Madonna news - June 2008


← June 2008 | July 2008 →


30 June - Something to remember: A true blue tale to tell!
True Blue, Madonna's best selling studio album One of Madonna's most important albums ever, True Blue is celebrating its 22nd birthday today. Released on June 30th, 1986, True Blue showed Madonna's first ever true re-invention as she took the first step to become a serious recording artist instead of a teen pop icon. Madonna co-wrote and co-produced all the songs on her 3rd record and showed a variety of styles and themes on the album. The centerpiece of the set is the Mad-Eyes favourite Live To Tell, a gorgeous ballad. After 22 years, it's still named as one of Madonna's best vocal performances, some of her best lyrics, and is easily Madonna's first ever serious song. The sad, but at the same time self-empovering and introspective lyrics, which are open for a lot of interpretation, keep on influencing fans up to today. The rest of the album contains such classics as the controversial Papa Don't Preach with the subject of abortion, the powerful love song Open Your Heart, which was first written with Cyndi Lauper in mind, but Madonna ended up rewriting it into an obsessive anthem directed towards her hesitating man. The most popular song on the record all around the world has to be La Isla Bonita, Madonna's first ever Spanish/Latin-tingled track, one of her biggest hits ever. Other songs include Where's The Party, the never happened 6th single that got a lot of airplay, the title track which is a tribute to the girl groups of the 1950s, and White Heat, another powerful love anthem, featuring quotes by legendary Jimmy Cagney from the 1949 gangster classic which shares its title with the song. The last 2 tracks on the album are actually more remembered for their throwaway filler quality, they are among Madonna's least loved album tracks!
Even though True Blue feels slightly outdated today with its typical 80s synth-pop instrumentation and is more like a collection of songs than an actual album with a concept, it will always remain as an important landmark in Madonna's amazing career. It also claims the title of the best selling Madonna studio album with a staggering 24 million copies sold worldwide, and is among the all-time top 10 best selling female albums ever!
True Blue is also notable for being represented on all of Madonna's tours since its release, so of course the speculation among fans is heated, whether Madonna decides to sing her now-concert staple La Isla Bonita yet again, or she finally re-invents the most demanded Open Your Heart...


30 June - Give It 2 Me USA maxi-single details
Fortunately for many fans, Madonna's new single Give It 2 Me is going to see a 8-track maxi-single release on August 5th, 2008. The tracklist is the following (according to Madonnatribe):

Give It 2 Me, the single01 Fedde Le Grand Remix
02 Oakenfold Extended Remix
03 Oakenfold Drums In Mix
04 Eddie Amador Club
05 Eddie Amador House Loves Mix
06 Tong & Spoon
07 Jody den Broeder Club
08 Bongo Joe Mix

~ Before fans freak out at the late release date, please keep in mind that a maxi-single like this is totally considered as a "for the fans" release in 2008 and will NOT affect the chart performance of the single. Thankfully Warner is giving us the famous USA maxi-singles in Madonna's very last Warner-era, a nice guesture in a period where physical singles are considered dead.


29 June - Mother-in-law dismisses divorce rumours
Guy Ritchie's mother last night dismissed speculation that Madonna wants to divorce her son as 'total tosh'.
Amber, Lady Leighton, said there was 'no conversation about divorce because there is no divorce' and described allegations that couple had spoken to lawyers as 'works of fiction'.
Madonna & Guy @ Swept Away premiere (2002)She added: 'It is absolute rubbish, worse than that. Guy will be furious at me talking to you but I feel I can't just let these reports go unanswered as they make me so angry and they are hurtful intrusions into their private lives.
'They are no different to most other couples and we all know that being together can be hard sometimes and marriages are not always a bed of roses.
'But like other couples they work at keeping their relationship happy and fresh and they are a close and loving couple who have a family to bring up.'

Mr Ritchie, 39, flew to New York on Friday night to see Madonna and their children after a week of reports that she had asked him for a divorce.
The couple are said to be leading separate lives and it has been stated that a formal announcement of a split has been planned for the end of November after Madonna finishes her world tour.
But at her home near Somerton, Somerset, on Friday, Lady Leighton, 62, said: 'I spoke to Guy this morning, not about divorce but about a new feature film project he has got under way.
'There's no conversation about divorce because there is no divorce.
'Madonna is in New York at the moment finishing off a tour and he will join her there after the weekend.
'That is not a couple splitting up. I'll say it one more time, they are not getting divorced; the speculation is TT – that's total tosh.'
Madonna, 49, who is worth £300million, had been reported to have consulted top divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton, who represented Sir Paul McCartney in his split from Heather Mills.
Mrs Shackleton's office has refused to comment.
Meanwhile Mr Ritchie was said to have had informal talks with family law firm Forsters. But the firm would only say: 'We are not instructed in this matter.'

The couple's busy schedules mean they are unlikely to spend much time together this summer.
Madonna is said to be planning to flit between her homes in New York, Los Angeles and London.
She is also working to promote a world tour on the back of her latest album, Hard Candy, which starts in Europe in August, although ticket sales in America are sluggish.
Mr Ritchie has been editing his new gangster movie RocknRolla, due to be released in September.
Madonna has three children – Lourdes, 11, by former personal trainer Carlos Leon, Mr Ritchie's son Rocco, seven, and David, two, who was adopted from Malawi.
David's natural father Yohane Banda, 33, said he would prefer his son to be raised by Madonna than her husband if they separate.
The farmer, whose second wife is due to give birth to her first child any day, said: 'I would say Madonna because when I was first approached I was told about Madonna wanting to take my son.
'And every time people ask me about my son they say he is now Madonna's child or has been taken by Madonna.
'So I think that if the two separate, my son should go to Madonna.' He said any bid to get his son back was 'out of the question'. (source: Daily Mail)


28 June - Madonna and kids in NYC, to be joined by Guy soon?
With no wedding ring on her finger and no husband in sight, Madonna and her three children – and Carlos Leon, 11-year-old daughter Lourdes's biological dad – visited Manhattan's Kabbalah Centre Friday night for Sabbath services.
Madonna in NYCSo where was Guy Ritchie, rumored to be splitting with Madonna? British tabloid reports had him in London, but headed to New York this weekend. Britain's Sun has an unnamed source saying Ritchie seeks to keep the couple's marriage going, although Madonna is focused on rehearsals for her upcoming world tour.
On Thursday, it was reported in the London Times Madonna had consulted noted divorce British attorney Fiona Shackleton, who had represented Paul McCartney and Prince Charles in their bitter divorces from, respectively, Heather Mills and Princess Diana.
On Friday night, Madonna's group came in three waves, with Leon and Lourdes arriving first, quickly followed by an SUV carrying her son (with Ritchie) Rocco, 7, and adopted son David, 2, each child with a nanny.
Fifteen minutes later, around 8:45, Madonna arrived, wearing a black skirt and a black tank top over a white T-shirt. The service had just about ended, with a dinner about to begin. Madonna stayed some 20 minutes before leaving with Rocco and David for her home on Central Park West, according to a source.
In Manhattan to rehearse for her upcoming world Sticky & Sweet Tour, which kicks off Aug. 23 in Wales, Madonna has stuck to a rigid schedule.
First, according to a source, she works out at home. Then, at 2:15 each afternoon, Madonna leaves for a studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she and members of the tour practice numbers.
Meanwhile, the children and several nannies, often also accompanied by Leon, spend time playing outside or in Central Park, the source says. (source: People.com)


28 June - Economy shakes sales for summer tours, Madonna unaffected
Even though touring is said to be the most profitable way in the music industry nowadays, the American economy is making sure that 2008 is not going to be remembered for the biggest tour grosses. Fortunately Madonna is among the very few acts that are unaffected, and is undoubtedly the biggest touring female artist, even in America:
Madonna performs in LA @ Confessions TourFour-dollar-a-gallon gas prices are eating away at the summer-concert business, with top festivals and tours taking unexpected box-office hits over the past few months. Bonnaroo and Coachella fell short of sellouts for the first time in years, tours such as Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, Maroon 5 and George Michael are struggling, and even perennial sure things like Bruce Springsteen and Nine Inch Nails are soft in some cities. "It has an effect when people are filling up their cars for $80," says Alex Hodges, chief operating officer for Nederlander Concerts in Los Angeles. "How many concerts are they going to go to with all the other costs?"

Coldplay canceled several early shows due to production problems, but sales for the remaining dates are strong. "When this tour plays, I don't think there will be a single ticket available," says John Vlautin, spokesman for promoter Live Nation. For Springsteen, who sold out 10 shows at New Jersey's Giants Stadium in 2003, tickets are still available for the three shows there this year. And several top tours, including Wonder and Maroon 5/Counting Crows, are offering bargain-basement prices, such as four lawn tickets for about $100.

In a year with more festivals than ever, the biggest have endured sales dips for the first time in years. Coachella failed to sell out in April, and Bonnaroo missed selling out its 80,000 capacity for only the second time since it began in 2002. "It was just shy," says co-founder Rick Farman. "We're happy with how it turned out, considering the economy and gas prices."

Madonna performs in LA @ Confessions TourNumerous shows are still doing strong business despite the economy. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers shrewdly put tickets on sale the day after their Super Bowl appearance in February and have been selling out everywhere. Madonna - who is playing stadiums in Los Angeles and San Francisco - has sold out 15 of her 25 shows and 88 percent of the total seats. And Radiohead, Bon Jovi, the Dave Matthews Band, Journey/Heart/Cheap Trick, Jimmy Buffett, the Warped Tour and country acts such as Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts have reported strong sales. "Anything that went on sale prior to [mid-June] is probably in good shape," says Randy Phillips, president of concert promoter AEG Live. "My concern is going forward. I hear oil is predicted to reach $200 a barrel on the open market - if that keeps ratcheting up, I'm not sure what the impact is going to be."

And smaller acts are especially feeling the economic pinch. Rose Hill Drive, a hard-rock band from Boulder, Colorado, have had to cut other costs since gas hit $4 per gallon, which amounts to about $100 per tank, roughly every day for their 15-passenger van with a trailer attached. "We just have to watch it," says singer Jake Sproul. "As far as hotels, if we're not getting a deal, we just can't stay there, and we have to stay at friends' houses whenever we can. If gas prices go up much more, that's when we have to start camping and eating peanut butter and jelly." (source: Rolling Stone)


28 June - Law firm denies involvement in Madonna/Ritchie split
The London attorneys alleged to be representing Madonna's director husband Guy Ritchie in their rumoured divorce have denied having any involvement in the case.
The superstar couple has been plagued by rumours of a split for months, and reports heated up when it was claimed the pair had begun to seek legal advice from top lawyers.
Ritchie was reported to have hired Mayfair law firm Forsters, which specialises in 'high net worth' family law cases, to represent him.
But a spokesperson for the company has dismissed the reports, stating: "We are not acting for Guy Ritchie in this matter."
And Ann Northover, head of Forsters' family division, has reinforced the fact, adding, "I can only say I have no involvement at this moment."
Madonna is rumoured to have met with Fiona Shackleton, the attorney who represented Sir Paul MCCartney during his court battle with Heather Mills earlier this year (08).
Shackleton's employers, Payne Hicks Beach, is refusing to comment. (source: Contactmusic)


27 June - 14 more shows to be added?
The hype for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour is still going strong as tickets are selling like hot cakes across the globe.
Sticky & Sweet has already surpassed the 1 million-ticket mark and 14 concerts have yet to go on sale. Madonna has a total of 55 concerts scheduled for her tour. Eight concerts in South America, four concerts in Europe and two concerts in North America still haven't been announced.
90 percent of Sticky & Sweet Tour tickets are already sold out. Live Nation's chairman of Global Music and CEO of Global Touring, Arthur Fogel, said, "With Sticky & Sweet, Madonna is on track to break her own record as the top grossing female artist of all time."
Madonna is ranked by the Recording Industry Association of America as the best-selling female rock artist of the twentieth century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States. Even the Guinness World Record lists her as the most successful female recording artist of all time.
Is Madonna on her way to breaking her own ticket sales record? (source: Event Ticket Report)
~ This is not an official confirmation yet, but it's possible that Madonna is indeed going to add a few more shows here and there.


26 June - Sticky & Sweet ticket sales breeze past 1 million mark!
Sticky & Sweet TourMadonna Tickets Breeze Past One Million Mark - Sticky & Sweet Tour Heading Toward Record-Breaking Numbers
Material Girl Leaves Doubters In The Dust For Biggest Tour Of 2008
Neither wind, nor rain, gas prices, nor the economy can slow down the momentum of Madonna fans who are turning out in record numbers all over the globe to scoop up tickets for the upcoming Sticky & Sweet Tour. Today, Live Nation confirmed that Mexico City's Foro Sol Stadium shows scheduled for November 29th and 30th sold more than 100,000 tickets in just three hours, resulting in back to back sellouts at the famed stadium.
Mexico City joins the growing list of sold out Madonna shows in Paris, Lisbon, New York, Zurich, Boston, Chicago, Denver, East Rutherford, NJ, Oakland, Las Vegas, Houston, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver all of which sold out within hours of going on sale.
To date Madonna has sold out 90% of the tickets available for her 42-date global tour, which kicks off in Cardiff, Wales on August 23rd.
With more than 70,000 tickets sold for the Sticky & Sweet Zurich Show at the Military Airfield Dubendorf on August 30th, Lisbon's 75,000 tickets sold and 50,000 tickets sold for her Vancouver dates and four Madison Square Garden shows sold out in New York City in addition to the nearby Izod Center in East Rutherford for a total of 65,000 New York area tickets sold, Madonna has sold more than 1 Million tickets thus far on her global tour.
Madonna, whose most recent CD Hard Candy debuted at Number One in over 30 countries, has made it her personal mission to challenge herself to top her previous tours. With rehearsals well under way for Sticky & Sweet, Madonna and famed director and long-time collaborator Jamie King are creating an extraordinary never-before seen stage set, groundbreaking audio and eye popping visual effects. Madonna will be joined onstage with a new band and 18 dancers that reaffirm that this is a singular event that Madonna fans can not miss.
"With Sticky & Sweet, Madonna is on track to break her own record as the top grossing female artist of all time," said Arthur Fogel, Live Nation's of Chairman of Global Music and CEO of Global Touring. "Her sales are extraordinary in every market she's playing and illustrate what an unparalleled live draw Madonna is for music fans all over the world." (source: PR Newswire via Yahoo Finance)


26 June - Has Madonna hired a divorce lawyer?
For a while, rumours about Madonna & Guy divorcing have been circulating, especially in the British press, but we didn't post any of it, because it was unclear whether they were true. We still don't have an official confirmation, but now the rumours are getting very strong, and now there's an article from The Times which can be considered as a reliable source:

She did it for Macca - now can she do it for Madonna? Fiona Shackleton, the divorce lawyer who ensured that Sir Paul McCartney retained all but £24.3 million of his £825 million fortune, has been lined up by the pop star.
Madonna, whose fortune is estimated to be worth £300 million, is understood to be seeking legal advice on a possible divorce from her husband of seven years, the film director Guy Ritchie. Ms Shackleton, 52, is the lawyer of choice for the rich and famous after what was regarded as the spectacularly well-handled split of Sir Paul from Heather Mills, who was rumoured to be pushing for £80 million.
Dubbed the "steel magnolia" for her tough but pragmatic negotiation tactics, Ms Shackleton instructed the top divorce silk, Nicholas Mostyn, QC. They secured such a successful result that Ms Mills emptied a jug of water over Ms Shackleton's head after hearing the judge's ruling.
Ms Shackleton also acted for the Prince of Wales in his divorce.
Yesterday Madonna's spokesman refused to comment on the claims. But one lawyer told The Times that the word in legal circles was that Madonna had gone to Ms Shackleton after making an approach to another firm. Guy Ritchie is thought to have had dealings with a lesser-known Mayfair law firm, Forsters.
There has been speculation for some time over the marriage of Madonna, 49, and Ritchie, 39. It is thought that the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement, which means that the starting point for any settlement would be a 50-50 split.


26 June - Madonna on a mission
She's about to begin her Sticky and Sweet World Tour, and 4 Minutes, the first single from her new album, Hard Candy, is topping the charts. And now Madonna can add documentarian to her growing list of accomplishments.
I Am Because We Are, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, focuses on the suffering of Malawian children whose parents died of AIDS, an issue of critical importance to the superstar.

What made you decide to do the documentary?
"I was approached by a woman who lived there who said, 'Look, you have children; you're a mother; you write children's books; you donate money to children's charities, so we know that you care. There's a state of emergency going on here, over a million children orphaned by AIDS. People pay attention to what you do and what you say, so could you please help?' I just thought, 'How can I say no?'"

What was it like to film in Africa?
"When I experienced what was going on first hand, I just got sucked into the whole thing. Thank God I did. I met some amazing people and, hopefully, I've changed the lives of a lot of children. Just as important, I think it's been an incredible growing and learning experience for me. I think the film is really important because it's not really just about what's happening in Malawi, it's really about the importance of how connected we all are, and how responsible we are for one another."

Did you know it would give you another child?
"No, of course not. But I'll never forget meeting my son, David. If I could, I would have adopted 10 more children. There's just so many that need parents and one's more beautiful and lovely than the next."

You have some high-profile collaborators on your new album Hard Candy, from Justin Timberlake to Kanye West. Who was in charge in those recording sessions?
"I like to work with people who have strong opinions. Justin, Timbaland and Kanye - they are all pretty much superstars in their own right and have a very strong sense of what they like and what they want - but so do I. So it was like many forces meeting all together in a room and it was good give and take. There was a lot of chemistry."

You seem to have a very strong sense of what it takes to survive in this business.
"I guess so. I mean, people say that about me, but I don't really think of myself as a business woman. Maybe I just have good intuition."

As the music world changes, you've been called a master at reinventing yourself. What's the secret to staying current?
"I think it's because I'm curious. I pay attention to what's going on around me. I'm always looking for new energy, new talent, new voices. When you do that I think it's easier to come up with fresh ideas. It's not that my career has been based on surprising people, but it's been about challenging myself - to constantly do new things that are going to broaden my own mind and in the process, hopefully, connect with other people."

How's the fight going to keep the media from invading the privacy of your children?
"It's a constant battle. I try to avoid places where I think my kids are going to get inundated by paparazzi. In England, there's a law against photographing children. So it's a little bit easier there. Airports we can't avoid. Sometimes it's just unavoidable. I don't like to live in a gilded cage. I don't want to live my life behind closed doors. I want to be out in the world and I want to be free, and yet, still careful and watchful." (source: Parade.com)


26 June - Madonna.com adds classic interviews
In the media section of Madonna.com, now you can find the first Madonna interview they dug up from the vaults: the Breakfast with Madonna interview from 1990, by MTV. Let's hope we'll get some more cool classic videos soon!


26 June - Is Madonna being sabotaged?
I often criticize Madonna in this space for her nutty politics and her membership in Kabbalah.
But there's one thing you can't beat and that's Madonna live and in person.
So let's clear up reports from Tuesday that her big fall tour isn't selling out. With the sole exception of Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium, the Sweet and Sticky tour, I am told, will outpace Madonna's last tour significantly.
Indeed, Dodger Stadium is the only venue Madonna hasn't sold out. Of course, the show isn't for five months. The fact that she's sold half the stadium now for November is pretty darn impressive.
So where did this bad news come from? Warner M. Group, which lost Madonna to Live Nation, has been on a tear planting negative stories about the latter organization.
WMG, as I predicted, has done little to nothing to promote Madonna's Hard Candy album as retribution for her exit to Live Nation. That a CD with a hit single, the Justin Timberlake-Michael Jackson sound-alike duet 4 Minutes, has sold only 500,000 copies is an utter disgrace. But WMG only has itself to blame.
It didn't take a rocket scientist to predict this. WMG has just this and a greatest hits album left with Madonna, and then she's gone. Her departure is a huge embarrassment to the ailing, much-mocked record company.
But here's what's better: I'm told Live Nation is on the brink of cutting a similar deal with WMG's act Nickelback. Nickelback, which has hits like "The Reason" and "Photograph," is a contemporary hit-maker act, a rarity these days. Grabbing them from WMG could be Live Nation's coup de grace.
Live Nation is also rumored to be making deals with Epic Records star Shakira for concerts and CDs. Is it happening? Well, hips don't lie.
But Live Nation did not do the deal with the Rolling Stones that I long ago exclusively reported on. In the end, I'm told, it made more sense for Live Nation to keep putting on Stones concerts. But album-wise, the group is not a big seller. It's likely to continue doing one-off deals with Interscope, which did such a good job with the "Shine a Light" soundtrack.
As for Madonna, we needn't worry about her or Live Nation. She's already sold out four shows at the Garden and out in New Jersey at what used to be the Continental Airlines Arena - now the Izod Arena. She's also sold out most of her venues in Europe. And Dodger Stadium? Those Angelenos are just mellow. They'll get to it in time.
Meanwhile, a better question to ask is why can't WMG cough up a follow-up single to 4 Minutes? That is, assuming they would want to. Hard Candy is full of candidates such as Miles Away and Give It 2 Me.
But WMG hasn't had made a move. By contrast, Mariah Carey - whose sales have outpaced Madonna's considerably - is already on her third single from her contemporaneous release, "E=MC2." (source: FOXNews.com)


25 June - Paul Oakenfold to join Madonna at Wembley show
With nearly 1 million tickets sold to date along with sold out performances in Paris, Lisbon & Zurich; New York, Boston, Chicago; Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and 2 Mexican stadium shows on Monday, Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour is once again poised to be the tour of the year!

The demand for tickets in Paris for Madonna's September 20th performance was so staggering that a second and final performance was added on September 21st. The Sticky & Sweet Zurich show at the Military Airfield Dubendorf August 30th is sold out at 70,000 and her show date in Lisbon 14-September is also sold out with over 75,000 tickets. In Vancouver, Madonna's October 30th performance sold 50,000 tickets in a record breaking 29 minutes. This past Monday, Madonna's Sticky and Sweet Tour sold out two Foro Sol stadiums in less than 3 hours adding to a list of sellouts that include four sold out Madison Square Garden shows in New York City; 2 sold out performances in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Denver; and additional sell-outs in E. Rutherford, Boston, Oakland, Las Vegas, and Houston.

And now, London fans who missed out on tickets will have a new opportunity to see Madonna with newly announced special guest Paul Oakenfold on 11-September at Wembley Stadium. With the completion of the production for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour, promoters Live Nation announced today that the sight-lines are better than previously anticipated and as such a limited number of tickets in all price levels are now available from www.livenation.co.uk or 24 hr box office 0844 576 5483 (all tickets subject to booking fee). Tickets will be limited to 6 tickets per person.

Paul Oakenfold has long been one of the most important--if not the most important--name in modern club culture. He was one of the first DJ's to have a residency on the Island of Ibiza, leading to both a new sound and a yearly festival. He started regular "Balearic" club nights in London, attracting a crossover audience and remixed legendary bands such as The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays, Along with production partner Steve Osborne, he's remixed tracks by legendary bands New Order, The Cure and Massive Attack. In 1991, he first worked with U2 remixing "Even Better Than the Real Thing" and "Mysterious Ways" from their Achtung Baby album. It was the start of a long partnership with that band which included his spot as DJ on their historic ZOO TV tour and the remixed versions of the band's "Beautiful Day," a number one hit for U2 on the U.S. and U.K. dance charts. Over the years, he's remixed tracks for everyone from Madonna to Elvis Presley to Justin Timberlake to Muse to Snoop Dog. He's the first electronic artist ever to be in the Guinness Book of World Records--for being the biggest DJ in the world. He's the only DJ to have a display case in the Hard Rock Cafe's Rock & Roll Museum. He has worked on the music for major Hollywood films including Swordfish, Collateral, Planet Of The Apes & Matrix Reloaded".

Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour begins 23-August at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium with stops in Nice, Berlin, Zurich, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Rome, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Paris, Vienna and Athens in addition to the 11-September Wembley date. (source: Madonna.com)


24 June - Live Nation defends limp response to Madonna's US tour
Live Nation is on the defensive about the health of its $120 million Madonna deal.
Big sales around the world for the Material Girl's upcoming Sticky & Sweet Tour have been overshadowed in music industry circles by chatter about the large number of tickets still available for a key stop in Los Angeles in November and softer-than-expected sales of her latest album Hard Candy.
The tour so far has grossed more than $74 million in sales for 13 dates in Europe and piled up a string of sellouts at arenas across North America, according to Live Nation.

Arthur Fogel, chairman of global music and CEO of the global touring division at Live Nation, projects the tour will gross more than $250 million in ticket sales - surpassing her record-breaking Confessions Tour two years ago, which pulled in $195 million worldwide.
But just over half of the 43,000 seats available for a Nov. 6 date at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium - 27,000 tickets in all - have been sold in their first three weeks of availability, raising red flags about the limits of US demand for the 49-year-old Madonna at this stage of her career.
It also comes as Live Nation's management has been at odds over the strategy of handing out big-bucks, all-encompassing contracts, known as 360 deals, for aging stars like Madonna and Jay-Z. The rift led to last week's exit of company chairman Michael Cohl.

To be sure, Madonna's sales have been better at other venues.
A Nov. 4 show at San Diego's Petco Park has sold 29,000 of 35,000 seats. And over 33,000 out of 42,000 available tickets were sold for a Nov. 26 stadium date in Miami.
And her US arena dates, including three nights at Madison Square Garden, have sold out.
But at the biggest venues, consumers in the US are not rushing for Madonna tickets with the same fervor that they are in Europe and other parts of the world.
An Aug. 30 show at the Military Airfield Deubendorf in Zurich, Switzerland, sold over 70,000 tickets in days in May, and an October date in Vancouver, BC, sold 50,000 tickets in 29 minutes.
The economy could be a factor - top tickets for Madonna are running as high as $500 at a time when food and gas costs are soaring.

Her latest album is doing solid but unspectacular business in the US. Hard Candy has sold 544,000 copies domestically, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's barely half of what rapper Lil Wayne recently sold in the first week for his latest album "Tha Carter III."
Analysts note that the album could be hard pressed to match the business of her last album Confessions On A Dance Floor, which sold more than 1.6 million copies in the US.
Fogel, who has produced Madonna's last three tours, said concern about ticket demand is overblown.
He noted that there are close to five months to go before the US stadium shows in question open, and each one has already grossed $3 million to $4 million in sales.
Live Nation stock closed down 3.92 percent, or 46 cents, at $11.27. (source: New York Post)


21 June - Heartbeat demo causes stir among fans
Just recently a demo version of the Hard Candy album track Heartbeat has leaked online. The recording features Pharrell singing most of the song, doing the verses with different lyrics, and the chorus and breakdown are sung by a female vocalist, supposedly Nicole Scherzinger from the Pussycat Dolls. The melody and the production of the song is the same as Madonna's final version, so the latest rumour is that Pharrell wrote the track for Nicole but Madonna took a hold of it, with minimal input. Personally we don't think that can be assumed from a demo like this one, in our opinion it's possible that Pharrell sung this version with gimmicky vocals and improvisational lyrics just to show Madonna the rhythm of the song, before she recorded the officially released version. Fact is, Madonna earned a co-writer and a co-producer credit for Heartbeat. A fansite dedicated to The Neptunes production team further suggests the vocal demonstration idea. You can listen to the demo @ TheNeptunes.org!


21 June - Something to remember: Dark clouds bursting in a perfect sky

Exactly one and half a decade ago today, one of Madonna's most loved video clips had its premiere on MTV. Rain, the 5th single released from the underperforming Erotica effort, received a gorgeous video that can only be described in superlatives. It was directed by the very talented Mark Romanek and basically the video is about "making a video". Instead going for a straightforward performance video, the clip shows Madonna and the Japanese crew shooting the scenes, putting together the parts and even Madonna taking a break and smoking a cigarette, who's seen wearing a short black wig throughout the video. The most notable aspect of the fantastic clip (which won 2 technical awards at the 1993 MTV VMA) is that it was shot in black and white and later on it was manually coloured, but with blue as the dominant colour. Madonna surely has those gorgeous blue mad-eyes in this video! ;-)

Rain, arguably the only "classic" released from Erotica went onto becoming a moderate hit all over the world, reversing the trend set by the previous flop Bad Girl in many countries. In the USA, where Rain was the 4th and last single (its B-single was a new remix the hip hop influenced album track Waiting with an actual rappear featuring), this great ballad climbed to #14 in September 1993, mostly on the strength of airplay, which was the precursor of the chart performance of her then-upcoming direction, consisting mainly of downtempo songs and ballads, her trademark style of the mid-90s. Rain is also notable for being the last later-single of a Madonna project that made animpact on the US charts and it even kept Erotica afloat in the lower half of the album chart. In the UK, it became Madonna's 33rd Top 10 hit when it reached #7 there. Interestingly, the B-single of Rain in that country was the 1986 single Open Your Heart, because it was being used in a Peugeot car commercial at the time.

Rain is also notable for getting remixed by Daniel Abraham for the radio version, which wasn't well-received by fans, simply because it killed the strong production of the album version and removed the double vocals of the spoken bridge. While in the video an edit of the album version can be heard, Madonna opted to perform the Radio Remix on the Girlie Show later that year, where she replaced the spoken bridge with a few lines of 'Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)' by The Temptations and then her dancers paid homage to Gene Kelly in an extended outro. Unfortunately Rain has not been performed ever since, we can only hope that Madonna revisits this great track on her upcoming tour...


20 June - Madonna among the 100 best albums from 1983 to 2008
Entertainment Weekly has posted a brand new list of classic albums of the last 25 years and Madonna appears twice on the list: #5 with the first album and at #59 with Ray Of Light. The #1 goes to Prince's classic, Purple Rain. We'd argue that EW forgot to include one of the best pop albums ever, 1989's Like A Prayer!


20 June - Stuart Price confesses about I Love New York
An electronic musician and a member of Madonna's touring band since 2001, Price attracted acclaim for his remixes of No Doubt's It's My Life and The Killers' Mr Brightside before co-writing and co-producing Madonna's Confessions On A Dance Floor in 2005. He recently produced Seal's System and is currently working on the new Keane album.

Madonna performs I Love New York @ Confessions Tour We were at Madison Square Garden in the middle of the 2004 Re-Invention Tour, and it had got to that point where everyone was just completely bored. Touring with Madonna is like taking everything you've learned from the age of 14 about playing small pubs and clubs in bands and chucking it all out of the window. It's more like Cirque Du Soleil than the Pheasant & Firkin, put it that way. Essentially, the show has so many moving parts that if you go out on a limb you might end up losing a limb.

Madonna can be quite spontaneous, but she's not spontaneous when it comes to doing a show in front of 20,000 people! Similarly, the soundcheck is often quite a choreographed affair, but this time she just started messing around. She started playing this very basic, two-chord riff on the guitar and making up these lyrics about how she loved New York. It was just a real fun, mess-around song. Later I went into her dressing room with a guitar and a portable multi-track and said, "We're just going to stick something down for a reference", so we had a rough sketch of the song.

Later on in the tour we were playing Slane Castle with Iggy Pop, and while we were watching him Madonna said, "Let's make the song a bit like The Stooges." She was making a documentary on that tour, I'm Going To Tell You A Secret, and there was a scene in it that featured New York, and she decided she wanted a kind of Stooges version of I Love New York to play over it.

So I took the riff and the guide vocal away to a friend's house in Reading. We went into his bedroom and propped the bed up against the wall to make room for the drum-kit. His brother played guitar, I played bass and we tracked this Madonna song in the bedroom of a house on the Wokingham Road! And that's the version that appears on the documentary.

Right after that, we started making Confessions On A Dance Floor. Madonna said, "We're doing a dance record. I really like this song, but it doesn't fit in. Let's work on it." That week I was going to Australia to DJ and I promised to try and figure something out while I was away. As a travelling producer, working by yourself, you don't want to book into a two grand-a-day studio. It's overkill. You're looking for smaller places. I was in Sydney and I found this guy who said he had a small studio – I got there and it was literally a shed in his back garden! Right, OK! Let's see what we can do! So I effectively started remixing it in a shed in Australia.

I did what I normally do when I remix. I pull it all back to just the vocal, stick in a kick drum and try and work around it. I had this old Yamaha ZX100 keyboard which had a nice Detroit-y sound. That's where one of the main keyboard lines in the album version of the song came from. I remixed it and reworked it, and it went from Detroit rock to Detroit techno. I was sending it backwards and forwards to Madonna from Australia. Obviously the time difference couldn't have been worse, but that was how the final version of the song began to emerge. While I was away patching together the track, she was forming the lyrics. When I came back to London I took a version of the track to a club where I was DJing and it really worked on the dancefloor.

Then we came back to Olympic Studios in London and reunited to finish it for the album. As a collaborator she knows exactly what she wants, but on the other hand she wants you to do it! She'll say, "You need to be the visionary now; I'll be the visionary later." It's a complex chemistry but it plays out really well. What's brilliant about Madonna is that she's blissfully unaware of how a computer really works, so she's not there saying, "Can we try this effect?" or (pointing at a screen), "Can we move that bit over there." There's none of that. She sits on the couch and says, "I don't like it", or, "I like it." You're left to do your own thing without someone leaning over your shoulder.

Madonna works on instinct a lot more than people realise. I Love New York travelled all round the world, but everything – the riff, the vocal melodies, the lyric ideas – really came pouring out at that initial soundcheck. (source: Word Magazine)


20 June - Arthur sequel is almost completed
Arthur and the MinimoysIn an interview with SCI FI Channel's SCI FI Wire, child star Freddie Highmore says that he recently laid down his last voice tracks for two upcoming sequels to French filmmaker Luc Besson's largely animated 2006 family film Arthur and the Invisibles. Based on Besson's own series of children's books, Arthur and the Vengeance of Maltazard is slated to hit theaters in 2009, followed by Arthur and the Two Worlds War possibly in 2010.
The live-action portions of the movies were shot more than a year ago, and time was of the essence as producers wanted to get Highmore's voice recording sessions completed before the 16-year-old actor's voice changed too much. Also returning to the voice cast for the second and third installments are David Bowie, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Jewel, Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.
Made for around $86 million, the first Arthur pic was the most expensive European animated feature at the time it came out. It grossed $113 million worldwide but only took in $15 million in the U.S., where it was distributed by MGM and the Weinstein Co.
Earlier this year, Besson's EuropaCorp picked up rights to Mathias Malzieu's sci-fi novel La Mecanique du Coeur (The Mechanics of the Heart), and plans to make an animated feature from it. Highmore was most recently seen in Paramount's adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles, which will be released on DVD on June 24. (source: Animation Magazine)


20 June - Madonna nominated for Teen Choice Awards
Madonna gets 2 nominations for the Teen Choice Awards 2008. The show is scheduled to air on FOX at 8 pm ET on Monday, August 4th, 2008.

Choice Music: Single
Chris Brown, "With You"
Jonas Brothers, "When You Look Me in the Eyes"
Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake, 4 Minutes
Miley Cyrus, "See You Again"
Rihanna, "Don't Stop the Music"

Choice Hook-Up
Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain, "Low"
Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown, "No Air"
Lil Mama featuring Chris Brown & T-Pain, "Shawty Get Loose"
Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake, 4 Minutes
Nelly featuring Fergie, "Party People"

Check out the rest of the nominations here!


18 June - Give It 2 Me single tracklist revealed
Give It 2 Me, the single Warner Belgium has revealed the tracklists for the international editions of Madonna's new single Give It 2 Me. The single will be released on July 11th in selected European countries. Currently there's no info whether the UK tracklist is going to be any different, but it's likely to be the same. At this point, no plans for a USA maxi-single were announced. (Thanx to Evy @ MadonnaNed!)

International 2-track single
1. Album Version 4:47
2. Oakenfold Extended Mix 7:08

International 3-track single
1. Album Version 4:47
2. Oakenfold Drums In Mix 5:55
3. Eddie Amador House Lovers Remix 7:56


17 June - Robyn to support Madonna on European leg of Sticky & Sweet
From Madonna.com:

Robyn Things just keep getting better and better for Robyn. Having just finished an amazing sell out UK tour, she has now been asked to support the world's sweetest pop star Madonna on her recently announced European Sticky & Sweet Tour. This is a major honour as Robyn will be one of the few performing artists to appear on tour. Additional Sticky & Sweet concerts will feature special guest DJ's as support. The Swedish popstrel said "Having been a fan of Madonna since I was a little girl, I'm very excited about sharing a stage with her and playing to her audiences...I'm thrilled."

With nearly 1 million tickets sold to date along with sold out performances in Paris, Lisbon & Zurich; New York, Boston, Chicago; Montreal, Toronto & Vancouver and more, Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour is once again poised to be the tour of the year! Robyn recently completed a whirlwind tour of the States where both her live shows and eponymous album met with rave reviews across the board. Her star shows no sign of waning any time soon...

Robyn will appear on the following dates:
26-August Nice Stade Charles Ehrmann
28-August Berlin Olympic Stadium
30-August Zurich Military Airfield Dubendorf
02-September Amsterdam Arena
04-September Dusseldorf LTU Arena
09-September Frankfurt Commerzbank Arena
14-September Lisbon Parque da Bela Vista
23-September Vienna Danube Island
27-September Athens Olympic Stadium

↑ Back to top of page