Madonna news - Aug. 2008

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No smoking at Sticky & Sweet Tour

Source: - 31 August 2008

Dear Madonna fans,

The Material Girl has embarked on her Sticky & Sweet Tour and is currently performing live in several European cities. While thousands of you attend the show each and every night, our girl is giving her best to each and everyone of you.

Singing and dancing along with her is a fantastic way to support her, but there's a little something some of you can do to turn the experience into the ultimate one. If you're watching the show from the first front rows, we ask that you please refrain from smoking as it blows up on the stage.

Thank you for your understanding, we appreciate your help!

Madonna wears bathrobe in German airport

Source: Contactmusic - 31 August 2008

Pop superstar Madonna stunned security staff at an airport in Germany on Thursday (28Aug08) night - by turning up wearing a bathrobe.

Madonna @ Schoenefeld airport Berlin

The Holiday hitmaker arrived at Schoenefeld airport after performing at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin as part of her Sticky & Sweet world tour.

But staff at the venue were shocked to see the star wander through security checks wearing nothing more than a fluffy white robe and black trainers.

The singer's gown had the cheeky slogan "Dancing Queen" printed on the back.

Guy won't renew wedding vows with Madonna

Source: Contactmusic - 31 August 2008

Guy Ritchie has branded rumours he and wife Madonna are set to renew their wedding vows as "rubbish" - because he spent too much money on her 50th birthday celebrations.

The couple were rumoured to be planning to remarry in a Kabbalah ceremony later this month (Aug08).

But the moviemaker is adamant they won't be heading down the aisle for a second time - because their lavish 2000 marriage in the Scottish Highlands was all they needed.

Ritchie says, "Rubbish (rumours of renewing wedding vows). I think once was enough. And I've just paid out on a big party for her birthday.

"I bought her two original Hermes drawings of equestrian thingies (sic) - but trust me, the party was infinitely more expensive than the paintings."

Madonna's pre-show ritual

Source: - 27 August 2008

As her Sticky & Sweet tour kicks into high gear, Madonna is in "great spirits," her rep, Liz Rosenberg, tells People.

And why shouldn't she be? At the second stop of her European leg, the pop icon was cheered on by famous fans Bono and Elton John in Nice, France, on Tuesday night. (It would seem that her feud with John – who accused her of lip-synching in 2004 – is officially ancient history.)

As the singer gets into the groove of her 51-date world tour, her priorities are simple: "Making sure the show is perfect – and taking care of her kids and her husband," says her rep.

And even though she recently celebrated her 50th birthday, Madonna has no plans to retire any time soon.

"The harder Madonna works the happier she is," says Rosenberg, a longtime friend. "Because she was a dancer, that's why. It's practice, practice, practice."

Behind the Scenes

Backstage, the atmosphere is peaceful and family-oriented, with a kids' play room next to the singer's dressing room. On her opening night in Cardiff, Wales, "She had a massage and a facial – things are very quiet," says the rep.

Before each show, she spends an hour in hair and makeup, then performs some vocal exercises. Next, she warms up with some form of exercise, "probably some free weights."

Daughter Lourdes, 11, will often watch her mom from the wings. "She is quite casual about it, she can take it or leave it," says Rosenberg. "She's comfortable with the dancers. She talks to all of them."

Lola (as she's known to friends and family) might have a superstar for a mom, but she's no spoiled brat. "She's very grounded," swears the rep, who fondly remembers the girl as a makeup-obsessed 2-year-old. "I think Madonna has done a really good job."

And despite the recent rumors of marital woe, the singer's husband, director Guy Ritchie, "absolutely" supports his wife from backstage. "Guy understood who he was marrying and they have a whole separate life [away from the spotlight]," she insists. "They are completely fine."

Madonna courts controversy again over McCain video

Source: Reuters via Yahoo - 27 August 2008

Madonna has always revelled in controversy and with the recent launch of her concert tour, Sticky & Sweet, the 50-year-old pop star has kicked up a new fuss by comparing John McCain to Adolf Hitler in a video.

The dust-up is the latest in a career of risky moves that have paid off handsomely for Madonna, whose tours and albums have long mixed music with politics, sex and religion. While other stars rose to fame in the 1980s then faded away, "Material Girl" Madonna has become a global star and even courted controversy to stay relevant to younger audiences.

"Madonna seems to be an extraordinarily brilliant business woman in the business of culture," said Robert Thompson, a professor of media at and pop culture at Syracuse University.

"She's controlled her controversy, so every time she's been in controversy it does her good not bad," he told Reuters.

As her world tour opened in Cardiff, Wales, over the weekend, Madonna showed a video montage juxtaposing images of Hitler with McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona running for president against Democratic Sen. Barack Obama. The Democrats on Monday launched their nominating convention.

McCain's campaign blasted Madonna with a campaign spokesman telling media organizations that the video was "outrageous, unacceptable and crudely divisive."

Abraham Foxman, national director for Jewish group The Anti-Defamation League also issued a statement calling it "outrageous to invoke Nazi imagery in the context of John McCain's candidacy."

In 2005, Rabbis criticized Madonna over a song, Isaac, that they said used an inappropriate reference to a 16th century mystic. Madonna also has drawn the ire of the Vatican over sexual themes such as simulating masturbation on stage.

Her 1989 song Like A Prayer, with links between religion and eroticism, caused Pepsi-Cola to cancel a sponsorship deal.

In 1992, she released a book called "Sex" with nude pictures of the star that caused a media sensation, and in 2003 her same-sex kiss with Britney Spears at MTV's Video Music Awards proved to be yet another celebrity news firestorm.

While Thompson noted that Madonna has successfully boosted her career in the past with controversy, he added that celebrities should speak their minds if they want.

"The whole notion of a democratic republic is that this wasn't just about politicians, that anyone could shoot their mouth off about whatever they wanted to," Thompson said.

But David Horowitz, a conservative writer and activist, took a more dim view of Madonna's latest controversy.

"We're in a sad situation if we're turning to entertainers for political wisdom," he told Reuters.

Guy: "You won't find a fitter bird than my missus"

Source: The Sun - 25 August 2008

There are a lot of armchair Madonna experts doing the rounds - but few who have seen her in action as often as Guy Ritchie.

He has been watching from the wings at almost every performance on her last four tours, living through the stress, sweat and tears of his wife's gruelling military preparation.

Madonna skipping rope on the Sticky & Sweet Tour

On Saturday night in Cardiff I was lucky enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with him watching his missus in her element on stage for the first night of her brilliant Sticky & Sweet Tour.

And the RocknRolla director gave his expert opinion on Madge's big night at the Millennium Stadium.

He said: "This is my fourth tour. I went to almost every single show the last time round but I hadn't seen any of this one before tonight. I loved it. It is a great show.

"I love all her dark songs best. Some of the songs come from genuine suffering, let me tell you."

I shared the journey from London to Cardiff with Guy to see Madge's big night, stopping off for a real ale on the way.

He added: "It's quite an experience being on tour with the missus. In America you get full-on motorcades and 15-car escorts from the police.

"In London you're lucky if you get one rozzer. It's something else on show night. There will be 20 levels of staff before you get through to see the missus."

Guy presented Madge with a bouquet of flowers before the gig, leaving pals in hospitality drinking 12-year-old malt whisky. Then, when showtime started, he took us to the stage, shaking hands on the way with all the guests and massive crew for the tour.

Madge pulled up to the stage in her blacked-out Merc - stopping for a quick kiss with her man before taking the stage to a deafening roar.

For the last six months I have seen photos almost every day of Madonna leaving the gym in pieces after putting herself through hell to be in perfect condition for her gigs.

And Guy, along with 60,000 other fans, was well impressed by just how incredibly fit she looks for a 50-year-old mum-of-two when she took to the stage for opening number Candy Shop.

He said: "Her legs are Olympic standard. She is in amazing shape. You won't find a fitter bird than her. Her legs are so toned. She's fitter than dancers on her tour who are half her age."
Britney Spears has a cameo role in the show, as The Sun revealed earlier this month. A video of the singer trapped in a lift is played during the performance of Human Nature.

Guy explained: "Britney in the lift is based on real footage the missus saw of someone stuck in a lift for 48 hours. The dancing is inspired by what happened inside."

During an intricate dance routine with a skipping rope during Into The Groove, Guy joked: "Have you ever tried skipping? It's not easy."

He also pointed out some of the characters involved in the show: "She nicked my old guitar teacher off me. His name's Monte.

"He was in a heavy metal band. Now she's nicked him for the show. He teaches her too."

Guy nodded his approval throughout - especially during the clever links between the show's four sections, with pumping dance music mixed in with her classic tracks. He said: "That's one thing about the missus's shows. They are non-stop.

"You get in, she's on and then you have two hours of non-stop entertainment."

Guy, who turns 40 in two weeks, watched the entire show wearing a pair of classy shades - not because he's a poser but because his eyesight isn't what it used to be.

He added: "I haven't seen a lot of the shows properly before because I always forget my glasses."

You can't blame a man married to Madonna for having trouble with his eyesight.
I couldn't believe my eyes for most of the show on Saturday night...

Buenos Aires show confirmed + 2nd Sao Paulo date added *official*

25 August 2008

Argentine fans surely don't have to cry for Madonna as her official tour itineary was updated today with a show scheduled in the River Plate Stadium of Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 6th.

It is Madonna's first performance in the country since 1993's live extravaganza The Girlie Show. After that Madonna did go back to shoot the Evita musical on location, but fans had to wait till 2008 to get an actual Madonna concert. Congratulations for all the fans in Argentina!

Ticket sales info to be revealed later. It is unknown whether Argentina is the last country to be added in the Sticky & Sweet tour itineary. At this point, Madonna's show is lined up for 17 different countries, the most ever for a Madonna tour. What a perfect way to make fans celebrate her 25th anniversary in the music industry!

The tour schedule was also updated with a second date in Sao Paulo, set for December 20th, where the demand seems to be incredibly high, considering the general sales are only happening on Wednesday, September 3rd!

Madonna kicks off world tour!

23 August 2008

The Sticky & Sweet era has official begun! Madonna is currently performing the opening show of her massive Sticky & Sweet Tour in Cardiff, UK. In the next 4 months, she's going to be everywhere! Keep checking our Sticky & Sweet Tour page throughout the weekend for press reviews and pictures of the opening night.

We encourage our visitors to send us fan reviews, be it the opening night or any of the upcoming concerts, your opinions of the tour are more than welcome! Mad-Eyes is going to write a tour diary, based on personal experiences and by reports from fans all over the world.

UPDATE: The show has just ended, Madonna was in top shape, she blew the crowd away. Check out the opening night gallery, the press reviews and find out what songs she performed!

First tourbook pictures online

23 August 2008

4 pictures of the brand new tourbook, that is debuting tonight at Cardiff, has just leaked online. Madonna looks gorgeous on them, in the same boxer theme.

UPDATE: More pictures leaked!

UPDATE: You can see the scans of the whole tourbook here! It's definitely one of her most interesting and gorgeous photoshoots ever! The setlist of the show is printed in the book, exactly the same setlist you can find on our spoilers page as well.

Sticky & Sweet tourbook Sticky & Sweet tourbook Sticky & Sweet tourbook Sticky & Sweet tourbook Sticky & Sweet tourbook Sticky & Sweet tourbook Sticky & Sweet tourbook Sticky & Sweet tourbook

Official tour website launched

23 August 2008 has just launched the official website dedicated to Madonna's new tour! They currently have the Japanese dancing duo Hamutsun Serve in the spotlight, who featured in the 4 Minutes video and will appear onstage at the Madonna show as well.

Moreover, you can watch a short backstage clip of Madonna in the make-up room, reasuring her fans that "this show is gonna be so amazing"! ;-)

Also, WalesOnline is focusing on Madonna today, on their live blog you'll be able to find pictures, videos and reviews right after the show.

Tourbook cover revealed

23 August 2008

Official Madonna merchandise website has revealed the cover pic of the Sticky & Sweet tourbook. It's a fantastic picture that carries on with the boxing theme of the Hard Candy album booklet, shot by Tom Munro, the director of Give It 2 Me video.

Sticky & Sweet tourbook

Early spoiler: Dress rehearsal pictures

23 August 2008

UK news site The Sun brought us 2 fantastic pictures from yesterday's dress rehearsals, only hours before the actual tour kick off:

She's still got the old Madgic

Dress Rehearsal (Old School segment)

For months Madonna has been hitting the gym ahead of her Sticky & Sweet world tour.

Madge is wearing custom-made Moschino specs for the Old School section, where she sings She's Not Me, doffing her cap to her Eighties roots.

Dress Rehearsal (Old School segment)

I'll be there to see her tonight. Check Monday's column for a full review.

And here are world exclusive pics of the Queen Of Pop rehearsing on stage in Cardiff for the opening gig tonight – and proving all her graft has been worth it.

She is in incredible shape, which is just as well with an all-action two-hour show to do on a marathon tour visiting [so far 38] cities.

Ray Of Light, VMAs & Hall of Fame among most important Madonna moments

2 August 2008

A week after Madonna's milestone 50th birthday, we look at the results of the poll that celebrates Madonna's 25 years of entertaining the fans. Mad-Eyes presented 25 of the most magical moments of her career to the visitors to choose their favourites.

Ray Of Light, the album

By a considerable margin (with 15% of the votes), the release of Madonna's 1998 album Ray Of Light wins, followed by Madonna's induction of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame from the current year, and 2 of Madonna's most iconic performances, from the MTV Video Music Awards 1984 & 1990 that seem to have had a huge impact in her career (each got 9% of the votes). Thanx for the participation, check out the results here!

On the eve of the launch of the greatest show on Earth, we'd like to know about your opinion on Madonna playing the guitar on the Sticky & Sweet Tour in our current poll. Vote here!

Madonna to perform in Santiago, Chile *official*

22 August 2008 has just announced another stop in the South American leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour, Chile gets its first ever Madonna show:

A new show in Chile has just been added to the Sticky& Sweet tour itinerary. Madonna will perform at Santiago's Estadio Nacional on Wednesday, December 10th. A devoted fan club presale will start on Wednesday, August 27, at midnight, Local time.

Public registration will start on Thursday, August 28th at midnight and end on Friday September 5th, while tickets will go on sale Wednesday, September 10, at these times: Internet sales - 0:00 h (midnight) / Phone sales - 10am / Outlet sales - 11 am 0 / Box Office sales - 12pm (noon).

Madonna gets her second US Double Platinum single!

21 August 2008

It's official, 4 Minutes is Madonna's best selling single in the US alongside her 1990 megahit Vogue! revealed the latest single certifications where the Madonna/Justin duet received its Double Platinum award for 2 million paid downloads.

On top of that, 2005's Hung Up is finally certified Platinum, which raises Madonna's total of Platinum singles to 6! Congratulations to Madonna and don't forget to check out the list of all her certified singles on our charts page!

Triggering leaks online

21 August 2008

After nearly 3 years of knowing the existence of the track, today the Confessions On A Dance Floor outtake Triggering leaks online. Was it worth the wait? Surely, it's a true gem, we have absolutely no clue why it has not been used as a B-single at least. I

t's the song Confessions is lacking: a simple uptempo song about dancing, nothing else. Longtime Madonna collaborator Mirwais does not disappoint, the feel-goodtrack is very infectous, it's definitely the best among all the outtakes from that era.

Madonna does a hilarious Debbie Harry-esque rap in the middle of the song, prominently using the word 'hip hop', possibly an early sign for her urban makeover of 2008? ;-) You can listen to the song here andyou can read the lyrics here.

A song called Is This Love (Bon D' Accord) recently leaked as well, which was supposedly written for the Hello Suckers! musical (just like Devil Wouldn't Recognize You) and had served as the basis for the Hard Candy trackVoices.

There's also an American Life outtake that reached the fans, called 'The Game' (listen here and here).

Madonna reveals tour secrets

Source: - 21 August 2008

Madonna fans – get ready to party! As her countdown to her Sticky & Sweet tour begins, the Queen of Pop is preparing to take fans on a "rock-driven, dancetastic journey," her Web site reported Wednesday.

Madonna performing Candy Perfume Girl @ Drowned World Tour

The singer – who turned 50 earlier this week – reveals that her two-hour show will be broken into four sections: 1920's "gangsta pimp," old-school New York club, gyspy (described as a "VIP trip to La Isla Bonita infused by the spirit of Romanian folk music") and far-eastern inspired rave.

After a grueling 653 hours of rehearsal, the tour kicks off in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday. Each performance will include a medley of Madonna's hits, old and new – while the singer models more than eight costume changes. (She'll open the show wearing Givenchy, before moving on to many of the major couture fashion houses.)

On stage, she will be joined by 16 dancers and a 12-piece band. And let's not forget Britney Spears, who will be making a virtual appearance on the tour for a top-secret collaboration. After its U.K. start, the tour travels across Europe before the U.S. leg begins Oct. 4 in East Rutherford, N.J.

On the Homefront

Meanwhile, Madonna's husband, Guy Ritchie is busy promoting his new file, RocknRolla. And while he wouldn't discuss reports of marital strife, the director did open up – a bit! – about their home life. "You know, you have conversations, some deep, some shallow," he tells the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph. "That's the same in everybody's relationship."

Ritchie's new film has been warmly received, unlike his two previous efforts, Revolver and the much-maligned Swept Away (costarring Madonna).

"We made Swept Away as a low-profile movie, for $5 million," he told the paper with a shrug. "But, hey, I don't think there's anything you can do that's low profile with my missus."

Madonna about to kick off Sticky & Sweet Tour

Source: Reuters via Yahoo - 21 August 2008

Madonna kicks off her Sticky & Sweet world tour at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday, the latest test of her enduring appeal just a week after her 50th birthday.

The "queen of pop" will be hoping to eclipse her last trot across the globe in 2006. Confessions became the top-grossing tour ever by a female artist, with ticket sales of $195 million.

Sticky & Sweet, featuring hits that span nearly 30 years in pop music including her latest album Hard Candy, includes 49 dates and is due to wrap up in Sao Paulo on December 18.

Madonna performs Vogue @ Re-Invention Tour

As of Thursday, roughly half the tour venues had yet to sell out including Cardiff, although organizers Live Nation announced in June the tour was on target to gross more than $250 million.

Sticky & Sweet is also a major test for Live Nation, which signed the American star to a 10-year contract in 2007 reported to be worth a total of $120 million.

Record label executives, smarting as some top acts jump ship to sign new deals with the likes of Live Nation and coffee chain Starbucks that reflect changes in the music industry, wonder if companies are paying too much to attract household names.

Madonna reinforced her reputation as a shrewd businesswoman by switching from long-term label Warner Brothers at a time when the pop world recognized that live performing was generally more lucrative than selling records.

Illegal downloads and competition from other forms of entertainment such as video games have eroded music sales, and rising legal digital sales have failed to compensate.

Ups and downs

Musically, Madonna has few real rivals. The Recording Industry Association of America has described her as the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second top-selling female artist in the United States.

Guinness World Records list her as the world's most successful female recording artist of all time and she has sold about 200 million albums. The Sunday Times estimates Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie's fortune at about $600 million.

The last few years have not all been easy for Madonna, however. A celebrity who often bristles in the media glare, she may be universally admired but is not universally loved.

Her decision in 2006 to adopt a young Malawian boy whose mother had died was controversial, both in the southern African country and further afield. Madonna has two other children -- son Rocco with her husband, British film director Ritchie, and daughter Lourdes from a previous relationship.

She directed her first feature film that came out in 2008, and although reviews were mixed, there were harsh words for a woman some believe should stick to music.

Her eight-year marriage to Ritchie has come under increasing scrutiny after tabloid newspapers in Britain, where she spends much of her time, have reported that the couple are planning to divorce. Both have denied the reports.

Sticky & Sweet Tour press release

Source: - 21 August 2008

Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour Kicks Off This Saturday In Cardiff

Madonna, currently putting the finishing touches to her fabulous new Sticky & Sweet Show in Cardiff, is readying herself and the 250 travelling personnel for the opening night this Saturday at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Madonna performing La Isla Bonita @ Live Earth

Hot on the diamante shaped heels of her phenomenally successful Hard Candy disc, Sticky & Sweet promises two pulsating hours of non stop hits in a show that features 16 dancers, a 12 piece band, more than 8 costume changes for the lady herself and £1 million of Swarovski crystals.

The audience is taken on a rock driven dancetastic journey that's broken into four sections:


A mashed up homage to 1920's deco and modern day gangsta pimp. Madonna makes a grand entrance dressed by Givenchy.

Old School

Madonna tips her hat to her early 80's downtown New York City dance roots with flashes of Keith Haring and the dance culture vibe of the time including the birth of rap.


A VIP trip to La Isla Bonita infused by the spirit of Romanian folk music and dance. A tour de force.


Far eastern influences emerge all sparkly and sporty.

Sticky & Sweet kicks off this Saturday August 23rd at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. The tour hits London's Wembley Stadium September 11th. The Sticky & Sweet Tour is produced by Live Nation Global Touring.

Madonna gig will bring £5m into Cardiff

Source: WalesOnline - 21 August 2008

The Material Girl will help pump £5m into the Welsh capital's coffers this Saturday.

Madonna has chosen to kick off her Sticky & Sweet tour in Cardiff and experts say her thousands of fans will dig deep.

They predict that millions of pounds in extra revenue will pass through the tills of the city's shops, bars hotels and restaurants.

Close to 60,000 music lovers could engulf the capital's Millennium Stadium to see the star perform hits including [...] and her recent collaboration with Justin Timberlake, 4 Minutes.

It is thought scores of fans will enjoy meals out and afterwards stay in some of Cardiff's biggest hotels.

Ed Townsend, of city marketing body Cardiff & Co, said: "Research has shown large football or rugby events at the stadium can be worth up to £10m. People travel into the city, go to the match and will then eat and drink afterwards. Given the Madonna show is an evening concert, I think it will be worth about half, £5m."

"People will probably eat out beforehand and then stay in the city afterwards. It will also have an impact on the numbers coming back to the city at a later date. Cardiff is a well-kept secret – people come, love it and advise others to make a trip. No doubt this weekend's concert will have an impact in this sense too."

Saturday's performance, which will also feature support acts Editors and The Guillemots, will be Madonna's second in the city – her first being the 2006 Confessions tour when 59,000 fans bought tickets for her flamboyant show. It was dubbed the most talked about concert to hit the capital in recent years, and according to city centre manager Paul Williams, the fact the 50-year-old star is to return to the city shows she has built up a "special synergy" with Cardiff.
He said: "The Sticky & Sweet tour sees the arrival of a massive superstar in the city – this has a huge kudos attached to it.

"People coming will want to have a good time. There will be people coming from far and wide, and for them Saturday will be about experiencing the city, the stadium and an iconic moment in music with the concert."

Helping Madonna dress to thrill

Source: - 20 August 2008

As the ageless superstar begins a new tour, Hannah Betts talks to the woman behind her costumes

Madonna, who turned an unconvincing 50 at the weekend, is on the brink of a new tour - and inevitably it is generating a fashion frisson. For rather than opting for Country Casuals and elasticated waistbands, the woman who has enjoyed more incarnations than Proteus himself will, as ever, push the sartorial boundaries.

The Sticky & Sweet tour, which opens in Cardiff on Saturday, features an intriguing mix of gangsta pimp, dominatrix and gipsy costumes. And with looks designed by Givenchy's Ricardo Tisci, shoes by Miu Miu, thigh-high boots custom-made by Stella McCartney and sundry items from Yves Saint Laurent and Roberto Cavalli, it leaves no fashion stone unturned, as these exclusive preview sketches show.

Although eyebrows are occasionally raised at the singer's off-duty wardrobe - her penchant for grubby tracksuits and silk bloomers, not least - her stage attire provokes nothing but awe.

"Madonna was the first of her kind," says Lorraine Candy, editor of Elle magazine. "Stars such as Debbie Harry, Patti Smith and Jane Birkin had distinct looks and their own natural styles. But Madonna really entered into the fashion world. Her relationship with Gaultier made her like the supermodels of the time. It's never a catwalk look, it's creating a whole new self, and exploiting cultural references to get this self talked about. In doing so, she transformed herself into a brand."

One woman has been Madonna's collaborator on this venture since 1997 - equivalent to at least a century in fashion years. Arianne Phillips, 45, and based in LA, first met the performer at a shoot for Rolling Stone magazine, and has styled her concerts ever since.

"I had been an admirer of Madonna for years," says Phillips, "idolising her awareness of visual style, her sensibilities, her forever moving forward. I never dreamed I'd get to work with her." Phillips has also styled Justin Timberlake and Courteney Cox, yet her own appearance belies her guru status. "You wouldn't see me and think: 'There goes Madonna's stylist'. My look is pretty low-key: lots of black, nothing that screams fashion, apart from the alert look on my face."

Phillips also helps Madonna with album covers, film and theatre appearances and award ceremonies, maintains a separate magazine and film career, and was nominated for an Oscar for the costumes in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.

It is touring, however, that is the most strenuous role. Not only does the diva herself require dressing, but Phillips must also take responsibility for the 26 other performers. She marshals the work of other designers and creates a good deal of the outfits herself - a role she describes as "the perfect synergy between styling and costume design".

For this, their fourth tour, there will be four motifs. The first, a dominatrix-style gangsta pimp/Art Deco look by Givenchy; an "Old School" phase harking back to Madonna's early days in New York; a paean to Romany romance, also courtesy of Givenchy; and a futuristic rave moment rich in Japanese influences.

Candy's favourite outfit is the gipsy look. "It feels most now," she says. "The colours are very strong, and there's that religious element going on. As ever, she's saying: 'Look at my body.' And why wouldn't she? It must be Olympic standard."

Other conspirators, notably Italian label Dsquared's Dean and Dan Caten, who created 150 pieces for Madonna's tour in 2000-01, have remarked upon her control-freakiness. "She is amazing," says Dan. "She knows exactly what she wants." Phillips concurs: "Madonna is 100 per cent involved."

More even than the leather-look Rolling Stones or the still sprightly Tina Turner, Madonna's age attracts comment. Her position is robust. "I'm not going to be defined by my age," she says. "Why should any woman?"

Lorraine Candy agrees. "The age thing is irrelevant," she says. "As someone who has just turned 40, I'm really bored by being told what's right for a certain age. We should wear what we want to wear. Madonna's body may be unique, but we can all learn something from her spirit of transformation - her attitude."

In effect, Madonna's chameleon quality makes her the embodiment of fashion. "No one else is able to do that reinvention, and that's what fashion is," says Candy. "Someone like Posh Spice looks like the puppet of designers. The clothes wear her. Madonna wears the clothes."

~ For the sketches and the details on each costume piece, check out our tour spoilers page!

The immaculate guide to 25 years of Madonna on the UK charts

20 August 2008

UK music industry website Music Week gave Madonna fans an remarkable treat for her 50th birthday as they celebrate Madonna's 25 years on the charts and reveal the sales and ranks to all of Madonna's hit singles:

She is one of the music industry's most enduring talents, an eclectic, idiosyncratic and enigmatic singer and songwriter, who guards her private life jealously, juggles a recording career with motherhood, and recently celebrated her 50th birthday. But enough about Kate Bush – we're here to look at the phenomenon that is Madonna, who shares all of the above characteristics with Bush and has enjoyed unparalleled success since she arrived on the recording scene in 1982.

Although precocious in many ways, Madonna was something of a late starter as a recording artist, and has still spent less than half her life as a hitmaker.

Born Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone in Bay City, Michigan, she is one of a quartet of major stars born within a few weeks of each other in 1958. Prince arrived on June 7, Kate Bush on July 30, Madonna on August 16 and Michael Jackson on August 29.

Her initial singles, Everybody and Burning Up, were major club hits in America – both reached number three on the Billboard dance chart but fell short of the Hot 100.

Third single Holiday's frivolous, sing-along style won it a much wider audience, and provided her with her introductory Top 20 hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and much of the rest of the globe. On its first visit to the UK chart, in 1984, it peaked at number six. Subsequently reissued in 1985 (when it reached number two) and 1991 (number five), it continues to sell well as a download, and recently became the third song by Madonna to top 0.75m sales here.

Madonna has not looked back since Holiday, and has accumulated 64 consecutive hits, all of which made the Top 20. Along the way, she has sold 16.41m singles in Britain – an average of more than 250,000 per release. That is enough for her to rank fourth in the all-time table of top singles artists in the UK, trailing only Cliff Richard (21.21m), The Beatles (20.71m) and Elvis Presley (20.66m). Richard and Presley rarely penned their own songs but for Madonna, writing, or co-writing her hits is part of the process, and in sales terms she is by far the most successful singer/songwriter in UK chart history.

She has sold as many singles as the two next most successful female solo artists – Kylie Minogue and Whitney Houston – combined. Runner-up Kylie's career tally of 9.05m is impressive but, although 10 years Madonna's junior, she has lost ground on her in the last five years.

Madonna's all-time UK singles sales:

1. Into The Groove (1985) 843,561
2. Like A Virgin (1984) 768,129
3. Holiday (1984) 752,968
4. Crazy For You (1985) 662,481
5. Papa Don't Preach (1986) 629,386
6. True Blue (1986) 534,728
7. Hung Up (2005) 517,036
8. Beautiful Stranger (1999) 513,992
9. Like A Prayer (1989) 513,231
10. Frozen (1998) 508,296
11. Vogue (1990) 484,308
12. La Isla Bonita (1987) 421,760
13. 4 Minutes (2008) 400,784
14. Music (2000) 400,531
15. Material Girl (1985) 389,999
16. American Pie (2000) 380,937
17. Who's That Girl (1987) 376,498
18. Don't Cry For Me Argentina (1996) 338,494
19. You'll See (1995) 302,432
20. Borderline (1984) 298,388
21. Gambler (1985) 292,341
22. Live To Tell (1986) 271,897
23. Erotica (1992) 270,800
24. This Used To Be My Playground (1992) 270,427
25. Ray Of Light (1998) 262,514
26. Dear Jessie (1989) 250,769
27. Causing A Commotion (1987) 229,934
28. Justify My Love (1990) 228,683
29. Hanky Panky (1990) 205,733
30. Dress You Up (1985) 204,970
31. Angel (1985) 198,650
32. Express Yourself (1989) 194,102
33. Cherish (1989) 192,891
34. Open Your Heart (1986) 186,742
35. Don't Tell Me (2000) 179,939
36. Sorry (2006) 178,963
37. The Power Of Good-Bye / Little Star (1998) 175,095
38. Die Another Day (2002) 167,863
39. Deeper And Deeper (1992) 136,854
40. Rescue Me (1991) 134,764
41. Rain (1993) 130,771
42. Nothing Really Matters (1999) 128,137
43. Me Against The Music (2003) 126,136
44. The Look Of Love (1987) 121,439
45. Secret (1994) 117,957
46. Lucky Star (1984) 117,470
47. Take A Bow (1994) 102,739
48. Give It 2 Me (2008) 100,986
49. I'll Remember (1994) 100,090
50. Bedtime Story (1995) 97,428
51. Drowned World/Substitute For Love (1998) 90,651
52. You Must Love Me (1996) 90,428
53. What It Feels Like For A Girl (2001) 86,771
54. Fever (1993) 86,077
55. Human Nature (1995) 80,685
56. Another Suitcase in Another Hall (1997) 75,233
57. Bad Girl (1993) 74,915
58. American Life (2003) 72,260
59. Get Together (2006) 67,163
60. Hollywood (2003) 59,633
61. Oh Father (1996) 58,730
62. One More Chance (1996) 56,851
63. Jump (2006) 52,038
64. Love Profusion (2003) 41,025

Madonna's husband pays tribute on birthday

Source: - 19 August 2008

Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie paid tribute to her at her 50th birthday celebrations on Saturday (16.08.08).

The director threw a lavish £100,000 party for 90 guests to celebrate his wife' reaching the landmark age at the weekend and, in an emotional speech, spoke of his love and pride for the singer.

Guy – who has been dogged by rumours his marriage to the pop superstar is on the rocks - told partygoers at the Volstead nightclub in London: 'She looks better now than she has ever done. I'm so proud. I love her so much.'

Madonna on her 50th birthday with Guy

Despite organising the party, Guy spent most of the day working as he hosted a private industry screening of his new movie 'RocknRolla'.

An insider commented: 'It was as if he was trying to make a point by not being at her beck and call.' The Give It 2 Me singer was moved to tears when her 11-year-old daughter Lourdes performed a surprise rendition of 'Never Alone' from the musical 'Fame' at the venue's grand piano.

Madonna was left disappointed after her closest friends – including Stella McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow – failed to attend the party.

In a 40-minute speech, she thanked Guy, Lourdes, eight-year-old son Rocco, and adopted son David, two, before adding: 'I'm really disappointed. There are a lot of people who are not here tonight, but thanks to everyone who did make it.'

Guy – who refused to dance with his wife - also poked fun at the absence of Madonna's friends in his speech, noting that many of the guests worked for her. Around 40 partygoers were her dancers, who joined the star and her children to gyrate to her back catalogue on the dance-floor, which had a huge M in the middle.

A friend said: 'She loved it when her songs came on. Her dancers were pulling out all the moves, it was like the final rehearsal for her tour.'

Just why have Camille Paglia and co turned on Madonna?

Source: - 19 August 2008

One would have to be a fairly determined news avoider not to clock, at some level, that Madonna has just turned 50. Never mind that life expectancies have risen in the developed world, and living to one's half-century is not the achievement that it once was; this is Madonna's half-century, and attention must be paid.

The interesting thing, however, is how vitriolic much of this attention is, and where that vitriol is coming from. Take Camille Paglia, for instance, writing in Salon last week of the "horrifying paparazzi pix of Madonna's wan face looking as resculpted as a plastic doll", and of the "brassy" cover image for Madonna's latest CD, Hard Candy, "with that ostentatiously exposed crotch and hard-bitten face lolling its tongue like a dissolute old streetwalker ... still hammering at sex as if it's Madonna's last, desperate selling point."

Or Julie Burchill (not one, it is true, to be relied on for a consistent or fair point of view), who began by inveighing against Madonna's "vile veiny hands, that sad stringy neck - yuck!" then proceeded to bring up the crotch shots in Madonna's 1992 book, SEX. "Visions of that greasy muff, which one could easily have fried an egg on without benefit of oil, haunt me till this very day."

Germaine Greer, writing in the Sun, called her the "elderly mother of Lourdes, nearly 12, Rocco eight, and David Banda, nearly three". Since when did elderly mother (of a 12-year-old, meaning she was 38 when she had Lourdes) become a term of insult? At least two of these women would call themselves feminists.

What exactly has Madonna done to deserve this?

Perhaps the answer lies in the hopes they had for her (and themselves) 20 years ago. In 1990, Paglia wrote that Madonna "has taught young women to be fully female and sexual while still exercising total control over their lives"; she celebrated the snook Madonna was cocking at "the puritanism and suffocating ideology of American feminism": Madonna, proclaimed Paglia, "is the [real] future of feminism". And now they feel betrayed by what that future held: Catholicism replaced by Kabbalah; one-night-stand babies by marriage and stately homes; a vigorously pursued desire not to look old (by clinging to the in-your-face sexuality she pioneered).

So Paglia castigates her for not maturing with grace; Greer for never being what she seemed: "Madonna was a middle-class girl pretending to be tough, a religious girl pretending to be irreligious, a prude pretending to be a pervert, a control freak pretending to be out of control."
In fact, she's doing what they liked her for in the first place - going her own way, fighting her own fight, mores be damned. Trouble is, it's their mores she's breaking, and they don't like it one little bit.

Why we're all still so hung up on Madonna

Source: Belfast Telegraph - 19 August 2008

Nobody should be deluded that Madonna is just a pop star. Or that the vitriol poured on her by sections of the media as she turned 50 has to do with another superstar going off the boil. Or that she was simply being devoured by the beast that created her in the first place. So, some said she wasn't wearing the best? That's the usual misogyny.

Influence aside, Madonna isn't Britney any more than she is Kylie. She is from an entirely different universe.

She wasn't wanted in the first place. She wasn't manufactured. They said she couldn't sing, wasn't conventionally good-looking and couldn't act.

But as soon as the public clocked her, the war was over.

Madonna is still doing what she did 25 years ago - changing the face of popular music, racking up credibility as a musician, songwriter and performer almost on a par with the best there has ever been and generating hit after global hit.

Fact is, not even male icons have stayed at the front of popular culture the way she has.

Prince? Dead and gone. Bowie? Comes around once every 10 years. Elton? Everybody's granny. Bruce? Nostalgia central. Michael Jackson? Fruitcake.

Uniquely, Madonna brought fashion, lifestyle, an aggressive feminism - these things went straight to the heart of women's experience and they have helped to shape it in a way that has made the "Madonna" brand so much a part of the identity of women under 50.

When people use the word 'attitude', it's because Madonna invented it.

So it's no surprise that the media - run by men - and "opinion-formers" - mostly men - just can't get their head around it.

They don't like it, they don't understand it, are a bit frightened of it and would much rather it just went away.

These things are important. Madonna isn't Petula Clark or Dionne Warwick. From day one, she was a full package of a way of living.

A way of talking to people, of expressing an opinion, of throwing off the shackles. It was Papa Don't Preach; Express Yourself; Live To Tell; Material Girl?

She took up positions - physical and emotional - which were way beyond what most girls or women would have dreamed of doing themselves.

For the first time in mainstream culture, she brought religious symbolism into pop music. Certainly, this was controversial, but mostly because it was so new and so potent, rather than for any real 'blasphemy' or sacrilege.

And given the scandals which have rocked the Catholic Church of her upbringing and the dissension on sexual morality which has riven Anglicanism, Madonna's musings on the simple icons of her culture seem more a positive recognition of the emotional power of Christianity than ridicule of it.

So extreme was her impact that even now it would take a massive pressure for "ordinary" women to be as radical as Madonna was and remains.

But they know that it was important that she did and said what she did and said, because it loosened up their own possibilties for behaviour.

There have been personalities who have done some of this for some of the people for some time. But then they stop doing it.

Madonna has been doing it for 25 years solid. If there are generations of young women that she can't get at directly - and that is questionable given the huge volume of global sales of her albums - she gets them through the all-pervasive influence of her musical styles.

And, yes, her attitude - which has influenced younger women musicians and songwriters.

The watermark was when she turned 40 - that was supposed to be the end of her creativity and influence.

Ten years on and they're still rehearsing the usual stuff about how ragged she looks, how old she is and how irrelevant she'll soon be.

The people who don't like Madonna had better get used to it, because we're living in a society now that's less about Madonna's age and more about the Age of Madonna.

Sticky & Sweet shows in Brazil confirmed! *official*

18 August 2008

After what seems to be an eternity, has finally confirmed that the Sticky & Sweet Tour will indeed reach Brazil!

Madonna is going to perform in Rio De Janeiro's Maracana Stadium on December 14th and in Sao Paulo's Morumbi on December 18th.

The ICON presales are set to Wednesday, August 20th @ 10 am local time. The public registration will start on Wednesday, August 20th and will end on Friday, August 29th.

Tickets for Rio De Janeiro will go on sale on Monday, September 1st, while the Sao Paulo ones will be available from Wednesday, September 3rd.

Madonna has not performed in South America since The Girlie Show 15 years ago, so congratulations to all the fans in Brazil and fingers still crossed for the other South American countries!

Liz Smith's birthday wishes

Source: The Women on the Web - 16 August 2008

On August 16th, Madonna turns 50. She is still young - 50 is the new 25! - but perhaps because she has been a megastar since she was 25, it seems as if she is 80. Remember the famous H. Rider Haggard book (and later an Ursula Andress movie) She? That's how we think of Madonna - thousands of years old, renewing herself by walking through the magic fire. I think human sacrifice was involved, too. (Well, if you believe her brother Christopher …)

Not since Marlene Dietrich became the "World's Most Glamorous Grandmother" have I seen such fret and fuss about a star's age. (Miss Dietrich, who never saw a publicity angle she didn't love, was initially amused by the glam granny references. Later, as the business of putting "Marlene Dietrich" together became more labor intensive, she was less cheery about it.)

Of course, with every round-numbered birthday that Madonna has passed - 30, 40 – the press has asked, "Is Madonna the Material Girl Now Immaterial? Is She Still Relevant?" The answer is f- yeah, she's still relevant. When you don't ask, she'll be gone. There has always been an unseemly media haste to put an end to maturing female careers, especially when that career is based, at least in part, on good looks or sex appeal.

Truth to tell, Madonna's record sales are not quite what they once were in the United States, but in Europe she sells three times as many CDs. Ticket sales for her coming U.S. and European concert tour remain stratospheric. (This ongoing aspect of her career is very much like that of the withered Rolling Stones and nobody is bothering to diss their crow's-feet!)

Madonna is too thin, too worked-out and her hair is way too long. But these are the choices she makes. It doesn't photograph well. In person - and I have seen her in person without makeup recently - she looks softer, younger and prettier. Not so unappealingly muscular.
People ask me, as Madonna's birthday approaches, if I have advice for her? Puh-LEEZE. I wish she had some advice for ME. I'd like 600 million dollars.

As a friend, I'd only suggest she relax. As a friend, she'd probably reply, "I will when you will, Liz!" (Several years ago, my newspaper, the New York Post obliged me to ask Madonna if she was ever going to retire? She laughed and said, "Are you?" End of subject.)

Madonna, you keep on keeping on as long as you want. Happy birthday, honey!

Oh, and here are a few other stars who reach the half-century mark this year - Michael Jackson, Prince, Angela Bassett, Kevin Bacon, Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Stone, Candace Bushnell and Tim Burton.

But as far as the press is concerned, it's All About Madonna.

Madonna's 50th birthday in the press

16 August 2008

Madonna reaching the half of a century mark is getting a lot of positive press in online media. The following articles are all a nice read:

Better with age? Madonna reinvents 50 (ABC News)
Madonna turns 50: Highs and lows (BBC News)
Madonna's 50th birthday: a gallery her stage costumes, beauty looks, entourage and style moments (InStyle)
Happy Birthday, Madonna! (E! Online)
Madonna to celebrate 50th birthday (Yahoo! Music)
Madonna: An unlikely inspiration for 50-plus set (AP via Yahoo)
The age of Madonna: Pop powerhouse turns 50, and she's better than ever (NY Daily News)
Madonna masters the numbers at 50 (

Happy Birthday Madonna!

16 August 2008

Dear Madonna,

Half a century ago, you arrived into our ordinary world, but nobody expected that you'd be one of those few people who can make a change in the lives of millions. 25 years ago, you launched your magnificent music career.

You've dedicated half of your lifetime so far to entertain your fans. In that time, you've released 12 fantastic studio albums, dozens of great songs and you've done 7 massive tours.

Today, on August 16th, 2008, we just want to celebrate your brilliance. You're still going strong, if not more than ever! You're about to kick off your 8th tour which promises to be your biggest ever.

Thank you for all the inspiration and the great moments, Madonna, we'll see you on tour very soon!

Happy Birthday Madonna!

~ Bartie & Dani / The Mad-Eyes team

ABBA cover leaks online

15 August 2008

Just in time for the ABBA revival of 2008, Madonna fans finally get their hands on Madonna's cover of the ABBA song Like An Angel Passing Through My Room. The track is the closing song on ABBA's final album 'The Visitors' released in 1981.

Madonna covered this sorrowful track in 2000 with William Orbit during the Music sessions and it stays true to the ABBA version with Orbit's bubbly production and Madonna's gorgeously deep and warm vocals, paying homage to Frida's original rendition. It is unfortunate that the other Orbit produced-tracks were included on Music and not this great cover.

The track surfaced on a rare William Orbit box set that was supposedly given away at his Space Event earlier this year. The 4 disc set contains more Madonna-related tracks: instrumental versions of Time Stood Still, Mer Girl and the ABBA cover itself, a stripped down demo of Liquid Love (same vocals as in the version leaked 2 years ago), a different instrumental demo of Drowned World, the Guerilla Beach Mix of I'll Remember from 1994, 'Purdy', the music used in Madonna's H&M commercial from 2007, and the famous 'humming song' Wonderland that was famously used as the Mad-Eyes intro, which is now credited as 'Madonna & Rupert Everett'. You can can read the lyrics here.

Liz Rosenberg kills negative buzz

Source: E! Online - 14 August 2008

The fate of Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour just got a whole lot sweeter.

Despite rumors that the pop icon's elaborate world tour would be scrapped on account of illness-inspired by a seemingly sprained ankle-a rep for the singer's concert promoter, Live Nation, tells E! News the show will go on.

"We haven't canceled any shows, it's a full go starting on [Aug.] 23," says the rep.

Meanwhile, the singer's longtime rep Liz Rosenberg came to E! News to set the record straight on reports that the Material Mom is thisclose to adopting another child…

"There are several totally untrue rumors currently floating around about Madonna. One is that she is canceling shows, canceling a birthday party, that she's adopting a second child from Malawi and that she hurt her ankle. None of these are true," Rosenberg tells us.

British media are reporting that Guy Ritchie has an authentic English bash in store for Madonna this weekend at their Wiltshire estate. The celebration of Madonna's big 5-0 reportedly will include traditional English ale and pals Gwyneth Paltrow, Stella McCartney and Trudie Styler.

Contrasting fortunes as Madonna and Jacko turn 50

Source: ABS-CBN - 13 August 2008

Pop icons Madonna and Michael Jackson turn 50 later this month, but the contrasting fortunes of the two music legends could not be more stark as they usher in their respective birthdays.

Madonna, who celebrates her birthday on August 16, will bring up the half century with her career in rude health, less than one year into a groundbreaking 120-million-dollar, 10-year deal, and with a recent #1 album.

Madonna & Michael Jackson @ Academy Awards 1991

But "King of Pop" Jackson, who is 50 on August 29, will mark his birthday still struggling to rebuild his career following a 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges, and with his finances the subject of intense speculation.

In the 1980s, the duo ruled the music world, with Jackson riding high thanks to the phenomenal success of his seminal 1983 "Thriller," which with more than 50 million copies sold remains the best-selling album of all-time.

Madonna enjoyed similar success, exploding on to the scene with 1983's Madonna, and following it up with the multi-platinum Like A Virgin a year later, which has sold 21 million copies worldwide.

Yet while Madonna consolidated her success in the 25 years since her debut, Jackson's star has waned, an outcome that few would have predicted in 1983.

"It's interesting, you know, they're both the same age, they're both monster superstars, cultural myths almost, from the 1980s into the 1990s, but in so many ways they're hard to compare," said Robert Thompson, professor of television at the University of Syracuse.

"One could argue that as a musician, a dancer and an entertainer, Michael Jackson has it all over Madonna by a factor of 10," Thompson said.

"He's the guy who's up there with Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, one of the top musical performers in our cultural history."

Yet Madonna, Thompson said, has prospered from her extraordinary ability to reinvent herself, a skill that allows her to remain relevant despite the march of time and changing music tastes.

According to Geoff Mayfield, chart director of Billboard, Madonna achieved solid success with her latest album Hard Candy, which topped the charts earlier this year.

"It didn't sell as well as her music did a few years ago, but it was a number one album, and if anyone has ever proven that she's able of reinventing herself, that's Madonna," Mayfield said.

Jerry Del Colliano, a professor and music industry expert at the University of Southern California, also cited Madonna's chameleon-like ability to adapt.

"Madonna has managed to stay creative, and to stay relevant. I think she still is in the popular music scene," Del Colliano told AFP. "I don't know what she'll be like at 60, but Mick Jagger is there and he's rocking and rolling.

"There's no shrewder businesswoman. She could probably run a music studio."

Analysts were less optimistic about Jackson's ability to pull his career out of its prolonged nosedive of the last decade.

According to Thompson, Jackson's problems can be traced back to the astounding success of "Thriller" and the fame it earned him.

"He got to the point that he was so rich, so powerful and so famous, that he was allowed to kind of withdraw from any kind of reality," Thompson opined.

"Michael Jackson is the example of someone who was truly spoiled -- and by spoiled I mean ruined -- by the level of fame that he achieved.

"He accidentally turned himself into a parody of himself, and then it's kind of hard to re-emerge as a serious performer," Thompson said.

Both Thompson and Del Colliano expressed doubt that a Jackson comeback was feasible, saying the stigma of sex abuse allegations would continue to haunt the singer despite his acquittal.

"I don't think it's impossible, I think he's still got talent, but then you tie that in with the trial, and that made an awful lot of people terribly uncomfortable," Thompson said.

Del Colliano added: "Jackson withstood a trial, which was very ugly, and was vindicated. The idea that he could be a pedophile, having that in the news is not going to make your career any good."

A spokeswoman for Jackson did not respond to questions about how or where the singer would be celebrating his birthday.

Madonna, however, was reported to have postponed a star-studded party set for Saturday at the English country home she shares with husband Guy Ritchie after twisting an ankle during rehearsals for her forthcoming world tour.

At 50, has Madonna surpassed the Beatles?

Source: MSNBC - 13 August 2008

A quarter century after she emerged, the icon's allure is still in full effect

Burning Up There's no easy way to say this, so I'll just come right out with it. As Madonna's 50th birthday approaches on Aug. 16, it's looking like her influence on pop music has outshone that of the Beatles.

Let me qualify the above statement before all the peace-and-love baby boomers start hating. It's Madonna's impact on the course of pop music that bests the Fab Four, not her sociological importance, songwriting skills or recording innovations.

Influence means an artist has an effect on the future direction of music. While the Beatles influenced scads of artists in their time, after their breakup, their sound became yesterday's news. Artists that tried to copy them (Badfinger, the Raspberries, Squeeze) seemed quaint or quirky.

But a quarter century after Madonna emerged, artists still use her ideas and seem modern and edgy doing so. Beyond the obvious Madonna wannabe 1980s singers, Madonna's influence is felt in artists from Gwen Stefani to Britney Spears to boy bands, who found in the 1990s there was an audience beyond the old rock crowd.

Madonna, like Elvis, recast the focus of popular music. By emphasizing modern R&B grooves where most singers used rock beats, she was the catalyst that changed music from being rock-centric to being dance and R&B-oriented. (Disco, which influenced Madonna, might have done the same thing had it not died because of rock resentment.)

It's worth noting that before Madonna, most music mega-stars were guy rockers; after her, almost all would be female singers.

Combining genres, inventing styles

How did this happen? Let's scroll back to 1983, the year of Madonna's first album.

Like A Virgin @ MTV VMA 1984 Like Elvis and the Beatles, Madonna combined genres. So her first two singles (Everybody and Burning Up) may have been lost on people because of the way they didn't quite fit in with R&B or rock. Top 40 and MTV back then treated black music like a subgenre - not the backbone of 20th century American music, as it's recognized now. With her music and videos, Madonna sliced away at genre straightjackets like a surgeon, opening the doors for the future hip-hop explosion.

As for style, well, Madonna's rag-tag early clothing get-up defined much of what was to come in the 1980s. She was also perhaps the ultimate video pioneer, because her videos were integral to her presentation, not an appendage of it.

Her career highlights came early on. She famously rolled around on the stage singing Like A Virgin in a wedding dress at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards. She had a featured role in Desperately Seeking Susan and got a huge hit out of that with Into The Groove. She topped the charts with Crazy For You, which wasn't even on one of her albums. Forbes recently dubbed her the richest woman in music. The Billboard Book of Top 100 Hits lists her as the top female pop artist of the 1980s. (For a roll call of her accomplishments, check Wikipedia or Madonnalicious.

Women's work

The word "female" is significant in that assessment of Madonna because she presented herself in a fresh way for women artists. She didn't try to be one of the boys, but she wasn't a girly-girl or a singer-songwriter.

Like A Prayer When the Beatles hit America, they changed the paradigm of performer from solo act to band. Madonna changed it back - with an emphasis on the female. With female artists everywhere these days, it's easy to forget how revolutionary her success was (historically challenged Millennials especially seem not to realize this). But look at old music magazines or Billboard charts for proof that in the pre-Madonna era, women were the aberration, not the norm.

Madonna's countless hit records opened people's minds as to how successful a female artist could be. Nineties artists such as Tori Amos and Bikini Kill have zilch in common with Madonna, but benefited from her opening the ears of teen-female pop fans to something other than the usual heavy metal shouters (trust me, teen girls in the 1980s loved that stuff).

Her early audience was the recipient of some panic-stricken journalism early on, much of which took the tone of: "Madonna's come to ruin your daughters!! Arghghgh!" The consensus then was that Madonna probably wouldn't have the longevity of Cyndi Lauper (who immediately preceded her) and would disappear like other recent suggestive singers (remember Dale Bozzio? Terri Nunn?).

But Madonna also had the Beatles-like tendency to anticipate the maturing of her audience and also the ability to reinvent her style. Her personal life became fodder for 1989's Like A Prayer, just when her audience was looking beyond dance music. When Gen X grew more mature, she told erotic Bedtime Stories and unleashed her "Sex" book on the world.

Still in vogue

The Girlie Show Madonna's no-holds-barred example broadened the palette of what artists - especially female artists - could attempt. Liberate yourself, Madonna seemed to say, and the rest will follow. When her popularity didn't fade, as predicted, people - especially skeptical Boomer critics - were forced to take her seriously.

Madonna was also responsible for throwing off some of the unconscious modesty of pop music. Peripheral artists had attempted this, but Madonna was unique in that she brought a no-apologies approach to sex to her music. As she sung in Burning Up: "Unlike the others, I'd do anything / I'm not the same, I have no shame." She could be calculating one minute and coy the next. Her concert tours, like 1993's Girlie Show, brought this to the fore, blurring sexuality, satire and social commentary.

The late rock critic Lester Bangs observed in 1975 the Beatles' jangly sound and somewhat naive worldview was unable to transcend its 1960s origins. Bangs never gave the band enough credit for their songs, but he was right that some of their continuing appeal was fueled by hippie era nostalgia. That's still the case.

It's hard to get nostalgic about Madonna, though, because her influence stayed current. Not bad for someone who is about to hit the half-century mark.

Givenchy to help dress Madonna for her world tour

Source: AP via Yahoo - 12 August 2008

The upscale French fashion house Givenchy will help dress Madonna for her upcoming Sticky & Sweet world tour, a spokeswoman for the label said Tuesday.

Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci worked with the pop star to create two outfits, one of which Madonna is expected to wear during an opening number, Givenchy spokeswoman Caroline Deroche-Pasquier said.

Madonna wearing Givenchy in May 2008

The opening outfit is a frock coat in black stretch satin, she said. The other ensemble, to be worn in the third act of Madonna's, is a long cape worn over a black dress embellished with colored ribbons "to give it a Gypsy look," she said.

Deroche-Pasquier said other designers will also dress the star for the tour but declined to say who.

Madonna has a long history of working with French designers. Frenchman Jean-Paul Gaultier was behind the pointy cone bras that were the hallmarks of Madonna's 1990 Blond Ambition tour.

Her Sticky & Sweet world tour kicks off in Cardiff, Wales, on Aug. 23 with stops across Europe, including Berlin, Rome, London and Paris, before going to North America.

Tisci, who hails from the Italian port city of Taranto, has been with Givenchy since 2005. Known for his Gothic-influenced pieces and use of sumptuous, dark fabrics, Tisci's latest collections have garnered rave reviews.

~ You can see the costume sketches on our tour spoilers page.

Digital Spy readers' Top Ten Madonna Singles

12 August 2008

British entertainment website Digital Spy is currently holding a Madonna week and they revealed the results of their poll about Madonna's all time Top Ten Madonna singles. As a nice celebration of her 25 years, let's look at which 10 singles were chosen by the readers as Madonna's very best:

4 Minutes 10. 4 Minutes
Album: Hard Candy (2008)
UK chart: #1 US chart: #3

Produced by R&B super-producer Timbaland and featuring vocals from Justin Timberlake, this hard-edged urban pop song became Madonna's 13th UK #1 in April, placing her fifth on the all-time list. It's not one of her most melodic moments, but the urgent, horn-driven 4 Minutes grows in stature with every spin.

Crazy For You 9. Crazy For You
Album: Vision Quest OST (1985)
UK chart: #2 US chart: #1

Taken from the soundtrack to long forgotten eighties flick Vision Quest, Crazy For You is the only real ballad in our top ten. "I never wanted anyone like this," Madonna swoons on the chorus, proving that when she isn't trying to shock or draw attention to herself, she's actually capable of being a bit of a softie.

Like A Virgin 8. Like A Virgin
Album: Like A Virgin (1984)
UK chart: #3 US chart: #1

She didn't write it, but Like A Virgin suited Madonna to a tee, its playful, suggestive lyrics giving her plenty of scope for grabbing headlines. That she did with some style, writhing around onstage in a wedding dress while singing it at the MTV Awards in 1984. And we all know what happened when she homaged that performance with Britney and Christina in tow nearly 20 years later.

Papa Don't Preach 7. Papa Don't Preach
Album: True Blue (1986)
UK chart: #1 US chart: #1

An early example of Madonna's willingness to tackle taboo subjects, Papa Don't Preach tells the story of a teenage girl who gets pregnant by her high school lover and vows that she's "keeping my baby". The lyrical content isn't quite so controversial today, but Papa Don't Preach still sounds urgent and full of drama - just as long as you block out Kelly Osbourne while you listen.

Into The Groove 6. Into The Groove
Album: Like A Virgin (European reissue) (1985)
UK chart: #1 US chart: #5

This dance-pop classic, featured in her hit film Desperately Seeking Susan, became Madonna's first UK #1 in August 1985. Its drum sounds may seem a bit weedy in the cold light of 2008, but Into The Groove is so joyous and so convinced of music's ability to "set you free" that it still makes for a terrific listen today.

Ray Of Light 5. Ray Of Light
Album: Ray Of Light (1998)
UK chart: #2 US chart: #5

Based on 'Sepheryn', an obscure track by 70s duo Curtiss & Maldoon, this techno-pop floor-filler is one of Madonna's most energetic, thrilling singles. Memorably performed by the pop queen at the Live 8 and Live Earth concerts, and given a rock makeover for her Confessions Tour in 2006, Ray Of Light has earned its stripes as a latter-day Madonna classic.

Frozen 4. Frozen
Album: Ray Of Light (1998)
UK chart: #1 US chart: #2

After her Golden Globe-winning turn in Evita, Madonna returned to the cutting edge with this gorgeous, haunting electronic pop song. Combined with a memorable video in which La Ciccone turned into a flight of crows and a Doberman, Frozen proved unstoppable, giving Madonna her first UK #1 since Vogue eight years earlier.

Hung Up 3. Hung Up
Album: Confessions On A Dance Floor (2005)
UK chart: #1 US chart: #7

Madonna wrote personally to Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson to clear the sample from 'Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)' that underpins Hung Up, her biggest hit of this decade. An irresistible combination of pop exuberance and disco drama, it reached #1 in a whopping 45 countries.

Vogue 2. Vogue
Album: I'm Breathless (1990)
UK chart: #1 US chart: #1

Inspired by a New York dance craze in which clubbers would strike a series of angular, model-like poses, Vogue was originally conceived as a B-side. Realizing she had a hit on her hands, Madonna quickly added it to the Dick Tracy soundtrack album and it went on to reach #1 on both sides of the Atlantic. Probably the definitive example of her ability to bring underground trends into the mainstream.

Like A Prayer 1. Like A Prayer
Album: Like A Prayer (1989)
UK chart: #1 US chart: #1

Like A Prayer is the quintessential Madonna single because it blends the three fundamentals on which she's built her career: an unforgettable chorus, a generous helping of controversy and oodles of ambition - well, who else would try to do something like this? The lyrics could be about sexual love, religious love or both, an ambiguity that the video capitalised on to Pope-baiting effect.

Final North American tour date added + Detroit sales announced

12 August 2008 finally revealed the last missing date of the North American leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour: Boston, Massachusetts is getting a second show on Thursday, October 16th in the TD Banknorth Garden.

The tickets will go on sale on Monday, August 25th @ 10 am local time while the ICON presales are set to Tuesday, August 19th @ 10 am local time.

The sales date of the Detroit show was announced as well: Saturday, August 23rd @ 10 am local time with ICON presales on Tuesday, August 19th @ 10 am local time.

Now both the European and North American schedules of the tour are full, we're awaiting the announcement of the South American shows. Click here for the current tour schedule!

More costume sketches and details

10 August 2008

More interesting details are revealed about Madonna's fantastic tour costumes. Click here to find out!

Madonna gets VMA nomination

9 August 2008

The electrifying choreography with Justin Timberlake in the 4 Minutes music video earns Madonna a MTV Video Music Awards nomination for 'Best Dancing In A Video'.

Her competitors are Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Danity Kane & Pussycat Dolls. This is Madonna's 72nd VMA nomination, the most ever for any artist in the history of the VMAs.

This year the VMA nominations are chosen by the viewers, you can vote for your favourite videos in different categories on

The 'Video Of The Year' nomination is not decided yet, so even though Madonna did not get any nominations for 'Best Female Video' or 'Best Pop Video', she still has a chance to get more than one nomination at this year's show.

The 25th VMAs will take place on Sunday, September 7th in Hollywood, so it is highly unlikely for Madonna to appear at the show live because she'll be touring Europe at that time.

Check out Madonna's impressive list of awards & nominations here!

Another tour costume revealed

8 August 2008

Check out our tour spoilers page to see a new costume sketch for the Sticky & Sweet Tour.

I Am Because We Are book out in January

Source: - 7 August 2008

PowerHouse Books is pleased to announce the January 2009 release of I Am Because We Are. Photographs by Kristen Ashburn. Foreword by Madonna.

I Am Because We Are is the companion volume to the acclaimed forthcoming documentary film directed by Nathan Rissman and written and produced by Madonna.

I Am Because We Are

This book of images by award-winning photojournalist Kristen Ashburn--culled from her own work in Malawi and Africa over the past seven years as well as from her specially commissioned photographs for the film--provides an intimate look at the lives of eight Malawian children featured in the film and reveals the harsh reality of the AIDS pandemic throughout southern Africa.

The title is derived from the concept of "Ubuntu," an idea in African spirituality that states that all of humanity is connected, that we cannot be ourselves without community, that an individual's well-being is dependent upon the well-being of others.

These heart-wrenching stories are a call to action. In Malawi, a country of 13 million people, over one million are orphans. Looking into the hearts and minds of children who have suffered more than one can imagine, the book provides an unflinching view of life at the center of the global AIDS crisis. This is not just a story about orphans in Malawi, but about global responsibility and human interconnectedness.

I Am Because We Are

I Am Because We Are includes a foreword by Madonna, an afterword by Ashburn, excerpts from interviews with Malawian children, their biographies, and extended captions. Author proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the charitable organization Raising Malawi for their extensive work with orphans throughout Malawi.

Kristen Ashburn's photographs and stories from the Middle East, Europe, and Africa have appeared in many publications worldwide. Her accolades include a 2007 Emmy Award nomination, two World Press Photo prizes, a Getty Foundation grant in 2006, Canon's Female Photojournalist Award in 2004, and other honors.

She began photographing the impact of AIDS in southern Africa in 2001, and since then has also produced stories on the war in Iraq, Jewish settlers and suicide bombers in Israel's occupied territories, and the aftermath of the tsunami in Sri Lanka and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In addition to her humanitarian photography, Ashburn is one of the directors of Through the Eyes of Children: The Rwanda Project, a charity that teaches photography to Rwandan orphans of the 1994 genocide and supports them through the sale of their images.

Click here to preview and/or pre-order the book.

For more info about the 'I Am Because We Are' documentary, please visit

Live Nation confirms Detroit show

Source: The Detroit News - 5 August 2008

Ford Field will be getting a lot stickier and a lot sweeter Nov. 18 when Madonna brings her world tour to the Detroit Lions' home.

Madonna made the announcement that her Sticky & Sweet tour would be coming to Michigan -- marking her first Metro Detroit concert dates since 2001's Drowned World Tour visited the Palace of Auburn Hills -- while visiting the Traverse City Film Festival on Saturday. Tour promoter Live Nation confirmed the date Tuesday afternoon.

Ticket prices and an on-sale date will be announced next week. Tickets in other markets have ranged from $55-$350.

Madonna, 49, skipped Metro Detroit on her 2004 Re-Invention tour and on 2006's Confessions tour. Her Sticky & Sweet outing is her first tour since inking a deal with Live Nation that covers her touring, albums and merchandising.

The Sticky & Sweet tour follows April's Hard Candy, Madonna's 11th studio album. The tour kicks off Aug. 23 in the United Kingdom, and begins its two-month North American run Oct. 4 in New Jersey.

In June, Live Nation announced the tour had already sold more than 1 million tickets. Tickets still remain in some markets, however, including the Oct. 27 date at Chicago's United Center.

Prior to skipping Detroit on the Re-Invention and Confessions Tours, Detroit was a regular stop for Madonna, who was raised in Rochester Hills and graduated from Rochester Adams High School. In 1993, Detroit was one of only five North American cities she played on her Girlie Show tour, and she also included Detroit on 1990's Blond Ambition tour, 1987's Who's That Girl tour and 1985's Virgin tour.

Tour costumes and designers revealed

5 August 2008

The costumes and their designers for Madonna's upcoming tour have been revealed! Check them out on our tour spoilers page!

Madonna's 'sweet' tour leaves kids feeling sick

Source: WalesOnline - 4 August 2008

Superstar Madonna's Millennium Stadium gig has forced a charity to cancel a children's football final – 22 days before the concert takes place.

Youngsters from 48 teams across Wales were left heartbroken when their dreams of playing on the world famous pitch were dashed.

A total of 336 kids had been looking forward to donning their kits for the annual Champion of Champions final yesterday, which has been held at the stadium since 2000.

But organisers at the Neighbourhood Watch Sports Trust were e-mailed and told the date was "no longer available" because "the period of the 1st to the 26th of August 2008 (is) now confirmed as required for the Madonna concert".

The American star will open her Sticky & Sweet Tour in Cardiff on August 23.

But Ian James, manager of Barry team Cadoxton Imps, was gutted when he found the team would not be able to play in the stadium – which has hosted FA Cup Finals as well as major international games – because the Queen of Pop needed so long to set up.

He said: "Give us that one day. You don't need that one day. It's three weeks until the concert. We can take knocks, but they are kids."

And the Neighbourhood Watch Sports Trust's chairman, former builder Gary Reade, 63, said: "I've spoken to the team managers and they are sick. Some of the kids have had holidays with their families withheld so they can go to the stadium and now they are not going which is a bit cruel."

Teams from Cardiff, Barry, Bridgend, Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Carmarthen, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Port Talbot, Neath, Powys and the Rhondda had all planned to travel to the capital for the soccer showdown.

Cardiff Council deputy leader, Neil McEvoy, called the stadium management "deplorable".
He said: "The stadium gave the trust a date of August 3, 2008. This was given in March. Despite many attempts the stadium would not confirm the date.

"At the start of July I intervened and asked if the stadium could confirm the date. By this point the trust had already spent up to £3,000 in putting the event on. The attitude of the stadium manager was deplorable."

Millennium Stadium manager Gerry Toms said: "When we set the dates, which we do quite early, we do say that if a commercial event comes in then we may have to push you out, so to speak. They agree to that when they sign up.

"In fairness to this group they have been here for several years, but this year we are contracted to Madonna, and explained 'we are awfully sorry, we cannot do it'.

"I said, 'What do you expect us to do? To tell Madonna not to bring the show in because you've got a sports day?'."

Madonna tour to hit Detroit

Source: Detroit Free Press - 4 August 2008

When Madonna toured in 2004, she skipped Detroit. When she hit the road in 2006, she sidestepped her native state again. When her latest batch of U.S. dates was announced in May, same story: no Detroit.

Now, Michigan fans can at last get their ticket money ready: Madonna will play Ford Field in mid-November, the Free Press has learned -- the pop superstar's first Michigan show in more than seven years.

Tickets will go on sale in about three weeks, says a music industry source.

Word of a possible Ford Field date has circulated inside Detroit concert circles for many weeks, and sources say the show was on-again, off-again as negotiations went on.

Madonna alluded Saturday to an upcoming concert in Detroit, telling an audience at the Traverse City Film Festival that she'll play the city on her new tour. The 49-year-old star was there for the premiere screening of her film I Am Because We Are, a documentary about orphans in Malawi.

The North American leg of Madonna's world tour is scheduled to start Oct. 4 in New Jersey. The Detroit show will be her first area performance since a pair of shows at the Palace of Auburn Hills in August 2001, one of which was aired live by HBO.

~ Detroit seems to be one of the missing 2 North American dates.

Madonna returns to Michigan roots to show her film

Source: AP via Yahoo - 3 August 2008

She might be known worldwide as the Material Girl, but there's more than a little of the small-town Michigan girl left in Madonna.

The pop superstar arrived in this northern Michigan resort town Saturday to introduce her documentary, I Am Because We Are, a highlight of the Traverse City Film Festival. The event was co-founded by filmmaker, author and fellow Michigan native Michael Moore.

Madonna @ Traverse Film Festival

Hundreds of fans cheered from behind barricades as Madonna, wearing a black dress, high heels and sunglasses, stepped out of a black sport utility vehicle that pulled up in front of the State Theatre. She hugged a waiting Moore, who sported an orange baseball cap, and posed for photos with him.

Madonna and Moore shared the stage at the theater before a screening of the movie, which deals with the orphans of Malawi, the African nation where she and husband Guy Ritchie adopted a son.

"It's great bringing my movie to a place that I feel familiar," Madonna told the audience. "Not like the Cannes Film Festival, where nobody's speaking English, or the Tribeca Film Festival, where no one sits down.

"There's something poetic about coming back to the place where I used to come for holidays - camping trips with my dad and stepmother and my very large family," said the 49-year-old singer, born to the southeast in Bay City and raised in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills.

Madonna, Nathan Rissman & Michael Moore @ Traverse Film Festival

Madonna was accompanied by her 11-year-old daughter, Lourdes, and the film's director, Nathan Rissman. Ritchie was not present.

Moore, who won an Oscar for his 2002 documentary "Bowling for Columbine," said he was humbled to be able to call Madonna a friend.

"She has such an incredible heart and such a generous spirit," he said. "She does so much out of the glare of the lights to make the world a better place."

Madonna had praise of her own for Moore, 54, a Flint-area native who has a home near Traverse City.

"There aren't a lot of role models for us in the world, or people we can look up to," she said. "People who are not afraid to stick their neck out, people who are not afraid to stand up for things and be unpopular, to go against the grain, think outside the box.

"And we need, and I need, Michael Moore in my life."

Madonna appeared amid the release of a tell-all book by her brother and speculation about her relationship with New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Madonna and Rodriguez both deny an affair. She did not address the dust-ups in her appearance Saturday.

Madonna & Michael Moore @ Traverse Film Festival

Madonna @ Traverse Film Festival Madonna @ Traverse Film Festival Madonna & Michael Moore @ Traverse Film Festival Madonna @ Traverse Film Festival Madonna & Lourdes @ Traverse Film Festival

Will Madonna have the most #1s on a Billboard chart

Source: Chart Beat Chat - 2 August 2008

Hi Fred,

Great informative column as always! With Madonna scoring her 39th No. 1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, how close is she to being the artist with the most No. 1s on ANY Billboard chart? I also find it amusing her two most recent chart-toppers had numbers in their titles: 4 Minutes and Give It 2 Me. These are her only numerical titles to ever chart.

Jim Maino
Manahawkin, N.J.

Dear Jim,

Madonna owns the record on Hot Dance Club Play, and while there are at least two other artists ahead of her on other charts, she does have a chance to surpass one or possibly both of them and become the all-time champ when it comes to number of No. 1 songs.

On Hot Country Songs, Conway Twitty held the record for years with 40 No. 1 songs. His record was broken by George Strait, who has continued to collect No. 1s and now has 43 to his credit.

Since Strait and Madonna are both likely to continue collecting No. 1 hits on the country and dance charts respectively, Madonna will have to step up the pace to overcome Strait's lead.

~ For more chart stuff, check out our chart news page.

Madonna in Woman & Home magazine

1 August 2008

As Madonna approaches her 50th birthday (16th August), she opens up to Woman and Home about planning her best decade yet with a focus on giving back.

Madonna on the cover of Woman & Home

The success of Madonna's eleventh album, Hard Candy, and sell-out performances show her enduring popularity. She recently turned her hand to directing with the well-received comedy Filth And Wisdom, and she presented the documentary I Am Because We Are, which highlights the plight of AIDS orphans in Malawi, her two-year-old adopted son David's homeland. Madonna's other children are Lourdes, 11, from her relationship with actor Carlos Leon, and Rocco, eight, from her marriage to Guy Ritchie.

Madonna on turning 50

The number 50 is not a bad word! I feel fine and am not sensitive about anyone talking about it. I see it as another excuse to have a party. I'm enjoying life as much as ever, as well as all the different things I do – directing, making music, having a family.

I am a multi-tasker. In working, I am using the right and the left side of my brain non-stop. Consequently, I don't sleep very much. But I have an incredible team around me and it's a support system I couldn't do without. I'm also a highly organised person, so between that and my obsessive-compulsive disorder, I get a lot done!

Madonna - On motherhood

Having children has had an enormous effect on me as a person, and creatively. When you have children you look at life differently. You have a much fuller sense of appreciation and for the fragility of life, and how magical we all are as human beings.

As a mother, I would fall into the category of the disciplinarian. I make my children tidy up their bedrooms. I do not like them to play video games or watch television, and I make sure they do their homework.

Among my children, Lola [Lourdes] rules the roost. She is extremely maternal towards David. He is the apple of everyone's eye right now. Lola is in major competition with Rocco and he's starting to fight back. But, when nobody's looking, the two of them still creep into bed and cuddle. It's a closet kind of love.

I lost my own mother to breast cancer when I was six. Children always think they did something wrong when their parents disappear. You're aware of a sense of loss and feel a sense of abandonment.

Madonna - On Malawi

I first became involved with Malawi as I got to know someone who lived in the Ivory Coast. He was friends with Victoria Keelan, who had come to his rescue because there had been a water shortage in the Ivory Coast. She asked if he had an idea of someone who could help with the situation with the orphans in Malawi.

He had something to do with the distribution of my children's books in the Ivory Coast. On the back of the book it says that all the proceeds are donated to a children's charity. So he thought, "Madonna's interested in children". He got in touch with me and that's how the whole ball got rolling.

I think the criticism that celebrities face when they are tackling humanitarian issues is down to the cynicism of the public. People like to criticise. It's human nature. They can't imagine someone could be doing something for an altruistic reason, because they are feeling generous.

But I believe that if you have one iota of compassion, you can't ignore what's going on. You have to figure out ways to be a part of the solution.

Everything that's going on in the world is pretty scary. And people know we are living on borrowed time – whether it's global warming, the 36 wars that are going on at any given time or terrorism. A lot of people in privileged positions are waking up and thinking it's a little bit absurd to be thinking about what their next film is going to be.

The planet is only going to be around for another 50 years if we don't wake up and do something about it. It seems a little bit futile just to be worrying about your next position in the charts. So there is a lot of social consciousness going on and that can only be a good thing.
I certainly hope that people realise there's a lot more to being Madonna than taking off my clothes. I hope that the Sex book [which came out in 1992] is not the only thing that I'm identified with. I have done and plan to do many other things.

To find out more about Madonna's documentary on the plight of orphans in Malawi and what you can do to help, visit!

Read this interview in full in the September issue of Woman&Home.

25 years, 25 great moments

1 August 2008

As Madonna is celebrating her 25th year in the music business and her 50th birthday is just around the corner, Mad-Eyes wants to know YOUR favorite ever Madonna moment. We have selected 25 important Madonna events in our brand new poll and we want you to pick the ultimate highlight of Madonna's career. Click here to vote and make sure to add your comments!

Also keep a close eye on the picture on our homepage, where we'll be featuring 25 different Madonna looks in the coming weeks.

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