Madonna news - Oct. 2007


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30 October - Madonna wanted Tupac to father her child?
Late rapper Tupac Shakur almost had a child with pop superstar Madonna, according to a new book. Madonna: Like an Icon, written by Lucy O'Brien, claims the Like a Prayer hitmaker considered starting a family with the slain rap star during a brief fling in the 90s. O'Brien, who spoke to a handful of Madonna's alleged pals while writing the tome, says the star "desperately wanted children and had various relationships with unlikely men," reports New York Daily News.

The singer's friend Alison Clarkson recalls, "She was going out with him ... but homegirls were saying to him, 'I can't believe you're going out with a white girl - so she got dumped." The book further claims actor Martin Sheen was "petrified" of the media attention during Madonna's wedding to Sean Penn in 1985. Pal Bill Meyers tells O'Brien, "He was flinching and jerking involuntarily ... he said it reminded him of filming Apocalypse Now. "Madonna was giving them the finger and Sean was running in the house for his shotgun." (source: Contactmusic)


29 October - The Confessions Tour submitted for Grammy nomination
The list of all the records submitted for the 2008 Grammy nominees was revealed today and we can find Madonna's The Confessions Tour CD/DVD among all the 158 contenders for 'Best Long Form Music Video'.

Madonna was nominated for that award several times (including an actual win for the Blond Ambition Tour in 1992), so it's quite possible that she makes into the final five. The nominees will be announced on December 6th, while the ceremony itself (which is going to be the 50th Grammy Awards) will take place on February 10th, 2008. Check out the whole list here, and check out all of Madonna's Grammy awards and noms in our Awards section!


26 October - 24 year-long string of Billboard Hot 100 entries comes to an end?
Keith Caulfield from Billboard answered a fan asking about Mariah Carey's absense from the Billboard Hot 100 this year and he also mentioned the lack of a Madonna entry on the Hot 100 in 2007:

If [Mariah Carey] doesn't chart this year, don't fret. She's about to be joined by Madonna in the "darn, I missed 2007" club.
Madonna has had a single somewhere on The Billboard Hot 100 every year since 1983 debut with Holiday, except in 2007. Her last single to chart on The Billboard Hot 100, Sorry, spent its last week on the chart on April 16, 2006.
Eagle-eye chart watchers are now wondering "Wait, how did Madonna have a single on the Hot 100 in 1988 and 2004, when she released no singles?"
Well, here's the answer: 1987's Causing A Commotion spent its last week on the Hot 100 on Jan. 9, 1988 and 2003's Me Against The Music spent its last week on the Hot 100 on Jan. 17, 2004.
Oh, that tricky Hot 100 chart!


26 October - Guy Ritchie breaks silence over Madonna adoption
Guy Ritchie has spoken for the first time about his and Madonna's adoption of Malawian baby David Banda.
The film director said the two-year-old had become "part of the family" and put paid to rumours that the upheaval caused by bringing a child into their family had put a strain on their marriage.

Guy Ritchie and David Ritchie, 39, said today: "We haven't talked about the adoption for ages - he's part of us.
"It was only in the first month when the adoption was going through. Since then we have all been getting on with our lives and it hasn't been mentioned. That's par for the course. He's part of the family."

Madonna has two other children, Lourdes, 10, and her and Ritchie's son, Rocco, seven.
Both are said to have fully accepted David and Lourdes has even learned to speak to him in his native language, Chichewa.
The couple are set to appear before Malawi's high court next month for a review of their 18-month temporary adoption order of David.

They expect to learn that they have won the right to formally adopt him as Malawi's chief social welfare officer Simon Chisale has written a glowing report after spending three days with the family at their Marylebone home.
But while Ritchie, whose next film RocknRolla is due out next year, insisted he and Madonna, 49, were very happily married, he did admit to not particularly liking his wife's pop hits.
He added: "To be honest, I'm not really into pop music. That's just not my scene - I'm more into Irish folk songs.
"I'm sorry if everyone is shocked I'm not into her music." (source: Daily Mail)


26 October - New album news/rumours
Fansite Madonnalicious posted a handful of info on Madonna's new album, labelled as "exciting news":

new album releaseThe album has a tentative release date, set to March 11th.
album title conneextionThe working title is 'Connextion', but that will probably change for the final release date.
Madonna album tracksIt currently contains 12 tracks.
the beat goes onLeaked track The Beat Goes On is actually the finished product for the album.
madonna balladThere's a ballad similar to Promise To Try, but is more about rebirth than death.
techno musicThere is another song with a strong techno 'thump' with just Madonna singing, no other musical sound and it works pretty well, almost haunting and stays with you.


24 October - Liz Smith on new Live Nation deal
Madonna's leap from Warner Records - her record label for 25 years - to Live Nation, the tour promoter, for $120 million. This shocked the music industry. Warner Records certainly still wanted the pop legend, even though her record sales in the United States aren't quite what they once were. Her tours take in a fortune, and in Europe her CDs sell like the good old days.

Why leave home? Because... she's Madonna. She'll be 50 in August; her Live Nation deal is for 10 years. Clearly, she expects to remain creative, popular and relevant in the new world of downloads, iPods and "free" music (not to mention keeping herself physically up to the concert grind). Safe and comfy has never been the Big M's way. She is riding the tsunami of change, as usual. But the wave won't hit for a little while. She still owes her old Warner bosses two albums. (source: Liz Smith @ NY Post)


21 October - Danja hints at Madonna's new sound
In the new issue of People Magazine, Timbaland's right hand Nate "Danja" Hills previewed his production on upcoming releases, including Madonna's new album, which he described as: "The songs are crazy. It's harder with a hip-hop influence but you can still dance to it." Danja recently scored high with Britney's new single 'Gimme More' and he's currently producing several other artists too, meaning that the Timbaland-Danja sound is going to be prominent in 2008 as well. You can check out a scan of the article here. (thanx to Mariah Daily)


20 October - Something to remember: Only love can hurt like this can
Erotica, the albumFinally, we reach the main event of our 1992 celebration: on October 20th, 1992, the long-awaited and infamous Erotica album was released (the first Madonna album released under Maverick). After Madonna's accessible pop melodies of the 80s, this album was a big change into a mix of cold house grooves, hip hop beats and jazzy instruments. Mainly produced by longtime collaborator Shep Pettibone (with a few songs by Andre Betts, but none of those were released as singles), the album divided fans and critics.

Some call it a masterpiece up to today, yet others dislike the overuse of Shep's signature house beats (first introduced to Madonna fans in Vogue) on almost every song, the album's unusually large share of fillers, and the unconventional length of the record. Because of those reasons and the huge backslash during that era, many people did not even pay attention at the music, Erotica became a commerical disappointment with only selling 2 million in the US (with missing the top spot of the album chart, debuting at #2 behind the unstoppable Garth Brooks) and approximately 5 million worldwide, but it spawned several acclaimed videos and six singles in total.

The highlights of the album include the gorgeous ballad Rain, the steamy Where Life Begins and the jazzy, drum'n'bass inspired Secret Garden. While the record could not gain a big impact and it fell down the charts quickly (compared to Madonna's previous efforts), slowly it gained some attention by fans and criticts after the hype calmed down. Click here to read a revisited review by Slant Magazine.

A day after the arrival of the CD, the notorious coffee table book with Madonna's nude pix and fantasies, 'SEX' was released, and while it was a huge success in just a few days, it led Madonna's career into a period suffering from a huge backslash with losing many fans, and she couldn't start gaining them back until two years after...


20 October - A 'Signature' deal
Fresh from stealing Madonna from Warner Music Group, concert promoter Live Nation is in advanced talks to acquire the Material Girl's merchandising company, Signatures Network, The Post has learned.
A deal for Signatures Network, which holds the rights to license and market more than 125 artists including U2, Kanye West and Bruce Springsteen, is expected to be announced in the next two weeks, according to four sources close to the situation.

Live Nation is paying around $50 million for Signatures Network, these sources said, with one of them adding that the merchandising company generates about $120 million in annual revenue but operates with very small profit margins.
A spokesman for Live Nation declined to comment. Signatures Network CEO Dell Furano did not return a call for comment.

Live Nation has been quietly gobbling up ancillary businesses related to the concert industry as a way to extend its reach and diversify its revenue stream.
Earlier this year the company acquired the remaining stake in high-end concert T-shirt merchandiser Trunk it didn't already own.
Last month it acquired the 50 percent portion of UltraStar it did not own. UltraStar runs the official artist Web sites for Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Police and others.

Live Nation also recently bought fan club ticketing service Musictoday and merchandising company Ant Hill Trading.
Signatures Network is bigger than all of those assets combined, however, with sources saying that the $50 million Live Nation is shelling out for the company is twice what it paid for the others.
Though it has focused solely on tour merchandising in the past, sources said Signatures Network was now looking to strike all-encompassing rights deals that would also include things like fragrances and accessories in addition to tour-related merchandise. (source: NY Post)


18 October - Mariah, Janet, Madonna: A diva winter?
Mariah Carey has postponed the release of her new album, previously scheduled for Dec. 4, until next February.
At that rate, the album, a follow-up to "The Emancipation of Mimi," will be bumping right into a new CD from Madonna. At the same time, Janet Jackson — now recording for Island/Def Jam, home of Mariah — may have her new release ready, too.

Get set for Diva Logjam. And to make matters even more interesting, Janet's boyfriend, Jermaine Dupri, is the producer working with Randy Jackson and others on Mariah's CD. Dupri brought Jackson over to Island/Def Jam with him from Virgin Records, now lost somewhere in the EMI Music shuffle.
As for Madonna, I have to say I admire the spin going on at Warner Music Group now that the Material Girl is leaving them for a $120 million payday at Live Nation.

WMG, barely in existence, is crowing that they lose nothing by bidding adieu to Madonna. How totally wrong they are. Madonna was very important to them even in a figurative sense. In a real sense, Madonna could easily still have a monster hit.

If she's smart, Madonna will save her best stuff for her first Live Nation release, and give WMG outtakes and miscellany to fulfill her contract with them. They don't deserve a new album of material. My guess is Madonna is not the last artist who will exit WMG, but there aren't so many left: just Eric Clapton, Faith Hill and Linkin Park. They are all left over from the old Warner Music.

Dupri, by the way, has a book out. Yes, he's old enough to have written a memoir. It's called "Young, Rich and Dangerous: The Making of a Music Mogul." Dupri dishes on all the dames, and not only that: his dad, Michael Mauldin, discovered Alicia Keys! (source: FOXNews.com)


18 October - Don't cry for Warner Bros
No doubt, losing Madonna to Live Nation in what's quickly become regarded as a historic deal (worth a reported $120 million), was a huge blow to Warner Bros. Records, her home for the last 25 years. However, while the financial terms were, for the most part, unmatchable, don't think the label brass is necessarily quaking in the aftershock. For one thing, they had a long time to contemplate the possibility. A source tells Hollywood Insider that negotiations went back and forth for almost six months, during which Live Nation was neither the only bidder, nor the highest. Still, Warners ''knew it was kind of leading to that," says the source.

When the news finally broke internally, Warners' staffers had just commenced three days of corporate meetings in their Burbank headquarters. Surprisingly, the vibe was optimistic. "They stopped for one second, and kept going," says an insider who was present. "It was actually sort of comforting because business went on — talking about new talent, all these releases coming out, focusing on the 360 deals... It was like, yes, Madonna was, and will be for a while longer, a hugely important artist for the company, but she's not the only artist."

Meanwhile, on a conference call with Wall Street analysts yesterday, Live Nation CEO Mike Rapino revealed that it would be at least two years - and more realistically, three years - before they release Madonna's first studio album, and a tour is likely "within the next 24 months." On Warners' end, publicist Liz Rosenberg says that the 49 year-old icon's next record (which may feature songs from recent studio sessions with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake) could drop in March 2008, with yet another greatest hits package slated for later next year or early 2009. Rosenberg adds: "We intend to work our asses off to make them both huge successes." (source: Hollywood Insider @ EW)


18 October - Live Nation CEO on Madonna deal
With shares of one-time tune titan Warner Music Group (WMG) down nearly 60% in the last year, it's hard to argue that the music industry isn't in "Dire Straits".
In fact, one of the very few bright spots is live performance. For example, North American concert sales jumped 16% last year to a record $3.6 billion, according to trade publication Pollstar.

And recently, Madonna inked a deal with concert promoter Live Nation (LYV) which is reportedly worth $125 million. Is the Material Girl's landmark 10-year agreement the wave of the future?
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino joins the conversation. Following are excerpts.

How does the Madonna deal work?
"We have 10 years to maximize all of her revenues from T-shirts, to concerts and films and downloads," says Rapino. "And through all of that we distribute our profits."

In other words you basically pay Madonna $12.5 million every year and then you own that content, explains Dylan Ratigan. Is that right?
"Basically," he replies.

Can you generate a revenue stream similar to the one lost in CD sales?
"We believe that the internet is the live concert promoters best friend although it might have crippled the record label business," Rapino replies. "The live business (is) connected to the fan, directly, which enables us to sell singles and downloads and everything the consumer wants…"

Is your model to eliminate the role of the label?
"Absolutely, the concert is now moving to the center of the circle for the artist," says Rapino. "The artist is now looking for the live show and everything that can be done around the live show."

Will you start a bidding war or will Time Warner (and similar companies) just get out of the music business entirely?
"I think we're going to start a bidding war over artists who sell a lot of concert tickets." says Rapino.
He adds, "And if you (already) sell a lot of concert tickets we're (probably) your biggest partner already, and we're going to help you sell more."

Can you afford to pay other artists what you're paying Madonna?
"I don't think the roster has to be all that big in our business. There are 5 or 6 artists that sell a lot of concert tickets and we'd like to be deeper involved with them."

Who are these other artists?
"Dave Matthews, Tim McGraw. U2, The Rolling Stones – there are a lot of artists selling out stadiums around the world that we work with regularly. And end up making most of our money with those artists. And we think we can be deeper partners with them," explains Rapino.

Is it your ambition to lock up the live concert business and then exploit that into a digital business?
"We believe that the Madonna fan who is buying a $200 concert ticket is in our data base and we have a direct relationship with them," says Rapino. "We think we can sell them a 99 cent download, or a $14 dollar T-shirt. The ticket is now the center of the transaction."

But aren't your artists kind of old?
"We believe there's a whole new roster that we'll move into," replies Rapino. "But today we've seen artists who have extended their (professional) lives into their… Frank Sinatra sold out shows into his ‘80's!"

Dylan Ratigan asks the panel with they think of this stock?
Guy Adami thinks concerts are "Where it's at!" Pete Najarian says he's concerned because of the age of the artists Live Nation is pursuing. (source: CNBC.com)


17 October - Ray Of Light outtake surfaces in Kylie documentary
Madonna wrote several songs with Rick Nowels for the Ray Of Light album, but some of them did not make the actual CD. 'Alone Again' was reportedly given away to Kylie Minogue in 2001 to be included in her Fever album, but those plans did not materialize. Now, in Kylie's new documentary White Diamond, the Kylie version surfaced, plus she also gave a special thank you to Madonna in the credits.


17 October - Warner Bros responds to Madonna's new plans
"We congratulate Madonna on her future plans. She is one of the most remarkable artists of our time. We are excited to issue her upcoming album next year. We are also honored to own her catalog of recordings from the past 25 years, as well as to manage her library of songs for an extended period of time. From all of us at Warner Music Group, we thank Madonna for a valued and enduring partnership." (source: MTV.com)

~ This means that every Madonna related song from the past 25 years is still owned by Warner. As for the long-awaited Re-Invention Tour DVD, fans speculate that Warner probably owns it too (because it appeared on release schedules in the past) so it's a matter of time whether they finally decide to release it...


16 October - More details of Live Nation contract
Live Nation held a conference call today to discuss the groundbreaking partnership with Madonna and Artist Nation Division (you can stream it here) and they revealed some interesting details: there will be a new Madonna tour in 2 years; the first new album under Live Nation would be released within 2 or 3 years maximum; and they expect her to tour 4 times in the next 10 years!

They also said that Madonna usually tours a year after the release of an album (2001, 2004, 2006), but we'd like to believe that Live Nation does not want to miss the chance of Madonna touring in the year celebrating her 50th birthday and her 25 years in music business... ;-)


16 October - Madonna confirms deal with Live Nation
(From a Live Nation press release via Yahoo Finance)
Live Nation's President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Rapino officially confirmed today that Madonna has entered into an unprecedented global partnership with Live Nation and will become the founding artist in its Artist Nation division.

"The paradigm in the music business has shifted and as an artist and a business woman, I have to move with that shift," commented Madonna. "For the first time in my career, the way that my music can reach my fans is unlimited. I've never wanted to think in a limited way and with this new partnership, the possibilities are endless. Who knows how my albums will be distributed in the future? That's what's exciting about this deal -- everything is possible. Live Nation has offered me a true partnership and after 25 years in the business, I feel that I deserve that."

"Madonna is a true icon and maverick as an artist and in business," stated Mr. Rapino. "Our partnership is a defining moment in music history. I am thrilled that Madonna, who is also now a shareholder in our company, has joined with us to create a new business model for our industry. Bringing all the varied elements of Madonna's stunning music career into the Artist Nation and Live Nation family, moves her future and the future of our company into a unique and extraordinary place."

The first-of-its-kind partnership between Madonna and Live Nation encompasses all of Madonna's future music and music-related businesses, including the exploitation of the Madonna brand, new studio albums, touring, merchandising, fan club/web site, DVD's, music-related television and film projects and associated sponsorship agreements. This unique new business model will address all of Madonna's music ventures as a total entity for the first time in her career.

Arthur Fogel, Chairman of Live Nation's Global Music Division and Chief Executive Officer of Global Touring, who has produced the artist's last three worldwide tours with the company which generated close to $500 million in the last six years commented, "Madonna is without a doubt one of the most fiercely original artists in history. It is a great opportunity for Live Nation and Artist Nation to build upon our years of success with Madonna as a touring artist."

Artist Nation was created to partner with artists to manage their diverse rights, grow their fan bases and provide a direct connection to fans through the global distribution platform and marketing proficiencies that have made Live Nation the world's largest live music company. Headed by the division's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Cohl, Artist Nation has significant infrastructure in place to execute additional revenue streams including recorded music, merchandise, studios, media rights, digital rights, fan club/website and sponsorship divisions.

Joining with Artist Nation to work with Madonna will be Live Nation's unmatched global distribution platform and artist-to-fan-reach, including over 80 offices in 18 countries, over 200 national and local sponsorship personnel, over 160 venues, access to over 35 million fans that attend well over 10,000 shows that Live Nation produces, promotes and/or hosts each year for over 1,000 artists including fan access via Live Nation's growing database of over 25 million fans.

"I've been fortunate enough to work with Madonna for half my life. She has always encouraged me and set a great example for me to push the boundaries to reach our full potential. This partnership exemplifies just that," commented Madonna's co-manager Guy Oseary.

Angela Becker, Madonna's co-manager added, "The partnership and vision for the future that Artist Nation along with Live Nation presented to us assured me that this is the ideal home for Madonna. It is with great trust and optimism that we collectively move ahead together."

In regard to Madonna's relationship with her current label, the artist commented, "My time with Warner Bros. Records has been great. I appreciate their hard work and value the many relationships I have developed over the years with the label in the U.S. and around the world. I have an album coming out with them next year and I'm excited about it. We still have work to do together."

The multi-Grammy Award winning artist, songwriter, children's book author, producer and video visionary with an unrivaled reputation for astonishing stage spectacles, has made music history many times over, logging an incredible 12 number one pop singles and 35 number one dance singles in the U.S. alone. Her 2006 Confessions Tour generated almost $200 million, making it the highest grossing concert tour of all time by a female artist. Over the last 25 years, Madonna's collective record sales number over 200 million albums worldwide. Her last album, Confessions On A Dance Floor debuted at number one in 29 countries and sold almost 8 million copies worldwide. Her last concert DVD The Confessions Tour -- Live from London, sold more than 1.2 million copies worldwide.

Live Nation is the future of the music business. With the most live concerts, music venues and festivals in the world and the most comprehensive concert search engine on the web, Live Nation is revolutionizing the music industry: onstage and online.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Live Nation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol "LYV." Additional information about the company can be found at http://www.livenation.com under the "About Us" section.
~ The Mad-Eyes team would like to congratulate Madonna for her new contract and thank her for still making music after 25 years! ;-)


16 October - Live Earth CD/DVD out on November 20th
Click here to read a press release of the Live Earth CD/DVD, to be released on November 20th. Madonna opens the CD with the official anthem of the event, Hey You, and she closes the double DVD set with La Isla Bonita, featuring Gogol Bordello. A digital download of the audio tracks will be available on November 6th. Unfortunately the two other Madonna songs of the event, namely Ray Of Light & Hung Up, did not make the selection.


16 October - Madonna celebrates daughter's birthday in LA
Lourdes, Madonna's daughter turned 11 on Sunday and she was spotted with Madonna in LA (who flew there from NYC):
Madonna pampers birthday girl daughter Lourdes with a six-hour spa treatment at the Shutters Hotel Spa in Santa Monica on Sunday.
Lourdes celebrated her 11th birthday with her mom best friend. Afterwards, the trio dined at the laid-back family restaurant "Il Ristorante de Georgio Baldi." Notice how the mother-daughter duo is wearing ‘matching' houndstooth jackets!
Happy birthday to the lovely Lourdes! (source: Just Jared - click for more pix)

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