Hillsong, Tercer Cielo Among Finalists for 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards

Hillsong and Tercer Cielo are among the finalists for the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

The two popular Christian music groups were nominated in the “Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group” category. This is the first time that two Christian bands received a nomination in the same category for this awards event.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards, which is the culmination of a three-day music conference that has been held for over 20 years, is kicking off on Tuesday. The most prestigious awards show in the Latin music industry, the event will air live on the Spanish network, Telemundo, on April 28.

Hillsong UNITED is a modern worship band that recently launched its 11th full-length album, Aftermath. It was nominated for six GMA Dove Awards. The band also received a nomination for “Spanish Language Album of the Year” for Con Todo and two additional nominations for “Special Event Album of the Year” and “Praise & Worship Album of the Year” for Hillsong UNITED’s role on the Passion: Awakening project.

Tercer Cielo is a pop contemporary Christian music duo composed of Mexican singers. This is the second consecutive year it has been nominated for Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group. The duo, which won the Paoli award in Puerto Rico, has toured the U.S. and Latin America.

The two Christian bands are going head to head with two other secular artists, Camila and Cultura, for the Billboard award.

Top Latin music singers have confirmed their performance for this year's event, including Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, Gloria Trevi, Maná Juanes, Lucero, Marc Anthony, Pitbull, Thalia and Banda El Recodo.
Featured Christian singers during the show include Juan Luis Guerra, Daddy Yankee, and Don Omar, among others.

Guerra, a popular Dominican Christian and secular singer, is currently working now on the production of a new Christian Music album, which he has yet to give details for. He is one of the top finalists up for nine awards and will also perform with Iglesias.

The Christian Publisher Arpa Music, meanwhile, is a nominee in the "Publisher of the Year" and "Publishing Corporation of the Year" categories.

The most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin music will be honored by the event, according to sales and radio airplay data that informs Billboard`s weekly charts during a one-year period from the issue dated February 6, 2010, through the January 29, 2011, issue.

This year, four new categories were included: Latin Pop Artist of the Year, Solo; Tropical Airplay Artist of the Year, Solo; Regional Mexican Airplay Artist of the Year, Solo; and Social 50, Artist of the Year, which is based on Facebook, Twitter and iLike.