Things That Matter

11 Latino Celebrities Who Got Rich Before Turning 21

We are living in a time where Latinos are making a bigger impact on American society than ever before.  Earlier this year, National Geographic released an article about how Latinos are rising to power and shaping the future of the country.  This next generation of young Latino-Americans are changing the way the culture is viewed, and it is not taking them long.  In fact, we have composed a list of 11 Latinos that have found fame and fortune before reaching their 21st birthday.

Jake T. Austin

Instagram @JakeAustin

Who He Is-

This young actor was born in New York City, New York.  His mother is from Puerto Rican and Spanish descent.  At 23 years old he has accumulated quite the impressive filmography.

How He Found Fame-

Jake T. Austin got his big break at a very early age when he was cast as the voice of Diego on Dora the Explorer.  He was so popular that he earned his own spin-off show, Go, Diego, Go, and has since found acting jobs on Wizards of Waverly, The Fosters, and Law and Order: SVU.

Selena Gomez

Instagram @SelenaGomez

Who She Is-

Selena Gomez is more than just a celebrity, she is a dynamo.  She can literally do it all from singing, dancing, and even producing.  Gomez has been in the limelight since she was just ten-years-old.

How She Found Fame-

At just ten-years-old, Gomez got her first acting gig on Barney and Friends and hasn’t looked back since.  She has credits in over 30 films and was the star of her own TV show, Wizards of Waverly Place.  By 21-years-old, Gomez was one of the most popular Latino actresses of all-time and has gained further popularity with her singing career.

Rico Rodriguez

Instagram @StarringRico

Who He Is-

This Texas-born actor of Mexican descent has been one of the biggest break-out actors of the last decade.  At only 20-years-old, Rodriguez has earned over 10 awards and his career is still growing.

How He Found Fame-

Rico Rodriguez has said that he never intended to be an actor, but thought that he would grow up to be a “NASCAR chef going to the moon”.  One role changed all of that as he has become one of the most popular parts of the successful TV sitcom, Modern Family.  More than that, he even published a book at just 14-years-old titled, Reel Life Lessons… So Far.

Lele Pons

Instagram @LelePons

Who She Is-

At 22-years-old, Venezuelan-born Lele Pons has carved out her own fame as an internet personality.  A pretty impressive achievement for a girl that said she wasn’t very popular in High School.

How She Found Fame-

Pons gained notoriety for her clever online videos.  Before the popular website Vine shut down in 2016 she was the most followed channel.  Her humour has landed her gigs on multiple films and TV shows, many of which she produces, and has even started her own singing career.

Rebecca Black

Instagram @MrsRebeccaBlack

Who She Is-

Born in Irvine, California Rebecca Black is a singer of Mexican descent.  Black believed that she was always meant to be famous, and before she was 15-years-old, she had managed to reach worldwide celebrity status.

How She Found Fame-

Uploading a video that she had produced for only $4000, the song “Friday” became a viral sensation putting her on the Billboard Hot 100 list.  Becoming the top YouTube video of 2011, Black has followed her fame with more YouTube videos and continues her singing career.

Blake Jenner

Instagram @BlakeDaFlake

Who He Is-

Cuban descendent, Blake Jenner, earned an acting career the hard way.  He famously moved to California after graduating high school a year early to “make it big” in Hollywood.  Slowly, Jenner was able to accomplish his dreams and won a Teen Choice Award for Breakout Star at 21-years-old.

How He Found Fame-

After taking small gigs and part-time roles in TV and short films, Jenner got his big break while auditioning on The Glee Project.  Winning the reality program, Jenner managed to stretch his promised 17-episode arc into an impressive 32 episodes.

Demi Lovato

Instagram @DDLovato

Who She Is-

Demi Lovato is a singer, actress, and songwriter from New Mexico.  She began playing guitar and piano before she was ten-years-old, the year she landed her first acting gig alongside another famous Latino, Selena Gomez.

How She Found Fame-

After becoming a child actor on Barney and Friends, Lovato got her big break when she landed a role on Disney’s Camp Rock.  Her career skyrocketed from there as she has made appearances on TV and film.  Lovato has become a sensation in the music industry as well, topping charts and releasing six full-length albums to date.

Victoria Justice

Instagram @VictoriaJustice

Who She Is-

Victoria Dawn Justice is more than just a great name, she is also a famous singer and actress of Puerto Rican descent.  Justice managed to get her first acting role at just 10-years-old, which prompted her family to move to California so she could pursue her career.

How She Found Fame-

After taking a small role on Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Justice was given a starring place on Zoey 101.  She managed to make such an impression that Disney gave Justice her own show Victorious in 2010.  By the time she was 21-years-old, Justice had managed a filmography that rivals that of veteran actresses.

Bella Thorne

Instagram @BellaThorne

Who She Is-

21-year-old Bella Thorne started her career as a child model.  Her Cuban father died when she was just ten-years-old, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of the brightest young stars in America today.

How She Found Fame-

Thorne had her first acting gig when she was only six-years-old.  She continued to take roles in anything from Entourage to The O.C., and today she has amassed credits in 33 films and 21 TV shows.  She has only just begun as her career and fame keeps getting bigger every year.

Michael Sayman

Instagram @MichaelSayman

Who He Is-

Michael Sayman can only be described as a child prodigy.  By the time he was seventeen-years-old he had been hired to work at Facebook and saved his family from a life of poverty.

How He Found Fame-

Well, he may not technically be famous, but he sure is rich.  Following a career at Facebook, Sayman was later hired to work at Google.  21-years-old today, Sayman is already a millionaire and has worked for two of the biggest online companies in the world.

Dafne Keen

Instagram @DafneKeen

Who She Is-

Spanish-born Dafne Keen is only 13-years-old and her career is just getting started.  With only a couple of acting credits under her belt, Keen may be the biggest name on this list in the near future.

How She Found Fame-

Dafne Keen got her first role acting beside her father, Will Keen, on the TV show The Refugees.  But, it was her starring role in 2017’s Logan that made Keen a household name.  She was able to impress fans and critics alike and her career is just starting.

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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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