As expected, the November 8th date of Las Vegas & November 11th show of Denver quickly sold out today so Madonna.com now lists bonus dates for the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for Sunday, November 9th and an additional date in the Denver Pepsi Centre for Wednesday, November 12th. Sales info will come later, keep checking our Sticky & Sweet Tour schedule page.
The second video of the Hard Candy project makes an unexpected debut on the Internet.
Contrary to 4 Minutes, Give It 2 Me is a straighforward performance video with Madonna recreating the scenes of her Elle photoshoot, with Pharrell appearing for a bit of fooling around. It's a fun and simple video, perfectly matching the summery track, which is hopefully going to become a hit.
The video is using an edited version the track, the instrumental break before the "Get stupid" part is left out. Radio stations are expected to start playing the single in the upcoming weeks.
A Malawian court on Wednesday ruled that Madonna could adopt a baby boy she met in an orphanage in the impoverished southern African nation, a lawyer for the pop star said.
"We are very happy with what the judge has ruled. It is a positive and beautiful judgment that will have an impact on Malawi's adoption laws," lawyer Alan Chinula said.
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 an AIDS epidemic that has left more than 1 million orphans.
~ The Mad-Eyes team congratulates Madonna on her adoption!
Madonna.com has added a tour date at the Parqu Bela Vista in Lisbon, Portugal on Sunday, September 14th. Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, May 31st while ICONers are having their presales tomorrow, on Thursday, May 29th.
Unfortunately, this probably means that the rumoured second date at London's Wembley Stadium on September 13th won't be happening.
On-sales for Madonna's upcoming Sticky & Sweet Tour continue to sizzle in many markets. In Europe, high demand for tickets in Paris for Madonna's scheduled Sept. 20 performance led to a second show added the following night.
The Zurich show at the Military Airfield Deubendorf scheduled for Aug. 30 has topped the 70,000 mark in sales. Tickets remain for the tour opener in Cardiff, Wales on Aug. 23, as well as shows in Nice (Aug. 26), Berlin (28), Amsterdam (Sept. 2), Dusseldorf (4), Rome (6), Frankfurt (9), and London (11).
In Vancouver, Madonna's first North American stadium onsale for Oct. 30 at BC Place Stadium moved 50,000 tickets in 29 minutes. Rapid sellouts in Toronto at Air Canada Centre for Oct. 18, and Montreal at the Bell Centre on Oct. 22, called for second shows in both markets, on Oct. 19 and 23, respectively.
Previous sellouts include three shows at Madison Square Garden shows in New York on Oct. 6-7 and 11, and shows in Boston (Oct. 15) and Chicago (Oct. 26); a second show for Oct. 27 at the United Center in Chicago will go on sale on June 2.
North American stadium shows go on sale this weekend for Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Miami, along with arena shows in Denver, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Atlantic City.
Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour is produced globally by Live Nation.
A second date for Chicago on October 27th, was officially added in the Sticky & Sweet Tour schedule. The ICON presales are today.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia date was changed from November 19th to November 20th!
The second Paris show was also confirmed by Madonna.com and its presales are going to be on Monday, June 2nd.
According to French radio statio NRJ, a second show in Paris has been added to the Sticky & Sweet Tour schedule. After the quick sellout of the Paris show on September 20th, Madonna adds a second date on Sunday, September 21st. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, June 4th.
Pop superstar Madonna was reportedly furious after a camera crew sneaked into her hotel room during her stay in Cannes, France.
The singer was in the region for the Cannes International Film Festival last week (beg19May08) and booked into a suite at the city's plush Carlton Intercontinental Hotel.
But Madonna was angered when footage of her hotel room appeared on French television after a TV crew apparently sneaked past security during her stay and filmed her suite - showing the specially provided purified water and gym equipment she had requested.
According to French newspaper Le Parisien, Madonna was so angry with the hotel staff, she refused to pay the $90,000 (GBP45,000) bill.
Malawi's state-sponsored rights group on Sunday hit out at recent comments by US pop diva Madonna, saying she was "putting it crudely" when she said the country had no adoption laws.
"She (Madonna) was putting it crudely. If we had no laws, how come she was asked to apply to the court to adopt a child. She used the same laws she is criticising to adopt David," Dorothy Nyasulu, chairperson of the state-sponsored Malawi rights commission, told AFP.
Nyasulu was reacting after the pop star told a news conference last week at the Cannes film festival in France that there were no adoption laws in Malawi, adding that she was the "template or role model, so to speak, for future adoptions."
Saying she was "happy to be the guinea pig", Madonna expressed hope that her full adoption of the African boy David Banda, whose final verdict will be made Wednesday, will make it easier for other people to adopt children in the impoverished country.
The commission, which gets its funding from the government, alongside the human rights consultative commmittee (HRCC), a coalition of 67 rights groups, are "friends of the courts" in a full review of an interim 18-month custody order granted to Madonna in 2006 to adopt David.
Nyasulu said Madonna was "not fair" in her remarks, insisting that Malawi had adoption laws, but not intra-country adoption.
"We want our adoption laws (to) conform to international human rights standards such as the convention on the rights of the child and the African charter on child rights," Nyasulu said.
Maxwell Matewere, a spokesman of the outspoken HRCC, earlier told AFP that his group expects Madonna to be subjected to "stringent regulations and procedures" in the full adoption of the toddler.
"Malawi needs to draw a clear picture and if not careful, we could lose some children in the process because other people might use the same laws to adopt children for illegal trafficking, sexual exploitation and child labour," Matewere said.
He said his commission was not "only looking at David, but other children who may be exposed to such adoptions and foreigners who will take advantage of the Madonna case to justify application and use the children for other vices."
Critics have accused Madonna of using her wealth to fast-track the adoption process.
The granting of the interim order, which enabled her to take David out of Malawi, sparked heated debate about adoption laws in a country where the number of orphans has hit the one million mark as a result of AIDS.
She has homes in the US and Britain and now it seems the Queen of Pop has a new land. Malawi is said to be making Madonna an honourary citizen in recognition for her work there.
As well as adopting her son David from the African country, the Four Minutes singer funds several orphanages in the land, feeding and educating thousands of youngsters. Caring Madonna is also setting up a girls' school to help the underprivileged.
"We are proud as a country to be associated with such a megastar," Billy Kaunda, Malawi's deputy tourism and culture minister, was reported as saying.
"She will have freedom of all cities here. She won't be bothered with issues like visas and other limitations."
Earlier this week, Madonna's documentary on Malawi, I Am Because We Are, premiered in Cannes to great acclaim.
The Canadian ticket sales of the Sticky & Sweet Tour are happening today and there are already new dates announced for Toronto & Montreal.
Madonna is going to perform in Toronto for a second night on Sunday, October 19th in the Air Canada Centre and does an encore for Montreal fans in the Bell Centre on Thursday, October 23rd. ICON is holding a postsale for legacy and platinum members on Thursday, May 29th at 10 am for these dates.
Some 47,000 tickets were snapped up within three hours for US pop diva Madonna's first-ever concert in Switzerland, to be held on August 30 at a military base near Zurich, its promoters said Friday.
No more tickets were currently available, but another 23,000 would be going on sale later, of which 10,000 will be reserved to people living near the venue at Duebendorf, Good News Productions said.
The tickets costs from 150 to 300 Swiss francs (90 to 185 euros, 140 to 285 dollars) -- domestic rail travel included.
The singer will perform in 10 cities in Europe -- Duebendorf being the fourth stop -- before crossing the Atlantic for 18 shows in North America from October 3 through November 26.
Madonna's Confessions Tour in 2006 pulled in 1.3 million fans in 25 countries and raked in 260 million dollars -- making it the highest-earning tour ever for a female artist.
You can now watch a preview of Madonna's ABC Nightline interview with Cynthia McFadden from last night, set in Cannes, below.
Madonna's new film on the impoverished nation of Malawi has wowed another maker of documentaries: Michael Moore.
Moore announced Thursday that Madonna, like himself a Michigan native, will appear for a screening of "I Am Because We Are" during the Traverse City Film Festival on Aug. 2.
"She's sort of entered my realm," Moore said. "When I saw it, I thought, 'Wow, it's like she's been making these films for years.'"
Madonna produced and narrated the documentary after traveling to Malawi, where she met the toddler David Banda. She and husband Guy Ritchie are adopting the child.
"I Am Because We Are" illustrates the poverty that children of the southern African country face, how the AIDS crisis is claiming lives, and the conditions that cause disease and other misery there. But the film urges people to volunteer and tries to offer hope.
"She takes the viewer through a very personal journey and tries to connect us, living here in the U.S., giving us a window into the way it is for other people in the world," Moore said. "You're extremely moved when you watch it. You understand very clearly why she's devoted so much of her life to the people of Malawi."
Moore said he was "outraged" by the criticism Madonna received for her efforts to adopt David. Some children's rights groups said it would be better to provide more resources so children could remain in their native countries. Others accused her of using her celebrity status to circumvent Malawian adoption laws, which she denied.
"As one who has seen what the yellow press can and does do, all of that was just one more reminder to me of just how dishonest so much of the media is in this country," Moore said.
"I am very excited to come to Michigan to show my film," Madonna said in an e-mail Friday to The Associated Press. "The film is a labor of love and I am happy that I can bring it home to my roots with the help of Michael.
"I am also honored that the film will be screening at this particular festival arranged by Michael as he is a genius and I am a huge fan."
Moore, who won the Academy Award in 2002 for "Bowling for Columbine," said he saw an early version of Madonna's film in London while shooting scenes for his latest documentary, "Sicko."
After watching the finished product about a month ago, he asked Madonna for permission to screen it during the festival in Traverse City, his adopted hometown about 250 miles northwest of Detroit. Moore established the festival in 2005 with local author Doug Stanton and photographer John Robert Williams.
"She said she'd be thrilled to come here and be part of the film festival," Moore said. "We were pleasantly surprised."
Madonna, born in Bay City and raised to the south near Detroit, recently released a new album, Hard Candy, and is preparing for a worldwide tour that begins in August. She'll take a one-day break from rehearsals to visit Traverse City.
The film will be shown in a downtown theater that seats 540. After the film is shown, Madonna will take questions from the audience, Moore said.
Madonna auctioned a "private concert" late on Thursday at a star-studded dinner, raising 350,000 euros ($560,000) for AIDS charity amfAR.
The biggest lot on a night of conspicuous spending was a restored 1976 Porsche 911, which went for 500,000 euros after rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs stopped bidding at 450,000 euros.
A diamond-encrusted Christian Dior mobile phone also fetched 120,000 euros.
The annual Cinema Against AIDS gala, hosted by Sharon Stone, is one of the hottest tickets at the Cannes film festival each year, with hundreds of guests traveling to nearby Mougins for an auction dinner held in a giant marquee.
The rich and famous lined a packed red carpet on Thursday, including Madonna, Combs and Stone, actor Dennis Hopper, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and actress Natalie Portman.
"I hope we all leave a little poorer," said amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole in his opening speech.
He need not have worried, with the cheapest seats going for around $4,000 each, rising to $15,000 for seats nearer the stage. The overall tally for the night was over $10 million.
Stone, who having just turned 50 called it her "birthday amfAR," showed clips of her travels around the world raising funds for the charity, while Madonna, 49, was in Cannes to promote her documentary about Malawi children orphaned by AIDS.
In what the Cannes media dubbed the "battle of the blondes," the two stars shared the stage and engaged in friendly banter.
"I don't say this about many people, but you're a hard act to follow," Madonna said. She described co-host Weinstein as "possibly one of the most, I won't say irritating, but unstoppable human beings I know."
Madonna offered to sing two songs backstage during her upcoming tour to two "very lucky people."
"People have offered me millions to play at their Bar Mitzvahs," Madonna joked after making the offer. When the bidding stalled at 300,000 euros, she added "Don't humiliate me," before leaving the stage.
It's edging up on midnight. But even on a Tuesday night at film festival time in Cannes the town is still hopping, packed with the people who make movies, the people who want to make movies and the people who like to hang out with them.
Far above the sidewalk leaning over the top balcony of the famed Carlton Hotel is a woman the world knows by one name: Madonna. Parties are not high on her agenda for this trip. She's in the South of France to show her new documentary, "I Am Because We Are," a solemn chronicle of the one million AIDS orphans in Malawi.
There couldn't be two more different worlds that Cannes and Malawi. Madonna - as she has done so often - embraces the extremes.
"There's something beautiful about it," she told "Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden. "On the one hand you can see that Cannes represents superficiality, but so let's bring some reality into it. There's a lot of people here that I think would like to feel inspired by more than the gown they're wearing or the famous person sitting next to them."
Madonna talked about one of the inspirations that led to the making of the film. How did the Material Girl end up in one of the poorest nations on earth, a decidedly non-material place, adopting a child and making a film?
"I guess it happened at a time in my life where I was just dialed into the frequency of wanting to do something that wasn't just concentrate on my career and family and I wanted to go outside of that," she said.
As she approaches her 50th birthday, Madonna said she's not thinking about it.
"F**k you. I'm 50. That's what I'm going to say when I turn 50. Sorry."
"Why's everyone rushing me over the finish line?" she said. "No, I'm not thinking about my birthday. I'm thinking about what I'm going to eat for dinner tonight. That's my future plan."
Still, the star said that she's "very happy" with her life and doesn't compete with her younger self.
"If I didn't feel good and wasn't doing what I wanted to do with my life, maybe [turning 50] would bother me," she said. "But I feel good about what I'm doing. I feel like in a way it's given me a feeling of accomplishment for living this long and to still be able to do what I want to do and feel as good as I do. It's a blessing."
Speaking about her photo spread in the May issue Vanity Fair magazine (she graces the cover), Madonna said, "I like the way I look better now. My thighs aren't as chubby. I'm not kidding. I'm being perfectly honest with you. …I see myself as practical and handsome and useful. I don't think of myself as a great beauty. But I think of myself as stylish."
"I look thinner naked," she added. "Don't ask. It's weird."
She acknowledged that there's a double standard when it comes to women's ages; that more is being made of her age than that of male rock stars such as Sting (56), Mick Jagger (64), Billy Joel (59), or David Bowie (61).
"I don't think we live in just a sexist society, we live in an ageist society, connected to women," she said. "I think women in an unconscious way are valued for their youth, youthful beauty, not so much for their wisdom and experience. Hopefully, we're going to change all that."
Effecting change is part of what drew the star to make the documentary. Madonna said that she had already been talking to husband Guy Ritchie about the possibility of adopting a child when she received a phone call from Victoria Keelan, who does humanitarian work in Malawi.
"When the student is ready a teacher appears," she said. "This light bulb went off."
In April of 2006 Madonna headed to the tiny South African country - one of the poorest countries in the world - intent on adopting a child and making a film. With her on that first trip was a young man who for years had helped take care of her kids and worked as her gardener who she had decided would direct her film - a choice that raised many eyebrows.
"Well, it's not good to think in a limited way," she said. "After all I used to be the jelly squirter at Dunkin Donuts."
The film they have made together is in many ways unexpected. It is not about Madonna and only indirectly about her attempt to adopt a little boy named David. It is a sweeping look at a country where children are raising other children and where more than half the population lives on less than a dollar a day. Madonna steps off center stage and lets the children tell their own stories.
"I wanted to get out of the way and every once in a while come in and explain some details. I let the people tell their story."
"I still cry when I see it," she said. "You can just feel the humanity of people. The vulnerability of people … You really see the strength of women, that's the other thing about Africa. The women seem to carry the burden of everything. They seem to be the ones pushing forward to make change. They seem to be the ones who were the victims of so many things. They moved me more than anything."
But buried in the bleak images of despair, there are smiles … genuine smiles. It is not just the pain which is palpable in this film. There is also joy.
"I had never seen so much, sort of, tangible suffering, but I've never experienced so much joy and openness," she said. "I think that comes from living in the moment without having a lot of distractions, which we have a lot of. And not knowing if the next day is going to come so really experiencing things in the moment."
Which brings us another joyous and painful subject: David, her foster son from Malawi who she is intent on adopting, seen in the documentary as a tiny baby being carried by a young girl called Wezi.
She says she knew she had a connection to him, and that her husband Guy experienced that as well when they returned to Malawi. She says Guy also "experienced David's magic," but took a little longer to make the decision.
"You know men, they always take a little bit longer to catch up," she said.
Joking aside, their adoption was supposed to be finalized last month, then last week … then yesterday … but has been repeatedly postponed by the Malawi court despite the excellent evaluation of the Ritchie household by the court-appointed social worker.
Madonna marvels that even the evaluation was leaked to the press.
"I got a gold star for parenting? Is nothing private?"
David's biological father, who stepped forward when the adoption made international headlines, now supports the adoption. But still they wait.
"It's just bureaucracy, she said."I'm going to be patient. For him, I'll be patient."
All the while Madonna still tends to the needs of other children in Malawi by providing health care, housing and education for several of the children in the film.
"I feel responsible for all those children in the film and for all those children that didn't make it into the film. I promise you if the government didn't make it so hard I would have brought a truckload of them home with me. I hope that through his film, people will be inspired to do the same."
When we talked Tuesday night the documentary's debut the next night was very much on her mind. She said she was nervous because "I want to make a difference and I want people to like the movie and feel moved by it."
Madonna also talked about her new album, Hard Candy, which debuted at number one in 37 countries around the world and broke a record along the way. Madonna now has more number one hits than Elvis Presley says she also still gets nervous when a record comes out, and that she doesn't "rest on her laurels."
Madonna recorded her latest record Hard Candy with Justin Timberlake, Pharell Williams and Timbaland - who she calls "divas in their own right" - because she wanted to challenge herself.
"We all had our hiccups where we jockeyed for positions and we tried to get to know each other, because songwriting is a very intimate experience. I would say there were a few uncomfortable moments. With Pharell, he actually made me cry. I've never told anyone that before.
"I think I was just having a bad day," she said. "You know when you're not fine. You know sometimes when you just burst into tears for no reason?"
She says that the two "had it out, and now I love him. And we made great music together. But I think we had to go through that."
Madonna's new tour is already selling out. "I love performing," she said, adding that the first two weeks and the last two weeks are always the best. "It's like a piece of gum when you first put it in your mouth. It's so good. But when you spit it out, you're so relieved to get rid of it. It's killing your jaw."
The woman who says she savors beginnings and endings is also enjoying this time of her life.
"I feel good about everything that's going on in my life. I feel very blessed. I have an amazing family. I'm excited about my documentary, about the film I directed, about my album. I have amazing friends. What's not to be happy about?"
American singer Madonna said on Thursday she was happy to be a "guinea pig" in a case she hopes could ease adoptions from Malawi, where an AIDS epidemic has orphaned more than 1 million children.
The southern African country's High Court is considering whether Madonna can adopt an infant boy.
A report by Malawi's Human Rights Commission says the adoption could be illegal because it does not conform with international conventions and procedures under the country's law.
Madonna, presenting a documentary on the plight of children in Malawi at the Cannes film festival, said the controversy had been difficult to deal with but she was happy to be involved in a move that might allow more children to be adopted.
"Up until this time there wasn't an adoption law, so consequently I'm sort of the template or the role model, so to speak, for future adoptions," she told a news conference.
"Hopefully after we get through this adoption it will be easier for other people to adopt children and I'm happy to be the guinea pig," she said.
But critics say she has been allowed to get around laws that prevent non-residents adopting children.
Madonna's film "I Am Because We Are" recounts the story behind her efforts to adopt David, a boy whose mother died in childbirth in Malawi, said she had tried to look at the controversy in a positive light.
"Yes it was painful and it was a big struggle and I didn't understand it, but in the end I rationalized that when a woman has a child and goes through natural child birth she suffers an enormous amount," she said.
"So I sort of went through my own kind of birthing pains dealing with the press on my front doorstep and accusing me of kidnapping or whatever you want to call it. In the end it made me stronger so I can't complain."
Madonna began adoption proceedings for David in 2006 and the boy has since then been living with her and her film director husband, Guy Ritchie, in their London home.
David has been with them since he was 13 months old. His father, who approves the adoption bid, had placed him in an orphanage after the death of his wife.
Pop star Madonna has made her debut as a movie maker at the Cannes Film Festival with a red-carpet screening of her documentary about the plight of the one million children in Malawi who have been made orphans after losing their parents to AIDS.
While Madonna did not appear in Filth and Wisdom, her directing debut which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February, she wrote, narrated, produced and enlisted first-time direction by Nathan Rissman to make the documentary I Am Because We Are.
The black-tie Cannes audience gave a warm reception to the movie with Madonna also attending the screening of the documentary at the world's leading film festival.
She told the invited guests, which included Hollywood star Sharon Stone, that I Am Because We Are represented "a journey of lifetime; a journey that was continuing".
The documentary begins with Madonna saying: "People always ask me why I chose Malawi. I didn't. It chose me."
The movie also touches on Madonna's adoption in 2006 of a child from Malawi, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. More than 60 per cent of its 13 million citizens live on less than a dollar a day.
The adoption sparked controversy with claims that the official papers had been processed with unusual haste and the boy's biological father later saying he did understand what adoption meant.
I Am Because We Are, which is derived from a remark by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the emeritus Archbishop of Cape Town, premiered last month at New York's Tribeca Film Festival.
Apart from prominent Malawian activists and Tutu, the Madonna documentary also includes interviews with former US President Bill Clinton, American third world economist Jeffrey Sachs and medical anthropologist Paul Farmer.
But it is the often harrowing stories told by many of the children and the sometimes horrific lives they lead that are the most powerful part of the movie.
The 90-minute film also shows the efforts by Madonna's charitable organisation Raising Malawi to help improve the lives and conditions of children in Malawi, many of whom have ended up the streets after their parents or other family members have fallen victim to AIDS and HIV.
A dazzling Madonna made an appearance on the red carpet of the 61st Cannes Film Festival today, to promote her Malawi documentary I Am Because We Are. Madonna wore a gorgeous see-through dress, and she surely still has those mad-eyes! ;-)
According to Portuguese promoter Ritmos & Blues, Madonna will end the European leg of her Sticky & Sweet Tour at the Estadio Alvalade in Lisbon, Portugal on September 28th.
Meanwhile, Spanish newspaper ABC claim that a show in Alicante, Spain on September 18th is in the works.
Other Spanish sources are talking about a show in Stadi Olimpic in Barcelona on that day.
These shows, as well as earlier rumoured European shows in Athens, Greece and Zagreb, Croatia, remain unconfirmed so far. When we have more info, you'll read it here.
Is Madonna going to get swept away again?
A source at the Cannes Film Festival says that famed wrap-dress fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg is hosting an exclusive VIP luncheon tomorrow to toast the Cannes screening of I Am Because We Are, Madonna's documentary about Malawi AIDS orphans.
The fete will take place aboard EOS, the $200 million 300-foot yacht owned by Von Furstenberg's husband Barry Diller. And guests shouldn't be late. "Launches will be waiting at 1:30 p.m. SHARP," the invite reads.
The following night, Madonna joins Sharon Stone as cohost of the annual fundraising fete for AIDS organization amfAR.
Tickets for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour are off to a strong start with weekend sell-outs reported in Paris, Boston and Chicago, followed by sell-outs in New York this morning where 2 performances at Madison Square Garden quickly sold out as did a 3rd show now confirmed for October 11th.
The tour will begin August 23rd in Cardiff Wales and will play arenas and stadiums throughout Europe including a number of cities where Madonna has not performed in the past fifteen years.
A multi-Grammy award winner and recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it's no surprise that the world's tastiest sweetheart's 11th album Hard Candy debuted at #1 in an unprecedented 37 countries last week. The album has received Four Stars in Rolling Stone, Blender and People Magazine with The NY Daily News hailing Hard Candy as Madonna's greatest album ever.
Madonna's current smash single 4 Minutes was co-written and co-produced by Madonna, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake. Hard Candy is the number one most downloaded digital album in the U.S. and many other countries. Madonna's previous studio album Confessions On A Dance Floor sold over 8.5 million copies.
Madonna has long been known for groundbreaking multi-dimensional tours that consist of visual and audio extravaganzas with non-stop singing and breathtaking dancing. Madonna's last outing, 2006's acclaimed Confessions Tour played in 25 countries including Russia, reached a collective audience of over 1.3 million fans, and was the highest grossing concert tour of all time by a female artist.
We are happy to announce that a new city has just been added to the Sticky & Sweet Tour itinerary! Madonna will perform at the Dubenhof Festival Site in Zurich on August 30.
If you are an Icon member, please note that the devoted fan club presale will start on Tuesday, May 20 at 10am Local Time, while the public sale is set to start on Friday, May 23 at 8am.
Justin Timberlake has revealed how he winds Madonna up - about her age.
The Sexy Back star said he loves to remind Madge that they are from different generations - even though she scares him. "I'm totally frightened of her," he confessed to US chat show host Ellen DeGeneres.
Timberlake, 27, said he and Madonna has the occasional row while they were writing and recording hit song 4 Minutes together.
"It wasn't all peaches and cream in the studio every day," he said. "We had our little tiffs - obviously being from different generations.
"I love to remind her of that," he giggled as the studio audience gasped. "She knows I love to remind her of that. I'm just messing around."
The ex boy band star said he and Madge did struggle with some differences in taste while penning 4 Minutes.
"We had this beat and I was like 'Yeah - this is going to be the sexiest song ever'," he said. "She was like 'I don't know if I want to write about the things you write about'.
"I said: 'You can't save the world in four minutes. Alright, we're going to save the world in four minutes'. And that's really where it came from."
Timberlake also told Ellen how he loved girlfriend Jessica Biel's toned body and was happier than ever.
"She's a beast and I'm very happy about it," he smiled. "She's wonderwoman in the gym. She works out with me sometimes and kicks my butt. I'm the happiest I've ever been."
You can now watch Justin Timberlake on the Ellen DeGeneres show discussing his work with Madonna, and also a video message Madonna sent to Ellen to wish her happy birthday, on our video blog.
Madonna has been denied the chance to see five of her LPs in the U.K. album chart at the same time, after the country's Official Chart Company (OCC) deemed details surrounding their sales unfair.
The Material Girl star was set to score a chart quintuple last week (ends10May08) after British supermarket giant Tesco offered consumers a free copy of one of four previous Madonna albums when they purchased her latest release Hard Candy.
And the promotion gave the star's earlier albums a significant boost in the British mid-week charts; The Immaculate Collection shot to number 28, Confessions On A Dance Floor sat at 48, Music at 95, and Ray Of Light at 110.
But the U.K. chart's governing body, the OCC, have excluded the albums from being counted in last week's rundown, insisting the offer didn't comply with its stance on chart rules.
The move meant only Hard Candy's sales were counted, which gave the singer her 10th number one album in the U.K. and U.S. charts earlier this month (May08).
OCC managing director Martin Talbot explains the decision: "It is quite a core chart rule that we only count sales, and the marketing of this particular initiative is clear - if you buy Hard Candy through Tesco you can have one of these albums free of charge."
He adds, "We will be monitoring these kinds of offers to assess whether current rules cover what is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. We need to ensure it doesn't undermine the authority of the charts, which are there to measure sales."
~ Fair enough, even though some of those albums could have got their first re-entry in years. A few of Madonna's albums are still on the UK Top 200 Albums chart, check out our chart news page to find out which ones!
Malawi's High Court has delayed its final ruling on whether U.S. pop diva Madonna may adopt a two-year-old Malawian boy until next week, her lawyer said on Thursday.
"We are finished with the proceedings today from our side, and the judge has decided to reserve his ruling on the case until next week because he has to review the recommendations from the Malawi Human Rights Commission on the adoption laws of Malawi," Alan Chinula said.
The Human Rights Commission is set up by the government. Its position on the adoption of toddler David Banda has not been made public. An exact date for next week's ruling was not announced.
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 ravaged by an AIDS epidemic leaving more than one million orphans.
But Malawi's government and David's father -- his only surviving parent -- had endorsed the adoption, and a local rights group that had opposed the case said earlier this week it was no longer interested in pursuing the case, removing another obstacle.
Madonna could not attend the court session on Thursday because she was too busy with other engagements, her lawyer said earlier this week.
Madonna began adoption proceedings for David in 2006 and the boy has been living with her and her film director husband Guy Ritchie in their London home since then. She took David when he was 13 months old after his father had placed him in an orphanage following the death of his wife.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that she was never allowed to have a childhood," Madonna told the BBC in an interview that aired Tuesday. "She didn't get to grow up and make mistakes privately and try things out and just be a kid and be innocent. She's been watched, judged and been under a microscope since she's been a teenager. It's hard to evolve that way."
Thankfully for Madonna, her own kids seem uninterested in mom's fame. "They come to the rehearsals. But they're sort of over it. They like to skateboard around."
In fact, they clamor for a "normal mom." Asked if they give her a hard time for working so much, Madonna say, "Yeah! 'When are you coming home?' 'Why are you always working?' 'Why can't you just be like a normal mom?' I just remind them about all the things that they have, and that if I didn't do what I did they wouldn’t have those things."
So what are the perks? "They get to travel a lot, they get to do a lot of interesting things and meet a lot of interesting people. Usually that shuts them up."
U.S. pop diva Madonna plans to start building a multi-million-dollar girls' school in Malawi for underprivileged children this year, her local lawyer said on Wednesday.
"A task force of four prominent Malawians has already been formed to head the project which will be on the scale of what Oprah Winfrey has in South Africa," Madonna's lawyer Alan Chinula told Reuters.
"It is a multi-million dollar project and we will get the real costs in the next two weeks."
Billionaire U.S. television magnate Winfrey has built a $40 million all-girl leadership academy in South Africa which boasts state-of-the-art facilities including laboratories, a yoga studio and beauty salon.
Malawi's High Court is expected to approve Madonna's bid to adopt two-year-old Malawian David Banda on Thursday. Malawi's government and David's father -- his only surviving parent -- have endorsed the adoption.
Madonna will not attend the final court ruling on her adoption bid because she is busy with other engagements, Chinula said on Tuesday.
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 ravaged by an AIDS epidemic that has produced more than one million orphans.
The tickets for the British shows (23-Aug. Cardiff & 11-Sep. London) will go on sale next Friday at 9am GMT.
They will be sold online by Ticketmaster (limit of 4 tickets per person and per credit card).
Ticket categories & prices for Millennium Stadium, Cardiff:
Mid Tier: £ 100.00 - £ 150.00
Upper Tier: £ 55.00 - £ 65.00
Gold Circle General Admission: £ 85.00 €
General Admission: £ 75.00
Ticket categories & prices for Wembley Stadium, London:
Level 5: £ 65.00 - £ 160.00
level 2: £ 65.00 - £ 160.00
Level 1: £ 65.00 - £ 160.00
Gold Circle General Admission: £ 85.00
General Admission: £ 75.00
A Mexican tour promoter claims that Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour will include two dates in Mexico's Foro Sol on November 29th & 30th. Strangely, the site uses imagery of the Confessions Tour and the dates haven't appeared on the official Live Nation website yet...
Meanwhile, several sources - including News.com.au - are claiming that this year's tour won't stop in Australia.
Official confirmation of these news items and info on the South American shows are still unavailable. Stay tuned!
The tickets for the French shows (26-Aug. Nice & 20-Sep. Paris) will go on sale next Friday at 10am CET.
They will be sold online by Ticketnet.fr, by phone on 0892 390 100 and in the following physical sales points: Fnac, Virgin Megastore, Ticketnet, Auchan, Carrefour & Leclerc.
Busty Madonna causes a sensation as she almost pops out of her top - and then turns the air blue on the BBC.
The singer used the f-word twice during the Radio 1 Big Weekend gig live on BBC3, BBC HD and Radio 1.
Furious complaints followed the broadcast although viewers and listeners had been warned there may be strong language.
Holding an S&M-style cane, she introduced her song Hung Up to fans at the concert in Maidstone, Kent, saying: "You guys are going to have to start f***ing it up out there 'cos I need to feel some love. I'm going to do an old song. But not too old. F**k the present. Let's live in the past."
The BBC was rapped when Madonna, 49, swore at the Live Earth gig last year.
Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe apologised on Saturday, saying: "An incredible performance... that said, a quick apology for those people who might have felt the content offensive." The BBC later confirmed they did receive complaints.
An expletive-laden performance by Madonna on live television and radio on Saturday has attracted just four complaints to the BBC from the public.
The popstar said "fuck" twice during her set at the Radio 1 Big Weekend gig on Saturday, which was broadcast live on BBC3, BBC HD and Radio 1.
During the performance at about 9.35pm on Saturday, she introduced her song Hung Up by holding up a cane and saying, according to a Sun report today: "You guys are going to have to start fucking it up out there 'cos I need to feel some love. I'm going to do an old song. But not too old. Fuck the present. Let's live in the past."
After her performance, the presenter Zane Low apologised: "An incredible performance … that said, a quick apology for those people who might have found the content offensive."
A BBC spokeswoman today declined to issue a further apology for Madonna's language on Saturday.
"There was a very strong warning given at the beginning of the show. It was post watershed and at the end of the show Zane Lowe apologised if any offence had been caused," she added.
The sight of Madonna swearing live on BBC TV was potentially embarrassing for the corporation after the heavy criticism heaped on it by Ofcom following the use of expletives by the singer, along with other artists, during the broadcast of the Live 8 concert in 2005 and the Live Earth concert in 2007. Source: Guardian.co.uk
She isn't dubbed Her Madgesty for nothing. And Madonna didn't disappoint at her latest show. With a host of demands befitting the Queen of Pop, the 49-year-old caused a stir at Radio 1's Big Weekend - and made an enemy of the Fratellis.
As well as demanding to be flown from her London home to the gig at Maidstone, Kent, by helicopter - a distance of only 37 miles - she ruffled afew more feathers when she landed...
"Madonna caused her share of backstage ructions when she jetted in for her 20-minute set," says our festival spy.
"As well as her own VIP area, she had a 70-strong entourage and three dressing rooms. Her security was so tight, even hubby Guy Ritchie had trouble getting in!
"She had special Kabbalah water shipped in and demanded bouquets of white roses which remained unopened. While she only ate fresh fruit, the same can't be said of her friends.
"They arrived early and wolfed down free food and booze reserved for the artists.
"Madonna also failed to endear herself to performers by arriving late for rehearsals and forcing everyone else's allocated time slot to be put back. All in all, most people couldn't wait to see the back of her."
The Hard Candy star, who retained her No1 spot in the singles chart last night, also flew in her designer friends, Dolce and Gabbana, from Italy.
On a less extravagant note, Madge dished out goody bags containing... a lollipop, a T-shirt, a badge and sweets. Last of the big spenders, eh?
But it was Madonna's row with the Fratellis which really caused a stir.
The indie band were furious with the star but got their own back by hiring a security firm of little people to keep her away!
Singer Jon Fratelli told us: "Who does Madonna think she is?
"I'm not into all this - we're all here to perform together. What happened to rock 'n' roll? Why is she even here? Everything has been changed around just for her and her ridiculous entourage.
"That's why we brought our own security team of midgets to look after us - and they're doing a great job. If she has an entourage then we're going to have one, too. Those people also ate all the food, so we had to order 18 pizzas from Domino's."
Sorry, boys, Madonna knows she is still the big cheese and you have to take a slice of anything you can get...
Arriving on the stage on a throne, Madonna proved she is still the undisputed queen of pop when she gave an energetic live performance at Radio 1's Big Weekend.
Playing her first UK live show this year, the iconic singer performed a number of songs from her new album, Hard Candy. Fans were especially delighted by the rendition of her current number one single, 4 Minutes, alongside a "virtual" version of co-singer Justin Timberlake.
Speaking of her song selection for the Maidstone concert, she said: "Obviously, I want to do new stuff because I'm very excited about it. I feel that's what people come to hear, but I also want to do a few of my oldies but goodies."
Radio 1's Big Weekend is the biggest free music festival in Europe. US R&B singer Usher kicked off the action this year, with the crowd also being entertained by acts including Welsh sensation Duffy and The Fratellis.
4 Minutes holds onto the top of the UK singles chart for a 4th consecutive week so it enters the elite club of Madonna's longest running UK #1 hits: only 1985's Into The Groove & 1990's Vogue spent the same amount of weeks at #1! Congratulations to Madonna and click here for more chart stuff.
Twenty-five years after the release of her eponymous debut album, Madonna proved she has still got what it takes to wow audiences with an energetic set at Radio 1's Big Weekend.
The queen of pop - who turns 50 on August 16 - closed the event at Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent, following acts including Duffy, Usher and The Feeling.
Those who had been waiting all day to see Madonna were not disappointed when she appeared on stage in the main tent dressed in a tight black outfit and black knee high boots and opened her set with song Candy Shop, from her number one album Hard Candy.
She dedicated her next song, Miles Away, to "anybody who's afraid of falling in love".
Madonna then launched into her number one single 4 Minutes while screens on stage showed images of Justin Timberlake who sings on the track with her.
There was a surprise in store for fans when Madonna picked up an electric guitar, said she planned to sing an old song and launched into the opening lines of the Rolling Stones hit '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'.
After only a few bars, she stopped and called out to the audience: "How many of you are drunk?" When they responded with a collective cheer, she replied: "That's so worrying."
After teasing the audience with the Stones cover, she then planned to sing "a song from the past, but not too far back from the past" and played her former number one Hung Up.
After finishing it with an impressive guitar solo, she changed into a pair of trainers and showed off some energetic dance moves during another song from her latest album, Give It 2 Me.
The style icon also donned a pair of black rimmed glasses and joked she was having problems with her sight. The spectacle ended with 2000 hit Music which provoked a mass singalong from the crowd.
She arrived on a throne and after a scintillating 40-minute set at Maidstone's Mote Park, Madonna proved she remains the undisputed Queen of Pop at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend.
But she shocked her young fans in the crowd by uttering four-word expletives during the energetic set.
The crowd in the main tent were then treated to hits including current number one 4 Minutes – but hopes of a special guest in the form of Justin Timberlake were dashed when he appeared only on video screens.Among the other hits performed were chart-topper Music and Hung Up.
It was a rare treat for the Kent crowd – and the first time the US singer has performed at a festival in the UK.
The show was a warm-up for her forthcoming world tour which takes in two dates at Wembley Stadium in August and September. Tickets go on sale next week.
Prior to Madonna's headline appearance, the Fratellis performed a lack lustre set, although hit Chelsea Dagger was well received.
Earlier in the evening Scouting for Girls impressed with their brand of infectious pop and the hit She's So Lovely.
Other highlights included a set on the outdoor stage by Fatboy Slim and the DJ face-off between breakfast show host Chris Moyles and dance disc spinner Judge Jules.
Madonna has played her first UK show of the year, closing the opening night of Radio 1's Big Weekend.
Dressed all in black, the Queen of Pop performed a 40 minute set at Mote Park in Maidstone, pleasing fans with number one single 4 Minutes.
The show came as part of a trio of live performances to launch the album, the other two being in New York and Paris.
However, the singer didn't play any of her well known hits from the 80s and 90s.
Speaking to Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley before her performance, Madonna explained why she wanted to play the songs she picked.
She said: "Obviously, I want to do new stuff because I'm very excited about it.
"I feel that's what people come to hear but I also want to do a few of my oldies but goodies.
The tent was full to capacity for the show. Extra monitors played the set to fans outside.
As Madonna disappeared behind a stage prop made to look like a tube train at the end of the show, most fans left happy.
31 year old Gerard Sutton told Newsbeat: "It was great for Maidstone, she looked like she loved being here and everyone loved it."
19 year old Georgina Finch from Hastings added: "She was good but she should have sung some older stuff and should have been on for longer. She was awesome though."
Radio 1's Big Weekend is the biggest free ticketed music festival in Europe and has previously been held in Dundee and Preston.
30,000 people are expected over the two days, and more than half a million people applied for tickets.
Madonna has hinted that she may team up with special guests at Radio 1's Big Weekend.
The superstar, who will headline the Main Stage on Saturday, said that Pharrell Williams or Justin Timberlake could appear.
She said: "I don't know if Justin is going to be there or not. So stay tuned. Maybe Pharrell will turn up if I'm lucky."
Both artists feature on her current Number One album Hard Candy.
The singer will play a 40 minute set of old and new hits for her first ever UK festival performance at the two day festival at Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent.
"I have never been to the Big Weekend before. I hear it's fun, is it crazy?" she said.
The singer also revealed that she will be bringing her family along for her performance at the Big Weekend.
"I will probably bring Lourdes with me and maybe Rocco," she said. "They always come to the rehearsals but they're kind of over the whole stage show thing. They like to skateboard around."
Justin Timberlake recently joined Madonna onstage to perform 4 Minutes during a secret show in New York.
Speaking about her time in the studio with Timberlake, Timbaland and Pharrell, she said: "It was a little awkward at firstbecause you don't really know them and you feel a little intimidated. Justin admitted to me the other day that he felt the same.
"As for Timbaland I experienced both sides of him. I experienced him being very up and jovial and communicative.
"Then other times he would come in put his headphones on, and not speak to anyone. So you'd be thinking 'OK he's in his own world'.
"So we'd go off and work with other musicians and Justin and I would be writing words together and it seemed like Timbaland wasn't paying attention.
"But he'd take off his headphones and go, 'No' or he'd turn around and put his thumb up. He's quite unique, you think he's not paying attention but he is."
More than 500,000 people registered for tickets for the two-day event this year which also feature performances from Usher, The Kooks, Editors and Duffy.
Across the two days and four stages, fans will enjoy more than 50 UK and international artists alongside DJs.
~ Madonna will be live on BBC Three @ 21:15-21:55 GMT.
Madonna owes the success of her new album to Pharrell Williams' lucky Mickey Mouse slippers.
The 4 Minutes singer doesn't believe she would have made the same album if producer Pharrell hadn't worn his unusual footwear.
She said: "Pharrell had these lucky charms, including his Mickey Mouse slippers. He said he couldn't work without them!"
The 49-year-old singer also said she was unsure whether her 4 Minutes collaborator Justin Timberlake would appear with her at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Kent, England, on Saturday (10.05.08) but has prepared either way.
"I don't know if he is going to be there or not. We will see! But if he isn't we will have a video projection and will change around the choreography and everything," she told BBC Radio. Other performers at the event in Maidstone include The Kooks, Duffy, Adele and Usher.
While Madonna scored yet another No. 1 album, it may not have been the blockbuster opening that some were expecting.
She sold 280,000 copies of Hard Candy, according to Nielsen SoundScan, in its first week in stores. First things first: With the days of the CD as the music format of choice seemingly numbered, any album that sells in the six-figure range is a bonus for the music biz these days.
And those who rolled their eyes at yet another blog alluding to the death of the CD, ask Madonna herself, who last year signed a $120-million deal with a touring company in Live Nation. And this summer, fans will get to see that deal start to pay off. Madonna will be generously coming to a whopping 16 North American markets, according to Billboard.
Yet it's also hard not to note that Madonna's Hard Candy sold about 180,000 fewer copies than Mariah Carey moved two weeks ago. She's still significantly ahead, though, of the 181,000 copies sold by Janet Jackson's "Discipline" when it debuted in March.
But back to Carey. Her "E=MC2" scored the highest debut of the year when it opened at No. 1 after selling 463,000 copies. In just three weeks on the chart, "E=MC2" has sold more than 740,000 copies.
Album sales may be down across the board, but Madonna would certainly be expected to be closer to Mariah than, say, Leona Lewis on the diva totem pole. Newcomer Lewis entered at No. 1 a few weeks ago, her debut, "Spirit," selling 205,000 copies.
To compare Hard Candy's stats to Madonna's last record: In 2005 her Euro-influenced Confessions On A Dance Floor opened with 350,000 copies, according to Billboard. It's rare these days for an artist to actually top the first-week sales of a prior album, but if anyone could do it, it would certainly be Madonna. And Mariah just did it.
So it's easy to view Madonna's sales tally as a disappointment, a sign that she's losing her grip on the pop marketplace. But don't.
Billboard downplays Madonna's sales dip, noting that Confessions opened during the holiday season. The trade also fairly points out that Mariah may have benefited from appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "American Idol."
On one hand, Madonna is a bigger international brand than Mariah will ever be, and she was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But on the other, the marketing campaign for Hard Candy was one based less on promotion than on partnerships. The album may not have been endorsed by Oprah, but the marketing campaign leading up the release of Hard Candy has been far from what anyone would call subtle. There are the Sunsilk commercials, the branding promotions with Verizon, the odd YouTube video and the video gift to gossip blogger Perez Hilton.
Additionally, Madonna's lead single, 4 Minutes, has been inescapable. It's still a top-10 hit, and her second single, Give It 2 Me, has just debuted in the top 100. But even more important, 4 Minutes has given Madonna something she didn't have at all with Confessions On A Dance Floor, and that's a hit on U.S. radio.
But if there's a problem -- if this is a problem -- with 4 Minutes, it's that it is as much a Justin Timberlake or Timbaland single as it is one from Madonna. It's also a song that will spur download sales, but not necessarily album sales.
For instance, as fun and silly as it may be, 4 Minutes also could have appeared on Timbaland's 2007 album "Shock Value," or Timberlake's "FutureSex/LoveSounds." It's a song fit for an iTunes playlist as much as it is a new Madonna album.
Indeed, by lining up today's top producers and superstars -- Timberlake, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, etc. -- Madonna has created an album that may sound swell stacked up with everyone else on the radio, but it also risks the danger of failing to set itself apart.
But Hard Candy doesn't really need to stand alone in order to be a success. The end result is an album seemingly built to sell millions of single-track downloads, ring tones, videos and bits of whatever digital accessories exist. And for pop music as business plan, that may prove to be one of Madonna's smartest moves yet, whether intentional or not.
Authorities in Malawi are set to grant full adoption rights of an African boy to US pop star Madonna, a high court official indicated Friday, citing a leaked document.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the court in Lilongwe would hear a full review on May 15 of an 18-month interim custody order granted in 2006 for Madonna to adopt David Banda.
The court had also received recommendations from the ministry of women and child development to make the adoption permanent.
The document, referring to Madonna's filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie and herself, said: "Mr and Mrs Ritchie have shown a strong commitment in providing the infant with all essential needs like love, safe home environment, care, protection, material as well as emotional support."
The document, filed by an official of the ministry identified as Simon Chisale, said David, the son of peasant farmer Yohane Banda, had "bonded well with the couple and other key members of the household."
The report said David, plucked from an orphanage in poor health, "continues to develop into a happy thriving toddler. His survival, growth and development is excellent."
The celebrity couple were being monitored at their London home whether they were suitable parents for David by Malawian social workers.
The official said Madonna, who is expected to return to Malawi next week to continue her charity work, will not be required during the hearing, which will be held in camera.
"She will have to come to court to sign the full adoption documents later," the official said.
A coalition of rights groups, the Human Rights Consultative Committee, as "friends of the court" have challenged the adoption and are seeking a full review of the interim order granted to Madonna.
The interim order elapsed in April after it was controversially granted in 2006 allowing Madonna to take David out of Malawi.
The ruling sparked a heated debate about adoption laws in the poor southern African nation where AIDS has left one million orphans.
The rights groups claim that existing legislation does not allow for intra-country adoptions and accuse Madonna of using her vast wealth to fast-track the adoption process.
Fred Bronson of Billboard celebrates Madonna's brand new chart topper album in his Chart Beat column:
Madonna completes her first quarter-century on The Billboard 200 with Hard Candy (Warner Bros.), her seventh No. 1 album since she made her debut on this survey the week of Sept. 3, 1983 (giving her an album chart span of 24 years, eight months and two weeks).
Before Hard Candy licked the competition, Madonna was in a three-way tie with Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson for second place among all solo female artists for having the most No. 1 albums. Now, Carey and Jackson are in third place with six No. 1 albums each, Madonna is in second place with seven and Barbra Streisand remains in front with eight.
Madonna first topped The Billboard 200 the week of Feb. 9, 1985, when Like A Virgin moved into the penthouse. Here is a list of her seven No. 1 albums:
Like A Virgin, three weeks (1985)
True Blue, five weeks (1986)
Like A Prayer, six weeks (1989)
Music, one week (2000)
American Life one week (2003)
Confessions On A Dance Floor, one week (2005)
Hard Candy, one week to date (2008)
Currently Zagreb is the last date of the European leg, but other cities, such as Madrid & Athens are still under consideration.
UPDATE: For a strange reason, Zagreb disappeared from the Live Nation website. More info when available.
Madonna, the world's tastiest sweetheart, has announced more non-stop treats for her legions of legendary and devoted fans. Following the latest news that Hard Candy has debuted at Number 1 around the globe, it has been confirmed that Madonna's STICKY & SWEET TOUR will begin (hip) hopping around the world on August 23rd in Cardiff, Wales with stops in major European markets through September including London (11-September) and Paris (20-September).
The North American leg of the STICKY & SWEET TOUR begins October 3rd at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with stops at New York's Madison Square Garden on October 6th and 7th, followed by performances in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and more before stopping at Miami's Dolphin Stadium on November 26th. Madonna's STICKY & SWEET TOUR will also visit Mexico and South America later this year. (Show dates, and on sale information in these markets will follow at a later date.)
Confirmed today by Guy Oseary, Madonna's manager and Arthur Fogel, Live Nation's CEO Global Touring and Chairman Global Music, who is producing the tour, "STICKY & SWEET" will play arenas and stadiums throughout Europe and North America including a number of cities where Madonna has not performed in the past fifteen years.
"STICKY & SWEET" will be directed by Madonna's long time creative collaborator Jamie King. The musical director will be Kevin Antunes. The complete tour itinerary is listed below with additional cities and dates to be announced. For complete tour and ticket information, fans can visit: www.livenation.com and www.madonna.com.
Hard Candy, Madonna's 11th studio album for Warner Bros. Records debuted at number one in 27 countries around the world thus far, including the USA, JAPAN, FRANCE, UK, GERMANY, CANADA, ITALY, AUSTRALIA, THE NETHERLANDS, SOUTH AFRICA, SWEDEN, DENMARK, IRELAND, FINLAND, AUSTRIA, CHILE, SPAIN, MEXICO, HONG KONG, SINGAPORE, SLOVENIA, PORTUGAL, BELGIUM, BRAZIL, SWITZERLAND, ISRAEL and U.A.E.
The album has received Four Stars in Rolling Stone, Blender and People Magazine with The NY Daily News hailing Hard Candy as Madonna's greatest album ever. Madonna's current smash single 4 Minutes was co-written and co-produced by Madonna, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake. Hard Candy is the Number One most downloaded digital album in the U.S. and many other countries. Madonna's previous studio album Confessions On A Dance Floor sold over 8.5 million copies.
Madonna and Live Nation entered into a revolutionary partnership last fall and her last three worldwide tours were produced by Live Nation.
A multi-Grammy award winner and recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Madonna has long been known for groundbreaking multi-dimensional tours that consist of visual and audio extravaganzas with non-stop singing and breathtaking dancing. Madonna's last outing,
2006's acclaimed Confessions Tour played in 25 countries including Russia, reached a collective audience of over 1.3 million fans, and was the highest grossing concert tour of all time by a female artist.
Tickets for "Sticky & Sweet" willgo on sale beginning Friday, May 16th in London, Paris, Cardiff and Nicefollowed by on sales Saturday, May 17th in Amsterdam, Boston and Chicagowith E. Rutherford and New York City on sale Monday, May 19th.
Ticketswill range from .00 through 0 (5.00 in Las Vegas) offering a varietyof excellent seats at all price levels. Additional on-sales vary and are listed below or available at www.livenation.com and www.madonna.com. There will be a 4 ticket limit per person at the arena performances and a 6 ticket per person limit for stadium events.
MADONNA STICKY & SWEET TOUR ITINERARY 2008
Showdate - City - Venue - On sale Date:
23-Aug - Cardiff Millennium Stadium - Fri. May 16
26-Aug - Nice Stade Charles Ehrmann - Fri. May 16
28-Aug - Berlin Olympic Stadium - Wed. May 21
02-Sept - Amsterdam Arena - Sat. May 17
04-Sept - Dusseldorf LTU Arena - Wed. May 21
06-Sept - Rome Olympic Stadium - Fri. May 23
09-Sept - Frankfurt Commerzbank Arena - Wed. May 21
11-Sept - London Wembley Stadium - Fri. May 16
20-Sept - Paris Stade de France - Fri. May 16
03-Oct - E. Rutherford Izod Center - Mon. May 19
06-Oct - New York City Madison Square Garden - Mon. May 19
07-Oct - New York City Madison Square Garden - Mon. May 19
15-Oct - Boston TD BankNorth Garden - Sat. May 17
18-Oct - Toronto Air Canada Centre - Sat. May 24
22-Oct - Montreal Bell Centre - Sat. May 24
26-Oct - Chicago United Center - Sat. May 17
30-Oct - Vancouver BC Place Stadium - Sat. May 24
01-Nov - Oakland Oracle Arena - Sun. June 1
04-Nov - San Diego Petco Park - Sun. June 1
06-Nov - Los Angeles Dodger Stadium - Sun. June 1
08-Nov - Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena - Sat. May 31
11-Nov - Denver Pepsi Center - Sat. May 31
16-Nov - Houston Minute Maid Park - Sat. May 31
19-Nov - Philadelphia Wachovia Center - Mon. June 2
22-Nov - Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall - Mon. June 2
24-Nov - Atlanta Philips Arena - Sat. May 31
26-Nov - Miami Dolphin Stadium - Sat. May 31
Additional dates and venues to be announced.
Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour will also visit Mexico and South America later this year. Show date and on sale information to follow.
Madonna's upcoming tour will begin Aug. 23 in Cardiff, Wales, and will include between 50-60 shows total, Billboard.com has learned. Details of the tour, produced globally by Live Nation, will be announced later today (May 8).
Billed as the Sticky and Sweet tour, Madonna's trek in support of her current chart-topping Warner Bros. release Hard Candy - which debuted atop the Billboard 200 yesterday - will play stadiums in the U.K. and Europe until the end of September, arenas and a "handful" of stadiums in 16 markets in North America in October and November, and then stadiums in Mexico and South America late November-December.
"I'm thrilled to be involved in another worldwide Madonna extravaganza," Arthur Fogel, chairman of global music for Live Nation, tells Billboard.com. Fogel has helmed Madonna's last three world tours, which grossed almost $400 million combined. Her 2006 Confessions tour is, at $194 million, the top-grossing tour ever by a female artist.
The upcoming tour is the first major manifestation of the multi-faceted 10-year deal between Madonna and Live Nation, valued in published reports at $120 million.
"The reality is she's delivered her last album to Warner Bros., and it's a smash, which is great for everybody," Fogel says. "We now have a tremendous opportunity with a tremendous artist to do all kinds of new and innovative things on many different levels, and this tour will be the start of that rollout."
The tour follows a familiar Madonna touring blueprint in that it visits a limited number of markets in a four-month time frame, with multi-night stands in major cities. Ticket on-sale details will be announced today, along with a presale through Live Nation's corporate sponsorship partner Citi. Fogel says ticket prices will be "basically the same as they've been the past two tours," which means primarily in the $55-$350 range.
It's a busy week at the top of the The Billboard 200, with Madonna's Hard Candy leading the action at No. 1. It is the artist's seventh chart-topper, the second-most among all female artists -- only Barbra Streisand, with eight, has more. The Warner Bros. set moved 280,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
After racing 68-3 last month, the diva's single 4 Minutes featuring Justin Timberlake gave Madonna her 37th top 10 hit -- the most of any artist in the rock era. Until now, she and Elvis Presley were tied with 36 apiece.
~ Visit our new album/single chart news page for more.
Last night, Madonna performed at the Olympia in Paris, France. She performed the same setlist as in New York last week. However, Justin didn't join her on stage this time; he was only there on screen. Madonna did cause a stir by giving one of her female dancers a French kiss. She then said: "I love to french the French!"
Here's a review from AFP:
Pop diva Madonna turned sexy hard-rock queen for a night at a private concert in Paris Tuesday night, telling her fans she loves to french-kiss the French as she ground away at an electric guitar.
Wearing black from head to toe, her blonde curls loose to her shoulders, Madonna put on a high-voltage half-hour show for a privileged 1,500 fans to mark the release of Hard Candy, her 10th chart-topping album.
"Who do you love more, me or the Rolling Stones?" she asked the crowd packing the Olympia, a mythical concert hall near the Paris opera, before launching into a ear-popping heavy-metal version of her mega-hit, Hung Up.
"I thought you might say that," quipped the queen of pop, who turns 50 on August 16, as the adoring crowd roared back their answer.
The Material Girl made her stage entrance seated in a black-and-gold fairytale throne, wearing a black satin bodice, satin pants and tailcoat with pink lining, lace-up boots with six-inch heels, and twirling a magician's wand.
Madonna told the concert hall it was "a historical moment" for her to be performing on the same stage as the iconic French chanteuse Edith Piaf, or fellow legends Juliette Greco and Marlene Dietrich.
"Why do I have this relationship with France? I'm always drawn to working with French people - and frenching French people," she quipped. "Vive la France!"
Despite lukewarm reviews, Madonna's hip hop-influenced new album Hard Candy, co-written and produced with former N-Sync singer Justin Timberlake, and hip hop stars Timbaland and Pharrell Williams, shot straight to the top of the charts in France and across Europe upon its release last week.
Madonna has described the title as "a juxtaposition of tough and sweetness" - but her performance in Paris was tough from start to finish.
Flanked by an electriying crew of hip-hop dancers and surrounded by pulsing video screens, Madonna ground, bumped, skipped and jumped her way through four of her new tracks - including the chart-topping 4 Minutes - as well as the now classic Music and Hung Up.
The magician's gear and heeled boots quickly gave way to dance-friendly running shoes and sleeveless black top, before she pulled out the saturated electric guitar for a heavy-metal sounding finale.
Hard Candy is Madonna's last album on the Warner label before she takes up her astronomical 120-million-dollar (78-million-euro), 10-year deal with US concert promoter Live Nation.
The Paris gig was the second of three private concerts being held to mark its launch, after New York on April 30 and before London on May 11.
One third of tickets went to listeners of the French radio station NRJ, which organised the French event, with the rest snapped up by VIPs and fans in the know, from France and elsewhere.
Andrew Stewart, 37, has seen Madonna 17 times on stage since 1987 and flew in from Thailand specially to catch the show. "She's just the most amazing performer," said the British web designer. "She doesn't compare to anyone."
~ For more pictures and a small video of the Paris show, check dontmiss.fr.
Timbaland and the Neptunes are so dominant as producers, they can sometimes upstage the artist they're working with... unless that artist is Madonna.
On her new album, Hard Candy, Madonna made sure that she wasn't a guest star on her own album.
"I thought of it as a true and equal collaboration. ... I like to think that when you listen to the record, you don't just go, 'Oh, that is a Timbaland record or that's Pharrell (of the Neptunes).' That you hear it and you go, 'There is something new and different about it."
Finding something new and different is the approach that's kept Madonna on top for most of her 25-year recording career - and made her a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.
The 49-year-old pop queen is once again dominating music airwaves, but she's also making her mark far away from the celebrity spotlight, in Malawi. The impoverished African nation, from which she found David, the young child she is in the process of adopting, is the subject of her new documentary, "I Am Because We Are," and her charitable efforts.
Madonna sat down with The Associated Press recently and chatted about her new musical path, life in Malawi and raising kids in the eye of the paparazzi, among other things.
AP: You recently signed a deal with Live Nation and Hard Candy is your last on Warner Brothers Records. What do you hope to accomplish with the deal?
Madonna: No. 1, coming up with new interesting ways of releasing music. Finding new ways to get music to people, that is one thing. Two is being an equal partner on my records which I have never been before. I have always been signed to a label and I get a percentage of what I earn and now it is 50/50, which is great, and three, is all the great shows I plan on doing.
AP: Would you ever do a pay for play with your music similar to Radiohead?
Madonna: No ... I don't know. I am not sure I like the idea of saying pay whatever you want for it. I think it is good to be specific. ... Put a value on it.
AP: Your film, "I Am Because We Are," is about Malawi, a country that has been ravished by AIDS and poverty. Is it difficult to find hope in such depressing circumstances?
Madonna: I did find hope there because in spite of all of the hardships that people have to endure there, as I say in the film, I saw so much happiness there. I saw that people with so little had so much appreciation for life and so much joy. It gave me a real sense of appreciation for what I have and it made me, it put things in perspective for me. ... We have so much and we can often get caught up in our little stupid problems. The kids have nothing to play with. They get plastic bags and bunch them together in what looks like a ball with twine and that is their soccer ball. They are happy. It is fine. You get a real sense of appreciation there.
AP: Do you think the documentary will help to silence some of your critics?
Madonna: It helps explain a lot of the story and the mystery to people. People will have a better perspective. It is always good to know the whole story before you jump to conclusions. The movie isn't just about the adoption, but I hope it will fill in some blanks for people.
AP: What is the hardest thing you had to endure while making this documentary?
Madonna: I think the hardest thing is watching parents lose their children. I think that is a pain that is unendurable, to bury your children. It is supposed to be the other way around.
AP: Would you adopt again from Malawi?
Madonna: I would like to. They are still trying to finesse the laws and make it so it is not such a long waiting period, which would be good. I would prefer that.
AP: How are you going to balance your projects in Malawi with promoting this album?
Madonna: Not that I have very much free time, but I have a lot of ongoing projects in Malawi. I am building a girls school, and orphan care center. I am refurbishing an orphanage. I have lots of kids to look after on scholarship funds, so I have relationships with people and I want to go back and check in on everybody.
AP: How do you deal with the paparazzi always taking pictures of your children?
Madonna: I don't like it when they get in their face. It is scary and frightening especially if you are not used to it and you are a kid. I think Lola is a little bit more familiar with it now. My son (Rocco) is still seriously irritated by it.
AP: You, Prince and Michael Jackson turn 50 this year. Will you be throwing a big, joint party?
Madonna: If there is, I am not throwing it. I am tired of throwing parties!
AP: Maybe you all could do a Rolling Stone cover together.
Madonna: Really? (smiles) I don't know. Ask them. I am a little bit tired of being the one who always has to ask everything. You are going to have to go to them.
Like all the Madonna fans, the Mad-Eyes team has been discussing Hard Candy since way before its release. While Webmaster Bartie wasn't all too confident about the hip hop direction, WebAssis Dani kept the faith. Now, one week after the release, they discuss Madonna's latest candytogether in a double interview.
Bartie: Despite being the theme song of the album, Candy Shop kinda sounds 'old' to me, because we've heard it half a year ago already. Rather average compared to the other tracks.
Dani: Well that's true, but I think it sets the mood perfectly and is a catchy song. And of course it gets bonus points from me for the "my sugar is raw, sticky and sweet" line already.
Bartie: Yeah, you surely wanna taste her sugar, dontcha! :-p
Dani: In the past several weeks I overplayed 4 Minutes so it's difficult for me to treat it as part of the album. Still a great song and was the perfect choice for lead-off single and it already became one of her biggest hits.
Bartie: Totally agree. Those blaring horns, you lov'em or you hate'em, but the charts have proven the former are a majority! And she and Justin are so hot in the video, tssss!
Dani: Oh was Justin in that video too?
Bartie: I must say Give It 2 Me wasn't instant love like it seems to be for many. At first the beat kinda seemed cheap to me, but the song is growing on me. Could be a catchy single, but I think mostly Euro.
Dani: Oh it quickly became one of my favourites from the album. We weren't short of banging dance tracks by Madonna in the past couple of years, but this one is really special, to me it's almost like a new Impressive Instant. You can't resist dancing to the "get stupid" breakdown!
Dani : Heartbeat is one of the very few tracks that fulfill the predictions of many fans, it really sounds like a typical pop/hip hop infused track, could be sung by Nelly Furtado. It's one of my least favourites, but still decent and I can't wait to see her booty get down like to it on tour.
Bartie: This actually started as one of my favs but then got kicked down by the more powerful tracks. A nice sing-along feel-good songnonetheless. Weren't there fans saying that was M's own heartbeat at the beginning? Doubt it - way too slow!
Bartie: As soon as I heard the Japanese preview, I knew Miles Away would be one of my favs. It was indeed love at first sight! And long distance love, yeah that's something I can relate to as well. While Madonna often 'speaks' in her songs, her singing voice comes forward in this track. And it sounds fantastic! Can't wait till she straps on her acoustic guitar and sings it on stage.
Dani: Funny, from the clips I thought it would be a dull track. Fortunately I was proven wrong and Miles Away is a gorgeous song and Madonna's voice simply soars in it. It's going to be a great singalong live. Oh and the outro is mesmerizing!
Dani: She's Not Me is one of the standouts, after a few seconds you're sucked in by that fantastic melody and the funky guitar riffs. The lyrics are very entertaining and the production is flawless. Add the cool factor that Madonna got the talented Wendy to play guitar and you got a true Madonna classic!
Bartie: Absolutely! This track is fierce! Like a modern-day Thief Of Hearts, typical cheeky Madonna lyrics and experimenting with different styles. After Wendy's breakdown comes the Orgasmic Minute of the album. The 'never will be' part has me in a trance!
Bartie: There are Madonna songs that I don't like, but it rarely happens that I skip them every time they come up. But that's the case for Incredible, the song that IMO totally doesn't live up to it's title. The first half is simplistic and plain dull. The first breakdown is painful. The 'time to get ur hands up' sounds promising but then the song falls back to it's original dullness.
Dani: You're way too harsh with this track! It's not the best on the album and it might be a bit too long indeed, but it's so pleasantly experimental! I think it's great how the lyrics have a sad theme but Madonna's delivery and the beats turn it into a feel-good song. During the 'time to get your hands up' part it seems like Madonna herself doesn't even care about her loss either, and she just wants to party and make us dance. And boy, those atmospheric synths really do the thing! It's obviously the song that divides the fans the most, and I can't imagine Madonna doing this song on tour, but still a cool minimalist track for the lush album.
Bartie: Whatever, just wake me up when you're finished with it. *yawn*
Dani: If Incredible was the track that divides fans, then Beat Goes On is the track that pleases most fans! Last year we got a demo of this, but Madonna & Pharrell decided to rework it. And they surely did the right thing with that! It has to be one of Madonna's catchiest tracks ever, Pharrell's line of "Get down beep beep gotta get up outta your seat" is easily the new "Time goes by so slowly"! Kanye comes in to spice it up even more with a rap, and Madonna makes him sing a bit, which does not happen very often!
Bartie: Well Dani, remember how much I disliked that original leak? Never expected that the album version would be one of my favs! When I listen to it, I picture a supercool beach party at sunset, while sippin' cocktails and goin' down on the Beat! In fact, I put on this track on a party last Friday and people immediately got groovin'! This has to be a single!
Bartie: From the beach party to the after party. Dance 2Night, probably the most 80s sounding song on the album, is another grower for me. Very feel-good text with chillin' beat. Timbaland's outro synths sound very 'The Way I Are'.
Dani: I love its hot beat and the Prince references in the lyrics. The chorus has to be the most anthemic on the album! Justin is clearly overpowered by Madonna though.
Dani: Spanish Lesson is quite a silly track, it's obvious that it was meant to be a dance floor filler so the lyrics are among her most pointless ever. Her vocals are nice though.
Bartie: It starts good... until Madonna starts singing. Once again, her Spanish is terrible, someone fire that translator! And the added synths sound more Asian than Spanish. The 'homework' breakdown is the only good part, but not enough to keep me from skipping.
Bartie: I got a soft spot for Madonna's power songs and boy, does Devil Wouldn't Recognize You score high in that category! It immediately got me hooked, like Mer Girl and 'Cry Me A River' meeting on the soundtrack of a psychologic thriller. Madonna and Justin easily meet the challenge of blending intense lyrics with a mind boggling beat.
Dani: Among all the amazing tracks on this album, I think this one is my favourite. It's easy to see it features some of Madonna's best lyrics ever and that captivating melody is her most ambitious. The production is breathtaking, thunder sounds mixed with piano and guitar, not to mention Justin's fantastic breakdown. I love how the track is so dark throughout but the guitar in the outro gives the listener a hopeful ending, which reminds me of Swim from the Ray Of Light album.
Dani: The last track of the album, Voices is another dark one. Over a Massive Attack-esque beat Madonna tells us how inconsistent and contradictive the human mind can be with the strong question "Who is the master and who is the slave?" and she keeps up with more fantastic lyrics. The track ends on a high note with a clash of strings and church bells and the listener is left with wanting more - a perfect way to make us put on the album again!
Bartie: Oh I thought the song was about the Mad-Eyes team? ;-) It indeed builds further on the dark feel of Devil. Her own description works best: 'a psychological mind fuck'. And a majestic outro to end the album.
Dani: You often feel like being walked, right? ;-)
Bartie: I must admit I was afraid I wasn't gonna like a hip hop inspired Madonna album. But she made it a true Madonna album, blending hip hop and R'n'B with pop and dance. Apart from a few tracks, Hard Candy really got me hooked.
Dani: I told you so! I'm glad Madonna added another fantastic album to her impressive catalogue. Perfect way to celebrate her 25th year at the top of the music industry. Can't wait for the tour!
Bartie: I'll see you there!
~ The Mad-Eyes team
Madonna obliterates all competition in the UK, where her sticky and sweet new album Hard Candy explodes at the top of the album chart.
The delicious 12-track effort is her 10th #1, no other female artist had that many chart topping albums (among all artists, only The Beatles & Elvis Presley scored more), further ensuring her status as the best selling female artist in the UK.
Madonna's #1 UK albums:
Like A Virgin (1985)
True Blue (1986)
Like A Prayer (1989)
The Immaculate Collection (1990)
Ray Of Light (1998)
American Life (2003)
Confessions On A Dance Floor (2005)
Hard Candy (2008)
Above all that, 4 Minutes remains at the top spot for a 3rd week, so Madonna solidifies another female record: she's the only female artist who topped the UK albums & singles chart at the same time in multiple occasions. The Queen of Pop managed to do this incredible feat in 4 different years:
Coincidentally, all those 4 singles remained at the top of the singles chart for 3 weeks! A huge congratulations for our M-Dolla, and keep checking our chart news page for more chart analysis and trivia!
Madonna has hailed fellow singer Justin Timberlake as the future of music, insisting his ambitious ways will ensure his music will top charts for years to come.
And the Material Girl singer admits she was drawn to work with the pop hunk because he understands the crazy ways of the music industry better than anyone else.
She says, "He's ambitious but not in an offensive way. He's incredibly responsible and he's good at what he does. I think he has a long future in front of him.
"He understands the insanity of being a pop star."
This is only the third time when Madonna scores a double chart topper in Australia, she did it in 1986 with Papa Don't Preach & True Blue and in 1990 with Vogue / Keep It Together & I'm Breathless. Hard Candy is Madonna's 9th #1 album in Australia.
Last night Madonna Madonna had her first ever appearance on US music channel BET's 106 & Park show. She looked dazzling (possibly a foreshadow to the Give It 2 Me video look) and gave a relaxed and funny interview.
Among a lot of topics, she discusses working on her new album Hard Candy, more specifically about the Pharrell-sessions, signing artists like Me'Shell NdegéOcello to Maverick Records in 1994 (who features in the Madonna song I'd Rather Be Your Lover).
She says she couldn't call her new record 'Candy Shop' because of the 50 Cent song, and says the title 'Hard Candy' sums up the feeling of the record the best (she'd be a lollipop with something soft and chewy in the inside it if she were a candy ;-).
She reveals she filmed the Give It 2 Me video with Pharrell a while ago and Pharrell gave her the nickname 'M-Dolla'. She talks about being a big fan of Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, turns the radio up if she hears a newer song of her own, or a Prince, Britney, Jay-Z or old school Michael Jackson track.
She would love the idea to share the stage with Prince as in "the Prince and the Queen". She chooses Ray Of Light video as a flashback moment, introduces her current video 4 Minutes, and confirms she'd go on tour in the fall.
Madonna is one of the few people who can work with just about anyone she likes - yet she's often chosen to work with relative unknowns, such as William Orbit, Mirwais and Stuart Price.
Some might say that since working with Madge was a big break for them, they gave it their all and gave her some of the best music of her career. On Hard Candy, however, Madonna turns the beat around and works with the most known collaborators she could choose: Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West. So why switch up the formula?
"Because they're good, and I like their sh--," Madonna put it bluntly when sitting down with MTV News' John Norris after her show with Justin at NYC's Roseland Ballroom. "I mean, I don't like to repeat myself, and I was sitting around thinking, 'What music do I love right now?' And it was actually your record," she added as an aside, turning to Justin Timberlake, who was sitting next to her.
"Yes!" he said with a fist-pump. "I was listening to it obsessively, " she admitted, as he touched his heart.
"Really?" Madonna asked in astonishment upon hearing the comparisons. "People actually say that because it's close to the same beats-per-minute," Timberlake explained. "'It has a beat like blah-blah-blah,' but to me, Devil reminds me of a modern-day Frozen. It's not as venomous as 'Cry Me a River.' It was so cool for her to have a song with that groove, but it's more of a way that she has of making statements. Her lyrical contribution, her line, is, 'The devil wouldn't recognize you, but I do.' And I thought, 'Wow, how do I turn that into a hook? How do we make that a concept?' That sounds prolific to me, with the same dynamic as 'You're frozen, your heart's not open.'"
Devil gave the pair their first collaboration (although, to be fair, Madonna has been working on a demo of the song for years). Madonna had already started on the album with Pharrell, and during one of her breaks, her manager Guy Oseary mentioned to Justin, a mutual friend, that it "would be cool" if he did a little with her too.
"I said, 'That would be awesome,' but I thought, 'That'll never happen,'" Timberlake said. "But it's a testament to Pharrell. He had already laid the groundwork where she was going with it. She played Candy Shop for me, and a couple of other songs, and I thought, 'What a cool direction.' I thought she could essentially do the whole record with Pharrell if she wanted to, and I asked Tim, 'How do we fit in?' And it basically came down to how we did my record, co-producing, and just throwing Madonna in the mix."
Luckily for Justin, he and Madonna connected so well, he instinctively "knew what she wanted to do." For Miles Away, he sat down with her and played a guitar riff, and then he asked, "How do we want to do this? What do we want it to be about? What do we want to say?"
Justin was intimidated a bit by just how much material Madonna would already have at her ready. He doesn't normally write down his lyrics, since his handwriting can't keep up with his mind, but Madonna had "all these thoughts, riddles, poems, feelings, all written in huge notebooks," he said, "and she kept handing them over. It was amazing, taking these little bits here and there and putting them together like a puzzle."
So to sort them out, "We'd have shrink sessions," Madonna laughed. "We had to get a concept going."
One of the ideas they connected on was the universality of long-distance relationships, the pain and heartache of which they poured into Miles Away.
"It got personal," Justin said. "We put our stuff out there," Madonna confirmed. "And after we did the song, everybody in the studio was like, 'Oh, I can relate to that.'"
"That's how we want people to respond to the records as well," Timberlake said. "It wasn't so specific as, 'This is my life.' It was more the feeling you get."
The combination of their two sides of the coin, yin and yang, complemented the process for both Miles Away and Devil Wouldn't Recognize You. "I have a tendency to be more male-istic," Justin laughed. "That's a new word. You can use that. She's a little more centered."
"I'm a female," Madonna laughed. "Compassion, you know? He wants revenge."
But by the time they were done, Justin felt he accomplished a miracle - with Miles Away, he had helped create what sounds like a classic Madonna song. "I couldn't do a song like that," he said. "I thought it was completely her. That was the trick."
"Completely us," she corrected.
In the first part Justin discusses that he was the communicator between Madonna & Timbaland during the production. Madonna resplies that she connected with him during songwriting. They discussed the concept of the songs, how she wanted them to be groove-oriented like Justin's record and had shrink sessions together, personal discussions about life. John Norris asks if Miles Away is an example of that and Madonna replies that everyone experiences the pain and heartache of a long distance relationship.
In the second part, John Norris asks Madonna "Why the decision to work with three guys who are essentially sort of superstars?" Madonna replies "'Cause they are good and I like their sh*t! I mean, just 'cause I don't like repeating myself and I was sitting around thinking what music do I love right now?
And it was actually your record [Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds album from 2006] that I was listening to obsessively." Then Justin talks about how their managers contacted each other to make the collaboration happen. John Norris asks Madonna if she felt the guys were imposing their signature sound on her like "a Timbaland record with Madonna".
She says "I don't think of it as an imposition, I think they have amazing ideas and I think we collaborated, it's called a collaboration. Nobody forced their stuff on me. And we actually did a lot of song that we ended up not putting on the record, we tried a lot of stuff and we just went with we both liked the best."
Justin says "We did 8 or 9." Madonna: "I had more and we just mutually chose what we thought would be the best ones. Justin says he couldn't do a song like Miles Away because "it's completely her", but Madonna corrects him saying "oh it's completely us, it's us!" Then Madonna discusses their work ethic.
In the last part, they discuss the changes of the music industry, how the superstars are the thing of the past, without selling 10-20 million records. Madonna says it's part of an evolution and people have to find another way to express themselves, in the age of technology when everything keeps changing.
Justin says that the medium has changed and how you can get everything instantly. He says live performance cannot be duplicated, you can broadcast it, but you can't duplicate being there. People have to be more innovative, and the industry shouldn't be complaining. "Superstars can be built in a different way."
A short and sweet, nonstop high-energy dance party - that was the half-hour-plus set Madonna turned in Wednesday night at New York's Roseland Ballroom, in a special "secret" club show promoting her new LP, Hard Candy.
And after that, we got the rare - as in almost unheard of - opportunity to talk to Madonna and her special guest for the night, a certain talented dynamo named Justin Timberlake. I hate those tired "pop royalty" clichés, but what the hell: We had a 20-minute audience with the Queen of Pop and her Crown Prince.
So how was the show for them? "I think she killed it" was JT's assessment. As for Madge, "Yeah, it was very good. It was a bit airless - a bit of a hotbox in there." Well, it was plenty hot out in the audience, so I can imagine what it was like for them onstage.
Of course, during the Confessions Tour, Madonna had a habit of shutting off all air conditioning in the venues, reducing arenas to 20,000-strong steamrooms. "It's true - I generally don't like AC," she admitted, "but I could have appreciated it in this instance!"
These record-release club shows of Madonna's have become something of a tradition for her last few albums, and they tend to be tightly paced affairs. This was no exception - 35-or-so minutes, or as I put it to her, "no fat."
"Are you saying that my big shows have fat on them?" she shot back. Yikes, here she comes! Madonna likes to come after me: John as punching bag. It's cool. "No, of course not," I replied, "but there's just not a lot of chit-chat in these shows."
Justin chimed in, telling Madonna, "I think you just had a woman moment!"
However, she explained, short-and-sweet is the point of these shows. "It's more like, the record's out - you know, it's a sampler? Like with those chocolate boxes, you just get all the best stuff - and no chocolate-covered cherries, 'cause everyone throws that sh-- out!"
Ah, the inevitable candy reference: perfect for the sex-and-lollipops vibe of Hard Candy. Even Justin admitted that at first, he was a bit surprised to learn the show would be so short, but then he added, "After watching it in rehearsal I was like, 'That's perfect,' 'cause like she says, you get enough of a taste of it to want some more."
The show was yet another how-to in pop showmanship, and Madonna spared nothing. The band was tight, the six dancers were tighter. The visuals included retro NYC subways and graffiti, a crew decked out in Kangols and Day-Glo during Music, lasers on the disco-fied Give It 2 Me - the production values were as high as any you'll find in a 3,000-capacity venue.
So how long does it take to put something like this together? "Well, this time the rehearsal period was a bit short and mad," Madonna said. "I felt like we got thrown into a juggernaut. I like just a tiny bit more preparation - I would have liked two weeks but only got 10 days. Of course, Justin doesn't like to work as much as I do."
"I do!" JT demurred.
Madge relented. "Well, I don't know - you're a fast learner, I'm not. And also, I get a little obsessive about details."
No matter - JT is one guy who seems like he rolls out of bed ready to perform. And when black-booted Madge was joined by white-jacketed Justin for 4 Minutes - to a deafening roar from the crowd - it was unquestionably the high point of the night. They jammed, bumped, grinded, worked the stage and made the already urgent, driving song drive even harder.
While that was the only appearance from Justin - who not only inducted Madge into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, but also worked extensively with Timbaland on Hard Candy - during the show, he told us that there could have been another.
"She pretty much had the set list done and everything how she wanted it," he recalled, "and we talked on the phone about Miles Away [a wistful, acoustic tune that's one of the album's standout tracks], and originally I said, 'Yeah, I wanna come on and play the guitar riff that I came up with for the song.' But she was like, 'Well yeah, but that comes before 4 Minutes, and I was like, 'Oh. OK.' " Yep, the lady calls the shots.
Madonna ended up playing that guitar part on Miles Away herself - and later strapped on an electric for a rocking Hung Up that ended with a Joan Jett moment: a feedback-filled amplifier grind. I wished she would have gone further back in time for at least one old chestnut (Borderline was rumored, but it didn't happen), but who's complaining? There's plenty of time for all that on Madonna's Hard Candy tour later this year.
But on Wednesday night, it was a candy sampler - and a chance to see Madge and JT, the pop superhero tag team, together. If they're not saving the world, at least they're making our corner of it a pretty fun place.
Madonna once sang that she was living in a material world, at a point when even the most astute observers would have given her career two more years at best. They weren't the first or last people she's made fools of. In fact, her cultural impact has been so immense that now we all live in a Madonna world. Pop icons as diverse as the Spice Girls, Camille Paglia, Page Six, Robbie Williams, Heat magazine, Gwen Stefani, "Big Brother" and Courtney Love are all close to unthinkable without her.
Which would be a dubious legacy, were it not for the fact she's released so many life-affirming, radio-dazzling, zeitgeist-riding songs along the way, from Holiday to Hung Up, via Virgin and Vogue. And yet she's never got the credit she deserves. Twenty five years after finding fame, Paul McCartney was covering "Ferry Cross The Mersey" with Stock, Aitken & Waterman and David Bowie was releasing embarrassing concept albums about his marriage to supermodel Iman. Madonna, meanwhile - at the exact same stage in her career - has just released her most discussed, dissected album since Erotica.
Deservedly so. Hard Candy is a gaudy, uneven and thrilling pop record. Detractors will find much to loathe here - the blatant commercial lunge for the US hip hop market, the tedious innuendos, the awful rap Kanye West is allowed to deliver in Beat Goes On for no apparent reason other than the fact he's Kanye West - but for those who love the way Madonna gets her sticky fingerprints all over every musical style she touches, there is much to savour.
Many have commented on how obvious Madonna's choice of producers is on Hard Candy, but far too little has been written about how she has made them raise their game. When was the last time Pharrell Williams delivered a slice of disco as Chic sleek as She's Not Me, let alone seen it invested with the drama and unpredictability Madonna brings here? Has Timbaland ever seen his trademark fat, ominous beats taken to such dark, ambiguous, emotional places as Madonna does on the wonderful Voices? And while Pharrell might be able to turn out slight but sprightly guitar strums like Spanish Lesson in his sleep, it takes Madonna to make them as playful and melodically sweet as this.
Are there flaws? Well, let's count the ways. The lame, tame single entendres of the ot herwise brilliant Candy Shop. The grotesque lyrical self indulgences of Dance 2Night. The outdated, messy Incredible. But who cares when they're matched against the hypnotic Heartbeat or the titanic 4 Minutes. Songs as good as this - and the obviously fruitful collaboration between Madonna and Williams - are what makes Hard Candy her best record since Ray Of Light. We live in a Madonna world. And as long as she keeps releasing albums as vivid, relevant, distinctive and modern as this, we will for a some time yet. (rating: 8/10 stars)
The always evolving Madonna sat down with our Cojo at Dylan's Candy Bar in New York to discuss her sweet new CD in stores now, Hard Candy, featuring the hit single 4 Minutes. She also opens up about her gorgeous kids and her former life as a "brat"!
"I think I'm many things," she tells Cojo. "I think I'm a lady, I think I'm a brat, I think I'm a nerd, I think I'm a pimp, I think I'm a mother, I think I'm a kid." A brat, he probes? "I can't be a brat forever!" she concludes. "But that was fun, it was fun being a brat. I've got my cheeky side."
That cheeky side is on display in the pop queen's single with Justin Timberlake that's climbing the charts. "I did want to make a great dance record for sure," she says, "but more than anything, I wanted to write great songs with good beats, so who better to do that with than Justin, Pharrell and Timbaland?"
Madonna confirmed that she would go on tour this fall during an interview with Ryan Seacrest [yesterday]. The interview is available for streaming from KiisFM's website. Just click here.
Tour dates and cities to be announced soon so stay tuned!
What could keep die-hard workout queen Madonna from the gym? A shot of tequila, and maybe a lemon drop.
The singer, who sounded groggy and admitted to having a hangover on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show Thursday morning, said that she and Justin Timberlake hit the town after performing a free concert in Manhattan on Wednesday.
"We had to celebrate," Madonna, 49, said. "[We] decided we both work too hard and have to have fun."
Adding that she defied her usual mantra of "work hard, and work so hard here's no time to play," the singer told Seacrest: "I had a shot of tequila ... I may have had a lemon drop, too … We 'tied one on' as they say.
Madonna and Timberlake, who sings on her single 4 Minutes, may have looked like BFFs Wednesday, but there was a time when the friends would "tip-toe around" each other in the studio. The pop stars barely knew each other when they began to work on her new album, and Madge reveals she was nervous about it.
"When you write music, the first thing that enters your brain is, 'I don't want to say it, and I don't want to share it, 'cause they might think it's stupid. And that happens to everybody," she told Seacrest.
But these days, Madonna has nothing but accolades for Timberlake. "He's ambitious but not in an offensive way," she said. "He's incredibly responsible and he's good at what he does and I think he has a long future in front of him. He understands the insanity of being a pop star."
No stranger to controversy, Madonna, also chimed in on the Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair photo scandal, telling Seacrest, "Leave her alone. She's gonna be 16 soon and then 17 and then 18, and then she might show her knees and then what's gonna happen?"
Madonna celebrated the release of her new album by performing at New York's Roseland Ballroom on Wednesday night (April 30). The 30-minute set included a mix of new and older tracks, all accompanied by a laser light show.
The set started off with new tracks like Candy Shop and Miles Away; for the third song, 4 Minutes, Justin Timberlake joined Madonna onstage. After playing the opening riff to the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" and engaging in some audience banter, she then proceeded to play a hard-rocking version of Hung Up, a new dance tune called Give It 2 Me, and closed the show with Music.
The event was sponsored by Verizon, which provided a live simulcast of the show's first four songs to subscribers worldwide. Verizon also took the opportunity to show off their fully equipped studio bus, and hinted at future artist collaborations.
Madonna is on track to net her seventh No. 1 album on next week's Billboard 200 with Hard Candy, based on first-day sales measured by the Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart released Wednesday afternoon (April 30).
Unweighted sales for the Warner Bros. album from the Building Chart's panel of reporters through the close of business Tuesday, April 29, stood at 100,000.
Among all female artists, only Barbra Streisand has earned more No. 1s -- with eight. Currently, Madonna, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson are all tied for the second most, with six apiece.
Late last year, Chris Brown's "Exclusive" posted a first day number of 107,000 and finished the week with 294,000. However, sources close to the Madonna project indicate that with much of Hard Candy's first-day figure driven by iTunes sales, its full sales week could end up closer to the range of 225,000-250,000.
Madonna's last studio effort, 2005's Confessions On A Dance Floor, started at No. 1 with 350,000.
Billboard estimates the merchants who report to Nielsen SoundScan's Building Chart -- Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Circuit City, iTunes, Starbucks, Borders, Target, Anderson Merchandisers, and Handleman Co. -- comprise about 80% of all U.S. Album sales.
Leading the charge for Hard Candy is first single 4 Minutes, featuring Justin Timberlake, which peaked at No. 3 on The Billboard Hot 100 and spent two weeks at No. 1 on Hot Digital Songs. The download has sold 1 million copies to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan, including 185,000 for the week that ended April 27.
Madonna first rang the Billboard 200's bell when Like A Virgin reached No. 1 in late 1984. Since then, she's claimed No. 1s with True Blue (1986), Like A Prayer (1989), Music (2000), American Life (2003) and Confessions.
On the Wednesday Building Chart, Lyfe Jennings' new "Lyfe Change" (Columbia) was in second place with 25,000. Other new titles appearing in that preliminary list's top 10 include the Roots' "Rising Down" (Def Jam), Portishead's "Third" (Mercury), Def Leppard's "Songs From the Sparkle Lounge" (Island/UMe), Augustana's "Can't Love, Can't Hurt" (Epic) and Mudcrutch's self-titled album (Reprise).
~ For more chart/sales stuff, check our chart news page.
Madonna humped Justin Timberlake.
And I got to see it. Timberlake was the surprise guest at Madge's one-night only show at New York's Roseland tonight, and the chemistry between the two was hot as they were humping, bumping and grinding through 4 Minutes.
Despite the fact that she's old enough to be his mother, they really do make beautiful music together.
She mostly stuck to songs off the new disc Hard Candy, but the evening - including a laser light show - had a totally '80s feel to it.
Madonna's tracksuit had that vintage look (even though it was new Dolce and Gabbana). The back-up dancers were breakdancing practically. And JT reeled off some of his best Michael Jackson-inspired moves.
There were a couple of glitches.
During Hung Up, one of only two older songs she performed in her 6-song set, the vocal track skipped a couple of beats, which left her looking a little flustered.
Then at the end of that same song, Madonna fell on her butt. Even with all the energetic gyrations onstage, I'm pretty sure she didn't mean to do that.
Halfway through her 32-minute set on Wednesday night at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, Madonna offered a message of sympathy.
"All you people I saw sleeping in the street last night," she said, "this song is for you."
It was Hung Up, about the agony of waiting. And as she finished the song, she added, just in case the message wasn't clear: "Anybody who knows me knows how much I hate to wait."
New York may be a city of the impatient, but for Madonna's fans, Wednesday's show proved that seeing her for free in a 2,200-capacity hall - minuscule by her usual touring standards - was something worth waiting for. And waiting for a very long time.
The line outside Roseland, on West 52nd Street, formed 60 hours before show time. By late Tuesday it had stretched around the block as the faithful stood and sat and slept and caffeinated themselves for the chance to score one of the 750 wrist bands that would guarantee free admission.
Erica Gabriel, a 28-year-old makeup artist, waited through the night on line with friends. Once duly wrist-banded some time after 6 a.m., she returned home to prepare the elaborate, swooping hairstyle and "stewardess-Madonna-tricky-tranny look" that she sported early Wednesday evening - as she waited on line again to receive a second wristband.
"Gays don't camp out," said one of Gabriel's friends, as the group laughed, "but we'll camp out for this."
Even those who joined the queue relatively late proved to be professionals of a sort.
"I'm not fanatical," said Walter Sharpe, 36, an interior designer from New York. "But I do collect Madonna magazine covers, and I've got maybe 170 of them."
There is something almost quaint about an overnight line for concert tickets in an era of Internet pre-sales and ordering by text message. But Madonna's show, to promote her new album, Hard Candy, was also part of a technologically sophisticated, 21st-century product rollout that involved multiple media tie-ins.
It was broadcast live on the Internet by MSN and on cell phones worldwide by Verizon and Vodaphone. In addition to the 750 spots given to fans on the line - that's on a line, not online - about 1,000 were given to radio contest winners, and 200 to members of Madonna's fan club, which now has a social-networking component.
And at 49, Madonna remains on the entrepreneurial vanguard of the music business. Hard Candy is her last album for her longtime label, Warner Brothers; in October she announced a new deal with the touring giant Live Nation that will encompass recordings, tours, merchandising and various other projects, and is valued at $120 million.
Not that all of the Music Biz 2.0 stuff mattered much to the people who crammed into Roseland on Wednesday, even those who breathe media and marketing. One of them was Tanesha Fields, a pretty 26-year-old who works in advertising and said her nights are filled with business parties. "Idon't have to go to another media event for a year," she said. "This tops them all."
The room roared with "Omigods" and lit up with digital camera flashes when Madonna emerged at 10:09 p.m. from behind a revolving stage barrier, dressed in shiny black and wearing lace-up boots. Backed by a live band whose members worked in the far corners of the stage, she performed six songs, four of them from Hard Candy.
Another big roar rose for the third song, 4 Minutes: Justin Timberlake, who is featured on the song and is one of the writers and producers of it, took the stage in a sharp white jacket and black scarf, and joined Madonna in some dirty dancing that had slight bondage overtones - with Madonna dominant, of course.
The show was swift clockwork. At 10:23, right after 4 Minutes, Madonna picked up a black electric guitar and, after picking out the riff to the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," led a grungy version of Hung Up. At 10:32 there was a slight costume change - she put on a black top with "HARD" in silver letters on the front and "CANDY" on the back - and she sang the new Give It 2 Me.
Then came Music, much dancing, and a quick makeup and hair fix on the wings. By 10:42 Madonna and her dancers had swung back through the revolving wall and the lights went up.
Some had waited for more than two days for a half-hour show. But no one seemed to be complaining.
"I had the time of my life tonight," said Jeanrené St. Pierre, a fan club contest winner from Montreal who wore a "BOYTOY" necklace. "Of course it was worth it."
In her new single, Madonna says she has just four minutes to save the world.
In a show at Roseland Wednesday night, she had just six songs to turn a rote promotional gig into an event worth dragging yourself out for.
The singer served up this hors d'oeuvre of a show before a crowd of cobbled-together contest winners, there to help hype her new CD, Hard Candy, which came out Tuesday.
Contrasting her plug-o-ramas of the past - which usually took the form of tossed-off, small-budget, late-night club jaunts, where the star simply sang to track - here Madonna seemed more engaged.
Or at least as engaged as you can be in a 30-minute sprint.
Backed by six dancers, a four-man band and the usual video pizzazz, she mainly belted out songs from - surprise, surprise - the new album.
Luckily, it's a work well worth the flog. Candy signals a return to the pure sugar of her earliest hits, but cannily updated for the MySpace age.
Opening with the salacious Candy Shop, Madonna appeared on an imposing throne while stroking a queenly scepter that seemed refigured for a kinkier purpose. As video of various treats spun behind, Madonna danced (gingerly) and sang live, though with lots of taped aid.
Given the set's fleeting nature, the more contemplative Miles Away probably wasn't the best chaser. But Madonna recovered mightily by next performing her hit with Justin Timberlake, 4 Minutes, which featured that very star.The choreography sent the two brand names sailing across the stage on gigantic speakers, handily mirroring the winning thrust of the tune and establishing a flirty rapport.
As if to thumb her nose at those who questioned her entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, Madonna then appeared with an electric guitar and power-chorded her way through a death-metal version of 2005's Hung Up.
Affected? Yes. But the gesture made its point.
This ditty featured video backdrop of the '80s New York Madonna has so famously, and controversially, pined for of late.
Those who missed all this zippy bliss shouldn't fret. Since Madonna, 49, has a new record contract with the concert monopoly Live Nation, you can bet the old workhorse will hit the road for a world tour before many more minutes fly by.
Madonna's career may span more than 25 years, but during an exclusive performance on Wednesday to celebrate the release of her 11th studio album the U.S. superstar told fans it still feels "like the first time."
The athletic 49-year-old performed six songs for around 2,000 people at New York City's Roseland Ballroom, including four from Hard Candy, her final album for long-term label Warner Bros. released internationally this week.
"Even though I have made what seems like 100 records, every time I put one out it's like the first time and the best time," said Madonna, dressed in knee-high black boots, black satin sweatpants with glittery side stripes and a corset.
Hard Candy scored solidly among critics, although much of the credit, or blame, they said, should go to the established hit-makers with whom she collaborated -- the likes of Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.
Timberlake joined her on stage at the Roseland to perform the single 4 Minutes, which went to No. 1 in the British singles charts and peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 listing.
"I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have been able to make a record with him, Timbaland, Pharrell, Kanye," she told the crowd.
Madonna, one of the world's biggest-selling artists, ditched Warner Bros. last year and signed a 10-year deal, including a three-album commitment, with concert touring company Live Nation believed to be worth $120 million.
You've got to hand it to Madonna - she never does anything half-assed.
The Queen of Pop, whose album Hard Candy dropped Tuesday, pulled out all the stops at New York's intimate Roseland Ballroom on Wednesday night (April 30), dazzling the packed-to-the-rafters crowd - including Fran Drescher and Rosie O'Donnell - with an energetic, fast-paced, six-song set that featured a guest appearance from Justin Timberlake for Madonna's latest single, 4 Minutes.
It was an event better-suited for Madison Square Garden and one that these fans - many of whom probably had to call a sitter for the evening - won't soon forget.
The pre-gig vibe was one of unadulterated excitement, with 45 minutes of candy-themed music (Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy," New Edition's "Candy Girl"), compliments of a DJ stationed center stage. Behind the expansive, five-platform stage, the cover image of Madonna's latest LP flashed on the big screens. Madonna, wearing a skintight black suit and a lace top, was certainly punctual, taking the stage promptly at 10:04 p.m. ET, to thunderous applause, as the first bars of Candy Shop reverberated off the packed venue's walls.
One segment of the stage rotated to reveal Madonna sitting on a gold-and-black throne, wielding a golden walking stick. Images of confections flashed on the television screens flanking the back of the stage. Madonna, along with her six dancers, gyrated in choreographed harmony to thesexy club jam.
This performance, even if only 38 minutes long, was production-heavy, with a four-piece band and no fat. One song seemed to blend into the next, with Madonna saying very little to her adoring fans, who hopped on the opportunity to snap pictures of the pop icon with their camera phones as she strutted across the edge of the stage.
Next, Madonna strapped on an acoustic guitar, tossed back a swig from a champagne bottle and strummed her way into Miles Away, a midtempo number about being far from home. Images of planes taking off and landing, airports and various locations around the globe were projected across the screens behind her.
The crowd cheered at the first few notes of 4 Minutes, which mimicked its video with a flashing countdown clock. After Madonna belted out the song's first verse, Timberlake emerged from a rotating pylon, wearing a white jacket and black scarf. It was the high point of the evening, and the production value of the performance was arena-size.
Madonna paused for a moment to reflect on the talent she's been able to work with lately, including Timberlake, Kanye West, Timbaland and others. "I feel like the luckiest girl in the world," she said, before dedicating her next number to her longtime fans - the ones she'd seen "sleeping on the sidewalk" the night before in line for tickets.
She then played Hung Up from 2005's Confessions On a Dance Floor, followed by the disco anthem Give It 2 Me, with pink and green disco beams pulsating across the crowd. Madonna danced like a woman less than half her age, and her vocals were at their peak.
"Give it to me, New York," Madonna yelled. "I don't see you people dancing up and down enough."
The stage lights were reminiscent of those at a Daft Punk gig, and that didn't change during the night's final song, Music. Madonna started out at the very front of the stage, singing the opening a cappella, and was joined by all the concertgoers, who screamed in unison: "Music/ Makes the people/ Come together."
As her dancers emerged from a faux silver subway car (destination: "Freshville"), she pranced across the stage, touching the dozens of outreached hands grabbing for her attention. The show ended with Madonna racing up the stage to the subway doors, behind which she disappeared.
And at 10:38, she was done. In and out.
Madonna gave a cool show at NYC's Roseland Ballroom for the fans tonight, with the set of the following songs:
The new songs sounded great, even though Madonna used some backing vocals for the higher parts, they were impressive, with great choreographies. Justin joined Madonna during 4 Minutes and together they gave a sexy performance, was the obvious highlight.
Far from that was a new rock version of Hung Up, unfortunately it sounded lame, with Madonna playing the electric guitar and completely ruining the fabulous "breakdown" of the song. Music had some nice choreography but was a bit of letdown compared to the recent tour versions we had of that song.
Madonna is going to repeat the same show in Paris on May 6th and in London on May 10th.↑ Back to top of page