Juanes to Host Star-Studded Christmas Musical Special “Celebremos: Eterna Navidad”

Juanes is getting into the holiday spirit…

The 45-year-old Colombian superstar and his wife Karen Martínez are set to host a star-studded Christmas special that will stream only on Pantaya, according to Billboard.

Juanes

Titled Celebremos: Eterna Navidad, the musical event — produced by streaming service Lionsgate‘s Pantaya, Universal Music GroupElefantec Global and Plataforma — will feature performances by Alejandro FernándezDanna PaolaGloria Trevi and Los Tigres del Norte, among many others.

“We all need a little extra Christmas cheer this year and what better way to bring people together than by a holiday special featuring joyful music and celebrity fun,” said Mario Almeida, Pantaya vice president of programming, development, and acquisitions. “We are excited to be working with the biggest names in Latinx entertainment and to partner with Pepe Baston’s Elefantec Global, Plataforma and Universal Music Group.”

The holiday special will also include other guests, including actors Aislinn Derbez, Ana De La Reguera, Sebastian Zurita and Ricardo O’Farrill, and renowned chefs Benito Molina and Solange Muris.

Celebremos: Eterna Navidad premieres December 4 on Pantaya and can be streamed across the U.S., including Puerto Rico.

Juanes Appears in Guitar Center’s First-Ever Spanish Language Commercial

Juanes is making music and history…

Guitar Center has launched an artist-centered campaign for the holidays that includes its first-ever Spanish-language ad, featuring the 48-year-old Colombian musician and singer-songwriter.

Juanes

The “Make Music” campaign, which launched in early November and runs through December 24, is meant to “inspire everyone globally” for more people to make music.

“We’re turning to many of these artists to share their unique perspective on what music means to them in hopes that their experiences will inspire others on their musical journey,” Jeannine D’Addario, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at the Guitar Center Company, tells Billboard.

Juanes, who became a household name in the early 2000s with hits like “A Dios Le Pido,” “Es Por Ti,” and “La Camisa Negra,” is at the helm of Guitar Center’s first Spanish-language ad spot for digital broadcast expected to run in the upcoming weeks. This also marks the first time a Latin artist is featured on a Guitar Center campaign since Chicano Batman in 2018.

“The overall goal of the campaign is to inspire people to play, to enjoy the process of making music and find personal gratification in that effort,” says D’Addario, adding that Juanes was the perfect Latin artist to join the campaign. “We wanted to highlight a combination of legendary artists, innovative producers, and rising musicians to share their personal stories as to why they make music.”

In the 30-second ad, first released in English and exclusively on Billboard, the award-winning artist talks about his musical journey and how it traces back to his father listening to Argentine and Colombian folk music. “Music for me is like a cure for my soul,” he says. “I make music to connect with people.” He’s also seen performing an acoustic version of his single “Más Futuro Que Pasado.”

Spreading holiday cheer and celebrating every genre, the campaign hopes to inspire people to turn to music and instruments during these trying times. “We’ve seen an uptick in guitar sales as they have more than doubled during the pandemic,” says D’Addario, despite The New York Times reporting in October that the music retailer chain could potentially file for bankruptcy. “We expect guitar sales to continue trending positively in 2021. We are also seeing growth in home recording, keyboards, and electric drums.”

The “Make Music” campaign features a series of 25 artist videos released on GuitarCenter.com and its YouTube channel. Music aficionados are encouraged to join the conversation using the hashtag #WhyWeMakeMusic.

Anitta to Perform at This Year’s Latin Grammys

Anitta is heading to the Latin Grammys

The 27-year-old Brazilian singer has been added to the list of performers set to take the stage at this year’s Latin Grammys, according to the Latin Recording Academy.

Anitta

Anitta appears on the final star-studded list of performers that includes Rauw Alejandro, J Balvin, Camilo, Lupita Infante, Juanes, Mariachi Sol De México De José Hernández, Ricky Martin, Natalia, Jimenez, José Luis Perales, Prince Royce, and Carla Morrison.

Those artists join previously-announced performers Anuel AA, Marc Anthony, Bad Bunny, Calibre 50, Pedro Capó, Julio Reyes Copello, Alex Cuba, Alejandro Fernández, Karol G, Kany García, Guaynaa, Los Tigres del Norte, Víctor Manuelle, Ricardo Montaner, Christian Nodal, Debi Nova, Fito Páez, Nathy Peluso, Raquel Sofía and Sebastián Yatra.

The 21st annual ceremony, led by 13-time nominee J Balvin, will also celebrate several Latin music icons, with special tributes including Julio Iglesias, Pedro Infante, Juan Luis Guerra, Roberto Carlos, and Héctor Lavoe.

Returning with a “music makes us human” theme that highlights musical excellence and the power of music in times of despair, the event will also showcase diverse stories of hope, community, sense of purpose, and celebration.

Hosted by Carlos Rivera, the 2020 Latin Grammys will air at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Thursday, November 19, via Univision.

The star-studded event will be preceded by the one-hour pre-show Noche de Estrellas, held virtually in Miami, where the majority of the categories will be awarded.

J Balvin Earns 13 Latin Grammy Award Nominations, Including Two for Album of the Year

J Balvin is the man to beat…

The Latin Grammy Award nominations have been announced, with the 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer leading the pack of nominees with 13 nominations.

J Balvin

J Balvin’s nominations include two for album of the year and two for record of the year (“Rojo” & “China”).

Balvin has a chance to win his first album of the year prize — a category with 10 contenders — thanks to his fifth solo album “Colores” and “Oasis,” his collaborative project with Bad Bunny. Other nominees include Bad Bunny’s sophomore release “YHLQMDLG” as well as albums from Ricky Martin, Carlos Vives, Jesse & Joy, Kany García, Natalia Lafourcade, Camilo and Fito Paez.

Bad Bunny received nine nominations, including two for album of the year (YHLQMDLG & Oasis) and one for record of the year (“Vete”).

Ozuna has eight nominations, including one for record of the year (“China”).

For record of the year, which also has 10 nominees, contenders include popular hip-hop-flavored Latin songs that have dominated the Latin music charts and earned hundreds of millions plays on streaming services, with some even reaching the billion-mark on YouTube, including Karol G and Nicki Minaj’s global hit “Tusa” and “China” by Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna, Balvin and Marco Masis. Other nominees include Balvin’s “Rojo” and Bad Bunny’s “Vete.”

“Tusa” is the sole Latin trap nominee in the song of the year category, where 11 tracks are in contention. It’s a departure for Karol G, who didn’t receive a single nomination last year and was part of the group of uber-successful Latin trap and reggaeton artists who were dissed in top categories like album, song and record of the year.

This year, the 29-year-old Colombian performer, who was named best new artist in 2018, has four nominations, including two shared with Minaj. Karol G’s fiance, Puerto Rican rapper-singer Anuel AA, marked a major breakthrough this year as a first-time nominee. He scored seven nominations, including a bid for best new artist.

“Over the last year, we continued engaging in discussions with our members to improve the awards process and actively encouraged diverse Latin music creators to join and participate,” Latin Academy President and CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. said in a statement, calling this year’s nominees “a group that reflects the constant evolution of Latin music.”

As a result of last year’s debacle social media exploded as Latin artists posted images of the Grammy logo with a large red “X″ across it, with words on the image reading in Spanish: “Without reggaeton, there’s no Latin Grammys.” Balvin even skipped the live show and Bad Bunny, who won best urban music album during the telecast, told the audience: “With all due respect, reggaeton is part of the Latin culture.”

To honor Latin rap and reggaeton performers, the Latin Grammys added new categories this year, including best reggaeton performance and best rap/hip-hop song.

Balvin’s 13 nominations includes several categories where he will compete with himself: Outside of album and record of the year, he’s a double nominee in the best urban music album, best urban fusion/performance and best reggaeton performance categories. Ozuna and Bad Bunny will also compete with themselves in several categories.

Others who scored multiple nominations include Juanes, Martin, Alejandro Sanz, Camilo, Carlos Vives, Kany García and Residente, the most decorated winner in the history of Latin Grammys. Rosalía, who won album of the year last year and became the first solo female performer to win the top honor since Shakira’s triumph in 2006, earned four nominations this year.

Apart from Minaj’s two nominations, other popular American artists who will compete for awards include rapper Travis Scott (best short form music video for “TKN” with Rosalía); jazz master Chick Corea and his Spanish Heart Band (best Latin jazz/jazz album for “Antidote”); DJ-producer Diplo (best urban song for “Rave de Favela” ); and rapper Tyga (best reggaeton performance for “Loco Contigo” with DJ Snake and Balvin). Justin Bieber’s right-hand songwriter, Jason Boyd aka Poo Bear, earned an album of the year nomination for his work on Jesse & Joy’s “Aire (Versión Día).”

The 21st annual Latin Grammy Awards will air live on November 19 on Univision. The nominees in the 53 categories were selected from more than 18,000 entries. Songs and albums released between June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020 were eligible for nomination.

Click here to see the full Latin Grammy nominations.

Juanes Releases Funk-ified Cover of Zoe’s Classic “Vía Lactea”

He’s known for his own smash songs, but this time around Juanes is putting his spin on someone else’s…

The 48-year-old Colombian superstar has released his take on Zoe’s timeless hit “Vía Lactea,” making it his own with his signatures rock sounds and a little help from producer Sebastian Krys.

Juanes

The end result is a semi-funk, groovy take on Zoe’s love anthem, including a captivating trumpet tune that carries the song and injects it with new life near the three-minute mark.

Juanes’ new version of “Vía Láctea” is part of the album Reversiones, a tribute album to Zoé due later this year.

“Vía Láctea” was released in 2006 and included in the Mexican rock band’s album Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxRj-RoNOTY “I connected the most with “Vía Láctea” … the lyrics, the melody,” Juanes said. “My approach to the song was very free, I reinterpreted the song as if it was mine, I took the chords, started to sing it as if it was my song, I started to imagine it, obviously I took references from their MTV Unplugged album, and the original album too.”

Mau y Ricky Team Up with John Legend for “Bigger Love” Latin Remix

Mau y Ricky are bringin’ the big(ger) love

The Venezuelan Latin pop and reggaeton duo have joined voices with John Legend to bring a little latin flavor to his latest single “Bigger Love.”

Mau y Ricky & John Legend

The Latin remix of the feel-good pop track that celebrates love and resilience was released on Friday, July 24. 

“I always envisioned ‘Bigger Love’ as an international song, bringing musical styles and cultures together to celebrate love and our human connection.  I’m so happy I could collaborate with Mau y Ricky to create this Latin remix.  I hope all of our fans around the world will enjoy dancing to it,” says Legend.

It’s Mau y Ricky’s first English-language collaboration.

“I don’t know if we’re the best for the job but we for sure will be the quickest and the most efficient and the most hungry and excited for it,” Mau tells Billboard. “We’re just so grateful because to be honest, John is one of the artist that we admire the most so this is crazy and we still can’t believe it.”

The making of the remix took no more than a month. And after Legend – who has collaborated with other Latin artists like Juanes and Flor de Toloache– heard what Mau y Ricky had done with the song, he said: “The only feedback I gave them was that I wanted more. They were being a little too shy at first. We asked them to give us more, we want to hear your voice with mine so that there’s a real collaboration and interaction.”

Jesse & Joy Release Star-Studded “Love (Es Nuestro Idioma)” Music Video in Support of LGBTI+ Community

Jesse & Joy are spreading the love with some all-star assistance…

The Mexican Latin Grammy-winning brother and sister duo has released the official music video for “Love (Es Nuestro Idioma)” and it features appearances by nearly 200 people from around the world, including artists like ThalíaJuanes and more.

Jesse & Joy

The music video speaks out against violence toward the LGBTI+ community and raises awareness about conversion therapies that to this day take place in Mexico and other parts of the world.

“Our music will always be there to remind you that you are beautiful just as you are,” the Mexican previously said about the song, included in their recently-released album Aire. “It’s called ‘Love’ and talks about love being the universal language, the language that all of us should speak.”

Toward the end of the video, the message is loud and clear: “A sexual orientation is nothing something that should be cured. Conversion therapies are acts of torture and violation of privacy.”

Featuring cameos by Latin artists like Mon Laferte, Natalia JiménezÁngela Aguilar, Alejandro SanzLaura PausiniKany GarcíaAna BárbaraTommy Torres, Sofía Reyes, Luis Fonsi, among others, the video was directed by Kacho López and Joy. 

The release coincides with the landmark ruling officially protecting LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Profits from the video will be donated to the YAAJ MEXICO Foundation to help the organization continue their social work in Mexico and for their work supporting sexual violence young victims.

Carlos Vives Releases Indigenous Roots-Inspired Album “Cumbiana”

Carlos Vives is going back to his roots…

The 58-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter has released his latest album, Cumbiana, a search for the indigenous roots of Colombian music. 

Carlos Vives

The album has been described as “exuberant, soulful, beautiful and important without ever sounding overbearing,” by Billboard.

The album features duets with Jessie ReyezRuben Blades and Alejandro Sanz,and ittreads that line between what’s commercial and what’s artistic.

“I discovered a lost world. That’s the truth,” Vives simply states, speaking from his home in Bogota, where he’s been in lockdown for the past two months.

“We’ve always spoken about our African heritage in music,” he adds. “We’ve always thought that the most uplifting elements of our music came from Africa or from European rhythms like polka. But it turns out it comes from Andean, or indigenous music. This album highlights the joy of the fusion of African, European and indigenous music.”

Marrying Colombia’s past with the future, Cumbianahas already delivered a chart hit with “No Te Vayas.” Edgier still is current single “For Sale,” a mix of traditional beats with reggaeton, a touch of rap and Sanz’s flamenco strains. Of course, Vives wrote the rulebook for Colombian fusion.

His 1994 album, La Tierra Del Olvido, where he marries Colombia’s most traditional folk beats — vallenato, cumbiaporro— with rock guitars and drums and pop sensibility, is the original blueprint of the sound that would later define the work of acts like JuanesFonseca and even Shakira at times.

But Cumbiana expands its realm. So much so that this is the first of a three-album project.

Julieta Venegas to Take Part in Soda Stereo’s Gracias Totales Tour

Julieta Venegasis helping Soda Stereogive Gracias.

The 49-year-old Mexican American singer and Grammy winner will serve as a special guest on Soda Stereo bassist Zeta Bosio and drummer Charly Alberti’s Gracias Totales tour, which will be making stops in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Houston. 

Julieta Venegas

Soda Stereo and their guests will take the stage to sing some of the band’s greatest hits and honor the legacy of late frontman Gustavo Cerati.

In addition to Venegas, other special guests include Soda Stereo’s first vocalist and the Cerati’s great friend Richard ColemanAterciopeladosAndrea EcheverriDraco Rosa; and Gustavo Santaolalla

More than 10 years after Cerati last hit the stage at Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena in 2007, Soda Stereo’s members – joined by their special guests via in-person or audiovisual format – will perform some of their timeless hits, like “De Musica Ligera,” “Persiana Americana,” “Tratame Suavemente” and more.

Coleman, Draco, Santaolalla and Venegas will join Zeta and Charly at their shows in New York and Miami. Echeverri will then take over Venegas’ spot at the Los Angeles and Houston shows.

Joining via video are Rubén Albarránfrom Café Tacvba; Cerati’s son BenitoBabasonicos’ Adrián DárgelosLos Tresand Pettinellis’ Álvaro HenríquezJuanesMon LaferteLeón LarreguiFernando Ruiz Díazfrom Catupecu Machu; and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin

The tour, presented by Loud and Live and Move Concerts, will honor the late Argentine frontman and guitarist Gustavo Cerati, who died on September 4, 2014, after suffering a stroke. According to an official statement, technology will allow Cerati’s voice and image to be part of the show.

The Gracias Totales tour marks Soda Stereo’s farewell trek. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.

Here are the dates:

April 14 — New York @ Barclays Center
April 17 — Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
April 22 — Houston, TX @ Smart Financial
April 25 — Los Angeles, CA @ Forum

Juanes Notches 7th No. 1 Album on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums Chart

It’s Lucky No. 7 for Juanes

The 47-year-old Colombian singer has earned his seventh No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albumschart dated December 7 as Más Futuro Que Pasadoarrives at the top position. 

Juanes

It’s his fourth straight debut at the summit, which also debuts at No. 9 on the overall Top Latin Albums chart.

“I am dearly grateful to all my fans around the world who continue to allow me to share my feelings through my songs,” Juanes tells Billboard.“I am forever grateful.”

His eighth studio album becomes Juanes’ eighth straight top 10 debut on the Top Latin Albums chart,which ranks the most popular Latin albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Más Futuro Que Pasado opens with 4,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending November 28, according to Nielsen Music. Out of that sum, 2,000 were in traditional album sales while a little over 1,000 account for SEA units. The latter equates to 2 million on-demand audio streams for its songs in its first tracking week. 

Más Futuro Que Pasado follows Mis Planes Son Amarte, a former one-week ruler on both Top Latin Albums and Latin Pop Albums charts.

The new set, released November 22 via Universal Music Latino/UMLE, was preceded by three songs that hit the Hot Latin Songs chart -which blends airplay, digital sales and streaming data: “Pa Dentro” (No. 41 peak. July 21), “La Plata,” featuring Colombian reggaetón act Lalo Ebratt(No. 40, March 16) and “Bonita,” with Sebastian Yatra(No. 27 peak, Nov. 23).