Entertainment

Pepe Aguilar Is Spreading Norteña Culture Across The US In Sold Out Venues And We Stan Hard

Pop music is far more complex and deeper than Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift (no offence, ladies). In a multicultural society like the United States, we have to rethink what we consider as mainstream. This term is generally used for artists whose work is consumed by Anglo audiences. Think about it, an African-American rapper “breaks into the mainstream” when white folk start paying attention, right? Otherwise, the artist is just “niche”. That is why we gotta reconsider what “mainstream” means when it comes to Latino artists and shows. 

Which brings us to Pepe Aguilar, perhaps one of the most popular singers in the planet and who is taking Mexico and the United States by storm with his Mexican rodeo extravaganza “Jaripeo Sin Fronteras”. The show brings together charreria, songs and a good doses of good old Mexican pride. 

So who is Pepe Aguilar? (as if you didn’t know, right?) 

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

His full name is José Antonio Aguilar Jiménez and he is Mexican-American as it comes. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, while his parents were on tour. He was raised in Zacatecas, where he first became a rock musician and had a band called Equs, which was influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd and The Who! Can you imagine that? Well, one thing led to another and he ended up going back to his Mexican roots and becoming one of the best-selling ranchera acts of all time. 

He is, of course, the son of the late great Tony Aguilar.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Pepe Aguilar has ranchera en la sangre. He is the son of Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre, two legendary musicians in their own right. Tony Aguilar was also a strong presence in the Mexican film industry. Aguilar senior recorded over 150 albums, which sold over 25 million copies. Can you get more mainstream than that? Well, Pepe is making sure that the family legacy lives on. 

Introducing Jaripeo Sin Fronteras!

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

This amazing show has Pepe Aguilar as the lead, but includes acts by his kids Angela (what a voice on this lady!), Leonardo and Antonio Aguilar Jr. Marichis and rodeo acts are also included of course! The show is touring non-stop in 2019 in both sides of the border, bringing a message of unity. Just look at what they did in Mexico City.

Let’s not forget that for the Aguilar family showbiz is like second nature.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

The show just flows like the musical blood that runs through those Aguilar veins. This is Pepe with his brother, perhaps the only Aguilar not deep into showbiz! In an interview for CE Noticias Financieras, Guadalupe Pineda, the famous Mexican singer and Pepe’s cousin, says of him: “Pepe is a great dad, he’s doing the best for every one of his kids. As an aunt, you simply know and feel that we can all be wrong and that the boy is very young and has every right in the world to get ahead”. 

So, of course, the show includes the next generation of Aguilar talent!

Credit: Instagram. @angelicaguilar_mxfan

Angela Aguilar followed the family tradition of being born while on tour. She came into the world in Los Angeles while her mother was accompanying Pepe Aguilar on tour. And you can tell that musical talent is there. Her version of “Shallow” is enough to make anyone cry! And she had Lady Gaga’s blessing, as Angela said in the Mexican TV show Ventaneando: “Suddenly I’m playing the piano trying to practice and concentrate. Lady Gaga said yes, practice, you’re going to sing it. Oh, my God, I’m going to die! I mean, Lady Gaga knows who I am is like. wow!”.

The show includes all sorts of equine acts, and the horses are quite unique.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Some of the amazing horses in the show are shaved by the amazing Rob Ferrell, a barber who is so dexterous with the blade he is able to imprint a Mexican aguila y serpiente on the equine’s skin. You can look at his work (on human and horse surfaces!) here: https://www.instagram.com/robtheoriginal/  

The show has been a sold-out in localities North and South of the Border.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Look at the Honda Center in Anaheim: un lleno total, carajo! Pepe Aguilar is a consummate businessman and he knows that every city is slightly different. He explained the concept to Billboard: “It’s basically a modular concept, where you can change the pieces. The fundamental parts are the horse shows and the Mexican traditions. In some cities we’ll have special guests, in others, only the family is going to perform”. There are still some dates available this year: 

September 20 — Atlanta, Georgia @ Infinite Energy Center

September 22 — Chicago, Illinois @ Allstate Arena

September 27 — Tacoma, Washington @Tacoma Dome

Even if you are not a fan of ranchera culture, you have to admit the show is quite spectacular: the whole Aguilar family makes an appearance, look at Leonardo riding that horse.

Credit: YouTube. @STO

Leonardo is the latest success story in “La Dinastía Aguilar”. He has been nominated for two Latin Grammys despite his tender age: only 20 and he is already a great act. He released his first record when he was only 12-years-old, Nueva Tradición, a collaboration with his sister Angela.

And of course Pepe Aguilar has been super amazing with fans, because that is just who he is.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

You don’t get to be on top and stay on top without being an approachable and kind celebrity. Pepe Aguilar knows well who pays his wages: the millions of fans that love him and his multi talented family. 

And of course Mexican cities are embracing the show with sold out venues.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has had a huge appeal in Mexico, which tells us that being “Mexican” goes beyond national borders. No one cares Pepe Aguilar was born in the United States: we share one identity and one heart. 

So can haters admit Mexican culture is mainstream now?

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has performed in the main arenas of almost every major city in the United States. See what we meant with rethinking what mainstream means?

And yeah, those are some of the most beautiful caballitos we have ever seen.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Just look at those ojitos pispiretos, beautiful beasts. And as Billboard reports, no animals are harmed, so worry not: “Pepe, who rides several of his Andalusian horses in his own equestrian performance, also specifies that no animals are hurt during this tour”. 

Selena Quintanilla’s Family Decided That ‘Fiesta De La Flor’ Will No Longer Take Place In Corpus Christi, Where Is It Moving To Next?

Entertainment

Selena Quintanilla’s Family Decided That ‘Fiesta De La Flor’ Will No Longer Take Place In Corpus Christi, Where Is It Moving To Next?

@fiestaflorcc

Even after her death, Selena Quintanilla’s music has lived on. The iconic Tex-Mex superstar left a legacy that is still very much alive. Her music is still being played on the radio and streamed online, her face is sold on T-shirts and other merch around the world, her story continues to inspire new TV and Movie projects. And yet, for some reason, the Quintanilla’s Fiesta de la Flor Festival —an annual music event in honor of Selena— isn’t being held at Selena’s hometown Corpus Christi, or at all.

The Quintanilla family announced that the yearly festival honoring Selena’s legacy will no longer be held in Corpus Christi.

credit Instagram @fiestaflorcc

Corpus Christi is synonymous with Selena Quintanilla. The coastal Texas city is where the singer lived and died, it’s also where her family continues to live to this day. In Corpus Christi, Selena fans can visit a museum dedicated entirely to the Queen of Tex-Mex. And for the past five years, the city had also been host to the family held festival, ‘Fiesta de la Flor’. The Quintanillas announced recently, however, that the festival will no longer take place in Corpus Christi. No word yet on where the festival might move to yet.

The news came in a media release from Q Productions.

Credit Instagram @abquintanilla

“Unfortunately, even beautiful journeys must come to an end. In Selena’s beautiful spirit, the Selena Foundation has contributed thousands of dollars to organizations in Corpus Christi for the betterment of the community. The Selena Foundation is committed to continuing Selena’s belief that the impossible is possible.” Much of the rest of the statement was dedicated to thanking a long list of organizations, including the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau, for their support in the last five years.

No word yet on where the festival may land, if anywhere.

credit Instagram @fiestaflorcc

No further information was disclosed about where the festival might be taking place. Or whether it will happen at all. Why did they pull the plug from the Corpus Christi? Back in August, it was reported that the family had threatened to stop celebrating the festival in Corpus Christi because of money issues. It was speculated that the amount of money the city was generating from the festival was disproportionately larger than what the Selena Foundation was receiving. 

According to Corpus Christi Caller Times, this year, for the first time since the inception of the festival in 2015, Fiesta de la Flor did not bring in a profit. The festival generates an estimated “$10.8 million economic impact for the city every year,” yet the Selena Foundation has made less than $100,000 in the four years of the festival.

Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO quit after being criticized for giving the Quintanillas a larger sum of money than what been agreed before.

credit Twitter @Kris6news

The Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Paulette Kluge said that the amount was unacceptable. She said that “the city is making millions of dollars.” Because the bureau is now taking $50,000 from the festival to the foundation, that concludes the festival has no profit to report for this year. “Everybody is benefiting except the Selena Foundation, and they said, ‘It is unacceptable, and if we don’t get something for the Selena Foundation, there will not be another Fiesta de la Flor,’ ” Kluge said, according to the Caller Times. “So I agreed to pay them $35,000 last year, which was all of our profits, and $50,000 moving forward.”

Paulette Kluge recently resigned to her post at the bureau after being criticized for changing the contract with the Quintanillas —raising the family’s profits for the upcoming festival by $15,000—  without input from other officials. Kluge had the legal power to rewrite a contract that she was instrumental in creating. But the CVB Board and City Council were not happy with the new terms. Kluge is credited with building a relationship with the Quintanillas which would later lead to the birth of Fiesta de La Flor.

The two-day festival celebrating the queen of Tejano, had been held in Selena’s hometown for 5 years.

credit Instagram @fiestaflorcc

The festival began in 2015 and has brought about $15 million in economic benefit to the city each year. Formerly sponsored by Citgo, the next festival had a new benefactor lined up. Hermann and Hermann, a law firm based out of Corpus Christi with offices in San Antonio and McAllen, signed on to be the 2020 sponsor.

Corpus Christi Caller Times reported that when reached for information, the Quintanilla family and Q Productions declined to comment. Which leaves us with many unresolved questions. There is no website for the foundation. A quick Google search showed a 2016 article in which it says that the foundation was formed to honor Selena’s legacy as well as give scholarships. However, the foundation has faced some tax issues in the past and is not considered a nonprofit.

And even though we don’t know for certain, why the family pulled the festival from Corpus Christi or when we’ll get to celebrate the Latina icon again, we will be looking forward to finding out where Fiesta de La Flor is going to next.

This Family Threw A Quinceañera For Their Cat’s Fifteenth And Even Got Her A Dress For The Occasion

Culture

This Family Threw A Quinceañera For Their Cat’s Fifteenth And Even Got Her A Dress For The Occasion

The Dodo

Cats are little bundles of love that make the world a happier, fluffier place —even if sometimes they scratch us to death and break everything that stands in their way, we still love them. This mom loves her cat so very much, that she threw a whole quinceañera party for her kitty, on the little one’s fifteenth birthday —dress and all.

This family stopped at nothing to give their precious kitty the celebration she deserved.

Credit: The Dodo

If you’re a Latina, you probably spent a good part of your life dreaming up your perfect quinceañera. From the dress, to the music, to your entourage, to the cake. There are so many things to consider when throwing the most important party a girl can have; her official entry into womanhood. Well, the same thoughtful and careful planning went into this kitty’s quince.

Luna is the family’s pride and joy, they adopted her after finding her struggling on the side of a road.

This little one celebrated her fifteenth year with her family. They adopted her when she was only three weeks old after they found her on the side of the road looking for shelter and struggling to live. They named her Luna, and since that day, she’s been the family’s pride and joy. 

“Luna is an absolute sweetheart, loves curling up with people and loves laying on her back on the floor,” Angel Olavarria, Luna’s brother, told The Dodo. “We have spoiled her with abundant love and she has outlived all of our pets. On her 15th birthday we decided to give our little cheese ball a surprise quinceañera.” 

The family wanted to celebrate the fifteen years they’ve spent with Luna by their side by spoiling her with all the treats.

Fifteen years of prowling on this earth is definitely a huge milestone for a kitty, who by this point has a loving and very deep connection with her family and has chosen her allies and human slaves. So we’re not surprised that the family organized a well-deserved pachanga for their little pet: her very own quinceañera.

And no, we’re not exaggerating by saying that they threw the cat a whole quince party, it was a real Mexican-style fiesta celebrating Luna’s womanhood…or cathood if you will. For those of you who might be living under a rock and are not aware of what a quinceañera party is; well it’s only the most important party a Latina girl can get. Traditionally, when a girl turns fifteen it is believed that she has reached woomanhood and so her family throws a party to say goodbye to the little girl and introduce her to society as a woman.

Mom came up with the idea, and she even ordered a quinceañera dress for the birthday girl.

It was all Olavarria’s mom’s idea. She first came up with the idea on Luna’s fourteenth birthday, and began working on plans for the party a whole week in advance. There would be food, a cake, decorations, a guest list and of course a special dress (and matching crown) for the birthday girl. 

That day, like every other, Luna was the queen of the house, only this time it was evident —note the outfit. “My mom found the dress on Amazon,” Olavarria said. “I totally thought my mom was joking when she said she was going to order a dress for her, but my mom never jokes about our pets.”

Luna was set at the head of the table and enjoyed her own cake.

On the big day, Luna’s family put her in her fancy dress and sat her at the head of the table to celebrate the wonderful fifteen years they’ve spent together. The room was decked out with pink tablecloth, balloons and flower arrangements. The celebration even included a little cake with tiny dolls matching Luna’s outfit. There was a huge feast with special cat treats that she probably only ever gets on very special occasions. 

There was a guestlist, an assortment of treats, lots of decorations and a ‘tres leches’ cake.

There was a total of 12 guests, family members and friends were all in attendance, and the party went on for three hours. They all enjoyed the company with lots of food and a traditional ‘tres leches’ cake. It seems like the kitty really enjoyed her party. She licked her whiskers and ate everything that was set in front of her. Her humans didn’t let any detail slide. “She was such a good sport through the whole thing that we think she actually knew we were celebrating her,” Olavarria said “She loved it even more when we opened up a nice can of tuna for her.” 

All we can hope for is that someday someone will love us as much as this family loves their Luna.