Pop rocker Avril Lavigne is suing concert organisers over allegations she has yet to be paid for a gig she performed in New York City last year (13). The Sk8er Boi star alleges bosses at live streaming company 2VLive agreed to pay her $500,000 (£294,118) in three installments to perform the gig on 25 September (13) and carry out a number of promotional appearances.
In legal documents, filed at a court in Los Angeles and obtained by TMZ.com, Lavigne claims she received the first payment of $125,000 (£75,529), but has yet to be handed the rest of the money.
She is suing to recoup the cash.
Rapper Common once forged basketball great Michael Jordan's signature to make money. The Light hitmaker had the prestigious job of serving as a ball boy for the Chicago Bulls when he was growing up in Illinois, and he decided to make extra cash by calling on the sports icon for an autograph to give to a fan.
In an interview on U.S. talk show Watch What Happens Live on Wednesday (16Jul14), Common recalled, "I was 12 years old and it was Michael Jordan's first year (on the team) so it was incredible experience. I was watching him become one of the greatest athletes ever.
"One time some guy asked me to get Michael's autograph. So I told him, 'I'll get you an autograph for $5.' And I went and said, 'Mike, sign this autograph for me.' He said, 'You sign it.'
"So I went and signed it and I took it back and the kid was like, 'Man, this ain't (sic) Mike's autograph!' I spelled Michael wrong. I was just trying to get my $5."
Texas rocker Sharleen Spiteri has thrown her weight behind a campaign to shame YouTube bosses into paying musicians more money for streaming their songs. Staff at the online video-sharing website are gearing up for the launch of a subscription music service but several record companies are pressing for more royalties before agreeing to sign up.
Now Say What You Want hitmaker Spiteri has joined them, warning that without proper remuneration, songwriters will not be able to earn enough money to survive.
In a statement, released through the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), she says, "Songwriters fully support independent record labels in their fight to get better terms and deals from YouTube. It's about time we all made some noise about the way they negotiate with take-it-or-leave-it deals.
"It might be a little easier for writers like myself who also perform, but for those who do not and now have to rely on streaming income, the current rates are just not enough."
Actor/director Mel Gibson has no plans to pour his own money into future film projects, because making movies independently has become an extremely costly business. The Braveheart star invested his hard-earned cash into controversial films The Passion of the Christ in 2004 and Apocalypto in 2006, but he admits his experiences getting those projects onto the big screen have turned him off the idea of doing it all again without the monetary support of big studio bosses.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "It's tricky... Nobody would have financed them, they more or less worked, but I would never have got anyone else to finance them.
"I'm out of that business of financing my own films because they (studio chiefs) see you coming and take you for a ride. I'm not a fool."
He adds, "It's difficult for the things I deem worthy to direct, where you can get a really good compelling story out of - nobody else has much faith in it and never did."
Lil Wayne's daughter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her famous father after debuting her first music video. In a segment on the rapper's weekly web show, Weezy Wednesdays, the Lollipop hitmaker premiered the video for Reginae Carter's Mind Goin' Crazy.
He also revealed the 16 year old is the newest member of his record company, Young Money, and that her debut album, Becoming Reginae, will be out in the near future.
In addition to her music career, Reginae has also teamed up with rapper Birdman's daughter, Bria Williams, to create a new clothing line, named YMCMP (Young Money Cash Money Princesses).
R&B singer Shanice and her actor husband Flex Alexander are taking their financial struggles to TV for a new docu-series on Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network. The couple will front Flex & Shanice, which gives fans a close look at their career stumbles and money woes, which prompted the Alexanders, their two children and extended family members to move into rental accommodation in order to save cash.
Alexander is best known for his 2000s sitcom One on One, while his wife Shanice scored top 10 hits in the 1990s with songs I Love Your Smile and Silent Prayer.
Flex & Shanice is set to premiere on OWN this autumn (14).
YouTube/The Young Turks
Spent: Looking for Change wants to have an uncomfortable conversation. The new documentary from director Derek Doneen and producer Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) shines a light on the "Underbanked", the 70 million Americans across the country who are not being served by traditional banking institutions, and must turn to check cashing services or pay day loans. Unfortunately, these services often have dire financial consequences. At a press conference for the film, Doneen, Tyler Perry (who narrates Spent), New School Professor Lisa Servon, and Dan Schulman of American Express discussed the challenges facing the "underbanked," the possible solutions to a financial system in grievous disrepair, and how education might the first step in the right direction.
Proper financial management is a skill so few of us have. Many of the issues depicted in the film stem from a lack of knowledge of the financial system.
Tyler Perry: "I think [financial hardships affect] the children of parents who are experiencing this, if they understood how the system works, and how when you’re outside of it it can be very difficult. Because no one taught me credit or check cashing or pay day loans, it was just the norm in the neighborhood. This is what you do. Growing up with us, you didn’t go to the bank, you went to the check cash. You went to the corner, you cash your check with Mr. Johnson down there, he took his money, he gave you yours. So [we need] to have an education to let people know that there is a cost, a very high cost, outside of the system."
Unfortunately, with the stigmas instituted by our capitalistic society, this ignorance often leads to shame.
Lisa Servon: "There’s a lot of shame around money. I talked a little with Alex, Melissa, and Debbie [the subjects of the documentary] before the show. We’re kind of made, societally, to feel like it’s our fault if we don’t have six months of savings, if we can’t make ends meet, if we somehow can’t pay the bills. So I think there’s a lot of inhibition about getting out there and saying that this is a real problem."
More Americans are being affected by the bank system than we realize.
Dan Schulman: "Forty-five percent of Americans who earn between $50,000 and $150,000 spend all or more of their monthly income every single month. So, there’s a huge opportunity here to redefine the system."
Lisa Servon: "I have actually started not liking the term 'unbanked' or 'underbanked' so much, because I think if you are part of the 99 percent, which I am, we’re all underbanked. The fact is, I can absorb a $35 overdraft fee, and people who are living right on the edge can’t. So this is why, I think, Alex and Melissa stopped using the bank. you saw those overdraft fees mounting up. It cost them more to use the bank than to use a check casher. So people are kind of saying, 'I can’t afford to go over.' At least when I go to the check casher, I get my check, I cash it, I look at what my bills are. I figure out who’s least likely to cut me off, so I’ll pay half of my Con Edison bill and three quarters of my phone bill and hopefully it will work out, but I’m not going to overdraft because this is all the money that I have."
Reform in the bank system might be closer than we realize, and one of the first steps is education.
Lisa Servon: "I think we may be at a moment of creative destruction with respect to financial services and that we are on the brink of seeing some really innovative solutions. There’s a tendency for us to just throw up our hands about banks and say, frankly, it’s just not in their business model to serve people they don’t make money on. And yet there is a history of policy and legislation, and one of the things that we can ask legislators who are sending out press releases to do is to hold banks’ feet to the fire."
"We all live in New York City. We’ve all seen the A, B, and C in restaurant windows – I think we should do that for banks and check cashers and credit unions. I don’t know if Chase or Citi Bank is better for me, but I want to know if they’re going to cost me more. Are they aligning with my values? If we could create a scorecard that would allow that to happen, I think banks would be a little more responsive."
Dan Schulman: "One of the things that we’re doing, if you go to Spentmovie.com, is that we’re going to a town in Mississippi called Clarksdale. It’s down on its luck. Fifty percent of the population is underserved. What we’re doing is working with two non-profits. We’re putting in free Wi-Fi into the whole town, and we’re going into the high schools to educate high school students in the economics classes about financial wellness and health. Then, what we’re hoping to have [is] an outside third party monitor, because it really makes a difference, all of this education and technology and people caring about this... I think it is a combination of having technology but also having the understanding of what it means to be financially well."
Spent: Looking For Change is available to stream on Spentmovie.com.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Clint Eastwood, famous for gritty westerns, intimidating squints and asking punks if they’re feeling lucky, wouldn’t be the first person you’d think of to direct a glitzy movie musical. He’s about as far removed from the world of production numbers and intricate choreography as you could possibly get, so it’s something of a surprise that he’s the director bringing the hit musical Jersey Boys to the big screen. Though the film is based on the lives and careers of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the film’s real star power is behind the camera, which should help it stand out in an unusually crowded field of movie musicals.
Though it's been a few years since we've seen a full-blown spectacular on screen, 2014 has three iconic musicals receiving the Hollywood treatment. After Jersey Boys has gotten moviegoers warmed up, December will bring a new, modern take on Annie as well as the star-studded film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's iconic Into the Woods. But which of these upcoming musicals are the real show-stoppers, and which are you better off skipping? We've run down the year in movie musicals, along with their potential for greatness, both critically and commercially.
Jersey Boys Opens: June 20 What It’s About: The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and their journey from being four guys harmonizing under a streetlight to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world, including the gambling debts, mob threats and personal crises that almost stood in their way. Star Power: Director Clint Eastwood and Christopher Walken in a supporting role. The main cast is made up of primarily unknowns, although John Lloyd Young won a Tony Award for playing Frankie back in 2006. How Good It Looks: Thus far, it’s gotten mixed reviews, with many critics taking issue with its by-the-book approach to an interesting, conflict-filled story. That weird, grey filter that Eastwood uses can’t be helping matters, either. Box Office Potential: The film hasn’t gotten a lot of promotion ahead of its release, but the Four Seasons are a recognizable enough name that Jersey Boys should be able to pull in a decent amount of money. The show’s still going strong on Broadway 8 years later, after all. Awards Potential: It’s being released too far from awards season, and the early reviews aren’t strong enough to make Jersey Boys a real contender, but we’d be surprised if Eastwood or Young’s name didn’t come up in conversation once or twice - but only once or twice. Number Worth Waiting For: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” of course.
Annie Opens: December 19 What It’s About: Business tycoon Benjamin Stacks takes in Annie, a foster child who has been living in the evil Miss Hannigan’s orphanage since she was born, in order to help his Mayoral campaign. Star Power: A pretty star-studded cast, including Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, and of course, Quvenzhane Wallis. How Good It Looks: Every production of Annie lives and dies by its hero and its villain, and while Wallis seems to be a charming and entertaining Annie, Diaz’s Miss Hannigan seems downright terrible. This is definitely a film that can go either way. Box Office Potential: A beloved, classic, family-friendly musical with a Christmas release date and a big-name cast? It’s probably going to rake in the cash. Awards Potential: Very little. Unless it’s animated, the Academy doesn’t really pay attention to child-friendly films, and anyway, this Annie is more about spectacle than substance. Number Worth Waiting For: “Hard Knock Life.” We’d say “Easy Street,” which everyone knows if the best number in the show, but it’s probably best to wait and see some more of Diaz’s Miss Hannigan before we get too excited for it.
Into the Woods Opens: Christmas What It’s About: Set in a fairy-tale forest, a witch attempts to teach various characters important lessons about life and love. Star Power: Off the charts: Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt and Christine Baranski, to name just a few. How Good It Looks: Not much has been released about the film yet, so it’s hard to tell, although Streep does look fantastic as the Witch. Box Office Potential: If the A-List cast or theater pedigree doesn’t bring in a big audience, the massive marketing push that Disney will inevitably roll out should do the trick. Expect this one to do very well with moviegoers. Awards Potential: Of the three films on this list, Into the Woods has the best shot at any awards recognition, even if it’s just because Streep gets nominated every time she leaves the house. We’d be surprised if Sondheim’s new music doesn’t become a major contender in the Best Original Song race, and depending on how well the film is received, Kendrick, Blunt and director Rob Marshall – all former nominees – could have a decent shot at a nomination as well. Number Worth Waiting For: “No One is Alone,” which is not only the most well-known song from the show, but will also be sung by Kendrick, everyone’s dream best friend.
Police have launched an investigation into allegations members of hip-hop star Sean Kingston's entourage cornered a club promoter in Hollywood on Wednesday night (04Jun14) and made off with his valuables. The Beautiful Girls hitmaker was booked to host and perform at the Avalon venue for a fee of $11,000 (£6,875). He received half of the payment upfront and was due to collect the rest of the cash after the show.
However, the promoter clashed with Kingston's crew upon the star's arrival after he reportedly turned up three hours late.
A group of Kingston's associates are said to have confronted the promoter and demanded the remainder of the singer's payment, and when he didn't hand over the money, the men allegedly stripped him of his watch, iPhone and cash.
Cops were called to the scene but no arrests were made. The watch and cell phone were later recovered on the club grounds, but the money was not found, reports TMZ.com.
The promoter, whose identity has yet to be released, told officers he was convinced Kingston orchestrated the attack, but he did not name the star in his subsequent police report. He did list Kingston's bodyguards as witnesses, but they have denied any involvement.
One Direction star Liam Payne is auctioning off a 'onesie' jumpsuit to help raise money for a cancer charity. The British singer has handed over the green ensemble, which is covered in his band's paint handmarks, to bosses at OnePiece2Work.com, a campaign urging office workers to wear the outfits to pull in donations.
The jumpsuit has been put up for sale on online bidding site eBay.com, and has already raised more than $2,000 (£1,250) as WENN goes to press.
Taking to Twitter.com to promote the sale, Payne writes, "Hey guys OnePiece are auctioning off my very own jumpsuit all the money raised goes to charity."
The cash will go towards health research and awareness initiative F**k Cancer.
The auction will end on Saturday (24May14).