Enrique Martín Morales (born December 24, 1971 in San Juan, Puerto Rico), commonly known as Ricky Martin, is a Puerto Rican singer, actor, and author. Martin began his career at age twelve with the all-boy pop group Menudo. After five years with the group, he released several Spanish-language solo albums throughout the 1990s.
He also acted on stage and on TV in Mexico, becoming a modest star in the country. In 1994 he starred on the American TV soap opera General Hospital, playing a Puerto Rican singer. In late 1999, after releasing several albums in Spanish, Martin performed "The Cup of Life" at the 41st Grammy Awards show, which became a catalyst in bringing Latin pop to the forefront of the U.S. music scene.
Following its success, Martin released "Livin' la Vida Loca" which helped him obtain enormous success worldwide and is generally seen as the song that began the Latin pop explosion of 1999 and made the transition easier for other Spanish-speaking artists to move into the English-speaking market. Since its release, the song has sold over 8 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.
His first English-language album (also titled Ricky Martin), has sold 22 million copies and is one of the best selling albums of all time. His other studio albums include: Me Amarás (1993), A Medio Vivir (1995), Vuelve (1998), Sound Loaded (2000), Almas del Silencio (2003), Life (2005), and Música + Alma + Sexo (2011). He has sold over 70 million albums (the most updated figure is 85 million), and has had 95 platinum records, six #1 Billboard albums, 11 Number 1 hit songs, two American Music Awards, six Grammy Awards, eight World Music Awards, ten Billboard Music Awards, eight MTV Music Video Awards, with concerts in more than 60 countries across the globe.
Martin was in an on-off relationship with Mexican TV host Rebecca de Alba for more than 14 years. The pair had spoken of starting a family together, and Martin had at one point considered proposing to her. In August 2008, Martin became the father of twin boys, Matteo and Valentino, born 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." On March 29, 2010, Martin publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in a post on his official website 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 was in a relationship.
In 2011, during his acceptance speech of the Vito Russo Award at the 22nd GLAAD Media Awards, Martin publicly thanked his boyfriend, Carlos González Abella, an economist. His relationship with González Abella ended in January 2014. 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.
"Everything 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." Ricky Martin delivered a speech at the UN homophobia conference on November 12, 2012.
Source, modified: http://wikipedia.org
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