February 11, 2012 in Nation/World

M.I.A. apologizes for Super Bowl gesture

From Wire Reports

(Full-size photo)(All photos)

The British hip-hop artist M.I.A. has apologized to Madonna for making an obscene gesture during the Super Bowl halftime show, Madonna’s spokeswoman said.

Madonna said in radio interviews on Friday that she had no idea M.I.A. would extend her middle finger during the performance in front of 114 million people, according to Madonna’s spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg. The singer didn’t find out about it until after the show.

“I wasn’t happy about it,” Madonna told Ryan Seacrest in one interview. “I understand it’s kind of punk rock and everything, but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy and positivity, it seemed negative.”

She said it was like something a teenager would do. “It seemed out of place.”

Madonna forgave her, and thought M.I.A. just got caught up in the moment, Rosenberg said. Madonna said she remains a fan of the “Paper Planes” rapper.

Taylor auctions raised $183 million

Paintings, jewelry and fashions belonging to the late Elizabeth Taylor have sold for more than $183 million, with all of the more than 1,800 items on offer snapped up, Christie’s auction house of London said Thursday.

Christie’s said 1,817 lots were sold at a series of auctions in New York and London, some at 50 times their pre-sale estimates.

The most expensive was Vincent van Gogh’s landscape “Vue de l’asile et de la Chapelle de Remy,” which once hung in the living room of Taylor’s Bel Air home. It sold for $16 million, including the buyer’s premium.

The daughter of a London art dealer, Taylor amassed a substantial collection of 19th and 20th century art, including works by Edgar Degas and Auguste Renoir.

Hollywood legend Taylor died in March at age 79, and Christie’s has been selling her belongings on behalf of the Elizabeth Taylor Trust.

New York sales of jewelry, fashion and memorabilia in December raised more than $156 million, with a buyer paying $8.8 million for a 33.19-carat diamond ring given to Taylor by actor Richard Burton, whom she married twice.

A sale of 38 paintings in London on Tuesday and Wednesday raised an additional $24.6 million.

The birthday bunch

Actor Conrad Janis is 84. Actress Tina Louise is 78. Actor Burt Reynolds is 76. Songwriter Gerry Goffin is 73. Bandleader Sergio Mendes is 71. Actress Catherine Hickland is 56. Singer Sheryl Crow is 50. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is 48. Actress Jennifer Aniston is 43. Singer-actress Brandy is 33. Actor Matthew Lawrence is 32. Singer Kelly Rowland is 31. Actor Taylor Lautner is 20.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email