Ricky Martin

Just over two months after unleashing an epic hip-shaking Grammy performance of “The Cup of Life” that knocked the earth’s off its axis, Ricky Martin managed to outdo himself by reaching a new zenith in his career.

On May 8th, 1999, exactly 25 years ago, Martin topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts for the first time with his career-defining hit “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”

The track would go on to spend five weeks at #1 and solidified the so-called “Latin pop explosion” he ignited following his Grammy night assault on the senses.

In addition to reaching the top in more than 20 countries, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” also hit #1 on nearly ten other U.S. Billboard charts including: Pop Songs, Adult Pop Songs, Top 40 Tracks, Rhythmic Top 40, and Adult Pop Airplay.

While the Spanish version reached the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks, where it remained for nine weeks.

Needless to say, the song was everywhere and Martin would perform it live for the very first time at the 1999 World Music Awards in Monaco.

Written by Martin’s fellow Menudo alum Draco Rosa and out songwriter Desmond Child, the lyrics detail a wild seductress who lures others into her tempestuous world.

Since it would be more than 11 years before Martin would publicly come out, the Puerto Rican heartthrob played the part of a dude unable to resist the power of the song’s temptress.

The music video shows Martin performing at a lively nightclub filled with salsa dancers intermixed with clips of him cavorting with Croatian model Nina Moric. The duo traipse through city streets, drive recklessly around in a convertible and wind up kissing in the rain.

Helmed by renown music video director Wayne Isham, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” would go on to nab nine noms at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards and win two (Best Pop and Best Dance).

Meanwhile, all of the song’s success almost never happened.

During an appearance on The View on Wednesday, the 52-year-old shared that the original version of his 1999 album Ricky Martin did not include “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Gay gasp!

“The album was already recorded and I was about to go into mastering and this song was born,” Martin recounted while seated at the hosts’ table in between Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin. “I said, ‘hold on a second. Everybody needs to stop. We need to go back into the studio and let’s record. Let’s do Livin’ La Vida Loca.'”

And just like that an earworm was born and no wedding reception would ever be the same again.

Martin would prove to be a versatile artist and go on to have more radio hits, but has yet to top the Billboard charts again.

As expected, the Grammy winner continues to perform “Livin’ La Vida Loca” today as it was the penultimate song in his set on the co-headlining Trilogy Tour with Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull.

Whatever your feelings on the song, check out Martin looking better than ever livin’ la vida loca during the Montreal stop of the tour earlier this year.

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