MUSIC NOTES: Ricky Martin Unloads New Album

Could Ricky Martin and Marilyn Manson possibly have anything in common? Well, this week they do.

The two very different music artists have released their newest albums this week. Manson’s “Holly Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)” is his follow-up to his 1998 platinum-selling metal fest “Mechanical Animal.” The album, in a nutshell, describes how a rock star can be shot down by the pressures of, well, being a rock star, government, religion and, oh yes, greed.

Pop icon Martin on the other hand is inching closer to his Latin roots with the release of “Sound Loaded.” But Martin fans need not worry. Like his debut single, “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” this Latin lover’s new record still boasts the grooves that make Martin move so wildly on stage, as “She Bangs,” his first single and video from the new album, proves.

“On the last album, we went closer to the Anglo sound. That Latin sound was always there, but with this one it’s more aggressive,” Martin, 28, told The Associated Press.

Also releasing new records this week are Orange County, Calif., band the Offspring with “Conspiracy of One and ballad songstress Sade with “Lover’s Rock.”

FOR PUBLIC DISPLAY: Flamboyant English star Elton John likes to show off, especially when it comes to his naughty photographs. The singer/pianist has donated a portion of his photographic collection, which includes male erotica, to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The exhibit, with about 400 pictures, runs through January, Reuters reports.

His passion for photography grew after years of fighting drug and alcohol addiction, he said.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Rita Coolidge got her props. The rhythm and blues singer received the lifetime music award at the Native American Music Awards on Saturday, AP reports. Also honored at the event were folk singer Joanne Shenandoah and flutist Mary Youngblood.

Coolidge began her career as a backup singer for notable artists such as Eric Clapton and Stephen Stills.