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Cirque Du Soleil Cashes in On Magic

For the first time ever, the Cirque du Soleil is forecasting that this year its special brand of circus melding death-defying feats with plot-driven theater and haunting music will bring in over $1 billion in revenues.

Founded by Guy Laliberte, the company has grown from a ragtag troupe of street performers in 1984 to a 5,000-employee entertainment giant presenting some 20 circus shows simultaneously around the world.

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Sandra Bullock Donates $1 Million for Japan Crisis

U.S. actress Sandra Bullock has donated $1 million to help victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami crisis, the latest celebrity to pledge aid, the American Red Cross said Thursday.

The contribution, described as from Bullock and her family, came after the U.S. aid agency announced it had given $10 million to the Japanese Red Cross to help after last Friday's quake.

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Batman's 'Butler' Michael Gough Dies At 94

Michael Gough, the British actor best known for playing Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred in a series of Batman movies, has died at age 94.

Gough appeared in more than 150 movies and television shows, including British science-fiction show "Doctor Who." He died of old age at home in England on Thursday, surrounded by family, his ex-wife Anneke Wills said through her agent.

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Nate Dogg, Whose Hooks Boosted Rap Hits, Dies

Singer Nate Dogg, whose near monotone crooning anchored some of rap's most seminal songs and helped define the sound of West coast hip-hop, has died at age 41.

Nate Dogg, whose real name was Nathaniel D. Hale, died Tuesday of complications from multiple strokes, said Attorney Mark Geragos.

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Ireland's St Patrick's Day Party to Banish Gloom

Hundreds of thousands of people were expected to attend St Patrick's Day parades throughout debt-ridden Ireland on Thursday with the traditional celebrations a welcome relief from economic austerity measures.

More than 100 cities and towns were holding parades in what is a traditional early kick-start to the tourism season with the festivities bringing in a much-needed 50-million-Euro (70-million-dollar) spending injection for the battered economy.

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Enquist: The Multiple Lives of a Swedish Literary Giant

In one life, Per Olov Enquist has been an oppressed child, an athlete, a journalist and a depressed and destructive alcoholic, but in another life -- the one that really counts in his eyes -- he is an author, a giant in the world of Swedish literature.

Spry for his 76 years, Enquist tells Agence France Presse in an interview that he is savoring "a different life", which is also the title of his latest work, an autobiography.

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Mad Hatter Johnny Depp Named 'Hat Person of The year'

Johnny Depp has been crowned "hat person of the year," beating out other celebrity hat-wearers including U.S. singer Gwen Stefani and Australian actor Hugh Jackman, the U.S. Headwear Association said Tuesday.

Nearly four in 10 visitors to the Headwear Association's website voted in the annual poll for "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Depp and his wide-brimmed fedoras, helping him to roundly beat Stefani and Jackman who garnered 17 percent and 16 percent of votes cast, respectively.

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Dion Returns to Recession-Hit Vegas with New Show

On the stage that French-Canadian power ballads built, Celine Dion rolls her body, drops her hips and shimmies in a gold sparkly mini-dress that looks like it was swiped from Beyoncé's closet.

This is Dion as Tina Turner, her robust voice stretching into a soulful cover of "River Deep, Mountain High" as a row of back-up singers groove behind her during a sound check in the near-empty Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Or at least this is as Tina Turner as the "Beauty and the Beast" crooner is going to get in her Las Vegas sequel.

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Bob Dylan to Perform in Vietnam for the First Time

American singer Bob Dylan, famous for his anti-war songs during the Vietnam War, will perform in the Communist country for the first time next month, his promoter said Tuesday.

Dylan will appear at an 8,000-plus-capacity university stadium in the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City on April 10, said Rod Quinton, general manager of Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigon Sound System.

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Ghostbusters Lives on Through Comics, Video Games

More than 25 years later the answer to the question "Who ya gonna call?" remains "Ghostbusters!"

The specter-busting quartet that debuted in 1984 on movie screens and then was in a sequel and an animated series remains firmly planted in pop culture thanks, in part, to a wide international fan base, a new comic book series and a next-generation video game coming out this month.

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