Martin was born on Christmas Eve, 1971 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At 12 he was rotated into the lineup of the Latin boy band Menudo. Five years later, at the peak of superstardom, he was rotated out. Following his departure from Menudo, Martin spent several years getting his bearings; he graduated from high school, dabbled in acting, spent time in Mexico and New York, and eventually released two solo albums (Ricky Martin and Me Amaras) that became hits on the Latin pop charts. In 1994 Martin landed a regular role on the soap opera "General Hospital." His character, Miguel Morez, was a singing bartender. The role on "GH" eventually led to a year-long role in the Broadway production of "Les Miserables." Three years later, Martin released Vuelve, his most successful album to date. The CD contained the international hit "La Copa de la Vida/The Cup of Life," which became an anthem for the 1998 World Cup and which won Martin a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Performance. Martin quickly followed up on his success with the release of 1999's Ricky Martin, his English-language debut.