15 November - Sing video premieres without Madonna
The music video for Annie Lennox's Sing has premiered. Contrary to earlier reported rumours, Madonna does NOT appear in it. You can watch the video on MSN.
15 November - Madonna, Gucci team up for Malawi charity gig
Madonna is joining forces with luxury goods maker Gucci to raise funds for orphans in Malawi, from where she has been trying to adopt a child since last year.
The U.S. singer and Gucci will host a fundraising event with dinner, musical performance and a party on February 6 next year to mark the opening of Gucci's largest store in the world, on New York's Fifth Avenue.
Madonna said the event will benefit UNICEF and the charity she co-founded in 2006, Raising Malawi, which focuses on trying to end the poverty and hardship suffered by Malawi's one million orphans, many of whose parents died of AIDS.
"I am grateful that Gucci is joining forces with me to bring attention to a country with millions of children in desperate need of our help," Madonna said in a statement.
"Raising Malawi has already done tremendous work in helping these children. But we have much more to do and this event will surely bring us closer to our goal."
Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie's bid to adopt David Banda from Malawi has hit several stumbling blocks since they took the 13-month-old boy from the African country last year. He had been placed in an orphanage by his father after the death of his mother.
Rights groups have accused Madonna of using her fame and wealth to circumvent the country's adoption rules although the singer has insisted she is following the law.
Malawi's High Court is to hold a hearing next year into whether Madonna and Ritchie are suitable parents and should adopt the child.
The New York event is expected to raise at least $2 million with Madonna joined by a list of celebrity co-chairs in the event including Adrien Brody, Arpad Busson, Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault, Tea Leoni, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Gucci, which is owned by French retailer PPR, has been a UNICEF corporate partner since 2004.
Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, thanked Madonna and Gucci and said AIDS remained one of the most devastating public health problems in recent history.
"Every day, 6,000 children lose a parent to AIDS, and 1,400 children die from AIDS," Stern said in the statement. (source: Reuters via Yahoo)
14 November - Confessions On A Dance Floor certified 5x Platinum in Canada
On the second anniversary of Confessions On A Dance Floor we can report great news from Canada because the all-dance album has been certified five times Platinum by the CRIA for shipments of 500,000 copies! The total sales of the record is above 8 million worldwide. Let's hope Madonna's next album will be just as successful!
14 November - Bio explores why Madonna keeps us riveted
Madonna: Like an Icon is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough.
The latest in a succession of Madonna biographies written without the artist's direct cooperation is no cheapo rush job assembled from press clippings. Author Lucy O'Brien is a well-respected British music journalist whose Dusty Springfield is the definitive take on the life of a fabled, troubled diva.
The life of this book's fabled diva is meticulously chronicled, the history buttressed and illuminated by quotes from friends, family and associates.
But it all seems too familiar: the Michigan cheerleader and dance student who through sheer blonde ambition becomes the biggest female star of the '80s and then constantly reinvents herself to maintain her star status well beyond the average career life span.
Maybe that's because, at least since she hit the mass-culture spotlight in 1983 with Holiday and hijacked it wholesale the next year with Like a Virgin and Material Girl, Madonna, now 49, has lived her life in public like few other artists. The records, tours and videos have been thoroughly documented, as have the liaisons and the controversies (from the Sex book all the way up to the Malawi orphan adoption).
O'Brien's retelling of Madonna Louise Ciccone's childhood is absorbing, particularly in dealing with the death of her mother (also named Madonna) when the future star was just 5. That forced her to take on adult duties early and set the pattern for the legendary self-centered drive that, after considerable struggles in New York's music and art community and a frequent use-'em-then-lose-'em approach to lovers and professional contacts alike, helped her hit the top. At which point we pretty much know the story.
O'Brien does a solid job of dissecting the albums and tours. She is most interesting when offering her perspective on what it feels like for a girl (or woman) who admires Madonna.
"Underlying her seamless pop tunes, driving her music... is a sense of white-hot anger," O'Brien writes. "She encountered her own worst possible scenario, becoming a victim of male violence (a rape in New York in the '70s), and thereafter turned that full-tilt into her work, reversing the equation at every opportunity. This is why women respond to her on such a gut level, why so many heterosexual men feel ambivalent."
A provocative proposition? Definitely. A bit extreme? Maybe. There's no way to tell for sure until Madonna finally decides to tell her own story, and that, as detailed and well reasoned as this biography may be, is what we're still lacking. (source: USA Today)
~ Read an excerpt of the book: "What makes Madonna an 'Icon'?"
14 November - Madge introduces singer to the world of cross-dressing
Pop diva Madonna introduced Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz to cross-dressing while shooting her directorial debut, 'Filth and Wisdom.'
Hutz, who stars in Madonna's 30-minute film, said that he completely enjoyed sporting the new look.
"She suggested it. I love jumping into an entirely different persona - especially the opposite sex," the New York Daily News quoted Hutz, as saying.
The film, described as "comedy/drama/musical/romance," is said to deal with everything from ballet school to lap dancing.
"I'm the star. She's behind the steering wheel. It was mutual inspiration," Hutz said.
The premiere of the film is due at the Sundance Film Festival. (source: Yahoo!)
13 November - Madonna to go brunette in Sing video? *rumour*
Madonna will be appearing in the video of Annie Lennox's Sing which is being released as a single in December. Fansite DrownedMadonna says that Madonna is thinking about going brunette for the new video. Also, the new album could be launched with a brunette look as well, but with more of a punk rather than a rap look.
13 November - Kanye West to feature on new Madonna album
Fansite MadonnaTribe exclusively reports that while Madonna was putting the finishing touches on her new album last week in LA with Pharrell next door, rapper superstar Kanye West was working on the new Michael Jackson album next to them.
Pharrell invited Kanye to meet Madonna, the two hooked up and Madonna came up with an idea for Kanye to rap on one of her new songs! Kanye just recently scored high with his new album 'Graduation' with its second single 'Stronger' being a huge hit all around the world.
10 November - New album photoshoot in December?
Fansite DrownedMadonna has just revealed that Madonna's next photoshoot for her new album was brought forward to December 12th, 2007! The photographer is not definitive yet, but chances are it's going to be Steven Klein, who also did the photos of the previous album.
10 November - Mark "Spike" Stent working on new Madonna album
Singer Darren Hayes mentioned on his blog that Mark "Spike" Stent has been working on the new Madonna album lately. It's no surprise for fans, because Stent worked on the Music, American Life & Confessions On A Dance Floor, with mixing most of the songs on the all-dance record from 2005.
09 November - Madonna back to her youth
Madonna looked amazingly youthful as she hit the town this week.
Perhaps it’s her pulled-back hair do that gives her such a taut finish.
The superstar was snapped as she left a Mayfair restaurant with her fashion designer pals Stella McCartney and Tom Ford.
It was the second night in a row that Madge had been out with heavily pregnant Stella.
It’s starting to feel like a time warp. (source: The Sun)
09 November - Live Earth DVD teaser
Madonna.com revealed the corrected release dates of the Live Earth CD/DVD set: November 26th (internationally) / December 4th (US). They also gave us the dazzling fan-favourite performance of La Isla Bonita with Gogol Bordello from the DVD as a teaser, which can be watched here.
09 November - Sean Penn didn't know Madonna during marriage
Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn insists he didn't really know his ex-wife Madonna when he was married to her, and can't remember having "a single conversation" with her. Penn, 44, married the superstar in 1985 at the height of her career and divorced her four years later (89), but blames his own vanity and excessive drinking for the relationship's demise.
He says, "She was a phenomenon, but nothing could have told anybody what would happen next. I describe that marriage as loud. That's how I remember it. I don't recall having a single conversation in four years of marriage. "I've talked to her a few times since, and there's a whole person there. I just didn't know it. I was just living in my own head. Who was it that said 'Men are vain, particularly young men'? That was me, and I liked to drink a lot. "I'm not saying it was meaningless. I've carried over the lessons to things more applicable now." (source: Contactmusic)
09 November - Madonna's apartment dreams dashed
Madonna's dreams of expanding her New York apartment home have been dashed by co-op bosses, because they refuse to let her buy a fourth property in the building. The pop superstar has reportedly put in a bid to take over another apartment in the luxury Manhattan block, which she calls home - but complex bigwigs have insisted three homes in the building is more than enough.
Residents are already far from happy with their celebrity neighbour - because paparazzi and fans greet them at the entrance whenever the Material Girl is in town. An insider says, "By rejecting her offer to purchase yet another apartment, they're hoping she'll sell her other three and buy elsewhere... Madonna just causes too much commotion" Madonna and her husband, British moviemaker Guy Ritchie, also own homes in the English countryside, Los Angeles and London. (source: Contactmusic)
09 November - Madonna's Malawi letter
Madonna has posted a new message at RaisingMalawi to raise awareness and improve the quality of life for "orphaned and vulnerable" children. Read the full letter here.
07 November - Madonna mention on Pharrell's blog
Hip hop producer Pharrell Williams left an entry a few days ago on his own personal blog about a "secret studio with 2 rooms, one for Madonna, one for N*3*R*D [his own band]" which confirms the reports of seeing Madonna & Pharrell entering a LA studio in the last days of October. We thought it was interesting to post because it contradicts all the fan speculations that Madonna would throw out the leaked Pharrell-produced tracks and change the direction of her new album (he wouldn't mention her if she was disappointed with his work, right?)...
06 November - Madonna and Guy 'wonderful parents'
Madonna's mother-in-law has described the singer and husband Guy Ritchie as "loving and wonderful parents".
Shireen Ritchie was speaking on ITV1's GMTV programme, which is highlighting the thousands of children in the UK who need adoptive homes.
Madonna and her husband were granted temporary custody of toddler David Banda, then 13 months old, last October after his father placed him in an orphanage following the death of his mother.
The singer previously came under fire for allegedly attempting to bypass normal Malawian adoption rules, an allegation she has strenuously denied.
Mrs Ritchie, a Conservative councillor, is stepmother to Madonna's film director husband. She is Cabinet Member for Family and Children's Services for The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and was asked how the situation is going, having probably one of the most famous adopted grandsons in the world.
She said: "It is working very well. They are wonderful parents - loving and wonderful parents... and he's a very lucky little boy."
Speaking generally, she said the children hardest to find adoptive parents for were sometimes sibling groups and older children.
Mrs Ritchie was asked about the myth that it is difficult to adopt in Britain, prompting people to look abroad. She said: "Adoption processes in other countries are different, that's true.
"I think what we have in Britain today is a very robust system which puts the child at the heart of the adoption system.
"It is the interests of the child, what is best for the child, that is considered the whole time." (source: Yahoo! Music)
04 November - Madonna's son meets real dad again
The dad of Madonna's adopted African son has told The People: "I hope he rescues his family from poverty when he grows up."
Peasant far mer Yohane Banda will be reunited with David for the first time in more than a year when pop queen Madge retur ns to Malawi to finalise the adoption this month.
And last night he opened his heart to The People, saying how he:
- Hopes that David will use his future riches to help his family.
- Can barely hold his excitement at seeing him.
- Fears that the little boy may not recognise him after a year apart.
Yohane, 33, has not seen his son since he left Malawi in October last year - and is not likely to see him again for another three years after this month's brief reunion.
He said: "I can't wait to see my son again after a year. It will be a fantastic moment. But I have my anxieties though. Will he recognise me or his granny after all these months?
"It's a surreal feeling. It's terribly sad that David will now officially be de-linked from us. But we want the adoption to go ahead in David's best interests.
"When he grows up he will be a wealthy man. I may be gone by then. But I hope he will lift his other relatives out of poverty in the way that Madonna is doing for him.
"We consider David as Madonna's child as from October last year.We have been praying that nothing gets in the way of the adoption."
Yohane said the singer never promised any assistance to him or his village when she took baby David from an orphanage in Malawi to her mansion in London.
When David grows up, Yohane said he hopes the lad will remember his roots.
He said: "Madonna told me she will tell David where he comes from. I know he will return here, not to stay but just to appreciate his roots."
Potato and onion farmer Yohane and his second wife Flora live hand-to-mouth in a two room mud brick hut with a thatched roof.
He gave his then one-monthold son David to an orphanage after his first wife of ten years, Marita, died a week after the boy was born. Yohane and his ageing mother, Asineti Mwale, could not afford baby milk.
"I am not worried about David," Yohane said. "I know Madonna means well for him.
"In any case when I met Madonna in court she promised to be bringing David back after three to four years.
"I know she is a noble woman. I am told she is also very religious. She can't go back on her word."
The adoption is due to be finalised in Malawi this month.
Malawian Chief Welfare Officer Simon Chisale made the first of two home visits in September to see how David has settled with the star and film-maker hubby Guy Ritchie.
He wrote a glowing report about how the tot has bonded with his newfamily.Malawi government and High Court sources have also revealed the process is being speeded up to finalise the adoption this month.
Meanwhile, Madonna is funding at least six orphanages in Malawi. She has also opened her own Kabbalah centre offering education and meals to underprivileged children as well as to old folk in the town of Namitete, just outside the capital, Lilongwe. (source: People.co.uk)
02 November - Madonna back in studio with Pharrell
Fansite Madonnadownload reports that Madonna was seen going to a recording studio in LA on Halloween day and yesterday with her current collaborator Pharrell Williams. It means that the hip hop direction of the new album was not dropped, but they might change something in the previously leaked Pharrell-produced tracks The Beat Goes On & Candy Shop. You can see pix of Madonna entering the recording studio here.
02 November - Madonna remembers Linda Stein
Linda Stein beat cancer, survived the Bowery's seedy punk rock scene and thrived amid the high-stakes world of Manhattan real estate. Her sudden death came in an unexpected way and place: violently, inside her $3 million Fifth Avenue apartment.
Friends like Madonna and Elton John recalled Stein's indomitable personality, and her triumph against breast cancer.
Madonna was an unknown singer when she signed with Sire Records, owned by Linda's ex-husband Seymour, in the early '80s. Later, with Linda's help, the now international star purchased a pricey Central Park West apartment.
"I had a great visit with Linda and Seymour backstage after my show last year at Madison Square Garden, and we of course reminisced about the good old days," Madonna said. "I deeply admired her courage in her battle with breast cancer, as well as her career success." (source: USA Today)