Madonna news - Aug. 2005

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15 August - News titbits
- As you can see from the paparazzi pix on, it seems Madonna has died her hair carrot-red! Who knows she'll have that colour in the Steven Klein photo shoot?

- According to DrownedMadonna sources, the musical Hello Suckers "is not happening at the moment". Now, is that good or bad news?
- Madonnafan Brad Keirse informs us that during Little Richard's August 13 concert in Portland, Oregon, he told the audience that on August 18 he will be filming a Motorola Phone commercial with Madonna in Los Angeles. This story also appeared on other fansites and forums, however it seems rather odd. Whether it's true should be cleared out soon.

12 August - Madonna hits the clubs
Madonna is returning to her roots with the club-friendly Confessions On A Dance Floor, due November 15th. For her tenth studio album, the follow-up to 2003's American Life, the pop legend worked closely with British producer Stuart Price (a.k.a. DJ Jacques Lu Cont) at his London apartment.

Price met Madonna later in her career, playing keyboards on her last two tours -- "I was a bit too young to be a fan in the Eighties," he says, laughing. She approached him after last year's Re-Invention Tour, when she began work on a music-driven screenplay, bringing him onboard to create a sound she called "future disco." The idea for Confessions came from those sessions.
"We live real near each other in London, and we could just send ideas back and forth and get together and work on stuff," Price says. "The creative process was very short. There were a couple of weeks in London at my studio where we were doing a song every day."

At night, the producer would test out the tracks during his club gigs. "Whenever I was DJ'ing, I'd take dub or instrumental versions out with me," Price says. "I had my camera with me, and the next day I'd tell Madonna, 'This is what a thousand people in Liverpool looked like last night dancing to our song.' You can work on a song for twelve hours, but I guarantee you'll know within the first ten seconds of putting it on at a club whether it works or not. So these songs were tested on unwitting subjects throughout Europe."

But Price insists that he and Madonna did not blindly trust the club scene, wanting to create something more lasting. "There's a bit of a danger with dance music that you can create something that's cool but doesn't have much substance to it," he admits. "Every few months, a club record comes along that hits a nerve with people, and they connect to it. They don't know why, but there is something magical in it. That's what we were trying to make."
The first single is the uptempo synth-disco jam Hung Up, which Price calls "a big feel-good song. You put it on and you want to get in your car, turn it up and drive around smiling." (source: Rolling Stone)

12 August - Rumoured release dates *rumour*
Brazilian fansite states that the Hung Up single will be released on November 3rd, while Madonna's new DVD release is set for December 5th. That release will contain two DVDs; one of them will be the tour documentary 'I'm Going To Tell You A Secret', and the other will be the Lisbon show of the Re-Invention Tour.

11 August - Andre 3000 rumour already denied
According to fansites Madonnalicious and DrownedMadonna, Liz Rosenberg has already denied the rumour about a collaboration between Madonna and Outkast's Andre 3000.

10 August - Like A Prayer video on Sire boxset
Sire Records, the label that nurtured such acts as the Ramones, Madonna and the Smiths, will celebrate its upcoming 30th anniversary this fall with a four-disc boxed set.
Due Sept. 13 via Sire/Rhino, "Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story" rounds up 61 tracks on three audio CDs and another 20 music videos on a DVD.

Sire was founded in 1966 by former Billboard staffer Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer. The label is perhaps best known for revealing the New York underground rock scene (the Ramones, Television, the Talking Heads) to a worldwide audience in the mid and late 1970s and, years later, rearing the careers of such acts Madonna, the Pretenders and the Smiths.

All of those acts are represented on "Just Say Sire," as are Morrissey, Erasure, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, the Tom Tom Club, Seal, the Cult, Ice-T, k.d. lang, Primal Scream, the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, My Bloody Valentine, the Replacements, Dinosaur Jr. and Wilco. Stein, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, oversaw the remastering of all the tracks.
The DVD features such clips as Madonna's Like A Prayer, the Ramones' "Rock'n'Roll High School," the Pretenders' "Brass in Pocket," Echo & the Bunnymen's "The Cutter" and the Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime." (source: Reuters/Billboard)

10 August - Easy Ride on DanceCulture
A previously unreleased remix of Easy Ride will be available August 9th on Tracy Young's new compilation Dance Culture. (source:

10 August - Madonna teams up with Outkast star
Andre 3000 Madonna has enlisted the talents of Andre 3000 on her new album, after meeting the Outkast star on the set of her husband Guy Ritchie's forthcoming movie Revolver.

Material Girl Madonna is set to unleash her latest record, Confessions On A Dance Floor, in November.
The album will contain a collaborative track that she has been working on with Andre 3000, real name Andre Benjamin.

Andre says: "Madonna showed up on the set of Revolver and made me really nervous. She walked around the corner and I forgot all my lines.
"She asked me what I thought about music and where it was going. Then we talked about something on her new album." (source: Irish Examiner)

09 August - Williamson in Madonna's awe
British designer Matthew Williamson was so star-struck when he met Madonna he had to take a walk to calm down.

The flamboyant style guru regularly creates clothes for celebrities like Sienna Miller and R+B beauty Kelis, but became a starstruck mute in the presence of the queen of pop.
And he was surprised to discover she is much milder than her fearsome reputation lead him to believe.

He says, "I went to dinner with Madonna at Le Caprice (London restaurant) and I was s**ting myself. I had to walk round the block to get my bearings.
"Afterwards she took me to a private screening of Angela's Ashes. I was touching her knees!
"She is not this brazen, crazy, over-bearing character. She's diminutive, laid back but in control, very sharp. And, she remembers everything." (source: ContactMusic) 09 August - goes Vogue
This week's splash page of is in the style of the Vogue Magazine cover, with the beautiful picture of Madonna and her children Lola and Rocco.

05 August - Spiteri: 'I like Madonna's style'
Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri is impressed by Madonna's directness when she wants to get to know somebody, because she simply phones them.
The Ray Of Light superstar hates relying on celebrity parties to meet new pals - she prefers to invite stars she has admired from afar to an evening of fine cuisine and conversation, and Spiteri was on her list.

Spiteri recalls, "Madonna just rang up and said, 'Do you want to come to dinner?' and it was either a yes or a no and I said, 'Yes.'
"That's just an easier way for her to meet people she thinks she might want to meet because there is always such a fuss around her when she is in a public place.
"I enjoy her company, her conversation. She's lovely." (source: ContactMusic)

05 August - Elton mends his feud with Michael, but not with Madonna
Sir Elton John ended his bitter feud with George Michael by taking him out to dinner, but the outspoken singer is finding it harder to win back the affections of Madonna.
John and Michael fell out in November last year (04) after John accused his fellow homosexual of being an unhappy drug-user and branded his album Patience "disappointing".
Rocket man singer John also angered Madonna when he accused her of lip-synching at Britain's Q Awards last year (04).

He says, "That one's slightly more difficult. I did send her two Christmas cards and they both came back.
"It was just one of those off-the-cuff things.
"(But) George and I are fine. We've had dinner, and I've apologised to him if I hurt his feelings.
"It was handbags at 50 paces. We like each other too much to fall out." (source: ContactMusic)

04 August - Official release dates *official*
A few weeks ago reported that HUNG UP is going to be the first single off the new album. We are now happy to tell you that HUNG UP will debut at radio on October 17th!
Not only that, but is pleased to announce the release date for Madonna's new All Dance Album. Madonna fans all over the world can rejoice, because the album release date is currently scheduled for November 15, 2005! Put your dancing shoes on and plan a date with your best friends to the clubs, because October & November are going to rule!

04 August - Warner execs blown away by Confessions
Who are the happiest music executives in the land these days? The big guys at Warner Records. All who have heard Madonna's coming CD, "Confessions On A Dance Floor," have been blown away. (Including WR's movie-star handsome CEO Tom Whalley.) "Confessions" is entirely a dance-driven pop disc. No message. No ballads. All fun. These days M seems serene as the chatelaine of an English manor, feeding the chickens, riding, tending to her children, etc. (She, her home and her kids are gorgeous in Vogue for August.) But the once-shocking icon can still get into the groove. And she wants her fans to know it. The album hits stores in November. (source: Liz Smith from New York Post) 03 August - Splash page 2005 is updated with a gorgeous splash page showing Madonna's pictures from 2005 so far, with the Live 8 quote "Ready to start a revolution?"

03 August - Videoshoot pushed back *rumour*
According to fansite Madonnatribe, the photoshoot for the album artwork is still confirmed for August 11th, but the videoshoot is pushed back to the end of September.

03 August - German single release on November 14
Yesterday we reported that the single Hung Up will be released in the UK on November 7th. Today, MTV Germany reports that the single will be out in their country on November 14. They add that the album should follow "shortly after" and that the Hung Up video will be shot by Steven Klein in London later this month. However, according to fansite MadonnaTribe, the photoshoot and video by Steven Klein will be held in Los Angeles instead of London, and these would take place on August 11th. (thx to Dani for the MTV link)

02 August - Hung Up gets November 7 release

Madonna's new single, Hung Up, will be released on November 7.
The track is taken from Madonna's new album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, expected a week later.
Hung Up has been produced by Stuart Price, aka Jacques Lu Cont, the musical director on the Material Girl's 2004 Re-Invention Tour.
A DVD of onstage and behind-the-scenes footage of that tour is also due later in the year. (source: uk-flava)

01 August - Rumoured tracklisting *rumour*

Ramona from the PeterRauhofer forum has posted the following rumours on the new album (thanx to David Figueiredo from MIR):

"The demo master has 16 tracks, only 13 of them will make it to the album:

Scan from demo tracklisting 1. Around the Clock 04:59
2. Hung Up (first single) 04:07
3. 24/7 03:44
4. The Demon's Disco 05:01
5. Face (Smile On Ur Face) 04:26
6. Trivial Things 06:43
7. The Song 03:11
8. Returning Home 04:18
9. Lies (Little White Lies) 03:42
10. Defying Gravity (On The Dancefloor) 05:09
11. Boy 04:32
12. The Stare (Spreading My Wings) 04:35
13. I Love (New York) (2nd single) 04:13
14. Signs 03:55
15. Nightmare 06:22
16. Beat Box 05:28

Again the final album tracks (13) is not ready yet. Madonna and Warner are still in meetings... It's from the guy who works at Warner.
There is going to be a casting call for dancers and actors for the shooting of Hung Up, the agents breakdown is going out next monday.
MTV will be full of Madonna in the fall. Makng the video will premier on MTV with Madonnas new video... as I heard.

Madonna has asked her gal-pal Ingrid Casares to be in charge of a national promotional tour. Ingrid is part owner of a Miami based dance Club promoting company, and Madonna wants her to put together a promotional tour. The theme of this tour would be to have Official Album release parties in selected clubs nationally, and Madonna would attend some of them.
Very possible that Madonna is coming to Miami for MTV VMA to promote the new single and perform it live... I think it's just a rumour, because Ingrid Casares is doing the MTV Video Music Awards party... but I like it.

Madonna WILL NOT, AGAIN, WILL NOT sample an ABBA song . "Ring Ring" has nothing to do with Madonna's new single or album... Creepy.

The first single Hung Up (to hit radio stations very soon, planned for her Bday) is going to be A BIG BIG -Techno/disco stomper, a very old Madonna feeling track, but revolutionary new at the same time, like it was with Frozen, Ray Of Light, Music, Nobody Knows Me at the time... WOOOOOOW.

The album is going to be Warner's biggest release of the year..."
~ The scan on the right appeared on a SayHey forum.

01 August - Niki Haris: Out of Madonna's shadow

Many Madonnafans have wondered whatever happened to Niki Haris and why she stopped working for Madonna. Here's a recent interview with Niki from the Sunday Times, in which she also discusses her collaboration with Madonna:

After 17 years as the star's backing singer Niki Haris is ready to reveal an inherited gift for showing the world the soul of jazz, writes Claire Prentice

She swaps make-up tips and motherhood advice with Madonna, has Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Mick Jagger on speed dial but today Niki Haris is feeding porridge to a squirming two-year old.

Sitting in the kitchen of her Californian home, 20 minutes north of Los Angeles, Haris and her daughter Jordan Ann are enjoying breakfast while watching Changing Rooms on cable. "I think I must have been British in a previous life," laughs the singer, "I spend all my free time watching the BBC. We've just been watching Cash in the Attic."

Haris is enjoying a rare day at home — she has spent so little time there in recent months that she still hasn't got round to buying a stick of furniture for her living room. In the past fortnight she has clocked up thousands of air miles, performing in Switzerland, Milan, Chicago, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico.

"I love Puerto Rico," says Haris with a smile. "They like their women with hips."
This week she and Jordan Ann are travelling to Edinburgh for the international jazz festival, where Haris is performing for three nights (husband Jay King is too busy running a record label to join them). She was a huge hit last year, providing a welcome dose of old-style glamour in a line-up that often seems packed with beer bellies and bald heads.

But then with her good looks and vibrant stage presence Haris, 43, would stand out anywhere, and not just among the crowds in Scotland. She does not fit the image of a brooding musician, hunched on stage and frowning in concentration; nor does she fit with the image of Mr Acker Bilk, who too often has seemed to personify the genre for the organisers of the Edinburgh event.

Of course Haris has the enviable advantage of having picked up performance tips from the queen of entertainment, Madonna. For 17 years she toured the world as one of Madonna's backing singers and dancers when the material girl was at the top of her game.
Haris was performing backing vocals for the Righteous Brothers when she got a call asking her to audition alongside 200 other girls on Madonna's Who's That Girl Tour.

Madonna and Niki on the Blond Ambition Tour "As I'd been recommended I was first up. I did my stuff and she sent everyone else home. Working with her was hard — a constant aerobic workout. I spent every day in dance class and the gym and did the whole scene thing. It was good though. I've learnt from her and I like to think she's learnt from me."

She and Madonna remain friends and try to meet up whenever their touring schedules coincide but they see less of each other since Madonna moved to England. “Seventeen years is long enough with any job, it was just time to move on," says Haris, who quit her job with Madonna in 2002, when she had her daughter.

Although she is too smart to criticise one of the most powerful women in show business, one senses from her comments on the industry and her dislike of celebrity that she was not always entirely approving of her former employer's occasional shock tactics in the world of pop. “A lot of the music we hear now, especially contemporary music, is really vulgar," reckons Haris. “ I think people want romance back in their lives in a way that isn't lewd and crude, and jazz represents that."

Although her reluctance to embrace the limelight means she is not yet a household name in Britain, Haris is well established in America and mainland Europe; her past collaborations read like a Who's Who of Hollywood. She has choreographed Sharon Stone and Whoopi Goldberg and sung with Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight and Luther Vandross. She had a No 1 chart hit in the UK (with dance group Snap), has acted with De Niro, Al Pacino and Bruce Willis (she found acting "boring") and sang in Disney's Anastasia.

This is a singer who was never going to be allowed to blend into the background in America, partly owing to the legendary status of her father, Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Gene Harris. "Growing up I didn't think of him as famous, I just knew that people loved him wherever we went. We all went with him on tour, us four girls and mum, in this 36ft-long motor home. I remember the first time we drove through the Rocky Mountains, these little black kids from Michigan driving through these incredible sculptures of God. It was great being able to camp, go fishing and really appreciate mother nature. We met people from all walks of life because we were driving around all these different cities. Nobody really does that anymore — you just fly over them."

She sees herself as continuing the family tradition, taking her daughter with her wherever she goes. "My life is one big tour, especially in summer, and Jordan Ann comes everywhere. She can't get a better education than travelling around to all these different countries."

Even during the years that she worked with Madonna, Haris pursued her own career tirelessly.
"I remember once in New York I was on stage with Madonna at Madison Square Garden during the early part of the night, then I would head off to sit in on a jazz set at a club. Finally, at two or three in the morning I'd make an appearance at a dance club to sing a few songs."
She lists singing with Ray Charles and Gladys Knight among her career highlights but adds that none of them came close to the thrill she felt when touring and recording with her father during the last seven years of his life. "Performing with my father was amazing. He loved my singing."
Continue article here.

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