Monday, May 16, 2005

Country music industry ponders possibility of Hispanic superstar

Billboard Radio Monitor interviews country music industry insiders on why there are no Hispanic country music superstars.

"'I suspect that the reason we haven’t had a breakout Hispanic country star yet is the same reason that Texas music remains a largely regional force,' says Smokey Rivers, APD at KPLX (the Wolf) Dallas. 'Nashville insists that music is only successful if it’s appealing to everyone from Seattle to Secaucas [N.J.]. So the time, money and tools aren’t being invested in developing someone who would have a large Hispanic or Southwest appeal. That’s too bad.'"

"'My sense of it is that there is a big void that could be filled by an artist that can touch these new potential country fans,' Rivers adds. 'Considering that 15% of the Wolf’s audience now is Hispanic, I would love to have an artist that spoke to them.'"

"Boomer Kingston, OM for KGKL-AM-FM/KKCN San Angelo, Texas, says that although Hispanic artists have faced challenges in the past, 'I do believe that an Hispanic can become a major star in this format. It will just take the right set of circumstances for that to happen, just like those circumstances that any other artist hopes will come their way.'"

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