Vietnam Veteran Wes Studi calls historic Oscar ‘overwhelmingly amazing’

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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.

Latin superstar Juanes’ enduring impact through music and philanthropy

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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.”

“Jane The Virgin” Star Jaime Camil Releases Official YouTube Channel

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Jaime Camil trio of professional headshots

Jaime Camil, the 2018 & 2019 Teen Choice Award winner for “Choice TV Actor in a Comedy,” Golden Globe Award and Critics’ Choice Award nominee and named by VANITY FAIR as one of the “Best TV Characters,” is showing no signs of slowing down, launching his official YouTube Channel today as he lines up his next big projects leading up to the new year

“I decided to create my YouTube channel youtube.com/JAIMECAMILto give my fans more direct access to my life and experiences. I think that my fans not only want to see me on red carpets and during interviews, but that they would like to know more about what happens once we go into the event. Now, they will get to see my travels to a Canelo fight, come with me to an LAFC game or simply join me in a coffee shop! Thanks to my YouTube channel, my subscribers will have direct access to my personal experiences, my backstages stories and even have access to my private life and my family. I really hope you enjoy it and I hope you can join me in the amazing fun!”

Camil will be executive producing (through his ECABA banner) and playing the leading man in the Lionsgate/Pantelion film, MY BOYFRIEND’S MEDS, in theaters worldwide on February 21, 2020, Camil stars opposite Sandra Echeverria (SAVAGES) playing Hank, a charming mattress store owner who meets and falls for Echeverria’s Jess. When the two go on a surprise trip to an island resort, Hank forgets to bring the prescription medicine he takes for a string of disorders, meaning he is no longer able to control his various symptoms and things really start to go awry for the couple.

Camil has also teamed up with “Jane the Virgin” creator Jennie Snyder Urman to co-executive produce the CBS comedy series “Broke,” with Alex Herschlag (executive producer “Will & Grace”) tapped as the writer. In “Broke,” which Camil also stars in, an outrageously wealthy trust fund baby (Camil) is cut off by his father, then he and his wife move into her sister’s Reseda condo where they delight in the “charms” of the working class but mourn the loss of being the 1% of the 1%. CBS will premiere the show midseason 2020.

Camil made his Broadway debut in 2005 in Latinologues and most recently took a turn as “Billy Flynn” in Broadway’s CHICAGO (2016), and starred as “Sam Carmichael” in the Hollywood Bowl’s reprisal of MAMMA MIA! opposite Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and actress/singer Dove Cameron this past summer. He has starred in over 20 award-winning films, including PULLING STRINGS and 200 CARTAS (alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda). Camil has led the highest-rated telenovelas of all time and has recorded four platinum-selling albums and has starred in many musicals in his native Mexico City, including West Side Story, Hook, Aladdinand more. In 2005 he led the Broadway-bound musical The Mambo Kings.

These 3 Latina actresses are helping make Broadway more inclusive

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Actresses Lindsay Mendez, Mandy Gonzalez and Bianca Marroquín are pictured together

Broadway’s Mandy Gonzalez, Bianca Marroquín and Lindsay Mendez are committed to the “sisterhood” of Latinas in the arts, and they are all working hard to encourage young people to pursue creative work. Pictured from left to right: Actresses Lindsay Mendez, Mandy Gonzalez and Bianca Marroquín.

Mandy Gonzalez was a teenager when she sat in her bedroom in Saugus, Calif. and watched the cast of “Rent” perform at the Tony Awards. Watching actress Daphne Rubin-Vega sing “Seasons of Love” made a lasting impression because she was “someone who looked like me… I thought ‘I can do this,’” recounted Gonzalez.

Flash forward to today, and there’s no doubt Gonzalez, who is Mexican and Jewish, has made it in the acting world. She currently plays Angelica in Broadway’s hit musical “Hamilton.”

Gonzalez is one of a small group of Hispanic professional theater actors working on Broadway today. Even though Hispanics make up 18.3 percent of the nation’s total population, the first-ever Actors’ Equity Association study of diversity noted that less than 3 percent of its members identify as Hispanic or Latinx. Broadway audiences don’t reflect our country’s diversity, either. A January 2018 report from the Broadway League discovered that Latinos account for only 7.1 percent of theatergoers.

However, Broadway has indeed been inching toward progress in terms of diversity over the years. For example, the original 1979 Broadway production of “Evita” was picketed by the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors for not hiring Latino actors to tell a story about Argentinians. But when “Evita” was revived in 2012, it had actors of Latin descent in the two lead roles, among others.

And today, a quick glance at the headshots of performers in “Hamilton” paint an inclusive picture. Aspiring Hispanic performers can also look to multiple Broadway shows for inspiration—there’s Karen Olivo in “Moulin Rouge,” Eva Noblezada in “Hadestown,” and Shireen Pimentel in the upcoming “West Side Story,” to name a few.

Still, many are quick to note there is still a long way to go.

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy/Ted Ely/Courtesy of Bianca Marroquín

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Rosario Dawson Pays Homage to the First Latina Wonder Woman

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Animated image of the Latina Wonder Woman superhero

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.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to headline the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium

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Jennifer Lopez and Shakira pose side by side for the Super Bowl 2020 halftime promo

It’s a pretty great time to be Jennifer Lopez.

Fresh off her much buzzed performance in the movie “Hustlers,” the multi-talented performer has announced she will be hosting the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show alongside Shakira.

The duo follow in the recent footsteps of Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga, who have headlined the biggest show on American TV.  Super Bowl LIV will take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Feb. 2, 2020.

The news came via the two singers’ social media, and was swiftly followed by confirmation from the NFL’s official account.

The performances by Maroon 5 and Justin Timberlake in the last two years have drawn criticism, and many performers have been reluctant to take the gig in light of the NFL’s response to Colin Kaepernick and other players kneeling during the national anthem.

Earlier this year, the league announced a partnership with Jay-Z and his Roc Nation label which encompassed entertainment and social justice efforts. The rapper was likely instrumental in bringing Lopez and Shakira to the stage next year, given his position as a consultant on the halftime show.

Continue on to Variety to read the complete article.

American Indian Intertribal Powwow Returns To Jamestown Settlement On October 12 & 13

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Jamestown Powwow dancers with traditional American Indian dress perform on field

Jamestown Settlement’s American Indian Intertribal Powwow will return on Saturday and Sunday, October 12 & 13, 2019, with song and dance by members of American Indian tribes, as well as storytelling and children’s activities.

This year’s special event spotlights the contributions of American Indian women, in conjunction with Jamestown Settlement’s “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia” special exhibition, a legacy project of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution. The special exhibition shares personal stories of real English, African and Virginia Indian women in the 17th century, including Pocahontas, renowned Powhatan Indian and daughter of Powhatan, paramount chief of 30-some Indian tribes in Virginia’s coastal region, who befriended English colonists in Virginia in the early 1600s.

It also tells the story of Cockacoeske, who was recognized by the colonial government as the “Queen of the Pamunkey” and ruled until her death in 1686, and features the frontlet, on loan from the Pamunkey Indian Museum and Cultural Center, that was given to her to commemorate her signing the Treaty of Middle Plantation in 1677.

Weekend event activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. include:

Song & Dance
A Grand Entry with a parade of dancers will take place at 12:30 p.m. each day in a dance circle on the museum mall, followed by an afternoon of singing and dancing until 4:30 p.m. The event will feature Lowery Begay of the Diné as emcee and Clark Stewart of the Chickahominy as arena director. The head male and female dancers will be Keith Anderson and Nikki Bass, both of the Nansemond.

Singers and drummers include host Southern drum Red Blanket (Nanticoke, Lenape, Haliwa-Saponi, Mohawk) and host Northern drum Turtle Clan (Chickahominy), and the Vietnam Era Veterans Inter Tribal Association color guard.

Music, Storytelling and Children’s Activities
Visitors can enjoy performances by Diné flute player Emerson Begay and American Indian storytelling by Grace Ostrum of the Accohannock. Children and families also will have the opportunity to design and make their own American Indian rattles, as well as other crafts.

Vendors
Vendors on the museum mall will have a selection of American Indian artwork, pottery and quillwork available for purchase.

About Jamestown Settlement
Jamestown Settlement, an official partner of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, is a year-round stage for special exhibitions, events and programs honoring the 400th anniversary of key historical events in Virginia in 1619.

Jamestown Settlement, administered by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, features world-class exhibitions, immersive galleries and films, and interactive living-history experiences in re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, three 1607 ships and a 1610-14 fort. The museum connects visitors with the lives of the Powhatan, English and west central African cultures that converged at 17th-century Jamestown. Jamestown Settlement also features museum gift shops and a café, open daily during museum hours.

Admission, Directions & Hours
Jamestown Settlement, located at State Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway (2110 Jamestown Road), is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Museum admission is $17.50 for adults, $8.25 for ages 6-12, and free for children under 6. A value-priced combination ticket with the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is $26.00 for adults and $12.50 for ages 6-12. An annual pass to both museums is $38.00 for adults and $19.00 for ages 6-12, offering year-round access to museum special exhibitions and daytime special events. Parking is free.

For more information about Jamestown Settlement’s American Indian Intertribal Powwow, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, visit historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement/powwow/.

Jennifer Lopez: From the Block to the Boss

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Jennifer Lopez speaking at a radio interview

By Jovane Marie

In the nearly 30 years since she danced her way onto our screens as a Fly Girl on In Living Color, Jennifer Lopez has evolved into an award-winning, record-breaking, history-making phenomenon.

A force to be reckoned with in every industry she enters—be it dance, music, TV or film—the star has also made strides in the business world, intertwining her marketability with her personal persona and riding her brand all the way to the bank.

The Business of Being J. Lo

The consummate boss lady, Lopez has leveraged a thorough understanding of her personal brand and identity to generate several multi-million-dollar business enterprises. It is a tactic that, according to the successful multi-hyphenate, is key to longevity.

“You have to remember the value of your individuality—that you have something different and special to offer that nobody else can,” she said in an interview with IOL.

Lopez’s marketability lies in her origin story and the hard work ethic that took her from the southside of the Bronx to the highest echelons of stardom. To quote her hit “Jenny from the Block”— “no matter where she goes, she knows where she came from”—that sentiment has endeared her to fans, and consumers, worldwide.

“Staying authentic to that image of an entertainer, mother, and woman of humble beginnings in a struggling Puerto Rican family from the Bronx is important, and it’s key to reaching a bigger audience of potential customers. That’s a big part of who I am, and my brand in a way,” Lopez said in a sales pitch to Silicon Valley.

Lifestyle a la Lopez

Lopez first flexed her business muscle in 2001, when she launched her eponymous clothing and accessories line, J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez. With an unapologetic focus on providing fabulous fashion choices for women of all sizes (including often overlooked curvaceous body types), the label has gone through several iterations over the years, expanding to include girls’ sportswear and housing decor. In 2010, she relaunched the brand in partnership with popular retail chain Kohl’s, capitalizing on their exclusive private brand strategy to ensure nationwide saturation of her vision. The collection, which includes a wide array of fashion running the gamut from statement pieces to chic comfort, is a testament to the entrepreneur’s personal taste (if she wouldn’t wear it, it doesn’t hit the shelf).

“It’s great to collaborate with Kohl’s in the creation of a full lifestyle

 Jennifer Lopez performs during a stop of her It's My Party tour at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS: Jennifer Lopez performs during a stop of her It’s My Party tour at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for ABA)

brand that represents my full style and essence,” said the entrepreneur, who is known for taking an active role in each stage of the production process. “I’m a mom. I work. I want comfort, but I also want to feel sexy and modern. I think a lot of women want the same thing.”

Production Paragraph

As Lopez’s star continued to rise on the charts and in theaters, she made yet another boss lady move that would further cement her status as a business mogul. Alongside then manager Benny Medina, the star co-founded Nuyorican Productions, a film and television production company, in 2001. The production house has developed a wide range of projects, from documentaries to primetime shows to online series, with Lopez often starring or serving in an executive producer capacity. To date, the entity is responsible for six films, 12 TV series (including award-winning The Fosters, which won two GLAAD Media Awards for its outstanding representation of LGBT issues), four TV specials, one online series, and nine musical releases.

The Smell of Success

Lopez’s long-term influence and impact on the fashion industry extends beyond clothing, accessories, and home goods. In 2002, she launched what would become America’s top-selling fragrance and the best-selling celebrity fragrance line in the world—Glow. The move jump-started the now common-place strategy of celebrities bringing their own namesake scents to the market. In the 17 years since its inception, Lopez has released 24 fragrances, with revenue in the billions.

No Time Off

The mid-2000s saw Lopez incrementally building her empire—starring in several films (including 2006’s Bordertown, which earned her an Artists for Amnesty Award from Amnesty International), producing several others under Nuyorican, releasing her sixth studio album, maintaining her lifestyle brands, and serving as the Chief Creative Officer for NuvoTV (a Latino community focused cable network). It wasn’t until 2008, after giving birth to twins Max and Emme, that she finally took a short hiatus to focus on her new family.

She was back on the grind less than two years later, when she joined the judging panel on the tenth season of American Idol. The comeback served as the spark of a resurgence predicated on her undeniably successful personal brand that—nearly a decade later—has yet to falter.

The Power of Branding

Jennifer Lopez Book Cover: True LoveArmed with an ambitiously sharp business mind, an innate understanding of her brand, and a ferocious work ethic, Lopez has established herself as an obvious go-to for major companies looking to connect to consumers via a relatable feel coupled with a healthy dose of glamour. L’Oréal Paris, Gillette Venus, Fiat Automobiles, denim powerhouse Guess, and luxury footwear Giuseppe Zanotti have all called on the business behemoth, who boasts one of the most powerful brands on the planet.

The numbers don’t lie: more than 150 million people, a whopping 75 percent of them millennials, follow the phenom on social media, privy to Lopez’s every post, project, and partnership. That fact alone points to her uncanny ability to connect with the masses using her high-profile status as a business asset for social commerce.

To Lopez, that universal appeal serves as the potential foundation for creating wide-ranging business opportunities that have yet to be realized.

“I want to build something that has never been done before,” she declared in 2015 at VentureScape, a venture capital conference in Silicon Valley hosted by the National Venture Capital Association. And she most definitely will. Her companies boast a track record of success that surpasses Stanford graduates (the stereotypical recipients of such funds) and is predicated in part on her willingness to take risks.

“I have found that taking risks, being true to myself, and making decisions with good intentions can exceed even my own expectations,” the mogul mused in her 2014 bestseller, True Love.

Beyond the Business

Lopez may have established herself as an entrepreneurial enigma through her mastery of multi-faceted platforms and her sheer intelligence in strategically building and managing her brand, but her talents and impact (obviously) extend well past the boardroom. The fervent go-getter was advised as her career was just starting to blossom to “make a moment of her shot” (a piece of wisdom bestowed by fellow actor Jack Nicholson while on set shooting the neo-noir thriller Blood and Wine in 1997).

She took the advice to heart, harnessing every opportunity to its full potential, smashing racial barriers, and side-stepping naysayers to become one of (if not the) most influential Hispanic performers in the United States. In 2018, TIME Magazine named her among its “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and for good reason.

The quadruple threat (singer, actress, dancer, and producer) has sold more than 80 million records in the last two decades, holding the record for releasing the first remix album—entitled J to tha L-O! The Remixes—to ever debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as well as the highest first week sales for a Spanish album in the United States—her 2007 Como Ana una Mujer.

As an actress, she has blazed a record-making trail in Hollywood as

Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of 'Hustlers' in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY: 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)

well, capturing the nation’s attention in 1997 with her portrayal of Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez in the namesake biopic Selena and demanding a salary that at the time made her the highest-paid Hispanic actress in history. Collectively, her films have grossed more than $3 billion, and she holds the distinction of being the first woman to have a number one film (The Wedding Planner) and the number one album (J. Lo) simultaneously in the United States.

Lopez has also left an undeniable mark in the dance industry, cementing her reputation as a powerhouse on the floor with her fierce choreography and the producing (and serving on the judges panel) of the wildly popular World of Dance, which features dancers and groups from all over the world competing for a $1 million prize.

Her influence goes beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the recording studio, however. Lopez’s list of philanthropic efforts rivals her professional achievements. From the founding of the Lopez Family Foundation, a global nonprofit “dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women and children and increasing available medical care,” to her service as the first national celebrity spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, her care, concern, and support for her fellow man and women is evident.

With her tenacious can-do attitude, persistent work ethic, and unapologetic boss lady branding, Jennifer Lopez has built a successful, multi-tiered legacy that is sure to stand the test of time. And she is confident there is even more to come.

“You have to believe that you really have that power to make your life whatever you want it to be,” she said.

Spoken like a true boss.

4 Podcasts for Your Daily Commute

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young woman driving with window down and smiling

Get the scoop on jobs, lifestyle, and more! Podcasts have taken the world by storm.

Instead of listening to music on the way to and from work, most people are listening to their favorite podcasts.

Many cover topics like true crime, comedy, sports and recreation, society and culture, and arts and business.

“Podcast” was formed by combining “iPod” and “broadcast”.

Many different mobile applications allow people to subscribe and to listen to podcasts.

Check out these podcasts that give you business advice and teach you about food, family, history, and more.
 

Mucho Success

Mucho Success: Advice and Success Secrets for Latinos

How can Latinos become more successful? Learn the secrets of the most influential people and apply them to your life. Join corporate executive, entrepreneur, and business coach José Piñero as he interviews fascinating leaders and brings inspiring stories, lessons, and advice to empower and elevate Latinos.

Source: The Cultivation Company

Wait, Hold Up

Wait, Hold Up!

This podcast is for everyone trying to live their best lives but need some support, encouragement, and most importantly, dope girlfriends. Jess and Yarel are there to hash out their own real-life moments as well as get into those ‘wait, hold up!’ moments with their guests! Each episode offers something new, whether they’re diving into topics like careers, spirituality, personal development, or wellness.

Source: Wait, Hold Up! Podcast

Latinos Who Lunch

Latinos Who Lunch

Latinos Who Lunch provides a digital media platform that reflects the intersectionality between queer, Latinx, and Spanglish voices in an Anglo-dominated podcast world. FavyFav and Babelito approach the topics of identity, food, family, and history in a responsible yet humorous way.

Source: Latinos Who Lunch

Latina to Latina

Latina to Latina is an interview podcast hosted by Alicia Menendez and executive produced by Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. Menendez said, “Less than a year ago, when we first launched Latina to Latina, we produced what the two of us wanted and needed: a space for Latinas to talk about their lives and professional journeys. What we’ve learned from our listeners is that they wanted and needed this more than we even imagined. Yes, they are looking for inspiration, but we routinely hear that the sense of belonging and community is what keeps them listening week after week.”

Source: Latina to Latina

Selena Gomez Executive Produces Netflix’s “Living Undocumented” Launching Globally, October 2nd

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Selena Gomez at a Netflix function wearing a gold lamme dress

In 2018, eight undocumented families took the extraordinary risk of allowing film crews to chronicle their lives as they faced potential deportation. Ranging from harrowing to hopeful, their journeys illuminate and humanize the complex U.S. immigration system. Living Undocumented depicts the struggles many must endure in their quest to pursue the American dream.

Living Undocumented is co-directed by Aaron Saidman and Anna Chai and is executive produced by Emmy®-winning executive producers Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman via Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation banner, along with executive producers Selena Gomez, Mandy Teefey, Anna Chai and Sean O’Grady.

Quote from executive producer Selena Gomez:

“I chose to produce this series, Living Undocumented, because over the past few years, the word immigrant has seemingly become a negative word. My hope is that the series can shed light on what it’s like to live in this country as an undocumented immigrant firsthand, from the courageous people who have chosen to share their stories.”

Quote from series co-director and executive producer Aaron Saidman:

Living Undocumented is designed to illuminate one of the most important issues of our time. But rather than discussing this issue with only statistics and policy debates, we wanted viewers to hear directly from the immigrants themselves, in their own words, with all the power and emotion that these stories reflect.”

WATCH THE TRAILER!

#LivingUndocumented

Selena Gomez Surprises Students at Her Texas Middle School: ‘Know That Anything’s Possible

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Selena Gomez hugs a surprised in classroomstudent at her old middle school

Selena Gomez went back to her roots and surprised students at her old middle school in Texas.

On Monday, the award-winning artist went back to where it all began at Danny Jones Middle School in Mansfield, Texas, stopping by her old stomping grounds to encourage current students and reconnect with some of her past teachers.

“Hello, students at Danny Jones Middle School. This is Selena Gomez talking to you,” the 27-year-old said over the intercom, in a video shared by the school on the Mansfield Independent School District’s website.

According to the school, Gomez had returned to her hometown to film for a new documentary about her childhood.

“This trip, I wanted to take my best friend Courtney, and also some of my people from my label, just to show them where I grew up and how proud I am of where I’m from,” Gomez explained. “Some of my teachers I got to see again, and they were part of my life for so long.”

While the former Disney Channel star greeted students in a montage of videos — taking selfies and granting hugs —  her seventh-grade basketball coach recalled the type of student the singer was when she walked the halls.

“As a student, Selena was so humble and she was very kind,” Gray said. “She had a really kind, soft spirit. Hard, hard worker. Real humble. Just a real neat kid.”

Gray also described the day Gomez told her she was withdrawing from school to move to Florida and pursue her acting career. “I remember the day that she was leaving Jones,” Gray recalled. “She said ‘Oh I’m just going to Florida.’”

“And I said ‘How come?’ She said, ‘Oh I’m just going to be in a little Disney film.’” Gray added. “I said, ‘Oh. OK.’ Because sometimes middle school kids kind of exaggerate.”

Continue on to People to read the complete article.