Mayra Verónica meets and greets the troops in northeastern Afghanistan.
|Born||Mayra Verónica Aruca Rodríguez
August 20, 1980
|Occupation||model, actress, singer, recording artist, TV personality|
|Relatives||Arturo Aruca (father),
|Height||5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)|
|Weight||105 lb (48 kg)|
Mayra Verónica (born Mayra Verónica Aruca Rodríguez August 20, 1980), is a Cuban-born, American model and singer who acquired her fame in the United States. 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.
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, she became too voluptuous for ballet, and began noticing the effect she had on boys. 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 cover’s 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 4th of July militarily issue in 2011.“Mama Mia” was produced by Grammy nominated producers, Dave Audé & Roy Tavaré. Mayra’s poetry and writing skills are ever present in her music as she writes mostly inspirational lyrics and loves writing about women’s issues.Currently "Mama Mia" is exploding on the UK Commercial Pop Top 30 Charts! "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.
In 2012 Mayra Verónica signed a 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.
- 2007: Vengo Con To'
- 2010: Saint Nor Sinner
- 2013: Mama Mia
|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||-||-||-|
|"—" 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
- 2013 Mama Mia (The Remixes)
- Mayra Veronica Wants You To Look @ Her Ass, Moeackson.com (2007-12-14), accessed 9-25-2010
- Jason Birchmeier Mayra Veronica. billboard.com
- "13 Questions with Mayra Verónica". Interview. AskMen.com.
- Mayra Veronica's Profile. singersroom.com
- "13 Questions With Mayra Verónica". Ask Men. IGN Entertainment, Inc. 2007-03-03.
- Peters,, Veronica and Russell. "Vice Chairman USO Tour". Gallery. United Service Organization. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- Fisher, Joseph (2008-11-10). "Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Celebrity Guests to Give Thanks to Service Members on Annual USO Tour". USO Tour. USO.
- Lane, James (2008-11-12). "Celebrity Mayra Verónica Model Supports Troops On Annual USO Tour". Entertainment News. Indie News.
- Mayra Veronica's Pop Anthem "Freak Like Me" Brings Lyrics To Life In Seductive New Music Video. prnewswire.com. August 22, 2011
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mayra Verónica.|
- Official website
- Mayra Veronica on Facebook
- Mayra Veronica on Twitter
- Mayra Veronica's channel on YouTube
- Mayra Veronica Univision Interview