If you want a look at the new face of Latin crossover, Frankie Bautista is your guy. The Tijuana native and former member of the Grammy-nominated Kumbia Kings went solo a couple of years ago with a collection of R&B ballads that sold respectably stateside. But the follow-up, The One, leverages that modest success into a far more chart-savvy affair, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts earlier this year. There's a spicier mix of material -- including some dabblings with the sound of this summer, reggaeton -- and his collaborations with Usher songwriter Bryan-Michael Cox will undoubtedly further the frequent comparisons between Mr. Six-Pack and Frankie J.
Frankie will be preceded at the 96.5 KISS-FM Birthday Bomb by a crew of new rock, R&B, and hip-hop acts, including Latino performers Baby Bash and Natalie, who are signed to the same management company. So far, however, of this collection of up-and-comers, it's crunk-and-B singer Brooke Valentine who's gotten the most ink. And deservedly so: The Houston vocalist is supporting a diverse debut album, Chain Letter, with a lot more to recommend it than just its obligatory (and obligatorily raunchy) Lil' Jon-produced hit, "Girlfight."