Nostalgia Box: Ricky Martin

The singer of timeless hits

By Camilla Alcini

Enrique Martin Morales, whom we all know as Ricky Martin, is undoubtedly a world pop icon, considered by many to be "the king of Latin pop". He was born in Puerto Rico in 1971 and immediately put himself to the test with school plays and the choir. Already the grandfather, he will tell, had inspired him to compose musical texts as a poet. At only 11 years old, he tries to join the Menudo, a famous Puerto Rican boy band of very young, but he is discarded because he is considered "too low". He will join the group only two years later to replace another member. Five years pass, made of successes and journeys, with a really exhausting rhythm, and in 1989 Ricky, now eighteen, decides to pursue a solo career. And then the view Menudo! He moved first to New York, then to Mexico City, and it was in these great cities that he also started his acting career, with the musical Mama ama el rock and the telenovela Alcanzar una Estrella II. Do you think these opportunities will cost him the studies he had decided to undertake at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, never started again.

The turning point is undoubtedly the contract with Sony in 1991, which will produce his first album, Ricky Martin, and two years later his second equally successful album, Me Amarás. So much was the excitement of releasing his first cd, that Ricky signed the contract immediately and without reading, realizing only after accepting a miserable profit for each sale. Despite this, he called the pact with Sony the beginning of "something phenomenal". And he was right.

The third album, A medio vivir, consecrates him among the idols of world music, thanks to hits like (Un, dos, tres) Maria. Meanwhile he spends a period in Los Angeles, where he will join the cast of General Hospital. Unfortunately, however, the experience turned out to be rather negative for the Latin actor, who said he was treated differently for his Puerto Rican origins.

In 1999 he participates in the Grammy Award and earns the standing ovation of the audience for a caliente performance that makes everyone dance. But not only that, it is also the year in which he publishes the first album in English, Ricky Martin, which will sell more than 20 million copies. The success is now global, everyone sings Livin 'La Vida Loca, the duet with Madonna arrives and then the one with Christina Aguilera.

Even the 2000s are punctuated by successes, television appearances and highlights of his career, such as the 2006 Olympics show, the cameo in Glee as a Spanish teacher (absolutely to revise his Hispanic version of I'm Sexy and I Know it by LMFAO) and the roles on Broadway in Evita and Che Guevara. But in addition to the theater, in recent years Ricky has also dabbled in the awkward role of talent show judge all over the world, first with The Voice Australia, then with The Voice of Italy as a guest (you will not have missed his performance with the finalists?), again with La Voz Mexico, again with The Voice Australia, to then return to our country as artistic director of Amici di Maria De Filippi. Since 2010 Ricky has made public his homosexuality by publishing an autobiographical book, Yo, where he talks about the topic. Already ten years earlier, in an interview with The Mirror, he had replied to rumors about his sexuality: "I don't think I have to tell anyone whether I'm gay or not, or who I slept with and who I didn't". A lover of surfing and skydiving, but also a lover of yoga and Buddhist culture, Ricky is happily married to artist Jwan Yosef and father three times already. Since 2011 he received Spanish citizenship, finally referring to the Basque origins of his mother. The Jaleo cantane has brought Latin music closer to the American and European pop scene than anyone else, giving us lots of hits that you can't resist.