COLOMBIAN rock artist, Juanes, born and raised Catholic in Colombia, said he received an invitation from the Vatican to perform at tomorrow's Festival of Families roughly three months ago. He couldn't say no.
The Grammy-winning soloist will headline a performance for Pope Francis on the Ben Franklin Parkway, along with Andrea Bocelli, Aretha Franklin and the Fray (see interview with Aretha, Page 43). He'll have the backup of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Girlchoir and Keystone State Boychoir, too.
Juanes, 43, said that his religious upbringing has been very important to him, and he was "in shock" when he was first contacted about the concert.
"I couldn't believe it. I am just super honored and happy to be a part of this beautiful event."
The last time Juanes was in Philly was two years ago, during his "Loud and Unplugged" tour. He'll be here with his wife, kids, mother and sister.
A Philly couple with an outstanding marriage proposal story that went viral can be seen on your boob tube when the new season of "The Amazing Race" starts tonight at 8, on CBS3.
Justin Scheman, who has a media-production company, successfully tricked his girlfriend, Delaware County native Diana Bishop, a middle school teacher, into thinking that she was a contestant in a special, online-only version of CBS' "The Amazing Race." Now, the couple, who haven't set a date, is featured on the actual show itself.
Scheman took Bishop on a trip around the globe that ended in Iceland, where he popped the big question under the northern lights sky.
The whole thing was filmed, she said "yes," and the video went viral, grabbing the attention of "The Amazing Race" host, Phil Keoghan, who picked them to appear on the show.
Eleven couples set off from California to compete in a series of mental and physical challenges that ultimately takes them to Rio de Janeiro. Whoever gets there first wins $1 million.
" 'The Amazing Race' is what we built our relationship on," said Bishop. "We were binge-watching the [show], dreaming about traveling the world together.
"It's very competitive. Some people are very deceiving, as opposed to what they look like. But I think we did Philly proud."
The couple couldn't share whether they won, of course.
Scheman said that he didn't expect the degree of athleticism it would take to go on an adventure around the world.
"I think I showed the grittiness - the realness - the passion of Philly, and she showed the heart and determination and the 'Rocky' energy."
Ralph Stollenwerk, owner of Awesome Dudes Printing (1338 S. 6th St.), in South Philly, has created a special, makeshift "Pope-up Shop" just in time for His Holiness' arrival.
It features hilariously sacrilegious stuff to wear and/or drink out of, like T-shirts and koozies bearing "Wiz Wit Cheezus Do? Popeadelphia 2015" and "The Pope came to Philly and all I got was drunk."
"Just trying to bring some humor about this mess the pope is causing in the city," joked Stollenwerk.
They're set up for sales today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. T-shirts are $10. Koozies are $3, or two for $5.
On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN