Ricky Martin relies on friends' criticism to stay grounded.

The 'The Best Thing About Me is You' singer knows how easy it is to be "seduced by fame," so always keeps his closest friends from his childhood with him, in order to keep his ego in check.

He said: "My family and friends have always kept me grounded. I've been surrounded by good friends - people I've known since I was a kid - who are as raw and honest as they come.

"They know how to say, 'You suck. That was horrible.' When you're seduced by fame and applause, and people telling you you're good, it's easy to get a big head."

Ricky, 39, also admitted he has more "freedom" since a pivotal point in his career in 1989 when he quit boy band Menudo to go it alone.

He added: "Menudo was all about discipline. I was part of a band and was supposed to say whatever they told me to say, wear the clothes they told me to wear and dance the choreography they told me to dance.

"I quit in 1989 because I wanted to be my own man. I was sick of being told what to do, so I moved to New York. Now it's about entertaining - it's freedom. It's about being who I am."