Grupo Firme Performs at Halftime During the NFL’s Monday Night Football Game

Grupo Firme is celebrating a career touchdown

The Regional Mexican band headlined the halftime show at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City during the Monday Night Football game in which the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 38-10.

Grupo FirmeThe return of the NFL to Mexico featured a week-long celebration of pride that transcends borders, as well as the nexus between Mexican culture and American football with activities focused on art, fashion, music, and youth football.

As part of the League’s “Por la Cultura” campaign, music has been a focal point of the NFL’s marketing strategy, kicking off the season with a J Balvin concert and releasing a Por La Cultura mixtape featuring Yandel, El Alfa, and Snow Tha Product among others. Latino football fans are the fastest-growing demographic for the NFL and an important audience the league is hoping to grow in the coming years.

Grupo Firme, formed in the northern Mexican city of Tijuana, arrived at the so-called “Coloso de Santa Úrsula,” as the Estadio Azteca is also known, after a massively successful touring year, including their concert at the Zócalo of Mexico City last September that garnered an audience of 280,000, a series of presentations at Foro Sol, a major arena also located in the Mexican capital, and their main stage set at Coachella.

“This is an achievement in our career, we are going ‘at a steady pace’ as we say it. The truth is that we were not thinking to be part of an event as important as this beautiful night,” singer Eduin Caz told Billboard Español. “It will be something historic, a different audience will know us. They will listen to us and we will give our best.”

The Latin Grammy and Latin Billboard Music Awards winners performed their hits “Ya supérame”, “El amor no fue para mi” and “Gracias,” for the 78,000 NFL fans in attendance.

This was the first Monday Night Football game played in Mexico City since 2019, after a forced two-year break because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the musicians, the presence of the NFL in Mexico is a good opportunity for two communities to honor sports and music without language barriers.

“Something that we have realized and that we are very grateful for is that the public and the people who listen to Grupo Firme are increasingly bicultural. We have already seen people who do not speak Spanish singing at our concerts. It is a blessing for us that this is growing and that opens the door to be at events like this”, said singer Jhonny Caz.

Mexican singer Sofía Reyes was chosen this year to perform the national anthem of Mexico. She electrified the stadium as soon as she started singing the first verse.

“For me it is an honor to sing the Mexican national anthem and above all to sing it here in my country at an event like this. It’s crazy! I am happy and very grateful,” Reyes told Billboard Español prior to the game.

 

On the American side, the Mexican-American singer Marisol HernándezLa Marisoul”, from the musical group La Santa Cecilia, performed The Star-Spangled Banner, the United States National Anthem.

“This is my first time at the Estadio Azteca, singing the national anthem of the United States. I feel that my two worlds, my two countries, come together in a beautiful way and I can’t hide my feelings from this experience. For years at La Santa Cecilia we have tried to build musical bridges and I feel that tonight is a great example of this,” said Hernández.

The match in Mexico was the fifth and final of the 2022 International Series, which included three games in London and, for the first time, a game in Munich, Germany. Musical performances from the game at Estadio Azteca on November 21st can be viewed on Mundo NFL’s YouTube channel.

YouTube to Premiere Demi Lovato’s Four-Part Docuseries “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil” in March

Demi Lovato is getting personal…

YouTube has given the green light to a four-part documentary series that follows the 28-year-old part-Mexican American singer/actress.

Demi Lovato

Entitled Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, the docuseries will premiere on March 23 with the first two episodes. The final two episodes will then air weekly.

The new series will follow Lovato returning to show fans her personal and musical journey over the past three years. Last year, she performed the National Anthem before Super Bowl 54 between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The series will be directed by Michael D. Ratner, who was a director on and exec produced Quibi’s recent &Music series, and produced by Ratner’s OBB Pictures, which produced YouTube’s recent Justin Bieber: Seasons series.

The announcement comes nearly two years after the digital platform and the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer were set to do a follow-up doc to Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated.

That film, which was directed by Hannah Lux Davis, was released in 2017 and has been viewed more than 32M times. It chronicled the recording of her Tell Me You Love Me record and her life and career including her stint on the Disney Channel and her struggles with bipolar disorder and addiction.

The Google-owned service had been in talks to make a follow-up film in 2018 before Lovato overdosed and that project was put on hold. She’s understood to have recently seen the Justin Bieber series and reached back out to YouTube to say she is ready to make another documentary.

“It’s been two years since I came face-to-face with the darkest point in my life, and now I’m ready to share my story with the world. For the first time, you’ll be able to see my chronicle of struggle and ongoing healing from my point of view.  I’m grateful that I was able to take this journey to face my past head-on and finally share it with the world,” said Lovato.

“We are excited to continue sharing Demi’s brave story,” added Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube. “YouTube Originals is committed to telling real stories about the complexities of life and for Demi to use our global platform to open up about this chapter is something we are very proud of.”

“Demi’s willingness to explore the darkest elements of her life is going to leave the audience with a complete understanding of everything she’s been through and ultimately where she is going. Demi stands for empowerment, and this documentary is going to answer the many questions that have been out there – providing a real window into the life of one of the biggest stars in the world, who is simply a human being,” said director and executive producer Ratner.

Cepeda to Have Street Named After Him in San Francisco

Orlando Cepeda will see his name on a street sign soon…

The 79-year-old Puerto Rican retired first baseman, who made his Major League Baseball debut with the San Francisco Giants in April 1958, will receive a ceremonial sign for a street that will be named in his honor in the Bay City.

Orlando Cepeda

It’s all part of the redevelopment of the old Candlestick Park site.

Cepeda, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, played for the Giants from 1958 until 1966.

During a career that lasted sixteen years, he also played with the St. Louis Cardinals, helping the team win the World Series in 1967, as well as the Atlanta Braves (1969–72), Oakland Athletics (1972), Boston Red Sox (1973), and Kansas City Royals.

Other San Francisco iconic athletes to have a name after them include San Francisco 49ers legends Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and coach Bill Walsh, as well as former Giants players Willie Mays and Barry Bonds.

Gonzalez to Play One Final Season with the Falcons?

It looks like Tony Gonzalez isn’t about to ride off into the sunset just yet…

Despite hinting at retirement last season, the 37-year-old part-Mexican pro football star has reportedly changed his tune.

Tony Gonzalez

The reason? A $7 million contract and a reduced training camp schedule.

The Atlanta Falcons tight end, a 13-time Pro Bowl selection and 10-time All-Pro, has apparently told people he’ll be back for one more season with the Falcons, according to Fox Sports.

“I was done, I thought I had my mind made up,” Gonzalez told Fox Sports. “This whole year I knew it would be my last but the way our final game ended and talking to the guys in the locker room, in the end it was too difficult of a way for me to step away from the game.”

Gonzalez was in tears at the end of last season as his team lost in the NFC Championship game to the San Francisco 49ers.

Only one week before that heartbreaking loss, Gonzalez was part of his first playoff victory in his 17-year career.

Gonzalez was intent last season on focusing on his family. But he says he’s hoping to achieve the one thing that has eluded him in his career so far.

“I am coming back for one reason and one reason only,” he told Fox Sports. “The chance to win a Super Bowl.”

Garcia to Perform at Jets vs. 49ers Game for Hispanic Heritage Month

Lilian Garcia will be on the grid(iron) this weekend to help commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month in the New York metropolitan area…

The 46-year-old Spanish-American singer and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announcer has been chosen to be the halftime performer when the New York Jets host the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium this Sunday, September 30th.

Lilian Garcia

“This is a wonderful honor,” said Garcia in a statement. “I love the NFL and I’m ready to give the crowd a great, high energy show at halftime as I perform songs from my new EP, My Time. This will be the eighth time I’ve sung the national anthem at a Jets Game and I love it. I am particularly honored that I’ve been asked to perform as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. It will be privilege to represent the millions of Hispanics who are proud to call America their home.”

While the first WWE Diva is currently serving as the ring announcer for the WWE’s Smackdown, Garcia has kept busy as a musical artist.

In 2007, she released her debut album, Quiero Vivir and recorded a duet in both English and Spanish with Grammy-winning singer Jon Secada. She’s since performed at various sporting events.

On “Hispanic Heritage Day,” the Jets will celebrate with a variety of culture activities for New York’s Latino population, which, according to their official site, is “the second-largest in the country.”

Meanwhile, Shirley Rodriguez Remeneski, president of 100 Hispanic Women, an organization that provides educational opportunities for Latinas, was selected as the recipient of this year’s NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.

Garcia will return to MetLife Stadium in April 2013 as part of Wrestlemania. Her new EP is currently available on iTunes.