About Enrique "Ricky" Martín Morales
On the edge of the new millennium, Puerto Rican pop sensation Ricky Martin gave Latino music an international face with his electrifying performance at the 1999 Grammy Awards which launched Martin into worldwide super-stardom. His first English-language album titled Ricky Martin (1999), which included the salsa-style "Livin' La Vida Loca" sold 17 million copies. His other albums include A Medio Vivir (1995), Vuelve (1998), Sound Loaded (2000, with the hit "She Bangs"), Life (2005), and the compilation album Ricky Martin 17 (2008). During his career he has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.
Born Enrique Martín Morales on December 24, 1971 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the only child of Enrique Martin, a psychologist and Nereida Morales, an accountant who were divorced when Martin was two. When he was six, he began acting in television commercials. Shortly afterward, he took professional singing and acting lessons, which paved the way for his auditions for Menudo. In 1984, when he was 12 years old, he became a member of Menudo. For the next five years, he was the lead singer of the group, helping it to become an international sensation. Once he outgrew Menudo in 1989, he went back home to Puerto Rico, where he completed high school. After graduation, he moved to New York, where he simply relaxed for several months.
Following a few months of inactivity, he began to work his way back into the entertainment industry. He returned to Mexico, where he acted on-stage for a year before returning to the music industry. In 1991, he released his self-titled debut album, which he co-wrote with his fellow Menudo alumnus Robi Rosa, who would become a regular collaborator over the course of Martin's career (often credited as Ian Blake). The album became a sizable hit on the Latin charts. Two years later, he followed it with the Juan Carlos Calderon-produced Me Amarás, which was an even bigger hit, launching him to superstar status in Latin America. In January 1994, he joined the cast of the soap opera General Hospital, playing Miguel Morez. His recurring role was so successful that it landed him a role on Broadway, where he played Marius in Les Miserables. He left General Hospital to perform in the production and stayed with the play for about a year.
In 1995, he released his third album, A Medio Vivir, a record that had a harder rock edge yet also featured such Latin styles as flamenco and cumbia. In early 1998, he released his fourth album, Vuelve. His first English-language pop album -- which like his first long-player also happened to be titled Ricky Martin -- was released in the spring of 1999; it made him an international superstar thanks to blockbuster singles including "Livin' la Vida Loca" and "She's All I Ever Had." A year later, Martin sizzled again with the release of Sound Loaded. His biggest Spanish-language hits were collected on 2001's La Historia, while 2003's Almas del Silencio was an album of new Spanish material. Life, from 2005, was a return to English-language pop. Martin then released MTV Unplugged in 2006 in both CD and DVD formats.
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, and at one point Martin planned on proposing. However with the release of Life, Martin confirmed he and De Alba had parted ways.
In August 2008, Martin became the father of twin boys, named Matteo and Valentino. The babies were birthed 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 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." 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."
Ricky announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show that he is in a relationship though he has chosen to shield his boyfriend from the spotlight, believing that he might find the attention "overwhelming". Ricky 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.