"Livin' la Vida Loca" (La vida loca means "the Crazy Life" in English) is a number-one hit song by Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin. It was released on March 23, 1999 from Martin's self-titled debut English album (he had previously released several albums in Spanish). The song was composed by Desmond Child and Draco Rosa and topped the charts during 1999.
"Livin' la Vida Loca" is generally seen as the song that began the Latin pop explosion of 1999 and made the transition of other Spanish-speaking artists (first Enrique Iglesias, then later Shakira and Thalía) into the English-speaking market easier. Before this time, most non-Latino Americans had never heard of Martin until what CNN reported was a show-stopping performance of "La Copa de la Vida" at the 41st Grammy Awards show, which became a catalyst in bringing Latin pop to the forefront of the U.S. music scene. "Livin' la Vida Loca" sold over 8 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.
The song received various Grammy Awards nominations and Ricky Martin obtain enormous success inside the United States and worldwide. In 2007, the song was ranked at number 28 on the list of 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's by VH1. It is Martin's signature song.
This song was the first U.S. number one single to be recorded without using then-conventional recording studio equipment; instead the track was created at Desmond Child's Gentlemen's Club Studio, which utilizes a 64-track Pro Tools system. The recording is also noted for its exceptional use of dynamic range compression to increase the track's perceived loudness.
The video features Ricky Martin performing in a pub with his band and hanging out with a lady (Nina Moric) at various different locations. Various snippets of the video seem to merge into each other, over the duration of the song. Towards the end of the video, Martin gets distracted by his lady partner while driving, causing another car to veer and hit a fire hydrant, releasing a fountain of water. This scene coincides with the line in the chorus "She'll make you take your clothes off and go dancing in the rain".
"Livin' la Vida Loca" is Ricky Martin's biggest hit. It is his first number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining at number one in the United States for five consecutive weeks and ranking at number ten on the year-end chart of 1999. The single was certified Platinum for sales over one million physical copies in the US alone. It topped the Hot Latin Songs for nine weeks, and Latin Pop Songs for ten weeks. Although released long before the digital era, it has sold 502,000 digital copies in the US, becoming Martin's best-selling downloaded track. On the Canadian RPM Top Singles the song stayed at the top for eight weeks, and on the Canadian Singles Chart for three weeks.
In the United Kingdom, "Livin' la Vida Loca" debuted at number one and stayed there for three weeks. It has sold 832,000 copies and was certified Platinum. The song also reached number one in Ireland and New Zealand. "Livin' la Vida Loca" peaked inside top ten around the world and was certified Platinum, Gold and Silver in various countries.
The 1999 album La Vida Mickey features modern versions of Spanish songs with the voices of the Disney characters in the background singing along.
Country music parodist Cledus T. Judd recorded a cover titled "Livin' Like John Travolta" for his 1999 album Juddmental.
Japanese singer Hiromi Go remade the song as "Goldfinger '99". Masaki Sumitani (Razor Ramon H.G., who refers to it as "the song that I used without permission") uses this as his theme song, to which he thrusts his crotch at the beginning of each episode. A parody of this version is made into a music video in the "Hiromi Go" episode of Hard Gay.
Shlock Rock, a group that parodies popular music with a Jewish theme, wrote "Learning to Dance the Hora".
Knockout Theory, a New Jersey punk rock band, often performs a version of the song at their live shows.
Nashville Star contestant Gabe Garcia sang a country version of the song in 2008.
English metalcore band Bury Tomorrow released their cover onto Myspace on September 9, 2010.
Christian comedian/singer Mark Lowry parodied this song as "Livin' For Deep-fried [Okra]". A video of the parody—fairly resembling the original Martin video—was presented at his New York City concert event "Mark Lowry on Broadway" at the Beacon Theatre.
Draumurinn did a cover in Icelandic in January 2011, called "Farið er allt til fjandans".
During the 2013 ESPN Nine for IX film, The 99ers, composed almost entirely of home video footage recorded by U.S. Women's Soccer Team Member, Julie Foudy, some of the other members of the team can be heard singing along to the song at one point during the movie.