Becky G Partners with Cheetos for “Deja tu Huella” Scholarship Initiative

Becky G is helping the next generation make their mark…

As part of CheetosDeja tu Huella Community College Tour, the 26-year-old Mexican American singer appeared at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College to help spearhead the initiative by announcing that they’ll be awarding 500 scholarships this year.

Becky GDuring her special appearance, Becky G, who serves as the brand’s first-ever fingertip spokesperson, took to the stage at the Culinary Pathway building and shared remarks with the students about why this partnership made so much sense.

“I can’t express enough what it means to me to have this wholesome moment with Cheetos,” she told the audience. “I used to sell my Cheetos in my backpack at school. That’s right. Thinking about what Cheetos has done for the community and when [the brand] came to me to be a part of the Cheetos familia and the Deja tu Huella, it was an obvious yes for me.” Among the other notable names at the event included LATTC President Dr. Alfred McQuarters, LACCD Chancellor Dr. Francisco Rodriguez and more.

For the culminating moment in the presentation, the star invited brand ambassador Brizzo Torres, famed mascot Chester Cheetah and more to join in on a dance-off, giving the audience a glimpse at some synchronized dance moves. Later on in the day, a block party outside of the building was set-up to give students the opportunity to engage in career-boosting workshops, see artist Bobby Alvarez show off his mural skills, get their hands on free Cheetos samples and dance along to tunes provided by 102.7 KIIS FM.

After the appearance, Becky sat down with Billboard News to speak about why the Deja tu Huella mission means so much to her. “As a little girl born and raised in Inglewood, who has had the chance to tour the world and do so many things, I want the same for others in communities like mine,” she told host Tetris Kelly.

As for what’s up next for the star, the singer is about to embark on her first headlining tour, “Mi Casa, Tu Casa Tour,” later this September. “I get to sing all my Becky G music from the last couple years, which is crazy to think about because I’ve been doing this for a minute now,” she explained of the 16-date tour.

For more information on Cheetos’ Deja tu Huella campaign, head over to the campaign’s official website.

Tommy Torres Receives Alumni Achievement Award from Berklee College of Music

It’s a sweet homecoming for Tommy Torres

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican singer-songwriter has received a special recognition from his alma mater, Berklee College of Music.

Tommy TorresTorres, along with other Berklee graduates, was honored during the Alumni Achievement Awards 2023.

He was recognized for his achievements as a musician, composer, and producer and his “versatility and compositions that have broken cultural barriers,” according to a press release.

“This recognition also gives me great joy because I have thought about my entire career up to today and I feel very happy,” said Torres, recalling that he had to convince his father that music was something serious for him.

“I still feel like I’m getting away with something that seems like a dream,” Torres said in a statement. “I’m very thankful with Berklee. Everything I know about music, production and engineering, I learned it here.”

After graduating 20 years ago, one of the pieces of advice he shared with students is that nowadays they cannot blame the industry or society, since each one decides what style of music to create. He also added that he understands that right now entertainment is bigger than art and marketing seems to be more important than music itself.

“I like it a lot, I like to see the faces of students hungry for knowledge, I like to see the illusion,” Torres said, confessing that at some point in his life he could dedicate himself to teaching the art of music.

Torres thanked his fans because without them he understands that it wouldn’t have been possible to achieve success.

Fernando Meirelles to Serve as Dodge College’s Next Distinguished Artist

Fernando Meirelles is the (Chap)man of the hour…

Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts has named the 67-year-old Brazilian Oscar-nominated film director as its next Marion Knott Distinguished Artist.

Fernando MeirellesMeirelles follows Asghar Farhadi, Dodge’s most recent Distinguished Artist.

He’ll spend three full days on campus (March 14-16) helping graduates and undergraduates develop story ideas, while also discussing production, casting, and analyzing rough cuts of their films. Additionally, he’ll take part in a live Q&A open to the entire Chapman community.

“I still vividly remember the shock and wonder of seeing City of God for the first time,” said Dodge College Dean Stephen Galloway. “It changed my — and everyone else’s — views on the possibilities of film. Having Fernando here will be a life-changing experience for all of us.”

This continues a relationship between Chapman and Meirelles that began last year when the director took part in Dodge’s Master Class series.

Recent Master Classes have featured such guests as Colin Farrell, Joel Coen, Ke Huy Quan, Todd Field, Brendan Fraser, Damien Chazelle and Austin Butler.

Meirelles developed his love of film while studying at the University of Sao Paulo. After producing numerous television shows, he made 2002’s City of God, about life in Rio de Janeiro’s slums, which earned him a best director Oscar nomination.

In 2005, he directed Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener, earning a Golden Globe nomination for best director (and an Oscar for Weisz). He also directed Netflix’s acclaimed The Two Popes in 2019. His other films include Blindness and 360.

Nicky Jam to Finance Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation’s Next Four-Year ‘Prodigy Scholarship’

Nicky Jam is providing a financial assist to the music world’s next prodigy

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American artist will finance the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation’s next four-year Prodigy Scholarship, which will fully fund a student’s bachelor’s degree in music at Berklee School of Music starting in the fall 2023.

Nicky Jam“I’ve always wanted to help and I don’t have my own foundation,” Nicky Jam tells Billboard. “My publicist knows that this is something I’ve been wanting to do and when the opportunity came with the Grammys, I was very excited. I see myself in this type of project because music saved my life. Music gave me everything I needed.”

News of Nicky’s involvement comes just a month after he performed his hit song “El Perdón” with four former scholarship recipients (Xavier Cintrón, Valentina García, Nicolle Horbath and Sergio de Miguel Jorgequera) at the Latin Grammys.

“First of all just seeing those kids sing my song, that was incredible. To let them use my platform to create their own platform, that’s what it’s all about,” he adds. “There was this one kid who wouldn’t stop smiling when he was performing, so he was making me feel better because I was nervous. I was performing in a format that I don’t really sing in, it wasn’t reggaeton, but it felt so good. I felt more love onstage with these kids that I’ve felt in years with a bunch of people I’ve performed with.”

The scholarship, created eight years ago, holds a maximum value of $200,000 and the application period will be open from now until April 10, 2023.

The scholarship is traditionally awarded to “exceptionally talented music students, with financial needs, to support their educational and musical aspirations,” according to the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.

“When it comes to pursuing a career in music, finances should not be a deterrent to cultivating talent,” Raquel “Rocky” Egusquiza, executive director of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation, said in a statement. “We are grateful for Nicky Jam’s generosity, which makes music education a reality for future generations of Latin music creators and preserves our legacy for years to come.”

Nicky Jam, one of the pioneers of reggaetón with more than three decades in music, says this opportunity is special because “low-key” he always dreamed of studying music. As a struggling musician in his early days, receiving a scholarship would’ve had a huge impact on him.

“The fact that I could’ve studied music, that’s already huge. I would’ve gone crazy and studied what I love. No one knew that I’ve always wanted to study music and now people tell me I don’t need it but we could always learn to be better. But I’ll be happy for those kids who do get the opportunity. Maybe the next Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny or Beethoven comes out of this. You never know!”

The foundation is accepting applications for all 2023 scholarships, and alongside Nicky Jam and his manager, Juan Diego Medina (also CEO of La Industria Inc.), is also sponsoring one of the Gifted Tuition Scholarships of up to $100,000.

All scholarships are available to music students between the ages of 17 and 25.

For more details and/or to apply, visit www.latingrammyculturalfoundation.org.

In previous years, the Prodigy Scholarship has been co-sponsored by Latin stars including Enrique Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bosé, Carlos Vives, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Juanes and Sofia Carson.

Bruno Mars to Co-Chair the Grammy Museum’s Music Education Campaign

Bruno Mars is helping raise money for music education…

The Grammy Museum has announced a campaign for music education, featuring the 37-year-old part-Puerto Rican singer/songwriter, with the goal of raising $3 million to $5 million for their educational programs.

Bruno Mars, Ricky Regal, Lacoste

The funds raised over the 18-month campaign will provide free admission to the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles for everybody up to age 18 and for all college students with ID and expanded access to their music education programs across the country.

In addition to Mars, the campaign is co-chaired by Billie EilishDua LipaShawn Mendes and Rosalía.

Michael Sticka, president and CEO of The Grammy Museum, says the museum’s goal is to raise “anywhere from $3 million to $5 million – and this money goes directly to the education programs. As of [October 7] we’re at about 25% of the top end of that goal, so there’s quite a bit of momentum here.”

That money has come from foundations. The museum is now starting to reach out to labels, publishers, artists, promoters and more for additional funding. “We’ve started some of the conversations with the industry,” Sticka says.

How’s that going? “No one has said no yet,” he replies.

Has anyone in the industry said “You make a lot of money from the Grammy telecast and from the MusiCares person of the year gala. Why don’t you fund your programs yourself?”

“We always hear that,” Sticka acknowledges. “I think there’s a general confusion out there of how everything is structured. The Grammy Museum Foundation is separate from the Recording Academy, so we don’t make any money off of the telecast. We’re separate from MusiCares, so we don’t see any of the money that comes in from person of the year. That goes to their important mission. We’re all part of the same family, but we are a separate entity.

“We do receive funding from the Recording Academy. They provide a healthy percentage of our operating budget, then we go out and we raise money. This money [that we raise] doesn’t go to salaries or overhead because the Academy helps subsidize that. This money goes directly to the education programs.

“Our goal with this campaign is very simple, to do our best to democratize music education by expanding our reach into underserved communities where access to our museum and educational programs could make a huge impact, and ultimately foster the next generation of music’s creators and leaders,” Sticka said in a statement.

Camilo Donating $1 from Every Tour Ticket Sold in North America for The Latin Grammy Foundation’s Education Efforts

Camilo is helping further the education of musicians globally…

The 28-year-old Colombian singer, musician and songwriter has teamed up with The Latin Grammy Foundation.

CamiloThe announcement comes on the heels of announcing his upcoming album and tour titled De Adentro Pa Afuera.

This week, the foundation unveiled that Camilo has pledged to donate $1 from each ticket sold for his North American tour to “support the Foundation in its efforts to further the education of music makers around the world through scholarships, grants, and music education programs,” according to a press release.

Fans can purchase tickets via CamiloTour2022.com.

Decal Acquires U.S. Distribution Rights to Natalie Morales’ Sci-Fi Comedy “I’m Totally Fine”

Natalie Morales is doin’ just fine

Decal has acquired the North American rights to Brandon Dermer’s sci-fi comedy I’m Totally Fine, starring the 37-year-old Cuban American actress, out of the Cannes market.

Natalie Morales, I'm Totally FineThe film is slated for release in theaters later this year.

The music video vet’s first feature follows Vanessa (Jillian Bell), who embarks on a solo weekend away to clear her head after the death of her best friend (Morales)—seeing her self-care vacation plans change when she’s met with a situation that’s out of this world.

The film written by Alisha Ketry also stars Harvey Guillén, Blake Anderson and Karen Maruyama.

“We are whole-heartedly excited to share our project with our fellow humans/Earthlings,” said Kyle Newacheck, “and it was DECAL who ultimately matched our passion and proved to be the best fit for the release of this delicate film.”

“The marvelous minds of Kyle Newcheck and Brandon Dermer have created a truly hilarious and thoughtful sci-fi jaunt,” added Decal SVP Ayo Kepher-Maat. “Jillian Bell and Natalie Morales are perfectly cast to deliver the fun and sweetness that makes I’M TOTALLY FINE so heartfelt. We are beyond thrilled to be working with such a talented group.”

Jon Huertas & His “This Is Us” Mates Launch Somos Nosotros Fund to Support Latinx Students in the Arts

Jon Huertas is helping the next generation of Latinx talent…

The 52-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor and his This Is Us cast mates and the show’s creator are launching a scholarship fund to support Latinx students with big Hollywood dreams.

Jon HuertasHuertas, his costars Mandy MooreMilo VentimigliaSterling K. BrownJustin HartleyChrissy MetzChris Sullivan, and Susan Kelechi Watson, as well as series creator Dan Fogelman, have partnered with the art advocacy group Nosotros on the creation of the Somos Nosotros Fund.

It will be used to bolster the quality of inclusion from a creative perspective.

The Latinx-focused scholarship fund is the culmination of a conversation that started over parity late last year when Huertas was given a lower bonus than his costars, This Is Us original cast members offered to pool together a portion of their final season bonuses when fellow series regular Huertas had been given less, an offer which he declined.

Huertas approached Nosotros, founded by Hollywood legend Ricardo Montalbán in 1970, with the idea of starting a scholarship fund because of his deep respect for its history of serving Latino artists.

“The primary directives of the Somos Nosotros fund is to solidify and build on Nosotros’ current initiatives while creating more opportunities to foster Latinx talent,” said Nosotros president Joel M. Gonzales. “The initiation of this fund serves as an inaugural partnership between Huertas and Nosotros where he will serve in a high-visibility Advisory role alongside Nosotros’ already well-established leadership.”

The cast’s generous contributions will be pooled with other donations from organizations like NBC, Netflix, and other endowments.

“We’re going to continue to fundraise every year,” says Huertas. “We’re starting an advisory committee for the fund so we can keep this going for the next 20 or 30 years. It would be nice to reach a point where we won’t need something like this one day but until we do, we as Nosotros will continue to fundraise and contribute to this fund as deeply as we can continue to develop programs and initiatives for the Latinx community which is very important to me.”

In one of its first initiatives, Nosotros is joining AFI in establishing a scholarship for Latinx fellows who enroll in AFI’s writers MFA program. Both Huertas and Gonzales believe that giving new writers the opportunity to earn their MFA, with less burden moving into their career, will give them a leg up to create and write strong, well-developed Latinx characters and stories.

“With the show ending, we really wanted to honor this amazing experience we shared by doing something big. Someone in the cast suggested we could start a charity which got me thinking about the representation of Latinx characters and how we still need a push towards that—with regard to the quality, not the quantity,” Huertas tells Deadline of how the idea for the Fund was born.

“I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we as a cast could give a leg up to the next Latinx writer? Someone who can create compelling stories for Latinx characters, possibly new television shows, who can be writers in writers’ rooms that invest in, protect, and elaborate on Latinx characters.’ They loved the idea and we agreed we should go for it. I’ve worked with Nosotros in the past on other initiatives and knew they would be the perfect partners.”

The Fund announcement arrives ahead of the May 3rd airing of the This Is Us episode titled “Miguel,” where fans finally will learn the backstory of Huertas’ character. The episode is a celebration of Latinidad, as well, the goes beyond what viewers will see on screen.

“Miguel” was written by This Is Us staff writer Jonny Gomez and was directed by Zetna Fuentes.

“Fans can expect to see what shaped Miguel’s life,” he says. “What parts of his life contributed to how he approaches life with the Pearsons, how he treats his wife, and how he represents himself in the family. He hasn’t had the easiest of journeys, which is something people don’t know about him yet. I’m excited for them to be able to look through that window.”

He continued, “We’re going to celebrate him and his Afro-Latinidad, his family, and the diaspora that kind of gets overlooked when you think of Latinx. I love that we got to speak to that on the show. Hopefully, this episode will help people love Miguel all the way around.”

Mariah Carey Launching Vocal MasterClass Course

Mariah Carey is helping you find your voice

The 52-year-old half-Venezuelan American Grammy-winning songstress will reveal the secrets to her famous vocal abilities in a new MasterClass course, the elusive.

Mariah CareyThe course, titled “Find Your Voice With Mariah Carey,” will delve into Carey’s singing tips and tricks.

“I’m super excited to share what I’ve been working on: my first-ever class on the voice as an instrument,” she shared via Instagram, alongside a video of herself singing her 1995 hit “Fantasy” alongside a series of fans, belting their hearts out in various environments. “You’re up next, and you’re going to rock this!”

You can sign up for MasterClass here, and take part in Carey’s course starting on April 14. Having a MasterClass account will give you unlimited access, not only to Mariah Carey’s singing course, but also to more than 150 classes taught by some of today’s most talented creators with pricing starting at just $15/month (about the same as a Netflix subscription).

Ally Brooke to Help Recognize Student Athletes During NFL’s Sports & Fitness Youth Awards

Ally Brooke will help celebrate some stellar student athletes…

In celebration of Super Bowl LVI Week, the 28-year-old Mexican American singer and former Fifth Harmony band member will serve as a special guest at the NFL’s Sports & Fitness Youth Awards, presented by the NFL and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

Ally BrookeAlly Brooke will form part of the event to recognize 10 student-athlete leaders, who’ve been selected among a pool of nearly 30,000 applicants.

Last week, Ally Brooke returned with her second single in Spanish, carrying a message about the strength of love in “Por Ti.” The song has reached No. 21 on the iTunes Latin chart and no. 1 on iTunes Ecuador.

The NFL’s Sports & Fitness Youth Awards will take place on February 8 at the LA Convention Center.