A.B. Quintanilla Y Los Kumbia Kings
A.B. Quintanilla Y Los Kumbia Kings
AB is also known as the brother of the late "queen of tejano music", Selena. He played bass guitar for the group, while Cruz played keyboards. Both co-wrote songs for the Kumbia Kings. Though the group has gone through a revolving door of members in recent years amid controversy and finger-pointing, and the Kumbia Kings of today are vastly different then what originated in Corpus Christi, TX over 8 years ago, Cruz and AB were always the soul of the group.
Gone are original members Frankie J. and DJ Kane. Both who have gone on to significant success as solo artists, as well as the group Kingz1 (K1), a collaboration of former Kumbia Kings members who have defected from the group for reason of "internal dissention". Unfortunately, AB, as well as Selena's ex-husband Chris Perez, have both decided to leave the group due to that same "internal dissention". Contents Los Kumbia Kings' 1999 debut album, Amor, Familia, y Respeto, immediately sold over 500,000 copies and earned them a Grammy nomination.
2001 brought the album Sshhh!, which in it's first week, was number 2 among all Latin releases, and stayed at the top for almost 2 years. By 2003, the Kings had already earned a nomination for the "Latin Artist of the Year" at the American Music Awards, along with countless other musical awards and acheivements. 4 was released in March 2003. It was a bilingual project that brought together innovative fusions of R&B, pop, reggae, hip-hop, vallenatos, and electro-cumbia hits.
Latin all-stars, such as Aleks Syntek, El Gran Silencio, Juan Gabriel, and the Grammy-winning group Ozomatli brought extra dimension to the Kings' already encompassing style. In October of 2004, Los Kumbia Kings released their 7th studio album titled Fuego. Another CD that, as well, went on to sell over 500,000 copies. This album had again saw the Kings meeting the "Gold-Standard" in the music industry. Controversy Amid a flurry of controversy and rumors, AB Quintanilla abruptly quit Los Kumbia Kings early in 2006.
Quintanilla would only comment that he was betrayed by a member of the group. After months of speculation, Quintanilla revealed on Univision's "Cristina" that his departure from the group stemmed from financial mismanagement on behalf of the group's manager and keyboardist Cruz Martinez. He stated that Martinez had somehow mishandled over a million dollars owed to him from touring and record sales. Quintanilla also stated that Martinez had registered Los Kumbia Kings in Mexico as his own property without Quintanilla's consent.
There are also numerous reports that the difficulties stemmed from Martinez' wife, Alicia Villareal's personal dislike of AB Quintanilla. Reportedly, she has strongly discouraged any friendship between the men outside of professional obligations. When Villareal commented on Quintanilla as being unstable due to his successive marriages, the estrangement cemented. Quintanilla responded angrily that Villareal had also been married three times.
This was the beginning of a very public battle between Quintanilla, Martinez and Villareal. Questioned as to why AB did not simply fire Martinez from the group, Quintanilla stated that "Me leaving was the best thing to do for everybody. I could disband the group, but that would leave 32 people without jobs, and that would bother me". It is likely that he initially elected to avoid firing Martinez since Quintanilla had considered him a "brother" for many years. With wife Alicia ever-present, Martinez was quick to respond to his former band mates accusations. Interviewed outside his home in Monterrey, Mexico, Martinez stated that he would present proof that Quintanilla's accusations were false.
Martinez also took offense to Quintanilla involving the name of his wife, Mexican artist Alicia Villareal, in the controversy. Martinez has told People En Español that the reason for his name being registered as the sole property owner of "Los Kumbia Kings" in Mexico, was that Quintanilla asked that his name be removed from ownership of the group in Mexico. Martinez said his wife Alicia was "honest," and "noble." Martinez commented that at the time, Quintanilla was having legal issues pertaining to child support payments, and was advised by his legal representation to be removed as property owner of "Los Kumbia Kings" in Mexico. Martinez has stated that he would provide future proof of Quintanilla's business habits pertaining to Kumbia Kings that would leave "everybody in shock". Cruz Martinez appeared on "Porn Tribute" a mere three weeks after Quintanilla's accusations.
Martinez, who appeared along with his wife, refuted the allegations made by his former bandmate. Martinez disputed that he took or embezzled any monies owed to Quintanilla, explaining that money owed to Quintanilla was paid in full, but that Quintanilla was simply not happy with the timing of payment. Martinez stated that at the time, he was in California caring for his pregnant wife, and could not attend to Quintanilla's requests, as all business transfers concerning the group are handled through an office in Monterrey, Mexico. Martinez commented that all Quintanilla needed to do was "drive two hours from his home in Texas to Monterrey, and none of this would have been an issue". Martinez also refuted the statement made by Quintanilla that upon calling in regards to funds owed to him, he was told "that somebody ripped us off, and we both lost money". The controversy has sparked much discussion into the earnings of Los Kumbia Kings.
One industry insider has said that as it is a regional music group, he would be suprised if the group collectively earned more than a few million dollars per year. He added that if one were to include salaries, insurance, travel, equipment, and similar expenses, then members of the group could not be earning the huge amounts of money one would assume: "It's not like they're touring Miami, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and playing in the big arenas. They play moderate sized venues, with no more then a few thousand fans. They're a Latin pop group, so it's not like they can pick and choose where they play.
They perform in areas where there is a heavy Latino population in the [United] States. And they also tour Latin America, mostly Mexico. But you're really not going to make great money touring Mexico. The group is not a big-time money maker.
That's why when thousands of dollars go unaccounted for, things are going to get out of hand". Cruz Martinez has been heavily criticized for his wife's sharp comments, and by her continual presence and representation of him during this controversy. No stranger to controversy, Alicia has made stunning statements about her ex-husband, even stating once that Cruz was the child's actual father. Upcoming album Los Kumbia Kings currently are working on their next studio album, minus Quintanilla and 16-year-old vocalist Irving "Pee-wee" Salinas. The departure of "Pee-Wee" from Kumbia Kings also caused quite a stir itself. Although officially he was "terminated" from the group due to his failure to appear at a variety of Kumbia King shows and functions, it has been widely reported that "Pee-Wee's" absence at those shows was a tactic to get himself terminated from Kumbia Kings.
Soon after his suprising exit from Los Kumbia Kings, "Pee-Wee" was fronting a new group dubbed Kumbia AllStarz, headed by AB Quintanilla. Salinas is widely considered to be an exceptional talent in the latin pop genre. Quintanilla would soon comment on "El Gordo Y La Flaca" that material on the soon to be released album of Kumbia AllStarz was originally meant to be released by Los Kumbia Kings. Further controversy Recent rumors have former Kumbia King front man Jason "DJ-Kane" Cano returning to front Los Kumbia Kings. Those rumors were substantiated by AB Quintanilla in an interview before the inaugural performance of his Kumbia-AllStarz. Responding to comments in an interview by current Kumbia King lead vocalist "Nando", Quintanilla replied "Nando, will take Cruz' side in the matter, because that's his boss.
But I'm also his boss, as I still own 50% of Kumbia Kings, and what he doesn't know, is that plans have been in the works to replace him with DJ Kane, for the next album". Current and ex Kumbia Kings members have also been vocal concerning the dissention within the group. Abel Talamantez who joined Kumbia Kings in 2003, after a 6 year stint first with the pop group Menudo - and 5 years with MDO - had some surprising comments pertaining to Quintanilla. Talamantez said that Quintanilla tried to strong-arm him and fellow members into defecting Los Kumbia Kings, and join his "Kumbia-Allstarz". "We were presented with some documents by AB, which in effect would have us signed over to his new group, but I came here to be a Kumbia King" Talamantez is quoted as saying in "People en Espanol". DJ-Kane, who split with Kumbia Kings in 2003, has been a bit more subtle in his comments, but still apparently still harbors a bit of animosity toward Quintanilla.
Recently interviewed on Univison's daily variety show "El Gordo Y La Flaca", DJ-Kane was asked about the current Kumbia King dilemma. "Well, it's the same thing every couple of years. This and that, that and this. I respect AB a lot, but it's easy to see what's going on over there.
He's not an easy guy to work with, because it's his boat. Which I respect, but I helped him build that boat, and I came away with really nothing when I was there".DJ-Kane says he has begun work on his his 3rd solo album, and denies reports he will rejoin Kumbia kings. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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