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Ricky Martin (англійською)


More than a billion viewers in 187 countries across the globe

    felt the power and energy of Ricky Martin's electrifying

    performance of "The Cup Of Life" at the 1999 Grammy

    Awards ceremony; "La Copa de la Vida," the official song of

    the World Cup France '98, has been a #1 single in more than

    30 countries. That same night, Ricky's latest full-length Latin

    recording, Vuelve, won the Grammy for Best Latin Pop

    Performance. With his magical career-defining performance,

    Ricky Martin -- an international superstar who has sold more

    than 15 million records worldwide and packs stadiums from

    Buenos Aires to Beijing to New Delhi and beyond-- was

    suddenly a recognizable name and presence in more than 24

    million U.S. households. Ricky Martin, his first English

    language album, is the next step in the evolution of this

    remarkable talent.

    "It's all about communicating," Ricky says by way of

    explaining his decision to record in English. "I will never stop

    singing in Spanish -- that's who I am -- but this was always part

    of the plan." A labor of love and passion, Ricky Martin has

    been two years in the making. "I was not going to release this

    album until I was completely content with what I'd be

    presenting," admits Ricky, the consummate professional and

    painstaking artist. "I want to listen to my music in 30 years and

    say, 'Great album!' The time for this album is now, not

    because I'm ready now and I wasn't before, but because now

    the music is ready."


    The first track off Ricky Martin is "Livin' La Vida Loca," a

    sensuous celebration of life driven by a loaded rock bass line,

    sexy-smart lyrics, raw vocals and pulsating rhythms.

    According to Ricky, "that's the single because I want to say,

    'Hey! Boom! I'm here! Check this out!' The song has a little bit

    of Latin, a little bit of ska, a little bit of rock, there's even a

    little bit of the '60s, sort of a James Bond sound."


    Like the single, Ricky Martin explores an eclectic musical

    range. "Yes, I come from Puerto Rico," he says, "I grew up

    listening to Boston, Cheap Trick, Journey, David Bowie. When

    I was a kid, my brothers and I were all into rock, rock, rock."


    Ultimately, however, Ricky got a lesson in Latin music he

    couldn't ignore. "One day our mother got tired of rock," he

    recalls with a smile. "She said, 'I can't stand it anymore!' and

    grabbed us by the ears and took us to a Celia Cruz concert. It

    really affected me."                 



    Today, Ricky says, "I listen to everything. I'm like a sponge.

    I'm in this creative moment that feels like, 'Let's get it out!'" On

    one end of the spectrum, Ricky delivers the stripped-down, yet

    impassioned, sitar-laced "She's All I Ever Had," while on the

    other there's "Shake Your Bon-Bon," a tantalizing Latinized

funk-rock-confection with hyper-horns, sly female background

    vocals, and vocal hook that's absolutely irresistible. Far less

    libidinous, yet still sensual, is the soaring and imploring "I Am

    Made of You," Ricky's favorite cut because it "describes

    perfectly where I'm at today in my spiritual search."


    One track that's bound to attract attention is "Be Careful

    (Cuidado Con Mi Corazón)," a true summit meeting of

    musical superpowers: Ricky Martin and Madonna. "People

    said, 'It won't match! You're Latin and the sound she's working

    in at the moment is very English-techno,' but we felt we had to

    do it," Ricky says. "We didn't want to think about deadlines or

    why we were doing it. If it works for my album, great. If it winds

    up on a soundtrack or something else, great. If it's just for us

    to go into the studio and have fun, great." As it turned out, the

    track blended the worlds of Latin music and electronica in a

    groundbreaking techno-acoustic ballad and wound up fitting in

    perfectly with the rest of Ricky Martin.

    One of the unexpected stand-out surprises on Ricky Martin is

    the sensuous "Private Emotion," another duet, this one

    pairing Ricky with the Swedish songstress Meja.


    "I had the dream team!," he enthuses about his producers:

    Robi Rosa (with whom he's been working for years); Emilio

    Estefan, Jr. (the pioneer behind the "Miami sound");

    songwriter Desmond Child (best-known for his work with Bon

    Jovi and Aerosmith but, as Ricky points out, is Cuban-born

    and "very much in touch with the Latin sounds"); and, through

    Madonna, electronica titan William Orbit. Other writers and

    producers on the album include Jon Secada, George

    Noriega, Juan Zambrano, and Walter Afanasieff.

    The production values on Ricky Martin draw from, and

    enhance, the roots of his music. "Technology is great and it

    works so you use it," Ricky admits, "but I also try to keep

    things very simple. When it comes to music, you cannot pull a

    whip on yourself. I don't want my voice to sound too technical,

    I want it to sound like me. The way I feel is, I don't have to

    sound perfect, but my emotion has to nail it. There's nothing

    scientific about it, it's all about emotion. I let it flow. If it's real,

    it stays."

    Ricky Martin was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico,

    where he first revealed his love of performing in school plays

    and choir. At the age of six, he had already begun to appear in

    television commercials, becoming comfortable with the camera

    and maturing in his craft through acting and singing lessons.

    When he discovered the Latin music sensation Menudo,

    Ricky began to audition, but was at first rejected as being too

    young. When he was finally selected to join the group, in 1984,

    Ricky Martin was 12 years old.

    After five years of nonstop work, tours, recording, and

    rehearsing with the group, Ricky left in 1989, traveling first to

    New York, to study and reflect, and then to México, where he

    worked as an actor and a singer. His first solo album earned

    him eight gold records in México, Chile, Argentina, Puerto

    Rico, and the United States. After releasing his second album,

    Me Amaras, Ricky moved to Los Angeles, where he became

    an American television heartthrob in his role as "Miguel" on

    "General Hospital." He went on to appear as "Marius" in the

    Broadway production of "Les Misérables." His third album, A

    Medio Vivir, was produced by Robi Rosa and KC Porter

    (Bon Jovi, Boyz II Men, Richard Marx, Patti LaBelle), sold

    more than 600,000 in six months, and was certified gold by the

    RIAA on October 27, 1997. Vuelve repeated that success and

    was RIAA-certified gold on July 7, 1998; to date, Vuelve has

    sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. Most recently,

    Ricky Martin can be seen on television commercials as the

    spokesperson for Puerto Rican tourism.

    Which brings things up to the Grammy performance that

    rocked the planet. "I was more excited when I learned I'd be

    performing than when I was nominated," he confesses. "It was

    the most difficult audience I've ever been in front of! Sting!

    Madonna! Pavorotti! To get the acceptance of your peers

    really means a lot."


    Not surprisingly, Ricky's philosophy for making music is akin

    to the effect he hopes to have on his listeners: "I want them to

    feel free, liberated. I want them to be who they are with my



    Ricky Martin marks the arrival of a superstar while signaling a

    brand new era in Latin music, a time when the whole world is

    "Livin' La Vida Loca"!
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