12 January - Latest Kabbalah controversy denied
The other day, FOXnews posted an offensive article about the relation between Raising Malawi and Kabbalah. Now, Madonna's publicist Liz Rosenberg and Gucci set the record straight:
Madonna is no stranger to controversy, but the latest claims go right to the heart of her humanitarian efforts - and indirectly implicate Gucci in the process.
On Wednesday, foxnews.com claimed the singer "has conned both UNICEF USA and Gucci into helping her raise money for the Kabbalah Centre and Madonna's patron gurus, the Berg family." The article claimed Madonna's charity, Raising Malawi, is a front for the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles, and thus implied that Gucci's Feb. 6 benefit to aid UNICEF and Raising Malawi, which Madonna cohosts, ultimately benefits the Kabbalah Centre.
"I think that the claims in the story are outrageous, they are incorrect, inaccurate, hurtful and malicious," Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's publicist, told WWD. "The reality is - and it's never been a secret - that the Raising Malawi organization was cofounded by Madonna and Michael Berg, who is one of the spearheading executives of the Kabbalah organization. The Raising Malawi organization is completely separate from the Kabbalah, and they are run as two separate organizations."
The foxnews.com report also suggested Raising Malawi had plans to indoctrinate "unsuspecting Malawi orphans into their brand of mysticism," having flown in teachers from Malawi to Los Angeles to "retrofit them for Kabbalah."
"There are no religious lessons being taught to the children of Malawi," Rosenberg said of those claims. "It's tragic, because Madonna has put her passion and love and money behind a project that is saving children's lives, giving them food, health care and schooling. The money that is being raised at the Gucci benefit is being divided between UNICEF and Raising Malawi."
She added that the funds raised that night are earmarked for the building of a girls' school in Malawi. "There is a board, where accountability will be very clear and very specific, and all funds will be accounted for," Rosenberg said.
Gucci, too, issued a statement refuting the claims: "The accusations are not true. By agreement with Raising Malawi, the gifts and donations dedicated to Raising Malawi from this event will go directly to Raising Malawi, which is a legally distinct entity from the Kabbalah Centre or from any religious organization. Proceeds from this event are specifically allocated to support programs for orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, including the building of a girls' academy in Malawi." (source: WWD.com)
11 January - Billboard's Chart Beat Chat: Should Babyface 'Take A Bow'?
In Fred Bronson's Chart Beat Chat column at Billboard, the chart history and the crediting of one of Madonna's most successful singles is discussed, along with Madonna's performance on the Adult Contemporary chart:
In your most recent Chart Beat column, you state, "Babyface's remake of James Taylor's 'Fire and Rain' on the Mercury label climbs 12-10, equaling the peak position of 'When Can I See You' in 1994. 'When Can I See You' and 'Fire and Rain' are Edmonds' only top 10 hits on the AC list."
Wasn't Babyface a featured artist on Madonna's Take A Bow? Considering that single was a ballad - and spent more weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 than any other Madonna release - I would guess it also hit the top 10 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Am I wrong?
While we are on the topic, how has Madonna fared on the AC chart?
Thanks in advance.
If you look in the new fourth edition of my book, "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits," you'll see that Take A Bow is No. 1 on the list of the top 50 songs by Madonna (based on chart performance on the Hot 100). Take A Bow ranks No. 3 on the top 50 songs produced by L.A. Reid and Babyface (behind two Boyz II Men hits, "I'll Make Love to You" at No. 1 and "End of the Road" at No. 2).
You'll also note that Take A Bow is credited solely to Madonna and that Babyface does not receive billing as an artist.
It doesn't matter if Babyface appears on the recording or not; what matters is the way the artist credit appears. So Babyface is not officially considered an artist on Take A Bow any more than Elton John is on Neil Sedaka's "Bad Blood" or Mick Jagger on Carly Simon's "You're So Vain."
As to Madonna's AC fortunes, she has had 35 chart entries beginning with Borderline, which debuted the week of June 2, 1984. Of those 35, 15 have reached the top 10, and of those, five have achieved pole position. Of those five, the most successful is Take A Bow, which was No. 1 for nine weeks in 1995. Her other four chart-toppers are:
Live To Tell, three weeks (1986)
La Isla Bonita, one week (1987)
Cherish, two weeks (1989)
I'll Remember, four weeks (1994)
11 January - Madonna to film new video in London at the end of January? *rumour*
Fansite Madonnatribe reports that the filming of Madonna's new video, 4 Minutes To Save The World will take place in London at the end of January. The director is still Jonas Akerlund, and Madonna's new buddies Timbaland & Justin Timberlake are going to feature in the clip. Meanwhile, we still yearn for Madonna's camp to break some official news about the new album...
11 January - Madonna is symbol of 'modern womanhood'
Madonna is a symbol of "modern womanhood", according to Donatella Versace. The 'Hung Up' star is branded a "true icon" by the famous fashion designer. Versace said, "The word 'icon' is overused, but in the case of Madonna I believe it has some meaning. She is a true icon. She has become a symbol of modern womanhood - confident, ambitious, dynamic, constantly reinventing herself.
"In 2005 Versace was involved in a process of reinvention with me, a blonde woman, at its helm, so I thought it would be appropriate to have Madonna as the representative of the brand.
"She is also a friend of mine and my late brother Gianni so there is a sense in which she symbolised the way in which Versace was staying true to its DNA, while evolving for the 21st century."
Madonna was the face of Versace's Spring/Summer range in 2005.
Versace, 52, also revealed her current celebrity muse is 'Enchanted' heartthrob Patrick Dempsey.
She told Britain's The Independent newspaper, "Patrick's charisma, which defines him both on and off screen, was what led me to choose him to represent Versace menswear. That, and his classic good looks, of course. He has a real masculinity about him." (source: AZ Central)
09 January - Stuart Price outs America's gay disco fear
Stuart '*Jacques Lu Cont*' Price has announced he's stepping aside from working with Madonna for her next album and, in a fresh interview in Mixmag also poked fun at American conservatism.
"In America, dance music is a different thing; who we think of as big American DJs aren't big DJs in their own country," said Stuart. "When I was doing pop records that were dance infused they'd say 'I don’t know what radio stations will play this'. Their basic philosophy is that dance music is gay music," he claimed.
Metrosexual guru Mark Simpson also addressed US homophobia recently in an interview with Greek magazine Eleftherotypia in which he suggested, "to homophobes, the metrosexual is worse than a fag – he's letting the anti-fag side down."
Jacques Lu Cont's comments appear almost 30 years after mainstream America first turned against disco in an orgy of campaigns such as Chicago DJ Steve Dahl's notoriously homophobic 'Disco Sucks' campaign.
"Disco music is a disease. I call it disco dystrophy," Dahl told listeners in 1979, prior to his infamous Disco Demolition rally at which he blew up 20,000 disco records in the middle of a Boston baseball stadium.
"The people victimised by this killer disease walk around like zombies," he added. "We must do everything possible to stop the spread of this plague." (Last Night A DJ Saved My Life). (source: inthemix.com.au)
08 January - Madonna visits slums of Mumbai
Madonna visited a crowded Mumbai slum Tuesday, where impoverished residents showered her with rose and marigold petals.
Madonna didn't speak to journalists, and a New York-based spokeswoman for the 49-year-old singer wasn't immediately available for comment.
Millions of people live in makeshift huts in slums along railway lines and roads in Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment center.
Wearing a black jacket, T-shirt and jeans, Madonna spent nearly 45 minutes with residents of the downtown shanty township.
She was accompanied by her husband, Guy Ritchie, and Australian author Gregory David Roberts, who made the Mumbai slum his home in the early 1980s.
Roberts worked for the city's crime bosses and set up a free health clinic in the slum when he took refuge in Mumbai after escaping from an Australian high-security prison.
The slum features prominently in Roberts' best-seller "Shantaram," which is being adapted into a film starring Johnny Depp and directed by Mira Nair. (source: AP via Yahoo)
08 January - Madonna to host Malawi photo exhibition?
Fansite Madonnalicious reports that Madonna is going to put on an exhibition in LA that will show off the photography work by her and others from her Malawi trip. It is going to be launched in April in conjuction with the documentary I Am Because We Are, with the opening reception being hosted by Madonna herself.
05 January - New album to spark more curiosity than usual
Billboard's Bill Werde was asked about the anticipated releases of 2008 and here's what he said regarding the upcoming Madonna record:
"I think there's going to be probably more curiosity about this Madonna record than there has been in a Madonna record in a long time, if only to see sort of what her send-off is from Warner Brothers. You know, Madonna did sign this deal with Live Nation, and it got quite a bit of attention as an industry-changing deal, where she basically left her record label and signed with a tour-promotion company that's looking to get into the record business." (source: Marketplace.publicradio.org)
05 January - Madonna sings karaoke for king
Madonna told last night how she sang karaoke for an Indian Maharaja after a royal feast at his desert fort.
The pop queen, accompanied by her kids Lourdes, ten, and Rocco, seven, put on an impromptu show to thank Maharaja Gaj Singhji II for his hospitality.
She said: "It was great to be in royal company."
"Lourdes and Rocco were in awe of him - they kept hugging him. It was fabulous, we sang karaoke for him."
Madge, 49, revealed she and hubby Guy Ritchie took a family holiday to the Rajasthan desert to get over the stress of their battle to adopt David Banda, two.
She has enjoyed long horse rides and had dance lessons from local entertainers.
The Material Girl singer, whose new album is due out next month, added: "Indian music is very groovy. I might release a fusion track." (source: The Sun)
04 January - More info on Warner listening party
The Warner Bros media information site posted a detailed report of the new album listening party, which took place last month:
It's not every day that Warner Bros. Records gets a visit from the Material Girl herself. Well we didn't exactly roll out a red carpet - but we did build a plastic brick path inspired by the Candyland game that Miss M. happily strolled down on the way to our conference room which was completely transformed into a palatial pink and white candy emporium. All we knew was there was a song on her upcoming CD that mentions a candy shop - henceforth our theme. And of course, Madonna's love for candy - especially hot tamales is pretty well known. This was strictly for the Warner Bros. Records employees - no press, no photographers, no cell phones. Madonna, always the perfect hostess screamed out different song choices to our resident dj by numbers. "Jesse, play no. 5 next" and so on. We were treated to 10 songs with comments by the artist on some of her collaborators Pharrell, Justin, Timbaland, an appearance by Kanye West, etc.
Every song was a knock out with two apparent favorites being 4 Minutes To Save The World and Candy Shop or Candy Store (not decided)...Madonna mentioned she was a little nervous as it was the first official playing of the music. Thankfully it was a room filled with Madonna fans who cheered after every song was played. Champagne and soda and lots of candy later, we all agreed that we felt blessed that we worked at Warner Bros. Records.
04 January - Madonna enthrals Indian hosts with folk dance
Pop star Madonna showed great dance moves in between her riding trips during a holiday in the Indian desert state of Rajasthan, her host said Friday.
The 49-year-old singer, along with her film director husband Guy Ritchie, spent the past few days at a 17th-century heritage resort called Rohet Garh, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the historic city of Jodhpur.
"Madonna attended a party at the resort where she danced along with folk dancers. She was really good at it," said Thakur Manvendra Singh, owner of the Rohet Garh hotel.
Singh said the pop icon, who lives in London, went horse riding and flew kites with her family.
"She came with her riding clothes. She was very keen on long rides during this trip," Khem Singh, who arranged Madonna's riding trips, told The Times of India newspaper.
Madonna, Ritchie and their three children were expected later to fly to India's western city of Mumbai, the Indian Express reported.
The trip after British newspapers reported that Madonna was to be granted full custody of her adopted son David from Malawi following a glowing social worker's report that described the star as "a perfect mum."
The singer has a daughter Lourdes, 11, by fitness trainer Carlos Leon and seven-year-old son Rocco with Ritchie. She is now looking to adopt a daughter from Cambodia, British newspapers say. (source: AFP)
04 January - Madonna rides India's fabled Marwari horses during family holiday
With Christmas cancelled at the Ritchies, and ostentatious celebrations of New Year being seen as rather old hat, it had been left to Madonna to fill a rather awkward gap in the holiday diary.
And that is how the superstar singer and her family came to toast the beginning of 2008 under the stars in a remote camp in the Rajasthani desert entertained by a troupe of dancing horses.
Heaven only knows what travel brochure she had been flicking through to pick out such a break.
Though Mick Jagger and L'Wren Scott, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar have all been charmed by the area in recent months.
The £100,000 Indian holiday has, according to some reports, been a 'celebration' of their successful adoption of Malawian baby David Banda.
But it has also proved the perfect chance for 48-year-old to hone her horseriding skills.
The singer spent yesterday on a two-hour trek in the desert close to a 19th century fort where the family have been staying.
Sons Rocco and David – who according to social workers studying David's adoption have become best friends – followed their mother with security guards in a silver 4x4.
Riding a thoroughbred Marwari horse – bred by the ancient rulers of Rajasthan and famed for their stamina, bravery and loyalty – Madonna waved to her children before galloping off in a cloud of dust.
The singer has been enjoying a low-key family holiday since arriving in India from the Maldives on a chartered Kingfisher jet on December 31.
She celebrated the new year being entertained in the desert by traditional dancers and folk singers.
"Madonna spent New Year's Eve with her family at a wilderness camp in the desert," said Siddarth Singh, whose family owns the nearby Rohetgarh Fort where they have been staying and helped organise the entertainment.
"Madonna was comfortably dressed in Western clothes for the evening and enjoyed the dance performances along with her family."
The evening included traditional Rajasthani folk music, with performances by Langa, Manganiar and Kalbelia dancers.
"There was a dancing horse show too," added Mr Singh. "Traditional food was served at the party. Madonna had vegetable curries and fish, while her son and husband stuck to vegetables only.
"Later all of them danced with folk artistes into the wee hours. In the morning a special horse show was organised at Khandi, a village near Rohetgarh.
"Madonna and her son enjoyed the horse ride and seemed very comfortable interacting with the local people. No one even realised she was an A-list celebrity."
Madonna has had riding lessons with William Fox-Pitt, who won silver with the Great Britain team at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and has been a regular visitor to their 1,200-acre Ashcombe House estate in Wiltshire.
He helped the singer build up her confidence again after she had a fall while riding on her 47th birthday in 2005, in which she suffered three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a fractured hand. (source: Daily Mail)
03 January - New album to be landmark in Madonna's career
Virgin Media posted a list of the anticipated albums this year and here's what they said about Madonna's upcoming effort:
Madonna's next album will be an interesting one - it'll be her last with long-standing record label Warners, and, as she turns 50 in the summer, marks an important landmark in her career as the chameleon-like Queen of Pop.
Not one to stand still musically, she's roped in hip hop big hitters such as Timbaland and Pharrell Williams to help her. So can Madonna maintain her relevance with her 11th studio album? Don't bet against it. Expected: April/May
~ The April/May release date is not officially confirmed.
03 January - Latest album/single release date rumours *rumour*
According to fansite Madonnadownload, a US radio station (KIIS FM 102.7 LA) claimed that Madonna's new single should be expected on air "as early as next week". The fansite also says that Madonna is scheduled to work on her new video in LA this weekend. However, others say that nothing from Madonna is expected till February. Lastly, Danish fansite Madonna.idoliser.dk says that the biggest Danish radio station announced that Madonna's new album is released on April 4th, 2008. Keep in mind that we still didn't have any official confirmation regarding release dates.
01 January - Madonna rings in New Year in India
US pop icon Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie rang in the New Year in a remote village in the northern Indian desert state of Rajasthan, reports said Tuesday.
The 49-year-old singer, her husband and five friends drove to a heritage hotel in Dechu village soon after reaching the historic city of Jodhpur from the Maldives by chartered plane, the Hindustan Times said.
The world's top earning female singer was supposed to travel on Tuesday to Jaisalmer, famous for its sprawling sandstone fort and undulating sand dunes, the reports said.
Rajasthan, known for its opulent palaces and magnificent forts, is popular among Western celebrities who come to see the state's royal heritage.
Last March British actress Elizabeth Hurley wed Indian businessman Arun Nayar in a traditional Indian-style wedding at an ancient palace in Jodhpur.
"The pop star will be in Rajasthan for five to six days," the Hindustan Times said, quoting unnamed sources.
Madonna, who lives in London, was also likely to visit Udaipur which features a series of stunning lake palaces.
Her personal security guards arrived in Jodhpur three days ago and tight security was in place at the hotels and areas she was likely to visit during her stay, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The trip comes days after British newspapers reported that Madonna was to be granted full custody of her adopted son David from Malawi following a glowing social worker's report that described the star as "a perfect mum."
The singer has a daughter Lourdes, 11, by fitness trainer Carlos Leon and seven-year-old son Rocco with Ritchie. She is now looking to adopt a daughter from Cambodia, British newspapers say. (source: AFP via Yahoo)
~ According to Sahara Samay, after the news of her presence in Rajasthan for a year-end holiday, pop icon Madonna cancelled her visit to Jaisalmer today to avoid the paparazzi and instead spent the day at a 16th-century fort that was once a princely state of medieval Rajasthan in Pali district.
01 January - Happy New Year!
We'd like to wish everyone a fantastic 2008 with a lot of Madonna stuff coming up all year, including a great new album! The Mad-Eyes team would also like to thank everyone for visiting our site, and giving us your opinion and ideas all through the past year. Keep it up and remember Mad-Eyes will do the best to keep you updated about Madonna's new album! ;-)
~ The Mad-Eyes team