Today’s LGBT History Month icon is singer Ricky Martin.
Born December 24, 1971, Ricky Martin has sold more than 60 million albums and is a Grammy-award winning artist. He is also well known for his human rights work, having set up the Ricky Martin Foundation that tackles issues like child poverty and child sex abuse.
Martin 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.
Below you can see Ellen DeGeneres interview Ricky Martin about his biography “Me” and why he decided to come out:
And below you can see Martin deliver an opening speech at the 2010 HRC dinner:
- Holson. Laura M. “Ricky Martin’s Personal Spin.”†NYTimes.com. 10 June 2011.
- “RICKY MARTIN.”†RickyMartinMusic.com. 10 June 2011.
- “Ricky Martin.”†Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 10 June 2011.
- “Ricky Martin Foundation.”†RickyMartinFoundation.org. 10 June 2011.
- “Ricky Martin on Living a Lie.”†Oprah.com. 10 June 2011.
- ‚ÄúRicky Martin.”†IMDb.com. 10 June 2011.
- Savant, Marilyn vos. “Ricky Martin on Fatherhood, Coming Out, and His Big Return.”†Parade.com. 10 June 2011.
- Me (2010)
Books about Ricky Martin:
- Ricky Martin by Elina Furman (1999)
- Ricky Martin: Livin the Crazy Life by Kristin Sparks (1999)
- Ricky Martin: La Vida Loca by Patricia J. Duncan (1999)
- Ricky Martin (1991)
- Me Amaras (1993)
- A Medio Vivir (1995)
- Vuelve (1998)
- Ricky Martin (1999)
- Sound Loaded (2000)
- Historia (2001)
- Almas del Silencio (2003)
- Life (2005)
- 17 (2008)
- Musica + Alma + Sexo (2011)
Image taken from the LGBT History Month video, no infringement intended.