Madonna news - July 2003


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15 July - Will Hollywood have to pay for AL backlash?
Fred,
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. (source: Billboard)

14 July - Hollywood debutes at UK no. 2
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).
(source: Dotmusic; AbsoluteMadonna)
~ Hollywood was kept from the top by Beyonce Knowles' Crazy In Love, but left the new Pink, Eminem and Evanescence behind.

12 July - More on Gap ad and English Roses promotion
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.' " (source: SF Gate)

11 July - Madonna's autograph worth a fleet of cops
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. (source: Sify)

10 July - W Mag was a top-seller
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. (source: Madonnalicious; thanx to Darth)

09 July - Hollywood remix video
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 MadonnaInter.net. (thanx to my assistant Darth Sidious for the VH1 link)

09 July - AL goes platinum
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)

09 July - Carson Daily is afraid of Madonna
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. (source: Access Hollywood)
~ MTV The Bash will be broadcasted on July 13th

09 July - Hollywood heading for strong debut in the UK
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)
(source: Dotmusic, Absolute Madonna)

08 July - Madonna in Catherine Breillat movie? *rumour*
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'? (source: MCM / Madonna Electronica - translation by Mad-Eyes)
According to Le Matin, Maverick Films will be (co-?)producing the movie.

08 July - Madonna In-Depth with Hollywood
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. (source: Madonna.com)
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.

07 July - Dotmusic Hollywood review
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 (source: Dotmusic review by Chris Heath)

05 July - Madonna, taking modern music into future, blossoms as true artist
by Ann Behrens
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. (source: NJ.com)

05 July - GAP, Estee Lauder & Rolling Stone
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.
(source: Madonnalicious, thanx to Robster)

05 July - Hollywood single artwork
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.


02 July - DADay and AL nominated at MTV VMA
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

02 July - Madonna bans hikers near her mansion
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. (source: ABC News)

02 July - Official denial of Israel video shoot
Madonna.com 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. "

02 July - Women Who Rock magazine
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. (source: Women Who Rock Magazine)

02 July - Two years Mad-Eyes
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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