Madonna news - June 2004
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29 June - Madonna performs on blessed stage
Madonna reportedly refuses to perform until her concert stages have
been blessed by Kabbalah leader Rabbi Philip Berg. According to
American gossip website The Scoop, the singer - an avid follower
of the mystic branch of Judaism - is taking the Los Angeles-based
Rabbi everywhere she travels on her current Re-invention
. A source tells The Scoop: "He goes out there and
chants and does his routine. He blessed Madison Square Garden. He
blesses them all."
The source also claims Madonna gets special treatment when worshipping
at LA's Kabbalah Centre, and sits behind a giant screen so other
followers can't see her: "The men and the women sit separately,
following Orthodox tradition. But Madonna sits in front, behind
a screen so that people can't look at her. The place where she sits
happens to be on the men's side." (source: Irish
29 June - Madonna bares it all
Has anyone ever wondered what is it that celebrities prefer to wear
underneath their kilt? Madonna gave the answer a few nights ago
when she bared it all for the world to see on stage for her re-invention
The revelation happened at New York’s Madison Square when
Madge whipped up her kilt to reveal a not-so-flattering pair of
tartan bloomers displaying a large letter E. The reference was obviously
to the hue and cry raised over her decision to change her name to
Esther! (source: The
Times of India
~ The fans who saw the show know better than the Sun Times: the
'E' hardly stands for Esther, but is part of a word, formed by Madonna
and her dancers while lifting their kilts.
29 June - Basinger beats out Madonna for 'Door' role
Two words Madonna never heard from director Tod Williams: You're
The man behind the camera for the upcoming film "The Door in
the Floor" met with Madonna and "just about every other
actress in the world over 40," he says, for the coveted role
of an older woman who seduces her teenage summer helper.
"Madonna really wanted to do the part," Williams said.
"I wasn't really even considering her, but I called her in
because I just wanted to meet Madonna."
So how was it? "It was a strange meeting," he says. "She
asked me about techniques, how all the shots would happen in the
Williams met with other A-listers, each of whom had their own problems
with a role that includes seducing a teen, lots and lots of nudity
and passionate lovemaking scenes. "I very seriously considered
Kristin Scott Thomas," says Williams. "But she wouldn't
even stand on the beach in a bathing suit in this film, let alone
He thought about Frances McDormand. "She really knows what
the heck she's doing, but I wasn't sure about casting her. The part
calls for someone who is stunningly beautiful." What about
Susan Sarandon? "She's just so sexual to me," Williams
says. "She owns her sexuality. She's connected to herself in
that way. This character -- a mother grieving the loss of her child
who has this affair -- isn't so sure of herself."
Sigourney Weaver was dubbed "interesting" by Williams.
So was a Chicago legend. "Joan Allen is a great, great actress,"
Williams says. "But she didn't seem right." He liked Michelle
Pfeiffer and Robin Wright Penn. "Both loved the script, but
they were uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping with a young man."
Not so for Kim Basinger, who eventually got the coveted role and
now is enjoying early Oscar buzz. "She was fearless during
the nude scenes," says Williams. "Yes, she was scared
of the darkness of this role, but because it scared her, she did
it." (source: Sun
29 June - Launch of Madomaniac TV
Our friend Rodrigo from MadoManiac
is happy to announce the launch of the new MadoManiac TV:
"How about having an appointment made every week to watch through
the screen the most important issues which made headlines on Madonnas
everyday life. Enough of being up until the crack of dawn in front
of your tv looking up for images and footages about the Material
Girl, for Madomaniac Web Site, is about to do it for you.
The Madomaniac TV is coming soon, it will be a network, which is
going to carry Tv shows through the web within a short time. At
first, a MADOMANIAC TV will run a weekly news program of approximately
half an hour time, bringing the most important stuff which where
on the news around the globe the week before.
This project relies on the ambitious creativity of our newly-hired
webdesigner Andrews Lopes who is the author of Wanessa
Camargos (Brazillian teen popstar) new website to be released
next July 10th .
The people behind MADOMANIAC TV have already developed a project
to show a video program amd other ones with interviews, and also
a game show with an audience. Youll find some other news about
the MADOMANIAC TV these days at our news section."
28 June - Madonna reveals raunchy routine
Pop queen Madonna has developed a saucy post-show ritual, she massages
and bathes her director husband Guy Ritchie to help her unwind.
The American Life singer - currently trekking around the world on
her Re-invention Tour
admits she relies on her raunchy bathroom antics to help her get
to sleep after her stage show. She says: "Guy's waiting for
me to come home and give him a massage. He talks to me in the bathtub,
though. "That's my ritual. I come home and get in the bathtub
and he talks to me." (source: Ireland
28 June - Madonna's Kabbalah cocktail
Madonna gave the VIP guests at the launch party for her Re-invention
a gift with a personal touch - special cocktails
cooled with Kabbalah water. The singer, who launched her tour in
California last month, gave her special guests a drink called Damn,
a mixture of gin and lemon-lime soda. But Madonna insisted that
all of the ice cubes in the cocktail be made from pure Kabbalah
water. Madonna has long been devoted to the Kabbalah, a mystical
offshoot of Judaism. (source: Ireland
25 June - Madonna's
latest incarnation raises questions
For 20 years, Madonna has lived on the hype that she could effortlessly
shape-shift into the latest and greatest pop-culture trendsetter.
After all, she made crucifixes a hot fashion item, turned underground
house music into the beat of a thousand high school proms and helped
refashion the obscure tenets of the Kabbalah into a fetish as fashionable
"She's at the forefront of every new cultural
psyche," says Marian Salzman, chief strategy officer for marketers
Euro RSCG. "First she was talking about sex, then she was talking
about respect. She reemerged in 2000 with yoga and by 2003, she
was into electronica and hip-hop."
But as Madonna launches her new tour, there's something about her
latest incarnation that's not quite in sync.
The writhing musical dominatrix in fishnets is selling children's
books. She now expresses herself as a wife, mother, political activist,
moral spokesmodel and yoga fanatic.
She's dubbed her new tour "Re-Invention" and packed it
full of images that reflect her newfound identity. For Madonna's
2004 model, it could easily be the "Mixed-Message" tour.
Many of her recent public moves have fallen as flat as her high
Think about her highly touted tonsil hockey with Britney Spears
and Christina Aguilera at last year's MTV Video Music Awards. It
was meant to be outrageous and link the aging icon to the pop tarts
of a new generation. But to many, it was one of the most cloying
moves she ever made.
"It looked a little desperate,"
says Rachel Weingarten, president of youth-oriented GTK Marketing.
"If she's trying to create the image of a comfortable, complacent
mom, it sent another message to kiss a girl. It said, wait, you're
not interesting enough anymore if you still have to create that
kind of controversy."
What's shakiest about Madonna's current tour, however, is the fundamental
lack of something she's always had - a hit. The title track of American
was the album's only big single, and that barely cracked
Billboard's Top 40, peaking at No. 37.
The album itself is the singer's least successful to date, reaching
platinum status in three months, but stalling soon after. Even 2000's
"Music" went double-platinum, and sold nearly three times
as many copies worldwide.
That's largely because young people are the most avid record buyers
and, Weingarten says, they see her as a "doyenne" who
is "far from the epitome of hip."
The singer has tried to stay connected, but it's been something
of an awkward fit. Can anybody really imagine Madonna heading to
the mall to try on a pair of jeans?
"She wanted to stay
relevant," says Morris Reid, managing director of the marketing
agency Blue Fusion. "So she appeared in a GAP ad with Missy
Perhaps that's why "Re-Invention," unlike previous tours,
features so many of Madonna's classic hits, giving older fans what
they've long clamored for. Except that they'll have to swallow the
nostalgia with hefty doses of politics and religion.
dogmatic Kabbalah babble, political propaganda and 'Riverdance' moves
are an utter bore to her hard-core fans," says Mary Spio, pop
culture editor of One2One magazine.
"Going to a Madonna
concert riddled with cryptic Hebrew texts and images of war is like
going to a strip joint, only to find the strippers reading from
the Book of Psalms," she adds.
The tour was initially billed as being sold out, but last week Clear
Channel announced that a large block of tickets "in all price
ranges" was still available for her New York shows.
The $305 price of the top tickets is another sign that spirituality
hasn't altered Madonna's penchant for profit.
These days when she sings "I am a material girl," she
likes to deflect her old image by saying "not anymore."
But the concert merchandise tables are filled with Kabbalah trinkets
and her Web site hawks discounted copies of her kids' book "Mr.
Peabody's Apples." Her new identity conveniently comes complete
with a fully accessorized product line.
"She's always at
the center of things changing," Salzman says. "And then
she will make a business of it." (source: Macon
25 June - Norton
sets sights on Madonna
Graham Norton is just shooting a new series in the US for the cable
station Comedy Central. He says working in America has always been
his "pipe dream" and he's trying to track down celebrities
willing to play along with his brand of humour.
my big get," he says, "but in the end, the Madonna I want
is the Madonna from six years ago. Now she's a working mother of
two. Everything's about Kaballah. I'm not sensing fun with a capital
F." (source: IOL
25 June - Madonna brings Jewish mysticism
The queen of pop has become the queen of ancient Persia - and she's
got the Judaic trappings to prove it.
When Madonna - now also known as Esther (as in the Jewish queen
who saved her people) - blows into town Sunday for the Boston leg
of her Re-Invention Tour, she'll be schlepping more than the string
of hits that made her 22-year career. She'll also be flashing the
symbols of her newfound faith: Kabbalah, with a capital K, an offshoot
of ancient Jewish mysticism.
The Hebrew letters lamed, aleph, vov (which together, as LAV, supposedly
form one of the 72 names of God) will light up giant video screens
behind Madge's dancing minions. A red string with seven knots (said
to ward off the evil eye) will encircle the left wrist of the ex-
(she says) Material Girl. A T-shirt reading "Kabbalists Do
It Better'' will cling to her yoga-toned body. Memories of tefillin
- scripture-filled leather pouches worn during prayer, which Madonna
uses in her music video Die
- will hover over the turntable that spins center-stage.
The house will be dark on Friday night and Saturday - the Jewish
What, we wondered, would local rabbis and scholars make of Madonna's
None we asked questioned her intentions, though one did wonder whether
she'd been drawn into the fold by the promise of immortality through
potential DNA restructuring - a tenet, he'd heard, of the Los Angeles-based
Kabbalah Centre, where Madonna, 45, practices. The same kind of
molecular magic, performed by Centre leader Philip Berg, is rumored
to transform upstate New York spring water into healing pre-Flood
But the experts did marvel at her lack of scholarship. "I think
she's a spiritual seeker and not just a faddist,'' said Arthur Green,
professor of Jewish thought at Brandeis University and a Jewish-mysticism
scholar. ``She uses letters and they inspire her, and I have no
objection to that. But I can't say there's any knowledge reflected
Moshe Waldoks, rabbi of Temple Beth Zion, an Independent congregation
in Brookline, was more skeptical. "It's a very strange phenomenon
to get involved with the Kabbalah without getting involved with
Judaism,'' he said. The Kabbalah Centre, which boasts 50 branches,
including one in Newton Centre, proclaims on its Web site that "Kabbalah
is about 'light' not religion!''
"I think one of the main
issues that conventional Jewish leaders have with the Kabbalah Centre
approach is that Kabbalah is historically and most traditionally
something that was preserved for scholars who had achieved a fluency
in rabbinic thought and literature,'' said William Hamilton, rabbi
of the Conservative congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline.
Rabbi Hamilton has no problem with the letters LAV being projected
on a screen, because, he said, it's "not one of God's names
that cannot be erased,'' that is, one of the seven names that, when
they appear on paper, can't be discarded because they have an "inherent
sanctity.'' Rabbi Waldoks doesn't think most people will even be
able to distinguish the letters from "pig Latin" or "a
The tefillin binding her arm in the music video are another matter.
"That I'd be more critical of because I think that gets into
perhaps other associations with leather straps and the like, and
I don't even want to go there,'' said Rabbi Hamilton.
lot of people must think this is a bondage film,'' Waldoks cracked.
Though the pop icon's brand of worship doesn't appear to put much
stock in the central Jewish principle of mitzvot (good deeds), said
the experts, good can still come from her embrace of Kabbalah, which
has attracted Jews and nonJews alike for hundreds of years.
"Kabbalah has always attracted very serious followers and trivial,
superficial followers, because it makes promises that sound very
close to magic, like rewards for study that are not always spiritual
but sometimes good fortune and magical powers,'' said Green. "That
is not at all the true meaning of Kabbalah, but the element has
always been there. Madonna is turning out to be surprisingly serious
in her orientation.''
"Often it's the nonJew that gets
fascinated who brings Jews to re-examine,'' said Waldoks. "Madonna's
interest might ignite more Jews to rediscover. Shabbat observance
is not one of the top things Jews do. God works in mysterious ways."
25 June - Madonna competition
Fans in the UK should tune into TOTP this Friday at 7.30pm on BBC1
to enter a very exciting Madonna competition... (source: Madonna.com
24 June - Madonna on Kabbalah tour?
Madonna is planning to tour holy places in Israel in October with
a group of more than 100 students studying Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism,
the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported today.
Madonna - who recently announced that she wants to be known by the
name of the Jewish heroine "Esther" - has been deeply
immersed in Kabbalah studies in recent years.
She now wears a red thread on her wrist, a common Jewish charm to
ward off the evil eye.
According to Maariv, Madonna decided to tour Israel with her fellow
Kabbalah students after she recently cancelled a tour in the country.
London tabloids reported that Madonna called off the concert after
letters from an unidentified Palestinian group threatened to kill
Madonna's trip is planned to coincide with the Jewish New Year,
She will reportedly stay in an out-of-the-way guesthouse and avoid
fans and TV cameras so she will be able to focus on her Kabbalah
studies, the newspaper reported. (source: The
~ Personally, i think this article deserves a big RUMOUR tag...
don't get excited just yet.
- Mana Church fights devil Madonna
It was reported earlier that the Lisbon concerts is suffering some
problems because the venue isn't available for rehearsals and preparations
the days before the concert. A religious organisation Mana Church,
who had reserved the Atlantic Pavillion from September 8th till
the 11th, refuses to move to another venue and seems to see this
situation as a fight between Christ (Mana Church) and the Devil
member Hanzo-San translated the following article that appeared
in the Portuguese newspaper Correio
"One "fight between the Devil versus
Christ". This is what the Maná Church, in the words
of its creator, self-intitled apostle Jorge Tadeu, reacts to the
pressures that allegedly have been made on the cult to modify the
dates of the Convention of Faith 2004 - marked to take place between
the 8th and the 11th of September in the Atlantic Pavilion -, in
order to make possible the accomplishment of first show of Madonna
Madonna’s debut in Portuguese stages is emerged in controversy.
In an e-mail, the one that the “Correio da Manhã”
(CM) had access the responsible person for the Church goes to the
point to appeal to all the churches to put the disagreements and
differences aside to be joined on behalf of Christ".
Having refused other dates and places to carry through its event
and, therefore, accused of unyielding attitude and lack of compassion
on the part of the fans of Madonna, the Maná Church faces
the question now as a crusade between the good and the evil. "In
our point of view God is moving the Maná Church/Church of
Christ to knock down the Golias, King Nebucodonosor and the Fares.
We feel that the pressure of Madonna’s promoter and management
does not restrict itself to the Maná Church, it’s a
fight between Christ and the Devil", it is read in the mail
subscript from Jorge Tadeu who manifests his repudiation in wanting
to change "Jesus for Madonna".
It was in the past 6 of June that CM was made aware by Ricardo Casimiro,
of the promoter company Tournée, that Madonna’s concert,
in the 12th of September, could not come to happen for non-availability
of the place, since the immediately previous days were busy for
the Convention of Faith of the Maná Church. As Casimiro said
the assembly of show needs, however, three days which were promised
verbally by the venue.
The Convention of Faith 2004, that designates itself the 20th anniversary
of the Maná Church, brings to Portugal thousands of members
from the whole world, for that in the last days CM has received
hundreds from e-mails of the whole world manifesting the wish for
the event to happen.. The controversy is lasting because both parts
(and dates) continue to be announced officially in the websites
of Maná Church and Madonna. The Atlantic Pavilion, for its
side, continues to affirm that it intends to honor both commitments.
On the notice that Madonna’s management could come to sue
the Atlantic Pavilion, a source affirmed that such will not be happen
anymore, since no signed legal contract between the two parts exists.
CM tried, one more time, to hear statements from the Maná
Church, but the same revealed itself unavailable at all times.
MANÁ MEMBERS REACTIONS
"... We parents do not want
that our children become as Madonna, therefore her example we must
censor. Our youth already has enough perversion to lose themselves...
"... We want morality and decency for the future
generations. Don’t want them to be as the current one: liar,
corrupt and greedy... "
"... Would like to express
my disgust for what we’re hearing in Brazil. What they intend
to say with this? That Madonna is bigger than God?... "
"... What do they want? A world devastated by uncontrolled
sex, prostitution and drugs...? When the placed of Church is put
aside, the great black abyss of destruction will take over the World...
"... The Maná Church is willing to release
the dates of the commemoration of its 20 years of existence and
God is bigger than any Madonnas of the World... "
"... I hope that the commitment assumed by the Pavilion with
the Body of Christ is fulfilled. If it isn’t, the credit and
respectability that enjoys in the market will be truly shaken...
24 June - Madonna stalker
thrown out of MSG concert
A man who has been stalking Madonna was ejected from Madison Square
Garden on the first two nights of the Material Mom's six-night run
last week, The Post has learned.
On the first night of her "Reinvention" tour last Wednesday,
security guards found the man just outside the arena and booted
him, a Garden source said.
He had been identified from a photo handed out to all guards, according
to the source. The next night, the stalker was kicked out of the
building itself even though he had a ticket for the concert.
The source said the stalker has pestered the singer with calls to
her office. Madonna's security guards alerted the NYPD, which got
the Garden involved.
Madonna does not have an order of protection against the man, so
Garden security was only able to eject him. He was not arrested.
"We will not comment on her security issues," said NYPD
spokesman Detective Kevin Czartoryski.
A spokeswoman for Madonna could not be reached for comment.
It's not the first time Madonna has been scared by a stalker. In
1996, Robert Hoskins was sent to jail for 10 years for violent threats
against the singer.
Madonna had testified that Hoskins rang the doorbell at her California
home and said that "if he couldn't have me, he would slash
my throat from ear to ear."
Yesterday, a police squad car escorted Madonna's three-car motorcade
from the singer's Upper West Side apartment to the Garden. The motorcade
wove through Midtown in an attempt to find a clear route to the
arena. The traffic finally opened up when the squad car started
flashing its lights and blaring its siren.
Police escorts for celebrities are not uncommon, a source said,
but Czartoryski said that in this case, the NYPD was merely "assisting
her move through traffic."
Still, it was hardly an isolated incident, the MSG source said:
Madonna has had a similar escort on at least one other occasion
during this tour. Tonight is the last show of Madonna's [NYC] run.
24 June - New tour documentary
to premiere in Cannes
Queen of pop Madonna will dispel myths about her "eccentric
lifestyle" in a new feature-length documentary which will debut
at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
The film, described as a sequel to 1991's 'Truth
,' will chronicle the Music
singer's current Re-invention
and explains her controversial devotion to Kabbalah - a
mystical offshoot of Judaism.
Director Jonas Akerlund, who has worked on the star's American
and Ray Of Light
videos, tells MTV that after each night's concert, he heads back
to his hotel room to start editing, because the amount of footage
he's collected so far is massive.
His crew admits that the hardest part is keeping up with the 45-year-old
superstar, who seems to have endless amounts of energy to dance,
do yoga and run. (source: WSRW
~ In 1991, Truth Or Dare
premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
24 June - Slane licence finally approved
Meath County Council today approved a licence for Madonna's Slane
Castle concert on Sunday 29 August, but certain conditions have
been attached. The concert has been given the go ahead, provided
that it doesn't run past ten thirty at night and the audience has
vacated the site by midnight. Other conditions put a limit of 80,000
on the number of spectators at the gig and a levy of one Euro per
ticket payable to Meath County Council. Lord Henry Mountcharles,
the owner of Slane Castle, said he was delighted that the licence
has been granted, and that the focus would be on ensuring minimum
disruption to the village of Slane. (source: RTE
24 June - Madonna to make Models
Madonna is casting a range of beauties to play Naoimi Campbell,
Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Cgristy Turlington in a film-
adaptation of a tell-all book about the supermodels. The 45-year-old
superstar has acquired the film rights to Micheal Gross' revealing
fashion industry tome Model. David Brendal wrote the movie treatment
for Madonna's Maverick Films, and the movie is expected to air on
an American cable network next year (05). A range of other supermodels
are expected to be included in the movie, including Sylvester Stallone's
ex-girlfriend Janice Dickonson. (source: Irish
24 June - Too much
Madonna in preachy 'Seven Thieves'
Madonna's Yakov and the Seven Thieves is the most visually magnificent
of her three children's books, but the dreary and inappropriate
story is lackluster and verbose. The luscious, wonderfully ornate
illustrations, which convey a sense of 18th-century Ukraine, were
created by the prolific and gifted Russian-born artist Gennady Spirin,
who has illustrated 33 children's books and won a number of prizes.
Putting the name of the illustrator on the cover of a children's
book is a traditional practice when the illustrator and writer are
two different people.
Apparently, however, when one has an ego fatter than the onion domes
topping Moscow's skyline, giving credit to others isn't part of
the program. Spirin, like the illustrators of Madonna's previous
two books, must settle for having his name listed on the book's
Ego also plays a huge part in this moralistic tale. We're not talking
about the ego of the characters. They are far too underdeveloped
for that. It's the ego of Madonna, who apparently sees herself as
destined to improve the world's moral tone.
The tale involves a dying little boy named Mikhail whose desperate
father, the cobbler Yakov, and distraught mother, Olga, consult
doctors but cannot find a cure. In desperation, Yakov visits a wise
old man who claims that his prayers are powerful enough to pass
through heaven's gates. When this doesn't happen, the old man has
his grandson, Pavel, gather the village's pickpockets, thieves and
other criminals. When this gang prays, the little boy miraculously
Unfortunately, Madonna violates several rules of children's literature,
including don't be wordy and keep it appropriate. And parents will
enjoy explaining the occupation of one particular character: an
arsonist. Most of all, get off your high horse, Madame Morality.
This tale is humorless and heavy-handed.
In fairness, Madonna did write an appealing children's book with
her first, The English Roses, published in 2003.
She writes best when drawing upon personal experience. Roses effectively
explored the difficult situation of being a motherless girl snubbed
by her peers.
Her second book was weaker. Mr. Peabody's Apples addressed gossip
and lies. A cloying stench of self-pity about the media's obsession
with Mrs. Ritchie could be detected. Not that Madonna — or
is it Esther, now that she has adopted a Hebrew name? — ever
seeks the public's attention.
But this book, the third of five, is the worst. Dying children,
prayers, criminals praying to open the gates of heaven. It's positively
Grimm. Yakov will either bore or frighten children.
So if Madonna wants to jump-start her morality campaign, she could
start with her own ego and at least put the illustrator's name on
the cover of her next book. (USA
24 June - 'Yakov' is
With the release of her third children's book, Madonna's infatuation
with Judaism just keeps on growing.
Yakov and the Seven Thieves follows on from the queen of pop's first
two children's books, The English Roses and Mr. Peabody's Apples,
which are both Kaballa-inspired international bestsellers.
a story about how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates
of heaven - no matter how unworthy we think we are," the star
wrote in a statement released by the publisher.
Aimed at readers aged six and up, Yakov and the Seven Thieves is
a 32-page hardcover with images by Gennady Spirin, an internationally
Madonna's first book was set in contemporary England, and the second
in post-World War II America. In Yakov and the Seven Thieves, she
focuses on a small 18th-century town in Eastern Europe.
The book is the third of five to be published by Madonna. Her fourth,
The Adventures of Abdi, will be released on November 8.
book deals with issues that all children confront," wrote the
singer. "Hopefully there is a lesson that will help kids turn
painful or scary situations into learning experiences."
Madonna's involvement with the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Center
is well-known and recently it has been reported that the star has
decided to observe kashrut dietary restrictions, not to perform
on Friday nights (Shabbat eve) and even adopted the Jewish name
of "Esther."2 (source: Jerusalem
22 June - Vatican feels
threatened by Kabbalah
Madonna might start singing, "Pope, Don’t Preach."
The lapsed-Catholic diva has come under scrutiny from the Vatican
because of her support of Kabbalah. The former Material Girl has
become the world’s highest-profile member of the Kabbalah
Centre, a controversial offshoot of Judaism, and has even taken
on the Jewish name Esther. But now, the Vatican is holding a special
summit with Catholic leaders from around the world, hammering out
a way to deal with so-called “New Age” religions and
fads that pose a “threat” to Christianity.
The council, which met last week, singled out “Kabbalah as
espoused by Madonna” — as well as a number of other
faddish religions, according to a report.
“In the past,
the Pope has criticized Madonna for the contents of her concerts,”
says cult expert Rick Ross, who has closely followed the activities
of the Kabbalah Centre. “Now, ironically, it’s become
a theological issue.” (source: MSNBC
22 June - Piper adds Madonna's
When Lorne Cousin received a voicemail from Madonna on his home
phone asking him to call her, the Edinburgh lawyer thought his friends
were playing a practical joke.
So the 31-year-old got the surprise of his life when the very same
global megastar answered the return call and invited him to play
his bagpipes on stage with her during the artist’s five month
Reinvention world tour.
For months Mr Cousin was ordered to remain quiet about the exciting
proposal - even suffering a scare when news reports mistakenly said
another Scottish piper had been chosen to play on the tour.
However, following reassurances from Madonna that she wanted
the 6ft 1in lawyer to star in her shows until October, Mr Cousin
has now taken leave from his job with Edinburgh law firm Turcan
Connell to appear on stage with the world famous singer.
One of Scotland’s top pipers, Mr Cousin, from Campbeltown,
Kintyre, was spotted by Madonna when he played at Stella McCartney’s
wedding on Bute last year. His father Alastair, who is a vet, became
a friend of the McCartney family after years tending to their animals.
Speaking from New York last night, Mr Cousin, who lives in Broughton,
Edinburgh, said he was having "great fun" after completing
14 dates and said it was the "best thing" he had ever
Another of Scotland’s top pipers - Callum 'Spud' Fraser, from
Aviemore - was reportedly upset last month when he learned he had
failed to make Madonna’s performer line-up after being approached
earlier in the year. Some media reports had named him as the piper
that Madonna wanted, which in turn had caused Mr Cousin to be alarmed.
"I feel very sorry for him (Callum Fraser) because I know how
he feels, as I was worried when I saw him in the newspapers and
on TV as Madonna’s piper when I thought I was doing it. I
phoned Madonna’s agent straight away and was reassured that
it was a red herring and that they still did want me," said
"When Madonna first called me I said I would
have to think about it as I had a job, so her agents approached
other pipers while I was deciding what to do. That’s where
the mix-up happened.
"I will contact him to say ‘no
hard feelings’ because I genuinely feel sorry for him."
After spending ten days rehearsing in the US in March, Mr Cousin
flew out in May for the first gig at the Forum in Los Angeles. He
plays a four-minute piece of Scottish music, which he composed especially
for the 90-minute concerts. The tune links two songs near the end
of the concerts, which have a Scottish theme.
He then returns and dances while pretending to play the pipes.
Mr Cousin also responded to a Scottish tabloid article which was
critical of his dancing, and called into question the authenticity
of his Highland attire.
He said: "I was pretty upset when I read I was "jumping
around the stage like a peat-bog fairy".
added the dancing bit, and at first I was worried about it and said
I couldn’t dance. I agree I wouldn’t be able to play
while dancing - that is just the fun bit at the end after I play
a few songs earlier. Also, comments about the length of my kilt
were annoying. It was artistic licence on Madonna’s behalf
because she likes longer kilts, and I don’t think it is an
affront to Scottish culture.
"The American crowds have
been loving the Scottish element to the shows, and are now coming
to the concerts wearing kilts."
Mr Cousin is playing 32 dates in the US and Canada and 15 shows
in Europe in front of over 750,000 fans during the tour.
He added: "It is so exciting when you’re waiting to go
on and you can hear 20,000 people screaming. It certainly beats
"They go crazy when I come on, and
luckily I haven’t made a mistake yet. Although the rehearsals
are tiring, I am loving it and think it is the best thing I have
done. It is also great living in five-star hotels all the time and
when we go nightclubbing they phone ahead and we get to jump the
queue. Madonna is great to work with. She is strict but in a good
way, as she pays great attention to detail."
Mr Cousin started practising every night from the age of seven using
his grandfather’s bagpipes, and has played in dozens of competitions.
Douglas Connell, joint senior partner at Turcan Connell, said: "An
opportunity of this magnitude does not present itself every day
and we are absolutely delighted to support Lorne in this venture.
I am sure he will prove to be a very worthy ambassador for both
Turcan Connell and Scotland." (source: Scotsman
22 June - A Chanel cabaret
She's off again - for her "Reinvention Tour" (from May
24th to September 5th), Madonna, the uncontested queen of pop and
fashion icon always at the cutting edge of the trend, will be revealing
her best assets. This time the singer approached CHANEL, and Karl
Lagerfeld designed two fringed bodysuits in a music-hall singer
style - one in black and white stripes, the other in red and black.
His comment was, "I love Madonna. She is a source of inspiration
for us all - always ready to be transformed. Who could refuse to
work with her?" The items have been designed in a stretch fabric
to accommodate the star's body movements, embroidered with some
200 000 sequins, each one set in place individually using a hook!
An amazing achievement that took more than 250 hours of work by
the nimble fingers in the Haute Couture workshops. In all, three
copies of each of the two outfits have been made, to make allowance
for the little accidents that are likely to occur in the course
of a six-month tour. (source: CNW
~ Naturally, the tour doesn't stop on september 5th; they obviously
hadn't heard of Arnhem and Lisbon yet. On the other hand, how did
they get the idea of '6 months'?...
21 June - Interview with Jamie King
Who can a star rely on to create a spiritually enlightened, Pilates-inspired,
military-saluting, career-extending international road show? Jamie
King has created pop spectaculars for Prince, Ricky Martin, Britney
Spears and Jennifer Lopez. Still, directing and choreographing Madonna's
Reinvention Tour, which opened here late last month, made all his
previous assignments look easy. By the time it completes its three-month
run, with 55 concerts in the United States, Canada and Europe, it
is expected to gross $120 million. Mr. King, 32, has worked with
Madonna since she asked him to choreograph her video for Human
in 1996. He recently talked with Valerie Gladstone.
VALERIE GLADSTONE Describe how you and she come up with
JAMIE KING We've been working together for a long time, so we don't
have to go through the whole introductory process. It's more like
"Jamie, I saw this Ninja movie, and it was cool, and it might
be cool to do something like that on tour." Or, "My kids
have been watching 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,' maybe we could do
something like the dance with bamboo sticks from that as a transition
into Into the Groove
GLADSTONE What happens when you disagree?
KING We had one major disagreement. Only a few weeks ago, I told
her I thought she should replace a song she had already relearned
with Material Girl
. She'd spent
a lot of time learning the other song on the guitar. She'd also
said publicly that she would never sing Material
again. So I had to convince her that it was a bigger hit
and worked much better at the end of a particular sequence.
GLADSTONE Were you worried that the song wouldn't go over?
KING If the audience hadn't responded enthusiastically, I'd never
have heard the end of it.
GLADSTONE What did you do
after choosing the 12 dancers?
KING I set up four rooms in the Culver City Studios: the band room
where Madonna worked on the songs with the musical director and
the musicians; the choreography room where we developed the dances;
the technical room, where I had the theatrical props, like the swings
for the acrobatic dances. That's also where we rehearsed the fire
handling and rifle choreography and skateboarding. In another room,
I had the entire stage taped out to scale with mock screens and
elements of the set, all made of wood. Madonna wants to know exactly
what everything will actually look like in materials as close to
the finals as possible.
GLADSTONE The show has a variety
of dance styles: tango, popping, a Scottish bagpipe procession and
something called the krump. What's the krump?
KING Madonna likes me to bring her the newest thing. The krump is
very in-your-face, very angry and confrontational, with the arms
spread wide in a threatening manner. My dancers told me about it.
It looks like you're fighting. It's a way for kids in tough neighborhoods
to express their aggression, without really fighting. That's what
she and I like about it.
21 June - Madonna's
pricey shirts sell like hot cakes
A Britney Spears concert T-shirt might cost 20 to 30 dollars but
despite their exorbitant price-tag Material girl, Madonna's T's
are a hot favorite amongst her fans.
According to New York Post, while her black "Re-Invention Tour"
tank top costs 85 dollars, a rhinestone studded T-shirt is for 119.95
dollars on her Madonnatourstore.com Web site.
According to Lee Tepper, co-founder of MerchDirect, a New York City
music and entertainment merchandiser, "If you correlate music
with fashion, Madonna would be Versace or Dolce and Gabbana. Eighty-five
dollars is a little high, but if Madonna can get it and someone's
willing to pay for it, she'll do it because she can."
However, Madonna's spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, said, "I think
in the case of Madonna's stuff, the quality is a bit better and
the shirts are more creative and interesting, because she's very
good at that."
"Some were printed using a special
technique, some are double-layered, some can be worn inside and
outside. The price differential is based on something that an $85
shirt might have that a $35 shirt might not have," she added.
19 June - Over €5m spent on
Slane tickets so far
Madonna is set to earn at least €2m from her first Irish gig
at Slane Castle this August. Over 56,000 tickets were sold within
the first 24 hours, with fans spending over €5m on tickets
so far. This figure has broken all box office gross receipts records
and single day sales records for any event this year. Over €3.5m
worth of tickets were sold in the first five hours, with an individual
ticket costing €88.50. Madonna plays Slane Castle in Co Meath
on August 29. (source: Irish
18 June - 30.000 tickets
sold in 30 minutes
Tickets for the Slane concert, scheduled for August 29, went on
sale this morning. No less than 30.000 tickets sold out in half
an hour. Is there still any critic claiming the ticket sale for
this tour is going poorly?
Supporting acts for Slane are Paul Oakenfold, The Darkness, Iggy
& The Stooges, with more to be announced soon.
18 June - Bush behaves like Saddam, says Madonna
Madonna today compared US President George Bush to deposed Iraqi
dictator Saddam Hussein. The 45-year-old pop star said the two men
were 'alike' because they both behaved 'in an irresponsible manner'.
Madonna made the comments during an interview in which she tried
to draw a line under her wild days, vowing to be 'part of the order,
not the chaos, of the world'.
Madonna's current Re-Invention tour carries a strong anti-war message
and her recent video for the song American Life was clear in its
opposition to the Iraq conflict. In the final scene of the video,
a President Bush lookalike kisses Saddam on the cheek.
don't want to equate George Bush with Saddam Hussein. But I believe
that George Bush and Saddam Hussein are both behaving in an irresponsible
manner. So, in that respect, they're alike," Madonna said.
She added that she decided not to release the pop video last year
as America prepared for war because there was a 'lynch-mob' patriotism
sweeping the country at the time. "I have children to protect
and I just didn’t think it was the right time," she said.
Speaking to ABC, Madonna also sought to complete her transfer from
erotic provocateur to spiritually fulfilled mother and wife. She
said she wanted to 'be more liberated from my ego' but admitted
she still has 'a long way to go'.
"Once you enter the popularity
sweepstakes, which you do when you become famous... you enter the
world of 'How am I doing? How’s my ratings? Where am I in
the 50 most beautiful people poll?'," she said.
But she regretted her past wild behaviour. "The stance of a
rebel is 'I don't care what you think'. But if it's just for the
sake of upsetting the apple cart, you're not really helping people.
You turn the apple cart over and then what? Then everyone's looking
at an apple cart that's turned over and they're like, well, now
what do I do?"
Madonna's latest transformation means her days of shedding her clothes
on stage or in front of the camera are also over. "I thought
I was liberating mankind but, like I said, I wasn't really offering
an alternative. To a certain extent I was saying 'Look, you know,
why do men only get the job of objectifying women in a sexual way?
I want to do it too.' There was an element of that, but there was
also an element of being an exhibitionist and saying 'Look at me.'
It wasn't that altruistic. I can admit that."
She added: "I choose to look at myself as a person who's now
awake and a person who's now trying to be part of the order, not
the chaos, of the world."
Now she loves being a wife and mother, free from the days when she
'just ripped through relationships'. Sean Penn, Dennis Rodman and
Warren Beatty were among her former lovers.
She is very different from her husband, film director Guy Ritchie,
who is 'always trying to recapture his youth'. "He did so many
fun things as a child that he still loves to do," she said.
"And I don't. I'm not interested in recapturing my childhood
As for her own children, Madonna says she see a lot of herself in
her seven-year-old daughter Lourdes, adding: "Girls are so
clever – more clever than boys. I see myself in her and, you
know, sometimes I'm repulsed and sometimes I just want to put my
arms around her.”"
Her relationship with four-year-old son Rocco is less complicated.
"You have a son. It's just, it's just love. They can do no
wrong," she said.
And her life has been enhanced through her study of 13th century
Jewish mysticism called Kabbalah. Other stars, including Demi Moore
and Britney Spears, are also said to be followers but Madonna insisted
she was not jumping on a celebrity bandwagon. "I'm very serious
about it,”"she said.
In excerpts of the interview released earlier this week, Madonna
– who was named after her mother – said wanted to be
called Esther as part of her following of Kabbalah. "My mother
died when she was very young, of cancer, and I wanted to attach
myself to another name. This is in no way a negation of who my mother
is. I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name,"
she said. (source: Scotsman
18 June - Madonna continues
to express herself
The name of Madonna's latest tour, Re-Invention, states the obvious
but poses a question. The singer is well-known for her multiple
personas, but what exactly is her latest reinvention?
It's been 22 years since Madonna released her first single, a lightweight
dance tune called Everybody
Subsequently, she's become a household name by taking on a dizzying
number of roles, including pop superstar, fashion trendsetter, feminist
icon, feminist enemy, music-industry powerhouse, sometime actress,
But has Madonna reinvented herself into a corner? At 45, she's recovering
from yet another failed film (2002's Swept
) and lukewarm sales of her latest album, American
. Artists half her age, such as Britney Spears, are copying
pages from her playbook and courting a new generation of teen girls.
Madonna's attempts to sidle up to Spears -- locking lips on last
year's MTV Video Music Awards and recording a breathy duet called
"Me Against the Music" -- seemed to boost the younger
starlet's career more than the veteran's. And Madonna's tour is
more a retrospective than a reinvention, relying mostly on retooled
past hits and familiar personas.
Madonna is touring at the same time as two other shape-shifting
performers: David Bowie and Prince. Neither, however, has managed
Madonna's latest feat: an eight-night run in the New York City area,
which started Wednesday, with six dates at Madison Square Garden
and two at Continental Airlines Arena. Madonna's tour will likely
become the year's highest grossing, expected to pull in about $120
million, according to Billboard magazine.
the train on this tour is that she announced she would do a career
retrospective," says Ray Waddell, senior touring editor at
Billboard. "Her fans always perceive her as cutting-edge, but
that doesn't mean they don't want to go back and review her best
Lasting effect on pop culture
Madonna has plenty of moments to review, many of which had a lasting
effect on popular culture. Initially, she seemed like little more
than a pretty face, but her 1983 debut album, "Madonna,"
yielded a string of Top 40 hits with "Holiday," "Borderline"
and "Lucky Star." The music was a simple mix of disco
and pop, but there was another ingredient to Madonna's success:
MTV, then a 2-year-old cable network hungry for new music videos.
"She was one of the first artists who really saw the true value
of video," says Rick Krimm, an MTV executive from 1985 to 1994
and now vice president of music programming at VH1. "Even the
old videos from the first record, which were nothing groundbreaking,
really projected a strong image of who she was at the time."
It was primarily Madonna's wardrobe that grabbed viewers' attention.
Along with the teased hair and rubber bracelets came a couple of
fashion shockers: a high-cut shirt showing off the midriff and a
bare shoulder revealing a length of bra strap. That gave birth to
an entire generation of imitators whom the press dubbed "Madonna
wanna-bes." Macy's even opened shops called Madonnaland long
before it became the norm for musicians to start their own clothing
Madonna's willfully slatternly outfits flew in the face of convention,
recalls Nicole White, a 41-year-old Long Beach, N.Y., resident who
was a fan during those early years. Particularly startling was that
famous "Boy Toy" belt-buckle, she says. "It was,
like, 'You choose that?' Up until then, girls didn't really choose.
You were labeled a slut if you did. And she sort of didn't care.
And that made it OK."
Madonna's next album, Like a
, raised even more eyebrows. "In 1984, to sing 'Like
a virgin, touched for the very first time' might not seem like a
big deal now," says Jeremy Rice, program director at WBLI/
106.1 FM in Babylon, N.Y. "But in the Reagan years," when
few mainstream artists were addressing sexuality so frankly, "it
was totally controversial."
For her performance on that year's MTV Music Video Awards (the network's
first), Madonna wore a lingerie wedding gown while writhing around
on the floor. That set the tone for her 1985 tour, in which she
gyrated suggestively with several male dancers. Like Michael Jackson,
whose star was rising around the same time, Madonna packaged her
music with stylish, sexualized dancing, setting a standard for teen-oriented
pop acts and boy bands for years to come.
What followed was a Madonna media blitz that rarely let up over
the next two decades. Throughout, Madonna lived through scandals
(often of her own making) that would have ruined other stars but
only served to boost her reputation, says Mark Bego, author of the
biography "Madonna: Blonde Ambition" (Cooper Square Press,
$18.95). Penthouse magazine, for instance, published nude photos
of Miss America Vanessa Williams in 1984, then ran similar pictures
of Madonna a year later, Bego recalls. The result: Williams had
her crown taken away, but for Madonna, "it was like throwing
gasoline on a fire."
In her 1989 video for Like a Prayer
Madonna wore a black slip while dancing around in a church, prompting
an outcry from fundamentalist Christians. Pepsi, which had been
using the song in commercials, dropped it as threats of a boycott
mounted. Then came her 1992 book "Sex," a collection of
graphic photographs that delved into sexual taboos such as body
piercings, homoeroticism and mild bondage. Reviewers considered
"Sex" a grievous lapse in taste (one photo featured Madonna
kneeling naked over a mirror), but the book sold a respectable 1.5
million copies. And the publicity was priceless.
All of which are lessons Spears has clearly learned. Her risque
stage shows, nearly nude photos on magazine covers and constant
talk of sex during interviews have kept her continuously in the
public eye. "Although Britney has evolved, the provocative
dress and stage movements, the basis for those is Madonna,"
says Bob Buchmann, program director of WAXQ/104.3 FM in New York.
"In fact, the basis for the entire corporation that drives
the marketing behind Britney is Madonna. It's a whole philosophy."
Sparked feminist debate
What made Madonna more than just an oversexed entertainer was the
debate she sparked among feminists, academics and parents: Was her
overt sexuality empowering or exploitative? Was she a role model
for young women or a bad influence? "Nobody got it then, and
they still don't get it," says Debbie Stoller, editor of the
feminist magazine Bust. "Madonna takes the image of a sexy
woman and invests it with some power, so it's not just something
to be consumed by people watching her," she explains. "It's
always about how much she is in control."
Contrast that to Spears, who until recently claimed to be a virgin
although her songs and dance moves were highly erotic. "It's
that old double standard that women can be understood to be sexy,
but they can't be understood to be having sex," says Stoller.
"Britney just totally goes along with that program. There's
nothing ironic or innovative in what Britney does."
Eventually, Madonna became more than just a successful entertainer
-- she also established herself as a businesswoman. In 1992, she
signed a reported $60 million deal with Time Warner Inc. to establish
her own label, Maverick Records, which became one of the few vanity
labels to produce a roster of successful artists, including Alanis
Morissette and Michelle Branch. Though Warner now contends in a
lawsuit that Maverick lost money, Madonna set an example for other
female performers to take control of their careers and set up businesses
beyond merely recording and touring.
The one place Madonna seemed to falter, however, was in Hollywood.
Though she landed a Golden Globe for best actress (for a musical
or comedy) for her title role in 1996's Evita
her list of cinematic flops is a long one, including Shanghai
(with then-husband Sean Penn), Dick
(with then-boyfriend Warren Beatty) and, most recently,
(directed by husband
Guy Ritchie). The last fared so poorly that Columbia TriStar never
even released it in England, Ritchie's native country and Madonna's
new second home.
The failed films have a common factor, says Bego: They were made
with or by powerful Hollywood men. "She has trouble being directed.
She has a vision, and a very strong vision of what she ought to
These days, Madonna's vision seems a little fuzzy. In her video
for the song American Life
she wore military fatigues and lobbed a grenade at a George W. Bush
look-alike. It was one of the few times Madonna followed fashion
rather than leading it: Many designers already had developed military-style
outfits by the time Madonna made her video. And in a rare move to
avoid controversy, she pulled the video from MTV. Radio also stayed
away from the song, an uncomfortable mix of synth-pop and sociopolitical
rapping. "It was a total flop," says Jeremy Rice, program
director of WBLI/106.1 FM in Babylon. "When we put it on the
air here, we got negative calls right away."
Children's book author
It may be that Madonna's wildest years are behind her. Now
a mother of two, she's penned two hit children's books, "The
English Roses" and "Mr. Peabody's Apples." A third,
"Yakov and the Seven Thieves" will be released Monday.
Two more books are also planned as well are a line of merchandise,
including dolls, apparel and school supplies. (She may have even
started yet another trend: Musician Billy Joel also is writing a
children's book.) And the woman whose videos once infuriated the
Catholic church has discovered spirituality in the form of Kabbalah,
a mystical Jewish philosophy. Here, too, she's been imitated: Celebrities
such as Demi Moore, Paris Hilton and, yes, Spears all have dabbled
in Kabbalah symbolism.
Madonna's triumphant tour may prove that she's still writing pop-culture
history. At 45, she's making albums, dancing on stages and stirring
almost as much publicity as ever. That's unusual for an older female
rocker, says Buchmann. "Madonna seems to be following in the
footsteps of older male rock stars," he says. "Look at
the guys from Aerosmith, or Keith Richards and Jagger. People make
fun of their age, but everybody comes to Madison Square Garden to
see them play. I'm not so sure most women could do that." (source:
18 June - Madonna
chooses Esther as new name
Call her Esther: That's the Hebrew name Madonna has chosen for herself
as a follower of Kabbalah.
"I was named after my mother.
My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and ... I wanted
to attach myself to another name," the singer says in an interview
on ABC's "20/20," airing at 10 p.m. EDT Friday. "This
is in no way a negation of who my mother is ... I wanted to attach
myself to the energy of a different name."
During the interview, Madonna wears the red string around her wrist
that's a symbol of the Jewish mysticism, though she wears it beneath
her watch. She says she's sensitive when critics suggest her interest
in Kabbalah is just a trend.
"I'm a little bit irritated
that people think that it's like some celebrity band wagon that
I've jumped on, or that, say, somebody like Demi (Moore) has jumped
on," the 45-year-old says. "We don't take it lightly.
"Paris Hilton did come to the Kabbalah Centre once,
because her parents brought her ... and they wanted to help her
and they were desperate and they brought her there and she had a
meeting and she left and she never came back and suddenly, Paris
Hilton studies Kabbalah. I mean that's what happens and people ...
they don't know the whole story." (source: AP
18 June - Madonna urges fans
to see 'Fahrenheit 9/11'
Michael Moore has got Madonna's vote — she urged fans during
her concert Wednesday night at New York's Madison Square Garden
to go see his provocative new film, "Fahrenheit 9/11."
In what seemed to be a genuine, unscripted moment, the singer told
the audience — which included the filmmaker himself —
that she had just seen the film and that it had really affected
her. Moore had screened the film to a crowd of celebrities and members
of the press on Monday at New York's Ziegfeld Theater.
don't think I've ever cried so hard at a movie in my life,"
Madonna said during a break in her performance. "And I'm sure
I still have a lot to learn from it."
Madonna also acknowledged Moore's presence and thanked him for making
the film, which opens in New York on Wednesday and nationwide on
"Not only is it inspiring and educating, but it's
proof that people can make a difference, that we can make a difference,"
she said. "So, Michael, I know you're out there tonight, and
I just wanted to publicly thank you for sticking your neck out,
for going against the establishment, for giving us the hope."
Madonna had originally tried to create a controversial statement
against the war in Iraq herself, via her American
video, which was first edited and then withdrawn because
she had feared it could be deemed inappropriate at the time. The
idea survives in her live set, when she flashes stark images of
war on various screens behind her, and her dancers dress like soldiers
during the performance of that song. She also covers John Lennon's
peace song Imagine
her set. (source: MTV
18 June - Win pit passes with
See the Material Girl in concert in the city of your choice! Party
in the pit and be front and center for Madonna's shocking new tour.
! One grand prize winner will receive: two pit passes for
a re-Invention show of choice. Participants must by American resident
sof 18 years or older. (source: VH1
18 June - Madweek in Brazil
Our friend Rodrigo, president of the Brazilian fan club Madomaniac,
has confirmed us the dates for this year's MadWeek. Just like last
year, this second edition will be a full week of Madonna mania in
Brazil. The event takes place from the 16th till the 25th of July
and has the re-Invention tour and 20 years Madonna as themes. You
can find more details on the great fansite Madomaniac
17 June - Madonna
rethinks her racier days
She was in the pages of Playboy, published her own book on sex,
and kissed Britney Spears in a live stage performance, but Madonna
tells ABC News' 20/20 she may be through with propelling her celebrity
"I did spend at least a decade taking my clothes off and being
photographed, saying bad words on TV and that sort of thing. …
I don't regret it, but it's just, you know — I mean everybody
takes their clothes off now. And then what? You know? And then what?"
After two decades as one of the most controversial and famous women
in the world, the queen of re-invention is rethinking her private
life as well as her public life.
After a string of stormy affairs and a failed marriage to actor
Sean Penn, Madonna married filmmaker Guy Ritchie in 2000. The couple
have one child together, 4-year-old Rocco. And Madonna has a daughter
from a relationship with her former trainer Carlos Leon.
just ripped through relationships, in a willy-nilly, completely
selfish, what's in it for me? OK, this isn't serving me anymore.
I'm out of here. You know what I mean?"
These days, Madonna says she's happily settled into married life
and motherhood and seems to be putting family before fame. (source:
; picture courtesy of AP Photo/ABC, Rick Rowell)
17 June - Madonna's concerts top grossing of the week
reports the top grossing concerts of the week. Madonna is listed
4 times in the top 10, including the top 3 spots. Prince, The Eagles,
Britney and Eric Clapton complete the rest of the top 10.
16 June - Ticketmaster gets ready for massive Slane ticket sale
Ticketmaster Ireland is gearing up for the expected huge demand
for tickets for Madonna's first ever Irish concert at Slane Castle
when tickets go on sale this Friday morning. Ticketmaster will have
an extra 250 staff on duty to take calls from fans when the lines
open at 8.00 am on Friday.
Tickets priced 88.50 (including booking fee) are limited to 6 per
person and go on sale from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide or 24hr
hotlines: Tel: (ROI) 0818 719 300 (NI) 0870 243 4455 or Buy Online
Already Ticketmaster has been inundated with thousands of calls
from fans about Madonna's long-awaited Irish debut at Slane Castle
on August 29th when the Queen of Pop will perform all her greatest
''We are expecting a massive demand for Madonna tickets'', explained
Mr Eamonn O'Connor, Managing Director, Ticketmaster Ireland, ''This
concert has been talked about for years and now Madonna is finally
coming there is real excitement amongst fans.''
He added: ''We are bringing in extra staff to man the phones and
oversee the internet site while Ticketmaster outlets around the
country will also be open from 8am. We expect to be very very busy
because everyone wants to see Madonna.''
Amongst the special preparations being made by Ticketmaster are:
1. Extra capacity on Internet lines
2. Extra capacity on telephone lines
3. Extra personnel
4. No queuing allowed at Ticketmaster outlets before 7am on Friday
5. Security arrangements at key Ticketmaster outlets
Promoter recommends that persons under 18 are accompanied by a parent
or guardian over 21 years. (source: MadonnaTribe)
~ A first series of Slane tickets - out on ICON presale earlier
today - reportedly sold out in... 3 minutes! Eat this, New York
16 June - Yakov is best of
Madonna is getting the hang of this kiddie book thing.
Yakov and the Seven Thieves (Callaway Editions) is the third instalment
of Madonna's five-book series for the publisher and it's the best,
mostly because there is nothing Material Girl-ish about it. (Her
first book, the rather boring The English Roses, focused on a catty
group of girls illustrated in a very fashion-forward manner.)
The fairy-tale artwork in Yakov, by Russian painter Gennady Spirin,
brings authenticity to the story about a sick boy, desperate dad
and wise old man in an eastern European village in the 18th century.
Madonna, who cites the influence of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism,
in all her books, says Yakov was inspired by the Baal Shem Tov,
a Ukrainian teacher.
"It's a story about how all of us
have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven -- no matter how
unworthy we think we are. For when we go against our selfish natures,
we make miracles happen, in our lives and in the lives of others,"
Madonna writes on the cover jacket.
While that's an exaggeration of how important and symbolic this
book really is, the story moves along nicely and gets its message
about redemption across without being too preachy. It's also appropriately
written for its target audience of six-year-olds.
Yakov is the father of Mikhail, who is literally on his death bed.
With few options left, Yakov goes to visit the mysterious old man
who lives on the outskirts of the village and is rumoured to perform
miracles. Unfortunately, the old man's first attempt to help the
boy fails. He has an idea, though, to ask all the town's thieves,
pickpockets and criminals to put their rather unusual talents toward
a good cause.
Of course, being a children's picture book, there is a happy ending
with a healthy Mikhail and reformed rascals.
And, it's worth noting that the only female scoundrel, Petra the
Pickpocket, bears a striking resemblance to Madonna herself. (source:
16 June - Preview of ABC interview
Madonna, the master of self-invention, has come a long way since
her "Material Girl" days. While she has no regrets about
her moves on her climb to pop diva status, she tells ABC News' 20/20,
"I brought a lot of chaos to people's lives, because of my
In her latest incarnation, the wife, mother, children's book author
and still-touring pop star says the ruling philosophy in her home
is "pick up your s--t."
Madonna may have made a career on rebellion, irreverence and sexually
charged performance, but when it comes to her children, manners
are important. "Even my children have to clean up their mess,
clean up their rooms. Manners, thank you, please, take your dishes
to the sink. I mean … gratitude, being grateful, that is,
that has to happen … If it's traditional to be a decent human
being, then I'm traditional," she told ABC News' Cynthia McFadden.
Madonna married film director Guy Ritchie in 2000. They have a son
together, 4-year-old Rocco, and Madonna has a 7-year-old daughter,
Lourdes, whose father is Madonna's former personal trainer, Carlos
Madonna says her favorite aspect of getting older is "getting
smarter" and gives a rare glimpse of her private life with
Ritchie. She tells McFadden she believes the key step to a successful
marriage is "learning to apologize." She also shares one
of the couple's daily rituals, saying that after her grueling performances,
she goes in the tub and her husband talks to her about the day.
Madonna also speaks candidly with McFadden about her study of Jewish
mysticism known as Kabbala, which she believes is "incredibly
punk rock" and anti-establishment.
in immortality. They believe that you can overcome death, overcome
illness, whatever, so, it's … incredibly good to be a rebel,"
Madonna also reveals that she has also taken on the Hebrew name
of Esther, explaining that, "I was named after my mother. My
mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and I wanted to
attach myself to another name."
"This is in no way
a negation of who my mother is. I wanted to attach myself to the
energy of a different name."
Madonna also discusses her third and latest foray into children's
literature, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, which hits bookstores June
Madonna has dedicated the book to "naughty children everywhere,"
saying that, "Even the naughtiest person in the world, big
or small, has the capability to do something good in the world."
Describing herself as "naughty child, number one," she
espouses the power of prayer. "I pray every day and I believe
that it is a very powerful way to communicate, to heal, to affect
20/20 will also air exclusive footage from Madonna's Reinvention
tour, which comes to New York City's Madison Square Garden today.
16 June - Brokers complain about too many concerts
Maybe Madonna's Re-Invention
needs a little retooling. Thousands of tickets are still
available for the Material Mom's six-night stand at Madison Square
Garden that begins tonight many at cut-rate prices. Late
yesterday, Ticketmaster, the official retail outlet for Madonna
concert tickets, had seats in all price ranges ($50 to $300) for
all six nights.
And some ticket brokers who usually offer seats at a premium
were desperately trying to clear their bloated inventories
with discounts of up to 30 percent off face value. "We're losing
money on these tickets," said one broker offering deep discounts.
"The bottom line is she's doing too many shows." Besides
the six MSG shows, the 45-year-old musical artist has two shows
slated for Continental Airlines Arena across the Hudson in New Jersey
next month as part of her 19-city world tour.
are selling well, but not as well as anticipated," said Mi
chael Issac, president of broker Preferred Ticket.com. "Three
years ago was a much stronger tour." That tour, Drowned
, "was a whole other ballgame," Issac said. While
his agency isn't discounting tickets for this stand, the last tour
drew prices "five times" the current stand.
A broker at greattickets.com said the phone was ringing off the
hook, but not for Madonna for the NBA's Detroit Pistons,
who are close to winning the league championship series from the
Los Angeles Lakers. "Her public opinion might be shifting,"
said the broker, who did not want to be identified. A few brokers
remained optimistic yesterday, offering $300 second row center seats
for tonight for up to $1,700. And a $300 front row center seat for
Sunday's performance was offered for $2,400.
Front row seats for tonight may not be available through Ticketmaster,
but as of last night, $300 tickets on the floor in Row L were available
for face value plus the usual processing fees. The show was initially
reported sold out, but last week hundreds of tickets were released
as more seats became available after the stage was set up.
Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's publicist, said she's not worried. She
remained confident that tonight's show will "absolutely"
sell out. "A lot of people know that last-minute tickets are
available," says Rosenberg. She's doing well nationally. According
to Pollstar, the first 10 shows averaged $2.6 million in ticket
sales, selling more than 136,000 tickets over 10 shows in four cities.
The average ticket price is $175.
The tour is on track to be the top-grossing tour of 2004, with a
gross in the $120 million range and attendance of about 920,000.
"New York has always been an exceptional market for Madonna,"
says Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar. "It's hard
to believe she's not selling tickets. It could be she held back
tickets, and people are just finding out."
Meanwhile cable channel Trio TV is having a little fun at Madonna's
expense, hosting three Madonna silver-screen bombs at the Loews
Theater on 34th Street. The schedule: Who's
, tonight; Body of Evidence
next Wednesday, and Swept Away
on June 29. (source: NY
~ In fact, the tour management has released more tickets to cut
prices of ticket brokers. After all, it should be about fans having
the chance to see their idol in concert at a reasonable price, and
not about ticket brokers making profit out of it! We all followed
the ticket sales and the reviews and know that this tour hardly
16 June - Download French & Saunders parody
The fantastic comics Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders have done
a hilarious parody on the GAP commercial and the Me Against The
Music video. You can download it at MadonnaPause
(Media > Video section).
- ICON presale for Manchester and Slane
Today, June 16th at 9am EST there will be a ICON presale for the
Manchester (Aug. 14) and Slane (Aug. 29) concerts. Only existing
ICON members can benefit from this presale. More info at the ICON
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