Madonna news - Jan. 2009

← Dec. 2008 | Jan. 2009 →

15 January - Madonna saddles up for horse riding festival
Madonna isn't horsing around when it comes to her Equestrian ambitions - the Queen of Pop is flying out a top British trainer to the U.S. in a bid to transform her into a competitive rider.
Madonna showing her love with horse riding on the Confessions TourThe Material Girl star has her sights set on becoming a top-class horsewoman, and has roped in U.K. eventer Daisy Trayford to coach her at the FTI Equestrian Festival at Wellington, Florida in March (09).
The singer has flown out two horses from the U.K. to help realise her dressage dreams.
And Trayford can't wait to get the star into the paddock - insisting the notoriously tough superstar is a "dream pupil".
She tells Britain's Horse + Hound publication, "She's very driven, listens to what you say and just wants to do it and improve. You can always get somewhere with someone like that. She's a dream pupil.
"When I started teaching her she hadn't jumped at all and now she can jump a course of 1.05m. Jumping and hacking are her two favourite things."
It isn't the first time Madonna has tackled the world of horseriding - she was left with three cracked ribs, a fractured collarbone and broken hand after being thrown from horse at her Wiltshire, England estate in 2005. (source: ContactMusic)

14 January - Madonna is the highest-grossing pop act of 2008
Performing Candy Shop in Las VegasIt's official: Madonna tops Calendar's Ultimate Top 10, our annual survey combining sales of concert tickets, albums and digital downloads to measure which acts were most popular with the broadest swath of music lovers.
Madonna was the No. 1 concert attraction in North America during the year, according to Pollstar, the concert-tracking magazine, and she enjoyed album sales to the tune of $12.5 million in addition to downloads of $2.3 million.
For the year, there's also a total split between Nielsen SoundScan's ranking of the 10 biggest-selling performers of 2008 and Pollstar's Top 10 highest-grossing North American concert tours.
In recent years the Pollstar and SoundScan rosters have veered away from one another. Typically, classic-rock acts that appeal to well-heeled baby boomers rake in the most money at box offices, while hot but still developing pop, R&B and hip-hop artists sell more albums.
The highest any Top 10 SoundScan act finished in Pollstar's 2008 ranking was No. 13, where the Jonas Brothers (No. 7 among album sellers) landed after playing to 1.3 million fans last year.
Concert revenue hit $4.2 billion in 2008, according to Pollstar, a 7% rise over the previous year, even though the number of tickets sold was down. An 8.4% increase in average ticket prices was behind the rise, figures that are "astounding considering the economic environment in which they were generated," Pollstar Editor Gary Bongiovanni said.
The road is still where artists tend to make the most money. Only three of the Nielsen SoundScan biggest-selling artists of 2008 -- AC/DC, Coldplay an the Jonas Brothers -- make the Ultimate Top 10, even folding in their revenue from digital track sales, which we began including in the Ultimate Top 10 ranking last year.
Performing 4 Minutes in East RutherfordThe best example? Taylor Swift sold more albums than any other act last year: 4 million, giving her $52 million in revenue from album sales using $13 as the average price of a CD. But she placed No. 12 in the Ultimate Top 10 calculations because she played only a handful of concerts as a headliner. She spent most of the year as a supporting act on Rascal Flatts' tour.
That leaves the upper reaches of the Ultimate Top 10 to the veterans, and no one outperformed Madonna, whose combined income of $120 million is a drop from the previous year's winner, the Police, which logged $140.7 million.
In fact, Madonna's total is the lowest for a No. 1 since the Ultimate Top 10 began in 1997, when the Rolling Stones posted $100 million on concert ticket and album sales. The record belongs to 'N Sync, which earned $212.9 million in 2000 at the height of teen pop.
The Material Girl took in $105.3 million from touring, in addition to $14.8 million from music sales. It's hard to decide what's more impressive. The average gross at her shows, mostly in stadiums, was an eye-popping $5.5 million, and she drew about 36,000 people per show. Additionally, the average ticket price was $153.88, easily the highest among Pollstar's Top 50 grossing tours. Worldwide, according to Pollstar, she amassed $281.6 million. (source: Los Angeles Times)
~ Congratulations to Madonna! Notice how little music sales mean next to her amazing tour gross, proves that she's still a clever businesswoman, as she was smart to focus on the tour instead of promoting her CD only to sell some extra copies with much less revenue. It's incredible how Madonna manages to lead the pop industry even after 25 years!

13 January - Join Madonna, vote for Raising Malawi
Helping Malawi's one million orphaned children is much easier than you think.
By voting for Raising Malawi in this month's MySpace Impact Awards, you can help Madonna's charity win a (USD) 10,000 grant.
So if you've always wanted to make an impact, now's your chance.
It's fast, it's free, and it can make a real difference in the lives of impoverished children.
Go to Vote for Raising Malawi today and every day thru January 26. A better future is at your fingertips.

Madonna @ Rock & Roll Hall of Fame11 January - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction: Biggest Madonna event of 2008
In the past weeks, Mad-Eyes asked its visitors about 2008's most important Madonna event. The majority of the visitors considered Madonna's induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as the biggest Madonna event of 2008 (32% of the votes). Madonna was inducted by recent musical partner-in-crime Justin Timberlake on March 10th and gave fans a fantastic speech, thanking her friends and collaborators, which event was the celebration of her 25 years in the music industry. The runner-up was the Sticky & Sweet Tour kick-off in Cardiff, while the divorce announcement was marginally beaten by the release of 12th studio album and 7th US #1 album Hard Candy for the 3rd place. With the votes so split between the choices, we know it was definitely big year for Madonna and fans had a lot of great Madonna moments in 2008!
Our current poll wants to know your favourite tour video interlude: vote here!

05 January - Sticky & Sweet DVD in March
Fellow fansite MadonnaOnline Brasil has received exciting news about the upcoming DVD release of the Sticky & Sweet Tour. This is the first Madonna product released under her new Live Nation contract. The DVD, which will contain exciting bonus material, will be distributed worldwide by Universal Music in March 2009! The release will be accompanied by a large promo campaign.

05 January - Madonna planning 'high-energy routine' for Britney tour
Madonna and Britney Spears are planning an explosive dance routine to ensure her forthcoming comeback world tour kicks off with a bang. The Queen of Pop is expected to appear as a surprise guest on Spears' upcoming Circus tour later this year (09). The Toxic hitmaker joined her mentor Madonna on-stage in Los Angeles in November (08) during the U.S. leg of her Sticky & Sweet Tour, and the Material Girl is reportedly desperate to return the favour. Spears has reportedly hired Jamie King, the choreographer of Madonna's last three tours, to create a high-energy routine the duo can perform together.
A source tells Britain's Daily Mail, "When Britney joined Madonna on stage for her Sticky & Sweet Tour it was very sedate. This is going to be a high-energy dance routine - getting back to what they are both good at: Performing." Madonna and Spears shocked fans when they puckered up for an on-stage kiss during their performance at the MTV VMAs in 2003. They also teamed up on a track, Me Against the Music, the same year. (source: ContactMusic)

04 January - Madonna in Maldives / tour extension rumours
Same as last year, Madonna is spending the first days of the new year at the Maldives. Except that this time, it is without Guy.
Meanwhile, there are rumours doing rounds that the Sticky & Sweet Tour would be extended with a few shows in London. While that may sound very exciting to many fans, this is very unlikely. Previous tours have had similar rumours which also turned out to be untrue. It's very unlike Madonna to be repeating the same tour concept and setlist a few months later, and to come with a new concept & setlist for a few shows only is unpractical and logistically impossible. An extension to other markets, such as Asia and/or Australia would make more sense, but that possibility has already been considered and dropped by Live Nation for economical reasons. There are also rumours about Madonna appearing at the Glastonbury festival. Although there's nothing officially announced, that is a more likely possibility, comparable to her one-off appearances on Live Earth and Coachella. But for the moment, let's not get our hopes up.

03 January - Madonna strikes a pose for Louis Vuitton
When Louis Vuitton asked Madonna to be the face of its latest campaign, it made her an offer she couldn't refuse.
Madonna by Luis Vuitton "This was really different," explains Antoine Arnault, communications director of Louis Vuitton, when asked how Madonna came to front the company's new spring/summer campaign. "Usually, these things take much, much longer," he explains; a lengthy process of identifying the right person to embody the fashion and luxury-goods brand, the right photographer, the right look for the campaign, plus, of course, all the deal-making a project like this involves. This time, however, pretty much everything was agreed inside a week.

"On the Monday," Arnault recalls, "we had a meeting, and Marc Jacobs suggested Madonna. I thought, yes, great idea, but it will never happen. Then, in the meeting, Marc sent her a text saying, 'Love, would you like to be the new Louis Vuitton woman?' Five minutes later, she'd replied. He showed me his phone, and she'd said, 'Yes, I'd love to do it.'" What could be simpler?

Clearly, when a big brand like Louis Vuitton chooses a new face for its campaign, it's not just a matter of affectionate text messages between Marc Jacobs and Madonna. Men like Louis Vuitton's CEO, Yves Carcelle, have to agree that it is a good idea, not a whim, as well as, of course, Carcelle's boss and Antoine Arnault's father, Bernard Arnault, head of the LVMH luxury-goods empire.

Madonna by Luis Vuitton But as Antoine Arnault sees it, "Marc knows the brand probably better than anyone now," having been artistic director for a decade, during which time Louis Vuitton has expanded massively. Jacobs had seen Madonna in concert the week before, but it wasn't some "let's be crazy" decision, Arnault explains, citing how Jacobs had previously picked J-Lo as the face of Louis Vuitton in 2003. "That wasn't an obvious choice, perhaps, but it instantly put us on the top in the US in one campaign.

"Madonna is glamorous," Arnault continues. "She has a global image. She's the ultimate performer and businesswoman, and not someone who is just a famous singer. She has travelled; she has tried to change things." And if her personal life isn't perfect right now, "Well, that only makes her more human." Once the proposal had been made, and provisionally accepted, in both cases by text, "Then we had to agree on a figure, a concept, a photographer." Yet the whole process seems to have been plain sailing - an object lesson, if you like, in the degree of certainty that people at the top of the fashion industry tend to display about their creative choices.

Madonna by Luis Vuitton The figure? Well, just how much Madonna is being paid for what is, in a sense, both one day's work and the product of many years at the top of her game is a moot point. Some have claimed it's $10 million (£6.6 million). But Arnault is careful to puncture that, saying, "The figure is really, really lower than that. In times like these, it would be totally irresponsible to pay anyone $10 million."

The concept? Madonna has been photographed in a nostalgic, Parisian bistro setting, perhaps at that "waiters whistling as the last bar closes" moment in the early hours. "Only it's in LA," Arnault quips, not Paris - "One of those French bistros in California where you really think you're in France" - and it's daytime and there are hundreds of paparazzi outside. Madonna smoulders quietly, all fishnets and high kicks, with a glamour that gives more than a nod to Dietrich, long an acknowledged influence. She's wearing Marc Jacobs' ready-to-wear clothes for Louis Vuitton, styled by Marie-Amélie Sauvé, with, of course, due prominence given to some lovely bags and shoes, those accessories that have long been such steady earners for the brand.

But Madonna by Luis Vuittonthere is a certain quietness to the images, a kind of gentleness, perhaps, which might also (along with that willingly professed prudence over Madonna's fee) be a sign of the extraordinary times we live in. Certainly, when I put it to Arnault that the crunch might be changing the aesthetic and that, in particular, a certain kind of flash advertising message now looks passé, even wrong somehow, he doesn't exactly demur. "Other people can try to rationalise every campaign, but there is certainly a feeling that emerges from designers, photographers, creatives of all kinds, which is maybe something they don't talk about, but which they can feel."

The photographer in question here is Steven Meisel, rather than Mert and Marcus, who have shot all of Louis Vuitton's campaigns since 2002, including those amazingly effective shots of J-Lo. "We were very happy with them," Arnault insists, but all good things come to an end - and, after all, it was Meisel who photographed the wilder, younger, more in-your-face Madonna who leapt off the pages of Sex, the book which caused such a storm back in 1992. So this campaign can be seen as something of a reunion, Meisel additionally having photographed Madonna for Vanity Fair late last year. Jacobs and Meisel are old friends, too, Arnault explains, "from the crazy years of the Eighties".

And once Antoine Arnault had assembled his dream team? "I think the three of them were in touch with each other on the phone almost every day," he says of the run-up to the shoot, "talking about ideas, sharing references, then talking about individual shots." On the big day itself, "About 50 people were on the set, which sounds like a lot, but it's all in the preparation, in the make-up and the set and so on. Once that was in place, Madonna would come out, get into position, and the shots went amazingly quickly, sometimes in about 15 minutes. It was a delight." (source: Times Online)

↑ Back to top of page