The family of singer Jenni Rivera receives six awards, including artist of the year, at the Latin Billboard Awards in Coral Gables, Fla., Thursday April 25, 2013. Rivera perished in a plane crash last year. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Jenni Rivera: Queen of the Billboard Awards

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The queen of banda music, Jenni Rivera, was also the queen of Thursday’s Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Rivera took home six awards, including Artist of the year, and her life was both remembered and celebrated.

“We simply miss her on this stage tonight,” said Edward James Olmos, who lead the tribute to Rivera. “But Jenni is still alive and she will continue to harvest success, like the one from her magnificent acting skills in her upcoming film.”

Some of Rivera’s greatest moments were remembered though clips of her show “I love Jenni,” as well as some of her greatest performances, including when she sang in last year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards.

“That night she stole the audience’s heart, the way she usually did,” Olmos said, remembering the 2012 performance. “Jenni knew how to do it.”

In the video tribute, artists like Thalia, Larry Hernandez, Paulina Rubio and Gerardo Tapia talked about her legacy, one that will never be forgotten.

Rivera’s father, mother and daughters Janney “Chiquis” Marín and Jacqueline Marín were present to receive the six awards which included Female Artist of the year, Latin Pop Solo Album of the year and Regional Mexican Album of the year.

“Thank you to everyone who has made my daughter’s dream possible,” Rosa Saavedra, her mother, said. “We know that she is still living in our hearts and in her music. Thank God for that great lady.”

Rivera received a standing ovation from the artists who were present, as well as from the fans. Many were seen with tears in their eyes as the tribute highlighted some of Rivera’s greatest moments.

“You’re a queen, you’re my Diva. May God bless you my daughter,” father, Pedro Rivera, said.

The crowd cheered her name and her daughters gave a brief thank you.

“I want to specially thank her entire team,” her daughter, Chiquis, said as she listed the names of the others who died on the crash.

To give an end to the tribute, her brother Juan Rivera, who was the opening act in many of Rivera’s concerts, sang her song “No Llega el Olvido.” He sang accompanied by a Mariachi band and images of Jenni played in the screens.

This year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards marked the 15th anniversary of the awards on the Telemundo network, and Don Omar was the most awarded of the night. He received 10 awards and thanked God, the fans and others in the industry.

Don Omar closed the show with a performance of his song “Zumba,” which included fireworks, dancers and stunts.

Other  performances that received standing ovation included Marc Anthony’s new single “Vivir Mi Vida,” and performance with Tito El Bambino; Carlos Vives’s musical comeback with Michel Teló; and Juan Luis Guerra’s “Frio Frio” with Romeo Santos.

When Santos went on stage to receive his award for tropical album of the year, he dedicated his win to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

To incorporate the English crossover, Vin Diesel, who promoted Fast and the Furious Six, made an appearance with co-star Michelle Rodriguez.

“I came here tonight because of you,” Diesel said. “This is for my people that I love.”

The show included two important honors: Jose Jose, who received the lifetime achievement award for his 50-year career in music and Mana, who was honored for their active roll in preserving the environment through their foundation Selva Negra.

During the three-hour live broadcast of the show, the hashtag #Billboards2013 became worldwide trending topic on Twitter.

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