Ricky Martin's exuberant 1999 single "Livin' La Vida Loca" made him an avatar of dancable, hip-swiveling Latin pop.
Martin got his start with the all-boy pop group Menudo; after five years with the group, he released his Spanish-language solo album, Ricky Martin, in 1991.
He also acted on stage and on TV in Mexico, becoming a modest star there. In 1994 he jumped to the American TV soap opera General Hospital, playing a Puerto Rican singer. In 1999, after several albums in Spanish, he released his first English-language album (also titled Ricky Martin), which included the salsa-style "Livin' La Vida Loca." The album sold 17 million copies and put Martin on the map for good.
His other albums include A Medio Vivir (1995), Vuelve (1998), Sound Loaded (2000, with the hit "She Bangs"), and Life (2005).
Ricky Martin was the first Latin American singer to have a U.K. Number 1 hit.