The 2023 Heat Latin Music Awards (Premios Heat)—which recognizes renowned and up-and-coming artists who are making a buzz in the Caribbean and Latin American regions—aired live from Cap Cana in The Dominican Republic on Thursday (June 8), and featured many memorable moments.
The big winner of the night was Karol G, who took home the coveted song of the year award for “Provenza.”
But beyond awarding the best urban artist, the best new artist, the best music video, and the best collaboration, to name a few categories, Premios Heat captured star-studded performances, special awards and tributes, and memorable speeches.
Below, check out some of the best highlights from the eighth edition of the Heat Latin Music Awards:
1. Hottest Song of the Moment: On the Premios Heat carpet, Billboard asked artists to share the hottest song of the moment and the answers ranged from perreo to pop. Reggaeton veteran Maldy said the song he can’t stop listening to — and dedicates to his wife — is YNG LVCAS and Peso Pluma’s “La Bebe (Remix).” Mau y Ricky gave Billboard an exclusive and sang a snippet of their upcoming collaboration with Argentine newcomer La Joaqui. Also, LAGOS crooned us with Lasso’s “Ojos Marrones,” which he helped compose.
2. Jay Wheeler’s in Love: The Puerto Rican artist, who’s making the rounds with his single “Pacto,” arrived at the Premios Heat with his wife and Venezuelan singer Zhamira Zambrano. It was a special night for the newlyweds as they not only took center stage to perform their pop ballad “Dicelo” but Wheeler also nabbed the award for best artist north region. “Don’t be afraid to fall in love because it’s beautiful. I’m married and I’m very happy,” he said during his acceptance speech.
3. Mike Bahia’s Surprise Award: At the eighth edition of Premios Heat, Colombian artist Mike Bahía was surprised with a special award called Lo + Heat for being part of the Heat family since its inauguration in 2015. During his acceptance speech, Bahía expressed that life has been in charge of reminding him not to quit. “Today I realize why life reminds me how beautiful it is to walk with a team. It wouldn’t make sense if I didn’t have someone to share it with. Love and honor your family always,” he said.
4. The New Wave of Latin Acts: The Heat Latin Music Awards is known for not only supporting up-and-coming Latin artists but also offering a platform where their hard work is recognized. Keeping their mission firm, this year’s awards show included a segment where a wave of emerging acts took center stage. They were Mar Rendon, who performed a rock version of Nek’s “Laura No Esta;” Teo (Fanny Lu’s son), who performed a medley of two original songs; Kunno and Dayanara, who performed their collaboration “El Ganado;” Xofi, who performed an infectious bachata; and Elena Rose, who performed “Bayamón.”
5. A Grupo Niche Tribute: Premios Heat celebrated the 43-year trajectory of Grupo Niche for its impact on music with a star-studded tribute. Joining the Colombian salsa group on stage to sing some of their timeless hits were Eddy Herrera, Mike Bahía, Yahaira Plasencia, and Yeison Jimenez. “This award is and will always be for Jairo Varela, creator of this iconic band,” the ensemble said during its acceptance speech.