Entertainment

This Puerto Rican Entertainer Has Been On Broadway, Netflix And, Now The Big Screen

anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

Anthony Ramos, in all of his Nuyorican glory, made his big screen debut alongside Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in “A Star is Born.” There has been a lot of buzz around the movie and Ramos is riding that wave, as he should.

Ramos’ short career in the entertainment industry has been super successful. He’s landed starring roles in “Hamilton” alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda and worked with Spike Lee recording his own music. Ramos lives up to the Puerto Rican bar of stardom.

Anthony Ramos was born in Queens on November 1, 1991.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

That’s right. Ya boy’s a Scorpio, which explains that deep soulful attraction you’re experiencing right now. He grew up in Bushwick under his mother’s roof, alongside his older brother and younger sister.

He was raised by a single mother.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

Ramos has admitted to UFT that he wasn’t “the easiest person to wrangle” as a child.  He was raised in a Bushwick housing project by a single mother.

This is the face of someone who was in a Motown band in high school.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

He went to Halsey Junior High where he was part of the “Halsey Trio” and would sing Motown at school rallies. Boricua mothers everywhere would be so proud.

He was determined to play baseball in college.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

He struggled in school and baseball was his center of focus, but his family didn’t have the financial support to make it happen.

His career started in the shower.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

Ok, so he answered a call from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in the shower. He got in with a full scholarship to its musical theatre program class of 2011. That’s what saved him.

When he got to AMDA, he knew nothing about theatre.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

He recently told OUT Magazine that, “I’d get to school and kids would be talking about Rodgers and Hammerstein, and I’d be like, ‘I don’t know any of these people. I know Jay-Z, Nas, and Usher.’ I had to learn fast.”

Then, he landed the coveted dual roles in “Hamilton.”

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

Ramos was part of the original cast of “Hamilton” off Broadway. The show opened in 2015 with Ramos playing the dual roles of John Laurens and Alexander Hamilton’s oldest son, Philip Hamilton.

Within months, the play made it to Broadway and caused a frenzy.

Ramos lost his appendix during “Hamilton” production.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

While in “Hamilton,” Ramos suffered from appendicitis and had to have emergency surgery. He had to take a break from “Hamilton” to recover before returning to the stage.

In 2016, he won a Grammy for “Best Musical Theater Album.”

CREDIT: @HamiltonMusical / Twitter

The whole album is available on Spotify if you missed out on the widespread acclaim for a casting of entirely non-white Founding Fathers with dialogue that is entirely rapped. He left the show on Nov. 20, 2016.

Ramos met his long-time girlfriend on the “Hamilton” stage.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

In 2015, Ramos started dating Jasmine Cephas Jones, who had the dual role of Maria Reynolds and Peggy Schuyler in “Hamilton.” They are always blasting their love on social media and it’s goals.

They are a gorgeous couple.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

Fun fact: Cephas Jones is the daughter of actor Ron Cephas Jones from “This Is Us.” She said she couldn’t watch the episode where his character dies. Understandable.

Spike Lee caught a “Hamilton” show and casted him in a Netflix show.

CREDIT: IMDb

Since playing in “She’s Gotta Have It,” his fame has absolutely skyrocketed and become a household name. Plus, he’s using it for good.

Just Ramos and Spike Lee casually wearing Afro-Boricua shirts to raise funds for PR.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

Ramos is hella proud to be Boricua and has partnered with Lin-Manual Miranda on the stage to raise funds for Hurricane Maria relief.

Caption: “Afro Boricua T-shirts are back! 100% of proceeds go to the Maria fund for Hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. Getchyo Tee”

He’s not above getting his hands dirty to rebuild Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

During his last trip to Puerto Rico, he helped clear debris that has been lying in rubbish piles for the last year and help with construction work to rebuild. His caption says it all.

Caption: “Yo I was blessed to travel back to my family’s homeland of Puerto Rico this weekend. I’m just now coming down from this experience. Words can not express what I went through and what I feel, but this is my best shot. It was the most overwhelming, inspiring and beautiful thing I think I’ve ever seen. The people of Puerto Rico are living in a level of resilience, strength, joy, and togetherness like I’ve never seen anywhere.”

Watch out, because he’s about to star in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

Expected to be released in Spring of 2019, Ramos will be starring alongside Mille Bobbie Brown. Me imagining los dos speaking Spanish on set. 🤩

Oh, and find him in theaters right now in “Monsters and Men.”

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

In the film, he plays Manny, a New Yorker who captures the shooting of an unarmed black man by a police officer all on his phone. When he posts it on the internet, the consequences are unnerving.

The film wasn’t too far off base from his own experience with police as a brown Latinx.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

In an interview with OUT, he said that he grew up in an environment like that. “A cop cuffed me on the Upper West Side one time, and if I’d said anything crazy or tried to act up, who knows what would have happened? My cousins, who were with me, were black and Puerto Rican, and I was just like, ‘I gotta chill — I don’t want anything to go down.’”

Ramos just dropped an E.P. “Freedom,” all to protest Trump.

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

He released the album on the one year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration and “Freedom” is the anthem of 2018. “Been darker days since election day (election day) / The rose colors seem to fade away (fade away) / The white sheet’s coming out to play / This is backwards oh”

Then, there’s the song “PRayer.”

CREDIT: @anthonyramosofficial / Instagram

In what seems to be a direct line of questioning for President Trump, just months after the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, he asks, “Tell me, does your love change / Dependin’ on who calls you? / Tell me, are we all the same? / Or is there one true?”

Can’t get enough of Ramos? Go check out “A Star is Born” ASAP.

CREDIT: @QWorldNews1 / Twitter

You’re in luck because he’s on the big screen for two movies playing in theatres right now. Bradley Cooper’s rendition of A Star is Born is getting wild reviews and rumor has it that Ramos and Lady Gaga’s BFF-ship on screen grew off screen as well. Theatre kids, am I right?


READ: These Inspiring Puerto Ricans Are Spreading Their Culture And Light As Far And Wide As They Can

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The World Can’t Get Enough Of J Balvin, He Is YouTube’s Most Streamed Artist Worldwide

Entertainment

The World Can’t Get Enough Of J Balvin, He Is YouTube’s Most Streamed Artist Worldwide

Roger Kisby / Fotógrafo autónomo / Getty Images

¡Mi gente! Your faves could never. Latin music domination continues around the world with the top spots of global streaming platforms being stacked with Latinx artists. What a time to be alive. Remember when we all had to pretend Drake was Dominican to get some kind of representation out here? But when you think about the sheer number of people on the planet that speak Spanish, it totally makes sense that Latinx artists would have such a massive reach. 

And let’s be real, while fluency helps, you really don’t have to be proficient to enjoy reggaeton. The energetic, pulsating beats can compel anyone to move. Do you really think everyone in the United States knew the English translation of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” in order to enjoy it? Music transcends language and so does Colombian trap artist J Balvin apparently. Do you think anyone even noticed that the lyrics in “Harlem Shake” are largely in Spanish? Nope. 

J Balvin is here to stay.

For six consecutive weeks, J Balvin has chopped the global charts on YouTube. That’s a total of 1.26 billion views on the platform. 

“Artista más visto en YouTube Global,” Balvin wrote in an Instagram caption.

This comes as no surprise to Balvin fans. In 2018, Balvin ousted drake as the most-streamed artist worldwide on Spotify. The singer surpassed 48 million monthly listeners last summer thanks to his single “X” with Nicky Jam which streamed over 327 million times. Balvin is in great company on the global charts with Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, and Ozuna all in the top 10. The trio’s single “China” with Anuel AA and Karol G is currently number 1 on the YouTube global charts and number 2 in the United States chart. However, we’re pleased to note that “Señorita” by Camilla Cabello and Shawn Mendes is topping the charts in the states. 

Balvin shouts out his Latinx fans. 

“Artista más escuchado en el mundo en @spotify posición #1 que celebro con todos mis latinos y los soñadores. Gracias Gracias Gracias,” Balvin wrote in the caption. 

Our boy is famous basically everywhere?

The top countries streaming Balvin’s music are Mexico with 240 million views, Argentina with 121 million views, and Colombia with 121 million views. The United States is in fourth place with 112 million views, followed by Spain, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, and Venezuela. But fear not, Balvin has fans in at least 100 different countries according to YouTube. 

We stan a humble king of the masses!

Like, literally could you imagine how this level of adoration and attention would completely warp your mind? I would be a monster. I would build a house out of fan mail and then set it ablaze just to laugh at my stupid fans. I’d have so many, who cares! Meanwhile, the artist, who typically regales his followers with personal messages on Instagram every morning at 5 a.m., knows how to connect with his fans. Balvin even served ordinary people from a coffee cart in New York City the other day. 

“Buenos días , buenos días , buenos días !!!!! ARCOÍRIS TOUR empieza 30 de Agosto en Puerto Rico !! Choliseo,” he wrote on Instagram. 

 We stan a humble king of the masses!

This isn’t the first Latin wave (and it won’t be the last).

In the 1990s, the late and great Selena catapulted Tejano and Cumbia music into the mainstream American consciousness. This ushered in the era of the “Latin Explosion” where legends were born. Ricky Martin, Thalía, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, and Jennifer Lopez made their marks. Hell, even Frank Sinatra personally invited Luis Miguel to record a duet of “Come Fly With Me” on his 1994 album Duets II. 

In the 2000s, there was the “Latin Pop Boom” that saw the likes of Shakira, Paulina Rubio, and Christina Aguilera topping the charts. You may even remember non-Latinx artists trying to ride the wave with Beyoncé collaborating with Shakira on the duet, “Beautiful Liar,” and releasing a Spanish language version of the single “Irreplaceable.” It almost feels odd to call these decades different waves or eras when it is pretty clear Latinxs have been consistently rocking the charts since Gloria Estefan in the 1980s. Since then, in the United States, we have been blessed with many more Latinx acts including the likes of Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello, Becky G, and Cardi B. And of course, there are all the amazing imports from Latinx countries around the world. If we want to continue this Latinx chart domination, I only have one piece of advice: stream “China” by J. Balvin on YouTube and Spotify!

Sparking Tequila: It Better Be On The Menu At Your Next Pool Party Or I’m Not Going

Culture

Sparking Tequila: It Better Be On The Menu At Your Next Pool Party Or I’m Not Going

@AzulanoTequila / Twitter

Summer 2019 is officially the summer carbonation took over the hearts and minds of the the adult beverage industry. Natty Light, PBR, Four Loko, and practically any alcohol company with a pulse who can make and bottle boozy seltzer jumped on a train that continues to bubble out of control.

The next phase of the sparkling beverage boom: Sparkling tequila.

LA-based Pure Azul just announced that it will be rolling out Azulana sparkling tequila this week in California, producing the first and only beverage on the market made with 100% blue agave tequila and sparkling soda.

Crafted in Jalisco, Mexico, it comes canned in three flavors: Original (… tequila-flavored sparkling soda), Lime, and Pineapple Rosemary. Azulana sparkling tequila will be released in 12-oz. cans, containing 4.3% ABV with 145 calories.

In other words, the legit perfect drink for summer. You just may want to break out some sal y limon to fully enjoy it. 

The three flavors are each unique and, not gonna lie, sound straight up tasty.

Credit: @AzulanoTequila / Twitter

According to the company’s website, the “Original” flavor goes down smooth with a “lightly sweet” and “slightly tart” taste.

The “Pineapple Rosemary,” meanwhile, boasts a fruity, herbal flavor somewhat reminiscent of flowers, while the “Lime” option is zesty and tropical.

Sparkling tequila is the the latest in a total takeover of the alcoholic beverage industry by sparkly, bubbly bebidas. 

Clearly, Azulana looks to capitalize on two glaring beverage industry trends: The proliferation of sparkling hard seltzer and the continued success of tequila, which Azulana notes “continues to thrive.” In 2017, for example, the US saw an 8.5% increase in tequila liter sales over the previous year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

In a press release, Katie Pittman, Head of Sales and Marketing at Pure Azul notes, “Our goal is to help others understand that tequila isn’t just enjoyed during a wild night out – with Azulana, it can truly be enjoyed during all occasions – anywhere, anytime.”

It’s also good timing – tequila sales are up up up across the US. 

It may not seem like it to those of us who regularly order the Patron or some Cuervo when we having a party, but it’s true. Tequila sales are booming in the US. In 2017, for example, tequila sales were up 8.5% from the year before. 

So if there was ever a time to enter the tequila business – it would be now. Make them coins. 

The grand unveiling was August 22nd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.

And, of course, it made its debut at a Rolling Stones concert. Because I guess tequila and Stones go together like…sal y limon? 

But don’t worry if you didn’t make it to that concert. You won’t have to wait long. The sparking tequila beverage will be available at Bristol Farms supermarkets in Southern California from August 28th before expanding to other markets and regions from then. 

While some seemed to at least be open to the idea…

I mean, it all really depends on your feelings towards sparkling drinks to begin with. If you’re already a fan, then sparkling tequila isn’t too much of a stretch. 

Mexicans were openly skeptical.

But let’s note, many on Latino Twitter basically said they were simultaneously fascinated and disgusted by the idea of sparkling tequila.

And a few people pointed out that summer is nearly over. 

But if you have sparking tequila at your house…is summer ever really over? I don’t think so. 

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