Generally speaking, people don’t remember it. However, Ricky Martin was once a member of the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo. However, he left towards the end of the 1980s, which was eventually followed by him launching his solo career in the early 1990s. Since then, Martin has managed to sell more than 70 million records on a worldwide basis, thus making him one of the best-selling and thus one of the most influential Latin music artists of all-time. Besides this, it is interesting to note that he is an actor as well, which is something that has brought him a fair amount of success in its own right.
Martin took a real gamble with the sound of his third studio album A Medio Vivir, so much so that his record label feared that he would ruin his career because of it. However, his gamble paid off, with the result that he chose to follow up with another studio album that would bolster what he called the internationalization of his career. “Vuelve” was that studio album’s title track. It didn’t make Martin the international superstar that he was aiming to be. However, “Vuelve” was a significant step in that direction, as shown by how it went number one in eight different countries.
9. La Bomba
Speaking of which, “La Bomba” was the third single off of the same studio album, which makes sense because it was also widely considered to be one of its best tracks. Sometimes, literal names can be very fitting because this song more than managed to live up to its name.
Jaleo is a Spanish word that can refer to a kind of dance plus the clapping that is meant to urge it on. As such, the song “Jaleo” is every bit as energetic as what one would expect from such a name, incorporating not just flamenco influence but also Middle Eastern-inspired rhythms for a finished product that is so much more than its sum.
“Adiós” is a very recent release, having come out in 2015 as a part of Martin’s tenth studio album A Quien Quiera Escuchar. It is interesting for a number of reasons. For example, “Adiós” sees the singer pleading for his lover to be the one to say goodbye because he can’t bear either being with them or being without them, which is a neat take on a much-sung-about theme. Meanwhile, Martin did not one, not two, but four different versions of the song – Spanish, English, English-French, and English-Turkish – which was a remarkable show of his linguistic capabilities.
If people are looking for something positive that encourages them to live their best life in spite of the negativity around them, they could do much worse than Más, which emphasizes exactly that. Curiously, the song uses various characters to make its point, which were made up by Martin but nonetheless real in a sense in Martin’s opinion.
5. La Mordidita
“La Mordidita” means “The Nibble,” which makes more sense when one realizes that the song uses the concept of a dancing virus that is transmitted by bite. Something that explains much about the music video in which Martin plus a host of others dance on the streets of Cartagena in Colombia with tremendous enthusiasm. In any case, “La Mordiditat” itself is worth mentioning because it is a masterful blend of salsa, cumbia, and reggaeton, thus enabling it to stand out even though Martin’s body of work is packed full of very uplifting, very danceable songs.
4. She Bangs
“She Bangs” is one of the most recognizable songs ever released by Martin. For proof, look no further than the fact that it reached the number one position in seven countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, which speaks volumes about the extent of its reach. The song shared a lot of similarities with its also extremely popular predecessor “Living La Vida Loca,” thus further cementing its status as a more than worthy follow-up.
3. Nobody Wants to Be Lonely
“Nobody Wants to Be Lonely” is a power ballad done as a duet between Martin and Christina Aguilera. Unsurprisingly, it was a huge hit because with that kind of partnership, it would have been stranger if it wasn’t. “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely” is one of those rare songs that have become more and more appreciated over time, with the result that it is now often considered to have been one of the best duets of the early 2000s.
2. La Copa de la Vida
In the late 1990s, Martin was asked to do the anthem for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The result was “La Copa de la Vida,” which is one of the strongest contenders for being the best FIFA World Cup anthem ever released. After all, it has outright been ranked as such by The Atlantic, The Fader, and other publications. Naturally, the energy of “La Copa de la Vida” did a great deal to further promote Martin’s career, which was already soaring because of the success of his third studio album.
1. Livin’ La Vida Loca
Chances are good that interested individuals guessed that “Livin’ la Vida Loca” was going to have a very high ranking, seeing as how it is one of Martin’s most iconic songs. Simply put, it earned widespread praise for its lyrics as well as its irresistible energy, which is particularly appropriate considering its topic. “Livin’ la Vida Loca” made Martin a true international superstar. Moreover, it is one of the major factors that launched the Latin pop explosion of the 1990s, thus paving the way for a whole host of other Latin music artists as well.