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Pop latinidad: Puerto Ricans in the latin explosion, 1999

Author(s): Licia Fiol-Matta

Journal: Centro Journal
ISSN 1538-6279

Volume: 14;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 27;
Date: 2002;
Original page

The article compares the media personas and musical performances of two Puerto Rican pop megastars, the Nuyorican Marc Anthony and the island-born Ricky Martin. I argue that both artists actively perform a Latinidad that is consumer-oriented, in which Puerto Ricanness, or better put, their performance of Puerto Ricanness, is fundamental. I relate the artists' commercial success to the general appeal to clichéd visions of local, exotic flavor, in Martin's case, and a weak "Puerto Rican-American" hyphen in Marc Anthony¿s. I also consider the impact of marketing categories on the music itself. Drawing on previous work by scholars in Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, I attempt to make a contribution toward a critique of "consumer ethnicities" and "mapping latinidad" in the U.S. I examine the media coverage during 1999 by drawing on articles in the mass media and on various TV specials aired during 1999 and early 2000. 1 also provide a brief analysis of the crossover CDs that were at the heart of this pop phenomenon.
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