Adrienne Bailon, 3LW/The Cheetah Girls’ Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian firecracker is no stranger to the stage. She began singing in church and soon was on stage with Ricky Martin at the age of 14. In pursuit of a singing career, Adrienne found herself representing young Latinas everywhere. Only 23 years old and an ambassador for Latin talent, Adrienne has dreams that reach way higher than her own 5-foot frame. She has proved that dedication and diligence take you farther than you could ever imagine. With a melodic singing voice that commands attention, Adrienne will soon be one of Latin music’s most recognized faces.
When did this all start for you?
Ricky Martin was performing at Madison Square Garden the day after my choir was performing there. He stopped by and saw my choir, I wasn’t actually there that day, but he was requesting about 10 people to sing backup for his song Vuelve. My choir director told Ricky that I would be great and that I was a big fan. I was 14 years old and I remember thinking about it and it was so crazy, It was a great feeling. I was the youngest person in my choir. Since I was the smallest, I was the first one to walk on the stage and was so nervous. I was shaking in my little robe. I was thinking about how it all started, came from singing in church to this; it’s just so crazy.
You sister was also picked, is she trying to pursue a music career?
My sister has the desire to sing, but she is in nursing school. She wants something to fall back on. I respect her for that, going out and doing her thing. She is into Spanish music and I would love to do a duet with her.
I hear you’re trying to start your own label, is that true and what is your vision?
I think there is such a huge market for Latin music and I would love to find the next Latin Beyonce, Britney, you know? Sooner or later, I will be opening up a website soon based on finding Latin talent. It will be something where I can interact with my people and they can reach me. I want to find new talent and try my hand at artist development. I am definitely into making that into a career. I want to do music forever and I think that not only for me, but open doors for other young Latinas. I want to motivate my people. I was the only Latin person on the Disney channel ever! Asian and Native American people were playing Hispanic characters. 2006 was the first year Disney reached out to recognize Latino people. It’s such an honor to host Hispanic character month on Disney. There is so much talent, creativity and drive out there. I want to try to get their music out there. Growing up in the Lower East Side, that’s where the Nuyorican Café is, and so much talent and culture, I want to open up that world to everyone. I still go down there and wonder why there is so much undiscovered talent and I want to try and get that out.
As an artist, do you feel as though you have been able to input your creative ideas?
We were really blessed with the first Cheetah Girls movie. We had so much creative control. We were able to make the characters into what we wanted. They were like our alter egos. I used a lot of my life experience, being young and so driven. I also used audition experiences from 3LW for the movie.
Speaking of 3LW…there may be speculation that there is no more 3LW, is that true?
The 3lw album is on hold. The Cheetah girl tour was extended from 2 to 5 months and now that we are off tour we can start the process. We pushed it back because we knew we could always go back, there was no rush. Cheetah girl fans have shown so much love and parents have made what we do fulfilling. After being on tour and seeing reactions of parents and kids, I’m so excited about it. I am so proud that it’s made such an impact. I want to do as much as I can because its something I love doing. It goes beyond whether it’s hot or wack, it’s just enjoyable. The fact that I go to bed at night and I put a smile on people’s faces, the fan mail, being expanded on tour, shows that there is a place for something positive. Especially now, Will.I.am will be producing new Cheetah Girls record which proves that you can have something hot, but still cater the younger generation. There were grown women showing up at the concerts, showing love. So, it (the impact) stretches wide.
Singing or acting? Which do you prefer?
Singing prepared me for acting. As a singer, you are a performer. If you sing a sad song, you have to take on that role on stage, so I think that with singing you interpret a song just as a actor would a role. Singing is my heart. All around performing is something I enjoy.
Grammy or Oscar?
I would prefer a Grammy because I think music can touch people in such a strong way. I know that I have been affected by music. I can put a record on and it makes me feel a certain way. Songs can be a soundtrack to your life and for someone to give you an award for something so influential is amazing. Even movies let you know that music is important. Music is incorporated in movies and makes more of an impact.
What was your proudest moment as a celebrity?
Being nominated for Image award for Latinas and getting to fly whole family out to L.A. My mom was so excited that I was nominated for best dramatic actress. My whole family were fans of so many Spanish actors and they were thrilled to be there. Being able to do that was great.
If you weren’t an entertainer…
I’d be a publicist. Me and the gossip magazines have a problem. It looks like fun, its very social and I’m a people person and I am convinced that I am a great sales person. I feel that I am passionate about something and if I feel that way, I will make sure you feel the way I feel. I drill things into peoples’ heads. I would be grateful if I had someone fight for me like I fight for people to have the same opinion as me.
Does your lifestyle ever tire you out?
I’m a Scorpio, so I’m a workaholic, but I love what I do. I do whatever it takes to make it happen. I am used to doing what I have to do to make it work. I don’t let my busy schedule keep me down because this is what I have prayed for and it’s a blessing to live this life.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
“Cuttin da’ Mustard” is an independent comedy that I have done. I have never done anything independent and it’s more creative. We got to improvise a lot.. It has a really strong message about illiteracy and these kids decide to create their own theatre in a nightclub and they try to learn the all that they can about plays. Everyone in the group is fighting their own internal demons. It’s definitely something different for me.
Is there anyone you’re crushing on or involved with?
Right now, no. But I would love to have a family and get married. I seriously yearn for that. I watch the wedding story and get so goo-goo over it. It’s so beautiful to have that. It’s sadly not something I have currently. I am a hopeless romantic. I used to have a crush on Marc Anthony for so long. The other day I was at dinner, Leo DiCaprio bought my table some drinks and I thought it was romantic. The waitress told me and my friends that it was from him, but I just looked over and said thanks from her table. I didn’t go over there or anything.
Where is home?
New York is always my home. I have a place in L.A with Kiely (3LW/Cheetah Girls) and that’s home when I’m there. Sometime soon, I will get a place in New York. I am never home, so I only have that place LA for work.