Sir Paul McCartney plays Olympic concert … for just £1

Plus: Madonna blames 'thugs' for Paris incident, The Hobbit will also be a trilogy says Jackson, and Tony Martin dies at 98.

Sir Paul McCartney. Reuters
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The London Olympic organisers say Paul McCartney and other star performers who took part in the opening ceremony essentially donated their time - receiving a mere £1 (Dh5.8) - for the gig. Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal, Underworld and Emeli Sandé also received the nominal fee. "Mind you, I haven't received anything yet!" said Sandé. "When I do, though, that pound will be truly special. It shows how important art is." * AP

Madonna blames 'thugs' for Paris incident

Madonna has blamed a handful of "thugs" for a rowdy outbreak that marred the end of a club concert in Paris last week, when the star bowed out after 45 minutes on stage. "After I left the stage a few thugs who were not my fans rushed the stage and started throwing plastic bottles pretending to be angry fans," Madonna said in a statement. "The press reports have focused on this and not the joyous aspect of the evening. But nothing can ruin this very special evening for me and my fans." * AFP

The Hobbit to be split into three movies

JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit will be split into three films, rather than two as originally planned, announced the director Peter Jackson. "It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of professor Tolkien himself, 'a tale that grew in the telling'," he wrote on Facebook. "Do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved 'yes'." Jackson did not reveal the name of the third movie nor its release date. * AFP

Crooner Tony Martin dies at 98

Tony Martin, the singer who sustained a career in movie musicals and records since the 1930s, has died in Los Angeles. He was 98. A peer of Frank Sinatra, Martin sang full voice in a warm baritone. Among his hit recordings were I Get Ideas and To Each His Own. "He's the ultimate crooner who outlasted all his contemporaries," said the musician Gabriel Guerrero, a longtime friend of Martin's. * AP