Menudo is back! Wait – Menudo went somewhere?
The OG boy-band that formed in 1977 – and seemed like it would live in perpetuity by constantly churning its lineup with younger members – has been technically dormant since disbanding in 2009. Though some former members carried on Menudo’s legacy with middling reunions under different names, the core Menudo brand hasn’t been active for more than 12 years.
Actor and TV host Mario Lopez is leading the reconstitution of Menudo, with auditions to begin this month online. Talent between 12 and 16 (which has been Menudo’s traditional age upper-limit) are invited to live auditions in multiple cities, including San Juan, Puerto Rico – where Menudo was first founded – in September.
“Like so many people across the globe, I grew up as a huge Menudo fan,” Lopez said in a statement. “I am so excited and honored to part of bringing this iconic Latin boy band back to the world!”
Lopez will host weekly highlight videos on Menudo streaming platforms while the process plays out over the coming months.
Menudo’s original lineup consisted of five members, made up of two sets of brothers. Through their golden age, the band became a model for boy bands to come – Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and even BTS and One Direction have fallen short of the global sensation that was once Menudo. The band produced solo stars, including Ricky Martin — Menudo’s most popular member during his 1984–1989 run.
The band famously replaced members who would “age out,” allowing Menudo to continue as a preteen sensation throughout the 1980s and ’90s. But scandals, internal squabbling, money issues, drug issues and a host of other problems dogged the group, which officially disbanded in 2009 after attempting a comeback as an MTV reality show that was largely ignored.