Madonna, criticised by fashionable friends for wearing a coat made from the fur of Persian lambs cut from their mothers' wombs, has had a dramatic change of heart about animal rights.
She wants to ban the shooting of pheasants and partridges at her 485 ha country estate in Wiltshire. She believes the souls of thousands of dead game birds will return to haunt her.
Friends say Madonna issued her order because of her devotion to kabbalah, an ancient Jewish mystical tradition which draws on numerology, spiritual teachings and arcane prophesy to help adherents achieve a higher spiritual plane.
Kabbalah teachings are notoriously open to interpretation, but some practitioners believe in the evolutionary progress of the soul through repeated reincarnation and stress the relationship between mankind, nature and God to bring followers closer to the Divine Light.
Madonna's conversion has led her to bitterly regret taking up shooting. But her sudden decision to end all bloodsports at the Ashcombe estate has caused friction with her husband, Guy Ritchie - a keen shot and countryman. He persuaded her to buy the property in the first place so he could invite his friends round to bag pheasants with him.
Belgian Radio Donna is broadcasting its Top 2002 hits of all time, voted by their listeners. Naturally, Madonna appears several times in this list; this year she made the list 27 times.
Here are the positions that were played so far:
1937 What It Feels Like For A Girl
1810 Express Yourself
1616 Into The Groove
1549 Papa Don't Preach
1461 Don't Tell Me
1349 Beautiful Stranger
1239 Material Girl
1133 Don't Cry For Me Argentina
842 Drowned World / Substitute For Love
743 The Power Of Good-Bye
626 Ray Of Light
606 Live To Tell
Harry Potter's creator, J.K. Rowling, was the top woman earner in Britain this year, a new list revealed Sunday. Her annual pay of $77 million was six times greater than the salary of Queen Elizabeth, according to an annual list of The Mail on Sunday newspaper. Rowling's tales of a teenage wizard have been a worldwide publishing phenomenon and the focus of two hit films.
The writer was followed on the list by pop superstar Madonna's pay of 27 million pounds. The U.S. singer and actress qualified for the list because she lives in London with her film director husband Guy Ritchie. Next in line were investment banker Robin Saunders, "Weakest Link" TV quiz presenter Anne Robinson and Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Here's some rumour update about the new album, coming from a post by Robster at the MadonnaMad forum. Remember these are just rumours for now. We hope to get some confirmations soon.
"I just got a message from an anonymous source! This source gave me info about the new Madonna album. I'll tell you all about the details!!! The source also mentioned that this information is still everchanging at the moment but that most of this info is 90% sure! So without further ado, get ready for some amazing news:
The album will definitely be released in March. We can safely go by that rumoured date of the 18th of March .
First single details are still sketchy since they are still planning the marketing and promotion and Madonna hasn't decided yet what the first single will be, she can't decide yet if the first single will be something mid-tempo or slow (so no dance track!)
The song by Air might not end up on the actual album, it could become a bonus track on the japanese version of the album and later a b-side on one of the singles. This tells us two main things. She has done a song with Air, and we might get more new songs than just 10 new ones.
For the time being she has decided that Die Another Day will not be featured on the US release of the new album!!! Which means more new tracks for the fans!!!
The photoshoot that will be featured in W magazine will have a ballet theme to it and is going to be amazing!!!
The theme of the new album is a well guarded secret but supposedly it could be a fucked up dance inspired reinvention of the ballet idea!
The rumoured tracktitles we heard like Hollywood are still tentative titles, but could very well end up being the final ones used!
From the info that my source gave my I understand that the photographer for the album cover will be a photographer who also did some amazing work for Lady Di. Testino? Maybe!!! Probably!!!
Count on an official press release in the next few weeks, so the second week of January would be a sure bet I guess!"
Celebrity photographer Herb Ritts famed for his sensuous images of such stars as Richard Gere, Madonna and Julia Roberts died Thursday of complications from pneumonia. He was 50.
Ritts died at University of California-Los Angeles Medical Center, publicist Steven Huvane said. "He accomplished a great deal in a short period of time," said his friend David Fahey, co-owner of Fahey/Klein Gallery in L.A. "He knew how to make the perfect photograph."
Ritts was born in Los Angeles in 1952. He studied economics at New York's Bard College and returned to California to work for his family's furniture business. His photography career began almost by accident. Ritts was driving in the California desert with pal Gere, then a budding star, when their car broke down. Ritts grabbed a camera.
A few months later, his shots of Gere were snapped up by fashion magazines. Ritts's access to celebrities was unmatched. His subjects included the Dalai Lama, former president Ronald Reagan and Monica Lewinsky. His mostly black-and-white work was a staple in such top magazines as Vanity Fair and Vogue.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Ritts in 2000 had a $1 million per year contract with Condé Nast. Ritts also photographed landscapes and homoerotic imagery. He championed AIDS causes. He even won two MTV Video Music Awards for directing 1991 music videos for Janet Jackson and Chris Isaak. But it was his ability to connect with celebrities that made him Hollywood's most wanted photographer.
Ritts could find beauty in the most difficult subjects, from a wheelchair-bound Christopher Reeve to Elizabeth Taylor after her brain surgery "It's important to let your subjects be themselves," Ritts once told USA Today. A public memorial service is planned next month. Ritts is survived by his partner, Erik Hyman.
~ Herb Ritts was the famous photographer most notable for the True Blue cover and the Immaculate Collection art work. He had dozens of photo shoots with Madonna throughout her career, which helped build her iconic image (check them out in Mad-Bio). He also directed one of her most beautiful videos, for Cherish.
The Guiness Book of Hit Singles has placed Madonna at No.5 of most successful artists in the UK since the charts begain 50 years ago. She is also the most successful female.
The top 10 stayed the same as last year.
1 (1) Elvis Presley
2 (2) Cliff Richard
3 (3) The Shadows
4 (4) Elton John
5 (5) Madonna
6 (6) Diana Ross
7 (7) Michael Jackson
8 (8) Rod Stewart
9 (9) The Beatles
10 (10) David Bowie
There's a rumour circulating that the new album will be released on March 17th, 2003 and that the title would NOT be 'Hollywood' as rumoured earlier.
Madonna is boycotting a top TV show after constant jokes about her bad acting from host Jay Leno. The Tonight Show presenter has ridiculed the Material Girl's film flops for years - poking fun at flicks such as Shanghai Surprise, Who's That Girl and Swept Away.
But his latest remarks about Bond film Die Another Day provoked the pop queen to declare she'll never guest on his show again after he commented that the adventure movie would have made even more cash had Madonna not been in it. The host joked, "It would have got $70 million had Madonna not been in it."
A show source says, "Madonna wasn't happy with Jay's jokes. She's very serious about her acting and can take criticism but she thinks Jay's comments are now beyond a joke. She says she won't be coming back on."
Madonna, who had the No. 1 Maxi-Singles Sales hit of 2000 with Music, is No. 1 again with the remixes of her James Bond theme, Die Another Day. Madonna and Cher are joined in the top-10 by other women who go by one name: Sade, Dido, and Amber.
Madonna is the No. 1 sales artist, followed by Cher. Pink rounds out the top three females. The top male is Maxwell, followed by Usher and a tie between "Heaven" collaborators DJ Sammy and Yanou.
Die Another Day is the Most Successful Maxi-Single of 2002 & Madonna is the #1 Maxi-Single Sales Artist of 2002.
Pop queen Madonna has had a flower specially created for her. The new type of heather has been grown to thank her for helping put the Scottish Highlands on the tourism map. The couple married in December 2000 at a glitzy ceremony at Skibo Castle, near Dornoch. And son Rocco was christened in Dornoch Cathedral.
Tourist bosses there reckon all the attention made the area about £2.5 million richer! They even set up the Romantic Scotland campaign after the wedding to encourage more couples to marry there.
- The Madonna heather's expected to be purple
- It'll be registered with the National Heather Society
- It will be called Romantic Scotland
- Heather's a symbol of luck in Scotland
Madonna came in at # 3 on Googles 2002 Year-End Zeitgeist for Top Musicians/Groups.
Googles Year-End Zeitgeist offers a unique perspective on the year's major events and hottest trends based on more than 55 billion searches conducted over the past year by Google users from around the world.
Zeitgeist enables you to look at the past year through the collective eyes of the world on the Internet. The complete Top Musicians/Groups list is below.
Top Musicians/Groups 2002
6. linkin park
8. blink 182
9. ja rule
Congratulations to Madonna for her Best Original Song Golden Globe nomination for the title track single to Die Another Day! This is Madonna's second Golden Globe nomination - she previously won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her portrayal as Eva Peron in Evita. Click here for a full list of nominees.
Die Another Day with music and lyrics by Madonna and music by Mirwais goes up against Paul Simon's 'Father and Daughter" from The Wild Thornberrys Movie, 'The Hands That Built America' by U2 from Gangs Of New York, Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' from 8 Mile and 'Here I Am' by Bryan Adams for the movie Spirit : Stallion of the Cimarron.
Golden Satellite Nominations for Original Song:
- Love Is A Crime - 8 MILE
- Die Another Day - DIE ANOTHER DAY
- Work It Out - GOLDMEMBER
- Girl on the Roof - VAN WYLDER
- Something to Talk About - ABOUT A BOY
- 8 Mile - 8 MILE
Dirty Dancing has been voted the top 'chick flick' of all time. The 1987 movie, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, beat Grease and Thelma and Louise to clinch the top spot. On the dancefloor, the Weather Girls' It's Raining Men was voted the top Girlie Anthem, ahead of Gloria Gaynor's I will Survive and Can't Get You Out Of My Head by Kylie Minogue.
Pop queen Madonna was named the Ultimate Girlie Icon, beating Hollywood legends Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. The findings are based on a survey of 8,000 women conducted by Babycham to mark the launch of the 'girlie' drink's website Babycham.
Abba's Dancing Queen has been named the greatest ever dance floor filler. The Swedish superstars narrowly beat Kylie Minogue, whose Can't Get You Out Of My Head was runner-up in the poll for music TV channel VH1. Number three in the chart of tunes which get everyone on their feet was I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.
Dancing Queen topped the charts in 1976. The band's Benny Andersson said of the result: "It's rather fantastic that our music is still around and that they didn't kill us for being so corny at the time." More than 400,000 votes were cast to find the 100 greatest dance floor-fillers and the songs will be counted down from December 16-20.
The full list will be broadcast on December 21. Madonna and Michael Jackson are the acts with most tracks in the chart with three apiece.
Jackson is at eight with Billie Jean, 27 with Don't Stop Till You Get Enough and 39 with Blame It On The Boogie, a track he recorded with the rest of his Jackson brothers.
The top 10 are;
1. Abba - Dancing Queen;
2. Kylie - Can't Get You Out Of My Head;
3. Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive;
4. Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen;
5. Madonna - Holiday;
6. Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart;
7. S Club 7 - Don't Stop Movin';
8. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean;
9. Robbie Williams - Rock DJ;
10. Village People - YMCA.
Madonna.com has posted another round of fan questions, answered by Caresse Henry:
Israel asks: Will you be releasing Madonna's Die Another Day in DVD featuring making the video?
CARESSE: The Soundtrack has an enhanced CD which has the Die Another Die music video and 4 minutes of the Making of. The entire Making of is not going to be released commercially.
Jeremy asks: Around the time of The Girlie Show, Madonna referred to a painting by Edward Hopper (of a burlesque dancer) that she says inspired the name of tour. Do you know the name of this image?
CARESSE: The painting by Edward Hopper is - The Girlie Show - hence the inspiration for the title
Richard G. asks: There must be so many Madonna tracks over the years that have not ended up being released for 1 reason or another. Is there any way to get hold of these / are there any plans to release an collection of these, particularly songs from the 80's?
CARESSE: There are a few demos - but not many - if they don't make the album - it's for a reason so they are typically locked away and every now and then given to other artists to record - but that is very uncommon. We most likely would not release them.
Angel asks: I keep hearing on the radio here in Puerto Rico a new Madonna song called Revenge. I try to look for it on the site and stores but nobody seems to know about it. Is it part of the 007 soundtrack?
CARESSE: That was a demo that was leaked via the internet and will not be available.
Sidney asks: What are the last three cds Madonna purchased and is currently listening to?
1. Lemonjelly "Lost Horizon's"
2. Brian Eno "Thursday Afternoon"
3. Avia "I See That Now"
Tom asks: This is a quick question regarding DVD Audio. I was pleasantly surprised to see Madonna is going to release some titles in this new format. Would it be possible for you to find out, when these are going to be released for the UK market and whether or not they are going to be remastered in the 5.1 format which a couple of videos and lyrics and images?
CARESSE: The DVD's will be part of the Madonna Ultimate Box Set which is tentatively scheduled for release Winter 2003 - they will be 5.1 mix and I am sure additional content will also be added.
CARESSE: Not sure about that yet. I would like to see it included.
Christy asks: Will Madonna ever put out an HBO album with her songs from the Drowned World Tour in Detroit?
CARESSE: You never know!!!! A live album is a must...
Life with Madonna is truly taking Guy Ritchie away from his gangster movie roots. The Lock Stock writer and director is apparently in the process of penning a film called The 49th Gate, which is based on the quasi-Jewish Kabbalah religion that has so entranced his wife.
'In Kabbalah there are 50 levels of holiness and this film will be about Moses' attempt to get from the 49th to the 50th, something he never manages,' says a slightly mystified source.
Kabbalah is based on an esoteric reading of the first five books of the Old Testament, the so-called Books of Moses. And you thought Swept Away was a bad idea.
For twenty years now, she has perplexed, confounded, aroused and amused us with her grit and guises, always remaining in fuzzy focus. Jennifer Egan deconstructs this most mutable of legends:
"Unlike a lot of people in my generation, I was never all that interested in Madonna. I knew about her, of course (how could anyone not?), but I didn't really want to know, and over the years this forcible knowing engendered in me a blustering sort of resentment.
Why do I have to keep hearing about this woman? I wondered, sometimes aloud, jabbing a finger at yet another picture of her yet again transmorgrified visage. Part of my problem was that except for a few songs (Into the Groove, Justify My Love, Vogue), I didn't much like her peppy, tuneful music.
And the scandals over the videos for Like A Prayer and Justify My Love, along with the infamous Sex book, struck me as cheap stunts of a publicity glutton. The birth of Lourdes, with the attendant honeyed photos and MADONNA AND CHILD headlines made me faintly nauseated. And as for the Kabala studies and the mystical face doodles, please.
*Will she ever go away?* I asked. And I asked and asked as the years kept passing. Then something happened. I'm not sure how or why or even when- the past couple of years?- my antipathy toward Madonna began to ease. It wasn't that she disappeared, because of course she hadn't disappeared. But at a certain point, I was startled, in response to some new bit of Madonna lore, to feel rustling within me a grudging affection, even admiration, for the woman."
Continue reading at Madonna.com
Die Another Day score composer David Arnold didn't like Madonna's Bond theme at all calling it 'tune-free' but the movie's director Lee Tamahori has a different opinion.
Lee told Undercover News that David is entitled to his opinion but the song is there for a purpose and that purpose is to bring a younger audience to James Bond. "Well there has been a huge tradition as everybody knows" Lee said. "There is no secret that for 40 years the Bond movies have always employed 'The Ballad'.
The Shirley Bassey template that was set in Goldfinger set the tone forever. Then somewhere in the 80s they started experimenting with Duran Duran and so and so. It seemed to me as a fan of the genre when I was watching it, it always seemed to me to be a little behind the 8 ball. By the time it came out it was like "oh wasn't that last years ...."
So anyway, it was flavour of the month all through the 80s. I have always like the ballad but when it came to the 20th movie, 40th anniversary we wanted to move beyond the ballad. It was a conscious decision to do so."
He is well aware of the love / hate relationship people are having with Madonna's Die Another Day. "People love this song, people hate this song" he says. "Bond traditionalists don't seem to like Madonna coming in with her electronic, techno, dance , track. However, there is a huge audience out there, a much younger audience who don't care about Shirley Bassey and all the great themes".
So what does Lee think of it? "My own personal view is, while it is a very odd choice, when she was doing the soundtrack I went to her and said "what have you got for us" and she gave us this track and said "I think this will be great". I thought like all of us that this is a bit odd but it may work very well" he says.
He also says what Madonna originally offered is not want ended up on the soundtrack. "She did some major modifications to it and what there is is what there is" he says. "It is very technical and it has what I call seemingly dropouts in it which are a big worry to me as a film maker.
The track seems to stop and not keep going for the images. We massaged that. I'm very happy with it. It has grown on me. I will be the first to admit I was not that fond of it when I first heard it. I have grown to like it a lot more".
Despite the creative differences between the director and the composer over the Madonna song Lee stands by composer David Arnold's decision. "I know David who is the composer likes to have the entire frame-work set up for these movies. It is a very personal view of he is very entitled to it and I know he was very unhappy with it from the start.
But remember this, even though David has been involved in three of the other movies he does not always embrace the soundtrack into the theme. He usually finds a theme that carries through the other movies including this one (as he has done) and he doesn't always haul the soundtrack or the track that covers the credit sequence into it. This argument will go on forever. It is a moot point. It is there now and that's it".
Die Another Day is the 20th James Bond movie. As a footnote, there will be a 21st and it will star Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan told Undercover News he was originally signed to do three Bond movies with an option for a forth. 'Die Another Day' used up the option. "They have asked me to make another one and I have said yes" he said. The next Bond movie will be released in 2004.
~ Notice that Madonna originally offered another song. This could be the rumoured "Can't You See My Mind?". Let's hope this will see the light of day on the new album.
Jeweller Stephen Webster speaks to Hello! magazine (17 December 2002 issue) about his jewellery, and how his work rose to fame when he created the rings for Madonna and Guy's wedding.
In 2000 he got a call from Madonna's record company, Maverick, asking if he could make a ring for her future husband Guy Ritchie - a platinum band studded with six diamonds. 'It was one of the great things that changed my career,' he affirms. 'She was closely involved in the design process and I was very nervous when it came time to deliver it.
When I told her, she said, 'What have you got to be nervous about?' which was quite funny as it was one of the biggest weddings of the year. Not long after, he was asked by Guy to make Madonna's wedding ring, giving him the added responsibility of keeping the couple's designs secret from each other as well as the world's press.
'I kept it simple and made a platinum ring for her that went with her engagement ring. You never really make a big design statement with a wedding ring.'
Todd Manning, a resident of Holden, has won a 2001 BMW M5 signed by pop star Madonna in a national contest conducted by BMW to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The announcement was made today by Holly Babich, Manager of Consumer Events for BMW of North America. Mr. Manning's name was randomly selected from more than 30,000 entries that were collected over a five-month period as the M5 toured the country as part of the BMW Ultimate Drive for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, now in its sixth year of raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research and community outreach programs for the Komen Foundation.
According to Ms. Babich, "Having a national contest to win this autographed vehicle really added an extra element of excitement to the BMW Ultimate Drive Program this year. Not only could the general public help raise much needed funds for the fight against breast cancer by visiting their local dealerships, but for a recommended donation of $10.00, they also received a chance to win a car signed by a superstar."
A life-long love of cars is what motivated Mr. Manning to submit his winning entry. "I have always been a car enthusiast," said Mr. Manning. "As a kid, I made dozens of little model cars, then as an adult my first car was a 1966 BMW 1800 which I bought used.
So the idea of owning another BMW that was signed by such a unique entertainer, and used in the bmwfilms.com short film Star is really going to be a kick."
Madonna has landed herself in trouble with her designer friend Stella McCartney for wearing a coat made out of lamb foetuses. Dedicated anti-fur campaigner McCartney said she was appalled when she spotted the singer wearing it. Animal rights activists claim lambskin uses the pelts of unborn karakul lambs and Stella has passed on the "facts" to Madonna.
She told Glamour magazine: "I've been working on Madonna's honky ass for a very long time. Her thing is she won't wear anything she doesn't eat.
"But the other day she was wearing this lamb foetus coat, made from baby lambs that haven't even been born.
"It's like wet curls. So I said, 'I didn't know you ate foetuses,' and she was like, 'Eeew!' I haven't seen her in it since."
Madonna incurred the wrath of animal rights protesters last year when she wore a £1,000 fox fur hat by Philip Treacy. McCartney, who has narrated a video for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), also has a go at another of her celebrity friends, actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
She said: "The only time I've seen Gwyneth with fur she's had a little trim on her coat and I'm always like, 'What the f**k are you doing with that?' "And she's like, 'It's not real fur' and I say, 'Don't give me that shit, you're a clever girl - don't try and act like a stupid girl right now'.
"The last time, she guaranteed she wasn't going to do it again, but they're all a bit fickle, aren't they?" She adds: "Listen, I love her, but on the fur thing, people really are very fickle."
According to Holly Valance (singer of 'Kiss Kiss' and 'Down Boy'), Madonna has the most beautiful breasts in showbiz. She added that Madonna is a big inspiration when writing songs and that she dreams to be able one day to cover all music styles, like Madonna.
Madonna's West End debut in Up for Grabs at the Wyndham's Theatre is nominated for 'The Planet Hollywood Theatre Event of the Year' at this years Theatregoers' Choice Awards. You can vote here.
Madonna & Apple Computer have come together to offer her fans a VERY special product just in time for the holidays. Apple's iPod has clearly established itself as the coolest portable music device on earth. It allows you to enjoy up to 4,000 songs in your pocket - perhaps your whole music collection.
With its 10-hour lithium polymer battery, it may play longer than you do. And the innovative scroll wheel allows you to find any song in you collection fast and easily - anywhere. How can the iPod get any cooler? How about a beautifully laser engraved Madonna autograph on its metal body?!
That's right, for a limited time via madonna.com, fans will be able order this special version on all configurations of iPod! 5, 10 or 20 GB versions. Mac or PC compatible. It's only available from madonna.com until January 8, 2003. The holidays are approaching, so it's advised to get your orders in immediately!
Once the ordering period expires, the production run will be stopped. Your personal jukebox. A treasured gift. An instant Madonna collectable.
Columbia TriStar will release a DVD of the total box office disaster Swept Away on February 11th. The movie made about $598,645 during its 192-screen theatrical run, which is quite pitiful when you put things into perspective.
Other "bombs" that made more money than this flop include:
- Cool as Ice
- Battlefield Earth
- Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
- The Adventures of Pluto Nash
The DVD will arrive with an anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, and the following special features: Director's Commentary, 16 Deleted Scenes with Commentary, Swept Away Movie Special, Trailers. You can check out the menu and box art above.
Agent 007 returned to the No. 1 spot at the North American box office over the weekend, while the new comedy sequel "Analyze That" suffered major shrinkage, according to studio estimates issued Sunday. On the traditionally slow weekend that follows the Thanksgiving Day holiday, ticket sales slumped to their lowest level in 12 weeks. But business could pick up next weekend when four new releases enter the fray.
This weekend, top honors went to Die Another Day, the 20th official movie in the James Bond franchise, which sold about $13 million worth of tickets in the Friday-to-Sunday period, hoisting its three-week total to $120.4 million. The film, which stars Pierce Brosnan as the suave sleuth and Halle Berry as love interest Jinx, was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. It ranked No. 2 last weekend.
"Analyze That," a screwball comedy that reunites Robert De Niro as a vexed mobster and Billy Crystal as his therapist, opened at No. 2 with a disappointing $11.3 million. The hit 1999 original "Analyze This" opened with $18 million, and went on to earn $107 million.
Madonna produces TV rock drama series for ABC. "The Practice"'s Marla Sokoloff will star as a teen idol who takes time off to develop her musical skills by Gary Susman Multi-hyphenate Madonna is adding TV producer to her résumé.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, her Maverick Films is teaming with Touchstone TV to produce ''Alyx,'' a drama series for ABC about a teen pop idol. She and her Maverick Films partner Guy Oseary will serve as two of the executive producers on the project, which will star Marla Sokoloff of the network's ''The Practice.''
Sokoloff, who has performed her own songs in Los Angeles clubs and is signed to Madonna's Maverick record label, will play Alyx Mason, a teen queen who abandons the pop scene to develop her musicianship and become more of a rocker. (In other words, less Britney, more Avril.)
Sounds like a situation that the executive producer, herself a onetime teen pop icon who reemerged last year wielding a guitar on her Drowned World tour, knows well.
Madonna has been voted the greatest woman in music history in a poll carried out by music channel VH1. Madonna is the most successful female chart act of all time with worldwide sales of more than 140 million records.
Over 750,000 votes were cast in the poll and Madonna was the clear winner with 17%. Kylie Minogue was second place and Celine Dion was third, followed by Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. Kate Bush, whose biggest hit was her debut single Wuthering Heights in 1978, was the highest-placed British artist in 10th place.
The list of 100 women contained a few surprises - there was no place for "First Lady of Jazz" Ella Fitzgerald, but there was room for the caterwauling Yoko Ono (99). Other British stars present included Annie Lennox (14), Dido (21), Gabrielle (41) and Sharleen Spiteri (49).
Eighties favourites Kim Wilde (70) and Bananarama (95) were both there, as were Lulu (93) and the late Kirsty MacColl (74). The Spice Girls were at 44 and Mel C made it in at 58, four places above Geri Halliwell who was at number 62. But Emma Bunton, Mel B and Victoria Beckham were nowhere to be seen.
New artists have a strong showing, with Britney Spears in ninth place. Jennifer Lopez was at 17, Pink at 27 and Sophie Ellis Bextor at 69.
Madonna's husband, Guy Ritchie, is selling a role in his next gangster film, 49th Gate, for charity. The roles, one male, one female, are being sold over the internet in aid of UK Youth.
The winners will be flown to Los Angeles, be put up in a hotel for five nights and get the chance to star in the Lock, Stock and Snatch director's next film.
~ The concerning movie is Guy's new Gangster movie '49th Gate'. 17 bids have been made so far. Current highest bid is £2,551.00. The auction still runs till December 13th. More at freeserveauctions.
Hitting shelves was the new book "The Making of Evita," which included an introduction by Madonna and chronicled the 85 costume changes she had for the film Evita, involving 45 pairs of shoes, 56 pairs of earrings, 39 hats and 42 different hairstyles.
Those wanting to look this way themselves could scurry off to Bloomingdale's department store in New York City, which had installed an Evita boutique with decidedly non-peon prices. "It's a little high for being 100% polyester," one shopper said about an item of clothing. "It's a little high."
There was also a new line of Estee Lauder makeup inspired by the movie, as well a shade of lipstick similar to that worn by Madonna's Evita. With all this high-end merchandise, it seemed a Madonna wannabe's life was much simpler back in the '80s, when a penny-pinching Madonna fan could emulate her look rather inexpensively at such places as the Madonna Boutique at Macy's in New York. Ah, the days of 10-for-a-dollar rubber bracelets and mesh half-shirts...
Click here to see a documentary from Hollywood Raw (dating from 2001) that talks about Madonna's relation to the paparazzi.
In today's London Metro newspaper gossip column, this snippet was mentioned: "Bond actor Pierce Brosnan was so impressed with Madonna's cameo in Die Another Day he made her agree to co-star in the next film - but she only wants to be a baddie."
Madonna may have failed to ignite the imaginations of either audiences or critics with their latest cinematic offering, Swept Away, but the film was a hit in an unlikely quarter - French fashion house Hermes.
Since the woman Guy Ritchie calls 'the missus' wore a green and gold silk Hermes scarf in her latest film, the shop has been inundated with requests for the garment. 'They've been flying off the shelves,' chuckles our man between the coat-hangers.
'Everyone was pretty surprised but obviously chuffed. Having Madonna wear one of your pieces in a movie - however bad - is the kind of advertising you just can't buy.'
This kind of indirect celebrity endorsement seems to be getting more and more popular Saks in New York recently reported a huge increase in interest in the items that Winona tried to shoplift from their store.
Q: How was it having Madonna on set?
PB: It was great. Everyone had high expectations and everyone's a fan of her work. I thought it was a great casting coup to get her in to do this role and that she should sing the song as well. She came in, she was very professional and she came and she went.
Q: Is it true you were singing "Like A Virgin?"
PB: We were in the back trailer, all hanging out and singing "Like A Virgin." Then I was on the set and I had the sword and she was over there lining up the shot and I started singing "Like a Virgin" and she turned around and thought I was dissing her. She said, "Are you dissing me?" "No, I'm not dissing you, no." And that's when you (director Lee Tamahori) came over and asked "What's going on here?" She got a bit prickly over that thing, but we got it sorted out. It was fine.
Though she has a degree in English literature, Rosamund Pike doubts she'll ever use it to teach. "Parents would be telling each other 'The Bond girl is teaching my son.' Somehow it just doesn't work," says Pike, who plays the cool British spy Miranda Frost in Die Another Day.
"I knew that this role would change my life. If you join the Bond family, you go into it with your eyes open." In the early versions of Die Another Day, Frost was not a love interest for Bond. Pike was relieved when that changed, giving her a not-so-frosty tumble with Pierce Brosnan in an ice palace in Iceland.
"I didn't want to go down in cinema history as the only girl in a Bond film who didn't get to seduce Bond." She is proud to point out that she is "the first British girl to be paired with Pierce."
Pike says she was thrilled to share screen time in Die Another Day with Halle Berry, Madonna and Judi Dench, three women she admires. "Halle is a tower of strength. She has had a very rough life and what makes her so special is how up front she is about her past misfortunes. "If I ever find myself in a tricky situation, I hope I can be as brave and candid as she continues to be."
Pike insists she was far from the only person to be star-struck by Madonna, who plays a fencing instructor in Die Another Day. "Even (director) Lee Tamahori was star-struck. He was noticeably excited the day Madonna filmed her scene. We all were."
Pike says Dench, who plays Bond's boss M, has been an icon of hers for years. "Judi is one of the most respected actors in the business and she proved to be one of the most humble which, in turn, is humbling for everyone who works with her."
According to Play.com 'Die Another Day' will be released on DVD on 05/05/2003. Following special features still have to be confirmed:
- Deleted Scenes with commentary by Director
- Audio Commentary: Audio Intelligence
- Audio Commentary: Audio Intelligence 2
- MI6 Data Stream
- Trivia tracks with seamless links to featurettes
- Inside Die Another Day documentary
- Multi angle action and stunt sequences
- Multi angle view of opening credits
- Scene evolutions
- Equipment Briefing
- Making of documentary 1
- Making of documentary 2
- Theatrical trailer
- TV spot
- Madonna music video
- A Day In the Live (MTV Special)
- Behind the scenes of the Madonna music video.
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