Madonna news - May 2004


← May 2004 | June 2004 →

31 May - Maverick Films to produce film about virginity auction
Pop singer Madonna, who also owns a film company, wants to make a movie about the British teen who auctioned her virginity to pay for college expenses. Maverick Entertainment is working with Rosie Reid on a script based on the 18-year-old's experience of receiving approximately $15,000 to have sex for her first time with the high bidder, Britain's Sun reported Monday. Reid of Duwich, South East London, met the winning bidder, a 44-year-old divorced dad of two, at a seedy London hotel for the tryst, the Sun said. Reid first put her virginity up for bids on eBay and then her own Web site. She received 2,000 responses. The Bristol University sociology student had no comment, but had been quoted earlier as saying about the incident: It was terrifying, but I have no regrets. It is unknown if Madonna, 45, wants to play the lead role. (source: BigNewsNetwork)

31 May - The re-Invention tour set for top grossing tour of the year
The re-Invention Tour is well on its way to become this year's top grossing tour. Since the CNN article contains some spoilers, we placed in our spoilers section.

31 May - Ticket sales for Arnhem and Lisbon
Just got back from a weekend in Holland, so I've not been able to update the site about the Las Vegas shows yet - check back tomorrow. On my way to Haarlem/Amsterdam to spend a weekend away with friends, I made a stop in Breda saturday morning to try out the Arnhem ticket sales. An hour and a half waiting eventually mounted up to getting tickets for both concerts! With only 5 people left queuing in front of me I saw the first concert sell out in about 18 minutes! I got myself tickets for the second, but found someone to trade some for the first as well, YAY! :-) Anyway, both concerts sold out in record time again.
Just read on Madonna.com that the Lisbon concert will go on sale on June 11th. A second date (September 13th) is already mentioned in the tour book.
I also received word on another surprise during this tour; hopefully I can bring you more info about that soon. Stay tuned!

28 May - Madonna exhibition in Berlin
She may be the Material Girl who once posed nude in a Florida highway; nonetheless the Jewish Museum of Berlin is dedicating an exhibition to Madonna. Entitled “10+5=God The Power of Symbols”, the show opened this week in the museum, renowned worldwide for its groundbreaking architecture by Daniel Libeskind, the creator of the World Trade Center plan in Manhattan. On Thursday night, the museum will host a lecture by Israel-born Kabala theorist Boaz Huss focusing on why Madonna finds the Jewish myth of numbers very “punk rock”.
In her video for the song Die Another Day for the last James Bond soundtrack, the Material girl has Hebrew letters tattooed all over her arms.
Needless to say, Berlin being Europe’s current party capital, the museum will set up a lounge where the guitarist of the cult band Einstuerzende Neubauten Jochen Arbeit will play Madonna remixes.
The event occurs at a tense moment for Madonna, who has been the subject of death threats from Palestinian terrorists, according to reports in the British press. Her upcoming world tour, due to shortly kick off in Los Angeles, had included dates in Israel in September, though these have been cancelled after the star and her children were targeted. (source: Fashion Wire Daily)

27 May - CBS to film in Lisbon?
As Madonna resumes her tour, plans for her TV concert special are moving forward as well. The CBS two-hour special looks like it will be filmed in Lisbon, Portugal, and though there's no air date yet, a fall date "seems probable," according to the singer's spokesperson. (source: MTV, thanks to MIR)

27 May - Second show cancelled due to security concern? *rumour*
No idea how reliable this report is, but an anonymous source mailed the following to the MIR mailing list:
"I've got well-connected friends in Los Angeles who were at the first night. Apparently, security was the reason she cancelled tonight's show. In the wake of the death threats, etc, she demanded that full security precautions - including metal detectors - be put into place at the venue. They weren't there on the first night (my friends said there was zero security at the door). When she found out about this, she called off the second night, refusing to perform until the venue was secure enough."

27 May - Second show in LA
Last night, Madonna was back on stage in LA, completely recovered from her stomach flu. According to the fans who attended she gave a superb show. Read more details in our tour diary. And there are more press reviews from the opening night.

26 May - Tour diary
We collected all the info from the reviews and wrote a complete show overview in the tour diary. Keep an eye on that page for the next shows, as we'll comment on possible changes or particular anecdotes of each show.

26 May - Ticket sale info for Arnhem
Today, the last Paris concert sold out in less than an hour. There's also a presale of Arnhem tickets for ICON members. The official ticket sale for the Arnhem Gelredome will start next saturday (May 29th) at 10am (CET). They'll be available through Ticket Service, the hotline 0900-3001250 and some other sale points. Standing tickets are at € 77; seating tickets are divided into 4 categories: € 86 - € 76 - € 66 - € 56. There's a limit of 6 tickets per person. Good luck!

26 May - Simon Fuller buys Madonna's haunted castle
'Pop Idol' tycoon Simon Fuller has spent a whopping 7 million pounds for buying Madonna's former castle home in the Hollywood Hills. According to The Sun, the nine-storey 'Castillo del Lago' castle is famous for its luxurious elegance and overlooks the scenic Hollywood Lake. However, rumours have been doing the rounds from a long time that the pop diva's former home is haunted by the ghost of gangster- Bugsy Siegel. He used to run a casino from the stronghold in the 1930s. An eccentric homeless man named Robert Dewey Hoskins had also stalked Madonna at her castle in 1995. He had broken into the estate and had vowed to slit the singer's throat if she refused to marry him. Hoskins was later jailed, adds the report. The pop queen had moved out of the famous castle in 2002. She had complained, "There's too many stairs." The report says that the British native has bought the castle because he wants to launch his music label '19 Recordings' in America. (source: WebIndia123)

26 May - Reviews added
Keep an eye on our tour section as we keep adding press reviews. We also received some great fan reports, some giving a very detailed look on the show. Keep them coming! After each concert we'll also post the highlights in the tour diaries.

25 May - Madonna: "I had some things to say"
It was lights, camera and plenty of action at the opening night of Madonna's Re-invention tour in Los Angeles, Monday, and "Extra" was backstage where stars like Christina Aguilera snuck in a side door and David Spade and Fran Drescher milled around. Just minutes after the show, the pop icon came to tell us why she's back on stage. "To set the world on fire," she announced. "I had some things I had to say." Madonna told us that she's speaking to fans and is using all of her best songs to get her message across. "That's the whole idea of the show," she revealed. "I've taken them and I've reinvented them and they have a whole new meaning."
Madonna's British husband, Guy Ritchie, gave especially high marks for Madonna's bagpipe rendition of "Get into the Groove." "I like Scotland and it's very nice," he said, adding, "But I enjoyed the whole show."
Longtime friend, Debbie Mazar, enjoyed the concert as well: "I love seeing the imagery and how she puts herself on film and sings; she's a great entertainer."
And Madonna's enjoying it too, especially having a few new members in her entourage ­ her kids and husband. Madonna also debunked rumors that she cancelled Israel concert dates because of a terrorist threat to kill her and her kids. With a kids' play area backstage and no new album on the horizon, many have speculated that Madonna may be close to calling it quits, but Guy insisted that there's sure to be another concert tour after this. "I don't think she's going to slow down," he observed. For now, Madonna is just happy to be on the road with her family, and she doesn't want to hear any complaining: "Do I need an album to promote? Don't people need a good show to go to?" (source: ExtraTV)

25 May - Tonight's show postponed
Tonight's show at the LA Forum is postponed until tomorrow night. Madonna has the stomach flu and was ordered by her doctor to rest this evening. She will be back at 100% and can't wait to entertain her fans!!!! If you have tickets for tonight's show, they will be honored tomorrow night. (source: Madonna.com)

25 May - Arnhem and Lisbon dates confirmed
Madonna.com has confirmed the tour stops for Portugal and The Netherlands:
Wednesday, September 8 - Arnhem Gelredome
Sunday, September 12 - Lisbon Atlantic Pavillion
For the Arnhem date, there will be an ICON presale tomorrow May 26th at 3pm. General sale details for both shows will be announced soon. Expect an additional date for each city.

25 May - Tour facts & figures
From Madonna.com: "We are all excited and Madonna.com will be there back stage to give you all the highlights! Stay tuned to this site for our review from the opening night and press reviews from every city! While waiting in anticipation, here are some interesting facts and figures about the tour:
750,000 Fans will see her show
110 People will travel on the road with the tour
58 Minutes for Madonna to get hair and makeup completed before show
56 security guards backstage
55 Tons of above ground equipment including sound, lights, videos and speakers
40 Tons is the weight of the stage
30 Trunks will carry wardrobe of entire touring company
25 Cases of Kaballah Water provided backstage nightly (backstage beverage of choice)
18 Semi Trucks will carry equipment including special 'Turntable' stage
18 Dressing Rooms in each venue for touring entourage
12 Tons of sound equipment in air
12 Dancers
8 Minutes for Madonna to do warmup on Pilates stretch ball
6 Madison Square Garden Shows sold out in one day
5 Costume changes
5 Musicians
4 Wembley Arena Shows sold out in one day
3 Toronto Shows sold out in one day
3 Ricola cough drops consumed by Madonna prior to start of show
2 Background vocalists
1 Full truck to house Madonna's wardrobe and makeup
1 Skateboarder
1 Large cup of Throat Coat Honey Lemon Tea consumed by Madonna prior to start of show
1 Children's Play room backstage
1 Bagpipe player "

25 May - First full show review
MadonnaTribe forum member titlebottom attended the first show in LA and has written the following complete show review: check our spoiler page
Pictures, fan reviews, press reviews and more can be found in our tour section.
UPDATE: we added some more reviews in the tour section. You can find great high quality pictures at the new website madonna.nu. And there are some scans of the tour book at the MadonnaVillage forum.

25 May - First tour pictures online
Madonna in LA Check our first picture gallery, which contains pictures of the first three songs of the show in LA. You can also download some news footage from CNN and GMTV at the fansites MadonnaTribeand Madonnalicious. Meanwhile, Mad-Eyes offers you the first tour avatars. We've received a first fan review; you can send in your own here. We'll be adding more tour news during the day; stay tuned!

25 May - Entourage of more than 100 on the road with Madonna
Madonna kicks off her world tour in America on Monday, ready to show fans her new image. She will spend three nights performing at the Forum in Los Angeles before moving on to Las Vegas. The 50-date Re-invention Tour will also travel to Canada, the UK and Paris, ending in September. During the tour, Madonna will be involved in making a documentary chronicling behind-the scenes action for a later cinema release. More than 750,000 fans are expected to see the show as it makes its way across North America and Europe, where she will showcase music from her 20-year career. Madonna had signalled her intention to perform in Israel but has now called off these dates. She has said she wanted to concentrate on the European dates, but The Sun newspaper reported they were cancelled due to safety fears. Madonna's entourage includes more than 100 personnel including technicians and stage hands. There will be 12 dancers and five musicians accompanying her. Scottish bagpipe player Calum "Spud" Fraser will also be a regular performer after he played at the christening of the singer's son Rocco in 2000. Among the designers brought in to create costumes for Madonna are Karl Lagerfield, Stella McCartney, Jean Paul Gaultier and Prada. This will be Madonna's first live dates since 2001, when she embarked on the Drowned World tour. (source: BBC)

25 May - Liz Rosenberg denies terrorist threats
Madonna hit the road last night on her latest concert jaunt - brushing off talk that she and her family are in danger. Her Madgesty, who launched her Re-Invention Tour in Los Angeles, has scratched plans to visit Israel. But her rep insists it wasn't because Palestinian terrorists threatened to kill the singer and her children, Lourdes, 7, and Rocco, 3.
The London Sun claimed Madonna "freaked out" when her L.A. office received "scary" letters from an unnamed Palestinian group.
"She thought she was being targeted because of her Jewish Kabbalah religion," the tabloid quoted a source as saying. "But this group were threatening her because she represents many things they hate about the West." Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg called the report totally false. "She never received threats." Rosenberg said Madonna considered playing Tel Aviv "months ago," but "never committed to any dates." Rosenberg added that the singer's security team advised her against playing the Holy Land in light of recent violence there.
Israel is clearly on her mind, though. The new show does feature video footage of a Palestinian boy and an Israeli boy walking arm-in-arm. The Democratic diva also includes a clip from her Bush-bashing American Life video and topical news images. But Rosenberg insists, "it's not an overtly political show. There's room for many interpretations." (source: NY Daily News)

25 May - Madonna pays up to settle copyright claim
On the eve of Madonna's launch of her "shocking" new tour, the singer has quietly settled a federal lawsuit that accused her of ripping off the work of an acclaimed photographer. Details of the financial settlement are confidential and Madonna acknowledged no wrongdoing in her liberal appropriation of the images of the late French photographer Guy Bourdin. Last September, Bourdin's son Samuel filed a federal copyright lawsuit against Madonna, claiming that her video for the song "Hollywood" was a blatant visual theft job of his father's racy images. "It's one thing to draw inspiration; it's quite another to simply plagiarize the heart and soul of my father's work," Bourdin said at the time. Included in Bourdin's federal complaint were side-by-side comparisons of his father's work with images with stills from the "Hollywood" video. Bourdin's lawyer, John Koegel, said the parties reached a "very, very successful settlement," adding that terms of the deal did not allow him to discuss exact dollar amounts. (source: The Smoking Gun)

24 May - Arnhem confirmed for september 8
Dutch concert organiser Mojo has confirmed the re-Invention concert in Arnhem on September 8th. If there's enough demand (no doubt), they'll most probably add a second date. Here's a report from the Mojo website (translation from Dutch by Mad-Eyes):
"Is she or isn't she coming? That was the question on every fan's lips the past few weeks. Many rumours spread on Internet forums, but now the speculations finally come to an end. Because it's really true: the one and only Madonna is coming to Holland!
Fourteen years after her much-publicised concert in the Feijenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, Madonna Louisa Veronica Ciccone is returning to Dutch soil. Under the name re-Invention Tour the Material Girl reviews her entire career. There's no doubt that after the US, she'll also get Britain, France and Holland in her power.
Are you member of the Madonna fanclub? Then you can buy tickets in presale on saturday May 29th. For more info, check Madonna.com.
Attention: there's no opening act. Start of the show at 8.15pm.
Ticket rates: € 56 - € 66 - € 76 - € 77 - € 86. Max. 6 tickets per person."
~ Since the Dutch concert has been confirmed for the 8th, the earlier reported Lisbon concerts will not take place on september 8th and 9th, but probably a few days later. More info expected soon.

24 May - BBC looks back at tour history
Pop superstar Madonna kicks off her Re-Invention world tour in Los Angeles [tonight]. She will be playing more than 20 dates in the US and Canada during May, June and July, eight in the UK and Ireland during August - one in Manchester, one in Dublin and six in London - plus four in Paris in September. Tickets are not cheap - ranging from £50-£150 for a seat at one of her six London concerts. But despite the hefty price tag, the shows sold out shortly after they were announced. Fans will no doubt be expecting the same combination of theatricality, audacity and controversy that made the Queen of Pop's previous world tours so famous. BBC News Online looks back at these now legendary concerts.

Who's That Girl (1987)
Madonna's first world tour - which began in July 1987 in Japan and finished in Italy in September - marked her first large-scale concert appearances in the UK. Tickets for her first two dates at Wembley Stadium sold out in 18 hours and led to a third concert being arranged. Britain was gripped by Madonna fever. Fans mobbed her at the airport, while a jog in the park ended with a bodyguard assaulting a photographer. More than 70,000 people attended the first concert, which led to five people being taken to hospital and the singer appealing for calm. The show began with Madonna clad in the gold-nippled, black velvet corset she wore in her raunchy Open Your Heart video. Subsequent outfits included a crimson flamenco dress and a luridly kitsch gown topped off with some horn-rimmed, Dame Edna Everage-style glasses.

Blond Ambition (1990)
Immortalised in the documentary film In Bed With Madonna, this is the concert that everyone remembers. This, after all, was the tour that introduced Jean-Paul Gaultier's infamous conical bra outfit and featured the singer simulating masturbation during Like a Virgin. Officials in Toronto threatened to arrest her unless she removed this sequence, and in Italy the Pope called for a boycott. In London, meanwhile, her use of expletives during a live BBC Radio One broadcast from Wembley Stadium provoked a storm of protest. The moralistic British press had a field day, though most reviewers grudgingly acknowledged the singer's professionalism and charisma. "Madonna effortlessly discharges enough light, sound, fury and energy to power the whole of Wembley," wrote Anthony Thorncroft in the Financial Times.

The Girlie Show (1993)
Madonna chose London as the starting point for her 1993 tour, her most explicit and controversial to date. Coming off the back of her Erotica album, her critically-panned film Body of Evidence and her infamous 'Sex' book of photographs, The Girlie Show showed the singer at her most confrontational. Madonna opened the show dressed as a whip-cracking dominatrix, surrounded by topless dancers of both sexes. But there were lighter moments too - singing Like a Virgin in the guise of Marlene Dietrich, for example, or donning an Afro wig for Express Yourself. Controversy followed the pop star around the globe. She caused uproar in Puerto Rico by rubbing the island's flag between her legs on stage, while Orthodox Jews protested against her first ever show in Israel. The critics were predictably sniffy. "It's tough to stay on top by spanking somebody's bottom," wrote Time magazine's Richard Corliss.

Drowned World (2001)
After a hiatus of eight years - during which time she made the musical Evita, had two children and married film director Guy Ritchie - Madonna returned to the UK with a bang. Her six nights at London's Earls Court sold out on the first day seats went on sale, with £85 tickets changing hands for up to £600. Madonna's many costumes included a punkish tartan kilt and a geisha's gown in a concert that saw her fly through the air on wires and ride a mechanical bull. She also revealed a hitherto undisclosed talent for the guitar and dedicated one song to her new husband. Some critics complained that the show concentrated on material from her most recent albums, but generally the response was favourable. "With its perfect dance routines, special effects and hint of bullish arrogance, the Drowned World show befits the world's most famous woman," wrote Alex Patridis in The Guardian.

24 May - Latest news from rehearsals
MadonnaTribe's RunawayBoy reports live from LA on yesterday's dress rehearsals. Read our spoiler page for details.

24 May - Israel cancellation due to terrorist threats?
It's official: Madonna's Reinvention Tour, which began on May 24, will not include Israel as one of its stopovers. Despite rumors confirming and reconfirming the star singer's performances here, Madonna has axed her three planned gigs because terrorists threatened to kill her and her children, Britain s The Sun newspaper reported earlier this week.
According to the tabloid, Madonna "freaked out" when she learned of the plot to kill her children, Lourdes and Rocco, if she performed in Israel. Madonna was tentatively scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv in September. The paper says she first planned to defy the extremists but cancelled after the unnamed Palestinian group mentioned specific details about her children in a bombardment of poison-pen letters. "At first she was prepared to go on stage and hire extra security," writes the paper. "But she was not ready to take chances with her kids; they are her whole world."
According to the article, Madonna thought she was being targeted because of her ties to Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), "but this group was threatening her because she represents many things they hate about the West." Madonna last performed in Israel in 1993. (source: Israel Post)

23 May - Send in your reviews!
Tomorrow, monday Madonna will kick off her re-Invention tour at The Forum in LA. Are you one of the lucky fans that will attend? Or do you have tickets for one of the next gigs? Sends us your review and pictures, and we'll place them in our review section! Click here to contact Mad-Eyes.

23 May - Family & friends attend dress rehearsal
Friday saw the Friends and Family dress rehearsal take place at the Forum. Demi Moore, Josh Groban, Camryn Manheim and of course Guy Ritchie attended. Before the show began Madonna came out and greeted and chatted to the audience. The only technical glitch occurred during the performance of Mother and Father when one of the video screens did not work - this was soon fixed though. The performance of American Life really touched the audience deeply. The show received a standing ovation. (source: Madonnalicious)
~ MadonnaTribe reports that Madonna rehearsed the entire show twice today.

23 May - Madonna dumps original bag piper
Madonna has dumped the piper who played at her wedding from her world tour. The US superstar has replaced Callum 'Spud' Fraser from Aviemore with no warning after he was lined up to appear on stage with her. Yesterday, he claimed he'll lose a fortune after being dropped from her spectacular Reinvention gigs. He told me: 'I'm very p****d off. 'Touring with Madonna would have been the chance of a lifetime. It would have put me right at the top. 'I've lost a few quid, too. What can I do? I'd have done the tour in a minute.'
Spud, 38, was approached by Madonna's staff after he played at the singer's wedding to Guy Ritchie at Skibo Castle, near Dornoch, in 2002. He said: 'I received an email from a lady in Madonna's organisation in Los Angeles called Caresse Henry. I checked out the name and discovered it was the singer's manager. I replied immediately and said I'd love to do the dates 32 in America and 15 in Europe. 'They said they'd be in touch. But that's the last I heard about it. When footage appeared on television last week I got about 100 calls from people saying, 'Are you the piper?' But it's not me.'
Spud played Madonna's first big hit, Like A Virgin, at the wedding. He said: 'She recognised it immediately and smiled. Later, Madonna mentioned it in a book. I can only assume she remembered me and tracked me down.' The TV footage of tour rehearsals in Los Angeles featured a piper who appeared to be miming. He wore an ill-fitting kilt and danced a clumsy version of the Highland fling. Spud hit out: 'Madonna's people told me she'd been happy when I played Like A Virgin. I also played outside Skibo Castle when her guests were arriving. I'm very disappointed.'
Madonna, 45, has been rehearsing flat out in the LA Forum arena for the tour, which starts tomorrow in Los Angeles. It is estimated that Madonna will perform to a total of 750,000 fans during the tour. A section of the spectacular 90-minute concert has a strong Scottish flavour, with the singer and her dancers all wearing tartan kilts. The piper in the rehearsal footage is said to be Edinburgh lawyer Lorne Cousin, an award-winning piper from Campbeltown, Argyll.
But Robbie Wallace, 52, principal of The College of Piping in Glasgow, 52, said: 'Lorne is one of Scotland's top young players and I would bet my house that it's not him in this footage. 'It isn't possible to play the bagpipes while jumping around a stage. This guy is gallivanting around like a peat bog fairy. It is just a piece of pop nonsense but his kilt is an affront to Highland dress" (source: Sunday Mail, MadonnaTribe)

23 May - Perfectionist Madonna turns hard taskmaster
Madonna's perfectionism is posing problems for her organizers. The heartthrob singer is reportedly throwing tantrums while the rehearsals of her opening-night concert at the Great Western Forum in California are on. "She's being difficult in rehearsals. She's a perfectionist and she's bitching. Mostly she's never satisfied with the way the dancers are dancing," a source was quoted by Star as saying. Despite her frequent outbursts and walkout from the rehearsals, the show promises to be a treat for fans. The "show will be incredible", the source added. An array of stars including Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are expected to make an appearance at the show. (source: WebIndia123)

22 May - Complete setlist available
Check our re-Invention tour page to read the entire setlist, as it will be performed starting Monday, May 24.

22 May - Madonna's male dancers learn 'What It Feels Like For A Girl'
Earlier this week, Madonna called in to MTV's TRL. MTV resumes some tour details, including spoilers on the choreography and setlist. Click here for the article.

22 May - CBS pays record fee for Madonna gig broadcast
Madonna is being paid a whopping £6m (€8.9m) by the CBS American TV network for a two-hour concert special, the highest ever fee for a rock broadcast. She gets £2m (€2.9m) more than Michael Jackson received for a concert a couple of years ago. Her Madgesty’s Re-Invention Tour begins in California next Monday and final rehearsals are said to be getting rather tense, with the material one eager to counteract rumblings that she may have passed her prime. (source: Irish Examiner)

21 May - More on Lisbon concerts *rumour*
Mad-Eyes reader Michael Moulin informs us on a supposed e-mail from Caresse Henry, stating:
"Madonna will perform in Lisbon with the "Re-Invention World Tour" in:
Sept 8 - Atlantic Pavilion
Sept 9 - Atlantic Pavilion
Tickets go on sale in May 26
More informations in the next days... www.madonna.com
Take care,
Caresse Henry"

21 May - Spoiler on performances and setlist
Check our spoiler page for a report by David Figueiredo (MIR) on the performances and the complete setlist.

21 May - Madonna in new Guy Ritchie movie?
Madonna is again going to film with husband Guy Ritchie, and that, even though the first film from them both (Swept Away) was so bad that it didn't even manage to get shown in many European cinemas. In spite of this, Madonna will play the criminal boss and casino-owner "Dorothy Macha" in Ritchie's new project "Revolver". The 27 million expensive film will also star Jason Statham and Brad
Pitt, according to film portal imdb.com. (source: ARD, translation by Glenn Turner from the MIR)
~ On a side note: IMDB doesn't mention a cast yet on their Revolver page and mentions that the movie is "delayed due to Ritchie's interest in making the film Six Shooters."

21 May - Controversial show already slammed
Madonna last night sparked controversy as it emerged she is to use Iraq war images to boost world tour ticket sales. As West troops prepare to return to the Gulf, the Queen of Pop is planning to beam pictures of the victims of the conflict from her stage. The region's MPs last night made a plea to the multi-millionaire pop diva to abandon the stunt. Madonna is no stranger to scandal, enraging the Catholic Church by kissing a Jesus effigy in her Like A Prayer video and last year puckering up to pop princess Britney Spears in a publicity ploy at the MTV awards. But her latest stage performance is thought to be her most outrageous yet. Fans of the megastar, who has an estate in Wiltshire, will see her "electrocuted" on stage and involved in simulated sex scenes with a female dancer.
Yet it is the war footage that has caused the most offence. The images will be shown at a time of heightened sensitivity over the Iraq conflict and come in the wake of a series of shocking photographs of soldiers abusing prisoners in the Middle East. Following six weeks of fury last year, Madonna withdrew a video for the single American Life which shows her singing against a screen of bombings and warplanes. Speaking in March 2003, she said she made the decision "out of sensitivity and respect to the forces". But now it appears the singer has changed her mind again - this time for her provocative Re-Invention tour which comes to the UK this summer. It is another controversy from the singer who is upsetting West ramblers by banning them from walking on her Ashcombe estate.
And MPs last night questioned her latest move. Adrian Flook, whose Taunton constituency covers the base of 40 Commando who are set to return to the Gulf, slammed Madonna's show as attention seeking. He said the 45-year-old singer would do anything to attract attention. "If you haul yourself around the world for 20 years you will pull off any stunt to get noticed," he said. "As the ultimate material girl she's got to keep satisfying her audience. It's a strange show, but she must have the rights to use the footage. If she wants to call it art then that's her view."
Ian Liddell-Granger, MP for Bridgwater and a former Army major, said: "I think it's not the most appropriate time to do this. I think she's perhaps misread the situation. It is art, but artists must have responsibility. I would ask her to reconsider." The Tory added: "We have 40 Commando down here who may be sent to the Gulf and I think her timing is not right. Their families will be preparing for the prospect of them going out there and this will be particularly sensitive for them. I think she's got it very badly wrong, she's misread public opinion. Art is not an excuse to think you can do whatever you want."
Wiltshire MP James Gray also questioned Madonna's motives. He said: "I haven't seen the video, but one wonders why she is doing this. If she is a pacifist making an artistic statement about the horrors of war, then it is somewhat legitimate, but if she is using the sights of war to sell concert tickets, then that is not on. But, would one attack Wilfred Owen and the war poets for using the horrors of World War I to cynically sell their poetry books?"
Mother-of-two Madonna, who is married to film director Guy Ritchie, will also be seen "rising from the dead" on her tour while singing Bedtime Story, influenced by her Kabbalah faith. As she sings a cover version of John Lennon's Imagine, she will break down in tears in front of pictures of starving children.
Madonna, whose fortune exceeds £180million, is currently embroiled in a costly legal wrangle with Warner Music over her failing record company Maverick, which is millions in debt. A timely tour of some 50 dates worldwide will yield hundreds of millions of dollars, which will help fund the bitter legal battle.
Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie have both converted to the Kabbalah faith, an offshoot of Judaism. The Kabbalah claims to explain how we can make the best of ourselves and our lives. And in secular terms that is something Madonna is particularly good at. Her personal wealth is estimated at £180million and she has made more money than any other female entertainer in the music business. People such as Leonardo da Vinci and Shakespeare are said to have been influenced by the Kabbalah teachings. Other high-profile converts include model Jerry Hall and Kirk Douglas. Madonna became involved in the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles which was founded by Philip Berg. Other celebrity members include Roseanne Barr, Sandra Bernhard, Elizabeth Taylor, Laura Dern and Barbra Streisand. (source: West Daily Press, thanks to DrownedMadonna)

21 May - New tour poster
Check the wonderful Madonnalicious for a new tour poster, which will be send to VIP Platinum Package Ticket holders.

21 May - Manchester sells out in 1 hour
Tickets for Madonna's gig in Manchester went on sale on Friday, May 21 - and all 14,000 sold out within an hour. Hundreds of Madonna fans queued at the M.E.N. Arena on Friday morning as the rush to snap up tickets for her first concert in the city in 20 years reached fever pitch. Some had been in line from 9am yesterday morning for tickets for the August 15 extravaganza, which has already been hailed as the biggest Arena show ever. Meanwhile, online and telephone ticket sellers struggled to cope with the number of users trying to get their hands on tickets for Madonna's first Manchester gig in two decades. The cheapest ticket was on sale for £75, while the most expensive was £150. (source: Manchester Online)

20 May - Madonna on TRL
Madonna called into MTV's TRL yesterday from her rehearsals at the Forum. She spoke about what we can expect from the re-Invention tour and also announced the pit passes competition. Visit Madonnalicious to download the audio clip.

20 May - Tour to end in Lisbon? *rumour*
Fansite Madonnalicious reports : "Madonnalicious has just received news that the last two dates of the re-Invention tour will take place in Lisbon, Portugal shortly after the Bercy, Paris dates. There is no more time in the tour schedule to do further countries on this tour - and this news suggests that the much-rumoured Israel dates fell through. An official announcement about ticket details should be released soon."
~ This information hasn't been officially confirmed yet. Other sources say that the arrangements for the Arnhem date are almost complete. Expect some official info next week.

20 May - Pit passes for ICON members
If you are a ICON member you are eligible for a very special treat. Madonna and her manager, Caresse Henry, called us today and told us to randomly pick icon members and give them pit passes to Madonna's re-Invention tour.
The pit is in the stage and will be a awesome location to see the show!!!! Pit passes can not be bought you can only win them. If you have been chosen you will get a email very soon notifying you of the details. (source: Madonna.com)

20 May - A letter from Madonna and Caresse
"Dear Madonna Fans,
Wow! There is so much going on right now! Madonna can't wait to tour and see all of her fans again! I have been watching rehearsals and you guys are going to love the show, it has all of your favorite songs, brilliant choreography, and is the most incredible production I have ever seen!
So, as you may have heard we have a special treat for the ICON members. We are randomly giving out pit passes to lucky ICONERS for EVERY Madonna show!!!!! The pit is in the stage and will be an awesome location to see the show!!! Don't bombard us with e-mail's though ICONERS! We are choosing names out of a hat! And... NO SOUR GRAPES!!!! This is an amazing opportunity, so cross those fingers!
Speaking of ICON, the ticket pre-order is a huge success with over 18,000+ tickets sold and only a few complaints (whoops!). On a related note, the ICON fan club is growing at an insane pace. As a result we have had a few growing pains and appreciate your patience. We know we can do A LOT better, and we are getting better everyday.
Aside from the tour we have some more good news...We have a signed Madonna Gibson Guitar giveaway we are going to do in the next few weeks, a new ICON magazine coming very soon, a new calendar and some great new Madonna merchandise with amazing new designs and a bunch of vintage Madonna images as well. I think you are going to love it.
Can't wait to see you in the audience!
Love,
Madonna and Caresse"
(source: Madonna.com)

20 May - ICON 40 is out
"Dear Madonna fans,
Just a little word to let you know that issue #40 of Icon Magazine is now out! This new issue is packed with full info for every single project Madonna worked on during the last few months, including her Love Profusion and Nothing Fails singles, the release of her first two children's books, her appearence at this year's Grammy awards, and everything about the Gap campaign. Also available in this issue is a "MadBrit" special, including a Q&A with Britney Spears, articles on their live and studio collaborations, exclusive shots from the "Me Against The Music" video, a double-sided foldout poster, and much, much more!
As Icon's main goal is to bring you a highly collectible and ultimate Madonna archive, we hope you'll enjoy this issue as much as we do! This new Icon is dedicated to someone very special...our beloved Caresse Henry. We all know Madonna is used to making the right decisions, and choosing Mrs. Henry to be her manager was truly a great one.
Live, Tours, Re-Invention, Dance and sing, Get up and Do your thing, that is what the next issue of Icon will be all about. Until then, and if you've been lucky enough to find tickets for one of her upcoming sold-out shows, make sure to enjoy every single minute of it. The lady is about to do it again so let's celebrate this incredible event the most we can! " (source: Madonna.com)

20 May - LA fan information service
The Everybody Fan Club has set-up an information page for attendees of the Los Angeles concerts. You will find the details of other fans attending the shows - the page also offers carpool and airport pick-up details, and gives pre-concert party information. (source: Madonna.com)

20 May - Costume sketch by Christian Lacroix
Check the spoiler page for a sketch of the Christian Lacroix costume that Madonna will be wearing at the beginning of the show.

20 May - Madonna cancels Israel appearance
Madonna has cancelled her scheduled appearance in Israel, according to a report on MSNBC. Madonna made international headlines in March when it was revealed that she had tentatively made plans to give a concert here. "I know Madonna really wanted to go there but perhaps the political climate has been a bit difficult to plan such a huge undertaking in that area," spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg told The Scoop. "I think her management decided that having the routing include other European markets would make more sense." (source: Jerusalem Post)

20 May - Madonna plans most shocking show ever
British tabloid The Sun revealed many details on Madonna's show, which indicate that this tour might just as well be one of Madonna's most shocking performances. The article contains many spoilers on the setlist and performance details; read it on our spoiler page.

20 May - Arianne Phillips reveals costume details
In an interview with USA Today, designer Arianne Phillips talks about the costume of the re-Invention tour. Since the article contains some spoilers, we've put it on our spoiler tour page.

Tour promo picture by Steven Klein 19 May - News bits: win tickets / new picture / CBS broadcast
Check the website of Launch to win front pit tickets for the re-Invention tour (competition for US residents only). The pits are used for VIP's and contest winners; tickets for these pits can't be purchased through the regular channels. However, Caresse Henry assures us that not all the front rows are taken up by these pits.
~
MTV.com has a similar contest and has also posted a new promo photo for the re-Invention tour, probably another product from Steven Klein which will appear in the tour book. (thanx to DrownedMadonna)
~
CBS announced its plans for the 2004-05 TV season this morning and it includes... a two-hour live concert event with Madonna. (sources: DrownedMadonna, MadonnaMad)

19 May - Madonna.com shows new Steven Klein photo
Madonna calendar 2005 Madonna.com has updated their homepage with a preview of a new gorgeous Steven Klein photo, probably used in the tour book. The picture is also used for the cover of the official Madonna calendar 2005, which can be pre-ordered here. The tour schedule on the official site is updated including the new shows in Paris and Manchester.

17 May - Madonna to play Manchester
Material girl Madonna has announced a sensational concert date at the Manchester Evening News Arena. The American star has finally bowed to public demand by her Manchester fans for what is already being hailed as the biggest Arena show ever, despite past superstar names like Sir Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and Sir Elton John who have all appeared at the venue. Promoters of the Sunday, August 15 show are anticipating an unprecedented stampede for tickets when they go on sale on Friday, May 21. Arena general manager John Knight said: "After names like Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and Elton John, plus all the other world stars the Arena has had in the past, this is the biggest announcement, and demand for tickets will be the greatest ever. "This will without doubt be the biggest grossing box office event the M.E.N. Arena has ever had. Although the top price tickets at £150 are the same as they were for Sir Paul McCartney, we expect to sell more at that price because it is Madonna." (source: Manchester Online)
Due to overwhelming demand and to the delight of Madonna fans in the North, Madonna has announced she will play Manchester's MEN Arena, August 15th as part of her world re-Invention Tour. This is the first time Madonna has ever played Manchester. Tickets for the Manchester date go on sale May 21st at 9am. They are priced at £150, £90, £75 plus booking fee and are available from:
Ticketmaster - Whatsonwembleyticket.com - cc Hotline 0870 4000 880 - MEN Arena Box Office 0870 190 8000
The Manchester date will kick-start the UK leg of Madonna's world, re-Invention Tour and will be the first time she has performed in the North since she played Roundhay Park in Leeds on 1987's, Who's That Girl European tour.
Public demand has been overwhelming. The two Earl's Court dates sold out in a morning. The four Wembley dates sold out in a day. At one point 250,000 people tried to get through on a ticket website and 200 people queued outside Wembley Arena on Thursday night desperate to get hold of the hottest tickets in town.
Sharon McKoy-Beckett, Sales and Marketing Director, "We are extremely delighted that Madonna has chosen the M.E.N. Arena as her only UK date outside London, it's great news for Manchester and her fan sin the North. Madonna's appearance continues the trend for the biggest names in the music industry to perform at the venue, including Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Beyonce and Simon and Garfunkel who will appear in July". (sources: MEN Arena, MIR, MadonnaTribe)

16 May - Box set or no box set?
Buzzers are buzzing that the judge's decision to allow the Maverick-Warner Music group case to be heard in California rather than in Delaware, where WMG originally filed its suit, is a big victory and a strategic advantage for Madonna's label and its Bert Fields-led legal team. Latest scuttlebutt is that the ongoing dispute has the Material Gal blocking the company's release of a box-set retrospective of her career, including music and videos, to accompany this summer's red-hot SRO tour. Meanwhile, at Edgar Bronfman's WMG, many are attributing the company's current lukewarm chart performance to the distractions that have followed its acquisition from Time Warner and subsequent restructuring. Sources inside WMG say the only multiplatinum artist releases on the schedule through the end of Q3 are Maverick Records' Alanis Morissette, a Van Halen greatest hits package and Curb's Tim McGraw. (source: hitsdailydouble.com)
~ Meanwhile, we received an e-mail from Mad-Eyes visitor Jason, who claims: "All this talk about an upcoming box set is WRONG. A friend of mine actually works for MAVERICK RECORDS. There is NO box set... - it isn't happening. It was an idea at one point, but not anymore. Iknow this is the most current info because i asked him about it tonight."
We'll have to wait for some official information on this.

16 May - Madonna reclaims old songs from Warner *rumour*
StereoMover @ MadonnaVillage reports: "The tour may stretch out until the end of September and you'll be happy to know that there is still a chance for some countries currently left out. The "new" song in the show might be an American Life reject. Warner has alot of convincing to do as M is not too thrilled at the moment. The case will be heard in court in the coming weeks; when all is settled, we will know more about additional dates and new releases. Studio time has been booked in L.A. by Warner for Madonna. Tracks hidden in the vaults at Sire records have been pulled out by Madonna... she went back to get her old stuff... don't know why. She had reclaimed some pre-recorded material from them a few years ago when working on Ray Of Light, i think."

16 May - News on additional dates
We received a lot of e-mails from fans, asking for more information on additional dates. Apparently, Madonna's manager Caresse Henry has also received a lot of fan mails and she announced more information on additional dates soon. So at least we can be sure that there WILL be some additional dates. Here's what we know so far:
- A fourth and last date has been officially announced for Paris. This concert will take place on sunday, september 5th. Tickets go on sale on May 26th. An official ad appeared in the French press.
- A licence has been applied for the concert at Slane Castle in Dublin, Ireland. A decision is expected early June.
- Caresse Henry has officially denied concert stops in Germany, Italy and Australia. In the same statement she hinted at a tour stop in Arnhem, The Netherlands, without giving anymore details. A rumoured date for this concert is September 8th. If it's true, it will be in the Gelredome, one of the biggest venues of The Netherlands.
- Finally, there are still unconfirmed rumours about a date in Barcelona, Spain, either in Palau Sant Jordi, either in a smaller venue.
We hope to get more confirmations soon.

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