Madonna news - May 2002

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30 May - Madonna to record second Bond track? *rumour*
Madonna fans who are looking forward to seeing and hearing her on the new James Bond film, Die Another Day, will be chuffed to hear that her Madgeness will be taking a slightly bigger role in the flick than previously thought. Mrs R will record a cover of a song called 'If You Could Read My Mind, Love' for a spicy scene where Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, seduces Halle Berry's character, Jade. The song was originally recorded in 1970 by Gordon Lightfoot and has been covered by Barbara Streisand, among others. (source: PeopleNews)
~ Can't You See My Mind and If You Could Read My Mind, now she's making it confusing, isn't she! ;-) I've done some research myself and you can read the original lyrics of the song at this page. Bear in mind though that this news hasn't been confirmed yet.

30 May - Die Another Day premiere
The new James Bond movie Die Another Day will premiere in the UK on November 18, 2002. (thanx to Clare for the info)

28 May - Orbit to work on new album? *rumour*
According to fansite Madonnarama, William Orbit will be working on Madonna's new album as well. He supposedly had "meetings with Madonna to discuss his involvement in the album. They've not yet talked about styles, titles or what Madonna is looking for, but they will definitely be entering the studio in August."
~ If this is true, Orbit would be the third producer working on this album. Earlier Madonna reported she wanted to work with Mirwais and Stuart Price and last week Michel Colombier revealed he did string arrangements for the album.

28 May - Queen of Cool
Madonna may not yet be the queen of London theater after last week's reviews of her performance in "Up for Grabs." But when it comes to fashion, the Material Girl is still queen of cool. Playing to fashion big shots from Tom Ford to Donatella Versace, she chose for a pivotal scene a plunge-front draped top and tuxedo pants by Catherine Malandrino, a New York-based Parisian. Madonna had previously picked the French designer's Stars-and-Stripes print for her Drowned World Tour - just as she chose the unknown Olivier Theyskens to dress her for the 1998 Oscars. Malandrino, who worked at Louis Feraud and Et Vous before going to America five years ago, is the subject of a forthcoming exhibition, "A French Designer in New York," at Le Bon Marche in Paris. Madonna scored another hip hit with the Missoni coat she wore to the after-show party, surprising Rosita Missoni who praised the "hard" play. Before Madonna gave her stamp of approval to the graphic, arty patterns, Margherita Missoni, a philosophy student from the fashion family's third generation, was starring at Cannes, dancing on stage alongside Sharon Stone at the AmfAR AIDS benefit, for which the Missonis had dressed the tables. (source: International Herald Tribune)

28 May - Nervous on purpose?
While critics have been rather rude about Madonna's acting in Up for Grabs (one said that Madge had so little stage presence that 'there appeared to be a vacuum around her'), one of her friends has come up with a novel excuse for Mrs Ritchie's stiff performance. 'The character she plays is supposed to be nervous,' insisted Madge's pal and interior decorator, David Collins. 'She plays a woman who is taking a risk with her career.' How life imitates art, imitates life… (source: PeopleNews)

Madonna and Guy arrive at the after-party 25 May - More (bad) reviews
In big contrast to the standing ovations that Madonna received after each performance of Up For Grabs, stand the reviews in the press, which are mostly pretty bad: read more of them at E! Online - - Lycos - NY Daily News - - - - Boston Globe

25 May - Madonna is a good kisser says female co-star
Madonna is a good kisser according to one of her co-stars in her new West End play. Madonna kisses Megan Dodds in Up For grabs which is currently running at Wyndham's Theatre in London. Dodds says she was very nervous the first time the pair came to the kissing scene but says Madonna is "really good. She's great actually. It makes it easier that we get along well," Dodds tells the Daily Express. "It's really good working with her. She doesn't act any different or expect special treatment. She's just normal". (source: ic SouthLondon)

24 May - More on ASCAP Awards / Joe Henry on Don't Tell Me
Madonna's hit single Don't Tell Me, from her 2000 album Music, was among the songs honored as one of the most performed of the year at the 19th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Monday (May 20) in Beverly Hills, California. The award meant accolades for acclaimed singer-songwriter Joe Henry, who wrote the song. Henry, who is also Madonna's brother-in-law, says that he originally had different plans for the song, but is not complaining about how things played out. "Initially I wrote it for the Sopranos and they turned it down because I wasn't a Sony artist or a big enough star to override the fact that I wasn't a Sony artist," he says. "I think when Madonna covered it, I sent them all over there a case of Scotch because, you know, I don't have to tell you the difference between having her do the song and having it wind up on the Sopranos soundtrack." Henry adds, "I knew she'd cut it but I [was thinking], 'Will it make the record?' It never occurred to me that it would be a single. I didn't think it was that kind of a song." The song also appears, if in drastically different form, on Henry's 2001 album, Scar, under the alternate title "Stop." (source: Launch)

Madonna and her co-stars at last night's curtain call 24 May - Up For Grabs reviews
Up For Grabs was officially opened last night and it was quite a star-full night; the play was attended by husband Guy Ritchie and his parents and many of Madonna's friends, Sting & Trudie Styler, Donnatella Versace and Stella McCartney to name a few. Today quite a few reviews appeared in the press: read them at BBC - Telegraph - Times Online - Reuters - Entertainment Tonight - ThisIsLondon. Read a reaction of Madonna's mother-in-law at Ananova.

23 May - Bond theme: 'Can't You See My Mind?'!
It has been revealed that the song that Madonna will record for the upcoming Bond movie 'Die Another Day' will be titled 'Can't You See My Mind?'. On the official website of Michel Colombier (who did string arrangements for Don't Tell Me) it is announced that the composer not only has been working on the 'Swept Away' soundtrack, but also on the Bond theme and some songs of Madonna's upcoming album: "Michel has just finished recording the score for 'Swept Away', written and directed by Guy Ritchie, starring Madonna. This film is scheduled for release in the U.S. in September 2002. - Select songs from Madonna's new album, including 'Can't You See My Mind?', title song of the soon-to-be-released James Bond movie, have had string arrangements written by Michel." (sources: Michel Colombier & Hollywood Reporter)
~ Madonna in Up For GrabsThis implies that 'Can't You See My Mind?' will feature on both the 'Die Another Day' soundtrack and Madonna's upcoming album.

23 May - Madonna play to get official opening
Madonna will face the critics for the first time tonight when her new play stages its press night. She has already been appearing in preview performances of Up For Grabs at Wyndhams Theatre in London. David Williamson's new comedy sees Madonna playing an ambitious art dealer. She tries to break into the more exclusive buyers' market and bends the rules to get the highest bid for a Jackson Pollock picture. (source: Ananova)

23 May - Madonna lets it all hang out
Once she was the world's most outrageous performer, for whom public nudity was just another image. But then Madonna experienced motherhood, marriage and country life and discovered a degree of modesty.Madonna in Up For Grabs So when she inadvertently exposed her chest to a 1,000-strong West End audience, Madonna was clearly horrified. According to witnesses at the Wyndham Theatre, she blushed deeply and cursed before recovering her poise with an ad lib that drew mass applause. The buttons of Madonna's waist-tied top came apart to reveal her bra last night at the start of the final preview performance of David Williamson's play, Up For Grabs, which opens tonight. There were gasps and titters from the audience until co-star Tom Irwin finally alerted her. They were performing a blazing marital row when he finished a rant with an off-the-cuff: "And cover yourself up!" Madonna, 43, swore in her off-stage voice and silently mouthed, "Oh my God," to laughter and applause. As the laughter died away, she quipped in the style of her shopping-obsessed character : "Well, if you gave me more money to buy clothes..." The audience erupted into applause and the play continued as scripted. (source: ThisIsLondon)

23 May - Timo Maas about remixing for Madonna
You were asked to make a remix of Madonna's Don't Tell Me. That's almost like a status symbol, because she always knows to choose the best producers.
Yes, she works with the best. I can only be grateful to her. It's been about a year ago now. If I remember correctly, we were the first Germans to work with her. It's quite an honour. Especially at the very moment, it's a big deal. I saw the assignment as the confirmation that we were on the right track and that we have developed a unique style. If the biggest pop act wants you, you must be okay. It brought us from the hype into the business. After that we've done quite a few other remixes: Fatboy Slim, Placebo, Kelis, Garbage and Junior Sanchez. We will also work on the new single from Moby. Madonna was without any doubt our break-through. It felt like we turned from soldiers into knights.
Would you like the produce a whole album for a star like Madonna, like William Orbit and Mirwais did?
Of course I would! But right now I don't think we're ready for it yet. Some day we'll get to the point when a star wants a certain unique sound, and we can provide it. But first we need to get a few more doors open. (source: Knack, translation by Mad-Eyes)

23 May - Madonna makes home a 'Fortress'
Madonna has ordered workmen to turn her lavish country hideaway into a fortress following a security scare. Madonna and Guy Ritchie insisted that wrought iron gates be erected at the entrance of their £9 million home after three men were spotted acting suspiciously in the grounds. The men had driven onto the estate and crashed through hedges in a bid to escape after being confronted by game keepers. One of the men was arrested and has been charged with criminal damage - but the other two escaped after the incident three weeks ago. Madonna - who famously branded British builders lazy - chose a local firm to carry out the task at Ashcombe House, near Shaftsbury, on the Dorset, Wiltshire border in England. County Forge - which employs 25 staff - boast celebrities Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton and Elkie Brookes amongst their clients. (source: Teen Hollywood)

22 May - Mad Donna producer speaks out
When he got the call that a song from his "Mother Goose Rocks" CD set had hit the charts in England, Los Gatos computer consultant Richard Snee couldn't have been more surprised if he had seen the cow jump over the moon. Snee began recording albums of rock star soundalikes doing children's songs while he was on sabbatical from a marketing job at Silicon Graphics. It was a passion, a quirk, something he just had to do, even if only his friends and family heard it. Now the single was rocketing up the charts, faster than the mouse ran up the clock. But not just with children. His production of Mad Donna doing "The Wheels on the Bus" was being played in clubs and on the radio. The tune even turned up as a ring on cell phones. On the British charts, it got as high as No. 17, sandwiched for a week between J-Lo and Shaggy. At a London disco you could hear Madonna doing Ray of Light and then a soundalike singing "The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round." The novelty song had people shaking their heads and then rushing out to buy it. "I was absolutely taken aback," says Snee, 42, who sings songs in the voices of Dave Matthews, Ricky Martin, Andrea Bocelli and Lauryn Hill on his albums. "I wasn't shocked that someone said it was doing well, but when I started to understand the repercussions that it could chart on the official pop chart, that was mind-blowing. I did this just for fun. I wasn't doing it to make money." He's also drawn some controversy. His Mad Donna (actually singer Michelle Chappel) sounds very similar to the Material Mother, the woman the English press dubs "Madge". An English tabloid reported that Madge was "furious" over the similarity and denied having anything to do with the goofy sendup. Snee, however, says Madonna's publisher, Warner/Chappell, didn't sound furious when it contacted him. It was seeking "participation" in the project. For laymen, that means it wants to reap some of the profits, which Snee says he's happy to share. The lawyers are discussing the breakdowns, he says. "Not in a million years are we trying to convince people that these are the original artists," says Snee, who hired five musicians total to sing on the album. "They would never do these songs." (source: AbsMad)

22 May - BMW ad wins award
A leaner Clio Awards, touted as the Oscars of advertising, arrived in Miami Beach this year, wings clipped by the industry's cutbacks. [...] The awards and daily panels began Sunday at the Loews Miami Beach and wrap up today. Roughly 300 people attended the daily events, and between 400 and 500 were expected for Tuesday's TV, radio and agency of the year awards presentation and gala. Fallon Worldwide's Minneapolis office was the year's top winner, awarded two Grand Clios and Agency of the Year for five film-like ads, each six minutes and up, created for the German automaker BMW. The agency recruited five noted directors, including Guy Ritchie, who filmed his wife, Madonna, for one segment. The BMW ads aired on cable television and the Internet. (source: Miami Herald, thanx to AbsMad)

22 May - Madonna honored by ASCAP
Beyonce Knowles, Warner/Chappell and Dido were among the top honorees during the 19th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards on Monday night at the Beverly Hilton. [...] Holly Lamar, Incubus' Dirk Lance, Desmond Child, Richie Sambora, Lenny Kravitz, Train, 'N Sync, Uncle Kracker, Staind, Alicia Keys, U2, BBMak and Madonna were also among those honored during the event, which was hosted by ASCAP president and chairman Marilyn Bergman. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

22 May - Madonna pays visit to Mirwais *rumour*
According to MadonnaPlanet, Madonna has visited Mirwais in his recording studio in Paris. About two weeks ago she took the Eurostar from London to Paris and showed up in the studio to work with Mirwais on 6 tracks for her upcoming album.

22 May - Pet Shop Boys on Madonna
When asked during a recent interview why they never collaborated with Madonna, the Pet Shop Boys answered: "Because she wants to cowrite the texts, and we are with two already. I don't think we'd accept her singing things like "love is a bird, she needs to fly" (excerpt from Frozen). We'd say something like "Madonna you can't sing things like that!". I like her "Music makes the bourgeoisie and the rebel". For that piece, and the album by that name, she has collaborated with French producer Mirwais. We like Mirwais a lot. We were asked to remix his 'Naive Song' but there was nothing to be done; it was perfect already." (source: Madonnaplanet)

21 May - Williamson in Madonna's shadow
"David Williamson's play Up For Grabs which opens on Thursday, has been hijacked by the celebrity of its star, but, he tells Jasper Rees, he soon found himself admiring her bravery. Who is David Williamson? Let the man tell you himself. "I'll probably go down in history as the writer whose name they can't remember who wrote the play Madonna was in." Since the most famous pop star in the world was cast in Up For Grabs, Williamson has witnessed his effacement from a production with his name on it." Read the rest of this interview with David Williamson at Arts Telegraph.

19 May - Download Madonna covers
One thing all the recent Madonna covers prove to us, is how fantastic the originals really are! Judge for yourself: you can download the Papa Don't Preach cover by Kelly Osbourne at Boomspeed and both the Like A Prayer and the Holiday cover of Mad'House at Madonnapower .

19 May - Pregnancy rumours persist
The past few weeks the British press has been hinting at a third pregnancy for Madonna, mostly based on a picture in which she shows her tummy to her son Rocco. Today Belgian Radio Donna claimed that Mo was four months pregnant already. However, not only has her publicist denied the story, those who have seen Up For Grabs say her belly looks far from pregnant. Only she knows for sure of course, so we'll have to wait and see. Would be great though, note that Madonna released a great album after both Lourdes' and Rocco's birth... ;-)
This is from the NY Daily News: "Madonna's camp is denying a fresh round of pregnancy rumors. Next week's Star magazine says that the singer, who turns 44 in August, is expecting her third child. The tabloid quotes sources who claim that she and her husband, Guy Ritchie, will make an announcement once she reaches her fourth month. Madonna's spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, insisted yesterday the star does not have a playmate on the way for Lourdes, 5, and Rocco, almost 2. Rosenberg admitted she has lied in the past when her client was expecting. "The first time, she was in middle of shooting 'Evita,' and she knew it would become a big thing. Also, it was nobody's business." It happens that Madonna is again under pressure as she launches a play in London, "Up for Grabs." But Rosenberg discouraged comparisons with the past. "I've 'fessed up to lying before, but I'm not lying now," she said."

17 May - On stage, Madonna gets physical
Madonna seems more comfortable exercising than acting. The singer is starring in the London production, "Up For Grabs," and some theater-goers were amused to see rather lengthy scenes in which Madonna practices pilates, one of her pet forms of working out. The buzz is that the scenes were among those that the singer reportedly demanded be added to the script. "Her acting was a little stiff and shaky," one source told the Scoop, "but she certainly is limber in those workout scenes." It wouldn't be the first time Madonna has had her exercise of choice written into a script. "The Next Best Thing" called for Madonna's character to be a swimming instructor; she insisted it be changed to a yoga instructor, and the widely panned film showed scenes in which the camera lingered over Madonna in various yoga poses.
Pilates aside, Madonna's performance did not wow the critics. Several commented on the singer's stiff acting and apparent nervousness. A reviewer for the London Evening Standard, for example, wrote of the "shock of discovering that Madonna has a little voice. Add to this a certain nervousness of demeanour, and you might be forgiven for thinking that her first half-dozen lines were repeated requests to be allowed to visit the toilet." Nevertheless, Madonna's first stage performance in 13 years caused much excitement in London. The role calls for a lesbian kiss which brought the paparazzi out in force; several of them got booted for trying to take pictures during the performance.
Madonna fans — some of whom paid as much as $750 per ticket — wildly welcomed Madonna from the moment she went on stage. As one commented, "It's the only time I've ever seen an actor receive a standing ovation before uttering a single word." Madonna's spokeswoman didn't return calls for comment. (source: MSNBC)

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