Ricky Martin

EnriqueRickyMartín Morales (born December 24, 1971), better known as Ricky Martin, is a Puerto Rican pop singer and actor who achieved prominence, first as a member of the Latin boy band Menudo, then as a solo artist since 1991.

During his career he has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.[1] He is the founder of Ricky Martin Foundation (in Spanish Fundación Ricky Martin), a non-profit charity organization. Ricky Martin’s exuberant 1999 single “Livin’ la Vida Loca” made him a prominent figure of Latin dance-pop. Martin got his start with the all-boy pop group Menudo; after five years with the group, he released his Spanish-language solo album, Ricky Martin, in 1991. He also acted on stage and on TV in Mexico, becoming a modest star there. In 1994 he starred on the American TV soap opera General Hospital, playing a Puerto Rican singer. In 1999, after several albums in Spanish, he released his first English-language album (also titled Ricky Martin), which included the salsa-style “Livin’ la Vida Loca”. The album sold 17 million copies and brought Martin international fame. His other albums include A Medio Vivir (1995), Vuelve (1998), Sound Loaded (2000, with the hit “She Bangs”), Life (2005), and the compilation album 17 (2008). In 2010 Martin announced that he was a “fortunate homosexual man”, ending years of fan speculation on the topic.

On the edge of the new millennium, Martin—almost by himself—gave Latino music an international face. An acclaimed performance at the 1999 Grammy Awards launched Martin into worldwide super-stardom. As Entertainment Weekly’s Andrew Essex reported, “his leather-pants, electro-pelvis version of ‘La Copa de la Vida’ single-handedly goosed a very dull [Grammy] telecast, earning him a standing ovation.”

Martin’s twin sons, Matteo and Valentino, were born via a surrogate mother in 2008. Martin also co-owns a Miami restaurant, Casa Salsa, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famein 2007.

Early life

Martin was born on December 24, 1971, in San Juan, Puerto Rico,[2] the son of Nereida Morales, an accountant, and Enrique Martín Negroni, a psychologist. His parents divorced when he was two; his father remarried. Martin has two maternal half-brothers, Fernando and Ángel Fernández, and two paternal half-brothers, Eric and Daniel Martín, and a paternal half-sister Vanessa Martín. Martin grew up in a Roman Catholic home and was an altar boy until he joined Menudo. Martin has some Corsican and Catalan ancestry as his paternal fourth great-grandfathers were born in Rogliano, Cap Corse, Corsica, and Vilanova i la Geltrú, Catalonia.

Career

Early solo work

After completing high school, Martin left San Juan and moved to New York City. Later, Martin moved to Mexico City where he attended the national school of space. He started in a musical-theater in 1989 named Mis Tennis Rojos (My red tennis shoes) next to Angelica Vale and then followed another theater productions Mama Ama el Rock (Mom Loves Rock). He then participated in a telenovela (soap opera) titled Alcanzar Una Estrella II (Reach for a Star 2) next to Sasha Sökol. Out of this soap opera a musical group was formed named Muñecos de Papel in which he was one of the 6 members; they toured several cities in Mexico and recorded 2 albums. His main single was Juego de Ajedrez. A film based on the TV series was also produced in which Martin played Pablo, earning a Heraldo Award in 1993.

While acting in Mexico, Martin was signed to Sony Discos, the company’s Latin imprint, in 1990. He released his first solo album, the Spanish-language Ricky Martin, in 1991, which included the single “Fuego Contra Fuego”. The hit release earned Gold records in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Puerto Rico, and he performed a string of sold-out concert dates across South America.

In 1993, Martin released his second solo album, Me Amarás, which featured a Spanish-language cover of the Laura Branigan hit “Self Control”, as “Que Día Es Hoy”, and sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Martin moved to Los Angeles, California in 1994 and landed a role as bartender and singer Miguel Morez in the American soap opera General Hospital.

MTV Diary and MTV Unplugged

MTV aired “MTV Diary: Ricky Martin” in November 2006, showcasing scenes from the “One Night Only” tour, on the road and onstage. MTV Latin America and MTV Tr3́s co-produced the “Ricky Martin MTV Unplugged” show to be taped in Miami on August 17, 2006 and premiered on MTV Latin America, MTV Tr3́s and MTV Puerto Rico in October 2006.

“Ricky Martin MTV Unplugged” was released by Sony BMG on November 7, 2006 in both separate CD and DVD formats, and in May 2007, was re-released together in a CD/DVD combo-package. Available exclusively at Wal-Mart with the original CD purchase is a separate Ricky Martin DVD titled “Making of Ricky Martin MTV Unplugged”, which includes a 40 minute behind the scenes documentary and the music video to “Tu Recuerdo”. (It should be noted the music video for “Tu Recuerdo” is just an extracted live performance of the song from MTV Unplugged.)

The first single of the album, “Tu Recuerdo”, featuring La Mari from Chambao, reached number one on the U.S. Latin Charts. The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Latin Charts and number thirty-eight on Billboard 200.

This album includes Puerto Rican influences, particularly “Tu Recuerdo” (based mainly on a Puerto Rican “aguinaldo jíbaro”,and finishing with an “aguinaldo orocoveño”) and “Pégate”, a Puerto Rican plena. Christian Nieves plays the Puerto Rican cuatro on both tracks. Viento de agua and Joseph Quevedo played the plena drums in “Pégate”.

Personal life

Ricky Martin at a Puerto Rican Day annual parade in New York City

In the past Martin stated he was in love with Mexican TV host Rebecca de Alba, with whom he had an off-and-on-again relationship for over 14 years. They even talked of starting a family together,and at one point Martin planned on proposing. However with the release of Life in 2005, Martin confirmed he and De Alba had parted ways.

In August 2008, Martin became the father of twin boys, Matteo and Valentino. The babies were birthed by a surrogate mother.

After the success of “Livin’ la Vida Loca”, Martin’s personal life became a subject of interest due to his large gay following, and he was questioned about his sexual orientation. In a December 2000 interview with The Mirror, Martin was asked to comment on the rumors surrounding his sexuality. He replied that “I don’t think I should have to tell anyone if I am gay or not, or who I’ve slept with or not.” Along with this, Martin reportedly stated in an interview with Plus 7 Days magazine, “If I were gay, why not admit it? I am a normal man. I love women and sex. I am a real hot-blooded Puerto Rican, but I have never been attracted by sex with a man.”

On March 29, 2010, Martin publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in a post on his official web site by stating, “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”Martin said that “these years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within, and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.” In 2010, prior to Martin coming out, Barbara Walters expressed some regret for pushing Martin in a 2000 interview to admit if he was gay. The Toronto Star quoted her as saying, “When I think back on it now, I feel it was an inappropriate question.”

Martin announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show that he is in a relationship though he has chosen to shield his boyfriend from the spotlight, believing that he might find the attention “overwhelming”. Martin has also expressed support for same-sex marriage in an interview on Larry King Live, and commented on his experience of being closeted and coming out. “[E]verything about saying [that I am gay] feels right…”, Martin stated, adding “if I’d known how good it was going to feel, I would have done it ten years ago.”

Autobiography

Martin’s autobiography, Me, was published November 2, 2010. The book became a New York Times Best Seller, debuting at #5 on the Hardcover Nonfiction list. A Spanish-language edition entitled “Yo” was published simultaneously.

Humanitarian work

Martin is the founder of Fundación Ricky Martin (English: Ricky Martin Foundation), a non-profit organization. Among the events promoted by the foundation was a summer camp, which included Martin’s personal participation.

Martin has been honored with many accolades for his humanitarian efforts including:

  • The Leadership in the Arts Award
  • Billboard’s Spirit of Hope Award
  • The Alma Award
  • Vanguard Award
  • International Humanitarian Award by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.
  • Hispanic Heritage Award for his humanitarian work through the Sabera Foundation in rescuing three orphan girls from the streets of Calcutta (September 2002)

Martin has also collaborated with the International Organization for Migration on the “Llama y Vive” (Call and Live), a campaign which is aimed to facilitate prevention of human trafficking, protection of the youngest victims of child trafficking, and prosecution of the traffickers. For his work against human trafficking, the U.S. State Department named Martin one of its “Heroes in Ending Modern-Day Slavery” in 2005.

Ricky Martin
Background information
Birth name Enrique Martín Morales
Also known as Ricky Martin
Born December 24, 1971 (age 39)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Genres Pop, Latin pop, dance-pop, world, reggae, Urban pop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, actor
Years active 1984–present
Labels Columbia, Sony Music Latin, Sony Music Mexico
Associated acts Menudo
Website rickymartinmusic.com

Ricky Martin Lyrics

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