Ricky Martin (born Enrique Martín Morales on December 24, 1971) is a Puerto Rican pop singer and actor who achieved prominence, first as a member of the Latin boy band Menudo, then as a solo artist since 1991.
During his career he has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide. He is the founder of Ricky Martin Foundation (in Spanish Fundación Ricky Martin), a non-profit charity organization. Ricky Martin's exuberant 1999 single "Livin' la Vida Loca" made him a prominent figure of Latin dance-pop. Martin got his start with the all-boy pop group Menudo; after five years with the group, he released his Spanish-language solo album, Ricky Martin, in 1991. He also acted on stage and on TV in Mexico, becoming a modest star there. In 1994 he starred on the American TV soap opera General Hospital, playing a Puerto Rican singer. In 1999, after several albums in Spanish, he released his first English-language album (also titled Ricky Martin), which included the salsa-style "Livin' la Vida Loca". The album sold 17 million copies and brought Martin international fame. His other albums include A Medio Vivir (1995), Vuelve (1998), Sound Loaded (2000, with the hit "She Bangs"), Life (2005), and the compilation album Ricky Martin 17 (2008). In 2010 Martin announced that he was a "fortunate homosexual man", ending years of fan speculation on the topic.
On the edge of the new millennium, Martin—almost by himself—gave Latino music an international face. An acclaimed performance at the 1999 Grammy Awards launched Martin into worldwide super-stardom. As Entertainment Weekly's Andrew Essex reported, "his leather-pants, electro-pelvis version of 'La Copa de la Vida' single-handedly goosed a very dull telecast, earning him a standing ovation."