Celebrities

What You Didn’t Know about Calle 13

Calle 13 is a Puerto Rican alternative urban band consisting of stepbrothers René Pérez Joglar (lead singer, songwriter), Eduardo José Cabra Martínez (multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, beat producer) and their half-sister Ileana Cabra Joglar (backing vocals). Their stage names are Residente, Visitante and PG-13.

Calle 13 likes to blend different musical styles like reggaeton, rap and rock. While other Latino groups tend to stick to the format, Calle 13 likes to buck tradition. The group is known for using a wide range of instruments from all over the world and using provocative, tongue-in-cheek as well as socially conscientious lyrics.

Everything sounds the same on the radio…but what we are making is sincere, and I think that’s worth something.”

The band also takes on social issues facing Puerto Ricans, Latinos and people all over the world. As the frontman of the band, Residente has no problem vocalizing the group’s stance on certain topics concerning music, politics and discrimination.

The siblings are big supporters for and independent Puerto Rico, Pérez is an ally of the LGBTQ community, and the brothers go out of their way not to make music about violence, misogyny and materialism.

I want Puerto Rico to be free and independent and have just one flag. The people here don’t work the way they should, and it’s because of the comfort they are feeling from you guys, from the States. We have a very low self-esteem. We feel that we can’t do it on our own. We as a country need to feel proud about our nation.”

I want  the world to know the name Oscar López Rivera.

Fun Facts

  • The group got their name from the street they use to live on when their parents were married
  • Residente is afraid of airplanes
  • If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be with his grandmother, his great-grandmother, Roberto Clemente, and John Lennon. –Rene aka Residente
  • Visitante use to lead a ska-reggae band called Bayanga
  • Their tour band consists of 20-25 members
  • Residente would one day love to be a film director or writer
  • During sex he listens to… “No music for sex,” he said, laughing. “Naturahttps://www.latintrends.com/e-newsletter/l sounds.” -Rene aka Residente

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What You Didn’t Know about Andy Garcia


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Born into affluence in Havana, Andrés Arturo García Menéndez, better known as Andy Garcia, became an exile at 5½-years-old when his family was forced to flee Cuba without any possessions because of the communist regime of Fidel Castro.

“We left everything—everything was taken away from us. Whatever you had was gone. A million exiles left Cuba in the first two years after 1961,” said Garcia.

Once in Miami his mother and father, a former English teacher and lawyer respectively, along with him and his siblings had to take on menial jobs to survive. Later, on a street corner, the family had a fragrance start-up, which is now called Artistic Brands, a successful company that is still run by his brother Rene Garcia in partnership with Jay-Z.

In high school, Garcia played basketball but later had a bout with mononucleosis that hampered his athletic performance. This led him to explore acting and him further studying it at Florida International University. After graduating from college he was off on his own to Hollywood, where he waited tables in the day and performed with an improvisational group at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. It was at the Comedy Store that Garcia caught the attention of a casting agent and was cast in the pilot for “Hill Street Blues.”

But, before his career took off, Garcia still had to face challenges that affect many Latinos in the acting community even until this day. Agents tried to persuade him to drop his last name and some casting directors tried to place him in stereotypical roles because of it.  Despite the pressure he felt to change his name as a young actor, Garcia decided to stay true to himself, keep his name and choose roles that showcased his talent to prove that he is more than just his background.

“Just look at that person as an actor, don’t look at him as an actor of Mexican descent or an Asian or whatever, just look at him for what he can bring to the story and how he can enhance your film by his participation and his talents as an actor or actress,” said Garcia.

Currently, Garcia has three films in post-production for 2015 and 2016 (Geostorm, Max Steel, Headlock), one that was recently announced (Hemingway and Fuentes) and one film that will be released next year (What About Love).

Fun Facts

  • Was born as a conjoined twin
  • He has said that Mickey Rourke was his high school baseball coach
  • He has worked with three actors that played Batman (Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney)
  • Although his father, Renu Garcia, was well off as a lawyer, he kept the family tradition of running an avocado farm alive before his family had to flee Cuba
  • He is a hat collector

By Naeisha Rose

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Remembering The Great Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta at his fashion show at Neiman Marcus- Chevy C

Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died on Monday at age 82, according to multiple reports.

The Dominican Republic born fashion designer made the most exquisite dresses for first ladies, movie stars and high profile brides. George Clooney’s wife, Amal Alamuddin, was de la Renta’s most recent bride to dress.

Oscar de la Renta has been battling cancer since 2006, but the cause of his death has not been revealed.

De la Renta has dressed first ladies since Jaqueline Kennedy wore his designs during the 60s, which propelled him to start his own brand in 1965. He continued to design beautiful gowns for Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush and Hilary Clinton. Earlier this year an exhibit showcased Oscar de la Renta’s “Five Decades of Style” demonstrating “the First Lady as our country’s official hostess to world leaders and diplomats and as a trendsetter in style [and] fashion,” stated the museum, the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Texas.

Red carpet events that were adorned by movie stars that wore Oscar de la Renta designs will still experience the New York based brand with Peter Copping as the new creative director, who was just appointed last week.

What You Didn’t Know about Carlos Santana

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Carlos Santana is a music legend. Born in Mexico, he became involved in music at a very young age. Growing up the son of a mariachi musician he learned to play the violin and the guitar. As a youth he was inspired by rock pioneer Ritchie Valens, who made rock’n’roll music with Spanish songs.

By the time Santana was in his teens his family moved to San Francisco. After deciding that school was not for him, he made a living during the hippie movement of the 1960s by busking and washing dishes. It was during this time he was exposed to other styles of music like folk and jazz. After seeing his musical idol B.B. King play live, Santana decided to no longer work for little to nothing and dedicate himself into becoming a musician.

His chance in the spotlight was serendipitous. When blues singer and harmonica player Paul Butterfield was too drunk to perform at the famous rock venue Fillmore West, which he often went to watch shows, Santana’s manager was able to convince concert promoter Bill Graham that the guitarist should play. Suddenly, Santana was part of an impromptu group making music and no longer just a witness to great music.

Shortly afterwards, Santana created a group with fellow street musicians,  David Brown, Marcus Malone and Gregg Rolie. Starting off as the “Santana Blues Band” and then just “Santana,” the group was able to get a record deal riding off of the guitarist’s momentous debut at Fillmore West, a memorable performance at Woodstock and the new sound they were able to bring together from their different backgrounds.

In 1969 the world got to listen to the “Santana” album. It was a blend of African rhythms, blues, jazz, salsa and Latin-infused rock. The group produced the hit song “Evil Ways” and went on to have a triple-platinum album.

As the band released more albums throughout the drug-addled 1970s, the lineup changed and Santana was eventually the only original member of the group, as well as its star. However, he quickly became disenchanted with the rock’n’roll lifestyle and decided to seek spirituality within himself and his music.

While he remained with his band in the 80s, he also made his own music. In 1986 he released his first solo album, “Blues for Salvador,” which was a critical success and garnered him his first Grammy award for Best Instrumental Performance.

Santana would later tour extensively, and in the 1990s he had his own label, “Guts and Grace.” One of the first albums on the label was with his younger brother Jorge and nephew Carlos Hernandez, titled “Brothers.” This helped him achieve his second Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Performance.

While Santana continued to achieve critical praise mostly on his own, he never forgot how he started, with his band. He went back to basics by re-signing the band with its first producer, Clive Davis and in no time his 35th album, “Supernatural” put him and his group at the top of the music charts once again. The album sold over 10 million copies worldwide, earned the group nine Grammy nominations and they won eight, the ninth award went to the songwriter of the band’s hit song “Smooth.”

In the 2000s, Santana was a Lifetime Achievement recipient from the Billboard Latin Music Awards. In 2013 he was a Kennedy Center Honoree and in 2014 he released his first ever Spanish-language album, “Corazon.” On his 68th birthday, July 20th, 2015, Santana was announced to have won an American Book Award for his 2014 memoir, “Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light.”

Today he is performing in the United Kingdom and he will be bringing his tour back to the United States on August 14.

Fun Facts

  • The band “Santana” is the first group to name itself after a guitar player
  • Santana proposed to his second wife Cindy Blackman during a concert in Illinois
  • For the “Supernatural” album, Santana tied Michael Jackson for the most amount of wins in a single night
  • You can play as Santana on the video game “Guitar Hero 5
  • His grandfather and great-grandfather were musicians too

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Alpo Martinez: Where is the Infamous Harlem Drug Kingpin?

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Alberto “Alpo” Martinez is a name that most will not know, however if you happen to be a New York City resident or are a history enthusiast with a preference on the War on Drugs plight within the United States of America then you may have heard of his name as the legend, the myth, as one of the Drug Kingpins of Harlem.

However, like all popular Drug Kingpins–like El Chapo–who earn themselves a recognizable legacy the empire they’ve built tends to fall as does the legend who sits upon it.

But whatever became of Alpo?

For the last 25 years, Alpo has been believed to have been a resident of ADX Florence which is a federal supermax prison located in Fremont County, Colorado serving a 35-year sentence for 14 counts of homicide. However, according to those who are connected to Alpo that is no longer the case.

It is rumored that for the past few years Alpo has been out of prison, but the last place you may ever see him is back in New York City.

Back in the mid-1980s, during the early days of when the USA began its quest to combat drug-trafficking into the country in what has become known as the War on Drugs13-year-old Puerto Rican boy named Alberto Martinez—Alpo to those on the streets—rose in prominence within Harlem as a Drug Kingpin.

With a drug trade that consisted of transporting hundreds of kilos of crack-cocaine through various parts of New York City, other Northeast cities, and most noticeably Washington D.C.—where he lived during the last few days of his drug empire—Alpo became somewhat a street legend due to his dangerous lifestyle. Alpo’s life was eventually adapted into a 2002 movie entitled Paid in Full that starred rapper Cam’ron as Alpo.

 

 

He brought attention to himself. He was charismatic and outgoing. He had a party always going on around him and people gravitated to him,” remembers Kevin Chiles, a former Harlem drug dealer who knew Alpo, in a recent interview with Vice magazine back in 2015 where he disclosed that Alpo is no longer in prison.

While he was a legend for flashing his millionaire wealth with expensive cars, clothes, and jewelry, Alpo was also widely known for committing several murders during his drug kingpin reign.

In the 1990s, Alpo was involved in several murders that made him notorious. However, there was one murder that would begin the dismantling of both his drug empire and his legacy.

On January 3, 1990, Alpo and an accomplice murdered Rich Porter who was Alpo’s one time friend and actually sold drugs with when teenagers. It was Alpo murdering Porter that led those who once revered him to turn their backs on him.

Rich’s death had a huge impact on Harlem. The timing couldn’t have been worse,” said Chiles, “Richard was in the middle of negotiating the release of his 12-year-old brother, Donnell, who had been kidnapped and was being held for $500,000 ransom. Rich was killed, and then a few days later the body of his little brother was found in the same vicinity.”

While the death of Porter dented Alpo’s reputation, the silver bullet that would destroy his legacy would come after Alpo choose to testify against his former enforcer. Before an open court, Alpo turned on his former Washington D.C. enforcer in order to avoid serving a life sentence for the murders he had been arrested for committing.

After breaking the street law of snitching, Alpo was to serve as reduce sentence of 35 years for 14 counts of murder. However back in September of 2015, according to Don Diva magazine—a magazine developed by Chiles in prison that is devoted to the drug underworld and New York City street life—Alpo has been out of prison for the last few years.

Despite being rumored to being out of prison, the chances of Alpo returning to New York City is very slim.

I am most certain that Alpo won’t come back to New York. He knows he has a bullseye on him. That situation with Rich left Harlem scarred and people have strong feelings about it,” said Chiles, talking about the possibility of Alpo returning to NYC. “I could see a younger dude, on the come-up, try to make a name for themselves by taking Alpo out. They would be instantly infamous. I’m sure these are things he should be considering.”

So, where is Alpo Martinez? That is a question that may not be answered.

U.S. Secretly Infiltrated Cuba’s Hip Hop Scene To Trigger Youth Rebellion

Los Aldeanos in their video "No Le Tengo Miedo".

Los Aldeanos in their video “No Le Tengo Miedo”.

It is known that Hip-hop started in the park and not in a U.S. agency’s spy program. Yet, the U.S. Agency for International Development tried to trigger a youth rebellion with anti-government music, reports the Associated Press.

According to an investigation by the AP, the USAID contracted a Serbian music promoter to infiltrate Cuba’s underground hip-hop scene. The promoter, who convinced rappers to hire him, pushed the anti-Castro agenda to groups like rap duo, Los Aldeanos. But the rap group, in 2009, weren’t aware of music promoter Rajko Bozic’s true intentions, which was to “spread democracy” by creating a hostile youth movement in Cuba.

Documents show the U.S. agency continuously put “innocent Cubans and its own operatives in jeopardy despite warning signs.” The report continues to say that Cuban authorities “detained or interrogated musicians” and confiscated computers and thumb drives that linked them to the USAID.

USAID wrote a response to the story stating, “Any assertions that our work is secret or covert are simply false.”

Fortunately, the U.S. secret program didn’t hurt the Cuban underground hip-hop movement that showcases talents like Danay Suarez, who I interviewed and profiled in LatinTrends magazine.

This is not the first time the agency is caught trying to use people to create an anti-Cuban government movement. The AP has reported on how the USAID tried several times to use prominent Cuban musicians and members of the Castro family to create a “revolution”.

Currently, Los Aldeanos, a two-brother rap group, live in Florida. Their music is less political than before, especially in their new single “No Le Tengo Miedo” (I’m not afraid). The song focuses more on conviction as it hit YouTube late August and has over 1.2 million views.

Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. Cinco De Mayo War

The first weekend in May has often been called the busiest in all of sports with the Kentucky Derby, the NBA playoffs and early-season MLB series heating up. It’s also typically the weekend of the biggest boxing match of the year, coinciding with the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo.

This 5 de Mayo superstars Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will square off at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (HBO PPV, 9 p.m. ET).

Taking a glance at their respective fighting styles reveals that this 164.5-pound catch weight bout has all the makings of an action-packed battle, in addition to the bad blood between these two warriors that includes years of trash talk, this fight has a shot at living up to its billing as the biggest fight in Mexican boxing history.

Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) is 6-0 since his lone loss, a decision defeat to Floyd Mayweather in 2013,he has headlined five pay-per-views during that span, winning all to become the sport’s biggest draw.

Chavez (50-2-1, 32 KOs), meanwhile, is looking to redeem himself after 5 years spent damaging his career through drug suspensions, missed weight, laziness and an overall lack of professionalism.

Oscar De La Hoya Hires Anti-Piracy Company to Prevent Free viewing of Fight on Facebook Live

Boxing promoters believe that the recent lower pay-per-view sales are because of piracy by live-video platforms such as Facebook Live and Periscope.

Golden Boy Promotions is seeking to aggressively address the issue before Saturday night’s Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night, along with HBO, who’s hired an anti-piracy company, we’ve invested additional money and hired a different company that concentrates solely on Facebook and Periscope,” Golden Boy President Eric Gomez said.

After the negative reaction to the disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight two years ago, which drew 4.6 million pay-per-view buys at record prices, no boxing pay-per-view has exceeded one million buys.

Canelo’s  2015 bout with Miguel Cotto had 900,000 buys and his September victory over Liam Smith for a junior-middleweight belt had less than 300,000 buys, according to an HBO executive.

Finding pay-per-view action on the live video outlets has been an easy, increasing the interest in avoiding costs like Saturday’s $59.95 pay-per-view cost.

“The anti-piracy companies have already sent Facebook and Periscope letters to let them know. … We’ve given them time to be on it and I believe we’ll be more successful,” Gomez said. “You can’t stop everything, but we feel comfortable we’ll stop most of them.”

Facebook announced the hiring of additional personnel to limit live videos of violent acts. The scrutiny is also necessary to limit piracy said a boxing analyst

The five-time Grammy winner Luis Miguel Turns Himself in After Judge Orders His Arrest

Authorities say Mexican singer and five-time Grammy winner Luis Miguel turned himself in on Tuesday in Los Angeles on Tuesday in a case involving a legal dispute in which he has been ordered to pay more than $1 million to his former manager.

Deputy US Marshal Matthew Cordova says the singer, whose full name is Luis Miguel Gallego Basteri, is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Los Angeles who has held him in contempt for failing to appear at court hearings.

Miguel was ordered to pay his former manager, William Brockhaus, more than $1 million in July 2016 by a federal judge in New York. Brockhaus’ attorneys sought to enforce the judgment in Los Angeles, where Miguel owns a home. At the beginning of 2017, a judge ordered the singer to turn over a 2013 Rolls Royce to help satisfy the judgment.

Brockhaus sued Miguel in Texas in 2014, claiming the singer failed to pay him based on a 2012 management contract they signed.

Court records state the singer refused to accept court summons and did not appear for court hearings.

What You Didn’t Know about Christina Aguilera

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Christina Aguilera isn’t your average singer, she is a strong woman that has overcome almost anything that has stepped in her path. After her drastic weight loss, she has managed to stay humble and not lose herself after the dramatic transformation. She is a role model for all women looking to improve themselves. She is a woman of family values that rather spend quality time with her son than go work out. Aguilera is a confident woman who embraces her sexuality, body, and everything about herself which truly defines her. Shes wants women to love their bodies and ultimately find happiness just like she has.

“I think that whatever size or shape body you have, it’s important to embrace it and get down! The female body is something that’s so beautiful. I wish women would be proud of their bodies and not diss other women for being proud of theirs.”

“I don’t weigh myself — it’s all about how I feel in my clothes. What looks good on one person might not look good on another body type. I happen to be very confident in my own skin. It takes time to get to that place, but it’s all about embracing yourself and your body.”

Way before her singing career really started Aguilera had a hard time at home as child. Her mother was a victim of domestic abuse during Christina’s upbringing and it didn’t sit well with with Christina. She also was a target of abuse,

“I decided to step in between and said: “Don’t hurt my mommy.” He then threw me across the room because I had stood up for my mom,” Aguilera said.

As she got older her father got more and more physical and eventually her mother decided it was time to leave. Aguilera believes that surviving an abusive childhood is a mark of honor. She showed how strong she was throughout her toughest times and persevered to overcome her biggest obstacles in life thus far. Even with the abuse in her home, she never let it get in the way of pursuing her dream of becoming a singer.

Christina suffered from depression, but like everything else in her life she overcame it and became a healthier person knowing that she was not alone in her childhood abuse experience.

“I’m not the only person that’s been through growing up in a place of chaos or sadness or yelling and fighting and seeing horrific things at a young age,” she said. “I do battle with depression. It’s something that is always right below the surface. And it’s almost seductive to go to a place of sadness and darkness. It can be overload to feel all of your pain from the time you were six, on.”

Above all, Christina Aguilera is truly thankful for the darkest times in her life and realizes she is the person she is today because of having triumphed over her experiences. A powerful woman like her is truly an inspirational role model to us all and has shown us that we can persevere in spite of lifes challenges.

 

>Fun Facts< 

In September 2007 it was revealed that Christina had been blacklisted by famed celebrity photographer David LaChappelle, after he declared her too difficult to work with

She’s happily married to music executive Jordan Brateman, about whom she once said: “Jordan is a balanced, strong and solid man. He is my pride, my backbone. He is my best friend. All my lyrics are inspired by Jordie. I didn’t want to write sugar sweet love songs, but it’s important to me that people know what a positive influence they got on me ”

She’s a proud mother. On January 12, 2008 Christina gave birth to son Max Liron at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles. He weighed 6 lbs., 2 oz. and 20.5 inches. “It is the best thing you will ever do in your life. It just lights up my whole world when Max laughs” she gushed. “Being a mother just gives you a whole new sense of purpose, and it’s just the most amazing thing. I was in awe of the entire experience of pregnancy – the entire journey was just incredible”

Christina sought comfort in soul music to help her cope with the pain of living in an abusive household while she was growing up

Christina Aguilera wears bright blue contact lenses, even though her eyes are already naturally blue

She has a duet with Ricky Martin called, Nobody Wants to be Lonely

Her favorite sports are baseball and volleyball

Christina Aguilera is of Irish and Ecuadorian roots