People Staff
May 08, 2000 12:00 PM

MORE THAN A YEAR HAS PASSED SINCE RICKY MARTIN’S NOW-famous gyrations caused palpitations at the 1999 Grammy Awards. When he burst onto the U.S. music scene with a rendition of “La Copa de la Vida” (The Cup of Life), Rosie O’Donnell declared the Latin sensation a “cutie patootie.” Maybe back in his Menudo days. But in the past 18 months—having recorded a duet with Madonna, shared a stage with Pavarotti, watched his debut English album, Ricky Martin, go multiplatinum and been mobbed by fans from Manhattan to Milan—Martin, at 28, has revealed himself to be nothing less than a man most wanted. “He’s got that passion and that intensity,” says Jonathan Antin, Martin’s hairstylist since 1994, when the singer started a two-year stint as the hunky Miguel on General Hospital. “Ricky’s got great eyes. He’s got a square jaw, high cheekbones, a great hairline, a big build, long legs. Clothes fit him like a glove. What’s not attractive about him?” Well, don’t bother asking his mother. Nereida Morales, 54, an accountant who was divorced from Martin’s psychologist dad, Enrique, 52, when their only child was 2, told the Spanish-language magazine Cristina la Revista that her little Kiki—born in San Juan just hours short of Christmas Day in 1971—was a “gift from God.” By the time he hit the road with Menudo at 12, hordes of smitten teenage girls agreed. Now that the transformation from bubblegum to hubba-bubba is complete, the Miami-based Martin, who’s in the midst of a world tour, is all sleek style from his often blond-tipped hair to his Elvis pelvis, thanks to a penchant for Armani clothes, yoga, rock-climbing and regular trips to the gym. Still, despite his habit of swinging it, the 6’2″ singer has one insecurity: his derriere. “It’s tiny,” Martin complained to TEEN PEOPLE last September. “Yes, it is. What can I do?” How about some more tight pants?

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