Madonna news - Jan. 2006

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27 January - Rave Sorry review from Billboard
Single Title: Sorry
Producer(s): Madonna, Stuart Price
Writer(s): Madonna, S. Price
Publisher(s): Webo Girl Publishing (ASCAP)
Label/Catalog Number: Warner Bros. (CD track)
Source: Billboard Magazine
Originally Reviewed: February 04, 2006

Second single Sorry from the platinum No. 1 mix-style Confessions on a Dancefloor should keep fans hung up on Madonna's ability to create instant radio and club classics. She may sing, "I've heard it all before," but Sorry is neither a reinvention of her past hits nor of anything else on top 40 radio. A vigorous vocal and vivacious, swirling layers of addictive, arresting beats ensure that this is the right-on follow-up to Madonna's record-tying 36th top 10 Billboard Hot 100 single. Also give a listen to the smoothed-out remix with added vocals by Pet Shop Boys. Sounds like a smash no matter how you spin it; no need for apologies here.

27 January - Madonna buys 3rd house on block
Madonna has bought a second house next to her London mansion. She has forked out £900,000 for the gaff in one of the capital’s smartest addresses so she can move in more staff. The stunning mews property is at the end of the garden of the Queen Of Pop’s £7.5million Georgian terrace pile.

The singer already owns the mews property next door to the latest addition to her property empire. She lets her manager lives there. Madge can now lay claim to owning a very considerable slice of Mayfair, London’s most exclusive borough. The singer, who considers London to be home, lives at the five-storey main house, which is near Oxford Street, with hubby Guy Ritchie, daughter Lourdes and son Rocco.

It is just round the corner from the home Tony Blair and wife Cherie bought on posh Connaught Square. The new property was built in the 19th century and has open living space, three bedrooms, an office and a garage. Madge has apparently had her eye on the place for a while. (source: The Sun)

27 January - Max skates into Madonna video
An in-line skater has been hand-picked to star in pop star Madonna's new music video. Max Freeman, has already been filmed to accompany Sorry, the second single from her album, Confessions On A Dance Floor. Former Ratton and Sussex Downs College student Max went to London to take part in the shoot. It is the first time he's been involved in a music video, but he's hoping it won't be the last.

'I had an audition before Christmas and got a call back last week telling me that I needed to be in London the following day,' he said. 'I was very excited as it was my first appearance in a pop video and I'd not done anything like it before. I've been skating since I was 14 years old after becoming interested in it from going to the Skate on the seafront. Although I was skating before the event, it gave me new ideas about tricks and it continued from there. I've been lucky enough to take part in competitions around Europe and really enjoy it, but it's for pleasure and not to make money.'

The shooting of the video took place over two gruelling days of filming. The first shoot started at 11am and finished at 1am, with the second starting at 8am and finishing at 1am. The 20-year-old, of Shalfleet Close, also managed to speak to the normally very private superstar. 'Madonna was nice and we spoke for a bit,' he said. 'She was only on set for a fraction of the hours the rest of us were there for. They shot the bits she needed to be in and then she went home. The hours were long and it was hard work, but very enjoyable.'

Max hasn't yet seen the final version of the video and will be waiting like the rest of the pop star's fans for its release. But he gave no secrets away about the theme. He added, 'I know the lyrics off by heart now. I would love to do another video, but I'll have to wait and see what happens in the future.' (source: Eastbourne Today)

26 January - Gaultier to design Madonna's tour costumes
Madonna, absent from fashion's front row for years, unleashed pandemonium at the couture shows here Wednesday afternoon when she arrived at Jean Paul Gaultier.

Madonna arrives at Gaultier's show The paparazzi surged dangerously, with camera crews sneaking in between the rows to get footage of the pop superstar. Dressed all in black with wraparound sunglasses, Madonna told WWD, "Gaultier is going to design the costumes for my next show. We are going to discuss the details tomorrow."

Once her bodyguards cleared the runway, Madonna jumped from her seat to greet French photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino before the show. As it turns out, the queen of pop is quite the polyglot, finding time to exchange a few words in Spanish with her front-row neighbor, flamenco dancer Joachim Cortez.

Gaultier is also designing costumes for Cortez and his 17 musicians for his upcoming Paris show dubbed "My Loneliness." After Gaultier’s Greek-themed confections exited the runway, Madonna exited with her entourage, with camera crews trailing aggressively, getting into tussles with editors also eager for a look at the celebrity. (source: WWD)

26 January - Madonna mingles with Gaultier's Greek goddesses
French designer Jean Paul Gaultier showered pop icon Madonna with white rose petals on Wednesday at the end of a spring-summer haute couture collection that was inspired by Greek mythology and culture.

Models wearing outfits named Poseidon, Athena and Midas weaved around chairs clustered as Greek islands. Glass lanterns hung overhead which Gaultier said resembled those of Orthodox churches. Hairstyles were piled high or fell almost to the floor.

Parthenon was a jacket cut away to look like a column, embroidered with antique wire over a tight silk skirt. Cyclops was a long tunic with trousers covered in black organza petals.

"It's a marvelous country with a big culture and I go there quite often and one day I knew would need to do a Greek collection," Gaultier said.

After the final wedding dress, a huge ruffle joined onto a skirt with strings of pearls, Gaultier came running out with rose petals for his old friend Madonna.

"I'm excited, I'm really in love more with her. I'm very happy that she came," he said.
Madonna was wearing a black jacket and skirt sat next to Spain's top flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes.

French actress Catherine Deneuve was also there. "It was so beautiful. Such extraordinary colors, classical, and refined and very structured as well. A superb collection," Deneuve told Reuters afterwards.
Gaultier's show was the penultimate one of three days of haute couture collections in Paris. The outfits are made-to-measure and cost thousands of dollars, so there are only estimated to be between 200 and 300 clients in the world.

The dresses can take weeks to make and Gaultier said some were finished only just in time. "It was almost a Greek tragedy ... some arrived three minutes before," he said.
Lebanese designer Elie Saab was the last event on the official calendar.

His models walked out to the tune of Erotica, a song by Madonna, in romantic glittery gowns with bows and tulle skirts. The audience was filled with potential clients from the Middle East, including many princesses.
The final bride wore a bustier dress with a 3.5-meter tulle train with latticework embroidery of pearls, silk and organza flowers and iridescent sequins. (source: Reuters)

25 January - Beach concert in Rio? *rumour*
Brazilian Madonnafan Daniel informs us that many important magazines, newspapers and websites in Brazil are reporting that Madonna will give a special concert in Rio de Janeiro. It would be on the Copacabana beach, like Lenny Kravitz did in March 2005 and like the Rolling Stones will do next February.

Again, this is only a rumour at this point. No dates have been officially confirmed and it is as yet unknown whether or not Latin America will be included in the tour schedule. Fingers crossed!

25 January - Remark on rumoured tour dates
Following yesterday's reports of the first rumoured tour dates, we wish to remind everyone that these dates are only *rumoured* and far from being confirmed! Some of our readers pointed out that some of the dates are fridays, while Madonna normally doesn't perform on fridays to follow the Kabbalah sabbath. It also seems that certain US arenas mentioned in the Australian article are already booked for sports events on those dates. So for now, we'll have to wait for an official announcement (which should follow some time soon).

Another reminder: don't be fooled by online ticket brookers that claim you can already book tour tickets with them. If you want value for your money, then only trust the official sale channels, and only after the tour dates have officially been announced!

24 January - Madonna's Australian promise
Madonna looks set to include Australia on her 2006 world tour, it was revealed yesterday.
Music industry insiders say Madonna will tour the US through June and July, then head to Europe before touring Japan and Australia towards the end of the year.
She would cap off a superstar summer with Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue both expected to tour Australia at the end of 2006.

Madonna is expected to perform outdoor shows in Australia, meaning she would need to tour closer to summer.
The star's last two tours bypassed Australia; her last visit here was in 1993.
"If I go to Japan I'll go to Australia, I promise!" Madonna said in October.
The new tour is set to focus on the dance theme of Madonna's latest album, Confessions on a Dance Floor.

"It'll be all discotheques and disco balls," Madonna promised.
Meanwhile, Madonna fuelled reports she is suffering from exhaustion when she failed to perform at the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes, France, on Saturday.
The Hung Up hitmaker, 47, withdrew from the prestigious awards ceremony on Friday - giving organisers one day's notice.

A source told Le Parisien: "She is exhausted. She rehearsed a lot of her routine for the video and she is on a strict diet to maintain her young and sexy image."
However, the singer's publicist Liz Rosenberg, insisted Madonna was busy "filming her new video". (source: The Mercury)

24 January - Madonna accepts Jovi's apology, still waiting for Elton's
Madonna has accepted Jon Bon Jovi's apology for criticising her parenting skills, but is still waiting for Elton John to apologise for his regular attacks on her.
The Bon Jovi frontman slammed the Material Girl last year (05) for bringing her children Lourdes and Rocco to public events.

After Madonna's spokeswoman denied the superstar had ever brought the kids to a film premiere, Bon Jovi apologised, saying, "Let me apologise because I don't know the woman."
In response to Bon Jovi's apology, Madonna's rep Liz Rosenberg tells the New York Daily News, "Now that is a gentleman - unlike Elton John, whose favourite hobby is trashing Madonna."

John hit the headlines in 2004 when he falsely accused Madonna of lip-syncing on her Drowned World tour and berated her for failing to attend his pre-'wedding' bash before his civil partnership ceremony to David Furnish last month (DEC05). (source: ContactMusic)

24 January - Madonna tour leaked
The first details of Madonna's 2006 world tour have been leaked on the internet, with full confirmed dates expected to be announced this week.
According to unsubstantiated claims appearing online, the pop superstar will play shows throughout June and July in America, including five dates at Shea Stadium in New York City.
The news comes amid industry reports that promotional king-pin Arthur Fogel has been signed for the live follow-up to last year's Re-Invention tour.

Fogel, who put together the Re-Invention jaunt and the [2001] Drowned World tour, is said to be fronting the 2006 outing, which will promote last year's Confessions On A Dance floor album, reports Billboard.
The tour, which is set to commence in America, apparently spans the globe, concluding with shows in Australia in mid to late September.
Meanwhile, Madonna's spokeswomen in the US and UK have dismissed claims that her marriage to film director Guy Ritchie is in trouble. Both have released statements following speculation in the UK press.

Speaking about the video shoot to Madonna's new video, Sorry, her US spokeswoman commented: "Guy came to the set to visit - once with the children Rocco and Lourdes, and once without.
"Mr and Mrs Ritchie seemed perfectly comfortable and adoring of each other. My sense is that they're quite a happy, content couple."
Her UK spokeswoman added: "There have been a lot of silly stories which are all untrue." (source: Launch)

24 January - First possible tour dates *rumour*
Rumours of Madonna's second ever Australian tour are gathering momentum following dates expected to be announced for the US this week.
According to sources, the Madonna tour will end in Australia with mid to late September being the preferred dates.
A US tour is not far off being announced but leaked dates suggest the following venues and cities:

June 2, 3: Dodger's Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
June 9, 10: Soldier's Field, Chicago, IL
June 16, 17: Fenway Park, Boston
June 22, 23, 25, 27, 29: Shea Stadium, NYC
July 3, 4, 7: Ford Field, Detroit
US ticket prices are expected to peak at $600 with the volume of tickets coming in between $150-$250.
Her new single Sorry will be released next month. (source: Undercover)

24 January - 2006 Madonna Tour taking shape
In the clearest sign yet that a Madonna tour will happen in 2006, sources say Arthur Fogel has nailed down the promotion rights for the outing. Fogel is president of TNA International, Live Nation's global touring division. The tour will come in support of Madonna's 2005 album, Confessions on a Dance floor.
Fogel produced Madonna's Re-Invention tour in 2004 and Drowned World tour in [2001], which grossed a combined $200 million. He got the nod from Madonna's camp despite what sources say was a concentrated effort from rival promoter AEG Live to promote the tour.

Fogel, who declined to comment, seems to be solidly in place in the Madonna touring business. "Arthur Fogel knows how to make the impossible possible," she was quoted as saying in Billboard last summer. "He's a touring genius."
"If I go on tour, it would be next summer," Madonna told Billboard in November. "And it would be all out disco, with lots of disco balls. I would focus on dance music and the new record. I already did the older stuff on my Re-Invention tour." (source: Billboard)

24 January - Highest selling female artist ever
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has just published its updated list of the 150 highest selling artists ever. Madonna appears at number 4, right behind the Beatles, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, with a total of 275 Millions records sold worldwide from 1984 to late 2005. Congratulations to our queen of the dance floor!
The full top 10 goes as follow:

01. The Beatles 40 400,000,000 UK 60s (1962-1970) Rock/Pop Guinness/EMI
02. Michael Jackson 14 350,000,000 US 70s-00s (1979-) Pop/R&B MJ Stats
03. Elvis Presley 150 300,000,000 US 50s-70s (1956-1977) Country/Rock
04. Madonna 16 275,000,000 US 80s-00s (1984-) Pop WBR
05. Nana Mouskouri 450 250,000,000 Greece 60s-00s (1959-) Pop
06. Cliff Richard 60 250,000,000 UK 50s-00s (1959-1969,1977-1979,1986-1999) Rock/Pop
07. The Rolling Stones 54 ~250,000,000 UK 60s-00s (1964-1981) Rock 60.5 million in the US
08. Mariah Carey 14 230,000,000 US 90s-00s (1990-) Pop/R&B
09. Elton John 43 ~220,000,000 UK 70s-00s (1972-1976,1989-1991,1997-) Pop
10. Celine Dion 21 220,000,000 Canada 80s-00s (1990-) Pop Music/Pop Discography

24 January - Goldfrapp defends Madonna
Alison Goldfrapp has lashed out at her fans for dubbing her idol Madonna, 'Oldfrapp'.
The Number One hitmaker was thrilled when the 47-year-old superstar named the second Goldfrapp album Sopernature as her favourite disc of 2005, but her delight quickly turned sour when fans pilloried the ageing singer.

She says: "It's nasty and unfair. It's great to see a woman of her age still performing and producing such fantastic work."
Of the queen of pop's comments, Goldfrapp says: "I take that as a real compliment." (source: Irish Examiner)

24 January - Sorry video news
"[...] Meanwhile, a much thinner creature, Madonna, is doing the sure-to-be-awards-bound video for the fabulously catchy Sorry, which I hear will involve her bouncing out of a Pimp-A-Ride van with tons of dancers and proceeding to roller skate into your mind. She's kabbalah on wheels!" (source: VillageVoice)

Madonna and winners of BBC competition"A reporter from BBC Radio One had attended the Sorry video shoot and that the theme is apparently this major dance off between Madonna in one cage and another dancer in another cage. It is like a sequel to Hung Up. Madonna's hair and style is exactly the same, but this time she's in a white leotard and clad in diamonds.

The BBC Radio One website has published a picture of Madonna onset of the Sorry video shoot. Madonna is pictured with the fans who were lucky enough to win the BBC Radio One competition to meet Madonna onset!" (source: Madonnalicious)

23 January - Madonna wins at Awards
Madonna has won two awards at the Music Awards 2005. She was named Best Solo Artist (with 46% of the votes), while her single Hung Up received the title of Best Single (with a smashing 66%). Confessions On A Dance Floor was nominated for Best Album but ended at 2nd place behind 'Young For Eternity' by The Subways (30% against 37%). Congratulations Madonna! (source:

23 January - Madonna wins at NRJ Awards
Robbie Williams writhed, Shakira shouted and Madonna didn't show up, although all three won honors at one of France's biggest music awards shows.
Williams, voted best male international performer at the NRJ Music Awards on Saturday night, was uncharacteristically serious in his acceptance speech but put on a strong performance of his hit "Tripping."

Madonna scored the best female international artist award but didn't appear to accept it, disappointing the audience. At the 2004 show, Madonna accepted a career award from Britney Spears and thanked French fans for two decades of support.
Shakira shouted "I love France!" in accepting the award for best international song, "La Tortura." She charmed French rock veteran and aging sex symbol Johnny Hallyday, who praised her successful melange of "sex and rock 'n' roll."
Bob Geldof praised the French for their "good taste" in granting him an honorary award for his organization of the Live 8 concerts in July for fighting world poverty.
The show, organized by the NRJ radio station, grants awards for French and international stars. (source: AP)

23 January - O'Donnell sought parenting advice from Madonna
Lesbian comedienne Rosie O'Donnell sought advice from her celebrity pal Madonna on how to deal with parenting in public.
O'Donnell and her wife Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell are parents to Parker, 10; Chelsea, 8; Blake, 6; and Vivienne, 4, while the Material Girl is mum to Lourdes, 9, and Rocco, 5.
The former talk show host admits she initially shielded her children from the public eye, but after discussing the issue with her A League Of Their Own co-star Madonna, she decided to let her kids live a normal life.

O'Donnell tells the New York Post, "Until 9/11, I bought into the idea that the kids should be shielded. But then something happened inside my soul; I didn't want to instill in them some sort of paranoia that the world was unsafe, and they should be hidden even though my love for them is so huge.
"She (Madonna) said, 'Life is short and you don't know what's going to be. I want to raise them in the light, not in a fear-based environment.'" (source: ContactMusic)

23 January - Madonna attempts biggest virtual archive
Madonna is encouraging fans to upload their personal Madonna photographs onto her official website in a bid to create the "biggest photo archive ever devoted to a single subject".
The virtual photo album already contains a picture of the singer's famous smooch with pop star Christina Aguilera - but fans have been warned nude snaps are strictly forbidden on
The 47-year-old Material Girl hitmaker has also requested pictures of her autographs to be added to the online archive. (source: ContactMusic)

23 January - Bon Jovi apologises to Madonna
Jon Bon Jovi has apologised to Madonna after wrongly accusing her of exploiting her children by proudly displaying them at movie premieres.
The Livin' On A Prayer hitmaker berated the pop superstar for allowing Lourdes, nine, and Rocco, five, to attend public events, advising her to shield them from media intrusion.
But the 43-year-old soon realised his mistake after the Material Girl hit back, insisting her children had never attended a single film opening.

He says, "I put my foot in my mouth recently with a comment about Madonna. Let me apologise because I don't know the woman."
However, the rocker continues to express distaste for publicity hungry celebrities: "There are celebrities who will go out of their way to get their picture in the paper and I just think that is a load of rubbish."
Lourdes and Rocco have since been photographed attending the Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire premiere in London on 12 November (05). (source: ContactMusic)

20 January - Sorry maxi-single tracklisting
Madonnaned has got the tracklisting of the Sorry maxi-single from Warner Netherlands. The release date is still scheduled to February 17th in the Netherlands.
9362 42892 2 - CD Maxi

1. Sorry (Single Edit)
2. Sorry (Man With Guitar Mix)
3. Sorry (PSB Maxi-Mix)
4. Sorry (Paul Oakenfold Remix)
5. Sorry (Green Velvet Remix)
6. Let It Will Be (Paper Faces Mix)
~ It's possible that the US/Canadian version will have the same tracklist.

19 January - Sorry cover in HQ
Sorry cover Warner Music has given us a high quality version of the cover of the Sorry single, which was revealed yesterday. To read about how a picture from a fan made it as official Madonna artwork, read yesterday's news items. You'll also find the original picture, taken at the G.A.Y. gig on November 19th. Click on the image on the right for a bigger version of the single cover.

19 January - Madonna's fitness mania worries friends
Somebody unplug Madonna's treadmill.
Friends are worried that the hardest-working woman in show business is whittling her body down to a stub.
"She looks way too thin," one insider tells us. "It's scary. Everyone around her is buzzing that she's working herself right into exhaustion."
Even after breaking her collarbone and fracturing three ribs in a horseback-riding accident, the 47-year-old singer has stuck to a strict exercise routine. She's said to do between two and three hours a day of Ashtanga yoga and Pilates, plus swimming, weight training and cycling.
She says her husband, Guy Ritchie, expects nothing less.
"I wish I were comfortable enough to look zaftig," Mrs. Ritchie recently told Elle magazine. "But I choose men who like carved-out women, the can-you-run-for-the-bus kind of guy. I'm naturally inclined toward men like that."

She's also been rehearsing like a dervish for the video for Sorry, the second single off her hit album Confessions on a Dance Floor.
Her tireless publicist, Liz Rosenberg, was in London yesterday for the video shoot.
"I'm about 40 feet away from her," she told us, "and she looks pretty hot to me."
Rosenberg acknowledged that some recent paparazzi photos show her client looking less than rested.

"How would you look with 10-hour dance rehearsals?" she added. "Maybe she's working harder than usual, but that's what you have to do before a video."
The mother of two, who last week became the oldest person ever nominated for a best pop act BRIT Award, doesn't look like she's about to let up. We hear she's in talks to do a show-stopping number at next month's Grammys.
Rosenberg would say only, "I've heard rumors to that effect." (source: Rush&Molloy @ New York Daily News)

19 January - Madonna is yummiest mum
Madonna has topped a poll of the nation's favourite celebrity mothers. In the poll, more than a third of people said they thought the pop icon best combined parenthood with a hectic career. The showbiz legend has two children with husband Guy Ritchie. Lourdes, nine and Rocco, five were recently featured in the star's documentary about her latest tour, I'm Going To Tell You A Secret.

Bottom of the celeb parents' vote was Kate Moss who is mum to three-year-old Lila Grace. She currently lives in the US as British police await her return to the UK to answer drugs allegations. (source: Channel 4)

19 January - Madonna comes third in poll for sexiest over-40
Sharon Stone has been voted the sexiest over-40 woman in the world. The sexy 'Basic Instinct' star topped the poll conducted by top US magazine 'Sly' beating a whole host of older beauties to the accolade. The magazine, which is owned by Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone, said Stone scooped the title because 'her potency to the male libido rivals that of Viagra'. 47-year-old Stone beat fellow forty-something stunner Elle MacPherson into second place, while pop beauty Madonna came third.

Sly Magazine's World's Sexiest Women:
1. Sharon Stone
2. Elle MacPherson
3. Madonna
4. Diane Lane
5. Iman
6. Julianne Moore
7. Heather Locklear
8. Marg Helenberger
9. Tina Turner
10. Gong Li
(source: Monsters and Critics)

19 January - Madonna and children saddle up with Fox-Pitt
Like any true horsewoman, Madonna has clearly decided that the best response to an accident is to jump straight back into the saddle.
Five months after she broke her hand, ribs and collarbone in a riding accident, the Queen of Pop has signed her children up for lessons with Britain's top three-day eventer, William Fox-Pitt, right.

By way of a late Christmas present, I hear that nine-year-old Lourdes and Rocco, five, have also been given membership of the Olympic star's club, Fox-Pitt Eventing.
As a result, horsey circles are alive with speculation that Madge and her family will be turning up at this summer's major Eventing championships, where the club has private marquees.
Yesterday, Fox-Pitt, who lives near to Ashcombe, Madonna's Dorset country seat, shared details of the star's prowess in the saddle. "I was asked by Madonna for some lessons, as she is quite local," he told me. "She wanted someone to help her after her fall and I am happy to report she is now back in full flow."

"I haven't seen the children ride yet, but they've joined my club and hopefully will come along soon. Rocco's obviously still quite small but he can ride. Lourdes is a rider and is very keen, like lots of girls her age.
"There was quite a fuss made over Madonna's fall, but everyone falls off. Some of her backers weren't keen on her riding again but she's a risk taker who likes to push her limits." (source: The Independent)

19 January - Madonna bans her daughter from auditions
Madonna has banned her daughter, Lourdes, from auditioning for the role of Luna Lovegood in the next Harry Potter movie.
Hundreds of girls turned up to audition for the coveted part in London last weekend after Warner Brothers bosses called for an open audition. However, Madonna was not going to let her daughter, also known as Lola, be among them.
An insider is quoted in The Daily Star as saying: "Lola printed off all the information and showed it to her mum. She's convinced she has the other-worldly qualities Warner Brothers are looking for.
"But Madonna pointed out they're looking for girls aged between 13 and 16, so she is much too young."

The source added: "Lola had a massive sulk and complained that producers would overlook her age because she looks and acts much older than her years."
Madonna has previously commented that she thinks Lourdes will follow in her musical footsteps but that she wants the girl to make up her own mind when she is older. (source: Digital Spy)

17 January - Portrait of Marcin, Sorry cover photographer
Marcin Kokowski Let's have a closer look at Marcin Kokowski, the Madonnafan who can now officially call himself a Madonna photographer. Marcin was born on July 24th 1981 in Przemysl, Poland. He studied International Business at La Sorbonne University in Paris, where he lived for several years. He combined his studies with work at the famous Le Louvre museum. In August 2005, he moved to London to study Masters in International Marketing at the South Bank Business School. Meanwhile, he works for the Royal Opera House at London's Covent Garden.

As a devoted Madonnafan and close friend to Mad-Eyes webmaster Bartie, he followed many Madonna events from up close. Many of you will recognize the amazing close-up pictures he made during the Re-Invention Tour in Paris and Arnhem. He selected the 20 best pictures of these sessions for an exclusive exhibition, held in April 2005 at club Le Madame in Warsaw, Poland. In November of that year, he attended the promo gigs at KoKo club and G.A.Y. club. Pictures of the latter were published on this site, where they were spotted by Madonna's management. Soon Marcin agreed with them in using one of his photos for the artwork of second single Sorry. Now let's hope Madonna asks her new-found talent for a full photoshoot!

17 January - Sorry cover uses fan picture
Original picture by Marcin Kokowski Sorry cover Warner Netherlands has revealed the cover picture for the Sorry single. We at Mad-Eyes can now confirm that we were contacted by Madonna's management in December, concerning this single cover. After seeing our pictures from the G.A.Y. gig, made by Mad-Eyes photographer Marcin Kokowski, they expressed intrest in using one of them for the single artwork. As you can see in the result, they did indeed! Giovanni Bianco reworked the picture, changing the hair colour to red, like he did for the album cover. Warner asked us not to break the news yet, but now Warner Netherlands has revealed the final cover through the Dutch fanclub MadonnaNed. (thx to Axel for bringing it to our attention)

You can compare both pictures on the right; the original picture has been available on this site since November 2005. Congratulations to Marcin for making the first fan picture used in any official Madonna artwork!

17 January - No NRJ Awards? *rumour*
According to DrownedMadonna, Madonna has cancelled her attendance at the NRJ Music Awards, which take place this Saturday January 21st. Reason would be conflicting schedules, with the filming of the Sorry video. There's no official news whether or not Madonna will be attending the show.

16 January - Has Madonna been too hard on herself?
She had given herself a rare night off for a restaurant date with her husband. And if the hollows in her face were any indication, Madonna deserved it.
The 47-year-old singer, who has a punishing exercise schedule, seemed to have been pushing herself a little too hard lately.

Outside the restaurantIn a severe black coat, she appeared pale and almost gaunt. And thanks to her apparent weight loss, those chiselled features seemed rather too chiselled.
"She looked almost like she was sucking her cheeks in," said an onlooker at the Japanese restaurant Nobu in Berkeley Street, Mayfair. "She definitely did not look as healthy as she normally does."
Madonna, who last week became the oldest person ever nominated for a best pop act Brit, has been basking in plaudits for her latest album Confessions On A Dance Floor, one of her most popular for years.

But that doesn't mean she is taking it easy. She is in London to start filming the video for her latest single, Sorry, and is also busy making plans for a world tour.
She maintains a tough exercise schedule to keep her in shape, sticking to it even after breaking her collarbone and hand and cracking three ribs in a horseriding accident last year.
She does three hours of exercise a day, starting with Ashtanga yoga, followed by pilates, and then either swimming, weight training or cycling.

She recently revealed that her push for perfection was not solely her own doing.
It seems her husband Guy Ritchie also likes her athletic look. "I wish I were comfortable enough to look zaftig [a Yiddish word for a fuller-shaped woman]," she told Elle magazine.
"But I choose men who like carved-out women, the can-you-run-for-the-bus kind of guy. I'm naturally inclined toward men like that." (source: Daily Mail)

16 January - Madonna builds horse course at mansion
Pop superstar Madonna is planning to build a three-day horse jumping course at her country estate in Wiltshire, England.
The Hung Up hitmaker, who broke her hand, ribs and collarbone after falling from her horse last year (05), decided to construct the eventing course after undergoing riding lessons with British Olympic silver medallist William Fox-Pitt.

A celebrity friend of Madonna's says, "She is enthralled with the idea of becoming a better horsewoman, and spending time with an Olympic champion is certainly going to give you the bug."
Fox-Pitt's club spokesman confirmed, 'He's definitely been giving Madonna lessons." (source: ContactMusic)

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