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14 July - Madonna apologizes to Australia
To my fans in Australia
Please forgive me. I really did hope and expect to come to Australia during the Confessions Tour and asked my managers to try to include some shows there. I have fond memories from previous tours. Unfortunately, the logistics just didn't work out this time around. We looked into going from Japan to Australia and ending the show there but I have to get my kids back into school in England and they are, as you can understand, my most important priority. The important thing to remember is that I'm not retiring anytime soon and I am gonna get to Australia as soon as I can. You remain in my heart and Thank you for your continued love & support.
13 July - Billboard hints at 4th single release
(from Ask Billboard)
I was wondering about the status of Madonna's third single from Confessions on a Dance Floor. I heard that Get Together was her last commercial single from the album, although it seems that it contains a handful of other tracks that are single-worthy.
Also, is Get Together getting any attention at radio? It seems to have missed the Billboard Hot 100. Finally, how is Confessions on a Dance Floor doing sales-wise? Is it becoming a huge seller like Ray of Light or is it stalling in sales?
Thanks. I love reading your column every Thursday.
Don't worry, Get Together is not the final single from Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor. The fourth single will be Jump.
Get Together has pretty much stalled out on American radio. A handful of dance stations are spinning the track a lot, but the vast majority of outlets have ignored the song. (Unsurprisingly, Get Together is doing well on the radio in many countries outside of America.)
So far, the single has yet to enter the Billboard Hot 100. Even though the U.S. radio picture is bleak, the song could still chart based on its digital and retail sales. Perhaps if the psychedelic animated music video for the song starts to get some serious screen time on the video networks, consumers will be motivated to buy the track via digital download services.
If it gets enough sales, it could enter the Billboard Hot 100 and become Madonna's 53rd chart hit.
So far, Confessions on a Dance Floor has sold 1.5 million in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's more than twice what her last studio album, 2003's American Life, has sold (666,000). It's still a long way from catching up to Ray of Light, which has sold 3.8 million in America.
10 July - Madonna plans another raunchy showstopper
Madonna is planning another raunchy performance for this year's MTV Video Music Awards.
The singer caused a media frenzy after kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the awards three years ago - and now hopes to cause further controversy with Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan.
A source told The Sun, "Madonna's people contacted Jessica's representatives a few weeks ago and the talks are progressing well. With both Jessica and Lindsay's stock rocketing Madonna thinks they would be perfect to perform with.
"She's planning something even more sexy than a lesbian kiss. The whispers are all about a bondage-inspired show. Madonna will keep the details hushed up until the night." (source: Digital Spy)
UPDATE: The VMA is usually held in the last week of August. Since Madonna will be performing 4 shows in Bercy, Paris that week, it's almost certain that this story is FALSE!
09 July - Pix of H&M campaign
Fansites MadonnaTribe and MadonnaUnderground have posted the first pictures of the new H&M campaign, which features Madonna and her tour crew in H&M clothing. Check them in our Career section.
09 July - Interview OK! Magazine
After falling off a horse, most pop stars would cancel their tour, halt production on their album, freeze all promotional activity and stay in bed. But not Madonna. The music icon fractured three rib after a riding accident at her home in England, but managed to squeeze into a slinky outfit and shoot the video for Hung Up, the single from her latest album, Confessions on a Dance Floor. "I have a high pain threshold," explains Madonna, 47. "It's remarkable." It sure is. As her new tour ruffles feathers with it's controversial content, we delved into the mind of the mother of two and wife of British movie director Guy Ritchie.
Check fansite DrownedMadonna for the full transcript of the interview in the new OK! Magazine out in the US. It's the July 17, 2006 issue.
09 July - Is Madonna losing her religion?
Yes, say friends. They believe the singer is about to cut ties with the sect to which she has given millions.
The pop world's most unusual partnership may be over. Madonna and Kabbalah, the once obscure sect she championed - and upon which she has lavished millions of dollars - appear to be on the verge of separation. Close friends say the singer has talked of loosening her red Kabbalah wristband and is wearying of the mystical Jewish belief system. She has decided to give it up, they say, having tired of the financial burden and the effect her strong beliefs have had on her relationship with husband Guy Ritchie.
Madonna is also said to be concerned that following Kabbalah separates her children from more conventional customs such as Christmas, which they do not currently celebrate.
If true, it would mark an extraordinary end to Madonna's high-profile crusade on behalf of the cause she adopted the best part of a decade ago - and a serious financial blow to the organisation that promotes it, the Kabbalah Centre. Madonna has recruited other wealthy stars to the cause, most recently the actress Lindsey Lohan, and has bought a multi-million pound base for the sect close to her home in London.
The announcement would also come out of the blue. Madonna has arranged for tickets to be set aside for Kabbalah leaders at dates on her current world tour. She was photographed leaving the Kabbalah Centre in New York on Friday with her family. Ritchie is said to be making a documentary about Kabbalah, but it is unclear whether this will be critical or positive.
Yesterday a spokeswoman for Madonna, when asked about her support for Kabbalah waning, said: "As far as I am aware, it is completely untrue." The singer's links to the version of Kabbalah that she follows are so intimate now - personally and financially - that withdrawal would be difficult, complicated and initially kept very private. The departure of Esther - the adopted Hebrew name by which she is known to fellow believers - would almost certainly provoke lengthy and expensive legal wrangling.
Continue reading at The Independant.
09 July - Japanese shows sold out
The shows for Osaka and Tokyo, Japan went on sale today and quickly sold out. A second show was added for Tokyo on September 21st (likely the last show of the Confessions Tour). Tickets for this additional show at the Tokyo Dome will go on sale on July 15 (presale starting tomorrow July 10th). There's no news yet about a possible second date in Osaka.
08 July - Get Together video director details
The ground breaking video for Madonna's most recent single, Get Together, was directed by the animation team called Logan, based out of Venice, California. Logan has 20 employees and has worked on projects for Jurassic 5, Money Mark, and Felix Da Housecat, commercial campaigns for Apple iPod, Volkswagen, and Target, and experimental projects ranging from fashion to architecture. Logan cites Italian erotic comic book art, American science fiction magazine, covers from the 30's - 40's, and explosions from Japanese cartoons as inspirations for the animation in Get Together. The Logan team submitted 3 different versions of the video Get Together to Madonna before it was approved. The verdict is in, Logan & Get Together are a great match! Check out Logan at www.hellologan.com (source: Madonna.com)
06 July - Still a trendsetter?
The Material Girl is now shopping on the less-expensive side of the Material World.
Madonna, whose Confessions Tour rolls into the TD Banknorth Garden for the first of three shows tonight, has signed on to be the new face of H&M, the cheap-chic Swedish retailer. As part of the deal, Madonna and her 150-person touring crew received H&M wardrobes to wear offstage. Designer and longtime Madonna costume creator Jean-Paul Gaultier will still provide the singer's onstage outfits.
In mid-August, a tracksuit designed by Madonna and available in black, white and purple will be sold at H&M stores. At the same time, H&M will kick off an advertising campaign featuring Madonna and her dancers.
The Herald hit the streets and asked Bostonians: "Is Madonna still a fashion icon?"
"She's definitely still a fashion icon. She reinvents herself all the time."
- Leah Collier, 22, Israel, teacher
Favorite Madonna look: "The '80s. Who doesn't love pointy boobs?"
"Yes, she's so influential in her dressing."
- Priscilla Rand, 30, Texas, beauty adviser
Favorite Madonna look: The Blonde Ambition Tour, "when Jean-Paul Gaultier was her designer."
"I think anything she touches still becomes popular, but I don't think she's as in touch with the younger people."
- Scott LaFlamme, 26, South End, retail manager
Favorite Madonna look: "Music. The rhinestone cowboy look was fun."
"I don't believe so. She seems like she's left the spotlight in the U.S. (The H&M partnership) seems kind of strange, but she can make money doing anything."
- Andrew Gnash, 24, Boston, bartender
Favorite Madonna look: "I'd have to go with the cones."
(source: Boston Herald)
06 July - Madonna & Guy to adopt?
Pop superstar Madonna is considering adding to her family by adopting a California baby, according to new US tabloid reports. The singer and husband Guy Ritchie have made tentative plans to begin the process of adopting a baby from Vista del Mar, California, according to a report in National Enquirer. According to sources, the couple will concentrate on their adoption plans once Madonna's Confessions tour wraps up in Japan in September (06).
A source tells the Enquirer, "They've begun the application process and currently are undergoing evaluation typical of adoptive parents. "So far they've been interviewed and fingerprinted to begin the process." Madonna and Ritchie already have a five-year-old son, Rocco, together and the singer also has a nine-year-old daughter, Lourdes, by former lover Carlos Leon. (source: ContactMusic)
06 July - Madonna attends Carlos' musical
Pop star Madonna took time out from her Confessions tour to see ex-lover Carlos Leon performing in a Broadway musical. The singer dated the former personal trainer from 1994-1997 and he is the father of her nine-year-old daughter Lourdes. Leon was performing a small role in the Threepenny Opera on 24 June (06). A source tells American publication Us Weekly, Madonna sat sixth row centre during the performance and sent text messages during intermission. (source: ContactMusic)
06 July - Steinberg about writing Like A Virgin
Madonna was already a pretty established singer when the song Like A Virgin fell onto her lap Ironically, her producer, the legendary Niles Rodgers, didn't want her to record it because he thought the words 'like a virgin' were just too lame to be the focus of a song. But when he couldn't get the melody out of his head, he changed his mind and advised the young singer to record it.
The song was written by two guys, Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. Steinberg explained that it was not really at all about purity, but that feeling of excitement you get when starting a new relationship.
"The idea for that song came from personal experience. I wasn't just trying to get that racy word virgin in a lyric. I was saying that I may not really be a virgin, and I've been battered emotionally like many people, but I'm starting a new relationship and it just feels so good. It's healing all the wounds and making me feel like I've never done this before, because it's so much deeper and more profound than anything I've ever felt."
Madonna certainly played up the raciness of the lyrics and for her, it was her first time: her first time to hit the top of the charts. Like A Virgin spent six weeks at #1 beginning in November of 1984. (sources: The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Fred Bronson, and Jeff Walker interview, 2/21/2006, Times Leader)
05 July - Chart update
Belgium: in its third week on the Flemish singles chart, Get Together stays at #22. In Wallonia it stays at #33. I'm Going To Tell You A Secret spends its second week on the album chart at #5 (Flanders) and #10 (Wallonia). In that chart, Confessions On A Dance Floor is at #25 (Flanders) and #40 (Wallonia) in its 33rd week.
Canada: I'm Going To Tell You A Secret is at #4 in the album chart.
Mexico: I'm Going To Tell You A Secret tops the album chart!
UK: I'm Going To Tell You A Secret enters the album chart at #18, while COADF drops to #112. Get Together debuts at #120 in the singles chart. Previous singles are higher: Sorry at #104 (18 weeks) and Hung Up at #97 (33 weeks).
US: I'm Going To Tell You A Secret is at #33 on the Billboard 200, selling 25,475 units. COADF spends its 32nd week at #135. Get Together has dropped off the Bubbling Under chart...
United World Chart: I'm Going To Tell You A Secret and Get Together are both Hot Shot Debut at #8 (albums) and #27 (singles) respectively.
05 July - Download Donna De Lory's new single
You've seen Donna De Lory singing and dancing with Madonna since the late 80's. Her new cd, "Sky is Open" will be available on July 15th. Go to DonnaDelory.net for a free download of her new song, "Fade In Time."
04 July - Madonna deserves a lot more credit than she gets from the media
Reader's letter at The Star South Africa:
"I refer to the article published on Thursday (The Star, Verve, page 17) in which R Simpson has a lot to say about the physical appearance of 47-year-old Madonna.
I respectfully submit that his article reflects society's obsession with looks and implies that, after a certain age, women have reached their sell-by date.
He is not alone, as Madonna's physique has become the target of much scrutiny and negative criticism the world over.
But it is not only her physical appearance that is subjected to vitriolic attack by the media.
Every aspect of her life is under the proverbial microscope, but her critics fail to see the magnificence of her many talents and achievements, which span more than 20 years.
The fact that she is a wife and mother of two children fails to impress her critics, who seem unable to reconcile the Madonna of the 1990s (referred to as "the sex years") with the woman who today enjoys a life of domesticity.
(This is not to say that Madonna has thrown the baby out with the bath water, as fans at her current "Confessions" tour are treated to her diehard ability to provoke and push buttons like never before, scantily clad as she is.)
Ironically, Madonna's earlier (almost desperate) need for public approval has seemingly dissipated as she finds satisfaction in her personal life.
Madonna has come a long way from the girl who arrived in New York with less than $50 and who lived on popcorn and icecream.
Yet her feisty ambition and work ethic remain as strong as ever, notwithstanding her phenomenal financial success.
Mr Simpson, perhaps Madonna's hands "… feature a virtual roadmap of veins …" because she has never been afraid to get her hands dirty.
Madonna Louis Ciccone Ritchie has certainly earned the title "Queen of Pop".
Would a kind word or two acknowledging her well- deserved successes be asking too much?"
~ Nadine Heather Bentel, Hyde Park, Johannesburg
Identify the Madonna track just from the opening notes in the quickest time possible for the chance to win a digital radio. There's everything from smash hit singles to obscure b-sides, brilliant album tracks to soundtrack gems. How good is your Madonna musical knowledge? Step up to the challenge, go against the clock and you could walk away a winner! Play at capitalgold.com!
03 July - Sexuality, glitz attract Madonna's most devoted fans
Shomari Cooper sips a pink Material Girl martini at his table at Tisane Tea and Coffee Bar in Hartford, a blue ring pop dangling from the base of his glass. It's Tuesday night, gay night, at Tisane's. And if the name of Cooper's C*cktail didn't give it away - the theme this evening is Madonna, a tribute before her Confessions tour hits Hartford this Sunday and Monday.
"Everyone loves Madonna, but it's one of those things they would never admit to," says Copper, 27, as Madonna's latest single, Get Together, blares in the background. "There are so many closet Madonna fans."
And then there are those fans who have come out of the closet.
"Her most devoted following is her gay following," said Madonna's publicist Liz Rosenberg. "They've been with Madonna [since] she started in the early '80s."
But what is it that has hooked diehard fans for more than two decades?
Steve Colangelo knows. Last week, he popped a video of the 1993 tour The Girlie Show into his living-room VCR. La Isla Bonita filled the room.
"Come on, look at this. You could just tell Madonna is no Miss Shania Twain," he says as the singer, dressed in a long military coat, marches on the small TV screen moments before breaking into a rendition of Holiday.
The 37-year-old's dining table is scattered with Madonna-covered magazines dating back to a 1986 Life issue. They lie alongside records, a 1985 Like a Virgin poster, a Madonna mouse pad and one of his favorites, "I Dream of Madonna," a book filled with dreams women have had of the singer over the years.
On Sunday, he will attend his fourth Madonna concert at the Civic Center, the artist's first performance in the state since a 1985 show at New Haven Coliseum.
"Hey, Steve! I've got the big Madonna portrait!" Colangelo's Hartford neighbor Michelle Cutrali, 30, yells from her second-floor porch across the street as he steps onto his front lawn. "You want it?"
"Hey, Michelle!" he yells back to Cutrali, who is eating dinner with her partner, Diana. "Why do gays like Madonna?"
"Cause she's sexy!"
"Hey, Michelle!" he yells. "Why do lesbians like Madonna?"
"Probably 'cause Madonna made them realize they were lesbians."
Since her risqué music video Erotica and her book "Sex" debuted in 1992 - not to mention her Girlie Show performance with whip in hand, backed by topless dancers - Madonna has been recognized for her bold sexuality.
At a time when AIDS and homophobia caused others to retreat, Madonna's pro-sex persona was a big deal, said Matthew Rettenmund, author of "Encyclopedia Madonnica" and editor in chief of Popstar! Magazine."Everyone is in the closet at some point, and you're told, 'Gay is bad.'...Madonna was saying, `You know, there's nothing wrong with sexuality'...That's something gay people need to hear. ...She's a great icon in self-reliance and self-determination."
Rettenmund, who says he has been to nearly every Madonna concert, said the front of a concert, near the stage, will almost always be packed with gay men. "No one does fandom like gay men do fandom."
Richard Paul Salgado, 48, whose been a fan since Madonna's Virgin tour, said about 70 percent of fans at concerts he's been to were gay men.
"She's almost kind of inherited ...the gay torch from Cher or even Streisand," said George Plasketes, professor of radio, television, film and popular culture at Auburn University in Alabama.
But according to Rettenmund, concerts are swarming with fans from every walk of life: girls and women who "admire her feminist power," dance music lovers and - to Rettenmund's surprise - a lot of older married men. "It's quite a variety of people," he said. Then there are fans who go not for the music but for the "glitz factor."
This year's tour promises much glitz, including a $2 million Swarovski-crystal-embellished disco ball, a 40-foot turntable, seven costume changes, mink and diamond eyelashes and an enormous "discofied" crucifix from which Madonna, wearing a crown of thorns, will be suspended, according to Rosenberg.
"She's just captivating in her concerts," said Cutrali, who will attend her fifth Madonna concert on Sunday.
Andrew Schlapinski, 21, usually has a red wool string tied to his left wrist. So does Madonna. The thin red bracelet is a kabbalist tradition, worn to repel negative forces.
"A lot of people have found kabbalah because of Madonna, myself included," Schlapinski said.
He discovered the spiritual movement four years ago as a senior in high school, when Madonna's American Life album - littered with Kabbalist references - came out. What began as a small class project on the topic evolved into a lifestyle for Schlapinski, now a senior at the University of Hartford.
"I think it's cool that our entertainers are these modern-day prophets," he said. Though he's been a fan for years, the Confessions tour will be Schlapinski's first Madonna concert.
Tami Fagan's students at Rocky Hill High School can't escape their teacher's love for Madonna.
"What color dress was Madonna wearing in the Material Girl video?" Fagan asks her ninth-grade English class at the end of a vocabulary quiz.
The bonus question is met with blank stares or drones of "WHAT?" from students. Fagan, 31, says high-schoolers know little about the era in which Madonna became famous.
"She just represents a different time, and if you lived during that time,... there's a bond that you share with other people growing up," Fagan said. "It's not just the music." (source: Hartford Courant)
01 July - Tomorrow's NYC after-party
DJ Jaffo has informed us about the after party that will follow Madonna's show in Madison Square Garden, NYC tomorrow. The party will be held at 251 W. 30th st. NYC (between 7th & 8th aves., only 2 blocks from the Garden). Doors open at 9pm with dancing until 4am, on 3 floors with nothing but Madonna! Hear rare and custom remixes of Madonna's hits, B-sides and previously un-released songs. Also hear fabulous covers of Madonna's songs by various other artists. Songs by Madonna's back-up singers, Donna Delory & Niki Harris, will be played too! There will be several contests to win tickets for Madonna's final NYC show on July 19th. Don't miss the ultimate MEGA-MADONNA party experience! More info on MadonnaNYC.com.
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