April 25, 2001 -- Menudo was one of the first Latin pop groups to gain worldwide success — but because the group only kept members until the age of 16, the individual success was often fleeting.
With its Latin pop meets Children of the Corn formula, the band burned through 35 members — including Ricky Martin and Robi Rosa — since its formation in 1977.
But one of the last crews to bear the name Menudo found a way to keep going — changing the band's name to MDO.
"MDO is the evolution of the group Menudo," singer Alex Grullon explains. "We decided to change [the name] because we felt our image wasn't fitting with Menudo anymore … kids from 12 to 15, and changing of the members and all that stuff. So that's why we rearranged everything — we actually used to call it, between ourselves, MDO anyway. We feel it's an honor to be a part of this history, to be a part of Menudo, so we're happy."
Bandmate Abel Talamantez adds, "I know they are working on putting together another group — the actual kids from 12 to 15 that they interchange as they get older and as their voices change. I think that they're working on that project, but for now, we're MDO. We're the only ones that exist for now."
The group showed up on Saturday in Los Angeles to perform its new single, "It's So Hard to Forget" ("Te Quise Olvidar") at the ALMA Awards in Los Angeles. The single appears on Little Piece of Heaven, due for release in the United States next month.
If the group's pop horizon's don't continue to expand with MDO, Grullon is not too worried — Menudo, apparently, looks good on a resume.
Aside from musical success stories like Martin and Rosa, Grullon says, "We also have [former] members that have also excelled in other careers. There are lawyers and guys that are doing TV, so it's kind of like a stepping stone for whatever you want to do."