Ricky Martin
Album Released

Comin Soon!


Ricky Martin -- an international superstar and native of Puerto Rico who has
sold more than 15 million records worldwide appears to be conquering
the US as well, thanks in large part to an electrifying performance of his
worldwide smash hit (and 1998 World Cup theme song), "La Copa de la
Vida," at the Grammy Awards show in February 1999. Martin is being hailed as
the forerunner in a vanguard of Latin pop guards - a 'Latin fever' that is
spreading worldwide. His 1998 Spanish-language album, Vuelve, won the
1999 Grammy for Best Latin Pop Performance and Martin's debut single
("Livin' La Vida Loca") from his first English-language album has become the biggest
selling No.1 single in the history of Columbia Records.
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, onDecember 24th 1971, Martin got his first
taste of performing in grade school, where he acted in school plays and sang
in the choir. As a small child, he appeared in a number of television
commercials and immersed himself in singing lessons. Unusually, early
influences included David Bowie and Cheap Trick until his mother escorted
Martin and his brothers to a Celia Cruz concert, an event that had a
profound influence. "One day our mother got tired of rock," he recalls with
a smile. "She said, 'I can't stand it anymore!' and grabbed us by the ears
and took us to a Celia Cruz concert. It really affected me." Today, Ricky
says, "I listen to everything. I'm like a sponge. I'm in this creative
moment that feels like, 'Let's get it out!'"

Martin landed a spot with the Latin boy group Menudo in 1984 at the tender
age of 12, and for the next five years he maintained a grueling regime of
recording work and tours. In 1989, when Menudo was at the peak of its
success, Martin opted out and moved to New York, hoping to achieve solo
success. After a year of unemployment, frustration led the aspiring
entertainer to Mexico. Soon after being cast as a regular in the Mexican
soap opera Alcanzar una Estrella II, Martin began dividing his time between
acting and music. His first two Spanish albums, 'Ricky Martin' (1992) and
'Me Amaras' (1993), achieved gold status in several countries. This success
led Martin to move once again, this time to Los Angeles in 1994 where he
divided his time between his third Spanish album, 'A Medio Vivir' and as
bartender Miguel Morez on the US soap, General Hospital.

Released in 1995, A Medio Vivir constituted a turning point in Martin's
recording career. The album combined Latin styling with a rock orientation.
Worldwide sales reached 600,000 within six months, and in October 1997 the
release was certified gold. Martin was awarded the prestigious role of
Marius in the Broadway production of Les Miserables and also found time to
dub the Spanish version of the popular animated Disney film Hercules.

As soon as his year-long stint on Broadway was completed, Martin began work
on his fourth Spanish album titled 'Vuelve', the album which sported the
smash hit, "La Copa de la Vida". It experienced spectacular worldwide sales,
to date selling 6 million copies. Following Martin's 1999 Grammy victory -
Vuelve was named Best Latin Pop Album - and his much talked-about
performance at the awards ceremony, sales of Vuelve jumped six-fold, thus
creating the perfect atmosphere for the May release of Martin's first
English-language album, 'Ricky Martin', which has been two years in the
making. "It's all about communicating," Ricky says by way of explaining his
decision to record in English. "I will never stop singing in Spanish --
that's who I am -- but this was always part of the plan."

"I had the dream team!," he enthuses about his producers: Robi Rosa (with
whom he's been working for years); Emilio Estefan, Jr. (the pioneer behind
the "Miami sound"); songwriter Desmond Child (best-known for his work with
Bon Jovi and Aerosmith but, as Ricky points out, is Cuban-born and "very
much in touch with the Latin sounds"); and, through Madonna, electronica
titan William Orbit. The production values on Ricky Martin draw from, and
enhance, the roots of his music. "Technology is great and it works so you
use it," Ricky admits, "but I also try to keep things very simple. When it
comes to music, you cannot pull a whip on yourself. I don't want my voice to
sound too technical, I want it to sound like me. The way I feel is, I don't
have to sound perfect, but my emotion has to nail it. There's nothing
scientific about it, it's all about emotion. I let it flow. If it's real, it stays."

So far Martin appears to be handling his success well, turning down a chance
to star opposite Jennifer Lopez in a film remake of West Side Story, on the
grounds that the movie helps perpetuate Puerto Rican stereotypes; 'the
consummate professional and painstaking artist'. He also continues to
maintain a relationship with his longtime girlfriend, Rebecca de Alba (who
hosts a TV show in Mexico), and in regard to his singing career he said to
USA Today:
"I want to do this forever. I don't want to be the hit of the summer, and,
hopefully, with a lot of humility, we can talk in 10 years and I'll still be here."


Home | Back