Madonna news - July 2004

← June 2004 | Aug. 2004 →

Lisbon sells out in record time

Source: AFP - 31 July 2004

Tickets for a second concert in Portugal by pop superstar Madonna went on sale one day after 16,000 tickets for what will be her first-ever concert in the country on September 13 sold out in a record nine hours.

Concert promoter Musica no Coracao said Friday the top-selling singer of Into the Groove and Like a Prayer would do a second show on September 14. The 45-year-old's latest world tour, called ReInvention, began in May in Los Angeles. It moves to Europe on August 14 with a concert in Manchester, England, and will close in Lisbon.

Florida goes crazy for Madonna

29 July 2004

Madonna is finishing up her US tour in sunny Florida. Yesterday evening her first of four shows clearly impressed fans and critics, resulting in many raving reviews.

We opened a photo gallery for the Sunrise gig. If you've seen one of the Florida shows or another US show, send us your review.

Second Lisbon date

29 July 2004

The tickets for the Lisbon concert on September 13th that went on sale this morning, quickly sold out. A second show on September 14th has been added, most probably being the last show of the re-Invention tour.

You can still try to find tickets for Lisbon at Ticketline, Fnac and the Pavilhao Atlantico. also released new tickets for the Arnhem shows. And finally, there's still the Mad-Eyes ticket service if you want to sell/buy/trade.

BBC reports on Lisbon concert

Source: BBC - 29 July 2004

Madonna is to play her first Portuguese concert after a double booking with a church group was resolved. The pop star booked Lisbon's Atlantic Pavilion from 9-13 September, with the gig due to take place on 12 September.

But Lisbon's Mana Christian Church had also booked the venue between 8-11 September for a "convention of faith." The religious group refused to budge despite a cash offer from Madonna's promoters and pleas from fans. The gig will now take place on 13 September.

Tickets will go on sale across Portugal on Thursday, said concert promoter Musica no Coracao, which changed the date after replacing the original promoter, Tournee.

Jorge Tadeu, one of the church's founders, told Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha he was "revolted" by those who "want to exchange Jesus for Madonna".

"In our understanding God is moving the Christian church to defeat Goliath," he said. "We feel the pressure from Madonna is not restricted to the Mana church, but is part of a wider battle between the devil and Christ."

The new date for the concert has been added to Madonna's official website. The 45-year-old's latest world tour, called Reinvention, began in May in Los Angeles. The Lisbon date will bring the tour to a close. She is currently completing the North American leg before playing her first European date in Manchester on 14 August.

Madonna's girl makes solo charity appearance

Source: ContactMusic - 29 July 2004

Madonna's daughter Lourdes has followed in her mother's footsteps - by performing to an audience during a charity appearance. Seven-year-old Lourdes visited a Canadian children's hospital - without her Material Girl mum - where she read aloud from Madonna's The English Roses book to a captivated audience.

Toronto Hospital For Sick Children's spokeswoman Lisa Lipkin says, "She was great. She's a fabulous reader. There were a lot of people there, but no media. "It was a private visit. We gave her a present, a bravery bead necklace that we give to children undergoing treatment. She loved it. She put it right on." As for Lourdes' entourage, Lipkin adds, "It was just a little entourage."

Madonna seeks new name for Guy

Source: ContactMusic - 29 July 2004

Kabbalah devotee Madonna is busy reviewing potential Hebrew names for husband Guy Ritchie. The Like A Virgin singer recently changed her name to Esther as part of her conversion to the mystical offshoot of Judaism, and wants Ritchie to follow her lead.

An insider says, "Madonna wants Guy to convert religiously as much as she has. It doesn't make sense if she's fully involved and her family isn't."

Madonna urges Britney to have Kabbalah ceremony

Source: ContactMusic - 29 July 2004

Pop beauty Britney Spears has been urged by music pal Madonna to have a 'Kabbalah-type' wedding ceremony when she marries Kevin Federline. Spears and father-of-two Federline got engaged in June (04) after a whirlwind romance and have reportedly set a November date for their nuptials.

The Toxic singer had a brief flirtation with controversial mystical offshoot of Judaism last year (03) after she collaborated with the Material Girl on Me Against The Music, but has since returned to her Baptist upbringing by visiting churches with her mother Lynne.

However a source tells American gossip site The Scoop, followers of the religion are hoping Spears will have the first celebrity Kabbalah marriage.

The source says, "There's some resistance from her family, who are devout Baptists. "But maybe there's a way to incorporate elements from both faiths, and make everyone happy."

Lisbon on sale date change

Source: - 28 July 2004

The on sale dates for the show in Lisbon on September 13th at Pavhilao Atlantico have changed.

The public on sale is now Thursday, July 29 – 10am (local) and the Fan Club Pre-sale is now Tuesday, July 27th – 5pm local (noon EST) through Wednesday, July 28th – 5pm local (noon EST.

Lisbon concert press release

Source: - 28 July 2004

The wait is finally over, the rumours are confirmed – for the first time ever Portuguese fans will get their chance to see Madonna's Re-Invention World Tour later this summer. The tour which is currently sweeping through North America to rave reviews before launching in Europe on August 14th is confirmed to play Pavilhao Atlantico on 13-September, 2004.

By both artistic and commercial standards Madonna's re-Invention tour is a smash hit. The New York Times called Monday's sold-out debut, "Dense, dizzying… exhilarating." The London Sun said, "Today's generation of Pop Idol wannabees should listen, learn and take note from a woman who has no intention of handing over her crown for a good few years yet" and Rolling Stone said: "She's putting more love and genuine passion into her spectacle than ever."

Madonna is both a multi-Grammy Award winner and a multi MTV Award winner and has sold well over 250 million albums during the span of her extraordinary two-decade career. In addition, she has had more Top Ten Singles than any female artist in history -second only to Elvis Presley.

Madonna in Vogue magazine

26 July 2004

Mad-Eyes visitor Florence has sent us scans of the complete Madonna special in the latest issue of Vogue Paris, which features an interview with Liz Rosenberg, bits on the tour and some fantastic brand new pictures by Steven Klein.

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Documentary about Madonna's Men

Source: Sunday Times - 25 July 2004

Madonna was a sexual predator with a huge appetite, according to a string of used and dumped former lovers.

Despite her Catholic upbringing, the singer bedded both men and women in a decades-long promiscuous rampage that only ended when she married filmmaker Guy Ritchie.

And, according to the British tabloid News of the World, she chose some of her conquests simply to further her music career.

One former lover, DJ Mark Kamins, complains: "I was one step in Madonna's ladder."

Others included basketball star Dennis Rodman, whom she called a "great specimen", John F Kennedy jnr, who liked to lick cream off her legs, and 1980s rap star Vanilla Ice, whom she bedded on their second meeting. The long list of former lovers will be chronicled in a new British TV documentary called Madonna's Men.

In the show, Rodman says: "She would call me 10 times a day and say 'I want sex now, now, now!' She'd want me to drop everything and have sex at the drop of a hat."

Madonna also went after gorgeous model Amanda Cozalet after kissing her in the S&M-styled video Justify My Love.

Cozalet says: "What you saw in that video then was real action. The lesbian kiss was real.
"If I had been open to taking up what Madonna had to offer, something would have definitely happened. She was a good kisser."

In 1991 Madonna dated Vanilla Ice. He says: " I had sex with her the second time I saw her. She grabbed me by the hand and pulled me into the room and we did it. It was great."
Madonna had her first lover in 1979, a musician called Dan Gilroy who calls her "wild and dangerous".

Two years later she moved on to DJ Kamins, whom she persuaded to play her demo track at his club, launching her career.

He says: "She knew how to use her sexuality to manipulate men. And she was the type of girl who would fake an orgasm."

Later came Brat Pack actor Sean Penn, whom she went on to marry.

The marriage was short-lived and Madonna moved on to Kennedy but his mother, Jackie Onassis, told him to call it off.

Bisexual comedian Sandra Bernhard was next in line. She later said: "I look at my friendship with her as like having a gallstone. You deal with it, there is pain, and then you pass it."

Madonna Slane gig security headache for locals

Source: Belfast Telegraph - 25 July 2004

Hundreds of Slane residents will have to apply for police passes to get around the village when music superstar Madonna comes to visit next month. The Garda have announced there will be checkpoints all around the quiet Co Meath village on the day before the huge concert on Sunday, August 29, and only those residents with passes will be allowed through.

Garda chief Michael Flanagan also warned Madonna fans that there is no need or reason to travel early as all the local accommodation has been fully booked, there are no camping facilities available and "there will be nothing for them to do in Slane and we would ask them not to come near it".

The massive gig at Slane Castle is the first to be held on a Sunday for over 20 years and while many residents of the villages signed a petition objecting to it, Meath County Council has given MCD Promotions a licence for it, albeit with some stringent conditions.

Although it is thought that the first act will not appear until late in the afternoon, the controversial queen of pop has to be off stage by no later than 10.30pm, with the 80,000 revellers out of the venue by midnight.

The council has also demanded that the promoters lodge an Event Management Plan no later than two weeks before the concert, a plan that must take account of the extra traffic, necessary toilet facilities and the impact on the local environment.

Another aspect which must be finalised with the Garda is the totally free movement of people who are attending Mass or other religious services on the Sunday morning.

Madonna has Acadian links

Source: Canadian Press, GlobeAndMail - 25 July 2004

It turns out pop music queen Madonna may have some Acadian roots. While the Material Girl probably isn't singing French lullabies from Atlantic Canada to her children, it seems she can trace part of her ancestry back to Acadia, according to a New Brunswick genealogist.

"[Madonna] descends from the Fortin family, which is a Quebec family. Her mother was a Fortin," said Stephen White, a genealogist with the University of Moncton's Centre of Acadian Studies in New Brunswick.

From there, White can trace back six generations until he comes across a name that is familiar to the Acadian researcher.

"There was an article published in a Quebec periodical ... where there was a mention of one of her Fortin ancestors having married an Orillon," he said.

"The Orillon family is an Acadian family."

Acadian heritage has been front and centre in the Maritimes this summer, as those with Acadian ancestry gather from around the world for the Acadian World Congress, a series of events celebrating the 400th anniversary of French settlement in the New World.

While White normally traces the history of everyday individuals, he said he understands people's fascination with tracing the backgrounds of more famous folk.

"People are interested in knowing if they're related to someone who's known in one way or another," he said.

Lisbon on sale on July 30th

Source: - 22 July 2004

The tickets for the Lisbon date on Sept. 13 at Pavhilao Atlantico will be going on sale Friday, July 30th - 10 am local (5am EST/2am PST)

The fan club pre-sale will be Tues. July 27 – 3pm local (10am EST) through Thursday, July 29th 5pm local (noon EST).

Water and tea on tap for Madonna

Source: Belfast Telegraph - 22 July 2004

She may be dubbed the Material Girl, but Madonna's most extravagant request for her first ever Irish concert is Kaballah water. The Queen of Pop, who plays Slane Castle on Sunday, August 29, has asked for 25 cases of the special water to be provided backstage as her choice of drink. Other requests include a large cup of throat coat honey lemon tea to get her vocal chords in shape and Ricola cough drops, which she takes at the start of each show.

Madonna's inexpensive tastes are in keeping with her recent interest in the religion Kaballah. On stage, she wears a red Kabballah bracelet and, as one of her many outfits, a tee-shirt bearing the slogan Kaballists Do It Better.

The singer has also asked for a children's playroom backstage to keep Lourdes and Rocco occupied while she's performing.

Up to 80,000 fans are expected to watch Madonna's debut Irish gig.

The stage will weigh around 40 tonnes, while there will be 55 tonnes of above-ground equipment including sound, lights, video and speakers. One full truck will carry Madonna's wardrobe and make-up and 30 trunks will carry the wardrobe of her entire touring company. Her 110-strong entourage will include dancers, musicians, backing vocalists, a skateboarder and a bagpipe player.

A spokeswoman for Wonderland Promotions said: "The countdown has begun and Madonna's first Irish concert looks set to be one of the most exciting and talked about to grace these shores."

Interview with re-Invention dancer

Source: rediff - 22 July 2004

It is time for Reshma Gajjar to put behind her fleeting, one-minute scenes in such films as American Beauty. Today, the artist who is in her mid-20s, is a dancer in Madonna's [now Esther] new show Reinvention and is on stage for more than half of the show.

By the time the show ends after about six months, she would have danced before more than a million people in about a dozen countries. Reshma chats with Senior Editor Arthur J Pais in New York.

What is a good desi girl doing in a Madonna show?

Reshma Gajjar(Laughs) I am having this incredible rush. It is a natural rush. I can't believe I have a chance to dance before thousands of people in over a dozen American cities and many cities abroad. Some shows have had more than 40,000 people.

What was your parents' reaction when you told them that you were signed for the show?

They were apprehensive in the beginning. But they know Madonna is a much changed person. She is not out there to create scandals. My parents did not know much about how Madonna has changed but they trusted me. They were convinced I could think well. Madonna is a deeply spiritual person. She is opposed to war. Those are my thoughts too. You know we pray before each show opens.

Do you pray otherwise?

Often. Though I was raised as a Hindu and consider myself to be one, I do not pray to any particular deity. To me, praying is a constant reminder that there is something bigger than us. It is also a reminder that we are nothing but instruments of the divine. You feel humbled when you think on these lines. I consider it important for everyone, especially performing artists, to be reminded of the humility we ought to possess.

Did Madonna interview you and other dancers?

There were two to three auditions, after which she met with us, and asked us if we wanted to dance with her on her shows. Of course, we yelled out our answers. But she also asked us something very interesting.

And that was?

She wanted to know our birth signs. She wanted to know which of us were compatible with her birth sign. After all, we were going to spend many months with her touring the world.

What impresses you most about Madonna?

She uses her fame and voice to send out messages about peace and unity. It is, by no means, a small responsibility. Many artists are concerned about themselves. Madonna is in the tradition of great artists who have used their talent to help to create a better society.

What was your reaction when you got the job?

I have been dancing professionally for many years. But this is my biggest break. Though it was not in my hands.

Reshma Gajjar and Madonna What was not in your hands?

Getting this opportunity. God gave me the job. I am a mere tool of God. He gave me an opportunity to be a stronger person, a better artist. Perhaps he wants me to be an inspiration to other aspiring artists.

Was there was karma involved in you getting this opportunity?

I was returning from another tour and arrived in Los Angeles a day before schedule because we got into an earlier flight. My agents told me there was an audition for the Madonna show that day. I was tired, I wanted to go home to my parents [near San Francisco] but I went to the audition anyway. I am convinced it was God's will. When I was selected, I relearned an important lesson that my parents have drilled into me.

And that being…

If you work very hard, God will make it happen. But you must have a clean heart and not be consumed by envy, jealousy or want to put someone down.

When did you decide to be a dancer?

My parents tell me I have been dancing since I was three. They enrolled me in a school near our home in Stockton, California, where I could learn dancing traditions, including ballet and tap dance. My parents remember me unable to stand still. I always danced, they say, and they noticed I had plenty of energy and enthusiasm to dance through the day. They realised very soon I had a gift for dancing.

Are your parents traditional?

My parents are professionals. My father manages financial portfolios and my mother is a research analyst. But they are traditional. My sister and I, for instance, have a very good grounding in religion and tradition. We went to Sunday school at a mandir near home. The foundation I got there is so strong that my parents trust me completely to be a responsible person whether I travel with Madonna's group or anyone else in America, Germany or Thailand.

What are some thoughts that come to mind when you think of yourself as an Indian American?

As Indian Americans [especially first generation] we have the best of both worlds. We have much to share and give back to the world.

How did your family affect your career?

My family and values from my culture kept me grounded. With that foundation, I was able to succeed on my own without having to sacrifice or change who I was. Taking that path was a longer journey to achieve my dreams.

Why was it a longer journey?

My parents insisted I should have a degree even while I pursued my training as a dancer.

What was your formal dancing training like?

I have been trained on the East and West coasts. Four years ago, I received the Edge Scholarship in LA. That meant I was learning dancing full-time. I wanted to discontinue studies but my parents would not let me. They had seen how serious I was about dancing and I had always been a responsible kid. They were willing to let me follow my dancing dreams and were going to support me financially. But they had one key condition. They wanted a commitment from me that I would have a college degree, never mind how much it cost me by way of loss of sleep. I ended up with a degree in business law.

Are you happy with their decision?

Of course. I am sure my parents did something very smart. I was able to grow inside me much more because I was also studying and meeting many more people, professors and students, from all over the world.

How did the internal growth evolve?

I knew early on that success shouldn't be measures by society's eyes (Indian or American). The only person I wanted to impress was myself. I didn't always fit in, but you should not even want to. Although it was frustrating at times, it inspired me to be myself. There was a heightened awareness of my position in the industry.

What kind of awareness?

Being one of the only Indian-American dancers in the commercial entertainment industry, I definitely took it upon myself to feel responsible in how I represented the community. If I can inspire someone to have faith in their dreams, I feel my true purpose in doing something like this is fulfilled.

Madonna to sing in Yiddish? *rumour*

Source: SomethingJewish - 22 July 2004

As pop queen Madonna aka Esther is said to be making plans to record songs in Yiddish, SomethingJewish reveals which Jewish musicians could be in the running to work on her project. Find out who they are and what the suggested collaboration is.

1. David Krakauer: This super-clarinettist has featured on countless albums as well as performing with his own band, David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness. He is to modern Jewish music what Dave Tarras was to the klezmer of the 20s and 30s. Krakauer's work is legendary and is admired by everybody from old school musicians to contemporary and alternative Jewish performers.

Suggested contribution: Maybe Madonna could add some lyrics to Rocketekya, featured on the Milken Archive album Klezmer Concertos and Encores. Krakauer's distinctive clarinet appears on this track.

2. Frank London: Frank is renowned for working with just about everybody in the world of music, and we have no doubt that this klezmer godfather would be on Madonna's list of musicians to work with. Whether he's working with The Klezmatics or his own Klezmer Brass Allstars, this supreme trumpeter could guide Madonna in making sure the Yiddish flavour is well and truly there.

Suggested contribution: Trumpet player and advisor on how to correctly talk and sing Yiddish.

3. Simon Spiro: This English-born cantor has made a name for himself performing all over the world, as well as featuring on several albums of Jewish music. His good looks and strong voice has made him a heartthrob amongst Jewish women and his singing talent crosses all genres.

Suggested contribution: Madonna could team up with Spiro to perform a duet, perhaps an old Yiddish theatre song.

4. Rebbesoul: A highly talented solo musician based in California, Rebbesoul specialises in giving traditional Jewish songs a contemporary flavour. His recent work with the band Common Tongue shows how adept he is in working with different styles of music.

Suggested contribution: Rebbesoul's signature song Avinu would be a likely candidate for a Madonna collaboration.

5. Socalled: This hip Canadian DJ and musician has recently worked with Oi Va Voi's Sophie Solomon as well as David Krakauer and Frank London on the album Hiphopkhasene, which gives a hip-hop and dance spin to Jewish wedding music.

Suggested contribution: He could produce Madonna.

6. Oi Va Voi: A young British Jewish group currently attracting a lot of attention for their debut album Laughter Through Tears, which blends traditional Jewish music with world beats and mixes it up in a dance style. Also featuring Sophie Solomon on violin and vocals.

Suggested contribution: Reworking their song Refugee.

7. Golem: One of New York's finest Jewish bands, Golem, fronted by Annette Ezekiel, play left of centre klezmer. Their debut album Libeshmertzn was inspired by music from all over the world.

Suggested contribution: Instrumental back-up, including violin and accordion playing.

8. Dave Tarras: Known as the original Godfather of klezmer, sadly he is no longer with us – but has left behind a legacy of great music.

Suggested contribution: Either samples of some of his recordings or perhaps a cover of one of his best-known tracks (Unzer Toirele and Polka Strelotchek are both good bets)

9 Bagelman Sisters aka The Barry Sisters: Myma and Claire were popular in the US in the 1930s and 1940s for their Yiddish tunes, in particular the chart-topper Bei Mir Bist Du Sheyn.

Suggested contribution: Bei Mir Bist Du Sheyn would be a great one for Madonna to cover.

10. DJ Handler: Hip Brooklyn-based DJ and musician, and founder of the Modular Moods record label, home to cutting edge Jewish artists.

Suggested contribution: Producer, maybe working in collaboration with Socalled.

~ This rumour probably originated after the story that Madonna (supposedly) performed some songs in Yiddish for some of her Kabbalah friends, as reported by the San Francisco Examiner:

"Madonna, who now prefers to be called by her adopted Kabbalah name Esther, reportedly performed for some cult higher-ups at the home of one of her mentors Rabbi Berg while she was in New York. And a source at the party told The Sun that, instead of singing some of her own songs, which is what the guests were expecting, Madonna sang two songs in Yiddish. Oy vey! " update

20 July 2004 has been updated with another tour picture. The schedule now lists the new Lisbon date (Sept. 13) but no on sale date yet (though it's rumoured to be next friday).

Live Aid on DVD

Source: - 20 July 2004

Warner Vision Intl. has won the rights to release the long-awaited DVD of Live Aid, the biggest concert in rock 'n' roll history. Warner will put out the historic four-disk Live Aid set on Nov. 1 worldwide.

The concert, which took place July 13 1985 in London and Philadelphia, raised over $140 million to fight the African famine. Over 1.5 billion TV viewers watched the event.

It featured all the biggest rock and pop acts of the time, including U2, Sting, David Bowie, Elton John, George Michael, The Who, Madonna, Queen, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Phil Collins and many, many more.

Vote for Madonna in the VMA Viewers Choice Award

Source: - 20 July 2004

Vote for Madonna's Hollywood in the 2004 MTV Viewer's Choice Pre-Nomination Award.... you can vote as many times as you like!

CLICK HERE TO VOTE. Note: All other artists are listed alphabetically EXCEPT Madonna who is right at the bottom of the list - so scroll down the page till you find her name.

Madonna's 10¢-a-dancers

Source: New York Daily News - 19 July 2004

Onstage during her current "Reinvention Tour," Madonna has to put all of her trust in the burly backup dancers who hurl her around the stage.

So why are they paid such puny bucks?

Friends of the dancers report they earn surprisingly little - mostly under $1,000 per concert - compared to the $2 million per show that their boss can rake in.

While they make more than the roughly $500 per show pop dancers usually get, the biggest names are expected to share the wealth and pay their dance team much more: The top ticket for "Re-Invention" is $300, meaning that at a big arena the show can gross $12million or more per night.

Madonna's 12 amazingly acrobatic athletes aren't unionized, and almost all of them leapt at the opportunity to tour with the diva.

But after all the strenuous work they've done, sources tell us that some are grumbling that they deserve more money.

"I know they're not getting paid that much, considering how much they're working," one friend told us.

Another spy snipes that the Material Mom doesn't give the dancers any face time, pointing out that the "only time they see her is during sound check and during the show."

The dancers trained 12 hours a day, six days a week for two months before the tour started. Now, as an effort to maintain Madonna's singing voice, they are often forced to perform without air conditioning on stage.

"Sometimes it's insanely hot," one dancer told us, adding that even for experienced dancers, the work is strenuous. "It's very hard to breathe, and they have oxygen in our dressing rooms."

But star dancer Seth Stewart, who can be seen onstage tangoing with Madonna and wearing everything from military fatigues to a kilt, told us: "She treats us like royalty. She even had us to her house for a cookout."

"The dancers seem very happy," said Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg, traveling with The Artist Currently Known as Esther and her troupe. "I haven't heard otherwise."

Lisbon goes ahead after all

Source: - 16 July 2004

This just in from Madonna's management: The Lisbon concert at the Atlantico Pavilion originally scheduled on September 12th has been moved to September 13th. On sale date to be announced soon.

Visit turns into reunion for the Ciccones and Ritchies

Source: Chicago Sun-Times - 15 July 2004

Guess we can call Madonna's Chicago visit this week truly a family affair. The Material Mom invited a bunch of relatives -- including her father, Tony Ciccone, her brother Christopher and several other siblings and Michigan-based cousins -- to hunker down with her for something of a family reunion at one of Our Town's poshest North Side hotels. (For security reasons, I'll wait until the frequently stalked Madonna leaves town to tell you where she stayed.).

But I can tell you this: Madonna's husband, director Guy Ritchie, son Rocco and daughter Lourdes are here, too -- clearly ''providing Madonna with a strong comfort level'' during her down time when she's not performing, said a close observer of the superstar's Chicago visit.


CURRENT VISIT (Reinvention Tour)
Where she ate: Breakfast at the Drake Hotel.
Where she stayed: See Zwecker (above).
Where you might spot her: Bice (she is a big fan of Bice's in New York).

JULY 30 - AUG. 4, 1987 ('Who's That Girl' Tour)
Where she ate: Carlucci's (stuffed artichoke and a big order of broccoli).
Where she stayed: The Whitehall Hotel, where she reportedly requested the windows be plastered with aluminum foil to keep the sun out of her orbs. (A later report put her at the Ritz-Carlton.)
Where you may have spotted her: Elements on Wells (now defunct -- she sipped a raspberry seltzer).

Material Girl travels heavy

Talk about baggage. Here's what Madonna, according to her own record company, has brought to bear during her four-night stand in Chicago:
- 40 tons of weight for the United Center stage.
- Above-ground equipment (lights, sound, videos and speakers) weighing 55 tons.
- A full truck to house the Material Girl's wardrobe and makeup.
- A total of 110 traveling companions.
- 25 cases of Kaballah Water.
For those who would like to see it for themselves, tickets, at all price levels, are still available for tonight and Thursday night's shows. Call Ticketmaster (312-559-1212).

More Material material

- Looks like little Lourdes -- Madonna's 7-year-old daughter by former boyfriend Carlos Leon -- might become quite the swimmer. She was spied having a great time splashing around in the hotel's pool -- constantly surrounded by a team of bodyguards with Special Forces training. (That means they can put you down faster than you can read this sentence!)

- Madonna and her own large phalanx of bodyguards enter and exit the hotel (usually just to go to the United Center) via a hidden loading zone -- ironically exposing the entertainer to the stench of rotting garbage awaiting the trash haulers.

- While their mom secretly sneaks in and out, Lourdes and Rocco have made several appearances in the hotel's lobby -- including a highly emotional scene when the kids first saw their cousins, aunts and uncles arriving from Michigan.

- As she has in every previous visit, Madonna's purchases have reportedly brought some smiles to the faces of several Oak Street merchants.

- There's a good reason it's been slim pickin's on Madonna sightings around town. Her luxurious hotel digs give her few reasons to want to leave. Along with its elegantly appointed living rooms and sleeping accommodations, Madonna's enormous suite includes a full-size dining room and kitchen, a large open terrace complete with a Jazuzzi, plus a specially designed exercise room, outfitted with equipment installed to match her specific requests for yoga and pilates workouts.

- Even at the hotel, few staff members have seen the world-famous star, except for a few carefully screened room-service employees and spa workers brought in to provide various in-suite treatments, like massages and facials.

- Along with Madonna's family and staff accommodations, a number of rooms are occupied by the film crew who are closely following the Reinvention Tour -- making the documentary expected to be released next year. Reportedly, the Chicago filming has heavily focused on Tony Ciccone, apparently getting Madonna's dad's take on things.

Exclusive: the American Life sessions

12 July 2004

We heard a lot of rumours about the tracks that were recorded for the American Life album but didn't make the selection.

Mad-Eyes reader Ellectrika has obtained - through a friend at Maverick - a scan of a promo disc which features some of these tracks. While we're unable to provide these audio tracks, this scan at least confirms the titles (click to enlarge).

We recognize some early versions of some American Life album tracks, such as 'American Life' (obviously an extended version), 'The Process', 'Nobody Knows Me', 'An Easy Ride', 'Intervention' and 'So Stupid' (2 versions).

A title that we heard before, 'My Ejector', is featured as well as the new titles 'I Can't Place It', 'The Supabitch Parade', 'Hare Krishna', 'Little Piece of Nothin'' and 'Mindtrappa'.

No further details on these tracks is available. It's unlikely any of these tracks will ever see the light of day, just like the many other ditched tracks of previous albums.

Scan of the 'American Life sessions'

Re-Invention Ball in Toronto July 16th

Source: - 12 July 2004

Music brings the people together for a special edition of Grapefruit.

Grapefruit Promotions is pleased to present the Re-Invention Ball – the official Toronto launch party for Madonna's Re-Invention Tour and a fundraiser for Casey House.

The Ball starts spinning on Friday, July 16 at Tequila Lounge, located at 794 Bathurst Street (corner of Bloor and Bathurst). Doors open to media and special guests at 9 p.m., then to the public at 10 p.m.

DJ Aural and DJ Shane will take guests on a musical journey as they spin a career-spanning set packed full of hits, remixes, live tracks and classic album cuts. Grapefruit is also flying in Madiva - star of MTV, U.K. Television and peer of Madonna herself.

New York's most infamous Madonna impersonator is sure to dazzle the crowd with some of her greatest numbers In addition to the theatrics, guests can also win posters, DVD's, gift certificates, clothing and an all-inclusive vacation package for two. Prizes for the event have been donated by Grapefruit's generous sponsors in support of Casey House.

Tickets can be purchased at Music Authority (95 Maitland St.) starting on June 18. Tickets are $20 in advance and priced higher at the door. Tickets are very limited and are sold on a first-come first-serve basis. For all the up-to-date information on tickets, sponsors, dates, Madiva and Madonna herself, please visit

The baby rumours return

Source: New York Daily News - 12 July 2004

She's turning 46 next month, but Madonna is determined to try for one more child.

"She has it all planned out to a T," a friend tells us. "She began visiting her fertility doctor in Los Angeles in late March. Her tour was already planned for the summer, but Madonna wanted to undergo tests to find out if she would be able to get pregnant and carry a baby at her age."

The singer admitted in a recent interview that she worried that "because of my exercising and this, that and the other, I've kind of screwed up my cycle a bit."

But source says her doctors have now told her she's in good shape to conceive. Her Madgesty is also said to have sought the blessing of her Kabbalah counselor, Rabbi Yehuda Berg. Berg told her "that more kids would be a great thing for her spiritual growth," according to our source. "He said, 'Go for it.'"

The singer, who has taken the Hebrew name Esther, has one daughter, Lourdes, 7, by former lover Carlos Leon, and a son, Rocco, 3, by husband Guy Ritchie. All of her little ones stand to be well-dressed: In the fall, Mom is coming out with a line of children's clothing inspired by her storybook "The English Roses."

She's also working on an animated film based on that book, a CBS concert special and a theatrical-release documentary about her tour. Let's hope she schedules some baby-making time with Guy.

Next Best Thing director blames Madonna for heart attack

Source: New York Daily News - 12 July 2004

The Material Girl was such a prima Madonna on the set of John Schlesinger's last film that she may have driven the Oscar-winning director to heart failure.

The director of "Midnight Cowboy" and "Billy Liar," who died in July 2003, blamed Madonna for his 1999 heart attack. That damning charge lives on in letters and production notes he wrote while directing Madonna in the $25 million flop The Next Best Thing, the London Telegraph reported.

Madonna and Schlesinger

After suffering a heart attack just after finishing the film, an enraged Schlesinger fired off a missive from his hospital bed, laying some of the blame for his collapse on Madonna and producer Tom Rosenberg for agreeing to her demands.

"I am f---ing angry with Tom being influenced by Madonna," Schlesinger wrote to his agent. "I do not for one moment think that their behavior has not added to the reasons I have ended up here," he said.

In the film, Madonna plays a yoga instructor who is made pregnant by her gay best friend, played by Rupert Everett. One memo hints that the actress wanted producers to "beautify" 34 shots of her with computer-generated wizardry. Later, Madonna lobbied for the removal of a pivotal scene that she felt was too "gay" - much to the disgust of Schlesinger, who was homosexual.

Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's publicist, told the Telegraph last week she was surprised by Schlesinger's remarks. "No one has ever questioned her level of professional behavior," Rosenberg said.

ICON Re-Invent Yourself contest

Source: - 9 July 2004

Madonna has an unbelievable gift for ICON members! The chance to win a Gibson Guitar identical to the one that she plays in the Re-Invention Tour – except for you it's signed by the lady herself!

It's time to put your love for Madonna to the test and Re-Invent yourself! Here is the contest: Madonna has had many faces and looks through the years. Sometimes brunette, sometimes girlie blond sometimes dressed with highly sophisticated outfits but also sometimes very pure and natural.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be to pick up one of those looks and re-invent yourself by turning your own appearance into Madonna's! No, you are not dreaming, we are asking you to try and look like Madonna herself!

No matter if you're a boy or a girl, strike a pose dressed like Madonna and sending us your Re-Invented shot, as well as the original Madonna image you decided to copy.

For more details about the competition please visit ICON - the closing date is 31 July.

Madonna tops the book charts for the third time

Source: PR Newswire - 8 July 2004

Callaway Arts & Entertainment is pleased to announce that Madonna's third children's book, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, will debut at No. 7 on The New York Times' July 11, 2004 best-seller list three weeks after its June 21 release. Yakov and the Seven Thieves will be Madonna's third book in a row to hit The New York Times best-seller list in the children's picture book category.

Madonna's first two children's books, The English Roses and Mr. Peabody's Apples, both debuted at No. 1 on the best-seller list of The New York Times, and remained on the list for 18 and 10 weeks, respectively. Both books have appeared in 38 languages, plus a Braille edition, and in more than 110 countries worldwide, including England, France, Germany, China, Slovenia, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.

Yakov and the Seven Thieves, written for readers aged six and up, is a 32- page jacketed hardcover. The book's evocative images were painted by Gennady Spirin, an award-winning artist, who has illustrated 33 previous children's books. Madonna says Yakov and the Seven Thieves "is a story about how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven -- no matter how unworthy we think we are. For when we go against our selfish natures, we make miracles happen, in our lives and in the lives of others."

Callaway Arts & Entertainment, headquartered in New York, is the originating publisher of Madonna's children's books and has licensed book rights through The Wylie Agency to 42 distinguished houses, including Gallimard Jeunesse in France, Penguin Books for Young Readers in the U.K., and Hanser Verlag in Germany. The book is distributed in the United States by the Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Publisher and CEO of Callaway Arts & Entertainment, Nicholas Callaway says, "The response to Madonna's books has been overwhelming. She strikes a chord with both parents and children, creating stories that both speak to them and entertain them."

Callaway Arts & Entertainment, founded in 1980 by Nicholas Callaway, is best known for its hugely successful Miss Spider book series. The firm specializes in family entertainment across all media -- book publishing, 3-D computer animation for film and television, and product design. Yakov and the Seven Thieves is the third of five children's books by Madonna. "Each book deals with issues that all children confront," she says."Hopefully there is a lesson in each book that will help kids turn painful or scary situations into learning experiences. I hope [they] inspire kids of all ages -- even grown-up ones."


Lisbon "not cancelled nor confirmed"

Source: Publico, thanks to David Figueiredo and MIR - 5 July 2004

Yesterday John Giddings, the European Coordinator of Madonna's Reinvention World Tour, was in Portugal to attend a concert by Phil Collins and made a brief comment about Madonna's Portuguese concert being "not confirmed nor cancelled".

This is the first time someone from Madonna's camp talks about the situation (the announcement of the cancellation of the shows came earlier this week through a statement from the Mana Church) and it also seems to confirm that negotiations are being made with other Portuguese promoters to make the show happen.

It is an impasse that has been lasting for one month: is Madonna coming to Portugal or not? "The concert is not cancelled nor confirmed", said yesterday John Giddings, the European coordinator of the Tour.

The story so far looks like a novel coming to an end, Madonna and Mana Church being two names impossible to separate. In Portugal the star made two worlds becoming one: the devotes of the Mana Church and the one of her fans.

The thing that unites them is the music: the pop music of Madonna and the religious one of the Mana. We met collector fans and fans who signed petitions and talked to Jorge Tadeu, founder of the Chruch. They are two types of "fanatism" (in a positive meaning: "of fans") that call the" opposing emotions ", according one of Madonna's fans: "the religious one appeals to the fragility of the people; a star as Madonna appeals to the diversity: she gives music to us "

Until a month ago, it was unlikely that Madonna had ever heard about the Mana Church, and was also unlikely that the Mana Church was releasing press statement about Madonna claiming that the agent of the singer the Europe, John Giddings, cancelled the concert.

But yesterday Giddings laconically said to the Pùblico "the concert is not cancelled nor confirmed". And he did not want to give more explanations. On the other hand, according to some rumours, to promote the concert it will now be Ritmos e Blues, and not Tournée, the promoter who has been organizing the concert of Madonna for 12 of September in the Atlantic Pavilion, in Lisbon until now.

Nuno Braancamp, responsible for Ritmos e Blues, had no reply.

The same place, the Atlantic Pavilion, and practically in the same dates, have been reserved for two mega-events that will attract thousands of people, and will include the recording of DVD and Compact Disc.

The first Madonna concert in Portugal - the last one of her Re-Invention Tour, is scheduled to be recorded in DVD and should include images from the live show and rehearsals. The convention and commemoration of the 20 years of the Mana Church, between 8 and 11 of September, is also going to be recorded and broadcasted by the Maná Sat channel and the organization also wants to record a DVD and a Compact Disc with four international Christian bands and a choir with orchestra.

Although there is no actual overlapping of dates, the concert of Madonna requires two additional days for set up and rehearsals, and one of them is indeed day 11, the last one of the Church convention, and it is likely that the DVD will be recorded in the previous days.

None of the parts involved intends to abdicate of the Atlantic Pavilion: because of its characteristics, the Madonna show can only take place in the Atlantic because it involves, for example, 68 tons of equipment suspended from the ceiling - and the pavilion is the only venue in Portugal with the capacity to receive the Re-Invention Tour.

On the part of the Mana - that reserved the space before Tournée - both the church and the Atlantic Pavillion declared that a change of venue "is is of question". However, the founder of Mana, Jorge Tadeu, refuses tocollaborate with Ricardo Casimiro, responsible of Tournée, accusing him of "arrogance" and "threats"; Casimiro answered saying that it finds "this all surreal" and that he had never spoken with Tadeu. Tadeu admits to being looking for an agreement with John Giddings, in a collaborative effort to set the dates in the right way so that both events can be carried out.

Madonna hires back expert

Source: Contact Music - 5 July 2004

Madonna has hired a chiropractor to help her straighten her posture following the nightly strenuous dance moves on her current re-Invention tour.

The Vogue singer, 45, has splashed out $252,000 (GBP140,000) for the Los Angeles back expert to ensure her spine remains in perfect condition.

A source says, "Madonna's back is causing her serious problems. "After performances, the chiropractor will crack her bones and straighten her spine."

Lisbon concerts cancelled (?)

3 July 2004

While there's no official confirmation, press agency AFP claims that the Lisbon concerts have been cancelled:

"Pop superstar Madonna has cancelled what would have been her first-ever concert in Portugal after a row with an evangelical church, local media reported.

The superstar was scheduled to bring her "ReInvention" concert tour to the 12,000-seat Atlantic Pavilion in Lisbon on September 12, according to concert promoters Tournee who booked the space in April for September 9-13.

But after the concert had been announced, the Lisbon-based Mana Christian Church said it had already booked the grounds for September 8-11 to hold a "Convention of Faith."

The church said it had reserved the grounds in February and it has refused to change the booking despite pleas from fans and an offer of a 25,000 euro (30,000 dollar) donation from Tournee.

Jorge Tadeu, a self-proclaimed apostle and founder of the church, told daily tabloid Correio da Manha last month he was "revolted" by those who "want to exchange Jesus for Madonna".

"In our understanding God is moving the Christian church to defeat Goliath," he added. "We feel the pressure from Madonna is not restricted to the Mana church, but is part of a wider battle between the devil and Christ."

The Mana Church said in a statement issued Friday to national news agency Lusa that it had been informed by the singer's legal representative in Europe, John Giddings, that the concert would no longer take place.

Madonna kicked off her latest world tour, her first in three years, in May in Los Angeles.

Her return to the concert stage has received mixed reviews, with some suggesting the 45-year-old mother of two had erred by swapping her trademark sexuality for a new-found spirituality."

Madonna to expose the shady side of the fashion world

Source: Yahoo! India News - 3 July 2004

Madonna, has decided to expose the shady wing of the fashion world by buying the film rights to the book MODEL: THE UGLY BUSINESS OF BEAUTIFUL WOMEN, which she will produce under her own production company.

"The screenplay has been written by DAVID BRENDEL and the film is tentatively being given a release date of next year (05). At the moment Madonna is looking around for beautiful women who can play some of the world's most famous supermodels, while she is obviously hoping as many of them as possible can be prevailed upon to appear in cameo roles." Rate the music quoted a source as saying.

Concertgoers desperately seek to look like pop icon

Source: Boston Herald - 3 July 2004

Madonna's concert tour may be called reinvention, but for her die-hard fans, the show was more about reminiscing. Her serious Material Girls and Boy Toys came to her Sunday-night concert at the Worcester Centrum - her last show there is tonight - decked out in fashions inspired by their favorite Madonna era. As Madonna concert virgin Sylvie Kulike put it, "You've got to represent a little bit - even if it's Worcester." Among the more memorable Madonna wannabes:

Lauren Girouard, 20, a student from Acushnet

Madonna incarnation: "The Material Girl." Girouard, who attended the show with her brother Brandon, wore a tight black lace mini with a ribbon choker and black stilettos. "I was contemplating wearing a cowboy hat, but that was mixing,'' she said.
Important Madonna accessory: Pink bustier handbag with lace trim.
Madonna as family entertainment: "Our dad was a huge fan," said Girouard, who recalled doing Madonna puzzles as a kid. Added Brandon: "We watched The Blonde Ambition Tour (on video)."

Music performance in the Room

Sofia Gagua, 26, marketing analyst from Needham

Madonna incarnation: "Who's That Girl.'' Black satin corset, gray pleated miniskirt, black opaque tights and platform sandals. "I tried to figure out what she would wear,'' said the Russian-born Gagua.
Important Madonna accessory: Rhinestone cross pin.

J.D. Donner, 37, hair salon owner from Norwich, Conn.

Madonna incarnation: "Thoroughly Modern Madge.'' Donner said his outfit - black sequin top, cropped cargos and lace-up heels - echoes the superstar's current, more sophisticated look. "It's more age appropriate, but yet fun,'' he said.
Important Madonna accessory: Platinum "Reinvention'' ticket. For $700, he got a seat in the eighth row and a pass to the VIP party.
Madonna every day: Donner said his ensemble is the kind of thing he wears every day for work at Antenna and Himma, his two salons.

Rebecca Burcher, 31, a real estate broker from Milford, N.H., and Chelsea Bradway, 31, a teacher from Southboro

Madonna incarnation: Bradway did "Desperately Seeking Susan.'' Burcher was "so totally '80s - the best era ever.''
Madonna marker/milestone: Burcher and Bradway have been best friends since 1982 - just before, they pointed out, Madonna's first hit.
Important Madonna accessory: "I was always partial to the necklaces,'' said Bradway, who dressed like this in middle school and, unbeknownst to her husband, saved the clothes.

Julie Steele and Megan Howe, both 20, students from Manchester, N.H.

Madonna incarnation: Early 1980s - "Like a Virgin.'' The young duo went big on the details: oversized earrings, hair bows and accessories. "We thought, 'Oh my God, we have to go all-out,' '' Howe said.
Madonna karma: "I came out when her first record came out,'' Steele said.
Important Madonna accessory: Steele's pleather jacket and hair accessories.

Sylvie Kulik, 31, nanny from Boston

Madonna incarnation: Gap ad. "It was a good look for her,'' said Kulik, who sported a white tank top over a black bra, jeans and a black cowboy hat.
Important Madonna accessory: The bling, including a "SEXY" rhinestone necklace. Kulik also wanted to wear a wig. "But (my friends) said it was too ratty,'' she said.

Madonna reserves best seats for fellow Kabbalists

Source: Irish Examiner - 3 July 2004

Madonna has reportedly reserved the best seats on her world tour to members of the Kabbalah. The singer, a devout follower of the mystic branch of Judaism, has dedicated 50 free seats at each gig on her Reinvention tour to fellow Kabbalists - but, according to American website PageSix, many members are cashing in on the star by selling the tickets for huge profit.

PageSix discovered Avner Mader- the head of the Boston Kabbalah Center - offering tickets on website, with the following message: "Madonna VIP Tickets $300-600 - Tax Deductible... VIP tickets, best seats in the house."

"If you have been wanting to see this show, then this is the way. All monies go to a non-profit foundation, and your donation is tax deductible. Enjoy the show with the best seats in the house, and get a tax write-off!"

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