Ricky Martin broke out on the music scene as one of the youngest members of Puerto Rican boy band, Menudo. In 1999, the singer had crossover success with his self-titled, debut English-language album, helping to usher in the late 90s-early 2000s Latin pop explosion in the U.S. Since then, he has had success in both music and acting, remaining one of the most prolific Latin artists on the scene. Read on to find out more about the singer, and check back soon for part two of this list.
Number Fifteen: It Took Him Three Tries to Get into Menudo
Ricky Martin tried out for Menudo twice unsuccessfully, mainly because of his height. The third time, though, he impressed the judges enough with his persistence and talent that they let him join the group in 1984.
Number Fourteen: Ricky Martin Recorded Four Spanish-Language Solo Albums Before Coming to the States
Between 1991 and 1998, Martin released four Spanish-language albums in Puerto Rico that were highly successful. His third album in particular, A Medio Vivir, was a best-seller, as it featured his breakout hit “Maria.”
Number Thirteen: His World Cup Song Brought Attention to His Music Worldwide
Approached by FIFA in 1998 to write a song for the World Cup, Martin came up with “La Copa de la Vida.” His performance of the song during the World Cup final, which was broadcast to billions of people all over the world, became a turning point in the popularity of Latin pop. “La Copa de la Vida” hit number one in numerous countries and received the Lo Nuestro Award for Pop Song of the Year in 1999. The song also propelled his fourth album to number one on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart where it sat for 26 weeks, his first hit in the United States.
Number Twelve: His Performance at the Grammys Sparked an Interest in Latin Music Stateside
Not only did Martin perform “La Copa de la Vida” during the World Cup, but he was invited to perform it at the 1999 Grammys as well. His performance received a standing ovation and started a nationwide interest in Latin pop music. After his album Vuelve won Best Latin Pop Album, record companies scrambled to sign the next Latin superstar. Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Shakira were discovered out of this fascination with Latin music.
Number Eleven: Ricky Martin Was in a Failed Sitcom Before Starring on ‘General Hospital’
Having already been on telenovelas in Puerto Rico, Ricky Martin was ready to act in the United States. His first gig was on the sitcom, Getting By, which only lasted two seasons. Shortly after its cancellation, Martin was cast on General Hospital, but felt out of place because of his accent. He stayed on the show for one season.
Number Ten: He Has the Most Successful Album of Any Hispanic Artist in the U.S.
Ricky Martin’s self-titled English-language debut album sold more than a half-a-million copies after its release, landing it at number one on the Billboard 200. This gives Martin the distinction of having the most successful Billboard album debut by a Hispanic artist ever.
Number Nine: He Was a Coach on both ‘The Voice Australia’ and ‘The Voice Mexico’
In fact, he did both of these at the same time. Martin was a coach on The Voice Australia for three seasons from 2013 through 2015. He was a coach on The Voice Mexico for one season in 2014. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 interesting facts about Ricky Martin, coming soon.