Entertainment

Ozuna Addresses Extortion Plot During Billboard Latin Music Week Q&A, Apologizes Again

Ozuna fans were shocked at the beginning of the year when they heard about an extortion plot that was consuming the reggaetonero. The singer was paying tens of thousands of dollars to keep the extorter from releasing sexually explicit videos of Ozuna when he was a teenager. Despite apologizing in January, Ozuna apologized to fans again at his Billboard Latin Music Week Q&A.

Ozuna used his Billboard Latin Music Week Q&A to address his fans on an ongoing controversy.

Credit: @billboardlatin / Twitter

Ozuna started his 45-minute long Q&A with Leia Cobo by directly addressing his fans about the extortion drama. He candidly used his own experience to speak to his fans about the importance of owning up to your action and past.

“People say you don’t have to apologize. Of course, I have to apologize,” Ozuna told Cobo during his Q&A.

The young musician admitted that he felt his fans deserved an explanation for his actions.

Credit: @ozuna / Instagram

For Ozuna, the apologies he has released for the extortion plot were necessary to thank those who stand behind him. Regardless of the fame and success he has experienced, he knows the importance of being open with his fans and the necessity of giving them the most honest representation of who he is.

The singer is most appreciative for his family, who are his biggest supporters.

Credit: @ozuna / Instagram

“My family, my wife and my kids, they know who I am,” Ozuna told the audience when answering a question about balancing negative and positive news coverage. “As long as we are with god we have nothing to fear.”

“Life is balance. It is positive and negative balance. I am not the only person who has been born with difficulties. There are errors that you make when you’re young,” Ozuna added. “I am still a human.”

This is the second time Ozuna has apologized because of the extortion plot.

Credit: @valliexo2 / Instagram

“Like many young people, I made a mistake, fueled by ignorance,” Ozuna wrote. “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.”

Shortly after his apology, it was announced that late LGBTQ+ trap artist Kevin Fret was behind the extortion.

Credit: kevin fret / YouTube

Kevin Fret’s death at the beginning of the year set off a firestorm of fear and anger within the LGBTQ+ community. Fret was shot and killed while riding his motorbike through San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Ozuna’s team came forward and admitted that Fret was the man behind the extortion plot threatening Ozuna’s career unless he got payments from the singer. However, Ozuna’s manager, after meeting with the San Juan District Attorney, said Ozuna was in no way implicated in the tragic death. Yet, Fret’s mother is adamant that Ozuna is responsible for her son’s death.

“I know that it was him [Ozuna] who ordered my son to be killed, together with Vicente Saavedra,” Hild Rodriguez, Fret’s mother, told Samantha Love on her radio show in April 2019. “Ozuna carries this in his conscience.”

Fans came out strong to support Ozuna during this time and defended him on social media.

Credit: @weedlejuice / Twitter

There is nothing funny about extortion based on sexually explicit material. That is revenge porn, a form of pornography that is being outlawed and turned into a felony offense in several states in the U.S. Not to mention that the video of Ozuna is allegedly him as a minor and has serious criminal implications if it would be released.

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

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Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Releases New Spanish-Language Single ‘De Una Vez’ and Teases Full Spanish Album: ‘I’m Targeting My Heritage’

Photo via selenagomez/Instagram

Good news, Selenators! Word on the street is that Selena Gomez will soon be dropping her first-ever Spanish language album. The rumors started after Gomez dropped a surprising (and beautiful!) new Spanish-language single, “De Una Vez”.

Soon after the single dropped, rumors of a full Spanish-language studio album began to swirl when murals promoting “De Una Vez” and a yet-unreleased single “Baila Conmigo” popped up across, Mexico.

To make matters even better, Selena already dropped “De Una Vez”‘s music video.

The lush and imaginative video has been garnering praise for its inclusion of Latin American visuals and symbols. Gomez hired Tania Verduzco and Adrian Perez to direct her video–a husband and wife team who hail from Mexico and Spain, respectively and go by the moniker Los Pérez.

Of hiring Spanish speakers to direct her video, Gomez revealed to Vogue online that the decision was intentional. “If I was going to completely immerse myself into a project inspired by Latin culture, I wanted to work with native Spanish speaking creators,” she said.

And indeed, Verduzco and Perez tried to infuse as much Latin spirit into the video’s conception as possible.

“Magical realism has always been part of the Latin culture, whether it be in art or telenovelas,” Gomez told Vogue. “I wanted [to capture] that sense of a supernatural world.”

They accomplished this sense of magical realism by utilizing motifs from Mexican folk art, like Milagro, which is symbolized by the glowing heart that is beating within Gomez’s chest throughout the video.

“We wanted to play with powerful language and images. We designed the heart—we call it the Milagro in Mexican culture—and its light to be a metaphor for the healing throughout the story,” Verduzco told Vogue.

Selena Gomez fans are especially excited about this project because Gomez has long hinted at her desire to release a Spanish-language album.

Back in 2011, Gomez tweeted about her plans to eventually record an entire album in Spanish. “Can’t wait for y’all to hear the Spanish record;) it’s sounding so cool,” she wrote.

She retweeted the sentiment on Thursday with the comment: “I think it will be worth the wait”–which many fans took as confirmation that a full studio album is on its way.

It’s worth noting that Gomez has already dipped her toe into the Latin music scene with 2010’s “Un Año Sin Lluvia” and 2018’s DJ Snake, Ozuna and Cardi B collab, “Taki Taki”.

As for the difficulty of recording songs in a second language, Gomez said that it was a practice that came naturally.

“I actually think I sing better in Spanish. That was something I discovered,” she said in an interview for Apple Music. “It was a lot of work, and look, you cannot mispronounce anything. It is something that needed to be precise, and needed to be respected by the audience I’m going to release this for.”

She continued: “Of course I want everyone to enjoy the music, but I am targeting my fan base. I’m targeting my heritage, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

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Music’s Biggest Night Is Officially Postponed As COVID-19 Wreaks Havoc On California

Entertainment

Music’s Biggest Night Is Officially Postponed As COVID-19 Wreaks Havoc On California

Kevin Winter / Getty

The 2021 Grammys won’t be taking place as expected at the end of the month. According to Rolling Stone, the Grammys have been postponed indefinitely thanks to the extreme surge of COVID-19 cases in the Los Angeles area – which is where the Grammys take place year after year.

The shocking surge in cases of COVID-19 have forced the Grammys to postpone the award show.

It was announced just this week that Los Angeles County – which is currently experiencing one the worst outbreaks in the world – is seeing someone die of COVID-19 every 15 minutes. Meanwhile, a reported 7,600 people in LA are hospitalized with COVID symptoms.

As many Angelenos – and Americans across the country – remain under strict stay-at-home orders, it would definitely not seem right to move forward with a glitzy award show that would risk making the outbreak worse.

As a result, the Grammys are planning a limited production event to take place in March, according to The Fader. In other words, no live audience and only performers and presenters on-site. Nominees and winners would likely accept their awards remotely like many of last year’s award ceremonies during the first wave of the pandemic.

This year’s Grammys were expected to feature big moments for the Latin music industry.

Bad Bunny was expected to pick up awards and was rumored as a performer. Other Latino nominees included J Balvin, Camilo, Arca and Lido Pimienta. Meanwhile, Selena was also scheduled to receive a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award that her family was planning to accept on her behalf.

Original Story Posted November 10, 2020:

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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