Madonna news - June 2005


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30 June - Live 8: Then and now
Live8 then and now Some of the performers who will be playing the Live 8 concerts made a contribution to Live Aid in 1985. Just how much has their musical style, looks and fashion sense evolved over the last 20 years - and how have their careers fared?
When Madonna performed at the Philadelphia Live Aid concert in 1985, her musical career was beginning to take off on both sides of the Atlantic.
In the UK, the singer was about to enjoy her first chart topper with Into The Groove, which would be the first of many.
In the 20 years which has elapsed since Live Aid, Madonna has remained a musical force to be reckoned with, reinventing herself on numerous occasions and remaining in the headlines.
After taking to the stage in London's Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, the musician will have a new album and another world tour to contemplate. (source: BBC)

29 June - Live8 video backdrop *rumour*
According to fansite MadonnaTribe, Madonna will use the same video backdrops during her Live8 performance as on her tours. Ray Of Light will be accompanied by the Drowned World Tour video, while the video for Like A Prayer and Music will be the same as on the Re-Invention Tour.

29 June - Live8 on TV
Several TV stations will be broadcasting the Live8 concerts, among them are: MTV (US), VH1 (US), BBC (UK), JimTV (Belgium), MTV (Holland), Nederland3 (Holland), ARD (Germany), WDR (Germany), SF2 (Switserland), ATV+ (Austria), Sky TV (Italy), NRK1 & NRK2 (Norway), NTV (Turkey), MTV (Brazil), MTV (Latin America), The Musik (Pakistan), MBC4 (Saudi Arabia), DR1 (Denmark), TVN (Poland),... (sources: MadonnaTribe, MTV, TV guides)

Madonna.com 28 June - Live8 splash page
Madonna.com is now promoting the upcoming Live8 concert on their splash page and takes a flashback to the Live Aid concert in 1985 with pictures of Madonna performing Holiday, Into The Groove and Love Makes The World Go Round (the latter she had written especially for the show and would appear one year later on her True Blue album).

28 June - Madonna hits the library for literary spread
Celebrity photographer Lorenzo Agius has captured Madonna at her most literary for the new issue of US style magazine Ladies' Home Journal.
The pop superstar-turned-children's writer appears in a series of library-set scenes for Agius' lens, even sporting a bowler hat and kissing a mouse in one photo.
In one photo, Madonna sports a monocle and appears as a studious librarian in another.
In the accompanying article, the Material Girl serves tea at her London home and chats about life in Britain and how she keeps Ladies Home Journal teaserher marriage to movie-maker Guy Ritchie alive by sending him flowers and taking long walks with him.
She also feels that she and Ritchie met at the perfect time because both were searching for a religion that made sense.
Madonna explains, "I studied Hinduism, I was searching for all these things right before I got pregnant, the desire to try to understand became even more apparent.
"When I met my husband, he was searching, too, but he was searching from an intellectual point of view, he was reading theories of evolution and the Big Bang, physics and science of how did the world really get created.
"We met each other at the perfect time - he grew up, like me." (source: ContactMusic)

28 June - Madonna's disco game tire her kids out before bedtime
Madonna plays a game called 'disco tag' with her kids in order to tire them out before bedtime.
The pop superstar insists the night-time playtime helps her children Rocco and Lourdes get rid of any extra energy so they'll sleep soundly.
She says, "It's a fun game. There's a whole performance involved, and you dance, and you're supposed to fake the other person out that you're not interested in tagging them by dancing.
"We all play - I play, my husband, the nanny... My son uses all his adrenaline and then passes out. That's a good night." (source: ContactMusic)

28 June - Scruffy Madonna ridiculed by family
Madonna says her family ridicule her for not being glamorous. The beautiful singer also admits her movie director Guy Ritchie makes fun of her sense of style when she dons some of her more outlandish outfits. She said: "He will sometimes laugh at what I wear. "I'll put something on and he'll look at me and say 'Who are you going as then?'"
Meanwhile, the pop queen's daughter begs her to make more of an effort with her appearance. The 46-year-old star confessed seven-year-old Lourdes begs her to dress up like the other smart mothers at the school gate when she arrives in a tracksuit. She added in an interview with Britain's Grazia magazine: "I am perfectly happy to muck around in a pair of drawstring pants and wellies. "Sometimes my daughter gets angry because I go to school with her wearing my tracksuit and she say 'Can't you just wear normal clothes?' "I think she wants me to be a Yummy Mummy, but that's not me." (source: TeenToday)

27 June - Madonna's bra therapy
Madonna wears crystals in her bra to improve her love life.
The pop queen has reportedly become a fan of the bizarre healing treatment which involves keeping pink quartz stone in underwear to boost love and healing.
A source said: "Madonna is a big fan of crystal therapy. One of the techniques is having pink quartz crystals glided over your body to help you relax. Another is wearing the crystals inside your underwear; there the stones are close to the heart to encourage love".
Earlier this year, it was reported that the 46-year-old star, who is a member of the controversial Kabbalah faith, turned to Indian medicine in a bid to conceive another child.
Insiders revealed mother-of-two Madonna and movie director husband Guy Ritchie were taking tablets prescribed by celebrity obstetrician Dr Gowri Motha, to help her get pregnant.
A source said at the time: "Tablets were sent over from India for her. They looked like horse tablets - they were just so huge". (source: Female First)

27 June - Live8 acts to get just 15 mins
LIVE8 organisers have threatened to "revolve" stars like Madonna and Elton John off stage if they overrun on Saturday.
All the singers will perform on a 280ft-wide by 60ft-deep revolving stage. But they have been told to keep to a strict time-limit of 15 minutes. If they don't, they may find the stage starts moving while they're singing.
An insider revealed: "The organisers are determined to make sure everyone sticks to their allotted time.
"To avoid wasting time, some of the acts will be setting up and dismantling while others are on stage - and if people do outstay their welcome they will be revolved out of sight. Obviously, there is a curfew in place and the BBC will also be keen to stick to its schedule."
Madonna performs at Live Aid in 1985 Organisers want to avoid a repeat of 1985 when the stage - run by a series of traffic lights: green (get ready to finish), yellow (wind it up) and red (you're off) - got stuck.
Sir Paul McCartney will close Live8 with a moving rendition of The Beatles' classic The Long and Winding Road. A host of stars is expected to join him for a finale. It will be a rallying cry to those travelling to Edinburgh to put pressure on the G8 summit, four days later.
Bob Geldof reportedly revealed running order details in Rome last week. He said: "It will be a surprise for everyone. Paul McCartney will end it. He'll sing The Long and Winding Road, and for us it's the symbol of the road which will lead us to the G8 summit."
Macca will also open the concert - with help from Irish rockers U2. Wearing appropriate costumes, they'll sing Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which begins "It was 20 years ago today..." - as a reference to the original Live Aid concert in 1985.
He also revealed that Pink Floyd - reuniting for the first time in 20 years - will be the penultimate act. But a planned duet between Madonna and Sting has been dropped.
Instead, Sting is understood to be using Spitting Image-style puppets of Tony Blair and George Bush. He is expected to change the lyrics of The Police song Every Breath You Take to "We'll be watching you". (source: The Mirror)

25 June - More details on Live 8 performance
- Madonna has already said that she'll perform three songs, among which Like A Prayer and Ray Of Light. The third song is believed to be Music.
- Her backup singers will be Donna DeLory and Lisa Fischer
- The band will be the same as on the Re-Invention Tour
(sources: DonnaDelory.net, DrownedMadonna, MIR)

24 June - Live 8 concerts will air on MTV, VH1
The Live 8 concerts are coming to MTV and VH1. The July 2 global shows to raise awareness of poverty in Africa will air for eight hours on the network and on VH1, with a mix of sets from artists such as Coldplay, Jay-Z, Destiny's Child, U2, Madonna and Dave Matthews Band, interviews with artists and retrospectives on the original Live Aid.
The MTV partnership means the concerts could reach a potential worldwide audience of 1 billion people; 1985's Live Aid reached more than a billion people and raised more than $100 million for African famine relief.
The MTV/ VH1 feed, which will run from noon until 8 p.m., will also air on mtvU. Relevant highlights will additionally run on July 3 on CMT and VH1 Classic.
In addition to showing select live coverage, the programming will include interviews with fans on site at some of the eight venues hosting shows and a look at what is expected from the upcoming G8 summit, where the topic of debt relief will likely take center stage.
"Our proudest moments are when we use our unique global position to help connect our audience with the important events of the day and offer a creative outlet for artists to express themselves about the issues of our time," MTV Networks Chairman Judy McGrath said in a statement. "Live 8 is one of those moments, and we're glad to join our musical brothers and sisters in every corner of the world to help shine the spotlight on ending poverty."
The Live 8 broadcast will be the longest period MTV has gone live for a televised event since the riot-scarred Woodstock '99 concert. MTV also provided comprehensive coverage of the original Live Aid. (source: MTV/VH1)

24 June - Credit card for Lourdes
Pop superstar Madonna has given her eight-year-old daughter Lourdes her own credit card with a $10,000 (GBP5,500) limit, according to a US magazine.
Friends say the Material Girl hopes the exercise will teach Lourdes to appreciate the value of money.
A pal tells In Touch Weekly, "Minors are not usually allowed credit cards so she had to pull a few strings to get it issued in Lourdes' name.
"She is hoping to teach Lourdes to be responsible with money." (source: ContactMusic)

23 June - Madonna interview: Fallen idol
What's Madonna doing writing yet another moral-heavy children's book? And why has she become such a vocal supporter of Kabbala? Dina Rabinovitch, a long-time fan, jumped at the chance to ask her straight out - but was left distinctly unimpressed by her answers.
A day in the life of the Ritchies. Kids at school, Madonna at her computer. She has a book deal to write children's stories - the only problem is, there's nothing on the screen yet. "It didn't come easily," she says. "I'm methodical, so I set aside time to sit at my computer - of course, in the time that the children are at school - for four hours every day, but nothing came out. My husband [the film-maker Guy Ritchie] said: 'Write what you know about, and it will come, and then you edit out the bits you don't like.' And he was right - that worked."
Madonna, the original material girl, is on the fifth of her moral-heavy children's books. Lotsa de Casha is published this week and the message is, money can't buy happiness. Her first children's book, The English Roses, was launched in London, with a celebrity-studded rooftop party. The author - much prettier in real life than in photos, and very tiny - was surrounded by heavies and nobody was allowed to approach. This time she is publicising her book in New York, but she has decided to give two UK interviews, to the Guardian and Grazia magazine. Madonna will phone me, I'm told, not the other way around, and it will be at 9.40pm British time. And sure enough, to the second, she does: "Hi, this is Madonna."
Madonna presents Lotsa de Casha in NYC She sounds just like a regular New Yorker - quiet voice, clear American accent. So, fellow American, I don't do the English dance of politeness, but come straight out with the questions I'm really curious about.
I ask about the Kabbala Centre, of which she has become an habituée. To Jews, I say to her, it's a little odd that someone with the kind of business acumen she obviously has has been drawn into the Kabbala Centre, which is regarded within the Jewish community as being run by charlatans. "Is it?" she says. "Yes," I say, "the selling of water at ludicrous prices, and claiming holy properties for it ... selling bits of red string ... claiming to teach Kabbala [a branch of Jewish mysticism], not something you can study without an in-depth knowledge of Hebrew, and Judaism ..."
"I have an incredible teacher who is very wise," says Madonna. "The last thing you'd accuse him of is charlatanism. I do think lots of the ones who started the centre, they're not worldly-wise, they've been naive about marketing themselves. What I say is, don't listen to the messenger, hear the message." A message I keep reading back to myself from my notes of the interview, and still can't make sense of, actually.
But what about the financial shenanigans? "If people want to delve into the veracity of religious organisations," Madonna says, "have a look at the evolution of Christianity; or hop over to the Vatican. Where does all that money go? Have you seen all the gold on that roof? Not that I'm picking on Catholics; God forbid, my father would never forgive me."
Her father was very strict when she was growing up, she says. It's left her with a certain regard for discipline and method which she applies to work, and to parenting. She passes on a household tip which I think is little short of brilliant. Her daughter Lola (Lourdes) leaves clothes all over the bedroom floor. So how does that play when your mom is Madonna? Not good, apparently. Floor-bound clothes are bagged up and Lola only gets them back if she keeps the room tidy for the rest of the week.
Wow, I say, how did she think that one up? "Uh, I was talking to my housekeeper, you know, telling her not to pick all the clothes off the floor, and then I just suddenly thought of it - this is how to deal with it. And it works, mostly."
So she was a pretty tidy child herself, then? "Yes, very." And she never rebelled, did that teenage thing, dropped clothes on the floor? "Well, obviously I did rebel, as you know, but not in that way. I was never untidy."
Really, all through the rebellious years? "Yup, tidy, and ordered and meticulous."
Madonna's five children's books are beautifully produced, each illustrator vying to outdo the other. Gorgeous frontispieces, and yes, meticulously detailed drawings. All five stories are laden with Jewish imagery, from the heroine of The English Roses, called Binah, which is Hebrew for understanding, through the use of "everything is for the best" - gam zu le'tova - a saying of a Jewish scholar, nicknamed Nachum Ish Gamzu, because of his habitual use of the phrase. Two of the tales are credited to the Ba'al Shem Tov, a Hassidic leader in the 1700s.
"I didn't get the stories from the Kabbala Centre," Madonna says sharply. "Well, some I gleaned from my studies, but I've adapted them to a modern vernacular. Some I made up. The idea of sharing is not unique to Kabbala. The story of The English Roses is universal. You know," she says with some feeling, "people jumping to conclusions about other people."
She was attracted to the Kabbala Centre, she says, because her Catholic school never answered any questions: what is the meaning of life? What is the purpose of creation? If there is a God, why is there suffering? How do you reconcile Genesis with Darwinism? "When the student is ready," she told me, "I guess the teacher appears."
"Here's exactly what happened," she says, sounding like someone who is relieved to set the record straight. "I was pregnant with my daughter and I went to this dinner party where I heard someone talk about Kabbala, which seemed to address questions I'd started asking.
"I've been studying for nine years. I know there's all this fuss about it now, celebrities and so on. When I started, there were no celebrities, and I just sat at the back of the class."
She then tells me that the Kabbala Centre has nothing to do with Judaism really, or indeed religion, because, she says, she has a problem with religion - "people just doing stuff because they're told to, no explanations". The Kabbala Centre is something else entirely. "I don't consider it Jewish or religious, because I meet all kinds of people there - Hindus, pagans, Buddhists ..."
The centre has profoundly changed her, she says. How? "Ten years ago, I never thought I'd be writing children's stories and giving the money to charity." But the money goes to the Kabbala Centre, I say.
"Well, it goes to something they've founded, Spirituality for Kids, which is, you know, doing work with families all over the world, the occupied territories, even in London ... well, outside London. Ken Livingstone's trying to help set one up." She heavily emphasises the words "occupied territories".
By now, big fan that I am, I am feeling rather depressed. Madonna's a keynote figure in our household - my husband's daughter Chloe dresses up as Madonna on the Jewish festival of Purim, and any other day she can get away with it. Desperately Seeking Susan is my all-time favourite movie. Bagging this interview with Madonna was like winning the lottery - only cooler.
But I'm really floundering now at the news that Kabbala is nothing to do with Judaism at all, at the parroted stuff she keeps spouting about reconciling science with spiritualism. I loved Desperately Seeking Susan, but now it turns out she was acting more than we realised - messy bedrooms are so not her thing. I wanted this woman, my generation, my aspirations, to be great. But it doesn't turn out that way.
"Do you want to ask me any more questions?" Madonna says, very levelly indeed. "No, no, it's enough," I splutter. "You must be tired," I think I say. (source: The Guardian)

23 June - Madonna admits loneliness
Even though people would sell their grannies for a minute with the megastar, Madonna has revealed that she's struggled with loneliness most of her life.
Before having her daughter Lourdes, Madonna realised she was unhappy despite fame and fortune.
"What was wonderful about the money was that I could put a roof over my head and food in my stomach, but after that it just becomes unnecessary.
"Then you begin to realise there are whole areas of your life where you are not happy.
"I was definitely lonely 10 and 15 years ago," she tells Grazia magazine.
"There are whole chunks of my life where I was so lonely, and periods where I felt I didn't have a friend in the world and wondered if it was ever going to be possible for me to have a relationship that was going to last," she says.
Madonna credits her turnaround to "finding a man who can handle me" - Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels director Guy Ritchie.
Madonna, who now also writes children's books, says she started to change after having Lourdes (with her ex Carlos Leon), who is now seven.
Madonna, 46, admits she and Guy, who also have a son Rocco, three, would like to have another child - but will not be heartbroken if it does not happen.
"My attitude and my husband's attitude is that if we have more, then we do, and if we don't, we don't."
The singer and actress - of sorts - says she like nothing more than spending an hour dancing with her children "like a lunatic".
She also says Lourdes often complains that the tracksuit-loving Madonna is too casual and should wear "proper clothes".
"I think she wants me to be a yummy mummy, but that's not me."She says she and Guy teach the children "values and they know how lucky they are and they know how they should appreciate things" and that the children are far from spoilt. (source: Ananova)

23 June - Madonna slams Kabbalah marketing
Superstar Madonna is concerned about the marketing campaign of her controversial Kabbalah following, claiming many who work at the religion's Los Angeles Center are "naive".
The mystical offshoot of Judaism has received negative criticism in the press over the large donations given by followers, such as Madonna and Demi Moore, and has also been lambasted by Israeli rabbis, who claim the Kabbalah Center in LA has nothing to do with the ancient Jewish study.
The LA Kabbalah Center generates money by selling special Kabbalah water and red-string bracelets for $8 (GBP4.20), and Madonna has puts thousands of dollars into funding a Kabbalah school in New York City and more recently a hotel in London for followers to stay in.
Referring to the LA Center's leader Rabbi Rav Berg, Madonna enthuses, "I have an incredible leader who is very wise. The last thing you'd accuse him of is charlatism.
"I do think lots of the ones who started the Center, they're not worldly-wise, they've been naive about marketing themselves.
"What I say is, don't listen to the messenger, hear the message.
"I don't consider it Jewish or religious, because I meet all kinds of people there - Hindus, pagans, Buddhists."
Madonna insists all religions need to raise money to support themselves.
She explains, "If people want to delve into the veracity of religious organisations, have a look at the evolution of Christianity, or hop over to The Vatican. Where does all that money go? Have you see all the gold on the roof? Not that I'm picking on Catholics, God forbid, my father would never forgive me." (source: ContactMusic)

23 June - Madonna amazed by Kabbalah fuss
Superstar Madonna is amazed by the media attention in recent years surrounding the controversial Kabbalah following, saying the press ignored it for years during her initial years of studying.
Madonna at the Unicef party The Material Girl began studying the mystical offshoot of Judaism in 1996, when she was pregnant with her first child Lourdes, and is astonished that so many celebrities, including Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, have begun to take varying degrees of interest in it.
She says, "I was pregnant with my daughter and I went to this dinner party where I heard someone talk about the Kabbalah, which seemed to address questions I'd started asking.
"I've been studying for nine years. I know there's all this fuss about it now, celebrities and so on.
"When I started, there were no celebrities and I just sat at the back of the class." (source: ContactMusic)

23 June - Madonna overcomes writer's block
Pop star Madonna battled with writer's block as she created her five children's books.
The Material Girl made her debut as a kid's novelist with The English Roses in September 2003 and has just released her fifth tale, Lotsa De Casha.
Madonna admits she was relived to have six month gaps between books, because it gave her the time to overcome her creativity lapse.
She says, "It didn't come easily. I'm methodical, so I set aside time to sit at my computer - of course, in the time that the children are at school - for four hours every day, but nothing came out.
"My husband (Guy Ritchie) said, 'Write what you know about, and it will come, and then you edit out the bits you don't like.' And he was right - that worked." (source: ContactMusic)

23 June - Madonna wants more kids
Madonna is keen to have more children and insists her age isn't an obstacle to child birth.
The 46-year-old mother of two is baffled by the fuss made about being an older mother, having given birth to Lourdes and Rocco at 37 and 40 years old respectively.
She says, "Everybody else has made a big deal about me wanting more children. And yes, it would be nice.
"My attitude and my husband's attitude is that if we have more, then we do, and if we don't, we don't."
Madonna has been married to film-maker Guy Ritchie since December 2000. (source: ContactMusic)
Madonna.com
21 June - English Roses gets own website
Madonna.com's splash page promotes the new website dedicated to The English Roses. On englishrosescollection.com you can get to know the characters of the book better, while the Fun&Games section provides buddy icons, wallpapers and coloring pages inspired by the book. There's also a news section and an online store for merchandising. Also check the 'About' section for a statement by Madonna on the writing process of the book.

21 June - Madonna reveals album producers
Madonna wants to go back to her roots, so she's planning to get into the groove on her next album. "It's all dance music," she revealed recently. "No ballads, no slow songs."
Producers of Madonna's album The Material Mom has been working on her 10th studio album with several collaborators, some of whom have lent a helping hand before, such as French producer Mirwais Ahmadzai, who lent his retro-electro style to both Music and American Life, as well as Stuart Price, her musical director on the Re-Invention Tour who popped up on American Life by co-writing X-Static Process. His '80s electro-pop sound will be showcased even more prominently on the upcoming, still-untitled album, she said, because she did "a lot" of it with Price (a.k.a. Jacques Lu Cont).
But Madonna isn't just tapping into the well of the tried and true — she's also borrowing a bit from Britney by experimenting with a duo of Swedish producer-songwriters known as Bloodshy & Avant (Christian "Bloodshy" Karlsson and Pontus "Avant" Winnberg), who made a name for themselves by writing and producing Spears' "Toxic."
Madonna's album is due in late November, and she plans to tour by next summer. (source: MTV)

21 June - Madonna bans Astley from Guy's Revolver party
We never had Madonna down as a party pooper. But news reaches us that she vetoed a great plan to liven up one of her husband's parties.
Guy Ritchie had wanted to hire kitsch 80s crooner Rick Astley to perform at the wrap bash for his latest film, Revolver.
But Madge had a definite sense of humour failure and banned the move.
A source tells 3am: "Guy and the production staff on the movie thought hiring Rick would be a cool thing to do for his cast and crew, who had worked so hard on the gangster flick. They'd been filming scenes on the Isle of Man and wanted to have a bit of a party when they had finished.
"They were discussing how to make it a bit different and somehow came up with the idea of hiring Rick."
But they hadn't counted on the Material Girl...
"She wasn't into the idea at all and didn't find it amusing. She's meant to be an anglophile who 'got' the British sense of humour. But apparently not.
"When word got out that they were going to ask Rick along, the staff thought it was a great idea.
"Of course, he's cheesy but that was the point. It would have been a real laugh. Everyone was looking forward to dancing to Never Gonna Give You Up. Who wouldn't?
"But no one can understand why Madonna didn't approve of him being the star attraction."
At 46, Madge is the biggest-selling female performer of all-time in Britain and America, so why should she have developed such an aversion to the Warrington wonder?
Maybe we have the answer...
Could she be holding a grudge that goes back almost 18 years? In December 1987, Madonna released The Look Of Love at the same time as Rick's cover of the Nat King Cole classic When I Fall In Love.
Rick's song reached No.2, while Madonna's was at a mere No.9.
Time to move on, Madge... (source: The Mirror)

20 June - Madonna mixes two sides of big time life
Madonna is not going quietly into the night with her baby books. This Mother of the Year has also just made a documentary for which she held a private screening last week in TriBeCa. Friends and industry folk invited only. The Great Unwashed will have to wait to stand in line to pay their money to see this thing when she finally figures how to market it.
And what's this documentary? A mélange of her two worlds. Part live act?
But no Doing It with a Coke bottle, and no cone-shaped iron breasts and no nudity with a big cross hanging off her neck. Because the other part of it is kabbalah. Big-time. Big-time kabbalah. How sweaty sex, hot music and wriggling and writhing melds with God, I'm not sure. Sure only is that she should actually make a nice, neat little religious film. With Tom Cruise. And Mel Gibson. And sound bites from Richard Gere. And Al Sharpton to host it. Then they got the whole deal covered.
Anyway, afterwards, Little Mother did dinner with business partner Guy Oseary and Miami nightclub friend Ingrid Casares. She travels in an SUV with three bodyguards. And the body they were guarding was outfitted very Audrey Hepburn in short-sleeve, knee-length, prim lilac dress. (source: NY Post)

'Secret' mailing 17 June - Mailing announces 'Secret'
Madonna.com has sent around a mailing, announcing the documentary 'I'm Going To tell You A Secret' and inviting ICON members to stream the teaser trailer on the ICON website. As we reported earlier today, you can also download it on madonna-tv.com. Click on the image on the right to view the mailing, which features a beautiful new picture of Madonna.

17 June - Madonna continues tending 'English Roses'
Madonna has produced five children's books in the past 18 months in a deal with Callaway Editions, and the fifth, "Lotsa de Casha," was supposed to be her last. But now she has decided to do a sequel about the tween girls who starred in her first book, "The English Roses."
It's already written and illustrations are under way, she says. The expected publication date is September 2006.
She decided to revisit the young girls who were jealous of a beautiful yet insecure classmate because it was the book closest to her heart — and it's the favorite of her daughter Lola, she says.
"When I first started out (writing the books), I knew what the first book would be about, jealousy and envy, which I did in `The English Roses.' ... Girls can be especially hard on other girls," Madonna said in a telephone interview.
Publisher Nicholas Callaway said Madonna still has many stories to tell. He also pointed out that "The English Roses" was on The New York Times' list of best sellers for 18 weeks. "Lotsa de Casha" has also made the Times list, debuting at No. 3.
"She identifies with the English Roses. She wants to help guide girls through that crucial stage of life," Callaway said.
All of Madonna's books, however, teach a little lesson, and they've all been inspired by her own life.
"Mr. Peabody's Apples" was about the downfall of a rumor monger. "The whole idea of gossiping, speaking badly of each other and spreading rumors is a subject that's very near and dear to my heart," she said.
And in the new "Lotsa de Casha," a wealthy Scroogelike greyhound finds happiness only after he is forced to work for a living. He sees the other half lives a rich life without gold or jewels.
The former "Material Girl," who sold millions of records and became one of the most powerful women in the music industry, is the right person to tell that story, she said.
"The ideas for all the books ultimately came from my own life experiences. This one was my realization that material things don't buy you happiness. ... If you don't have great success, how could you come to this conclusion? I had to go through this, and there were times in my life where I was perceived to have everything, yet I didn't feel fulfilled," she said.
What has brought her happiness, she said, is her family — Lola, son Rocco and husband Guy Ritchie. Raising children has taught her how to share and take chances for the greater good, which aren't always at the forefront in the minds of most celebrities, she said.
"You have to be a lot less selfish. For me, real sharing and the growth of sharing is when you do something ... outside your comfort zone."
The children's books embody that philosophy for her, she said, noting that she doesn't take any money for writing them, instead she makes a donation to the Spirituality for Kids Foundation, an education and outreach arm of the Kabbalah Center.

17 June - Jem Griffiths likes to release original Nothing Fails
Jem Griffiths Jem Griffiths, co-writer of Nothing Fails in an interview with news.com.au:
Griffiths admits her Madonna co-write opened dozens of doors in the US. Griffiths is responsible for the song's key line, "I'm not religious". "I thought she'd change that," Griffiths says, "given everyone was talking about her and Kabbalah at the time. But her version is very different from the one Guy [Sigsworth] and I did. At some point I'd like to release our version. A lot of people think it's one of the best things I've done."
Click here for the full article.

17 June - Madonna.com on album release and tour
Madonna.com has posted what Madonna has already said herself in the interview on The View, except that they mention an album release date for 'late November' instead of 'late October, early November':
"Madonna's new album is expected to be released late November this year. We can confirm that the album will be an all dance record! Madonna also hopes to go on tour again by next summer."
Tour docu teaser
17 June - Tour documentary teaser
Madonna has finally started promotion on her tour documentary. The title has now been confirmed to "I'm Going To Tell You A Secret". Go to fansite madonna-tv to download the official teaser, which was originally posted on the ICON website, for members to watch. On the haunting tones of To Have And Not To Hold, you can hear Madonna talk on the phone: "No matter what you did, no matter who you are, no matter where you've come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself."

17 June - Elliott shocked by Madonna and Britney smooch
Rap star Missy Elliott was horrified when she witnessed Britney Spears and Madonna kissing at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards rehearsals - as she knew her mother would be offended.
The Work It singer first suspected she had spied a spontaneous smooch between the pair, but she was amazed to learn they were rehearsing the kiss for the evening's award ceremony.
She says, "At first I thought they were just ... into each other.
"Then Madonna was like, 'Okay, let's take it again.' And, you know, we probably did that rehearsal 15 or 20 times.
"All I was thinking was, 'Oh my God, my momma gonna watch this, and all the church people gonna call her up.'"
However, Elliott is not ruling out any lesbian lip-locking action herself.
She adds, 'I would never say what I would never do. Never say never." (source: ContactMusic)

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