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An obscure British musician and songwriter stands to earn millions from the song Ray of Light, which has been bought by BILL GATES as the soundtrack for Microsoft's new Windows XP advertising campaign.

DAVE CURTISS, who lives in west London, wrote Ray of Light several years ago and it was later adapted by MADONNA as the title song for her eponymous album.

Neither Microsoft nor Madonna is disclosing how much Microsoft has paid for the song.

But it's expected to be in the same range as the reported pounds 10 million the Rolling Stones banked in 1995 when they let Gates use Start Me Up for the Windows 95 campaign.

JOHNNY DEPP, whose Jack the Ripper film From Hell is about to be released, may next be appearing in the World War II drama The Great Raid.

Miramax has made him an offer to star as an ambitious young colonel who leads a group of soldiers to liberate American prisoners of war from a camp in the Philippines.

An obscure Hong Kong martial arts movie made in 1993 has become a hit in America after QUENTIN TARANTINO persuaded Miramax to restore and release it.

Iron Monkey, which stars DONNY YEN and was directed by YUEN WO PING, has received rave reviews and is set to follow the example set by last year's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The film is being billed as "presented by Quentin Tarantino", while Miramax head HARVEY WEINSTEIN says he has spent 10 million dollars on the film, recouping nearly all the cost in its first week of release.

"We put two million dollars into the movie just in restoration costs alone, " he says.

Veteran actresses ANGELA LANSBURY and CAROL CHANNING are to perform for the first time together in Tap Away Your Troubles, a tribute to Broadway legend JERRY HERMAN.

Lansbury, who starred in Mame, and Channing, from Hello, Dolly! , will be joined by BERNADETTE PETERS, TYNE DALY and LESLIE UGGAMS.

They will all perform songs from Herman's shows at the Los Angeles concert next month in aid of charity.

Herman, who's preparing a TV version of Mame, rehearsing a new company for Hello, Dolly! and writing a new treatment of La Cage aux Folles, says: "We need entertainment more than ever."
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 21, 2001
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