Music of My Favorite Decade The 1990s Part 2: Legendary Singers

Continuing with the theme established in the previous article with the similar name, the 1990s also brought singers that managed to achieve great staying power.  The first of these artists is Ricky Martin.  From the time Ricky Martin was a teenager, he has been in the public eye.    In 1984 a thirteen year-old Ricky joined the Latin boy band, Menudo and became a young Latino heart throb.  In 1990, Martin started his solo career in singing and even 1994, starring on the ABC soap, General Hospital, but it wasn’t until 1999 that Ricky Martin would become widely known in the United States when he performed at the Grammys that year.

Ricky Martin’s first English single,  “Living la Vida Loca” sent him soaring into stardom.

Recently, Ricky came out as gay to the world and not long after that he released a memoir about his life on and off stage and what led him to reveal that he was gay.  Martin also released his latest album Musica + Alma +Sexo with the first single off the new album being “The Best Thing About Me Is You”, a duet with singer/ songwriter Joss Stone.  The video for this single features many same-sex couples.

Another legendary singer to debut during the 90s is Britney Spears.  Like Ricky Martin, Britney started young in the entertainment industry on the New Mickey Mouse Club on the Disney Channel.

Britney hit the music scene in 1999 when the title track of her album, …Baby One More Time, debuted and sold 500, 000 copies in one day

 Britney’s rise to stardom was not without its shares of ups and downs though.  From her marriage and divorce to the father of her children, Kevin Federline,  to her bouts with hospitalization, Britney suffered many troubling issues but despite those moments in her life, Britney endured.  Earlier this year, she released her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale, and the first single, “Hold It Against Me” debuted at number one.

Britney Spears has become a big influence in pop culture.  So much so, that the Fox television show, Glee, did an episode tribute to her with Spears herself making a cameo appearance.

Like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake got his start on the New Mickey Mouse Club.

Justin’s introduction into the music industry was as part of the boy band ‘N SYNC.  The group became widely popular with the teen set when their first single off their self-titled debut album, “I Want You Back”, premiered. 

It was apparent early on that Justin was a star but Justin’s stock rose when he went off to start his solo career.  In Feburary 2004, Timberlake came under fire for his role in the now infamous Janet Jackson “Wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Justin publicly apologized for his role in that incident and was back in the good graces of the American public.  In September 2006, Justin Timberlake released his second album, FutureSex/ LoveSounds, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.  The first single off the new album, “Sexyback” was an instant hit.

The style of FutureSex/ LoveSounds was different from his debut solo album due to Justin’s creative control and production partnership with producer/rapper Timbaland.  The duo of Timberlake and Timbaland was a winning combination that led to other artists like Duran Duran and Madonna using the duo’s talent to create hit songs.  Timberlake has also solidified himself as a talented actor starring in films such as Alpha Dog, The Social Network, and this summer’s Bad Teacher.

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