The songwriter/producer was presented with the BMI President's Award in recognition of his career achievements and status as one of Latin music's most influential pioneers.

George, who has been named the Latin Grammys' Producer of the Year four times, was presented with the honour by his longtime collaborator Anthony, who worked with George on some of his biggest hits, as well as his first-ever salsa album.

An emotional Anthony told the crowd, "I was in the studio with this man seriously not knowing what to do. What Sergio always told me was 'disfrutalo' (enjoy it). You never know what’s gonna come out. The sound that came out struck a chord and up until then I didn't know how to do that.

"You were my wheels. You were my car... Sergio has been my rock. After all these years of not recording salsa, who do I call? I call Sergio. He finishes my sentences."

Anthony continued, "The sheer genius of Sergio is he's always open... You're my guy, you're my f**king guy. I will be your wing man whenever you need me. Count on me."

Meanwhile, other honours went to Mexican singer Horacio Palencia, who claimed the Songwriter of the Year award for the fourth year in a row, and Mexican Regional artist Espinoza Paz, whose chart-topping hit El Ruido de tus zapatos earned him the BMI Song of the Year.

The audience at Miami Beach's Fontainebleau Hotel was also treated to a number of performances from top honouree George, who took the stage with his big band and Cuban singer Laritza Bacallao, and Charlie Aponte, Oscar D'Leon and Jose Alberto, aka El Canario, who closed the ceremony with a salsa medley with Anthony and Carlos Vives.