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Ricky Martin Honored; Jessica Simpson to Release New Album


The Latin Recording Academy has chosen singer Ricky Martin as its 2006 Person of the Year. The honor recognizes his "accomplishments as a world renowned entertainer, consummate performer and passionate humanitarian." Martin will receive the award at a star-studded tribute concert on November 1 in New York. Previous recipients include Jose Jose, Carlos Santana, Gilberto Gil, Vicente Fernandez, Julio Iglesias and Emilio Estefan.

On August 29, Columbia Records will release Bob Dylan's new album Modern Times. One day earlier, the world premiere of his first album in five years will air on XM Radio. The broadcast is set for 12 midnight EST on Deep Tracks (XM 40), The Village (XM 15) and Hear Music (XM 75). Dylan's last release, 2001's "Love and Theft," debuted at Number 5 on the Billboard 200 to mark his highest entry on the chart since 1979's "Slow Train Coming."

The first album by Jessica Simpson since her divorce from Nick Lachey will be released on August 29. She says A Public Affair is NOT about their breakup. But, she admits that one song included on the album, Patty Griffin's "Let Him Fly," was one that comforted her after their separation. Jessica co-wrote nine of the songs on A Public Affair, including the title track, which is the album's first single.

August 29 marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's assault on the Gulf Coast and there are several projects being released that day to raise money for ongoing relief efforts. New Orleans native Harry Connick, Jr. will release the single "All These People" to benefit the city's Habitat Musicians' Village. The duet with Kim Burrell is the first single from Connick's upcoming album, Oh My Nola. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, also based in New Orleans, has recorded its remake of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album What's Going On. The group feels the themes and social commentary in the songs express the sentiment of those affected by the hurricane. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the collection will go to the Musician's Hurricane Relief Foundation. And, Spike Lee's 4-hour documentary, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, will air on HBO. Lee says he hopes the film will bring attention back to the New Orleans area, where many people are still trying to rebuild their lives.

NEW ALBUM RELEASES

New albums scheduled for release on August 29 include: "4:21…The Day After" by Method Man on Def Jam Records; the original motion picture to "Broken Bridges" (Country star Toby Keith's first feature film) on Show Dog Records; "Harpo's Ghost" by Thea Gilmore on Sanctuary Records; the Lost Trailers' self-titled album on BNA Records; "Undisputed" by Beenie Man on Virgin Records; and Paula DeAnda's self-titled album on Arista Records.

AWARDS PRESENTATIONS/WINNERS

The 2006 MTV Video Music Awards will be presented on August 31 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Leading this year's contenders are the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Latin star Shakira. Each received seven nominations, including Video of the Year. Christina Aguilera, The All-American Rejects, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake are among the many artists scheduled to perform during the awards show.

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