Thanks to Ricky Martin, We’re Still Livin’ La Vida Loca

Welcome to Thirstory, where we whet your appetite with pages from the Interview archive that were almost too hot to print. This week, we revisit our June 1999 cover story starring Ricky Martin.

Ever since Ricky Martin first set foot onstage at the tender age of 12, when he joined the boy group phenomenon Menudo, his charm and talent have been conquering audiences from every corner of the world. But it was at the 1999 Grammys, when he performed his FIFA World Cup theme song, “La Copa de la Vida”—an infectious anthem with a hint of Brazilian beats—when the world really started to pay attention to his talent. And, more importantly, to the movement of his hips onstage.

Not that Martin was particularly unknown; in fact, he was an MTV sensation. Back in the day, when the channel played music videos, his video for  “Livin’ La Vida Loca” was in constant rotation, turning him quickly into America’s favorite musical import. This is why, in June 1999, he graced the cover of Interview in what was then touted as a “Hot-Sauce Issue!” (an admittedly problematic move), tracking the Latin music explosion across the music industry. Martin talks to Gloria Estefan, another Latin music trailblazer, about his career and newfound fame. When asked what motivates him to keep going, the now real-life daddy responds: “to make them go crazy.” 21 years and counting, Martin keeps pushing us to live la vida loca