Ricky Martin To Kick Off Fall Tour In Miami

Latin-pop crossover phenomenon to play at least 16 dates across U.S.

Latin-pop phenomenon Ricky Martin will celebrate his recent ascent to near-superstardom with his first large-scale U.S. tour this fall.

Martin, 27, will tour arenas across the U.S. for at least 16 dates in October and November, according to an itinerary posted on the official website of Angelo Medina Management (www.rickymartinmanagement.com), which handles Martin.

The star, best known for his hit “Livin’ la Vida Loca” (RealAudio excerpt), is scheduled to begin the tour Oct. 21 in Miami at the Miami Arena. From there, Martin will play two more southern dates before heading to New York for two shows at Madison Square Garden.

After shows in Chicago and Auburn Hills, Mich., Martin will head south again for a trio of dates in Texas. The tour will then head west, hitting Phoenix and Las Vegas, as well as three cities in California.

Martin, who had already achieved popularity with Spanish-speaking audiences with four albums, including Vuelve (1998), first drew the attention of many English-speaking fans with a much-remarked-upon performance at February’s Grammy Awards ceremony.

Soon afterward, Martin released “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” the first single from his self-titled first English-language album. The song and its accompanying video quickly became ubiquitous on radio and MTV, and the album debuted at #1 in May.

Songwriter Desmond Child, who co-wrote “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” said last month that the song had its genesis in a directive from Martin’s manager, Medina. “One day … Medina calls and says, ‘We need a song that has a Spanglish title, something that can really speak to everybody — something easy that everybody can understand,’ ” Child recalled. “[We] went into my office, and we sat there for days until we came up with it.”

The album also includes a duet with pop veteran Madonna on the track “Cuidado con Mi Corazón” (“Be Careful With My Heart”); the two singers met following Martin’s Grammy performance.

Martin, born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was formerly a member of the teen-pop group Menudo. Later, he was an actor on the soap opera “General Hospital” and a 1996 cast member of the Broadway show “Les Miserables.”

Ricky Martin Tour Dates:

Oct. 21; Miami, Fla.; Miami Arena

Oct. 22; Tampa, Fla.; Ice Palace

Oct. 24; Atlanta, Ga.; Philips Arena

Oct. 26; Philadelphia, Pa.; First Union Arena

Oct. 28-29; New York, N.Y.; Madison Square Garden

Oct. 31; Chicago, Ill.; United Center

Nov. 1; Auburn Hills, Mich.; Palace of Auburn Hills

Nov. 4; Dallas, Texas; Reunion Arena

Nov. 6; San Antonio, Texas; Alamodome

Nov. 7; Houston, Texas; Compaq Arena

Nov. 12; Las Vegas, Nev.; to be announced

Nov. 13; Los Angeles, Calif.; The Staples Center

Nov. 14; San Diego, Calif.; to be announced

Nov. 18; Phoenix, Ariz.; America West Arena

Nov. 20; Anaheim, Calif.; Arrowhead Pond Arena