Entertainment

Bad Bunny And Marc Anthony Will Rebuild Baseball Parks In Puerto Rico Destroyed By Hurricane María

While it’s been two years since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, the recovery efforts aren’t finishing anytime soon. Many people on the island are still trying to put their lives back together, which includes rebuilding homes, churches, and schools. What many might not know is the recovery efforts have also included revitalizing baseball fields on the island where Puerto Ricans once played. 

Among the destruction that both Hurricanes Irma and Maria left in 2017 is more than 300 small league baseball parks that were found inoperative. As a result, many community ball programs were essentially eliminated and youths on the island were essentially left in the dark without fields to play the sport.

Leading the revitalization efforts are Puerto Rico’s own two native sons: Bad Bunny and Marc Anthony. The duo, along with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a U.S. community development non-profit, has teamed up for a new program called Play Ball Again. The purpose of the initiative will be to help rebuild some of those damaged baseball fields and facilitate local programming for 17,500 youth. It is expected that in total, about 300 facilities will be impacted by this initiative. 

The duo hopes the contributions play a huge role in bringing not only baseball back to the island but a place where people can escape from their worries. 

Credit: @laguerradelbsn / Twitter

The initiative is special to both of them not only because they’re helping youth but they hoping these recovery efforts go a long way in bringing back a sense of community. Maestro Cares Foundation, which Anthony owns, is putting money towards the program with a goal of restoring “normalcy” in Puerto Rico.

“Sports and recreation activities help restore a sense of normalcy, in the wake of disasters,” Anthony, who is among the program’s earliest supporters, said in a press release.” Baseball isn’t just a game in this context. It helps young people do better in school and improves family life and health in difficult circumstances.”

Maestro Cares, along with the Good Bunny Foundation and UNICEF USA, will all be putting forth $300,000 of what LISC expects to be more than $1.6 million in baseball field renovations. Joining the efforts is Chicago Cubs second baseman Javi Baez with his Cubs Charities, which will donate an additional $100,000 in support. This also includes the Kohler Company, which made a donation to fund bathroom fixtures for onsite facilities.

“Two years after these devastating storms, the need to rebuild the island remains strong,” Báez, whose family is from the Bayamón area, said in a press release. “Cubs Charities understood the need and has stepped up to the plate to help restore baseball fields and give kids throughout Puerto Rico the opportunity to play the game. This rebuild will make a big difference for the community, and I am proud to continue my efforts to restore the island.”

The recovery efforts in Puerto Rico have been long and tiresome but the fuel behind the revitalization has always been the people. 

 Credit: UNICEF / MAESTRO CARES

While time may have passed, many on the island of Puerto Rico are still trying to get back on their feet. For Bad Bunny, he knows firsthand the power that activities like baseball have on youth. Growing up, baseball was part of his life and much of his time was spent at many of the ballparks that were destroyed in 2017. 

“Growing up on the island I spent a lot of time in some of these parks that are now destroyed,” says Bad Bunny, whose Good Bunny Foundation is part of the initiative. “In parks similar to these, a lot of great athletes like Roberto Clemente, Yadier Molina, Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez, and Ivan Rodriguez grew up. Our commitment is to rebuild these parks so that we can help new athletes grow. This is the first step for the rebirth of sports within the island.”

The rebirth of Puerto Rico is taking time but in that process, there is a sense that an even stronger community will come out of this disaster. While simple things like baseball may not seem significant, it’s a part of the fabric of Puerto Rico and displays the love that is shared playing on a field. This rebirth has already started as construction on the baseball field is underway and most field renovations are set for completion by the 2020 season.

READ: The Death of Four-Year-Old Noah Cuatro Has Rocked the Los Angeles Community As They Come to Grips With the Failure of Child Protective Services

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Bad Bunny Defeats The Miz, Announces U.S. Tour Dates at WWE Wrestlemania

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Defeats The Miz, Announces U.S. Tour Dates at WWE Wrestlemania

Bad Bunny made all his dreams come true this weekend at Wrestlemania. The Puerto Rican superstar defeated his WWE rival The Miz and announced a U.S. tour.

Bad Bunny and The Miz finally faced off in the ring.

Bad Bunny made his Wrestlemania debut on Saturday night. After the past few months of a growing rivalry with Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, the two took it to the ring in a main event match. Benito walked out to his song “Booker T,” an homage to the WWE legend. It was exciting to hear the announcer say, “From Vega Baja, Puerto Rico: Bad Bunny!” Benito teamed up with Damien Priest against The Miz and John Morrison. After a few high-flying moves, the Boricua duo emerged victorious.

Like many wrestling fans, The Miz was impressed by Bad Bunny’s Wrestlemania debut.

The WWE caught up with The Miz and Morrison after their defeat. The Miz echoed much of the WWE fandom’s thoughts that night after seeing Bad Bunny commit to his performance in the ring. “I can’t believe I’m actually going to say this, but he gained my respect,” The Miz said. Morrison made a bad pun after saying there was a “luck factor” involved because “rabbits are lucky.”

Triple H helped Bad Bunny announce his 2022 U.S. tour.

During night two of Wrestlemania, Bad Bunny dropped his surprise announcement of his 2022 U.S. Tour. In the clip, WWE legend Triple H thanks Benito for his “amazing” job at Wrestlemania and then passes him a suitcase. While sitting on top of his El Último Tour Del Mundo big rig, Bad Bunny finds a microphone inside of the suitcase.

Bad Bunny’s U.S. Tour will kick off on Feb. 9 in Denver. From dates revealed so far, the tour will run until April 2022. The tickets go on-sale on Friday, April 16, at 12PM local time.

Bad Bunny 2022 U.S. Tour Dates:

2/9 Denver CO – Ball Arena
2/11 El Paso, TX – Utep Don Haskins Center
2/13 Hidalgo, TX – Payne Arena
2/16 Houston, TX – Toyota Center
2/18 Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
2/23 San Diego, CA – Pechanga Arena
2/24 Los Angeles, CA – Staples Center
2/25 Inglewood, CA – The Forum
2/28 Portland, OR – Moda Center
3/1 Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena
3/3 San Jose, CA – SAP Center
3/5 Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena
3/6 Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix Suns Arena
3/10 Rosemont, IL – Allstate Arena
3/14 Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena
3/16 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
3/18 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
3/19 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
3/22 Boston, MA – TD Garden
3/23 Montreal, QC – Bell Center
3/25 Washington, DC – Capital One Arena
3/26 Charlotte, NJ – Spectrum Center
3/27 Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
3/29 Orlando, FL – Amway Center
4/1 Miami, FL – American Airlines Arena

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Read: Bad Bunny is Going to Wrestlemania: His Road to the WWE Main Event

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Latin Music Revenue in the U.S. Grew in 2020, Up 20 Percent in Streaming

Entertainment

Latin Music Revenue in the U.S. Grew in 2020, Up 20 Percent in Streaming

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that grips the globe, Latin music in the U.S. saw a 20 percent rise in streaming revenue in 2020. The genre posted a fifth consecutive year of overall revenue growth last year, according to the RIAA on Wednesday.

Latin music posted its best revenue in the U.S. since 2005.

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) released the 2020 year-end report on Latin music.

“Latin music continues to ‘punch above its weight’ – posting its fifth straight year of growth amidst the challenges and disruptions of the COVID economy,” wrote RIAA COO Michele Ballantyne in an annual revenue report.

After accounting for 5 percent of overall music revenue in the U.S. in 2019, that percentage rose to 5.4 percent last year. Latin music is heavily consumed on streaming and video platforms. Revenue for the genre is at its highest since 2005, the era when reggaeton music first broke through thanks to Puerto Rican acts like Daddy Yankee, Ivy Queen, and Tego Caulderón.

Bad Bunny had the highest-certified Latin music single of 2020.

Over a decade later, and it’s still reggaeton and Boricua artists that are leading the pack of Latin music stars. According to the RIAA, Bad Bunny’s “Yo Perreo Sola” was the highest-certified Latin music single of 2020. The hit song from his Grammy and Latin Grammy-winning YHLQMDLG album was certified 24-times Diamante. The RIAA is responsible for certifying albums and singles as platinum and gold. Latin music accounted for 15 percent of the certifications in 2020.

The news about Bad Bunny shouldn’t be a surprise as Spotify revealed last year that he was the most-streamed artist globally on the platform. He was followed by Canadian superstar Drake and Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin.

The RIAA credits Latin music’s 20 percent streaming growth in 2020 to the fans who are turning to paid streaming subscriptions. YouTube is another major platform where Latin music is consumed. Billboard reported that 30 percent of the top 100 music videos of 2020 were from Latin music artists.  

Click here for Latido Music, 24/7 Latin music videos & more

Read: Bad Bunny and Kali Uchis Win Their First Grammy Awards, Jhay Cortez Performs “Dákiti” with Benito

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