Grupo Firme Win Five Awards at Premios de la Radio

Grupo Firme is celebrating their La Radio success…

The 2021 Premios de la Radio have been announced, with the Regional Mexican group topping the list of winners.

Grupo Firme

Taking place at Mexico City’s Foro Expo Santa Fe with a star-studded lineup of presenters, performers and nominees, the awards recognize the best of Regional Mexican music.

During the nearly four-hour ceremony, 16 awards — voted on by fans — were presented live, with Grupo Firme leading the winners list and taking home a total of five awards. The banda-norteño group won artist of the year, norteño group of the year, banda song of the year for “Ya Supérame,” Latin pride award and collaboration of the year thanks to “Yo Ya No Vuelvo Contigo” with Lenin Ramírez.

Other big winners include Ángela Aguilar, who won three awards, including female artist of the year, and El Fantasma, who nabbed male artist of the year and norteña song of the year for “Cabrón y Vago” featuring Los Dos Carnales.

The ceremony featured performances by Grupo Firme, who was joined by Carin Leon and Ramírez onstage for a medley of their tracks “El Tóxico” and “Yo Ya No Vuelvo Contigo.” Aguilar took the spotlight for showstopping performances of “Ahi Donde Me Ven” and “En Realidad.”

Additionally, various tributes took place, including a heartfelt homage honoring Vicente Fernández‘s legacy, which included performances by Grupo Firme’s Eduin Caz, Alan and Walo of Banda MS, Leon, Natalia Jimenez, Leonardo Aguilar and Aída Cuevas.

Here’s the complete winners list:

Artist of the Year: 
Grupo Firme

Male Artist of the Year: 
El Fantasma

Female Artist of the Year: 
Ángela Aguilar

Banda of the Year: 
Banda MS

Norteño Group of the Year:
Grupo Firme

Sierreño Group or Soloist of the Year:
Carin Leon

Banda Song of the Year:
“Ya Supérame” – Grupo Firme

Mariachi Song of the Year:
“Dime cómo quieres” – Ángela Aguilar ft Christian Nodal

Norteña Song of the Year:
“Cabrón y Vago” – El Fantasma ft Los Dos Carnales

Sierreña Song of the Year: 
“Ya Acabó” – Marca MP

Regional Urban Song of the Year:
“Grandes Ligas” – Lupillo Rivera, Alemán, Santa Fe Klan, B-Real ft Snoop Dogg

Corrido of the Year: 
“El Perro “ – Gerardo Ortiz

Collaboration of the Year: 
“Yo Ya No Vuelvo Contigo” – Lenin Ramírez ft Grupo Firme

New Artist of the Year: 
Junior H

Latin Pride Award:
Ángela Aguilar
Grupo Firme

Tribute to the Greatest of Mexico: 
Vicente Fernández
Pepe Aguilar
Aída Cuevas

Manager of the Year (Promoters Association):
Isael Gutiérrez, Grupo Firme

Marco Antonio Solis Earns Eighth No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay Chart with “Se Veía Venir”

Marco Antonio Solis is finally back on top…

The 61-year-old Mexican musician, singer, composer and record producer has returned to the top of Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay chart for the first time in over two decades as “Se Veía Venir” climbs 6-1 on the ranking dated October 2.

Marco Antonio Solis

It’s his first leader at the radio format since “El Peor de Mis Fracasos” topped the chart for one week on the September 11, 1999-dated list.

“Se Veía Venir” takes over at the summit after being boosted by a 67% increase in audience impressions, to 8 million, in the U.S. in the week ending September 26, according to MRC Data.

The mariachi-powered “Se Veía Venir” grants Solis his eighth No. 1 on Regional Mexican Airplay, the third-most among soloists since the chart began in 1994. Among all acts, the group Calibre 50 continues to lead with 20 No. 1s.

After the chart’s launch in 1994, Solis became the first male solo act to achieve a No. 1 on the now-26-year-old survey with the two-week champ “Una Mujer Como Tú” in 1995, alongside Los BukisSelena was the first solo act to hit No. 1, with “No Me Queda Mas,” on December 3, 1994.

Between his trips to the summit with “Una Mujer” and “Se Veía Venir,” Solis conquered six other times the top of the ranking. Among them, a pair of two-digit week leaders: “Que Pena Me Das” (10 consecutive weeks atop in 1996) and “La Venía Bendita” (ruler for 13 consecutive weeks between 1997 and 1998).

Elsewhere on the Latin charts, “Se Veía” also reaches the top 10 on the all-genre Latin Airplay tally with an 18-5 surge and becomes the Greatest Gainer of the week. With the move, Solis earns his 27th top 10 and ties with Marc Anthony for the sixth-most behind Daddy Yankee (42), Enrique Iglesias (41), J Balvin (36), Shakira (32) and Ozuna (30). He continues to have the most top 10s among all Regional Mexican acts, ahead of Calibre 50’s 23 top 10s since the chart’s inception in 1994.

Christian Nodal to Launch 2021 “Botella Tras Botella” U.S. Tour in September

Christian Nodal will be popping bottles in the U.S.

The 22-year-old Mexican singer has announced the dates for his 2021 “Botella Tras Botella” U.S. tour with special guest Gera MX.

Christian Nodal

Produced by Live Nation, Nodal will kick off his series of concerts on September 14 at Las Vegas’ Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood.

The Regional Mexican is scheduled to wrap his tour on December 19 at Phoenix’s Arizona Federal Theatre.

Nodal, who will be joined by special guest Gera MX, will make pit stops in cities such as Orlando, Nashville, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago, to name a few.

“I’m excited to announce that we’re finally going back on tour in the U.S. and that we’ll finally see each other to enjoy unforgettable moments,” he tells Billboard.

The tour was coined after his and Gera’s country-meets-hip-hop collaboration “Botella Tras Botella,” which made Billboard history as the first Regional Mexican title to enter the Hot 100 in its almost 63-year history.

The song, born during a carne asada hangout in the midst of the pandemic, tells the story of a man who’s hanging out with his bros but can’t get over his ex and breakup. “It did not have a marketing strategy or a plan. It has soul,” Mexican rapper Gera previously told Billboard.

Nodal’s “Botella Tras Botella” tour comes on the heels of his and Belinda’s engagement announcement on May 25. The couple will also debut their first-ever collaboration this week as the theme song of Univision’s Si Nos Dejan.

Tickets will go on sale at 12:00 pm local time on Friday, June 4 via Ticketmaster.com.

Here’s the full list of U.S. dates:

Sept. 14 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood
Nov. 12 – Orlando, Fla. @ Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Nov. 13 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Gas South Arena
Nov. 14 – Nashville, Tenn. @ TPAC
Nov. 19 – Dallas, Texas @ The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Nov. 20 – Hidalgo, Texas @ Payne Arena
Nov. 21 – Houston, Texas @ Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Nov. 24 – San Antonio, Texas @ Freeman Coliseum
Nov. 26 – Chicago, Ill. @ Rosemont Theatre
Nov. 28 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
Dec. 3 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Performance Venue at Hollywood Park
Dec. 4 – San Diego, Calif. @ Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl San Diego State University
Dec. 5 – Oakland, Calif. @ Paramount Theatre-Oakland
Dec. 10 – Reno, Nev. @ Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
Dec .12 – Fresno, Calif. @ Save Mart Center
Dec. 17 – Albuquerque, N.M. @ Kiva Auditorium at the Albuquerque Convention Center
Dec. 18 – El Paso, Texas @ UTEP Don Haskins Center
Dec. 19 – Phoenix, Az. @ Arizona Federal Theatre

Bad Bunny: The Top Latinx Winner at the Billboard Music Awards

Bad Bunny is celebrating a memorable night…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican superstar took home four awards at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, the most of any Latinx artist.

Bad Bunny W Magazine Cover

Bad Bunny collected the awards Top Latin Artist, Top Latin Male Artist, Top Latin Song (“Dákiti“) and Top Latin Album (YHLQMDLG).

Bad Bunny, who performed “Te Deseo Lo Mejor” after accepting his Top Latin Artist award, presented by Lena Waithe, holds the record for the most top 40 hits on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart with 104. He also holds the record for the most hits in total on that chart: 111. His chart-topping YHLQMDLG won him his first Grammy on March 14, when it was named Best Latin Pop or Urban Album.

In the Top Latin Artist category at the BBMAs, Bad Bunny was up against Anuel AA, J Balvin, Maluma and Ozuna.

“I share this [award] with all of my colleagues nominated who are doing big things for the genre,” he said in Spanish during his speech.

El Conejo Malo wasn’t the only one representing Latin music at the BBMAs. Colombian hitmaker Karol G also took center stage performing “Bichota” and “El Makinon” after being announced winner of the Top Latin Female Artist award, beating out Becky G and Rosalía.

Karol G, whose most recent album KG0516 debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart, becoming her first No. 1 on that list, has amassed 25 hits on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, including three No. 1s. She has had 10 No. 1s on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart.

She performed a medley of her hits “Bichota” and “El Makinon,” both from her latest album KG0516. She also flaunted her “next level” dance moves that she rehearsed “very hard” for, as she told Billboard’s Leila Cobo.

“I’m happy and I’m nervous,” she said ahead of her big night. “A lot of power…with this performance, I want to express that I feel like a woman and a business girl. I feel so happy and grateful for everything that’s happening in my career and my life, and to have the opportunity to inspire girls all over the world.”

Finally, representing the Regional Mexican realm, Eslabon Armado took home the Top Latin Duo/Group award. The teenage trio was up against Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga and Los Dos Carnales in that category.

Known for their sierreño ballads, Eslabon Armado – comprised of brothers Pedro (lead vocalist) and Brian Tovar (bass and bajoloche), along with friend Gabriel Hidalgo (harmony and background vocals) – scored three consecutive chart-topping albums in 2020: Tu Veneno MortalVibras de Noche and Corta Venas.

“Always grateful to God, our parents, our label and our fans,” Eslabon Armado posted on their social media after they won the award. “This award is for all of you.”

Hosted by Nick Jonas, the ceremony also honored P!nk as the Icon, Drake as the artist of the decade and Trae Tha Truth as the Change Maker.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Top Artist: The Weeknd
Top New Artist: Pop Smoke
Top Male Artist: The Weeknd
Top Female Artist: Taylor Swift
Top Duo/Group: BTS
Top Billboard 200 Artist: Taylor Swift
Top Hot 100 Artist: The Weeknd
Top Streaming Songs Artist: Drake
Top Song Sales Artist
: BTS
Top Radio Songs Artist:
The Weeknd
Top Social Artist (Fan Voted): BTS
Top R&B Artist:
The Weeknd
Top R&B Male Artist: The Weeknd
Top R&B Female Artist
: Doja Cat
Top Rap Artist: Pop Smoke
Top Rap Male Artist: Pop Smoke
Top Rap Female Artist: Megan Thee Stallion
Top Country Artist: Morgan Wallen
Top Country Male Artist: Morgan Wallen
Top Country Female Artist: Gabby Barrett
Top Country Duo/Group: Florida Georgia Line
Top Rock Artist: Machine Gun Kelly
Top Latin Artist: Bad Bunny
Top Latin Male Artist: Bad Bunny
Top Latin Female Artist
: Karol G
Top Latin Duo/Group: Eslabón Armado
Top Dance/Electronic Artist
: Lady Gaga
Top Christian Artist
: Elevation Worship
Top Gospel Artist
: Kanye West
Top Billboard 200 Album: Pop Smoke, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon
Top R&B Album: The Weeknd, After Hours
Top Rap Album: Pop Smoke, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon
Top Country Album: Morgan Wallen, Dangerous: The Double Album
Top Rock Album: Machine Gun Kelly, Tickets to My Downfall 
Top Latin Album: Bad Bunny, YHLQMDLG 
Top Dance/Electronic Album
: Lady Gaga, Chromatica 
Top Christian Album: Carrie Underwood, My Gift
Top Gospel Album: Maverick City Music, Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 1 
Top Hot 100 Song: The Weeknd, “Blinding Lights”
Top Streaming Song: DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch, “ROCKSTAR”
Top Selling Song: BTS, “Dynamite”
Top Radio Song: The Weeknd, “Blinding Lights”
Top Collaboration (Fan Voted): Gabby Barrett ft. Charlie Puth, “I Hope”
Top R&B Song: The Weeknd, “Blinding Lights”
Top Rap Song: DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch, “ROCKSTAR”
Top Country Song: Gabby Barrett, “I Hope”
Top Rock Song: AJR, “Bang!”
Top Latin Song
: Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez, “Dákiti”
Top Dance/Electronic Song: SAINt JHN, “Roses (Imanbek Remix)”
Top Christian Song: Elevation Worship ft. Brandon Lake, “Graves Into Gardens”
Top Gospel Song: Kanye West ft. Travis Scott, “Wash Us In The Blood”

Chiquis Becomes First Latina Act to Release Own Digital Collectible

Chiquis is off the (block)chain…

The 35-year-old Mexican America Regional Mexican artist  is set to release her first-ever NFT in partnership with crypto gaming company AnRKey X, according to Billboard.

Chiquis Rivera

The digital NFT (non-fungible token), a one-of-a-kind cryptographic token that exists on a blockchain, will come in the form of a gaming card inspired by her “Spiritual Gangsta” persona, which will be able to be used in AnRKey X’s game Battle Wave 2323 – a blend of cyberpunk, hip-hop and Marvel universe-inspired game characters.

“‘Spiritual Gangsta’ is in my Instagram bio – part Chiquis and part Janney,” the Latin Grammy-winning artist told Billboard. “I’ve always seen [that] character as an alter ego and thought that it would even be perfect for a video game character!”

Only a handful of Latin acts, like Ozuna and Rudy Mancuso, have experimented with this once-considered niche method of cryptocurrency, and Chiquis becomes the first female Latin act to release her very own digital collectible.

“It is so exciting to be on the forefront of new technology and bring my fans and followers along for the ride,” the “Anímate y Verás” singer says. “There is so such a vast space for incredibly creative and innovative ideas in the NFT and crypto world. You all know me as an artist, TV personality, philanthropist and business woman so I see there are big possibilities ahead in this sector.”

Victoria La Mala & Chiquis Team Up for Women’s Empowerment Anthem “Sexo Debil (TNMDQH)”

Victoria La Mala is empowering women with her latest single…

The Mexican singer has teamed up with Chiquis, whom she met about six years ago, for their first-ever collaboration “Sexo Debil (TNMDQH).”

Victoria La Mala & Chiquis

“I wrote the song a couple of years ago with Claudia Brant,” La Mala tells Billboard. “I was holding on to it for a while because I loved it so much and it meant so much to me.”

“Sexo Debil (TNMDQH),” short for “tu no me dices que hacer” is a Western-tinged corrido that fuses to an infectious cumbia melody towards the middle. It’s an anthem to remind women that they are in no shape or form the weakest sex.

“Every word we wrote was something that was told to me,” she adds. “I wanted to let women feel that they are empowered, have control of their lives and that they can do whatever they want.”

For the track, La Mala reeled in Latin Grammy winner, Chiquis, because “she’s such a strong woman and she’ll be able to relate.”

“Us women who are in this industry understand how hard it can be and the discrimination that happens,” Chiquis notes. “I love what Victoria did on this song because it comes from the heart. She’s really embracing who she is, she’s hip-hop, she’s Regional, she’s a little bit of everything and I love that she did something different. This song gives women power and reminds them that they can do whatever they want.”

In the music video, both Mexican artists are just as unapologetic and fierce as the track.

“I’m obsessed with this video! We had so much fun and I think it reflects that,” La Mala says. “I wanted to do this whole late ‘90s, early ‘00s aesthetic because I grew up with that. We filmed it in a day and we got to hang out with each other and let loose.”

With the release of “Sexo Debil,” part of Soy Mala EP coming out on May 5th, both La Mala and Chiquis hope to encourage more and more women in Regional Mexican to collaborate.

“Why can’t we get together the way Becky G and Natti [Natasha] collab? I want that in our genre so now it’s happening and hopefully it keeps on going,” Chiquis expresses.

“We’re the generation that’s doing it!” La Mala agrees. “There’s space to support all the women and grow together. We’re more unstoppable that way.”

Neto Bernal Releases New Version of Luis Miguel-Hit “Hasta Que Me Olvides”

Neto Bernal isn’t forgetting an iconic hit… He’s reimagining it!

The 23-year-old Mexican Regional Mexican music newcomer has released “Hasta Que Me Olvides,” his sierreño version of Luis Miguel’s 1993 hit written by Juan Luis Guerra.

Neto Bernal

The heartfelt track, on which Bernal beautifully flaunts his powerhouse vocals, is the lead single from Bernal’s new EP of the same name.

The set is home to six tracks, including the mariachi version of “Si Quieres” in collaboration with Carolina Ross.

Eden Muñoz and Salvador Aponte also worked on the project as composers.

An emotional music video shows Neto and his onscreen girlfriend get in a car accident and stay by each other’s sides during the recovery. 

Mon Laferte Releases New Regional Mexican Album “Seis”

Mon Laferte is changing things up for her next album…

The 37-year-old Chilean singer and songwriter wrote her sixth album, Seis, while hunkered down in the pueblo mágico Tepoztlán, nearly two hours south of Mexico City.

Mon Laferte 

Mon Laferte started writing it a month after the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed.

“I was like everyone else, just filled with uncertainty,” she tells Billboard. “So I clung onto my music and my guitar because I thought, if the world ends, I at least want people to know how I was feeling.”

It’s the first album in which she sings regional Mexican (banda, corridos tumbados, mariachi) music in homage to the country she’s live in for the past 14 years. In it, she doesn’t hold back while singing about toxic relationships, past and future loves, and the love she has for her mother and other women.

“The entire writing process was very solitary, bleak and melancholic … it was nights of just me and my guitar, drinking mezcal, with the crickets in the background,” she adds.

Lupillo Rivera Signs Record & Management Deal with Z Records

Lupillo Rivera has a time-ly new deal

The 48-year-old Mexican-American singer-songwriter has signed a record and management deal with Regional Mexican indie label Z Records in partnership with Rancho Humilde, according to Billboard.

Lupillo Rivera

“I’ve always had a high respect for George Prajin (Z Records CEO),” says Rivera. “I’ve worked with him and his family since the 90s. They are the ones that helped us launch our record label in Huntington Park in California and they were the only ones selling our music in their records stores. I said why not give him a chance. We’ve never had an issue working together. There’s a lot of respect there from his family to my family.”

Under the new deal, the corridos singer will also launch and host the interview-style show Época Pesada on Z Records’ YouTube channel. The idea is “to interview artists from the 90s and put the 90s music back and its artists on the map,” Rivera adds. “The kids listening to the new stuff are also listening to 90s regional Mexican music but I don’t think they know who the artists are. So, let’s put ourselves out there.”

To keep the momentum going, the chart-topping artist, previously signed to Linea Music, will also release multiple albums throughout the year including a duets record, a 90s-inspired set and a tribute album to mariachi titan Vicente Fernández.

“It’s an honor to welcome the great Lupillo Rivera to our roster of artists,” Prajin says, whose Z Records’ lineup includes Leonel El Ranchero,” Jorge Gamboa and El Chalinillo, among others. “In his 20-year career, I’ve had the privilege of being his friend and have worked with him on multiple occasions. Lupillo is one of the most influential artists in regional Mexican, his music has transcended frontiers and he’s made valuable contributions to the genre.”

Jimmy Humilde, founder of Rancho Humilde, will also co-produce Época Pesada set to go live February 17. “In 2021, Rancho Humilde is committed to take all its artists to the next level and Lupillo Rivera’s arrival to the group’s talent is a testament to that,” Humilde says.

Snoop Dogg will be the first guest on the show. “I don’t think Snoop remembers me but we were in the same class in Long Beach Polytechnic and it was fun hanging out with that guy in class,” Rivera says. “I’m going to remind him of all the stupidities we did in class. It was fun, we were high school students so imagine what we were doing over there. He’s going to trip out. It’s going to be great.”

Other artists confirmed to be a guest on the show include El Aleman, Jorge Gamboa, Voces del Rancho, Chalinillo and B-Real.

“I think that it’s a big responsibility to make all of this work because Z Records is putting everything behind me. I’m going to try my best with the music and the show and make it work no matter what,” adds Rivera.

Natalia Jiménez Signs with Sergio Lizárraga’s Management & Booking Company LM Events

Natalia Jiménez has new representation…

The 39-year-old Spanish singer-songwriter, who is beloved in Mexico, has signed a management and booking deal with LM Events, the management and booking company headed by Banda MS manager and founder Sergio Lizárraga, according to Billboard.

Natalia Jiménez

The move marks the first time in recent memory that such a prominent pop act enters a management agreement with a company that specializes in the Regional Mexican market. The deal underscores how fluid and collaborative genres have become in Latin music, with the former demarcated lines between sounds and formats, and now business, increasingly fading.

“He [Lizárraga] has been a pioneer of the genre with Banda MS, taking them to international success, and he’s proven his mettle by remaining relevant in a very difficult industry,” Jiménez tells Billboard. “I think it’s a fascinating challenge and I’m 100% vested in this pairing.”

Jiménez rose to prominence as the lead singer of hit Spanish pop group La Quinta Estación. Since launching her solo career in 2011, she’s placed three albums on the top 10 of Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart and six songs on the Hot Latin Songs chart, including No. 1 “Lo mejor de mi vida eres tú” with Ricky Martin.

And for the past decade, Lizárraga’s Banda MS has been one of the top groups in Latin music, in any genre, with 19 top-10 hits on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart.  They are also Mexico’s top-touring banda act and ended 2018 as the country’s most streamed act on Spotify. Last year, the band made history by pairing up with Snoop Dogg in the hit track “Que Maldición.” The fusion track marked the first time a major Mexican banda collaborated with a major American rap act, and landed both acts their first top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs track.

However, signing Jiménez or bridging pop and Mexican music, wasn’t something that Lizárraga was actively looking for. He and Jiménez met in 2019 when the singer and the group recorded a new version of “El Color de Tus Ojos,” a Banda MS hit, as part of Jiménez’s album México de mi Corazón, an homage to Mexican music that featured prominent acts from different genres.

Jiménez wanted to record the track with the full band, so Lizárraga invited her to their home base of Mazatlán to record in his studio. There was a feeling of mutual respect, and last year, Jiménez called Lizárraga and asked if he’d be interested in handling her. “I was surprised at first; I wasn’t sure whether to take her seriously,” says Lizárraga. “Then, we met and I took it very seriously indeed. I know it’s a different genre, but in the end, it’s the music business and a lot of things overlap.”

Lizárraga is widely seen as one of Mexican music’s most successful executives. He helms Banda MS’s label, Lizos Music, launched in 2013, and also opened up LM Events as a management and booking subsidiary for the band and other groups.

“We have a lot of plans [with Natalia],” he says. “I have great songwriters in my team, and she can sing rancheras, mariachis, ballads, which is our expertise. I’m giving her a huge team to work with, in every department, and I’m bringing my honesty, which is flag. Finally, I plan to devote myself entirely to her new music.” Jiménez’s upcoming album is México de Mi Corazón 2, which will be produced by Armando Ávila, who worked on the first set.

She continues to be signed to Sony Music Latin, which also has a close relationship with Banda MS; the label was in charge of distributing and marketing the Snoop Dogg collaboration.

“This is a new and fascinating direction for me, particularly because regional Mexican music is the genre I’m most enjoying right now,” said Jiménez. “This is a woman who, musically speaking can sing anything, in any genre. I definitely feel the pressure,” laughs Lizárraga. “But I like a good challenge.”

Jiménez was previously signed to Westwood Entertainment, the company that manages Carlos Rivera and Reik, among others.