Gloria Estefan to Perform at ‘Vax India Now’ COVID-19 Vaccine Support Livestream Event

Gloria Estefan is helping to raise awareness and money for COVID-19 vaccine support in India.

The 63-year-old Cuban singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman will perform during the Vax India Now livestream event.

Gloria Estefan

Estefan joins a roster of performers that includes Sting and Josh Groban.

Andrea Bocelli, his son Matteo Bocelli, Yo-Yo MaDavid Foster, Alan Walker, Asif Mandvi, Nishat Kahn and the Ranjani Gayatri Sisters are also slated to perform.

Anuradha Palakurthi, who runs her own foundation in New England that promotes Indian culture, organized Vax India Now, which is primarily funded by the Giving Back Fund, a national nonprofit that encourages and facilitates charitable giving by high-profile individuals and organizations.

“When our longtime Board member Prashanth Palakurthi proposed doing something truly significant on a worldwide scale to help his native India at this critical time, we jumped at the chance to help,” Giving Back Fund president and founder Marc Pollick said in a statement. “This is what we are built for – to mobilize quickly and provide assistance and philanthropic administration to help those in need. At this moment in time, the need in India must become the center of the universe.”

India’s second wave of the virus in February has resulted in 30 million total confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. On June 10, the nation reached its record-high total of deaths in one day with 7,374 lives lost. Earlier this week, Al Jazeera reported on the unsustainable distribution of the COVID vaccine in India after the world’s second-largest country received a record 8.6 million doses on Monday.

Vax India Now will be livestreamed on Wednesday, July 7, on CNN and Dreamstage.live. Fans can also view the program on vaxindianow.com and CNN’s YouTube channel.

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 guncontrol@billboard.com.

Juanes to Perform on PBS’ New Year’s Eve special “United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America”

Juanes will be helping celebrate the United States’ resilience in a special way…

The 48-year-old Colombian singer/songwriter and musician will take part in PBS’ New Year’s Eve broadcast event United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America.

Juanes

Juanes, who has won a combines 26 Grammys and Latin Grammys during his career, will take part in several performance and interview segments filmed at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, including a special Spanish-language rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark.

Other artists participating in the special include Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle, Yo-Yo Ma and Audra McDonald.

United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America will premiere on Thursday, December 31, 2020 from 8:00-9:30 pm ET and again from 9:30-11:00 pm ET (check local listings) on PBSPBS.org and the PBS Video App. 

The star-studded performance—filmed at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts—encourages the nation to come together and celebrate its irrepressible strength as the world welcomes the New Year. Despite the enormity of COVID-19 and the significant presence of social injustice, this special evening of wide-ranging music is part of the ever-present pursuit of uniting America as one.”

Gloria Estefan to Perform at ‘Nurse Heroes Live’ Benefit Virtual Concert on Thanksgiving

Gloria Estefan is giving special thanks to some of our frontliners…

The 63-year-old Cuban singer will be among the entertainers honoring nurses in a star-studded benefit virtual concert on Thanksgiving.

Gloria Estefanria

Nurse Heroes has announced that the concert called Nurse Heroes Live will stream on the organization’s YouTube and Facebook pages along with LiveXLive on November 26 at 7:00 pm EST.

The benefit will provide money for a variety of programs including scholarships for nurses and their children.

Estefan joins a lineup of performers that include Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, The Wailers, Carole King, Maluma and Andrea Bocelli.

Whoopi Goldberg will host the concert with special appearances by Oprah Winfrey and Billy Crystal.

Taylor Swift will donate a signed collectible edition “Folklore” guitar, which will be auctioned for the benefit of the Nurses Heroes Foundation.

The nurses of New York’s Northwell Health will be the first beneficiaries of the concert. The event will also showcase 50 nurses from the hospital in an ensemble performance with several celebrities.

The concert will be produced by Emilio Estefan and Times Square Live Media.

Mario Lopez to Host iHeartMedia’s Virtual Holiday Concert “iHeartRadio Holiday Special”

Mario Lopez is helping you get into the holiday spirit…

The 47-year-old Mexican American actor and television personality is set to host iHeartMedia’s virtual holiday concert iHeartRadio Holiday Special.

Mario Lopez

The 30-minute event will feature festive performances by Carrie Underwood, who recently released her first Christmas album, My Gift, and Josh Groban.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band will also perform three holiday classics from the Preservation Hall in New Orleans.

“The anticipation and excitement surrounding our stations’ flip to Christmas music is a staple of the holiday season for our listeners across the country, and we are thrilled to celebrate this festive occasion with our first ‘iHeartRadio Holiday Special,’” said Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia. “Given all the country is going through, we know everyone needs the uplifting spirit of holiday music. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the sounds of the holiday season for our music fans than with an intimate performance from Carrie Underwood and Josh Groban across our stations and on Oculus and iHeartRadio’s Facebook and YouTube pages.”

The show will broadcast on November 25 at 7:00 pm local time across iHeartMedia’s AC, HOT AC and Classic Hits stations nationwide and on the iHeartRadio app. A video stream will be available iHeartRadio’s YouTube and Facebook pages, plus in VR on the Venues app for Oculus Quest.

Natanael Cano to Perform During This Week’s Billboard Live At-Home Series

Natanael Cano is bringing you into his home…

The 19-year-old Mexican trap corridos singer will be performing this week as part of Billboard‘s Live At-Home series.

Natanael Cano

Cano, who released his new single “Arriba” this week, will perform alongside Junior Hon Tuesday, May 12 at 1:00 pm ET.

But Cano isn’t the only Latin artist performing live this week…

Camilowill welcome you into his home as well.

The 26-year-old Colombian singer and songwriter will perform on Thursday, May 14 at 1:00 pm ET.

The at-home sets can be seen via Billboard‘s Facebookpage.

The Billboard Liveseries launched on March 19 with the help of JoJoJosh Groban and Russell Dickerson, who selected non-profits to support during their livestream to benefit those most affected by COVID-19. 

Billboard Live At-Home series thus far has helped charities like Meals on Wheels AmericaDowntown Women’s CenterMy Friend’s Place and more.

Here’s this week’s full schedule:

Monday (May 11)
1 p.m. ET — Loud Luxury

Tuesday (May 12)
1 p.m. ET — Natanael Cano & Junior H

Wednesday (May 13)
1 p.m. ET — Hanson

Thursday (May 14)
1 p.m. ET — Camilo

Friday (May 15)
1 p.m. ET — Noah Cyrus

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Take Part in Stephen Sondheim Virtual Birthday Concert

Lin-Manuel Miranda is celebrating a living musical theater legend.

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, singer, actor, producer and playwright, widely known for creating and starring in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, has signed on to appear on Sunday’s Stephen Sondheim virtual birthday concert.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda, who starred in Mary Poppins Returns, joins a roster of new additions that includes Jake GyllenhaalLinda LavinLaura BenantiNeil Patrick Harrisand Ben Plattfor the all-star benefit for Artists Striving To End Poverty.

Previously announced stars participating in the concert include Annaleigh AshfordMelissa ErricoBeanie FeldsteinJosh GrobanJudy KuhnRandy Rainbow and Lea Solanga

Special appearances will be made by Victor GarberJoanna GleasonNathan Lane and Steven Spielberg.

They’ll all join the previously announced Meryl StreepBernadette PetersPatti LuPone and Audra McDonald, among many others, in the special virtual concert to celebrate Sondheim’s 90th birthday.

Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration, hosted by Raúl Esparza, is set for this Sunday, April 26, the 50th anniversary of the opening night of Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical Company.

The concert kicks off at 8:00 pm ET, and will be available for free at Broadway.comand the Broadway.com YouTubechannel.

Other artists performing songs from the Sondheim catalog will include Mandy Patinkin, Christine BaranskiDonna MurphyKristin ChenowethSutton FosterBrian Stokes MitchellKelli O’HaraAaron TveitMaria Friedman, Iain ArmitageKatrina LenkMichael CerverisBrandon UranowitzStephen SchwartzElizabeth StanleyChip Zien, Alexander Gemignani and, from the cast of Pacific Overtures at Classic Stage CompanyAnn HaradaAustin KuKelvin Moon Loh and Thom Sesma.

Esparza starred as Bobby in the 2006 Tony Award-winning revival of Companyand in the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sunday in the Park with George and Merrily We Roll Along in 2002, as well as the City Center Encores! production of Anyone Can Whistle and in last year’s Road Show.

“The world is in a hard place,” Esparza said in a statement, “and we are all searching for something great. Well, Stephen Sondheim is greatness personified.”

Mary-Mitchell Campbell will be the music director, with Paul Wontorek serving as director.

The online event will act as a fundraiser for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), the organization conceived by Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of youth through art.

Monica Barbaro Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Monica Barbaro has new representation…

The 29-year-old part-Mexican American actress has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA).

Monica Barbaro

Barbaro will appear as ‘Phoenix,’ the sole female fighter pilot, in the upcoming Paramount/SkydanceTom Cruisesequel Top Gun: Maverick set for release on June 26.

Barbaro recently appeared in ABC’s Stumptownand reprised her recurring role in Splitting Up Together for the same network.

Additionally, Barbaro starred in the Netflix series The Good Cop opposite Josh Groban and Tony Danza. She’s best known for her role as Yael on the second season of Lifetime’s critically acclaimed series UnREAL

She continues to be represented by Main Title Entertainmentand Meyer & Downs.

Esperanza Spalding Earns First No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart with John Legend Holiday Collaboration

Esperanza Spalding is having herself a merry holiday season…

The 34-year-old part-Latina jazz bassist and singer’s Christmas collaboration with John Legend, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” has jingled its way to the top of Billboard‘s Adult Contemporary chart dated December 8.

Esperanza Spalding

Spalding and Legend’s track soars from No. 6 to No. 1.

The ballad becomes the 22nd AC holiday leader on the ranking since 2000, around the time that a majority of stations in the format began playing seasonal songs heavily, or 24/7, between Thanksgivingand Christmas each year.

The composition is also just the second two-time AC holiday No. 1, as Josh Groban‘s take on the standard led in 2016.

Two interpretations of “This Christmas” have topped the tally.

Here’s a recap of all the holiday songs that have dashed to the top of the AC chart since 2000:

Title, Artist, Chart Date Reached No. 1, Weeks at No. 1
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” John Legend feat. Esperanza Spalding, Dec. 8, 2018, one (to date)
“Santa’s Coming for Us,” Sia, Dec. 23, 2017, three
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” Brett Eldredge feat. Meghan Trainor, Jan. 7, 2017, one
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Josh Groban, Dec. 24, 2016, one
“This Christmas,” Train, Dec. 17, 2016, two
“This Christmas,” Seal, Jan. 2, 2016, one
“Baby It’s Cold Outside,” Idina Menzel duet with Michael Buble, Dec. 20, 2014, three
“Underneath the Tree,” Kelly Clarkson, Dec. 2, 2013, four
“Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” Rod Stewart, Dec. 8, 2012, five
“All I Want for Christmas Is You,” Michael Buble, Dec. 10, 2011, five
“Oh Santa!,” Mariah Carey, Dec. 18, 2010, four
“A Baby Changes Everything,” Faith Hill, Dec. 20, 2008, three
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” Josh Groban, Dec. 22, 2007, three
“Frosty the Snowman,” Kimberley Locke, Dec. 15, 2007, one
“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” Daryl Hall John Oates, Dec. 30, 2006, two
“Jingle Bells,” Kimberley Locke, Dec. 23, 2006, one
“Up on the Housetop,” Kimberley Locke, Dec. 17, 2005, four
“Believe,” Josh Groban, Dec. 11, 2004, five
“Sending You a Little Christmas,” Jim Brickman with Kristy Starling, Jan. 3, 2004, one
“O Holy Night,” Josh Groban, Dec. 28, 2002, two
“Simple Things,” Jim Brickman feat. Rebecca Lynn Howard, Jan. 5, 2002, one
“The Christmas Shoes,” NewSong, Jan. 6, 2001, one

Spalding reigns in her first visit to the chart. Meanwhile, the collab is one of 15 holiday songs on the 30-position chart.

Legend lands his second AC No. 1, after “All of Me” spent 10 weeks on top in 2014.

John Leguizamo to Present at Sunday’s Tony Awards Ceremony

John Leguizamo is ready to (re)present…

The 53-year-old Colombian actor and stand-up comedian will serve as a presenter at this Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony.

John Leguizamo

Leguizamo, who previously earned two Tony Award nods, is nominated this year for Best Play for his one-man show Latin History for Morons.

Leguizamo joins a list of presenters that includes Christine Baranski, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jeff DanielsRobert De Niro, Brandon Victor DixonTina Fey, Billy Joel, Patti LuPone and Kerry Washington.

Tony Award Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera will also take the stage.

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS on Sunday at 8:00-11:00 pm ET/delayed PT.