Alejandro Escovedo Earns First Entry on a Billboard Latin Chart with “La Cruzada”

Alejandro Escovedo is celebrating a special first…

The 69-year-old Mexican American rock musician has notched his first entry on any Billboard Latin chart as La Cruzada, with Don Antonio, arrives at No. 8 on the Latin Pop Albums chart (dated November 7) with 1,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending October 29, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

La Cruzada is the Spanish version of Escovedo’s 2018 album The Crossing, with Don Antonio, which bowed at No. 6 on the Heatseekers Albums chart and at No. 28 on the Rock Albums Sales charts in September 2018.

Alejandro is a member of the storied Escovedo music family, which includes his brothers Pete and Coke, and niece Sheila E.

“It’s been a while since I was on the charts,” Escovedo tells Billboard from his home in Austin, Texas. “To have this record on the chart is very rewarding, such a beautiful thing for me. It seems my whole lifetime has led to this record. This is kind of the epitome of what I always wanted to do and express. I love the concept of an album, I love the storytelling of an album, this one gave me an opportunity to fully express in a way that I don’t think I had in previous records.”

Escovedo’s The Crossing, with Italian band Don Antonio -fronted by multi-instrumentalist Antonio Garmantieri, was co-written with Garmantieri and recorded in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Its Spanish version, La Cruzada, was released via Yep Roc/Redeye and pressed on red, white and green striped double vinyl exclusively for Record Store Day.

Two years after the release of its original English version, La Cruzada secures a spot on the Latin charts. “I thought the message had to be heard,” Escovedo adds. “My father was born in Saucillo, Mexico and crossed the border in 1907 when he was 12. I come from a musical family, my brother Pete and Coke Escovedo played for Santana, and Sheila E is my niece. The story of The Crossing and La Cruzada is really about my family, my father.”

He continues, “When (Donald) Trump came down the escalator and announced that some Mexicans were rapists and drug dealers I really took a stand, of course, as a lot of us probably did. I thought this is something that needs to be addressed. I’ve always tried to tell my Dad’s story, but I’ve never had a large Latin audience because I come from rock-and-roll, punk rock, and I sing in English.”

About La Cruzada’s 1,000 limited copies, Escovedo adds: “The record was just going to be a Record Store Day release in vinyl with the special packaging. Then the label was supposed to put it out as a general release for everyone on CD and vinyl, but because of Covid our tour was cancelled, and the release of the record was delayed. Not sure where that hangs right now with but hopefully with this Billboard attention they see there’s potential for a larger audience.”

“We used the same backing tracks we recorded for The Crossing,” Escovedo adds. “We translated the lyrics and Alex Ruiz, lead singer of band Del Castillo, recorded the vocals in Spanish at Rick del Castillo’s studio. I did some of the background vocals with him. I wanted Alex’s voice, though, I thought he could articulate the words in a way I probably wouldn’t because my Spanish isn’t that great.”

About the production of The Crossings Escovedo remembers: “My wife and I flew to Italy and spent a month making this record out there with Don Antonio. The distance somehow gave me the way of seeing the story and America in a different eye. Traveling is something I recommend, to see the world through other people’s eyes, to have a different view point.”

The album tells the tale of two boys — Diego from Mexico and Salva from Italy — who meet while working in a restaurant in Galveston, Texas to chase their American rock-and-roll dreams. La Cruzada gets the same treatment en español and earns Escovedo and Don Antonio their first top 10 on any Latin chart.

“It’s crazy!” Escovedo muses. “When my manager Randy gave me the news, it just went over my head and I didn’t understand it. I thought, ‘Oh, we’re going to do an interview with Billboard on the record,’ which I thought was wonderful, any attention is great. Then at the end of the conversation I said, ‘Tell me that again, what happened with the record?’ and he says: ‘You are No. 8 — in the top 10 — on the Latin Pop Albums chart.’ I flipped out; that’s something that’s never happened for me and this is a real blessing for us, it brought a lot of joy to another wise strange and dark and uncertain day.”

Carlos Santana to Give Keynote Address at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA’s Commencement Ceremony

Carlos Santana is preppin’ for a supernatural graduation…

The 72-year-old Mexican Grammy-winning guitarist and entrepreneur will be the featured speaker for the 2020 commencement ceremony at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLAon June 19. 

Carlos Santana

In a statement about the event, the school’s inaugural dean, Eileen L. Stempel, said that Santana’s “inclusive global sound and commitment to social justice are emblematic of our school’s core values,” adding, “I am deeply moved by his desire to share words of inspiration and encouragement with our graduates during this important time.”

“I feel honored to be speaking to young musicians and a new generation of music scholars,” said the Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer in a statement. “The class of 2020 is resilient and their voices are needed now more than ever. I want them to use their music as a platform to empower and unite as we seek justice and creative solutions during these challenging times.”

The 2020 commencement will take place online on June 19 at 4:00 p.m. PDT; it will also include music and remarks by graduating students and a performance by the Herbie Hancock Institute for Jazz Performance at UCLA.

This year’s graduating class at the school will feature 130 graduates from the departments of ethnomusicology, global jazz studies, music, music industry and musicology.

Allison Iraheta Appears on K.C. Porter’s Timely “La Pared” Single

Allison Irahetais sharing her voice in the quest to tear down walls…

The 27-year-old Salvadoran American singer and former American Idol finalist has joined voices with K.C. Porter and Mexican American rapper Olmeca on Porter’s “La Pared,” the first single from his upcoming album Cruzanderos. 

Allison Iraheta

The “La Pared” video, directed by directed by Rubén Giménez of Spanish production company Hero Studio, may be animated, but the content isn’t meant to be amusing in the traditional sense of the word.

“La Pared” is a call to tear down border “walls,” illustrated by the travails of a father and daughter divided at the border. 

“La Pared” is Porter’s first single as a soloist, featuring Iraheta and Olmeca in a mix of pop, tropical and reggaeton.

Porter, best known best for his award-winning work in the Latin music space (SelenaRicky MartinLuis MiguelManáSantana), lived in Guatemala for 10 years since the age of seven, and is not only fully fluent in Spanish, but also fully understands Latin music, its artists and its themes.

Iraheta released a solo album, Just Like You, in 2009, which included the well-received single “Friday I’ll Be Over U.”

She later became the lead singer of the band Halo Circus. The band has released two albums.

Porter’s Cruzanderos album is due out September 20 on Altafonte Music. 

Santana to Perform National Anthem Before Game 2 of the NBA Finals

Carlos Santana is back in the NBA Finals

The 69-year-old Mexican American musician, a 10-time Grammy-winner will make his return to the NBA Finals stage to perform the national anthem on Sunday night (June 4).

Carlos Santana

Joining Santana will be famed bassist Benny Rietveld. The two are slated to perform at the start of Game 2 between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

For the last two years, the San Francisco native has performed in the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.

Train singer Pat Monahan delivered a powerful rendition prior to Thursday night’s Game 1, where the Warriors beat the Cavs, 113-91.

Santana will continue his musical escapades later this month when he launches his U.S. summer tour in Washington. The tour will kick off June 23 and run through August.

You can watch Santana and Rietveld’s performance at 8:00 pm ET on ABC.

Santana to Perform at Rock Getaway Festival in the Mexican Riviera

Carlos Santana is ready to rock the Mexican Riviera

The 69-year-old Mexican musician is set to perform as part of the Rock Getaway Festival at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Mexico from October 26-November 5.

Carlos Santana

In addition to Santana, considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone, the all-inclusive vacation will include sets from Don HenleySteve Miller BandRoger DaltreyBad CompanyForeignerREO SpeedwagonPat Benatar & Neil GirladoCheap TrickGeorge Thorogood & the Destroyers and more.

The organizers of Rock Getaway are offering “stunning tropical views, a private white sand beach, and exclusive saltwater snorkeling areas,” according to a release announcing the event.

Attendees can choose from three packages, including 4-, 7- and 11-day options with the 4-day offering sets from Miller, The Who‘s Daltrey, Bad Company, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Benatar & Giraldo, Cheap Trick and others.  The 7- and 11-day options include exclusive sets from Henley, Santana, Thorogood and more. All three include accommodations at the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel or Unico Resort and admission to all concerts. Concerts will take place on oceanfront stages and be accompanied by pool parties, after partiers and late night jam sessions.

Tickets will be available to the general public on Monday, April 17 at 7:00 a.m. EST/10:00 a.m. PST here.

Here’s a look at the line-ups:

4-DAY PACKAGE LINEUP (October 26 – 29 or November 2-5):

Steve Miller Band | Roger Daltrey | Bad Company | Foreigner | REO Speedwagon | Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo | Cheap Trick | Don Felder | Blue Oyster Cult Starship featuring Mickey Thomas | Foghat | Queensryche | Los Lobos

7-DAY & 11-DAY PACKAGE LINEUP (October 26 – November 1/October 30 – November 5 or October 26 – November 5):

Don Henley | Santana | Steve Miller Band | Roger Daltrey | Bad Company | Foreigner | REO Speedwagon | Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo | Cheap Trick | George Thorogood and the Destroyers | Don Felder | Blue Oyster Cult | Starship featuring Mickey Thomas | Foghat | Queensryche | Los Lobos | Warren Hill | Olivia Rox | Sahnas Brothers | Atomic Punks (Tribute to Van Halen) | Guns 2 Roses (Tribute to Guns and Roses) and more. (*Bolded acts are ONLY available through purchase of the 7- and 11-day all-inclusive packages.)

 

Farruko to Take Part in This Year’s Billboard Latin Music Conference

Farruko has been caught in a Trap

The 25-year-old Puerto Rican singer and songwriter and urban superstar will take part in Billboard’s “The Latin Trap Panel,” which will take place at the annual Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami.

Farruko

Other speakers include up-and-coming reggaetón/trap artists like Ozuna and Noriel, Bryant Myers, Bad Bunny, Messiah, producer Santana and Jonathan Gandarilla, president of Ganda Entertainment.

The Billboard Latin Music Conference will kick off April 24 in Miami with other panels like “Superstar Q&A,” and marquee sessions including the “Divas Panel” and “How I Wrote that Song, the New Generation.”

Other confirmed panels include “Socializing Maluma,” featuring the Colombian superstar himself in a Q&A about social media, and Ednita Nazario, who will be joined by top agents in the panel “Me, Me, Me” — a discussion on why Latin stars are now a “hot commodity for memoirs and biopics.”

The Billboard Latin Music Awards are the culmination of the Billboard Latin Music Conference, taking place April 24-27 at the Ritz Carlton Miami Beach.

To register, visit www.billboardlatinconference.com.

Santana’s New Album Debuts in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Chart

Carlos Santana has another Top 10 album…

The 68-year-old Mexican musician and his Latin rock band have scored their 14th top 10 album on the Billboard 200 chart.

Carlos Santana

Santana latest album, Santana IV, debuted at No. 5, selling 42,000 units; 40,000 in pure album sales.

The new album is the first to feature the group’s early 1970s lineup since the 1971 release Santana III. The latter set spent five weeks at No. 1.

The wildly anticipated studio album features Santana (guitar, vocals), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar, vocals), Michael Carabello (percussion) and Michael Shrieve (drums).

“It was magical, we didn’t have to try to force the vibe – it was immense,” says Santana of the project. “From there, we then needed to come up with a balance of songs and jams that people would immediately identify as Santana.”

Santana’s “Smooth” Named the Top-Ranking Track of the First 20 Years of Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs Chart

Carlos Santana has smoothed his way into the history books…

The 68-year-old Mexican musician, considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, has the top-ranking track of the first 20 years of Billboard‘s Adult Pop Songs radio airplay chart.

Carlos Santana

Santana’s single “Smooth,” featuring Rob Thomas, is the ranking’s top all-time track, thanks largely to its record 25 weeks at No. 1 in 1999-2000.

The song placed as the second-biggest title of the Billboard Hot 100‘s first 57 years, as ranked in November 2015. Chubby Checker‘s iconic “The Twist” took the top spot.

The Nielsen Music-based Adult Pop Songs chart, measuring songs’ weekly plays on adult top 40, or hot AC, radio in the U.S., premiered in the Billboard magazine dated March 16, 1996.

The top all-time Adult Pop Songs titles and artists rankings are based on actual performance on the weekly Adult Pop Songs chart, from its launch through the survey dated March 12, 2016. Titles are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at lower spots earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates over various periods. Artists are ranked based on the combined point totals, as outlined above, of all their Adult Pop Songs chart entries.)

Here’s a look at the top 10 songs on the Adult Pop Songs Greatest of All Time chart are:

1, “Smooth,” Santana featuring Rob Thomas
2, “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” Train
3, “Wherever You Will Go,” The Calling
4, “How to Save A Life,” The Fray
5, “Counting Stars,” OneRepublic
6, “Unwell,” Matchbox Twenty
7, “I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz
8, “You And Me,” Lifehouse
​9, “All For You,” Sister Hazel
10, “Hanging By A Moment,” Lifehouse

Santana to Perform Instrumental Version of the National Anthem at the World Series

Carlos Santana is ready to play ball… 

The 67-year-old Mexican musician is among the entertainers scheduled to perform the National Anthem at the 2014 World Series, according to Fox officials.

Carlos Santana

Santana, a multiple Grammy winner considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, joins a roster that includes American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, Trisha Yearwood and Little Big Town.

Yearwood will kick things off Tuesday, singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Game 1 when the San Francisco Giants face the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

Phillips will make his second appearance singing at a World Series when he takes the mic before Game 2 on Wednesday. He last appeared in 2012, the year he won American Idol, when the Giants faced the Detroit Tigers.

The series moves to San Francisco on Friday with country group Little Big Town.

Santana then takes the 4 p.m. slot on Saturday for Game 4, when he performs an instrumental version of the song.

The games will air on Fox at 8:00 pm ET.

Carey Atop Time Magazine’s ‘Ultimate Pop Stardom’ List

Mariah Carey is the ultimate pop star…

The 44-year-old half-Venezuelan American singe ranks at the top of Time magazine’s The Ultimate Ranking of Pop Stardom list of artists/musicians when it comes to generating hit songs.

Mariah Carey

The artists were chosen for this list based on their all-time chart performance and their contemporary significance.

Time looked at every song that’s been in the Billboard Top 10 since 1960, the number of hits by each artist present on that list, and how long those musicians’ careers have lasted, and used that information to determine which artists are ultimately the most successful pop-hit generators.

Carey – who stormed onto the music scene with her self-titled debut album in 1990, which landed four No. 1 songs on Billboard Hot 100 and earned her Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance honors at the 1991 Grammy Awards, tops the list with 1,901 points. Her best years include 2005 (341 points), 1995 (300) and 1993 (222).

Carey – a five-time Grammy winner – ranks ahead of Rihanna (1,800), Usher (1,778), The Beatles (1,537) and Madonna (1,414).

But Carey isn’t the only Latin artist to make the list…

Bruno Mars, who broke onto the scene in 2010, ranks No. 17 on the list with 882 points.

The 28-year-old part-Puerto Rican singer-songwriter earned 410 points in his first year on the charts after lending his vocals to the songs “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B, and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy, as well as releasing his first two singles “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade.”

Meanwhile, Fergie comes in at No. 25 with her Grammy-winning group Black Eyed Peas, earning 733 points.

The 39-year-old part-Mexican singer and female vocalist for the hip hop group and her fellow BEP members registered their biggest point haul in 2009 with their singles “Boom Boom Pow,” “I Gotta Feeling” and “Meet Me Halfway” earning a combined 355 points that year.

The final product is a colorful infographic that proves Michael Jackson had a consistently successful career from 1971 to 1995, while Santana’s career, though long, hasn’t been witness to nearly as many hits.

The artists are awarded points for each song of theirs that made it into the Top 10—for example, Michael Jackson gets 10 points for “Beat It” topping the chart at No. 1 while Taylor Swift gets three points for “Speak Now” peaking at spot No. 8.

Usher had the best single year out of everyone when, in 2004, he racked up 639 points for having five songs in the Top 10 for a combined 88 weeks, while Barbra Streisand made just two points in 1997 for “I Finally Found Someone,” which peaked at No. 9 and only had a one-week stay in the Top 10.

Head over to Time.com to see how other musicians, ranging from Cher to T-Pain, stack up against one another.

Here’s a look at all the Latino artists on the list:

No. 1 Mariah Carey (1,901)
No. 17 Bruno Mars (882),
No. 25 Black Eyed Peas (Fergie)
No. 30 Jennifer Lopez (658)
No. 36 Christina Aguilera (603)
No. 48 Santana (457)