A.B. Quintanilla Eyes Label Deal, New Album

A.B. Quintanilla, founder and leader of EMI Latin band A.B. Quintanilla Y Los Kumbia Kings, has inked a deal to form a joint-venture label with the major, to be called King of Bling. Also partnered in

A.B. Quintanilla, founder and leader of EMI Latin band A.B. Quintanilla Y Los Kumbia Kings, has inked a deal to form a joint-venture label with the major, to be called King of Bling. Also partnered in the label is Quintanilla's bandmate Cruz Martinez. Quintanilla previously served as the lead songwriter/bandleader for his late sister, Selena.

Acts will be signed and developed by Quintanilla and Martinez, who will also do A&R consulting work for EMI in the central U.S. region. King of Bling albums will be marketed, promoted, and distributed by EMI Latin. The first signing, progressive norteno band Big Circo, will release its debut album June 18.

The King of Bling deal coincides with the Kumbia Kings renewing their contract with EMI Latin for five more albums. Last week, the band's "Shhh!" won the Billboard Latin Music Award for best pop album, group. The band, which has now shortened its name to Los Kumbia Kings, is at work on an album that will be roughly 80% in Spanish and 20% in English, for a fall release.

"It's the second phase of the Kumbia Kings," Quintanilla tells Billboard. "A.B. will still be there 1,000%, but it's time to let other talent shine in the group. It's like the difference between Cheer and new, improved Cheer. In order for the group to go forward, I want Kumbia Kings to mature into something else."