GERALDO Rivera's last book, "His Panic," was about Latinos. His new book, "The Great Progression: How Hispanics Will Lead America to a New Era of Prosperity," is about Latinos. Presumably, his next will be the history of the rhumba. OK, so how's this one particular ethnic group leading us all to a new era of prosperity?

"This is a coming-of-age bio of the entire Latino community," said Geraldo. "This country so far has been off about immigration. Latinos are already part of our society. Interwoven inextricably with America."
Yeah, but so are the Chinese, Irish, Jewish, Italians, Africans, even a couple of Australians.
"Average age of the whites is 40. Average age of Latinos, 27. Take the Russians, for instance. They're an aging people. We're a hedge against aging. Justice Sonia Sotomayor's last house in The Bronx was the same house as my aunt Anna. We've been on Puerto Rican boards together. I jumped out of my seat when she was elected."
As the star of Fox News Channel's "Geraldo at Large" rumbled on with facts, figures and flowers to Sotomayor, I interrupted to ask what's my old friend the talk-show host think of today's talk shows?
"I'm very disheartened. A whole generation came of age on my program. Today it's all about who's shacking up with who. Is this what we're all about? Caring only about those who don't care about themselves? Kids now stay home on beautiful days to watch dehumanizing degrading people humiliate themselves. I mean Jon and Kate? I'm no saint. If I still had a talk show and they rated, I guess I'd have them on, too, but I'd sneer at them. I'd say, what are you doing to your children? And these TV traumas are controlled by producers who create artificial cliffhangers. There's not a moment of true spontaneity. There's a difference between a fake Jon Gosselin and a real Sonia Sotomayor."
Geraldo's book, out tomorrow, has a red, white and blue cover. And his goodbye to me was: "I'm off to do Regis' show. One of his producers is my ex-intern.

Residente from Calle 13 to host Los Premios MTV this year!

Calle 13's badass lyricist and outspoken singer Residente (Rene Perez) is set to host this year's edition of Los Premios MTV airing live from Los Angeles on October 15. This is great news considering that Los Premios had become a snoozefest. However, we're pretty sure this dude is capable of delivering hilarity, thus revamping the show!


Aventura Announces U.S. Tour

Urban bachata group Aventura today (Aug. 25) announced the first leg of a U.S. arena tour in support of its chart-topping album "The Last." The trek kicks off Nov. 20 in Chicago, Ill. and closes out at New York's Madison Square Garden on Dec. 20.

Since its release in June, Aventura's "The Last" has sold 145,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and dominated Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart. The album has reigned at No. 1 on the chart for 10 consecutive weeks, the first time an album has done so since Daddy Yankee's "Barrio Fino" in 2006.
Tickets for Aventura's tour, produced by Bill Young Productions, go on saleSept. 17. Here are the dates:
Nov. 20: Chicago, Ill. (Allstate Arena)
Nov. 22: Washington, D.C. (Patriot Center)
Nov. 25: Atlanta, Ga. (The Arena Center at Gwinett)
Nov. 27: Atlantic City, N.J. (Taj Mahal - Mark G. Etess Arena)
Nov. 28: Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun Arena)
Nov. 29: Boston, Mass. (Aganis Arena)
Dec. 2: Dallas, Tex. (Nokia Theatre)
Dec. 4: Houston, Tex. (Toyota Center)
Dec. 10: Las Vegas, Nev. (The Joint at Hard Rock Café)
Dec. 12: San Diego, Calif. (San Diego Sports Arena)
Dec. 13: San Jose, Calif. (HP Pavillion)
Dec. 15: Los Angeles, Calif. (Staples Center)
Dec. 18: Orlando, Fla. (Anway Arena)
Dec. 19: Miami, Fla. (American Airlines Arena)
Dec. 20: New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden)

A Latino astronaut's remarkable journey

For astronaut Jose Hernandez, his first space flight, scheduled to be aboard the space shuttle Discovery, marks a remarkable journey from the farm fields of California to the skies.

Hernandez, an American-born son of immigrants from Michoacan, Mexico, is getting plenty of attention at home and abroad for his journey from working the fields to operating some of the most advanced mechanics on the space shuttle.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon called the 47-year-old astronaut over the weekend to congratulate him. A transcript of the entire conversation was promptly posted online by the Mexican government. Hernandez is also reaching out to fans through Twitter, where he posts updates under the name "@Astro--Jose."

"I come from a very humble family and what I would call a typical migrant farm working family," Hernandez said in a NASA interview.
As a child, Hernandez's family split their time between Mexico and California, where they worked as migrant farm workers.

During the school year his parents emphasized his education, but on the weekends Hernandez would help the family, he said in the interview, posted on the NASA Web site.

Growing up in Stockton, California, it was Hernandez's job as the youngest child to hold up the rabbit ear antennas on the family's television set in order to get the best reception while everyone watched the Apollo missions.

"Now I kid around with my family saying that, you know, it was through osmosis that I became an astronaut because I was closest to the whole situation," Hernandez told NASA.

The real catalyst for his dream to become an astronaut, however, came when Franklin Chang-Diaz, became the first Latin American astronaut in 1981.

"There was a lot of parallels and that's when I challenged myself. I said, "Hey, if Franklin can do it, why can't I do it?" Hernandez said in the interview.

Hernandez earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering, and before joining NASA worked on a number of high-tech projects, including an X-ray laser to be deployed in space, a digital mammography system and the disposal of excess nuclear material in Russia, his official biography states.

According to NASA, there are nine Hispanics currently in the astronaut program, and 13 total in the program's history. Astronaut Danny Olivas, also of Mexican descent, will also fly on Discovery's upcoming 13-day mission.

The scheduled launch of Discovery on Tuesday was scrubbed twice, once because of weather and then hours later because of of mechanical issues involving a drain valve. NASA did not announce a new launch schedule.

Three Latinas Make Forbes "World's Most Powerful Women" List

Latinas are gaining influence all around the world, not just in the United States. From presidents to Supreme Court appointee, many notable women have opened doors for the next generation to walk through.

Sonia Sotomayor, Michelle Bachelet and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner were each named to the Forbes World's Most Powerful Women list for different reasons. Let's take a look at these women and their exceptional accomplishments:
Sonia Sotomayor
Sotomayor is the first Hispanic and only the third woman ever to be appointed to the Supreme Court in the United States. Her impact has just begun to be felt, but the lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land means that her votes and opinions could have a longterm impact on American law. Her life story and perseverance have already inspired so many to reach for the stars and to embrace our the goal of becoming "wise Latinas."

Michelle Bachelet
As the first female president of Chile, Bachelet has presided over a huge expansion of Chile's free-trade agreements. Under Bachelet, the Chilean economy has remained remarkably stable during the global recession and the gap between the rich and poor (one of the largest in the world) has been addressed through increased social benefits.

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Fernández de Kirchner is Argentina's first democratically elected female leader. Since she rose to power, she has had a seat at influential meetings such as the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy and the G20. Kirchner is also a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, whose mission is to mobilize around global issues of critical importance to women.


Miss Universe 2009 Winner Is Miss Venezuela Stefania Fernandez

For the second straight year, Venezuela has won the Miss Universe crown.

This year, it went to 18-year-old Stefania Fernandez, who survived -- among other things -- a swimsuit competition, a question-and-answer segment (she was asked what women can to do overcome obstacles in achieving their goals) and a "live" performance by 'Hills' star Heidi Montag to win the title.

First runner-up was Ada Aimee de la Cruz of the Dominican Republic. Kosovo's Gona Dragusha was named second runner-up, with Rachael Finch and Mayra Matos of Australia and Puerto Rico rounding out the top five.

Miss USA Kristen Dalton finished in the top 10.

In addition to her crown, Fernandez -- who listed swimming and tennis as her interests -- took home the Miss Universe prize package, which included a two-year scholarship from the New York Film Academy and jewelry designed by Diamond Nexus Labs. She also helped Venezuela to win its sixth overall title -- just one shy of USA's record-setting seven.


White House Initiative on Hispanic Education

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

VIDEO: Debate at a fever pitch over next month’s Juanes concert in Cuba

Colombian superstar performer Juanes is planning to give a concert in Cuba on Sep. 20, and in Havana’s Revolution Plaza, no less. Among the other acts scheduled to perform are Cuban folk legend Silvio Rodriguez and Cuban salsa stars Los Van Van.

But this isn’t the average concert in Latin America.
Cuban exiles in Miami and elsewhere are furious over Juanes’ upcoming performance, saying his visit is an expression of acceptance—and even support—for the oppressive communist regime in Cuba. Others throughout Latin America and the U.S. say that music is universal and shouldn’t be politicized by keeping international acts from performing in Cuba.

Event promoters say his concert, called “Peace Without Borders,” will not have ideological overtones. However, in a recent Twitter message, Juanes said, “Ninety miles of border, of wall, of lack of communications, of pain and death. Don’t you think it would be good that they talk after 50 years?” Sounds like a political message to me.

The controversy has gotten so bad that Juanes is now receiving threatening messages. In a police report dated Aug. 15, Juanes said that someone sent him a message on Twitter, which said, among other things, "I hate what you are saying but you will die for defending your right to say it." Juanes' manager and the promoter of the concert, Fernan Martinez Maech, also told Key Biscayne Police that he has "experienced hostility" from co-workers at the office regarding the show, who labeled him a "communist."

Cuban-Americans like singer Willy Chirino and actress María Conchita Alonso have issued harsh statements criticizing the concert. However, the Cuban-American powerhouse couple Emilio and Gloria Estefan, normally vocal on Cuba matters, has not issued any public comments. Singer Albita Rodríguez also declined to comment through her publicist.

Juanes has given such concerts before, most recently in 2008 along the Venezuela-Colombia border, to promote peace and dialogue between countries. It’s true that music is universal, and it’s a difficult thing to withhold the magic of music from the Cuban people, who desperately need anything to lift their spirits. Yet, there is an intrinsic unfairness in allowing artists like Juanes to perform in Cuba.

Juanes says he wants to promote dialogue with Cuba, but is he interested in promoting concepts like freedom of expression to the Cuban people during his concert? Would he be brave enough to condemn human rights abuses and make a call for the release of political prisoners? There’s no way to avoid politicizing a concert by a major Latin American star in Cuba, and Juanes needs to be prepared to handle the current and future onslaught of criticism heading his way because of these issues. He should also think about the freedoms he enjoys on a daily basis that the Cuban people do not as he sings to them next month.


Poll shows little Latin support for US-Colombia pact

Latin American countries strongly oppose the military defense pact signed recently between the United States and Colombia, a new poll suggests.

Over 69 percent of some 1200 respondents to a Telesur poll are against the agreement, saying it will strengthen Washington's presence in South America at the expense of Latin countries.

This is while 29 percent support the controversial deal -- which would permit the US military to operate surveillance aircraft from seven bases to track drug-running boats in the Pacific Ocean. Under the deal, Colombia will grant Washington military stay until 2019 in exchange for 5 billion US dollars in economic aid.

The agreement has sparked a storm of protest with South American countries rejecting the deal as a grave threat to regional stability.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in a regional summit last weekend, said he was fulfilling his "moral duty" by telling fellow leaders that the "winds of war were beginning to blow".
"This could generate a war in South America," Chavez warned.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, meanwhile, said the deal is a serious cause for concern.

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana also doubted that the deal would be successful in South America, which has a troubled history of US interventions.

CNN Presents Latino in America Anchored by Soledad O’Brien

New “…in America” Documentary Series Debuts on CNN and CNN en Español on Oct. 21& 22

CNN will extend its acclaimed “…in America” series of documentaries with a two-night, four-hour event, Latino in America, this October. Reported by anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, the ambitious documentary initiative examines the growing diversity of America, revealing insight into a changing nation on the eve of the U.S. census that is expected to officially confirm that Latino Americans are the largest minority group within the country.

Two, two-hour documentaries will air at 9p.m. and 12a.m. ET and PT and simulcast in English on CNN/U.S. and in Spanish on CNN en Español on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22; CNN International will also broadcast the series (date and time to be announced). Latino in America was filmed in high definition.

“As the face of America changes profoundly, CNN continues to demonstrate that we are the only cable news network dedicated to delivering a diversity of opinions and coverage,” said Jon Klein, president CNN/U.S. “This landmark series will showcase dramatic personal stories from across the sweep of Latino-American society, and move the dialogue well beyond limited partisan discussions of immigration.” Latino in America: Los Garcias – Wednesday, Oct. 21, 9 p.m. & 12 a.m. (two hours) ET/PT

Jennifer Lopez Hosts Dinner for First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice

The newest Supreme Court Justice has a famous fan!

Jennifer Lopez hosted a private dinner for Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic member of the nation's highest court, reported exclusively.

The star, 40, and hubby Marc Anthony feted 55-year-old Sotomayor at their home in New York's Long Island. The intimate gathering included a cocktail party attended by a dozen people, many of whom work in politics.

Sotomayor, who was nominated for the position by President Barack Obama, was sworn in earlier this month. Not only do she and Lopez share Puerto Rican heritage, but they both grew up in the Bronx in New York City.

Christina Aguilera Working With M.I.A., Santigold and Le Tigre On her fourth album...

Details of Christina Aguilera's forthcoming album have emerged today.

Entitled 'Light and Darkness' the U.S pop star has enlisted the help of M.I.A, Santigold, Ladytron and Le Tigre as well as production from Linda Perry and the singer Sia.

Discussing the alterntaive nature of the artists she has collaborated with Aguilera said, "Working with so many different people, I really kind of wanted to step into their worlds, them into my world and just get the best of both worlds.

"I really like to step outside of my own box. The result was just crazy magic. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy on the record. Lots of good stuff in store!"

Speaking about how the album sounds Aguilera went on to say to APE Radio: “I know I can't let too much out the bag too soon.

"I experimented with so many different types of textures and sounds with my voice that I've never showcased and that I never really knew that I could do." however she refused to be drawn too far going on to say.

"I really want you guys to be surprised and to experience firsthand what I'm talking about or what I'm not talking too much about.”

Aguilera finished by saying she is “Wrapping the album up” at the moment.


Eclipse Movie Update - Catalina Sandino Moreno Joins Twilight Cast

Maria Full Of Grace star, Catalina Sandino Moreno, is the latest fresh face to join the cast of the Twilight sequel, Eclipse. The Colombian actress, 28, will play a vampire – coincidentally called Maria – who builds an undead army in the third film of the Twilight series – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
Moreno will join established Twilight stars Robert Pattinson, Peter Facinelli and Kristen Stewart in the movie, which is currently being filmed and is due for a 2010 release.

Earlier in the week, it was announced that Factory Girl star Jack Huston will play the part of Royce King II, while Bryce Dallas Howard will replace Rachelle Lefevre in a controversial casting.

Moreno was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Maria in Maria Full Of Grace in 2005.

Aventura's 'Last' album may be their swan song but meanwhile they have the year's top seller

‘Crossover” has long been a loaded term for Latin music acts that struggle to balance remaining true to their core audiences and broadening their appeal.
For the urban bachata sensation Aventura, though, the term is just about irrelevant.
“Once we started doing music, we were already a crossover,” said lead singer Anthony (Romeo) Santos. “We brought our own style to bachata, all that we heard and liked growing up in the Bronx.”
Aventura’s inflection of bachata with R&B smoothness, hip-hop edge and lyrics beyond the sad-sack love stories at the heart of the more traditional form of the genre is an unlikely formula that has been gaining traction far beyond the group’s peer group of second-generation Dominican youth.
The quartet’s latest release, “The Last,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Album chart and has remained in that spot for seven weeks running.
The record has already reached double-platinum sales, more than any other Latin release this year. It also got to the No. 5 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, which ranks album sales across all genres.
After a few postrelease concerts in selected U.S. venues, the group has already performed in several cities in Mexico, Peru and Colombia. A more extensive tour of the U.S. and Latin America is scheduled for November and December.
The four Bronx boys, all still under 30, feel vindicated that a style they were told was too specific to the tastes of urban Dominicans in New York has found wider appeal. But they have no desire to simply bask in their success.
“I can tell you from my perspective, I’m never satisfied,” said the 28-year-old Santos, who prefers to go by his nickname ­Romeo to avoid being confused with a bachata star of an earlier generation, also named Anthony Santos.
“Seeing all the support from the fans makes me want to work more and more and harder.”
The group, which started out 14 years ago as Los Teenagers de la Bachata, built its reputation through an unrelenting performance schedule and close contact with its fan base, heavily composed of young women.
Some of the first promotional events after the release of “The Last” were in-store appearances. Many fans camped overnight to see the band up close and personal.
“We went right to the communities,” said Romeo, speaking from Bogotá, Colombia, where Aventura had a concert last Friday. “We did in-stores in places where artists don’t normally go. We went to barrios in Boston. One of our two in-stores in New York was in the Bronx.”
But fans eager for more Aventura would do well to pay close attention to the record’s title and to the song “Gracias,” which seems to be a goodbye. This record, the band’s fifth studio release, marks the end of Aventura’s contract with Premium Latin/Sony International.
“The guys want to do some solo projects. I want to do that as well,” said Romeo. But he added it does not mean it’s the end of the group, just a time to regroup.
Manager Johnny Marines said that although the band members have always had faith in the potential appeal of their style, some events in recent years convinced them they were on the right path.
Marines said that Aventura’s sold-out concert as headliners in Madison Square Garden in 2007, as well as the DVD from the show, helped the music industry and people beyond New York take notice.
“The DVD allowed the people who weren’t big fans and hadn’t been to a show to see what it was like,” said Marines.
Proof of the group’s broadening appeal came within months of the DVD release.
Even without much radio play in Puerto Rico, Aventura sold out five concerts at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan last year. The tickets for the 18,500-capacity venue were sold within hours.
Romeo said the exponential growth of Aventura’s audiences have made him think more about the group’s stage productions.
“What I want to do is definitely have a unique production that stands out. I want people to be blown away,” said Romeo. “But I don’t like to add too many things in the production. I still like to interact with the crowd.”
He said that the group picked up concert staging ideas from music acts as diverse as Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and Lady Gaga.
“I was looking forward to what Michael Jackson would have done” in the London concerts planned before his death, said Romeo.
No matter what the level of success, he said, there is always more to do. “We haven’t reached the level of our maximum potential,” he said, “but we’re on the right track.”

Selena Gomez Storms the Charts With Cover of 35 Year Old Pop Hit "Magic"

Miley Cyrus, Ashley Tisdale, Demi Lovato...move over girls and make room for a new Disney pop princess. 17 year old Selena Gomez is headed up the pop charts with a new cover of Pilot's classic 1974 pop hit "Magic." The original was a top 5 smash and has become a soft rock radio classic. Gomez is best known for her continuing role on the Disney TV series Wizards of Waverly Place. Her version of "Magic" comes from the soundtrack album for the TV show and the movie inspired by it.
Selena Gomez debuted this week at #61 on the Billboard Hot 100 easily beating out both Madonna and Whitney Houston. The song should create momentum for Gomez' first solo album Kiss and Tell which is due in stores September 29, 2009 going head to head with Mariah Carey and her upcoming album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. This isn't Selena Gomez' first appearance on the pop singles chart - she made her first appearance last year with "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" from Another Cinderella Story and earlier this year had a guest appearance on Forever the Sickest Kids' "Whoa Oh!" However, it looks like "Magic" could easily be Selena Gomez' pop breakthrough moment.

Ricky Martin Goes Back to the Studio

Ricky Martin is without question one of the most iconic performers in the world, let alone Latin music. He's one of a very select few superstars who couldn't likely make it down one block on any street anywhere across the globe without being recognized, and it's for good reason -- he's got quite a career behind him, including millions of records sold and accolades of both the Grammy and Latin Grammy persuasion, just to name a few. Not to mention having practically created the crossover, a trend quickly embarked upon by many others in his wake, a frenzied dedication to philanthropy, and just being an all around hell of a nice guy.Which are all reasons fans will be thrilled to know that this Miami resident is back in the booth. Though 2006 saw the very successful release of his MTV Unplugged album and 2007 followed with a live album off his Black & White tour, it marks a four-year hiatus from studio recording, since the release of Life in 2005. The new album, which will feature tracks in both English and Spanish, is expected to be ready for spring of 2010, with a first single releasing near the beginning of the year.Can't get enough of Ricky? Well, he's tweeting, peeps. Keep up.

Nelly Furtado's first full-length Spanish album 'Mi Plan', which will arrive in September, has its official cover art and title track unveiled.

A month shy from its release day, 's upcoming studio album "" gets its official cover art uncovered. The artwork features her wearing a strapless gold bubble mini dress. Along with the arrival of the picture, a title track for "Mi Plan" has also been made available for digital download starting from August 11. The song features Cuban singer/songwriter Alex Cuba and "talks about how being in love and happy are enough when everything else is not as clear." Following the release of the title track, another song titled "Bajo Otra Luz" will also be dropped as part of the album's "iTunes Countdown to" promotion. Featuring and La Mala Rodriguez, this third and last advance song will arrive on September 1. Nelly Furtado's first full-length Spanish effort, "Mi Plan" itself is set for September 15 U.S. release. Beside gearing up to release "Mi Plan", Nelly is also working with for a new English studio album which is yet to be titled.

iTunes' Mexico launch could shake up digital market

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) – An expected surge in smart-phone sales could bode well for the iTunes music store's belated entry into Latin America.

And that, industry observers hope, could help jump-start the region's mobile-centric digital music market.

Apple's August 4 launch of the iTunes music store in Mexico, its first in Latin America, comes about a year after the dominant mobile carrier America Movil began offering the iPhone in Mexico. On July 31, the carrier rolled out the new iPhone 3GS in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Uruguay. The iPhone is also available in Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

Pyramid Research projects that Latin America's smart-phone market will surge to 30% of all regional handset sales in 2014 from just 3% in 2008, spurred by carriers looking to increase data revenue from customers.

Apple's share of overall smart-phone sales in the region should reach 15% in 2009, fueled by iPhone sales that should top 1 million this year, according to Pyramid. Most of those sales will come not from the iPhone 3GS but the older 3G model, which America Movil was subsidizing for free in Mexico with a two-year contract.

Apple doesn't release sales figures, but Pyramid senior analyst Omar Salvador says Mexico likely accounts for the largest share of iPhone sales in the region to date, because of its tendency to adopt U.S. trends and the device's early availability there. Salvador calls iTunes' Mexico music store "another step to reinforce the attractiveness of the iPhone in Mexico."

Given music-industry estimates that mobile sales accounted for more than 80% of digital music revenue in Latin America in 2008, over-the-air downloads will be crucial for the market's growth.

The iTunes store in Mexico went live with a home page featuring Mexican acts like Vicente Fernandez, Jesse & Joy and Paulina Rubio. The store also has apps and podcasts from Mexican media outlets El Universal and Reforma, as well as music releases by international acts like the Black Eyed Peas and Modest Mouse.

Most tracks are priced at 12 pesos (91 cents), while most albums are priced at 120 pesos ($9) and music videos 24 pesos ($1.83). In a market with low rates of credit card use, the sale of prepaid iTunes gift cards will be crucial to the store's success. Major retailers like Office Depot, Sanborns, El Palacio de Hierro and Mixup sell the cards in denominations of 200, 300 and 600 pesos.

Mixup, a music and DVD chain, launched its own MP3 store in May. While the brick-and-mortar retailer enjoys strong brand recognition in Mexico, iTunes Mexico boasts advantages of its own, including an easier-to-navigate design and a much larger catalog of music.

Ana Clara Ortiz, VP of digital for Universal Music Latin America, notes that the continued popularity of the iPod in Mexico should give Apple a further edge. iTunes' music store in Mexico, combined with that of Mixup, will provide a way "to see if the online market wakes up," Ortiz says.

One of the biggest hurdles facing any digital retailer in Mexico is rampant piracy, which has stymied digital music sales. Total recorded-music revenue in Mexico plunged 22% in 2008, according to IFPI, the worldwide lobbying arm of the major labels. Digital sales, which accounted for 10.8% of the total, grew just 1.3% last year.

An Ipsos Media study in 2008 showed 58% of Mexican respondents reported having downloaded music online within the last three months, up from 42% in 2007. But the study also estimated that the number of illegally downloaded songs had doubled during the same period.

Apple VP of Internet services Eddy Cue notes that iTunes has never launched in a country with an existing, successful download store.

"We want to compete with piracy," Cue says. "We think the majority of people are honest, and what they haven't had was a great, legal alternative."

Further south, Brazil would appear to be a promising market for an iTunes music store. Recorded-music revenue grew 8% in 2008, and digital sales accounted for 13.4% of overall sales, according to the IFPI. But industry sources say a more complicated system of clearing publishing rights in Brazil makes opening a new digital music store there more difficult in the short term.


Univision’s Newest Mega Production “¡Viva el Sueño!” (Live the Dream!) to Launch Next Latin Music Superstar

The Univision Network announced today the upcoming launch of its highly-anticipated music competition, “¡Viva el Sueño! (Live the Dream!). The first-of-its-kind reality competition will pit 14 professional artists who have not yet had their big break and give viewers the chance to select Latin music’s next big superstar. Hailing from the U.S., Latin America and Spain, these performers have all had a taste of the limelight. Some have gained fame in their countries of origin, others have had the opportunity to perform side by side with some of the industry’s biggest stars, but they all still struggle in relative anonymity. “¡Viva el Sueño!” premieres Sunday, August 30th at 8pm ET/PT (7pm Central) on the Univision Network.

“¡Viva el Sueño!” will provide viewers with the intensity, drama and excitement of reality television as these artists face fierce competition, grueling rehearsals, and the emotional stress of preparing for a live show week after week. Each will showcase their unique talent in stellar musical productions, performing some of Latin music’s greatest hits. They will give their all in the hopes of winning $200,000 in cash and prizes but, most importantly, for the one chance to achieve their dream of stardom.

The program will be hosted by Hollywood actor and Latin American star Cristián de la Fuente. He will be joined by the beautiful and talented model/actress Carolina Guerra, who will provide all the details and reactions from backstage after each artist’s performance. In addition, three renowned Latin radio personalities from across the U.S. will make up the expert panel of judges who will be on hand to evaluate the contestants’ performances and help viewers decide who has the star-quality to make it through the competition. They are: Houston’s multifaceted radio host Raúl Brindis from Univision Radio’s Estéreo Latino 102.9 FM; Los Angeles’ favorite Regional Mexican DJ Stephanie Himonidis “La Chiquibaby” from Univision’s La Nueva 101.9 FM; and Miami’s high-profile and irreverent radio personality Enrique Santos from Univision’s La Kalle 98.3 FM.


Wisin & Yandel Nominated at MTV Video Music Awards ‘09

Latin Music’s Top-Selling artists Wisin & Yandel, continue to make history with their latest album “La Revolucion”. Today the duo received a nomination on the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards the the “Best Pop Video” category for their single “Abusadora”. Wisin & Yandel are the only Latin artists nominated in this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. The feate is even more impressive considering that “La Revolución” is a Spanish-language album and the duo have never recorded in English. The other artists nominated in the same category are: Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Cobra Starship. The MTV Video Music Awards will air LIVE from New York on September 13th.

Recently, “La Revolucion’s” first single “Abusadora” was number one on Latin Radio in the US and Puerto Rico reaching the top spot on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs Chart. The album is already Double-Platinum in the US and Puerto Rico as well as Platinum in Mexico and Gold in Venezuela and the Andean Region ( Colombia , Peru and Ecuador ).

Wisin y Yandel’s “La Revolucion” US Tour kicks off September 17th at the American Airlines Arena in Miami , FL and will hit 15 US cities including Los Angeles , New York , Chicago , Dallas , Houston and Washington DC among others. For more information on the “La Revolucion” tour visit:, or Tickets are already available through Ticketmaster.

For more information on Wisin & Yandel visit: or



Rocker Juanes to offer Sept. 20 concert in Havana

HAVANA — Colombian rocker Juanes wants to hold his second "Peace Without Borders" concert in Havana's storied Revolution Plaza next month with a host of regional stars — and says he has met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in hopes that American musicians can join the extravaganza.
In what could be the latest sign the art world is well into a thaw of nearly a half century of icy U.S.-Cuba relations, Juanes' manager, Fernan Martinez, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the concert will be Sept. 20.
He said organizers are waiting for Cuban government permission to use the sprawling concrete plaza, which is flanked by a huge homage to fallen Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and houses offices for Fidel and Raul Castro. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans gather there each May 1 for International Workers' Day celebrations.
A similarly huge crowd could come to rock, making the event one of the top Cuban concerts in recent memory. The first installment of Juanes' "Peace Without Borders" concert in March drew 100,000 fans to the border between Venezuela and Colombia.
The Cuba concert coincides with U.N. International Peace Day and could feature up to 12 artists from Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba and, Martinez said, the United States. He refused to divulge all the names.


McCain decides to vote no on Sotomayor

He really likes federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Thinks she's got an excellent resume. An inspiring life story. Heck, he even thinks she has the professional qualifications to be a Supreme Court justice.
But yesterday he took to the Senate floor to explain that he's voting against her nomination. He suspects she's one of those activists judges who will legislate from the bench.
"Regardless of one's success in academics and in government service, an individual who does not appreciate the common-sense limitations on judicial power in our democratic system of government ultimately lacks a key qualification for a lifetime appointment to the bench," McCain explained.
Hard to know what role politics played in the decision.
McCain is up for reelection next year in a state with an increasing Latino population, so the vote could spell trouble. In fact he went out of his way during Monday's speech to note that he backed the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the federal appeals court, a Bush administration nomination ultimately pulled because of Democratic opposition. As he himself explained to CNN after the election last year, "Unless we reverse the trend of Hispanic voter registration, we [Republicans] have a very, very deep hole that we've got to come out of."