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Mix and match

Mr Puff Daddy has fathered the current trend in cover versions, giving hip-hop spins and R'n'B grooves to artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey and Jimmy Page. Puff's latest project is to remix U2's "Do You Feel Loved." Bono is also preparing for a shock coupling with Will Smith to conceive a cross-breed of American hip-hop and traditional Irish music. Weird conceptions are also on the way from Noel Gallagher, who is recording tracks for the X-Files movie and rapper Coolio, is also working with the country and western crooner, Kenny Rogers, on a new version of his hit "The Gambler".

Hogwash and hubris

The Bluetones and Finley Quaye called off gigs last week claiming throat trouble; Puff Daddy gave the excuse that he was unaware his baby was due the same week that he was booked to play at New York magazine's 30th anniversary gala. Also notching-up points in the artistic licence department is the artist formerly known as Prince, who has asked Internet fans to sign a petition to Warner Brothers for giving up their rights to his back catalogue in the same week as his request for an end to unauthorised material on the Web sees attorneys moving in. Risking having her licence revoked is one Celine Dion, who has decided to ride on Titanic's wave somewhat too literally, with a "Fateful Voyage" tour aboard a 74,000-ton ocean liner.

Acting the part

There has been a lot of acting up in the musical camp recently - what with Tupac Shakur, Damon Albarn and Mick Jagger following where Kylie Minogue and Bob Dylan have left less than blazing trails. The most recent cross over is Jewel, who is planning to star in director Ang Lee's civil war film To Live On. Aerosmith's Steven Tyler is taking an easier route via a role he can bring first hand experience, as an alcoholic in "Good Night Joseph Parker".

This week's music news awards go to... Muzic.com web page for Tactless Headline: "Glitter Goes After A Younger Audience", referring to Gary Glitter's arrest for 50 charges of child pornography. Blatant Advertising: at last week's Catherine Wheel gig at ULU, hands were stamped with "This Is Hardcore", apparently to advertise Pulp's new single this stamp is changing hands at all London gigs. Market Manipulation: to Sony Music's Epic Record label which has just signed a deal with Lance Rivera and his Untertainment Records to help infiltrate the black music market. Cool Politics: goes to any of the ultra-trendy bands who are going to play at the Tibetan Freedom Concert. Radiohead, Beck, REM and A Tribe Called Quest are confirmed acts.

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