Afternoon Links: Elton John and Husband Take On Madonna, Rihanna Kicks Back In Hawaii

● Elton John didn’t think Madonna had "a f-ing chance" of beating him in the best original song category at last night’s Golden Globes, but then she did, and John’s husband David Furnish joined the fight via Facebook. "Madonna winning Best Original Song truly shows how these awards have nothing to do with merit," he wrote in a vengeful post, adding also that "Her acceptance speech was embarrassing in its narcissism" and her recent criticisms of Lady Gaga "desperate." It’s on! [NYDN]

● Fleet Foxes-styled cover band, Fleet Foxes Sing, had bloggers all in in a tizzy this morning with their impeccabe Fleet Foxes cover of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own." [PopDust]

● Russell Brand says he’s handling his divorce "quite well" thanks to one of his favorite American authors. "The brilliant American author Kurt Vonnegut, he’ll tell you that if you imagine reality as experienced simultaneously, events become redundant," he told the inquiring press, adding that "right now," he’s "happy." [People]

● Kush rolled, glass full, and leggings on, Rihanna seems to be enjoying a real relaxed Hawaiian holiday. [YBF]

Downton Abbey‘s Countess of Grantham and her daughter Lady Mary are recording an album together, set for release later this year. [Express]

● The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn has got a new Friday Night Lights’ saluting solo album called Clear Eyes Full Hearts, and it’s streaming for free on NPR. [NPR]

Mötley Crüe Plan Residency at Vegas Casino

’80s groupie magnets Mötley Crüe have signed on to play a twelve show residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in February next year. 

Previously, the idea of a musician doing a residency in Vegas was relegated mostly to crooners such as Sinatra and Wayne Newton and more comfy acts such as Santana and Elton John. Mötley Crüe are the first heavy metal band to play such a residency. 

Rock magazine Rolling Stone reports singer Vince Neil as saying, "This is Las Vegas. Vegas is based on big, big shows, This show we are putting together right now is something that we have never done in our lives. This is an interactive show we’re putting on – it’s going to encompass the whole venue, not just the stage that we’re standing on – a 40- by 60-foot stage. This is going to take over the whole place."

How to Get on Forbes’ List of the Highest-Paid Men in Entertainment

Forbes released their list of the highest-paid men in entertainment, and in a shocking turn of events, Frank Stallone has assumed the top spot. We’re just kidding, of course, but the list only goes to ten and we assume he is number eleven. The rankings use estimated earnings between May 2010 and May 2011, and some of the entrants will surprise you.

Forbes lists can be infuriating reads in times of economic strife, but instead of enviously glaring at it, try to learn from the list. In the spirit of the getAbstract business books summarized in the SkyMall catalog, we present short tips on what you can glean from these mega-wealthy men of entertainment, and how to emulate them. See you on next year’s list!

Tiger Woods – $75 million ● Become the best golfer in the world. ● Sign various sponsorship deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars. ● Cheat on your wife and have lots of ambien-induced sex with porn stars. ● Become relatively bad at golf. ● Lose many of your sponsorships, but retain enough to stay on the Forbes list.

Howard Stern – $76 million ● Convince millions of people to listen to you every morning. ● Convince millions of people to pay to continue to listen to you every morning.

Leonardo DiCaprio – $77 million ● Learn how to speak with a Boston accent. ● Practice using it in The Departed. ● Use it again in Shutter Island. ● Don’t use it in Inception. ● Receive adulation and praise for your versatility.

Dr. Phil – $80 million ● Become friends with Oprah. ● That’s pretty much it.

James Patterson – $84 million ● Think of a story idea that a shut-in would describe as “thrilling.” ● Find a co-author or co-authors to help think of exciting adverbs. ● Remember to end chapters with your main character about to open a door.

Simon Cowell – $90 million ● Leave a lucrative singing contest on Fox. ● Start a new singing contest on Fox.

Elton John – $100 million ● Learn the piano. ● Get knighted. ● Buy an English-Swahili dictionary. ● Highlight “hakuna matata.” ● Have no worries.

Steven Spielberg – $107 million ● Produce Harry and the Hendersons. ● Just keep on milking that cash cow.

Jerry Bruckheimer – $113 million ● Open a map. ● Find different locations for CSI shows. ● Hire Justin Bieber to play a terrorist.

Tyler Perry – $130 million ● Dress in drag. ● Make vague allusions to the Bible. ● Become friends with Oprah.

Morning Links: Lady Gaga Will Be Godmother to Elton John’s Son, Jay-Z Blogs

● Elton John has announced that Queen Monster Lady Gaga will be godmother to his son, confirming what he’d hinted at during his opening monologue on last weekend’s SNL. [PopEater] ● Little Snooki’s got some moves in the wrestling ring. See the way she flips? [NYM] ● Legendary hip-hop DJ Mister Cee fired back against rumors that he was caught receiving oral sex from a transvestite in his car, curating an empowered radio set in his defense. As suggested by Media Take Out, “Now it may be time to have a more OPEN and HONEST discussion about HOMOSEXUALITY in hip hop.” [XXL]

● After jumping ship (adorably!) almost a year and a half ago, Miley Cyrus has returned to Twitter with a questionable motivation. “I’m not gonna lie. I cam back to twitter for 2 reasons. My fans and to follow #charliesheen #winning,” she tweeted. [People] ● Real life father and son Will and Jaden Smith will play an onscreen father-son duo in M. Night Shyamalan’s next movie, while Jada takes her place on the production team! In the hands of M. Night, this could be the weirdest family affair ever. [LA Times] ● Jay-Z has done as rappers these days do, joining the likes of Kanye, Drake, and Odd Future with his newly launched lifestyle blog, Life and Times. One photo from his Bahaman anniversary trip with Beyonce aside, though, there’s not much Jay in the neatly-tiled site. He still “don’t do too much blogging.” [Life and Times]

Afternoon Links: Iran Accuses London Olympics of Racism, Charlie Sheen’s Publicist Quits

● Charlie Sheen enabler friend Alex Jones went on The View today to discuss all things Sheen, and ended up declaring that “America is turning into a police state.” Things are getting weird. [Gawker.TV] ● HBO has passed on Tilda, the highly-anticipated comedy starring Diane Keaton as a fictionalized version of secretive Hollywood journalist Nikki Finke. [THR] ● Iran has a bone to pick with the London Olympics. They claim the logo for the 2012 games resembles the word “Zion,” and might boycott the games because of it. The 100-meter sprint was just blown wide open. [HuffPo]

● Breaking news in the ever-evolving Charlie Sheen Roadshow! His publicist, Stan Rosenfield, has resigned. Wait! Breaking, breaking news! Charlie Sheen won’t let him resign, so he fired him! [TMZ, TMZ] ● One of the stranger SNL hosts in recent memory will be Sir Elton John, who graces studio 8H with his presence on April 2. John will not, however, be the musical guest. That honor goes to Billly Joel. (Kidding.) [THR] ● Here’s the first clip of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in Larry Crowne, a film that was also written and directed by Hanks. [Moviefone]

Afternoon Links: Amber Heard Is ‘Red Sonja,’ Ryan Gosling to Remake ‘Logan’s Run’

● Elton John went on the Today show to discuss his harsh comments about Billy Joel’s drinking habits. And that’s the sound of Billy’s bottle of Jack shattering against his TV. [Rolling Stone] ● Proud lesbian Amber Heard is being tapped to star in the planned remake of Red Sonja, and proud teenage boys are being tapped to have their heads explode. [/Film via Empire] ● Chris Elliot took a page from the Howard Stern Manual for Talk Show Appearances when he went on Conan and took some jabs at Jay Leno. [Gawker.TV]

● Lady Gaga tells Anderson Cooper that she prefers being called Stefani in bed. There goes kooky Gaga, thinking her pillows talk to her again! [ONTD] ● In other remake news, it was just announced that Nicolas Winding Refn will reunite with his Drive star Ryan Gosling to modernize Logan’s Run. [Deadline] ● Kanye West and Jay-Z have been recording their album Watch the Throne on a floor of Soho’s Mercer hotel this week. [Page Six]

Links: Natalie Portman is Pregnant and Engaged, Elton John Gets a Baby Boy

● Natalie Portman says she is “indescribably happy” and “very grateful” to be pregnant and engaged to the choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who she met while filming Black Swan. Mila Kunis declined to comment. [EW] ● Teen Mom‘s Amber Portwood has been charged with three felonies for beating up her fiance on camera. [People] ● Rachel Weisz is dating Daniel Craig, who is both better looking and less talented than her ex-husband Darren Aronofsky. [Us Weekly]

● Elton John and his husband David Furnish announced that they now have a son via surrogate named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, giving him a grand total of four first names and a “Furnish.” [Us Weekly] ● Miley Cyrus and her little sister celebrated Christmas by doing karaoke to Miley’s own song, “Can’t Be Tamed.” Their parents must be so proud. [People] ● Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton sleep in separate beds because the director snores too loud, according to the actress. [E! Online]

Elton John Sets George Orwell to Music

If you were educated beyond an 8th grade level, you’ve probably read George Orwell’s Animal Farm. A grim allegory of the Stalin era prior to WWII, it nevertheless features a cast of anthropomorphic barnyard animals, which made it suitable material for a 1954 cartoon adaptation, as well as junior high reading lists everywhere. Now it seems Elton John wants in on the action. The Daily Mail is reporting that after two years of rights negotiations, John will be penning the music for a new stage version of the story. Expect it to be a little more downbeat than The Lion King.

John never writes his own lyrics, and this won’t be an exception. His latest collaborator is screenwriter Lee Hall, with whom John previously worked on the stage version of Billy Elliot. Hall told the Mail, “Having worked with him on Billy Elliot, I know that Elton likes to have the lyrics done and have them in front of him so I’ll work on a batch before I give him anything to look at. I would think it’s going to take about two years before it’s all ready to go.”

Two years? Really? How hard could it be? Classic lines from the book like “some animals are more equal than others” already sound like the titles of songs Bono might have written. Just add on some cheeky verses in between et voila!

Flamboyant Old Queen Angers Islamists in Morocco

We can only hope the South Park boys are reading this. An Elton John concert in Morocco has outraged some conservative Islamists in the country, drawing attention to the growing split between Morocco’s conservative Muslim movement and its Western-leaning authorities. “This singer is famous for his homosexual behavior and for advocating it,” said the leader of the country’s largest opposition party, Mustapha Ramid. “We’re a rather open party, but promoting homosexuality is completely unacceptable.”

Despite the controversy, the show went on, with Sir Elton performing a free concert for a crowd of 50,000 in the capital city of Rabat. “We deal with artists and intellectuals for what they do, without taking into account their private lives,” a festival organizer said. Moroccan officials openly supported the festival at which Sir Elton performed, saying it was a means of promoting cultural diversity. The festival was sponsored by King Mohammed VI, who, while his family claims descent from Prophet Muhammad, has sought to modernize the country and provide an alternative to conservative Islamist opposition parties.

Like most Arab and Muslim countries, Morocco isn’t exactly gay friendly. Homosexual acts are crimes punishable by law and “offenders” can be imprisoned for up to three years. However, such laws are rarely enforced.

While Sir Elton wasn’t welcomed with open arms by all, the country is evolving. Last month, Mithly, the first gay magazine in the Arab world, launched in Morocco, though it can only be sold under the counter. Says Abdellah Taia, Morocco’s most prominent gay advocate, “I just wish they’d extend the support they give Elton John to ordinary Moroccan gays.”