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Las Gringas Guide to Ricky Martin on Video

Clearly, there’s nothing for you to do this afternoon but obsess over tomorrow’s Tony announcements. So let’s take a little break from that madness and watch some Ricky Martin videos, OK? OK.

We’ll say it up front: We are hardly completists when it comes to Ricky Martin’s career. We remember him in Menudo, but just barely. And his pop career came to our immediate, urgent attention at the same watershed moment it did for the rest of the English-speaking world: in the spring of 1999. If you will please forgive our knowledge gaps, we’d like to give you a video tour of one of Broadway’s (and the world’s) biggest (and obviously handsomest) stars…

The Cup of Life – 1999 Grammy Awards

To be clear: A star wasn’t born in this moment. A megastar was. This is the iconic clip from the 1999 Grammys telecast that launched Ricky Martin’s pop music career in North America. Urban legend has it that Martin wasn’t even scheduled to perform, and that he was filling in for an ailing Cher. Her head cold was his lucky break, apparently. And ours.

Livin’ La Vida Loca

Watching this video now, we’re struck by how singularly it captures what the world thought it looked like in the late 90s, right down to the clinging, spangled knits. Endlessly spoofed and copied, this video was the song of 1999. And we still wonder where that girl in the silver lame dress it today.

Nobody Wants to be Lonely

Let’s be clear: We’ve never not been obsessed with this video. This duet between Ricky and Christina Aguilera is notable because it sort of seems like they were never in the same room together – ever. Not when they recorded it or when they filmed the video, which features the two of them singing to each other from the confines of a gothic-arched castle of nondescript geographic location. (Or fav: When Ricky is singing in the shrubbery. Which might be a hedge maze. Because HE’S LOST.) Remember when a calculable percentage of Christina’s career consisted of shots of her belly? We clearly do. The only thing that would make it better would be if Ricky took his shirt of, but alas…

She Bangs

Oh my God, you guys. Let’s go dive into the ocean and see if we can discover a crazy underwater club where everyone dances to Ricky Martin songs and gets elaborately felt-up in the bathroom! Sounds like fun! Actually… it kinda does. Right down to the blue octopus man in the opening scenes. OK… maybe not the octopus man…

As Marius in Les Miserables

Broadway isn’t a new thing for Ricky Martin. In 1995, after rocking General Hospital for a few seasons, he played a very mulleted Marius in Les Miserables, back in the days when a mullet was an actual part of Marius’s costume. Wait for some really distinct acting, courtesy of the woman playing Eponine, at the :34 mark. You’ll be as startled as Ricky looks.

On General Hospital

This is a video of Ricky Martin making out with a girl in the shower on General Hospital, which really needs no further description or elaboration. This video is actually age-restricted, so… we’re sorry if you’re 13. You won’t always be! Someday you too will enjoy mostly-G-rated video of Ricky Martin making out with people. Wait for the best line: “Let me get my shampoo.”

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Seth Christenfeld April 30, 2012, 11:42 pm

    You know what I really want? For Ricky to be a good enough sport to sing “La Vida Eternal” from Altar Boyz at the Gypsy of the Year concert in the fall.

  • Persh June 29, 2013, 3:22 pm

    Hey hey,
    I was born in the 90s and my “music life” started right after Ricky Martin with the uprising of Shakira in Europe. So I watched Rickys performance at the grammys for the first time and to be honest I cannot understand why people are celebrating it that much. It’s nice, it’s fun , it’s cool to watch but please: Ricky is neither a great singer nor is his dancing as good as it is in other performances. The only explanation I have is that this was a surprise by an unknown artist. Just before the Latino wave. It must have been new. Because today it would be impossible to get a worldstar with this!

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