Maluma Receives Spirit of Hope Award and Delivers Inspiring Message at Billboard Latin Music Awards
By Manuel Betancourt
Alberto Tamargo/Telemundo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Maluma is having a great night at the Billboard Latin Music Awards. Nominated for two awards, Latin Rhythm Artist of the Year and Song of the Year - Tropical, the “Lonely” singer can boast of having walked away from the ceremony with a much-deserved trophy. The Colombian singer -- who opened the awards show -- picked up the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award for his commitment to helping at-risk youth through his foundation, El Arte de los Sueños.
The singer took the stage wearing pale pink shorts and a blazer to match. With a huge smile, he thanked the award show for shining a light on his organization, as well as his fans for all their unconditional support. He also took a moment to send a special message to his fans.
"I hope that this award serves as inspiration for the new generation that we can create better things for the future," he said in Spanish. "To the dreamers around the world, to my family, my mom, my sister and my dad."
Set up back in 2016, the organization focuses on nurturing young kids in Colombia through their involvement with the arts, including music and dance. El Arte de los Sueños -- quite literally “The Art of Dreams” -- currently serves approximately 170 young individuals who get to hone their talent and skills all the while receiving psychological care and the necessary support system they need to become not only great artists but excellent human beings.
And while the foundation was already committed to helping various communities around Maluma’s native city of Medellin, Colombia, the singer made sure to mobilize it to help those in need during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I'm a leader here in my country and that's the minimum thing that I can do right now, just help people with my foundation," he told ET earlier this year. "When all these things started happening, we realized the kids were starving at home because their parents cannot go out to work. They had no income, no money to get their food, so that's how we started helping. We started sending food to their house."
Maluma joins a starry list of former recipients of the award, which was originally created to honor Selena. Previous recipients include Maná, Los Tigres del Norte, Ricky Martin, Juan Luis Guerra, Daddy Yankee, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana and Luis Fonsi, as well as fellow Colombians Shakira, Juanes and Carlos Vives.
The award caps off what has been a very busy and rewarding few months for the 26-year-old artist. In addition to releasing his fifth studio album, Papi Juancho, steaming up the MTV VMAs with a scorching "Hawái" performance and unleashing two sexy new videos alongside his Marry Me co-star, Jennifer Lopez, the global superstar has graced the cover of Variety (for its Power of Young Hollywood issue) and Billboard magazine, alongside Lopez in its 2020 Latin Power Players issue.