(born 5 May 1988), known under the mononym Adele, is an English singer-songwriter. She was the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics' Choice and was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008. At the 2009 Grammy Awards, Adele won the awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Since her debut, 19, Adele has received much recognition both commercially and critically. The album debuted at number one, and has been certified four times platinum in the UK. Her career in the US was boosted by a viewer record–breaking Saturday Night Live episode in late 2008. Adele released her second album 21 on 24 January 2011 in the UK, and 22 February in the US. The album was a critical and commercial success, selling 208,000 copies in its first week in the UK and debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, a position it managed to hold for sixteen weeks. In the United Kingdom, 21 has been certified ten times Platinum for shipment of 3.0 million units. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States, selling 352,000 copies in its first week. The album has charted at number one in 17 European countries and the United States.
After performing at the 2011 BRIT Awards, the album track "Someone Like You" reached number one in the United Kingdom, while the album also remained at number one. "Someone Like You" held the number one position for four consecutive weeks. The song has also spent 2 weeks at number one in New Zealand and 4 weeks at number one in Australia. The Official Charts Company announced that Adele is the first living artist to achieve the feat of two top five hits in both the Official Singles Chart and the Official Albums Chart simultaneously since The Beatles in 1964. 21 has spent eleven consecutive weeks at number one in the UK, the longest ever by a female solo artist on the UK Albums Chart, surpassing Madonna's nine weeks at number one in 1990 with her greatest hits compilation The Immaculate Collection. In the US the album has spent a total of nine weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 to date. The album has also broken the record for the most UK digital downloads. As of May 2011 the singer was worth £6 million tying her with Lily Allen and Duffy for 9th place on the list of the richest British and Irish music stars under age 30.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born in Tottenham, London, England to a single teenage mother on 5 May 1988. She began singing at age four and asserts that she became obsessed with voices. Adele has cited the Spice Girls as a major influence in regard to her love and passion for music, stating that "they made me what I am today." Adele would also impersonate the Spice Girls at dinner parties as a young girl. To make her look like singer Gabrielle, her mother made an eye patch with sequins, which Adele said was embarrassing.
At the age of 11, Adele and her mother, a furniture-maker and adult learning activities organiser moved to West Norwood, South London. West Norwood is the subject for Adele's first record, "Hometown Glory", written when she was 16. After moving to South London, she became interested in R&B artists such as Aaliyah, Destiny's Child and Mary J Blige.
2006–08: Career beginnings:
Adele graduated from The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon in May 2006, where she was classmates with Leona Lewis and Jessie J. Adele credits the school with nurturing her talent. In school, she was more interested in going into A&R, and hoped to launch other people's careers. Four months later, she published two songs on the fourth issue of the online arts publication PlatformsMagazine.com. She had recorded a three-song demo for a class project and gave it to a friend who posted it on Myspace where it became very successful and led to a phone call from music label XL Recordings. She doubted if the offer was real because the only record company she knew was Virgin Records, and she took a friend with her to the meeting. Nick Huggett at XL recommended Adele to manager Jonathan Dickins at September Management and in June 2006 Dickins became her official representative. September was managing Jamie T at the time and this proved a major attraction for Adele who was a big fan of the English singer-songwriter. Huggett then signed Adele to XL in September 2006.
Adele's breakthrough song, "Hometown Glory", was released in October 2007. Adele provided vocals for Jack Peñate's song, "My Yvonne", from his debut album. Adele became the first recipient of the BRIT Awards Critics' Choice and was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2008 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2008. She released her second single "Chasing Pavements" on 14 January 2008, two weeks ahead of her debut album, 19. The song, "Chasing Pavements" reached number two on the UK Chart, and stayed there for four weeks, finally remaining in the Top 40 14 weeks after its release. The album itself entered the British charts at number one. The Times Encyclopedia of Modern Music would name 19 an "essential" Blue Eyed Soul recording
2008–10: 19 and commercial success:
On 2 March 2008 Adele signed a deal which involved a joint venture between Columbia Records and XL Recordings for her foray into the US. In March 2008, she left on a short North American tour. On 20 June, the album was released in the US. The album was certified as gold in February 2009 by the Recording Industry Association of America. By July 2009, the album had sold 2.2 million copies worldwide. Adele cancelled a 2008 US tour to be with a former boyfriend. She said in Nylon magazine in June 2009, "I was drinking far too much and that was kind of the basis of my relationship with this boy. I couldn't bear to be without him, so I was like, 'Well, OK, I'll just cancel my stuff then ... I can't believe I did that ... It seems so ungrateful". In November 2008 Adele moved to Notting Hill after leaving her mother's house, a move that prompted her to give up drinking.
By October 2008, Adele's attempt to break into America seemed to have failed. However, it was announced that she would be the musical guest on the 18 October episode of Saturday Night Live (SNL). The episode was hotly anticipated because of an appearance by then US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. SNL earned its best ratings in 14 years with 17 million viewers. Adele performed "Chasing Pavements" and "Cold Shoulder", and the following day, 19 topped the iTunes charts and ranked at number five at Amazon.com while "Chasing Pavements" rose into the 25. The week of 26 October the album reached number 11 on the Billboard 200, a jump of 35 places over the previous week. Several weeks later, she returned to the US for an 11-city tour.
Adele was nominated for a 2008 Mercury Prize award for 19. She also won an Urban Music Award for "Best Jazz Act". She also received a Q Awards nomination in the category of Breakthrough Act and a Music of Black Origin nomination in the category of Best UK Female.
At the 51st Grammy Awards in 2009, Adele won awards in the categories of Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She was also nominated in the categories of Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Adele launched a 15-city North American tour that started 9 March. Adele was also nominated for three Brit Awards in the categories of Best British Female, Best British Single and Best British Breakthrough Act. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a thank-you letter to Adele that stated "with the troubles that the country's in financially, you're a light at the end of the tunnel." Adele relaunched the MTV Unplugged series with a six song acoustic set in June. On 28 June, Adele headlined a three-act bill at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. Etta James, originally slated to perform but suddenly taken ill, was replaced by Chaka Khan. Adele dueted with Daniel Merriweather on a track called "Water and a Flame" from his debut album Love & War and with The Raconteurs on a track called "Many Shades of Black" that would become a staple during her live performances, particularly her An Evening with Adele tour.
In 2010, Adele received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Hometown Glory". In April her song "My Same" entered the German Singles Chart after it had been performed by Lena Meyer-Landrut in the talent show contest Unser Star für Oslo (Our Star for Oslo), in which the German entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 was determined. In late September, after being featured on The X Factor, Adele's version of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" re-entered the UK singles chart at number 4. During the 2010 CMT Artists of the Year special, Adele performed a widely publicized duet of Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" with Darius Rucker. This performance would later be nominated for a CMT Music Award.
19 sold 341,000 copies in the first six months of the 2011 in the United States bringing total sales 1.2 million.
Adele supported Will Young at the 2007 MENCAP Little Noise Sessions, a charity concert at London's Union Chapel. In 2008 she was the headliner and performed a stripped down acoustic and was supported by Damien Rice. In July 2008, Adele paid £8,000 for a commissioned painting by Stella Vine in a charity auction in aid of Keep a Child Alive, a charity that helps African children and their families living with HIV/AIDS. Adele said she planned to ask Vine to paint a portrait of "my mum and me." On 17 September 2009, Adele performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, for the VH1 "Divas" event, a concert to raise money for the Save The Music Foundation charity. On 6 December, Adele opened with a 40-minute set at John Mayer's 2nd Annual Holiday Charity Revue held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American socialite, heiress, media personality, model, singer, author, fashion designer and actress. She is a great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton (founder of Hilton Hotels). Hilton is known for her controversial participation in a sex tape in 2003, and appearance on the television series The Simple Life alongside fellow socialite and childhood best friend Nicole Richie. She is also known for her 2004 tongue-in-cheek autobiography, several minor film roles (most notably her role in the horror film House of Wax in 2005), her 2006 music album Paris, and her work in modeling.
In recent years Hilton is perhaps most known for starring in a number of her own produced reality shows such as Paris Hilton's My New BFF which was filmed in Los Angeles and aired in 2008 and which also resulted in a second season. The show proved to be a success and was branched out to Paris Hilton's British Best Friend filmed in London, UK and Paris Hilton’s Dubai BFF filmed in Dubai in the UAE. All seasons were broadcasted on MTV. In 2011, Oxygen Channel gave the go-ahead to air Hilton's reality series The World According to Paris following Hilton's everyday life.
As a result of several legal incidents, Hilton served a widely publicized sentence in a Los Angeles County jail in 2007. She is an example of the modern phenomenon of the 'celebutante', the celebrity who rises to fame not because of their talent or work but because of their inherited wealth and controversial lifestyle.
Paris Hilton attended her freshman year of high school at the Marywood-Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California from 1995-1996. Then in 1996, when Paris was 14, her family moved to the East Coast. In New York, she briefly attended Convent of the Sacred Heart (while Lady Gaga was a student there) in 1996 before transferring again to the Dwight School. Hilton then spent one year (likely beginning in the fall of 1997, when she was 16), at least part of which was in the spring of 1998, when she was 17, at the Provo Canyon School, a school for emotionally troubled teens. She then attended the Canterbury Boarding School, in New Milford, Connecticut from the fall of 1998 to February 1999 at age 17 for her junior year, where she was a member of the ice hockey team. In February 1999, the month she turned 18, she was expelled from Canterbury for violating school rules, as she frequently had limos come retrieve her from the school to bring her to parties in New York and New Jersey. After being expelled from Caterbury, she returned to the Dwight School before dropping out a few months later as a high school junior. She later earned her GED.[
2004–present: As a singer
Hilton founded Heiress Records, a sub-label of Warner Bros. Records, in 2004 and released her self-titled debut album, Paris, under that label on August 22, 2006. Although the album reached number six on the Billboard 200 for a week, its total sales volume has been low – but the first single "Stars Are Blind" was a top ten hit in 17 countries. Allmusic commented that the album was "more fun than anything released by Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson, and a lot fresher, too." As a whole, critical reception was mixed. Paris Hilton can also be heard singing on the soundtrack to the musical Repo! The Genetic Opera. In an interview, the director, Darren Lynn Bousman, praised her vocal skills. When talking about Hiltons' vocal audition process for the role, Bouseman said, "We gave her some music and said, 'You have one day to come back and perform this.' She came back the next day, memorized everything, was pitch-perfect, I mean she was awesome."
On July 16, 2007, Hilton confirmed that she was working on a new album with producer Scott Storch. In a recent interview with MTV, Hilton decided that her second album is going to be a dance album. She stated that she "loves Bob Sinclar" and wants to create dance-music vibe. Hilton has installed a professional recording studio in her house to work on the album. On September 30, 2008, Hilton premiered her song "My BFF" on KIIS-FM with host Ryan Seacrest. It is the first single from her as yet untitled second studio album and the theme song of her show Paris Hilton's My New BFF. Hilton stated that she finished working on the album. A second song "Paris For President" was released along with a music video late October 2008.
For her second studio album, she has confirmed six tracks: "Jailhouse Baby", "Platinum Blonde", "Crave" and "My BFF", "Paris For President", and "Girl Tax", "My BFF" and "Paris For President" were released in 2008 as the first two singles. In November 2008, Hilton talked with Entertainment Weekly backstage at the American Music Awards and she told them that she has finished her second album, and "wrote all the songs". The album is featuring production by Mike Green who worked with the bands Paramore and The Matches. In December 2008, she was looking for a label to release her album, she told Entertainment Weekly. "I'm not sure which label I'm doing it with," she said. "I'm figuring it out right now." Later that month she stated her intention to release her album under her own record label Heiress Records.
Hilton was engaged to fashion model Jason Shaw from mid-2002 to early 2003. In 2003–2004 she had a relationship with singer Nick Carter. Later she was engaged to Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis, from May 29, 2005 to November 2005. Thereafter, she began dating another Greek shipping heir, Stavros Niarchos III, before breaking up in May 2006. In early 2008, she was spotted with Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden and in May, Hilton announced her intention to marry Madden during an interview with television talk-show host David Letterman. The two broke up in November 2008, and "remain very good friends". She began dating The Hills star Doug Reinhardt in February 2009; Hilton has also referred to her intention to marry Reinhardt, saying "He's gonna be my husband." The couple broke up in June 2009, only to get back together again in August of the same year. On April 13, 2010, Hilton reportedly split from Reinhardt because she was worried he was just using her to further his career. Shortly after splitting from Reinhardt, Hilton started dating Cy Waits, entrepreneur and co-owner of Tryst Nightclub and XS Nightclub in Las Vegas. In late June 2011, Hilton revealed that the couple had split up and remained close friends.
Hilton told Live with Regis and Kelly: "One-night stands are not for me. I think it's gross when you just give it up. Guys want you more, if you don't just hand it to them on a platter."[91
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
The EDF Energy London Eye (commonly the London Eye, or Millennium Wheel, formerly the Merlin Entertainments London Eye and before that, the British Airways London Eye) is a giant 135-metre (443 ft) tall Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England. Since 20 January 2011, it has been officially known as the EDF Energy London Eye following a three-year sponsorship deal.
It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually. When erected in 1999, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until surpassed first by the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang in 2006, and then the 165 m (541 ft) Singapore Flyer in 2008. It is still described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel" (as the wheel is supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the Nanchang and Singapore wheels).
The London Eye is located at the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Lambeth, between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery, which was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
Design and construction:
The wheel carries 32 sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules, attached to its external circumference, each capsule representing one of the London Boroughs. Each 10 tonne capsule holds 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule, though seating is provided. It rotates at 26 cm (10 in) per second (about 0.9 km/h or 0.6 mph) so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes. The wheel does not usually stop to take on passengers; the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level. It is, however, stopped to allow disabled or elderly passengers time to embark and disembark safely.
The rim of the Eye is supported by tie rods and resembles a huge spoked bicycle wheel. The lighting for the London Eye was redone with LED lighting from Color Kinetics in December 2006 to allow digital control of the lights as opposed to the manual replacement of gels over fluorescent tubes.
The wheel was designed by architects Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Steven Chilton, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, and the husband-and-wife team of Julia Barfield and David Marks.
Mace were responsible for construction management, with Hollandia as the main steelwork contractor and Tilbury Douglas (now known as Interserve) as the civil contractor. Consulting engineers Tony Gee & Partners designed the foundation works while Beckett Rankine designed the marine works.
The wheel was constructed in sections which were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on piled platforms in the river. Once the wheel was complete it was raised into an upright position by a strand jack system, at 2 degrees an hour until it reached 65 degrees. It was left in that position for a week while engineers prepared for the second phase of the lift. The total weight of steel in the Eye is 1,700 tonnes (1,870 short tons). The project was European with major components coming from six countries: the steel was supplied from the UK and fabricated in The Netherlands by the Dutch company Hollandia, the cables came from Italy, the bearings came from Germany (FAG/Schaeffler Group), the spindle and hub were cast in the Czech Republic, the capsules were made by Poma in France (and the glass for these came from Italy), and the electrical components from the UK.
Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) assisted the operators of the London Eye, the Tussauds Group, in obtaining planning and listed building consent to alter the wall on the South Bank of the Thames. NLP also examined and reported on the implications of a Section S106 agreement attached to the original contract.
NLP also prepared planning and listed building consent applications for the permanent retention of the attraction on behalf of the London Eye Company. This has involved the co-ordination of an Environmental Statement and the production of a planning supporting statement detailing the reasons for its retention.
The London Eye was formally opened by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on 31 December 1999, although it was not opened to the public until 9 March 2000 because of technical problems. Since its opening, the Eye has become a major landmark and tourist attraction.
By July 2002, 8.5 million people had ridden the Eye. It had planning permission only for five years, but at that time Lambeth Council agreed to plans to make the attraction permanent despite the hard economic times.
Since 1 January 2005, the Eye has been the focal point of London's New Year celebrations, with 10-minute displays taking place involving fireworks fired from the wheel itself.
In 2006 the Tussauds Group bought out the other two joint owners, British Airways and the Marks Barfield family (the lead architects). Following Merlin Entertainments' purchase of the Tussauds Group in 2007, it now owns 100% of the Eye. British Airways continued its brand association, but from the beginning of 2008 the name 'British Airways' was dropped from the logo.
On 12 August 2009 the London Eye saw another re-brand, this time calling it "The Merlin Entertainments London Eye" to show Merlin Entertainments' ownership. A new logo was designed for the attraction – this time taking the actual form of an eye made out of London's famous landmarks. This also came at the time when the new Merlin Entertainments London Eye 4D Experience pre-flight show was launched underneath the ticket centre in County Hall.[
During the bidding process of the 2012 Olympic Games, the London bid organisers announced the Olympic emblem would be attached to the Eye for the duration of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
On 5 June 2008 it was announced that 30 million people had ridden the London Eye since its opening in March 2000.
In 2009 Merlin Entertainments opened a pre-flight 4D Experience at The London Eye, which is included in the ticket price. The newly refurbished ticket hall and 4D cinema experience was designed by architects Kay Elliott working with Merlin Studios project designer Craig Sciba. Merlin Studios later appointed Simex-Iwerks as the 4D theatre hardware specialists. The film was written and directed by 3D director Julian Napier and 3D produced by Phil Streather. The same year the first stage of a £12.5 million capsule upgrade started. Each 10-tonne capsule was taken down and floated down the river to Tilbury Docks in Essex.
The London Eye marked its 10th anniversary on 9 March 2010
On 20 May 2005, there were reports of a leaked letter, showing that the South Bank Centre (SBC) — owners of part of the land on which the struts of the Eye are located — had served a notice to quit on the attraction along with a demand for an increase in rent from £64,000 per year to £2.5 million, which the operators rejected as unaffordable.
On 25 May 2005, London mayor Ken Livingstone vowed that the landmark would remain in London. He also pledged that if the dispute was not resolved he would use his powers to ask the London Development Agency to issue a compulsory purchase order. The land in question is a small part of the Jubilee Gardens, which was given to the SBC for £1 when the Greater London Council was broken up.
The South Bank Centre and the British Airways London Eye agreed a 25-year lease on 8 February 2006, after a judicial review over the rent dispute. The lease agreement meant that the South Bank Centre, a publicly-funded charity, would receive at least £500,000 a year from the attraction, the status of which is secured for the foreseeable future. Tussauds also announced the acquisition of the entire one-third interests of British Airways and the Marks Barfield family in the Eye, as well as the outstanding debt to BA. These agreements gave Tussauds 100% ownership of the Eye and resolved the debt from the Eye's construction loan from British Airways, which stood at more than £150 million by mid-2005 and had been increasing at 25% per annum.