The 2022 Premios Juventud 2022 was held on Thursday night (July 21). This year marked the first in its history that the broadcast moved outside of Miami, Florida — instead taking place at Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan. The change in scenery made perfect sense, considering the island’s influence on Latin American youth culture.
Notably, the award show has been in a coveted position in the past years as one of the few award shows that track a rise in ratings. According to a Billboard article, last year’s ceremony saw an increase of 31% among U.S. viewers aged 18-49 as stalwarts like the Grammys and American Music Awards have seen a steady decline in viewership.
We don’t know yet how many people tuned in this year, but we do know that between wins, performances, and a sudden breakup announcement, it was a year for the books for Premios Juventud.
CNCO Announce Break Up
After an almost seven-year run together, the boy band announced they’d be parting ways while accepting the award for Best Fandom.
“Es un poco extraño decir esto pero CNCO se separa, pronto,” Zabdiel de Jesus said on Thursday night. While the announcement may have come as a surprise to fans, it does come more than a year after Joel Pimentel left the group.
“We just want to thank everyone que pusieron su granito de arena para este proyecto… pero most importantly, our fans, bro. CNCOwners, you guys are the best,” Richard Camacho added.
But the CNCOwners don’t need to panic just yet. The band, who formed through the Univision competition show “La Banda,” still has a tour, an upcoming Disney+ series, and a new album to release before they officially call it quits.
“CNCO opened the doors for us in the industry, and now we have more opportunities to keep writing and meet other people, get into the studio and create new vibes,” Camacho told Billboard ahead of their announcement on Thursday.
Farruko Wins for “Pepas,” But Was Hesitant to Accept
There was a long moment of hesitation after Farruko received the win for Viral Track of the Year for “Pepas.” The singer remained seated for a couple of seconds, seemingly reluctant to accept the award.
He explained in an Instagram post after the show that he didn’t feel proud of the song. “Pero hoy entendí que es la excusa que ha usado Nuestro Padre para trabajar con mi ego y dar un mensaje con todo esto,” the singer wrote, explaining that he saw there was a deeper purpose behind his win.
As the reggaeton singer has stated in the past, he’s reticent to celebrate the “Pepas” as its lyrics involve drug use and a lifestyle “he no longer identifies with.” Earlier this year, he announced his conversion to Christianity, renouncing his old music and opting to make art that is more aligned with his religious values.
Jenni Rivera’s Honored on 10th Anniversary of Death
La Diva de la Banda was honored Thursday night in a tribute performance by Grupo Firme and Banda MS. Paying their respects to the woman who blazed a trail in the boys club of Banda, the groups performed a medley of her biggest hits, including: “No Llega el Olvido,” “Ya Lo Sé,” “Basta Ya,” and “Inolvidable.”
After the tribute, the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation received an Agent of Change award for its work to support single mothers and survivors of domestic violence. Rivera’s children, Jacqie, Jenicka, Michael, and Johnny, accepted the award on behalf of their late mother.
Chiquis did not attend the ceremony but squashed rumors of any drama around her absence ahead of Thursday’s show. In an Instagram Live on July 20, Chiquis shared that prior work commitments prevented her from traveling to Puerto Rico to receive the award alongside her siblings.
KPOP Makes Waves to Puerto Rico
MOMOLAND became the first K-pop nominated for an award at the Premios Juventud this year with their hit collaboration with Natti Natasha, “Yummy Yummy Love.” The album received a nomination for best girl power collab, alongside ladies like Becky G and Karol G, Camila Cabello and Maria Becerra, and Rosalía and Tokischa.
While Becky G and Karol G’s “Mamiii” took home the award, MOMOLAND and the K-pop boy band T1419 both became the first artists in the genre to take part in the awards show.
It didn’t quite go off without a hitch, though. MOMOLAND’s JooE found herself clapping through CNCO’s breakup announcement because there wasn’t any translation of the speech offered to the South Korean star. She’s since apologized on Instagram, and it seems like most people have laughed it off.
J Balvin Presents Grant for Mental Health
A recipient of one of this year’s Agent of Change awards, the Colombian singer also presented the first-ever Agent of Change grant. The $25,000 grant will go to an individual or organization working to improve mental health and wellness, though the recipient of the funding has yet to be announced.
“La música es un medio, no es el fin, el medio con el cual podemos conectar con la gente, la juventud, con todos los que nos siguen.” Balvin said while accepting the Agent of Change award. “Y también hacerles saber que no está mal sentirse mal. Hay momentos en que se la pasa uno en la oscuridad pero tarde o temprano sale la luz.”
Balvin opened up most candidly about his struggles with depression and anxiety, which seemed to worsen as his career was taking off, in his 2020 documentary “The Boy From Medellin.” Now, he’s open about his struggles in hopes of reducing the stigma around mental health and urging his young fans to find help.
Other recipients of the Agent of Change award included Wisin y Yandel, singer-songwriter Kany Garcia and the Jenni Rivera Love Foundation.