Source AP ©

Ricky Martin defends right for pop stars to come out of closet

Puerto Rico's all-time top-selling artist Ricky Martin defended the right of gay pop stars to comes out of the closet as he toured Mexico and geared up for his "Black and White" tour across the United States.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Martin said he felt solidarity with Mexican Christian Sanchez, a singer of the group RBD who recently publicly said he was gay.

"Life is too short to live closed up, guarding what you say," Martin said. Christian "has to be free in many aspects. I wish him much strength."

The media in Puerto Rico has long speculated that Martin is gay, buy he has avoided commenting on the topic.

Martin said his foundation People for Children, which helps exploited children worldwide, inspires him in his song writing.

"When you start to work with social problems, it gets the attention of the media and people think it's a farce," he said. "It's a spiritual search. The philanthropic work helps me write music and the music helps me in the philanthropic work."

The singer, named Person of the Year in 2006 by the Latin Recording Academy, said it was great that more and more celebrities were working with charities.

"If this is a fashion then I hope a lot more fashions like this come along," he said.

Martin will tour in the United States from California to Miami in April and May.

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