Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Sour’ Scores the Biggest Debut of the Year
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Olivia Rodrigo performing at the Brit Awards this month. The 18-year-old pop singer’s debut album, “Sour,” opened at the top of the Billboard 200 chart

, The New York Times

A year ago, the name Olivia Rodrigo barely registered in the music business. Back then, she was a teenage Disney actress who had moderate success contributing to the soundtrack of her show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” What a difference a year makes — or even just five months, since her song “Drivers License” exploded in January.

Rodrigo, 18, is now a pop superstar with two No. 1 singles and a blockbuster No. 1 album — a social-media phenomenon following in the footsteps of her idol Taylor Swift, who performs at major awards shows and speaks confidently about her lineage as a songwriter. The Grammy buzz is brewing. (She’s already playing the celebrity-swag-box game.)

Rodrigo’s debut album, “Sour,” opens at the top of the latest Billboard chart with the equivalent of 295,000 sales in the United States, the biggest opening so far this year, according to MRC Data, Billboard’s tracking arm. That total includes 301 million streams, the second-best streaming number for any album this year, behind J. Cole’s “The Off-Season,” which topped last week’s chart. “Sour” is also No. 1 in Britain, Canada, Ireland, Australia and elsewhere around the world, according to Rodrigo’s label, Geffen.

In an era when new albums are typically stuffed with content to maximize their streaming yield, Rodrigo’s and Cole’s albums are unusual: “Sour” has just 11 tracks, and “The Off-Season” 12. By comparison, Morgan Wallen’s country blockbuster “Dangerous: The Double Album” has 30 songs in its standard edition, and it opened with 240 million clicks in January.

Click here to read the full article on The New York Times.

Tim Burton’s Wednesday will be a Latina, played by Jenna Ortega
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Tim Burton's Wednesday will be a Latina, played by Jenna Ortega

By Tatiana Tenreyro, AV Club

When Raúl Juliá was cast as Gomez Addams in 1991’s The Addams Family and its sequel, Addams Family Values, it turned the Addams into a half-Latinx family. The late Puerto Rican actor was the only Hispanic member of the cast, but many Latinx fans still felt represented knowing the patriarch is Latino. Back in February, it was announced that Tim Burton is working on a live-action Addams Family spin-off focused on Wednesday for Netflix, named after the character. And thankfully, us Latinxs are finally getting the Latina Wednesday we deserve. YOU’s Jenna Ortega announced she will play the iconic young misfit in an Instagram post. “New chapter. Hope I can do Wednesday Addams justice. *snaps twice*,” she wrote. Ortega’s casting confirms that The Addams are supposed to be Latinx, and we can’t wait to see who’ll play Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, and the rest of the family.

Netflix also shared the official logline, which reads, “The series is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy. Wednesday’s attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore.”

Click here to read the full article on AV Club.

Hear some of our favorite, iconic, and Latin LGBTQ+ Anthems!
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LGBTQ Flar being held up by a woman wearing a black long sleeve shirt and black net shorts.

Powerful and inspiring songs by Latin acts such as Gloria Trevi, Pabllo Vittar and Alex Anwandter have become anthems to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. These are some of our favorite, iconic and Latin LGBTQ+ Anthems!

Click here to hear some of our favorite, iconic, and Latin #LGBTQ+ Anthems!

Camila Cabello Is “Cinderella” — First Photos From the Amazon Prime Remake
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Camelia Cab dressed as cinderella onset of her new film

Cinderella is about to get another happily ever after.

The upcoming retelling of the fairytale classic from writer-director Kay Cannon recently released photos of Camila Cabello in the title role, and the first-look is all kinds of dreamy. In one photo, we see Camila in Cinderella’s dress shop wearing her pre-ball attire: a corset-like top with flowing sleeves and a textured skirt.Her hair is gathered in a messy side-braid, and it looks like she’s hard at work making a dress to hopefully wear to the ball (assuming she’s got some mouse helpers somewhere).

In the second photo, we get a glimpse at Cinderella’s ballgown when Camila poses with actor Nicholas Galitzine, who is playing Prince Charming. Not much of the dress is shown, but we can see a strapless style with a sweetheart neckline, along with plenty of delicate rhinestones to add that magical shimmer.

Slated for release on Amazon Prime Video in September 2021, Cannon’s Cinderella will also star Billy Porter as the Fairy Godmother, James Corden and John Mulaney as mice/footmen, and Idina Menzel as Cinderella’s Stepmother. Entertainment Tonight reports that the film will contain a soundtrack filled with pop covers, along with original songs from both Camila and Idina.

While the fairy tale has been reimagined many times before, this version will put forth a Cinderella who is “vocal and active,” according to Cannon in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Click here to read the full article on Teen Vogue.

Latin music star Prince Royce on early roots and returning to the Bronx for a show highlighting Hispanic culture
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Prince Royce pictures holding a six pack of Presidente beet in front of a brewery bar

By , BX Times

Latin pop superstar Prince Royce recently returned to his native Bronx for a live (and live streamed) show.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Royce says that he got his start by singing in the shower. Both of Royce’s parents were born and raised in the Dominican Republic, and growing up Royce became no stranger to the music of his cultural background.

“My mom would encourage me a lot in my singing,” said Royce. “In the Bronx and Washington Heights, we’d listen to a lot of bachata, merengue, especially in my household. That drew me into getting into the rhythm, giving it my own little New York American Dominican style into the genre.”

Royce started to record his own music when he was 16 years old out of a friend’s studio in the Bronx. He started to develop his own style of music based off of what he heard growing up but put his own New York City twist to the performance.

“When I go to school or am talking to friends or brothers and sisters, we talk Spanglish. In my concerts, I sing in Spanish and talk to them in English. That was really how my music is, sometimes I sprinkle a little English in,” said Royce. “That’s who I sing for, I sing for people kind of like me that grew up in the states and love Latin music. I love Latin music but I also listen to hip hop, stuff like Usher and Jay Z. I think that’s what my music is. I’m singing mostly in Spanish but I sprinkle in a little New York flavor, and I think that with the Dominican style works.”

Now, with six albums under his belt and multiple #1 hits, Royce has certainly made a name for himself in the genre. However, Royce admits that it didn’t click for him that music was going to be sustainable for him until he was well into his career.

“I think it was late in because in the beginning when I was on the radio and making money from music, there’s still an uncertainty. You start to think, one if this is a one-hit-wonder kind of thing? What if after 2-3 years I’m still not here?” said Royce. “I think like 7 years in, I was like, ‘Man i’m still here!’ I’m still connecting with the people, it’s another #1 hit, 14-15 platinum hits. I think, ‘Man, this is dope, I could do this another 10 years.’ That’s when I felt really good about myself and really confident and solid.”

Royce recently partnered with Presidente beer to participate in Reventón de Verano (hosted by Anheuser-Busch), a one-day music festival that took place over livestream with artists across the globe. For the first time in over a year and a half, Royce hit the stage for an intimate show in the Bronx to celebrate Hispanic culture.

For Royce, the partnership with Presidente was a no-brainer — in addition to having worked with the brand in the past, Presidente is something that Royce says is very close to his Dominican culture.

“El Presidente is a Dominican beer that kind of was there in my upbringing and when I go to the Dominican Republic,” said Royce. “When they approached me about doing this show, I liked it because it’s something that culturally, every Dominican knows about this beer, growing up it’s a brand that we know always look for. It’s close to my family and upbringing.”

More importantly to Royce, he wanted to do something for his fans, and Presidente was the perfect partner for him to get it done.

“It’s about the fans as well. I haven’t sung in front of a small audience in a year and a half since my tour got canceled,” said Royce. “I think that there’s a bunch of stuff that’s all for the people, and this beer has always felt like it was for the people.”

Royce is currently working on new music, but he looks forward to the days when the pandemic is finally behind us and can perform and hang out with his family without risk.

Click here to read the full article on BX Times.

Jennifer Lopez Sings ‘Sweet Caroline’ with Her Mom During VAX Live Concert
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Jennifer Lopez and Mother performing at the VAX concert

By Jen Juneau and Topher Gauk-Roger, People

For Jennifer Lopez, Mother’s Day is any day she can share special moments with her mom.

During her performance at the taping of Global Citizen’s VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World on Sunday, the pop powerhouse brought her mom Guadalupe Rodríguez onstage during a rendition of “Sweet Caroline.”

Before being joined by Rodríguez for a sing-along of the Neil Diamond hit, Lopez, 51, explained that she “didn’t even get to spend Christmas with my mom this year — first time in my whole life. We’ve been away too long, but she’s here with me tonight and she is vaccinated.”

“And when I was thinking about what song to sing tonight, I remembered the song she used to always sing to me when I was a baby,” the star continued. “So if you would indulge me, I’d love to sing that one tonight.”

In the middle of the song, Rodríguez, 75, joined her daughter on the stage, where she revealed she used to change the lyrics slightly to “Sweet Jennifer,” singing to baby Lopez while rocking her.

“Okay, we’re going to sing that. Let’s do it like a lullaby. Sing it to them just like you used to sing it to me, okay?” Lopez told her mom, who obliged and gave the audience her rendition.

Click here to read the full article on People.

J-Lo, H.E.R. and Selena Gomez will headline a streamed concert to support Covid-19 vaccine distribution
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Selena gomez photographed smiling at the camera wearing a pink turtle neck

By Alaa Elassar, CNN

Pop and rock stars are planning a global broadcast and streaming special to support equal vaccine distribution.

Hosted by Selena Gomez and featuring Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R., the “VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World” will take place on May 8.

It will be a part of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World campaign to end the pandemic and help people recover. “The Concert to Reunite the World is celebrating the hope that COVID-19 vaccines are offering families and communities around the world,” Global Citizen said in a news release. “We are calling on world leaders to step up to make sure vaccines are accessible for all so we can end the pandemic for everyone, everywhere.”

The goal will be to “ensure equitable vaccine distribution around the world, tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, and celebrate a hopeful future as families and communities reunite after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine,” according to the international advocacy group.
Multiple organizations and political leaders have supported the concert, including the World Health Organization (WHO), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and the State of California, the release said.
“I’m honored to be hosting VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,” Gomez said in a statement. “This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably, and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

A Rapper, Hitting His 30s, Reinvents Himself as a Scion of Spanish Pop
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C. Tangana in front of blue curtains on blue carpet while wearing a blazer, colorful top, and a gold chain necklace

, New York Times

C. Tangana, one of Spain’s biggest rap stars, two years ago hit “a little bit of a crisis.” He was riding a wave of fame, known for provocative songs and equally provocative interviews. But he was fast approaching his 30s, he said in a recent Zoom interview and risked becoming one of those “cringe-y, embarrassing” rappers who act a decade younger than they are.

So C. Tangana — real name Antón Álvarez Alfaro — did a U-turn and decided to try his hand at other styles of music that he had loved since childhood, like flamenco and rumba, even Spanish folk.

“I was opening a window I’d kept closed,” he said, adding, “I assumed it would go wrong.”

Álvarez’s experiment appears to have paid off. In February, he released “El Madrileño,” an album that mixes traditional Spanish and Latin American styles, including rock, with electronic sounds and beats more familiar to his trap and reggaeton fans. It’s turned him from Spain’s biggest rapper into one of its biggest pop stars.

One of the album’s early tracks, “Tú Me Dejaste De Querer” (“You Stopped Loving Me”), has over 100 million views on YouTube.

“You can listen to his music anytime, in any shop” Pablo Gil, a music journalist at El Mundo, a Spanish daily newspaper, said in a telephone interview.

Some of the musical styles it features were last popular in Spain in the 1970s, when the country was under Franco’s dictatorship, Gil added. Álvarez, he said, was taking old-fashioned sounds, “subverting their meaning and making them modern.”

In a review for the newspaper El País, the music critic Carlos Marcos wrote, “It remains to be seen whether this is the birth of a new Spanish pop, or something that we will forget in a few years.”

“But who cares?” he added. “Let’s enjoy it today, and we’ll see tomorrow.”

On YouTube, C. Tangana’s videos now attract comments from older music fans who would presumably never have gone near his records before. “I thought the music my son listened to was for landfill,” wrote Felix Guinnot, who said he was in his 50s, “but this boy is changing my musical perception.”

Álvarez’s road to fame has been winding, with multiple changes of name to reflect new musical personas. Born in Madrid, he started rapping in his teens, he said, but twice gave up on music entirely. When the 2008 global financial crisis hit Spain particularly hard — its lingering effects are still felt by the country’s youth — he stopped rapping to work in a fast-food restaurant. Later, he got a job in a call center selling cellphones.

He started rapping again after falling in love with a colleague. It was a toxic relationship, Álvarez said, but it inspired him to get back into the studio. “I said, ‘It must be possible for me to make money doing this rather than selling phones or cleaning,’” he recalled. “It changed my whole mentality. I started to think I had to sell myself. I started to do things to get attention.”

In 2017, Álvarez had his first major hit with “Mala Mujer,” a track about his longing for a “bad woman” whose “gel nails have left scars all over my body.” But he was soon known more for his relationship with Rosalía, a Spanish pop star (he co-wrote much of “El Mal Querer,” or “Bad Love,” her breakthrough album, although they have since broken up) and for getting into political controversies.

Click here to read the full article on the New York Times.

Meet Alice Braga, the Latina Protagonist of ‘Queen of the South’
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Alice Braga pictured in a white top with a white blazer coat posing with her left hand on her hip and her hair in a pony tail

While USA Network’s “Queen of the South” gained the attention of millions of viewers, its leading character, Teresa Mendoza, put Brazilian actress Alice Braga again on the radar.

After five seasons, “Queen of the South” has become one of the top-rated shows in the country, especially for its focus on examining femininity within both narco culture and the Latino community, according to IndieWire.

The series has looked at human trafficking, sex work, and rape within the confines of the cocaine business but has also cast an eye on the culture of misogyny that often pigeonholes women into being nothing more than obedient, happy wives. As Braga describes her to IndieWire, Teresa is a survivor: a naive girl transformed into the boss she was always meant to be.

Alice Braga began her career in film by starring Angelica in the acclaimed “City of God” (2002). After making a name for herself on the Latin American independent film circuit, Braga rose to international fame after appearing with Will Smith in “I Am Legend” (2007) and has been a familiar face in Hollywood ever since.

Her filmography includes “Repo Men” (2010), “Predators” (2010), “The Rite” (2011), “Elysium” (2013), and “The Shack” (2017).

While her most recent work includes such gems as HBO’s “We Are Who We Are,” it has been “Queen of the South” that has allowed her to explore her performative skills on other levels.

“Lending my way to Teresa’s life and Teresa’s way of being, I’ve never experienced this in my life with any other character,” Braga told IndieWire.

Based on the original novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, iconic Spanish war journalist and historical novelist, “The Queen of the South” follows the arc of Teresa Mendoza, a poor woman from the barrio of Jalisco, Mexico, who falls in love with a member of a successful drug cartel.

The ups and downs of love, plus the murder of her boyfriend, force Teresa to flee to the United States, where she ends up setting up her own drug empire and becomes one of the richest women in the world.

Taking on the role in such a powerful story was a priceless opportunity for Braga.

Click here to read the full article on Be Latina.

‘A Sense of Belonging’ for Hispanic Children, with Puppets
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Romina Puga sitting with her two co host puppets on a stool

, What to Watch

Standing outside a home, Romina Puga paints endangered animals, plants a garden, hosts guest experts and talks about the news. She is joined by two friends: Coco, a puppet shaped like a coconut, and Maya, a plush pink puppet.

Maybe most important, Ms. Puga is as likely to speak in Spanish as in English.

Those are scenes from “Club Mundo Kids,” a TV news show debuting April 10 on Televisa and April 11 on Telemundo, aimed at young, first- and second-generation Hispanic children in the United States, where the large Hispanic population is growing, diverse and often underrepresented in television and in movies.

“There is very little content being created that is speaking to U.S. Hispanic, Latinx children and telling their stories,” said Ms. Puga, the show’s 31-year-old host. “The younger generation doesn’t really have anyone breaking things down and talking directly to them in a way that is digestible.”

Latinos make up the largest minority group in the United States, accounting for 18.5 percent of the population, and more than one in four newborns are Latino, according to the Pew Research Center.

But only 4.5 percent of all speaking characters across 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018 were Latino, according to a 2019 study by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Broadcasters have occasionally tried to reach young Hispanic audiences, often with cartoon programming like Nickelodeon’s “Dora the Explorer,” about the adventures of a young animated Latina and her friends. In 2016, the Disney Channel introduced “Elena of Avalor,” an animated series praised for featuring Disney’s first Latina princess. Univision has “Planeta U” a Saturday programming block of animated and educational programs aimed at children ages 2 to 8.

And for decades, “Sesame Street” has featured Rosita, a blue bilingual puppet from Mexico.

“Club Mundo Kids,” in contrast, puts real people in front of the camera, including a host, children and guest experts, and makes a point of talking to children ages 6 and up about Latino life in a real-world context.

“It’s a real opportunity to meet Spanish-speaking kids where they are and to help them build language and reading skills, like ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘Reading Rainbow’ has been doing for decades in English,’’ said Jason Ruiz, an associate professor of American studies at the University of Notre Dame.

He added that the show, possibly alone among programs for children, “will be symbolically important for giving Spanish-dominant kids a sense of belonging by having a show aimed directly at them.”

Hosted by Ms. Puga, a former ABC News correspondent, the series features a mix of live-action and animated segments that explain topics like where food comes from and why there are so many Spanish dialects.

Ms. Puga said the show combines elements of the 1990s children’s programs that she watched growing up Chilean-Argentine in Miami, but with current trends, themes and explanatory segments. In an episode about agriculture, for instance, an animated cornstalk named Miguel Maíz explains how some foods act as fuel for our bodies, and Ms. Puga says the different Spanish words for corn (one being “maíz”).

Click here to read the full article on What to Watch.

The Walking Dead star’s Selena series confirms Part 2 premiere date on Netflix
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Christian Serratos performing as Selena in the netflix series wearing a white bralette top, gold dangly earrings and red lipstick.

BY , Digital Spy

Netflix has confirmed the premiere date of Selena: The Series (Part 2) starring The Walking Dead’s Christian Serratos as the titular singer.

Following the announcement earlier this year that the second installment of Selena: The Series would be available from May, the streaming service has now confirmed that new episodes will arrive on Tuesday, May 4.

In a preview for the upcoming episodes, we see Christian perform as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in her iconic glittering jumpsuit.

Revealing the premise for Part 2, Netflix’s VP of Latin American Originals, Francisco Ramos, promised viewers recently that Selena: The Series would conclude with an unmissable “encore”.

“Fans will get to see how [she] balances family, love, and a burgeoning career. Part 2 of Selena: The Series chronicles the years of hard work and sacrifice the Quintanilla family navigate together as she becomes the most successful female Latin artist of all time.”

Christian Serratos has also opened up about her experience of portraying the singer in the series, which charts the star’s rise to fame before her tragic death aged just 23.

“The series is going to be very eye-opening for people because we’re showing so much more of Selena’s life that we learned because of them,” Serratos explained.

Click here to read the full article on Digital Spy.

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