Both were honored as songwriter of the year at the ceremony hosted by SESAC Latina VP Celeste Zendejas, where, for the third year in a row, the top award was presented in two categories: Regional Mexican and pop/Latin rhythm.
For a fourth year in a row, Muñoz was awarded songwriter of the year for regional Mexican thanks to a number of songs he wrote for fellow artists such as Pepe Aguilar and Christian Nodal. Muñoz’s “¡Chale!” winner for regional Mexican song of the year, had scored him his first No. 1 on the Regional Mexican Airplay chart as a soloist following his departure from Calibre 50.
“I want to thank my wife and my children,” said a visibly emotional Muñoz. “This is for my children. Here’s the answer to their question of why Daddy isn’t home. Because he’s here, writing songs.”
Meanwhile, Tavárez — who’s written hits for Karol G, Blessd and Justin Quiles — was named songwriter of the year in pop/Latin rhythm for co-penning Anitta‘s global hit song “Envolver.” The reggaeton track, which won pop/Latin rhythm song of the year — peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Global Excl. US chart in April 2022. And while it may seem as an “only Anitta” track, given her signature moves around it, Tavarez performed it as part of an exciting five-track set that highlighted his versatility and beautiful voice.
“I’m saying this with a lot of respect for men, but my career changed thanks to women,” said Tavarez in picking up his award and dedicating it to his mother, wife and daughter. “And, I also dedicate it to two very special women. Karol G, you changed my life and allowed me to be part of La Bichota. The other one is Anitta. Thank you to Annite and her team for allowing me to be part of the story as a composer.”
Special awards were handed out as well. SESAC Latina’s first-ever breakthrough songwriter of the year was given to Yahritza Martinez, frontwoman of the sibling trio Yahritza Y Su Esencia. Leila Cobo, Billboard’s Chief Content Officer for Latin and Español, was on hand to deliver the award.
The 16-year-old Martinez made chart history as the youngest Latin performer to enter the Billboard Hot 100 when the group’s debut single “Soy El Único” debuted at No. 20 last year. She’s also just one of the two women (the other being Karol G) who have reached No. 1 on the Latin Songwriters chart. “This is definitely not a one-hit wonder,” said Cobo. “You have depth, craft, talent and magic.”
Producer of the year went to Federico Vindver, who’s worked with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and, most recently, Christina Aguilera for her Spanish-language album Aguilera, which was nominated for album of the year at the Latin Grammys 2022. Additionally, the award for publisher of the year in regional Mexican went to recently-launched company EMC Lyrics, and Sony Sounds was named pop/Latin rhythm’s publisher of the year for the eighth consecutive year.
“Thanks again to an amazing team,” said Jorge Mejia, president/CEO of Sony Music Publishing Latin America. “But, at the end of the day, this award isn’t ours. It belongs to all the composers who wake up every morning to write songs. You make the world turn.”
See the winners list below:
Songwriter of the Year:
Regional Mexican – Eden Muñoz
Pop/Latin Rhythm – Lenny Tavárez
Song of the Year:
Regional Mexican – “¡Chale!” by Eden Muñoz
Pop/Latin Rhythm – “Envolver” by Lenny Tavárez
Publisher of the Year:
Regional Mexican – EMC Lyrics
Pop/Latin Rhythm – Sony Sounds
Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year:
Producer of the Year:
Get weekly rundowns straight to your inbox