Madonna news - Aug. 2004


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30 August - Madonna does Slane
Check out our tour diary for the first details on Madonna's gig at Slane castle.

30 August - Madonna fans shut out of gig
Angry Madonna fans turned on salesmen after arriving at her gig to find they did not have tickets. Police were called when 70 fans, who shelled out hundreds of pounds, found there were no seats. Lawyer Alain Gavin paid an agency £150 to see Madonna at Wembley Arena on Thursday. He said: "Some of the people had flown in from far away and they were very disappointed. Some paid £1,700 for three tickets. "There were kids of seven or eight-years-old who were most disappointed." He bought his tickets from www.londonticketshop.co.uk. Manager Michael James said 20 customers did not get tickets because of a mistake. But he said fans turned on him and two other firms before they had time to buy tickets from touts. He said: "I feared for my life. I have received death threats. But we are not a fraudulent company." Police are investigating. (source: Daily Mirror)

30 August - Madonna’s friends to join her in Israel
Madonna won’t be the only celeb going to Israel to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
The Reinvented singer — who has become a leading proponent of Kabbalah — will be making a pilgrimage to Tel Aviv in September to celebrate the Jewish holidays, and a source says that she will be joined by hunky actor Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, as well as Donna Karan.
The source says the “Van Helsing” star and the designing woman have become “quite involved” in the controversial offshoot of Judaism. “We still haven’t gotten a confirmation from Demi [Moore] and Ashton [Kutcher],” says the insider. “[Moore is] shooting a movie [“Half Light”] in Wales and might not be able to join us.”
What’s more, says the source, the ABC news magazine “20/20” will be filming the entire event and interviewing the Kabbalah Centre’s leader, Rabbi Philip Berg — his first time ever on camera. A spokeswoman for the show told The Scoop, “I can’t confirm that.” Karan’s rep couldn’t be reached and Jackman’s said he had no info on the story.
“It will be quite the media event for Kabbalah,” says the source. “This all comes a month before a publicity extravaganza in October, including a billboard on Sunset Boulevard to promote a book on the red string — which wards off the evil eye — as the got-to-have religious fashion accessory of the season.” (source: MSNBC)

28 August - Madison Square Garden thanks Madonna
The current issue of Billboard (page 11) has a full-page ad, with MSG thanking Madonna and her team for the 6-night run at MSG. The text: MADONNA "POSTS" BIG NUMBERS AT THE GARDEN! (ALL in BIG letters, across the page in 3 lines) There's a pic of M singing to the left, with the following text to the right: Madonna has re-invented the definition of "smash hit" with her acclaimed"Re-Invention Tour"!
* All six performances completely sold out!
* Attended by 88,625 cheering fans!
* A whopping $12,674,925 in gross receipts!
Then, in a box, this text: RCE and MSG would like to thank Caresse Henry, Arthur Fogel, Gerry Barad, Tres Thomas, Chris Lamb & Everyone at Clear Channel Touring... and, of course, Madonna! (source: Jim Radenhaus; MIR)

28 August - LL Cool J praises Madonna's kids books
Rapper LL Cool J has slammed critics for attacking Madonna's children books. The Material Girl published the first of five books, The English Roses, last year (03) but received bad reviews for her literary debut, but the Phenomenon rapper - who penned "rap and read" children's book And The Winner Is ... - fiercely defends the pop-queen. He says, "I don't know why people didn't like Madonna's books, maybe they don't think it's a valid art form, maybe they don't like kids. Why not be rich and famous and take time to inspire kids? That would embarrass whoever said you cannot do it! I don't understand it at all!" (source: ContactMusic)

28 August - Madge makes history as first queen of castle
All roads lead to Slane this weekend as Her Madgesty - aka Madonna - is set to become Queen of the Castle.
The 46-year-old popstar will make history tomorrow when she becomes the first female act to headline Slane in the 23-year history of staging major concerts at the Co Meath venue.
Tomorrow’s show will also mark another new departure as it’s the first time the scenic Boyneside amphitheatre will host one of the country’s biggest outdoor gigs on a Sunday.
It was changed from the traditional Saturday fixture to facilitate Madonna’s schedule during the European leg of her Re-Invention world tour.
However, the switch in date may partially explain the somewhat sluggish ticket sales, despite claims by the concert organisers that the vast majority of the 80,000 tickets have been sold.
Advertisements for the concert have continued to run all week, suggesting it may not exactly be a sell-out show.
Some fans have complained the €88.50 ticket price was too expensive - even for the aptly named Material Girl.
Many bids for concert tickets being sold on the internet have failed to meet the reserve price. Two tickets being offered at less than €80 without a reserve had failed to attract any bid by yesterday afternoon, while a Wexford seller had only been offered €59 for a pair of tickets with a reserve price of €124.
Nevertheless, a large crowd is likely to go mad for Madonna as it is the first opportunity for most of her Irish fans to hear hits such as Vogue, Like A Prayer, Into the Groove and Crazy for You in a live setting.
Fans are warned there will be no access to Slane before 3.30pm tomorrow.
Gates to the concert site will not open until 4pm with the first act, techno-wizard, Paul Oakenfold, due on stage at 5pm. He will be followed by Iggy Pop and The Stooges at 6.30pm before Madonna makes her eagerly-awaited appearance at 8.30pm.
Concert-goers are advised to bring a mixture of clothing as the weather forecast for tomorrow is for a cool, windy day with bright, sunny spells but also some heavy showers.
Dublin Bus is running buses at 20-minute intervals starting at 2pm from Parnell Square to Slane with return services straight after the end of the concert. Tickets are €20.
Concert traffic from the south and west is being encouraged to access Slane via the N51 from Navan, while motorists from Dublin should take the N2 route direct to Slane.
People travelling from the North are recommended to follow the M1 to the Dunleer intersection and then follow signs for Slane through Collon.
Gardaí have advised non-concert traffic, especially GAA fans travelling to the Derry-Kerry football semi-final in Croke Park tomorrow afternoon, that the N2 (Dublin-Derry) road at Slane will be closed to traffic from 8pm this evening until 3am on Monday morning due to the concert.
Motorists are advised to travel to Dublin on the N3 via Cavan, Kells and Navan or to turn left off the N2 at Ardee to access the M1 route to the capital. (source: Irish Examiner)

28 August - Madonna breaks down in tears at Wembley
Pop diva Madonna broke down in tears while dedicating the hit number "Crazy For You" to her British fans on her last date in Britain at Wembley Arena. Dressed in a kilt and with a T-shirt saying, "Brits Do It Better", Madonna dedicated the song to fans whom she said had "stuck by me for 20 years", and suddenly broke down in tears. "Madonna was overcome with emotion. It seems she has thoroughly enjoyed the tour and she was thrilled at the crowd's response. She couldn't find a tissue so wiped her eyes with the hem of her kilt, and then pulled herself together to do the number. It was brilliant," The Sun quoted an onlooker as saying.

28 August - Madonna's UK tour splits critics
Critics have expressed reservations about Madonna's latest concerts as she ends the UK leg of her world tour.
The singer visited Manchester and London as part of her 56-date Re-invention tour, which visits Dublin's Slane Castle on Sunday.
The star twisted her way through greatest hits and anti-war protests.
"This is a show of strange juxtapositions, one in which theatricality is often substituted for sentimentality," The Independent said.

'New earnestness'
"Each time she picks up a guitar, you know a message is soon to follow," wrote the newspaper's critic Fiona Sturges.
This mix of pop and politics, coupled with ticket prices as high as £150 each, made a number of critics uncomfortable.
"This new earnestness is terribly wearying," wrote the Daily Mail's Amanda Platell. "We came along for a singsong, and we got a sermon."
The Evening Standard agreed. "All was not wholly well. Five costumes meant four spirit-sapping interludes and the mawkish backdrop to American Life (guns, orphans, bombs) was a reminder of Madonna's unwavering political ignorance."
Nevertheless some were impressed by the sheer professionalism of the concerts.
"The concert ran as smoothly as a Broadway show," wrote Ludovic Hunter-Tilney of the Financial Times.

Showbusiness credentials
"During costume breaks we were kept entertained by a fire juggler, a skateboarder and frenetic break-dancers."
He described the staging of Madonna's songs as "imaginative, sometimes eccentrically so".
"Why she sang a syrupy ballad from Evita strapped in an electric chair was unclear, while the use of a kilted bagpiper and highland drummers on Into The Groove was even more curious."
For some critics, the fact that the 46-year-old yoga fan was still embarking on such huge tours more than proved her showbusiness credentials.
"Madonna has been playing gigs for so long she can do it standing on her head, and last night she did just that," said the News of the World.
"The likes of Emma Bunton, Rachel Stevens and even Britney Spears will never be able to captivate an audience the way Madge did," agreed the Daily Star.
Meanwhile the Daily Express noted: "Madonna's first ever gig in Britain was at the Hacienda club in Manchester more than 20 years ago - and this bold show proved she's still got what it takes to thrill her fans."
The Independent on Sunday's Simon Price compared the concert favourably to her previous Drowned World tour in 2001.
"The actual show is slightly less spectacular than the gravity-defying stunts and cutting edge choreography of her last jaunt," he wrote, "but the selection of songs, admittedly, is superior."
Nevertheless he joined the vast majority of critics in feeling that Madonna's cover version of John Lennon's Imagine, sung against a backdrop of images of starving children, was ill-judged.
"This is the moment when I wonder whether the £150 includes a complimentary sick bag." (source: BBC)

26 August - Details on tour DVD *rumour*
Visitors from fansite MadonnaTribe Sharon and Jamesy apparently had the chance to talk to the crew of the documentary at Wembley Arena that gave out some more details about the releases from this tour. They told them that the London and Paris shows are being filmed to be used in the documentary, more or less like for Truth or Dare. The release date of the film is at moment scheduled for August 2005. The dvd release will be a "live in Lisbon" which according the documentary crew has a release date set for March 2005. Please keep in mind things are subject to change.

26 August - Arnhem ticket contest on Belgian radio
Belgian fans who haven't yet got hold of tickets for the Arnhem shows should head over to the website of Radio Donna. Die hard fans shouldn't have a problem with the contest question. The winner will win no less than 9 (NINE!) tickets for the show on september 9th. Good luck!
Those who didn't win and still want tickets, can contact Mad-Eyes for info on Arnhem tickets for sale.

26 August - Madonna and Lourdes visit London hospital
Madonna watches while Lola reads from Yakov What a difference a day makes. Last night Madonna was on stage for her Reinvention tour in a racy corset, fishnet tights and thigh length boots and jumping around like a teenager. But it was a different picture just a few hours earlier when she looked more like a suburban housewife. In my snap below she’s dressed demurely in a thoroughly sensible tweed skirt, thick tights and a cardigan buttoned up to the top. Sitting beside her is daughter Lourdes, who mum calls Lola. They were at London’s Great Ormond Street children’s hospital to launch Madge’s new book, Yakov And The Seven Thieves. She told young patients: "I've got a gig soon and I need to rest my voice, so my daughter Lola is going to read for you instead."Lourdes read extracts from the book, the third in a series of five. (source: The Sun)
~ At fansite Madonnalicious, you can download a short TV report from London Tonight. You can hear Madonna explain that she wants to save her voice for her show the next night and that Lola has volunteered to read from the book 'Yakov and the 7 Thieves'.

26 August - GM pulls Guy Ritchie car ad after protest
Protests from seven safety groups have prompted General Motors to pull a television ad that shows a young boy driving a Corvette sports car so recklessly that it goes airborne, officials of the automaker say.
The ad, featuring the Rolling Stones song "Jumpin' Jack Flash," has aired repeatedly during the Olympics. The groups, including Consumers Union and the Centre for Auto Safety, complained that it was "the most dangerous" spot they have seen in recent years.
Directed by singer Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie, the spot shows a boy's daydream of racing the Corvette through downtown streets and through a construction pipe. The safety groups said in a letter to GM released on Wednesday that the spot could encourage children to take their parents' cars for a drive.
"This ad is certainly among the most dangerous, anti-safety messages to be aired on national television in recent years," the safety groups said in a joint letter sent to GM Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner. "It is doubtful that General Motors would condone the beer industry showing a "dream sequence" of 10-year-old children having an after-school "kegger"," the letter said.
The ad does include a warning that drivers should operate the vehicle safely and must have a license, but the automaker decided to stop airing the spot, GM spokesman Joe Jacuzzi said on Wednesday.
"We decided to pull it due to responses and feedback we received," Jacuzzi said. "It's a big ad, and it's been airing for a while, but we've got a whole campaign."
The Corvette ad is one of many spots GM prepared for the Summer Olympics. GM is the largest television advertiser during the Summer Games, spending 10 times more during the August 13-29 Olympics than it typically spends during a comparable period.
The seven groups who signed the letter include Consumers Union, Public Citizen, Centre for Auto Safety, Consumer Federation of America and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
Groups have also protested controversial ads or marketing campaigns from other automakers in recent years.
Ford was targeted when an ad showing a cat poking its head through the sunroof of the SportKa, only to be decapitated when the roof closes, found its way onto the Internet. But that spot, which Ford said it never authorised and never aired, is still shown on the Internet, where it has created a buzz.
Chrysler pulled its sponsorship of the "Lingerie Bowl", which featured models in scanty outfits playing football and aired during halftime of the Super Bowl in February. (source: Reuters)

25 August - Madonna fans donate tickets in aid of Sudan
Music legend Madonna and two of her biggest fans have come together to help the Final Hour Appeal.
Tessa Flattery, 31, and Marie-Claude de Bourgonniere, 29, have decided to auction front-seat tickets for the Thursday performance of the artist’s worldwide Re-Invention tour. The thrilled fans were given the complimentary tickets when they went to Madonna’s opening night at Wembley on Sunday.
‘We were just chatting in our seats and we noticed this American security guard with a Madonna-style cowboy hat around the back of the stage,’ said Mrs Flattery. Ten minutes later he was walking up the stairs where we were sitting. Everybody let him through and he came up to us and said: “These are for you, courtesy of Madonna”.’
Both were sceptical at first but they realised it was true and their emotions took over.
Mrs Flattery said her friend was ‘bawling her eyes out’.
‘She’s obsessed with Madonna.’
But the friends quickly realised that they could not use the courtesy tickets because they would be unable to get flights to England on the Thursday. Despite offers of money from fans around them, they kept hold of the tickets until they decided what to do.
‘I would love to go back on Thursday, but I’ve got a little daughter to look after,’ said Ms de Bourgonniere, a mother of three. ‘I just hope we can give somebody the same buzz we had.’
Mrs Flattery said it was a chance not to be missed.
‘You don’t let this slip by. If anybody idolises Madonna the way my friend does, then this is giving them a chance to experience what they’ve always wanted. Whoever gets those tickets is not going to be disappointed.’
Mrs Flattery, a mother of four, bought the tickets in April in advance of her friend’s 30th birthday. She was on the telephone as soon as the ticket hotline opened. After 20 minutes, she got through. The only seats left cost £150.
‘It was now or never. I said to Marie-Claude: “Do you want them or not?”.’
It was lucky for them that Ms De Bourgonniere said yes – all the Wembley tickets were sold out half an hour later. Both of them said the tickets were worth every penny. Their memories will stick with them forever.
‘It was just mind-blowing,’ said Ms de Bourgonniere. ‘It was the best day of my life, apart from when I had children. If I could thank Madonna personally, I would.’
Mrs Flattery has been an avid fan since the beginning of the singer’s musical career in the 80s. The artist, who reportedly arrived in New York in 1978 in search of fame with only $35 dollars in her pocket, is never one to shy away from controversy. Both friends said she was the biggest female superstar of the modern era.
They could see the performer backstage with her children and film director husband Guy Ritchie. They also saw her kiss her dancers goodbye before being ushered off at the end of the show.
‘She was just fantastic,’ said Ms de Bourgonniere.
‘She was in great shape and was absolutely beautiful. There was so much adrenaline there and the crowd was buzzing. I’ll never forget it.’ (source: This Is Guernsey)

25 August - Madonna concert organisers defiant
Organisers of Madonna's first Irish concert have attacked reports that they were ignoring disabled fans. Former Taoiseach John Bruton had claimed his officials were told there would be no discounts for helpers bringing wheelchair-bound fans to Sunday's show. Justin Green, of promoters MCD, said: "We take our commitment to inclusiveness seriously and take issue with any suggestion to the contrary. "The approach taken by MCD in its allocation of tickets is standard practice across the industry, including such organisations as the GAA, Croke Park and Punchestown. Mr Bruton's intervention on this matter is rather puzzling given that MCD received correspondence from Meath Accessible Transport on June 29th. MCD replied on July 5th offering a number of free tickets and direct contact numbers for our safety officer."
Around 80,000 fans are expected to gather at the Co Meath venue, Slane Castle, this Sunday as Madonna headlines the one day festival. The Fine Gael TD had said he contacted the promoters on behalf of Meath Accessible Transport to raise awareness of the problem. The Co Meath representative said he was told there would be no concessions for workers accompanying paid ticket holders as they had made a donation to the Irish Wheelchair Association. Mr Green said they allocated nine tickets to Meath Accessible Transport, which represents several disabled campaign groups, after correspondence in July. In a statement the promoters said: "We would have hoped that a public representative of such long standing would have made a more thoughtful, and less opportunistic, intervention." (source: Yahoo! UK)

25 August - Jimmy Page declines free Madonna ticket
Legendary guitarist Jimmy Page has snubbed the chance of seeing Madonna on her re-Invention tour for free. The Led Zeppelin rocker was offered tickets by two of Madonna's guitarists as he opened a new Virgin store in London. The backing musicians were desperate to lure their hero to one of the Material Girl's London dates - but he politely refused. A source says, "They brought along some concert tickets and said they'd love it if he came along. "Jimmy apparently said, 'Thanks, but no thanks.'" (source: ContactMusic)

25 August - Madonna fans are warned about river
Madonna fans have been told to keep clear of the dangerous waters of the Boyne River by the owner of Slane Castle.
The Irish coastguard unit Gardai will patrolling the flooded waters to ensure there is no trouble as 80,000 fans gather for the queen of pop first ever concert.
Lord Henry Mount Charles, the owner of the historic County Meath Castle said: "The Boyne is a hungry river, it is reputed to claim 12 lives a year, not I might add, on concert days.
"Though we have had some very unfortunate incidents. People look at it and admire it, but don't go near it. At some of the previous tragedies people have had tickets in their pockets and that is just crazy stuff."
Chief Superintendent Michael Finnegan, who is heading the security operation, said the river is flooded and even more dangerous than usual.
A team of 120 Gardai including the drugs unit with dogs, the mounted unit, the Garda sub-aqua team and crowd control officers will be policing the village from Saturday onwards.
Superintendent Finnegan said: "The Garda operation has served us well in the last number of years with Robbie Williams and U2."
He said there will be a strong Garda presence from Saturday afternoon to the early hours of Monday morning.
He warned fans that there will be a special sitting of Navan Court on Sunday afternoon and drugs and drink-driving laws will be thoroughly enforced. (source: Yahoo! UK)

25 August - Slane braces itself for Madonna concert
Residents in the village of Slane are relaxed ahead of this year’s huge open air concert with Madonna’s performance guaranteed to draw both parents and children alike.
As miles of steel fencing was erected around the castle venue many of the local business owners said they were expecting an older more mature crowd to turn out for the star, whose career has spanned three-decades.
"There are a lot of kids being kept at home and the parents are going to the actual concert," laughed Michelle Matthews of the Conyngham Arms Hotel in the town.
"We are expecting a more mature crowd than in previous years, people between 25 to 35 to 40. Any residences that have been booked have been of an older age group," the hotel owner said.
Even though the 80,000 tickets are not yet sold out for Madonna's first ever Irish concert, the hotel owner said businesses would do a strong trade for the Sunday concert.
Ms Matthews said that every B&B, guesthouse and hotel across the entire Co Meath area from Drogheda to Navan was booked out.
Colette Gallagher, a barmaid in the Boyne Valley Inn, said people feel that the 46-year-old singer would attract an older crowd and the young people may not turn out.
"But then again people come for the atmosphere. All the pubs would be jammed. I’m not saying going to be quieter I'm just reckoning that any other year it was sold out," said the 32-year-old, who will spend the weekend behind the bar.
Fans were asked to pay €88.50 for tickets for the Queen of Pop’s Reinvention concert on August 29 and promoters said 95% of the 80,000 allocation have been snapped up.
In other years the tickets for Robbie Williams, U2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the venue located just 30-minutes from Dublin were sold out within hours.
Ms Gallagher said there was a buzz about the town, which is home to around 1,200 people, as Slane Castle prepared to host the ultimate material girl.
" Yea I think it will be fairly peaceful the worst one was the Bob Dylan concert but you will get the odd row. Last year was very peaceful and I hope that this year will be as well."
Though everyone admits that for the older residents in the area it is a restriction and for some a very worrisome weekend.
Des Smyth, who runs a Londis foodstore and garage in the town, said he did not mean to be negative or a spoilsport about the concert.
He added: "I consider it a nightmare the crowd, I don't look forward to it as the crowd is too big. It is a huge imposition on peoples daily lives especially for old people who feel intimidated. The barriers are there to project them but it extenuates the siege aspects of it."
Gardaí said there would be a huge security operation with 120 gardaí on duty at any one time.
The owner of Slane Castle, Lord Henry Mount Charles, said: "We took on board their concerns. The issue obviously was that the concert was being played on a Sunday. The last time that happened was 20 years ago and there was a very different scenario in operation. There was a very much lower level of policing."
He said everyone realised what went wrong at the Bob Dylan concert in 1984 where there were riots.
"I'm confident it will go according to plan," he said.
The Slane Castle owner would not reveal if the ultimate material girl was going to avail of the stately bedrooms at his historic castle. (source: Ireland On-Line)

24 August - Madonna contributes Little Star to new children charity compilation
R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks and Maroon 5 are singing for a considerably younger audience on a new compilation album, Mary Had a Little Amp, set for an October 5th release. The collection features prominent artists issuing new songs or re-interpreting children's classics to benefit People for the American Way's Project Kid Smart and Start Smart America. The organizations are working to guarantee preschool education for all American children.
Mary Had A Little Amp "Obviously musicians have a power to bring an issue at least into the public's view," says Julie Burton, Project Kid Smart director and compilation co-organizer. "We talked to the Dixie Chicks and we asked them to consider doing this with us. They really stepped to the plate and said, 'Yes, let's see if we can make it happen.'"
The Dixie Chicks contribute a new rendition of the Kermit the Frog classic "Rainbow Connection," drawing on their experience as mothers. "Maybe the most miraculous thing about being a mother is seeing the incredible capacity a young child has to learn," the trio said in a statement. "Imagine if all children in our country had the chance to go to a good school early on."
R.E.M's offering, "We Walk," is a fitting one, as the band debuted the song on children's network Nickelodeon in 1983. "I've always thought it was a neat little gem," says band manager Bertis Downs, who sits on the board of People for the American Way. "It was never a single or anybody's idea of a commercial song, but it's cool, and it's kind of a kid's song."
Other album highlights include a rare version of Graham Nash's "Teach Your Children," which Burton describes as "the coda to the whole CD" and Maroon 5's take on "Pure Imagination," a song from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Mary also boasts new songs by Moby, a collaboration between Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson about "Superman and flying over buildings" and Jack Johnson's re-working of the "3 Rs Song."
"This was not a hard issue to approach the artists with," Burton says, "because children are our future."
The Mary Had a Little Amp track listing:
"Sing Along," Blue Man Group featuring Dave Matthews
"Baby Mine," Bonnie Raitt
"Rainbow Connection," Dixie Chicks
"Teach Your Children," Graham Nash
"Wild Wild Party in the Loquat Tree," Indigo Girls
"3 Rs Song," Jack Johnson
"When You Wish Upon a Star," Joe Henry
"Gentle Breeze," Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson
"Little Star," Madonna
"Pure Imagination," Maroon 5
"Anchovie," Moby
"Lifeline," Nancy and Ann Wilson with Brian Wilson's band
"We Walk," R.E.M.
"How to Be Strong," Roseanne Cash
(source: RollingStone)

24 August - Madonna to buy Greek island? *rumour*
Michael Jackson once went to great pains to buy the bones of the so-called Elephant Man, but Madonna looks set to go him one better -- by becoming the proud owner of the corpse of one of Jackie Kennedy's exes. The Material Girl has reportedly been mulling over a real-estate deal that would give her a private Greek island, one that just happens to include the grave of multi-billionaire Aristotle Onassis. Madonna has made several trips to the isla bonita, but is said to be a bit concerned about the mortgage payments one would have to shell out on a $300 million purchase. We don't see any reason for concern, since the residuals from Swept Away should take care of the first fifteen minutes or so... (source: RollingStone)

24 August - Madonna.com calls shots on ring tone offer
Madonna ringtones Madonna and m-Qube have made it possible for the star's North American fans to download polyphonic ring tones and other licensed mobile content from her official Web site, across most major carriers and without the need for a credit card.
The mobile company said this was the first artist-driven online store of its kind.
"Madonna sees the future of the music business tied intimately to the wireless space and doing this deal is the first step of many to utilize the robust capabilities of mobile phones," Madonna's manager Caresse Henry said.
Visitors to Madonna.com can purchase the handset-personalization products just by providing their mobile phone number and handset type. The charges appear on their wireless bill.
Andrew Miller, m-Qube's senior vp business development, said being chosen by an artist like Madonna validated his company's mobile storefront strategy and the importance of cross-carrier premium billing solutions.
"It's Madonna's music, so the store is going to be her way, on her terms," he said. "This is not through the label. This is working directly through the artist. When fans think of Madonna, they will think of the music and her Web site, not their phone company."
This approach is not suitable for all artists, he added, but is particularly appropriate for someone of Madonna's iconic stature. Participating in her own store also gives her a larger share of the proceeds because there is no label involvement.
Direct premium billing means that consumers who do not have or choose not to use a credit card are able to purchase the products. "In some territories we offer customers both credit card and carrier-billed options, and about 90% choose carrier-billed," Miller said.
M-Qube is headquartered in Boston with offices in Redmond, Wash., and Toronto. The company's strategic wireless partners include Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless, Sprint PCS, AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile USA, Nextel Communications, Cincinnati Bell Wireless, Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility, Microcell, SaskTel, MTS and Aliant Mobility. (source: HollywoodReporter)

23 August - In Red with Madonna
Madonna and Victoria Newton from The Sun It's not often I'm genuinely star struck but when I was granted an audience with the Queen Of Pop it was a different matter.
I got backstage on the first night of Madonna’s London concerts — and met my childhood hero. And I'm thrilled to reveal that she didn't disappoint me.
She was funny, charming and, of course, a little bit bossy. Her mere presence dominated the room. I presented the Queen Of Pop with a special Bizarre gong for Gig Of The Year for the sensational opening night in Los Angeles of her Re-Invention world tour.
And just before she leapt on stage to the opening chords of Vogue, she ordered me to "strike a pose" as my snapper took pictures of us.
Madonna told me: "I feel a little bit nervous about this - but thank you so much for the award. I hope you like the show as much as the first one. And, hey, I'm glad you wore matching boots to mine — now we're best friends."
Madonna celebrated her 46th birthday on Monday night with hubby Guy Ritchie and some of the tour crew at over-priced posh London restaurant Sketch.
But when I asked what she thought of the food, she replied: “Oh, I didn't eat it. I don't really eat food in restaurants - you can never be quite sure what's in it, can you?”
Victoria Newton from The Sun with the tour performers Madge, who follows a strict macrobiotic diet, looked sensational in her Christian Lacroix basque and fishnet tights as we chatted backstage.
Guy was happily talking to all the dancers in their amazing costumes as they limbered up. There were also several stars backstage who had turned up to see the singer in all her glory.
Her best pal Stella McCartney was in the audience and got a dedication from Madge at the start of Crazy For You. Kylie Minogue caused a huge commotion in the camped-up crowd as she took her seat at Earls Court Arena with her little sister Danii.
Other stars boozing backstage afterwards included U2, Sugababes, Leah Wood and fashion designer Matthew Williamson.
Madonna - the biggest-selling female solo artist ever thrilled fans with an amazing set list of songs spanning her two decades at the top.
There was everything from Hanky Panky to Holiday to Hollywood — proving that unlike most of today’s wannabe pop muppets, Madge is a real hit machine. My personal highlight was towards the end of the show when, dressed in a kilt, Madonna tore around the stage for a medley of Into The Groove and Papa Don't Preach.
It was impossible to sit down and, in fact, most fans danced throughout the entire show.
At the end Madonna, who now lives in the UK with Guy, told the sell-out crowd: "It's good to be home." It's good to have you here, Madge. (source: The Sun)

23 August - Madonna fans to get special train in Portugal for concert
Portugal's state rail operator CP said it would operate a special train to take Madonna fans from northern second city Oporto to Lisbon for the pop superstar's first-ever concert in the country on September 13. Return tickets will cost 21 euros (26 dollars), the company said in a statement. The company does not have plans to operate a similar service on the following day when the top-selling singer will close her "Re-Invention" world tour with a second performance in the Portuguese capital. Only one Lisbon date was originally planned, but a second was quickly added in response to big public demand for tickets. The self-proclaimed Material Girl kicked off the European leg of her tour, which began in Los Angeles in May, on Saturday [Aug 14th] with the first of two concerts in Manchester, northern England. After Manchester the 45-year-old singer is to perform in her adopted hometown of London, followed by appearances in Dublin, Paris, Arnhem in the Netherlands, and finally Lisbon. (source: AFP)

23 August - Madonna: Strain with the Kabbalah?
Could Madonna and Kabbalah be kaput? One insider tells Star Magazine that Esther, as she's known in those circles, is becoming disillusioned with The Kabbalah Centre. The source says, "She's upset that they've been marketing off of her. She's tired of them constantly coming to the well for money, and she was furious they leaked she was going to Israel. She's over it."
Hubby Guy Ritchie may have had enough, too. When Madonna recently performed in Fort Lauderdale, Ritchie reportedly got into a scuffle with one of the Kabbalah rabbis, who kept interrupting him when he was talking to the missus. (source: seattlepi)

23 August - Madonna's father surprised by daughter's 'wife' role
Pop legend Madonna's father Silvio Ciccone is proud that his daughter has changed her ways and settled down with a family. But Ciccone still finds it hard to believe the middle-aged mother-of-two is the same girl that he raised in Michigan. Ciccone says, "It's true, she's a good wife. When I see her with Guy (Ritchie), I can't get it in my head that she's the same girl I raised. She was hell on wheels when she was younger. "Now she's got this marriage and I'm proud that she's been able to keep it going this long." (source: ContactMusic)

23 August - Rupert Everett approves of Madonna's Kabbalah fixation
British actor Rupert Everett has leapt to the defence of famous friend Madonna over her conversion to the controversial Kabbalah faith. Madonna began studying the controversial offshoot of Judaism in 1997 and has managed to encourage her film director husband to embrace the mystical teachings. Her attempts to convert the spiritually confused Britney Spears seem to have failed, but Madonna's Next Best Thing co-star and pal Everett can see the positive affect her new found faith has had on the Music superstar. He says, "It's made her much, much softer." (source: ContactMusic)

23 August - Madonna buys Kabbalah book for Britney
Madonna has spent thousands of pounds to buy a rare 12th century book on the Kabbalah religion as a gift for Britney Spears, according to reports. Britney has kept the Zohar text with her at all times since Madonna sent it to her, according to The Sun.Both singers are devotees of the Jewish-based religion. Britney said the Zohar book, which offers philosophy for life as well as astrology and numerology, paints "a bigger picture than even the Bible." "It's just so interesting to me because I've never read that stuff before," she said. A friend told The Sun: "Madonna has always looked out for Britney. "When Britney was going through a tough time earlier in the year, Madonna used Kabbalah teachings to help her through. "Britney was delighted with the book. She has read it thoroughly and seems completely taken with it." (source: Yahoo! UK)

23 August - Slane public information notice
Check here for a public information notice about the concert at Slane Castle. It notes that gates will open at 4pm. Opening acts are Paul Oakenfold (5pm to 6pm) and Iggy Pop & The Stooges (6.30pm to 7.30pm). Madonna will be on stage around 8.30pm. The notice also warns for forged tickets, gives a route description and transportation tips, and lists some "do's and do not's". Too bad they didn't notice they listed the wrong year for the gig... ;-p

23 August - New book about re-Invention tour
On the occasion of Madonna's re-Invention Tour in Europe, a new Madonna book is released entitled: "MADONNA LIVE !"
The book contains 128 pages, is printed on thick paper, has a hard cartonboard cover and lots of pictures from the re-Invention Tour. The book includes the following chapters :
1. biography
2. the building-up to the Madonna re-Invention Tour 2004
3. the Madonna re-Invention Tour 2004 in America
4. the start of the Madonna re-Invention Tour 2004 in Europe
The book is priced only 5 euros, and is a must-have for all Madonna fans. You can order the book via email madonnareinventiontour@hotmail.com and choose your language English, French or Dutch. You will receive an e-mail with all the payment information, afterwards the book will be send by postal services. Enjoy the Madonna re-Invention Tour 2004!

23 August - Madonna racks up new physique
Pop star and actress Madonna has been using a medieval-style wooden 'rack' to tone her physique. According to Britain's The Daily Star she pays $120 an hour for private sessions on the Gyrotonic Expansion System. The newspaper reckons it is responsible for her new muscular look and says her breasts have also grown. The device - nicknamed "The Rack" - is designed to stretch and strengthen muscles all over the body. It was invented by Romanian ballet dancer Juliu Horvath to prepare dancers for the stage. Madonna has reportedly been working out for up to 90 minutes at a time on the machine at a studio in London's St John's Wood. Madonna's muscular physique was the talk of the evening this week when she celebrated her 46th birthday with her husband at a London restaurant. Madonna wore a sleeveless satin evening gown, revealing her toned arms, when she and hubby Guy Ritchie, 35, dined at the Sketch Club in London's West End. "She looked in tremendous shape for someone of her age. Her arms were positively rippling with muscle," said a fellow diner. (source: MSN Sympathico)

19 August - Madonna visit to Israel confirmed (?)
Madonna and her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, will spend Rosh Hashana in Israel, it was confirmed Monday by Rabbi Yehuda Berg, co-director of the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles. The couple will spend two days, primarily at the associated Kabbalah Centre in Tel Aviv, Berg said. However, he denied Israeli press reports that Madonna and Ritchie would meet with Kabbalah sage Rabbi Yitzhak Kadouri while in Israel to seek spiritual guidance. Madonna, who recently adopted the Jewish name of Esther, has been a frequent visitor at the Los Angeles Kabbalah Centre and has taken courses there. Her series of children's books, the latest of which was published last month, claims the Kabbalah and Judaism as inspiration. Britney Spears, Demi Moore, and Paris Hilton have also taken classes, Berg confirmed. (source: Jerusalem Post)

18 August - Madonna fans in Cosmopolitan
Not really an article on Madonna, but rather her fans, especially her lookalikes and wannabes. Thanks again to Flo from France.

CosmopolitanCosmopolitan


17 August - Madonna paintings auctioned for charity
Madonna paintings by Leonardo Leno Madonna paintings by Leonardo LenoTo celebrate the re-Invention tour, Belgian artist Leanardo Leno painted seven beautiful Madonna paintings. During a press conference on On friday, August 6th, the paintings were donated to 7 Belgian celebrities who all had some kind of connection with Madonna. Among them were singers Kate Ryan, Roxane and Sylver, who always named Madonna as one of their major influences, and radio Donna DJs Caren Meynen and Jan Bosman. During the press conference, each one of them gave their own vision on Madonna. Each of the paintings represent a certain aspect of La Ciccone.
Metaphysical Dimension
American Buddha
Dona Lisa M
Oriental Pathway
No Fear
No Shame Of Experience
Agony
The paintings will be auctioned on eBay and profits will go to Donxa, a charity organisation that fights poverty among Vietnamese children. Meanwhile, the paintings are on display in the Mercure Grand Hotel Royal Crown in Brussels. Visitors have the chance to win a ticket for the second show in Arnhem. After September 7th, the art work can be seen at the Crowne Mercure in Arnhem.

17 August - Madonna in Marie Claire
Our lovely French assistant Flo has sent us scans of the French magazine Marie Claire, which features Madonna on the cover (the well known Dah Len picture from 2000). The 4-page article talks mostly about the death of Madonna's mother and the effect on her life and career, and about her recent projects and private life. Previously, Flo sent us scans of StarActu, Femme Actuelle and Vogue Magazine - check the links in case you missed them.

Marie Claire Marie Claire Marie Claire

StarActu

16 August - Liz Rosenberg's Vogue article in english
Madonna.com has posted the original article that Liz Rosenberg wrote for Vogue Magazine. Enjoy!
"You don't know whether to kiss me or to hit me. I get a lot of that". So uttered a very sexy Madonna in her Breathless Mahoney role while talking to crime fighter Dick Tracy and boyfriend at the time, Warren Beatty, resplendent in his yellow trench coat) in the film Dick Tracy.
If ever one lined summed up the media's love/hate affair with Madonna over the last 22 years, that one says it just perfectly. Having had a front row seat to this affair and often actually standing between the Material Girl and the press who continue to love her, worship her, trivialize her, criticize her, say she's over and continue to write about her, begrudgingly respect her, still not sure of her talent - even with over two decades of solid hit songs, I can assure you it's been a very wild and ever fascinating journey. Although being crushed against a glass wall at the Cannes Film Festival while the paparazzi brought their full force to shooting Madonna in her bullet bra was a little more than I bargained for years ago.
Madonna on the cover of Vogue I can remember as if it were yesterday when this ball of fire strolled into my office a bit like a Christmas tree fabulously accessorized in the middle of the summer, many incarnations and lifetimes ago. That hair ("It always looks the best after not washing it for 8 days"), the black rubber bracelets and torn tights ("oh everyone's wearing them downtown"), the crucifixes that she either wore or carried around in a pillowcase ("Jesus is sexy"), the attitude - "No one's telling me what to wear," screamed Madonna at her first photo shoot with famed lenseman Francesco Scavullo. In some ways, she's exactly the same. She was fearless when nobody knew who the hell Madonna was and she continues to be unafraid of what people think of her music or her mind. Though at the start, Madonna had no problem hitting you over the head with her message if that's what it took to make you a believer. Her current commitment to Kaballah may have taught her that delivering her messages whether political or person in nature might best be expressed in a gentler way. Her fierce loyalty to what and whom she believes in is ever-present but she 'expresses herself' packaged with a softer hand that make no mistake 'still wants to bring you to a higher ground'. The sheer force of her power has audiences leaving her new show in total awe - but not much different that the 3000 screaming gay boys at a disco in lower Manhattan in l982 when the blonde bombshell was singing "Lucky Star" to an instrumental track at 5:00 in the morning.
But what makes Madonna happiest these days, I asked her recently. "Oh, probably the sound of my daughter reading me a poem in French", Said Madonna softly. "Well is there anything else you still wish for", I inquired? "How about no more wars, for starters? How about everyone going to see Michael Moore's new movie? What about my kids bringing their dishes to the sink after they're done eating?" she said in no particular order.
There's no question that an enormous part of her happiness these days can be seen on stage where Madonna has been most nights performing her current extravaganza "The Reinvention Tour". "I finally decided to take my own personal look back on my music and my videos - really revisit them but put a new twist on them. I sat down with my manager and best friend, Caresse Henry to figure it all out. Next Jamie King, my director met with Caresse and I at my house. He arrived with a shoebox in which he created his vision of the show. I wanted to incorporate many elements of the Kaballah, my feelings about war in general and George Bush in particular. I wanted to enlighten and entertain the audience. I wanted it to be an assault on the senses. I wanted to perform in Israel for the Jews and the Palestinians at one show. Unfortunately my manager nixed that one due to security concerns. One of my goals was that every person in the audience should leave knowing that each of them could make a difference in this world. I wanted to thank my fans for their loyalty over the last 20 years and I think this show is my personal thank you to them, said Madonna after her third cup of coffee one morning.
Having seen literally hundreds of Madonna performances since the day that Christmas tree walked into my office, I still cry when she sings "Like a Prayer" and still shake my booty to "Get Into The Groove" amidst 20,000 other Madonna fans. And what of the media and their response? Madonna never reads any of her reviews, which I think is a great idea. Her reviews are the love the audience sends up to her on that stage. I, of course, can't stop reading the reviews - so many of them still begrudgingly giving it up to her. I don't know an artist, aside from the Beatles or Elvis who can claim such an impressive number of hit songs that served as such an important influence and backdrop in people's lives. What a body of work - and what a body is what I often say to myself while I continue to marvel at her stamina, her singing, her dancing, her beauty and her grace. Though Madonna has claimed that some of her cultural statements in the past were "pure exhibitionism", there's no question that her influence on female self-empowerment has changed the world. Perhaps this is threatening to some of the male critics. No one can deny that she's opened more minds and more hearts as an artist and an educator about expressing yourself, believing in your dreams and fighting for them if necessary. Even the newest generation of little children has the chance to be enlightened by her series of children's books. The latest, "Yakov and the Seven Thieves" shows an eternally optimistic Madonna that even "naughty people" have something to offer this world. "I'm naughty child No. l", laughed Madonna.
So what's the most important life lesson to learn, I asked Madonna before one of her shows. "My Kaballah teacher taught me that whenever in doubt about anything, 'act like God'. And how would God act? He would be caring and loving. I try to be both and if there's one lesson I can teach the world, that would be it." Amen

16 August - Final stats for US shows
Special thanks to Jim Radenhausen and the MIR for providing the final stats for Re-Invention Tour (N. America):
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.: $3,486,684 - 2 shows/26,788 attendance
6. New York, New York: $12,674,925 - 6 shows/88,625 attendance
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: $3,450,874 - 2 shows/25,627 attendance
13. Fort Lauderdale/Sunrise, Fla.: $3,834,522 - 2 shows/28,208 attendance
14. Miami, Fla.: $4,145,760 - 2 shows/30,580 attendance
Totals for North American leg - 39 shows reported to Billboard - $79,500,054 - 553,505 tickets

16 August - Madonna's healthy birthday
Pop superstar Madonna is celebrating her 46th birthday today (16 AUG 04) by treating her friends to a succession of expensive health treatments.
The Material Girl is spending a staggering $5,400 (GBP3,000) on amethyst crystal steam-rooms, vitality pools, massages, hot stone treatments and zen relaxation areas at some of her favourite London spas, so she can unwind before her eagerly-awaited Re-Invention tour dates in the capital this weekend (21-22 AUG 04).
A close source says, "She is really generous and figured since she's been on tour, she fancied a relaxing birthday. She has insisted on paying for everything and that all the massages and facials will be her treat.
"It's her way of thanking them for being the most important women in her life and for always being there for her. They have booked up different spas in discreet places so she isn't photographed in her toweling robe and slippers." (source: ContactMusic)

16 August - Happy birthday Madonna!
Yesterday at the second show in Manchester, fans surprised Madonna by singing Happy Birthday between two songs. It started out as a plan by some fans who then involved Madonna's management and tour team. A clearly moved Madonna thanked the crowd and dedicated the next song to all her fans. More details in our tour diary.
Congrats to all the fans who made that wonderful surprise happen!
The Mad-Eyes team wishes Madonna a fantastic 46th birthday!

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