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Ricky Martin: 1971—: Singer, Actor

Opened Doors For Others

Sound Loaded, released in 2000, featured the single "She Bangs," a hit overseas, but less so in America. It also featured a highly acclaimed duet with Christina Aguilera, "Nobody Wants to Be Lonely." Although it was a top ten hit around much of the world, in the United States it only reached No. 13 on the Hot 100. Billboard was critical about the album's tame reception compared to Martin's two previous releases: "The signs continue to point to massive burn-out on this artist. Unfortunately, 'Loaded' is not going to bring new luster to … his career at top 40 radio." Yet Martin's energetic live performances continued to thrill throngs of concert-goers.

Martin's explosion into superstardom helped open the door for many other Latin artists. Artists such as Marc Anthony, Shakira, and Enrique Iglesias, have crossed over to U.S. audiences with much success. In 1999 Martin himself predicted the far-reaching benefits of his hard work and fame to USA Today: "I can open the door to a new generation of Latin performers." This was proven when actress/singer Jennifer Lopez, released her first album, and it quickly went platinum, selling over a million copies.

Since his Menudo days, Martin has become involved in charitable programs that aid children. The Ricky Martin Foundation was established in 2000 to provide assistance to a variety of causes. Billboard wrote in May of 2002: "This impetus to help, coupled with a highly involved and personal approach to doing so that dates back to his teens, motivated Billboard to name Martin the recipient of [its] Spirit of Hope Award."

In 2002, during his participation in the Principal for a Day program, a program supporting New York public schools, People visited with Martin to ask what advice he wanted to share with young people today. He replied: "I think it is important to talk about persistence and to leave the word 'mediocrity' out of your vocabulary. I need to talk about the importance of fighting for what you believe in."

In addition to his charitable work, Ricky Martin has continued to explore his entertainment career. He told People: "I've been working on acting. I want to go back to film and theater. But music will always be my priority. Being onstage is really what I live for. I think it's the most beautiful addiction that there is. I don't really see myself doing anything else at this point."

Selected discography

Ricky Martin, Sony Discos, 1992.

Me Amaras, Sony Discos, 1993.

A Medio Vivir, Sony Discos, 1995.

Vuelve, C2/Columbia, 1998.

Ricky Martin, C2/Columbia, 1999.

Sound Loaded, C2/Columbia, 2002.

Almas del silencio, Sony, 2003.



Billboard, March 17, 1997; September 5, 1998; March 13, 1999; May 29, 1999; June 5, 1999; June 2, 2001; May 11, 2002; January 27, 2001; February 3, 2001.

Entertainment Weekly, April, 23, 1999; May 14, 1999.

Hispanic, September 1994.

Hispanic Times, October/November 1996.

Houston Chronicle, March 8, 1999.

Interview, June 1999.

Los Angeles Times, December 5, 1995; May 12, 1999.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 2, 1999.

Newsday, May 30, 1999.

Newsweek, May 31, 1999.

New York Times, June 18, 2000.

People, May 15, 1995; May 10, 1999; June 7, 1999; May 6, 2002.

Rolling Stone, May 3, 1999; May 13, 1999; June 10, 1999.

San Francisco Chronicle, May 9, 1999.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 16, 1999.

Time, March 15, 1999; May 24, 1999; May 10, 1999; May 24, 1999.

USA Today, March 1, 1999; May 7, 1999.


"Artist Spotlight — Ricky Martin," MSN Music, http://entertainment.msn.com/Artist/?artist=100514 (March 31, 2003).

"Ricky Martin: Biography," VH1.com Artists, www.vh1.com/artists/az/martin_ricky/bio.jhtml (March 31, 2003).

—Kim Burton

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Al Loving Biography - Loved Painting from Early Age to Alice McGill Biography - PersonalRicky Martin: 1971—: Singer, Actor Biography - Joined Latin Boy Band Menudo, Released First Solo Album, Unforgettable Grammy Performance, Released English-language Album