DID LATINOS GET POLITICAL ON THE RED CARPET AT THE LATIN BILLBOARD AWARDS: DON OMAR WAS THE BIG WINNER WATCH HIS VIDEO AND FIND OUT WHY

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO WATCH WHAT LATINO CELEBRITIES HAD TO SAY ON THE RED CARPET 

In the midst of the glitz and glamour of the Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami, Fox News Latino asked deep questions while celebrities sashayed across the red carpet. While most of the media was interested in ‘what are you wearing?’ And ‘how do you feel tonight?’ We struck a different chord with the celebrities. We asked: ‘What are your views about the role of Latinos in this year’s election?’ And they loved it! We were praised for elevating this important matter and the artists were quick to open their heart and share their perspectives.

Wilfredo LeeAP Photo – Music producer Emilio Estefan walks the red carpet at the Latin Billboard Awards in Coral Gables, Fla., Thursday, April 26, 2012.

Emilio Estefan was quick to mention his participation in a call with the White House on Friday, and Wilmer Valderrama, who is actively involved with the organization Voto Latino, got extremely passionate about the growth trends of our community and his dissatisfaction with the Arizona law.

MIAMI, FL – APRIL 26: Akon arrives at the Billboard Latin Music Awards 2012 at Bank United Center on April 26, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images) RODRIGO VARELA / STRINGER MIAMI HERALD

R&B recording artist, songwriter and record producer, Akon talked about the importance of unity and the power of minorities sticking together to make a difference and let their voices be heard.

(L-R) Nacho, Jenni Rivera and Chino arrive at the Billboard Latin Music Awards 2012 at Bank United Center on April 26, 2012 in Miami (Source: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images North America)

La diva de la banda, Jenni Rivera, was equally passionate to motivate Latinos to get involved.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO WATCH MORE LATINOS SPEAK UP ON THE RED CARPET

You may wonder, why did we get political on the red carpet? Because our voice, our community and our influence is paced to make a critical difference on the race to the White House. A cover on TIME Magazine, controversies over the Arizona Law, a potential vice presidential candidate,  Marco Rubio and many more, are at the core of our conversations. Even for celebrities who are doing voter drivers and attending meetings at the White House.

The big winner at the Latin Billboards was Don Omar, watch his video and see why Don Omar took the most awards that night.

Latinos represent a potential 21.7 million eligible voters, according to the Pew Hispanic Center; however of those eligible in 2010 only 6.6 million actually headed to the polls; a number that can mark a historic difference in this year’s election. This disconcerting 30 percent or 15 million gap has been recognized by many organizations like Voto Latino; which is touring with the Mexican band Maná as part of their ‘Drama Luz’ tour; and other celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Jon Secada and Shakira have joined various functions at the White House in efforts to amplify and raise issues of our community.

Read more: FOX NEWS LATINO

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WILMER VALDERRAMA SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SB 1070 AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Getty Images

Wilmer Valderrama, the actor best known for the television shows “Awake” and “That 70s Show“, spoke to a crowded room at Arizona State University on Tuesday in the midst of the state’s battle with the Supreme Court over SB 1070. Speaking about the importance of the Latino vote in this upcoming election, Valderrama expressed a pro-immigration stance and called for increased Latino involvement in politics.

“The only way the system can work is if we all get involved,” Valderrama said. “Don’t expect politicians to figure it out for you.”

The event was sponsored by the ‘Voto Latino’ campaign, an effort aimed at increasing the presence of young Latino voters in the next election. Victor Corral, a volunteer with the organization, helped collect new voter registration forms and was excited to hear from the actor. “The Latino voice needs to be heard,” Corral said. “He makes a big difference in doing that.”

UCF in Orlando photo from Wilmer Valderrama’s FB

“If we don’t tell our friends to vote, who will?” he said.

Born in Miami, Valderrama moved back and forth between Venezuela and the United States, during his youth. Coming from an immigrant background himself, he expressed strong feelings against SB1070, a controversial immigration law in Arizona. Valderrama wants more young people and young Latinos to engage in the voting process. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on it. 

“It’s sad,” he said. “Immigration is the reason we have a country in the first place.”

Valderrama holds the belief that both legal and unauthorized immigrants contribute a lot to the United States economy; citing boosts in unclaimed tax revenue and labor for hard-to-fill jobs. He wants people to stop having what he refers to as a ‘negative mental image’ when they hear the word ‘immigration’.

Read more: Fox News Latino

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WHO IS MIKE OQUENDO: MEET THE PUERTO RICAN FROM CHICAGO BEHIND MIKEY O COMEDY PRODUCTIONS

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

“If we want to compete at another level, then we have to behave at that other level.”

Mike Oquendo photo source: Mikey O Comedy Productions

Chicago is an awesome place for standup, it’s an awesome place for comedy. The audiences here are amazing,” said Mike Oquendo, the man behind Mikey O Comedy Productions. The son of Puerto Rican parents and Chicago native, Oquendo has managed to maintain a solid comedic reputation for 10 years, has given back to the community and has made people of all different backgrounds laugh.

For the last five years, Oquendo’s production company has done no less than 80 shows in a year. Last year, they finished off with 114 shows. Catering to a predominantly Latino audience, Oquendo said that when he first began hosting these comedy nights, there was a thirst for it. “When people heard ‘Latino comedy’ they said, ‘What’s that?’ When people come to a show, I ask how many people have been to a comedy show. About half of them raise their hands,” he explained. Oquendo owes his comedic passion to the Freddie Prinze comedy album.

“I remember being fascinated by the fact that this guy was a Puerto Rican comedian and there was an album out in which this guy was telling the Puerto Rican story,” he said. “There was a part of me that learned at that moment that that was ok; that talking about that experience was nothing to be ashamed about.”

From high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he was a medic. Oquendo used his experience and worked in hospitals in Chicago. Eventually, he went on to become a dispatcher for the Chicago Fire Department getting jobs where he could, with comedy in the back of his head.

grant Jose “Pepe” Vargas, director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. (EFE)
FOX NEWS LATINO

It was Pepe Vargas, executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center, who Oquendo says, gave him his big break and first real job with being a member of the gala production team. After, he went on to work at museums and eventually the Adler Planetarium where he was in charge of special events, still having an incredible passion for comedy.

Mike Oquendo photo source: Mikey O Comedy Productions

“Taking that combination for production experience and my love for comedy gave birth to what I do today,” he explained. “I’ve done every single job in this business: I’ve been the box office guy, I’ve been the coat check, I’ve been the janitor, I’ve been the guy that delivers the sound equipment, I’ve been the host, I’ve been the usher. I wanted to be in it so badly, that I took any job to be in the mix.”


Fourteen years later, Oquendo has left a lasting impression on the community he decided to stick to. Dedicating funds to particular charities and organizations that support the arts, among others, Oquendo says that his team raised just under $90,000 in 2011, 70 percent of that, arts related. Inclusive of production, Oquendo says his biggest job is motivating his comedians to be professional and authentic in their performances. Taking experiences from his youth to create standards and upholding them, Oquendo believes that if he demands more, the performers will deliver at a higher quality.

Read More: Extra News

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ROSELYN SANCHEZ ON COVER OF FIRST ¡HOLA! PUERTO RICO

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Puerto Rican actress and model Roselyn Sanchez, hubby Eric Winter and baby daughter Sebella Rose grace the cover of the first edition of HOLA! Puerto Rico, which went on sale on Wednesday on the Caribbean island. In the interview accompanying the photo spread, the actress – known for her roles in U.S. television series such as “Without a Trace” and films like “The Game Plan” and “Rush Hour,” said that her maternity was “the most marvelous in the world.”
“I yearned for it for many years and it was work to conceive her, but she came along when she had to come,” Sanchez said after noting that for a long time she was completely focused on her career until her biological alarm clock went off.”

HOLA! Puerto Rico will maintain its customary international leading article and will add reporting of local interest that reflects the prestige of the personalities and the pulse of the best social and cultural environment of the Caribbean island.

photo source go4celebrity.com

Spain’s HOLA! launched Hello! in Britain in 1988 and very soon it became quite popular, spurring the rolling out of editions in Russia, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Turkey, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, India, Serbia, Morocco, Indonesia, Argentina, Peru, Bulgaria, Ecuador and now Puerto Rico.

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AMERICAN IDOL’S JESSICA SANCHEZ LEAVES JUDGES STUTTERING

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

photo source FOX AMERICAN IDOL

CLICK HERE TO WATCH JESSICA’S PERFORMANCE LIVE AND HEAR WHAT THE JUDGES HAD TO SAY

photo source FOX AMERICAN IDOL

Jessica Sanchez left the judges breathless as she once again showed her powerful pipes and impeccable vocal technique Wednesday night on American Idol. The top seven Idol hopefuls were assigned to sing songs from the last three years.

The part-Mexican, part Filipino singer took a risk with the unfamiliar jazz and soulful song “Stuttering” by Jazmine Sullivan, but the judges gave Sanchez two thumbs up on her rendition.
“That was superb,” said music producer Randy Jackson. “What you did tonight for me is you set the bar really high.”
Jackson added that Sanchez showed “everyone what kind of talent level,” she has and that she has “the control.”
“That was at like the highest degree,” continued Jackson. “You did an amazing job. To me, right now, you slayed that biggest fish of the night.”
Aerosmith rock star Steven Tyler gave Sanchez top-notch reviews, not only on her singing but on her fashion sense as well, comparing her with fellow judge Jennifer Lopez
 “Jessica, every time I hear you sing I forget where I am,” Tyler said. “But America doesn’t forget. You fish slay it every time.”
“You had the nerve to sing a great song and you had the nerve to wear Jennifer’s shoes,” Tyler added excitedly as the audience quickly got to see a close-up of Sanchez’s spiky black heels.
Although Lopez agreed with Tyler and told her she has “great taste,” she compared Sanchez to possibly her biggest competitor—Joshua Ledet.

Guess JLO might not have liked Tyler’s comment after all.

“That was really beautiful,” said Lopez. “What I’d love to see from you, is some almost like Joshua-type performances,” Lopez said bluntly. “You can do it,” she added. “You can show us something we’ve never seen!”

photo source FOX AMERICAN IDOL Sanchez and Ledet performing

Sanchez and Ledet are two of the strongest contestants of season 11 and in the last few weeks have performed multiple medleys together, which have earned the two standing ovations by the judges and the audience.

On Wednesday Sanchez, Ledet and Hollie Cavanagh took on the first American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, and performed her latest hit “What Doesn’t Kill You.” Ledet on the other hand performed a rendition of Puerto Rican crooner Bruno Mars’ song “Runaway Baby,” earning him a standing ovation from the judges. Jackson felt the performance was simply “unbelievable” while Tyler said it was “like a work of art.” For JLO, Ledet was excellent. “A Joshua performance is so dynamic,[and it] takes control of the audience”, Lopez said. “It’s so much energy. It’s not just the vocals that’s what you do.”

Read more: FOX NEWS LATINO

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