Christina Aguilera Goes Ranchera, Elvis Crespo Performs “Neverita” & More 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards Highlights

Lead Photo: Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla.
Art by Alan Lopez for Remezcla.
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The 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards took place on Thursday (Sept. 29) at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Florida. It comes as no surprise that Bad Bunny had yet another successful award show as he led the winner’s list with nine trophies. The Puerto Rican icon was followed by Farruko and Karol G. La Bichota, for her part, was the top-winning female this year.

This year, the award show took place during Billboard Latin Music Week (Sept. 26 to Oct. 1), with show-stopping performances by artists across all genres. This includes Christina Aguilera, Grupo Firme, Calibre 50, Maluma, and more. 

Despite the weather due to Hurricane Ian, the awards still went on as usual – with only one change: the red carpet. Instead of it being held outdoors, the red carpet took place inside. Some of the A-list celebrities that walked the prestigious event’s red carpet include Becky G, Rauw Alejandro, and Ozuna. Among the most talked about artists for stunning the red carpet include Elvis Crespo’s oversized Hot Topic-like grunge outfit and Natti Natasha’s skin-tight, shiny leather Batgirl-esque attire.

Per usual, special awards were also presented to heavy-weight and emblematic artists during the evening. These trajectory awards were presented to Christina Aguilera, who received the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award; Jose Feliciano receiving the first-ever Billboard Legend Award; Raphael being awarded the Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award; Chayanne receiving the Billboard Icon Award; and Nicky Jam as the recipient of the Billboard Hall of Fame Award.

That’s not all that went down, though. The show was full of memorable pop culture moments. From this year’s top winners to Elvis Crespo’s performance of his reworked merengue-infused version of Bad Bunny’s “Neverita,” here are five highlights from the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Elvis Crespo’s Performs Bad Bunny’s “Neverita” 

It takes a legend to know a legend – and Crespo is proving that his artistry didn’t end with “Suavemente.” Instead, he came out decked out in a leather jacket, skirt, and boots, looking in sync with this generation’s edgy looks. Not only that, though. If you follow Benito’s career, you’ve heard that he recently paid tribute to Crespo’s “Suavemente” music video by making it his own. Well, yesterday night, Crespo performed a merengue-infused version of “Neverita.” He then meshed it with his hit “Suavemente,” giving the crowd what they want. How’s that for expressing mutual appreciation across generational icons?

Top Winners

As mentioned before, Bad Bunny took home the most trophies this year. Among his wins, he took Artist of the Year, Tour of the Year, and Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year (Male). His album Un Verano Sin Ti won him Top Latin Album of the Year and Latin Rhythm Album of the Year, to name a few. Other top winners include Farruko, whose major hit “Pepas” earned him Hot Latin Song of the Year, Streaming Song of the Year, Sales Song of the Year, and Latin Rhythm Song of the Year. Karol G was crowned this year’s top female winner in categories like Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year (Female), Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year (Female), and Hot Latin Song of the Year, Vocal Event for “MAMIII” with Becky G.

Christina Aguilera’s “La Reina” Performance

Xtina took the stage to perform “La Reina” from her latest Spanish-language (and now Latin Grammy-nominated) album Aguilera. The performance left the crowd so shook that they gave her a standing ovation. It’s no surprise since Aguilera is known for her powerful, rich vocals capable of transcending any type of musical genre. With “La Reina,” her empowering croons were paired perfectly with this heart-wrenching ranchera. Afterward, the pop singer received the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award for her philanthropic efforts to help end domestic abuse, supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and raising HIV/AIDS research awareness.

Rauw Alejandro’s New Look & Alien Squad

Hands down, one of this year’s most interesting red carpet looks goes to Rauw. He showed up with an all-new, fresh look: blue hair, a shaved face, and, to top it off, two extra-terrestrial bodyguards. It’s apparent that he’s all-in with his upcoming Saturno album vibe, going as far as having two aliens walk beside him throughout the red carpet. Leave it to Rauw to take us out of this world with his ideas and forward-thinking musical projects. As far as the award show goes, he won two awards: Latin Airplay Song of the Year and Latin Pop Song of the Year for his massive hit “Todo de Ti.”

Calibre 50’s New Lead Singer Makes On-Stage Debut

Following the departure of Edén Muñoz, Calibre 50 went on a search for its new singer. They held public auditions, eventually crowning Tony Elizondo as their new vocalist. Last night, Calibre 50 made their major award show debut appearance with the new singer. The Regional Mexican band sang “El Mexicano Es Fregón” with Emmanuel Delgado. The band must’ve been super hyped towards the end, though, since they released some parts of the uncensored version “El Mexicano Es Cabrón” on live television. Nevertheless, it made a grand debut for Elizondo’s first Billboard Latin Music Awards performance!