Madonna news - Oct. 2006

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Madonna brings baby David to America

Source: Launch - 31 October 2006

Superstar Madonna arrived in America yesterday with her son David as she prepares to further defend her controversial adoption of the tot.

Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie were granted an interim adoption of the 13-month-old boy earlier this month, which has sparked anger amongst groups in his native Malawi, who claim the singer broke the country's adoption laws.

The 'Material Girl' appeared on US TV show Oprah last week, declaring her love for the little boy and praised her biological children Lourdes and Rocco for being so welcoming to the little boy.

On Sunday, Madonna and her three children flew out of London's Heathrow Airport to New York City, where she is expected to appear on NBC News, The Today Show and Dateline to defend her adoption.

Madonna set to appear on Newsnight

Source: Yahoo - 31 October 2006

Madonna is to appear on BBC2's Newsnight programme to discuss her adoption controversy.
The pop star will speak to presenter Kirsty Wark in her first British interview since adopting 13-month-old David Banda from Malawi.

It follows her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in the US last week.

The Newsnight interview will be broadcast on Wednesday night.

Madonna will also use the chat to publicise her new children's book The English Roses: Too Good To Be True.

The interview will be recorded tonight in the US where the singer has scheduled several other TV appearances.

She flew there at the beginning of the week with David and her other children Lourdes, nine, and Rocco, five.

'Feel Up' released on DVD

30 October 2006

The dazzling Grammy 2006 performance by the Gorillaz and Madonna of the mix of 'Feel Good Inc.' & Hung Up (now titled 'Feel Up') was released on a Gorillaz DVD today, titled 'Slowboat To Hades'.

Feel Up

First Gorillaz opened the ceremony with their hit 'Feel Good Inc.', playing on a 3-D screen then Madonna joined them on the screen singing the chorus of Hung Up in an acoustic version before launching her own live performance of Hung Up (she actually repeated this flow on the Confessions Tour).

Click here to see pictures of the performance. You can also buy the DVD via

Madonna and David's first public picture

Source: Times Online - 30 October 2006

Madonna and her newly adopted son, David Banda, were photographed together in public for the first time yesterday as they left Heathrow for the US.

On Friday a judge in Malawi adjourned a hearing into an attempt by a human rights group to block the American singer's adoption of the 13-month-old boy.

Madonna & David

Yohane Banda, his father, went to the court in the capital city Lilongwe as a protest against moves to prevent the adoption.

He said that he was very happy with the arrangement, and added that Madonna had agreed to bring the boy back every three or four years.

It has been alleged that Madonna offered to give Malawi's orphanages £1.1 million to bypass official adoption procedures.

~ Madonna will be in the US to record a few interviews, as mentioned before.

New tv interview schedule

26 October 2006

Various fansites report that Madonna will be on the Live With Regis and Kelly, NBC's Today Show and Dateline on November 1st. It is unknown whether Madonna will travel to the States or not.

Live8 inspired Madonna in adoption, not the Pitts

Source: Teen Hollywood - 26 October 2006

Madonna has laughed off reports suggesting Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie advised her to adopt an African baby, insisting she has never even met the actress.

Reports have suggested Pitt and Jolie urged the singer not to proceed with alleged plans to adopt a Los Angeles orphan and instead turn her attentions to the kids in Africa, where the actress found her second child, Zahara.

Madonna, Lourdes, Rocco & David

Madonna insists that though her husband, film-maker Guy Ritchie, and Pitt are friends, she has never met Jolie - and they've never spoken about adoption.

She says, "I've never had any discussions with Brad or Angelina about adoption. I've never actually met Angelina Jolie."

"My husband is good friends with Brad because they've worked together, and we had dinner with Brad after Angelina had adopted her baby from Ethiopia but we never had a discussion about it."

"I never sought their advice and I never considered adopting a child from Los Angeles, nor did I discuss with anyone but my husband and our social worker, who did the home study, exactly where it is we would like to adopt the child from."

Appearing on yesterday's Oprah show, Madonna revealed it was a meeting with Live Aid and Live 8 organiser Sir Bob Geldof that prompted her to think about adopting a child from Africa.

She explains, "That (performance at Live 8) kind of made me turn my focus to Africa in a more specific way and educate myself about the statistics about what's going on all over Africa."

Madonna and her husband recently rescued Malawian baby David Banda from an orphanage. They are involved in an interim programme to officially adopt the boy.

Dad's comments were taken out of context

Source: AP - 26 October 2006

The father of the 13-month-old Malawian boy Madonna is trying to adopt said he is afraid criticism of her plans would persuade the pop star to drop her efforts.

"I am afraid Madonna may get angry and frustrated and decide to dump my son because of these people," said Yohane Banda, referring to criticism from human rights activists in Malawi that officials had bent the law to speed David Banda's adoption.

David & Guy

"These so-called human rights activists are harassing me every day, threatening me that I am not aware of what I am doing," Banda said Thursday. "I'm afraid David may be sent back and the orphanage may not even accept him back. So where will he end up? Here? He will certainly die."

The Human Rights Consultative Committee, a group of human rights groups in Malawi, has asked Judge Andrew Nyirenda to review the adoption process to make sure all the laws have been followed. A hearing is scheduled Friday.

Banda said activists tried to visit him Wednesday.

"I hid from them. I didn't want to see them. They want me to support their court case, a thing I cannot do for I know what I agreed with Madonna and her husband," said Banda.

Banda was reacting to Madonna's appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Wednesday, in which the 48-year-old singer said she had done nothing wrong, had not used her celebrity to influence Malawian officials and wanted to give David, who had been in an orphanage, a better life.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, Banda said authorities had not made it clear to him that he was giving up his son "for good" when he signed adoption papers earlier this month. But Thursday, he shifted the blame to human rights groups.

"I was telling these rights groups that I wasn't selling my son. I said I wouldn't ... sell my son for anything but I had agreed with Madonna before a judge so my comments were taken out of context and I hope Madonna is not angry," he said.

Banda said he was not angry with journalists, but added he was spending more time with reporters than tending "to my onions and tomatoes."

Justin Dzonzi, chairman of the human rights group, said the coalition of 67 groups would go ahead with its court petition Friday to protect the rights of any child up for adoption in Malawi.

"It's not like we are blocking the adoption but we want laws followed to the letter," he said.

Dzonzi said under current laws, David, who was taken to Madonna's home in London last week, was not entitled to inherit any of the wealth of the singer and her husband, director Guy Ritchie. He said the child also could suffer psychologically if there is a divorce by the celebrity couple.

"We want these issues clarified," Dzonzi said.

But Banda, a subsistence farmer, argued his son had no wealth to inherit in Malawi. "That won't change anything for David," said Banda. "Please, let them leave my son alone."

Ricky Martin defends Madonna

Source: AP - 25 October 2006

Ricky Martin on Wednesday defended Madonna's adoption of a 1-year-old Malawian boy, calling her an "exemplary" mother, and said he, too, would like to adopt.

"I know Madonna as a mother, and she's exemplary," the Puerto Rican star told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Miami.

"The love she gives her kids is a dream, and I know that her heart is big enough to adopt not just one child but to adopt 20."

Martin, who in recent years has defended the rights of children through his foundation and as an ambassador for UNICEF, said he was not aware of the challenges to the adoption by human rights groups that allege the pop diva flouted the African country's adoption laws.

Madonna, in an interview aired Wednesday on Oprah, blamed the media for the controversy the adoption has sparked.

"I feel the media is doing a great disservice to all the orphans of Africa, period, not just the orphans of Malawi," she said.

Madonna and her husband, director Guy Ritchie, were awarded temporary custody of the boy, David Banda, earlier this month.

Martin, when asked if he would like to adopt a child someday, said, "Totally. I don't know when, but right now I am sponsoring three children in India and we have a very beautiful connection."

Oprah: Madonna sets the record straight

Source: - 25 October 2006

From provocative videos to headline-making risqué concerts, Madonna is known for pushing people's buttons. Now it's her actions off stage that are putting her back in the center of controversy.

In the fall of 2006, Madonna traveled to the African nation of Malawi where she is building an orphan care center with her foundation Raising Malawi. Soon after her trip, news broke that she and husband, Guy Ritchie, were adopting a 13-month-old boy named David.

Madonna talks to Oprah via satellite

Local human rights groups have since gone to court, challenging the Malawian government's decision to allow Madonna to adopt David. They believe that Madonna used her wealth and celebrity to fast track the adoption. News outlets have also recently reported that David's birth father, whom originally was in support of the adoption, claims to not have fully understood what he was saying when he encouraged the adoption.

Madonna, accustomed to being criticized in the media, says she never expected to be criticized for her family's choice to adopt a son.

"I didn't realize that the adoption was causing any controversy until I came back," she says. "There were a million film crews in the airport and press camped outside my door. I don't read newspapers or watch television, but all of my friends have let me know what everybody's talking about and what's going on in the news. So it didn't really hit me until I got back to England. It's pretty shocking."

Madonna and Guy Ritchie have been granted an "interim adoption" by the Malawian government—David will live in their care for an initial 18 months while a London-based social worker will visit them periodically to ensure David is being cared for and not neglected. After the 18 months, Madonna and Guy may then legally adopt David.

Madonna talks to Oprah via satellite

Madonna says that her critics don't really understand how the Malawian adoption process works if they believe she used status to speed up the process of adopting David. "I assure you it doesn't matter who you are or how much money you have, nothing goes fast in Africa," Madonna says. "There are no adoption laws in Malawi. And I was warned by my social worker that because there were no known laws in Malawi, they were more or less going to have to make them up as we went along. And she did say to me, 'Pick Ethiopia. Go to Kenya. Don't go to Malawi because you're just going to get a hard time.'"

Madonna says that she and Guy had planned on adopting a child two years ago, not knowing where they would adopt. It was her ongoing philanthropic work in Malawi that finally brought the Ritchies to David.

"I'm financing a documentary about orphans in Malawi, so I was allowed to view footage and photographs of a lot of the children. An 8-year-old girl who is living with HIV was holding this child. I became transfixed by him. … But I didn't yet know I was going to adopt him. I was just drawn to him."

David had spent most of his life in an orphanage with 500 other orphans. Madonna didn't know the state of David's health when she was visiting Malawi and considering adopting David. She brought a pediatrician to test all of the children's health for their overall well being, and later learned that David tested negative for tuberculosis, malaria, HIV and other common illnesses striking African orphans.

Madonna talks to Oprah via satellite

"When I met him, he was extremely ill," Madonna says. "He had severe pneumonia, and he could hardly breathe. I was in a state of panic, because I didn't want to leave him in the orphanage because I knew they didn't have medication to take care of him. We got permission to take him to a clinic to have a bronchial dilator put on him. … He had pneumonia and was given an injection of antibiotics. He's still a little bit ill, not completely free of his pneumonia, but he's much better than he was when we found him."

Madonna and Guy now have David with them at their home in London, along with their two other children, Lourdes and Rocco. Madonna said the children are in complete love with their new baby brother.

"They just embraced him, and that's the amazing thing about children," she says. "They don't ask questions. They've never once said, 'What is he doing here', or mentioned the difference in his skin color, or questioned his presence in our life. That is an amazing lesson that children do teach us."

When Madonna first arrived in Malawi, she says she didn't know anything about David's parents. She was soon told that his mother had died of HIV and that his three siblings had also died of HIV. At the time, the Minister of Children and Mothers Welfare told Madonna that even though David's biological father's whereabouts were unknown, they would have to find him to give consent for the adoption.

"Here's what I knew. David had been living in this orphanage since he was two weeks old," Madonna says. "He had survived malaria and tuberculosis, and no one from his extended family had visited him since the time he arrived. So from my perspective, there was no one looking after David's welfare."

Once David's father was located, he initially said he gave his son up for adoption always hoping that someone like Madonna would be able to give him a better life, and agreed to the adoption. Now, according to the press, David's father is saying he did not fully understand what he was doing when he agreed to let Madonna adopt his son.

Madonna talks to Oprah via satellite

"I do not believe that is true. I sat in that room, I looked into that man's eyes," Madonna says. "I believe that the press is manipulating this information out of him. I believe at this point in time, he's been terrorized by the media. They have asked him things, repeatedly, and they have put words in his mouth. They have spun a story that is completely false."

With all the speculation, rumors and overall controversy surrounding Madonna's adoption of David, how does Madonna feel about the media?

"I wouldn't say I'm hurt by it, but I would say I'm disappointed," she says. "I understand that gossip and telling negative stories sells newspapers. But I think for me, I'm disappointed because it discourages other people from doing the same thing—for anybody who had the idea that they, too, would like to open their home and give a life to a child living in an orphanage who might possibly not live past the age of 5.

Anybody who had that idea would be discouraged from doing it. For me, that's what disappoints me the most. I feel like the media is doing a great disservice to all the orphans of Africa, period, not just Malawi, by turning it into such a negative thing.

"I beg all of those people to go to Africa and see what I saw and walk through those villages. … To see 8-year-olds in charge of households. To see mothers dying, with Kaposi sarcoma lesions all over their bodies. To see open sewages everywhere. To see what I saw. It is a state of emergency. As far as I'm concerned, the adoption laws have to be changed to suit that state of emergency. I think if everybody went there, they'd want to bring one of those children home with them and give them a better life."

Follow Madonna's example (you heard me)

Source: New York Daily News - 25 October 2006

Gee, I'm so shallow, vain and starved for attention. Guess I'll adopt a baby from Africa to show I'm deep.

If that's how cynics want to think of Madonna's Malawi adoption, fine. Only problem is: No one sounds more shallow than them. If it takes an international superstar to make international, interracial adoption hip, who's complaining? Not the 12 million orphans in Africa.

"The Material Girl's misadventures in adopting the boy, David Banda, have made her the newest Ugly American," sneered G. Pascal Zachary on the liberal Web site AlterNet. The baby is just a "prop."

That evil woman! Why, she plied an impoverished child from a life of maize porridge and forced him into a life of grinding opportunity.

Granted, the Material Girl did not go about this in the best possible way. By adopting a child whose dad is still alive, she should have known she was walking onto a minefield. She claims the dad understood the adoption process. The man now claims he did not - but he's still okay with it. So we should be, too. More than okay! Any action that gets any kid adopted is one we should applaud - and emulate.

Jennifer Bessemer-Marando knows this firsthand. As co-director of the agency A Child's Waiting, she was delighted to see a spike in inquiries after Angelina Jolie adopted a baby from Ethiopia. Now she hopes to see the same again, because Third World orphanages are no place for kids.

At one Jennifer visited in Uzbekistan, the babies didn't wear diapers - they were lined up and strapped to empty coffee cans. For hours. Her agency showered the children with food and toys but these were gone the next day, stolen by the workers for their own families.

And Eastern Europe's orphanages look positively luxurious compared with those in Africa.

"There's a level of poverty that's hard to imagine," says Mark Moore, Africa program adviser for American World Adoption. At orphanages he visited in Uganda and Ethiopia, they didn't have diapers, either. They also didn't have running water, or soap.

Years ago, orphanages in Africa were relatively rare. Extended families took in orphans until AIDS created too many. Now there are orphanages all over the continent, but only Ethiopia, Liberia and Sierra Leone have legalized international adoption.

People agitated that Madonna skirted the rules by adopting from Malawi should agitate, instead, for more countries to open up adoptions.

Orphaned children are much more likely to end up abused, even enslaved, than kids with parents. The alternative is to get them out of there.

Madonna did not pick up a prop, she answered a prayer. Let's hope the Madonna wanna-bes still wannabe exactly like her.

Uncut Live To Tell for the Dutch?

25 October 2006

Fansite posted some interesting news regarding the upcoming tour broadcast:

The Confessions Tour will be shown on Dutch Television by the Dutch TV Channel VARA at the end of this year. VARA states that they will indeed show the entire performance of Live To Tell including Madonna on the cross, while the broadcast in America next month will show different images during this scene. The exact broadcast date and time have yet to be announced.

~ We certainly hope that this is true and at least European countries will do justice to the performance.

Madonna blames media for adopt firestorm

Source: AP - 25 October 2006

Madonna told Oprah Winfrey Tuesday she was surprised by the firestorm surrounding her efforts to adopt a 13-month-old boy from the African country of Malawi. And she blamed the media for it.

Madonna taped the interview via satellite from London, for airing Wednesday. It was the first time she'd spoken publicly in depth about the adoption.

According to a member of the "Oprah" audience, Madonna said she was startled by press reports about the toddler's father, Yohane Banda, who was quoted last week as saying he didn't realize he was signing away custody of his son, David, "for good."

"She said she met with the father, she looked him in the eye," audience member Sheryl Lewis recounted.

Madonna, she added, said she acted according to the law and had both "oral and written approval...and now the press have gotten to him," Lewis said.

In an interview posted Tuesday on Time magazine's Web site, Banda said, for his son's sake, he will not contest the adoption.

"I don't want my child, who is already gone to come back," he said. "I will be killing his future if I accept that."

Madonna told the "Oprah" audience that she and her husband, Guy Ritchie, had been thinking about adoption for more than two years, said Lewis, who lives in Deerfield, Ill.

Another "Oprah" audience member, Amanda Bannon of Crawfordsville, Ind., told ABC News that "the biggest thing was that Madonna wants to get the point across that she doesn't want this to be a discouragement to other families to not adopt."

Madonna, 48, traveled to Malawi on Oct. 4 with Ritchie. They spent eight days visiting orphanages she is funding through her charity.

David was taken to London last week after Malawi's High Court granted Madonna and Ritchie an interim adoption order.

Madonna has two children — daughter Lourdes, 9, and son Rocco, 6.

Preview of emotional Oprah interview

Source: - 24 October 2006

Madonna spoke about her plans to adopt a 13-month-old boy from Africa on the Oprah Winfrey Show Tuesday. The show will air on Wednesday.

The taping ended around 11 a.m. Tuesday. Audience members said the pop star, who is speaking publicly for the first time since the adoption became an international controversy, became emotional when speaking with Oprah about the boy she plans to adopt from Malawi.

The boy's name is David Banda. He was taken to London last week after a court in Malawi granted Madonna and her husband an interim adoption order.

Madonna is facing criticism that she used her influence to sway the country's child-protection regulators, but the pop star says she did nothing wrong.

Still, the toddler's father says he didn't know he was signing away custody of the boy "for good."

According to the audience members, Madonna believes the boy's father had a change of heart after the media go to him.

"I thought it was a good experience. Madonna is an intelligent woman. She made a lot of sense. I am not always the greatest fan of hers, but it was a good thing she did," said Sue Waldman, audience member.

"She had a lout of good things to say. I am proud of Madonna. She tried to do something nice in her life and she is getting slammed for it. I hope it works well," said another audience member.

"They explained to us that there really is no adoption law in this country. So they are just making up rules as they go along," said a third audience member.

Madonna's definite playlist for a party

24 October 2006

InStyle posted Madonna's and Stuart's top 10 songs for a partying:

As Madonna said, 'Music makes the people come together.' And so the pop icon and her producer, Stuart Price, compiled their ultimate party playlist for us. Our only quibble? Modesty kept Madonna from adding any of her own songs to the mix - and nothing gets a party started like a little Madge.

1. Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
2. Cerrone - Supernature
3. ESG - Dance
4. Gwen McRae - All This Love That I'm Giving
5. Yarborough & Peoples - Don't Stop the Music
6. George Benson - Give Me the Night
7. Destination - Move On Up
8. Tyrone Brunson - The Smurf
9. T-Connection - Do What You Wanna Do
10. Giorgio Moroder - Evolution

Madonna a fan of Robbie's 'stalker' song

Source: Digital Spy - 24 October 2006

Robbie Williams has claimed Madonna is a fan of his "stalkerish" song about her.

'She's Madonna', written by the singer with Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, is a comical track on his new new album. Its lyrics are about Madonna's current husband Guy Ritchie's dumping of his ex Tania Strecker, whom Williams also went out with, in favour of the pop star.


He says the star has heard his track, despite its cheeky content, and given good feedback.

"I sent the track to Madonna and she really liked it," he told The Sun. "I also sent her 'Rudebox' and she didn't really like it. You could say that the track is a bit stalkerish. She wanted to know what it was about. I lied.

"She said, 'Is it the futility of being in love with Madonna? Is it the futility of being in a relationship with Madonna? Do you like Madonna in the track?' It's quite a day sending a song to Madonna about her. She'd heard I'd done it."

Williams also said the new album was a landmark for his solo experimentation. "I'm more confident now," he explained. "When I left Take That and started my solo career, I developed a songwriting partnership with Guy Chambers that just ran and ran for five albums and you get into a comfort zone."

"And as that ran its course, I had no other option but to go out and explore and go and work with other people."

~ Robbie's 7th album 'Rudebox' features more inspirations by Madonna: the sound of most of the record is retro-electronica, just like Madonna's recent work; Ray Of Light-producer William Orbit worked on two tracks and the Pet Shop Boys, who remixed Sorry and whose number one hit 'West End Girls' clearly influenced Jump also did two songs; 'The Actor' features a rap reminiscent of Vogue with mentioning actors and actresses like Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn, along with "Madonna Ritchie"; not to mention the references to various Madonna songs in 'She's Madonna'...

Oprah interview to be via satellite

Source: New York Post - 24 October 2006

Madonna finished her concert tour and is starting a new one today - her don't-hate-me-because-I-adopted-a-Malawian-baby tour.

It starts tomorrow with a satellite interview with Oprah.

It also appears that she will talk to the "Today" show early next week about the firestorm of controversy surrounding her secretive adoption.

Madonna @ Oprah in 2003The Oprah interview - set to be taped today - will be the first time the pop star will answer questions about the international furor the adoption sparked earlier this month.

A spokeswoman for the Oprah show said the interview will take place via satellite, with Madonna in London and Winfrey in Chicago.

Madonna has a long-standing commitment from last summer to appear on "Oprah" this fall - most likely during the critical November ratings period - according to industry sources.

But the baby drama appears to have pushed up the date by a few weeks.

Madonna had also agreed to appear on NBC in an exclusive sitdown to promote an upcoming concert special set for late next month.

But yesterday she was said to be in the process of negotiating for an interview with Matt Lauer for the "Today" show, according to a source close to the singer.

That could happen as soon as Monday, the sources said. NBC News officials declined to comment yesterday.

Madonna is attempting to adopt a 13-month old baby she has named David Banda who had been living in an orphanage in Malawi.

Banda, whose mother died, but still has a father, was taken to London last week after Malawi's High Court granted Madonna and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, an interim adoption order.

Madonna, 48, has said she acted according to the law, but the toddler's father, Yohane Banda, said he didn't realize he was signing away custody of his motherless son "for good."

A senior Malawian government official yesterday dismissed Banda's claim, saying they were untrue remarks by an illiterate father.

Jump remix-edits on US iTunes

24 October 2006

An EP of Jump was released today on US iTunes with 5 versions of the single, plus the awaited non-album track History which clocks at 5:55.

As mentioned yesterday, Jump is still gaining airplay at radio and with the video being added at tv channels it might have some heathy digital sales.

According to hardcore chart-watchers, it's best to buy each remix individually.

Remarks by misled father dismissed

Source: Reuters - 23 October 2006

A senior Malawian government official on Monday dismissed as untrue remarks by an illiterate father who said he was misled into signing over his son for adoption by pop diva Madonna.

Yohane Banda, father of the 1-year-old boy, told Reuters Television on Saturday that he never intended for his son to be adopted by Madonna. He accused senior officials in government of not telling him the truth about the papers he signed.

Yohane Banda, father of David

"Had they told us that Madonna wanted to adopt my son and make him her own son, we would not have agreed to that," Banda said in his local language of Chichewa.

"It would have been better for him to continue staying at the orphanage because I see no reason why my child should be given away forever when I can feed him," he said, speaking at his village of Lipunga near the Zambia border.

But his comments were categorically denied by Penson Kilembe, director of child welfare in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, who told Reuters the ministry explained every detail of the process to Banda and his family.

"We explained every detail, and Madonna herself explained her intentions in the face of the judge and in Banda's presence," Kilembe said. "He (Banda) was asked several times in court if he understood what was going on, and he said he did."

Kilembe is one of the senior government officials whom Banda said he met several times over his son, David, and whom he said had made him sign papers he later said he never understood. Banda told Reuters he could not read or write and relied on what government officials told him.

Kilembe said Banda was told 12 children had been presented to Madonna, who picked David, and that the singer would select another child if Banda did not want his son adopted.

Madonna spent nine days in Malawi from October 4 on what her publicists described as a humanitarian visit to help thousands of orphans in the southern African country hard hit by AIDS.

But she left a storm of controversy over her plans to adopt David, who was flown to London last week to join the singer.

Malawian child rights groups, accusing the government of breaking its own laws in granting an interim adoption order to a non-resident, are challenging the process in court.

In the Reuters interview, Banda said what he was told by the officials was that the papers he signed said Madonna would look after David, educate him and bring him back.

"What he has told you now is not true," Kilembe said, but refusing to provide the adoption papers that the father signed.

The High Court in Lilongwe will on Friday start hearing the case lodged by the Human Rights Consultative Committee, an alliance of 67 rights groups, which argues that Malawi laws forbid international adoption.

The American singer, who is married to British film director Guy Ritchie, hopes to make David a brother to her 10-year-old daughter Lourdes and son, Rocco, who is six. She has denied cutting corners to speed the adoption process.

David will stay with Madonna for 18 months and be monitored by Malawi officials before final approval is given for him to officially join her family, according to the interim order.

Madonna should spark the good will in us

Source: BET - 23 October 2006

Whatever you think of her music or her acting or her lifestyle, give Madonna credit. Thanks to her, we now are focusing on Malawi. We know something about the plight of its orphans – to whom she has pledged $3 million – and we know that it is one of the poorest nations in Africa. All because she is adopting a little boy and fighting red tape that has tried to derail that effort.

Why should this child be left behind, especially because his biological father approves of the adoption? His mother is dead. The father arranged, we are told, to have Madonna bring the child back to Malawi on a regular basis. So this baby, born to a miserable life, will have a gourmet lifestyle while still having connections to his roots.

Unless I am more stupid than I give myself credit for, this is a win-win-win scenario.

Oprah, Queen of the World, has us thinking about South Africa and the education of girls. Angelina Jolie has us thinking about kids victimized by the AIDS pandemic, especially in Ethiopia where she adopted a daughter.

And this modern-day Audrey Hepburn and United Nations goodwill ambassador has us also thinking about health care because she and her beau, Brad Pitt, chose to have a baby in a clinic in Namibia. Gorgeous George Clooney and his father, Nick, have us focusing on genocide in the Darfur area of Sudan. (

Bono has taken on the entire Third World debt issue: How can developing countries actually develop if they are saddled with the debt run up by, in most cases, corrupt potentates who filled their pockets on the world’s dime and moved on?

He’s pushing for a forgiveness of these debts – a kind of opportunity for a do-over. But he’s also corralling major corporations into supporting his fight against AIDS in Africa through his Project RED. (

It is so easy to poke fun at the celebrities who intrude into international relations through these acts of kindness and hubris. It should be as easy for the rest of us to find ways to do something that your average middle-classer can afford.

Thank you, Oprah. Thank you, Angelina. Thank you, Madonna. Thank you, Bono. Thank you, Bill and Melinda Gates for your gazillions of Microsoft dollars to make this a healthier African world.

But where are the rest of us, really?

I hail from a town near Atlanta – Conyers, Ga. – and until a few years ago I had no clue that we in that part of the country had any connection to that wide world beyond, besides an eccentric White woman born in 1885 who was a very publicized feminist on the national scene and, back home, famously drove on the wrong side of the street in her Ford Model A. If you ran into her car you were in the wrong.

There was another such lady, born in 1866, who was a missionary in South America for many years and lived to the age 103. Later in my research I learned of Black men in Conyers, Ga., who preceded them and outdid them in adventures and altruism. One, essentially adopted by a beneficent White man at a Conyers hotel soon after the official end of slavery, became a missionary in Africa; another helped spread the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) word to Africa in the 1890s and promote higher education at what we now call an HBCU – Morehouse in Atlanta through 1912.

Later in the 20th century, as I discovered, my father and his cohorts who had experienced World War II came home and forced our county to build a state-of-the-art school for Black kids, formed a Boy Scout troop and did other things we of my generation pretty much took for granted by the time we were cognizant.

We regular folks in 2006 have got to DO SOMETHING!

Let’s do a slam-dunk rap on this. Let’s knock it out of the park. Let’s talk the talk while walking that red carpet or strutting along that runway. Get my drift?

Just look around you. If you are sophisticated enough to be aware of this Web site, then you know where to start looking. But here are some rather old-school suggestions: religious institutions, YMCA, library, youth athletic programs, the Scouts, shelters, NAACP, National Urban League, elected officials. My point? DO SOMETHING besides saying Oprah and Madonna have it covered.

Liz Smith on the adoption

Source: Baltimore Sun - 23 October 2006

It's hard for me to understand exactly what it is Madonna has done personally to all who are so violently critical of her recent plunge into Third World child-caring, money-giving and adoption. The press continues to turn her into a monster.

Here's my take: Madonna is sincere in her efforts but she just doesn't give a damn about how it all looks. Media relations are not her priority, and listening to astute P.R. advisers is not her long suit. She didn't care that people would say she was up to some contrived, copycat Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt kind of thing.

Given her disdain for newspapers, she might not even be aware of how her actions are often perceived. She doesn't do the things she does for publicity - that all just happens whenever she makes a move.

Madonna has a lot of power. And we have said over and over in this space that the ill-wishers who constantly pronounce her as all washed up are just wrong. Her last tour broke worldwide records and put her into a new cash category of top-grossing acts.

This makes her more of a formidable target for those who want to tear down all success stories. (Somebody said to me, after the 1990 Blond Ambition tour "She won't be doing this in 10 years." Well, it's 2006 and she's still going strong.)

Now personally I think Madonna would have been better off attempting to adopt a parentless child, not a 1-year-old with a living (and probably soon to be demanding) father. And she'd have been far better off never bringing up the word "kabala" in connection with any of her announced good works for children left without families because of AIDS. I'm not much for charity with any proselytizing religion mixed in on top of it.

A better P.R. question for a positive outcome regarding giving away money and adopting children in the Third World might be to ask: Where did Jolie go right and where did Madonna go wrong? I think both of these phenomenal women are good-hearted and eager to do good deeds in a naughty world. Perhaps the answer is to take a leaf from the book of the amazing Bono before one jets off to Malawi or wherever.

He knows how to do good deeds, make friends and influence people! The Bible says, never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing, so perhaps it doesn't really matter so long as these big stars have sincere intentions. How much money are you giving away to help children?

P.S. And lest we forget, the "trend" for adopting Third World babies seemed to have begun with the remarkable Mia Farrow, who took nine or 10 children, some with disabilities.

No big fuss was made over Mia's adoption techniques. But then again, Mia is ... small-bosomed.

She has never worn a vial of blood around her neck, broken Jennifer Aniston's heart, written a sex book, hung herself on a cross, or, well, you get the picture. Mia had plenty of controversy in her time, but her soft, wistful manner always made it seem the scandal was being thrust upon her.

Book signing cancelled

Source: - 23 October 2006

It seems the Barnes & Noble book signing, set for November 1st has been cancelled. Madonna will still sign copies of The English Roses - Too Good To Be True for selected fans, through a lottery.

Jump chart news

23 October 2006

JumpWe are two weeks away from the commercial release of Jump, so lets's look at how it is doing on the airplay charts. While it rests at #10 on this week's Billboard Hot Dance / Club Play chart (it rockets to #3 on next week's already leaked chart), unfortunately US radio still doesn't embrace Madonna, Jump didn't even match the audience impressions of Sorry yet, it's just below 5 million.

Across the pond, however the single jumps a staggering 41 places on the UK airplay chart, right up to #5! It is a huge achievement for a 4th single, let's hope it can get a healthy top 10 peak on the singles chart in November.

Madonna set for Oprah over adoption

Source: Yahoo - 23 October 2006

Madonna will appear on Oprah Winfrey's US chat show this week to defend her controversial adoption of David Banda.

The singer will answer the latest claims by the 13-month-old boy's biological father, who now says he never intended to give up his son "for good".

Yohane Banda said he only ever meant for the pop superstar to raise and educate his child before bringing him back to Malawi.

Madonna will talk about her decision to adopt David - and whether or not she intends to keep him in touch with his African heritage - on Oprah this Wednesday.

A spokesman for the show said: "You've read the headlines, heard the rumours and seen the photos. Now, for the first time, Madonna speaks out with her side of the story on the adoption controversy."

It is not known if the 48-year-old intends to fly David to the US with her.

He is believed to have been issued with a US visa shortly before he left Malawi for a new life in London with the star and her film director husband Guy Ritchie.

Controversy over the adoption is also raging in the US.

One poster on the Oprah website writes: "Why are these celebrities allowed to adopt children in record time while us 'regular' folks go through years of hell?"

Dates with other US talk shows are set for coming days but Oprah will be her first stop.

Father says had no idea Madonna adopting son

Source: Reuters - 22 October 2006

The father of the Malawian boy Madonna plans to adopt added a fresh twist to the saga, saying he never intended his son to be adopted by the pop diva, but only for her to raise the child on his behalf.

In an interview with Reuters Television in his home village of Lipunga on Saturday, Yohane Banda said Madonna asked that she be able to raise his one-year-old son on his behalf, rather than that the child should become her own.

Banda's statement is a major shift from his earlier remarks last week when he railed against human rights groups that have gone to court to stop Madonna from adopting his son David.

"Had they told us that Madonna wanted to adopt my son and make him her own son, we would not have agreed to that," Banda said in his local language of Chichewa.

"It would have been better for him to continue staying at the orphanage because I see no reason why my child should be given away forever when I can feed him," he said, speaking at his village of Lipunga near the Zambia border late on Saturday.

Madonna, 48, has angered rights groups with her plan to adopt young David Banda, who left his native country on Tuesday last week for the entertainer's home in London after she was granted temporary adoption rights by Malawi authorities.

The High Court in Lilongwe will on Friday start hearing the case lodged by the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), an alliance of 67 human rights groups, which argues current Malawi laws forbid international adoption, even by celebrities.

Banda told Reuters he signed papers he could not understand, but government officials assured him that the agreement was similar to what he had with the orphanage -- to nurture and educate the boy but not take him away for good.

"I cannot read and write so I relied on what the (government) officials told me that the papers said Madonna would look after the child the way the orphanage planned to educate him and then he comes back to me," Banda said.

Asked if he had any copies of the agreements he signed with Madonna, Banda said: "I am still waiting to get my copies."

He said the copies were still in the hands of the government officials who mediated the agreement. Banda said he would wait to see them before deciding what action to take after consultations with his mother and other family members.

Neither government officials nor Madonna's spokeswoman in London were immediately available for comment.

Banda said he gave the boy to the orphanage mainly for medical care and breast-feeding after the boy's mother died of malaria days after giving birth to him.

"We sent this child to an orphanage because at one month we could not look after him, we did not have a health center nearby and the orphanage was the ideal place for him," he said.

The American singer, who is married to British film director Guy Ritchie, hopes to make David a brother to her 10-year-old daughter Lourdes and son, Rocco, who is six. She has denied cutting corners to speed the adoption process.

David will stay abroad with Madonna for 18 months and be monitored by Malawi officials before final approval can be given for him to officially join her family.

Banda said people did not give him a chance to explain his position better because the media was only interested in knowing about David and Madonna.

"What we agreed with Madonna was that she looks after my child until he finishes school, becomes independent and comes back home to us," Banda said.

Madonna's upcoming tv appearances

21 October 2006

Next week, Madonna is scheduled to have some appearances on US television, promoting The English Roses: Too Good To Be True, but with the recent events, she's expected to discuss the adoption too.

The schedule is the following:
Oct 25 - The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oct 30 - The Today Show
Oct 30 - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Madonna agrees to drop crucifixion scene

Source: United Press International - 20 October 2006

Pop superstar Madonna has agreed to pull the mock crucifixion scene from her televised concert on NBC due to backlash from watchdog groups.

The Confessions concert is set to air the night before Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

Madonna surrenders to religious extremists

In the scene, Madonna climbs onto a cross with a crown of thorns on while singing Live To Tell.

Catholic leaders around the world have consistently slammed the singer since the tour began, attacking her for using a cross as a concert prop.

Madonna, however, defended the scene and urged people to see it before condemning it.

"This is not a mocking of the church," she said in a statement. "Rather, it is my plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and to see the world as a unified whole. I believe in my heart that if Jesus were alive today he would be doing the same thing."

NBC released a short statement that said, "The Live To Tell song has been revised for NBC's broadcast special."

"I know it was Madonna's desire to have the show air in its entirety, but it didn't work out that way," Madonna rep Liz Rosenberg told the Los Angeles Times. "She is not mocking the church."

~ The Live To Tell performance won't be entirely cut out, but while Madonna is on the cross, the cameras will cut to other images. The Don't Talk, Don't Speak interlude is believed to be cut out completely. So much for Freedom of Speech...

NBC cuts Live To Tell

19 October 2006

NBC released its first official statement regarding the controversial Live To Tell performance:
NBC is editing out a controversial portion of a Madonna concert scheduled to air November 22nd. During the song Live To Tell, the artist performed while on a cross which upset several family and religious groups.

The network said, in a statement issued Thursday, that it is now taking that part of the concert out of the special.

As soon as details of the concert were released, NBC2 began receiving e-mails critical of the performance.

The special was recorded during Madonna's Confessions tour over the summer.

The American Family Association was one of the most vocal groups against the special. The group even threatened to have its members boycott companies that ran commercials during the show, but their ability to conduct a boycott that would harm advertisers has been questioned in the past.

In its statement, NBC didn't not say why the controversial song was being cut from the special.
If you'd like to express your opinion about the NBC's decision or the controversy, click here:

You can also contact the network directly here:

~ This contradicts earlier reports from the AFA and Madonna's own statement. The Mad-Eyes team still hopes NBC will live to show the performance and religious groups will eventually know where beauty lives...

Dad slams critics of Madonna's adoption

Source: AP - 19 October 2006

The father of the 13-month-old boy Madonna wants to make part of her family criticized human rights groups who have challenged how the adoption is being handled and said his child should stay with the pop star.

Yohane Banda told The Associated Press on Wednesday he had entrusted his son to a Malawian orphanage after his wife died of childbirth complications, saying he was too poor to raise him alone. Now, he says, Madonna has given the boy a chance to have a family.

"Where were these people when David was struggling in the orphanage? These so-called human rights groups should leave my baby alone," he said. "As father I have OKed this, I have no problem. The village has no problem. Who are they to cause trouble? Please let them stop."

The Human Rights Consultative Committee, a coalition of 67 organizations, launched a legal challenge Tuesday, noting that Malawian regulations require prospective parents to stay with a child in Malawi for 18 to 24 months for assessment before the adoption is formalized.

Madonna, though, was allowed to take the boy to England, where she has a home, and Malawian officials have said the family would be monitored there.

Children's advocates in Malawi have stressed they are not opposed to Madonna adopting David, but want to ensure rules meant to protect children aren't ignored.

Madonna and British film director husband Guy Ritchie spent eight days in Malawi and last Thursday signed adoption papers for David Banda. The boy's father countersigned the papers and High Court Justice Andrew Nyirenda issued the couple an "interim order" allowing them custody, a step toward adoption. The boy was flown to London on Monday.

Penston Kilembe, director of Child Welfare Services in Malawi's Ministry of Gender, Child Welfare and Community Services, told the AP the laws to which the civil rights groups referred in their challenge are "archaic." He said his government took into account the rights of children and families in allowing Madonna to pursue adoption.

"Madonna and her husband has broken no laws as far as government is concerned. They have followed all the legal steps," he said.

Madonna's attempt to adopt David has sparked a debate about how best to care for the millions of orphans in places like Malawi, a desperately poor country beset by drought and AIDS. Some children's advocates say children are best raised close to home, but AIDS has killed many of those in extended families who might once have cared for children in Malawi and elsewhere in Africa, leaving orphans in the hands of elderly grandparents, older siblings, strained orphanages — or on the streets.

The case has drawn international attention.

The Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema compared Madonna's taking custody of David to a "kidnapping" and called for clearer international rules, according to his spokesman, confirming accounts of his remarks in Italian media.

In a statement last week, the British development group ActionAid lauded Madonna for helping David and her wider projects for AIDS orphans in Malawi. It also called on rich Western nations to make good on promises to get AIDS drugs to patients in poor countries, and said individuals could make donations to help communities care for AIDS orphans, so that children could "grow up in their own culture, and if orphaned, with any remaining family they have left."

Madonna, rejecting the criticism of recent days, said in a statement Tuesday: "We have gone about the adoption procedure according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child. Reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate."

Banda's wife, Marita, 28, died a week after giving birth to David. The couple, who had been married for over 10 years, had two other sons who died in infancy from malaria.

"I was alone with a baby. I had no money. I couldn't buy him milk. That's why I surrendered him to the orphanage," said Banda.

Madonna found David at the Home of Hope Orphanage, which looks after more than 500 children who have lost one or both parents.

"Orphanage life is no good. We leave kids there because we can't look after them properly ourselves. Now my son has been taken by a kindhearted woman, these people want to bring him back to the orphanage," said Banda, standing in his small garden of onions and tomatoes.

He said Madonna and Ritchie promised him nothing apart from "love and care for my David."

In Britain, Madonna's either a saint or a sinner

19 October 2006

I think I can safely assume I'm not the only one that is amazed by the negative criticism that Madonna has been receiving over her decision to adopt a Malawian boy. Where adoption by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt is labeled an ultimate act of charity and kindness, the same thing done by Madonna causes an international outrage.

Is it such a crime to save a child from a life of poverty and sickness? Would Madonna take on the care of a third child just for reasons of publicity? Or could it possibly be that the British media have found another reason to send out their vultures to one of their favorite victims?

As a Madonna fan, I can't say, cause people would surely call me biased. So I invite you to read the following article of a professional analyst, which appeared in the Washington Post:
~ Bartie, webmaster Mad-Eyes

Now playing in London: two views of Madonna and Child.

One: Madonna is a spoiled and self-absorbed pop-bimbo who used her enormous wealth and fame to buy an African baby, sneaking him away from his country and family to become her latest celebrity accessory, like a new navel ring.

Two: Madonna is a decent and generous woman who has legally adopted an African orphan, opening her home to save one little boy from poverty while using her fame to draw international attention to the tragedy of millions of African orphans.

Versions of both opinions have been expressed relentlessly this week in Britain, where Madonna's adoption of a 13-month-old boy from Malawi in southern Africa has become a national spectacle. Little David Banda's arrival Monday at Heathrow Airport, his cherubic and slightly startled face peeking out from under a floppy gray hood in the arms of one of Madonna's assistants, was viewed here as a symbol of the singer's selfless charity or her cynical selfishness -- and rarely anything in between.

It has sparked a furious debate over power and privilege, the moral and legal issues involved with international adoption and the world's obsession with celebrity.

But mostly it's just about Madonna, who can't seem to roll out of bed in the morning without getting somebody mad.

"The British are jealous of people; there's a lot of green eyes out there," said Max Clifford, perhaps Britain's most influential public relations agent, who specializes in celebrity and scandal. "In the States you tend to enjoy other people's success and fame, but over here we hate it. The British public like to see the rich and famous attacked."

Mary Ann Sieghart, a columnist for the Times of London, said she and her husband have been debating the issue lately, a conversation that mirrors the national divide. She said her husband believes that for 20 years Madonna has been manipulating her public image with carefully choreographed publicity stunts, so "you've got to assume this is also a marketing ploy."

But Sieghart said that taking on the full-time responsibility of rearing a child is a lifetime commitment, not a cheap grab for headlines. "I don't see what more you can do to demonstrate your unselfishness," she said.

Madonna with Lola & Rocco

But she said Madonna tends to bring out the cynic in people: "Suppose it had been Kate Winslet. I don't think everybody would have gone berserk about it."

Madonna is often front-page news here, partly because this is her adopted home. The Material Girl and husband Guy Ritchie have a multimillion-dollar mansion in central London and a huge estate in the countryside southwest of the capital.

Madge, as they call her, goes to the gym and it makes the papers. Miles of newsprint are expended to dissect whether the 48-year-old singer doctored photos of her hands to make them look younger. It was hold-the-presses stuff last year when she fell off a horse and broke her collarbone, ribs and hand.

And, of course, when Madonna sang while propped up on a giant crucifix during her most recent tour -- her latest transparent publicity stunt or brave artistic expression, you choose -- the British claimed the scandal as their very own, as English a story as the day last April when Keith Richards fell out of a tree in Fiji and cracked his chemical-weary skull like a coconut.

But nothing compares to the nasty little volcano that has erupted over Madonna's adoption of a little boy with big brown eyes, whose own mother died of complications from his birth.

It began, in public anyway, when Madonna flew to Malawi earlier this month to visit orphanages.

The singer is reportedly raising several million dollars for her project, called Raising Malawi, which aims to provide food, education and shelter to Malawi's orphans. Malawi is one of the world's poorest nations and has high rates of HIV and AIDS. It has a population of about 12 million people, says Raising Malawi's Web site, and about 1 million of them are orphans.

In a statement issued last month to explain the crucifix scene in her tour, Madonna said, somewhat cryptically, that her "specific intent is to bring attention to the millions of children in Africa who are dying every day, and are living without care, without medicine and without hope."

The singer recently told Time magazine that her African project arises from her "better perspective" on life, which she attributed to Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism to which she adheres. "One of the main precepts of Kabbalah is that we're put on this Earth to help people," she said.

The precise details of the adoption remain unclear, including whether Madonna was adopting David under U.K. or U.S. laws, which have different requirements.

Press reports here said Madonna picked David out of a photo array supplied by Malawian government officials, and then met him in the orphanage where he lived. She and Ritchie then met the boy's father, Yohane Banda, in a courtroom where a judge granted the adoption, pending an 18-month trial period during which the Malawian court will evaluate whether the boy is being properly cared for.

News reports said the judge exempted Madonna from a Malawian requirement that adoptive parents live in Malawi for at least a year before the adoption. British media have also reported that several members of the boy's extended family have complained that Madonna unfairly took advantage of Banda, a poor farmer.

Human rights officials in Malawi are also reportedly opposing the adoption on the grounds that proper procedures were not followed. Emmie Chanika, of the Civil Liberties Committee in Malawi, told the Daily Mail that the adoption was "tantamount to buying a baby" and showed there was "one rule for the rich and one for the poor."

For his part, the boy's father has been quoted as saying he was told Madonna was "a good Christian lady who does a lot of charity work." He has also been quoted as saying he put David in the orphanage because he couldn't handle the child after his wife died, and that he never intended to give him up permanently.

But Monday he said, according to the Daily Mail, that he was "ecstatic" about the adoption and blasted critics: "I appeal to the self-styled lovers of David to leave my baby alone. Where were they when David didn't have milk when his mother died?"

Madonna and Ritchie left Malawi last week and returned to London. On Monday, baby David was carried to a private plane by one of Madonna's assistants and a bodyguard. They flew to Johannesburg and then boarded a commercial flight to Heathrow, arriving Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Madonna released a statement (signed Madonna Ritchie) saying that she and Ritchie had followed the law, "like anyone else who adopts a child." She said that the process had been in the works for many months, but she had not made it public because she considered it a "private family matter." She said she decided to adopt after learning about the million orphans in Malawi.

"It was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty, and in many cases death, as well as expand our family," said Madonna, who has two other children, Lourdes, 9, and Rocco, 6. "This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly."

Clifford, a public relations man not known as a softie, noted that unlike Madonna, Angelina Jolie received almost universally positive attention when she adopted children from Ethiopia and Cambodia. "There has been very little mention of all the money Madonna's given to orphanages to help hundreds of thousands of children," Clifford said. "She should be getting the same reaction as Angelina Jolie is getting. But don't expect it, because this is Britain."

An open letter from Madonna

Source: - 18 October 2006

My husband and I began the adoption process many months prior to our trip to Malawi. I did not wish to disclose my intentions to the world prior to the adoption happening as this is a private family matter. After learning that there were over one million orphans in Malawi, it was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and in many cases death, as well as expand out family.

Nevertheless, we have gone about the adoption procedure according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child. Reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate. The procedure includes an l8 month evaluation period after which time we hope to make this adoption permanent. This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly.

I am overwhelmed and inspired by my trip to Malawi and hope that it helps bring attention to how much more the world needs to do to help the children of Africa.

My heartfelt thanks for all the good wishes I have received and I hope the press will allow my family some room for us to experience the joy we feel to have David home.

Madonna Ritchie October 17, 2006 London, England

Madonna's adoption child arrives in Britain

Sources: AP Photo, Reuters 17 October 2006

A one-year-old Malawian boy Madonna is seeking to adopt arrived in Britain on Tuesday, witnesses said.

David Banda arrived at London's Heathrow airport at around 0530 GMT after flying via Johannesburg from Malawi overnight with one of the U.S. superstar's bodyguards and her personal assistant.

Malawian authorities waived local rules to grant Madonna and her British film director husband, Guy Ritchie, an interim adoption on Monday, prompting charges from human rights groups that the star used her status to bypass normal adoption rules.

Witnesses said they saw the 13-month-old boy, who was wearing a blue and orange baseball cap, being carried off the flight by the female assistant who quickly covered his head with a grey coat to shield him from waiting cameras.

Three armed police officers together with airport officials escorted the party through Heathrow's terminal one to the baggage hall. From there they were taken out of a back door to a silver Mercedes car which drove them away from the airport.

Banda, who is leaving behind his father Yohane, will swap his home in a dilapidated orphanage near the Zambian border for a life of luxury in London with one of the world's most famous couples and their two children. The boy's mother died after she gave birth to him, according to media reports.

Malawian law bans adoptions by non-residents, but officials are granting an exemption to Madonna.

"Madonna and her husband ... have been granted an interim adoption of baby David by the courts in Malawi. He was issued a passport and a visa was granted earlier today which allows him to travel outside of Malawi," Madonna's New York publicist said in a statement late on Monday.

"This interim adoption grants David's new parents temporary custody for 18 months."

A nanny carries David from the airport

Madonna, 48, is hoping to make David a brother to her nine-year-old daughter Lourdes, and her son, Rocco, who is five.
In addition to two homes in Britain, the singer also has a home in Beverly Hills in the United States.

Picture: An unidentified woman believed to be a nanny carries a baby as she makes her way through London's Heathrow airport with a police escort early Tuesday Oct. 17, 2006. Armed police officers escorted the African infant being adopted by Madonna off a British Airways flight Tuesday, whisking him past photographers hoping to get a glimpse of the baby making his way to the pop star's London home.

Lotsa de Casha illustrations exhibit

16 October 2006

Today, an exhibition of the original illustrations by Rui Paes that were used in Madonna's "Lotsa De Casha" book opened at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Praça de S. Carlos, Lissabon in Portugal. The exhibition will be open to the public from the 17th till the 26th of October 2006, between 13h and 19h.

Review of thuddingly literal Jump video

Source: EW - 16 October 2006

I know, I know, PopWatch has already discussed the perplexing lack of airplay for Madonna's post-Hung Up singles from her mighty fine Confessions on a Dance floor set. And yet, almost a year after the album's release, Madge is still looking for some chart love with a new video for the album's fourth single, Jump. (Click here to see it on YouTube.)

I am sorry to report it's a thuddingly literal clip; I mean, can you imagine if the Take a Bow video featured shot after shot of hoodie-clad hipsters taking bows? Or if Frozen had followed dozens of urban dwellers refilling their ice-cube trays? Forget about low concept, we're talking no concept! For all the money spent capturing footage of impressive rooftop leaps, I wish Madonna had chosen instead to offer us a visually sumptuous slice of storytelling, something along the lines of Express Yourself or Bedtime Story.

That said, at least Madonna's hung up the leotard and the Valerie Cherish 'do for a striking blonde bob and a black leather number that reminds us all that her 48-year-old body still looks better than yours (and mine). And as far as Jump goes, it's got a killer beat, an actual melody (remember those?), and a nice little message about self-empowerment, complete with a tree metaphor. Which, of course, means there's probably not a radio station in America that'll play it. Sigh. Too bad girlfriend didn't swallow her pride and call in a Sacha Baron Cohen cameo, eh?

David leaves Malawi

Source: CNN - 16 October 2006

A small private jet carrying the one-year-old Malawian boy pop star Madonna hopes to adopt took off from the southern African country on Monday, a Reuters witness said.

The child, David Banda, was accompanied by one of Madonna's bodyguards on his flight out of his native Malawi and is believed to be en route to Johannesburg.

Human rights groups had planned to file an application on Monday asking the court to block the adoption. (Watch why activists fear this adoption will start the sale of people -- 1:30)

Malawian law prohibits adoptions by non-residents, but officials are granting an exemption or waiver to Madonna, who has confirmed her intention to adopt the child who lives in a dilapidated orphanage near the Zambian border.

Monday's events came less than a week after Malawi's High Court granted the entertainer and her filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie an interim order allowing them to take custody of the child.

The couple, who arrived in Malawi on October 4 on what was described as a humanitarian trip, left last Friday without the boy, who did not have a passport.

Eye of the Child, the leading child advocacy group in Malawi, said on Saturday the request for an injunction would be filed in a magistrate's court in the capital Lilongwe on behalf of about five dozen non-governmental organizations.

"They (government) haven't followed the law. What has happened is a shortcut," said Boniface Mandere, a spokesman for Eye of the Child, which is among the groups seeking the injunction.

Madonna spent most of her time in Malawi visiting orphanages and meeting charity workers as part of a campaign to publicise the plight of some 900,000 orphans in this nation of 13 million people, where AIDS has destroyed many families.

She has pledged to donate about $3 million to the campaign to help these children, many of whom are infected with HIV. The effort is being spearheaded by her Raising Malawi charity.

A final court decision on the adoption was expected within two years, after officials have a chance to monitor how the child relates to his new environment in the United States and Great Britain where Madonna and Ritchie have homes, according to a senior government official.

Madonna is the mother of two children.

Father of Madonna's Malawi child wanted him back

Source: Reuters - 15 October 2006

The father of the Malawian child pop star Madonna wants to adopt said on Sunday he had not originally planned to give up his son for good when he handed him to an orphanage after the death of his wife last year.

Yohane Banda told a British newspaper he put his son David in an orphanage when he was just over one month old, fearing that he was ill with malaria, which killed his two other sons.

"I suppose deep in my heart I always imagined that when he was better, or I had got another wife, I would go and take him back," Banda told the Mail on Sunday. "I did not think anyone would want to take him away."

But Banda, 31, said he and his family had agreed to allow Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie to adopt the child, believing it would give him the chance to receive a good education and grow up healthy.

"He will always be in my heart. I hate to see him leave Malawi but I have come to accept the loss," Banda said. "The government people told me it would be a good thing for the country. He will come back educated and able to help us."

Until recently, Banda said he had no idea the woman seeking to adopt his one-year-old son was a world-famous celebrity. He said all he knew was that she was a "nice Christian lady."

Banda met Madonna in court in Malawi at an adoption hearing. He told the Mail he looked into her eyes and "could tell from them that she was a good lady."

Malawi's High Court granted the 48-year-old entertainer and her filmmaker husband an interim order allowing them to take custody of the boy less than a week ago but the adoption plan has sparked anger in Malawi and elsewhere.

Malawian law prohibits adoptions by non-residents, but officials granted an exemption or waiver to Madonna. Human rights groups are challenging that decision and plan to seek a court injunction on Monday to stop the adoption.

Eye of the Child, the leading child advocacy group in Malawi, said the request would be filed in a magistrate's court in the capital Lilongwe on behalf of about five dozen non-governmental organizations.

The pop icon, who already has two children, could also face hurdles in Britain, where she lives, because she has failed to register with a local authority for adoption, the Mail said.

Madonna and Ritchie, who arrived in Malawi on October 4 on what was described as a humanitarian trip, left on Friday without the child, who did not have a passport.

Technical details of tour opener video

Source: Post Magazine - 14 October 2006

Steele ( recently completed work on the show open music video for the Madonna Confessions Tour. The video - over eight minutes long - features the singer performing on stage, accented by eight giant screens placed throughout the arena, and introduces the audience to her new song, Future Lovers. NBC will air the concert, titled Live to Tell, in late November.

As the arena lights dim to open the concert, an eerie underscore begins and the video screens flicker to life. On screen, Madonna strolls through a dimly lit horse stable before turning to the camera with the spoken-word opening of her new song.

According to Steele co-founder and supervising visual effects artist Jerry Steele, there are six streams of video that play back at once on giant screens, some of which physically move together to form a single picture. "You literally can't be off by one pixel or frame," he notes.

One of the most striking FX sequences involves a pair of scenes in which horses rise from the Earth at the beginning of the video and descend into the ground at its conclusion. Monique Eissing served as lead visual effects artist on the job and says one horse was filmed in multiple plates, each with very specific framing requirements.

She created and composited new, single pieces of land and sky so the horses could be lined up as desired. Because there was dust blowing in the air as a design element, more dust had to be composited to connecting points among the plates.

Fashion photographer/director Steven Klein directed the Future Lovers video (via DNA). Offline was handled by Clark Eddy using Apple Final Cut Pro. Stefan Sonnenfeld of Company 3 provided color grading for the video.

Steele conformed more than 50 percent of the program in Final Cut Pro and completed the rest of the conform and effects shots using Quantel eQ and Henry.

~ Please note that the title of the NBC special has not been confirmed yet.

Malawi groups to ask court to halt Madonna adoption

Source: Reuters - 14 October 2006

Human rights groups in Malawi will seek a court injunction on Monday to stop pop star Madonna from proceeding with the adoption of a one-year-old boy in the impoverished African nation.

Malawian law prohibits adoptions by non-residents, but officials are granting an exemption or waiver to Madonna, who has confirmed her intention to adopt the child who lives in a dilapidated orphanage near the Zambian border.

The legal challenge would come less than a week after Malawi's High Court granted the entertainer and her filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie an interim order allowing them to take custody of a boy identified as David Banda.

The couple, who arrived in Malawi on October 4 on what was described as a humanitarian trip, left on Friday without the child, who did not have a passport. They departed amid growing criticism within the former British colony to the adoption.

Eye of the Child, the leading child advocacy group in Malawi, said on Saturday the request for an injunction would be filed in a magistrate's court in the capital Lilongwe on behalf of about five dozen non-governmental organizations.

"They (government) haven't followed the law. What has happened is a shortcut," said Boniface Mandere, a spokesman for Eye of the Child, which is among the groups seeking the injunction.

A government spokeswoman declined on Saturday to comment on the impending injunction, the first clear sign of concerted opposition in Malawi to the adoption. One of Banda's relatives has questioned the way the adoption is proceeding.

Outside the country, Madonna's visit to Malawi has renewed criticism from those who accuse Western celebrities of using Africa and other parts of the developing world as a platform for misplaced, publicity-fuelled altruism.

Madonna spent most of her time in Malawi visiting orphanages and meeting charity workers as part of a campaign to publicize the plight of some 900,000 orphans in this nation of 13 million people, where AIDS has destroyed many families.

She has pledged to donate about $3 million to the campaign to help these children, many of whom are infected with HIV. The effort is being spearheaded by her Raising Malawi charity.

The 48-year-old star already has two children.

NBC moves ahead with plans to air Live To Tell

14 October 2006

American Family Association reports that "Despite 739,989 emails asking the network to cancel Madonna's mocking of the crucifixion of Christ in an up-coming November special, NBC still plans to air the crucifixion mockery scene. NBC said they found nothing wrong with the scene mocking the crucifixion of Christ."

This is good news for us, Madonna fans, it would have been tragical if Live To Tell was cut. However, latest rumour is that 'Don't Talk Don't Speak' (Sorry video interlude) is going to be taken out of the broadcast, considering its content.

Don't preach to Madonna about adoption

Source: Chicago Sun-Times - 14 October 2006

Children should be raised by both parents, of course, brought up in loving, culturally sensitive environments, in the communities in which they were born.

They should also have a pony, because keeping a pony is a lot of fun and teaches responsibility. Two ponies, actually, a matched set, so the first pony can rest while the other...

Sorry. The second sentiment is fanciful I admit, reflecting an idealized world. But so is the first. Most kids don't have ponies and many don't live with both parents. Millions upon millions don't even have one.

Thus a pox on critics of Madonna, such as the shrill she-beast Andrea Peyser at the New York Post, who called the star's adoption of an African toddler a "freakish slave auction."

Don't get me wrong -- I can sneer at Madonna's endless reign as a pop queen as well as the next guy. I just don't see how not thinking much of Papa Don't Preach translates into ridiculing the idea of international adoption because it deviates from some notion of how things would be in a perfect world.

The world as it is needs more adoptive parents, not fewer. Anybody who wants to care for a stranger's child should get a medal, and those who question them -- bureaucrats with more local pride than human pity, advocates looking to score a point on the endless racial tug-of-war, news harpies who will say anything that catches attention -- should be ashamed of themselves.

I remember when Anne and Ed Burke were being beaten up by a few Chicago activists exercised that they had dared to adopt a black child damaged by his mother's crack cocaine use. Their critics had no idea what they were talking about -- didn't realize that the Burkes had previously adopted three children -- yet cooked up all kinds of baseless accusations and preened in the spotlight, until they got bored and went away.

But the Burkes didn't get bored -- they remain as they always were, loving parents to the boy, quietly, behind the scenes.

You can never accuse Madonna of being quiet. But to damn her for outrageousness out of one corner of your mouth and then damn her for embracing motherhood out of the other is both hypocritical and wrong. Even stars get to have a private life, whether we like it or not.

And nobody adopts a child as a PR gimmick, and accusing someone of doing so says more about the accuser than anyone else.

Adoption confirmed by Liz Rosenberg

Source: E! Online - 14 October 2006

There's nothing like family bonding--and, believe us, this is nothing like family bonding.

Just one day after being granted temporary custody of a year-old motherless Malawian child, Madonna and Guy Ritchie flew out of the southern African country Friday sans new son. Their private plane departed for an undisclosed destination just before 2 a.m.

The child, identified as David Banda, has been left in the care of Madonna's entourage, according to local officials.

Meanwhile, Madonna's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, confirmed the adoption plans for the first time Friday--contradicting her statement from a week ago shooting down reports of Madonna's maternity plans.

"Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie have been granted custody of their son David," Rosenberg said. "Final legal arrangements are being made to bring him home to his new family."

The babysitting detail was necessitated by some red tape, but, echoing Rosenberg, Malawi officials, who said they hope to reunite David with his new parental units as soon as possible.

"The baby hasn't gone yet because immigration is still trying to process his passport," a senior immigration official told Reuters.

In general, Malawi law does not permit international adoptions and requires would-be parents to spend between 12 and 18 months in the country being evaluated by Malawian child welfare workers. Malawian officials waived the restrictions for the Material Mom and her director husband, granting them an interim order to adopt on Thursday.

Benston Kilembe, director of child welfare services in the Ministry of Gender, Child Welfare and Community Services, says the order allows the baby to travel with his new family but does impose restrictions on his care.

"One of the conditions, is that the boy will be monitored for any abuse of his rights and if he is treated differently from the other children," Kilembe told Agence France Presse. "The monitoring will be done by the government and if there is any abuse, the interim order might be revoked and the permanent custody of the boy will be canceled and he will be retrieved immediately."

But the arrangement is drawing complaints in the country and abroad, with critics carping that Madonna received preferential treatment.

Eye of the Child, a leading Malawian child rights group, says it is petitioning the government to put the interim order on hold and, if that proves unsuccessful, will seek an injunction to stop the adoption. Another human rights group, the Civil Liberties Committee, is also backing the move.

"It's not like selling property," Eye of the Child said in a statement. "It is about safeguarding the future of a human being who, because of age, cannot express an opinion."

"You cannot buy a child as if you are buying a house," the group's Boniface Mandere told the Associated Press on Friday. "This process is too short, applying on Tuesday, and [Thursday] the court gave the okay. I don't think that the High Court has any information about how Madonna is when it comes to child-rearing."

In Friday's edition, the ever blunt New York Post ran the headline "Shameless Star Buys African Souvenir."

One person who is positive about the fast-tracked adoption is David's father, who sent his child to the Home of Hope Orphan Care Center soon after his birth.

"They are a lovely couple," Yohane Banda told reporters Thursday after meeting Madonna and Ritchie following the preliminary custody hearing. "She asked me many questions. She and her husband seem happy with David. I am happy for him. Madonna promised me that as the child grows she will bring him back to visit."

Banda's wife died just days after delivering the child.

Prior to their Friday morning departure, the 48-year-old singer and her family had been on an orphanage-hopping tour of the African nation as part of the her Raising Malawi project, designed to clothe, feed and shelter more than 4,000 AIDS orphans. She has pledged to donate about $3 million to the campaign.

Once the adoption is formalized--a process that could take up to two years but will likely be less--David will join Lourdes, 9, and Rocco, 5, in the Ritchie clan.

Madonna leaves Malawi without adopted son

Source: Reuters - 13 October 2006

Pop star Madonna left Malawi on Friday without the one-year-old boy she is adopting but with a pledge from the impoverished southern African nation to try to reunite the two while the adoption process is under way.

The pop diva's departure followed a controversial nine-day humanitarian visit to Malawi, during which her aides denied earlier reports by government officials that she had chosen to adopt a boy.

The child, identified as David Banda, was not with Madonna as her white four-wheel drive vehicle swept onto the tarmac to a waiting private jet at the international airport in Lilongwe, Malawi's capital.

"The baby hasn't gone yet because immigration is still trying to process his passport," a senior immigration official told Reuters on Friday, hours after the pop star's plane left the country.
Malawian officials said Madonna had been granted an interim order to adopt Banda and could be given a waiver or exemption allowing her to skirt a law that prohibits non-residents from adopting Malawian children.

They said they expected Banda to visit and spend time with Madonna, who has homes in the United States and Britain, while waiting for a hearing on the application, which could take up to two years.

Officials at the Malawian embassies will monitor how the child relates to his new environment during that time and write reports that will form the basis of a Malawian court's decision on the adoption, according to a senior government official.

The news that Banda, who has spent most of his life in the dilapidated Home of Hope Orphan Care Center near the Zambian border, could be heading for a new life overseas was seen as a blessing at the orphanage and in surrounding villages.

The child faced a bleak future after his mother died and his father, a poor man from a nearby village, could not support him.

"If we didn't send Davie away to the orphanage we would have buried him," said Henderson Geza Dyedyereke, the chief of Lipunga, after confirming this week that Banda was being adopted by Madonna, who already has a son and a daughter.

"We were looking for ways of feeding the child at the time, but we could not, so we had to send him away," the chief said.

While Banda's father has agreed to the adoption, others are taking a dimmer view of the prospect.

Eye of the Child, a private Malawian child advocacy group, said on Friday that it was asking the government to reconsider its decision to approve Madonna's adoption application.

"We are appealing to the government to pend the interim order -- to delay it," said Maxwell Matewere, executive director of the group, which has questioned whether foreign adoptions are in the best interests of Malawian children.

Madonna's visit to Malawi also has renewed criticism from those who accuse Western celebrities of using Africa and other parts of the developing world as a platform for misplaced, publicity-fuelled altruism.

The 48-year-old singer of such hits as Holiday and Material Girl spent most of her time in Malawi visiting orphanages and meeting charity workers as part of a campaign to publicize the plight of some 900,000 orphans in this nation of 13 million people, where AIDS has destroyed many families.

She has pledged to donate about $3 million to the campaign to help these children, many of whom are infected with HIV. The effort is being spearheaded by her Raising Malawi charity.

Madonna stayed largely out of the limelight after arriving on October 4, although she was seen wearing a safari hat and in a jovial mood on a visit to one orphanage.

Madonna gets Malawi nod to adopt child

Source: Reuters - 13 October 2006

Malawi authorities granted Madonna an interim order to adopt a one-year-old boy from the impoverished African country, a senior court official said on Thursday.

The announcement brought to a climax Madonna's controversial week-long charity visit to the southern African country during which her aides denied earlier reports by government officials that she planned to adopt a child.

"Madonna was granted an interim order to adopt the child, which means that there's going to be a subsequent hearing by the same court to either allow her to adopt the child or not," the high court's deputy registrar Thomson Ligowe told Reuters.

Under Malawian law the hearing must take place within two years.

"This also means that she has been put on observer status to see how she will relate to the child, and people from social welfare will have to observe that. The court will depend upon their observations to make a final decision," Ligowe added.

The 48-year-old singer, a master self-promoter, has kept largely out of the limelight since arriving in Malawi on October 4, although she was seen wearing a safari hat and in a jovial mood on a visit to one orphanage.

Ligowe said Madonna was free to take the boy, David Banda, an orphan, when she leaves Malawi, most likely on Friday.

He added that there were conditions attached to the interim order but declined to give details, citing confidentiality provisions of the process.

Henderson Geza Dyedyereke, the headman of Lipunga, the boy's village near the Zambian border, confirmed the adoption plan on Wednesday.

He told Reuters he was informed of the adoption by Rev. Thomson Chipeta, the executive director of the Home of Hope Orphan Care Center in Mchinji, where Banda is being cared for.

Madonna and her filmmaker husband, Guy Ritchie, have homes in the United States and Britain, most unlikely settings for the young Banda, who has lived in a dilapidated orphanage since the death of his mother shortly after he was born.

A senior government official told Reuters that Malawi would use officials at its embassy in Washington to monitor how the child relates to his new environment and write reports that will form the basis of the court's next decision.

"Government in this instance will use our Washington office (embassy) to monitor the progress with the couple (Madonna and Ritchie)," said Andrina Mchiela, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

"And also government will appoint a welfare officer from Malawi to liaise with our Washington embassy and make visitations to where the child will be," she added.

Madonna, who has a son and daughter, has spent most of the past week visiting orphanages and meeting charity workers as part of a campaign to publicize the plight of some 900,000 orphans in the country of 13 million people, where AIDS has destroyed many families.

Madonna tops finalists for Billboard Touring Awards

11 October 2006

Madonna leads the field for the 2006 Billboard Touring Awards with mentions in four categories, including top tour and top draw, respectively award to the top-grossing and top ticket-selling tour. The awards will be handed out Nov. 9 at New York's Roosevelt Hotel, capping the third annual Billboard Touring Conference.

The awards are based on actual box-office achievement based on data reported to Billboard Boxscore, as opposed to a popular vote. The period covered by the awards is December of 2005 through September of this year.

Madonna's run at London's Wembley Arena makes her a finalist in the hotly contested top boxscore category, which goes to the top-grossing single engagement. Also a finalist in that category are Luis Miguel at Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City and Billy Joel's record-setting stand at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Madonna is a contender in the following categories:

Bon Jovi, Have A Nice Day
Madonna, Confessions
The Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang

Bon Jovi

Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden, New York
Madonna at Wembley Arena, London
Luis Miguel at Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City

Angela Becker and Guy Oseary (Madonna)
Front Line Management
RPM Management/Borman Entertainment

Check out the rest of the finalists @

Malawian claims Madonna adopted his son

Source: AP - 11 October 2006

Madonna has adopted a 1-year-old Malawian boy whose mother died a month after childbirth, the baby's father claimed Tuesday, saying he was happy his son was escaping poverty.
Malawian government officials said last week the pop star planned to adopt a Malawian boy while she is in the impoverished African nation visiting projects she funds for AIDS orphans. However, they declined to comment on Yohame Banda's claim that his son David had been adopted by the singer.

Madonna has made no public comment since her arrival. Her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday: "I am unable to make any official statement at this time."

In a statement last week, Rosenberg said that the star was on a private visit working on projects for children, and dismissed statements from Malawian government officials that she and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, planned to adopt a boy.

"I am the father of David, who has been adopted," Banda, 32, told The Associated Press Tuesday. "I am very very happy because as you can see there is poverty in this village and I know he will be very well looked after in America."

He said his wife Marita died a month after the baby's birth from childbirth complications and the child had been cared for at the Home of Hope Orphan Care Center in Mchinji, a village near the Zambian border.

Banda said his son left the orphanage on Monday and was taken to the capital, Lilongwe, where Madonna and her entourage were staying in an upscale ranch.

Madonna has visited the orphanage at least once during her visit. Its director, Rev. Thompson John Chipeta, has refused to speak to the media.

Madonna arrived in Malawi Oct. 4 to visit her Raising Malawi project, which is setting up an orphan care center to provide food, education and shelter for up to 4,000 children. It will have projects based on Kabbalah, Judaism's mystical sect, which counts the 48-year-old singer among its devotees.

Madonna and Ritchie have a son, Rocco, 5, and the singer also has a daughter, Lourdes, 9.

Banda, a farm worker who lives in Lipunga, a village about 50 miles from the orphanage, said he had been told that David would make regular visits to Malawi.

"He will know his roots," Banda said. The child's grandmother, Asinei Mwale, said she learned about the adoption from Chipeta.

"The director of the orphanage came here yesterday and told us that David has been adopted by a famous American singer," Mwale said. "I am very glad for him because having grown up as an orphan myself, I know how tough life can be."

Malawi is among the poorest countries in the world, with rampant disease and hunger, aggravated by periodic droughts and crop failure. Some 14 percent of its 12 million people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and an estimated 1 million children have been orphaned. In many villages, grandparents or older siblings struggle to feed orphans.

In an open letter to Madonna released Tuesday, the private Malawian child advocacy group Eye of the Child welcomed her concern for Malawian children, but questioned whether foreign adoptions were in the best interests of children.

Jackie Schoeman, executive director Cotlands, a South African organization that cares for children affected by HIV, said the first choice for orphans should be a place in a local family. In Africa, orphans usually are take in by their extended families, but AIDS has affected many of the people who might have traditionally provided support.

"If the only other option is for them to be in a long-term institutional then we would consider international adoption," Schoeman said.

Madonna's Malawi visit stokes hope, skepticism

Source: Reuters - 9 October 2006

Pop star Madonna's trip to Malawi has raised hopes of an improved life for thousands of needy orphans but also revived questions about the impact of Western altruism on the world's poorest continent.

Madonna has spent most of the past week visiting orphanages and meeting government officials and charity workers as part of a campaign to highlight the plight of some 900,000 orphans in this impoverished nation of 13 million people, where AIDS has destroyed many families.

Madonna has pledged to donate about $3 million to the campaign to help these children, spearheaded by the Raising Malawi charity.

She and an entourage, including her husband filmmaker Guy Ritchie, have been staying in an upscale lodge in the capital Lilongwe and traveling in SUVs brought into the landlocked country ahead of visit.

Security has been tight, with press kept away from the star.

In Gumulira, an arid village of 6,000 people near the border with Zambia, the local chief said residents were grateful for the attention as well as the new school built with funds from Raising Malawi, which has earmarked $1.5 million to the village.

"We have lost many parents here," said George Gumulira, who is named after the village. "The school was built to give opportunities to the children. We are hoping for an extension and we have been told that Madonna will visit."

Esau Emalasoni, a 10-year-old child in the village, echoes the importance of the project.
"My parents are no longer here, so the village takes care of me," Emalasoni said. "I work in the fields, but I also go to school now."

Despite the gratitude, questions persist about whether Madonna and other Westerners who work for charities in Africa will succeed in providing long-term solutions at the grass roots level to the continent's biggest problems, such as fighting AIDS and alleviating poverty.

Critics have suggested the rush of goodwill campaigns is part of a public relations push.
"Every PR person says 'Which country do you want to adopt?'," Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff said recently when asked about Africa's popularity among celebrities. Others have questioned the stars' methods and motives.

Eyebrows were raised when it was revealed orphans at a care center funded by Raising Malawi would, as part of their studies, be taught a curriculum based on Spirituality for Kids, linked to the Kabbalah school of Jewish mysticism, of which Madonna is a follower.

"To me it's a phase they (celebrities) are going through. There's a lack of long-term commitment," said an aid worker in Lilongwe, who asked not to be identified. "Madonna will raise awareness internationally, but locally not much will happen."

The publicity surrounding Madonna's visit and rumors that she might have traveled to Malawi to adopt a child has also stoked unrealistic expectations among some children that they would be whisked away to a better life overseas.

Last week Malawi's independent Daily Times newspaper reported that a group of white visitors traveled two months ago to an orphanage supported by Madonna.

Mpheso Ngulube, 11, said she was told a famous, wealthy lady would take her to England, far from the village where her widowed mother supports her and six other children living in a one-room hut.

"They asked how I would feel about going to live in another country," she told the newspaper.
Mpheso's mother, Regina Chapotera, said living in a foreign country would be a great opportunity for her daughter but added that she hoped she would return home for holidays so that she could still see her.

Upcoming projects and releases

9 October 2006

Madonna will be staying in Malawi till October 13th and will fly from there to New York, where she will promote her new childrens book The English Roses, Too Good To be True with a book signing and a few public appearances.

American TV network NBC is scheduled to broadcast the recording of the Confessions Tour in London, with the title "Confessions Tour - Live in UK" somewhere in November 2006. However, a series of complaints from religious conservatists have obliged NBC to discuss whether the disputed scene of the crucifixion should be included or not. Many conservative groups have now asked to pull the show completely. On the other hand, Madonna's camp is likely to reject any change or cut in the show and will rather pull the show completely. No decision has been made so far. Apparently the contract between NBC and Madonna allows both parties to get out of the deal if no compromise regarding the content is reached.

While Jump is starting to get picked up by many European radio stations (US fans, request the song on your local radio!), the single release date has been pushed back again. According to, the US will receive the single on November 7th, which is one day after the scheduled UK release date.

Even if the NBC special would get cancelled, we can probably expect the live DVD of the Confessions Tour to be released in time for the Christmas season. Unfortunately the release of the Re-Invention Tour seems to be put on hold at this moment...

There are contradicting rumours on other fansites concerning the release of a new album. While some say Madonna will soon go back to the studio to record a follow-up for Confessions On A Dance Floor, with a tentative 2007 release, others say she won't be releasing new music next year and will instead be concentrating on more books. The next few months will clarify Madonna's actual plans.

Madonna serenaded by Malawi's AIDS orphans

Source: AFP - 6 October 2006

Madonna found herself in the audience when the AIDS orphans of Malawi performed a private concert for the visiting "Queen of Pop".

The US diva, who jetted into Malawi to inspect projects for children to which she has donated five million dollars (four-million-euro), was serenaded during a visit to the 128 residents of an orphanage outside the economic capital Blantyre.

Madonna in Malawi

Very much the star in an all-black ensemble with a zebra-stripe top, knee-high boots and dark glasses, she entered the centre under tight security. Reporters were not allowed to cover her visit.

The orphans welcomed the former "Material Girl", who was accompanied by her British filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie, with spiritual songs and the national anthem, the head of the orphanage said.

"She was happy to listen to our children sing," Annie Chikhwaza, founder and director of the centre, told reporters later.

Chikhwaza called Madonna, whose current avatar is linked to Kabbalah or the study of Jewish mysticism, a "wonderful lady and down to earth lovely person."

But Chikhwaza stressed that her orphanage had not received any funds from the pop star.

"Madonna has never given any finances to us at all .... We rely on gifts and donations," she said.

Madonna also distributed 28 copies of her children's book "The English Roses" which had been translated into Malawi's main language Chichewa under the title of "Flowers and Roses".

The star's trip, which began Wednesday, has clouded in secrecy with no itinerary published as Malawian authorities say she wants to keep it private.

There is also some confusion about the possible plans of the mother-of-two to adopt an African AIDS orphan.

"All indications are that she is looking for a boy and she will have to go and look around," Andrina Mchiela, principal secretary in Malawi's women and gender affairs ministry told AFP on Wednesday.

Mchiela added: "Madonna wants complete privacy on the adoption process... and we will need to respect that."

But the singer's publicist dismissed adoption reports swirling around the star as "completely inaccurate."

"She has not adopted a child," Madonna's publicist Liz Rosenberg said in a statement emailed to AFP.

"She went on a private visit to Malawi to participate in the building of an orphanage and several other initiatives that are all under the auspices of an organization called Raising Malawi."

The singer and actress is scheduled to meet a senior minister, Chimunthu Banda, for talks on Friday in the administrative capital Lilongwe.

In an interview with Time magazine in August, Madonna explained her new socially conscious persona.

"Now that I have children and now that I have what I consider to be a better perspective on life, I have felt responsible for the children of the world," Madonna has said.

"I've been doing bits and bobs about it and I suppose I was looking for a big, big project I could sink my teeth into," she said, referring to the project in Malawi.

Jump Maxi-single release date delayed again

5 October 2006

After already 2 delays, is now listing the American Maxi-single of Jump with an October 24th street date.

This might seem to be bad news, keep in mind now that the video is out and airplay is growing, the single will have more exposure at its release date. poll about Live To Tell performance

5 October 2006 is holding a poll if Madonna's infamous performance of Live To Tell should be aired on NBC or not. Current results are 95%-5%, be sure to vote so the amazing performance could make it!

Madonna visits orphanage in Malawi

Source: AP - 5 October 2006

Madonna visited an orphanage in Malawi's commercial capital Thursday on the second day of a trip to highlight the plight of AIDS orphans, which prompted speculation she was about to adopt a child herself.

The pop star was greeted by about 50 children as she arrived in a four-vehicle convoy. Bodyguards prevented journalists from getting access to the premises or approaching her.

Madonna's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said the star was on a private visit working on projects for children and dismissed statements from Malawian government officials that she had adopted a boy.

"Madonna has not adopted a baby boy as has been previously and incorrectly reported," Rosenberg said in an e-mail to The Associated Press in Los Angeles. "She is on a private visit to Malawi and is involved in the building of an orphanage/child care center as well as other initiatives to help the children of that country who have lost parents to AIDS.

"I have no information or confirmation regarding Madonna adopting an individual child. She's kind of adopting an entire country of children," Rosenberg said.

Malawi is among the poorest countries in the world, trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of hunger and disease. Just over 14 percent of the 12 million population is infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and an estimated 1 million children have been orphaned.

Madonna's project, called Raising Malawi, aims to set up an orphan care center to provide food, education and shelter for up to 4,000 children. It will have projects based on Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism that has gained popularity in recent years and which counts the 48-year-old singer among its devotees.

The care center is based in Mphandula, a village about 30 miles from Lilongwe.

There had been reports that Madonna would visit Mphandula, as well as two orphanages in the commercial capital Blantyre. However, there was no sign of the star and organizers refused to give details of her itinerary.

Philippe van den Bossche, project coordinator for Raising Malawi, merely said he welcomed the visit to the southern African state by their patron.

"Any organization would be happy to know that they are being supported by such a beacon of hope. We are very grateful for the work she is doing in the country and for the project. She is an extraordinary inspiration and will hopefully inspire people to put children first," he said.

Van Den Bossche said the orphan care center would be completed in March, a year after work on it was started.

In villages like Mphandula, many orphans are cared for either by siblings or grandparents, who struggle to find food for the extended family. The village has no electricity and the inhabitants live in mud and thatched huts.

In a letter on the organization's Web site, Madonna said she hoped to help "bring an end to the extreme poverty and degradation suffered by Malawi's orphans."

The 48-year-old star joins a growing list of entertainers who have focused on Africa.

Jump cover and full video

5 October 2006

Check out Google Video for the full version (3'29) of the Jump video. On the right you'll find a download link for the .asf file, as well as the supposed single cover (as portrayed here on the right).

Jump cover

Madonna adopts entire village, not a baby

Source: VH1 - 5 October 2006

Madonna was on the fast track to be a mother of three on Wednesday (October 4), when reports first surfaced from Africa that the singer had added a new child to her family from the southeastern.

African nation of Malawi. The singer was in the country to inspect a multimillion-dollar project she's funded to support AIDS orphans when government officials jumped the gun and incorrectly told reporters Madonna had another agenda - to adopt a child.

After she arrived early Wednesday in the capital city of Lilongwe, government officials told reporters Madonna chose the boy she adopted from a group of 12 children culled from four orphanages in the city. Andrina Mchiela - a top official in Malawi's Ministry for Gender and Child Welfare - told reporters Madonna had originally wanted to adopt a girl but changed her mind two weeks ago and asked to choose from a group of boys instead.

Director of Social Welfare Benston Kilimbe told reporters Madonna was expected to file the adoption papers on Thursday and would be required to stay with the child for 18 months before the papers would be finalized. Since Madonna was unable to stay in Malawi for that period, the government waived its ban on nonresident adoptions for the singer, and the child will be in the care of the Network of Organizations for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children.

However, Madonna's rep said the reports - from Reuters, The Associated Press and elsewhere - were erroneous. "Despite reports stating otherwise, she has not adopted a baby boy," the singer's longtime spokesperson, Liz Rosenberg, said Wednesday. "There is no paperwork being finalized. She is visiting orphanages and totally involved in the building of a new orphanage and other initiatives to help the children of Malawi whose parents have died from the AIDS epidemic. So she is adopting an entire country of children."

Madonna had already expressed a deep commitment to the region, which she first announced in an August story in Time magazine. In the article, she said she was committing $3 million to an initiative called Raising Malawi to help orphans in the country, which has been plagued by AIDS, malaria and drought (see "Madonna Promises Big Bucks To Help Aid Orphans In African Nation").

The orphan-care center, which aims to feed and educate 1,000 children a day, will be based in Mphandula, about 30 miles outside the Malawian capital of Lilongwe. The curriculum will include Kabbalah's Spirituality for Kids program (Michael Berg, founder of Los Angeles' Kabbalah Center, is co-founding Madonna's Raising Malawi initiative).

Many of the orphans who would go there have relatives in the area that would provide them shelter, so Madonna's also partnering with developing-world economic expert Jeffrey Sachs, who previously worked with Bono and Jolie, to improve the health, agriculture and economy of a nearby village. She's also met with Bill Clinton to see if they can bring low-cost medicine to the area.

"Now that I have children and now that I have what I consider to be a better perspective on life, I have felt responsible for the children of the world," Madonna told Time. "I suppose I was looking for a big, big project I could sink my teeth into."

The proceeds from Madonna's next book, "The English Roses: Too Good to Be True," due October 24, will also be donated to the Raising Malawi project. In support of the charity, her publishers will release a limited edition of the book in Chichewa, the official language of Malawi. Madonna will distribute the volumes throughout the country.

Madonna's also planning a documentary about the plight of children in Malawi.

"My intent is to bring attention to the millions of children in Africa who are dying every day and are living without care, without medicine and without hope," Madonna said in a recent statement. "I am asking people to open their hearts and minds to get involved in whatever way they can."

Madonna has two children of her own: 6-year-old son Rocco with husband Guy Ritchie and 9-year-old daughter Lourdes with former boyfriend/trainer Carlos Leon. Lourdes turns 10 on October 14.

Liz denies adoption plans

Source: Reuters - 5 October 2006

A spokeswoman for Madonna on Wednesday denied claims by officials in the African nation of Malawi that the pop star had adopted a one-year-old orphan boy there.

Spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg called the report "completely inaccurate" but said Madonna was not bothered by it because it would draw attention to the problems of children in the impoverished African nation.

Rosenberg, said Madonna was visiting orphanages in Malawi this week as part of a charitable program to provide care for an estimated 1 million children who are without parents in the southern African nation, many of them suffering from AIDS.

"She has not adopted a child," Rosenberg told Reuters. "She went on a private visit to Malawi ... to participate in the building of an orphanage and several other initiatives that are all under the auspices of an organization called Raising Malawi."

Rosenberg said there was no truth to statements from the Malawian government that Madonna had chosen to adopt a year-old boy from among 12 children specially selected prior to her arrival in the capital city of Lilongwe on Wednesday.

"She asked us to identify boys only, which we have done after visiting four orphanages in Lilongwe," government spokeswoman Adrina Michiela said, adding that Madonna had wanted to adopt a girl but changed her mind two weeks ago.

"None of that is accurate," said Rosenberg, who acts as Madonna's chief spokeswoman at her Warner Records music label.

Malawian officials were not immediately available for comment on the denial by Madonna.

Asked whether the 48-year-old star, already a mother of two children with her husband, British filmmaker Guy Richie, was making adoption plans or contemplating adopting a child in the future, Rosenberg said, "I have no idea."

Rosenberg said she had spoken to Madonna directly since the adoption story broke and that the singer was not angry about the situation.

"I think that anything that brings attention to the country is fine with her, even if it's information that's not correct," the publicist said. "She wants people to pay attention to Malawi and to the 1 million children who don't have parents and don't have care there."

Madonna's trip has stoked high expectations in Malawi, a nation of 13 million people who are dependent on tobacco exports. According to the Raising Malawi Web site (, at least 1 million children are orphans in Malawi and about 30 percent of them have AIDS.

Madonna has said she plans to spend at least $3 million on programs to support orphans in Malawi and another $1 million to fund a documentary about the plight of children in the country.

She traveled to Mphandula, a village 12.5 miles outside Lilongwe, where she is funding the construction of the Raising Malawi center to feed and educate about 1,000 orphans.

Jump video preview

4 October 2006

While we're waiting for the full version to premiere, we've received a preview of the video for Madonna's latest single Jump. The video was filmed in Tokyo during the Japanese leg of the Confessions Tour in Tokyo.

Screen caps from the Jump video

While we see Madonna's dancers jumping and running all over Tokyo, Madonna is only seen inside a studio, surrounded by flashy neon signs, typical for the Japanese capital.

She's sporting the platinum blond wig and wearing a black fighting jacket. She doesn't dance or jump much in the movie but limits herself to some fighting kicks and moves. You can see the one-minute review on YouTube.

Madonna, in Malawi, plans to adopt child

Source: AP - 4 October 2006

Madonna arrived in Malawi on Wednesday on a humanitarian mission to help orphans and the underprivileged in the impoverished southern African nation.

The pop star and an entourage of 10 people landed on a private plane in the capital, Lilongwe, just after 9 a.m. The visit had not been announced.

Andrina Mchiela, secretary to the minister for gender and child welfare, said Madonna planned to adopt a Malawian child during her visit.

She is also meant to fund six projects to benefit underprivileged children, including setting up an orphanage.

Madonna earlier this year announced plans to raise at least $3 million for programs to support the nearly 1 million children in Malawi who have lost parents to AIDS. Malawi is among the poorest countries in the world, hit by years of drought as well as an AIDS epidemic.

Madonna joins a growing list of stars who have focused their attention on Africa, the world's poorest continent, including Bono, Angelina Jolie and George Clooney.

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