In Spanish, the word for soap opera is telenovela. And as anyone with even a limited knowledge of the Latin music scene knows, the eight years of Corpus Christi's Kumbia Kings has been full of drama of the highest order. Supposedly, this is their last tour, as founding members A.B. Quintanilla (Selena's brother) and Cruz "CK" Martinez hope to find success in the more lucrative American pop market. Controversy has followed the band since its inception, as a revolving door of members and bitter wrangling over creative control has taken some of the luster off the band's innovative mix of styles. The Kumbia Kings' brand of authentic, south-of-the-border panache combined with smoldering rhythm-and-blues sets efforts such as 2004's Fuego apart from American "boy" groups such as the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. But petty jealousies prevented the band from making legitimate progress. So fans will have to settle for this farewell tour, shaking their heads as vanity once again triumphs over common sense.
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