Madonna news - Dec. 2004


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31 December - Madonna the karaoke queen
Pop superstar Madonna has taken up a new hobby - karaoke.
The singer was spotted buying a 50s-style karaoke machine from London department store Selfridges, where she was promoting her children's book The English Roses.
Friends say she and husband Guy Ritchie plan to throw their own karaoke parties. (source: ContactMusic)
~ They probably mean 'The Adventures of Abdi', not 'The English Roses'...

30 December - Third Versace ad
Versace campaign A third picture from the Versace campaign has premiered on MadonnaOnline.ch. Check MadonnaTribe for a large version of this great Testino shot.

30 December - Madonna and Guy impressed by Schiffer's gurkhas
Forget your muscle-bound heavies in dark shades and bulging sweatshirts... the new showbiz must-have is a squad of Gurkhas.
Claudia Schiffer and her British film director husband Matthew Vaughn have sparked a celebrity craze by hiring five former British Army Gurkhas to help run and protect their £5million Suffolk mansion.
The Layer Cake director and his German supermodel missus are great supporters of the fearsome Nepalese fighters and have been urging pals to hire them too.
Now we hear Vaughn's best friend Lock, Stock director Guy Ritchie and his wife Madonna are so impressed after seeing their Gurkhas, they want to employ some too. And whatever Madonna wants, she usually gets.
Matthew told 3am: "The Gurkhas are among the most hardworking, loyal and skilled people I have ever come across. We are delighted to give them jobs."
Gurkhas are famous for carrying the curved kukri knife and a recent change in British law means that those who served for four years or more and retired after 1997 can live and work in Britain after they leave the army.
Several of the Gurkhas Matthew and Claudia have hired are experts in close protection - so any unwanted guests will have quite a mission on their hands with these ruthless, highly-trained men. (source: The Mirror)

28 December - First Versace pictures
Versace campaign Versace campaignThe first pictures of Mario Testino for the Versace campaign have premiered on the fansites MadonnaOnline.ch and MadonnaTribe. They feature a gorgeous Madonna with a blond wig and (of course) glamourous Versace clothes in an office environment. The first one will be used to advertise the Versace campaign in the February 2005 issue of Vogue Magazine.

26 December - Your job is to inspire people
Madonna will appear in the first episode of Missy Elliott's 'The Road To Stardom' that will air on Wednesday, January 5 2005 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT).
The new reality show sees 13 aspiring performers that will travel and live together in a tour bus and compete against each other for $100,000 and the opportunity to become music's next big sensation.
Missy Elliott herself will lead the panel of music industry judges, including Bedtime Stories producer Dallas Austin, Mona Scott and Teena Marie.
In a promo clip for the show Madonna was seen giving advice to the contestants and saying: "Your job is to inspire people and if you can hold on to that then things won't get boring". (thanks to Gareth D. from the MIR)

26 December - Madonna in Donna's Top 2004
As every year, Mad-Eyes reports on Madonna's positions in the Top 2004, which is being broadcast on Belgian Radio Donna between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The list was voted by the listeners. On their website you can see her positions out of the top 100. Madonna scores good with 27 entries but many of them dropped compared to last year. Only Like A Prayer scores into the top 100; to influence its final position, go to donna.be and vote! Here is the list of all the entries with their position in 2004 and in 2003:

2004 2003 Song
?? 125 Like A Prayer
112 227 Frozen
299 326 La Isla Bonita
379 100 Music
443 491 Vogue
448 484 Me Against The Music
563 415 Like A Virgin
661 553 Ray Of Light
762 590 The Power Of Good-Bye
838 1204 Hollywood
877 1360 Live To Tell
992 1054 Drowned World/Substitute For Love
1059 926 American Pie
1150 637 Justify My Love
1200 798 Papa Don't Preach
1260 1150 American Life
1336 -- Borderline
1397 725 Material Girl
1454 / Nothing Fails
1551 830 This Used To Be My Playground
1649 1009 Die Another Day
1731 878 Holiday
1785 1731 Nothing Really Matters
1815 1543 Beautiful Stranger
1875 -- Express Yourself
1920 1415 Into The Groove
1996 1269 Who's That Girl

26 December - Another Madonna.com update
Madonna.com update Madonna.com has again put a new picture on its splash page, this time from the Abdi release at London's Selfridges.

25 December - Merry Xmas everyone!

23 December - April release for tour DVD?
There are more and more indications that the Re-Invention Tour DVD will be released early April 2005. Fansite MadonnaTribe has received release schedules from Warner France and Warner Portugal, who both list the DVD to be released in the first week of April.
So far, no dates are officially confirmed, but if this is true, it means Madonna is planning a serious release marathon next summer, with the tour DVD in April, the documentary in May, her fifth childrens book in June and possibly another American Life remix album in the summer. Hopefully more information soon.

23 December - Madonna at Milan's Female Fashion Week? *rumour*
Fellow fansite "MadonnaTribe has been informed that Madonna is expected to star at the upcoming Female Fashion Week that will take place in Milan at the end of February 2005.
According to the current schedules, Madonna should attend several fashion shows, and will be the major star at the Versace show. It's not hard to imagine that Madonna and her new image portraied by Mario Testino will be literally everywhere in the first months of 2005.
We'll keep you posted about any updates, please keep in mind that the schedules are still subject to change.
Apparently Madonna is not the only one in the Ritchie family to be interested in the upcoming fashion shows. Guy Ritchie is indeed rumored to be attending the Male Fashion Week in Milan in January 2005."

23 December - Madonna's Oscars rant
A new book reveals Madonna's bad behaviour during rehearsals for the 1991 Oscars.
She performed Sooner Or Later from the film Dick Tracy at the ceremony. The song, written by Stephen Sondheim, won the Best Music, Original Song award.
In his new book "The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings at the Academy Awards" writer Steve Pond details the singer's attack on a technician.
The man was supposed to supply her with a microphone before she appeared on stage through a trap door but had fallen asleep.
Pond claims she launched into "an astonishing profane tirade despite the fact that the area below the stage was also occupied by a group of children."
"Furious, she grabbed him around the neck and lifted him bodily off the ground, not relinquishing her grip until the trapdoor opened and she began to rise."
Pond adds that when her performance was delayed due to a camera operator being injured falling from the stage into the orchestra pit, Madonna was unsympathetic.
He quotes her as saying: "But, she's just lying there. Can't we just do this?"
"The Big Show" is published in the UK on January 1. (source: Launch)

22 December - Happy anniversary Madonna & Guy!
Today it's been exacty 4 years since Madonna and Guy Ritchie tied the knot at the Scottish Scibo Castle. Mad-Eyes wishes them a happy anniversary and many more happy years to come!

22 December - Being on stage a 'battle'
For Madonna, being on stage isn't as easy as it might look to her audiences.
In fact, it's anything but.
”Its pretty overwhelming, to tell you the truth," she revealed to The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith in the second of a two-part interview. "One thing I'm struck with is, when I watch myself performing on the stage, I'm astonished at the difference between what I'm seeing and what I think the audience sees and what I feel.
"What I see is really pulled together and really choreographed and (has) nice costumes and good lighting and good sound. What's going on inside of me is like a war.
"I'm gasping for breath. I'm trying to remember everything I'm supposed to be, the words to the songs, the notes on the guitar, the steps. I'm thinking about the pain in my back. I'm trying to get enough oxygen. I'm looking at people's faces. Some people are desperate, some people are so full of love. It's so extreme, I always think when I go out on stage that I'm going into battle."
The diva told Smith the pressure doesn't stop there.
"I wear 'inner ears' so we don't have monitors all over the stage, so that the sound in my head -- you know, when you plug up your ears, you can hear your heart beat and hear yourself breathing? So I've got that on the stage as well. I don't hear the crowds, so it's a very surreal experience, the whole thing."

Madonna has taken up Kaballah, a form of Jewish mysticism, and she says it's impacting her life "enormously."
"One of the central aspects to the study of Kaballah," she tells Smith, "is the idea that we are responsible for our behavior, we are responsible for everything that happens to us. It's very liberating to not think of yourself as a victim. So I like that aspect. That has freed me enormously.
"I spent a lot of years feeling sorry for myself, when I was a child, the death of my mother, or growing up and feeling like I didn't have what other people had. I find it very empowering, although it seems daunting at first, to go, 'You know what, I deserve that, I own that, I brought that to me. That's a very different way for me to look at life.
"It's very liberating. So that has influenced me enormously. I'm getting better at not being bothered by things. I'm getting better at not taking things personally."
And that, in turn, is helping her marriage, Madonna says. "I'm getting better at being married and living with somebody who, for lack of a better phrase, irks me sometimes. I'm getting better at accepting. I suppose I can disagree with what he says or what he does, but I don't love him less. I'm getting better at loving my husband unconditionally."

Madonna kidded Smith about a few things he admitted to her. "You didn't read my books 'til last week; you didn't go to my concerts. Anything else you want to say that will disappoint me?"
Smith said, "Well, I could be completely sycophantic."
Madonna didn't let him off the hook that easily: "There's somewhere between ignoring me and being a sycophant." (source: CBS/KUTV)
~ Check the CBS website to stream the video of this second part of the Early Show interview.

22 December - Madonna voted worst rock-star actor of all time
Madonna's often-criticised movie career has landed her a new title - as the Worst Rock-Star Actor of All Time.
While the Michigan native has enjoyed phenomenal success as a pop superstar, Madonna's efforts on the silver screen have been met with an icy response from both critics and fans - most recently with her embarrassing flop Cast Away.
Music magazine BLENDER, which conducted the poll of 25 stars, says, "Invariably cast as an irresistible femme fatale - Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy, Susan in Desperately Seeking Susan - yet cannot 'do' sexy.
"Instead, she adopts the glassy-eyed expression of someone on a cocktail of prescription drugs and delivers her lines as if reading aloud from the letters of a stalker."
The Spice Girls landed in 19th place, Mick Jagger at 17th, Sting at 24th and Ozzy Osbourne at 21st.
The top 10 is as follows:
1. MADONNA
2. BOB DYLAN
3. MARIAH CAREY
4. JON BON JOVI
5. ELVIS PRESLEY
6. BRITNEY SPEARS
7. VANILLA ICE
8. NEIL DIAMOND
9. GENE SIMMONS
10. MASTER P
(source: ContactMusic)

21 December - Madonna: Diva, Author, Housewife
We all know Madonna, the talented and often controversial entertainer.
But how many of us know her other sides? Madonna, the children's book author. Or Madonna, the — housewife.
She sat down with The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith in London last week and gave a rare glimpse into those other parts of her world, in the first of a two-part interview.
Tune in to The Early Show Monday to hear about a typical Madonna day, how she writes, what her children's books reveal, and which nickname leaves her cold.
"I get up in the morning with my kids, and that's really painful for me; my husband keeps me up late," Madonna reveals. "I'm with the kids, and then they go off to school, and I stay home and I become a sargeant in my house and go into my office and start going through the lists that have been made by my hardworking, diligent staff and start delegating responsibility. (I) spend several hours doing that, being a taskmaster, and then I do some kind of exercise. Is this boring?" she interrupts herself, asking interviewer Smith a question.
"No," answers Smith, "I had this vision of you padding around in housecoat and fuzzy slippers with a cup of tea."
"No," Madonna quips. "I drink very strong coffee, I have Chinese slippers, and I usually wear juicy tracksuits. Are you getting the picture? Hair messed up, grumpy expression on my face until I've had a cup of coffee."

But Madonna has found time to write four highly successful and insightful children's books, with a fifth on the way.
What does it do for her to write these books, Smith wondered. "It's another outlet for me to share my stories," Madonna answered. "I sit in front of the computer and stick my little statue, who's my writing muse, next to my computer and, OK, I'm going to write — and it comes. …It's a statue of a kneeling woman, but she has a really thoughtful expression on her face."
"A woman on her knees?" Smith interjects.
"Oh, God, don't read that into it," Madonna shoots back. …You had to go there, Harry."
"That's a Madonna response," Smith pointed out. "I was about to say that's about supplication, someone asking for some maybe even divine guidance."
"Yes," Madonna said. "That's what I do on a regular basis."
Smith told Madonna he felt that, by reading the children's books, he felt like he "had an insight into who's inside you."
"Probably," Madonna observed, "because there's more stillness in writing; with a book, you can hear me probably more clearly."
Madonna's first three children's books launched within one year of each other, and have sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.
Callaway Books has released a boxed-set of her first three children's titles, "The English Rose," "Mr. Peabody's Apples," and "Yakov and the Seven Thieves."
The first of them, "The English Rose," was released simultaneously in 30 languages and over 100 countries in September, 2003. It became the biggest and fastest-selling book ever by a first time children's author.
It's about four 11-year-old girls who are best friends, but jealous of another girl in the neighborhood. "She's more aloof," as Madonna described her to Smith, "mysterious. …She seems like she has the perfect life. She's prettier, she seems like she's really good, so they decide to not include her in the group because she's too good at everything. A very common thing, I think with girls.
"The idea for the story came from my daughter. There was a clique of girls when she was in first grade, and the teacher called them the English roses. She told me that sometimes girls treated her different at school because I was her mother."
The four wind up getting a surprising lesson from a fairy godmother about the difference between appearance and reality.

"The English Rose" was quickly followed by "Mr. Peabody's Apples" in November, 2003.
It's a story of the power of words and the importance of teachers. The story takes place in 1949 in Happville, USA. Mr. Peabody, a beloved elementary school teacher and baseball coach, one day finds himself ostracized when rumors about him spread through the small town. Mr. Peabody silences the gossip with an unforgettable and poignant lesson about how we must choose our words carefully to avoid causing harm to others." The book is said to have been inspired by a story told to Madonna by her Kabbalah teacher. Kaballah is a form of Jewish mysticism.
"That's another story I think most people can relate to," Madonna said to Smith. "We all love to gossip, even really evolved people like me," she laughed, as did Smith. "The story's about having people stop and think every once in awhile about what they're going to say to someone and what this might do to someone," Madonna continued.
In June, 2004, "Yakov and the Seven Thieves" was released. According to Madonna, I'ts the story of 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."
Last month marked the release of Madonna's fourth children's book, "The Aventures of Abdi." Like her other three, it was written for readers aged six and up.

"The Adventures of Abdi" is the story of a little boy who has been given a very big task: to deliver the most precious necklace in the world to the queen. Along the way he is robbed in the desert, thrown in a dungeon and has a surprising encounter with a snake. But no matter what obstacles he faces, Abdi never gives up hope, guided by the words of his teacher, Eli: "Everything that happens is for the best."
Madonna's fifth book, "Lotsa de Casha," is scheduled for release in June. It's the last in the five-book series. She's also coming out with an audio edition of all the books.
Madonna and Smith wrap up the first part of the interview with a discussion of how British newspapers came to call her "Madge," a nickname she dislikes. When it's pointed out to her that "Madge" could be short for, "Her Majesty," Madonna relents and says that might not be such a bad moniker, after all.
Tune in to The Early Show Tuesday for the second part of Smith's interview. They'll discuss Kaballah, and how it's helped her marriage.
Asked by fellow co-anchor Hannah Storm what surprised him about Madonna, Smith said, "So smart. So funny. Amazing sense of humor. And...We were sitting there looking at the tape late Friday night, and I said, 'I am completely beguiled.' She charmed my socks off." (source: CBS)

19 December - Interview with director of Vogue tour video
Check fansite DrownedMadonna for an interview with Stefan Smith, the virtual artist at Pusher who directed the video backdrop for Vogue on the Re-Invention Tour and also worked on the Don't Tell Me projections. Smith talks very positively about his collaboration with Madonna on the Vogue video.

19 December - New dance chart record for Madonna
Everywhere you look, the men dominate the 2004 year-end artist recaps. Everywhere except one place -- the year-end Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Among the top 10 acts on the year-end Top Pop Artists tally, only two are women: Alicia Keys and Beyonce. The same two are the only females among the top 10 R&B/hip-hop artists of the year. The only two women among the top 10 country artists are Gretchen Wilson and Shania Twain. Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow are the only two women in the top 10 among the adult top 40 artists. Etta James and Susan Tedeschi are the two females among the top 10 blues artists.
Then there's that Club Play recap, where the top six all come from the distaff side. Madonna is No. 1 after relinquishing the title last year to Justin Timberlake. She's followed by Janet Jackson, Beyonce, Annie Lennox, Britney Spears and McLachlan.
Madonna and Spears are the top two artists on the Hot Dance Singles Sales recap. Together, they have the No. 1 song of the year, Me Against the Music, followed by Madonna's Nothing Fails/Nobody Knows Me at No. 2 and Love Profusion at No. 3.
That makes Madonna the first person in chart history to have the top three songs of the year on the dance sales recap. The only acts that have come close are Soul II Soul, which topped the 1989 list with "Keep On Movin"' and "Back to Life," and M People, which was No. 2 and No. 3 in 1994 with "Moving On Up" and "One Night in Heaven." (source: Reuters)

19 December - Madonna in Road To Stardom
Fansite MadonnaTribe reminds us of the airing date of Missy Elliot's 'Road To Stardom', featuring Madonna:
"The debut date of "The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliot" is approaching and US TV network UPN is now featuring a special section of their online website devoted to the new show.
As MadonnaTribe readers know Madonna will appear in the first episode of the show that - as we revealed a few weeks ago - will air on Wednesday, January 5 2005 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT).
The new reality show sees 13 aspiring performers that will travel and live together on the road in a tour bus and compete against each other for $100,000 and the opportunity to become music's next big sensation.
Missy Elliott herself will lead the panel of music industry judges, including award winning producer Dallas Austin, who worked with Madonna on the Bedtime Stories album and co-wrote Secret, Mona Scott and Teena Marie.
Missy will then help launching the winner's career with a contract to her label and a producing a first single.
In a promo clip for the show Madonna wass seen giving advice to the contestants and saying: "Your job is to inspire people and if you can hold on to that then things won't get boring"."

19 December - D&G starstruck by Madonna
Superstar Madonna left Italian fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana speechless when she asked them to fit her for a premiere.
The style gurus claim they are relaxed in front of most of their A-list clients, but found the Material Girl's superstardom intimidating.
Designer Stefano Gabbana explains: "She was the one singer who made me feel nervous. Me and Domenico (Dolce) - both of us. We love her, and we knew her from the beginning. I'd seen all her different faces, as a singer, movie star, mother, lover.
"She was the first pop star to ask us for something, and we loved her from a long time ago. People like that, they can make me anxious sometimes." (source: Irish Examiner)

19 December - Madonna gives Roberts media advice
Madonna rushed to help her showbiz pal Julia Roberts when she learned the actress was pregnant, giving her advice on avoiding unwanted media attention.
The Lilke A Virgin singer warned the Pretty Woman actress to claim her twins would be born in January (05) rather than the due date of 6 December (04) to throw the paparazzi.
A source tells British tabloid newspaper Daily Star, "That way, she could throw off the paparazzi a bit."
Roberts and Madonna met filming of The Next Best Thing, where the singer co-starred with Roberts's then-boyfriend Benjamin Bratt. (source: ContactMusic)

19 December - Madonna on the cover of Billboard Magazine
Madonna on the cover of Billboard Magazine A picture of Madonna and her dancers during the Holiday performance on the Re-Invention Tour appears on the cover of this week's Billboard Magazine.

19 December - Harry Smith CBS interview 12/20
Harry Smith will interview Madonna on The Early Show on CBS about the Adventures of Abdi, what the experience is like for her to write children's book, how her faith has changed her, her daily life, and what it is like to be Madonna... on stage! Part 1 of the interview will air on Monday 12/20 at 7:39AM, and Part 2 will air Tuesday 12/21 at 7:39AM. Please double check with your local listings. (source: Madonna.com)

19 December - Seymour Stein goes to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced its 2005 Inductees. The announcement was made by Executive Director Suzan Evans.
The following artists will be inducted at the Twentieth Annual Induction Ceremony, which will be held Monday, March 14th in New York at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel: [...]
Seymour Stein - The Chairman of Sire Records, Stein co-founded the label in 1966, and has been one of the most successful and influential executives in the music business. His ability to discover new talent led to signings of many groundbreaking artists such as The Ramones, Madonna, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Seal, Depeche Mode, Ice-T, The Cure, The Smiths, kd Lang and Barenaked Ladies. The label is still going strong after nearly 40 years and still innovative with recent singings including The Von Bondies, HIM, Regina Spektor, The Fags and The Veronicas.
Other inductees this year: U2, the O'Jays, the Pretenders, Buddy Guy,
Percy Sledge, Frank Barsalona,... (source: Madonna.com)

19 December - Madonna.com update
Madonna.com update After displaying a picture from the great 1995 Versace shoot for the past few days, Madonna.com has again updated its splash page, this time with a gorgeous picture from the Mario Testino photo shoot for the Frozen single. There are gift ideas for the holidays: the Madonna nesting dolls, the official 2005 calendar, the book 'The Adventures of Abdi' and the official tour merchandise.
Madonna has also added a little Happy Holidays message, which reads "Happy Holidays! Let's all pray for peace in 2005! Love, Madonna". Click here to see the handwritten message.

17 December - Madonna wins pheasant tax battle
Pop legend Madonna has won her battle against animal rights activists who accused her of evading tax laws by breeding pheasants on her land in Ashcombe, England, without paying the required rates.
Animal Aid issued a press release yesterday (15 DEC 04) claiming the Material Girl was breaching tax requirements by failing to pay commercial rates on the land where she shoots the birds.
But the pressure group withdrew the claim just two hours later when they realised she buys the pheasants so is not required to pay the non-domestic land tax.
An Animal Aid spokesperson says, "We've now discovered Madonna buys in pheasants rather than breeding them. Since she doesn't manufacture birds, she doesn't have to pay non-domestic rates." (source: ContactMusic)

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