Cover Girl Kat DeLuna Is Ready to “Run the Show”

We've been singing Kat DeLuna’s praises since her hit single “Whine Up” raided the airwaves last summer, and now we’re putting our words into action by giving the budding songstress her first-ever cover story! Below are a few highlights from the piece, in which Kat gets personal bout her experience leaving the Domincan Republic as a young girl and reveals how she’s turning her dream of stardom into reality. Also, check out our exclusive video below, where Kat gives you a behind-the-scenes look at her glamorous photo shoot, and be sure to check out Kat's full story in the April 2008 issue of Latina, on newsstands March 18!

On being a role model: "I try to show everyone I'm a real girl. I want them to see that you can make it places but always be yourself. I feel like I'm opening doors for the generation sort of stuck between what's Spanish and what's English."

On why she thinks people compare her to Rihanna: "I guess because we're both Caribbean girls trying to make it. It doesn't bother me at all."

On singing in English versus Spanish: "When I'm singing in Spanish, I feel more passionate. It's just prettier. Sultry. But when I'm singing in English, I feel like a diva. I'm in control—let's go get 'em! It's funny because you'd expect my sauciness to come from my Latina-ness, but it totally comes from the urban American girl."

On forming her first girl group, Coquette, in high school: "I was very strict. Like, 'We can't be late, we're gonna get on this diet.' I always thought, 'The time is gonna come, and we have to be prepared.'"

On coming up from a childhood of poverty: "I don't ever wanna go back to feeling that hunger, or [feeling] limited, like I'll never make it anywhere because I didn't even have one dollar to catch the bus. This is what pushes me to go. I'd say, 'I'm gonna sing to make money soone day I can buy my mom a house.' It's a dream, but in the end it becomes my savior."