Don Omar is top winner at Billboard Latin awards
Singer Don Omar, left, and Natty Natasha hold the latin rhythm song of the year award at the Latin Billboard Awards in Coral Gables, Fla., Thursday April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Reggaeton star Don Omar was the top winner of the Billboard Latin Music Awards, though the bigger star of the show might have been the one who wasn't there: The late Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera.
Don Omar took home 10 prizes at the annual show Thursday honoring Spanish-language songs and performers. Rivera won six prizes, including artist of the year. The California-born superstar was killed in a plane accident last year in Mexico.
The show paid homage to Rivera with a tribute that included clips from live performances and her reality television show. Her brother Juan Rivera sang his sister's song "No Llega el Olvido" accompanied by a mariachi band.
The parents of Jenni Rivera, Pedro Rivera, left, and Rosa Saavedra accept six awards at the Latin Billboard Awards in Coral Gables, Fla., Thursday April 25, 2013. Jenni Rivera died in a plane crash last year. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
"You are my diva," Rivera's father, Pedro Rivera, said in accepting the prizes. "May God bless you, my daughter."
Rivera sold more than 15 million copies of her 12 major-label albums during her career, which was cut short in December in a crash that killed her and six other people. She was born in Los Angeles and started her career by selling cassette tapes at flea markets. She went on to become adored by millions on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border drawn to her soulful singing and honest portrayal of her tumultuous personal life.
"We know she continues living in our hearts and through music," Rosa Saavedra, her mother, said.