In a new interview, the singer talked about feeling depressed before deciding to come out.


Back in the "Livin' La Vida Loca" days, when his career as an ultra-famous international crossover star was booming, Ricky Martin was dealing with a sadness no one knew about. The Puerto Rican singer spoke to Proud Radio host Hattie Collins about what it was like to live in the closet before coming out in 2010.

"In 1999, the world was giving me back the hours that I had put into music, the hours that I had put into this career," he said in the interview, available on Apple Music. "My music was being heard all over the world, regardless of the language. I could high five God, but I wasn't living to the fullest. I was sad. I was depressed. I would walk on stage to perform because that was the only way I could balance my emotion, to snap out of this heavy sadness that I was moving in. And then actually there came a moment that I said, 'We need to stop. We need to stop the tour.'"

(Photo by Gladys Vega/Getty Images)

He was in Australia at the time and had planned to continue touring to South America, but asked his team for a break. "I took some time and I took a sabbatical," he said. "I put things in order and still I was not ready to come out, but I was open with everyone around me, but I just didn't have the strength to make it public."

At the time, the singer and actor was writing his memoir, Me, and that was also a catalyst for telling his truth. "I couldn't finish the book, because it was a very important link that I was trying to avoid," he recalled. "I got to the place I was fighting as I was writing my book between saying, 'Am I gay? Am I bisexual? Am I gay? Am I bisexual?' And either is OK, just go within and do not lie to yourself. And then I said, 'Rick ... you are gay.' And I wrote it and I pressed send, and then I cried like crazy. And I've been super happy ever since."

Ricky Martin

The former Menudo band member also praised his friend and colleague, Puerto Rican reggaetonero Bad Bunny, for supporting the LGBTQ community. "Bad Bunny, especially, is doing an outstanding job and just telling people, 'Who cares if I paint my nails? Who cares if I am gay or if I'm not?'" Martin said. "He's not, but he's a super-powerful ally that we need to support. We will forever be grateful, because we need them. They are an important part of our history, allies are. I appreciate it. That's why I needed to work with him."

Ricky Martin
Credit: (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

The Puerto Rican star also showed his love for another music legend and LGBTQ icon, Sir Elton John. "He was always been very supportive and very warm and he's always been there," Martin said. "I just remember growing up and looking at Elton and saying like, 'I love his music. I like his colors. I love his wigs. I love it.' Do I want to be him or do I like him? I'm so confused. At the end of the day, I remember just warm, loving, comforting ... just emotions every time I saw him. Let's give him a lot of credit for that."