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Archive for Sunday, October 1, 2000

Reverse crossover: Teen pop sensations go Latin

October 1, 2000

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Call her Senorita Christina Aguilera, por favor.

Teen queen Aguilera, the big-voiced Grammy winner who scored with her 7-million-selling self-titled debut and its ubiquitous hit, "Genie in a Bottle," is a Latin artist now. The just-released "Mi Reflejo" album marks the Pittsburgh-raised singer's much-hyped foray into the Latin pop world.

"Genio Atrapado," the Spanish version of "Genie," snagged Aguilera a Latin Grammy nomination this month. She performed it on the Latin Grammy telecast.

And Aguilera is hardly the only pop star singing an old tune in a new language. Teen superstars 'N Sync crooned "Yo Te Voy a Amar," a Spanish version of the single, "This I Promise You," at the Latin Grammys. It's being promoted at Latin pop radio stations nationwide.

Fellow teen dreams 98 Degrees precede their new album, "Revelation," with the Span-glish single "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)."

Teen pop sensations go Latin. A reverse crossover, if you will.

Just as the Hispanic population has increased, the Latin music industry in the United States has enjoyed dramatic growth in the past decade it is now valued at nearly $325 million.

Last year's lucrative Latin pop crossover movement made Anglo stars out of Latin fixtures Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony. Suddenly, Middle America was swiveling its collective hips to Martin's "Livin' la Vida Loca" and swooshing to Iglesias' "Bailamos." It all adds up to the perfect moment for an Anglo-to-Latin musical trend.

"I really feel that it's the growth, the unstoppable growth, of the bicultural audience, coming out of the woodwork in the United States," said Latin music producer Rudy Perez. Perez , Aguilera's producer, spent 20 years working with Latin superstars.

"There are all these families that are crossing the borders and coming into the United States," he said. "Probably by the year 2010 there will be 80 million Latinos living in the United States, growing up with mixed cultures. That's the bicultural audience. I don't think the typical Latino (who) comes from Colombia is buying 98 Degrees, but their kids are. All these artists are crossing over because the audience is there."

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