J Balvin to Headline This Year’s NFL Kickoff Concert

J Balvin is ready for the American football experience

The 37-year-old Colombian superstar will headline the 2022 NFL Kickoff Concert at the NFL Kickoff Experience ahead of the Buffalo Bills versus Los Angeles Rams game on Sept. 8.

J Balvin“I got a glimpse of the incredible NFL fandom during the Super Bowl Halftime performance in Miami in 2020,” Balvin said in a press statement. “That year we closed things out with a great game and a massive party. This season, to kick things off, we’re celebrating even harder and getting even louder.” 

The NFL Kickoff event will take place on Alamitos Beach in Long Beach. Doors to the free and open-to-the-public event will open at noon PT, and Balvin’s performance is slated for 4 p.m. PT.

The full performance will be streamed on NFL.com, the NFL app, and select NFL social media platforms. Parts of J Balvin’s performance will also be televised on NBC and NFL Network’s pregame show coverage.

Additionally, the NFL Kickoff Experience will offer the attendees interactive games, photo opportunities with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, all 56 Super Bowl rings, and more.

Registration for free tickets is required via the official website at nfl.com/2022kickoff.

The NFL Kickoff Concert will follow Balvin’s return to the 2022 VMA stage on August 28, where he will perform “Nivel de Perreo” with Colombian newcomer Ryan Castro. This will mark Balvin’s first VMA performance since his 2019 collaboration with Bad Bunny on “Qué Pretendes.”

If Balvin — who is a five-time nominee — wins, he’ll become the most-awarded Latin artist in VMA history; he’s currently tied for that distinction with Ricky Martin.

Valerie Loureda Signs Multiyear Contract with WWE

It’s a whole new world for Valerie Loureda.

The 23-year-old Cuban American mixed martial artist, wrestler and pro fighter, a top women’s MMA prospect with Bellator, has signed a multiyear contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE), according to ESPN.

Valerie LouredaLoureda plans to move to Orlando from Miami and report to the WWE Performance Center on July 19. She’ll remain under contract with Bellator, the promotion told ESPN in a statement, but now she’ll be a full-time WWE athlete.

“I’m an entertainer,” Loureda said “I love glamour. I love production, I love storytelling. And when I saw the WWE, I realized this is everything I’m good at in one place. Not only that, but I saw the opportunity to be the first Cuban American woman to be a WWE superstar.”

Loureda said she attended WrestleMania and immediately fell in love with the glitz and spectacle of WWE, comparing it to the Super Bowl. She had a tryout in late April and early May with WWE and became so addicted with performing in the ring that she didn’t want to leave even though she hadn’t been signed yet. Loureda said she actually called her manager, Abe Kawa of First Round Management, crying.

“I said, ‘Abraham, I know I don’t have a contract, but is there any way I can stay here? I’m losing a week of training,'” Loureda said. “I just want to get better.”

WWE coaches praised Loureda’s ability, according to ESPN, and view her as a high-ceiling talent after her tryout, which included a match. Loureda signed with WWE soon after. She will remain under Bellator contract, though, per promotion president Scott Coker.

“Valerie Loureda is a very young and talented athlete who can accomplish plenty in MMA for years to come, but for now we wish her the best of luck as she pursues her dream of becoming a WWE Superstar,” Coker told ESPN in a statement. “She will remain an active and under contract fighter with Bellator, and we look forward to welcoming her back into the cage in the near future. We take great pride in allowing our athletes to test themselves in additional arenas such as boxing and pro wrestling.”

Up until the last few months, Loureda said she was committed to her MMA career with Bellator. But earlier this year, Loureda’s manager was having a conversation with former UFC executive James Kimball about WWE’s name, image and likeness (NIL) deal with AJ Ferrari, a college wrestler repped by First Round. Kawa brought up Loureda and Kimball, WWE’s senior vice president of global talent strategy & development, was interested.

Kimball suggested Kawa bring Loureda to WrestleMania, but Loureda initially was not interested. She wanted to focus on her MMA career.

“I had to beg her to come out to WrestleMania with me,” Kawa said. “I kept telling her over and over again, just trust me. When you come see this, this is you. I would never take you to something that’s not you. This is everything for you. You will fall in love with it. And she did.”

Loureda said she was sold almost instantly when she arrived at AT&T Stadium in Texas for WrestleMania 38 in early April.

“The moment I stepped into the suite and I saw the WWE organization, the professionalism and the production, I fell in love,” Loureda said. “I had goosebumps like the first time I saw MMA on the TV.”

Loureda, who is 4-1 as a pro fighter and projected to be a future star for Bellator, said her goal is to make NXT television by the end of the year and be on the WWE main roster within one year.

“I have big goals and I’m a little crazy,” Loureda said with a laugh. … “I just know what I’m gonna be able to do in the WWE. There’s no limits. I’m limitless.”

Tony Gonzalez Among On-Air Talent for Prime Video’s NFL “Thursday Night Football” Programming

Tony Gonzalez is primed for his next broadcasting gig…

The 46-year-old part-Mexican American former American football tight end, who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 17 seasons, will be part of Prime Video’s NFL pregame, halftime and postgame coverage this fall when the service presents its exclusive Thursday Night Football package.

Tony GonzalezGonzalez will work along side former NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who retired in the offseason, and Richard Sherman for each TNF game.

The expanding roster of Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football on-air talent also includes legendary play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and five-time Sports Emmy-winning analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

Fred Gaudelli, producer of seven Super Bowls and a recent inductee into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, will serve as the executive producer of Thursday Night Football’s game coverage.

Multiple Sports Emmy winners Mike Muriano and Spoon Daftary are the executive and senior coordinating producers of Thursday Night Football’s pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage.

Kicking off September 15, Prime Video will be the first streaming service to air a season-long exclusive national broadcast package with the NFL. The 11-year deal includes 15 regular-season games and one preseason game per year, with Prime Video also delivering new pregame, halftime, and postgame shows as well as interactive features like X-Ray and Next Gen Stats powered by AWS. Viewers can stream from the web at amazon.com/TNF or by using the Prime Video app.

Since retiring in 2013, Gonzalez – a 14-time Pro-Bowler – served as an analyst for Fox Sports.

He previously played for the Kansas City Chiefs, before ending his career with the Atlanta Falcons.

Edwin Castro Signs with Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

Edwin Castro has new representation…

The 30-year-old Mexican American Twitch streamer has signed with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for representation in all areas.

Edwin CastroCastro is best known for his soccer-themed content including FIFA.

He averages 30,000 concurrent live viewers on the Amazon-owned platform and has over 3.5 million followers.

Castro is also active on YouTube and social media channels.

A sports enthusiast, Castro attends major sporting events annually such as WWE, F1, NFL, NBA and MLB.

Among his work with brands, Castro has collaborated with 7-Eleven, Gillette, Electronic Arts and Turtle Beach. Earlier this year, he was seen in a McDonald’s Super Bowl commercial.

Jennifer Lopez Documentary “Halftime” to Open This Year’s Tribeca Festival

Here’s your chance to relive Jennifer Lopez’s Super Bowl moment…

The 52-year-old Puerto Rican superstar’s Netflix documentary Halftime will kick off the 2022 Tribeca Festival on June 8.

Jennifer LopezThe film, directed by Oscar nominated Tribeca alum Amanda Micheli, will host its world premiere at the festival before premiering on the streamer on June 14.

Halftime follows J.Lo’s rise to international stardom as the “Marry Me” star reflects on her milestones, evolution, and legacy as she navigates the second half of her iconic career.

Shakira & Jennifer Lopez

Tribeca will host the film’s premiere at the United Palace in Washington Heights, just a few subway stops away from Lopez’s native Bronx.

Per the festival, Halftime offers an “intimate peek behind the curtain revealing the grit and determination that makes Jennifer Lopez the icon she is, from her performances onscreen and on stages around the world, to her Super Bowl Halftime show, to the recent Presidential inauguration. The documentary focuses on an international superstar who has inspired people for decades with her perseverance, creative brilliance, and cultural contributions.  And it’s only the beginning. ‘Halftime’ serves as the kickoff to the second half of Lopez’s life, as she lays bare her evolution as a Latina, a mother, and an artist, taking agency in her career and using her voice for a greater purpose.”

The 2022 Tribeca Festival will feature 12 days of events and experiences across New York City with a curated lineup of films, live concerts, performances, talks, and demonstrations. Venues include the Beacon Theater, the United Palace, Pier 57, Spring Studios, BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, SVA Theatre, Village East by Angelika, Cinépolis Chelsea, Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place, and Battery Park City.

The 2022 Tribeca Festival will take place from June 8 to June 20.

Ally Brooke to Help Recognize Student Athletes During NFL’s Sports & Fitness Youth Awards

Ally Brooke will help celebrate some stellar student athletes…

In celebration of Super Bowl LVI Week, the 28-year-old Mexican American singer and former Fifth Harmony band member will serve as a special guest at the NFL’s Sports & Fitness Youth Awards, presented by the NFL and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

Ally BrookeAlly Brooke will form part of the event to recognize 10 student-athlete leaders, who’ve been selected among a pool of nearly 30,000 applicants.

Last week, Ally Brooke returned with her second single in Spanish, carrying a message about the strength of love in “Por Ti.” The song has reached No. 21 on the iTunes Latin chart and no. 1 on iTunes Ecuador.

The NFL’s Sports & Fitness Youth Awards will take place on February 8 at the LA Convention Center.

Demi Lovato Among Celebrities Featured in Twitter’s New “Manifestations” Campaign

Demi Lovato is hoping to inspire others’ manifestations…

Twitter has launched a new campaign encouraging everyone to “Think big, make it happen,” and the social media platform has called in the 29-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actor to help.

Demi LovatoTwitter is embarking on a physical campaign, one that’s meant to inspire minds and lay down the groundwork for big things in the future.

On Tuesday, Twitter launched its celebrity-powered “manifestation” project, engineered by the power of positive thinking in 280 characters or less.

Lovato, Megan Thee Stallion and Niall Horan are among the artists, athletes and celebrities whose tweets became a reality, and are now set to go extra-large on billboards around the country.

Those tweets will appear in the hometown locations of the stars “who manifested their dreams,” in eight cities around North America, reads a statement from Twitter.

On February 7, 2010, Lovato tweeted that they one day hoped to sing the National Anthem at a Super Bowl. A decade later, Lovato fulfilled this dream in 2020 by singing at Super Bowl LIV.

To get the ball rolling, Twitter is donating nearly $1 million to charities of the stars’ choice on their behalf, including Boys and Girls Club, Destination Crenshaw, The 3-D Foundation, and UNICEF Canada.

Tweets about manifestation are at an all-time high, the social network reports, with 100% year-over-year growth and a total of close-to 60 million posts over the past three years.

https://twitter.com/Twitter/status/1483427691198095360?cxt=HHwWgIC5_YTomJYpAAAA

Jacob Perez Starring in Netflix’s Family Comedy “Home Team”

Jacob Perez is joining the team

Netflix has revealed the cast roaster for family comedy Home Team, including the 13-year-old Latino actor.

Jacob Perez

The project is loosely inspired by New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton’s experiences during his year-long suspension from the league.

It was previously reported that Kevin James would play Payton in the film, which hails from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison and James’ Hey Eddie Productions banner.

In addition James and Perez, the cast includes Taylor LautnerRob Schneider, Jackie Sandler, Gary Valentine, Tait Blum, Maxwell Simkins, Bryant Tardy, Manny Magnus, Liam Kyle, Christopher Farrar, Merek Mastrov, Isaiah Mustafa, Christopher Titone, Ashley D. Kelley, Lavell Crawford, Allen Covert, Anthony L. Fernandez, and Jared Sandler.

The film follows Payton who, two years after a Super Bowl win when he’s suspended, goes back to his hometown and finds himself reconnecting with his 12-year-old son by coaching his Pop Warner football team. Payton was suspended in 2012 for his role in the team’s Bountygate scandal where bounties were allegedly being paid to players who would try to injure players from the opposing team.

Charles Kinnane and Daniel Kinnane are co-directing the film, which is currently in production. The script is by Christopher Titone and Keith Blum.

Bad Bunny to Serve as Musical Guest on Next Week’s Episode of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”

Bad Bunny is preparing for a late night first…

The 26-year-old Puerto Rican Latin trap and reggaeton singer will make his debut appearance as an in-person musical guest at Studio 8H during next weekend’s episode of NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny will be the musical guest opposite opposite host Regé-Jean Page, one of the breakout stars of Netflix’s Bridgerton, on February 20.

Bad Bunny had previously appeared in a remote-production of the NBC show last April alongside Keenan Thompson.

Bad Bunny (born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio) had a busy 2020, including making history on the Billboard 200. The rapper earned his first No. 1 on the chart with El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo, which became the first all-Spanish-language album to reach the peak position in the chart’s 64-year-history.

The album was also Bad Bunny’s third studio album of 2020, which also included YHLQMDLG  released in February and peaked at No. 2 — and Las Que No Iban a Salir from May.

Bad Bunny has collaborated with the likes of Cardi B and Drake, and he performed at last year’s Super Bowl halftime show alongside Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

Cardi B Earns Top 10 Spot on EDO’s List of Celebrity Appearances in Branded Commercials During Super Bowl LV

Cardi B is makin’ super (bowl) impact…

Analytics corporation EDO has ranked the celebrity appearances in branded commercials during Super Bowl LV, with the 28-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar earning a spot in the Top 10.

Cardi B, UberEats, Wayne's World

EDO’s list ranks the top-searched celebrities based on the number of times they were searched in a five-minute period after their ad dropped versus the average searched celeb who was in a Super Bowl ad (weighted at 100).

Cardi B, the only Latinx artist to make the Top 10, comes in at No. 10 for her UberEats Wayne’s World ad with an 8.5x search.

The spot shows Saturday Night Live’s famed characters Wayne and Garth (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey) in Wayne’s basement doing their cable access show from Aurora, Illinois.

“As a local access show, we want everyone to support local restaurants,” Wayne says.

“But, we’d never manipulate you the way all these commercials do,” Garth says as subliminal words “eat” and “local” flash on the screen.

Then there are repeated attempts to get the message out, including having baby versions of Wayne and Garth dressed in shirts that say “eat local.”

When Wayne says they would “never shamelessly rely on a celebrity cameo,” here comes Cardi B. The commercial then shows shots of Wayne and Garth dressed like Cardi, and vice-versa.

The Voice judges and fiancés Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton respectively ranked in the No. 1 and 2 spots.

In their commercial, fellow Voice judge Adam Levine sets them up on a blind date with the tagline for the 5G network being “Don’t Trust Your Love Life to Just Any Network.”