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.