That was the discipline of Menudo: You either did things the way you were told or you were not part of the group." Although Martin enjoyed traveling and performing onstage with Menudo, he found the band's busy schedule and strict management exhausting, and later reflected that the experience "cost" him his childhood.
Martin returned to Puerto Rico to graduate from high school, and 13 days after turning 18, he moved to New York City to celebrate his financial independence; since he was a minor during his time as a member of Menudo, Martin was not allowed to access his own bank accounts.
In 1990, Martin was signed to Sony Discos, the Sony Music Entertainment's Latin imprint.
Eager to make his first solo album, Martin signed the contract without reading it and inadvertently signed a deal in which he would only be awarded one cent of royalties for each album sold.
He also acted on stage and on TV in Mexico, where he achieved modest stardom.
His other studio albums include: Me Amarás (1993), A Medio Vivir (1995), Vuelve (1998), Sound Loaded (2000), Almas del Silencio (2003), Life (2005), Música Alma Sexo (2011), and A Quien Quiera Escuchar (2015). His parents divorced when he was two years old, and Martin spent much of his childhood shifting between his father's home in the suburbs of University Gardens, a suburban middle-class neighborhood of San Juan, and his paternal grandmother's house nearby.
He began singing at age 6, using wooden kitchen spoons as pretend microphones; he often interpreted songs by Menudo as well as English-language rock groups such as Led Zeppelin, Journey, and REO Speedwagon.
After the success of Ricky Martin and its subsequent tour, Martin's record company met him with acclaimed producer Juan Carlos Calderón on his second solo album, Me Amarás.
Although Martin felt "very grateful" for the opportunity to work with Calderón, he noted, "I always felt that that record was more his than mine." In 1995, Martin refocused on his music career, and began work on his third album, A Medio Vivir.