Anthony Ramos to Star in “Trolls” Half-Hour Animated Musical Special “Trolls Holiday in Harmony”

Anthony Ramos is about to let it troll….

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer has joined the voice cast of Trolls Holiday in Harmony, starring Trolls alums Anna KendrickJustin TimberlakeKenan Thompson and Rachel Bloom.

Anthony Ramos

The new half-hour animated musical special hails from the DreamWorks Animation franchise set on NBC.

Other Trolls alums joining the cast include Ron Funches, Kunal Nayyar, Anderson .Paak, Ester Dean, Walt Dohrn, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Karan Soni.

The special will air on Friday, November 26 at 9:00 pm on NBC.

In the special, as the holidays near, Queen Poppy (Kendrick) plans the first annual Trolls Kingdom Secret Holiday Gift Swap. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when she and Branch (Timberlake) draw each other’s name. Meanwhile, Tiny Diamond (Thompson) comes down with a bad case of writers’ block trying to think of a special holiday rap for his dad.

The special, which includes four original songs, is written and directed by Sean Charmatz and Tim Heitz with Gina Shay and Walt Dohrn serving as the executive producers.

The Trolls DreamWorks Animation franchise includes the 2016 film Trolls and 2020’s Trolls World Tour starring Kendrick, Timberlake, among others, as well as two original TV series, digital content, videos games and more.

Following its premiere on NBC, Trolls Holiday in Harmony, will be available for purchase on digital and DVD November 30 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. A digital soundtrack for the special will be released by RCA Records on November 26 to coincide with the special airing on NBC.

Camila Cabello Among Celebrities Calling on Corporate America to Urge Congress to Support President Joe Biden’s Climate Plan

Camila Cabello is urging the U.S. Congress to support President Joe Biden’s climate change plan…

While Democratic leadership tries to unite its progressive and moderate wings, a group of 80-plus artists, celebrities and activists, including the 24-year-old Cuban/Mexican singer, are calling on the leaders of Google, Disney, Amazon, Fox, Facebook to join them in urging Congress to support Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

Camila Cabello

The effort was spearheaded by the National Resources Defense Council Action Fund and Cabello, who convinced the sizable group of A-listers to speak out, specifically about the need to address climate change.

In addition to Cabello, signatories to the group letter included J.J. Abrams, Greg Berlanti, Cate Blanchett, Jack Antonoff, Don Cheadle, Ellen DeGeneres, Selena Gomez, Shakira, Chris Evans, Jimmy Kimmel, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Chuck Lorre, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lin-Manuel MirandaSean Penn, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Porter, Robert Redford, Ryan Reynolds, Shakira, Barbra Streisand, Wes Studi, Justin Timberlake, Kerry Washington and many more.

On Monday, a group of 17 Nobel Prize-winning economists also came out in support of Biden’s plan.

Manish Bapna, President and CEO of the NRDC Action Fund said, “These are the tastemakers of our time—and in moments like these they have an opportunity to be the changemakers, too. What started as an idea by Camila Cabello has exploded into a clarion call from entertainers overnight to take action. Congress holds in its hands our best chance at combating our biggest environmental challenge yet. We need all hands on deck to make sure they seize it, and these industry leaders can play a critical role in making sure that they do.”

In today’s initiative, the artists call out the following execs by name: Lincoln Benet at Access Industries (Warner Music Group), Sundar Pichai at Alphabet (Google, YouTube), Andy Jassy at Amazon, Tim Cook at Apple, John Stankey at AT&T (WarnerMedia), Brian Roberts at Comcast, David Zaslav at Discovery (and soon Warner Bros. Discovery), Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, Lachlan Murdoch at Fox, Reed Hastings at Netflix, Kenichiro Yoshida at Sony, Robert Bakish at ViacomCBS, Arnaud de Puyfontaine at Vivendi (Universal Music Group) and Bob Chapek at Walt Disney.

“It’s no secret that climate change is here and is already affecting people’s lives across the globe,” wrote Cabello in her post on Instagram about the effort. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to act boldly to fight the climate crisis, so I am honored to join over 60 fellow artists to call on leaders of the entertainment industry to use their power and demand that Congress pass @potus’s #BuildBackBetter agenda this fall.”

Here’s the full text of the letter and a list of its signatories:

Dear Entertainment Industry Executives:

Climate change has arrived on our doorstep: California is on fire, record-breaking and deadly storms are flooding New York City, hurricanes are devastating the Gulf. This summer alone, nearly one in every three people in the United States experienced an extreme weather event.

Scientists warn that if we fail to act now, every single one of us will feel the impacts, a billion people will be displaced, and low-income people and communities of color will continue to be hit first and worst. Right now, we have a critical window of opportunity to do something about it. And we need all hands on deck to demand that our leaders protect the people we love and the places they live before it’s too late.

Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in a clean, just, and equitable future for all by passing the robust climate action that President Biden called for in his Build Back Better agenda. This legislation will create healthier communities, put millions to work in clean energy jobs, and free us from the fossil fuels that are driving climate change.

As the top leaders of the entertainment industry—one of the nation’s most powerful and influential business sectors—you are needed to lead our community’s call for action and embrace this vision for a better world. The entertainment community has a long, proud tradition of driving societal change. Our industry is already leading the charge toward more sustainable practices within our own businesses and productions. Now is the time to use your influence to shape our future.

Congress needs to hear you demand, unequivocally, that it put forward and pass the most ambitious climate change agenda in U.S. history.

The plan currently before Congress will protect people’s health and clean up our drinking water. It will create a just transition away from dirty fossil fuels and create millions of new jobs. It will protect communities from climate change through investments in clean energy, clean transportation, and infrastructure upgrades. And it will make sure we finally prioritize and invest in the low-income communities and communities of color that are hit hardest by both fossil fuel pollution and climate impacts.

This plan will create a stronger, brighter, and more just America—and we need you to help make this vision a reality.

At this pivotal moment, please lead the call. Demand publicly and loudly that our senators and representatives in Congress pass this critical legislation.

And we pledge to do our part as well. We will use our platforms to remind all Americans: Tell your senators and representatives in Congress that you demand climate action now. Advocate for Congress to take up the president’s climate agenda. And don’t stop there. Tweet. Post. E-mail. Call. Whatever it takes.

Sincerely,

J.J. Abrams
Anitta
Jack Antonoff
Troian Bellisario
Greg Berlanti
Cate Blanchett
Benny Blanco
Dave Burd aka “Lil Dicky”
Camila Cabello
Dove Cameron
Alessia Cara
Don Cheadle
Glenn Close
Coldplay
Jacob Collier
Lily Collins
James Corden
Ellen DeGeneres
Cara Delevingne
Leonardo DiCaprio
Zac Efron
Billie Eilish
Chris Evans
Jimmy Fallon
Finneas
Selena Gomez
Conan Gray
Grimes
Todrick Hall
Hugh Jackman
Jimmy Kimmel
Joey King
Liza Koshy
Lady Gaga
Cyndi Lauper
John Legend
Adam Levine
Kevin Liles
Dua Lipa
Lorde
Chuck Lorre
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Demi Lovato
Ziggy Marley
Shawn Mendes
Idina Menzel
Lin-Manuel Miranda
Sean Penn
Joaquin Phoenix
Billy Porter
Zachary Quinto
Addison Rae
Robert Redford
Ryan Reynolds
Mark Ronson
Kyra Sedgwick
Shakira
Lilly Singh
Troye Sivan
Barbra Streisand
Wes Studi
Ryan Tedder
Justin Timberlake
Kerry Washington
Sigourney Weaver
Shailene Woodley
Calum Worthy

Netflix Acquires Worldwide Right to Benicio Del Toro’s “Reptile”

Benicio Del Toro will be shedding new skin online…

Netflix has acquired the worldwide rights to Black Label Media’s Reptile, starring the 54-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar winner (SicarioTraffic).

Benicio del Toro

Del Toro will star opposite Justin Timberlake (PalmerThe Social Network) in the project.

The film picks up following the brutal murder of a young real estate agent, following a hardened detective (Del Toro) as he attempts to uncover the truth in a case where nothing is as it seems. In doing so, he finds himself dismantling the illusions in his own life.

Prolific music video director Grant Singer is helming the film in his feature directorial debut. He wrote the script with Benjamin Brewer.

Del Toro won an Academy AwardBAFTA AwardGolden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of the jaded but morally upright police officer Javier Rodriguez in the film Traffic.

Eva Longoria to Take Part in Presidential & Vice Presidential Inauguration Special “Celebrating America”

Eva Longoria is celebrating America in a special way…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress and producer will introduce segments during the two-hour Joe Biden and Kamala Harris inauguration special that starts at 8:30 pm ET on January 20th.

Eva Longoria

While Tom Hanks will serve as the official host the program, Longoria and Kerry Washington will reprise their duties from last summer’s semi-virtual Democratic National Convention, which had the same producers.

The Celebrating America television special will air on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and more next week.

Biden and Harris are scheduled to give remarks of their own during Celebrating America.

The finale for the five-day America United themed event in a deeply and violently divided nation, Celebrating America has already made public that Justin Timberlake will be busting a move or two onstage. Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons and that other Garden State superstar Jon Bon Jovi will be performing also.

More acts and big names are expected to be revealed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee in the next few days.

Along with the TV networks, Celebrating America will be seen on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse as well as the PIC’s social media feeds.

Cristela Alonzo to Take Part in “America’s Changemakers” Event to Kick Off Five Nights of Presidential Inauguration Festivities

Cristela Alonzo is preparing for a presidential presentation…

The Biden/Harris Presidential Inaugural Committee announced additional programming in advance of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on January 20, with the 42-year-old Mexican American comedian/actress taking part in the festivities.

Cristela Alonzo

The theme of the now five consecutive nights of events is “America United.”

On Saturday, January 16, Alonzo will take part in America United: An Inauguration Welcome Event Celebrating America’s Changemakers.

The event will “celebrate America, reflect and honor our history, and highlight the incredible diversity of the nation” and kick off the five days of programming.

In addition to Alonzo, the roster of participants includes Whoopi Goldberg, actor Nik Dodani, musician Darren Criss, Representative Grace Meng, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Resistance Revival Choir will participate. The Welcome Event will feature a special performance by Adrian Quesada and his Grammy-nominated Black Pumas. It’ll stream live from 7:00-8:30 pm ET at bideninaugural.org and on Presidential Inaugural Committee social media pages.

Also announced is United We Serve: A Celebration of the National MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 18. According to the news release, thousands of volunteers across the country will participate in the National Day of Service, which will then be celebrated by entertainers and inspiring speakers like Aloe Blacc, Rev. Dr. Bernice King, Martin Luther King III, Chesca, Rep. Sharice Davids, Rosario Dawson, Andra Day, Yo-Yo Ma, Rev. Al Sharpton, Sean Patrick Thomas, Diane Warren, Lynn Whitfield and Bebe Winans. The event will stream live from 8:00-9:00 pm ET at bideninaugural.org and on the inaugural committee’s social media pages.

Other events include the Memorial and Nationwide Tribute to Remember and Honor the Lives Lost to Covid-19 on Tuesday the 19th. At 5:30 pm ET, a D.C. ceremony will feature a lighting around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The inaugural committee has invited cities and towns around the country to join in illuminating buildings and ringing church bells.

Inauguration Day events include President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery with former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and the former First Ladies in attendance.

Tom Hanks will host the primetime Celebrating America special that will culminate the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Along with appearances from the 46th POTUS and 49th VPOTUS, the Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss-produced 90-minute show will feature “The Star-Spangled Banner” courtesy of Lady Gaga; a “musical performance” by Jennifer Lopez, the details of which were not disclosed; and performances from Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons and longtime Democrat supporter Jon Bon Jovi.

Celebrating America will air on multiple networks. Starting at 8:30 pm ET, the unity-aiming special will be carried by ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN. Additionally, the Weiss-directed show will be seen on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DIRECTV and U-verse, as well as the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s social media feeds.

Nikki & Brie Bella Among Presenters at This Weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival

Nikki and Brie Bella are headed to the iHeartRadio Music Festival.

The 34-year-old half-Mexican American professional wrestling twins, The Bella Twins, have been added to the list of presenters at iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio Music Festival this weekend.

Nikki & Brie Bella

Other celebrity presenters for the festival — which takes over Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Friday and Saturday night — are Paula Abdul, Taran Killam, Ireland Baldwin, Erin Foster,Sara Foster, Ken Jeong, Sarah HylandLais Ribeiro, Shanina Shaik, Jeff GordonKristin Cavallari, KJ Apa, Skeet Ulrich, Luke Perry,Sharna Burgess, Candice Patton and Nicole Maines.

Notable attendees scheduled to hit the desert are *NSYNC‘s Lance Bass, Disney Channel star Sofia Carson and country singer Jana Kramer.

Performances kick off Friday with Fleetwood Mac, Jack White, Mariah CareyJason Aldean, Sam Smith, Panic! At The Disco, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd and Childish Gambino and then continue Saturday night with Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, Imagine Dragons, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes and Logic. The Daytime Stage on Saturday afternoon will feature LogicDua Lipa, 5 Seconds of Summer, Lil Uzi Vert, Dustin Lynch, MAX and Bazzi.

An exclusive live stream will air both nights of the festival and the Daytime Stage via CWTV.com and The CW app, as well as be broadcast across iHeartRadio stations.

The CW will then broadcast a two-night television special of the event on October 7 and 8 from 8:00 to 10:00 pm ET.

Camila Cabello’s “Havana” Reaches No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs Chart

She may have left her heart in Havana, but Camila Cabello is also leaving her mark on the Billboard music charts.

The 20-year-old Cuban and Mexican singer has earned her second No. 1 as a solo artist on Billboard‘s Pop Songs radio airplay chart, as “Havana,” featuring Young Thug, rises 3-1 on the tally dated December 9. Young Thug reigns in his first visit to the chart.

Camila Cabello

The Pop Songs chart, which began in 1992 measures total weekly plays, as tabulated by Nielsen Music, among its reporting panel of 162 mainstream top 40 stations.

Cabello previously crowned Pop Songs for two weeks beginning February 18 with “Bad Things,” alongside Machine Gun Kelly.

As a member of Fifth Harmony, Cabello led Pop Songs when the group’s “Work From Home,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, began a two-week rule that June 4.

Cabello is additionally just the fifth artist to post multiple Pop Songs No. 1s as a soloist while also having ruled the ranking with a group. She joins an illustrious group that includes Beyoncé, Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani and Justin Timberlake.

With its Latin vibe (fueled by its new Spanglish mix with Daddy Yankee, the track debuted on the Deember. 2 Latin Pop Songs chart at No. 18), “Havana” “stands out in a big way and it raises its hand among all the noise of straight-ahead pop-sounding singles,” Brian Kelly, program director of Pop Songs reporter WXSS Milwaukee (and Entercom top 40 format captain), recently told Billboard, adding that Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee‘s smash “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, “knocked down the door [for] this type of sound.

“What once seemed like an impossible fit all of a sudden makes sense.”

On the all-genre airplay, streaming and sales-based Billboard Hot 100, “Havana” has reached a No. 2 high, for the past three weeks.

Mendes to be Subject of Feature Documentary by John Scheinfeld

Sergio Mendes is ready to doc out…

The 76-year-old Brazilian Grammy-winning musician, will be the subject of a feature documentary to be released in 2018.

Sergio Mendes

John Scheinfeld, whose past work includes The U.S. vs. John Lennon and documentaries about Harry Nilsson and John Coltrane, is directing the film.

Meanwhile, Mendes is working on a companion album via the Concord label that will include new songs co-written with younger songwriters, and versions of the Brazilian maestro’s classics featuring intergenerational guests, with some tracks co-produced by will.i.am.

“I am attracted to stories of artists who go their own way,” Scheinfeld tells Billboard. “Who achieve success on their terms. Sergio has done that and more…For more than 50 years Sergio has been making inspired music that inspires people with its inherent joy, warmth and happiness.”

Mendes is renowned as the man who put go-go boots on Brazilian music and brought it to the world with his evergreen hit “Mas Que Nada.” With his band Brasil ’66, he recorded a string of soft samba and groovy bossa nova versions of English-language pop songs that made him a household name. Forty years later, Mendes brought “Mas Que Nada” (written and originally recorded by Jorge Ben Jor) to a new generation when he recorded it with The Black Eyed Peas for his will.i.am-produced album Timeless.

“Of course my personal musical journey is related to a very important period of Brazilian music,” Mendes said via an exuberant email from Brazil, where the film is in production.

Monday (April 3) he is rehearsing with musicians for one of the documentary’s performance sequences. “When I began my life as a musician, it was the early days of bossa nova, which was the sound that would seduce and enchant the world, making Brazilian music internationally known! And the beauty of it is that, as I work today with a young generation of brilliant musicians such as will.i.am, John Legend, India Arie, Jill Scott, Justin Timberlake, etc., they are still seduced by those beautiful melodies and rhythms, which remain as magical and relevant as ever!”

Mendes, a three-time Grammy winner, has recorded more than 35 albums. A longtime Los Angeles resident, he said that the film will reveal “hidden facets” of his life and career, taking him back to his hometown — Niterói — across the bay from Rio de Janeiro, allowing him to revisit his childhood and adolescence.

“I used to play soccer at the beach, swim in the ocean, play with marbles, etc.,” he recalls. “And later, when I grew up I would cross the bay to go to Rio by ferry to work with my first bands in the early ’60s…we will visit many places from my early years, which will bring some surprises for my newer (and even some of my older) fans.”

Like many current Mendes followers, Scheinfeld first moved to his music as a kid at home, listening to his mother’s Brasil ’66 records. He met the Brazilian legend after Concord Music Group’s Glen Barros and John Burk approached him about making the documentary, an idea prompted by the recent 50th anniversary of Brasil ’66.

“Personally, as he’s not the lead singer, nor the type of flamboyant front man we see in many a rock band, Sergio is something of a mystery,” says Scheinfeld, who reports that he and Mendes have become good friends. “Our film will dig deep to enable the audience to get to know him as a three-dimensional being. As the narrative unfolds, we will reveal that what makes him unique as a human being is what has shaped the art.”

The film will include archival footage and family photos, interviews with Mendes’ contemporaries and artists he influenced, and, of course, music from throughout his career.

“Professionally, his is a remarkable story of innovation, reinvention and impact,” Scheinfeld adds. “Not only did he create a fresh and unique sound, but he has continued to reinvent and re-imagine it from decade to decade and stayed relevant. Along the way, he has influenced subsequent generations of musicians, including some of today’s biggest stars.  Although it’s been 50 years, Sergio’s drive, curiosity and creativity has him still looking forward. How many artists can claim all this as part of their legacy?”

Miranda to Perform “How Far I’ll Go” at This Year’s Academy Awards

Lin-Manuel Miranda will go far at this year’s Oscars

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican actor, playwright, composer, rapper, and writer will perform at this year’s Academy Awards, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda, a first time Oscar nominee and creator of the smash Broadway musical Hamilton, will join voices with part-Puerto Rican Moana voice star Auli’i Cravalho, a recent Annie Award winner, to perform one of the Best Original Song-nominated tracks.

Miranda and Cravalho will perform “How Far I’ll Go,” which he wrote for the hit animated film from Disney.

Other performers include Justin Timberlake, Sting and John Legend.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these world-class artists to the Oscars. These performances will not only celebrate the five extraordinary nominated original songs, but also the integral part music plays in movies,” Oscarcast producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd said in a statement.

Jimmy Kimmel will hosts the 89th Annual Academy Awards on February 26. ABC will air the awards show live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Cabello Reaches No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs Chart with “Bad Things”

It’s a special first for Camila Cabello

The 19-year-old Cuban American singer and former Fifth Harmony member and Machine Gun Kelly have reached the summit on BillboardPop Songs radio airplay chart with “Bad Things.”

Camila Cabello

Cabello and Machine Gun Kelley’s collaboration climbs 2-1 on the list dated February 18.

Cabello reigns in her second visit as a soloist. A year ago, she reached No. 10 with Shawn Mendes on I Know What You Did Last Summer.

As a member of Fifth Harmony (from 2012 until this past December), Cabello charted seven Pop Songs entries, including “Work From Home” (featuring Ty Dolla $ign), which led for two weeks in June 2016.

Cabello, thus, joins an elite troop of artists who’ve topped Pop Songs (which launched in 1992) both as a soloist and as part of a group.

Here’s Cabello’s fellow group-to-solo successes below.

Justin Timberlake (eight Pop Songs No. 1s) / *NSYNC (two)
Beyonce (six) and Kelly Rowland (one) / Destiny’s Child (two)
Adam Levine (two) / Maroon 5 (nine)
Gwen Stefani (two) / No Doubt (three)
Fergie (one) / The Black Eyed Peas (three)
Wyclef Jean (one) / Fugees (one)
Nate Ruess (one) / fun. (one)
Rob Thomas (one) / matchbox twenty (one)

Also for “Bad Things” on Pop Songs: It reigns more than 17 years after the song that originally provided its chorus hit No. 8 on the chart: Fastball‘s “Out of My Head.”