America first got to know The Triplets — Vicky, Sylvia and Diana Villegas — as MTV sensations, when the young sisters swept to victory in the network’s Basement Tapes video contest. Signed immediately to a major label, they released a smash single, “You Don’t Have To Go Home Tonight.” Crowds flocked to their concerts, where the trio harmonized impeccably, exhibited distinctive lead vocal styles, radiated a dynamic stage presence and flaunted a cross-cultural appeal that was rare in those days.

After all, this happened back in the early ‘90s, before Latin pop would change the musical landscape. The Triplets were way ahead of their time… which may explain why after their supernova debut, they disappeared, leaving fans wondering what happened.

So what happened? It’s simple — they began the journey that leads them to where they are now, back in the spotlight and taking their first steps down Independence Road.

That’s the title of their next album, a collection of original songs, a couple of well-selected covers and an update of “You Don’t Have To Go Home Tonight” that says much about where they’ve been and where they’re headed. Their voices are unmistakable. Their ability to craft songs with strong narratives and irresistible melodies has blossomed. Their stylistic range has expanded.

In other words, they’re back — even though in many ways, they never really left.

“We’ve been doing music constantly,” insists Sylvia, speaking in her familiar sultry, honeyed timbre. “We’ve just been performing more spiritual music, which just means uplifting and positive.”

“We weren’t front and center with being ‘The Triplets’ in the music industry,” adds Vicky, her soulful, expressive sound evident even in conversation. “We needed to open up our horizons and step out of the limelight.”

It also meant trying something they’d never done before. As daughters of a Mexican father and an American mother, they were raised bilingually in picturesque San Miguel de Allende before moving up to the States to pursue their musical dreams at age 17. This background equipped them to launch Conduit Language Specialists 10 years ago, a national company specializing in all varieties of translation in multiple languages. Their venture is an ongoing success, with a network of more than 4,000 professionals.

Yet … something was missing. The urge to get back together and continue The Triplets saga grew more irresistible each year. So when Sylvia and Vicky decided to move to Lexington, Kentucky, they knew the time was right for them to get back into the musical limelight.

Recorded in the home studio built by Vicky’s husband, producer Jeff Myers, Independence Road kicks off this next chapter in The Triplets saga. The group remains a threesome, though Diana contributes exclusively now as a co-writer from her home bases in Florida and California. But their sound has only grown, their cultural roots deepened, on this extraordinary project.

There’s impressive variety among these tracks: “Countrified” is a playful hoedown workout. The exhilaration of new romance breezes through “A Night Like This.” The Triplets’ Latin heritage bathes “Magnolia Street” and “Maybe Tomorrow” in vivid emotion. A compelling narrative unfolds throughout “Coyote,” telling a story of loss in an ever-shrinking wilderness.

They redo “You Don’t Have to Go Home Tonight” with a greater intimacy and insight than in their original arrangement. Their rendition of “All I Need Is the Air That I Breathe” showcases their unique vocal blend, and they reshape the Police classic, “Every Breath You Take” in a largely improvised, in-the-moment performance.

Through it all, a central message recurs. “It’s about transition — cultural, spiritual and physical,” Sylvia says. “Every song touches on the idea. We started with the title cut because it’s about letting go and finding a new road toward independence. Even though the lyric talks about leaving someone, it’s really about having faith and courage to make that break from where you’ve been — and independence is the reward.”

“We’ve had lots of input on this record,” she sums up. “More than we’ve ever had, in fact. But in the end this is solely our production. We created every sound on Independence Road. I’m so proud of that. I’m so happy that we’re back with music a very wide range of people can enjoy — even my 6-year-old godchild loves ‘Crazy Moon’! If you think in terms of limitations, you get limitations.”

That’s the last word that comes to mind with the Triplets. Join them on Independence Road— and enjoy the ride.

Musical awards and Nominations

Grammy Nomination, best new Latin Pop group (1993) “Algo Mas Que Amor”

American Music Nomination, best new group (1991) “Thicker Than Water”

New York Music Award, best new group (1991) “Thicker Than Water”

The Desy Award, best new Latin group (1991) “Fuerza del Parentesco”