Over the course of his career, Ricky Martin has played before millions and millions of people, so he’s used to crowds watching his every move.
His biggest critics, though, are a couple of kids.
“You don’t know the level of criticism I get from my kids,” the newly engaged singer told PEOPLE exclusively of his twins Matteo and Valentino. “Wow. It’s as raw and honest as you can receive from an 8-year-old. They go, ‘Dad, that movement I don’t like. Dad, that song, you gotta change it,’ and they bring good points. I tell them, ‘Son, that’s something that I will consider.’ ”
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For a while, though, his kids didn’t exactly know who their father was in terms of his artistry. They just knew that he sang, but they didn’t know why or to whom.
“They’re always with me and always traveling and on the road with me, but I always kept them backstage. Their perception of my job was to see me from the side singing, but they didn’t know to what,” he says.
When they realized who he was, their reaction was simply priceless.
“One day, when I thought that they were big enough, I said, ‘Go to the front of the house,’ and they see the lights and the whole spectacle,” he recalls. “When the show was over, they came to me and said, ‘Papi, you’re Ricky Martin.’ I said ‘I’m not Ricky Martin, I’m your father.’ They said, ‘No, no, no, you’re Ricky Martin,’ and so it changed.”
They’ll soon have more chances to see their dad perform. On Wednesday, Martin announced he’ll do a Las Vegas residency at the new Park Theater at Monte Carlo. He kicks off the residency on April 5.
“I’m not stressed at all,” he says of his new endeavor. “By the last week in March, everyone will be losing hair and climbing up walls, but that’s okay because we’re all addicted to that.”
That’s not to say that Martin won’t be thinking about the show between now and then.
“I used to be a workaholic. I’m a recovering workaholic,” he jokes. “I’m working on it. I’ve worked on myself a lot and I’m not there anymore.”