13 October - Madonna shoes offered to Gypsy charity in Romania
Madonna is putting her shoes where her mouth is.
The Queen of Pop has offered one of her favorite pairs of Christian Dior shoes to a charity supporting Gypsy child education. Organizers said Tuesday the skyscraper gold heels, which are autographed by Madonna, will be sold at the Ovidiu Rom annual ball later this month.
Madonna drew international attention by saying during an August concert in Bucharest on her Sticky & Sweet tour that widespread discrimination against East Europe's Gypsies, also known as Roma, should end.
Thousands of fans responded by booing her.
"Madonna's very mild comment regarding equality shone a spotlight on a common European attitude toward Gypsies," Leslie Hawke, president of Ovidiu Rom, told The Associated Press. "We're thrilled to have her donation because she is such an icon of innovation and vigor and 'can do' spirit."
Hawke's son, actor Ethan Hawke, will attend the ball and speak to guests.
Guests at the ball will make donations to win raffle tickets for the auction of donated prizes. This year's items also will include a gold chain provided by actress Vanessa Redgrave. (source: AP via Yahoo)
08 October - Should Madonna work with Lady Gaga?
After the SNL catfight, we played with the possibility of Madonna collaborating Lady Gaga. What do you think? Should the two ladies team up? Voice your opinion in our new poll!
07 October - Celebration becomes Madonna's 18th US Top 10 album
In a Top 10 almost completely taken over by debuts, Madonna's greatest hits album Celebration lands at #7, with sales of 72,159 copies, making it her 18th album to reach the Top 10 of the US album charts.
While this could seem as a disappointment, considering it's the first time ever a Madonna release sells less in the US than in the UK, let's look at a few things:
The #7 peak matches that of GHV2 from almost 8 years ago, when Madonna was still riding high one of her most successful periods and sold 150,000 in a week with it, even though it featured no new songs. Now, Celebration covers almost the complete The Immaculate Collection (which still remains one of the best selling female albums) and the majority of GHV2. Combine that with all of Madonna's singles being available on iTunes since 2005, there isn't much incentive for the public to buy a Madonna compilation, especially in a country where traditionally greatest hits albums don't do as well as in the UK.
The single Celebration got next to no airplay in the US (unlike in most parts of the world) and Madonna's promo was minimal in US media and she did not do any live performances.
To put things in perspective even better, let's make a one-off comparison with other artists, who happened to debut at the same week on the chart, making it a "diva week":
With sales just above 180,000 copies, her new album featuring covers of jazz standards, her first in 4 years, singer-actress-director Barbra Streisand tops the chart for an unbelievable 9th time in her career, extending the lead among female artists (Madonna remains at second place with 7 #1 albums) and becomes the only recording artist in history to have a #1 album in five different decades. Barbra has been long out of the single/video game and her promotion was more traditional, including an interview and a live performance at the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her previous album 'Guilty Pleasures' in 2005 opened with 101,000 copies and was the sequel to her best selling album ever, 1980's 'Guilty', which famously features megahit 'Woman In Love'.
Mariah Carey is the other big name female artist to enter the chart disweek, with sales just below 168,000 copies, she debuts at #3. Unlike Madonna and Barbra, Mariah got plenty of airplay with her single "Obsessed", it eventually reached the top 10 and gathered 85 million audience impressions at radio, a number Madonna only reached once in the 2000s, with the Music single. Mariah also appeared and performed at the Oprah show, along with The View and Today Show, along with small-venue perormances in Las Vegas. She followed up her previous album 'E=MC2' in a mere 17 months (which came out 2 weeks before Hard Candy) that yielded a #1 hit 'Touch My Body' (which sold half of 4 Minutes' total) and sold above 460,000 copies in its first week, with a total above 1.3 million.
As a reminder, Hard Candy opened with sales above 280,000 copies, the single 4 Minutes got around 60 million audience impressions, sold 2.5 million digital downloads and the album itself ended up with 725,000 copies in the US.
The point we're trying to prove is, judging by the sales numbers of these female stars, it's safe to say the CD sales era is over and radio itself is not in control of high sales now. We'd like to reassure worried Madonna fans that she's still doing fine in a country that keeps abandoning old artists and is always looking for a new fad and Mariah's numbers show investing in album promo does not pay off in 2009, which explains why Madonna has been focusing on touring now. None of these new CDs debuted will be coming close to a million copies when all is said and done, most likely not even matching the total of Hard Candy, which was only aided by one hit single, only one tv interview and no live performances whatsoever and erroneously got labeled as a 'flop' by fans. Now it's clear it was not out of the line from the rest of the industry.
When her next album drops (possibly in a year, or later), Madonna will be lucky to debut with 100,000 copies and her total won't even reach 500,000 in the US, regardless of the collaborators and genre she explores next time around, so this is no longer a popularity contest and Madonna is smart to put her efforts where it all matters, touring.
And as a sidenote, currently Madonna's Celebration in its 3rd week and Barbra Streisand's 'Love Is The Answer' in its 2nd week are battling to reach the top spot of the UK charts this coming Sunday, while Mariah's album was delayed till November there...
To close this off, let's look at the bigger picture: No 2009-released album is aiming to sell 2 million copies in the US and the best selling artist of America in 2009 is going to be the late Michael Jackson, who's already leading the year-to-date sales list with his 'Number Ones' compilation that moved more than 1.7 million this year alone.
Worldwide, U2's 'No Line In The Horizon' is the only 2009-release that reached Hard Candy's worldwide total of 3.5 million and no CD is eyeing to reach 5 million worldwide sales in the last year of the decade.
07 October - Sticky & Sweet concert to premiere on EPIX
Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Show, the most successful tour by a solo artist in history, will make its world premiere on EPIX. The announcement was confirmed by the multiplatform entertainment service today. TV and online audiences will be able to see Sticky & Sweet for the very first time when it debuts across all EPIX platforms: television channel, video-on-demand and online at www.EPIXHD.com
The Material Girl's latest song and dance extravaganza was seen by over 3.5 million Madonna fans in 32 countries around the globe over the last two years. The show that airs on EPIX was filmed in Buenos Aires' River Plate Stadium, where she performed for 256,000 fans over four shows in two days.
"In the premiere league of song-and-dance spectaculars, the queen of pop remains unrivaled and undefeated," glowed the Times when Sticky & Sweet debuted in London. The tour began in conjunction with the release of the multi Grammy winner's Hard Candy album, which debuted at No. 1 in 37 countries. Her latest CD Celebration-- the definitive Greatest Hits collection – has just been released.
"An unstoppable force and the ultimate entertainer, Madonna gives an amazing performance," said EPIX president Mark Greenberg. "She's in a category of her own."
Madonna heads a growing list of major artists who continue to raise the bar for live events and specials on EPIX. The channel is fast becoming home for some of the country's hottest music and comedy stars.
For more information on Madonna's Sticky & Sweet world television premiere on EPIX, follow http://twitter.com/epixHD (source: Yahoo Finance)
06 October - Wedding photo damages for Madonna
Madonna has accepted damages from the Mail on Sunday after it breached her privacy and copyright by printing photos of her wedding to Guy Ritchie.
Last year, a judge in London found in her favour over the paper's publication of 11 photos of the 2000 wedding.
He heard they were "surreptitiously" copied by an interior designer working at her Beverly Hills home.
The singer, 51, will donate the substantial undisclosed damages to her Raising Malawi charity.
Madonna, who was not at London's High Court on Tuesday for the settlement, had been seeking more than £5m in damages in her action against Associated Newspapers.
The Mail on Sunday, which admitted wrongdoing, had paid £5,000 for the images of the wedding which took place at Skibo Castle in Scotland on 22 December 2000.
The pictures were published on 19 October last year, days after the singer announced she and film director Ritchie would be divorcing.
Prior to that day, no pictures of the wedding had ever been published.
The singer's solicitor, John Kelly, said she had gone to great lengths to ensure the wedding was kept private and had chosen not to sell pictures to the media.
"It was far more important to the claimant that the privacy of the occasion was maintained," he added.
A selection of pictures taken by her friend, fashion photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino, were in an album which she kept securely at her Beverly Hills home.
At least 27 photos from the album were copied by an interior designer working at her home in 2003 before they were offered to the Mail on Sunday in 2008.
Mr Kelly said the paper had destroyed all its copies of the photographs and had agreed to pay Madonna damages and legal costs.
Solicitor Niri Shan, acting for Associated Newspapers, offered its apologies to the singer and her family for invading her privacy and infringing her copyright.
Madonna and Ritchie were granted a divorce at the High Court on 21 November last year. (source: BBC)
05 October - Madonna gives Kidd Kraddick a call
Madonna called in during Kidd Kraddick's radio show today to discuss her brand new Greatest Hits album, her career and upcoming projects.
The full interview is now available for online streaming from the show's website. Just click here! (source: Madonna.com)
04 October - Madonna vs Lady Gaga on SNL
The first TV encounter of Madonna and Lady Gaga came during "Saturday Night Live" this week, when the Material Girl appeared unannounced in a Deep House Dish skit alongside the contemporary hitmaker when a similar bizarre visual bent.
A few bars into a song and dance number, Madonna grabbed Lady Gaga's blonde hair and here was one of those cliched hair-pulling catfights in skimpy outfits. "What the hell is a disco stick?" she demanded.
The dance number didn't seem to go as planned. Lady Gaga sang while Madonna didn't. It didn't matter -- seeing them together was the big thing.
Invited to sit on the couch, they continued their fake fighting.
"Guess what Madonna I'm totally hotter than you!" Lady Gaga said.
"Guess what I'm totally taller than you," she replied adding: "What kind of name is Lady Gaga. It sounds like baby food..."
"The kind that's No. 1 on the Billboard charts," Gaga replied lunging on her.
Kenan Thompson's character DJ Dynasty Handbag wanted them to make up. And because some dude wrote it, he asked them to kiss. Madonna's kiss to other female pop stars has been some kind of annointment in the past, as when she laid on on Britney Spears at a past MTV video music awards. But Kenan's character interjected himself between them to receive their kisses.
The sketch came just before the first of Gaga's performance of "Paparazzi," not nearly as elaborate as it was at the VMAs last month. However, later in the show, for "Disco Stick" and a performance of "Poker Face," she wore what looked to be a giant gyroscope.
Madonna was the biggest of several guest stars on the show, though Scarlett Johansson, who also appeared unnanounced was pretty big. Elijah Wood also popped in on the show. All this on an episode hosted by one of the least known stars, Ryan Reynolds.
Darrell Hammond, apparently freelancing on the show after the longest run as a cast member made his first "Saturday Night Live" appearance as Arnold Schwarzenegger, behind so much prosthetic makeup he was hardly recognizable.
The Letterman situation was mentioned in "Weekend Update" as a "Stupid human trick." But a whole retro "Celebrity Family Fued" skit was built around the John Phillips revelation. (source: blogs.courant.com)
~ Watch the epic encounter of Madonna and Lady Gaga here!
04 October - Something to remember: Happiness lies in your own hand
Since we're already in a Celebration mood these days, this is the perfect time to remember a Madonna era that is turning fifteen years old this month.
15 years ago today, on October 4th, 1994 MTV premiered the Secret video. Showcasing a new image, Madonna played a platinum blonde club singer in NYC's Harlem, under the direction of photographer Melodie McDaniel. The clip featured various demographics of the city along with Madonna in interracial love and getting baptised, most likely referring to her image and perception getting cleansed in the media after the SEX book controversy.
The song itself is a laid-back R&B-tingled track consisting of then-popular beats that were burning up the airwaves in the mid-90s and a prominent acoustic guitar. Madonna herself said the song is about Eastern spritituality, which was the precursor of her Kabbalah-enlightement a couple of years later. Helmed by one of the biggest Amercan producers of the 90s, Atlanta's Dallas Austin (one of the driving forces behind girl group TLC), Secret proved to be a good choice for the lead off single of Bedtime Stories as it became a worldwide hit, most notably hitting #1 in Canada & Switzerland and #5 in both UK & Australia. In the US it had to settle with a #3 peak behind Boyz II Men's 'I'll Make Love To You' and Sheryl Crow's 'All I Wanna Do', even though radio was behind Madonna's back during this time, sales were modest and it only reached Gold status, which hindered its Billboard Hot 100 peak. Nonetheless, Secret earned its place on Madonna's greatest hits compilations, prominently featuring on both GHV2 and Celebration. The video is also a part of both Video Collection 93:99 and Celebration Video Collection.
Also notable that Madonna originally wrote a song called 'Something's Coming Over Me' with Erotica producer Shep Pettibone, that was an uptempo clubby sexual song with bits resembling Donna Summer's 'Love To Love You Baby', but when the direction of her 1994 album was changed and Shep was out of the picture, Madonna re-used some of the lyrics in Secret but did not credit Shep as a collaborator until 2001, when he was added as a co-writer (which is erroneously not listed in Celebration).
Secret, while a fan favourite, is the least performed lead off single of a Madonna album, it only had one lipsynched television performance in Germany's Wetten Dass early 1995 and an acoustic performance at the Drowned World Tour. On last year's Sticky & Sweet show in Houston however, it was performed as an impromptu audience request singalong.
Even though a low-key single, Secret is actually one of Madonna's biggest dance hits of the 90s thanks to Junior Vasquez whose Secret remixes hit big in the clubs and the remix video set to the Luscious Remix is Madonna's most played remix video ever.
03 October - Celebration tops European album chart
Madonna is the queen of Europe after taking her new hits album Celebration to the top of the continent's charts.
The compilation topples Muse's The Resistance to debut at the top of Billboard's European Top 100 Albums countdown.
Celebration tops album charts in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Ireland and Denmark and debuts at two in Spain, Portugal and Finland.
The album gives Madonna her 11th number one in her adopted Britain - equalling Elvis Presley as a solo artist and putting her four albums behind the Beatles.
The Muse album falls to two and Pearl Jam's new release, Backspacer, debuts at three. (source: ContactMusic)
~ A full overview of Madonna's chart positions here.
01 October - Madonna calls in Ryan Seacrest show for fun interview
Madonna gave an interview via phone to KIIS FM's Ryan Seacrest show at 8:15 am pacific time as part of the Celebration promotion. Ryan asked about the greatest hits, she said she's never able to choose the songs for something like this so they went out to the fans, asked them, it was a democratic process. She was asked to guess her own songs when Ryan played some clips, she didn't immediately guess because she's "mixing them up". She often hears her own music in various places, but the songs she's fed up with, Ryan played Like A Virgin and said "that's the one I don't want to hear". When asked how many songs the compilation has, she was like "are you asking me?" then she said she does not know how many number ones she has because she's not a statistic person.
About upcoming projects, Madonna talked about trying to fund and cast for a movie called "We", based on 2 parallel stories, one of them being the Duchess of Windsor and another one based on a New York couple.
As for her personal life, she said she's happier now and that's why the music will get even better. Ryan kept saying she's a fun and new Madonna now, she said she's not stressed out and relaxed. She is dating someone now, but is a "one man woman". She can't really get her head around of marrying again, since most people get married for the wrong reasons. When Ryan flirted with her, she said he's too old for her (34) and said guys her age are either married or divorced. About her gym routine, she said she was sacrificing her workout time at 8:30 for the interview and that Tracy Anderson is no longer her trainer.
Ryan said he was at the LA show last year next to Jennifer Lopez, Madonna did not notice him but was getting sharp looks from Jlo and her ponytail distracted her. About Kanye, she would have given him a good talking to, because he needs to put a lid on it, but she does think he's very talented.
About her VMA tribute, the man who runs MTV was nervous about the seriousness of her speech and wondered if she could keep the attention.
When asked how long she's been with publicist Liz Rosenberg, she said "that's a personal question".
You can listen to an edited interview here which excludes the part when Ryan asks for a permission from Liz to call Madonna's VMA look "freshly f*cked".
01 October - Guy Oseary shares not-so-great tidbits with fans
Madonna's manager Guy Oseary finally took the time to answer fans on Twitter last night and revealed some bits about Madonna's upcoming projects:
@guyoseary hey Guy. Will the new performances from the 2009 S&S tour be included on the DVD too?
@mfacco no.. it wont be included as it was done after we shot and edited the dvd.. but we did shoot the additional songs in Israel..
@mfacco we are trying to find a way to get them to the fans.. We have to edit the footage first and then decide how it gets to your hands..
@guyoseary Will there be a video for revolver???
@Rashellyy don't think so..
In better news, he did thank all the support and constructive criticism by fans and once again promised the next tour would reach Australia. Let's hope they really find a way to give the Holiday, Dress You Up & Frozen performances to the fans!
01 October - Madonna 'would rather get run over by a train' than marry again
Madonna returned to David Letterman Wednesday night, riding in on the shoulders of NY Rangers, and joked about smoking a joint before a previous appearance, her recent dalliance with Alex Rodriguez, and her recent divorce from Guy Ritchie.
Of her eight-year marriage to Guy Ritchie, she said it was "the Bush years... a good time to be out of America."
But she won't marry again. "I think I'd rather get run over by a train."
Letterman later found something that she had never done before - eat a slice of New York pizza. She claimed it's because she's 'not a cheese person.' The pair then walked next door and were served pre-ordered slices of cheese-less pie with olives, which she even took a bite of on camera. (source: Huffington Post)
~ You can watch the Letterman interview here.
↑ Back to top of page