It’s all about #LatinosOnSpotify!

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So proud of our Hispanic Heritage Month campaign on Spotify! It was a true team effort and the first of many big things to come on the platform as we seek to give Latin music lovers the best experience. 

About #LatinosOnSpotify:

Data shows that Latin music is now one of the most popular genres globally on Spotify. To mark this milestone and to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, on September 15, Spotify launched #LatinosOnSpotify, a month-long campaign featuring, for the first time in a category’s history, Latino-centric video, podcasts and specially curated playlists all in one place.

Debuting just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month, Spotify.com/Latino celebrates the diversity and nuances within the culture, offering music for every taste and catering to different Hispanic audiences within the United States.

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Fans of Regional Mexican, Tropical, Latin Urban, Pop, Rock, Alternative, Jazz, and more, will have a chance to experience the music they love like never before and connect with their favorite artists in a unique way. Enrique Iglesias, Prince Royce, Marc Anthony, Los Tigres del Norte, Maluma, Daddy Yankee, Becky G, Yandel, Gloria Estefan and many other superstars have all come together with Spotify to bring you an unforgettable musical experience.

 

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Artist interviews with the biggest Latin stars in the world are available for streaming in the new Latino hub alongside Spotify’s most popular and beautifully redesigned genre-specific playlists and special one-off playlists such as “Latinos, Let’s Vote!”, our collaboration with Voto Latino to mobilize the vote among Latino millennials in this upcoming election. Also, for the first time ever inside the Latin category on Spotify mobile, people are able to enjoy some of the best podcasts on a range of topics of interest to Latinos!

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The first thing you see when you visit the new Latino hub is “La Familia, With Marc Anthony & his Father Felipe Muñiz,” Spotify’s first ever Latin music documentary. The 3-episode short doc profiles legendary recording artist Marc Anthony as he delves into the story and process behind one of the most exciting passion projects of his career: recording the new bolero-flavored track ‘Dejé de Amar’ with his father, Felipe Muñiz, who makes his recording debut at 81. Joining them is multiple Grammy Award winning producer Sergio George. In this intimate session, Marc and his father come together to discuss family, play music, and to celebrate the sound that was passed down from father to son, a gift that ultimately produced one of the biggest Latin stars in the world.

Press play now for Hispanic Heritage Month and join the conversation using #LatinosOnSpotify.

 

A new era begins!

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When I started my career as an entertainment journalist (and resident reggaeton queen) at VIBE magazine in 2003, I never would have imagined I’d end up here. My dream was to one day be an editor-in-chief (of a print magazine, obviously). Eventually, I’d earn that title, but in the digital era, where instead of worrying about selling newsstand copies and upping subscriptions I would obsess over site analytics. And what I do now simply didn’t exist back then, so I couldn’t have possibly known that it would be the culmination of everything I’ve worked for. But here I am, feeling incredibly blessed to have joined Spotify’s global content programming team as a Senior Editor. In this role, I now curate and program playlists specifically for the US Latin market, as well as create exclusive, multi-platform editorial content that amplifies the streaming service’s role as the undisputed choice for Latin music lovers. In other words: I. Love. My. Job.

Here’s to the dreams you can imagine — and to the ones you can’t even picture yet, but are waiting in the wings.

Jesse & Joy reveal new album title, release date & heartfelt Juan Luis Guerra duet (exclusive)

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Mexican brother and sister duo Jesse & Joy are well aware that when you listen to their music, you almost need to have a box of tissues nearby. This is not because their music is depressing (although if you’re going through a breakup it can certainly seem that way), but because it’s so visceral. This in itself is a gift. But then you factor in the powerful instrument that is Joy’s voice, Jesse’s production savvy and their unique bond, and you’ve got something extra special.

The same holds true for their upcoming fourth album, Un Besito Más (One Last Kiss), due Dec. 4 via Warner, for which they expanded their production roster to include Fraser T. Smith (Adele, Sam Smith), Grammy winner Martin Terefe (who handled production on their previous album, ¿Con Quién Se Queda el Perro?), and Dominican legend Juan Luis Guerra, alongside Jesse.

Vocally, there’s a newfound confidence. The first single “Ecos de Amor” (Echoes of Love) positions Joy as a soulful songstress in her prime. The visuals are equally stunning, thanks to Samuel Bayer (Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake) who directed the single’s video.

That Jesse & Joy are doing it big is no coincidence. It’s been 10 years since their Esta es mi Vida debut, and, as Jesse will humbly tell you, “we know there’s something we do that connects.” So the trick this time around was staying true to their sound while exhibiting growth. “It’s a challenge we were totally up for and we put everything we have into this,” says the elder Huerta (he’s 32; Joy is 29).

Billboard spoke via phone to the two siblings, who were at home in Mexico City and offered exclusive details on the album.

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Maná’s Fher Compares Donald Trump to Hitler During L.A. Concert, Blasts Him for Anti-Immigrant Comments

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It was all love in the beginning of Maná’s Cama Incendiada tour stop in Los Angeles’s Staples Center on June 18, one of two sold-out nights at the venue.

“Los Angeles, we missed you!” shouted the band’s lead singer Fher Olvera, after opening with new single “La Prisión.” “Being here always feels like we’re home in Mexico, so it just felt right to kick off our world tour in California.”

And it was here, “in the heart of California,” as Olvera calls it, that he was able to take a break from singing party anthems and tequila-drenched power ballads to speak directly to Maná’s diehard Latino fans about something the legendary rock band deems urgent: the fact that we are anything but living in a post-racial society, as evidenced by Wednesday’s terrorist attack on a historically black church in Charleston, S.C.

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Becky G profile for Rolling Stone’s New Latin Hot List Issue

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FOTO (Fresh Out The Oven)!

Yours truly wrote a profile on 16-year-old Becky G for Rolling Stone‘s new #LatinHotList issue, on stands November 8. I saw something special in her when I first met her two years ago in the RCA offices. She told me about her musical idols growing up (Left Eye, Selena), how her ‘Lita (grandma) taught her Spanish and always reminded her how important it is to honor her Mexican heritage, her plans to build a movement and take over the world, among other things. Somehow it didn’t come across as over-confident; I always believed she’d make it. Ask Dr. Luke what it is that he first noticed about her and he’ll say the same thing: her confidence and charisma. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

Then I collaborated with her on her blog, “Being Becky G,” for Fusion (ABC/Univision) late last year and that was super fun. It’s great to see how far she’s come in that short amount of time. She’s now CoverGirl’s youngest spokesperson and her #Beaster following on social media just keeps growing. In other words, she’s a marketer’s dream.

The RS cover line says it all and this is only the beginning…read the article here.

Calle 13 & Julian Assange: A love story

You gotta admire how Calle 13 stay true to their hasta la victoria siempre M.O. Their newest act of rebellion? A collabo with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, their buddy Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Palestinian musician Kamilya Jubran. Apparently Rene Perez, one half of C13, visited Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London this past summer. Their #JulianAssangeCalle13 campaign has been mounting since then, when they engaged their loyal Twitter followers on various themes and received thousands of responses, which they plan to incorporate into this new song. “We’re going to take their voice, what they’re saying, their idea, and we’re going to manipulate their idea and construct a song about the media…to talk against the bad media but using their voices,” says Perez in the teaser. Watch below:

The full “Multi_Viral” single will be released November 13. As for their next album, C13 has opted not to renew their contract with Sony and will be releasing their next album independently in March 2014. “We’re looking at different platforms,” C13’s Eduardo Cabra told Billboard last week. “Maybe we will give it away for free.”

That’s a cause I can get behind.

Forever Crazy Sexy Cool

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Are you watching Crazy Sexy Cool: The TLC Story on VH1 tonight? I definitely will, even if the trailer kind of undersells it for me. Also, I know this is kind of superficial, but of the cast – Lil Mama as Left Eye, Keke Palmer as Chilli and Drew Sidora as T-Boz – only Lil Mama really looks the part. Slate confirms my suspicions that it won’t be amazing, but says we’ll find ourselves watching TLC videos on YouTube for hours after we watch it. Which is always a good thing.

What can I say? They were my faves back in the day, especially Left Eye. I even wrote a whole piece about it (“To Left Eye, With Love”) for Fusion (ABC/Univision) last year, on the 10th anniversary of her death.

Listen to Chilli & T-Boz, who executive produced the VH1 pic, on NPR earlier this a.m.

#CrazySexyCool 4-eva!!!

Happy birthday to the queen, Celia Cruz!

Google and the Celia Cruz estate have collaborated to honor the Queen of Salsa on what would have been her 88th birthday. Ten years after her passing, she continues to bring so much joy into our lives through her music and the Google Doodle is a symbol of how far-reaching her impact is.

Gloria Estefan (the other queen, in my book) once told me a great anecdote of a time when she played a show with Celia and how, even though her knees were killing her from arthritis, she never once showed it during her performance. She never once complained about it backstage. Instead, she got up onstage and gave the crowd everything she had.

The new iBook, Celia Cruz: The Lady, The Legend, Her Legacy, will be available tomorrow from Sony Music.

Celia, que en paz descanses….y gracias por el regalo de tu musica!

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Three word review: Pearl Jam’s ‘Lightning Bolt’

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Four years is a long time to wait for a new album, so around here, me and J.G. have been cranking PJ all day, err’day, and will continue to do so until their San Diego concert on November 21. That’s Eddie Vedder’s hometown so we’re hoping we get something special.

I could go on and on about it but I’ll leave that to the critics, whom no one reads anymore.

So here are my thoughts in three words:

Concise. Mature. Classic.

Spotlight on BMI songwriter Bonnie McKee

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If you’ve been listening to Top 40 radio for the past few years, then you definitely know Bonnie McKee, even if her face is still relatively new. But that’s all about to change this summer, as the 29-year-old singer-songwriter, whom Rolling Stone named “Best Secret Weapon” in 2011, becomes as ubiquitous as the pop superstars with whom she’s collaborated via her own hit single, “American Girl,” available on iTunes on July 23. With eight No. 1 singles on her songwriting resume, including Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” and “California Girls,” Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me,” and Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite,” the self-described “pop star in training” is more than equipped to make her own mark in music. Just like the pop icons she grew up listening to in the ‘80s, McKee’s songs have powerhouse vocals, big choruses and bright, colorful imagery that render them irresistible. “Some of my earliest memories are of watching Madonna, Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper on MTV,” says McKee over the phone in New York City, where she’s on a press and promo tour. “I loved how the artists of that era were so visual. Seeing what they could do really modeled me as a musician. Every day I ask myself, ‘What would Prince do?’”

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