The Billboard Latin Music Awards grew out of the Billboard Music Awards program from Billboard magazine, an industry publication charting the sales and radio airplay success of musical recordings. The Billboard awards are the Latin music industry’s longest running and most prestigious award. Originally launched as the Billboard Latin Music Conference in 1990, the first awards began in 1994. In addition to awards given on the basis of success on the Billboard charts, the ceremony includes the Spirit of Hope award for humanitarian achievements and the Lifetime Achievement award, as well as awards by the broadcasting partner. The Billboard Latin Music includes entrants from the United States, Latin America, and Spain, although other countries are eligible if an artist performs Latin music.
Since 1999, the awards ceremony has been broadcast on the television network Telemundo, where it became the network's highest-rated music special. The broadcast not only extends throughout the Americas and Puerto Rico, but also to such countries as Romania. The latest event was held in Miami, Florida on April 24, 2014, where Marc Anthony won 10 awards. Billboard also presents three special awards during the ceremony: the Spirit of Hope for artists who have dedicated their career to philanthropy, the Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize an artist's career in the Latin music industry, and occasionally the Latin Music Hall of Fame to honor a musical personality who has largely contributed to the Latin music genre.