She’s the woman behind the song of the summer… And, now Erika Ender has earned her place in Latin music history.
At the fifth annual La Musa Awards gala last week — hosted by Jane the Virgin‘s Jaime Camil – the Panamanian-Brazilian singer/songwriter was inducted into the prestigious Latin Song Writers Hall of Fame, the youngest inductee in the hall’s history.
Along with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, Ender is co-writer of the biggest hit of the year, “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, which spent 16 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.
Born in Panama to a Brazilian mother and a U.S.-born father of German ancestry, Ender speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish, and moves easily between cultures.
Before “Despacito,” she had written hits for Chayanne, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Gloria Trevi, Ednita Nazario and Los Tigres del Norte. She also is a TV personality in Latin America, where she has been a judge for a Latin version of American Idol.
Along with Ender, Ana Gabriel, Roberto Livi, Martin Urieta, Carlos Vives and Camilo Sesto were also inducted into hall of fame.
Each was presented at the James L. Knight Center with the coveted hand-crafted trophy, originally inspired by “the muse” of the late Cuban songwriter and poet, Elena Casals.
Additionally, Vives was presented with the Icon Award, while Wisin, the late Julio Jaramillo and “La Bamba” garnered the Victory Award, Legacy Award and Song of All Time, respectively.
Amid a political climate currently riddled with anti-immigrant rhetoric, as well as the devastating aftermaths of hurricanes Irma and Maria throughout the Caribbean, Urieta offered words and sentiments in support of immigrants, while Nazario performed a brilliant tribute to the island of Puerto Rico.
The Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame is dedicated to educating, preserving, honoring and celebrating “the lives and music of the world’s greatest Latin songwriters, composers and lyricists in every genre while developing and inspiring new generations of music creators through master classes, workshops, scholarships and digital initiatives.”