Latin superstar Ricky Martin is planning to release two new Columbia albums by year-end: one in English and one in Spanish, with a few songs overlapping from disc-to-disc. In an exclusive interview at

Latin superstar Ricky Martin is planning to release two new Columbia albums by year-end: one in English and one in Spanish, with a few songs overlapping from disc-to-disc. In an exclusive interview at the recent Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami, Martin revealed that he will have writing input in the entire process. The sets will follow 2000's "Sound Loaded," which debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 1.6 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The artist, who has been writing for the past 18 months, said, "At this point, it was necessary for me to be able to create some sort of cathartic process through my music. And it's good. For new artists, hey, you know what? It would be great if you can just force yourself and dare to find that vulnerability and write and dare to suck. You have to dare to suck in order to be great."

Martin also spoke about the importance of recording in Spanish, even as more and more crossovers take place. "It's valid to have Latin artists who want to come to the United States and record in English," he said. But, he added, those artists should not forget about recording in Spanish. "Because there's a very large industry we have to support, there's great Latin American composers, great musicians, great labels, and we can't leave that to one side," he said. "It's very important to assert what we have."

As previously reported, Martin has joined the star-studded lineup for Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee concert June 3 at Buckingham Palace. Ozzy Osbourne, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, and Eric Clapton are also on the bill.

Martin is also up for three honors at the 2002 American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) Awards, including outstanding male performer and outstanding music video for "Nobody Wants To Be Lonely" with Christina Aguilera. The ceremony will be held Saturday (May 18) at Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium and taped by ABC for a scheduled June 1 broadcast.