Ricky Martin's bravura, swivel-hipped performance of "The Cup of Life" at the 41st annual Grammy Awards handily stole the spotlight from the evening's platinum-edged superstars, positioning him as poster boy for a Latin pop crossover boom that dominated media for months to follow. Like most "overnight" sensations (or, for that matter, "brand new" pop trends), Martin's impact was actually the payoff for an extended apprenticeship: anything but a novice, this Puerto Rican native was already a major star in the Spanish-speaking pop realm, having graduated from his early stint as a plump-cheeked member of Menudo to become a sleek heartthrob.
With his chiseled features, flashing smile, and sinuous physical presence, Martin can't be blamed for playing to his female fans, and these video clips do just that. The sequence for Martin's breakout English hit, "Livin' La Vida Loca" (also included in a Spanish version) offers a template of sorts: footage of Martin performing the song in a nightclub setting is interspersed with location shots of the singer and the siren he's singing about, stitched together with rapid cuts and swirling camera movement that echo the percolating rhythms. Elsewhere, on "She's All I Ever Had," Martin downshifts to the role of earnest balladeer. The objects of his affection are typically drop-dead gorgeous (and, in one instance, teasingly undraped), and the undercurrent of sex approximates the sort of glossy perfection you'd expect from lingerie or perfume ads.
The cover-boy route is probably inevitable for Martin, but his vitality is hard to dismiss, especially during the final song--the same live Grammy performance that put him on global pop radar. That joyous appearance confirms that Martin doesn't need supermodel costars or retakes to heat things up. --Sam Sutherland
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Book Description Sony. VHS Tape. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P116305603685