As Madonna's primary personal trainer, Nicole Winhoffer always has five backup plans ready – just in case her original idea doesn't fly with the famously fit Madge.
"Of course there are days when (Madonna) says, 'What is this? I hate it!'" said Winhoffer, who has worked with Madonna for four years. "But she makes me better."
Winhoffer, a personal trainer, dancer, choreographer and artist stars in the "Addicted to Sweat" 4-DVD video series, which is designed to bring Madonna's dance-centric workouts to the general public. Though I like challenging workouts, the videos were way out of my league. Professional dancers might have better luck.
Winhoffer recently chatted with me about how she keeps Madonna happy in the gym.
Q: How did you and Madonna meet?
A: I was (a dancer) on the Sticky & Sweet tour. After that I trained using my own philosophy of fitness, conditioning myself on the road. After the tour she asked if I would be the primary trainer. Having the same background of dance was crucial.
Q: Do you actually work out with Madonna or just tell her what to do?
A: We work out together so I know exactly how it feels on her body and so she can also follow. We do a new program every week. She just got back from Los Angeles and today we did a program on surfboards, using an unstable surface to challenge stabilizing muscles. We try to change the program every week so her body is shocked and her mind is focused on a new workout and a new thing the body has to do.
Q: Who comes up with the workouts?
A: It's a collaborative effort. I journal all the workouts I do with her; every Sunday I decide what new prop to use and what body part to target. I train all the muscles all the time with a focus on certain muscle groups. It depends if she has a photo shoot or concert and what she's wearing. A shoot affects her body so our workouts are very hands-on with open communication. We see how her body responds to it. If I intend to sculpt the hamstrings and (the effect) ends up in the quad, I change it up. I always try to find new solutions to create a feminine silhouette. It's all about change and keeping her inspired.
Q: How can you tell when she's slacking?
A: That doesn't ever happen. It really doesn't. She's proven consistency is the most important key to success. She has never missed a workout. She really pays attention to how her body is every day; she's honest with it. She won't step over the boundary of killing herself and I feed off her energy. It's very collaborative but definitely a roller coaster.
Q: What's an essential element of every workout?
A: Music. I create a new play list every week. It's fun to find remixes of her songs that she has never heard. When her album came out last year, I mixed into my playlist. Music defines how we move. Because we're both dancers, it's fun to explore the body and challenge it with music.
Q: How long do you work out?
A: Ninety minutes to two hours a day, including stretching. I massage her; we go into a full body warmup, stretching with movement and getting the blood moving. We do 40 reps of each movement; they target areas in her program. For full body, we do seven to 10 interconnected movements, challenging the body in areas we target, then abs, then dance cardio, jump rope, trampoline and then a five minute cool down.
Q: Does Madonna ever get mad at you?
A: (Laughs.) Yeah. I know her really well. This is why my job is so hard. There are five possible responses I can get. My goal is to have a free-flowing workout so she can't complain or talk. The mat is in the right place, there are no questions and no possible way to stop.
Q: Do you train other people?
A: I wake up at 5:30 a.m. every day because I have a client at 7 a.m. Madonna and I work out in the afternoon. Once I'm finished with Madonna, I'm usually done for the day. It's very important to train with others because that's how I learn. If I'm constantly with the same client, I can never grow or think outside the box. I purposely (train others) so I can try new things with her. I go to public gyms, private studios, I do Bikram yoga. I take dance class, collaborate with others. It's important to keep my brain fresh so I can be fresh for her. It's important for me to keep reinventing.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: People who want to change. It's not just up to me. I can change someone's body but it's very difficult if they don't want to. I prefer to work with people who are athletes and performers, who have danced on Broadway and other artists because there is that passion.
Q: You've been called one of the "most stylish" New Yorkers. How important is fashion for a workout?
A: It's very important; how you feel and what you see in the mirror dictates what your actions are going to be. It's very important to wear clothing you feel comfortable in. Colors also have a strong affect on energy and what sort of energy you put out. I believe in colors, feng shui and higher levels of consciousness, not only for energy but for sensuality and being female. It's important for women to show off their body and curves and to be proud of who they are and not to wear baggy clothing.
FORBES released its annual Billionaires issue earlier this month, and the list features plenty of new faces (Tory Burch, Renzo Rosso) alongside the usual suspects (Bill Gates, Warren Buffett).
There are plenty of entertainment moguls on the list (David Geffen, Oprah Winfrey), but there aren't any billionaires who've gained their wealth by working as a musician or actor. Not Diddy or Jay-Z, not Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie —and not Madonna.
Yet earlier this week, the blogosphere exploded with declarations that the Material Girl had ascended to billionaire status. Most of the stories erroneously cited a WWD story as the source of this revelation (representatives from the publication confirm that no such piece exists), probably because of a New York Post item that initially linked to WWD before shifting its attribution to another site.
There's a reason Madonna isn't on our Billionaires list: simply put, she's not a billionaire.
We estimated the singer's net worth at $325 million six years ago. Since then, our wealth team has chronicled the scads of cash she's earned via our Celeb 100 list, and while she's earned a ton of money, the numbers don't add up to anything near $1 billion. She earned $72 million in 2007, $40 million in 2008, $110 million in 2009 and $58 million in 2010. With no touring or new albums in 2011, she didn't earn enough to make our list that year, then pulled in another $30 million through the first half of 2012.
Add it all up (plus whatever she earned in 2011–let's call it $10 million) and you get $320 million. Lop off 35% for federal income taxes ($112 million), another 10% for state and local taxes ($32 million) and 20% for management, legal and agency fees ($64 million). That leaves $112 million before figuring in any expenses for housing, staff, travel or luxury goods.
What about that big concert tour? Most of the recent reports have mentioned Madonna's past 12 months as the reason for her ascent into the financial pantheon, citing sales of her MDNA album and a world tour that grossed just over $300 million. They mention perfume sales of $60 million, tour merchandise sales of $75 million, and other branding deals that add up to $30 million.
But the difference between gross ticket sales, gross earnings and net earnings is ignored. Artists typically take home about one-third of gross ticket sales on the road–in Madonna's case, that means $300 million becomes $100 million.
To gross $75 million in merchandise sales, she would have had to average sales of $34 per head on her tour (or about $10 more than Justin Bieber ). And that's just the gross number. For most artists, we project net earnings of $5 per head for merch; Bieber's take tops the charts at about $10, according to his touring team. Let's give Madonna the benefit of the doubt and say that she also nets $10 per head–over the course of a tour that drew 2.2 million fans, that would have added up to $22 million in take-home pay.
Madonna's record deal guarantees her a base advance of $1 million per album, but MDNA hasn't likely earned much more than that. It's been certified gold in the U.S. for sales of over 500,000, and it seems likely the album has sold at least as many copies abroad. Still, that's only a little more than a million copies sold, resulting in just a few million dollars in her coffers–about the same amount that most A-list entertainers net from perfume deals, regardless of heady gross sales.
But let's be overly generous. Let's say Madonna earned $200 million over the past year. Take away 65% for taxes and management fees, as we did before. That leaves $70 million. Combine that with the $112 million left over from 2007 through the first half of 2012, and you get $182 million. So even if Madonna had saved every single penny she'd earned since 2007–no travel costs, no living cost, no splurges–she'd be worth about $500 million.
Is it possible that she has other assets that have increased in value and therefore wouldn't be figured into our annual earnings estimates? Sure. Her real estate holdings, art collection and stakes in other business ventures could have increased. But keep in mind that 2007 was the peak of a long bull market; assets that lost value during the recession are only now returning to those highs.
Madonna's representatives wouldn't respond to FORBES' requests for comment on this story, as it seems was the case with all the stories about her net worth published over the past week. And this isn't the first time FORBES has weighed in on inflated claims about the singer's billionaire status–staff writer Clare O'Connor debunked one set back in 2010.
Madonna is a cultural icon, and undoubtedly one of the most successful entertainers of all time. She may well reach the billion-dollar mark one day. But as of now, at best, she's only about halfway there.
2013 is the year that the ultimate material girl Madonna will officially join the billion-dollar club. As of 2011, Madonna was worth about $700 million, but after her recent tour and a string of successful business ventures, she is now a BILLIONAIRE!
And as if that was not enough, the tour is just one of many parts of the Madonna empire.
Madonna made $75 million in tour merchandise sales while on the road. This has always been a huge moneymaker for Madonna, selling t-shirt and an array of Madonna themed goodies.
According to the fashion and beauty trade Women's Wear Daily; Madonna made $60 million in sales from her new perfume, Truth or Dare.
Investments in COCO WATER are said to have earned her millions, as well as launching a new gym chain called HARD CANDY
Madonna made $10 million from her recent deal with Smirnoff. The company has been hyping her tour with TV spots and has just released a special "Madonna" edition bottle of their vodka.
The Queen of Pop will also pull in around $10 million in TV rights and DVD sales from her tour.
Plus, retail experts estimate Madonna will earn $10 million in 2013 from her "Material Girl" clothing line, shoe line and upcoming Macy's lingerie line.
Lady Gaga – good luck!
Pop icon Madonna has been promoting her "secret project" on her Instagram account but so far, she has not revealed any information about it that could give fans an idea as to what it could be about. A supposed official trailer of the said project has been released, only saying it involves photographer Stephen Klein.
This is simply because not much can be derived from the minute-long mysterious trailer, which zooms in on a bloodshot eye twitching about, alternating with a red blurry figure. It ends with "#secretproject" followed by the name of its collaborator Klein, who has gained attention for executing Rihanna's Armani Jeans ad campaign.
"#secret project. I want to start a revolution! Are you with me? Madonna previously posted along with a photo of herself behind bars. Considering that it involves Klein, it may yet be a tour DVD that the "Vogue" singer is currently working on with him, as the renowned photographer has already previously worked with the Queen of Pop on numerous tour visuals.
Madonna is coming off her enormously successful MDNA tour, which brought her to the top of the list of highest-grossing concert tours for 2012. It was the pop superstar's ninth career concert tour which supported her twelfth studio album of the same title.
Backstage at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, Madonna stirs up controversy dressed up as a Boy Scout, after presenting Anderson Cooper with his award. So, how did she get her uniform?
Her outfit choices are known to shock but Madonna decided to dress up as a type of Boy Scout never seen before - and it certainly attracted some attention.
Anderson Cooper and Madonna ended up in a steamy clinch on Saturday night as they attended the GLAAD Media Awards.
The mismatched pair smooched after she presented the news anchor and daytime TV host with the prestigious Vito Russo Award on stage at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.
The grey-haired TV presenter pulled her in with both arms and planted his pout on hers as part of their section in the show.
As if the lip-to-lip action wasn't enough to make the pop star's 16-year-old daughter Lourdes feel slightly embarrassed, perhaps her festive ensemble would.
Madonna arrived dressed in a Boy Scout Of America costume, her wavy blonde locks underneath a brimmed hat.
Madonna famously locked lips with pop rivals Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on stage at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
She explained why she chose the clothing – which included a blue belted play suit with fingerless gloves, fishnet tights and biker boots – as she stood at the podium for the gathering to honour celebrity advocates of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community.
She told the audience during a long speech: 'I wanted to be a Boy Scout, but they wouldn't let me join.
'I think that's f**ked up. I can build a fire. I know how to pitch a tent. I have a very good sense of direction. I can rescue kittens from trees. Listen, I wanna do for the community.'
She then added that perhaps most valuable to the organisation with 2.7 million youth members and over 1million adult volunteers, she is very good at gathering up men.
Madonna went on: 'But most importantly, I know how to scout for boys. So I think that I should be allowed to be a Boy Scout and I think they should change their stupid rules.'
"I think you and me need to start a revolution together," Madonna said to Anderson Cooper, "but we can hammer out the details later." Last night, she presented the CNN anchor with the Vita Russo Award at the 24th annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Awards. Before she praised Cooper's bravery and blue eyes, though, she dove into some of reasons why she called for revolution — namely, the Boy Scouts and Pussy Riot.
In protest of the organization's ban on gay scouts and scout leaders, Madonna wore a Boy Scouts uniform of her own as she cracked jokes on why she should be a Boy Scout (".. most importantly, I know how to scout for boys") and why she made a terrible Girl Scout ("I ate the cookies"). "I think I should be allowed to be a Boy Scout, and I think they should change their stupid rules, don't you?" she said.
Later on however, Madonna's jokes segued into a more serious call for dialogue. As she first did at her MDNA gig in Moscow, she referenced the imprisonment of Pussy Riot as she rooted her speech in the organization's greater cause. "I have teenagers of my own now, and the idea of them — or any young person — experiencing that kind of pain is unfathomable to me. It's an atrocity to me. I don't accept it," she said.
Madonna shocked diners at a Williamsburg restaurant when she arrived for one of her dancers' birthdays.
The scene was gourmet Antica Pesa, where the Material Girl was seen — with her kids Lourdes and Rocco in tow — dressed down in a hat and glasses and wearing leather gloves. After a birthday cake dessert, the dancers had the staff close the restaurant's curtains and make a dance floor for them. "They started showcasing some of the moves from their MDNA tour," said a gobsmacked spy. "The staff quickly moved the tables out of the way to turn the dining area into a dance floor, which got everyone clapping and cheering, including Madonna, who watched from a table."
Tom Hardy of "The Dark Knight Rises" was also at the Brooklyn outpost of the Rome eatery and looked as surprised as the rest of the customers, a source said. Madonna's group tried to persuade Rocco to join them, but he refused. After cutting a rug to Madge tunes including Music, the dancers "took a bow and hugged their boss, who approved like a proud mother."
The ceremony will take place in Miami on March 21st.
Good Luck MDNA!
When Madonna arrived at a Los Angeles studio in summer 1997, ready to record what would become Ray Of Light, her seventh album of original material, she'd already spent months writing demos with her longtime collaborator Patrick "Live To Tell" Leonard and songwriter Rick Nowels. Fueled by a love of then-current electronic music coming out of the UK and Europe — think Daft Punk and DJ Dimitri — she chose Brit whiz William Orbit as her collaborator for what she termed his "certain brand of madman-type genius."
Orbit had previously remixed a few of M's singles. In 1997, he encountered a freshly energized (and spiritualized) Madonna. Now a student of Kabbalah and a new parent, she told MTV's Kurt Loder at the time, "I have much more of a joy of living than I can ever remember having before… I realized how blessed I was. I started to focus on living in the moment and enjoying each moment." The mood was reflected in her appearance too, with long strawberry blond hair and an earth mother vibe.
If I Could Melt Your Heart
Madonna had a history of launching albums with killer singles. Ray Of Light arrived on March 3, 1998, and, prior to that, most hardcore fans of the singer can remember where they were when they first heard the oceanic strings and burping synths that lead Frozen.
"You only see what your eyes want to see," Madonna sings in a vulnerable, almost whispering voice before the song's Eastern influences come in. Not since Live To Tell had a Madonna ballad carried such emotional weight — and this time it was done with a new level of sonic grandeur.
Drowned World / Substitute For Love, the album's first track, started as a simple demo about her search for something deeper than material wealth and fame. In the studio with Orbit, he and M layered the record with blips, stardust effects and a sample from the obscure "Why I Follow the Tigers" by The San Sebastian Strings. The first voice you hear on the album is male, saying "You see," before Madonna's own vocals appear, sounding deeper and wiser.
Like the first chapter of a great novel, Drowned World sets the tone for an album light years ahead of its predecessors in scope and musicality.
She's Got Herself A Universe
Madonna's vocals throughout Ray Of Light were a game-changer. In the 15 years since her debut, no one had heard this voice before. On the astonishing title track, she shatters her previous range as she scales up and down the peaks of the exhilarating chorus. Working on Evita a few years before "really strengthened my voice," she said at the time. "I learned how to sing in a way that I never did before."
Indeed, no choir is needed to lift Ray Of Light into disco heaven. Madonna supplies the highs herself in some perfect moments: the extended, spiraling way she wails "yea-ea-ears" at 3:27 or how her vocal spins out of control at 4:14, matched by Orbit's frenzied guitar work.
Much of Ray Of Light's energy comes from the pulsating dance music she paired with lyrics that reflected her new outlook. Nicknaming the album Veronica Electronica as she recorded it, Madonna told MTV she was making "drug music without drugs… it's possible [to create] if you have really free people."
In particular, Sky Fits Heaven and Skin sound earth-shaking on a large sound system. Enlightened by the influence of both Kabbalah and world music, Madonna even included the beat heavy Shanti/Ashtangi, sung entirely in Sanskrit.
Lourdes, Madonna's baby, also heavily influenced Ray Of Light's softer spirit. "Having her has set me on a new way of thinking," she told MTV. The gossamer Little Star is literally a sweet lullaby, made contemporary by Orbit's' shimmering production. "A lot of bubbly bits" is how Madonna described his contribution. The track is in stark contrast to the darker, Mer Girl, an eerie, almost free-form mediation on the death of her own mother.
Everything I Give You All Comes Back To Me
By the time the album's fifth single, Nothing Really Matters, was released in 1999, Madonna had shaken off the earthy styling for a more severe, Asian-influenced look, with blunt-cut, jet black hair and pale makeup. For the Johan Renck-directed video, Madonna set what was perhaps Ray Of Light's most classically Madonna-esque pop song against ultra-modern geisha visuals. Check her wicked "finger dancing" and jerking dance moves while creepy extras bob up and down in the background like they'd floated in from a Japanese horror flick.
The Power Of Good-Bye acts as a sort of sonic sister to Frozen, both in the theme of a heart closed to love and Scottish film scorer Craig Armstrong's distinctive string arrangements (listen for his sweeping orchestral bridge at 2:49).
The song's co-writer, Rick Nowels, spoke to Idolator last week, recalling, "Madonna and I wrote nine songs together over a two week period in late April 1997. Madonna would show up at 3 p.m. and we would start from scratch. She would leave at 7:00 and we would have a finished song and demo with all her lead and background vocals recorded.
"She is a brilliant pop melodist and lyricist," Nowels continued. "I was knocked out by the quality of the writing. The lyrics to The Power Of Good-Bye are stunning. I love Madonna as an artist and a songwriter… I know she grew up on Joni Mitchell and Motown, and to my ears she embodies the best of both worlds. She is a wonderful confessional songwriter, as well as being a superb hit chorus pop writer… She doesn't get the credit she deserves as a writer."
Though Ray Of Light peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart — it was blocked from #1 by the unstoppable Titanic soundtrack — the LP won four Grammys, including Best Pop Vocal Album. The album remains an artistic watershed for Madonna; not only was it well-received by critics, its sales exceeded those of her previous two studio albums.
In 1998, 15 years into her career, "Veronica Electronica" was more plugged in to her art than ever before. As Madonna said in the studio that prior summer, "It's about wonderment."
It had been mysteriously silent the past few weeks about the 'secret project' that Madonna and Steven Klein worked on when she was in Buenos Aires last December. But now both have posted teasers for the project.
Madonna used her new Instagram account to post two pictures. The first shows her face with eyes closed and a tear rolling down her cheek. She wrote the hashtag #secretproject next to it, so this is definitely about the project. The other picture didn't have the hashtag but it's thought to be a hint as well. It reads "I am bright, light and breezy".
Meanwhile, photographer/artist Steven Klein, known for the many photoshoots and videos he has realized for Madonna in recent years, has answered some questions on Twitter, also using the hashtag #secretproject. He says there are about 40 people working on the project. He also posted that it's "NON-COMMERCIAL, it promotes only Art" and that he "cannot guarantee that all of you will love the secret project because it is not commercial or pop and some people only like that". He added: "what we are completing now is PART 1 of the secret project and will be released first; PART 2 will follow."
A launch date is not set yet, though rumours say it may be in May.
On Youtube, there's a teaser video, but beware it's fan-made.
They will feature for the first time at London's Barbican next year as part of the exhibition's international tour.
"The English were the first ones to come to my shows and appreciate my fashion," said Gaultier.
"I am super excited that the show is coming to London. If there is one place other than Paris that I should like to live in, it is London." he added.
Many pieces have been created exclusively for Madonna, who has worked with the designer for over 30 years.
One sold for £30,000, twice its estimated price, in a Christie's auction in November 2012.
James Rosenquist will feature in the Pop Art Design exhibition at the Barbican in the autumn
The exhibition, The Fashion World Of Jean Paul Gaultier: From The Sidewalk To The Catwalk, is transferring from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in April 2014.
It features over 140 couture and ready-to-wear pieces which span the designer's career - which began in 1970 as a teenage assistant to Pierre Cardin.
Most of the garments come from his own personal collection including outfits for Kylie Minogue, Bjork and burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese.
The Barbican described the show as "an installation rather than a conventional fashion retrospective".
It will feature footage of catwalk presentations, concerts, music videos, films, dance performances and Gaultier's cult television show, Eurotrash.
The exhibition is part of the Barbican's new 2013/2014 season of events.
Gay advocacy group GLAAD says Madonna will present CNN's Anderson Cooper with an award for openly gay media professionals.
GLAAD told the Associated Press on Saturday that the singer has been chosen to give Cooper the Vito Russo Award at the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on March 16.
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick says Madonna and Cooper are longtime friends who have both used their careers to support lesbian, gay and transgender people.
Cooper declined to speak publicly about his sexuality for years. But last July he gave blogger Andrew Sullivan permission to publish an email in which Cooper said he was gay and "couldn't be more happy."
Russo helped found GLAAD and wrote a book about gay people in the movies called "The Celluloid Closet."↑ Back to top of page