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Since the unforgettable performance, Latin superstars such as Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Enrique Iglesias were capable of transcending boundaries within the music scene, and became global sensations.
Martin began his career at the age of 13, as a member of Puerto Rican boy band Menuda. Recognized as one of the biggest Latin boy bands in history, Menuda provided Martin with the opportunity to hone his skills and showcase his indescribable talent. After recording eleven albums with the group, Martin left the band in 1989 in order to pursue a solo career.
After a few modest-selling Spanish albums, Martin was contacted by FIFA, who requested that the singer write a song for the 1998 World Cup. Written by Martin, K.C. Porter, and fellow Menuda alumni Draco Rosa, “La Copa de la Vida” eventually shot to No. 1 on music charts across the world, and was certified platinum in countless countries. Martin performed the song at the final in the Stade de France, which was broadcast to over a billion viewers. This was an unprecedented occurrence for Latin pop, and heralded the beginning of the phenomenon in which Latin music would make its way into the popular international consciousness.
A year later, Martin performed at the 41st Grammy Awards, and further augmented his irresistible appeal. Martin earned an unexpected standing ovation at the ceremony, which affirmed the sheer scope of his popularity.
Martin followed his game-changing performance with the release of his first English album, 1999’s Ricky Martin. The eponymous album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200, and became the most successful debut on the American charts by a Hispanic artist. With his self-titled album, Martin was able to cross over to the United States market. Moreover, the album featured the smash single “Livin’ la Vida Loca”, which topped charts across the world and became one of the best-selling singles of all time. Eventually, Ricky Martin became one of the top-selling albums of 1999, was certified 7x platinum, and was recognized as one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Martin continues to release critically and commercially prosperous albums today. In fact, in recent years, Martin has experienced a resurgence in popularity, and continues to heat things up with his flair and charisma. This year, catch the Latin sensation as he takes over venues such as Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on his latest tour.
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