The Week In Music: Bridging The Employment Gap

Celebrities' jobs before they were stars revealed
  • Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images
    Kanye West
June 17, 2011 -- 4:00 am PDT

Are you currently working your first job? Delivering papers at 4 a.m.? Washing dishes at the local restaurant? McDonald's drive-through? Well, we have a couple reasons to look on the bright side. First, as your boss is apt to tell you, with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate nationwide, you're lucky to have a job. Second, you may be following in the footsteps of people who have gone on to much bigger things, evidenced by's list of top celebrities' humble jobs before they became fame monsters. The list includes such music artists as Madonna (Dunkin' Donuts clerk), Kanye West (Gap clerk), Rod Stewart (gravedigger), and Ozzy Osbourne (appropriately, slaughterhouse worker). So, the next time you're at your wits end because that size-15 shopper wants you to get them into size-6 jeans, remember, you're future could include having one of the most actively followed Twitter accounts.

That's where Forbes' current Best-Paid Celebrities Under 30 list comes in. Yes, this is where all the hard work boxing donuts into baker's dozens pays off. Despite regular claims of the demise of the music industry, the list of young multimillionaire musicians is impressive: Lady Gaga ($90 million per year), Justin Bieber ($53 million), Taylor Swift ($45 million), Katy Perry ($44 million), Beyoncé ($35 million), Rihanna ($29 million), Miley Cyrus ($15 million), Carrie Underwood ($15 million), and Lil Wayne ($15 million). If it's true, as Lady Gaga proclaimed during her HBO special, that the fame monster hates money, she has 90 million reasons to be spiteful.

If you hear a ringing coming from the Nashville home of Jack White, it won't be wedding bells — but joyful divorce bells. White and model/singer wife Karen Elson have announced their plans to divorce, but don't worry, they're not mourning the end of an era — they're celebrating with a party. According to the soon-to-be-separated pair, the breakup blowout is sure to be a "positive, swing bang humdinger" (whatever that means). White and Elson sent out invitations to close friends and family asking them to "please help us celebrate this anniversary of making and breaking of the sacred union of marriage with our best friends and animals." (Animals? That may be the humdinger.) White's former White Stripes partner Meg White has yet to comment on whether she's upset that she wasn't thrown a separation celebration upon their official breakup in February.

The Smoking Gun has long been taking touring artists to task for their demanding backstage riders that spell out every minor luxury the artist expects. Credit the Foo Fighters, whose just-published rider not only shows a sense of humor, but was likely developed with TSG in mind. The 52-page tome is, according to TSG, "brimming with jokes, insults, useless facts, self-deprecation, and pop culture reference." But the site singles out section seven, which details the band's food requirements via a coloring and activity book. It includes a "catering don'ts" word hunt game (don'ts include "cheap-a** soda" and "Dachshund"), a "circle the items that belong in a salad" activity page (belong: carrots, lettuce; don't belong: cockroach, Richard Pryor), and a maze to help guitarist Chris Shiflett find his way to catering at the gig. It all puts Aerosmith's infamous green M&M rider provision to shame.

Paul McCartney's new release of a remastered version of his original 1970 solo album, McCartney, is rehashing old memories of the notorious end to the Beatles. The original album was accompanied by a printed questionnaire with McCartney, since he didn't want to do interviews at the time, containing one especially fateful answer, "No," when asked whether he was planning a new album or single with the Beatles. That single answer led John Lennon, who had informed the band privately that he was leaving, to feel McCartney had jumped the gun in announcing the breakup of the band Lennon had formed, and possibly compounded the bad blood that lingered for years after. Says McCartney now of the events in 1970, in his often unassuming way: "I was not a popular bunny."

In the mood for some "Nookie" this summer? Limp Bizkit is back and ready to give you some in the form of their first studio album since 2005, Gold Cobra. Scheduled for release on June 28, the album will include the title track and break-stuff-inducing songs such as "Douche Bag," "Shotgun," "Bring It Back," and "Killer In You."Another song slated to be included on the album's deluxe edition is "My Own Cobain," a tribute to the late Kurt Cobain, who was a positive influence on Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. "I have my own torture," said Durst. "I've been impacted by his poetry. On this new song, it's another way into my depression and expression of that turmoil." Limp Bizkit is slated to hit the road starting June 24, but Durst infers there will be no depression or turmoil onstage. "We've come full circle to absolutely own who we are as a band, an undisputed five-piece rap rock powerhouse who crushes every stage we play," commented Durst. In the meantime, fans can get rollin' on a preview of Gold Cobra here.

Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" remains atop the Billboard Hot 100 and Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" is No. 1 on iTunes singles chart.

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