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.

Fat Joe to Appear on the Upcoming “MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon”

Fat Joe’s got hart… And, he’s ready to share it with the world.

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American rapper, whose real name Joseph Antonio Cartagena, will take part in the MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon, the upcoming two-hour special hosted by Hart that reimagines the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual variety show fundraiser.

Fat-Joe

Fat Joe joins a lineup of talent additions that includes Don Cheadle, Common, Cindy Crawford, Whitney Cummings, Stephen Curry, Zachary Levi and Kelly Rowland.

The special, which will benefit the MDA and Help From the Hart Charity, streams live on Saturday from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET on Hart’s LOL Network and its digital platforms YouTube and Pluto TV, as well as on TikTok, Triller and Twitch.

SiriusXM will air an encore of the show on its Laugh Out Loud Radio channel on October 26 at 4:00 pm ET and again the next day at 10:00 am ET.

The telethon will feature entertainment, comedy, musical performances and MDA’s Let’s Play For a Cure gaming elements, a gaming stream hosted by Zedd running simultaneously. A Telethon Showcase to celebrate the members of the neuromuscular community and hosted by Nancy O’Dell and Jann Carl will follow the two-hour main show. It will stream on the MDA’s Facebook page.

As a warmup, an MDA-hosted online auction on CharityBuzz featuring items from Serena Williams, Curry and others launches Friday at mda.org/telethon.

The latest talent additions to the lineup join previously announced guests including Garcelle Beauvais, Aloe Blacc, Jack Black, Usain Bolt, Bryan Cranston, Adam Devine, Josh Gad, Liz Gillies, Aldis Hodge, Edwin Hodge, Michael B. Jordan, DJ Khaled, Daniel Levy, Loni Love, Leslie Mann, Jillian Mercado, Robin Thicke, Gabrielle Union Wade and John David Washington.

Jonathan Krisel is directing.

 

Lola Ponce to Perform for AC Milan & Roc Nation’s Virtual Live Tribute Concert

Lola Ponceis honoring Italy’s frontliners…

Italian soccer club AC Milan and Roc Nation have joined forces to stage a virtual live event on Sunday, featuring the 37-year-old Argentine-Italian singer/songwriter and actress.

Lola Ponce

Headlined by Alicia Keys, the concert will pay tribute to workers fighting the coronaviruspandemic in Italy and beyond.

Funds raised through the event will benefit global humanitarian aid organization Direct Reliefand AC Milan’s philanthropic foundation.

Viewers will be able to donate via the “From Milan with Love” fundraising site and AC Milan’s Facebook page.

The hour-long tribute is scheduled for Sunday at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) and will be hosted by Grammy-winning producer DJ Khaled and Italian TV presenter Diletta Leotta.

In addition to Ponce and Keys, other performers include Kelly RowlandRobin ThickeGavin Rossdale and Chris Traynor of Bush, and Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons.

“This crisis has presented unprecedented challenges for all of us, but the contribution that these key workers have made is humbling, inspiring and will never be forgotten,” Milan chief executive Ivan Gazid is said. “The participation of such an amazing array of talent in this event will provide a fitting tribute to them and I hope will help to spread a message of hope and optimism during this difficult period.”

Milan’s last Serie Agame was on March 8 before the league was suspended.

More than 27,000 people are known to have died from coronavirus in Italy. However, the number of daily new cases of COVID-19, as well as the fatalities, have steadily declined, and the country is set to ease lockdown measures on Monday, allowing individuals to practice sport outdoors.

Pitbull to Guest Star on Fox’s Hip Hop Drama “Empire”

Pitbull is in an Empire state of mind…

Fox has officially announced that the 34-year-old Cuban American rap superstar will guest star on its smash hip hop drama Empire.

Pitbull

The musician and actor will play himself and perform “No Doubt About It” with Jamal (Jussie Smollett), in an episode slated to air this fall.

Mariah Carey also is coming on board for Season 2.

Previously announced for Season 2 appearances are Marisa Tomei as recurring and guest stars Mariah Carey, Chris Rock, Kelly Rowland, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Adam Rodriguez, among others.

Empire Season 2 premieres Wednesday, September 23 at 9:00 pm on Fox.

Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” Expected to Return to the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Chart

Expect to see Bruno Mars shooting up the charts this week…

The 28-year-old part-Puerto Rican singer-songwriter is expected to return to the top 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, following his highly lauded Super Bowl halftime performance on Sunday, February 2.

Bruno Mars

Mars’ Grammy-winning sophomore album, Unorthodox Jukebox, sold approximately 40,000 copies in the week ending Feb. 2, according to estimates from industry sources.

That would represent a 164% gain compared to the previous week, when it sold 15,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The album’s official sales figures, as tabulated by SoundScan, will be released later today (Wednesday, February 5 ), the same day that the new Billboard 200 chart’s top 10 will be revealed.

If the album returns to the top 10 with 40,000, it will mark the album’s first visit to the top 10 since the Billboard 200 chart dated Sept. 14, 2013, and its best sales week since last March.

Unorthodox Jukebox was already aiming to sell around 19,000 in the week ending Feb. 2, thanks in part to Mars’ exposure at last week’s Grammy Awards (January 26). Mars won the award for best pop vocal album, but did not perform on the show.

According to Fox, who cite Nielsen data, Mars’ halftime show attracted the largest audience in the history of the Super Bowl, with 115.3 million viewers. That figure surpasses the prior record of 114 million set by Madonna two years ago.

Last year, Beyonce headlined the Super Bowl halftime show (110.8 million), where she was briefly joined by her Destiny’s Child group members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Unlike Mars, Beyonce didn’t have a current album riding high on the charts at the time.

In the week ending February 3, 2013, Beyonce saw her most recent album, 2011’s 4, re-enter the Billboard 200 at No. 100 with 4,000 sold (up 123%). The following week — after a full week of sales impact was felt from the game — the album climbed to No. 79 with 6,000 (up 59%).

The impact of the Super Bowl on Mars’ music sales — and on the Billboard charts — will be unique compared to all other halftime headliners in the modern era of Super Bowl halftime entertainment.

Since 1993, when Michael Jackson headlined the halftime festivities, the main performer on the show has generally been an act with a fairly deep catalog of albums and songs. Mars, however, has only released two albums — Unorthodox Jukebox (released in 2012) and Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010).

Thus, all of the sales and chart impact felt by Mars will be concentrated on just those two albums (and their respective singles). Unlike previous years, where everyone from Beyonce and Madonna to Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen saw their post-Super Bowl chart impact spread across multiple albums and songs.

Rubio Takes Her Seat at “The X Factor” Judges’ Table

Paulina Rubio has taken the hot (pink) seat on Fox’s The X Factor.

Following Monday’s announcement that the 41-year-old Mexican singer has joined the judges’ team on the network’s singing competition, Fox has issued the first photo of Rubio and her fellow judges.

Paulina Rubio and Demi Lovato on The X Factor

Dressed in a hot pink Roland Mouret dress paired with Valentino shoes and Piumelli gloves, Rubio is seated in L.A. Reid‘s former chair. To her right, in Britney Spears‘ old spot, is Demi Lovato followed by former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland and Simon Cowell.

For her part, Lovato dons a pair of Paige Jeans, Heather Lawton blouse, Jen Meyer jewelry and Yves Saint Laurent shoes.

The photo of the four judges was taken at The X Factor’s first round of auditions for its upcoming third season at the North Charleston Coliseum.

Meanwhile, sources say Rubio will be earning approximately $1.5 million for serving as a judge on The X Factor.

Rubio also earns a judge’s salary for La Voz Kids, a Spanish-language kids version of The Voice for Telemundo.

It’s believed Lovato asked for double her fee after her well-received debut on the show last season. She previously earned approximately $1 million.

It’s Confirmed: Rubio to Serve as “The X Factor” Judge

It’s official… Paulina Rubio has the X factor

As rumored, the 41-year-old Mexican singer has been named one of the new judges on Fox’s The X Factor, along with former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland.

Paulina Rubio

Rubio and Rowland will join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato at the judges’ table on the third season of the reality singing competition series.

“It’s taken more than a decade, but I’m delighted to finally be on a panel with three girls (I think!),” said Cowell. “Paulina and Kelly both have great taste and massive experience in the music industry, and together with Demi, this is going to be a fun panel. It just feels like the time to do something different.”

Rubio isn’t new to the role of judge… The Latin pop star, who has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, has served as a mentor on Mexico’s version of The Voice, La voz… Mexico. And she was recently named a coach on Telemundo’s La Voz Kids.

Rowland and Rubio replace the departing L.A. Reid, who had been with the show since its first season, and Britney Spears, who left The X-Factor after just one season.

Rubio In Talks to Serve as a Judge on “The X Factor”?

She’s already signed on to serve as a coach on Telemundo’s La Voz Kids… But Paulina Rubio may soon be judging talent on The X Factor alongside Demi Lovato.

The 41-year-old Mexican singer is reportedly in talks to take one of the open seats at the judges’ table on the Fox reality singing competition.

Paulina Rubio

Rubio, who was once hailed as one of the 25 Sexiest Pop Divas by E! Entertainment and has sold more than 20 million albums around the world, would bring Latin Pop cred to the panel.

Should Rubio be added to the panel, she’d join Lovato and returning host Mario Lopez, as well as Simon Cowell.

Meanwhile, former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland, who has long been rumored as one of possible contenders for the gig, is thisclose to finalizing a deal to join the judging panel, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The X Factor is expected to announce the official judge line-up soon as the production on season three will begin on Tuesday, May 21.

The new judges will replace Britney Spears and L.A. Reid who left at the end of the second season.

Pitbull to Headline Rolling Stone’s Live Super Bowl Party

Pitbull is heading to the Super Bowl

The 32-year-old Cuban-American rap superstar is set to headline the Rolling Stone Live Super Bowl party next month in New Orleans, along with hip-hop artist Flo Rida.

Pitbull

It’s Rolling Stone magazine’s second time staging the Super Bowl party, which debuted successfully last year and featured LMFAO, Lupe Fiasco, the Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship.

This year’s party will be staged at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel, which will be branded as the Bud Light Hotel over Super Bowl weekend.

“Rolling Stone Live” is a by-invitation-only party. But a limited number of general admission tickets will be made available, as well as a limited number of VIP tickets, that will give partygoers access to the Rolling Stone rock lounge where they can order from a special New Orleans-inspired menu and get complimentary drinks.

Rolling Stone‘s Super Bowl party is one of many events during Super Bowl weekend that feature A-list celebrities. Grammy Award-winning singer Fantasia Barrino is set to perform in the upcoming Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at the UNO Lakefront Arena on February 1, while Beyonce Knowles, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child will perform at the Super Bowl halftime show at the New Orleans Superdome on February 3.

The Rolling Stone Live Super Bowl party will be held on February 1.

Pitbull to Appear on VH1’s “Divas” Special…

It looks like Pitbull isn’t afraid to share the stage with a few divas

The 31-year-old Cuban-American singing sensation, who will perform on this year’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special, has joined the ever-expanded roster of performers for VH1’s annual Divas show.

Pitbull

Pitbull, Kelly Clarkson, Melanie Fiona and Metric will join previously announced performers Demi Lovato, Ciara, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Rowland and Jordin Sparks as they all pay tribute to the most iconic divas of dance music, including the late Whitney Houston and Donna Summer.

The celebration, hosted by American Idol diva Adam Lambert, will be broadcast live from Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, December 16 at 9:00 pm ET.

Meanwhile, Havana Brown, whose “We Run the Night” featuring Pitbull reached No. 26 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 earlier this year, will serve as the event’s house deejay.

In keeping with tradition, tickets for VH1 Divas are available for purchase with proceeds to benefit the Save the Music Foundation. The VH1-backed charity is dedicated to keeping music education alive in American public schools and has provided nearly $50 million in new musical instruments to date.