Top-earning European Celebrities  

Forbes released a 2017 celebrity 100 list of the World's highest-paid entertainers worldwide with Sean “Diddy” Combs at the top on $130 million in earnings. Then Beyoncé Knowles, then J.K Rowling.

However as we're more interested in stuff in Europe we'll look back at the list of top-earning European celebrities for the period between June 2015 and June 2016, and the list is as varied as the continent.Earning are pretax while fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted.
From rock star, tennis champion, chef, actor, the European top-earning celebrities made a total of $697.5 million, they are all from different generations and all over Europe.
After making $200 million on their On the Road Again tour, apart from the endorsement deals with Pepsi and Colgate, One Direction tops the list of European celebrities that have earned more money in 2016. But that's not all. They are also the top earning band in the world and the highest-paid among all front-of-camera celebrities. But they pop celeb that made more money than them in the world was... drumroll please... Taylor Swift, who topped the global list with $170 million.
After five decades on the run, The Rolling Stones have proved that they are legendary band capable of earning big by going on tour and playing stadium shows. They made $66.5 million last year.
British music is still going strong. Paul McCartney, who used to be a member of the legendary band The Beatles, earned $56.5 million.
And lastly, U2, along with The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, prove that legendary musicians can still survive in this day and age where House music and Electro are taking over. The Irish band earned $55 million.
With One Direction's Harry Styles being 22 and Rolling Stones' drummer, Charlie Watts, being 75, it is clear that British music doesn't discriminate according to age, and British musicians are topping the list of highest-earning celebrities, with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris and British composer-artist Adele featuring on the list.
“The rise of dance music has been astronomical in the last three years and I happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Harris told Forbes. He went from being a grocery stockboy to becoming the world's highest-paid DJ with a $63 million payday.
Even though a range of other female musicians top the list of highest earning celebrities in the world - Taylor Swift made $170 million, Madonna ($76.5 million) and Rihanna ($75 million), Adele is the only woman on the European list. She actually topped Harris' total with $80.5 million.While other top-earning musicians made most of their money from tours, Adele made most of her money from music sales from her album 25.
Apart from the music business, sport is another industry that generates most money. The top-earning athletes include Cristiano Ronaldo ($88 million), Roger Federer ($68 million) and Novak Djokovic ($56 million). While the Serbian Djokovic ranks higher than the Swiss Federer, the latter made more money than the former thanks to endorsement deals with Nike, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz and Credit Suisse. This is also the way that Ronaldo makes makes it to the list of highest-earning celebrities, with endorsement deals from Nike, Tag Heuer, Sacoor Brothers suits and Monster headphones.
Rome opens a virtual tour of Nero’s palace  

The “Golden House” or palace of the Roman Emperor Nero, “Domus Aurea” can now be admired in all its splendor thanks to a virtual reality tour highlighting some of the majestic rooms, after being buried for centuries.

After a lengthy restoration project of the palace built for Nero - the Roman emperor who allegedly torched the imperial city - tourists and locals alike will enjoy a 3D multimedia visit every weekend. Tours must be booked in advanced and they limited to 24 visitors at a time.
Some of the sites you can see in 3D are Volta Dorata hall and some exterior sections of the edifice, such as its facade or the Oppio Hill gardens.
Francesco Prosperetti, Rome's special archeological superintendent, highlighted the innovative multimedia experience. According to him, this immersive experience offers visitors a close look at the times of Emperor Trajan, as the palace was destroyed after Nero's death in 69 AD.
Nero, the last emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, commissioned the construction of this majestic complex, that saw the light of day after Rome burst into flames in 64 AD. This is known as the Great Fire of Rome. The famous catastrophe is attributed to Nero. Historians claim that Romans believed Nero himself had started the fire, in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea.
The Domus Aurea became one of the most luxurious residences of antiquity. Its walls were covered in frescoes and marble, and its sprawling grounds hosted an expanse of vineyards, forests, and artificial lake and a variety of treasures brought from the Orient. It was an early use of Roman concrete construction, but this innovation was destined to have a great influence on the art of the future, as they use mosaics in the vaulted ceiling for the first time. So far, mosaics had been restricted to floors.
Nero's extravagant ways led him to commission from the Greek Zenodorus a colossal 35.5 m high bronze statue of himself, the Colossus Neronis. The statue was placed right outside the main palace entrance at the terminus of the Via Appia. This statue may have served the purpose of representing Nero as the sun god Sol.
The Golden House was designed as a place of entertainment, or that is the conclusion that can be drawn by the presence of 300 rooms without any sleeping quarter.
Nero didn't enjoy the luxury of the palace for long. In 68, the rebellion of Vindex in Gaul and later the acclamation of Galba in Hispania drove Nero from the throne. He then committed suicide on 9 June 1968 and his death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty.
His death also sparked a period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors. These emperors that ruled after Nero's demise tried to get ride of the Domus Aurea. They pillaged the palace, despoiled from his valuables. Then they defaced the building and buried it to the point that the Domus Aurea remained entombed for centuries and its frescoes were only rediscovered during the Renaissance.
Emma Watson passed on La La Land  

This film awards season all eyes were on La La Land. The film accumulated a number of awards in SAG Awards and the Golden Globe Awards. The film has also hit the record of nominations for the Oscars. With 14 nominations, La La Land ties with Titanic and All about Eve in nominations to the Oscars.

With La La Land being a smash hit, people wonder what could have been as the cast is not what the director first had in mind. Originally Emma Watson and Miles Teller were going to play the lead lovers and dreamers of La La Land. That initial plan didn't become a reality, with Emma Stone playing the female lead role while Ryan Gosling replaced Teller.
According to Page Six, insider sources reported that Watson and Teller lost the chance for awards and La La Land's box office because they were too demanding when it comes to salaries and in terms of Watson's expectations that rehearsals would take place in London.
This is what the insider told Page Six: “Miles was offered $4 million to star in ‘La La Land,' but he said he wanted $6 million. Watson was offered the lead female role, but she initially wouldn't commit. Then she began making all these crazy demands, like rehearsals for the film must be done in London... they jumped through hoops to make it work with her, but she just didn't feel the film was right for her.”
That is how producers ended up casting Stone. Shortly after, Gosling jumped on the wagon as he wanted to work with Stone again. They previously starred together in “Gangster Squad” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”
According to the insider, now that the film is a major success, Teller and Watson have blamed their agents for not securing the roles for them. The “insider” told Page Six: “Now both Miles and Emma Watson are raising hell with their agents for not securing the roles for them - even though it was the actors' fault for being too demanding.”
Apparently, Watson began her negotiations when she was being represented by the WME agency, but then she signed with rival CAA. However, other sources claim that Watson turned down the opportunity to do La La Land so she could focus on Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast film.
Teller told GQ in 2015 that his agent said “La La LAnd” director Damien Chazalle decided to drop Teller because he was no longer “creatively right for the project.” Chazelle confirmed that “there was a moment where (Watson and Teller) were doing it. And neither of those casting things wound up lasting or working out.”
Teller didn't offer comments to Page Six, but he went to social media and addressed Page Six as “‘reporting' alternative facts.” In an interview with Esquire in 2015, Teller share the story of how he learned he'd been let go from the project:
“These are just facts,” he explains that he almost passed up the chance to be in Arms and the Dudes because it was incompatible with La La Land. “And I got a call from my agent, saying, ‘Hey, I just got a call from Lionsgate. Damien told them that he no longer thinks you're creatively right for the project. He's moving on without you.'” The reporter that interviewed him said that Teller sent his agent a text saying “What the f*, bro?”

 

Eurovision Song Contest May 2017  

2017's Eurovision was the 62nd edition of the contest. As Ukraine won the song contest last year in Stockholm, the eastern European country had the opportunity to host the Eurovision Song Contest this year. The contest consisted of two semi-finals that took place on 9 and 11 May; the final contest took place on 13 May 2017.
The contest was at the International Exhibition Center in Kiev, following Ukraine's victory with the song “1944”, written and performed by Jamala, marking the second time Eurovision will take place in Kiev. The first one took place in 2005. The Ukrainian capital, however, has hosted other Eurovision-related events before, such as of Junior Eurovision Song Contests in 2009 and 2013.
Artists from forty-three countries participated in the 2017 contest. Despite Portugal and Romania being absent from the 2016 edition, both countries made comeback this year. Portugal has won this year's Eurovision Song contest. Salvador Sobral, Lisbon-born 27-year-old did not expect overnight fame and fortune becoming Portugal's first Eurovision winner. The song was written by Sobral's sister, 'Amar Pelos Dois' means 'Love for Both of Us'. Celebrate diversity is the slogan of the competition. Portugal will host the 2018 event.
Over six decades since its foundation, the Eurovision Song Contest has been the birthplace of many famous artists and endearing songs, most notably the Swedish band ABBA and their legendary song Waterloo, respectively. During the past 60 years, more than 1,400 songs have taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Some of the records of the contest are as follows: Every year, an estimate of 180 million viewers watch the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2008 and 2011, a record number of 43 countries participated.
The country that has broken the record of winning the higher number of times is Ireland. The green country has won 7 times. It is followed by Sweden, which has won 6 times. Then Luxembourg ties with France and the United Kingdom in that they have won 5 times.
Poland made the most impressive debute in 1994, after Edyta Gorniak came 2nd with To Nie Ja. Another country that made an impressive debutant show was Serbia in 2007. This year marked the first time Serbia partook as an independent country, as it had taking part in the contest twice before as Serbia & Montenegro.
Although Norway has won the contest three times, it holds the unfortunate title of being the country that has been at the bottom of the list more than any other. Eleven times Norway has come last: 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2004 and in the Grand Final of 2012.
Most winning songs were performed in English, a total of 26 times. Songs (mostly) in English are followed by songs in French (14 victories). Dutch and Hebrew songs won 3 times each.
The Eurovision contest has also brought about some legends in the music business, most notably ABBA, the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner. The Swedish pop band took over the world after winning the contest in 1974.
Domenico Mudugno's Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu - also known as Volare - is the most covered Eurovision Song Contest song. Stars like David Bowie and Dean Martin have covered the song.
Russell Brand on Tour 2017  

After a series of successful shows in 2016, Russell Brand is back for more. The English comedian, actor, radio host, author and activist announced a new stand-up tour of UK and Ireland. The comedian hits the road again in April 2017 for an epic 71-date tour across the UK and Ireland until the end of 2018.

With Re:Birth A Stand Up 2017 tour, Brand claimed he is reinventing himself. He tries to address the questions: “What is real? Who are we? Where did this baby come from?” Meanwhile, he tries to solve the puzzle of modern media, politics, sex, fatherhood and death.
Ever since he rose to fame in 2003, Russell Brand has established himself as one of the top comedians in the industry. But he is not only funny. Brand is also multi-talented and multifaceted; he doesn't only stand out as a comedian but he has also made it as a broadcaster, actor, author, podcaster, columnist, political commentator, and as a mental health and drug rehabilitation activist.
Here is the kind of sense of humor you can expect:
“I couldn't possibly have sex with someone with such a slender grasp on grammar!”
“Have you been out in society recently? ‘Cause it's SHIT.”
“My dad's philosophy was (and I think still is) that life is a malevolent force, which seeks to destroy you, and you have to struggle with it. Only those who are hard enough will succeed. Most people get crushed, but if you fight, in the end life will go, ‘F.ing hell. This one's serious. Let him through”
Here are the 2017 tour dates:
4 April – Corn Exchange, Cambridge
5 April – Derngate Theatre, Northampton
6 April – Watford Colosseum, Watford
9 April – Orchard Theatre, Dartford
12 April – Harrogate Royal Hall, Harrogate
13 April – Victoria Hall, Stoke-On-Trent
18 April – White Rock Theatre, Hastings
19 April – Lighthouse, Poole
25 April – Central Theatre, Chatham
26 April – Margate Winter Gardens, Margate
27 Apr – Salisbury City Hall, Salisbury
02 May – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
03 May – New Victoria Theatre, Woking
09 May – Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre
10 May – New Theatre – Oxford, Oxford
23 May – Southport Theatre & Convention Cntr, Southport
25 May – Cheltenham Town Hall, Cheltenham
29 May – Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
30 May – Richmond Theatre, Richmond
31 May – Colston Hall, Bristol
06 Jun – Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury
08 Jun – Regent Theatre, Ipswich
15 Jun – Embassy Theatre, Skegness, Skegness
19 Jun – Norwich Theatre Royal, Norwich
21 Jun – Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
24 Jun – The Auditorium BT Convention Centr, Liverpool Echo Arena
27 Jun – Assembly Hall, Worthing
29 Jun – Stevenage Concert Hall, Stevenage
04 Jul – The Hawth, Crawley
10 Jul – Grimsby Auditorium, Grimsby
27 Jul – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
01 Aug – Quays Theatre – The Lowry, Salford
19 Sep – Guildhall, Portsmouth
20 Sep – Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells
27 Sep – Princess Theatre, Torquay
03 Oct – De Montfort Hall, Leicester
11 Oct – St Davids Hall, Cardiff
12 Oct – York Barbican Centre, York
17 Oct – Leeds Town Hall, Leeds
24 Oct – Reading Hexagon, Reading
31 Oct – Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London
02 Nov – Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
05 Nov – Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Brighton
16 Nov – The Anvil, Basingstoke
21 Nov – Baths Hall, Scunthorpe
05 Dec – Symphony Hall, Birmingham
13 Dec – City Hall, Newcastle
18 Dec – O2 Academy Brixton, London
David Bowie Tribute Stamps Announced  

The UK's Royal Mail has announced a new series of David Bowie stamps. Royal Mail introduced the next installment in their Music Giants Stamp series as a tribute to David Bowie, “one of the most influential music and culture figures of all time.” They marked the date for the release as 14 March 2017.
The 10-stamp collection includes six Bowie album covers (Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, “Heroes”, Let's Dance, Earthling, and Blackstar) and four live shots from tour (The Ziggy Stardust Tour, 1973; the Stage Tour, 1978; the Serious Moonlight Tour, 1983; and A Reality Tour, 2004).
Apart from the Special Stamps, First Day Covers and Presentation Pack, fans can also expect several limited edition David Bowie souvenirs.
For £11.30 you can purchase the Presentation Pack, which includes all six Special Stamps plus the Stamp Sheet. The pack also narrates the career of David Bowie, which was authoritatively written.
For £8.20, you can get the First Day Cover with the six David Bowie Special stamps. The stamps are perfect for collection or as a gift since you can personalize them with the name of your choice. You will see on the stamps the postcode London SW9 which is the one for Brixton, the place where David Bowie was born.
For £5.60, you can purchase the First Day Cover with the David Bowie Live Stamp Sheet. You can also personalize this one with the name and address of your choice. You have the choice to opt for the standard handstamp or David Bowie's London SW9 handstamp.
For £29.99 you can get the stamps framed, featuring all six Special Stamps, individually mounted in a black frame. The dimensions are 27cm x 23 cm and the frames are handmade for Royal Mail in the UK.
You can get the “Heroes” Fan Sheet for £7.50, but you must do it promptly as it is a limited edition of 7,500 and, therefore, subject to availability. The fan sheet features the album artwork and five “Heroes” Special Stamps.
There is also a limited edition of 7,500 of Hunky Dory Fan Sheet, which features the album artwork and five Hunky Dory Special Stamps. Due to being a limited edition like the fan sheet, it is subject to availability, so you must order as soon as you can.
Tributes to David Bowie continue to take place with a number of concerts in the “Celebrating David Bowie” series, Yale hosted a conference dedicated to his and Prince's legacies, and Bowie's likeness has also inspired a few rockstar emojis.
The artist is known for his famous quotes, even expressing to become a superhuman, such as:
“I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.”
“The truth is of course that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.”

 

European Capital of Culture 2023  

Despite Brexit, the British government has launched a contest for UK cities interested in becoming European Capital of Culture 2023. So far, the cities that have announced their wish to get the title - which two European cities share every year - include Leeds, Dundee and Milton Keynes.
The UK was selected to host the cultural initiative in 2023 before the country voted to leave the European Union in June, 2016. Since the city that hosts the events is designated by the European Union, it is not yet known whether the EU will allow the UK host the cultural event after triggering Article 50. Nevertheless, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's announcement suggests it is proceeding with the hope that a UK city will host the event in 2023. DCMS blog
The city selected to become the European Capital of Culture organises various cultural events that can lead to increased investment, more jobs and a boost to the local economy. The title can also generate considerable cultural and social benefits, and it can help foster urban regeneration, change the city's image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale.
According to a study conducted in 2004 for the European Commission, known as the “Palmer report”, demonstrated that becoming the European Capital of Culture served as a catalyst for the cultural development and the transformation of the city.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “Celebrating the cultural heritage and innovation in Britain's cities is part of our plan for an outward-looking, globally-minded and dynamic country.
“The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe. We want that relationship to reflect the kind of mature, co-operative relationship that close friends and allies enjoy.”
His statement has its basis in the fact non-EU cities have held the title in the past - namely, Istanbul in 2010, Stavanger in Norway in 2008 and Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2000.
The UK is no stranger to the title. On the contrary, British cities have previously hosted the cultural initiative twice before - in Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008.
In case the UK is allowed to partake in the cultural event, the chosen British city will share the title with a city in Hungary during 2023.
San Sebastian in Spain and Wroclaw in Poland were 2016's cultural capitals, while Aarhus in Denmark and Paphos in Cyprus will share the title in 2017.
The European Capital of Culture scheme is unrelated to the UK City of Culture.
In 2015, Milton Keynes announced its intention to take part in the competition, but no branding or design appointments has been announced yet.
In light of the Brexit vote, a representative of Milton Keynes Council says: “It is early days and it will be a while yet before we really know the impact of Brexit on the Capital of Culture titles. The work we're doing in Milton Keynes is essential to building a strong cultural feature and as such we will continue preparing the sector and the borough as a cultural hotspot.”
After beginning its work on the V&A Museum of Design, Dundee has now launched its bid and Dundee City Council leader, councillor Ken Guild, says: “Dundee's bid will reflect the character of the city and its people... The energy and enthusiasm of the universities and our cultural sector will ensure that we put forward a strong case for the city.”
A cross-EU panel of experts will select the winning UK city to hold the title and the winner will be announced towards the end of 2018.

 

Christmas Markets in Europe worth a visit  
1. Jena, Germany: this traditional Christmas market offers a festive trumpet fanfare at 5pm from 25 November to 22 December.
2. Birmingham, England: although German markets are more traditional, England also offers jolly and festive German Christmas markets you have to visit, such as the one in Birmingham. With a range of German delicacies and ice skating risk to boot, Birmingham claims its Frankfurt Christmas Market as the largest in Britain. So it better be on your list.
3. Innsbruck, Austria. Innsbruck offer multiple Christmas markets that are incredible picturesque as they are framed by the snow-capped Alps that loom above the town. Enjoy the view while you shop from stall to stall and submerge yourself in the festive spirit.
4. Brussels, Belgium. The Brussels “Winter Wonders” festival stretches throughout the city centre and includes 230 business, a ferris wheel, an ice rink and more.
5. If you find yourself in London during the holiday season, don't miss the Christmas market the Southbank Centre holds along the waterfront. Timeout have a great review of London's best Christmas markets and fairs 2016.
6. Dresden, Germany. With 580 years of trajectory, this enormous market is Germany's oldest and features Dresden's culinary specialty, the traditional Striezel (or Stollen) fruit loaf.
7. Don't miss the countless beautiful Christmas markets in Vienna, especially te Christmas Village Belvedere Palace in front of the famous baroque palace.
8. Glasgow, Scotland. With traders from around the world, this Scottish Christmas market is held int he City Centre on Argyle Street.
9. Krakow, Poland. What better way to submerge yourself in olden times than to shop from a Christmas market in a medieval city - Krakow - and surrounded by snow. This beautiful Christmas market boasts an almost certain blanket of snow by Christmastime, so you can enjoy a typical white Christmas.
10. Bergamo, Italy. As you stroll around this market, you'll be able to listen to the baghet - a traditional instrument similar to the bagpipes. The best day to enjoy the season's festivities in Bergamo is the Feast Day of Saint Lucia.
Bestival, Isle of Wight  

Chills, they're multiplying! Get ready to lose control because the power Bestival is supplying... it's electrifying! This is not a Grease re-enactment, but by the way people dress for this music festival, they might as well burn the whole mile.
And it's just that Bestival is called that way for a reason. While Bestival's line-up is the most electric you'll ever experience, it is the festival's uniqueness what makes it a universe of discovery and adventure, ranging from the most original boutique campsite experience, to the Bollywood Cocktail Bar, a Wishing Tree Stage, fancy dress en-mass and even a Roller Disco.
People dressing up like in “Sesame Street” is not the only surprise; each year they come up with equally odd places to sleep, including yurts, tepees, squrts and wooden beach-style huts.
This mind-blowing event, which takes place in September, is a multi-award four day music festival set at Robil Hill Hear Newport in the heart of Isle of Wight, United Kingdom. Since its foundation in 2004, Bestival has been awarded Best Medium-Sized Festival (2009, 2007, 2006 and 2005), Best Major Festival (2012 and 2010), and Fan's Favourite Festival (2011).
“Organiser Rob Da Bank puts his quirky touches on everything,” says Andy Buchan, Infusion Magazine's Middle East Editor. “From the line-up to the non-music tents which make Glastonbury's Lost Vagueness seem sedate in comparison, it's a winner in my eyes.”
After ten years of pioneering music events and record releases from Rob da Bank and his Sunday best empire, the BBC Radio 1 JD had a dream to create dream of how the modern day festival should be. Today that dream is now fulfilled thanks to Rob da Bank, creative director, his wife Josie da Bank and co-founders John and Ziggy from Get involved.
Bestival's uniqueness is due to Josie and Rob da Bank's creative vision. While Rob enriches the festival's line-up with his massive music experience, his wife give it a creative touch that set it apart from all other events, such as the dress code, campside, bar and roller disco.
 
Bestival takes place between Thursday 8th and Sunday 11th September 2016 at Robin Hill Country Park near Newport on the lovely Isle of Wight.

 

15 Fun Facts About Europe  
You think you know everything about good old Europe. Well, here are some interesting facts that will surely surprise. For instance, did you know that the first croissant wasn't invented in France or Italy, but in Austria?
However, what's most striking is that London's underground escalators travel a distance equal to two trips around the world each week. That's a lot of travelling.
They say that Rome wasn't built in a day and the leaning tower of Pisa took a bit longer than that - well, no less than 200 years. Brick by brick over two centuries lead tho this majestic piece of architecture that has become one of the best-known buildings in the world.
That the Turkish community is exceedingly large in Germany should surprise nobody, but what about this fact? Berlin has even more doner kebab places than Istanbul.
We know that Germans like their Christmas period. Indeed, they even invented the Christmas Tree. Plus German markets are also well known. Who hasn't tried a bratwurst or a pretzel at a market during the holiday season? Yet, who was aware that Berlin alone boast more than 60 Christmas markets. Sixty!
Not that you'd be looking for them, but if you are wondering where you can find Europe's highest toilets, then that would be atop Mont Blanc. Hopefully, you don't suffer from vertigo because they are at 4,260 metres.
We all know the majestic Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, but no matter how majestic can you believe that this building, built in contemporary times took longer to build than the Great Pyramids built thousands of years ago.
If you are stranded in Brussels airport, be merry and indulge yourself in some chocolate. Here you'll find more of this sinfully delicious treat than anywhere else in the world.
In Italy, locals never drink cappuccino after 11am. So if you find yourself in Italy and you are not an early riser, you turn to milkshake.
  
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