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There is much that could be said about the complex personality of salsa singer Brenda K. Starr, the beautiful and at times controversial New Yorker. Although she has been misunderstood by some at times, no one can argue that she isn't a bona fide musical talent. From the days when Mariah Carey was one of her backup singers, Brenda K. Starr has been a name in both the Pop and Salsa scenes. Over time, the Puerto Rican songstress gravitated to her native rhythmic orientation and became a well known salsa singer with a well-earned following and both name and musical recognition all over the world.

The sensual Latina is assured to hit the charts with strength with her latest release, the hot and suggestive Atrévete a Olvidarme. It translates as "I dare you to forget me". This is a vehicle sure to bring her back into the swing of the Salsa beat after a two-year hiatus. Following the example of The Queen of Latin Soul, the incomparable late La Lupe, Starr placed her career on hold while it was in full swing and to spend quality time with her youngest daughter. Her concern for the welfare of her child, now 4, and to an extent the direction of her musical career, turned into a two-year absence for the well-liked salsera.

During this period, Starr was looking to develop the right musical combination for her return to the stage and with the help of a close group of trusted friends, she began the search for the components of a special project that would mark her return. Destiny brought her together with life-long friend John Holohan, a former top executive at Toys 'R Us who was venturing into the music business himself. The combination of savvy singer and Holohan's shrewd business acumen proved to be a perfect match and Starr, under the label "Mi Voz", is about to hit the radio waves.

The stylized Starr will surprise many of her fans. After months of solidly working out a daily exercise routine, Brenda is a picture of health, beauty and sensuality. There is no doubt that she is back mentally, physically and of course, musically. John Holohan himself brought the anticipated return of the Diva of Salsa to me as a preview and I must say, I'm happy to be the first journalist reviewing it.

After giving the CD a whirl, I came out extremely impressed with a truly exciting performance that is bound to bring Brenda back to the top of the charts in more than one musical genre. In my opinion, Starr returns with a well thought-out and solid musical production. It is sure to make her many fans very happy and certainly will bring new devotees into the Brenda K. Starr wagon.

Atrévete a Olvidarme conjures the vocal talents of Starr with the arrangements of producers Isidro Infante, Ray Contreras and Ricky Gonzalez, bringing together three different musical styles that match with the diva's musical delivery. The single "Tu Eres" is to be released in May, with the full recording slated for the end of June. Upon listening to the recording a second time, I must state that this is undoubtedly the highlight of Brenda's formidable music career. It is a very musical recording that delivers perfect coordination between arrangements and vocals.

With a solid mix of scorching Salsa and a good representation of
ballads, there will be plenty to listen to from Starr this year. The title song "Atrévete a Olvidarme" is a sultry ballad that exudes the sensuality of Starr in combination with the versatile arrangements of Ray Contreras. Another ballad produced by Contreras, "Te Voy a Enamorar" is equally splendid. The same sing then produced by popular pianist and arranger Ricky González on a salsa groove is surely going to have the DJs spinning to choose which one to play. The same twin presentation occurs with "Ya no soy igual", produced both as a ballad and a salsa. What a great idea!

Holohan surely has a well thought-out plan for the reemergence of Starr, one that will catch the market by surprise and bring her back were she belongs, right into the center stage of Salsa. For bookings and appearances, contact John Holohan (305)542-1118.