Pop superstar Madonna has taken up a new hobby - karaoke. The singer was spotted buying a 50s-style karaoke machine from London department store Selfridges, where she was promoting her children's book The English Roses. Friends say she and husband Guy Ritchie plan to throw their own karaoke parties.
~ They probably mean 'The Adventures of Abdi', not 'The English Roses'...
A third picture from the Versace campaign has premiered on MadonnaOnline.ch. Check MadonnaTribe for a large version of this great Testino shot.
Forget your muscle-bound heavies in dark shades and bulging sweatshirts... the new showbiz must-have is a squad of Gurkhas.
Claudia Schiffer and her British film director husband Matthew Vaughn have sparked a celebrity craze by hiring five former British Army Gurkhas to help run and protect their £5million Suffolk mansion.
The Layer Cake director and his German supermodel missus are great supporters of the fearsome Nepalese fighters and have been urging pals to hire them too.
Now we hear Vaughn's best friend Lock, Stock director Guy Ritchie and his wife Madonna are so impressed after seeing their Gurkhas, they want to employ some too. And whatever Madonna wants, she usually gets.
Matthew told 3am: "The Gurkhas are among the most hardworking, loyal and skilled people I have ever come across. We are delighted to give them jobs."
Gurkhas are famous for carrying the curved kukri knife and a recent change in British law means that those who served for four years or more and retired after 1997 can live and work in Britain after they leave the army.
Several of the Gurkhas Matthew and Claudia have hired are experts in close protection - so any unwanted guests will have quite a mission on their hands with these ruthless, highly-trained men.
The first pictures of Mario Testino for the Versace campaign have premiered on the fansites MadonnaOnline.ch and MadonnaTribe. They feature a gorgeous Madonna with a blond wig and (of course) glamourous Versace clothes in an office environment. The first one will be used to advertise the Versace campaign in the February 2005 issue of Vogue Magazine.
Madonna will appear in the first episode of Missy Elliott's 'The Road To Stardom' that will air on Wednesday, January 5 2005 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT).
The new reality show sees 13 aspiring performers that will travel and live together in a tour bus and compete against each other for $100,000 and the opportunity to become music's next big sensation.
Missy Elliott herself will lead the panel of music industry judges, including Bedtime Stories producer Dallas Austin, Mona Scott and Teena Marie.
In a promo clip for the show Madonna was seen giving advice to the contestants and saying: "Your job is to inspire people and if you can hold on to that then things won't get boring".
As every year, Mad-Eyes reports on Madonna's positions in the Top 2004, which is being broadcast on Belgian Radio Donna between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The list was voted by the listeners. On their website you can see her positions out of the top 100.
Madonna scores good with 27 entries but many of them dropped compared to last year. Only Like A Prayer scores into the top 100; to influence its final position, go to donna.be and vote! Here is the list of all the entries with their position in 2004 and in 2003:
|??||125||Like A Prayer|
|299||326||La Isla Bonita|
|448||484||Me Against The Music|
|563||415||Like A Virgin|
|661||553||Ray Of Light|
|762||590||The Power Of Good-Bye|
|877||1360||Live To Tell|
|992||1054||Drowned World/Substitute For Love|
|1150||637||Justify My Love|
|1200||798||Papa Don't Preach|
|1551||830||This Used To Be My Playground|
|1649||1009||Die Another Day|
|1785||1731||Nothing Really Matters|
|1920||1415||Into The Groove|
|1996||1269||Who's That Girl|
Madonna.com has again put a new picture on its splash page, this time from the Abdi release at London's Selfridges.
There are more and more indications that the Re-Invention Tour DVD will be released early April 2005. Fansite MadonnaTribe has received release schedules from Warner France and Warner Portugal, who both list the DVD to be released in the first week of April.
So far, no dates are officially confirmed, but if this is true, it means Madonna is planning a serious release marathon next summer, with the tour DVD in April, the documentary in May, her fifth childrens book in June and possibly another American Life remix album in the summer. Hopefully more information soon.
Fellow fansite "MadonnaTribe has been informed that Madonna is expected to star at the upcoming Female Fashion Week that will take place in Milan at the end of February 2005.
According to the current schedules, Madonna should attend several fashion shows, and will be the major star at the Versace show. It's not hard to imagine that Madonna and her new image portraied by Mario Testino will be literally everywhere in the first months of 2005.
We'll keep you posted about any updates, please keep in mind that the schedules are still subject to change.
Apparently Madonna is not the only one in the Ritchie family to be interested in the upcoming fashion shows. Guy Ritchie is indeed rumored to be attending the Male Fashion Week in Milan in January 2005."
A new book reveals Madonna's bad behaviour during rehearsals for the 1991 Oscars. She performed Sooner Or Later from the film Dick Tracy at the ceremony. The song, written by Stephen Sondheim, won the Best Music, Original Song award.
In his new book "The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings at the Academy Awards" writer Steve Pond details the singer's attack on a technician.
The man was supposed to supply her with a microphone before she appeared on stage through a trap door but had fallen asleep.
Pond claims she launched into "an astonishing profane tirade despite the fact that the area below the stage was also occupied by a group of children."
"Furious, she grabbed him around the neck and lifted him bodily off the ground, not relinquishing her grip until the trapdoor opened and she began to rise."
Pond adds that when her performance was delayed due to a camera operator being injured falling from the stage into the orchestra pit, Madonna was unsympathetic.
He quotes her as saying: "But, she's just lying there. Can't we just do this?"
"The Big Show" is published in the UK on January 1.
Today it's been exacty 4 years since Madonna and Guy Ritchie tied the knot at the Scottish Scibo Castle. Mad-Eyes wishes them a happy anniversary and many more happy years to come!
For Madonna, being on stage isn't as easy as it might look to her audiences.
In fact, it's anything but.
”Its pretty overwhelming, to tell you the truth," she revealed to The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith in the second of a two-part interview. "One thing I'm struck with is, when I watch myself performing on the stage, I'm astonished at the difference between what I'm seeing and what I think the audience sees and what I feel.
"What I see is really pulled together and really choreographed and (has) nice costumes and good lighting and good sound. What's going on inside of me is like a war.
"I'm gasping for breath. I'm trying to remember everything I'm supposed to be, the words to the songs, the notes on the guitar, the steps. I'm thinking about the pain in my back. I'm trying to get enough oxygen. I'm looking at people's faces. Some people are desperate, some people are so full of love. It's so extreme, I always think when I go out on stage that I'm going into battle."
The diva told Smith the pressure doesn't stop there.
"I wear 'inner ears' so we don't have monitors all over the stage, so that the sound in my head -- you know, when you plug up your ears, you can hear your heart beat and hear yourself breathing? So I've got that on the stage as well. I don't hear the crowds, so it's a very surreal experience, the whole thing."
Madonna has taken up Kaballah, a form of Jewish mysticism, and she says it's impacting her life "enormously."
"One of the central aspects to the study of Kaballah," she tells Smith, "is the idea that we are responsible for our behavior, we are responsible for everything that happens to us. It's very liberating to not think of yourself as a victim. So I like that aspect. That has freed me enormously.
"I spent a lot of years feeling sorry for myself, when I was a child, the death of my mother, or growing up and feeling like I didn't have what other people had. I find it very empowering, although it seems daunting at first, to go, 'You know what, I deserve that, I own that, I brought that to me. That's a very different way for me to look at life.
"It's very liberating. So that has influenced me enormously. I'm getting better at not being bothered by things. I'm getting better at not taking things personally."
And that, in turn, is helping her marriage, Madonna says. "I'm getting better at being married and living with somebody who, for lack of a better phrase, irks me sometimes. I'm getting better at accepting. I suppose I can disagree with what he says or what he does, but I don't love him less. I'm getting better at loving my husband unconditionally."
Madonna kidded Smith about a few things he admitted to her. "You didn't read my books 'til last week; you didn't go to my concerts. Anything else you want to say that will disappoint me?"
Smith said, "Well, I could be completely sycophantic."
Madonna didn't let him off the hook that easily: "There's somewhere between ignoring me and being a sycophant."
~ Check the CBS website to stream the video of this second part of the Early Show interview.
Madonna's often-criticised movie career has landed her a new title - as the Worst Rock-Star Actor of All Time.
While the Michigan native has enjoyed phenomenal success as a pop superstar, Madonna's efforts on the silver screen have been met with an icy response from both critics and fans - most recently with her embarrassing flop Cast Away.
Music magazine BLENDER, which conducted the poll of 25 stars, says, "Invariably cast as an irresistible femme fatale - Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy, Susan in Desperately Seeking Susan - yet cannot 'do' sexy.
"Instead, she adopts the glassy-eyed expression of someone on a cocktail of prescription drugs and delivers her lines as if reading aloud from the letters of a stalker."
The Spice Girls landed in 19th place, Mick Jagger at 17th, Sting at 24th and Ozzy Osbourne at 21st.
The top 10 is as follows:
2. BOB DYLAN
3. MARIAH CAREY
4. JON BON JOVI
5. ELVIS PRESLEY
6. BRITNEY SPEARS
7. VANILLA ICE
8. NEIL DIAMOND
9. GENE SIMMONS
10. MASTER P
We all know Madonna, the talented and often controversial entertainer.
But how many of us know her other sides? Madonna, the children's book author. Or Madonna, the — housewife.
She sat down with The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith in London last week and gave a rare glimpse into those other parts of her world, in the first of a two-part interview.
Tune in to The Early Show Monday to hear about a typical Madonna day, how she writes, what her children's books reveal, and which nickname leaves her cold.
"I get up in the morning with my kids, and that's really painful for me; my husband keeps me up late," Madonna reveals. "I'm with the kids, and then they go off to school, and I stay home and I become a sargeant in my house and go into my office and start going through the lists that have been made by my hardworking, diligent staff and start delegating responsibility. (I) spend several hours doing that, being a taskmaster, and then I do some kind of exercise. Is this boring?" she interrupts herself, asking interviewer Smith a question.
"No," answers Smith, "I had this vision of you padding around in housecoat and fuzzy slippers with a cup of tea."
"No," Madonna quips. "I drink very strong coffee, I have Chinese slippers, and I usually wear juicy tracksuits. Are you getting the picture? Hair messed up, grumpy expression on my face until I've had a cup of coffee."
But Madonna has found time to write four highly successful and insightful children's books, with a fifth on the way.
What does it do for her to write these books, Smith wondered. "It's another outlet for me to share my stories," Madonna answered. "I sit in front of the computer and stick my little statue, who's my writing muse, next to my computer and, OK, I'm going to write — and it comes. …It's a statue of a kneeling woman, but she has a really thoughtful expression on her face."
"A woman on her knees?" Smith interjects.
"Oh, God, don't read that into it," Madonna shoots back. …You had to go there, Harry."
"That's a Madonna response," Smith pointed out. "I was about to say that's about supplication, someone asking for some maybe even divine guidance."
"Yes," Madonna said. "That's what I do on a regular basis."
Smith told Madonna he felt that, by reading the children's books, he felt like he "had an insight into who's inside you."
"Probably," Madonna observed, "because there's more stillness in writing; with a book, you can hear me probably more clearly."
Madonna's first three children's books launched within one year of each other, and have sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.
Callaway Books has released a boxed-set of her first three children's titles, "The English Rose," "Mr. Peabody's Apples," and "Yakov and the Seven Thieves."
The first of them, "The English Rose," was released simultaneously in 30 languages and over 100 countries in September, 2003. It became the biggest and fastest-selling book ever by a first time children's author.
It's about four 11-year-old girls who are best friends, but jealous of another girl in the neighborhood. "She's more aloof," as Madonna described her to Smith, "mysterious. …She seems like she has the perfect life. She's prettier, she seems like she's really good, so they decide to not include her in the group because she's too good at everything. A very common thing, I think with girls.
"The idea for the story came from my daughter. There was a clique of girls when she was in first grade, and the teacher called them the English roses. She told me that sometimes girls treated her different at school because I was her mother."
The four wind up getting a surprising lesson from a fairy godmother about the difference between appearance and reality.
"The English Rose" was quickly followed by "Mr. Peabody's Apples" in November, 2003.
It's a story of the power of words and the importance of teachers. The story takes place in 1949 in Happville, USA. Mr. Peabody, a beloved elementary school teacher and baseball coach, one day finds himself ostracized when rumors about him spread through the small town.
Mr. Peabody silences the gossip with an unforgettable and poignant lesson about how we must choose our words carefully to avoid causing harm to others." The book is said to have been inspired by a story told to Madonna by her Kabbalah teacher. Kaballah is a form of Jewish mysticism.
"That's another story I think most people can relate to," Madonna said to Smith. "We all love to gossip, even really evolved people like me," she laughed, as did Smith. "The story's about having people stop and think every once in awhile about what they're going to say to someone and what this might do to someone," Madonna continued.
In June, 2004, "Yakov and the Seven Thieves" was released. According to Madonna, I'ts the story of how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates of Heaven, no matter how unworthy we think we are. For when we go against our selfish natures, we make miracles happen, in our lives and in the lives of others."
Last month marked the release of Madonna's fourth children's book, "The Aventures of Abdi." Like her other three, it was written for readers aged six and up.
"The Adventures of Abdi" is the story of a little boy who has been given a very big task: to deliver the most precious necklace in the world to the queen. Along the way he is robbed in the desert, thrown in a dungeon and has a surprising encounter with a snake. But no matter what obstacles he faces, Abdi never gives up hope, guided by the words of his teacher, Eli: "Everything that happens is for the best."
Madonna's fifth book, "Lotsa de Casha," is scheduled for release in June. It's the last in the five-book series. She's also coming out with an audio edition of all the books.
Madonna and Smith wrap up the first part of the interview with a discussion of how British newspapers came to call her "Madge," a nickname she dislikes. When it's pointed out to her that "Madge" could be short for, "Her Majesty," Madonna relents and says that might not be such a bad moniker, after all.
Tune in to The Early Show Tuesday for the second part of Smith's interview. They'll discuss Kaballah, and how it's helped her marriage.
Asked by fellow co-anchor Hannah Storm what surprised him about Madonna, Smith said, "So smart. So funny. Amazing sense of humor. And...We were sitting there looking at the tape late Friday night, and I said, 'I am completely beguiled.' She charmed my socks off."
Check fansite DrownedMadonnafor an interview with Stefan Smith, the virtual artist at Pusher who directed the video backdrop for Vogue on the Re-Invention Tour and also worked on the Don't Tell Me projections. Smith talks very positively about his collaboration with Madonna on the Vogue video.
Everywhere you look, the men dominate the 2004 year-end artist recaps. Everywhere except one place -- the year-end Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Among the top 10 acts on the year-end Top Pop Artists tally, only two are women: Alicia Keys and Beyonce. The same two are the only females among the top 10 R&B/hip-hop artists of the year. The only two women among the top 10 country artists are Gretchen Wilson and Shania Twain. Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow are the only two women in the top 10 among the adult top 40 artists. Etta James and Susan Tedeschi are the two females among the top 10 blues artists.
Then there's that Club Play recap, where the top six all come from the distaff side. Madonna is No. 1 after relinquishing the title last year to Justin Timberlake. She's followed by Janet Jackson, Beyonce, Annie Lennox, Britney Spears and McLachlan.
Madonna and Spears are the top two artists on the Hot Dance Singles Sales recap. Together, they have the No. 1 song of the year, Me Against the Music, followed by Madonna's Nothing Fails/Nobody Knows Me at No. 2 and Love Profusion at No. 3.
That makes Madonna the first person in chart history to have the top three songs of the year on the dance sales recap. The only acts that have come close are Soul II Soul, which topped the 1989 list with "Keep On Movin"' and "Back to Life," and M People, which was No. 2 and No. 3 in 1994 with "Moving On Up" and "One Night in Heaven."
Fansite MadonnaTribe reminds us of the airing date of Missy Elliot's 'Road To Stardom', featuring Madonna:
"The debut date of "The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliot" is approaching and US TV network UPN is now featuring a special section of their online website devoted to the new show.
As MadonnaTribe readers know Madonna will appear in the first episode of the show that - as we revealed a few weeks ago - will air on Wednesday, January 5 2005 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT).
The new reality show sees 13 aspiring performers that will travel and live together on the road in a tour bus and compete against each other for $100,000 and the opportunity to become music's next big sensation.
Missy Elliott herself will lead the panel of music industry judges, including award winning producer Dallas Austin, who worked with Madonna on the Bedtime Stories album and co-wrote Secret, Mona Scott and Teena Marie.
Missy will then help launching the winner's career with a contract to her label and a producing a first single.
In a promo clip for the show Madonna wass seen giving advice to the contestants and saying: "Your job is to inspire people and if you can hold on to that then things won't get boring"."
Superstar Madonna left Italian fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana speechless when she asked them to fit her for a premiere.
The style gurus claim they are relaxed in front of most of their A-list clients, but found the Material Girl's superstardom intimidating.
Designer Stefano Gabbana explains: "She was the one singer who made me feel nervous. Me and Domenico (Dolce) - both of us. We love her, and we knew her from the beginning. I'd seen all her different faces, as a singer, movie star, mother, lover.
"She was the first pop star to ask us for something, and we loved her from a long time ago. People like that, they can make me anxious sometimes."
Madonna rushed to help her showbiz pal Julia Roberts when she learned the actress was pregnant, giving her advice on avoiding unwanted media attention.
The Lilke A Virgin singer warned the Pretty Woman actress to claim her twins would be born in January (05) rather than the due date of 6 December (04) to throw the paparazzi.
A source tells British tabloid newspaper Daily Star, "That way, she could throw off the paparazzi a bit."
Roberts and Madonna met filming of The Next Best Thing, where the singer co-starred with Roberts's then-boyfriend Benjamin Bratt.
Harry Smith will interview Madonna on The Early Show on CBS about the Adventures of Abdi, what the experience is like for her to write children's book, how her faith has changed her, her daily life, and what it is like to be Madonna... on stage!
Part 1 of the interview will air on Monday 12/20 at 7:39AM, and Part 2 will air Tuesday 12/21 at 7:39AM. Please double check with your local listings.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced its 2005 Inductees. The announcement was made by Executive Director Suzan Evans.
The following artists will be inducted at the Twentieth Annual Induction Ceremony, which will be held Monday, March 14th in New York at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel: [...]
Seymour Stein - The Chairman of Sire Records, Stein co-founded the label in 1966, and has been one of the most successful and influential executives in the music business.
His ability to discover new talent led to signings of many groundbreaking artists such as The Ramones, Madonna, The Pretenders, Talking Heads, Seal, Depeche Mode, Ice-T, The Cure, The Smiths, kd Lang and Barenaked Ladies. The label is still going strong after nearly 40 years and still innovative with recent singings including The Von Bondies, HIM, Regina Spektor, The Fags and The Veronicas.
Other inductees this year: U2, the O'Jays, the Pretenders, Buddy Guy, Percy Sledge, Frank Barsalona,...
After displaying a picture from the great 1995 Versace shoot for the past few days, Madonna.com has again updated its splash page, this time with a gorgeous picture from the Mario Testino photo shoot for the Frozen single.
There are gift ideas for the holidays: the Madonna nesting dolls, the official 2005 calendar, the book 'The Adventures of Abdi' and the official tour merchandise.
Madonna has also added a little Happy Holidays message, which reads "Happy Holidays! Let's all pray for peace in 2005! Love, Madonna". Click here to see the handwritten message.
Pop legend Madonna has won her battle against animal rights activists who accused her of evading tax laws by breeding pheasants on her land in Ashcombe, England, without paying the required rates.
Animal Aid issued a press release yesterday (15 DEC 04) claiming the Material Girl was breaching tax requirements by failing to pay commercial rates on the land where she shoots the birds.
But the pressure group withdrew the claim just two hours later when they realised she buys the pheasants so is not required to pay the non-domestic land tax.
An Animal Aid spokesperson says, "We've now discovered Madonna buys in pheasants rather than breeding them. Since she doesn't manufacture birds, she doesn't have to pay non-domestic rates."
Madonna's blockbuster Re-Invention tour took all of the drama out of the top tour of the year race, ringing up a year's best $125 million in total box office gross by the time it wrapped in September. According to Billboard Boxscore, Madonna sold out 55 of 56 performances worldwide, with an average nightly take of $2.23 million.
"My Re-Invention tour was by far the most creatively satisfying experience I have ever had," Madonna tells Billboard. "I was able to put everything I love into one entertaining event: film, music and dance." The tour was produced worldwide by Clear Channel Entertainment.
Prince's Musicology tour, produced by AEG Live, drew nearly 1.5 million people, more than any other artist, and grossed $90.2 million, second only to Madonna.
Shania Twain was third, reporting grosses totaling $62.5 million and playing to nearly 950,000 fans. The rest of the top 10 includes Simon & Garfunkel ($59 million), Metallica ($53.8 million), Bette Midler ($53.3 million), Sting ($52.4 million), Kenny Chesney ($49.3 million), David Bowie ($46 million) and Toby Keith ($44.3 million).
This year, Celine Dion reported more than $77 million from her residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. If Dion's numbers reflected a "tour" per se, she would rank third among all acts. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, with James Brown and Chicks On Speed, headlined the top engagement at the year, three nights at London's Hyde Park that grossed $17,187,324 and drew more than 258,000 June 19, 20 and 25.
For the fifth consecutive year, Madison Square Garden in New York City tops the list of arenas, reporting music-event grosses totaling just under $73 million. For the second consecutive year, Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Mass., is the top amphitheater, reporting more than $23 million from 32 concerts.
Madonna is going to star in film director husband Guy Ritchie's next film, Revolver.
After a very poor reception from critics to the couple's last cinematic offering, Swept Away, Madge and Ritchie are now trying their luck with gangster movie Revolver.
Insiders claim that the Frozen singer is a great fan of her husband's work and begged for a part in the Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels director's new film.
A source told the Daily Mirror: "Guy's very respected and is doing his best to make Revolver as controversy free as possible, But the missus really wanted a walk-on part - and who is he to say no?"
The source added: "Madonna came to spend a week with her husband while he was over here and she seemed to enjoy it.
"Everyone thought she was here for a holiday so it was a bit surprising to see her filming.
"She was getting really into it so it's clear she's taking it seriously. But it's obviously not a major role as she wasn't on the island very long."
The movie, filmed on the Isle of Man, also features Ray Liotta of Goodfellas fame.
Last saturday, Belgian newspaper De Gazet van Antwerpen interviewed Mad-Eyes webmaster Bartie and another Madonna fan Dirk on their meeting with Madonna at the Selfridges book signing. During the interview Bart and Dirk discuss the book 'The Adventures of Abdi' and their meeting with Madonna at the Selfridges' book signing.
The Mad-Eyes website and the online fan community are also mentioned and Dirk tells about his intention to get the X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS exhibition to Antwerp. The article (in Dutch) appears in todays issue of the national newspaper.
Pop star Madonna has finally won her battle to keep ramblers off her country estate in Wiltshire this winter. The property's been made exempt from the new right to roam legislation due to take effect from tomorrow.
The decision was made by the Countryside Agency after the singer claimed her property was intensively used for shooting between September and February 2004 and the walkers could be at risk from getting shot.
Nobody raises eyebrows and pushes the envelope quite like Madonna. For more than two decades, this one-woman media powerhouse has taken a lead role in defining the landscape of modern music, elevating herself to cultural icon status in the process.
Infamous for her ability to set trends with her frequent and radical image transformations, one thing has always remained consistent in her look: her amazingly sculpted physique.
Three of Madonna's biggest fans will find out that living the diva life isn't as easy as she makes it look. As a magazine editor, Mario is in a job that bombards him with images of hot men, constantly reminding him that he is out-of-shape.
Don is ready to settle down with a boyfriend, but feels he can't compete in the ultra-looks conscience gay dating scene. And Rodney knows he could be a healthier person, if he could only give up the smoking and cocktails of his party boy lifestyle.
For 12-weeks, these three men will tackle Madonna's daily macrobiotic diet and intense training sessions, including everything from yoga to mountain biking to fencing. Just like the provocateur they admire, they'll have an entourage of trainers, nutritionists and style experts responsible for reinventing their looks. With the Material Girl as their inspiration, can these three men push themselves beyond their limits to go FROM FLAB TO FAB?
Find out with VH1's 'From Flab To Fab: Madonna style' - first episode airing today on VH1 at 11.30am EST.
Queen of Pop Madonna has struck up a bizarre friendship with ex-topless model Melinda Messenger thanks to their love of wacky faith kabbalah.
The superstar and her husband Guy Ritchie became best buddies with Melinda, 33, and spouse Wayne during weird prayer sessions at the mystical Jewish sect's London centre.
And the eccentric couple are so taken with their new pals they recently invited them to a private dinner with a handful of honoured kabbalah devotees at the HQ.
The oddball evening began with a bizarre prayer session with Madonna, 46, and Melinda - dressed like her idol in boots, long black coat and hair scraped back into pony tail - sitting on one side of the room. Guy, 36, builder Wayne, 29, and other male followers sat on the other side on plastic seats while the kabbalah bible was read backwards amid lots of chanting and clapping.
Suddenly Madonna (who now wants to be known as Esther) Guy, Melinda and Wayne jumped up and faced east towards a painting of an idyllic scene of roaming hills and started to chant: "Chernobyl, Chernobyl, Chernobyl."
As they chanted they were asked to send positive thoughts towards the town that was the scene of the world's worst-ever nuclear disaster in 1986.
An insider said: "Guy, who was dressed in white, got so carried away that he left his seat, hugged the rabbis and then went and kissed his missus on the cheek before returning to his seat. He then continued chanting 'Chernobyl, Chernobyl'."
Half an hour later the happy foursome and a select few kabbalah followers were ushered upstairs for supper.
Madonna's eight-year-old daughter Lourdes - now being called Lola - joined them in the candle-lit dining room.
They tucked into a four-course meal of green salad and bread, white fish and vegetable stew, kosher beef, ratatouille and chocolate cup cakes.
The food was "blessed" by everyone standing up, hugging each other and swaying side-to-side for 20 minutes while clapping and singing.
While Madonna drank glass after glass of Kabbalah water, other guests sipped Coca-Cola or wine. After their "feast" Melinda and Wayne joined a circle holding hands with the others around a seated Madonna, Guy and a rabbi.
They chanted and jumped up and down as Guy closed his eyes then furiously banged his hands on the table as if he was playing the drums.
Lola quietly watched from the corner with a rabbi as mum and dad chanted for an incredible 30 minutes.
When it was time to call it a night at the centre, in North West London, Melinda hugged Madonna and said: 'Goodnight, my good friend, Esther'.
Lola was dropped off by a rabbi in a black Range Rover as Guy and Madonna walked home hand-in-hand reminiscing about their night out with Melinda and Wayne.
Pop superstar Madonna is offering 5,000 fans an extra special Christmas treat by OK-ing a set of hand-painted Russian babushka dolls made in her image.
The limited edition nesting creations, which feature five of Madonna's incarnations that can be found inside another, are available on the singer's website madonna.com.
Madonna once asked Santa Claus to give her her virginity back!
The pop superstar sat on celebrity Santa Brady White's lap at one Hollywood party and asked for the impossible.
White who charges up to $5,000 (GBP2,630) to dish out the `Ho, ho hos' at star-studded Christmas parties, admits he begged the Material Girl to come up with something more material.
He recalls, "I begged her, 'Please think of something else. Poor Santa can't work miracles.'"
But White was a lucky charm for pal Cher, who asked him for an OSCAR just two months before she was crowned Best Actress for her role in Moonstruck.
The celebrity Santa's magic also rubbed off on Jodie Foster,who asked White for a meaty role just before landing the part of Clarice Starling in Silence Of The Lambs.
Check out Madonna's latest videos for What It Feels Like For A Girl, Die Another Day, American Life, Hollywood and Love Profusion at iFilm.
"She's had more personas than most women have shoes, and the Material Mom doesn't seem to be settling down. Whether she's protesting the superficiality of our pop culture or simply exploiting it for her own sexy purposes, she's always worth a look. Check out some recent incarnations of the mystical, magical dance goddess we like to call Madge."
The Proud Camden gallery in London has just opened a stunning new Rock ‘N' Roll photographic exhibition that features Madonna as a musical Icon.
The exhibition engaged the help of Q Magazine readers and 02 mobile customers to vote on the 100 most influential rock stars that would ultimately be featured. John Lennon was voted the number one music Icon, followed by Kurt Cobain, Keith Richards, David Bowie, Elvis Presley and Madonna.
Legendary music photographers Gered Mankovitz, Ross Halfin, and Mick Rock used their first hand experience to choose the images that would showcase the rock stars as they evolved into Icons.
The exhibition is open for public viewing from December 3, 2004 and until January 28, 2005. For more information visit proud.co.uk.
~ Check fansite MadonnaMegaCollectionfor scans of the Q Magazine 'ICONS: The Greatest Music Stars of All time!' Special, which features a whole-page articleon Madonna by Dan Gennoe and a great 1994 pictureof Madonna by Steven Meisel. Madonna was voted 6th greatest music star.
Me Against The Music won an award for 'Hot Dance Sales Single of the Year' at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards. Britney Spears collected the award at the show, which was held yesterday evening at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Madonna didn't attend.
Madonna's devotion to the Kabbalah was behind her decision to fire her long-term manager Caresse Henry, after discovering Henry was having an affair with a bodyguard.
The Like A Virgin singer was reportedly shocked that Henry, who had also converted to the mystical offshoot of Judaism, had broken one of the religion's strictest teachings - faithfulness.
Henry had a partner back in America, while security man Ricky Dallanegra lived with his girlfriend in London. They have since become a couple after leaving their respective partners.
Madonna sought the advice of her rabbi on the matter when she learned of the romance during this summer's (04) Re-Invention tour, before deciding to follow the Kabbalah practices and disown Henry.
An insider tells British newspaper The Sun, "Madonna and Guy are deeply committed to their Kabbalah faith which preaches monogamy and faithfulness. It's ironic, because Madonna used to eat men for breakfast. Now's she's a married mother and Kabbalist, she believes cheating is a serious sin.
"When she found out her manager was having an affair with her own bodyguard she was devastated. Madonna had a huge falling out with Caresse and said she couldn't possibly work with her any more."
The corset made by french designer Christian Lacroix and that Madonna wore during the American leg of her Re-Invention Tour will be one of the designer's creations to be exposed in Paris this month.
Lacroix, who is also behind the lilac variation of the corset used during the European dates of her tour, is about to inaugurate the "Villa du Marais", a hotel made of 17 rooms showcasing some of his most impressive creations to date.
Villa du Marais
Rue de Poitou
Fansite MadonnaTribe has received the following information on the Versace photo shoot:
"The one-day photo shooting did actually take place in two different locations. The first part happened in the early morning in a studio in Notthing Hill Gate while a second part was done the same day at 30 km outside London. All the images were shoot in indoor locations.
One of the main sets of the photo session shows Madonna inside a contemporary office location, with a dominant white color and completed by technology furniture and accessories such as computers and modems. The entire session was done under a strict surveillance and nobody was allowed inside the set when the actual shooting was taking place.
We've also got news about two of the dresses Madonna wears in the pictures, one of them being white and another being gold. Also a dress made of jeans was included. Madonna also wears a platinum blond wig in several images.
We learned that the children were also present at the session and were also included in some of the pics, but we can't say if these pictures are going to be used for the campaign or will remain in Madonna, Donatella and Mario Testino's private collection.
We also understand that certain pictures are not going to be featured in the campaign and might be used in the design of upcoming Madonna releases - just as like as it happened in the past with images from the previous Testino session which appeared in the artwork of the Something to Remember and GHV2 collections.
On the sunny side, we've been told that some bath suites were proposed to Madonna but she didn't agree to take the pictures wearing them - the classy lady knows she's not a 16 years old top model and knows how to look stunning and charming with her clothes on.
Donatella Versace is very happy with the result and we're sure it will be a blast."
Kabbalah queen Madonna halted a fashion shoot for half an hour so she could pray and meditate.
The 46-year-old mum-of-two, who's an avid follower of the controversial branch of Jewish mysticism, took the time out during a photo session for Versace.
According to US Weekly, she was overheard saying: "Rosh Chodesh for the moon in Sagittarius - it ushers in a period of good fortune."
Nope, we have no idea what she's banging on about either, but it's hard to argue with her good fortune!
What with her countless millions, film director husband and a near 20-year career, it sure beats lucky heather! According to insiders, she was paid £5.5million for the Versace campaign to advertise the glitzy label's spring collection.
She's also been given free use of the Versace mansion in Milan and free clothes for two years.
Despite that, the mag reports that Madonna "barked orders" throughout the session. Maybe she needs to meditate more!
Madonna has earned a staggering $10.3 million (GBP5.4 million) by starring in a series of adverts for fashion giant Versace.
The Material Girl was recently photographed by Mario Testino for the campaign to promote Versace's Spring 2005 range - exactly 10 years after the pair first teamed up for a Versace campaign (95).
And the clothing empire is so grateful to the singer, they have allegedly given her the use of the Versace mansion in Milan, Italy and free clothes for the next two years (06).
Madonna has revealed she's terrified of being shot dead by a crazed stalker. The Queen of Pop has recently been targeted by a wealthy American man whose been plaguing her every move.Earlier this year, the star had to cancel three gigs in Israel after terrorists threatened to kill her.
Madonna has reportedly become extrememly paranoid and is afraid she may be murdered like John Lennon.
The Beatle was shot dead in Decembver 1980 in New York by obsessive fan Mark Chapman.
A source told the Sun, Madge's latest stalker is becoming increasingly bold in his tactics to meet the Material Girl.
He has acquired her personal e-mail address, attended every gig of her Re-Invention tour and knocked on the door of the London home she shares with hubby Guy Ritchie and children Rocco and Lourdes.
"He is the worst stalker Madonna has ever encountered. It has reached a level where the police will have to be involved," the source said.
Madonna.com has been updated with a beautiful picture of Madonna at the UK Hall of Fame on the front page. Among other news items, they report: "Madonna.com can confirm that Madonna is back in the studio today to record new music. Can't say what it is for just yet, but stay tuned to Madonna.com for more info."
Madonna is the number one Most Popular Female Celebrity searched on Google of October 2004! Check out Googles's Zeitgeist for the complete results. "For both breaking news and obscure information alike, people around the world search on Google. With a bit of analysis, this flurry of searches often exposes interesting trends, patterns, and surprises."
Johann from ICON announces that issue # 42 is now out. A picture of Madonna's Nobody Knows Me performance graces the cover. Here's what he says on the issue:
It's late but it's here! The new issue of Icon Magazine (#42) is now out. The shipment will begin this week so make sure to look for it in your favourite mailbox. This new issue is 100% devoted to the most talked about tour of the year, Madonna's Re-Invention tour!
Included in this special issue are exclusive studio and live shots as well backstage ones, fan reviews, the tour's full chronology, a double sided poster, interviews with Steven Klein, choreographer Jamie King and much much more!
Please note that we're already working on the next issue so don't be too surprised if you hear from us again in the next few weeks!
Happy reading and talk to you very soon!
Johann - Icon
Pop superstar Madonna has urged the press to research the Kabbalah faith before attacking her passion for the mystic offshoot of Judaism.
The Material Girl is furious about the barrage of criticism she's received for evangelising the controversial religion, and believes the media would be more supportive if they were less ignorant about Kabbalah, which is studied by celebrities including Britney Spears , Demi Moore and Paris Hilton.
She complains, "Yes, it irritates me when the press criticise my beliefs. Because what I would really like is for people to do their research and try to understand what it is I'm trying to study and understand.
"If they did that, then they'd have a completely different view. I wonder if they'd be less irritated if I was studying existentialism. Maybe they would."
Pop superstar Madonna has banned her director husband Guy Ritchie from using her British nickname, Madge.
The Material Girl had never heard of the name until she moved to England and was horrified when the Snatch film-maker called her by it, because she "can't stand it".
She complains, "Guy does not call me Madge. I can't stand that. I think fans call me Madge, and the press do.
"The first time I heard that name was when I moved here. I've never met anyone called Madge. Is it cockney rhyming slang?"
The house of Versace has called in two favorite superstar pals for its latest advertising campaign.
In a major break with recent seasons, Mario Testino shot Madonna last week in London for the label’s next women’s ad campaign, which will break in February 2005 issues of major magazines.
The ads, shot in a London studio, represent a major change in style for the house, which for most of this century has used Steven Meisel to shoot its major publicity efforts.
The move also signals a renewed burst of commitment from Donatella Versace, newly revitalized by her trip to substance rehabilitation clinic this summer.
Earlier this month, Donatella was the fashion star in Hamburg at the Bambi awards, Germany’s most prestigious fashion prize. Looking super-trim, Versace shared a table at the gala dinner with former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
A spokesman for the house declined to make any comment on the new shoot. However, a source at the shoot confirmed that Madge and Donatella got on swimmingly in London.
The combination is not unprecedented, as Versace used the duo of Madonna and Testino back in the mid-nineties.
The decision to drop Meisel in favor of Testino is understood to have been inspired, in part, by concern that Meisel has become too much of a ubiquitous presence in fashion advertising. A perennial snapper of US Vogue covers, Meisel regularly shoots oodles of ad campaigns for the major houses.
Versace declined any comment on the fees for the shoot, though word has it that Madonna is primarily interested in nabbing a new wardrobe from Donatella.
Archive picture: Madonna is seen arriving at the Donatella Versace party held at La Cantine after the showing of the Versace Spring 2002 Couture Collection in Paris on January 20, 2002.↑ Back to top of page