Madonna news - March 2003

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Video premieres on Viva

31 March 2003

The American Life video seems to have premiered on German music channel VIVA. Check out some screengrabs at MadonnaPower.

Another great album review

31 March 2003

Check out another great review of the album from gay magazine The Advocate at fansite

Not the diva of old?

31 March 2003

The New York Times seems to believe that Madonna has lost her touch with the audience, who like "younger female pop artists, like Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, Avril Lavigne and Christina Aguilera, who dominate the music world, making Madonna appear less and less commercially relevant these days".

They even go as far as stating that these singers sold more than Madonna, though Madonna is still clearly the best selling female artist in the business. However, you can read the article here.

Details on limited edition

Source: Madonnarama - 30 March 2003

The American Life Enchanced CD is presented in a 2-piece telescoping box that is covered in White "leatherette" fabric and silk-screened in Black and Red ink.

The inside of the box top is lined in red paper and the bottom is covered in Black "linen" fabric.

Steven Klein on X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS exhibit

Source: NY Daily News - 30 March 2003

Don't ask photographer Steven Klein to explain his aggressively baffling new art collaboration with Madonna at SoHo's Deitch Projects Gallery. "I never have any special meaning to my work," the artist announces while walking through the installation with his dog.

Klein prefers enigmatic assessments. "I see this as a platform to bring Madonna's ideas to life — or to death," he says with a Cheshire-cat smile. "It's really just about provoking people to think — or not to think." At the very least, it's about making people reconsider their use of capital letters. Klein and Madonna have titled the piece "X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS."

The show grew out of a much-publicized photo shoot Klein conceived with Madonna, which eats up 44 pages in the latest issue of the fashion magazine W. The gallery version lands far closer to performance art than to anything from the world of runway models.

Viewers attending the show, at 18 Wooster St. through May 3, can wend their way through five distinct sound and video installations. Since the area around each illuminated piece is pitch-black, the gallery winds up seeming like the world's most pretentious peep show — or like some house of horrors, as designed by Yoko Ono.

Each piece has its own sound effects — gurgles, murmurs, a gunshot — heard at the same time, the better to "provoke" you. To accompany the gunshot, there's a still of Madonna twisted up like a pretzel and positioned next to an unidentifiable internal organ which pulsates at inexplicable intervals.

Another piece features a voice-over of Madonna reading six minutes from the Book of Revelations, matched to a video still of her in a gas mask, flanked by a coyote and something on fire. Klein says the internal organ "gets beneath the surface of Madonna." The architectural firm that designed the space has compared the visuals to Caravaggio paintings — though they're more likely to remind you of something by Hieronymus Bosch.

Whether the result draws giggles, gasps or just the sound of head-scratching from Madonna fans, it's okay by Klein. When a reporter asks, "What's going on with these images?," he answers, "It all depends on what's going on with you."

More on AL video edits

Source: Absolute Madonna - 29 March 2003

Sometimes art imitates life, and other times art is changed by life. In light of the war in Iraq, Madonna has made some last-minute edits to her upcoming video for American Life. "We have our dream version, but it's not the right time for it," she said Thursday. "We've been planning the video for months and months and months, and we didn't know everything that was going to be happening in the world [when we first did it]."

Director Jonas Akerlund shot the video with Madonna in Los Angeles the first week of February (see "Madonna Defends Her Violent 'American Life' Video"). While the clip was always supposed to feature Madonna and overweight dancers in military fatigues creating chaos at a fashion show, and while Madonna was always supposed to toss a grenade at the end, there were several endings filmed. "It turned into a [short] film," she said.

"The original version was like 10 minutes long. We had lots of stops in the music and lots of car chases and conversations with people, and it kept going on in the end. And we realized we were getting a little carried away. So we had to edit it for time. Then we had to get rid of all the 'F' words."

The biggest challenge for Madonna was reshaping the video in a way that was entertaining, thought provoking and didn't compromise her artistic integrity. Many have interpreted the video to be an angry protest of Operation Iraqi Freedom, but that's not exactly the case. Madonna considers herself a pacifist, but like many Americans she's conflicted about U.S. military action in Iraq.

"Saddam Hussein is a guy we just want to get rid of," she explained. "So there's a part of the video where I'm carving 'Protect me' into the wall, and you could almost feel like I want to go there and kick some ass and protect all those beautiful children and innocent families and people that have been tortured for years. But do I have the solutions? No. Do I have the answers? No. I'm just completely freaked out by what's going on there like everybody else."

There are three points Madonna hopes to make with the video for "American Life." The first and most obvious is that regardless of whether or not she supports Bush, war is a cosmic bummer. "War is a manifestation of everybody," she said. "We have our personal karma and we have a global karma. So for me, it's about trying to get a message out that if we want peace and love in our life, then we have to make it happen in the world.

"The ending of the video is really important," she continued. "I throw this hand grenade... But it gets caught. And the one who catches it takes something that could be violent and destructive and takes the destruction out of it by turning it into something else.

That's my hope for an alternative, not only to this war, but all wars. Also, I hope that I've also gotten across [the idea that] the soldiers that have gone over there are flesh and blood. They're real people, and my heart goes out to them, and I want them to all come back in one piece."

The second idea the former Material Girl wanted to express is that materialism is superficial. "We chose the setting of a fashion show because that's the epitome of superficiality. They're not trying to be anything except 'Let's celebrate the surface.' Fashion is fun, and I respect that, but at the end of the day people take that stuff a little too seriously.

So it is easy to poke fun at that, especially when you juxtapose it against the real things that are happening in the world. "No matter how many distractions we put up for ourselves, whether it's a fashion show or reality TV shows or a hot contest, what's happening in the world is still going on, and the ugliness and the chaos and the pain and the suffering is immense. So it's a statement about our obsession with the world of illusion."

Such commentary may seem absurd coming from someone who was once the biggest icon of pop culture, but Madonna said she's learned some valuable lessons over the course of her career. "I fought for so many things," she said. "I tried so hard to be number one, stay on top, look good - to be the best. And now I realize that a lot of the things that last and the things that matter are none of those things."

Madonna intentionally chose chubby dancers for "American Life" because she wanted to show that conventional ideas of beauty are flawed and even damaging. "The girls I used are big, real, voluptuous girls, and they're beautiful," she said. "I wanted to explore that taboo as well, because you don't know people that have fat rolls as attractive. You just don't see that, and that was important to me."

"There are people going, 'Will you love me more if I'm thin? Should I remodel myself for your approval?' That's so crazy. I have fat rolls. When I first started out, everyone was like, 'Wow, she's chubby. That's cool.' And then I started getting really into working out, and there were a lot of people that were bummed out because I think I was a role model for chubby girls. And now I'm a role model for chubby girls again. I've gone back to my roots."

Q Mag interview

Source: Madonnalicious - 29 March 2003

"The May 2003 issue of the UK music magazine Q features Madonna on the cover and a total of 8 pages inside featuring an interview by Paul Rees and photographs by Craig McDean. The magazine also features a full-page advert for the single and album release of American Life.

American Life video

Madonna talks frankly about her life at the moment, including her thoughts on living in London, 'I love my Mini Cooper, I was too scared to drive a big car in London, the roads are too narrow and I'm always afraid I'm going to hit people on both sides.'

The magazine also gives some hints of the new songs on her album, A gospel choir arrives out of nowhere to propel the dreamy ballad Nothing Fails to a rousing climax, the stripped down Nobody Knows Me erupts in a barrage of electronic effects.

A full-page is also dedicated to Madonna's single releases during her 20-year career, and a mini-review accompanies each song. Read the transcript of the interview here. High quality pictures are available in the 2003 Gallery."

AL video ends with image of Bush with grenade in his lap

Source: The Drudge Report - 29 March 2003

A final shock scene in the video of AOL Time Warner recording artist Madonna's upcoming release -- is that of the singer throwing a grenade in the lap of President Bush! "It is not me being anti-Bush, it's me being ironic and tongue in cheek," Madonna explains to NBC's Access Hollywood this weekend.

American Life video

"My kind of wish for peace and my desire to sort of turn a weapon of destruction, which is a grenade, into something that is completely innocuous." Madonna uses a Bush look-alike in the final scene of American Life.

The "president" picks up the lit grenade that Madonna throws -- and lights his cigar with it! The image is "my wish to find an alternative to violence to war and destruction," the singer says.

Last month the Drudge Report first revealed how Madonna was hoping to cause maximum controversy with the new video.

All lyrics available

29 March 2003

We now have all the lyrics of the American Life album. Madonna shows off some of her best songwriting, seemingly blending the best of Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light and Music! Check our album page and click on the track title to read.

Also check out some fantastic album reviews from the listening parties that were held in London and Paris last week.

American Life chart action

Source: Billboard, through - 28 March 2003

Madonna's American Life single debuts on the April 5 Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales Chart at No. 4, selling over 4,000 paid downloads. The single debuted early on this chart, because the single was sent to the consumers on Sunday, March 23 (one day earlier than originally planned).

Therefore, that placed the sales information into the April 5 Sales chart, and not the April 12 list, as previously predicted. The single also debuts on The Billboard Hot 100 at No. 90 this week. This chart is Billboard's overall pop singles chart, which combines airplay and sales data. It is Madonna's 49th chart entry on The Billboard Hot 100.

The single's debut on this chart was mostly due to the fact that the sales of the digital download single were reported to SoundScan for this week. SoundScan is the company that collects and reports record sales data, and the information is used in compiling the Billboard charts. (With only two days worth of airplay for the April 5 tracking week, American Life wouldn't have debuted on The Billboard Hot 100 without its sales points.)

Expect American Life to make a huge leap up The Billboard Hot 100 chart in the April 12 chart, once a full week of airplay kicks in.

Album review: American Life blends the best of Ray Of Light and Music

Source: Sayhey, thanx to Dotmusic's JSA74 - 28 March 2003

"I went to a listening party at the 4 Seasons Hotel in LA yesterday to hear the AL album in full. a friend of mine is a journalist and snuck me along, and as they were not checking any names at the door i just went right in and sat and listened to it. they passed out lyric sheets, but collected them at the completion of the album.

When i first heard the single for AL, i was HUGELY disappointed. now though, in hearing it a few more times and in the context of the record, i like it a lot more. it makes sense thematically, and when heard on a proper stereo (vs a computer) the bass kicks you in the head. its a good track, but by far the least interesting on the album.

HOLLYWOOD is a number 1 single. it is madonnas top down, convertible, driving in the sun song. its her "our lips are sealed"... lots of pretty, jangly guitars and electro beats. mid tempo, and very sing songy. excellent.

I'M SO STUPID lyrics about wanting to be "like all the pretty people" and "thats why i'm so stupid" and she sings the phrase "stupider than stupid". its fast and dancey, and fun.

LOVE PROFUSION dont really remember this one. guess that says something right there...

NOBODY KNOWS ME is a really pretty ballad, with lots of spare guitars and beats. simple, straightforward. think GONE from MUSIC.

NOTHING FAILS is the highlight of the record. it is most similar to the song LIKE A PRAYER. when the chorus comes in at the end, with the choir, it made a bunch of us in the room tear up. it is absolutely the best thing she has done in 10 years, in my opinion. thunderous and gorgeous.

INTERVENTION i barely remember because i whispered through the whole track about the previous one. sorry!

X-STATIC PROCESS is very rocky and ballad like. almost like a musical number, like out of Jesus Christ Superstar, but not as silly. its very dramatic and honest, and obviously about falling in love with guy. she says something about "forgot i was the best too" or something... its really sweet.

MOTHER AND FATHER has very sad lyrics, that go "once i had a mother and she died when i was five. and i cried and cried and cried." it's devastating lyrically, but it's not slow. It's a fast song, and at the end she repeats over and over "i've gotta let it go" or something like that... it's excellent.

DIE ANOTHER DAY we all know, and it works even better in the context of this record. makes you forget about the silly bond shit right away.

EASY RIDE closes the album and talks about how she wants to "enjoy the good life but she doesnt want an easy ride". mid tempo, and pretty.

Overall, in MY opinion, after only one listening, this is the perfect merging of RAY OF LIGHT and MUSIC. the style and fluidity and solidarity of MUSIC, with the song styling of RAY OF LIGHT. i personally though MUSIC was a better album, but RAY OF LIGHT had better SONGS. this album combines the two to make, what i think...after only one her BEST album ever."

~ Click here for more album reviews

Lyrics Easy Ride and Mother And Father

28 March 2003

Fansite Madonna-Internet has obtained the lyrics for Easy Ride and Mother And Father, which are absolutely beautiful and make the new album even more promising! (Click the song title to read them.)

Madonna accused of kidnapping her daughter

Source: The Sun - 28 March 2003

Madonna was accused of kidnapping her own daughter from school by another parent who didn't recognise her. Madge had just dyed her familiar blonde hair brown and was picking up Lourdes in Los Angeles. She made the confession when she was asked about the last time she went unrecognised.

The Queen of Pop said: “When I went to my daughter's school the other day to pick her up. I hadn't been brunette for long. "Someone stopped me and went, "Where's her mother?" They thought I was kidnapping my daughter."

In an exclusive interview with music mag Q, out this week, Madonna said she can't wait to return to the UK because she and hubby Guy Ritchie find the US a yawn. She says: "The irony of all that stuff coming out about me supposedly slagging off England is that all I've done since we've been here is say to Guy, "Let's go back to England - it's so boring over here". I love my Mini Cooper. I was too scared to drive a big car in London, the roads are so narrow and I'm always afraid I'm going to hit people on both sides."

The mum-of-two also spoke of her love for her film director hubby. She said: "Before I met Guy, I really had my head up my ass as far as relationships go. I wasn't a very giving person. Having children, really falling in love, head and shoulders, it changes you. There's no time for nonsense. When nitwits go on about how, "We're so in love" I think, yeah, right."

"Wait till you've been with them for four years. I felt I knew what love was when I was married for the first time. That's the other dream I've woken out of. Love isn't what you think it is. Giving just for the sake of giving, and not getting anything in return, that's what I've come to understand unconditional love as. It's not just a crush, it's not something you can have fun with, it's not simply feeling sexually attracted to someone or digging what they do. It's so much more."

Madge, in LA to appear in TV comedy Will & Grace, said she was sceptical about manufactured pop. She said: "I came up before the time of svengalis holding massive talent searches, finding a girl that looks right and can carry a tune, then figuring a way to market her. "I'm not saying those girls can't grow into something, but I really don't know where we're going with the world. Everything's becoming so homogenised. All everyone is obsessed about now is being a celebrity. That's bulls***. You get slapped enough times and you realise you've been a buffoon and an idiot. And I was a buffoon and an idiot until the age of 40."

Blender: 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die

28 March 2003

The April 2003 edition of Blender features the 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die, and separates them into categories: Classic Rock, Alternative Rock, Blues, Country, Pop, Rhythm & Blues, Hio-Hop, World and Jazz. It also has side categories, such as The Best of The Beatles, the Best of Folk, etc. Classic and Alternative seem to have the most citations.

Anyway, Madonna has 2 entries in the Pop category, and they're no surprise:

The Immaculate Collection:
Little more than an escalating series of sexual challenges (Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Justify My Love), Madonna's first best-of is brazen, gaudy, tush-wiggling fun of the furst order. Funny how she seems to take it all so seriously, isn't it?
Standout track: Into the Groove

Few artists manage to fill a second best-of collection with legitimate hits, but as everyboy knows, Madonna is no ordinary pop singer. This is the post-'80s stuff- from the weepy Don't Cry For Me Argentina to the cutting-edge electronica of Music.
Standout track: Ray of Light

Felix Da Housecat remix

28 March 2003

Check out a better soundfile of the Felix Da Housecat remix.

Madonna on ET

Source: Madonnarama - 28 March 2003

Madonna is scheduled to appear on Entertainment Tonight this Friday - March 28th in the U.S. She is set to talk about the CD release and her appearance on Will & Grace.

Tracklisting Australian / UK American Life CD single

Source: Madonna Information Report - 28 March 2003

2003 UK 6-track 2-CD single set released 14th April 2003:
CD1 (W603CD1)
1. American Life (edit with rap)
2. American Life (Missy Elliot remix)
3. American Life (Peter Rauhofer's American Anthem) (Part 1)

CD2 (W603CD2)
1. American Life (edit with rap)
2. American Life (Oakenfold Downtempo remix)
3. American Life (Felix Da Housecat's Devin Dazzle Club mix)

Note that the following mixes (which are present on the Canadian maxi) aren't on the UK set:
- Die Another Day (Quayle afterlife mix)
- American Life (Peter Rauhofer American Anthem Part 2)

The Australian 2-CD single release has the same tracklisting as the UK one.

Madonna critisizes homogenised pop culture

Source: BBC - 28 March 2003

Madonna has criticised the trend for manufactured pop acts and the recent stream of TV talent searches.

She said the pop world had become "homogenised", and accused record companies of putting marketing ahead of talent. In an interview with Q magazine, Madonna, 44, also criticised the idea of craving celebrity status for its own sake - rather than achieving it through ability.

Referring to shows like Popstars and American Idol, she said: "I arrived at a different time - before the time of svengalis holding talent searches; finding a girl that looks right and can carry a tune and then figuring a way to market her."

Discussing Pink, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, she said: "I'm not saying those girls can't grow into something, but I really don't know where we're going with the world. "Everything's so homogenised." It was wrong to seek fame for its own sake, she added.

Madonna is the most commercially successful female artist of all time, with worldwide record sales of more than 140 million including albums True Blue, Immaculate Collection and Ray of Light. But her acting career has not reached the same levels of success, with critical acclaim proving harder to come by. Last week she swept the Razzies for the worst film of the year, with Swept Away which was directed by her husband, Guy Ritchie.

First Will & Grace pictures

Sources: NBC, MTV - 27 March 2003

Here are some preview pictures of Madonna's appearance (with blond wig) in the American sitcom Will & Grace

Madonna in WIll & Grace Madonna in WIll & Grace Madonna in WIll & Grace

Karen of "Will & Grace" will have met her match when Madonna makes her small-screen debut as a guest star on an upcoming episode of the comedy, which she just shot in Los Angeles, according to an NBC spokesperson. Madonna's character, Liz, rocks Karen's world as her new roommate, who happily shares many of her eccentricities, including her taste in men.

The high-maintenance Liz also shares many of Madonna's attributes — including her love of music — as she works as a manager of a CD distribution center which specializes in "Hits of the '80s"-type compilations. Madonna was joined on the set by her gal pal "Sandra Bernhard". The episode, called "Dolls & Dolls," airs April 24 at 9 p.m.

American Life scores early debut on Hot 100

Source: DJ Rico Mixshow, thanx to AbsMad - 27 March 2003

All eyes are on the single that debuts this week at No. 90 - Madonna's American Life. While not an impressive debut by any stretch of the imagination, it's still groundbreaking as it's one of the 1st digital singles to debut on the chart (Fleetwood Mac quietly beat Madonna to the punch last week by debuting at No. 93).

In a perfect world, the downloaded single would have hit the sales chart on Monday and Madonna would have had a full week of airplay before debuting on the Hot 100. But the label kept their promise of sending the purchased download out if it leaked to the Internet early - which actually happened on Sunday, the sales cut-off for the Hot 100. So Madonna debuts early...

And how many people bought the digital download - 4,177. Not an amazing number but really too early to judge... all new formats take a while to catch on and it's a promising start good enough for a No. 4 debut on the sales chart. The download is about 100,000 to 150,000 less than most Madonna commercial singles would sale - so it will be really interesting to see how the commercial release does in the coming weeks with the format so hard hit at retail, etc

Steven Klein exhibit features Madonna animations

Source: uemedia - 27 March 2003

In cooperation with Sublime Films, Mantron Corporation has completed work on five HDTV resolution projection animations of Madonna for the artist/photographer Steven Klein. Adam Martinez and Matthew Wallin of Mantron Corp were contacted by Steven Klein to bring still images of Madonna to life in the form of HDTV resolution simulations of fire, cloth, a coyote and a pulsing kidney.

Chris Seguine of Sublime Films constructed servers and encoded the still and video material to be projected at Deitch Projects in New York City. The projections will be accompanied by audio design work incorporating some lyrics by Madonna. The show will open in New York on March 27 at Deitch Projects, located at 76 Grand St. in New York City, and it will run for six weeks

The Androids sing and Madonna responds

Source: Undercover - 27 March 2003

The Androids have sung and Madonna has responded. Their hit 'Do It With Madonna' is a big hit with Madonna. "What we got back was she loves it" lead singer Tim Henwood tells Undercover News.

The song 'Do It With Madonna' was the Australian summer hit of 2002 / 2003. The reaction in Australia filtered all the way to New York and grabbed Madonna's attention. "Someone from her record company emailed our record company and asked top be sent the single" Tim says.

"They did and they got an email back saying she loves it". 'Do It With Madonna' is the first single from the debut album for The Androids due next week. [...] "We are going to England first, then to America" says Tim. "We will play in New York, Boston and Miami. We'll do a few TV shows in England, mainly promo". Note to Madonna… when they get to London, your name will be on the door.

Video to be banned?

26 March 2003

Music stations in the US and the UK are censuring videos with explicit war content or references. MTV hasn't yet decided if it will show the American Life video or not. The video is expected to premiere on VH1 next week.

Meanwhile, the single is causing extreme differences between fans and music listeners. Some radio stations are raving about the song, while others refuse to play it.

Tell us what YOU think by voting in our poll and don't forget to let your local radio station know if you like the song by requesting it.

Swept Away director's cut shows cut nude scenes

Source: MSNBC - 26 March 2003

The release of a "Director's Cut" of Madonna and Guy Ritchie's Swept Away has been met with hoots of derision in some quarters. The director's cut has nude scenes that were stripped from the version shown in theatrical release.

DVD buyers "get to see Madonna romping on a beach with her naked male co-star Adriano Giannini, and in another shot she has her legs wide open while lying on the floor," notes one source. "These sexy scenes were not included in the original version of the movie but adding them to the DVD will, [Madonna and Guy] hope, grab the attention of the home movie market."

"Additional scenes? In the case of Swept Away, I'd think less is more," chuckles Razzie Awards founder John Wilson, who recently dubbed the flick the worst of the year. He told the Scoop: "I'm assuming that the director's commentary was a constant mea culpa."

Tracklisting maxi single

Source:, thanx to MIR - 25 March 2003

American Life maxi single

1. American Life (Missy Elliott remix)
2. American Life (Oakenfold downtempo remix)
3. American Life (Peter Rauhofer American Anthem Part 1)
4. American Life (Felix Da Housecat Devin Dazzle Club mix)
5. Die Another Day (Quayle afterlife mix)
6. American Life (Peter Rauhofer American Anthem Part 2)

More on 'Will & Grace'

Source: filth2go, thanx to AbsMad - 25 March 2003

The day before war broke out, I got a call asking if I'd like to see Madonna tape her episode of Will & Grace. Sigh - is my work NEVER done? Let me tell you first that I went in anticipating the worst - I expected a Material Girl who showed up late, didn't know her lines, and treated people like crap. Happily, nothing could be further from the truth. Madonna was on time, completely prepared, and a team player.

In fact, she spent most of her down time chatting with Megan Mullally (who was in 90% of Madonna's scenes) and Debra Messing - including meeting Deb's handsome hubby. But her most frequent companion on the set was the special friend Madonna brought as her cheerleader, supporter, and comedic godmother - Sandra Bernhard! Yes, the rumors are true - the terrible twosome are back together. A bit older, a bit wiser, but both still looking mighty fierce.

Since I've got a gag order (and, unlike Madonna, a gag reflex), here's what I can tell you. Madonna plays a character named Liz (a tip of the hat to Maddy's mouthpiece, La Rosenberg), wears a blond wig (her hair is as dark as mine should be), brought in her own make-up person, and decided she didn't like the wardrobe, so she opted to wear her own D&G outfits (virtually demolishing a black blouse in the process).

She's in the whole episode (kinda like Demi Moore - but significantly funnier), dances a bit, and has an inadvertent sexual situation with someone of the same sex. Have I said too much? There's nothing more I can think of to say to you.

Maak 'em of Kraak 'em

25 March 2003

For all the Belgian fans (and those who understand dutch): American Life is put to the test on Radio Donna's "Maak 'em of Kraak 'em". Until tomorrow 5.30pm you can vote in favour of the single on the website of Donna (click "Bumpershow", then "Maak 'em of Kraak 'em").

Photo by McDean

Tomorrow between 5pm and 5.30pm you can also vote by sending an SMS ("bumper maak") to no. 3233. If more than 50% of the listeners vote in favour, the single is played. Vote now!! To all the other fans: don't hesitate to contact your local radio station to request American Life! Together we have to make this a hit!

Photo by McDean

W Mag portfolio

25 March 2003

Check out fansite Madonnalicious for scans of the complete portfolio as featured in the april issue of W Magazine.

AL digital single marks revolution in online distribution

Source: Cnet - 25 March 2003

Monday marked the first time pop singer Madonna's music went out digitally to her legion of Net fans--and with the move, the Material Girl broke a little new online ground for major artists.

Madonna is selling her new antiwar single, American Life on her Web site, charging $1.49 for the download of a high-quality, wholly unrestricted MP3 file. Her publicists started taking preorders a week ago, and in a novel move for a high-profile recording artist, enlisted fans to help sell the single on their own Web sites.

The so-called Madonna Project program--drawn directly from's and other Web sites' affiliate strategies--saw banners and advertisements for the single pop up on fan Web pages and blogs last week. Sites whose advertisements resulted in sales of the single would get credit toward Madonna prizes and merchandise.

"The Madonna Project is a top-secret initiative to revolutionize how music is distributed on the Web, and Madonna wants you to join," the singer's site read last week. "The more singles sold through your site or links, the better your chance to win a pat on the back, a gold star and some serious Madonna prizes."

The release of a high-quality, unrestricted MP3 single online marks a significant turnaround for Madonna, and helps underline how far the big record labels have come in their steps toward online distribution.

Madonna was one of the first artists to make a public stink about her work slipping onto Napster before its official release date. In more recent months, she has been one of the major artists to block distribution of most of her work through online subscription services such as Pressplay or's Rhapsody service.

Word went out a week ago that fans signing up on her Web site, and paying $1.49 though the Paypal service, would be able to download the single Monday. The high-quality MP3 format meant that fans would be able to burn it to a CD or transfer it to a portable device without the restrictions usually imposed on authorized major-label downloads.

If the single slipped out on file-swapping networks before that time, fans would get the single in their e-mail box, the singer's Web site promised. Predictably, the tune found its way online Sunday, and the record label e-mailed it to fans that day. In the ensuing week, "thousands" of people signed up to be Web affiliates, a Warner Music representative said.

The single was also simultaneously released on several of the online music subscription services, the first time Madonna's major-label work has appeared on any of the legal music services.

Album credits

Source: MadonnaMad - 24 March 2003

Warner - Chappell has added the writing credits for the songs on the American Life album to the database:

- American Life - Madonna (Ca)/ Ahmadzai, Mirwais (Ca)
- Hollywood - Madonna (Ca)/ Ahmadzai, Mirwais (Ca)
- I'm So Stupid - Madonna (Ca)/ Ahmadzai, Mirwais (Ca)
- Love Profusion - Madonna (Ca)/ Ahmadzai, Mirwais (Ca)
- Nobody Knows Me - Madonna (Ca)/ Ahmadzai, Mirwais (Ca)
- Nothing Fails - Madonna (Ca)/ Sigsworth, Guy (Ca)/ Griffiths, Jem (Ca)
- Intervention - Madonna (Ca)/ Ahmadzai, Mirwais (Ca)
- X-Static Process - Madonna (Ca)/ Price, Stuart (Ca)
- Mother And Father - Madonna (Ca)/ Ahmadzai, Mirwais (Ca)
- Easy Ride - Madonna (Ca)/ Pittman, Monte (Ca)

~ Below, you find two amazing video stills by Daniel Smith

American Life video American Life video

American Life goes live

24 March 2003

Finally! Today is the big day: all across the world, radio stations are premiering the single American Life (and personally I think it sounds GREAT!!). American fans who pre-ordered the digital single (which is the radio edit of the song) got it delivered in their mailbox.

Those who still want to get it delivered, can purchase the single here. If you purchased the single and have not yet received the email or misplaced it, you may get your single here. Downloadable copies of the MP3 can be found on several fansites and forums.

X-Static Process lyrics

24 March 2003

Click here for the amazing lyrics of X-Static Process, written by Madonna and Stuart Price

X-Static exposition

Source: Daily News - 24 March 2003

Word is that Madonna might show up for the opening of her photography show at Deitch Projects in SoHo on Thursday. "Ecstatic Process" is based on photos taken of her by Steven Klein for W magazine.

The exhibition space, designed by Giuseppe Lignano and Ada Tolla of LOT/EK architecture, will feature large moving projections of the photos. Talk about cross-promotion: Ecstatic Process is also a song on Madonna's album American Life, due out next month.

Madonna is big 'winner' at Razzies

Source: ITV - 24 March 2003

Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie have been the big 'winners' at the 23rd annual Razzie awards on the eve of the Oscars which honour the worst of the worst in Hollywood. Swept Away, a remake of the 1974 film about a woman shipwrecked in the Mediterranean with her yacht's cook, swept the board.

"Madonna" at the razzies

It received nods for worst film, worst performance by an actress, worst remake, worst screen couple and worst director for Guy Ritchie. Madonna had to share the honour of worst actress with fellow popstar Britney Spears. Spears also grabbed the worst original song honours for 'I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman' from the film.

Madge, not to be outdone, was also on the receiving end of the worst supporting actress award for her fleeting cameo in the James Bond movie Die Another Day. 'Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones' bagged awards for Hayden Christensen as worst supporting actor and worst screenplay for George Lucas himself.

American Life pre-order store

22 March 2003 is proud to announce that the "American Life" General Store is open! To commemorate such an event, has configured four exclusive ways for you to get the new CD. First, you can order the regular enhanced CD, or secondly pick up the Limited Edition CD release.

The third and fourth way is to simply add a t-shirt to your current CD packaging choice. This t-shirt is exclusive to the store. Also, If you pre order the CD you will be automatically entered to win signed Madonna merchandise. Make sure to check back in the near future for more e-store specials at

Click here to get your "bundle" now!

AL release details

Source: Dotmusic - 21 March 2003

New AL official facts as of March 18:

Limited edition CD is limited to 14,000 units wholesalers and retailers will be allocated due to such a small amount being made.
It is confirmed that the limited edition will have the "PA" logo on the shrink-wrap (PA = parental advisory).
There is no DVD with the limited edition release.
Limited edition packaging: 2 pc. "telescoping" box, clear foam tray, exclusive poster, wrapped with a white leatherette fabric ribbon
The DVD-single: cancelled
The maxi-singles (12" and CD-maxi)... Still not officially solicited in the US. The release date is now looking to be April 29th for these. The CD-maxi is going to be a first for Warner Brothers in that it is going to be a CD-maxi + DVD (2 disc set). I think he said the list price will be $11.98. I don't think there will be a regular CD-maxi. This configuration is the first one that WEA has done and is the reason that there is the maxi-single delay.

Madonna re-working her AL video? *rumour*

Source: PageSix - 21 March 2003

Madonna is re-working her vividly violent anti-war video for "American Dream," slated to come out next month in conjunction with her new album. There were rumors that she might completely redo or even pull the video, which was said to depict the "catastrophic repercussions and horror of war."

But her rep Liz Rosenberg tells PAGE SIX it's merely being "fine tuned" in light of current events. "Madonna is being sensitive to what's going on in the world right now," Rosenberg tells us. "There will be some minor alterations. What might have looked right two weeks ago might not look that way now. But she's not re-doing the whole video, and it will still be out the first week of April."

~ Of course they got the single title wrong. No confirmation yet on the truth of the story.

HQ W Mag pix

21 March 2003

Fansite MadonnaDrownedWorld has some great high quality scans from the W Magazine photo shoot; check them out!

From  W Mag

Madonna has balls

21 March 2003

NME wrote a great article on American Life, and its place in Madonna's controversial career. You can read the complete article at Madonnalicious.

Here are some highlights:

....her new single, 'American Life' is a magnificently addictive confection of glitchy techno and creamy pop with a daft comedy rap on the end. Then there's the video, which starts as a fashion show and ends in hand grenade, dead baby-strewn carnage. At a time when anti-war sentiment, particularly in the US is unwelcome, 'American Life' shows that Madonna's balls are steelier than the rest.

....she doesn't have to put herself through the pop mill now, let alone antagonise half her own continent. She does it because she is, in the end, an artist. An artist who's brought the most avant garde ideas and influences into the mainstream since The Beatles and transformed the landscape of pop culture for good.

Salma Hayek grateful to Madonna

Source: UPI - 21 March 2003

Actress Salma Hayek says she dreamed for years about playing Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Unfortunately, she says, American studios were not interested in making a film about her until Madonna said what a huge fan she was of her work.

"I had them working on this project six years before," Hayek recalled, adding that their were several other Frida projects in the works at that time. "The truth is that Madonna was going to do it way before and then gave up on it. I'm really grateful to Madonna because she took interest in this Mexican artist very early on before people knew about Frida.

And because everyone wants to know what Madonna is doing, it brought a lot of attention to this character that later on helped us get this movie made, so if anything, I am grateful for her appreciating her art and her culture."

"Frida," which earned Hayek an Oscar nomination and co-starred Antonio Banderas and Ashley Judd, was released in theaters in late 2002.

More American Life samples

20 March 2003

Tension is rising as the radio release for American Life, scheduled for next week, is coming closer. On the website of HBO you can listen to a 1'10 sample of the song, which sounds magnificent.

For an acapella sample (9 seconds), check this link. And finally, there's a message from Madonna, presenting her new single.

Michelle Branch wants to leave Maverick

Source: NY Post - 20 March 2003

19-year-old Grammy winner Michelle Branch wants to disassociate herself from former mentor Madonna. Branch filed a petition with the California Labor Commission this week claiming she should be let out of her contract with Madonna's Maverick Records because they signed her up for sponsorship she didn't want.

"She claims one of [Maverick parent] Warner Bros.' entities got 'tour support' without her permission," Maverick's lawyer Bert Fields tells us. "She says they acted as unlicensed talent agents. We think there's no merit to the case, and both sides hope this can be resolved."

"This is all about money," sniffs a Maverick spy. "She wants more. Record companies face this stuff all the time and every now and then an artist pulls a [James] Gandolfini." Branch's rep did not return calls.

"Madonna needs to keep Michelle," an industry source opines. "Maverick hasn't had a big act like her since Alanis Morissette [and] all the other labels are all lining up to sign her if she leaves."

No American Dance Awards for Madonna

20 March 2003

Yesterday the winners of the American Dance Music Awards were announced. Despite two nominations, Madonna didn't win any award. For 'Best Chart Act' Justin Timberlake was the favorite.

For 'Best Remix', the Deepsky remix for Die Another Day lost out to Fischerspooner's remix of Kylie's Come Into My World. In the category 'Best Soundtrack' the Die Another Day soundtrack had to bow down for Blade 2.

Copycat Gwen irritates Madonna

Source: newindpress - 20 March 2003

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But for pop queen Madonna, actress Gwyneth Paltrow's craze of imitating her, is turning to irritation for the singer. There are even rumours that this has cooled off the friendship between the two because Madge is so fed up with having a double.

Some facts prove that Gwyneth actually imitates the singer- actress. Madonna, 44, married British film director Guy Ritchie in December 2000. Less than two years later, Oscar-winning Gwyneth, 30, linked up with British pop star Chris Martin. She is set to wed the Coldplay lead singer - five years her junior - next year, according to a report in

Six months before Madge married Guy, she bought a 10 million pound, six-bed mansion in Belgravia, central London. Within 18 months Gwyneth announced she wanted to settle in London and then plumped for a one million pound, two-bedroom pad in a redbrick mansion block in nearby Kensington.

The two even share a mutual friend - designer Stella McCartney. The pair have also used the same health clinic in posh Knightsbridge, West London. More interestingly, Madonna visited the Linda Meredith health and beauty clinic for a spot of yoga in November 2001.

The following summer Gwyneth did the same. Both stars follow the same macro-biotic diets, based on whole- grains, vegetables, beans, seaweed and fermented soya products.

M plays no guitar on album *rumour*

18 March 2003

According to fansite Madonnarama: "Fans may be a little upset to hear that Madonna plays no guitar herself on the new album. Despite competant playing on her Drowned World Tour, Madonna has left all the strumming to Mirwais, who plays guitar in the following tracks: American Life, Hollywood, I'm So Stupid, Nothing Fails, Intervention, X-Static Process, Mother And Father and Easy Ride. Mirwais also plays guitar AND sings on Love Profusion."

Below, you see a new screenshot from the American Life video, by still photographer Daniel Smith. More pictures from the video at MadonnaCenter.

American Life video

Single and album cover

17 March 2003 has updated their discography pages, which seems to confirm the earlier seen art work: the machine gun picture is used as single cover; the other one is the album cover. You can see them on the American Life page.

Complete W Mag interview

17 March 2003

Click here to read the complete interview that will appear in the april issue of W Magazine.

AL's chartbeat

Source: Billboard - 15 March 2003

Hello Fred,

I just purchased Madonna's "digital" single American Life on her official Web site for a cheap price of $1.49 and I am anxiously awaiting [for it to arrive] on March 24, but until then I'm hoping you would be able to fill the void by explaining exactly how this "digital" single will count toward Billboard's singles chart.

If it does indeed appear on that chart a few weeks before the commercially-released maxi single, which I still intend to buy, could you let us know if you think this will debut strongly on the Hot 100? Will Madonna be the first artist to debut on the Hot 100 on digital points? I am rather excited at this prospect of new chart policies!

And lastly, please let your readers know if you've heard her new single or album at all. What did you think of it? Will we possibly see a 13th No. 1 single and another No. 1 album?

John Stephenson


Dear John,

I haven't heard Madonna's American Life single or the new album yet, but I'm looking forward to both. I've been receiving a lot of mail from Madonna fans on this topic, as has Keith Caulfield for his "Ask Billboard" column. Keith might also be receiving a lot of this mail because he's an avowed Madonna fan.

The latest information is that SoundScan will be tracking paid downloads of American Life, and these sales will count toward the song's position on the Hot 100. It is not the first time a digitally available MP3 track has been counted, but in the past the number of paid downloads per song was so small that there was no effect on chart position.

In this case, American Life will be the first digital-download-only single to appear on the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart. As you mentioned, the downloads can be purchased now, but the track won't be sent until March 24.

That means sales will be counted in the tracking week that ends March 30 for the charts that are compiled on Wednesday, April 2. Those charts will be for the week ending April 12 and will appear in that issue of Billboard. They will be posted on on Thursday, April 3.

A commercial CD single will be released on April 8, so those sales figures won't kick in until American Life is already on the sales chart because of the paid downloads. Where the song appears on the main Hot 100 will depend on how much airplay it receives, and how many copies it sells. A potent combination of sales and airplay could indeed mean Madonna will collect her 13th chart-topper. We'll just have to wait and see.

Madonna switches agency and prepares musical

Source: Hollywood Reporter - 15 March 2003

Madonna has returned to CAA, signing for representation in all areas. The move brings her back to the agency, which has repped her on and off during the past 13 years, most recently from 1997-2000.

The move comes as the Material Girl is prepping for the release of her latest album, American Life, due out April 22 from Warner Bros. Records. Madonna is collaborating with an unnamed director on an original big-screen musical that she will star in, the performer revealed in the April issue of W.

Although her management team declined comment on the project, sources said it is called "Hello Suckers" and is to be directed by Scott Elliott ("A Map of the World"), with Barbara De Fina ("You Can Count on Me") producing.

More excerpts from W Mag interview

15 March 2003

- ON HER HAIR COLOR...."Well, I am a brunette after all...and I just I just like to match my pubic hair sometimes! People who have nothing better to do than talk about my hair color have no lives."

- ON CANCELLING HER GOLDEN GLOBES APPEARENCE..."I wanted to hang out with my kids. On my list of priorities, it wasn't that important. I have a hard time with award shows. They're just dumb. They're just fashion shows and ratings for TV and they don't mean anything."

- ON SPENDING HERB RITT'S LAST DAYS AT HIS BEDSIDE....."Yes. He was a friend. That's what friends are for. Herb was a good egg., He didn't want people to know he was sick. He just got on with life."

- ON SWEPT AWAY....."My husband and I set out to make a small movie. People wanted it to fail before it came out. Would I work with him again? Sure!"

- ON THE MOVIE FRIDA & SALMA HAYEK...."I didn't like it. Not at all. I think Salma Hayek did a great job. The movie didn't scratch the surface of who she was and what she went through"

- ON A LAS VEGAS SHOW...."That's insane. I hate Vegas. I couldn't bear it for 5 minutes."

- ON WHY SHE GIGGLED WHEN SHE MET THE QUEEN...."Well, There's nothing to say, really. I met the queen"

- ON LONDON...."I've already said this. I love London. And I live there a good part of the year."

- ON SEAN PENN....."It didn't work out and that's just the way it was. I do think my first husband was my equal in many ways. He was intellectually challenging.But that's not always what you need to make a marriage work"

- ON FASHION...."I can enjoy fashion sometimes. Some of my very good friends are designers. Jean Paul Gaultier is a real artist. And I can see the beauty and the art that is involved with couture & design. I totally respect it. But with everything that's going on in the world right now....I just feel that we are preoccupied with the wrong things."

- ON HOW PEOPLE LABEL HER...."People always see the evolution of my career as marketing. I change, I evolve. People cannot understand that, so they put a label on it like "marketing". I call it growing.

- ON WHAT SHE'LL BE DOING AT 50....I do not think about it! It's not productive to think about what Ill be doing in years. I just have to get through the next few months of responsibilities. But my real responsibility is to bring light to the world and make the world a better place"

Amazing promo pictures

14 March 2003

Check out some more promo pictures that appeared on various fansites: picture from Q Magazine, a promo picture, and a picture from the album booklet.

Madonna in Q Mag

American Life promoAmerican Life promo

AL commercial prospect

Source: Billboard - 13 March 2003

Dear Keith,

Madonna's new album, American Life, is causing quite a stir even before the single has been heard by the public. I am excited to see that our pop goddess continues to play it risky. Do you think this album will do well commercially? I am wondering, how many copies has each Madonna album sold according to SoundScan? Any information will be greatly appreciated!

Zheng Wang


Hello Zheng,

Considering Madonna's track record, it's probably a safe bet that her new album -- due April 22 on Warner Bros. -- will do well. The first single from the set is the title track, and it will debut on U.S. radio on March 25.

To tide you over until the single's bow on airwaves, you can pre- order an MP3 of the song on the diva's official Web site. For only $1.49, fans can purchase the track and it will be delivered to their E-mail account on March 24. Once downloaded to your hard drive, the MP3 can be burned to a CD. It will be interesting to see how this affects her placement on the Billboard Hot 100, as these "digital download" purchases will count towards the SoundScan and Billboard singles charts.

Additionally, Warner Bros. will release a conventional CD single to retail stores on April 8. There is no word yet on what the single's tracklist is, but it's a good bet that remixes of the track will eventually see a commercial release. Producers on board for remixing duties include Missy Elliott, Peter Rauhofer, Paul Oakenfold, and Felix Da Housecat.

As for your other question, here is a list of all of Madonna's SoundScan-era (1991-present) albums and their sales:

1992's Erotica (1.85 million),
1994's Bedtime Stories (2.28 million),
1995's Something To Remember (2.02 million),
1996's Evita (1.98 million),
1998's Ray Of Light (3.74 million),
2000's Music (2.87 million),
2001's GHV2 (1.21 million).

WBR press release

Source: BusinessWire - 12 March 2003

A new Madonna album, American Life, has been set for a worldwide release on April 22nd, it was announced today by Warner Bros. Records.

The enduring icon's first new collection of original material since 2000's multi-platinum smash Music, American Life is being hailed as Madonna's most accomplished, original and intensely personal album to date; a resonant and revealing emotional journey that marks a new highpoint in a career that has for all time redefined the expressive potential of contemporary music.

Recorded over a full year in London and Los Angeles, American Life, the artist's tenth studio album, features eleven new Madonna compositions, including the title track and debut single, which ships to radio March 25th.

"All of these songs reflect my current state of mind. I feel like I have just woken up out of a dream. They range from dismay and anger to joy and certainty. Hopefully, I have taken the personal and made it universal," stated Madonna regarding her new album which she wrote and produced with Mirwais Ahmadzai with whom she also collaborated on her previous release Music.

The American Life CD includes the title track, as well as the following songs: Hollywood, 'I'm So Stupid', 'Love Profusion', 'Nobody Knows Me', 'Nothing Fails', 'Intervention', 'X-Static Process', 'Mother & Father', 'Easy Ride', and Die Another Day, the hit theme song from the James Bond film of the same name.

The American Life single is also the subject of a brilliant new video from the pioneering multi-media visionary, an artist who single handedly invented the short music film medium. In a stunning collaboration with director Jonas Akerlund, American Life expresses a panoramic view of our culture and looming war through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna set against a backdrop of current cultural obsessions. It's a penetrating examination of our national psyche. The video is scheduled to air the first week in April.

Remixes of the American Life single by, among others, mega-hot hip hop diva Missy Elliott, Peter Rauhofer, Felix da Housecat and Maverick Records artist Paul Oakenfold will be available in various configurations over the next several months.

An extensive schedule of appearances, performances and special events has been set in conjunction with the release of American Life including an appearance on an episode of the hit NBC-TV comedy "Will And Grace."

One of the most original and innovative artists of the modern era, Madonna has sold hundreds of millions of albums, topped charts across two decades, created an enormously influential body of work in video and film and stood at the forefront of socially conscious artists worldwide.

With American Life, Madonna has once again reached deeply into her own life as the source and substance of her extraordinary artistry.

Another excerpt from W Mag interview

Source: The Sun - 11 March 2003

W Magazine

Madonna poses for the most amazing photograph of her career — with her leg bent behind her head. Yoga-mad Madge, 44, was snapped in the position during a stunning photoshoot after calling normal poses 'boring'.

She said: "I'm not interested in just going for a fashion shoot. If I don't feel like I'm creating something that means something, I don't want to do it." Madonna — whose hit films included the documentary In Bed With Madonna — also talked about her marriage to Lock, Stock director Guy Ritchie in the interview with US magazine W. And she admitted once "just being an ego-driven nutcase".

The Queen of Pop said of her relationship with Guy, 34: "I actually think marriage is a very important thing. I had to work hard to get a good marriage. Everyone does. You have to make a lot of efforts and compromises. I knew Guy was the right person in five minutes but it took me several years to actually make it happen.

But the mum of two denied rumours of a third pregnancy, saying: "Do I look pregnant to you?" She called her daughter Lourdes, six, and son Rocco, two, "my real works of art". And she says one of her priorities is to "hang out with my kids". The singer and actress admitted her first marriage to actor Sean Penn "wasn't an easy time in my life". She added: "You can't just share a few hobbies and think each other's hot. You have to be heading in the same direction."

Talking about her 1992 Sex book — which caused a storm — she said: "I do certainly wonder, why did I make that choice? It wasn't just about sex. It was about money and power and the way things looked — getting people's approval — all that stuff. I was just being an ego-driven nutcase. I thought I was doing a service to mankind, being revolutionary, liberating women. I wasn't." She claims she now realises she is famous "for a reason".

Madonna added: "My real responsibility is to bring light to the world and make the world a better place." The star — who also poses as a pole dancer in the magazine shoot — talked about her constant changes of image. She said: "People always see the evolution of my career as marketing. I change. I evolve. People can't understand that, so they put a label on it like 'marketing'. I call it growing."

Madonna, who has been pictured recently back to her natural brunette look, says having the same hairstyle all her life would be "so boring".

She claims following the Jewish mystic cult Kabbalah has taught her not to gossip or criticise others. Madonna said: "If we truly believed that every act of denigrating somebody is a small form of murder — the negative energy you create by talking badly — we'd never do it again. All anybody does any more is slag everybody off. Isn't it important to speak up against that?"

She denied she refused to attend the Golden Globe awards where she was due to sit next to Elton John, after he said her single Die Another Day was "the worst Bond tune of all time".

She added: "Every once in a while you do get caught up in that — 'Oh, they said this about me'." Madonna is working on a musical project for the cinema after Swept Away — her film with hubby Guy — flopped.

Pre-order MP3 single

Source: - 11 March 2003

Madonna will release her new song, American Life, as a Digital Single. Fans who pre-order the Digital Single for $1.49 will have it emailed to their desktops along with a special audio message from Madonna, on March 24th, the Digital Street Date.

Once you have the file you can listen to it on your computer, transfer it to a player, or burn it to CD. It's yours to keep. Click to pre-order the mp3 or click to pre-order the album.

~ Note that the 'digital single' is only available for fans in the United States.

Madonna's concept behind W Mag photo spread

Source: USA Today - 11 March 2003

Madonna is back. Kicking off the hype for her new album American Life, which is due next month, is a 44-page photo spread in the April issue of W magazine, part of a collaboration with photographer Steven Klein.

"I'm not interested in going to a fashion shoot and just trying on a bunch of clothes," she explains. "It's so boring. If I don't feel like I'm creating something that means something, I don't want to do it."

These pictures, some of which also will be on view at Deitch Projects in SoHo beginning March 27 (W is out March 25), are the result of several months of e-mails with Klein. Showing off her yoga-honed flexibility in limbs-akimbo poses, Madonna's concept was "a performer in her rehearsal space where she creates and brings her ideas to life or death."

Klein says Madonna "talked about how, when she's rehearsing for a show or a video, sometimes those bits are more interesting than the final piece. Most people don't get to see that process."

Explains Madonna: "I always approach visual projects in the same way. We always start with a character, and what we want to get across. It's often a combination of my own clothes and things we find. This is the inner landscape of a performance artist. And I think, if you look at the pictures, they're not even in the most flattering positions, you know? It's not about that."

Hollywood lyrics

10 March 2003

Fansite MadonnaInternet revealed the lyrics of Hollywood. Click here to read.

Liz Smith on Madonna's W Mag interview

Source: NY Newsday - 10 March 2003

W Mag cover Just because Madonna is a Kabbalah-practicing, nongossiping, anti- war wife and mother of two doesn't mean she's off the radar. Far from it. Upcoming in W magazine will be 44 - I said 44 - pages of photos devoted to M.

This "concept" portfolio is a creative collaboration between Madonna and Stephen Klein. (Some of the pictures - arty, athletic, odd - will be on view at Deitch Projects, 76 Grand St. in SoHo, later this month.)

The increasingly private star also sat for an interview with Merle Ginsberg. But except for one mildly risque remark concerning her hair color (she's back to brunette), Madonna wants to talk seriously.

She brushes off criticism with remarks about her "spiritual studies" ... says she'd work with hubby Guy Ritchie again, "Swept Away" reviews be damned (or darned - M's not big on profanity anymore) ... thought Salma Hayek was great in "Frida" but didn't think the film did artist Frida Kahlo justice ... disses Internet rumor-mongering ... dismisses awards shows and says her interest in "fashion per se" has ebbed in light of world events ... loves London, despite rumors to the contrary ... and refers to her past self as "an ego-driven nutcase."

Of course, all this photography and chat is in preparation for the release of her coming "American Life" album. (If she could promote the CD without ever speaking to the press, she would.) But even her music takes a backseat. At one point, Madonna whips out a Polaroid of her two children, Lourdes and Rocco.

"These are my real works of art," she says. It's a long way from the sexual provocateur who posed nude, save for a purse and high heels, on a highway for her "Sex" book. I'm sure Madonna is happier now, but I kind of miss all that. There was never a dull moment.

AL to push anti-war alliance

Source: pressconnects - 10 March 2003

Music's loose anti-war alliance should get a vigorous push with the world premiere of Madonna's American Life video on MTV this month. Using a fashion show as a backdrop, the clip "examines the horrors of war" as an audience applauds grenade-lobbing models in haute-couture army fatigues, spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg says.

In a statement, Madonna disputes misconceptions about the video: "I am not anti-Bush. I am not pro-Iraq. I am pro-peace. I hope this provokes thought and dialogue." Madonna is the first high-profile artist to directly confront the Iraq standoff in her work. Other efforts are falling beneath the pop-culture radar.

Strike a pose? Boring!

Source: New York Post - 10 March 2003

Madonna has transformed herself from the Material Girl into the Human Pretzel for the new issue of W. Why did she go on a bender for photographer Steven Klein? "I can't tell you how boring it is posing for pictures," she explains. "I'm not interested in just going to a fashion shoot and trying on a bunch of clothes."

Official release dates and art work *official*

8 March 2003 has posted the following release dates:

- American Life radio date 3/24
- American Life video date 3/31
- American Life commercial single on sale 4/08 in the US, 4/14 in Europe
- American Life album on sale 4/22 in North America, 4/21 rest of the world.

American Life single

The picture below is an advert for American Life (click to enlarge). posted this picture as the album cover, but several sources deny this. Rumour has it that the picture above is the single cover. Hopefully more clearness about this soon.

American Life advert

American Life promo campaign

8 March 2003

It's promising to be an exciting Madonna time the coming weeks and months. Check out these American Life details (thanx to Madonnarama, MadonnaVillage and NJMOBOY):

SINGLE: American Life goes to radio for March 24 adds. An mp3 single, with added message from Madonna, may be purchased the same day through, fan and radio station sites and retailers. The commercial single features remixes by Missy Elliott, Paul Oakenfold, Felix Da Housecat, Peter Rauhofer and Layo & Bushwacka.

VIDEO: American Life reaches MTV around March 23.

TELEVISION: Madonna performs during a highly promoted appearance on 'Late Show With David Letterman' on April 22. Also that day a 'Today Show'/'Dateline' hour-long special/interview, in-studio performance and special programming on MTV will air. On April 23, she appears on 'Live With Regis And Kelly', and she stars on 'Will & Grace' on April 25. Exclusive network promos for American Idol will feature American Life.

PROMOTION: An American Life Pro-CD with remixes and edits reaches radio before album release date. Madonna will be available for radio syndicated interviews, and on-air flyaway promo contests (for the 'Will & Grace' taping and airing) are set for March 10.

PUBLICITY: Expect massive press coverage, from entertainment news (E!, Access Hollywood, ET, CNN, etc.) to interviews/features in Q (April cover), W (April Cover), Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, People, USA Today, and more.

NEW MEDIA: Madonna's image will grace the AOL May-June campaign, including retail displays and 1-3 million 'free offer' CD-ROMs. Tentatively, she will also be Artist of the Month on AOL, MSN and Yahoo!, each with major ad campaigns. Sprint will feature her in conjunction with a ring-tone promotion in March. The CD is enhanced with links to the 'AOL Session' performance, the online player,, etc.

SPECIAL EDITION: The Special Edition is tentatively scheduled as a Combo Pak adding an AOL branded DVD featuring Madonna's 'AOL Sessions' interview, the unreleased remix video of Die Another Day, and other links.

W Magazine preview

8 March 2003

Entertainment Tonight showed a preview of Madonna's ballet-inspired photo shoot that will appear in W Magazine. Check out some screengrabs at Madonnalicious.

BBC previews the album

Source: BBC Radio 1 - 7 March 2003

Radio 1's had a sneak preview of Madonna's new album, American Life. The style is similar to Music, and with both Mirwais and Jacques Le Cont (LRD) having worked on it, you can expect a good mix of electronic, guitar and pop.

Some of the tracks are quite humorous - she raps on the single, also called 'American Life', and criticises herself for liking material things. There's also an 80s disco-style tune, a down tempo song called 'Nobody Knows' (sung with The London Community Gospel Choir), as well as other tracks called 'Hollywood' and 'Love Profusion'. The single's out on 14 April and also has remixes by Missy Elliot and Layo & Bushwacka. The album's released on 21 April.

~ Note that earlier rumours said that the gospel song (and rumoured third single) would be 'Nothing Fails' and not 'Nobody Knows Me'. Let's also hope the single release will be on March 31st (as rumoured) instead of April 14th (which seems quite late).

Madonna wants 'rap cred'

6 March 2003

PeopleNews spewed their irony (already) on M's attempt to do rap: "Singer. Actress. Children's writer. Now Madonna has decided she wants to be a rapper and has roped in Missy Elliott to help her. An amused source commented: 'Madonna is obsessed with Eminem and Missy, and wanted to do something in the rap world to get some street cred.'

Madonna reportedly spent hours on the phone to the Get UR Freak On rapper before heading into the studio to record a hip-hop version of forthcoming anti-war rant American Life.

Madonna recently called white-trash rapper Eminem 'an inspiration,' but PeopleNews can't help but wonder what in the hell inspired the 44-year-old mother of two's recent example of lyrical virtuosity - 'I drive my mini cooper and I'm feeling super-dooper' - and how she expects to be able to rap it with a straight face?

Sorry Madge, rap credibility is looking as elusive as ever... "

AL preview clips

6 March 2003

Check the flash version of, where you'll find three streaming clips of American Life: one verse, the chorus and a loop.

AL clean version and limited edition with DVD

Source: Billboard - 6 March 2003

Madonna has revealed the track list for her highly anticipated new Maverick album, American Life, due April 22. The 11-track set will be led by the title track, which is expected to be sent March 25 to U.S. radio outlets for airplay consideration.

The album includes the cut Die Another Day, Madonna's soundtrack contribution to the recent James Bond film of the same name. It reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The as-yet-unseen American Life video has already courted controversy for its anti-war stance. Last month, Madonna's publicist described the Jonas Akerlund-directed clip as "a panoramic view of our culture and looming war through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna." It is not known if and when the video will premiere on music networks.

Perhaps with an eye toward the clip's violent content, American Life will be available in a "clean" version without profanity. There will also be a limited-edition version of the album that will include a DVD with as-yet-unspecified contents.

Madonna goes gospel *rumour*

5 March 2003

According to fansite MadonnaInternet, the song 'Nothing Fails' will not only feature string arrangements by Michel Colombier, but also vocals by the London Community Gospel Choir, arranged by Nicki Brown!

M on VH1 Divas Live? *rumour*

5 March 2003

Inside sources at VH1 say that the network is trying to get Madonna to headline they're annual "Divas Live" show in May. Insiders say that Madonna has NOT YET agreed to do the show, but says that she is considering it and has not yet declined the invitation.

Madonna is also being courted by NBC to do a primetime concert that would air during May sweeps. Both TV specials would be perfect timing for Madonna to promote the American Life CD and she IS said to be seriously considering doing one of these specials.

Rauhofer's AL remix at Roxy

5 March 2003

Peter Rauhofer played his remix of Madonna's new single American Life this past Saturday (March 1, 2003), at his residency at New York's Roxy. The mix seemed still to be a work in progress, and did not include the "Soy latte" rap section.

Peter played his mix right at the peak of his set, around 4 AM. Later in the morning Peter also played the album version in its entirety and then parts of it backward.

Madonna popular in Iraq

Source: The Sun - 5 March 2003

Madonna has a new fan - Saddam Hussein. Iraqi radio is playing more songs by the Material Girl than any other Western pop act thanks to the anti-war stance on her new single, American Life, which is out here on April 21.

They're even playing her 1984 hit Like A Virgin - even though it was once banned for being too raunchy for the strict Muslim country.

Confirmation of tracklisting *official*

4 March 2003 has finally confirmed the tracklisting, that has been circulating for a while already:

  • American Life
  • Hollywood
  • I'm So Stupid
  • Love Profusion
  • Nobody Knows Me
  • Nothing Fails
  • Intervention
  • X-Static Process
  • Mother and Father
  • Die Another Day
  • Easy Ride

  • The old lady still rocks

    Source: Sp!n, thanx to - 4 March 2003

    In their april issue, Sp!n Magazine calls Madonna the no. 1 of "Old Ladies Who Are Still Sexy To Rock Boys", winning to the likes of Deborah Harry, Marianne Faithful and Tori Amos. They also place Truth Or Dare on no. 17 of Best Music Movies Ever.

    'The English Roses' is first of five children books

    Source: AP - 3 March 2003

    Singer, actor, now writer — Madonna has taken up the pen. Penguin Group announced Monday that the singer has written five illustrated story books for young readers aged 6 and above. The first title, "The English Roses," will be published in hardcover in September and distributed simultaneously worldwide, Penguin Group said. No further details were given.

    "Madonna is an artist with a universal appeal and these books will touch children of all backgrounds everywhere in the world," said chairman and chief executive John Makinson. Penguin Group has bought the English language rights to the five books, each of which will feature a different celebrated illustrator, from Callaway Editions, the New York-based publisher of illustrated books, which will publish the books in the United States.

    In all other English language markets, the books will be published by Puffin, the children's imprint of Penguin Group (UK). Nicholas Callaway, founder and publisher of Callaway Editions, added that the singer "has drawn on a lifelong passion for and deep familiarity with literature and children's books to create contemporary classics that combine great storytelling with ravishing art.

    "With these books, Madonna has accomplished something rare and wonderful. Despite the astonishing range and variety of her stories, they all evoke the secret that the red fox shares with the Little Prince: 'It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.'" Puffin is Britain's leading publisher of children's books; other children's authors on its books include Roald Dahl, Eric Carle, Raymond Briggs and Allan and Janet Ahlberg.

    The Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company. Callaway titles have included many highly acclaimed illustrated books, including the best-selling "Miss Spider" series, written and illustrated by David Kirk and Hilary Knight's "When I Have a Little Girl/When I Have a Little Boy."

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