Ricky Martin revealed that he delayed coming out until the age of 38 after being warned that revealing he was gay could "end" his career.
The 'Livin' La Vida Loca' singer, 46, told The Daily Show's Trevor Noah that those closest to him were among the most vocal in telling him to remain silent about his sexuality.
"I was surrounded by friends that were telling me, 'Don’t! Don’t come out that will be the end of your career,'" Martin said, explaining that the warnings came from "people that love [him,] people that mean well and people that were just victims of homophobia."
The Puerto Rican star, who is appearing in American Crime Story: Versace as the former partner of murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace, explained that his conservative upbringing also stalled his journey to self-acceptance.
"I grew up in this culture that told me that my feelings were horrible, that my feelings were evil,' said Martin.
He added: "And if you add to that, you know, that I was like a heartthrob, like a sex symbol,' he said. 'Everyone was telling me that it was going to be the end of my career."
Martin, who revealed earleir this month that he had married his partner Jwan Yosef, said that his eventual decision to come put publicly in 2010 was prompted by the birth of his twin sons Matteo and Valentino two years before.
"It was extremely painful for me," the star said of his time in the closet. "Until I said, 'I can't take it anymore.' It's all about me now, it's not about what's happening outside, it's about what i need in order to be happy."
He added: "I had my kids and then I said, 'I have to come out, I'm not going to lie to these beautiful kids.'"