Billboard Bits: Celine Dion, Dove Awards, Steve Marriott

News on Celine Dion, Dove Awards, Steve Marriott

CelineCeline Dion's new album is hot at retail, but some fans trying to play the disc itself are hopping mad. Some European editions of the set, "A New Day Has Come," come embedded with Key2Audio copy protection, which prevent the disc from being played on computer CD drives. Should the consumer try to play the CD on a PC or Macintosh, the computer likely will crash.

Epic/Sony released the protected CD in Germany and several other European countries. According to a spokesperson for Sony Music Entertainment, it is clearly stated on the front of the booklet and on the back of the jewel box that the CD "will not play on a PC or a Mac" in the language of the country in which it is sold. Besides those notices, which the spokesperson said were readable before purchase, the disc itself bears the same warning.

Some fans believe that the CD is more damaging than that, however. On the German discussion boards at MacFixit, Mac users claim that the CD will not eject using normal methods and that the intentional corruption of the disc's session data could unpredictably affect the drive's firmware (firmware is a combination of hardware and software instructions that are permanently embedded in the hardware's controlling chips, such as with a computer's CD-ROM, and altering it could cause permanent damage)

Sony denied these allegations. "The CD will probably cause a system to crash, but it will not alter anything," a spokesperson said. "And it won't eject properly, but that's just because the computer has crashed." As reported this morning, "A New Day Has Come" debuts this week at No. 1 on The Billboard 200.

-- Chris Marlowe, The Hollywood Reporter

JarsJars Of Clay, Steven Curtis Chapman, MercyMe, Delirious, Point Of Grace, tobyMac, Third Day, Nicole C. Mullen, and Rebecca St. James are the first artists confirmed to perform at the Gospel Music Association's 33rd Annual Dove Awards, to be presented April 25 at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House. NFL star Kurt Warner and vocalist Yolanda Adams will host.

The event will also feature an all-star performance of "In God We Trust," a collaborative effort attributed to Voices Of Hope, a collection of Christian music figures including Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, dcTalk, Rachael Lampa, Jaci Velasquez, Avalon, Anointed, Selah, and more.

As previously reported, Chapman, Mullen, St. James, and tobyMac lead the field of nominees with eight each. Smith earned seven nominations, while Selah, Third Day, Kirk Franklin, Brown Bannister, and newcomer Shaun Groves roped in five apiece.

-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.

NoelSanctuary has set a May 13 U.K. release date for "Mustn't Grumble," featuring highlights of the April 20, 2001, tribute concert to late Small Faces/Humble Pie vocalist Steve Marriott at London's Astoria Theatre. The evening was something of a family affair, with Marriott's son Toby and daughter Molly on guitar and backing vocals respectively, Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey playing drums, and late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham's daughter Debbie providing lead vocals at various points in the show.

Oasis' Noel Gallagher and Gem Archer joined with former Jam/Style Council frontman Paul Weller and ex-Faces Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan for Small Faces cuts such as "Become Like You" and "Get Yourself Together." The event also featured a reunion by the surviving members of Humble Pie -- Peter Frampton, "Clem" Clempson, Jerry Shirley, and Greg Ridley -- who performed such favorites as "Four Day Creep," "Shine On," and "Don't Need No Doctor."

Weller supervised the mixing and mastering process for the collection, proceeds from which will benefit various charities. Marriott died in a house fire on April 20, 1991.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.; Christopher Barrett, London