Zack de la Rocha & His Rage Against the Machine Band Mates Earn Third Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nomination

Zack de la Rocha is getting another chance to head to the Hall

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2021 nominees, with the 51-year-old Mexican American musician, singer, songwriter, rapper and activist and his Rage Against the Machine band mates earning a spot on the ballot.

Zack de la Rocha x Rage Against the Machine

In the the most gender-inclusive ballot in the Rock Hall’s history, de la Rocha and his band mates are joined by Mary J. Blige, Kate Bush, Devo, Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Iron Maiden, Jay-Z, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Fela Kuti, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner and Dionne Warwick on the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot.

Formed in 1991, the group consists of vocalist  de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello, and drummer Brad Wilk.

The bands songs express revolutionary political views.

The band was nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility in 2017, as well as in 2018, although both bids failed. Could their third nomination be the charm?

Fan votes, which you can cast at RockHall.com, contribute to the induction process, but don’t guarantee entry.

In 2020, the Rock Hall inducted Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, the Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, T. Rex and the Doobie Brothers into its ranks during a virtual ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Serve as a Judge on VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Life’s a drag (race)for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican politician and activist and the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district (D-NY)will serve as a guest judge for the 12th season of VH1’s hit reality television show RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

AOC, as she’s popularly known, fits in with the political theme of this season of the series, which will see RuPaul reigning over the “Ru-nited States of America.” 

In the trailer with Ocasio-Cortez, RuPaul declares that “the time has come for the first drag queen president.”

AOC is shown in the trailer pledging her devotion to the catchphrase of the season: “Join the Ru-volution,” she says. “I’m Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and I pledge allegiance to the drag.”

In a tweet, AOC said her appearance was “a peak experience.”

https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1228018284689317888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1228018284689317888&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdeadline.com%2F2020%2F02%2Falexandria-ocasio-cortez-will-pledge-allegiance-to-the-drag-with-rupaul-tv-appearance-1202859751%2F

Others guest judge this season include Nicki MinajLeslie JonesJeff Goldblum,Whoopi GoldbergChaka KhanDaisy RidleyRobynNormaniThandie NewtonOlivia Munn, Rachel BloomDaniel FranzeseJonathan Bennett and Winnie Harlow.

The 13 queens competing for the coveted title of  “America’s Next Drag Superstar” and a $100,000 prize include three Latinx contestants… Crystal Methyd (Springfield, MO), Dahlia Sin (Los Angeles, CA) and Jan (New York, NY).

The other contestants are Aiden Zhane (Acworth, GA), Brita (New York, NY), Gigi Goode (Los Angeles, CA), Heidi N Closet (Ramseur, NC), Jackie Cox (New York, NY), Jaida Essence Hall (Milwaukee, WI), Nicky Doll (New York, NY), Rock M. Sakura (San Francisco, CA), Sherry Pie (New York, NY), and Widow Von’Du (Kansas City, MO).

RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untuckedare produced by World of Wonder Productions.

The new season premieres on Friday, February 28.

Gloria Estefan Becomes First Cuban-American to Receive Kennedy Center Honors

It’s an extra special honor for Gloria Estefan

The 60-year-old Cuban singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman, who became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1974, was among the honorees at Sunday night’s 40th edition of the Kennedy Center Honors, becoming the first Cuban American to receive the special recognition.

Gloria Estefan

Estefan, a seven-time Grammy winner, was lauded by longtime friend Eva Longoria and received musical love from Jon Secada, the cast of On Your Feet! (the Broadway musical based on the life and music of the honoree and her husband/collaborator Emilio), and Becky G and Chaka Khan, whose rendition of “Coming out of the Dark” was a show highlight.

Estefan received the award from her role model and friend, Rita Moreno.

“This, ladies and gentlemen, is the stuff of the American dream, and Gloria and I are living every, single minute of it,” said in a video shared by Estefan.

During her touching acceptance speech, Estefan said, “Every one of the honorees in this room, in their own beautiful way and by putting their lives as examples, and as beautiful ways of expressing through music, through art, through the film, through dance, showed who we are in this country. And we are that amazing tapestry of so many colors and vibrant backgrounds, and that’s what makes this country great because when you weave those things together, it’s just such a strong force. And we need to keep that alive.”

Marking only the fourth time in four decades the sitting president hasn’t attended the event, Donald Trump in August opted to sit this one out amid several suggested boycotts.

Estefan called Trump’s decision to stay away “very thoughtful… I’m thankful he chose not to come because all he does is overshadow the accomplishments of people who have spent a lifetime trying to do something. It’s kind of a bummer when that moment is overshadowed by politics and controversy, so I’m very thankful he allowed us the freedom to just revel in this accomplishment.”

She said she wished “certain things could be improved” about Trump’s governance, citing in particular his current policies regarding Cuba, from where she and her family emigrated when she was young. “I wish he wouldn’t have pulled back the travel restrictions on Cuba because I think person-to-person travel is incredibly important, although I don’t particularly like the Castros.”

The celebration honoring Estefan, LL Cool JLionel Richie, Norman Lear and dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade was a lively, hitch-free night that will air as a special December 26 on CBS.

Navarro & His Jane’s Addiction Band Mates Earn First Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nomination

Dave Navarro is celebrating a special first…

The 49-year-old Mexican American guitarist and his Jane’s Addiction band mates have earned their first-ever Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination.

Dave Navarro & Jane's Addiction

“We’re super excited, but it’s hard to talk about because it’s a nomination. The jury’s still out,” Navarro tells Billboard. “Of course it’s very much an honor and we’d love to be in the Hall, but we don’t want to jinx it. We’re a three-time Grammy-nominated band that has never won the Grammy, and here we are now with another nomination. It’s hard to pull the trigger of excitement just yet, but we’re secretly psyched to be nominated.”

The quartet recently wrapped its Sterling Spoon Anniversary Tour, celebrating its sophomore album, Ritual de lo habitualand the 25th anniversary of Lollapalooza.

They’re one of 19 acts nominated for the Rock Hall’s Class of 2017. And if anyone can feel like a winner just being nominated, Navarro sounds like he means it.

“The company we’re in, it’s pretty spectacular,” he says. “They’re all bands that I either grew up with or grew up listening to. So it’s a pretty big deal for me to see the MC5, the Cars, Journey, Pearl Jam and Jane’s Addiction all being mentioned. It’s pretty surreal. And ELO, I think that’s a slam-dunk. I don’t think they should even bother nominating ELO, they should just be in and let everyone figure out who else gets in. So it’s all pretty hard to digest, to be honest with you. To be considered one of those bands just makes me want to cry.”

While Jane’s Addiction waits for the early December announcement of the Rock Hall’s five inductees, the group is releasing a Sterling Spoon vinyl box set on October 21, whose six LPs include a set of rarities as well as a live show from 1990. The group also filmed its Sterling Spoon Tour finale on September 23 at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre for a concert film whose release date has not yet been determined.

The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were announced on Tuesday (Oct. 18) and saw first-time nominations for artists such as Electric Light OrchestraTupac Shakur and Pearl Jam, while artists like ChicChaka Khan and J. Geils Band returned to the list of finalists with hopes of finally entering the elite Hall in 2017.

Garcia to Perform at Prince’s Tribute Concert

Mayte Garcia will take the stage to honor her late ex-husband…

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican belly dancer, actress, singer and choreographer has joined the lineup for this week’s tribute concert honoring the late Prince in St. Paul.

Mayte Garcia

Other recently announced performers include former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger; Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura, whom Prince would feature in international performances; and Prince’s former bandmate Andre Cymone.

Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan, John Mayer and Tori Kelly are among performers already lined up for Thursday’s concert that is sanctioned by Prince’s family.

Fans snapped up tickets for the Xcel Energy Center show when they went on sale on September 19.

Prince died of an accidental painkiller overdose at his Paisley Park recording complex in April.

On Valentine’s Day in 1996, Garcia, then 22, married Prince, then 37, in Minneapolis. In 1998, Prince announced the couple’s divorce, eventually filing an annulment in June 2000.

Alexa PenaVega & Carlos PenaVega to Compete on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”

Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega are ready to pasodoble their way into the television history books.

The 27-year-old half-Colombian American actress and her 26-year-old actor/singer husband will compete on Season 21 of Dancing with the Stars.

Alexa PenaVega & Carlos PenaVega

The PenaVega’s are the first-ever married contestants to face-off against each other on ABC’s celebrity ballroom dancing competition.

Alexa will be partnered with professional dancer Mark Ballas, while has been matched up with Witney Carson.

But they’re not the only Latinos breaking out their dancing shoes this upcoming season…

ESPY Award winner Victor Espinoza is jockeying into position in his own quest to claim the show’s highly coveted mirrorball trophy.

The 43-year-old Mexican jockey, who rode American Pharoah to Triple Crown greatness earlier this year, has been paired up with Karina Smirnoff.

Other contestants on this season of Dancing with the Stars include Paula Deen, Tamar Braxton, Chaka Khan and Nick Carter.

Here’s the full list of the contestants and their pro dancer partners:

  • Alexa PenaVega partnered with Mark Ballas
  • Andy Grammer partnered with Allison Holker
  • Bindi Irwin partnered with Derek Hough
  • Carlos PenaVega partnered with Witney Carson
  • Chaka Khan partnered with Keo Motsepe
  • Gary Busey partnered with Anna Trebunskaya
  • Hayes Grier partnered with Emma Slater
  • Kim Zolciak Biermann partnered with Tony Dovolani
  • Nick Carter partnered with Sharna Burgess
  • Paula Deen partnered with Louis van Amstel
  • Tamar Braxton partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
  • Victor Espinoza partnered with Karina Smirnoff
  • Alek Skarlatos partnered with Lindsay Arnold

Maxwell to Perform at This Year’s Essence Festival

Maxwell will be sharing his musical essence in New Orleans…

The 39-year-old half-Puerto Rican singer-songwriter is set to perform at the 2013 Essence Festival, which returns to New Orleans for four days this summer.

Maxwell II

The 19th annual celebration of black music and culture will be held July 4-7 at the Superdome and the nearby convention center, where speakers like Rev. Al Sharpton and Representative John Lewis, a congressman and civil rights leader, will give lectures, according to the New York Times.

Maxwell’s performance will come a year after the neo-soul singer had to cancel a comeback tour due to vocal hemorrhaging. He’s currently working on his fifth studio album, SUMMERS, which he hopes to release later this year.

Maxwell will join Beyonce, Brandy, Jill Scott, Keyshia Cole as entertainers set to take the stage. Other performers include New Edition and LL Cool J, while smaller stages will feature Bridget Kelly, Les Nubians, Mint Condition and the new jack swing stalwarts, Blackstreet.

The festival began as a one-time event celebrating the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine.

Last year’s event featured performances by Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Mary J. Blige as well as D’Angelo and Melanie Fiona.