Ricky Martin, the Latino heartthrob and award-winning singer, thrilled fans Saturday evening at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.
“He’s so out there, flamboyant and fabulous,” said Steve Wetzler, a Fort Lauderdale realtor.
Wetzler attended a fundraiser for the Stonewall National Museum & Archives inside the casino prior to Martin’s show. In between cocktails at the L Bar, Wetzler told SFGN Martin is a true talent.
“He has such great moves and great energy,” Wetzler said.
One hundred invited guests attended the Stonewall fundraiser and some, like Mindy Figueroa, left with prizes. Figueroa won two tickets to Martin’s concert, which included “meet and greet” access.
“I’m going to see my idol,” said Figueroa, a marketing executive.
Figueroa brought her wife, Amilda, to the Stonewall fundraiser. As the owner of a Latin small business, Figueroa said she was glad to support Martin.
“He represents us very well,” Figueroa said. “He has charisma, personality and as a showman he plays well with his audience.”
Martin appeared in a number of different costumes during the show from suit and tie in the opening number to a sleeveless black tee shirt, revealing his pumped biceps. He sang songs in Spanish and English and asked the crowd to “be yourself and do not judge.”
Latin boy band CNCO opened the show and performed exclusively in Spanish. A native of Puerto Rico, Martin launched his career as a member of the boy band Menudo. He came out as gay in 2010, stating “I am proud to say I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”
At the Stonewall fundraiser, Hard Rock Vice President Susan Renneisen announced Martin had donated a pair of black leather pants to the museum’s national archives. Martin wore the pants during his 2000 “She Bangs” Tour.
“We know he had a tiny butt by how they fit on this mannequin,” remarked Renneisen.
Jay Silverman, a Fort Lauderdale realtor, attended the fundraiser and said Martin’s ability to continue a successful career after coming out is “a testament to how far things have come.”
“His music is part of the life,” Silverman said.
A near capacity crowd filled Hard Rock Live for Martin’s show which featured shirtless
buff backup dancers, a vibrant horn section and several sultry solo ballads from Martin. The 44-year-old father of two delivered a romantic rendition of “Tal Vez” in addition to his chart topping and hard charging “Living La Vida Loca.”