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Salsa Boricua is salsa made in, or associated with, Puerto Rico. By the mid-'80s Puerto Rico became a major centre of the music, represented by El Gran Combo, its former vocalist Andy Montañez, Sonora Ponceña, Booby Valentín, Willie Rosario, Tommy Olivencia and singer Frankie Ruiz (ex-Olivencia), among others. In '82 New York-based Louie Ramírez unwittingly planted the seed of a resurgence of salsa boricua after the massive '82-'86 merengue boom with his production Noche Caliente, giving romantic ballads an uptempo salsa makeover. Using a similar approach, P.R. band Conjunto Chaney had a moderate hit with their eponymous album on PDC in '84. Top Hits (TH) signed Chaney's co-lead singer Eddie Santiago to a solo deal. His '86 debut LP Atrevido y Diferente (produced by Julio César Delgado) further built-on Ramírez's idea to unleash an unstoppable trend - variously dubbed salsa romántica, salsa sensual, salsa erótica and sexy salsa - ousting the recording of robust, progressive and swinging salsa (a.k.a. salsa gordo or salsa dura, meaning fat salsa and hard salsa respectively), long the stock-in-trade of Rosario, Valentín, Olivencia, Sonora Ponceña, Mulenze, etc. Notable Puerto Rican singers that became stars during the height of the salsa romántica craze and surfaced on the other side included Tito Rojas, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Tony Vega (latter two both ex-Rosario). Salsa romántica's stranglehold began to loosen by the early '90s and the fatter, harder sound slowly started to re-emerge along with the arrival of new salsa boricua hit-makers such as Victor Manuelle. - John Child