Latin supergroup Las 3 Divas has announced a tour schedule
to entertain troops overseas. Sponsored by musical
giant Gibson/Epiphone Guitars and Armed Forces Entertainment,
the 21 day tour will launch Sept. 30, 2005 and conclude on Oct. 16, 2005.
Regularly surveying across the world troops to ascertain
their entertainment tastes, Armed Forces Entertainment receives the same
request year after year: Latin, Latin and more Latin. Las 3 Divas, a vibrant
Latin group bringing together the seasoned musical talents of Shelly Lares,
Elida Reyna and Stephani Montiel, have answered the call to bring this
entertainment to U.S. military personnel serving overseas.
Maintaining demanding solo careers prior to the formation
of Las 3 Divas, the artists were asked to perform a tribute piece together
in honor of the late Latin powerhouse, Laura Canales at the Tejano National
Convention in August of this year. The performance received such acclaim
that the solo vocalists decided it was time to officially join forces and
record an album together. Las 3 Divas released their first self-titled album
in September 2005, and features both single and trio performances by the
artists. The first single from their album “La Cumbia Del Oeste”
has already hit number one on Texas Latin radio stations.
3 Divas will begin their whirlwind tour on Tuesday, September 27 and return
home on Monday, October 17. The group will travel with an 11-piece ensemble.
The 21-day tour through the Pacific Rim will include Commander Naval Forces
Marianas, Guam (Sept. 30); Anderson Air Force Base, (Oct. 1) Yokosuka Naval
Base (Oct. 4); Misawa (Oct. 6); Yongson Garrison, (Oct. 8); Kunsan Air Base,
(Oct. 9); Camp Casey, Korea (Oct. 11); Camp Humphries, Korea (Oct. 12); Camp
Red Cloud, Korea (Oct. 13); and Camp Foster, Korea, (Oct. 15-16). Las 3 Divas
will also visit several other remote locations as well as Navy ships during
the trip. As an added bonus, the Divas will be giving away an
DR-200 acoustic guitar at each show!
Epiphone's Don Mitchell talked with Stefani, Elida and
Shelly on September 26th, the day before they left on their Armed Forces
Tell me how you each got started in
SHELLY: Most of my family is musically inclined.
My dad was playing music before I was born so music has been a big part of
my life from the start… and really from both sides of my family. None
of them were crazy enough to take it on as a profession though! I started
performing pop music when I was young. I did a lot of Linda Rhonstadt, Olivia
Newton John, everything from country to rock. Initially, Tejano music was
just something I did at home, weddings or parties but I’ve now been
performing Tejano music for twenty-three years.
STEFANI: My family was also musically inclined
so I grew up around music. I started singing with my dad’s band when
I was three and recorded my first album when I was five. It’s been great
ELIDA: I began performing in talent shows when
I was eight and by the time I was nine, I knew I was going to be a singer.
Through my high school years I was in several local groups and then when
I entered college I met my band Avante which I was with for eight years.
We were signed to a label and the rest has been history.
You all three obviously had successful
solo careers. What was the inspiration to join forces and work as a
Las 3 Divas: (left
to right) Stefani Montiel, Elida Reyna and Shelly
SHELLY: I was doing a show with Stefani a while
back and it was actually her dad Dwight that suggested it would be cool if
the three of us could collaborate on a project. It was something the men
in our genre had done before but never had three women done a collaborative
project. We tried it and It just worked really well.
STEFANI: It’s exciting to be the first girls
to attempt this!
Do you find it hard to maintain your
solo careers with the Divas being so popular and time consuming?
STEFANI: It is a lot of work to try and do both
but I think it has only bettered our solo careers.
ELIDA: Yes, and I really think the Divas is unique
in that we are a group and yet we are able to maintain our individual
personalities on stage. It really works well.
How has all of this impacted your family
STEFANI: Well, I have two kids… my daughter
is nine and my son is six. I love them to death and they are my life so I
have been crying all day knowing I will leave them in the morning! (Laughter)
They are wonderful though, they understand what we’re doing and
they’re every excited about it. They’ve gone to school and told
all their friends and teachers that we’re going overseas to play for
the troops and everyone is very supportive.
SHELLY: I’m not married and I don’t have
kids… I do have a dog! Stefani and Elida are great examples of how I
want to be when I have kids. Maintaining a career and having children at
the same time is not easy and I have two good examples in front of me.
STEFANI: Thank You!
ELIDA: Wow, that’s nice!
SHELLY: But even though I am single Don, I’m
really not the flirtatious type like you might hear from these guys! (Laughter)
Now, I do tend to stretch the truth now and then just a little bit…
but that’s a whole other story! (More laughter)
ELIDA: I have been married for seven years and
I have a five year old daughter and a son who will soon be four.
SHELLY: And you know Don, its tough. If you look
at other genres like country for example, they usually have the ability to
take their children with them but in our industry traveling is really hard
so it’s not so feasible. It’s just amazing for them to be able
to say goodbye to the kids and be away from them. And they are such good
kids… actually I’ve adopted them all so I guess I really have four
(left to right) Elida, Stefani
and Shelly with their Epiphones.
Tell me how the Armed Forces Entertainment
tour came about.
STEFANI: The Pentagon was interested in focusing
on entertainment for the Latino soldiers which they had never done before.
It’s was not an easy task for them because they had to find the right
person or group and not just a group that plays Spanish music. That
wouldn’t work. They needed a group that did a little bit of everything
and the Divas fit that mold. It’s taken a full year to finally get all
of this together and we’re honored that out of about 100 different groups,
they chose us to go!
SHELLY: We’re really excited and a little
nervous too. It’s part of the world that we’ve never been to before.
We’ve traveled the United States and Mexico but never to the other side
of the world and never for that many days but we’re really looking forward
to it. We’re just really happy that we’re going to have the ability
entertain our troops. We’re really excited about the opportunity
STEFANI: We had a special church mass the other
day and we got a standing ovation from the people. You just see the appreciation,
especially from the people that have family in the service. They understand
what it means to them.
And I understand you guys are filming
and there could be a behind the scenes DVD when you get back.
ELIDA: Yes, you can definitely look for that. It
will be neat for our fans to see what goes on behind the scenes.
So where do you see yourselves in six
SHELLY: I think we’ll be doing the same thing.
The Divas is really just getting started. We’ve not even had a chance
to go on the road and promote the CD yet so I think we will be doing
STEFANI: I don’t think it’s even close
to reaching its full potential yet. People are just starting to kind of hear
about the Divas.
I appreciate you guys chatting today.
I know you are leaving the country tomorrow morning. And by the way, thanks
so much for choosing Epiphone instruments to play!
STEFANI: It’s our pleasure. Shelly is the
“real” guitar player in the group (laughter) but I am learning
fast. It has been so fun. The only thing I haven’t liked is the blisters
I’m getting on my fingers… and having to cut my nails! I used to
have these nice, long, pretty nails and now I’m like, I can’t play
with these nails…off they go!
SHELLY: I’ve been playing since I was in my
fourth grade choir and I love my Epiphones. Seeing the girls with the guitars
now is so cool. It’s a whole new persona you take on when you put those
ELIDA: Yeah, then you get to ROCK!
Thanks girls and we look forward to
seeing some pictures from your overseas tour!
For more information about Las 3 Divas visit
Armed Forces Entertainment is a military command operation
that through the military and its various branches provides entertainment
to U.S. troops stationed overseas with priority given to those in contingency
operations and remote and isolated locations. Founded in 1951 Armed Forces
Entertainment brings a touch of home to more than 500,000 troops annually,
embracing the best of Americana that stretches across all genres of
entertainment. Armed Forces Entertainment offers entertainers the opportunity
to reach an appreciative audience, and fulfill their civic duty to
America’s finest and bravest as they serve their country across the
globe. For additional information please visit