Dominican urban-tropical pop music sensation, NATTI NATASHA, celebrates a nomination to this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards
by John Hecht
In an interview published Tuesday with newspaper El Universal, Mexico's Attorney General Arely Gomez said the prosecutors' office is probing Kate del Castillo for possible money laundering in association with drug kingpin Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.
Gomez told the Mexican daily, "Even when there are indications, we need legal certainty."
Among several lines of investigation, Gomez said the prosecutors' office is looking into money laundering surrounding del Castillo's tequila brand, Tequila del Honor. Authorities here also have been investigating whether the actress-producer received illicit funds for a planned biopic about El Chapo.
Gomez told El Universal that the investigation is ongoing and she could offer no specific details of del Castillo's possible business dealings with El Chapo.
Del Castillo set up Sean Penn's secret Rolling Stone interview with El Chapo in a Mexican jungle and the article went live one day after the drug lord's Jan. 9 capture.
In a Sunday 60 Minutes interview, Penn said his Chapo article had regrettably failed to accomplish what he set out to do: raise awareness about an ongoing drug war that claims tens of thousand of lives each year.
Gomez said Penn currently is not under investigation, nor is director Oliver Stone, whose name has been mentioned among several Hollywood filmmakers rumored to be on the producers' wish list.
Jose Ibanez, who worked with Stone on South of the Border, is reportedly attached to produce the movie, but his Madrid-based Pentagrama Films did not reply to THR's request for comment.
Del Castillo made her first public statement last week since the Rolling Stone interview. She recently took to Twitter saying she would be telling her side of the story soon.
According to a report published this week in the magazine Proceso, Del Castillo told journalist Lydia Cacho one year ago that she would not accept financing from El Chapo for the film.
"They should be strictly known investors," del Castillo was quoted as saying.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter
by Leila Cobo
Latin music may get it’s own Empire-like TV drama, thanks to a recently forged partnership between Golden Globe winning producer Ben Silverman (Ugly Betty, Hands of Stone) and Latin star Juanes and his manager, Rebeca Leon.
The three have joined to develop and produce a TV show titled Persiguiendo el Sol (Chasing the Sun) that will chronicle Juanes’ rise to stardom, from his beginnings in Colombia through his arrival in Miami, Billboard has learned.
"It's a mix of Entourage and Narcos,” Silverman told Billboard, referencing the drug drama not for its content, but as an example of a show shot in Latin America for mainstream audiences. However, there is a further link: Producer Eric Newman, the showrunner for Narcos, will also be executive producer and showrunner for Persiguiendo.
"He's the first American producer to bring American show running to American production," said Silverman, who has worked several Latin-themed projects in recent years, including Jane the Virgin and Killer Women.
Silverman, who is the founder and chairman of entertainment production company Electus, arrived in Miami Jan. 18 in time for the NATPE global television market. He’ll be shopping the show concept to potential production partners in both Latin and mainstream media with plans to start shooting as early as spring or summer.
Persiguiendo el Sol, which is named after Juanes' memoir, will be a bilingual show and will feature cameos from multiple artists in both mainstream and Latin worlds.
The notion of the show began to brew after Silverman met Juanes through Leon in 2014 and enlisted him to perform in an episode of Jane the Virgin. Silverman was already heavily vested in Latin themed productions. Among other projects, he was putting the finishing touches on bilingual film Hands of Stone, which is due out in April and tells the story of boxer Roberto "Mano de Piedra" Durán. Its cast includes Edgar Ramirez, Ruben Blades, Usher and Robert de Niro.
Juanes has also been dabbling further in mainstream film and television. Last year, his song "Juntos," co-written with fellow Colombian Fonseca, was used for the ending credits of Disney film McFarland USA.
It's the first time in chart history a living act has achieved the feat.
Juan Gabriel makes history on the weekly Top Latin Albums chart, as the legend has the entire top three titles on the sales tally dated Jan. 16. It’s the first time a living act has achieved the feat.
Gabriel controls Nos. 1-3 with Los Duo 2 (holding at No. 1), Los Duo (rising 3-2) and Mis Numero 1… 40 Aniversario (5-3). While acts have monopolized the top three previously, all did so only following their death: Joan Sebastian (on the Aug. 1, 2015-dated chart), Jenni Rivera (on multiple charts in 2012 and 2013), Celia Cruz (twice in 2003) and Selena (in five different weeks in 1995).
Los Duo and its sequel, Los Duo 2, are superstar duets albums that pair Gabriel (and his own earlier hits) with acts like Marc Anthony, Vicente Fernandez, Wisin and Joan Sebastian.
The Mis Numero album is a greatest hits collection that was released in 2014, and topped the chart in 2015. All three albums took turns at No. 1 last year.
Elsewhere on the charts, Colombian singer Silvestre Dangond earns his first No. 1 with “Materialista,” as the track jumps 4-1 on Tropical Airplay. The song earned a 52 percent gain in spins for the week ending Jan. 3. The single is a collaboration with Nicky Jam, who tallies his second leader on the list, following his featured turn on Tito Nieves’ “Ya No Queda Nada” in 2005.
Jam also logs two more titles within the top four on the latest Tropical Airplay chart (“Como Lo Hacia Yo” vaults 31-3 and “Te Busco” rises 6-4), making Jam the first artist to claim three of the top four titles at the same time.
Shakira voices a gazelle in the upcoming animated movie.
Shakira’s soaring new single “Try Everything” is featured in the upcoming Disney movie Zootopia, in which she voices a midriff-baring gazelle with blond hair curling out from between her horns.“Try Everything” is now available on Apple Music and iTunes. The animated movie, a kid-friendly thriller set in “the urban jungle” of a city of animals, debuts in theaters March 4.
Listen to Shakira sing “Try Everything”:
Marc Anthony Wants to Empower Latin Music Artists (and Athletes) With His Magnus Media: It 'Was Born Out of Frustration'
Marc Anthony -- actor, producer and top touring artist -- aims in 2016 to take on another title: mogul. His Magnus Media -- which he launched last April as an entertainment, branding, marketing, social media and content development company -- is poised to become the Latin Roc Nation, with Anthony in the Jay Z role.
"This [company] was born out of frustration," says Anthony, 47. "I don't think there's anyone in the industry that I don't know, and whenever we went over the state of the business, I realized they were missing a lot of opportunities."
Those opportunities lay mostly, of course, in music -- Magnus' roster includes Gente de Zona, Venezuelan duo Chino & Nacho, radio personality Enrique Santos and Alejandro Sanz (signed to a deal for licensing, sponsorship and endrosements). But the company, which looks to empower Latinos in the U.S. marketplace, has astutely targeted professional sports as well. In November, Anthony (who purchased a stake in the Miami Dolphins in 2009) launched the Magnus Sports division. Its first client: New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who was signed through a joint-venture deal with Praver Shapiro Sports Management.
In early 2016, Magnus plans to finalize deals with six to 10 other baseball players and will announce a partnership with another sport. Anthony sees athletes and entertainers as similarly -- which is to say, hugely -- influential in the Latin world. Though as Magnus (which Anthony launched with Michel Vega, a longtime friend and former head of Latin music at William Morris Endeavor) grows, he will look beyond Latin music: "We are going to grow our influencer list. We are building out the sports division. And we are focused on establishing new distribution platforms."
Spoken like a true mogul.
This article was originally published in the Jan. 16 issue of Billboard.
Pitbull will return for a second run of his “Time of our Lives” show in Las Vegas, with tickets going on sale January 8.
The Miami rapper played an initial seven-day run at the 7,000 seat The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort last September. Now, he returns for a two-week run March 12-26. Tickets to the shows range from $39 to $350.
1/4/2016 by Leila Cobo
Latin urban songwriter and artist Christian Ramos, better known as Syko “El Terror,” was buried Sunday in Puerto Rico following his sudden death last week. Ramos -- who co-wrote major Latin hits including Don Omar’s “Hasta que salga el sol” -- died in his sleep in his Orlando home on Dec. 27. He was 33 years old.
At the time of his death, Ramos had credits on current hits by Antonio Barullo (“Disfruta la vida,” featuring J Balvin and Flex), Enrique Iglesias (“De noche y de día” featuring Yandel and Juan Magán) and on two tracks on Yandel’s current album, Dangerous.
Syko also collaborated with many Puerto Rican reggaeton acts, including Daddy Yankee, Arcangel, Natti Natasha and Kendo Kaponi.
But Ramos’ collaborations with Don Omar were no doubt his most successful, spanning many years and many albums. They included “Zumba,” which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay, Latin Pop and Latin Rhythm airplay charts, and, of course, “Hasta que salga el sol,” a massive hit that was No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart and won a Latin Grammy for best urban song in 2013.
“Rest in peace my brother,” Don Omar tweeted following Ramos’ death.
Ramos’ songs were a mix of lyricism and toughness; he wrote often about inspiration and career and also about life’s hard knocks. But he had no problem churning out danceable hits when needed. At the time of his death, he was signed as a songwriter to Warner/Chappell.
Sources close to the artist say he died as a result of sleep apnea, which he had long suffered from. His body was flown from Orlando to San Juan, where he was buried Sunday.
Ramos is survived by his wife Christine and by daughters Thalialyz Ramos, 6, and Zylailah Ramos, 3.
Julieta Venegas will embark on a tour named for her 2016 Grammy-nominated album, Algo Sucede, the same week as the Feb. 15 awards show.