Madonna news - April 2002

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15 April - Which Madonna video are you?
Check out this funny quiz to find out which Madonna video describes you best! :)

14 April - Madonna on CNN 'People In The News'
"CNN International will air a Madonna profile as part of their 'People In The News' programming. The show will air on the 13th & 14th of April and the 4th & 5th of May at the following times :
Saturdays - 08.30 GMT (Asia/South Asia); 14.30 GMT (Europe); 18.30 GMT (Latin America); 21.30 GMT (Asia/South Asia)
Sundays - 11.30 GMT (Europe/North America); 20.30 GMT (Latin America)." (source:

13 April - 19 years and counting on the Billboard charts
"Dear Fred, my question involves the ever-fascinating Madonna. It occurs to me that Madonna has had a song on the Hot 100 in every calendar year since 1983. I think the only exception could be 1988 -- I'm not sure if Like A Prayer debuted in late '88 or early '89. I wonder if you could tell me who the record-holder is for most consecutive calendar years with a song on the Hot 100." Colby Ryan, New York
"Dear Colby, it depends how you qualify Madonna's achievement. She didn't have any songs debut on the Hot 100 in 1988, but she did have a single on the chart that year -- just barely. Causing A Commotion peaked at No. 2 the week of Oct. 24, 1987. The single's final week on the chart was Jan. 9, 1988, when it was No. 98, down from No. 97. That means Madonna has been on the Hot 100 every year from 1983 to 2001 (and seems certain to chart in 2002 with the title song to the next James Bond flick, 'Die Another Day'). She's at 19 years and counting. Just considering the Hot 100, Elvis Presley charted every year for 20 consecutive years, from 1958 to 1977. Of course, Presley also charted on the Billboard pop singles chart before the Hot 100 was introduced in August 1958. If we count his entire rock-era career, he had an uninterrupted 22-year run, from 1956 to 1977." (source: Billboard, thanx to MLVC mailing list)

13 April - Secret rehearsals at Sadlers Wells
Madonna is currently rehearsing at Sadlers Wells in secret for her May West End debut. Large areas of the theatre are now off-limits to staff. The stage at Wyndhams Theatre, where she will be appearing in Up For Grabs, has been raised three feet for security reasons. Madonna is also responsible for another West End first: two security guards are to stand on eitherside of the stage. Even Nicole Kidman didn't get that in the Blue Room. (FYI On a recent visit to the Wyndhams, she was asked what she wanted to drink. Her reply: "Do you have wine in both colours?") (source: Popbitch, thanx to MLVC mailing list)

12 April - Madonna finances Jesus play
Madonna's love of the theatre seems to be growing and growing. Not content with actually appearing on stage in the forthcoming Up For Grabs, Madge has decided to become a patron of the arts as well. Mrs Ritchie has been named as one of the backers of a new play, Jesus Hopped The A Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis, that is to open at the Arts Theatre in Leicester Square on 24 April. Clearly aware of the impact of the names Madonna and Jesus together on the front of a theatre, the canny producers have decided to credit Madge by placing her name on the front of the building. Madonna first saw the play at the Donmar Warehouse and has made a significant donation to the play's £200,000 budget. (source: PeopleNews)

Instant Karma 12 April - I Want You on compilation album
I Want You (the collaboration between Madonna and Massive Attack), is included on a new U.K. compilation album. The album, entitled "Instant Karma" is a two-disc set of 'chill-out' tunes released by the Warner Dance label. (source: Madonnarama)

12 April - Madonna on Howson's art
Madonna has commented (briefly) on Peter Howson's artwork which has been unveiled this week. Her spokesperson, has told U.S. television programme Entertainment Tonight that she denies being unhappy with the portraits and 'she would never stand in the way of someone's artistic expression'. (source: Madonnarama)

12 April - Jennifer Aniston has cameo in Swept Away
Among the already known details about Swept Away, reports the following update: first off, the title has been confirmed by Sony as Swept Away. They are also now planning on a September, 2002 release. Finally, the rumors of an appearance by Jennifer Aniston have been confirmed, though it's just a cameo. (source:, thanx to MLVC mailing list)

11 April - Nude portraits unveiled
Splashed in lurid colours across a series of huge canvasses, new images of Madonna were unveiled Wednesday - one showing the pop diva Howson and one of his nude paintingssquatting naked in a graveyard and another sprawled luxuriously on a bed. Previewing the new exhibition of his work at a small Scottish gallery, celebrated artist Peter Howson said he painted the 10 nude portraits from imagination, after the singer declined to pose for him. And although he said he was sure the paintings would "flatter and please" the subject, Howson said he was less confident about the reaction of Madonna's husband, British film director Guy Ritchie, who reportedly barred her from posing naked for the paintings. "I think he'll probably come and hit me. But if he's a man of wisdom and integrity he'll be quite pleased with them, I imagine," he said. Howson, whose work is displayed in museums around the world and has been bought by stars including David Bowie, Sylvester Stallone and Madonna herself, said the new portraits showed the queen of pop as a powerful and charismatic person and touched on her religious upbringing. But the images also explored a darker side to the famous singer, beyond her public image as a performer and mother, he said. One six foot by four foot (1.8 meter by 1.2 meter) canvas, titled 'Madonna 2002', depicts the star reclining on a sumptuous bed. Her limbs are twisted and distorted, her oversized hands rest on powerful thighs and her haunting eyes stare into the distance. Religious symbols, representing Mary, the mother of Jesus, the head of John the Baptist, Eve and a tree of knowledge litter the crumpled sheets. "It is not a pretty representation," Howson was quoted by The Herald newspaper as saying in a recent interview about the 'New Works' exhibition. But to me she still looks beautiful. There must be millions of photographic images of the woman by now, but I wanted to show something deeper than that, what she means to me." Another canvas, 'Death on Madonna', is a more stylised image of the singer, crouching on mighty haunches in a graveyard, with her head thrown back. Her rippling, taut physique, painted in bright yellow, dominates the scene and dwarfs a gravestone in the background. "The graveyard is basically just to do with mortality, the beauty of the flesh that dies," the artist was quoted by The Sunday Telegraph as saying. Howson, 44, rose to prominence in the 1980s as one of the so-called New Glasgow Boys, a group of painters who depicted the gritty, harsh reality of poverty and violence in the industrial, Scottish city. His works hang in the Tate and National Portrait Gallery in London, New York's Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery of Norway in Oslo. In 1993, he was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum in London to travel to Bosnia to capture the Balkans conflict on canvas. Howson said Wednesday that he had met with Madonna on several occasions, since they first met in the United States 13 years ago. He said he'd been working on the paintings for ten years and repeatedly had to alter his approach as the singer's image and style shifted. "I knew she'd have changed again by the time they went on show," he said. The singer, who appeared naked in her own book "Sex" and has often cavorted on stage in revealing costumes, declined to pose for the series of paintings, however. According to her staff, Howson said, she was scared he would make her look ugly. Reports in the British media also said Ritchie had forbidden her to pose naked for the paintings. The artist said he had sent Madonna photos of the paintings several weeks ago, and was disappointed he had not heard from her. Madonna's spokeswoman in London declined to comment on the exhibition and said she did not know whether the star had seen the paintings. The collection, which also includes works depicting scenes from Afghanistan, portraits of miners and a series of paintings of a drunken man, opens at the McLaurin Gallery in Ayr, Scotland, on April 13. That will be followed by the Flowers Central Gallery in London from April 18. (source: Times of India)

09 April - David Williamson praises Madonna's acting skills
An article in an Australian newpaper the Sun-Herald (April 7th) details the influence Madonna is having over the play 'Up For Grabs'. The article details how Madonna, David Williamson (the play's writer) and the director have been emailing each other furiously in relation to changes for the play, in particular the ending. (Other minor changes previously known relate to the setting of the play being changed from Sydney to New York). David also discusses the possibility that the play may move to Broadway and may enjoy an extended run on the West End (with no reference to Madonna). Most importantly he states that the first readings of the play will be beginning THIS WEEK in London. Here's what David Williamson had to say about Madonna: "I've been involved in a very instructive and constructive debate with her... she's very sharp, she's had script change suggestions that work very well... it'll be a different play by the time it hits the stage... I think, as a result it's improved. I think she's a very, very good actor... anyone who says otherwise is talking through their necks. Anyone who has the kind of vocal skills she has, has amazing control and strength. And she has enormous charisma" (source: MLVC mailing list)

09 April - 'Madonna is weak', Howson says
The artist behind two nude paintings of Madonna has claimed there is "a great weakness" at the heart of the Queen of Pop, as he prepares to unveil the works. The oils are to be exhibited at the McLaurin Gallery in Ayr, Scotland, from April 13, with artist Peter Howson claiming they have struck fear into the camp of Madonna. Howson, whose work will also be displayed at the Flowers Central Gallery in London, said he had received an uncertain response from his subject. "The reaction from her camp hasn't been good", he explained. "I think they're frightened of what she'll think", added Howson, who has not been told if Madonna will accept his invitation to view the works. She is believed to be a fan of Howson, who has used his imagination, rather than a string of photos and videos, to capture Madonna's figure, reports Reuters. "Nobody knows the true Madonna, not even herself," Howson claimed. "The thing that strikes you about her is her strength, but there is a great weakness underneath all of that." (source: Dotmusic)
~ Seems like someone is quite disappointed about Madonna's negative reaction. Quite a 'weak' way to sell his paintings.

09 April - I wouldn't sing with Madonna for $1m
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who once beat Bryn Terfel in a singing competition, has been dubbed 'the Elvis of opera'. But he won't be tempted into 'tacky' cross-over. [...] He tells me that back in Siberia he was the singer in a rock band who played heavy metal numbers - "it was a way to become a local hero". All of which might make you think he would be tempted by cross-over pop projects beloved of record companies. But Hvorostovsky is not interested - in fact, he says one of the reasons why he fell out with his last record company, Philips Classics, was its attempts to push him into "tacky" collaborations. If he were offered a million dollars for a duet with Madonna, I ask, would he really turn it down? He pauses. "It would be painful, I would be embarrassed but I would turn her down." (source: Arts Telegraph)

08 April - DVD release of 'In Bed With Madonna'
The DVD for 'In Bed With Madonna' will finally be released on April 22nd in Europe, Middle East and Japan. Here are the details of the release:
- Format: DVD Region 2 (Europe, Middle East & Japan only)
- Catalogue Number: 21389DVD
- Further Information: PAL, Black & White, Colour, Widescreen
- Running Time: 114 Minutes
- Certification: (18)
- Director: Alek Keshishian
- Synopsis: An in-depth look at Madonna, set against the Blonde Ambition Tour, where director Alek Keshishian was told he could film anything and everything. Numerous numbers are listed, including 'Like A Virgin', 'Papa Don't Preach', 'Promise To Try', 'Vogue' and 'Like A Prayer'. (source:
One of the scans from the MadonnaStyle book
07 April - Scans of MadonnaStyle book
Check out fansites Madonnapolis and Little Star for scans of the new MadonnaStyle book by Carol Clerk. The book looks at Madonna's image from the very beginning of her career, and ends at the Drowned World Tour.

07 April - Madonna as role model
When you read the words "role model," it's often a man who comes to mind. But why should this be the case? We've all looked up to someone at one time or another in our lives or careers - whether they be our mothers, our sisters, our teachers, or our friends - and been inspired, guided, and encouraged by another woman's example. The 20th century has been particularly rich with strong, take-charge, empowered females, any one of whose lives and achievements stand as a wonderful example for the rest of us to emulate and admire. With that in mind, the experts at have compiled the following list, in no particular order, of the Top 10 Female Role Models:
1. Eleanor Roosevelt: in many ways the ultimate First Lady, she was not content to simply be "the wife of the president." She made kindness and charity part of the national agenda, setting the definitive example for future First Ladies to follow.
2. Madonna: whether you admire her in-your-face sexuality or wish she'd tone it down a notch, we can all agree that the Material Girl is one driven, successful career woman who has made her way on her own terms, not on any man's coattails. [...] (source: Madonnapolis)

07 April - The M-Files re-opening
Dutch Madonnafan Mark has redesigned and re-opened his great fansite The M-Files. Besides the traditional biography, discography and filmography pages he has added some very interesting and original content, such as a closer look at the irony used in Madonna's work ('Ironica') and an interpretation of Madonna's influence on religion, feminism, postmodernism, etc. in the Science Files. Much more to discover in The M-Files, a great site that soon will be added to the no. 1 Madonna portal

07 April - Dress You Up covered
Seems Madonna covers are everywhere recently. The terrible Mad'House cover of Like A Prayer is still storming the European charts and rumour has it that they intend to cover Holiday as well. Two other bands called Limelight and 2 Sexy also covered Like A Prayer and earlier we reported that Kelly Osbourne intends to cover Papa Don't Preach. Next in line is a cover of Dress You Up by Canadian band Mercury Burn. Check their website for live audio and video of the track. (thanx to Madonnarama)

07 April - Madonna not happy with nude portrait
The portraits, which are the result of over six years of attempts by Howson to paint Madonna, will be the centrepiece of the new exhibition at the McLaurin Gallery. Howson was once described as Madonna's favourite contemporary artist and she has several pieces of his work. They first met over 15 years ago. But the pair have not spoken for years and she failed to invite Howson to her Skibo Castle wedding over a year ago to film director Guy Ritchie. Relations between the two are expected to cool even further following the unveiling of the nude paintings and ten similiar sketches of the pop star. "I am told that people around Madonna are not that happy. She did not co-operate for the work. I did the paintings from my imagination which is more real than reality," said Howson. "Who knows maybe Sean Penn will buy one as a dartboard? I hope she is not offended. That is not the intention. It is just something I have always wanted to do. I would like her to be happy with them." One portrait 7ft by 5ft shows Madonna naked in a church graveyard, while another 6ft by 4ft shows her "intimately" lying on a bed. (source: Westen Isles News Agency, thanx to Madonnarama)
Also read the article in the Sunday Herald in which Madonna's art consultant Darlene Lutz condemns the nude portraits as 'voyeuristic', 'self-promoting' and 'not the done thing'.

07 April - Watch out for the Madonna virus
A new computer virus is spreading over the internet, disguised as Madonna MP3s. Users receive an email which seems to contain a Madonna MP3 (e.g. Don't_tell_me.mp3). Usually however the file has a double extension (.mp3.vbs) and when executed it searches for .exe files that are in the same folder as the virus and overwrites them by a copy of the script. Such files cannot be repaired and must be deleted. For more information, check Symantec.

07 April - Madonna and Guy in British rich list
UK paper The Sunday Times has posted their Rich List of 2002. Madonna and Guy made it to no. 4 on the list of richest husbands and wives, with a shared fortune of £ 200 million [about € 326 million].

Peter Howson scans - visit WLB for more 04 April - Peter Howson scans
Fansite Where Life Begins has managed to get scans of the indeed rather unrecognizable nude Madonna portrait by Peter Howson. The pictures will be exhibited at the MacLaurin Art Gallery in Ayr, Scotland from April 13th till June 4th.

04 April - Finally an award again
Madonna has won an award at the 17th International Dance Music Awards held at the Winter Music Conference in Miami. Madonna won in the category "Best Solo Dance Artist". (source:

03 April - Ozzy Osbourne's daughter to cover Papa Don't Preach
Ozzy Osbourne's teenage daughter Kelly is to record Madonna's Papa Don't Preach with members of Incubus. The track is expected to feature on the soundtrack for the MTV series The Osbournes. Papa Don't Preach was a number one hit in 1986. Kelly told MTV: "I didn't choose the song. My mom did and asked me to do it. "I'm kind of crapping myself because I don't think I'm a very good singer." Her brother Jack is producing the track and the members of Incubus, minus frontman Brandon Boyd, will provide the backing. (source: Ananova)

03 April - Art gallery women interested in Up For Grabs performance
When Madonna makes her West End stage debut in the art world satire Up For Grabs next month, her opening night audience will include more than a few female gallery owners keen to cast a professional eye over her performance. In the British premiere of this new Australian play, the 41-year-old star is cast as a ruthlessly ambitious dealer who manoeuvres her wealthy clients against one another. When a Jackson Pollock painting comes on to the market, she stakes her career on manipulating their greed, lust and competitiveness towards a risky endgame. Madonna's role as sexy broker has already captured the imagination of theatre-goers: tickets for the three-week run have sold out. What London's female art dealers will make of the portrayal, however, is another matter. [...] According to insiders, playing an art dealer will be "a dream" for Madonna. Although, as a collector, she is best known in Britain for lending one of her Frida Kahlo paintings to the Tate, her collection is apparently as eclectic as one would expect. "A lot of people in the entertainment industry invest in contemporary art, but Madonna has, more unusually, also ventured into the rather more rarefied realms of Old Masters," says one New York-based female art dealer who has worked with her. Madonna's collection includes more than 300 European works, among them paintings by Dali, Fernand Leger and Tamara de Lempicka. She also possesses a world-class array of European photographs from the Twenties, Thirties and Forties, and it is rumoured that she may have been the "private American buyer" who paid £1.5 million for a Cranach at Sotheby's last December. "She has an art adviser, as do many Americans, but I've spent time at her apartment and I found her to be knowledgeable, intelligent and keen to learn - a little shy, even," says the dealer. Read the complete article at the Arts Telegraph

02 April - Nude Madonna to be exhibited
A nude portrait of Madonna is to premiere in Scotland before touring the world. Artist Peter Howson was offered substantial fees to open an exhibition containing the work in New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Italy. He insisted, however, on opening it in his homeland instead and the work will go on display at the MacLaurin Art Gallery in Ayr from April 13. It is believed that Howson had to paint the work from imagination as the Material Girl's husband, British film director Guy Ritchie, did not want her posing nude. Madonna is an avid collector of Howson's work and has in the past posed, fully clothed, for the painter. The exhibition, entitled New Works, runs until June 4. A source at the gallery said: "The figure in the painting is not really recognisable as Madonna. You wouldn't know it was her unless someone told you." (source: Ananova)

01 April - LSD&M renamed to Swept Away
Even as I write, knives are being sharpened in some quarters to carve up Madonna and Guy Ritchie. What is providing the strop is Ritchie's latest film, formerly entitled Love, Sex, Drugs and Money, which observers claim is heading for the dumper. Guy and Madonna insist that making a film brought them closer together. These same "observers" extrapolate the film's troubles as a symptom of the couple's marriage. Of course, none of these "observers" can lay claim to having actually seen the movie, but when has a little thing like ocular proof ever hindered the merchants of speculation and gossip? Trying to separate the truth from the tosh is no easy matter. A late-night conversation with Ritchie's producer, Matthew Vaughn, revealed that there are indeed changes being made to the film, not the least of which is the title, which is reverting to the original upon which it is based, Swept Away. "We are reshooting a couple of scenes at the moment," confirmed Vaughn. "They were in the original script, but for various reasons we didn't film them at the time. Guy is still editing and the music still has to be finished." Contrary to popular reports, it is the music that has proved to be the biggest headache so far. Ritchie and Vaughn are aiming for "an old-fashioned romantic sound like a Maurice Jarre score for a David Lean movie. We are currently on our third composer." All of which may be a little uncomfortable for those involved, but none of which indicates that the film is "in trouble". Last-minute adjustments, fine-tunings, editing and soundtrack re-recordings are pretty well de rigueur for movies these days, especially given the propensity for previewing early cuts of movies for selected audiences. This is a subject that most exercises Vaughn. "We made a mistake," he admits, "by showing an unfinished cut. We just used 'found' music from a variety of sources and some of the people at the screening didn't understand that. It also had a lot of brutal stuff, with a lot of beatings on screen that didn't go down at all well. So we've cut back a bit on that." Whatever the result of all this, would it not be fairer to assess the film on its merits when we have actually seen it? And as for the dubious speculation that the film has caused a rift between Mr Ritchie and his missus, I offer part of a conversation I had with Guy earlier in the year about working with his wife for the first time. "It was a bonding experience, actually," he said. "We are better off as a couple after it than we were before. We were getting along well enough before the film but the experience certainly did us both a lot of good." Having spent much of last year being beaten up for the cameras, Madonna will doubtless relish the relative peace and quiet of the recording studio, where she is about to record the song she is currently composing for the latest James Bond film, 'Die Another Day'. (

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