Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Volunteers at Houston Food Bank After Raising Nearly $5 Million for Texas Winter Storm Relief

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t just fundraising to help winter storm-battered Texans, she’s also giving her time…

A fundraising effort spearheaded by the 31-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician, currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, to help people in the Lone Star State affected by this week’s winter storms has raised nearly $5 million in just a few days.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

And, on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez visited the state to celebrate the success of the fundraising effort, which will go to local organizations providing Texans food assistance, homelessness relief and elder care.

She was joined by Democratic Texas Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee, all of whom helped fill boxes at the Houston Food Bank.

“When disaster strikes, this is not just an issue for Texans; this is an issue for our entire country,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters. “And our whole country needs to come and rally together behind the needs of Texans all across this state.”

She added: “That’s the New York spirit, that’s the Texas spirit, and that’s the American spirit.”

Winter storms across Texas left dozens dead, knocked out power for millions for several days and many still don’t have safe drinking water.

Garcia said the fundraising idea was spurred by Ocasio-Cortez, who sent her a text saying she wanted to help. “You know, we’re from Texas right?” Garcia told reporters. “Who does things with New York? We always kind of make fun of New York. But this time we love New York.”

Ocasio-Cortez announced the fundraising Thursday afternoon on Twitter. Within two hours, the effort had pulled in $325,000 in donations. By Friday morning, the total was up to $2 million. As of Saturday afternoon, $4 million, according to Ocasio-Cortez. And, by Sunday, that amount was at nearly $5 million.

The money will go toward several organizations, including the Houston Food Bank, Family Eldercare, Feeding Texas and the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center. But charity itself, while helpful, doesn’t replace the need for policies that prevent power grids from failing in the future, Ocasio-Cortez said.

“We need to make sure that we make short- and long-term policy decisions to that this devastation — preventable devastation — never happens again,” she said.

A number of factors contributed to the massive power failures in Texas, which relies on its own electricity grid.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Helps Raise $2 Million for Winter Storm-Ravaged Texans

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has stepped up to help Texans dealing with the aftermath of deadly winter storms…

The 31-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician, currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, has helped raise more than $2 million in less than 24 hours to help bring relief to the state of Texas.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

On Thursday evening, AOC announced she was partnering with several Texas charities and encouraged her millions of Twitter followers to donate money to help residents in Texas reeling from widespread power outages, water shortages and freezing temperatures.

“Team AOC is launching relief efforts for Texas starting today,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Thursday evening. “Our first effort is a partnership w/5 Texas orgs getting on-the-ground relief to Texans ASAP. If you’re able, please donate here – it’ll split your contribution to all 5.”

By Thursday night, more than $1 million had been raised, and by Friday morning, the charities raked in more than $2 million.

The funds are being split between The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Ending Community Homeless Coalition, Family Eldercare, Houston Food Bank, Feeding Texas and several other charities.

Dozens of people have died in hard-hit Texas since Sunday as massive winter storms hit the region.

Millions of homes and businesses in the state went without electricity for days as single-digit temperatures increased the demand for heat while freezing most of the state’s energy infrastructure.

While most of the power in the state has been restored, many are still experiencing a lack of safe drinking water due to damaged pipes that carry the water supply.

UFC Star Diego Sanchez to Fight Donald Cerrone This Spring

Diego Sanchez is set to battle a former teammate…

The 39-year-old Mexican American professional mixed martial artist and Donald Cerrone, two of the biggest fan favorites in UFC history — and a pair of former teammates — will fight this spring.

Diego Sanchez

Sanchez and Cerrone have verbally agreed to a May 8 contest, according to ESPN.

The bout will be contested at welterweight, sources said.

While both fighters’ respective teams have agreed, no contracts have been signed and the fight has not yet been officially announced.

Sanchez wrote Thursday on Twitter that the bout against Cerrone will be his “UFC finale.”

Sanchez and Cerrone were training partners for many years at the storied JacksonWink MMA gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but had a falling out in 2018 when Cerrone left the team. Sanchez has since left JacksonWink MMA, as well.

In 2005, Sanchez (30-13) in 2005 was the first-ever tournament winner on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show, which is credited with helping take the UFC to the next level in terms of popularity. His 2009 fight with Clay Guida was inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame’s fight wing in 2019.

Sanchez is tied for the second most Fight of the Night bonuses in UFC history (7). The New Mexico native is coming off a loss to Jake Matthews at UFC 253 in September, but has won three of his last five fights.

Cerrone (36-15, 2 NC) is a surefire future UFC Hall of Famer and one of the best fighters of all time who has not held a UFC title. “Cowboy” owns the most wins in UFC history (23), the most finishes in UFC history (16) and the most post-fight bonuses in promotion history (18). He is tied for the most UFC fights with Jim Miller (36). Cerrone, 36, is winless in five straight and trying to pick up his first victory since May 2019.

Cardi B to Release New Single “UP” This Week

Things are lookin’ up for Cardi B

The 28-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar, whose real name is Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, has announced plans to release brand-new single “UP” this Friday.

Cardi B, UP

Cardi B took to Twitter on Monday night to announce the new release. “My new single ‘UP’ drops this Friday! LETS GOOOOOO! #Up.”

My new single “UP” drops this Friday! LETS GOOOOOO! #Up pic.twitter.com/LJRwzvW8Mv

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) February 2, 2021

On Sunday, Cardi B tweeted a video with the caption “I got an announcement to make tomorrow” and a loud-speaker emoji, so it’s safe to say this was her big news.

In addition to the single news, Cardi B also linked fans to her webstore, where she’s selling a CD single of the new song.

Cardi B’s last release was “WAP,” her blockbuster team-up with Megan Thee Stallion that topped the Billboard Hot 100 back in August.

She was named Billboard’s 2020 Woman of the Year in December, accepting the honor from Breonna Taylor‘s mom, Tamika Palmer.

Christina Aguilera to Perform at This Sunday’s Ultimate Super Bowl LV After Party

Christina Aguilera is ready to bowl you over…

The 40-year-old half-Ecuadorian American Grammy-winning singer will take part in the ultimate Super Bowl LV after party.

Christina Aguilera

Aguilera joins a roster of performers that includes Alicia KeysBrandi CarlileBrittany HowardLuke Bryan and more.

The Verizon Big Concert for Small Business will start a multi-year commitment to provide 1 million small businesses with resources they need to succeed by 2030. Verizon will also donate $10 million to the non-profit organization Local Initiatives Support Corp (LISC), which has been financially supporting businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fans can make a one-time donation of $10 to LISC by texting SMALLBIZ to 20222 as part of Verizon’s text-to-give campaign.

Additional performers include H.E.R. and Jazmine Sullivan, who will respectively sing “America the Beautiful” and the National Anthem (alongside Eric Church) during the CBS Kick-Off Show at 6:00 pm ET, as well as Miley Cyrus, who’s set to kick off the TikTok Tailgate pre-show at 2:30 p.m. ET on TikTok and CBS.

The Weeknd is the headline performer of the 2021 Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show. He recently unveiled an 18-song collection of his greatest hits called The Highlights before his highly anticipated performance, which fans can purchase here this Friday (February 5).

The Verizon Big Concert for Small Business will stream immediately after Super Bowl LV on Sunday, February 7 at 11:00 pm ET on Yahoo and Fios as well as Verizon’s TwitterTwitchYouTube and TikTok accounts.

Pitbull Becomes Part Owner of New NASCAR Team Trackhouse Racing

Pitbull is dealing with a new type of track

New NASCAR team Trackhouse Racing has brought on the 40-year-old Cuban American rapper/singer, known also as Mr. Worldwide, as an ownership partner for the organization, which will make its debut next month at the Daytona 500.

Pitbull

Trackhouse made the announcement with a video on Twitter in which the Grammy winner is featured dancing to an “I believe we will win” chant. He also holds signs that say: “Knuckle Up,” “Fight Hard” and “Buckle Up.”

Pitbull joins NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan as celebrity owners entering NASCAR this year. Jordan is a part owner of 23XI Racing with Denny Hamlin.

“I’ve been a fan of the NASCAR story since the movie Days of Thunder,” Pitbull said in a statement. “We are going to show the world NASCAR is not only a sport but a culture.”

Trackhouse was launched late last year by former driver Justin Marks, who struggled to find a charter that guarantees entry into every Cup Series race on the schedule. He ultimately leased one from Spire Motorsports to get his organization on the grid.

The team has hired Mexican driver Daniel Suarez for the No. 99 Chevrolet, but it will not be NASCAR’s first pairing of a Latino driver and team owner. Juan Pablo Montoya, a Colombian, drove for Chip Ganassi Racing when it was part owned by Felix Sabates, a Cuban.

Jennifer Lopez Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Her Former No. 1 Album “J.Lo”

Jennifer Lopez is celebrating her big love

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican star celebrated the big 20th anniversary of her sophomore over the weekend. And she marked the big day by recognizing her fans, who’ve helped J.Lo go four-times platinum and top the Billboard 200 since its January 23, 2001, release.

Jennifer Lopez

“As I reflect on the fact that it’s the #JLo20thAnniversary, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for being with me, loving me and supporting me through all the ups and downs,” she wrote on social media. “Thank you so much for all the love over the past 20 years!! I love you so much!!”

But J.Lo had more than just a thank you to share. The singer also reenacted scenes from her video for “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” the lead single from the album. In a video posted to both Instagram and Twitter, the star — with her hair styled in the same half-pony — rips off her accessories and chucks them aside as she walks along a beach, and does the same with a long, creamy white coat similar to the one in the video.

“Happy 20th anniversary to my 2nd album J.Lo!!!!” she captioned the video. “Had a little fun at a recent shoot.”

Lopez followed that up by inviting her fans to join in on the fun. “The #LoveDontCostAThingChallenge STARTS NOW !!!!” she tweeted, again sharing the clip in which she reenacts the song’s music video. “Can’t wait to see your renditions.”

Days before the album’s anniversary, the two-time Grammy nominee performed at President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris‘ swearing-in ceremony. She kicked off her January 20 performance with “This Land Is Your Land,” then transitioned into “America the Beautiful” before working in some of her 2000 hit “Let’s Get Loud.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Swear in U.S. Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

Sonia Sotomayor will make a special appearance at this week’s inauguration…

The 66-year-old Puerto Rican Supreme Court Justice will swear in U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Wednesday, January 20, a ceremony in which the first woman of color to become vice president will take her oath of office from the first woman of color to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sonia Sotomayor

Harris chose Sotomayor for the task, according to a Harris aide who was confirming a report by ABC News. The vice president-elect and Justice Sotomayor have a shared background as former prosecutors. And Harris has called the justice a figure of national inspiration.

“Judge Sonia Sotomayor has fought for the voices of the people ever since her first case voting against corporations in Citizens United,” Ms. Harris wrote on Twitter in 2019. “As a critical voice on the bench, she’s showing all our children what’s possible.”

Justice Sotomayor, who was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2009, swore in Joseph R. Biden Jr. for his second term as vice president in January 2013 (first in a private ceremony and again in public the next day because of a quirk of the calendar).

Sotomayor was born in The Bronx, New York City, to Puerto Rican-born parents. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1976 and received her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor at the Yale Law Journal. She worked as an assistant district attorney in New York for four and a half years before entering private practice in 1984. She played an active role on the boards of directors for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and the New York City Campaign Finance Board.

Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H. W. Bush in 1991; confirmation followed in 1992. In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Her nomination was slowed by the Republican majority in the U.St Senate, but she was eventually confirmed in 1998. On the Second Circuit, Sotomayor heard appeals in more than 3,000 cases and wrote about 380 opinions. Sotomayor has taught at the New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School.

Selena Gomez Releases Spanish-Language Single “De Una Vez”

Selena Gomez is officially switching tongues…

The 28-year-old Mexican American singer/actress has released her highly anticipated Spanish-language song “De Una Vez,” a rhythmic pop track that touches on healing and empowerment.

Selena Gomez

“I am incredibly proud of my Latin background,” Gomez said about her new single in a statement. “It felt empowering to sing in Spanish again and ‘De Una Vez’ is such a beautiful love anthem.”

The track, produced by Tainy, Albert Hype, Jota Rosa and NEON16, premiered alongside a music video directed by Los Pérez.

The visual finds Gomez in a mythical house surrounded by magical visuals, where she steps into rooms representative of her evolution.

Toward the end of the video, the words “Baila Conmigo” emerge, hinting at a potential second Spanish single.

Following the release, she posted on Twitter: “This is the beginning of something I’ve wanted to explore for so long. I hope you love it as much as I do.”

It’s safe to say that fans love “De Una Vez” already, with a fan posting, “Selena you sound so good the vocals I’m shaking.” Another wrote, “it’s a masterpiece.”

Earlier Thursday, Gomez confirmed she was dropping a Spanish song, releasing the cover art for “De Una Vez.” She then retweeted her 2011 tweet where she had teased Spanish music was coming. “I think it will be worth the wait,” she added.

“De Una Vez,” released via Interscope Records and UMG, drops just a few days after zealous fans started speculating on social media that she’d drop Spanish-language music soon after several murals promoting new music were spotted across Mexico. “Mexican Selenator took a picture with a painted wall in Sayulita, Mexico,” the fan page Selena Gomez Worldwide tweeted.

The song is the singer’s second Spanish-language track. She released “Un Año Sin Lluvia,” the Spanish version of her hit single “A Year Without Rain,” in 2010.