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Billboard’s Latin Lifetime Achievement Winners Throughout the Years – Billboard

Written by on 09/10/2023

Powerhouse producer and musician Emilio Estefan was the very first person to ever receive the Billboard Latin Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. For a short period of time (1995-1998), the award’s name was changed to El Premio Billboard and was awarded to Tito Puente, José Feliciano, Herb Alpert and Ralph Mercado. In 1999, it returned as the Lifetime Achievement Award and was given to norteño artist Leonardo “Flaco” Jiménez.

Since, the tradition has remained, and over the years, renowned and chart-topping Latin artists such Armando Manzanero, Marco Antonio Solís, Miguel Bosé, Emmanuel, José José, Santana, Juan Luis Guerra, among many others, have gone on to receive the prestigious accolade.

The Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award is an honor that is presented by Billboard to an artist or a group who’s had an “enduring and exceptional career, encompassing artistic and personal contributions that have had a major impact on Latin music worldwide.”

Last year, the honoree was Spanish icon Raphael who accepted the special honor at the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards. He was recognized for his “exceptional professional career and his artistic and personal contributions” that have influenced the development of Latin music around the world. With a musical career that spans more than 60 years, Raphael — known for anthemic songs such as “Yo Soy Aquel,” “En Carne Viva” and “Mi Gran Noche” — has garnered worldwide recognition as a pioneer of Spanish-language romantic ballads.

Mexican cumbia group Los Ángeles Azules was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards on Oct. 5. The band — known for songs such as “El Listón de Tu Pelo,” “Cómo Te Voy a Olvidar” and “Mi Niña Mujer” — among many other cumbia anthems, was recognized for their enduring, exceptional career that has expanded the reach of Latin music worldwide.

All of the previous honorees have made a significant contribution to Latin music. In honor of the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards show and Los Ángeles Azules’ special award, here are all the Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award recipients from over the years.

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