Madonna news - Dec. 2003

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15 December - Madonna goes 1, 10, 20 in US dance chart
In this weeks issue of Billboard Magazine, Madonna has THREE titles on the Club Play chart: Me Against The Music (No. 1) (No. 2 last week), Nobody Knows Me (No. 10) (No. 4 last week) and Nothing Fails (No. 20) (No. 30 last week). Madonna is the second artist in 18 years to achieve three simultaneous entries on this chart - the other being Bronski Beat (which charted in 1985). This is the second week in a row that Madonna has had three songs on the dance chart.
In other chart news, Love Profusion has debuted at #11 on the UK Top 20.
And on a side note: Belgian radio has finally picked up Nothing Fails: it's been chosen as "taste of the week" by Radio Donna.

15 December - 20 years of Madonna
The Dayton Daily News posted some reader comments on Madonna and her 20 year old career:
Nobody ever says, "Madonna who?" She's part of our culture, an American success story who's maintained a media presence for 20 years now, re-inventing herself with every prevailing wind, while never, ever giving the impression she's doing anything other than what she wants to do. We are by turns impressed, embarrassed, shocked and amazed by Madonna's antics, but we're rarely surprised anymore.
Madonna, the dancer from Detroit, set out to become famous and succeeded beyond anybody's but her own wildest dreams. She's 45, and shows no signs of slowing down or relinquishing her place in the spotlight; in fact, she's been known to share it quite generously from time to time -- kissing Britney Spears was good publicity for both women, and if anybody knows publicity, it's Madonna.
Two decades have passed since the material girl first stormed the scene. That's a long time to hold America's attention, and many of us still recall when we first became aware of the phenomenon named Madonna.
I remember when I heard Madonna for the first time. It was 1990, I was 5 years old, and it was the night that HBO aired her Blonde Ambition World Tour, live from Madison Square Garden. My father was never a big Madonna fan, but he taped it that night, so I got to watch it again and again. That's when it all happened. I started dressing like Madonna, memorized her song and dance steps and had her posters hanging up all around my room.
When I started my Madonna collection, my family thought it was a stage. As the years passed, I got older and collected all her music, movies, concerts and specials. During my teen years, I stopped dressing like her, but kept listening to her music, and I have to say she helped me out during those years. She taught me to express myself and always be myself no matter what!
Many people are surprised by my admiration for Madonna, but I will say the inspiration I got from Madonna has, in many ways, made me the person I am today.
-- Angella Llewellyn, Dayton

A tiny-talented, average-looking girl from Detroit decided she was going to be a star and multimillionaire, and she did it! From the gitgo, she used every trick she could think of to shock people, using her body and sex to perpetuate this shock value. She broke all the rules...
Now that she has attained her goals, she is playing the role of the caring mother and wife, who is lily pure. Her smugness and arrogance during interviews is disgusting. I would rather be poor than get rich using sex and shock values. In my opinion, she is a sleaze and nothing but trailer trash. She humiliated her father.
-- Thomas J. Glaser

Years ago, when I was a teacher at a parochial school, the school had a special assembly for a talent show. We were all shocked when a young girl stood in front of the students and visiting parents and lip-synched Like a Virgin. Needless to say, new policies were quickly written for all future shows!
-- Dayton reader

Back in the late '70s and early '80s, I was a pure "rock 'n' roller." My music was hard and fast . . . I hated disco, Top 40s and anything that was asssociated with dancing.
Then one day in 1983 I was sitting on my beat-up couch, watching MTV, and this girl starts dancing and singing a song called Lucky Star. Her voice was great, she showed her belly and she just seemed overall so sexy! After that video, my whole attitude changed toward music. I started listening to Top 40 and going to dance clubs. Basically, Madonna single-handedly changed my whole taste in music! I love Madonna's attitude.
-- Chuck Biehn, Centerville

I guess I am a closet Madonna fan, as it's not easy for a 67-year-old to admit. I have been an avid fan since I saw Evita. I was prompted to watch the movie for its historical content because I remembered, as a child, my parents discussing Evita and Peron.
What I did not anticipate was that I would fall in love with Madonna's portrayal of Evita and that I would play the video over and over again. When she sang Don't Cry for Me, Argentina, I told my daughter that I wanted that song played at my funeral -- I may change my mind when I get closer to that stage in my life and pick a more appropriate song. But that song is Madonna at her best!
-- Yolanda Nava, Dayton

I am 23 years old, and considering I was only 3 when Madonna came out, my memories of her debut are limited but that doesn't mean I wasn't a fan from the beginning. (I remember) my two older sisters, in their teens, trying so hard to be like her and act like her. Sitting there watching them put on layers upon layers of eyeshadow is one thing I remember, and it was really great because when I sat there in awe of this, they would then play dressup with me and allow me to put on their makeup!
-- Heidi Macke

My friends and I were definitely Madonna wannabes! I remember my girlfriend buying a T-shirt that said "Boy Toy" on it. I think her older music is better, but probably because it stirs up so many memories. The fact that she is still going strong 20 years later I think is great. More power to her.
-- Davina Powell, Fairborn

When Madonna hit it big, I had not even been conceived ... yet I can still proudly claim that I have grown up listening to her songs, just maybe a few years too late. In my opinion, she is the apotheosis of a person. Madonna is one of the few superstars who never fell into addiction, because she always had the goal of brilliance in the back of her mind. I respect her constant rebirths and accepting views of the world.
It saddens me that people say her grasp on the media is weakening, because I know it's true. When I see her rolling on the floor with Britney, I can't help to think how much better she is than that. I mean, hell, you are a superstar, but you are still over 40 with kids!
-- Zhenya Karelina, Dayton

In 1983, I was 14 years old and a freshman at Catholic Central in Springfield. I did not copy Madonna's style, but I watched as other girls did -- let the uniform code war begin! Female students vs. faculty members. Girls tried to emulate Madonna, despite a "uniform dress code" in place.
I once used Madonna's lifestyle and song lyrics as a speech topic with the point being she was misunderstood. I spoke longer than needed, wasn't finished when the bell rang, and the teacher gave me an 'A'.
I love the movie Desperately Seeking Susan and I own the video of Who's That Girl. I never saw any of her other movies. I liked her MTV videos, including the controversial Like A Prayer. I lost interest in her when she hit her girls-gone-wild+infinity stage. I've liked a song here and there since then, but the '80s were the best.
-- Lisa Schuler, Dayton

I was a window clerk at the Dabel Post Office in the '80s. One Christmas season a woman came to my window and asked for some Christmas stamps. I asked her if she wanted the contemporary or the Madonna. She looked at me strange and said, "Contemporary, I don't even like Madonna's music. Why would I want her on a stamp?" I then pulled out both kinds of stamps and said to her, "Madonna, as in Mother and Child." The customer started laughing and I could tell she was more than embarrassed by what she had said! This has been a favorite story that I have loved to tell for years!
-- Jamie Hamilton, Forest Park

11 December - Chart summary
In its second week in the StuBru 50, Remixed & Revisited jumps from #43 to #22. In Wallonia it has already entered the Ultratop 50 albums chart at #37. No entry in Flanders yet. Nothing Fails/Love Profusion is charting as a double A-side and debutes in the newcomers chart Ultratip 20 at #19 in Flanders and #11 in Wallonia. Radios haven't yet picked up the song, so we'll have to wait for an entry on the Ultratop 50 singles chart. Madonna currently has one entry in the Ultratop 50: Me Against The Music is dropping from #6 to #7 in its 5th week (it peaked at #5 two weeks ago).

It's not looking good for Remixed & Revisited in the States. Apparently it only sold about 8000 copies this week and it won't appear in the Billboard album chart. Last week, Me Against The Music regained its previous peak #35 in the Hot 100, but this week it dropped again to #40. In the Hot Dance / Club Play it's doing better, now peaking at #9. Another Madonna entry in the dance chart, Nobody Knows Me rises from #8 to #4.

Remixed & Revisited spends a second week at #1 in the Dance Album chart. The American Life album makes a re-entry in that chart at #30. In its 4th week, Me Against The Music drops to #20 in the singles chart and to #13 in the dance chart. Love Profusion will be competing against Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Nelly Furtado, and Rachel Stevens for the top spot in the singles chart.

In France, Remixed & Revisited is not eligible for the album chart nor the single chart. However, it reached #1 in the Top Mid Price Chart, which includes albums more than two years old and/or budget albums. Nothing Fails also enters the French singles chart at #34. Me Against The Music drops from #11 to #15.

Madonna has two new entries in the Italian Singles Chart. Remixed & Revisited enters the singles chart straight at number 2. Nothing Fails/Nobody Knows Me enters the same chart at number 8, thanks to combined sales of the Nothing Fails CD single and CD Maxi single. Me Against The Music is at number 5 in the chart. Love Profusion is also likely to be released as a single in Italy next Friday.

Me Against The Music drops to #4 in the singles chart but stays comfortably at #1 for a 4th week in the dance chart.
(sources: Ultratop, MLVC, MadonnaTribe, AbsoluteMadonna)

11 December - Billboard chart info
I wanted to inquire on the chart position/sales of Madonna's "Remixed & Revisited." I love the album, and I appreciate how the mixes are constructed -- great party album!
Thanks, Dora Johnson

Hi Dora,
Madonna's 'Remixed & Revisited' EP debuted at No. 115 on last week's Billboard 200 chart. It sold 22,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's pretty good for a seven-track set considering it consists mostly of remixes from the American Life album.
Her current radio single is Nothing Fails, while dance clubs are spinning both Fails as well as Nobody Knows Me. This week on Billboard's Hot Dance/Club Play chart, Madonna has two titles on the chart. She's No. 9 as a featured artist on Britney Spears' Me Against the Music and No. 4 with Nobody Knows Me.
Both Nothing Fails and Nobody Knows Me appear in remixed form on the 'Remixed & Revisited' EP. On Dec. 9, Madonna released a maxi-single with remixes of Nothing Fails and Nobody Knows Me.
Earlier this year, American Life debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It has since sold 608,000 copies.
(source: Billboard)

10 December - Madonna granted a Licence to Kill
Madonna could be set to star as the villain in a new female Bond movie. Now I've been hearing a lot about this writer/producer from London, Ben Trebilcook. He's written a treatment for 'Die Hard 4' and he's also the man behind the long-in-the-works spy film 'Semper Occultus'. Yesterday, we mentioned a rumour that Madonna might be in talks to star in the latter film. Today the man himself checked in to confirm there are talks to that affect. "To clarify yesterday's bite: Yes, I have sought Madonna and her company Maverick for assistance and yes, I did pen a role for her. It's a villainous role. One of two. The other baddie was written for Mr. Jason Statham, whose team I'm in close contact with. There are some very exciting prospects for this project and although slowly, it is heading towards a satisfying destination. I have already penned a treatment for a second adventure for Kelly Brook's character, Daisy Norton-Hall, which will probably be released in book form."
For the uninitiated, “Semper Occultus” was first announced as a possible vehicle for popstress Geri Halliwell, and later Sean Connery. (source: Moviehole)

10 December - Good review for R&R
Madonna's stocking stuffer "Remixed & Revisited" is an amusing collection of novelties - half a dozen new versions of old songs plus a previously unreleased number - though it's little more than an "oh by the way."
The EP includes four unconventional revamps of songs from the singer's recent American Life album. In a twist on today's standard mode of remixing - turning them into tiring dance cuts with no personality and only tentative links to the originals - these tracks are crafty reinventions.
Jason Nevins retools the gorgeous Nothing Fails with gutsy imagination. The new version starts with a bouncier beat, then piles on floating synthesizers and ever-grainier electricity. He also strips out the melodramatic choir from the original (smart move) and, despite the more emphatic production, keeps the attention on Madonna's full-bodied, sweet vocals.
Remixer Ray Carroll puts his mark on both Love Profusion and American Life. The former withstands an invigorating squall of guitars for a rocking overhaul, while the latter (a choppy cut to begin with) is improved as a thrashing metal epic. And like Nevins, Carroll keeps the vocals at center.
Meanwhile, Mount Sims loads Madonna onto the retro-electro bandwagon with a playful reinterpretation of Nobody Knows Me.
"Remixed & Revisited" also includes the medley of Like a Virgin and Hollywood performed by Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott. It's a bundle of energetic fun, even if Madonna sounds a little shaky and you can't see those notorious woman-on-woman kisses.
The new EP offers the full version of the Gap ad Into the Hollywood Groove, again featuring Elliott. It's a clever splicing of Madonna's 1980s dance classic Into the Groove and her 2003 single Hollywood, but the commercial overtones are off-putting. "Remixed & Revisited" has a flat ending, too, in a previously unreleased, dated-sounding Your Honesty from about a decade ago.
Still, "Remixed & Revisited" is a must-have for fans. Rating: 3-1/2
(source: CommercialAppeal, thanx to MadonnaTribe)

10 December - Pictures of book reading
Yesterday, Madonna read her book 'Mr. Peabody's Apples' to a group of 30 students from the Community Magnet School at the Borders bookstore in Los Angeles. For more pictures from Reuters and AP, check Yahoo! photos.

09 December - TOTP rates LP/NF single
Some folk will have you believe that Madonna's American Life album is rubbish. Certainly, it's not sold as much as its predecessor Music but don't be fooled into thinking that Madge at 45 is any less worthy of the title Queen of Pop. This double-header proves that she can still cut the mustard, pop-wise. Love Profusion takes over where last single Hollywood left off but the real gem is Nothing Fails. Starting with the stuttery guitars and techno camp-fire sound of Don't Tell Me, the song takes off halfway through when Mrs Ritchie gets joined by a rousing gospel choir, the like of which we've not heard since Like A Prayer. Unfortunately, a lack of video for this song and poor airplay could mean that this release fails to hit the Top 10. Shame. TOTP rating: 4 stars (out of 5) (source: Top Of The Pops)

08 December - Madge maid in heaven
A 'low-key celebrity bash' - that's what Sky are amusingly calling it... So goes the news that Madonna is expected to be a maid of honour at the showbiz wedding of the year (well, maybe next year) between pap-hating Chris Martin and Gwyneth 'no pizzas in London' Paltrow. Can't wait to see the menu for the catering on that one: a macrobiotic brown rice-cake per guest plus a course of pilates free to any over-indulgers (such as two macrobiotic brown rice-cakes). Preggers Gwynnie and her clever-clogs hubby-to-be are tipped to the tie the knot very soon, with the female half of the pairage expected to don a posh Stella McCartney frock. Expect Chrissie boy to wash the 'fair trade' scribble off his mitts before the big day. And a pal (oh, one of them again) told Sky: "This is not going to be a circus, they will do it in their own time and on their own terms." Roll up, roll up for the full-blown, no-holds-barred, low-key media frenzy. (source: MegaStar)

07 December - Billboard reviews R&R
Ostensibly a holiday offering, Madonna's 'Remixed & Revisited' asks: "What if American Life had been a rock'n'retro album?" Life was a dour effort, where Madonna's unsubtle and preachy lyrics were married with boring, techno-beepy production by knob-twiddler Mirwais. On this seven-track EP, four Life songs are radically reworked in rock remixes. The best are Headcleanr's new wave, garage-rock rejiggering of Love Profusion and Mount Sims' fab restructured, retro-'80s, electro take on Nobody Knows Me. Three stray songs round out the set: Your Honesty (a fun outtake from the Bedtime Stories sessions), this year's notorious MTV Video Music Awards performance and a remix of Into the Hollywood Groove (from the famed Gap commercial). Die-hard fans, even those unenamored of American Life, will dig this EP—thanks to these thoughtful extras. (source: Billboard)
~ Meanwhile, 'Remixed and Revisited' is spending a second week at #1 of the UK Dance Album chart.

04 December - Love Profusion video premieres
From Love Profusion video The Love Profusion has finally premiered. The video looks a lot like the Estée Lauder commercial, which was also directed by Luc Besson. Fansite MadonnaTribe gives following info: "The video directed by Luc Besson takes place in two different dimensions. It starts with Madonna walking at night in the middle of the street of a big American city surrounded by skyscrapers and wind. Then she founds herself in another dimention, walking just like she did before but everything is full of light and moving flowers surround her. The video keeps showing Madonna walking on different kinds of paths and roads. She walks on a path of red flowers in the middle of the sky, and then walks on her knees on a carabean like sea. At the end when there's distruction everywhere in the real dimention, Madonna finds peace and rest in the other dimention surrounded by white fairies. What is clear from the video is that there are many paths to walk in life and "too too too" many options. The video is using the album version of the song and not the Headcleaner rock mix as rumored in the past weeks." Visit MadonnaTribe for more screencaps or download it in .mpeg format at MadonnaStore (right-click on image below right and save target as)

04 December - Grammy nominations
The video for Die Another Die has received two Grammy nominations: in the categories 'Best Dance' and 'Best Short Form Music Video'. The 46th Grammy Awards will be held on February 8th, 2004 at 8pm, broadcast live on CBS.

04 December - EP in Billboard chart
Remixed & Revisited debuts at #115 on BILLBOARD with 21,891 sold (314 were sold prior to street date). (source: Absolute Madonna)

03 December - Madonna impressed by Democratic presidential candidate
In an unlikely attempt to gain star backing for a slow-burning campaign, the Democratic presidential candidate, General Wesley Clark, is spending late nights talking politics with Madonna and wooing sympathetic supergroups such as The Eagles, with whom he recently shared the stage during a rendition of Hotel California.
Gen Clark, who had a cerebral and somewhat austere reputation during his military career, has spent much of the past month seeking out the late-night company of west coast rock stars, screen idols and movie producers. While his rivals preach to the worthy but unglamorous residents of early-voting Iowa and New Hampshire, Gen Clark is dressing snappily and going out on the town in LA.
After a 90-minute policy discussion with Madonna in her Los Angeles home recently, a friend of the star was authorised to disclose that "Madonna was very impressed with Gen Clark's intelligence and his vision for America". Another associate added: "Don't under-estimate this. Madonna is often ahead of the curve." (source: Telegraph)

02 December - Madonna working on musical with Pat Leonard? *rumour*
Madonna has been working on a musical with Patrick Leonard called 'Hello Suckers'. The two of them have already been working on music and lyrics over the past year and have completed a large body of material. Madonna plays a 1920's vaudeville-like tap-dancing star. (source: Madonnalicious)
~ Madonna has said before she's working indeed on a musical. Earlier rumours also named Joe Henry and Mirwais as possible collaborators.

02 December - R&R hits # 1 in UK Dance Album chart
In the UK, Remixed & Revisited has debuted at no. 1 in the Top 40 Dance Albums chart!
In other chart news: Me Against The Music stays at the top of the Australian dance chart for a third week, while it slips to no. 3 in the singles chart. In the UK it goes down from no. 6 to no. 11 in the singles chart and up from no. 8 to no. 5 in the dance chart. In the Belgian Ultratop it climbs from no. 7 to no. 5. (sources: Absolute Madonna, Ultratop)

02 December - New Madonna figures at Madame Tussauds
Madonna wax figure in Madame Tussauds Madonna wax figure in Madame Tussauds The Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York has revealed a new Madonna figure today. It seems losely based on Madonna during her Drowned World Tour, with her hair tied back (as during the Spanish-Latino section) and the cowboy glitterjeans by D Squared (as during Don't Tell Me). Pictures courtesy of AP.

02 December - Depression era inspires Peabody illustrator
Ask him to describe his work and he will say conventional realism with an edge. Ask Madonna to describe his work and she might say visionary. In fact Madonna was so impressed with Loren Long's "vision" she hired the artist to illustrate her new children's book. -- "Mr. Peabody's Apples," (Callaway Editions/ Penguin; $19.95).
"I got the call on Halloween last year. My wife and I were trying to get our boys ready for trick-or-treating," Long says. "A call from my agent comes in, and he says he is faxing me a confidentiality agreement that I have to sign before he can tell me what it's about."
Nicholas Callaway, founder of Callaway Editions, had conducted a worldwide search to find the right illustrator for Madonna's book.
"We spent many months researching the project," Callaway says. "We thought Loren was perfect for the work stylistically. His work is inspired by Thomas Hart Benton. So we gave him a test and he passed with flying colors."
The test was to create an illustration based on the book's manuscript without any direction. Long says he knew exactly what to paint. He came back with the image that would be featured on the book's cover. "I think I was meant for this story," Long says. "It was destiny that they chose the right guy."
Read the complete article at Times Recorder.

01 December - Gwyneth Paltrow beats Madonna to play thief
Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow has beaten her pal Madonna to play a London diamond thief. Both superstars wanted the rights to the story of Joan Harrington - known as The Godmother - who stole $5 million dollars worth of jewels from London's top jewellers in the 1980s. But it's Gwyneth who is now set to bring the tale, based on Joan's autobiography I Am What I Am, to the big screen and don a Cockney accent. And Joan - who spent just 18 months in prison for her crimes - is happy the Shakespeare in Love beauty won out, because Madonna "can't act". She says, "They wanted Guy Ritchie to buy it, so Madonna could play me. "Number one, she can't act. Two, she can't do a Cockney accent and Gwyneth can. She's really happy to be playing the part and she can't put the book down, apparently. I'm happy that she's doing it. I think she will do me justice. She's very lucky to be playing me." (source: TeenHollywood)

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