by Antonio Mejías-Rentas
‘MUNDO’ ON TOP: The Spanish-language version of the charity single We Are the World, recorded as a fundraiser for Haiti earthquake victims, was reportedly the most downloaded song on Itunes a day after its release this month.
Some 50 Latin recording artists including Juanes, Ricky Martin and Shakira participated in the recording of Somos el mundo, produced last month by Emilio Estefan and Quincy Jones. It was released March 1 on Univisión. It followed last month’s remake of the 1985 recording produced by Jones for Africa famine relief.
Both 2010 versions are available for download for a donation to Haiti earthquake relief.
SOLE LATINO: Two out of three Hispanic finalists on American Idol were eliminated during the first week of competiton. Ashley Rodríguez, a 22-year-old university student from Chelsea, Mass., and Joe Muñoz, a 20-year-old from Huntington Park, Calif., were among four competitors cut from the hit Fox network competition. Still in the running is Andrew García, 24, of Moreno Valley, Calif.
At the show’s first elimination, last year’s finalist Allison Iraheta performed the single from her debut album, Scars. The teenage daughter of Salvadoran immigrants in Los Angeles was still a high school student when she became the youngest competitor on Idol.
CHICANO ROCKER: Bobby Espinosa, a keyboard player who helped create the East Los Angeles musical style that mixed jazz, R&B and rock in the 1960s and ’70s, has died. He was 60.
Espinosa performed with El Chicano, a band that had top-40 hits with Viva Tirado and Tell Her She’s Lovely. The only Chicano artist recognized by the instrument maker as a Hammond Hero, he was known for his unique interpretation of the Hammond organ.
Espinosa died Feb. 28 at White Memorial Hospital in the Boyle Heights sector of East Los Angeles after a long illness.
In a related item, Puerto Rican percussionist Giovanni Lugo, who performed with some of the top salsa acts, died Feb. 3 in a hospital in Bayamón, of pancreatic cancer. He was 47.
ONE LINER: Opera buff and philanthropist Alberto Vilar, 69, was sentenced last month to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $21.9 million in compensation after being convicted in 2008 of 12 counts of fraud…