Mexican teen rides “Cheetah” to wider audience

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) – You may not know Belinda Peregrin. But the Mexican pop star has already been announced with a Cheetah Girls roar, at least to the nearly 8 million mostly young viewers who tuned in to the Disney Channel at the end of August.


Belinda — as the 17-year-old styles herself — has sold more than 2 million copies of her albums worldwide, including soundtracks for telenovelas she starred in and her self-titled 2003 debut on BMG U.S. Latin.

On her last tour, she sold-out 11 nights at Mexico City's National Auditorium, breaking the female record at the 10,000-seater.

In the United States, "Belinda" sold a modest 83,000 copies. But she stands to get a major boost in exposure from her role in Disney Channel's "The Cheetah Girls 2: When in Spain," which premiered August 25. In the Latin-themed movie, she plays a Spanish rival of Raven-Symone's singing crew. In addition to her first English-speaking role, Belinda performs English and Spanish songs on the soundtrack, which debuted at No. 5 on Billboard's Top 200 with 87,000 copies.

Given that the first Cheetah Girls album has moved 1.6 million copies in the United States — and that a dubbed Spanish version of the TV movie sequel with English subtitles will broadcast on the Disney Channel September 15 — the Disney affiliation represents a potential major crack at the bilingual youth market. It's good timing for Belinda, whose pop-rock album "Utopia," will be released on EMI/Televisa in October.

"I'm shy speaking English all the time, but I write in English," says Belinda, who has two English-language songs on "Utopia." "I would love to do an English record."

EMI/Televisa recently released "Ni Freud, Ni Tu Mama," ("Neither Freud, nor your mother"), the first single from "Utopia." Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, president of EMI/Televisa, calls Belinda's Disney role "a very good and very positive coincidence," but insists that the marketing focus for "Utopia" will remain Spanish-speaking youth in the United States, Latin America and Spain.

"Belinda has incredible taste for music," Lopez-Negrete says. "She knows exactly what she wants and what her target audience is expecting from her . . . We have plans down the road to go after the English-language market but not now."

Reuters/Billboard

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Hi, I'm Mr. DAPs, the Founder, and Editor in Chief of DAPS MAGIC! I can be regularly found at Disneyland with my hat and bow tie taking pictures and simply enjoying the Happiest Place on Earth. I'm also the weekly host of GEEKS CORNER and your Disney reporter for DISNEY REPORTER on DAPS MAGIC's YouTube channel. I am also now honored to announced that I'm a Brand Ambassador with Her Universe! Find me on Twitter and Instagram. as I'd love to connect with you. Make sure and say hi!

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