to her by Mexican duo Ha*Ash.
“I don’t mean to give a class but the word legend comes from the Latin ‘legenda,’ which refers to something that is meant to be read or seen,” Ana Gabriel expressed. The secret, she said, is her audience. “Thanks to you I have this career.”
The moment everyone was waiting for came towards the end: Shakira taking the stage. The Colombian singer-songwriter, who was honored as Woman of the Year, didn’t perform but she gave a nearly five-minute poignant speech that really struck a chord. After thanking Maluma for being the person to present her the award, Shakira spoke.
“The most important lessons I learned from other women, and for them I wrote what I wrote and I sang what I sang. Because only a woman can love until she’s ripped apart; can speak with the most brutal honesty; can sing with anger; dance in ecstasy and be brought to tears with emotion. Only a woman can do that.”
Read Shakira’s speech in its entirety here and watch a clip here.
And last but not least, to close the two-hour show, reggaeton icon Ivy Queen took the stage to sing her new single “Toma,” a hard-hitting reggaetón song fused with Middle Eastern melodies that later transition to an old-school perreo (produced by Young Hollywood).
The inaugural Latin Women in Music event was announced earlier this year as an expansion of Billboard’s Women in Music franchise. Billboard and Telemundo aim to further elevate Latin music globally and celebrate the women who have made a concrete impact on Latin music through their artistic achievements, or through tangible, noteworthy actions that have brought measurable recognition and opportunity to women, affecting positive change to the industry as a whole.
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