Madonna news - May 2003


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31 May - The English Roses get September 15 release

Madonna's The English Roses will be published on September 15th. The first in a five-volume series of children's books is expected to be the widest, simultaneous multi-language book release in publishing history; in addition to the U.S. and U.K., the book will be published in more than 100 countries, including Lithuania, Italy, France, Thailand, and will appear in forty-two different languages.

Each of the five books will feature Madonna's text paired with a different illustrator. The identity of the first artist will not be revealed until the book's release date. The title and pub date for the second book will be announced on the day of Roses' release.

The book, published by Callaway Editions, will have an initial print run of 400,000 copies in the U.S. "It's hardly news that Madonna knows how to communicate," said Callaway publisher and editor Nicholas Callaway. "Now we will have a new generation throughout the world that will know Madonna as an inspiring storyteller." (source: RollingStone)


31 May - Madonna wedding castle sold
The world-famous Scottish Highlands retreat where the singer Madonna married has been sold. Skibo Castle has been bought for an undisclosed sum by a small group of members of the Carnegie Club. The exclusive hotel is home to the club, which is named after the Scottish-born steel tycoon and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The sale was forced by a group of American institutional shareholders who offloaded their majority stake in the property. Millionaire businessman Peter de Savary took over Skibo 13 years ago and transformed it into a mecca for the rich and famous. Madonna wed Guy Ritchie there in December 2000 and Sean Connery and former US President Bill Clinton have played the resort's championship golf courses. The new owners say they aim to take Skibo to an even higher level. Mr Savary is now planning to developing a similar venture at Bovey Castle in Devon. The castle has 20 bedrooms and prices are said to be in the region of £700 a night. (source: BBC)


31 May - Hollywood 2nd most added song at US radio
MADONNA "Hollywood" (WARNER BROS./MAVERICK)
Voted your #1 Pick to Click record on our survey with over 3,830 votes, the team of BIERY, BOULOS, CONNONE, SWERLING-SUSLOW along with KEN LUCEKS crew grab the #2 Most Added slot of the week! Out-of-the-box action includes: Cadillac Jack@WXKS, Rob Roberts@Y100 along with KKRZ, KDND, KMXV, PRO-FM, WQZQ, KJ103, WSPK, KIXY, WABB, WBAM, WBFA, WDBR, WJBQ, WJMX, WMGI, WPRR, WYCR, WZEE and more! This thing has mass-appeal written all over it folks! #4 Most Disc-overed!
Of course, the Media Queen for the past couple of decades has had herself a GREAT ADD WEEK! MADONNA "Hollywood" gets the first week response from: KFMB/San Diego, WKRQ/Cincinnati, WSNE/Providence (the umbrella business must be booming!), WRMF, KLLY, KSII, KVUU, WINK and WKPK, THIS IS the Madonna song that you've been waiting for...very POP, very MAINSTREAM.
Madonna "Hollywood" (Maverick/WB)
KHKS' Marcus D sums it up: "Good record. Brings it back to what a Madonna record should sound like. More melodic than the last two releases." OTB at Y100, KMXV, Z104 and more. (source: Madonna.com)


30 May - Back to blond
Back to blond It seems that after only a few months as a brunette, Madonna has again turned blond, possibly for the Hollywood video.
The Sun writes: "I know Madonna is famous for changing her image, but this is ridiculous. The Queen of Pop has already ditched her brown locks and reverted to her trademark blonde barnet. Madge dyed her hair dark and wore a beret for a string of low key gigs while promoting her last single American Life. But she obviously thinks blondes have more fun as she's been back to the hairdresser's. She was snapped strolling in Beverly Hills with a cup of coffee in her hand. Her blonde tresses peeped out from under a tweed flat cap. An onlooker said: 'Madonna is an icon and has created some of the most memorable images of the past 20 years. She obviously didn't like her last style. Blonde suits her more.'" (thanx to Madonnalicious)


29 May - New Hollywood home and Hollywood video

Madonna has a funny way of renouncing materialism. Even as she rails against the shallowness of our consumer culture on her song American Life, her Madge-sty has traded up to a $13 million spread in Beverly Hills. It was only a few weeks ago that she listed her previous Beverly Hills home - which she bought from Diane Keaton in 2000 - for $10.9 million. The 7,000-square-foot Spanish-style hacienda, built in the 1920s, has eight bedrooms and a guesthouse. But apparently that wasn't enough.

She and husband Guy Ritchie have now snapped up the 11,600-square-foot mansion that actress Sela Ward and her husband, Howard Sherman, put on the market a few days ago. The French Norman-style house, built three years ago, sits on 1.17 acres off Sunset Blvd. It has seven bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a screening room, a library, a gym, a sauna, two guesthouses, a tennis court, a steam room and a 60-foot swimming pool.

The singer is in Los Angeles getting ready to shoot the video for her next single, Hollywood, in which we hear she goes glam in an assortment of multi-hued wigs. But we're sure she's absolutely sick about succumbing again to American life. Which may be why she made a donation - said to be several million dollars - to London's Kabbalah Center for a bigger place for her to worship. (source: NY Daily News)


29 May - Film penned for Madonna *rumour*

Madonna is reportedly holding talks with former husband Sean Penn about her next movie role. The couple split up in the late 80s after a brief but very high-profile marriage. Madonna and Sean have been feuding ever since. But Penn is said to be keen to sign his ex-wife for a role in the appropriately-named Madonna and Child. The film has been described as a romantic adventure about a middle-aged star who dreams of recapturing her youthful success. Filming on the movie is set to begin early next year. Madonna's most recent films include Swept Away - which panned by critics and never released in UK cinemas - and Bond epic Die Another Day. Her most succesful movies include Evita, 1996, and Dick Tracy, 1990. (source: Sky News)


26 May - Pavarotti wants duet *rumour*

The King Of Opera, Luciano Pavarotti, has sent good wishes to Madonna, requesting that they work together soon on something to suit both their tastes. My Madonna spies tell me she is thrilled. 'She loves his voice and has wanted to hook up with him for some time. A few years back, she had hoped to appear at his Hyde Park concert as a surprise guest, but alas, it did not come off. Now, though, they plan to work something out very soon.' To get praise from him, my Madge sources reveal, sent her into seventh heaven. (source: New magazine)


26 May - Hollywood single and video *rumour*

Hollywood promo CD Hollywood has been released to German radio TODAY with the commercial Maxi Single following on July 7th. The single will be released the same day in the rest of Europe. No confirmed release-date for the USA yet.
According to unconfirmed reports, Madonna has filmed the video for her 2nd single from the American Life-album, Hollywood, last week in the USA. Parts of the video have been filmed in Venice, Los Angeles. It is believed that the video will be ready for TV-broadcast by mid-June. Stay tuned for more info on the video! (source: Madonna-Online.ch)
~ Thanx to BuySellMadonna for a scan of the Hollywood promo (on the right)


26 May - Madonna co-finances Kabbalah center

She credited Kabbalah, the ancient tradition of Jewish mysticism, for the "creative inspiration" behind her best-selling album Ray of Light. And now Madonna is repaying the debt. The pop superstar and her husband, the film director Guy Ritchie, are said to have donated some of the £3.65m cost of a new building for the Kabbalah Centre in central London. The Estates Gazette, the trade paper of the property world, reported yesterday that the London Kabbalah Centre is moving into a Grade II-listed, 10,000sqft office building just north of Oxford Street - thanks to financial help from Madonna. She is one of a number of celebrities whose interest has helped the Kabbalah Centre to outgrow its small offices above a Vidal Sassoon hairdressing school in Grosvenor Street, four years after it first came to the capital. Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall and Naomi Campbell also follow the Jewish mysticism. This includes wearing a red thread - a charmed wrist bracelet that keeps evil spirits away.

The esoteric teachings of Kabbalah are said to go back thousands of years to the beginning of Judaism. But the London centre is said to teach a simplified version - dubbed "Kabbalah-lite" - offering instant "spiritual wisdom". Critics argue it has a distinct New Age feel and is little more than the latest self-help fad. "The Kabbalah is an incredibly powerful tradition going back thousands of years," said Jeremy Rosen, a rabbi at the Yakar educational centre in Hendon, north London. "What's being peddled at the moment is like a comic book version. Everyone wants an overnight solution to their problems. People have this attitude that you just have to take this water and it performs magic. That's ridiculous. It may have a placebo effect, but that's nothing to do with its intrinsic qualities. This is the new Kabbalah of hocus pocus." But despite the criticism, the pop queen, 44, claims Kabbalah is helping her to "unpick her ego". She is writing a series of children's books based on its parables and is said to have consulted the teachings about the best time to conceive her third child. (source: independant.co.uk)


25 May - Belgian interview
Today, Belgian Radio Donna and TV1 broadcasted parts of the interview they recently had with Madonna.


23 May - Another HMV review
Read a late but interesting article on Madonna's gig at London's HMV at Screen India.


21 May - Chart update
American Life, the album, is this week at #15 (US), #8 (UK), #21 (Australia), #3 (France)
American Life, the single, is this week at #86 (US), #35 (UK), #24 (Australia), #21 (France)
On the dance charts, it's at #1 (US) and #4 (Australia)

(Thanx to AbsoluteMadonna)


21 May - News bits on house & husband

Some news bits from PeopleNews:

- Just when we thought England-loving Madonna might be selling up in the US and moving permanently to Britain, the Material Girl has bought a new place on Sunset Boulevard. Just days ago, Madge put her Beverly Hills Spanish-style villa on the market. However news of her real motives for the sale has emerged - she wants a house with a tennis court. Her new $13 million French Regency design home is on Sunset Boulevard near the Beverly Hills Hotel and is comes complete with the all-important tennis court, perfect for the former fitness fanatic to perfect her ground strokes in time for Wimbledon.

- Guy Ritchie: Mayor of London - can you imagine it? No? Well Madonna can. Speaking on the LBC Breakfast show yesterday she said, 'I think he'd be good. He's very intelligent.' And she'd know, being very intelligent herself. Just as well Madonna can't vote.

- Just when you thought Swept Away was only to be found in the 6.99 pound bargain bin at Blockbusters and it was safe to go back into the cinema, Guy Ritchie takes on another film project. Thankfully he's reverted to what he does best (and really all he does), a gangster film. It is to be a heist movie called Revolver set in Las Vegas, and will star friend-of-the-Ritchies and guaranteed bums-on-seats big name Brad Pitt as the lead. For nervous film-goers, the movie will not contain any trace of cinematic pest, Madonna.


21 May - Hollywood cover is a fake

The rumoured Hollywood cover that appeared online earlier, turns out to be a fake. The picture is taken from an ad from Italian shoemaker Cesare Paciotto, which appeared in the American magazine 'Ocean Drive' in October 1999. Check Madonna Electronica to see the original picture.


21 May - Hollywood will be pink

Thanks to Spanish Madonnafan Danielillo, who gives us following info: "In a recent interview for a Spanish radio station Madonna revealed the following:
* She's working on a musical for the cinema. It's an original script based on a real story about an actress of the 30-40's - very provocative and autodestructive.
* The Hollywood video will have lots of pink colour in it
* She's trying to tour next year and she'll come to Spain to play
* More things about her connection with Spain and stuff like that... "


19 May - Madonna sells Beverly Hills home

Madonna's Beverly Hills home, which she bought from actress Diane Keaton nearly three years ago, is up for sale.

Madonna is seeking $10.9 million for the 7,000-square-foot home, which was built in the 1920s and totally refurbished by Keaton, according to today's Los Angeles Times. The 44 year-old singer-actress, who's married to British director Guy Ritchie, has a home in London, which she bought about the same time that she purchased her Beverly Hills home, according to the paper. (source: ABC7.com)


18 May - AL becomes 29th Dance hit
American Life is set to top the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play chart, issued 31/05/03, which means it will be her 29th no. 1 dance hit.


16 May - Madonna's scolding is music to mixers

Music producers around the world -- ranging from top remixers to everyday kids -- are striking back against Madonna's recent anti-music piracy hoax, basing their latest dance tunes on the unauthorized use of her voice.Apparently lashing out at Internet music swappers, Madonna or her supporters used the file-swapping program Kazaa to make available a spurious track from her American Life released three weeks ago. People who downloaded the tune heard only a few seconds of silence, followed by the voice of Madonna -- who always has courted controversy to help sell records -- chiding, "What the f*** do you think you're doing?"

When John von Seggern, a Los Angeles digital deejay, musician and producer, got wind of it through the digital-arts e-mail list he subscribes to, he knew what he had to do. "I listened to it and thought, `That's funny. I should remix that,' " he said. "A couple of days later, someone (on the e-mail list) said, `I bet somebody will mix this over the weekend' and that was on a Thursday, so I had to do it then."

Anyone with a computer and music software such as Acid or Live can be a music producer. The programs allow users to arrange snippets of bass guitar, vocals or even car-traffic noise in any rhythmic way they want, creating new tunes out of samples of music. Critics complain that the result is derivative, expressionless tunes that have more to do with using a mouse than coaxing music out of an instrument. But the democratization of musicmaking appeals to music lovers who want to do more than just listen to whatever the record companies release.

"There's a do-it-yourself thing going on," von Seggern said. "It becomes about your ability to conceive the music." A fellow member of the e-mail list posted the remix on her own site, www.irixx.org/madonna." It mushroomed out of control," von Seggern said. Several tracks are available on the Net, most of them at www.irixx.org/madonna. Most of the tunes feature Madonna repeating the phrase over thumping bass drums, skipping high-hat cymbals and atmospheric chords.

Von Seggern, who says he doesn't like Madonna's music, realizes he and other remixers may be playing into the hands of her marketing machine. "The people I know said she halfway thought something like this would happen," he said. "It's certainly not going to hurt her."
But he was trying to make a point. "Once they put it out there, there's no way Madonna or the record companies can expect to control the music," von Seggern said. "The fact that I can grab her voice and remix it is proof of that. "I find it ironic that the modern music industry, which became big by selling rock 'n' roll as packaged rebellion, is now telling its customers, `Now, you behave,' while trying to sell rebellion." (source: Kansas City)


16 May - AL climbs on dance chart
Madonna jumps from #5 to #3 in the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play. If this track arrives to #1 spot, it would be the 29th number one in this list (followed by Janet Jackson with "only" 14). Meanwhile, Madonna's album is at the top spot in European album chart for a third week in a row, followed by Norah Jones and Blur.


16 May - Report on Top of the Pops performance
Madonna performed Hollywood at the recording of Top of the Pops last night. She lip-synched the song twice, against a background of 'Oscars', the first performance acting as a rehearsal. She didn't perform two tracks as previously planned. This set was devised by the production team, Warners and with input from Madonna herself. Before she had even sung fans were asking for more. She joked that she wasn't going to do any more freebies like HMV and next time she would charge everyone a pound! Someone in the crowd was saying he'd pay a hundred and Madonna said teasingly 'What about 500? and the guy said yes and she said, 'I like the way you think'! During the first run through of the song she forgot to mime to 'this bird has flown' but in the actual take she got it right. She was on great form, dancing enthusiastically, wearing wide leg black trousers, a low cut black top, a short gold jacket and gold shoes. Even the Cheeky Girls snuck out from their dressing room to watch Madonna in action! Her departure from the studios was delayed for security reasons. A security guard said a, 'known stalker' had to be removed from the premises. When she left Lourdes was with her, holding hands with Madonna and carrying her mum's Louis Vuitton handbag. They sped away in a BMW. The performance will be broadcast on Top of the Pops, [tonight] Friday 16 May at 19.30.

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