Yesterday, Armando Perez (also known as Pitbull) spoke at the 3rd annual eMerge Americas tech conference in Miami Beach, Fla. Every year, he blesses the entrepreneurship-based conference with his illustrious presence, dropping knowledge about being a Latino in the music biz, remaining true to his identity, and trying not to embarrass abuela along the way.
Here are 10 quotes to live by:
1. “I don’t ‘leverage’ the Latin community, I live it.”
“I just show the world how special we really are.”
It’s no secret that drag and, in particular, drag queens have made their way into the mainstream. Much of their success is easily attributed to the hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has helped catapult hundreds of queens into the spotlight.
The show, which is now in it’s 12 regular season (plus countless spinoffs), has one eight Emmy Awards – but above all else, it’s helped create a community for LGBTQ persons who hadn’t grown up seeing people like them on TV. So many people say that the show has helped them accept their identities. It’s also helped launch the careers of dozens of drag queens.
It’s no surprise then, that the show has also attracted some of the biggest names in entertainment – from Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga to Ricky Martin and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, several high-profile judges have helped judge the completion for their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.
Mike Ruiz was a tasty addition to the regular lineup of ‘Drag Race’ judges – having made several appearances over the course of the show. Although he hasn’t returned since season 6. He often launched the season with a photoshoot in which he had to find the perfect shot of each queen.
Maria Conchita Alonso
The Cuban-born telenovela star made her debut on Drag Race in the very first season of the show – where she helped judge the first ever ball. She made her way back to Drag Race during season 5, where she came back to coach the queens on their telenovela acting skills alongside Wilmer Valderrama. It’s obvious this two-time guest judge has a special place in her heart for drag!
The Acadamy Award-nominated actress also made her Drag Race debut on the show’s very first season, where she helped judge the first ever girl group competition. She judged alongside Mary Wilson and the duo were definitely one of the season’s highlights.
Jessica Alba was one of the biggest-named actresses to appear as a judge – especially in the earlier seasons. She made her debut on Drag Race in season 7, which was jam packed full of big name guest judges – Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Mel B – just to name a few.
Jessica Alba didn’t disappoint fans on her visit to the show either having fun with the queens as they shot their parody music video. The winner of the episode – Kennedy Davenport – also scored a three year supply of products from Alba’s The Honest Company.
Another season 7 judge, Demi Lovato’s appearance on the show left the queens gagged. She appeared in the season just two episodes after Ariana Grande had been on so the queens were being treated to some of the biggest names in pop.
Demi Lovato was joined by guest judge John Waters – who’s iconic films inspired the episodes maxi-challenge, of which Ginger Minj won. For the lip synch – between Miss Fame and Pearl – the queens got to perform Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care.”
Getting none other than Christina Aguilera (a.k.a. Xtina) to appear in the premiere episode of season 10 (a.k.a. season X) was definitely a very clever idea. Besides, Christina Aguilera has been considered an important LGBTQ+ ally since her music video for “Beautiful,” which featured same-sex relationships during a time when this was not necessarily trendy for popstars to do.
On Drag Race, Christina Aguilera was more than willing to have fun. She even did a bit in which she pretended to be season 9 contestant Farrah Moan (who many believe looks like the singer). Overall, Xtina did not disappoint Drag Race fans!
Cuban-American actor Guillermo Díaz made his Drag Race debut in season 11 on the third episode, alongside pop star Troye Sivan. The two were there to help judge one of my favorite maxi-challenges to date – the teams had to select a pop diva to worship in their TV evangelist show.
In the lip synch challenge, the bottom six queens lip synced to Jennifer Lopez’s “Waiting for Tonight” and it was everything.
Drag Race was one of the most revolutionary shows when it first started. Here were drag artists going on national TV and performing their art form, when it was still considered extremely taboo. Times have changed, thankfully, and so much so that one of the nation’s leading politicians made a guest judge appearance on the show. Enter: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who made her debut on the show during season 12, episode 7.
This episode featured by far the very best ‘rusical’ every performed on the show – honoring pop queen Madonna. AOC was very visibly into the performance and gave plenty of constructive criticism and praise to the queens. She even snuck backstage during the taping of Untucked to have more one-on-one time with the queens, and reminding them of the power of their art form and their voice.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars’ Season 5 is already a hit with fans and maybe Ricky Martin had something to do with it. Fans are loving him on the judges’ panel and didn’t hold back from expressing their love for him. The Puerto Rican singer-actor watched every performance with equal enthusiasm and awe — especially the last one where queen India Ferrah and lip-sync assassin Yvie Oddly battled it out in the elimination.
And pretty much all of Twitter agreed that Ricky Martin has only gotten better with age – calling him the ultimate trade of ‘All Stars’ Season 5.
Did we miss any of your favorite judges? Or who would you like to see make a guest appearance on Drag Race?
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Latinos are suffering harder economic downfalls because of Covid-19. Latinos have disproportionately been laid off and experienced pay cuts as businesses closed because of the pandemic. Pitbull teamed up with Priceline and Hello Alice to give Latino owned small businesses an emergency grant.
Pitbull is teaming up with two organizations to give money to Latino owned small businesses.
The program is aimed at giving businesses up to $10,000 to keep their businesses open. Latino unemployment in the U.S. is 18.9 percent because of Covid-19. That means that 4 million, or 1 in every 5 Latinos, is currently unemployed because of the virus.
Latinos are currently experiencing the worst economic loss to the community since the Great Recession.
The Latino and Black communities have born the brunt of the economic ups and downs of the U.S. economy. The current unemployment statistics are the worst for Latinos since the Great Recession. During that time, Latinos lost 66 percent of their wealth. The novel coronavirus has exposed the precarious economic state of the Latino community in an economy with stagnant wages yet rising costs of living.
In February, the Latino unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.
President Trump has bragged about the unemployment rate for the Latino and Black populations. Latinas are the largest and fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. and the pandemic has hit the community hard. Pitbull’s program could help to keep those entrepreneurs afloat.
Businesses can be awarded up to $10,000. The reason for financial help is more than unemployment. Organizers of the fund also point to the number of Latino businesses that were denied funding through the federal government.
“We found out the centers for responsible lending said that 91% of all Latino applicants of government Phase one funding got rejected. Secondly, the sectors that can’t work from home. ‘You can’t be a waiter at home there are no customers,’” Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline, told CBS Miami.
Hoffman added: “A competitor before, are now your friends. Reach out to those businesses near you talk to those people ask what ideas work for them and what resources they can share and we’ll figure this out together.”