“I want to talk to you because you are the cutest thing I have seen.”
Before “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Oprah Winfrey appeared on television as the morning host for “A.M. Chicago.” It was on this show in 1984, that Winfrey introduced the Latin boy band Menudo onto the stage. However, there was one band member in particular that Winfrey paid special attention to, and that was Ricky Martin.
Although the band Menudo was formed in 1977, Martin didn’t join the band until 1984. Soon after, the band blew up, reaching it’s highest popularity in the mid 1980s.
Right after Menudo performed on “A.M. Chicago,” Winfrey walked directly towards Martin. “I want to talk to you because you are the cutest thing I have seen,” she said. And of course, the fangirls in the audience responded in 100 percent agreement.
At the time of Martin’s appearance on “A.M. Chicago,” he was only 13 years old – making him the youngest member in the band (and obviously the cutest). After hushing all of the fangirls in the crowd, Winfrey asked Martin about how he went about celebrating the news that he was chosen to be one of the band members of Menudo. Martin told Winfrey that he first told the great news to his entire family and then had a disco party to celebrate.
After talking to Martin, Winfrey walked towards the audience to pick a person to bring onto the stage and meet Martin. She picked a little girl, who she carried on her hip and took to Martin for a hug and a kiss.
Fast forward to 2010, Oprah brings Martin as a guest on her show and surprises him with that same girl who he hugged and kissed in 1984. After watching a rerun of this 1984 “A.M. Chicago” episode and getting to see the exact girl he had met 26 years ago, Martin was left with happiness, nostalgia, laughter and shock (AND SO WAS I). ?
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”.
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.
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 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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