Juan Soto Becomes MLB’s Youngest National League Batting Champion

Juan Soto has swung his way into the Major League Baseball history books…

The 21-year-old Dominican professional baseball player and Washington Nationals outfielder, nicknamed ”Childish Bambino,“ has become the National League‘s youngest batting champion, as Washington closed out the season with a 15-5 victory over the New York Mets.

Soto walked and singled before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the third inning, elevating his average to .351 and sealing the NL lead in the category during this pandemic-shortened 60-game season.

Soto surpassed Brooklyn’s Pete Reiser as the youngest ever to take a batting crown. Reiser was 22 when he ended the 1941 season hitting a league-leading .343.

“For me, it doesn’t matter the age,” Soto said with a smile when informed of the feat’s historical significance. “If you deserve it, you deserve it.”

Soto held off Atlanta Braves teammates Freddie Freeman (.341) and Marcell Ozuna (.338) and also finished 2020 with the MLB lead in on-base percentage (.490) and slugging percentage (.695).

Soto was also named Washington’s player of the year in voting by local media.

The Nationals finished 26-34 a year after winning their first World Series.

Benicio del Toro to Star in Steven Soderbergh’s Crime Thriller “No Sudden Move”

Benicio del Toro is making no sudden moves

The 53-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar-winning actor has joined the cast of Steven Soderbergh’s latest film No Sudden Move (f.k.a Kill Switch).

Benicio del Toro

The crime thriller, which is being produced under Soderbergh’s recently formed overall deal with HBO Max, has commenced production

In addition to del Toro, the All-Star ensemble cast includes Don Cheadle, David Harbour, Amy SeimetzJon HammRay Liotta, Kieran Culkin, Brendan Fraser, Noah Jupe, Bill Duke, Frankie Shaw and Julia Fox.

Written by Ed Solomon, the film is set in 1955 Detroit and centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what ultimate purpose – weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

“The last time I shot a movie in Detroit with a great script and a great cast things worked out really well, so I’m very excited behind my mask right now,” said Soderbergh.

“It’s a pleasure to begin production on another project with Steven Soderbergh, Casey Silver and Ed Solomon,” remarked Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max. “We have an incredible partner in Warner Bros. Pictures and an extraordinarily talented cast – we couldn’t be happier to bring No Sudden Move to HBO Max.”

Jessie Reyez to Perform at This Year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards,

Jessie Reyez is celebrating her Latin roots…

The 29-year-old Colombian-Canadian singer and Grammy nominee will perform at this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards, which are less than a month away.

Jessie Reyez

 

Reyez joins a roster of newly confirmed A-list artists set to perform at the Billboard awards show.

Reyez joins a roster of new additions to the lineup that includes Anuel AA, Banda MS, Carlos Vives, Chesca, Daddy Yankee, Kendo Kaponi, Luis Fonsi, Manuel Turizo, Pablo Alborán, Paulina Rubio, Pitbull, Rauw Alejandro, Raymix, Reik, and Yandel.

They join the previously announced performers Armando Manzanero, Black Eyed Peas, Farruko, Gente de Zona, Gerardo Ortiz, Jesse & Joy, Maluma, Myke Towers, Ozuna, Sech, and Wisin.

The 2020 BLMAs, led by top finalists Bad Bunny and Ozuna, are the only awards show to honor the most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin music, the awards are determined by the actual sales, streaming, radio airplay, and social data that informs Billboard‘s weekly charts during a one-year period from the rankings dated February 2, 2019, through this year’s January 25 charts.

The event is coinciding with Billboard’s Latin Music Week 30th anniversary, a three-day virtual experience dedicated to Latin music, culture, and entertainment, The Billboard Latin Music Awards 2020 will broadcast live from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on October 21 via Telemundo.

For more information and to RSVP for Latin Music Week, visit BillboardLatinMusicWeek.com.

AFI to Honor Rita Moreno During This Year’s Virtual AFI Fest

Rita Moreno is ready to talk shop as part of a special night…

The 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress will be honored during this year’s virtual AFI Fest, which will take place from October 15-22.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will be honored alongside Sofia CoppolaKirby Dick and Mira Nair, with each taking par t in an evening of conversation celebrating their careers.

“Artists of this caliber are essential players in our global culture,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “To honor each of them – and all of them – at AFI FEST will prove a symphony of talent at a time the world needs it most.”

Moreno’s career began with a Broadway debut at 13 years old. Since then she has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business – an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy – as well as a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. Moreno has also been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Moreno received an Honorary Degree from the AFI Conservatory in 2016.

Moreno is starring in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, which will debut in theaters in December of 2021. She currently stars on the remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time. 

C-Kan Signs with 33 & West Talent Agency

C-Kan is ready to expand his profile north of the border…

The 33-year-old Mexican rapper has signed with 33 & West talent agency for representation in the U.S. and Canada.

Marking the first time C-Kan has signed with any talent agency for exclusive representation, the artist will be represented by JJ Cassiere and Dan Rozenblum, both partners at the agency.

C-Kan is set to release his forthcoming album, released via the Mastered Trax label, in November and will feature a slew of special guests, including Grupo Firme, Jim Jones, Sonora Dinamita and Merenglass.

Born José Luis Maldonado Ramos, C-Kan became a social media sensation in 2012 thanks to songs like “Voy Por El Sueño De Muchos” and “Te Lloré,” which racked up millions of views on YouTube.

“We talk about real things: the barrio is very important, and it’s important to talk about what you live,” C-Kan said about his music in a previous interview with Billboard. “If I talk about violence, it’s because it exists, it’s not that we created it. It’s the fault of poverty and the lack of education. The young people identify with that in my songs.”

Established in 2017, 33 & West Talent Agency’s diverse music roster currently includes acts like Immortal Technique, Devo, Dance Gavin Dance and Dead Kennedys. C-Kan and 33 & West are planning a headline tour for Summer 2021 with various other Latin Hip Hop acts.

The Kid Mero to Guest Star on ABC’s “Black-ish” as Part of Upcoming Election-Themed Episodes

The Kid Mero is getting political…

The 37-year-old Dominican American television personality, writer and comedian, whose real name is Joel Martinez, will be part of Black-ish’s partially animated and election themed special next month.

The Kid Mero

The Kid Mero joins a roster of special guests that includes his Desus & Mero co-host Desus Nice and Stacey Abrams, the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives.

The special, directed by Oscar winner Matthew A. Cherry, will follow the Johnson family as they navigate the upcoming election.

In the episode, which is the second of two new episodes scheduled to air back-to-back on October 4, Dre (Anthony Anderson) begins to explore local politics and, at one point, seeks some advice from Abrams. Later, he joins Desus Nice and The Kid Mero on their late night talk show Desus & Mero for a sit-down interview with some hard-hitting questions for the aspiring candidate.

Written by Eric Horsted, the live action ‘Election Special Pt. 1’ will see Marcus Scribner’s Junior pumped about finally being able to vote, only to find he has been dropped from the voters list – and discovering the realities of why that occurred. The animated ‘Election Special Pt. 2’ is penned by Graham Towers and Ben Deeb. That 10:30 – 11 PM ET episode early next month sees the Peter Mackenzie portrayed Stevens from Dre’s (Anderson) ad agency make a lunge for a Congressional seat. A lunge that takes Dre and his family down to the underbelly of modern day politics.

The back-to-back episodes will be broadcast on October 4 on ABC. The only caveat in that plan is if the Orlando bubbled NBA Finals are forced to shift their schedule, which would have a significant ripple effect over the entire ABC programming chart.

In its upcoming seventh season, black-ish will tackle current events like the global pandemic and “the movement for social justice and equality,” according to ABC.

Selena Gomez Named to Time Magazine’s Time 100 List of the World’s Most Influential People

It’s a special Time for Selena Gomez

Time has revealed its Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, with the 28-year-old Mexican American singer/actress earning a spot.

Selena Gomez

Gomez, one of nine Latino/as to make this year’s list, has been recognized for “unabashedly spreading her wings and influence into whatever lane her passions lead her,” writes America Ferrera in an essay about the artist.

“She has always been a great musician, but she’s also always been more than her music,” continues Ferrera. “In the past year, in addition to releasing her third No. 1 album, Rare, Selena got her own cooking show on HBO MaxSelena + Chef, and will star in and executive-produce the Hulu comedy series Only Murders in the Building. She launched her own beauty line, with which she’s pledged to raise $100 million over 10 years for mental-health services in underserved communities. She’s used her enormous social-media platform to encourage voting and to support Black Lives Matter.”

Additionally, Gomez has been an outspoken advocate for immigrant rights in the United States at a time when immigrants are fearing for their safety and ICE raids are becoming more commonplace. Last year, she executive-produced the Netflix docuseries Living Undocumented, and told the story of her own family’s emotional journey from Mexico to the U.S. in Time.

J Balvin has earned a spot on the Time 100…

The 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer has been nicknamed the Prince of Reggaeton, with his songs garnering streams of more than 42 billion.

This summer, Balvin, who has taken to social media to talk about his struggle with anxiety and mental health, partnered with Deepak Chopra to launch a free 21-day meditation experience.

“He’s opened up the doors for Latino artists everywhere by making the world hear and fall in love with our culture, our sounds and our spirit,” says pop star Camila Cabello in an essay about the man born as José Álvaro Osorio Balvín. “What I truly admire and love the most about José is that he is just himself. He’s himself to the world, he’s himself to his friends and his peers, and he’s got the kind of heart that makes him a person everyone is rooting for. When he wins, we all win.”

Anne Hidalgo has been named to the Time 100.

The 61-year-old French–Spanish politician, who has served as Mayor of Paris – is the first woman to hold the office – since 2014, is being recognized for being a leader in the movement to solve the global climate crisis.

“Even in the midst of confronting the global pandemic, Mayor Hidalgo has turned Paris into a shining example of how cities can lead the transition to cleaner, healthier and more prosperous societies,” writes former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. “She is transforming the city’s landscape to make it friendlier to pedestrians and bikers, cutting car traffic and making the air safer to breathe.”

Dr. Cecilia Martinez is also being recognized for her environmental work…

“As a leader in everything from international projects to grassroots organizing, Cecilia Martinez has dedicated her impressive career to a moral imperative: the pursuit of environmental justice and the inclusion of equity and justice in environmental policy,” writes U.S. Senator Cory Booker about the co-founder and executive director at the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED).

Bonnie Castillo, the 60-year-old Latina registered nurse and executive director of National Nurses United, has earned her spot on this year’s list for support of frontline health workers.

“She was among the first to call attention to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to nurses across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, and fought layoffs and pay cuts that nurses faced despite their vital frontline work,” writes civil rights activist and United Farm Workers of America co-founder Dolores Huerta. “Bonnie’s commitment to the labor movement and unions is unwavering; she states that unions are the foundation of a democratic society. Bonnie does not just work to heal patients; she works to heal society.” 

Felipe Neto has also made this year’s list…

The 32-year-old Brazilian social media star, who has 39 million YouTube subscribers and 12 million Twitter followers, is considered the most consequential digital influencer in Brazil and possibly in the world.

“A decade ago, from his family’s humble Rio de Janeiro home, he began creating content for YouTube and quickly found fame, a huge and loyal young audience, and lucrative endorsements,” writes Brazilian congressman David Miranda. “What has changed—radically—is how Neto uses his platform. His early notoriety was generated by standard fare for online adolescents: video games, celebrities and girls. But with the 2018 election of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and the empowerment of his proto-fascist movement, Neto, risking his brand and safety, repurposed his popularity to become one of Bolsonaro’s most effective opponents.”

For the second year in a row, Jair Bolsonaro has been named to the Time 100.

“The story of Brazil’s year can be told in numbers: 137,000 lives lost to the coronavirus. The worst recession in 40 years. At least five ministers sacked or resigned from the Cabinet. More than 29,000 fires in the Amazon rain forest in August alone. One President whose stubborn skepticism about the pandemic and indifference to environmental despoliation has driven all these figures upward,” writes Time’s international editor. “Yet the number that really matters is 37—the percentage of Brazilian society that approved of Jair Bolsonaro in a late-August poll, the highest rating since he took office early last year. Despite a storm of corruption allegations, and one of the highest COVID-19 death tolls in the world, the right-wing firebrand remains popular with a large section of Brazilians.” 

Sister Norma Pimentel is being heralded for her work with immigrants…

“Sister Pimentel has been on the front lines of mercy for three decades, supporting migrants who are seeking refuge in the U.S. along Texas’ border with Mexico. As executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, she directs efforts to provide shelter, food, sanctuary and comfort to people often treated as less than human. Her organization has housed and assisted well over 100,000 people at the border,” says former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. “Her work has taken on greater importance in the era of Donald Trump, and for good reason. As he has acted with cruelty toward migrants, she has acted with compassion. As he has preyed on the vulnerable and sought rejection, she has preached community and acceptance. As he has promoted fear, she has taught love.

Gabriela Cámara is being recognized for being “more than a chef—she is a Renaissance woman on the front lines of our industry,” writes chef Jose Andres about the Mexican chef.

Through her visionary career, Camara has become one of Mexico’s leading culinary diplomats, both in spirit and in practice.

“Not only does she run two of the most iconic kitchens on the continent—Contramar in Mexico City and Cala in San Francisco—offering the very best of her cultural heritage, she is also an adviser to the Mexican President, showing by example how food can have an impact far beyond the walls of a restaurant kitchen,” continues Andres.

Click here for the complete Time 100 list.

Pablo Sandoval to Play in the Atlanta Braves’ Game Against Boston Red Sox

Pablo Sandoval is gettin’ in the game…

The Atlanta Braves are activating the 34-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player, and he’s playing third base in Sunday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, according to ESPN.

Pablo Sandoval

Sandoval is being prepped for a bench role in the postseason for the NL East champions. The Braves have a lot of right-handed options on their bench and Sandoval is a switch-hitter.

He joined the Braves on a minor league deal earlier this month after he was released by the San Francisco Giants.

Sandoval was hitting .220 with one home run and six RBIs this season for the Giants in his second stint with the team.

Fernanda Valadez Wins Two Awards at the San Sebastián Film Festival for Her First Feature “Identifying Features”

Fernanda Valadez is pulling a double…

The 39-year-old Mexican first-time director has picked up two awards at this year’s San Sebastián Film Festival, which has helped revive the global festival circuit this season with a physical event held September 18-26 in Spain.

Fernanda Valadez

Valadez won the Latin Horizons Award and the Spanish Cooperation Award at the festival for her latest film Sin Señas Particulares (Identifying Features).

The Mexican drama centers on a young man recently deported from the U.S. who joins forces with a mother in search of her missing son.

Sin Senas Particulares

Shot on location in rural Guanajuato, Mexico, the poignant film won two awards in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It will be distributed in the U.S. by Kino Lorber.

Other Latino winners include Clarisa Navas, who earned the Latin Horizons Award (Special Mention) for One in a Thousand; Maite Alberdi, who won the Audience Award for Best European Film for The Mole Agent; and Amaia Merino and Miguel Angel Llamas, who took home the Irizar Basque Film Award for Where is Mikel?

Led by president Luca Guadagnino, the jury members included Joe Alwyn, Marisa Fernández Armenteros, Michel Franco, and Lena Mossum.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Official Selection Prizes

Golden Shell for Best Film: “Beginning,” Dea Kulumbegashvili

Special Jury Prize: “Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan,” Julien Temple

Silver Shell for Best Director: “Beginning,” Dea Kulumbegashvili

Silver Shell for Best Actress: “Beginning,” Ia Sukhitashvili

Silver Shell for Best Actor: “Another Round,” Mads Mikkelsen

Best Screenplay: “Beginning,” Dea Kulumbegashvili and Rati Oneli

Best Cinematography: “Any Crybabies Around?,” Yuta Tsukinaga

Other Festival Prizes

New Directors’ Award: “Last Days of Spring,” Isabel Lamberti

New Directors’ Award (Special Mention): “Slow Singing,” Dong Xingyi

Latin Horizons Award: “Identifying Features,” Fernanda Valadez

Latin Horizons Award (Special Mention): “One in a Thousand,” Clarisa Navas

San Sebastian Audience Award: “The Father,” Florian Zeller

Audience Award for Best European Film: “The Mole Agent,” Maite Alberdi

Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award: “The Metamorphosis of Birds,” Catarina Vasconcelos

Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award (Special Mention): “The Woman Who Ran,” Hong Sang-soo

TVE Another Look Award: “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” Eliza Hittman

TVE Another Look Award (Special Mention): “Gull,” Kim Mi-jo

Spanish Cooperation Award: “Identifying Features,” Fernanda Valadez

Irizar Basque Film Award: “Where is Mikel?,” Amaia Merino and Miguel Angel Llamas

Robert Trujillo & Metallica Top Billboard’s Top Facebook Live Videos Chart for August

Robert Trujillo is celebrating a social media feat…

The 55-year-old half-Mexican American bassist and his Metallica band mates’ final installment of its Metallica Mondays on Facebook Live has ended with a bang, as the rockers rule Billboard’s Top Facebook Live Videos chart for August 2020.

Metallica

The chart, the latest of which recaps August 2020 activity, is a monthly look at the widest-reaching and most-reacted-to videos posted by musicians on Facebook Live, as tracked by media analytics company Shareablee. Rankings are determined by a formula that blends reactions, comments, shares and first-seven-days views.

Posted on August 25, Metallica’s final (at least for now) Metallica Mondays video featured the band’s March 3, 2017, concert from Mexico City.

Metallica’s upload paced the field for August 2020 in first-seven-days views (1.5 million), comments (23,000) and shares (20,000), according to Shareablee. It was also reacted to 52,000 times.

The week’s victor in reactions, meanwhile, was Larry Hernandez, whose August 26 post racked up 78,000 reactions. Hernandez’s video prominently featured his new daughter, Dalett, who was born earlier this year.

Here’s the full top 10 list:

10. Garth Brooks
9. Grupo5
8. Larry Hernandez
7. Garth Brooks
6. Garth Brooks
5. Luke Bryan
4. La Sonora Dinamita
3. Prince Royce
2. Larry Hernandez
1. Metallica