- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 14, 2004

‘Shady’ deal

Associated Press

You really can sell anything on eBay.

The studio where Eminem recorded his hit “My Name Is …” for “The Slim Shady LP” was set to go on sale today on the Internet auction site.

The 700-square-foot Studio 8 in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale was used by the rapper in 1997 to record the 1999 CD, which, to date, has sold about 5 million copies.

“The recording studio is still intact, but the equipment is not part of the sale,” said David Giltner, senior vice president of the real estate company Grubb & Ellis, which is listing the property. “It’s in great shape and was recently renovated.”

The building, owned by producer A.J. Abdullah, will be auctioned in eBay’s commercial real estate section for 30 days. The minimum bid is $215,000. Mr. Abdullah is spending more time in New York and decided to sell the studio, Mr. Giltner said.

Mr. Abdullah helped Eminem record “The Slim Shady LP.” He lived in a second-floor apartment there during the recording sessions. The 1,500-square-foot building was dubbed “The Bassment” after Mark and Jeff Bass, who also helped produce the album.

The Bass brothers have worked on Eminem’s other CDs, including last month’s release, “Encore,” which has sold about 2 million copies. The latest CD also was recorded in Ferndale, at 54 Sound and FBT Studios.

Madonna’s No. 1

Agence France-Presse

Madonna’s Re-Invention tour was the highest grossing world tour of 2004, according to Billboard Boxscore.

Twenty years into her career, the star, who turned 46 this summer, generated $125 million in box-office receipts on the tour, which ended in September, selling out 55 of 56 shows, according to Billboard.

Prince’s “Musicology” tour took second place, drawing almost 1.5 million people and earning $90.2 million. Country music superstar Shania Twain was third, grossing $62.5 million.

The remaining tours in the top 10 include Simon and Garfunkel ($59 million), Metallica ($53.8 million), Bette Midler ($53.3 million) and British stars Sting ($52.4 million) and David Bowie ($46 million).

The Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined the top-drawing engagement of the year, their three nights at London’s Hyde Park in June. It grossed $17.18 million and attracted more than 258,000 people.

Canadian singer Celine Dion earned $77 million in receipts during her residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas this year, but Billboard determined that it didn’t qualify as a tour.

Nothing like a dame

Associated Press

Dame Judi Dench, a darling of the British stage and screen for almost a half-century, received a standing ovation as she accepted a special honor to mark the 50th anniversary of the Evening Standard Theater Awards.

“I’ve only been given this award for 47 years of doing a job that I absolutely adore,” Miss Dench said Monday. “I didn’t set out to be an actress, but I changed my mind, and I couldn’t be more pleased that I did.”

Miss Dench, 70, won an Oscar in 1999 for her role in “Shakespeare in Love.”

More kudos for Payne

Associated Press

Director Alexander Payne (“Sideways,” “About Schmidt,” “Election,”) will be honored this week by the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Mr. Payne will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters Friday at the university’s winter commencement. He’s scheduled to present a symposium on filmmaking the following day.

“Sideways,” starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen, received a leading seven Golden Globe nominations Monday, including best comedy or musical film, best director for Mr. Payne, and best screenplay for Mr. Payne and Jim Taylor.

Part comedy, part drama, “Sideways” tells the story of middle-aged best friends who go on a wine-tasting road trip outside Santa Barbara, Calif. Mr. Payne’s wife, actress Sandra Oh, (who co-starred in “Under the Tuscan Sun” and HBO’s “Arli$$”), also co-stars in the film.

Mr. Payne, a native of Omaha, holds a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish literature from Stanford University and a master’s in filmmaking from UCLA.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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