Miss Spain Angela Ponce Makes History as the First Transgender Contestant to Compete for the Miss Universe Title

She didn’t take home the Miss Universe crown, but Angela Ponce has left in indelible mark on the international beauty pageant.

The 27-year-old Spanish model and beauty pageant titleholder, who’d already made history in June as the first transgender woman to ever be crowned Miss Spain, made historyat Miss Universe 2018 as the first transgender contestant competing for the title.

Miss Spain Angela Ponce

Ponce received a standing ovation during the coronation night in Thailand, as well as a special tribute by the beauty pageant organization via a video recognition.

After the video was shown, Ponce walked on stage, removed her sash and held it up triumphantly in the air.

“I don’t need to win Miss Universe. I just need to be here,” Angela said.

Miss Spain Angela Ponce

“What I feel by being the first transgender contestant at Miss Universe is a big sense of responsibility, it gives me a lot of pride, and personally I’m very proud to have made it here,” Ponce said. “I’ve been in the press, on TV, and I’ve put the conservation on the table. It was a topic that was not spoken about, what does it mean being a transgender person.”

Ponce believes that mindsets about the LGBT community are changing.

“Today, there are positive references. People speak about the LGBT community, and the transgender community. Before it was always underground and never spoken about. I think that people are more and more informed. All these prejudices come from disinformation,” Ponce said.

Although Ponce is proud of being a transgender woman, she says the hardest obstacle she has had to overcome is being born into a world that “wasn’t prepared” for trans people.

“We don’t have the same rights, but we have the same obligations. At school, disinformation is what becomes prejudice, the bullying, the fact that you feel alone, excluded. I always say that it’s not that you feel like a woman. You already are a woman. A transgender is not a man or a boy who feels like a woman, she’s already a transgender person,” Ponce explained. “There are no wrong bodies.”

Ponce has advice for all transgender girls and women.

“We have to be happy, feel free, go with the flow, have less prejudices, have more love and be more tolerant of everything,” she said.

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Give High-Octane Performance of “Despacito” at the Grammys

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee may not have taken home a gramophone, but they did leave a lasting impression..

The 39-year-old Puerto Rican singer and 40-year-old Puerto Rican wowed the crowd with a high-octane performance of their record-smashing international hit “Despacito.

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee

Fonsi and Yankee performed the worldwide smash flanked by a collection of dancing, scantily clad women. The audience vigorously danced and bopped their heads along to the dance hit. Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera runway-walked onto the stage in a gold and nude bodysuit before twerking between the pair.

By the end, male and female dancers were grinding all over the stage to the song as Rivera sauntered off.

The remixed version of the reggaeton-pop track featuring Justin Bieber was up for three awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The remix won Best Urban/Fusion performance at the 2017 Latin Grammys, and the original version earned Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video.

“Despacito” – which Rolling Stone named the seventh-best song of 2017 – helped spark a Latin-pop revolution last year: The song’s video became the top-viewed clip in YouTube history, racking up nearly 5 billion views – and six of the site’s top 10 most-viewed music videos were from Latin artists.

Zuleyka Rivera to Perform at This Year’s Grammy Awards

Zuleyka Rivera is ready for music’s biggest night…

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican actress and former Miss Universe will perform at this year’s Grammy Awards, which will take place on Sunday, January 28.

Zuleyka Rivera

Rivera is featured in the music video for Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s global smash, “Despacito.”

After completing her commitment as Miss Universe, Rivera studied acting in New York. Eventually, she snagged parts on a whole slew of Televisa soap operas in Mexico, including playing the part of the main villain in 2014’s Cosita LindaCurrently, she’s based in Miami where she’s a special guest/host on Latin shows such as Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Dia and Univision’s Despierta America.

Rivera joins a roster of performers that includes Alessia Cara, Bruno Mars and Cardi B, Childish Gambino, Daddy Yankee, DJ Khaled with Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, Luis FonsiLady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and more.

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards will air on Sunday, January 28 at 7:30 pm EST.

Nazario Releases Video for “Soy Tuya,” Dedicated to Her Native Puerto Rico

Ednita Nazario is celebrating La Isla del Encanto

The 61-year-old Puerto Rican singer-songwriter has released her new single “Soy Tuya,” which she dedicated to Puerto Rico’s baseball team.

Ednita Nazario

Nazario premiered the song in her social media, along with an emotive lyric video.

The clip shows the beautiful island scenery and great achievements of different personalities like Zuleyka Rivera winning the Miss Universe crown, boxer Tito Trinidad, tennis player Monica Puig winning the gold medal in the 2016 Olympic Games and, of course, the Puerto Rico baseball team during the World Baseball Classic 2017.

“Seeing my country, Puerto Rico, united is the greatest joy that I can feel, she wrote, adding: “Thank you for giving the best of you and we will continue to do the same: give ourselves in body and soul to a productive and positive life for ours and for everyone.”

This year, Puerto Rico’s team made its presence felt after reaching the finals without losing a game and uniting an entire country. They also generated a polemic movement: all the players decided during the series to dye their hair blond, immediately going viral. From young people to singers like Victor Manuelle, Ken-Y and Wisin (with a wig) also joined the movement and went blond.

Spain’s Lalaguna Named Miss World

The world is Mireia Lalaguna’s oyster…

The 22-year-old Spanish model was crowned Miss World on Saturday at the 65th edition of the beauty pageant, held in the Chinese city of Sanya.

Miss World Mireia Lalaguna

Lalaguna, a Barcelona-native with a degree in pharmacology, outshined second-place Miss Russia, Sofia Nikitchuk, and Miss Indonesia, Maria Harfanti, who came in third.

For the first time ever Spain was victorious at the Miss World contest, which was launched in Britain and is considered the longest running beauty pageant on the planet, though another Spaniard, Amparo Muñoz, took home the Miss Universe title in 1974.

Lalaguna, with her blonde locks combed back on one side and wearing a stunning blue dress that bared her back, took her place on the queen’s throne where she was crowned by the winner of the 2014 contest, South Africa’s Rolene Strauss, with the glittering blue diadem she will wear over the coming year.

Lalaguna Catalan could not hide her shock, even from the time she made it into the finals ahead of big favorites like the beauties from France, Venezuela and the host country China.

Also among the five finalists were Miss Jamaica, Sanneta Myrie, and Miss Lebanon, Valerie Abou Chacra, while the Ecuadorian Maria Camila Marañon was the best classified Latin American after making it into the top 20.

The gala was held at the Beauty Crown Culture Center in Sanya, a complex outside the city with extravagant skyscrapers shaped like gigantic trees, a resort that has now hosted the pageant for the sixth time.

Sanchez Believes Latinos Can Stop Donald Trump From Being Elected President

Roselyn Sanchez is speaking out against presidential hopeful Donald Trump

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican actress, who will serve as a co-host at Sunday’s Miss Universe pageant, says Hispanics have the power to prevent Trump from being elected president.

Roselyn Sanchez

“I refuse to believe it. I don’t think it’s possible,” said Sanchez when asked by EFE whether the business mogul and Republican candidate could win the 2016 election.

“Hispanics have the power to prevent it,” she said.

Sanchez, an advocate for the Latino community, bowed out as co-host of the 2015 Miss USA pageant, of which Trump had been part owner, saying that incendiary remarks by Trump about Mexican immigrants were degrading.

“He said what he said and never apologized,” Sanchez recalled, adding that hearing Trump’s views on Latinos was “devastating” and “sad.”

Trump, a former reality television star who has performed well in early polling ahead of the first Republican primaries, generated controversy when he said most Mexican immigrants crossing the border were a scourge on U.S. society.

“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” Trump said in launching his candidacy in June.

The magnate sold the Miss Universe Organization to the WME/IMG agency in September after a legal spat with NBC Universal, which along with Univision refused to broadcast the Miss USA pageant, held in July, due to Trump’s remarks.

The Miss Universe Organization runs both the Miss USA and Miss Universe competitions.

Sanchez, known for her roles in the film Rush Hour 2 and the television series Without a Trace and Devious Maids, said Hispanics were doing “incredible things” in fields as diverse as entertainment, science, politics and business.

In that regard, she said she hoped Latinos would “be able to make their voice heard” in the future no matter who is elected as the next U.S. president.

The actress said she agreed to co-host this year’s edition along with comedian Steve Harvey because there were new owners and new people behind this event, which will be held Sunday at the AXIS Theater in Las Vegas and televised by Fox.

Sanchez to Co-Host This Year’s Miss Universe Pageant

Roselyn Sanchez has landed a universal role…

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer and Devious Maids star will co-host this year’s Miss Universe pageant.

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 2.44.31 PM

Sanchez, who recently co-hosted this year’s Latin Grammys, will report live from the show and backstage.

Sanchez made headlines around the world when she walked out of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s Miss USA Pageant as co-host after his remarks about Mexican immigrants in the Unites States.

Trump sold his interest in the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants after the controversy that erupted in remarks in his bid for the presidency. Univision and NBC severed their relationship with the real estate mogul, and Sanchez, whose credits include Without a Trace, walked away from the pageant broadcast in protest.

At the time, Roselyn wrote on her Facebook page: “As a Latino, proud of my roots, culture and all that we have contributed to this nation, I decided to cancel my participation in the Miss USA Pageant.

“I cannot tolerate the disrespectful and hurtful words out of the mouth of Mr. Trump. Mexicans, like all Latinos, contribute positively to this great nation. We are the force that keeps the country afloat.”

Hosted by Emmy winner Steve Harvey, the annual broadcast will feature performances from Seal, Charlie Puth and The Band Perry.

The 2015 Miss Universe telecast will air live from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Sunday, Decenber 20, at 7:00 pm ET on Fox.

Machado to Pen Book About Her Negative Experiences with Donald Trump

Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado is ready to write the world’s wrongs…

The 38-year-old former-beauty-queen-turned-actress/singer is planning to write a book about the “abuses of power” and “racism” she suffered at the hands of Donald Trump in the mid-‘90s during her reign.

Alicia Machado

Machado was crowned Miss Universe in 1996, the fourth woman from Venezuela to win title, and soon after made headlines for concerns about her increasing weight.

When Machado was crowned she weighed 118 pounds, and eventually the 5-foot-9 beauty queen reached 160 pounds. Pageant officials apparently found the weight unacceptable and threatened to revoke her crown if she didn’t trim down.

Months before the 1997 Miss Universe pageant, in which Machado was due to hand the crown over to her successor, Donald Trump — who partly owns the Miss Universe Organization — called in fitness expert Edward Jackowski to help Machado lose weight through a rigorous diet and exercise program, all of which was documented by photographers and camera crews.

Trump told People magazine back in 1997, “We want her to stay as Miss Universe and she is working on her problem. When you win a beauty pageant, people don’t think you’re going to go from 118 to 160 in less than a year, and you really have an obligation to stay in a perfect physical state.” The real estate mogul also reportedly called Machado “an eating machine” during an interview on the Howard Stern show.

Machado, then 20 years old, told People at the time, “Before Miss Universe I was a normal girl, but my life has had big changes. I travel to many countries, eat different foods.”

The beauty queen has since been very vocal about her experience with Trump, calling him “a detestable being” as recently as June to Mexican newspaper La Reforma.

In a formal statement issued earlier this week, Machado’s reps declare that she “will share all the details, abuses of power, arrogance, and racism on Donald Trump’s part that she suffered in the flesh, issues that Alicia will share for the first time and at the appropriate time so that the whole world can see who this person really is, someone who has gained even more notoriety recently for his attacks on the Mexican people.”

Machado currently stars in Televisa’s new Spanish telenovela Lo Imperdonable. The statement mentioned that after her contractual duties with the soap opera are over, Machado will announce more details about the book. Until then, “she won’t be saying anything else on the matter.”

Vega, the Reigning Miss Colombia, Named Miss Universe

It’s a crowning achievement for Paulina Vega

The 22-year-old Colombian beauty queen representing her native land, has been crowned Miss Universe.

Miss Universe Paulina Vega

Vega, a relative pageant newcomer, beat out first runner-up Miss USA Nia Sanchez and contestants from more than 80 other countries at Sunday’s pageant in Miami.

Vega, a student of business administration from Barranquilla, Colombia, said she would wear the crown with “pride and excitement” as she heard the news that fans in Colombia had taken to the streets to celebrate.

Real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump, who owns the pageant, said many predicted Vega would take home the coveted crown a few weeks ago when contestants first arrived in Miami for the festivities.

“From the minute she walked in the building, people said, ‘She’s a star,'” Trump said.

Vega’s win keeps the title in the hands of another Latina — reigning Miss Universe Gabriela Isler is from Venezuela.

Pageants and performance run in Vega’s family. Her grandmother, Elvira Castillo, was Miss Atlántico 1953 (Colombia) and her grandfather is legendary tenor Gastón Vega.

But the contests leading up to Miss Universe were a first for Vega, who is one of eight children. She also said they would be her last, as she is eager to return to her business studies, saying: “It gives me independence. I want to have my own company.”

After Sanchez, the 24-year-old Miss USA from Las Vegas, Nevada, the second runner-up was Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha. Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell and Miss Netherlands Yasmin Verheijen were also among the top five, emerging from the field of 88 contestants.

As Miss Universe, Vega will receive an undisclosed salary, a luxury apartment in New York, a wardrobe and oodles of beauty products, and a one-year scholarship from the New York Film Academy.

“It will be a dream come true to represent the woman of today,” Vega said earlier in the week. “A woman that not only cares about being beautiful and being glamorous, but also cares about being a professional, intelligent, hard-working person.”

Berríos Named Most Photogenic at This Year’s Miss Universe Pageant

Gabriela Berríos Pagán is picture perfect…

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican model and beauty pageant contest has been designated Miss Photogenic at this year’s Miss Universe.

Gabriela Berríos Pagán

Berríos is the second of four children in her family. She has lived in Puerto Rico and Orlando, Florida. She studies business administration and plans to establish her own production company in the future. Her hobbies include painting, exercising, and spending time with her family and friends.

When Berrios went to pick up her prize, this year’s pageant hosts Thomas Roberts and Natalie Morales stopped to take a selfie with the beauty queen.

Gabriela Berríos Pagán