Martin making a come-back for children

NEW YORK (AP) – It’s gonna be a sweet November for Ricky Martin.

The Puerto Rican pop star and humanitarian will be honored Wednesday at a dinner and concert in New York as the Latin Recording Academy’s person of the year. Six days later, he will debut a concert performance of new and old songs from his Spanish-language repertoire, “Ricky Martin: MTV Unplugged,” on CD and DVD.

All of this feels amazing, he said, and allows him a bigger stage to spread awareness of the exploitation of children. His foundation is working to stop human trafficking, especially trafficking of children.

“You start asking yourself questions about `why me, why music, why fame?'” Martin, 34, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

“And I just realized it was just a step. Music is only a step for me to be able to get to know about this issue and then talk about it.”

Martin, best known to his U.S. audiences for his crossover hits “The Cup of Life,” “Livin’ la Vida Loca” and “Shake Your Bon-Bon,” initially didn’t talk about his humanitarian efforts, fearing critics would claim he was doing it for media attention.

He went public, he said, to give a voice to victims. In September, he visited Washington to talk to lawmakers about human trafficking.

Martin brought a similar passion to his 12-song session in “Ricky Martin: MTV Unplugged,” set to air Wednesday on MTV Latin America and MTV Tr3s, the network’s U.S. Latin channel, among other channels. It was taped Aug. 17 in Miami.

“It’s about reviving. … And even going through those emotions that I felt in the beginning of my career that were very pure,” he said.

The Latin Grammy Awards will be presented Thursday in New York City. The show will be broadcast from Madison Square Garden on the Univision Network (8 p.m. EDT).