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The Original Menudo: Where Are They Now?

As the new Menudo launches, here’s what classic Menudo’s Ricky, Johnny, René, Miguel, Charlie and more of your favorites are up to

spinner image band members of menudo
GDA via AP Images

If you can still hum songs like “Súbete a mi moto” or “Mi banda toca rock,” you’re not alone. Puerto Rico’s boy band Menudo was a music sensation that sold millions of records at its peak in the 1980s — and its legacy lives on through reunions, concerts and the social media fervor of thousands of fans that still idolize the band members.

And now, here comes a new Menudo.  

“Menudo: A New Beginning,” a search for the five members of a new incarnation of the boy band, kicked off last year, a joint project between actor Mario Lopez and Menudo Productions. Lopez will introduce the members of the new band March 20 on ABC’s Good Morning America, where the boys will debut their first single, “Mi Amore.”  

The boys have big shoes to fill. The original Menudo is considered not only the most iconic Latin pop band but also one of the biggest and most successful boy bands of all time — and the only Latin group to reach this level of success. Although Menudo launched the careers of Ricky Martin and Robi “Draco” Rosa, who later became international solo stars, each one of its members still has a very special place in the hearts of their fans. If you haven’t had a chance to follow them on social media, here’s what some of the most famous Menudo members are up to now:

Ricky Meléndez

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Courtesy Colibrí Records / Gladys Vega/Getty Images

Along with his brothers Carlos and Óscar, Ricky was one of the band’s original members and appeared in the films Menudo: la película (1981) and Una aventura llamada Menudo (1982). When he left the group at 16, he was replaced by none other than Ricky Martin. Initially, Meléndez moved away from music to pursue a business career, and he also became a lawyer. But his passion for singing was stronger, and in 1998 he joined El Reencuentro, a successful Menudo reunion. Today, he performs along with his former bandmates Johnny Lozada and Miguel Cancel as part of the Súbete a Mi Moto tour.

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Johnny Lozada

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Courtesy Johnny Lozada/RCA Records / Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

Lozada replaced Carlos Meléndez (Ricky’s brother) at the end of 1979 and was himself replaced in turn by Robi “Draco” Rosa. Johnny transitioned to a brief solo career and in 1987 founded the group Proyecto M together with ex-Menudos René Farrait and Xavier Serbiá. In addition to acting in TV soap operas and hosting Univision’s morning show Despierta América, he joined El Reencuentro in a series of successful tours. In 2013, he was the winner of Univision’s fourth season of Mira Quién Baila, a dancing competition in which he later served as a judge. Lozada acknowledges Menudo’s influence even after the release of the controversial HBO Max documentary Menudo: Forever Young. “We brought joy to all of Latin America,” he said during an interview on Al Punto con Jorge Ramos.

René Farrait

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Courtesy Colibri Records / Courtesy Rene Farrait

“When Menudo was a commercial success, we were very young,” said René Farrait during an interview to promote El Reencuentro’s first tour. “I particularly made a lot of mistakes. Now, God is giving us the opportunity to repeat the past, but with the maturity that the years gave us. I don’t think I ever took advantage of that time in my life. I didn’t know how to appreciate things back then.” In addition to performing on four Proyecto M albums during the 1980s and 1990s, Farrait dabbled in acting and participated in Latina Televisión’s TV program La Voz Senior Perú. In 2022, he announced that he was working on his own documentary about Menudo.

Miguel Cancel

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Laurie Sagalyn/Penske Media/Getty Images / Vallery Jean/Getty Images

Most of the band members left Menudo when they reached the age limit specified in their contract: initially at 16, then later at 18 years old. Miguel Cancel was the exception. He left Menudo in 1983 at 15, longing for a normal life. A year later he recorded a solo single, “Fun Fun Fun Fun,” produced by Doug Fieger of the Knack. In 1998, the singer was working as a cook in a fast-food restaurant when he was invited to participate in El Reencuentro. The group is currently touring on the Súbete a Mi Moto tour. Cancel understands the need to adapt to modern times. “As an artist, one has to continue evolving,” he told a Peruvian newspaper in 2022. “You can’t stay stuck in one place.” He splits his time between Miami and Puerto Rico, and his passions include cycling, sports training and promoting healthy lifestyles. A proud dad, he often shares videos of his family on social media.

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Xavier Serbiá

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Photo by Laurie Sagalyn/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images / Courtesy Xavier

While most Menudo alumni remained connected to music in one way or another, others chose a different path. This was the case for Serbiá, who left the group in 1983 and was replaced by Ray Reyes. At first, he participated in Proyecto M and released two albums under the name Xavier in 1991 and 1992. But later he headed to the mainland to study finance and eventually landed on the CNN Dinero program on CNN en Español. Today, he is considered a financial expert and gives master classes on digital platforms. He has 280,000 Instagram followers.

Charlie Massó

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Courtesy RCA Records / Johnny Louis/WENN/Alamy

A San Juan native, Massó replaced René Farrait at the peak of the band’s popularity. He participated in El Reencuentro but also released a solo album in 2002, Tributo al Príncipe, with covers of José José’s hits such as “El triste” and “Gavilán o paloma.” In 2016, he joined Farrait, Cancel and Reyes to form the spin-off band Menudomania Forever. “It was all very rustic,” Massó said during a TV interview, as he recalled his years with the band. “We were pioneers in an industry that was just developing, both in the technology and the artistic aspects.” He describes himself as an influencer and often shares photos of his family on his social networks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he offered virtual concerts, some as a tribute to José José.

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Ray Reyes

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Courtesy Estate of Ray Reyes

One of Menudo’s more tragic figures, Ray Reyes died of a heart attack at his residence in Puerto Rico in 2021 at age 51. Born in New York, Ray joined the band in 1983 to replace Xavier Serbiá. But he grew too tall for the group and had to leave Menudo. As a solo artist, he ventured into the Brazilian market with the album Minha Música. He participated in Proyecto M and enthusiastically accepted the challenge of El Reencuentro in the late ’90s. “When you listen to us live, you realize that our music has funk and sounds more aggressive than before,” he said during an interview in 1998. “We have a commitment to our fans, and this tour is a way to thank everyone who has supported us.” Reyes is survived by his two children, Marcos and Cecilia Reyes.

Abel Talamántez

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Courtesy Abel Talamántez

For this Mexican American singer from Pecos, Texas, Menudo was only the first of several bands that kept him busy for over three decades. Talamántez bridged the transition from Menudo to MDO, which favored a more mature sound, but in the mid-2000s, he was invited to join the Kumbia Kings, the successful Mexican cumbia group. He also was a member of the group Los Super Reyes and took part in the MDO reunion. He lives in Mexico City and is focused on launching his career as a solo artist with catchy singles, such as the recent “Nadie te da más.” He is also a successful music producer and is active on social media, especially through his TikTok account.

Ricky Martin

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Photo by Robert Scott/Fotos International/Getty Images / Pascal Le Segretain/amfAR/Getty Images for amfAR

Of all the Menudo members, Enrique Martín Morales is perhaps the only one who can be considered an international superstar. While Vuelve, his fourth album, released in 1998, included several hits and the World Cup anthem “La copa de la vida,” it was his next album that unleashed the Latin music explosion in the United States. Titled simply Ricky Martin (1999), the album included “Livin’ la vida loca,” cowritten by former Menudo bandmate Robi “Draco” Rosa. Since then, Ricky’s music has consistently stayed atop contemporary Latin music charts. The Puerto Rican singer is a proud and devoted father of four children: twins Matteo and Valentino, Lucía, and Renn. Since 2016, he has been in a solid relationship with Jwan Yosef, a visual artist of Syrian origin. The couple married in 2017. Ricky Martin continues to be an active philanthropist through his foundation.

Watch: 6 Things You Didn't Know About Ricky Martin

Robi “Draco” Rosa

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(left) Barry King/WireImage/Getty Images (right) Jessica Menda

A cancer survivor, Robi Rosa has a discography as mysterious as it is unique, much closer to alternative rock than to Menudo’s teen pop. His solo albums in the 1990s, particularly Frío (1994) and Vagabundo (1996), established him as a pioneer of Spanish-language rock, with dark tones, electric guitars and surreal lyrics. Unforgettable in concerts, Draco has not stopped experimenting. His latest work, Sound Healing (2022), proposes a daring mystical journey that uses natural sounds as healing instruments. In 2019, he separated from his wife and the mother of his two children, actress Angela Alvarado, after nearly 30 years of marriage. They were considered one of the most stable couples in the entertainment industry. Draco Rosa lives on his farm in Utuado, Puerto Rico, where he grows organic produce and continues to create music.


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