Ricky Martin

  • Latin pop singer and songwriter born Enrique Martín Morales in San Juan Puerto Rico in 1971.
  • Martin began singing at family gatherings when he was 6 years old. At 9, he saw a newspaper advertisement looking for children to act in TV commercials, and he began to appear in them in Puerto Rico. In 1983, he auditioned to become a member of the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo. He was rejected because he was too short. After 2 more auditions, 12 year old Martin was selected to be a member.
  • Martin toured with Menudo globally, and he recorded 11 albums with the group, leaving when he was 17 years old. He returned to Puerto Rico to graduate from high school, and he then moved to New York – 18 years old, he now was able to access his bank accounts. Soon, he moved to Mexico City to perform in a play titled Mama Ama el Rock (Mom Loves Rock). A TV producer saw him perform, and Martin was offered a role in a Mexican television show that featured a fictional musical group called Muñecos de Papel. After the show and a film, Martin and others formed a group of the same name, recording 2 albums and touring.
  • In 1990, Martin was signed to a recording contract, starting his solo career. He didn’t read the contract, missing the fact that he would only receive 1¢ for every album sold. His first 2 albums were released in 1991 and 1993 – the vocals were entirely in Spanish, and Martin started to grow in popularity in Latin American countries. 1995’s A Medio Vevir album was a move away from love ballads, to an edgier rock sound fused with traditional Latin sounds. While some record companies executives thought it would ruin his career, instead it was a breakthrough – the song Maria from the album reached #1 throughout South America and in 9 European countries.
  • While recording his next album, he was contacted by FIFA, the global governing body of international soccer, to write and perform a song for the 1998 World Cup. He performed the song, La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life), at the Cup Finals, broadcast to over 1 billion viewers. The song was included on his next album, Vuelve, which was #1 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums for 26 weeks, selling over 1 million copies in the U.S. The album was nominated for a Grammy award, and Martin performed La Copa de la Vida on the television broadcast of the Grammy’s, getting a standing ovation and introducing him to mainstream American audiences.
  • Now a superstar, Martin released the self titled Ricky Martin album in 1999. It was his first album in English, and it included the songs Living la Vida Loca (Livin’ a Crazy Life) and She’s All I Ever Had. These songs were his most popular, reaching #1 and #2 respectively on the Hot 100 chart. The success of Living la Vida Loca began the Latin pop music explosion in the U.S., opening the door to other Latin artists such as Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Inglesias. The album ultimately was certified 7x platinum in the U.S. and sold over 15 million copies worldwide.
  • His follow-up album, Sound Loaded, was certified 2x platinum after its release in 2000. Its first 2 singles were She Bangs and Nobody Wants to be Lonely (a duet with Christina Aguilera) – they peaked on the Hot 100 chart at #12 and #13 respectively, and both were #1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart (Martin has had 11 singles reach #1 on this chart, his most recent in 2010).
  • Martin has maintained his popularity among Latin audiences. Spanish language albums released in 2003, 2011 and 2015 all reached #1 on the Latin Album Chart, and 20 singles from these albums as well as non-album Spanish singles have been top 10 songs on the Billboard Latin charts.
  • Martin has won 2 Grammy awards and 4 Latin Grammy awards, as well as numerous other awards. He has had dozens of television and film roles, and has performed in 2 Broadway musical theater casts (Marius in Les Misérables in 1996 and Ché in Evita in 2012). As recently as 2018, he performed in the television series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, earning an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Italian designer Antonio D’Amico in the show.
  • Martin is considered one of the most influential Latin artists of all time. Here’s the music video to his mega-hit Livin’ la Vida Loco. C’mon, admit it – You’ve always wanted to Live La Vida Loca!

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