Dedicated to her loyal fans, Leslie Grace returns to her musical roots in a sensual bachata fused with urban and R&B undertones.
She crafted the song alongside emerging music artists Maye, Musiana, and Eddie Perez.
“I knew this song was a gift and we finished it together that same day,” she expressed on Instagram. “Thank you for sharing your genius with me.” Bringing the song’s romantic lyrics to life, Leslie reeled in her boyfriend Ian Eastwood to appear in the 1920s-inspired music video, which was directed by Jorge G. Camarena.
The 26-year-old Dominican American actress and Latin Grammy-nominated singer has been cast as Barbara Gordon in Warner Bros. and DC Films’ Batgirl.
The decision was made after testing actresses this week.
The studio was already extremely interested in the rising Afro-Latina star following her breakout role in In the Heights, and sources say her audition sealed the deal as the choice.
The studio had no comment.
The film will bow on HBO Max, marking one of the first major DC properties to debut exclusively on the streamer. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will direct the film from a script by Christina Hodson.
While plot details are under wraps, it is known that Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, will be the character behind the cape in this version. Gordon is the most established version of the Batgirl character and was first introduced in 1961 as Betty Kane.
Grace was among a final group of actresses being tested for the role that included Isabella Merced, Zoey Deutch and Haley Lu Richardson.
He may not be old enough to drive, but Luis Vázquez is already making a splash in the music world…
The 15-year-old Puerto Rican singer has notched his first No. 1 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplaychart as “Tu Fan” rises 3-1 on the July 3-dated survey.
At 15, Vázquez becomes the youngest soloist to arrive at the summit since the chart began in October 1994. He beats out previous record-holder Leslie Grace, who was 17 when “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” topped the chart in October 2012.
“I’m beyond happy that at the beginning of my career I already have a No. 1 on the Tropical Airplay chart,” Vázquez tells Billboard. “Thankful to God for helping me achieve this dream with my first song and to my family for all the support and love. Grateful also to the public who has supported the song from the beginning and to my second family, JAK Entertainment.”
“Tu Fan” tops the chart with 3.8 million in audience impressions earned in the week ending June 27, up 39%, according to MRC Data. The song is Vázquez’s first entry on any Billboard chart.
“We, at JAK Capitol, are extremely proud of Luis’ great achievement!“ Andy Martinez, CEO, JAK Entertainment tells Billboard. ‘We believe in his talent and our mission is to continue working hard so the tropical genre sees more young talent.”
As it lands atop the summit, “Tu Fan” joins a list of five other tracks that have topped the Tropical Airplay chart in 2021.
Song, Artist, Debut/ Peak Date “De Vuelta Pa’ La Vuelta,” Daddy Yankee & Mark Anthony, Jan. 2
“Travesuras,” Nio García, Casper Mágico, Ozuna, Wisin & Yandel, Myke Towers, Flow La Movie, March 6
“Un Amor Eterno,” Marc Anthony, March 20
“Víctimas Las Dos,” Victor Manuelle & La India, May 29
“Si Supieras,” Prince Royce, June 5 “Tu Fan,” Luis Vázquez, July 3
“I’m super excited for this No. 1 because from the beginning this project sounded incredible and ambitious with a great artist who exceeded my expectations even at such a young age,” Juan Miguel, the song’s producer, tells Billboard. “I am sure that Luis will be a salsa icon and I will be very happy in the future to have been part of his history.”
Beyond its Latin Airplay coronation, “Tu Fan” also sees progress on the all-genre Latin Airplay chart, where the track advances 41-32.
“Tu Fan” is part of Vázquez’s debut studio album, Comienzos. The eight-track set, released February 12, debuted and peaked at No. 17 on the Tropical Albums chart.
The 29-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer and current In The Heights star has joined voices with his co-stars Leslie Grace and Marc Anthony have joined voices to release the new single “Home All Summer.”
Ramos and Grace’s voices blend beautifully on the upbeat “Home All Summer,” Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s new song for the big screen adaptation of his Broadway hit In the Heights.
Just like the movie it hails from, it’s comforting, effortlessly charming, flawlessly executed and boasts a memorable Marc Anthony cameo.
Anthony Ramos’ moment in the heights to happen a week earlier…
Warner Bros.’ has announced plans to release the Jon M. Chu-directed feature musical In The Heights, starring the 29-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer on June 11, a week earlier than previously scheduled.
The movie, the feature adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Tony Award-winning musical, recently dropped a new trailer.
In the Heights is set in the titular Latinx community of New York City’s bustling Washington Heights. When the neighborhood’s charismatic local bodega owner, and the film’s humble narrator, finally decides to fulfill his dream of going to the island his parents called home, his departure will change his beloved block forever.
In the Heights stars Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco and icon Jimmy Smits.
The film was originally scheduled to be released last summer before COVID-19 pushed it to this year.
The 26-year-old Dominican American singer-songwriter has joined voiced with rapper Meek Mill to release a reimagining of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine’s smash hit single “Conga.”
The new version, which gives the ‘80s party banger a rhythmic-pop-urban twist, is part of Bacardi‘s “Conga Feat. You” campaign that launched in November.
“Bacardi presented this amazing plan, where they wanted me to recreate ‘Conga,’” Leslie Grace tells Billboard. “I couldn’t believe it was possible but they assured me that both Gloria and Emilio [Estefan] were on board. They wanted to entrust me with this project and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity.”
Calling the process “innovative,” Grace explained that the project originally began at the end of 2019 but was put on pause because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I went into the studio pre-Covid with Boi-1da. We immediately hit it off. I had written the first verse and the pre onto a loop he had sent me,” she notes. “Everything else was basically done remotely. Meek Mill jumped on the track later on after listening to the structure we built.”
The Estefans were also part of the process “every step of the way.”
Grace adds: “Everyone was really focused on maintaining the essence of this iconic track. Having their support and suggestions was beautiful. They approved every single thing on the project. This was really a labor of love and really intentional every step of the way with the original creators involved.”
“Conga” was the first Billboard Hot 100 hit for Gloria and Miami Sound Machine, peaking at No. 10 in February 1986. The song also hit No. 1 on Dance Singles Sales for one week in November 1985, and No. 7 on Dance Club Songs. The new version, at the helm of Grace, Mill, and Boi-1da, marks the first and only official remake of the original Latin dance classic in over 30 years.
“I’m a nineties baby, my generation grew up with ‘Conga’ and I grew up listening and dancing to the song in my living room,” Grace recounts. “Gloria is an inspiration to me. She’s one of the first artists I saw singing in both languages. I feel so honored and blessed to do this with Boi-1da and Meek Mill.”
Gloria“Goyo“Martínez is standing in solidarity with the Black community…
The 37-year-old Colombian singer and member of the Latin Grammy-winning hip-hop group ChocQuibTown has joined the Conciencia Collective.
The recently-announced initiative, comprised of more than 35 executives from the Latin music industry — including artists, activists, artist managers, publicists, among others – aims to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Mattermovement in an effort to create awareness about racial and social injustice.
Conciencia Collective was born amid national outrage in the U.S. over the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylorand other black citizens who’ve died at the hands of police. The intention is to “educate our colleagues, artists and peers of influence in order to gain their advocacy. Our ongoing initiatives also focus on the many issues affecting our Latin community,” according to a press release.
Goyo, a leading, Afro-Latinx voice launched the initiative with a poignant statement.
“I’m talking to you as a Black woman, rapper, singer, born in South America. In an invisible region, a jewel in my country; a Black village,” writes Goyo. “The experiences that we Black women live change you from the moment you leave your home. Society reminds you that at home, you live in a protected space. At home, we are educated with tools to go out into a racist world. As Howard C. Stevensonsaid, ‘we [as Black people] are educated with a kind of a racial literacy.'”
Goyo kicked off a “Conciencia Talk” alongside Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Rafa Pabónin partnership with Latinx-focused media/news company MiTú on Friday, June 26.
The “online dialogue” was moderated by Afro-Colombian Dr. Aurora Vergara Figueroa, director of the Afrodiasporic Studies Centerat ICESI University.
Quotes on solidarity and racial inequality from more than 100 Latin artists, including Leslie Grace, Anuel AA, Jesse & Joy, Myke Towers, Carla Morrison, Zion & Lennox, and Farruko, among others, will be posted weekly on MiTú’s page.
“In order to consciously educate the Latinx community and change the derogatory narratives towards people of color within our community, we commit to leading with acknowledgement in solidarity with the Black community to enable the rise of leaders in our respective communities,” the statement continues.
“We want to extend our platforms to our brothers and sisters so that their voices and needs can be heard. We want our brothers and sisters across the U.S. and Latin America to know that we see them, we hear them and we will champion equality and justice on behalf of our industry.”
The 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American actress and activist will co-host Rock the Vote’s Democracy Summer campaign kick-off on Thursday, June 18, a two-hour virtual concert co-headlined by Katy Perry and Black Eyed Peas.
Co-hosted by Dawson and Logan Browning with Chuck D and Eve, the event will stream live beginning at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT on democracysummer.org, and Democracy Summer’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
Ne-Yo, Big Freedia, Lucy Hale, Amara La Negra, Saweetie, Sklyar Astin, Max, Leslie Grace, Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Rich Brian and Michael K. Williams are among those slated to appear remotely.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro will make appearances.
“I’m excited to be a part of this kickoff to Democracy Summer 2020 with so many amazing talents, activists and speakers,” says Perry. “The young people of America are speaking loud and clear on the streets and online, and come November, it will be more important than ever to fight for justice and equality, and against systemic racism, with our ballots.”
“The young people are engaged. Their voices are loud and getting louder. The world is watching. And we need to vote,” agrees Chuck D, an early and consistent supporter of Rock the Vote, which was founded in 1990 by Virgin Records America co-chairman Jeff Ayeroff primarily to increase voter turnout among young adults.
“We are seeing the urgency for change in America happening in real time. This is the moment for us to use the most important tool on the planet to fight for that change…our right to vote,” says Ne-Yo. “Our democracy needs our voices. Voting is the moment to be the voice for injustice and for equality. But most importantly, to be the voice for humanity. We cannot let each other down in the local elections or on Nov. 3.”
Produced by BWG Live and in partnership with Voto Latino Foundation, When We All Vote and March For Our Lives, the concert marks not only the first live-streamed event for the Rock the Vote, but also its first large-scale summer activation.
In previous years the organization amped up in the fall before a Presidential election and typically staged a live event. Both pivots are a direct result of Covid-19.
“One of the realities is coronavirus derailed the momentum that is required in a major election cycle,” Rock the Vote president Carolyn DeWitt tells Billboard. “A few months ago we began seeing how the restrictions were affecting young people in particular, by moving them off college campuses and disrupting graduations and proms,” she says. “Our effort is really about building that momentum back up.”
With some 4 million young people turning 18 this year and innumerable issues at stake, the goal of Democracy Summer is to bring 200,000 new voters to the polls in November when Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden challenges Donald Trump, as well as myriad primary and local elections throughout the summer and fall. Those interested in the event are encouraged to register at the Democracy Summer web site to get the latest details and lineup updates, although preregistration isn’t required to tune in. Viewers can go to Rock the Vote’s website to register to vote.
The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and the swell of support around the Black Lives Matter movement also has catalyzed Thursday’s event. As protesters around the country have taken to the streets, Rock the Vote registered 107,000 new voters through its platforms and gained more than 25,000 new Instagram followers during the week of June 1, DeWitt says—numbers that dwarf those of a typical week.
“With what we’ve seen over the last couple weeks, the effort around Democracy Summer has become even more important. It’s not just the virus, it’s bigger than the economy standing still. The world feels like it’s on the brink of chaos and yet this moment around Black Lives Matter is bigger than that,” DeWitt says. “Frankly speaking, a big part of that is people are exercising their rights in a democracy. Young people are looking for things they can do and actions they can take in order to create change. We want to make sure we’re continuing to sustain that fire and passion into November, and make sure young people know the power of their votes and create the change they want to see.”
The live stream will include opportunities for viewers to donate to black-led and -focused organizations including the Community Justice Action Fund and National Action Network.
“Now, more than ever, voting is key for long-term change,” Black Eyed Peas said in a statement. “The youth vote is going to decide the future of America. It’s not just our duty but our honor to spread the word in an election year.”
“The diversity of America is what makes it great, and it is also what makes it our country,” says La Negra. “I am Dominican proudly, yet I am a black woman always. I matter. You matter. And together, we will always matter!”
“The need for young people to get out and vote has never been more important,” says Participant CEO David Linde. “We are proud to be working with Rock the Vote in making that need a reality and by using the inspiring, powerful message of Rep. John Lewis to make good trouble.”
Rock the Vote is planning additional Democracy Summer activations throughout the summer including on the Fourth of July and on August 6, the anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
The Fiesta de la Flor festival, which is dedicated to celebrating the life and music of Selena Quintanilla, returns for its fifth year to the late Tejano singer’s hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas.
The 24-year-old Dominican American singer/songwriter has been announced as the headliner of the second day, where she’ll be joined onstage by many special guests, including Farina, Luis Coronel and Noriel, to sing some of her hit singles.
Grace will also be joined by Texas-based producers Play-N-Skillz, who together with Wisinand Frankie J dropped a fresh cover of Selena’s “Si Una Vez” in 2016.
“Headlining Fiesta de la Flor will be such a full circle moment for me because, in a way, I’ll be able to officially say thank you [to Selena] for showing me, and so many like me, that our dreams are valid and worth fighting for by simply being who we are,” Grace said in a statement.
Fiesta de la Flor will take place April 12 and 13 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Ozuna is the king of the night at the Latin American Music Awards…
The 26-year-old Puerto Rican reggaeton and Latin trap singer dominated the night, taking home three Latin AMAs trophies.
Ozuna was named favorite artist – urban, while his Odisea albumwas recognized for album of the year and favorite album – urban.
CNCO tied Ozuna in the total prize count from Thursday night’s show, which broadcast live from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Telemundo.
CNCO was named favorite duo or group, favorite artist – pop, and the Latino band took home the favorite album – pop for CNCO.
Bad Bunny won artist of the year and favorite song – urban for his collaboration on “Mayores” with Becky G, who also won as favorite artist – female.
Daddy Yankee was the recipient of the special Icon Awardand earned the award for favorite artist – male. Maluma was honored with the Extraordinary Evolution Award, and Sebastián Yatra won the fan-voted new artist of the year category.
The Latin American Music Awards were hosted by a group of women, including Aracely Arambula, Becky G, Gloria Trevi , Leslie Grace and Roselyn Sanchez.
The ceremony featured performances from Wisin & Yandel, Trevi, CNCO, Banda MS de Rene Camacho and many more.
Here’s the complete list of winners:`
Artista del Año / Artist of the Year Bad Bunny
Nuevo Artista del Año / New Artist of the Year Sebastián Yatra
Sencillo del Año / Song of the Year Luis Fonsi & Demi Lovato – “Échame La Culpa”
Álbum del Año / Album of the Year Ozuna – Odisea
Artista Favorita – Femenina / Favorite Artist – Female Becky G
Artista Favorito – Masculino / Favorite Artist – Male Daddy Yankee
Dúo o Grupo Favorito / Favorite Duo or Group CNCO
Artista Favorito – Pop / Favorite Artist – Pop CNCO
Álbum Favorito – Pop / Favorite Album – Pop CNCO – CNCO
Canción Favorita – Pop / Favorite Song – Pop Carlos Vives & Sebastián Yatra – “Robarte Un Beso
Artista Favorito – Regional Mexicano / Favorite Artist – Regional Mexican Christian Nodal
Álbum Favorito – Regional Mexicano / Favorite Album – Regional Mexican Christian Nodal – Me Dejé Llevar
Canción Favorita – Regional Mexicano / Favorite Song – Regional Mexican Raymix – “Oye Mujer”
Artista Favorito – Urbano / Favorite Artist – Urban Ozuna
Canción Favorita – Urbano / Favorite Song – Urban Becky G feat. Bad Bunny – “Mayores”
Álbum Favorito – Urbano / Favorite Album – Urban Ozuna – Odisea
Artista Favorito – Tropical / Favorite Artist – Tropical Romeo Santos
Canción Favorita – Tropical / Favorite Song – Tropical Nacho – “Báilame”
Álbum Favorito – Tropical / Favorite Album – Tropical Victor Manuelle – 25/7
Artista Favorito – Crossover / Favorite Crossover Artist Camila Cabello