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What to Know About the "New Generation" of Menudo on AGT

After being officially revived in 2023, a refreshed Menudo took the America's Got Talent stage on July 2.

By Elizabeth Logan

In America, 'NSync launched Justin Timberlake. In Latin Pop, they had Menudo, the boy band where Ricky Martin got his start, and which just might give us the next generation of stars. Here's everything to know about the group's past and possible future.

How to Watch

Watch America’s Got Talent Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

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The original Menudo was formed in the 1970s

The group was formed in Puerto Rico in 1977 and formally disbanded in 2009, per People, peaking in fame in the 1980s. (Martin was a member from 1984 to 1989). According to TODAY, the band sold more than 20 million albums. Part of the group's gimmick was that, rather than grow up alongside their fans and audience, Menudo was always made up of five teens. Around the age of 17, members were released from the group and replaced by younger singers. Over the decades more than 50 members were amassed throughout the original group's tenure.

Menudo is also the name of a popular Mexican soup, and is known for being a meal to share and bring people together.

Ricky Martin & Menudo pose together for a phto circa 1980

Beginning in the early 1990s, members of the band alleged they were sexually assaulted by group founder Edgardo Diaz, who has always denied the allegations. In May 2023, NBC News reported that the LAPD opened an investigation into the former Menudo members' allegations against Diaz. Many of these issues are explored in the documentary Menudo: Forever Young and Peacock's Menéndez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed.

The new Menudo on AGT

There have been various attempts to resurrect Menudo since the group's heyday. Auditions were announced in 2004, and a reality show was planned in 2007. This latest lineup is the first to come to fruition.

In Season 19, Episode 5, AGT audiences met the "new" Menudo, a project that, according to the members, started when their "boss bought the name Menudo" and started a nationwide talent search. One of the architects of the project is actor and Access Hollywood host Mario Lopez. This time around, the boys are USA-born and based in Miami, though they're singing in Spanish (the original Menudo recorded songs in a number of languages).

Menudo performs onstage on America's Got Talent Episode 1905.

“Deciding on the final five was harder than we ever imagined because there was so much great talent to choose from,” Lopez said after the new group was revealed in March 2023. “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."

The current members are Andés Emilio, Nicolas Calero, Alejandro Querales, Ezra Gilmore, and Gabriel Rossell. Despite getting a "No" vote from Howie Mandel, they were put through to the next round following their Audition — but not until after Cowell halted their initial performance and asked them to sing another song. He then left the youngsters with some valuable advice.

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"I think it's so interesting that you reformed Menudo," he said. "However, you have to make your own decisions. You've gotta be yourselves. Do what you want, wear what you want, sing what you want, and they you're gonna have fun."