SINGER RICKY MARTIN performs during his One World tour 2016 in Montevideo.
(photo credit: ANDRES STAPFF/REUTERS)
A decade after his first planned performance in Israel was mysteriously canceled, veteran Latin singing and dancing sensation Ricky Martin will finally get a chance to live la vida loca, Tel Aviv style, on September 14 at the Menorah Mivtahim Arena.
Although the 45-year-old Puerto Rico-born Enrique Martín Morales never repeated the wild success of his 1999 worldwide hit song “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” his hero stature in the Latin world hasn’t wavered, and he has remained a top draw internationally.
“Get ready because it’s going to be a party!” he recently told The Jerusalem Post
concerning the 70-show One World tour, which began in April 2015 in New Zealand and ends in December in Mexico. “I want each person that comes to the concert to fully enjoy the music and forget about everything else for those two hours. Just be yourself. Even if you don’t have rhythm, just dance and allow yourself to be.”
Martin hasn’t release an English-language album since 2005’s Life, but his Spanish albums have continued to sell millions, including his latest Quien Quiera Escuchar, an album the singer describes as “raw and honest.”
“That’s been the way I have chosen to live both my professional and personal life. I let my skin speak with no inhibition or fear; it felt like therapy almost,” he says.
He may have been alluding to revelations about his own life that he has shared publicly in recent years.
With astonishing good looks and he-man physique, Martin has attracted a large gay following throughout his career, raising conjecture about his sexual orientation. In 2010 he announced that he was gay and has been an active advocate for gay rights, speaking at a UN conference on homophobia in 2012.
Being yourself is a key aspect of Martin’s music, which ties into the LGBT-friendly culture that characterizes Tel Aviv. He says he’s familiar with the city’s reputation, adding that work still needs to be done to support the LGBT community.
“I’ve known it is considered to be one of the most accepting places for the LGBT community, and that is wonderful,” Martin says. “Respecting all citizens should be something natural and an attitude that everyone around the world should carry. Sadly, we all know that this is not a reality.”
Martin first took the stage in the 1980s as a member of the popular Puerto Rican boy band Menudo before graduating to acting in Mexican telenovelas and a short stint on the soap opera General Hospital. His solo music career got its launch in 1991, and he became a star in the Latin world. But it paled compared to the hysteria that greeted his first English crossover attempt in 1999, which gave the world the catchy “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”
“I’m not a purist when it comes to my music. I love collaborating and being aware of the sounds around me,” Martin says. “That’s what keeps me excited to keep creating... with the goal being happiness, positive and pure fun for whoever wants to listen.”
He still gladly performs his anthem to hedonism at every show, but he says he is just as excited by how his new material is reaching the fans.
“We have been touring all over the world for the past year and a half, and it’s been wonderful to see how people relate to the new songs and make the stories I tell their own,” he says. “I’m enjoying every minute of this amazing journey, and I’m always up for continuing growing as an artist. There’s no limit to creativity, so I’m all in when it comes to new sounds, languages and rhythms.”
He adds, “I’m an entertainer, and I am fortunate to do what I truly love, which is to make people happy through music and dance – that is what I want to do.
I’m super-excited to have the opportunity. This show is about freedom, fun and awareness. I’m very proud of it, and I can’t wait to share it with you all in Israel.”Ricky Martin will perform on September 14 at the Menorah Mivtahim Arena in Tel Aviv.