Ricky Martin was one of the biggest teen idols in Latin America during the '90s, who came out to be gay in March 2010. A lead singer of Menudo, Martin was blessedwith good looks and a nice voice, which helped him become aLatin music star. He also became an actor, earning praise fromthe Mexican motion picture industry and starring on theAmerican soap opera General Hospital, where he played MiguelMorez, a bartender who sings on the weekend.
Ricky Martin (b. December 24, 1971) was born and raised in SanJuan, Puerto Rico. As a child, he sang in the choir and performedin school plays. When he was six, he began acting in televisioncommercials. Shortly aftereward, he took professional singingand acting lessons, which paved the way for his auditions forMenudo. In 1984, when he was 12 years old, he became amember of Menudo. For the next five years, he was the leadsinger of the group, helping them become internationalsensations. Once he outgrew Menudo in 1989, he went backhome to Puerto Rico, where he completed high school. Aftergraduation, he moved to New York, where he simply relaxed forseveral months.
Following a few months of inactivity, he began to work his wayback into the entertainment industry. He returned to Mexico,where he acted on stage for a year before returning to themusic 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 ofMartin's career (often credited as Ian Blake). Ricky Martinbecame a sizable hit on the Latin charts. Two years later, hefollowed it with the Juan Carlos Calderon-produced Me Amaras,which was an even bigger hit, launching him to superstar statusin Latin America.
In January 1994, he joined the cast of the soap opera GeneralHospital, playing Miguel Morez. His recurring role was sosuccessful that it landed him a role on Broadway, where heplayed Marlo in Les Miserables. He left General Hospital toperform in the production and stayed with the play for about ayear.
In 1995, he released his third album, A Medio Vivir, a record thathad a harder rock edge, yet also featured such Latin styles asflamenco and cumbia. In early 1998, he released his fourthalbum, Vuelve. His first English pop album -- which happened toalso be titled Ricky Martin -- was released in the spring of 1999.
Martin has been nominated one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine and its sister magazine People en EspaÃ±ol in 2000 and 2006 respectively.
In the past Ricky 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 Ricky Martin planned on proposing. However with the release of "Life", Martin confirmed he and De Alba had parted ways.
During the Livin' la Vida Loca era, Martin's personal life went under the microscope due to his large gay following and he was constantly questioned about his sexual orientation. Neither avoiding the questions nor answering that he is straight stopped the gay rumors. In the magazine Plus 7 Days he said: "I am a modern man, live a full life, do not feel any barriers inside myself," Ricky says. "I perceive the contemporary world as an open forum, where nothing is taboo except criminal activity. If I were gay, why not admit it? ... I am a normal man. I love women and sex. I am a real hot-blooded Puerto Rican, but I have never been attracted by sex with a man."
In The Sunday Express on the gay rumors Martin said: "What are you going to do? I don't have a problem with homosexuality. I'm gay-friendlyâ€”I'm not gay."
In August 2008, Ricky became the father of twin boys. The babies were delivered via gestational surrogacy and were already a few weeks old. At the time of the press release, the children were already under Ricky's full-time care. On December 10, 2008, Martin told People magazine that the boys are named Matteo and Valentino. Martin's rep released a statement after the twins' birth, saying, "Ricky is elated to begin this new chapter in his life as a parent and will be spending the remainder of the year out of the public spotlight in order to spend time with his children."
In June 2009, Martin spoke about his sexuality in an interview with Hispanic magazine TV Aqui, reportedly hinting that he was bisexual. He stated that his "heart could belong to a woman or a man". Later reports refuted this as a publicity stunt by TV Aqui. The reliable gay publication The Advocate revealed in an article "Ricky Martin Coming Out A Lie": "Last week, via a leaked cover line and a vague Twitter post, Puerto Rican magazine TV Aqui suggested that Ricky Martin had inched toward the closet door in its latest issue by saying his heart â€œcould belong to a man or a woman. Now, with the issue on newsstands, it turns out the magazine cover text and Twitter post were nothing more than a ploy to get people to buy the magazine -- because that isnâ€™t what he said at all. In translated text of the video footage, Martin says: "Eh, the heart of Ricky Martin? Look, whether it has or doesn't have a male owner or a female owner, I have never spoken about that topic, so don't.
At last, after much controversy and interrogations, Ricky Martin himself came out of the closet on March 29, 2010, announcing about his homosexuality.
The Latin pop star and father of two twins openly discussed his sexuality and gayness for the first time at age 38. He says, "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man," he wrote. "I am very blessed to be who I am."
Martin decided it was time to share the news while writing his memoirs. For years, he said, friends would tell him that "everything you've built will collapse" if he told the truth. Martin noted that being a father has taught him to shine. "Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions."
The Latin pop star and adoptive father of two said he decided to write his memoirs a few months ago, a project that freed him "from things I was carrying within me for a long time." Martin said he wasn't sure how the news would affect his career: "It doesn't matter. . . . The word 'happiness' takes on a new meaning for me as of today."
After years of keeping quiet about his personal life, pop star Ricky Martin has announced that he is gay.
Ricky said writing his memoir and thinking about his two twin sons led him to go public.
"To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where [sic] born with. Enough is enough. This has to change. This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment," he wrote.
Though Ricky kept his sexuality private throughout most of his career, Ricky said he drew strength from that time.
"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," he continued. "What will happen from now on? It doesn't matter. I can only focus on what's happening to me in this moment. The word "happiness" takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution."