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Influential Latinxs Born in January

Our beloved Quico (also known as Carlos Villagrán) actually started out as a journalist for a newspaper in Mexico City before becoming an actor for the television series El Chavo del Ocho. He is probably most recognizable for his puffed cheeks and short temper, which is a signature trait of his character in El Chavo. Last year, he starred in a Brazilian comedy titled “Como se Tornar o Pior Aluno da Escola“, where he played a school teacher and villain.


Is there anything Lin-Manuel Miranda can’t do? He’s an American composer, lyricist, playwright, singer, and actor widely known for creating and starring in the Broadway musical Hamilton. He’s co-written songs for the Moana soundtrack and most recently co-starred in the film Mary Poppins Returns with Emily Blunt. This week, he took his Hamilton production to Puerto Rico for a 3-week run, where all profits from the show will be donated to Miranda’s Flamboyan Arts Fund.


Born Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, Kid Cudi, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor.  His early work caught the attention of Kanye West who signed Cudi to his GOOD Music imprint label in 2008. He’s released six studio albums as a solo artist and has worked with numerous prominent artists in the music industry, including Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, David Guetta, MGMT,  Shakira, Snoop Dog, and Michael Bolton among others.


Eiza González is a Mexican actress and singer. She gained popularity for her debut role as Dolores “Lola” Valente in the Mexican musical telenovela Lola….Erase una vez. She made her U.S. debut in in the television series, “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” in a role portrayed by Salma Hayek in the original film. She appeared in the action film, Baby Driver, and most recently, Welcome to Marwen. Find her in the next movie of the Fast & Furious franchise:  Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.


Otherwise known as Mrs. McConaughey, Camila Alves is a Brazilian-American model and designer. Born and raised in Brazil, she moved to the US at 15 and started her career as a model in NYC at age 19.  She’s a handbag designer and, in 2016, launched a lifestyle website, Women of Today, that serves as a hub for her social media. If those weren’t enough, she’s also a mother of three and the co-owner of the organic food company, Yummy Spoonfuls, a product line for babies and toddlers, available at Walmart. 


Sean Paul, born Sean Paul Francis Henriques, is a Jamaican dancehall rapper, singer and record producer. Most of his albums have been nominated for the Grammy’s Best Reggae Album, with his album, Duty Rock, winning the award. His two hit singles “Get Busy” and “Temperature” topped charts in the United States, and he’s also been featured in many other hit singles including chart-toppers “Baby Boy” by Beyonce, “What About Us” by The Saturdays, and “Rockabye” by Clean Bandit. He’s most recently been featured on hit singles by Sia (“Cheap Thrills”) and Little Mix.


She’s best known for her role as Santana Lopez in the television series, “Glee”, but Naya Rivera began her career as a child actress and model at the age of 4.  She was signed to Columbia records and released a single in 2013, “Sorry”, featuring rapper Big Sean, film debut in 2014 in the horror film At The Devil’s Door and had a recurring role in the third season of the Lifetime television series Devious Maids in 2015. In 2016, she published a memoir, “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up.”  Before her big break in Glee, Rivera worked jobs as a telemarketer, a nanny, and a greeter at an Abecrombie & Fitch store. 


Mexican singer and songwriter Juan Gabriel charmed audiences in 1965 when he debuted on Gala TV Ciudad Juárez (then Notivisa). He’s nicknamed “Juanga” and “El Divo de Juárez” because of his flamboyant personality. He has earned prolific achievements in Latin music culture, having broken many barriers in music and establishing himself as one of the most influential pop icons in Mexico. You may know him for the following hits including “El Noa Noa” and “Amor eterno.” He passed in 2016. Or did he?


Another Mexican native! Ana Barbara is one of Mexico’s prized singers specializing in regional music, including mariachi, cumbia, grupero, and banda. Her talents in music have brought her fame beyond Mexico and helped her garner awards from the Latin Grammys and Furia Musical Awards. She has a huge LGBTQ following, having been crowned queen in the LGBTQ community in LA, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Ana also sang at the Selena ¡VIVE! tribute to musical icon Selena in 2005.


Seen the white crisp shirts and flowing bright skirts? You’ll know those are designed by Carolina Herrera. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Herrera was introduced to fashion at an early age, having been brought by her grandmother to Balenciaga shows. She started by working for Pucci before moving to New York in 1980. She was met with success at her debut fashion show by the Metropolitan Club. Since forming House Herrera, she’s been recognized by the CFDA as well as the Spanish monarchy for her achievements and contribution to fashion.


Mexican singer and TV hostess Yuri has been active since 1977. Her background in music and dance spiraled her into the entertainment industry in Mexico at an early age when an executive producer from Gamma discovered her. With her mother, Yuri moved to Mexico City, where subsequently she was recognized as “Best New Female Artist” at Festival OTI. She later came out with a an album that included her hit “Esperanzas.” She’s appeared in multiple Mexican soap operas and now focuses on Christian music with her husband.

Who’s your favorite LatinX born in January? Let us know in the comment section below!

#SomosLatinX #LatinXBirthdays #FelizCumpleaños

Vivian Wang

Vivian is a travel enthusiast and food connoisseur living in New York City. Her curiosity and passion for languages and culture has taken her across eight countries over the past year. When not working, you can find her meandering in art museums or sampling food at the street markets.

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