- Title: VARIOUS: SHOWBIZ REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2007 - YEARENDER
- Date: 24th December 2007
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - JUNE 3, 2007) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PARIS HILTON POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS VARIOUS OF PHOTOGRAPHERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) PARIS HILTON SAYING: "(Reporter: How are you doing?) I am trying to be strong right now I am definitely scared but I am ready to face my sentence and even though this is a really hard time I have my friends and family and my fans who support me and it just has been really helpful in this really scary time."
- Embargoed: 8th January 2008 03:46
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA1BIN5W76AECMBEXMS514WCY3E
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: We take a look at a year of celebrities acting badly, musicians acting globally and farewells to some of the biggest names in the entertainment business.
The fall from grace for the world's most famous celebrity heiress made for addictive viewing as Paris Hilton's party girl ways seemingly caught up with her. She was caught in February driving on a suspended license. A judge ruled in May that her latest infraction constituted a probation violation and sentenced her to 45 days in jai, later cut to 23 days. On June 4 she officially began her incarceration in a county jail near Los Angeles,.
After three days behind bars, the country sheriff released her to house arrest under electronic monitoring, citing unspecified medical problems he later described as psychological The next day a judge ordered her back to jail.
The car crash that was Britney Spears' life in 2007 not only made for page-turning tabloid frenzy but nightly news as well. In her most tumultuous year since shooting to fame in 1999 as that age 17, the former Disney "Mouseketeer" got divorced, shaved off her hair, been to rehab, appeared without underwear, dumped by her management company, and lost custody of her two children to her ex-husband Kevin Federline.
Professionally, her dazed and indifferent performance at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) in September was widely panned and shocked fans who remembered her as the hot teen who could dance up a storm -- even if she was lip-syncing to the hits that helped sell 70 million records worldwide.
But perhaps the troubled singer had the last laugh upon the release of her latest album aptly-titled "Blackout" which surprised many by achieving critical success.
The death of reality TV star and former model Anna Nicole Smith a year after her son died and just a month after the birth of her daughter Dannielynn sent shockwaves around the world. Officials in Florida said she died of an accidental drug overdose. The death of Smith's 20-year-old son, Daniel, has also been attributed to an overdose of various drugs. Her death sparked legal battles over the identity of the father of Smith's infant daughter, Dannielynn, who may inherit a fortune left by Smith's former husband Howard Marshall, who was a Texas oil tycoon. Smith's longtime companion and lawyer, Howard K. Stern, was listed as the father on the birth certificate but a paternity test revealed Los Angeles photographer Larry Birkhead was the real father.
CELEBRITY JUSTICE O.J. Simpson, the football star-turned-actor who was acquitted of double murder in 1995, pleaded not guilty in what prosecutors say was the armed robbery in Las Vegas of his own memorabilia from a pair of collectors.
Simpson and his two co-defendents Charles Ehrlich and Clarence Stewart all pleaded not guilty when asked by Judge Jackie Glass. The three men will stand trial on 12 charges, including kidnapping and armed robbery, in the Sept. 13 incident at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. The jury trial was scheduled to begin April 7.
With the jury deadlocked 10-2, a judge declared a mistrial in the murder trial of music producer Phil Spector, who is accused of killing actress Lana Clarkson at his southern California home. The nine man, three woman jury was on its 12th day of deliberations when it sent a note to the judge. Later, the jurors were brought into the courtroom, and each of them said they did not believe further deliberations would break the deadlock. Spector, 67, was accused of shooting the 40-year-old Clarkson through the mouth in the foyer of his Alhambra mansion early in the morning of Feb. 3, 2003, after a night of drinking. His defense maintains she shot herself, either by accident or on purpose, with his snub-nosed .38-caliber. Spector was charged with second-degree murder. If he is re-tried and convicted, he could face 15 years to life in prison, plus a possible added 10 years for use of a firearm.
Spector, renowned in music circles for the "Wall of Sound" recording technique he invented in the 1960s and used in his work with the Beatles and other groups, is free on one million dollars USD) bail.
Lindsay Lohan was arrested in July on suspicion of driving drunk in Santa Monica. Police said they responded to a distress call from a female driver in a black Cadillac Escalade who said she was being pursued by a white Yukon near city hall. Police said when they arrived on the scene, the drivers of both SUVs were standing outside their cars arguing. One was confirmed to be Lohan. Two male friends were also riding in the vehicle driven by the actress.
Officers briefly detained the pair for questioning. They then tested Lohan determine whether or not she had consumed a quantity of alcohol above the legal limit before getting behind the wheel. Lohan just finished 45 days in an alcohol-treatment program. As part of her out-patient care, she had agreed to wear an alcohol-detecting device on her ankle. The actress's attorney, Blair Berk, released a statement acknowledging that her client had relapsed. Berk also noted that "the bracelet has now been removed" and "she is safe, out of custody and presently receiving medical care." In November, she turned herself in to custody to serve jail time stemming from her August conviction for two DUIs. Lohan was sentenced to at least 24 hours in prison, but she didn't even make it to a cell. She was kept in a holding area and released less than an hour and a half later just before lunch was due to be served at the facility.
Kiefer Sutherland, star of the hit television series "24,"
was formally sentenced to 48 days in jail for drunken driving, and his lawyer said the actor would begin doing time immediately. Sutherland will serve the 48 days consecutively rather than in two separate stints as had been previously planned in order to prevent a conflict with the production schedule of the Fox network show. Fox announced last month it was suspending production on the series due to the screenwriters' strike, so there was no longer any need for Sutherland to break up his jail term into two parts.
Sutherland, who turns 41 later this month, was arrested in September while still on probation for a 2004 drunken driving offense.
An Australian court fined Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone, star of the Rocky movie series, 2500 U.S.dollars for importing a banned growth hormone.
Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone was fined 2,975 Australian dollars (2,500 U.S. dollars) by an Australian court for illegally bringing 48 vials of human growth hormone into Australia during a promotional trip in February. The verdict comes a week after Stallone pleaded guilty and apologised for bringing the drugs to the country in what he called a "strange and truly unfortunate occurrence".
Celebrity socialite Nicole Richie pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of drugs and was sentenced to four days in jail, a month after TV co-star Paris Hilton completed a three-week stint behind bars. Richie, 25, the waif-like daughter of singer Lionel Richie who co-stars with Hilton on the reality series "The Simple Life," was ordered to serve her time by Sept. 28, but it was not immediately clear when or where she would be incarcerated. She also was fined 2,048 USD, placed on three years probation and was ordered to enroll in a court-supervised rehabilitation program for two-time offenders.
Spice Girl Melanie Brown filed a paternity suit against actor Eddie Murphy asking for child support for her 3-month-old daughter. Gloria Allred, Brown's lawyer, said the lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. It seeks to legally establish paternity and asks for unspecified child support.
Rapper Snoop Dogg was sentenced to three years' informal probation and 160 hours of community service in September, after pleading guilty to possessing a collapsible baton in his carry-on bag at a California airport.
The 35-year-old entertainer, whose real name is Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., must also donate 10,000 USD to a children's charity under the terms of the deal hammered out at Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, California, about 34 miles (55 km) south of Los Angeles. Snoop Dogg, who was acquitted of murder in 1993, was arrested on two other occasions in 2006 for marijuana and gun possession. He has since been denied entry to Australia and Britain.
Los Angeles prosecutors charged Anand Jon, an Indian-born designer who has appeared on the popular television show "America's Next Top Model," with a total of 46 counts involving 18 victims, all with ties to the fashion industry and between the ages of 14 and 27. Jon, who was free on
3 million U.S. dollars bail in the Los Angeles case, was arrested again outside the courthouse after Dallas police issued a warrant in connection with three sexual assaults there. The charges against Jon includeD forcible rape, sexual battery, sexual penetration by a foreign object, sodomy by use of force, forcible oral copulation, false imprisonment by violence, assault with the intent to commit a felony, lewd act on a child, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sexual exploitation of a child.
Reports of an eating disorder, drug and alcohol abuse have dominated tabloid headlines in Britain over the last year, although Amy Winehouse is also recognised as one of the leading talents in the pop scene today. She was arrested for possession of a small quantity of marijuana and spent several hours in jail in the Norwegian town of Bergen. The 24-year-old's husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, and a third person were also arrested with Winehouse in their hotel room after the police received a "credible tip" from an unnamed source. The group had in their possession a total of about seven grams of marijuana, and was brought in for questioning a night before her planned concert in Bergen, in west Norway.
A few months later, her husband was arrested in an investigation into perverting the course of justice, days before he was due to go on trial for beating up a bartender. Police said five people had been arrested following a tip-off by a British tabloid. She has since cancelled the rest of her tour dates saying she was unable to continue performing while her husband was locked up.
Singer Pete Doherty escaped jail despite admitting a string of drug and driving offences. The 28-year-old musician was handed a four-month jail term, suspended for two years, at West London Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to driving illegally while in possession of crack cocaine, heroin, ketamine and cannabis. He was also told he would be subject to an 18-month supervision order and a 12-month compulsory drug rehabilitation order, which would involve twice-weekly drug tests. Doherty was disqualified from driving for six months, fined 400 pounds (GBP) (821.20 USD) for driving with no insurance, 75 pounds for driving a vehicle without a certificate of roadworthiness, and ordered to pay 100 pounds-worth of prosecution costs. It was the latest reprieve for the Babyshambles frontman, who has been dogged this year by his failures to comply with court orders. Earlier, a court cancelled the last six months of a compulsory supervision order designed to help him kick drugs, after hearing he was making good progress.
The judge in the latest case told the court she was suspending the sentence for exactly the same reason.
British singer George Michael was banned from driving for two years and sentenced to 100 hours of community service after admitting driving when unfit due to drugs. Police had found the 43-year-old slumped behind the wheel of his Mercedes at a road junction in London in October. The prosecution had contended that he had a cocktail of both legal and illegal drugs in his system.
Singer Boy George appeared in a London court charged with the false imprisonment of a male escort. The former Culture Club frontman was released on bail, with the condition that he cannot contact the alleged victim. The offence is alleged to have taken place at the star's home in east London in April this year. Prosecutor Nicholas Paul told the court the case centred on an "allegation of false imprisonment" but did not provide further details.
BREAKUPS Former Beatle Paul McCartney and his estranged wife Heather Mills will take their acrimonious divorce battle back to court next February, after attempts to reach a private settlement failed. The source said a five-day hearing had been scheduled with a fall-back date later in 2008 if the February hearing failed to produce an agreement. British media have speculated that McCartney could have to part with between 20 and 70 million pounds (40-140 million USD) of his 825 million pound fortune in a final settlement, including a one-off lump sum plus annual payments. A British tabloid reported that the stumbling block during their lengthy meeting had been Mills' refusal to accept a gagging order as part of the deal.
Britain's Prince William broke up with his long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton after a romance conducted under the full glare of the media spotlight. Middleton, the eldest child of middle-class entrepreneurs who had won plaudits for her fashionable dress sense and poise, was widely tipped to be Britain's next Queen. She was pursued everywhere by paparazzi photographers -- as Diana was. The couple have been reported to be seen together in the British media but it is not confirmed whether the two are dating again.
Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake called it quits but were still amicable to each other at the premiere of the latest "Shrek"
animation in London.
The on-again, off-again relationship of Kate Moss and Pete Doherty seemingly ended permanently 2007. Ever the rock chick, Moss is currently dating The Kills frontman Jamie Hince.
IN MEMORANDUM The world said goodbye to Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, who died of cancer the age of 71. Thousands of his fans - including rock stars and world statesmen - honoured a man who took opera to the masses. The imposing, bearded opera star, captivated audiences with a voice that touched millions. His funeral at the 12th century cathedral in the historic centre of his home town in northeastern Italy. Tens of thousands of lesser-known mourners paid.
"Big Luciano", as he was endearingly called in Italy, achieved superstardom at the celebrated "Three Tenors" concert with Domingo and Carreras in Rome during the 1990 soccer World Cup in Italy.
Film legend Ingmar Bergman was buried on his home island in the Baltic sea at a private funeral attended by family and close friends. Bergman, who died at the age of 89, was Sweden's most famous personality, known around the world for a career spanning 60 years and producing 54 films, 126 theatre productions and 39 radio plays. He died at his home on Faro Island on July 30.
Relatives said he died peacefully in his sleep.
Michelangelo Antonioni, one of Italy's most influential post-war film directors whose portrayals of modern angst and alienation won him a cult following, has died aged 94. Antonioni's career spanned six decades and he was honoured with an Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1995, when he had been felled by a stroke and could barely talk. His works included the Oscar-nominated "Blowup", "Zabriskie Point" and the internationally acclaimed "L'Avventura" (The Adventure).
Marcel Marceau, the world's best-known mime artist who for decades moved audiences across the globe without uttering a single word, died aged xxxx. He was buried at the Paris Pere Lachaise cemetery. The Frenchman's extensive tours and appearances on camera brought his silent art to people around the world. His comic and tragic sketches appealed on a universal level, with each audience interpreting his performance in its own ay.
"Mime, like music, knows neither borders nor nationalities," he once said. "If laughter and tears are the characteristics of humanity, all cultures are steeped in our discipline".
Daredevil Evel Knievel, who dodged death in spectacular motorcycle leaps and crashes in a life full of showmanship, passed away at age 69, according to his lawyer and a message on his Web site. The front page of the tempestuous showman's official Web site -- www.evelknievel.com -- read simply "Robert Craig 'Evel' Knievel October 17, 1938 - November 30, 2007."
Knievel had been ill for some time, suffering from a lung disease.
Rock 'n' roll pioneer Ike Turner, who rose to fame in the 1950s and became a star performing with his ex-wife Tina Turner, died at age 76, said an official with the performer's management company. Hanover did not have any further information about the cause of death. Turner helped pioneer rock 'n' roll in 1951 when his band The Kings of Rhythm recorded the song "Rocket 88," a tune widely regarded as the first record in the nascent genre. The Chess Records release was credited to the band's saxophone player Jackie Brenston "and his Delta Cats." As a guitarist and pianist, Turner played with the likes of B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon in the 1950s. He married Annie Mae Bullock in 1958, she changed her name to Tina, and they enjoyed such hits as "River Deep, Mountain High,"
"Proud Mary" and "Nutbush City Limits." The pair won a Grammy in 1972 for "Proud Mary," and earlier this year Ike Turner was awarded again with the record industry's top honor for his traditional blues album, "Risin' with the Blues." After his and Tina Turner's 1976 divorce, Ike Turner was crippled by a cocaine addiction and was widely vilified in the mid-1980s as Tina Turner mounted a huge comeback and said she had suffered abuse and humiliation at his hand.
Tens of thousands of Elvis Presley fans gathered in Memphis to mark the 30th anniversary of the singer's death. Although Presley never toured overseas during his career, many of his most ardent fans remain in Europe and Asia and hundreds have come to Graceland for Elvis Week -- a string of events organized by his estate Pauline Huff travelled from France to be part of the anniversary. Presley, widely credited with revolutionizing popular music and re-defining the power of international celebrity, died on August 16, 1977.
FILM Actors playing world leaders took top prize at this year's Academy Awards. Forest Whitaker won Best Actor for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland". Helen Mirren, playing the British monarch in the events after Princess Diana's death, took home the prize for Best Actress in "Queen". Al Gore's film on climate change "An Inconvenient Truth" won the gong for Best Documentary.
U.S. comedian Jerry Seinfeld created a buzz in Cannes at the premiere of his new offering "Bee Movie". He was dressed as the insect strapped up to a harness, and rode a wire from the top of one hotel down to the beach dock.
The celebrity factor went into overdrive at the premiere of Angelina Jolie's film about murdered journalist Daniel Pearl in "A Mighty Heart" in Cannes. She brought along her partner Brad Pitt to the red carpet.
It was a summer of sequels with big Hollywood blockbusters looking to capitalise on the earlier success of their films with a follow-up. Spider-Man 3, Shrek 3 and the the third installment of "Pirates of the Carribean" were on offer. Hundreds of Potter fans assembled in Leicester Square on in torrential rain and thunder to see the teenaged stars of the latest installment of the hugely successful franchise, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". The move from the small to the big screen was always going to be a difficult one but for one of America's most famously dysfunctional families, the doubts were unfounded. "The Simpsons Movie" sold almost 168 million USD worth of tickets during its first weekend of release, their distributor 20th Century Fox said, surpassing even the most optimistic of forecasts. Sales of rats have gone up in Germany since the start of Disney's movie success "Ratatouille."
At the Venice Film Festival, Academy Award winning director Ang Lee took home the top prize with his steamy spy thriller. It was the Taiwanese director's second win at the festival in three years after "Brokeback Mountain" won in 2005.
The World War Two saga "Atonement" earned seven Golden Globe nominations, including a bid for best film drama, to lead the pack of movies vying for a major Hollywood honor in the widely watched awards season.
"Atonement" was joined in the best film drama category by six other films -- "American Gangster," "Eastern Promises,"
"The Great Debaters," "Michael Clayton," "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will be Blood."
"Charlie Wilson's War," a wry tale of political intrigue, was the second most nominated movie, drawing five nods overall, including one for best film musical or comedy. It was joined in that category by the coming-of-age comedy "Juno" and three musicals -- "Hairspray," "Sweeney Todd" and "Across the Universe."
In the performance categories, "Atonement" stars James McAvoy and Keira Knightley earned best dramatic actor and actress nominations, respectively, for their portrayals of two lovers torn apart by a family lie and war. In the dramatic actor race, McAvoy was joined by George Clooney for "Michael Clayton," Daniel Day-Lewis for "There Will Be Blood," Denzel Washington for "American Gangster" and Viggo Mortensen for "Eastern Promises." Competing with Knightley as nominees for best dramatic actress were Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," Julie Christie for "Away From Her," Angelina Jolie in "A Mighty Heart" and Jodie Foster for "The Brave One."
MUSIC It seemed nearly everything Timbaland did in 2007 turned to gold, or rather platinum. The uber producer, also known as Tim Mosley, worked his way up from being a DJ in Virginia Beach, Virginia to becoming one of hip hop/pop music's most inventive producers. After spending most of his time working behind-the-scenes in the music industry, he returned to the spotlight with his second solo album, "Timbaland Presents Shock Value", which produced "Give It Me" and the current ballad "Apologize". He had one, if not the most infectious pop tune of the year with "The Way I Are", after help Nelly Furtado revive her career with the singles "Promiscuous Girl" and "Maneater". The man responsible for also guiding the careers of Missy Eilliott, Aaliyah, Ludacris, and Justin Timberlake's solo career recruits an eclectic range of contributors for the album. His music revolves around his signature stutters accompanied by bubbling synths, tribal drumming and an endlessly twisting melody.
A very strong debut on the British charts for newcomer Leona Lewis. In fact, the singer set a British record for the fastest-selling debut album. Her debut album "Spirit" sold more than 375,000 copies for the week, beating out previous title holders the Arctic Monkeys.
It was a year of musical comebacks. Kylie released her tenth album "X" and beat off breast cancer. The singer is considered to be cured since the beginning of last year. The Spice Girls, who burst on to the music scene with "girl power" and attitude in the 1990s, reunited for an 11-city world tour starting. Ginger, Sporty, Posh, Scary and a Baby Spice told a packed news conference in London and would be accompanied by a greatest hits album and a television documentary about the band.
More than 25 years after the release of their first album, '80s pop group Duran Duran returned with album number 13, "Red Carpet Massacre".
Giving fans a one-off chance to here their latest material live, Duran Duran held a one off concert at the Lyceum Theatre. Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor joined forces with U.S. hip-hop mogul Timbaland and pop sensation Justin Timberlake for their latest offering.
The Live Earth concert series hoped to reach up to two billion people through radio, television and the internet, aimed at persuading the globe to go green. Many of the world's biggest pop stars performed at Live Earth concerts around the globe the 7th of the 7th of 2007 (July 7, 2007) to try to persuade fans and governments to go green. Tens of thousands of people poured into venues in Sydney, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hamburg to hear Linkin Park, Rihanna, Shakira, Crowded House, Kumi Koda and others, while former U.S. Vice President Al Gore appealed for action on climate change.
Genesis and Snow Patrol kicked off the event at London's Wembley Stadium, leading a star-studded cast there including Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Spinal Tap, who will play before an expected 70,000 crowd.
Reunited rock trio the Police launched a world tour in May, more than 20 years after frontman Sting angered his bandmates by leaving for a successful solo career. Sting, 55, joked during a news conference that he was "certifiably insane" to resurrect the band for a tour that will begin in North America and take in Europe, South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Long resistant to the idea of a reunion with his estranged bandmates, guitarist Andy Summers, 64, and drummer Stewart Copeland, 54, Sting said he woke up one day about three months ago and decided to call them up and suggest a tour.
In one of the most anticipated reunion concerts of recent times, British band Led Zeppelin blasted their way through more than two hours of high-octane rock and roll, turning back time on a night of passion and nostalgia. The quartet had a crowd of around 20,000 at London's 02 Arena calling for more at the end of 16 tracks ranging from their most famous numbers to less familiar fare. Many fans went away ecstatic, some even saying Led Zeppelin sounded better than in their hell-raising heyday of the 1970s.
There were none of the tight trousers and open shirts of the old days and the instrumentalists were largely static through the non-stop set. A grey-haired Jimmy Page, 63, reminded the world why he is considered one of the lead guitar greats, while John Paul Jones, 61, showed his versatility jumping from bass to keyboards. Completing the quartet was Jason Bonham on drums. His father John died in 1980 after a drinking binge, prompting the demise of a group that has sold more than 300 million albums and influenced countless bands since.
FASHION Hundreds of Kate Moss fans queued for hours to get an early taste of the British supermodel's first foray into fashion design at the launch of her eagerly awaited new range. The 33-year-old, who has inspired fashion trends from skinny jeans to sawn-off shorts, was at retailer Topshop's central London flagship store wearing one of her new creations, a long red dress costing 195 pounds (390 U.S. dollars). She was chaperoned around a small area of the store dedicated to her collection by Topshop owner and billionaire Sir Philip Green, who is paying Moss three million pounds to put some celebrity panache into his business.
The Queen of Pop, Madonna, also launched a clothing range for retailer H&M at the label's shops around the world.
One of the undisputed kings of fashion, Valentino will retire in January (2008) after a final haute couture show and hand the reins to relatively unknown designer Alessandra Facchinetti. His departure follows the sale of his Valentino Fashion Group to the European private equity group Permira, which industry insiders have said want a younger, more innovative designer to help it expand to new markets. Valentino's signature scarlet evening gowns have long made him a hit for red carpet events, where he has dressed famous names like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and Julia Roberts. His conservative style still attracts many fans. The announcement came after a spectacular retrospective featuring 45 years of his work opened in rome.
MISCELLANEOUS Harry Potter fans poured into book stores around the world to get hold of the seventh and final volume in the series and discover the secret of the boy wizard's fate. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" hit the shelves across most of the world at 2301 GMT on July 20, in a release carefully orchestrated to maximise suspense and sales from Tokyo and New York to Taiwan and Australia's Outback. Dressed as witches, Hogwarts heroes, Death Eaters and plain old non-magical Muggles, die-hard followers from dozens of countries braved torrential rain in London and awoke at dawn in Australia and India to snap up early copies. In London, a few lucky fans had the chance to hear author J.K. Rowling read out the first chapter from her new book as the writer staged a special midnight reading from "Deathly Hallows" to 500 children at London's Natural History Museum. Just 13 years ago she was an unemployed single mother, without a publisher or agent, but is now the world's first dollar billionaire writer after the success of her first six novels and the Hollywood movies based on them.
A limited-edition book from the Harry Potter franchise has fetched a record price at a charity auction in London. The manuscript, one of seven copies hand-written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling, sold at a price of nearly 4 million dollars -- about forty times what had been expected.
Soaring 37,000 feet above European airspace, British pop star Jamiroquai with the help from Sony Ericsson Walkman phones, pulled off a music stunt that will take some beating in years to come. 200 lucky competition winners from across Europe the Middle East and South Africa witnessed what could be described as a once in a life time event, as Jay Kay and his band smashed into the Guinness World Records for the highest ever concert performance. Known for his love of fast cars, and playboy lifestyle, it seemed only fitting that Jay Kay should be the one to round off fifteen years in the music business with this landmark performance.
Uber soccer player David Beckham, his wife Victoria, and their three children moved from Spain to Los Angeles for his new position with the U.S.
city's soccer team, the L.A. Galaxy. Not surprisingly, one of world's most famous couples arrived to find hundreds of media and fans gathered behind steel barriers just outside the international terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to capture the first moments of their new life in America. 32-year-old Beckham, wearing a long-sleeved black jacket, jeans and a huge smile, escorted Victoria, 33, in a sleeveless black dress and enormous dark sunglasses, waved to members of both the British and U.S. press corps as the two walked towards their waiting vehicle, but said nothing as he passed by the dozens upon dozens of flashing bulbs and television cameras trained on their every move.
Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty sparked an international diplomatic incident involving top level politicians including British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Finance Minister Gordon Brown in her dispute with British television star Jade Goody. The two were at the centre of an international row over racism and bullying for her treatment of Shetty. An A-list Indian star, Shetty was called a "dog" on the show. Housemates refused to learn her name, referred to her as "the Indian" and "Poppadom", and model Danielle Lloyd said: "She should fuck off home. She can't even speak English."
Internet chatrooms, news bulletins and newspapers have been abuzz with debate about whether what was said on the show constituted racism and to what extent Goody and her allies in the Big Brother House reflected prejudices in society at large.
Shetty garnered more controversy again when Richard Gere kissed her at an AIDS campaign event. Protestors burned effigies of Gere and demanded his arrest for the "obscene" kiss.
Madonna jetted out of Malawi after a six-day visit focussing on her charity work in the impoverished southern African country. Madonna, wearing dark glasses and carrying the one-year-old Malawian boy she is adopting, boarded a private jet at Lilongwe airport at the end of her visit, a witness said. The pop diva spent the last day of her visit to Malawi at Kazembe Village, stopped by thr Clinic and met with locals. Raising Malawi, a charity co-founded by Madonna, provides food, education and health services to 32,000 orphans in the country through seven community-based organisations.
This is Madonna's second visit to Malawi six months after she and her film director husband, Guy Ritchie, signed interim adoption papers for custody of local toddler David Banda. David will stay with the couple for 18 months at their home in London before a decision by the Malawian government on whether to finalise the adoption.
Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie adopted a boy from a Vietnamese orphanage. Reports said the almost three-and-a-half year-old boy, renamed Pax Thien Jolie, cried when he first saw his adoptive mother at the Ho Chi Minh City orphanage where he has lived since infancy. Jolie tackled last-minute procedural hurdles after she received approval by Vietnamese authorities to adopt the boy from the Tam Binh orphanage. The child must have a medical check-up before U.S. officials will issue him with a visa.
It was a baby boom for some of Hollywood's A-listers. Pop diva Christina Aguilera, Julia Roberts with child number three, Halle Berry with her first as is Jennifer Lopez, Milla Jovovich and Jessica Alba all announced they were pregnant.
Oscar-nominated film star Owen Wilson, best known for movies such as 'The Wedding Crashers' asked the media to allow him to "heal in private"
after he was hospitalised over the weekend. Various news reports surfaced late on Sunday (August 26) that Wilson, 38, was in Cedars Sinai Medical Center in the Beverly Hills area and some cited unnamed sources as saying he had tried to commit suicide.
Teenage film star Daniel Radcliffe threw off Harry Potter's invisibility cloak to appear naked on a London stage in the psychological thriller "Equus." Radcliffe, who found fame as the young wizard in the Potter films, plays a troubled stable boy who ritualistically blinds horses in a production that has caused a flurry of excitement among his hordes of teenage fans.
A former member of staff at Oprah Winfrey's school for girls in South Africa was charged with abusing students. U.S. television magnate Oprah Winfrey said she was "cleaning house" at her all-girl academy in South Africa after a dormitory matron was charged with abusing students at the facility. Winfrey, describing the charges -- including soliciting under-age girls to perform indecent acts -- as one of the most devastating experiences in her life, the billionaire philanthropist said she had not renewed the head mistress's contract.
Citizen Kane may be one of film history's true classics, but Orson Welles' Oscar statue stemming from the movie hasn't drawn quite as much attention. The item was set to be auctioned at Sotheby's in New York, but failed to sell when bidding fell short of the seller's minimum price.
Hundreds of screaming fans waited for the arrival of the U.S. pop star Michael Jackson for a party he threw for fans and organisers are charging a staggering 400,000 yen (or 3,448 US dollars) for tickets even though he will not sing. According to an Internet advertisement, the "Premium VIP Party with Michael Jackson" for privileged fans will include dancers, bands and gospel singers. But Jackson himself will not perform and will watch the show from a special VIP area, the advertisement said. He will also make some brief remarks.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2008 And what will the crystal ball look like for celebrities in 2008? Will Paris Hilton redeem herself by giving to charity in Rwanda? Will Britney's seemingly endless problems come to an end and she will take her place at the top of the music charts? With the Oscar race wide open, will their be a new breed of winners who will go from unknowns to unstoppable? Will Michael Jackson's comeback shows in London be a thriller?
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