Editor's note: October is LGBT History Month. Each day this month, Equality Forum will feature one LGBT icon who has made notable contributions to society and SDGLN will publish the story in the Causes section.
Ricky Martin is a Grammy Award-winning pop singer. A professional entertainer since childhood, Martin has sold more than 60 million albums.
He was born Dec. 24, 1971 as Enrique Martin Morales in San Juan, Puerto Rico into a Roman Catholic family. His mother is an accountant and his father is a psychologist.
Martin’s singing career began at age 12 with the Latin American boy band Menudo. After completing high school, he moved to Mexico City, where he signed a solo record deal with Sony.
After two successful Spanish-language albums and a sold-out concert tour, Martin moved to Los Angeles, where he was cast as a singer/bartender on the popular soap opera “General Hospital.”
In 1999, he released his first English-language recording. The self-titled album sold 22 million copies and launched the No. 1 hit single “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”
That year, Martin performed at the Grammy Awards and received the award for Best Latin Pop Album. With his good looks, sexy dance moves and dynamic performance style, he became an international superstar.
Martin is the founder and president of the Ricky Martin Foundation. The foundation works to prevent the trafficking of children. In 2005, he received the International Humanitarian Award from the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
In 2006, Martin was honored with the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Award. The following year, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Martin had twin sons in 2008 via a surrogate mother. Two years later, he came out with a post on his Web site, “I am a fortunate homosexual man.”
Martin’s memoir, “Me,” was published in 2010. In an interview he said, “I want my children to be able to read the book one day and understand the spiritual journey I had to experience.”
Martin lives in Miami with his partner and his two sons.
For more information about LGBT History Month, click HERE.
Left photo: Martin "colorized" his Facebook profile for LGBT Spirit Day, held Thursday.