- - Monday, November 14, 2011

Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney teaming up for summer tour

Oh, the stories Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney could tell you from their early days together in Music City. And they’re about to create some more, joining forces on an ambitious stadiums-only tour next summer, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Chesney and Mr. McGraw got to know each other while living in the same apartment complex 20 years ago, cemented their friendship opening for George Strait, and joined forces in 2001, when Mr. McGraw invited Mr. Chesney on the road at a pivotal moment in his career. They’re teaming again from the pinnacle of country music.

“It’s two artists who’ve known each other for 20 years, who’ve been friends for 20 years … at the top of our game to be able to go out and do this together,” Mr. McGraw said. “To get two artists to agree on anything is pretty spectacular. But to agree to go out together, do a tour together and just have a great time together and play music together is a pretty unique and remarkable thing. And I think that can only happen with guys who are as good of friends as we are.”

The tour, dubbed the Brothers of the Sun Tour, will kick off June 2 in Tampa, Fla., and wrap Aug. 25 in Foxboro, Mass. Along the way, there will be stops in many of the nation’s largest cities, including East Rutherford, N.J., where Mr. Chesney set a record this summer for paid attendance to a live country show in the New York City area, and an Aug. 12 stop at FedEx Field in Landover. There’s also a stop in Nashville, Tenn., a place neither artist has played regularly.

“It seemed time,” Mr. Chesney said. “There was no other reason than that. It just seemed like it was time for us to play at home again. It’s a really ironic place for us to play because we played in the shadows of that place for so long, right downtown in all these bars - for tips. Now all we have to do is go across the river.”

“All we’re really trying to do is keep from having to go back and play for tips,” Mr. McGraw joked.

Timberlake keeps promise, attends Marine Corps Ball

Justin Timberlake followed through on a promise to take a Marine to her unit’s annual ball.

The singer and actor posted a photo along with a letter on his website Sunday that the Marine Corps Ball in Richmond, Va., was “one of the most moving evenings I’ve ever had.”

Cpl. Kelsey De Santis invited Mr. Timberlake through a YouTube video to Saturday night’s event, and Mr. Timberlake accepted. WTVR-TV reported that Mr. Timberlake wore a tuxedo to the ball at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Mr. Timberlake’s “Friends With Benefits” co-star, Mila Kunis, earlier this year accepted a similar invitation to a Marine Corps Ball in Greenville, N.C.

Meryl Streep embodies Thatcher on movie poster

Meryl Streep is becoming a familiar face in London’s government district - the face of Margaret Thatcher.

The Academy Award-winning actress plays Britain’s first female prime minister in the soon-to-be-released “The Iron Lady.”

According to the Associated Press, she bears an uncanny resemblance to the Conservative politician on the poster, unveiled Monday with the Big Ben clock tower as a backdrop.

Miss Streep visited Parliament to research the role of Mrs. Thatcher, who governed Britain from 1979 to 1990 with pro-free-market zeal.

Mrs. Thatcher’s family has expressed fears the film will be critical, but director Phyllida Lloyd says it is not ideological.

Miss Lloyd said that “when they see Meryl’s performance, they will understand how much care and attention to Lady Thatcher’s dignity she’s given it.”

Online-only bidding added to Liz Taylor auction

Christie’s auction house has added a special online-only component to its upcoming Elizabeth Taylor sale. The online auction will feature 950 items, with pre-sale estimates ranging from $100 to $200 for an art-deco bracelet to $10,000 for a white-gold-and-diamond necklace.

Highlights of the online-only auction went on view on the fashion website Moda Operandi on Monday, the Associated Press reports. All items, covering four categories - fine jewelry, fashion and accessories, costume jewelry, and decorative arts and memorabilia - will be featured on Christie’s website beginning Friday.

The online sale runs Dec. 3 through 17.

“The online-only sales provide an additional means for her legions of collectors and fans to participate in the auctions, no matter where they live,” said Marc Porter, chairman and president of Christie’s Americas, in a statement.

The auction house said it was its first exclusively online-only auction, which will offer continuous bidding during the two-week period. It is not the first foray for Christie’s into real-time online bidding, which has been available for all its sales since 2006.

The star of films including “Cleopatra” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” amassed one of the foremost jewelry collections in the world, including a 33.19-carat diamond ring and a 16th-century pear-shaped pearl from one of her seven husbands, Richard Burton.

She died in March at age 79.

After registering, potential online auction bidders can choose from Chanel clip earrings estimated at $100 to a necklace set with 126 circular-cut diamonds mounted in 18-carat white gold estimated to sell for $10,000 to $15,000.

The online sale also includes 22 handbags by Dior and Valentino, 500 pieces of fine and costume jewelry and 400 more designer fashion items.

The 16 live Christie’s auctions Dec. 13 through 16 will feature more than 1,000 items, including the 33.19-carat diamond set in a platinum ring that Burton purchased for Taylor in 1968 for $305,000. It’s expected to fetch $2.5 million to $3.5 million at the Dec. 13 evening sale of her most iconic jewelry pieces.

The auction house said it expects the online-only and live auctions to exceed a total of $50 million.

Compiled from web and wire reports.