Mana’s Vallín to Open Guitar School in Aguascalientes, Mexico

Sergio Vallín is helping educate the next generation of guitarists…

For the past 18 months, the 40-year-old Mexican musician and lead guitarist of Maná has been working hard to build a guitar school in his hometown of Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Sergio Vallín

Vallín will offer students a first-rate musical education with guitar stars of every genre as visiting professors.

“These kids are hungry to play, so I want to give them a space with the best infrastructure and the best programs,” Vallin said. “I spent 10 years with another (charity) program, but now I’m going independent and launching what will be a school for guitar. The notion is to teach all styles: flamenco, jazz, blues, classical. And in addition to the classes at the school I want to bring to my city great musicians; not just guitarists, but great instrumentalists,” he added.

Located in a historic building, the completely remodeled school will be adorned with paintings and murals by some of Latin America’s premiere artists.

“[Cuban painter] Waldo Saavedra made a painting of a Last Supper that’s amazing,” Vallín told Billboard.com. “And the main room will have a gigantic mural covering the entire ceiling and a wall with all these famous musicians. It’s going to be amazing, amazing, amazing.”

McCreery Named Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist at the American Country Awards

Scotty McCreery is bucklin’ up all over again…

The 20-year-old part-Puerto Rican country singer, one of Billboard.com’s 21 Under 21 honorees this year, has picked up the second commemorative guitar of his young career at the American Country Awards, which aired live from Las Vegas on Fox.

Scotty McCreery

The former American Idol champion beat out Lee Brice,
 Hunter Hayes,
 Randy Houser
 and Justin Moore to win the Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist award.

Last December, McCreery – whose sophomore album See You Tonight debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart –was named the Artist of the Year: New Artist.

The American Country Award winners are selected by the genre’s fans.

Luke Bryan was among the night’s biggest winners, earning the top prize, artist of the year, about eight months after receiving the same accolade from the Academy of Country Music. The Georgia native also won male artist of the year and touring artist of the year, bringing him to 12 ACA awards in the Fox show’s four-year history.

Here is the full list of American Country Award winners:

Inaugural Worldwide Artist Award
Taylor Swift

Video Visionary Award
Brad Paisley

Artist of the Year
Luke Bryan

Artist of the Year: Male
Luke Bryan

Artist of the Year: Female
Miranda Lambert

Artist of the Year:
Lady Antebellum

Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist
Scotty McCreery

Artist of the Year: New Artist
Florida Georgia Line

Album of the Year
Based On a True Story… Blake Shelton

Single of the Year
‘Cruise,’ Florida Georgia Line

Single of the Year: Male
‘Sure Be Cool If You Did,’ Blake Shelton

Single of the Year: Female
‘Mama’s Broken Heart,’ Miranda Lambert

Single of the Year: Duo/Group
‘Downtown,’ Lady Antebellum

Single of the Year: Breakthrough Artist
‘I Drive Your Truck,’ Lee Brice

Single of the Year: New Artist
‘Cruise,’ Florida Georgia Line

Single of the Year: Vocal Collaboration
‘Highway Don’t Care,’ Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban

Touring Artist of the Year
Luke Bryan

Great American Country – Music Video of the Year
‘Sure Be Cool If You Did,’ Blake Shelton

Music Video of the Year: Male
‘
‘Sure Be Cool If You Did,’ Blake Shelton”

Music Video of the Year: Female
‘Blown Away,’ Carrie Underwood

Music Video of the Year: New Artist
‘Cruise,’ Florida Georgia Line

Music Video of the Year: Group or Collaboration
‘Highway Don’t Care,’ Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban

Song of the Year (award goes to the songwriter(s):
‘‘Highway Don’t Care,’ Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Brad Warren and Brett Warren – Recorded by Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban- WINNER

Radio track of the year
Florida Georgia Line – ‘Cruise’

Radio track of the year: New artist
Florida Georgia Line – ‘Cruise’

Radio track of the year: Male Randy Houser – ‘How Country Feels’

Radio track of the year: Female
Miranda Lambert – ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’

Radio track of the year: Group
The Band Perry – ‘Better Dig Two’

McCreery Leads the Latweeno Pack of Billboard.com’s “21 Under 21” Honorees

He may only be a minor… But Scotty McCreery is a major player in the music industry…

The 19-year-old part-Puerto Rican country singer and former American Idol champion has been named to Billboard.com’s 2013 list of 21 Under 21, a ranking of music’s most powerful minors.

Billboard.com 2013 21 Under 21

Now that Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez have turned 21, McCreery now ranks as the top Latweeno on the list, coming in at No. 8.

McCreery, who ranked at No. 4 last year, will be celebrating his 20th birthday early next month somewhat differently than most people his age. Onlysix days after he exits his teens, McCreery will release See You Tonight, his sophomore follow-up to his platinum 2011 debut album Clear As Day.

Scotty McCreery

McCreery continues his hot streak in 2013. The first single and title track from the new disc continues moving up the singles chart, and he also headlined his first tour this year. That, along with an endorsement deal with fried chicken chain Bojangles, makes him a shoe-in for this year’s list.

But McCreery isn’t the only Latino on the list…

Miguelito

Puerto Rican singer Miguelito comes in at No. 14 on the 21 Under 21 list. At 14 years old, he already boasts a Latin Grammy and a multi-million dollar branding business that includes “Miguelito” vitamins, clothing line, videogame, summer camp, party goods and a themed cruise.

According to his manager dad Wascar Valenzuela, Miguelito-branded products have sold more than $70 million to date.

With a newly minted representation deal with CAA and a new record deal with BlastMusic, Miguelito is poised to crossover early next year with new album, Here To Stay.

“People tell me I’m a 21 or 30-year-old mind inside a 14-year-old body,” says the reggaetón star.

fifth-harmony-2013-650a

Meanwhile, Fifth Harmony, with 20-year-old Allyson Brooke Hernandez, 17-year-old Lauren Jauregui and 16-year-old Camila Cabello come in at No. 21 on the list.

Formed by Simon Cowell on last year’s edition of The X Factor, Fifth Harmony’s brief career so far is on the fast track for success.

Their triumphant debut single “Miss Movin’ On,” produced by the Suspex (the duo behind Lovato’s “Heart Attack“), became the first track from an American The X Factor alumni to break Billboard’s Hot 100, peaking at No. 76.

The song samples a debut EP expected on October 22 via Epic Records/Syco Music.

In the meantime, the quintet is on tour with Cher Lloyd and was recently featured in Disney‘s “Next Big Thing” series.

Ortiz Earns 14 Billboard Mexican Music Awards Nominations

Gerardo Ortiz is this year’s king of Mexican Music…

The 23-year-old Mexican American norteño singer leads the list of finalists for the for the third annual Billboard Mexican Music Awards, which will air live on Telemundo on October 9 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

Gerardo Ortiz

Ortiz earned 14 nods in 13 categories, highlighting his overwhelming success in every arena of the business, from album sales and digital downloads to airplay and songwriting.

Ortiz is nominated for Artist of the year, Songs Artist of the Year, Airplay Artist of the Year, Digital Download Artist of the Year, Albums Artist of the Year and Songwriter and Producer of the Year, among other categories.

In the Norteño Album of the Year category, his El Primer Ministro will compete against another of his own albums, Sold Out: En Vivo Desde El NOKIA Theatre L.A. Live.

Right behind Ortiz in number of nods is the late Jenni Rivera, a 10-time finalist in eight categories thanks to the huge surge of sales following her death last December.

Rivera’s finalist nods include Artist of the Year; Artist of the Year, Female; Albums Artist of the Year, Songs Artist of the Year and Digital Download Artist of the Year.

Two of her albums, La Misma Gran Señora and Joyas Prestadas are vying for Album of the Year and Banda Album of the Year.

The list of top finalists, which also include banda star Roberto Tapia, norteño trio Voz de Mando, Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga, Calibre 50, 3BallMTY and Joan Sebastian, represent the diverse nature of regional Mexican music, which has long been the top-selling genre of Latin music in the U.S.

Next up, La Arrolladora Banda el Limón de René Camacho, the super-popular traditional banda known for registering massive radio hits. The group will vie for seven awards, including Artist of the Year; Artist of the Year, Duo or Group; Songs Artist of the Year; Airplay Artist of the Year and Banda Artist of the Year. Their song “Cabecita Dura” from their hit album Irreversible is a finalist for Song of the Year and Banda Song of the Year.

The Billboard Mexican Music Awards are given in 32 award categories—including honors in the subgenres of Banda, Norteño, ranchero/mariachi and duranguense/grupero/cumbia—as well as awards for top labels and publishers.

Finalists and winners are determined by chart performance as chronicled in Billboard magazine and on Billboard.com during the eligibility period of August 18, 2012 through August 10, 2013. Award categories are based on album and digital track sales data provided by Nielsen SoundScan and radio airplay monitored by Nielsen BDS.

Click here to see the complete list of nominees.

Justice to Perform at Next Week’s Zumba Fitness-Concert

It looks like Victoria Justice is ready to help you burn the calories…

The 20-year-old half-Puerto Rican singer/actress, who recently released the video for her new single “Gold,” will be performing at the Zumba Fitness-Concert next Thursday night (August 15). And you’ll be able to watch the action live-streamed on Billboard.com.

Victoria Justice

Along with Justice, the hour-and-a-half-long show will include performances by Brazilian axé singer Claudia Leitte, Sean Paul and more will be performing at the Zumba Fitness-Concert next Thursday night.

The Zumba Fitness-Concert, which begins at 8:00 pm ET, will be led by Zumba creator Beto and will also include performances by up and coming artists J Perry, Mara and Dahrio Wonder, the latter of which has a new video for “Came Here To Party” featuring Beto and a cadre of Zumba instructors.

To watch the concert, just bookmark this page and come back on August 15 at 8pm ET to see all of the action.

Justice, a former Nickelodeon star who saw the Victorious soundtrack rocket to No. 5 on the Billboard 200, is currently working on her own debut album.

She’ll also chat about her new song “Shake.

Carey Leads This Season’s Inaugural Billboard Holiday Songs Chart

It appears that Americans wouldn’t ring in the holiday season without Mariah Carey

The annual Billboard Holiday Songs chart has returned this week, with the 42-year-old part-Venezuelan singer’s 1994 instaclassic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” topping the inaugural chart this season.

Mariah Carey

Carey’s Christmas carol led the list for four of the five weeks in which the tally was tabulated a year ago.

This week, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” managed to log 20 million in radio audience in the current chart’s tracking week, ranking at No. 6 on the Holiday Airplay ranking. Meanwhile, the song rules the Holiday Digital Songs chart with 27,000 downloads sold (up 112%).

Meanwhile, Jose Feliciano‘s bilingual classic “Feliz Navidad” ranks at No. 8 on this week’s Holiday Songs chart.

The Holiday Songs chart ranks the most popular seasonal songs, according to all-format audience impressions measured by Nielsen BDS, sales data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan and streaming activity data from online music sources tracked by BDS.

Click here to see the full chart.

McCreery’s Holiday Album Debuts at No. 1

It’s a bright Christmas in October for Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery

The 19-year-old part-Puerto Rican country crooner and former American Idol champ’s first holiday album, Christmas With Scotty McCreery, has debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Holiday Albums and Top Internet Albums charts.

The album also debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, selling 41,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Christmas With Scotty McCreery

Christmas With Scotty McCreery is the singer’s second album to debut in the top spot on the Billboard Charts.

Last October, McCreery’s first album, Clear as Day, debuted at No. 1 on five charts: The Billboard 200, Top Country Albums, Top Internet Albums, Top Digital Albums and Top Current Albums.

But that’s not all… The first single from the album, “Christmas in Heaven,” has landed at No. 1 on the Holiday Digital Songs tally.

In addition to “Christmas In Heaven,” McCreery, one of Billboard.com’s 21 Under 21, has six other songs from his holiday-themed debut, including “Mary Did You Know?” (No. 18), “Let It Snow” (No. 31), “First Noel” (No. 38), “Christmas Comin’ Round Again” (No. 39), “O Holy Night” (No. 43) and “Santa Claus Is Back in Town” (No. 49). In all, seven of the 11 tracks on the album are charting on Holiday Digital Songs.

The album includes nine holiday classics and two new holiday songs.

3Ball MTY to Perform at the Billboard Mexican Music Awards

It looks like the members of 3Ball MTY will be having the night of their lives at this year’s Billboard Mexican Music Awards.

The three young Mexican deejays – Erick Rincon, Sergio Zavala (Dj Sheeqo Beat) and Alberto Presenda (Dj Otto) – not only lead the finalists for this year’s awards with 12 nods, but they’ve just been confirmed as performers for the big show.

3Ball MTY

Regional Mexican stars Pepe Aguilar, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Ana Barbara, Julion Alvarez y su Norteño Banda and America Sierra, best known as the featured vocalist on 3BallMTY’s single “Inténtalo“, will also perform at the awards show, which will be broadcast live from Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium on Telemundo on October 18.

The Billboard Mexican Music Awards are the only nationally televised awards that exclusively honor regional Mexican music. Finalists and winners of the 33 awards are determined by chart performance as chronicled in Billboard magazine and on Billboard.com during the eligibility period of August 27, 2011 through August 18, 2012. Award categories are based on album and digital track sales data provided by Nielsen SoundScan and radio airplay monitored by Nielsen BDS.

VIDEO OFICIAL 3Ball MTY – Inténtalo ( Me Prende ) from Mike Rosas on Vimeo.

3BallMTY, who had their national television debut at last year’s Mexican Music Awards, broke ground with “Inténtalo,” a finalist in the Song of the Year, Song of the Year-Vocal Event and Duranguense/Grupero/Cumbia Song of the Year categories.

Sales of the subsequent album of the same name, out on Fonovisa, helped make the group a finalist for Artist of the Year, Artist of the Year-New, Artist of the Year-Duo or Group, Albums Artist of the Year, Songs Artist of the Year, Digital Download Artist of the Year, and Duranguense/Grupero/Cumbia Artist of the Year. Sierra is up for five awards.

Justice to Perform at Dream Halloween Benefit

Call it a Halloween treat… Victoria Justice is set to perform at a holiday themed event in the Los Angeles area aimed at helping children affected by HIV and AIDS.

The 19-year-old half-Puerto Rican singer/actress and Nickelodeon star, who will star in the Halloween-themed film Fun Size later this month, will perform at the 19th annual Dream Halloween Los Angeles event.

Victoria Justice

Taking place at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, the event will bring together more than 2,000 parents and children in support of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.

Justice, who was recently named to Billboard.com’s 21 Under 21 list, will be debuting new songs during her special performance, as well as taking part in meet-and-greets with her fans.

Since its inception in 1994, the Dream Halloween events have raised more than $15.5 million.

Lovato Partners with Secret for Anti-Bullying Campaign

Demi Lovato has seen her star power increase since taking a seat at the X Factor judges’ tableAnd now’s she’s using that higher profile to continue her fight against bullies.

The 20-year-old part Mexican singer/actress, who was recently named to Billboard.com’s 21 Under 21 list, has partnered with Secret deodorant to launch the “Mean Stinks” campaign to end bullying.

Demi_Lovato

“I had a really tough time when I was in middle school,” says Lovato, who offered her support to a victim of bullying during a recent episode of The X Factor.  “People would write ‘hate petitions’ [about me] and send them around to be signed. They’d have CD-bashing parties of my demos. They’d come to my house, stand across the street and yell things. I was a very emotional time for me, and all I wanted to do was get away.”

Following a short stretch in rehab to treat bulimia and cutting nearly two years ago, Lovato has been vocal in her stance against teenage bullying. On Thursday, the pop star surprised students at New York City’s Young Women’s Leadership School to discuss the program and encourage them to “gang up for good.”

Lovato asked girls to pledge to have a “Drama Free School Year” by painting blue nail polish on their pinky fingers – a symbolic pinky swear.

“I’ll definitely be wearing [the nail polish] starting soon,” said Lovato, who was recognized last December with a Do Something Award for her commitment to community service. “It’s a conversation starter: ‘Hey, why is your pinky blue?’‘This is a pinky promise that I’m not going to bully people, that me and my friends are ganging up for good.’”

Secret is donating $1 (up to $150,000) from each purchase of the company’s Mean Sinks Clinical Strength deodorant to the cause as part of the initiative.

More information on the program can be found via Secret’s Facebook Page.