Madonna news - March 2003
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15 March - AL's chartbeat
I just purchased Madonna's "digital" single American
on her official Web site for a cheap price of $1.49 and
I am anxiously awaiting [for it to arrive] on March 24, but until
then I'm hoping you would be able to fill the void by explaining
exactly how this "digital" single will count toward Billboard's
If it does indeed appear on that chart a few weeks before the commercially-released
maxi single, which I still intend to buy, could you let us know
if you think this will debut strongly on the Hot 100? Will Madonna
be the first artist to debut on the Hot 100 on digital points? I
am rather excited at this prospect of new chart policies!
And lastly, please let your readers know if you've heard her new
single or album at all. What did you think of it? Will we possibly
see a 13th No. 1 single and another No. 1 album?
I haven't heard Madonna's American
single or the new album yet, but I'm looking forward to
both. I've been receiving a lot of mail from Madonna fans on this
topic, as has Keith Caulfield for his "Ask Billboard"
column. Keith might also be receiving a lot of this mail because
he's an avowed Madonna fan.
The latest information is that SoundScan will be tracking paid downloads
of American Life
, and these
sales will count toward the song's position on the Hot 100. It is
not the first time a digitally available MP3 track has been counted,
but in the past the number of paid downloads per song was so small
that there was no effect on chart position.
In this case, American Life
will be the first digital-download-only single to appear on the
Hot 100 Singles Sales chart. As you mentioned, the downloads can
be purchased now, but the track won't be sent until March 24. That
means sales will be counted in the tracking week that ends March
30 for the charts that are compiled on Wednesday, April 2. Those
charts will be for the week ending April 12 and will appear in that
issue of Billboard. They will be posted on Billboard.com on Thursday,
A commercial CD single will be released on April 8, so those sales
figures won't kick in until American
is already on the sales chart because of the paid downloads.
Where the song appears on the main Hot 100 will depend on how much
airplay it receives, and how many copies it sells. A potent combination
of sales and airplay could indeed mean Madonna will collect her
13th chart-topper. We'll just have to wait and see. (source: Billboard
15 March - Madonna switches agency
and prepares musical
Madonna has returned to CAA, signing for representation in all areas.
The move brings her back to the agency, which has repped her on
and off during the past 13 years, most recently from 1997-2000.
The move comes as the Material Girl is prepping for the release
of her latest album, American
, due out April 22 from Warner Bros. Records. Madonna is
collaborating with an unnamed director on an original big-screen
musical that she will star in, the performer revealed in the April
issue of W. Although her management team declined comment on the
project, sources said it is called "Hello Suckers" and
is to be directed by Scott Elliott ("A Map of the World"),
with Barbara De Fina ("You Can Count on Me") producing.
15 March - More
excerpts from W Mag interview
- ON HER HAIR COLOR...."Well, I am a brunette after all...and
I just I just like to match my pubic hair sometimes! People who
have nothing better to do than talk about my hair color have no
- ON CANCELLING HER GOLDEN GLOBES APPEARENCE..."I wanted to
hang out with my kids. On my list of priorities, it wasn't that
important. I have a hard time with award shows. They're just dumb.
They're just fashion shows and ratings for TV and they don't mean
- ON SPENDING HERB RITT'S LAST DAYS AT HIS BEDSIDE....."Yes.
He was a friend. That's what friends are for. Herb was a good egg.,
He didn't want people to know he was sick. He just got on with life."
- ON SWEPT AWAY....."My husband and I set out to make a small
movie. People wanted it to fail before it came out. Would I work
with him again? Sure!"
- ON THE MOVIE FRIDA & SALMA HAYEK...."I didn't like it.
Not at all. I think Salma Hayek did a great job. The movie didn't
scratch the surface of who she was and what she went through"
- ON A LAS VEGAS SHOW...."That's insane. I hate Vegas. I couldn't
bear it for 5 minutes."
- ON WHY SHE GIGGLED WHEN SHE MET THE QUEEN...."Well, There's
nothing to say, really. I met the queen"
- ON LONDON...."I've already said this. I love London. And
I live there a good part of the year."
- ON SEAN PENN....."It didn't work out and that's just the
way it was. I do think my first husband was my equal in many ways.
He was intellectually challenging.But that's not always what you
need to make a marriage work"
- ON FASHION...."I can enjoy fashion sometimes. Some of my
very good friends are designers. Jean Paul Gaultier is a real artist.
And I can see the beauty and the art that is involved with couture
& design. I totally respect it. But with everything that's going
on in the world right now....I just feel that we are preoccupied
with the wrong things."
- ON HOW PEOPLE LABEL HER...."People always see the evolution
of my career as marketing. I change, I evolve. People cannot understand
that, so they put a label on it like "marketing". I call
- ON WHAT SHE'LL BE DOING AT 50....I do not think about it! It's
not productive to think about what Ill be doing in years. I just
have to get through the next few months of responsibilities. But
my real responsibility is to bring light to the world and make the
world a better place"
14 March - Amazing promo pictures
Check out some more promo pictures that appeared on various fansites;
from left to right: picture from Q Magazine, a promo picture, and
a picture from the album booklet. Click to enlarge.
13 March - AL commercial prospect
Madonna's new album, American
, is causing quite a stir even before the single has been
heard by the public. I am excited to see that our pop goddess continues
to play it risky. Do you think this album will do well commercially?
I am wondering, how many copies has each Madonna album sold according
to SoundScan? Any information will be greatly appreciated!
Considering Madonna's track record, it's probably a safe bet that
her new album -- due April 22 on Warner Bros. -- will do well. The
first single from the set is the title track, and it will debut
on U.S. radio on March 25.
To tide you over until the single's bow on airwaves, you can pre-
order an MP3 of the song on the diva's official
. For only $1.49, fans can purchase the track and it
will be delivered to their E-mail account on March 24. Once downloaded
to your hard drive, the MP3 can be burned to a CD. It will be interesting
to see how this affects her placement on the Billboard Hot 100,
as these "digital download" purchases will count towards
the SoundScan and Billboard singles charts.
Additionally, Warner Bros. will release a conventional CD single
to retail stores on April 8. There is no word yet on what the single's
tracklist is, but it's a good bet that remixes of the track will
eventually see a commercial release. Producers on board for remixing
duties include Missy Elliott, Peter Rauhofer, Paul Oakenfold, and
Felix Da Housecat.
As for your other question, here is a list of all of Madonna's SoundScan-era
(1991-present) albums and their sales:
1994's Bedtime Stories
1995's Something To Remember
1998's Ray Of Light
12 March - WBR press release
A new Madonna album, American
, has been set for a worldwide release on April 22nd, it
was announced today by Warner Bros. Records.
The enduring icon's first new collection of original material since
2000's multi-platinum smash Music
is being hailed
as Madonna's most accomplished, original and intensely personal
album to date; a resonant and revealing emotional journey that marks
a new highpoint in a career that has for all time redefined the
expressive potential of contemporary music.
Recorded over a full year in London and Los Angeles, American
, the artist's tenth studio album, features eleven new Madonna
compositions, including the title track and debut single, which
ships to radio March 25th.
"All of these songs reflect
my current state of mind. I feel like I have just woken up out of
a dream. They range from dismay and anger to joy and certainty.
Hopefully, I have taken the personal and made it universal,"
stated Madonna regarding her new album which she wrote and produced
with Mirwais Ahmadzai with whom she also collaborated on her previous
The American Life
the title track, as well as the following songs: Hollywood
'I'm So Stupid', 'Love Profusion', 'Nobody Knows Me', 'Nothing Fails',
'Intervention', 'X-Static Process', 'Mother & Father', 'Easy
Ride', and Die Another Day
the hit theme song from the James Bond film of the same name.
The American Life
also the subject of a brilliant new video from the pioneering multi-media
visionary, an artist who single handedly invented the short music
film medium. In a stunning collaboration with director Jonas Akerlund,
expresses a panoramic
view of our culture and looming war through the view of a female
superhero portrayed by Madonna set against a backdrop of current
cultural obsessions. It's a penetrating examination of our national
psyche. The video is scheduled to air the first week in April.
Remixes of the American Life
single by, among others, mega-hot hip hop diva Missy Elliott, Peter
Rauhofer, Felix da Housecat and Maverick Records artist Paul Oakenfold
will be available in various configurations over the next several
An extensive schedule of appearances, performances and special events
has been set in conjunction with the release of American
including an appearance on an episode of the hit NBC-TV
comedy "Will And Grace."
One of the most original and innovative artists of the modern era,
Madonna has sold hundreds of millions of albums, topped charts across
two decades, created an enormously influential body of work in video
and film and stood at the forefront of socially conscious artists
worldwide. With American Life
Madonna has once again reached deeply into her own life as the source
and substance of her extraordinary artistry. (source: BusinessWire
11 March - Another excerpt from W Mag
for the most amazing photograph of her career with her leg
bent behind her head. Yoga-mad Madge, 44, was snapped in the position
during a stunning photoshoot after calling normal poses 'boring'.
She said: "I'm not interested in just going for a fashion shoot.
If I don't feel like I'm creating something that means something,
I don't want to do it." Madonna whose hit films included
the documentary In Bed With Madonna also talked about her
marriage to Lock, Stock director Guy Ritchie in the interview with
US magazine W. And she admitted once "just being an ego-driven
nutcase". The Queen of Pop said of her relationship with Guy,
34: "I actually think marriage is a very important thing. I
had to work hard to get a good marriage. Everyone does. You have
to make a lot of efforts and compromises. I knew Guy was the right
person in five minutes but it took me several years to actually
make it happen." But the mum of two denied rumours of a third
pregnancy, saying: "Do I look pregnant to you?" She called
her daughter Lourdes, six, and son Rocco, two, "my real works
of art". And she says one of her priorities is to "hang
out with my kids". The singer and actress admitted her first
marriage to actor Sean Penn "wasn't an easy time in my life".
She added: "You can't just share a few hobbies and think each
other's hot. You have to be heading in the same direction."
Talking about her 1992 Sex book which caused a storm
she said: "I do certainly wonder, why did I make that choice?
It wasn't just about sex. It was about money and power and the way
things looked getting people's approval all that stuff.
I was just being an ego-driven nutcase. I thought I was doing a
service to mankind, being revolutionary, liberating women. I wasn't."
She claims she now realises she is famous "for a reason".
Madonna added: "My real responsibility is to bring light to
the world and make the world a better place." The star
who also poses as a pole dancer in the magazine shoot talked
about her constant changes of image. She said: "People always
see the evolution of my career as marketing. I change. I evolve.
People can't understand that, so they put a label on it like 'marketing'.
I call it growing."
Madonna, who has been pictured recently back to her natural brunette
look, says having the same hairstyle all her life would be "so
She claims following the Jewish mystic cult Kabbalah has taught
her not to gossip or criticise others. Madonna said: "If we
truly believed that every act of denigrating somebody is a small
form of murder the negative energy you create by talking
badly we'd never do it again. All anybody does any more is
slag everybody off. Isn't it important to speak up against that?"
She denied she refused to attend the Golden Globe awards where she
was due to sit next to Elton John, after he said her single Die
Another Day was "the worst Bond tune of all time". She
added: "Every once in a while you do get caught up in that
'Oh, they said this about me'." Madonna is working on
a musical project for the cinema after Swept Away her film
with hubby Guy flopped. (source: The
11 March - Pre-order MP3
Madonna will release her new song, American Life, as a Digital Single.
Fans who pre-order the Digital Single for $1.49 will have it emailed
to their desktops along with a special audio message from Madonna,
on March 24th, the Digital Street Date. Once you have the file you
can listen to it on your computer, transfer it to a player, or burn
it to CD. It's yours to keep. Click
to pre-order the mp3
to pre-order the album
. (source: Madonna.com
~ Note that the 'digital single' is only available for fans in the
11 March - Madonna's
concept behind W Mag photo spread
Madonna is back. Kicking off the hype for her new album American
Life, which is due next month, is a 44-page photo spread in the
April issue of W magazine, part of a collaboration with photographer
Steven Klein. "I'm not interested in going to a fashion shoot
and just trying on a bunch of clothes," she explains. "It's
so boring. If I don't feel like I'm creating something that means
something, I don't want to do it." These pictures, some of
which also will be on view at Deitch Projects in SoHo beginning
March 27 (W is out March 25), are the result of several months of
e-mails with Klein. Showing off her yoga-honed flexibility in limbs-akimbo
poses, Madonna's concept was "a performer in her rehearsal
space where she creates and brings her ideas to life or death."
Klein says Madonna "talked about how, when she's rehearsing
for a show or a video, sometimes those bits are more interesting
than the final piece. Most people don't get to see that process."
Explains Madonna: "I always approach visual projects in the
same way. We always start with a character, and what we want to
get across. It's often a combination of my own clothes and things
we find. This is the inner landscape of a performance artist. And
I think, if you look at the pictures, they're not even in the most
flattering positions, you know? It's not about that." (source:
10 March - Hollywood
revealed the lyrics of Hollywood. Click
here to read
10 March - Liz
Smith on Madonna's W Mag interview
Madonna is a Kabbalah-practicing, nongossiping, anti- war wife and
mother of two doesn't mean she's off the radar. Far from it. Upcoming
in W magazine will be 44 - I said 44 - pages of photos devoted to
M. This "concept" portfolio is a creative collaboration
between Madonna and Stephen Klein. (Some of the pictures - arty,
athletic, odd - will be on view at Deitch Projects, 76 Grand St.
in SoHo, later this month.) The increasingly private star also sat
for an interview with Merle Ginsberg. But except for one mildly
risque remark concerning her hair color (she's back to brunette),
Madonna wants to talk seriously.
She brushes off criticism with remarks about her "spiritual
studies" ... says she'd work with hubby Guy Ritchie again,
"Swept Away" reviews be damned (or darned - M's not big
on profanity anymore) ... thought Salma Hayek was great in "Frida"
but didn't think the film did artist Frida Kahlo justice ... disses
Internet rumor-mongering ... dismisses awards shows and says her
interest in "fashion per se" has ebbed in light of world
events ... loves London, despite rumors to the contrary ... and
refers to her past self as "an ego-driven nutcase."
Of course, all this photography and chat is in preparation for the
release of her coming "American Life" album. (If she could
promote the CD without ever speaking to the press, she would.) But
even her music takes a backseat. At one point, Madonna whips out
a Polaroid of her two children, Lourdes and Rocco. "These are
my real works of art," she says. It's a long way from the sexual
provocateur who posed nude, save for a purse and high heels, on
a highway for her "Sex" book. I'm sure Madonna is happier
now, but I kind of miss all that. There was never a dull moment.
10 March - AL to push
Music's loose anti-war alliance should get a vigorous push with
the world premiere of Madonna's American Life video on MTV this
month. Using a fashion show as a backdrop, the clip "examines
the horrors of war" as an audience applauds grenade-lobbing
models in haute-couture army fatigues, spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg
says. In a statement, Madonna disputes misconceptions about the
video: "I am not anti-Bush. I am not pro-Iraq. I am pro-peace.
I hope this provokes thought and dialogue." Madonna is the
first high-profile artist to directly confront the Iraq standoff
in her work. Other efforts are falling beneath the pop-culture radar.
10 March - Strike a pose? Boring!
Madonna has transformed herself from the Material Girl into the
Human Pretzel for the new issue of W. Why did she go on a bender
for photographer Steven Klein? "I can't tell you how boring
it is posing for pictures," she explains. "I'm not interested
in just going to a fashion shoot and trying on a bunch of clothes."
08 March - Official
release dates and art work *official*
has posted the following release dates:
- American Life radio date 3/24
- American Life video date 3/31
- American Life commercial single on sale 4/08 in the US, 4/14 in
- American Life album on sale 4/22 in North America, 4/21 rest of
The first picture (left) is an advert for American Life (click to
posted this picture as the album cover, but several sources deny
this. Rumour has it that the second picture (right) is the single
cover. Hopefully more clearness about this soon.
08 March - American Life promo campaign
It's promising to be an exciting Madonna time the coming weeks and
months. Check out these American Life details (thanx to Madonnarama,
MadonnaVillage and NJMOBOY):
- SINGLE: American Life
goes to radio for March 24 adds. An mp3 single, with added message
from Madonna, may be purchased the same day through madonna.com,
fan and radio station sites and retailers. The commercial single
features remixes by Missy Elliott, Paul Oakenfold, Felix Da
Housecat, Peter Rauhofer and Layo & Bushwacka.
- VIDEO: American Life
reaches MTV around March 23.
- TELEVISION: Madonna performs during a highly promoted appearance
on 'Late Show With David Letterman' on April 22. Also that day
a 'Today Show'/'Dateline' hour-long special/interview, in-studio
performance and special programming on MTV will air. On April
23, she appears on 'Live With Regis And Kelly', and she stars
on 'Will & Grace' on April 25. Exclusive network promos
for American Idol will feature American Life.
- PROMOTION: An American
Life Pro-CD with remixes and edits reaches radio before
album release date. Madonna will be available for radio syndicated
interviews, and on-air flyaway promo contests (for the 'Will
& Grace' taping and airing) are set for March 10.
- PUBLICITY: Expect massive press coverage, from entertainment
news (E!, Access Hollywood, ET, CNN, etc.) to interviews/features
in Q (April cover), W (April Cover), Rolling Stone, Entertainment
Weekly, People, USA Today, and more.
- NEW MEDIA: Madonna's image will grace the AOL May-June campaign,
including retail displays and 1-3 million 'free offer' CD-ROMs.
Tentatively, she will also be Artist of the Month on AOL, MSN
and Yahoo!, each with major ad campaigns. Sprint will feature
her in conjunction with a ring-tone promotion in March. The
CD is enhanced with links to the 'AOL Session' performance,
the online player, madonna.com, etc.
- SPECIAL EDITION: The Special Edition is tentatively scheduled
as a Combo Pak adding an AOL branded DVD featuring Madonna's
'AOL Sessions' interview, the unreleased remix video of Die
Another Day, and other links.
08 March - W Magazine preview
Entertainment Tonight showed a preview of Madonna's ballet-inspired
photo shoot that will appear in W Magazine. Check out some screengrabs
07 March - BBC previews the album
Radio 1's had a sneak preview of Madonna's new album, American
Life. The style is similar to Music,
and with both Mirwais and Jacques Le Cont (LRD) having worked
on it, you can expect a good mix of electronic, guitar and pop.
Some of the tracks are quite humorous - she raps on the single,
also called 'American Life', and criticises herself for liking
material things. There's also an 80s disco-style tune, a down
tempo song called 'Nobody Knows' (sung with The London Community
Gospel Choir), as well as other tracks called 'Hollywood' and
'Love Profusion'. The single's out on 14 April and also has remixes
by Missy Elliot and Layo & Bushwacka. The album's released
on 21 April. (source: BBC
~ Note that earlier rumours said that the gospel song (and rumoured
third single) would be 'Nothing Fails' and not 'Nobody Knows Me'.
Let's also hope the single release will be on March 31st (as rumoured)
instead of April 14th (which seems quite late).
06 March - Madonna wants 'rap cred'
spewed their irony (already) on M's attempt to do rap: "Singer.
Actress. Children's writer. Now Madonna has decided she wants
to be a rapper and has roped in Missy Elliott to help her. An
amused source commented: 'Madonna is obsessed with Eminem and
Missy, and wanted to do something in the rap world to get some
street cred.' Madonna reportedly spent hours on the phone to the
Get UR Freak On rapper before heading into the studio to record
a hip-hop version of forthcoming anti-war rant American Life.
Madonna recently called white-trash rapper Eminem 'an inspiration,'
but PeopleNews can't help but wonder what in the hell inspired
the 44-year-old mother of two's recent example of lyrical virtuosity
- 'I drive my mini cooper and I'm feeling super-dooper' - and
how she expects to be able to rap it with a straight face? Sorry
Madge, rap credibility is looking as elusive as ever... "
06 March - AL preview clips
Check the flash version of Madonna.com,
where you'll find three streaming clips of American
Life: one verse, the chorus and a loop.
06 March - AL clean version and limited edition with DVD
Madonna has revealed the track list for her highly anticipated
new Maverick album, American
Life, due April 22. The 11-track set will be led by the title
track, which is expected to be sent March 25 to U.S. radio outlets
for airplay consideration. The album includes the cut Die
Another Day, Madonna's soundtrack contribution to the recent
James Bond film of the same name. It reached No. 8 on the Billboard
The as-yet-unseen American Life
video has already courted controversy for its anti-war stance.
Last month, Madonna's publicist described the Jonas Akerlund-directed
clip as "a panoramic view of our culture and looming war
through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna."
It is not known if and when the video will premiere on music networks.
Perhaps with an eye toward the clip's violent content, American
Life will be available in a "clean" version without
profanity. There will also be a limited-edition version of the
album that will include a DVD with as-yet-unspecified contents.
05 March - Madonna goes gospel *rumour*
According to fansite MadonnaInternet,
the song 'Nothing Fails' will not only feature string arrangements
by Michel Colombier, but also vocals by the London Community Gospel
Choir, arranged by Nicki Brown!
05 March - M on VH1 Divas Live? *rumour*
Inside sources at VH1 say that the network is trying to get Madonna
to headline they're annual "Divas Live" show in May.
Insiders say that Madonna has NOT YET agreed to do the show, but
says that she is considering it and has not yet declined the invitation.
Madonna is also being courted by NBC to do a primetime concert
that would air during May sweeps. Both TV specials would be perfect
timing for Madonna to promote the American
Life CD and she IS said to be seriously considering doing
one of these specials. (source: Madonnarama)
05 March - Rauhofer's AL remix at Roxy
Peter Rauhofer played his remix of Madonna's new single American
Life this past Saturday (March 1, 2003), at his residency
at New York's Roxy. The mix seemed still to be a work in progress,
and did not include the "Soy latte" rap section. Peter
played his mix right at the peak of his set, around 4 AM. Later
in the morning Peter also played the album version in its entirety
and then parts of it backward. (source: Madonnarama)
05 March - Madonna popular in Iraq
Madonna has a new fan - Saddam Hussein. Iraqi radio is playing
more songs by the Material Girl than any other Western pop act
thanks to the anti-war stance on her new single, American
Life, which is out here on April 21. They're even playing
her 1984 hit Like A Virgin
- even though it was once banned for being too raunchy for the
strict Muslim country. (source: The
04 March - Confirmation of tracklisting *official*
has finally confirmed the tracklisting, that has been circulating
for a while already:
04 March - The old lady still rocks
- American Life
- I'm So Stupid
- Love Profusion
- Nobody Knows Me
- Nothing Fails
- X-Static Process
- Mother and Father
- Die Another Day
- Easy Ride
In their april issue, Sp!n Magazine calls Madonna the no. 1 of
"Old Ladies Who Are Still Sexy To Rock Boys", winning
to the likes of Deborah Harry, Marianne Faithful and Tori Amos.
They also place Truth Or Dare on no. 17 of Best Music Movies Ever.
(source: Sp!n, thanx to Madonna.com
03 March - 'The English Roses' is first of five children books
Singer, actor, now writer Madonna has taken up the pen.
Penguin Group announced Monday that the singer has written five
illustrated story books for young readers aged 6 and above. The
first title, "The English Roses," will be published
in hardcover in September and distributed simultaneously worldwide,
Penguin Group said. No further details were given. "Madonna
is an artist with a universal appeal and these books will touch
children of all backgrounds everywhere in the world," said
chairman and chief executive John Makinson. Penguin Group has
bought the English language rights to the five books, each of
which will feature a different celebrated illustrator, from Callaway
Editions, the New York-based publisher of illustrated books, which
will publish the books in the United States. In all other English
language markets, the books will be published by Puffin, the children's
imprint of Penguin Group (UK). Nicholas Callaway, founder and
publisher of Callaway Editions, added that the singer "has
drawn on a lifelong passion for and deep familiarity with literature
and children's books to create contemporary classics that combine
great storytelling with ravishing art. "With these books,
Madonna has accomplished something rare and wonderful. Despite
the astonishing range and variety of her stories, they all evoke
the secret that the red fox shares with the Little Prince: 'It
is only with the heart that one can see rightly.'" Puffin
is Britain's leading publisher of children's books; other children's
authors on its books include Roald Dahl, Eric Carle, Raymond Briggs
and Allan and Janet Ahlberg. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson
plc, the international media company. Callaway titles have included
many highly acclaimed illustrated books, including the best-selling
"Miss Spider" series, written and illustrated by David
Kirk and Hilary Knight's "When I Have a Little Girl/When
I Have a Little Boy." (source: AP
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