From career milestones to new music releases to major announcements and those little important moments, Billboard editors highlight uplifting moments in Latin music. Here’s what happened in the Latin music world this week.
Bad Bunny Crashes University
Early this week, Bad Bunny crashed a class of about 400 students at Miami’s Florida International University (FIU). The Puerto Rican artist was a guest speaker at David Grutman’s one-hour-long course called “The David Grutman Experience: The Class at Florida International University.” During the conversation, Grutman, the Miami-based entrepreneur who’s known for his professional relationships with A-list celebrities, talked about Groot Hospitality and his evolution in the hospitality industry; while the “Monaco” singer talked about achieving his goals whether it be in music, fashion, or the restaurant industry with the launch of his own Gekko.
Luis Fonsi’s Own Airplane
In celebration of the 25 years of his career, Luis Fonsi was honored with his own personalized airplane. This week, Air Europe surprised the Puerto Rican crooner by baptizing one of their Dreamliners planes with his name and the lyric “yo quiero un mundo contigo” (I want a world with you), part of his timeless track “Yo No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Air Europe is the official airline of Fonsi’s upcoming tour, which includes a sold-out date in Madrid’s WiZink Center on Feb. 16. The sweet gesture also ties perfectly with the name of Fonsi’s upcoming album called El Viaje.
Pancho Barraza Day
January 25 has been established as ‘Pancho Barraza Day’ in Las Vegas. That’s the way Clark County Commissioner Jim Gibson proclaimed it when he presented a plaque and a replica of the star that has been placed outside the Paris Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. The 119th star is another achievement in the singer’s more than three decades career, who has made history within the Mexican region first as the vocalist of Banda Los Recoditos during the 90s and later as a solo artist.
“There are still many dreams to fulfill, but this is definitely one of them, and it is also a great pride to carry the name of Mexico high with these types of distinctions,” the “poet of love” exclusively tells Billboard Español. Barraza will also be celebrated on the “National Banda Day” held annually at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. See Barraza’s post here. — TERE AGUILERA
Blessd’s Celebrity Soccer Match
In celebration of his third studio album, Blessd got together some of his close celebrity friends for the “Si Sabe Fest” held Thursday (Jan. 25) in Miami. The festival, named after his new 14-track set, combined the world of music and soccer in a friendly match: Blessd versus soccer icon Ronaldinho. Showcasing their best fútbol skills, the teams were made up of special guests such as Ryan Castro, Ovy on the Drums, Argentina’s La Brujita Verón, Colombia’s Víctor Hugo Aristizábal, and Brazilian goalkeeper Dida. “I always wanted to be a soccer player ever since I was kid,” the Colombian singer tells Billboard after the match. “For me it’s a dream. I couldn’t believe it.” See the complete interview below:
Lupita Infante Receives Special Honor
Lupita Infante was honored with the Mayor’s Excellence Award by The City of Downey’s Mayor Mario Trujillo, recognizing her contributions in the Latin music industry and her pivotal role in carrying on her family’s musical legacy. The special award, which Infante received in person on Tuesday (Jan. 23) at the City Hall in Downey, Calif., is “awarded to those whose heartfelt contributions and notable accomplishments have proven invaluable to the community, playing a vital role in advancing the shared goal of making the city a better place for all,” according to a press release. Trujillo is also Infante’s former kindergarten teacher.
“It’s a full circle moment because I first met Mayor Mario Trujillo when he was my teacher in elementary school,” Infante said in the statement. I’m dedicating this award to my mother, who first came to Downey looking for a brighter future, and to this beautiful city that has helped shape my path in life and music.”