Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 24: Ricky Martin - AKA Enrique Martín Morales - is 42-years-old today.

Ricky Martin was born Enrique Martín Morales in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  He first tasted success as a member of the Latin boyband Menudo, then as a solo artist since 1991. During his career he has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.
After high school, Martin left San Juan and moved to New York City. He then moved to Mexico City to begin an acting career. He appeared in a musical-theater production in 1989 entitled Mis Tennis Rojos (My red tennis shoes), then another theater productions Mama Ama el Rock (Mom Loves Rock).

He then participated in a telenovela (soap opera) titled Alcanzar Una Estrella II (Reach for a Star 2) next to Sasha Sökol.

A six-member musical group Muñecos de Papel came to be as a result of the show. They toured several cities in Mexico and recorded two albums.

While 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 and Puerto Rico.

In 1993, Martin released his second solo album, Me Amarás, which featured a Spanish-language cover of the Laura Branigan hit "Self Control,"  as "Que Día Es Hoy." It sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Martin moved to Los Angeles, California in 1994 and landed a role as bartender and singer Miguel Morez in the American soap opera General Hospital.

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Ricky MartinMe Unabridged CDsMusica + Alma + Sexo

In 1995, Martin refocused on his music career, and his third album, A Medio Vivir, became a major international hit. With this album, Martin shifted to a fusion of music centered around traditional Latin sounds, epitomized by the hit "Maria." 

The single went to number one and became one of the biggest hits of the year in France and Belgium, hitting the Top 10 throughout Europe and even making its way into the lower reaches of the U.S. Hot 100.
After the conclusion of a worldwide tour, Martin returned to New York to appear in a Broadway theatre production for the first time, joining the cast of the hit musical Les Misérables to play the romantic lead, Marius Pontmercy.

While on Broadway, Martin recorded his fourth album, Vuelve. The title track and the ballad "Perdido Sin Ti" both hit number one on the Hot Latin Tracks and Latin Pop Airplay charts, with further hits including "La Bomba" and "Corazonado."  The album's pinnacle, however, was "La Copa de la Vida,"  which Martin made a major hit in an English version when he was chosen to sing the anthem of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The song was awarded "Pop Song of the Year" at the 1999 Premio Lo Nuestro awards.

Martin was nominated for a Grammy Award for the album, and was booked to sing on the show's live TV broadcast. The performance of "The Cup of Life" stopped the show, earning Martin an unexpected standing ovation and introducing the star to the mainstream American audience. Martin capped off the evening by winning the award for Best Latin Pop Performance.

After several years as a major star in Spanish-speaking countries, Martin prepared his first English album in 1999. John Tesh taught Ricky Martin English in '98 and by '02 Martin was fluent.

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 years of speculation, on March 29, 2010, Martin publicly acknowledged his homosexuality in a post on his official web site.

Ricky Martin's autobiography, Me, was published November 2, 2010. The book became a New York Times Best Seller, debuting at #5 on the Hardcover Nonfiction list. A Spanish-language edition entitled Yo was published simultaneously.


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