Madonna news - Nov. 2009

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14 November - Madonna slums it in Rio to raise funds
Madonna in BrazilPop veteran Madonna has paid a visit to a Rio de Janeiro slum as part of an ongoing crusade to establish social projects in the impoverished region.
Joined by Rio's Governor, Madonna toured the favela and also visited social projects run by local NGOs.
During her week- long visit, Madonna met with local business people and officials in Brazil to collect donations for her.
Local residents admitted visits from celebrities like Madonna helped their cause.
'Her visit is very special to us, because like Michael Jackson and other artists who have visited the slum, for us it is always a great feeling to see artists here in the favela because many people outside discriminate us, while an artist, a governor, or a mayor don't discriminate us.' Michel Luz da Silva, a Dona Marta Favella resident said.
Madonna has reportedly agreed to ring in 2010 at Copacabana beach and is considering a possible concert during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games. (source: Big Pond News)
~ The mayor of Rio officially confirmed Madonna for New Year's Eve of 2010/2011 at Copacabana on his Twitter.

12 November - Something to remember: Touched for the very first time
Like A Virgin, the albumAn album that needs no introduction: Like A Virgin! The record that propelled Madonna to megastardom! 25 years ago Madonna unleashed her sophomore Warner Bros. LP and its now-iconic Steven Meisel cover shot already set the tone: Madonna in a wedding dress as the "Bride of Satan" with the boy toy belt immediately became one of her most recognizable and copied looks. To produce the album, Madonna chose the guitarist of disco/R&B band Chic's Nile Rodgers (with such classics as "Le Freak" and "Good Times" under his belt), whom she called a "genius". By 1984 Rodgers had already become one of the most important hitmakers of the US and had a lot of experience with superstars: the self-titled Diana Ross album, including "I'm Coming Out" in 1980, "Koo Koo", the debut record of Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry in 1981 and David Bowie's biggest smash LP "Let's Dance" in 1983, and just before Like A Virgin, Duran Duran's hits "The Reflex" & "The Wild Boys", were all helmed by Nile Rodgers, his funky riffs and catchy beats definited the sound of pop music in the early 80s (Madonna in fact revisited this era when she paid homage to Nile Rodgers' sound in 2008 with She's Not Me & Beat Goes On). The bandmates of Rodgers from Chic played most of the instruments on the album.

Of course the main highlights of the album are the title track and Material Girl. The latter saw Madonna impersonating Marilyn Monroe in its video, first in a long list of references to old stars and movies, but it's the song Like A Virgin that made Madonna a household name. Written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, Madonna took hold of their demo and gave a straightforward but teasing and catchy vocal performance for the song which was released as the lead-off single late 1984. The Mary Lambert directed video continued on Madonna's street urchin look of the first album, but along with the bride persona that connected to the theme of the song. It became her first US #1, topping the Billboard Hot 100 at the turn of 1984/85 for six straight weeks, eventually selling 1 million copies in the US and ending up among her 5 biggest selling UK single ever. While often dismissed as a novelty hit, it remains a signature song for Madonna and arguably her most popular tune ever, prominently featuring on 5 of her tours in various incarnations. Material Girl, which initially failed to reach the dizzying heights of its predecessor also remains a Madonna classic and is responsible for Madonna's most famous nickname in the press.

While Madonna single-handledly set the template for every single female artist in pop music with the sexual and in-control lyrics of the first two singles and their daring music videos, their sound in fact was not new as both songs borrowed from the famous R&B Motown sound. Like A Virgin retains the bassline from "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" by The Four Tops and also has a striking resemblance to the biggest hit of the late Michael Jackson, "Billie Jean". Material Girl borrows from the same family, the bassline is taken from The Jackson's "Can You Feel It?" (which is recreated in 2006's Sorry). Interestingly, Madonna gave a wink to both of Like A Virgin's influences on her first two tours as she performed snippets from the aforementioned songs during Like A Virgin.

Elsewhere on the LP, the R&B influence gets stronger with Madonna's cover of Rose Royce's Love Don't Live Here Anymore, since back then, Madonna said that her roots were within R&B. The song Over And Over contains the template of an important Madonna theme, that she's "not afraid to say I hear a different beat" and she "gets up again, over and over". Several of the songs were co-written by another black collaborator, Stephen Bray, such as the sugary sweet 3rd single Angel, but the rest of the album tracks are overshadowed by the guitar-driven Dress You Up, a fan favourite Madonna finally brought back to consciousness as she performed it on the 2009 leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour and used it as the first track of Celebration's 2nd CD.

Even though after Madonna's artistic growth in the last 25 years, the album is seen as just the house of the 2 classics, the record still remains her best selling studio album in the US, eventually shifting 10 million copies there, certified Diamond and her second best selling one on a worldwide scale, moving more than 20 million copies across the globe, easily becoming one of the 15 best selling female albums ever.
The album reached the top three everywhere with several #1 ranks, though in the UK, where due to stiff competition it only reached the top spot in September 1985 where the re-release of Like A Virgin came out, featuring a tenth track, Into The Groove from Desperately Seeking Susan which would also become one of her most important songs and her biggest selling UK hit.

Last but not least, the November 12th release date of the album was in fact a very late bow for a LP recorded by Madonna a lot earlier in 1984, but due to Borderline and Lucky Star exploding on MTV and the airwaves and lasting so long on the US charts, her second album had to be pushed back. That did not stop Madonna from premiering the title track two months before the album, on the first ever MTV Video Music Awards show in September 1984. The performance where Madonna appeared in the wedding gown, rolled on the floor and threw her bouquet in the audience is marked as the true arrival of Madonna and is arguably the most famous live performance by a female pop artist that revolutionized live act in general.

Funnily enough, as said by Madonna in the recent Rolling Stone interview, her manager at the time Freddy DeMann thought it was the end of Madonna's career. Fortunately for all of us, he couldn't have been more wrong! ;-)

10 November - Madonna's humanitarian trip in Brazil
Madonna is jetting to Brazil this week with her current squeeze, Jesus Luz, but she denies it's to meet his mom, Cristiane Regina da Silva. She told Page Six, "I am going there strictly for fund raising and humanitarian purposes." She's meeting with the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, and spon soring a documentary about kids living in the squalid hillside slums. Meanwhile, despite rumors that Luz would join actor/model Adam Senn in the new Dolce & Gabbana campaign, it turns out the Material Girl herself has landed the job. She shot it along with Senn, owner of Chelsea restaurant Il Bastardo, late last week in Brooklyn. A source said, "The campaign was shot by Steven Klein and has a gorgeous vintage Italian look, like 'The God father.'" (source: New York Post)

06 November - Madonna shoots Dolce & Gabbana's campaign
Madonna at D&G party in JulyExclusive! Madonna has joined forces with Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana to showcase their spring/summer 2010 collection in the brand's forthcoming ad campaign. The campaign will be shot today in New York by photographer Steven Klein.
Madonna first met the designers Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce back in the early nineties and have retained a strong bond and mutual respect ever since. After first meeting the global superstar whilst she was on the set of Dick Tracey in New York, the designers went onto design her costumes for the now iconic, The Girlie Show tour in 1993.
On Madonna appearing in their forthcoming campaign, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana said,
"To have Madonna in our campaign is a dream come true."
Dolce & Gabbana's spring/summer 2010 campaign is being shot on November 6th in New York by fashion photographer Steven Klein. (source: Swide)

06 November - Madonna takes top honors at Billboard Touring Awards
Performing Into The Groove in ZaragozaMadonna's Sticky & Sweet tour was the big winner at the sixth annual Billboard Touring Awards, taking home honors for Top Tour and Top Draw, which acknowledge the highest-grossing and highest-attended tours of the year, respectively. Madonna's manager Guy Oseary won the Top Manager award.
The Billboard Touring Awards are based on worldwide data reported to Billboard Boxscore for the period Oct. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2009. Other winners include Kenny Chesney's Sun City Carnival tour for Chesney's sixth straight Top Package award; Ill Divo for the Breakthrough award, U2 for the Top Boxscore award for the band's shows at Croke Park in Dublin last July, and Dane Cook for the Top Comedy Tour award.
Additionally, Keith Urban received the Concert Marketing & Promotion Award for his Escape Together tour sponsored by Kingsford and KC Masterpiece, and Jonas Brothers received the Eventful Fans' Choice Award, both determined by online voting. Warped tour founder Kevin Lyman received the Humanitarian Award, and Ozzy Osbourne was named Legend Of Live. Complete list of winners at Billboard.

04 November - Madonna at Valentino's party
Madonna & ValentinoValentino and Giancarlo Giammetti have a unique ability to capture and sustain the attention of a very glittering crowd. So much so that on Tuesday night, Hugh Jackman, Adrien Brody, Brian Grazer, Stephen Daldry, Martha Stewart, Marc Jacobs, Thakoon Panichgul, and Diane von Furstenberg packed into the Standard Hotel's 18th floor for the designer's umpteenth party celebrating his documentary "The Last Emperor," which premiered in New York eight months ago. Of course, Valentino insisted the affair was just a chance to be with friends (at least those who are used to step-and-repeats and events sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, HSBC bank and Maestro Dobel tequila).
He remained the center of attention until just after 11 pm, when Madonna arrived. After saying hello to her beau Jesus Luz, who was deejaying, the pop star and Steven Klein swooped into a VIP booth. Then - as happens every time her Madgesty attends a fashion event - the men in attendance circled around and stared at her, while the women gossiped about her looks. When she hit the dance floor, bumping and grinding with Bravo's Andy Cohen, everyone followed suit, including Valentino. (source: WWD)

01 November - Madonna promises next tour for Japan
Madonna gave an interview recently to a Japanese tv channel where she apologized to Japanese fans for missing out Japan with the Sticky & Sweet Tour. She blamed that on no stadiums being available for her, but promised Japan that she will be there next time.
Also, she discussed her daughter Lola's involvement in the Celebration video, she said the dancers of the tour pushed her to do it, as they are friends of hers.
Regarding the Celebration compilation, Madonna called it "a retrospective of all the music that I've made throughout my career but it's also my way of saying thank you to all my fans who've supported my career through all these years."
Asked about her favourite song, not surprisingly Madonna answers Ray Of Light, which represents an important moment of her life, the birth of her daughter.
She called Michael Jackson an incredible singer and songwriter, whose talents were unparalleled.

The interview prominently features Miles Away, which goes without saying, as it was the biggest digital single of 2008 in Japan, which feat earned its place on Celebration.
Her advice to Japanese women is to sleep more.

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