Madonna news - Nov. 2009

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Something to remember: All the world is a stage

30 November 2009

...and everyone has their part. With that Shakespearean line as the centerpiece of the song's bridge, Take A Bow signals a very special period in Madonna's career. The closing track and also the second single of the Bedtime Stories album, Take A Bow received exceptional video treatment from Madonna, and the final result of that premiered on MTV exactly 15 years ago, on November 30th, 1994.

Take A Bow, the single

Madonna flew to historic town Ronda in Spain with the direction of Michael Haussman and created a videoclip that would serve as her plea to get her dream role as Eva Peron. Executed in a 40s style, the video showed Madonna at her classiest yet, in a Galliano dress she shone as the mistreated lover of a famous bullfighter, eventually running away from him.

The storyline is interspersed with scenes of bullfighting and Madonna showing her assets in bed, not entirely abandoning the explicit Erotica years. The gorgeous video would go onto winning the Best Female Video at the 1995 VMAs and yielded a follow up in the form of the You'll See video where Madonna has the higher hand and escapes from her stalker.

While the video undoubtedly gave the single the push to become a classic, the ballad also stands on its own merits with its Oriental-tingled instrumentation (which is also inspired by the Paul Robeson version of the classic poem "Trees"), Craig Armstrong's amazing string arrangement and Madonna's silky smooth vocals backed by co-writer/co-producer Babyface, one of the most famous hitmakers at the time.

But it's the song's chart performance that made it a remarkable entry in Madonna's career. All formats of the single were released days after the video premiere and both sales and airplay would slowly and steadily climb until the end of January, when Madonna gave her first and so far only live performance of the song at the American Music Awards (the only time she sang at this show).

Dressed in a Chinese gown, Madonna gave a simple but effective performance backed by an orchestra and Babyface himself, which gave great exposure to the song in the US and soon after it would climb to #1, kicking the Dallas Austin produced "Creep" by TLC from the top spot and holding it for seven weeks, which would be the longest ever for a Madonna single.

While the sales of Take A Bow exceeded 600,000 copies in the US which earned it a Gold certification, it failed to reach the Platinum status of her other megahits as it was airplay where the track was really shining: it was the most played song of America for nine straight weeks. The success of the single also helped the album to stop falling down the chart and it managed to stay in the Top 20 during the Christmas season, which would eventually become the only reason why Bedtime Stories outsold Erotica in the US, as after Take A Bow started its slow descent on the charts, the album went with it and subsequent single releases didn't have much effect.

Take A Bow, the videoOutside the US the single also became a big hit in Canada, Japan and Australia, her other main markets of the 90s. In Europe, however, Madonna got some of her worst chart positions ever when this single got lost in the Christmas shuffle, like in Belgium, or in the UK, where it was her then-lowest peaking single and is one of the six Madonna singles that failed to reach the UK Top 10. Madonna gave 2 lip-synced performances of Take A Bow at Germany's Wetten Dass and Italy's San Remo which gave better chart performances in those countries.

The success of Take A Bow allowed it to become one of the 4 songs in Madonna's discography that can be found on 4 different Madonna albums. Featuring on all the compilations released after the single itself, proves that among all of Madonna's ballad hits of the mid-90s, Take A Bow is the pinnacle.

Unfortunately Take A Bow has never been performed live on a Madonna tour and is the only one out of the 34 hits of the Celebration compilation that was not used on a tour in any form. It is speculated that Madonna intentionally refuses to perform songs on her tours that have a "goodbye" theme. Maybe Madonna is saving Take A Bow to be her last ever live performance? Time will tell...

Revolver single cover, tracklist

26 November 2009

Warner Netherlands via announces the tracklist of the Revolver digital single, which is now billed as "Madonna vs David Guetta", indicating that his remix is going to be the main version. Strangely, Akon is also slated to feature in one of the versions, just like he does in the Celebration remix. The single cover is also revealed, which is another variation of the now-famous Mr. Brainwash artwork.

Revolver, the single

1 track (all digital stores)
1. Revolver [One Love Remix]

1 track (iTunes only)
1. Revolver [One Love Remix] feat. Lil Wayne

2 track (iTunes only)
1. Revolver [One Love Remix]
2. Revolver [Feat. Akon]

Currently there's no physical release scheduled, and if there is, it'll be limited to the UK. The release date for the digital single is December 14th.

David Guetta to produce new Madonna album?

23 November 2009

Digital Spy interviewed famous French DJ David Guetta coinciding with his new single release, and he got asked about his ideal collaboration. His answer:

"I would love to work with Madonna. It will probably happen very soon actually. It's all in the early stages and I'm not allowed to speak about it yet!"

David Guetta

David Guetta is easily the most successful producer of 2009, not only he helmed the trans-European summer hit "When Love Takes Over" but also the Black Eyed Peas megahit "I Gotta Feeling" that pretty much dominated the charts everywhere this year and became the longest running #1 hit on Billboard since 2005, and his track "Sexy Bitch" featuring Akon also scored big.

Working with Guetta is the logical next step for Madonna. He's the latest on a long list of DJs who submitted remixes to her (he has just recently remixed both Celebration & Revolver), similar to the likes of William Orbit or Paul Oakenfold. Both "I Gotta Feeling" and "When Love Takes Over" were prominently included in Oakenfold's preshow set at the Sticky & Sweet Tour and Guetta opened the August 28th Confessions Tour show in Paris.

Madonna in recent interviews said she'd continue making electronic dance music and David Guetta is the #1 man for that at the moment. Producers are probably submitting tracks these days so she could start writing and recording early next year, to have a fall 2010 release for the new album, to keep the usual 2 and a half year gap between her studio albums.

Revolver sent to radio, no video planned

19 November 2009

Warner Music Netherlands confirms via that the David Guetta remix of Revolver was sent to Dutch radio today, but just like Guy Oseary confirmed last month, no video will be filmed for the release.

It is currently unknown whether Revolver is going to be released as a physical single or digital-only, but it's listed for December 14th in UK's Music Week magazine. This date is not confirmed by Warner, neither any other airplay or release date for other countries.

While Revolver, featuring the biggest selling hip hop artist of 2008 definitely has hit potential, fans should not expect any notable chart action for this catchy song as it's been available as an individual download on iTunes for 2 months already and it's unlikely that gets considerable airplay, which means Madonna's very last Warner single will be a "for the fans" release with several remixes.

Sticky & Sweet wardrobe details revealed

19 November 2009

Michael Schmidt, the mastermind behind a lot of Madonna wardrobe pieces throughout her career has revealed all of the costumes on his official site. Most notable are the eye-catching accessories used in the Futuristic Rave segment of the Sticky & Sweet Tour.

Performing 4 Minutes in Helsinki

The list includes:

- Sticky & Sweet Tour (Futuristic Rave segment 4 Minutes): Football pads with Swarovski crystal and metal-scale embellishment
- Sticky & Sweet Tour (Futuristic Rave segment): Metal scaled and Swarovski crystalled bustier
- Sticky & Sweet Tour (Futuristic Rave segment Ray Of Light dancers): Metal scaled helmet
- Sticky & Sweet Tour (Human Nature electric guitar): Crystal-mesh guitar strap (& Keith Haring inpsired for Borderline)
- Hard Candy Promo Tour (acoustic/electric guitar): Crystal-mesh guitar strap
- Sticky & Sweet Tour tourbook: Swarovski crystal-mesh boxing shorts
- W Magazine 2006: Crystalled bridle and bit
- Drowned World Tour (Cyber-Punk segment): Clothing and jewelry
- Sorry video: Crystal corset
- Fever video: Silver chain-mail dress

New Celebration Remix featuring Akon now available

Source: - 18 November 2009

A new remix of Madonna's Celebration single featuring Akon is now available for download from most online retailers.

Just click here to download from iTunes or here to buy on Amazon.

Madonna raises $11 million for Malawi charity

Source: AFP via Yahoo - 16 November 2009

Madonna has raised 11 million dollars from Brazilian millionaires for her Raising Malawi Foundation, the daily Rio O Dia reported on Monday.

The US pop star, who visited Brazil to stroke the country's wealthy into giving, notably won an unspecified pledge from the country's richest man, mining magnate Ike Batista, who has an estimated fortune of 7.5 billion dollars.

Madonna in Brazil

Madonna, 51, was accompanied during her fund-raising by 22-year-old Brazilian model Jesus de Luz, whom US and British gossip pages have referred to as her "toy boy".

Her Raising Malawi Foundation, started in 2006, finances humanitarian projects in Malawi, the southern African country where Madonna has adopted two children.

Madonna slums it in Rio to raise funds

Source: Big Pond News - 14 November 2009

Pop veteran Madonna has paid a visit to a Rio de Janeiro slum as part of an ongoing crusade to establish social projects in the impoverished region.

Joined by Rio's Governor, Madonna toured the favela and also visited social projects run by local NGOs.

Madonna in Brazil

During her week- long visit, Madonna met with local business people and officials in Brazil to collect donations for her.

Local residents admitted visits from celebrities like Madonna helped their cause.

'Her visit is very special to us, because like Michael Jackson and other artists who have visited the slum, for us it is always a great feeling to see artists here in the favela because many people outside discriminate us, while an artist, a governor, or a mayor don't discriminate us.' Michel Luz da Silva, a Dona Marta Favella resident said.

Madonna has reportedly agreed to ring in 2010 at Copacabana beach and is considering a possible concert during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games.

~ The mayor of Rio officially confirmed Madonna for New Year's Eve of 2010/2011 at Copacabana on his Twitter.

Something to remember: Touched for the very first time

12 November 2009

An album that needs no introduction: Like A Virgin! The record that propelled Madonna to megastardom! 25 years ago Madonna unleashed her sophomore Warner Bros. LP and its now-iconic Steven Meisel cover shot already set the tone:

Madonna in a wedding dress as the "Bride of Satan" with the boy toy belt immediately became one of her most recognizable and copied looks. To produce the album, Madonna chose the guitarist of disco/R&B band Chic's Nile Rodgers (with such classics as "Le Freak" and "Good Times" under his belt), whom she called a "genius".

Like A Virgin, the album

By 1984 Rodgers had already become one of the most important hitmakers of the US and had a lot of experience with superstars: the self-titled Diana Ross album, including "I'm Coming Out" in 1980, "Koo Koo", the debut record of Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry in 1981 and David Bowie's biggest smash LP "Let's Dance" in 1983, and just before Like A Virgin, Duran Duran's hits "The Reflex" & "The Wild Boys", were all helmed by Nile Rodgers, his funky riffs and catchy beats definited the sound of pop music in the early 80s (Madonna in fact revisited this era when she paid homage to Nile Rodgers' sound in 2008 with She's Not Me & Beat Goes On). The bandmates of Rodgers from Chic played most of the instruments on the album.

Of course the main highlights of the album are the title track and Material Girl. The latter saw Madonna impersonating Marilyn Monroe in its video, first in a long list of references to old stars and movies, but it's the song Like A Virgin that made Madonna a household name. Written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, Madonna took hold of their demo and gave a straightforward but teasing and catchy vocal performance for the song which was released as the lead-off single late 1984.

The Mary Lambert directed video continued on Madonna's street urchin look of the first album, but along with the bride persona that connected to the theme of the song. It became her first US #1, topping the Billboard Hot 100 at the turn of 1984/85 for six straight weeks, eventually selling 1 million copies in the US and ending up among her 5 biggest selling UK single ever.

While often dismissed as a novelty hit, it remains a signature song for Madonna and arguably her most popular tune ever, prominently featuring on 5 of her tours in various incarnations. Material Girl, which initially failed to reach the dizzying heights of its predecessor also remains a Madonna classic and is responsible for Madonna's most famous nickname in the press.

While Madonna single-handledly set the template for every single female artist in pop music with the sexual and in-control lyrics of the first two singles and their daring music videos, their sound in fact was not new as both songs borrowed from the famous R&B Motown sound. Like A Virgin retains the bassline from "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" by The Four Tops and also has a striking resemblance to the biggest hit of the late Michael Jackson, "Billie Jean".

Material Girl borrows from the same family, the bassline is taken from The Jackson's "Can You Feel It?" (which is recreated in 2006's Sorry). Interestingly, Madonna gave a wink to both of Like A Virgin's influences on her first two tours as she performed snippets from the aforementioned songs during Like A Virgin.

Elsewhere on the LP, the R&B influence gets stronger with Madonna's cover of Rose Royce's Love Don't Live Here Anymore, since back then, Madonna said that her roots were within R&B. The song Over And Over contains the template of an important Madonna theme, that she's "not afraid to say I hear a different beat" and she "gets up again, over and over".

Several of the songs were co-written by another black collaborator, Stephen Bray, such as the sugary sweet 3rd single Angel, but the rest of the album tracks are overshadowed by the guitar-driven Dress You Up, a fan favourite Madonna finally brought back to consciousness as she performed it on the 2009 leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour and used it as the first track of Celebration's 2nd CD.

Even though after Madonna's artistic growth in the last 25 years, the album is seen as just the house of the 2 classics, the record still remains her best selling studio album in the US, eventually shifting 10 million copies there, certified Diamond and her second best selling one on a worldwide scale, moving more than 20 million copies across the globe, easily becoming one of the 15 best selling female albums ever.

The album reached the top three everywhere with several #1 ranks, though in the UK, where due to stiff competition it only reached the top spot in September 1985 where the re-release of Like A Virgin came out, featuring a tenth track, Into The Groove from Desperately Seeking Susan which would also become one of her most important songs and her biggest selling UK hit.

Last but not least, the November 12th release date of the album was in fact a very late bow for a LP recorded by Madonna a lot earlier in 1984, but due to Borderline and Lucky Star exploding on MTV and the airwaves and lasting so long on the US charts, her second album had to be pushed back. That did not stop Madonna from premiering the title track two months before the album, on the first ever MTV Video Music Awards show in September 1984. The performance where Madonna appeared in the wedding gown, rolled on the floor and threw her bouquet in the audience is marked as the true arrival of Madonna and is arguably the most famous live performance by a female pop artist that revolutionized live act in general.

Funnily enough, as said by Madonna in the recent Rolling Stone interview, her manager at the time Freddy DeMann thought it was the end of Madonna's career. Fortunately for all of us, he couldn't have been more wrong! ;-)

Madonna's humanitarian trip in Brazil

Source: New York Post - 10 November 2009

Madonna is jetting to Brazil this week with her current squeeze, Jesus Luz, but she denies it's to meet his mom, Cristiane Regina da Silva. She told Page Six, "I am going there strictly for fund raising and humanitarian purposes."

She's meeting with the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, and spon soring a documentary about kids living in the squalid hillside slums. Meanwhile, despite rumors that Luz would join actor/model Adam Senn in the new Dolce & Gabbana campaign, it turns out the Material Girl herself has landed the job.

She shot it along with Senn, owner of Chelsea restaurant Il Bastardo, late last week in Brooklyn. A source said, "The campaign was shot by Steven Klein and has a gorgeous vintage Italian look, like 'The God father.'"

Madonna shoots Dolce & Gabbana's campaign

Source: Swide - 6 November 2009

Exclusive! Madonna has joined forces with Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana to showcase their spring/summer 2010 collection in the brand's forthcoming ad campaign. The campaign will be shot today in New York by photographer Steven Klein.

Madonna first met the designers Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce back in the early nineties and have retained a strong bond and mutual respect ever since. After first meeting the global superstar whilst she was on the set of Dick Tracey in New York, the designers went onto design her costumes for the now iconic, The Girlie Show tour in 1993.

Madonna at D&G party in July

On Madonna appearing in their forthcoming campaign, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said,

"To have Madonna in our campaign is a dream come true."

Dolce & Gabbana's spring/summer 2010 campaign is being shot on November 6th in New York by fashion photographer Steven Klein.

Madonna takes top honors at Billboard Touring Awards

6 November 2009

Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour was the big winner at the sixth annual Billboard Touring Awards, taking home honors for Top Tour and Top Draw, which acknowledge the highest-grossing and highest-attended tours of the year, respectively. Madonna's manager Guy Oseary won the Top Manager award.

Performing Into The Groove in Zaragoza

The Billboard Touring Awards are based on worldwide data reported to Billboard Boxscore for the period Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2009. Other winners include Kenny Chesney's Sun City Carnival tour for Chesney's sixth straight Top Package award; Ill Divo for the Breakthrough award, U2 for the Top Boxscore award for the band's shows at Croke Park in Dublin last July, and Dane Cook for the Top Comedy Tour award.

Additionally, Keith Urban received the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award for his Escape Together tour sponsored by Kingsford and KC Masterpiece, and Jonas Brothers received the Eventful Fans' Choice Award, both determined by online voting. Warped tour founder Kevin Lyman received the Humanitarian Award, and Ozzy Osbourne was named Legend Of Live. Complete list of winners at Billboard.

Madonna at Valentino's party

Source: WWD - 4 November 2009

Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti have a unique ability to capture and sustain the attention of a very glittering crowd. So much so that on Tuesday night, Hugh Jackman, Adrien Brody, Brian Grazer, Stephen Daldry, Martha Stewart, Marc Jacobs, Thakoon Panichgul, and Diane von Furstenberg packed into the Standard Hotel's 18th floor for the designer's umpteenth party celebrating his documentary "The Last Emperor," which premiered in New York eight months ago. Of course, Valentino insisted the affair was just a chance to be with friends (at least those who are used to step-and-repeats and events sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, HSBC bank and Maestro Dobel tequila).

Madonna & Valentino

He remained the center of attention until just after 11 pm, when Madonna arrived. After saying hello to her beau Jesus Luz, who was deejaying, the pop star and Steven Klein swooped into a VIP booth. Then - as happens every time her Madgesty attends a fashion event - the men in attendance circled around and stared at her, while the women gossiped about her looks. When she hit the dance floor, bumping and grinding with Bravo's Andy Cohen, everyone followed suit, including Valentino.

Madonna promises next tour for Japan

1 November 2009

Madonna gave an interview recently to a Japanese tv channel where she apologized to Japanese fans for missing out Japan with the Sticky & Sweet Tour. She blamed that on no stadiums being available for her, but promised Japan that she will be there next time.

Also, she discussed her daughter Lola's involvement in the Celebration video, she said the dancers of the tour pushed her to do it, as they are friends of hers.

Regarding the Celebration compilation, Madonna called it "a retrospective of all the music that I've made throughout my career but it's also my way of saying thank you to all my fans who've supported my career through all these years."

Asked about her favourite song, not surprisingly Madonna answers Ray Of Light, which represents an important moment of her life, the birth of her daughter.

She called Michael Jackson an incredible singer and songwriter, whose talents were unparalleled.

The interview prominently features Miles Away, which goes without saying, as it was the biggest digital single of 2008 in Japan, which feat earned its place on Celebration.

Her advice to Japanese women is to sleep more.

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