Livin’ La Vida: Ricky Martin

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.  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 and made him a prominent figure of Latin dance-pop. 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.” 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.

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.”

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Categories: Music Hotties

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