Entertainment

Ozuna Is Working With The FBI And Miami Police Department About An Attempted Extortion

Ozuna, one of the biggest Puerto reggaeton stars, has claimed in a press statement that he was the victim of extortion. The Puerto Rican star says that he had fallen victim to blackmail, involving an explicit video filmed of him when he was just 16 years old. Various media sources are reporting that recently killed trap singer Kevin Fret was the person extorting Ozuna. Allegedly, Fret had threatened Ozuna on various social media sites that he would release the tape.

The reggaeton star originally reported the extortion plot to both the FBI and Miami Police Department back in 2017.

“Our attorney confirmed yesterday that urban artist Ozuna was extorted through an intimate video filmed when he was a minor. This video was edited with the objective of causing even more harm,” reads a statement from Dimelo VI, the label management for Ozuna. “[During] the time of the alleged extortion scheme, we filed a complaint and all the legal measures are being taken, as sending and publishing videos of minors is a state and federal offense.”

Image result for kevin fret instagram
credit: GRAMMY.com

While no blackmailer has been publicly called out, it has been claimed that Fret was said to have a video of a 16-year-old Ozuna performing a sexual act. Fret demanded money to keep the video private and was reportedly paid $50,000 by Ozuna before he contacted the FBI about the blackmail. Fret was be shot and killed on Jan. 10 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

At this time, Ozuna’s lawyer says there is no connection between Fret’s death and the extortion case.

Sagardía said during a conference with Puerto Rican media that his client is not a suspect in the case and only met with investigators because of the extortion claims.

“Ozuna is not a suspect. I went with Ozuna to the Department of Justice. We met with prosecutor Freire (Luis Freire Borges), who at the time was the director of the Cyber Crimes Unit, and with more police personnel, because there was an extortion attempt from another person, who was Kevin Fret.”

According to Billboard, Vicente Saavedra, Ozuna’s manager, has also said that Ozuna has yet to be investigated or called to testify in the murder of Fret.

Don Omar weighed in on the extortion case that has people calling his comments “homophobic”.

The video behind the extortion case is rumored to be an underage Ozuna and two men conducting sexual acts. After the news broke, Don Omar, the famed Puerto Rican singer, was accused of making homophobic comments. He tweeted, “Lunch break! Any of you eat [duck]? Not me.”

Duck, or pato as it reads in Spanish, is a derogatory homophobic slur that is commonly said in some Latin American countries. Fellow Puerto Rican singer, Bad Bunny tweeted back at Omar saying, “Homophobia in this day and age? How embarrassing, loco.”

credit: Instagram @BadBunnyPR

Omar has since explained himself for the comments on Facebook live but was short of an apology for using the slur.

“I am not homophobic,” Don Omar said in the video. “Not one of you can call a gentleman who loves his family ‘homophobic,’ who respects them, who takes care of them, and wants the best for each of them.”

He has since received heavy criticism for his comments that have come in light of the openly gay Fret’s death. Some claimed Fret’s death was a hate crime that was due to his sexuality, especially in a genre where masculinity and misogyny are prevalent.

Ozuna sent out an apology to his fans with hopes the singer can learn from this incident.

“Like many young people, I made a mistake, fueled by ignorance,” Ozuna, born Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado, wrote in an apology. “Today, I’m not only sorry for what happened, but I condemn it. That’s why I looked for help and I am certain everything will be cleared. Likewise, I’m following the process and am always willing to collaborate with authorities to prevent the evil that resulted from this big mistake. More importantly, I ask my family for forgiveness. They are my life’s priority and I will continue to fight for them always.”


READ: The Death Of Latin Trap Artist Kevin Fret Is Putting A Spotlight On Heightened Violence In Puerto Rico

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Latin Grammy Nominations Are In And What A Difference A Year Makes

Entertainment

Latin Grammy Nominations Are In And What A Difference A Year Makes

Kevin Winter / Getty

Seriously, it was just last year that some of the world’s most popular artists – reggaetoneros and trap artists like Bad Bunny and J Balvin – were completely ignored. I mean it was so serious there was even a hashtag: “Sin Reggaetón, No Hay Grammy.”

At the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards, the top award categories very conspicuously left out these very artists. However, this year they’re dominating all the categories and bringing in a record number of nominations.

The 2020 Latin Grammy nominations are in and they definitely do a better job at representing the community than last year’s.

In 2019, the Latin Grammy’s went viral but really for all the wrong reasons. social media exploded as Latin artists posted images of the Grammy logo with a large red “X″ across it, with words on the image reading in Spanish: “Without reggaeton, there’s no Latin Grammys.” Balvin even skipped the live show and Bad Bunny, who won best urban music album during the telecast, told the audience: “With all due respect, reggaeton is part of the Latin culture.”

This definitely forced the Grammy’s to reconsider this year’s awards.

“Over the last year, we continued engaging in discussions with our members to improve the awards process and actively encouraged diverse Latin music creators to join and participate,” Latin Academy President and CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. said in a statement, calling this year’s nominees “a group that reflects the constant evolution of Latin music.”

To honor Latin rap and reggaeton performers, the Latin Grammys added new categories this year, including best reggaeton performance and best rap/hip-hop song.

J Balvin leads the pack with an astonishing 13 Grammy nominations.

In announcing this year’s nominees, J Balvin is in the lead with 13 total nods, including two nominations Album of the year, thanks to his own album Colores and his collab with Bad Bunny, OASIS.

The Colombian reggaetonero has a chance to win his first album of the year prize — a category with 10 contenders – and his chances look pretty good. However, even if he doesn’t pick up that, he’s in the running for several other awards.

Bad Bunny is close behind with nine nominations for what was a record-breaking year for the artist.

Bad Bunny is included in the Album of the Year category for his album YHLQMDLG (which was this year’s best-selling Latin album), however, his surprise album, LAS QUE NO IBAN A SALIR, wasn’t recognized in any category.

In the Best Urban album category, Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG is up against Anuel AA’s Emmanuel, Benito’s Oasis with J Balvin, Balvin’s Colores, Feid’s Ferxxo: Vol. 1 M.O.R., Ozuna’s Nibiru, Sech’s 1 of 1, and rising Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers’Easy Money Baby.

Meanwhile, the Album of the Year category could get pretty interesting with this caliber of nominees.

This year’s Album of the Year category prove what an incredible year 2020 was for Latin music. We were blessed with hit after hit which was all the more important considering what a traumatic year it’s been.

Bad Bunny and J Balvin are both competing for the award. San Benito’s YHLQMDLG faces off against Balvin’s Colores and their joint album OASIS. Meanwhile, albums from Camilo (Por Primera Vez), Ricky Martin (PAUSA EP), and Kany García (Mesa Para Dos), are all up for the same award. What’s extra special about this category this year is that it’s also featuring three nominees from the LGBTQ community.

This year’s top-selling record, “Tusa”, is also up for a Grammy.

Colombian reggaetonera Karol G along with Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj are nominated for this hit song that has just blown up the airwaves this entire year.

“Tusa” is the sole Latin trap nominee in the song of the year category, where 11 tracks are in contention. It’s a departure for Karol G, who didn’t receive a single nomination last year and was part of the group of uber-successful Latin trap and reggaeton artists who were dissed in top categories like album, song and record of the year. This year, the Colombian performer who was named best new artist in 2018 has four nominations, including two shared with Minaj.

It’s encouraging to see the academy actually reflect what is happening in Latin music. The inclusion of this larger variety of artists helps illustrate just how diverse the Latin music industry really is. But to see who actually takes home the awards will be a different story. The Latin Grammy Awards will air live from Miami on Nov. 19 on Univision.

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Maluma Drops A Surprise Album Featuring His Alter Ego, Papi Juancho

Entertainment

Maluma Drops A Surprise Album Featuring His Alter Ego, Papi Juancho

Jason Koerner / Getty Images

Last week, so many of us were wondering what the actual f*** was going on with Maluma. The reggaetonero had appeared to delete his Instagram (where were we supposed to get our daily thirst traps?!) and there were rumors he had done so in haste after hearing that his ex-girlfriend was dating soccer superstar Neymar.

But it turns out that Maluma was simply building to a major climax – the surprise release of his fifth studio album, PAPI JUANCHO.

Maluma surprised his fans on Friday with a new album.

Maluma gave his fans a very happy Friday with the release of a new, surprise album – PAPI JUANCHO. The reggaetonero announced the new album in an Instagram Live at the stroke of midnight.

“This year has been, like, full of surprises, and they’ve not been that positive,” he said. “I wanted to give a good, very positive surprise.”

PAPI JUANCHO is Maluma’s fifth studio album and was produced alongside longtime collaborators Rude Boyz. Although the album features Maluma’s alter ego as the main star, it also includes several guest appearances from a number of reggaetón royals, including Justin Quiles, Lenny Tavarez, Myke Towers, and Jory Boy. PAPI JUANCHO was made during quarantine between the singer’s hometown of Medellín and Miami, his U.S. base.

The album arrives just nine days before Maluma is set to take the stage in New York for the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, where’s been nominated for the best Latin video (“Que Pena” with J Balvin).

“I’ve been working like crazy making new music,” Maluma said of the 22-track set. “When quarantine started, I was in Europe, and then I had to postpone the whole tour, so I went back to Colombia … I started recording by myself again, the way I used to do it when I started my career. I was, like, connected with myself, remembering my roots because I was there in Medellín.”

The album features Maluma’s alter ego – Papi Juancho.

Papi Juancho, whose title riffs off Maluma’s nickname of “Juancho” (short for Juan Luis) is apparently also the singer’s alter ego. And he features this side of him quite heavily in several tracks.

Maluma — whose real name is Juan Luis Londoño Arias — got back in touch with “this little kid, this little dreamer” who started out in the reggaeton game 10 years ago, he told the New York Post. “I was feeling that energy again,” he said.

Just last week, Maluma had deleted his Instagram and fans were left with nothing but conspiracy theories.

Despite a week of politics, where the Democratic National Convention was meant to be center stage, Maluma became a trending topic on Twitter – before he even released his album. His Instagram, which has more than 50 million followers, had gone dark and fans were left wondering what was going on.

Speculations and rumors began circulating. Was it because his ex Natalia Barulich was dating footballer Neymar? Or because Neymar dissed Maluma by posting a video of his team singing his new single “Hawái” – a breakup song — on Instagram?

Turns out Maluma was simply gathering steam prior to the surprise release PAPI JUANCHO.

Despite quarantine, Maluma has been keeping himself busy.

While most of the world has been on lockdown thanks to Coronavirus, Maluma has been keeping himself busy. PAPI JUANCHO is Maluma’s third album in as many years, following 2019’s widely successful 11:11 and 2018’s F.A.M.E.

The album includes Maluma’s recent single “Hawái” and April’s “ADMV,” which he released with a video where he appeared as an old man. Last year, Maluma also joined Madonna on her Madame X track “Medellín.” He’s scheduled to perform as part of MTV’s remotely organized Video Music Awards on August 30.

“All I could do during lockdown in Medellin was work alone in my studio,” Maluma told Billboard in an exclusive interview. “That’s why this album has so much of my true essence; because I did so much of it alone.”

And Madonna isn’t the only superstar diva who’s been paying attention to Maluma: Jennifer Lopez reached out to him to make his movie debut in the upcoming romantic comedy “Marry Me.”

“I wanted to become an actor,” he said, “and then Jennifer Lopez called me and said that she wanted me to be part of this project.” Maluma shot his scenes in New York, including one during his sold-out Madison Square Garden concert last October. Lopez herself joined him onstage to sing “No Me Ames.”

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