La La Anthony: Power Through Philanthropy

LinkedIn
La La Anthony fstanding on stage holding a microphone

By Brady Rhoades

So, La La Anthony, how do you become a movie star, TV star, producer, best-selling author, and fashion icon?

You might be surprised things don’t come so easily to the self-described Afro Puerto-Rican, considered one of the most beautiful and glamorous women in the world and currently starring in the much-anticipated final season of Power (first episode is Aug. 25).

“Hard work! You can’t fake that,” she said, in an interview Hispanic Network Magazine.

Anthony is affable. Movie star looks and chops with a girl-next-door approachability.

She’s never forgotten where she came from.

She started working as a radio DJ at 15, when she was very green and made mistakes that she learned from. Those mistakes were forgiven by radio executives at WQHT-FM, HOT 97.5 and 102.3 in Los Angeles because they saw her star power and her toil and sweat.

Also: humility, kindness, resilience and friendships.

Anthony has forged relationships with former First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, and she’s sponge-like: she learns from those who forged paths before her.

“She embodies the type of woman I aspire to be,” she said of

Power Play Playbook by La La Anthony
La La Anothony attends the La La Anthony “The Power Playbook” book signing at Barnes & Noble. PRINCE WILLIAMS/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES

Michelle Obama. “I read her book, Becoming, in one day and it’s still one of my faves.”

“Renaissance Man” is a common term. Anthony is a 21st Century woman. She’s a realist when it comes to obstacles, but she’s not so big on putting limitations on yourself, and she wants other Hispanic women to think likewise.

“You can do anything you want,” she said. “But it doesn’t always happen overnight.”

And you don’t do it alone.

“Being kind goes a long way. People want to work with people who are nice and who they like.”

In an effort to make a difference in the lives of inner-city kids, Anthony formed La La Land, Inc. Foundation. Better schooling and greater opportunities for children are at the top of the foundation’s list of goals.

“I would love to continue to grow my philanthropy efforts to help inner-city kids through my La La Land, Inc. Foundation,” she said. “This is something dear to my heart. I would like to continue building the confidence of young inner-city kids by providing better schooling and opportunities that may not already be afforded to them. The youth are our future; anything I can do to help them achieve their hopes and dreams would bring me the most joy.”

Anthony, born in Brooklyn, New York, came to prominence as an MTV VJ on Total Request Live in the early 2000s. She was the host of the VH1 reality television reunion shows Flavor of Love, I Love New York, For the Love of Ray J, and Real Chance of Love, and was a dean on Charm School with Ricki Lake.

Anthony, 36, ventured into acting, landing roles in Two Can Play That Game, You Got Served, Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man Too, November Rule and Destined.

In 2011, she made her stage debut in the off-Broadway production of Love Loss and What I Wore. Anthony also starred in and executive produced five seasons of La La’s Full Court Wedding, one of VH1’s highest-rated shows, which chronicled the time leading up to her wedding to NBA star Carmelo Anthony.

In 2012, she launched MOTIVES by La La, at the Market America World Conference held at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Her cosmetic line—for women of color—consists of mineral-based products for face, cheeks, eyes, lips and nails.

La La Anthony speaking on stage onstage about her clothing line
La La Anthony attends her Denim Collection Launch at Ashley Stewart. CASSIDY SPARROW/GETTY IMAGES

In 2013, she created a clothing line, 5th & Mercer. No, you don’t have to look like her to wear her clothes. And you don’t have to be a billionaire.

In 2014, she released her debut book, The Love Playbook, in which she shares how she found love and success on her own terms. The book hit No. 1 on the Barnes & Noble Best Seller list and The New York Times Best Seller list. Anthony’s second book, The Power Playbook, was released in May 2015.

This year, she is wrapping up the sixth and final season of the critically acclaimed, StarzTV show, Power.

Any secrets about the final season of the crime drama series and what’s in store for Anthony’s character, Keisha Grant?

She laughs.

“Anything and everything’s going to happen,” she said. “It’s really going to be crazy.”

Power is a megahit; fans will surely be in mourning following the final season.

The show centers on James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a wealthy New York night club owner who has it all, catering to the city’s elite and dreaming big. He lives a double life as a drug kingpin.

Initially, Anthony’s character, Keisha, did not have a starring role.

That changed.

Anthony has turned her character into a fan favorite. She gets involved with drug-dealing Tommy. She’s in over her head. We find ourselves rooting for her. We know in season six the bills are coming due.

Anthony, who is married to NBA star Carmelo Anthony and has a son, stresses that she is not Keisha, and Keisha is not her.

La La and Power cast at a party
Rotimi Akinosho, La La Anthony,Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Lela Loren attend STARZ “Power” Season 4 L.A. Screening And Party at The London West Hollywood.

Keisha has plenty going for her—including a legion of adoring fans—but she has not lived the life Anthony has. She’s not as street-smart or as accomplished. She’s not in a position to “pay it forward.”

Anthony is.

So take heed, inner-city kids.

Here are three of Anthony’s secrets to success, emphasized through her foundation.

—Forget “fake it until you make it.” Work until you stake it, Anthony says;

—Be kind. Hollywood is big-time, yet it’s a small town, all in all. Besides, being kind helps you live your best life;

—Never give up.

Anthony never did, despite challenges that an Afro Puerto-Rican from Brooklyn would inevitably face.

“I believe in myself,” she said. “Who else will? I never believed the haters.

IT: Chapter Two

LinkedIn
IT: Chapter Two movie promo poster

Twenty-seven years after the Losers’ Club defeated Pennywise, IT has returned. Now adults, the Losers have gone their separate ways, but with people disappearing again in Derry, Mike calls them back home. Damaged by their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all.

Click to see more!

Twitter

@ITMovieOfficial

Instagram

@ITMovieOfficial

Hashtag

#ITMovie

U.S. Hispanic Population Reaches Record High

LinkedIn
Happy family running in the park

Latinos account for 52 percent of all U.S. population growth

By Antonio Flores, Mark Hugo Lopez and Jens Manuel Krogstad

The U.S. Hispanic population reached a record 59.9 million in 2018, up 1.2 million over the previous year and up from 47.8 million in 2008, according to newly released U.S. Census Bureau population estimate.

Over the past decade, however, population growth among Hispanics has slowed as the annual number of births to Hispanic women has declined and immigration has decreased, particularly from Mexico.

Even so, Latinos remain an important part of the nation’s overall demographic story. Between 2008 and 2018, the Latino share of the total U.S. population increased from 16 percent to 18 percent. Latinos accounted for about half (52 percent) of all U.S. population growth over this period.

Here are some key facts about how the nation’s Latino population has changed over the past decade:

—Population growth among U.S. Hispanics has slowed since the 2000s. From 2005 to 2010, the nation’s Hispanic population grew by an average of 3.4 percent per year, but this rate has declined to 2.0 percent a year since then. Even so, population growth among Hispanics continues to outpace that of some other groups. The white population saw negligible growth between 2015 and 2018, while the black population had annual average growth of less than 1 percent over the same period. Only Asian Americans have seen faster population growth than Hispanics, with a 2.8 percent growth rate between 2015 and 2018. (All racial groups are single race, non-Hispanic.)

—The South saw the fastest Latino population growth of any U.S. region. The Latino population in the South grew 33 percent during this period, reaching 22.7 million in 2018, up 5.6 million from 2008. This growth was part of a broader increase in the Latino population in regions across the country since the 1990s. States in the Northeast (25 percent increase), Midwest (24 percent) and West (19 percent) also experienced growth in the number of Latinos from 2008 to 2018.

—The states with the fastest Hispanic population growth tend to have relatively small Hispanic populations—and are not in the South. North Dakota’s Hispanic population grew by 135 percent between 2008 and 2018—from 12,600 to 29,500, the fastest growth rate of any state. However, the state ranked 49th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in its overall Hispanic population in 2018. Hispanic populations in South Dakota (75 percent), the District of Columbia (57 percent), Montana (55 percent) and New Hampshire (50 percent) also experienced rapid growth during this period, though all have relatively small Hispanic populations.

—Los Angeles County had more Hispanics than any other U.S. county, with 4.9 million in 2018. The next largest were Harris County, Texas (2.0 million), and Miami-Dade County, Florida (1.9 million). Overall, 11 counties had more than a million Hispanics in 2018; these include Maricopa County, Arizona; Cook County, Illinois; and Riverside County, California. In 102 U.S. counties, Hispanics made up at least 50 percent of the population in 2018

—Puerto Rico’s population declined nearly 4 percent in 2018 and is down about 15 percent since 2008. The island’s population stood at 3.2 million in 2018, down from 3.3 million in 2017, when hurricanes Maria and Irma hit. The two disasters led many Puerto Ricans to leave for the U.S. mainland, especially Florida. Even before the hurricanes, however, the island’s population had experienced a steady, long-term population decline due to a long-standing economic recession.

—Latinos are among the youngest racial or ethnic groups in the U.S. but saw one of the largest increases in median age over the past decade. Latinos had a median age of 30 in 2018, up from 27 in 2008. Whites had the highest median age nationally—44 in 2018—followed by Asians (37) and blacks (34). The median age for both Latinos and whites has increased by three years since 2008, tying for the largest uptick of any racial or ethnic group.

Source:  Pewresearch.org

The 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Corporate America

LinkedIn
ALPFA women announce the Most Powerful Latinas

The Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) announced its list of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas of 2019, announced during its Women of ALPFA luncheon at its annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

This is the third iteration of the Most Powerful Latinas list.

ALPFA’s Most Powerful Latinas list highlights the achievements of senior Latina executives running Fortune 500 companies, departments, and large private firms, and also includes a few entrepreneurs leading global companies.

They were chosen according to ALPFA’s strict selection criteria.

The full list and rankings are available on ALPFA’s website

Powerful Latinas
Powerful Latinas
Powerful LatinasPowerful Latinas

About Women of ALPFA:Launched in 2002, the Women of ALPFA(WOA)initiative provides unique development and networking opportunities for ALPFA’s Latina members and the companies that want to reach them.WOA is dedicated to the professional success of Latina women, offering targeted programs and training through a professional development curriculum. WOA aims to provide professional Latinas with the tools to strengthen their leadership and management skills, fostering both their professional and personal growth.

About ALPFA:Founded in 1972, ALPFA (The Association of Latino Professionals forAmerica) was the first national Latino professional association in the United States. ALPFA’s purpose is connecting Latino leaders for impactand is committed to developing Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy. Today, ALPFA serves over 92,000 members in 160 student chapters and 45 professional chapters across the country.

The 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards-Some of the Biggest Moments!

LinkedIn
Guests dance during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards after party at Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A Latin Grammy Award is an award by The Latin Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the Latin music industry.

The Latin Grammy honors works produced anywhere around the world that were recorded in either Spanish or Portuguese and is awarded in the United States.

(Pictured left-President and CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Gabriel Abaroa Jr. speaks onstage at the Premiere Ceremony during the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards.  Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images for LARAS) 

This year’s Latin GRAMMY Awards event was held on November 14th in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and the three-hour telecast aired live on the Univision Network.

Rosalía marks historic night for women at Latin Grammys with album of the year win.

The breakthrough performer known for blending flamenco music with sounds like reggaeton and Latin trap, won album of the year, becoming the first solo female performer to win the top honor since Shakira’s triumph 13 years ago.

 

 

Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards Key Show Moments:

  • Opening musical – Tribute to the legacy Latin music represents – 20 artists performed four iconic songs representing four music genres:
    • “La Vida es un Carnaval” – Celia Cruz
    • “Querida” – Juan Gabriel
    • “Secreto de Amor” – Joan Sebastian
    • “De Musica Ligera” – Soda Stereo
  • Fernández Family Musical Dynasty
    • Historic performance: Three generations perform on the stage for the first time – Vicente (grandfather), Alejandro (son), and Alex (grandson).
    • Alex (Te Amare), Alejandro (Caballero), Vicente (La Derrota) all three (Volver Volver), accompanied by El Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez.
    • Immediately after the performance Vicente Fernandez was presented with the Latin Recording Academy President’s Award by Ricky Martin.
  • Paula Arenas Performance
    • Intimate, powerful female moment with Julio Reyes Copello on piano
  • Alejandro Sanz musical
    • “Mi Persona Favorita” featuring Camila Cabello (on LED screens), Aitana, Greeicy, and Nella (three of the nominees of Best New Artist)
  • Rosalía musical
    • World premiere performance of new single “A Palé”
  • Fonseca musical
    • Celebrating the music of Camilo Sesto
    • Singing an acoustic version of a “Perdóname”
  • Pedro Capó/Alicia Keys musical
    • First time “Calma (Alicia Remix)” is performed with Alicia Keys and Farruko
    • Alicia Keys performing new single “Show Me Love” with Miguel and Pedro Capó
  • Juanes Receives the Person of The Year Award by Lars Ulrich, drummer from Metallica.
    • Juanes has credited Metalica for inspiring his musical career
  • Pepe Aguilar musical
    • Celebrating the music of José José with an interpretation of “El Triste”
  • Ricky Martin musical
    • World premiere performance of new single “Cántalo” with Bad Bunny and Residente
  • Bad Bunny musical
    • Accompanied by a symphonic orchestra
Juanes accepts person of the year award
Juanes accepts his Person of The Year Award from Lars Ulrich onstage during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Nov. 14, 2019 in Las Vegas.

Rosalia attends the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for LARAS)

Chiquinquirá Delgado attends the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for LARAS)

Guests dance during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards after party at Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for LARAS)

Bad Bunny poses withe the Best Urban Music Album in the press room during the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for LARAS)

Recipients of President’s Merit Award: The President’s Merit Award is an exceptional honor presented to an exclusive and limited group of individuals for their outstanding career in Latin music and significant contributions to the Latin community.

  • Vicente Fernandez
  • Thalia

Rosalía wins big as the Latin Grammys celebrate 20 years of the genre’s evolution

LinkedIn
Rosalia onstage performing with back up dancers

“Winning a Grammy is the best thing that can ever happen,” said the singer, who won Best Album Of The Year.

Spanish artist Rosalía took the Latin Grammys by storm Thursday night as the award show celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Her second studio album, “El Mal Querer,” took home all the awards it was nominated for, including Best Album Of The Year, one of the top awards of the night, and Contemporary Pop Album Of The Year.

“We did this album sitting on the floor, with two computers, a keyboard and a microphone. I swear to God. And then, we worked on it for a year and a half. That was it,” said Rosalía in Spanish at the Latin Grammy stage in Las Vegas. “Winning a Grammy is the best thing that can ever happen.”

The artist also took home Best Urban Song for hit “Con Altura,” alongside Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin.

Puerto Rican singer Pedro Capó and Spanish musician Alejandro Sanz also won top awards.

Capó won Song Of The Year with hit “Calma.” The song’s remix also won a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Fusion or Performance.

Sanz’s collaboration with pop star Camila Cabello won Record Of The Year. The song also won an award for Best Pop Song.

Between her wins and her medley performance of “Con Altura” and “A Palé,” Rosalía proved once again that she embodies the perfect marriage between the past and the present, organically blending both traditional sounds like flamenco and classical music with mainstream sounds such as pop, reggaeton and trap.

“I have no prejudices or think that one music is better than another. Flamenco is my great passion, but I also love to experiment in the studio, explore with the sounds, so it is natural and organic for me to experiment. And of course, urban music is part of my references as well as classical music, other kinds of music from my country and even Jamaican music,” Rosalía told NBC News in April.

Just like Rosalía, the Latin Grammys were a celebration of the Latin music industry’s evolution.

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has a surprisingly personal reason for opening a bookstore in the age of Amazon

LinkedIn
Lin-Manuel Miranda seated onstage with guest two interviewers

Along with being the creator of a little show called Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda is also known for his enthusiastic social media presence—including a rapid-fire tweeting style that helped spread the word about his future Broadway megahit back when it was still finding an audience.

Twitter, in other words, is one way to help fuel the biggest thing on Broadway, but at 39, Miranda still thinks small in a lot of ways, particularly when it comes to which businesses he supports and where he puts his money. He famously still lives in the same upper Manhattan neighborhood where he grew up, and his first musical, In the Heights, espouses the virtues of local communities and the stories people tell within them.

“I’m the old guy in the bodega who is still talking about boxers,” Miranda told a crowd at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York today. “I’m an aggressively small-business person.”

So when one small business he has a personal connection to recently found itself on the brink of oblivion, Miranda did what any civic-minded Broadway sensation would do: He bought it. That business is the Drama Book Shop, a century-old bookstore in midtown Manhattan that for decades doubled as a de facto incubator for playwrights, actors, and anyone else looking to break into New York City’s theatrical community.

It was in the bookstore’s basement theater where Miranda first met Thomas Kail, the stage director who would become his main collaborator on In the Heights and Hamilton. “He had the audacity to go to their basement, paint it black, and say, ‘We’re a black-box theater,” Miranda says of Kail.

Last year, the Drama Book Shop faced that oldest of Manhattan existential crises—a crushing rent hike—and was subsequently forced to leave its longtime home on West 40th Street. Miranda and Kail, along with Hamilton producer Jeffery Seller and theater owner James Nederlander, combined their resources to purchase the storied shop.

“It was really kind of extraordinary,” Miranda recalled. “The people who needed to show up for it did.” He said the shop will reopen in March, at a new location to be announced soon.

Then he added, with a mix of zeal and incredulousness: “We’re opening a bookstore in post-Kindle, post-Amazon America!”

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

This Navy Vet Is Now Taking His Military Skills To Home Inspections

LinkedIn
Joseph Cruz stands in front of his home inspection vehicle

Shortly after retiring from a 21-year career in the Navy, Joseph Cruz, 41, had an honest conversation with himself about his next steps in life.

Cruz took a job with a medical gas company to gain experience in sales. He really wanted to be in business for himself so after much soul searching and due diligence he is a first-time business owner who opened his Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® franchise of Knoxville.

Driven by his longtime interest in real estate coupled with a desire to drive his own future as a business owner Cruz was ultimately drawn to Pillar To Post’s strong reputation coupled with the promising home inspection market. A recent survey from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) found that 88 percent of all U.S. homeowners believe home inspections are a necessity instead of a luxury.

As it turns out, homes operate a lot like vessels. Both require various well-oiled systems that must work together seamlessly to function optimally. Cruz plans to apply his many years of experience working on three warships (the USS O’Bannon DD-987, the USS Higgins DDG-76 and the USS Rafael Peralta DDG-115) to his new career providing quality home inspections to realtors, homebuyers and sellers.

“Like a well-built and properly-operating home, a Navy ship has various inputs of air, water, power and data that all work together,” Cruz said. “I’m looking forward to applying my helicopter-view mindset of a ship’s operations to the home inspection industry. I’ve owned several homes in the past and in the process of buying and selling, I fell in love with real estate,” Cruz said. “After the Navy, the possibility of a career in real estate was intriguing. As I researched franchise opportunities for veterans, Pillar To Post stood out at the top of the rankings for franchised companies that cater to veterans, with a 5-Star status from VetFran, the IFA’s program for veterans.”

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked as the top-rated home inspection company on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, the company is enjoying its 19th year in a row on that list.

All veterans know all too well that the path to achieving one’s dreams takes a mix of determination and sacrifice peppered with a bit of a sense of adventure. Opening a business takes a lot of the same grit, and Cruz has proven he has the endurance and focus to make his business a success by moving his family across the country from San Diego to Knoxville last June. The past five months has been filled with change for Cruz, who packed up his van and left California behind with only a tent, sleeping bags and a power generator in tow.

“We camped along the way, staying at various National Parks until we finally arrived in Knoxville in July,” Cruz said. “I very much look forward to becoming an integral part of my business community.”

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are nearly 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has been named as Best in Category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® ranking for 19 years in a row. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise go to pillartopostfranchise.com.

Latin superstar Juanes’ enduring impact through music and philanthropy

LinkedIn
Juanes performing on stage with his guitar during a concert

By Jovane Marie

When Colombian superstar Juanes takes the stage, the atmosphere shifts. His influence is apparent, from the fanatic cheers of the audience as they sing along word-for-word to the permanent fixture of phones poised to capture each moment. With more than 15 million albums sold worldwide, to say he is a legend is undebatable.

This was the exact scene this past September at L’ATTITUDE, a business-focused annual conference, which focuses on how U.S. Latinos are fueling American economic growth. The artist was in attendance not only to serenade the crowd with a moving rendition of “La Camisa Negra” (a favorite from his ground-breaking album “Mi Sangre”) but also to share his thoughts on how Latinos are dominating mainstream music and the importance of their contributions.

It’s a perspective Juanes is more than qualified to speak on.

With a career spanning longer than three decades, 26 awarded Grammys and Latin Grammys combined, a history of philanthropic endeavors, and his naming last June as the 2019 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, Juanes has firmly positioned himself as one of Latin music’s leading global ambassadors and a committed voice for advocacy and inclusion.

It may seem a massive undertaking to be such an influential artist—maintaining a long-standing industry presence, constantly expanding your creative artistry, supporting new artists, and managing philanthropic efforts—but Juanes insists that only one thing is necessary to make it so.

“Si quieres ser artista, sigue tu corazón,” he told the L’ATTITUDE crowd. “If you want to be an artist, stick to your heart.”

Follow the Music

Considering Juanes’ background, it comes as no surprise that he ended up so fully enraptured by the magic of music. Raised in his native Colombia, he began playing the piano when he was only 2 years old, and at 7 learned the guitar from his father and brothers.

Juanes and Camillo Cabello perform on stage
Juanes and Camila Cabello perform onstage during The Latin Recording Academy’s Person of The Year Gala. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

“I started to play guitar and sing because of my family, really—my brothers, sisters and parents all loved music,” he told NPR. “They were always singing folk music, so those beginning years were filled with sambas and chacareras and vallenatos and tangos.”

By the time his teenage years rolled around, however, his tastes had changed, leading to the start of a career with a musical sound far removed from the folk songs of his youth. At age 17, along with friends André García, Fernando “Toby” Tobón and José David Lopera, he formed the rock band Ekhymosis (Greek for “bruise”).

Inspired by the music of Metallica, the band aimed to “create

Colombian rock” through their thrash and heavy metal rhythms. Their first demo spoke to a simultaneous effort to describe the troubled environment of their hometown in Medellín, marking the beginning of a consistent pattern of speaking out against injustice and violence through socially conscious songs.

At the time, Medellín, influenced by the reign of Pablo Escobar and civil war, had the highest homicide rate in the world. Juanes was not spared from the effects of this harrowing environment, losing a cousin to violence in the early 90s. The experience encouraged him to try to use his gift of music to effect change.

“I realized that music has the power to bring people together, to change things,” he said. “That has been my mission.”

By the time Juanes made the decision to go solo in 1998—ten years after the band’s formation— the award-winning group had released eight albums.

“I just felt like I was missing something—that I needed to go back to my roots, my essence,” Juanes said of his solo journey. “And that’s what I’ve done ever since. I try to mix both the folk side and the rock side to create a contemporary sound.”

The formula has certainly paid off…in spades.

Juanes holds his big donation check for his Fundacion Mi Sangre foundation
Juanes poses for a photo with a donation made to his foundation, Fundacion Mi Sangre, at Hard Rock Cafe – Times Square in New York City.(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Released in 2000, his first solo album, “Fíjate Bien,” earned him two Latin Grammy Awards, while his second, “Un Día Normal” (released in 2002), was certified multi-platinum in multiple countries across Latin America.

It was his third album, however—”Mi Sangre”—that positioned him as an international force and cemented him as a global ambassador for the Latin music genre. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, produced three consecutive number one singles, was certified Gold, Platinum, or Multi-platinum in 14 countries, and won three Latin Grammy Awards.

Since the release of “Mi Sangre” in 2004, Juanes has released four more albums, including 2017’s “Mis Planes Son Amarte,” a full visual concept album featuring the artist’s first song in English.

His eighth solo album, set for release in November 2019, has already produced a Latin Grammy- nominated single in “La Plata”—a Colombian folkloric tune mixed with pop reggaeton that is close to the singer’s heart.

“This song is light and happy…I’m very excited,” he gushed about the single, which features emerging Columbian trap artist Lalo Ebratt of the collective Trapical Minds. “It has to do with Colombia, and with my roots, and with who I am.”

The Juanes Effect

Juanes’ worldwide appeal is undeniable. He has performed everywhere from the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo to Sesame Street, and has been recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People.

And while many Latin artists eventually “cross-over” to record English language albums in an effort to expand their audiences, he waited almost 30 years to record “Goodbye for Now,” his first English song. The move was deliberate and based, he said, on a desire to respect his fan base while adapting to the changing musical landscape.

“Singing in Spanish is very important because it is the language in

Karla Martinez, John Cena, Juanes and Ana Patricia Gamez are seen on the set of ‘Despierta America’ to promote the film ‘Ferdinand’in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)

which I think and feel,” he explained. “But I am also conscious of the fact that the world and the way we communicate is changing. I do love Anglo music, and now that I’m a little bit more familiar with the language, I feel like it’s more honest for me to do it.”

It may have taken him some time to release a track in English, but Juanes has effortlessly maintained a presence in the mainstream American music scene, nabbing several groundbreaking firsts in the process of building his musical empire.

His performances at the 84th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2010), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014), The TODAY Show Plaza concert series (2014), and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2017) marked the first time any of these platforms had featured a performing artist singing exclusively in Spanish. And, in 2015, he performed “Juntos”—the first Spanish song featured in over a decade at the Grammys.

For Juanes, these historic performances speak to the ability of music to transcend language.

“It’s really a magical feeling,” he explained. “People come to our shows or listen to these performances, and they respect the fact that we sing in Spanish. They are paying attention to the melodies and the arrangement and the music itself, and it’s a beautiful gift. It’s just the magic of music.”

A Voice for Change

Growing up a witness to prevalent violence in his hometown of Medellín had a profound effect on Juanes that has reverberated beyond his lyrics into a passion for philanthropy.

In 2006, he created the Mi Sangre Foundation in response to Colombia’s needs in the treatment of landmine victims. Under the umbrella of psychosocial support, peace education, and peace building project programs, the organization “helps children, teenagers, and youth heal wounds of the soul by creating safe environments and strengthening social fabrics while enabling the participation of families, the community, and the educational sector.”  The venture, which has provided support for thousands of landmine victims, is a labor of the heart.

Recording artist Juanes performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac
Recording artist Juanes performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

“The name Mi Sangre [My Blood] is inspired by the same sentiment as my album of the same name—it’s about my children, my children’s children, my land, my roots. It’s what’s important to me,” Juanes said of the foundation. “When I heard firsthand the stories of people who had been directly affected moved me to the point that I said, ‘I want to do something.’”

The artist also co-founded the Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace Without Borders) effort, a series of free outdoor concerts aimed at uniting people across borders and promoting non-violent conflict resolution.

His efforts have earned him a multitude of humanitarian awards, appointments, and recognition, including Colombia’s National Peace Prize, a position as a Goodwill Ambassador for nonprofit organization United for Colombia, France’s highest cultural honor for social activism (L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres), and a namesake recreational park in Medellín, which provides rehabilitation space for people with disabilities.

For Juanes, however, the recognition isn’t the end goal. In his eyes, it’s all about making a difference.

“I do these things because they matter for me and to me,” he explained. “I often think about what we as a people are doing here in this world and why we are here. And what I know for sure is that we are not alone…we need to help each other.”

A Continuing Legacy

Juanes’ legacy of artistic innovation, support for emerging artists, and humanitarian recently manifested into yet another recognition—one reserved for the most culturally impactful Latin musicians.

Last June, the Latin Recording Academy announced that as part of its milestone 20th anniversary, the singer, composer, musician, and philanthropist would be named the 2019 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

Juanes performs at the 2nd Annual L'Attitude Conference
Juanes performs at the 2nd Annual L’Attitude Conference – LatiNExt Live on September 26, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Bestowed upon musicians of Ibero American heritage in acknowledgement of their artistic achievements in the Latin music industry, fellowship, and philanthropic efforts, past honorees have included Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana.

“Juanes is young, but legendary, an artist who has inspired us through his amazing music for many years and—while doing so—he vigorously campaigned for political, social, and positive change around the world,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., president/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. “His leadership and his philanthropic work, in addition to his positive messages that transcend music, speak volumes about his many contributions to the community, and we are truly honored to recognize him as this year’s Latin Academy Person of the Year.”

The designation is just the latest addition to the multi-talented artist’s ever-growing legacy, and a reaffirmation that he is fulfilling his destiny.

“I’m doing what I believe I was brought to do—to create music that raises awareness, renews hearts, and generates change,” Juanes shared. “And I hope I have many years left to connect through art, to play my guitar, and to continue chasing the sun.”

Meet Dulce Candy: A Beauty Influencer Empowering Women

LinkedIn
Dulce Candy headshot

By Samar Khoury

Dulce Candy, one of the top lifestyle & beauty content creators online, is an inspiration to women who aspire to be entrepreneurs. Dulce, a successful businesswoman, published author, and Iraq War Veteran, spoke with HISPANIC Network Magazine about her journey.

HISPANIC Network Magazine (HNM): Tell us about your background. How did serving in the U.S. Army influence your decision to become a Beauty Influencer?

Dulce Candy (DC): I was born in Mexico, Michoacan. I immigrated to the U.S. in 1994 at age 6 with my Mom and two sisters at the time. I was raised in Oxnard, California. After graduating from high school, I chose to enlist active duty in the U.S. Army because I was looking for an opportunity to start a new life and make my parents proud.

HNM: What inspired you to start your own YouTube channel? Who is your beauty inspiration?

DC: For 15 months of my deployment in Baghdad, Iraq, I was forbidden to wear any civilian clothing or makeup, rightfully so. Because of the lack of self-expression, a burning desire to express my individuality was born. I never knew how much fashion and beauty meant to me until it was taken away completely. When I arrived back in the states in 2009 after my deployment, I discovered the tiny “Beauty” community online!

At that time, there were only about 100 beauty channels with only about 20 getting all the shine, and with members of the Latinx community leading less than 10 beauty channels. Starting my YouTube channel has been one of the most important choices I’ve ever made in my life. It allowed my passion for my hobby of beauty to flourish and turn into a thriving career that is still going strong 11 years later.

My beauty inspiration at the moment is more of a “look” than a person. I am all about the dewy and real skin glam. The type of look that enhances one’s natural beauty that radiates from within. This includes soft, bushy eyebrows, glowing skin, shimmery eyes, and glossy lips.

HNM: What have you accomplished through your YouTube channel? How has your channel inspired others?

DC: I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams! One of my most significant accomplishments was publishing my first self-help book titled The Sweet Life, moderating a town hall with Hillary Clinton, and starring in a Target commercial. My hope with my channel is to inspire other young women not to let their past or where they come from define them. I also hope to encourage young women not to be afraid of using their powerful voice to convey what they want. To also live life unapologetically and on their own terms.

HNM: How many social media campaigns have you been a part of?
DC: I have been so fortunate to partner with so many of my favorite brands over the past 11 years since I started my channel!

HNM: Tell us about the brands you’ve worked with. 

DC: I am blessed to have worked with numerous brands throughout the years! Some of my favorites include my face and lip palettes collaboration with Pixi Beauty, which was sold in Target stores. Also, over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel the world with different brands, and really loved trips to Costa Rica and London with different brand partners. In 2018, I also worked with an organization called Global Glow to empower young girls in numerous communities to advocate for themselves, use their voice to create their own opportunities and affect change in their communities. I enjoyed the partnership because I was able to use my platform to shed light on an organization whose mission aligned with my personal values and beliefs!

HNM: What else do you hope to accomplish, and what other changes would you like to see?

DC: I hope we continue to celebrate diversity so that young people can see themselves represented in an authentic way that makes them feel like they matter and that they too are beautiful in their own unique way.

HNM: What’s next on your agenda?

DC: My husband and I made the decision to expand our family and go through with IVF, and I recently found out that I am pregnant! I am very excited to go through the pregnancy journey! I also want to remain focused on self-growth, family, and continue to share my journey and experiences with my audience to inspire others!

For more information on this inspirational beauty mogul, visit Dulce’s website: dulcecandy.com

Follow Dulce Candy on Twitter, Instagram @dulcecandy and YouTube at Dulce Candy.

Vietnam Veteran Wes Studi calls historic Oscar ‘overwhelmingly amazing’

LinkedIn
Wes Studi pictured smiling, wearing a dark suit and silver necklace, at event premiere

Cherokee actor, activist and Vietnam veteran Wes Studi is poised to become the first Native American actor to be presented with an Oscar at Sunday’s Governors Awards gala in Los Angeles.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in June that it planned to celebrate Studi’s extraordinary career with an honorary Oscar at its annual fall ceremony.

“It’s overwhelmingly amazing,” Studi told UPI in a recent phone interview.

“It’s recognition of a body of work that’s taken me 30-some-odd years to put together, and it really is kind of overwhelming that my peers in the business have recognized my work and think that it’s deserving of an award.”

The 71-year-old Oklahoma native — who is known for his unforgettable performances in the films Hostiles, Avatar, Geronimo, The Last of the Mohicans and Dances with Wolves — was preparing his Oscar acceptance speech this week.

“I’m definitely getting nervous about it. I hope I am able to give credit where credit is due and to be able to see, as well as communicate with, people I have worked with throughout the past,” Studi said.

He also wants his remarks to convey to Native actors just starting out that “these things are possible.”

“It opens a door in a way,” he said. “It has provided possibility.”

Studi, who has eight projects in various stages of production, hasn’t given up his dream of winning a competitive Oscar.

“As much as I appreciate this award, I’m definitely still looking for that one award for an individual performance,” he said, adding he considers his work ethic among his greatest achievements.

“Just doing the best I possibly could has always been a goal of mine.”

Studi said he understands the impact art can have on people and appreciates being part of films widely regarded as timeless classics.

“Hopefully, the story gets across the intended purpose — not only entertaining, but also passing on virtues, as well as failings of our human race,” he said. “Storytelling is one of the most important ways of passing on cultures and of maintaining them.”

Continue on to UPI to read the complete article.