Madonna news - Aug. 2004
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15 August - Madonna kicks off European leg of re-Invention tour
Yesterday evening, Madonna kicked off the European leg of her re-Invention
tour with aa first concert at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester. Check
out our updated tour diary
for more (contains spoilers).
15 August - Ray Of Light in list of 'near misses'
Robbie Williams' Angels has come top of a list of songs which should
have made it to number one but never did. Released in December 1997,
the ballad only got to number four while the top slot was taken
by children's favourite The Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh! Music fans have
compiled a list of 50 songs which should have made it to the top
of the UK charts but failed. Stars who were unfairly denied a number
one include pop queen Madonna, rockers Bon Jovi and Oasis.
The Guns n' Roses classic Sweet Child O' Mine became a rock anthem
following its release in 1988. But the song , which takes 20th place
in the poll for TV music channel VH1, only made it to 24th place
in the UK Chart.
Other songs which should have made it to number one but didn't include
U2 ballad With or Without You. It only reached number four in 1987.
A-Ha's Take on Me, which reached number two but was denied a number
one by David Bowie and Mick Jagger's Dancing in the Street, is also
on the list. Queen's I Want to Break Free, which got to number three
when the number one was Hello by Lionel Richie, also makes it into
the poll. Michael Jackson's Thriller, which went to number 10, takes
ninth place in the poll alongside the troubled star's Smooth Criminal,
which peaked at number eight.
Others in the list are Madonna's Ray
- which reached number two in 1998 and was beaten to
number one by All Saints' Under the Bridge/Lady Marmalade; and Bon
Jovi's Livin on a Prayer, which reached number four in 1986, when
Every Loser Wins by ex-EastEnders star Nick Berry claimed number
The Oasis hit Wonderwall, which reached number two and was denied
the number one by Robson and Jerome's I Believe/Up on the Roof and
Queen's Radio Ga Ga, which reached number two and was denied number
one by Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax, should have also made
the top slot, according to music fans. (source: ITV
15 August - Madonna saves dad's vineyard
Madonna has stepped in to save her father's ailing wine business
- with a $900,000 (€737,500) lump sum. The Material Girl handed
over the cash to stop dad Tony Ciccone's vineyard from closing down.
The generous 45-year-old was persuaded to help out because her husband,
film director Guy Ritchie, didn't want to be without his favourite
wine - Ciccone's 2002 Dolcetto and Pinot Noir. And proud dad Ciccone
has made his famous daughter the major shareholder, to thank her
for her kindness.
An insider says: "Madonna hasn't always had the best relationship
with her father but she is very close with him now. When she learned
the company wasn't doing so well she decided to step into the fray.
"But Tony is a very proud man and didn't want to accept charity,
so he made her a major shareholder in Ciccone Vineyard. She was
a little reluctant at the start but Guy is a huge fan of the Pinot
Noir - Tony has been sending them bottles for Christmas for years.
"He couldn't bear to be without it, so he convinced Madonna
to put some money in." (source: Irish
15 August - Madonna's
gigs are 'too hot'
Madonna fans have hit out at the superstar after she turned down
the air conditioning at shows during her Reinvention tour. The Material
Girl has received numerous complaints from members of the audience,
who say her gigs were too hot to enjoy the performance. But it's
not just the fans that are feeling the heat - her dancers have also
complained about their sweaty working conditions. But John Page,
director of Wachovia Centre - where Madonna played on the 4th and
5th of July - insists that, hot or not, the fans still had a fantastic
time. He says, "We limited the air conditioning during the
show and it warmed up a bit, but everyone got Into The Groove and
enjoyed the Holiday" (source: TeenMusic
12 August - Madonna books yacht
and villa in Athens *rumour*
The rumours about Madonna attending the opening ceremony of the
Olympics in Athens tomorrow evening are persistent.
reports: "A string of A-list celebrities including
Tom Cruise, Madonna and Brad Pitt are flying to the Greek capital
Athens ahead of the opening ceremony of the Olympics this Friday.
The list includes Angelina Jolie, a pregnant Julia Roberts, David
and Victoria Beckham, Britney Spears, Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford,
Sylvester Stallone and members of the British Royal Family.
Hollywood stars Roberts and Nicholson have rented villas about 35
miles from Athens, whereas soccer star Beckham and his ex-Spice
Girls wife have already booked a suite aboard the Queen Mary II
- the world's most luxurious cruise ship - which will dock at the
city's Piraeus port.
Spears, her fiance, and twelve of her pals have also taken to the
water - renting a luxury yacht to cruise around the Greek Islands.
Pop queen Madonna has also booked a yacht and villa in the area.
However these high profile guests will add more pressure to the
already stretched security budget.
The Greek government have already spent three times more on security
than organisers of the last games in Sydney, Australia four years
ago - with the bill already exceeding a massive $900 million."
12 August - Website about
unreleased Madonna songs
Madonna fan and connaisseur Bruce Baron has mailed us the link to
his page at Wikipedia
where he has collected all his information about unreleased Madonna
songs. Bruce has written many articles before about the different
tracks that were recorded by Madonna but never released. Now you
can find all this interesting information on one
! Certainly worth a look - thanks for the great effort
12 August - Article
in Femme Actuelle
Special thanks to Madonnafan and loyal Mad-Eyes contributor Flo
from France, who has scanned the 6-page Madonna article that appeared
in the latest issue of Femme Actuelle. The article (in French) talks
about her 20 years of succesfull career (though they sometimes exagerate
talking about 25
years!) and her personal life throughout
those years. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.
12 August - Madonna's Guinness fad
Pop queen Madonna's latest fad is downing pints of Guinness before
her live Re-Invention concerts. She has embraced many aspects of
British and Irish culture since moving to England with husband Guy
Ritchie and has developed a penchant for the dark stout. A close
source says: "She finds it perks her up for a live performance
and gives her an extra edge. "She has to have it in a proper
pint glass and chilled to exactly the right temperature before she
will drink it. "She's even got some of her crew on the same
ritual. They all swear by it." The Kabbalah-loving megastar
also insists on praying for 30 minutes to aid her performance. (source:
12 August - Madonna asks for 'peace room'
Madonna has demanded a special "peace room" to be built
backstage at her upcoming UK gigs. She wants a soundproof area where
she can meditate and go into a trance before going on stage, according
to The Sun. The 45-year-old superstar is a devotee of the mystical
Jewish Kabbalah religion. The paper says the walls of the room must
be draped in green sheeting and have soft cushions on the floor.
It quotes "an insider" as saying: "She doesn't want
to hear a pin drop and it needs to be green - the colour most conducive
to meditation. "She calls it her peace room." The room
is reportedly being set up at the Manchester Evening News Arena,
where Madonna plays two concerts this weekend. She also has six
other dates on her British tour. (source: News24
12 August - Backstage wish-list shows Madonna still a 'material
Religious convert or not, the original Material Girl is proving
she is still high maintenance long before she sets foot on Irish
A pilates stretch ball, something called Throat coat tea and no
less than 25 crates of healing Kabbalah water are just some of the
backstage demands from Madonna for her one-night concert at Slane
Castle in Co Meath.
Apparently, the fact that the gig has still failed to sell out has
not stunted her capacity to play the pop diva, with special requests
for ricola cough drops, if you don't mind, to soothe her expensive
Having committed to paying the queen of pop an estimated 4m euros
for the August 29 concert, organisers are now being asked to attend
to her every whim.
Perhaps the most surprising item on the singer's so-called rider
is her stipulation that the back-stage provisions should include
vodka, hardly the tipple of choice for a yoga-loving health fanatic.
But fans needs not gasp in horror at this revelation - Madonna plans
to use the high-alcohol spirit to remove unwanted stains from her
Why spend any of those millions on a dry-cleaning service when you
can use a bit of the colourless fluid most of us would prefer to
see in a glass with ice. It is not clear whether Madge prefers Smirnoff
or Stoli for stain-removal.
To be fair, Madonna's backstage demand list is nothing extraordinary
compared to other international pop divas and rock stars. The infamous
J-Lo specifies Evian water at room temperature and a host of foodstuffs
including Apple Pie a-la-Mode.
Janet Jackson betrayed her guzzling by demanding four gallons of
spring water, but without the healing energies and positive vibes
associated with Madonna's favourite brand.
Still, Madge brings her own unique style to the backstage wish-list,
warning organisers MCD that her precious pilates stretch ball will
take eight minutes to warm-up.
The 45-year-old singer, on the other hand, will require just short
of an hour to get her hair and make-up stage perfect, even with
the help of an entourage of 110 people. (source: Belfast
12 August - Questions raised over Madonna's Kabbalah faith
Madonna’s upcoming pilgrimage to Israel for a Kabbalah spiritual
retreat has raised questions over the nature of her faith—has
the self-proclaimed Material Girl really embraced the traditions
of ancient Jewish mysticism or is this simply the latest glitterati
In a bid to shed something of her former raunchy image, the US pop
diva in 1997 began looking into Kabbalah—or at least a modern
version of it—rapidly becoming one of its most high-profile
Symbols of Madonna's deepening 'faith' are readily apparent—religious
Jewish symbols and Hebrew letters feature in many of her more recent
pop videos and she is rarely seen without the trademark red string
around her wrist to ward off the evil eye.
Two months ago, she changed her name to Esther and is now reportedly
observing the Jewish sabbath.
Madonna’s conversion came about after she came into contact
with the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Center which, according to its
website, offers a path to spiritual enlightenment through an eclectic
mix of Orthodox Jewish tradition, visualization and positive thinking.
Through meditation on the 'cosmic energy' emitted by the Hebrew
alphabet, the site said, adherents can gain 'inner peace, financial
prosperity, power and pleasure,' among other things.
Despite its obvious Jewish character, this westernized version of
Kabbalah has attracted a panopoly of non-Jewish celebrities, such
as Britney Spears, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Taylor and Mick Jagger.
And now Madonna’s spiritual odyssey looks set to bring her
and several thousand others to Israel in mid-September over the
Jewish New Year.
Not everyone is happy with Madge’s attachment to Jewish mysticism,
with religious scholars at pains to point out that this 'popularized'
version of Kabbalah is a far cry from the Orthodox spirituality
prescribed by the sages of old.
An esoteric offshoot of Judaism, Kabbalah’s origins can be
traced back to the 12th and 13th centuries when its central text,
the Zohar, was penned.
Taught only to a select few—namely, pious Jewish males over
the age of 40 who had spent a lifetime immersed in the study of
Hebrew texts—study of Kabbalah required arduous meditation
and a strictly ascetic lifestyle.
Little wonder then that the Kabbalah Center’s scented candles
for banishing depression or improving your sex life, not to mention
its specially-blessed Kabbalah spring water, has been greeted with
ill-disguised contempt by many Orthodox Jews.
If the 45-year-old singer was hoping to use her upcoming visit to
Israel to swap notes with Rabbi Yitzhak Keduri, one of Israel’s
most venerated adherents of Kabbalah, she is set to be disappointed.
"I don't know her, I don't know of her and I won't see her,"
Keduri told the Maariv daily recently, pointing out that the study
of Kabbalah was not open to women or to non-Jews.
"Kabbalah is an added mystical tier to Judaism, which comes
after there is a total acceptance of a religious lifestyle and a
religious value system," Rabbi Shlomo Rifkin told Agence France-Presse.
The traditional idea is that anyone studying Kabbalah must first
be a mature, practicing Jew, explained Rifkin, chief rabbi of the
Efrat settlement in the southern West Bank.
"Maturity is important because some people can get wrapped
up in the esoteric spirituality which can sometimes be cheapened
into general love fests, or debauchery," he warned.
"In the Hollywood sense, the people who are accepting Kabbalah
with such alacrity, such as Madonna, are taking many of the mystical
concepts but not necessarily the unique lifestyle."
Jerusalem-based rabbi Yehoshua Engelman believes the upsurge in
popularity of Kabbalah is part of a growing interest across the
globe in the deeper meaning of life.
"Just as in the past 30 or 40 years, Buddhism and other religions
have become popularized, so a similar thing has happened with Sufism
and Kabbalah," Engelman said. (source: Manila
09 August - Chilis hotter
POP queen, Madonna, is still in 'Vogue' with local music fans -
even though promoters for her spectacular Irish live debut admit
that they can't yet put up those 'sold-out' signs.
Organisers for the US music icon's Slane Castle appearance, on August
29, have hit back at allegations that the concert has been a relative
According to UK media claims, Irish ticket sales for the former
Material Girl, turned maternal megastar, have been "far slower
One report said: "The show was predicted to sell-out in record
time. But not even half of the tickets were sold by the end of the
"Last year, the Red Hot Chili Peppers sold-out
the same venue in two-and-a-half hours."
However, MCD spokesman, Justin Green, dismissed allegations that
Madonna's Irish ticket sales had been disappointing and pointed
out that there are now "only a limited number" left for
the 80,000 capacity gig.
He said: "We are delighted with the sales to date and only
wish every artist could sell tickets and break box office records
like Madonna has done this year.
"There are only a limited
number of tickets available at this stage and thus, this has allowed
us to reduce our planned advertising spend by 50pc."
When tickets for the 45-year-old singer's Re-invention tour show
at Slane went on sale Ireland's main outlet, Ticketmaster, hired
an extra 300 staff to cope with the expected deluge of demand.
More than 30,000 tickets were snapped up within 30 minutes of going
on sale on June 18 - with 70pc sold within five days.
But surprisingly, Madonna - the biggest selling female artist of
all time - has not measured up to the astonishing Slane box office
records set by U2.
In 2001, Bono and the boys sold TWO shows out in 40 minutes and
94 minutes, respectively.
Last year, US funk metallers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, also proved
to be a Slane sell-out in just two-and-a-half hours.
It is thought that the 88.50 euro (£58.40) price tag for the
Madonna show may have put some concert punters off - costing £19
(29 euro) more than the Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2 Slane gigs.
Tickets for indoor Madonna Re-invention concerts in Holland this
September cost between £37 to £57.
The 120-date Re-invention World Tour is expected to gross a whopping
Madonna - 46 years old on August 16 - will take away an estimated
two million euro profit from just one night's work at Slane. (source:
~ Correction: the re-Invention
consists of 56 shows, not 120.
09 August - Author slams Madonna's "preachy" writing
Best-selling children's author Julia Donaldson has slammed Madonna's
attempts at writing books for kids, labelling the singer's stories
"preachy" and "novelty".
The British writer, whose books Spinderella, The Gruffalo and Follow
The Swallow have an army of young fans across the UK, believes the
Material Girl only got a publishing deal because of her fame.
Madonna has just released her third book Yakov And The Seven Thieves,
based on the teachings of the controversial Kabbalah - a mystical
offshoot of Judaism.
The pop queen entered the literary foray in September 2003 with
her first kids story The English Roses.
Donaldson says, "I've only had a glance at Madonna's books
but they didn't leave me wanting to read more. I didn't think, 'Wow'.
"I doubt if an unknown had sent that script to the publishers,
it would have been accepted. It doesn't seem a grabbing or must-have
"I think the books are a bit preachy. There's a novelty
element to them.
"The first book generated a lot of interest
but that was mainly down to who Madonna is. There's no plot or clever
structure." (source: ContactMusic
09 August - Tour worker gets injured
at Earls Court
A rigger who was working as part of Madonna's production crew has
been injured in an accident during preparations for her latest tour.
The man suffered a broken arm and leg in the accident at Earl's
The London Ambulance Service said the rigger was flown by air ambulance
to hospital after falling 30ft.
Madonna begins her UK tour in Manchester on 14 August and is scheduled
to play Earl's Court on 18 and 19 August.
An ambulance spokesman said: "We received a call from Earl's
Court at 1pm to say that a man had fallen approximately 30ft.
"An ambulance and air ambulance were called and crews were
on the scene for around two hours because there were difficulties
moving the patient. His main injuries appeared to be to his shoulder
Madonna's manager Caresse Henry said: "The entire crew, performers
and staff, especially Madonna, were very saddened to hear about
the accident but are hopeful that he will make a full recovery."
05 August - Madonna opens Kabbalah
Superstar Madonna has reportedly spent $21.6 million (GBP12 million)
on funding a New York Kabbalah Grammer school. The Material Girl
has been a devoted follower of the controversial, mystical offshoot
of Judaism since 1997, when she was pregnant with her first child
Lourdes. British newspaper The Sun claims Madonna's Kabbalist Grammer
School For Children will open in December (04), only a few blocks
away from her and husband Guy Ritchie's Manhattan apartment. A source
close to the singer says, "The school has been a dream of Madonna's
for some time. "Education means a lot to her and she was keen
to make the most of her money by leaving a lasting mark as well
as helping kids. "She has been dedicated to putting money away
to pay for the building and she's delighted to finally own it. "The
papers have been signed and the school will be opening its doors
to the first class in December." Parents who want their five-year-old
children to enrol at the school must prove they are Kabbalists before
receiving an application form. After a probing family interview
and academic test, parents of accepted pupils will have to pay upwards
of $3,600 (GBP2,000) a term. Despite studying regular subjects such
as English and maths, Madonna has insisted "spirituality"
will be a key theme in all subjects. (source: ContactMusic
05 August - Mullally laughs off 'best friend' Madonna
Will and Grace star Megan Mullally has laughed off claims she and
Madonna are best friends after the Material Girl cameod on the hit
comedy. The superstar played Liz - a potential housemate for Mullally's
bitchy character Karen - last April (03) and soon after tabloids
were speculating the two had struck up a close friendship. Mullally
explains, "We got on well when she was on the show and I interviewed
her after that. "It's not like we're in constant communication,
but we've got mutual friends and there's possibility of a cocktail
or something down the line." (source: ContactMusic
05 August - A la Madonna
It's not what she wears, but how she wears it that has made the
pop singer an idol for two decades
It's been 21 years since the belly-baring, headband-wearing street
urchin with the improbable name of Madonna burst onto the pop music
Two decades later, she is still in the international spotlight.
She has evolved from Madonna, the pop tart, to Madonna, the S&M
sex maven, to Madge the British wife/children's author, to Esther,
the Kabbalah follower.
The adult life of the Bay City, Michigan-born Madonna Louise Veronica
Ciccone has been a spinning top that has generated love and awe
(from her fans), hate and disgust (from those who found her merely
vulgar) and controversy (enough to fill a book).
Whatever else was going on, though, Madonna and the world of fashion
have been inextricably tied together. She has hooked up with designers
such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Jean-Paul Gaultier (maker
of her famous pointy corset bra), to name just a few, and given
them name recognition in new circles.
Most people, in fact, were more likely to wonder what Madonna's
latest look would be blond Marilyn? brunette Goth? and so on than
how her latest single would sound.
"Her image was always
more cutting edge than her music," says Anne Bissonnette, curator
of the Kent State University Museum. "It was so strong, that,
from the start, you could immediately recognize her followers."
And how's this for irony? The woman who made underwear worn as outerwear
famous was recently named the best-dressed woman over 40 in Great
Britain, by no less than that country's Good Housekeeping magazine.
Well, it could never be said that Madonna's fashion range isn't
She may have worn prim, flowered Prada dresses on her book tour,
but on her current concert tour she wears costumes by made by Karl
Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Christian LaCroix
That tour features a retrospective of her various looks over the
years: from the white lingerie bride look, to pointy-breasted dance
warrior, to kilt-wearing schoolgirl run amok.
Like a virgin
with shock appeal
David Wolfe is one of the world's top fashion forecasters, so he's
been paying attention to Madonna, he says, "since when she
was Like a Virgin. ' "
Wolfe, creative director of New York's Doneger Group, first saw
her on MTV in the mid-1980s.
"We were so easily shocked
then," he says. "Her wearing a lacy white bra as an outer
garment that was just the beginning of what I think of as an endless
succession of what has inspired fashion."
Earlier in her career, Madonna said, "I think I have an original
sense of style, and I think that people are unconsciously copying
my style. Sometimes, when you see people do that, it's really cute,
you know? But sometimes it isn't."
Or, as Wolfe adds dryly, "I'm not sure it's been a great 20
years as far as fashion. She's one of the people who have helped
push down the fashion taste level, since she always had to be top
banana in the shock department."
But, he acknowledges, "She also was one of the first pop stars
to link herself with top fashion names, and she led pop music into
Now, of course, one typically sees Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and
other pop singers wearing designs by Versace and Dior.
Tom Julian, the New York- based trend analyst for Fallon Worldwide,
says Madonna's background in New York City's "underground"
was crucial to her becoming someone who popularized trends, including
bringing fetish wear out of the closet.
"She had that vantage
point and an instinct for how exciting that world was," he
says. "She had the mind to extract certain elements from it
and to make those elements commercial, relevant and exposed."
Her timing was right, too. Madonna became, and stayed, a star just
as fashion designers were themselves becoming celebrities.
came of age in a vibrant fashion era," says Julian. "She
embraces the fashion darlings designers like Dolce & Gabbana
and not only for her concerts. She wore Olivier Theyskens at the
Oscars one year and made him a name in fashion."
Bissonnette was in fashion school when Madonna emerged in the mid-1980s.
"Jean-Paul Gaultier was important before, but she sent him
to new heights," says Bissonnette. "She had a great ability
to select individual designers who had a focus on performance- based
"With Madonna it was always as much about how
she wears the clothes, as it is about the clothes themselves."
over and over again
At first, Madonna mimicked the look of New York's fringe, artsy
world: the raggedy, layered thrift-shop look, complete with black
leather jacket, multiple rubber bracelets and torn fishnets. Later,
her fashion turns were more stark, whether in the androgynous oversized
tuxedo in the "Express Yourself" video or as the Hollywood
bombshell in her Dick Tracy phase.
But more often than not, Madonna mixed things up. "She appropriated
pieces from different designers," Bissonnette explains. In
other words, she was never like Cher, who always wore Bob Mackie
for big public occasions.
"A bustier is a bustier, but
with a crinoline skirt and a funky hairstyle, it becomes something
else," adds Bissonnette. "The difference between fashion
and style is one's ability to do that, and that's what Madonna has."
Then too, there was her body, which evolved from puppy-fat softness,
to articulated musculature to a longer-muscled yoga look.
Bissonnette points out that Madonna's style incorporated her body.
She brought an extreme muscular look into the mainstream. "It
became OK to look like that," Bissonnette says.
Still, while Madonna might inspire fashion followers, Wolfe says,
"I never saw her wearing something first. She'd pick something
up, from streetwear, or often, she'd just be wearing an extreme
version of something that's come down the runway."
Where she has excelled, he says, "was making the general public
aware of trends that otherwise only fashion people were aware of.
"She feels the pulse of fashion she gets it a heartbeat ahead
of the general public."
Bissonnette agrees. "She is not a follower, but a leader. It's
very hard to maintain that for 20 years, but she has done it."
Wolfe says Madonna is the per fect icon for a population with a
short attention span.
"She understood that fashion was
speeding up and she encouraged people to change constantly. She
never stayed the same long enough for anyone to get bored with her."
03 August - RIT
Jim Radenhausen, Madonnafan and expert in Madonna statistics has
provided us - through the MIR - with the attendencies and grosses
of the US shows of the re-Invention
1. Inglewood, Calif.: $6,965,055 - 3 shows / 43,158 attendance
2. Las Vegas, Nev.: $7,005,548 - 2 shows / 28,341 attendance
3. Anaheim, Calif.: $4,164,450 - 2 shows / 24,250 attendance
4. San Jose, Calif.: $5,543,715 - 3 shows / 40,205 attendance
5. Washington, D.C.: ? - 2 shows / ?
6. New York, New York: ? - 6 shows / ?
7. Boston/Worcester, Mass.: $6,439,890 - 4 shows / 46,075 attendance
8. Philadelphia, Pa.: $4,134,478 - 2 shows / 30,575 attendance
9. East Rutherford, N.J.: $4,437,345 - 2 shows / 29,315 attendance
10. Chicago, Ill.: $7,894,105 - 4 shows / 59,591 attendance
11. Toronto: $5,322,703 - 3 shows / 52,167 attendance
12. Atlanta: ? - 2 shows / ?
13. Miami, Fla.: ? - 2 shows / ?
14. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: ? - 2 shows / ?
Totals for 25 shows reported to Billboard: $51,907,289
Since the NJ and Philly averages were $2 million+ per show, I only
imagine the NY shows will be as much, if not slightly more. So,
that's at least $12 million. For D.C., even using the lower average
of $1.65 million, that's at least $3.3 million there. Using Pollstar's
mid-year report- which covered the period through 6/30 (3 Boston
shows included, averaging roughly $1.6 million per show)- that leaves
roughly $16.4 million for the 8 shows in D.C. and NY. Sounds about
right, if the D.C. shows did around $3.5 million+, and the NY shows
around $12.5 million+. The remaining 3 cities should add another
$10 million or more to the gross- so, it should end its North American
leg with $78-$80 million or so.
02 August - Madonna in Greece? *rumour*
A lot of rumours have been circulating about Madonna going to Greece.
Greek correspondents have informed us that Greek media are claiming
Madonna will be on holiday on the Greek islands with Uma Thurman,
Tom Hanks and Angelina Jolie. other sources have told us that a
hotel room is booked for Madonna, Guy and the children, and that
there definitely have been negociations for Madonna to be a guest,
possibly performer on the opening ceremony of the Olympics on August
13th. One night before her Manchester show, that would be a nice
way to open the European leg of the tour. However, Caresse Henry
supposedly has denied all these rumours.
Below is an article from the Macedonian
"A record number of foreign dignitaries
are expected to watch the Athens Olympic Games given the fact that
the number of applications by personalities from around the world
According to the Athens newspaper “Apogevmatini”, some
of the foreign politicians who will come to Athens to watch the
Games will be former US President George Bush, Russian President
Vladimir Putin, French President Jacques Chirac, Romanian President
Ion Iliescu, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Turkish Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the French Finance Minister, new European
Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Baroso and former FRG Foreign
Minister Mr. Gensher.
Also, present will be former king of Greece Konstantinos, who is
a member of the International Olympic Committee, with all his family,
Prince Charles and Belgian crown prince Philip with Princess Matilde.
The games will attend the Mayors of New York, Rome, Paris, London
and Istanbul invited by Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni.
Among the Hollywood stars to watch the games will be Brad Pitt,
Jennifer Aniston, Sylvester Stalone, Tom Hanks and film director
Steven Spielberg. World famous singer Madonna will be in Greece
as the guest of one of the Olympic Games sponsors
~ As usual, we'll have to wait to find out who's right.
02 August - Marriages see the Madonna effect
Pop music's queen of reinvention has been instrumental in forging
Scotland an international reputation as a top wedding destination.
Madonna's wedding to Guy Ritchie placed the quiet Highland town
of Dornoch at the centre of a media whirlwind.
Journalists, camera crews and the paparazzi descended on the town
desperate for a glimpse of the couple and guests like Gwyneth Paltrow,
Donatella Versace and Stella McCartney.
Even before the ceremony at the exclusive Skibo Castle in December
2000, tourism bosses had moved to try and capitalise on the worldwide
And the latest statistics from Scotland's registrar general, Duncan
Macniven, have demonstrated that their efforts were well placed.
His annual report for 2003 found that marriages had hit a 10-year
high. Mr Macniven said: "Tourist weddings, that's weddings
where neither of the couple is resident in Scotland, are about a
third of the total and are increasing progressively. "I think
it's something Scotland can be very proud of."
The number of tourism weddings has surged by 10% over a four-year
period, rising from 8,174 in 1999 to 8,916 in 2003. Mr Macniven
said the rise could be attributed to "the Madonna effect".
Her wedding sparked a mini economic boom and generated an estimated
£2.5m for the Sutherland economy at the time. And the benefits
of having a picturesque part of the Highlands beamed into homes
across the world have proven to be long-lasting.
A spokesman for tourism body VisitScotland said: "It highlighted
to people that Scotland is an ideal destination for a wedding. "You
just have to look at the fantastic scenery that we have and the
picturesque settings in the Highlands, the Borders and across Scotland."
He said Scotland was "right up there with the best of them"
as a marriage location. "After the Madonna marriage it was
very important to build on the success of her wedding," he
said. "We did a lot of marketing of Scotland as a romantic
destination and somewhere to come to get married. "It has proven
to be a big success, as you can see from the figures increasing."
In the days before the ceremony, the Highlands of Scotland Tourist
Board launched a special website to promote the area as a wedding
destination. The marketing push has continued since then, with VisitScotland
this year launching a new website which aims to highlight Scotland's
romantic side as a setting for short breaks, weddings and honeymoons.
Other celebrity weddings have followed the Madonna marriage, increasing
Scotland's profile yet further. Racing driver Dario Franchitti and
American actress Ashley Judd were also married at Skibo Castle amid
tight secrecy the following year. Last year fashion designer Stella
McCartney, one of Madonna's guests, married publisher Alasdhair
Willis on Bute in another celebrity-studded ceremony. Long before
Dornoch took its turn in the spotlight, Gretna Green was the location
synonymous with marriages in Scotland.
Its history as a destination for eloping couples dates back to the
passing of the 1754 Marriage Act in England. It made it illegal
for a couple to marry without parental consent if either party was
under 21. To avoid the law, young lovers travelled over the border
to take advantage of Scotland's more lenient laws.
For more than a century the ceremonies were often conducted by a
blacksmith priest over an anvil. Sheila Wallace, senior registrar
at Gretna, said people were attracted to Gretna because of its history
rather than as a result of celebrity marriages. However, she said
another factor identified in Mr Macniven's report did have an impact
on the town. He suggested that a new law which came into effect
in 2002, allowing non-religious marriages outside of registration
offices, may have contributed to a rise in the number of Scots couples
getting hitched. More than 10% of all marriages in 2003 were civil
ceremonies conducted in the 424 castles, hotels and other venues
which are now approved for the purpose.
Civil ceremonies accounted for 40% of the 3,500 marriages held in
places other than churches or registration offices in Gretna. Ms
Wallace said she had seen a "big difference" in wedding
venues since the law came into effect. She added: "I don't
think the numbers will increase, but it means that people can have
civil marriages at the venue of their choice. "Religious marriages
are dropping in our district because people are opting to have civil
marriages at the blacksmith's." (source: BBC
02 August - A letter from ICON
I hope most of you already had a chance to enjoy one (or more) of
Madonna's U.S shows! The new issue of Icon (#41) is about to be
sent out to subscribers... Vogue Paris Magazine has devoted it's
pages to the Re-Invention tour as Madonna graces the cover of the
August edition. The spread includes exclusive studio and live shots
taken by Steven Klein as well as an article written by Madonna's
publicist, Liz Rosenberg. If you haven't gotten a copy of it yet,
we have a great deal for you. Icon #42 will be entirely devoted
to Madonna's new tour and will include fan reviews and pictures
from around the world. Just write your own review of the tour and
e-mail it to us before August 11. The best reviews and pictures
will be published in Icon and their authors will receive a free
copy of Vogue Paris right in their mailbox! Your review can be short
or long, based on what you've seen during the show or what came
to your mind right after it, etc., YOU DECIDE! Be sure to e-mail
your review and pictures to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
before August 11. Please note that you don't have to be an Icon
member to submit your review, but you must be Madonna fan! Fan photographers,
pictures will only be accepted if they are Jpegs at least 1.000
pixels "tall" and no more than 1Mb per image. One entry
per person, thanks!
Good luck and see you on the road!
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