Longoria Hosting Special Night of Music to Raise Funds for Homeless LGBT Youth

Michael Longoria is singing for Homeless LGBT Youth…

The Mexican-American Broadway veteran is teaming up with American Idol alumni Constantine Maroulis and Diana DeGarmo for a special night of music on Thursday supporting the nonprofit organization New Alternatives at the New York City club Hardware.

Michael Longoria

The benefit, co-hosted by Ashley Austin Morris, will raise money for New Alternatives — an organization that helps homeless LGBT youth become self-sufficient and transition out of the shelter system and into stable adult lives. The center — which provides services including case management, education, life-skills training, community-building recreational opportunities for self-expression and support services for HIV-positive youth — will be losing its donated space after August, and Longoria hopes the benefit will raise enough money as well as awareness to keep the program alive.

“It’s a very dangerous situation for young people, where the only reason they’re homeless is because their family has abandoned them,” he tells Billboard. “That’s the only reason they’re in there, and that’s what we need to get involved in — if we don’t look out for them, who will?”

Programs like New Alternatives are necessary, he said, to help homeless youth map out their futures while staying out of “harm’s way.” “This organization is specifically for these people that go to these other shelters and are harassed or physically hurt because people don’t accept young gay people,” he said.

The event — which kicks off at 9 p.m. — will also feature raffles for a Broadway records album package, a bottle of Pinot by Tituss wine autographed by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess, as well as tickets to The Color PurpleFiddler on the RoofKinky Boots, Finding NeverlandHimself, Nora, Trip of Love and Feinstein’s/54 Below.

The evening will serve as a celebration of Pride Week and a reminder to the community to remain vigilant in the face of hate and bigotry in light of the tragic massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 and injuring 53.

“What happened in Orlando is just a reminder that no matter how much love we have, other sources of evil are always going to resist, so let’s find a way to get serious in a positive way that shows our support for each other and our love for each other in public,” he said. “The people that need to be the most out and proud are the youth — the young people that are seeing all this violence are now scared to be themselves. … I feel like now more than ever is the time we need to show affection and we need to show who we are, because those people that were in that nightclub were people that were living their lives and showing their love for one another.”

Longoria — who said he has visited Pulse while on tour with various productions — was heartbroken to learn of a mother who was killed in the club while out dancing with her son. “To know that that mother was there in support of her son and loved her son and was accepting of her son and she lost her life in that tragic moment was just the worst news that I got, and ultimately, it’s just an attack on all Americans, humanity and our American way of life,” he said. “In a gay club, we are in a place where we can be ourselves and be free and not worry about any of that judgment and live our lives, and to have an attack on that freedom is an attack on every freedom in America, and that’s why all Americans need to be paying attention and getting involved in hopes of preventing this kind of thing from happening again in the future.”

Longoria — an original member of the cast of Jersey Boys in the role of Frankie Valli after a run in Hairspray — is currently supporting his new CD, Broadway Brick by Brick: a Latin-infused collection of Broadway classics including “Maria” (West Side Story), “The Sound of Music” (The Sound of Music) and “Music and the Mirror” (A Chorus Line). The record weaves in Longoria’s own personal story of his youth in Los Angeles leading to his success on The Great White Way.

“It became an autobiography of my life, my journey as a very young opera singer in a Mexican-American culture, a very heterosexual, Catholic culture, and finding myself in musical theater, in Broadway songs, and realizing that I was gay all the while,” he said. “Each song I chose tells a milestone of my journey, starting with my father, getting accepted to NYU and not having a means to get there, and getting the scholarship and getting on a plane in Los Angeles and leaving my family behind.”

A $10 donation is suggested to attend. Hardware is located at 697 10th Ave. in New York.

Del Rio Joins the Cast of Fox’s Upcoming Musical “Grease: Live”

Grease is the word for David Del Rio

The 28-year-old Latino actor has joined the cast of Fox’s upcoming musical Grease: Live.

David Del Rio

Del Rio, who starred in the Broadway musical In the Heights, will portray T-Birds’ Putzie in the live event.

Del Rio joins the ensemble cast that includes Julianne Hough (Sandy), Aaron Tveit (Danny), Vanessa Hudgens (Rizzo), Carlos PenaVega (Kenickie), Keke Palmer (Marty), Carly Rae Jepsen (Frenchy) and Kether Donohue (Jan).

Meanwhile singer, Jessie J, will open the live event with a new version of “Grease (Is the Word).” The Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb wrote the song, which originally was performed by Frankie Valli in the animated opening title sequence of the movie and went on top the pop charts.

Also joining the creative team is Glee and Annie choreographer Zach Woodlee. His credits also include the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother and 2008’s MTV Movie Awards, as well as the films Eat Pray Love, Hairspray, 27 Dresses and 17 Again.

Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski are directing the production, which Fox airs on Sunday, January 31 — live in the East and delayed in the West.

Del Rio’s other credits include Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Troop, Pitch Perfect and Spare Parts.

Mars Earns Sixth Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with “Uptown Funk!”

It’s a chart-topping start of the New Year for Bruno Mars

The 29-year-old’s collaboration with Mark Ronson‘s, “Uptown Funk!,” has reached the summit on the Billboard 100 chart, rising 2-1 on the first chart released in 2015.

Bruno Mars

The song replaces Taylor Swift‘s “Blank Space” after seven weeks at the helm.

“Uptown Funk!,” released via RCA Records, earns Mars his sixth Hot 100 No. 1 and second as a featured artist: he previously reigned as a guest in his first appearance, on B.o.B‘s “Nothin’ on You” in 2010. In between, he led with his own tracks “Just the Way You Are” (four weeks, 2010), “Grenade” (four, 2011), “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man” (one, 2013).

Among male soloists in the Hot 100’s 56-year history, only nine boast more No. 1s than Mars. Michael Jackson leads with 13, followed by Stevie Wonder (10), Elton John, Paul McCartney, Usher (nine each), George Michael (eight), Phil Collins, Frankie Valli and Elvis Presley (seven each; note that Presley’s career predated the Hot 100’s 1958 launch by two years).

“Uptown Funk!,” the 1,041st Hot 100 No. 1 of all-time, reaches the summit with the majority (65 percent) of its chart activity from sales, as it rebounds 2-1 for a second week atop the Digital Songs chart with 382,000 downloads sold (down 12 percent) in the week ending Jan. 4, according to Nielsen Music.

“Uptown Funk!” pushes 4-2 on the Streaming Songs charts with a 14 percent surge to 10 million U.S. streams. On Radio Songs, it rises 10-9 with an 11 percent increase to 76 million in all-format audience.

“Funk!” previews Ronson’s album Uptown Special, due Tuesday (January 13).

“It’s definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done,” Ronson says of his new Hot 100 leader. “And, I know that it’s one of Bruno’s favorite things that he’s ever done, as well.”

Bryan Keith Has His “Moment” on NBC’s “The Voice”

It’s Bryan Keith’s moment to shine on NBC’s The Voice

During Monday night’s “Top 12” performances, the 23-year-old Latino singer/songwriter and Team Adam member had his “breakout” moment while performing Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.”

Bryan Keith

Hernandez – the son of Latin jazz and salsa singer Ray De La Paz, who was a member of the Grammy-winning band Spanish Harlem Orchestra – received major kudos from the Voice coaches.

“Bryan, I think you just took the lead for Team Adam,” said Blake Shelton. “That was really good, congratulations. Solid!”

Christina Aguilera complimented him on his “cool, modern day raspy [Frank] Sinatra thing,” while his coach called his performance a “moment.”

“You definitely had that kind of break-out thing just happen, that really showed everybody how incredible you are,” said Adam Levine. “This was your day and this was your moment to show to kind of show America what was happening.”

But Hernandez wasn’t the only Team Adam member to impress the judges…

Melanie Martinez, who started her performance seated on the floor before bolting up to end her song with gusto, looked uniquely chic in her black and white striped dress.

The 17-year-old Latina singer performed Young the Giant’s “Cough Syrup” and earned raves from the judges for her uniqueness.

“I’ve never heard you project as much as you did on that one,” said Shelton. “And I enjoyed it ‘cause there’s a quality to your voice that I just found out that, no matter what range you’re singing in, it’s always there.”

Aguilera called it her “most emotional” performance, while Martinez’s coach said she has something that’s all her own.

“There’s only one Melanie in this competition,” said Levine. “You’re spectacular and you’re the only one like you in this competition.”

Meanwhile, Aguilera’s two Latino contestants still left in the competition did not disappoint…

Dez Duron performed a jazz-induced version of Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” a la Lauryn Hill.

 

“I thought that performance was impeccable; I thought that it was wonderful through and through,” declared Cee Lo Green of the 22-year-old Latino singer. “[Christina’s] absolutely right in saying that you are the total package. You’ve got so much charisma, so much control and you’ve got such natural appeal, sexual appeal.

Levine complimented Duron on finding his voice with a song that was “decisively you,” while his coach asked the audience and America one simple question about her “old soul crooner with a modern twist”:

“How can you guys not love this guy?” asked Aguilera, adding, “When you get on there stage, I really notice there’s a certain… there’s no other way to describe it other than just a true star quality feel that you do have. ” “Old soul crooner voice with a modern twist”

But Duron wasn’t the only Team Xtina member to bring their A-game.

Adriana Louise, shining bright like a star in her gold sequined dress, performance a sassy and raspy rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl.”

“You looked beautiful tonight. I thought you sounded as great as ever and just continuing to improve,” said Green, adding, “Regardless of tempo, song or styling, you always seem very committed and convicted to what you’re singing. And I can appreciate that.”

Shelton and Levine both applauded Adriana for adeptly taking on Underwood’s song.

“ I am so happy that you did a country song, and Carrie Underwood song,” said sole country coach Shelton. “And I think you made it your own and I appreciate that.”

Aguilera called Adriana’s performance “so playful and so cute” and talked about how easy she made performing that song looked.

“You don’t get it on the radio how hard that is to execute live, but it’s really hard,” said Aguilera. “Even this, like all those runs in between, to execute that so perfectly is really hard you guys… “The best is yet to come from you. And, if you make it through to the next round, America I won’t disappoint you with Adriana, she is a firecracker!”