Billboard Bits: Nirvana, Mos Def, CMA Awards

Stories on Nirvana's greatest hits set, Mos Def's latest on stage role, and the latest additions to the 2002 CMA Awards broadcast lineup.

NirvanaUniversal Music Group's self-titled Nirvana greatest hits set, which was moved from its original Nov. 12 release date to today (Oct. 29), is being issued in three different configurations worldwide. Outside North America the set features the bonus track "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" from Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged in New York" album. "Something in the Way," from the same set, will be a bonus track included on the Japanese version only.

As previously reported, all versions of "Nirvana" are highlighted by the previously unreleased track "You Know You're Right," which is No. 1 on both Billboard's Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks tallies. A video featuring archival live clips is in rotation on MTV and VH1.

"Nirvana" is rounded out by such favorites as "About a Girl," "Smells Like Teen Spirit," producer Scott Litt's remix of "Pennyroyal Tea," and "Unplugged in New York" tracks "The Man Who Sold The World" and "All Apologies."

As previously reported, Riverhead Books will on Nov. 4 publish "Journals," which reproduces more than 270 pages from late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's diaries and notebooks.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Mos DefMos Def has landed a starring role in the provocatively titled play "F***ing A," which will premiere Feb. 25 at the Public Theater's Anspacher Theater in New York. This will be Mos Def's second theatrical stage role, and it will reunite him with playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. Earlier this year he starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway drama "Topdog/Underdog," also written by Parks.

In the new off-Broadway production, Mos Def plays an ex-con. The drama will feature music inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel "The Scarlet Letter."

The rapper-turned-actor is currently riding high as a featured performer on the hit film "Brown Sugar" and it's Magic Johnson Records/MCA soundtrack. His upcoming film roles include "From the Outside Looking In" and "The Italian Job," both due out next year.

-- Carla Hay, N.Y.

Kellie CoffeyCountry newcomer Kellie Coffey is the latest artist added to the performance lineup of the 36th annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. She joins previously announced talent Brooks & Dunn with Kim Richey, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, host Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Toby Keith, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry, Joe Nichols, Nickel Creek, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Travis Tritt, Shania Twain, Keith Urban, Phil Vassar, Lee Ann Womack, and Darryl Worley.

The show will also boast newly announced presenters Jessica Andrews, Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black, Tracy Byrd, Deana Carter, Terri Clark, Tammy Cochran, George Jones, Blake Shelton, Trick Pony, and Mark Wills. The CMA Awards will take place Nov. 6 at the Grand Ole Opry house in Nashville, and will air live on CBS.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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