Starz Revives Naya Rivera’s “Step Up” Dance Series

Naya Rivera’s steppin’ her way to Starz

Starz is bringing back to life the 33-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress and former Glee star’s dance series Step Up after its cancellation by YouTube last year.

Naya Rivera

The premium cable network has ordered a 10-episode new season of the series from creator and executive producer Holly Sorensen and Lionsgate Television

The series will feature popular characters from previous seasons, while expanding the scope and storytelling as a Starz Original series.

“Holly and her team have created a new and dynamic iteration of the series that captures the hallmarks that have made the Step Upfranchise so successful and elevates the storytelling for the premium, global audience,” said Christina Davis, president, Original Programming for Starz. “This, coupled with the worldwide appeal of the multi-talented, multicultural cast, will make this series a great addition to our slate.”

Inspired by the Step UpLionsgate film franchise that grossed more than $600 million at the worldwide box office, the series centers on Sage Odom (Ne-Yo) as the legendary founder of Atlanta’s famed High Water Performing Arts School and Collette (Rivera), his partner in High Water and in life. 

The upcoming season will see Sage, Colette and their relationship challenged as they face criminal charges, financial ruin and powerful political enemies who want to destroy Sage and High Water.

Tricia Helfer joins the series this season as Erin, alongside Ne-Yo and Rivera and returning series regulars including Petrice Jones as Tal, Faizon Love as Uncle Al, Marcus Mitchell as Dondre, Jade Chynoweth as Odalie, Carlito Olivero as Davis, Terrence Green as Rigo, Eric Graise as King, and Kendra Oyesanya as Poppy.

“The latest installment of ‘Step Up’ not only reimagines the entire franchise but is filled with high energy, lots of heart and electrifying dance moves, and we’re very excited to reunite the talented cast and creative teams for another great season,” said Lionsgate Television group chairman Kevin Beggs. “This collaboration underscores our ability to work successfully across our businesses to supply premium content to Starz.”

Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, who both co-starred in the original Step Upfilm, will executive produce through Tatum’s Free Association production company. 

The Lionsgate film franchise spanned five films: Step Up, Step Up 2: The StreetsStep Up: 3DStep Up: Revolution and Step Up: All InThe film series also inspired the live music and dance show Step Up Dubai, All In! at the Motiongate Dubai theme park. 

The first two seasons will be available exclusively on the Starz App and On Demand prior to the launch of the new season.

Naya Rivera’s YouTube Drama Series “Step Up: High Water” Surges in Viewership

Naya Riverais stepping up her game on the internet…

YouTube and Lionsgate’s hit dance drama series Step Up: High Water, starring the 32-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress and former Glee star, has surged in viewership for its Season 2 premiere. 

Naya Rivera

The first episode of the sophomore season has drawn 11.5 million views in the seven days since its March 20 debut, according to YouTube. Compared with the first episode of Season 1, which drew 1.3 million viewers through seven days following its January 31, 2018 debut, the Season 2 premiere is up 884% over the first season.

Based on the successful film franchise from Lionsgate, Step Up: High Water follows several students at a cut-throat performing arts school in Atlanta. 

Series regulars Rivera, NE-YO, and Faizon Loveare back for Season 2, along with newcomers Ashley GreeneRobin Givensand Jeremy Copeland.

Multi-platinum recording artist and entrepreneur Rick Rossis set to guest star as himself. Todrick Hallwill also make a cameo playing himself. JaQuel Knightwill choreograph episode three as well as make a cameo playing himself.

Step Up: High Water is created and executive produced by showrunner Holly Sorensen (Recovery Road, Make It Or Break It).Adam ShankmanJennifer Gibgotand Meredith Milton, all producers of the original Step Up films, executive produced season one, along with Channing Tatumand Jenna Dewan, who both co-starred in the original Step Up film. All have returned to executive produce for the second season.

J Balvin Earns 10th No. 1 on Billboard Latin Airplay Chart with “Ambiente”

Make that a Perfect 10 for J Balvin

The 33-year-old Colombian urban singer has earned his 10th  No. 1 on the Billboard Latin Airplay chart with “Ambiente,” the fourth single off his latest studio album, Vibras.

J Balvin

The track zooms 10-1 in its 11thweek on the chart dated July 7, and earns the week’s Greatest Gainer honors thanks to a 70 percent increase in audience (to 16.74 million in the week ending July 1), according to Nielsen Music.

The nine-position leap is the biggest jump to No. 1 since March 10, when Wisin’s “Todo Comienza En La Disco,” featuring Yandel and Daddy Yankee, rose 11 ranks (12-1).

“Ambiente,” which was released on April 13, is Balvin’s third No. 1 of the year. It follows “X” with Nicky Jam, which topped the list on the April 28-dated chart, ruling for two weeks, and “Machika” with Neon and Anitta which led for one week on March 24.

“I’m extremely grateful for so many blessings, for seeing how every day we are reinventing ourselves musically,” Balvin tells Billboard. “Thankful as we go surprising the audience with different sounds and “Ambiente” has not been the exception. I am very happy with this 10th  No. 1. Thank you for everything, onwards with the Latin culture.”

For a second week in a row, Balvin has three songs in the top 10 (“Ambiente” at No. 1, “X” with Nicky Jam steady at No. 2, and “I Like It” with Cardi B and Bad Bunny moving 7-10).

Further, for the first time in his career, Balvin holds down the top two at the same time — an achievement only seven other acts have managed in the chart’s 23-year history. Balvin is also just the fifth act to be both Nos. 1 and 2 as a lead artist, and the first since Pitbull in 2011 (Oct. 15, 2011: “Rain Over Me,” featuring Marc Anthony was No. 1, and “Give Me Everything,” featuring Ne-Yo,Afrojack and Nayer was No. 2).

“Ambiente” also lands atop the Latin Rhythm Airplay chart, rising 8-1. It’s Balvin’s 10th No. 1.

Earlier this week, Balvin earned his first-ever No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 alongside Cardi B and Bad Bunny with their hit single “I Like It.”

Morales to Compete on NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night”

It’s game on for Natalie Morales

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican and Brazilian American broadcast journalist, the Today Show West Coast anchor and an NBC News correspondent, will appear on this season of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night.

Natalie Morales

Hosted by Glee star Jane Lynch, this game night show brings regular people face-to-face with celebrities.

In addition to Morales, this season’s famous contestants include Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley from This Is Us, Ben Feldman from Superstore, plus Michael Bolton, NE-YO, Mike Colter, Margaret Cho, Gabby Douglas, Taye Diggs, and RuPaul.

Hollywood Game Night will premiere on Monday, August 7 at 10 pm ET.

NBC to Premiere Lopez’s Reality Competition “World of Dance” in May

Jennifer Lopez is ready to dance this May…

NBC has set its 2017 summer schedule, which includes the 47-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer’s brand new reality competition series World of Dance.

Jennifer Lopez World of Dance

Executive produced by Lopez, who will serve as judge alongside NE-YO and Derek Hough, will premiere on Monday, May 8 at 10:00 pm ET.

Step Up dancer and actress Jenna Dewan Tatum hosts the reality show that’s produced in partnership with global dance brand World of Dance and will result in a $1 million prize for the winner.

After its post-The Voice debut on May 8, World of Dance will move to its regular Tuesday 10 p.m. timeslot beginning on May 30, following America’s Got Talent. (

For more about World of Dance, click here.

Maluma Takes Top Two Spots on Billboard’s Latin Airplay Chart

Maluma is celebrating two concurrent hits…

The Colombian singer has become only the sixth act to concurrently hold the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart as “Sin Contrato” soars 7-1 on the February 11-dated chart.

Maluma

At the same time, the singer remains at No. 2 as a featured act on Shakira’s “Chantaje” for a third straight week.

At 23-years-old, he’s the youngest artist to rule the top two spots on the chart, and the first to do so since 2011.

Before Maluma, the youngest artist to conquer the No. 1 and No. 2 spots was Alejandro Fernandez, who at 25 ruled the chart for two straight weeks in January of 1998 with “En El Jardin,” featuring Gloria Estefan, at No. 1, while “Si Tu Supieras” was No. 2.

Selena spent the most weeks holding both top spots. Beginning four months after the Tejano superstar died, she spent six non-consecutive weeks at the top with “Tu Solo Tu” and “I Could Fall In Love,” between July and September in 1995. She would have been 24-years-old.

The most recent artist to achieve the feat was Pitbull on the October 15, 2011-dated list. He crowned the chart with “Rain On Me,” featuring Marc Anthony, while “Give Me Everything,” featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, held the No. 2 slot.

The other acts to simultaneously hold the top two spots are Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes.

Maluma’s No. 1s on Latin Airplay
Title, peak date (weeks at No. 1)
“Borro Cassette,” Nov. 21, 2015 (three weeks)
“El Perdedor,” featuring Yandel, Aug. 13, 2016 (one week)
“Vente Pa’ Ca” (Ricky Martin featuring Maluma), Oct. 15, 2016 (two weeks)
“Chantaje” (Shakira featuring Maluma), Nov. 19, 2016 (three weeks)
“Sin Contrato,” featuring Fifth Harmony or Don Omar and Wisin, Feb. 11, 2017 (one week, so far)

“Sin Contrato,” which boasts a version featuring Fifth Harmony and one featuring Don Omar and Wisin, as well as Maluma’s original solo version, rises to the top boosted by a 38 percent at the radio format (to 15.1 million audience impressions in the week ending Jan. 29, according to Nielsen Music).

Meanwhile, on the Hot Latin Songs chart (which blends airplay, sales and streams), “Sin Contrato” earns a new peak hopping 13-7, reaching the top 10 for the first time in its 22nd charting frame. In addition to the on-air increase, 1.4 million U.S. streams (down 1 percent, in the week ending Jan. 26) also support the climb, which marks the singer’s fifth top 10.

Elsewhere on the charts, Maluma vaults 25-5 on Top Latin Albums with Pretty Boy Dirty Boy, with 2,000 equivalent album units earned, during the chart’s first week as a consumption based ranking. The updated chart switched to a multi-metric methodology, blending pure album sales, track equivalent album (TEA) units, and streaming equivalent album (SEA) units. Under the previous album-sales-only formula, the set debuted at No. 1 on the Nov. 21, 2015 chart. The jump marks the first time that the set returns to the top five since its arrival.

Finally, Maluma also lifts 14-10 on the Social 50 chart, which is powered by data tracked by music analytics company Next Big Sound, and ranks the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Tumblr. He previously peaked at No. 7 on the December 24 ranking.

Cruz’s “No Vuelve” Reaches No. 1 on Billboard’s Tropical Songs Chart

Yunel Cruz is back at the top of the charts…

The Dominican-American singer’s latest single “No Vuelve” skips 3-1 on Billboard’s Tropical Songs chart, giving him his second chart-topper.

Yunel Cruz

Cruz first led the list in 2015 when “Ay Amiga” spent one week at the top.

The bachata singer is currently recording his forthcoming album, Divina Voluntad, which will include “No Vuelve.”

He recently announced that his next single, “Sin Miedo,” featuring Ne-Yo and J Alvarez, will be released this summer.

Blacc to Appear as a Musical Guest on the New Season of “Sesame Street”

Can you tell Aloe Blacc how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

The 36-year-old Panamanian American singer-songwriter is set to guest star on the long-running educational program for its upcoming 46th season, which premieres in January and has been revamped for HBO.

Aloe Blacc

Blacc is set to appear as a musical guest, performing the song “Everyday Hero.”

In addition to Blacc, this season’s musical guests on television’s most iconic street include Fifth Harmony, Gwen StefaniPharrell and Nick Jonas.

This season also promises a new set, new opening and closing songs and a new character named Nina.

It all begins on January 16 at 9:00 am ET on HBO. The new episodes also will air on PBS, although at a later date.

Here’s the full lineup of musical guests and their songs:

Gwen Stefani, “Be a Good Friend”
Pharrell, “B Is for Book”
Nick Jonas, “Check That Shape”
Fifth Harmony, “That’s Music”
Sara Bareilles, “Just Like Magic”
Ne-Yo, “You’ve Got a Body, So Move It!”
Aloe Blacc, “Everyday Hero”

Garcia to Be Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

Jerry Garcia legacy lives on…

The late part-Spanish American musician best known for his lead guitar work, singing and songwriting with the band the Grateful Dead, will be posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this week.

Jerry Garcia

Garcia and his songwriting partner Robert Hunter, who will also be honored, first paired together as performers in a folk duo in the early 1960’s.  When Garcia formed the Grateful Dead in the mid-1960’s, he looked to Hunter for lyrics. Hunter became an official lyricist for the band, and when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Hunter was inducted as a band member, the only non-performer ever honored.

Garcia wrote the music while Hunter penned lyrics for songs like “Casey Jones”, “China Cat Sunflower,” “St. Stephen” and “Truckin,’” which was recognized by the United States Library of Congress in 1997 as a national treasure.

With more than 35 million albums sold worldwide, other notable tracks include, “Dark Star,” which is listed as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” list, and was ranked #57 on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time,” the 1987 single, “Touch Of Grey” which was also the band’s first music video and, “Friend of the Devil” from the 1970 album American Beauty, which has been covered by Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Counting Crows, Elvis Costello, Lyle Lovett and John Mayer.  In 2007, the Grateful Dead received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 46th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner will take place on June 18 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The attendees will gather to celebrate the core of creativity that drives the music business: the craft of songwriting.

Other members of 2015 class of inductees: country hitmaker Bobby Braddock, late blues icon Willie Dixon, country star Toby Keith, ’80s pop chart-topper Cyndi Lauper and Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes, who has written hits for Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, James Blunt, the Dixie Chicks and others.

“Our 2015 lineup of inductees represents the rich diversity of American musical styles – Rock, Country, Blues and Pop – that have captivated the world over the past six decades,” said SHOF President & CEO Linda Moran.  “Each one of these brilliant music creators have written instantly recognizable classics, songs that are both of their time and timeless.  Our Annual Awards Gala is sure to be unforgettable.”

The evening’s lineup of performers and presenters includes Tony Bennett, Benny Blanco, Zac Brown, Michael Buble, Ledisi, Ne-Yo, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, Bernie Taupin and Paul Williams.

Rodriguez to Appear on Fox’s Hip-Hop Drama “Empire”

Adam Rodriguez is about to (hip) hop into a hit series…

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican/Cuban-American actor and former CSI: Miami star has joined the cast of the second season of Fox’s hip-hop drama Empire in a recurring role.

Adam Rodriguez

Rodriguez will play Laz Delgado, a smooth-talking concert promoter with expert hustler skills. Laz is a native New Yorker and former EMT who takes an interest in Cookie.

Rodriguez joins previously announced guest stars Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz and Ne-Yo.

As previously reported, Season Two premieres September 23 at 9:00 pm on Fox.

Best known for his role as Eric Delko on CSI: Miami, Rodriguezhas a recurring role on the medical drama The Night Shift and will next be seen in Magic Mike XXL opposite Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello.