Madonna news - Feb. 2003

← Jan. 2003 | March 2003 →

Virgin Mary and Madonna inspire dance

Source: The Jakarta Post - 28 February 2003

Would you dare to compare the holy Virgin Mary with glamor celebrity Madonna? It could be interesting, especially if it is presented in the form of a dance. Four artists from Surakarta will be trying their hand at it, or rather their feet, and will stage a dance piece titled Pasamuan Maria dan Madonna (the Communion of Maria and Madonna) at Surakarta Cultural park in the Central Java town on Feb. 28. The choreography, which will bring together the two icons, is an interesting concept, as it unites two different ways of life while trying to seek their similarities.

"We do not have the slightest intention of disparaging the Virgin Mary. Although I'm a Buddhist, I have admired, even idolized, Virgin Mary for a long time," said artist Suprapto Suryodarmo at his Lemah Putih art studio in Surakarta.

Apart from Suprapto, participating artists include dancer Eko Supriyanto, musician Dedek Wahyudi and lighting technician Tria Vita. Eko Supriyanto, who was one of Madonna's dancers during her recent tour, said the dance would try to expose the human side and positive aspects of these two icons as both of them have shaped the world.

"I really admire Madonna. From accompanying her on her tour, I saw that outside her glamourous celebrity life, she is a genius and a hard worker. She pays attention to other people and knows a lot of things about life," Eko said.

"That's why I accepted Suprapto's offer to take part in this performance right away. I'm really interested in this line of work, and this is a challenge. Can we present an artist alongside a holy figure? This is a real challenge," said Eko, who will express his ideas through a contemporary dance piece done Madonna style. Musician Dedek Wahyudi, who will perform in Belgium in March 2003, said the dance piece might cause a controversy.

"I don't think we have to concentrate on the negative aspects alone. As a Catholic, I want to praise the Virgin Mary in an artistic way," he said. From his experiences, he said that many religious-related performances had both their pros and cons. "But I don't think we have to worry because we started this with good intentions," he said.

Dancer Suprapto Suryodarmo said he had long thought of staging a dance piece on the Virgin Mary. It started in 1988 when he first learned about the mother of Jesus in an old church in London. Since then, he felt restless in finding a way to glorify her. "In praising her, I cannot do it the way Catholics do it. I have my own way of admiring and worshiping her," Suprapto said.

His admiration of her, he said, not only came from the fact that she is a simple person with a strong will, but also because she's determined. "Can you imagine how sad it must have been for her to witness her own son being tortured and crucified right in front of her eyes? Still, she showed resolution and patience and it is her character that remains in my mind," he said.

In showing his adoration, Suprapto will bring the figure of Virgin Mary closer to the figure of Goddess Sri, the goddess of prosperity in Javanese culture. "I will be presenting the figure of Goddess Sri as she seems to have been forgotten even though she is believed to bring fertility and prosperity. This was also the case when Virgin Mary was abandoned when Jesus was crucified. We will explore her solitariness in sorrow through this dance. This is relevant especially given the fact that many Catholics stay away from the church today."

The four participating artists, however, refused to label the show a collaboration. Instead, they prefer to call it a communion or paying their respects in their own way in the form of a contemporary and traditional dancing, music and lighting.

Changes to tracklisting *rumour*

27 February 2003

More news from fansite MadonnaInternet: sources say there have been some changes to the tracklisting. 'Love Profusion' is actually 'Love Perfusion' and 'The Process' will be called 'X-Tatic Process'. And finally, Easy Ride would become the final track on the album, instead of Die Another Day. This would mean that the final tracklisting is as follows:

  • American Life
  • Hollywood
  • I'm So Stupid
  • Love Perfusion
  • Nobody Knows Me
  • Nothing Fails
  • Intervention
  • X-Tatic Process
  • Mother And Father
  • Die Another Day
  • Easy Ride
  • The site also states:
    Produced by: Mirwais Ahmadzaï, Madonna.
    Collaborators: Guy Sigsworth, Jem Jones, Monti Pittman, Stuart Price, Mark Stent.
    Michel Colombier on: Die Another Day, Nothing Fails, Easy Ride.
    American Life will be remixed by Missy Eliott & Peter Rauhofer.

    ~ We're still waiting for an official confirmation of the tracklisting and credits.

    AOL premiere for AL video / remix video *rumour*

    27 February 2003

    According to MadonnaInternet, the American Life video will premiere exclusively on AOL on March 10th. A remix video would be released simultaneously with the regular video.

    The Beats Within

    27 February 2003

    Peter Magennis and Bruce Baron, two extremely well-informed Madonnafans, have written an interesting article on Madonna's unreleased songs. The first part, which talks mostly about the songs from the pre-fame period (late 70s - early 80s) can be read at Madonnarama.

    Mondino and Fincher to direct new videos *rumour*

    26 February 2003

    According to MadonnaInternet, Jean-Baptiste Mondino (director of Justify My Love, Human Nature & Don't Tell Me) will be directing the video for the second single Hollywood. David Fincher is also rumoured to be in charge of one of the upcoming videos.

    Madonna's multimedia exhibition

    Source: NewYorkMetro - 25 February 2003

    If you thought the lines for the Da Vinci exhibit at the Met were long, just imagine what it will be like when Madonna makes her art-world debut next month. We hear that the Material Mom is collaborating with celebrity-fashion photographer Steven Klein on a multimedia exhibition at the Deitch Projects in Soho.

    The two teamed up after Klein shot Madonna for a staggering 44-page cover story on the singer for W magazine's April issue, timed to coincide with her new album set for this spring. Sources tell us that the Deitch installation is being designed by Giuseppe Lignano and Ada Tolla's LOT/EK architectural firm and will include Klein photos of Madonna, illustrated with animation, and audio and visual components edited from video that Klein shot of Madonna during the W shoot.

    "It's very artsy," one insider told us. No word on whether Madonna will be at the show's opening on March 27. The show is scheduled to run for six weeks, and there has already been talk of making it a traveling exhibition. One Tokyo gallerist has expressed interest in bringing it to Asia in September.

    44-page special in W Mag

    Source: Dotmusic, thanx to SlyGuy - 25 February 2003

    The April issue of W Magazine will have 44 pages devoted to Madonna. Steven Klein photographed the photoshoot. Steve Cojocaru, fashion editor from People Magazine, saw the photos a few months ago and was ecstatic over her bold look.

    He said back then that it's very dance-inspired and that people will be amazed when the photos are made public. This spread will coincide with the release of her new album in April.

    Making of American Life video

    24 February 2003

    From the American Life video You can download the MTV mini-special 'The Making of the American Life video' can be downloaded at fansite MadonnaInternet, where you can also find some cool screenshots!

    The 2-minute DivX video doesn't only feature the already-heard rap sample, but also some other parts of the song, including the chorus, which surprisingly turns out to be a slow, acoustic part, while the rest of the song features the typical Mirwais electronica sound.

    In the video Madonna is seen in army gear, both as a general and as a soldier (doing some exercising in the men's room!!). Her clothes were designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier and Stella McCartney. Her hair is long and black and was done by Luigi Moreno. She looks great in it and both the video and the song are gonna rock for sure!

    'Will & Grace' call for live audience

    Source: MadonnaInternet - 24 February 2003

    Madonna will be shooting her cameo for US TV show 'WILL & GRACE' at the CBS Studio Center at Studio City, California on March 18th!

    In order to attend the taping of this one-time event, send a self-addressed stamped envelope with the show's taping date and your personal info to:

    Audiences Unlimited, 100 Universal City Plaza, Building 3153, Universal City, CA 91608, USA.

    The episode with Madonna will be aired sometime in May.

    Pink avoids Madonna, to keep the mystery

    Source: TeenMusic - 24 February 2003

    Rock chick Pink has yet to meet her idol Madonna - and keeping the Material Girl a mystery suits her fine. The 'Just Like a Pill' hitmaker has Madonna up on a pedestal and credits the singer with giving her the ambition to make it in the music industry. And Pink is not ready to chance a meeting with her in case they don't get on.

    She says, "I've looked up to her for so long. I don't want her to become human to me. I know how weird that sounds! I don't want to see her flaws - to not like her. "You meet some people and you find yourself thinking, why the hell did I look up to them in the first place?

    `Not that I think she would be like that. I just don't want to chance it. I used to look up to her like she was my my mentor, my teacher. And if I met her and she didn't like me, I'd be crushed."

    Parky snubs Madonna

    Source: - 24 February 2003

    Michael Parkinson has turned down the chance to interview Madonna - because she once snubbed him. He says he can't be bothered to talk to her on his chat show this spring. A BBC insider said: "Madonna may be one of the biggest names in pop but Michael doesn't play second fiddle to anyone.

    "She had her chance to be on his show in 2000 but cancelled at the last minute. Producers were very annoyed - and so was Michael. She won't get a second chance." Madonna is likely do an interview with Jonathan Ross instead. "They're close to a deal," said the source.

    Australian tribute song to Madonna hits US radio

    Source: Sunday Telegraph, thanx to Madonna Information Report - 24 February 2003

    A novelty song by Australian rock band The Androids paying tribute to Madonna is poised to become a smash hit in the US. Influential Los Angeles station KIIS FM started playing Do It With Madonna last week after one of their staffers brought a copy back from Australia.

    Listeners besieged the station with more requests to hear the song and stations throughout the US also started playing it. The band, who are signed to local independent label Festival Mushroom records, found themselves in the middle of a multi-million dollar bidding war between American labels.

    They signed to Republic Records on Friday and expect to head to the US for showcase performances and a promo within the month. Do It With Madonna sings the praises of the pop survivor above the current crop of pop princesses including Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue.

    Glimse of American Life on TRL *official*

    Source: - 22 February 2003

    Tune in to TRL Today to get the first glimpse of Madonna's American Life video. Catch it at 4:00PM ET/PT [on MTV US].

    From the American Life video

    From the American Life video

    More video captures

    22 February 2003

    As we move closer towards sunday's video preview, the excitement among fans is getting higher. Madonnafan DerrickD took following screengrabs from an MTV ad for the preview, showing Madonna in army gear with war images in the back. The picture posted by MTV (see below) obviously was reversed.

    MTV gives American Life preview / first video pic *official*

    21 February 2003

    MTV[US] will air a sneak peak of American Life during their Grammy Pre-show. The show will air this Sunday, February 23 from 7-8 PM ET (= Monday 1-2 AM CET) and Monday, February 24 from 8-9 AM ET (= Monday 2-3 PM CET). Source:

    Below, you can see the first picture from the video, posted by MTV. (Thanx to Robster for the image editing)

    First pic from the American Life video

    Swept Away in other theatres

    20 February 2003

    A few days ago we wrote that Swept Away might still get a release in Europe and other territories. Well, guess what! Madonnafan Xavi kindly informs us that the movie is playing in Spanish theatres since Feb. 14th already (titled 'Barridos Por La Marea')!

    It seems the movie is playing in several other countries too (Finland, Norway and Philippines that I know of). After some research I've found some more release dates:

    South Korea: 21 February
    Mexico: 14 March
    Brazil: 25 April
    Italy: 16 May
    Belgium: 21 May
    France: 21 May ('A la Dérive')

    Radio release confusion

    20 February 2003 announces: "Look out for American Life on your local radio station on March 25th." However, rumour has it that radio stations are waiting for a go-ahead, which could come any minute, in an attempt to surprise the fans with an early radio release after all.

    The next few days will tell (hopefully)... By the way, fansite Madonnarama has been hacked into, so the message saying the song will premiere on tonight is FAKE.

    American Life sample put online by M herself?

    Source: - 20 February 2003

    According to following article, the American Life sample we heard, has been made intentionally to avoid illegal copies: "Madonna is making sure fans don't get illegal copies of her upcoming 'American Life' single by throwing a looped teaser into peer to peer networks such as Kazaa.

    The specially produced 4 second teaser has been looped to last exactly the length the legitimate copy will be. The tactic is designed to flood the illegal download market with a sample that is virtually useless but at the same time creates awareness of the new song.

    'American Life' has already had a controversial introduction into the world with Madonna going as far as releasing a statement rejecting claims the song is Anti-Bush. "I am not Anti-Bush. I am not pro-Iraq. I am pro Peace" she said.

    "I have written a song and created a video which expresses my feelings about our culture and values and the illusions of what many people believe is the American dream - the perfect life". A review of the lyrics certainly indicates that she is talking more about herself than George Dubya.

    "I got a lawyer and a manager/ An agent and a chef/ Three nannies, an assistant/ And a driver and a jet. / A trainer and a butler/ And a bodyguard or five/ A gardener and a stylist/ Do you think I'm satisfied?" she will be heard rapping when the song is released next month."

    Liz denies Bashir interview

    Source: NY Daily News - 19 February 2003

    British journo Martin Bashir may be suffering from the success of his interview with Michael Jackson. London's Daily Mirror claims Liz Hurley is ready to talk to him and that he's closing in on a chat with Madonna.

    But Hurley's rep tells us she has no intention of speaking with Bashir, who has been accused by Jackson of betraying him.

    As for Madonna, her rep says, "That's not on her schedule, nor will it be scheduled. I don't think anyone will be speaking to Martin Bashir for awhile. He may have ruined his career, too."

    American Life lyrics

    18 February 2003

    We seem to be getting closer to hearing American Life! Fansite MadonnaPower is hosting a demo of what probably is Madonna's rap part of American Life.

    You can read the lyrics of American Life here. And it's fair to say we can indeed expect the song on the radio soon!

    Warner Germany press release

    Source and translation: Madonna Information Report - 18 February 2003

    Madonna's album has been announced. It has the title "American Life" and is scheduled for release on the 21st of April. Madonna and Mirwais produced the album - a team that has had spectacular success, and a row of chart and club hits.

    American Life will contain a total of 11 tracks, one of which is the title-song. This will be, from the 24th of March, the first single to be heard on radio worldwide.

    Rumour update *rumour*

    18 February 2003

    Though press releases from Warner all state a late March single release to radio, there's still speculation that we'll get to hear American Life earlier.

    Rumour has it that Missy Elliot made a remix of American Life.

    Though we know the complete tracklisting, there's still a rumour about a track by Air, called 'Trick'. Could this possibly be the Japanese bonus track?

    Now that the new album dominates the Madonna news, it's quiet about Swept Away, but there still is talk about releasing it on the European mainland.

    Madonna interview by Bashir? *rumour*

    Source: Dotmusic - 17 February 2003

    It's rumoured that Madonna will be the next interviewee for TV journalist Martin Bashir.

    According to tabloid reports, Bashir, who made the recent controversial documentary about Michael Jackson, is in negotiations with the star having pursued the project for the last six months.

    M is exec producer of new film

    Source: IMDb - 17 February 2003

    Madonna's an executive producer on the new film "Agent Cody Banks" starring Frankie Muniz. Jason Alexander is also an executive producer on the movie. The film is co-produced by Maverick and MGM.

    The film carries a $20 million budget and will be released in the US on March 21. It was written by Scott Alexander, who also wrote "Man on the Moon', "People vs. Larry Flynt," and "Ed Wood." He also penned "Problem Child" 1-3, "That Darn Cat," and "Screwed."

    Craig McDean too expensive for WBR *rumour*

    Source: NY Daily News - 17 February 2003

    Reps for the singer deny talk that she clashed with Warner Bros. Records chief Tom Whalley, after sending the label an astronomical bill for a photo session Craig McDean did for her new CD.

    "Whalley sent word back to Madonna that he wasn't paying the bill," says the source, since his boss, Warner Music Group CEO Roger Ames, recently told all his label heads to trim expenses. "So she called Ames, reminding him of how many records she sold. Ames called Whalley to ask him to make an exception for Madonna. But Whalley wouldn't budge. Things have gotten very tense."

    Madonna's rep, Liz Rosenberg denies Whalley and Ames spoke about the bill. "Tom Whalley doesn't get involved in that area of the company," said Rosenberg, who did confirm that McDean's bill for the photo session ran over $100,000.

    Clear demo of Like A Flower

    15 February 2003

    If you are one of those fans - like me - who fell in love with Like A Flower, and you've been waiting since then for a clear version of the song to surface, you might get lucky.

    Sp!n has released a clear part of the song, which you can download here. It's a 1'31 snippet, but let's hope the full version will make its way to the web some time soon too.

    Calderone interview

    14 February 2003

    Remixer Victor Calderone has spoken to DJ Times about how he became involved with Madonna. Calderone has mixed almost ever Madonna single since Frozen.

    In this article, he talks about how the first mix came about and his process for producing these versions. Read the complete interview at

    Air collaboration on new album after all? *rumour*

    14 February 2003

    The rumour of a collaboration between Madonna and Air is resurfacing. According to French music site MusicActu Air composed at least one track for the new album, possibly even two.

    Statement from Madonna on American Life *official*

    Source: - 14 February 2003

    "I feel lucky to be an American citizen for many reasons - one of which is the right to express myself freely, especially in my work. I understand that there have been reports about my upcoming video "American Life" in the media - much of which is inaccurate.

    I am not Anti-Bush. I am not pro-Iraq. I am pro Peace. I have written a song and created a video which expresses my feelings about our culture and values and the illusions of what many people believe is the American dream - the perfect life.

    As an artist, I hope that this provokes thought and dialogue. I don't expect everyone to agree with my point of view. I am grateful to have the freedom to express these feelings and that's how I honor my country."

    UK release dates

    Source: Madonnarama - 14 February 2003

    UK release date has been announced for the forthcoming single and album.

    UK Single - 31 March
    UK Album - 21 April (Easter Monday)

    Madonna's UK representative today said that the video is at least 3 weeks away from being shown.

    Warner France announces release dates

    Source: Warner France, thanx to Madonna Electronica, translation by Mad-Eyes - 13 February 2003

    2003 will mark the 20th anniversary of Madonna's career, during which she sold 150 million albums. Her new album American Life will be released on April 22nd.

    The album, produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzai contains 11 tracks. Those who've heard it already, describe it as "sensual, energetic and sexy; a combination of the best of Ray Of Light and Music."

    The first single will be titled 'American Life' and is expected to be released for radio on March 24th (to be confirmed). Remixes for the song are in progress.

    The video for American Life was shot by Jonas Akerlund in LA on February 6th and 7th, and is also expected to premiere on TV on March 24th (to be confirmed).

    Madonna shows support to dying teenager

    Source: - 12 February 2003

    What began with Madonna granting a dying girl's wish blossomed into an unlikely friendship between the most successful female recording artist in history and Kerri Yascheshyn, an aspiring Windsor actor and ballerina who taught Sunday school.

    Kerri, 17, succumbed to liver cancer on Sunday with precious memories of a relationship few could have imagined: A daily phone call from Madonna in which the artist stashed away her Material Girl image for something more akin to big sister, chatting about everything from dancing to the afterlife.

    "Madonna was very positive and encouraged Kerri to pray," recalled Kerri's mother, Gail Yascheshyn. "She kept telling her not to be negative, and would call whenever she thought about Kerri, sometimes from her cellphone." The calls meant a great deal to the teenager, who was dying from a form of liver cancer that is rare in adults and almost unknown in children. It has only a three per cent survival rate, said her father, Danny Yascheshyn. [...]

    Kerri was more mature than most 17-year-olds and an "old soul," according to her oldest sister, Jennifer, which probably was why a busy superstar would keep in touch after the obligatory first call arranged by the Children's Wish Foundation. Mrs. Yascheshyn said Kerri treated those calls privately, and, although she was a huge fan, spoke to Madonna like any other friend.

    "I think her maturity was part of the connection between them, and they shared a spirituality," Mrs. Yascheshyn said. "This all happened because of Jennifer." When Jennifer realized her sister was dying, she called the Wish Foundation to find out whether a special wish could be granted for Kerri. The foundation contacted her parents and within two days they were told she would get a wish. Kerri gave her parents a list of four names: Madonna, the most important, followed by Mariah Carey, Brad Pitt and Shania Twain.

    "The Wish Foundation said Madonna was not known for charities, but that the foundation was one she did support, so they called her," Mrs. Yascheshyn said. "They tracked her assistant down in Arizona and around 1 p.m. on Jan. 22, she called. After that, her assistant would connect the call, or Madonna would call herself."

    Kerri and Madonna would talk for about 15 minutes, unless Kerri was too tired or in pain. Another sister, Lisa, 22, was responsible for Kerri's love of Madonna and her music. "I was a big fan and she always wanted to be around me," said Lisa. "I can't believe Madonna called the way she did and supported Kerri and the whole family." Madonna sent Kerri books, a letter and a case of what she called "healing" water.

    No Oscar for Die Another Day

    11 February 2003

    Today the nominees for this years Oscar Awards were announced. Die Another Day - the film, nor the single - didn't receive any nominations.

    The song was long time rumoured as a possible nominee, but insiders said it was "too techno sounding and too experimental" for Hollywood.

    Click here for the nominees.

    Madonna's anti-war message

    Source: Reuters - 11 February 2003

    Madonna, who cultivated her pop vixen image in the music video genre she helped popularize 20 years ago, is using her latest video performance to speak out against a possible U.S. war with Iraq. The Material Girl plays out her anti-war message, including a scene in which she lobs a grenade at a fashion show, in a video being produced for the title track and first single of her upcoming album, American Life, due for release in April.

    The elaborate video was shot last week in Los Angeles, and post-production work is under way, said Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg, who denied that the 44-year-old singer was singling out President Bush for criticism.

    "This is not a Madonna statement against George Bush," Rosenberg told Reuters on Monday. "It's certainly an anti-war statement and a statement about the horrors of war," she said, adding that the singer was moved by the prospect of an impending U.S. war with Iraq.

    Madonna becomes the latest in a chorus of pop stars, from Dave Matthews to Sheryl Crow, to lend their voices to expressions of opposition to U.S. military action against Iraq. According to a description released by Rosenberg, the Madonna video opens as a fashion show of runway models wearing couture camouflage and combat fatigues, then "escalates into a mad frenzy depicting the catastrophic repercussions and horror of war."

    At one point, Madonna herself appears on the catwalk and throws a hand grenade toward the audience, Rosenberg said. The video, she said, "expresses a panoramic view of our culture and the looming war through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna."

    Rosenberg said the video was expected to be released in March, about a month before the album, Madonna's first collection of new studio material since her 2000 LP Music.

    The video was directed by Jonas Akerlund, who also collaborated with the pop singer on her Ray Of Light video several years ago, the publicist said.

    MTV on box set and new album

    Source: MTV - 10 February 2003

    In addition to her new album, American Life, Madonna also plans to release a box set before the year is out, marking the 20th anniversary of her recording career. The 11-song American Life (April 22) was co-produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzai, who also co-produced her Music (2000) and the recent James Bond tune Die Another Day.

    The album's title track will be the first single, with a video by controversial director Jonas Akerlund (Smashing Pumpkins, the Prodigy). The clip features an anti-war theme and was completed in Los Angeles last week, the singer's spokesperson said.

    "[The video] expresses a panoramic view of our culture and looming war through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna," according to a statement. "Starting as a runway show of couture army fatigues, the fashion show escalates into a mad frenzy depicting the catastrophic repercussions and horrors of war."

    Madonna co-wrote the songs on American Life with Guy Sigsworth, Gem Jones and Les Rhythmes Digitales' Jacques Lu Cont, who was the musical director and keyboardist on her Drowned World Tour. Among the tracks slated for inclusion are 'Hollywood', 'Nothing Fails' and 'Love Profusion'.

    The box set, whose contents have not yet been announced, is timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Madonna's 1983 self-titled debut, which yielded the hits Lucky Star, Borderline and Holiday. A release date has not been set for the box, according to the spokesperson.

    On Thursday, Madonna filed a grievance with the Press Complaints Commission, a British press watchdog organization, over a Heat magazine article that claimed the 44-year-old singer was pregnant with her third child. Madonna's spokesperson denied the report.

    Full album tracklisting *rumour*

    10 February 2003

    Fansite Madonna's Ashram has posted following tracklisting and album info. While this is still not officially confirmed, it is backed up by different sources.

    Produced by: Mirwais Ahmadzaï, Madonna.
    Collaborators: Guy Sigsworth, Gem Jones, Monti Pittman, Stuart Price, Mark Stent.
    Michel Colombier on: Die Another Day, Nothing Fails, Easy Ride.

  • American Life (first single)
  • Hollywood (rumoured second single)
  • I'm So Stupid
  • Love Profusion
  • Nobody Knows Me
  • Nothing Fails
  • Intervention
  • The Process (a.k.a. "X-tatic Process")
  • Mother And Father
  • Easy Ride
  • Die Another Day
  • Bonus Track (On Japanese release / rumoured)
  • ~ Click here for a summary of all the facts and rumours so far

    M is 4th biggest seller of past 5 years in UK

    Source: Absolute Madonna - 10 February 2003

    With the sales of 3 albums released over the last 5 years (Ray Of Light, Music, and GHV2) as well as sales of her back catalogue, Madonna lodged herself fourth place in UK album sales between 1998 and 2002.

    Here's the complete top 10 list:
    1. Robbie Williams (9.7 million albums);
    2. The Corrs (5.8 million albums);
    3. Westlife;
    4. Madonna;
    5. The Beatles;
    6. Steps;
    7. Shania Twain;
    8. U2;
    9. Travis;
    10. Stereophonics

    American Life, the video and the album *official*

    Source: - 10 February 2003

    Official reports from Madonna's video shoot in LA last week for the first single from her new CD -both titled American Life- show the artist's vision in a stunning collaboration with director Jonas Akerland.

    It expresses a panoramic view of our culture, the fashion world, and looming war thru the view of a female super-hero portrayed by Madonna. Starting as a runway show of couture army fatigues by fashion designer Jeremy Scott, the show escalates into a mad frenzy depicting the catastrophic repercussions of war.

    The song American Life is a strong courageous statement on the state of America and much of the world. This will be a stirring and extremely controversial piece of work from the artist who created the medium of the 'small film' set to music.

    Razzie nominations for Swept Away

    10 February 2003

    It was to be expected that Swept Away would be a favourite for this years unprestigious Razzie Awards, which nominates last years worst movies.

    As announced today, it received nominations for 'Worst Picture', 'Worst Remake or Sequel', 'Worst Director' (Guy Ritchie), 'Worst Screenplay', 'Worst Actress' (Madonna), 'Worst Actor' (Adriano Giannini) and 'Worst Screen Couple' (Madonna & Adriano Giannini).

    For Die Another Day, Madonna received nominations for 'Worst Supporting Actress' and 'Worst Original Song'. With 7 nominations Swept Away is one of the 'leading' films at this years Razzies, together with 'Star Wars' (7 nominations) and Britney's 'Crossroads' (8 nominations).

    Info on American Life song and video

    8 February 2003

    Ok, here it is - what we've all been waiting for - inside info on Madonna's new single and video for 'American Life'.

    THE SONG :
    - Very "underground"
    - Electronica
    - Has some accoustic elements to it
    - Madonna raps at the beginning (in a Madonna-style!).
    - Madonna sings about how she has lived beyond "the American Dream" and that "Nothing is what it seems"

    - The theme is "camouflage" through and through
    - Madonna is seen (as a brunette) crashing her Mini Cooper into a catwalk. She then joins the models in a dance.
    - Later in the video we see lots of blood and gore.
    - Madonna is shown "hosing down" the paparazzi
    - The theme is that if the US goes to war, there will be only carnage.

    This info comes from Madonnarama visitor mjclikesit: "Ok, here it goes.. I auditioned for a featured extra role in the new Madonna video titled "American Life". I'm home now after a 16 hour day (my second and last) and am too tired to go into everything, but I will summarize.

    It was shot at LA Center Studios in downtown LA (the same studio was shooting the new Legally Blonde movie in the stage next door). It takes place at a fashion show with a VERY camouflage theme. VERY!!! Behind the catwalk are 3 vertical blue screens which when the video is put together will show Madonna in different costume changes (thats all I know about that) and the rest of the background are stripes of vertical greyish camouflage.

    Before I go on, I do want to say that I can not see how this video is going to be allowed on MTV more than once... you'll hear why in the following. Also, the song rocks! I love it, I didn't the first listen but then I LOVED it! Its hard to absorb a song in sections like I did, so once I heard it all together, I realized how brilliant it was. It is upbeat and has an underground feel to it. It is a mixture of electronica, a little acoustic and yes... RAP!!!

    But, the rap is not like eminems, its totally Madonnas. To sum it up, the song is about how she has lived way beyond what she believes is "The American Dream", but (and I quote) "nothing is what it seems". The first day of shooting had a really layed back funny feel to it.

    The video had a lot of humor and a lot of sexiness to it. The second day, however was bloody, gory and VERY CONTROVERSIAL!! She is in a tight camouflage outfit with an S & M flair, she is brunet and looks fantastic and in great shape. She talked to all of us and DANCED amazing!! In one scene she dances in and out of the sunroof of a very war like Mini Cooper and comes off the hood, does her rap and gives the camera the finger. She raps about "having a maid, assistant, chauffer, etc.".

    I know it might sound stupid, but its not. You'll get it when you hear it. She also proclaims in the song that she is neither jewish or christian. She, later in the day uses a contraption that is bolted to the top of the car to HOSE DOWN the paparazzi that are at the fashion show. Totally hysterical!! OK, I need to finish....Things that are controversial are rare in the first day of shooting except for the fact that one of the male models had an obviously huge hard on poking thru his barely there pants.

    The entire second day (today) was controversial and slightly nauseating. Picture parapolegics (spelling?), limbless (for real) men and women, bloody babies, bombs (one grenade she throws) and a lot of beatings all happening on the runway. I think it's all brilliant and have a feeling that this one will be a classic. But, I feel that this will be too much for MTV and wait till the politicians get a crack at it. The theme of the video is that if the US goes to war, there will be nothing but blood and misery. Madonna is back and she's still the same (thank god!)."

    M denies leaving rainy Britain

    Source: Hello Magazine - 5 February 2003

    Madonna has dramatically quashed rumours that she is leaving Britain, by pledging her undying love for old Blighty. "I adore England and when I'm not there I miss it terribly," she said. "My home in Marble Arch is my favourite house."

    Rumours that the singer had tired of England's grey skies swamped the British press recently when she flew back to Los Angeles. Some papers claimed she had withdrawn her children from English schools, sparking fears that her love affair with London was on the rocks. The iconic star has rejected the reports, however, insisting that her affection for all things British (including husband Guy Ritchie) is as strong as ever.

    "I put a lot of love and time into making a life for my family there," she said. "I prefer the schools in England and I love the English countryside." Her spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg also made a statement, promising that Madonna will return – she just needs a few months of California sun. "She'll be back in London in the spring," said Liz. "Madonna has homes in the States, she has homes in England, and she moves between the two."

    British fans may be feeling a little envious of the 44-year-old's continuing friendship with their neighbours across the pond, but Madonna is eager to assuage their insecurities: "How many times do I have to say it, I love living in England!"

    M to file complaint over pregnancy claim

    Source: Reuters - 5 February 2003

    Madonna is not amused that that a British gossip magazine says she is pregnant just because she has dyed her hair and taken to wearing baggy clothes. A spokeswoman for the pop diva says Madonna plans to file a complaint with Britain's press watchdog over inaccurate reports in Heat magazine that she is pregnant with her third child.

    Liz Rosenberg said Madonna, 44, was not pregnant and also denied a report in the magazine that the "Material Girl" had moved back to Los Angeles to consult her U.S. doctors. "It's not true ... it's not accurate. She dyed her hair brown instead of blond, that does not confirm somebody's pregnant. And she's been wearing baggy clothes for 20 years, so what else is new?," Rosenberg told Reuters.

    Heat magazine homed in on Madonna's hair color change and latest fashion style as the basis for its report, which follows weeks of rumors in the British press that Madonna was expecting again. Madonna has adopted London as a second home since her marriage to British film director Guy Ritchie two years ago. They have a 2-year-old son Rocco, and Madonna has a 6-year-old daughter Lourdes by her former personal trainer.

    Rosenberg said Madonna was in Los Angeles to shoot a video for her upcoming album "American Life", to be released in April, and "when people see that they'll see for themselves she's not pregnant." She said the singer and actress would file a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.

    The Commission, a self-regulatory body set up and run by newspaper and magazines, can investigate and reprimand British newspapers on issues of accuracy, intrusion of privacy and harassment but has no legal powers.

    Vasquez angers Madonna again

    Source: CentreDaily - 5 February 2003

    Legendary house-music DJ Junior Vasquez screwed up his friendship with Madonna six years ago when he used snippets of a message the singer left on his answering machine for his club anthem "If Madonna Calls … ."

    And he's once again feeling the wrath of Madge - this time for distributing his mix of her James Bond single, Die Another Day, reports New York magazine. Madonna hit the roof and had her suits fire off a cease-and-desist letter. Her camp says Vasquez did ask for his work to be sanctioned as an authorized remix but got rejected.

    Vasquez's rep insists that the DJ never distributed the mix and has played it only a handful of times. Vasquez doesn't appear to need the Material Mom all that much, however. He has recorded a track called "Crack Is Wack," which includes sound bites from Whitney Houston's interview with Diane Sawyer.

    "It's pretty sweet," says one fan. "It's mixed with 'Diane, let me tell you one thing … Crack is wack." Vasquez has also done a dance mix of the theme song of Anna Nicole Smith's reality show, titled "It's Me."

    Akerlund on American Life video

    Source: MLVC mailing list / MadonnaMad - 4 February 2003

    In todays Aftonbladet Jonas says the following about American Life: "It's great that Madonna gives me the trust to do this video. The song is supercool and aimed for the dancefloors! I especially love that she gives me the trust to do the first single from the new album.

    There is a special feeling and ambition around the first single and a hell of lot of secrets. I had to sign a paper even before I got to listen to the song! The shooting will take 3 days."

    American Life video casting / possible radio release date of February 20

    Source: MadNews - 4 February 2003

    This information was sent out to casting studios for the new Madonna music video. The video is just referred to as the Madonna music video and it will be shot in LA the week of February 3rd. The roles being sought for are as follows:

    Eastern European Man (30 - 60 yrs. old, Real people, THIN, interesting looking, great face, worn out looking, craggy).
    4 Beautiful Models (drop dead gorgeous w. amazing legs and bodies).
    10 soldiers (must have long hair and be willing to shave it for the video... good looking, really good body).
    Hairstylist (male or female, any ethnicity, must be real hairstylists, think editorial type.
    Stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, 20's, cool and interesting looking, think N.Y.
    2 Babes (very voluptious and buxom, bimbo types, b pin-up girls).
    Makeup Artists (m or f, any ethnicity, a REAL makeup artist).
    2 IRAQI kids (boys and girls, 4 - 7 yrs. old).
    African American Male (35 - 50, THIN).

    More on Oxygen ad / possible album release date of April 22

    Source: NY Observer - 4 February 2003

    When Madonna shilled for Pepsi in 1989, the Catholic Church threatened a boycott of the soft-drink company. Fourteen years later, she's flogging a new product - the Oxygen cable channel for women - but practitioners of her adopted religion, Kabbalah mysticism, will probably think it's divine.

    Certainly, the sight of Madonna crossing her obsessively toned arms in Oxygen Media’s new "Oh!" ad campaign has struck some fans as odd—if not a sign that the singer is running scared since the failure of her movie project, Swept Away, with her director husband, Guy Ritchie. But according to sources in both camps, Madonna's participation in the "Oh!" campaign was connected to Oxygen's commitment to produce a special on Kabbalah, the sect of Jewish mysticism to which she and Mr. Ritchie are devoted.

    A spokeswoman for Oxygen confirmed that "we are doing a short on the Kabbalah, and it’s at Madonna’s request." The spokeswoman said, however, that she didn’t know whether the Kabbalah spots were a direct result of Madonna’s agreement to shoot an Oxygen ad.

    "I know that we are doing them because Madonna asked us if we would do them," she said, adding that "this is all part of a very nice relationship with Madonna that [the network] has had for a while. We’re very grateful for her interest and involvement."

    Another Oxygen source said that the cable channel—which was founded by former Nickelodeon honcho Geraldine Laybourne, Oprah Winfrey, and television producers Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Caryn Mandabach—had been pursuing Madonna doggedly even before its 2000 launch.

    Madonna’s publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said that it was Madonna's manager, Caresse Henry, who had a relationship with Oxygen executives and it would be a good idea for Madonna to shoot the ads.

    "In the course of the conversations, we certainly spoke about Oxygen and the Kabbalah, and I said it would be great if they [produced the specials], but it’s not like that was the whole reason Madonna did Oxygen."

    In the ad campaign, which ran for four weeks in November and began again in January, Madonna joins a passel of almost-recognizable faces, including Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines, The Sopranos’ Jamie-Lynn Sigler, David Alan Grier, Duncan Sheik, and Oxygen players Isaac Mizrahi and Candice Bergen.

    There are several versions of the spots, each featuring a different mix of faces. But they all feature Madonna, who crosses her buff arms and says "Oh!" in her trademark "I’m not bored, just nasal" voice.

    The ad was shot in Los Angeles in the fall of 2002, and one source claimed that the network had to fork over $10,000 just to have the Material Girl’s makeup done.

    Ms. Rosenberg said that that figure sounded "like the approximate amount," but noted that Madonna shot the Oxygen spots during her Swept Away press junket and so saved some costs on hair and makeup.

    As for the nature of the Kabbalah program, the Oxygen spokeswoman said that it’s currently scheduled to be shot in five- and 10-minute versions thatwould run as interstitial programming between longer shows. She added, however, that the project was in its infancy and could change format at any time.

    Ms. Rosenberg said that Madonna’s level of involvement with the project "is being discussed," but that the singer is currently focusing on her new record, set to be released on April 22.

    The "Oh!" campaign, which sources said cost the network $10 million, was the work of Dale Pon, who created the "I Want My MTV" campaign in the 1980’s.

    Oxygen, which has struggled with its identity over its three-year life, has found recent success with the hidden-camera show Girls Behaving Badly and with Oprah After the Show, as well as a frank sex call-in show called The Sunday Night Sex Show.

    AOL nomination for DADay

    Source: Madonnarama - 4 February 2003

    Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey announced the nominees for the Eighth Annual AOL Moviegoer Awards & Madonna scored a nomination! Die Another Day is up for best song from a movie. She is up against U2, Eminem, Will Smith & Chad Kroeger.

    We can all vote for Madonna! Beginning today, people can cast their votes at AOL Keyword: AOL Moviegoer Awards or on the Web at

    Up For Grabs named Best Stage Event

    Source: Ananova - 4 February 2003

    Madonna's West End debut has been named stage event of the year by theatregoers. The singer's appearance in Up For Grabs was a hot ticket during its run at the Comedy Theatre last year. US star Gillian Anderson was named best actress for What The Night Is For in the Theatregoers' Choice Awards.

    She beat Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith to take the prize. Queen's musical We Will Rock You took five titles, including Best New Musical, chosen by the paying public. Sam West was named best actor for his performance in Hamlet in the poll of 16,000 regular theatre visitors.

    Current West End hit This Is Our Youth - which has seen a regular turnover of young Hollywood stars - won two awards for best new comedy and best newcomer Jake Gyllenhaal.

    Terri Paddock, director of, said: "The people who actually pay to see all of London's wonderful stage productions have very strong opinions, and we hope that our awards give them a unique opportunity to voice those opinions."

    M's agent denies persistent pregnancy rumours

    Source: IOL - 4 February 2003

    Madonna's agent denied reports today that the pop superstar is expecting her third child. Celebrity magazine Heat said the 44-year-old singer visited a birth specialist in London at the end of last year. But Madonna's UK spokeswoman Barbara Charone denied the star was expecting in five months' time, saying: "It's not true".

    When the pop icon was pregnant with second child Rocco, her agents denied she was expecting until Madonna was in her third month. She kept the second pregnancy under wraps for as long as she could because she was conscious of the increased risks of having a child in her 40s.

    Today's report followed long-running rumours that Madonna was expecting another son to follow two-year-old Rocco.

    American Life's war theme shelved? *rumour*

    Source: MSNBC - 4 February 2003

    Looks like Madonna is preparing to make an anti-war statement, too. Or at least she was. The Anglophile singer is working on her video for a song called 'American Life', and a casting sheet that has been circulating calls for, among others, actors to play soldiers (they have to have long hair that they're willing to have shaved off for the video) and two Iraqi children, between ages 4 and 7.

    "My understanding is that Madonna wants to remind people about the human costs of war," says one source. But Madonna's spokeswoman says that the 'American Life' video concept may have changed.

    "A casting director who is no longer the casting director was circulating that," she tells The Scoop, adding that she can't comment on any possible changes.

    ↑ Back to top of page