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U2 returning to stage in Las Vegas, minus one of quartet

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U2 returning to stage in Las Vegas, minus one of quartet

 U2 is returning to the concert stage later this year for the first time since 2019 but without one of the original quartets, as drummer Larry Mullen Jr. is on the injured list.

The band offered a hint about its reemergence on the biggest stage possible — in a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday — and announced it would play a series of shows this fall to open the new MSG Sphere venue in Las Vegas.

The concerts will be focused on the band’s 1991 album, “Achtung Baby.”

“We need to get back on stage and see the faces of our fans again,” band members Bono, the Edge and Adam Clayton said in a statement Sunday.

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No other dates were announced beyond Las Vegas, although it’s unlikely a show will be built for just one city. In 2017 and 2019, the band did a worldwide concert tour based on its “Joshua Tree” album.

Mullen is arguably the band’s founder; the four members met in his Dublin kitchen to answer an ad he had placed on a high school bulletin board seeking musicians. U2 wouldn’t detail his health concerns, but a report in The Washington Post in November said the drummer had issues with his neck and elbows that needed surgery.

Only twice before has the band taken stage without all four members — when Clayton missed a gig in Australia for health reasons in 1993, and after Mullen broke his foot in a motorcycle accident in 1978, according to Bono’s book, “Surrender.”

Next month U2 is planning to release the disc “Songs of Surrender,” featuring re-recorded and re-imagined versions of 40 songs from its catalogue.

The Edge said he was impressed by the state-of-the-art sound and video system being constructed for the MSG Sphere. “We all thought about it and decided we’d be mad not to accept the invitation,” he said.

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Australia’s richest woman demands gallery remove unflattering portrait

Australia’s richest woman demands gallery remove unflattering portrait

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Australia's richest woman demands gallery remove unflattering portrait

Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart has demanded the country’s National Gallery to remove a seemingly unflattering portrait of her from display.

Rinehart, 70, is the Executive Chairwoman of Hancock Prospecting, a privately owned mineral exploration and extraction company, and is worth an estimated $30.6bn (£15.9bn).

The award-winning Aboriginal artist Vincent Namatjira included Rinehart in his current large-scale exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, along with the late Queen Elizabeth II, Jimi Hendrix and football player Adam Goode.

However, Rinehart is seemingly unimpressed with Namatjira’s depiction of her and has lobbied to have it hidden from view.

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The painted image features Rinehart looking straight towards the viewer, with her features distorted in Namatjira’s signature style, as well as including a double chin.

According to Financial Review, several of Rinehart’s associates have sent strongly worded messages to the gallery, with the campaign said to have been quietly discussed in political circles.

However, the Canberra-based National Gallery has declined the request from Rinehart’s camp, with director Nick Mitzevich stating that he “welcomes the public having a dialogue on our collection and displays”.

“Since 1973, when the National Gallery acquired Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles, there has been a dynamic discussion on the artistic merits of works in the national collection, and/or on display at the gallery,” he said in a statement.

“We present works of art to the Australian public to inspire people to explore, experience and learn about art.”

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The Independent has reached out to representatives of Gina Rinehart for comment.

On social media, some have commented that Rinehart’s attempt to hide the portrait from view has resulted in it receiving more attention.

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Paul McCartney becomes UK’s first billionaire musician

Paul McCartney becomes UK’s first billionaire musician

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Paul McCartney becomes UK's first billionaire musician

Music icon Paul McCartney has become the UK’s first billionaire musician, according to the Sunday Times Rich List published Friday, despite the country recording its largest fall in the billionaire count in the guide’s 36-year history.

The 81-year-old’s fortune was boosted by “strong touring, a valuable back catalogue and even a little help from Beyoncé”, who covered the Beatles song “Blackbird”, said the Rich List, considered the definitive guide of the UK’s wealthy.

McCartney, whose net worth was estimated at £1.0 billion ($1.26 billion), has bucked the trend, with the amount of billionaires in the UK falling from a peak of 177 in 2022 to 165 this year.

This is partly due to plans by the government to scrap the “non-dom tax status” from next year, the system whereby people do not pay UK tax on their overseas earnings.

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“Non-dom” has been a political issue for many years, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Indian wife Akshata Murty claiming the status, meaning she was not required to pay tax on her shareholding in Infosys, the Bangalore-based IT company co-founded by her father.

However, she said she would pay UK tax on that income after coming under political pressure.

That move has not hit the family’s fortune, with the couple seeing their shares grow in value by £108.8 million to nearly £590 million over the past year, giving the couple a net worth of £615 million, according to the list of 350 individuals and families.

King Charles III’s personal wealth was also estimated to have risen by £10 million to £610 million, thanks to a boost in the net worth of his properties.

Those faring less well include chemicals tycoon Jim Ratcliffe, who bought a stake in Manchester United earlier this year, inventor James Dyson and Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson, who all saw their multi-billion pound fortunes decrease.

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The list is topped by Indian-born investor Gopi Hinduja and his family for a third successive year. The head of the Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group has an estimated fortune of £37 billion. 

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Costner, Gere, Demi Moore: Hollywood icons on Cannes comeback trail

Costner, Gere, Demi Moore: Hollywood icons on Cannes comeback trail

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Costner, Gere, Demi Moore: Hollywood icons on Cannes comeback trail

This year’s Cannes Film Festival hosts a trio of heartthrobs from the back end of the 20th century, making their comeback on the red carpet: Demi Moore, Kevin Costner and Richard Gere.

From “Ghost” to “Pretty Woman” to “Dances with Wolves”, they are responsible for some of Generation X’s favourite movie moments. AFP looks at what they’ve been up to since.

Demi Moore: ghost girl

On the Croisette, 61-year-old Moore will be making her unexpected return in slasher-horror “The Substance”, competing for the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or.

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It has been a long time since Moore came anywhere near a Cannes red carpet, having appeared mostly in small TV roles and forgettable films since the early 2000s.

In her heyday, Moore was a global star after the weepie “Ghost” co-starring the late Patrick Swayze as a murdered businessman who watches over his grieving ceramicist girlfriend from beyond the grave and famously helps her mould clay in a steamy supernatural scene.

Her baggy, androgynous look in that movie — the dungarees and boyish crop — helped define 1990s style, and she had other era-defining hits with steamy dramas “Indecent Proposal” and “Disclosure”.

An Annie Leibovitz photoshoot — showing off her pregnant belly on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991 — was a stunning move at the time, since copied by Beyonce, Rihanna and others.

She proved her acting chops in meatier 1990s movies such as blockbuster courtroom drama “A Few Good Men” opposite Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson.

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But since the turn of the century, Moore, who has a life-long passion for collecting dolls and bought an entire house to store her 2,000-strong collection, was in the headlines more for her tumultuous love life than her acting.

She formed two Hollywood power couples, first in the 1980s with “Die Hard” star Bruce Willis, father of her three daughters, and then with Ashton Kutcher, the latter union ending acrimoniously in 2013.

Kevin Costner: forever West

The soft-spoken 69-year-old is back in Cannes in his favourite genre, the Western, with the epic “Horizon: An American Saga”.

Fans are hoping his fourth feature as director — which is out of competition at Cannes — will mark a return to form after a series of expensive duds in the 1990s trashed his Oscar-gilded career.

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His directorial debut “Dances With Wolves”, despite being a three-hour Western, was a global hit and in 1991 won the double Oscar whammy of best picture and director.

As an actor he captured hearts in smash hits “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (1991) and as Whitney Houston’s protector in “The Bodyguard” (1992).

Teaming up with big-gun directors also proved a winning formula, from Oliver Stone’s “JFK” (1991) to Clint Eastwood’s “A Perfect World” (1993).

But then a string of ultra-expensive and hubristic flops — especially “Waterworld” (1995) and “The Postman” (1997) made him into something of a laughing stock.

He continued to work in smaller roles, but invested more in music with his nostalgic country band “Kevin Costner & Modern West”. There has been a late resurgence in his 60s, however, thanks to the long-running hit neo-Western series, “Yellowstone”.

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Richard Gere: zen charm

Gere was the world’s sexiest man according to People Magazine in 1999, when he was 50. By then he had charmed audiences with his quiet seduction in “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982) and, of course, “Pretty Woman” opposite Julia Roberts.

He and supermodel Cindy Crawford were also the ultimate It-couple. But progressively he gave up glamour for meditation.

Gere had been a Buddhist since he was 25, and increasingly used his fame to speak out, in particular against China’s control of Tibet.

He developed a close friendship with the Dalai Lama and gave a fiery speech against China at the 1993 Oscars that got him barred from future ceremonies.

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It also cost him movie roles in the 2000s as Hollywood sought to tap the vast Chinese market.

For his Cannes comeback, the 74-year-old has reunited with Paul Schrader — who directed him in dark cult favourite “American Gigolo” (1980) — for “Oh, Canada”, playing a Vietnam War draft-evader haunted by his past. 

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