Kevin Winter, Getty Images T.I. and Lil Wayne are teaming up once again, only this…
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George Harrison seemed like the gentle Beatle, but even he reserved special animosity for the one figure we all love to hate -- the taxman. Here's a list of vocalists, from Nas to Luciano Pavarotti, who have sung the blues over their failure to pay their back taxes.
In October 2009, the Queens, N.Y. rapper was reportedly charged with neglecting to pay taxes in 2006 and 2007, and has been socked with a lien of more than $2.5 million. Nas' financial standing is definitely looking a bit 'Illmatic' these days: While Uncle Sam is dipping into one pocket, ex-wife Kelis is yanking alimony payments to the tune of $55,000 a month out the other.
When the Red-Headed Stranger was hit with more than $16 million in tax debt in 1990, he signed over to the Internal Revenue Service the profits from a new album, 'The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?' He'd already recorded an appropriate pop standard, 'All of Me': "Why not take all of me?"
When the Isley Brothers urged us to 'Fight the Power,' we didn't think they meant "Don't file your 1040 tax form." Singer Ron Isley was sentenced to three years in prison in 2006 for more than $3 million he owed the IRS. The term "serial tax avoider" was not inappropriate, said the judge. Isley is due for release in April 2010.
Judy, Judy, Judy: The divine Miss Garland lived out of hotels after admitting she owed more than $4 million in arrears. When the taxman came knocking in 1967, the financially troubled songbird might have hummed a few bars of 'I Can't Give You Anything but Love.'
The Killer was about to go to prison for a crime of another sort when he was assessed with $560,000 in overdue tax debt in 1984. Cutting a deal with the government, Lewis set up a phone number charging callers $2.75 a minute to hear stories of his first date and his childhood fight with a schoolteacher. We're guessing mathematics class.
The diminutive rapper with the hefty assets found herself uncomfortably exposed when the IRS charged her with nearly $1 million in back taxes in 2005. At her trial, the defendant surprised the judge with the news that she'd worked for tax preparers H&R Block in her years before stardom.
When tax collectors informed J-Lo's husband he owed $2.5 million for unpaid taxes from 2000 to 2004, the gaunt singer claimed ignorance, saying he had no idea his accountants had failed to pay. Apparently, when it comes to his finances, he's not on a 'Need to Know' basis.
From the late 1960s till his death in 2006, the Godfather of Soul grappled with the US government over millions of dollars in back taxes. He used twisted logic to argue that he shouldn't have to pay: Since he never got a proper education, he reasoned, "they have no legal boundaries over me." The Feds weren't buying it -- they still expected the big 'Payback.'
When the Wu-Tang Clan rapper had his luxury SUV repossessed in March 2009 over his failure to pay $33,000 in back taxes, he claimed his chronic pot smoking made him forgetful. In October '09, Mef turned himself in to the police, whose pursuit of the delinquent rapper has been Methodical.
The rock 'n' roll pioneer was sentenced to four months in jail and a thousand hours of community service in 1979 when Uncle Sam brought the hammer down for evading $200,000 in taxes – the same year old softie Jimmy Carter invited the artful dodger to play at the White House.
There was high drama when the celebrated operatic tenor was hit for multiple millions in unpaid taxes in 1999 and again in 2001. The big man agreed to pay the Italian government 24 million lire, then was acquitted of charges that he filed false returns. You know what they say about death and taxes: It ain't over until the fat man sings.