“America’s Got Talent” Releases First Look Photo of Sofia Vergara at Judges Table

Sofia Vergarahas taken her seat at the table…

America’s Got Talent has released a first look photo of the NBC talent competition show’s season 15 judges panel, with the 47-year-old Colombian actress as a new addition and the first ever Latin judge.

America's Got Talent - Season 15 Judges Table

In addition Vergara, the photo shows AGT creator and judge Simon Cowell, longtime judge Howie Mandel, returning panelist Heidi Klum and returning host Terry Crews.

The revamped panel comes after the NBC competition series filled its two vacant chairs last week, following the exits of Gabrielle Unionand Julianne Hough, who were let go in November after one season.

This will be Modern Family star’s first turn as a judge. Klum was a panelist on AGTfrom 2013-2018.

The first round of production for America’s Got Talent: Season 15 will take place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium throughout the month of March.

The series is co-produced by Fremantle and Syco Entertainment

Sofia Vergara Named First Latin Judge on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”

Sofia Vergara’s got talent… and a new job…

The 47-year-old Colombian actress and Modern Family star has been added to the judges panel of  NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

Sofia Vergara

Vergara, a four-time Emmy nominee, will appear alongside Heidi Klum, who was a judge on AGTfor six seasons, from 2013-2018. 

They’ll be joined by returning judges Simon CowellAGTs creator and executive producer, and Howie Mandel, as well as host Terry Crews.

“I’m so happy to join my new family onAGT,” said Vergara, who’ll be making AGThistory. “This is a new and exciting next chapter for me and I’m extremely proud to be the first Latin judge on the show. I can’t wait to watch all the talent and have fun with all you guys!”

Vergara and Klum succeed Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, who were let go in November after one season on AGT. Union’s ouster sparked controversy and triggered an investigation over allegations of a hostile work environment on the reality show. Results of the investigation, which was supposed to wrap by the end of January, have yet to be made public.

Shortly after Union and Hough’s exit, Vergara emerged as NBC’s top choice for a replacement. She met with executives from NBC and AGTproducer Fremantlein mid-December to discuss the possibility. By mid-January, word started getting out that Klum would be back, retaking her seat.

Klum never left the AGTfranchise — she’s been a judge on spinoff America’s Got Talent: The Champions since its launch last season.

Vergara is coming off an 11-season run as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family,a role that has earned her four Emmy nominations.

“Sofia’s infectious energy and sharp wit will blend perfectly with returning favorites Heidi, Simon, Howie, and Terry. As both a respected actress and successful entrepreneur, she embodies the American dream that is synonymous with AGT’s transformative stage,” said Meredith Ahr, President, Alternative & Reality Group, NBC Entertainment.

Sofia Vergara May Be Headed to the Judges’ Table on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”

Sofia Vergara may be on the hunt for new talent…

The 47-year-old Colombian actress, currently in her final season on ABC’s Modern Family, may be the newest judge on NBC’s summer reality series America’s Got Talent

Sofia Vergara

Vergara reportedly met with top executives at the network yesterday. It was a broad, general meeting to discuss a number of possible projects and collaborations, including Vergara joining the America’s Got Talent judging panel. 

According to TMZ, which first reported about the meeting, reps for AGTproducer Fremantlealso were present.

AGThas two vacancies after the reality hit created and executive produced by Simon Cowellopted not to bring back as judges Gabrielle Unionand Julianne Houghfollowing one-season stints.

The firings triggered a wave of controversy after it was revealed that Union had complained of a toxic work environment and racism before being let go. The backlash prompted NBC and Fremantle to launch an investigation, which is ongoing.

Vergara recently appeared in and executive produced 365 Days of Love, a daily docuseries for Facebook Watch. It came from Latino-focused entertainment company Raze, which Vergara co-founded with Emiliano Calemzuk and Luis Balaguer.

Vergara has earned four Emmyand four Golden Globe nominations for her role as Gloria on ABC’s Modern Familynow in its 11th and final season.

Angel Garcia Advances to Next Round on “America’s Got Talent” with Spanish Audition

Angel Garcia has nothing to be sadabout…

The 12-year-old Latino singer, who hails from Los Angeles, has made a major impression on America’s Got Talent.

Angel Garcia

Sounding like a true angel, Garcia wowed the judges during his official audition.

Inspired by his father to pursue music, Angel performs his take on Jose Jose’s Spanish classic “El Triste” during his audition airing July 10.

Although the clip doesn’t include Simon CowellMel B, Howie Mandell and Heidi Klum‘s reactions, the judges and crowd seem very impressed in this clip of the performance.

In the end, Garcia managed to advance  the next round, earning three yes votes, with only Mandell voting no.

Camila Cabello: The Highest Ranking Hispanic Artist on Billboard’s 21 Under 21 List

Camila Cabello is making her mark before she’s even legal to drink…

The 20-year-old Mexican and Cuban singer has landed in the Top 5 of Billboard’s 21 Under 21 list, the highest-ranking Hispanic artist on the list.

Camila Cabello

Following her December 2016 departure from successful girl group Fifth Harmony, Cabello has already managed to land six songs on the Billboard Hot 100, including her debut solo track “Crying in the Club,” a preview to her in-the-works debut LP.

In addition, she’s managed to land major endorsements, including a bilingual campaign with Skechers.

Billboard‘s annual ranking of powerful young voices includes arena headliners and promising new talent, familiar names and new musicians quickly rising toward the mainstream. For groups, if most members are under 21, they were considered eligible.

Coming in behind Cabello, the young men of CNCO, at the No. 9 spot.

The victors of reality show La Banda’s inaugural season have been learning about pop stardom while on tour with Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias and Ariana Grande.

Their international hit “Reggaetón Lento” has racked up over 300 million plays on Spotify and 1 billion YouTube views. And the single recently got a massive push, thanks to a remix featuring Little Mix.

Meanwhile, Becky G maintains a presence on the chart for another year.

The 20-year-old Mexican American singer/rapper comes in at No. 14.

“What empowers you is acknowledging, ‘I am who I am’ — I feel like that’s the influence I want to be making,” says Becky G, who followed up 2014’s career-launching hit “Shower” by honing in on her Mexican heritage.

In 2016, she kicked off a run of Spanish-language singles with “Sola,” which landed on the Hot Latin Songs chart, and her new Bad Bunny­collaboration “Mayores” reached No. 10 on the September 30 chart — her highest peak yet.

Brandon Arreaga rounds out the list at No. 19, as a member of the boy band PRETTYMUCH.

With One Direction’s hiatus, Arreaga and his fellow members of PRETTYMUCH are aiming for the crown with 1D guru Simon Cowell in their corner.

Debut single “Would You Mind” recently bowed on the Mainstream Top 40 chart; a full-length is in the works with contributions from Ed Sheeran and French Montana, plus a choreography-heavy live show to go along with it.

Cabello Leaving Fifth Harmony to Pursue Solo Career

Camila Cabello is ready to fly solo…

The 19-year-old Cuban-American singer and member of Fifth Harmony has left the all-girl group.

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-9-00-00-am

In a message posted on social media and signed by “Ally, Normani, Dinah and Lauren,” the group writes, “After four and a half years of being together, we have been informed via her representatives that Camila has decided to leave Fifth Harmony. We wish her well.”

The remaining members, Ally Brooke Hernandez, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane Hansen and Lauren Jauregui, state that they will continue the group as a foursome.

As recently as December 9, when the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour hit New York City, the group had announced plans to release a new album. Kordei told radio personality Elvis Duran, “2017, it’s going to be popping,” and Jane Hansen added, “The third album is definitely going to be so lit. We’re really excited.”

Fifth Harmony was formed by Simon Cowell on the second season of the The X Factor US in July 2012. In January 2013, they signed a joint deal with Syco Music, owned by Cowell, and Epic Records, L.A. Reid‘s record label, after finishing in third place on the show.

To date, The group has sold 424,000 albums, 7 million digital songs and earned 1.6 billion on-demand streams in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.

Their honors include three MTV Video Music Awards, an American Music Award, a Billboard Women in Music award and seven Teen Choice Awards.

In the last two years, Cabello released two singles which reached the top 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” with Shawn Mendes in 2015, and “Bad Things” with Machine Gun Kelly earlier this year.

CNCO’s Debut Album Bows at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums Chart

It’s a big first right out of the gate for CNCO

The Latin American pop boy band, which was formed on Univision’s 2015 reality competition show La Banda, has landed in the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart with its debut effort, Primera Cita (chart dated September 17).

CNCO

The album bows with 11,000 copies sold in the week ending September 1, according to Nielsen Music — the largest sales week for a Latin album in more than a year.

The last time an album scored a bigger sales frame was on the June 6, 2015-dated list, when Gerardo Ortiz’s Hoy Mas Fuerte bowed atop the chart with 20,000 sold.

CNCO is comprised of Joel Pimentel, Erick Brian Colon, Richard Camacho, Christopher Velez and Zabdiel de Jesus.

La Banda was created by Simon Cowell and produced by Ricky Martin.

Orrantia to Star in “God’s Not Dead 2”

Hayley Orrantia is headed to the big screen…

The 21-year-old Mexican-American actress/singer has landed a leading role in God’s Not Dead 2, the sequel to the hugely profitable 2014 religious drama.

Hayley Orrantia

Much like its predecessor, God’s Not Dead 2 depicts the debate between a skeptic and an evangelical Christian who come into conflict in an educational setting, but in this outing the roles will be reversed.

Orrantia, who stars on ABC’s comedy series The Goldbergs, will portray Brooke, a high school student whose teacher, played by Melissa Joan Hart, quotes bible verses in class, causing Brooke’s parents to sue.

God’s Not Dead 2 is currently in production in Arkansas. Harold Cronk is directing from a script by Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon.

Orrantia was a member of Lakoda Rayne, a country-pop girl group assembled by Simon Cowell during the first season of The X Factor.

Fifth Harmony Lands Its First Top 40 Song on the Billboard Hot 100

It’s a special first for Ally Brooke Hernandez, Lauren Jauregui and Camila Cabello

The Latina singers and their fellow Fifth Harmony members have reached the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 for the first time in their short history.

Fifth Harmony

The all-girl group, formed by Simon Cowell on the U.S. version of Fox’s The X Factor, rockets 75-40 on this week’s chart with their latest single “Sledgehammer.”

Sales mark 73 percent of the song’s activity, as it blasts onto Billboard’s Digital Songs chart at No. 28, up by 277 percent to 85,000 sold after it went on sale in the iTunes Store for 69 cents on December 16.

In Fifth Harmony’s prior two Hot 100 visits, debut hit “Miss Movin’ On” reached No. 76 and “Bo$$” rose to No. 43.

“Sledgehammer” – co-written by Meghan Trainor – could experience further gains on next week’s charts following the group’s performance on Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution, broadcast December 31/January 1 on Fox.

Espinoza Hosting Simon Cowell & Univision’s Latin Boy Band Reality Show “La Banda”

It’s all about the boys for Alejandra Espinoza

The 27-year-old Mexican beauty-queen-turned-television-presenter is hosting Simon Cowell and Univision’s La Banda, which “aims to create the world’s ultimate Latino boy band through the largest Latino talent search in U.S. TV history,” according to an announcement from the Spanish-language network.

Alejandra Espinoza

The search for contestants for La Banda, which was developed by Cowell’s Syco Entertainment with Univision Communications and Saban Brands, is officially underway.

Boys (to men) ages 14 and older living in the United States and Puerto Rico are invited to audition online for La Banda. The search for potential Latin stars to compete on the upcoming Univision reality show has begun at LaBandaOficial.com.

“I’m very excited about this show,” says Simon Cowell, a producer on the show. “There is a huge amount of talent out there and La Banda is going to give five guys the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Co-produced with FremantleMedia Latin America, the show is set to premiere in fall 2015 on the Spanish-language network.

Winners of the competition — who will inevitably be compared to the Puerto Rican pop group Menudo, which started in the ’70s with a rotating cast of young singers and disbanded in 2009 — will receive a recording contract with Sony Music Latin and Syco Music, home of One Direction.

To be considered, potential participants should go to LaBandaoficial.com and upload pictures, videos or music files. After creating their online audition profiles, selected contestants will receive a “golden ticket,” which will allow them to participate in a private audition with the production team. The online casting will be followed by casting events across the United States and Puerto Rico in the spring of 2015.

“We are proud to start the search for the next great Latino boy band,” said Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content for Univision Communications Inc. “There is vast talent in our community, and with La Banda, we will find and launch the next generation of musical superstars.”