Entertainment

19 Facts You Might Not Know About The Boy Band Menudo

If you don’t know who the boy band Menudo is, then you didn’t grow up in the 80’s. They dropped their first album in 1977 and were together for 22 years. By together, I mean that they kept replacing the aging boys with fresh, new young faces, making Menudo the band you’d fight to join.

Here’s what we didn’t know about them growing up.

1. They were the first Latino boy band ever.

CREDIT: @johnny_octopus / Twitter

The band was formed by Puerto Rican producer Edgardo Díaz in the 1970s. The band reached it’s peak in the ’90s with several hit songs. Díaz was also the man who created the group La Pandilla.

2. Menudo went punk rock in the ’80s.

CREDIT: @desusandmero / Twitter

The band had a total image makeover, and so did their music. It went from “bubblegum pop” to rock. They even released an album called “Somos Los Hijos del Rock.” Not on the nose at all.

3. Ricky Martin made his first big break with Menudo.

CREDIT: “hqdefault” Digital Image. New Now Next. 5 July 2018.
Can you spot mi Ricky? He was just 12 years old. Half the Puerto Rican population was obsessed with them, including my mother. They brought great glory to our little island.

4.  Ricky Martin left after 5 years with Menudo for telenovelas.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

Ricky was signed onto a Mexican telenovela, that every single one of our mother’s watched, called “Alcanzar una estrella.” And with that, a star was born.

5. Draco Rosa was in Menudo at the same time as Ricky.

CREDIT: @dracorosa / Instagram

They’re rumored to be best friends to this day. Rosa is known for writing and producing many of Ricky’s later hit singles, including “María,” “La Vida Loca,” “She Bangs” and “Shake Your Bon-Bon.” 

Gracias por su servicio. ????

6. The two even worked on a single together recently.

CREDIT: “Draco Rosa and Ricky Martin Together Again” Digital Image. Out. 5 July 2018.

They came together on a music video that has over 10 million views where both are in a foggy “Pride and Prejudice” esque setting serenading an extremely thin woman. Show me Ricky serenading his husband and I’ll scream for it.

7. The band took a break in the late 90’s and rebooted in 2007 with this look:

CREDIT: @billboard / Twitter

Oh man. The early 2000s was a crazy time for fashion. See that guy in the middle? You might recognize his face from someplace more recent.

8. Troy Kurtis went on to place third in “The X Factor” in 2012.

CREDIT: The X Factor USA / YouTube

He auditioned entirely in Spanish and reportedly seduced judges Demi Lovato and Britney Spears with a “very sexy” performance (Britney Spears’ words, not mine). I’m throwing back and watching this season again.

9. The band manager would cut any member who started going through puberty.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Picture Bugs. 5 July 2018.

One member even remembers finding out he was going to go during an interview with producer Díaz. The interviewer asked who was going to go next, and he just pointed at that guy. #Brutal

10. During the 2016 elections #fakenews came out that Marco Rubio was in Menudo.

CREDIT: Sunny Side Up News

Which was hilarious at best and a problematic hit for Latinos at worst. We wish he did make it to Menudo, so maybe he wouldn’t have turned out so conservative.

11. Menudo was in the Uno Rulebook.

CREDIT: @VisitSpudonka / Twitter

Just kidding. Could you imagine what their lives would be like if they had to do that?

12. Luis Fonsi tried out for Menudo, but didn’t make the cut.

CREDIT: @luisfonsi / Twitter

Luis Fonsi auditioned for Menudo when he was just ten years old. “I got called back. I got to the semifinals. This is probably the most exciting time in my life. Menudo was Menudo.”

“I passed the singing, I passed the dancing, but you know what I failed? The English.”

13. You can buy vintage Menudo action dolls for $70 on Etsy.

CREDIT: AuntSisDolls / Etsy

Some figurines go for $15, but you probably don’t want those guys. You probably want Ricky or Draco. They’re the money.

14. Menudo starred as themselves in two feature films.

CREDIT: Adrian J. Blanco / YouTube

There was such a huge market for Menudo content, they couldn’t create it fast enough.

“Una Aventura Llamada Menudo” and “Menudo: La Película” were a big deal for the boys themselves, because most of them went on to star in telenovelas. Only a couple are known for their music to this day.

15. Telemundo Puerto Rico even gave them a television show.

CREDIT: TV MENUDO / YouTube

Mostly, there was a lot of pelvis thrusting, but every year it hosted a beauty pageant called “La chica de Menudo.” The winner would sometimes be seen in music videos or at their Puerto Rican concerts. #score

16. Menudo even made it’s way into it’s own MTV’s reality series.

CREDIT: juldanarl / YouTube

“Road to Menudo” and “Making Menudo” were a blast. It was basically like American Idol, except they shoved a bunch of Puerto Rican boys into a house together, forced them to compete, and promise them a place in Menudo.

17. Their last single was written by Bruno Mars in 2008.

CREDIT: menudo / YouTube

It was called “Lost”, and …then the band, the fame, the #menudomania all faded away.

18. This crew, tho, will always live in our hearts…

CREDIT: Popsugar / Pinterest

As the kids who put Puerto Rico on the map and kept it there. Te amo, Ricky, Rubén, Sergio, Robert y Angelo!

19. All in all, Menudo was, is, and forever will be the best boy band of all time. ????

CREDIT: @paldogangsa / Twitter

When One Direction started becoming a thing, everyone was quick to reminisce about the good old days with the original Juan Direction.

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Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Mike Windler / Getty Images

Ricky Martin has long been an international superstar – even long before ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ took over virtually every airway in the world. But it’s hard to deny that with that song, the Puerto Rican singer entered the global mainstream and ever since he’s been a pop icon.

From being one of the first major pop stars to publicly come out as gay, to acting in popular TV series, and getting married and becoming a father of four, Ricky Martin has always been a very busy man.

And despite a global pandemic that has forced all of us to stay at home and find a ‘new normal,’ Martin has forged a path forward. He recently sat down for an interview with Billboard to discuss everything from new music, the global Coronavirus pandemic, and his identity as an out and proud gay Latino.

Considering we’re all still living amid a global pandemic, the Billboard interview started on this very relevant topic.

Billboard points out that Martin and his family live in a very big and beautiful house in Beverly Hills, which likely makes staying at home a bit easier compared to the rest of us. However, Martin points out that he has a very loud home – with four kids and his mom all living under one roof. But he admits, “…I am very lucky. I am in a comfortable home where my kids can play.”

Ricky Martin is also working on new music. He released Pausa in May, and now as he works on new music the world is a very different place. He told Billboard: “I started working on my music maybe nine months ago. In my mind, the album was going to be called Movimiento, which means movement. But with all this [pandemic], it just told me… “The way it was, was not working. Let’s do it differently.” I have music with rhythm, but I was not going to tell people to move! So I named it Pausa.”

He also speaks about his close relationship with fellow Puerto Rican, El Conejo Malo.

Shortly after Billboard released its history-making cover with Bad Bunny on the the cover, Martin described San Benito as a “Latin queer icon.” Many people – of all backgrounds – took issue with that. But Ricky Martin tells Billboard that “allies are so important. Without them, our fight for equality is impossible. It really tickles me to see Bad Bunny as a gay icon — just like Cher could be. Why not?”

The Puerto Rican singer shared what his coming out experience was like and reveals he never tires of sharing it.

In the interview, Martin is very open about his coming out as gay. The singer came out as gay in 2010, married husband Jwan Yosef in 2017, and together the couple is raising four children.

Rolling Stone asked Martin, 48, what it was like to remain closeted during “the most public, exposed period” of his life.

“I had moments of extreme positivity, and not so positive [moments],” Martin answered. “Life was a bit on steroids in those days. Everything was really intense, but I could take it! I come from a school of military discipline when it comes to training for music, dance, and acting. I started when I was 12. So for me, it was about not being ready to open [up]. When you open an egg from the outside, what comes out is death. But when the egg opens from the inside, what comes out is life. It’s something that needs to come from within. Every time someone forces someone to come out, what you’re doing is you’re destroying the natural flow of the self-discovery.”

When asked what motivated him to come out publicly, Martin said that a kid somewhere in America needs to see positive headlines about coming out.

“Today I woke up to this beautiful headline that I know someone out there is in need of. The headline was something like, ‘I came out. And ever since I’ve been the happiest.’ Something like that, something… My heart is beating faster because I know today a kid somewhere in America woke up needing to hear those words. A lot of people say they get tired of talking about the same thing. Why would I? Are you kidding me? For so many years I had to keep it inside. And then the effect of someone… What people are getting from it in their healing process?”

Billboard also asked Martin his feelings on how the media is profiting and accepting Puerto Rican and Latinx culture.

When asked if he feels that the American media has gotten better or more open to understanding Puerto Rican culture, Martin responded: “We certainly have a long way to go, but the important thing is that we see that there’s an audience that is interested. And it’s up to us to bring [the] education.”

And he’s absolutely right. This year has seen several Latino artists rise to the top of all sorts of charts. Bad Bunny and J Balvin are among the most streamed artists globally and Bad Bunny is one of the most streamed artists on YouTube as well.

Meanwhile, Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are working on a film that will be out early next year. The Emmy’s, VMAs, and other award shows finally had decent representation of artists of color – particularly among the Latinx community.

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Billboard Listed The Top 50 Latin Music Songs Of All Time And Some People Have Questions

Entertainment

Billboard Listed The Top 50 Latin Music Songs Of All Time And Some People Have Questions

shakira / jbalvin / Instagram

Latin music is something we all grew up with. Our parents raised us on the voices of Celia Cruz and Vicente Fernandez. We cleaned the house and entertained ourselves on road trips to these artists and they are ingrained in our DNA. Billboard recently released a list of the 50 best Latin music songs of all time and some are undoubtedly iconic and others just aren’t Latin music.

Billboard dropped their list for the 50 best Latin music songs of all time and some of them are truly classics.

Amor Prohibido” by Selena, “Guantanamera” by Celia Cruz, “El Rey” by Vicente Fernandez, and “El dia que me quieras” by Luis Miguel are just a few of the songs on the list that deserve all the praise. They are songs that transport us to our childhoods and cherished family memories.

The list also includes some newer songs that have rocked out adult worlds. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, “Mi Gente” by J Balvin, “El Farsante” by Ozuna, and “Tusa” by Karol G and Nicki Minaj all made the list. Not only do these songs speak to the Latino audience, they have been able to go mainstream sharing our musical culture with the world. That’s something to admire and respect because it gives our community representation like never before.

The list has proven to be just want some people have been asking for.

Tbh, this would make a pretty amazing road trip playlist if you need to pass the time. Nothing like a mix of Latin music songs playing along to give you a big, inclusive sabor of Latin America through music. A little be of Mexico and a little bit of Puerto Rico mixed in with a little bit of Colombia is pure joy and magic.

However, a lot of people are questioning the list’s inclusion of Spanish artists.

The list has various artists who are not Latino, but Spanish. There seems to be an unspoken rule in the music industry that music in Spanish is automatically Latin music. Fans have long been arguing against the industry’s blanket label of Spanish-language music automatically being considered Latin music.

Rosalía, who has arguably become the face of the debate, is listed as having one of the best Latin music songs of all time.

While Rosalía does make some good music, there is a real push to make sure the artists of Latin American roots are uplifted in Latin music. There is nothing wrong with including Rosalía in your Spanish-language playlists but Latin music fans want the distinction made that some artists aren’t Latino.

You can check out the rest of the Billboard list here.

READ: Vogue México Put A Spanish Music Artist On Their Cover And Called Her Latina And Latinos Almost Set Twitter On Fire

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