Ozuna, Becky G, Natti Natasha and Daddy Yankee are just a few of the artists that have graced the Watsco Center stage. Take a look back at some of the show's most memorable performances.
It’s that time of year again: Premios Juventud, the Spanish-language awards show curated for Latinx youth, airs July 18. Held every year in Miami’s Watsco Center, the show is famous for unique award categories like “Cancion pegajosa” (Catchiest Song) and “Me muero sin see CD” (Album I Can’t Live Without).
Since its 2004 premiere, the ceremony has showcased a ton of best artists of the past 15 years. Musicians like Daddy Yankee, Romeo Santos, RBD and Shakira have both graced the stage and accepted awards. Here, take a look back at some of the show’s most iconic performances.
2004: Paulina Rubio, “Dame Otro Tequila”
Born Paulina Susana Rubio Dosamantes, the 48-year-old made a name for herself alongside Thalía in the band Timbiriche. Her 2004 hit “Dame Otro Tequila” was the third single from her seventh studio album, Pau-Latina.
2005: Daddy Yankee, Tony Tun Tun, Baby Ranks, Wisin & Yandel, and Hector El Father, “Mayor Que Yo”
“Mayor Que Yo,” a single from the Luny Tunes compilation album Mas Flow 2, brought the reggaetoneros center stage. This performance delivered Afro-Latino representation with Baby Ranks and Tony Tun Tun, but it’s also notable for Daddy Yankee’s astonishing entrance: He descends from the ceiling while riding atop a cage with a tiger inside.
2006: Ivy Queen, “Te He Querido, Te He Llorado”
As the first reggaetonera to reach international stardom, Ivy Queen has never disappointed a crowd. Though her specialties are hip-hop and reggaeton, her taste in other Caribbean styles like bachata and salsa have always added different colors to her music. In an interview with People CHICA, the rapper explained what motivates her music: “I absorb everything I live and experience. I’m a sponge, I’m a Pisces. We are all feeling, we are dragged by our emotions. And I’ve had to channel all these sentiments into music.”
2007: Daddy Yankee, “Impacto / Ella Me Levantó”
Reggaeton pioneer Daddy Yankee blazed across the stage again in 2007 with a medley of his songs “Impacto” and “Ella Me Levantó.” The 42-year-old artist, whose real name is Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, laid the groundwork for the reggaeton crossover with his 2004 album Barrio Fino.
2008: Belanova, “Cada Que… / Baila Mi Corazón”
The Mexican synth-pop group Belanova brought their fantastical sound to the awards in 2008 and performed “Cada Que…” and “Baila Mi Corazón.” Both songs were singles from their third studio album Fantasía Pop.
2009: Tito El Bambino, “El Amor”
Puerto Rican native Tito El Bambino sang “El Amor” for the show in 2009. The song, which is a merengue pop and cumbia fusion, is about embracing love even when it blinds you. The song conquered the charts in the U.S., reaching number one on Billboard‘s Top Latin Songs and Tropical Songs charts.
2012: Leslie Grace, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”
Dominican American and Florida native Leslie Grace Martinez projected ’60s girl-group vibes with this cover of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” originally recorded by the Shirelles. In the beginning of Leslie’s performance, she and her two backup singers appear in black and white, dressed in vintage-inspired outfits.
2016: Ilegales, Proyecto Uno and Huey Dunbar, “El Tiburón / La Morena / La Quiero a Morir”
In 2016, the show honored the stars of merengue rap and Latin groove of the ’90s. The Dominican meren-house band Ilegales performed with Proyecto Uno, the Dominican American band that blends merengue with hip-hop, reggae and dancehall, and Huey Dunbar, the lead singer of DLG. All of these musicians gained recognition throughout the ’90s, especially during the Latin explosion of 1999, and appealed to Latinx in the U.S. for their incorporation of Afro American styles with Caribbean genres like salsa and merengue.
2017: Ozuna, “Dile Que Tu Me Quieres”
Puerto Rican-Dominican artist Ozuna was just in the early stages of international stardom when he first stepped on stage for Premios Juventud. The 27-year-old Latin trap singer performed the song “Dile Que Tu Me Quiere,” one of the most popular songs at the time.
2018: Becky G and Natti Natasha, “Sin Pijama”
When Becky G worked on “Sin Pijama,” she focused on creating an empowering song that would unite women in urbano — not create more competition. Though she originally reached out to both Natti Natasha and Karol G (Karol kindly declined to participate because of the lyrics about marijuana), the song still became a girl power anthem with just Natti and Becky. “After hours and money invested from your savings for one song or two songs — even if I thought it was amazing and probably a good song — [I still heard], ‘You’re a girl and girls don’t sell,’” Natti told CHICA in February. “Sin Pijama” proved that stigma wrong, as it became a top-10 hit in the U.S. and a number-one in Bolivia, Chile, El Salvador and Spain.