The Kumbia All Starz were born of the schism between bandleader A.B. Quintanilla III and bandmate Cruz Martinez that split the genre-defining group Los Kumbia Kings. Quintanilla and Martinez first worked together backing up tejano queen Selena, sister to Quintanilla and a crossover vocalist who introduced tejano music into America's mainstream. Four years after Selena's tragic death in 1995, Los Kumbia Kings emerged, with repertoire written by Martinez and Quintanilla on their debut record, Amor, Familia y Respeto.... The band enjoyed unprecedented success, including numerous chart-topping records and the creation of an immense fan base throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Rumors of mismanagement, theft, and betrayal struck in late 2006, resulting in the departure of founding member Quintanilla. The battle between Martinez and Quintanilla was waged in the spotlight of Latin American media, including confrontations and bold statements made during live interviews on talk TV programs such as Christina and El Gordo y la Flaca. Determined to maintain a successful recording career, Quintanilla formed the splinter group A.B. Quintanilla's Kumbia All Starz. Utilizing Kumbia Kings veterans, of which there have been many, Quintanilla released his debut under the new band name in late 2006, entitled Ayer Fue Kumbia Kings, Hoy Es Kumbia All Starz, which landed the number one spot on Billboard's Latin Pop Albums chart. Though for a time Martinez maintained and continued to work under the Kumbia Kings name, a Mexican court later awarded Quintanilla rights to the name. Quintanilla continues to work and publish using the Kumbia All Starz moniker, though it is widely thought that the band's identity will one day be seen as a footnote in the greater Kumbia Kings Kontroversy. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez
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