30 November - Confessions Tour DVD release date confirmed
The rumoured DVD release date of the Confessions Tour has now been confirmed by ICON: "The DVD will be released on January 22, 2007 internationally, January 23, 2007 in the US. Keep checking the ICON site for more exclusive news about the Confessions DVD." They alsopremiered the DVD cover, made by Giovanni Bianco.
Fansite DrownedMadonna adds the following interesting information:
The DVD will include the whole show.
It will be released in two formats:
1) CD+DVD on digipack (CD format) : 15,19 €
2) DVD (DVD format) : 16,50 €
According to latest information, the CD will feature 8 tracks recorded live.
29 November - Stalled Jump
Keith Caulfield from Ask Billboard discusses the unfortunate fate of Jump in America:
Madonna's latest single Jump seems to be skipping the American top 40. I remember an article in Billboard stating how the single was aiming at the AC/Adult Contemporary radio format, however hasn't it stalled at No. 23.
Though, I know the release of the single to iTunes and retail stores prompted its No. 5 peak on the Hot 100 Bubbling Under chart. Is it still possible for it to enter The Billboard Hot 100?
Of course it is still possible for Jump to reach The Billboard Hot 100. Is it likely? Not really. But hey, anything can happen.
Jump was an AC/Adult Contemporary hit. Of course, our definitions of "hit" might differ. It went to No. 23 on the AC chart (this week it's No. 24) and almost reached the Hot AC chart. Warner Bros, Madonna's record label, specifically promoted the single to AC and Hot AC stations. They wanted to establish the song as a hit at those formats before they attempted to bring it to top 40 radio. With the song having faded somewhat, I'd venture to guess that any promotion of the single to top 40 is quite unlikely.
Meanwhile, over on the Official U.K. Singles Chart, Jump recently became Confessions On A Dance Floor's fourth top 10 single.
So far, Confessions has sold 1.6 million in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. The song Jump, in all of its assorted remixes and versions, has sold 31,000 digital downloads and another 8,000 singles.
29 November - NBC special fails to score ratings
The controversial broadcast of Madonna's Confessions tour special on US TV failed to lure viewers and ended up finishing fourth in its time slot.
US network NBC made headlines when it censored the concert and refused to broadcast controversial footage of the pop star hanging from a crucifix during one of her songs.
The special Madonna: Confessions Tour was broadcast on Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving, and failed to find an audience.
Among those shows beating Madonna were CBS drama Jericho, ABC's Show Me The Money and Fox broadcasting of the movie Cheaper By The Dozen. (source: TeenMusic)
29 November - Madonna adoption dispute denied
An African baby girl at the centre of an alleged adoption dispute involving Madonna has settled into her new home with an Australian couple. John and Angela Wilmot made world headlines last week (ends26NOV06) after it was reported that the pop star and her husband Guy Ritchie wanted to adopt the same little girl they had hoped to add to their family. The Australian missionaries collected baby JESSICA from the Kondanani orphanage in Malawi on Saturday (25NOV06).
According to Australia's Sunday Telegraph, the couple won permission on Friday (24NOV06) to foster Jessica, pending a full adoption. John says, "She's with us now, and that's where she's staying. We're her foster parents... we're just waiting for the adoption paperwork to go through." The couple say they were saddened their first days at home with their new baby had been overshadowed by the media storm created by false reports of Madonna's involvement. John adds, "Madonna did visit the orphanage where Jessica was, but there was no 'tug-of-love'. She never had any intention of adopting her." Media reports last week (ends26NOV06) claimed Madonna was keen to adopt Jessica after also adopting 13-month-old David Banda from Malawi in September (06). (source: ContactMusic)
27 November - Madonna at Diana memorial concert?
The British royal sons plan to honor Diana with an all-star charity concert, potentially featuring Madonna, the Killers, and others.
Britain's princes William and Harry have planned an ambitious concert bash to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. The concert, to be held July 1, will be a charity event supporting the many causes Diana was devoted to before her untimely death as a result of a car crash in 1997.
It will be among the first concerts to be held in the new 1.5 billion dollar Wembley Stadium, which is still being built, and will host nearly 90,000 fans. Though no acts have been confirmed, word has it that Madonna, Beyonce, Pharrell, and the Killers are being courted to perform, as well as shoe-ins Elton John and George Michael. All the artists will be chosen by William and Harry, with regard to their mother's taste, of course. An official announcement is expected next month. (source: Spin)
27 November - Thompson praises Madonna adoption
Actress Emma Thompson has praised Madonna for adopting Malawian baby David Banda last month.
The Sense And Sensibility star has seen the plight of Malawi's children orphaned by AIDS first hand after becoming involved in charity work in the African country.
Shocked by the suffering she saw, in 2003 Thompson also welcomed an African orphan - 16-year-old Tindy - into her home after meeting the Rwandan refugee in London.
And the 47-year-old is convinced Madonna has made the right decision, despite taking David away from his native country and culture.
She says, "Malawi is a very difficult country, with tremendous problems with AIDS.
"While I understand the arguments about taking people away from their culture, there is a culture of deprivation and poverty that is not fun to be part of.
"She found a child in desperate need. Some people want to bring up a child personally, others want to act in a more general way, but both ways are surely to be welcomed." (source: WENN)
26 November - UK fans get uncensored tale told on cross
The UK Broadcast of Confessions Tour is already better than the one on NBC earlier this week: Madonna was shown on the cross during the Live To Tell performance in all her glory without the second verse being cut! It seems they are getting less commercial breaks, the middle finger during Sorry was shown and I Love New York wasn't bleeped out.
25 November - Confessions DVD now set for January
French website FNAC now lists the Confessions Tour DVD with a release date set to January 22nd, 2007. This seems to be possible because the tour special is still broadcast worldwide all through December up to New Year's Eve. It is also said that the concert on the DVD will be unedited, unlike the version shown on tv.
25 November - The story of Madonna's guilty horse
The horse bought for Madonna's birthday by her husband Guy Ritchie grew up on a Welsh farm, it has been revealed.
Madonna's grey gelding Tom, real name Ystrad Dewi Briton, was a 47th birthday present.
He was one of half-a-dozen horses that Ritchie brought to their 1,200-acre Wiltshire she shares with him and her children Rocco and Lourdes for a birthday treat.
She chose the horse that was born and reared on Lloyd Jones's Ceredigion farm.
"She has inquired indirectly about where he was born and where he grazed during the first period of his life," said Lloyd, who writes a fortnightly Welsh language column in the Western Mail's Tuesday Country & Farming supplement.
"If she turned up, I'd invite her in for a cup of tea and give her a special welcome in the hopes that she would buy another - I'm a Cardi after all.
"And if they heard about it I think the people of Tregaron and Llanddewi Brefi would all be down here as well.
"They'd make good use of her for photos and autographs."
Ritchie gathered together a large number of horses with the idea that Madonna could choose the one she liked best - and at first she got it wrong.
The singer leapt straight onto the back of a polo pony, which promptly took off at speed and unseated her. She suffered a broken collarbone, broken hand and three broken ribs.
She said at the time, "It was a wake-up call to appreciate my life, to be more grateful for what I have. It reaffirms my continued aspirations to learn and do as much as I can while on this earth."
Later she decided that Tom was the horse for her and she has since taken riding lessons with British Olympic silver medallist William Fox-Pitt and has built a jumping course at her Wiltshire estate. Horses, horse-riding and riding accidents also featured prominently in Madonna's extravagant show at Wembley Arena in August.
It's all a different world to the small farm where Tom took his first unsteady steps in 1998 as the latest in a long and noble lineage of Wales's native horse breed.
His mother, Ystrad Dewi Victoria, has won many top prizes at the Royal Welsh Show, and is still with Lloyd Jones - and in foal again - at his home near Llanddewi Brefi.
Now a gelding, Tom is a grandson of the renowned Ebbw Victor, four times Royal Welsh male champion between 1983 and 1997, who won the coveted Prince of Wales cup before retiring in 1998.
Lloyd sold Tom as a foal shortly after he was born, but declined to reveal the price.
He emerged again in May, 2005, at the annual Brightwells Spring Sale at Builth Wells when he was bought by veteran pony dealer Tom Bowdler of Stafford for £1,250.
"He was a lovely cob and I bought him as a family horse," said Mr Bowdler, 80.
"Our eldest grand-daughter Kelly Lloyd loved riding him and I did not want to sell him, but things happen."
What happened was a conversation with a friend, trick rider Gerard Naprous, whose Devil's Horsemen stunt team provides popular entertainment at country shows, and who frequently works in the film industry.
"I was taking Tom - who was already called that when we bought him - to Oswestry Show and Gerard was there and said he had a client who was looking for a nice horse," said Mr Bowdler.
Soon afterwards an agent turned up at the Bowdler home - the aptly-named Cob Cottage in Norbury, Stafford.
"After a bit of talking he said the client was Madonna's husband looking for a 47th birthday present and they wanted to take him down to her estate for a few days for a trial. Then a great big lorry turned up and took him off and they had him for about two weeks before deciding to buy him."
Mr Bowdler said he and his wife Ann were horrified when they heard that Madonna had been thrown by a new horse on her 47th birthday.
They breathed again when they heard that it was a bay mare polo pony, one of half-a-dozen that the singer was being asked to choose from.
"It was all very exciting for us. We're a bit like country bumpkins really and I've been dealing in horses all my life. We've had Welsh cobs for years, often buying youngsters and bringing them on before selling them at Builth, but I've never known anything like this."
Mr Bowdler refused to say how much Madonna paid for the horse, but he said, "We were satisfied."
Mr Bowdler said Tom was a wonderful example of a Welsh cob.
"They have a bit of bone on them and will carry an adult or a child," he said.
"He has made a very nice cob and I think he has a home for life now," he said.Now Mr Jones is half expecting to open his front door one day and find Madonna on the doorstep. (source: icWales)
23 November - A tribute to Madonna's current and former selves
Will Madonna ever get old? She may acquire more gravitas, continue to mature emotionally, find greater meaning in her work with Kaballah, but will she ever look arthritic, puffy, menopausal? This increasingly seems doubtful. Madonna no longer re-invents, she maintains.
It is the sheer spectacularity of her physical form, the near menacing force of it, and that alone largely, that sustains your attention in Confessions Tour, the two-hour film of a concert she gave at the Wembley arena in London this past summer, which was broadcast on NBC Wednesday night and will be re-shown on Bravo. With each tour Madonna has embarked on in recent years, her deltoids seem to grow more regally expansive and robust, and her arms more wing-like. Toward the end of the Wembley show, part of a worldwide tour pegged to her album Confessions On A Dance Floor, Madonna sings one of its hits, Hung Up, about a woman who migrates between boredom and agony as she waits for a man to call. But who could this man possibly be? Unless Madonna is expecting a call from Wladimir Klitschko, about meeting him in the boxing ring, the sight of her affecting weakness leaves you feeling as you would if you were forced to watch Ethel Mermen impersonate Chet Baker.
Confessions Tour pays tribute to Madonna’s current and former selves with dizzying jump cuts and all the spectacle — the acrobatics, playground sets, 600 costume changes — that have become the hallmark of her concerts.
Today, Madonna, 47, is a concerned citizen of the world. She has made African AIDS orphans one of her causes and recently adopted a baby from Malawi, causing some controversy. At one point in the concert she sings Live To Tell against the backdrop of various images of children in Africa and a speeding tally of the number who have been left parentless. But here again, her perfect musculature produces a kind of dissonance. Madonna doesn’t have an altruist’s body, she has a denier’s. What you’re tallying in your head when you watch her dance with the strength and agility of a 19-year old, are the number of hours she is spending each day practicing ashtanga, running hills, bench-pressing the weight of a Regency table. You are counting all the calories Madonna is not eating.
In addition to keeping up her legendary physical regimen, Madonna now also rides horses on her country estate in England. Some have seen this as another aspect of her Anglo-philic pretensions, but really what is surprising is that it took her so long to cotton on to a sport so steeped in the dynamic of submission and control. Madonna the equestrian seems the most inevitable Madonna of all. Perhaps realizing that on some level, she opened her Wembley show looking as if she were about to ride in some re-imagining of Ascot. Madonna dances around, directing men on all fours before she rides an apparatus meant to look like an electric horse.
In Confessions Tour, Madonna travels back to the beginning of her career, before she was encumbered with the need to do good. The documentary I’m Going To Tell You A Secret, which follows her on her 2004 world tour, reveals a Madonna who wants to learn all the time, who hugs her assistant and dancers, who wishes she had been nicer to people when she was young. Perhaps she knows that many in her audience miss the Madonna of so many Madonnas ago, the one who refused refinement and probably thought Oxford was just an insurance company.
Confessions Tour gets deeper and deeper into her early disco years as it progresses with Madonna getting in and out of a Saturday Night Fever tuxedo and Jane Fonda-aerobics gear before it’s all over, as if to tell us that sometimes, yes, she misses her, too. (source: The New York Times)
23 November - Madonna rocks NBC but with an edited show
The long awaited NBC broadcast of the Confessions Tour finally happened last night. We at Mad-Eyes haven't seen the full broadcast yet but we've been reading fan reports and they are generally very positive. Unfortunately the show has been interrupted by commercials several times and not everything was shown. During Live To Tell, the screens are shown until Madonna comes off the cross and the whole second verse was cut out unfortunately!
No surprise in Sorry remix video being cut, but also Drowned World, Paradise & Lucky Star were left out only to make room for commercials. Gone are all the speeches of Madonna too and the swearing in I Love New York is bleeped out. But apart from all this, the special seems to be amazing, the screens are blended into the actual performance footages perfectly, notable highlights being the dazzling opener Future Lovers, Music Inferno (its intro is absent though) and the closer Hung Up. We can't wait for the European broadcast! (thanx to Drownedmadonna for the screencap)
21 November - Madonna brings The English Roses to tv shopping
Just in time for the holidays, Madonna will make her TV shopping debut on HSN to promote an exclusive set of books from The English Roses, her successful children's book series. Madonna recently sat down with HSN's Callie Northagen to share candid details about the inspiration behind her newest book, The English Roses: Too Good To Be True, which will air on the shopping network and www.HSN.com November 24, 25 and 26. HSN, an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) , will donate a portion of the proceeds of the books to Raising Malawi (www.raisingmalawi.org), an orphan-care initiative benefiting the children of Malawi in Africa. Madonna will donate all of her proceeds to the organization as well.
"Launching The English Roses book series and my new title, The English Roses: Too Good To Be True, through this broadcast is a great chance to reach millions of homes," Madonna said.
"HSN is thrilled to be partnering with Madonna to support 'Raising Malawi' through the offering of her latest children's book The English Roses: Too Good To Be True," said Bill Brand, Senior Vice President of Programming at HSN. "These books are terrific holiday gifts that give back by supporting a worthwhile cause. Madonna's appearance on HSN will provide our viewers with interesting details about her beautiful books and allow them to discover a completely different side of this extremely talented artist."
HSN will offer the English Roses gift set (HSN item # 214-019) for $29.95, which includes: the original The English Roses and its sequel The English Roses: Too Good to Be True; Madonna Reads, an audio CD of Madonna reading the first five of her popular children's books; and an exclusive, collectible 8 X 10 illustration. HSN show times are available online at www.HSN.com.
Too Good to Be True continues the story of five young girls -- the best of friends -- and their adventures in planning their first school dance. Their friendship is tested by the arrival of new student Dominic de la Guardia, whose dashing looks and charming manners have them vying for his attention. The colorful 64-page jacketed hardcover is stylishly illustrated by Stacy Peterson.
Madonna made publishing history with the global release of The English Roses published simultaneously in 30 languages in more than 100 countries in 2003. It became the fastest-selling book written by a first-time children's author and stayed on the New York Times' Children's Bestseller List for 18 weeks. The English Roses is now available in 40 languages worldwide. Her following four books -- Mr. Peabody's Apples, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, The Adventures of Abdi, and Lotsa de Casha -- are also worldwide bestsellers and will be available on HSN and www.HSN.com.
In the United States, Madonna's books are published by Callaway Arts & Entertainment and distributed by Penguin Young Readers Group. Foreign rights are licensed by The Wylie Agency, New York and London. (source: Elites TV)
21 November - Madonna on Access Hollywood tonight
A newsletter from Madonna.com reminds us of the Confessions Tour broadcast tomorrow, but they also report about an interview at Access Hollywood, aired tonight, where Madonna is expected to share her thoughts of the tv broadcast and her tour memories. Check your local listings for interview times!
~ Regarding the broadcast, there are some unconfirmed rumours about some songs being cut, making the show more focused at Madonna's biggest hits and her latest Confessions On A Dance Floor...
20 November - Confessions DVD to include unedited Live To Tell
When Madonna brought her Confessions tour to London’s Wembley Arena last August, more than one British critic compared the spectacle to a circus.
"Madonna's Confessions tour... is an all-round extravaganza of singing, dancing, dressing up, gymnastics, innovative design and creative use of video. It's not so much a pop concert as a 21st Century circus," wrote Tim De Lisle in The Sunday Mail.
“[Is it] the greatest show on earth?" asked Kitty Empire in The Observer. "Not quite. There are moments of exquisiteness... and bits where your buttocks clench involuntarily. Madonna's use of visuals is usually to blame for the latter."
Like them or not, the visual aspects of Madonna’s concert - which traveled the world in support of her Confessions On A Dance Floor CD - will be front and center this week on NBC as Madonna brings one of her concerts to network TV for the first time.
Actually, make that two concerts; this two-hour special is derived from two of the eight shows she performed at the 12,750-seat arena last summer. And make that most - not all - of the shows’ visual elements.
Most famously, a scene in which Madonna is suspended crucifixion-style from a giant cross has been excised from the special reportedly under pressure from network executives.
One of the special's executive producers insists the discussions over the crucifixion scenes were not acrimonious, as some reports indicated.
"In the end, it was her decision [to cut the scene]," says the producer, Guy Oseary, who is also one of Madonna's two managers. "She came up with [the solution]. She was told the information. She just sat on it and said, 'Here's what I want to do.'"
Her decision was likely made easier by the fact that a Confessions DVD, due to be released soon, will contain the crucifixion scene.
And, since the tightly choreographed shows on this particular tour were each one hour and 50 minutes, not much had to be cut to produce "Madonna: The Confessions Tour Live."
In this tour’s concerts, Madonna was first seen emerging from a giant disco ball dressed in a Jean-Paul Gaultier costume inspired by riding gear.
Indeed, the Wembley concerts' first themed segment - of four - is titled "Equestrian," followed by "Bedouin," "Never Mind the Bollocks" and "Disco."
Through it all, four massive video screens show images that are in constant motion.
The Confessions tour was the highest-grossing concert tour ever mounted by a female artist. The album has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.
With Madonna's popularity soaring, she and her people felt the time was right to put her on network TV. "We felt like reaching the masses," Oseary says.
"And with this album, at this time, it felt right." (New York Post)
17 November - Sneak peek of tour broadcast
The broadcast of the Confessions Tour is just a few days away on NBC (Wednesday, November 22nd 8 pm EST), so they made a website dedicated to Madonna. You can watch an amazing commercial with Music Inferno being played during additional footage of Like It Or Not, Get Together & Hung Up. There's also a gallery with 44 gorgeous pictures of almost all the performed songs. We don't know if this is an indication of which songs are left out, but there are no shots of Isaac, Sorry & Drowned World. The infamous cross performance of Live To Tell is included, but Madonna will be shown only when she comes down from the cross and sings the bridge (picture on the right).
17 November - Madonna rubbishes new adoption reports
Pop star Madonna has slammed reports she plans to adopt a baby girl from Malawi. The singer and her husband Guy Ritchie made headlines when they adopted one-year-old David Banda from the African country last month (OCT06). She was this week claimed to reveal, "I'm going to adopt another Malawian child very quickly.
A baby girl this time, in order to redress the balance. "But first I would like to give Rocco and Lourdes a little time to get used to David." Madonna's representative, Liz Rosenberg, tells American publication Life + Style the reports are false and the quotes are fabricated. She says, "Madonna has stated that she wishes she could adopt all the children of Malawi, and in a way I guess she is, building her orphan care centre through the Raising Malawi Organisation. "But there are no plans to actually adopt another child." (source: ContactMusic)
17 November - Celebrating Confessions On A Dance Floor
Now that we're anticipating the broadcast of the tour, let's not forget that Madonna's latest album turned a year old. Although the exact anniversary date happened earlier this week, but still it's an important landmark to remember. Confessions On A Dance Floor, Madonna's eleventh album was heralded as a return to form, to dance music. Produced by Stuart Price, Mirwais Ahmadzaï and Bloodshy & Avant, Madonna paid homage to the music of the 70s and 80s, including Abba, Giorgio Moroder, Donna Summer, Kraftwerk & The Pet Shop Boys, but with a new twist, making the record to sound current, not dated. Four singles were released from the project, Hung Up, Sorry, Get Together & Jump, earning 4 top 10 hits in the UK, including two #1s.
Unfortunately Madonna is not welcomed on the US charts anymore, but she still managed to score a top 10 hit with Hung Up. The Abba-sampling track was a huge worldwide hit, becoming one of Madonna's greatest ever hits (joining the likes of La Isla Bonita, Like A Prayer, Vogue and Music). With the help of a promo tour and a world tour, the album sold more than 8 million copies worldwide, an amazing feat for an artist after more than 20 years in the music business. We're looking forward to Madonna's next effort and we hope it will be just as irresistible and catchy as Confessions On A Dance Floor!
16 November - Like A Prayer among all-time top 100 albums
Time Magazine posted a list of their all-time top 100 albums, with Madonna having one entry with 1989's Like A Prayer:
This is the moment Madonna peaked as a pop star and mass media manipulator. First, the manipulation. In the title's track's video, Madonna kisses a saint, shows off some self-induced stigmata and dances in a field of burning crosses. Caving in to protests from religious groups, Pepsi pulled out of a Madonna sponsorship deal (she held on to a $5 million payday) and the whole episode generated enough publicity to ensure the album's debut at No. 1. Brilliant. As it happens, so was the record. Like A Prayer was a genuinely soulful first single and Express Yourself merged Madonna's dance sensibility with her strongest feminist message. Stephen Bray, Patrick Leonard and Prince (yes, that Prince) rescued the few middling tracks with production that elevated Madonna's voice out of its early bubble gum phase and into something resembling a real instrument.
16 November - Jump Bubbles Under
After Get Together, Jump also misses the Billboard Hot 100 but enters the Bubbling Under chart at #5 (#105 if we add it to the Hot 100). It is Madonna's 3rd single to reach only the Bubbling Under, after Everybody & Get Together. Unfortunately it is highly unlikely that it will go higher.
16 November - Madonna gets a World Music Award
Last night, the World Music Awards were held in Earls Court, London. The ceremony also saw Madonna, 48, cement her position as the Queen of Pop following criticism over her adoption of Malawian baby David Banda.
She was named the World's Best Pop Artist, beating nominees Robbie Williams and Justin Timberlake at the show, hosted by actress and party animal Lindsay Lohan, 20. (source: Launch)
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