15 July - Hung Up becomes Madonna's longest running UK hit
Because of Madonna's sizzling performance at Live Earth last Saturday, her megahit Hung Up re-enters the UK Top 200 singles chat this week at #109. That makes the 59th week of the Abba-sampling single on the chart, besting previous record holder Music (58 weeks). On the other hand, Hey You certainly didn't catch the viewers as much, after a #178 peak it re-enters only at #196 (it seems this song is actually credited on the chart as 'Live Earth', not Madonna). Madonna's first greatest hits collection The Immaculate Collection is hanging on the album chart at #144, but there is no info regarding the possible re-enter of Confessions On A Dance Floor.
12 July - Crazy for Timberlake?
Madonna tried to attend Justin Timberlake’s recent London concert incognito.
The Material Girl attended with her producer, Guy Oseary, but her hubby was nowhere to be seen.
"She was texting on her mobile, eating crisps and yawning just before the show began!" according to one fan report. Madonna was wearing a black hooded cape and was surrounded by bodyguards. "When everyone realized it was her and started chanting ‘Madonna!’ she put the hood on and went under the seat."
Madonna’s rep Liz Rosenberg confirms to The Scoop that Madonna was indeed in the audience, explaining that the two are working on a CD together. She added that Madonna has also been hard at work on a documentary about Malawi, and had a private screening that she attended with her husband, Guy Ritchie, who recently shaved his head.
"She’s been working on it for a year," says Rosenberg. "Very intense. And profoundly sad — not for the faint of heart. She did an amazing job, I must say." (source: MSNBC)
12 July - Madonna working with Sugababes member? *rumour*
Madonna may have more than just Justin Timberlake and Timbaland in her pocket working on her next album.
Although the trio was spotted arriving at a Notting Hill recording studio in London on Wednesday, Keisha Buchanan was also seen entering the studio!
Keisha, 22, is the lead singer and a co-founding member of English girl group Sugababes and the only member of the original line-up to remain with the group.
Madonna seems like she’s ramping up on the collaborators for her forthcoming album!
P.S. Keisha also might recording demo tracks for her own un-released debut solo album. (source: Just Jared)
Theo Weir, eight, of Calabria Road, was part of a children's choir who sang with the pop legend during her headline performance at the London leg of the worldwide Live Earth concerts.
A pupil at William Tyndale School, off Upper Street, Islington, Theo is the youngest member of the Finchley Children's Music Group Choir.
Beating off fierce competition from other local choirs at the audition stage, Theo and his fellow singers landed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to back the star on Hey You, a new Madonna exclusive written especially for the climate change event.
Theo said: "I was quite nervous before we went on but it went really well. Madonna is a great singer. We only had six days to rehearse it but she was really friendly and totally different to how she is onstage."
Theo joined the choir 18 months ago and is no stranger to the spotlight, having appeared in the BBC TV series Silent Witness and at a carol concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
"There were 120,000 people there and flashlights were going off every few seconds," said Theo. "I got teased a bit at school afterwards but I think the other kids were just jealous!"
The Live Earth concert - organised by ex-US vice president Al Gore - was beamed around the world to 120 countries and an estimated global TV and online audience of over two billion viewers. But Theo seemed more concerned about events closer to home.
"All of my family were watching on the telly at home," he said. "I was really happy about that and my mum and dad were really proud of me."
Theo's headteacher, Tanya Watson, said: "William Tyndale supports the arts, especially music, which we believe enhances the standards achieved by our pupils.
"Theo is an example of this and we are delighted he had this opportunity to perform with Madonna. (source: Islington Gazette)
11 July - Desperately Seeking Susan to become London musical
Theatre producers announced Tuesday plans for a London musical version of pop queen Madonna's 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan that will feature hit songs by punk rock band Blondie.
Debbie Harry, who is now 63 years old, has also written a new song, "Moment of Truth", for the production that will open in London's West End theatre district in October, producers said.
"It's going to be all Blondie songs," said Mark Rubinstein, one of the musical's producers.
"It sets the world before Madonna, when there was Debbie Harry and Blondie. She's from that world and that time. 'Moment of Truth' is different," Rubinstein said.
The musical will also feature old Blondie hits such as "Heart of Glass", "Atomic", "One Way or Another", "Dreaming", and "The Tide is High".
Emma Williams, 24, who will assume the role of Susan played by Madonna in what was her first major film, said her character "will be a cross between Madonna and Debbie Harry."
Kelly Price, who recently appeared in the West End production of Guys and Dolls, will play Roberta Glass, the bored suburban New Jersey housewife who becomes fascinated with Susan. Rosanna Arquette had the film role 22 years ago.
Susan Gallin, the originating producer, said: "It will be very close to the movie. The story is universal. It's a quirky, off-beat movie about women who change their lives and end up with the lives that they were meant to have.
Harry, whose new song is "based on an R and B idea," said: "The story just works with the lyrics. I thought it was a good idea, really smart. I would love it to come to Broadway. Hopefully it will be a huge success."
She expected the musical to be "more light-hearted" than the film.
Gallin added: "We would like to have Madonna (who has a home in London) come to see the opening night. It was her break-out movie. She was wonderful in it. Interesting, quirky and fabulous."
The production - rights for which were bought from MGM - will open at London's Novello Theatre on October 12.
The musical is written and conceived by US writer, director and actor Peter Michael Marino, whose other writing projects include "Hollywood Nurses", an homage to lesbian pulp novels of the 1950s. (source: AFP)
10 July - Gogol Bordello benefits from Madonna's 'Wisdom'
Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz has high praise for Madonna after working with her on her directoral debut, the short film "Filth & Wisdom." The group also joined the Material Girl for her performance of La Isla Bonita on Saturday at Live Earth in London.
"I think she was fantastic," Hutz, whose character, A.K., was modeled closely on his own personality, tells Billboard.com. "She's such a dynamic force. You can always measure a director by how specific he is or she is, and she was very specific. She had very energetic visions but at the same time there was a lot of room for me to do my own thing.
"It was super fun and perfectly respectable, and it ended up being quite a collaborative project," says Hutz, who contributed some dialogue for the script of the 45-minute piece, which also stars Richard E. Grant ("Gosford Park," "Spice World") and Stephen Graham ("Snatch," "Gangs of New York").
The part did require Hutz to dress in drag, however. "(Madonna) said, 'How do you feel about dressing up as a woman?'" Hutz recalls. "I said, 'Well, as long as it's a woman with a moustache, I'm there."
Gogol Bordello also performs in the film -- which is expected to debut at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival -- and the soundtrack uses three of the band's songs. "I'd heard from mutual friends for a couple of years that she was big fan of Gogol Bordello," Hutz says. "Eventually I learned that from her in person."
Hutz, of course, is no stranger to high-profile film roles, having co-starred with Elijah Wood in 2005's "Everything Is Illuminated." He still considers himself as Gogol Bordello's frontman first and foremost, but he feels the film projects work to the benefit of the band.
"I think there's a lot of people who found out about Gogol Bordello from ('Everything is Illuminated')" says Hutz, "and a lot of people who found out about the movie through Gogol Bordello. We were never a mainstream band, but I think (the film) brought a new audience, for sure, that's kind of mixed in with our previous hardcore audience."
Gogol Bordello's fourth album, "Super Taranta!," comes out tomorrow (July 10) via Side One Dummy. (source: Billboard)
10 July - Madonna sales soar in UK after Live Earth
The show was a [UK] TV flop, drawing less than a third of the audience who tuned in last week for the Concert for Diana. Live Earth peaked with 4.5 million viewers in Britain, compared with 14.8 million for the Diana concert. But the Live Earth concerted prompted an upturn in sales of Madonna's music, retailers said on Monday.
The pop queen's headline act was followed by increased customer demand, according to Tesco and HMV. US band Foo Fighters, which preceded Madonna on the London stage, also enjoyed a sales lift.
Tesco said its combined download and in-store sales of Madonna's back catalogue albums yesterday increased by 420% on the previous week. The strongest demand was for her greatest hits collections and her last album Confessions On A Dance Floor. Sales of Foo Fighters music rose 60% on the previous week, Tesco said.
HMV said sales of Madonna's Immaculate Collection album had more than doubled at its stores yesterday compared to the previous Sunday. Sales of her downloads at hmvdigital.com also showed a "big increase", a spokesman for the retailer said. (source: MSN)
~ Naturally, we'll get back to this on Sunday when the exact UK chart positions are announced.
It's often easy to scoff at celebrities at such events, and Saturday's was no exception. Whenever a great act was about to take the stage, the crowd would descend into a patient hush for another speech. Celebrities delivering nuggets of environmentalism included Boris Becker, Kyle MacLachlan and Ioan Gruffud, as well as Chris Moyles and Russell Brand.
Chris Rock added to the sense that some lacked understanding of the scientific claims they were making with this statement: "Global warming means that every day in Jamaica, a little kid bursts into flames."
It was always going to be a challenge to present a soundbitefriendly take on such a highly complex topic.
The organisers achieved this aim admirably, with the 70,000-strong crowd experiencing a feeling of purpose that went beyond their love of music.
Still, unless they happen to be genuine wholemeal-dress-wearing tree-huggers, young people will seldom get as fired up about caring for the environment as they will about the imminent prospect of seeing Razorlight, the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Madonna.
The stadium was dramatically plunged into darkness before Madonna took the stage as actor Terence Stamp urged the crowd: "Let's not be endarkened by this. Let's be enlightened by this."
As well as being hammy and dull, Stamp's monologue arguably went against the spirit of environmentalism by inventing the verb "to endarken", rather than recycling one of the many perfectly serviceable words already in circulation.
By Madonna's standards, it was an inauspicious start. Hey You, the song she wrote specially for the event, was simply not up to scratch. Ray Of Light, however, was a reminder of just how powerful a performer she is.
The undoubted high point of her performance was the result of an inspired decision to perform a gypsy-tinged version of La Isla Bonita accompanied by the charismatic Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello and The Gypsy Kings' Sergey Ryabtsev.
Madonna remains full of surprises, helping to ensure that even in this age of ever-improving festivals, Live Earth has taken the art to a new level. (source: Evening Standard)
09 July - Kasabian frontman wants to marry Madonna
Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan was so thrilled with Madonna's sexy show at Saturday's (07Jul07) Live Earth concert he wants to marry the singer.
The British rocker admits he got "overexcited" during the 48-year-old's set at the London show, where she came out in a spandex cat suit and gyrated with a speaker during the song Hung Up.
Meighan, 26, says, "Ooh, Madonna's thighs! She reminds me of my old dance teacher, who I used to have a crush on. Who didn't have a huge crush on Madonna when they were a kid? "I'd marry her. If she came for me, I really would." (source: PR-inside)
09 July - Madonna vows to go green after criticism
Madonna has vowed to commit to an eco-friendly regime - after facing criticism over her "unethical" business interests. The Hung Up star was rebuked for her 'environmentally unaware' investments in oil companies and the "10th all-time most toxic company", aluminium producer Alcoa.
But Madonna insists, following her involvement with Saturday's (07Jul07) Live Earth event, she has been forced to re-evaluate her stance on climate change. Her spokesperson says, "Madonna's agreement to sing at the Live Earth event is merely one of the first steps in her commitment to being environmentally responsible. "She is educating herself and her family and has begun to make changes around her that reflect her awareness and concern for the future of the planet." (source: Contactmusic)
08 July - Light of Madge dazzles
Brilliant Madonna blew every one else off the stage ... closing with a finale that was just mind-blowing.
Her Madgesty opened with Hey You, then picked up a guitar for Ray Of Light.
She was joined by gipsy punks Gogol Bordello for La Isla Bonita and finished with a long version of Hung Up.
I got more out of breath than her.
And I hope that I can get away with leather trousers when I'm nearly 50.
The Material Girl wasn't too worried about material things yesterday. Her Madgesty, Madonna, made do with a tiny changing cubicle to prepare for her finale.
My heart went out to Thandie Newton after a link to ex-vice president Al Gore failed. She said: "I've always wanted to stand in front of two billion people with nothing to say." (source: Sunday Mirror)
08 July - Madonna's plea to jump into action
Pop queen Madonna got 70,000 people on their feet demanding action on climate change in a stunning finale to the London leg of Live Earth.
The singer was the highlight of the event, which also featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Duran Duran, the Black Eyed Peas, Kasabian and even spoof band Spinal Tap.
She began her set with a song especially written for Live Earth, the controversial anti-global warming event billed as the "greatest show on earth".
Dozens of school children in school uniform sang along to Hey You, while footage showed images including polluting factories.
But the biggest moment came when the 48-year-old star called on the crowd to get to their feet.
Thousands cheered as she told the audience: "If you want to save the planet I want you to start jumping up and down."
Wearing a black dress and her hair in Thirties-style ringlets, Madonna thanked former US Vice President Al Gore "for giving the world the wake-up call it so badly needs and for starting an avalanche of awareness that we are running out of time".
"Lets hope tonight's concert and the concerts going on around the world are not just about entertainment but starting a revolution around the world," she said.
"This is your last chance to show that you care about the planet."
The stadium switched off all but essential lighting for a few symbolic moments before Madonna took to the stage. (source: Daventry Today)
08 July - Live Earth London wraps up with Madonna spectacular
Live Earth London has drawn to a close with a spectacular headline set from Madonna. The queen of pop, an adopted Londoner, turned each songinto a show-stopper in a vintage performance. She was backed by a choir for Hey You (written especially for Live Earth), rocked out on guitar with robotic dancers for Ray Of Light and was joined by members of gypsy punks Gogol Bordello for a crazed hoedown version of La Isla Bonita.
She also took time to thank Live Earth organizers Al Gore and Kevin Wall "for giving the world the wake-up call it so badly needs." The set closed with her U.K. No. 1 Hung Up, turning a packed Wembley Stadium into the world's biggest disco, before Madonna handed over to New York to carry on the festivities.
It was a fitting conclusion to a day that managed to combine plenty of great music with the central message of raising awareness of climate change. This was illustrated to dramatic effect just before Madonna's set, when actor Terence Stamp led a ceremonial turning off of all Wembley's "non-essential lighting." (source: Billboard)
After a drumming set by the Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins, the Red Hot Chili Pepper's Chad Smith and Roger Taylor from Queen opened the UK event, a newly-reformed Genesis played hits including Turn It On Again and Land of Confusion.
Razorlight followed, playing Before I Fall to Pieces and America while Snow Patrol thrilled the crowed with Open Your Eyes, Shut Your Eyes and Chasing Cars. Other acts included Kasabian, Paolo Nutini and Black Eyed Peas.
Duran Duran played four of their hits, including Planet Earth and Ordinary World while the Chili's set included Dani California, So Much I and By the Way.
Wearing a below-the-knee puff-sleeved dress, matching knee-length leggings and black patent Mary-Janes, the star of the show, Madonna, took to the stage for her performance of Hey You where she was joined by a choir of schoolchildren.
She then strummed an electric guitar to Ray Of Light before bursting into La Isla Bonita accompanied by cult New York Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello.
Madonna thanked Al Gore, the brainchild of the nine concerts across the globe, "for giving the world the wake-up call it so badly needs and for starting an avalanche of awareness that we are running out of time".
She said: "Lets hope tonight's concert and the concerts going on around the world are not just about entertainment but starting a revolution around the world. If you want to save the planet let me see you jump."
The Material Girl singer closed the London event with a blistering rendition of her disco hit Hung Up.
The events had begun in Sydney, where the line-up included Crowded House, and carried on to Tokyo, Johannesburg, Shanghai, London, Hamburg, New Jersey, Washington and Rio de Janeiro.
American audiences saw acts including The Police, Kanye West, Bon Jovi, Smashing Pumpkins and Taking Back Sunday.
The concerts were carbon neutral, with all energy to Wembley Stadium and the other venues supplied by renewable sources. (source: Yahoo)
07 July - Madonna rescues pop and steals the show at Wembley
It did what it said on the poster - but no more.The British leg of Live Earth started at 1.30 pm sharp with a thunderous five-minute drum fanfare by a 20-odd troupe of flailing percussionists, battering a miscellany of ethnic skinned instruments.
Led by Roger Taylor, formerly drummer with Queen, and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, their SOS pattern, hammered out in morse code, was a cute way of flagging up the Live Earth message: environmental calamity ahoy. But it couldn’t disguise the problem that regularly threatened to becalm this Wembley show.
As a concert, Live Earth was not the repeat of Live Aid/Live 8 it clearly wanted to be. Unlike the events organised by the charismatic Sir Bob Geldof – upon which this one modelled itself closely, right down to its choice of name – the acts who answered the call from Al Gore’s people to play at Wembley Stadium were a bit short on superstar clout.
It was Geldof’s legendarily persuasive powers which got Pink Floyd to abandon a 20-year feud and re-form for Live 8 in Hyde Park in 2005. There was nothing on the Live Earth London bill to command that level of anticipation and potential drama.
With the exception of the closing act Madonna – who played next door at Wembley Arena only last summer – there was nobody on the Stadium bill with the cross-generational appeal, and catalogue of monster hits, to supply the great unifying moments which event gigs need to make their message stick in the mind. [...]
The Woman of the Night award was a shoe-in. Not for the first time in her career, it fell to Madonna to rescue pop – or this concert anyway – from the grasp of bloke-ish noiseniks. As the only artist to have written a song specifically for the event - Hey You – Madge stole the show with atypically slick routine, punctuated with moments of complete darkness. A dystopian preview of a carbon-positive future which made Live Earth's point more vividly than all the preceding hours of slogans and lectures. (source: Times Online)
07 July - Madonna closes Live Earth with a bouncing, planet-saving set
Madge closes Live Earth with a bouncing, planet-saving set...
Madonna has brought an impressive Live Earth to an impressive close, with a huge treat-filled performance.
The Queen of Pop shined like a polished eco car on the giant stage, as she has done for the past 20 years, delivering a set full of planet-saving messages, special guests, swearing and dozens of well fit backing dancers.
Madonna kicked things off with Hey You, the specially penned song full of urges to everyone to do their bit, for which she brought out a load of smiley school-kids to provide backing vocals.
"If you wanna save the planet, I wanna see you jump up and down!" said Madonna as she took things up a notch for Ray Of Light armed with her guitar. "Come on, motherf*ckers! Jump!"
And jump they did. Then time for more planet saving.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Al Gore for giving the world the wake up call it so badly needs," she said. "And for starting an avalanche of awareness that we're running out of time.
"Tonight's concert is not just about entertainment, it's about a revolution. Amen."
Then she brought out two of her mates from Gogol Bordello to join her for a rip-roaring, and wonderfully weird, performance of La Isla Bonita, which saw the Bordello boys screaming and thrashing their guitar and violin like they were on fire.
And to bring the whole day and night to a close was Hung Up, complete with loads of topless backing dancers showing off their six-packs and pretty nipples, disco lights, and some audience participation befitting the giant stadium event. "Time goes by… so slowly!" screamed the thousands of Live Earth attendees.
Top stuff from the Queen Of Pop.
Props to the organisers of Live Earth, it's been something special. Now it's over to you to save the planet. Do your bit or Madonna will bite your legs off.
To watch all MTV coverage of Live Earth go to www.mtv.co.uk/liveearth. (source: MTV)
07 July - Madonna makes new Wembley jump to save the planet!
The Live Earth show has just ended in the new Wembley Arena in London with Madonna giving her all into the grand finale. First she appeared standing onstage looking gorgeous in a black dress, singing the sincere Hey You backed by a children's choir, then she greeted the audience before launching Ray Of Light. She made everyone jump, just like on last year's tour, playing the guitar in a high energy performance, with the dancers doing the same tour choreography, but two boys were replaced by girls.
Then she thanked the organizers of the event, including Al Gore, for the "wake up call" before introducing her new Romanian friends from Gogol Bordello. Altogether they went into an uptempo La Isla Bonita which was all over the place with the guys giving their vocals and strings in it, but it still rocked the whole arena! With the guitar outro, the music immediately faded into Hung Up, which was also the now-famous tour version with the singalong part also included where all of London gave its all and shouted "time goes by so slowly"! Madonna did not disappoint us, she was not only looking amazing but she was just as energetic as always!
~ Check out press pictures of the event here!
07 July - Live Earth is today!
Today, on 07.07.07 the whole world is united for one huge event, the Live Earth concert series! Madonna, who is expected to perform 4 songs, will be onstage at 10.15 pm British local time, closing the Wembley show in London.
The following tv channels are broadcasting the event (with www.LiveEarth.MSN.com broadcasting online):
Australia: FOX8, Max TV, Channel V
Croatia: HRT Plus
Holland: MTV, TMF, Nederland 3
Hungary: Cool TV
Mexico: Azteca 7
Poland: TVP Kultura
Serbia: RTS 2
UK: BBC2 (till 6.30pm), BBC1 (after 6.30pm)
US: Bravo, NBC
~ Do also check out our page dedicated to Live Earth.
05 July - Gogol Bordello joins Madonna on stage
New York band Gogol Bordello have decided to swap their slot at T in the Park to appear on stage at Live Earth London with Madonna.
The group were scheduled to play at the Scottish festival, but an appearance with the Queen of pop at one of the biggest single events this year was too much to resist.
In a statement posted on the group's official website, it was revealed that band members Eugene Hutz and Sergey Ryabstev had been asked by Madonna to guest on stage during her headline set at Wembley Stadium.
Both members felt the Live Earth cause, to raise the profile of the global warming crisis, was something they could not refuse to publicly endorse.
Madonna is a big fan of the band and has attended one of their London gigs as well as working with Hutz on a new film.
Gogol Bordello apologised to their Scottish fans and other T in the Park attendees, but said they would make up for the cancellation.
The band's statement said they "apologise to their Scottish fans" and "value their support" as one member of the group, Elizabeth Sun, comes from Scotland.
After Live Earth the band will regroup and head to Ireland for the Oxxegen Festival on July 8th.
They will also be playing at the Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds festivals on August 24th and 25th. (source: ContactMusic)
~ According to fellow fansite MadonnaTribe Gogol Bordello will join Madonna on stage for the rendition of La Isla Bonita, which is being reworked for Live Earth. Apparently, La Isla will be mixed with the Gypsy song 'Lela Pala Tute', which is performed in the Romanian language. Bits of this folk song completed with Tzigane violins and guitars were inserted between the verses of La Isla Bonita and reprised in the grand finale of the song. Lead singer Eugene Hutz is also starring in 'Filth and Wisdom', the short film that Madonna is currently directing.
05 July - Survey says Madonna is 'least green'
Madonna is perceived to be the least green artist on the bill at the UK's Live Earth concert, according to a survey.
James Blunt, the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Black Eyed Peas also don't strike the public as particularly environmentally friendly.
David Kuo, from fool.co.uk, which carried out the survey of 674 people, said: "Although none of us really know for sure how green celebrities really are, public perception plays an important part.
"Live Earth will go some way to help, but caring for the environment goes beyond exercising vocal chords, rapping and crooning. Wouldn't it be refreshing if all the artists turned up to Live Earth on their bicycles?"
Meanwhile, Sir Paul McCartney is being lined up to headline Live Earth in London.
The former Beatle is in talks with organisers about performing at the spectacular concert at London's new Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
According to reports, former US Vice President Al Gore - who has organised a series of concerts across the world to highlight the dangers of global warming - decided to personally approach McCartney after discovering the strict vegetarian and animal rights campaigner was a fan of his documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
A source told Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper: "It's true that Paul has been asked to take part. He said the cause is very close to his heart and he has been impressed with what Gore has been doing to highlight it, but he's still deciding."
If McCartney, 65, declines the offer Madonna is expected to close the event.
The 48-year-old singer will perform a four-song set - including Ray of Light and Hey You, a track she has written especially for the concert - but it has not yet been decided where in the schedule she will appear.
Other acts confirmed to perform include the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Keane, Snow Patrol and David Gray. Genesis, fronted by Phil Collins, will kick off proceedings.
The 24-hour Live Earth concert series will begin in Sydney on Saturday and continue across seven continents with shows in Tokyo, Shanghai, Johannesburg, London, Hamburg, Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro, before concluding in New York. (source: News.com.au)
04 July - Live Earth set to rock the world on July 7
From New York to the Antarctic, from Shanghai to Rio de Janeiro, the world is getting ready to rock Saturday as organizers of the Live Earth events seek to raise awareness of global warming.
Some 7,000 events in 129 countries including eight giant concerts are being promoted by former US vice president Al Gore as part of his passionate bid to focus attention on the dangers of climate change.
The 24-hour event on July 7 includes music, theater and other shows and will be broadcast live worldwide to get the message across to two billion people about the need for drastic measures to protect the environment, say promoters.
A wave of music is set to ripple round the globe starting in Sydney then fanning out to Tokyo, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Hamburg, London, New York, and Rio.
Some 150 stars including Police, Genesis, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Ai Otsuka, Eason Chan, Mana, Joey Yung, Shakira, Linkin Park, Rip Slyme and Red Hot Chili Peppers will be taking part.
Smaller concerts will take place in other cities, most notably Kyoto, where countries came together to establish the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate warming.
Another show will be held at a British base in the Antarctic, where some of the effects of global warming are the most visible.
"This monster line-up will ensure Live Earth meets our goal of bringing together people from around the world to combat the climate crisis," says Live Earth founder Kevin Wall.
"Live Earth will be a monumental event both in terms of entertainment and in turning the tide against global warming."
Gore, whose film "An Inconvenient Truth" about climate change won this year's Oscar for best documentary, says one of the key aims is to urge a massive reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050.
"If we are going to solve the crisis, we have to commit, and we have to do it now," he said.
"Live Earth will ask people across the world to commit to changes in their lives and to move other people, communities, companies and governments to reduce our carbon output by 90 percent by 2050 and ensure there is a new, global treaty on climate change by 2009."
The number of participating countries, has however, fallen short of what organizers had hoped for. No Muslim country is taking part; and Turkey has vetoed a concert in Istanbul for security reasons and a lack of interest.
Plans for a concert on the mall in front of the US Congress in Washington were also turned down by Republican lawmakers.
Wall compared it to organizing 10 soccer World Cups at the same time. The concerts will be carried on television stations and on the Internet, at liveearth.msn.com.
Spectators will be invited to sign a statement on Live Earth's Internet site or by text message.
The event's organizers are also calling on people to support energy conservation and alternative energy sources, to plant millions of trees and protect the world's forests, and to support groups dedicated to protecting the environment.
Gore said he will attend the concert in New York and will also appear at another surprise venue.
Each venue will feature top global performers: in London Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Eyed Peas will headline; in New York, Police and Smashing Pumpkins.
Tokyo will get Rihanna, Linkin Park and a bevy of Japanese stars like Ai Otsuka, while in Kyoto Ryuichi Sakamoto and Rip Slyme will top the bill.
In Rio Lenny Kravitz, Pharrell Williams and Macy Gray will share the stage with Brazilian stars, while in South Africa UB40, Angelique Kidjo and Joss Stone will take the stage. Shakira and Enrique Iglesias perform in Hamburg.
Gore said he had asked the artists to compose songs for the occasion, and praised Black Eyed Peas for promising one and coming up with it in seven days.
He also cheered Madonna's offering: "Madonna's song is fantastic," he said.
Ticket sales for the events will benefit The Alliance for Climate Protection led by Gore. (source: AFP)
04 July - Madonna helps return Power to the People
Just as Madonna tops the bill at the Live Earth concert, the international superstar is backing two remarkable global, humanitarian schemes to beat climate change and fuel poverty. With support from Madge at her finest, UK 8020 - a not for profit community interest group - is funding the Climate Change Challenge which launches in London at noon on Thursday 12 July, 2007, at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel, London.
There were no second thoughts for a decisive Madonna when it came to putting her name to these life-changing events - and with good reason. When it comes to fuel poverty, 30,000 pensioners die every year in the UK alone because they cannot afford to keep themselves warm in winter. That equates to eight pensioners dying every hour during the winter months: a tragic and unnecessary loss of human life.
Now, at last, it seems that someone is prepared to 'throw down the gauntlet' and challenge the population-at-large to help. A £100,000 prize and place in the history books, up there with the likes of Edison, are up for grabs for the first person to invent a renewable energy generator (REG) that will provide 90% of the UK's domestic electricity needs for free. As part of the rules, the target retail price for the unit with installation has been set at £500 - currently the average cost of six months energy.
As well as being patron to the Climate Change Challenge, Madonna also supports UK 8020’s other humanitarian initiative, Pledge4REG (TM). Linking directly to the Climate Change Challenge, Pledge4REG addresses the almost four million people in the fuel poverty bracket in the UK.
Pledge4REG will make a significant contribution to eradicating the problem of fuel affordability, that exists in a supposedly civilised country. Pledge4REG works simply by inviting people to pledge £500 to buy a REG for anyone of their choice over the invention period. It could be for their parents, an elderly relative, a social acquaintance, or anyone who may benefit from a helping hand. As it is a pledge, no money needs to be paid until the Climate Change Challenge winning invention eventually goes on sale, thereby giving all pledgers time to save the necessary funds.
Robert Lee, founder of UK 8020, says: "Most of us know someone who hasn't been able to afford their fuel. Our scheme is all about empowering people through incentives, not taxes. It gives the ordinary person the chance to make a difference by being responsible for their own energy needs and, simultaneously, helps rebuild caring communities. The challenge is open to everyone regardless of race, creed and political or financial standing, so it's a classic case of 'Power to the People' in every sense."
He adds: "We are positive that the humanitarian aspect of this idea and the link to the creation of free, green energy for everyone is what convinced Madonna to come on board within just a couple of days of being asked!"
To enter the challenge, visit ClimateChangeChallenge.org or make a difference to someone's life by pledging at Pledge4reg.org. (source: PressDispensary)
04 July - Simpsons producer wants Madonna cameo
Pop superstar Madonna could be set for a cameo on cult animated show The Simpsons - if creator Matt Groening gets his way. The cartoon genius is desperate for the singer to star in his series, following the likes of recent celebrity guest stars Britney Spears, Mel Gibson, Stephen Hawking, Sir Elton John and Dolly Parton. Groening says, "We would love her to do the show. She's one of the people we haven't been able to get yet." He also revealed plans for a Prison Break episode in the near future "with tattoos and everything!" (source: ContactMusic)
03 July - Madonna contributes to new Annie Lennox song
Fansite MadonnaTribe reports about a rumoured duet between Annie Lennox and Madonna:
"The song is titled "Sing My Sister" and it can be described as an uptempo ballad.
Madonna was the natural choice to take a part to this song as it opens with the voice of an African woman calling for an implementation of the hiv mother to child transmission prevention programme in South African hospitals.
Annie starts the song saying "Sing My Sister Sing" on a piano loop and then Madonna comes in after a couple of minutes for what can be called more as a "special appearance" than a real duet song. Her part (basically the bridge of the song) is reminiscent of similar appearances in Sidewalk Talk or Get Over.
The song is an hymn to the women of the world reminding them that "woman kind" is strong and they have to let their voices be heard.
We have also been told the song, (lasting a bit more than four and a half minutes), ends in fade with an "African Chant", something similar to "Lion King" songs."
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