Cassius Life Featured Video
2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards - Show

Source: David Becker / Getty

It looks like between Amara la Negra, Cardi B, and now Ozuna, 2018 is the year when Afro-Latinx are coming to conquer mainstream Latin music.

On Thursday night at the 2018 Latin Billboard Awards, many believed this would be the year when 2017 hit “Despacito” would reign. While the song did win many awards, including Hot Latin Song, Airplay Song, Digital Song, Pop Song, and more, there was a sudden shift when it came time for Artist of the Year. The prestigious award went to Afro-Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Ozuna.

As the underdog coming up against the likes of industry mega hitters such as J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, and Luis Fonsi, the “Si No Te Quiere” singer showed everyone that he’s here to stay. The significance in this honor is incomparable. Not only is Ozuna an artist who only made his breakthrough in 2016, but he’s a Black artist in a predominantly white genre who is competing with household names.

The singer, who often refers to himself as the “Black guy with light eyes” on his tracks, brought own the house Thursday night with his performance with mom-to-be Cardi B on their hit single, “La Modelo.” The duo rocked the stage at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. It was a poppin’ farewell for Cardi, as she announced this would be one of her last live performances before preparing to give birth to her first child.

You can check out a clip of their performance here: