Shakira Among Headlining Acts for This Year’s Bésame Mucho Festival in Los Angeles

Shakira is embracing the besos

The Bésame Mucho Festival has unveiled its 2024 lineup, with the 47-year-old Colombian global superstar among this year’s headlining acts.

Shakira Returning December 21 to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for its third year, other confirmed headliners include Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Los Tigres del Norte, Juanes, Banda MS, Carlos Vives, Gloria Trevi, Paulina Rubio and more.

Bésame Mucho has established itself as a popular multi-generational event thanks to the variety of artists who perform across different stages.

For its 2024 edition, Latin rock lovers will be able to enjoy acts such as Elefante, Belanova and Enanitos Verdes.

Música Mexicana fans can catch Ana Barbara, El Fantasma, Grupo Pesado and Alicia Villarreal.

The tropical junkies can dance the night away to Elvis Crespo, Bacilos and Proyecto Uno.

This will mark Shak’s second appearance at the festival.

Earlier this year, she made a surprise announcement via a video message during Grupo Frontera’s set at the first inaugural Bésame Mucho Festival in Austin, Texas, in March.

The artist used the festival grounds to tease fans with a preview of her Frontera collaboration “(Entre Paréntesis)” ahead of the release of her seventh studio album, Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran.

“Hola mi gente de Bésame Mucho, I leave you with my friends from Grupo Frontera and a preview of our next song ‘(Entre Paréntesis),’” Shakira said in Spanish. The group then went on to play around half a minute of the norteño track.

Bésame Mucho Festival

Early access to presale tickets begins at 10:00 am PT on Friday, May 24 via BesameMuchoFestival.com.

Adolis Garcia Joins American League MLB All-Star Game Lineup as Injury Replacement

Adolis Garcia is headed to the MLB All-Star Game

The 30-year-old Cuban professional baseball player and Texas Rangers outfielder has joined the American League lineup as an injury replacement.

Adolis Garcia Garcia was named to the AL team along with Baltimore Orioles outfielder Austin Hays and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Carlos Estevez.

They take over for New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Cleveland Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase.

With Garcia’s selection, Texas will become the first team in 47 years to have five position players start in the All-Star Game.

On the NL side, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Geraldo Perdomo was named as an injury replacement for Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Estevez and Perdomo are first-time All-Stars.

Garcia joins Rangers catcher Jonah Heim, second baseman Marcus Semien, shortstop Corey Seager and third baseman Josh Jung in the AL lineup for Tuesday’s game at Seattle. The non-Rangers are Tampa Bay first baseman Yandy Díaz and outfielder Randy Arozarena, Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani and Hays.

The only other teams with five position players to start the All-Star Game were the 1939 Yankees and the 1956, 1957 and 1976 Cincinnati Reds.

Judge hasn’t played since tearing a ligament in his right big toe June 3 while crashing into a bullpen gate as he made a catch at Dodger Stadium. Trout broke his left wrist fouling off a pitch Monday and had surgery Wednesday.

Clase, who is tied for first in the major leagues with 42 appearances and ranks fourth with 24 saves, withdrew from the All-Star Game in order to spend time with his pregnant girlfriend in the Dominican Republic. He will remain with the Guardians through Sunday’s home series finale against Kansas City.

Swanson is dealing with a bruised heel and decided not to play in the All-Star Game.

Julio Rodriguez Planning to Compete at This Year’s Home Run Derby

Julio Rodriguez is throwing his bat in the ring…

The 22-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a Seattle Mariners‘ star outfielder, has committed to the Home Run Derby, which will take place in his home city leading up to this year’s MLB All-Star Game.

Julio RodriguezRodriguez announced his decision through a video on social media, becoming the first player to say that he will take part in the event.

He later told reporters that he’s excited to be part of a derby in Seattle.

“This probably will never happen again in my career — being able to do that for them at the home field definitely will be something that I’m looking forward to,” he said. “I’m definitely going to try to do my best for them.”

Rodriguez shined as a rookie in last year’s event, electrifying the Dodger Stadium crowd with a stirring performance that saw him finish as the runner-up to Juan Soto.

Now 22, Rodriguez went on to sign a lucrative long-term extension, lead the Mariners to their first postseason appearance in more than 20 years and win the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

“I know LA was cool. I enjoyed it,” Rodríguez said. “But being able to be at home and put on a show for the Mariners’ fans, I know it’s going to be really exciting.”

The Home Run Derby, a bracket-style event with timed rounds featuring eight participants, will take place July 10 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle and will air on ESPN. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts recently told MLB Network he’d also take part if selected as part of the National League All-Star team, a near certainty given his .260/.359/.502 slash line.

Rodriguez is off to a slow start for a Mariners team that sits a game below .500 and is currently out of the playoff picture, batting .238/.300/.415 with 12 home runs and 16 stolen bases. But he ranks within the top 10% in average exit velocity.

Albert Pujols Hits 701st Career Home Run Against Pittsburgh Pirates

The hits keep on comin’ for Albert Pujols

The 42-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball player and designated hitter for the St. Louis Cardinals has hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night in a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Albert Pujols Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium, his 22nd homer of the season. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he has homered against.

“It was a good pitch to hit and I just put the best swing on the night on it,” Pujols said. “That was it. A 1-2 count, just not trying to do too much.”

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Pujols said. “I didn’t know it was going to be like this. It’s pretty good just to be embraced like this. I mean this is what I’ve been getting all year long but today was extra special. It was a great night overall.”

Before the game, the slugger was recognized for hitting his 700th last week at Los Angeles. He was given a gold-plated, engraved bat by owner Bill DeWitt Jr., team president Bill DeWitt III and manager Oliver Marmol.

Pujols’ homer was his 55th against the Pirates, his third most against any team, trailing Houston Astros (70) and the Chicago Cubs (62).

Pirates manager Derek Shelton took a moment to appreciate Pujols’ accomplishments.

“I think we’re seeing one of the best hitters of our generation and he’s had an unbelievable second half,” Shelton said. “You cannot make mistakes to him right now. We made the one mistake to him and he hit it out of the ballpark. What he’s done over the course of his career and especially what he’s done over the second half is extremely special.”

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias’ Dodger Stadium Standup Special to Air on Netflix in October

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is bringing the funny to Netflix this October… 

The 46-year-old Mexican American comedian/actor’s landmark standup event at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium will premiere globally on the streamer on October 18.

Gabriel IglesiasGabriel Iglesias: Stadium Fluffy Live from Los Angeles” was filmed as part of the “Netflix is a Joke” festival on May 6.

It made history as Iglesias became the first comedian to ever perform at Dodger Stadium.

In the special, Iglesias talks about growing up in the Los Angeles region (he’s a native of Long Beach), a recent attempt at extortion towards him, and where he holds the record for receiving the highest fine on stage. Iglesias, John Bravakis and Joe Meloche executive produce Gabriel Iglesias: Stadium Fluffy Live from Los Angeles, which was directed by Manny Rodriguez.

Iglesias is also the first comedian to score back-to-back sellout concerts at the venue, which holds more than 45,000 people. Before his shows, the standup was praised by officials for his work to make audiences laugh and for the tone that he strikes in his comedy.

The star was presented formal certificates and proclamations from city, county and state officials and Iglesias’ milestone was celebrated with the publication of a special edition of Variety devoted to Iglesias’ path-breaking career.

“This is powerful,” Iglesias said of the outpouring from civic leaders at the time. “I’m just trying to tell jokes, make people laugh, make people smile.”

The timing of the historic Dodger Stadium performances coincided with the anniversary of his mother’s passing, a decade nearly to the day — something that he found “beautiful and poetic,” he said at the time. “Every anniversary we always relive it,” Iglesias said. “Now it’s going to be the worst week of my life and the best week of my life.”

Iglesias is currently on his “Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias: Back On Tour.”

Giancarlo Stanton Named MLB All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player

It’s a (most-valuable) performance to remember for Giancarlo Stanton

The 32-year-old part-Puerto Rican professional baseball designated hitter and New York Yankee outfielder was named MVP 2022 MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, after leading the American League to a 3-2 win over the National League squad.

Giancarlo StantonStanton earned the honor after going 1-for-2 with a two-run homer that tied the game in the fourth inning.

It was the American League’s ninth consecutive win over the National League.

Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins followed with the go-ahead solo blast. Stanton, a Los Angeles native, was given the nod in his hometown.

Stanton was playing in his fifth career All-Star Game and his first since 2017, which is the same season he was named NL MVP. He is now the third Yankees player ever to be named All-Star Game MVP, joining Derek Jeter in 2000 and Mariano Rivera in 2013.

Tuesday’s game was expected to be an offensive showcase but instead was dominated by pitching. The NL took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but failed to record another hit until the eighth inning. The AL totaled eight hits, but never really threatened to put more runs on the board outside of the fireworks in the fourth inning.

For Stanton, Tuesday’s performance continued a strong 2022 season. He is batting .237 this year with 24 home runs, 61 RBI and a .835 OPS. He’s been a key part of New York’s success.

The Yankees have the best record in the majors at 64-28 with a 13-game lead in the AL East. With the second half of the season on the horizon, New York has its eyes set on the postseason as it hopes to make it back to the World Series since its last championship win in 2009,

With Stanton helping to lead the charge, the Yankees are in position to do just that.

Juan Soto Wins This Year’s Home Run Derby

Juan Soto is officially a batting champion…

The 23-year-old Dominican professional baseball outfielder won $1 million on Monday with a swing that’s worth much more.

Juan SotoShaking off trade rumors that threatened to sully his MLB All-Star week, Soto beat a legend and held off a rookie to win the Home Run Derby and the big-money prize that accompanied it in front of a sold-out Dodger Stadium crowd.

After recently turning down a 15-year, $440 million contract extension from the Washington Nationals, Soto arrived in Los Angeles early Monday morning with his future in doubt ahead of the August 2 trade deadline. He emerged unbothered. When asked before the Derby whether he was going to win it, his answer was characteristically Soto: “Probably.” And on that prediction he came through, vanquishing Albert Pujols in the semifinals and Julio Rodriguez in the finals.

“I’m a lone survivor,” Soto said. “I’ve been going through all this stuff, and I’m still here standing up and with my chin up, all the time. And that shows you I can go through anything.”

Anything, in this case, included a day of answering questions he can’t possibly answer, including whether the Nationals will trade him before the August 2 deadline or where he might wind up. Soto instead worried about his powerful left-handed swing, shooting balls to all fields and finishing the finals with 19 home runs to the 18 of his Dominican Republic countryman Rodríguez.

Juan SotoAt 23 years, 266 days old, Soto became the second-youngest Derby champion — just a day older than 1993 winner Juan Gonzalez.

Until the finals, the Derby had been the latest episode of the J-Rod Show. Rodriguez, the precocious 21-year-old Seattle Mariners outfielder, ambushed the field Monday night, ousting the two-time defending champion and smashing 81 home runs.

The first hitter of the night, Rodriguez set the tone for his showing with 32 home runs in his first-round matchup against the Texas Rangers Corey Seager. Then came Pete Alonso, the New York Mets slugger who won the last two competitions in 2019 and 2021 but mustered only 23 home runs in the semifinals, well short of Rodriguez’s 31.

Then came his matchup with Soto, against whom, Rodriguez said, he used to play Call of Duty games. Rodriguez was better at COD. Soto, at least on Monday, was superior at HRD.

“What did I show the fans?” Rodriguez said. “Who I am, I guess. They know a little bit now.”

Rodriguez, who is earning the MLB minimum salary of $700,000 this year, received a $500,000 bonus as the runner-up.

Soto was locked in from the beginning, beating Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez in the first round and St. Louis Cardinals great Pujols in the semifinals.

Pujols, 42, is in his final season — and upset Philadelphia‘s Kyle Schwarber, the No. 1 seed, in the first round, beating him in an overtime period. He couldn’t keep up with Soto, whose 482-foot home run in the first round was the longest of the night.

“I wasn’t sure if I should beat him or let him beat me, but just the respect — I respect him a lot,” Soto said. “Even though I beat him at the end of the day, it’s just a competition. He knows how much I’m proud of him and how much talent he brings to all the generations and advice that he gives to us.”

Whatever Soto’s future, wherever he winds up, whether he’s moved before this deadline or after, he said he would walk away from this All-Star week sure of one thing.

“I will be a Home Run Derby champion forever,” he said.

Albert Pujols to Participate in This Year’s MLB All-Star Game

Albert Pujols is getting another All-Star moment…

The 42-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball first baseman and designated hitter for the St. Louis Cardinals will take part in the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has announced.

Albert PujolsBut he isn’t the only living baseball legend getting called up…

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers will also participate.

Pujols, Cabrera and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron are the only players in MLB history to register 3,000 hits, 500 home runs and 600 doubles.

“I am delighted that Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera have agreed to participate in the All-Star Game,” Manfred said in a statement. “Albert and Miguel are two of the most accomplished players of their generation. They have also represented the baseball traditions of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela with excellence for the last two decades. Albert and Miguel are two all-time greats whose achievements warrant this special recognition.”

It’s the 11th MLB All-Star selection for Pujols, who is in his 22nd MLB season. He ranks fifth in MLB history with 683 home runs and ninth with 3,326 career hits.

“If there is one game for the fans to celebrate the history and longevity, it’s the All-Star Game,” said Chicago White Sox manager Tony LaRussa, who was Pujols’ manager in St. Louis for seven years. “Anything like that [being selected to participate in the All-Star Game], I’m all in favor of.”

Cabrera, 39, reached 3,000 career hits earlier this season. He’ll be appearing in his 12th All-Star Game.

The slugger called Pujols “one of the best hitters I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“To be part of this together is going to be great,” he said Friday.

The All-Star Game will be held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 19.

Francisco Alvarez Headlines Roster for MLB’s Futures Game at Dodger Stadium

Francisco Alvarez’s future(s) looked bright…

The 20-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball catcher and New York Mets catching prospect headlines the rosters announced on Thursday for the 2022 SiriusXM Futures Game at Dodger Stadium on July 16.

Francisco AlvarezAlvarez, the No. 9 prospect on ESPN’s preseason top 100 list, is hitting .272/.364/.540 with 18 home runs and received a promotion to Triple-A earlier this week after bashing several mammoth home runs for Double-A Binghamton.

Mets fans are calling for his promotion to the majors given that the team’s catchers are hitting just .195 with two home runs. While installing a rookie at catcher on a first-place team in the middle of the season is unlikely, the Mets could also use Alvarez at designated hitter, where J.D. Davis and Dom Smith have delivered subpar production.

With many of the preseason’s top prospects already in the majors — including Julio RodriguezBobby Witt Jr.Adley Rutschman and Riley Greene — Alvarez has ascended to ESPN’s top spot of those still in the minors.

The overall top performer in the minors so far might be Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson, who is hitting .298/.429/.548 with 13 home runs and 15 steals between Double-A and Triple-A and has made a huge leap from his preseason ranking of No. 96.

Other top prospects to watch in the game, to be played on July 16 at 7 p.m. ET, include Cardinals power-hitting third baseman Jordan Walker; Pirates catcher Henry Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft; and Rangers right-hander Jack Leiter, the No. 2 in last year’s draft.

The game will be divided into American League and National League rosters.

American League pitchers: Bryan Bello, Red Sox (recently promoted to majors); Taj Bradley, Rays; Hunter Brown, Astros; Ky Bush, Angels; Wilmer Flores, Tigers; Emerson Hancock, Mariners; Jack Leiter, Rangers; Ricky Tiedmann, Blue Jays; Ken Waldichuk, Yankees; Yosver Zulueta, Blue Jays

American League position players: C Yainer Diaz, Astros; C Dillon Dingler, Tigers; C Shea Langeliers, A’s; SS Gunnar Henderson, Orioles; 3B Curtis Mead, Rays; 3B Jhonkensy Noel, Guardians; 1B Nick Pratto, Royals; SS/CF Ceddanne Rafaela, Red Sox; IF Spencer Steer Twins; SS Anthony Volpe, Yankees; OF Denzel Clarke, A’s; OF Oscar Colas, White Sox; OF Jasson Dominguez, Yankees; OF George Valera, Guardians; OF Matt Wallner, Twins

National League pitchers: Andrew Abbott, Reds; Mike Burrows, Pirates; Cade Cavalli, Nationals; Kyle Harrison, Giants; Antoine Kelly, Brewers; Bobby Miller, Dodgers; Erik Miller, Phillies; Eury Perez, Marlins; Jared Shuster, Braves

National League position players: C Francisco Alvarez, Mets; C Diego Cartaya, Dodgers; C Henry Davis, Pirates; C Logan O’Hoppe, Phillies; 2B Darren Baker, Nationals; SS Elly De La Cruz, Reds; SS Ezequiel Tovar, Rockies; 3B Miguel Vargas, Dodgers; 3B/2B David Villar, Giants (recently promoted to majors); 3B Jordan Walker, Cardinals; SS Masyn Winn, Cardinals; OF Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks; OF Jackson Chourio, Brewers; OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, Cubs; OF Robert Hassell III, Padres; OF Zac Veen, Rockies.

J Balvin to Co-Headline New ‘Viva! L.A. Music Festival’ This Summer

J Balvin is ready to Viva Los Angeles

The 36-year-old Colombian reggaetonero will co-headline Viva! L.A., a new, one-day festival set to take place at L.A.’s Dodger Stadium on June 25.

J BalvinThe new festival is being held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Viva! Pomona, an annual festival launched 10 years ago.

Produced by Goldenvoice, the Viva! L.A. Music Festival will also be headlined by Daddy Yankee, Becky G and Kali Uchis.

The multi-genre fest will also feature performances by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Lenin Ramirez, Carin Leon, Tainy, Carla Morrison, Ivy Queen, Cuco, Los Dos Carnales, The Marías, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, Chicano Batman, Ed Maverick, Cazzu, La Sonora Dinamita, Lido Piemienta, Eslabon Armado, among many others.

Additionally, the festival will donate $1 of every ticket sold to the Los Angeles-based nonprofit No Us Without You LA, which is committed to feeding L.A.’s undocumented immigrant communities.

Launched in the pandemic, the volunteer-run organization now provides support to “hundreds of food insecure hospitality, day laborers, street vendors and mariachi families.”

Viva! was originally created a decade ago by Rene Contreras who wanted to bring resources to his hometown in Southern California via backyard shows and gigs at local spots. “Viva! goes beyond just a music festival, it has a strong mission of building community and representation, which has led to its cult following that started in L.A. and has since gone global,” according to a press release. “The fest celebrates those often overshadowed immigrants, youth of color, the underserved, the working class in the suburbs, various marginalized communities and artists that have long been pushed out of the larger anglo music arena.”

The Viva! Pomona shows will still continue under the Viva! umbrella.

 

Ticket pre-sale starts Saturday at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets go on sale to the general public later that day at 2 p.m. For ticket and festival information, visit https://vivamusicfestival.com.