Ricky Martin
Name at BirthEnrique Martín Morales
BornDec. 24, 1971
BirthplaceSan Juan, Puerto Rico
OccupationSinger, song writer, musician, actor and author
ParentsNereida Morales and Enrique Martín Negroni
Domestic partnerCarlos González Abella

Enrique Martín Morales (born December 24, 1971),[1] better known by his stage name 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 after 1991.

During his career he has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.[2] He is the founder of Ricky Martín Foundation (in Spanish Fundación Ricky Martin) a non-profit charity organization.

Early life

Martin was born on December 24, 1971, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 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.[3] Martin grew up in a Catholic home and was an altar boy until he joined Menudo.[4] Martin has Corsican and Catalan Spanish descent as his paternal 4th grandfathers were born (Rogliano, Cap Corse, Corsica) and Vilanova i la Geltrú, Catalonia, Spain.[5][6]


Ricky Martin rose to fame as a member of the Latin American boy band Menudo, after which he became a solo artist in 1990. He is considered a major star in the world of Latin pop and is considered to have opened the doors for some of his fellow Latin American singers.

Martin has been nominated one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine and its sister magazine People en Español in 2000 and 2006.

Solo work

After completing high school, Martin left San Juan and moved to New York City. Later, Martin moved to Cancún where he started acting, first in theater productions, and then in a telenovela ("soap opera") titled Alcanzar Una Estrella II (Reach for a Star 2). A film based on the series was 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, Puerto Rico, and the United States, and he performed a string of sold-out concert dates across South America.

In 1993, Martin released his second solo album, Me Amarás, which sold more than a million copies worldwide.

In 1994, he moved to Los Angeles, California. He received a role as bartender and singer (Miguel Morez) in the American soap opera General Hospital.

In 1995, Martin re-focused on his music career through his third album, A Medio Vivir. With this album, Martin made a shift from formulaic hit ballads to a more risky fusion of music centered around traditional Latin sounds. With the hit "Maria", which epitomizes this new sound. "Maria" broke Martin into Europe through Spain.[7] With the ballad "Te Extraño, Te Olvido, Te Amo", Martin began his expansion from Latin American and Spanish-speaking audiences to the European and Asian markets.


After the conclusion of a worldwide tour, Martin returned to New York to appear in a Broadway production for the first time. He played the romantic lead, Marius Pontmercy, in Les Miserables.

While on Broadway, Martin returned to the studio and recorded his fourth album, Vuelve, which was certified platinum by the RIAA and went on to sell eight million copies worldwide. He was chosen to sing the anthem of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the famous hit "The Cup of Life"/"La Copa de la Vida", that reached number one on the charts in 60 countries.

Crossover to English

After several years as a major star in Spanish-speaking countries, Martin prepared his first English album in 1999. The self-titled album contained material by producers such as Desmond Child, Diane Warren, William Orbit, George Noriega and his longtime childhood friend (producer/singer) Robi Draco Rosa. The album also featured special guests Madonna (on the Spanish-English duet "Be Careful (Cuidado con mi Corazón)") and Meja (Private Emotion). As Turkey was one of the countries where Martin's popularity was at its peak, he sang the song with Sertab Erener, Turkish winner of the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest, instead of Meja in Turkish versions of the album.

The first and most prominent single was "Livin' la Vida Loca," which reached number one in many countries around the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Guatemala, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, and South Africa. He followed up with the hit "She's All I Ever Had" which peaked at #2 on The Billboard Hot 100. This album became one of the top-selling albums of 1999, and was certified 7 times platinum, selling over 22 million copies worldwide to date.

After the success of Ricky Martin, a new English-language album, Sound Loaded, was released in November 2000. Though the album did debut in the top ten (number four), it failed to reach number one. Three singles were released from Sound Loaded: the first was "She Bangs," which was followed by a duet with Christina Aguilera called "Nobody Wants to Be Lonely". Unlike the first two singles released from Ricky Martin, neither of the first two singles from this album reached the U.S. Top Ten on Billboard's Hot 100; they reached twelve and thirteen respectively. The third single, "Loaded" reached ninety-seven on Billboard's Hot 100. Sound Loaded eventually sold two million copies in the USA.

In 2001, Martin released a Spanish Greatest Hits album entitled La Historia, which went to number one in the Latin Charts and stayed there for five weeks. The album contained reworkings of two of his early songs Fuego contra fuego and El amor de mi vida. In the same year, he released his English greatest hits album, The Best of Ricky Martin, which went on to sell over one million copies. The album contained no new material save for two remixes of the track Amor. Both remixes were released to radio in some European countries and a single was also released.

In 2003, Martin released a new Spanish album "Almas del Silencio" ("Souls of Silence"). The first single, "Tal Vez", went to number one on the Latin Charts and stayed there for twelve weeks. He said of the new album: "I really needed to go back to focus, to my center, to the beginning. I had the need to search within, and really dig deep, and find those emotions that, because of the adrenaline and the euphoria that I lived for a couple of years, were probably sabotaged."[8] Almas del Silencio debuted at number twelve on the Billboard 200, reached number one on the Latin Albums charts and stayed there for six weeks. The next singles, "Jaleo" and "Y Todo Queda en Nada", reached number one on the Latin Charts, and the album sold more than 1 million copies worldwide.[9]

On October 11, 2005, Martin released his first English language album since 2000's Sound Loaded and the tenth album of his career. Most of the songs on the album, called Life, were co-written by Martin. He commented on the album: "I was really in touch with my emotions. I think this album is very multi-layered, just like life is. It's about feeling anger. It's about feeling joy. It's about feeling uncertainty. It's about feeling. And all my emotions are part of this production."[10] The album debuted at number six on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. The first single from the album was "I Don't Care"/"Qué Más Da", featuring guest appearances by Fat Joe, Amerie and drummer Joseph Quevedo "Joey Q".

Another single was released "Drop It on Me", which did not chart. Soon after, Martin announced his Latin American tour called Una Noche con Ricky Martin/One Night Only, promoting his latest album Life. Starting in Latin America, the tour premiered on November 15 in Mexico City. After finishing the first leg of the tour (which included Latin America and the U.S.), he released his next single, "It's Alright" (Spanish version: "Déjate Llevar"). A different version appeared in France, which included additional vocals by French R&B singer M. Pokora. The song went to number 4 in France.[11]

Martin performed at the 2006 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony in Turin. A few days later, he announced the second leg of his world tour (which included Europe and Africa) called One Night Only/Una Noche Con Ricky Martin World Tour. The second leg started on April 21 in Manchester, U.K., and ended on June 3 in Tel Aviv, Israel, including shows that sold-out in two hours (Italy and Finland). In addition, he performed at the World Cup Fan Party in Berlin (Brandenburger Tor) on June 7, 2006, and at Lebanon's Beiteddine Festival on May 27 at the BIEL seafront hall in Beirut and on May 28 in Egypt, his first concerts in the Arab world following a promise to Queen Noor on his 2005 visit to the Arab Conference in Jordan. During this visit, he recorded an Arabic/Spanglish version of "Drop It on Me" and "Enta Omri" with Arabic pop star Cheb Mami. An anticipated 8 month tour ended early due to a lack of advertising.

In 2007, Martin began a international promotional tour titled Blanco y Negro[12] which included a performance at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum and concluded with a presentation at the Madison Square Garden on October 14, 2007[12] In 2008, Martin released a greatest hits album entitled Ricky Martin 17.

In June 2009, the singer announced he was working on a new studio album, the first since 2005's Life. The album will feature tracks in both English and Spanish. His collaborators include record producer Lester Mendez. It would be his 9th studio album and his 11th album overall.

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",[13] and finishing with an "aguinaldo orocoveño"[14]) and "Pégate", a Puerto Rican plena. Christian Nieves plays the Puerto Rican cuatro on both tracks.

Personal life

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,[15][16][17] and at one point Martin planned on proposing.[18] However with the release of Life, Martin confirmed he and De Alba had parted ways.[19][20]

In August 2008, Martin became the father of twin boys, named Matteo and Valentino. The babies were delivered via gestational surrogacy.[21]

During the Livin' la Vida Loca era, Martin's personal life went under the microscope due to his large gay following, and he was questioned about his sexual orientation. In December, 2000 during an interview in The Mirror, Martin was asked, '"So what about all these rumors?" "There's not a lot I can do about that," he said. "I guess these rumors were started by people who don't have a life, or perhaps it's because they want me to be like them and I'm not. I try not to pay attention to any of these allegations. I could have been married with kids for years or have 27 girlfriends, and if people still want to go around saying that I'm gay, they will."'[22][23]

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."[24][25] 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."[26] In 2010, prior to Ricky 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."[27][28]

Humanitarian work

Martin is the founder of Fundación Ricky Martin (Ricky Martín Foundation), a non-profit organization. Among the events promoted by the foundation was a summer camp, which included Martin's personal participation.[29]

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 Center 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)

Ricky 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.


Martin was a headliner in the 2001 inauguration ball for President George W. Bush; he even invited the newly elected president to join him on stage to dance. This image was captured by photographers and broadcast in various media throughout the world. Martin would even go so far as to reference it in a later song, Asignatura Pendiente.

Martin has since changed his position on the President. In a concert in Puerto Rico during the song Asignatura Pendiente Martin thrust his middle finger disapprovingly in the air while singing the line "photo with Bush". The gesture met with audience approval but caused a minor controversy with the media. Martin said in an e-mail statement sent to the Associated Press via a spokesman: "My convictions of peace and life go beyond any government and political agenda and as long as I have a voice onstage and offstage, I will always condemn war and those who promulgate it".[30]

Ricky Martin supported Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama in the landslide Clinton victory in the Puerto Rican Democratic primary on June 3, 2008.[31]

Records and achievements

  • Martin was chosen along with Félix Trinidad in 1999, to lead Puerto Rico's worldwide tourism campaign, both exemplifying Puerto Rico's youthfulness, enthusiasm and indefatigable character.
  • In February 2004, Martin received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Lo Nuestro Awards in Miami, Florida.
  • Martin was honored as the 2006 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy on November 1, 2006. He was chosen for his accomplishments as a world renowned entertainer, consummate performer and passionate humanitarian. A portion of the proceeds from the evening's tribute dinner was used for benefiting Ricky Martin's charitable efforts.
  • On October 16, 2007, Martin received the 2351st Hollywood Walk of Fame star,[32] shortly after receiving the key to the city of Miami Beach, Florida on October 11. The star is located besides the Hollywood and Highland complex. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Rita Moreno were invited to the unveiling ceremony.[12]

In addition to the numerous awards received throughout his musical career, Martin has also been honored with many accolades for his humanitarian efforts.


  1. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Ricky Martin - Biography. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-04-08.
  2. Fans shriek as Ricky Martin gets his star. MSNBC (2007-10-16).
  3. Celebritywonder profile
  4. He worked on commercials since the age of 7 The Rolling Stone Interview: Ricky Martin
  5. Enrique Martin Morales familytree. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  6. familytreemaker.genealogy; Antonio Francisco Negroni. (1996-08-15). Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  7. Nancy CollinsPosted Aug 05, 1999 12:00 AM (1999-08-05). Rolling stone interview: Ricky Martin. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  8. Livin' The Serious Life; Ricky Martin's New Album Matches His Outlook. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  9. Adams, Steve: "Martin's World View", Billboard magazine, November 4, 2006, p. 64-66.
  10. Font size Print E-mail Share By Tatiana Morales (2005-11-11). Ricky Martin Lets 'Life' Happen. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  11. Classement des 100 Singles Classement des meilleures ventes de singles réalisé par l'IFOP pour le SNEP
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 (2007-10-14) "Flash!/Cine", Ricky Martin: Bien ubicada su estrella (in Spanish). Puerto Rico: El Nuevo Día, 94. 
  13. A sound sample of an aguinaldo jíbaro, played by cuatro player Efraín Vidal
  14. A sound sample of an aguinaldo orocoveño, played by cuatro player Efraín Vidal. Retrieved on 2010-02-15.
  15. Ricky Martin. Hellomagazine.
  16. Ricky Martin. Hellomagazine.
  17. Rebeca de Alba saw Ricky Martin as the father of their children (translated). TelemundoLA.
  18. Ricky Martin likes to be alone. Metro.
  19. Ricky_Martin_Pulse_Interview.
  20. Ricky_Martin_Radio_Interview_part_4.
  21. Ricky Martin has twins babies and 'no nanny'
  22. Sally Morgan "Ricky Martin - It's no one's business whether I've been to bed with a cow, a broom or a woman...", The Mirror, 9 December 2000
  23. Sally Morgan "Ricky Martin - It's no one's business whether I've been to bed with a cow, a broom or a woman...", The Mirror, 9 December 2000, as reproduced on
  24. "Ricky Martin Gay Bombshell: 'I am a Fortunate Homosexual Man'" , Staff, March 29, 2010
  26. "Ricky Martin Comes Out of the Closet", Rolling Stone (March 29, 2010)
  29. Ricky Martin sorprende a sus "ahijados" (Spanish). Primera Hora (2008-07-09). Retrieved on 2008-07-14.
  30. "Singer Ricky Martin 'Fingers' Bush for Iraq Criticism". Associated Press, February 16, 2007.
  31. Ricky Martin endorses Hillary Clinton - Los Angeles Times, February 16, 2007.
  32. Ricky Martin gets Walk of Fame star -

External links

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