Melissa Villaseñor to Host This Year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards Ceremony

Melissa Villaseñor has the spirit

The 33-year-old Mexican actress, stand-up comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member is set to host this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony.

Melissa Villaseñor

The show will not be live from the Santa Monica Beach this year due to COVID-19.

Villaseñor, the first Latina cast member of NBC’s long-running SNL, cut her teeth on the stand-up circuit in Los Angeles, and was further propelled to stardom by being a semifinalist on the 2011 edition of America’s Got Talent before landing on the SNL cast.

She is famous for her impersonations of celebrities like Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more.

This year’s show will be airing on Thursday, April 22, on IFC and AMC+ at 10:00 pm ET, breaking tradition as the Spirits typically take place on the Saturday afternoon before Sunday’s Oscars.

Said Blake Callaway, Executive Director, IFC and SundanceTV, “Melissa and the unique circumstances of now will make this year’s ceremony like no other. It will certainly be a departure from the past, but with Melissa, the chances of Dolly, Ariana Grande, Bjork, Gwen Stefani, Julie Andrews and Lady Gaga showing up have skyrocketed.”

“As someone who considers herself a pretty dependent person, I’m truly honored to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards,” said Villaseñor.

Outside of SNL, Villaseñor has provided voiceovers in films like Toy Story 4 and Ralph Breaks the InternetShe also was a guest on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee; and in projects like Hubie Halloween, Barry and Crashing, among others.

She’s currently working on her first book, a creative self-help journal forthcoming from Chronicle Books.

She joins a roster of past Spirit Awards hosts that includes Aubrey Plaza, Nick Kroll, Kristen Bell, Joel McHale, Patton Oswalt, Queen Latifah, John Waters, Samuel L. Jackson and Kumail Nanjiani.

Recording Academy Adds Two Linda Ronstadt Albums to Grammy Hall of Fame, Including “Canciones de Mi Padre”

Linda Ronstadt is pulling a double…

The Recording Academy has announced 29 songs and albums that it’ll add to the Grammy Hall of Fame, with the 74-year-old half-Mexican American singer landing two albums on the list.

Linda Ronstadt

Ronstadt’s Spanish-language album Canciones de Mi Padre, released in 1987, has earned a place in the Grammy Hall.

Ronstadt’s first album of Mexican traditional Mariachi music immediately became a global smash. It sold 2.5 million copies in the U.S. and has been RIAA certified double-platinum. It won Ronstadt the Grammy Award for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album at the 31st Grammy Awards.

Canciones de Mi Padre

Ronstadt was also recognized for Triothe country album she made with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. It was also released in 1987.

The album has sold over 4 million copies worldwide and has also received several accolades, including the Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Trio, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris

The Grammy Hall now includes 1,142 recordings.

“We are proud to announce this year’s diverse roster of Grammy Hall of Fame inductees and to recognize recordings that have shaped our industry and inspires music makers of tomorrow,” Harvey Mason Jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “Each recording has had a significant impact on our culture, and it is an honor to add them to our distinguished catalog.”

Here’s the full list of 2021 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees:

“Au Clair de la Lune,” Edouard-Leon Scott De Martinville, single (c. 1853-61)
“Blues Breakers,” John Mayall with Eric Clapton, album  (1966)
Canciones de Mi Padre,” Linda Ronstadt, album (1987)
“Clean Up Woman,” Betty Wright, single (1971)
“Copenhagen,” Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra, single (1924)
“Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey, single (1981)
“Freight Train,” Elizabeth Cotton, single (1958)
“Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.,” Bruce Springsteen, album (1973)
“Horses,” Patti Smith, album (1975)
“Hot Buttered Soul,” Isaac Hayes, album (1969)
“In the Right Place,” Dr. John, album (1973)
“Licensed to Ill,” Beastie Boys, album (1986)
“Mad Dogs & Englishmen,” Joe Cocker, album (1970)
“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at ‘The Club’,” The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, album (1966)
“Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major,” Leonard Bernstein with the Philharmonia Orchestra Of London, album (1948)
“Schoenberg: The Four String Quartets,” Kolisch String Quartet, album (1937)
“So,” Peter Gabriel, album (1986)
“Solitude,” Billie Holiday, single (1952)
“Ten,” Pearl Jam, album (1991)
“Texas Flood,” Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble, album (1983)
“The Cars,” The Cars, album (1978)
“The Gambler,” Kenny Rogers, single (1978)
“The Low End Theory,” A Tribe Called Quest, album (1991)
“Time Is On My Side,” Irma Thomas, single (1964)
Trio,” Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, album (1987)
“We Are The World,” USA For Africa, single (1985)
“When the Levee Breaks,” Kansas Joe And Memphis Minnie, single (1929)
“Wreck of the Old 97,” Vernon Dalhart, single (1924)
“Y.M.C.A.,” Village People, single (1978)

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.

Bobby Cannavale Starring Opposite Rose Byrne in the Musical Dramedy “Seriously Red”

Bobby Cannavale is seeing Red

The 50-year-old half-Cuban American Emmy-winning actor is starring opposite Rose Byrne in the musical dramedy Seriously Redthe first feature from Byrne’s Dollhouse Pictures.

Bobby Cannavale

Cameras are currently rolling on the film in Northern Rivers, Australia.

Krew Boylan wrote the screenplay for Seriously Red, while Gracie Otto is directing

In addition to Cannavale and Byrne, the ensemble cast also includes Daniel Webber. Arclight Films has boarded to handle worldwide distribution rights with Gracie Otto (The Last Impresario) directing.

In the rowdy and rambunctious musical comedy, Red (played by Boylan) is at a crossroads in her life. A vivacious and hilarious red-haired woman grappling with high expectations and low self-esteem, she pours herself a cup of ambition and trades her 9 to 5 career in real estate for a life under the spotlight as a Dolly Parton impersonator. After misreading her work party’s dress code, Red tumbles outta bed into a new world of tribute artists and impersonators in her wild and messy journey that includes romancing a Kenny Rogers impersonator. Red has to lose herself in order to find herself. As Dolly Parton says, “Be Yourself Because Everyone is taken.”

Parton’s canon is the backbone of Seriously Red, which will also include a soundtrack from notable musical artists and as well as re-recordings.

Seriously Red is created by an extraordinary all-female filmmaking team, which at Arclight Films we are proud to always champion,” Arclight Films chairman Gary Hamilton said. “The film is a fun, upbeat celebration of women and their journey to self-acceptance. It’s a powerful film that appeals to worldwide distributors who understand that audiences will immediately fall in love with the story, the beautifully drawn characters… and the music!”

Cannavale won Emmys for his work on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and NBC’s Will & GraceHis Recent series credits include the upcoming Nine Perfect Strangers, Mr. Robot and HomecomingHis features include HBO Max/New Line’s upcoming SuperintelligenceUniversal’s The King of Staten Island, The Jesus Rolls, The Irishman, Jumanji: Welcome to the Junglethe Oscar-winning I, Tonya, Ant-Man and Spy among many others.

Byrne and Cannavale recently starred in The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s theatrical production of Medea before the pandemic closed down theaters in New York City.

Ally Brooke to Perform During This Year’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”

It’ll be an extra special Thanksgiving for Ally Brooke

27-year-old Mexican American singer and former Fifth Harmony member will be performing as part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which may look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ally Brooke

Unlike other years, the decorated floats and helium-filled balloons will not be marching down the usual two-and-a-half-mile route starting at West 77th Street. The parade has shorted its route and will only be held (without an audience) in front of Macy’s famed flagship store on 34th Street for the national television special.

Ally Brooke joins a roster of performers that includes Lauren Alaina, Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus, Sofia Carson, CNCO, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Karol G, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Ella Mai, Leslie Odom Jr., Keke Palmer, Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, Sebastián Yatra, Brett Young and more.

The casts of HamiltonMean GirlsJagged Little Pill, and Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, all of which have not taken the live stage since March, are set to perform at the parade.

While the Broadway performances will be filmed ahead of time, they will air during the broadcast at 9:00 a.m. ET on NBC.

Becky G Teams Up with Dime Optics to Launch Her First-Ever Eyewear Collection

The future’s so bright Becky G’s gotta wear shades…

The 23-year-old Mexican American singer/rapper, who recently collaborated with Chiquis Rivera for a cumbia-fied cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” has partnered with Dime Optics to launch her first-ever eyewear collection.

Becky G x Dime Sunglass Collection

“For me, it’s really important to be that open book that I’ve always been since the beginning of my career and the truth is, many things inspire me beyond just music,” Becky G tells Billboard. “To be able to transition into something new is exciting for me but also comes very naturally.”

Inspired by her Mexican-American roots and Latinx vibes, Becky G’s fashionable line includes eight different styles because “it’s versatile like me!

Becky G x Dime Sunglass Collection

For the “Mayores” singer, affordability and quality were key in teaming up with the glasses brand.

“That’s important because one of my responsibilities as an artist is to know that my audience, at the end of the day, is mostly hard-working individuals who are still going to school and I want them to know that they will be investing in something that’s worth it.”

Becky G x Dime Sunglass Collection

Becky G’s collection, with all pairs selling for only $30, ships worldwide. And, two of the pairs have already sold out: the 33 Clear Crystal + Blue Light, and the 333 Black Grey styles.

“When we started this collab, I wanted to make something that was amazing AND affordable,” tweeted Becky G. “So excited guys are liking them already.”

Becky G x Dime Sunglass Collection

Click here to shop Becky G’s Dime collection.

Chiquis Releases Animated Video for Her Cumbia-fied Cover of “Jolene” with Becky G

Chiquis is getting animated…

The 35-year-old Mexican American singer and television personality has released the animated music video for “Jolene,” her cover of Dolly Parton’s 1974 hit single, featuring Becky G.

Chiquis-Becky-G-jolene

Chiquis, the daughter of late banda singer Jenni Rivera, and Becky G revamped Parton’s iconic song, giving it a saucy Western-cumbia twist.

“Her and I have been wanting to work together for so long, but we didn’t know what genre,” Chiquis tells Billboard of working with Becky G. “She thought she was going to come to Regional because she sings really pretty with mariachi. I sent her two songs, one a little bit more urban, which I thought she was going to choose, and also ‘Jolene,’ which she absolutely wanted to do because she’s a huge fan.”

“Jolene” is the lead single from Chiquis’ 10-set album Playlist. In the lyrics, the two powerhouses confront each other about liking the same man.

“You think of country music and you think Dolly. We both loved the song and it happened so organically,” she adds. “I was happy because we can bring something new to the song, which is great as it is, but together we brought the Latino flavor with cumbia.”

The track was recorded at the studio right before the coronavirus outbreak. The music video, however, was recorded at home during the quarantine. In the animated clip, Chiquis and Becky G star in an action-packed Old Western film.

“It was all done with a green screen. I was at my house and Becky was at hers,” Chiquis says of the process. “There was a photographer that made us do all these crazy moves as if we were holding a gun, bending over and running away. It was very cool and something very, very different for me to see it all come together. It’s crazy cause we look real but we’re drawn at the same time.”

“A lot of people were waiting for Becky and me to do something together because we have a really nice friendship,” she notes. “Even though we were not together in the video, people won’t even tell because of our crazy connection. I think people are going to love it; it’s something different, it’s something fun.”

Chiquis Rivera & Becky G Release Cumbia-fied Version of Dolly Parton’s Classic Song “Jolene”

Chiquis Rivera is giving a Dolly Parton classic a Mexican cumbia twist…

The 34-year-old Mexican American singer has joined voices with Becky G torelease a new version of Dolly Parton’s 1974 hit “Jolene.” 

Becky G & Chiquis

On the track, Chiquis and the 23-year-old Mexican American singer/rapper belt the classic lyrics en español over a cumbia beat. 

Chiquis & Becky G, longtime friends, have been waiting for the opportunity to collaborate on a song. 

Chiquis, the daughter of the late Jenni Rivera, decided to reach out to Parton’s team and was pleasantly surprised when they gave their seal of approval.

“Dolly is an icon in music and for women. An example to follow and it is an honor to sing this song in Spanish,” the Chiquis told Telemundo.

Becky G was thrilled to fuse both her Mexican and American roots on the classic song.

“I was fascinated by the idea because it brings together our two worlds. When they ask me where I am from, I always say that I am Mexican. I never say that my grandparents are Mexican and I am American,” the “Sin Pijama”singer said. “However, country music was always heard in my house, with the Mexican, and our ‘Jolene’ is that. It has the essence of Dolly with a little bit of our itch.”

Jolene is the third single from Chiquis’ latest album PLAYLIST. For the women, it was the perfect time for them to come together for one of the biggest songs in history. “We were waiting for the right one, and although I never thought it would come from country, it worked perfectly.”

Chiquis and Becky G will release the music video for the track in the near future. The ladies teased the release on their respective social media accounts with clips. In the clips, the women hold guns as they ride through the dessert.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAvptSznDAJ

Ariana DeBose to Take Part in Virtual Concert to Benefit the Covenant House Charity for Homeless & Trafficked Youth

Ariana DeBose  is helping homeless and trafficked youth…

The 29-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer, known for her work in musical theatre and on So You Think You Can Dance, will take part in a virtual concert event to benefit the Covenant House charity for homeless and trafficked youth.

Ariana DeBose

DeBose joins a 50-plus roster of stars who’ll perform or appear for the May 18 fundraiser that includes Meryl StreepDiane Keaton, Jon Bon JoviRachel BrosnahanStephen ColbertMartin ShortDolly PartonDionne WarwickStephanie J. BlockTony ShalhoubCharlie DayChris O’DowdZachary Leviand Zachary Quinto.

A Night of Covenant House Stars, to be held on Monday, May 18 at 8:00 pm ET on the Broadway on Demand streaming platform, will be co-hosted by six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald and 60 Minutes orrespondent John Dickerson, both members of the Covenant House Board of Directors.

The event is designed to support Covenant House, the international, mostly privately funded charity providing housing, food and healthcare to children and youth facing homelessness, and the front-line staff working during the COVID-19crisis.

“This virus does not get the last word,” said Covenant House President & CEO Kevin Ryan. “This amazing group of stars uniting in love to help us care for kids is proof positive of that.”

Other stars slated to appear include Robin Thicke, Deborah CoxQuentin Earl DarringtonDarius de HaasMary Elizabeth EllisEden EspinosaJordan FisherStephanie Hsu,Randy JacksonCapathia JenkinsJeremy JordanRamona KellerAlex NewellKaren OlivoDawn O’Porter, Laura OsnesBenj PasekJodi Picoult, Shereen PimentelAndrew RannellsKeala SettleJake David SmithWill SwensonBobby Conte ThorntonAna VillafaneFrank Wildhorn, and the Broadway Inspirational Voices choir.

Event proceeds will benefit Covenant House’s work across 31 cities, in six countries.

The May 18 fundraiser will mark the launch of the Broadway on Demand platform (the company had previously announced a May 17 program). Viewers can watch the Covenant House event free of charge.

In addition to Broadway on DemandA Night of Covenant House Starscan be streamed on iHeartRadio BroadwayFacebookTwitchYouTube, and Stars in the House.