Influential Latinxs Born in February
Ah, February! It’s the month of love, Lunar New Year, and – how could we forget – Valentine’s Day. And even more reason to celebrate: here’s a list of visionary, creative, and innovative Aquarians and Pisceans from the Latinx community blowing birthday candles this month!
Award winning chef and TV personality Aarón Sánchez is known for his appearances as a critic and judge on Food Network cooking shows as well as Fox’s hit series Masterchef. He is the owner of the restaurant Johnny Sanchez in New Orleans and founded his own Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund to encourage young Latinx aspiring to be a part of the culinary industry.
Before we even begin… does Shakira actually even need an introduction? Just kidding. The beloved Colombian singer broke the Latin pop industry with her album Pies Descalzos in 1996 and has been a world star ever since. She’s won three Grammys, 13 Latin Grammys, and even more awards from Billboard, making her one of Latin America’s most decorated artists of the decade. The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer is married to Spanish football player Gerard Piqué and lives in Barcelona with her family.
Mexican singer sensation Gloria Trevi was born in Monterrey, Mexico and rose to prominence after debuting her first album, Que Hago Aqui?, which led her to become the “Madonna of Mexico.” She’s released ten albums, which have made it to Billboard’s top charts, and received the President’s Award from BMI for her contribution to Latin pop. Though she was arrested and jailed for corrupting minors, Gloria’s music is still wildly popular among the Latinx community.
Don Omar, aka King of Reggaeton (“El Rey”), is a retired Puerto Rican singer and actor. Prior to topping Billboard charts and earning recognition from the Latin Grammys, he worked in night clubs and collaborated with DJs. He’s reportedly had beef with rival reggae artist Daddy Yankee, but the two surprised fans with duo performances as part of the The Kingdom World Tour in 2016. You may know him for songs including “Angelito,” “Virtual Diva,” and “Sexy Robotica.”
Ah, the beautiful Paulina Gaitán. Before her breakthrough role as Tata (Pablo Escobar’s wife) in Netflix’s hit series Narcos, Paulina was part of the cast ensemble for The River on ABC. She was featured in smaller film productions like En Tus Manos (2010), We Are What We Are (2010), and Trade (2007). Paulina grew up in Mexico City, where she began her acting career at the age of nine and landed her first major role in Innocent Voices, directed by Luis Mandoki.
Uruguayan-born Mexican actress Barbara Mori began her career as a model before hitting the big screens and starring in Mirada de Mujer and Azul Tequila. Aside from acting in Mexican films, Mori was also featured in a Bollywood movie Kites, produced by Rakesh Roshan. Fun fact: she is a survivor of cancer!
Born as Carolina Giraldo Navarro, Karol G is a Colombian reggaeton singer and songwriter. She first appeared in The X Factor before moving to New York to start a career in music. Her collaborations with fellow artists Nicky Jam and Andy Rivera for the songs “Amor De Dos” and “Mañana” respectively garnered millions of views on YouTube, putting her in the spotlight for success. She won a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist last year.
Larissa Riquelme is one of Paraguay’s highest-paid models of all time. She caught the world’s attention during the 2010 FIFA World Cup when she was pictured at a Paraguay vs. Slovakia game. Since her rise to fame, she’s become the brand ambassador for the deodorant Axe and was photographed for an issue of Playboy Brazil. She was a participant on Argentina’s version of Dancing with the Stars.
Brooklyn Nine Nine star Stephanie Beatriz is an Argentine-born American actress. After graduating from Stephens College, she eventually made her way to Los Angeles to embrace her acting career, landing roles in TV series like The Closer and Southland as well as the hit comedy series Modern Family. You may also know her for voicing Gina in season five of BoJack Horseman.
Camila Coelho is everyone’s go-to beauty account on Instagram. With more than 7 million followers, the beauty guru moved from Brazil to the U.S. when she was 14 and went to high school in Pennsylvania. Her first job was at the Dior makeup counter at Macy’s, which helped launch her interest in the beauty industry, and eventually created her own YouTube channel. She now resides in Boston and is a frequent patron at the Muqueca Brazilian restaurant in Cambridge.
We can’t get enough laughs from this guy! Joey “Coco” Díaz is a podcast host, standup comedian, and actor. Originally born in Cuba and raised in New Jersey, Díaz started comedy in 1991 and landed acting roles in My Name is Earl and The Longest Yard. For a man with a sense of humor, Díaz’ childhood was met with tragedy in his family after having lost his father and mother before he turned 18. He now hosts his own audio and video podcast, The Church of What’s Happening Now and has over 600 episodes.
Remember those glory days from the 2000s with shows like Zoey 101? Yeah, us too. That was also when Victoria Justice had her moment on Nickelodeon as Lola Martinez before she landed lead roles in Victorious and Spectacular!. She was born to a German, Irish, and English father and a Puerto Rican mother who grew up in the Bronx. Her last acting role was in The Rocky Horror Picture Show in 2016.
Born Ramón Luis Ayala Rodriguez, rapper and singer Daddy Yankee has charmed fans all over the world with his reggaeton music from Puerto Rico. When he was hit by an AK-47 bullet in the hip, he reconsidered a career in sports and focused on his music instead. Little did he know, he’s sold 20 million records since launching his career. You may know him best for his song “Despacito” with Luis Fonsi (before Justin Bieber released his version!). He’s won five Latin Grammys, 14 Billboard Latin Music Awards, and was named “Most Influential Hispanic Artist” in 2009 by CNN.
The One Day at a Time actress Isabella Gomez is a Colombia native, born in Medellín. She’s had minor roles in Modern Family and Matador. She began acting by doing commercials when she was five and moved to Orlando, Florida with her family when she was 10. She now resides in Los Angeles, where she’s expanding and furthering her acting career.