Ricky Martin and Simon Cowell Searching for "Next Ultimate Latino Boy Band" in Miami

Ricky Martin, searching for súper estrellas.
Ricky Martin, searching for súper estrellas.
Courtesy of Sony Music Latin

Who will be the next Ricky Martin?

The Puerto Rican heartthrob started his career, shakin' that bon-bon as a member of legendary Latin boy band Menudo when he was just 12 years old.

Now lil' Kiki is all grown up (actually, he's 43) and he's teaming up with Simon Cowell -- the man behind American Idol, The X Factor, and even One Direction -- to launch a new TV talent show, La Banda, set to seach for las próximas súper estrellas masculinas de la música latina.

There will be auditions in six cities, from Los Angeles to San Juan, and yes, Miami too.

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Developed by Univision, Cowell, and Haim Saban's Saban Brands, La Banda promises "the largest talent search in U.S. Hispanic TV history."

Until last night, though, the show didn't have a famous face. But during Univision's Premio Lo Nuestro pre-show special, Martin made the big announcement that he'd be joining la búsqueda for "the next ultimate Latino boy band." (And collecting an executive producer credit too.)

The quest will begin next month in L.A. and then take a trip to Ricky's homeland of Puerto Rico before wrapping in downtown Miami.

La Banda Audition Dates

March 7 Millenium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

March 14 Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, San Juan, PR

March 21 Westin Oaks Houston at The Galleria, Houston, TX

March 28 TKP New York Conference Center, New York, NY

April 4 Courtyard Marriot Chicago Downtown River North, Chicago, IL

April 11 Hilton Downtown Miami, Miami, FL

Like lots of other pop stars, Martin has been making a career of coaching wannabe súper estrellas on "music-based reality entertainment competitions." In 2012, he joined the cast of The Voice Australia. And two years later, he joined La Voz México.

But that's not to say his own music career is lagging. After all, Ricky just announced the U.S. leg of his near-interminable One World Tour. And he also released his new album, A Quien Quiera Escuchar, to a number-one debut on both U.S. and Puerto Rican charts. So who better than Kiki to instruct young ones in the ways of boy banding? He's made a 31-year career of it.

All aspiring masculinas de la música latina must register online at LaBandaOficial.com. But only "selected contestants will receive a golden ticket, which will allow them to participate in a private audition with the production team."

Another rule: "The talent search is open to boys 14 and older residing in the United States and Puerto Rico."

Oh, and the prize: "The winning band will be managed by Ricky Martin."

La Banda will premiere on Univision in September 2015.

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Ricky Martin and Simon Cowell's La Banda Auditions. Saturday, April 11. Hilton Miami Downtown, 1601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Visit LaBandaOficial.com.


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