Platinum Plus

All-time best-selling music artists:

  • The Beatles (about 1 billion albums sold)
  • Elvis Presley (500 million)
  • ABBA (350 million)
  • Led Zeppelin (320 million)
  • Alla Pugacheva (250 million)
  • Cliff Richard (260 million)
  • Julio Iglesias (250 million)
  • Nana Mouskouri (250 million)
  • Madonna (250 million)
  • Michael Jackson (250 million)

Alla Pugacheva is a Russian popular singer active since 1965. Greece’s Nana Mouskouri has been singing even longer — since 1961. Her French record company recently released a box set of 34 CDs.

Red Alert

Next time you visit the circus, if the band starts playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” — run. The hymn is known as the “disaster march”; it’s played during a life-threatening emergency to organize aid and evacuate the audience without panic.

Circus bands never play it under any other circumstances.

Vegetarian Actors

Vegetarian actors:

  • Pamela Anderson
  • Christian Bale
  • John Cleese
  • Richard Gere
  • Darryl Hannah
  • Woody Harrelson
  • Josh Hartnett
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Tobey Maguire
  • Ian McKellen
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Natalie Portman
  • Hilary Swank

“I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals,” says A. Whitney Brown. “I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants.”

Awkward Moments

Songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel Broadcasting following the 9/11 attacks:

  • The Animals – “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”
  • Louis Armstrong – “What A Wonderful World”
  • The Bangles – “Walk Like An Egyptian”
  • Pat Benatar – “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
  • Filter – “Hey Man, Nice Shot”
  • Fuel – “Bad Day”
  • Gap Band – “You Dropped A Bomb On Me”
  • Godsmack – “Bad Religion”
  • Alanis Morissette – “Ironic”
  • The Surfaris – “Wipeout”
  • Tool – “Intolerance”

CCB also flagged Maureen McGovern’s “We May Never Love Like This Again” … because it was featured in the movie The Towering Inferno.

Highest-Grossing Films

Highest-grossing films worldwide, to date:

  1. Titanic (1997)
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
  4. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  6. Jurassic Park (1993)
  7. Shrek 2 (2004)
  8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
  9. Finding Nemo (2003)
  10. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

At first that looks like a triumph of modern marketing — all of these films were made in the last 12 years. But here are the top ten when receipts are adjusted for inflation:

  1. Gone With the Wind (1939)
  2. Star Wars (1977)
  3. The Sound of Music (1965)
  4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  5. The Ten Commandments (1956)
  6. Titanic (1997)
  7. Jaws (1975)
  8. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
  9. The Exorcist (1973)
  10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Titanic has made $1.8 billion worldwide to date, and it’s only number 6 on the all-time list. Gone With the Wind has made $3.8 billion, more than twice as much.