Well, it looks like Guy Ritchie hascome into a nice chunk of change, conveniently just in time for the last-minuteholiday shopping season. Because what's the gift that keeps on giving...andgiving...and giving? Alimony from Madonna, ofcourse! Yes, this week the ex-Ritchies issued a statement announcing they'vereached an undisclosed financial agreement in their divorce; the AssociatedPress subsequently reported that Madonna will pay Guy somewhere between $75-92million. Considering that Madonna's 2008 "Sticky & Sweet" Tour alonegrossed $91 million, this probably wasn't as big a financial blow to her Gaultier-designed pocketbook as it would be for, say, theaverage divorcee. And as for Guy, this means he earned about $9-12 million peryear of marriage to the Material Missus. So it's no wonder that the former couple's statement declared that they were both "happy" with thesettlement, then.
Having just as busy and productive week was Axl Rose, whose long-awaited but ultimatelyshort-on-good-songs Guns N' Rosescomeback album, Chinese Democracy, hasn't exactlylanded on many holiday-gift wishlists (or best-of-2008 critics' lists, for thatmatter). Perhaps that explains why the normally reclusive rocker was in such anagitated state when he posted an uncharacteristically rambling rant on theofficial GNR website this week. A 4,584-word"open letter" addressing all sort of Guns-gossip "fallacy andfantasy"--which he said couldn't be published until now because it "could have jeopardized whatever nonsense was going on"--the blogcovered such hot topics as his split from Slash (Axlclaimed the ex-GNR axeman willingly handed over rights to the band's name); theblogger who just pleaded guilty to leaking Chinese Democracyonline; why it took so long for Chinese Democracyto come out; and the overall evolution, or de-evolution, of GNR.
"I don't see myself as solely Guns, but I do see myselfas the only one from the past making the effort to take it forward whetheranyone approves or not and giving beyond what many would or fight for to doso...I don't feel any reason whatsoever I should have to throw what I've notonly worked for but fought and suffered for away because some hurt, angry,betrayed, misguided and lied to people with a lynch mob mentality, joined byothers who could care less (especially in the media), enjoying the controversyand hate, choose one over the other regardless of what's right because theywant what they want," Axl wrote ever so succinctly.
Kanye West is no stranger to issuingloose-cannon quotes himself (remember his furious blog after the Bonnaroo debacle?),but this week the famously and infamously mouthy rapper tried a more genteeland humble approach with the press. He reportedly told the U.K.'s Mirrorthat he's "going to go and take an internship and just do something that'slike completely normal, and just rap at the weekends or something." Um,yeah, RIGHT. And Axl's going to put out the Chinese Democracyfollow-up in 2009. too. We'll believe it when we see it.
Another urban music A-lister with anger-management issues, Akon, also made headlines this week when he finally 'fessed up incourt that he did indeed throw a teenager offstage at an upstate New York concert lastyear. Wow, that's really big of him to admit to doing something that THE ENTIREWORLD SAW ON YOUTUBE ABOUT 2 MILLION TIMES. Guess it was hard for him to plead"not guilty" with evidence like that floating around on the interweb,huh? Akon's honesty will be rewarded by a complete lack of jail time; instead hewill just perform 65 hours of community service and pay a $250 fine in this asault case.
Another troubled music star unfortunately making news thisweek was country singer Mindy McCready,who topped off what's been a very difficult year--and, come to think of it,a very difficult life--by seemingly attempting suicide. After Mindy made a suspicious phone call to her mother saying"she had seen her angel baby," her worried mom asked Mindy's brother,Timothy, to check on her. Timothy thenreportedly found Mindy in bed, "very intoxicated" from pills and her wristsslit, in what appeared to be yet another suicide attempt by the long-sufferingcountry star. (She did a stint in rehab this past July, and served 30 days injail in October, so 2008 has definitely not been her year.) Mindy is in stable condition at Nashville'sCentennial Medical Centeras of this writing, and we wish her some sort of peace this holiday season andin the new year.
Another musical celeb who reportedly recently landed in the hospitalwas Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman andrecovering drug addict Anthony Kiedis.Although the 46-year-old rocker looks amazing fit, especially after all thehard living he's done, the New York Daily Newsjust revealed that he had a big health scare earlier this year, when years ofexcess caught up with him and his kidneys supposedly came close to failing. The paperreported this week that Anthony underwent kidney treatment several times at L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Medical Centerover the summer, with one anonymous source revealing: "Anthony's healthwas pretty bleak. Organ failure was a possibility. There was talk of how to gethim on a transplant list, to cover all the bases, but that opened up a wholenew can of worms because people with histories of drug and alcohol abuse areless likely to receive the organs they need."
Anthony has been clean and sober since 2000 andnow lives a vegetarian, yoga-centric lifestyle--and, like we said, he certainlylooks healthy these days. Furthermore, other members of the band's camp havedenied that this Daily News story is true. So we hopethat, either way, Anthony enjoys good health in the coming year, and continuesto wisely steer clear of the spiked egg nog and mulled wine over the holidays.
And finally, in other medical news of particular interest torockers of all types, a team of Australian research doctors has warned that over-enthusiasticappreciation of heavy metal can result in head and neck injuries. Dr. Andrew McIntosh, biomedical and injury expert at the University Of New South Wales, sternly declared thisweek: "We identified a definite risk of mild traumatic brain injury fromheadbanging. We would suggest a proper public health warning, as forsmoking." He also suggested that, as a preventive measure, concertgoingmetalheads wear (get this) neckbraces to concerts if they plan to bang theirheads. Wow, this could be a GREAT merchandising opportunity! After all, whathard rock fan wouldn't want to get a Metallica- or AC/DC-logo'dneckbrace for Christmas this year?
And with that handy gift suggestion, so concludes thepre-Christmas edition of That's Really Week.Happy holidays, and have a not-so-silent night.
THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 STORIES:
1) The Material Girl Pays Up - Madonna will pay her ex-guy, Guy, at least$75 million.
2) McCready Gets Needy - Mindy is hospitalized after yetanother suicidal cry for help.
3) Sweet Blog O' Mine - Axl Rose rants and rambles on the GNRwebsite.
4) Konvicted! - Akon pleads guilty to assaultchanges stemming from last year's fan-tossing concert incident.
5) Kanye Cools Down? - West claims he wants to just be a normalperson with a normal job.
6) Kiedis Not Feeling So Hot - Chili Pepper Anthony isreportedly suffering from kidney problems.
7) Taylor Swift Chases Chace - The newly single country cutiehas her eye on Crawford.
8) The Big Bang Theory - Doctors' research indicates thatheadbanging can lead to head and neck trauma.
9) Miley Lays Down The Law - Cyrus is hired to perform at a lawfirm's swanky holiday party.
10) Soulja Boy Cleans Up His Act - The young rapper apologizes forhis potty mouth.