Entertainment

21 Facts You Might Not Know About Ricky Martin

who didn’t grow up drooling over Ricky Martin? He started out as just a kid in San Juan and was world famous by age 12 thanks to his time with Menudo before making his on path in the music industry. He put Latin Pop on the map in iconic shows, and brought Latin music into the Spanglish American mainstream with hits like “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and “The Cup of Life.” Here’s a quick glimpse into the life and rise of Ricky Martin, the one man who still has our attention after all these years.

Ricky Martin was born on Christmas Eve.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

He’s coming up on his 47th birthday and has been in the business for 35 of those years. His full name is Enrique Martín Morales. He went by Ricky as a kid.

His mother was an accountant and his father a psychologist.

CREDIT: “Ricky Martin and his family life” Digital Image. AARP. 3 December 2018.

For ten years he had no relationship with his father until the pain finally overwhelmed him. “I was suffering,” he told People en Español. “If you think your parents are wrong, practice compassion and make peace.” He is the second youngest of six children.

His father discovered a newspaper ad for commercial auditions.

CREDIT: “122412MSMO241” Digital Image. ZTams. 3 December 2018.

By the time Ricky was 10 years old, he had starred in eleven commercials and was un poquito famous on the island. This gave him the perfect jumping off point for his career-making audition.

Then, he auditioned for iconic boy band Menudo.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Billboard. 3 December 2018.

They rejected him after the second audition because he was too short. By the time he got into the third audition, his persistence won the executives over.

Looking back on Menudo, he says they were all spoiled.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

He told Billboard, “I didn’t go around the world, I went around the world on a private jet. I didn’t have a hotel room, we had an entire floor. We were spoiled.”

Ricky Martin was so eager to sign his first solo album, he didn’t read the contract and was robbed.

CREDIT: @DesmondChild / Twitter

The deal meant that he would only be given a penny for each album sold. I don’t know why Sony Discos thought they could challenge Puerto Rican rage, but Martin has a more zen view about it now. The record was the start of something for him.

He moved to New York City three days after turning 18 to celebrate his independence.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

Even after leaving Menudo when he was 17 years old, he couldn’t touch any of the money he’d earned because he wasn’t an adult. He enrolled in the Tisch School of the Arts in NYC and dropped out months before even starting. He was going to Mexican Broadway.

Eventually, Martin acted long enough to be cast in General Hospital as a Puerto Rican singer.

CREDIT: Kandice Halfacre / Pinterest

This was his for real headshot for the role. He felt out of place on set because he was the only person with a Latino accent. He began a relationship with a man, came out to his mom, who supported him, and then locked it all up again after the relationship ended.

In his autobiography, he writes, “I already felt it was hard to be a Latino in Hollywood; what could have been more difficult than being Latino and gay?” ????

This is the stage that critics everywhere say was the catalyst for Latin Pop:

CREDIT: Ricky Martin / YouTube

It was 1999, and his album Vuelve was nominated for Best Latin Pop Album. He performed “The Cup of Life” and the crowd went nuts, giving him a standing ovation. During an era when Marc Anthony was King, J.Lo was only known as an actress and Shakira hadn’t released her first album English yet, Ricky Martin was it.

That same night, he won the Grammy.

CREDIT: “Ricky Martin won the Grammy in 1999”Digital Image. AARP. 3 December 2018.

He’s known as the guy who led the charge for Spanish Language artists to transition into the English-speaking market. Immediately after winning the Grammy, he released “Livin’ la Vida Loca.” That did okay.

Ricky Martin grew up very, very Catholic.

CREDIT: @PuertoRicoPUR / Twitter

He was even an altar boy as a child. Today, he says he’s open to all religious beliefs. He told the Buddhist Channel, “I really like the Buddhist philosophy but that doesn’t mean that I am of the religion. If I subscribe to Buddhism, I can’t be of anything else…I am not going to follow those rules.”

We all remember our super Catholic moms who’d hit us if we questioned anything the priest said nodding their heads, “Respeto” when this news came out.

He made an appearance on Glee as “The Spanish Teacher.”

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. The EW. 3 December 2018.

Clearly, he was the best thing to happen to that show, second to Naya Rivera’s holy appearances. Martin teased fans on Twitter back in 2011 saying, “I hear McKinley high has an opening for a Spanish teacher… Maybe I’ll apply. ;o)”

On March 29, 2010, Martin publicly came out as gay.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

He came out in a post on his official website, saying:

“I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am. 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.” ????

Which makes covers like these hilarious:

CREDIT: @Spain_RM / Twitter

Barbara Walters has regretted pressuring Martin in 2000 to respond to questions around his sexuality. He told The Mirror, “I don’t think I should have to tell anyone if I am gay or not, or who I’ve slept with or not.”

Shortly after he came out, he released his autobiography, Me.

CREDIT: @elenqa83 / Twitter

It debuted at No. 5 on The New York Times Best Seller list. He opens up about what it was like navigating his sexuality and competing emotions while becoming a national sex symbol all a lo mismo tiempo.

Two years earlier, Ricky had twin sons via a gestational surrogate mother.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

Martin told Out magazine that he wants his kids in the spotlight because, “I want people to look at me and see a family and say, ‘There’s nothing wrong with that.’ It’s part of my mission. It’s part of my kids’ mission as well. My kids ask me about having two daddies and I tell them we are a part of a modern family. This is a beautiful sense of freedom.”

These days, Martin and his hubbie Jwan Yosef spend a lot of time on la isla.

CREDIT: @bananabusiness / Twitter

Yosef is a painter. Martin apparently fell in love with his work and then fell in love with him. The two plan to start an even bigger family together.

Their kids came up with the concept for Martin’s now-famous #Allin4PR camiseta fundraiser.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

Caption: “A few weeks ago, my kids came to me and asked ‘Dad, what can WE do to help Puerto Rico?” So they each drew & colored the Puerto Rican flag, we put the flags on t-shirts, and a beautiful idea was born. Once we got the first shirt, my husband photographed me in it and our family was #Allin4PR.”

Celebrities everywhere have joined the movement to help rebuild Puerto Rico with the Martin family.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

Celebrities like Bad Bunny, Marc Anthony, Will Smith, Jaime Camil, and Gina Rodriguez are just a few that supported it. The campaign is no longer active, but if you follow @Ricky_Martin, you can see all the active work he’s doing to physically rebuild homes in Puerto Rico.

Martin raised enough funds to reconstruct 225 homes.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

The whole Martin family is glorying in the Puerto Rican sun and the glow of helping Puerto Rican families. He posted on Instagram saying, “This was stronger than me. I couldn’t wait another day. It’s one year later, and we’re STILL #AllIn4PR. The death toll was high after Hurricane Maria, but the spirit of the people of Puerto Rico is UNBREAKABLE. We are resilient. ”

We leave you with this philanthropic, angelic padre, beach bod.

CREDIT: @ricky_martin / Instagram

Ricky Martin raised us all, and he’s essentially adopted the whole island under his paternal wing. This island just breeds buena gente, you know what I mean?


READ: Here’s A Throwback Video Of Ricky Martin Being Introduced By Oprah Winfrey As ‘The Cutest Thing

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Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Opens Up On Being A Queer Latino And Talks New Music In Powerful New Interview

Mike Windler / Getty Images

Ricky Martin has long been an international superstar – even long before ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’ took over virtually every airway in the world. But it’s hard to deny that with that song, the Puerto Rican singer entered the global mainstream and ever since he’s been a pop icon.

From being one of the first major pop stars to publicly come out as gay, to acting in popular TV series, and getting married and becoming a father of four, Ricky Martin has always been a very busy man.

And despite a global pandemic that has forced all of us to stay at home and find a ‘new normal,’ Martin has forged a path forward. He recently sat down for an interview with Billboard to discuss everything from new music, the global Coronavirus pandemic, and his identity as an out and proud gay Latino.

Considering we’re all still living amid a global pandemic, the Billboard interview started on this very relevant topic.

Billboard points out that Martin and his family live in a very big and beautiful house in Beverly Hills, which likely makes staying at home a bit easier compared to the rest of us. However, Martin points out that he has a very loud home – with four kids and his mom all living under one roof. But he admits, “…I am very lucky. I am in a comfortable home where my kids can play.”

Ricky Martin is also working on new music. He released Pausa in May, and now as he works on new music the world is a very different place. He told Billboard: “I started working on my music maybe nine months ago. In my mind, the album was going to be called Movimiento, which means movement. But with all this [pandemic], it just told me… “The way it was, was not working. Let’s do it differently.” I have music with rhythm, but I was not going to tell people to move! So I named it Pausa.”

He also speaks about his close relationship with fellow Puerto Rican, El Conejo Malo.

Shortly after Billboard released its history-making cover with Bad Bunny on the the cover, Martin described San Benito as a “Latin queer icon.” Many people – of all backgrounds – took issue with that. But Ricky Martin tells Billboard that “allies are so important. Without them, our fight for equality is impossible. It really tickles me to see Bad Bunny as a gay icon — just like Cher could be. Why not?”

The Puerto Rican singer shared what his coming out experience was like and reveals he never tires of sharing it.

In the interview, Martin is very open about his coming out as gay. The singer came out as gay in 2010, married husband Jwan Yosef in 2017, and together the couple is raising four children.

Rolling Stone asked Martin, 48, what it was like to remain closeted during “the most public, exposed period” of his life.

“I had moments of extreme positivity, and not so positive [moments],” Martin answered. “Life was a bit on steroids in those days. Everything was really intense, but I could take it! I come from a school of military discipline when it comes to training for music, dance, and acting. I started when I was 12. So for me, it was about not being ready to open [up]. When you open an egg from the outside, what comes out is death. But when the egg opens from the inside, what comes out is life. It’s something that needs to come from within. Every time someone forces someone to come out, what you’re doing is you’re destroying the natural flow of the self-discovery.”

When asked what motivated him to come out publicly, Martin said that a kid somewhere in America needs to see positive headlines about coming out.

“Today I woke up to this beautiful headline that I know someone out there is in need of. The headline was something like, ‘I came out. And ever since I’ve been the happiest.’ Something like that, something… My heart is beating faster because I know today a kid somewhere in America woke up needing to hear those words. A lot of people say they get tired of talking about the same thing. Why would I? Are you kidding me? For so many years I had to keep it inside. And then the effect of someone… What people are getting from it in their healing process?”

Billboard also asked Martin his feelings on how the media is profiting and accepting Puerto Rican and Latinx culture.

When asked if he feels that the American media has gotten better or more open to understanding Puerto Rican culture, Martin responded: “We certainly have a long way to go, but the important thing is that we see that there’s an audience that is interested. And it’s up to us to bring [the] education.”

And he’s absolutely right. This year has seen several Latino artists rise to the top of all sorts of charts. Bad Bunny and J Balvin are among the most streamed artists globally and Bad Bunny is one of the most streamed artists on YouTube as well.

Meanwhile, Maluma and Jennifer Lopez are working on a film that will be out early next year. The Emmy’s, VMAs, and other award shows finally had decent representation of artists of color – particularly among the Latinx community.

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Billboard Listed The Top 50 Latin Music Songs Of All Time And Some People Have Questions

Entertainment

Billboard Listed The Top 50 Latin Music Songs Of All Time And Some People Have Questions

shakira / jbalvin / Instagram

Latin music is something we all grew up with. Our parents raised us on the voices of Celia Cruz and Vicente Fernandez. We cleaned the house and entertained ourselves on road trips to these artists and they are ingrained in our DNA. Billboard recently released a list of the 50 best Latin music songs of all time and some are undoubtedly iconic and others just aren’t Latin music.

Billboard dropped their list for the 50 best Latin music songs of all time and some of them are truly classics.

Amor Prohibido” by Selena, “Guantanamera” by Celia Cruz, “El Rey” by Vicente Fernandez, and “El dia que me quieras” by Luis Miguel are just a few of the songs on the list that deserve all the praise. They are songs that transport us to our childhoods and cherished family memories.

The list also includes some newer songs that have rocked out adult worlds. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, “Mi Gente” by J Balvin, “El Farsante” by Ozuna, and “Tusa” by Karol G and Nicki Minaj all made the list. Not only do these songs speak to the Latino audience, they have been able to go mainstream sharing our musical culture with the world. That’s something to admire and respect because it gives our community representation like never before.

The list has proven to be just want some people have been asking for.

Tbh, this would make a pretty amazing road trip playlist if you need to pass the time. Nothing like a mix of Latin music songs playing along to give you a big, inclusive sabor of Latin America through music. A little be of Mexico and a little bit of Puerto Rico mixed in with a little bit of Colombia is pure joy and magic.

However, a lot of people are questioning the list’s inclusion of Spanish artists.

The list has various artists who are not Latino, but Spanish. There seems to be an unspoken rule in the music industry that music in Spanish is automatically Latin music. Fans have long been arguing against the industry’s blanket label of Spanish-language music automatically being considered Latin music.

Rosalía, who has arguably become the face of the debate, is listed as having one of the best Latin music songs of all time.

While Rosalía does make some good music, there is a real push to make sure the artists of Latin American roots are uplifted in Latin music. There is nothing wrong with including Rosalía in your Spanish-language playlists but Latin music fans want the distinction made that some artists aren’t Latino.

You can check out the rest of the Billboard list here.

READ: Vogue México Put A Spanish Music Artist On Their Cover And Called Her Latina And Latinos Almost Set Twitter On Fire

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