Rosario Dawson stars as Wonder Woman in the new Warner Bros. Animation film, Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.
This is Dawson’s sixth time portraying the Amazon superhero in a film and that is not even counting her role as Artemis in the 2009 Wonder Woman animated movie. Dawson’s success in the role is an important one coming from a Latina actress, but the star made a point to tell reporters at New York Comic-Con that she is not the first Latina to play Wonder Woman.
Instead, Dawson wanted to pay tribute to an earlier Latina actress who took on the iconic role and the impact that it had on Dawson and her family.
One of the things that Dawson made clear for reporters was how much she respected the history of the iconic superhero that she gets to play. She acknowledged that every version of these characters in film today are based on a number of earlier versions of those character that were developed by many different creators over a number of decades.
One particular earlier iteration of Wonder Woman has a special place in Dawson’s heart because it starred the actual first Latina to play the Princess of the Amazons. Dawson explained, I…feel that Wonder Woman has been pushed in a lot of different spaces that I will never put down. I remember when I began voicing Wonder Woman and people were like, ‘Finally, we’re getting a Latina Wonder Woman.’ And I was like, Lynda Carter was Latina. I grew up with her and I thought that that was super awesome. It was a different iteration of her, but it was very inspiring and it meant a lot to my grandmother, my mother and me.”
On her official website, Carter explains her family history, “I grew up in a house filled with music. My mother, who is of Mexican and Spanish descent, used to sing to my English-Irish father, and between the two of them I was introduced to a diverse array of music, ranging from country to blues to classical.”
It is impressive to see Carter’s legacy live on in Dawson’s Wonder Woman portrayal.
The film arrives on Digital HD Oct. 5 and Blu-ray and 4k Ultra HD Oct. 22.
Continue on to CBR.com to read the complete article.
Betty Suarez, the lead character in the ABC dramedy “Ugly Betty,” was the unlikeliest of heroines and everyone ― from those who taunted her on the job at an upscale fashion magazine to her close-knit family to the audience watching the show at home ― thought so.
“All the stuff you want to do, owning a magazine … it doesn’t happen for people like us, unless you’re J.Lo or something,” her nephew Justin (Mark Indelicato) told Betty (America Ferrera) on the stoop of their home in Jackson Heights, Queens, where they lived with her undocumented father, Ignacio (Tony Plana), and her spirited sister, Hilda (Ana Ortiz).
Justin was only in middle school and yet he already understood that success was limited to a select few from his family’s working-class background. For him and so many others, the American Dream was exemplified by the beautiful Jennifer Lopez, one of the few examples of U.S. Latino representation in Hollywood in the 2000s.
But Silvio Horta, the creator and showrunner of “Ugly Betty” who died earlier this month, offered an alternative version of prosperity for new generations of Latinos through a character who was less aspirational and more relatable, a young woman who wasn’t conventionally attractive but was still the daring protagonist of her own life.
Betty had bushy eyebrows, braces, glasses and frizzy hair — pop culture’s hallmarks of the ugly duckling. She was also curvy, which was unfortunately groundbreaking for a show in 2006, as evinced by the second episode of the series. Drama arose over releasing an actress’s unretouched photos at Mode, the fashion magazine where Betty worked. Sure, there had been curvy girls on television before, but they somehow always seemed to be the butt of the joke, a caricatured sidekick to the more traditionally good-looking lead. Not Betty.
Let’s not sugarcoat it. Betty was harassed by her co-workers because of her looks, lack of fashion sense and Latinidad. It was no secret around the office that everyone knew she had only been hired because her supervisor’s father didn’t want his son, Daniel (Eric Mabius), sleeping with his assistants anymore. In an attempt to embarrass her and drive her to quit, Daniel has her fill in for a model at a photo shoot. Watching Betty stand alongside those models, attempting to strike sexy poses in a revealing outfit she is wholly uncomfortable in while everyone laughs at her, is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the series. She is also routinely called fat and one of her co-workers, Amanda (Becki Newton), has a penchant for using an exaggerated Spanish accent around her and warning her not to get chimichurri sauce on important documents.
Yet somehow Betty remained strong. She never buckled under the pressure of her hostile work environment — though doing so would have been understandable. Instead, she focused on her dream of writing for magazines.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – Since 2010, Native American Heritage Association (NAHA) have chartered an entire Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship, and created a historic rock festival at sea known as Rock Legends Cruise (a “cruise for a cause”).
Now in 2021, (The Rock Legends 2020 cruise is sold out) Don McLean will join Styx, Blue Öyster Cult, Warrant, Lita Ford, Walter Trout, Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush along with to be announced artists for the Rock Legends Cruise IX setting sail from Ft. Lauderdale on February 18, 2021. For cruise packages, pricing and more go to www.rocklegendscruise.com!
With previous performers like Sammy Hagar & The Circle, Bad Company, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, REO Speedwagon, ZZ Top, Foreigner, The Doobie Brothers, Alice Cooper, Paul Rodgers, Peter Frampton, Gregg Allman and so many more, each cruise is a guaranteed blast, while raising awareness about NAHA’s Mission. Although the cruise has drawn adults of all ages, most are of an age that placed them at the beginning of the rock revolution and who appreciate our artists’ places as cultural icons. After all, rock and roll is for everyone!
For nearly a quarter century, Native American Heritage Association (NAHA) has been front and center in responding to a quiet crisis among our Nation’s Forgotten People, the Lakota (Sioux) on Reservations in South Dakota and Wyoming. Founder David Myers literally began NAHA by delivering food & clothes in the back of a station wagon on weekends. From those humble beginnings, and through the commitment of NAHA’s faithful donors, staff, and affiliates, the most recent fiscal year saw over $52 million in direct aid (food, clothing, and basic life necessities).
These Reservations are on some of the most desolate and remote acreage in the country, remaining out of the sight and headlines of mainstream America. With desperation, hope is easily lost, and leads to statistics most people would say, “Can’t possibly be true in America.” But it is. Up to 80% unemployment, suicide rates 70% higher than the population at large, infant mortality exceeding many third world countries, diabetes and resultant death at twice the national rate…these and many more statistics are the bitter reality that face this proud group of people every day. Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Crow Creek, and Cheyenne River are not mythical names in some western novel. They are real places, with real people, who often live out tragic lives.
Video games allow ordinary users to transform into extraordinary heroes. For Dominican American actress Dania Ramírez, who plays an avatar in “Jumanji: The Next Level,” video games made her American dream come true.
“I grew up in a crowded apartment with my family living in one bedroom, and a second family living in another bedroom,” she told NBC news. “And for a Dominican girl who played video games for the first time in the United States, and is now acting in a big movie about a video game, this is my American dream.”
The actress emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the New York City neighborhood of Washington Heights when she was almost 10 years old. She said video games can help players build up confidence to follow their dreams.
Dania Ramirez arrives for the premiere of “Jumanji: The Next Level” in Hollywood.Jean-Baptiste Lacroix / AFP – Getty Images
“We live in an age where everything is electronic. And many kids are not ready to be judged by the Internet and social media,” said Ramírez, known for her roles on TV shows including “Heroes,” “Devious Maids” and “Entourage” and whose movie credits include “X Men: The Last Stand.”
“But video games can make them feel more confident, teach them to solve problems, move faster, and go after their dreams,” Ramírez added.
“Jumanji: The Next Level” opened last Friday, and is the sequel to the 2017 adventure comedy blockbuster that pulled four high school friends—Spencer, Martha, Bethany and “Fridge”—into a video game console. Locked inside, they had to survive dangerous and at times ridiculous obstacles to find a way out.
Now in 2019, Spencer has been sucked back into the fantastic world of Jumanji. And this time, Martha, Bethany and “Fridge” will team up with Spencer’s grandpa (Danny DeVito) and a family friend (Danny Glover) to help bring him home.
On screen, Ramírez plays an avatar in Jumanji that guides players with clues. And off screen, she says that video game avatars are also guiding players on a journey to explore their identity.
“When my children play video games, they sometimes get excited figuring out how they can make their avatars look more like them,” she said. “As a Latina, representation in video games and media is important because they need to represent the diversity we live in. And avatars are helping players explore who they are.”
Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.
Piraguas, acrylic nails and the GWB! The first full-length trailer of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s upcoming “In The Heights” film has dropped, and for fans of the hit Broadway show, which the movie is based on, it feels like they’ve won the lottery.
Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon Chu has joined Miranda in recreating the Grammy and Tony award-winning musical about a Dominican bodega owner and his neighbors in the New York City barrio, Washington Heights. The star-studded and nearly all-Latinx cast includes Anthony Ramos, Marc Anthony, Dascha Polanco and Stephanie Beatriz.
The trailer depicts a dramatic, lyrical day-in-the-life narrative of the Hispanic-American community in Washington Heights. The Heights is vibrant and bustling, and this first trailer promises to stay true to the neighborhood’s spirit.
The trailer suggests that the movie will put a new spin on the original musical. The narrative follows Usnavi as he tells modern-day stories about his neighborhood to a group of children.
The characters in his tales face timely Latinx issues that have become part of the national political and social conversation, including immigrant rights and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
With “In The Heights,” Miranda and the cast are taking a rare step in a predominantly white Hollywood by centering powerful and gripping Latinx stories on the silver screen.
No one hustled harder than Jennifer Lopez, and it paid off recently when the entertainer scored a Golden Globes nomination for her role as veteran stripper Ramona Vega in “Hustlers.”
The singer and actor was last nominated for the Golden Globes in 1998, when she was up for Best Actress in a Motion Picture ― Musical or Comedy for her performance in “Selena.”
The movie, based on a real-life group of strippers that worked together to scam Wall Street clients, garnered Lopez some of the best reviews of her career and major awards season buzz.
In addition to her Golden Globes nomination for Best Supporting Actress — Motion Picture this year, Lopez nabbed a Critics Choice Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and she’s up for Best Supporting Female in the Spirit Awards.
On Sunday, she won Best Supporting Actress from the LA Film Critics Association.
In a recent interview with GQ, Lopez talked about what she found compelling about the Lorene Scafaria-directed film.
“The movies that I look for now, I’m looking for not just interesting and multilayered characters, which Ramona really was, but something that tells you about what’s going on in the culture,” Lopez said, revealing that she didn’t get paid for her role upfront.
The singer and actor added: “What it says about that world, and men and women, and gender roles, all of that made me feel that this could be an interesting movie, as opposed to just a character piece.”
Lopez, being Lopez, isn’t about to stop hustling. Pictured l to r; Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of ‘Hustlers’ in New York City. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
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)
World premiere performance of new single “A Palé”
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
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.
“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.”
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.
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!”
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.
“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.
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
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.
“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.
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.”
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.”