2006 Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards - ASCAP Acoustic Showcase 2006 Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards - ASCAP Acoustic Showcase
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Growing Up Latino With Salsa Sensation Victor Manuelle

Get familiar. 

Isabela’s own, Victor Manuelle, comes from a long line of salsa greats, and was discovered by the “El Caballero de la Salsa,” Gilberto Santa Rosa. Known by his fans as “El Sonero de la Juventud,” the Bronx-born star focused on dedicating himself to the genre, racking up some great accolades and collaborations that lead him to be one of the greatest salsa composers of our generation.

In his latest project “Que Suenen Los Tambores,” we see Manuelle gives fans their dose of love songs and celebratory tracks, but he also lets fans in a little deeper into his life as he dedicates the song “Algo Le Pasa a Mi Héroe” to his father, who has been battling with Alzheimer’s. Since he was impacted by his father’s illness, he's advocated to raise awareness in all his shows and live performances.

Recently, Manuelle teamed up with HBO Latino to give fans the full experience of his “Que Suenen Los Tambores” tour in his land of Puerto Rico. Set to air on Nov. 18, this special feature shows Victor performing his new songs as well as the fan favorites that have kept him relevant since his first album, Justo a Tiempo, which released in 1993. Get to know more about what it was like for Manuelle to grow up Latino.

"Yo vivo donde otros vacacionan". Amanecer en mi ISLA.

A photo posted by Víctor Manuelle (@victormanuelleonline) on

Unforgettable childhood memory:
Christmas parties in my house. My dad with his guitar playing music, my mom cooking and I was the oldest sibling in my house, so I would see my younger siblings running around. I'd be singing some Hector Lavoe songs or Christmas songs. Christmas has always been a memorable time.

Favorite home cooked meal:
I have to say my mom's beans. Papi used to make a mean octopus stew. I would have to say, though, rice and chicken that my grandmother would make.

Craziest Hispanic proverb told by mami or abuela:
Te lo dije! Whenever you did something wrong it was Te Lo Dije! Sometimes they'd talk in syllables with their chancla: Te! Lo! Di! Je!

Che Guevara moment/ greatest moment of rebellion:
It was a moment in high school. There was a problem I had with a teacher that I took to the principal. I organized everything and told the principal how the teacher was being disrespectful. That's when I felt like Che Guevara—like a leader.

#VictorManuelle #VM #TeamVM #NY #NewYork #RadioCityMusicHall @radiocitymusichall 🗽?? @thecommissionpresents | 📸@albikonmediavision

A photo posted by Víctor Manuelle (@victormanuelleonline) on

I first saw myself as a Latino when…
I feel that I've always felt Latino. I think when I left Puerto Rico and did a set somewhere else I really felt like, "Wow I'm representing the Latin culture, the language, salsa." It was really when I went to a non-Spanish speaking country. When I went to Colombia or Peru, they all understood, but when I did a set in Japan, tt made me feel like I had a responsibility to push my culture.

La Chupacabra o el Cuco:
El Cuco, haha, la chupacabra came later. El Cuco was who put fear in us.

Favorite poor man's meal:
Chinese food but not from a fancy restaurant. I like the ones you go to where you can get the combos. When I feel like I want to eat something that's not so healthy, it'll have to be Chinese food.

What was your household cure-all:
My mom would use Vick's for everything. If you had a cough she would use Vick's, if you had a bruise, Vick's. Everything was Vick's. If your eyes hurt, she would put Vick's in your eye. [Laughs]

Salsa, bachata or reggaeton:

What was your telenovela guilty pleasure:
I used to watch one with my mom I forgot the name. My mom used to watch Betty La Fea.

Historical hero or heroine:
In Puerto Rico, I would say Pedro Albizu Campos. But in sports, I would consider Tito Trinidad as a hero.

Life mantra:
My dad would always say, "If your worries have remedies why cry? And if they don't, why cry?" I don't see anything as too big in my life. There's nothing like losing a family member, but if nothing like that is happening and you have health, then everything else will resolve itself.

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Members of the public gather outside the funeral for Lesandro Guzman-Feliz on June 27, 2018 in New York. - Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, was stabbed to death outside a Bronx bodega in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Five Gang Members Sentenced To Life In Prison For The Murder Of Lesandro 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz

Five members of the Trinitarios gang were given life sentences for their role in the tragic death of Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz.

According to WABC, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, 25, Jose Muniz, 23, and Elvin Garcia, 25, were all sentenced to 25 years to life. Because of his age, Manuel Rivera, 19, was sentenced to 23 years to life. The group of men was the first batch to be tried in the slaying of the 15-year-old, who died on June 2018. Earlier this summer they were found them guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy and second-degree gang assault.

Jonaiki Martinez Estrella, 25, was also sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was the suspect who stabbed Junior in the neck, as seen in the harrowing surveillance footage from a nearby bodega.

“Certain words come to mind when I think about your involvement,” Judge Robert Neary told Martinez Estrella. “Senseless is one of these words. Savage is another word. But the one that often come to my mind is cowardly.”

In court, Estrella told the judge, "I'm sorry" and "My intention was not to cause death." He also blamed drugs, alcohol, and allegiance to the Trinitarios gang.

Junior's parents spoke out after the sentencing about their innocent child.

"That night, there were two deaths, Junior and I, who was left dead inside," Leandra Feliz said. "As a young boy, my son dreamed of becoming a detective, so he could protect this city...Please make sure my son's dreams come true. These killers should never be able to step out of a jail cell, so they know the moment they killed my son, they took their own lives as well."

Lisandro Guzman, Junior's father, also spoke about the grieving process. The family has faced heartache following the verdict after the sentencing was delayed three times.

"I struggle daily to find meaning in my life," he said. "I am no longer the person I once was. It is impossible to find a purpose in life. You will never have the ability to understand the pain that you caused. I will never forgive you. You deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law."


— Anthony Carlo (@AC_TV12) October 11, 2019

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Fat Joe performs on stage during Rihanna's 5th Annual Diamond Ball Benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on September 12, 2019 in New York City.
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Diamond Ball

Fat Joe Responds To Claims Of Appropriating Santería Culture In "Yes" Video

Fat Joe has offered apologies to those who interpreted a homage to Santería as an insult in his new video "Yes" featuring Cardi B and Anuel AA.

Released Monday (Oct. 7) the video, directed by Eif Rivera, features stereotypical music video troupes like women twerking under neon fluorescent lights. In addition to standout verses from Cardi B and Anuel, the visual includes a moment where a group of women takes part in the Lucumí religion. It's paired with the song's sample, "Aguanile" by the late salsa legend Héctor Lavoe. The moment is fairly quick but this didn't stop many from raising a brow to it.

As Joe promoted the video on Twitter, one user called him out for allegedly appropriating spiritual practice. "You disrespected the Lukumi religion. How are you going to take our religious imagery and sacred music and pervert it with "Ass up face down?" the user said. "Falta de respeto the Orishas will take everything away from you one by one! There was no reason for this."

Joe explained how it was an essential blessing to the intro and Lavoe, who also practiced Santería.

"We tried to pay respect at the intro of the video everyone who took part of this video knew the concept," he said. "We have nothing but respect Hip hop has always taken samples and flipped it into something new I tried to pay homage. Sorry, you took offense, I understand."

We tried to pay respect at the intro of the video everyone who took part of this video knew the concept, we have nothing but respect Hip hop has always taken samples and flipped it into something new i tried to pay homage sorry you took offense i understand https://t.co/R6E2dgljmA

— FAT JOE (@fatjoe) October 9, 2019

Hailed as a salsa pioneer in New York during the golden age of the genre, Lavoe was a beloved musician who helped popularize salsa with albums like Cosa Nuestra, De Ti Depende and Comedia. "Yes'" sample "Aguanile" comes from his eighth album, El Juicio. 

Watch "Yes" and the homage of sorts below.

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Five-Year-Old Girl Saved By Samaritans After Father Jumps With Her In Front Of NYC Subway

A five-year-old girl was saved by good samaritans after her father jumped with her off a subway track in New York City.

According to CBS News, the incident happened Monday on the 4 line in the Bronx around 8 am. Bystanders claimed to see the man on the phone as he was holding his daughter's hand. A few moments later, he was seen jumping onto the tracks as the train arrived at the Kingsbridge stop.

Commuters like Jairo Torres made a move to save the little girl, who landed between the tracks. As many recorded the moment, Torres and another man are seen saving the child from under the train. Her father was killed instantly.

"She says 'What happened to my daddy?'" he said. "I said 'Don't look at your daddy. Come to me. Crawl like a puppy.' I never think about anything, I just cared about saving the life of the baby."

Niurka Caraballo can be heard in several bystander videos screaming for her child. She told reporters her daughter miraculously only suffered scrapes and bruises. She was taken to a local hospital and brought home in her godfather's arms. Caraballo thanked Torres and the heavens above what she called a miracle.

"My little girl is in perfect condition thanks to God and the angels that protected her," Caraballo said. "Those living angels with my little girl. Thank you, thank you."

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