Entertainment

Here’s What These ’90s Latina actresses and actors Looked Like Then

The ’90s are back. Some Latino celebs have embraced this new trend and others are leaving their ’90s looks far, far in the past. While there are differences politically, we can all agree that these stars made out ’90s the decade to remember. Here are just a few Latino celebs that rocked it in the ’90s and are killing the game today.

Then: Jennifer Lopez

@LikeKnives / Pinterest

Playing the starring role in “Selena” really made her career and seemed to fitting at the same time. She’s beauty and she’s grace. We all remember not once questioning the rumor that she had her signature booty insured for $1 billion.

Now: Jennifer Lopez

@jlo / Instagram

She is more than just an entertainer now. The singer, actor, and businesswoman has created an empire that is something to behold. That Puerto Rican booty hasn’t quit for 20 years. ?

Then: Tatyana M. Ali

@Shay / Pinterest

Tatyana M. Ali is half Panamanian and half Trinidadian and was all over our TV screens as Ashley Banks in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. What’s more 90’s than that product placement, am I right?

Now: Tatyana M. Ali

@tatyanaali / Instagram

Since “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, Ali has stayed in front of the camera, even working on “Young and the Restless” from 2007 to 2013.

Then: John Leguizamo

Cybalt, “Digital Image”, The Red List; 8 March 2018

Who can forget Leguizamo as Tybalt on “William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet”? You couldn’t make it through high school English class without seeing this movie and secretly l o v i n g  it. Tybalt was the fierce fire to Romeo’s weepy teen angst and you loved/hated him.

Now: John Leguizamo

@johnleguizamo / Instagram

Leguizamo uses his platform on Instagram to lend his voice to the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, to Dreamers and his still-standing fiery sense of humor. He has even created his own broadway show “Latin History for Morons” and he is on a mission to teach people.

Then: Stacey Dash

Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash in Clueless (1995); “Digital Image”; IMDB; 8 March 2018

The Afro-Latina actor captured our hearts as Dionne in “Clueless”. She was all of us and everything we aspired to be in the ’90s. Yes, she was terrified to drive on the highway at 15 years old, which is relatable af, and held her boyfriend Murray to a gold standard.

Now: Stacey Dash

@realstaceyldash / Instagram

Dash has become a big voice among conservative media and politics. The “Clueless” star was a regular contributor for Fox News but was fired early last year. She is currently running for Congress to represent California’s 44th district.

Then: Guillermo Diaz

DenMoviez Entertainment / YouTube

We remember Guillermo Diaz as the tie-dye clad stoner pal Scarface in “Half Baked”. He kept us laughing as he went on an epic journey with Dave Chappelle in the stoner comedy classic.

Now: Guillermo Diaz

@guillermodiazreal / Instagram

Now, Diaz plays a somehow endearing killer, traumatized by the government’s secret assassination team on the hit show, “Scandal”. In real life, he’s a stand up guy that is a big advocate for this LGBTQ community and women’s rights.

Then: Mario Lopez

AC Slater; ‘Digital Image’; PopSugar; 8 March 2018

Lopez played one of the only Latinos on mainstream TV and even had a “coming out” moment as Chicano. As A.C. Slater in “Saved By the Bell”, he loved sports and dance and gave us all an identity we could relate to.

Now: Mario Lopez

@mariolopezextra / Instagram

Lopez is one of the most high-profile hosts of Extra. Not only does he get to frame the narrative, Lopez brings celebrities to a sense of comfort to make for some really fun interviews.

Then: Zoe Saldana

Center Stage; ‘Digital Image’; FanPop; 8 March 2018

I remember watching Zoe Saldana as Eva in “Center Stage” struggle to be accepted by her superiors at the ballet academy. Her New Yorican/Dominican sass didn’t fit with *cough* white *cough* etiquette. Watching her take the main stage at the end of “Center Stage” made us all want to become gum-chewing, sailor’s mouth ballerinas.

Now: Zoe Saldana

@zoesaldana / Instagram

Saldana has made me go from wishing I was a ballerina to a Nav’i person. Who doesn’t want to live in that beautiful world with nature and fun at every turn?

Then: Shakira

Magia (1991)

Lil’ Baby Shakira circa 1991 is giving me life right now. Everything about her is just screaming ’90s from her hair to her gloves to her skirt. She was super fashionable and we all wanted to dress just like her.

Now: Shakira

@shakira / Instagram

The Colombian pop star is truly living her best life. She is married to a professional soccer player, has children, and continues to win awards for her incredible music. She couldn’t be more perfect.

Then: Mike Vitar

prinzefilms / YouTube

Vitar played Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez on “The Sandlot” and was one of the few brown kids on the team. It was an icon role for all of us wanting to make it to the big leagues…and outrun the neighborhood mastiff.

Now: Mike Vitar

Mike Vitar; ‘Digital Image’; TMZ; 8 March 2018

Vitar ended up becoming a firefighter after leaving acting behind in the ’90s. Vitar did make headlines as a firefighter in 2017 after a grad student filed a lawsuit against him and four other men after a near fatal attack on Halloween 2015 that left the grad student with permanent brain damage. Vitar took a six-month unpaid leave when the lawsuit was filed.

Then: Lauren Vélez

@mrdennisscott / Instagram

Lauren Vélez masterfully portrayed the insightful Detective Nina Moreno on the police drama “New York Undercover”.

Now: Lauren Vélez

@lalunavelez / Instagram

She’s now widely known as the driven police lieutenant Maria LaGuerta on Showtime’s “Dexter”Oh, and in her day to day, she looks flawless as ever performing her civic duties as a juror.

Then: Wilson Cruz

The Bedford Falls Company

Cruz played Ricky Velasquez on “My So-Called Life” and gave gay Latinos representation like never before. The role was filled with all the angst and confusion one would expect from a Latino coming to terms with their sexuality.

Now: Wilson Cruz

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Cruz has used his fame to really push for his political ideals. The actor was a vocal part of the 2016 campaign year. Professionally, Cruz has made some major waves lately when cast in “Star Trek: Discovery”.

Then: Ricky Martin

RickyMartinVEVO / YouTube

Martin was breaking all of our hearts when he was fresh to the English-language music scene. The singer was the man all women wanted and all men wanted to be.

Now: Ricky Martin

ricky_martin / Instagram

The singer who was once living la vida loca is now a proud father and husband. Long gone are the days of partying and dancing the night away infavor of nights in with the familia.

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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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