One of the foremost male pop stars of the last twenty years is undeniably "Livin' La Vida Loca" crooner Ricky Martin, so his deigning of appearing on next week's GLEE as a new Spanish teacher, David Martinez, is a cause celebre for fans of the Latin superstar, GLEE, or, even, for those who follow the artists whom he covers on the episode - LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It" and, the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna. Recalling the golden days of television when hit parade variety shows would cover top chart hits when they were fresh and new, Ricky Martin tackling Madonna two days after the Super Bowl - with, supposedly, a LMFAO cameo occurring during her highly anticipated performance on Sunday - and taking on one of the year's biggest songs so far, "Sexy And I Know It", is pop culture must-see TV if there ever were any. Ricky Martin and Madonna are undeniably two of the most theatrical pop culture mainstays of the last few decades and their collective media super-blitz thanks to Martin's GLEE appearance and Madonna's Super Bowl performance is encapsulated perfectly in Martin's essaying of Madonna's classic caliente pop hit, "La Isla Bonita". Both Martin and Madonna can certainly command a stage - and an audience of thousands; or, even, millions, as they shall both prove yet again on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively - so, let's take a look at what we can look forward to from these two entertainment icons as we enter one of the most celebratory weekends of the year. First down!
Sexy y lo se
Before Ricky Martin set the Grammy stage alight with his eminently engrossing Grammy performance of "The Cup Of Life", Broadway babies knew him for his stint as Marius in the legendary pop musical spectacular - soon to be a feature film featuring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe later this year - LES MISERABLES. Here is a short sample from a performance capture of him performing the introduction to the moving Eponine/Marius duet, "A Little Fall Of Rain", from the Broadway production.
Now, watch Ricky Martin and original Tony Award-winning Eponine Frances Ruffelle in this thrilling clip performing the complete "A Little Fall Of Rain".
Next, witness Ricky's unforgettable American pop star debut on the 1999 Grammy Awards singing "The Cup Of Life". Go go go, he did - to the top of the charts and beyond!
Ricky Martin has also had the privilege of performing on the biggest night of TV, way back in 2001. Here is his enlivening "Cup Of Life" from the 2001 Super Bowl, introduced by Carson Daly.
In his biggest video and single to date, Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" seems to embody the late 1990s in its glossy, glitzy polish. But, no matter how many times you have heard it, it still wiggles its way back into your ear. Pop music confection at its most infectious - and delicious.
Now, bringing us more than ten years ahead - all the way to next week, actually - let us take a look at the complete performance of LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It" from this Tuesday's upcoming GLEE. The boys of LMFAO must be proud! Camp, caustic and considerably caliente - and more fun than a barrel of, well, Rickys.
Bringing the two topics of today's column together seamlessly, lastly, here we have Ricky Martin and GLEE standout Naya Rivera performing a newly envisioned, updated duet version of Madonna's international hit, "La Isla Bonita".
All of Broadway is anticipating Ricky's Broadway bow in Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice's EVITA in a few short weeks, co-starring the Michael Grandage production with Olivier Award-winner Elena Rodger and Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris. Do you have your tickets yet? Will Ricky be meeting Tony - as in Tony Award - next?
Madonna's "Give Me All Your Luvin'"
"Fans can make you famous, a contract can make you rich, the press can make you a superstar, but only luv can make you a player." Scrawled on a brick wall in blue, Madonna's words of wisdom certainly ring true as far as her own celebrity goes - particularly considering she broke down boundaries in so many areas along the way in her rich, wild and varied career. Gatorade rain, taxis split in half, pink doors busted down, anime-masked cheerleaders making out, a gaggle of football heroes and mid-video glam transformation makes for a riotous and hilarious viewing experience, not even making mention of inspired cameos from Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. (plus, quarterbacks shooting sparks)! If "Give Me All Your Luvin'" is any indication of the rest of the purportedly postmodern bubble-gum pop/techno sound of Madonna's new album - her 12th studio affair; titled MDNA - we are in for a whole lot more of fun frivolity and pop froth, to say the least. "Touchdown!" indeed.
As a special bonus, check out this unforgettable tribute to Madonna starring the Queen herself, alongside pop princesses Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. "Like A Virgin" to "Hollywood" and beyond, there is one unmistakable figure atop the confetti cake of pop and it is undeniably Madonna. Controversy welcomed. What will Sunday bring? Will Janet Jackson's Nipplegate be a distant memory come Monday morning? We shall see!
Lastly, going back to where it all began - all the way to 1984 - here is Madonna's first MTV VMA performance: the modern-day classic, "Like A Virgin". An icon is born - "Give me all your love, boy," to "Give Me All Your Luvin'".
So, what do you expect from Madonna this Sunday at the Super Bowl? Are you looking forward to her medley of hits and a preview of some MDNA selections? What about Ricky - what GLEE track entices you most to check him out on Tuesday? Most of all: when are Ricky and Madonna finally going to give us a duet?! Perhaps it will take the power of GLEE to make that happen!