Madonna news - Aug. 2006

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31 August - Lenny Kravitz on stage with Madonna in Paris!
Madonna & Lenny performing I Love New York - click to enlrageThe webmaster is in Bercy at the moment on the last Paris show, reporting that Lenny Kravitz joined Madonna on stage for I Love New York! And more details can be read of the show in the tour diary.
~ More pictures @

31 August - Jump video to be directed by Jonas Akerlund
It seems that longtime Madonna collaborator Jonas Akerlund (Ray Of Light, Music, American Life, I'm Going To Tell You A Secret) is going to direct the video for Madonna's next single Jump, reported in Swedish newspapers. The video will be shot in Tokyo, but it's unknown whether it will be a studio or a live clip.

31 August - Madonna's AIDS auction
Madonna is to auction off her designer stage outfits to raise money for an AIDS charity.
The Hung Up singer's flamboyant costumes - designed by Jean Paul Gaultier for her Confessions tour - will reportedly be sold off to raise money to help AIDS victims in Africa.

A source told Britain's Closer magazine: "She has pledged money to AIDS charities since the beginning of her career. She's thinking about doing it through eBay, or maybe an auction house in London."

The singer has already pledged over £2 million to help orphans in Malawi.
She is reportedly also planning to visit the impoverished country later this year. (source: Life Style Extra)

31 August - Moscow ticket swap starts monday
The organizer of Madonna's upcoming Moscow concert said holders of the 36,000 tickets already sold could begin exchanging them Monday.
Vladimir Kiselyov told the newspaper Trud in an interview published Wednesday that the concert would not be canceled as a result of weeks of confusion that ended Tuesday, when the date and venue of the concert were changed.

Kiselyov is general director of a state-owned management company called Kreml, or Kremlin, which is part of the Presidential Property Department. Kreml has emerged in recent days as the lead organizer of Madonna's concert, now scheduled for Sept. 12 at Luzhniki stadium.

Kiselyov told Trud he had just returned from London, where he met with Madonna's representatives and discussed security for the concert. Tickets will be verified at four checkpoints at the stadium, and concertgoers will be given special bracelets. (source: The Moscow Times)

29 August - Move for Madonna's Moscow concert
The venue and date of Madonna's concert date in Moscow has been changed to allay fears about safety.
Organisers and city officials have agreed to stage the live show at the larger Luzhniki stadium, home venue of the Spartak Moscow football team.

The concert has been put back one day to 12 September to avoid clashing with a football game.
It was feared that students could fall from their windows watching the show at the original venue near a university.
Officials were also concerned that 250,000 people would try to get into the original venue, near Lomonosov University, which only has space for 35,000.

There were plans to move Madonna's first concert in the Russian capital to an airfield on the outskirts of the city, until agreement was reached on Luzhniki - the country's largest sports stadium.
The venue is set in parkland on the edge of the Moskva river.
"If nothing extraordinary happens, I think everything will be okay," said Vladimir Kiselyov, director of the company organising the concert, speaking on Russian television.

Madonna's tour recently went ahead in Germany, despite the threat of legal action over the singer's staging of a mock crucifixion in the show.
Russian Orthodox churchmen have also expressed concerns about the use of religious imagery in her show. (source: BBC)

25 August - With no director and broken bones, M was 'Hung Up'
Johan Renck was having a crazy enough day as it was, trying to shoot an H&M commercial with Kate Moss just hours after a photograph of the model cutting up lines of cocaine hit the tabloids' front pages.

Fighting off paparazzi that were climbing a fence for a shot of the scandalized beauty, Renck was at the end of his rope — when out of the blue he got a call on his cell from Madonna. The two had collaborated in 1999 on her geisha-inspired clip for Nothing Really Matters, and now, six years later, the singer wanted to work with the Swedish director again — now. "She was desperate," Renck said.

Madonna had planned to have photographer/filmmaker David LaChapelle direct her video for Hung Up, the first single from Confessions on a Dance Floor, and the pair had worked out a concept that involved incorporating all types of dance techniques from around the world — including the krumping style featured in LaChapelle's documentary "Rize."

But then the two had a falling out and couldn't come to terms creatively — and Madonna was locked into a deadline to "get this thing going, immediately," Renck recalled. She wanted to know if Renck had heard the song, and since he hadn't, "she told me to be in the parking lot by the stage in 45 minutes." Madonna sent a record-label rep over in a truck to play the song for him, then called back to ask again, would he do this?

"I was like, 'Sure,' and she said, 'OK, I have a grain of an idea for this, can I e-mail you the idea?' " Renck said. "And then she asked if I could go to Los Angeles to meet with the stylist and choreographer. Mind you, I'm still in the middle of chaos with Miss Moss, so I said, 'Well, I'm kind of shooting today.' 'Good, you can go tomorrow.' It was all very abrupt." (Ironically, H&M dropped Moss soon after and later picked up Madonna for an ad campaign).

"I kind of liked that we didn't have time to over-think this and be too clever," Renck said. "I like being out on a limb and not know what we're doing and why. Just deal with it, the mayhem, you know?"

Thrown into the middle of Madonna's whirlwind, Renck had to hit the ground running, just like many of the dancers cast for the clip. Madonna wanted to use a few performers from her tour, such as Daniel "Cloud" Campos, Miss Prissy from LaChapelle's "Rize" crew and traceur Sebastien Foucan, a practitioner of parkour, a philosophical French sport that involves moving via uninterrupted motion, whether over, under, through or around objects. "It's not about the music, but the bodily expression," Renck said. "We wanted to show the whole spectrum, be it krumping, breakdancing, jazz or disco."

While they couldn't exactly shoot all over the world, Madonna wanted the video to have an "omnipresent feel," with the middle section of the song generating a sense of congregation. Renck suggested that they have the boombox be the tool to unite everything, "since that's the way street dancing started." So while some setups are meant to take place in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Tokyo, the actual shoots only took place in London and L.A. A London suburb stood in for the Parisian suburb most known for parkour, a restaurant in London's Chinatown stood in for Shanghai and Compton stood in for the Bronx. "If Mohammed can't go to the mountain, the mountain has to go to Mohammed," Renck joked.

All of the dancers' scenes were shot in early October 2005 in half a day, for a total of six days of shooting, while Madonna's solo dance number — inspired by the John Travolta film trifecta of "Saturday Night Fever," "Grease" and "Perfect" — only took three hours to shoot (Madonna has said the video is "really a tribute to dance — and John Travolta").

Considering that the singer was still recovering from breaking her ribs, collarbone and hand just weeks earlier in a horseback-riding accident, "she was such a trooper," Renck said. "She just fell off a horse!" When Renck and choreographer Jamie King would say they couldn't even tell she was injured, Madonna would tease them, " 'If you were a real dance choreographer, you could tell I can't lift my left arm higher than this' — and it was like, what, a 20-centimeter difference?" Renck said. "But when she said it 'hurts like f---,' she'd take a break and sit down for two minutes. 'I have broken ribs, remember that!' I just can't imagine dancing like that. Talk about priorities."

Madonna's priorities extended to sitting in on the edit so she could help shape the finished product. "She was my edit supervisor," Renck laughed. "She'd leave me alone for a few days, and then come back and say, 'Let's do this and this, get rid of that, do that.' And then she'd be there all day, more or less. I think she likes the process, how it starts to unravel in front of your eyes."

Since Madonna had done more videos in her career than Renck, he welcomed her input. "It's not, 'My nose doesn't look good,' " he insisted. "She wants her dance to look the way she wants it. She wanted it to be a little more raw, like a documentary feel, which was fine, because it let me portray her realistically, rather than how she's usually polished and stylized."

But while Madonna certainly could have made more demands — her right, her video, Renck said — she was willing to bend a bit. "She says, 'I'm not a director, that's why I have a director,' and she gives you a lot of slack," he recalled. Not that she lets anything go by uncommented. "She's a very good client, but she's tough. I can't say it's not tough. But she's good." Her toughness paid off to the tune of five MTV Video Music Award nominations, including Video of the Year.

Making Hung Up was such a "massive undertaking," Renck said, that he feels like it was a little hard for all involved to come back to reality once it was finished. "It's like you form this little family that's flourished and prospered for the month, and then you chop it down like a tree," he observed. "You come out with a sense of yearning and longing, like, 'Can we just do that again? Please?'" (source: MTV)

25 August - Moscow police insist on Madonna's concert in Tushino
Moscow law enforcement services believe that Tushino Airfield is the only venue suitable for Madonna's concert in the Russian capital, city police spokesman Viktor Biryukov told Interfax on Friday. Biryukov, however, did not confirm media reports claiming that the Moscow authorities had banned Madonna's concert at Vorobyovy Gory. "The issue Is being discussed. However, the opinion of the city authorities is leaning toward organizing the popular singer's performance in Tushino," he said. (source: Interfax)

25 August - Police in central Moscow detain 12 protesters against Madonna show
H&M campaign Police in central Moscow have detained 12 Orthodox youths for unsanctioned protest against Madonna's concert, a city law-enforcement official told Itar-Tass.
"The young people, sporting yellow T-shirts reading "Madonna, go home" gathered near the monument to Zhukov. They began distributing leaflets to passers-by saying that the upcoming concert by the U.S. pop diva insults the feelings of the believers. They also called for boycotting the show.

"The detainees, aged between 18 and 25, were taken to the Kitai-gorod police station, where administrative protocols over organizing an illegal picket are being drawn against them," police said.
"Most likely, they will have to pay a fine of 300 to 500 roubles," they added.

Madonna's concert is Moscow, which is expected to gather an audience of up to 250,000, is scheduled for September 11. The venue has not been selected yet. City police, backed by the City Hall, propose the Tushino airfield, saying it meets the security requirements.
But, according to the organizers of the tour, it is unlikely that they will accept the place: the stage can hardly be called prestigious. A terrorist attack was carried out at the Krylya /Wings/ festival there in July 2003, which Madonna's assistants undoubtedly know. (source: itar-tass)

24 August - The Confessions Tour Guide
After his previous books Voice of a Generation and Secret Re-Inventions, the Belgian writer Dirk Timmerman is back with his latest Madonna book Madonna - The Confessions Tour Guide.
The book gives a never-seen tour review of the European leg of Madonna's Confessions Tour 2006. It starts in Cardiff at the soundcheck at the day before the kick-off and ends in Moscow where Madonna gives 2 exclusive concerts.

The 72-page book has 110 live pictures of Madonna’s Confessions Tour 2006, taken from every different angle of the venue. Therefore you will discover the Confessions Tour from a whole different point of view and with different show highlights. The book tells the story of the biggest artist ever on her ultimate tour.
Everything you always wanted to know about Madonna’s Confessions Tour is now in this book MADONNA – THE CONFESSIONS TOUR GUIDE !

24 August - Wembley shows score highest gross of 2006
Despite reports in the British press that fans were balking at her high ticket prices, Madonna rang up eight sellouts at Wembley Arena beginning Aug. 1, notching the highest Billboard Boxscore gross of 2006 in the process. Madonnna's Aug. 1, 3, 9-10, 12-13 and 15-16 shows at Wembley grossed $22,090,582 and drew 86,061 in attendance. Tickets were priced at U.S. $299.88-$149.94, well lower than in the United States, where seats top out at $350.

For Madonna to reach the top Boxscore is a remarkable feat, as serious box-office heights have already been scaled. Luis Miguel's 30-show stand at Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City grossed $19,286,000, while Billy Joel's record 12-show run at Madison Square Garden in New York grossed $19,215,942. (source: Billboard)

24 August - Madonna to dine with Russia's first family
Pop superstar Madonna has been invited to a private dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putin when her Confessions tours hits Moscow next month. The Material Girl has been eyeing a date with the political heavyweight for months, but it was Putin's daughters Maria and Katya, both huge Madonna fans, who eventually convinced him to make it happen. A source tells The Sun newspaper, "This has been on the cards for a while. She really wanted to meet him but he wasn't sure initially." Madonna's invitation distances Putin from the Russian Orthodox Church's stance on her impending show - the singer has already been lambasted by religious leaders in the country for her controversial 'crucifixion' stunt, with one churchman insisting she "needs spiritual assistance". (source: WENN)

22 August - Organizers request second Madonna show in Moscow
The Russian organizers of Madonna's Moscow concert have sent a request for a second show to the pop star's management team, Interfax reported Monday.
"The ball is in their court now," said Anton Atrashkin, PR manager for Madonna's Russian show, adding that the request had no deadline.

Madonna will bring her Confessions tour to Moscow's Vorobyovy Gory on Sept. 11. Tickets for the show sold out in just four days.
Atrashkin also responded to reports of a threat to Madonna's safety in Moscow that appeared in the Western media.
The Sun, a British tabloid, reported Saturday that Russian gangsters had threatened to kidnap Madonna and her two children, son Rocco and daughter Lourdes.

Atrashkin said that, while he could not provide details of the security measures that would be taken to protect Madonna in Moscow, the gangsters mentioned in the Sun's article would have "no chance of causing the singer any trouble."
Also on Monday, German prosecutors said they had decided against opening an investigation into Madonna after the pop diva performed a controversial mock crucifixion scene at a weekend concert, The Associated Press reported.

A crowd of about 45,000 packed Düsseldorf's LTU Arena Sunday night to watch the first of two German concerts on the Confessions tour. The crucifixion scene recently drew criticism in Italy, and Düsseldorf prosecutors said last week that they would monitor reports about the concert. They did not, however, send observers.
Madonna was scheduled to perform in Hannover, Germany on Tuesday. (source: The Moscow Times)

22 August - Moscow authorities consider alternate site for Madonna
Security concerns have prompted Moscow authorities to consider an alternate site for Madonna's upcoming concert, a government official said Tuesday.
The pop diva is expected in Moscow September 11. Madonna's show, part of the controversial Confessions tour, was originally supposed to take place in front of the Moscow University building, on a hill overlooking the capital.

"The concert venue was among the issues considered at a session of Moscow's Anti-Terrorist Commission August 19," Nikolai Kulikov said.
He said the large number of expected fans - up to 250,000 - could mean the concert would have to be moved from Vorobyovy Gory to the more spacious Tushino airfield in northwest Moscow. ["More than 250,000 tickets have already been sold and we fear the students of the (Lomossov) university... could fall from the windows."]

Kulikov said authorities in Rome, where Madonna has already performed, also had to transfer the performance from a city square to a stadium.
"We have considered holding the concert at the Luzhniki stadium, but it will be hosting an international football match," he said.
However, Kulikov assured ticket holders that the concert would not be canceled under any circumstances, even in light of a bomb attack at a Moscow market Monday that claimed at least 10 lives.

"Life must go on despite these blasts," he said. "No events planned for City Day are going to be canceled either, but security will be tighter."
Moscow celebrates its birthday the first weekend of September. This year the city will turn 859. The only time celebrations were canceled was following the Beslan school massacre in September 2004, which left 331 people, including 186 children, dead. (source: RIA Novosti, AFP)

22 August - Strike a pose contest
Calling all photographers! Win a chance to photograph Madonna in concert!
For this contest we want to see the best photograph you have taken of a landscape. f your picture is the one chosen, then you'll become an official concert photographer for one night! You will be given a special tutorial by a professional photographer, and press access to photograph Madonna at Bercy in Paris, France on August 28th! Wait, there's more! To take tbe best pictures ever, the winner will need a great camera... And Nikon will give you one away to the winner! Flying to Paris and staying in a hotel is something you can't afford? No need to worry, Madonna and Orbitz will take care of it for you! Last, but not least, the best pictures taken during the show will be published on Madonna's official website. (for more information, visit the official page)

21 August - Re-Invention DVD in September?
Fansite Drownedmadonna got the info from Warner Japan that the long-awaited Re-Invention Tour DVD - Live in Portugal is going to be released in Japan on September 15th with a worldwide release following on September 18th. This coincides with the Japanese leg of the current tour. Also, the tour edition of Confessions On A Dance Floor with a bonus DVD is out exclusively in Japan only this wednesday.

21 August - No prosecution in Germany
German prosecutors said Monday they have decided against opening an investigation into Madonna after the pop diva performed a controversial mock crucifixion scene at a weekend concert.
A crowd of about 45,000 packed Duesseldorf's LTU Arena Sunday night to watch the first of two German concerts on the worldwide Confessions tour.

The crucifixion scene recently drew criticism in Italy, and Duesseldorf prosecutors said last week that they would monitor reports about the concert. They did not, however, send observers.
On Monday, spokesman Johannes Mocken said they would not open an investigation for possible charges of insulting religious beliefs. While the scene might be "hurtful to religious people," there was no indication of a criminal offense, he said.

Mocken said the scene was covered by laws protecting artistic freedom.
The scene - in which Madonna rose from the stage crucified on a mirrored cross and wearing a crown of thorns during her rendition of Live to Tell - drew criticism from religious leaders in Italy. They condemned it as an act of hostility toward the Roman Catholic Church.

Madonna's representatives have insisted, however, that the performance on the cross is not disrespectful toward the church.
Madonna is scheduled to perform in Hanover on Tuesday. Authorities there have not publicly expressed concerns about her show's content. (source: AP)

21 August - Madonna kidnap fears
Madonna is reportedly being targeted by Russian gangsters who are threatening to kidnap her and her kids in a bid to stop her controversial Confessions tour from reaching Moscow next month.
The pop queen's husband Guy Ritchie has called for a step-up in security around his wife and children Rocco and Lourdes - but the Ray Of Light star remains relaxed.

An insider tells The Sun, "Madonna is well aware of the kidnap threats but she is brave and even a little nonchalant when it comes to her own safety.
"Guy is seriously concerned and has made it clear that security has to be tightened, just to be on the safe side.

"Madonna doesn't anticipate any problems herself but Guy isn't convinced. Her tour director, Chris (Lamb), has been on edge after being informed about the security to increase the protection around her."
Madonna has sparked outrage among religious leaders across the globe with a mock crucifixion scene, in which she wears a crown of fake thorns while performing on a mirrored cross. (source: WENN)

21 August - N-waste? Madonna has solution
Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, have been lobbying the British Government and nuclear industry over a magic cleaning solution.
The couple, both followers of the Jewish spiritual movement Kabbalah, approached Downing Street, Whitehall and British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) promoting a scheme to clean up radioactive waste using a "mystical" liquid tested in a Russian lake.

"It was like a crank call ... the scientific mechanisms and principles were just bollocks, basically," one official said.
But public servants at the Department of Trade and Industry and scientists at BNFL were obliged to take the celebrity couple seriously.

It is understood that the couple, who live in London and Wiltshire, were promoting a water-based solution that had allegedly proved successful in neutralising dangerous nuclear waste in Russia.
~ Continue article at

20 August - Live from Düsseldorf
Check our tour diary about a special update, live from Düsseldorf (contains spoilers).

18 August - Madonna pays tribute to Ritchie at birthday party
Madonna ended months of speculation surrounding the state of her marriage when she delivered an emotional tribute to husband Guy Ritchie at her birthday party on Tuesday.
The Like A Virgin singer threw a lavish celebration in London the day before she turned 48, and invited a host of stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.

And she took the opportunity to express her love for the Snatch director, whom she described as "the love of my life".
She added, "He has changed my life for the better since I met him. I can only thank him for all his support." (source: Yahoo)

18 August - Madonna leaves stars waiting
Pop queen Madonna reportedly kept stars waiting for over two hours after arriving late for her own birthday bash.
The singer threw the £60,000 party to mark her 48th birthday on the final night of her UK tour.

But she kept the likes of Hollywood A-list celebrities such as Kevin Spacey, Gwyneth Paltrow, actor Jason Statham, Guns n' Roses singer Axl Rose and rugby star Lawrence Dallaglio hanging around until 1.15am in the morning at east London's Loungelover bar.
The singer apparently hired two French DJs at £5,000 a head for the glitzy birthday bash.
Madonna is due to continue her world tour in Germany over the weekend. (source: ITV)

17 August - New H&M pictures
H&M campaign H&M campaign H&M campaign H&M campaign New pictures of Madonna's H&M campaign, taken by Rankin, have been released (thx to Mario & Madonnalicious).

17 August - Madonna party in Porto
Portuguese Madonnafan Vítor has informed us of a Madonna party taking place in Porto, Portugal this next Saturday:
"Hello, I would like you to know that we are going to have a party about MADONNA next August 18, 2006. The aim of this party is to let people know how much we are dedicated to the artist and to give our customers a different night with a special set in music, performances and so on.

The party is going to be at "Boys'R'Us Club", a gay bar (very open-minded and straight friendly, so everyone is invited and welcomed) in the city of Porto, Portugal. Here are the highlights of the party:
» Hairdresser and make-up artists at the customers' own service (free)
» Show (performances) with transvestites and Dragqueens. The show is all about Madonna (all performances are going to be presented with Madonna old and new songs, including some surprises during the night);
» Special decoration
» Special cocktails only to this night
» And much more surprises."

17 August - Confess Your Soul exhib opens in London
In June we informed you about the Confess Your Soul exhibition in Warsaw, which showcast pictures of Marcin Kokowski, Madonnafan and photographer of the Sorry cover. After the huge success in Warsaw, the exhibition is now moving to London. It will be opened on Sunday August 20th from 4pm at the Habitat Store in central London (196-192 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7PJ, Tube: Goodge Street) and will be visible till September 3rd.

One of the highlights of this exhib will be the original picture that was used by Madonna herself for the cover of the Sorry single. Other pictures on display will include snaps from the G.A.Y. performance as well as a few pictures from the Drowned World Tour.

16 August - Vote for Madonna @ VMA
Don't forget to keep onvoting for Madonna at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. The Hung Up video is nominated in 5 categories: Video of the Year, Best Female Video, Best Dance Video, Best Pop Video and Best Choreography. Now, it's up to YOU to make sure Madonna gets the awards she deserves. Everyone can vote here, and as many times as you want. So get over to the MTV website and cast your Madonna votes!

16 August - The English Roses, Too Good To be True
Amazon is now listing Madonna's new children's book The English Roses, Too Good To Be True, follow-up of the successful The English Roses, for presale. The book is set for release on October 24th, 2006.
Amazon adds the following description of the book: "With a whirling dervish of a teacher and a sprinkle of magic fairy dust, the English Roses learn valuable lessons about friendship and surviving their first crush. Readers of all ages will delight in this much-awaited sequel to Madonna's first children's book, The English Roses."

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Callaway; 1st edition (October 24, 2006)
Language: English

16 August - H&M sales boosted by Madonna
Hennes & Mauritz's (HM-B.SK) August sales are seen boosted by an advertising campaign featuring Madonna, says Cheuvreux Nordic, after sales growth in July of 11% came in matching expectations. Expects a slowdown in selling expenses in 3Q and 4Q to be a trigger for the share price. Keeps at outperform with a price target of SEK330. Shares trade +0.7% at SEK276.50. In August '05, sales grew 17%. H&M will report August sales growth on September 27, in its report on 3Q results. (source: New Ratings)

16 August - Prosecutors to monitor Madonna act
Prosecutors plan to keep an eye on Madonna's weekend concert in Duesseldorf to see if the pop diva repeats the mock crucifixion scene that has drawn fire from religious leaders.
Johannes Mocken, a spokesman for prosecutors in Duesseldorf, said Tuesday that a repeat of that scene during Sunday's concert could be construed as insulting religious beliefs.
Madonna, who is known for her theatrical, action-packed shows, wears a crown of fake thorns while performing on a mirrored cross.

The stunt, which has been included from the outset of her worldwide "Confessions" tour, has been criticized as an act of hostility toward the Roman Catholic Church.
Representatives for the singer, who will be 48 on Wednesday, have said the scene is not disrespectful toward the church.

Mocken said authorities would rely on media reports rather than sending observers to the concert and that the show might be covered by laws protecting artistic freedoms.
Earlier this month, religious leaders in Rome condemned the concert stunt. Some 70,000 fans attended Madonna's performance at Olympic Stadium, some two miles from the Vatican. (source: AP)

16 August - Happy Birthday Madonna!
The Queen of Pop is celebrating her 48th birthday today! She's having her last show in London today, the audience is expected to give their all and wish her a Happy Birthday. And let's hope no horse accidents this year. ;-)

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