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Here Are 25 Reasons To Love The #LatinaFuerte That Is ‘Jane The Virgin’ And The Latina Behind The Show, Gina Rodriguez

If you have not seen “Jane the Virgin” yet, ?? stop ?? what ?? you’re ?? doing ?? NOW. This is your modern day telenovela, chock full of an actual immaculate conception (read: artificial insemination), Puerto Rican abuelitas that are everyone’s Nana, and d r a m a  that could only brought to you by the Latinas that basically run the show.

Here are 25 more reasons to love the show that just keeps giving back to us all!

1. “Jane the Virgin”  gave the CW Network their first Golden Globes nomination.

@hereisgina / Instagram

Why? Because everything Latinas touch is gold. That’s why. Don’t even question me on this one. Gina Rodriguez is also pretty awesome soooo…..

2. Oh, and Gina won that Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series Musical or Comedy.

Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

In her acceptance speech, she thanked God and her father, saying, “”My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today is going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad — Today is a great day. I can and I did.” I’m not crying.

3. The next year, she was included in Eva Longoria and America Ferrera’s joke about the Globes mistaking Latinas for each other.

Entertainment Tonight / YouTube

The Globes mistaked Gina Rodriguez with America Ferrera during the nominations ceremony for the 2016 Awards. America Ferrera introduced herself as “America Ferrera, not Gina Rodriguez,” pointing out that Latinas on screen aren’t one and the same. SMGDH

4. Ivonne Coll, Abuelita in the showwas no nun in her hayday.

@ivonnecollofficial / Instagram

Caption: “Tbt 1969 when I was a hippie! The communes’ name was “El K-rajo” I was surrounded by musicians, artists, craftsmen…and that is the place where I stand that is the place where I started to find the Artist in me… #puertoricolohacemejor #AbrahamBonilla #condominioelcentro #ivonnecoll #AlbaVillanueva #Janethevirgin” ? ? ?

5. Gina Rodriguez, aka Jane, was given a director role in the last season.

@hereisgina / Instagram

Oh and she slayed. “We do magical realism, we do fantasy, we do crazy costume changes, we do green screen. For my episode I had a wolf, a stunt, green screen,” Gina told Variety. 

6. …and she hashtagged #TimesUp in her announcement.

@hereisgina / Instagram

Caption: “#Janethevirgin Add another Latina director to that list. #TimesUp” She told The View, “As a woman of color, I think that being able to have the opportunity to direct and to be able to direct my show is very exciting.” Agree, agree, agree!

7. Eva Longoria also directed the show for an episode.

@EvaLongoria / Twitter

Because you can’t have enough Latinas telling everyone what to do. It creates the actual magic of “Jane the Virgin,” tú sabes?

8. Gina calls America Ferrera the ‘Moses’ of Latina roles.

America Ferrera in Ugly Betty (2006). Digital Image. IMDB.com. 21 March 2018

In an interview with Backstage, Gina gushes about America: “I think America [Ferrera, who played Betty] did a lot of amazing things for women who weren’t born naturally thin, and America is gorgeous. We are all gorgeous in our own beautiful, unique, perfectly imperfect ways. … That was very helpful to have those people that came before us; the Moses, if you will…the parting of the seas.”

9. Gina Rodriguez gives credit of her talent to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

BUILD Series / YouTube

In an interview with BUILD Series, she literally points out her teacher, Rosemary Quinn. “Rosemary Quinn is the best. You want to be an actress? Learn from that woman. ‘Cause she will change your life. Clearly, clearly.” And then she started tearing up. #Same

10. Before that, Gina was one of thirteen teenagers accepted into Columbia University’s Theatrical Collaboration.

Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

She was 16. Look at that muñeca linda, I just want to pinch her cheeks!! And now I want to pinch myself. I am my mother.

11. Like ‘Ugly Betty,’ Jane doesn’t wear makeup.

@hereisgina / Instagram

America Ferrera is one of the first to represent a normal Latina in American living room televisions and us more curvy, non-beauty pageant winning Latinas felt more fire than ever. And while not all of us are pregnant virgins, Jane is guapa AF, just like us.

12. Oh, and she’s not about being pigeonholed in her sexuality.

@HereisGina / Twitter

So don’t ask, k? Just embrace that we’re all attracted to her, no matter how you identify.

13. Gina is all about using her “Jane the Virgin” fame for good.

@hereisgina / Instagram

Sometimes, your T-shirt says it all in this pic of her at the Women’s March in 2017. Caption: “Sisterhood squad. #WomensMarch”

14. The executive producer, Jennie Snyder Urman, wanted the show to be a cross between “Ugly Betty” and “Gilmore Girls.”

@hereisgina / Instagram

Brava, especially if you want to add “Como Agua Para Chocolate” and ‘True Detective’. TBH, “Jane the Virgin” is chock full of hallucinations of choirs singing about sex, actual characters impaled on ice sculptures, everyone’s telenovela-obsessed abuelita and a modern day immaculate conception.

So, yeah. It’s not like any other show.

15. Gina Rodriguez declined a breakout role in Devious Maids before auditioning for “Jane the Virgin.”

@deviousmaids / Instagram

“I want to affect people, I want to create change, and there are sacrifices that come along with that.” Gina was offered a role in “Devious Maids” and, because it didn’t align with her mission she sacrificed that break-out role, and good thing!

16. Diane Guerrero, aka Lina, also auditioned for a role on “Devious Maids.”

@dianeguerrero / Instagram

“I wanted the part so bad,” she told Remezcla. Guerrero didn’t get the role, but we’ve been crushing on her hard all throughout “Orange is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin.” I don’t think my heart could handle another show.

17. Gina is the youngest of three sisters.

Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

All the academic theories about youngest siblings are lost on Gina. She paves her own path (in case it wasn’t the most obvious).

18. Her older sister paid for her education at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon is an investment banker, and I trust her with all my money. The middle sister, Rebecca, is a doctor. That is a well-educated group of Latinas. #BoricuaPrideAF

19. Their parents are Puerto Rican.

Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

They were born and raised in Chicago, and taught that they can do anything they set their minds to. They grew up Catholic and Gina recalls giving up any self-doubt while waiting to find out if she got the role of Jane to God. And then screaming on the street when she did snag the role. #BoricuaFire

20. Gina once played Frida Kahlo in a play.

@hereisgina / Instagram

Oh, and it was a world premiering play called, “The Last Moments in the Life of Frida Kahlo” at the American Stage Theatre. This pic though is just your casual celebration in a Frida Kahlo themed party.

21. You’ll probably find Casper the Dog on set.

@hereisgina / Instagram

#WomensRights & #AnimalRights–you’ll find it all on the set of “Jane the Virgin.” And all throughout Gina’s Insta account. I mean, Casper *deserves* to be treated like a star.

22. “Jane the Virgin” is based on Venezuelan telenovela “Juana la Virgen.”

RCTV / YouTube

In the original, Juana is only 17 years old and ends up escaping to the mountains with Rafael, her baby daddy. Here’s to hoping Jane finds her happy ending… on a mountain of grilled cheese sandwiches.

23. No Latina-run show could tolerate anything less than leading male actor, Justin Baldoni’s adorable obsession with his now-wife.

Wayfarer Entertainment / YouTube

Watch this 25 minute proposal video and don’t cry. Then watch his TED Talk, “Why I’m Done Trying to be ‘Man’ Enough”. Don’t cry. Dare you.

24. Gina is the co-founder of ethical lingerie company Naja.

Gina Rodriguez. Digital Image. Naja.com. 21 March 2018

Naja is a lingerie company that primarily employs single mothers, allowing them to work from home while still taking care of their families. It also uses recycled goods, and is ethically sourced. Of course Gina is part of this. Yes, I’ll buy your lingerie, bae!

25. Gina wants to be the Latina Meryl Streep and we’re here for it.

@hereisgina / Instagram

Ever since she was 15, she’s had the dream to be the Latina Meryl Streep. Gina tells Backstage, “[Meryl] transforms and gets gritty and peels off layers of her skin. She’s not afraid. And I’m not afraid either. Jane is a gift I can give, a platform I can use to talk to girls and women and say, ‘Yeah, I’m not makeup-ed up, I’m not weaved-up, and I am beautiful.’ ”

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Luis Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Luis Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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