← Dec. 2008 | Jan. 2009 →
31 December - Madonna tops worldwide tours in 2008
Madonna and Celine Dion were the biggest worldwide concert draws in 2008, each selling more than $200 million worth of tickets to their slickly produced shows, trade publication Pollstar said on Tuesday.
The pop singers also took the top two spots in North America, which accounts for an estimated 40 percent of the concert business, Pollstar said.
Madonna's Sticky & Sweet world tour, which finished in Brazil last week, tallied $281.6 million from 17 countries. North American fans ponied up $105.3 million.
French-Canadian balladeer Dion, launching her first world tour in more than eight years, earned $236.6 million from 24 countries, with North America contributing $94 million.
This year marks the first time that Pollstar has compiled foreign data. Among the all-time North American tours, Madonna's ranks at No. 8 and Dion's at No. 12. The Rolling Stones hold the record with $162 million from their 2005 trek.
Dion, 40, might well be the hardest working woman in show business, having made Pollstar's list of top 10 acts every year since 2003. That year she began a 700-plus show residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and grossed more than $385 million by the time it wrapped last December.
Rounding out the top five of Pollstar's worldwide list were Bon Jovi ($176.3 million), Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band ($165.8 million), and last year's North American champs the Police ($120.6 million).
Pollstar said fewer people went to concerts in North America this year, and despite the incipient recession those who went were prepared to sharply pay more for their tickets.
"We've had a better year than we really should have expected given the economic environment," said Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the Fresno, California-based publication.
Ticket sales for the top 100 acts in North America rose 4.3 percent to $2.38 billion. The number of tickets sold fell three percent to 35.59 million, and the average ticket price rose nearly eight percent to a record $66.90.
Timing played a part. Acts that hit the road earlier in the year escaped the deepening economic abyss in the fall. Top-tier artists are also fairly recession-proof. Bongiovanni said tickets have sold briskly for Britney Spears' comeback tour, which begins next March, and he predicted sales would be strong for as-yet-unannounced treks by U2 and Springsteen.
Ticket sales data do not include revenue from merchandise, such as T-shirts, which can make up a sizable chunk of tour earnings. (source: Reuters)
31 December - 2008: A bitter sweet Madonna year
Now that the year is coming to an end, it's time to look back at what turned out to be quite a bittersweet Madonna year. 2008 was the first year that Madonna released a new studio album, immediately followed by a world tour, spanning 3 continents. Another important highlight, as pointed out by a majority of voters in our current poll, was Madonna's induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, the perfect celebration of her successful 25-year old career. Unfortunately, 2008 will also be remembered as the year that Madonna's 8-year marriage with film director Guy Ritchie ended in a bitter divorce.
Let's have a closer look at what happened the past 12 months.
01: Madonna & Guy ring in the new year in India.
07: Madonna hosts a fund raising for Malawi orphans at a Gucci event.
10: The Confessions Tour DVD wins a Grammy in the category Best Long Form Music Video.
13: Madonna introduces her director debut Filth and Wisdom at the Berlin film festival.
01: 4 Minutes leaks on the web.
10: Madonna is inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame by Justin Timberlake.
17: 4 Minutes premieres on radio and is released on UK iTunes the next day.
23: 4 Minutes becomes 60th UK Top 10 hit.
01: Madonna graces the cover of ELLE magazine.
02: 4 Minutes becomes Madonna's 37th US Top 10 hit, breaking Elvis' record.
03: The video for 4 Minutes premieres, featuring Timbaland and Justin Timberlake.
20: 4 Minutes becomes Madonna's 13th UK #1 hit.
25: Madonna appears on the red carpet of the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC for the premiere of her Malawi documentary 'I Am Because We Are'.
28: Madonna's 12th studio album Hard Candy is released worldwide.
30: Madonna performs at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC.
04: Hard Candy becomes her 10th UK #1 album.
06: Madonna performs at the Olympia in Paris.
07: Hard Candy becomes her 7th US #1 album.
08: The Sticky & Sweet Tour is announced.
10: Madonna performs at Radio 1's Big Weeken in London.
20: Madonna & Guy appear at the Cannes Film Festival.
22: Madonna & Sharon Stone appear at an aids fund raising in Cannes.
30: The video for second single Give It 2 Me premieres online.
15: Madonna breaks into the UK Top 40 for the 66th time with Give It 2 Me.
01: Liz Rosenberg denies the divorce rumours that circulate in the media.
14: Second single Give It 2 Me is released.
27: Madonna's debut album and start of her brilliant career celebrates its 25th anniversary
03: Madonna shows 'I Am Because We Are' at the Traverse City Film Festival in birthtown Detroit.
16: Guy Ritchie pays tribute to his wife Madonna on her 50th birthday.
21: 4 Minutes is certified Double Platinum, making it her biggest selling US single, next to Vogue.
23: Madonna kicks off her 8th world tour, the Sticky & Sweet Tour, in Cardiff, UK.
01: Madonna attends the premiere of RocknRolla with Guy in London. It would turn out to be their last public appearance together as a married couple.
06: Madonna dedicates Like A Virgin to the Pope at the show in Rome.
04: Madonna disses Sarah Palin at the opening show of the US leg of the tour, and will continue to do so on several other shows.
11: Pharrell joins Madonna on stage during the show in NYC.
13: Madonna appears at the NYC premiere of Filth and Wisdom. At her side appears her manager Guy Oseary, but no Guy Ritchie.
15: Liz Rosenberg officially confirms the rumours: Madonna and Guy Ritchie are getting divorced after 8 years of marriage.
04: Madonna honours the newly elected president Barack Obama at the show in San Diego.
06: Britney and Justin join Madonna on stage for the show in LA.
21: Madonna and Guy are granted a 'quickie divorce'.
24: Third single Miles Away is released.
26: Timbaland and Pharrell join Madonna on stage for the Miami show.
30: Miles Away breaks string of Top 20 hits.
03: Madonna postpones a concert in Argentina.
04: Madonna sings Don't Cry For Me Argentina live for the first time.
08: The Argentine leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour is attended by more than 260,000 fans.
16: Steven Klein does a photoshoot in Rio with Madonna and 4 Brazilian hunks.
21: Madonna concludes her Sticky & Sweet Tour after 58 shows in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
22: The Sticky & Sweet Tour becomes the #1 largest grossing solo tour.
30 December - Boxscore numbers for Latin America
The first boxscore numbers for the Latin America leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour have been revealed. The 4 shows in Argentina were attended by more than a quarter million people! The shows in Mexico and Chile attracted another quarter million. Numbers for Brazil have not yet been released, but we can already say that this tour leg was incredibly popular as well.
Foro Sol, Mexico City, Mexico
Nov. 29-30, 2008
104,270 / 104,270
Estadio River Plate, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dec. 4-5, 7-8, 2008
263,693 / 263,693
Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile
Dec. 10-11, 2008
146,242 / 146,242
30 December - DirecTV brings back Wonderland
In 2000, Madonna and William Orbit provided a lovely humming theme song for the TV series Wonderland. Unfortunately, the show was pulled off the air after only two episodes, deemed too dark and intense. DIRECTV's The 101 Network is now bringing back those two initial airings, plus 6 never-seen episodes. All eight episodes of the series will air Wednesday nights at 10 pm ET/PT beginning Jan. 14, 2009, only on DIRECTV's The 101 Network and DIRECTV on DEMAND. Full press release here. (thx to Miguel)
29 December - Madonna is the undisputed Queen of Tours
Madonna was the queen of the road during 2008 thanks to ticket sales of more than $105 million for her Sticky and Sweet tour.
The Material Girl was the top concert attraction in North America during the year according to Pollstar, the concert-tracking magazine, although Billboard recently put Bon Jovi atop its annual ranking of the year's biggest grossing tours.
Billboard looks at worldwide results as reported from Nov. 14, 2007, to Nov. 11 of this year, while Pollstar measures only box-office results in North America during the 2008 calendar year.
At No. 2 on Pollstar's list is Celine Dion, who earned $94 million from her first tour since ending her long residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and returning to the concert trail with her "Taking Chances" tour.
The Eagles claim the No. 3 spot with tour receipts of $73.4 million, followed by Kenny Chesney in fourth place with $72.2 million and Bon Jovi in fifth with $70.4 million.
Right behind Bon Jovi is Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, which tallied $69.3 million on the group's "Magic" tour.
Springsteen ranked No. 2 on Billboard's list, which reported nearly triple the tour grosses worldwide for both he and Bon Jovi -- $204.5 million and $210.6 million, respectively -- that Pollstar totaled for each act in North America during the year.
"All I can say [about the differences] is we have 100% of the individual show data to support these tour numbers," Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni told The Times.
Pollstar's Top 10 is dominated as it has been for years by rock and pop veterans. Rounding the list are Neil Diamond ($59.8 million), Rascal Flatts ($55.8 million), the Police ($48 million) and Tina Turner ($47.7 million). (source: Los Angeles Times)
26 December - Santa Baby singer dies on Xmas day
Eartha Kitt, the singer who performed the original version of the Christmas song Santa Baby, has died yesterday. The song was covered by Madonna in 1987 as a contribution to the album 'A Very Special Christmas'. Kitt died from colon cancer at the age of 81.
24 December - Merry Xmas!
The Mad-Eyes team wishes for all Madonna fans Christmas days filled with warmth, love and tenderness. We hope that Madonna and her family will be able to enjoy this time of the year, even at this difficult moment in her personal life. Merry Xmas!
24 December - Brazilian model gets career boost from toyboy kiss with Madonna
A 20-year-old unknown Brazilian male model has got a shot at the big time in New York, thanks to a media frenzy over him kissing Madonna.
Jesus Luz has had his face splashed all over US and British publications -- often under cute headlines playing up the tryst between "Madonna" and "Jesus" -- according to Brazil's G1 news website on Tuesday.
Luz, who turns 21 on January 15, was spotted sucking face with the 50-year-old US pop star in a Rio de Janeiro hotel following one of her concerts during the last legs of her Sticky and Sweet world tour.
The two were said to have met during a photo shoot for a US magazine.
The photographer on that shoot, Steven Klein, has reportedly invited Luz to New York to work.
"We still don't know what we're going to do. I need to sit down calmly and talk, see what he wants to do with his life," Luz's current Brazilian agent, Sergio Mattos of the firm 40 Graus, said.
He claimed his model's break was not entirely thanks to kissing Madonna, but also because Klein was impressed with his work.
Brazilian media said Luz's career had been nascent before his lips found those of one of the most famous women on the planet.
He had mainly done catwalk parades for local labels and appeared in Rio's fashion show for only 170 dollars a pop.
Now, he could hope to pocket three times that, specialists said.
The social pages of a Rio daily, O Dia, affirmed Madonna was "passionate" about Luz and had kept him by her side for the rest of her stay in Brazil, including for a post-concert party last Sunday night.
Madonna has been granted permission for a quickie divorce from husband Guy Ritchie that should be decreed in early January. She has been romantically linked to a US baseball star, Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez, for the past few months. (source: AFP via Yahoo!)
22 December - Sticky & Sweet Tour ends with a bang, becomes Number One Largest Grossing Solo Tour
Madonna once again obliterated all her competition as she finished her 4 month long tour last night in Brazil with a bang and Live Nation issued a press release about the tour becoming the biggest tour by a solo artist ever. Congratulations Madonna, with a tour like this, you totally deserve it!
With the completion of Madonna's final show in Sao Paulo, Brazil last evening -- one of eleven record-breaking performances in South America -- the 'Material Girl's' Sticky & Sweet Tour reigns supreme by becoming the Number One Largest Grossing Tour in history by a solo artist, it was confirmed today by Live Nation, the tour's international producer. Her 58 shows in Europe, the US, Canada, Mexico and South America played for a staggering 2,350,282 fans and sold over $280,000,000 in tickets.
"Madonna has yet again demonstrated her true global appeal as a live performer whether in stadiums or arenas. Not only will this tour be the top selling tour of all time for a solo artist and a female artist (eclipsing her own record), but it will position her as one of the top selling touring artists of all time," said Arthur Fogel, Live Nation's Chairman of Global Music and CEO of Global Touring.
Along with record breaking ticket sales in South America with a total 650,000 tickets sold, the Sticky & Sweet Tour sold 72,000 tickets at Zurich's Military Airfield Dubendorf -- the largest audience ever assembled for a show in Switzerland. In London, where she performed in front of 74,000 fans with over 12 million dollars in ticket sales, Madonna surpassed all previous records at both the old and new Wembley Stadiums. In New York City, Madonna's four sell-outs at Madison Square Garden shows added up to a record breaking 23 sold out performances since 2001 at that venue -- a record for most appearances for a single artist in this decade.
Madonna's multi Grammy-nominated CD Hard Candy debuted at number one early this year in over 37 countries.
~ The Sticky & Sweet Tour ends at the highest note, but you can still relive the memories with our tour diary, picture galleries, press reviews and fan reports pages. Even though the show is over, do not hesitate to send us your reports or pictures of any of the 58 shows!
21 December - Warner Music to remove videos, songs from YouTube
Warner Music Group Corp. said it will remove all its videos and songs from Google Inc.'s YouTube Web site after renegotiations over royalties failed yesterday.
Hundreds of thousands of videos from artists including Madonna and Metallica, as well as content from Warner's music- publishing division, will be taken down, Warner said. Under an agreement reached in September 2006, New York based-Warner received revenue from advertisements and other royalty payments from video streaming.
"We simply cannot accept terms that fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide," Warner Music said today in a statement. Warner Spokesman Will Tanous declined to comment further.
Warner Music counts on digital revenue to offset Internet piracy and declining demand for CDs. The growth of digital song sales slowed to 28 percent this year compared with 2007's 45 percent jump and a 65 percent rise in 2006.
Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and EMI Group Ltd. are in renegotiation talks with YouTube.
Warner Music fell 2 cents to $3.06 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading and has dropped 50 percent this year. Google fell 11 cents to $310.17 and has declined 55 percent this year. (source: Bloomberg.com)
~ Question is, will it affect the tour clips as well? If so, congratulations to Warner for giving one last big punch in the face to Madonna fans...
18 December - Vote for the biggest Madonna event of 2008
As we reach the end of the year, we look back on 2008, which was easily the most eventful year of recent Madonna history! Pick the biggest one in our new poll!
Previously, we asked our visitors about their favourite parts of our Sticky & Sweet Tour section. The winner is the info & details page, with picture galleries coming in second and the diary being third. Keep sending us your reports and pictures of the tour to make the tour section even more extensive!
18 December - U2's Live Nation deal is good for Madonna, bad for investors
There could be more bad news coming from another of the company's marquee acts: Madonna. In April, Madonna is eligible to sell $25 million of stock under the terms of her contract, even though the stock's market value has plunged 83% since she struck her deal in October 2007.
Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino sought to play down the significance of the stock sales. "Madonna and U2 are the only two deals that did contain this provision," he said. "The Madonna business is great, and we look forward to monetizing our investment in U2 next year."
Madonna's current Sticky & Sweet world tour is the pop star's first outing since she signed her 10-year, $120 million deal with Live Nation.
Live Nation expects to start recouping its investment in U2 when the band begins a planned tour next year and releases its 12th album.
Reached in London, where U2 is wrapping up work on the forthcoming album, band manager Paul McGuinness said: "We're very much in business with [Live Nation] and we're planning to tour in 2009."
Madonna and U2 were the first of six superstar acts whom Live Nation has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars each for several years' worth of revenues. Jay-Z, Nickelback and Shakira are among the other artists with whom Live Nation has deals.
~ For more on the current status of Live Nation, read the full articles at Wall Street Journal and All Things Digital!
18 December - Madonna's Brazilian hunks for new photoshoot
So Madonna's in Brazil shooting a spread and cover for W magazine with Steven Klein. Made in Brazil is reporting she'll appear with a slew of hot Brazilian male models, two of which we've pictured here. On the left is Felipe Anibal, and in the center and right is Miro Moreira in D&G's spring 2007 campaign and Armani Exchange's spring 2008 underwear ads. At least two more boys like this will reportedly appear with Madge in the spread, shot at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro and a bar in Ipanema. See, this is why we love Madonna. She doesn't get divorced and have a lame 4 p.m. Champagne and cake menopause fest. She flings herself to the tropics to rub up on (can you imagine?) Brazil's finest-looking younger men for all the world to see. After all, why settle for one beefy, too tan baseball player when you can have four ideal specimens of foreigner? (source: New York Magazine)
17 December - Candy Shop & Beat Goes On receive acclaim on best of 2008 lists
Two songs that we got to hear long before their official release, Candy Shop & Beat Goes On, tracks from Hard Candy, brought to life by The Neptunes, seem to have just become the most famous Madonna single releases that never happened.
Rolling Stone magazine unveiled its Top 100 Singles of the Year list that includes Candy Shop at #93:
"If 50 Cent and Lil Wayne can make sugar filthy, the Queen of Pop can, too. Pharrell brings a delicately thunky beat, Madonna brings the sticky sweet."
Slant Magazine went even further and named Beat Goes On the #2 single of the year:
"No amount of fake scandal and misbehavior (A-Rod! McCain=Hitler!) can make up for the fact that Madonna's bid for hip-hop relevance flopped. So it's fitting that Hard Candy's best song, Beat Goes On (a Pharrell-derived, note-perfect hybrid of "Ring My Bell" disco and darkwave tech-hop that also features Kanye West's best rap of the year), hasn't even been officially released as a single yet despite garnering substantial airplay on the nation's biggest dance station. Three cheers for the counterintuitive!"
Interestingly, none of the actual Hard Candy singles feature on either lists and obviously the term 'single' is loosely used these days. Both of these tracks are famous in the fan community for leaking online in 2007, and while Madonna called Candy Shop as her favourite on the record and was her original choice for the lead-off single, Beat Goes On, in its reworked form topped the list of fans' favourites and single-wishlists. Even though neither single release materialized in the end, fortunately both tracks were immortalized by Madonna when she opened her Sticky & Sweet Tour with Candy Shop & Beat Goes On, her most stomping one-two punch concert kick-off ever!
17 December - Madonna, Ritchie say divorce sums wrongly issued
U.S. pop star Madonna and ex-husband Guy Ritchie said on Wednesday that a statement released on the singer's behalf detailing terms of their divorce was "misleading and inaccurate."
Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's spokeswoman in New York, said on Monday the singer had given British film director Ritchie between 50 and 60 million pounds ($76-92 million) as part of their divorce.
Both Associated Press (AP) and Reuters reported the figures, but now the couple are distancing themselves from the accuracy of the details.
"We have tried to maintain a dignified silence regarding the details of our divorce for the last few months whilst accepting the obvious media interest," said a joint statement from the pair.
"A misleading and inaccurate statement, specifically in relation to the sums of money involved, was wrongly issued to AP this week," it added.
"The financial details of the settlement will remain private, save to say that both of us are happy with our agreement. Our primary concern, like any co-parents, is the care and well being of our children." Rosenberg said on Monday that custody arrangements for the couple's children had not been finalized.
Madonna and Ritchie have an eight-year-old son, Rocco, and three-year-old son David, adopted from Malawi. The singer also has a daughter Lourdes, born in 1996, from her relationship with fitness trainer Carlos Leon.
Madonna, one of the most successful singers of all time with estimated album sales of more than 200 million, was married once before, to actor Sean Penn, in the 1980s.
Madonna and Ritchie announced their split in October, nearly eight years after their wedding at Skibo Castle in Scotland.
Ritchie is a British film director who is making Hollywood blockbuster "Sherlock Holmes" starring Robert Downey Jr. as the Victorian-era super sleuth.
The couple's combined wealth has been estimated at about $525 million, but Madonna accounts for most of it. (source: Reuters)
17 December - Carlos Leon speaks out about Madonna divorce
Madonna's ex-partner Carlos Leon has offered his love and support to the singer and her ex-husband Guy Ritchie in the wake of their divorce.
Leon, the father of Madonna's 12-year-old daughter Lourdes, insists he is sad about the collapse of her marriage - and reveals he became close to director Ritchie, who he describes as an "inspiration".
The 42-year-old tells Hello magazine, "It is a bad situation for both Guy and Madonna and I send them a lot of love and all the children involved. I think it is too early to say if the divorce will make things better or worse for the family.
"(Guy) is the gent. He always treats me with respect. Of the film work of the two, I like Ritchie better. He is incredibly talented as a director and producer and he inspires me."
Leon adds of Lourdes, "I speak to her every day. She is very talented, she gets that from her mum. She has had advantages I never had. But it is up to her to take it to a new level in singing or acting." (source: ContactMusic)
16 December - Madonna pays Guy $76 Million in divorce settlement
Madonna has reached a divorce settlement with Guy Ritchie, according to the singer's rep.
The pop star will pay her ex between $76 million and $92 million, her spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg tells the Associated Press.
Rosenberg says the figure includes the value of their country home Ashcombe, in western England, as well as the couple's London pub, the Punchbowl.
"I'd assume it's one of the largest payouts ever in a divorce settlement," Rosenberg told the AP.
While the financial details of the settlement have been ironed out, Madonna, 50, and Ritchie, 40, are still finalizing custodial arrangements for their children.
Madonna filed for divorce citing Ritchie's "unreasonable behavior" as a cause. The two were granted a preliminary "quickie divorce" on Nov. 21 in the High Court of London.
Ritchie's rep declined to comment to the AP. (source: People.com)
↑ Back to top of page