Ricky Martin, singer (LGBT History Month)
Ricky Martin is a 5-time Grammy Award-winning pop singer. A professional entertainer since childhood, Martin has sold more than 60 million albums. Bent Alaska presents his story as part of our celebration of LGBT History Month 2011, with thanks to the Equality Forum.
Ricky Martin (born December 24, 1971) is a 5-time Grammy Award-winning pop singer. A professional entertainer since childhood, Martin has sold more than 60 million albums.
He was born Enrique Martin Morales in San Juan, Puerto Rico, into a Roman Catholic family. His mother is an accountant and his father is a psychologist.
Martin’s singing career began at age 12 with the Latin American boy band Menudo. After completing high school, he moved to Mexico City, where he signed a solo record deal with Sony.
After two successful Spanish-language albums and a sold-out concert tour, Martin moved to Los Angeles, where he was cast as a singer/bartender on the popular soap opera “General Hospital.”
In 1999, he released his first English-language recording. The self-titled album sold 22 million copies and launched the No. 1 hit single “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”
That year, Martin performed at the Grammy Awards and received the award for Best Latin Pop Album. With his good looks, sexy dance moves and dynamic performance style, he became an international superstar.
Martin is the founder and president of the Ricky Martin Foundation. The foundation works to prevent the trafficking of children. In 2005, he received the International Humanitarian Award from the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In 2006, Martin was honored with the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Award. The following year, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2008, Martin had twin sons via a surrogate mother. Two years later, he came out with a post on his Web site, “I am a fortunate homosexual man.”
In 2010, Martin’s memoir, Me, was published. In an interview he said, “I want my children to be able to read the book one day and understand the spiritual journey I had to experience.”
Martin lives in Miami with his partner and his two sons.
On December 3, 2003, Martin was appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for his work as a defender of children’s rights, and in October 2011 he was honored with a Leader of Change Award during the Global Conference for Social Change in New York. He prepared a video in thanks for the award, and explaining the work of the Ricky Martin Foundation against exploitation of children and child trafficking. Watch: