Most of us have done some crazy things in our lives. Looking back, many of us saw our wild days as part of growing up. As for singer Ricky Martin, he celebrated those crazy times in the hit song, “Livin la Vida Loca.” Written in Spanglish, “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” is a catchy tune that makes people dance. This song was a number one hit in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. Not only was this song great for Martin’s career, it also paved the way for other Latino performers to succeed in the music industry such as Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Shakira among many others.
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 24, 1971, Martin had musical talent as a boy. At the age of six, he began singing. He used wooden kitchen spoons as make-believe microphones. Martin’s family, from his mother’s side, was musically gifted. He was inspired by his maternal grandfather to write songs. Martin’s maternal grandfather was a poet. By profession, Nereida Morales, Martin’s mom, was an accountant. Martin’s dad, Martin Negroni, was a psychologist. Both of his parents supported his artistic abilities.
He got his first big break when he joined the band Menudo. Even though he was a good singer, he faced setbacks. After two auditions, he did not get into the band because he was not tall enough. Henever gave up his dream of becoming a singer. He auditioned for a third time. After his third tryout, he finally became a member of the Menudo band in 1984. Martin’s first performance, as a Menudo, was at the Luis A Ferre Performing Arts Center in San Juan.
During the 80’s, the Menudo band was very popular. Due to his good looks and wonderful singing voice, many girls saw Martin as their favorite Menudo. Girls loved Menudo so much that they had birthdays with the Menudo theme. They even sang and danced to Menudo hits at their party.
After joining Menudo, he continued to rise to fame. Proud of his cultural heritage, he released several Spanish-language solo albums during the 1990’s. In addition to making it big in the Spanish music market, he was successful in the English market. His first English-language Album Ricky Martin sold a whopping 22 million copies.
When Martin sang, “La copa de la vida,” for the 1998 World Cup, he made sports history. He moved the fans and the athletes with his performance. He wrote “La copa de la vida,” with K.C. Porter and Diaco Rosa. When he sang “La copa de la vida, he helped Latino singers by making Latin pop very popular worldwide. “La copa de la vida” became the number 1 song on the charts. This single also turned gold and platinum in several nations.
In addition to being a Latin pop sensation, Martin also starred on Broadway. He played the role of Marius Pontmercy in the musical Les Miserables. Martin also performed, as Che, in the musical Evita.
Not only is Martin a musician, he has also worked in commercials and television shows. When he published his autobiography, Me, in November 2, 2010, he became a successful writer. His work became number five on the New York Times Best Seller List. Martin published the children’s book, Santiago the Dreamer in Land Among the Stars in November 2013. Showing how proud he is of his cultural heritage, he also published an edition of that same book in Spanish, Santiago El Sonador en Entre Las Estrellas.
Throughout his artistic career, Martin has always shown that he is proud of his cultural roots. His pride is evident in all of his songs. In addition to being proud of being Puerto Rican , he is also proud of his Spanish background. In November 2011, Martin obtained Spanish citizenship. Martin’s grandmother owns a home in Madrid.
When Martin was a Menudo, he began to give back to others. Today he is still a humanitarian. He founded the Fundacion Rick Martin (The Ricky Martin Foundation). It a non-profit organization that helps children worldwide. This association works to eradicate trafficking of children. For his outstanding work with youngsters, he received the International Humanitarian Award. The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children presented Martin with this prestigious award. He also received many awards for his altruism and for his music.
Now Martin is working through his foundation, The Ricky Martin Foundation, to help Puerto Ricans that were affected by Hurricane Maria. He wrote a very touching letter on his page to obtain donations for the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Martin described the natural disaster as a crisis that is affecting 3.5 million people. Since he loves his homeland of Puerto Rico and its people, Martin donated $100,000 to the victims of Hurricane Maria. He is also joining Music For Relief and We Care Solar to help the people of Puerto Rico. He also thanked other charitable organizations such as the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, among many others, for their benevolence. Marin has always had a special place in his heart for Latinos, but today he sings for the people of Puerto Rico who need his help more than ever before.