Newsweek Cover Imagines Diana at Age 50

Princess Diana at 50 on the cover of Newsweek

The latest Newsweek cover contains a ghostly sight: a computer-generated image of a stylish Princess Diana walking with Kate Middleton.

The article inside was written by Diana biographer and longtime provocateur Tina Brown. She’s also Newsweek’s editor-in-chief.

Diana was killed in a car accident in 1997 and would have turned 50 on Friday. In April, Middleton married Prince William, the oldest son of Diana and Prince Charles.

“What would she have been like?” Brown writes of Diana. “Still great-looking: that’s a given.”

About the cover, aLos AngelesTimes headline had a different question Tuesday: “Shocking, brilliant or just plain cheap?”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


Madonna’s Life Story Subject of Comic Book

In this comic book image released by Bluewater ... AP

Madonna will soon find herself in a whole new material world: the pages of a comic book.

The star will have her life story told in 32 pages by Bluewater Productions Inc., the latest celebrity to be part of its semi-regular line of “Female Force” comics.

The one-shot issue, due out in August for $3.99, will look at her life as it transformed from a little-known singer into a multimillion-record-selling entertainer and trendsetter.

The issue joins a growing collection of similar titles from the Vancouver, Wash.-based publisher. Previous subjects in the “Female Force” series that have included Betty White, Michelle Obama, Barbara Walters, Sarah Palin and Margaret Thatcher, among others.



(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Satellite Radio Will Highlight George Carlin

The late George Carlin’s comedy will come alive again this weekend.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. said Monday it will air a special channel devoted to Carlin’s comedy this weekend. Carlin died three years ago, on June 22, 2008, at age 71. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the making of his album “FM & AM.”

The channel will air several of Carlin’s routines, including the classic “Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV.” Because it is a subscription-based satellite radio channel, Sirius has no problem playing the profanity-laced routine.

“George Carlin Radio” will also include interviews with the comic’s daughter, brother and business partner.



(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Cat Thief `Purr-Loins’ Hundreds of Treasures

A prolific cat burglar has stolen hundreds of precious possessions from homes nearSan Francisco.

But police are staying off the case — the burglar really is a cat.

Dusty, a 5-year-old feline fromSan Mateo, has taken hundreds of items during his nearly nightly heists.

Owner Jean Chu tells the San Francisco Chronicle he has pilfered gloves, towels, shoes and more since she adopted him from the Humane Society.

Dusty has a special love for swimsuits. Neighbor Kelly McLellan says he stole her bikini — on two separate trips. She said he appeared focused on keeping the ensemble.

Experts say Dusty’s predatory instincts have gone astray, leaving him hunting for people’s stuff.

The cat’s thieving has made him a minor celebrity.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

U2, Bon Jovi Lead Highest-Paid Musician List

Members of the band U2 pose in the photo room ... Reuters

Rock band U2 tops Forbes’ annual list of the world’s highest paid musicians.
Forbes says the group earned $195-million from May 2010 to May 2011.
They raked that in with an international tour that grossed some $700-million over two years, making it the most lucrative in the history of music, surpassing the Rolling Stones’ ‘A Bigger Bang’ tour as the most lucrative of all time.
Bon Jovi took home $125-million to claim the number 2 spot.  
Elton John ranks third with $100 million, fueled by a 102-show tour; Lady Gaga, godmother to Sir Elton’s new son, clocks in at No. 4 with $90 million.

Canadian crooner Michael Bublé rounds out the top five with $70 million, also on the strength of a lucrative tour.

According to Forbes, the numbers encompass all pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before subtracting agent and manager fees. The totals were compiled with the help of data from Pollstar, RIAA and others, as well as interviews with industry insiders including lawyers, managers, concert promoters, agents and, in some cases, the musicians themselves.

As for the Stones, they’re widely expected to hit the road again to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2012.

Forbes’ list of the world’s 25 highest-paid musicians:

1. U2 ($195 million)
2. Bon Jovi ($125 million)
3. Elton John ($100 million)
4. Lady Gaga ($90 million)
5. Michael Buble ($70 million)
6. Paul McCartney ($67 million)
7. Black Eyed Peas ($61 million)
8. Eagles ($60 million)
9. Justin Bieber ($53 million)
10. Dave Matthews Band ($51 million)
11. Toby Keith ($50 million)
12. Usher ($46 million)
13. Taylor Swift $45 million)
14. Katy Perry ($44 million)
15. Brad Paisley ($40 million)
16. Tom Petty & the Heartbreaks ($38 million)
17. Jay-Z ($38 million)
18. AC/DC ($35 million)
18. Sean “Diddy” Combs ($35 million)
18. Beyonce ($35 million)
18. Tim McGraw ($35 million)
18. Muse ($35 million)
23. Rascal Flatts ($34 million)
24. Kenny Chesney ($30 million)
25. Rihanna ($29 million)

Beyonce Among 178 Invited to Join Film Academy

Oscar statues are inspected for blemishes during ... Reuters

Beyonce Knowles, Russell Brand, David Duchovny and “King’s Speech” director Tom Hooper have been invited to join theAcademyofMotion Picture Artsand Sciences.

The film academy said Friday it has invited 178 film-industry workers to join its ranks this year.

Documentarian Tim Hetherington, who was nominated for an Oscar this year and then killed inLibyatwo months after the ceremony, was invited posthumously to join the academy.

Other invitees include actors Bradley Cooper, Gerard Butler, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Garner, Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page; “The Kids Are All Right” writer-director Lisa Cholodenko; writer Aaron Sorkin; Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and the academy’s new chief operations officer, Ric Robertson.

The film academy has just under 6,000 voting members.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Oscars to Allow 5 to 10 Best Picture Nominees

TheAcademyofMotion Picture Artsand Sciences has approved a change in the nominations process that will allow between five and 10 best picture nominees.

The board voted Tuesday to approve the change.

The number of nominees won’t be announced until the best picture nominees are announced on January 24th.

Ten best-picture nominations were announced for this year’s and last year’s Oscars. In previous years it was five.

Says retiring Academy Executive Director Bruce Davis: “A best picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honor in a given year, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to round out the number.”

The academy said if the new system had been used over the past decade, there would have been between 5 and 9 films nominated each year. 

British drama The King’s Speech won best picture this year.

And in a nod to the expanding number of animated films released each year, for instance, the organization opened the door to a greater number of nominees for best animated feature. Now, when 13 to 15 of these films are released in a given year, 4 may be nominated, 1 more than in previous years.

The number of nominees will remain at five for the major acting, writing and directing categories.

A few weeks ago the Academy advised members that it would shift from paper ballots to an electronic voting system as early as this year. Electronic voting allows the academy to consider an earlier date for its awards show, a change that might wake up the audience and would almost certainly trigger recalibration by organizations that give pre-Oscar awards. Those include the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives the Golden Globes at a ceremony in January.

The next Oscars will be held on February 26, 2012.

(AP, New York Times)