Entertainment

With One Major Benefit Concert, J.Lo And Marc Anthony Raised Millions For Disaster Relief

@marcanthony / @jlo / Instagram

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony brought together some of the biggest names in entertainment for Somos Live!, a night of fundraising that resulted in $35 million for disaster relief. Selena Gomez was part of the team that held down the phones. Bruno Mars performed a song in Spanish. Jennifer Lopez was all over the place, making sure everything ran smoothly. Somos Live! was aired simultaneously by both Telemundo and Univision, a first in Spanish-language television history. The concert was also aired on MTV, VH1, BET, and other networks. Here’s a quick recap of the performances that went down at Somos Live!

Seventy singers, actors and other celebrities came together to raise as much money as possible for disaster relief.

The money will go to those affected by recent earthquakes in Mexico as well as those affected by hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, Mexico, and other Caribbean islands.

Ricky Martin expressed his Puerto Rican pride while performing “Pégate.”

Ricky Martin has been very active since Hurricane Maria and has raised $3 million via crowdfunding efforts, according to People.

“I don’t sleep,” Martin told People. “I’m in creative mode, trying to see how we can bring love and hope to my people in Puerto Rico.”

Demi Lovato sang a rendition of “Hallelujah” that will take you to church.

Lovato, who claims Dallas, Texas as her hometown, was quick to respond after Hurricane Harvey hit her home state. The singer and actor not only went to Houston to volunteer, she donated 50,000 bottles of water. Lovato also set up a fundraising initiative to help the Houston Food Bank and kicked things off by donating $50,000 of her own money.

Bruno Mars gave “Just The Way You Are” a bilingual remix no one was expecting.

Mars is not shy about expressing his love for his Puerto Rican heritage. During Somos Live!, Mars mentioned that although he grew up in Hawaii, he feels connected to Puerto Rico through blood.

Earlier this year, in an interview with Latina Magazine, Mars tackled the rumors that he changed his name for the stage because it was “too Latino.”

“I never once said I changed my last name to hide the fact that I’m Puerto Rican,” Mars told Latina Magazine. “Why would I f**king say that? Who are you fooling? And why would anyone say that? That’s so insulting to me, to my family. That’s ridiculous. My last name is Hernandez. My father’s name is Pedrito Hernandez, and he’s a Puerto Rican pimp. There’s no denying that.”

Jennifer Lopez set the stage on fire, as only she can, by performing one of her earlier hits.

@JLo is pure fire on stage ? (Full Video : Link In Bio) ??#JLo #JenniferLopez #SomosLive

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This “Let’s Get Loud” performance was ???.

She also performed her more recent hit “Ni Tu Ni Yo.”

J.Lo has been a major player in getting disaster relief to Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. The singer was open about not being able to communicate with her family in Puerto Rico after the hurricane and stepped up to donate $1 million to help the island recover. J.Lo also joined a star-studded cast to sing on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Almost Like Praying” to raise even more money for Puerto Rico.

Romeo Santos showed up to give his fans a little something.

Santos and Marc Anthony reconnected on the stage to perform their duet “Yo Tambien.” Santos has played a major role in getting supplies to Puerto Rico with the help of the hip-hop community in New York City. According to Fox5NY, he led a donation drive and collected enough supplies to fill up four planes, paid for by Jay Z and TIDAL. The international superstar was able to send 200,000 pounds of relief supplies to Puerto Rico to help with recovery efforts.

Anthony closed out the event with one final call to action for all Latinos to help Puerto Rico.

After singing “Preciosa,” a song that has always been dedicated to Puerto Rico, Anthony called on the crowd to keep fighting for Latinos.

“Thanks a lot everyone. May God bless you. It could be you tomorrow,” Anthony told the crowd at the end of the show. “It could be you tomorrow and you know what, we’ll be there. May God bless you. Long live the Latino race, dammit!”


READ: As People Still Suffer After Hurricanes And Earthquakes, Marc Anthony Is Putting Together A Massive Relief Benefit Concert

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Two Pulse Survivors Are Spreading The Message That You Can Pray The Gay Away With A Freedom March Near The Club

Culture

Two Pulse Survivors Are Spreading The Message That You Can Pray The Gay Away With A Freedom March Near The Club

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On June 12, 2016, an armed man entered Pulse Nightclub and opened fire. Forty-nine people died that night as a result and 53 were injured. The shooting was the most deadly shooting at the time. Now, two survivors are claiming they are no longer gay after finding Christ and are marching in the name of conversion five minutes away from the deadly attack.

Angel Colon and Luis Javier Ruiz survived the Pulse Nightclub massacre and have since claimed they are no longer gay men.

Credit: @fearlessidentity / Instagram

In the aftermath of the shooting, Colon and Ruiz have created an organization to promote the debunked and dangerous theory that homosexuality is something that can be changed. It has been scientifically proven that sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be changed at will. There have recently been high-profile examples of former conversion therapy advocates coming out as gay and rejecting the mentality that it is something that can be “fixed.”

As part of their ministry, Colon and Ruiz are hosting a “Freedom March” on Sept. 14 in Orlando five minutes from the remains of the Pulse Nightclub.

Credit: @BillyCorben / Twitter

Ruiz and Colon told NBC News that their mission is not to forcibly change anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We’re trying to equip churches, even if they’re not gay-affirming churches, with the resources they need and teach them not to judge the LGBTQ community,” Colon explained to NBC News. “We’re trying to share our stories through ministry and share the testimonies of people who’ve come out of the homosexual lifestyle.”

The march has been received with mixed reviews with many in the LGBTQ+ community seeing the march as an attack on the community.

Credit: @jota_sexteam / Twitter

There is also a sentiment that the march is an insult to the memories of those who died that night simply for being part of the LGBTQ+ community.

“While we honor the freedom for expressions of faith, and hold the beauty of religiosity in our community, we cannot condone the gross misuse of religious text and faith to exploit LGBTQ+ people or support conversion therapy,” Christopher Cuevas, the executive director of QLatinx, wrote in an email to NBC News. “The expressions of our queer and transgender identities are the embodiment of divinity and grace, because we are living our most radical truth by celebrating and centering our LGBTQ+ identity.”

Ruiz has suggested that people can choose their sexuality and their path.

However, what Ruiz fails to understand is that scientific studies are proving more and more that is it the genetic makeup and brain chemistry that dictate a person’s sexual orientation. Studies have proved that people have not better of a chance to change their sexual orientation than they do their hair or eye color.

LGBTQ+-friendly religious organizations have reached out to Orlando asking for help stopping the march.

Credit: @qchristianorg / Twitter

“The Freedom March describes their movement as ‘former homosexuals and transgenders sharing our testimonies and celebrating our freedom.’ At Q Christian Fellowship, our members have far too much experience with the damage that can be done by organizations promoting ‘ex-gay’ ideologies and conversion therapies premised on the false and dangerous claim that people must be ‘delivered from LGBTQ+ lifestyles,'” reads the open letter. “You should be aware that The Freedom March possesses significant organizational overlap with anti-LGBTQ+ groups such as Equipped to Love, the Changed Movement, and Moral Revolution, which describes itself as ‘a company of radicals helping to define a healthy sexuality’ in a ‘generation overwhelmed by conflicting messages about love, lust, and relationships.'”

But, some LGBTQ+ community members are spreading the message of love being the most powerful weapon against this anti-LGBTQ+ movement.

Credit: @emilyjoypoetry / Twitter

Love is one of the most powerful tools in anyone’s arsenal. In the face of a march trying to tel young LGBTQ+ people that they can change, it is important that people raise their voices in love and support. Being LGBTQ+ is okay and natural.

READ: He Survived The Shooting In Orlando And He Is Now Telling His Story

Mexico And The World Mourn The Loss Of Celso Piña, One Of Mexico’s Greatest Musicians

Entertainment

Mexico And The World Mourn The Loss Of Celso Piña, One Of Mexico’s Greatest Musicians

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If there’s one instrument that best describes Mexican music is has to be the accordion. While the musical key instrument known as a squeezebox has its origins in Europe, it indeed came alive in Mexico as the staple sound in rancheras and cumbias. There is only one musician who thrived through the accordion sound, though sadly that is now a thing of the past.

Celso Piña, known as the “The Accordion Rebel,” died yesterday at the age of 66.

Credit: Instagram/@danonewillrise297

The Mexican musician was in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, and was soon scheduled to g on tour, but had a heart attack and died at the hospital.

La Tuna Group, Piña’s record label, confirmed in a statement that he died yesterday at 12:38 p.m. after suffering a heart attack.

Credit: Instagram/@mexicoprimero_

“Today is a sad day for La Tuna Group,” they stated, “Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and followers. We are left with an intense emptiness, but he leaves us his great legacy forever. We appreciate respecting the privacy of the family.”

Piña seemed to have been in good spirits earlier in the day and tweeted for the final time. “No one can resist the cumbia,” he said.

The self-taught musician had been touring off and on for months. He also had upcoming shows in Georgia and Texas.

The Grammy-award winning musician had a musical career that spanned 40 decades, and aside from his musical stylings as an accordion player, he was also a composer, singer, and arranger.

Credit: Instagram/@patanegra_mx

Piña had collaborated with several contemporary artists including Lila Downs, Julieta Venegas, Cafe Tacvba, and Gloria Trevi, Variety reports. He was also more than a cumbia musician. His sound also fused into other musical genres, including norteña music, hip-hop, ska, reggae, and more.

Several celebrity fans and collaborators tweeted their heartfelt condolences.

According to the Grammy Academy, Piña got his hands on his first accordion in 1980. He taught himself how to play and performed with his brothers. “Together, they went on to play norteña and tropical music, eventually adding cumbia to their style,” the Academy states. “The brothers became known as ‘Celso Piña Y Su Ronda Bogotá,’ giving a nod to cumbia’s motherland.”

Fans on social media also expressed how much Piña meant to them.

One fan, @iphadra, tweeted, “his greatness of # CelsoPiña is not due to its successes or fame in the 5 continents. It is because it was he who came to claim the music of the marginalized.” @JJ4rmCh tweeted, Rest In Peace Celso Piña, no one fucked it up on an accordion like u did.” But this tweet we could totally relate to from @jennjenn1_  who tweeted, “It wasn’t a real quince or wedding until you played some #CelsoPiña ❤️🇲🇽 🎶🎶🎶 may his music live on for generations to come.”

Writer Melissa del Bosque had the honor of being able to interview him. She tweeted, “Hearing ‘Barrio Bravo’ for the first time was a life-changing experience. Celso Piña and Toy Hernández, of Control Machete, had created a whole new hybrid mixing Colombian cumbia with the anarchy of urban streets. I went directly to Monterrey to interview El Rebelde del Acordeón. Here we are at Cafe Brasil, one of his favorite haunts. As I wrote then, when ‘Cumbia Sobre el Rio hit the airwaves there wasn’t a car from Chicago to Chiapas that didn’t have the bass booming and the sonic onslaught layered with accordion rattling their windows.’ #RipCelsoPina.”

Last year, Piña visited one of his biggest fans, who is also an accordion player just like him. The two performed in the streets of Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Herrera recalled what it was like hearing that his musical idol had died. The young musician told El Universal that he was with his daughter when he heard the news that Piña had died. He said he couldn’t believe it, and all the memories from his incredible visit with him last year rushed back to him. He said it was a dream to have been able to perform with him. 

Here’s a couple of his most beloved and hit songs.

Here’s “Cumbia Sobre el Rio Suena” live and with an orchestra! He had such a distinct voice and sound. There was no one else like him.

“No Sea Conmigo”

This was his collaboration with Cafe Tacvba. So lovely! We dare you not to dance to this one.

What’s your favorite Celso Piña track? Let us know in the comment section below. Rest in power, Celso!!

READ: This Isn’t Your Mama’s Cumbia: The Eclectic History Of Latin America’s Classic Music Genre

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