Merengue is a type of music and dance originating in the Dominican Republic which has become one of the most popular genres throughout Latin America and major cities in the United States. The etymology of its name is much disputed. It may derive from the French dessert meringue, but it is also likely to be related to similar West African words related to dance and music. Merengue was first mentioned around the middle of the 19th century. In the Dominican Republic the genre was promoted by Rafael Trujillo, the dictator from the 1930 to 1961, who turned it into the country’s national music and dance style. In the United States it was first popularized by New York-based groups and bandleaders like Rafael Petiton Guzman, beginning in the 1930s, and Angel Viloria y su Conjunto Típico Cibaeño in the 1950s. It was during the Trujillo era that the merengue “Compadre Pedro Juan”, by Luis Alberti, became an international hit and standardized the 2-part form of the merengue. Internationally known merengue singers and groups include Fernando Villalona, Juan Luis Guerra, Eddy Herrera, Toño Rosario & Los Hermanos Rosario, Los Toros Band, Sergio Vargas, Wilfrido Vargas, Johnny Ventura, Bonny Cepeda, Miriam Cruz & Las Chicas Del Can, Joseito Mateo, Luis Ovalles, the aforementioned Angel Viloria, El Cieguito de Nagua, Kinito Mendez, Ravel, Jossie Esteban y la Patrulla 15, Pochy y su Cocoband, Cuco Valoy, The Freddy Kenton Orquestra, Ramón Orlando, Sandy Reyes, July Mateo, Rasputin, Peter Cruz, Alex Bueno, Aramis Camilo, Jochy Hernández, El Zafiro, Dioni Fernandez, The New York Band, Anibal Bravo, Conjunto Quisqueya, Olga Tañón, Gisselle, and Grupomanía. Milly Quezada is known as the Queen of Merengue. The popularity of Merengue is growing fast in Venezuela. Venezuelan merengueros include Roberto Antonio, Miguel Moly, Natusha, Porfi Jiménez, Billo’s Caracas Boys, and Los Melodicos. Merengue is also popular in the coastal city of Guayaquil in Ecuador. The merengue produced in New York City has become very popular among the lovers of this rhythm. Some of the New Yorkers who produce this new merengue sound are Mala Fe, Henry Jimenez, and Aybar.