In honor of Latin music’s explosive growth in the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will recognize artists, label executives and policymakers who are “driving this rise across American music, culture and society,” it was announced Thursday (Aug. 31).
For its annual RIAA Honors, which is set to take place Sept. 19 in Washington, D.C., the association will honor global superstar Gloria Estefan with the icon award; her husband, visionary producer Emilio Estefan, as industry trailblazer; Colombian hitmaker Sebastián Yatra as artist of the year; Maria Fernandez, executive vp/COO of Latin Iberia at Sony Music Entertainment, as executive of the year; and U.S. Reps. Veronica Escobar and María Elvira Salazar as policymakers of the year.
“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/CEO Mitch Glazier in a statement. “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.”
In April, it was announced that Latin music revenues in the United States exceeded $1 billion for the first time, with the RIAA reporting that the Latin market grew to $1.1 billion in 2022 — a 24% jump over the previous year’s $881 million and lifting Latin music’s overall share of the total music market from 5.9% in 2021 to 6.9%.
“This sustained expansion speaks to an openness to new artists, music and ways of listening,” said RIAA senior vp of state public policy & industry relations Rafael Fernandez Jr. “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.”