In its final weeks before being replaced by the new channel MNM, Belgian Radio Donna is broadcasting its annual top with best songs of all times. This year it's not a top 2000 but a massive top 5000. Madonna is featured with no less than 48 songs!
Right now, they're halfway through the top 5000. The exact position of the 100 best songs, among which Like A Prayer, can still be changed by the listeners. So go to Donna.be and vote for Like A Prayer now! Wouldn't it be great if it was played as no.1 on December 12th!
** Like A Prayer
170 4 Minutes
249 Hung Up
306 Give It 2 Me
453 Miles Away
537 Like A Virgin
589 La Isla Bonita
719 The Power Of Good-Bye
795 Crazy For You
905 Papa Don't Preach
1267 Material Girl
1313 Me Against The Music
1348 Ray Of Light
1417 Live To Tell
1478 Justify My Love
1612 Express Yourself
1699 Die Another Day
1792 Beautiful Stranger
2029 Into The Groove
2095 Drowned World
2156 Rescue Me
2322 This Used To Be My Playground
2424 Who's That Girl
2546 American Life
2763 Lucky Star
2854 Nothing Really Matters
3004 Open Your Heart
3185 The Look Of Love
3381 What It Feels Like For A Girl
3509 Take A Bow
3663 Get Together
3718 Dear Jessie
3956 American Pie
4114 Don't Cry For Me Argentina
4350 Don't Tell Me
4485 True Blue
4685 Deeper And Deeper
4772 Hey You
While this chart position gives no justice to this fantastic breezy song that has been named an album highlight since day one, without a video or any promo and with bad airplay, it just couldn't compete with all those hot new tracks (and some Christmas songs already...) that have been selling on iTunes.
Miles Away also marks the end of an era, as Madonna's next single will be released under her new label. Just to end this in a positive note, let's remember the Hard Candy era gave Madonna one of her biggest UK hits as 4 Minutes spent 4 weeks at #1 and will easily become one of the Top 10 best selling British singles of 2008.
And of course, Madonna's 25 year long string of Top 20 hits will never be broken by anyone, because of the way the chart works now. For more chart stuff, click here.
Madonna is only a few hours away from kicking off her first Latin American tour in 15 years! For the past three months, Mad-Eyes has been reporting on the European and North American legs of the tour, providing all the info, press reviews, fan reports & pictures that a fan can desire.
Of course we'll continue to do that the coming few weeks as well! But we need Latin American fans to share their stories, reviews and pictures with us! You can also give feedback on our extensive tour section in our new poll.
Superstars Madonna, Neil Diamond and Paul McCartney have scrapped Australian tour plans because of the weak dollar. Madonna had agreed to perform at Sydney's ANZ Stadium and Melbourne's Docklands in late January, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
Tickets for Madonna's shows, presented by US tour giant Live Nation and local promoter Michael Coppel, were due to go on sale two weeks ago. She planned to charge a top ticket price of $400.
"It got as close as anything ever gets," a tour industry source said. "Madonna was coming to Australia, the dates were resolved, then economics got in the way."
Mr Coppel yesterday confirmed the Madonna deal, but refused to elaborate. The revelations follow a growing list of postponed tour plans by world superstars. Concert industry sources say Diamond, McCartney, The Eagles, Green Day and Metallica have put visits on hold because of the bad economy.
"It's unknown territory at the moment," said promoter Michael Chugg. "A lot of tours went on sale before the dollar crashed. "We are only starting to see the affect of the economy on the tour industry."
Mr Coppel said the weak dollar had made promoters, and touring superstars, cautious. "Everyone is feeling their way," he said. "The risk level has gone up substantially."
Madonna's awakening to the crisis in Malawi - an impoverished African nation where one million children are orphaned by AIDS - had many consequences.
She adopted one of those orphans, her 3-year-old son David. She is building a school there.
And she has told Malawi's harrowing story in her documentary, "I Am Because We Are." With an audience thus far limited to isolated theater screenings, it will be screened for everyone with its TV premiere on Sundance Channel at 9 p.m. EST Monday (World AIDS Day).
The feature-length film was written, produced and narrated by Madonna (directed by Nathan Rissman). It consults experts including President Bill Clinton and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
But the film's real power is its images, which are often dismaying but, here and there, reflect hope and a remarkable will to survive.
"I had many goals," said Madonna during a phone conversation from her Manhattan home a few days ago. "I did get to a point where I thought, 'I'm being overambitious, I'm trying to say too much, I'll never accomplish it.' But I feel proud of the fact that I did get to make all my points."
Among her points: an insistence that any crisis comes with solutions, however hard-won and piecemeal.
The film offers its audience a menu of constructive responses.
"If all you can do is live life in YOUR world in a way that shows you are responsible for the people around you, that's a course of action," said Madonna. "People can be of service in large ways and small."
The first wide exposure of "I Am Because We Are" may be coming at a propitious time, which befits the pop superstar who made it, with her knack for anticipating and identifying cultural trends.
On the eve of a new presidential administration, Americans seem set on a more idealistic path, however alarmed they may be by economic threats along the way.
"People really are going, 'Wow! I can no longer ignore what's going on around me.' There are changes in the air," she said.
Madonna's busy schedule continues apace. But the artistic life that drives it "is a world you create and you inhabit, to express yourself, and to inspire and reach out to other people," she explained. "It's also a consolation, a place you go to to protect yourself." That's true now, in particular, during her highly public split with Guy Ritchie, her husband of eight years, which she described as "not easy, I'm not going to lie."
Though on a brief New York break from her concert tour, Madonna said the day's long to-do list called for this AP interview to be followed by interviews she would be conducting herself: with prospective head mistresses for the girls school she is building in Malawi.
"We're all going there together at the end of March," she said, referring to David, 8-year-old son Rocco and 12-year-old daughter Lourdes.
"I'm very involved in a lot of things that are going on there," she said, and as she makes return visits with her kids, she wants them to gather insights into the plight of the world's underprivileged. "And David's always going to understand where he came from, and what his life could have been like."
Meanwhile, she hopes her film can spread the message to millions more.
"It has an impact on the people who see it," she declared. "The more people, the bigger the impact."
Madonna surely knows how to close her tours with a bang. While originally, Kanye West & Britney Spears were meant to appear on this show, it's the 2 superstar producers of Hard Candy who joined Madonna on the final concert of the US leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour in Miami.
The tour is not over yet though, this weekend Madonna kicks off the Latin American leg of the show with 2 record breaking shows in Mexico City!
This week we get the Billboard Boxscore numbers for the 2 remaining Californian shows, the 2 shows in Vegas and the 2 shows in Denver. All 6 shows were sold-out, which is amazing, considering fans and the press doubted the success of the 2 stadium shows even up to the day of the concerts!
Petco Park, San Diego, Calif.
Nov. 4, 2008
35,743 / 35,743
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
Nov. 6, 2008
43,919 / 43,919
MGM Grand Garden, Las Vegas, Nev.
Nov. 8-9, 2008
29,157 / 29,157
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colo.
Nov. 11-12, 2008
23,501 / 23,501
Madonna's marital breakup is tough, but she says she's grateful that her heavy workload "provides a distraction that keeps me going."
"I'm sad about my personal life, but I feel very blessed and very lucky that I have the opportunity to do what I do in my professional life," Madonna told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday. "It would be horrible if I was just thinking about getting a divorce and had nothing to do."
Last week, Madonna and Guy Ritchie were granted a preliminary decree of divorce after eight years of marriage.
Among her current projects is promoting her documentary "I Am Because We Are," which explores the impoverished African nation of Malawi, where more than 1 million children are orphaned by AIDS. The film has its TV premiere on Sundance Channel Dec. 1.
Miles Away is out today as a 2-track single and a picture disc in the UK, and was released on Friday in several European countries on two different CD formats and as a digital download. The remixes of the song were done by the likes of longtime Madonna collaborator Jacques Lu Cont (Stuart Price) or Johnny Vicious.
A 7-track European maxi-single is scheduled for the first week of December. Unfortunately the third single of the Hard Candy album will most likely stay miles away from chart success. Fansite MadonnaUnderground just revealed that the long-discussed and delayed tour video for Miles Away is now cancelled. And we all thought it could not get worse than Nothing Fails...
Just to make the bad even worse: there's absolutely no info on a US maxi-single as of yet, and since there's no promo for this single, Miles Away might become remembered for breaking Madonna's unbreakable string of Top 20 hits in the UK. Fingers crossed that it at least reaches #20.
Keep an eye on our chart news page for a coverage of the swan song of the Warner era on the UK charts all week.
The 19-year-old crooner says the Material Girl would be his dream duet for a track on his upcoming CD "Graffiti," which is due out next year. He says he'd also love to work with Coldplay. He's collaborated with Jordin Sparks, David Banner and girlfriend Rihanna in the past.
Brown predicts that "Graffiti" will be a bigger project for him. Speaking from the red carpet at the American Music Awards, the platinum-selling R&B star said: "It's going to be my stepping stone from Chris Brown to superstar."
If he's not there yet, he's close. Brown took home the most trophies at the Sunday awards show: He won artist of the year, favorite pop-rock and soul-R&B male artist while his gal pal Rihanna won favorite pop-rock and soul-R&B female artist awards.
Eric Jao was more than satisfied with how his musical career was going. The 33-year-old classically trained pianist from Washington, D.C., shifted his focus 13 years ago and evolved into award-winning turntable wizard DJ Enferno -- then combined his two personas with his Live Remix Project, which blurs the line between DJ and musician. Work was steady, artistically rewarding and lucrative.
Then an astonishing thing happened: Madonna came calling. This year, the pop-music chameleon chose the innovative Enferno to join her Sticky & Sweet Tour, which stops Wednesday at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. Many of the world's biggest acts, including U2, have used DJs to energize their shows.
But with Enferno, Madonna pushed the concept further. "Most people think of a DJ as someone who plays music to warm up the crowd," says Enferno, 'I am not the 'crowd-warmer-upper.' I am actually a band member. Imagine that, right?"
Enferno stands out by blending technology and technical skill. For his Live Remix Project -- which he demonstrated in 2006 during Winter Music Conference at the Remix Hotel in Miami Beach -- he uses two turntables, two laptops, a drum machine, a keyboard, samplers and various sound-effects processors (reverb, flange, delay, echo) to create a one-man symphony.
"When you see a regular DJ go up there, they are spinning someone else's song," he says. "And then they mix it into the next song and then maybe they wave their hands in the air, pump their fists and turn a knob or something. But with the Live Remix Project, I use the turntables as instruments and add whatever I want and build layer upon layer upon layer to create live music on the spot." (Check out his work at liveremixproject.com.)
Madonna's musical director saw one of his shows.
'I was performing in Orlando, and Kevin Antunes happened to be there. He tracked me down, started the conversation, and presented my video to Madonna. Then I get a call from him shortly after that, saying, 'Welcome aboard' -- no audition or anything."
Enferno was shocked, mentally and physically. "My body temperature changed," he says about receiving the call. 'I mean, when I thought about the possibility of getting the gig, I was already bouncing off the walls, in disbelief. But when I found out I actually got the gig, I felt my blood pressure drop. I even thought, 'Am I sick or something?' My body temperature dropped so much I had to put a hat on. And a scarf. And a sweat shirt."
Enferno -- who says his first slow-dance was to Madonna's Crazy For You when he was 13 -- recalls being seriously star-struck upon being introduced to the singer.
"When I first met her, I was so nervous," he says. 'I was kind of tripping on my words, but I could have sworn I was being cool. Like on my face, it was like, 'Be cool, be cool, be cool,' but on the inside it was like 'Ehhrrrgh -- I can't believe I'm talking to her.'
'And through the rehearsal process, I kept thinking, 'Wow, she is real.' And she is so good at what she does. Imagine being surrounded by the best of the best -- dancers, keyboardists, drummers, whatever. Somehow, she's able to take everybody in that group and make them better than they were before, myself included."
The Sticky & Sweet Tour includes most of the tracks from Madonna's latest album, Hard Candy, which ventures into hip-hop. But fans of classic Madonna will be pleased at the inclusion of standards including Borderline, Into The Groove, Vogue, La Isla Bonita, Music, Ray Of Light and one of Enferno's favorites, Like A Prayer ("I was really happy that it made it onto the tour").
Enferno says the whole tour experience has surpassed his expectations, especially the level of creative input he got from Madonna and Antunes.
"I just kind of kept my mind open and went with the flow," he says. "But if you look at what I'm doing onstage, I'm able to contribute in ways I didn't think [Madonna] was going to want me to contribute -- collaborating with Kevin Antunes and Madonna on some of the remixes for the show. I did not expect to have that type of responsibility.
"She stretched me beyond not only what I thought I could do, but also what I thought she would trust me with. It's an amazing thing, getting up onstage and seeing 75,000 people jumping up and down to what I helped work on -- I really couldn't see that coming."
Ten years ago, on this week, a gorgeous Madonna ballad hit its peak position on the US charts. The Power Of Good-Bye, co-written by Rick Nowels and co-produced by William Orbit and Patrick Leonard, was the third single released from the 1998 blockbuster Ray Of Light in America. The ascend to its peak was very swift, stalling at an unfortunate #11, marginally missing out becoming another top 10 hit for Madonna.
The chart performance of the single was killed on the week after, when Billboard implemented a change to the Hot 100: songs without an actual single-release were able to debut on the chart, based on airplay alone. The change, which had to happen to counter the greedy policies of record companies, resulted in the Madonna ballad freefalling to #30. Fans speculated if the single could have broken into the top 10 without the new version of Billboard taking effect...
The Power Of Good-Bye, with its lush string arrangements, beautiful vocals and atmospheric electronica effects, remains a fan favourite up to today. Its video, which stars Goran Visnjic paid homage to the original The Thomas Crown Affair and the 1946 movie Humoresque, starring Joan Crawford, as director Matthew Rolston recreated scenes from those films in a blue-tinted look.
Despite its chart performance, the single comfortably made it right onto the middle of the tracklist of Madonna's second greatest hits album, GHV2. The only thing that's missing from the history of this fantastic song is a live performance on a tour. 4 Madonna tours have been conceived since 1998, but The Power Of Good-Bye was not performed on any of them. Rumour has it, Madonna does not want to perform songs that have a "goodbye" theme to them. Will we have to wait till her very last show to hear this song live on tour? Time will tell...
After scoring a number one album, two top ten singles and heading up a massive world tour this year, it's been a rough couple of months for the Queen of Pop. With so much media attention focused on her divorce from Guy Ritchie, it's tempting to ask why she's releasing Miles Away as her latest single - after all, it's a song inspired by the difficulties of maintaining a long distance relationship.
Based around a few strummed guitar chords, Miles Away is a welcome respite from Madonna's recent floorfillers, with her vocal shining through as she sings: "We're always at our best when we're miles away". It's not often these days that she can pull off human emotion so convincingly. Though this bares more than a passing resemblance to dodgy Victoria Beckham album track 'Midnight Fantasy', it still manages to be one of the best cuts from Madge's Hard Candy album. It's a shame, therefore, that with no video and little promotion it's likely to end up miles away from the top of the charts.
After the wedding in a Scottish castle, the mansion on a green English estate and the drinks in their own pub, Madonna and Guy Ritchie's eight-year marriage ended Friday in a dreary London courtroom.
The case of "Ciccone M.L. v Ritchie G.S." was one of 17 divorce decrees granted by Judge Caroline Reid during a hearing in a harshly lit London court that was over in a few minutes.
There was no legal obligation for 50-year-old Madonna or Guy Ritchie, 40, to attend the hearing at which they were granted a decree nisi, the first of two stages of divorce. There was no sign of the couple and the room was filled instead with journalists tracking the dying days of an A-list celebrity romance. The divorce can become final after six weeks and a day with the granting of a decree absolute.
Court papers signed by Madonna in Los Angeles confirmed that the queen of pop petitioned for divorce on the basis of Ritchie's "unreasonable behavior," and that there is no need to apply family law in the case - meaning that the couple have reached their own agreements over their assets and children.
Madonna and Ritchie have two children, Rocco, 8, and David Banda, 3, who was adopted from Malawi in 2006. The singer has a 12-year-old daughter Lourdes, from a previous relationship with personal trainer Carlos Leon.
The couple own homes in southwest England, London, Los Angeles and New York.
Madonna and Ritchie appear to have avoided an expensive courtroom battle like the one between former Beatle Paul McCartney and model Heather Mills. Mills has said media coverage of the rancorous divorce had pushed her to the brink of suicide; McCartney compared the process to going through hell.
"Most couples do manage to do what Madonna and Guy Ritchie have done, and sort out issues of assets and children among themselves," said David Allison, a lawyer with London firm Family Law in Partnership. "If they can't it has to go before a judge at a final hearing and the whole process can go on for a year and be very messy."
Madonna and Ritchie, director of "Snatch," "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "RockNRolla," married in December 2000 in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony at Skibo Castle in the Scottish Highlands attended by Sting, Gwyneth Paltrow, Donatella Versace and Stella McCartney.
Madonna - "Madge" to the British press - and her filmmaker husband soon became rich tabloid fodder in England, where they lived. The pop star seemed to take to English life, spending much of her time at the couple's 1,200-acre (480 hectare) country estate in southwest England, and to some ears, adopting a slight British accent. Ritchie bought a share in a pub - The Punchbowl in west London's exclusive Mayfair neighborhood - and Madonna took up a second career, writing a series of children's books called "The English Roses."
But in recent years, reports began to accumulate that they were on the rocks. Over the summer, Madonna was linked - unfairly, she said - to the breakup of New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez and his ex-wife Cynthia.
Last month, as Madonna was in the middle of her ongoing Sticky and Sweet world tour, the couple announced they were divorcing and the English idyll drew to a close.
Requests for comment from representatives for the couple were not returned.
Madonna landed on the red carpet wearing a shocker of a green feathered frock when she attended a New York charity gala [on Wednesday, November 19th].
The 50-year-old singer - who recently announced she was filing for divorce from husband Guy Richie - seemed to be taking the phrase "free as a bird" a bit too literally in the mini-dress which resembled a budgerigar from Louis Vuitton's Spring-Summer 2009 collection, which is not yet available to buy.
Madonna - used to flashing plenty of flesh on stage in skimpy costumes during her Sticky And Sweet tour - bared her arm muscles and showed off her athletic pins in fishnet tights at the Unicef party hosted by Gucci.
The queen of pop appeared to have been taking style advice from close friend Gwyneth Paltrow with her junky belt and bracelets and dominatrix-style buckled, high-heeled shoes.
But the star - who is said to have signed a £6.5 million deal as the new face of Louis Vuitton's latest range of bags - was looking glowing from the neck up.
Her soft blonde waves in a side parting, subtle make-up and red lipstick oozed 1940s Hollywood glamour, but unfortunately did nothing to detract from her outfit.
Madonna is said to have posed for a photoshoot with photographer Steven Meisel - who is credited with taking the images for her controversial 1992 book Sex - for the Louis Vuitton bag campaign.
Her spokesperson told The Daily Mail: "I know she's done the ad but don't know for how much."
Pop megastar Madonna and her British husband Guy Ritchie are to be divorced in London Friday, according to a court listing, as reports said they had struck a deal giving him little of her vast fortune.
The case was listed as a "quickie" divorce under the names Ciccone M L v Ritchie G S, to be heard before a judge in the High Court's Family Division in central London.
The decree nisi will be announced at 10:00 am (10 00 GMT), according to the listing. Under British law the couple do not have to personally attend the proceedings, which will last only a few minutes.
Madonna, 50, and film director Ritchie, 40, announced in mid-October that they are to divorce nearly eight years after they married in a lavish ceremony at a Scottish castle in December 2000.
The couple have an eight-year-old son, Rocco, and a three-year-old son adopted in Malawi, David Banda. Madonna also has a daughter, 12-year-old Lourdes, by her former fitness trainer Carlos Leon.
There was no immediate comment from Madonna's spokeswoman.
The confirmation came after press reports suggested the couple - whose marriage had reportedly been under strain for some time - have agreed a deal under which Ritchie will receive very little money.
He expressed relief at the speed of the divorce and stressed that money had never been an issue, according to the Daily Mirror on Friday.
"Thank God. It dragged on much too long and that had nothing to do with me. But it was never ever about money," the paper quoted Ritchie as saying.
According to The Times newspaper, Madonna will "keep the bulk" of her 300-million-pound (440-million-dollar, 350-million-euro) fortune, after they resolved the main stumbling block over where the children will live.
Their two sons will share their time between homes in Britain and the United States, it reported, adding that Madonna had wanted all her children to live with her in New York.
Ritchie's fortune is estimated at some 30 million pounds, it said, adding that under British divorce laws he could have sought up to 50 percent of Madonna's money.
In Britain, the couple have several properties and a stake in a pub in London, plus their Ashcombe House country estate. In the United States, they own apartments in New York, plus a palatial mansion in Beverly Hills, California.
By agreeing a "quickie" divorce deal, the couple will avoid a high-profile, big money split like that of Beatles legend Paul McCartney and campaigner Heather Mills earlier this year.
Madonna is widely regarded as the world's highest-earning female singer, with Forbes.com putting her atop its "Cash Queens of Music" with earnings of 72 million dollars between June 2006 and June 2007.
The Sun newspaper, which broke the story of their divorce last month, alleged that Madonna thought he was lazy, tightfisted and preferred the pub to his family, while Ritchie thought she was a domineering control freak obsessed with her Kabbalah faith.
After the couple announced their divorce last month, the father of their adopted Malawian son voiced shock at the decision. "Madonna loves the child, and I want to encourage her to keep loving the boy despite the divorce," Yohane Banda said from his village of Mchinji, 110 kilometres (70 miles) from the capital Lilongwe.
Madonna - her full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone - was previously married to US actor Sean Penn.
Queen of pop Madonna is to be paid £6.5million for a one-off modelling job for designer Louis Vuitton Digital Spy report.
Sources say the singer will be the face of the label's spring/summer campaign and will be photographed by Steven Meisel, who worked with Madonna on her 1992 book Sex and more recently on a recent cover shot for Vanity Fair magazine.
~ The photoshoot discussed in this article actually already happened on November 14th. That day, Madonna was spotted in LA with heavy make-up. More info when we get it.
Nearly 10 years after its release, Madonna's second video compilation finally gets a certification. The Video Collection 93:99 has just received a Platinum award for shipments exceeding 100,000 copies of the DVD/VHS (its hard sales are above 150,000).
This gives hope to fans who were afraid of Warner not paying any certifications for Madonna after not renewing her contract with them. Could it be a new video compilation in the works?
The Video Collection 93:99 mostly contains videos of Erotica, Bedtime Stories & Ray Of Light (available @ Amazon.com). There's no career-spanning collection or a compilation that includes her videography of the current decade available as of 2008.
News just in from Warner Music Netherlands that the Miles Away video premiere, which was originally scheduled for today, was postponed because the video is not ready yet. It might happen in the next two weeks.
This is very bad for promo as the single is out on Friday in several European countries and in the UK on Monday...
But Madonna love isn't fixated in the past. It follows her smirky disco groove into the future.
"Her music is still relevant today. She manages to change up and stay with what's current, but it still has her flare -- that Madonna signature," says local fan Melissa Martinez, 36, who has seen Madonna perform only recently in Ft. Lauderdale (2004) and in Las Vegas (2006).
"She's been around for so long but remains such a powerful music figure, at least in my world. Her stuff just isn't boring."
Hard Candy, Madonna's 11th studio album, sold 280,000 copies its first week of release, big numbers for any artist in 2008. The disc's first single, 4 Minutes, was her biggest hit since 2000's Don't Tell Me. She was named 2008's best-selling American artist during this month's World Music Awards in Monte Carlo, in recognition for Hard Candy's global sales, which are at 3 million and counting.
Madonna herself is rarely interested in looking back. Her current Sticky & Sweet tour includes only a trio of songs -- Into The Groove, Borderline, La Isla Bonita -- that could truly be considered retro, and they've been radically reworked. She's done the same thing on previous tours.
Her influence can be seen in numerous younger stars, from Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera to Gwen Stefani and Fergie. Even Miley Cyrus has taken a few tips.
Instead of becoming a vintage diva, Madonna has pulled ahead of her '80s peers. Prince can still be fierce on stage, but his albums have been uneven. Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston both crashed and burned.
"It's hard for me to even wrap my brain around how anyone could think the Sticky & Sweet tour is nostalgic. Madonna is constantly reinventing," says Frank Saenz, 32, a former Houstonian who saw Madonna earlier this month in Las Vegas.
Though she was already a fashion icon and a controversial flashpoint, Madonna hit her musical stride with 1989's Like A Prayer, an emotionally charged collection of mature pop anthems. It made her previous albums seem like the shallow musings of a naughty schoolgirl.
More growth followed on 1992's underrated Erotica, a sexually charged companion to her Sex book; and 1994's Bedtime Stories, which laced pop melodies with lush R&B arrangements.
But to this listener, Madonna's creative peak was 1998's Ray Of Light, a trancey, electronic opus that was the result of her vocal training for Evita and her inspired collaborations with producer William Orbit.
A decade later it's still an astonishing, fluid record, and the title track is an unmatched blast of pop euphoria.
Music came two years later and re-established Madonna's pop muscle. The title track and Don't Tell Me were radio hits. The disc played like a friskier companion to Ray Of Light. And Madonna still proved to be a firestarter. The video for contemplative single What It Feels Like For A Girl was relegated to late-night airings because of its violent imagery.
American Life's aggressive rants and anti-war sentiments caused controversy in 2003. The title track's original, George W. Bush-bashing clip was pulled from TV. It's all on-point today -- another example, perhaps, of Madonna being ahead of her time. Dance fans took to the disc, and eight of its tracks became club hits, including the frenetic Nobody Knows Me.
"Madonna has always been a reflection of contemporary music," says Rich Pangilinan, known in club circles as DJ Riddler. He's remixed tunes for Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Kelly Clarkson and Pink.
Pangilinan sees Madonna as still atop the pack. "Madonna has always had the support of the club scene, which has traditionally been a youth-oriented market," he says. "She came from the club scene and recognizes the importance of the DJs and club patrons."
Confessions On A Dance Floor felt like a thank-you to fans who had stuck by Madonna through all the ballads and detours. It was a nonstop mix of disco shimmer and electro-pop dazzle.
Of course, I have my Madonna memories. They're tied to actual events more than songs. Engaging in Madonna vs. Whitney debates with family. The patchouli-scented Like A Prayer cassette. (Cassette!) Attending the Blond Ambition Tour at the Summit and bragging to awestruck high-school friends.
Begging my father to take me to Town & Country Mall for a quickly vanishing copy of the Sex book. Scouring record stores and Web sites for hard-to-find remixes of Buenos Aires. (I found them.) Traveling to Las Vegas and D.C. for tours that bypassed Texas.
And, for the past four years, dancing all night long during the Madonnarama events at South Beach Nightclub.
This year's Hard Candy finds Madonna still ready to boogie, though the disco flourishes don't feel as immediate as her previous albums. But the disc's not a wash. Give It 2 Me and Heartbeat are standouts, along with She's Not Me, a toot-toot homage to Donna Summer's Bad Girls that finds our diva stating her case.
"She's not me/She doesn't have my name," she sings. "She'll never have what I have/It won't be the same."
Indeed. Many have tried, but few are, well, Madonna.
Britney Spears has reportedly turned down the chance to make a second guest appearance on Madonna's world tour - because of family commitments.
Spears thrilled fans at Los Angeles' Dodgers Stadium last week (06Nov08) by joining the superstar onstage for a rendition of Human Nature.
And the Toxic hitmaker was reportedly set to perform with the Material Girl a second time when the Sticky + Sweet tour hits Miami, Florida on 26 November (08).
However, she is said to have scrapped the plans after she was granted custody of her two sons, Jayden James, two, and Sean Preston, three, in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday on 27 November (08).
A source tells Sunonline.co.uk, "Britney had always agreed to perform in Miami but her circumstances have changed over the past couple of months.
"She and Kevin (Federline, ex-husband) are getting along fine now, Britney will have Jayden and Sean just before the holiday and Kevin will spend Thanksgiving day with them."
Spears is due to fly to France after Thanksgiving to appear on French TV talent show Star Academy on 28 November (08)
Taken from a newsletter, sent out by Madonna.com:
To All My Friends,
I am really excited to share with you a new video message about a project that you can be a big part of: The Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.
After witnessing the potential of Malawi's girls firsthand, I made it my mission to give them an opportunity to become their personal best.
I hope you will share my urgency and make a donation today. Every donation counts toward helping impoverished girls to reach their full potential. And every dollar will make a difference.
Please visit: http://www.raisingmalawi.org/rm_girlsacademy.php
Thank you for helping me to bring education and opportunity to the girls of Malawi. They are deeply grateful to you for your support, and so am I.
~ Watch the accompanying video message by Madonna here!
The highlight of Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour is the reworking of Like a Prayer. The 20-year-old chart-topper is mashed up with Meck's Feels Like Home. Meck scored a hit with this track in 2007 on dance radio with Dirty Vegas-like vocals provided by Dino Lenny.
But what makes Feels Like Home stand out is the sampling of the beats from Felix's classic Don't You Want Me, which reached the pole position in the club airplay in 1993. This Felix cut is co-produced by Rollo, the mastermind behind Faithless ( Insomnia, God is a DJ, Mass Destruction ) ; Kristine W.'s breakthrough opus Land of the Living; and Dido's catalog.
Don't You Want Me has been re-released overseas multiple times and lifts its vocals from Jomanda's Don't You Want My Love. So, Madonna, put this mash-up on your forthcoming single Miles Away. It's great having people buzzing about your music again, instead of your 'private' life or whatever headlines that conveniently surface whenever there is an album to sell or a tour to plug.
Madonna has revealed that she thinks she must have been a 'Japanese warrioress' in her previous birth. The 'Material' hit maker, who is fighting for the custody of her three children in a bitter divorce battle with estranged hubby Guy Ritchie, said that she had always been a fighter and thus, traces herself to a 'Samurai' past.
"I must have been Japanese in another life. I'm pretty sure I was a warrioress," the Sun quoted her as saying on a TV show. I can't explain it, I just know. I'm good at fighting - fighting with a big sword," she added.
Meanwhile, the 'warrior' Queen of Pop continues her devotion towards Kabbalah religion that has reportedly been cited amongst the chief reasons for her divorce from the 'RocknRolla' director.
Below are the gross and attendance numbers of the first month of the Sticky & Sweet North American leg, up to Oakland. All 16 dates were officially sold out, including a stadium show in Vancouver.
Izod Center, East Rutherford, N.J.
Oct. 4, 2008
16,896 / 16,896
Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.
Oct. 6-7, 11-12, 2008
TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Mass.
Oct. 15-16, 2008
26,611 / 26,611
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Oct. 18-19, 2008
34,324 / 34,324
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Oct. 22-23, 2008
34,301 / 34,301
United Center, Chicago, Ill.
Oct. 26-27, 2008
30,968 / 30,968
B.C. Place Stadium, Vancouver, British Columbia
Oct. 30, 2008
52,712 / 52,712
Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.
Nov. 1-2, 2008
28,198 / 28,198
Pop star Madonna said it was a shame the United States could put a black man in the White House but not allow same-sex marriage, rocking on her world tour with guests Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.
Voters approved a proposal in Tuesday's presidential elections which amended the California's constitution to say that only marriages between men and women are recognized in the state.
The decision came only six months after California's Supreme Court overturned a previous ban on same-sex marriage, paving the way for thousands of gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot in the state.
"If we can elect an African-American as president, we can support gay marriage!," Madonna shouted to 20,000 fans at Dodger Stadium late Thursday, referring to president-elect Barack Obama. "Defeat Prop 8! We will not give up!.
"I am sorry we did not win Proposition 8. If we can have an African-American in the White House, we can have gay marriage," insisted the 50-year-old pop star who is divorcing her husband British director Guy Ritchie.
Spears joined Madonna to sing the last verse of Human Nature. Capping the fleeting duet, Madonna shouted: "I'm not your bitch!" then pointed to Spears, adding: "She's not your bitch."
Later Madonna danced and sang her duet with Spears' ex Timberlake, 4 Minutes, as stars such as singer Fergie, Drew Barrymore, Ryan Seacrest and Jennifer Lopez enjoyed the show.
Madonna isn't going to let lighting and technical issues keep her from performing at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
A statement from her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, says construction of the singer's stage came to a halt Wednesday due to an equipment malfunction.
Although damage to the top of the stage created several lighting and technical issues, Madonna decided to go ahead with Thursday night's show.
In an e-mail to The Associated Press, Madonna says: "Even though my stage roof was damaged and some lights and effects aren't working, I want to do the show anyway because I don't want to disappoint my fans."
If there's one thing we can count on from Madonna, it's the making of a little music history now and again. Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake will be performing alongside the Material Girl Thursday when her Sticky & Sweet tour touches down at Dodger Stadium, E! News' Ryan Seacrest has learned.
"They are going to be onstage performing with Madonna," Seacrest said on KIIS-FM host DJ BoyToy Jesse's Wednesday-afternoon show. Of course, while Timberlake and Spears have both collaborated with Madge individually, the exes haven't been spending much quality time together in recent years.
"If Justin and Britney end up on that stage with her... I don't know if I've ever seen anything quite like that before," Seacrest said. (And he's seen a lot - remember Celine Dion performing with hologram Elvis on American Idol?) Seacrest said that he should have more details on his KIIS morning show tomorrow: "Expect some real serious surprises."
Madonna has a history of sharing the stage with hot young thangs: It was the veteran diva who brought Spears and Christina Aguilera together at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, when the popster duo teamed up for Like a Virgin and Hollywood and then took turns smooching the queen bee. Now, if Madonna ends up working that kind of magic with Brit and J.T. - watch out.
Madonna's #1 hit single Music was performed on every tour this decennium, each time in a different re-invented version. Check out the descriptions of each performance on our Music song page and then tell us which performance is your favorite in our new poll.
Yesterday evening, when the results of the US elections declared Barack Obama as the next president, Madonna took the stage in San Diego. She was visibly happy with Obama's victory, wearing a campaign shirt during the closing song.
Eventful and Billboard announced that five top musical acts are in the running to win the first annual "Eventful Fans' Choice Award" for the Best Concert Tour of the Year. The finalists are Madonna, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Chesney and The Police. Fans across the country can vote for the artist they want to win the award.
If you want for Madonna to win this award, all you need to do is to visit the devoted website and vote for her! The winner will be revealed at the Billboard Touring Awards Reception, which will take place at New York City's Roosevelt Hotel on November 20th.↑ Back to top of page