He probably won’t try to get down with the kids but record company bosses are hoping that their latest signing will prove popular, not least because he comes with a ready-made audience of about a sixth of the world’s population. Geffen Records, whose roster of stars has included Guns n’ Roses, Elton John, Donna Summer and Snoop Dogg, yesterday announced that it had signed a new artist: Pope Benedict XVI. Rather disappointingly, the pope’s album will not be cover versions – Summer’s Heaven Knows, perhaps, or Dogg’s Neva Have 2 Worry. It will, though, feature a singing pope for the first time on CD. His holiness will be singing a Marian prayer as well as speaking Lauretan Litanies in different languages – Italian, Portuguese, French and German – accompanied by eight original pieces of modern classical music. The album is called Alma Mater and will be released in time for the Christmas rush on 30 November. Some proceeds from sales will be used to provide musical education for underprivileged children across the world.