Calle 13 to Perform for Rice & Beans

Calle 13 may have the most Latin Grammy awards than any other artist/group… But the members of the urban hip-hip duo aren’t letting that incredible feat get to their heads.

Stepbrothers René Pérez Joglar and Eduardo José Cabra Martínez, who took home a record nine Latin Grammys last week, are planning to perform a practically free concert in El Salvador soon. Instead of charging admission to the show, they’ll let concertgoers pay to enter with rice and beans.

Calle 13

Calle 13 will donate all the perishable goods collected to needy families in the community affected by recent devastating rains.

But this isn’t Calle 13’s first time taking a stand against rising ticket prices…

The band recently cancelled a show in Argentina because they felt concert promoters were overcharging for tickets.

Derbez Ready to Make English-Language TV Debut in iRob!

Eugenio Derbez is ready for his close-up on English-language television in the States after hosting the Latin Grammys and starring in the critically acclaimed indie film La Misma Luna opposite Kate del Castillo.

The 49-year-old Mexican comedian/actor, who currently appears as a Mexican gardener in Adam Sandler’s latest film Jack & Jill, will be making his U.S. television debut in Rob Schneider’s new CBS sitcom, ¡Rob!

Eugenio Derbez

“[¡Rob! is going to be] a really, really funny series!” says Derbez, who made his television debut at the age of 12 as an extra in a telenovela. “Remember the movie Meet the Parents? Well this is like, Meet the Mexicans!”

iRob! stars Schneider as a bachelor who marries into an extremely tight-knit Mexican-American family.

In addition to Derbez, the show will star Cheech Marin, Diana Maria Riva and Lupe Ontiveros as the Deuce Bigalow star’s in-laws.

“There’s this culture clash when they arrive,” adds Derbez. “It’s a really funny situation.”

Several episodes of the half-hour comedy have already been filmed and the network plans to debut the show in mid-January.

But Derbez isn’t putting all his acting huevos in one basket. He’s set to costar with Eva Mendes, Espinoza Paz and Raini Rodriguez in the upcoming movie Girl in Progress.  

Gomez’s “Hit the Lights” Video Released!

It’s time to “Hit the Lights” and dance the night (and day) away…

Selena Gomez’s highly anticipated video for the thumping-hot single is officially online.

selena-gomez-hit-the-lights

Released on Wednesday, the “Hit the Lights” video portrays the 19-year-old part-Mexican singer/actress as a real free spirit with a keen fashion sense. After all, it wouldn’t be a video without Gomez changing into several oh-so-haute outfits and accessories.

The video features Gomez frolicking in cornfields, riding in the back of a pick-up truck and dancing up a storm at a late-night rave.

The message of the video: have fun, live your life and throw caution to the wind!

“The song ‘Hit the Lights’ is that missed opportunity. The dreams that you wish you would go for and basically the song is just encouraging people to [let] loose and have fun and be young and crazy,” the Wizards of Waverly Place star explained. “This video is more organic than anything I’ve done before. It’s about being with people you love and enjoying the moment and embracing the moment you’re in your life.”

“Hit the Lights” is the latest single released from Gomez’s album, “When the Sun Goes Down.”

Vicente Garcia: Future Star!

He’s had the opportunity to tour with Latin superstar Juan Luis Guerra… And, now Vicente Garcia is hoping to reach the same level of success as his fellow Dominican mentor.

Vicente-Garcia

“I had the opportunity to visit many countries while touring with Juan Luis Guerra during his tour La Travesia,” says the 28-year-old Garcia, who was taken under his wing by Guerra when he was only 13 and a member of the band Calor Urbano “It made me realize the power of Dominican music. It made me want to express my own music.”

Garcia’s music isn’t filled with traditional Dominican beats. Instead it’s a fusion of reggae, rhythm & blues and Motown-inspired soul.

“His songs are new and really beautiful,” says Guerra about Garcia’s music in an interview on Garcia’s YouTube channel.

Garcia experimented in the studio with bachata, soul and salsa sounds for an entire year while working on his latest album Melodrama, a project that his mentor says has achieved an innovative and unique sound.

“We were in Brooklyn in a studio with a lot of old equipment that allowed us to obtain that old school feel to the music,” says Garcia. “I love incorporating Dominican elements into my music, that has a lot of value to me.”

But Guerra isn’t the only musician who has inspired his latest studio effort…

Garcia has worked with artists like Mana and Shakira, who’ve incorporated Merengue beats into their own project. He even caught the eye of another rising star, Mexican singer Ximena Sariñana, after sending her two of his demos in hopes that she’d collaborate with him.

“Working with her was so gratifying, it was such a surprise because I wasn’t even signed yet,” remembers Garcia. “I flew out to her home in Guadalajara and we recorded songs for four days straight. It was very cool of her to sing with me.”

So what has Garcia learned about working with some of his idols? The importance of staying true to yourself and having a strong work ethic when creating music.

“In order to reach a unique sound this has to come from the heart. You have to do this based on your identity and to me that lies in my home country. Know who you are,” says Garcia. “I write songs almost every day, and now, I’m taking the time to fine-tune my songs.”

Lucero’s Next Telenovela: Por ella soy Eva

Lucero isn’t taking a break after hosting last week’s high-octane Latin Grammy Awards.

The 42-year-old Mexican actress/singer has started filming her next highly anticipated telenovela, Por ella soy Eva.

Lucero

She’ll appear opposite 38-year-old Mexican actor and singer Jaime Camil in the new telenovela.

“Now that they’ve announced that Por ella soy Eva will being taping, I’m happy,” exclaimed Lucero, who last starred in the oh-so-popular Soy Tu Dueña, which could be getting an American remake soon. “Happy, touched and with many beautiful expectations.”

Lucero will star as Elena—a single mother with an 8-year-old child—in the telenovela, which will center on a great man who falls in love for the first time and finds himself involved in a series of situations that force him to live “in the heels of a woman.”

Produced by Rosy Ocampo, the telenovela is a new version of the Colombian hit Los tacones de Eva.

Por ella soy Eva will premiere on Mexican television on February 12, 2012.

Martinez: Dancing’s First Hispanic-American Winner?

Despite a poor showing during this week’s performances due to an ankle injury, J.R. Martinez has made it to finals of Dancing with the Stars in his quest to become the first Hispanic-American to win the show’s coveted mirrorball trophy.

JR Martinez

For the first time this season, the 28-year-old wounded-war-vet-turned-actor and his partner Karina Smirnoff saw themselves in the bottom two during Tuesday’s results show after their third place showing on Monday.

But it appears Martinez’s public support is stronger than ever as soccer star Hope Solo was the celebrity sent packing.

Upon learning he was moving on to next week’s finals, the former All My Children star took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

During backstage interviews, Martinez said he was “frustrated” with his hurt ankle.

“The expectation was still high for myself despite the injury,” Martinez told Access Hollywood. “All week when we were rehearsing, it was like ‘oh man if I nail this…it would be an opportunity to show America a different side of J.R. Martinez than what they’ve gotten to know.’”

Martinez could now become the second Latino and first Hispanic-American winner in show’s 13-season history. He’ll compete against Ricki Lake and Rob Kardshian in next week’s finale shows.

 

Santos’ First Solo Album Records Strong Sales Numbers…

It seems Romeo Santos has found the formula for success in his new aventura as a solo artist…

The former Aventura frontman’s debut album has posted the biggest first sales week of any Latin album in four years.

Romeo Santos

The 30-year-old Dominican-American singer’s “Formula, Vol. 1” bowed at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 chart, with Nielsen SoundScan reporting the album sold 62,000 copies.

It’s the largest first-week sales posting for a Latin album since June 23, 2007, when Daddy Yankee’s “El Cartel: the Big Boss” sold 82,000.

In addition to a landing in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200, “Formula” is the new No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Albums chart.

“Formula Vol. 1” features 15 songs in English and Spanish, including the hit “Promise,” Santos’ bilingual duet with Usher that reached No. 1 on the Latin Songs chart well before before they performed the song at last week’s Latin Grammys.

It seems Santos—who recently signed on to star in an ABC sitcom—is successfully transitioning to a solo career after a decade with his multiplatinum-selling bachata group.

“In a lot of ways, it’s a continuation of what I was doing in the group, where I was spending 20 hours in the studio on a song,” Santos told the New York Daily News. “I am still making the same decisions, but I get very nostalgic when I’m on stage without them, and I have to remind myself, okay, it’s Romeo, not Aventura.”

Santos is currently on the road promoting the album throughout the country.

It’s All About Almodóvar & His Inspired Work in New York City

He’s written and directed cherished films like All About My Mother and VolverAnd, now Pedro Almodóvar is being recognized for his award-winning work.

The Museum of Modern Art honored the 62-year-old Oscar-nominated filmmaker with a special tribute during the museum’s fourth annual Film Benefit this evening in New York City.

Pedro Almodovar

Possibly the most successful and internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker of his generation, Almodóvar is renowned for the Academy Award-winning films Talk to Her and All About My Mother, as well as the award-winning films Broken Embraces, Volver, Bad Education and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. In all, Almodóvar’s career spans more than 30 years—with 18 films on his impressive resume.

His most recent critically-acclaimed film The Skin I Live In, starring Antonio Banderas, was released last month.

It’s no wonder Banderas and Almodóvar’s muse Penélope Cruz served as this year’s Film Benefit honorary co-chairs. Banderas has starred in six of the Spanish director’s films; Cruz, who scored a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her starring role in Almodóvar’s Volver, has starred in four.

During the special diner reception, which raises funds to ensure great works of cinema continue to join the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, organizers made a special presentation recognizing Almodóvar’s acclaimed directorial work.

Attendees included Blake Lively, Emma Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker and Drew Barrymore.

Martinez: Dancing Through the Pain…

Coming off last week’s oh-so-perfect performances, J.R. Martinez experienced a setback in his quest to make it to the finals of Dancing with the Stars.

The wounded-Iraq-veteran-turned-soap-star twisted his ankle at this week’s rehearsals, leading to some serious problems during his paso doble routine with partner Karina Smirnoff. Martinez looked like he was in serious pain throughout the dance…and, hobbled on one foot during his critiques.

JR Martinez dances through the pain

Dancing judge Len Goodman didn’t take it easy on the 28-year-old El Salvadoran-American’s dance, despite the injury.

“I know you suffered an injury,” he told Martinez after his precarious performance. “But we can only call it as we see it.”

Martinez managed to score better in his remaining dances, scoring a 27/30 on his Argentine tango performance and 6/10 for his third place finish in the cha cha relay.

Despite ending the night with a disappointing 56 points, Martinez didn’t end up at the bottom of the leaderboard. He ended up in third place, seven points away from last place finisher Hope Solo. Meanwhile, Ricki Lake and Rob Kardashian ended up tied at the top of the leaderboard with a total of 67 points each.

Tune in to tonight’s results show to see which couple won’t be making it to the finals.

Rolling in the Deep with Angie Vazquez & Her Brothers

Linkin Park, John Legend and Nicole Scherzinger may have covered “Rolling in the Deep” in the last year… But a band of Mexican siblings may have them beat when it comes to taking YouTube by storm with their version of Adele’s epic hit…

Rolling in the Deep with Vazquez Sounds, Rising YouTube Stars...

Angie Vázquez and her brothers call themselves Vázquez Sounds and they’re rolling in the deep when it comes to popularity on YouTube, notching 132,000-plus views of their cover of this year’s smash hit in less than a week.  Not bad for a 10-year-old singer and her instrument-playing brothers.

The amazing-voiced Angie is the lead vocalist; her 13-year-old brother Gustavo plays the drums; and her 15-year-old brother Abelardo plays the guitar.

Their father, Abelardo Vázquez, is a music producer who played a role in the development of the popular groups Reik and Nikki Clan. But he never imagined developing his own version of The Jets!

“They asked me for permission to use the studio. I recorded them and one of them edited the video. And they’re very surprised with the response they’ve gotten,” says Vázquez, who lives in Baja California, Mexico with the family. “It’s not a formal musical project, it was a spontaneous occurrence that has now become a reality.  First I’d like them to finish their studies and then they can think about something formal. With the response of this video they want to record another and they’ve asked to use the studio again. I support them.”

Here’s hoping Ellen Degeneres brings them on her show— just like she has other young YouTube sensations like Maria Aragon— to help launch their music careers!

Click here to visit the Vázquez Sounds Facebook page.