Ricky Martin Tells Arizona to 'Put a Stop to Hate'
By Dino Sossi Posted Apr 30th 2010 08:50PM
Ricky Martin has been dominating the headlines since coming out of the closet last month, and his career resurgence continues. Thursday night, the 'She Bangs' singer was greeted with a standing ovation at the Billboard Latin Music Awards. In his first public appearance since publicly declaring his homosexuality on his Web site, his musical peers warmly welcomed the singer at the Billboard ceremony, which was held in his native Puerto Rico.
But what could have been a maudlin event full of self-congratulation and ego-stroking became uncharacteristically serious. Martin seized his renewed celebrity to rip into Arizona legislators, who signed a new immigration law that allows police to stop anyone they suspect to be an illegal visitor.
The law states that if the person is not carrying the required documentation, they will be considered a criminal.
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Ricky Martin speaks at the 2010 Billboard Latin Music Awards held in Puerto Rico on April 29. Check out more Rick Pics >>
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The remarks had their desired effect, raising the musical rabble. Rapper Wyclef Jean, Canadian R&B star Nelly Furtado and Mexican singers Thalia and Paulina Rubio came to their feet to applaud Ricky's political statement. "Long live love, long live peace," added Martin.
Arizona's new law has created a firestorm in the Latin music community, giving the Billboard event a decidedly political charge. Rubio and singer Larry Hernandez, both from Mexico, also criticized the legislation. The law is particularly irksome to Hernandez, who started his musical career in Arizona. "It's regrettable that they are discriminating against us for the simple fact of looking Latino," Hernandez judged. "It's not fair. We have to say no to that law."
Martin has also revealed that his Latin music industry advisers suggested he keep his sexuality on the down low.
"Many people told me, 'Ricky it's not important, it's not worth it, all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse, many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature.'" He added, "Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. ... Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today, I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions."
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