Pop singer Ricky Martin has announced that he is gay on his website, confirming what many had believed for years.
The Latin star wrote: "I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am."
The 38-year-old said his coming out marked "an amazing turning point in my life".
The decision was made a few months ago when he began writing his memoirs.
He continued: "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,"
The star, who has twin sons by a surrogate mother, said he did not come out earlier because his advisors said the move would ruin his career.
Gay rights groups said the singer would be an inspiration to millions of young people coming to terms with their sexuality.
Martin became a household name with songs such as the 1999 hit Livin' La Vida Loca and She Bangs.