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Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin

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Also Known As: Enrique Martin Morales Died:
Born: December 24, 1971 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Puerto Rico Profession: singer, actor, restaurateur

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

While most of mainstream America may have been tangentially aware of him before his star-making performance on the 1999 Grammy Awards telecast, Ricky Martin was already well-known to a large part of the world as a member of the youthful singing group, Menudo, and later as Latin lover Miguel Morez on "General Hospital" (ABC, 1962- ). The Puerto Rican-born singer and actor was actually a showbiz veteran with some two decades of work to his credit before hitting the big time with the hits "Livin' La Vida Loca" and "La Copa de la Vida" ("Cup of Life") made him an international music superstar and the point-man for ushering in a late-1990s Latin revolution in both music and other media.

While most of mainstream America may have been tangentially aware of him before his star-making performance on the 1999 Grammy Awards telecast, Ricky Martin was already well-known to a large part of the world as a member of the youthful singing group, Menudo, and later as Latin lover Miguel Morez on "General Hospital" (ABC, 1962- ). The Puerto Rican-born singer and actor was actually a showbiz veteran with some two decades of work to his credit before hitting the big time with the hits "Livin' La Vida Loca" and "La Copa de la Vida" ("Cup of Life") made him an international music superstar and the point-man for ushering in a late-1990s Latin revolution in both music and other media.

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Puerto Rico
1978:
Began acting career at age six, appearing in television commercials
1984:
Joined the popular teen singing group Menudo
1985:
Legally changed first name from Enrique to Ricky
1989:
Left Menudo to pursue solo acting and singing career
:
Returned to Puerto Rico to finish high school
:
Spent six months in NYC looking for work
1991:
Released his first solo album, the Spanish-language <i>Ricky Martin</i>
1992:
Portrayed a musician/singer in the Spanish-language telenovela "Alcanzar una Estrella II/To Reach a Star"
1993:
Reprised role as Pablo for the spin-off movie version of "Alcanzar una Estrella II/To Reach a Star"
1993:
Released his second solo album <i>Me Amarás</i>, which sold more than a million copies worldwide
1993:
Made U.S. TV debut on two episodes of the NBC sitcom "Getting By"
1994:
Landed regular role as Miguel Morez on the ABC daytime drama "General Hospital"
1996:
Made Broadway musical debut, playing the romantic lead Marius in "Les Misérables"
1998:
Returned to the studio and recorded his fourth album <i>Vuelve</i>
1999:
Enlivened the telecast of the Grammy Awards with live performance of "La Copa de la Vida," the official theme song of the '98 World Cup France
1999:
Released his first English language album <i>Ricky Martin</i>; included the prominent single "Livin' la Vida Loca"
1999:
Signed deal with PepsiCo for sponsorship of his 1999-2000 North American tour; appeared in commercials for the beverage
1999:
Headlined own CBS variety special "Ricky Martin: One Night Only"
2000:
Released second English-language album <i>Sound Loaded</i>, which included the hit single "She Bangs"
2003:
Released a new Spanish-Language album <i>Almas del Silencio/Souls of Silence</i>
2005:
Released the English language album <i>Life</i>; Martin co-wrote most songs on the album
2006:
Performed at the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony in Turin, Italy
2006:
MTV aired "MTV Diary: Ricky Martin," showcasing scenes from the "One Night Only" tour, on the road and onstage
2007:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
2010:
Publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in a post on his official website
2011:
Made musical comeback with ninth album <i>Música + Alma + Sexo</i>
2012:
Guest starred as a night school Spanish teacher on "Glee" (Fox)
2012:
Returned to Broadway, playing Ché in "Evita"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Martin is co-owner of Casa Salsa in Miami Beach, Florida.

"He's the Puerto Rican Elvis." --Rosie O'Donnell quoted in TV Guide, June 5-12, 1999.

"This career can make you feel like you're the master of the world and everything revolves around you. But it's not just like that. And I don't want to live with the paranoid feeling that anybody who approaches me does so because I'm a famous singer." --Ricky Martin to Los Angeles Times Calendar, October 22, 1998.

"Ricky is somebody who has taken the required steps into true artistry by tapping into his innermost essence, both musically and philosophically. He is a perfectionist, but at the same time a very trusting man, which is wonderful for a producer. There's no better relationship you can have with an artist." --record producer K.C. Porter quoted in Los Angles Times, October 22, 1998.

"Sexuality and sensuality are completely different things. Sensuality is something that you're born with. Am I sensual? Well, people say I am. But sexuality is something I leave for my own mirror. I don't share that with anyone. ... " --Martin quoted in Rolling Stone, June 10, 1999.

"Look at Martin today, and you can tell he was a child star--he wears the spotlight like ordinary folks wear house slippers." --From "Latin Music Pops" by Christopher John Farley in Time, May 24, 1999.

On the pitfalls of fame, Martin told Gloria Estefan in Interview (June 1999): "Having to let go of our privacy creates some kind of block to our creative moments. We have to think about can I open myself, should I say that, shouldn't I, should I go and walk to the patio of my house, maybe they'll take a picture. ..."

"I don't do music for guys. I don't do music for girls. I don't do music for grandmothers--I do music for people who enjoy music. And it's so good to be onstage and see the guy with the girlfriend, a bunch of guys alone, a bunch of girls alone, and even the grandmother singing your stuff." --Martin quoted in Interview, June 1999.

On his appearance on the Grammy telecast, Martin told the Daily News, May 11, 1999: "I was performing in front of the industry for the first time, and I realized they'd heard it all and seen it all. I said to myself, 'What are you going to do to catch their attention? Let's give them passion. Let's go out there and be who we are.'"

"He's the perfect mass-market sex symbol for a simple reason: Martin projects no inner life that might distract fans from the malleable boy-toy fantasy." --Jim Farber of Daily News (October 29, 1999), reviewing Martin's concert at Madison Square Garden.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Rebecca de Alba. TV journalist. Reportedly had on-again, off-again relationship from 1989 to 1999.
companion:
Ines Misan. Model. Dating since late 2000.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Enrique Jose Martin III. Psychologist. Born c. 1948; divorced from Martin's mother c. 1974; remarried; Martin was estranged from his father from 1985 to 1996; they have since reconciled.
mother:
Nereida Morales. Accountant. Born c. 1946; divorced from Martin's father c. 1974; remarried.
half-brother:
Fernando Fernandez. Older; mother's son from previous marriage.
half-brother:
Angel Fernandez. Older; mother's son from previous marriage.
half-brother:
Eric Martin.
half-brother:
Daniel Martin.
half-sister:
Vanessa Martin. Younger.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Ricky Martin: Livin' the Crazy Life" Boulevard Books
"Ricky Martin: Livin' La Vida Loca" HarperEntertainment
"Ricky Martin: Red-Hot and on the Rise!" Zebra
"Ricky Martin: The Captivating Story of the Sexy Singing Sensation" St. Martin's Press
"Ricky Martin: Rockin' the House!" Pocket Books
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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