May 18: Martika - "Kids Incorporated" - Operra- is 42 years-old today.

Born Marta Marrero in Whittier, California- but known by her stage name Martika- she is known as a pop-singer-songwriter and actress. As a singer she released two internationally successful albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s, selling over four million copies worldwide. Now working mainly as an actress, since 2009 she has used the new stage name Vida Edit.

Marrero entered mainstream show as one of the orphan girls in the 1982 motion picture Annie. This led to her being cast as Gloria on the long-running kids show Kids Incorporated as one of a group of neighborhood kids who rise to local fame by singing staged productions at a corner malt shop. Martika and many fellow Kids Incorporated cast members were featured in the musical numbers from the Mr. T motivational video Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool! in 1984.

Following her role in Kids Incorporated and Be Somebody, Martika was signed by CBS Records as a potential Madonna-like pop star. Her first solo release, however, was released only in Japan. "We are Music" was recorded to promote Sony cassette tapes in the Japanese market, where the song was released in the 12", 7" and CD formats.

Her first album, 1988's Martika, spawned the song “Toy Soldiers,” which she co-wrote with her producer Michael Jay, and became a top 5 hit in the United Kingdom and many other countries. In the US, "Toy Soldiers" spent two weeks at #1 and was certified Gold by the RIAA.

Two additional releases also went Top 40 in the US: "More Than You Know" and "I Feel the Earth Move," which was a remake of Carole King’s #1 from her album Tapestry. Both of those tracks also hit the top 20 on the US Dance charts and the UK singles chart. Further releases from the debut album were "Water," a modest hit in the UK and Australia, and "If You're Tarzan I'm Jane." The album was certified Gold in the US in 1989, and sold 3 million copies worldwide.

Martika began scoring soundtracks and, in 1990, she wrote and recorded the song “Blue Eyes are Sensitive to the Light” for the soundtrack to the film Arachnophobia. The producers of the album did not like her vocals and so the song was re-recorded by Sara Hickman for the film.

In 1991 Martika was approached by Prince to record a few of his songs. Among these was her second (and last) US Top 10 single, "Love... Thy Will Be Done," which also became a Top 10 hit in the UK and #1 in Australia. Her second album, Martika's Kitchen, peaked at #111 on the Billboard Top Albums chart, and the title track received only minor airplay and reached #93 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart. However, the album was a bigger success abroad, though on a lesser scale than her debut, spawning further hits with the songs “Coloured Kisses” and “Temptation.”

In 1991 she wrote the song "Temptation" for Patti LaBelle's album Burnin'.

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Martika played the role of the lounge singer Dahlia Mendez in the early 1990s cop show Wiseguy, opposite Steven Bauer, but the return to acting was brief and she eventually faded from the public eye around 1993.

In 1997 a greatest hits album entitled The Best of Martika: More Than You Know was released. It achieved sales figures of over 500,000 copies internationally.

During the 2000 explosion of Latin pop music, Martika re-emerged into the music world, singing backing vocals on various projects and contributing lyrics to releases by other artists. She built in 2001 and released a remix of a newly self-recorded song called "The Journey." She also recorded a track entitled “Monday” for a new solo album which never materialized.

In 2003 Martika joined forces with her husband, musician Michael Mozart, to form the band Oppera. Adopting a latin pop sound, she and Mozart released Oppera’s debut album Violince in 2004. That same year rapper Eminem used a sample of her biggest U.S. hit, “Toy Soldiers”, for “Like Toy Soldiers,” a track on his album Encore which entered at number one in the United Kingdom. In response, Martika’s British Greatest Hits album was repackaged with its title altered to Toy Soldiers: The Best of Martika.

Oppera released a self-titled second album in 2005. Martika promoted Oppera's release with a Borders bookstore tour.

In October 2009, it was announced that Martika, now going under the stage name Vida Edit, will star in the new web-based television action program J8ded, as Lolly Pop.