Ah, Menudo, the prefabricated Latin pop boy group that, most famously, gave rise to Ricky Martin in the 1980s.
What would popular music be without the five cheeky youngsters who first conquered the Latino market upon formation in 1977 in Puerto Rico? They were put together by a producer named Edgardo Diaz, a blueprint that would pay off big in the English-language market nearly 20 years later with the Orlando formation of the Backstreet Boys and 'NSync by the late Lou Pearlman.
Latin America and North America — Menudo plotted world domination and began recording in English with the 1984 album, "Reaching Out," when Menudo's first breakout star, future Latin Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Robi Draco Rosa, was in the quintet — haven't had a Menudo since 2009.
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It has been even longer since any form of Menudo released a full studio album — its 36th release, "Tiempo de amar," came out in 1996. The world didn't even really have the Backstreet Boys to fall back on yet as the BBoys' "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" was still just a fledgling hit before all pop hell broke lose.
But on Wednesday, the path to a Menudo for the post-millennial generation became so much brighter.
Litigation pending in Miami federal court on the trademark to the famous"Menudo" name has finally been resolved.
The court concluded that Menudo International, LLC is the sole owner of the trademark "Menudo" on a worldwide basis.
Who cares, you say?
Paul Tarnopol, the manager and chief executive officer of Menudo International, LLC said this means a lot.
In a statement, Tarnopol said he "was gratified the matter is conclusively resolved" and he "looks forward to working with Oscar Llord in bringing to market the next generation of young Menudos, various television projects, and a 40th anniversary concert of former Menudo stars scheduled for Nov. 17th in San Juan, Puerto Rico."
The South Florida-based Menudo International, LLC acquired the Menudo trademark in May 2016 but delayed the re-launch of the iconic franchise due to the confusion surrounding a two-year legal dispute with In Miami Production, LLC and two individuals over ownership.
"Combining a blue-chip brand like Menudo with today’s digital marketing capabilities is a no-brainer," Tarnopol said. "Our global strategy to discover a new generation of Menudos is going to create a lot of excitement throughout music, television and social media."
According to Llord, chief operations officer and a former president of Sony Latin, "There has never been a better time for Latin music, and the Menudo brand and formula has the potential to dominate the very lucrative pre-teen space," he said in a statement.
At the same time Menudo was born 41 years ago, a British Svengali put together his own version of a boy band, slapped the label punk on them, and branded them the Sex Pistols.
The pop cultural machinery back then decided punk was the cool antidote for the dinosaur pop/rock acts roaming the concert stages and dominating radio at the time like Led Zeppelin, Elton John and the Eagles. So if a safety pin through the nose and monarchy-bashing tunes played by non-musicians was the hip thing, there'd be nothing quite so controversial for the Menudo boys.
These Menudos — each iteration as pre-fab as the next as producers swapped out members before budding puberty changed their voices — were made for posters to line teen girls' walls. A 2007 version even crashed MTV's "Total Request Live."
Ricky Martin, who sang on Menudo hits like "Rayo de luna," and Robi Rosa, who took lead on "Sabes a chocolate," in 1985, parlayed their time signing Latin candy pop into adult careers.
Martin, 46, recently co-starred in Ryan Murphy's FX anthology series, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," as Versace's lover, Antonio D'Amico. The nine-epsiode series was an account of the fashion designer's slaying on the steps of his Ocean Drive mansion by serial killer Andrew Cunanan in 1997.
More than 30 singers, between the ages of 12 and 16, were in Menudo over the years. At 16, they aged out so as to keep the group, "perpetually fresh and youthful."