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Taking Names: McCartney paid $1.57 for Olympics gig

- - Monday, July 30, 2012

Don't spend it all in one place, Paul.

London Olympic organizers say former Beatle Paul McCartney and other star performers who took part in Friday's opening ceremony essentially donated their time — receiving a mere $1.57 for their performances.

The nominal fee was offered to make the Olympics contracts binding — but pales in comparison to the millions big names such as Mr. McCartney can command for a stadium gig.

Other performers such as Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal and Emeli Sande are also thought to have received the nominal fee, according to the Associated Press.

Director Danny Boyle's "Isles of Wonder" extravaganza featured British music that spanned generations, right up to live performances from two of the hottest homegrown acts of the moment: grime star Dizzee Rascal and the band Arctic Monkeys.

Duchess dazzles at star-studded London arts event

Art was the subject, but the Duchess of Cambridge was the star.

Prince William's wife dazzled onlookers Monday as she met Prime Minister David Cameron and dozens of British artists on the fringe of the London Olympics.

Trumpeters heralded her arrival on the Royal Academy of Arts red carpet to mingle with 800 people from the British music, film, arts and entertainment industries.

The duchess tied her long hair back and wore a dove gray dress by Serbian designer Roksanda Ilincic.

Other guests included fashion designer Stella McCartney, film director Terry Gilliam, model Lily Cole, and singers Katy B and Roger Daltrey.

Earlier Monday, William and Kate watched his cousin Zara Phillips race in the Olympic horse competition. The royal couple plan to attend more than 30 Olympic events.

Madonna blames 'thugs' for Paris concert backlash

Madonna has blamed a handful of "thugs" for a rowdy outbreak that marred the end of a concert in Paris last week when the star bowed out after barely 45 minutes onstage.

Videos on YouTube showed concert-goers shouting "refund," while the diva came under fire on Twitter from angry fans, some of whom paid more than $300 and queued through the night for Thursday's event.

In a statement posted on her website Thursday, Madonna insisted that "playing the Olympia was a magical moment for me."

"Unfortunately at the end of the show — after I left the stage — a few thugs who were not my fans rushed the stage and started throwing plastic bottles pretending to be angry fans," she said.

"The press reports have focused on this and not the joyous aspect of the evening. But nothing can take away or ruin this very special evening for me and my fans."

Madonna's performance at the Olympia was initially greeted with enthusiastic cheers, but the mood turned sour as it became clear that after about 45 minutes the 53-year-old diva was not coming back for an encore.

A spokeswoman for the star said she had made an effort to keep ticket prices affordable for the Olympia show, which cost close to a million dollars to produce.

Celebrity website TMZ reported that the Thursday night fracas involved just a few dozen people, including supporters of France's far-right National Front party.

The National Front has taken legal action against Madonna for screening a video showing its leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead during a concert in Paris earlier this month.

Bret Michaels, girlfriend call off engagement

Bret Michaels and longtime girlfriend Kristi Gibson have called off their engagement.

Mr. Michaels' publicist, Joanna Mignano, said in a statement Monday the couple have separated.

Mr. Michaels and Miss Gibson have dated on and off for about 18 years. They got engaged in 2010. They have two daughters, Raine Elizabeth and Jorja Bleu.

The statement says Mr. Michaels and Miss Gibson will "remain great friends and are committed to jointly raising" their daughters.

Mr. Michaels was the vocalist for the band Poison. He also appeared on his own VH1 reality show.

Mr. Michaels was treated in 2010 for a brain hemorrhage. Last year, he underwent a procedure to close a hole in his heart.

• Compiled from Web and wire reports