Sierra Leone Writer Awarded For “Stickfighting Days” The Sierra Leonean author Olufemi Terry has won 2010’s Caine Prize for African Writing. The prize is regarded as Africa’s top literary award. Terry won the honor for his story ‘Stickfighting Days.’ According to the judges – who praised his literature – Terry is a talented writer with a promising future. Terry, born in Sierra Leone, grew up in Nigeria, and was a journalist in Somalia and Uganda. He now resides in Cape Town. His book is about a boy named Raul who lives in a dump and fights with others boys using sticks. The Caine prize is awarded annually for a short story written by an African author and published in English. The winner is awarded $16,000 (£10,000). However, Terry objects to writers from the continent being singled out in a specific category, saying it is more of a hindrance than a help. But, he is grateful for having won the honor, regardless. It is the first step in getting his first novel published.
U2, Madonna Among Billboard’s Top Money Makers. If there was any doubt that U2 was the biggest band in the world, one look at Billboard’s Top Money Makers list should do the trick. Based on actual revenue earned by music artists from touring and music sales, U2 hits #1 on the list, earning nearly double of what the next biggest money maker earned at #2. Thanks to their sold-out U2 360° tour, the band is likely to earn the title for highest-grossing tour in history thanks to the high capacities of their 360-degree setup. The first tour as part of their current deal Live Nation, that includes touring, merchandise, and more, U2 is a clear lead at #1 with an estimated $108 million dollars in revenue. Bruce Springsteen is at #2 thanks to his constant touring schedule, the release of a new studio album and Walmart-exclusive hits collection, as well as publishing revenue from his discography of self-written songs and over 2 million in digital sales, The Boss earned a cool $58 million last year. Madonna came in at #3, earning an estimated $47 million thanks to international stadium sell-outs of her “Sticky & Sweet” tour as part of her new Live Nation deal, as well as her branding and licensing deals. International touring brought in the green for “Back In Black” singers AC/DC, who earned $43 million last year. Sorry Ringling Brothers, but Britney Spears had the highest-grossing circus last year. Her sold-out “Circus” tour, along with album sales and over 7.5 million digital downloads, earned her over $38 million last year. The rest of the top money makers according to Billboard include Pink ($36 million), the Jonas Brothers ($33 million), Coldplay ($27 million), Kenny Chesney ($26 million), and Metallica ($25 million).
“Glee” Heads To Oxygen, “Modern Family” To USA In New Syndication Deals. The two biggest new shows on television today are getting new homes. “Glee,” the hit Fox musical comedy, is heading to Oxygen, while “Modern Family” will air on USA following a new syndication deal with NBC Universal. The two top-rated shows are set to air on the two cable networks owned by NBCU. The shows are slated to begin airing regularly in the fall of 2013. Deadline reports that NBC Universal made preemptive offers for both shows last week, which also forced potential buyers like TBS to scramble to make offers. TBS reportedly offered $1.1 million for “Modern Family,” while USA offered $1.5 million. “Glee” fetched $500,000 an episode in the deal from Oxygen, and also earned the rights to air a “Glee” reality show to find the next “Glee” cast member. (A recent online competition to find the next cast member was cancelled). “Glee” will begin appearing on Oxygen as early as 2011 with marathon airings and the debut of the “Glee” reality show. “Glee” begins its second season on Fox this fall. “This is a unique syndication opportunity and we’re thrilled to be working on it with Oxygen,” said Steve MacDonald, Twentieth’s EVP and general sales manager, basic cable. “This deal not only provides viewers with the opportunity to see even more of the drama, comedy, song and dance that they have come to expect from ‘Glee ,’ but also extends the reach of this pop-culture phenomenon’s brand through a new reality series.” “‘Glee’ is the No. 1 hit show for women 18-34 and Generation O is obsessed with it,” said Jason Klarman, President, Oxygen Media. USA has the rights to air “Modern Family” Monday through Sunday starting in the fall of 2013. “This is one of the most exciting deals to date for USA,” said Jane Blaney, EVP of program acquisitions and scheduling, in a statement. “Arguably one of the most successful shows on television, ‘Modern Family’ couldn’t be a better fit for the network.”
Larsen B release debut album Musketeer on July 5th through Old Radio Tunes. Larsen B are named after an Antarctic ice shelf, though the band’s sound couldn’t be further away from the cold image it conjures. Hailing from Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire (though calling it by the doomsday book recorded ‘Watamestede’) Will Baguley, Simon Palmer and Paddy Smith formed Larsen B with the intention of weaving glorious and well crafted pop songs for the world to hear. Their first EP ‘The Treasured Memories of Cecil Element’ released in 2007 began the journey into their current incarnation from a more country tinged sound, before signing to Try Harder Records (Foals, Blood Red Shoes, Joy Formidable) in 2008. On Try Harder they released their second EP ‘Marilyn’ to a chorus of delighted praise, garnering attention everywhere from Mark Radcliffe to Michael Hann, The Guardian’s music editor. Marilyn’s inclusion on this album is a welcome one as the tracks shimmering quality and infectious chorus leaves you wondering whether anyone in the world could ever feel anything but endearment to the tune. Recorded at the Stables in Watamestede, listening to an album is sometimes like taking a tour of their village. ‘The Gold Cup’ swings by the Church for a spot of rapturous praise, before inviting the local postman around for a jam on ‘Kindling’ (the backing vocals here are indeed, provided by their postman). The album is filled with warm tunes, massive choruses and the innocence that great pop ever so rarely even catches a glimpse of.Set to arrive in stores on July 5th through Old Radio Tunes, forthcoming debut album ‘Musketeer’ echoes the atmosphere of Summer so strongly you begin to wonder if Wheathampstead has ever suffered through a harsh Winter, a golden Autumn is as close as we ever get. “A spectral, sepia-tinged beauty that ruminates on childhood’s invincibility. One to play on those hungover afternoons when your head’s a muddle and your heart’s all full up” – Drowned In Sound
Hollywood Stars Put Fashions Up For Bid To Benefit Artists For Peace And Justice. Some big name stars are putting up some high fashion in the name of charity. The auction benefitting the Artists for Peace and Justice will feature fashion and other items for fans to bid on. Hollywood’s biggest stars attended the 2010 Golden Globes and now fans can score some of the fashion worn by those stars, including Gerard Butler’s Dolce & Gabbana Tux, the shoes and purse worn by Kristen Bell, Jenna Fischer’s dress and Josh Brolin’s tuxedo. Other items include a Gucci Gown worn by Olivia Wilde, a signed Gibson guitar and two tickets to the Hollywood Domino Pre-Oscar Gala. Fans can also bid on a limited-edition photo from Haiti signed by stars such as Gerard Butler, Demi Moore, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Charlize Theron, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Wilde, Robert De Niro, Daniel Craig and more. Artists for Peace and Justice was founded in 2009 by Paul Haggis and friends to encourage peace and social justice and to address issues of poverty and enfranchisement in communities around the world. The immediate goal for Artists for Peace and Justice is to build schools to serve the poorest areas of Haiti, providing an education, hot meals, clean drinking water and regular medical treatments to at least 3,500 children. For more information or to bid on the items, head to http://www.charitybuzz.com/auctions/artistsforpeaceandjustice.
Hollywood stars aren’t the only ones enjoying the festivities at Sundance. A source on the scene told RTV Cannel Hollywood that billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates was rocking out at John Legend and the Roots’ performances at the Bing Lounge in Park City, Utah, on Saturday night. Bill was described as dancing on a couch, pumping his fist to the music. The bespectacled businessman, who has retired from day-to-day activities at Microsoft in order to focus on his charitable activities, recently launched a Twitter account and a new Web site to share his endeavors. He was in attendance at Park City to catch a new documentary, “Waiting For Superman” – director Davis Guggenheim’s first film since “An Inconvenient Truth.” Bill is interviewed in the film, which focuses on the troubles of the U.S. public school system. He told our source that he hopes the movie does for the issue what “An Inconvenient Truth” did for global warming. “That would be the goal,” he said on Saturday.