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Tuesday, September 22, 1998 Published at 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK


Backstreet Boys go to court

Backstreet Boys: suing over earnings

Four members of the band the Backstreet Boys are suing the man who helped make them stars in a row over their £125m earnings.

Louis "Big Poppa" Pearlman said he paid for choreographers, wardrobes, voice lessons and private tutors when the group started out in 1992.

Now the group want more control and a larger share of the millions they have earned from their world-wide success, and have filed a suit in Orlando.

Their lawyer, Judith Segelin, contends they have not been given accurate accounts figures and that Pearlman and his companies took "excessive amounts" of money through their agreements with the group.

Mr Pearlman has insisted he merely wants a return on the £2m he invested in the group. "It's important to tell the world this is an amicable situation, although it doesn't look that way," he said.

He insisted he is as close as ever to Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough and Kevin Richardson.

"I don't look at the boys as a business-deal investment. It's personal, and it's different. This is family."

[ image: Will Smith: Worked with Devlin and Emmerich on Independence Day]
Will Smith: Worked with Devlin and Emmerich on Independence Day
Will Smith to make his Mark

Men In Black star Will Smith is teaming up with Independence Day writers Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich for a new science fiction adventure entitled The Mark.

The rapper and actor will also co-produce the film, in which he portrays an office worker who finds himself at the centre of a struggle for world domination, after discovering an ancient talisman that grants him special powers.

Smith can next be seen on cinema screens in the conspiracy movie Enemy Of The State, which is scheduled to open in the US in November.

[ image: Keith Richards: Setting the style pace]
Keith Richards: Setting the style pace
Keith at the forefront of style

Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards has received the ultimate tribute: a movie character that dresses like him.

Hollywood star Edward Norton portrays a poker-playing Worm in new film Rounders, and he based his wardrobe on Richards' outfits.

"Worm is a cross between Bugs Bunny and Keith. I wanted Worm to wear pants like Keith so he could be the only poker player within a 100-mile radius who had a sense of style," he said.

But he didn't base everything about Worm on Richards.

He added, "They wanted Worm to smoke, because he's just getting out of prison. But I didn't want to make smoking look cool. So I decided he's the only guy who went to prison and quit smoking."

Award for the other Clooney

Veteran singer Rosemary Clooney, whose career has spanned five decades, is to receive the Ella Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Singers.

The American award is named in honour of Ella Fitzgerald, the jazz legend who died in 1996, and recognises singers for their "commitment to their audiences and fellow artists".

The 70-year-old star reached the peak of her fame in the 1950s with a string of hits. Now she has a second claim to fame - being the aunt of ER star George Clooney.

Old popsters in legal row

Some of the biggest British groups of the 1960s, including The Troggs and Gerry and the Pacemakers, are among 30 bands suing EMI-Capitol Music Records in the US.

They have filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles accusing the company of selling their music without first buying the rights.

They are seeking unspecified damages for fraud, breach of contract and misrepresentation.

The plaintiffs also include Chubby Checker, Pat Boone and Freddy Fender.

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