Entertainment

One Year After Its Release: Five ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Moments That Touched This Latino Nerd’s Heart

Hi, mitú fam! It’s the content team’s resident comic book nerd and superhero fanatic, Diego. And I’m here to remind you that we just had an incredible anniversary. 

That’s right, it has officially been one year since the culmination of a decade of superhero cinema, dozens of movies, sequels, threequels, characters, villains, quips and the tireless effort of hundreds upon hundreds of production staff… AVENGERS: ENDGAME.

You don’t understand how much this movie meant to me. I grew up on comic books. I was around for all the reboots. The retcons of the reboots. For all the holographic foil variant covers. And of course all of the half-hearted attempts at translating these heroes who I hold so dear in my heart to the big screen. Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe started taking shape the closest we came to seeing the Avengers on screen was that one episode of the Hulk TV show with Thor in it and a Captain America movie where his ears were made of plastic and he just looked tired the whole time.

The thrilling scene where they teamed up to find out where Thor parked his ‘88 Miata.

Have you ever worn a rubber suit outdoors? You’d be tired too

The MCU had consistently delivered. For an entire decade. And this movie still promised to blow everything out of the water. Which was going to be hard to top because in the movie right before this one, they MURDERED HALF OF THE CAST. I had to see this movie.

To underscore how serious this movie is, it came out on my husband’s birthday and I straight up told him “We are going to see this movie for your birthday.” Is he a huge Marvel fan? NOPE.

So, in honor of this Avengers Anniversary, I wanted to countdown the absolute best moments that made this little Latino fanboy’s heart feel all the feelings.

1. The Big Three vs. Thanos

Fair warning that most of these moments come from the end of the film because that was when the hype was the most real. This is one of the final confrontations with Thanos, and the trio that has come to be known affectionately as THE BIG THREE: Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America. After years of drama, infighting and Thanos pulling things behind the scenes, they all came together and this was a fight that DELIVERED.

Just look at this moment: 

Thor Odinson, dual-wielding Stormbreaker and Mjolnir and calling down lightning to charge up Iron Man’s armor for a devastating combo move. I could watch this forever.

2. Cap Wielding Mjolnir

To really understand the gravity of this moment, you have to know a few things about this hammer. Thor’s hammer Mjolnir is enchanted, so that only someone who is “worthy” can wield it. “Worthy” in this case meaning pure of heart and intention. Basically only someone who is inherently good and who would never use the power of the hammer for selfish reasons can even lift the damn thing.

So in a desperate moment in the fight when things look grim. Captain America reaches for the hammer and proves why he is the GOAT. Watching this moment in theaters, when that hammer started to lift off the ground, we all knew what was about to happen. And we all went INSANE.

Not pictured: Me. Crying hysterically.

And Captain America not only lifted Mjolnir. He used it.

He used it like a damn professional.

3. “Avengers Assemble”

A bit more context for this moment. So Thanos had previously killed half of all life in the universe by assembling the magical McGuffin that allowed him to do that. The remaining Avengers had spent most of this movie reassembling said McGuffin to UNDO the killing off of said life. Which they did, right before Thanos blew up their house with his big bad spaceship. So they (and we) weren’t sure if their cosmic CTRL+Z had worked or not. Until this scene. Just when Thanos’s army arrives and things look totally FUBAR, all of the heroes who we watched die just one movie ago started reappearing to save the day.

And then. And THEN. A bit more context. The classic and quintessential catchphrase for the Avengers is when Captain America gathers them with his battle-cry of “Avengers Assemble”. It was a comic book staple of the team. And although they had hinted at it in previous movies, Cap had never said the phrase on screen. EVER. But then, with Thanos and his army looking on with all the heroes reunited.

Omgomgomgomgomg

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

4. The Women of Marvel

So full disclosure, I couldn’t choose just one moment featuring the many badass women of Marvel, so I’m using this spot on the countdown to highlight a few of their key scenes from Avengers: Endgame. Whether it was the moment above when basically ALL of them gathered to help protect the cosmic McGuffin.

Black Widow’s tragic sacrifice on the planet Vormir so that the team could save the universe.

When Scarlet Witch took on Thanos by herself and KICKED HIS ASS (He murdered her robot boyfriend so she was understandably upset).

Or when Captain Marvel one-shotted Thanos’s intergalactic warship all by herself. 

Big shout out to all the women of Marvel: Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Valkyrie, Gamora, Nebula, Pepper Potts, Wasp, Okoye, Scarlet Witch, Mantis, Shuri, Nakia, Ramonda, Aunt May, MJ, even cute little Morgan Stark. 💖

5. “I… AM… IRON MAN.”

This final moment was THE defining moment of ten years of cinematic storytelling. In the face of Thanos regaining the power to end all life in the blink of an eye. Iron Man, the first hero who introduced the MCU all those years ago, makes the ultimate sacrifice, using the cosmic power himself to end Thanos once and for all, at the cost of his life.

Y’all. Y’ALL. I was weeping in the theater after this moment. No shame or any of that machismo BS. I was straight up not ok. 

But these emotional highs and lows are why we love superheroes. We live for the hype. We live for the sheer drama of it all. Thanks to Marvel for delivering us this masterpiece one year ago. I love being a comic book fan. 😭

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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

Courtesy of Timothy Pollard

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

UNIVERSAL MUSIC LATIN

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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