Madonna news - July 2004


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31 July - Lisbon sells out in record time
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. (source: AFP)

29 July - Florida goes crazy for Madonna
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.

29 July - Second Lisbon date
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. Ticketmaster.nl 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.

29 July - BBC reports on Lisbon concert
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. (source: BBC)

29 July - Madonna's girl makes solo charity appearance
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." (source: ContactMusic)

29 July - Madonna seeks new name for Guy
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." (source: ContactMusic)

29 July - Madonna urges Britney to have Kabbalah ceremony
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." (source: ContactMusic)

28 July - Lisbon on sale date change
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. (source: Madonna.com)

28 July - Lisbon concert press release
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. (source: Madonna.com)

26 July - Madonna in Vogue magazine
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.
Madonna on the cover of Vogue Madonna in Vogue Madonna in Vogue Madonna in Vogue Madonna in Vogue Madonna in Vogue Madonna in Vogue Madonna in Vogue Madonna in VogueMadonna in VogueMadonna in Vogue

25 July - Documentary about Madonna's Men
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." (source: Sunday Times)

25 July - Madonna Slane gig security headache for locals
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. (source: Belfast Telegraph)

25 July - Madonna has Acadian links
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. (source: Canadian Press, GlobeAndMail)

22 July - Lisbon on sale on July 30th
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). (source: Madonna.com)

22 July - Water and tea on tap for Madonna
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." (source: Belfast Telegraph)

22 July - Interview with re-Invention dancer
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.

What was not in your hands?
Reshma Gajjar and Madonna 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. (source: rediff)

22 July - Madonna to sing in Yiddish? *rumour*
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.
(source: SomethingJewish)
~ 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! "

20 July - Madonna.com update
Madonna.com Madonna.com 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).

20 July - Live Aid on DVD
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. (source: Madonna.com)

20 July - Vote for Madonna in the VMA Viewers Choice Award
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. (source: Madonna.com)

19 July - Madonna's 10¢-a-dancers
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." (source: New York Daily News)

16 July - Lisbon goes ahead after all
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. (source: Madonna.com)

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