5 Uplifting Moments in Latin Music This Week (February 11)

From career milestones and new music releases to major announcements and more, Billboard editors highlight the latest news buzz in Latin music every week. Here’s what happened in the Latin music world this week.

Residente is writing his first film

Puerto Rican artist Residente is teaming up with Academy Award-winning screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman & The Revenant) to co-write his new film Porto Rico. The film, a historical drama set in the 19th century, will be based on the life of Puerto Rican revolutionary, José Maldonado Román, known as Águila Blanca (White Eagle). Maldonado Román fought against colonialism by leading a gang of 17 ex-convicts to vindicate Puerto Rico as it sought its identity as a country.

Porto Rico will become the first film released by 1868 Studios, a joint venture between Residente and Sony Music Entertainment’s premium content division.

NEON16 teams up with University of Michigan

Music company NEON16 has collaborated with The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, for a marketing course. According to a press release, the partnership will give students the opportunity to “experience marketing in a real work setting.” They’ve been assigned to develop a full marketing plan for the upcoming release of Tainy’s debut album, DATA. The plans will be reviewed by both professor Dr. Michael Metzger and NEON16 creatives and one strategy/plan will be chosen to execute the actual album release marketing strategy. 

“It’s a privilege to be able to share our views on business, culture and creativity at such a prestigious university like MICHIGAN / ROSS. This course allows students to expand their views on the importance of culture in business allowing them to develop marketing plans that are relevant and effective in today’s consumer market,” Lex Borrero, founder and CEO of NEON16, said.

NEON16
NEON16’s Founder and CEO, Lex Borrero, NEON16 Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Ivan Rodriguez, and NEON16 Head of Electronic Music, Jack Miller at the “Culture Change Makers” Panel at University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

The first ever Latin Women in Music is happening

Telemundo and Billboard announced the expansion of their partnership for 2023. Under the new agreement, the companies will collaborate to present the first-ever Latin Women in Music, a two-hour musical special, set to air on Telemundo in May, is a celebration of Latin female artists, executives and creatives who are proactively working for positive change, inclusion and gender parity in the music industry. Additionally, the annual Billboard Latin Music Awards, will take place Oct. 5.

Viña del Mar

The complete lineup for the 2023 Viña del Mar has been unveiled. After Maná announced they were canceling their performance due to the band’s Fher Olvera’s knee injury, the Chilean festival announced three additional artists to join the event: TINI, Emilia and Rels B. The 62nd edition of Viña will take place Feb. 19-24. Over the course of five days, the event features a mix of superstars, emerging singers and local artists competing for the Silver, Gold and Platinum “Gaviotas,” the name of its awards.

Celia Cruz’s face on a U.S. quarter

The face of the legendary Celia Cruz will be depicted on a U.S. quarter, according to the United States Mint. Widely known as the Queen of Salsa, the late Cuban singer was chosen along with four other exemplary women from history to be featured on the U.S. quarter as part of the American Women Quarters Program in 2024. She will also make history as the first Afro-Latina to appear on the coin.

The other honorees include Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first women of color to serve in Congress; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, women’s rights advocate and Civil War era surgeon; poet, activist, and lawyer Pauli Murray; and Native American writer, composer, educator Zitkala-Ša. The four-year program “celebrates the accomplishments and contributions made by women of the United States,” states the official website. 

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