March 09, 2001

Hot Latin stars, sizzling music and celebrity presenters are in store at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, presented by Heineken, taking place at Miami's Jackie Gleason Theater on April 26, 2001. The Spanish-language Telemundo Network will air the event as a 2 1/2 hour special on April 29 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

This year's show, hosted by Jorge Enrique Abello of the hit novela "Betty La Fea" and Candela Ferro of Telemundo's investigative newsmagazine "Ocurrio Asi," pays homage to the remarkable year in Latin music and celebrates the genre's explosive growth and commercial success. The star-studded event includes announced performances by Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Alejandro Fernandez, Juan Luis Guerra, Melina Leon, Paulina Rubio, Thalia and Gilberto Santa Rosa.

Chicano rock band Los Lobos will be honored with a Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding career. Honorees are selected based on their commercial impact and artistic influence on the Latin music industry.

Special Awards will also be given to regional Mexican icons Los Tigres Del Norte, and legendary percussionist Mono Santamaria. Los Tigres will receive the Spirit of Hope Award for their extraordinary contributions to music and music education through their Los Tigres Del Norte Foundation. Santamaria will receive the Hall of Fame Award for outstanding longtime artistic merit.

Joining the all-star line up are Jon Secada, Carlos Vives, the legendary Celia Cruz, Jerry Rivera and Tito Nieves, who will each present awards. Other celebrity presenters include Telemundo's talk show sensation Laura Bozzo; Julian Arango, Natalia Ramirez & Lorna Paz from the hit novela "Betty La Fea," Gloria Calzada and Jose Diaz Balart from Telemundo's news and information program "Esta Manana;" and Martiza Rodriguez and Francisco Gatorno from the successful novela "Amantes Del Desierto." More celebrity performers and presenters will be announced at a future date. *

The only show of its kind, the Billboard Latin Music Awards is an annual event, honoring the year's biggest and brightest stars. Finalists for the awards ceremony are chosen based on their performances on Hot Latin Tracks and The Billboard Latin 50 charts, which comprise airplay and sales. The measuring period for the nominee selection is January 30, 2000, to January 29, 2001.

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