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10 July - Madonna: Top-selling Female Recording Artist!
The 2011 edition of the Guiness World Records features Madonna as the Top-selling Female Recording Artist, with album sales up to December 2009 of 75 million in the USA and 200 million abroad.
The Queen of Pop is also listed as the woman with the most #1 albums in the UK.
Congratulations Madonna! (source: Madonna.com)
09 July - Madonna raids Scots museum for Wallis wedding dress copy
A replica of the Duchess of Windsor's wedding outfit, currently on show at the National Museum of Costume at Dumfries, has been pulled from display and is heading to the set of Madonna's film WE, in which actress Andrea Riseborough plays the woman whose charms created a crisis for the British monarchy.
The outfit was worn in 2005 by Joely Richardson, who played Simpson in the TV production Wallis and Edward. It was showing in at the museum as part of a touring Marriage in the Movies exhibition.
"This was a dress that was made for the movies, so when we received the request from Madonna's production company, we were only too happy to oblige," said Margaret Roberts, the museum's general manager. It will remain on display until 12 July, though the rest of the exhibition will be open until the end of October.
Shooting began this week on WE, Madonna's second foray into directing. She has much to prove, observers say, after her first short film, Filth and Wisdom, won few fans in 2008.
Edward VIII abdicated on 10 December, 1936 after declaring his love for Simpson; marriage to an American divorcee was considered unacceptable, particularly for the Church of England. Edward, now the Duke of Windsor, and Simpson were married on 3 June, 1937, at Chateau de Cande near Tours, France.
While the duke wore formal black morning dress, Simpson was described wearing a floor-length cocktail dress with a fitted jacket, gloves, high-heeled sandals, and a tiny hat, all coloured "Wallis blue".
Madonna co-wrote the script for WE over two years with Alek Keshishian, who directed the best-selling behind-the-scenes documentary about the singer on tour, In Bed with Madonna.
British actor James D'Arcy, whose work includes a role in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, plays Edward VIII opposite Riseborough, best known for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in the BBC drama The Long Walk to Finchley. A father and son from a venerable British acting dynasty, James Fox and his son Laurence Fox, play King George V and his younger son Bertie.
But the film tells the story of two paralell love stories six decades apart, with actress Abbie Cornish playing a modern New Yorker who is obsessed with Simpson's story, only to fall for a security guard at an auction of her effects.
The replica dress is owned by a theatrical costume agency, Cosprop, and was part of a show including wedding dresses worn by film stars Meryl Streep, Keira Knightley, Natasha Kinsky and Helena Bonham Carter.
But after the request from Madonna's producers, the museum waived a contract under which the dress would have been on show until October. While the costume, designed by Michael O'Connor, features in a key scene in the film, it will have plenty of competitors for screen time.
Madonna's own famous costumes already tour UK museums — the pink dress from her 1985 Material Girl video was among costumes that showed in Perth earlier this year. In an interview she suggested Simpson's character might end up changing costumes almost as quickly.
"The duchess has, like, 80 costume changes" she said.
"She was dressed by Balenciaga and Christian Dior, and Vionnet and Schiaparelli. Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels made most of her jewellery.
"A lot of the actual stuff is in museum archives." (source: The Scotsman)
06 July - New pictures for D&G campaign
New pictures have surfaced for the Dolce & Gabbana Fall/Winter 2010-2011 campaign. The photoshoot in Harlem, NYC continues the concept of the Italian housewife that we saw in the previous campaign. Now we also meet the rest of the family, with young actor and model Max Schneider featuring as one of the main characters.
05 July - W.E Press Release
ABBIE CORNISH, ANDREA RISEBOROUGH, JAMES D’ARCY OSCAR ISAAC, RICHARD COYLE, JAMES FOX AND LAURENCE FOX JOIN "W.E"
Madonna's Directorial Feature Debut to start Principal Photography on 5th July
Based on an original screenplay, "W.E," a film written by Madonna and Alek Keshishian is set to begin shooting this summer in Europe (UK and France) and the US.
"W.E" tells two parallel love stories separated by more than six decades. Acclaimed actress Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch, Bright Star, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) has been cast in the role of Wally Winthrop – a young married New Yorker in 1998 who is obsessed with what she perceives as the ultimate romantic love story, King Edward VIII's abdication for his love of Wallis Simpson. Andrea Riseborough has been cast in the role of Wallis Simpson. Riseborough is best known for her outstanding Bafta Nominated performance of Margaret Thatcher in the acclaimed BBC drama "The Long Walk to Finchley" and will soon be seen in Brighton Rock. British star James D'Arcy (Master and Commander, Secret Diary of a Call Girl) will play the part of Edward VIII. Wally Winthrop's Russian love interest Evgeni will be played by rising star Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Sucker Punch) and her husband William will be played by Richard Coyle (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time). Art imitates life as the revered British acting dynasty provides father and son, James Fox (Sherlock Holmes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bafta nominated A Passage to India, Bafta winner The Servant) and Laurence Fox (Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Becoming Jane) in the roles of King George V and his son, Bertie.
1936 England - Wallis Simpson, an American woman, captured the heart of King Edward VIII. Already divorced and married to her second husband when she met Edward, then the Prince of Wales in London, the two fell in love. However, once crowned, Edward was told by the Church and the Prime Minister that he could not marry Wallis and remain King... He abdicated, giving up the throne to be with the woman he loved. Once married and known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, they lived out what many considered to be the romance of the century.
1998 N.Y - Wally Winthrop has a troubled past and moves to New York from the South to work in Sotheby's Estate department. She gives up her job to marry a successful psychiatrist but the marriage is unhappy and Wally finds herself bored, frustrated and often alone. She seeks refuge in her obsession with what she believes to be the ultimate romantic love story, King Edward VIII ‘s abdication for his love of Wallis Simpson. When Wally discovers that there is going to be an auction of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's Estate at Sotheby's, she takes the opportunity to return to her old hunting ground to try to understand the nature of the great love affair through the artifacts that once belonged to the couple. While at Sotheby's, Wally meets Evgeni, a Russian security guard, with a mysterious past. As she immerses herself deeper into the love story of Wallis and Edward, while spending more time away from her marriage, she finds herself falling in love.
We travel back and forth in time with Wally and Wallis, two fragile but determined women whose lives become inextricably linked. However, as the story unravels it becomes apparent that Wallis Simpson’s life was not as perfect as Wally had thought.
The film will be produced by Colin Vaines (producer Coriolanus, exec producer London Boulevard, The Gangs of New York and The Young Victoria) with Executive Producers Kris Thykier (producer The Debt, Kick-Ass, Harry Brown, exec producer Stardust) and Nigel Wooll (exec producer Miss Potter, co-producer GI Jane, White Squall). The production team include Production Designer Martin Childs (Oscar Winner Shakespeare in Love, Oscar Nominated Quills, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas), Director of Photography, Hagen Bogdanski (The Lives of Others, The Young Victoria), Costume Designer, Arianne Phillips (Oscar Nominated Walk the Line, Bafta Nominated A Single Man) and Hair and Make Up Designer - Jenny Shircore (Oscar Winner Elizabeth, Bafta Winner and Oscar Nominated The Young Victoria). (source: Madonna.com)
05 July - Natalie Dormer to play the Queen Mother in Madonna's new film
Madonna has cast Natalie Dormer as Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in a new film on the 1936 Edward VIII abdication crisis, said to be critical of the Queen and sympathetic toward Wallis Simpson, the American woman Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry, the Telegraph reports.
Dormer, known for her portrayal of Henry VIII's second and arguably most infamous wife, Anne Boleyn, on Showtime's "The Tudors", says of her real-life character, "This country tends to remember the Queen Mother as a rather wrinkly 97 year-old, but I am playing her when she was quite an enchanting, engaging twenty and thirty-something. She was quite a savage and savvy game player." Quite like Anne Boleyn, then–clearly this is a role that Dormer will be right at home in playing. (source: Hollywood News)
05 July - Margo Stilley quits Madonna film
Actress Margo Stilley has quit work on Madonna's upcoming film W.E. over "artistic differences".
The 9 Songs star had signed up to play Lady Thelma Furness in the new movie which tells the story of Britain's King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne after falling in love with American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
The Material Girl will take the director's chair for the second time to tell the story of the former British monarch, but she is now looking for a new star to take over Stilley's role after the actress dropped out.
Stilley tells Britain's Sunday Telegraph, "I had the role, but we had artistic differences. She (Madonna) is really something. I wish the cast luck because they are all really talented."
The film, which stars Abbie Cornish and James D'Arcy, is slated for a 2011 release. (source: ContactMusic)
02 July - Ask Billboard: Madonna vs. Lady Gaga
I am a longtime reader of Chart Beat and enjoy reading these "Ask Billboard" questions.
Many people compare Lady Gaga to Madonna. I believe the two are equal in talent, as well as style. It is hard to compare the pair, though, because Lady Gaga released her first single ("Just Dance") 27 months ago, while Madonna released her first single (Everybody) 333 months ago (or 322, if you consider Holiday Madonna's first mainstream hit).
I was wondering if you could compare any statistics between Lady Gaga and Madonna approximately two years into each artist's career.
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Since Nielsen SoundScan data was not launched until 1991, we can't fairly compare Madonna's sales to Lady Gaga's. We can, however, look at their Billboard chart performances in their first 23 months after each artist's Hot 100 debut, since that's how long Lady Gaga has been impacting the chart. Madonna first reached the Hot 100 dated Oct. 29, 1983, and Lady Gaga, Aug. 16, 2008:
Billboard Hot 100
Madonna: 8 entries, 7 top 10s, 2 No. 1s (and 2 Gold titles, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Lady Gaga: 10 entries, 7 top 10s, 2 No. 1s (and 4 Platinum titles, according to the RIAA)
Madonna: 2 entries, 2 top 10s, 1 No. 1
Lady Gaga: 2 entries, 2 top 10s
Dance/Club Play Songs (comparing each artist's first 26 months, since Lady Gaga first charted on the list dated May 3, 2008)
Madonna: 5 entries, 5 top 10s, 3 No. 1s
Lady Gaga: 8 entries, 8 top 10s, 7 No. 1s
Madonna: 7 entries, 2 top 10s
Lady Gaga: 5 entries
Thus, in this strict comparison of charted titles, Madonna and Lady Gaga line up extremely similarly approximately two years into each artist's careers, especially on the Hot 100. At that checkpoint, each singer shows seven top 10s and two No. 1s.
Madonna's Billboard 200 ledger is more impressive, having banked a No. 1 with her second set, Like a Virgin, as is her early Adult Contemporary crossover appeal. Conversely, on Dance/Club Play Songs, Lady Gaga's first two years-plus clearly outshine Madonna's, in terms of chart visits and top 10s (8-5 in each category) and No. 1s (7-3).
Only time well tell if Lady Gaga's career can continue to evolve along that of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-enshrined Madonna, now counting 28 years since first putting her iconic stamp on pop music and culture.
Like Madonna, Lady Gaga writes her own material and possesses a unique sense of flare, so it's certainly possible that such a successful future could be in store.
Check back around 2036 and we'll have a better idea. (source: Billboard)
02 July - Madonna talks about reining in daughter Lourdes' style
Although Madonna has built one of the biggest pop careers in history on body-baring costumes, hip-thrusting dance moves, controversial music and all-around sensationalism, she doesn't tolerate that type of nonsense when it comes to her teen daughter Lourdes — not when she's heading to school, anyway.
Madge, who is collaborating with 13-year-old Lola on the juniors fashion line Material Girl, said that while she appreciates her pop progeny's daring approach to fashion, she's not down with her daughter tarting it up for the classroom.
"I always have two reactions when Lola comes into my room with an outfit on: One is, 'Oh my God, she looks amazing, what incredible style.' And then my second reaction is, 'She's dressed completely inappropriately for school,' " Madonna told People in a video interview. "I usually tell her to take off her 3-inch or 6-inch platforms and pull her skirt down just a little bit and take off some of the black eye makeup."
Eventhough Madonna has spent the better part of the last three decades strutting around onstage and entertaining millions of fans in some iteration of a figure-hugging bodysuit, the pop legend insists that her approach to Lola's look is a function of Madge's current identity as a regular ol' mom. "She does have amazing style, but I am the typical mother, where I say, 'Oh my God, you can't go to school dressed like that!' "
They may not agree when it comes to school clothes, but mother and daughter are working together on their Material Girl line, which launches August 3. While Madonna calls the shots when it comes to Lourdes' home-room fashion, the diva said Lola's style drives their joint collection.
"My role is really to make sure we were all going in the right direction ... and it was a line that I could stand behind and be proud of and feel good about and one that she could also feel represented her," Madonna said. "I really like the way Lola dresses, and I think this line is absolutely an extension of her taste." (source: MTV.com)
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