Music Roundup: Julio Iglesias, Mana, Fat Joe and More...

Photo: Zandy Mangold / Retna Ltd.

Julio Iglesias, Jr. Wins CMTs Gone Country
...No, seriously. Julio Iglesias, Jr., brother to Enrique and son of the most infamous Spanish crooner who ever lived, just beat out Sisqo, Dee Snider and Bobby Brown to be crowned the winner of Gone Country, a reality competition on Country Music Television. Although Julio’s language barrier had been a concern, the singer ultimately triumphed due to his sexy voice and puro charisma, just like the other men in his family. Said the show’s host John Rich (of star country duo Big & Rich) to Billboard, “We have been looking for a bridge to bridge that gap between the Hispanic community and country music for forever. We could really use a couple of artists that speak their language and speak our language and bridge the two together. If he wanted to stick with it and take a serious run at it, he could do something." Aw shucks, that's sweet.

Maná Set to Drop Arde El Cielo in April
Our Biggest Band Ever, Maná, has been touring almost nonstop since the release of their last disc, Amar Es Combatir, but it looks like the group still found time to hit the studio in between shows. According to their reps at Warner Music Latino, Fher and the boys will release their next guaranteed-hit album, Arde El Cielo, on April 29, just one week before they end their world tour on May 8 in Monterrey, Mexico. There’s still not too many details on the album itself, but the first single, “Si No Te Hubieras Ido,” will hit radio on March 12, so the world will get a taste of what Maná has in store very soon…

Out This Week: Angel y Khriz and Fat Joe, Back with New Albums
After a six-year hiatus (albeit one that included two megahit singles, “Ven Bailalo” and “Carita de Angel,”) reggaetoneros Angel y Khriz are back with Showtime, their sophomore album and one that’s quickly reviving our faith in the reggaeton genre. The guys make everybody's wait worthwhile with forward-looking beats that give new meaning to the term fusion, as evidenced by album’s hook-heavy first single, the vallenato-infused “La Vecina.” There are 15 other hot joints where that came from. In fact, we’ve been playing the album day from start to finish, and we never thought we’d say that about a reggaeton record. [Check out our exclusive Q&A with Angel y Khriz here], and be sure to listen to our streaming MP3 of their new single, “La Vecina.”

Also out this week is Elephant in the Room, the latest album by Bronx rapper Fat Joe. We can’t lie—Joey Crack’s never been our favorite rapper, and it’s tough to swallow his tendency to latch himself onto the hip-hop movement of the moment instead of sticking to the classic New York style that made him hot in the first place. If you’re looking for proof of that point, just glance over these lyrics: “Change your style up, switch to Southpaw,” from the Lil Wayne-assisted “Make It Rain” and “Ghost ride the whip like I’m from Oakland, y’all” from Joe's new joint, “I Won’t Tell,” featuring J. Holiday. Of course, that latter song is a chart-topping hit at the moment…all’s fair in the singles game, and Joe knows that better than anybody.

--Monica Herrera

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