The SESAC Latina Music Awards 2016 celebrated a very successful year at its annual gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel on June 15. SESAC Latina is one of the most progressive rights organization in the music industry, and its composers and publishers realized a record 17 hit #1 songs on various Billboard charts.  

Hosting the awards were Celeste Zendejas, director of SESAC Latina, Eli Ponce, associate director of SESAC Latina, Trevor Gale, senior vice president of Writer/ Publisher Relations SESAC, and Sam Kling, senior vice president of Creative Operations SESAC.

Renowned producer and Mexican composer Luciano Luna was named Songwriter of the Year for third consecutive year. Luna created the year’s biggest hits for Julión Álvarez, Banda El Recodo, Luis Coronel, Banda Los Recoditos, La Arrolladora Banda El Limón, La Séptima Banda, Noel Torres, La Original Banda Limón and others.

The SESAC Latina Award for Song of the Year, which is determined by the longevity of a song’s presence on the charts went to “El Perdón.”  The song was recorded by Nicky Jam feat. Enrique Iglesias and written by Nicky Jam, Juan Medina Velez and Saga WhiteBlack. Sony / ATV Sounds LLC was named Publisher of the Year.

For the first time in its history, SESAC Latina presented a Producer of the Year award, which was given to Saga WhiteBlack for his creative input on the production of “El Perdón,” a song that became an urban phenomenon worldwide.

The event kicked off with welcome remarks from Dennis Lord, SESAC’s executive vice president. Awards were then given to authors of the songs with the most radio play (Radio Performance Awards), with SESAC Latina affiliate Nicky Jam standing out for the second year for the sustained success of his compositions “Hasta El Amanecer” (12 weeks # 1 on Billboard) and “El Perdón” (30 weeks # 1 on Hot Latin Songs, # 1 in several other Billboard charts and Song of the Year at numerous events).

A standout moment during the awards ceremony occurred when Intocable, headed by its leader, vocalist and composer and member of SESAC Latina, Ricky Muñoz, performed a selection of its acclaimed greatest hits, plus the new single “Tu Ausencia” from the June 17  album “Highway.” 

Another high point of the evening was the presentation of the prestigious SESAC Latina Icon Award to Intocable. Leila Cobo, director of content and programming for Latin Music and Entertainment for Billboard Magazine along with SESAC executives presented the award to the group. Intocable was lauded as an icon of Latin music due to the value and importance of their repertoire and the impressive achievements of their 20-year career, which includes multiple Grammy Awards, Latin Grammy, Latin Billboard and Premios Lo Nuestro.

Other composers and artists who were in attendance include Proyecto X, Calibre 50, Régulo Caro, Jorge Gaxiola of Voz de Mando, Luciano Luna, Fernando Corona, Edwin Luna y La Trakalosa de Monterrey, Julián Mercado, Mauricio Arriaga, Helen Ochoa, Jonatan Sánchez, Noel Torres, Adriel Favela, Christian Michelle Félix of Máximo Grado and Alx Villarreal, among others.