Verónica in November 2008
|Born||Mayra Verónica Aruca Rodríguez
(1980-08-20) 20 August 1980
|Height||5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)|
Mayra Verónica Aruca Rodríguez (born August 20, 1980) is a Cuban-born American model and singer most famous for appearances on Spanish-language television. Verónica’s role on Univision’s Don Francisco Presenta brought her to the attention of FHM magazine’s US edition. After appearing in FHM she was included in its 2004 calendar and went on to do additional magazine work. She made appearances on many Spanish language television shows, as well as appearing in music videos and television commercials.
She is noted for being a spokeswoman for USO.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Discography
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Mayra Verónica was born in Havana, Cuba, where her father was a member of Cuba’s big band, Los Dada. In 1984, she came to the US with her mother, Mayra Rodriguez, leaving behind the rest of her family including her father, Arturo Aruca, and sister Giselle Guzman. Her father came a year later and reunited with Veronica and her mother, while her sister was unable to meet them until thirteen years later. Mayra grew up with little money and food was sometimes scarce.
A gifted student, Verónica made her way through ballet school by befriending other girls (other students from her school who could afford the training), while surviving difficult financial circumstances at home. Her body began maturing during her middle school years, causing her to no longer be able to do ballet. Her first boyfriend, at the age of 15, was an artist of the same age who often painted her nude or semi-nude.
Pageants and modeling
Verónica continued school and after joining a local beauty pageant and becoming Ms. Miami, she met a photographer who would do the pictures for the event, and noticed the photographer was captivated by Mayra’s photos and invited her to his studio for free sessions. Thus, Mayra obtained her first modeling book and signed with a local agent in Miami. This agent sent her out for an audition for a local TV entertainment news show “Miami Hoy” (at the time Mayra was at Florida International University majoring in Psychology and Theater) she did not know much about being a reporter but determined she could act like one.
She began as a correspondent, but was promoted to celebrity hostess for the show. She interviewed celebrities like Donald Trump, Oscar de la Renta, Hugh Hefner, and Dennis Rodman. Throughout, Verónica traveled to New York to continue acting training at the Lee Strasberg Institute to fine tune her craft, until the station (owned by Media One) was bought by AT&T Corporation and subsequently closed.
Verónica landed a made-for-TV movie called The Suitor and did commercial campaigns for Nike, L’Oréal, and Coca-Cola. Univision announcing a new show hosted by Don Francisco. They wanted Verónica to be their model and co-host, but with one catch. Due to her ample curves, her last appearance on screen for the day would entail her backside presented before turning around to face the camera, which she gladly agreed. Once the show aired, the model with the great backside became the talk of Latinos everywhere, so much so the American press became interested.
FHM, the top men’s magazine of the time, contacted Veronica’s publicist to ask for a feature spread on their magazine. Veronica agreed and after mail requesting her return, she went on to appear on the cover of the FHM exclusive collection book, which included top sex symbols of the decade such as Pamela Anderson, Eva Longoria, and Carmen Electra. From 2004-2010 Mayra Verónica made FHM‘s “Sexiest Women In The World” list 6 years in a row. She was featured on other covers for FHM, Maxim, Edge, GQ, Cosmo, Shape and over 100 other national and international covers. Her popularity on such covers made her website at the time one of the top requested websites with more than 4 million hits biweekly. With her popularity came email from soldiers stationed in Iraq asking for her posters and by now famous calendars. Veronica’s management sent a care package of approximately 5000 posters. Shortly, the military named her favorite pin-up girl for the US Marines and the USO asked her to tour with the troops.
The USO tour became a special Thanksgiving tour with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright, actor Wilmer Valderrama, comedian Russell Peters, traveling to six countries in six days: Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Turkey, Africa, and Greenland. The troops’ response was overwhelming and although Verónica had decided not to do any more calendars, she changed her mind and decided to do one in 2008 dedicating proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Upon her return from the tour, she was described as a “modern day Betty Grable“. Verónica continued touring with the USO and became an official spokesperson, appearing with then-President George W. Bush and Gary Sinise on a panel for C-SPAN about the organization.
On July 2, 2009, the New York Stock Exchange asked her to ring the NASDAQ bell for the Fourth of July week. Verónica decided to bring awareness to two of the organizations for which she’s an advocate and spokesperson, The USO and UNICEF, and brought them to the bell ringing ceremony.
Vengo Con To
During her time with the Univision Network, Veronica had the opportunity to meet top ranked music producers who collaborated with her on her first music album. It was titled Vengo Con To’ (I’m coming [at you] with everything). It was also a popular time for the reggaetón music movement and Verónica’s album included as its first single “Vengo Con To” which was later quoted by King magazine: “Mayra Verónica’s moaning make Madonna‘s Erotica sound like bubblegum pop… chew on that Daddy Yankee.” The song soared to number one on the top station in the country (New York) and made top 40 on Billboard. The video was banned from Latin television.
Europe did not seem to mind and Mayra signed a deal with a German label for the European release of the album. The album’s popularity landed Verónica a deal with Universal Motown, which put out a second single from the album titled “Mamma Mia” which also did very well on radio.
A third single, “Es Tan Dificil Olvidarte”, dedicated to the fallen troops, put Verónica in the top 10 on the pop contemporary charts. Verónica continued her work with the troops by visiting the wounded at camp Lejeune.
Saint Nor Sinner
Verónica began 2010 on the cover of Billboard Magazine with a new single, “If You Wanna Fly,” that reached #9 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart, #11 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay chart, #5 on Billboard Dance/Electronic sales, #17 on Billboard Heatseekers Songs and #74 Hot 100 Chart. She continues working with producer Eddie Galan of Mach 1 Music, (who is co-writing and producing the debut English album) with a new album titled Saint Nor Sinner due out in 2012. Mayra Veronica landed the cover of Billboard Magazine again in July 2011 for the release of her new single “Freak Like Me”, which reached top 10 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Charts. In March 2012 Mayra Veronica’s video “Freak Like Me”, featuring Antonio Sabato Jr. who play’s Verónica’s love interest, was added to MTV Hits & VHI Latin America on full rotation. Currently Mayra Veronica’s new record “Ay Mama Mia” The Remixes went #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart in March 2013.
Mayra Verónica, singer & international model, is set to make lasting impressions in the UK this fall with her pumped-up, carnivalpop tinged single “Mama Mia.” The track, a debut release for the UK, has already enjoyed #1 chart success in the US Hot Dance / Club Billboard Charts, will be available here digitally via Syco (Sony Music) on September 29, 2013. The Cuban-American’s career has seen her grace the covers of the likes of FHM, Shape & Maxim along with various high-profilenational ad campaigns with L’Oreal, Coca-Cola & Nike. This has been done around a growing music career that’s seen her previous US releases rank very highly on numerous Billboard Charts in the US, even resulting on cover shoot for the chart company’s 4 July militarily issue in 2011.”Mama Mia” was produced by Grammy nominated producers, Dave Audé & Roy Tavaré. The video for “Mama Mia’ was directed by Actor/Director Larenz Tate known for his famous feature role as Quincy Jones in Ray (77th Academy Awards nominated best film in 2004)and features roles in Biker Boyz, A Man Apart, Crash, Waist Deep and many more. Mayra Verónica’s “Mama Mia”” will be released on Simon Cowell‘s label Syco Music (Sony) home of One Direction, Little Mix, Emblem 3, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and Fifth Harmony. Mama Mia will be a part of the tracklist in Just Dance 2019, releasing in October
Mayra Veronica’s new song “MAMA YO!” Is a collaboration with Italian Electro Swing band The Sweet Life Society signed to Warner Bros. Records. The production is a remake of Carmen Miranda’s classic worldwide hit “Mama Yo Quero” with a modern-day twist. The classic tune was covered by many of the Hollywood greats such as Lucielle Ball, The Mark Brothers, and many more. MAMA YO! (Official Music Video) has already hit millions of views worldwide where it debuted on MTV, Top 10 in the UK, Top 10 in Belgium, Top 20 in 4 countries and licensed to some of the biggest labels in the world in various territories.
The remix package for Mayra Veronica’s chart-topping single “MAMA YO!”—a fresh remake on the classic Carmen Miranda song “Mamãe Eu Quero”—has finally come to fruition! With Yolanda Be Cool,Jasper Dietze, Bali Bandits, BOOTSMEN and the original’s collaborators The Sweet Life Society taking the helm, the “MAMA YO!” bundle has a little something for everyone. Aussie duo Yolanda Be Cool bring back their trademark sax-laden retro sound for their adaptation of “MAMA YO!,” reminiscent of their colossal 2010 hit “We No Speak Americano.” With its music video already making the rounds on MTV Clubland, this offbeat remake of the original became one of the pop/dance smashes of summer in the countries that have seen its release. You may have heard of Jasper Dietze from his collaborations with Oliver Heldens, so it was no surprise when the notable DJ was the first to support the “MAMA YO!” remix from Rotterdam’s up-and-coming act. Jasper’s take on the track is a cool combination of a techy/deep house vibe, with hints of big room that keep the energy pumping. The next remixes come from two Dutch duo’s, Bali Bandits and BOOTSMEN. The Bali Bandits give the Latin-flared original an electro house spin, perfecting that beloved Dutch sound and igniting dance floors around the globe, while the BOOTSMEN contribute their Dirty Dutch-style with a heavy-hitting rendition that will leave you wondering what hit you. Last but not least, self-proclaimed “electroswing” duo The Sweet Life Society not only lend their talents on the original extended mix, which is at over 2 million combined YouTube views and counting, but also give “MAMA YO!” a big band makeover with their own take on the tune. With dark, circus-inspired beats and a brass section backing the track’s playful melodies, the pair from Torino, Italy, have taken “MAMA YO!” in a funky, vintage direction. Whether you like the retro groove of Yolanda Be Cool’s remix, House vibes from Jasper Dietze, The Sweet Life Society’s dark Big Top take or the intensity from the BOOTSMEN or Bali Bandits, this diverse package is one that is sure to blow your socks off.
Spanish DJ/Producer Sak Noel’s latest single “No Boyfriend” featuring Mayra Veronica signed to Ultra Music. The playful electro house track, which debuted on the US Billboard Dance/Mixshow Chart and has seen massive success in Europe and North America, became an online sensation almost overnight. The official music video has already amassed over 10 Million combined views on YouTube, while scores of Instagram and Vine users have taken to creating their own viral videos featuring the song ( Over 100 Million viral views across all social media platforms). Isaac Mahmood Noell, otherwise known as Sak Noel, became enamored with electronic music and art in general at a very young age. Though he began producing as a hobby in his teenage years, the quality of his work led to the beginning of a fruitful career in dance music. Sak Noel first gained recognition in Spain with his infectious 2011 single, “Loca People”, which went on to become a ubiquitous international smash hit. He has since performed across the globe in over 40 nations and is one of the leading acts in electronic music, reaching number 1 in more than 15 countries. With the instant success of “No Boyfriend” and overwhelming support from the online community, 2015 is sure to be a promising year for the talented producer.
Mayra Veronica featured on Sean Paul’s new record with Yolanda Be Cool “Outta Control” out on Warner Bros. Records March 4, 2016.
In 2012 Mayra Verónica signed an exclusive worldwide co-publishing deal with BMG Chrysalis US
In 2013 Mayra Verónica signed with Simon Cowell’s label Syco Music (Sony) Music. Currently Mayra Verónica’s debut EP “Mama Mia” is set to be released August 29, 2013 on Syco Music under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment UK. Founded by Simon Cowell in 2002, Syco Music is home to such multi-platinum recording artists as One Direction, Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis, Little Mix and has been responsible for dozens of number one hits in both the UK and USA pop charts. In 2010 it became a joint venture with Sony Music to focus on the production of music, television, film and digital content.
Adding to the phenomenal international success of Mayra Veronica’s mega-hit single, “Mama Mia”, including a number one Billboard Dance chart triumph, Ultra Music, in a joint venture with Syco Music, has picked up the Dance track for exclusive distribution rights, within the territories of the United States and Canada. Initially introduced as “Ay Mama Mia,” the original Spanish version became an international sensation and caught the attention of music industry executive/innovator Simon Cowell, whose Syco Music-Sony label retained exclusive international distribution rights for the single outside of the United States and Canada where the song subsequently earned top 20 chart results in France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. The updated Ultra Music version of “Mama Mia”, will feature both English and Spanish lyrics. Co-written by Mayra Veronica, the catchy tune meshes vintage tropical sounds with an infectious electronic dance rhythm. The original Spanish video has already reached over 12 million views on YouTube with club DJ luminaries such as Axwell, Chuckie (DJ), Laidback Luke, John Dahlback and Thomas Gold treating their fans to Mayra’s fresh music. “Mama Mia” is the most recent chart success for Mayra Veronica. The Cuban-American singer/songwriter, who presently holds an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with BMG Chrysalis, first gained chart notoriety with “If You Wanna Fly”, which penetrated five different Billboard charts, including the coveted, Billboard Digital Sales Chart. Her second single, “Freak Like Me” earned her a number three position on the Billboard Dance Chart, and garnered slots on numerous international Billboard charts. The new video for “Mama Mia” is set to be launched on January 30 on Ultra Music’s YouTube Channel.[needs update] The visual presentation has been directed by Larenz Tate, whose acting credits include his portrayal of Quincy Jones in the Academy Award-winning film, Ray, as well as roles in Biker Boyz, A Man Apart, and Crash. The radio edit of “Mama Mia” will debut on iTunes, and other digital retailers on February 25. In addition, at this same time, new club dub versions from Chocolate Puma and Sick Individuals will be made available exclusively on Beatport. Following this, The “Mama Mia” (Remixes) EP, which showcases versions orchestrated by Dave Aude, Chocolate Puma, Robbie Rivera, Sick Individuals, Genairo Nvilla and Razor N’ Guido, will be available March 25, 2014. Mayra Veronica will kick off a world tour in support of “Mama Mia” in the spring, with Soneros de Verdad and The Sons of the Buena Vista Social Club sharing the bill.
Warner Bros. Records
In 2015 Mayra Veronica officially signs a major record worldwide deal with Warner Bros. Records http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com/artist/mayra-veronica
In 2014 Mayra Veronica’s #1 Billboard Dance song “Mama Mia” is nominated for ‘”Best Latin Dance Song of The Year” at the 29th Annual International Dance Music Awards (IDMA). The awards will take place on March 27, 2014 in Miami, Florida during the Winter Music Conference. In this category Mayra is up against Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee, Pitbull Feat. Christiana Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony,
- 2007: Vengo Con To’
- 2010: Saint Nor Sinner
- 2013: Mama Mia
- 2015 MAMA YO!
- 2015 No Boyfriend
- 2015 Party Crasher
- 2016 Outta Control
- No Boyfriend (with Sak Noel, DJ Kuba & Neitan; featured vocalist)
- Party Crasher (with Nilz Van Zandt; featured vocalist)
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|Hot Dance Club Play||Hot Dance Airplay||Heatseeker Songs||Dance/Electronic Digital Songs|
|2010||“If You Wanna Fly”||9||11||21||5||Saint Nor Sinner|
|2011||“Freak Like Me”||3||15||–||25|
|2013||“Ay Mama Mia”||1||–||–||–|
|2014||“No Boyfriend (No Problem)”
(with Sak Noel, DJ Kuba & Neitan; featured vocalist)
|“—” denotes a release that did not chart.|
- 2010 If You Wanna Fly (The Remixes)
- 2011 Freak Like Me (The Remixes)
- 2011 Freak Like Me (Manuel De La Mare Remixes & Eddie Amador Dub)
- 2013 Ay Mama Mia (The Remixes)
- 2013 Ay Mama Mia (The Remixes Dubs)
- 2013 Mama Mia (The Remixes)
- 2015 MAMA YO! (The Remixes)
- 2015 No Boyfriend (The Remixes)
- 2016 Outta Control
- 2013 Mama Mia: Syco Music/Sony Music UK (worldwide) Ultra Music (US & Canada)
- 2015 MAMA YO!: Warner Bros. Records Territory Worldwide licensed to excluding: disco:wax/Sony Music Scandinavia, EGO Music (Italy), Central Station Records/Universal Music Australia
- 2015 No Boyfriend: Sony Music (worldwide) Ultra Music (US)
- 2015 Officially signed an artist deal with Warner Bros. Records (worldwide