Entertainment

Menudo, The World’s Original Boy Band, Is Getting The Series Treatment Thanks To Amazon Prime

The 1970s’ Latino boy band of your dreams Menudo is getting a scripted television series on Amazon Prime. Produced by Endemol Shine Latino with Somos Prods, Boomdog TV, and Piñolywood Studios, Súbete a Mi Moto will tell the story of the band’s four-decade spanning history. The first season of the show will tell the origin story of the band. Best of all it will be available in over 200 countries and territories so fans around the world can rejoice. 

The band has a special history not just because it launched the careers of Latino giants like Ricky Martin, Draco Rosa, and Edgardo Diaz, but because of Menudo’s unusual practice of replacing members once they reached the age of 16. It’s easy to see why a band with such a sprawling group of members would make a great foundation for storytelling — there’s so much to be said and lots of opportunities to cast amazing, young Latinx actors.

This is the third series by Endemol Shine Latino and Boomdog to focus on iconic Latinx artists. The collaborators also released the biopic series “El Vato” about the Mexican singer El Dasa on NBC Universo and “El Ganador” which focuses on Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Nicky Jam which will air on Telemundo soon. 

Súbete A Mi Moto

The new Menudo series borrows its name from the band’s hit song “Súbete a mi Moto.” Founded in Puerto Rico by Edgardo Diaz in the 1970s, Menudo was an unprecedented success never before seen with a band featuring Latinx teenage boys. With 39 members over four decades, the band finally disbanded in 2009. However, it helped launch the careers of many popular Latin icons like Ricky Martin and Draco Rosa who were members during the height of the group’s fame in the ’80s. The band has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. 

“There are musical phenomena that become well-known landmarks because of their impact both with their songs and stage presence, as well as for the richness of their personal experiences” Luis Villanueva, president and CEO of Somos Prods. told Variety. 

“Menudo is one of such phenomena and its history, as told by the creator and manager of the band, guarantees the excitement and appeal of each of this series’ episodes.”

So who will star in the series? 

Castmembers have been hired but they have not been announced yet. Fortunately, the creators consulted with former members for accuracy. 

“We are thrilled that Prime Video will be sharing this special series with their global audience. We’ve just started production and have assembled a tremendous cast and production team.  And we congratulate and thank our partners at Somos and Piñolywood,” said Alejandro Rincon, CEO Endemol Shine Boomdog. 

While I can’t speak for the morality of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, one thing that is great about it streaming on Prime is that it is made with Spanish-speaking and Latin American audiences in mind as well as Latinxs living in America. Moreover, can you think of the last time you saw a show with a predominantly Puerto Rican cast? 

 “The Series will present an amazing Puerto Rican story of one of the first boy bands assembled and how its manager made it a global sensation. The group became a trailblazer in the music industry. Excited that Prime Video will provide a global distribution platform for this Series that we are sure global audiences will enjoy watching.”

Menudo’s Impact

Menudo released their first album in 1977, however it wasn’t until the 1980s that the effort became a household name. By 1983, they had a 4-minute series called “Menudo on ABC” during Saturday morning cartoons, solidifying their success in Latin America and the United States. Known for their hits  “Quiero Ser”, “Rock En La TV”, “Claridad”, and “Mi Banda Toca Rock,” Menudo has left a lasting impact on multiple generations. 

Despite being one of Menudo’s biggest stars Ricky Martin told Rolling Stone in 1999, he was rejected three times because he was too short. However, Martin was persistent. 

“I’d see Menudo and get this sparkle, like I couldn’t live without being in the band. For them, the detaching process was very hard. But, me, I was ready for it,” Martin said. 

While earning a spot on Menudo was a coveted gig it wouldn’t last for long. The band rotated members after each boy turned 16 in order to keep teens interested over the decades.

The original lineup consisted of two sets of brothers, Fernando and Nefty Sallaberry from Ponce, Puerto Rico and Carlos Meléndez, Oscar Meléndez, and Ricky Meléndez. The first season will feature fifteen, 60-minute episodes and is expected to follow the boys and Edgardo Diaz’s musical journey and rise to fame

Ricky Martin, A Fan Of Big Families, Announces He And His Husband Expecting Fourth Child

Entertainment

Ricky Martin, A Fan Of Big Families, Announces He And His Husband Expecting Fourth Child

Ricky_martin / Instagram

Global music icon Ricky Martin continues to soar in his third decade as an entertainer. Since the release of his first solo album in 1991, the singer has sold over 70 million records and has won multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy awards. A multi-talented artist, Ricky is also a New York Times Best Seller and a passionate philanthropist and humanitarian. The pop star and actor most recently starred as Antonio D’Amico, Gianni Versace’s long-time partner, in the multi Emmy nominated FX Drama Series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story which earned him a nomination for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor. The hitmaker was also recently publicly involved in the protests against the former governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, who used homophobic and other bigoted language in private conversations. 

The Human Rights Campaign honored his trajectory and passionate work last Saturday in Washington D.C. with an award for his advocacy of LGBTQ rights and philanthropy. And Ricky took advantage of the setting to announce his family’s big news. 

While attending the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, Ricky Martin announced that he and husband Jwan Yosef are expecting.

Ricky Martin was awarded the National Visibility Award during the HRC’s 23rd Annual National Dinner last Saturday for his commitment to the fight for equality. “With his unique voice and passionate activism, Ricky Martin has used his international stage to advocate for LGBTQ people around the world,” said  HRC President Alphonso David. “Ricky is an artist, an advocate and a philanthropist, and we look forward to celebrating all of this important work by honoring him with the National Visibility Award at the Human Rights Campaign’s National Dinner.”

 The singer announced the happy news in the middle of his acceptance speech.

“My family is here. Jwan, I can’t see you but I love you, My beautiful twins Valentino and Matteo are here too. I love you with all my heart, you are my strength, you are my inspiration every day, you are my motivation to keep doing what I do, you are incredible, amazing kids. I love you. Lucía, my baby girl, is not here with us, she’s at home with granny, but she is the light of my life.” With a big smile on his face, Ricky continued, “By the way, I have to announce we are pregnant. We are expecting. I have to admit it, I love big families!” he said drawing applause and cheering from the audience. 

Ricky is not ‘Living La Vida Loca’ anymore, but rather ‘la vida feliz’. 

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” star has a solid career and a wonderful family with husband Jwan Yosef and their three children; twins Matteo and Valentino and baby girl Lucia. Just last month the couple shared the first photo of baby Lucia, who was born on Christmas Eve of 2018 —coincidentally, Ricky Martin’s birthday too.

“La Luz de mis ojos #Lucia”, “The light of my eyes”, was the singer’s caption for the photo of his baby sitting on Yosef’s lap. Artist Yosef, shared the same image on his Instagram, captioning it, “Baby Lucia Martin-Yosef being the LIGHT she is”.

Ricky has been outspoken about how much he loves big families, “I want four pairs of twins”.

Ricky_martin / Instagram

Martin never hid the fact that he loves big families and has always wanted one for himself. Ahead of the 2019 Golden Globes, the star opened up about wanting a big family. “I want four pairs of twins. I would love to have a big family, but there’s a lot going on at this moment, a lot of work,” he told People. “It’s a lot going on so we’re going to put things in order first and then we are going to get ready for many more kids.”

The pair’s twin boys were born through surrogacy, as reported by People, and Ricky inferred his plans to do the same with future children while chatting with Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” in 2017. “It’s funny because the way we do babies, I get to choose the sex,” he said.

Tens Of Thousands Of Puerto Ricans, Including Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin, Call For The Resignation Of Gov. Rosselló At Massive Old San Juan Protest

Things That Matter

Tens Of Thousands Of Puerto Ricans, Including Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin, Call For The Resignation Of Gov. Rosselló At Massive Old San Juan Protest

badbunnypr / Instagram

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans shouted “Ricky, renuncia!” as they marched through the streets of Old San Juan in its fifth and largest protest calling for the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

Early in the demonstration, Puerto Rican stars like Bad Bunny, Residente, Ricky Martin, PJ Sin Suela and more gathered in front of the Capitolio, where they held large Puerto Rican flags and signs that read “los enterraron sin saber que somos semillas,” and encouraged a roaring crowd to not abandon their fight. As the artists stood atop a white truck in the midst of protestors, activist Tito Kayak, who famously placed the Puerto Rican flag on the Statue of Liberty’s crown in 2000 in protest of the US’ presence in Vieques, scaled the flagpole in an attempt to remove the American flag. The crowd erupted in cheers, chanting “Tito, Tito,” showing that the protest in the US territory extends beyond the people’s grievances with their local government.

Bad Bunny took to the streets of Puerto Rico with his fellow Americans to protest a governor they want out of office.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

Protests erupted on Saturday after Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published 889 pages of a private Telegram chat between the governor and some of his officials. The messages included profanity-laced homophobic, transphobic and misogynistic comments about female politicians, celebrities and protestors and hard-hearted jokes about the victims of Hurricane María. For the people of Puerto Rico, who were just rocked by a money-laundering scheme by its education and health leaders and endured repeated neglect and abuse by both its local and federal governments following the devastating hurricane, the chats symbolized the final straw.

As darkness fell on Wednesday, some of the celebrities spoke out.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

“This government has to begin respecting the people. We can’t stop protesting,” Residente, born René Pérez Joglar, said. Later, Puerto Rican singer iLe, Residente’s younger sister, sang the original, revolutionary version of La Borinqueña, with demonstrators, holding their flags and fists in the air, joining her in song, belting, “Vámonos, borinqueños, vámonos ya, que nos espera ansiosa, ansiosa la libertad.”

By la Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion, tension sparked in the mostly-peaceful protest in the late hours of the night. Demonstrators, some throwing bottles of water and fireworks, busted through a barricade. Police fired tear gas, dispersing the massive crowd and angering local residents who allege officers discharged on empty streets where elders and youth in their homes struggled to breathe as a result of the smoke.

Other areas of the old city looked like a war zone, with officers chasing and shooting rubber bullets at protestors, trash bags blazing on cobblestone streets and the windows of graffiti-laden establishments shattering.

According to authorities, at least seven protesters were arrested during the protests and four police officers were injured. There is also an investigation into an officer who forcefully grabbed a demonstrator alleging she was trying to jump over a barrier, though footage of the incident later revealed she was not.

Motorcycles also thundered through the city early Thursday morning, as a protest caravan of thousands of motorcyclists, led by El Rey Charlie and reggaetoneros Brytiago, Noriel, and Ñengo Flow, traveled from Trujilo Alto to Old San Juan in a journey that captivated the island.

People on the island are relentless in demanding that their voices be heard.

Credit: elreycharlie / Instagram

“We won’t stop. The oppression is over. The repression is over. Ricky, resign or we will take you out because the people put you there and we are ready to remove you. We want you out,” El Rey Charlie, a beloved motorist on the island, told Puerto Rican network WAPA-TV.

Outside of San Juan, groups around the island also took to the streets. In the States, the diaspora and their allies similarly demonstrated in Orlando, New York, Miami, Boston, Cleveland, San Antonio and more, while international actions occurred in the Dominican Republic and Spain as well.

Despite the massive uprising, Rosselló has contended that he would not resign. The governor, who previously apologized for his “improper act,” said that he believes he could win over the people of Puerto Rico.

“I recognize the challenge that I have before me because of the recent controversies, but I firmly believe that it is possible to restore confidence and that we will be able, after this painful process, to achieve reconciliation,” he said in Spanish. “I have the commitment, stronger than ever, to carry out the public policy.”

The governor is desperately trying to get people to forget about the unacceptable and offensive conversations he was involved.

Credit: @ricardorossello / Twitter

As Rosselló insists he would not step down, the president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, Carlos Méndez Núñez, has already appointed three lawyers to investigate the contents of the leaked chats to determine whether an impeachment process can begin.

Additionally, Puerto Rico’s non-voting delegate to Congress Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, who is a member of the governor’s pro-statehood New Progressive Party, has called for a meeting among her PNP colleagues.

There is no shortage of corruption that people want to get rid of right now.

Credit: @Jenniffer2012 / Twitter

“There must be an urgent meeting of the directory of @pnp_pr to discuss everything that is happening,” González-Colón said on Twitter.

President Donald Trump also took the opportunity to lambast the embattled governor as well as criticize the island, including the mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz, for corruption.

President Trump weighed in on the matter and used it to attack an island still recovering from the hurricane and the mayor of San Juan.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

He continued: “This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!”

But for many protesters, the marches aren’t just about sending a message of indignation to Rosselló, but rather to all corrupt politicians on the archipelago as well as the colonial federal government. Protest posters illustrate Rosselló with Trump’s hair to compare the two abhorred leaders, while vandalism on concrete walls screams for the resignation of the governor, the fiscal control board and the island’s colonial ties to the U.S.

Today and tomorrow, the people say, the uprising continues, with demonstrations planned across Puerto Rico and its diaspora in the US and worldwide.

Read: Here’s What You Need To Know About The Puerto Rico Uprising