Pope Francis to be Honored at Upcoming Cinema for Peace Gala

Pope Francis is being receiving a special piece for bringing the peace

The 87-year-old Argentine head of the Catholic Church, bishop of Rome and sovereign of the Vatican City State will be honored at the upcoming Cinema for Peace gala in Berlin on February 19.

Pope FrancisPope Francis will be honored together with the film Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom by Evgeny Afineevsky, for his contributions to the freedom of Ukraine and humanitarian efforts to protect civilians and children.

Pope Francis, the first and only pontiff from the Americas, will be honored alongside Hillary Rodham Clinton and former UN chief Ban Ki-Moon.

The long-running gala run by the Cinema for Peace Foundation will be accompanied by the inaugural World Forum on the Future Of Democracy, Tech and Humankind.

The latter event will run from February 18 to 19 at the Allianz Forum next to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin with the aim of promoting the renewal of democracy and freedom at a time when both are under threat.

The Cinema for Peace Foundation was created in 2008 as an international non-profit organization with the goal to foster change through film. Over the years it has worked with a host of stars including Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney.

Pope Francis will be honored virtually by video-link, while Clinton and Ban will attend the February 19 gala in person.

They will be presented with their Cinema for Peace prizes by Sharon Stone, Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights lawyer Oleksandra Matviichuk, and Irish singer-song writer and political activist Bob Geldof.

Fat Joe Partnering with Power to the Patients to Advocate for Price Transparency in Healthcare

Fat Joe is advocating for more transparency in healthcare…

53-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American rapper is teaming up with Jelly Roll, Wyclef Jean and Power to the Patients for an event in Washington, D.C. to advocate for a more affordable and equitable healthcare system through price transparency.

Fat JoeTaking place on Wedenesday, January 10 at Hamilton Live and with congressional leaders and government officials in attendance, the event see the artists “shed light on the injustices created by a healthcare system that hides its prices, stifling competition and evading accountability for overcharges and price gouging,” according to the announcement.

As part of the event, Fat Joe will serve as emcee while Jelly Roll and Wyclef Jean will perform.

“The U.S. healthcare system is America’s sickness,” said Fat Joe. “Healthcare price transparency isn’t a partisan or complicated issue. It’s common sense. The only people opposed to it are healthcare industry interests profiting by keeping patients in the dark. Price transparency can protect patients, families, employers, workers, even our own government from healthcare overcharging and pricing fraud as it does everywhere else in the economy. Clear prices allow consumers to choose affordable treatments without worrying that routine care will result in overcharges and even bankruptcy. Price transparency holds hospitals and insurance companies accountable, forcing them to compete and lowering costs, improving healthcare access, quality, and outcomes.”

Power to the Patients has played a key role in raising awareness on Capitol Hill about the urgent need to pass comprehensive healthcare price transparency legislation.

Last April, Fat Joe met with congressional leaders and the White House to advocate for the enforcement of price transparency rules that most hospitals around the country are disregarding.

And last September, he tapped Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, French Montana, Method Man and Chuck D to unveil a public service announcement with Power the Patients, demanding elected officials commit to price transparency to allow for more honest, affordable, and equitable healthcare across the country.

The musicians called out hospitals and insurance companies that continue to hide prices by posting “estimates” or “average prices” instead of dollars and cents and noted the deception leads to the “stifling of competition, overcharges, fear, debt, and devastation all over the country.”

As a result of the continued awareness campaign, momentum for healthcare price transparency legislation has accelerated with both chambers of Congress taking action to advance legislation.

Fat Joe will join Power to the Patients, affiliated organization Patient Rights Advocate, and employers from across the country in meetings with Congressional leaders urging them to seize the momentum and get healthcare price transparency legislation passed and sent to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Demi Lovato & More Artists Join Climate Change Human Rights Campaign

Demi Lovato is speaking up for climate justice goals…

The 31-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress is among the artists releasing statements urging leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference to support climate justice goals.

Demi LovatoLovato is part of the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance, a campaign that links climate action and human rights. Other artists participating include Cyndi LauperCarole King and Annie Lennox.

The campaign will benefit from the artists’ combined social media followings of more than 300 million, with the goal to build support for United Nations Human Rights climate justice goals. Rob Thomas will add his voice to the campaign in the coming days.

The Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance addresses climate change through the lens of human rights, coalescing input from human rights experts, scientists, corporate leaders, NGOs, academics, advocates and people around the globe in the fight for rights-based climate action to preserve the future of humanity and the planet. The organization is partnered with the United Nations Human Rights, one of the U.N.’s major divisions.

All four artists released statements supporting the campaign via Instagram.

“By working together and supporting rights-based climate action for people and the planet,” Lovato wrote, “we can realize a better, more sustainable future for all.”

“Climate change is the SINGLE BIGGEST HEALTH THREAT FACING HUMANITY,” Lennox wrote. “The impacts are already harming health through air pollution, disease, extreme weather events, forced displacement, food insecurity, and pressures on mental health. Every year environmental factors take the lives of 13 million people… Climate change is a huge challenge, yet there ARE MANY SOLUTIONS. These solutions can deliver economic benefits while improving our lives and protecting the environment.”

“The impacts of climate change are now being felt in all countries, yet not all people are being impacted the same way,” wrote Lauper. “Climate change is hitting the poorest and most vulnerable women, children and marginalized people of the world most.”

“By working together and supporting inclusive, rights-based climate action for people and the planet,” wrote King, “we can realize a better, more sustainable future for all.”

The social media campaign precedes a press conference from the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Alliance and United Nations Human Rights in Dubai at COP28 on December 8.

The press conference will include Recording Academy president Panos A. Panay and Chantel Sausedo, the Recording Academy’s vp of artist relations, who together will discuss the organization’s goals of using music to promote climate justice and rights-based climate action.

The Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Summit will be held at the University of Oxford from September 11-14, 2024 and end with the Right Here, Right Now Global Climate Concert. The lineup for the event will be announced at a later date.

Rosalia Teams Up with Bjork to Release “Oral” Duet in Fight Against Intensive Salmon Farming

Rosalia has teamed up with Bjork to release a special duet…

The 31-year-old Spanish Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has joined voices with Bjork to release “Oral,” a single aimed to support action against intensive salmon farming.

Rosalia, BjorkThe song “aims to shed light on the alarming cruelty, and severe environmental and ecological consequences of open-pen ocean salmon farming in Björk’s native country, Iceland,” according to the announcement.

However, the song’s lyrics do not directly address the issue and seem more personal: “Your mouth floats above my bed at night/ My own private moon,” it begins, and continues in a similar vein, as the two unspool a lovely melody that recalls Bjork’s “Homogenic” era as an electronic beat kicks in and an orchestra bursts wide on the glorious chorus, which actually evokes a clouds-parting moment in an epic film.

The resemblance to Bjork’s earlier material is no accident: According to the announcement, she first wrote the song in the period between 1997’s “Homogenic” and 2001’s “Vespertine” albums, but “the track was lost to her archives after feeling like it wasn’t the right fit for an album.

Björk rediscovered the song after being reminded of its name whilst on tour in Australia in March 2023, the same month a report was released about the devastating impact of poorly regulated, Norwegian-owned commercial salmon farming operations on Iceland’s native ecosystems.”

The announcement continues below:

After deeply resonating with the cause, and as a passionate campaigner and protester for much of her life, Björk enlisted Rosalía to help bring the song to life and in turn raise awareness of the issue. The cruel practice of open-pen farming, introduced to Iceland after Norwegian businessmen began purchasing fish farms in the country’s fjords, involves intensively farming fish by penning them into open water nets that are anchored in natural waterways, where the fish are kept enclosed until they reach marketable size. This accelerates the fish’s development and in many cases creates genetic mutations in the salmon’s DNA, as well as being a breeding ground for a number of parasites and diseases. The industry in Iceland has grown tenfold since 2014, producing under 4,000 tones to 45,000 in 2021, with it now estimated that the annual production could be up to 106,500 tonnes. Iceland has the largest untouched natural area in Europe, and the waste and pollution associated with open-pen farming threatens to permanently damage its entire ocean ecology. Lack of regulation and the industry being largely unsupervised has also meant that thousands of these genetically altered, diseased salmon regularly escape the pens and swim upriver to Iceland’s highlands, where devastating genetic mixing occurs and endangers the future of Iceland’s wild salmon population.

We want to thank visual artist Carlota Guerrero and executive producer Zico Judge, of Blur & ProdCo, for creating a video art piece to go along with this song and help raise awareness of the cruelty, and severe environmental and ecological consequences of open-pen ocean salmon farming in Björk’s native country, Iceland. Carlota came up with the concept and executed the video, exploring the use of AI technology and embracing the glitches blurring the line between reality and virtuality whilst challenging the notions of identity. Throughout the piece, female rage is explored through Bjork’s and Rosalía’s avatars. They are not fighting each other; they are training together to fight the real and bigger enemy.

Proceeds from “Oral” will be used to support a legal case against the fisheries, brought forth by residents of the town of Seyðisfjörður on the eastern side of Iceland. Read the statement on behalf of all involved below.

You can learn more about Icelandic Fish Farming from the Icelandic Wildlife Fund.

Rosalía Teams Up with Björk on New Track Aimed at Fighting Against Industrial Salmon Farming

Rosalía has joined one of Iceland’s biggest stars to fight against a controversial food production system.

The 31-year-old Spanish Grammy-winning singer/songwriter has joined voices with Björk on a new single that aims to raise awareness in the fight against industrial salmon farming in Björk’s native Iceland.

RosaliaRosalia and Bjork will donate sales of the track to help protesters cover their legal fees.

The track , which currently remains untitled, will be released later this month, though a short clip has been uploaded to Björk’s YouTube channel with the cover art featuring a fish in distress.

The acapella snippet features the two singers repeating, “Is that the right thing to do? I just don’t know.”

In a statement attached to the song’s announcement, Björk writes that they are looking to aid the town of Seyðisfjörður, where residents are combatting the industrial fish farming’s impact on local wildlife.

She said that farmed fish in the region suffer “horrid health conditions” and are in danger of extinction.

Los Ángeles Azules to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Billboard Latin Music Awards

Los Ángeles Azules have earned an extra special honor…

The Mexican cumbia group will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

 Los Ángeles AzulesThe band, known for songs like “El Listón de Tu Pelo,” “Cómo Te Voy a Olvidar” and “Mi Niña Mujer,” among many other cumbia anthems, will be recognized for their enduring, exceptional career that has expanded the reach of Latin music worldwide.

The award will be presented at the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards, where they will also hit the stage with a special performance.

The ceremony will be held Thursday, October 5, and will be broadcast live on Telemundo from the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.

“We are very honored to receive this award,” the group — led by the Mejía-Avante brothers — said in a statement. “It is a recognition to our music, which we have shared with our audiences throughout all these years.”

With a 40-year musical career, Los Ángeles Azules have achieved great success, including 14 entries on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs chart, with three songs in the top 10. They also have 16 entries on Latin Airplay, of which six reached the top 10, including “Nunca es Suficiente,” with Natalia Lafourcade, which peaked at No. 3 in 2019. Their 2020 album De Buenos Aires Para El Mundo debuted at No. 8 on the Regional Mexican Albums chart, making it the band’s 12th album to reach the top 10 on the tally.

Past recipients of the Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award include Raphael, Paquita la del Barrio, Armando Manzanero, Miguel Bosé, Los Temerarios, Intocable, José José, Marco Antonio Solís, Ricardo Arjona and Maná, among others.

Besides airing live on Telemundo, the Billboard Latin Music Awards will air simultaneously on the Hispanic entertainment cable channel, Universo, Peacock, the Telemundo App, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Telemundo Internacional.

Peso Pluma leads the list of finalists with 21 nods across 15 categories including artist of the year, songwriter of the year, Global 200 Latin artist of the year, and Top Latin Album of the year.

Sara Sorribes Tormo Advances to Fourth Round of French Open Via Walkover

Sara Sorribes Tormo has advanced to the Round of 16 at the French Open… without breaking a sweat.

World No.4 Elena Rybakina withdrew from Roland Garros with an upper respiratory illness on Saturday just before she was scheduled to take the court for her third-round match against the 26-year-old tennis player.

Sara Sorribes TormoRybakina told reporters she began feeling ill after her second-round match. She hoped to be able to play but struggled to sustain 10-minutes of work on the court.

“I saw the doctor and they said that actually it’s all a virus here in Paris,” Rybakina said. “I guess with my allergy, immune system just went down and I picked up something. As I said, I was not sleeping well for two days. I had fever, headache. I think you can hear [my voice] also.

“So, yeah, it’s difficult to perform and obviously to run and even breathe. So I think that was the only right decision I could make.”

With Rybakina’s withdrawal, Sorribes Tormo advances via walkover and is into her first Fourth Round at a Grand Slam.

She’ll next face 14th-seed Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Sorribes Tormo’s previous best showing was a third round appearance at the 2021 US Open.

Christina Aguilera to Headline NYC Pride’s Pride Island Event

Christina Aguilera is heading to Pride Island.

The 42-year-old half-Ecuadorian American Grammy-winning singer will serve as the official headliner for this year’s NYC Pride Pride Island in New York.

Christina AguileraTaking place on Sunday, June 25, Pride Island will also feature sets from Guy Scheiman, Karina Kay and Mor Avrahmi throughout the event.

“I couldn’t be more excited to headline NYC Pride’s iconic Pride Island,” Aguilera said in a statement of the upcoming show. “I’m always ready to celebrate the strength and resilience of all the individual members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies by dedicating this performance to our combined power when we act and work in solidarity.”

This year’s Pride Island is also coming to a new home. After Kim Petras’ headlining set on Governor’s Island last year, 2023’s Pride Island will take place at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, a modern manufacturing campus in Brooklyn that also hosts cultural events.

Aguilera has a storied track record of support for the LGBTQ community. Earlier this year, GLAAD recognized Xtina as its 2023 advocate for change, honoring the artist as someone who “through [her] work, has changed the game for LGBTQ people around the world.” In accepting the award, the five-time Grammy winner called on everyone listening “to raise our voices if we want to live in a world that is free of discrimination, hate and violence.”

Christina Aguilera will take to the Pride Island main stage on Sunday, June 25, at Brooklyn Army Terminal. Tickets to Pride Island are on sale now.

Bad Bunny to Receive Vanguard Award at GLAAD Media Awards

Bad Bunny is being feted for his activism…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican superstar, who recently won his third career Grammy, will be honored at the 34th annual GLAAD Media Awards next month for advancing and supporting the LGBTQ community.

Bad BunnyBad Bunny — Spotify’s most-streamed artist in the world last year — will receive the Vanguard Award for having made “a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people and issues.”

Bad Bunny’s advocacy and outspoken allyship for the LGBTQ community has reached millions around the world, using his craft to speak out for equality.

“Bad Bunny uses his role as one of the world’s most popular music artists to boldly shine a light on LGBTQ people and issues, including transgender equality and ending violence against trans women of color,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “By consistently advocating for our community, elevating our stories and demanding action from anti-LGBTQ leaders, Bad Bunny redefines the positive influence Latin music artists can have within the LGBTQ community, and has set an example for all artists.”

But El Conejo Malo isn’t the only Latino act set to be honored…

Five-time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera will receive the Advocate for Change Award for having “changed the game for LGBTQ people around the world.”

Aguilera has used her platform to be a bold advocate for the LGBTQ community, advancing conversations around acceptance and more through music. “Christina Aguilera is a beloved icon who has inspired and shared messages of love for the LGBTQ community since the start of her music career,” Ellis said. “From using her voice to speak out against anti-LGBTQ legislation to creating songs and music videos that showcase LGBTQ love, Christina loudly and proudly raises the bar for what it means to be a LGBTQ ally today.”

The awards show will be handed during the March 30 ceremony at the Beverly Hilton.

Here are GLAAD’s mini-bios of Bad Bunny & Aguilera:

Bad Bunny

Named Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2022, with 8.3 billion streams globally, the three-time Grammy-winning artist, bringing his own voice to the forefront to help others see themselves in the world.

As he reimagines the Latin urban music genre, LGBTQ people and issues remain in the vanguards of equality and inclusion for him, especially those in Puerto Rico, where he was born. His live performances and music videos cast an array of voices, experiences and backgrounds, showcasing queer love and affection on full display. For his music video for “Yo Perreo Sola,” he dressed in drag, telling Rolling Stone, “I did it to show support to those who need it. I may not be gay, but I’m a human.”

In a performance for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the rapper paid homage to Alexa Negrón Luciano, a trans woman murdered in the city of Toa Baja, wearing a shirt in Spanish that read: “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt.” In 2019, the artist also helped influence a movement to force former Puerto Rican Governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to step down from office, after being exposed for corruption and anti-LGBTQ attitudes.

Moving from sound booth to the big screen, Bad Bunny plans to executive produce the forthcoming Netflix adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel, They Both Die in the End, which features a queer Latinx storyline.

Previous GLAAD Vito Russo Award recipient Ricky Martin told Rolling Stone that Bad Bunny is an “icon for the Latin queer community.”

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera, who has one of the most celebrated voices in history, has used her platform to be a bold advocate for the LGBTQ community, advancing conversations around LGBTQ acceptance and more, through music. Most recently, her impact on the LGBTQ community was realized after Club Q Colorado Springs shooting survivor, Michael Anderson, invoked her lyrics as he testified before the U.S. House Oversight Committee on LGBTQ violence. In 2002, Aguilera dedicated her single, “Beautiful,” to the LGBTQ community, with the line “words can’t bring us down” becoming a personal mantra for many queer people. The song brought a unique awareness and a sense of compassion in the face of hate, earning Aguilera a Special Recognition honor at the 14th GLAAD Media Awards. Last year, the seven-time Grammy-winner celebrated 20 years of “Beautiful” with a brand new music video, reminding people of the importance of accepting themselves for who they are.

A staunch supporter of LGBTQ rights and a visionary for representation, Aguilera raised over $500 million for HIV research with MAC Cosmetics in 2004, spoke out loudly against Proposition 8 in 2008 and brought trans dancers and drag artists into the limelight during the 2012 American Music Awards. Following the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Aguilera dedicated the song, “Change,” to those affected by the tragedy with proceeds from the song going to victims’ families. She later penned a “Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community” for Billboard in 2017. Her very own Pride collection was launched in 2021, to proudly support two nonprofit organizations: TransTech and TransLash. Using the power of music to build bridges and demand change, Aguilera has redefined what it means to be a true advocate for the LGBTQ community, creating spaces for queer voices and talent to be known and thrive: From performing alongside breakthrough LGBTQ artists like Anitta, Syd, Kim Petras, Chika and Michaela Jaé, to condemning anti-LGBTQ legislation like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.

J Balvin Receives Latino Impact Award During United Nations Latino Impact Summit

J Balvin is celebrating his international impact

The 37-year-old Colombian superstar received the Latino Impact Award at the United Nations Latino Impact Summit for his work shining a light on mental health.

J BalvinBalvin was honored this week at the United Nations headquarters in New York City during the summit, which returned to an in-person format for the first time since the pandemic.

He was honored for raising awareness on mental health and wellness in the Latin community as well as for the launch of his mental wellness app, OYE.

Balvin is the creator, along with Mario Chamorro, Patrick Dowd and Isaac Lee, of the Spanish and English application that offers a space for people to transform their emotions into creative actions.

For this reason, it achieves “a balance between emotional health and physical health, through exercises that help release stress, fear, sadness and the burdens that each human being receives in their daily routines, to reconnect with their inner power. and create the life they want,” said the Public Foundation, which organizes the summit, in a statement.