Bruno Mars Resurrects 90s R&B and Soul on SNL

Photo by AsiaStarz

Photo by AsiaStarz

Puerto Rican American superstar, Peter Gene Hernandez, also known as Bruno Mars made a big comeback the past two weeks with the release of two new songs, a music video and an amazing performance on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL).

On Friday, Oct. 6, Bruno kicked things off to high gear with the release of his new track “24 K Magic” and its accompanying music video.  The funky throwback record is his first song in almost four years and the complementary video is a smorgasbord of everything 90s.

Versace blouses, door knocker earrings, track suits and gold chains were on full display along with Bruno’s killer dance moves.

Oct. 15 marked his fourth appearance on SNL, and when he came, he came to slay with excellent vocals, more impeccable dancing and the debut of his second track “Chunky.” Watch both SNL performances below.

Bruno Mars’ new album 24 K Magic will hit stores on Nov. 18 and the tour for his third album will start Dec. 27, 2016.

 

Gina Rodriguez Needs to Rap on Jane the Virgin

Earlier this week, the fierce Gina Rodriguez, star of Jane the Virgin presented the world to “Cutz,” her rap alter ego on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The host sneakily dug into the NYU alum’s past and asked her about her rap days. While at first stunned by Fallon’s reveal of her MCing ways, to a national audience on live television no less, Rodriguez admitted to not only rapping on campus but to writing lyrics and being a part of a duo with her friend who went by Lady Fury.

Despite Lady Fury & Cutz’s enthusiasm for making original music, the duo stuck to the tried and true musical classics at college parties.

We would write foolishly, then when we got invited to college parties and they would be like oh, rap! And we would be like right of the dome, phew!!! Not off the dome… but we were dropping those rhymes all over NYU.

Then Fallon popped his hand up with a hidden mic surprising Rodriguez in hopes that she will spit a few bars. Although she looked like a deer in the headlights at first, she was game and with an assist from The Roots she went in on Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass,” even though Fallon was hoping for a possible freestyle or Lady Fury & Cutz piece.

Watch below.

Are you hoping for a Jane the Virgin rap episode after watching Rodriguez drop some bars on the Tonight Show? I sure am.

Jane the Virgin third season premieres on Monday, Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. E.T. on the CW.

 

‘Saturday Night Live’ Finally Adds Latina Cast Member

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Image: cosmopolitan.com

With some recent changes in the famed NBC show, Saturday Night Live, has a few new cast members, one of which is a very “impressionable” Latina named Melissa Villaseñor. Villaseñor, who has quite the online footprint with her own stand-up material and videos featuring impressions of some of her favorite characters & actors, originally auditioned back in 2009. She also made it to the top 16 in America’s Got Talent in 2011 for such impressions. She has over 50,000 subscribers on YouTube and will over 5 million views. Some of her impressions include Mickey Mouse, J-Lo, and Owen Wilson.

Though there two other Hispanic cast members, this is a step-up for Latina comedian, as this opens doors for more diversity in SNL’s 41-year history. According to TIME, the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts had sent a letter in 2013 to the show’s creator, Lorne Michaels, scolding him for not having a more diverse cast.

After mastering her celeb impression game for over a decade, this L.A.-based comedian’s talent, hard work, and a little help with supporters in high places, she finally landed a spot. Check out one of her videos below as well as her premiere episode of Saturday Night Live, airing Oct 1st at 11:30pm on NBC4.

This Year Women Ruled the VMA’s, but the Guys were Good Too

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By having over 200 million records sold, eight studio albums to her name and 14 number one singles in just a little over a decade Rihanna became this year’s recipient of the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award at the Video Music Awards.

While she may not have beat out Michael Jackson in records sales (around 600 million), she did beat him out this year in the amount of number one hits she has (his is 13).

The Barbadian hitmaker opened the show to a slew of her biggest pop songs dancing in a bubble gum cutout outfit and killing it on the dance floor.  This was only the first of four medleys she had throughout the night.

Hyperactive comedy duo Key and Peele spent the show commentating on the presenters, winners and performers while trying to create meme-worthy catchphrases of the night’s most momentous occasions. Some of their jokes were spot on, the rest were simply flat and repetitive sexual innuendos.

The most anticipated act of the night was none other than Britney Spears. Nine years passed since her lackluster performance in 2007, in which she looked more like a deer in the headlights instead of a pop princess. On stage, she had a steamy musical number with rapper G-Eazy of her hit “Make Me,” which was a definite return to form for the singer-dancer. Later they both performed one of his hits, “Me, Myself and I” to a cheering crowd.

Presenter Alicia Keys highlighted that it was the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech and later gave a stirring poem, in which she said “that all women and men are created equal,” before she announced the nominees for Best Male Video.

Calvin Harris won for “This is What You Came For,” which was co-written by his former beau, Taylor Swift, who he definitely did not thank.

Kanye West was Kanye West as he made non-sequiturs about his music idols, his love for his wife and his feud with Taylor Swift, in which he addressed his controversial music video “Famous.”

It was an expression of our now, our fame right now, us on the inside of the TV. The audacity to put Anna Wintour next to Donald Trump. I put Ray J in it, bro. This is fame bro. I see you Amber…my wife is a [gangsta], not a lot of people’s wives would let them say that.

West later referenced the high level of crime in his native Chicago, shouted out Chance the Rapper and finally introduced his “Flashdance” inspired video “Fade.”

Not to be outdone, Beyonce took the stage for almost 20 minutes as she did an angelic rendition of “Pray You Catch Me,” which she followed up with a racy “Hold Up” where she smashed the camera with a baseball bat and topped it all off with an Olympic-like synchronized “Formation” dance that is worthy of a gold medal. She was later presented the Video of the Year Award by four of the Final Five od the USA women’s gymnastic team.

Jimmy Fallon shocked the audience by dressing up as Ryan Lochte and wisecracking about how he wrote “Sorry,” instead of Justin Bieber, which left the swimmer’s rival, Michael Phelps, in stitches.

Rihanna rounded out the night with medleys of her soul, dancehall and R&B songs showcasing some of her best vocals. Her performances were raw, powerful, sexy, emotional, and definitely unapologetic. In other words, truly her.

The sweetest moment of the night, however, was when Drake in a sharp tuxedo presented her the Vanguard Award and reminisced about first meeting Robyn Rihanna Fenty in 2005 as an extra in her first music video as she beamed at his congratulatory speech.

We loved the woman who hasn’t changed since day one. She’s someone I loved since I was 22-years-old.”

Rihanna would go on to remark on how her award was so much bigger than herself.

My success started as my dream. But now my success is not my own. It’s my family’s. It’s my fans. It’s my country’s. It’s the Caribbean as a whole. It’s women. It’s black women.

When she finished her speech she walked off the stage with Drake hand in hand. It was truly a remarkable night for women indeed.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Under the Sea

Photo by lowelsun.com

Straight off of composing lyrics for the 3D computer-animated film “Moana,” Lin-Manuel Miranda, the poet, playwright, and actor will now be teaming up to write new music for the live-action version of the “The Little Mermaid.”

The multi-talented hitmaker of plays such as “Hamilton” and “In the Heights,” will also be a producer on his favorite Disney film (he named his son with wife, Vanessa Nadal, Sebastian).

The co-writer of the film is none other than Disney juggernaut Alan Menken, writer of some songs you might have heard of like “Under the Sea,” “Colors of the Wind” and “A Whole New World.”

This year couldn’t get any better for Manuel. After winning 11 Tony Awards, it was also announced that he will star in another Disney classic, “Mary Poppins,” with “Sicario” star Emily Blunt.

Despite being a classic animated staple for Disney, their live-action version will face stiff competition from another studio, Universal, which already cast Chloe Grace Moretz of “Kickass” fame to star in the film. Universal‘s script for the film is nearly complete and the studio is only moments away from clinching a director to helm the project.

Either way, expect to be hearing Miranda’s name even more next year.

 

 

‘Vlad’, the First Dominican Sitcom in the US

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Image: www.cc.com

Tigueres, rejoice! A primetime sitcom has finally been dedicated to Dominican-Americans, which have had zero representation on network TV. Although diversity in such primetime shows have emerged over the years, such as; Jane the Virgin, starring Gina Rodriguez. Vlad, created by Bronx-born Dominican stand-up comedian Vladimir Caamaño. the show is reported to be picked up by NBC for a pilot, according to Hollywood Insider.

The show’s star Caamaño, features some of his own comedic material which looks into his life as a second-generation Dominican living in the Bronx with his dad and brother and reveals the ups and downs of working-class Dominican family dynamics, which by the way are the same or very similar to all Hispanic families living in the United States.

This just adds to the growing diversity on primetime, with others shows like Black-ish, Empire, Dr. Ken, George Lopez’s new comedy, “Lopez,  and Sofia Vergara’s Modern Family, going on its 9th season. The show has been so successful that the syndication rights to the series were sold to USA Network and 10 Fox affiliates and CW affiliate WLVI for a fall 2013 premiere.

The success of the series led to it being the tenth-highest revenue-generating show for 2012, earning $2.13 million an episode, and has made Sofia Vergara very wealthy, being the highest earning actor in American Television Sofia earned a whopping  b $28.5 million in 2014, and in 2015…two years in a row. this is proof that diverse/ Hispanic actors are not only needed in American Television, but that it makes $$ business sense!

 

Check out some of Vladimir’s work below:

Rita Moreno to star in Netflix reboot series One Day at a Time

Rita Moreno has joined the cast of an all-Latino reboot of the classic series One Day at a Time.

Recently, Netflix has ordered a 13 episode season of the reboot of the series One Day at a Time which aired from 1975 to 1984 and starred Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips as the teenage daughters to newly divorced mother played by Bonnie Franklin. However, in the reboot of the CBS series the family will be all Latino.

According to released details, the rebooted series will feature a Cuban-American family that consists of a new divorced military mom, her teenage daughter and son, and her mother who will be played by Moreno.

The show is set to be a multi-camera comedy, but there’s no word yet on when it goes into production.

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America Ferrera and Eva Longoria Poke Fun at the Golden Globes

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On Sunday night, Jan. 10th, the Golden Globes was hosted by the ever so wry Ricky Gervais on NBC. Throughout the night, he made fun of celebrities, the Hollywood Foreign Press and of course, Donald Trump.

Eva Longoria and America Ferrera aren’t just beautiful talented actresses, they are also two people who your future president, Donald Trump, can’t wait to deport! Please welcome, Eva Longoria and America Ferrera,” said Gervais.

The lack of Latinas represented at the Golden Globes couldn’t be more apparent either, as Longoria and Ferrera made fun of how they get mistaken for other Latinas whom they barely resemble.

Hi, I’m Eva Longoria, not Eva Mendes,” said Longoria. “I’m America Ferrera, not Gina Rodriguez,” said Ferrera. “And neither one of us are Rosario Dawson,” said Longoria.” Well said, Salma,” said Ferrera. “Thank you, Charo,” said Longoria.

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This was also in response to Ferrera being announced last month by the Golden Globes on Twitter as a Best Actress nominee for a Television Series – Comedy or Musical. That nomination was meant for Gina Rodriguez (the only Latina nominated at the Globes),  for her show, Jane the VirginFerrera’s show, Superstore, didn’t preview until late Nov. of last year.

Unfortunately for Rodriguez, she lost to Rachel Bloom of the freshman show, My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is also on the CW network.

The men, however, fared much better at the Golden Globes. Gael Garcia Bernal took home a surprise win as Best Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical for Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, beating out favorite Jeffrey Tambor who stars in Transparent (also on Amazon), and Aziz Ansari for Master of None (Netflix).

After co-starring in that little movie that could, you know, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Oscar Isaac continued to strike gold by winning Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television, in Show Me a Hero (HBO).

The biggest winner of the night was Director and Producer Alejandro G. Inarritu for The Revenant. The film won for Best Picture – Drama and he won for Best Director. This brings Inarritu closer to a possible back-to-back Oscar win.

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Despite only one Latina being nominated this year, there are currently three new shows produced and starring Latinas (Superstore, Shades of Blue and Telenovela). If these shows find success and make it into the next year, Rodriguez won’t be the only Latina up for a potential nomination and Ferrera being nominated won’t be a case of mistaken identity.

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Latinas Takeover NBC

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This year there will be not one, not two, but three shows on NBC starring Latinas. Two of the shows, Superstore and Telenovela, had previewed three episodes last fall (which is online) and will be airing new episodes back-to-back tonight at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. eastern time. The third show, Shades of Blue, will debut Thursday, Jan. 7th at 10 p.m.

Superstore stars the much-coveted America Ferrera, of Ugly Betty fame, as the buy-the-books floor supervisor, Amy, at the fictional Cloud 9 big box store. Ferrera is also a co-producer on the show.

I am a producer on Superstore, and that was really important to me. I’ve been just an actor on television and have really wanted to be a part of the conversations that shape the show and define where the show is going overall…”

Ferrera explained.

One aspect of the show that Ferrera and the showrunners are excited to explore are the politics of running a megastore, which somewhat resembles chain retailer Walmart, which has workers that need public assistance. According to a report by the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce, the low-wage earning Walmart employees cost the American public $6.2 billion in welfare programs.

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The show that follows Superstore tonight is Telenovela. It stars Eva Longoria, the Desperate Housewife alum, as she stars in…you guessed it, a telenovela called Las Leyes de Pasión.

There’s one thing, though, her character Ana Sofia Calderon doesn’t know Spanish and has to deal with the hijinks that come with being on a soap opera. Similar to Ferrera, Longoria will be executive producing Telenovela.

The other thing is, I knew if I was going back to comedy, I wanted to move the ball forward. You know, cable has really put pressure on dramas, but that pressure doesn’t translate to comedies,

says Longoria.

Telenovela will also include Jencarlos Canela as her ex-husband and love interest on Pasión. Diana-Maria Riva will play the show’s clothing designer and Calderon’s BFF. Amaury Nolasco of Prison Break will play the telenovela’s villain.

Like Longoria, Jennifer Lopez will be executive producing her new show, Shades of Blue. The drama will have Lopez playing a crooked cop and single mother, Harlee Santos, who becomes an FBI informant.

Shades will depict her struggle for the family she has with her daughter and the reputation she built with her crew in her police family with whom she takes shortcuts to get the job done while making some dirty money on the side.

Will she betray her comrades to the FBI, or become a triple agent and try to warn her boys in blue? Your just going to have to tune in and see.

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Daredevil Food Eater: Salma Hayek an Exotic Food Eater!

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Salma Hayek isn’t known from shying away from doing adventurous things like starring in several action films directed by Mexican director Robert Rodriguez so would it be shocking to you that the Mexican-born actress is an exotic eater?

Last week, while appearing on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live! alongside Craig Robinson the star showed that she is up for eating “exotic” food.

In a game amply named Will Salma Eat It?, the show’s host Andy Cohen provided the Latina actress several unusual dishes to taste from which consisted of deep-fried frog, stir-fried silk worms, gefilte fish, and the most disgusting of them all: spray cheese.

When it came to eat dish the actress confidently consumed the delicacies Cohen offered up to her. However, when it came to the fish there was some hesitation from Hayek who eventually just scarfed it down.

The unusual dish-eating segment on the talk show wasn’t the first time fans got to witness the star and her odd foray into exotic cuisines. Back in Hayek posted a video of herself on Instagram eating a huge lifeless cricket for her 321,000 followers.

Despite her willingness to test the scope of her daredevil palate, Hayek has revealed that there is one food item that she can never cope with putting into her mouth…onions.

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