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 Is Part Of A Netflix Christmas Musical That Is Making History

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Is Part Of A Netflix Christmas Musical That Is Making History

jinglejanglenetflixfilm / Instagram

Ricky Martin is joining an all-star cast for Netflix’s newest holiday film. “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” is going to be the streaming giants’ next leap into the holiday film market and the cast of color is giving us so much to look forward to. The technology is helping to make it historic.

Netflix’s next Christmas movie is the POC magic we all deserve.

Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni-Rose, and Ricky Martin are bringing the movie to life. The movie follows a toymaker and his granddaughter, played by Madalen Mills, on an epic Christmas adventure. Like any good Christmas movie, there is drama when an invention that could change their lives lands in the wrong hands.

Ricky Martin plays an evil toy called Don Juan Diego.

Don Juan Diego is a key part of Jeronicus Jangle’s woes as the invention is stolen from his workshop. In fact, Diego convinces Jangle’s protege (Keegan-Michael Key) to betray him. Diego is such a strong force that Key’s character betrays his mentor and spends his time finding ways to continue to make Jangle’s life harder. Martin took a lot of time to really perfect Diego to make sure that he was more than a one-dimensional evil Latino toy.

“This was a green light to be whoever you want to be and be vicious and Machiavellian and be mean,” Martin told NBC News. “I was running the lines in my house, and my kids would be like, ‘That’s not evil.’ And I would say, ‘Because you’re looking at me and I’m still your father.’ And they were like, ‘Yes, but you need to try harder and to be meaner.’ It took me seven, eight weeks to polish this character because is Don Juan Diego Castilian? Is he Colombian? Is he Mexican? We played with all the accents. We had to keep it very neutral. I hope this is the first movie of Don Juan Diego. Did I just say that?”

People have had it with the quarantine and can’t wait for holiday movies to fill the screen.

We have spent almost eight months confined to our homes and apartments. The least every streaming platform can do is have new holiday content already in their queue to make the season more festive. We all need things to look forward to right now so let’s do this, Netflix.

The movie is integrating new technology with Orbital Audio. The tech software allows for any pair of headphones to become surround sound. Orbital Audio is the first product launched with the Martin Music Lab. The first project for Orbital Audio was Martin’s latest album “Pausa.”

“When the lockdown started, I told my team, ‘Listen, we have to create something that is of impact. Let’s create something that will heal people. I don’t know what this is. I have no idea if it’s a vitamin we are going to invent. I don’t know if it’s a new kind of food. But let’s be open,’” Martin said on the Variety/iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.”

Oh, not to mention that John Legend is behind the music.

That’s right. The music that will fill the movie, and your ears, comes from the talented and beloved John Legend. There really isn’t anything better than music from one of the greats, especially when it is Christmas music.

“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” will be streaming on Netflix starting Nov. 13.

READ: Mariah Carey Officially Declares It Christmas Season And Who Are We To Argue

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Ricky Martin Says That It Is ‘Super Sad’ For Him To See Latinos Voting for Donald Trump

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Says That It Is ‘Super Sad’ For Him To See Latinos Voting for Donald Trump

Drew Angerer / Getty

Ricky Martin says when it comes to the Latino support of Joe Biden for president, voters bang. He also says those who are voting for Donald Trump completely bomb.

In an interview with The Big Ticket podcast, the “Livin La Vida Loca” singer highlighted the importance of voter turnout and laid out his reasons for giving former Vice President Joe Biden his own vote.

Speaking to The Big Ticket, Martin underlined his efforts to see change this year.

“I’ve been supporting Biden forever,” the singer shared on the podcast. “I think he is the only option we have and he is great. He has been in politics all his life. This is the moment. We all need to get together and be loud about the course of this nation.” For Martin, it seems that the backing of Biden by the Latino community is especially important and seeing anything less is something he truly cannot understand. Martin went so far as to highlight his disbelief in seeing Wanda Vázquez, the current governor of Puerto Rico, endorsing Trump this year.

“Who is that? Next!” he exclaimed during the podcast. “She doesn’t even exist. She wasn’t even elected by the people. She’s not part of this conversation.”

Trump went onto call Latinos in the United States who support Trump “really scary.”

When asked about Latinos in the United States who support Trump, Martin said it’s “really scary” to see but he remains positive that the majority of Latinos will vote him out of office.

“It’s really scary,” he said, before commenting that he does think that the majority of Latinos will vote for Biden. “It’s super sad. I think. Trumpeters make a lot of noise. And it’s scary to see their enthusiasm but us, we’re doing what’s right, the right way and we’ll see what happens in November. But I’m very optimistic.”

“I am a Latino, gay, married to an Arab living in Trump’s America,” he said about his husband Jwan Yosef, a Syrian-born, Swedish painter Marin married in 2017. “We check all the boxes.”

Martin’s comments come at a time when Trump continues to receive support from Cubans in Florida.

The battleground state has seen Cuban Americans, who often vote Republican, make last-ditch efforts to reelect Trump. “Florida’s Cuban American voters remain a bright spot in Trump’s effort to retain his winning coalition from 2016,” ABC reported. “Polls show his strong support from these key voters may even be growing to include the younger Cuban Americans that Democrats once considered their best hope of breaking the GOP’s hold. For Trump, that support could prove essential in a tight race in a state he must win to beat Democratic challenger Joe Biden.”

Referring to the increase in early voters this year, Martin says he’s happy to see voters turning out. “For that, I’m extremely happy,” he explained. “We’ve had plans of if we might leave the country. No, we have to stay here and fight for our rights and for what we believe.”

You can check out Martin’s full interview with The Big Ticket on Nov. 3.

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