Latin music revenue has seen consecutive double-digit growth in the U.S. in the last two years, marking all-time highs for the expansive genre, outpacing that of any other market in the region. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will be celebrating this impact with a ceremony on Sept. 19, “recognizing artists, label executives and policymakers who have historically contributed to its influence across American music, culture and society,” they announced Thursday.
Set to take place in Washington, D.C., the RIAA will be honoring global artist Gloria Estefan with the icon award along with her partner and producer Emilio Estefan, as industry trailblazer. Multi-platinum bilingual singer-songwriter Sebastián Yatra will be crowned artist of the year. Industry heavyweight Maria Fernandez, executive VP/COO of Latin Iberia at Sony Music Entertainment, will receive the executive of the year award while U.S. Representatives Veronica Escobar and María Elvira Salazar will be recognized as policymakers of the year.
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Escobar is the first of two Latinas from Texas to serve in Congress and represents Texas’ 16th Congressional District. Salazar serves Florida’s 27th Congressional District and is a five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist. She’s also widely recognized as the only U.S.-based Spanish-language journalist to ever interview Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
“As advocates for the music community and fans ourselves, the RIAA is so grateful to acknowledge superstars and leaders who have used their voices and platforms to change the culture and break the creative mold,” said RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier. “RIAA Honors is a special moment to stop and acknowledge those forging ahead for future generations and making waves in their own right. Latin music has lit up the charts and filled playlists across the U.S. this year and we are thrilled to celebrate Gloria Estefan, Sebastián Yatra, Emilio Estefan, Maria Fernandez and Representatives Veronica Escobar and María Elvira Salazar.”
Rafael Fernandez Jr, RIAA’s senior VP of state public policy and industry relations, adds: “This sustained expansion speaks to an openness to new artists, music and ways of listening. It’s also perfect timing to salute Latin Music champions during the first week of National Hispanic Heritage Month. RIAA Honors’ epic music-filled celebration adds to the excitement as other festivities and recognitions continue throughout the coming weeks.”
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