Tuesday, July 23, 2013
By Dorothy Pomerantz
It's somewhat ironic that Lady Gaga once again ranks as the Under 30 celebrity who earned the most money. This year the singer underwent something that is usually reserved for old people: hip surgery.
But of course Gaga's injury wasn't caused by decaying bones and muscles. She had a labral tear likely from the intense dancing she does during her shows. And after her surgery the Mother Monster didn't just hide away to recover. She rolled out in a custom-made 24-karat gold plated wheelchair.
Those kinds of antics (and her massive social networking power) helped land Gaga in second place on our annual Celebrity 100 list. Her earnings put her at the top of this list though. We estimate Gaga earned $80 million between June 2012 and June 2013. She would have earned even more if she had been able to finish her tour.
Women dominate our list of the Top Earning Celebrities Under 30. Seven of our list members of women. As in past year, we didn't include athletes who ranked on the overall Celebrity 100 to keep the list more Hollywood focused. We talked to agents, managers, producers, executives and other in-the-know folks to come up with our estimates which include all entertainment-related income. We don't deduct for taxes, agent fees or the other costs of being a celebrity.
Most of the women on our list are pop stars who earn just as much as their male counterparts. Yes, Justin Bieber is in second place with $58 million. But Taylor Swift is close on his tail. The 23-year-old singer songwriter earned an estimated $55 million last year ranking her third on the list. Swift's latest album, Red, sold 1.2 million copies in its first week. Those are almost unheard-of numbers in today's troubled music world. Swift also earns big from endorsement deals with companies like Diet Coke, Sony and Covergirl.
Rihanna comes in fourth with $43 million. The Barbados-born singer played 40 shows during our time period and releases a new album, Unapologetic. The record has gone platinum and netted hit singles like "Diamonds" and "Stay."
Jennifer Lawrence (who is new to the Celebrity 100 list) is the top ranked actor on our Top Earning Celebrities Under 30 list. Thanks to The Hungers Games franchise she earned an estimated $26 million between June 2012 and June 2013 ranking her 8th on our list. The 22-year-old actress also landed her first Oscar for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook.
Lawrence is indisputably on the rise while another actor who makes our list, Kristen Stewart, may had already had her moment in the sun. With the final Twilight movie hitting theaters in November 2012, she earned an estimated $22 million ranking her ninth on our list.
But Stewart doesn't have anything big on the horizon that will keep her earning at the same level. Like many child actors who earn a ton from franchises, she's now taking advantage of her earnings and fame to do smaller movies like the recent On The Road. Based on Jack Kerouac's famous book, the movie only ever opened in 107 theaters and grossed $8.7 million. Compare that to Breaking Dawn 2 which opened in 4,000 theaters and grossed $830 million.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
By Craig Rosen | Stop The Presses!
The feud between Miley Cyrus and her dad, Billy Ray, has gone public.
On Monday night, Miley sent out a tweet to her dad that delivered an ominous-sounding message.
Attached to the tweet was a photo of Miley with an attractive woman who has been identified as stage actress Dylis Croman. Dylis and Billy Ray starred together in a revival of Chicago that ran on Broadway last winter. Other outlets, like Hollywood Life, Huffington Post, and Life & Style, have speculated that Miley tweeted the photo because Dylis and Billy Ray had an affair, but that's only speculation. Nothing has been confirmed by any of the involved parties' camps, which we attempted to contact and did not receive a reply from at posting time.
The photo that Miley tweeted was shot backstage during Chicago's Broadway run, and was actually first tweeted back on November 19 by "Miley Cyrus News."
We're not sure if Billy Ray replied privately or if Miley realized that public humiliation might not be the best route to travel, but less than five minutes later the tweet was deleted and Miley fired off another post.
While Miley may try to blame the threatening tweet on a technical glitch, those who have been following her social media antics know this isn't the first time that she's publicly gone after her father. Nearly two weeks ago, after her mom Tish's plans to divorce Billy Ray were made public, she tweeted, "Since your texts and email obviously aren't working would you like to talk like this?" Once again, Billy Ray didn't reply publicly.
Billy Ray and Tish had planned to divorce once before. Three years ago, he start the proceedings claiming that Miley's fame had made life too difficult for the family, but a year later, he called it off, saying, "Things are the best they've ever been." Now apparently — at least according to Miley's Twitter account — things have changed.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) — Less than two weeks after Angelina Jolie revealed she'd had a double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer, her aunt died from the disease Sunday.
Debbie Martin died at age 61 at a hospital in Escondido, Calif., near San Diego, her husband, Ron Martin, told The Associated Press.
Debbie Martin was the younger sister of Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, whose own death from ovarian cancer in 2007 inspired the surgery that Jolie described in a May 14 op-ed in the New York Times.
According to her husband, Debbie Martin had the same defective BRCA1 gene that Jolie does, but didn't know it until after her 2004 cancer diagnosis.
"Had we known, we certainly would have done exactly what Angelina did," Ron Martin said in a phone interview.
Debbie Martin's death was first reported by E! News.
Ron Martin said after getting breast cancer, Debbie Martin had her ovaries removed preventively because she was also at very high genetic risk for ovarian cancer, which has killed several women in her family.
The 37-year-old Jolie said in her op-ed that her doctors estimated that she had a 50 percent risk of getting ovarian cancer but an 87 percent risk of breast cancer.
She had her breasts removed first, reducing her likelihood to a mere 5 percent.
She described the three-step surgical process in detail in the op-ed "because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience."
The story, a surprise to most save those closest to Jolie, spurred a broad discussion of genetic testing and pre-emptive surgery.
A message left with representatives seeking comment from Jolie was not immediately returned.
Monday, May 20, 2013
By MESFIN FEKADU | Associated Press
Taylor Swift is red hot.
The singer, who is nominated for 11 Billboard Music Awards, was the show's early leader with seven wins so far, including top Billboard 200 album and country album for "Red." She topped it off with a colorful performance of her hit "22" — starting backstage and working her way to the main stage on the back of a bike with help from a dozen background dancers and a flurry of red balloons.
Miguel, too, had a show-stopping performance, though he seemed to kick a fan when he jumped over the crowd during a performance of his hit "Adorn." The R&B singer seemed to have landed part of his body on one girl, who walked away, and kicked another girl, who held her head low.
Maroon 5 and fun. were also nominated for 11 awards and won honors in a pre-telecast announcement. Gotye and Rihanna are behind Swift with four awards each.
Bruno Mars and his band kicked off the show in silky red suits that matched their silky dance moves, with bright gold disco balls hanging above them. Mars performed his new single, the upbeat and old-school flavored "Treasure."
Justin Bieber, who won top male artist, is also up for the night's biggest award, top artist. Other nominees include Swift, Rihanna, One Direction and Maroon 5.
"This is not just my award," Bieber said, thanking his fans and team.
He performed his song "Take You" in leather pants, a leather vest and a black shirt that had one sleeve, as blue laser lights beamed.
Nicki Minaj, who is set to perform with Lil Wayne, won the first award in the live telecast for top rap artist, beating out Drake, Flo Rida, Pitbull and Psy.
"I definitely did not expect this one," she said, wearing a bright red dress.
But the awards show, airing live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on ABC, is less about the trophies and more about the performances. Selena Gomez sang her seductive new hit, "Come & Get It," while Chris Brown danced around the stage to his latest single, "Fine China," though his voice began to crack during the performance. Duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis also performed their massive hit, "Thrift Shop," which won top rap song.
"First and foremost, gotta thank Goodwill, gotta thank Value Village," Macklemore said to laughs.
Prince, who will receive the icon award, will also hit the stage. Madonna was named top touring artist.
"Thank you for supporting me for three decades. Without you I truly wouldn't be here," she said.
Bieber, Swift and Mars are also up for the fan-voted milestone award.
Comedian-actor Tracy Morgan is the show's host, and he dressed as Psy in a bright yellow suit when the rapper-singer was onstage to present an award. They had a dance battle to Psy's new single, "Gentleman."
Pitbull made two appearances, one with Jennifer Lopez and another with Christina Aguilera. His hit with Aguilera, "Feel This Moment," samples A-Ha's "Take On Me" and Morten Harket came out to sing a line from the song.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
By DAVID PORTER | Associated Press
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill stood in federal court Monday and compared her experience in the music business to the slavery her ancestors endured before a judge sentenced her to three months in prison for failing to pay about $1 million in taxes over the past decade.
"I am a child of former slaves who had a system imposed on them," Hill said before U.S. Magistrate Madeline Cox Arleo. "I had an economic system imposed on me."
Hill, who started singing with the Fugees as a teenager in the 1990s before releasing her multiplatinum 1998 album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," pleaded guilty last year to failing to pay taxes on more than $1.8 million earned from 2005 to 2007. Monday's sentencing also took into account unpaid state and federal taxes in 2008 and 2009 that brought the total earnings to about $2.3 million.
Despite having paid more than $900,000 in the past several days, Hill still owes interest and penalties, the U.S. attorney's office said.
In a forceful but controlled statement to the judge punctuated by occasional raps with her first on the podium, Hill described how she failed to pay taxes during a period when she'd dropped out of the music business to protect herself and her children, who now number six.
She said the treatment she received while she was in the entertainment business led to her decision to leave it.
"There were veiled threats, there was blacklisting," she said, without giving specifics. "I was told, 'That's how it goes, it comes with the territory.' I came to be perceived as a cash cow and not a person. When people capitalize on a persona, they forget there is a person in there."
In addition to serving three months in prison, Hill must pay a $60,000 fine. After she is released from prison, she will be under parole supervision for a year, the first three months of which will be spent under home confinement.
The 37-year-old South Orange resident had faced a maximum sentence of one year each on three counts of failing to file taxes. Her attorney had sought probation, arguing that Hill's charitable works, her family circumstances and the fact she paid back the taxes she owed should merit consideration.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser acknowledged Hill's creative talent and work on behalf of impoverished children but called Hill's explanation for her actions "a parade of excuses centering around her feeling put upon" that don't exempt her from her responsibilities.
"She wasn't interested in all those years in paying what she owed," Moser told the judge.
At the time of her arrest last year, Hill wrote a criticism rejecting pop culture's "climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism."
"Over-commercialization and its resulting restrictions and limitations can be very damaging and distorting to the inherent nature of the individual," Hill wrote. "I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns! I also embraced my right to resist a system intentionally opposing my right to whole and integral survival."
Hill is to report to prison by July 8. It's not clear where she'll serve her sentence. She didn't comment after the sentencing.
She said in a recent post online that she has signed a recording contract with Sony.
"She is looking forward to putting her case behind her and getting back to her music and creating again," attorney Nathan Hochman said.