Written By: Mandi Lauren Nowitz
Playing Miguel on “General Hospital,” Ricky Martin was not the little boy from Menudo anymore. With wavy hair and a body to die for, women swooned for him every day and there was not really a question of his sexuality as he was in an almost fifteen-year romance with Rebecca de Alba, despite it being on and off. It seemed as though the two would sail off into the sunset, get married and have children, despite Martin being a sexual icon with his resurgence video of “Livin’ La Vida Loca” where he was all over his female co-star and a newly shorn hairstyle. Fans soon began wondering if Martin was hiding something as he and de Alba split for good. Through all of this, he was continuously making amazing music in both English and Spanish and his fan base was as high as it could be.
In 2000, The Mirror asked Martin point-blank if he was gay and this was his response: “I don’t think I should have to tell anyone if I am gay or not, or who I’ve slept with or not.” Ten years later, he took to his website where he publicly came out: “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am…these years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within, and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.” That was huge but not unexpected as he was now a father to twin boys, born two years prior via surrogate so I suppose that it was time he lived his full truth. He is currently engaged to a painter, whom he began dating early in 2016.
Though the focus seemed to be on his sexual preference, that should not take away from the amazing artist and philanthropist that he is. He has his own foundation, just to name one of his many ventures and took a political stand after performing at George Bush’s inauguration in 2001. Martin eventually slammed the fact that he ever did that and became an Obama advocate.
He has had some of the most fun anthems that dominated the charts and here are my top 5 favorite Ricky Martin tracks!
5) She Bangs: Put this song on and even if you are embarrassed, you will be up and shaking your tail feather. It’s just out of your control. “And she bangs, she bangs. Oh baby, when she moves, she moves. I go crazy. ‘Cause she looks like a flower but she stings like a bee. Like every girl in history. She bangs, she bangs.” And do not forget that this was the audition song for William Hung on “American Idol” that became a phenomenon.
4) The Cup Of Life/ La Copa de la Vida: This was so hot and fun that is became the anthem for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. “Go, go, go, ale, ale, ale. Arriba va, el mundo está de pie. Go, go, go, ale, ale, ale.” Yeah, go, go, go! No matter the language, it was a cheerleading anthem and it worked so well, especially when he sings “Do you really want it?” Yes, we do!
3) Livin’ La Vida Loca: It was like a comeback even though he really didn’t go anywhere. Like, his hair did but that was it. And everyone could relate to one of those topsy-turvy but addictive relationships. “Woke up in New York City. In a funky cheap hotel. She took my heart and she took my money. She must’ve slipped me a sleepin’ pill.” Dude got played.
2) I Don’t Care (feat. Fat Joe and Amerie): This was one of those songs that one would not expect from Ricky but it worked, especially with the collaborations. “I don’t care, I just want to be yours. I know I told you I’d never love you the way that I did again after all that you did to me. But I got to say. I don’t care, I just want to be yours.” We all know that person we should not be with and they have done us super dirty (like the girl in the “Livin’ La Vida Loca” song) but for some reason, it’s like an addiction. Ricky gets it.
1) Nobody Wants To Be Lonely (feat. Christina Aguilera): Oh my lord, this song gives me chills when I hear it. Their voices together mixed with some Spanish just works. It works and it was just around the time when Xtina was getting into her Latin roots. “Nobody wants to be lonely. Nobody wants to cry. My body’s longing to hold you. So bad it hurts inside. Time is precious and it’s slipping away and I’ve been waiting for you all of my life.”
There you have it; my top 5 Ricky Martin tracks and I hope that you have discovered something new and wonderful within his music and Martin as a person.