Three members of Take That, the U.K. Backstreet Boys-esque boyband, are facing a huge bill for unpaid tax, and there have even been calls for frontman Gary Barlow to hand back a gong awarded by the Queen.
Barlow, along with bandmates Howard Donald and Mark Owen, and their manager Jonathan Wild, used music investment schemes primarily to avoid tax, a U.K. judge ruled on Friday. They paid £66 million (£111.5 million) into the schemes, and may now have to repay tens of millions of pounds between them to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the U.K.'s tax body.
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They are far from the first celebrities to get in trouble with the taxman. Martha Stewart, the lifestyle guru, was convicted of tax evasion and lying to prosecutors in 2004. Country music singer Willie Nelson had to go on tour and hawk memorabilia to repay $16.7 million in back taxes.
Wesley Snipes, the star of films like Blade, famously served two years for tax evasion earlier this decade. Last year, Fugees singer Lauryn Hill spent three months in prison over failure to pay tax.
The three members of Take That, together with former member Robbie Williams and current member Jason Orange, first found fame in the 1990s with hits like "A Million Love Songs" and "Babe." They staged a lucrative comeback in 2005 as a four-piece without Williams, and then went on to have the U.K.'s fastest-selling album of the century with Progress after reuniting as a five-piece.
Barlow, who has an Order of the British Empire award for his charity work, is also well known as an X Factor judge in the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said he should be allowed to keep the award, after other politicians called for him to hand it back.
Orange still banks with the Co-Op in Manchester in the North of England, where most of the band's members are from.