Aventura has, in the span of just one decade, seen its music travel to unexpected places.
Most recently, the "Kings of Bachata" performed as part of the Hispanic Heritage month celebration at the White House, where President Obama admitted to being a fan of the music. Aventura's brand of bachata, which originated in the Dominican Republic, combines traditional elements (romantic lyrics, rural strings and percussion) with modern R&B and hip-hop.
"That was probably one of the most important events we've attended. We were there representing our culture and our genre," says lead singer Anthony "Romeo" Santos, calling from a promotional stop in Mexico. "It was extremely overwhelming -- in a great way. We still can't believe it."
The group's credentials are also impressive. Aventura won the American Music Award for favorite Latin artist and is up for a leading seven trophies at Univision's Premio lo Nuestro (given out in February), including entertainer of the year. Current album The Last has topped Billboard's Latin albums chart for four months.
But even with so much success, Santos is still often surprised at where his group's music takes him.
"One of the places that we were definitely surprised to hear our song, and to actually go perform, was in Dubai," he says. "But another place that I was personally surprised to hear our song Obsesion was in a porno. I don't know what that was about.
He's quick, of course, to qualify that last statement.
"It's not like I was watching the porno and I heard the song," he says with a laugh. "Someone sent me a link, 'Listen to this.' It was really weird. I guess flattering, in a way."
If you're unfamiliar with Aventura and its fans, here's an easy-to-understand comparison. Imagine the screaming, crying, "OMG-I-love-you" hysteria of a Jonas Brothers concert. With better singers. And bilingual homemade signs. More @ blogs.chron.com