Marta Marrero (born May 18, 1969), known as Martika, is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She released two internationally successful albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which sold over four million copies worldwide. Her biggest hit was “Toy Soldiers” which peaked at number 1 for two weeks in the American charts in mid-1989. She is also known for her role as Gloria on Kids Incorporated.
“Toy Soldiers” is a song appearing on her 1988 eponymous debut album and released in the United States as the second single from it in May 1989. It was a number-one Billboard Hot 100 hit for two weeks in the summer of 1989. An edited version of the song is included in the imported version of the album Toy Soldiers: The Best of Martika.
Martika wrote the song about a friend who was battling a cocaine addiction. “I was a little hesitant because I had only written two songs before and they were light songs. I came up to Michael and said I wanted to write about drugs. It was the first time I got the nerve to write about something that was scary for me to talk about, so I did.” According to an episode of VH-1’s Pop-Up Video, in which “Toy Soldiers” was featured, the friend-in-question eventually conquered the addiction.
The song spent two weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and New Zealand while reaching number five in both the United Kingdom and Australia. On Billboard’s year-end chart for 1989, “Toy Soldiers” placed number 29. It was Martika’s only number-one single in the U.S., and her highest-ranking single in the United Kingdom. The single was certified Gold in the United States by the RIAA.
In March and April 2009, VH1 ran a countdown of the 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s. “Toy Soldiers” placed at #67 on the countdown despite the fact that Martika had three other top 40 hits: “More Than You Know” (#18); “I Feel the Earth Move” (#25); and “Love… Thy Will Be Done” (#10).