Cardi B Named Billboard’s “Woman of the Year”

Cardi B is WAP-ping up the year with a bang…

The 28-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar has been named the 2020 Woman of the Year by Billboard.

Cardi B

Cardi B, who continues to thrive with her Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper “WAP,” a brand-new already-sold-out Reebok collection and her political activism, will be presented the award during Billboard‘s Women in Music event on December 10.

The 15th annual event will go virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and will stream live here starting at 8:00 pm ET. The ceremony will be hosted by Teyana Taylor.

Jennifer Lopez will be honored with this year’s prestigious Icon Award for her impact on the music industry and the greater artistic community, joining previous recipients Alanis MorissetteCyndi LauperMary J. BligeShania Twain and Aretha Franklin.

Following the success of her sophomore album, Future NostalgiaDua Lipa will receive the Powerhouse Award, given to an act whose music dominated streaming, sales and radio this year.

Dolly Parton is 2020’s Hitmaker Award recipient. The honor recognizes a songwriter whose compositions have significantly impacted culture.

Chloe x Halle will receive the Rising Star Award, and Jessie Reyez will be honored with the American Express Impact Award.

Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas, the trailblazing minds behind #TheShowMustBePaused movement following the murder of George Floyd, will be honored with the 2020 Executive of the Year Award.

Rafael Nadal Wins Opening Group Match at ATP Finals

Rafael Nadal has started his ATP Finals experience on a winning note…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis star made easy work of Andrey Rublev in Sunday’s late match, beating the Russian 6-3, 6-4 in just 1 hour, 17 minutes inside a largely empty O2 Arena.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal is hoping to cap off a season in which he earned his record-equaling 20th Grand Slam title and 1,000th match win on tour by capturing his first-ever trophy at the ATP Finals. He has qualified for the season-ending event for a record 16 straight years, but has lost in the final twice and missed six editions because of injuries.

Nadal steered the evening match in his direction from the start, losing just five points on his serve in the first set. He broke for a 4-2 lead when Rublev sent a shot long, and the Russian then slammed his racket into the ground in frustration.

Rublev entered the tournament as one of the hottest players on tour, having won five titles this season, but looked unsettled against Nadal and continuously gesticulated and shouted to himself between points.

Nadal broke in the opening game of the second set as well and never faced a break point of his own. He served out the win on his second match point when Rublev’s return sailed long.

This is the 12th and last year that the ATP Finals is played at the 02 Arena before moving to Turin, Italy, next year. Because of the coronavirus pandemic there are no fans inside the 20,000-capacity venue this time — meaning the normally raucous atmosphere has been replaced by an eerie silence interrupted only by muted applause from the players’ boxes between points.

There are also no line judges, as the tournament is using electronic line calling for the first time. The system means players can no longer challenge whether a ball was in or out as those calls get made automatically. However, they can request a video review for other disputed situations, such as double bounces.

Dr. Robert Rodriguez Named to President-Elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board

Dr. Robert Rodriguez is ready to fight the coronavirus pandemic in a big way…

The Latino doctor, a native of Brownsville, Texas, is among the health officials named to President-elect Joe Biden‘s COVID-19 advisory board.

Dr. Robert Rodriguez

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received their first briefing from the board on Monday morning in Wilmington, Delaware.The team will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administrator commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of medicine at Yale University.

Thirteen co-chairs and members will comprise the board, including Rodriguez.

He graduated from Harvard Medical School, returned home to the Rio Grande Valley as the number of people dying from coronavirus soared over the summer. He volunteered to help with the critical surge in the ICU.

He told ABC News in July that he saw at least one person die daily from the virus.

“Everybody is wearing masks here. The spread is not because people aren’t being responsible. I think it’s largely due to socioeconomic issues,” Rodriguez said at the time. “The best way you can take care of frontline providers and everybody else here in the hospital is by taking care of yourself.”

Currently, Rodriguez serves as a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, where he works on the frontline in the emergency department and ICU of two major trauma centers.

According to a release from Biden’s transition team, Rodriguez has authored over 100 scientific publications and has led national research teams examining a range of topics in medicine, including the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of frontline workers.

It’s not clear whether or not President Donald Trump‘s administration will work with Biden’s task force. However, Biden says he plans to reach out to governors about a state mask mandate as soon as possible.

Ernesto Jerez Named a Finalist for Ford C. Frick Award for Excellence in Baseball Broadcasting

Ernesto Jerez has voiced his way to the top…

The 52-year-old Dominican sportscaster and commentator for ESPN Deportes has been named a finalist for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting

Ernesto Jerez

Jerez has worked ESPN Deportes’ Sunday Night Baseball for more than 25 years along with the World Series, All-Star Game and World Baseball Classic.

He’ll face off against Hall of Fame pitchers Dizzy Dean and Don Drysdale, along with Fox‘s Joe Buck, ESPN‘s Dan Shulman and NBC‘s Al Michaels.

Dave Campbell and Buddy Blattner also are finalists, the Hall said Monday.

The winner will be announced on Dec.ember 9 and will be honored next July 24 ahead of the Hall of Fame inductions, along with 2020 Frick winner Ken Harrelson. The 2020 ceremonies were called off became of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s Frick Award is for national voices, part of a three-year rotation that includes broadcasting beginnings (autumn 2021) and major league markets (autumn 2022).

Broadcasters must have at least 10 continuous years of major league broadcast service with a team, network or combination.

MTV Releases Trailer for Season 4 of Jenni “JWOWW” Farley’s “Jersey Shore Family Vacation”

Jenni “JWOWW” Farley isn’t letting the coronavirus pandemic put a damper on her Jersey Shore vacation…

MTV has dropped the official trailer for Season 4 of Jersey Shore Family Vacation, starring the 34-year-old part-Spanish American reality television star, and filmed entirely in a quarantine bubble.Jwoww

 

For the first time ever, cast and crew took over an entire resort where a bubble was created with series producer, SallyAnn Salsano’s 495 Productions, adhering to local, state and federal COVID-19 health and safety requirements.

In the return episode, the roommates come together in the aftermath of Angelina’s wedding and the speech heard around the world that left the family fractured. Now all together under one roof, the boys attempt to make the family whole again. DJ Pauly D, Mike “The Situation”, Vinny and Ronnie hatch a plan to reunite the girls, invite the extended family to distract them from the drama, and hope for the best.

Cast also includes Deena Nicole Cortese. Original Jersey Shore cast member Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi announced last December that she wouldn’t return for a fourth season of Family Vacation; the other stars are all back.

Season 4 of Jersey Shore Family Vacation premieres Thursday, November 19 at 8:00 pm ET/PT with back-to-back episodes.

Robert Trujillo & His Metallica Band Mates to Headline Next Year’s ‘Aftershock’ Rock Festival

Robert Trujillo is feeling an aftershock

The 56-year-old half-Mexican American bassist and songwriter and his Metallica band mates will headline next year’s Northern California rock festival Aftershock.

Metallica

In addition to Metallica, the festival – which plans to return in 2021 with an expanded four-nights – the other headlining set will come from My Chemical Romance at Discovery Park in Sacramento from October 7-10.

The new Thursday night concert on October 7 will be a celebratory evening to kick off the anticipated return of the festival that has sold out for the last five years, but was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Aftershock 2021 will be headlined by Metallica (performing two different sets, one on Friday and one on Sunday) and My Chemical Romance (Saturday), who were both confirmed for the sold-out 2020 event.

The 2021 lineup will also include Limp BizkitRancidThe OffspringSocial DistortionRise AgainstVolbeatMachine Gun KellyMastodon, GojiraSEETHER, Parkway Drive and many more.

“We can’t wait to play at Aftershock 2021 with our Bay Area brothers Metallica,” Rancid said in a statement. “We first played with them on the Lollapalooza tour in 1996 along with the Ramones and later down the road we toured across South America together. It’s gonna be wild, see ya in the pit!”

In 2019, Aftershock celebrated its biggest-ever year with 97,500 in attendance during the sold-out three-day event. As Aftershock 2021 draws near, producer Danny Wimmer Presents will be working with local officials to make sure the festival conforms to the then-current social distancing protocols.

Passes are on sale now and can be purchased for only $20 down. Payments will then be spread out over the next nine months, beginning in December. Single day admission starts at $119.50 + fees, while four day passes start at $379.50 + fees.

Universal Announces Plans to End Michelle Rodriguez’s Fast & Furious Franchise with Two Final Films

It’s the beginning of the end for Michelle Rodriguez.

Universal Pictures is planning to wrap up its Fast & Furious core film franchise, starring the 42-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress, with two final movies that will bring to a close a franchise.

Michelle Rodriguez The Limit

The Fast & Furious films have revved their way to become the highest-grossing movie series in the studio’s history. Justin Lin, who’s in post-production on F9, is in talks to direct the final two installments and bring a saga that began nearly 20 years ago to a close.

It’s early days on when this will begin production but it seems likely they will tell a big story over two films that will focus on franchise patriarch Vin Diesel and bring back Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel and Sung Kang.

F9 — which is the fifth film in the franchise directed by Lin and which premieres next Memorial Day — continues the storyline of the core cast and Charlize Theron, and adds John Cena, Helen Mirren, Grammy-winner Cardi B and reggaeton star Ozuna. They are just beginning to put the final two vehicles together. There’s speculation that Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham — core cast members who peeled off for the F&F spinoff Hobbs & Shaw after Johnson and Diesel had a falling out — will be back for the finale.

There’s also an opportunity to pull off the motorhead’s answer to Marvel’s Avengers, a configuration that might include Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot, also part of the ensemble earlier in her career.

It might not have seemed probable back when The Fast & Furious launched the franchise in 2001 with Diesel and Paul Walker as lead-footed protagonists, but the entire series has eclipsed Jurassic Park to become Universal’s biggest. The eight movies and the spinoff have grossed around $5.7 billion; Jurassic is also over $5 billion and has its next installment, Jurassic World: Dominion, shooting in London.

The Fast franchise survived the tragic death of cornerstone star Walker, but it’s always good to end the race before the vehicle runs out of gas. There are still plans for other movie spinoffs and TV shows, so there will be no call for the studio to be calling Kars for Kids to cart away a junker.

It is likely that the final two installments will be produced by Diesel through his One Race Films banner, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Lin, Neal Moritz, Joe Roth, Clayton Townsend and Samantha Vincent. They are the producers of F9.

Lin berthed his Perfect Storm Entertainment banner at Universal in a multi-year overall film and TV deal in late summer, and these two films will likely keep him busy for a long time.

The Lincoln Project Releases Emotional Music Video to Demi Lovato’s “Commander in Chief”

The Lincoln Project is taking Demi Lovato’s politically charged new single “Commander in Chief” and building on it’s emotional message.

Demi Lovato

The anti-Trump political action committee has shared their own music video for the song. It shows clips of the devastating effects of the president’s mismanagement of the coronavirus, of people on ventilators in hospitals and families with masks only able to talk to each other through glass doors. The scene then turns to the Black Lives Matter movement, as thousands of protesters took to the streets across the nation to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and more who have been killed at the hands of police.

The vignette ends on an uplifting note, with people of all races, ages and genders coming together to vote in the presidential election.

“Demi Lovato put it best,” the description reads, and links out to a donation page for The Lincoln Project, which will go to voter outreach programs in an effort to “end the suffering, end the corruption, and end the presidency of the worst ‘Commander in Chief’ in our country’s history.”

Dusty Hernández-Harrison to Fight WBO Middleweight Champ Demetrius Andrade in November

Dusty Hernández-Harrison is taking on a champ…

The 26-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer will fight WBO middleweight champ Demetrius Andrade in a 10-round non-title fight on November 27 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Dusty Hernández-Harrison

The card, which also features former two-time titlist Daniel Jacobs vs. Gabe Rosado, will take place without fans in attendance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) is fighting for the first time since he stopped Luke Keeler with a ninth-round TKO in January.

The undefeated Harrison (34-0-1, 20 KOs) sees this as a chance to stamp himself as a world-class fighter.

“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for my entire life,” Harrison said. “This is why I started boxing. All of the time I have dedicated to this sport, I finally get my opportunity to show the world who I am and what I am capable of. … Demetrius talks a big game and says he is the boogeyman of the division, but who has he fought?”

Harrison said he isn’t impressed by Andrade.

“He goes out, fights whoever it is, runs around the ring, picks up a win and goes back to running his mouth,” Harrison said. “He says that he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. OK, so be it. On November 27, I take his spot.

“I know that people are going to doubt me going into this fight, and that is fine. That fuels my energy. Keep doubting me. Andrade doesn’t know what he got himself into. He better be ready when we step into that ring because I’m coming for him.”

Eva Longoria to Host the Latino-Themed CBS Special “Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event”

Eva Longoria is celebrating the Latino population in a special way…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress and former Desperate Housewives star will host an evening that shines a spotlight on Latino culture in America with Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin.

Eva Longoria

Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event will herald America’s diversity with a focus on Latino culture. The CBS special will not only highlight the different facets of Latino culture, but will also bring attention to those in the community who’ve been deeply impacted by COVID-19, including essential workers.

The special will air on October 26 on CBS and CBS All Access.

“When COVID-19 hit the United States, people were quick to applaud our essential workers, many of whom are Latinos, for helping to keep food on our tables, delivering our packages and working in our healthcare system,” said Longoria. “The Latinx community has been the backbone of this country for hundreds of years, not just the last seven months, and it’s time that we not only know our own worth, but are also recognized, appreciated and celebrated accordingly for our contributions, pandemic or not.”

The one-night special, created by Henry R. Muñoz III and directed by Ron de Moraes, will feature musical performances, comedy sets, docu-shorts and appearances from notable Latino stars. CBS will announce performers and stars to participate at a later date.

“We created Momento Latino because we understand the challenges that Latinos in America face every day, and we knew we had to bring together a national infrastructure of opportunity to move the community forward into the future,” said Muñoz, founder of Momento Latino. “We’ve brought together more than 130 organizations, nonprofits, artists, activists and community leaders so far, and through this special we can share with the nation the inspiring stories of how Latinos served as the backbone of this country’s essential workforce throughout the pandemic despite being among the hardest hit by the disease and the economic fallout.”

Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event is produced by Funny Or Die, in partnership with Momento Latino, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and Global Philanthropy.