Madonna news - Jan. 2003


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15 January - Re-write story denied
As I said this morning, the Daily Mirror story seemed rather unreliable to me, and this evening I already heard on Radio Donna that M's record company denied the story. Here's what their colleagues at the BBC say:
"Madonna's record label have strongly denied rumours in today's press that she has been ordered to re-record some of her new album. According to the reports, Warners said that the album was too electro-pop and not commercially friendly, and that French producer Mirwais had been flown to LA to rescue the project. But Warners say both Madonna and Mirwais flew to LA after Christmas to work on some tracks together - they've heard several and are 'knocked out'. Apparently she's done another style-reinvention and they're very excited. It does have a distinct electro-pop style, with Madonna playing a lot of guitar. As of yet the album hasn't got a name, but it's due out in April, and the first single will be called 'American Life'."

15 January - M turns to Kabbalah for third pregnancy? *rumour*
Madonna is reported to be using the mystical secrets of her adopted religion in a last ditch-attempt to have a third child. The Queen of Pop is a well-known a convert to the Kabbalah - an offshoot of Judaism. Along with her film director husband Guy Ritchie she has been attending classes in Los Angeles to learn the Kabbalah's innermost teachings on sex and procreation. Friends say the 44-year-old singer desperately wants a brother or sister for Lourdes and Rocco. And she is hoping that some spiritual guidance will help her in her attempts to get pregnant. (source: ITV)

15 January - Record company demands M to change album tracks? *rumour*
It's a brave man who tells Madonna what to do but someone must have drawn the short straw. Record bosses at Warner Brothers have asked Madge to re-record a number of tracks on her new album. And it looks as if, on this occassion, she has been forced to obey orders. She has already flown her whizz-kid French producer Miriwais over from Paris and is currently preparing to go back into her Los Angeles studio for two more weeks of hard slog. We're told the main problem is that her new sound is electro-pop and bosses feel it's too over the top. Our source says: 'Madonna feels like she delivered her best album yet last week but the record label have insisted that the material needs to be changed. They really liked what they heard and it's another example of Madonna reinventing herself. But the problem is that it's too avant-garde to be a commercial success. She has used far too many electronic synthesisers on her voice and has morphed a lot of her vocals to sound like a robot. There was even a 12 minute long track. Warner want an album which will primarily make money, not an album which will flop on the market but gains respect from the industry. She was reluctant but in the end she had no choice but to go back to square one.' This is said to be one of the first times Madge, 44, has had to obey orders from the record company where she has been since beginning her career in 1984. Bosses are keen for her to finish her 10th album in time for the planned release date of April 15th. We revealed last week how she has already shot the art work for the album - rumoured to have the Hebrew title Ein Sof (Endlessness) - with celebrity photographer Craig McDean at a cost of £250,000. In the coming weeks the star will shoot the video with director James Ackerland, who worked with her on the Music and Ray Of Light videos. So could this latest album - featuring songs titled American Life, Hollywood, Easy Ride and Nothing Fails - send the Material Girl on yet another downward spiral? Lets face it, she already started the ball rolling with Swept Away last year. There's still time yet, Madge! (source: Daily Mirror)
~ Though Madonna is indeed back in the studio, this article seems to be mixing facts and rumours and the Daily Mirror isn't exactly the most reliable source, so take this news with some care, until we get some official confirmations.

15 January - No Akerlund after all
Madonna is currently in the studio with Mirwais wrapping up her new album. The untitled album is not finished and won't be for a few weeks. Contrary to earlier reports, the first single, "American Life", does not have a video director confirmed yet and no release date either. However, the album photo shoot did take place with her usual team and Craig McDean was the photographer. (source: Madonna.com)

14 January - UK album recertifications
The 1990 greatest hits collection The Immaculate Collection has been recertified as 12x platinum and the 1998 Ray of Light has been recertified as 6x platinum in the UK. Madonna has now sold over 180 million albums worldwide which clearly re-establishes her as the best-selling female artist in the world!

14 January - Rumour update for new album *rumour*
A rumour update from Madonnarama: "Mirwais flew out to LA last week and is now back in the studio with Madonna. They are finishing the album over the next few weeks. "Confirmed" songtitles (which may or may not make the final cut) are:
- American Life
- Die Another Day
- Hollywood
- Easy Ride
- Nothing Fails
These songtitles may change. The album is still untitled, but the photoshoot took place last week and cost a staggering $415,000. Rumours that she's had an new cut are false. Rumours that Madonna has offered a track to Jessica Simpson (and indeed was hinted at on this site) are false. As the entire project is not as finished as we originally thought, don't expect any official news to be released for some weeks."

14 January - Girlie Show in Vegas? *rumour*
Move over, Celine Dion — Madonna may be coming to Las Vegas. Buzz has it that Madonna is in talks to create and produce an act in Sin City based on her infamous 1993 world tour, The Girlie Show. An insider tells us that she was inspired not only by the $100 million deal Dion scooped up for a three-year concert gig at Caesar's Palace but also by the success of the Los Angeles Pussycat Dolls, a burlesquelike revue that has included guest performers Gwen Stefani, Christina Applegate, and Carmen Electra. But unlike Dion, we hear, Madonna has no plans to actually be in the show—instead, she'll work closely behind the scenes. "I'm flattered because it's Madonna," said Pussycat Dolls creator Robin Antin when we broke the news to her. "But I also don't want anyone copying me. I would love to get Madonna in my show. In fact, I hope my show gets to Vegas before hers does." The Pussycats (featuring Electra) will make their New York debut on January 22 at Irving Plaza during a launch party for Adidas's new Adrenaline men's fragrance. Madonna's rep insists talks about a Vegas show have been going on for years. (source: NewYorkMetro, thanx to MadMax)

14 January - Die Another Day DVD extras
The latest issue of Timecode magazine talked with MGM's marketing director Vincent Peterson about the disc release of the Bond flick which is headed for a May launch in the US & UK. He confirmed there'll be Deleted Scenes with commentary by Director Lee Tamahori (a first for a 007 DVD), the music video for Madonna's Die Another Day title song, and a featurette about the various gadgets. This matches some of the rumoured list of extras released late in November. Also likely to be included are two making of documentaries, two feature commentaries, trailers, multi-angle action sequence and opening credits clips, and trivia tracks. (source: MLVC mailing list)

14 January - M wins AMA
On last nights American Music Awards, Madonna won the "Michael Jackson International Artist of The Year Award" and they announced it on the show. She beat Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and U2. (source: MLVC mailing list)

13 January - Swept Away lawsuit not dismissed
A Vincent D'Onofrio California judge refused on Monday to throw out a $10m breach of contract lawsuit alleging that pop superstar Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie stole his idea for the movie Swept Away. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Soussan Bruguera denied a request by the couple's lawyer and movie studio Sony Pictures to dismiss a suit brought by movie producer and actor Vincent D'Onofrio. D'Onofrio sued the famous couple in October, claiming that he had given the pair the idea to remake Lina Wertmuller's film Swept Away in April 1997 and had that he had had several meetings with her agents about it. The couple made the movie last year, but critics savaged it and its star, Madonna, and its director, Ritchi, while audiences stayed away in droves, forcing the film off US screens after just a few weeks. D'Onofrio claims in his suit that Madonna and Ritchie - who directed hits such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, excluded him from the production and failed to compensate him for the idea. But Madonna's attorney Marvin Putnam argued that D'Onofrio had no case because no contract was signed between him and the Ritchies, claiming that D'Onofrio "could not file an action based only on an idea". "He does not show any contract with Sony," Putnam said. "An idea is not protectable property. If you want (damages), you need a concrete contract," he claimed. But while the judge ruled that there was a case to answer, she told Putnam that that she had refused to elimnate particular parts of the action from proceedings as "we need to just proceed to summary judgment". Summary judgment could well involve a move to dismiss the entire action. The next hearing in the case was set for April 1. After the hearing, Madonna's lawyer said he was confident the case would be thrown out when he brought the motion for summary judgment. "I didn't expect (the case not to be thrown out)," said Putnam, adding that the next step for dismissal would be largely "procedural". D'Onofrio's attorney, Morris Getzels, said his client had an oral contract with the defendants, a "quasi-contract", and that he would seek $10m in damages. Swept Away, a romantic comedy that tells the story of a sailor who turns the tables on a condescending cruise ship's passenger after the vessel cruiser line sinks, opened in October. It pulled in just $375 000 at the North American box office in its opening weekend and was quickly withsrawn from theaters. (source: News24.com)

12 January - Kevin Reagan to do art work *rumour*
Another rumour from fansite Madonnarama: "No surprises to know that our spies inform us that Kevin Reagan (who designed the artwork for Ray of Light, Music and GHV2) has been commissioned to work on the new album. Kevin was also present at this week's photoshoot."

11 January - New album rumours *rumour*
There are some new rumours that say the new album will contain tracks called 'Nothing Fails', 'Silly Thing' and 'Easy Rider'. 'Nothing Fails' is rumoured to be the 12-minute track. Another rumour says that Monty Pitman, guitarist on the Drowned World Tour collaborated on one song. And finally, an album release date of April 15th is whispered, with a European single release by the end of February. Click here for all the facts and rumours.

11 January - Another DADay nomination
This time from the Phoenix Film Critics:
Best Original Song
- Die Another Day - 'Die Another Day'
- Father and Daughter -'The Wild Thornberrys'
- Gollum's Song -'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- Hero - 'Spider-Man'
- Lose Yourself - '8 Mile'
(source: Madonna.com)

10 January - Blender Mag calls M most famous female rock genius
In the new issue of Blender Magazine they list the top 50 Rock Geniuses of All time. It's in the Jan/Feb issue. Madonna is the highest female on the list. The only other female artists on the list are PJ Harvey at number 48, Missy Elliot at 42, Joni Mitchel at 29, Aretha Franklin at 18 and Michael Jackson a respectable 13. Here's the top 20:
20. Little Richard
19. Neil Young
18. Aretha Franklin
17. Grandmaster Flash
16. Pete Townshend
15. Paul Mcartney
14. Jimi Hendrix
13. Michael Jackson
12. James Brown
11. Elvis Presley
10. Madonna "The World's most Famous woman"
Genius credentials: Her singing and, especially, her songwriting remain underrated, but it's Madonna's sheer ambition and bloody-mindedness that remain her calling cards. She clawed her way through the shark-infested waters of the New York dance underground to become the biggest and best female star of all time. Along the way, her music has been sensational and her tours have raised the bar for every other megastar.
Her peers agree: "I would really, really, really like to be a legend like Madonna" - Britney spears
Genius zenith: The Immaculate Collection (Warner Bros.1990)

9. Miles Davis
8. Kurt Cobain
7. Stevie Wonder
6. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
5. Bob Marley
4. Eminem
3. Chuck Berry
2. John Lennon
1. Bob Dylan
(source: AbsoluteMadonna)

10 January - Ritchies ban TV
Guy Ritchie has admitted he and wife Madonna have a self-imposed ban on watching TV. He says they haven't watched television or read any newspapers for three years. The film director, who is making a new reality series called Swag, says the censorship began by reading untruthful stories in the tabloids. He says that reading "bad" and inaccurate articles made them question themselves. "It started off as self protection," Guy told Bella magazine. "We haven't watched TV in about three years now. Someone told me about this show called Survivor and I didn't even know what it was. "If people write about you and your relationship for long enough - and it get pretty deep - then it forces you into asking questions about everything." (source: Ananova)

08 January - MTV hints at spiritual album, but denies Akerlund collaboration
Before she released Ray of Light in 1998, Madonna revealed she had developed an interest in Kabbalah, a mystical sect of Judaism. The news was greeted with skepticism by some who had watched the business-savvy pop star embrace and discard materialism, eroticism and high culture. But Madonna's spiritual awakening seems to be for real.
She's taken to wearing a Jewish star and has encouraged her husband, Guy Ritchie, to explore the religion's teachings. And she recently told talk show host Larry King that she wanted to give her next album, due in April, a Hebrew name. At the time she was favoring Ein Sof, which means endlessness. Madonna's publicist said the album title is still undetermined and that there's a good chance it won't be in Hebrew.
The record is being co-produced by Madonna with Mirwais Ahmadzai, who manned the boards for 2000's Music and Die Another Day, the lead track for the recent James Bond film of the same name. The first single will be "American Life," and the album may also contain a song co-written by Guy Sigsworth, Gem Jones and Jacques Lu Cont (a.k.a. Les Rythmes Digitales), who was Madonna's musical director and keyboardist during the Drowned World Tour.
Songs on the record will feature electronic instrumentation, but the vibe is "very, very different" from anything Madonna has released, the publicist said.
Photographer Craig McDean has conducted a shoot for the album art, but Madonna hasn't decided whether to use the images. The publicist could not reveal additional track titles, but said a video for "American Life" will not be shot by Jonas Akerlund, contrary to a report on Madonna's Web site. (source: MTV)
~ So can't we even believe her official website?!

08 January - Madonna to tour Ireland? *rumour*
British newspaper The Mirror hints at an upcoming tour, which would include a gig in Dublin. No official word on this yet.
" Madonna plans to stage a massive concert in Ireland later this year, I can reveal. The pop queen has never performed here before but she is set to stage a series of live shows around Europe at the end of this year. And she wants to perform in Dublin for the first time after missing out on her previous world tours. A source close to the star told me: "She is planning a few special concert appearances to coincide with the new album. "It will be the biggest gig of the year and plans are already being put in place." Madonna was tipped to headline Slane last summer but her fans were left disappointed when she said she would not be at any live shows in Ireland. But the 44-year-old singer is now planning a big comeback three years after her last No1 album, Music. Madge recently made a chart impact again with the Bond theme Die Another Day. And she has been locked in the studio recording new tracks for an album due out in April. She is also planning to release a box set celebrating 20 years in the music business at the end of this year. The source added: "At this stage it looks like a concert would be held at the Point Theatre - it's the only indoor venue suitable. "As you can imagine there will be a huge demand for tickets and the show would be a guaranteed sellout. " Madonna has never performed in Ireland before so there are a lot of fans who will be waiting for news with baited breath." The singer recently revealed how she hoped to perform in Ireland in the near future. She said: "I'ave never done it before but I'd like to. It's never worked out in the past but I'm not ruling it out for the future."

08 January - Single title confirmed *official*
We can confirm the title of the forthcoming single for Madonna's next album will be called 'American Life', produced by Mirwais. (source: Madonna.com)

07 January - New single title *rumour*
According to fansite Madonnarama, the title of the first single of Madonna's new album will be titled 'American Life'. This title was earlier reported by the site as one of the tracks. We hope to get some confirmation on this soon.

07 January - Madonna on ET's hot list / Golden Globe appearance
Entertainment Tonight announced its Hot List of the Top Celebrities of 2002; Madonna made it to no. 12.
1. Jennifer Aniston; 2. Jennifer Lopez; 3. Ben Affleck; 4. Tom Cruise; 5. Matthew Perry; 6. Brad Pitt; 7. Halle Berry, Liza Minnelli (tied); 8. Lisa Kudrow; 9. Britney Spears; 10. Matt LeBlanc, Michael Jackson, Nicole Kidman (tied); 11. Gwyneth Paltrow; 12. Madonna; 13. Will Smith; 14. Tom Hanks, Courteney Cox (tied); 15. David Schwimmer; 16. Julia Roberts; 17. Sarah Jessica Parker; 18. Paul McCartney; 19. Cameron Diaz; 20. Ozzy Osbourne.
ET also named Madonna as one of the presenters at the Golden Globe Awards, which are held and broadcasted on January 19th. If this is true, it would be Madonna's first public appearance of 2003. She's also nominated in the category 'Best Original Song' with Die Another Day.

07 January - Swept Away is 2002's worst
Madonna and Guy Ritchie's flop film Swept Away has been named the worst movie of 2002 by People magazine. The "Material Girl" appears as a castaway in the film, directed by husband Ritchie, which was such a disaster it went straight to video and DVD in the UK. Experts at the magazine branded the beach flick as the worst film of the year. Runner-up for the title was Adam Sandler's cartoon Eight Crazy Nights which was "totally tasteless." Third place went to Eddie Murphy's futuristic film The Adventures of Pluto Nash. (source: CBS)

06 January - Howson sells one of his nude Madonnas
Scots artist Peter Howson has sold one of his controversial nude portraits of Madonna for £100,000. The painting, Death And Madonna, which depicts the pop icon squatting over a grave in a churchyard, originally had a price tag of £150,000. But it has been bought by a British art investor for £50,000 less. Another of Howson's portraits of Madonna, which was priced at £120,000, remains unsold. The artist said he was "delighted" to have sold the picture. He added: "I feel I have exorcised Madonna as an artistic obsession. I just do not think of her any more." A spokesman for Flowers East Gallery, London, said it had sold the painting but it may be loaned back for exhibition in April. He added: "The buyer is not a collector of Peter's work but he does appreciate its value. He is not Scottish or connected to Madonna." The nude paintings caused a storm when they were first revealed at a show in Ayr last summer. Glasgow-based Howson, who first met the singer 15 years ago, was described as Madonna's favourite contemporary artist. She is believed to have several pieces of his work.(source: Sunday Mail)

04 January - Madonna done with Brits?
American popstar Madonna, who ascended into Britain's high society with her marriage to film director Guy Ritchie, said she is fed up with "everything that is English", according to a British press report on Saturday. The 44-year-old vegetarian and yoga convert, thinks hunting game and deer is "barbaric", and so much so, that she will no longer tolerate 34-year-old husband Guy's involvement in the sport at their home in Wiltshire, southwest England. The deeper problem, however, according to the Daily Mail, is that Madonna's love affair with the English way of life is coming to an end. "She hates the weather, the people, and above all hunting," the report said, and besides, Guy's hunting parties with his friends are too "buddyish" for her. Madonna, who was enthusiastic at first, fitted herself out from head-to-toe in traditional tweeds, a hunting cap and rubber boots but later told her husband why he should retreat from the sport. Her decision was made on the basis of protecting the "souls of the poor birds" who were being shot. But according to the Mail, Madonna only came to this realisation after her own shooting abilities proved to be a "total flop". (source: IOL)

03 January - 12-minute track / electronic disco / promo tour ? *rumour*
After we got the official album news from Madonna.com this morning, fansite Madonnarama now posted the following: "It's the beginning of a lot of speculation about Madonna's plans for 2003! Expect many of these stories to appear in the press over the next week. These are akk from a very reliable source but are not 100% confirmed:
  • There is a track on the new album which is over 12 minutes long.
  • Some sources are saying that the album is pure electronic disco - others are saying that it features a lot of guitar.
  • Madonna will definitely be touring this album and has been saying that she feels that the DW Tour was too self-indulgent. She wants to redress the balance.
  • Following the tour will be a box set featuring all Madonna's singles and some rarities."

~ This all sounds great! The box set was already mentioned by Caresse Henry, and the tour rumour has surfaced before. Let's hope they all turned out to be true! Stay tuned for more soon!

03 January - Official album news: april release / new video by Akerlund *official*
Madonna.com announces: "Madonna's next album is scheduled to be released in April, and there is no title as of yet. The video for the first single will be shot in February and will be directed by Jonas Akerlund. The album cover will be shot next week by Craig McDean (he also did the Vanity Fair/ Madonna cover). "

03 January - Madonna has most beautiful 40+ body
Kylie Minogue and David Beckham have been voted the world's most beautiful celebrity bodies. Prince Harry also made the Celebrity Bodies magazine Top 10, although there was no placing for his popular elder brother, Prince William. Big Brother's Jade Goody also made the list. She finished 50th in the women's list, despite flashing her "kebab belly" to the nation during Big Brother 3 last summer. The 21-year-old, who recently lost weight, finished just one place behind tennis beauty Anna Kournikova. Oscar-winning Halle Berry was second and actress and singer Jennifer Lopez finished third. New mother Liz Hurley scooped fourth, and Lara Croft's alter ego, Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie, completed the top five. Madonna was the highest placed star over the age of 40 in the poll, finishing ninth. In the men's list, actor Brad Pitt was runner-up, and fellow American actor Mark Wahlberg was third. Singer Robbie Williams finished seventh and Arsenal star Thierry Henry was ninth. More than 10,000 men and women voted for their favourite male and female bodies in the magazine poll. (source: Sky News)

03 January - Madonna among top U.K. singles artists of all time
Elvis Presley, Elton John, and Madonna are among the top U.K. singles artists in the 50-year history of the British chart, according to the latest edition of the Guinness Book Of Hit Singles. Presley ranks as the top male; Madonna is the top female. Surprisingly, the Beatles only come in at Number Nine. The top group honor goes to the Shadows, the band that often backed British singer Cliff Richard, who lands just above them on the list in the Number Two spot. The following are Guinness's Top 10 British single chart artists of all time:
1. Elvis Presley
2. Cliff Richard
3. The Shadows
4. Elton John
5. Madonna
6. Diana Ross
7. Michael Jackson
8. Rod Stewart
9. Beatles
10. David Bowie
(source: Launch)

02 January - Ritchies sell country house
Pop chameleon Madonna and film director husband Guy Ritchie are selling their $13.5 million English country mansion only a year after purchasing it. The move is thought to be due to a series of privacy disputes and Madonna's sudden dislike for blood sports. The couple bought the Georgian property in 2001, amid claims that they wanted to "be part of the English country set and go shooting." The "Material Girl" had previously seemed to embrace the traditional country life of hunting and shooting, but appears to have had a change of heart. The couple's religion of Kabbalah, which forbids such blood sports, is thought to be behind the move, despite Ritchie's childhood spent growing up on a similar country estate. They are also tired of local ramblers using the right-of-way public thoroughfare on the 1,132-acre estate, which allows people to come up to 100 yards away from their home. They have fought public officials about this matter to no avail. Local residents have also been enraged by plans for the celebrity couple to build separate staff quarters, with one villager dubbing it, "an outrage and a scandal." (source: CBS)

01 January - Update Donna's Top 2002
I hope you all had a blast celebrating New Year's Eve. The Mad-Eyes crew sends you all their best wishes for 2003.
For Belgian fans, here's the final result of Radio Donna's Top 2002. Like A Prayer was the highest of Madonna's 22 entries, hitting no. 33.

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