Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Among the Real-Life Heroes Celebrated in DC Comics’ “Wonder Women of History” Graphic Novel Anthology

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting illustrated

DC Comics has unveiled the new young adult graphic novel anthology Wonder Women of History, which celebrates real-life heroes, including the 30-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician who currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez, or simply AOC, as she’s known, drew national recognition when she won the Democratic Party‘s primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district in June 2018, defeating Democratic Caucus chair Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent, in what was widely seen as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election primaries. She defeated Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in the November general election.

Taking office at age 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. She has been noted for her substantial social media presence relative to her fellow members of Congress

Female and non-binary writers and artists tell 17 stories of those “who take up Wonder Woman‘s iconic mantle” in their respective fields of science, sports, entertainment, politics, social justice and more, according to the DC Comics blog. 

New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson edited the collection after recently writing the original graphic novel Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed.

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Wonder Women of History also spotlights singer-actress Janelle Monáe, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Iskwew Air CEO and Founder Teara Fraser, LGBTQ+ rights activist Edith Windsor, transgender activist and Stonewall uprising figure Marsha P. Johnson, Parkland shooting survivor and gun control advocate Emma Gonzalez, disability rights activist Judith HeumannNASA‘s first Hispanic female astronaut Ellen Ochoa, deputy director of Wuhan Institute of Virology and China’s “Bat Woman” Dr. Shi Zhengli, 23-time Grand Slam winning tennis player Serena Williams, stand-up comic Tig Notaro, actress Keiko Agena, and the first African American gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal Dominique Dawes.

The graphic novel will officially hit bookstore shelves everywhere on December 1. The anthology will also include portraits of illustrators Weshoyot Alvitre, Colleen Doran, Agnes Garbowska, Bex Glendining, Ashley A. Woods, and Safiya Zerrougui.

Wonder Women of History is already available for pre-order here.

Jennifer Lopez to Appear as Part of YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” Global Virtual Commencement Ceremony

Jennifer Lopez is ready to motivate this year’s graduates…

YouTube has added several speakers and musical performances to Dear Class of 2020its global virtual commencement ceremony set for June 6, including the 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar.

Jennifer Lopez

In addition to Lopez, others joining Barack and Michelle ObamaLady Gaga and more as part of the special event are Beyoncé Knowles-Carter— who will deliver an inspirational message to the graduates — La La AnthonyAndy CohenLana CondorMisty Copeland,Kevin DurantFINNEASBill & Melinda GatesJoseph Gordon-LevittDemi LovatoHasan MinhajJanelle Monáe,Antoni PorowskiBilly PorterPhoebe RobinsonYara ShahidiMichael StrahanTaylor SwiftCiaraRussell Wilson, the casts of Euphoria and RiverdaleToday’s Jenna Bush Hager and Natalie Morales, and YouTub ecreators Emma Chamberlain, John GreenNikkieTutorials, and Mark Rober.

The multi-hour event premieres on Saturday, June 6 on YouTube. Other speakers and performers include BTSAlicia KeysKelly Rowland, Kerry WashingtonChloe x Halle and Zendaya, among others.

Barack and Michelle Obama each will deliver commencement speeches – as well as a joint heartfelt message – to this year’s high school and college seniors who are missing graduation celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, Michelle Obama’s Higher Reach Initiative will host a full hour of content to kick off the celebration.

“Graduation is a tradition that students and families look forward to and with the current state of the world, YouTube is lending some inspiration in the form of a virtual commencement,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Content for YouTube. “We hope bringing together noteworthy, influential speakers along with performances from some of their favorite artists will provide encouragement for the students who have worked so hard to get here.”

In “Dear Class of 2020,” people from around the world will join the class of 2020 as a singular community to celebrate their resilience, and the endless possibilities of their future, says YouTube. 

“The festival-style line up combines classic commencement day themes with a diverse array of entertainment that will capture all of the emotions of graduation including pride, hope, optimism, and camaraderie.”

YouTube is working in partnership with Higher Reach, Born This Way FoundationMalala FundTODAY, and Ideas United to showcase student stories and feature graduates around the world, including a crowd-sourced commencement speech. The special will be produced by Done + Dusted.

“Dear Class of 2020” can be streamed on the YouTube Originals channel and the Learn@Home site. 

The full schedule of commencement events is available on the Learn@Home site.

Bruno Mars to Headline This Year’s Essence Festival of Culture

Bruno Mars is sharing his essence in a big way…

The 34-year-old part-Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has been named one of the main stage headliners for the Essence Festival of Culture.

Bruno Mars

Mars will co-headline the event with Janet Jacksonas Essence celebrates its 50th anniversary. 

Mars’ appearance will be his first time performing at the festival — and his only 2020 U.S. festival performance.

Essence Festival of Culture will expand for the first time from three to five days (July 1-5) in New Orleans, marking one day for each decade. This year’s theme is “Own Our Power.”

Jackson will be making her third appearance at the festival. Her appearance will take place during her newly announced Black Diamond World Tour, titled after her upcoming 12th studio album.

In addition to Jackson and Mars, the festival’s three-night concert series will include the following lineups at the Louisiana Superdome:

Main stage: Ari Lennox, Janelle MonaePatti LaBelleRaphael Saadiq (performing songs across his entire career from Tony! Toni! Tone! through his solo albums, including Jimmy Lee), Estelle Presents Reggae & Afrobeats Link Up featuring Afro BChronnixElephant ManKraniumMax GlazerMaxi PriestShenseeaand more, Summer Walker,  Swizz BeatzPresents In the Zone featuring guest artists. 

Hosted by Loni Love with music by D-Nice, the main stage lineup will salute music icons each night, including a special anniversary celebration on July 4. 

Superlounges: Casmé, D SmokeDemi GraceDoug E. Fresh Presents The Real Hip-Hop and R&B Party, Elah HaleGoldlinkJac RossJamesdavisJidennaJune’s DiaryKiana LedeKitty CashLeikeli47MasegoMr EaziOswin BenjaminRapsodySaweetieSiRSminoStokleyTamiaTank and the BangasTeaMarrrThe New Respects and Umi.

 “This is a milestone year for Essence and our community as we celebrate 50 years of creating opportunities for our culture to shine and the role of black women in making it possible for us to do what no other brand has done,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications, Inc.“To be able to say that at 50 years, we are black-owned, diversified across media, technology, commerce and live events, and impacting our culture in new and even deeper ways than ever before is a blessing – and one that comes with a tremendous responsibility to our community to continue to evolve, innovate and transform. That remains our focus and commitment as we work to ensure that we are here serving black women deeply and advancing black culture, economic ownership and inclusion globally for the next 50 years.”

Regarding Mars and Jackson, Ebanks added, “These two powerhouses, along with our robust slate of programming, performances and tributes, will continue our legacy of cultural excellence and dynamic, only-at-Essence experiences that excite, elevate and inspire.”

For more information, visit Essence.com/festival.

Selena Gomez Signs On as Co-Chair of When We All Vote Organization

Selena Gomez is getting out the vote…

The 27-year-old Mexican American singer/actress has signed on as a co-chair of the national organization When We All Vote.

Selena Gomez

Gomez joins a roster of new co-chairs that includes Liza Koshy, Shonda RhimesMegan Rapinoe,Tracee Ellis Rossand Kerry Washington.

The organization was launched in 2018 by co-chairs Michelle ObamaTom Hanks ,Lin-Manuel MirandaJanelle MonaeChris PaulFaith Hill and Tim McGraw.

When We Vote bills itself as a nonpartisan group dedicated to increasing voter participation. The announcement marks a year until the date of the 2020 elections, which includes the presidential race.

Hanks said “registering new voters is an act of hope and taking part in the American idea.” He added that voting guarantees the blessings of “liberty for the grandkids.”  

Anitta Performs English & Spanish Songs on the UglyDolls Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

It’s an Ugly (Doll) time for Anitta

The track list for the UglyDolls Original Motion Picture Soundtrack has been revealed, with the 25-year-old Brazilian singer pulling double (language) duty on the album.

Anitta

Anitta performs the track “Ugly” in English, as well as the Spanish-language version of the song, “Fea.”

In addition to Anitta, the album features a track from Kirstin Maldonad oand her Pentatonix(PTX) group mates.

The 26-year-old half-Mexican and part-Spanish American singer and her Grammy-winning a cappella group mates perform the track “You Make My Dreams.”

In addition to Anitta and Pentatonix, the soundtrack for the upcoming animated UglyDolls movie features new music from Kelly ClarksonNick Jonas, Janelle Monae and Bebe Rexha.

The soundtrack is now available for pre-order, and will officially drop on April 26. 

The movie features an all-star cast of voice-overs from Jonas, Wanda SykesGabriel Iglesias, PitbullBlake Shelton, Monáe, Rexha, Charli XCX, Lizzo and much more. It follows the story of imperfect toys who travel to the town of Perfection in the hopes of becoming good enough for children to take them, with Clarkson voicing the pink main character, Moxy. UglyDolls hits theaters on May 3. 

Here’s the full track list:

UglyDolls Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Tracklisting

1)      Kelly Clarkson — “Broken & Beautiful (from the movie UGLYDOLLS)”
2)      Kelly Clarkson — “Couldn’t Be Better (Pop Version)”
3)      Kelly Clarkson — “Today’s the Day”
4)      Kelly Clarkson and the UglyDolls Cast — “Couldn’t Be Better (Movie Version)”
5)      UglyDolls Cast — “Today’s the (Perfect) Day”
6)      Nick Jonas — “The Ugly Truth”
7)      Pentatonix — “You Make My Dreams”
8)      Nick Jonas — “The Uglier Truth”
9)     Janelle Monáe (feat. Kelly Clarkson) — “All Dolled Up”
10)   Janelle Monáe & Kelly Clarkson — “Unbreakable”
11)   UglyDolls Cast — “The Big Finale”
12)   Bebe Rexha — “Girl in the Mirror”
13)   Anitta — “Ugly”
14)   Why Don’t We — “Don’t Change”
15)   Blake Shelton — “Wallflowers & Weeds”
16)   Anitta — “Ugly (Fea)”

Rosalía to Perform at This Year’s Glastonbury Festival

Rosalía is headed to England…

The 25-year-old Spanish singer-songwriter is set to perform at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

Rosalía

Rosalia, making her first-ever appearance at the five-day festival of contemporary performing arts, joins a roster that includes headliners The KillersThe CureStormzyKylie Minogue and Janet Jackson

The superstar lineup also includes George EzraLiam GallagherMiley CyrusTame ImpalaThe Chemical BrothersVampire WeekendLauryn HillJanelle MonaéChristine and the QueensBillie EilishHozier and Wu-Tang Clan.    

This year’s festival will take place June 26-30 near Pilton, Somerset, England.

Ricky Martin to Perform Alongside Camila Cabello at This Year’s Grammys

Ricky Martinis getting into the Grammy spirit…

The Recording Academy has announced that the 47-year-old Puerto Rican superstar will take the stage during this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony.

Ricky Martin

Martin, a two-time Grammy winner, will join Camila Cabelloduring her show opening number.

In addition to Martin, J BalvinYoung Thugand Arturo Sandovalare also expected to appear alongside Cabello, a two-time nominee this year.

Additionally, the show will feature a special tribute to eight-time Grammywinner, Dolly Parton, who will also take to the stage for the first time in 18 years to perform her new music.

Set to perform the iconic country star’s classic hits will be Katy PerryKacey MusgravesLittle Big Townand Maren Morris. Parton will then take center stage to sing her latest tunes from her 2018 album, Dumplin’ — the soundtrack to Netflix’s original motion picture by the same name starring Jennifer Aniston.

Previously announced artists performing during the biggest night in music include Cardi BDan + ShayH.E.R., Post MaloneShawn MendesJanelle Monáe,Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Diana Ross.

Hosted by Alicia Keys, the 61st Annual Grammy Awards will take place live from the Staples Center on Sunday, February 10 at 8:00 pm ET, and will be broadcast live on CBS.

STX Entertainment Moves Up the Release of Pitbull’s “UglyDolls” to May 3

Things are about to get Ugly for Pitbull a bit earlier than expected…

STX Entertainment has moved up the release of the 37-year-old Cuban American rapper’s family animated feature UglyDolls.

Pitbull

Instead of releasing the film on May 10, STX Entertainment will now release the film on May 3.

Kelly Asbury directs the animated pic based off David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim’s plush toy line.

In addition to Pitbull, the voice cast includes Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas,Blake SheltonJanelle MonáeWanda Sykes, Emma Roberts, Gabriel Iglesias, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, Lizzo and Wang Leehom.

The film is a bid by STX to launch a potential franchise in the wake of its hit female comedy Bad Moms

Bardem to Serve as a Presenter at This Year’s Academy Awards

Javier Bardem has a date with Oscar

The 47-year-old Spanish actor, who won an Academy Award for his role in No Country for Old Men, will serve as a presenter at the 89th Academy Awards on February 26.

Javier Bardem

In addition to Bardem, the latest list of presenters includes

Amy Adams, Riz Ahmed, John Cho, Dwayne Johnson, Felicity Jones, Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe, David Oyelowo, Emma Stone and Charlize Theron, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Previously announced presenters include Halle Berry, Jamie Dornan, Chris Evans, Gael García Bernal, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Shirley MacLaine, Kate McKinnon and Hailee Steinfeld. 

Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. ABC will broadcast the ceremony live.

Maxwell to Perform at the Women’s March on Washington

Maxwell is lending his voice to the latest women’s movement…

The 43-year-old half-Puerto Rican R&B singer will perform at the Women’s March on Washington this weekend.

Maxwell

Organizers of the event announced its performance lineup on Wednesday. Janelle MonaeAngelique Kidjo, Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Indigo GirlsMC Lyte, Samantha Ronson, Toshi Reagon and Emily Wells are also set to perform at Saturday’s march.

“I am honored to join this critical movement to bring justice and equality to all,” Monae said in a statement. “Music has always been a powerful tool for galvanizing unity and I believe that singing and standing together, our voices will be stronger than any force that tries to repress us.”

Organizers say entertainers including QuestloveGrimesNeko CaseRakim and Lila Downs are joining the march’s “artist table” to support the event in the U.S. capital and the 200 planned “sister marches” around the country.

Actress America Ferrera was previously announced as the chair of the artists’ group.