14 February - H&M campaign pictures
On March 22, 2007 clothing chain H&M will start its new campaign for their clothing line "M by Madonna". The photographs for this campaign have been made by Madonna's favorite photographer of the moment Steven Klein. And when we see the result, we know why - we could only have wished Klein had also made last year's Versace shoot, because his work is beyond doubt superior. Fellow fansite DrownedMadonna has posted high quality versions of the pictures.
14 February - Sirius Radio interview
Madonna was interviewed by American radio station Sirius. The radio DJ and Madonna talked about the CD/DVD release and about the Confessions Tour. Madonna told about how the Confessions Tour was her favorite tour because "Whatever I do last, is my favorite". She also said she liked performing on the catwalk and the satellite stages because it brought her closer to the audience.
They discused the cross scene and how she thought most people did get the message she intended. While discussing her guitar playing on tour, Madonna mentioned that she plays the guitar when writing her own music "That"s what I'm doing right now. When the DJ suggested doing a full-on rock 'n' roll album, she laughed "I'll go downstairs right now and tell that to Pharrell".
The DJ of the gay radio also asked her why she thought gay people like her so much. She said she has always felt a strong connection to gays and that she thought "Gay men are perfect for women who are tough, because they don't feel threatened by them". Listen to the interview here.
13 February - Madonna wins Elle style icon award
Queen of Pop Madonna has been crowned top style icon at the Elle Style Awards.
The 48-year-old was honoured for a career which has spanned two decades and countless different looks.
Her constant reinvention has taken her from backcombed hair and fingerless gloves in the Eighties to her most recent incarnation as a leotard-clad disco diva.
The Material Girl launches her new designs for high street store H&M next month.
The Elle magazine awards - billed as "the unofficial fashion Oscars" - were held at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London.
Naomi Campbell was named best model.
Spanish beauty Penelope Cruz, fresh from her appearance at the Baftas, picked up the best film award for Volver.
Thandie Newton won best actress for The Pursuit of Happyness and Ashley Jensen was there to accept the best TV show prize for Ugly Betty. The best actor award went to Jude Law and Amy Winehouse won best British music act.
Stella McCartney was named best international designer. Presenters at the glamorous ceremony included Peaches Geldof, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Kelly Osbourne. (source: Yahoo! Launch)
12 February - First new H&M ad
The first H&M ad has arrived! M is the new - yet old - face of H&M, and the Queen of Pop is also working as designer.
Her Madgesty had a hand in creating all the items in the ad (even the glasses) for her M by Madonna line at the retail giant.
12 February - Madonna wins Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance album!
Last night, the winners of the 49th Grammy Awards have been announced.
Congratulations to Madonna whose album Confessions On A Dance Floor won the award for Best Electronic/Dance Album!
Other nominees in that category were Goldfrapp (Supernature), Oakenfold (A Lively Mind), Pet Shop Boys (Fundamental) and Zero 7 (The Garden).
Madonna was also nominated in the category Best Dance Recording award, which was won by Justin Timberlake's 'Sexy Back'.
Madonna's documentary I'm Going To Tell You A Secret lost to Bruce Springsteen's 'Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born To Run' in the category Best Long Form Music Video.
Throughout her career, Madonna has received 25 nominations at the Grammy Awards. Last nights award was the 6th she won.
In 1991, she won in the category Best Long Form Music Video with 'Blond Ambition World Tour: Live!'. 1999 was Madonna's big Grammy year, when she won three gongs for Best Pop Vocal Album (Ray of Light), Best Dance Recording (Ray of Light) and Best Short Form Music Video (Ray of Light). One year later Beautiful Stranger won in the category Best Song Specifically Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media.
Madonna did not attend last nights ceremony.
10 February - CD/DVD press review: Entertainment Weekly
Madonna must be seen as well as heard, as the video portion of The Confessions Tour — Live From London's CD/DVD combo proves. Whether emerging from a giant disco ball in an equestrian getup or hanging from a crucifix - no other performer has her knack for turning arena concerts into performance-art spectacle - Madge displays her genius for eye-popping (and scandal-seeking) tableaux. The CD is less engrossing, but it makes a good case for the 2005 Confessions... album - even the woozy Kabbalah anthem Isaac holds up with Madge's best. B+ (source: EW)
10 February - Madonna designs heading for the high street
Madonna - the world's highest earning female performer, worth an estimated £165 million - still has time for a few little jobs on the side.
Working closely with the Swedish fashion chain H&M, she has helped to create a high street collection closely based on her own glamorous wardrobe staples.
The range, M by Madonna, goes on sale next month and includes chic belted trench coats, an elegant black jersey maxi dress, a fitted, 1970s-inspired bomber jacket - one of Madonna's signature looks in recent years - and skinny black trousers.
This is Madonna's second collaboration with H&M. Her first, a track-suit that went on sale last summer amid much publicity, was regarded by many as a flop.
The 48-year-old singer has worked with fashion designers from Jean-Paul Gaultier to Stella McCartney during her career and ignited more style trends than any other performer.
H&M, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, has boosted profits by hooking up with big names including Karl Lagerfeld. (sourced: Telegraph)
09 February - Madonna reached out to producer Timbaland?
An article about famous hip hop producer Timbaland on MTV.com features an interesting mention of Madonna:
"I reached out to Madonna, and she was already trying to find me," Timbaland explained on Wednesday while in town for Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds tour. "I'm like, 'She was? Hmm.' It's funny. People will reach out to me, and I guess I beat them to the punch sometimes. It's crazy to see how many people want to work with me. I'm still in shock."
~ While this quote undoubtedly shows what Madonna's next direction is, it's far from a confirmation if they already recorded songs together or that she'd use him for her next album. Timbaland, by the way was responsible for a big slice of successful pop music last year, gaining huge hits with his work on Nelly Furtado's 'Loose' & Justin Timberlake's 'Futuresex/Lovesounds' albums. He's also reportedly collaborated with Icelandic songstress Björk.
09 February - The Confessions Tour debuts at #2 on United World Chart
The tour package earns a strong debut on the Mediatraffic United World Chart, entering at #2 (just behind Norah Jones) with sales of 195,000 copies. That's very decent for a live album, congratulations, Madonna!
09 February - CD/DVD press review: Madonna reinvents old songs in new DVD
Her concert was the highest grossing ever for a female artist in 2006 and now fans can relive the Confessions Tour with the release of the Confessions Tour Live CD/DVD (Warner Bros. Records).
Yes, it is Madonna with her follow-up to the Re-Invention Tour live CD/DVD. What makes this better than the previous one is her vocal range.
Having the opportunity to attend the concert last May, I realize now why her concerts sell out fast; it's the fact that fans will get a spectacular show from beginning to end.
In the DVD, that is what you get when she sings the track Future Lovers as Madonna channels her love of horses. Shot by famed photographer Steven Klein in June 2006 for W magazine, the 47-year old is shown in dominatrix wearing gear.
You think to yourself how can she look like that and you are jealous. But what impresses you the most is her vocal range as she sings the song itself.
There are four themes throughout the concert; the first is the horse-riding equestrian, next Jesus, James Brown and finally disco.
The only down side to having the audio CD is the fact that you have to imagine what happens with each song performed and that is where you have to say, thank goodness for the DVD.
Directed by Jonas Akerlunk, the entire concert is beautifully recorded. There is no need to worry about commercials getting in the way of you watching the concert tour like it happened when it aired on NBC.
However, the most exciting part of the concert is when Madonna performs the track, Erotica / You Thrill Me because essentially, the same music is kept but what changes are the lyrics to the 1992 hit single.
"You are who you are/and I wouldn't want to change a thing/in spite of/All the pain that love can bring/Tell me what can I do? I'm so in love with you/You thrill me/Surround me you fill me/You send me/You put me in a trance you thrill me/Inside me you take me?/You thrill me/You put me in a trance," she sings and you can hear it in her voice that she has developed into a singer.
Critics said Madonna wouldn't last in the music industry. That was 25 years ago, and look at her now. What do those critics have to say now?
What benefited Madonna the most was the fact that her voice was transformed during the production of the musical Evita in 1996 and it was noticed when she released Ray Of Light in 1998.
In addition, Madonna has a way with spectacular choreography during her concerts and this was no exception. During her performance of the single, Music, she channels Saturday Night Fever as well as inspiration from the Sweden band ABBA. That is where the leotard comes into play.
Amazing, I say. John Travolta has competition. So, what are you waiting for? You know you should pick up this CD because it is great and Madonna the ever-evolving, and fashion icon that everyone tries to emulate, there is only one Madonna and she has never sounded better. (source: Talon Marks)
09 February - CD/DVD press review: She has never been in better voice
For all her numerous genius pop moments it has always been easier to admire, rather than truly enjoy, Madonna in all her various incarnations - yes, shebroke the mould and rewrote the book on what female pop stars could do, but with each new reinvention she seemed just a little bit more desperate to shock, a little bit more desperate to provoke a reaction for anything rather than the music.
And even by her own wildly over the top standards, The Confessions Tour was something else, a bewildering, eye-popping visual feast, with something always going on, every last movement choreographed, every song draped in layers of meaning and allegory.
Yet it is, ultimately, a curiously cold and distancing spectacle with no room for intimacy, spontaneity or any human interaction.
There is so much scaffolding on display it could double as a builders convention, parts of it resemble nothing more than a gymnastics display, and even the most slavish of fans would admit that there are just too many ordinary songs in the set list.
As ever there is much to admire - she has never been in better voice, for a woman on the cusp of middle age she is in remarkable shape, and the best bits - Ray Of Light, Like A Virgin, I Love New York, Lucky Star, Hung Up - are very good. But next, surely, the most challenging thing Madonna could do would be to strip away all the glitz, artifice, dancers, and expensive sets and rely on her own formidable talents. (source: Belfast Telegraph)
09 February - CD/DVD press review: Madonna has more than secrets to share
Late last June, Madonna slid out a relatively unheralded (for her) but impressive live CD/DVD combo, I'm Going To Tell You A Secret. The release featured strong performances captured from her 2004 Re-Invention Tour, which was staged to promote her 2003 CD American Life. The Jonas Akerlund-directed DVD also documented her process of putting the show together, with side looks at her personal life - a la 1991's Truth or Dare.
The main thing wrong with I'm Going To Tell You A Secret was its timing: When it came out, Madonna had already embarked on her next tour to promote her 2005 release Confessions On A Dance Floor - a considerably better collection of songs than what American Life had to offer. And last year's tour proved to be the all-time top-grossing tour by a female artist.
So now out comes The Confessions Tour, a live CD/DVD combo that fills in the blanks left open by I'm Going To Tell You A Secret.
The Akerlund-directed two-hour DVD catches Madonna performing at London's Wembley Arena last August, a vivid spectacle that found her riding a saddle, playing guitar (albeit rhythm guitar), running around like a deranged runway model and holding court over dancers behaving like horses.
The show is keyed to movement - featuring everything from parkour performers to dancers on roller skates - complicated visual effects, dramatic mood shifts to accompany costume changes, and such displays as a giant, mirrored cross from which Madonna hangs to sing Live To Tell, a sightNBC refused to broadcast last fall when the network aired her concert.
There's so much going on that it's easy to miss the best part of the show: Madonna delivering fine live vocals to some of the greatest songs of her career. That's why the CD is handy, blocking out the DVD's distracting images so fans can concentrate on the music at the heart of Madonna's success.
Although the CD is an edited-down version of the DVD, both include a few well-recast oldies (Like A Virgin, Erotica, Music) but mostly feature her brilliant new dance songs, including the surreal Future Lovers (fused here with a rendition of "I Feel Love"), a pumped-up Jump and the bouncy Sorry. Both discs build in intensity to the show's finale, a propulsive version of Hung Up.
London went wild. (source: Knoxnews)
08 February - Belgian & Hungarian chart update
Madonna's latest Confessions Tour CD/DVD package has been enjoying a big success in our home countries too: in Belgium it reached new peaks at #3 (Flanders) and #1 (Wallonia). In Hungary, Madonna scored a double number one with topping both the Top 40 album & Top 20 DVD charts! Congratulations!
08 February - Prince Harry parties, gets weepy with Madonna
The third in line to the British throne partied it up with Madonna and her director husband, Guy Ritchie, Tuesday night, tossing back $197-a-pop champagne cocktails at a trendy London club, the London Evening Standard reports.
Prince Harry, 21, was eager to hear about Her Madgesty's Malawian adoption last October and was reportedly misty when recounting his own experiences with orphans on the African continent at the Mahiki club in the Mayfair section of the U.K. capital, the paper said.
"Harry wasn't drunk, even though he had a few cocktails from the Mahiki Treasure Chest," an unnamed source told the paper. "The more he talked to Guy about Africa, AIDS and the children, the more he was tearful. He seems to be a very sensitive guy."
The famous trio then traded exercise tips, according to the Evening Standard, including how much they train.
Last month, Prince Harry began training for a possible mission to Iraq, the U.K. Sunday Times reported. (source: Fox News)
07 February - Live video promoting Tour DVD on music channels
While we heard about Italian radio stations playing Music Inferno, it seems the official video sent out by Warner for music channels to promote the CD/DVD is the fan-favourite performance of Jump from the Confessions Tour. I just spotted it on VH1 Europe, a few weeks after it was officially leaked online by Warner. You can watch the video here.
07 February - US chart news
Madonna's The Confessions Tour CD/DVD bows in the Billboard 200 at #15 with sales of 40,000 copies, almost doubling the opening numbers of 2006's I'm Going To Tell You A Secret, according to Billboard magazine. It is Madonna's 18th Top 20 album in the US.
05 February - Madonna scores a hit album in Italy yet again
We get chart news of The Confessions Tour CD/DVD day-by-day - today we report about the incredible Italians who've been showing a lot of support for Madonna in the past year. No surprise that The Confessions Tour debuts at the album charts straight at #1! Congratulations to Madonna & her Italian fans!
05 February - Tour CD/DVD banned in Singapore
Madonna's divine, but controversial Confessions Tour performance of Live To Tell is still having effects: The brand new CD/DVD release of the tour has been banned in Singapore only because of that certain segment! We're sorry for our fellow fans there and hope they can still obtain the item as an import.
05 February - Madonna and Guy make love pact
Madonna and Guy Ritchie have reportedly signed a love pact after visiting therapist Tricia Barnes over the New Year (07) to save their marriage. The pop queen and her director husband, who married in December 2000, have reportedly pledged to spend as much time as possible with Madonna's 10-year-old daughter Lourdes, their six-year-old son Rocco and their 17-month-old adopted son David.
The couple have also agreed to suspend solo projects which affect the whole family and to search for a larger home in New York City - according to media reports. A close friend of the couple tells British newspaper The People, "They have both worked really hard at their marriage issues and come to a new understanding. They have each accepted their own part in the problems they had been experiencing and are determined not to let anything come between them again. "It's a fresh start and they actually look like a pair of newlyweds again." (source: ContactMusic)
04 February - Madonna earns another UK Top 10 debut
Madonna's latest release, the CD/DVD combo of The Confessions Tour debuts at #7 on the UK album charts, with sales of 22,000 copies, making it her eighteenth top ten album in her current home country (I'm Going To Tell You A Secret was the only release to miss the top ten, reaching #18) Meanwhile, after almost 15 months since its release, Confessions On A Dance Floor is at #49.
~ In other chart news, the CD/DVD reached #2 in the Netherlands (just behind Norah Jones) and it got a healthy #10 debut in Ireland (30 places higher than her previous live release).
03 February - Poll results: hiphop is unpopular
Mad-Eyes held a poll about which genre would visitors prefer for Madonna's next album and an overwhelming 51% of more than 600 people voted for Disco/Pop, saying that Madonna shouldn't stray away from her latest style. Hiphop got only 4% of the votes, so the majority hopes that the rumour was either false or Madonna and her team should learn a lesson from the results.
03 February - CD/DVD press review: Oldies with disco makeovers
Like I'm Going To Tell You A Secret before it, The Confessions Tour is a CD/DVD souvenir set documenting a new millennium Madonna concert -- this time, a London show at Wembley supporting her 2005 neo-disco album, Confessions On A Dance Floor. Unlike Secret, whose centerpiece was a engthy documentary, this is a straight-up live album with the DVD capturing a full 21-song set and the CD culling 13 highlights from the set, a whopping eight of them from Confessions (Sorry and Sorry [Remix] counted separately since they are, after all, indexed separately here).
Even if the newer songs don't sound radically different from their album incarnations -- they're either delivered straight or puffed out like extended 12" remixes -- the handful of oldies that do show up here are given disco makeovers: Like A Virgin pulses with electro keyboards; Lucky Star eventually gives away to the ABBA sample that drives Hung Up.
This helps give the CD on The Confessions Tour a sonic cohesion that's about as stylized and chilly and its accompanying album -- the unity means it holds together, yet that icy reserve means it's not all that much fun to hear, even if the reinterpretations of the 20-year-old hits are interesting. The DVD doesn't feel as cold thanks entirely to the pizzazz of the visuals and the determined efficiency of the show, but even so, this is primarily of interest to the diehards who don't mind purchasing another live CD/DVD set just a year after the first. (source: AllMusic)
03 February - CD/DVD press review: Missteps mar Madonna's tour DVD
Over her 25-year career, Madonna has gone on a remarkable seven world tours, each one with its own unique qualities.
On her most recent Confessions Tour, which danced its way through the United States last summer, Madonna proved that she may be a middle-aged mother, but she is just as talented as when she first started, if not more so. The Confessions Tour was arguably her best to date, so it is quite a treat to have the whole show captured forever on DVD and CD.
The show itself is spectacular. Singing many hits from her strong Confessions On A Dance Floor album, as well as some older goodies, Madonna wows the audience with her non-stop energy and incredible dancing. For those who saw the show in its crudely edited form on NBC in November, the version included on the DVD is completely uncensored.
One can finally see the much-talked-about song Madonna sings on a cross, which NBC was pressured into not showing; however, the message behind the spectacle, which involved helping AIDS-stricken African orphans, is apparent when watching the DVD.
Also absent from the NBC broadcast and included on the DVD are a controversial interlude involving current politicians, as well as three additional songs.
While the show itself may be close to perfect, one may not think so from just watching the DVD. The DVD's director, Jonas Akerlund, is best known for directing music videos, including many of Madonna's.
Akerlund's expertise, unfortunately, seems to have influenced him to capture the show more like a music video than a live concert. Often the background screens are brought into the forefront or sliced into shots of Madonna and her dancers.
Such effects may be appropriate for a music video, but then take away from the live and palpable feel of a concert and only add unnecessary distractions.
The extras on the DVD include a photo gallery and some rehearsal footage, which can be interesting for major fans but boring for others. Perhaps rehearsal as well as behind the scene footage during the actual tour itself may have been a bit more enticing.
The Confessions Tour DVD also comes with a live CD of half the show. It is a bit baffling why Madonna did not just include a second CD so that fans could have the whole concert on CD.
The choice of some of the songs that are included are a bit odd as well, such as the spoken dancer interlude titled "Confessions," which is somewhat boring when just listening to the audio. With only half the show on CD, the space could have been better utilized with another song.
Sure, the Confessions Tour DVD/CD set has some blemishes, but the show itself is so sublime that it may be worth it to overlook those flaws. Especially since Madonna's last outing, the Re-Invention Tour, was never released in full, fans are happy to have this tour on DVD at all. (source: Daily Trojan)
03 February - Early chart debuts of The Confessions Tour
The Confessions Tour CD/DVD debuted at #8 in Belgium, Wallonia and #19 in Flanders without a full chart week so it's expected to rise on next week's chart. In Hungary, it got an early debut at #3 on the top 20 DVD chart. Meanwhile, in the UK the latest Madonna release is aiming at a top 10 debut, which will be an improvement from the last live CD release that debuted in the top 20 only. We'll have the official chart position tomorrow evening.
02 February - Madonna promotes Tokyo property
Madonna is starring in an advertising campaign for an exclusive new high rise development in Tokyo, Japan. Real estate developer Brilla Mare Ariake is building an exclusive tower on the Tokyo bay front and asked the pop star to appear in his new advertising campaign. The commercial, which was directed by the Hung Up singer's friend and frequent photographer, Steven Klein, was filmed last week (ends26JAN07) in London. The 48-year-old also appears in a new campaign for retail clothing company H+M, and has helped to design all the items in the M by Madonna line. (source: ContactMusic)
02 February - Movie press review: Arthur is a mixed bag
A patchy but sometimes enjoyable children's computer animated movie directed by Luc Besson, Arthur and the Invisibles is a real mixed bag.
The film looks stunning and has the added attraction of featuring the voices of a host of acting and musical luminaries from David Bowie to Snoop Dogg, Robert De Niro to Harvey Keitel.
A wacky fantasy adventure, Arthur and the Invisibles is set in a land full of miniature hobbits. Arthur (Freddie Highmore) is given only a matter of hours to stop his grandmother's farm being repossessed.
He decides salvation lies in a plan to reduce himself to just a few inches tall so that he can find the treasure hidden that allegedly exists in a legendary garden on the farm.
Aided by a princess with an attitude problem (Madonna), Arthur's quest is thwarted by the evil wizard Maltazard (Bowie) and his hordes of mosquito-riding warriors.
There's enough here to keep young audiences amused but more mature cinema goers might be isolated by the chaotic action and nonsensical plotting.
But if you can resist the temptation not to be too critical, Besson's beautiful looking film has just enough going for it to save the day. (source: Harlow Citizen)
02 February - CD/DVD press review: All That Is Madonna
With ticket prices exceeding $300, this DVD and CD collection is likely the closest many mere mortals will get to seeing Madonna in concert. With moments that run the gamut from silly to offensive to brilliant, The Confessions Tour is an accurate representation of the myriad contradictions that add up to Madonna the artist circa 2006. This tour is not among her masterworks, but Madonna continues to always be well worth watching.
Stick With the Show
The equine fever dream of ponyboys in bondage that kicks off The Confessions Tour is likely to be offensive and off-putting to a number of viewers, but stick with the show. Sprinkling classic tunes among songs from her most recent studio effort Confessions On A Dance Floor, Madonna keeps the party moving and doesn't stick too long with any single theme. Moving effortlessly from the aura of nightclub decked out with gymnastics equipment on Jump to Saturday Night Fever-style disco for Music Inferno, Madonna delivers a consistently eye and ear filling spectacle.
Outstanding Songs, Staging, and Choreography Always Equal Brilliance
The highest points of The Confessions Tour prove that a combination of great songs, riveting staging, and accomplished choreography always amount to a brilliant concert experience. Midway through the show, after the salute that is I Love New York, Madonna unleashes a stripped down, rocking version of Ray Of Light that demonstrates little of the spectacle is necessary when the basics are intact. The mash-up of Music and "Disco Inferno" that results in "Music Inferno" is a joy to watch even with the silliness of white-suited disco moves.
Top Songs from The Confessions Tour:
Live To Tell
Ray Of Light
The Uncensored Complete Picture
Almost all of what is here made up NBC's Confessions Tour television special, but there was an important part missing. Due to her use of crucifixion imagery, Madonna's performance of Live To Tell raised eyebrows and caused controversy around the world. NBC elected to leave the song out of their broadcast. Finally, this DVD/CD collection brings to home viewers what was left out, and it is one of the most powerful performances in the show. To appropriately make the sobering message Madonna is delivering, it seems almost impossible to leave the crucifixion imagery out.
The collection includes additional behind-the-scenes footage and a CD for listening without the video, but it is the concert itself that is the star. Whether Madonna is one of your favorite pop artists or not, The Confessions Tour provides abundant evidence that she remains tremendously relevant from an artistic point of view. As with any aesthetically challenging project, portions may fall flat, but the high points are tremendous. Rating: 3,5 /5 stars (source: About.com)
01 February - Madonna portrait fleshes out art auction
A controversial nude portrait of pop icon Madonna is to be auctioned in the Capital this weekend.
The portrait is part of a collection of works dedicated to the world-famous star by one of Scotland's best-known artists, Peter Howson.
Mr Howson, who was brought up in Ayrshire, said the portraits were designed to show Madonna as a powerful and charismatic person while also touching on her religious upbringing.
The singer - who has also posed fully clothed for Howson - is one of several famous fans of the artist's work.
The signed pastel of Madonna will go on sale at the Shapes fine art and antiques auction in Bankhead Avenue on Saturday with an estimated price tag of between £1500 and £2000.
Paul Howard, who runs the auction department, said: "It's quite dramatic and certainly a striking image."
Mr Howson, who has also painted the Queen and football star Henrik Larsson, currently has an exhibition of more than 100 works depicting Saint Andrew's life and death at the City Art Centre on Market Street.