Mario Lopez Helped Put Together a New Generation of Menudo and They Were on 'America’s Got Talent'

The original Menudo boy band is where Ricky Martin got his start.

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Jul. 3 2024, Published 7:35 a.m. ET

Trying to make it big as a musical act can be hard and intimidating, but when you have some big shoes to fill as the new version of a once-loved group, there's even more on the line. Just ask the new Menudo, a boy band that performed on America's Got Talent and wowed not only the judges, but the audience too.

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For those who aren't familiar with the old Menudo, it was a boy band from Puerto Rico that became famous in the 1980s for pop songs, but also for being a revolving door of talent. And pop star Ricky Martin was once part of the group too. The original band officially called it quits in 2009, but "original" might not be the most accurate word for the band members who came before this new Menudo group from AGT.

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Over the years, there were dozens of different Menudo singers because the band remained forever young. Instead of seeing the band members get older, a la Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, new members were chosen to replace Menudo singers when they aged out of the group. Now, Menudo has been revamped, and the singers in the current rebooted band are on AGT.

Who is the new Menudo boy band from 'America's Got Talent'?

The group is now made up of Nicolas Calero, Andés Emilio, Ezra Gilmore, Gabriel Rossell, and Alejandro Querales. Their music is in Spanish, and the boys are all pretty young, as was the case with the original numerous members of Menudo. For this group, though, actor and TV host Mario Lopez had a hand in choosing who would be part of it.

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In August 2022, Menudo Productions and Mario began holding auditions in a search for boy band members from age 12 to 16. By March 2023, they had their boys. At the time, Mario released a statement about the difficult choice in narrowing down all of the talent to just a handful of group members.

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"Deciding on the final five was harder than we ever imagined because there was so much great talent to choose from," he said in the statement. "The five boys we selected gelled together instantly, and the music they've created have exceeded all of our expectations. I think we have several massive hits, and I'm more excited than ever to introduce these boys to the world in less than three weeks."

What happened to the original Menudo group?

Plenty of different singers came and went in the original iteration of Menudo as fans once knew it. But in 1009, the group officially disbanded. It's unclear why, but it paved the way for Mario Lopez to take an interest in reviving the group. And now, that group is on AGT.

Watch America's Got Talent on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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