30 November - Grammies TV special with top 25 favourite moments
Tonight at 8 pm ET/PT CBS is going to host a special show celebrating the upcoming 50th Grammy Awards and the top 25 favourite Grammy moments, as voted by viewers. The Madonna/Gorillaz performance from the 2006 show will be included, where she performed her megahit Hung Up. You can read more about the tv special here. You can watch Madonna's Grammy performances on our blog.
30 November - Pharrell's collaboration with M: speaker-bleeding fun
Pharrell Williams stepped out Wednesday night for the launch of his New York store featuring his Billionaire Boys Club clothing line and Ice Cream sneakers. But, turns out, the in-demand producer (who recently contributed the song "Why Should I Be Sad" to Britney Spears's Blackout) is working up a Material project of a different sort – a musical collaboration with Madonna. "It was sick," Williams told PEOPLE about working with her. "I don't want to say so much. I'd rather for you to hear. It's mean though." Uh, mean? "It makes the speaker bleed," he says, clarifying. "It's heat." (source: People.com)
29 November - Live Nation planning 2008 Madonna tour!
Fans from the Madonna community reported that they received the Live Nation newsletter today and it said that they are developing a Madonna tour for next year and they need opinions on the tour itself and on the sponsors. The questions were among the lines of "How big fan are you of Madonna?", "How many Madonna concerts have you been to?", "How much would you spend for certain areas of seating?" and other similar questions. We're assuming that the tour in 2008 would be launched around the release of the new album, and would serve as cross-promotion. You can check out a screencap of the newsletter here and you can sign up here.
29 November - Lourdes won't star in Harry Potter movie
Harry Potter producers have dismissed rumours Madonna's daughter Lourdes will appear in the next instalment of the wizard franchise. It has been reported the 11-year-old has been offered a role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, alongside star Daniel Radcliffe. But a source for studio Warner Brothers insists, "Casting is complete on the film, and she is not a part of it." (source: ContactMusic)
27 November - Madonna aims to boost Guy Ritchie's 'Revolver'
Madonna is hoping to sprinkle a little stardust on hubbie Guy Ritchie's latest gangster flick, which has been retooled for its delayed U.S. release.
The couple will co-host a VIP preview of 'Revolver' with Piaget on Sunday for invited tastemakers including Howard Stern, Lauren Bacall, Helena Christensen, Patricia Clarkson and Ivanka Trump.
Madonna's star power can only help a film that stumbled after premiering at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005 and was slammed by critics when released in the U.K.
A pal says the flick was marketed to British audiences as a comedic romp similar to Ritchie's 'Snatch' - but it left them confused by its more "cerebral" theme. (Or "pretentious style and fractured storytelling," as The Hollywood Reporter sniffed.)
"You have to pay attention — you may have to sit through it twice to figure it out," co-star Vincent Pastore (who plays opposite Ray Liotta, Jason Statham and Andre Benjamin) told me yesterday. "Which I just did with 'No Country for Old Men,' so it doesn't mean it's a bad movie."
The film, due in cinemas Dec. 7, has been recut for its U.S. release. (source: New York Daily News)
After the underperforming lead-off single of the Erotica project, a second single was rush-released, Deeper And Deeper. Its video premiered 15 years ago today, on November 24th, 1992. While the track is the most commercial one on the album (the most straightforward dance tune in the vein of Vogue, with actually lifting 2 lines from the megahit at the end), the video is among Madonna's most un-commercial. Directed by Bobby Woods in LA, it features M with short blond hair and without eyebrows, giving her an odd look. The storyline of the video is unclear as well, has a mixture of simple clubbing and some underground cult too, along with Madonna and her girlfriends (including Debi Mazar) eating bananas while watching a one of the guys strip. The video is sad to be a homage to Andy Warhol's style and it's also noteable that Madonna is not lipsynching to the words of the song. The video features many stars: Udo Kier, Sofia Coppola, Chi Chi LaRue.
As the second single, Deeper And Deeper unfortunately didn't fare well: failed to become a top 5 hit, which was uncommon for a second single by Madonna. Its airplay was going strong (peaking at #8), but the sales didn't match up (#15 peak), so on the Hot 100 it reached #7, at thetime when the charts were being dominated by the unstoppable 'The Bodyguard' juggernaut, led by Whitney Houston. But thanks to the remixes by producer Shep Pettibone and famous house DJ David Morales, it was a natural #1 on the Hot Dance / Club Play. It also marked the end of Madonna's seven consecutive Gold singles (from Keep It Together to Erotica).
The video is unfortunately remembered for being excluded from Madonna's second video compilation (Video Collection 93:99), so far it has not been commercially available. Fortunately the song itself got its share in the spotlight: David Morales' house remix got an energetic performance on The Girlie Show and the uptempo dance track got a gorgeous makeover on the Re-Invention Tour, becoming a beautiful torch song. It's also noteable that Deeper And Deeper opens Madonna's second greatest hits collection, GHV2.
One more bit of trivia: Shep Pettibone hated the spanish guitar bridge in the middle of the song, but Madonna herself insisted on keeping it in the track. Good decision! ;-)
22 November - Like A Prayer among 1000 albums to hear before you die
Guardian Unlimited compiled a list of the 1000 albums you have to hear before you die, and as an entry, Madonna's 1989 album Like A Prayer yet again gained some nice critical acclaim:
Madonna's presence in pop was crucial for young girls in the 1980s. Dressed in don't-fuck-with-me gloves and silver crosses, her tongue barbed and ready, here at last was a headstrong young woman, whose powerful songs spoke to their hearts and their minds. With huge hits about sexuality (Like A Virgin) and pregnancy (Papa Don't Preach), she raised pop's game and purpose by miles. But by 1989, the clock was ticking fast. Having had a three-year gap between studio LPs - an aeon in pop terms - Madonna's new record had to be something special to silence the critics. Like A Prayer shut them up. At the time, the press described this as her "serious album", a theory given ballast by her divorce from Sean Penn, a spell in a Mamet play on Broadway and her world-shattering decision to go brunette. It shows off Madonna at her best. The title track remains the greatest example of her art, even without the controversial Black Jesus video that accompanied it - a huge, gospel-flavoured pop statement. Elsewhere, anger crackles and burns. Express Yourself is a starter lesson in female empowerment, blaring with sass; Till Death Do Us Part a raucous hi-NRG annihilation of her broken marriage. The ballads are heartbreakers - Promise to Try addresses the death of her mother from breast cancer, while Oh Father's sad pianos settle old scores.Since then, Madonna has reinvented herself, flitting between roles of starlet, mother, Kabbalah queen and lady of the manor. None of them has suited her as well as the character she knew best - the frank, flawed woman who lived behind the masks. Jude Rogers
22 November - Lola tipped for role in next Harry Potter movie
Madonna's daughter Lourdes has been offered a part in the next Harry Potter movie.
The 11-year-old - nicknamed Lola - is reported to have been invited to join actor Daniel Radcliffe in the next installment of the boy-wizard franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Madonna is apparently considering an offer made by studio Warner Bros.
A source tells British newspaper The Sun, "Lola has definitely inherited her mother's hunger for fame. After all her recent public appearances, looking more like a sophisticated teen than a child, the attention on her is really growing. Offers have poured in - film offers, sponsorship.
"An executive at Warners wanted to cast Lola in the last Potter film and has renewed his interest for the next movie. Lola would love to do it - she is a huge fan."
Lourdes - whose father is fitness trainer Carlos Leon - has also reportedly been approached to star in a kids' musical similar to Bugsy Malone in development by Warner Bros. (source: Hollywood.com)
21 November - Madonna cancels Christmas
Madonna has "cancelled Christmas" and refuses to give her children any presents.
The star's husband Guy Ritchie says Madonna - who is a devout follower of Kabbalah, a mystical off-shoot of Judaism - will not allow their seven-year-old son Rocco, two-year-old adopted son David, and the singer's 11-year-old daughter Lourdes to celebrate the Christian holiday.
Speaking at the London premiere of new Christmas movie 'Fred Claus' Monday, Guy told BANG Showbiz: "We cancelled Christmas two years ago in our household.
"Once we cancelled it we stopped all the presents, and once we stopped all the presents we started enjoying ourselves more."
Followers of Kabbalah only celebrate Jewish holy days. They do not recognise Christmas or Easter as they do not believe that Jesus is the son of God. Madonna has been involved with Kabbalah since the late 90s.
In 2006, it was revealed the 49-year-old singer had spent $2.4 million promoting her faith around the world in the previous four years.
Madonna changed her name to the ancient Hebrew name of Esther and has based her series of children's books on the faith's teachings. (source: AZcentral)
20 November - Malawi lauds Madonna for helping orphans
The Malawi government on Tuesday applauded Madonna's efforts to put the plight of the country's AIDS orphans on the global stage and raising money to support them.
The American singer said last week she would work with luxury goods maker Gucci to raise at least $2 million for Malawi's one million orphans.
Madonna and the Italian firm 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.
"What she is doing for orphans of this country very few super stars like her can do that, she has managed to put their plight on the world stage," government spokesperson and Information Minister Patricia Kaliati told Reuters.
"Madonna has built clinics in rural areas where government has failed to reach and because of that she has saved many lives of pregnant mothers who could have died," she said.
The pop star and her husband Guy Ritchie's bid to adopt David Banda from Malawi has hit several snags since they took the 13-month-old boy from the African country last year to their home in London.
The boy had been placed in an orphanage by his father after the death of his mother. Madonna is due to return to Malawi next April for a hearing before she can permanently adopt the child.
Madonna said the charity event would benefit UNICEF and the charity she co-founded in 2006, Raising Malawi, which focuses on trying to help Malawi's orphans, many of whose parents have died of AIDS. (source: Reuters via Yahoo)
20 November - Each Time You Break My Heart demo leaks
In 1986, Nick Kamen released the song Each Time You Break My Heart, which became a hit that year. Madonna performed backing vocals for the song, which was also written by her, originally for the True Blue album, but then got rejected.
Co-written by Stephen Bray, it's a fairly simple pop song, reminiscent of the other outtake Spotlight. The original demo, with Madonna doing the main vocals has now leaked online; you can download it here (source: MadonnaChile; thanx to the fans Virgo & Cloud for the link)
19 November - Stuart Price confirms he's not on Madonna's new record
Stuart Price, who recently produced Seal's new album System gave an interview to BBC Radio 1 in the UK and was asked if Madonna is going to have a new album or a tour. Regarding the tour, he said "I don't think there will be a tour, imminently".
About the album he said "She's doing a new album, but she wants to do an urban record this time that's not really the kind of what I do, so she's hooked up with Pharrell and Timbaland and she's doing that record at the moment which I think will come out next year". He also talked about the life on tour with Madonna and about his recent work with Seal. You can listen to the interview here.
Well, it means we'll get a completely new sound from Madonna, but of course we'll never forget Stuart's amazing work on COADF! ;-)
19 November - News/rumours about Justin tracks on new album
Fansite MadonnaTribe posted some interesting info about the new album: Justin Timberlake & Timbaland together produced five songs and last week they had their final mixing at Hit Studios Miami.
The first song is "4 Minutes To Save The World", it's an upbeat and catchy hip hop duet between Madonna & Justin.
Another song is "Across The Sky", it has a lot of acoustic guitars with a similar flow to The Power Of Good-Bye. Justin sings backing vocals.
"Dance Tonight" is the next, a funky midtempo Madonna/Justin duet, similar to his hit "Rock Your Body"
The fourth song is a ballad with Justin on backing vocals and is reminiscent of his hit "Cry Me A River". The song is called "Even The Devil Wouldn't Recognise You". [We wonder if it's a rework of the 1920s torch song co-written by Patrick Leonard (or Mirwais?) for 'Hello Suckers' a few years ago.]
The fifth song is named to be the best among the bunch, called "Miles Away", a beautiful uptempo song with Justin again on backup. Full of acoustic guitars, and its structure recalls Love Profusion, but is much better.
They also say that the album is going to be "incredible" and it will mark Madonna's 50th birthday in a "fantastic way".
17 November - Something to remember: Everybody is a star
20 years ago today, on November 17, 1987, Madonna's first ever compilation album, You Can Dance was released. It was not an ordinary greatest hits release, rather a big dance-mix containing some of Madonna's biggest dance hits mixed together. Innovative at the time, the concept of a remix album was copied by many artists after. The album contained one new song, Spotlight, which was a relatively simple call to the dance floor and was recorded during the True Blue sessions with Stephen Bray. The tracks were mixed by John "Jellybean" Benitez, Bruce Forest & Frank Heller, Steve Thompson & Michael Barbiero and Shep Pettibone.
The vinyl release contained the 7 regular tracks but the cassette & CD versions had additional and different bonus tracks as 'dubs'. While the compilation peaked only at #14 on Billboard, it actually gained a Platinum certification for 1 million copies (fans speculate that it's overdue for a double Platinum certification). Worldwide it was also successful with selling 5 million copies, becoming the best selling remix album ever until Michael Jackson's Blood On The Dance Floor: HIStory In The Mix, released ten years later. A promo of shorter 'remix edits' of the tracks was released to clubs and radio and altogether they topped the Hot Dance / Club Play, while Spotlight was released as a single in Japan in April, 1988 and reached #3 there.
You Can Dance was well-received by fans at the time, but 20 years later it's obviously branded as a dated project that didn't stand the test of time. Its significance is that it closed Madonna's first period in her career, and after her teeny-pop image she was about to transform into a mature songwriter and an unstoppable world-famous superstar...
16 November - Live Nation defends $100 million Madonna deal
Live Nation responds to critics who say the giant concert promoter paid way too much for the Material Girl, reports Fortune's Paul Sloan.
Ever since Live Nation, the giant concert promoter, announced a sweeping 10-year deal with Madonna to handle her albums, tours and merchandize, investors have worried that the company spent too much to lure the superstar away from Warner Music Group. The stock has fallen roughly 30 percent since the news came out last month.
On Thursday, CEO Michael Rapino and his top executives defended the deal before investors and analysts gathered at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza, one of Live Nation's venues.
Judging from the immediate reaction -- the stock was off slightly in early trading Friday -- the Street isn't yet convinced.
The execs didn't offer up exact figures of the deal -- citing a confidentiality agreement with the material girl -- but they did estimate it will be valued at roughly $100 million for Madonna.
Live Nation paid Madonna $25 million in stock as an advance. In addition, according to a person familiar with the terms, Madonna received about $25 million in cash, although Rapino wouldn't confirm this. For each dollar that that comes in, Los Angeles-based Live Nation gets a share and Madonna gets a share that counts against her advance.
Michael Cohl, who runs Live Nation's Artist Nation division and helped broker the contract with Madonna, described the deal as pure partnership and said that any money after that is a basic revenue share, although the splits vary depending on the products. The problem, he said, is that people are viewing the deal as if it's a record deal -- and everyone knows the record business is suffering.
Instead, he said, investors need to realize that the rights deal will be "cross collateralized" across dozens of products -- ticket sales, DVDs, books, t-shirts, clothing lines, streaming videos, private concerts. "Anything you can think of we can do," said Cohl, who runs tours for the Rolling Stones, among other acts.
"Make no mistake," said Rapino. "We are not getting into the record business. We are not building a system to sell 6-inch discs....We're a marketing and distribution company."
Record labels have big infrastructures around the world to get CDs into stores, but Rapino argues he doesn't need that.
He likes to point to the deal the Eagles just did to sell its 2-disc set exclusively through Wal-Mart, without having to give a cut to a label. They sold 700,000 in the first week. Whether its Wal-Mart or Starbucks or Victoria's Secret, Rapino said plenty of companies are eager to cut deals to distribute albums.
"Corporate America couldn't be more excited about the demise of the record companies," he said. (source: CNNMoney.com)
~ In other news, Madonna's new representatives, Live Nation just received 'Best Promoter' award @ the Billboard Touring Awards.
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