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13 December - Madonna to get Brazil 'Sticky and Sweet' as tour wraps up
US pop star Madonna arrived in Brazil Friday ahead of the final concerts of her worldwide Sticky and Sweet Tour that showed that, at age 50, she can still sell out top-notch venues.
The entertainer, who is undergoing divorce proceedings from her British filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie, landed in Rio de Janeiro where she was met by a security detail that whisked her to a five-star Copacabana beach hotel.
She is to perform two concerts in Rio, on Sunday and Monday, before going to Brazil's biggest city of Sao Paulo for gigs next week on December 18, 20 and 21.
The concerts are the last in her four-month tour across Europe, North America and Latin America, which kicked off August 23 in Wales, Britain.
In all she will have played 58 shows that raked in more than 200 million dollars, according to Billboard magazine.
During her spin around the globe, she has had to oversee divorce proceedings handled by her lawyers.
On November 21, a London court granted a provisional "quickie" divorce to Madonna -- full name Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone -- on the grounds her husband Ritchie had acted unreasonably.
The court released a document in which Madonna stated that she and Ritchie, 40, had not lived together at the same address for six months.
A decree formally dissolving the marriage is expected by early January.
Contradictory accounts in Britain's tabloids over the bust-up said either that Madonna thought Ritchie was lazy, tight-fisted and preferred the pub to his family, or that Ritchie thought she was a control freak obsessed with her Kabbalah faith.
It was also variously reported that Ritchie either received a lot of money from the split -- or none at all.
Madonna is regarded as the world's highest-earning female singer -- Forbes.com put her at the top of its latest "cash queens of music" list with earnings of 72 million dollars between June 2006 and June 2007.
The pair are reportedly fighting over whether their two sons should live in Britain or the United States -- and over who gets them for Christmas. (source: AFP via Yahoo!)
12 December - Donna broadcast goes Frozen
Two weeks ago, we already reported Madonna's positions in the Donna Top 5000. Today they're broadcasting the 100 highest hits. Like A Prayer was the Madonna song that scored best, ending up with a #52. This is the song's best performance in the top since 2002, when it reached #33. Last year, it was at #89.
The 2nd highest song, Frozen at #143, caused quite some commotion. Since 2005, this song can't be played on Belgian radio anymore, because an unknown composer Salvatore Acquaviva claims Madonna plagiarised his song Ma Vie Fout Le Camp. Ever since, Frozen is the only song of the annual Donna top that can't be played. This year, the listeners were asked for suggestions to compensate for the lack of this beautiful ballad. Some suggested to sing or hum it on the phone or to play an instrumental version, but the DJs chose a more radical solution. They told people to look for Frozen on YouTube and to start playing after a countdown. Then the radio broadcast was interrupted for a full 5'22, nothing but silence! A true protest against a ridiculous court decision.
11 December - Sao Paulo officials try to break up Madonna concert camp
Brazilian officials in a Sao Paulo suburb where US pop star Madonna is to give three concerts next week have ordered some 20 fans to break up a makeshift camp they set up to grab good spots once doors open. The municipality of Butanta, home to the giant Morumbi stadium that will host Madonna's shows on December 18, 19 and 21, have warned hardy fans hunkered down in front of the landmark that their tents and sleeping bags face confiscation. They will be fined 200 dollars if they want them back. "This is a public area where it is prohibited to camp. They will be treated in the same way as street salesman are," the deputy mayor, Mauricio Pinterich, told the Estado news agency. Madonna is currently making her Sticky and Sweet concert tour in Latin America. (source: AFP via Yahoo!)
11 December - Chilean cardinal: Madonna rouses 'impure thoughts'
Madonna is causing "crazy enthusiasm" and "impure thoughts" on her first concert visit to Chile, a prominent retired cardinal complained on Wednesday, as he paused in a tribute to a late dictator to denounce the pop star. Roman Catholic Cardinal Jorge Medina criticized the flamboyant singer during his homily at a Mass in honor of the late dictator Augusto Pinochet, who oversaw the deaths of some 3,200 dissidents during his 1973-1990 rule. "This woman comes here and in an incredibly shameless manner, she provokes a crazy enthusiasm, an enthusiasm of lust, lustful thoughts, impure thoughts," said Medina, the cardinal who was chosen to announce the election of Pope Benedict XV. Hundreds of fans spent three days camping outside the National Stadium in Santiago to get good spots for Wednesday's concert, the first of two. About 60,000 people were expected at each performance. One of those waiting in line, Roberto Lopez, told local reporters that he had quit his job in the southern city of Punta Arenas because his boss hadn't given him time off to attend the concert. Pinochet died Dec. 10, 2006, at age 91. Medina said that some of those who claim to seek justice for violations of human rights under the dictator are actually seeking revenge. (source: AP via Yahoo!)
08 December - Madonna claims damages over wedding pictures
Madonna is claiming more than £5m damages over publication of private photographs of her wedding to film director Guy Ritchie, it has emerged at the High Court.
A judge in London heard that pictures of the "wholly private" event on December 22, 2000, were copied "surreptitiously" by an interior designer during work at her home in Beverly Hills.
The star's barrister, Matthew Nicklin, told Mr Justice Eady that no photographs of the wedding had ever been published anywhere in the world until October 19 this year.
On that date the Mail On Sunday published 11 photographs over the front page and a double-page inside spread.
Madonna, who recently divorced Ritchie, was given no warning, said Mr Nicklin.
He said: "She was ambushed, for the simple reason that if the Mail On Sunday had told her what they intended to do, the claimant would have sought and obtained an injunction."
He said that after publication Madonna launched legal proceedings seeking damages "in excess of £5m, being the estimated value of the photographs".
Mr Nicklin said the newspaper, which paid £5,000 for the photographs, "makes no attempt to defend what it did" and admitted breach of privacy and copyright.
The judge entered judgment in Madonna's favour on the issue of liability.
Further proceedings to assess the damages to be paid are expected to be heard at the High Court next year. (source: Sky News)
05 December - Evita makes a comeback on the Sticky & Sweet Tour
It's 1996 all over again! Eva Peron's spirit came back when Madonna changed up the setlist and sang Don't Cry For Me Argentina right after You Must Love Me last night at the first Sticky & Sweet show in Buenos Aires. It's the first time that Madonna sang the famous musical number live onstage, and it was worth the wait, because her gorgeous vocals not only brought tears to many fans' eyes, but Madonna herself got emotional as well, no doubt feeling the appreciation of the Argentine fans and remembering her role from the movie 12 years ago. You can watch a great recording of the Evita medley on our intro page.
To find out more on the Sticky & Sweet Tour, visit our diary to read a summary on every single show or check out the fan reviews of the tour. For the first time in years, tonight Madonna is going to perform on a Friday, hopefully she's gonna reprise yesterday's surprise as well. Moreover, the tour DVD is being recorded at the Buenos Aires shows.
If you have reports or pictures from any of the shows, feel free to send them to us!
04 December - First pictures from the Louis Vuitton campaign published
When Marc Jacobs found himself in a meeting on a recent Monday morning to brainstorm about Louis Vuitton's next fashion advertising campaign, inspiration struck. "I just blurted out, 'I think we should do Madonna,'" said the designer, Vuitton's creative director, mentioning he'd attended a concert by the pop icon the night before in Paris. "I was totally just blown away by it, and moved by her performance, by what she had to say, and her energy."
As the meeting went on, Jacobs tapped out a message to Madonna on his BlackBerry, and within about five minutes came the reply: "I'd love to."
The result is six atmospheric pictures of a smoldering Madonna by Steven Meisel that will break in a range of fashion magazines in February. "It's a big change from what we were doing. It tells a story," said Antoine Arnault, Vuitton's director of communications. "This I think is an amazing coup, but more than that, there's real logic behind it. It's very linked to Marc's fashion show."
Although Arnault declined to give figures, he said media budgets for the fashion campaign would be on par with a year ago. And he dismissed as "absurd" reports pegging Madonna's fees at $10 million. "It's very far away from that," he assured.
The campaign marks the end of Vuitton's six-year collaboration with photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, with the parting characterized as amicable, and another reunion for long-time collaborators Madonna and Meisel. Jacobs last worked with Meisel in his Perry Ellis days. (Arnault noted it's "very probable" Vuitton's association with Meisel will continue.)
The campaign takes the very Parisian theme of Jacobs' hit spring Vuitton collection, with a smoky French bistro the setting, and the sepia-toned images evoking a Brassai atmosphere. "As cliché as they are, I love all these French references," the designer said. (Although the restaurant, Figaro, is on North Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles).
"I still feel it looks like beautiful, gorgeous Madonna," Jacobs said about the images. "Excepting the references and excepting the clichés, this still feels very today. And it didn't feel so much like a fashion shoot, it feels like portraits."
The shoot wrapped up in less than a day and without incident, although Jacobs said hordes of paparazzi literally "appeared out of the bushes" the moment Madonna arrived. "It went from a quiet street to complete chaos," he said.
The designer also marveled at the singer's incredible fitness that allowed her to recline, her back arched, on bentwood chairs, or shoot a leg straight up in the air, no sweat. "She's so sure of herself as an icon and as a woman. It was her idea to do the fishnets," Jacobs said. "What fascinates me the most about her is her never-ending energy, and the idea of becoming and changing. She's an artist who's unafraid to use her voice."
Arnault said the fashion campaign would appear "very strongly" in February and March issues and with few changes in media placements. "We're staying on target," he stressed.
The first visuals will spotlight slouchy bags in monogram canvas and monogram-embossed leather, along with ethnic-inspired sandals, bangles and sexy ready-to-wear. In tandem, Vuitton will continue to run its "core values" campaign, with spots featuring Sean Connery, the latest celebrity spokesman, continuing into next year. Analysts have estimated Vuitton spends more than $250 million annually on advertising, most of it print-driven. (source: WWD.com)
04 December - Madonna's message to her Argentine fans
Madonna personally sends this message to her fans on Madonna.com:
"I am so disappointed that I had to cancel my show tonight. I've been so looking forward to these four shows in Argentina. When I found out my stage was not going to arrive due to plane delays, I started to cry. Fortunately I am able to make up the show and I am very sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused anyone. I look forward to seeing you all at River Plate Stadium tomorrow night and this weekend."
04 December - Madonna gets 2 Grammy nominations
The nominations for the 51st Grammy Awards have just been announced and Madonna got nominated in the following categories:
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
Alicia Keys and John Mayer - Lessons Learned
Madonna and Justin Timberlake - 4 Minutes
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Rich Woman
Rihanna and Maroon 5 - If I Never See Your Face Again
Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown - No Air
Best Dance Recording
Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger
Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor
Lady Gaga & Colby O'Donis - Just Dance
Madonna - Give It 2 Me
Rihanna - Disturbia
Sam Sparro - Black & Gold
The competition is tough in both categories, but Madonna might get lucky. Unfortunately the Hard Candy album did not get any nominations. It's only the second time in 15 years when a Madonna album is ignored by the Grammy Awards (the other being American Life). Junkie XL got a nomination for his 4 Minutes remix in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category. The awards will be handed out on February 8th, 2009.
03 December - North American leg of tour is a complete sellout!
Billboard Boxscore reveals the last remaining shows of the North American leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour, which brings fantastic news: all of the US & Canada shows sold out, without exception! Even the late addition, Detroit is labeled as a sellout, which got a lot of criticism and bad press that it wouldn't sell out because of economy problems. Congratulations to Madonna, and let's hope the Latin American leg brings the same success!
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Nov. 16, 2008
41,498 / 41,498
Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
Nov. 18, 2008
30,119 / 30,119
Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
Nov. 20, 2008
13,790 / 13,790
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, N.J.
Nov. 22, 2008
13,293 / 13,293
Philips Arena, Atlanta, Ga.
Nov. 24, 2008
14,843 / 14,843
Dolphin Stadium, Miami, Fla.
Nov. 26, 2008
47,998 / 47,998
03 December - Madonna postpones tonight's concert in Buenos Aires *official*
Madonna has postponed the first of four shows in Argentina.
Representatives of River Plate Stadium say they have postponed the pop star's opening concert at the request of the production company. She will still perform as scheduled in Buenos Aires on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Local news media are reporting that some of Madonna's sound equipment hasn't arrived due to flight delays, so the concert could be rescheduled for Monday.
Local production company Time 4 Fun wouldn't comment when contacted by The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Madonna kicked off the Latin American leg of her Sticky & Sweet world tour last week in Mexico City.
From Buenos Aires she heads to Chile and Brazil. (source: AP via Yahoo)
Madonna.com posts the following clarification:
T4F has announced that tonight's engagement of Madonna on December 3 at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires has been postponed due to unforeseen technical difficulties. However, in order not to disappoint any of her fans, Madonna has moved around her schedule so that all four shows in Buenos Aires will be performed.
The new schedule will be as follows: Madonna will perform at River Plate Stadium on December 4, 5, 7 and 8. Please note that tickets for tonight's performance, December 3, will be honored on Friday, December 5. In addition, please note that tickets for Saturday, December 6 will be honored on Monday, December 8.
With this revised schedule, Madonna is happy to accommodate her many fans. The shows will continue to be filmed for later broadcast. The support and understanding of the many fans of Madonna is most greatly appreciated. She looks forward to performing all four shows on this historic run at the famous River Plate Stadium.
Just to recap:
- Fans holding tickets for Wednesday, December 3 will attend the show on Friday, December 5.
- Fans holding tickets for Thursday, December 4 will attend the show on Thursday, December 4.
- Fans holding tickets for Saturday, December 6 will attend the show on Monday, December 8.
- Fans holding tickets for Sunday, December 7 will attend the show on Sunday, December 7.
03 December - Madonna meets Argentine president and ex-hostage Betancourt
Madonna met with a president and a former guerrilla-held hostage Tuesday at Argentina's presidential palace, where she filmed Evita 12 years ago. The pop star, in Buenos Aires on the Latin America leg of her Sticky & Sweet world tour, showed up early for a visit Argentine President Cristina Fernandez - who was then meeting with one of the world's best-known ex-hostages. Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt was freed in July after being held more than six years in jungle camps by leftist rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. She was visiting Argentina to thank its government for working to free hundreds of other hostages left behind. Fernandez brought Madonna and Betancourt together for a brief meeting that was closed to the press. The trip marks Madonna's third visit to Buenos Aires, where in 1996 she played Eva Peron, the first lady of Argentina from 1946-52, in the musiscal film Evita. Then-President Carlos Menem permitted her to film one of the movie's most famous scenes on the balcony of the palace, where she sang Don't Cry for Me Argentina. Madonna arrived in Buenos Aires with her three children and 200 dancers, technicians and other crew members. She gives the first of four concerts on Wednesday. (source: AP via Yahoo!)
01 December - Ask Billboard on Miles Away
Billboard columnist and Madonna fan Keith Caulfield discusses the current state of Miles Away in the US in Ask Billboard:
Madonna teamed up with Justin Timberlake for the top 10 Hot 100 smash 4 Minutes. She had a No. 1 Hot Dance Club Play hit with Give It 2 Me, but that single didn't strike a cord with radio (and only peaked at No. 57 on the Hot 100).
Now does Madonna have any plans to release anything else from the Hard Candy album? I read on the Internet that Miles Away was released to radio in the U.K., along with a handful of dance remixes. Does she have plans to release that single or any other tracks from her latest CD while she's on tour?
Mitchell, South Dakota
I'm listening to the dance mixes of Miles Away right now on my iTunes. They were commercially released this week both in the U.S. and the U.K. through digital download services (and possibly in many other global territories).
The producers enlisted to remix the tune for dance floors include Thin White Duke, Johnny Vicious, Morgan Page, Rebirth (Demacio "Demo" Castellon, Vincent di Pasquale, Larry Grant), Aaron LaCrate and Debonair Samir.
I don't believe the single has been promoted to U.S. radio stations yet. Right now, the focus is on dance clubs here in the States. (On the Hot Dance Club Play chart out next week, dated Dec. 13, Miles will move from No. 35 to No. 20 in its second week on the chart. It is her 55th Hot Dance Club Play hit.)
In Europe, Miles Away moves up to No. 13 on the Nielsen Music Control Euro Radio Airplay chart (dated Nov. 20).
However, it would seem that, at least in the U.K., the favorable radio support isn't translating into success with digital downloads. It's looking like the song is selling rather poorly and it may miss the top 40 of the Official U.K. Singles Chart this Sunday (Nov. 30) when the new chart is released.
A few chart-geek notes:
If Miles misses the top 40, it will be her first single to miss the top 10 in the U.K. since 2003 (Love Profusion) and her first single to miss the top 20 since 1984 (with the original release of Borderline).
Not exactly records you'd want to set.
01 December - Madonna tour grosses $91.5 million
The 28 dates on Madonna's just-concluded North American jaunt grossed about $91.5 million and moved about 550,000 tickets, according to tour producer Arthur Fogel, chairman of global music for Live Nation.
The venerable performer wrapped the North American leg of her Sticky & Sweet tour Wednesday in front of 50,000 people at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. She then headed to Mexico City for shows Saturday and Sunday.
Counting her European run, Madonna is at about $207.5 million in ticket sales and on a pace to hit about $282 million when the Mexico/South America leg of the tour wraps. That would make Sticky & Sweet the top-grossing tour ever by a female artist or solo artist.
The tour, supporting her album Hard Candy, concludes with three nights December 18-21 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (source: Reuters/Billboard via Yahoo)
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