After a nationwide tour to find the five new members of Menudo, the wait has ended – Carlos Olivero (18 years old, Mexican/Puerto Rican, Chicago, IL); Chris Moy (15 years old, Puerto Rican/Venezuelan/Chinese, Bronx / Dutchess County, NY); Emmanuel Vélez Pagán (16 years old, Puerto Rican, Trujillo Alto, PR); José Bordonada Collazo (15 years old, Puerto Rican, Manati, Puerto Rico) and José (“Monti”) Montañez (18 years old, Puerto Rican, Caguas, Puerto Rico / Now Laredo, TX) are the new members! The reveal took place during the finale of MTV’s “Making Menudo” series on Tuesday, November 20th followed by an appearance on TRL.
Carlos, Chris, Emmanuel, José and Monti are set to kick-off a promotional tour that includes their national TV debut performance on their own float at NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. They will also appear on Telefutura’s Escondalo TV on Wednesday, November 21, Univision’s Despierta America on Friday, November 23, KTLA-TV’s Hollywood Christmas Parade on Sunday, November 25, ABC’s Live with Regis & Kelly on Monday, November 26, ABC’s Walt Disney World’s Christmas Day Parade, and MTV Tr3s “Mi TRL” Awards on Saturday December 15.
Epic will unveil the new group’s sound on December 18th via their debut release, More Than Words EP in Target stores around the country. The four song release will feature the Spanish and English version of their original song “More Than Words (A E I O U)” / “Mas Que Amor (A E I O U),” “Move” and a cover of “This Christmas.” Their full length album is due out in Spring of 2008 and a roster of big name producers and artists have already expressed interest in working with the group, including Danja, Red One, Akon, The Clutch and J.R. Rotem.
During the spring of 2007, auditions were held in Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York, calling for young, bilingual singers and dancers between the ages of thirteen and nineteen. Thousands auditioned, but only fifteen made the final cut. Making Menudo detailed the rough road for the lucky finalists in its ten-episode run until the final five were chosen on the dramatic finale that ended with a show-stopping performance of their new, original songs.
During the show, cameras followed the fifteen finalists in Miami, where they participated in an intense training program, “Menudo Boot Camp,” under the supervision of manager Johnny Wright (Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake), musical director and composer David Coury (Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Leona Lewis), and a gifted team of choreographers. Each week, contestants learned a new song, which they had seventy-two hours to learn, dance, and sing in proper harmony, to later debut the routine in front of a live audience. Johnny Wright and his crew provided final judgment on the contestants’ performance.
During competition, contestants received surprise visits and inspiration from special guests like Howie D of the Backstreet Boys, Frankie J, Wilmer Valderrama, musical producer Danja, songwriting group The Clutch, and Charlie Walk, president of Epic Records. The final five will be given a record contract with Epic Records, a recording session, a world tour, and millions of fans.
The original Menudo, which became a major sensation throughout the United States and Latin American in the seventies and eighties, cut 35 albums, sold over 40 million records and broke box-office ticket sales the world over. To this day, the legendary boy group, which kicked off the careers of Ricky Martin and Robby Rosa, holds the world record for the largest crowd gathered for a live performance.
The new Menudo will feature a contemporary, urban sound and will be represented by Menudo Entertainment and its talented manager, Johnny Wright, who has worked with NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and Justin Timberlake.
Epic Records is launching the ultimate fan site for the group at www.menudoworld.com. Where fans will be able to sample demos, watch video audition clips, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, and much more.