Christina Aguilera to Receive Spirit of Hope Award at Billboard Latin Music Awards

It’s a spirited time for Christina Aguilera.

The 41-year-old half-Ecuadorian American actress and pop star will receive the Spirit of Hope award at the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Christina AguileraThe special award — which was established in 1996 in honor of the late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla — will recognize Aguilera for her philanthropic and humanitarian contributions beyond her musical work.

Aguilera will also perform during the awards show, which will take place on Thursday, September 29, at the Watsco Canter in Miami, and will be broadcast live on Telemundo beginning at 7:00 pm ET.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards — where Bad Bunny leads the list of finalists with a staggering 23 nods across 13 categories — will be simulcast on Telemundo, Universo, Peacock, the Telemundo App, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Telemundo Internacional.

In addition to her musical accolades, including more than 75 million records sold worldwide, five No.1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, and a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, the artist also known as Xtina has lifted her voice to help end the cycle of domestic abuse, been a longtime supporter and ally to the LGBTQ+ community, raised awareness about HIV/AIDS research, and traveled the globe to help feed children in poverty-stricken areas.

Aguilera joins past Billboard Spirit of Hope recipients including Gloria Estefan, Emmanuel, Willy Chirino, Olga Tañon, Maná, Los Tigres del Norte, Ricky Martin, El General, Soraya, Juan Luis Guerra, Shakira, Ricardo Montaner, Juanes, Daddy Yankee, Marc Anthony, Carlos Vives, Carlos Santana, Luis Fonsi, and Maluma.

Natalia Lafourcade Receives International Folk Music Awards Nomination for Album of the Year

Natalia Lafourcade latest homage to Mexico is earning a special honor…

The 38-year-old Mexican pop-rock and folk singer/songwriter, a two-time Grammy winner and 13-time Latin Grammy winner, is among the honorees at this year’s International Folk Music Awards.

Natalia Lafourcade

Lafourcade is nominated for Album of the Year for her latest project, Un Canto por México, Vol. 2, which earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano).

Lafourcade’s first installment, Un Canto por México, Vol. 1, won the Grammy for Best Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) and Latin Grammy for Album of the Year in 2021.

The recipients of the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Awards, which are presented each year to honor the cultural impact of legendary folk music figures (in the categories of living, legacy, and business/academic) were also announced.

Accordionist Flaco Jiménez is honored in the living category.

The 83-year-old Mexican American accordionist, known for playing Norteño, Tex Mex, and Tejano music, has been a solo performer and session musician as well as a member of the Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven.

Throughout the course of his seven decade career, he has received numerous awards and honors, including Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Grammys, Americana Music Awards, Tejano Music Awards, and Billboard magazine.

He is featured in the film This Ain’t No Mouse Music, and Hohner has even released a Flaco Jiménez Signature series line of accordions. He has worked with Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, The Rolling Stones, and recorded on the number one Billboard Country song “Streets of Bakersfield” by Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens.

Meanwhile, Eugene Rodriguez will receive the Spirit of Folk award.

The acclaimed Mexican-American musician, educator and documentary producer founded Los Cenzontles, both as a band and as a non-profit music academy and community space for Latinx artists, youth, and families in the San Francisco Bay area.

He has produced over 30 recordings of Mexican roots music and cross-cultural projects and was nominated for a Grammy for the bilingual recording “Papa’s Dream”. He has produced three documentaries for the Cultures of Mexico in California series and conceived of the film project Linda and The Mockingbirds. He serves as a board member of the Arhoolie Foundation and has received numerous awards for his cultural and community service.

Amado Espinoza will also receive the Spirit of Folk award.

The Bolivian multi-instrumentalist, composer and instrument maker has called Kansas City home since 2014. Amado specializes in the Charango and Andean flutes, performs with multiple ensembles, and is the co-founder of Resonation Music and Arts, using educational programming to inspire curiosity and respect for world cultures through music, dance, and storytelling.

He’s a Charlotte Street Foundation Performing Arts Fellow, Lighton International Artist Exchange recipient, TedxKC presenter, and Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Student Theatre Department at UMKC.

The awards, produced by the Folk Alliance International, will be held during the opening evening of the Folk Alliance International’s annual conference on May 18 in Kansas City, Mo., and will also broadcast online.

Here’s the list of nominations:

Album of the Year:
They’re Calling Me Home (with Francesco Turrisi) by Rhiannon Giddens
Wary + Strange by Amythyst Kiah
Un Canto por México, Vol. 2 by Natalia Lafourcade
Outside Child by Allison Russell
The Fray by John Smith 

Song of the Year:
“On Solid Ground” by Reggie Harris
“Painted Blue” by Sarah Jarosz
“We Believe You” by Diana Jones
“Call Me A Fool” by Valerie June
“Changemakers” by Crys Matthews 

Artist of the Year:
The Longest Johns
Kalani Pe’a
Allison Russell
Arooj Aftab
John Francis Flynn

Amazon Acquires Jennifer Lopez-Produced Skydance TV Series “Backwards in Heels”

It’s a moment of heels-ing for Jennifer Lopez.

Amazon has acquired the Skydance TV series Backwards in Heels, produced by the 52-year-old Puerto Rican superstar, off the table.

Jennifer LopezThe series will be written and directed by Richard LaGravenese and follows the aspirational and timeless story about the glamorous women living at the Barbizon Hotel in post-WWII New York City.

Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, and Benny Medina will produce under their Nuyorican Productions. Julie Goldstein is also producing.

The Barbizon Hotel, located at 140 East 63rd St. on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, was for several decades a female-only residential hotel for young women who came to NYC for professional opportunities.

Built in 1927, the 23-story hotel was a blend of Italian Renaissance and late Gothic revival and Islamic decorative elements.

No men were allowed above the ground floor, and strict dress and conduct rules were enforced. Men began to be admitted as guests in 1981.

Famous guests and residents throughout its history included Lauren Bacall, Betty Buckley, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth and Grace Kelly, among several others.

Lopez was honored with the Icon Award at the iHeartRadio Music Awards last week. She recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of her breakout movie Selenain which she played the Tejano legend.

The actress’ recent romantic comedy feature Marry Mwas one of the most viewed movies ever on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, approaching 6M accounts. Before the pandemic, her crime caper feature Hustlers ranked as her highest-grossing live-action movie of her career at the domestic B.O. with $105M, and her biggest opening ever with $33M.

Lopez and her Nuyorican Productions are teaming with Skydance and Concord to develop a slate of original projects based on the latter’s catalog of musicals, which includes the works of Broadway icons Rodgers & Hammerstein.

She next is starring and producing the Netflix movies The Mother and Atlas

Netflix Releases Teaser for Part Two of Christian Serratos’ “Selena: The Series”

May the fourth be with Christian Serratos

Netflix has revealed a new date for part two of Selena: The Series, starring the 30-year-old half-Mexican American actress as the late Tejano music icon. It will now be released on May 4.

Christian Serratos as Selena

Along with the new date for the final part of the two-part series, Netflix also released a teaser featuring Selena in her signature sparkly criss-cross purple pantsuit singing “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” at the Houston Astrodome in Texas, where she performed her last televised concert.

Part 1 of the series, which “explores Selena Quintanillas journey from singing small gigs to becoming the most successful female Latin artist of all time,” made its Netflix debut on December 4, starring Serratos as singer.

“[Selena] created a path for herself when it was arguably difficult for Latinas,” Serratos previously told Billboard. “Being a woman in the industry is super tricky, but she managed to be incredibly powerful, strong, and resilient and [to] be a pioneer while being incredibly gracious, and I always thought that was so beautiful.”

selena-the-series

Other cast members include Ricardo Chavira, who co-stars as Selena’s father, Abraham; Gabriel Chavarria as her brother A.B.; Noemi Gonzalez as her sister Suzette; Seidy Lopez as her mother, Marcella; and Madison Taylor Baez as young Selena.

https://twitter.com/contodonetflix/status/1379082648690171910

The two-part series was released 23 years after the Gregory Nava-directed and Oscar-nominated film Selena starring Jennifer Lopez made its debut on the big screen.

Flaco Jiménez’s “Partners” Album Among This Year’s National Recording Registry Selections

Flaco Jiménez is being added to the registry

One of the 82-year-old Mexican American singer, songwriter and accordionist’s most popular albums Partners, released by Warner Bros. Records in 1992, is one of this year’s National Recording Registry selections.

Flaco Jiménez

Jiménez, a Tejano music legend, appears on the new list of classic recordings joining the registry that Janet Jackson‘s 1989 album Rhythm Nation 1814, Kool & the Gang‘s buoyant single “Celebration“; Nas‘ game-changing debut album Illmatic and timeless children’s titles Free To Be… You And Me and “The Rainbow Connection.”

“Partners” by Jiménez, a champion of traditional conjunto music and Tex-Mex culture who is also known for innovation and collaboration with a variety of artists. This bilingual album features collaborations with Linda Ronstadt, Ry Cooder, Emmylou Harris and Los Lobos, among others.

The addition of 25 recordings this year brings to 575 the total number of titles in the registry, which selects recordings worthy of preservation based on their cultural, historical and/or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.

Nearly 900 titles were submitted for recognition this year.

“The National Recording Registry will preserve our history through these vibrant recordings of music and voices that have reflected our humanity and shaped our culture from the past 143 years,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement.

Here’s the complete list, in chronological order:
1. Edison’s “St. Louis tinfoil” recording (1878)
2. “Nikolina” — Hjalmar Peterson (1917 single)
3. “Smyrneikos Balos” — Marika Papagika (1928) (single)
4. “When the Saints Go Marching In” — Louis Armstrong & his Orchestra (1938) (single)
5. Christmas Eve Broadcast – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (December 24, 1941)
6. “The Guiding Light” — November 22, 1945
7. Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues — Odetta (1957) (album)
8. “Lord, Keep Me Day by Day” — Albertina Walker and the Caravans (1959) (single)
9. Roger Maris hits his 61st homerun (October 1, 1961)
10. Aida — Leontyne Price, et.al. (1962) (album)
11. “Once a Day” — Connie Smith (1964) (single)
12. Born Under a Bad Sign — Albert King (1967) (album)
13. Free to Be…You & Me — Marlo Thomas and Friends (1972) (album)
14. The Harder They Come — Jimmy Cliff (1972) (album)
15. “Lady Marmalade” — LaBelle (1974) (single)
16. Late for the Sky — Jackson Browne (1974) (album)
17. Bright Size Life — Pat Metheny (1976) (album)
18. “The Rainbow Connection” — Kermit the Frog (1979) (single)
19. “Celebration” — Kool & the Gang (1980) (single)
20. Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs — Jessye Norman (1983) (album)
21. Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 — Janet Jackson (1989) (album)
22. Partners — Flaco Jiménez (1992) (album)
23. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”/”What A Wonderful World” — Israel
Kamakawiwo’ole (1993) (single)
24. Illmatic — Nas (1994) (album)
25. “This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money” (May 9, 2008)

Netflix Releasing Part 2 of Christian Serratos’ “Selena: The Series” in May

Christian Serratos is returning to the stage in May…

The 30-year-old half-Mexican American actress will continue to portray the legendary Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla in Netflix’s Selena: The Series on May 14.

Christian Serratos as Selena

“When Selena Quintanilla burst onto the Tejano music scene in the ‘80s, her dream was to make music that celebrated both her Latin roots and her Mexican-American upbringing. She ultimately brought these two worlds together, leaving behind a timeless legacy that still resonates with generations of fans around the world,” said Francisco Ramos, VP of Latin American Originals. “We had the same hopes when we released Selena: The Series in December on Netflix. We wanted to pay tribute to the young girl with big dreams and an even bigger voice, and honor her incredible rise from performing local gigs with her family to gracing some of the world’s biggest stages.”

Along with the date for part 2, the streaming platform tweeted that in its first four weeks, “25 million households sang ‘Como La Flor‘ along with Selena: The Series – and half of those fans came from the U.S.”

The show also reached Netflix’s Top 10 list in 23 countries including the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, and Peru. Half of the fans came from the U.S., where it spent its first week in the #1 spot on the Top 10 list.

Part 1 of the series, which “explores Selena’s journey from singing small gigs to becoming the most successful female Latin artist of all time,” made its Netflix debut on December 4 starring Christian Serratos as the late Mexican-American singer.

“[Selena] created a path for herself when it was arguably difficult for Latinas,” Serratos previously told Billboard. “Being a woman in the industry is super tricky, but she managed to be incredibly powerful, strong, and resilient and [to] be a pioneer while being incredibly gracious, and I always thought that was so beautiful.”

Other cast members include Ricardo Chavira, who co-stars as Selena’s father Abraham; Gabriel Chavarria as her brother A.B.; Noemi Gonzalez as her sister Suzette; Seidy Lopez as her mother Marcella; and Madison Taylor Baez as young Selena.

The two-part series was released 23 years after the Gregory Nava-directed and Oscar-nominated film Selena starring Jennifer Lopez made its debut on the big screen.

Selena: The Series is produced by Campanario Entertainment and executive produced by Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, Suzette Quintanilla, Simran A. Singh, Hiromi Kamata, and Moises Zamora.

Netflix Releases to Premiere Christian Serratos’ “Selena: The Series” in December

Christian Serratos will be doin’ the washing machine this December…

Netflix has announced plans to release the 30-year-old Mexican American actress’ Selena: The Series, the biographical drama about Tejano music legend Selena Quintanilla, on December 4.

Christian Serratos as Selena

The premiere date announcement was made via Netflix’s Latinx social media arm Con Todo.

In a tweet with the message “Every Legend Begins With a Dream,” the premiere date was announced and a teaser trailer and poster art released.

Serratos stars as Selena, Ricardo Chavira as Abraham QuintanillaGabriel Chavarria as Selena’s brother AB, with Julio Macias, Jesse Posey, Hunter Reese Peña, and Carlos Alfredo, Jr. set as series regulars, and Juan Martinez, Daniela Estrada and Paul Rodriguez, Jr. to recur.

Selena: The Series is a coming-of-age story following Selena (Serratos) as her dreams come true and all the heart-wrenching and life-changing choices she and her family have to make as they navigate success, family, and music.

Also in the cast: Noemi Gonzalez, Seidy Lopez and Madison Taylor Baez.

Moisés Zamora is the writer/executive producer. Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, Suzette Quintanilla and Simran A. Singh executive produce; Campanario Entertainment is the production company. Hiromi Kamata directs part 1, which consists of six one-hour episodes.

David Blue Garcia Signs with Verve Talent and Literary Agency

David Blue Garcia has some verve

The Latino filmmaker has signed with the Verve Talent and Literary Agency for representation.

David Blue Garcia

Garcia, an Emmy-winning director and DP, just took over directing Legendary’s Texas Chainsaw Massacrefilm. Garcia was set for the film after the original directors quit the project over creative differences right around the first week of shooting. The film shut down for a week for Garcia to get his bearings, and he started from scratch.

After graduating from the University of Texas Film School, Garcia made his debut on Tejano, a taut action adventure about a young Texan’s desperate deal with a cartel. The film, which drew on his personal experience and showcased the rich Latinx culture of South Texas, had its world premiere in 2018 where it took home the Audience Award at the Dallas International Film Festival. In 2020, HBO acquired the TV rights to the film and is currently streaming it on various platforms.

San Antonio Spurs Launch Selena-Inspired Merchandise Collection

Selena’s style is spurringa sporty partnership… 

The San Antonio Spurs have announced a surprise merchandise collection inspired by the late Mexican American Grammy-winning singer and Tejano music legend. 

Selena Quintanilla

Announced over social media, the Selena Capsule Collection comes after the team’s fans weren’t able to celebrate Selena Night with the Spurs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Since we couldn’t celebrate Selena Night together, we’re bringing the merchandise collection to you,” tweeted the five-time NBA champions.

Selena x Spurs

The collection, available available now, features shirts, hats, tumblers and other collectible items.

Selena x San Antonio Spurs

“This collection honors and celebrates the legacy of Selena Quintanilla,” the collection’s website reads. “She has and continues to inspire fans across the country to celebrate culture and connections. Her legacy goes hand in hand with the central pillars of the Spurs experience and we are honored to bring this collection to fans of both the Spurs and Selena.”

The team also announced collectible jerseys that fans can buy that features the number 71, a reference to the Selena’s birth year.

https://twitter.com/spurs/status/1284503681312927744

Click here to shop the full collection.

Mon Laferte to Perform at the Immigrant Rights-Themed “Selena for Sanctuary” Concert

Mon Laferte is taking on the music of a legend… And it’s all for a good cause.

The 35-year-old Chilean singer-songwriter will perform at “Selena for Sanctuary,” a free concert that’s part of the summer festival Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

Mon Laferte 

The concert aims to raise awareness about the dire situation of undocumented immigrant that has caused a national outcry, with the music of Selena being used to entertain and educate people about the plight of undocumented immigrants facing deportation.

“I am very excited to be part of this event,” said Laferte, a Latin Grammy winner. “I admire Selena and I grew up singing her songs. It is an honor for me to be able to sing her songs and to support this initiative with a subject like migration, which concerns us all.”

The show will also feature singers Gaby Moreno, Cuco and Nina Diaz, as well as special guest appearances by guitarist Chris Perez, Selena’s widower; Omar Apollo, and August Eve.

Created by Doris Munoz, daughter of undocumented immigrants, “Selena for Sanctuary” pays tribute to the most successful artist in Latin music while fighting for a cause. It arrives at the outdoor stage of the prestigious Lincoln Centerafter having smaller editions in South California.

“This event started as a simple idea and call to action after the current administration threatened our community’s sanctuary cities which affected my working-class undocumented parents,” Munoz said, referring to the policies of President Donald Trump.

She added: “It only feels necessary to leverage the platform we have been blessed with to help our community in need. This event is as personal as it gets, there are millions of families like my own and if this inspires at least one person to get involved we’ve done our job.”

More than two decades after her passing, Selena Quintanilla still inspires fans and musicians alike.

“We know Selena is a Tejano music icon and a legend, but beyond that, she represents the Latin American people as someone who fought for her dreams, overcoming many difficulties, always defending tooth and nail the Latino roots she carried inside,” Moreno said in an email.

Selena broke barriers for women in Latin music and opened the floodgates for a new generation of contemporary artists of Latin descent who would go on to enjoy huge popularity with mainstream American audiences.

She was fatally shot by her fan club’s president at 23. She has sold more than 65 million units worldwide, making her the best-selling female artist in Latin music history.

To Cuco, the late Tejano star launched a new era of representation for people of color in the industry.

“This event is important to me because it paves a way for people that went through the same struggle that my parents went through,” said the Mexican-American singer.