Top 10 Most Influential Hispanics 2016



  1. Emilio and Gloria Estefan– The Estefans have been a role model for Hispanics since the 1980s when they made Latin music popular all over the world. The Miami Sound Machine led by Gloria had people all over the world dancing to the rhythm of the conga. They were responsible for opening the door  to other Latin artists who wanted to crossover to the English-language market. In 2016 the Estefans made another dream come true when they produced a Broadway show, “On Your Feet” which tells their story and became a huge hit. In November 2015 they received the Presidential Medal of Freedom bestowed to them by President Obama.


  1. Jennifer Lopez –Jlo had another fantastic year and a busy one at that. We saw her in her new TV series Shades of Blue and in a brilliant performance at the Latin GRAMMYs. Her Las Vegas shows were sold out and she was a judge on the final season of American Idol. She parted ways with her longtime boyfriend Casper Smart but in December she was seen with her new boyfriend – Drake.
  2. Selena Gomez – Gomez had a year full of ups and downs but it was the ups that we will remember the most. In March 2016 Selena obtained the prestigious position of being the celebrity with the most Instagram followers (70 million) beating Taylor Swift. She did this even after going through a personal struggle with mental health issues. Her speech at the American Music Awards touched many people and celebrities: “If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken … whether you respect me or not, one thing you should know about is I care about people.”Thanks for those comforting words Selena and we are happy to have you back.
  1. Cesar Conde –Conde spent the majority of 2016 smiling since he was able to achieve something that had not been done before. He was responsible for Telemundo beating Univision in the ratings in 2016. Since his departure from Univision in 2013 he has focused on introducing new programs on Telemundo to capture a new audience and it seemed to work very well. Telemundo’s novelas were more action-packed and this also attracted male viewers.In early 2016, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises announced a $250 million investment for the construction of a new global headquarters in Miami-Dade County to bring all of the company’s offices, broadcast, production, distribution, cable and digital media operations under one roof.  With a completion date in 2018, the technologically advanced facility with expanded original content production capabilities will drive more integration across the company’s broadcast, cable and digital properties.


  1. Alfredo Estrada –There are very few national magazines devoted to Latino issues so we appreciate the fact that “Latino” magazine is still being published. Estrada is the founding editor of this magazine that highlights the success of executives and other prominent Latinos living in the United States.


  1. Eugenio Derbez –Derbez was one of the stars of the movie “Miracles from Heaven” that was released on March 2016. He is a rising star in Hollywood and many aspiring Hispanic actors look to him as a role model. His new movie “How to be a Latin Lover” will be released in 2017.


  1. Lin Manuel Miranda– As one of the stars of the musical “Hamilton” on Broadway Miranda was a busy person in 2016. He wona Pulitzer Prize, several Tony Awards and many television appearances.  He also received a Golden Globe nomination and he won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History and so many other things. But the biggest prize was being named The Associated Press Entertainer of the Year, voted by members of the news cooperative and AP entertainment reporters. That is a huge achievement not only for Miranda but the entire Hispanic community.


  1. Alicia Machado –Machado’s fame came when she was crowned Miss Universe in 1996. The pageant was owned by Donald Trump during her reign and suddenly she was in the media because she had gained extra weight and the pageant officials were not happy. In the presidential campaign Machado was openly critical of Trump and Hillary Clinton mentioned her during the first debate with Trump. Machado became a US Citizen in May 2016 so she could vote against Trump.


  1. Pablo Azar –Azar is known for his acting roles in novelas on Telemundo.Millions of fans have seen him play stellar roles and because of his gallant looks he has also won their hearts. Everyone assumes that because he stars in so many novelas he must be rich as well. However, the dark side of the US novela business was brought out into the light when a story in the New York Times revealed that Azar had to become a driver for Uber to pay his bills. That was an eye-opener to many people that did not know about a novella actor’s pay and benefits.


  1. Enrique Santos –Santos is a well-known radio personality in Miami where he had been the host of his own show on the Univision radio station 98.3 for many years. He also served as judge on a talent show for the network and he started another TV show on UniMas that was short-lived. On September 2016 iHeartRadio announced that Santos was named chairman and chief creative officer of the newly-created iHeartLatino and would be responsible for iHeartmedia’s Latin direction and strategy.




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