Madonna news - April 2008


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15 April - Hard Candy review: Rolling Stone gives 4 stars
Hard Candy, the albumDominance isn't just a fetish for Madonna, it's her religion. It's no accident that she opened each show on [2006's Confessions Tour] by clenching a riding crop in her hand, jerking a gagged male dancer around by a leather leash. And she never puts down the whip: Since 1986's True Blue, Madonna has claimed writing or production credits on every one of her songs, even when she worked with dance-music artists such as William Orbit, Mirwais Ahmadzaï and Stuart Price. So it is surprising that her eleventh studio album - her final one for longtime label Warner Bros. - is an act of submission. For Hard Candy, Madonna's midlife meditation on her own relevance, she lets top-shelf producers make her their plaything.

A songwriting team of American chart royalty helps Madonna revisit her roots as an urban-disco queen. Madonna isn't even the star on the first single, 4 Minutes: Timbaland and Nate "Danja" Hills provide a clanging whopper of a beat, and her vocal bobs alongside Justin Timberlake's, fighting not to drown in the brassy funk of a marching band. Timberlake is the album's melody doctor, and he steals from his own broody "What Goes Around... Comes Around" on Madonna's Devil Wouldn't Recognize You. Madonna co-wrote but didn't co-produce the Timberlake-Timbaland team's five songs, which smack more of their creators' stamps than her own. The songs are solid, but slightly anonymous, as though they could be stripped down and peddled to other singers.

The creative tension between Madonna and the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams crackles. Williams bangs on paint cans to generate the beat on the innuendo-laden opener, Candy Shop, and pumps up the thumpy self-empowerment anthem Give It 2 Me with clubby synths that trumpet one of Madonna's favorite life-dance-sex metaphors: "Don't stop me now, don't need to catch my breath/I can go on and on." Heartbeat pulses like Lucky Star, and the soulful Beat Goes On (which features an uninspired Kanye West cameo) is one of a handful of tracks with bells and whistles - the classic disco "toot-toot, beep-beep" - traceable to two of Madonna's touchstones: Chic, whose Nile Rodgers helped steer her early career, and Donna Summer.

Like Confessions, Hard Candy celebrates dance as salvation, but even the euphorically groovy Heartbeat and Dance 2Night strike wistful notes. Although the uptempo set features no ballads, the dominant lyrical themes - regret, yearning, distrust - are far from upbeat. Morphing from a syncopated shuffle into a lathery, orgasmic hysteria, Pharrell's Incredible is a challenging song about longing for a relationship's idyllic beginning. There's a melancholy pining in Timbaland-Timberlake's lush Miles Away, which implies that all is not peachy in the house of Richie. "You always have the biggest heart when we're 6,000 miles apart," Madonna sings. International pop megastars - they're just like us!

The album's weakest moment is its most emotionally vapid. Madonna dips into Español for the painfully literal Spanish Lesson. She has said the music was inspired by a Baltimore dance called the Percolator but seems more indebted to Timberlakeís fast-strummed "Like I Love You." Fortunately, there's also the bass-popping retro-boogie She's Not Me, where Madonna imagines her lovers feeling buyers' remorse for being seduced by a copycat who "doesn't have my name." The offender who's "reading my books and stealing my looks and lingerie" could be any young pop starlet. But it also seems like an oddly timed barb at Madonna's now-fallen successor, Britney Spears, who has teamed up with many of the guys on Hard Candy - Pharrell, Danja and (ahem) Timberlake - and Madonna herself.

Madonna can still scoff at wanna-be's half her age because she's stayed so flexible with her sound. (She's performed a similar feat with her body, devoting herself to a yoga regimen that's made her impossibly elastic - name another near-fifty-year-old who can still rock a hot crotch shot on her album cover.) Even when she wrestles with Pharrell's abrupt stylistic changes or lets herself get absorbed in a Timberlake melody, Madonna still finds her way back on top. The atmospheric closing track, Voices, poses the question "Who is the master, who is the slave?" before its operatic wind-down ends in a dramatic bell toll. The answer to both questions is still Madonna. (rating 4/5 stars, by Rolling Stone)

15 April - Madonna goes mobile with Justin & Timbaland
Madonna Goes Mobile With Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and Verizon Wireless to Debut Exclusive Underground Remix of 4 Minutes
Mobile-Only Track Produced by Timbaland, Verizon Wireless' Mobile Producer in Residence, Featuring Justin Timberlake with Exclusive Video of Studio Session on V CAST Video; Verizon Wireless and Vodafone Collaboration Make Single Available on Mobile Phones around the Globe

Verizon Wireless today announced it has teamed up with Madonna, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake to deliver the mobile underground remix of Madonna's highly- anticipated debut single 4 Minutes from her upcoming album Hard Candy. Available exclusively in the U.S. to Verizon Wireless' V CAST Music customers and internationally to Vodafone customers, 4 Minutes is the first single from Madonna's 11th studio album for Warner Bros. Records. Hard Candy is scheduled for international release on April 28, 2008, with the U.S. release the following day.

Starting today, the underground version of the song is available to Verizon Wireless customers through V CAST Music as a full-song download, ringtone and ringback tone. This exclusive Madonna track produced by Timbaland, Verizon Wireless' mobile producer in residence, and featuring Justin Timberlake is available for download to Vodafone customers in Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, and the UK. This extraordinary remix was created on the Verizon Wireless mobile recording studio bus in New York City last month, following Madonna's induction ceremony into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Fans who download the full-song, ringtone or ringback tone of Timbaland's exclusive mobile underground remix of 4 Minutes through Verizon Wireless' V CAST Music service will also have a chance to win a barcoded ticket to the exclusive Madonna performance on April 30 at New York's famed Roseland Ballroom. Lucky winners will receive tickets on their mobile phones, which will admit them and one friend to this exclusive show.
Hard Candy is the follow up to Madonna's Confessions On A Dance Floor which debuted at number one in 30 countries and has sold more than 8 million copies to date. Hard Candy has been described as a brilliant up-tempo collection of 12 songs in which Madonna remains ensconced in club mode, but this time adds an urban hip-hop beat in collaboration with musical partners Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes, and Nate "Danja" Hills.

"Working with Madonna and Justin on this underground mobile remix has been a lot of fun," said Timbaland. "With Verizon Wireless, we are able to create and distribute music straight from the studio directly to fans as well as give them access into our creative process behind-the-scenes."

"As Madonna is one of the most iconic artists of our time and Timbaland is one of the most influential producers of today, we are undeniably excited to team up with them, as well as Justin, to deliver this exclusive remix to our customers," said Ed Ruth, director of digital music for Verizon. "Together with Vodafone, we will set a new precedence for the global release of a song, with a combined reach of hundreds of millions of fans across the globe via their cellphones."

Madonna, a multi GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, cultural icon, world-renowned stage performer, video visionary, children's book author, director, and documentary filmmaker, has sold 200 million albums in the course of her unprecedented two decade-plus career and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008.

In addition to Madonna's original 4 Minutes track, co-produced by Timbaland and Justin Timberlake and Nate "Danja" Hills, and the underground mobile remix available on Verizon Wireless' V CAST Music and Vodafone, exclusive video footage of Madonna, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake's "mobile remix" recording session is now available on Verizon Wireless' V CAST Video service.

For more information on how to download Timbaland's mobile underground remix of 4 Minutes, fans can text MADONNA to 8933. For more information on V CAST Music from Verizon Wireless and the company's mobile producer in residence program, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com/music. (source: Press Release via Yahoo Finance)
~ Click here to listen to the underground remix of 4 Minutes. You can also check out the footage of Madonna, Justin & Timbaland in the studio on YouTube, one of the clips being Madonna & Justin singing Happy Birthday for Timbaland! ;-)

15 April - 4 Minutes remixes available on iTunes
Today, the US iTunes Store offers a batch of remixes of 4 Minutes:

Madonna on iTunes 4 Minutes Remix Edits:
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Edit 3:11
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Peter Saves Paris Edit 4:49
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Bob Sinclair Space Funk Edit 3:23
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Junkie XL Dirty Dub Edit 4:05

4 Minutes Remixes:
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Rebirth Remix 7:55
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Bob Sinclair Space Funk Remix 5:39
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Tracy Young House Mix 7:54
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Junkie XL Remix 6:13
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Peter Saves Paris Mix 8:52
Madonna 4 Minutes remix iTunes4 Minutes - Junkie XL Dirty Dub 4:51

The edits can be bought together as an album or separately, while the long mixes can only be bought separately. However, make sure you buy each track as a standalone download, because that counts better for Madonna on the charts!

14 April - Tour to open in Wembley on 9/11?
According to fansite Drownedmadonna, Madonna is due to start her world tour to promote Hard Candy on the anniversary of 9/11, in Wembley Stadium. After a second show in London on September 13th, she will supposedly head to Paris. There would be big shows planned for Australia, Brazil and Argentina, and there are plans to visit Dubai and Israel as well.
~ These schedule is still tentative and nothing has been officially confirmed yet, so a bit more patience till we have more information. But the tour is on the way guys!

14 April - Madonna to go on tour towards the end of summer
Madonna gave a great interview to WPGC's 95.5FM's Donnie Simpson and revealed she's going on tour towards the end of the summer, and said she'd be starting to rehearse soon. She didn't mention on which continent would she kick off her new tour. Madonna also talked about working on new album Hard Candy, mentioned that Miles Away was the first fruit of the Justin Timberlake collaboration (and even Madonna thinks it's going to be a single), and said the whole album is a new experience to her because she usually works with songwriters and producers who are more in the background. You can listen to the interview here.

14 April - Madonna to perform life at NYC's Roseland Ballroom on April 30th
Gig at Roseland Ballroom, NYC in November 2000 Historic Event Presented by Verizon Wireless, Control Room and MSN; Show to Be Broadcast Live on MSN.com (music.msn.com) April 30th in the US and May 15th ex-US; New Madonna CD Hard Candy Scheduled for April 29th US Release
In celebration of the release of Madonna's upcoming CD Hard Candy, Control Room, MSN and Verizon Wireless will present the one and only Madonna live at New York's famed Roseland Ballroom on Wednesday evening, April 30th, it was confirmed today by Warner Bros. Records. The Control Room-produced show will be available live on MSN Music In Concert (www.music.msn.com) on April 30th in the US and on May 15th ex-US.
Verizon customers will be amongst the handful of lucky winners who will attend the show. Other lucky fans will need to line up outside of Roseland to receive tickets on a first come basis. This special event will be the first time Madonna will debut songs from her hotly anticipated new album Hard Candy which is scheduled to arrive in stores on April 29th.
The first single from the album, 4 Minutes has already jumped to the Number One spot in many countries. The song, which features Madonna, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake was produced by Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. (source: Press Release via Yahoo Finance)
~ Seven and a half year ago, Madonna performed at Roseland Ballroom to promote her Music album.

13 April - Mariah vs Madonna: Total eclipse of the charts
The pop queens are releasing new albums within weeks of one another -- and they're smashing records in the process. Will Mariah's "E=MC2" or Madonna's Hard Candy end up with the edge?
Paris vs. Nicole. Lauren vs. Heidi. Serena vs. Blair. They're all teeny-tiny rivalries compared with the showdown that's about to erupt between Mariah Carey and Madonna. The pop divas, who have reportedly had a brittle relationship for years, are releasing albums within weeks of each other this month - Carey's E=MC2 arrives on Tuesday, while Madonna's Hard Candy hits shelves on April 29.
Carey is attempting to duplicate the success of 2005's The Emancipation of Mimi, which sold a whopping 5.8 million copies and was her biggest hit in years after a very public breakdown. Hard Candy, meanwhile, marks the last album of new material that Madonna will make for longtime label Warner Bros. before she embarks on a groundbreaking $120 million deal with concert promoter Live Nation. "I expect Mariah's record to be one of the biggest records of the year," predicts Billboard senior analyst Geoff Mayfield. "You kind of have to wait with Madonna, but the single's very accessible."

So far, both women show no signs of slacking off. Carey's catchy (if underwhelming) first single, "Touch My Body," zoomed to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100, unseating diva-in-training Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" and making her second only to the Beatles for the most No. 1 hits ever on the chart. "Mariah reinvigorated the younger demo [with Mimi]," says John Ivey, program director for KIIS-FM in L.A. "She has all these kids that now think she's relevant again." Madonna is working the same strategy, by including Justin Timberlake and Timbaland on her newest single, 4 Minutes. (The duo wrote and produced numerous tracks on Candy.) "The smartest thing she could have done is to have Tim and Justin on the record," says Ivey. "The interesting thing too is that the first cut I heard was a lot more Madonna. The single is a lot less Madonna. The part that sticks in your head, truthfully, is Justin's." Either way, it's paying off: At press time, 4 Minutes was No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100, her highest-charting single since 2000's Music. The song helped nudge her past Elvis Presley to become the artist with the most top 10 singles ever. Still, if you're scoring at home, the first round goes to Mariah.
The true trump card may be the critical reaction. Madonna's Candy, with its hip-hop bent and collaborations with Pharrell Williams, Timberlake, and Timbaland, seems to encroach on Mariah's usual territory. It's a risk, but the uptempo album could be the most mainstream and accessible that Madonna has released in years. Meanwhile, EW has heard E=MC2 (see the EW review) and can attest that it's a worthy successor to Mimi that will push Glitter even further from our memory. (source: Entertainment Weekly)
~ For more on Madonna's chart performance in the Hard Candy era, check out our chart news page!

12 April - Madonna's way, all the way
Here's the full article from Liz Smith about Madonna's latest projects, with a fun reference to the classic Sunset Boulevard:
"Norma, there's nothing wrong with being 50, as long as you don't pretend that you're 25!"
That was Bill Holden's final plea for reason, arguing with deluded star Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard." (Gloria Swanson played Norma, a role that came to define her.)
On April 28, Madonna's final album for Warner Records - her home base for 25 years - debuts. The first single, a duet with Justin Timberlake titled 4 Minutes has rocketed up the Top 40 Countdown meter faster than any song in the chart's 38-year history. It is No. 1 on iTunes. Perhaps most significantly, Ellen DeGeneres shimmies to it every day on her TV show. (Ellen now equals Oprah in shaping cultural cravings. If either of these women says, "Buy it! Love it!" - millions do.)

So Madonna's swan song for Warner might be her biggest hit ever. The 4 Minutes video features Madonna - relentlessly athletic, and Justin, effortlessly limber - dancing up a storm.
We've heard some snarky comments about Justin "making music with his mommy" but in the video, there seems to be hardly a year between them. She will be 50 in August; he is 26. You'd never know that Madonna could, chronologically, be his mother, watching the pair bump and grind in 4 Minutes. (Madonna is toned to the max; a disciplined life is not to be despised!)
The album is titled Hard Candy and it features one delirious thump, thump, thump, shake-it-till- you-drop dance track after another. Madonna is not ready to go minimalist - a microphone and a simple black cocktail dress, or whispering moody ballads.

Yet, even some of Madonna's most ardent admirers wonder if she has overreached - at least in terms of presentation. The album art for Hard Candy crystallizes this concern. There she is, photographed in a black leatherette dominatrix outfit and faux-fierce attitude. It is a retread of her old "Sex" book persona. Harsh. Madonna, if challenged, would say, "It's ironic, it's a parody!" And, sure, every great star eventually riffs on his or her image. But why not simply let the brilliant Steven Meisel photograph her as the powerhouse glamour-puss she is today? (Meisel's Vanity Fair cover this month - Madonna clutching a giant globe of the earth - is sensational.)
Inappropriate photos notwithstanding, there seems to be no such thing as an "irrelevant" Madonna. Unlike Norma Desmond, Madonna's audience is alive, kicking and packing stadiums to see her. (She'll tour for Hard Candy in the summer, pocketing, oh, another $200 million give or take a mil.) The media always says she has "become a bore" but they can't stop writing about her. She has been counted out more times than Hillary Clinton, and has always bounced back. (Like Sen. Clinton, she is super-focused: "in it to win it" as Clinton has said famously - ominously, to some!)
And Madonna never has to rely on, or refer to any man to embellish her resume or validate her status. Madonna did it her way, all the way. (source: The Buffalo News)

12 April - Madonna gives radio interviews
Yesterday Madonna called in a few radio stations yet again. Unfortunately we didn't get to know anything new from them, these interviews were just feel good, relaxed call-ins. The only interesting part was Madonna mentioning that she's currently rehearsing for her promo tour, that will feature gigs in NYC, Paris & London. She named Ray Of Light, Beautiful Stranger & Die Another Day as her favourite songs from her career, and she confirmed that her favourites from Hard Candy are Devil Wouldn't Recognize You & Candy Shop. You can listen to the interviews of Kidd Kraddick, KZZP 104.7 Phoenix & Energy 92.7 San Francisco.

11 April - Hard Candy reviews: Madonna's best are instant attention-grabbers
There's a caveat to be made on previewing Madonna's 11th album - we've only heard it once, at a London playback full of journalists chatting.
So it's unfair to fully judge it. Then again, Madonna's best singles are the instant attention-grabbers.
Opening song Candy Shop does that, hard drums clattering at full speed while Madonna's most playful vocals are in control on single-entendres about her candy. It's a new Jump; no bad thing.
In the album context, 4 Minutes makes more sense. Not classic Madonna, but it fits in with the opening club salvo.
The album's highlight, Give It 2 Me, follows. An appropriately relentless chorus of "On and on" hurtles over jittering drums and a Hi-NRG breakdown.
On an album dominated by references to clubland, it's the song you can most imagine a 21st century young and hungry pre-fame Madonna would dance to in New York clubs.
Heartbeat rounds off the breakneck first foray, a more traditionally girlish "I can feel it in my heartBEAT" squeak. If Confessions was Madonna as Goldfrapp, this is her playing Robyn.
Miles Away finally calms things down, an update of La Isla Bonita with some good multi-tracking chorus vocals.
She's Not Me rounds off side one in cheeky style, her attempt at 'Feel It' by The Tamperer complete with old-school rave whistles.
After a confident first half, the second goes awry with Incredible. It could be by anyone, one long drum and bass pulsing intro that goes nowhere.
Kanye West duet Beat Goes On is far better, the second best song after Give It 2 Me. A regular Madonna dance classic, it's a dramatic paen to clubs with a great chorus ascending in pitch.
Dance 2Night is the most '80s song, more Duran's 'Rio' than Like A Virgin and even a whiff of 'Club Tropicana'.
Spanish Lesson is clunky, recalling Ricky Martin as Madonna translates hackneyed Spanish phrases over a none-cheesier beat.
Devil Wouldn't Recognize You is the sole ballad, but what could be a Live To Tell showstopper is ruined by yet more shuffling drums. It also typifies Candy's big fault: it's far too long.
Voices redeems it, smart Eastern synths and high-class vamping over one of the most outright pop choruses.
Overall, Hard Candy is reminiscent of an update of Bedtime Stories: Madonna aiming to be cutting-edge and sometimes forgetting she's best at pure pop.
In some ways, it's pointless reviewing Madonna's albums: so long as there's enough good singles, no one minds.
In that respect, she delivers and there are only a couple of howlers. The promised permanent hip-hop underlay is more suitable than on American Life, and it's basically a sturdy return. (source: Teletext)

Hard Candy: we're supposed to read the title as a self-congratulatory pun on Madonna herself, a sweet soft centre in a crisp hardbody shell; but there's another, more telling pun here, reflecting how a once diverse talent has ossified into simply satisfying the sweet tooth of functional dance-pop.
Why else would she turn to off-the-peg hit-machines The Neptunes, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, after such success with more adventurous producers like Mirwais, William Orbit and Stuart Price? There are a few ear-catching moments - a flamenco guitar flourish, a Twin Peaks-flavoured synth pad, a section of chiming bells - but they're only tantalising glimpses of a world beyond the perfunctory duties suggested by titles like Dance 2Night and Beat Goes On.
The album's ultimately saved by its most ambitious offerings: the Mardi Gras marching-band bumping rumbustiously along in 4 Minutes, and Devil Wouldn't Recognize You, which contains a glorious Beach Boys-style harmony cascade and the most intriguing melody on the disc, full of the enticing shadows and mystery absent in the other glitterball disco-stompers.
Pick of the album: Devil Wouldn't Recognize You, 4 Minutes, Give It 2 Me [rating: 3/5) (source: The Independent)

11 April - Dutch release party
Yesterday we reported about the Belgian release party. GertJan from the Madonna.nl informs us that on the eve of the 24th, there will also be a release party at the Fame Store in Amsterdam. The Madonna party, organised by Warner, MadonnaNed and MadonnaUnderground, starts at 21h30. For the entrance fee of 20 Euro you get the album, free drinks & bites and exclusive Madonna goodies.

10 April - Hard Candy song titles registered, writing credits revealed
Warner Chappell finally got the titles and writing credits of Hard Candy tracks registered. Most of the tracks were written by Madonna & Pharrell Wiliams, except:
Beat Goes On written by Madonna, Pharrell Williams & Kanye West
4 Minutes & Miles Away written by Madonna, Timothy Mosley, Nate Hills & Justin Timberlake
Dance 2Night & Voices written by Madonna, Timothy Mosley, Hannon Lane & Justin Timberlake
Devil Wouldn't Recognize You written by Madonna, Timothy Mosley, Nate Hills, Justin Timberlake & Joe Henry.

10 April - Liz Smith: 4 Minutes is firecracker hot, albumcover is not
On April 28, Madonna's final album for Warner Records - her home base for 25 years - debuts. The first single, a duet with Justin Timberlake titled 4 Minutes, has rocketed up the Top 40 Countdown meter faster than any song in the chart's 38-year history. It is No. 1 on iTunes. Perhaps most significantly, Ellen DeGeneres shimmies to it every day on her TV show. (Ellen now equals Oprah in shaping cultural cravings. If either of these women says, "Buy it! Love it!" - millions do.)
So Madonna's swan song for Warner might be her biggest hit ever. The "4 Minutes" video features Madonna - relentlessly athletic, and Justin, effortlessly limber - dancing up a storm.
We've heard some snarky comments about Justin "making music with his mommy" but in the video, there seems to be hardly a year between them. She will be 50 in August; he is 26. You'd never know that Madonna could, chronologically, be his mother, watching the pair bump and grind in 4 Minutes. (Madonna is toned to the max; a disciplined life is not to be despised!) (source: Baltimore Sun)

Ellen DeGeneres is shimmying to Madonna's single 4 Minutes every day on her TV show. Some of Madonna's most ardent admirers wonder if she has over-reached -- at least in terms of presentation. The album art for Hard Candy crystallizes this concern. There she is, photographed in a black leatherette dominatrix outfit and faux-fierce attitude. It is a re-tread of her old "Sex" book persona. Harsh. Madonna, if challenged, would say, "It's ironic, it's a parody!" And, sure, every great star eventually riffs on his or her image. But why not simply let Steven Meisel photograph her as the powerhouse glamour-puss she is today? (Meisel's Vanity Fair cover this month -- Madonna clutching a giant globe of the earth -- is sensational.) (source: Variety.com)

10 April - Belgian release party on April 24
Fanclub MadonnaNed, in collaboration with Warner Belgium and Free Record Shop, is organising a Hard Candy release party on Thursday April 24th at 10PM in Free Record Shop in Leuven (hometown of the Mad-Eyes webmaster ;-). There will be some famous people from Belgium (ex miss Belgium Tanja Dexters will be there) and other media will film the event as well. Fans will have the chance to buy the new album that same evening, in advance of the official release on the 25th. (thx to Evy @ MadonnaNed for informing us)

10 April - Madonna gets in the ring with Chopard
M-Dolla belt by ChopardMadonna is flashing some serious bling for the boxing-themed album cover to her upcoming album, Hard Candy - rocking a CHOPARD diamond-cross necklace and a personalized "M-dolla" knuckle ring!
The Swiss luxury jeweler has collaborated with the pop music icon before to design her Hung-Up necklace for the Confessions Tour. This time around, Chopard Co-President CAROLINE GRUOSI-SCHEUFELE personally designed the "M-dolla" knuckle ring, which features 258, brilliant-cut, white diamonds with a Chopard signature mobile diamond in the flourish of the letter "M."
Although the "M-dolla" is an original one-off design, it can be replicated by special request.
The diamond encrusted gold cross is from the Happy Diamonds collection, available at fine jewelry stores.
Hard Candy goes on sale April 29th. (source: ET Online)

09 April - Madge to perform on Big Weekend
Madonna will make her first live UK performance of 2008 at Radio 1's Big Weekend next month. I can reveal that the Material Girl, 49, will perform tunes from her new album Hard Candy at the bash. The BBC event takes place at Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent, between May 10 and 11. My Kentish insider told me: "Everybody's really excited about the prospect of Madonna performing. The organisation is going to be immense but she's well worth it." Playlist had an early butchers at Madge's sugar-coated album and it's a delight. Featuring production by urban heavyweights Neptunes, Timbaland, 37, Justin Timberlake, 27, and Danjahandz, 26, the beat-heavy, 12-track opus has a crunchy hip-hop coating with a sweet, soft-pop centre. Yet again, the Queen of Pop is aiming squarely at the charts. (source: Daily Mail)
~ This is in fact the London gig of Madonna's upcoming promo tour, as previously reported.

09 April - Behind the cover of ELLE
Madonna in Elle magazine Elle.com has dedicated a whole section of their site to the May issue cover girl of Elle Magazine: Madonna. It shows a part of the innterview done by Simon Doonan and some of the amazing pictures by Tom Munro. There is also a video from behind the scenes of the photoshoot; check it out on our video blog.

Here's the interview excerpt:

ELLE: My cabdriver thought I was a woman and kept calling me "ma'am." Do I look like a woman to you?
MADONNA: No. But maybe it's the Paul Smith shirt. [I look down and clock my hallucinogenic art-nouveau Liberty-print button-down and realize that she may be onto something.]

ELLE: Enough about me. Let's talk about your outfit. I want details.
Madonna's elegant at-home ensemble is a symphony in beige and cream: Think Faye Dunaway in Network with a bit of Jean Harlow thrown in.
Madonna in Elle magazine M: The heels are Miu Miu. The blouse is Diane von Furstenburg. The cardigan is H&M, from my own collection. Undies? Can't remember, 'cause I always cut the tags off. The pants are from River Island, one of Lola's [Lourdes'] favorite shops on Oxford Street. I'm having a high-low day.

ELLE: Do you ever go shopping incognito?
M: Lola likes us to do that. The incognito never really lasts very long, because everyone knows I wear baseball caps. So I guess I don't really have an incognito.

ELLE: What's the dynamic among your three kids?
M: Lola [age 11] rules the roost. She is extremely maternal toward David [the much talked-about Malawian toddler, age two and a half, the circumstances of whose adoption are clarified in Madge's documentary]. He is the apple of everyone's eye right now. Lola is in major competition with Rocco [age seven], but he's starting to fight back. But when nobody's looking, the two of them still creep into bed and cuddle. It's a closet kind of love.
Madonna in Elle magazine
ELLE: Who does the disciplining between you and Guy?
M: Oh, definitely me. Guy's a softie when it comes to our kids.

ELLE: How do you strike a balance?
M: Work is important to both of us. We have to be highly organized and navigate family responsibilities.

ELLE: When was the last time you took a family vacation?
M: Guy and I and the kids went to India over Christmas. We really got away from it all.

Madonna in Elle magazine ELLE: Does he share your passion for Malawi?
M: Yes.

ELLE: What's his favorite hobby?
M: Jujitsu. I don't get it—grown men throwing each other around. But he loves it.

ELLE: What do you talk about in bed?
M: None of your business!

08 April - Hard Candy songs are Madonna's most lyrically revealing
Madonna's new album Hard Candy is her most lyrically revealing collection ever - picking over the bones of relationships in meltdown.
Tracks frankly dissect the pain that comes when partnerships sour.
The 49-year-old has never been more confessional than on a string of tracks on the collection which is released on April 28.
Here's my pick of the juiciest lyrics.
Miles Away - "I'm alright/Don't be sorry, it's true/When I'm gone you'll realise I'm the best thing that ever happened to you."
She's Not Me - "She's reading my books/Stealing my looks and wearing my lingerie/She's got legs up to there and such beautiful hair/Devoted for life, your beautiful wife/She's not me."
Devil Wouldn't Recognize You - "There's something you should know/Angels that surround my heart/Are telling me to let you go/Over and over you're pulling me back to the floor/I should just walk away. I keep on coming back for more"
Madge has worked with some of the biggest producers on the planet on this - her 11th studio album.
Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams all lend a hand on the impressively varied LP.
There's thundering hip hop - Heartbeat, sumptuous disco - Dance 2Night and grand balladeering - Voices. (source: The Sun)

08 April - Hard Candy reviews: Polarized reactions
Yesterday Warner held a listening party of the new Madonna album Hard Candy for the press, so the reviews starte to roll in, but it seem only one thing is sure: the album is getting polarized reactions, some people like it, some people are disappointed, and almost everyone has different highlights. The reviews contain many spoilers!

Capital 95.8 Radio review:
This afternoon we went to a brilliantly decorated room in East London to hear the new Madonna album while sipping champagne & eating jelly beans. Sounds good huh? Well it was! Anyone fearing a full on urban attack - don't worry. Hard Candy is full of long disco pop songs - it just has some heavy beats! Here's our track by track rundown:
1. Candy Shop: Here we go! Madonna wants to be our '1-stop candy shop - your lollipop'. Yum! This is produced by The Neptunes and is filled with bleeps and swirls. It ends with a 'sticky but sweet' rap by Pharrell.
2. 4 Minutes: You all know this one!
3. Give It 2 Me: Not a Furtado/Timbo cover but a Pharrell track that's going to be the 2nd single. Let us tell you now - it's mindblowingly amazing. There's cowbells, twinkles and a funny vocoder you might have heard on Music. Think old school pop Madonna but fired up at 300 mph. There's a funky break near the end where Madonna shouts 'don't stop!', the music stops and a male voice sings 'left to the right'
4. Heartbeat: 'Probably the 3rd single', Heartbeat has a synthy 80s sounding intro. Madge tells us that 'when I dance I feel free!'. There's something about the melody when she sings 'you know I feel it in my Heartbeat' that's really cute!.
5. Miles Away: This starts deceptively with guitar that reminds us of Don't Tell Me. Is it going to be a ballad? Course not silly! 5 seconds in and here comes a pounding bassline. 'I just woke up from a fuzzy dream, you won't believe the things I've seen.' This is the first song that doesn't hold our attention all the way but it's got a dreamy ending.
6. She's Not Me: It starts with 4 claps and then all hell breaks loose. This is the tale of a jilted lover and has about 7 different elements. It sounds kind of like a sequel to Deeper And Deeper with the passion, the fastness and the twirls. Totally hypnotic - it's a Timberlake/land production but it could come straight from the disco house of Nile Rodgers. Oh and it would mix into Anita Ward's 'Ring My Bell' perfectly. Also it's REALLY LONG.
7. Incredible: The slowest track so far, but it's full of strange noises. It's kind of what Cherish might sound like if it was looped and scratched up by a DJ. A sweet solo piano maintains the sweetness under the nasty dirty bass that's everywhere else, but that bass is totally needed to stop it being smaltzy. It ends with a drum breakdown, that we're sure wil be replaced with a beatboxer on tour, and lots of sexy 'OOH's.
8. Beat Goes On: Featuring Mr Kanye West, this is a full on party disco song. 'On and on, the beat goes - you don't have the luxury of time - say what's on your mind'. It has a 'BEEP BEEP' bit that totally reminds us of Donna Summer "Bad Girl" (youtube it - it's awesome!). Then there's some dreamy sounding chords and up pops Kanye for a rap with some Like A Prayer HEY!s going on underneath him.
9. Dance 2Night: Not a Paul McCartney cover! This is a bit downbeat sounding, but it's still not a ballad. It's just a bit dark. Wise ol' Madonna tells us all that 'You don't have to be beautiful to be understood. You don't have to be rich & famous to be good'.
10. Spanish Lesson: She's always loved throwing a bit of Spanish into her songs and now here's a full on Spanish assault! Think matador trumpets and bullfighting. Plus learn her language and you might get lucky - "You're so loco & you drive me crazy. If you do your homework maybe I will give it up"
11. Devil Wouldn't Recognize You: The 2nd best song on the album, this is 'Cry Me A River' 5 years later, and sung by Madonna. It's got a gorgeous sad, synth opener which is suddenly compounded by hynotizing bleeps. Queen Madge sings 'Over and over you're pushing me onto the floor and I keep coming back for more'. It's still not a ballad though. Hooray!
12. Voices: And we're at the end. Boo hoo. It's a creepy sounding ending though and it's almost as if a song off Erotica has been brought up to date with lyrics like 'Who is the master, who is the slave' and 'Are you walking the dog or is that dog walking you'.
So there we have it. Course when we listen to it all again we'll probably completely change our mind about our favourite tracks!
As massive Madonna fans we're very happy that she hasn't gone off the rails as feared. It's simply a Madonna pop album for 2008 which starts out having a full on party and ends in that dark corner Ms Ciccone knows so well.
Are you excited?

BBC review:
On Madonna's 11th album, Hard Candy, the queen of pop invites us to imagine her as a confectioner running a musical sweet shop.
But, after sitting through the 12 tracks on offer here, you'll begin to wish she'd stocked more than two varieties of candy.
Those flavours come from two of America's most bankable songwriting teams: The Neptunes and Timbaland, who between them have conjured up hits for the likes of Britney Spears, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot and Justin Timberlake.
Timberlake himself crops up on five of the tracks, posing a particularly pertinent question about who is running the show when he asks "Who is the master? Who is the slave?" as the album closes.
This sort of top flight production is an unusual step for Madonna, who has a reputation for seeking out relatively obscure dance producers like Mirwais, Shep Pettibone and Stuart Price to helm her albums.
This time round, however, the queen of reinvention is trying to win back the hearts of the US audience - who were largely unimpressed with her 2005 love letter to disco, Confessions On A Dance Floor.
It all starts off well enough. Opening track Candy Shop is an agenda-setting call to arms, with Madonna promising a "special connection" and "plenty of heat".
The minimal, skittering drums are punctured by colossal stabs of synth, while Madonna purrs weak sweet shop-related innuendos: "Don't pretend you're not hungry, there's plenty to eat... I got Turkish Delights."
You get the picture.
Things step up a gear with the Justin Timberlake collaboration 4 Minutes, which features the best use of cowbell in pop since Free's All Right Now, but sounds so futuristic it could realistically have been beamed in from the end of the world.
'Pop moments'
Lyrically, the album plays it safe. Madonna may have been inspired to make a documentary about the Aids epidemic in Africa when she adopted two-year-old Malawian orphan David Banda, but you would be hard pressed to find any social commentary in her music.
The main themes are love, revenge, sex and music - subjects on which Madonna surely has very little left to say at this stage in her career.
She even repeats herself, echoing Into The Groove when she sings "Don't you know, can't you see? When I dance I feel free" on Heartbeat.
Then again, Madonna has always been at her best when extolling the virtues of music as a release, and it is on Hard Candy's club-orientated tracks that she excels.
She's Not Me, a Neptunes production, feels like a five-minute musical summary of her career to date.
It kicks off with Chic-esque guitars that are reminiscent of Holiday before morphing into a pulsing club groove that could have been lifted straight from her last album.
Track three, Give It 2 Me, is already pencilled in as the album's second single. It is one of the record's few out-and-out pop moments, featuring a cute, bouncy beat and a sense of humour that has been missing from Madonna's music since her Dick Tracy days.
"If it's against the law, arrest me, if you can handle it, undress me," she chirps as the song builds to a blistering crescendo that will surely be the highlight of any future live set.
Blistering crescendo
But the song also showcases the fatal flaw in Madonna's battle plan. A middle section where she chants "get stupid, get stupid" instantly brings to mind The Neptunes other female muse, Gwen Stefani.
Similarly, Timbaland's tracks are frequently reminiscent of his (superior) work with Nelly Furtado.
Madonna, a notoriously hard task master (she gave Justin Timberlake a vitamin shot when he appeared to be flagging during recording sessions) seems to have been unable to tame the idiosyncrasies of her omnipresent hitmakers.
Over and over again, she subsumes her pop sensibilities to their arsenal of clattering beats, hollered raps and over-fussy production.
On a ballad like Incredible, the overbearing din of an inexplicable electric guitar completely spoils an otherwise beautiful and delicate melody. It's almost like they threw everything at the wall to see what would stick, without realising it was a very sticky wall.
And that's a real shame because, if a handful of the tracks had been delivered to more producers with a touch more subtlety, Hard Candy could have ranked alongside Madonna's best.
As it stands, however, the album is more akin to Madonna's last attempt to harness the urban market, 1994's underwhelming Bedtime Stories.
Bah, humbug.

~ That was one positive and one negative review, but you can also read the reviews of Telegraph, Times Online & Dean Piper's World.
In related news, Warner has confirmed that Give It 2 Me is going to be the second single, and reportedly at the listening party it was said by Warner that they would like to release 5 singles from the album...

07 April - Hard Candy review: More tricks than treats
ArjanWrites.com guest blogger Marc Andrews was invited to an exclusive listening session at Warner Music in Sydney on Friday to hear Madonna's entire new album Hard Candy. He wrote up a review of the entertainer's much anticipated new album exclusively for ArjanWrites.com. A big thanks to Marc for sharing his candid thoughts about the album. "It's a bit like sticking your hand blindly into the candy jar and coming up with trick after trick when you keep hoping for a treat," he writes about part of the album. Read on for the entire review.
Invariably expectations for a new Madonna album are always high. More often than not they've been judiciously met and quite often surpassed (2003's American Life notwithstanding). 1989's still radiant Like A Prayer finally won over the rock media and nearly a decade later Ray Of Light grabbed back a legion of lapsed Madonna admirers, caught up in the intervening downward spiral of Sex, musicals and bad movies.
Now a decade on from that Grammy-winning triumph and Madonna is due another pop-time-capsule-of-an-album. With 2005's glossy disco-esque Confessions On A Dance Floor she cannily plundered the best of the '70s to arrive at something whose unrelenting shimmery beats and dazzling euro-dance hooks rivalled her first two early 80s albums, Madonna and Like A Virgin. It sold well all around the world, with the exception of her birth-home, the US of A.
That's why her new album, Hard Candy, released later this month, is so very clearly targeted at righting that regretful wrong and putting Madonna back on top of the pop charts and radio formats from Hollywood to Houston and all stops in between.
In Madonna's now 25-year, Hall of Fame-awarded, recording career, the album that Hard Candy most resembles in context is 1994's Bedtime Stories. That was Madonna's sticky valentine to the hot black producers of the time after 1992's icy house-brewed Erotica left her high and, well, dry. This time round though, there's no trace of Babyface (producer of Bedtime's 1995's US #1 Take A Bow), or Dallas Austin (Bedtime's underrated lead single Secret), but in their place Pharrell Williams, Timbaland and posse.
Click here to read the rest of the review which contains song-by-song description and several spoilers.

05 April - "It's like a sex and workout album"
Madonna hooked up with two of hip-hop's top beatmakers - Timbaland and Pharrell Williams - for her eleventh studio album. "She just wanted energy, she just wants to dance," says Williams, who produced about half the disc, including Beat Goes On, featuring Kanye West ("It has a Megadeth-dance feel," says Williams), and the raw, synthy house jam Give It 2 Me. Justin Timberlake co-wrote and co-produced several tracks, including the Timbaland-produced single 4 Minutes. "She was like, 'I don't want any ballads, I just want people to move,'" Williams adds. "It's like a sex and workout album." (source: Spring Album Preview 2008 @ Rolling Stone)

05 April - Five fast facts about Hard Candy
"Workin' up a sweat/ that's what music's for," Madonna sings on Heartbeat, the pumped-up fourth song on Hard Candy, her latest album, due April Hard Candy, the album29. Indeed, the pop diva makes good on her promise - singing her way through an hour of Euro-flavored (?) dance tracks infused with retro, house beats. PEOPLE.com took an advanced listen - and can reveal five fast facts about Madonna's latest.
On Spanish Lesson, produced by the Neptunes, Madonna does, in fact, go bilingual, offering liberal translations of phrases like, "Entiendo," which she says means, "I get it," over a funked-up flemenco guitar riff. (Literal translation: "I understand.")
Kanye West offers a fast-paced rap on Beat Goes On, the eighth track, breathlessly rapping, "I think I'm going to try something new."
The singer indulges her choral side on the album-closer Voices, which features production by Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Nate "Danjahandz" Hills. The song builds to a dark, cinematic crescendo, as the album closes with one lone tone.
Madonna sings, "You always have the biggest heart/ though we're 6,000 miles apart," on Miles Away, a direct allusion to living and working far away from hubby Guy Richie.
Madonna really wants you to dance: Two songs - opening track Candy Shop and Beat Goes On - feature overt calls to action. "Gotta get up off your seat," she sings on the latter, bolstered by the Neptunes's production and West's rapping.

05 April - Madge sizzles in phwoar minutes
Madonna strips in the 4 Minutes videoPop royalty Madonna has proved she's still the Queen when it comes to getting tongues wagging.
Here are stills from the video for new single 4 Minutes, where Her Madgesty sports slinky knee-high leather boots for a series of raunchy dance routines with Justin Timberlake.
And at one point she strips down to her bra and canoodles with Justin in the back of a car.
By the end of the video even their skins come off - a bit like Robbie Williams' Rock DJ promo.
Madge's album Hard Candy features Pharrell Williams, and Timbaland as well as JT.
She revealed: "When I thought what I wanted to do next I asked, 'Whose music do I love right now? Who am I listening to? What records am I buying? What am I excited about musically?' I just love their records."
The first look at Madonna's new video will be active from 5am on Sunday morning, so keep checking back to see it. (source: The Sun)

05 April - Video sales on iTunes don't count for Hot 100
Hi Keith,
Madonna's new video 4 Minutes made its world premiere April 3 on iTunes, amidst lots of hype at the online digital store. This begs the question: do music video sales at iTunes (or any other digital retailer) count toward the charts, specifically the Hot 100? At first, I didn't think so, but then I realized that video streams, along with their audio counterpart, count toward the Hot 100. Furthermore, video/DVD singles count toward the chart, so why not music video sales at digital sites? On the flip side, though, music video airplay (on TV networks) does not count toward the Hot 100. So, I'd appreciate it if you could clear this one up for the avid chart fans out there. Thanks.
Jim Radenhausen
Stroudsburg, Penn.

Hi Jim,
Silvio Pietrolungo, who manages the Billboard Hot 100, responds:
"It has been discussed. At the moment, since iTunes is the sole digital retailer (or at the very least the primary vendor) of video downloads, they have been reluctant to provide us that information since it would reveal sales numbers for only their company. And the feeling was mutual on our end as we do not utilize any data streams which come solely from one retailer."
So, hopefully that clears it up for you Jim! Now, if only other retailers started selling video downloads, then maybe music video clip sales could be factored into the Hot 100. (source: Ask Billboard)


04 April - Madonna & Justin join forces in special-effects laden video
If dancing can save the world, then Madonna and Justin Timberlake may as well be superheroes: The two join forces in the feisty, special effects-laden video for the Madonna's latest single, 4 Minutes. As a giant clock offers an ominous four-minute countdown, the two cavort on cars, down a grocery checkout counter and even in a bedroom as a giant prism-like effect encroaches. The singers trade verses, dance-moves and even faux kisses in the clip. Things get hotter as time continues to fly - and the they even share a small striptease and a liplock. Just call it sexy sci-fi! Look for a cameo from Timbaland, who also appears on the song. Bottom line: We're not exactly sure what the two are battling - but never has the apocalypse seemed hipper.
The full video is now available for purchase on iTunes. Madonna's latest album, Hard Candy, will be released on April 29. (source: People.com)

04 April - Madonna "should be able to adopt"
Pop star Madonna should be allowed to adopt Malawian child David Banda, the country's government has recommended ahead of a court hearing.
An official who visited the singer's London home last year has told Malawi's high court that adoption is "in the best interests" of the two-year-old.
The boy has lived with Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie since October 2006 after they met him in an orphanage.
An adoption hearing is scheduled to take place in Malawi next week.
'No interference'
But the singer's lawyers have asked for the hearing to be delayed until the end of April because she has another engagement in the US.
A court official said on Monday that a judge would give an answer later in the day.
Last year, the Malawian child welfare ministry confirmed that Madonna had been funding a member of ministry staff.
The singer was said to have paid for tuition and living expenses while an employee was studying in Britain.
But Madonna has denied using her celebrity status to evade Malawian laws during the adoption process.
Her spokeswoman has said there has been "absolutely no interference" with government officials and "no use of Madonna's celebrity'" to speed up the adoption process. (source: BBC)

03 April - Madonna.com juxtaposes tough and sweetness
Madonna.com juxtaposes tough and sweetness - click to visit At last, Madonna's official site Madonna.com gets a Hard Candy theme. You can find there all the links to pre-orders and digital downloads of the album, single and video, plus you can also hear a clip of new song Miles Away!

03 April - Billboard's Chart Beat on Madonna's new chart record
Until this week, Presley and Madonna were tied with 36 top 10 hits in the rock era, the highest total for any artist. The 68-3 rocket ride of 4 Minutes (Warner Bros.) gives Madonna her 37th top 10 hit, putting her in first place all by herself. 4 Minutes is already Madonna's biggest hit in almost eight years, since Music spent four weeks at No. 1, starting the week of Sept. 16, 2000.
Elvis picked up his 36th top 10 hit the week of Sept. 30, 1972, when "Burning Love" advanced 18-9, on its way to No. 2.
Back to 4 Minutes for a minute, the song is the ninth top 10 hit for Justin Timberlake as a solo artist, and his highest-charted tune since "Give It to Me" (on which he and Nelly Furtado were featured with lead artist Timbaland) was No. 1 a year ago this month. If 4 Minutes goes to No. 1, it will be the 13th chart-topper for Madonna and the fifth for Timberlake. (source: Billboard.com)

03 April - 4 Minutes video premieres
The brand new Madonna video got an early premiere as iTunes made it available before the expected debut. 4 Minutes turns out to be a fantastic video, a great change after some lackluster Madonna clips from the past few years. It features a gorgeous-looking Madonna, a very cool Justin Timberlake, dozens of amazing special effects and an electrifying choreography between M & JT! The set features an apartment, a parking lot and a supermarket, with hinting at the famous Nobody Knows Me live performance with the conveyor belt and the big countdown in the performance scene. The singers take a piece of clothing off of each other, possibly paying homage to Justin's infamous Superbowl wardrobe malfunction! ;-)
The video is only available on iTunes at the moment (tv channels should follow in the next couple days) and youtube/download links are being hunted down by Warner. You can try this link, but it could disappear anytime.

03 April - Press release: "4 Minute" fever spreads across the world!
New Video Makes Exclusive World Premiere on iTunes April 3rd; Song to Be Featured in Warner Bros.-Village Roadshow Pictures Film 'Get Smart'; Single Exploding at Radio and Digital Sales; International Response Huge

4 Minutes, the pulsating and hypnotic debut single from Madonna's 11th studio album for Warner Bros. Records, Hard Candy, is off to a roaring start with explosive exposure in a wide range of mediums.

The breathtaking new video for 4 Minutes featuring a propulsive performance by Madonna along with appearances by the song's co-writers and co-producers Timbaland and Justin Timberlake will make its world premiere and be available for sale exclusively on iTunes for 48 hours beginning April 3rd. The video was filmed in London in February and directed by French wunderkinds Jonas and Francois (Justice and Kanye West). The single, 4 Minutes, is currently #1 on iTunes.

The upcoming Warner Bros.-Village Roadshow Pictures action comedy "Get Smart" is on board to include 4 Minutes in the film. In theatres nationwide on June 20th, "Get Smart" stars Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway as secrent CONTROL operatives Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 on a mission to thwart a plan for world domination by the evil crime syndicate KAOS. The film also stars Dwayne Johnson as superstar CONTROL Agent 23, Alan Arkin as the Chief, Terence Stamp as notorious KAOS kingpin Siegfried and James Caan as the President of the United States.

On the international front, 4 Minutes is already Top 3 across Europe in airplay and Top 10 around the world. Already playing in heavy rotation on radio stations across the US, the single in Canada is the fastest selling song in the history of the Canadian music charts. The song can also be heard as part of Sunsilk's multi-million dollar ad campaign.

Hard Candy will have a global release on April 28th and a US release on April 29th and is a brilliant up-tempo collection of 12 songs in which Madonna remains ensconced in club mode but adds an urban hip hop beat. 4 Minutes is Madonna's 26th Top 40 [radio] chart hit in the US. Her previous album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, debuted at No. 1 in 30 countries and sold over 8 million copies.

Madonna, a multi-Grammy-award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, cultural icon, world renowned stage performer, video visionary, children's book author, director and documentary film maker, has sold 200 million albums in the course of her unprecedented two decade plus career and has just been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

When asked about the "4 Minute Fever Phenomenon," Madonna commented, "Goody goody gum drops." (source: Marketwire via Yahoo Finance)
~ The press release offers a preview of the new video, which promises to be fantastic!

03 April - Official Hard Candy site launched
An official site, dedicated to Madonna's upcoming album Hard Candy has just been launched, check it out here. While they are a bit premature with the "What do you think of the album?" poll, interestingly they offer a couple Madonna classics to be voted for live performances. You can choose between Into The Groove, Dress You Up, Open Your Heart, Keep It Together, Rescue Me & Rain.
UPDATE: This website is now widely recognized as an unofficial site and has no affiliation with Madonna or Warner Bros!


02 April - Madonna & Mariah make Billboard chart history, break records by Elvis!
Two leading ladies, Mariah Carey and Madonna, leapfrog over Elvis Presley in the Billboard charts record book this week.

As expected, Mariah Carey moves past Elvis Presley and into sole possession of second place for most No. 1s in the rock era, as "Touch My Body" soars 15-1 on the Billboard Hot 100 to become her 18th chart-topper. With her album "E=MC2" yet to hit retail, Carey might equal the Beatles' record of 20 No. 1s before her set runs its course.
"Body's" blast to No. 1 is fueled by a record-setting debut week digital tally of 286,000 downloads. That sum, good enough for the No. 1 slot on Hot Digital Songs, surpasses the 277,000 downloads labelmate Rihanna opened with in the June 9, 2007, issue with her summer smash "Umbrella."

Presley will also be nudged from his standing as the artist with the most top 10s in the rock era, as Madonna surpasses him with her 37th top 10, 4 Minutes. The track, which features Justin Timberlake, clocks a 68-3 jump on this morning's preliminary chart. Previous to the establishment of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958, the industry standard chart was the Best Sellers in Stores tally, where Presley scored his first 12 top 10s.
Like Carey's "Touch," Madonna's Hot 100 jump is spurred by stupendous download sales. 4 Minutes shifts 217,000 in its first week of wide release (it had been available as a Verizon exclusive) to enter Hot Digital Songs at No. 2.

This is the first time since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital sales in 2003 that two titles debut simultaneously on Hot Digital Songs with more than 200,000 downloads each. The week also marks the best single-week digital tally in either artist's career. (source: Billboard.com)
~ Congratulations to Madonna who is still breaking records after 25 years in the music business! For detailed chart news, analysis, speculation and stats, check out our Hard Candy chart news page!


02 April - Liz Smith: When stars of this magnitude get together, expect a sensation
Have you ever seen animals make love, Frank?" This is one of the infamous bits of dialogue from Madonna's notorious so-bad-it's-good movie - Body of Evidence. The film is fashioned along the lines of Sharon Stone's classic thriller Basic Instinct.

Now - because there is a god - these two legendary femme fatales will join forces to do a good deed in a naughty world. On May 22, at Le Moulin de Mougins restaurant on the Riviera, Madonna and Sharon are to preside over Harvey Weinstein's annual "Cinema Against AIDS" gala at Cannes, benefiting AmfAR. Bold Films, Chopard and the Weinstein Co. are sponsoring and Seal will perform.
Stone has been an advocate for AmfAR for 15 years. Her rowdy auctioneering and commitment has raised millions. Madonna has also always been a strong supporter of the AIDS fight, from the beginning of her career in the early '80s. Both women lost scores of friends to the disease.

Madonna! Sharon Stone! Harvey Weinstein! Together for the first time. The South of France may never again be the same.
Madonna's own documentary I Am Because We Are, will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival. Madonna produced this and Nathan Rissman directed it. The film profiles children orphaned by AIDS in Malawi.

Madonna's last major appearance at Cannes was for the premiere of Truth or Dare, a different kind of documentary. The star stripped to her underwear on the steps of the theater. Now she's a mother and spiritually attuned, so times have changed. Maybe. (source: Baltimore Sun)


02 April - Madonna expected in Malawi over adoption next week
American pop star Madonna is due back in Malawi next week for what is expected to be a final court ruling on whether she can adopt a child from the southern African country, airport officials said on Tuesday.

A senior official at Lilongwe International Airport told Reuters her jet was cleared for landing from April 8 and she was expected around that time.
In February, Malawian Information Minister Patricia Kaliati praised Madonna's efforts to rally support for orphans in the impoverished country and said it would be wrong for the government to deny the pop star's adoption of a child there.

Madonna is in the process of adopting a Malawian boy, David Banda.
She began adoption proceedings in 2006 after meeting the boy in a local orphanage. The toddler is living with Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie in London.
The adoption has been controversial, with critics accusing the government of skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children in Malawi, which has been badly hit by the AIDS epidemic and is one of the poorest in the world.
There are an estimated 1 million orphans in the country, many of whom are infected with the HIV virus. Malawi's government is amending its adoption laws. (source: Reuters via Yahoo)


01 April - 4 Minutes video preview
Madonna in the 4 Minutes video The 4 Minutes video premiere is only days away now! Check out some hot pictures of Madonna and Justin at DrownedMadonna, Madonnatribe & Madonnalicious.


01 April - News about promo gigs *rumour*

Several rumours are ciculing about Madonna's upcoming promo tour, which will pass in Paris, London and New York City.
According to Yahoo! France, the Paris show will happen in the Olympia on May 6th, where Madonna will present 5 tracks from her new album. Tickets won't be available for sale but some will be handed out to winners of NRJ competitions.

DrownedMadonna claims that the New York City gig will be in the Roseland Ballroom on the 28th or the 29th of April.
The London show is still unclear, but rumoured to happen on May 10th.


01 April - On the cover of Elle magazine

Madonna in Elle magazine, May 2008 In May's issue of ELLE magazine our newest cover star Madonna talks intimately to Louise Gannon about her new album, family life, staying in shape and her love of Cadbury Creme Eggs…
This year Madonna turns 50, yet on the cover of this month's ELLE magazine, out tomorrow, you would hardly believe it. In her latest interview she tells us just how she stays at the top of her game and reveals how she keeps in such incredible shape.

'There are no short cuts to being Madonna,' she tells us. 'It's all about hard work. There is no easy way. If you want to know how I look like I do, it's diet and exercise and constantly being careful.' She also swears by oxygen facials and never goes in the sun, drinks rarely and would like to work out for three hours a day, she reveals in a candid interview on the eve of the hotly anticipated release of her 26th album, Hard Candy.
It probably comes as no surprise that her routine is regimented and strict and that's how she gets such great results. 'I'm not going to slow down, get off this ride, stay home and get fat!' she declares. But isn't it hard to be perfect all the time Madge?

'One of the worst things about Britain is that it has such fabulous candy,' she says and lets slip that when she's worked particularly hard at something, like the rest of us she rewards herself with a treat. 'I love Cadbury Fruit and Nut, Crunchies and Maltesers. But my absolute favourite is a Cadbury Creme Egg. I bite straight in to it and suck all that good stuff right out!'
Read the rest of this interview and see the whole Madonna shoot only in ELLE, on sale tomorrow.


01 April - Win the book Madonna On Stage!
Madonna On Stage - Win this book now! The French Editions Why Not is presenting a new Madonna book: Madonna On Stage. This luxury 288 pages book focuses on each and every performance of Madonna on stage and especially her seven tours. All the information you need about each tour (numbers, stories, setlists, collectors,...) interviews with people who worked with the star on the shows and with fans all over the world... And more than 300 pictures of Madonna on stage!
Editions Why Not and Mad-Eyes are giving you the chance to win this exclusive book! Participate now in the Mad-Eyes competition! The winners (announced early May) will receive a free copy of the book in their mailbox! Good luck!

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