Ricky Martin Image Credit: Supplied

Pop star Ricky Martin is all set to bring la vida loca (the crazy life) to Dubai for the first time: The Puerto Rican singer will headline the third and final day of the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival on February 23 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Martin joins British pop/synth band Duran Duran (February 21) and crooner John Legend (February 22) at the annual event.

One of the first Latin artists to make a successful crossover into mainstream pop with hits like Living La Vida Loca, The Cup of Life and She Bangs, the 45-year-old has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide. His track record includes 95 platinum records and continues to perform to sold-out stadium and arena audiences throughout the world. His recent single Vente Pa’ Ca became one of the biggest hits of 2016, topping the charts in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, South Korea, Panama, and Venezuela. Martin’s tenth studio album, A Quien Quiera Escuchar, debuted at No 1, and went on to win Best Latin Pop Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards. In September 2017, Martin wrapped his first headlining residency, All In, at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas.

The singer, who has never performed in the city, has been here before.

“It will be nice to eventually perform in Dubai, I love the city,” he told Gulf News tabloid! in 2014, during a trip for a charity event. “I love Dubai and the energy there.”

Martin, who made his musical debut in 1984 aged 13, with Puerto Rican boy band Menudo, launched his solo career seven years later with a self-titled Spanish album. But it was another self-titled album, released in 1999 — his first English album — that would prove his real crossover album.

Livin’ La Vida Loca earned him his first US number and a spate of nominations, including a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album. The album also featured other massive hits including Maria and The Cup of Life.

His charitable work through The Ricky Martin Foundation has earned him worldwide recognition for his humanitarian work. Martin is father to eight-year-old twins Matteo and Valentino, who were born via surrogacy. He got engaged to his partner, the Syrian Swedish painter Jwan Yosef, last year.

“His first ever performance in Dubai, and at the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival, will amaze the audience and drive them into frenzy,” said Anthony Younes, founder and CEO of Chillout Productions. “We felt from last year that the region, especially our Dubai audience, were thrilled with Latino shows and Ricky is not only a singer, he is a great performer who sells big arenas worldwide. Expect him to deliver a sheer musical perfection, as he owns the stage on February 23.”

When speaking to tabloid!, Martin, whose biggest hit The Cup of Life became an anthem around the world, also talked about the unifying force of music.

“Musical walls are collapsing everywhere. People are collaborating beyond genres... you have people from the world of hip hop coming together with the world of pop. This is the future,” he said. “For me, music’s always been about focusing on the similarities. It’s not about subtracting, it’s about adding.”


Don’t miss it!

Discounted early bird tickets to Ricky Martin’s concert go on sale on December 14 at midday on dubaijazzfest.com. Regular tickets at the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival will start at Dh375.