Ricky Martin may be a worldwide sensation, singer, actor and activist. But one of his greatest achievements is being a father and family man. At 48, the Puerto Rican superstar is dad to four children -- 11-year-old twin boys Matteo and Valentino, 1-year-old daughter Lucia and 7-month-old son Renn.
Martin's twin boys were born in August 2008 via a surrogate. At the time, Martin had not yet come out as gay. But once he did open up about his sexuality in 2010, he expressed that his sons were a main reason for him to be honest with the world. In his first TV interview after coming out, Martin told Oprah Winfrey that he "couldn't take it anymore." "When I was holding them in my arms, I was, like, 'What, am I going to teach them how to lie?'"
"Before I decided to become a father, I already accepted who I was and I was happy with who I was," he added. "And when I was holding my children, I said, 'OK. it's time to tell the world.'"
"I'm a hands-on dad. ... I want them to be 15, 16 and say, 'Daddy, you were always there with us and for us,'" he noted.
From there on out, Martin's children became his world. Showing that he could be a single father, while at the same time a best-selling pop star, the "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer told ET Canada in 2014 that he could perfectly balance family and fame.
"I don’t know anything else," Martin explained. "This is the journey that I've embarked myself into. I've made the decision to bring my kids into this world, and it hasn't been difficult at all. My kids have a lot of love."
And on multiple occasions, the Menudo alum was candid about his family. In October 2014, Martin shared with ET how his then-6-year-olds were starting to ask him questions about their birth.
"One thing I promised myself is to be completely honest with them. Whenever they ask me a question, I will answer with the truth," he noted. He also expressed how he wanted a younger sister for his boys, "a daddy’s little girl."
"Not one, not two, maybe three!" he exclaimed. "I don't know, but I'm really looking forward to it."
While Martin was in a relationship with Carlos González Abella from 2008 to 2014, things changed for him when he began dating Jwan Yosef in April of 2016. At that time, Martin's twins were almost eight years old, and it was evident that he wanted to have someone special join their family. The pair secretly got married in 2017, later confirming the news in 2018.
In the meantime, the GRAMMY winner always stressed the importance of having his sons close to him, even while on tour.
"They've been traveling since they were born because I've been on the road ever since, pretty much," the musician explained in a 2017 episode of Dr. Oz. "A lot of people tell me, 'Rick, but when are you gonna stop [touring], because kids, they need stability.'"
"'Stability? I am their stability,'" he responded. "If I'm not around, they will feel completely unstable, and they're doing great. We are homeschooling at the moment, but they're doing great."
The "Vente pa' ca" crooner insisted that his twins are his first priority, adding, "Everything that I do, every decision that I make is based on them -- is based on their well-being."
"That was a commitment that I made when I decided to become a father. And they are a little bit like my religion because, they don’t know it, but they’re like little lifesavers," he continued. "Because once again, when I have to make a decision, whatever that decision is, I think of them and it turns out to be the right decision."
Since then, Martin and Yosef continued to expand their family, welcoming their daughter, Lucia, at the end of 2018.
"I haven't slept for 15 days," Martin joked to ET at the Golden Globes last year after adding their latest addition to their family. "Nobody sleeps in the house, it's really cool. It's insane but it's beautiful. I'm so happy."
Martin Instagrammed a cute photo that his husband took of him getting ready for the awards ceremony while also watching his newborn. Martin said that although awards shows are fun, nothing can compare to the "tranquility" he feels at home with his children.
"We love this, this is my career, I've been doing this since I was 12 years old," he said about show business. "I was born doing this, but there's nothing like the tranquility at home, when you have your kids running when you open the door of your house and they run toward you and they say, 'Daddy, Daddy, welcome home!' It's the best thing."
Their family of five turned into a family of six in October of 2019, when Martin and Yosef became parents to son Renn. Martin announced they were preparing to welcome a fourth child while accepting the HRC National Visibility Award at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in late September.
"By the way, I have to announce that we are pregnant,” he said toward the end of his speech. "We are waiting. I love big families!"
Most recently, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Martin's family has never been more inspiring for and essential in his creative process. His now-11-year-old sons even chime in about his music and tell him what they like and don't like.
"They're picky and they love music. When I come home with something that they don't like, they have no filters. They tell you," Martin told ET last month with a laugh, adding that when they do love something, they will also express their interest. "Especially this new single… One of the twins, he heard it and then [he's like], 'Nice. Yeah. This I like.'"
"It's pure, it's honest, it's real and they come up with ideas and I take them away. It's good," he added.
All the while, the Assassination of Gianni Versace star has expressed his hopes of his family being an inspiration for nontraditional families, who might also have two parents of the same sex.
"I want people to look at me and see a family and say, ‘There’s nothing wrong with that.’ It's part of my mission," he said in a 2018 Out interview. "It’s part of my kids’ mission as well. My kids ask me about having two daddies and I tell them we are a part of a modern family. This is a beautiful sense of freedom."
For more on Martin and what he's shared about fatherhood, watch below.