Fiesta Latina has been known as the biggest party for Latinos of all creeds and ages for the past four years. In 2016, the Latin-based concert became way more sentimental for artists and fans alike. Over the weekend (Nov. 5), Downtown Miami became the international hub for iHeartRadio’s ultimate showcase of top Latin artists from veterans like Juanés and Enrique Iglesias to chart-topping lyricists like Pitbull and Nicky Jam. Not only did iHeartLatino provide fans with best pre-game show ever, but the newly-established Latin vertical allowed the world to witness history in the making for Latin artists across the board.
As Enrique Santos told us last week, the Red Carpet Rollout show at the XFINITY East Plaza at American Airlines Arena was jammed packed and jumping with performances by the likes of Farruko, who brought out Shaggy for a live rendition of their hit single “Chillax.” Rapper Fuego, TU 949’s 2016 TU ESTRELLA Winner, Slam Academy Dance Studio and more also graced the stage to impress the major crowd on Saturday afternoon along with live sets by iHeartRadio’s DJs and on-air personalities. While the free concert had fans turnt all the way up, the main event was filled with even more surprises and did well to attract a wide range of special guests and first-timers, including actor Shemar Moore.
“I’m here to see Pitbull and all the sexy ladies in the building,” Moore told VIBE Viva on the red carpet.
iHeartLatino’s strides to bridge the gap between English-speaking Latinos and fluent Spanish-speakers proved to be successful as the night progressed. Along with Moore, other first time attendees and performers like Shaggy and Los 5 truly made a special impact on the show and proved that no matter what language we speak, Latinos can powerfully unite, celebrating hard into the night.
READ: Viva Chat: Enrique Santos On The Future Of Latino Radio, José Fernández & More
After the Red Carpet Rollout Show warmed up the buzzing mass, the night’s main event enticed the audience from beginning to end. Hosts Angelica Vale, Jaime Camil of Jane The Virgin, Jorge Bernal, and iHeartRadio’s Enrique Santos keep the party live in between each memorable set.
Nicky Jam made the audience jolt out of their seats, powering through songs like “El Perdón” and his remix of OMI’s “Cheerleader.” Cuban duo Gente de Zona paid homage and bowed down to la reína Gloria Estefan with their eclectic version of “Conga.” Later on, Enrique Iglesias performed “Bailando” and made all the ladies holler with excitement once he hopped off stage to snap selfies with the fans. Other top-tier, award-winning Latinos like J Balvin, Juanés, Daddy Yankee and Yandel also made the wall inside the arena echo with cheers and high-pitched screams with their flamboyant sets.
The night turned sentimental when Pitbull received the inaugural iHeartRadio Premio Corozon Latino from his close friend Enrique Santos. iHeartLatino’s prestigious award honors the individual whose efforts are changing the lives, culture, heritage and even future of Latino communities around the United States. During his emotional and historic acceptance speech, the adamant supporter of special charter school SLAM (Sports Leadership and Management) told the crowd that it was the best award he’s ever received.
“To be with kids that are just like me, that came from nothing, and understand what it is to make something out of it is a true honor,” Pitbull told the audience.
Afterwards, the Miami rapper-turned-international pop star closed out the show with the most explosive set ever. Surrounded by the hottest dancers around, Mr.
305 Worldwide performed a slew of hits from “Taxi” to “Fireball.” Although the gargantuan party went down on Saturday, Telemundo broadcasted Fiesta Latina in full on Sunday (Nov. 6). Overall, the show was nothing short of amazing. However, it was much more enjoyable to witness the historic event firsthand and witness expressions of pure awe, gratitude and sheer excitement that dripped from the faces of everyone involved.