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Alicia Villarreal Performs for Female Inmates & More Uplifting Moments in Latin Music

From career milestones to new music releases to major announcements and those little important moments, Billboard editors highlight uplifting moments in Latin music. Here’s what happened in the Latin music world this week.

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See latest videos, charts and news

See latest videos, charts and news

Alicia Villarreal visits inmates in Mexico

For International Women’s Day, Mexican singer Alicia Villarreal paid a special visit to female inmates at a women’s reintegration center in Guadalajara, Jalisco. There, she spent around three hours touring new installments, including a library, a chapel and workstations, and gave an empowering speech. She also performed for the inmates two of her greatest hits: “Te Quedó Grande La Yegua” and “Te Aprovechas.”

Karol G is Woman of the Year

The Colombian hitmaker was honored with Woman of the Year at the Billboard Women in Music event on Wednesday (March 6). After receiving the award from Colombian actor and producer Sofía Vergara, Karol went on to give a passionate acceptance speech. “In the midst of my desire, in the midst of wanting to make music even if it was just for me, I decided that if my environment did not change, I was the one who had to change and I was the one who was going to do it,” Karol said. “And that I wasn’t going to let being a woman be an obstacle or define my capabilities, but that it was going to be my strength, it was going to be my motive and my reason.”

She also performed a salsa version of her hit song “Amargura.” See her performance here.

Girl-power anthems

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, Billboard has compiled a list of the best Latin female anthems. From Jenni Rivera’s “Ovarios” to Shakira’s Bizarrap session and Paulina Rubio’s’ “Yo No Soy Esa Mujer,” these are the songs that continue to make us feel empowered. The list includes impactful songs across different music genres that may have marked a before and after in the artist’s career but also became a timeless staple for their fans. See the list here.

Carlos Vives’ special award

The Colombian singer-songwriter will be honored with this year’s ASCAP Founders Award, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) announced. “Carlos has led a new generation of Latin artists bringing Colombian music sounds to music fans around the world,” said Paul Williams, ASCAP chairman of the board and president, in a statement. “His talent and passion for Latin music and culture are unmatched. His accomplishments have paved the way for so many others and we are thrilled to present him with our highest honor, the ASCAP Founders Award.” 

The presentation of the award will take place April 2 at the 2024 El Premio ASCAP in Miami, an invitation-only event that celebrates this year’s ASCAP Latin Music Award winners.

The Montreux Jazz Festival Miami is a wrap

The Montreux Jazz Festival Miami — headlined and co-owned by Jon Batiste — made its grand debut at The Hangar in Coconut Grove on March 1. The three-day festival included sets by Cuban musician Cimafunk, Emily Estefan — daughter of Gloria and Emilio Estefan — Daryl Hall, Cuban piano legend Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and The Wailers, among many more. Special guest appearances included Brazilian chanteuse Lia de Itamaracá, who performed alongside Batiste marking her first-ever set outside of Brazil. And Will Smith, who had a cameo rap performance.

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