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

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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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