Let’s be real, we’re not going to pretend that your jaw didn’t drop just a little bit when Vin Diesel made a surprise appearance at the Premios Billboard 2017. But who says you can’t light up the stage while also making important statements on social justice? These stars stole the spotlight by using their music as a platform to make an impact.
Nicky Jam & J. Balvin
One of the first winners of the night, Nicky Jam ended up with awards for Latin Rhythm Song of the Year, Streaming Song of the Year, and Hot Latin Artist of the Year. In a heartfelt acceptance, he dedicated the awards to the people of Venezuela—sending hopes for a quick end to the harsh political tension there.
— Premios Billboard (@LatinBillboards) April 28, 2017
Later in the night, J. Balvin won Latin Rhythm album of the year and was welcomed on stage by a celebratory embrace by Nicky Jam. He was quick to echo Nicky Jam’s sentiments of hope in Venezuela.
While rumors of a surprise Justin Bieber appearance didn’t end up coming true, Luis Fonsi made just as much of a splash at the Premios Billboard during his first on stage performance with Daddy Yankee. But his true impact was felt when he accepted the Spirit of Hope Award for his work with St. Jude’s Hospital. In a humbling speech, he mentioned how important it is for music to create conscience, unite people, and change lives. He closed with the statement: “Cuando la humildad es más gránde que el éxito, y el corazón es más grande que la humildad, vamos por buen camino.”
When she won the Star Award, J.Lo was welcomed on stage with a video tribute from big name stars from Taylor Swift to Prince Royce. And let’s not forget how Marc Anthony dedicated part of his acceptance speech to her, saying it was “her night.” But perhaps J.Lo’s most impressive moment was when she won the Social Media Impact Award. In an era where social media trolling has almost become the norm, she focused on the importance of trying to promote positive reinforcement and messages on online platforms.
Winner of the Artistic Career Honor, Ricardo Arjona talked about the importance of education in his native Guatemala. His organization, Fundación Adentro, fights for social justice by providing education opportunities to children living in poverty.