Jackson fans mark 5th anniversary of icon’s death

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GLENDALE: Dozens of Michael Jackson fans laid heaps of flowers Wednesday at the mausoleum where the pop icon is interred, to mark the 5th anniversary of his death.

Around 100 fans, some dressed as the self-proclaimed King of Pop, gathered at the Forest Lawn cemetery outside Los Angeles, where the 50-year-old died while rehearsing for a comeback tour.

“We love you Michael,” read a banner on a giant red heart placed outside the small mausoleum in Glendale, north of downtown LA.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009 of an overdose of the clinical anesthetic propofol, administered by his doctor to help treat insomnia as the singer prepared for “This is It” shows in London.

His personal medic Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 over the star´s death and jailed for four years. He was released in October after serving two years.

He had debts of up to $500 million before his death, but in the five years since, his executors have earned more than $700 million, according to a recent book, “Michael Jackson Inc.

“Money-making ventures have included the “This is It” movie of rehearsals for the doomed tour, a touring Cirque du Soleil stage show and two posthumous albums so far, with more to come

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Oliver Stone to make Snowden film

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Oliver Stone is to make a film about fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, based on a book by a British journalist, it was announced Monday.

Luke Harding, the author of “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story Of The World’s Most Wanted Man”, said on Twitter that the US film-maker has bought the movie rights to the book.

Harding, who writes for British newspaper The Guardian, said Stone would write and direct the film with his long-term producing partner Moritz Borman.

“I’m thrilled and delighted,” the journalist said.

Stone, an Oscar-winning director whose films include “Wall Street”, “JFK”, and “Nixon”, said he was looking forward to making the film.

“This is one of the greatest stories of our time. A real challenge,” he said.

The Guardian said Stone had begun writing the screenplay, while Borman was “fast-tracking it as a major European co-production” to start filming before the end of the year.

Harding and other Guardian journalists are due to act as production and story consultants.

“The story of Edward Snowden is truly extraordinary, and the unprecedented revelations he brought to light have forever transformed our understanding of — and relationship with — government and technology,” said Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian’s editor-in-chief.

“We’re delighted to be working with Oliver Stone and Moritz Borman on the film.”

Snowden is wanted by the American authorities for leaking series of US intelligence secrets, and is currently living in Russia. His US passport has been revoked.

Snowden has said he is open to the possibility of clemency or amnesty and would like to return home one day.

But he maintains he carried out a patriotic act by exposing huge surveillance dragnets he said infringed the US Constitution.

Washington says Snowden is welcome to return home but only to face trial for exposing sensitive top secret information it says aided US enemies.

The Stone film is not the only one being made about Snowden, based on a Guardian writer’s book.

Sony Pictures Entertainment said last month it has acquired the rights to the new book by Glenn Greenwald, who led the Pulitzer Prize-winning team at The Guardian that covered the story.

James Bond franchise producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will make the movie version of “No Place to Hide”, described as “a political film that will resonate with today’s moviegoers.”

ASHLEY GREENE BUYS $2.4 MILLION HOUSE

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Almost a year after her house went up in flames, actress Ashley Greene has bought a new one for $2.43 million in Beverly Hills. The 26-year-old, whose dog died when her West Hollywood condominium went up in flames last year, has splurged on a new mansion after leasing it for a few months, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

Real estate sources told The Real Estalker website that Greene’s new three-bedroom pad boasts a master suite with a private sitting room, swimming pool, steam shower and dry sauna.

HARRY STYLES SPENDS 20K POUNDS ON ART.

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Singer Harry Styles has splurged 20,000 pounds on 20 art prints related to love and sex. A source told dailymail.co.uk that the prints were “probably to decorate his new home”.

Styles, who is reportedly dating model Kendall Jenner, bought the showcase by artist Hayden Kays. One of the pieces includes a white background with the text “If I wasn’t straight I’d definitely be gay”.
The pop star spent 1000 pounds on each art piece.

MADONNA REVEALS DEATH THREAT.

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Pop star Madonna has received death threats for defending Pussy Riot and was threatened with arrest for promoting “gay behaviour” at her Russian concerts in 2012. The 55-year-old gave an impassioned speech at the Amnesty International Concert in New York Wednesday, in which she described herself as a “freedom fighter” as she introduced the Russian group to the stage to address the audience at the Barclays Center.

The Russian group was jailed on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after performing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral, reports contactmusic.com.
“The right to be free, to speak our minds, to have an opinion, to love who we want to love, to be who we are — do we have to fight for that?

“I’ve always considered myself a freedom fighter since the early ’80s when I realised I had a voice and I could sing more than songs about being a material girl or feeling like a virgin. And I have definitely paid for and have been punished for speaking my mind and for sticking my neck out for this kind of discrimination. But that’s OK,” said Madonna.

Madonna also admitted she was threatened with arrest for her performances in Russia in 2012 because they promoted “gay behaviour”.

“Needless to say, I did not change one moment of my show. 87 of my fans were arrested for gay behaviour – whatever that is,” she said.

EMMA WATSON TO FEATURE IN ” REGRESSION”

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Actress Emma Watson will be a part of the cast of film “Regression”. The 23-year-old is thrilled to be working with director Alejandro Amenabar and is eagerly waiting for the project to start.

“I am passionate about Alejandro and his work and am so happy to be collaborating with him. I’m really excited by the challenge my character presents to me as an actress…I can’t wait to begin,” variety.com quoted Watson as saying.

The actress rose to fame with her role as Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” franchise.

ONE DIRECTION TO OPEN CAFE CHAIN.

English-Irish band One Direction will reportedly open a chain of coffee shops in a bid to expand their empire. It is said that they will open the first branch in Shibuya, Japan as early as this month.

“The cafes will be very child friendly for younger fans and they’re sure to be stocked up with lots of 1D merchandise. It could become one of the group’s biggest money-spinners if it takes off. Everything linked to One Direction equates to success at the moment,” Daily Star newspaper quoted a source as saying.

It is believed that the new business venture is favoured by mentor Simon Cowell, who hopes to open a second branch in London, before opening several more in New York, Paris, Berlin and Sydney.

“This could become the lads’ version of Planet Hollywood. That chain was backed by stars such as Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger when it launched in 1991,” the source said.

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TOM CRUISE SUED FOR $1BILLION.

Hollywood actor Tom Cruise has been sued for $1 billion by screenwriter Timothy Patrick McLanahan for the script of 2011 movie “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”.

McLanahan filed legal documents in December claiming the script of the movie came from his script “Head On”. Paramount Pictures is also named in the suit, reports radaronline.com.

“In 1998 I had written a screenplay called Head On. After submitting it to the U.S. Copyright Office, Head On received a copyright certificate protecting its material and author from unauthorized use,” McLanahan wrote in legal documents obtained by Radar. The writer then detailed the trail the script went through, starting with William Morris Agency, which sent it to CAA(Creative Artists Agency), where Cruise, 51, is a client.

McLanahan is claiming his script was put in front of Cruise’s agent Rick Nicita, who is married to the star’s production partner Paula Wagner. In 2011 when “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” came out, McLanahan thought it seemed familiar.

“I immediately recognised that the scripts for this movie had been illegally written and produced from Head On’s 1998 copyright,” the writer claimed in documents.

McLanahan came to the $1 billion amount after adding up ticket sales ($694,710,000), DVD and blue ray sales ($144.5 million), and movie rentals and subscription sales and budget ($145 million), according to the site.

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HIGHWAY MUSIC MAGICAL, CAPTIVATING.

Film: “Highway”; Composer: A.R. Rahman; Singers: Sultan Nooran, Jyoti Nooran, A.R. Rahman, Jonita Gandhi, Kash, Krissy, Suvi Suresh, Zeb Bangash, Alia Bhatt, Sunidhi Chauhan, and Shweta Pandit; Rating: ****

Alia Bhatt-Randeep Hooda-starrer “Highway”, a romantic drama directed by Imtiaz Ali, boasts of nine tracks. The songs show Rahman’s efforts at once again creating something enthralling. It starts on a very soothing note with “Patakha Guddi”. Sung by the Nooran sisters – Sultan and Jyoti – the Sufi number is soulful. The song will make you feel free-spirited. Sung by music maestro Rahman, “Maahi ve” comes next. A love ballad, it has simple yet expressive lyrics mixed with Rahman’s voice. This one will surely give you the chills.

“Kahaan hoon main”, sung by Jonita Gandhi, is a situational track. The touching number might make the listener question about what one is doing and what one really wants to do. The fourth one is “Wanna mash up?” by Kash, Krissy and Suvi Suresh. This one is very urban and will connect with youth. It is not one of those fast tracks but has the ability to grow on the listener.
Next up is Alia and Zeb Bangash’s “Sooha saaha”. A very melodious lullaby, it will remind you of your mother. Alia’s efforts are commendable.

What follows is Rahman’s version of “Patakha Guddi”. The first track and this one are completely different. While the first one is earthy, this one has a Western feel. Though Rahman’s voice creates magic, the effect is not the same. “Implosive silence” is next. Crooned by Jonita Gandhi, the song hits the right chord.

Sunidhi’s “Tu kuja” is placed eighth and will remind you of “O paalanhare” from “Lagaan”. Though a devotional number, Chauhan’s voice mixed with the music creates a very Western effect.

“Heera” wraps up the album. The song is comforting and melodious thanks to Shweta Pandit’s voice and wonderful music. All in all, the songs of “Highway” will take music lovers to a different level – it’s very powerful and magical.

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SELENA GOMEZ CHECKED INTO REHAB.

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Selena Gomez checked into rehab at Dawn at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona this past month.

A source close to the 21-year-old says the singer was not admitted for substance abuse but was rather looking to better herself. She has since been released, and was reportedly in the treatment facility for a week or so, starting on Jan. 5.

According to their website, Dawn at The Meadows is a “groundbreaking, intensive, experientially-based, inpatient treatment program for emerging adults ages 18-26 who struggle with emotional trauma, addiction or dual diagnosis concerns.”

Back in December, Gomez canceled 13 dates on her Stars Dance Tour, telling Live Nation, “My fans are so important to me and I would never want to disappoint them. But it has become clear to me and those close to me that after many years of putting my work first, I need to spend some time on myself in order to be the best person I can be.”