Actor Nicolas Cage holds his son Kal-el as they watch a street festival for kids in Nassau, Bahamas, on Dec. 21, 2006. Many celebrities craving privacy, like Cage, have recently taken up residence in the Bahamas island chain, which offers remoteness and a casual culture that cares little about celebrity status.
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Actor and pilot John Travolta no doubt flies himself and his family to their Bahamas getaway. An archipelago of 700 islands strewn across the western Atlantic Ocean, the Bahamas is drawing celebrities seeking sun and a culture that discourages celebrity worship, allowing them to largely avoid autograph seekers while remaining within easy reach of the United States.
Singer Lenny Kravitz arrives at the New York premiere of "Dreamgirls" at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Dec. 4, 2006. Kravitz, who has Bahamian roots from his mother, the late actress Roxie Roker, was a frequent visitor before he bought his own tiny island in the Eleuthera chain known for its barrier reefs and slow pace of development.
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Actor Sean Connery is a longtime resident of the Bahamas. He lives in a single-story home overlooking a golf course on the western tip of New Providence, the most populated island in the country. The interest of celebrities has boosted already-high real estate prices in a country where home prices are largely out of reach of locals and has prompted fears of overdevelopment.
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Grammy Award-winning singer Shakira is among the celebrities who have been drawn to the Bahamas. Others include actors Johnny Depp and John Travolta, magician David Copperfield and singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
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Faith & Tim
When they need an escape from their hectic lives on the road, country music superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw can opt for a breather at their Bahamas getaway.
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Another popular celebrity hangout is Paradise Island in the Bahamas, where sports superstars Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan have homes. Former tennis great Jim Courier also has a home there.
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Actor Johnny Depp discovered the idyllic islands while filming parts of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy on the island chain. In 2004, he bought Little Hall's Pond Cay, a deserted 36-acre spit of land with six beaches off Exuma, listed at $3.5 million, where he planned to build a small home with minimal environmental impact, according to a local conservation group.
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Sean "Diddy" Combs
Mega mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs owns several homes, including one on Star Island in Miami and one in the celebrity-friendly Bahamas. Offering favorable tax and residency laws, the government of the former British colony is encouraging the wealthy to come and take a look.
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NBA great Michael Jordan reacts after missing a putt during the American Century Celebrity Pro-Am on July 17, 2003, in South Lake Tahoe, Nev. Jordan, who has a home on Paradise Island, has hosted a celebrity golf tournament there for the past six years. Since 2000, the annual event has raised more than $3 million for charity.
Anna Nicole Smith
Anna Nicole Smith is perhaps the best-known celebrity to take up residence in the Bahamas. Smith says she came to Nassau to seek privacy during her pregnancy, but the death of her 20-year-old son under mysterious circumstances at her hospital bedside sparked a political scandal and brought negative publicity.