Madonna news - Aug. 2009


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15 August - Celebration greatest hits tracklist leaks
Fansite MadonnaTribe reveals the tracklist of the double CD of Celebration:

CD 1:
01) Hung Up
02) Music
03) Vogue
04) 4 Minutes
05) Holiday
06) Like A Virgin
07) Into The Groove
08) Everybody
09) Like A Prayer
10) Ray Of Light
11) Sorry
12) Express Yourself
13) Open Your Heart
14) Borderline
15) Secret
16) Erotica
17) Justify My Love
18) Revolver

CD 2:
01) Dress You Up
02) Material Girl
03) La Isla Bonita
04) Papa Don't Preach
05) Lucky Star
06) Burning Up
07) Crazy For You
08) Who's That Girl
09) Frozen
10) Miles Away
11) Take A Bow
12) Beautiful Stranger
13) Hollywood
14) Die Another Day
15) Don't Tell Me
16) Live To Tell
17) Cherish
18) Celebration

As you can see, all the lyrics hints at Madonna.com turn out to be correct, except one song, You Must Love Me, whose lyrics feature on the albumcover but is not part of the tracklist, which means Evita is the only major Madonna era that is not represented on this otherwise fantastic compilation.


14 August - Ask Billboard: Madona vs Whitney
Hi Gary,
Whitney Houston and Madonna are making simultaneous returns to the charts, harkening back to the diva rivalry the two staged in the '80s. Which one of these pop stars has sold the most albums? Conflicting sources show one selling more than the other, and vice versa. I know you will have the most reliable information.
Thanks,
Neil Massey
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Hi Neil,
Houston and Madonna do indeed grace a number of charts this week, including the Billboard Hot 100, to which each superstar returns. See yesterday's Chart Beat for details.
As for who has sold the most albums since the singers' arrivals, let's use two sources. Because the pair enjoyed major successes prior to the advent of Nielsen SoundScan data in 1991, let's first look at Recording Industry of America (RIAA) figures, which encompass the spans of both singers' entire extraordinary careers.
According to the RIAA, Madonna holds a slight edge over Houston. Madonna ranks 15th all-time with 63.5 million units certified. Houston places 20th with 54 million. (The Beatles lead with 170 million units certified).
Using Nielsen SoundScan data (again, since 1991), Madonna holds a much wider lead. She has sold 26,347,000 albums, compared to 9,489,000 for Houston.

Here are Madonna's 10 best-selling albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan:

5,777,000, The Immaculate Collection (1990)
3,837,000, Ray Of Light (1998)
2,923,000, Music (2000)
2,309,000, Bedtime Stories (1994)
2,086,000, Something To Remember (1995)
1,890,000, Erotica (1992)
1,695,000, Confessions On A Dance Floor (2005)
1,385,000, GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2 (2001)
725,000, Hard Candy (2008)
675,000, American Life (2003)

Here are the totals of Houston's five studio albums to date, plus her best-of and holiday sets:

2,753,000, "My Love Is Your Love" (1998)
1,728,000, "I'm Your Baby Tonight" (1990)
1,644,000, "The Greatest Hits" (2000)
1,038,000, "Whitney Houston" (1985)
972,000, "Whitney" (1987)
737,000, "Just Whitney" (2002)
433,000, "Holiday Album" (2003)

The next showdown is set. Houston releases "I Look to You" Aug. 25, and Madonna offers Celebration, her third hits compilation, Sept. 29. The latter date is scheduled to feature new albums from two other female superstars, which should make for a notable scramble for the top of the Billboard 200: Mariah Carey releases "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" and Barbra Streisand returns with her first studio album since 2005, "Love Is the Answer." Female-led alternative rock act Paramore, featuring singer Hayley Williams, will also compete for the summit the same week with its sophomore set, "Brand New Eyes." (source: Billboard.com)


13 August - Madonna scores 55th Billboard Hot 100 hit
Celebration, the singleThe new single Celebration manages to debut on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart this week, entering at #71. It's Madonna's 55th chart entry, reassuring her fourth place in the all-time female list of Hot 100 entries. Celebration almost completely relied on sales for this debut, it sold 31,882 last week (current total is around 42,000). Unfortunately since then it left the iTunes top 100 and its airplay is struggling, it couldn't even break 2 million audience impressions so far. Which means most likely Celebration will only spend one week on the Hot 100 and becomes Madonna's worst performing lead-off single since Everybody, and her 3rd lowest peaking Hot 100 hit (behind only Nothing Really Matters & Love Don't Live Here Anymore).
We'd like to remind our readers that as fans, we cannot do anything about this (apart from buying the song once on iTunes or Amazon, if you live in the US). It was all decided on the highest level of radio programmers and record labels. US pop radio is incredibly resistant against Madonna now, because they don't consider her as a big name act for their target audience. Request campaigns will not help. It's strongly rumoured that the second single would be Revolver featuring Lil Wayne, but that's not confirmed as of yet and it's better not to expect miracles from that song either.
On the other hand, Celebration is already #29 on the Hot Dance / Club Play chart where it undoubledly will reach the top spot.
In related news, the track is still not available on UK or German iTunes, but airplay has been building in these places, so at least Madonna will be able to claim a proper hit in several European countries, as always.
Of course it also does not help the single that the video is still not available, but maybe that'll give a push when it premieres, reportedly on August 28th.
You can find Madonna's chart peak history in various countries on our charts page.


12 August - Billboard Boxscores of first Northern shows
Here are the latest tour Boxscore numbers. While Oslo and Tallinn show now surprise, unfortunately the Russia numbers are very questionable, since fans and press alike cited a 50,000 attendance at St. Petersburg's Palace Square. The reason why Live Nation set the reported number so low is unknown.

Valle Hovin, Oslo, Norway
July 28, 30, 2009
$10,481,500
79,409 / 79,409
2 / 2

Palace Square, St. Petersburg, Russia
Aug. 2, 2009
$4,431,805
27,103 / 27,103

Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, Tallinn, Estonia
Aug. 4, 2009
$5,924,839
72,067 / 72,067


08 August - Stream Benny Benassi remix + video premiere schedule
Madonna.com reminds fans that the Benny Benassi remix of Celebration (which is reportedly being used as the vieo version) is available for streaming on Madonna's official MySpace page, for a limited time. Meanwhile, the UK's DigiGuide reveals that the premiere of Celebration video is going to take place on Channel 4 at 7:30 pm on Friday, August 28th, 2009.


07 August - Slovenia show cancelled *official*
Performing Human Nature in TallinnLocal promoter Lupa announces today that the show scheduled for August 20th in Ljubljana, Slovenia is cancelled. They blame "unforeseen logistical problems" but it has been widely reported in the media that ticket sales failed to reach expectations. Refunds will be available at the original points of purchase from August 17th, like official ticket vendor Eventim.si (who also announce the cancellation). Live Nation confirms the Munich and Budapest shows, scheduled before and after August 20th, will not be affected by this decision.
Unfortunately the horse-racing venues of this tour are certainly bringing bad luck, as both Hamburg (cancelled 4 months ago) and Slovenia shows were meant to take place on such venues, and in Budapest a similar concert venue already caused controversy...
We're sorry for everyone affected by this!

UPDATE: Live Nation makes an attempt to cover up ticket sales problems in a Reuters article:

Pop star Madonna has canceled her concert in Ljubljana, Slovenia scheduled for August 20, the tour manager said on Friday.
Local media cited poor ticket sales as the main factor, although promoters denied this was the reason.
It is the second concert Madonna has canceled since July. A performance in the southern French town of Marseille was scrapped after the stage being built for it collapsed, killing two workers.
"The reason for the cancellation is unforeseen logistical difficulties," said Laszlo Borsos, managing director of Live Nation in Budapest, overseeing Madonna's tour in eastern Europe.
"There is no problem with ticket sales, absolutely."

Slovenian media reported the concert had to be canceled as promoters had sold only 7,000 of a planned 63,000 tickets in a city with a population of 250,000.
In 1997 Michael Jackson was set to play the same location, but his concert was axed amid poor sales.
According to Madonna's website www.madonna.com, of 12 remaining concerts on her Europe tour which ends in Israel, only Sunday's upcoming concert in Gothenburg, Sweden, is sold out.
In cities such as Belgrade, where Madonna has never performed before, organizers are advertising heavily in the lead up to a concert later this month.


05 August - Billboard Boxscores of Italian & Spanish shows
Billboard now publishes the second batch of Madonna tour Boxscore numbers, the five shows in Italy & Spain. While Milan is definitely a nice surprise, the rest of the concerts (even though all sold-out) show conservative numbers for such stadium/outdoor venues...

Stadio San Siro, Milan, Italy
July 14, 2009
$6,507,798
55,338 / 55,338

Stadio Friuli, Udine, Italy
July 16, 2009
$3,236,277
28,362 / 28,362

Estadio Olimpico, Barcelona, Spain
July 21, 2009
$5,010,557
44,811 / 44,811

Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain
July 23, 2009
$4,109,791
31,941 / 31,941

Recinto Feria, Zaragoza, Spain
July 25, 2009
$2,015,381
30,940 / 30,940


05 August - Budapest show: Madonna to perform in Kincsem Park *official*
Kincsem Park Hippodrome, BudapestLive Nation Hungary has accepted the apology of NUSI, concerning the problems that have arisen about the booking of the Puskas Ferenc Stadium for the concert of Madonna on August 22nd, and hereby informs the audience that the show will remain at the original venue, the Kincsem Park Hippodrome.
Live Nation remains perplexed by the position of the President of the Hungarian Football Federation, who refused our offer of grass replacement at the Puskas Ferenc Stadium, which would clearly have been in the best interests of Hungarian football. But the most important thing now is that the show must go on, and we must accept that the time is not sufficient to try to solve the issues, in the face of such inflexibility. Unfortunately though, this inflexibility could have serious consequences for the future of major concerts in Hungary.
We would like to take this opportunity to say a very special thanks to the management of Kincsem Park, who have shown commendable willingness to help throughout this affair. We look forward to welcoming the Madonna audience to an unforgettable concert at their excellent venue.
All tickets remain valid to the Kincsem Park with the original conditions. (source: Madonna.com)
~ If you need any advice regarding the Budapest, Hungary show, please contact us here, or in our Facebook group!


04 August - Paul Oakenfold breaks barriers with Madonna
Paul OakenfoldThe first single from Madonna's upcoming greatest hits and more album, Celebration, is the newly recorded title track. Living up to its title with a fun, freewheeling vibe, the dance anthem was co-produced by Madonna and DJ/producer Paul Oakenfold. Oakenfold tells Spinner that the pair worked on several songs to boost the retrospective with new sounds.
"I produced a bunch of cuts. I don't know what's on the album, I just know Celebration is the first single," Oakenfold says. "I didn't know it was coming out so soon either," he adds excitedly, speaking from Norway where he's midway through his duties as the opening artist on the European leg of Madonna's Sticky and Sweet tour.
Mid-July, Oakenfold issued the latest in his Perfecto Records mix CD collection, 'Perfecto Vegas,' a whopping double-CD inspired by the edgier club cuts from the 45-year-old British-born artist's 2008 residency at the Palms Hotel and Casino. "It's underground tracks from the underground side of what we do," he says. "There are tracks that I do that become hits and other DJs play them. But there's no point in having an album with those kind of tracks. It dates the record."
Three Oakenfold productions are mooted for inclusion on Celebration, which is due in September. It's important that the new tracks blend in, he says, and he took Madonna's classic songs as inspiration. Still, though Celebration easily recalls Madonna's 1983 breakthrough Holiday, Oakenfold wasn't going for a total retro feel. "I'm certainly not looking to go backwards. I'm looking to go forwards and to break musical barriers down with something that's up-tempo and works on American radio, which is pretty jaded in some respects," he says. "In terms of the song, it sounds classic Madonna; in terms of the music, it's cutting edge."
The Celebration single is out now. (source: Spinner)
~ Please note that both Guy Oseary and Madonna's official site confirmed only 2 new songs to be included on Celebration. According to several sources, the other one is going to be Revolver, although this has not been officially confirmed as of yet.


03 August - Liz Smith: Nothing 'eternal' between Madonna and Guy
"American women aren't accustomed to chivalry!" said Irene Dunne in 1937's "The Awful Truth."
Well, one American woman not accustomed to chivalry – based on the expensive end of her marriage – is Madonna. The Big M had to pay big time to British director Guy Ritchie to finalize their divorce after eight intermittently blissful years. (The bliss was wearing thin by year four.)
So, it comes as a hilarious rumor that Madonna has penned a song dedicated to Guy, entitled "Eternal Love." Nope! Not that Madonna doesn't believe in eternal love. Underneath her steely refusal to be publicly vulnerable she is a dedicated romantic. But she ain't pining for Mr. Ritchie. They are civil and "amicable" because of their son, Rocco (and Guy is said also to be fond of David Banda, the little boy from Malawi, not to mention Madonna's daughter Lourdes). That's as far as it goes. Madonna did offer two songs on her last album that seemed to reference her soon-to-be-ex: Miles Away and Devil Wouldn't Recognize You. Neither indicated hope for their relationship.

Madonna has written a new song, Celebration, that will be a part of her coming Greatest Hits collection, a massive effort that is also titled Celebration. This set will include most of her most famous videos as well. It will be La Ciccone's final album for Warner Records, her home label for 25 years. And the star is still keeping company with beautiful and devoted Jesus Luz. She is not missing the emotional distance of Guy Ritchie.

I'm afraid no mention of Madonna right now could ignore the infamous photo of her from London, with seriously over-stressed and sinewy arms. Madonna has been – for my taste – too thin and too worked out for a long time. (Although when you meet her in person, she appears much less muscular than in pictures!) But I think this particular photograph was altered a bit to make the worst of a bad moment. Other shots from that same night show her as thin and wiry, but not grotesque.
Maybe once she's off this final leg of her tour, she'll relax, eat some fatty foods and put on a few. It's difficult to be anything but muscle from head to toe when you do what she does every night onstage for two hours. (source: WoWoWoW.com)


Madonna.com01 August - It's a Celebration on Madonna.com
Madonna's official site celebrates the arrival of new single Celebration with a brand new opening page, showing off the fantastic cover of the upcoming greatest hits. They also give fans a treat with a stream of the new song for a limited time!
The biggest news is, they confirm the Celebration compilation is going to feature 34 hits!
Also, the background is chock full of lyrics of Madonna classics! We took an attempt to spot as many as possible: Everybody, Holiday, Lucky Star, Like A Virgin, Material Girl, Live To Tell, Papa Don't Preach, La Isla Bonita, Who's That Girl, Like A Prayer, Express Yourself, Vogue, Justify My Love, Secret, You Must Love Me, Ray Of Light, Beautiful Stranger, Music, Don't Tell Me, Die Another Day, Hung Up. We wonder if all of these are real hints to the tracklist! If we combine these with the other officially confirmed songs (4 Minutes) and the songs that appear in the title with lyrics (Take A Bow & Miles Away), we've already got 24 out of 34 hits... ;-)
UPDATE: Madonna.com has added a fantastic teaser for the compilation, that yet again contains some more lyrics hints, including Open Your Heart, Cherish, Take A Bow, Frozen & Miles Away (which would mean 27 confirmed songs now). On top of that, several images of Rain, Human Nature, Get Together & Give It 2 Me videos are used. Could they be hints for the DVD?

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