Madonna news - Oct. 2009

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Warner Japan: Sticky & Sweet CD/DVD on December 16

31 October 2009

Warner Music Japan has announced that the Sticky & Sweet Tour Live from Buenos Aires CD & DVD is going to be released on December 16th! Apart from the full show recorded in Argentina, the DVD will also contain 30 minutes of behind the scenes footage. (thanx to roccoc at MadonnaTribe)

UPDATE: Guy Oseary on Twitter: it will not be ready by then.. We are working on finishing it.. We will have more info soon on Stay tuned..

William Orbit reflects back on the Ray Of Light days

30 October 2009

BBC's Radio 2 Zoe Ball interviewed longtime Madonna collaborator William Orbit as part of the "Tracks of my Years" program all week. Yesterday, Zoe played the title track of Ray Of Light which he called the pinnacle of their project together, when they finally knew they possibly had something.

Ray Of Light, the single

He said they are still friends and sees her around London and LA and they exchange emails, but neither are looking back since both Madonna and William have a so much on their plates currently, so they are not thinking about working together again, but they have a lot of stuff they did which in the past that are for "a rainy day".

He also repeated the story about Madonna bringing a basketball player friend to take a listen to her song, but he fell asleep during that and she was not amused. Orbit said he heard the Ray Of Light album sold 17 million copies worldwide which was " the good old days". You can listen to the interview here for the next 6 days (the Madonna part comes at just before 2:10).

Madonna promises light for Malawian village

Source: AP via Yahoo - 29 October 2009

Madonna has promised electricity to a village in Malawi, the impoverished southern African country where she runs a charity organization and from which she has adopted two children.

Speaking in Mphandula, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, the singer said Thursday: "I know you work in darkness. I will bring you electricity."

Madonna, Lourdes, David, Mercy & Nathan Rissman in Malawi

Madonna's Raising Malawi charity already has donated $500,000 for a child care center in the village that feeds and educates 3,000 orphaned children.

Madonna arrived in Malawi on Sunday accompanied by her four children. On Monday she broke ground for her $15-million Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.

About 500,000 children in this nation of 12 million have lost a parent to AIDS.

Raising Malawi: Will you join me?

Source: The Huffington Post - 28 October 2009

This week, my family and I are in Malawi to attend the ground breaking ceremony for Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.

I am making a straightforward request.

I'm writing to urge you to join me in saving the lives of some of the world's most vulnerable children. And I'm asking you to do it right away.

Raising Malawi, the organization I co-founded in 2006, is dedicated to ending the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi's one million orphans. By donating to Raising Malawi, you can literally transform the future for an entire generation. To encourage your involvement, I've pledged $100,000 to match your contributions dollar-for-dollar.

Why Malawi?

Seven years ago I might have asked myself this very same question. Why not Afghanistan, or India? There are impoverished children, desperate for health care and education, everywhere in the world. Something about Malawi's children connected with me and their hardships were too much for me to ignore. So I started learning more about Malawi, and, little by little, I began working with Malawians to improve their communities.

Visiting Malawi can be a very humbling experience. In the face of such overwhelming challenges, it's easy to feel helpless. At the same time, it is impossible not to recognize how much we can do to improve the lives of vulnerable children. Right now, I am particularly concerned about Malawian girls whose lives are made even more difficult simply because of their gender.

In 2008 Raising Malawi announced the creation of an all-girls boarding school, the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. Architects have drawn up plans. We've identified a plot of land. And some of Malawi's poorest girls are eager for the opportunities that a comprehensive secondary education will bring them. But we're still in need of additional funds to complete this project, and there's no time to lose.

My own daughters will each have a solid secondary education. They have a family that assures them that they can be anything they want to be, that they are not limited in any way. I believe that the same should be true for girls in every part of the world, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. The girls of Malawi are bright and resourceful. They are eager to learn and grow. When I look at my girls and see them thriving, it is my greatest wish that the girls in Malawi will have the same chance for happiness.

This is where you come in.

Please join me in supporting the work of Raising Malawi. Every dollar we collect will make a huge difference in a child's life. By matching your donation, dollar for dollar, I will personally ensure that your contribution has an even greater impact. That's a promise.

This is my call to you: Give an opportunity to a child who would otherwise have none. Support the work of Raising Malawi.

Will you join me?

Please visit to contribute and learn more.

Billboard exclusive Sticky & Sweet Tour video: Into The Groove

Source: - 27 October 2009

Millions of Madonna fans -- 3.5 million at 85 shows in 32 countries, to be exact -- were lucky enough to witness the pop star's record-breaking Sticky & Sweet Tour live before it wrapped in September. But there are still millions more who never saw the show, which until now, hasn't been broadcast for fans at home.

That will change on Friday (Oct. 30), though, when the new multi-platform channel EPIX debuts a concert from Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour for television and online viewers. But exclusively on, you can watch one song from the special right now: Madonna performing her 1985 hit Into The Groove and showing off her impressive double dutch jump roping skills.

The EPIX broadcast was put together using footage of Madonna's historic four-night stand at Buenos Aires' River Plate Stadium on Dec. 4-8, 2008. In addition to being a mainstay on the Sticky & Sweet setlist, Into The Groove is featured on Madonna's new greatest hits set Celebration, which was released on Sept. 28 and debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200.

Sticky & Sweet is the top-grossing tour by a solo artist of all-time, with a total gross of $408 million according to Billboard Boxscore. That shatters a previous record of $194 million, which was grossed by none another than Madonna with her 2006 Confessions tour.

When stacked up against tours by any act -- solo or group -- the Sticky & Sweet tour comes in second only to the Rolling Stones, who grossed $558 million with their Bigger Bang tour of 2005-2007.

Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour will also vie for Top Tour Honors at the 2009 Billboard Touring Awards on Nov. 5 in New York. The trek is up against AC/DC's Black Ice tour and U2's 360 tour.

Madonna breaks ground on Malawi girls school

Source: AFP via Yahoo - 26 October 2009

American pop queen Madonna broke ground Monday on a girls academy she is building in Malawi, billed as a "gift" to the country from where she has adopted two children.

Madonna breaks ground in Malawi

"After seeing all the hard working Malawian women who are looking after families and communities, I realised how much they deserve to be educated," said Madonna.

The 51-year-old star cut a cake, planted a tree and turned the sod alongside her eldest daughter Lourdes, 13, at a colourful ceremony attended by about 1,000 locals on the outskirts of Malawi's administrative capital Lilongwe.

"The school will help girls from vulnerable backgrounds to move forward. They will use the principles of spirituality for kids," said the singer who is a devotee of Jewish Kabbalah mysticism.

According to a brochure for the Raising Malawi Girls Academy, the school will be a "leadership institution to prepare future women leaders" with 500 boarders including two impoverished girls from each of the country's 28 districts.

It will "focus on mathematics and science which traditionally have failed in Malawi and elsewhere", the brochure said, saying that the school would be a gift to the people of Malawi.

"The logical project was to build a school that will create future women leaders, doctors and surgeons," Madonna said.

The singer was entertained by traditional dancers and musicians, in a event attended by senior education officials and community leaders.

Malawi's minister of education, George Chiponda, presented the singer with the national flag and urged her to continue supporting the country's education system.

"When you have money I want you to come back and build us a university," said Chiponda.

"This year 5,000 students qualified for university entry but only 1,200 were admitted due to lack of space," said Chiponda.

Madonna plants a tree in Malawi

The school is modelled on a similar academy built by US television talk show host Oprah Winfrey in South Africa.

In 2006, the chart-topping musician adopted a baby boy, David Banda, who is now three-years-old.

In April, the recently divorced singer and actress came back into the country to file for the adoption of Mercy James, who was placed at an orphanage following the death of her mother.

The adoption of three-year-old Mercy was initially denied but later granted after an appeal.

Madonna is also funding several charities in the small southern African country, including homes for children with AIDS.

She has already built a multi-purpose community centre at Mphandula village, 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Lilongwe, which looks after more than 8,000 orphans from scores of villages in the area.

Malawi is one of the world's poorest nations, with more than half of the population of 12 million living on less than one dollar a day. The singer has a personal fortune estimated at several hundred million dollars.

Construction of the academy will take two years.

Madonna to attend Raising Malawi Academy for girls ceremony

Source: Raising Malawi - 26 October 2009

My family and I are on our way to Malawi to attend the ground breaking ceremony for Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. The ceremony will take place on Monday, October 26 at 3:00 p.m. on the future site of the Academy.

Our vision for the school is to empower girls to become Malawi's future leaders. Our goal is to teach them to challenge themselves, serve their local communities and develop their country. We created this vision in partnership with the local Malawian Ministry of Education, and other educational experts from Malawi, Sub-Sharan African and elsewhere around the world.

We are developing and using innovative educational approaches, cutting-edge architectural design methods, and other modern technologies, which we hope, will become a replicable model for girls secondary school education.

Research proves that young girls throughout the developing world are often left without opportunities to receive a comprehensive education and the benefits that education can provide.

It’s an honor for me to be able to help as many of these girls as I can achieve their dreams.

I’m also incredibly proud of all the projects Raising Malawi is involved in and I look forward to visiting a number of them during my visit.

Something to remember: I'm too busy surviving

25 October 2009

In 2009, no Madonna fan is surprised when Madonna is reported to be spending some studio-quality time with hip hop producers. That was not the case 15 years ago, when exactly on this day, on October 25th, 1994 Madonna released her seventh studio album Bedtime Stories, helmed by Babyface, Dallas Austin Dave Hall & Nellee Hooper.

Even though her earlierst records with Warner were also collaborations with black producers who drew inspiration from R&B, 1994 was the first time when Madonna jumped on the hottest urban sounds of America. Madonna carefully picked the hip hop producers whose work she most admired.

Bedtime Stories, the album

They were already famous for giving chart topping hits to TLC, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton & Mary J. Blige. Dallas Austin at the time produced the album 'Pendulum Vibe' for his R&B songstress protege Joi that caught Madonna's ears as well.

Nellee Hooper, on the other hand, got Madonna's attention for producing the brealthrough album of Icelandic superstar Björk 'Debut' that got a lot of critical acclaim. The direct result in Madonna's canon of the latter is the title track Bedtime Story that combines ethereal singing with lush electronic production in a non-conventional melody.

Thankfully, the rest of the album retains Madonna's signature catchy pop melodies, juxtaposing them with hard hip hop/new jack swing beats (even including a rap by then-up and coming Maverick artist Me'Shell NdegéOcello in I'd Rather Be Your Lover) and smooth R&B grooves, just like how Madonna wanted it, along with an extensive usage of old school and more recent urban samples.

Lyrically the album is a combination of some of Madonna's sweetest and most vulnerable love songs ever, such as Forbidden Love, Love Tried To Welcome Me, Sanctuary & Take A Bow (Inside Of Me fits here as well even though Madonna explicitly stated it is about her mother), and her reaction to the controversy that surrounded her in the Erotica era.

The opening track Survival, is the first in a long list of Madonna songs that express the now-signature Madonna theme of never stopping and always doing her thing. More explicit on this subject is the minimalistic Human Nature, with lyrics like "Did I stay too long? Oops, I didn't know I couldn't speak my mind!".

It's also the first time when Madonna started hinting back at old lyrics in new songs, combining that with actual poetry by Proust, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman and George Herbert.

While the album also brought a new look for Madonna as a platinum blonde Jean Harlow-esque mature but sexual woman which character fully blossomed in the Secret video, Madonna actually wanted to put the focus on the music and released the album without major promotion.

Other than a couple of tv and magazine interviews, she only gave one live performance in US, UK, Germany and Italy each, all in early 1995. Which is probably why the album did not get a stellar start on the charts (stuck behind 'Murder Was The Case' soundtrack by Snoop Dogg and 'II' by Boyz II Men in the US, Bon Jovi's 'Cross Road' in the UK) and quickly started falling down, even though Secret was a hit in most countries.

The downward trend was halted with the release of second single Take A Bow that stabilized sales and eventually helped Bedtime Stories to pass the sales of Erotica in the US and made it a success in Canada and Japan as well. In Europe, however, none of the singles managed to hit big and Bedtime Stories remains one of the very few eras where Madonna could not score a worldwide megahit. It still sold a respectable 6 million copies worldwide.

Unfortunately the album is also remembered for being the first Madonna album marred with commercially questionable singles choices and missed opportunities. After the massive radio success of Take A Bow, Madonna followed with the experimental Bedtime Story and the defensive Human Nature (with staggered release dates depending on territories), which decision resulted in ending Madonna's record of 32 consecutive Billboard Top 40 hits.

On one hand these decisions showed Madonna's more artistic side that produced two fan favourite videos, but it still doesn't change the fact that one of Madonna's most commercial albums could not shine on the charts even though practically all the rest of the songs could have been good single choices, especially the lone dance track of the album, the bouncy Don't Stop that recalls then-hot girl group SWV, and the steamy Forbidden Love which is quite alike to the other famous 90s all girl formation TLC's just as sexy 'Red Light Special', that charted at #2 just after Take A Bow's long reign at the top.

Forbidden Love fortunately got more attention on the ballad compilation Something To Remember released a year and two weeks after Bedtime Stories, and 10 years after that on Confessions On A Dance Floor it became the only songtitle in Madonna's catalog that got reused, coincidentally also as track #7 like on Bedtime Stories.

Bedtime Stories is also the first, and so far only album that did not get to shine on a tour. Madonna intended to tour the record but because the Evita movie project came along, such plans got cancelled. Since then unfortunately only two songs got performed live on tour, Secret & Human Nature, plus the Re-Invention Tour showcased a video interlude set to Bedtime Story.

Fun fact: Madonna thanks Erotica producer Shep Pettibone in the booklet "for being understanding", possibly referring to abandoning several songs they collaborated on before Madonna found her R&B direction.Madonna reused bits and pieces of Shep's ideas in Secret, I'd Rather Be Your Lover & Inside Of Me that later on resulted him getting co-writing credit for those songs.

A Pettibone collaboration Love Won't Wait was later given to Gary Barlow who took it to #1 in the UK, and fans got Madonna's own version as well when it leaked online earlier this decade. Also, more outtakes ended up in fans' hands: the 2003 remix EP Remixed & Revisited contains the dancy Your Honesty, the 1997 rainforest benefit Carnival! houses the minimalistic funk of Freedom and the very sexual Let Down Your Guard backs Secret on European editions of the single.

The 1994 album remains one of Madonna's most divisive albums among her fanbase, some say it's one of her least important records in her discography and it was just an attempt for her to stay hip, others think it's a catchy album with an amazingly smooth flow and its lyrics reveal a lot about Madonna than you'd think at a first glance.

Madonna planning to direct film about the Duchess of Windsor

Source: - 24 October 2009

The Queen of Pop is gearing up to direct her second film – this time about the woman who never would be queen – Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.

"It's still in the early stages," Madonna's publicist, Liz Rosenberg tells PEOPLE about the movie, which will chronicle how King Edward VIII turned in his crown in 1936 to marry the twice-married American socialite.

The screenplay, which Madonna, 51, wrote, "is about two intermingling love stories – one with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and the other one a modern day love story," says Rosenberg.

Reports that it will be a musical like Madonna's 1996 film, Evita aren't completely true, says Rosenberg. "It's not a musical but will likely have a musical component,” she says.

Madonna, who made her directorial debut in 2008 with Filth and Wisdom, is excited about bringing one of the greatest love stories to the silver screen, says Rosenberg. "She did a lot of research on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor," she says.

Living Legend Madonna: 'She has exposed her body, but not her soul' by Liz Smith

23 October 2009

"I love Liz Smith because she has big balls, like me!"

Those were practically the very first words I ever heard, personally, out of Madonna's mouth.

I was at the 1990 New York premiere of Madonna's highly entertaining documentary, Truth or Dare. I wasn't covering it, exactly. I was there being interviewed by ABC's "Primetime Live." They were doing a segment on me. So this event was an example of one of my "glamorous nights out." And of course I was being pressed to speak to Madonna. I'd been writing about her exhaustively since 1984, so everybody assumed we were friends. In fact, I'd never clapped eyes on her.

I told the ABC people, "Look, this is her premiere, I don't think she wants to be part of my publicity!" Somehow Madonna was corralled into a corner where I stood with the film crew. We exchanged hellos. Then the producer asked Madonna what she thought about me. She answered with the quote above, and we parted, laughing. (It couldn't really be used on the air.)

Early in her career, once it really got rolling, she was often compared to Marilyn Monroe, because of her witty Material Girl video, which was a tough homage and send-up of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." But Madonna was nothing like Monroe. She was in the great tradition of those grand diva-egomaniac/perfectionists Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross. And there was a lot of Mae West, that autonomous sexual revolutionary.

Madonna, like Mae, took her sex like a man, and could talk about it like a truckdriver. But unlike West, in her art — her songs, and some of her ravishing videos — Madonna channeled traditional romance like no other star. (Once, years ago, I commented on the lush, sad, Take A Bow video: "Madonna, underneath aren't you a closet romantic?" She replied, "What closet? I am very romantic. But don't ask me more.")

Madonna refined her image (gone were the rags in her hair, the belly shirts, the rubber bracelets) and re-worked her body (gone were the round curves that writhed so provocatively down the giant wedding cake at the first MTV Awards). She could not — and did not wish to — remain a teen sensation.

Especially as she was an experienced full-grown woman of 25, who had more to convey than she felt, "like a virgin, touched for the very first time." (She recently laughed about that song, one of her few hits she didn't write: "I mean, how can you feel like a virgin?")

But her aim is... well, I asked her once about her desire to provoke: "I want my audiences to think I want them to make up their own minds about what I'm doing, or what I symbolize."

"But you want them to have fun, too, right?" I asked

"Of course I want them to them to have fun, and get up and dance and celebrate life. But if you celebrate life you have to be part of life that isn't fun. Like babies dying of AIDS in Africa. I shouldn't have to explain that to anybody. My audiences understand."

What came to amuse and fascinate me about Madonna as the years rolled on, was... the years rolled on! Despite constant gleeful media predictions that she was no longer "relevant" and soon to be "over," she never was. Massive articles were written on her career demise; obsessive, backhanded compliments to her power and cultural significance.

She is the Most Successful Female Rock Artist of All Time. Madonna has sold over 200 million albums, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, even today, despite the haters and critics who "don't like her new music" and "her arms give me the creeps," maintains her position as one of the most influential women in music. Not to mention the top live female concert act in the world.

And what of her age (51) and retirement, which the media wants to push her into? Madonna sighs deeply: "Oh, please! Why should there be a time limit on working or giving of yourself? Or on love and looking attractive? Or trying to give back and make a saner world? Look, work isn't everything, because if it was, I'd never have tried marriage, I never would never have had children.

But one set of circumstances does not complete you. Maybe nothing ever does. So you work on your life and you work on your work and you try to live every single day like it's your last. And you try to be better, to yourself and to others. I don't always succeed. But I try and it's my goal."

And then Madonna added, "Liz, I'll retire when you do. But I think we are going to be the last gals at the rodeo!"

~ Read the rest of the article here

Madonna to lay school's foundation stone in Malawi

Source: Reuters - 22 October 2009

Pop star Madonna will visit Malawi on Sunday to lay the foundation stone of a multi-million dollar girls' school she is building, her charity Raising Malawi told Reuters.

The singer, who has adopted two children from the southern African country, is due to arrive on Sunday and attend a brick-laying ceremony in Lilongwe on Monday. The school is expected to cost about $15 million.

"She plans to meet the President Bingu wa Mutharika and together lay a foundation stone for her multi-million dollar girls school," a staffer at the charity, who declined to be named, said on Thursday.

An AIDS epidemic has left over a million children orphaned in the impoverished country of 13 million.

Malawi's government came under fire after Madonna adopted a 13-month-old boy, David Banda, in 2006, with critics accusing it of giving her special treatment by skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children.

In June this year, Malawi's Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling made in April which said Madonna could not adopt a four-year girl -- Mercy James -- because the singer was not a resident of the country.

Madonna last year divorced British film director Guy Ritchie, with whom she has a son Rocco. She also has a daughter Lourdes from her relationship with fitness trainer Carlos Leon.

Celebration vs Revolver

21 October 2009

On her latest greatest hits album Celebration, Madonna treated fans to 2 high-energy dance floor filler tracks. One of them has a traditional club-remix sound while the other is more contemporary electro-pop. Which one do you prefer? Let us know in our latest poll!

Queen Celebration collects most iconic Madonna pictures

21 October 2009

Sunset Media informs us about the release of the glossy picture book 'Queen Madonna'.

Queen Celebration "This special issue shows the glorious musical career of the Queen of Pop, allowing you to (re)discover pictures that made Madonna the most celebrated female singer around the world. You'll see rare pictures and previously never seen before pictures all taken by the most alented and famous photographers.

Printed on glossy paper, its format 524cm x 34cm) makes this issue a truly unique and a must have collector item for any fan of the Queen of Pop. Limited collector edition: 1.000 copies only!" Info and pre-order at Sunset Media.

Madonna gives rights to catalog for Glee episode

Source: EW - 21 October 2009

Are you sitting down, Gleeks? Well you might want to, because we have some exclusive Glee news that's positively Madge-ical. EW has learned that Madonna has given Glee the rights to her catalog and that an all-Madonna-music episode is in the works for early next year. The hit series has been building an audience and filling the iTunes charts with its cover songs, and Madonna's involvement is a testament to how big the show is getting. Also, an amazing Glee cover of a classic Madonna track has the potential to be even bigger than the show's blockbuster take on "Don't Stop Believin'." Quinn totally has to do Papa Don't Preach. And I can completely see Rachel tackling Material Girl.

But Madonna might not be the only pop star getting some Glee love. Co-creator Ryan Murphy tells EW that he's considering approaching American Idol runner up Adam Lambert about appearing on the show (next year, Glee will be paired with Idol on Wednesday nights). Nothing is official yet but Lambert does seem like an ideal choice for Glee.

Which Madonna song do you wanna hear Glee cover, Music Mix-ers? What would you think about Adam Lambert possibly appearing on the show?

For more on Glee, check out EW's cover story on the Fox phenomenon, on stands this Friday.

Madonna not the face of Dolce & Gabbana menswear

Source: ELLE - 21 October 2009

Rumours have been swirling all day that Madonna is set to be the next face of Dolce & Gabbana's menswear line, but ELLE can put an end to speculation and tell you that it's sadly not true.

While the Queen of pop's boyfriend, model Jesus Luz, is this season's face of the Italian brand, and the design duo has created costumes for the star on several occasions, it seems that Madonna is content with her role as muse rather than model. For now at least...

Even more revealing quotes from Rolling Stone

Source: Rolling Stone - 19 October 2009

Rolling Stone magazine published more from the Madonna interview, including some crucial quotes about her career:

RS: Your onstage stamina is incredible. I particularly enjoyed Into The Groove, which you sang while jumping rope on the Sticky & Sweet Tour. How do you stay in such good shape?

Madonna: I have two different workouts. I have a show-day workout, which really just gets my body warmed up and ready, and I have off-day workouts that involve everything. The kind of training I do incorporates everything from ballet to Pilates to running relays, jumping rope, jumping on trampolines, gymnastics... using all the muscle groups I use to do the show. Keeping my cardiovascular endurance is the most important. At the beginning of the last tour I was roller-skating. Then I ended up getting off the roller skates, because I kept flying off the runway and crashing into the crash-mats.

RS: Do you cry often onstage?

Madonna: [On the Sticky & Sweet Tour] there's a moment right before I sing You Must Love Me, which is such a sad song, when I'm not linked up to time-coded video, when I take a moment to talk to the audience. On this leg of the tour, I cried when I was making a speech about the two men who worked for the scaffolding company that were building my stage in Marseilles [who died in a collapse]. I cried when I found out Michael Jackson had died.

RS: You and Michael were born in the same month, August of 1958. What was it like to witness a kid your age do what he did?

Madonna: I was madly in love with him, totally smitten. He was mind-bogglingly talented. The songs he sang were not childlike at all.

RS: When did you first meet him?

Madonna: I met him in the early Eighties, when I first started working with my manager, Freddy DeMann, who at the time was managing Michael Jackson. I saw him play at Madison Square Garden, and I was blown away. He was flawless. There was a party at the Helmsley Palace Hotel. He was very shy, but it was a thrill for me.

RS: Were you jealous of him?

Madonna: In a good way. I'd wished I'd written "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." What song didn't I love?

RS: Ten years later there was talk of you recording together, and you went to the Oscars with him.

Madonna: There was a period of time when we hung out. He wanted to work with me, I think he wanted to get to know me, and I wanted to do the same. When you write with somebody, it's a weird experience, you feel vulnerable and shy. When I worked with Justin Timberlake I felt that way. To write songs together is a very intimate experience, like getting tossed into a juggernaut. "On your mark, get set, create!" You have to get past these hurdles, which are, "I want to impress this person, but will they think my ideas are stupid? What if their ideas are stupid? Can I be honest with them? Will they be offended?" You end up talking and gabbing and socializing, and you have to do that in order to get to the next level, to be creative. So that's what we were doing: watching movies, having dinner, hanging out, going to the Oscars, being silly, seeing if we could work. He got relaxed. He took off his sunglasses, had a glass of wine, I got him to laugh.

RS: You're the only other entertainer in the world who can relate to enduring that level of scrutiny. Why did it destroy him?

Madonna: All I have are my opinions, I wasn't very close to him. It's good to have a good childhood and a sense of yourself in the world before people start telling you who they think your are. Where you can make mistakes and have a sense of innocence. It gives you a sense of confidence. I don't think he started off that way. Did he have any sense of himself outside of the world of being adored and famous? It's hard to survive like that. I think he felt insecure about the attention he got, and had a love-hate relationship with his job. He didn't seem to have any close friends. And in the last decade, everybody abandoned him, or wrote him off as crazy. People have said so many things about me that aren't true, and I never once had a second thought that the accusations against him might be true. But he didn't seem to have a way to deal with that, publicly or privately, and it can destroy you. When he died, everyone was saying what a great genius he was, but it's important to appreciate things before you lose them. It's a great tragedy.

RS: Britney Spears was featured in a video clip during Human Nature in your Sticky & Sweet show. She's stuck in an elevator and starts to go crazy. Is that how you analogize what's happened in her career?

Madonna: Yes. Didn't that explain what I thought? "I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me." I just think people should mind their own business and let her grow up. I think everyone goes off the deep end at one time or another, and she, like Michael Jackson, didn't really have a childhood, so there are some inherent problems in that scenario. I have a lot of compassion for her, and I hope that she can find balance in her life. I don't know how bad her meltdown was. One can't believe everything one reads.

RS: You've spoken about music as a vehicle for transcending misery. When did you first realize that music had a healing power?

Madonna: Well, everybody knows that music can lift you up and take you away and save you, and even if you're not aware or conscious of it, it's happening. I don't know anyone who hasn't said, "This song saved my life," "This song got me through a summer," "This song got me through a breakup."

RS: From the beginning, you were described as a one-hit wonder. At what point were you able to use those derisive opinions as motivation? I thought that the turning point may have been when the nude photos of you appeared in Playboy and Penthouse, and you famously said, "I'm not ashamed."

Madonna: It was something I did that was totally taken out of context, since the photos were taken when I was modeling for photography classes. It just seemed so unfair. Somebody was obviously taking advantage of the fact that I'd become famous and sold the photos. That's how I made my living when I first came to New York. I modeled for art classes: painting, photography, drawing. I was a dancer, so I could hold poses for a long time and you could see the muscles in my body. It's a perfectly respectable job. Everybody tried to make me feel ashamed, and it just seemed ludicrous. I won't say that from that point on, none of the things people said about me ever bothered my, but I was able to use them as a springboard to, as you say, motivate me. It has the opposite effect. If you say I can't do it, I'm going to do it. It's like anything in life. The more resistance we have, the heavier our weight is, the bigger our muscles grow. It's possibly the reason I still have a career. My whole career I've been met with resistance.

RS: Do you think that some of the statements you've made, or provocative things you've done, have interfered with the quality of your music?

Madonna: Possibly, but everything has happened as it should have happened. I am the sum total of everything I've said and done. I remember when I was making my documentary, I Am Because We Are, and I entered it into competition at Sundance, a woman said to me, "You have to decide whether you want to be an artist or an activist." I said, "Why can't I be both?" That's how I've always felt.

RS: In 1989, nobody mentioned that you might not want to dance and sing in front of burning crosses in your Like A Prayer video?

Madonna: Actually, not that many people were against that. They were afterwards, obviously, but I didn't care. Sometimes I've just stood up. I think religious fragmentation, or bigots who claim to do things in the name of God but actually bring pain to peoples lives is something that need to be stood up against, and I felt that was a part of what I was doing. And when I performed Live To Tell on a cross [on the Confessions Tour] I was supporting Jesus, paying homage to his message, which is to love your neighbor as yourself, to treat people with dignity. The Christians didn't like that very much.

RS: Who would you consider a musical genius? How do you define genius?

Madonna: Genius can mean so many different things. It can be about poetry, or the melody, or the timbre of the voice when it hits a certain note. Whether it's Cole Porter, Elvis Costello, Joe Henry, Stevie Wonder, Cat Stevens, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Chrissie Hynde, Joni Mitchell, Iggy Pop, Elton John, John Lennon or Chris Martin.

RS: You sang Imagine on your Re-Invention Tour. Where were you when John Lennon was murdered?

Madonna: I was actually on the Upper East Side. I remember getting off the subway train on 72nd Street a couple of hours after it happened, and there were crowds and police cars, it was crazy. Everybody was devastated. The violence of it was particularly disturbing, it can make you really paranoid. The Princess Diana car crash, andthe tragic event that occurred with Michael Jackson, it just makes you pause. Every time I performed "Imagine" I could see the front rows would always cry. It's uplifting. John Lennon could awaken that.

RS: Can you attach certain inspirations to certain albums you've made?

Madonna: There are so many inspiring people, artists and philosophers. I'm inspired by people who stick their necks out, like Martin Luther King, Al Gore and Ghandi. I have more obscure heroes like Frida Kahlo, Martha Graham and Eleanor Roosevelt. For American Life, I would say Michael Moore and Che Guevara. I've always been inspired by people who aren't afraid to express their opinions, and speak about sexual politics and provocation and what's right and what's wrong, what's correct and what isn't a correct way for a male and female to behave, and playing with those boundaries. It's obvious to me that if I had been a man and done many of the things that I've done, I would not have had that much attention paid to me. That reality has not escaped me.

RS: Some of your best songs — Live To Tell, Like A Prayer, Cherish — are collaborations with songwriter/producer Patrick Leonard. Why has that relationship been so successful?

Madonna: We're both from the Midwest, and deep down at our core, we're both geeks. He's melancholic, and he is a classically trained musician with an incredible sense of melody. We just hit it off from the start. We always come up with something interesting. We usually don't write frivolous songs, although we've done that, too. There's something magical about our writing.

RS: From a lyrical perspective, what are your favorite lines that you've written over the years?

Madonna: I like the words to songs that aren't very popular. Miles Away and Devil Wouldn't Recognize You. They're more personal and less accessible. I love the lyrics to Like It Or Not. [Sings] "I'll be the garden, you be the snake, all of my fruit is yours to take, better the devil that you know, your love will surely grow." And I love Paradise (Not For Me). [Sings] "I can't remember when I was young, I can't explain if it was wrong."

RS: How important are hit songs to you?

Madonna: Well... It's important, I'm not going to lie. I want my music to be accessible and reach people all around the world.

RS: Who turns you on to music?

Madonna: I listen to music all the time. I have a lot of friends who are DJs, I get stuff from A&R people, my managers. Or I'll go to a nightclub or listen to the radio. People always bring music to workouts, and I look on iTunes every Tuesday. One of my drivers in New York DJs part-time, and another has incredible taste in music. They're always playing stuff for me. I don't live my life in a bubble.

RS: Does your oldest daughter, Lourdes, introduce you to new music?

Madonna: She turned me on to the Ting Tings. There's a band she loves called Disco Bitch. She's into My Chemical Romance, and she's outgrown the Jonas Brothers. She loves Lady Gaga, Ciara, Rihanna, T.I. and Justin. She lives with the iPod in her ears.

RS: Does she critique you?

Madonna: Oh, yeah. My shows, my music, definitely. She's brutally honest, not just with me, but everyone, about what you're wearing, who you're dating, the music you listen to, every choice that you make. She wears the same sizes as me now, so she steals my clothes, my shoes, she's constantly in my closets. And she's working on the show now. Now, we feel more like friends, and we fight every other minute. A normal mother-daughter relationship, going through puberty.

RS: Is it unusual for you to be confronted with such honest opinions? I'd assume there's a lot of people walking on eggshells in your presence.

Madonna: I think I'm a pretty good judge of who's blowing smoke up my ass. I'd like to think I have friends who tell me the truth, and people I work with who tell me the things I don't want to hear. I have those people in my life, and I feel lucky to have them.

RS: What is Lourdes' role on tour?

Madonna: She dresses the dancers backstage. She's really into hair and make-up, so she does a lot of experimenting. She's very talented. She could absolutely design her own line of clothes, she's got great style. Everyone asks her what she thinks of their outfit. Her, not me.

RS: What do you consider prized possessions?

Madonna: I have tons and tons of notebooks that I've written and drawn in over the decades. The other things are more motherly: the first pair of shoes my daughter wore, her first lump of hair.

RS: Is it a bittersweet feeling, parting with Warner Bros. after spending your entire career there?

Madonna: I don't know. The record business as we know it doesn't exist anymore. The way people make, market and sell music is so different now. It's just natural evolution. In many ways, it's better, because kids have the chance now to get themselves out there without the middle man and all the bureaucracy and administrative bullshit that you have to endure. On the other hand, there isn't somebody nurturing these kids along. I don't know what the solution is. I'm sure it will all come around full circle again. It just feels like time to move on. I'm OK with it.

RS: At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you summed up your speech by saying, "It all comes down to the music." Do you think about your legacy, or 100 years from now, how you'll be remembered?

Madonna: Not necessarily. But when I do my shows and see how music transports people, what I'm aware of more than anything when I see people crying, or ecstatic, is how music affects people, and the power it has, over every other art form. I'm so moved and transported by other peoples music — I'm a human being like everyone else. We must all share that same connection, so I'm privileged and blessed to be a channel for music. At the end of the day, are they going to think about how I dove for my shoe at the VMAs or that I was naked in the newspapers, or are they going to remember Live To Tell? I think that at the end of the day, people remember authenticity. They remember what's true, and the rest falls by the wayside. They'll remember what comes from someone's heart.

Madonna, U2, AC/DC lead Touring Awards finalists

Source: Reuters - 16 October 2009

Madonna, U2 and AC/DC are among the finalists for the 2009 Billboard Touring Awards, which are based on global box-office numbers reported to Billboard Boxscore from October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009.

The awards will be presented at a November 5 reception in New York.

Performing Like A Prayer in London

The finalists for the Top Tour and Top Draw awards, which acknowledge the top-grossing and top-ticket-selling tours, respectively, are the same three global treks: U2's 360 tour, Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour, and AC/DC's Black Ice tour.

The Top Package award goes to the top-grossing tour with three or more artists on the bill. Finalists include five-time winner Kenny Chesney for his Sun City Carnival tour with Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland and Montgomery Gentry on the bill; the Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009 with Jordin Sparks, Honor Society and Wonder Girls; and Nickelback for their Dark Horse tour, with Hinder, Papa Roach, and Saving Abel on board.

The Breakthrough Award goes to the top-grossing artist in their first decade as a national headlining act. Four artists enjoyed touring breakthroughs this year: Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift, Kings of Leon, and Il Divo. Dane Cook, Robin Williams, and French & Saunders are finalists for the Top Comedy Tour.

Finalists for the Top Boxscore award, which goes to the top-grossing single engagement for the time period, are U2 at Croke Park in Dublin, U2 at Stade de France in Paris, and the Oxegen fest at Punchestown Racecourse in Naas, Ireland.

Madonna's revealing Rolling Stone interview

14 October 2009

With a classic shot by Herb Ritts, Madonna appears on the cover of the October 29th issue of world famous music magazine Rolling Stone. A brand new interview (done just after the Budapest show) features inside, where Madonna gives an unusually revealing interview about her life and work. Here are the most interesting parts:

Madonna on Rolling Stone

(on first hearing Material Girl & Like A Virgin)

Madonna: I liked them both because they were ironic and provocative at the same time but also unlike me. I am not a materialisic person and I certainly wasn't a virgin, and, by the way, how can you be like a virgin? I liked the play on words, I thought they were clever. They're so geeky, they're cool.

(on knowing in advance whether a song is a hit)

Madonna: I've never been a good judge of what things are going to be huge or not. The songs that I think are the most retarded songs I've written, like Cherish and Sorry, a pretty big hit off my last album, end up being the biggest hits. Into The Groove is another song I feel retarded singing, but everybody seems to like it.

RS: That's because Into The Groove has an amazing bass line.

Madonna: Yeah. Thank you, Stephen Bray. It always starts with the bass line and the beat. You build it from the ground up. Like on Holiday, Hung Up, Music. I think it has to do with being a dancer, because it's all about the bass line when you're a dancer. You have to feel it in the center of your gravity.

RS: Your former manager Freddy DeMann thought your career was over after the Like A Virgin performance at the 1984 VMAs. Were you concerned afterward?

Madonna: He was a white ghost. He was very disappointed in me, because I was rolling around on the floor, my dress went up, and you could see my underpants. What was I thinking? I dropped my shoe, I don't know how to get it and put it back on, and I am going down on the ground. It was a lot of things. It was scary and fun, and I didn't know what it meant for my future. A million things were going through my head.

RS: It wasn't just your performances that were provocative. You didn't write Papa Don't Preach, but it's impossible to imagine anyone else singing it. Why did that song speak to you?

Madonna: It just fit right in with my own personal zeitgeist of standing up to male authorities, whether it's the pope or the Catholic Church, or my father and his conservative, patriarchal ways.

RS: What was the fallout?

Madonna: There have been so many fallouts they all get confused. But for Papa Don't Preach, there were so many opinions - that's why I thought it was so great. Is she for "Schma-smortion," as they say in Knocked Up? Is she against abortion?

RS: Any ideas you've had that you haven't gone through because they seemed too extreme?

Madonna: I did a photo shoot with Steven Klein for my last album cover, and I painted my face black, except for red lips and white eyes. It was a play on words. Have you ever heard of the Black Madonna? It has layers of meaning, and for a minute, I thought it would be a fun title for my record. Then I thought, "Twenty-five percent of the world might get this, probably less. It's not worth it." It happens all the time, because my references are usually off the Richter scale. That's why I have people like Guy Oseary in my life, who look at me and go, "No, you are not doing that."

RS: A lot of fans consider Live To Tell from your 1986 album True Blue to be your defining song. What do you remember about writing it?

Madonna: Sometimes when I'm writing songs, I'm just channeling. I could say that Live To Tell was about my childhood, my relationship with my parents, my father and my stepmother. But maybe not. It could be about something in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel or a story that I heard once. It's true, but it's not necessarily autobiographical. I could say the same about La Isla Bonita. I don't know where that came from.

RS: Are you telling me you never dreamt of San Pedro?

Madonna: I don't know where San Pedro is. At that point, I wasn't a person who went on holidays to beautiful islands. I may have been on the way to the studio and seen an exit ramp for San Pedro.

RS: How did you come to write Vogue?

Madonna: I wrote it when I was making Dick Tracy. After we shot the movie, Warren Beatty asked me if I could write a song that would fit my character's point of view, that she could have conjured up. She was obsessed with speak-easies and movie stars and things like that. The idea for the lyrics came through that request. Coincidentally, I was going to Sound Factory and checking out these dancers who were all doing this new style of dancing called vogueing. And Shep Pettibone, who co-produced Vogue with me, used to DJ there. That's how it grew together.

(on working with William Orbit)

Madonna: After Evita I had a baby. Getting out of the world of pop music and pop culture for a while, I came back to it feeling very hungry, very curious, looking for something new. During that time I'd been listening to William Orbit's Strange Cargo records. He's very eccentric, he lives in his own world. I'd been away for so long that when I got into the studio with him, I felt like I'd been shot out of a cannon. I had so many ideas, and Ray Of Light reflects that.

(on working with Timberlake & Timbaland)

Madonna: I always go "OK who's making music that I like right now?" I really, genuinely like the music of Timbaland and Justin. Justin is a brilliant songwriter. I mean "What Goes Around ... Comes Around"? Brilliant. I thought it would be a challenge to work with him.

RS: Has anyone ever turned down an offer to work with you?

Madonna: Sure. Or it's "I don't have time." I wanted to work with Eninem. I don't think he wanted to work with me. Maybe he's shy.

(on her children having favourite Madonna songs)

Madonna: Lourdes likes all my old songs. She's really into the Eighties, from the way she dresses, to the music she listens to. Rocco likes anything that I did with Timbaland. Basically, he's a hip-hop and electronic boy. David's favourite song is "Ha Isla", that's what he calls it. He's my biggest fan. Everybody says that when he watches the show, he stays frozen from beginning to end, and he studies everything, and he knows every dance step. He's not jaded like my older children.

RS: You and Lourdes, who is now 12, went to a Lady Gaga show together in New York. Do the two of you go to a lot of shows?

Madonna: We've just started. We like the same music. I think Lady Gaga is great. When we saw her, I actually felt like a kind of recognition. I thought, "She's got something." There's something quirky about her. She's fearless and funny, and when she spoke to the audience, she sounded intelligent and clever. She's unique.

RS: Can you sense an artist's ambition?

Madonna: Yes. There's people like Justin Timberlake, who's really good-looking and laid-back. He's sort of a Cary Grant. I love him, I love working with him, but I don't recognize myself in him. But I can see myself in Lady Gaga. In the early part of my career for sure. When I saw her, she didn't have a lot of money for her production, she's got holes in her fishnets, and there's mistakes everywhere. It was kind of a mess, but I can see that she's got that It factor. It's nice to see that at a raw stage.

RS: Last year, you and Guy Ritchie got divorced...

Madonna: You don't have to lower your voice when you say that. It's not a bad word. I thought we were talking about music, though. If you can connect the idea of divorce to music, I'll talk to you about it.

RS: Then let's talk about the lyrics to Devil Wouldn't Recognize You from Hard Candy: "I should just walk away/Over and over, I keep on coming back for more."

Madonna: What can you say? It was a challenging year. I think work saved me, and I'm very grateful that I had work to do. I may have thrown myself off a building. Life is an adjustment. It's different.. My sons aren't with me right now, they're with their father, and I'm not very comfortable with the idea of my children not living together. There are pros and cons, but I do feel good now.

RS: I was at the show last night in Budapest. I was struck by how none of the songs you performed were in their original arrangements.

Madonna: Even my new songs, I have to reinvent them, or after a couple of months, I'll just get sick of them. When you reinvent them, you have to sit for days with the musical director and your band. Inevitably, you end up sampling someone, and you have to get permission and pay more money. People have told me, "You could just go out there and play guitar and sing your songs like Paul McCartney," but I'd be too bored. Most of the joy of the shows is the magic of creating them - the theater. I'm a perfectionist. I like hard work. I like to sweat.

RS: Clearly. You sang Into The Groove while jumping rope.

Madonna: I always have to do something really impossible during my shows, and that's my really impossible moment. It's very hard to sing and dance at the same time, that's why most people that dance don't sing, or at least not very well.

Madonna shoes offered to Gypsy charity in Romania

Source: AP via Yahoo - 13 October 2009

Madonna is putting her shoes where her mouth is.

The Queen of Pop has offered one of her favorite pairs of Christian Dior shoes to a charity supporting Gypsy child education. Organizers said Tuesday the skyscraper gold heels, which are autographed by Madonna, will be sold at the Ovidiu Rom annual ball later this month.

Madonna's signed Christian Dior shoes

Madonna drew international attention by saying during an August concert in Bucharest on her Sticky & Sweet tour that widespread discrimination against East Europe's Gypsies, also known as Roma, should end.

Thousands of fans responded by booing her.

"Madonna's very mild comment regarding equality shone a spotlight on a common European attitude toward Gypsies," Leslie Hawke, president of Ovidiu Rom, told The Associated Press. "We're thrilled to have her donation because she is such an icon of innovation and vigor and 'can do' spirit."

Hawke's son, actor Ethan Hawke, will attend the ball and speak to guests.

Guests at the ball will make donations to win raffle tickets for the auction of donated prizes. This year's items also will include a gold chain provided by actress Vanessa Redgrave.

Should Madonna work with Lady Gaga?

8 October 2009

After the SNL catfight, we played with the possibility of Madonna collaborating Lady Gaga. What do you think? Should the two ladies team up? Voice your opinion in our new poll!

Celebration becomes Madonna's 18th US Top 10 album

7 October 2009

In a Top 10 almost completely taken over by debuts, Madonna's greatest hits album Celebration lands at #7, with sales of 72,159 copies, making it her 18th album to reach the Top 10 of the US album charts.

While this could seem as a disappointment, considering it's the first time ever a Madonna release sells less in the US than in the UK, let's look at a few things:

The #7 peak matches that of GHV2 from almost 8 years ago, when Madonna was still riding high one of her most successful periods and sold 150,000 in a week with it, even though it featured no new songs. Now, Celebration covers almost the complete The Immaculate Collection (which still remains one of the best selling female albums) and the majority of GHV2. Combine that with all of Madonna's singles being available on iTunes since 2005, there isn't much incentive for the public to buy a Madonna compilation, especially in a country where traditionally greatest hits albums don't do as well as in the UK.

The single Celebration got next to no airplay in the US (unlike in most parts of the world) and Madonna's promo was minimal in US media and she did not do any live performances.

To put things in perspective even better, let's make a one-off comparison with other artists, who happened to debut at the same week on the chart, making it a "diva week":

With sales just above 180,000 copies, her new album featuring covers of jazz standards, her first in 4 years, singer-actress-director Barbra Streisand tops the chart for an unbelievable 9th time in her career, extending the lead among female artists (Madonna remains at second place with 7 #1 albums) and becomes the only recording artist in history to have a #1 album in five different decades. Barbra has been long out of the single/video game and her promotion was more traditional, including an interview and a live performance at the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her previous album 'Guilty Pleasures' in 2005 opened with 101,000 copies and was the sequel to her best selling album ever, 1980's 'Guilty', which famously features megahit 'Woman In Love'.

Mariah Carey is the other big name female artist to enter the chart disweek, with sales just below 168,000 copies, she debuts at #3. Unlike Madonna and Barbra, Mariah got plenty of airplay with her single "Obsessed", it eventually reached the top 10 and gathered 85 million audience impressions at radio, a number Madonna only reached once in the 2000s, with the Music single. Mariah also appeared and performed at the Oprah show, along with The View and Today Show, along with small-venue perormances in Las Vegas. She followed up her previous album 'E=MC2' in a mere 17 months (which came out 2 weeks before Hard Candy) that yielded a #1 hit 'Touch My Body' (which sold half of 4 Minutes' total) and sold above 460,000 copies in its first week, with a total above 1.3 million.

As a reminder, Hard Candy opened with sales above 280,000 copies, the single 4 Minutes got around 60 million audience impressions, sold 2.5 million digital downloads and the album itself ended up with 725,000 copies in the US.

The point we're trying to prove is, judging by the sales numbers of these female stars, it's safe to say the CD sales era is over and radio itself is not in control of high sales now. We'd like to reassure worried Madonna fans that she's still doing fine in a country that keeps abandoning old artists and is always looking for a new fad and Mariah's numbers show investing in album promo does not pay off in 2009, which explains why Madonna has been focusing on touring now. None of these new CDs debuted will be coming close to a million copies when all is said and done, most likely not even matching the total of Hard Candy, which was only aided by one hit single, only one tv interview and no live performances whatsoever and erroneously got labeled as a 'flop' by fans. Now it's clear it was not out of the line from the rest of the industry.

When her next album drops (possibly in a year, or later), Madonna will be lucky to debut with 100,000 copies and her total won't even reach 500,000 in the US, regardless of the collaborators and genre she explores next time around, so this is no longer a popularity contest and Madonna is smart to put her efforts where it all matters, touring.

And as a sidenote, currently Madonna's Celebration in its 3rd week and Barbra Streisand's 'Love Is The Answer' in its 2nd week are battling to reach the top spot of the UK charts this coming Sunday, while Mariah's album was delayed till November there...

To close this off, let's look at the bigger picture: No 2009-released album is aiming to sell 2 million copies in the US and the best selling artist of America in 2009 is going to be the late Michael Jackson, who's already leading the year-to-date sales list with his 'Number Ones' compilation that moved more than 1.7 million this year alone.

Worldwide, U2's 'No Line In The Horizon' is the only 2009-release that reached Hard Candy's worldwide total of 3.5 million and no CD is eyeing to reach 5 million worldwide sales in the last year of the decade.

Sticky & Sweet concert to premiere on EPIX

Source: Yahoo Finance - 7 October 2009

Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Show, the most successful tour by a solo artist in history, will make its world premiere on EPIX. The announcement was confirmed by the multiplatform entertainment service today. TV and online audiences will be able to see Sticky & Sweet for the very first time when it debuts across all EPIX platforms: television channel, video-on-demand and online at

Performing Devil Wouldn't Recognize You in Rio De Janeiro

The Material Girl's latest song and dance extravaganza was seen by over 3.5 million Madonna fans in 32 countries around the globe over the last two years. The show that airs on EPIX was filmed in Buenos Aires' River Plate Stadium, where she performed for 256,000 fans over four shows in two days.

"In the premiere league of song-and-dance spectaculars, the queen of pop remains unrivaled and undefeated," glowed the Times when Sticky & Sweet debuted in London. The tour began in conjunction with the release of the multi Grammy winner's Hard Candy album, which debuted at No. 1 in 37 countries. Her latest CD Celebration-- the definitive Greatest Hits collection – has just been released.

"An unstoppable force and the ultimate entertainer, Madonna gives an amazing performance," said EPIX president Mark Greenberg. "She's in a category of her own."

Madonna heads a growing list of major artists who continue to raise the bar for live events and specials on EPIX. The channel is fast becoming home for some of the country's hottest music and comedy stars.

For more information on Madonna's Sticky & Sweet world television premiere on EPIX, follow

Wedding photo damages for Madonna

Source: BBC - 6 October 2009

Madonna has accepted damages from the Mail on Sunday after it breached her privacy and copyright by printing photos of her wedding to Guy Ritchie.

Last year, a judge in London found in her favour over the paper's publication of 11 photos of the 2000 wedding.

He heard they were "surreptitiously" copied by an interior designer working at her Beverly Hills home.

The singer, 51, will donate the substantial undisclosed damages to her Raising Malawi charity.

Madonna, who was not at London's High Court on Tuesday for the settlement, had been seeking more than £5m in damages in her action against Associated Newspapers.

The Mail on Sunday, which admitted wrongdoing, had paid £5,000 for the images of the wedding which took place at Skibo Castle in Scotland on 22 December 2000.

The pictures were published on 19 October last year, days after the singer announced she and film director Ritchie would be divorcing.

Prior to that day, no pictures of the wedding had ever been published.

The singer's solicitor, John Kelly, said she had gone to great lengths to ensure the wedding was kept private and had chosen not to sell pictures to the media.

"It was far more important to the claimant that the privacy of the occasion was maintained," he added.

A selection of pictures taken by her friend, fashion photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino, were in an album which she kept securely at her Beverly Hills home.

At least 27 photos from the album were copied by an interior designer working at her home in 2003 before they were offered to the Mail on Sunday in 2008.

Mr Kelly said the paper had destroyed all its copies of the photographs and had agreed to pay Madonna damages and legal costs.

Solicitor Niri Shan, acting for Associated Newspapers, offered its apologies to the singer and her family for invading her privacy and infringing her copyright.

Madonna and Ritchie were granted a divorce at the High Court on 21 November last year.

Madonna gives Kidd Kraddick a call

Source: - 5 October 2009

Madonna called in during Kidd Kraddick's radio show today to discuss her brand new Greatest Hits album, her career and upcoming projects.

The full interview is now available for online streaming from the show's website. Just click here!

Madonna vs Lady Gaga on SNL

Source: - 4 October 2009

The first TV encounter of Madonna and Lady Gaga came during "Saturday Night Live" this week, when the Material Girl appeared unannounced in a Deep House Dish skit alongside the contemporary hitmaker when a similar bizarre visual bent.

A few bars into a song and dance number, Madonna grabbed Lady Gaga's blonde hair and here was one of those cliched hair-pulling catfights in skimpy outfits. "What the hell is a disco stick?" she demanded.

Madonna & Lady Gaga on SNL

The dance number didn't seem to go as planned. Lady Gaga sang while Madonna didn't. It didn't matter -- seeing them together was the big thing.

Invited to sit on the couch, they continued their fake fighting.

"Guess what Madonna I'm totally hotter than you!" Lady Gaga said.

"Guess what I'm totally taller than you," she replied adding: "What kind of name is Lady Gaga. It sounds like baby food..."

"The kind that's No. 1 on the Billboard charts," Gaga replied lunging on her.

Madonna & Lady Gaga on SNL

Kenan Thompson's character DJ Dynasty Handbag wanted them to make up. And because some dude wrote it, he asked them to kiss. Madonna's kiss to other female pop stars has been some kind of annointment in the past, as when she laid on on Britney Spears at a past MTV video music awards. But Kenan's character interjected himself between them to receive their kisses.

The sketch came just before the first of Gaga's performance of "Paparazzi," not nearly as elaborate as it was at the VMAs last month. However, later in the show, for "Disco Stick" and a performance of "Poker Face," she wore what looked to be a giant gyroscope.

Madonna & Lady Gaga on SNL

Madonna was the biggest of several guest stars on the show, though Scarlett Johansson, who also appeared unnanounced was pretty big. Elijah Wood also popped in on the show. All this on an episode hosted by one of the least known stars, Ryan Reynolds.

Darrell Hammond, apparently freelancing on the show after the longest run as a cast member made his first "Saturday Night Live" appearance as Arnold Schwarzenegger, behind so much prosthetic makeup he was hardly recognizable.

The Letterman situation was mentioned in "Weekend Update" as a "Stupid human trick." But a whole retro "Celebrity Family Fued" skit was built around the John Phillips revelation.

~ Watch the epic encounter of Madonna and Lady Gaga here!

Something to remember: Happiness lies in your own hand

4 October 2009

Since we're already in a Celebration mood these days, this is the perfect time to remember a Madonna era that is turning fifteen years old this month.

15 years ago today, on October 4th, 1994 MTV premiered the Secret video. Showcasing a new image, Madonna played a platinum blonde club singer in NYC's Harlem, under the direction of photographer Melodie McDaniel. The clip featured various demographics of the city along with Madonna in interracial love and getting baptised, most likely referring to her image and perception getting cleansed in the media after the SEX book controversy.

Secret, the single

The song itself is a laid-back R&B-tingled track consisting of then-popular beats that were burning up the airwaves in the mid-90s and a prominent acoustic guitar. Madonna herself said the song is about Eastern spritituality, which was the precursor of her Kabbalah-enlightement a couple of years later.

Helmed by one of the biggest Amercan producers of the 90s, Atlanta's Dallas Austin (one of the driving forces behind girl group TLC), Secret proved to be a good choice for the lead off single of Bedtime Stories as it became a worldwide hit, most notably hitting #1 in Canada & Switzerland and #5 in both UK & Australia.

In the US it had to settle with a #3 peak behind Boyz II Men's 'I'll Make Love To You' and Sheryl Crow's 'All I Wanna Do', even though radio was behind Madonna's back during this time, sales were modest and it only reached Gold status, which hindered its Billboard Hot 100 peak. Nonetheless, Secret earned its place on Madonna's greatest hits compilations, prominently featuring on both GHV2 and Celebration. The video is also a part of both Video Collection 93:99 and Celebration Video Collection.

Also notable that Madonna originally wrote a song called 'Something's Coming Over Me' with Erotica producer Shep Pettibone, that was an uptempo clubby sexual song with bits resembling Donna Summer's 'Love To Love You Baby', but when the direction of her 1994 album was changed and Shep was out of the picture, Madonna re-used some of the lyrics in Secret but did not credit Shep as a collaborator until 2001, when he was added as a co-writer (which is erroneously not listed in Celebration).

Secret, while a fan favourite, is the least performed lead off single of a Madonna album, it only had one lipsynched television performance in Germany's Wetten Dass early 1995 and an acoustic performance at the Drowned World Tour. On last year's Sticky & Sweet show in Houston however, it was performed as an impromptu audience request singalong.

Even though a low-key single, Secret is actually one of Madonna's biggest dance hits of the 90s thanks to Junior Vasquez whose Secret remixes hit big in the clubs and the remix video set to the Luscious Remix is Madonna's most played remix video ever.

Celebration tops European album chart

Source: ContactMusic - 3 October 2009

Madonna is the queen of Europe after taking her new hits album Celebration to the top of the continent's charts.

The compilation topples Muse's The Resistance to debut at the top of Billboard's European Top 100 Albums countdown.

Celebration tops album charts in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Ireland and Denmark and debuts at two in Spain, Portugal and Finland.

The album gives Madonna her 11th number one in her adopted Britain - equalling Elvis Presley as a solo artist and putting her four albums behind the Beatles.

The Muse album falls to two and Pearl Jam's new release, Backspacer, debuts at three.

~ A full overview of Madonna's chart positions here.

Madonna calls in Ryan Seacrest show for fun interview

1 October 2009

Madonna gave an interview via phone to KIIS FM's Ryan Seacrest show at 8:15 am pacific time as part of the Celebration promotion. Ryan asked about the greatest hits, she said she's never able to choose the songs for something like this so they went out to the fans, asked them, it was a democratic process.

She was asked to guess her own songs when Ryan played some clips, she didn't immediately guess because she's "mixing them up". She often hears her own music in various places, but the songs she's fed up with, Ryan played Like A Virgin and said "that's the one I don't want to hear". When asked how many songs the compilation has, she was like "are you asking me?" then she said she does not know how many number ones she has because she's not a statistic person.

About upcoming projects, Madonna talked about trying to fund and cast for a movie called "We", based on 2 parallel stories, one of them being the Duchess of Windsor and another one based on a New York couple.

As for her personal life, she said she's happier now and that's why the music will get even better. Ryan kept saying she's a fun and new Madonna now, she said she's not stressed out and relaxed. She is dating someone now, but is a "one man woman". She can't really get her head around of marrying again, since most people get married for the wrong reasons.

When Ryan flirted with her, she said he's too old for her (34) and said guys her age are either married or divorced. About her gym routine, she said she was sacrificing her workout time at 8:30 for the interview and that Tracy Anderson is no longer her trainer.

Ryan said he was at the LA show last year next to Jennifer Lopez, Madonna did not notice him but was getting sharp looks from Jlo and her ponytail distracted her. About Kanye, she would have given him a good talking to, because he needs to put a lid on it, but she does think he's very talented.

About her VMA tribute, the man who runs MTV was nervous about the seriousness of her speech and wondered if she could keep the attention

When asked how long she's been with publicist Liz Rosenberg, she said "that's a personal question".

You can listen to an edited interview here which excludes the part when Ryan asks for a permission from Liz to call Madonna's VMA look "freshly f*cked".

Guy Oseary shares not-so-great tidbits with fans

1 October 2009

Madonna's manager Guy Oseary finally took the time to answer fans on Twitter last night and revealed some bits about Madonna's upcoming projects:

@guyoseary hey Guy. Will the new performances from the 2009 S&S tour be included on the DVD too?
@mfacco no.. it wont be included as it was done after we shot and edited the dvd.. but we did shoot the additional songs in Israel..
@mfacco we are trying to find a way to get them to the fans.. We have to edit the footage first and then decide how it gets to your hands..

@guyoseary Will there be a video for revolver???
@Rashellyy don't think so..

In better news, he did thank all the support and constructive criticism by fans and once again promised the next tour would reach Australia. Let's hope they really find a way to give the Holiday, Dress You Up & Frozen performances to the fans!

Madonna 'would rather get run over by a train' than marry again

Source: Huffington Post - 1 October 2009

Madonna returned to David Letterman Wednesday night, riding in on the shoulders of NY Rangers, and joked about smoking a joint before a previous appearance, her recent dalliance with Alex Rodriguez, and her recent divorce from Guy Ritchie.

Of her eight-year marriage to Guy Ritchie, she said it was "the Bush years... a good time to be out of America."

But she won't marry again. "I think I'd rather get run over by a train."

Letterman later found something that she had never done before - eat a slice of New York pizza. She claimed it's because she's 'not a cheese person.' The pair then walked next door and were served pre-ordered slices of cheese-less pie with olives, which she even took a bite of on camera.

~ You can watch the Letterman interview here.

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