Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Betcha Didn't Know...?

Some of the most notable names from the dawn of film and television are of Latino descent. Here are some of them.

In this edition, people in popular music-- including two Black Eyed Peas, a chanteuse known for singing the Bacharach-David oeuvre, a British soul singer and a singer who opines that you really think this blog is about you.

Fergie (1975– ), born Stacey Ann Ferguson, is an American singer, songwriter, fashion designer, television host and actress. She was a member of the U.S. syndicated children's television series "Kids Incorporated" and the girl group Wild Orchid. She is the female vocalist for the hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas with whom she has achieved chart success worldwide. Her debut solo album spawned five Billboard Hot 100 top five singles, three of which went to number one. Having left Wild Orchid in 2001, she joined The Black Eyed Peas. With The Black Eyed Peas she enjoyed a series of hits and albums before releasing her debut album The Dutchess, in September 2006, to success. The Black Eyed Peas enjoyed further success with the release of their third album with Fergie, The E.N.D., they attained their first string of Billboard Hot 100 number one songs. She continued success with The Black Eyed Peas and they released the album The Beginning in November 2010, which featured three singles, including two number one songs. As Fergie's five solo singles and six singles with The Black Eyed Peas have reached two million downloads in the United States, she was the artist with most two-million sellers by the beginning of 2011. She was born in Hacienda Heights, California, U.S.A, the daughter of devout Roman Catholic school teachers Theresa Ann (née Gore) and Jon Patrick Ferguson. She is of Irish, Scottish, Mexican (from a paternal great-grandmother), and Native American descent. According to her, “Yes, I have Mexican in my ancestry. My Dad's grandmother was born in Guanajuato. I’m very proud of it; that’s probably where I get my fire! I’m mostly Scottish-Irish, though. I don’t go around claiming it big time, because there are many more full-bred Latinas that are out there to represent.”

Taboo (1975- ), born Jaime Luis Gómez Sifuentes al estilo latino, was born in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. to Mexican American parents. He also has some Shoshone ancestry. He is a singer, actor and rapper, best known as a member of the group The Black Eyed Peas. His involvement with the Black Eyed Peas date back to 1995, when rappers William Adams ( and Allan Pineda ( reformed their group and became the Black Eyed Peas. He is known primarily for his guttural spoken reprises of the last few words of a sung lyric, as well as emphatic flourishes between vocal parts, such as "Yeah," "Uh-Huh," "Hey Hey Hey Hey," and other such memorable catch phrases. His first acting role was in the film Dirty (with Wyclef Jean), playing the part of Ramírez. He then appeared in the 2007 independent film Cosmic Radio (with Michael Madsen, Wes Studi, Daryl Hannah, Ricardo Chavira). He played the character Vega in the 2009 film Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li.

Dionne Warwick (194o- ), born Marie Dionne Warrick, is an American singer, actress and TV show host. Having been in a partnership with Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, she ranks among the 40 biggest hit makers of the entire rock era (1955–2012), based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. Warwick ranks second only to Aretha Franklin  as the most-charted female vocalist with 56 singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998. She is also a cousin of the late Whitney Houston. Born in East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.A., to Mancel Warwick (1911–1977), who began his career as a Pullman porter and subsequently became a chef, a gospel record promoter for Chess Records and later an accountant; and Lee Drinkard Warwick (1920–2005), manager of the Drinkard Singers. Warwick had a sister Delia (known as Dee Dee) and a brother, Mancel. She has African American, Native American, Brazilian and Dutch  ancestry. Her first solo single for Scepter Records was released in November 1962. The song was titled "Don't Make Me Over", the title supplied by Warwick herself, when she snapped the phrase at producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David in anger. From the phrase, Bacharach and David created their first top 40 pop hit (#21) and a top 5 U.S. R&B hit. Her original name was misspelled on the single's label, and she began using the new spelling (i.e., "Warwick") both professionally and personally. According to the July 14, 1967 Time magazine article, after "Don't Make Me Over" hit in 1962, she answered the call of her manager, left school and went on a tour of France, where critics crowned her "Paris' Black Pearl," having been introduced on stage at Paris Olympia hat year by Marlene Dietrich. Rhapsodized Jean Monteaux in Arts: "The play of this voice makes you think sometimes of an eel, of a storm, of a cradle, a knot of seaweed, a dagger. It is not a voice so much as an organ. You could write fugues for Warwick's voice." In January 1980, while under contract to Arista Records, Dionne Warwick hosted a two-hour TV special called Solid Gold '79. This was adapted into the weekly one-hour show "Solid Gold", which she hosted throughout 1980 and 1981 and again in 1985-86. Major highlights of each show were the duets she performed with her co-hosts, which often included some of her hits and her co-hosts' hits intermingled and arranged by Solid Gold musical director, Michael Miller. Another highlight in each show was Dionne's vocal rendition of the Solid Gold Theme, composed by Michael Miller (with lyrics by Dean Pitchford). Her hit songs include "Walk on By", "Alfie", "I Say A Little Prayer", "Do You Know the Way to San José?", "Then Came You" (with The Spinners), "I'll Never Love This Way Again" and "That's What Friends Are For" (with Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder). In her career, she has released 35 albums, 5 live albums, 85 singles and 5 Grammy Awards (out of 11 nominations).

Carly Simon (1970- ), born Carly Elizabeth Simonis a singer-songwriter, musician and children's author. She rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records; her 13 Top 40 hits include "You're So Vain", "Nobody Does It Better" and "Coming Around Again". Her 1988 song "Let the River Run" was the first to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for a song written and performed by a single artist. Born in New York, New York, U.S.A., her father was the co-founder of Simon & Schuster publishing and a pianist who often played Chopin and Beethoven at home. Her mother was a civil rights activist and singer. Her father was Jewish and her mother was of German, French, Cuban, Spanish and African descent. She first started singing with her sister Lucy. Then billed as The Simon Sisters, they had a few minor hits and released three albums, before Lucy left the group to marry and raise a family. Her self-titled debut album earned her a Grammy for Best new Artist. She has released 24 albums and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994. With the notable singer-songwriter, James Taylor, she she has two children, Sarah "Sally" Maria Taylor and Ben Taylor, who are also musicians

(1963- ), born Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel, is a British soul/R&B singer-songwriter, to a Nigerian mother and a Brazilian father. He has won numerous music awards throughout his career, including three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male in 1992, four Grammy Awards, and an MTV Video Music Award. He is known for his numerous international hits; the best known being "Kiss from a Rose", which appeared in the soundtrack to the 1995 film Batman Forever. He has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. He is a coach on "The Voice 
Australia". One of his middle names, Olusegun, means "God is victorious" in the Yoruba language. Although there have long been rumours as to the cause of the scars on his face, they are in fact the result of a type of lupus called discoid lupus erythematosus – a condition that specifically affects the skin above the neck. Since his appearance as guest vocalist on the 1990 Adamski single "Killer", he has released eight albums, two live albums and 28 singles. His additional hit songs include "Crazy", "Don't Cry", "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Waiting On You." He has four children with supermodel Heidi Klum, with whom he is (at this writing) separated.

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