Grupo Firme to Take Part in ‘Superstar Panel’ During Billboard Latin Music Week

Grupo Firme will be taking part in this year’s Billboard Latin Music Week.

The Regional Mexican band will take part in one of the various superstar panels during the event, which will take place on September 26-30 at Miami’s Faena Forum.

Grupo FirmeFounded by Eduin Caz in Tijuana, Mexico, in 2013, Grupo Firme — which straddles the genres of banda and norteño — is comprised of Eduin’s brother Jhonny Caz, Abraham Hernández, Joaquín Ruiz, Christian Gutiérrez, José Rubio and Dylan Camacho.

Touring titans, in 2021, the band secured a historic booking at Los Angeles’ 20,000-capacity Staples Center as the first Latin act to perform the most shows in a single calendar year at the venue with seven sold-out concerts this summer. (The only other artist who has done more in one year is Adele, with eight performances in 2016.)

Grupo Firme joins the already announced star-studded lineup that includes Romeo SantosCamiloChayanneIvy QueenNicky JamEslabon ArmadoBizarrapBlessdYahritza Y Su EsenciaLuis R. ConriquezOvy on the Drums, Kunno, and The Rivera Family.

More participants will be announced in the weeks leading up to the 2022 Latin Music Week. Registration is now open at BillboardLatinMusicWeek.com.

For 30 years, Billboard Latin Music Week has been the longest running and biggest Latin music industry gathering in the world. After a sold-out 2021 edition that featured Q&As with Daddy Yankee and Karol G, as well as show-stopping performances by AnittaRauw Alejandro, and Natti Natasha, the event returns, coinciding with Hispanic Heritage Month.

Billboard Latin Music Week will also coincide with the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Miami. The Billboard Latin Music Awards will broadcast live on Telemundo, and will also broadcast simultaneously on the Spanish entertainment cable network, Universo, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Telemundo Internacional.

Cattleya Producciones Acquires Rights to Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s Novel “The Italian” with Plans to Adapt as a Miniseries

It appears another of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novels is coming to life…

ITV Studios-owned Spanish drama house Cattleya Producciones has acquired the rights to the 70-year-old Spanish novelist and journalist’s bestselling novel El Italiano and will adapt it as a miniseries.

Arturo Pérez-ReverteInspired by real events, El Italiano is a story of love, spies and the sea set at the height of World War II in the Bay of Algeciras, where Italian combat divers are causing chaos among the Allied forces.

Arturo Díaz, Managing Director and Executive Producer of Cattleya Producciones, and Ricardo Tozzi, founder and President of Cattleya, are leafing the project.

Cattleya Producciones is searching for an international cast to bring El Italiano‘s Spanish, Italian and English characters to life.

Arturo Pérez-Reverte, El ItalianoScreenwriter Beto Marini, co-creator of Movistar+ series La Unidad and feature films such as Retribution and Extinction is adapting the story.

Pérez-Reverte was trained in underwater activities at Spain’s Centro de Buceo de la Armada (Navy Diving Center) in Cartagena in the late 1960s and part of El Italiano comes from a story told to him by his father when he was a child.

“I’m positive that this series from Cattleya, whose productions I have always admired for their quality, will be faithful to the story I wrote,” he said.

Pérez-Reverte’s previous work La Reina del Sur (2002), about a Mexican woman who becomes a leader of a drug trafficking cartel in the south of Spain, was adapted into a Spanish-language telenovela starring Kate del Castillo, and later an English-language series (Queen of the South) starring Alice Braga.

Ana Brenda Contreras Signs with AFA Prime Talent Media

Ana Brenda Contreras has new representation…

The 35-year-old Mexican American actress has signed with AFA Prime Talent Media, a division of Kenan Thompson’s Artist for Artist company, which launched earlier this year.

Ana Brenda ContrerasIn her English language debut, Contreras starred as Crystal Jennings in Season 2 of the CW series Dynasty, a reboot of the 1980s series of the same name.

Up next, Contreras will star in Telemundo’s El Conde: Amor y Honor, an adaptation of the 1844 novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. She portrays Mariana Zambrano in the series—set to premiere in 2023— co-starring Fernando Colunga and Marjorie de Sousa.

She will also appear in the crime thriller Toda La Sangre for Pantaya opposite Aaron Diaz. She plays Edith Mondragon, a lieutenant who teams up with a journalist (Diaz) to uncover the truth behind a series of visceral murders that resemble Aztec sacrifices in modern-day Mexico City.

The series reunites Contreras and Diaz, who previously starred in the 2005 Spanish-language telenovela Barrera De Amor for Televisa. In her acting debut, she recurred as Juanita Sanchez in the Ernesto Alonso production.

Contreras stays in touch with her fans via social media, where she boasts more than 13 million followers across all platforms.

Diego Boneta Signs Overall Deal with Prime Video

Diego Boneta is bringing his amigos to Amazon Prime Video

The 31-year-old Mexican actor, singer and producer and his production company Three Amigos have signed an overall deal with Prime Video.

Diego BonetaAs part of the deal, Boneta will produce and star in a full slate of shows in development while also creating movies, series, and reality shows coming to the streaming service beginning in 2023.

All new productions launched as part of this partnership will join Prime Video’s growing slate of Mexican Amazon Originals, along with the thousands of television shows and movies from Hollywood and around the world in the Prime Video catalog.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Diego Boneta and the entire Three Amigos team,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, in a statement to Deadline. “We can’t wait for our customers to see what’s in store from Diego and Three Amigos as we work to bring compelling new content to Prime Video’s audiences across Mexico and all around the world.”

“As a leading streaming service, Prime Video empowers the incredible creators we work with, and we could not be more excited to begin building new stories with Diego and his team,” said Alonso Aguilar, head of local Amazon Originals, Prime Video Mexico.

Boneta most recently wrapped a successful three-season run on the Telemundo/Netflix bio-series Luis Miguel: The Series, portraying the titular multi-Grammy-winning singer.

He also appeared in Rebelde90210Pretty Little Liars, Underemployed and Scream Queens.

His feature film debut was in 2012’s Rock of Ages from Adam Shankman. Other big-screen credits include The TitanTerminator: Dark FateLove, Weddings, & Other Disasters, and Die in a Gunfight.

Up next, Boneta will star opposite Andy Garcia, Gloria Estefan, Isabela Merced, and Adria Arjona in The Father of the Bride by director Gaz Alazraki. The film premieres on June 16, 2022.

Kate del Castillo Signs with Buchwald

Kate del Castillo has new representation…

The 49-year-old Mexican actress and telenovela star has signed with Buchwald.

Kate del Castillo

del Castillo stars in Telemundo’s hit drama La Reina del Sur.

One of the highest rated Spanish-language series in the world, La Reina del Sur adapts the bestseller by Spanish novelist Arturo Perez-Reverte. In the crime drama, which recently wrapped filming for Season 3, del Castillo plays Teresa Mendonza, a woman from Mexico who becomes the most powerful drug trafficker in southern Spain.

Castillo recently completed a two-series deal with Telemundo. Her production company, Cholawood, has a first-look development deal with Boomdog, the Mexico City-based division of Endemol Shine North America.

The actress starred opposite Will Smith as the villain in Sony’s Bad Boys for Life, also recently featuring on NBC’s sitcom Mr. Mayor, from creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, and the Netflix animated series Maya and the Three, created by Jorge R. Gutiérrez.

She rose to acclaim in America with her performance in Fox Searchlight’s Under the Same Moon, which is one of the highest-grossing Spanish-language theatrical releases in U.S. history, and has also featured in such films as BordertownNo Good Deed and All About Nina.

del Castillo has also appeared in series including PBSGolden Globe and Emmy-nominated drama American Family, The CW’s Jane the Virgin and Showtime’s Weeds, among others. Her one-woman Off-Broadway show, The Way She Spoke, made her the first Latina actress to earn Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel Award nominations.

A philanthropist and outspoken global activist, del Castillo was appointed Ambassador for the Mexican Commission on Human Rights to combat human trafficking in 2009.

Jesse & Joy to Perform at This Year’s Latin American Music Awards

Jesse & Joy are preparing for the Latin AMAs

The Latin American Music Awards have announced the first round of performers for its 2022 edition, with the Mexican sibling duo – comprised of brother Jesse Huerta and sister Joy Huerta – set to take the stage.

Jesse & JoyJesse & Joy are among a roster of performers that includes The Black Eyed Peas, BozaCalibre 50Chiquis, Esteman, Gerardo Ortiz and Gloria Trevi.

The Latin AMAs will be broadcast on Telemundo from Las Vegas starting at 7:00 p.m. ET with the red-carpet pre-show.

Other acts confirmed to grace the stage include Jhay Cortez, Lit KillahLos Ángeles Azules, María BecerraNicki Nicole, Sofia ReyesOzuna and Tiago PZK.

The awards show kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET live from the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

According to a press release, the forthcoming three-hour event will “pay tribute to today’s most influential and iconic Latin artists” in 26 categories, including favorite video and favorite social artist, selected by a committee of industry professionals who consider the quality, content, creativity and fan engagement.

As it was previously announced, Mexican songstress Lupita D’Alessio will be honored with the Legend Award and Regional Mexican chart-topping artist Christian Nodal will receive the Extraordinary Evolution Award. Nodal is also a five-time nominee at this year’s Latin AMAs.

The 10-time-nominated Bad Bunny leads the list of nominees. The Puerto Rican hitmaker is followed by Jhay Cortez with eight nominations, and Karol G, J Balvin and Rauw Alejandro with seven nods each.

This year’s nominees are based on key fan interactions with music, including streaming, sales, airplay and social activity tracked by Billboard through its data partners MRC Data and Next Big Sound for data covering the periods of February 6, 2021, through January 29, 2022. All Latin AMA categories are determined by fan voting.

To vote for your favorite artists, visit LatinAMAs.com.

Lupita D’Alessio to Receive Legend Award at Latin American Music Awards

Lupita D’Alessio is being feted for her legendary career…

The 68-year-old Mexican songstress and actress will receive the Legend Award during the seventh edition of the Latin American Music Awards.

Lupita D’AlessioThe special honor is presented to artists who’ve endured the test of time and “who at the very mention of their name conjures a vivid and vibrant image,” according to a statement.

D’Alessio (born Guadalupe Contreras Ramos) has performed for audiences across the world for five decades with anthemic ballads like “Mudanzas,” “Acariciamo” and “Que Ganas de No Verte Nunca Más.”

Throughout her career, she’s landed five songs on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart including “Ni Guerra Ni Paz” and “El Que Juega Con Fuego,” which peaked at No. 5 in 1988.

D’Alessio will be awarded during the ceremony, set to take place on April 21 and broadcast live from the Michelob ULTRA Arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas beginning at 7:00 pm ET.

D’Alessio began her professional career in 1971 at the Festival Internacional de la Canción Popular and, in 1978, won at the coveted OTI Festival. Overall, she’s recorded 60 live, studio and compilation albums, participated in 11 soap operas, and has sold over 40 million albums.

Currently, she’s on her Aquí Estoy Yo Tour, which launched in Mexico and with which she’ll soon visit the United States, with more than 12 shows confirmed for this year.

The forthcoming three-hour event will “pay tribute to today’s most influential and iconic Latin artists” in 26 categories, including favorite video and favorite social artist, selected by a committee of industry professionals who consider the quality, content, creativity and fan engagement.

This year’s list of nominees is led by 10-time-nominated Bad BunnyEl Conejo Malo is followed by Jhay Cortez with eight nominations, and Karol G, J Balvin and Rauw Alejandro with seven nods each.

The 2022 Latin AMAs will also stream live on Peacock and broadcast simultaneously on Spanish entertainment cable network, Universo and throughout the Americas on Telemundo Internacional.

Jhené Aiko to Perform “America the Beautiful” at Super Bowl LVI

Jhené Aiko is preparing for a beautiful moment…

The 33-year-old part-Spanish and Dominican American Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter will perform “America the Beautiful” before the start of the game at Super Bowl LVI on February 13.

Jhené Aiko

Country star Mickey Guyton will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game, while Sandra Mae Frank, who plays Dr. Wilder on NBC’s New Amsterdamis set to perform both songs in American Sign Language on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf.

Also set to take the pregame stage is veteran gospel duo Mary Mary, who will accompanied by the LA Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles on “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Zedd will serve as the pregame DJ.

NBC will telecast the Big Game from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The NFL championship will pit the hometown Los Angeles Rams against the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.

The game will also air on Telemundo and stream live on Peacock.

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will headline the Super Bowl Halftime Show. The quintet, which never have appeared together onstage, have 43 Grammys and 22 No. 1 albums among them.

Cecilia Suarez to Narrate Telemundo & The Story Lab’s New Podcast “Fort Hood,” Spotlighting the Case of Slain Army Soldier Vanessa Guillén

Cecilia Suarez is helping shine a light on the case of slain Army soldier Vanessa Guillén.

The 49-year-old Mexican actress and prominent activist will narrate Telemundo and The Story Lab’s new podcast Fort Hooda seven-part limited series that launched this week.

Cecilia Suarez,

The podcast, narrated in English and Spanish by  Suarez, takes a probing look at the 20-year-old’s April 2020 murder at the hands of fellow Fort Hood soldier Aaron David Robinson.

All episodes are about 30 minutes in length and are now available.

Guillen’s case drew nationwide attention, with her family, public officials, lawmakers and celebrities demanding #JusticeForVanessaGuillen.Vanessa Guillen

After disappearing from the base, Guillén’s remains were found two months later. Investigators say she was killed by Robinson, who later fatally shot himself as police tried to take him into custody.

Guillén’s family has raised allegations she was sexually harassed before she was killed.

In July, Robinson’s girlfriend Cecily Aguilar was indicted on 11 counts by a federal grand jury as an accessory for allegedly helping Robinson destroy and bury Guillén’s remains.

Fort Hood will also explore the role of the military in the investigation, which has been heavily criticized. It also delves into the case revealing a deeper, more complex story about a renowned U.S. military base with a long record of unreported sexual abuse, and highlights Guillén’s family, which refused to stay quiet as they pushed authorities for answers.

“This is a consequential story that touches on critical issues in our country,” Telemundo Network News president Luis Fernandez said. “It’s a revealing exposé and a necessary investigation. Noticias Telemundo, with The Story Lab, believe this important story deserved a deeper examination and this format allows us to do just that.”

Stephanie Beatriz Launches Fictional True Crime Podcast “Tejana,” Expanding Project for TV

Stephanie Beatriz has found her range(r)

The 40-year-old Colombian-Bolivian Argentine actress has launched the fictional true-crime podcast Tejana in collaboration with Sonoro and Telemundo that will be adapted for television.

Stephanie Beatriz

The 6-episode first season is available now across all podcast formats.

The drama tells the story of Eileen Castillo, a Texas Ranger who is the only Latina on the force and at the center of a web of lies. She is sharp on the field but struggles with navigating office politics. She’s still haunted by the serial killer that stalked her town two decades earlier, so when a copycat killer emerges in Austin, Eileen must deal with the difficult memories she’s tried to suppress her entire life.

“In true crime fashion, Tejana is an incredibly dense and complicated mystery that centers the character of Eileen as she that mystery apart while trying to figure it out,” Beatriz tells Deadline exclusively. “Inside of that overarching story, there are also a bunch of different crimes that she and the other Rangers are trying to solve.”

She adds, “The Rangers have historically been this storied arm of the law. There are all these cultural touchstones like Walker, Texas Ranger, and the Lone Ranger. They’re these rarified, fantastical heroes in our media culture. And this puts a Latina as the lead and as this story’s hero. She’s a hero but she’s also very relatable because she’s flawed. She wants to be the best on the field and she’s a rising star who often has trouble navigating office politics. She has a heart of gold but she often puts her foot in her mouth at work.”

Series costars include Gabriela Torres, Jonah Platt, Marlaina Sims Powell, and Phil Lewis.

Beatriz reveals that the plan is to have her bring Eileen to life in the small screen version which is currently in its gathering stages— they’re assembling their writing and producing team. The executive producers are working with Sonoro to “bring it to streaming” where viewers can “watch this serialized thing take place over time.”

Beatriz said goodbye last month to Brooklyn Nine-Nine after the show concluded after 8 seasons and to her character, Detective Rosa Diaz. As she continues to portray members of law enforcement, Beatriz can’t help but reflect on what she learned from Rosa that she’s taken with her on her new journey with Eileen.

“I think these characters are very similar in that they’re extremely grounded, no-nonsense, and very direct,” the new mom said. “I think Eileen has much more a sense of humor about things; Rosa was often the straight guy character for other people to bounce things off of. Eileen understands that she often makes herself the butt of the joke to sort of lighten the mood. But I think it’s that groundedness that is just playing out in a totally different fashion because this isn’t a comedy, it’s a totally different genre.”

Beyond their plans for TV, Beatriz and her partners will continue to expand Tejana with future seasons of the podcast and are interested in taking the Texas Ranger to the big screen.

“We’re interested in creating audio content that will have a life past podcasts. The stories we’re interested in creating, Sonoro has an end goal for them to franchise it out with people like us as the leads so they continue and grow,” Beatriz said. “The story is so good! There are so many possibilities as to where this can go.”