From career milestones and new music releases to major announcements and more, Billboard editors highlight the latest news buzz in Latin music every week. Here’s what happened in the Latin music world this week.
“She Said Yes!”
Erika Ender, one of the songwriters behind Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” is officially engaged. This week, the 48-year-old Panamanian hitmaker shared the exciting news on Instagram, where she shared photos with her handsome fiancé, flaunting her big rock. “And this happened today… I said yes,” she captioned the reel, which has Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” as the background song. On her social media, Ender has previously shared sweet photos and videos with her partner, and once penned a heartfelt letter on how she found someone who respects her liberty and individuality.
Banda MS Meets Hip-Hop…Again!
In celebration of their 20-year career, Banda MS announced their next international collaboration will be with famed rapper Ice Cube. The Regional Mexican group and manager Sergio Lizárraga made the announcement via a short video where they simply said “we want to do something special for our 20th anniversary” and then tapped Cube on the shoulder saying “come join us, ready Cube?” to which the Hip-Hop star said “Listo! I’m ready!” The upcoming track will follow the group’s second banda-meets-rap collaboration following their Snoop Dogg-assisted “Que Maldición,” which debuted at No. 4 on the Hot Latin Songs chart in May 2020.
Birthday Love for Shakira
On February 2nd, Shakira turned 46 years old, and while she’s still enjoying the massive success of her No. 1 Hot Latin Songs hit “BZRP Music Session, Vol. 53” with Argentine hitmaker Bizarrap, many fellow stars are celebrating her. Artists such as Carlos Vives and Alejandro Sanz each posted throwback memories with the Colombian artist. The former shared a heartfelt video call he had with Shakira, stating “Happy birthday Currambera. We love you. May life bring happiness to you and yours.” The latter shared a video of the time they performed “La Tortura” on Saturday Night Live. “Shaki, the years go by and here we continue, orbiting in this very cosmic friendship that life gave us. I congratulate you, I celebrate you and I love you,” Sanz posted.
23 for 2023
This week, Billboard unleashed its annual “Latin & Spanish Artists To Watch” list, consisting of 23 promising artists who have already made an impact—be it in the charts, media, streaming platforms, or public consciousness—and who we believe will make significant strides in their careers in the coming year. Spotlighting a mix of acts that cover a broad variety of Latin music genres, from pop to reggaetón to R&B, música Mexicana, and rock, artists such as Venezuela’s Lasso, Mexico’s Grupo Frontera, Spain’s Quevedo, Puerto Rico’s Young Miko, and Brazil’s Ludmilla made the list.
A History-Making Power 100
In other exciting Billboard news, Bad Bunny presented his longtime manager, Noah Assad, with the Executive of the Year award at Billboard‘s 2023 Power 100 event in Los Angeles. “This award means a lot to me, the same way that my own awards mean a lot for him,” the Puerto Rican artist said of his manager after being introduced by Leila Cobo, Billboard‘s Chief Content Officer Latin/Español. “It’s because this award is the proof that I’m not working alone, that dreams come true, but it’s never only by yourself. It’s always about teamwork.”
Assad, who’s the first Latin executive to receive the award, thanked Billboard for always covering Latin music. “They never undervalue us in any way,” he said. “They treat us as equal as the global American market. We have to be very grateful for that. At the end of the day, me and Bunny are products of thousands of people who work very hard on our island. All those walls they had to break down. There are a lot more stories to be told. This is only chapter one.”