Music Roundup: Who Will Win Big at the Billboard Awards?

Billboard’s Most Likely Winners and Losers

With the 19th Annual Billboard Latin Music Awards just around the corner (Thursday, April 10 at 7:00pm on Telemundo!), it’s time for a look at the most likely winners! We already know who’s definitely picking up trophies: our favorite colombiano, Juanes, is being honored with a Spirit of Hope award for his relentless commitment to environmental, educational and political initiatives, a commitment he most recently proved by staging an incredible free concert to promote peace between his homeland, Venezuela and Ecuador. Also guaranteed to win are norteño legends Conjunto Primavera, who will take home this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Enrique Iglesias is up for four awards, including Artist of the Year and Song of the Year (for Dímelo,) and the Spanish hottie is also the featured star at the Billboard Latin Music Conference which is taking place all week long in Miami. It’s a good time to be Enrique, whose greatest hits album, 95/08 went straight to #1 on the Latin charts and is still sitting pretty.

As for everyone else, we’re hoping that 6-time nominee and relative newbie Fanny Lu can sneak some awards from veterans like Juan Luis Guerra (we love him, but he’s swept every Latin awards show in recent memory), Gloria Estefan and Olga Tañon. It’s time to pass the tropical torch! Also, look for Aventura and Juanes to duke it out for Song of the Year (we’re rooting for the bachata boys—“Mi Corazoncito” was our favorite song of ’07, hands down) and for Black Guayaba to snatch the Alternative Album trophy from Café Tacuba and Manu Chao, who’ve rightfully dominated this category. And could Kany Garcia edge out the Guayaba boys in the new artist category? She’s a double nominee, which suggests that the Billboard folks may be partial to her…tune in tomorrow to find out, and head back to on Friday for the full recap!

Luis Miguel Dropping in May

Finally, Luismi is back in the headlines for something other then his relationship drama! The Mexican crooner (and newly single bachelor, post-breakup with Aracely Arámbula) is hard at work on a new album called Complices, which will drop on May 6 and feature Miguel covering ballads written by renowned Spanish songwriter Manuel Alejandro. The first single, “Si Tú Te Atreves,” is out now, and it’s the definition of romance. Though we’re a little disappointed that Luis Miguel still has us waiting for an album of original music, we always prefer when he puts that sexy voice to work on classic ballads anyway.

Cop It: Leona Lewis, Ray J, Pacifika

For radio-lovers: She’s been called the next Mariah and Whitney, and she’s probably the only artist in existence to hear not a peep of criticism from Simon Cowell. Now, the UK’s Leona Lewis finally arrives overseas with the release of her debut album, Spirit. This is a no-brainer iTunes purchase for anyone who loves powerhouse female singers and has already heard Lewis’ moving first single, “Bleeding Love.” If you love Celine Dion, then you’ll definitely fall for this.

For bump ‘n grinders: We know you’re out there…don’t be shy! You’ll want to cop Ray J’s All I Feel this week. You’ve probably already started practicing your pole-dancing moves to his current stripper-ode single, “Sexy Can I (Feat. Yung Berg),” so why not keep it going? Personally, the only records by Brandy’s little bro that we’ve ever liked are “What I Need” and “One Wish," and none of the songs on this album even come close to those. But if you secretly wish you were Kim Kardashian in that sex tape, you might want to add this CD to your playlist.

For multi-culti hipsters, and the like: Check out the jazz-influenced chill-out rock of Pacifika, a Canadian band led by transplanted Peruvian (and strikingly gorgeous woman, we might add!) Silvana Kane. Their debut album, Asunción, is out this week. We love its pulsing first single, “Me Caí,” but what we love even more is that fact that it’s a complete work from beginning to end—so rare these days.

--Monica Herrera