Singer George Michael clears out the Internet search history on his personal computer every day as he is terrified of cyber-crooks and phone-hackers. The former Wham! star always makes sure he deletes the details of websites he has visited before logging off at night, and he is adamant the routine is essential for his security.
He tells Q magazine, "(I do it) every single day. With the people around me, and all this phone-hacking going on, we all have to be vigilant again."
Friends of George Michael fear he is living as a hermit following his collapse earlier this year (14), according to a report. The former Wham! singer was hospitalised in May (14) after reportedly falling ill at his London home, and now several pals and neighbours are worried about his wellbeing.
He is reportedly rarely seen outside of his house and only one friend, record producer David Austen, is seen visiting, according to neighbours.
One friend tells Britain's Sunday People newspaper, "People are worried sick about him. He's just cut himself off from everyone."
Another adds, "He hasn't been seen out for months, he's self-conscious about the scars on his throat and head... and he's put on weight."
Michael was left with the scars from a near-fatal car accident last year (13), when he fell out of a moving vehicle on a highway.
British pop star Ed Sheeran has vowed never to sign up for a tax avoidance scheme as he fears he will end up losing his millions. Several British musicians, including Arctic Monkeys and George Michael, have been caught up in a scandal after they were implicated in a high-profile money-moving scheme last month (Jun14).
Sheeran has an estimated wealth of $8.5 million (£5 million) but he is adamant he has no plans to exploit any loopholes in the system as he fears he will end up paying a huge fine and shooting insurance adverts to make ends meet.
He tells British magazine Event, "I pay my taxes. I legitimately pay everything. I'm straight when it comes to that, absolutely 100 per cent. You hear all these horror stories about people doing schemes and not paying this or that. I don't want to have to do a First Direct advert or something at the beginning of the year to pay my tax."
Bombay Bicycle Club rocker Jack Steadman has branded the Arctic Monkeys' alleged involvement in a tax avoidance scheme "disgusting". The Cornerstone hitmakers were recently named in a list of celebrities, including George Michael and Sir Michael Caine, who allegedly invested in a variety of business schemes that exploit loopholes in the system to help their backers avoid paying hefty tax bills.
Steadman calls the practice "quite disgusting" and adds to BBC Radio 5 Live, "I'm also aware of how quickly you can change as a person, not that it forgives you. I'd be lying if I said I'd be like this my whole life, because I'm sure the Arctic Monkeys when they were young boys in Sheffield and you asked them this question (about tax avoidance) they would say, 'Absolutely not, this is horrific'. But the things that have happened to them and what they'd been thrown into has definitely had a huge effect on them."
He also vows to never participate in such a scheme, adding, "I live in this country and I use services like the NHS (National Health Service) and these services need money from people to use them so I'll always pay my taxes."
Actress/singer Whoopi Goldberg delighted U.S. TV viewers on Wednesday (16Jul14) by joining comedian Jimmy Fallon to perform an hilarious cover of George Michael and Aretha Franklin's duet I Knew You Were Waiting for Me during a talk show segment called Lip Flip. The sketch, which aired on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, featured graphic trickery to allow the pair to switch mouths and pretend to speak as the other person.
United Artists via Everett Collection
The Beatles' influence has touched every inch of modern pop music, leaving an indelible mark on film and television... which is pretty good for four working-class mop tops from Liverpool. Director Ron Howard will be the next to immortalize the band onscreen, in a new documentary that will explore the group's early years, when they still toured their music across the globe. Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison will contribute to the feature, which will trace the band's humble beginnings at the Caven Club in Liverpool, their tours through Germany, all the way through the group's final public performance in San Francisco's Candlestick park. But before we get around to seeing Howard's tribute to the Beatles, we're inclined to look back upon some of the best musical contributions they made to movies and TV.
Bowling for ColumbineThe last half of the John Lennon-penned "Happiness Is a Warm Gun," which may or may not be about heroin, serves as the perfect soundtrack for Michael Moore's anti-gun manifesto Bowling for Columbine. It's used in a terrifying sequence that shows just how gun crazy some Americans are, and as the song ramps up, the sequence escalates to a violent and unnerving conclusion that still has us wincing all these years later.
"Baby, You're a Rich Man" in The Social NetworkWhat better way to end a biopic about one of the richest men in the universe than this cut from Magical Mystery Tour. It's so fitting, it's almost like it was made expressly to cap off David Fincher's tale of billion dollar grudges.
"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" in HelpWe couldn't, in good faith, compile a list of the best Beatles moments in film and television without including a sequence from the Fab Four's own filmography. We chose "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" the film Help for sheer oddness of the sequence. Plus, it's just a great song in general.
"In My Life" in Little ManhattanThe best thing about the Beatles is how timeless their music is. "In My Life," a song about losing and gaining friendships through the slippage of time, is the perfect piece of music to accompany the story about a preteen losing his first love in modern day New York.
"A Little Help From My Friends" on The Wonder YearsJohn Cocker's throaty rendition of "A Little Help from My Friends" graces the title sequence of The Wonder Years, and it may be the best cover song ever recorded. It's even better than the original Beatles tune, and it just makes The Wonder Years a better show. Nowadays, we can't even look at Fred Savage without hearing Cocker's raspy croon blasting through our heads at full volume.
"Come Together" in A Bronx TaleIn a scene from Robert De Niro's directoral debut, a pair of Italian mafiosos rough up a couple of unruly bikers that stop into their bar while "Come Together" spills out of a jukebox. Thanks to the '60s aesthetic, the song is a perfect addition to the scene.
"Hey Jude" in The Royal TenenbaumsFilmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese are often celebrated for their use of pop music in film, but Wes Anderson's musical touches in his work are just as poignant. His use of a beautifully orchestrated version of "Hey Jude" in 2001's The Royal Tenanbaums is a perfect example of this.
"Twist and Shout" in Ferris Bueller's Day OffWe're still not sure if Ferris Bueller is really a wizard, or if it was just the power of music, but the teen somehow brings the entirety of downtown Chicago to a grinding halt for the musical number to end all musical numbers.
Touchstone Pictures via Everett Collection
Summer: it's a time to relax, soak up the sun, eat mountains of ice cream and tackle the massive pile of books you've been meaning to read. Whether you need to make your way through hundreds of pages of classic literature before school starts up again or you've just been putting off the heavier tomes on your shelf until you have some more free time, reading the classics can sometimes be a slog in the summer. But it's a task well worth undertaking, and not just because it's good to broaden your literary horizons. Many of your favorite films are actually twists on well-worn tales. Sure, they're enjoyable on their own, but the only way to really pick up on the humor of Jane Austen or the references to Shakespeare in a suburban high school rom com is to read the books first. We've rounded up the best movies that become even better, funnier and more charming after you've read the works their based on. Consider it a well-earned reward for a book well read.
10 Things I Hate About YouBased On: The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare.Most Drastic Change: Aside from the high school setting, he plot was simplified to reduce the amount of characters and false identities. For example, Joey Donner was originally two characters, Gremio and Hortensio. Best Reference to the Source: After Kat almost hits Michael with a car, he calls her a “shrew”; Michael also quotes Shakespearean sonnets several times throughout the film, and Cameron quotes the play itself (“I burn; I pine; I perish”). And there's that one girl who is oddly in love with "William."You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: Almost every name in the film is a reference to something else. Padua High School refers to Padua being the location of the play, and Patrick’s last name, Verona, is where Petruchio is originally from. Kat and Bianca’s last name – Stratford – is a reference to Shakespeare’s hometown.
Clueless Based On: Emma by Jane Austen Most Drastic Change: Updating the film to be about ‘90s Valley girls; none of the character’s names are similar to Austen’s characters.Best Reference to the Source: The wedding fake-out at the end of the film. Since Austen wrote a great deal about the marriage plot, all of her novels end with the heroine getting married. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: While most of the characters have Austenian equivalents, Dionne is an original character, although it could be argued that she represents Ms. Weston. Also, Amy Heckerling cut out the character of Jane Fairfax completely. She is the main obstacle to Emma and Frank Churchill’s relationship; his Clueless doppelganger, Christian, is gay instead.
Bridget Jones’ Diary Based On: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Most Drastic Change: Instead of the large family that Elizabeth Bennet has in the book, Bridget is an only child, and has a large group of friends to give her advice, all of whom vaguely resemble her sisters. Best Reference to the Source: Casting Colin Firth as Mark Darcy. Author Helen Fielding has said that she based the character (both in name and looks) on his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC miniseries. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: Instead of Darcy making two proposals, he only makes one; Bridget’s speech when she finds out that he is moving is a reflection of his second confession of love.
She’s the Man Based On: Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Most Drastic Change: In the play, Viola just pretends to be a man, and calls herself Cesario, rather than specifically impersonating her brother Sebastian. Best Reference to the Source: The character of Malcolm, who is based on the character of Malvolio, has a pet tarantula named Malvolio. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Books: Like 10 Things I Hate About You, all of the names are either adapted from those of the characters - Duke Orsino is the modern-day equivalent of Orsino, who is a duke, and the restaurant they frequent is called Cesario – or the locations – the school’s name Illyria, is where the play takes place.
Screen Gems via Everett Collection
Easy A Based On: The Scarlett Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne Most Drastic Change: In the book, Hester is ostracized for cheating on her husband with a priest; she got pregnant during the affair. In the film, Olive only pretends to sleep with people. Best Reference to the Source: The foreign film that Olive goes to see, courtesy of one of her fake hookups, is called Der Scharlachrote Buchstabe, which translates to The Scarlett Letter.You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: The film is up-front about many of its similarities to Hawthorne’s book, as Olive is studying it in class. Though Olive doesn’t have an affair with anyone, Hester and Arthur Dimmsdale’s relationship is paralleled in the affair that Mrs. Griffith has with Micah.
ScroogedBased On: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Most Drastic Change: At the end of the film, Frank reunites with his love, Claire. However, in the book, too much time has passed for him to reconcile with Belle, and so he is instead content with becoming part of the Cratchitt family. Best Reference to the Original: In addition to Frank Cross joking about “scaring the Dickens out of people,” one of the TV shows he produces is called “Scrooge,” which was an alternate title that Dickens published the story under. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: The Bob Cratchitt part is played by two different characters: Frank’s overworked assistant Grace Cooley and the much-abused yes-man Eliot Loudermilk.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? Based On: Homer’s The Odyssey Most Drastic Change: Instead of journeying home after a great war, Ulysses has escaped from a prison chain gang. Best Reference to the Source: The film is filled with references to the epic, but the cleverest is the repeated use of the song “Man of Constant Sorrow,” as the name Odysseus (the Greek equivalent of Ulysses) means “man who is in constant pain and sorrow.” You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: In order to win Penelope’s hand in marriage, all the suitors must string Odysseus’ bow and shoot an arrow through a dozen axe heads, but only Odysseus is strong enough to string the bow. In the film, Ulysseus also strings a bow in order to prove that he is who he says he is, and not an imposter.
Ruby Sparks Based On: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.Most Drastic Change: In the play, Higgins “makes” Eliza by transforming her from a flower girl into a lady, but in the film, Calvin physically creates Ruby, as she is a product of his imagination.Best Reference to the Source: At the end, Ruby becomes her own person, and leaves Calvin behind to do what she wants and become who she wants, which reflects the controversial ending of the play, in which Eliza leaves Henry behind in order to marry Freddy, even though Henry disapproves. The ending of Shaw's play was very controversial when it was first performed, but it was important to him that Eliza doesn't marry Henry. You’d Only Notice This if You Read the Book: Calvin’s brother, Harry, repeatedly warns him to be careful with what he’s doing, and not to disregard Ruby’s emotions, just like how Henry’s friend, Colonel Pickering, constantly warns Henry to be kind to Eliza and to treat her like a real person, rather than an experiment.
Victoria and David Beckham have dismissed allegations linking them to an alleged tax avoidance scheme, insisting they have always paid their bills "in full".
The couple has become the latest big names to be linked to a movie-funding company which is among a number of schemes facing a government probe over claims they exploited loopholes in the system to help investors claim tax relief.
Reports suggest many investors could face hefty bills in the coming months as officials look into whether such schemes are legitimate.
However, a representative for the Beckhams has now spoken out to dismiss allegations the superstars ever knowingly participated in a tax avoidance scheme, saying in a statement, "The Beckhams have always paid their taxes in full and have never been involved in aggressive tax avoidance schemes. They have also been long-time supporters of the creative industries."
Theatre mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has also been linked to the Ingenious Media movie company, which has helped fund films such as Avatar and Life of Pi, adds, "(I was) investing in the British film industry... At no time did I consider it solely a tax scheme."
The news comes after a number of other British stars were linked to alleged tax avoidance schemes, including pop star George Michael, members of rock group Arctic Monkeys and actor Sir Michael Caine, in a list obtained by Britian's The Times newspaper.
Pop star Ariana Grande has been given reason to smile after topping the U.K. singles chart with her hit song Problem. The singer's collaboration with rapper Iggy Azalea has climbed to number one thanks to the Official Charts Company's new rules, which combines retail sales with online streaming data.
The chart triumph comes two days after Grande pulled out of an Independence Day (04Jul14) holiday performance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to visit her sick grandfather in hospital in Florida.
Problem edges out former The X Factor contestant Ella Henderson, whose track Ghost takes second place, ahead of George Ezra's Budapest at three.
Meanwhile, British musician Ed Sheeran holds on to the number one title in the U.K. albums chart with X, while boyband 5 Seconds of Summer debuts its self-titled project at two.
Ezra's Wanted On Voyage, country queen Dolly Parton's Blue Smoke and Michael Jackson's classic release Bad round out the new top five.
Ezra and Parton both saw big boosts in sales following their performances at Britain's Glastonbury Festival last weekend (27-29Jun14), while Jackson's chart success comes days after the fifth anniversary of his death.
Country queen Dolly Parton performed to the biggest crowd ever amassed in front of Glastonbury's main stage, according to organiser Emily Eavis.
The veteran star appeared at the iconic British event on Sunday (29Jun14) in a late afternoon slot, but she was clearly the biggest draw of the 2014 festival, attracting a huge audience that easily outnumbered those of main headliners Arcade Fire, Metallica and Kasabian.
Now Eavis, whose father Michael founded the festival in 1970, has praised the 9 to 5 hitmaker for her show-stealing gig and revealed Parton performed to the biggest ever crowd at the event.
In a post on the official Glastonbury website, Eavis writes, "Oh, Dolly was the biggest crowd I've ever seen here. She is just a truly amazing live performer. Her voice was incredible... I don't think you can beat that performance as a perfect moment here at Glastonbury."