The 100 Greatest Latino Pop Culture Moments Ever!

Some of the greatest moments in pop culture history have come courtesy of Latinos. Here, we take a look at 100 pop culture moments that made our jaws drop, had us saying, "No Me Digas!" and had all of us standing around the water cooler for hours and hours! Enjoy!

1. Pop Culture: Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa tries to turn himself white

As if making history as only the fifth baseball player ever to hit 600 homeruns and then getting busted for using a corked bat and allegedly using steroids wasn’t enough, a retired Sosa outdid himself in the most bizarre, apparently self-hating of ways by bleaching his skin with a cream, wearing light-colored contact lenses and relaxing his hair.


2. Pop Culture: Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz’s Sticky Hair Situation in “There’s Something About Mary”
It’s one of the most memorable scenes in There’s Something About MaryCameron Diaz’s character asking “Is that hair gel?” after Ben Stiller’s character’s pre-date “bathroom break.” So, it’s hard to believe Diaz didn’t initially want to do the scene! “I remember walking across the street from my trailer to the set with my hair sticking up for that scene and traffic stopped,” recalls Diaz. “People were wondering what was wrong with me.” Instead, Diaz’s appearance in the hilarious film, including that infamous scene, helped cement her status as one of Hollywood’s A-list actresses! 


3. Pop Culture: Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez Guest Stars as Herself on “Will & Grace”

She’s a pop diva who once earned a cool $1 million to perform at a Ukrainian wedding. But it was Jennifer Lopez’s cameo appearance as the “wedding singer” at Karen and Lyle’s Las Vegas shindig that had America in stitches. Appearing as herself, a divalicious Lopez gives a shout out to her old friend Rosario, gets a hilarious assist from Jack during her performance of “Waiting for Tonight” when one of her back-up dancers gets injured and even pokes fun of marrying ways. Talk about comedy gold!  


4. Pop Culture: Stacey Dash

Stacey Dash’s character Dionne gives Brittany Murphy’s character a much-needed makeover in Clueless
It wouldn’t be a chick-flick without a makeover scene. But in Clueless, Dionne (Stacey Dash) and Cher (Alicia Silverstone) turn Tai (Brittany Murphy) into a swan in one of the classic film’s most unforgettable scenes. Set to Jill Sobule’s high-octane song “Supermodel,” the extreme makeover montage shows Murphy trying on clothes, having her hair dyed and eyebrows plucked. The end result: a sweet, nice girl who gets a much-needed boost of confidence. And when she arrived at school the next day and everyone took notice, you couldn’t help but beam with pride with her.


5. Pop Culture 2: Jessica Alba in Sin City

Jessica Alba looks super sexy in Sin City

It’s hard to imagine Alba winning any acting awards but one thing is certain: one look at her rocking body is enough to make you put down the doughnut and join a gym. When she’s onscreen in Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City, wearing chaps and swinging a lasso as Nancy the stripper, she gave the movie its signature sleazy, stylish feel.


6. Pop Culture: Laura Harring

Laura Harring and Naomi Watts’ sex scene in Mulholland Dr.
Talk about shattering your beauty queen image! Former Miss USA Laura Harring captivated audiences and critics alike with her breakthrough performance in David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. She even picked up an Alma Award for her performance as Rita in the psychological thriller. But it was Harring’s erotic make-out scene with co-star Naomi Watts that really titillated audiences! "The love scene just happened in my eyes,” Harring said “Rita's very grateful for the help Betty's given [her] so I'm saying goodbye and goodnight to her, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, I kiss her and then there's just an energy that takes us [over].” Boy did it ever! 


7. Pop Culture: Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara makes a rape joke on The View

During a conversation with the hostesses about how she can’t lie about her age because she’s got a grown son, the Colombian bombshell said her only option would be to tell people “I had him at 12 or 13, I was raped.” Scattered uncomfortable laughs followed before Barbara Walters steered the conversation to a different topic. Yikes.


8. Pop Culture: Scarface's Little Friend

Scarface: “Say hello to my little friend!”
Say hello to one of the most popular movie quotes of all time! In one of the final scenes in Scarface, Al Pacino’s character Tony Montana wields an M16 assault rifle with an M203 grenade launcher attachment and yells to his enemies "Say hello to my little friend!" and begins shooting violently at the henchmen, killing dozens of them despite being seriously wounded by return fire. And even though Tony would ultimately die after that gruesome scene, that iconic line would live on for an eternity!


9. Pop Culture 2: Juanes Banned in DR

Juanes La Camisa Negra banned in DR

Bizarre. That’s the only way to describe the Dominican Republic’s decision to ban Juanes’ signature song, saying that its double entendres were indecent. This, coming from the country that spawned bachata. Luckily, despite the ban, and probably partly because of the publicity surrounding it, the sng went on to be an enourmous hit.


10. Pop Culture: Marc & Jennifer Split

Marc and Jennifer split up

They had so much in common, having been born and grown up in the same city and having successful music careers, at the same time as complementing each other: Lopez gushed about how he’d taught her how to have a private personal life while in the public eye. But that was apparently not enough for the couple, who a couple of months after performing together on American Idol simultaneously filed for divorce with the reason being left to the imagination.


11. Pop Culture: Ricky Martin Comes Out

Ricky Martin comes out

When Martin pressed send on his computer, publishing a blog entry on his website that included the line “I am a fortunate homosexual man” it took a lot of personal courage, but took no one who had followed his career and paparazzi pictures by surprise.

12. Pop Culture 2: Eduardo Saverin

Eduardo Saverin co-founds Facebook

That thing that sucks all of your time and lets you share your entire life with friends was co-founded by former Mark Zuckerberg pal Saverin, who despite a fallout with Zuckerberg retained enough of a stake in the company to make him one of the youngest millionaires in the world.

13. Pop Culture: Selena Murdered

Selena murdered in Texas

The Tejano singer seemed to have it all: A solid career in the Southwest and a crossover pop CD destined to make her a mainstream star. But that all ended when the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, whom Selena had confronted about missing money, pulled a gun and shot her, destroying her aorta and causing her to bleed to death before paramedics could save her. The crime made international headlines and captivated the country as many thousands attended memorial services and mourned openly.

14. Pop Culture: Mariah Carey Marries

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon get married

“Um, what?” was the general reaction when this seemingly odd couple, the boyish TV host and the buxom diva who had been dating for only six weeks mostly outside of the limelight, tied the knot on a Bahamian beach.

15. Pop Culture 2: Jennifer Lopez #1

Jennifer Lopez becomes a triple threat artist

It’s a feat yet to be equaled: Having both a number one film (The Wedding Planner) and a number one album (JLo) in the same week. Girlfriend is a worker.

 

16. Pop Culture: Bennifer

Jennifer Lopez dates Ben Affleck

Brangelina have nothing on Bennifer, the original couple to get their own nickname. Coming at the height of JLo’s stardom, this doomed romance was the obsession of many a fan and a tabloid magazine (who made millions putting them on cover after cover) before crashing and burning two years later.

17. Pop Culture: Perez Hilton

Perez Hilton vs. Carrie Prejean

The blogger’s question to the Miss USA contestant on whether states should allow gay marriage and her answer that she believed only in heterosexual marriage, was only the beginning, as Perez called her a dumb b**** and published past pictures of her posing as an underwear model on his website. She did the morning show rounds saying that she was praying for him and everyone from celebs to politicians weighed in on gay marriage and freedom of expression.

18. Pop Culture: Mildred Baena

Mildred Baena has Arnold’s baby

She’s one of those Latinos you wish weren’t. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s maid turned out to also be the reason Shriver filed for divorce from her longtime husband because she had slept with the Terminator and bore his child. While she was still an employee. 

19. Pop Culture: Eva Longoria Divorces

Eva Longoria and Tony Parker call it quits

They may have seemed like a couple very much in love and dedicated to one another but three years after getting hitched in a French castle, Longoria filed for divorce–after finding hundreds of sexts between him and one of her best friends on his phone. 

20. Pop Culture: Elvis Crespo

Elvis Crespo masturbates on plane

Sometimes, you just can’t wait till you get home, or at least that was apparently the case with merengue star Crespo, who was accused of abusing himself on a plane. Puns about suavemente were plentiful.

21. Pop Culture: Hugo Chavez & Naomi Campbell

Hugo Chavez dates Naomi Campbell

We understand fugly Venezuelan president wanting to be with a beautiful model, but what was the appeal for Campbell? Several South American newspapers reported that the two were a couple in 2008, after Campbell and some Hollywood types visited Venezuela in a show of support.

22. Pop Culture: Charlie Sheen Winning

Charlie Sheen goes nuts

The man Carlos Irwin Estevez went off the rails when Two and a Half Men halted production while he was in rehab for the third time in a year, then cancelled after he made derogatory comments about his boss. He was eventually fired while at the same time making bizarre statements via videos and tweets, coining “Winning!” as a phrase, saying that he has tiger blood and Adonis DNA and keeping company with his Goddesses, aka porn star girlfriends.

23. Pop Culture 2: Junot Diaz Pulitzer

Junot Diaz wins Pulitzer

The potty-mouthed (potty-penned?) writer took 11 years after his breakthrough short story collection, Drown, to produce his first novel, The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. The multi-generational tale of teenage longing and family tragedy wowed readers and critics alike, earning him the Pulitzer. 

24. Pop Culture: Christina Milian, The Dream

Christina Milian and The Dream cover last issue of Vibe, get divorced

By the time that the songstress/actress and the producer appeared on the cover of the venerable hip hop magazine, the magazine was history and their upcoming marriage soon be, too. Vibe had been around for 16 years—the couple’s marriage would last less than one.

25. Pop Culture: Paz de la Huerta

Paz de la Huerta punches out reality TV actress

There is little that Boardwalk Empire’s De La Huerta does that won’t shock, but her headline-making incidents usually involve nudity, something she’s very fond of and practices regularly. But at least one incident has nothing to do with skin unless you count black eyes. The actress threw a glass at and punched MTV The City’s Samantha Swetra during a nightclub run-in and was arrested for harassment and sentenced to community service and 12 weeks of alcohol counseling.

26. Pop Culture 2: Isabel Toledo / Michelle Obama

Isabel Toledo designs Michelle Obama’s inauguration dress

When she stepped onto the stage at the Capitol while her husband took the oath of office as the first black President, Michelle Obama did it in a dress suit of golden brocade designed by the Cuban American fashion designer.

27. Pop Culture 2: Celia Cruz Dies

Celia Cruz dies

By the time she was felled by cancer, Celia had crossed over to mainstream audiences with her ebullient personality, outrageous costumes and inimitable big voice, and was beloved by all, as her funeral procession, attended by tens of thousands, showed.

28. Pop Culture 2: Oscar de la Hoya

Oscar de la Hoya photographed in women’s lingerie

The boxing legend would admit much later on that he was indeed the one in fishnet stockings, a nightie, a wig and heels, (the product of a drunken binge) but when the pictures were first leaked De la Hoya said he’d been photo-shopped. Riiiiight. We knew better and kept those pix as screensavers for months.

29. Pop Culture 2: Mariah Carey on TRL

Boy Scout MTV TRL host Carson Daly was going about his business taping a show when Mariah Carey sashayed in, pushing an ice cream cart. Apparently suffering from exhaustion, and, well, God only knows what else, given that she checked into a mental facility a few days later, she handed out popcicles, stripped a t-shirt that said “Loverboy” on it off and gave it to Daly. Then she really let loose with the crazy talk: "All I know is I just want one day off when I can go swimming and look at rainbows and like eat ice cream. And maybe like learn how to ride a bicycle." OK, then.

30. Pop Culture 2: Big Pun

Big Pun goes platinum

With his seminal CD Capital Punishment, the Nuyorican rapper The first—and only—Latino rapper to sell more than one million records.

31. Pop Culture 2: Cameron Diaz Highest Paid

Cameron Diaz becomes highest paid actress in Hollywood

With hits like There’s Something About Mary and Shrek under her belt, Diaz was for a time, the top female earner in Hollywood. Sure, she’s looks like the typical A-list actress, with her blond locks and light eyes, but with a Cuban dad and an abuela that she spent summers with, she carries her Latin heritage close.

32. Pop Culture 2: Enrique Iglesias's Mole

Enrique Iglesias has mole removed

Iglesias is one gutsy guy. He started his career as Enrique Martinez so he could make it on his own and not as the spawn of his famous dad, Julio. But he took it to another level when he removed, gasp, one of his sexiest features, the mole on his face, after his doctor warned him that it could turn cancerous. Oh well, at least he still has thost pouty lips. And those eyes. And that hair. And that body. And, oh yes, that voice.

33. Pop Culture 2: Juanes 'Se Habla Espanol'

Juanes wears “Se Habla Español” shirt to Latin Grammys, starts trend

Admit it, you owned one of these. When the Colombian star wore the shirt promoting Latin pride, he made it officially cool to be Latino. 

34. Pop Culture 2: Paulina & Thalia

Paulina Rubio and Thalia fight on stage

Meow! There’s no love lost between the former Timbiriche bandmates and super competitive solo pop stars and they showed it to spectacular effect early on when they literally fought for the microphone, rolling around onstage. Paulina won that one, but they haven’t stopped throwing punches at each other (metaphorically speaking) since.

35. Pop Culture 2: Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana releases “Maria Maria” and Supernatural

As a legendary guitarist and rocker, the man had nothing to prove. But he did anyway, proving he could deliver a relevant and star-studded CD in which he played the guitar with his signature style while hot artists of the day (Rob Thomas, Lauryn Hill, Eric Clapton and others) sang ultra-catchy songs. The album won 8 Grammys. The hands-down favorite song? The sultry “Maria Maria”, the musical equivalent of a balmy summer day in the city.

36. Pop Culture 2: Enrique Iglesias Hero

Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” becomes a 9/11 anthem

Released in early September 2001, it became synonymous with the tragic events of 9/11 when New York City radio DJs played it with audio from survivors and first respondeers recounting their experiences. Iglesias then sang it at a tribute concert, sealing its relationship with the tragic day. It has sold 8 million copies.

37. Pop Culture 2: Chilean Miners

33 Chilean miners rescued from collapsed mine

They held the world at the edge of their seats in awe and admiration as they kept their discipline and hope alive while trapped deep underground. Then, when they were brought up to the surface one by one, the world again looked on as a miracle took place before its eyes.

38. Pop Culture 2: La Copa de la Vida

Ricky Martin wows with “La Copa de la Vida” at the Grammys

Talk about breaking through in a big way. Though he’d been a Latin superstar since his teens, Martin didn’t break out into the mainstream until later on, and his performance of “La Copa de la Vida” at the Grammys went a long way toward letting people know just how exciting and powerful Latinos could be.

39. Pop Culture 2: Evelyn Lozada

Evelyn Lozada calls Tami Roman a “non-motherf****** factor”

What’s worse than realizing your husband cheated on you? Hearing your ex-husband’s mistress tell you in person that she didn’t even know that you existed, saying “you’re a non-motherf****** factor, bitch, and then selling t-shirts at her store bearing the phrase. Ouch!

40. Pop Culture: Thalia's Sisters Kidnapped

Thalia’s sisters kidnapped

The immensely popular pop singer’s apparently charmed life was shattered briefly when her sisters, actress Laura Zapata and writer Ernestina Sodi, were kidnapped and held for a $5 million ransom, then released after 18 and 36 days, respectively. Zapata later said in an interview that Thalia had played a critical role in negotiating with the kidnappers for their release and for a lower ransom.

41. Pop Culture 2: Dora the Explorer

Dora the Explorer premieres

A little brown girl who among other things teaches kids Spanish on her own animated show. Sounds like something that would never get on TV, except that it not only did, but the spunky, sweet Dora became the beloved role model for millions of kids of all colors.

42. Pop Culture: Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor appointed to Supreme Court after ‘wise Latina’ remark

Sotomayor once said that she believed a wise Latina could be a better judge than a white man and during her Senate confirmation hearings, it came back to bite her, though not very hard, as the term became a slogan for Latinas everywhere and Sotomayor became the first Hispanic on the highest court.

43. Pop Culture: In the Heights

In the Heights becomes a Broadway hit

The Tony for Best Musical, along with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Latino-pride-filled acceptance speech, was the frosting on the cake. The real victory was that the musical about Latinos struggling and dreaming in a Manhattan neighborhood ever got to the Great White Way in the first place and that audiences, both Latino and not, embraced it.

44. Pop Culture: Gasolina

Gasolina becomes a hit

Ridiculously catchy and danceable, Daddy Yankee’s song put not only the artist, but the whole genre of reggeaton on the mainstream map.

45. Pop Culture: Elian Gonzalez

Elian Gonzalez

It was a miraculous and ultimately heartbreaking story for the ages: How a boy had drifted in the high seas alone after his mother and others who’d boarded a raft in hopes of fleeing Cuba had drowned. How he was kept afloat by dolphins and rescued by a fisherman. How his Miami relatives fought to keep him in the U.S. while his father fought to get him back to Cuba. How the U.S. government raided the house and took him away, sending him back to the island.

46. Pop Culture: Fidel Castro Retires

Fidel Castro retires

After an illness that nearly took his life and years of assassination plots and general ill wishes of millions of people, the Cuban leader simply got to retire after 50 years of dictatorship. 

47. Pop Culture: Menendez Brothers

Menendez brothers jailed for killing their parents

It was the trial of the century before O.J.’s: Beverly Hills brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez killed their parents with shotguns, then spent $1 million in the six months that followed, before their psychologist turned them in after they confessed to the crime, then threatened her life. They are spending theirs in maximum security prisons.

48. Pop Culture: Demi Lovato in Rehab

Demi Lovato goes to rehab

The teen singing and acting star stunned fans when she entered rehab. At the time, it the reason was unknown, but the star, who was bullied as a kid for her weight and started cutting herself, would later say that the causes were bulimia and self-injury. She was also diagnosed as bipolar.

49. Pop Culture: George Lopez Kidney

George Lopez gets a kidney from wife

The Mexican American comedian and Ann are now divorced but a part of her will literally always be with him, since she gave him a kidney when a genetic condition caused his own to deteriorate.

50. Pop Culture: Perez Hilton

PerezHilton.com becomes huge hit

The era of mean-spirited celeb blog coverage reached its height when Perez, aka Mario Lavandeira started Perezhilton.com, complete with upskirt pix, gay celeb outings, obscene drawings and verbal insults. Everyone complained how terrible he was, but everyone clicked on the website and stayed there for hours at a time, turning Perez into a feared and powerful force in Hollywood.

51. Pop Culture: Lia Downs at the Oscars

Lila Downs performs at the Oscars

Singing a duet from Frida, “Burn it Blue” with Brazilian singing superstar Caetano Veloso, Lila Downs stepped onstage in the middle of the song, wearing her signature Mixtec dress, huge earrings and braids, and proceeded to amaze an audience who had probably never heard anything quite as powerful and plaintive as her voice.

52. "Beautiful Liar"

Shakira and Beyonce make video for “Beautiful Liar”

Two huge superstars, two seriously sexy, curvy bodies, one hot video for a song about getting over lying dudes, featuring outfits we still want.

53. Pop Culture: Jennifer Lopez @ Mohegan Sun

Jennifer Lopez Breaks Down on Stage
During a performance at the Mohegan Sun's 15th anniversary celebration last October, Jennifer Lopez’s own lyrics apparently hit a little too close to home. The singer, who had recently split from husband Marc Anthony, broke down in tears onstage after performing “Until It Beats No More.”. "I'm going to sing you the last song I wrote about love," Lopez told the audience before launching into the song about her past loves. "A lot has changed since then." During the performance a Lopez lookalike danced with men who closely resembled her exes Diddy, Cris Judd and Ben Affleck. The final couple to appear danced much like Lopez and her estranged husband during their American Idol performance, just weeks before they announced their split. After she was done, Lopez told the crowd, "I took a trip down memory lane" – and then started to cry as the crowd applauded.

54. Pop Culture: Selena's Dreaming of You

Selena’s Dreaming of You Debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart
La Reina de la Musica Tejana’s murder at the hands of her former fan club president and clothing boutique manager on March 30, 1995, provoked a massive public outcry from the Latino community. Nearly four months after what was dubbed “Black Friday,” Selena’s mainstream crossover dreams became a reality posthumously. Her Dreaming of You album—comprised of previously unreleased English and Spanish-language songs, as well as previously released tracks—debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart. Released on July 18, 1995, Selena’s final studio album sold more than 331,000 units in its first week, making Selena the first Hispanic singer to have an album, mostly in Spanish, debut at number one.

55. Pop Culture: La Tortura

Shakira greases up in her La Tortura video

She’d already mesmerized audiences with her midriff-baring attire and seductive moves in the video for “Whenever, Wherever,” but Shakira set tongues wagging when she got all dirty in the clip for her hit “La Tortura” with Alejandro Sanz. Despite the video’s simple plot—from his new girlfriend's apartment, Sanz spies on Shakira and remembers things they had done together in the past—it sparked a whole lot of oil change fantasies! Shakira reveals her alter ego dancing erotically on the building's roof, covered in black paint. Its no wonder "La Tortura" was one of the first Spanish-language videos to get heavy rotation on mainstream American music channels. And, it was even first non-English clip to get an entire episode of MTV’s Making the Video dedicated to it.

 

56. Pop Culture: Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch poses in animal skin bikini in One Million Years B.C.

She may have uttered only three lines in the remake of One Million Years B.C., but her iconic pose in a prehistoric animal skin bikini made her an instant sex symbol. Wearing what was described as “mankind's first bikini," Welch became a star and the dream girl of millions of young moviegoers." Her publicity still for the film even became a bestselling poster, and resulted in her becoming one of the leading sex symbols of the 1960s and 1970s. 

57. Pop Culture: Desi Arnaz

Desi Arnaz stars in I Love Lucy

It’s one of the most popular lines in television history: “Lucy, I'm home!” Desi Arnaz, who was the first Latino star of a network television show, uttered that line to his real-life wife Lucille Ball time and time again on I Love Lucy. The series, which centered on Lucy and her singer/bandleader husband Ricky Ricardo (Arnaz) was the most watched show in the country in four of its six seasons. Hard to believe that TV executives initially balked at the idea of having Ball and Arnaz portray a married couple, telling them Desi's Cuban accent and Latin style would not be agreeable to American viewers. Luckily, the couple overcame that obstacle! And the rest is television history. I Love Lucy remains hugely popular today. More than 60 years after its debut, the show is still seen by some 40 million Americans each year.

58. Pop Culture: Gloria Olympics

Gloria Estefan sings the official theme of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics
Talk about a worldwide reach! During the summer of 1996, Gloria Estefan cemented her status as a global superstar with the uplifting song heard ‘round the world. The Queen of Latin Pop co-wrote and recorded “Reach,” which served as the official theme of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, the 100th Anniversary of the first Summer Games in Greece in 1896. Estefan, who together with nine other Latino artists also recorded a Spanish-language version of the song entitled "Puedes Llegar," later performed the inspirational song at the closing ceremony. “If I could reach, higher… Just for one moment touch the sky,” sang Estefan, who touched the hearts of two billion people worldwide that night.

59. Pop Culture 2: Jennifer Lopez in Versace

JLo wears that green Versace dress

Forget turning heads—millions of heads exploded when La Lopez rocked a green Versace dress with cleavage down to her bellybutton and barely there sheerness to the Grammys, in a moment that would become iconic and make the already famous Lopez a household name.

60. Pop Culture: Chico and the Man

Freddie Prinze on Chico and the Man
From 1974 to 1977, Freddie Prinze starred in the hit television series Chico and the Manthe first U.S. television series set in a Mexican-American neighborhood. Prinze played Francisco "Chico" Rodriguez, an upbeat, optimistic Chicano man looking for work in an East Los Angeles barrio. Chico meets Ed Brown (Jack Albertson), the cantankerous owner of a run down garage, and the two form a special friendship. The chemistry between Prinze and Albertson helped make the show a hit. After struggling with depression and drug use, Prinze shot himself on January 28, 1977 and died of his injuries the following day at the age of 22. The last episode to star Prinze, "Ed Talks to God", was taped several hours before he shot himself.

61. Pop Culture: Mario Lopez

Mario Lopez comes out as Chicano on Saved by the Bell
During the early years of Saved by the Bell, the ethnicity of Mario Lopez’s character AC Slater was never discussed. Instead, most of the attention was focused on Slater’s muscular physique. But in the show’s final seasons, Slater finally came out as Mexican-American in the beach club episode where he translated the complaints of striking workers—although he hilariously mistranslated “go on strike” as “go bowling.” Eventually, Slater would fully embrace his cultura during Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Taking a crush’s advice, he learns about his Mexican ancestry and gets involved in the movement for a Chicano Studies department at the university. During a heated argument with Zack, Slater reveals his heritage; he is a Chicano, his last name was originally Sanchez, and he is proud.

62. Pop Culture: Taco Bell

The Taco Bell Dog
Talk about a dog with plenty of advertising power! In September 1997, Taco Bell used a Chihuahua as its mascot in its advertisements. Depicted as a Mexican revolutionary wearing a beret or as a bandido wearing a sombrero, the dog was made to speak through special effects, uttering the iconic catchphrase "¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!" ("I want Taco Bell!"). The advertisements became so popular that toy figures of the dog were produced, and "Yo quiero (X)" became an instantly recognized piece of popular culture. In July 2001, Taco Bell ended the Chihuahua advertisements, but not before he’d made his way into our corazones!

63. Pop Culture: Christina Aguilera on SNL

Christina Aguilera as Sex and the City’s “Samantha” on SNL
Christina Aguilera
received rave reviews when she hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time ever On February 21, 2004. Aguilera, who had previously served as a musical guest on the sketch comedy program, showcased her own comedic skills in several skits throughout the day, including playing a Telemundo anchor woman. But it was Aguilera’s spot-on impersonation of Kim Cattral’s Sex and The City character Samantha Jones that received the most laughs. In the skit, Aguilera’s uncanny depiction of Samantha resulted in massive laughs, especially when the man-hungry Samantha proclaims that she’s a “dude” in the skit.

64. Pop Culture: America Ferrera's Makeover

America Ferrera's Makeover on Ugly Betty, Loses Braces
Braces be gone! The fourth and final season of Ugly Betty saw America Ferrera’s beloved character Betty Suarez finally lose the orthodontics and step up her style as part of her promotion to associate features editor at Mode magazine. Ferrera’s glamsformation included shaped brows, understated makeup and smoother locks.” But series creator Silvio Horta didn’t want to completely shock viewers, so he made Betty’s transformation an over-time progression. Betty kept her oversize initial necklace, vibrant ensembles and signature charm. Ferrera had help with her transition from Sex and The City designer Patricia Field, who helped maintain the boldness of Betty’s style.

65. Pop Culture: Lynda Carter

Lynda Carter Suits up as Wonder Woman
There has been talk of a new Wonder Woman television series forever. So why haven’t any of those projects come to fruition? Two words: Lynda Carter. Nearly out of money and close to returning home to Arizona, Carter landed the starring role in The New Adventures of Wonder Woman as Wonder Woman and her alter ego Diana Prince. Her sincere performance quickly endeared her to fans and critics alike. More than 30 years after first taking on the role, Carter is still closely identified with Wonder Woman. Now that’s a Latina superhero we can be proud of! 

66. Pop Culture: Kevin Alejandro

Kevin Alejandro getting killed with a machete to the head on Southland
It was the chop heard round the world! Fans of TNT’s Southland were shocked and saddened last season when Kevin Alejandro’s character, Gang Detective Nate Moretta, was suddenly and violently killed. The charming detective was struck on the back of the head with a machete by a gang member and [presumably] died from brain trauma at the hospital. “I thought it was an amazing way to go out,” he continued. “It was so unexpected and that’s the way life is. You never know, and it happened that quick — in four seconds you’re done.” 

67. Pop Culture: Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez’s Grey's Anatomy musical episode

No you weren’t hallucinating! During one of last season’s episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Sara Ramirez’s character Dr. Callie Torres and the rest of the cast singing tunes like The Fray's "How to Save a Life," Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" and Brandi Carlile's "The Story." It was all part of the highly touted Grey's Anatomy: The Music Event, which was treated as a hallucination in Callie's mind. The Tony winning actress/singer, who was actually invited to join Grey's Anatomy after network execs saw her acclaimed performance in Broadway's Spamalot, was front and center. "I sing a little bit," said Kevin McKidd of his part in the episode. "I'm not like Sara Ramirez – she's pretty amazing! I mean, off the chart. She's a Tony Award winner for a reason, and the rest of us bask in her shadow." 

68. Pop Culture: JLo on George Lopez

J.Lo does stand up on “George Lopez”
She’s considered a multi-hyphenate for a reason! Jennifer Lopez sings, dances and acts. But in January 2010, J.Lo proved she could deliver a late-night talk show monologue during an appearance on George Lopez’s TBS chat show. “Welcome to Lopez Tonight, where nobody gets fired, they just get replaced by a bigger star with the same last name,” joked La Lopez during the show’s opening before rattling off Sarah Palin, Conan O’Brien and male prostitute jokes. After the monologue, Lopez resumed as host and congratulated J-Lo on her performance. "I guess that's what it feels like to be Conan," he said.

69. Pop Culture: Rick Sanchez

Rick Sanchez Loses It, Fired: Calls Jon Stewart "Bigot," Implies News Media Run By Jews
Call it a lesson in watching what you say! Appearing on the radio program "Standup! with Pete Dominick,” CNN’s Rick Sanchez had some strong words about The Daily Show’s John Stewart. “I’m so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything you could ever imagine,” said Sanchez, who accused Stewart of being a bigot and implying Jewish people run the news media. He later amended his view to say Stewart is merely "prejudicial" and “uninformed.” But the damage was done. After ire over Sanchez's comments grew online, the cable channel summarily fired Sanchez.

70. Pop Culture: Javier Colon

Javier Colon Becoming the first Latino to win The Voice
If at first you don’t succeed… Javier Colon was previously signed to Capitol Records from 2002-2006 before his contract was terminated. Vowing to make music once again, the acoustic soul singer/songwriter auditioned for the inaugural season of The Voice. Within seconds of singing Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” during his blind audition, the show’s mentors all turned their chairs around and later started an all-out bidding war for Colon, the show’s instant front-runner. He ultimately picked Adam Levine to coach him and help get him into the finale, where he’d ultimately take the title and prove that second chances can lead to victory!

71. Pop Culture: Scotty

Scotty McCreery Becomes the First Latino to Win Idol
It only took 10 seasons, but a Latino finally won American Idol last year. While many had come thisclose, it was baby-faced and deep-voiced country crooner Scotty McCreery—whose grandmother is Puerto Rican—who finally experienced the confetti drop during the show’s finale. His victory should come as no surprise though! Like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood before him, McCreery never found himself in the ure bottom two or three during the course of the season and he sailed straight into the final!

 

72. Pop Culture: Helio

The Year a Latino Finally Won Dancing With the Stars
It should come as no surprise that Latinos and Latinas know how to dance; it’s engrained in us. What should come as a shock is that it took five seasons for a person of Hispanic-descent to win Dancing with the Stars. Specifically, a Brazilian racecar driver with moves like Jagger! Hélio Castroneves sambaed his way to title in November 2007 by beating a Spice Girl and an Osmond for the coveted mirrorball trophy! Al final we had our winning moment! 

73. Pop Culture: America Ferrera Emmy

America Ferrera’s Emmy Win
It’s no small feat taking a beloved telenovela character and making her your own. But that’s exactly what America Ferrera did as Betty Suarez on Ugly Betty. Based on the Colombian Yo soy Betty, la fea, the hit dramedy spent four seasons on the air and made Ferrera a star. And, what better way to celebrate Ferrera’s impressive make-under to portray a good-hearted but fashion-challenged woman trying to make it at a trendy high fashion magazine than with her first Emmy award! “It is truly an amazing, wonderful thing that happens when your dreams come true,” professed Ferrera when she picked up her golden statuette for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the 2007 Primetime Emmy Awards, making her the first Latina to win in that category. 

74. Pop Culture: Madonna Kisses Xtina

Madonna Kisses Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears during MTV Video Music Awards
Now that’s one how you open a show! During the 20th annual MTV Video Music Awards, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, dressed as brides, kicked off the show by performing Madonna’s classic “Like a Virgin,” before Madonna rose from atop a wedding cake wearing a modified tuxedo and launched into her song “Hollywood.” What followed was a drag show of sorts with Madonna as the "groom" and Aguilera and Spears as the virginal brides. As if that wasn’t enough gasp-worthy goodness, the performance culminated in a French kiss between Madonna and Spears, and then between Madonna and Aguilera. And just like that, no one could concentrate on the task at hand, awarding VMAs, the rest of the night!

75. Pop Culture: Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez Proposes to Ali Fedotowsky on The Bachelorette
Call it one of the most beautiful proposals in Bachelor/Bachelorette history! Roberto Martinez popped the question to Ali Fedotowsky on the sixth season of The Bachelorette. And how could Fedotowsky not say, “Yes!” After all, Martinez professed things like: “I want to make you laugh just like this. I want to make you smile. I want to make sure that you wake up every night, every morning, for the rest of your life knowing that you’re so, so loved.” Unfortunately, the couple called it quits before walking down the aisle. But at least we’ll always have footage of that proposal so we can remember them the way the were!

76. Pop Culture: Jennifer & Marc on Idol

Jennifer and Marc performing on American Idol
For the most part, Jennifer Lopez received rave reviews for her judging skills on season 10 of American Idol. But it was her performance in the show’s finale that truly captivated viewers. La Lopez put on her dancing shoes and shook her moneymaker on stage for husband Marc Anthony as he performed his rendition of Héctor Lavoe’s “Aguanile”. Lopez, in a barely-there white leotard and heels, ended her sensual routine   by locking lips with her husband, sending the audience into a real frenzy.

77. Pop Culture: Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria and Jesse Metcalfe “Sex with the Gardener” on DH (Iconic TV moment) PHOTO
Talk about flipping the script! It’s usually the husband seducing the nanny or maid in television and film. But on Desperate Housewives, a lonely Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) seduces her young teenage gardener (Jesse Metcalfe). Their clandestine affair included some steamy scenes that caused Metcalfe some serious issues. During a radio interview, Metcalfe admitted that while the two would simulate making love, he would often “pop a wheelie.” In fact, he admits that many times, he’d get so excited by his curvaceous co-star, that he required a little extra time to calm himself before he could get out of bed. Now that’s what I call caliente!

78. Pop Culture: Jennifer Lopez as Selena

Jennifer Lopez cast as Selena
Gregory Nava
’s decision to cast Jennifer Lopez as Selena was initially met with a backlash from a small section of the Latino community for being the wrong kind of Latina to play the slain Tejano singer. ''I know a few people were protesting, but in Corpus [Christi, Tex., Selena's hometown] everyone has been really supportive,'' insisted Lopez, who endured a grueling test that Nava remembers included ''nine minutes of singing and dancing and eight pages of script.'' Lopez put in the time to perfect Selena's dialect and study performance footage. “This is someone who's fresh in the public's mind,'' reasoned the Puerto Rican-American actress. ''So you need to do your homework on this gig.'' In the end, Lopez silenced the critics with her breakthrough performance and eventually became a singing sensation in her own right!

79. Pop Culture: Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen suffers heart attack while filming Apocalypse Now
The National Film Registry has deemed Apocalypse Now as "culturally, historically [and] aesthetically significant," but the epic war film had some significant drama off-screen. In particular, Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack during filming that left direct Francis Ford Coppola concerned! Worried that the studio would withdraw backing if news of Sheen's heart attack leaked, Coppola kept Sheen’s medical emergency quiet. He even explained Sheen's hospitalization as being due to "heat exhaustion" in the official shoot schedule. Luckily, Sheen’s heart attack was only minor and the show would go on to make him a star!

80. Pop Culture: Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem’s Spanglish Oscar Speech
After claiming the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for No Country for Old Men at the 80th Academy Awards, Javier Bardem gave one of the most memorable acceptance speeches in recent history by going native. During his heartfelt speech, the Spaniard broke out the Castilian as he dedicated his award to his mama, grandparents and the comedians of Spain. “This is for Spain and this is for all of you." And with that, our love for Bardem grew deeper!

81. Pop Culture: Kenny Ortega

Kenny Ortega directs that iconic scene in “Dirty Dancing” where Patrick Swayzee lifts up Jennifer Grey
Long before directing the High School Musical trilogy and Michael Jackson’s This Is It concert film, Kenny Ortega was a choreographer trying to make his mark in Hollywood. And, boy did he! Following his work on Xanadu, Ortega choreographed Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey’s dancing scenes in Dirty Dancing, including that iconic scene from the dancing finale set to "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" that would stun audiences and ultimately lift Ortega’s career to new heights!

82. Pop Culture: Jay Hernandez

Jay Hernandez takes his shirt off in Crazy/Beautiful
In the trailer for Crazy/Beautiful, Kirsten Dunst says “You find the right person and then all of a sudden anything’s possible!” Well, that apparently includes some steamy Ay Dios Mio! moments with newcomer Jay Hernandez, who plays working class Mexican-American straight-A student Carlos Nuñez in the “clash of cultures” romantic drama. And, after all those scorching hot scenes with a shirtless Hernandez, it’s no surprise a hunktastic star was born!

83. Pop Culture: Hector Elizondo

Hector Elizondo helps Julia Roberts Shop in Pretty Woman
Who needs a fairy godmother when you’ve got Hector Elizondo? Moments after Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman experiences a little Beverly Hills boutique bias, she turns to hotel manager Barnard Thompson (Elizondo) for help securing a dress for her date with Richard Gere’s character. After some initial discomfort, he decides to help her buy a dress and even coaches her on proper dinner etiquette in one of the film’s most charming scenes. Its no wonder Elizondo received a Golden Globe nomination for his work, even though his role in Pretty Woman only lasted 10 minutes.

84. Pop Culture: Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez Dancing to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”
Before Jennifer Lopez and Eva Mendes, there was Rosie Perez. In her first major acting role in Do the Right Thing, Perez stole the spotlight as Spike Lee’s flamboyant girlfriend. Specifically, it was the choreographer-turned-actress’ mad dancing skills during the opening credits of the film that truly captivated audiences. After that dancetastic intro, all eyes were glued on the spunky Perez. 

85. Pop Culture: Rita Moreno Oscar

Rita Moreno Wins an Oscar for West Side Story
There’s no denying Rita Moreno had some pretty big shoes to fill in the 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story. After all, she was taking on the role made famous on Broadway by the legendary Chita Rivera. But Moreno’s portrayal of Anita was the stuff of legend, resulting in critical acclaim. In the end Moreno didn’t just make the role her own, she even beat out Judy Garland for Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards—becoming the first Latina to win an Oscar.

86. Pop Culture: Avatar

Avatar Becomes the Highest Grossing Movie of All-Time (Because of Zoe)
Talk about a Titanic feat! On January 25, 2010, Avatar surpassed Titanic's worldwide gross to become the highest-grossing film of all time worldwide only 41 days after its international release. After all ticket stubs were counted, the film—starring Zoe Saldana as film's main Na'vi protagonist and love interest for Sam Worthington’s human character Jake—pocketed more than $2.7 billion dollars and become the highest-grossing film of all time in more than 30 countries. Now that’s Latina power!

87. Pop Culture: Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara’s Hilarious Bilingual Acceptance at the Golden Globes
During this year’s Golden Globes, Sofia Vergara managed to steal the spotlight in one the night’s most memorable acceptance speeches. Vergara commandeered the podium when her show Modern Family won for best comedy series—and gave the acceptance speech in Spanish. Since the Hollywood Foreign Press Association puts on the Golden Globes, Vergara told the audience that the Modern Family team would accept the award in two languages, Spanish and English. Vergara would speak in her native tongue… And, the show’s co-creator and executive producer Steven Levitan would translate. Levitan started interpreting Vergara’s words accurately, but quickly started making up things… to laughs from the audience. Talk about great comedic timing!

88. Pop Culture: Shakira Waka Waka

Shakira Scores a Massive Hit with Her World Cup Song
She’s known for her Middle Eastern dance moves, but in 2010 Shakira got her African beat on when she released "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," the official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Featuring South African band Freshlyground, the song proved to be a massive hit throughout the world. The funky, inspirational tune, which she performed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Kick-Off concert and at the final, has sold more than four million copies worldwide—making it the best-selling and the fastest-selling World Cup anthem in the digital age.

89. Pop Culture: Rudy Galindo

Rudy Galindo Skates His Way Into America’s Hearts
He’d already won the 1988 World Junior title and the U.S. senior championships in 1989 and 1990 with Kristi Yamaguchi, but Rudy Galindo made figure skating history in 1996 when he won the men's title at the U.S. Championships. Not only did the then 26-year-old Galindo become the nation’s first Latino figure skating champion and the oldest male to win the title in 70 years, but was also the first openly gay skating champion in the U.S. Galindo would go on to win a bronze medal at the 1996 World Championships.

90. Pop Culture: Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt Shines a Spotlight Her Mexican Roots

Linda Ronstadt was once hailed the “highest paid women in rock.” But in 1987, the beloved singer/songwriter shed that rock star image to pay tribute to her gente, specifically her father and his family. Ronstadt released Canciones de Mi Padre, an album of traditional Mexican folk songs. She even appeared on the album’s cover art in full Mexican regalia. The canciones were a big part of Ronstadt's family tradition and musical roots and included songs her grandfather had brought with him from Sonora. The album won Ronstadt a Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Performance. But the real achievement was the disc's double-platinum (over 2 million copies sold) certification—making it the biggest-selling non-English language album in U.S. music history.

91. Pop Culture: Christina Aguilera Grammys

Christina Aguilera Does James Brown at the Grammy Awards
It may be a man’s world… But during the 2007 Grammy Awards, Christina Aguilera proved she didn’t need a man to shine brighter than the sun. Performing the Godfather of Soul’s song "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," Aguilera wowed viewers with her polished look, superstar presence and that voice. "Everyone knows Aguilera's got pipes — but probably not even her most devoted fans could've imagined her channeling James Brown with the magnetic fervor she displayed tonight," raved Entertainment Weekly. "Crouched on the floor, clutching the mic stand, and belting full-throttle from beginning to end, Xtina didn't so much sing 'It's a Man's Man's Man's World' as she did unleash it on her mesmerized audience.” To this day, it remains one of the greatest Grammy performances of all time!

92. Pop Culture: One Life to Live

One Life to Live Introduces the Vega Clan to Daytime TV Viewers
Created by Agnes Nixon, One Life to Live was the first daytime drama to primarily feature racially and socioeconomically diverse characters and consistently emphasize social issues. In the mid-90s, the soap introduced viewers to Dorian Grey’s longtime maid and confidante Carlotta Vega and her two sons, including Antonio—a former gang member in Llanview's Angel Square and convicted murderer. Carlotta eventually quit Dorian's employ to run her own diner. Meanwhile, Antonio later proves his crime had been in self-defense and becomes a lawyer and later a police officer. In the end, viewers grew to love the familia—one of the first Hispanic families on a daytime soap opera—who would switch from English to Spanish from time to time without missing a beat and without the use of subtitles!

93. Pop Culture: Christy Turlington

Christy Turlington: The First Latina Supermodel
Christy Turlington
was discovered as a teenager while riding horses in Miami, where her father worked as a training captain for Pan American. After turning 18, she moved to New York City to model full-time. In no time, Turlington was the face of such noted brands as Calvin Klein, Maybelline and Versace and would appear on more than 500 magazine covers. She even appeared with fellow supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Tatjana Patitz in George Michael’s “Freedom” video in 1990, which featured the world’s top five models lip-syncing the song. “The greatest model of all time,” declared one casting agent in 2008 about Turlington. “You could combine every model to this day into one person, and they wouldn't come close (sorry, girls).” Ain’t that the fact!

94. Pop Culture: Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara makes a rape joke on The View

During a conversation with the hostesses about how she can’t lie about her age because she’s got a grown son, the Colombian bombshell said her only option would be to tell people “I had him at 12 or 13, I was raped.” Scattered uncomfortable laughs followed before Barbara Walters steered the conversation to a different topic. Yikes.

95. Pop Culture: Jimmy Smits

With friends like these, who needs enemies? Jimmy Smits appeared on for the third season of Showtime’s serial killer drama Dexter, playing Miguel Prado—an assistant district attorney who befriends the show’s title character. The pair quickly became besties, with Dexter even helping Smits’ character take a life of his own and sharing his rigorous “code” for killing without getting caught. Unfortunately, Dexter creates an uncontrollable monster in the process. “It doesn’t have to come to this,” pleads Prado, as he’s strapped on his death table. With room for just one justice killer, Dexter intervenes and permanently ends their friendship in one of the show’s most shocking killings! And just like that, Adios, amigo!

96. Pop Culture: Steven Bauer

Al Pacino Kills Steven Bauer in “Scarface” (VIDEO)

Call it a bad case of “shoot first, ask questions later!” In one of the most gruesome scenes in the 1983 cult classic Scarface, Al Pacino’s character Tony Montana guns down his own best friend Manny Ribera in a cocaine-fueled rage (Steven Bauer) after finding him with his younger sister Gina. In all fairness, Tony had warned him to stay away from his little sis! But what he didn’t realize is Manny and Gina had just gotten hitched!  

97. Pop Culture: Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan Comes out of the Dark

Gloria Estefan was critically injured while on tour on March 20, 1990. She suffered a fractured spine when a speeding semi crashed into her tour bus in Pennsylvania during a snowstorm. Surgeons had to permanently implant two titanium rods to help to stabilize her spine; and Estefan endured months of intense physical therapy to make a complete recovery. She returned to an international tour ten months after the accident. Estefan wrote the ballad “Coming Out of the Dark” about her the near-fatal accident, which she performed at the American Music Awards in January 1991. That night, Estefan received a standing ovation as she took the stage for her first public performance after the accident. The song would go on to become the singer’s third number one in the U.S.

98. Pop Culture: Pedro

Pedro Reveals His HIV Status on The Real World
Before moving into MTV’s space on Lombard Street, The Real World: San Francisco cast was told they’d be living with someone HIV-positive. While filming the first episode of the reality series, Pedro Zamora revealed to a couple of his roommates that he had AIDS before showing the entire cast a scrapbook of his career as an AIDS educator. And, with that he became one of the first openly gay men with AIDS in popular media. Throughout the season, we witnessed Zamora’s day-to-day struggles with AIDS, as well as how educated his roommates on ways in which the virus could and could not be transmitted. Zamora would succumb to AIDS on November 11, 1994—the day after the final episode of The Real World: San Francisco aired—but not before bringing international attention to HIV/AIDS and LGBT issues and prejudices.

99. Jennifer Lopez: HSN

First to Rule HSN

Jennifer Lopez appeared live on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) and in a matter of six hours, the singer/actress/entrepreneur extraordinaire sold tens of thousands of bottles of her new fragrance, Love & Light — making her the highest selling Latina celeb in HSN history! 

100. Pop Culture: Related Links