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Latino Take-Over: 7 Celebrities Who Turned World Stars Overnight

By: Brianna Lopez

Latino celebrities are growing ever popular as they take over films, music, fashion and social media. This trend is not limited to Latin America, but Latino popularity has reached the screens and stages of the United States and around the globe. Here is a list of some Latino celebrities who seemingly turned into world stars overnight.

Sofia Vergara

The Colombian American actress Sofia Vergara started her career as a model before immigrating to the United States where she became the TV host of many Univision programs such as the popular show “A Que No Te Atreves.” Many Americans know her for her performance as Gloria Pritchett on ABC’s hit sitcom “Modern Family,” that explores three different extended families and their experiences. “Modern Family” earned Vergara four nominations each for the Emmys and the Golden Globes. 


Reggaetón singer and songwriter from Puerto Rico, Ozuna, climbed up the music charts with dance hits inspiring people to follow their hearts and dreams. The chorus from one of his most famous songs, “Dile Que Tue Me Quieres” speaks of love that is uninhibited and free.  Ozuna began his career in 2016 with the single “La Ocasion,” but he is widely known for his hit number one album “Odisea” in 2017. 

Joan Smalls

Born and raised in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, Joan Smalls began her career in 2011 when she became the first Latina model to represent Estée Lauder cosmetics. She was a part of the Victoria Secret Fashion Show from 2011 until 2016 and ranked among the top ten in Forbes’ highest paid models list in 2018. Not only has she proved to be successful in the modeling industry, but she also practices charity through her non-profit called Project Sunshine where she helps children with medical needs. 

Catherine Paiz

YouTube sensation turned celebrity Catherine Paiz went viral because of her funny, family-oriented videos produced alongside her husband Austin McBroom. Paiz is a Panamanian mom of two who is also a model. Paiz’s engagement video with McBroom pulled at the heart strings of many internet fans. Her family’s YouTube channel currently has 17.6 million subscribers which will likely climb as they continue to reach the hearts of greater audiences.

Bad Bunny

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, this Latin trap and reggaetón singer is widely known for breaking gender norms through various radical acts such as wearing acrylic nails.  He is widely popular for his 2017 breakthrough single “Soy Peor,” a breakup song that resonated with many.  He has also won a Video Music Award for Song of Summer in 2018 and a Billboard award for Top Rap Song in 2019.

Salma Hayek

This native of Mexico began her acting career in a telenovela called “Teresa” in 1989. Her breakthrough role didn’t come until 2002 where she played the late artist Frida Kahlo in the biopic “Frida” which earned her four award nominations that included an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. She had a supporting role in the movie franchise “Grown Ups” where she plays the wife of Adam Sandler’s lead character. This year it was announced that she will star in the Marvel film “The Eternals.” 

Becky G

 This Mexican singer first became famous for her hit song “Shower” in 2014 and after collaborating with Pitbull on the song “Superstar,” she crossed over to Latin music and films in 2016.  One of her most famous songs was released in 2018 entitled “Sin Pijama” with singer Natti Natasha. This was her third song to hit the top 10 on the U.S. Hot Latin Songs chart and it also topped music charts in Bolivia, Chile, El Salvador, and Spain.

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