Madonna news - Jan. 2003


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29 January - Michael Amzalag does album art work *official*
The design for Madonna's new album is being done by Michael Amzalag from M/M out of Paris. Kevin Regan is focusing his efforts on a Box Set which will hopefully come out later this year. The album art photo shoot did take place earlier this year with her usual team and Craig McDean took the pictures. (source: Madonna.com)

29 January - Madonna nominated for American Dance Awards
Madonna, J-Lo and Justin Timberlake lead the nominations list - Dirty Vegas, Paul Oakenfold, Kylie Minogue and DJ Sammy grab multiple nods. DanceStar USA The American Dance Music Awards is set for Wednesday March 19th on the sands of South Beach, Miami and has today announced its nominations for the second annual music awards show. Madonna, J-Lo and Justin Timberlake capture the spotlight this year, each with nominations for 'Best Chart Act' and 'Best Remix'. Dirty Vegas, Paul Oakenfold and DJ Sammy are also set to dominate the awards show after having been nominated for multiple awards. Dirty Vegas receives five award category nominations including 'Record of the Year' and 'Best Album' while Spain's DJ Sammy also scoops three. Paul Oakenfold, an original architect of the dance scene, has also been nominated in four categories including 'Best International DJ' and 'Best Act'. (source: Madonnarama)

28 January - British weather getting Mo down
For months, she gushed about her love of the culture, the countryside and even the warm beer. But it would appear that there is one aspect of British life that Madonna has found simply intolerable - the weather. Following a foul-mouthed tirade about the shortcomings of London life, the singer has turned her back on Britain and returned to the United States The 44-year-old has removed her children Rocco and Lourdes from European schools and placed them in establishments close to her Los Angeles home. While her agent maintains that she and husband Guy Ritchie will be returning to Britain within months, the singer's outburst has increased rumours that she is planning a more permanent move. Ritchie's father John, 73, said the real reason the singer had flown to Los Angeles with her husband shortly before Christmas was a growing depression at the grey skies. "I think Madonna is very happy to be out of London because the harsh winter weather was getting her down," he told the magazine Closer. "They have a pool at their home in Los Angeles and there are beaches nearby. I think the climate suits her much better. "Guy does miss London and obviously he misses his family and friends. But Lourdes, Rocco and Madonna are all much happier with the weather in Los Angeles." Madonna's sudden wish to return to the US signals a dramatic change in her views on Britain. During the last year, she has repeatedly given interviews on the wonders of British life. But last September, the singer gave the first hint of homesickness, saying: "I like London, I've grown to like it a lot more. But it is a long way away from where I'm from and my friends and my family." (source: Herald Sun)

28 January - Akerlund video and 11 track album *official*
The video will be shot in the first week of February in LA (not NYC). Jonas Akerlund is directing, Jamie King is set to be the choreographer and Luigi Moreno will do the hair for the video. The treatment is still not complete, but stay tuned to Madonna.com for more info on that.
As far as Madonna's new record is concerned, we can confirm that there are 11 tracks total and despite rumors, none are 12 minutes long. Stay tuned for a complete tracklisting. (source: Madonna.com)
~ Meanwhile, fansite Madonnarama doesn't seem so sure anymore about their announcement of the title 'Hollywood', saying now that it might be just a working title. We'll have to wait for the official news on this. The facts & rumours so far

27 January - More rumoured song titles *rumour*
Fansite Madonna's Ashram reports following song titles for the new album: American Life [first single] ; Nobody Knows Me ; Ecstatic Process ; Love Profusion ; Die Another Day ; Easy Ride ; Nothing Fails ; Hollywood [second single]. They also lists following release dates: Album: April 24th 2003; First single: March 31st 2003. No official word on this yet.

26 January - 'Hollywood' title of album and second single? *rumour*
Fansite Madonnarama claims that 'Hollywood' will be the title of the album as well as the second single.

25 January - Demos start surfacing online?
The rumour mill is turning like crazy with many rumoured track titles and tracklists surfacing on fansites and forums. Now there are also some MP3 files surfacing, supposedly demos of the new album. Many of them are fake for sure, but some are interesting to hear. Today I found one which is supposed to be a demo for Easy Rider, and personally I think this could indeed be Mirwais' work. Judge yourself!

24 January - No more tours? *rumour*
Newspaper journalist and poster on the Dotmusic Madonna forum JohnnoM met Barbara Charone, Madonna's UK publicist recently and managed to get the following information out of her. In his own words:

  • The (American Life) video has not yet been shot. She couldn't confirm a director.
  • She confirmed what we've already heard, the (upcoming) album and inside sleeve covers have been shot and apparantly she looks 'fantastic'.
  • She's heard five of the tracks recorded with Mirwais.
  • She described them as 'amazing', but then she would, wouldn't she?! They are electronically influenced, but not as much as Music.
  • When I suggested Impressive Instant should have been a single, she said there were other tracks considered as well, but they only decided to release the three songs as that was enough. The album didnt need any more promoting.
  • She wouldn't confirm any album track titles. The album itself has been titled, again she wouldnt tell me what it is.
  • Madonna has no plans to tour to promote the record, and she doubts she will ever tour again.

(source: Dotmusic, thanx to Josh)

24 January - Dutch release for Swept Away *rumour*
While Swept Away won't be released to British theatres, there still seems a possibility that the movie will be shown in other European countries. Peter reports (via MLVC mailing list: "Just contacted the people at Sony in Holland, and we have to wait for the release date of Swept Away for a long time. Right now the Dutch released is scheduled for October 14th, 2003."

24 January - Madonna's agent sets the record straight
The Daily Mail devoted a whole page to the apparent fall-out between Madonna and Sir Elton John, including the following statement from Madonna's agent: "In response to various reports in the UK press. One, Madonna's son Rocco is in excellent house. Two, Madonna's inability to attend the Golden Globes was due to family commitments. Three, Madonna was never scheduled to perform at the Golden Globes. Four, Madonna will be returning to London during next few months. Finally, had Madonna attended the Golden Globes, she would indeed have killed Elton John if they had shared a table - but only with kindness." (source: Madonnarama)

22 January - M to play bitchy flatmate in 'Will & Grace'
Forget a cameo has herself, Madonna will take on a character role in hit TV series Will And Grace. The singer will play bitchy Karen's flatmate and yes, she will be seriously bitchy. It was thought that Madonna, 44, would play herself in the cameo role but Debra Messing, who plays Grace, revealed she will play Karen's flatmate. (source: Gay.com UK)

22 January - Elton John fears M's wrath
Elton John thinks Madonna will "kill him" for slamming her James Bond theme song from 2002, Die Another Day. As we previously reported, last year the music legend called the 007 theme "the worst Bond tune ever," telling the U.K.'s Sky News, "It hasn't got a tune. I don't think it's the best Madonna record and I'm a big fan." "She's probably killing me after that," Sir Elton told the TV program Access Hollywood. "Like a dagger through the heart. But you know what, she's an amazing talent and great writer, so you know, I love her to death." Madonna was scheduled to appear at Sunday's (January 19) Golden Globe Awards and would have sat at the same table as Elton John, but cancelled her appearance at the last minute. (source: Launch)

22 January - Liz denies M is leaving UK
The past few days there was a rumour circulating that Madonna was planning on leaving Britain to go back to the US permanently. Reason was that Madonna supposedly drew back Lourdes' subscription to an exclusive London school. According to the New York Post the report is false: "Madonna’s rep, Liz Rosenberg, says the reports are greatly exaggerated. "The family is in L.A. now and Lourdes is going to school there," she says, "but they’re returning to London some time in the spring and she'll be back at school in London then."
Meanwhile, ITV still reports: "Madonna has quit Britain because it never stops raining - if reports are to be believed. She's in Los Angeles with her family. She and hubbie Guy Ritchie are on an extended stay in LA, and daughter Lourdes has left her school in London. Madge is said to be sick of the British weather and tabloid newspapers, and is considering making the move permanent. Publicists for the Material Girl are saying that it is just a temporary move. Earlier this week, Madonna pulled out of the Golden Globes at the last minute because of a 'family emergency'. The couple's two-year-old son Rocco is apparently unwell at the moment with a mystery condition and Madonna refused to leave his side. She had been due to sing her Globe-nominated Bond theme 'Die Another Day' at the ceremony."

22 January - Mondino photo shoot
Madonna is said to have a publicity photo shoot with Jean-Baptiste Mondino later this month!

22 January - And more American Life rumours *rumour*
Some more rumours from fansite MadonnaMad on the American Life video. These seem to contradict the MadonnaPower rumours below; will it be a political statement against the US-Iraq war or a love song to her country? Also the filming location is subject to discussion: some say New York, others claim it's LA.

  • "American Life" video will be choreographed by Jamie King
  • The video will feature a LOT of extras
  • There are going to be dancers, soldiers and children
  • The theme is going to be very much War related (Iraq - USA).
  • Don't expect to see Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" saga - this is something completely different!!!
  • The budget of the video is nearly 2 million dollars!
  • Luigi Moreno will do her hair for the video

Reminder: Mad-Eyes provides a summary of all the facts and rumours.

21 January - More rumours on new album *rumour*
Following album rumours were posted at MadonnaPower:

  • Madonna has hired the security used for her Sex Book for every stage of cd production. They are even video-taping everyone involved with assembly, etc.
  • Three album covers were designed and Madonna is thinking about using all three.
  • There is no song called Hollywood.
  • There is a hidden bonus track which should cause some controversy in the UK.
  • This cd is REALLY copy proof. The new technology is a dual layer cd which will NOT show up on a computer, except very low quality files which expire in 24 hours.
  • American Life is a love song to her country (think Dance Anthem!)
  • There are NO duets on this album
  • Madonna's guitar playing will shock some because it is so close to heavy metal!


20 January - Rumours about video American Life *rumour*
Fansite MadonnaMad reports:
* The video WILL be directed by Jonas Akerlund
* The video will be connected with the theme of the album
* It will be shot on location in New York between the 2nd and the 8th of february

20 January - No Golden Globes for M
At yesterday's Golden Globes, Madonna's Die Another Day lost out to U2's 'The Hands That Built America' in the category 'Best Original Song'. Though Madonna was originally scheduled to appear as a presenter, she cancelled, reportedly because of a "family emergency". Rumour had it that this emergency was a very ill baby Rocco.

20 January - Slant Mag choses top videos
Slant Magazine has a review of the top videos of all time, and Madonna fills 11 of the top 100 spots.
1. Madonna - Express Yourself (David Fincher)
4. Madonna - Vogue (David Fincher)
11. Madonna - Oh Father (David Fincher)
13. Madonna - Material Girl (Mary Lambert)
16. Madonna - Open Your Heart (Jean-Baptiste Mondino)
22. Madonna - Frozen (Chris Cunningham)
24. The Cranberies - 'Linger' & Madonna - Secret (Melodie McDaniel)
43. Madonna - Like A Prayer (Mary Lambert)
55. Madonna f/Massive Attack - I Want You (Earle Sebastian)
70. Madonna - Rain (Mark Romanek)
72. Madonna - Ray Of Light (Jonas Akerlund)
(source: Madonna.com)

18 January - M as guest-star in 'Will & Grace' *official*
Madonna will make a rare television appearance when she guest-stars in a episode in May of NBC's Emmy Award-winning "Will & Grace" (Thursdays, 9-9:30 p.m. ET), it was announced today by Jeff Zucker, President, NBC Entertainment. Madonna will make her episodic television debut in an episode for May; more information on the storyline will be announced later. The iconic Madonna - a true multi-media star - first burst onto the scene in the early 1980s with her hit debut solo album Madonna, and she followed up with more chart-topping albums such as Like A Virgin, True Blue, Like A Prayer, Bedtime Stories, Evita and Ray Of Light, among others, which combined have sold over 160 million copies worldwide. She recently sang the title song for the James Bond feature film Die Another Day, and she has appeared herself in such features as 'Evita, 'Dick Tracy', 'A League of Their Own', 'Shadows and Fog', 'Desperately Seeking Susan' and the musical documentary, 'Truth or Dare'. (source: Madonna.com)

17 January - Back to black
It has been platinum, ice-white, strawberry and even jet black. It has been long and flowing, and short and bobbed. Madonna's hair has under-gone even more transformations than the ever-changing singer herself. Now the star - whose 1990 world tour was called Blonde Ambition - has returned to her roots on a visit to her home country. Her natural auburn hair, pulled back in a pony tail, was visible under a flat cap as she cycled through the streets of Los Angeles. Looking relaxed, the 44-year-old mother of two visited a yoga centre in Beverly Hills and popped into a Prada boutique to browse the designer collection. Madonna, who is married to British film director Guy Ritchie, has alternated between light and dark hair since finding fame some 20 years ago. A picture taken by a boyfriend in 1978 shows the 18-year-old with her auburn hair cut into a boyish crop. By the time she released her single Like A Virgin in 1984, blonde highlights had started creeping in, although her dark roots were still visible. She went platinum blonde for Material Girl and adopted a more tousled blonde crop for Papa Don't Preach. In 1989, she returned to auburn once again for the controversial video to Like A Prayer, in which she intertwined sexuality, racism and religion. After that she was a bottle blonde for nearly ten years, with hues ranging from ice-white to earth-mother strawberry tones. Five years ago, with the release of her album Ray Of Light, she chose to go one step darker than her natural colour. She burst back on to the scene with long wild jet black hair as she turned to eastern culture for her inspiration. The black-haired look became more glossy as she drew influences from Japan. But her dark spell came to an end with the release of the album Music in 2000 when she returned to long blonde curls, flowing from beneath a cowboy hat and accentuated with garish gold jewellery. Madonna now lives in Central London with Ritchie, 34, their two-year-old son Rocco and her daughter Lourdes, 6. Since moving to Britain the singer has kept a low profile. When spotted in the street, she is usually wearing a tracksuit and flat cap, which have become her trademark casualwear. But, with a new album due out this year, it seems she is looking for yet another version of herself - and is starting at the top. (source: Daily Mail, thanx to Madonnarama)

16 January - Liz on new album and the Globes
Madonna is in the studio this week, busily tweaking her new album - but not, say her reps, because unhappy Warner Bros. execs ordered her there. Madonna's rep, Liz Rosenberg, added, "Certainly there is some electronic influence, but way less so than [the last album] 'Music.' Her voice sounds beautiful, very romantic and melodic. She plays guitar on a lot of the cuts." Rosenberg says that last Friday, Warner execs Tom Whalley and Jeff Ayeroff listened to eight cuts from the album while visiting the L.A. photo shoot for it. "They loved them," she said. Meanwhile, no one seems to know whether Madonna really will attend Sunday's Golden Globes, as announced. Rosenberg said, "Last I heard, she's not going." As of last night, reps for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the awards, were still saying she will be a presenter. One inside source told us Madonna has set her sights on an Oscar for the "Die Another Day" song, and is trying to do as much publicity in Hollywood as possible. (source: NY Daily News, thanx to MadGuy)

16 January - Madonna speaks about Herb Ritts's death
Madonna has spoken publically, with a beautiful understated simplicity, for the first time at her sadness at the passing of her longtime friend and photographer Herb Ritts. From Rollingstone: "Herb Ritts will always hold a very special place in my heart. I met him at the beginning of my career, and he became like a brother to me. I love the pictures that he took of me throughout the years & more recently the pictures he has taken of my children-Simple, straightforward & beautiful-like Herb. I'm gonna miss that boy." (source: Madonnamax)

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