Mario Lopez Teams Up With Menudo Productions For Talent Search And Revival Of Menudo

Menudo, one of the biggest and most popular boy bands of all time that racked up a string of musical hits and a legion of fans, sold millions of albums and broke concert attendance records is about to get a second life.

It’s been 12 years since the Latin boy band disbanded, but the owners of Menudo Productions, which purchased the rights to the Menudo brand in 2016, believe there’s a market opportunity in reviving and reinventing the band that launched the solo careers of Grammy-award winning performer Ricky Martin and singer-songwriter and producer Robi Draco Rosa.

“The Anglo market may not yet realize the actual value of the Menudo brand and what it represents to tens of millions of Hispanics worldwide. Menudo is a proud part of Hispanic history that can’t be replicated for any amount of money,” says Paul Tarnopol, CEO of Miami-based Menudo Productions and a 30-year music industry veteran.

“The U.S. Hispanic population during the mid-1980s was about 17 million and now that population has grown to over 62 million. In addition, Latin music is the fastest growing genre of music in the U.S. market while Latin America is the world’s fastest growing region for music streaming. I believe that Menudo has more potential now than ever before,” states Tarnopol.

To restart the successful franchise, Tarnopol and Angel Zamora, who will be overseeing the “Menudo: A New Beginning” project, are bringing in some star power, teaming up with actor, producer and radio host Mario Lopez, who will help promote the search for the new members of the band.

“Like so many people across the globe, I grew up as a huge Menudo fan,” states Lopez. “I am so excited and honored to be part of bringing this iconic Latin boy band back to the world!”

Lopez will announce the kickoff of the online auditions for talent between the ages of 12 and 16 in two weeks. For the first phase, contestants will upload their video performances on a Menudo audition app. He’ll also be inviting audiences to follow weekly highlight videos on Menudo streaming platforms to discover, comment and share their favorite contestants. Live auditions will start in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 17 and move on to various other cities.

“We’re interested in discovering amazing talent with the dedication and discipline to become true superstars,” states Zamora. “Singing, dancing and a positive personality are all important factors.”

According to Zamora, a producer and talent manager with over 30 years experience in the music, television and film industry, the team aims to be able to do Menudo’s first release at the end of the first quarter in 2023, with touring to follow.

“We are meeting with many producers, songwriters and publishers to find the absolute best music possible for Menudo,” says Zamora. “The quality of the music we select is paramount and we already have some great things in the works.”

Just like in the original incarnation of the band, talent will “graduate” from Menudo before turning 18. But there will be a major difference for its young members this time around. They’ll be sharing in all concert, merchandise and music revenue.

“We hope to develop ‘post-menudo’ careers for some of the talent,” states Zamora. “The important thing is that all Menudo members will retain their music royalties even after they leave Menudo.”

Menudo’s popularity dwindled in the 1990s as allegations of abuse from their manager surfaced. Tarnopol says they’re ensuring that doesn’t ever happen again.

“Our biggest priority is the safety and well-being of every single member of the new Menudo. For that reason, our entire management and coaching team will be made up of vetted professionals and each of the group members will be sharing in the revenue generated from music, merchandise and live performances.”