LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Resplendent in a pink sequined micro-mini and fingerless gold gloves, Paulina Rubio shimmied her way through her first performance of her new single, "Causa y Efecto," at the Billboard Latin Music Awards in April. Setting off a stadium-style wave by the dancers and drummers onstage with a flick of her wrist, Rubio presented herself as a woman in command, ready to launch yet another hit album.
Whether she's participating in a Spanish-language version of the pro-Obama "Yes We Can" video; Twittering about the importance of smiling, yoga and chocolate ice cream; or taping green-conscious public service announcements (about not wearing clothes, to save energy from washing them), Rubio is relentlessly fabulous, with an upbeat sound to match.
The Latin pop world has precious few working divas with larger-than-life personalities, a track record of hits and mainstream name recognition. So Universal Latino is pulling out all the marketing stops behind "Gran City Pop," Rubio's ninth album, which will be released June 23 in the United States, Spain and Latin America. (It will be released at a later date in such countries as Portugal, Italy and Germany.)
Rubio executive-produced the album and collaborated with other top writers including Estefano, Lester Mendez and Coti. That diversity of styles is typical for her albums; "Gran City Pop" was inspired by Mexico City, Miami and Madrid, the cities where the album was written and recorded.
Rubio says that through the years she's earned her say in the creative process. "I try to be a chameleon and reinvent myself," she says. When fans "start dedicating the songs to people, I know that the connection was really well received."
Rubio's last three albums topped Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart, and her last one went gold or platinum in every Spanish-speaking country where it was released. In Spain, a key market for Rubio, her last album, "Ananda," went double platinum (160,000 copies), according to Universal.
In what may be the ultimate vote of confidence from the retail sector, Rubio joined Miley Cyrus and "American Idol" winner Kris Allen in performing at Wal-Mart's annual shareholders' meeting this year.
At Wal-Mart, the new album will be sold in the beauty department, next to Rubio's perfume, Oro. The perfume, which also sells at CVS, is slated for distribution at major retailers in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, and Central and South America. Rubio has begun making in-store appearances promoting the perfume, including a stop at the JCPenney in Puerto Rico's Plaza de las Americas Mall. She'll do more in-stores in the United States and internationally during the holiday shopping season, when the fragrance will be more widely available.
Oracle Beauty Brands vice president of marketing and sales Paul Miller says it's the first time the company has partnered with a Latin artist on a fragrance.