Madonna news - July 2003

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Gap disc

30 July 2003

Check here for scans of the Gap disc.

More info on Gap ad

Source: Kansas City - 29 July 2003

For its new fall ad campaign, the Gap gave Madonna and Missy Elliott a pair of corduroy pants and several tops to customize to their individual styles. Each had a big M embroidered onto the back pocket of her pants. "Lady M" was silkscreened down one of the legs of Madonna's light-blue, low-rise cuffed cords.

Elliott decorated her pants with studs, attached a gray hoodie sweat shirt to a corduroy jacket and had an airbrushed portrait of herself added to a plain white T-shirt. Rebecca Weill, director of public relations for the Gap, said the company sought out Madonna and Elliott because they're fashion fans who are willing to take chances.

"We knew we wanted the campaign to have an optimistic youthful energy, something that would appeal to our more adventurous customers," she explained.

Joe Zee, W magazine's fashion director, styled the print and TV ads. He said it was a coincidence that both women chose the same color pants. "Both Madonna and Missy liked the blue because it had a vintage feel." Elliott brought her own monogrammed jewels to the photo shoot; Madonna wore a borrowed diamond wallet chain by Neil Lane and several diamond bracelets, together valued at $5 million.

"The diamond wallet chain is very street, hip and urban, but it's Madonna so we wanted it to be a little more glam," Zee told The Associated Press. A limited edition Madonna and Missy Elliott CD remix will be available at Gap stores and on the company's Web site starting Thursday.

Download Gap ad

29 July 2003

You can download the Gap commercial from Madonnica. First you'll see Madonna singing a verse of Hollywood to the beat of Into The Groove.

Then the two M's get together in their fancy jeans and sing a catchy Into The Groove remake while doing some groovy dance moves. Madonna looks great as ever.

Hear Gap sample

27 July 2003

Check the Gap website to hear a short sample of the 'Into the Hollywood Groove' remix, used in the upcoming Gap commercial.

Please notice that the pop-up appears only once and can't be refreshed. (thanx to Steven Esteves for the link)

Madonna to produce rock-themed comedy

Source: Billboard - 27 July 2003

Madonna will executive produce the romantic comedy "She Rocks" for Maverick Films, starring Amanda Peet ("The Whole Nine Yards," "Identity"). The script was penned by filmmaker Amie Steir, who will make her feature directorial debut on the project.

"She Rocks" is described as "Working Girl" set in the music industry and concerns a female music journalist (Peet) who writes a career-making story about a rock star. Maverick and Steir are in the process of casting the male lead for a fall start.

Steir, who began her filmmaking career while a development executive at MTV Films, wrote and directed the shorts "Zoe Loses It" and "Date Squad," both of which starred Peet and aired on HBO.

"Madonna, who not only loved the script but is also very fond of both Amie and Amanda's work, has taken closely to this project that is set in the music industry, a world all too familiar to her," said Caresse Henry, who along with Zachary Feuer will produce for Maverick.

Madonna's prior forays into film producing include "Agent Cody Banks" and her 1991 documentary Madonna: Truth or Dare.

Hollywood in the charts

Source: Absolute Madonna, Ultratop - 25 July 2003

Australia: new at no. 16
Belgium: still at no. 14
France: down from no. 22 to no. 25 in its second week
UK: down from no. 2 to no. 15 in its second week

While Hollywood is at no. 6 in the Hot Dance/Club Play chart, it's no. 1 in the Hot Dance Music/Dance Singles Sales, which is a record, says Billboard:

"The debut of the remixes of Hollywood (Maverick/Warner Bros.) at No. 1 on Hot Dance Music/Dance Singles Sales gives Madonna her longest stretch of chart-topping titles on this chart. Hollywood is her sixth No. 1 in a row, besting two previous runs of five No. 1 hits.

Hollywood is Madonna's second No. 1 of 2003 on this survey. American Life spent one week in pole position in May. This run of six No. 1s in a row began with Music in September 2000 and continued with Don't Tell Me (February 2001), What It Feels Like for a Girl (May 2001) and Die Another Day (November 2002).

Madonna's first run of five consecutive No. 1s began in October 1987 with Causing a Commotion and continued with Like a Prayer (April 1989), Express Yourself (July 1989), Keep It Together (April 1990) and Vogue (May 1990).

The follow-up to Vogue was Hanky Panky, which peaked at No. 9. Next came Justify My Love, which began a second run of five No. 1s in a row in January 1991. The other four hits were Rescue Me (April 1991), Erotica (December 1992), Deeper and Deeper (January 1993) and Fever/Bad Girl (April 1993).

Hollywood is Madonna's 22nd No. 1 hit on the dance singles sales chart, putting her far in front of any other artist. There is a four-way tie for second place for artists with the most No. 1 singles on this tally. Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Prince and the Notorious B.I.G. each have seven.

Including the current frame, Madonna has spent 80 weeks at No. 1 on the dance sales chart. Her first 16 chart-toppers racked up a total of 45 weeks, while her most recent six have accumulated 35 weeks so far.

On Hot 100 Singles Sales, Hollywood is a new entry at No. 4 but doesn't have enough power to land on the main Hot 100 yet. If this title ultimately fails to chart on the Hot 100, it will be Madonna's first commercial single to miss the survey since her career began with Holiday in 1983. The predecessor to Holiday was Everybody, which did not chart."

MTV VMA nomination for DADay

Source: CommanderBond - 25 July 2003

Madonna [Die Another Day] is in the running for "Best Video From A Film" category in this years MTV Awards. The Queen of Pop is up against Britney Spears/Pharrell [Boys], Eminem [Lose Yourself] and JC Chasez [Blowing Me Up (With Her Love)] for the award.

"Each and every year we try to put together the most diverse, most exciting and most unexpected awards show anyone has ever seen," said MTV/MTV2 President Van Toffler.

So, will Bond's Anniverary piece win the day? The 20th anniversary edition of the show, hosted by Chris Rock, will be broadcast live from N.Y.C.’s Radio City Music Hall on Aug. 28 at 8 p.m, so you can find out then!

Q Magazine special issue

25 July 2003 can confirm that UK magazine "Q" will release a Madonna special issue in September. This will be a 148-page, full-colour glossy Q special edition completely devoted to Madonna, and on sale from 26 September.

The magazine will contain reprinted interviews from the Q archive, including the cover stories from June 1991, December 94 and March 98, reappraisals of her key albums and tours, and a rundown of the Top 20 Madonna Songs Of All Time, as voted by fans and musicians.

The magazine will have high production values and offer a comprehensive history of Madonna's work as a recording artist, and follows recent similar Q special editions for Radiohead, Led Zeppelin and Oasis. Expected retail price for this issue is £4.99 (about US $7.50).

~ See our July 22 item for a better picture of the full cover of Harper's Bazaar.

Next Best Thing director dies at 77

Source: Reuters - 25 July 2003

British-born director John Schlesinger, an Oscar winner for the 1969 film "Midnight Cowboy," was removed from life support in a Palm Springs hospital on Thursday. The 77-year-old filmmaker suffered a debilitating stroke in December 2000.

In recent weeks, his condition at Desert Regional Medical Center has deteriorated significantly, according to his spokesperson, Ronni Chasen. Schlesinger's most celebrated work was for the groundbreaking film "Midnight Cowboy," which earned seven Academy Award nominations and won for best picture, best direction and best adapted screenplay.

He received earlier Oscar nominations for directing 1965's "Darling," which starred Julie Christie and captured the spirit of London's swinging '60s, and 1971's "Sunday Bloody Sunday," which pioneered the presentation of homosexual relations onscreen.

Schlesinger's last feature was 2000's The Next Best Thing, starring Madonna and Rupert Everett.

Peter Rauhofer remixes Nobody Knows Me

Source: - 24 July 2003

Peter [Rauhofer] just finished this much talked about remix for Madonna's Nobody knows Me. We will keep you informed as soon as we know the release date from Maverick Records.

On July 30th Peter will spin at Virgin Megastore Union Square/NYC at 6pm to celebrate his brand new "Live @ Roxy 2" CD release.

~ Could this mean it will be a future single? Time will tell...

Madonna in People 200 Icons

Source: MIR - 23 July 2003

The following is taken from the People 200 Icons book, which is released in conjunction with VH'1 special 00 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, which airs next week over five nights.

Aside from being one of the cover icons, Madonna's image is the first you see when you open the book (the title page). It's a thin vertical shot from the Vogue video), with 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons scrolled across.

"She doesn't want to live off-camera, much less talk," declared actor Warren Beatty when he was Madonna's beau. Sure enough, by dint of blonde ambition, a pink bustier and 20 years of gossamer dance tunes, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone became the biggest, nerviest pop star of her generaiton.

Never out of the public eye for long, her ascent from Rochester Hills, Michigan, dance stufent to the woman with the most No. 1 hits in history was "as forceful and well-organized as D-Day," TIME once noted. Her early personas- ragamuffin Boy Toy and coolly seductive Material Girl- spawned young copycats: "Madonna wannabes."

Meanwhile the videos that showcased her talents invariably launched controversy, pushing sexual, racial and social boundaries with nudity, religious imagery and touches of S&M.

Impossible to ignore, unapologetically in control, she had become, said The New York Times, "a secular goddess." despite numerous tries, big-screen success largely eluded the MTV queen, though a 1996 Golden Globe-winning turn as calculating, iron-willed Eva Peron in Evita semed tailor made. (A brief marriage to actor Sean Penn wasn't).

After becoming the Maternal Girl in 1997 with the birth of daughter Lourdes (by personal trainer Carlos Leon), Madonna defined working motherhood in her own terms. She released the critical success Ray of Light, then met future husband Guy Ritchie, with whom she now shares son Rocco, 2 (and blame for their movie flop, Swept Away).

Still as sure of herself as ever, "I'm not going to get caught up in thinking you have to stay eternally young and perfect," Madonna declared on the eve of her latest album, American Life. "I am what I am." An American original."

'Mr. Peabody's Apples' is second children book *rumour*

23 July 2003

Fansite MadonnaTribe claims to have following exclusives: "Madonna Tribe has been told by a very reliable source new exciting details about Madonna's forthcoming children book series. Each book in the collection will carry illustrations by a different artist.

Madonna Tribe has already exclusively unveiled the name of the mysterious illustrator of the first book: "The English Roses" artwork drawings are by Jeffrey Fulvimari. We can now also exclusively reveal what it's very likely to be the title of the second book in the series and the name of the artist chosen to illustrate it.

"Mr. Peabody's Apples", Madonna's second children's fairy tale with art by Loren Long is set to be published worldwide November 2003."

Madonna on cover of Harper's Bazaar

Source: USA Today - 22 July 2003

Donatella Versace says she's "daring."

Dolce & Gabbana say she's "never scared to take risks."

"Even when she rebels against fashion, it becomes fashion," says Jean-Paul Gaultier.
The fashion world embraces Madonna's cutting-edge style in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar, which features a cover shot of the back-to-blond singer in a less-than-edgy look: Blue cords, white tank top and a cap.

September cover of Harper's Bazaar

The cover was shot in L.A. on June 24, the same day Madonna and Missy Elliott posed for their joint print and TV ads for the Gap. Madonna, 44, is wearing a Gap sleeveless T and Gap low-rise cropped corduroy pants. In the ads, which start appearing next week, both divas sport the initial M engraved on the back pocket of their pants.

Even though Madonna's recent movies (Swept Away, The Next Best Thing) have flopped and her new album, American Life, is a commercial disappointment, magazine editors are still celebrating her style after 20 years.

The moment the Material Girl broke on the scene in the '80s, young wannabes copied her look with layered skirts, bangles, beads and head scarves. She made fashion statements with conical bras and wore underwear as outerwear during 1990's Blond Ambition tour.

With 2001's Drowned World tour came kilts, geisha-gear and cowboy chic. Bazaar includes Madonna among style icons "who've changed the fashion landscape."

Those joining her include the late Katharine Hepburn, with her signature menswear look, and Audrey Hepburn, whose "European sophistication and American practicality" are back in vogue again.

First Gap pictures

Source: Fashion Wire Daily NY - 22 July 2003

It's a toss-up as to who's more excited for the Madonna Gap ads to bow: the company execs who scored a pop culture coup in securing the uber star -- along with Missy Elliott -- for their new "Customized" campaign, or Michael & Hushi, the East Village design duo who were enlisted to Madonna-fy the basic khakis and cords for the shoot.

Gap commercial

"It's really exciting to be involved in something that will be so memorable," gushes Michael Sears, who, along with partner Hushi Mortezaie, have been crafting Vegas-style punk gear for the likes of Lil' Kim and Britney Spears for close to a decade now.

"We dress fearlessly elegant women," says Sears. Having already dressed The Material Girl -- most recently in some 1940s silk jersey tops and ruched pants for her European tour -- Michael & Hushi were an obvious choice for stylist Arianne Phillips, who needed to customize the basic Gap goods just right.

"She's Madonna - she can't just wear anything," says Sears. With that in mind, the two inlayed a thick row of safety pins down the legs, tuxedo-pant style, painted art deco clouds on the top and bottom and studded the garments with rhinestones. "It's all done in an organized way - it's not haphazard. It's kind of like 'You can do this, too, to your basics.'"

Gap commercial

But, being realistic, there is a chance that their customized creations, in all their studded glory, may end up on the cutting room floor. "Yeah, I know," sighs Sears. "But it's alright, this isn't everything."

The television ads, directed by music video guru Paul Hunter, and print ads, shot by fashion photographer Regan Cameron, break July 27.

Europe goes for Hollywood

Source: - 22 July 2003

Madonna's new single Hollywood is already a huge success in the whole Europe. The song entered at number 3 of the single sales chart!

Also, Hollywood is still number one of the Airplay chart while the American Life album is at #15 of the Album chart this week (+3).

~ Meanwhile, Hollywood climbs from no. 15 to no. 6 in the Billboard Hot Dance / Club Play - the only American in which the single is doing well.

Madonna's bash 'saved Scots castles from ruin'

Source: Evening Times - 18 July 2003

The boss of the National Trust for Scotland has thanked pop icon Madonna for helping save the charity from financial ruin. Robin Pellew, the chief executive of the NTS, said the charity was raking in fees of £500,000 a year by renting out its castles and stately homes for parties, weddings and corporate events.

And he is in no doubt the massive surge in demand for their 128 properties is down to Madonna and Guy Ritchie holding their star-studded wedding at Skibo Castle in Sutherland in December 2000. Although Skibo has nothing to do with the NTS, the star and her husband set a fashion trend.

As a result the charity got the vital shot in the arm it needed after the foot and mouth crisis. Mr Pellew said the agricultural crisis, during which the public were urged not to visit the countryside, had led to the NTS suffering losses of £2.5million.

But the trust is now well on its way to financial recovery. Mr Pellew said: "When Madonna wed at Skibo Castle she started a new craze for getting married in picturesque Scottish properties. "Now we receive requests, not just for weddings, but for various corporate events as well, bringing in around £500,000 profit each year.

"I can only assume that few people thought about it before but she's obviously made it more fashionable." National Trust properties can be rented for around £3000 for the day. This year, the organisation has witnessed a 32% increase on last year's bookings and a staggering 81% rise for last month on June 2002.

THE boss of the National Trust for Scotland has thanked pop icon Madonna for helping save the charity from financial ruin. Robin Pellew, the chief executive of the NTS, said the charity was raking in fees of £500,000 a year by renting out its castles and stately homes for parties, weddings and corporate events.

And he is in no doubt the massive surge in demand for their 128 properties is down to Madonna and Guy Ritchie holding their star-studded wedding at Skibo Castle in Sutherland in December 2000.

Although Skibo has nothing to do with the NTS, the star and her husband set a fashion trend. As a result the charity got the vital shot in the arm it needed after the foot and mouth crisis. Mr Pellew said the agricultural crisis, during which the public were urged not to visit the countryside, had led to the NTS suffering losses of £2.5million.

But the trust is now well on its way to financial recovery. Mr Pellew said: "When Madonna wed at Skibo Castle she started a new craze for getting married in picturesque Scottish properties.

"Now we receive requests, not just for weddings, but for various corporate events as well, bringing in around £500,000 profit each year. "I can only assume that few people thought about it before but she's obviously made it more fashionable."

National Trust properties can be rented for around £ 3000 for the day. This year, the organisation has witnessed a 32% increase on last year's bookings and a staggering 81% rise for last month on June 2002.

ICON announcement

Source: - 17 July 2003

Dear Madonna fans,

First of all, we want to thank you for your support and interest in Icon Magazine through the years. As you probably know, Icon's goal has always been to offer Madonna fans some quality news, pictures and scoops about the most famous entertainer to date.

As the new editor of Icon Magazine our goal is now to offer you even more and take Icon to another level. The revamped look took several months and we apologize for the delay! Issue #39, first of a long series, will be published in the next few days and will give you a better idea of what you can expect from Icon in the future…

More pages, exclusive interviews, never seen before pictures and even more participation from Caresse Henry, Liz Rosenberg and Madonna are some of things you'll discover in the forthcoming issue of Icon, which will be mainly devoted to Madonna's American Life album and also to her new worldwide hit, Hollywood!

Talking about Hollywood, Iconers should find a little present from Madonna packed with their new Icon issue… but sorry, it has to be a surprise so no details about it will be announced for now. :}

The only fan publication participated by the diva herself is here to stay people! You were waiting for more? We will work hard to offer you the Icon Magazine Madonna's fans deserve!

On a more personal note, we would like to thank here 2 of the most incredible women on this earth for their faith in us, devotion and amazing talent… Madonna and Caresse: you are the shit and existing proof that dreams can come true!

Happy summer to all of you!

Johann – Editor of Icon Magazine

Guy Bourdin website makes Hollywood comparison

16 July 2003

Everybody has been talking about the link between the Hollywood video and the art work of photographer Guy Bourdin.

That Madonna and Mondino were inspired by him is beyond any doubt, and Madonna herself has been quoted: "Lately, I've gotten into newer photographers, I'm really into Guy Bourdin right now; I've got a couple of his photographs in my bedroom that I wake up to every morning...".

Now the official website of Guy Bourdin has put online a complete page about the comparison; check it out here.

M is a Gap fan

Source: E! Online - 16 July 2003

Coming soon to your local Gap: Pointy-coned T-shirts? Rhinestone-studded khakis? Forgive us for trying to imagine the possibilities now that the gap-toothed Madonna has formally fallen into the Gap.

An ad campaign starring the Material Merchandiser, with an assist from hip-hopster Missy Elliott, will launch the week of July 27, the Gap confirmed Tuesday. The two pitchwomen will pitch the Gap's fall line (one guess: T-shirts, khakis, jeans and/or slight variations thereof). According to London's Guardian Unlimited, TV spots will be set to the M One's 1985 dance groove, Into the Groove.

Word that Madonna was in talks with the retail giant leaked last month. On Tuesday, a Gap spokeswoman declined to discuss specifics of the campaign, including a possible cross-promotion involving Madonna's forthcoming children's title, The English Roses. Negotiations involving the book, due out September 15, are ongoing, company rep Claudia Hawkins said.

Madonna has long been hailed as a most-fab fashionista. She's praised Versace, pointed the way for Jean-Paul Gaultier's pointy-coned bustiers and run around London in Juicy Couture Jumpsuits. In lieu of designer duds, she's worn her birthday suit.

So, yes, the M One has stripped. But does the M One really do the sort of stripped-down casual wear found at the Gap? Apparently so. Madonna's rep told the Associated Press that the 44-year-old married mother of two does indeed wear Gap clothes.

Madonna's such a fan of the Gap that she even allegedly pilfered a poem from a 1993 Gap ad for the track Sky Fits Heaven on her 1998 album, Ray of Light.

As for why Madonna would want to do commercials for the Gap, publicist Liz Rosenberg replied, "Why not Gap?" And why not when you're getting paid? Gap wouldn't comment on the size of Madonna's deal, but here's guessing it's worth more than a couple pair of cords. In 1999, Max Factor coughed up about $6 million to vogue for their cosmetics in Europe.

Last year, it was speculated she pocketed as much as $14 million for letting Microsoft use her hit Ray of Light in ads for the new Windows XP system. (The figure was based on how much the Rolling Stones had pocketed for letting Microsoft use their hit "Start Me Up" to launch Windows 95.)

Famously and infamously, in 1989, Pepsi paid the popster $5 million to sing the praises of its soda. That campaign lasted about the length of a 30-second commercial. The soft-drink giant pulled its ads after Madonna's unrelated video for Like a Prayer, with burning crosses, blood and half-slips, made her appeal go flat with the corporate suits.

As she is wont to do, Madonna courted controversy again this year via a video. The clip for the title track to her new album, American Life, depicted the Like a Virgin singer tossing a grenade at President Bush. Not waiting for the inevitable outcry, Madonna pulled the pin on the video herself, saying she didn't want to appear critical of U.S. armed forces as they ramped up for the then-pending Iraq invasion.

Labeling Madonna an "anti-American entertainer," the Website for Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood ( posted an "action alert" in June, calling on its supporters to ask the Gap to reconsider its endorsement deal with Madonna.

On Tuesday, the Gap said it was not aware of a letter-writing campaign.

Will Hollywood have to pay for AL backlash?

Source: Billboard - 15 July 2003


If Madonna's Hollywood does not appear on the Hot 100, will it be her first single release to fail to chart? I cannot remember any Madonna single not charting, except for maybe her very first release Everybody, which I believe was a 12" single only which wasn't eligible to chart back then.

I am also curious about whether Impressive Instant is considered a single that failed to chart. It hit No. 1 on the dance chart but only as a promo. Since this is now the era when a song can chart based only on airplay, what is Billboard's position on that particular Madonna single?

Also, while I'm mentioning promo singles, could you explain to me just exactly what are the record labels "promoting" when they release phenomenal remixes of songs like Impressive Instant, Eurythmics' "17 Again," Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly" and others when there is absolutely no place to go buy them?

I have vowed to not download free songs or file share to support artists' creativity -- but what is one to do when they hear a song and there is no place to buy it? In my opinion, the record companies are vastly to blame for the current slump in the music industry.

Thank you.

George G. Kitchens III, Bloomsburg, Pa.


Dear George,

Yes, if Hollywood fails to reach the Hot 100, it will be the first Madonna single not to chart since Everybody. If the single doesn't appear on the Hot 100 next week, it doesn't look good.

As I recall, Impressive Instant was released only to clubs, but not to radio. I don't know of anyone who would consider it a single that missed the chart.

I am as mystified as you why record companies produce remixes that no one can buy. I thought the whole idea was to have people buy records.

Why anyone would think that a consumer would be satisfied to buy a record and not find the version they heard on the radio on the album or single is beyond me.

Hollywood debutes at UK no. 2

Source: Dotmusic; AbsoluteMadonna - 14 July 2003

As predicted earlier in the week, Hollywood debuts straight at #2 on the Singles Chart. This is Madonna's 11th single to peak at #2 in the UK, the most for a female solo artist. American Life also peaked at #2.

Hollywood is Madonna's 52nd top ten single. On the Dance Singles Chart, it debuts at #1.

Hollywood (Single): NEW at 02 (1 week).
American Life (Album - Gold): 01-03-05-08-15-22-32-39-31-39-43-49 (12 weeks).

American Life (Single) is now the 55th biggest-selling single of the year so far.

Hollywood (Airplay/Sales - Hit 40 UK): 39-23-22-18-02 (5 weeks).
Hollywood (Dance Singles): NEW at 01 (1 week).

~ Hollywood was kept from the top by Beyonce Knowles' Crazy In Love, but left the new Pink, Eminem and Evanescence behind.

More on Gap ad and English Roses promotion

Source: SF Gate - 12 July 2003

Sometimes the planets align and all of pop culture seems to converge, thank goodness, in a perfect storm of mass consumerism and unbridled promotional ambition. Ready?

Two weeks from now, this one will be hard to avoid. Gap Inc., the world's largest clothing retailer, and Madonna, the notorious "material girl" and chameleon personality of song and screen, have joined forces to create Gap's multimillion-dollar fall advertising campaign.

The newspaper, magazine and TV campaign is scheduled to run eight weeks, beginning July 27. And this year, Madonna will headline, along with Grammy- winning rapper/producer Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Gap Inc. has confirmed.

That's not all. Madonna and Gap are poised to co-promote not just Gap's clothes but also her new children's book. The superstar mother of two has penned what is to be the first in a series of five books. According to publisher Callaway Editions Inc., it's due for release in 42 languages and 100 countries on Sept. 15, which fits nicely into the second half of Gap's fall ad campaign.

And so it all falls together -- mass retail, superstar, book publicity -- maybe. "We are in preliminary discussions with Madonna on her new book," Gap spokeswoman Claudia Hawkins told The Chronicle.

What's being discussed is a "cooperative promotion" involving Gap, Madonna and her new book, "The English Roses," about which Gap will share details later this month, Hawkins said. The powerhouse, 2,900-store Gap-brand chain (counting GapKids and babyGap stores within Gap stores) is showing solid signs of a comeback after two years of slip-sliding sales.

The pop queen sang Like a Virgin in 1984, dealt moviegoers Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985 and, as it turns out, was just getting started. Her new album is called American Life.

"The English Roses" -- unlike Madonna's adults-only 1992 volume "Sex" -- has been described as a children's morality tale based on the mystical Hebrew texts of the Kabbalah, of which Madonna reportedly is a student. Given Gap's confirmation of the negotiations with Madonna, it isn't a stretch to envision the book beside cash registers where shoppers buy Gap striped hoodies and toddler cargo pants for the little ones in their lives. A pop-star book tie-in would be a novel marketing path for the $14.5 billion retailer.

The promotional quid pro quo could be a smart move for the company -- which would score attention from Madonna's presence alone -- and for the star, whom some consider passe enough to need a fresh mass-market push, advertising insiders said.

"People will be amused," said John Geoghegan, president of the San Francisco office of ad agency Hill, Holliday. "It's understandable why Gap would use a megacelebrity. There's clearly a buzz in using Madonna.

"And of course she is the 800-pound gorilla in terms of marketing," he added, "so if she's going to lend her name, she's going to get something out of it." Gap doesn't break out ad spending by division or campaign.

However, for fiscal 2002, the company reported spending $496 million on advertising companywide -- which included Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic. Laird + Partners in New York is the agency of record for the Gap brand.

"Interesting," said Wall Street retail analyst Lauren Levitan, with SG Cowen Securities' San Francisco office. Madonna's role in Gap's fall ads has produced rumors, but they've been lean on references to her children's book.

"Gap's use of famous faces is certainly not unprecedented," Levitan said. The retailer's prior campaigns included Lauren Hutton, Wayne Gretzky and Willie Nelson, just for starters. Still, Levitan said, "I don't think there's been anyone as iconic as Madonna."

Neither Levitan nor her firm owns Gap shares. To be sure, retailers have been known to cross-promote creative works -- for example, Starbucks sells CD compilations by a range of musical artists -- but Gap's campaigns are so high-profile that this pop-culture collision falls into a different category, said Wells Fargo retail analyst Jennifer Black.

She does not own Gap stock, nor does her firm. "In retailing, I've never seen anything like this," Black said. "I think there is a mystique to Madonna that is an American draw... She would be everywhere (in a Gap campaign). That's the glory for her."

It doesn't matter that Madonna's persona hasn't exactly shouted "Gap" over the years, said Scott Aal, co-creative director at ad agency Grant, Scott & Hurley in San Francisco. "She isn't the Sex Pistols. They are not acceptable to a mass audience," Aal said.

"She's also good at reinventing herself, and I've got to say, the idea of Madonna as this hip, cool mom might be really appealing to a lot of people." As huge as Gap is, Madonna and her publicity team probably have steered the negotiations, said Geoghegan, with Hill, Holliday. "You can't tell Madonna what to do. She tells you what to do."

The question, Geoghegan said, is whether Madonna can sell some clothes for Gap. "Nobody has ever successfully harnessed Madonna because she's totally her own deal," he said. "You don't want people in babyGap rolling their eyes when they pick up 'The English Roses.' "

Madonna's autograph worth a fleet of cops

Source: Sify - 11 July 2003

Pop diva Madonna got a police escort to ride a bike after a starstruck cop stopped beside her at traffic lights and asked for her autograph.

The songstress, whose single Hollywood is battling to be this week's No 1, was happy to oblige and in return got a fleet of outriders, according to a report in TeenHollywood.

Madame's bike ride brought traffic to a standstill in Beverly Hills. "Madonna seemed in a good mood because she smiled and obliged - mind you, not many would be brave enough to turn down a request from a cop", an onlooker said.

W Mag was a top-seller

Source: Madonnalicious - 10 July 2003

Industry figures are reporting that the April 2003 issue of W magazine, featuring the 44-page Steven Klein portfolio, sold an amazing 83,000 copies.

The magazine also received heavy media attention during March for the innovative shoot, and one picture is now featuring on the cover of Madonna's latest single, Hollywood.

Hollywood remix video

9 July 2003

There's already a remix video for Hollywood, which is set to a mix of the official remixes. It contains some unseen footage and there are a lot of split-screens.

Stream it at VH1 or download it at (thanx to my assistant Darth Sidious for the VH1 link)

AL goes platinum

9 July 2003

The RIAA has certified the American Life album Platinum, which means more than 1 million copies have been shipped in the US. (thanx to my assistant Darth Sidious for the info)

Carson Daily is afraid of Madonna

Source: Access Hollywood - 9 July 2003

It was 'Carson Almighty' on June 28. Britney Spears and Carson Daly's ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Love Hewitt, targeted the Total Request Live star for his roast, and Access Hollywood rolled out for the big MTV bash in Hollywood. "Who are you most scared of?" Access' own Jamal asked the guest of honor, Carson. "I'm scared of Madonna," he replied. "And I'm really scared of Jimmy Kimmel!"

Carson had reason to be afraid -- very afraid! Guests at his "bash" - like a navel-glistening Britney - were not bearing gifts, they were bearing insults. "He is a man who goes out of his way, especially for the less fortunate, young, attractive women, who would do anything for a concert ticket or a backstage pass," revealed Britney.

From the get go, the legendary lothario's reputation for womanizing was laid bare by a photo-holding Madonna via videotape. "He did her [Avril Lavigne], then he did her homework. I hear she [Kirsten Dunst] likes him to dress up like Spider-Man. This is confusing, Carson, is it Jennifer [Love Hewitt] or Tara [Reid]? If you can't get it right, how can I?" said Madge.

And one of those ex's, Jennifer Love Hewitt, ended any "confusion" about her feelings. "Remember me? Girlfriend 147?" asked Jennifer. "I can't believe she showed," said Carson while biting his lip. "I thought there's no way in hell she'd actually show up." Show up she did.

And she read a private love letter she claimed Carson had once penned. "'Shall I compare thee to a summers day, like at the beach house, chicks and thongs screaming my name,'" recited Jennifer. "Is it kind of awkward, how do you feel?" Jamal asked Jennifer. "It's not what I thought I'd be doing tonight, it's not what you choose, but I think Carson's the perfect person to [roast] because he has a really good sense of humor."

Pamela Anderson claimed she "liked" Carson too, but you wouldn't have known it from her tribute! "In fact, I've always thought of you as the Dick Clark for people who are too dumb to count along on New Years Eve," said Pam.

But the night's biggest Carson insult came from comedian Jeff Ross. "Let's face it Carson, you've been underneath more actresses than a red carpet," he said.

~ MTV The Bash will be broadcasted on July 13th

Hollywood heading for strong debut in the UK

Source: Dotmusic, Absolute Madonna - 9 July 2003

Just released yesterday in the UK, Hollywood is currently holding the #2 position in the midweek sales report. She is just 5,000 copies behind Beyoncé's Crazy In Love, and over 3,000 copies ahead of Evanescence's Bring Me To Life. One thing is for sure though, Hollywood will be the highest debut of the week. Here is the top 10 along with sales figures so far:

1. Beyoncé feat. Jay Z - Crazy In Love (13,079)
2. Madonna - Hollywood (8,231) (NEW)
3. Evanescence - Bring Me To Life (4,920)
4. Pink - Feel Good Time (4,565) (NEW)
5. Javine - Real Things (4,339) (NEW)
6. Eminem - Business (4,080) (NEW)
7. Wayne Wonder - No Letting Go (3,725)
8. Fast Food Rockers - Fast Food Song (3,452)
9. R. Kelly - Ignition Remix (3,142)
10. Kym Marsh - Come On Over (3,131) (NEW)

Madonna in Catherine Breillat movie? *rumour*

Source: MCM / Madonna Electronica - translation by Mad-Eyes - 8 July 2003

The singer soon in theatres again... in a French movie. Madonna has indeed a role in the next film by Catherine Breillat, director of 'Romance X', starring Rocco Siffredi, and more recently 'Sex Is Comedy'.

Production of 'Une Vieille Maîtresse' has yet to begin, but we already know it will be based on a French novel by Barbey d'Aurevilly. Madonna's role in the flic hasn't been specified yet... possibly that of the 'maîtresse'?

According to Le Matin, Maverick Films will be (co-?)producing the movie.

Madonna In-Depth with Hollywood

Source: - 8 July 2003

UK website Sound Generator is reviewing Madonna's new single and video as a special feature for the month of July. Watch the video, stream most of the remixes included in the commercial single and even have a closer look to her whole UK discography and chart history to date by following this link.

The site also holds a Madonna contest, which allows to win Hollywood cds, vinyls, posters and a copy of the American Life album.

Here are some extracts:

In this soundgenerator feature we take a look at Madonna's new single Hollywood; watch the new video, listen to remixes by Oakenfold, Jaques Le Cont and Deep Blue and enter a great competition to win an album, both formats of the new single, a 12" and poster.

We also take a closer look at the amazing career of the queen of pop. Ever wondered how many number one singles she's had... you'll be amazed. Mixed by Mark 'Spike' Stent and written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzai, 'Hollywood' is one of the many highlights on American Life.

The LP debuted at number one in 14 countries including the UK and the USA. The album has already sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Recorded over a full year in London and Los Angeles, American Life, Madonna's tenth studio album, features eleven new compositions including the title track and debut single, which has an international radio air date of March 24th.

"All of these songs reflect my current state of mind. I feel like I have just woken up out of a dream. They range from dismay and anger to joy and certainty," Madonna wrote and produced her new album with Mirwais Ahmadzai, with whom she also collaborated on her previous release Music.

The video for Hollywood is directed by Jean Baptiste Mondino with whom Madonna collaborated on some of her most memorable videos including Justify My Love and the recent classic Don't Tell Me from her multi-platinum album Music.

"We're living in a time when everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame no matter what," Madonna said. "We don't seem all that concerned about how we're connected and that we can have an impact for good on each other. As much as anything, that's the message of this album. It just happens to be a message you can dance to."

One of the reasons Madonna has managed such longevity in an industry that's becoming ever more interested in the 'quick buck' is due to her clever choice of collaborators. On her latest single Hollywood she's again brought in some cutting edge Dance artists to work their magic for the remix duties - including Oakenfold and The Beatnuts.

Madonna has had more top ten hits than any other female artist ever.
Madonna has sold over 160 million records worldwide.
Madonna has had 10 no. 1 singles in the UK.
Madonna has had 47 top 10 UK hits and 51 top 20 hits.
Madonna has had back to back no. 1's three times in her career ('86, '87, '00)
Madonna has over twice as many no. 1's as any other female artist.

Complete UK discography and biography at Sound Generator.

Dotmusic Hollywood review

Source: Dotmusic review by Chris Heath - 7 July 2003

Many critics were too preoccupied panning Madge's latest LP American Life to acknowledge the existence of Hollywood. The stampede to pronounce the reign of the Queen of Pop officially over seems to be a touch premature taking this single as evidence.

Because, out of the context of the album, Hollywood breaks free of its inferior siblings to strike out as a sexy sliver of dance pop that's as good as anything on Music.

Aside from being the best thing on the album, it has enough bite to question the lifestyles of certain LA residents and most interestingly, the gutlessness of radio stations. Who said Madonna had lost her voice? 8/10

Madonna, taking modern music into future, blossoms as true artist

Source: by Ann Behrens - 5 July 2003

All right, I've officially read enough nasty comments about Madonna lately to convince me that a column about American Life is in order.

I bought this gem at Tower Records on Broadway in the Village on April 25, four days after Madonna made a live appearance there. Peter and I have been happily listening to it ever since. I think I like American Life, Madonna's 16th album, even more than her highly acclaimed Music (2000) or Ray of Light (1998).

As Madonna evolves, her music gets better. Collaborating again with Mirwais Ahmadza, the techno-pop genius who co-produced Music, Madonna takes modern music into the future.

Some critics don't agree. They attack her personally rather than review her music. What did Madonna do to rock the boat this time? Make a controversial anti-war video and pull it at the last minute? Marry a Brit and abdicate by taking up part-time residence in London? Mature in a! world where the media is obsessed with youth and thinks you're irrelevant if you're over 21? It's hard to say.

My guess is Pink is "Missundazstood," but critics have been misconstruing Madonna's work since I first saw her crawl across the stage in a white wedding dress at the first MTV Video Awards at Radio City in 1984.

Caught up in the artifice of celebrity, people forget that Madonna is an artist. She uses pop music as a vehicle to produce art. Great art is timeless. It's not controlled by trends, fads or a "Flavor of the Month" mentality.

On a recent interview on "Dateline," Matt Lauer asked Madonna why she's still famous after 20 years? Would he ask Frida Kahlo or Virginia Woolf such an absurd question if they were alive today? I don't think so. Maybe it's time for all of us to wise up and realize that artists like Madonna and Sheryl Crow have turned pop and rock music into a legitimate art form that allows the best artists in the field to keep creating.

Great art is introspective. The m! ore pers onal it is the more universal it becomes. Madonna reveals more about herself in American Life than ever before. She exhibits a vulnerability throughout that's easy to relate to.

She speaks to what it feels like to be a human being; to fall in love and lose your sense of identity in X-Static Process; to exist in a world of unanswered questions in Love Profusion; to want to be a star for all the wrong reasons in American Life and I'm So Stupid. Madonna may have lived, like most of us, in a "fuzzy dream," but she's wiser now and has so much more to say.

Hollywood, is my favorite track. I love the word and the meaning it conjures up; so much so, it's been turning up in my poems since 1982. Madonna nails it when she says, "How could it hurt you when it looks so good?" Hollywood is a catchy number, a brilliant anthem, which paints a pretty picture. But the song features a dicho! tomy, a dark side, which creates tension making it a classic we'll never forget.

Madonna doesn't mince words. In Mother and Father, one of the best and most personal songs, she sings in a high, child-like voice, repeating a refrain that anyone who's tried to escape childhood ghosts can identify with: "I've got to give it up. I've got to let it go," Madonna wails, scaling notes.

She recites a poem like a nursery rhyme in iambic pentameter recalling her mother's funeral when she was 5 and the traumatic after-effect: "Made a vow that I would never need another person. Never turned my heart into a cage. A victim of a kind of rage."

American Life is a classic work of art. To miss it is a mistake. It includes other sophisticated songs like the title track from the latest James Bond flick, Die Another Day, as well as Easy Ride. It sums up where Madonna is at in the moment - in the here and now, with her finger on the pulse of society. Thinking what we're thinking.

GAP, Estee Lauder & Rolling Stone

Source: Madonnalicious, thanx to Robster - 5 July 2003

The GAP commercial featuring Madonna and Missy Elliot and the Hollywood vs Into the Groove remix will hit TV stations on 01 August 2003.

There is going to be an Estee Lauder advert that will run for a whole year and will feature the song Love Profusion in the background.

The issue of Rolling Stone magazine featuring Madonna on the cover is pushed back to October.

Hollywood single artwork

5 July 2003

Hollywood maxi Check out fansite MadonnaTribe for some scans of the artwork of the Hollywood single. Though the cover picture is rather disappointing, the single as a whole is pretty original, especially since it contains the lyrics.

The art direction is done by Kevin Reagan, with photos by Dan Smith (for the video) and Steven Klein (for the W Magazine photo shoot). The design is by Kevin Reagan and Brett Healey. The remixes are coordinated by Orlando Puerta.

DADay and AL nominated at MTV VMA

2 July 2003

Madonna's videos for Die Another Day and American Life are both nominated for the Viewers Choice at the next MTV Video Music Awards. Cast your vote now

Madonna bans hikers near her mansion

Source: ABC News - 2 July 2003

Madonna has successfully put her foot down to prevent walkers from using land near her country mansion. The Countryside Agency said Tuesday that it had abandoned plans to create a footpath just 100 yards from Ashcombe House in Wiltshire, southern England.

Madonna and her film director husband, Guy Ritchie, wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair, expressing concern that the planned walkway would encourage curious sightseers and paparazzi.

The Countryside Agency said Madonna was among hundreds of residents who filled out a comment sheet about proposed changes under a redrawing of maps for the area. The agency insisted that Madonna's complaint wasn't given extra weight because of her celebrity.

It's not the first time Madonna has fought to protect the privacy of her $14.5 million home. She previously complained about low-flying aircraft and was ordered to dismantle 12-foot-high security gates after failing to apply for planning permission.

Official denial of Israel video shoot

2 July 2003 has officially denied Madonna's plans to go to Israel: "Contrary to recent news reports and speculation, Madonna is not going to be shooting her next video in Israel. She would love to visit Israel but has no immediate plans to do so. "

Women Who Rock magazine

Source: Women Who Rock Magazine - 2 July 2003

WOMEN WHO ROCK Magazine celebrates 50 Essentials ... the Women who ROCKED the WORLD! On the cover, of course, is the ever-intriguing and utterly fabulous MADONNA.So who else made the cut? Pick up this Special Collector's Edition to find out. Hits Newsstands: July 8, 2003.

Two years Mad-Eyes

2 July 2003

A busy schedule has forced me to have just a quiet second anniversary of this site. However, I'd like to thank all my loyal visitors; your positive feedback makes all the work worthwhile. Also a "big-up for the Mister", for his graphical work and support in general.

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