Puerto Rico

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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The winter league champions which crown a yearly caribbean winner between the countries of Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic was captured by the Puerto Rican club champion Criollos of Caguas.

The clinching win was secured 1-0 over Mexico’s Aquilas de Mexicali. Adalberto Flores was the hero going into the seventh inning without giving up a single hit. But the game was tied and with the Mexican team getting the support of the home fans as Mexico hosted this year at the Tomateros de Culiacan stadium the odds were stacked.

The extra-inning affair was won by Caguas in the 10th with Jonathan Morales sac fly scoring Yadiel Rivera, who had doubled and moved to third on a sac bunt. It was quite a comeback as Caguas started 1-3 in the opening round.

“This is incredible. The biggest moment of my life,” Morales said, “Sixteen years ago, I was a kid with no clue of what I wanted to do for a living, This is unreal.”

Morales was referring to the last time Puerto Rico won the Caribbean Series. It was 2000 when Santurce won the honors. For Caguas, this is their fourth championship and first since 1987.



He came out like an F-16 flying over your backyard. The artist known as Bruno Mars is taking it personal when it is suggested by anyone that he changed his last name because he doesn’t want to be associated with the Puerto Rican aspect of his shared heritage.

Though it is understood that most celebrities revert to stage names to better promote themselves and yes at times to Americanize themselves if their original name is considered too ethnic. For example Martin Sheen over Estevez or Rita Hayworth over Cansino. But Bruno was quick to defend his name change from his original one of Peter Hernandez.

“I never once said I changed my last name to hide the fact that I’m Puerto Rican,” Bruno said, “My dad nicknamed me Bruno since I was two years old. Mars just kind of came joking around because that sounds bigger than life.”

Mars credited his father Pedrito, a musician himself, with teaching Mars the bongos as a youth. He patterned his old-school style after the fashion of that era with the pompadour and patent-leather shoes.

But Mars seems to be more concerned with being categorized in the music business as writing for one group as opposed to the general public who recognizes him as one of the finest artists today. Bruno will come to learn it’s best to let his music do the talking.



“How can a Puerto Rican be seditious towards the U.S. state when we never had any part in electing a U.S. government official?

These words were spoken, in October of last year, by a man who has spent 35 years in prison and 12 in solitary confinement not for the violent act that got him here but for seditious conspiracy.

Oscar Lopez Rivera will be free in four months as President Obama commuted his sentence, the last acts of an outgoing president. Rivera is considered a political prisoner by many over the years who understood his motivations as part of the FALN which conducted bombings and killings, though in 1983 they renounced violence as a means of pursuing independence from the United States yet casualties were incurred opening the door to arrests of members of that organization.

His actions were an extension of the outcry of a Puerto Rico which is a territory of the United States that through the Jones Act of 1917 bestowed citizenship, not to have a vote for president or to even have a voting member in Congress, but to be available to contribute troops to the U.S Armed Forces in all their wars past and present. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) is just happy he will walk again as a free man.

“Oscar is a friend, mentor and family to me and he and his brother Jose have been that for my entire life.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of “Hamilton” cried tears of joy upon hearing the news tweeting.

“Sobbing with gratitude here in London. OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA IS COMING HOME. THANK YOU.”

Though the gesture was welcome, the problem remains. He was never formally charged with a direct role in the bombings. Eight years ago he passed on a pardon from then-president Bill Clinton on behalf of two more prisoners who were not included. Some are unhappy, many are pleased but with Oscar Rivera back among the people, he will remind them what has always been at stake, their own identity.

Monica Puig and Maria Sharapova Share Gift of Giving In Exhibition


They were two tennis players going in opposite directions in 2016. Maria Sharapova, the best paid women’s athlete in this decade but banned from the sport in March for failing a doping test. Monica Puig, the Puerto-Rican woman who fought a slow battle to join the elite but superceding her previous efforts with a gold-medal winning performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the first woman from the island to win such an honor.

Now, recently in a spirit of goodwill which represents the idea of the holidays, Monica played Maria Sharapova in her own tournament last week, the Monica Puig Invitational in San Juan after Sharapova’s sentence was reduced. Sharapova was pleased to be coming to Puerto Rico for the first time to help open the festivities.

“Monica’s Olympic story brought so much joy and pride to the people of Puerto Rico and I am happy to support her dream of playing tennis in her homeland.”

It turned out to be quite a classic with Puig and Sharapova splitting the first two sets until Puig won a tough final set 10-6 in front of 12,000 adoring fans. Sharapova responded to the love she received.

“Maybe when I come back in 10 years and retire, we’ll need a bigger stadium,”

Sharapova was impressed by the event and credited Monica expressing that together they accomplished something lasting through the sport in Puerto Rico. This event was a nice positive for Puerto Ricans who have been dominated by financial troubles throughout this year and Monica is determined to do her part in bringing something new to the table.

“I am very fortunate to be in the position that I am — both in life and as an athlete,” she said. “I want to bring tennis to Puerto Rico, help grow the sport, and have people enjoy and take pleasure out of this great sport and also for the next generation to be able to learn to play tennis, and use it as a tool to be successful in life.”



A tri-lingual teenager who is studying pre-law and hails from Puerto Rico became the 66th Miss World. The crown fits a head whose diversity of interests may have been the key to outlasting 117 other contestants in Oxen Hill, Maryland this past Sunday.

Stephanie Del Valle is only 19. She is a college student attending Pace University in New York City. It makes sense that she is pursuing the communication field because she expressed herself well referring to representing Puerto Rico on the international stage as an “honor and a great responsibility.”

Del Valle is hoping to enter the entertainment field and being fluent in Spanish, English and French should open many doors as it did this evening. Stephanie held off the challenge of Yaritza Miguelina Reyes of the Dominican Republic who was the runner-up and Natasha Mannuela of Indonesia, the second runner-up.

Stephanie is looking to follow in the steps of the great minds of science, literature, art and music that get overlooked looking solely on the tropical beauty of Puerto Rico. She has a sense of self that rode her all the way to the winner’s spot.

“I became who I am, a woman who is visionary, optimistic, determined and resistant. All the traits that describe the people of Puerto Rico.”



El cantante urbano De La Guetto acaba de lanzar al mercado el sencillo “Acercate” parte de su nuevo álbum “Movimiento”, bajo la producción  del sello disquero Warner Music Latin. Luego de más de 10 años trabajando de manera independiente y lanzando y promocionando sus temas mayormente a través de las redes sociales, el joven talento acaba de firmar un contrato exclusivo que promete darle un giro total a su carrera.

“Este contracto significa algo grande, un movimiento estratégico, ahora con el respaldo de una multinacional tan importante como esta, podemos llevar mi música a otro nivel, estar presente en los medios de comunicación y las premiaciones”, nos dice el rapero neoyorkino.

Rafael Castillo, nació en Nueva York, hijo de padre dominicano y madre puertorriqueña. Su pasión por la música nace desde que era muy pequeño y se afianzo al mudarse a Puerto Rico a la edad de 8 años. Comenzó en el arte siendo apenas un adolescente con el nombre de Rafael De La Guetto

 “De La Guetto, del barrio, del caserío, de los proyectos, de ahí nace mi música. Yo siempre trato de influir a los jóvenes con mis liricas y con lo que hago para que sepan que ser del barrio, no significa necesariamente estar en pandillas o en drogas, tu puedes ser exitoso, artista, profesional, un doctor, lo que tú quieras” le recuerda el cantante a los jóvenes

Su nuevo sencillo “Acércate” fue producido 100% en Colombia por la misma compañía que produce los temas de JBalvin.

“Acércate, es un tema bien melódico, con un toque colombiano, caribeño pero bien bailable, bien sensual. Estaremos grabando el video en Colombia próximamente, será un concepto bien diferente, algo así como ciencia ficción”, revela De La Guetto.


Al preguntarle si existe una rivalidad entre los boricuas con el reggaetón que se hace en Colombia, nos dice

“yo no creo en eso de rivalidad, siempre hay 2 o 3 estúpidos ignorantes que quieren causar conflictos. El reggaetón es pa’ to el mundo, no solo pa’ nosotros, mi sonido y estilo en lo que hago es único. Me siento bendecido por tener lo mejor de varios mundos: dominicano-puertorriqueño nacido en Nueva York,  esta es una mezcla especial que es parte de mí y de mi estilo”.

Sus inicios se remontan al 2004, cuando formo un dúo musical con el cantante Arcángel, luego grabo temas con Daddy Yankee, Nicky Jam y otros artistas del género, hasta que prácticamente su música se vio bloqueada por unirse a un sello disquero que no le permitia lanzar álbumes o participar en eventos grandes, .

 “me tenían bloqueado, pero todo pasar por una razón y yo creo que eso tenía que pasar en mi vida para yo ponerme fuerte mentalmente, espiritualmente, como ser humano y como artista. Ahora tengo más experiencia en el negocio y voy hacia el éxito”, nos dice lleno de entusiasmo.

Y es por esa madurez y experiencia que las cosas están sonriendo a su favor, además de estrenar un sello disquero, acaba de lanzar al mercado un reggaetón romántico junto a la cantante Thalía, un nuevo tema con el cantante urbano Secreto y está a punto de convertirse en padre por segunda vez.

De La Guetto también trabaja en la producción de un disco completamente en inglés, y se mantiene enfocando y con la certeza de que los frutos de estos más de 10 años de trabajo y sacrificio ya están a la vuelta de la esquina. Este es el tiempo de De la Guetto y lo mejor está por venir



*Originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of Latin Trends



If the Chicago Cubs finally throw off the albatross as the MLB baseball franchise with the longest championship drought they can point to a Puerto Rican infielder who exceeded himself and placed his stamp on the 2016 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants.

The Cubs armed themselves to make history. They lost Starlin Castro but retained the core of their offensive unit and acquired one of the elite closers, Aroldis Chapman, in a late trade with the New York Yankees. They posted a powerful 103-58 record and a NL Central title.

But it took their new second baseman Baez, 23, to help get the over the hump. In 16 at-bats he tallied 6 hits, the first big one a game-winning home run off Johnny Cueto in the eighth inning of a scoreless first game.

If you as Javier, it’s the memory of his deceased sister, whose face is tatted to his arm, who he pointed his fingers to the sky, that inspired the moment.

“She’s the one who gives me strength,”

Javier explained,

“I can feel it.”

And Baez made sure that the Giants would feel it, over and over again. He showed another aspect of his game when he motored from second on a bloop single to short right field from pitcher Kyle Hendricks in game 2 spread-eagle sliding around tag attempt.

In the third game he stopped Denard Span from a hit that rolled threateningly in the infield with a dive and spin. A light moment followed him in the dugout dropping his gum but making a save, eliciting a sly smile.

Baez made sure to put the trimmings on his window of display when it looked like the Giants would be forcing a deciding fifth and final game. Trailing 5-2 in the top of the ninth, Chicago rallied to tie and with Heyward at second and Baez coming up to the plate you had to know how this script was going to read. Javier singled up the middle for what would hold up as his second GWRBI and but the Cubs into the NLCS and peak to the sky.



En medio de prensa, luces, cámaras y decenas de seguidores el famoso exponente de Bachata Pop TOBY LOVE presento formalmente al publico de Nueva York su nuevo sencillo titulado ”Entra en mi Vida”.

Tobby Love es famoso por sus fusiones y mezclas de la tradicional bachata dominicana con ritmos urbanos como el R&B y Hip Hop. Una fusión que el artista a denominado “Crunkchata” – música romántica , corta venas con influencia de soul y jazz norteamericano.

El artista de origen puertorriqueño promociona el quinto sencillo de este álbum.“Entra en mi Vida” es un tema originalmente grabado por el grupo mexicano SIN BANDERA llega con nuevos arreglos vestido de bachata y trópico e interpretado por Toby junto al cantante Karlos Rose.


Los inicios del este popular cantante se remontan al año 2000 cuando comenzó como vocalista del popular grupo AVENTURA , donde permaneció hasta comenzar su Carrera como solista en el 2006 y lograr posicionarse como uno de los artistas mas exitosos del genero.

Tobby Love ya ha obtenido dos codiciados premios Billboards y varias nominaciones a importantes premios internacionales.

“Entra En MI Vida”es uno de los temas incluidos en el popular álbum BACHATA NATION” lanzado conjuntamente con Elegante Records y que ya ha ocupado los primeros lugares de popularidad.

Sin lugar a dudas, TOBY LOVE con su estilo romántico y su voz melodiosa se perfila indiscutiblemente como el nuevo rostro internacional de la bachata

La India Is still the Princess of Salsa


Originally published in the May 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS magazine

By Deyanira Martínez

When she was still a teenager, Linda Viera-Caballero took her first steps in the music industry with the Latino freestyle group TKA. That shy Puerto Rican girl eventually turned into La India, one of the most popular and successful women in the history of salsa music.

She arrived in The Bronx, New York, when she was just a few months old, and family problems forced her to stand on her own two feet from early on. However, loneliness and inexperience did not prevent her strong, impressive voice from being discovered by one of salsa’s greatest, pianist Eddie Palmieri. Their pairing kicked off the success story of “The Princess of Salsa,” a nickname Celia Cruz, her music godmother, gave her.

Thirty years have passed since then, and La India just returned from recording with one of the greatest singers of all time, Juan Gabriel.

La India is back and full of energy to present an album written especially for her by the Mexican crooner. She is also planning a large-scale concert in her native Puerto Rico, and her theme song for Colombian hit telenovela “Sin tetassi hay paraiso” is currently being played on the radio throughout Latin America.

A beautiful Caribbean woman of indigenous features, strong, decisive and radiating tropical flavor, La India spoke passionately about her life, her career and her plans.



“I find it amazing that I’m still here. I was the first one to cross over from Latin freestyle dance music to tropical music.”



“She baptized me along with her husband, and made me her godchild. Celia was like a mother to me. I was estranged from my own family. I was kicked out of my home when I was very young, and suffered a lot.

Celia was an important figure in my life. She never had children, so she saw me as her daughter. We had a very spiritual connection. She was a beautiful human being, and she gave me the advice and support I didn’t have from my mother at that time.”



“Music is sacred to me. It’s a way to vent, to feel the emotions many people have inside but are afraid to feel. I have a wonderful following who love me. It’s not just about making it, but about staying there, and I am here to stay. I love what I do. After Celia, I have been the only woman who has sold albums, who has had her own orchestra.”



“I am very proud of this album. Working with him was incredible. We have very similar chemistry; we’re both intense. His songs have been popular for decades, and he was the one who chose the songs for me for this album.

Juan Gabriel is such an incredibly intelligent, brilliant person… it was so cool of him to give me this opportunity.”



“It is important to preserve salsa now that we have this new urban music boom. In the 80s, Dominican meringue arrived in New York and salsa declined a lot but, for some reason, it returned. In the 90s, we had romantic salsa, and the rhythm was reinvented by people like Eddie Santiago and Frankie Ruiz, and revived. Later, the new generation came: La India, my hit Vivir lo nuestro” with ‘El Flaco’ (Marc Anthony), a song that took both our careers to the next level.”



“Financially, I am not at a man’s level in music, but I am still here, giving love to my audience. Unfortunately, men have more opportunities and make more money. Even Celia earned less than men, and she told me that this was the down side of the business. Still, she always pushed me to keep going.

Singers such as Celia and La Lupe are no win the world of truth, with God in heaven, but they have left their legacy behind. I am alive, and I will not stop until women are supported the way we deserve.”


“I am a Republican, but I am going to vote for Hillary Clinton because I am a feminist, because she is a woman and because she deserves it. Clinton can represent the United States honorably.

As a Republican, I am very disappointed in the Party, and I will support a woman to become president. On Election Day, I will fly in from Puerto Rico to vote for and support Hillary Clinton in New York.”



“At the moment, I am single. Not because I want to, but because I feel that, ever since I became famous, many men approach me because I am La India, not because I am Linda Viera-Caballero. I decided not to fall in love again and to focus on my work, reach goals and get where I deserve to be.

All my love and passion are dedicated to my work and my career right now. My arms are open, and I have faith that, one day, my moment will come and a gentleman will show up who understands my work and is not intimidated by my successor by me making more money than him.”



“I will not stop until awards recognize my trajectory and what I am doing with this album, and I will not accept excuses that salsa is not the way it used to be. We have released two number-one hits, and we’ll continue working because the world needs to know that SALSA IS ALIVE.”


MIAMI, FL - APRIL 28:  Alexis y Fido perform onstage at the Billboard Latin Music Awards at Bank United Center on April 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – APRIL 28: Alexis y Fido perform onstage at the Billboard Latin Music Awards at Bank United Center on April 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images)

Alexis and Fido
, Latin-Urban artists, fresh off a successful deal with ESPN, which featured their song called “Si No Tiene El Swing,” which will be seen on various ESPN MLB production spots throughout 2016 were in the spotlight again as they were quite outspoken about the misperceptions of Puerto Rico and the Zika virus.

They expressed their opinions on politicians and sports stars who have shared opinions on the Zika situation.

“They have to be careful with their comments because it influences the people and also can effect Puerto Rico,”

Alexis pointed out.

This is also in response to the negative connotations raised by many that Puerto Rico has a crisis and the Zika virus is out of control on the island. MLB recently cancelled two games planned to take place in the island and moved them to Miami, Florida in response to the fears that athletes will contract the virus and spread it to the rest of the United States.

“Comments like that that say they get sick here has no basis or foundation because no one in the world is exempt from it biting them,”

Alexis replied.

Alexis was quick to share the fact that Miami is no different in this regard and that Puerto Rico is being singled out.

“In Miami, there are a lot of cases reported of the virus as well,”

Alexis shared,

“What bothers me most is that people do not know what has happened, or the reasons,”

Alexis explained.

Well, the Reggaeton duo, known as the Pitbulls, surely came out as such in defense of their home nation. The damage that words can do when spoken without accurate information does more damage than the virus itself. Puerto Rico is a case in point.


José Feliciano

José Feliciano

It was 1970 and a blind musician who had already made waves by singing an alternate version of the Star-Spangled Banner would record a song that would stand the test of time and continue to be one of the most recognized Christmas songs ever. And it was not an English song.

Feliz Navidad” was covered by many artists, but Jose Feliciano, from Lares, Puerto Rico, blinded by congenital glaucoma and originally an accordion player until his father presented him with his first guitar in a paper bag, was destined for greater things.

He made The Doors “Light My Fire” his own leading to two Grammy Awards in 1969. But a year before, in Tiger Stadium, during the Vietnam War protests, he sang the National Anthem in a slow, Latin jazz style which caused great controversy.

The irony is that Jose released his Christmas album two years later. The album of the same name, called “Feliz Navidad.” What makes it special is that this spanish version of “Merry Christmas” is one of the most played and downloaded songs of the holidays. ASCAP recognizes the song as one of the 25 most-played Christmas songs worldwide.

“I never would have thought that I would have created a monster with this song.”

Jose admitted.

Not bad for a blind singer who did it his own way.

“Every year it becomes bigger and bigger,”

Feliciano mentioned before a BB Kings performance earlier this month,

“Usually songs fade away after a while.”

But for Feliciano, it has defined his career at a time where good will is the most highlighted at any time. He is touched by its effect and continues to surprise with each passing year.

“If it brings joy to your heart, the song has done what it is supposed to do.”

Feliciano explained. In a year where race became the issue of the year, Jose reminds us that a bi-lingual heritage brings America closer to that which it proclaims itself to be, a unified multi-cultural nation.

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