The song that catapulted Ricky Martin to international superstardom debuted 20 years ago today.
“Livin’ La Vida Loca’ was released on March 23, 1999. It’s part of an illustrious list of gay favorite tracks that came out that year. Others included Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle,” Jennifer Lopez’s “Waiting For Tonight” and Whitney Houston’s “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay”.
Ricky, 47, was already a household name prior to “La Vida Loca” being released. He was initially in the boy band Menudo for several years before transitioning to a successful solo career in the Latin markets. He released four Spanish-speaking albums between 1991 and 1998 that included several chart-topping singles and accolades.
“La Vida Loca” was his first major English-speaking single outside of “La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life)”, which became the official song of the FIFA World Cup back in 1998. It became his first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, staying there for five weeks and earning him the number ten spot overall on the magazine’s year-end chart.
The song also won him numerous awards between 1999 and 2000. He scored several at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards including Best Pop and Dance Video. “La Vida Loca” also helped his self-titled album sell 15 million copies worldwide.
Ricky’s sexuality at that point was not disclosed. He came out 11 years after “La Vida Loca” was released in a post on his official website. “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man,” Ricky said in part. “I am very blessed to be who I am.”
He married partner Jwan Yosef in January 2018 two years after announcing their engagement on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The couple welcomed their daughter, Lucia Martin-Yosef, later on that year.