DATA DRAWS ARTISTS IN NASHVILLE… We told you about Bono’s unprecedented conference call this past Monday, talking to journalists about his DATA organization, founded to draw attention to the plight of Africa. Well, Christian artists couldn’t just sit idly by as the U2 front man did all the work so Charlie Peacock opened up his Art House to a crowd of more than 75 Christian music industry insiders last night for a presentation by key DATA staffers. Steven Curtis Chapman, Nate Cole, Michael Tait, Bebo Norman, Sixpence’s Leigh Nash and Matt Slocum (pictured here with Bebo Norman at the Art House), Sara Groves, Christine Denté, Taylor and members of Jars of Clay, MercyMe, Newsboys, Caedmon’s Call and downhere all listened attentively as they were instructed on how to get the word out on the twin crises of poverty and AIDS that are ravaging the continent of Africa. Peacock encouraged those in attendance to be storytellers, sharing what they know from the stage, on their websites and in the liner notes of their albums. In the meantime, find out how you can get involved by visiting www.datadata.org and clicking on “What You Can Do.”


GET TO KNOW KELCEY… September will introduce another newcomer to the Christian music scene. Meet Kelcey, a hip-hop-happy pop star in training with a love of dance and a passion for Christ. And the two are forever intertwined. After all, Kelcey’s introduction to Christianity came when she was only eight years old through the influence of her dance instructors and a ministry called “In His Steps.” Now the moves are her own as is the music (she co-wrote all 10 tracks). Look for her debut disc, "First Things First," on store shelves September 9.


THE “B” STANDS FOR BUSY… Maggie B., also known as Margaret Becker, isn’t getting much rest these days. In a recent e-mail newsletter she admitted “my back is aching, my language is limited and my dog doesn't know me anymore.” So what’s keeping her away from her beloved pooch? A batch of projects she believes in. Becker reports that she’s in the home stretch of a long string of producing work that began in January. When it’s over, she will have lent her expertise to six upcoming projects, including "New Irish Hymns 2: Joanne Hogg, Kristyn Lennox, Margaret Becker" and a sophomore project from the talented Kelly Minter. In addition, Becker just released the solo project "Just Come In." She also leaked some info about an upcoming contest where you could win a concert in Margaret’s living room. Look for details to be posted soon at www.maggieb.com.