Bad Bunny Graces Cover of W Magazine’s Music Issue

It’s Bad Bunny for the W… W magazine cover, that is…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican rapper, singer and songwriter graces the cover of W Magazine’s Music Issue.

Bad Bunny W Magazine Cover

 

@badbunnypr is no stranger to playing different characters, in fact it’s one of the (many) things that keeps the world watching him,” writes the magazine in its Instagram post about their cover subject. “Last year, the rapper made waves for performing drag in his music video for ‘Yo Perreo Sola,’ in which he dressed in head-to-toe red latex, complete with dripping jewelry and stiletto boots. But underneath it all, the artist, born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio remains a country boy from Puerto Rico’s northern coast, a laid-back beach kid who will roll into an industry party in board shorts and flip-flops.”

Bad Bunny W Magazine Cover

The Grammy winner, who worked overtime during the coronavirus pandemic to release three new albums and become 2020’s most streamed artist on Spotify, spoke with Abby Aguirre about optimism, his creative process and his upcoming acting roles, including his role in the highly anticipated film, Bullet Train alongside Brad Pitt.

Bad Bunny W Magazine Cover

Read the full cover story here.

Natalia Jiménez Teams Up with Banda MS for Love Anthem “Qué Bueno Tenerte”

Natalia Jiménez is teaming up with Banda MS once again…

After previously recording a reimagined version of Banda MS’ “El Color de Tus Ojos” two years ago, the 39-year-old Spanish Grammy and Latin-Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and the Mexican band have now gifted fans with “Qué Bueno Tenerte.”

Natalia Jiménez

The true love anthem was penned by Omar Angulo Robles and produced by Sergio Lizárraga, Banda MS and Jimenez’s manager.

“Singing again with Banda MS gives me immense pleasure,” Jimenez said about “Qué Bueno Tenerte.” “Meeting them again and presenting an unpublished song is a pleasure since they are the most international banda in Mexico.”

 

The track is the first single from her upcoming album México De Mi Corazón II, which is the sequel to her ranchera project from 2019.

PBS to Air Sergio Mendes’ Documentary “Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration”

Sergio Mendes is celebrating with friends on the small screen…

PBS will air the documentary Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration, about the 80-year-old acclaimed Brazilian musician.

Sergio Mendes

The film, which will premiere as part of special programming on PBS stations this June, is derived from the feature documentary Sergio Mendes: In The Key Of Joy by filmmaker John Scheinfeld.

Mendes, who exploded onto the scene in the 1960s with his group, Brasil ’66, played a big role in popularizing Brazilian music around the world, and at the same time created his own genre by fusing Brazilian music with American pop.

The three-time Grammy winner has made 35 albums, including Timeless, produced by will.i.am. Hit singles include “Mas Que Nada”, “The Look of Love”, “Scarborough Fair”, “Night and Day”, “Never Gonna Let You Go” and his famous rendition of “Fool on the Hill”.

In 2012, his “Real in Rio” from the animated film Rio was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Original Song.

In Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration, he is joined onscreen by friends and collaborators including Herb Alpert, Common, Lani Hall (lead singer of Brasil ’66), Quincy Jones, John Legend, Gracinha Mendes (Sergio’s lead singer since 1971 and his wife of 46 years), Jerry Moss, Carlos Saldhana and will.i.am.

“I am really looking forward to sharing my life and musical journey through the decades from Brasil ’66 through present day with PBS viewers across the nation,” said Mendes. “I hope viewers will have a joyful and uplifting experience.”

“Sergio’s warmth, humor and appreciation of life through all the senses made me feel a strong connection with him and I want others to feel the same way,” added director Scheinfeld. “His life is an exceptional blend of encounters, spontaneity and serendipity and makes him an irresistible subject for a film.”

The deal was negotiated by WNED PBS and the film’s distributor Brainstorm Media.

Adrian Quesada’s Black Pumas to Perform at Next Week’s NFL Draft

Adrian Quesada’s music is on draft

The 43-year-old Latino producer and guitarist and his Grammy-nominated Black Pumas band mates will perform at next week’s NFL draft in Cleveland

Black Pumas

Quesada’s Black Pumas join a roster of performers that include the Grammy-nominated rock and soul duo Black Pumas and Cleveland’s own Machine Gun Kelly.

The league announced its musical acts for the second and third days of the draft, which is back on the road after being all virtual last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A massive stage has been constructed near FirstEnergy Stadium and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to host the three-day event from April 29 to May 1.

Black Pumas will perform after the third round is completed on April 30. Their self-titled debut album was nominated as album of the year at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

Rockers Kings of Leon will help kick off the draft on April 29 before Commissioner Roger Goodell tells the Jacksonville Jaguars they are on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick.

Gustavo Dudamel Becomes Music Director of Paris Opera

Gustavo Dudamel is set to bring the classical to the City of Lights

The 40-year-old Venezuelan conductor and violinist will become the music director of the Paris Opera while continuing his commitment to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Gustavo Dudamel

“Opera has long played a seminal role in my life — from sitting in my youth for untold hours at the feet of my Maestro José Antonio Abreu and my idols in Milan, Berlin and Vienna, to making this beautiful artform a staple in our programming in Los Angeles — and I couldn’t be more overjoyed to have found, in Paris, my spiritual home for opera,” Dudamel wrote.

Alexander Neef, general manager of the Paris Opera, described Dudamel as one of the world’s most talented and prestigious conductors.

“In the course of our numerous exchanges, I realized the extent to which he was the one who could share and transmit his love of opera to the widest possible audience,” Neef said in a statement.

The appointment begins August 1 and will last for six seasons.

“Alongside my continued commitment to the LA Phil and to the beloved musicians of El Sistema in Venezuela and around the world, I want to devote all my energy toward creating extraordinary musical moments for our audiences, and to make the Paris Opera ever more connected to the soul of the city and country that surrounds it, with inclusion and access firmly at the core of everything we do together,” he said.

Dudamel has been artistic and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2009.

The Grammy-winning conductor will be the focus of a documentary from writer and director Ted Braun entitled ¡Viva Maestro! The film is slated for theatrical release later this year.

Alejandro Fernandez Announces 19-Date U.S. Leg of “Hecho en México” Tour

Alejandro Fernandez is rarin’ to get back on the road…

After a more than 12-month hiatus that saw him interrupt his tour mid-start, the 49-year-old Mexican superstar has announced a 19-date U.S. tour.

Alejandro Fernandez

It’ll see him performing with 25 people onstage, including his full band, his Mexican mariachi, special guests Christian Nodal and his son, Alex Fernández, as well as a handful of guests in different cities.

The “Hecho en México” tour, so named after Fernández’s Grammy-nominated album (out on Universal Music Latin), kicks off on September 10 in Reno, and ends October 24 in Phoenix.

The tour is presented by Live Nation, and tickets go on sale on April 16 at 10:00 am on Ticketmaster.

The tour will play to full capacity venues, says Luana Pagani, a partner in Seitrack, Fernandez’s management team. For these venues, it translates to 5,800 people at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden to nearly 15,000 at The Forum in Los Angeles.

“Nothing is ‘normal’ yet in terms of venues, but we understand all venues will follow their protocols, and we will as well,” says Pagani.

All visa and work requirements for Fernández and his musicians have already been cleared, and Fernandez will also perform at the Latin American Music Awards April 15.

For Fernandez, the import of his tour announcement is not lost, especially as one of Latin music’s biggest stars, as the scion of one of Mexico’s most prominent musical families (his father is Vicente Fernández), and as the spokesperson of Families Belong Together. The campaign of the National Domestic Workers Alliance works to end family separation, and will receive a portion of the tours’ proceeds.

“We lost a lot of people in this pandemic — fiends, family,” Fernández tells Billboard. “So the most important thing is we’re coming back properly, doing things right and with a very important message after all that’s happened, which is thanking God that we’re alive.”

Fernández, a prolific touring act, is known — like his father — for his bravura performances that are long on time and high on quality.

For “Hecho en México,” he is upping the ante by touring for the first time ever with his son, Alex Fernández, who is 25 and signed to Sony. The prospect recalls Fernández’s own stage debut alongside his father, when he was only six years old.

However, says Fernández, “I only started to tour when I was 18, so we’re not that far apart. Alex is a good kid. He’s dedicated and professional. He’s seen how my father works, and he’s seen how I work, and he’s responsible. He’s hungry to do things right.”

Fernández will also invite rising ranchero/norteño star Christian Nodal as a special guest on at least three tour stops. The two became close after recording the hit “Duele” together. It was the kind of cross-generational collaboration Fernández had not done before in Mexican music.

Fernández, that rare artist who’s able to navigate easily between traditional pop and traditional regional Mexican music, had most often collaborated with pop acts, and in his concerts he tends to mix styles and outfits to represent his two styles of music.

Partnering with Nodal, and also with Edén Muñoz of Calibre 50, who will be a guest in at least one show, highlights a new generation of Mexican music starts that are propelling the music forward.

“There’s a resurging interest for Mexican music,” agrees Fernández. “In fact, I’ll be singing some of my pop material, but in more Mexican arrangements.”

Fernández will also perform the entire tour dressed in the traditional formal charro garb that includes the broad-rimmed hat, tight decorated pants and a short fitted jacket.

That’s good news for Mexican fans, who are expected to fly in from Mexico to see Fernández’s shows, particularly on the West Coast. The month of September, which has traditionally drawn Mexican tourists to Las Vegas for the many Latin music performances that take place there as part of Mexican Independence, is expected to see a surge in travel, as concerts have not restarted in Mexico.

“Last year I had played Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City and a couple of dates in Guadalajara and then we had to put everything on hold,” says Fernández. “This will be an epic return.”

Here are the dates and venues for the “Hecho En Mexico” tour:

*with Alex Fernandez
+with Christian Nodal

Fri, Sept. 10 – Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Theatre^
Sat, Sept. 11 – Sacramento, CA – Golden 1 Center*
Sun, Sept. 12 – Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center*
Wed, Sept. 15 – Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena*
Fri, Sept. 17 – Albuquerque, NM – Rio Rancho Events Center*
Sat, Sept. 18 – El Paso, TX – UTEP Don Haskins Center*
Fri, Sept. 24 – Houston, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land*
Sun, Sept. 26 – Chicago, IL – Allstate Arena*
Thurs, Sept. 30 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
Fri, Oct. 1 – New York, NY – Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden
Sun, Oct. 3 – Miami, FL – AmericanAirlines Arena
Tues, Oct. 5 – Atlanta, GA – Coca-Cola Roxy
Fri, Oct. 8 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory*
Sat, Oct. 9 – Hidalgo, TX – Payne Arena*
Sun, Oct. 10 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center*
Fri, Oct. 15 – San Jose, CA – SAP Center at San Jose+
Sat, Oct. 16 – San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena+
Fri, Oct. 22 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum+
Sun, Oct. 24 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre*

Bad Bunny Announces North American Leg of “El Último Tour del Mundo 2022” Tour

Bad Bunny is ready to hit the road…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican rapper, singer, songwriter and professional wrestler has announced plans to head out on the North American leg of his El Último Tour del Mundo 2022.

Bad Bunny

The tour is the same name as his 2020 album.

Tickets go on sale on Friday and the tour dates run from February through April of next year.

The Grammy Award winner announced the tour on Sunday following his WrestleMania debut. He teamed up with Damian Priest to defeat The Miz and John Morrison.

The multiplatinum-selling artist won two AMAs, Favorite Male Artist — Latin and Favorite Album — Latin, for his sophomore solo album, YHLQMDLG.

He also won Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album for YHLQMDLG at the 63rd Grammy Awards, marking his first career Grammy win.

2022 Tour dates:
Feb. 9 — Denver, CO @ Ball Arena
Feb. 11 — El Paso, TX @ Utep Don Haskins Center
Feb. 13 — Hidalgo, TX @Payne Arena
Feb. 16 — Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
Feb. 18 — Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
Feb. 23 — San Diego, CA @ Pechanga Arena
Feb. 24 — Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
Feb. 25 — Inglewood, CA @ The Forum
Feb. 28 — Portland, OR @Moda Center
March 1 — Seattle, WA @ Climate Pledge Arena
March 3 — San Jose, CA @ SAP Center
March 5 — Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
March 6 — Phoenix, AZ @ Phoenix Suns Arena
March 10 — Rosemont, IL @ Allstate Arena
March 14 — Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena
March 16 — Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
March 18 — Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
March 19 — Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
March 22 — Boston, MA @ TD Garden
March 23 — Montreal, QC @ Bell Center
March 25 — Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena
March 26 — Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center
March 27 — Atlanta, GA @ State Farm Arena
March 29 — Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
April 1 — Miami, FL @ AmericanAirlines Arena

Rita Moreno Among the “Cast” for This Year’s Academy Awards Show

Rita Moreno has a special date with Oscar…

The producers of this year’s 93rd annual Academy Awards have cast an ensemble of 15 stars to handle all the presenting duties, including the 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, one of the few artists to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award, is part of a “cast” that includes last year’s Oscar winners Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern.

It’s part of the producers’ pledge to do the entire broadcast as if it were a movie itself.

Last year’s Best Director winner, Bong Joon Ho, who made four trips to the stage for Parasite, is also part of this ensemble, presumably to present Best Director.

Other names announced — in alphabetical order — are Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Reese Witherspoon and Zendaya.

“In keeping with our awards-show-as-a-movie approach, we’ve assembled a truly stellar cast of stars,” said producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh. “There’s so much wattage here, sunglasses may be required.”

This idea of having a set group of presenters rotating in and out of the show is not new. When producer Gower Champion reimagined the 1969 Oscar show, he created what they called “Friends of Oscar,” with 10 stars exclusively serving as presenters (and no host). The format was then repeated successfully the next year, and has been tweaked occasionally over the decades — including for the innovative 2009 show produced by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark, which used combinations of five past winners each to present the acting awards.

Additional talent joining the April 25 live broadcast on ABC will be announced later.

Demi Lovato Releases New Album “Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over”

Demi Lovato is starting over

The 28-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress has released her latest album Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over.

 

Lovato’s 19-track album is separated into two parts, with the “Prelude” including the first three tracks — “Anyone,” which she debuted at the 2020 Grammys, the title track “Dancing With the Devil” and “ICU (Madison’s Lullabye)” — detailing her struggles with addiction and near-fatal heroin overdose in 2018.

The Art of Starting Over turns the page and starts a new chapter in Lovato’s recovery journey with the remaining 16 songs.

Following her previously released “What Other People Say” single with Sam Fischer, the album includes highly anticipated collaborations with Ariana Grande (“Met Him Last Night“), Noah Cyrus (“Easy“), and Saweetie (“My Girlfriends Are My Boyfriend“).

She also unveiled the music video for the title track, which recreates the painful scene of her hospitalization immediately after her overdose three years ago.

 

Lovato belts out the stirring ballad from her hospital bed and in some scenes, occasionally lies unconscious as her family tearfully watches over her and holds her hand. The devil is also in the details of the accompanying visual, which Lovato co-directed with Michael D. Ratner, who also helmed her four-part YouTube Originals docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil.

Alejandro Fernández to Receive Icon Award at Latin American Music Awards

Alejandro Fernández has officially reached icon status…

The 49-year-old Mexican singer will receive the Icon Award during the sixth edition of the Latin American Music Awards, Telemundo has announced.

Alejandro Fernandez

With a career that spans more than four decades, the son of regional Mexican legend Vicente Fernández has sold over over 35 million records and has collaborated with artists like Beyoncé, Plácido DomingoChristina Aguilera and Marc Anthony.

Most recently, his Grammy-nominated 2020 album Hecho En México debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums chart becoming the first act to achieve No. 1s on the tally in the 1990s, ‘00s, ‘10s, and ‘20s.

The Icon Award is given to an artist who interprets our life in their songs, forms an important part of Latin America’s history, and is considered a musical hero whose name exceeds all generations, according to statement by Telemundo.

“In addition to his immense contribution to Latin music, his service to those most in need, coupled with his constant support for Latino immigrants in the United States, make him worthy of the Latin AMAs Icon Award.”

The Jalisco-born star will also perform at this year’s Latin AMAs, which will take place on April 15 and will be broadcast live from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

Fernández joins the previously-announced star-studded lineup that includes Ozuna, Maluma, Banda MS, Camilo, Carlos Vives, Eslabon Armado, Karol G, Los Dos Carnales, José Luis “El Puma” Rodríguez and Piso 21. The ceremony will also include a special tribute to the late regional Mexican singer-songwriter Joan Sebastian.

Following safety protocols to protect the health and safety of all involved, the 2021 awards show will honor some of the most influential Latin artists of today, as voted by fans in 25 categories including pop, urban, tropical, regional Mexican and the newly-added favorite virtual concert.

This year’s top nominees include Karol G and J Balvin with nine nods each, followed by Bad Bunny with eight, Ozuna with seven, and Anuel AA and Camilo with six each.

The 2021 Latin AMAs, hosted by actress Jacqueline Bracamontes, will air at 7:00 pm ET on Thursday, April 15, via Telemundo and will broadcast simultaneously on Universo and throughout the Americas on Telemundo Internacional.