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Ricky Martin Enjoys Spotlight

Every other Tuesday Laurie Hibberd fills in The Early Show on the latest trends in fashion, music and pop culture with the Hib List. She caught up with Ricky Martin on tour to talk about his music and Martin-mania. That sexy, singing sensation superstar has his first television special on CBS.
The opening act is on, I am back stage with Martin, minutes away from his performance, and I wonder does he ever get stage fright?

"You know what? Don't leave me waiting," says Martin, laughing. "Let me do it," he adds.

During his live performances he feels the energy that's coming from the audience, and it's something that "you don't want to let go," he says.

I have never seen anybody move with such joy; it's in every fiber of his being.

"I loved it," he says, adding that his moves are not choreographed. "It's however you feel, however you feel comfortable; that's what it is."

"One thing is for sure; I'm taking advantage of every second that goes through my day, and I'm really having a good time. A lot of ups and downs, to be quite honest, you know. I'm human; I feel," he says.

But what can possibly be a down right now in his life?

"You're dealing with the applause; you're dealing with people telling you how good you are. You can just start flying. It's so important for me to mention this; it's like a therapy for me to talk about this; it's like a reality check," says Martin.

"Fame can be very disturbing if you're not in control of your emotions, if you're not in control of, or at least in touch with your heart and your soul," he adds.

Yet he wears the spotlight so well that his poise must come from some place.

"Simplicity, silence, a higher power, of course. And wanting to stay around here for a long time," he explains.

Martin's electrifying stage presence was actually years in the making. It all began back in the mid-1980s when Martin joined the wildly popular Latin boy band Menudo.

"I was only 12 years old, and it was all a game to be quite honest. But I learned the real meaning of the word discipline," he says.

"You're part of a concept, and you're told what to wear, and you're told what to sing. So when I left the band I said, 'It's time to really get to know myself,' but it was the best way of Ricky Martin starting his career," he adds.

And famous he is. I live a block away from Tower Records in Manhattan. And I was subjected to five hours of screaming girls one afternoon.

It was an incredible day in my neighborhood. That's for sure. And I hear that happens everywhere he goes.

"I love what I do, and this is part of the package, to deal with [the] reaction of an audience," he says.

The problem is that sometimes the fans love him too much and Martin does not have a bodyguard. "I'm a little stubborn; I don't like scurity with me," he says.

It sounds kind of crazy, and yet Martin says he is the kind of guy who likes to live a normal life. He says he still takes out his garbage.

"And I wash my car, and I play with my dogs, and I sweep the floors in my house, if it's necessary. I beg for it. When I'm on the road for three months, the only thing you want is to go home and call your friends: 'Let's take a swim; let's go jogging; let's play with the dogs.' Cause it's the balance," he explains.

Martin is very close to his family. In fact, his mother was outside of his dressing room. A lot of his relatives go on the road with him.

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