Ricky Martin is a Puerto Rican singer, actor, and author who is known as the “King of Latin Pop”.
He holds dual American and Spanish citizenship and began his career at age 12 with the all-boy pop group Menudo.
After five years with the group, he released several Spanish-language solo albums throughout the 1990s.
Since the beginning of his solo career in 1991, Ricky Martin has become one of the best-selling Latin music artists of all time with sales estimates ranging from 70 million records to 95 million albums.
He also acted on stage and on TV in Mexico, where he achieved modest stardom.
In 1994, he appeared on the US TV soap opera General Hospital, playing a Puerto Rican singer. He also ranks among the most influential Latin artists of all time.
- Full name: Enrique Martín Morales
- Born: 24 December 1971, San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Profession: Puerto Rican Singer, Actor, Author
- Height: 1.82 m
- Spouse: Jwan Yosef (m. 2017)
- Children: Lucia Martin-Yosef, Renn Martin-Yosef, Valentino Martin, Matteo Martin
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About Ricky Martin
Martin was born on December 24, 1971, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Nereida Morales, an accountant, and Enrique Martín Negroni (son of Enrique Martín and Iraida Negroni Arizmendi), a psychologist.
The youngest of three boys on his mother’s side and oldest of four children on his father’s side, he has four brothers and one sister.
His parents divorced when he was two years old, and Martin spent much of his childhood shifting between his father’s home in the suburbs of University Gardens, a suburban middle-class neighbourhood of San Juan, and his paternal grandmother’s house nearby.
Martin has two older maternal half-brothers, Fernando and Ángel Fernández, two younger paternal half-brothers, Eric and Daniel Martín, and a younger paternal half-sister, Vanessa Martín.
Martin, in an interview with newspaper ABC, described his origins as Spanish, of Basque and Canarian descent and that the Martín’s left Spain for Puerto Rico in 1779. He also has some Corsican heritage through his paternal grandmother.
Martin grew up in a Roman Catholic home and was an altar boy throughout his childhood.
He began singing at age 6, using wooden kitchen spoons as pretended microphones; he often interpreted songs by Menudo as well as English-language rock groups such as Led Zeppelin, Journey, and REO Speedwagon.
His mother’s side of the family was musically inclined, and his maternal grandfather was a poet, which inspired young Martin to write songs.
Martin later reflected on his time spent with his family as a child: “Every time I find myself in front of an audience, be it twenty people or one hundred thousand, once again I feel the energy that consumed me back at the family gatherings of my youth.”
After discovering, with his father, a newspaper advertisement about auditions for commercials, 9-year-old Martin began appearing in Puerto Rican television commercials for products such as soft drinks, toothpaste, and restaurants. In a year and a half, he starred in 11 commercials.
In early 1999, after releasing several albums in Spanish, Martin performed “The Cup of Life” at the 41st Annual 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 attain success worldwide.
It 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.
His first English-language album (titled Ricky Martin), sold 15 million copies and is his best selling album to date.
His other studio albums include: Ricky Martin (1991), Me Amaras (1993), A Medio Vivir (1995), Vuelve (1998), Sound Loaded (2000), Almas del Silencio (2003), Life (2005), Música + Alma + Sexo (2011), A Quien Quiera Escuchar (2015) and Movimiento (2020).
In 2018, he portrayed Antonio D’Amico in the miniseries The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which earned him a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.