No, seriously: Menudo is reforming. Or restarting. Or something. And they're coming back in a big way, thanks to the efforts of a record label (Epic) a cable network (MTV) and a producer (Ben Silverman). Billboard has the scoop:
In a model Epic Records president Charlie Walk called "the future of our business," the company has an equity stake in the Menudo brand, which investment group Menudo Entertainment acquired in 2003.
Epic will sign a new bilingual version of the Latin pop phenomenon, with its first album slated for release in late 2007. Meanwhile, MTV and Silverman's company Reveille will co-produce 10 episodes of a reality show documenting the band's development. The show will debut on MTV in the fall of 2007.
Hooray for the future!
For those unfamiliar with Menudo, the Puerto Rican band became a sensation in the '80s and early '90s, primarily among Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking music fans. Menuda was a boy band in the truest sense, showing members the door when their voice changed or they reached the age of 16 and bringing in new members to fill the void. Menudo alums include Ricky Martin.
The early-'80s marked the peak of Menudo's fame in the United States, partly on the strength of news stories about the Menudo phenomenon, partly on the popularity of "Like A Cannonball," the theme to Cannonball Run 2 But their popularity continued elsewhere, petering out in the late-'90s as popular members departed. The Menuda name was sold to Venezuelan investors in 1997.
Menudo 2.0 will apparently not have the same draconian hit-puberty-and-leave restrictions as the first incarnation. Auditions " for boys ages 15 to 19 will begin at San Juan's Coliseo de Puerto Rico Oct. 21 and will continue in San Diego, Orlando, Chicago and other locations in coming months."