Christina Aguilera Among Celebrities Urging U.S. Senators to Stop Gun Violence Now

Christina Aguilera is calling for politicians to take action on the issue of gun reform

The 40-year-old half-Ecuadorian American Grammy-winning singer has joined a roster of celebrities who’ve signed an open letter to U.S. Senators urging them stop gun violence now.

Christina Aguilera

Five years ago, amidst a string of deadly attacks at live music venues including the horrific mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12, 2016, the cover of Billboard‘s July 2016 issue featured an open letter to U.S. Congress signed by 200 artists and music industry executives calling for gun reform.

Unfortunately, the need for reform has only grown stronger as shootings have continued around the country at a terrifying rate.

So now, five years later, as venues prepare to reopen after their pandemic shutdown and music fans ready to return to concerts and festivals, we stand again with the music community to ask lawmakers to take swift action to stop the violence. — Hannah Karp, Billboard editorial director

An Open Letter to Senators: Stop Gun Violence Now

As leading artists and executives in the music industry, we are adding our voices to the chorus of Americans demanding change.

Music always has been celebrated communally, on dance floors and at concert halls. But this life-affirming ritual, like so many other daily experiences — going to school or church or work — continues to be threatened, because of gun violence in this country.

The one thing that connects the tragedies like the shootings in Boulder, El Paso, Las Vegas, Parkland and so many other places in America, to the one that happened in Orlando five years ago this June, is that it is far too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns.

We call on the Senate to do more to prevent the gun violence that kills more than 100 Americans every day and injures hundreds more: Take action on background checks.

Billboard and the undersigned implore you — the people who are elected to represent us — to close the deadly loopholes that put the lives of so many music fans, and all of us, at risk.

Sincerely,

Christina Aguilera, Tori Amos, Sara Barielles, Aaron Bay-Schuck, Tony Bennett, Selim Bouab, Rob Bourdon, Scooter Braun, Cortez Bryant, Michael Bublé, Vanessa Carlton, Joseph Carozza, Steve Cooper, Tom Corson, Lee Daniels, Ellen DeGeneres, Brad Delson, Diplo, Mike Easterlin, John Esposito, Melissa Etheridge, Fletcher, Luis Fonsi, Becky G, Kevin Gore, Julie Greenwald, Josh Groban, Horacio Gutierrez, Joe Hahn, Halsey, Billy Joel, Craig Kallman, Alicia Keys, Kid Cudi, Carole King, Elle King, Adam Lambert, Cyndi Lauper, Kevin Liles, Dre London, Jennifer Lopez, Macklemore, Zayn Malik, Carianne Marshall, Ricky Martin, Paul McCartney, Julia Michaels, Guy Moot, Jason Mraz, Gregg Nadel, Yoko Ono, Mark Pinkus, Gregory Porter, Prince Royce, Bonnie Raitt, Dawn Richard, RMR, Paul Robinson, Maggie Rogers, Kelly Rowland, Mike Shinoda, Sia, Matt Signore, Britney Spears, Rob Stevenson, Sting, Barbra Streisand, Justin Tranter, Sir Trilli, Sharon Van Etten, Aimie Vaughn-Fruehe, Eddie Vedder, Andrew Watt.

If you’re interested in signing the letter, you can email tc dating.

Becky G Joins United Nations Human Rights “We All Rise” Campaign on International Women’s Day

Becky G is commemorating International Women’s Day in a big way…

The 24-year-old Mexican American bilingual rapper/singer has joined the United Nations Human Rights on International Women’s Day (March 8) for the “We All Rise” campaign for gender equality during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Becky G

Becky G appears in the campaign alongside Celine Dion, Cher, Cyndi Lauper and many most stars.

The artists — joined by activist/tennis legend Billie Jean King, TV personality Padma Lakshmi, actors Renée Elise Goldsberry and Terry Crews, WNBA champ Sue Bird and singer/songwriter Amanda Shires — have partnered with the UN to select the 2021 We All Rise female empowerment anthem “Together We Are Stronger.”

The soaring song features KT Tunstall, Lolo, Devyn Lorea and Nikki Vianna, and was written by written by Morgan Dorr, Greg Hansen and Lorea, with production by the Highland Park Collective.

We All Rise aims to reach more than 150 million with its first effort, described in a release as a “celebrity-driven social media campaign promoting gender equality as a fundamental human right essential to achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.” The coalition of celebrities and advocates participating in the effort also includes LeAnn Rimes, Dionne Warwick, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Liv Warfield, Blair Underwood, Gloria Estefan, Naomi Campbell, Bridget Moynihan, and Debbie Allen.

“Gender equality is one of the fundamental values of the United Nations and lies at the very heart of human rights,” said Veronica Birga, chief of the Women’s Rights and Gender Section of United Nations Human Rights in a statement. “That is why we are the global partner of WE ALL RISE, an exciting new initiative committed to promoting, protecting, and advancing the human rights of all women and girls around the world. Because gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, it is essential to achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.”

The effort is one of many across the music world on Monday to celebrate International Women’s Day, including a playlist curated by BLACKPINK‘s Rosé and a remake of “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan and Idina Menzel, among other efforts.

“Gender equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women are fundamental human rights and core values of the United Nations,” added Trish Golden, president of We All Rise. “Together with our Global Partner, United Nations Human Rights, We All Rise is dedicated to promoting gender equality around the world and the human rights of women and girls, in all their diversity. When we support women’s rights, We All Rise together.”

The video for the inspiring “Together We Are Stronger” features images of women from around the world marching for equality and securing a future for girls and young women where they can achieve their goals.

Jennifer Lopez Ends 2020 with Powerful & Emotional “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” Performance

Jennifer Lopez has ended the year as the belle of the (crystal) ball…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican superstar closed out 2020 with a powerful and emotional performance on Thursday night, while taking the stage in New York’s Times Square.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez, who headlined the 49th annual Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2021 on ABC. began by standing on a 20-foot tall column with a white coat covered in six large white feathered layers that cascaded all the way to the ground. JLo donned a glittery diamond head mask before taking it off, tossing off the massive coat, and showing off a glittering tight pants and a blazer with dramatic shoulders.

While performing her latest single “In the Morning,” J.Lo took a moment to reflect on the challenging year and remember the people we lost during the pandemic.

“2020 is almost over. We made it. We made it,” she said before getting teary-eyed. “If this year taught us anything, it taught us to be grateful for what we do have — to cherish every moment. We lost too many. Too many.”

Lopez also performed a montage of her hit songs, including “Dance Again” and “Waiting for Tonight,” and delivered a dazzling cover of Aerosmith‘s “Dream On.”

“Tonight we’re going to live, we’re going to love and we’re going to dance again,” she added, referring to her 2012 song “Dance Again.” “And we’re going to keep on dreaming. Twenty years ago, I sang this song, and we never needed it more than tonight.”

In addition to Lopez, the New Years Rockin’ Eve special also featured performances by Miley CyrusBilly PorterCyndi LauperNelly and others.

Cardi B Named Billboard’s “Woman of the Year”

Cardi B is WAP-ping up the year with a bang…

The 28-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar has been named the 2020 Woman of the Year by Billboard.

Cardi B

Cardi B, who continues to thrive with her Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper “WAP,” a brand-new already-sold-out Reebok collection and her political activism, will be presented the award during Billboard‘s Women in Music event on December 10.

The 15th annual event will go virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and will stream live here starting at 8:00 pm ET. The ceremony will be hosted by Teyana Taylor.

Jennifer Lopez will be honored with this year’s prestigious Icon Award for her impact on the music industry and the greater artistic community, joining previous recipients Alanis MorissetteCyndi LauperMary J. BligeShania Twain and Aretha Franklin.

Following the success of her sophomore album, Future NostalgiaDua Lipa will receive the Powerhouse Award, given to an act whose music dominated streaming, sales and radio this year.

Dolly Parton is 2020’s Hitmaker Award recipient. The honor recognizes a songwriter whose compositions have significantly impacted culture.

Chloe x Halle will receive the Rising Star Award, and Jessie Reyez will be honored with the American Express Impact Award.

Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas, the trailblazing minds behind #TheShowMustBePaused movement following the murder of George Floyd, will be honored with the 2020 Executive of the Year Award.

Valentina to ‘Drag Out the Vote’ at Variety Show “Divas For Democracy: United We Slay”

Valentina’s prepared to drag out the vote

The 29-year-old Mexican American drag performer and former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant will team up with some of her fellow queens and Broadway celebrities to get out the vote for November’s presidential election.

Valentina

Valentina and divas from the drag world and icons of the stage will come together for Divas For Democracy: United We Slay, a one-night-only variety show extravaganza promoting voter participation and key issues relating to the LGBTQIA+ community in the upcoming 2020 election.

Presented by the nonprofit voter engagement organization Drag Out the Vote and hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race star Nina West and Entertainment Tonights Keltie KnightDivas for Democracy: United We Slay features scores of talent who’ll sing and lip-synch through dazzling performances of theater classics and pop songs.

Special segments will highlight LGBTQIA+ activists in a nonpartisan effort to shine a light on community participation in the political process, including celebrity appearances by Tony winner Cyndi LauperDrag Race panelist Michelle VisageHarvey Fierstein, James Monroe IglehartBianca Del RioShangelaCheyenne Jackson, Mila Jam, and Oscar-winning actress Allison Janney.

In addition to Valentina, other drag superstars slated to perform during the broadcast include AlaskaJinkx MonsoonJujubeePeppermintCynthia Lee FontaineShuga CainHoney Davenport, and Drag Out the Vote’s national co-chairs Brita Filter, Marti Gould Cummings, and Pixie Aventura.

Broadway figures set to appear include legendary three-time Tony-winning actress Chita Rivera, as well as Tony winners Stephanie J. Block, Lea Salonga, Nikki M. James, Beth Leavel and Annaleigh Ashford. Also joining the program are stage stars Shoshana Bean, Eden Espinosa, Jenn Collela, Chilina KennedyKeala Settle, Tamika Lawrence, L Morgan Lee, and Our Lady J.

The presentation will be directed by Josh Rhodes and Lee Wilkins, whose joint careers include work choreographing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CinderellaFirst DateIt Shoulda Been You, and Bright Star on Broadway. Tony winner Stephen Oremus will serve as music supervisor.

“One in five LGBTQIA+ people is not registered to vote, and 100 million people did not vote in the 2016 election. We must fix this,” said Drag Out the Vote founder Jackie Huba in a press statement. “We are excited to bring together the worlds of Broadway and drag to inspire voters to sashay their way to the polls or their mailboxes.”

Divas for Democracy: United We Slay airs October 18 at 8:00 p.m. ET exclusively on StageIt. Tickets — available on a “donate-what-you-can” basis — go on sale Thursday at 10:00 a.m. ET at divasfordemocracy.com.

Tainy Executive Produces the “SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run” Soundtrack, Releases First Single “Agua” with J Balvin

Tainy’s getting his Sponge on…

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican record producer and songwriter is the mastermind behind Paramount AnimationNickelodeon and NEON16’s SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run movie soundtrack.

Tainy

Tainy executive produced the album alongside renowned industry leader Lex Borrero, with NEON16 curating the official soundtrack of the forthcoming animated film. 

This marks the first time the Latin multimedia company and talent incubator has partnered with the animated franchise.

The soundtrack, set to be released via NEON16/Interscope Records, will include songs by Tyga, Swae Lee, Lil Mosey, Weezer, Snoop Dogg, The Flaming LipsKenny G and Cyndi Lauper, to name a few. 

Additionally, Hans Zimmer is expected to score the film.

Kicking off the soundtrack is Tainy and J Balvin’s single “Agua,” which was released on Thursday, July 9.

“Tomorrow it’s officially out,” Balvin expressed on Instagram posing with Patrick Star. “It was meant to be a secret but oh well! I know that this song has good vibes and a lot of happiness, which we need during these moments.”

SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Runwill debut digitally in the U.S via premium video on demand in early 2021 and then move exclusively to CBS All Access, ViacomCBS’ subscription video on demand and live-streaming service, following the premium video-on-demand window.

ABC to Release “The Goldbergs” Mixtape, Featuring Six Hayley Orrantia Tracks

Hayley Orrantia is back behind the microphone…

After five seasons on the air, ABC‘s The Goldbergs, starring the 23-year-old part-Mexican American actress/singer, will finally have a soundtrack.

Hayley Orrantia

The Goldbergs “Mixtape” will feature 14 tracks, including five classic ’80s songs that Orrantia, who portrays Erica, has covered, including Cyndi Lauper‘s “True Colors” and Katrina & the Waves‘ “Walking on Sunshine,” performed with AJ Michalka.

The other nine tracks on the album, which is being released by Madison Gate Records, are original songs written specifically for Adam F. Goldberg‘s 1980-something semi-autobiographical comedy and include “Love Ninja,” with Orrantia and Troy Gentile (Barry).

The Goldbergs, produced by Sony Pictures Television, has featured a number of original songs on the series as Erica has an interest in becoming a singer-songwriter, while Barry has dreams of becoming a famous rapper via his “alter-ego” Big Tasty. Many television shows like Empire, Glee and Nashville have turned to producing soundtracks featuring their original music as a form of earning ancillary revenue.

Orrantia rose to acclaim as a member of Lakoda Rayne, a country-pop girl group assembled by Paula Abdul during the first season of The X Factor. During her teen years, she sang background vocals for Demi Lovato on Disney‘s Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam soundtrack and background vocals for Miley Cyrus on Disney’s Hannah Montana Forever soundtrack.

Here’s a look at the track list:

  1. “Rewind” (The Goldbergs Main Title Theme) — I Fight Dragons
  2. “Love Ninja” — Hayley Orrantia & Troy Gentile
  3. “D&D” — Kurtis Blow
  4. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” — Hayley Orrantia
  5. “Bad Boy Good Guy” — Troy Gentile
  6. “True Colors” — Hayley Orrantia
  7. “Ferris Wheel” — Troy Gentile
  8. “Tom Sawyer” — Hayley Orrantia & AJ Michalka
  9. “He’s the Man” — Troy Gentile (feat. Hayley Orrantia, AJ Michalka & Sam Lerner)
  10. “Eternal Flame” — Hayley Orrantia & AJ Michalka
  11. “Judah Macabee” — Troy Gentile (feat. Sean Giambrone, Sam Lerner, Noah Munck, Matt Bush)
  12. “Barry Goldberg: A Rap Story” — Anthony Petix
  13. “Walking On Sunshine” — Hayley Orrantia & AJ Michalka
  14. “Dads Just Don’t Care” — Troy Gentile

The Goldbergs “Mixtape is available for pre-order on digital platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and more. The Goldbergs album costs $8.99.

Rubio Reunites with Demi Lovato at the Singer’s Mexico City Concert

Paulina Rubio reunites with her “little sister”…

The 45-year-old Mexican singer reunited with Demi Lovato in Mexico City over the weekend at Lovato’s concert, where Rubio joined her former co-The X Factor USA judge onstage to sing Cyndi Lauper‘s ’80s anthem “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.”

Paulina Rubio & Demi Lovato

“Thank you for inviting me. I love you little sister, see you soon,” wrote Rubio on social media.

Rubio and Lovato rocked the Palacio de los Deportes stage, singing their hearts out, dancing and hugging each other.

Lovato is currently in Mexico with her Confident World Tour, where she will perform this week in cities including Guadalajara and Monterrey.

Mars to Receive Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016

There’s no denying Bruno Marsstar power… And now he’ll have an iconic plaque to prove it.

The 29-year-old part-Puerto Rican singer-songwriter is among the celebrities whose names will be added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016.

Bruno Mars

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced its class of 2016, with a list that includes Adam Levine, Cyndi Lauper, Quentin Tarantino and actors Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, Ashley Judd, Michael Keaton and Kurt Russell.

Entertainers are recognized in five categories: motion picture, television, radio, recording and live theater/live performance. Each recipient is responsible for their star’s $30,000 cost of installation and they have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before they expire.

Mars, a two-time Grammy-winner who was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, in 2011, is being recognized in the recording category.

But Mars isn’t the only Latino artist to make the 2016 list…

Angelica Maria, heralded as La Novia de México, will also receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The 70-year-old Mexican American actress and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is being recognized in the and live theater/live performance.

Individual ceremonies have not yet been scheduled.

The full list of 2016 recipients can be seen at www.walkoffame.com.

Estefan Nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame

Gloria Estefan’s name may soon appear in the annals of history…

The 57-year-old Cuban singer has been nominated for the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Gloria Estefan

Estefan, one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, has penned several of her own memorable songs in English and Spanish, including “Anything for You,” “Coming Out of the Dark,” “Rhythm is Gonna Get You” and “No Llores.”

But the former lead singer of Miami Sound Machine has also written or co-written massive hit tracks recorded by other artists, including Shakira’s English-language crossover hit “Whenever, Wherever” and Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud.”

Other 2015 nominees include Tom Petty, Vince Gill, Cyndi Lauper, Elvis Costello, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Cat Stevens, Toby Keith, Steve Miller, Steve Winwood, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson of Heart, and Harry Wayne “K.C.” Casey of KC & the Sunshine Band.

The selected songwriters will be inducted next June at a New York gala.