The Fat Lady Dawn French Divorces Lenny Henry after 25 years.British comedy star Dawn French and husband Lenny Henry are getting a divorce. The divorce was granted in the High Court in London, citing Henry’s “unreasonable behavior.” According to our source, the “quickie” divorce was granted to French by District Judge Penny Cushing. The couple did not attend the court proceedings. French and Henry were married for 25 years before announcing their separation back in April. The 53-year-old French and 52-year-old Henry have an adopted daughter named Billie. “They fully intend to maintain their close friendship,” their spokesman said in a statement about the couple’s “entirely amicable” split. He also said their priority was “to commit to the future joint parenting of their daughter.” French is best known for her comedy series “The Vicar of Dibley” and “French & Saunders,” which spoofed everyone from Britney Spears and Madonna to the Spice Girls. She’s also starred as the Fat Lady in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and has voiced characters in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Coraline.” Comedian and TV host Henry made his TV debut on a talent show called “New Faces” in 1975 at the age of 16. He won and went on to things such as “The Fosters” (1976) and “Tiswas” (1974), which was when his career as a comedian took off. In 1989, Lenny Henry made the stand-up comedy movie Lenny Live and Unleashed (1989), which caught the eyes of the Walt Disney Company, which gave him the lead role in the American movie True Identity (1991) and a contract to do two other Disney films for about US$1 million. The movie flopped, bringing in less than US$5 million. The contract was canceled, and Lenny got half of what he would have if he had done the three films. Lenny is now becoming well-known in the United States for the role of Gareth Blackstock in the hit BBC show “Chef!” (1993).
Katy Perry, Akon To Perform At “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”. This year’s “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” is sure to be a “Teenage Dream.” Along with returning supermodels Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio, among others, Katy Perry will join the Victoria’s Secret Angels this year as one of the show’s special musical guests. Katy Perry and Akon have been tapped to provide the soundtrack to the fashion show this year. Perry will perform her new single “Firework,” while Akon will perform the awfully appropriate “Angel,” the first single off his upcoming “Stadium” album. It’s the first time they’ve appeared on the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” following in the footsteps of superstar performers like the Black Eyed Peas, the Spice Girls, Seal, and Usher. While Heidi Klum is officially out this year, the show will feature supermodels including the previously aforementioned Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio, along with Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley, Erin Heatherton, Lily Aldridge, Candice Swanepoel, Chanel Iman, and Behati Prinsloo, among others. Lima will model the $2 million Bombshell Fantasy Bra, designed with by Italian jeweler Damiani. Along with musical performances, the show will also feature model profiles, red carpet interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage. This year’s “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” taped in New York, will air Tursday, November 30th at 10pm ET/PT on CBS
The Spice Girls musical storyline yet to be revealed. Mel B ‘ who was joined in the group by Mel C, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham ‘ has revealed producer Judy Craymer is currently working on the plot for the show, tentatively titled ‘Viva Forever’, after speaking to all the girls individually. Speaking at the launch of her new computer game ‘Get Fit With Mel B’ in conjunction with Black Bean Games, she exclusively told BANG Showbiz: ‘The musical is coming out in 2012. We don’t know anything creatively just yet, because they are still in the middle of creating the whole storyline. ‘Judy Craymer took down all of the Spice Girls’ stories and she is going to create the story she wants to go with. So we don’t know what angle she is going for yet.’ The 35-year-old singer also revealed she doesn’t plan to make a cameo in the production. Asked about making an appearance, she said: ‘No. A musical is like, well, it’s about me so I wouldn’t get involved in it on that level.’ Craymer ‘ who produced ‘Mamma Mia!’ ‘ has previously promised the musical will be a very ‘exciting’ show. She said: ‘t is important to me that the excitement, style and humour of the Spice Girls is well represented on stage. ‘ want to create a unique celebration of the band and its music, with its own flavour and joyful message.’
The Spice Girls musical will be about a reality TV show. The forthcoming project – titled ‘Viva Forever’ – will use the girl group’s music, but ‘won’t be a tribute or bio show’ of the ‘Wannabe’ hitmakers, instead analysing the fickleness of modern fame in the era of instant celebrity ‘ which the Spice Girls predate. Producer Judy Craymer said: ‘We live in a world dominated by people wanting to be famous. What the Spice Girls did was before those shows became really what they are, and before the world become slightly obsessed by such shows. ”Viva Forever’ will encompass the Spice Girls ethos of friendship, identity and being true to yourself, it won’t be a tribute or bio show, nor will it feature characters with any of the names of the famous five piece.’ The show will be written and produced by Judy ‘ who was behind the stage adaptation of musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ – with comedian Jennifer Saunders. Although it analyses fame, Judy said it would, however, still include more light hearted elements. She added: ‘t has a glimpse of the underbelly of TV talent shows, an invented show, and a little bit of comedy romance.’ The Spice Girls ‘ Mel B, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Mel C and Geri Halliwell ‘ all met late last year to discuss the musical and Mel B, 34, has revealed how pleased they are to be working with Judy on the project. She said: ‘All five of us are really super excited. We don’t do anything unless all five agree. “All of us loved ‘Mamma Mia!’. We needed someone who would have a great vision alongside ours.” The musical will reportedly feature 14 of the group’s songs and is expected to open in 2012.
Lady GaGa, Kasabian and Florence And The Machine where among the winners at this year’s Brit Awards 2010 lastnight (February 16). Lady GaGa was the big winner scooping three awards for International Female Solo Artist, International Album for ‘The Fame’ and International Breakthrough Act. Meanwhile, Kasabian took home the prize for British Group, Jay-Z was named International Male Solo Artist, Dizzee Rascal was crowned British Male Solo Artist and Florence And The Machine won the award for British Album for ‘Lungs’. Earlier in the night Liam Gallagher accepted the award for British Album Of 30 Years for Oasis’ ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’ The full list of winners from the Brit Awards 2010 is as follows:
British Female Solo Artist – Lily Allen
International Female Solo Artist – Lady Gaga
British Breakthrough Act – JLS
International Male Solo Artist – Jay-Z
British Male Solo Artist – Dizzee Rascal
International Album – Lady Gaga ‘The Fame’
Brits Performance Of 30 Years – The Spice Girls ‘Wannabe / Who Do You Think You Are’ (1997)
British Group – Kasabian
Critics Choice – Ellie Goulding
International Breakthrough Act – Lady Gaga
British Single – JLS Beat Again
British Album Of 30 Years – Oasis ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’
British Album – Florence And The Machine ‘Lungs’
Outstanding Contribution To Music – Robbie Williams
In Vegas this past Saturday Justin Timberlake brought together a diverse group of talented artists for his second-annual Justin Timberlake & Friends Concert, benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children. Opening the event was Jay Sean with U.K.’s beat box champion MC Zani, performing Jay’s hit single “Down”. MTV VMA’s Best Female Video award winner, Taylor Swift followed, performing “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story.” JT introduced the next artist, Alicia Keys as “one of the greatest musicians of my generation”. As she strutted the stage in red pumps, she took a seat at her piano to vocalize “Doesn’t Mean Anything”. The night’s other performances included artists such as TLC, Ciara, Timbaland, Snoop Dog, and to cap off the evening, Justin himself, surprising the crowd with “Until the End of Time.”
The Black Eyed Peas are possibly the greatest bubble-gum group of the Extreme Ice Fruit Explosion era. Following in the path forged by the Monkees, the Archies and the Spice Girls, the Peas present themselves as a cast of zany characters whose music is, on one level, like a child’s game, and on another, as calculatedly smart and seductive as test-marketed pop gets. The titles of the Peas’ biggest hit singles tell the story: the giggle-inducing pun of “Don’t Phunk With My Heart,” the cheerily crude anatomical gesture of “My Humps” and now the IMAX-ready sound-effects burst of the chart-topping “Boom Boom Pow.” Crass, good-hearted, funny, unfailingly loud scavengers of every shiny thing lying on pop’s cross-cultural dance floor, the Peas present themselves as juvenile — but there’s plenty going on behind the mugging. “The E.N.D.” (Interscope/Universal), the group’s fifth studio album and the third since the singer Stacy Ferguson (better known as Fergie) joined and took it from the earnest hip-hop underground to the glamorous, necessarily compromised pop mainstream, is more accomplished and more confounding than any of the foursome’s previous efforts. It’s likely to dominate radio and the Internet this summer, its sharp flavors simultaneously driving listeners nuts and drawing them back. Will.i.am., the Peas’ lead rapper and main idea man, has said that he doesn’t envision “The E.N.D.” (the acronym is for “The Energy Never Dies”) as a regular album. Instead, it’s a template, designed to be constantly reworked through remixes, both in the recording studio and by DJs on the dance floor. Indeed, this collection has none of the attributes that make listeners love albums: no narrative arc, no ebb and flow, no break from the in-your-face beats and high-fructose hooks. As a plunge into the users’ manual of post-disco dance pop, “The E.N.D.” is quite charming, if predictably goofy. Working with club-savvy collaborators including MSTRKRFT, David Guetta and Keith Harris, Will takes on electro, deep house, dancehall and dance-punk, to name just a few trends.Ever true to their defining characteristic, the Peas have no shame. Fergie puts on ill-fitting dreadlocks for the faux-Jamaican “Electric City” and goes hilariously punk in “Now Generation,” a rant about social media that sounds something like Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” rewritten on a Sidekick. “Ring-a-Ling” is a strangely innocent celebration of drunken booty calling. As always, Fergie’s performances provide the most interest throughout the album. More than the rappers Taboo and Apl.de.ap, whose spotlight turns are always competent but downplayed, or Will, who clings to an Everyman persona that belies his role as the group’s Wizard of Oz, Fergie embraces the essential cartoonishness of being a Pea. Whether she’s being weepy in “Meet Me Halfway” or superbad in “Imma Be,” she takes her part to its logical end. Her obviousness once seemed to reflect a lack of skill, but by now it’s clear that it’s a strategy. “The E.N.D.” doesn’t ask too much of fans of the band. Its more substantive musical and thematic statements are interrupted by many others showing the Peas’ deep, deep commitment to a good party.
Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John have both lost £60 million in the last year. The two musical legends have felt the effects of the current economic crisis and seen millions wiped off the value of their investments, new information has revealed. Paul has been hit hard by a fall in the value of property and shares. His divorce from Heather Mills also cost him £24.3 million. However, he is still worth around £440 million.
Elton saw his fortune decline from £238 million to £175 million after losing out to the recession and giving an estimated £42 million to charity. Sunday Times Rich List Editor Ian Coxon, who compiled the list, said: “Wealthy stars have taken a similar hit to the rest of the population.” According to the list, Rolling Stones star Sir Mick Jagger experienced a 16 per cent loss, seeing his assets fall to £190 million, while Angels singer Robbie Williams is worth £80 million, down from £105 million after failing to release any new material. Coxon said: “Robbie Williams is run as a business and there has been a profit fall in 2007, so that has had a knock-on effect. He has never quite fulfilled the promise he had a few years ago. The man behind the Spice Girls, Simon Fuller, lost a staggering £150 million but is still worth £300 million.
Not all celebrities have been hit by the economic downturn. Music mogul Simon Cowell made an impressive £35 million profit, while Girls Aloud beauty Cheryl Cole, who was a judge on his hit British TV talent show The X Factor, saw her wealth rise by £2 million. Previous winner of the UK programme Leona Lewis also made £2 million, and Oasis rockers Liam and Noel Gallagher saw their earnings boosted by £7 million collectively. Topping the list of the richest people in music with £1.3 billion was Clive Calder, founder of the Zomba Music Group, which was sold to Bertelsman AG in 2002. The full 2009 Times Rich List will be released on Sunday (26.04.09).
Sunday Times Rich List top 10 music millionaires:
1. Clive Calder, £1.3 billion
2. Andrew Lloyd-Webber, £750 million
3. Sir Paul McCartney, £440 million
4. Cameron Mackintosh, £350 million
5. Simon Fuller, £300 million
6. Sir Mick Jagger, £190 million
7. Sting, £180 million
8. Sir Elton John, £175 million
9. Keith Richards, £175 million
10. Olivia and Dhani Harrison, £140 million