The Cuban-American singer, who that year nabbed three awards — including Latin dance single of the year for “Abriendo Puertas” — was also recognized for her philanthropic and humanitarian contributions beyond her musical work.
Since its inception 27 years ago in honor of the late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla, the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award has been awarded to 22 artists, including two-time honorees Estefan (1996, 2011) and Maná (2000, 2013). No award was given out in 2012, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2021.
This year, the special award will be presented to Colombian superstar Karol G. The “Provenza” singer’s impact extends beyond music. In 2022, Karol G founded the Con Cora Foundation, which aims to support the economic, social, psychological and artistic development of underprivileged women. “I am grateful for this special recognition,” Karol, a 13-time finalist at the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards, said in a statement. “My commitment with Con Cora Foundation is a fundamental part of my life and I am proud to be able to help the women who need it most.”
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The 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards list of finalists is led by Peso Pluma, who has 21 nods across 15 categories, including artist of the year, songwriter of the year, Global 200 Latin artist of the year, and Top Latin Album of the year. See the complete list of finalists here.
As has been the case for more than 20 years, the Billboard Latin Music Awards coincide with Billboard’s annual Latin Music Week, the single largest and most important gathering of the Latin music industry, taking place Oct. 2-6. Purchase tickets to the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Week here.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and the upcoming Billboard Latin Music Awards, taking place Thursday, Oct. 5, see all of the Spirt of Hope Award winners in the history of the awards show:
In 1996, Gloria Estefan received the first-ever Billboard Spirit of Hope Award at the 3rd annual Billboard Latin Music Awards. She was honored again in 2011 for her Gloria Estefan Foundation, which helps abused children, raises funds for their health-related causes and provides scholarships to college students.
Mexican singer Emmanuel was honored with the special award for being vocal about ecological concerns and for promoting conservation of natural resources.
Cuban-American artist Willy Chirino received the Spirit of Hope award for his philanthropic work having appeared in fundraisers and public service announcements for organizations such as United Way and National Parkinson’s Foundation.
Puerto Rican merengue star Olga Tañón was recognized for championing and using her platform for charitable causes, including a shelter for HIV-positive children in Puerto Rico.
Mexican rock band Maná, first honored with the Spirit of Hope Award 23 years ago, has worked extensively to support marine life in Mexico through their Selva Negra Foundation. The “Rayando El Sol” group was honored again in 2013, in recognition of their environmental conservation and social development efforts supported through their non-profit organization.
Known as La Voz del Pueblo (The Voice of the Pueblo), the Mexican norteño ensemble is considered the face and voice of the Latin immigrant community in the United States. With songs like “La Jaula de Oro” and “Tres Veces Mojado,” Los Tigres del Norte capture the struggles of those that have crossed the border in search for a better life.
Puerto Rican global star Ricky Martin was honored with the Spirit of Hope award for his humanitarian work, predominantly with children in Puerto Rico.
Panamanian hitmaker El General received the special honor for his work with Niños Pobres Sin Fronteras (Poor Children With No Borders), the Panama-based foundation that pays for education for the poor, among other things.
The Spirit of Hope award went to the late singer-songwriter Soraya for her tireless humanitarian work raising awareness for the prevention and cure of breast cancer within the Hispanic community.
Dominican star Juan Luis Guerra was honored for his tireless efforts via his foundation, which fills needs from the most basic (everything from glasses to medicine) to the most dire (including organ transplants and chemotherapy) — funded by money raised through concerts performed by Guerra and his band, 4.40.
Colombian global star Shakira was honored for her humanitarian work through her Fundación Pies Descalzos, which has been devoted to help children who have been displaced by violence in her native Colombia.
Venezuelan artist Ricardo Montaner received the award for his humanitarian work through his foundation, La Ventana de los Cielos in Miami, and the organization Los Hijos del Sol in Venezuela. “This award has enormous transcendence at a personal level,” he said then. “But above all, it’s important for the foundation. Being able to reach out to people will help us achieve thousands of things.”
Colombian star Juanes was honored for his humanitarian work, via his Mi Sangre (My Blood) Foundation — founded to reduce landmines and aid victims of landmines in Colombia, as well as to raise consciousness worldwide about their dangers.
Reggaetón pioneer Daddy Yankee was recognized for his philanthropic work through his Daddy‘s House foundation, and for working with organizations supporting those in need in his island Puerto Rico and beyond.
Marc Anthony received the special accolade for his long-term dedication to a broad range of philanthropic work, from the Children’s Health Fund and Make a Wish Foundation to Orange Laces. Back in 2010, he had also just created his Marc Anthony scholarship, which provided assistance to college students enrolled in arts and media programs.
Colombian star Carlos Vives received the Spirit of Hope award for his decades-long commitment on behalf of the indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
Carlos Santana was recognized for his devotion to social activism, humanitarian causes and, in particular, his work through his Milagro Foundation. Established in 1998, the Milagro Foundation benefits underserved and vulnerable children around the world by making grants to community-based tax-exempt organizations, which work with children in the areas of education, health and the arts.
Puerto Rican star Luis Fonsi was honored with the Spirit of Hope award for his humanitarian work with St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Fonsi began working closely with St. Jude and other programs fighting childhood cancer back in the beginning of his career, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he became its Thanks and Giving campaign ambassador.
Maluma was recognized for his commitment and altruistic efforts, via his foundation Arte de los Sueños (The Art of Dreams), begun in 2016, which supports nearly 170 young at-risk individuals in the achieving of their dreams.
Pop superstar Christina Aguilera was honored with the Spirit of Hope award for her philanthropic and humanitarian contributions beyond her musical work. Aguilera has lifted her voice to help end the cycle of domestic abuse, while also serving as a longtime supporter and ally to the LGBTQ+ community, raising awareness about HIV/AIDS research, and traveling the globe to help feed children in poverty-stricken areas.
This year, Karol G will be recognized for her exceptional commitment to civic, community and humanitarian causes beyond their artistic success. In 2022, Karol G founded the Con Cora Foundation, which aims to support the economic, social, psychological and artistic development of underprivileged women.