Ricky Martin Joins Univision Music Competition Show as Judge

Ricky Martin is joining Simon Cowell's new Spanish language music competition show on Univision, La Banda, as a judge and executive producer.

Martin is the first judge to be announced on the show, which is set to premiere in September. It will seek to find the "ultimate Latino boyband through the largest talent search in U.S. Hispanic history," according to the announcement.

The reality competition was developed for the largest Spanish language TV network in the U.S. by Cowell's SYCO Entertainment and Haim Sabans' Saban Brands. It is being co-produced with Fremantle Media Latin America.

Cowell's credits include being a judge on American Idol and a judge and producer of X Factor.

Martin's latest studio album, A Quien Quiera Escuchar ("To anyone who wants to listen") was released Feb. 10 and debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. and Puerto Rican music charts.

"Our community needs musical projects in order to cultivate its talents," said Martin, "which is why I feel it's the perfect moment for a show like La Banda. There is so much talent to be discovered, and I'm sure we'll find the next musical phenomenon with the help of not only the judges but also the fans."

"Ricky's vast talents as a singer, actor and producer will greatly enhance our phenomenal production already underway," said Alberto Ciurana, president, programming and content, Univision Communications.

The show will seek out talented Latino male singers and put them together in bands. The winner will be a recording contract with Sony Music Latin. Boys 14 and older living in the U.S. and Puerto Rico can enter.

The producers, along with Cowell, include Kelly Belldegrun, executive producer for SYCO Entertainment; Nigel Hall, executive producer for SYCO Entertainment; Gert Verpeet, executive producer for FremantleMedia Latin America; Treicy Benavides, executive producer for FremantleMedia Latin America and Cisco Suarez, executive producer for Univision Communications.