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15 September - Which song is missed the most from Celebration?
We're so close to the release of Madonna's brand new greatest hits album Celebration! While it nicely captures the best of Madonna's career, unfortunately because of the limitations of the Compact Disc format, not every single can be included and every fan has their own favourite that did not make the cut. In our current poll, we listed Madonna's 24 major singles that are not on this collection. Vote for the one you miss the most here!
14 September - Madonna says MJ speech came from heart, is flattered by Gaga comparisons
After the show, with a somber face, Madonna explained just how much the dedication to Jackson meant to her.
"[It was] extremely important because I didn't really have my chance to pay my last respects to him or speak of him in the way that I wanted to," the Material Girl said. "It was a privilege and an honor for me to say what I had to say.
"[It] took me all week to write [the speech], and I just wrote it from my heart," she added. "And I kept slashing and burning and editing."
While she did admit that she left out some choice MJ anecdotes, it was purely in the interest of time.
"I really cut it down. It was painful," she said. "I said what I had to say at the end of the day."
After talking with MTV News' Jim Cantiello about her heartfelt tribute to the late Michael Jackson at the VMAs on Sunday night, Madonna also answered questions about Lady Gaga and her daughter, Lourdes.
Gaga, of course, has been frequently compared to Madonna — both musically and as an icon — and her performance at the VMAs on Sunday has been compared with Madonna's famous VMA performances.
While she didn't see Gaga's avant-garde red-carpet getup in person, Madonna did catch it on a television screen backstage.
"I just saw Lady Gaga," Madonna said with a smile. "She looks like she's going to carnival in Venice, very beautiful."
When asked if she feels at all threatened by the comparisons, Madonna said, "No, I'm very flattered."
What about Lady Gaga's escort, Kermit the Frog?
"I missed that," Madonna said. Asked if she'd ever been escorted by Kermit, she joked, "No, but I've dated some frogs."
When asked if her daughter Lourdes — who is such a big Gaga fan that she danced on a table during a Gaga concert that Madonna took her to earlier this year — is interested in show business, Madonna turned serious.
"She's got school tomorrow, so she's in the bed sleeping," she said. "I think she has an interest, but she has time — she's not even 13 yet, so give her a few more years." (source: MTV.com)
14 September - Madonna dedicates VMA speech to Michael Jackson
Madonna surprised MTV's VMAs last night by opening the show with a long speech about Michael Jackson that was followed by a performance by Janet Jackson. The show closed with a spectacular look at This Is It, the film assembled from Jackson's concert rehearsals. Read Madonna's entire tribute here:
"Michael Jackson. [Cheers] I have a little bit more to say than that. OK, here we go again. Michael Jackson was born in August 1958. So was I. Michael Jackson grew up in the suburbs of the Midwest. So did I. Michael Jackson had eight brothers and sisters. So do I. When Michael Jackson was six, he became a superstar, and was perhaps the world's most beloved child. When I was six, my mother died. I think he got the shorter end of the stick. I never had a mother, but he never had a childhood. And when you never get to have something, you become obsessed by it.
I spent my childhood searching for my mother figures. Sometimes I was successful, but how do you recreate your childhood when you are under the magnifying glass of the world?
There is no question that Michael Jackson is one of the greatest talents the world has ever known. That when he sang a song at the ripe old age of eight he could make you feel like an experienced adult was squeezing your heart with his words. That when he moved he had the elegance of Fred Astaire and packed the punch of Muhammad Ali. That his music had an extra layer of inexplicable magic that didn't just make you want to dance but actually made you believe you could fly, dare to dream, be anything that you wanted to be. Because that is what heroes do and Michael Jackson was a hero.
He performed in soccer stadiums around the world, and sold hundreds of millions of records and dined with prime ministers and presidents. Girls fell in love with him, boys fell in love with him, everyone wanted to dance like him. He seemed otherworldly - but he was a human being.
Like most performers he was shy and plagued with insecurities. I can't say we were great friends, but in 1991 I decided I wanted to try to get to know him better. I asked him out to dinner, I said "My treat, I'll drive - just you and me."
He agreed and showed up to my house without any bodyguards. We drove to the restaurant in my car. It was dark out, but he was still wearing sunglasses.
I said, "Michael, I feel like I'm talking to a limousine. Do you think you can take off your glasses so I can see your eyes?"
Then he tossed the glasses out the window, looked at me with a wink and a smile and said, "Can you see me now? Is that better?"
In that moment, I could see both his vulnerability and his charm. The rest of the dinner, I was hellbent on getting him to eat French fries, drink wine, have dessert and say bad words. Things he never seemed to allow himself to do. Later we went back to my house to watch a movie and sat on the couch like two kids, and somewhere in the middle of the movie, his hand snuck over and held mine.
It felt like he was looking for more of a friend than a romance, and I was happy to oblige. In that moment, he didn't feel like a superstar. He felt like a human being.
We went out a few more times together, and then for one reason or another we fell out of touch. Then the witch hunt began, and it seemed like one negative story after another was coming out about Michael. I felt his pain, I know what it's like to walk down the street and feel like the whole world is turned against you. I know what it's like to feel helpless and unable to defend yourself because the roar of the lynch mob is so loud you feel like your voice can never be heard.
But I had a childhood, and I was allowed to make mistakes and find my own way in the world without the glare of the spotlight.
When I first heard that Michael had died, I was in London, days away from the start of my tour. Michael was going to perform in the same venue as me a week later. All I could think about in this moment was, "I had abandoned him." That we had abandoned him. That we had allowed this magnificent creature who had once set the world on fire to somehow slip through the cracks. While he was trying to build a family and rebuild his career, we were all passing judgement. Most of us had turned our backs on him. In a desperate attempt to hold onto his memory, I went on the internet to watch old clips of him dancing and singing on TV and on stage and I thought, "my God, he was so unique, so original, so rare, and there will never be anyone like him again. He was a king."
But he was also a human being, and alas we are all human beings and sometimes we have to lose things before we can appreciate them. I want to end this on a positive note and say that my sons, age nine and four, are obsessed with Michael Jackson. There's a whole lot of crotch grabbing and moon walking going on in my house. And, it seems like a whole new generation of kids have discovered his genius and are bringing him to life again. I hope that wherever Michael is right now he is smiling about this.
Yes, Michael Jackson was a human being but he was a king. Long live the king." (source: Rolling Stone)
~ Also check the video of the speech on our intropage.
11 September - Let's celebrate Madonna's 40th number one dance hit!
In Billboard's September 26th issue (out next week) Our Lady of The Dancefloor Madonna will have her 40th!!! - that's right, her 40TH NUMBER ONE SINGLE on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play Chart - more than any artist in the history of that chart. A list of all her preceeding Number One's follow (feel free to sing along):
1. Holiday / Lucky Star (1983)
2. Like A Virgin (1984)
3. Material Girl (1985)
4. Angel / Into The Groove (1985)
5. Open Your Heart (1987)
6. Causing A Commotion (1987)
7. You Can Dance (LP Cuts) (1988)
8. Like A Prayer (1989)
9. Express Yourself (1989)
10. Keep It Together (1990)
11. Vogue (1990)
12. Justify My Love (1991)
13. Erotica (1992)
14. Deeper And Deeper (1993)
15. Fever (1993)
16. Secret (1994)
17. Bedtime Story (1995)
18. Don't Cry For Me Argentina (1997)
19. Frozen (1998)
20. Ray Of Light (1998)
21. Nothing Really Matters (1999)
22. Beautiful Stranger (1999)
23. American Pie (2000)
24. Music (2000)
25. Don't Tell Me (2001)
26. What It Feels Like For A Girl (2001)
27. Impressive Instant (2001)
28. Die Another Day (2002)
29. American Life (2003)
30. Hollywood (2003)
31. Me Against The Music [Britney Spears featuring Madonna] (2003)
32. Nothing Fails (2004)
33. Love Profusion (2004)
34. Hung Up (2005)
35. Sorry (2006)
36. Get Together (2006)
37. Jump (2006)
38. 4 Minutes [featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland] (2008)
39. Give It 2 Me (2008)
40. Celebration (2009)
11 September - Preview new song Revolver
Online retailer Amazon.de put up 30 second long teasers of the upcoming greatest hits album, which includes the new song Revolver. This is the first time we get to hear Madonna's rendition of the song, that stays true to the demo version we've been exposed to months ago.
Additionally, by the clips and track times, we get an overview of the versions of the hits they used on Celebration, mainly album versions, radio edits and the special mixes done for The Immaculate Collection, reportedly all remastered.
UPDATE: Unfortunately all the clips are taken down for an unknown reason. We cannot post a YouTube link for the new track since those are short lived, thanks to Warner.
10 September - Update on Belgian Celebration release
As reported last Monday, Belgium will receive a separate version of the Celebration double disc, which doesn't include the song Frozen. The song will not be replaced. It now seems that the single disc and the DVD collection will not be available in Belgian stores.
Warner Netherlands also informs that due to delay in the production process, the September 18th DVD release is postponed to September 25th.
09 September - Digital Spy reviews Celebration
By subtitling her Greatest Hits set "34 Songs That Changed The World, Plus Two New Tracks", is she trying to tell us something about those fan-baiters? Either way, this relatively unadventurous single is never going to have the impact of a Like A Prayer, a Vogue or even a Music. What it does offer, however, is a welcome reminder that Madonna's career has been built as much on decent tunes and danceable beats as it has on grand gestures.
Written and produced with Paul Oakenfold, it's an unashamed party anthem with a 90s dance influence and a slight resemblance to Calvin Harris's 'I'm Not Alone' - call it a kissing cousin. The lyrics are as deep and meaningful as Madonna's yoga mat, but the old girl can't resist slipping in the merest soupcon of naughtiness. "I just don't recognise you with your clothes on," she purrs during the spoken word middle 8. You'd swear she was trying to wind up the Daily Mail brigade - if only she cared what they thought. (source: Digital Spy)
07 September - Belgian edition of Celebration does not include Frozen
There will be a Belgian edition of Madonna compilation album Celebration, without the song Frozen.
On July 11th, Madonna sang Frozen live on the festival ground of Werchter, but of her new Celebration album – 34 hits and 2 new songs – a Belgian edition will be produced, which excludes the forbidden song.
In 2005, a judge in Bergen ruled that part of Frozen (1998) was plagiarism from Salvatore Acquaviva's 'Ma vie fout le camp', which was composed in the late 70s. The composer from Moeskroen claimed that Madonna could have heard his song when she was a backup dancer for Patrick 'Born to be alive' Hernandez.
On the Celebration tracklist, Frozen was one of the songs selected by Madonna herself. "If we are not allowed to release this Best Of in Belgium, we face a huge budget problem", explains [Warner] marketing manager Bert Bieseman. "Still, we can't risk to release the CD with the song to music stores, because the fine we'd have to pay is huge."
After discussion with Madonna's management, it was decided to produce an exclusive Belgian edition of the double disc, without Frozen. Also on the Belgian iTunes and on the DVD, the song will not be found. Belgian fans wanting the complete version will have to order the album online or across the border. Celebration is released on September 18th (source: De Standaard; translation by Mad-Eyes)
07 September - Lourdes recreates her mother's famous Like A Virgin pose
Trussed up in white wedding dress and veil, Madonna's daughter Lourdes recreates her mother's famous wedding dress pose in the Eighties hit song Like A Virgin. The 12-year-old wears lashings of red lipstick and has the iconic beauty spot painted above her lip. It is taken from what is believed to be a second version of Madge's Celebration video, which will include fans dancing to the song, to be released next week.
Lourdes's pose channels Madonna's famous performance at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), where she sang the song while sat on top of a giant wedding cake in full marital regalia. It's not the first time Lourdes taken part in a rendition of Like A Virgin. In 2003, aged just six, she played a flower girl in the raunchy performance which saw Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera join Madonna on stage for the song at the MTV VMAs.
Last week the pre-teen joined her mother on stage, on the penultimate night of her Sticky & Sweet world tour in Israel. Lourdes came on stage as Madonna sang Give It 2 Me, and is likely to appear again tonight on the final night of the tour. (source: Daily Mail)
06 September - Madonna lights Sabbath candles with Israel PM
Madonna joined the Israeli prime minister and his family Friday in the traditional ritual welcoming the Jewish Sabbath A statement from from the prime minister's office says the singer spent two hours with Bejamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at their home lighting candles and reciting a blessing together.
Although not Jewish, the 51-year-old pop star claims a special bond with Israel and Jewish tradition. She's been exploring Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, for more than a decade and has taken the Hebrew name, Esther. She arrived in Israel on Sunday and performed in Tel Aviv on Tuesday and Wednesday. She was wearing a short-sleeved black dress as she left the heavily guarded Netanyahu home Friday. (source: AP)
06 September - Madonna 'reconciles' with brother Christopher
Madonna has reportedly reconciled with her estranged brother Christopher Ciccone - a year after he published an expose of their life together.
The Holiday hitmaker was allegedly furious over Ciccone's tell-all book, Life With My Sister Madonna, last year (08), which lifted the lid on the star's private affairs.
Ciccone also incurred the wrath of his famous sibling when he spoke to the media following her split from Guy Ritchie in late 2008.
The pop superstar has now taken the first step towards a reconciliation, according to British tabloid the Sunday Mirror, writing her brother an email in a bid to repair their broken relationship.
A source tells the publication, "Madonna did it more for her family than for herself. Her feud with Chris was creating huge tension within the family so she decided to be the bigger person. It's been a nightmare. She's calmed down since the book and had time to think. She realises blood is thicker than water and she will meet with him this year in L.A." (source: ContactMusic)
04 September - Madonna to addend VMA, no performance
Anna_henstridge of MadonnaFanzine and fansite MadonnaTribe confirm that Madonna is going to addend the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, September 13th, but she will not perform. Since she's not nominated for anything and it's rumoured that the 26th VMA will be dedicated to the late Michael Jackson, in our opinion the most possible scenario is Madonna holding a MJ tribute speech. The show from NYC's Radio city Music Hall is broadcast on MTV at 8 pm ET (2 am CET).
Additionally, MadonnaTribe reveals the other edit of Celebration video will also be set to the Benny Benassi remix. This version will feature Lourdes in the Boy Toy wedding dress and fans dressed up in various Madonna personas. With the album version not being used, Celebration joins Fever, Love Don't Live Here Anymore & What It Feels Like For A Girl as the only Madonna videos that do not have their videos set to a soundtrack based on their original versions.
02 September - Sticky & Sweet is the 2nd highest grossing tour of all time
Madonna's Sticky & Sweet tour wraps today with the second of two shows in Tel Aviv, Israel (Sept. 1-2), putting the lid on what looks to be the second-highest grossing tour of all time.
With a gross of $408 million, Sticky & Sweet is the top-grossing tour by a solo artist of all time, and second only to the Rolling Stones' $558 million Bigger Bang tour of 2005-2007. "She is absolutely one of the great performers of all time," says Arthur Fogel, Chairman of Global Music and CEO of Global Touring for Live Nation, producer of Madona's tours. "That this tour will take its place as the second highest grossing tour in the history of our business says it all."
Since its launch in August 2008, Sticky & Sweet has moved more than 3.5 million fans to 85 shows in 32 countries, according to Live Nation. Madonna set an attendance record for the biggest crowds in history in Zurich, Switzerland, where she drew the largest audience ever for a concert in that country (72,000). According to Live Nation stats, her Gothenburg, Sweden show, seen by 119,000 fans, broke the record for highest grossing multiple shows in the country's history. In Helsinki, Finland, Sticky & Sweet sold more than 85,000 tickets, making it the biggest single show by an artist in history for all of Scandinavia. Other highlights on the tour included stops in Buenos Aires, Argentina (256,000), Santiago, Chile (146,000), Sao Paolo, Brazil (203,000), Tallinn, Estonia (72,000), Warsaw, Poland (79,000), Bucharest, Romania (69,000), and Sofia, Bulgaria (54,000).
Sticky & Sweet broke Madonna's previous record for top solo tour ever with her Confessions tour, which grossed $194 million in 2006, according to Billboard Boxscore. The 2008-2009 tour was the first under Madonna's $120 million, 10-year multi-rights deal with Live Nation. (source: Billboard.com)
02 September - Latest Billboard Boxscores
After a break last week, we're now treated to the latest Boxscore numbers of the Sticky & Sweet Tour, including Munich, Budapest, Belgrade and Bucharest. The numbers of Sofia & Tel-Aviv are expected for next week, so then we'll have the complete attendance and gross of the 2008-2009 tour.
Olympiastadion, Munich, Germany
Aug. 18, 2009
35,127 / 35,127
Kincsem Park, Budapest, Hungary
Aug. 22, 2009
41,045 / 41,045
Usce Park, Belgrade, Serbia
Aug. 24, 2009
39,713 / 39,713
Parc Izvor, Bucharest, Romania
Aug. 26, 2009
69,088 / 69,088
01 September - Madonna returns to her dark era with Celebration video
What's your favorite era of Madonna? This is a fairly open-ended question, one certain to get about a million different responses. For every fan of the Material Girl Maddy, there are just as many who swear by her Vogue version, or her spiritual, Ray Of Light relaunch, or even her recent turns as a political activist, a disco diva or a candy aficionado. Really, there are no wrong answers here.
But, if you really want to raise eyebrows, try telling a Madonna fanatic that you're a huge fan of her Dark Era, a period that runs roughly from the release of The Immaculate Collection in 1990 to her disastrous appearance on "Late Night With David Letterman" in 1994. This was when she tackled the politics of sexuality head-on - whether it be with the Justify My Love video, or the "Sex" book, or the Erotica album - and got down and dirty (the Deeper And Deeper video, the Body of Evidence movie) and basically wasn't afraid of offending anyone ever.
Needless to say, this was a period when most didn't get what Madonna was going for because, well, it usually wasn't all that clear.
Still, looking back on that Dark Era now, it's pretty fascinating. Madonna went farther than any pop icon before her (or, somewhat understandably, after) - she pushed the envelope with glee and never looked back for a second. In retrospect, it's clear she wasn't being desperate; she was being brilliant. If only we
Anyway, I mention all of that because on Tuesday (September 1), Madonna's Celebration video premiered on the iTunes music store. It is directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who helped shepherd her back to respectability with his hyperkinetic 1998 video for Ray Of Light, and features cameos by Madge's boyfriend (model/DJ Jesus Luz) and daughter (Lourdes, who makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance toward the end). It is pretty great, particularly because it is a direct throwback to Madonna's Dark Era.
We have Madonna popping and locking and pawing at herself, striking a series of provocative (and sometimes even submissive) poses, groping and grinding guiltlessly on her chiseled boytoy ... and doing it all in a gynecologically cut dress and knee-high boots. She is 51, twice divorced, a mother of four and she is (quite rightfully) unashamed by any of this. Sexual politics, anyone?
As for the song itself, well, it's a straightforward lunge for the dark and dirty clubs - the kind she hasn't really made since Deeper And Deeper (and probably hasn't visited since then, either). Produced by DJ Paul Oakenfold, it's all pulsing sirens, wobbly bass and four-on-the-floor beat, with an expansive electro chorus that sounds like a truckload of Nintendo Entertainment Systems exploding in unison (only sexier).
I'm not sure if Celebration - which is meant to promote her career-spanning greatest-hits package of the same name (due September 29) - signifies Madonna's return to her Dark Era (the other new song on the album, a collaboration with Lil Wayne called Revolver, might hint at other things), but it would be pretty amazing if it did. I'm not certain even Madge has got the stones to try it again, but there's definitely a void to fill these days if she did. The world could use a good spanking, and we already know Madonna's got the dominatrix getup. (source: MTV.com)
01 September - Madonna wraps up world tour in Israel this week
Madonna was bringing her mix of provocative music and spirituality to the Holy Land with a concert Tuesday in front of 50,000 fans who have endured a 16-year wait since the pop icon's last gig in Israel.
Madonna wraps up her worldwide Sticky & Sweet tour with two concerts this week in a country whose place at the heart of the Mideast conflict has made it more of a magnet for diplomats than big-name performers.
The 51-year-old entertainer claims a special bond with the Jewish state.
She's been dabbling in Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, for more than a decade and has taken on a Hebrew name, Esther. She's come on private pilgrimages in the past, and has visited the Jewish holy site at the Western Wall in Jerusalem since arriving in Israel on Sunday.
Madonna will perform later Tuesday and again on Wednesday at Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park, an outdoor site that holds about 50,000 people.
Israeli radio stations played Madonna songs through the day Tuesday. On Israel's Army Radio, a DJ interrupted a song briefly to quip that "tonight, Aunt Esther is playing at Hayarkon Park."
Late Monday, the pop diva dined with Israel's parliamentary opposition leader, Tzipi Livni, at Madonna's request, Livni spokesman Gil Messing said.
Livni "was very impressed with Madonna and found her to be a very interesting person," said Messing, adding that the two decided to keep the content of their conversation private. Livni plans to attend one of Madonna's concerts, he said.
Livni, who lost a bid for Israel's premiership in February, is a former peace negotiator and leading moderate. Her main political rival, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will receive Madonna at his Jerusalem residence on Friday.
Madonna last performed in Israel in 1993 but came on private pilgrimages in 2004 and 2007 along with other Kabbalah devotees.
Her previous two stops on the current tour, in Romania and Bulgaria, were marred by controversy.
In Bulgaria, Orthodox Church officials accused the singer of showing disrespect for Christianity. In Romania, she was booed during her concert for criticizing widespread discrimination against eastern Europe's Gypsies, also known as Roma.
In Israel, some rabbis have criticized her involvement in Kabbalah. Madonna was raised a Roman Catholic. She wrote in an article for an Israeli newspaper last month that the study of Kabbalah helped her understand life better.
Jewish tradition holds that Kabbalah is so complicated and so easily misunderstood that students may only begin to approach it with a strong background in Jewish law and only after age 40.
Still, Madonna's fans are happy she's in Israel. Her first show sold out quickly, and a second was added.
After years of concerns over political tensions and violence, more world artists are performing to Israel.
Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney performed a year ago, but he drew criticism from Palestinians who said his concert amounted to support for Israel's occupation of the West Bank.
David Brinn, a music critic for The Jerusalem Post, said Madonna's performances are a sign that Israel is becoming more attractive as a concert venue. The Pet Shop Boys played Israel in July, pop sensation Lady Gaga was here last month, the rock band Faith No More is playing Tel Aviv on Tuesday night, and the iconic songwriter Leonard Cohen is to perform later this month.
"For a long time, it was security-related, and artists and managers didn't want to take a chance," he said of the dry spell in concerts. "They realized it is safe in comparison to other countries, and it is viable for artists to come here." (source: AP via Yahoo)
01 September - Celebration video premiere & download
Madonna's brand new video Celebration has premiered this morning! The video, set to the Benny Benassi remix, features Madonna and her tour dancers getting into the groove to the new dance tune. Lola makes her debut as one of the break dancers. Jesus is the DJ, who gets seduced by Madonna, who undresses him and kisses him passionately. In two weeks, a second video will be released, set to the album version and featuring dancing fans.
For the next 48 hours, the video will be available as a free download on iTunes (US-only!). The online store now also accepts pre-orders of the Celebration compilation. When you pre-order the Premium Version of the album on iTunes, you receive the bonus track It's So Cool.
Celebration is available in 3 formats:
- The single disc album
- The double disc album and one exclusive unreleased bonus track
- The double disc album with selected videos and two exclusive unreleased bonus tracks
Most countries receive the single and double disc versions (with both bonus tracks included in the latter), while the Premium Version with the videos might remain US/Canada exclusive. But it seems permanent that Belgium has a version of the double disc that doesn't include Frozen. Instead there's the Benassi video remix and the bonus track to compensate. This probably means that Belgian fans won't find the Celebration CD in music stores...
The release date for the greatest hits album is September 18th/21st everywhere, except Japan (September 23rd) and US/Canada (September 29th).
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