Mayra Verónica Aruca Rodriguez was born on August 20th 1980, in Havana, Cuba. Since childhood, she has been deeply attracted to the world of entertainment, a passion she inherited from her father, Arturo Aruca, a member of the Cuban band Los Dada.
At just five years of age, Mayra immigrated with her mother to Miami, an experience that came to influence not only her feisty personality but the beginning of a fascinating adventure in search of the American Dream.
A few months after her arrival in the States, her father also decided to flee the island by raft, crossing the dangerous Florida Straits and reaching the US coast. The economic difficulties of the family were not an impediment to Mayra, who graduated in theater and psychology from Florida International University. Soon after, she continued her training as an actress at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York.
Although she co-starred in the film The Suitor for PBS, and the US production Pledge This!, what definitively marked the beginning of the Cuban’s meteoric rise was her foray onto the small screen, as a reporter and anchor.
After receiving the titles of Miss Miami and Miss Hispanic America, her beauty and strong personality made her one of the most popular faces of Miami Today, where she conducted interviews with celebrities including Donald Trump, Oscar de la Renta and Hugh Heffner.
Her big break came with Don Francisco Presenta, produced by Univision, the most watched Spanish-language channel in the United States. The program was the best showcase for the Cuban, whose appearances were well-received by viewers.
Her image became one of the most in-demand, appearing in several commercials and campaigns for big brands such as L'Oreal, Coca Cola, Nike and Ford.
FHM magazine, aware of the model’s sex appeal and her many television followers, chose to include her in their 2004 calendar. Subsequently, she appeared in the publication’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World list for four consecutive years.
Her popularity is such that in July 2008 she became the first Cuban-American to ring the NASDAQ stock exchange bell in New York.
Her modeling career is unstoppable, with her having starred upon over a hundred magazine covers worldwide.
Mayra Verónica has become such an icon of sensuality in the United States, that she was named as the “favorite pin-up girl” of the US Marines, in the fifties´ style that she perfectly embodies. She was named United Service Organization’s spokesperson and, emulating big stars of history like Marilyn Monroe, has embarked upon eight worldwide tours in the company of senior military officers, visiting troops in countries including Afghanistan and Iraq. It is upon one of these tours, at the time Osama Bin Laden was killed by an elite unit, that she received a commemorative medal. Mayra has also performed for senior leaders such as President George W. Bush and was the only Latina to present alongside Larry King at the gala in honor of the newly-elected president Barack Obama.
Mayra’s artistic versatility was soon demonstrated in her innate musical talent, with her debut album Vengo con To being launched in 2007. The album is produced by Roy Tavare and the prestigious Colombian producer Kike Santander, a multiple Latin Grammy winner known for his collaboration with artists like Gloria Estefan, Thalía and Luis Miguel.
The singer, who writes her own songs, quickly climbed up the American Billboard charts with songs like If You Wanna Fly and Freak Like Me.
In 2012, she released her second album Saint Nor Sinner, which became a resounding success, leading to the signing an exclusive co-publishing deal with BMG, the fourth largest music publisher in the world.
But Mayra Verónica could barely imagine what the future would hold. In 2013, she released a new single, Ay Mama Mia. The song reached Number One on the Billboard Dance charts. For only the second time in history, a Latin single had reached the top of the American charts. Set in the fifties, the Golden Age of Hollywood, and Cuban flavor oozing from all sides, the song’s video received over two and a half million views in just over a week. Mayra has become the Carmen Miranda of our day, as a forerunner of retro pop music and an icon of the Latina woman.
Aware of the phenomenon of her international success, acclaimed British producer Simon Cowell, creator of formats such as The X Factor and known for his participation in American Idol, decided to acquire the exclusive distribution rights of the English version of Ay Mama Mia, which went on to feature in music charts in France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The single, a mix of retro sound with tropical rhythms, pop, and dance massively raised the artist’s profile as a musician, and was nominated as Best Latin Dance Song of the year in the International Dance Music Awards, alongside artists such as Ricky Martin and Pitbull.
In 2014, the singer launched a new single, Mama Yo!, a remix of the classic Carmen Miranda song Mamãe Eu Quero. The song was warmly received by fans and critics alike.
With a solid career behind her and millions of records sold, Mayra Verónica has become an international artist with legions of fans, and an icon in the world of Hollywood entertainment. She has a display at the prestigious Hard Rock Museum's Hall Of Fame at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, alongside artists including Madonna and Elton John.
The singer, who has signed with Warner Bros. Records, has also achieved huge success with her singles Party Crasher, No Boyfriend, No Problem and At One.
Mayra Verónica is also a true entrepreneur. She is the CEO of MVA Entertainment, a boutique firm based in Los Angeles, which specializes in artist and brand development, management, recognition and awareness, through which she helps in strategic artist recognition. Promotion, music production and bespoke strategies help to raise real ‘diamonds in the rough’ from relative obscurity. The best example of the trajectory the company aims for is quite possibly the artist herself.
Besides being the face of the Bettie Page clothing line, she has her own fashion brand, V by Veronica, inspired and designed by herself, with garments that enhance the female figure. The clothing in this line can be considered to be ‘pin-up’ style, sensual and provocative, which has found in Mayra its finest expression. Continuing her career as a successful businesswoman, she has also created a unique formula for a supplement used in skin care, Hydralize, containing a compound of ingredients specifically tailored to hydrate women’s skin. Both of these companies have been tipped as businesses to look out for in 2016, due to their tremendous potential based on strategic marketing.
The artist, who can be considered to be the Cuban of the moment, has signed a contract with Burnim Murray Productions, winner of several Emmy awards, for a program to be broadcast on ABC, one of the most viewed television channels in the United States.
Mayra Verónica has developed an intense interest in humanitarian work. She continues her work as a spokesperson for the Wounded Warrior Project, United Services Organization and UNICEF to this day. She combines all of this with her work as head of the Wish Upon A Star Foundation, an organization that helps children who have been victims of domestic violence to get a head start in life through redefining our educational system.
Her life story, worthy of the best screenplay, will be released soon in a biography. It is the story of how to achieve a dream, the journey of a long, hard road. The struggle of a woman who is forced to live in a car for months, and who, years later, would become a successful artist with recognized prestige, and a bright future.
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