Singer Ricky Martin has come out gay.

The thirty-eight-year-old father of two said in a statement linked from Twitter: “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”

Martin posted the message in both English and Spanish.

The Puerto Rican star began his singing career in the teen group Menudo and crossed over to English with the wildly popular single Livin' la Vida Loca in 1999.

Rumors about his sexuality have swirled since then. In a 2000 The Mirror interview, Martin denied he was gay: “I guess these rumors [about being gay] were started by people who don't have a life, or perhaps it's because they want me to be like them and I'm not. I try not to pay attention to any of these allegations. I could have been married with kids for years or have 27 girlfriends, and if people still want to go around saying that I'm gay, they will.”

Martin said writing his memoirs had prompted him to come out of the closet.

“From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside,” he said in a statement. “Writing this account of my life, I got very close to my truth. And this is something worth celebrating.”

He kept his sexuality a secret, Martin said, because he believed it would hurt his career.

Martin became a father of twin boys born via a surrogate in 2008.