Pop Culture | Music | 00s | 90s

Ricky Martin Is Back In The Spotlight, But Where Has He Been All These Years?

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The Grammys

Lately it seems like Ricky Martin is everywhere, and it's giving us serious '90s nostalgia.

Between wedding bells, a role on a hit TV series, and a residency in Las Vegas, we're all livin' la vida loca again.

Warner Bros.

But we also can't help wondering where he's been for the last decade or so. Martin was one of the most successful musicians on the planet in the early 2000s, but it feels like he dropped off the face of the Earth just a few years later.

As it turns out, that's not too far from the truth.

Martin (far left) was a member of Menudo between 1984 and 1989.Billboard

While most Americans were introduced to Martin by his debut English-language album Ricky Martin, his career actually stretches back to when he was just 9 years old. After appearing in TV commercials in Puerto Rico, Martin became one of the members of the historic Latino boy band Menudo.

Menudo made Martin a star, but he also says the band "stole his childhood," with tight schedules and almost no freedom.

Martin during his time on 'General Hospital.'ABC

But in the '90s, Martin set out on his own and made a name for himself as an actor and a singer. He was a rare crossover: an actor so successful on Mexican TV that he landed a job on the American sitcom Getting By.

After the show was cancelled, Martin played Miguel Morez (a Puerto Rican singer, of course) on General Hospital, and perfomed in Les Miserables on Broadway.

Martin's real big break came when he returned his focus to music. His hit album Vuelve earned him a chance to perform at the 1999 Grammy Awards, and his performance of "The Cup of Life" made him an instant star.

Martin's next album Ricky Martin, his first English record, went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time, moving more than 22 million copies. In fact, the album's hit single, "Livin' la Vida Loca," sold 8 million copies on its own.

So why did it seem like Martin suddenly vanished in the 2000s? It turns out he actually did.

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