The Forbes list of the highest paid musicians is out and if you’re not familiar with the finances of your favorite artists, there might be some surprises in there. Firstly, everyone’s favorite non-practicing self-proclaimed Dr. Dre is at the top of the list. Why? His album is forever delayed! Ah but you forget: Actual music doesn’t pay that much anymore.
Dre’s bundle of cash ($110 million to be more specific) is mostly due to the overwhelmingly popular Beats By Dre line of audio electronics–Forbes reports: “He collected $100 million pretax when handset maker HTC paid $300 million for a 51% stake in the company last year, at the beginning of our scoring period; he and his partners later bought back half of what they sold.” So if Dre’s long-awaited, many-times-pushed-back album never actually comes to fruition, you know who to blame. Blame HTC and the millions of people rocking those Beats headphones across the globe. Those bragging rights that come from hip-hop songs about cars and clothes and girls? Dre doesn’t need them anymore.
How does one become the richest musician in the world? Simple, if you’re rich and famous: invest $90 million in Facebook. U2′sBono will be the world’s richest musician because of a 2009 investment he made in Facebook. NME reports, Bono owns 2.3 percent of Facebook’s shares through his private equity firm Elevation Partners. Only three years later the rockstar will earn $1.5 billion from his initial $90 million share purchase. This gives a whole new meaning to balling. No one that makes less money than Bono can consider themselves “ballers.” We’re looking at you, rappers.
Facebook’s IPO is currently valued at over $100 billion as the second biggest IPO in history, according to HuffingtonPost. Bono was a genius for foreseeing the return on his investment. The lead U2 singer will surpass Paul McCartney as the world’s richest musician. McCartney is reportedly worth $1.05 million. Rockstar lifestyle isn’t all about groupies, booze and drugs. Let’s hear it for the money, money, money, money.
It’s easy to think about the months following September 11, 2001 as a rude awakening from an imagined bliss (doubly fictitious, in that the peace only ever appeared to exist, and that it wasn’t that blissful to begin with). Nevertheless, the events of that day had a dramatic?and traumatic?effect on Americans, not least through our consumption of popular culture. But before the slew of original compositions responding directly to the event (of which Sound of the City has compiled what, in their estimation, were the nine worst), many listeners were already looking to music for comfort, guidance, or other emotional needs, while rejecting other music that flew in the face of those needs. Here’s what people especially did?and did not?want to hear.
In the second full chart week after 9/11, Houston’s 1991 rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” re-entered the Hot 100 at #50, and Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” debuted at #16 (in 1984, the song had hit the country charts but never crossed over). In a pattern that would be reversed once digital sales became common, the songs had two chart peaks?the first when radio’s support was strongest, and the second when physical singles were re-released. Sales of “God Bless the USA” were strong enough to keep it on the chart, but not to match its debut. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” on the other hand, hit #6 on the strength of sales (and continuing radio support). Read more…
As the Red Hot Chili Peppers release their tenth studio album this week, we can’t help but daydream ruminate about how much of a sex symbol frontman Anthony Kiedis was—who could forget the sock?!—and still is. Time has been kind to Mr. Suck My Kiss, and he is definitely not alone in that regard; there’s an entire legion of men in music whose good looks and sex appeal have fermented in the manner of a perfectly-mature wine.
Whether you grew up with one of their faces taped to your Trapper Keeper or you’re old enough to be their mom, there’s a hunk on this list for you. From rock to hip hop, songwriters to bass players, we’ve got Arena Gods, men who are Good With Their Hands, Smooth Operators, International Flavors, and like the Chili Peppers’ singer, Spicy Sex Symbols. Keeping it simple, we’re celebrating the 45 to 70-year-old vintages by exhibiting their physical evolution through their respective careers. You’ll be taking in images from when they got their start, their “middle years,” and how they look in the present. Take a moment to step into the wine cellar and relish in each man’s beauty of the past and, at the end,?toast to their continued maturing in the future by weighing in on who you think has aged best. Apologies in advance for the ladyboners!
This morning, Bono denied weekend reports that he’d had a health scare while vacationing just outside Monaco in the south of France. In a statement to Reuters, a spokewoman stated that the U2 frontman had indeed gone to Princess Grace Memorial Hospital in Monaco, as Ireland’s Independent had reported, but that the visit was merely a routine checkup. “Reports of his being rushed to hospital for emergency treatment are untrue,” the spokeswoman stated, despite the fact that the initial Independent report made no such claim.
According to the Irish paper’s sources, Bono experienced “chest pains” and underwent “48 hours of medical tests” under the supervision of “a top heart specialist at the hospital,” none of which was exactly contradicted by the not-quite-denial. Presumably a routine checkup wouldn’t take two full days. The initial report in the Independent (which claimed Bono was “renowned” both “for his partying” and “for his socialising on the French Riviera”) and the denial to Reuters concur that the heart palpitations turned out not to be a health issue.
Before Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark even held its first preview performance last November, it had the notorious distinction of being one of the most troubled productions ever to hit the Great White Way. The $65 million-plus show had been languishing in development since 2002 and, after a number of delays, had lost two of its biggest stars, Evan Rachel Wood and the Tony Award winning Alan Cumming (who were set to play Mary Jane Watson and the Green Goblin, respectively). Things got worse, though, as soon as the play opened to the public; critics savaged the material, jokes about the production became an unending supply of grist for the late night comedy mill, and, worst of all, multiple performers ended up in the hospital following horrible on-stage injuries.
Yet, as cliché tells us, the show must go on! Except this time, it didn’t. Production of the show –which, it should be noted, was breaking Broadway box office gross records at the time– halted in March when the visionary creator and director of the play, Julie Taymor, was unceremoniously booted from the project after she resisted making wholesale changes to the show that the producers were internally describing “Plan X.” As The Edge, who co-wrote the music and songs with his U2 bandmate Bono, told the New York Times today, “When Plan X was presented, [Taymor] said: ?That could never be achieved in a three-week period. You?d need months to do that, and it probably won?t work anyway for X, Y, and Z reasons.? At that moment, when that was her response, the producers felt that whatever Julie would do with a hiatus was more of a polishing job than a top-to-bottom rethink of the show.? Even Bono admitted that “the first time I loved the play was two-and-a-half weeks ago.”
Why do we bring all this up? Well, after Spidey was benched back in April while the show underwent heavy top-to-bottom reconstruction, the revamped Spider-Man: Turn Off The Darkfinally opened at the Foxwoods Theater tonight (and the official soundtrack, featuring new songs from Bono and The Edge, also hit shelves today; it’s currently sitting at #12 on iTunes Top Albums chart). Luckily for us, we were invited to a sneak preview of the retooled extravaganza last week, and you know what?
Bono‘s a busy man. After guest editing the new issue of Vanity Fair, Bono trekked off to the Northern African nation of Morocco to join his bandmates, as well as TheUnforgettable Fire producer Brian Eno, for a songwriting session. Whether any album is forthcoming from the sessions remains to be seen: "We have no plans for the music yet," Bono reported on the band’s website.
Apparently no one’s more psyched than President George Bush, who after delivering a speech Thursday at the G-8 summit, allegedly shouted to an aid "Where’s Bono? Bono for President!" Bush then pulled out his copy of Zooropa, hoping for an autograph.