On Monday, March 18, the Social Planning and Events Committee (SPEC) announced that R&B singer Miguel will headline the 2019 Spring Fling Concert on Saturday, April 13. The Afro–Mexican artist is well known for his Grammy Award–winning song "Adorn" and self–identifies as part of a new wave of R&B, falling in line with artists like Frank Ocean, the Weeknd and Elle Varner.
If you don't immediately recognize Miguel as an established R&B musician—don't worry, you're not alone—you will definitely recognize him for the infamous viral video of the "Miguel Leg Drop." Miguel, who was performing his hit "Adorn" at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, attempted to jump across the stage and accidentally crash landed on two audience members, knocking one into the stage and hooking his leg on the face of another. Video of the incident instantly inspired tons of internet jokes and GIFs, and solidified Miguel's place in meme history.
But what most people don't know is that Miguel—music career and internet fame aside—is also an actor. He's been featured in two movies since 2016 and has worked alongside big names like Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, John Boyega and Will Poulter. His roles in both movies are admittedly small, but it's evident that his talents go beyond just singing and songwriting.
Miguel's Hollywood debut came with Live By Night, a 2016 gangster period film directed by and starring Ben Affleck. Set in the Prohibition Era, a group of Boston–born gangsters, led by Joe Coughlin (Affleck), run a trans–national rum operation. While transporting and distributing illegal booze from Tampa, Florida to the East Coast, Joe must navigate through a turbulent world of competitive mob bosses and powerful KKK members. Miguel plays Esteban Suarez, a Florida–based, Cuban businessman who produces and sells an important component in rum to Coughlin and other competing gangs. Miguel adopted a thick Cuban accent and a slicked–back hairstyle to portray Esteban, who he said he feels very connected to because of their similar interest in art and the value they both place on family. What the film lacks in momentum and unfulfilled potential it makes up for with compelling individual performances from its A–list cast (including Fanning, Saldana, and Chris Cooper) and the stylish and sexy '20s world, created by stunning costumes and production design. Live By Night may be mediocre, but there's enough interesting subject matter (who doesn't love sex, drugs, and money?) to hold onto, and the role of Esteban Suarez certainly gave Miguel a satisfactory acting debut.
Miguel's second role was in Detroit, a 2017 crime film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who also directed The Hurt Locker and Point Break. The film is based on the true events of a 1967 instance of police brutality against black teenagers during the night of the 12th Street Riot. Detroit focuses on the beatings and murders of black teenagers—some of whom were members of the soul band The Dramatics—by white Detroit police officers. The film portrays the brutality and violence of the '60s in such a realistic manner that it feels more like a documentary than a drama. Miguel plays Malcolm, a member of The Dramatics, and makes a brief cameo during a musical performance later in the film. While his role in Detroit is much smaller than his role in Live By Night, Miguel said he felt inspired by his part in the film as it featured young and upcoming talent, and sought to bring attention to pertinent subject matter.
Maybe you're a die–hard Miguel fan and have already purchased your Spring Fling concert tickets. Maybe you've decided to skip this year's concert to save a few bucks. Either way, you can celebrate Spring Fling this year by watching Miguel perform both onstage and on the silver screen.