Mad-Eyes correspondent and good friend Marcin from Paris has had the priviledge today to talk to fashion designer Christian Lacroix about his costume work for Madonna's tour.
From now on, tour spoilers will be separated from the other news items, for those who want to attend the tour like a virgin. ;-)
Madonna donned fatigues last year for a video to promote her latest album, American Life. Now she is drumming up more military metaphors for an increasingly bitter public battle with Warner Music Group and its new chief executive and part owner, Edgar Bronfman Jr.
"I find myself in the ludicrous position of being sued by my own record company, whom I have been loyal, industrious and reliable to for over 20 years," Madonna said in a statement, her first comment since the two sides filed dueling lawsuits late last month. "For them to behave this way is nothing short of treason."
The dispute does not involve Madonna in her role as one of Warner's biggest stars. Instead it revolves around Maverick Records, the music label that she and two others own with Warner Music in a partnership that is to expire by the end of this year. Either Warner or Madonna's group is supposed to buy out the other side.
The grievances have been simmering for several years. Maverick executives say they are being shortchanged by Warner Music, while Warner sees Maverick as a money-losing venture whose biggest successes, like Alanis Morissette, are in the past. But when Time Warner completed the sale of its record business for $2.6 billion to a consortium led by Mr. Bronfman, an executive considered to be among the more receptive to artists' needs and desires, many in the music industry expected an amicable resolution.
Any honeymoon was short-lived. And it appears that hurt feelings on both sides have propelled this business negotiation into court.
Madonna's partners in Maverick, Guy Oseary and Ronnie Dashev, say they were shocked by a lawsuit on the same day that they were bargaining for a resolution in good faith. Bert Fields, Maverick's lawyer, called the suit a stab in the back for Madonna, who has sold millions of CD's for the Warner Brothers Records label.
Warner Music executives fume privately that they were forced to act pre-emptively. According to executives involved in the negotiations, the new owners, already pushing through a restructuring calling for the elimination of 1,000 jobs, were on a tour to stir interest among banks and bond issuers to finance the purchase of Warner Music when Madonna and her partners threatened a lawsuit if a deal regarding Maverick was not struck imminently.
On March 24, partly to control where any case would be heard, Warner Music filed suit in Delaware, seeking a ruling that it had not breached its contract with Maverick. The next day Maverick sued Warner Music in California, charging fraud and improper accounting. On May 7 a Delaware judge will hear a motion to stay Warner Music's action to allow the California complaint to proceed.
The object of the tussle is a boutique record label. Maverick, created in 1992, experienced its biggest success with Ms. Morissette, the singer and songwriter whose "Jagged Little Pill" (1995) has sold 14 million copies and is the one of the best-selling albums of all time, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks music sales in the United States.
Eight of the 10 albums from Maverick that have sold more than one million copies were released before the venture with Warner Music was renegotiated in 1999. Its roster also includes the singer and songwriter Michelle Branch and bands like Deftones and the Prodigy. In 2003 Maverick releases accounted for a little more than half of 1 percent of album sales in the United States.
Mr. Bronfman declined to comment on the suits, but Will Tanous, a company spokesman, issued a statement repeating Warner Music's statement in the lawsuit that Maverick has been unprofitable for the last five years. In its complaint Warner Music says that Maverick has amassed more than $60 million in losses since 1999, and would have to repay $92.5 million before it could buy out Warner's' half of the joint venture.
Maverick's filing paints a more complicated picture. Its partners charge that Roger Ames, the former chairman and chief executive of Warner Music, refused to provide the promotional, sales and marketing support to Maverick required by the venture agreement. "They have consistently over a pattern of years refused to deal with our problems and have misled us," Ms. Dashev said.
Among numerous charges, the Maverick complaint says that Warner Music manipulated figures to show that Maverick was losing money by not crediting it with the profits generated by the manufacturing, distribution and international sales of Maverick CD's. If profits were properly accounted, Mr. Fields, a well-known Hollywood lawyer, said, they would show that Maverick has made $100 million for Warner.
But the joint-venture contract does not require adding profits from those areas to Maverick's earnings, said an executive close to Warner Music, who has detailed knowledge of the contract. "What they're trying to do is not supported by anything in the agreement," the executive said. "It's supported by their desire to get a check they're not entitled to by virtue of the contract, to pretend in 2004, `Oh, let's take an eraser to a few provisions and let's put in what we wish were in the contract.' "
Whitney Broussard, a New York entertainment lawyer whose clients include the Warner Music artists Twista and Third Eye Blind, said it was not uncommon for revenue from manufacturing and distribution to be excluded from profit calculations in joint-venture agreements.
Unclear in the feud is what, if any, collateral damage will be done to Warner Music's relationship with Madonna, who owes two more albums to Warner Brothers Records.
While Warner is not dismissing Madonna's stature she is preparing for a world tour that starts in late May, and a six-night stand at Madison Square Garden in June is sold out she is not, at 45, the sales powerhouse she once was. American Life has sold a relatively meager 634,000 copies in the United States. Her previous two albums each sold three million to four million copies. But her vintage releases have done much better: Like a Virgin (1984) sold 10 million, and True Blue (1986) seven million.
"This is not about Madonna, an artist with whom we have a longstanding and very successful relationship," Mr. Tanous said.
Madonna's manager, Caresse Henry, said the legal dispute was hurting Madonna's relationship as an artist with Warner. "It's like serving somebody divorce papers and then asking them when they want to go to dinner," Ms. Henry said.
Fansite Drowned Madonna posted some rumours on the setlist, the dancers and the tourbook; click here to read them.
So what's Madonna really like? Allan Dekko, the Santa Clara Vanguard's tour manager who recently taught the material girl some rifle moves for her upcoming re-Invention world tour, said the superstar is "a perfectionist".
A mutual friend of Dekko and Madonna's head choreographer Jamie King arranged for Dekko to display some rifle moves for King, who was thinking of including a rifle segment in the show. "It was one of those 'who you know' situations," King said. After Dekko's demonstration, he was hired to instruct Madonna and her dancers.
Dekko worked with Madonna and seven male dancers on 64 counts of her 1989 song Express Yourself. The performers are keeping the riflework very "military", according to Dekko. "It was basically kept to a series of manual of arms and variations on them. Anything too fancy, they didn't like," Dekko said.
Madonna's rifle abilities were adequate, and the atmosphere very direct. "I won't say that she is a natural, but what is being asked of her she did well," Dekko said. "I found her pleasant to work with. She doesn't really dilly-dally."
Dekko's instruction happened during the last hour of her daily choreography rehearsals on a soundstage south of Beverly Hills, Calif. "The rehearsal atmosphere is warm. The sound stage is kept very warm as that is the way she likes to rehearse. She would work on choreography from 5 to 8 p.m. I usually worked with her privately the last hour. She works very precisely. She has a job to do and she wants to get it done," Dekko said.
"She is a visual learner," Dekko said of Madonna's learning ability. "You show her, and you do it with her. She doesn't go on until she feels comfortable with what she is trying to learn. She's going to do it until she doesn't have to think about it any more (until) it's on instant recall."
Despite Madonna's penchant for wild costumes on stage, Dekko said she always wore sweatpants during these rehearsals. However, "She always smelled good. She would walk in and you would go 'She's here.'" All rehearsals were closely monitored by a bodyguard.
Fans will find plenty of older Madonna material on the re-Invention tour. "It's pretty much her old stuff. It's a pretty packed show of her greatest hits," Dekko said, adding that in addition to spinning rifles, dancers will be dangling from bungee chords during part of the show. Overall, the choreography reminds Dekko of Cirque du Soleil.
Excluding the current members of the Santa Clara Vanguard, Madonna is the first "superstar" Dekko ever taught.
A fan who ran into Jean-Paul Gaultier in Paris reports to MadonnaTribe: "He said he is designing T-shirts and belts and bits and pieces like that for the dancers and possibly things for the merchandise as well."
We are also pleased to announce the release of Madonna's newest children's book, "Yakov and the Seven Thieves". The book, which is beautifully illustrated by Gennady Spirin, comes out June 21st, but you can pre-order ahead of time and have it shipped directly to your door. You can also buy an exclusive t-shirt featuring the cover art, in both youth and adult sizes.
Storyline: Seven slippery scoundrels. One tricky lock. An unlikely solution... Yakov, the kindly cobbler, and his wife, Olga, are heartbroken because their son, Mikhail, is very ill. They seek advice from a wise old man, who enlists the help of seven thieves and proves that miracles can occur if we do good deeds.
Mad-Eyes is offering you a new service. After receiving tons of mails from fans looking for a tour ticket, but also from fans with a spare ticket looking for a candidate buyer, we decided to set up our own little ticket service.
It's easy: if you want to buy or sell a ticket for the re-Invention tour, post your details and wait for someone to contact you. We hope this way you can all find the ticket you want. Good luck!
Note: Mad-Eyes only provides the service of bringing fans in contact with each other. The rest of the process is your own responsability.
Madonna's total body makeover after giving birth to her daughter Lourdes almost eight years ago, has been voted the best celebrity pregnancy weight loss story in a new In Touch Weekly poll.
The 45-year-old pop icon discovered she was pregnant right after she landed the lead in the movie Evita, and rather than ditch her dream role, she worked hard at hiding her bump.
After switching to a macrobiotic diet, Madonna managed to achieve what is considered to be one of the fastest ever pregnancy turnarounds when she was back in a slinky dress just two months after giving birth - in time for the Evita premiere and the Golden Globe Awards.
Her workout regime included biking, dancing and sit-ups, and after giving birth to her three-year-old son Rocco, she took up yoga, cycling and walking.
The full top 10 is as follows:
2. Uma Thurman
3. Sarah Jessica Parker
4. Julianne Moore
5. Kate Winslet
6. Elizabeth Hurley
7. Catherine Zeta-Jones
8. Kelly Ripa
9. Reese Witherspoon
10. Kate Hudson
Baseball fan Penny Marshall says directing A League of Their Own was one of her better managing jobs.
The 1992 movie about the All-American Girls Baseball League that took to the diamond in 1943 is on DVD today in a special edition. Like a savvy baseball scout, Marshall molded a team that included a skilled veteran (Geena Davis), a starter in a slump (Tom Hanks), a big name who would sell tickets (Madonna) and an unknown talent (Rosie O'Donnell).
Assembling the team wasn't easy, she says. Women she considered suitable for the roles had to make it through baseball tryouts. "I would not let the actresses read (for a part) unless they could play ball," Marshall says.
And some managerial shuffling was required. Madonna was a late replacement, and Marshall knew she and O'Donnell were friends, so the director rewrote a character for O'Donnell, who was a good player. It was the future talk-show queen's first movie.
Going through the roster, Marshall says that Hanks needed a hit when she was casting League. She previously directed him in 1988's Big. The year after League, he landed his Oscar-winning role in Philadelphia. "I brought him back; now he's a king," she says.
"It was the last movie I made that I really had a good time on, and I still see some of the old ladies who were in it," she says, referring to some of the women's league players who appeared in the film.
Among the highlights on the two-disc set ($25), out today:
A full-length commentary with Marshall and actresses Lori Petty (Kit), Megan Cavanagh (Marla) and Marshall's daughter Tracy Reiner (Betty). You learn that several players suffered concussions during filming.
Madonna's video This Used to Be My Playground for the song that ran during the closing credits.
A documentary, Nine Memorable Innings, about the making of the movie. The interviews with Marshall took place at her home, and you get a glimpse of her collection of sports memorabilia.
Madonna.com now lists a second concert in Anaheim on June 3rd. Though the site says tickets are on sale now, the date isn't yet mentioned on the website of Ticketmaster, but other sites are already selling VIP packages. This is the last Californian date that will be added to the re-Invention Tour.
The schedule for the US is now completely filled up from the end of May till early August, not leaving anymore space for additional dates. Madonna will most probably take a break after her Miami concerts, just like she did for the Drowned World Tour, and then embark her tour in London, Dublin and Paris.
If there are still European and Israelian dates planned, they should happen in September. More details remain unannounced as yet, but stay tuned.
UPDATE: tickets for June 3rd will be on sale on April 25 at 10am with prices ranging from $45 to $300.
No wonder they call her the Material Girl. Madonna is launching her Re-invention Tour, and some of the financial details of the concerts have been leaking out leading one source to quip that it should be called her Reinvestment Tour.
Madonna is looking to play a one-day gig in Ireland, where shes filed plans with a county council board, and according to local reports, Madonna has hammered out a deal where she will receive either 4.2 million pounds (over $7.5 million) or 98.5 percent of the box office whichever is greater. With tickets rumored to be in the $200 range, that could be one hefty payday.
Madonna's rep, Liz Rosenberg, denies the figures, but declines to give specifics. She says final ticket prices haven't been determined, but she also acknowledges that the singer will rake in plenty of cash during her Re-invention Tour. "Will Madonna make lots of money on her tour?" Rosenberg asks. "Absolutely. And she will earn every penny."
Has Kabbalah cost Madonna her best friend? The New York Post reports that the singer has cut all ties with her best pal, actress Debi Mazar, because Mazar won't buy in to the tradition of Jewish mysticism.
"They are no longer best friends," a source in Madonna's camp tells the tab. "Debi is very hurt and confused, but Madonna has made up her mind. These women have been friends for 20 years, and now nothing."
Pish posh, Madonna's rep counters. "They are still friends. Madonna is rehearsing six days a week so she doesn't have a lot of time, but the love is still there."
But, according to the Post, Madonna has time for Britney Spears, who has started following Kabbalah precepts. Madonna's devotion to Kabbalah runs deep.
She will no longer perform on Fridays, the Jewish sabbath, and she donated all of the profits from her children's books to the Kabbalah Center, which is in LA. A rep for Mazar declined to comment.
Fansite Drowned Madonna writes: "Our sources from New York have contacted us with some interesting news regarding a television appearance by Madonna during her re-Invention tour. It seems that Madonna is in talks with the producers of the morning talk show, Live with Regis and Kelly.
Our sources revealed to us that the appearance would be a behind the scenes feature in which co-host Kelly Ripa follows Madonna around before and after one of her shows. Another show that is being considered for an exclusive appearance by Madonna is Good Morning America."
According to Brazilian magazine "Quem", Arianne Phillips is also on board on this tour helping Madonna with her looks. Phillips who was one of the costume and accessory designers on the Drowned World Tour and on The Ritchies' Swept Away is always happy to work with Madonna.
She declared: "I really enjoy the work I have done with Madonna, she is a fiercely smart and generous person to work with, we have developed a sort of shorthand of communication, the same can be said of Courtney Love and Lenny Kravitz, these people I have been working with for a long time and we have developed a style of working that has produced some of my most proud work".
Fansite Madonna Electronica reports that Warner Music France has confirmed there won't be a 5th single release from the American Life album in France.
This means that if the rumours about an upcoming Easy Ride single are true, it won't be released in France.
Madonna fans face ticket prices of more than € 100 for her Slane concert this August to pay for an extraordinary 4.2m one-off deal.
The 45-year-old Material Girl lived up to her name - she has hammered out a no-lose megabuck deal. She gets the lump sum or 98.5pc of the net profit - whichever is the greater. Either way that works out at around 2m an hour for the controversial singer. And, according to well placed sources, it will push prices above the 100 mark. That would be well above what the Rolling Stones charged (90) for their concert in the Point last year.
Details of the Madonna deal were discovered as an official planning application for the star's first concert in Ireland was being lodged with Meath County Council. The local authority confirmed last night that an application for the controversial Slane concert had been received late yesterday. This means that Madonna will, if and when planning permission is granted, become the first female singer to headline at Slane.
The application confirmed that the date requested by promoters MCD was Sunday, August 29 which is likely to cause some objections from Slane villagers. Objections, however, will have to be lodged in the next few weeks as the local authority said it would be making a decision on the application before June 8.
The application says it will only open gates at 2pm instead of the usual 12 noon to allow for concerns from locals about being able to get to Mass that morning. The concert will run no later than 10.30pm, the application said. It also includes a draft management plan for the event. It further added that a letter from Slane Castle owner Lord Henry Mount Charles would follow later giving his consent.
MCD's Justin Green last night confirmed that it had applied for the staging of the event to Meath County Council for August 29. "Details regarding the event, including the artist line-up and ticket prices will be announced shortly," he said. Since Lord Henry Mount Charles' unofficial announcement last week, Ticketmaster has received 200,000 calls to its phonelines and hits to its website about the concert. Some 60pc of its calls are in connection with the gig.
Madonna will play the concert as part of her re-Invention tour and is only to play three European locations - Paris, London and Slane. She sold out 150,000 tickets in the UK for her eight London concerts in five minutes and sold out six shows at Madison Square Gardens in New York within minutes. It is widely believed that this will be her last tour, a factor likely to help record sales. But it will be at a hefty price.
Lord Henry Mount Charles doesn't yet know the admission price and the promoters, MCD, have yet to decide. But sources say they must top 100 to meet the massive Madonna appearance fee. The cost of a ticket is tied to the price of the artist. Charging 100 at the door would leave the promoters little chance of making a profit from the ?8m gross when their expenses are added to Madonna's fee.
One showbiz insider said a sell-out of 80,000 tickets at 140 would leave Madonna, MCD and Lord Henry Mount Charles with a good night's wages. Local parish priest, Fr Joe Deegan, said the holding of the concert on a Sunday was "a bit inconsiderate and insensitive" and that "our religious beliefs were not taken into account".
Madonna is getting custom-made false eyelashes for her upcoming tour from the same woman who made those infamous mink lashes for J.Lo. But her rep denies buzz that there'll be 10 pairs - one for each costume change - and that they'll cost upwards of $2,000.
'She is not changing eyelashes for each costume,' her spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, told the Scoop. 'Madonna is the Material Girl because she doesn't spend money that recklessly. She has two kids to put through college for goodness sake.'
A formal request for a licence for the planned Madonna concert at Slane has been lodged with Meath County Council. The gig is pencilled in for Sunday, August 29. The public and interested parties such as the Gardaí, emergency services and health board have five weeks to make their views known to the council.
A final decision on whether to approve the event will then take another five weeks. Some Slane residents say they intend to mount a legal challenge to the concert being staged on a Sunday.
Madonna's books, "The English Roses" (Amazon rank No. 1,547) and "Mr. Peabody's Apples" (Amazon rank No. 1,927), are now for sale at the Kabbalah Center of Los Angeles' book store.
Kabbalah, a celebrity religion that purports to be a branch of Judaism, has attracted such rocket scientists as Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Courtney Love, Sandra Bernhard and Roseanne.
Kabbalah is actually a family-run business owned and operated by 75-year-old "Rabbi" Philip Berg (real name: Feivel Gruberger), who believes, according to Los Angeles magazine, that he can stop earthquakes. I don't know about that, but he's very good at raising money.
The New York branch of the Kabbalah Center, according to its tax records, had net assets last year of more than $24 million. At its last filing available, for 2000, the Los Angeles branch had more than $11 million in its coffers.
Of course, the Kabbalah-ists could be reciprocating a favor. Madonna, according to British newspapers, gave them $5 million to build a center in London.
"The English Roses," which came out last fall and has nothing to do with any religion per se, and its sequel, "Mr. Peabody's Apples," are the only non Kabbalah-ist texts for sale in the online gift shop.
They are also the only children's books sold there. They are each priced at $19.99. Other books for sale are Kabbalah takes on Jewish holidays, bibles and the 23-volume basis for Kabbalah, which retails for $415.
There are a couple of books that refer to sex in their title -- including "Divine Sex" by Kabbalah leader Karen Berg -- but Madonna's very own "Sex" book, which depicted her in many X-rated poses, is not available. Neither are her CDs.
We heard this rumour before and though we have reliable sources denying it, we wanted to report this anyway:
"Kylie Minogue has become pop folklore after being written into the lyrics of a Madonna classic. The pop princess has been immortalised in a rehashing of the Material Girl's Vogue, rehearsal spies say. The spoken verse of the 1990 smash hit, in which Madonna harks back to the glamour days of Hollywood, originally begins with the line "Greta Garbo and Monroe". But that's all been changed for Madge's latest world tour, and now the verse starts with Australia's finest pop export in the line "Britney Spears and Minogue". The entire verse has been changed to:
Britney Spears and Minogue,
Aguilera and J-Lo,
Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne,
On the cover of a magazine.
They have style, they have sass
Missy E kicks some ass.
Madonna famously donned a Kylie Minogue T-shirt in November 2000 for a performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Stockholm, suggesting she might be a fan. There has been no doubting Madonna's affection for Britney over the past few months, and not only because of the steamy kiss they shared at another MTV Awards bash last year.
After all, Christina Aguilera also got a "peck", but wasn't afforded the privilege of a duet with Madonna in the same way Britney was. The pair collaborated on last year's hit Me Against The Music, which featured on Britney's album In The Zone. Britney has also been accused of morphing into Madonna of late, with increasingly risque film clips and a current tour - The Onyx Hotel tour - that is making headlines for its raunchy dance routines and Britney's scanty costumes.
As for Kylie, the only danger she faces of being compared to Madonna would be by giving birth. The British media has been clambering to break the story of a mini-mini-Minogue, fathered by French screen hunk Olivier Martinez, and hinting at an expanding tummy for the Melbourne 30-something. Kylie has neither confirmed nor denied the rumours and was reportedly spotted buying a pregnancy test at a pharmacy in Paris recently. She has, however, said she does think about her body clock ticking.
As for Madonna, she embarks on her Re-invention tour on May 24 in LA and will play to sold out venues across the United States and Europe. Australia is not on her itinerary, but Kylie could catch her in Paris on September 1, 2 or 4."
Madonna may have been raised a Catholic but for her worship doesn't happen on a Sunday. Her publicist has announced the Queen of Pop will not work on Fridays because of her Kabbalah religion.
The news comes after the Material Girl angered members of the Catholic community in Ireland - for scheduling a concert on a Sunday. The local parish priest says the timing of the Slane castle gig is inconsiderate in a country where 90 per cent of the population is religious.
~ The publicity surrounding the sunday date in Ireland may be exagerated, fact is that not one single concert has been planned on a friday.
This morning [April 12] at 10:00 AM PST Madonna's Re-Invention tour went on sale in San Jose California. Tickets were sold out in six minutes for the June 6th show.
At 10:06 am another San Jose show was added on for June 8th which sold out in 8 minutes warranting a third and final show to be added on June 9th.
"One of our sources in the Us told us that rumours about Patrick Leonard working on the tour are not correct. Apparently Leonard was only working with Madonna on her musical last year, but the project has been shelved 6 months ago.
Our source also says that Madonna has finished recording a new song with Mirwais in Los Angeles while working on the tour but it is still unknown how it is going to be used or when it will be released."
Today on sale are tickets for the 4th and final concert in Boston (July 1), the 2nd concert in East Rutherford (July 8) and the concert in San Jose (June 6).
Ticketmaster already announced two additional concerts in San Jose on June 8 and 9, putting the total amount of US dates on 35 so far.
If Deepak Chopra can make millions, then why not "Our" Madonna. The "Queen Of Pop" has decided to follow in the footsteps of Chopra and open her own management company to manage the careers of artists in other fields, besides music.
According to the Star, the Maverick Records label that she founded is home to Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch, but according to an insider, "she'd also like to manage the careers of directors, music video directors, choreographers and actors".
She even wants to represent writers like Chopra, who was present at her Passover seders in L.A. on April 5 and 6. Madonna, who reportedly will perform in Israel on her summer Re-Invention world tour starting May 24, is also negotiating a TV special this summer. "It will be a broadcast of the concert on HBO," the source added.
Madonna is stirring up some Irish ire for scheduling her first-ever concert in Ireland on a Sunday. The country's huge Roman Catholic population views Sunday as the Lord's Day. But the owner of Slane Castle, where the Aug. 29 gig will be held, insists it was "the only date and day feasible," TV Guide Online reports.
The last time the Castle hosted a major concert on a Sunday - 1984, when Bob Dylan performed - it sparked riots. Local residents say they will take out a High Court injunction to stop the gig because of fears of public disorder. After Dylan's infamous gig, drunken fans caused mayhem in the town, and concerts were suspended at the venue for several years.
During the past few weeks there's been a lot of speculation about whether Niki Haris would be part of the tour or not. After doing background vocals on the Who's That Girl Tour, Blond Ambition Tour, Girlie Show and Drowned World Tour, Niki herself has now confirmed that she will NOT be touring with Madonna. Here's the statement from her website:
"For my dance fans, I promise a new dance single this summer! I want everyone coming out to the Prides Festival’s and see my new show. Also check the tour schedule for those dates. OK, now for the information that everyone seems to want to know. I will not be singing background this year. Time for change and change is GOOD!
To everyone who will miss me on that tour, come see me at my shows. To those who are dismayed by this decision, remember things that aren't changing are dying! I celebrate life now and I am grateful for all things old and new.
My daughter, Jordan, turned 1 February 20th, 2004. And looking at her reminds me everyday that life moves quickly…nothing is promised. Stay in the moment. Be grateful for all things!
I know I have your continued support no matter what shows I am doing, but it’s time for me to concentrate on my music and my child. Your support throughout the years lets me know that my music is what you want to hear. I can always sing background at another time, but now it’s time for me to place my microphone on the front of the stage.
Once again, thank you to all of you who support me in my slow computer growth. I’m sure my daughter will be building and programming computers before I have this laptop mastered!"
Madonna's other all-time backup singer Donna DeLory has been spotted at the tour rehearsals and will be part of the tour.
Fansites MadonnaWorld and Madonna Electronica suggest that Siedah Garret might be replacing Niki Haris. Garret did backing vocals for several tracks on the True Blue album.
Madonna will top the bill at Slane on Sunday, August 29, not because of her religious beliefs but because of the logistics of setting up her massive show, Henry Mountcharles confirmed yesterday. He challenged critics who claimed it will prevent local people from going to mass and local politicians who want Meath County Council to refuse a licence because it is a Sunday.
The Queen of Pop does not begin her Reinvention Tour until next month and the majority of the US and British dates have sold out. Lord Mountcharles confirmed he has wanted Madonna, "who has icon status, is highly controversial and very interesting," to play at Slane for a number of years and it was only in the New Year that he received confirmation.
The last Sunday concert at Slane was the infamous Bob Dylan gig in 1984 when riots dominated the headlines. It was some years before concerts resumed at the castle. "I knew people would stir up memories of 1984. This year Bob Dylan is playing in Galway on Sunday June 27, so if he can play there on a Sunday I am puzzled why there is opposition to Madonna's date.
The fact is that Madonna is an extraordinary artist and this is about entertainment. It is very easy to try and knock what we have done in Slane. Where were all these people when I and others tried to have the interpretative centre for Newgrange located in Slane?"
He said he and promoters MCD will go to enormous lengths to facilitate local people including putting back the time the gates open from 12 noon to 2pm so that anyone who wants to can attend mass before the concert starts. "I fully realise that having 80,000 people in the middle of county Meath does cause inconvenience and disruption; I do actually get grief when the concerts are held on a Saturday."
There has been wide speculation and rumour that Madonna would not play on a Saturday but Lord Mountcharles said the concert is on a Sunday because it is the only date feasible. "Madonna plays six dates in London beforehand, the final one is Wembley on the 26th so it would not be possible logistically to get a show ready for Slane on Saturday the 28th," he said.
Ticket details have yet to be finalised but are expected by the time MCD make a formal application for a licence for the event to Meath County Council.
Many fans are still waiting for the announcement of additional tour stops, but nothing official so far.
However, according to MadonnaTribe Lord Henry Mountcharles, the owner of Slane Castle, has been on Irish National radio 2FM to confirm Madonna is playing Slane Castle on August 29th.
Meanwhile, rumours about a 4th concert in Paris Bercy on September 5 are returning. However, we'll still have to wait for a confirmation from Madonna's camp.
Australian fans keep their hopes up and have even created a website to get the Madonna tour to their country; take a look at www.bringmadonnadownunder.com and show your support.
In other news, there's word that Madonna has already started working on a new studio album, which she will finish in 2005. Given the intense preparation she's doing for the upcoming tour (with rehearsals taking up whole days), it would sincerely surprise us if this were true. Let's first concentrate on the tour. :)
The one-time Material Girl is now 45 and she certainly looked fit in her recent publicity shots for her latest set of concert dates, called The re-Invention Tour. It begins in Los Angeles on May 24.
The 5ft 4in star weighs 8st. She gets embarrassed when looking at old photographs because she had such big eyebrows. They are now well plucked. As for her hair, she admits it has been "every colour known to man. Every shade of black, brown, red, pink. Every shade of blonde - you name it. I'm only glad it didn't fall out!"
Will she ever have plastic surgery? "I don't know, but if I do I want the guy who did Catherine Deneuve. She looks incredible." She surprised fans with her new look at this year's Grammy Awards, sparking off rumours of cosmetic surgery - heartily denied, of course.
There was a time Madonna spent two hours a day weight-lifting and jogging - then she became pregnant with Lourdes and she stopped it for good. These days she gets private lessons in Ashtanga yoga, the most challenging form of the discipline.
Switching from white to brown rice helped her to lose four pounds in as many weeks. "There is hidden sugar lurking in white rice," she says. She eats lots of small meals in order not to get hungry and overeat. She limits red meat, but when giving dinner parties, she has been known to send for Japanese Kobe beef, costing £100 a pound from cattle fed on beer and massaged. Mostly she eats fish, chicken, vegetables and fruit.
She loves broccoli, baked potatoes and skimmed milk. When pregnant, she had cravings for poached eggs and oranges. In moments of weakness she has candy. When touring, she keeps apples and bananas in hotel suites for quick, healthy snacks.
She says husband Guy has turned her on to that most English of pastimes - drinking ale in a pub with her mates. "I didn't start drinking until I met Guy," she says.
Since she divorced Sean Penn in 1989, she dated high profile stars Warren Beatty, Prince and Vanilla Ice. Her relationship with fitness trainer Carlos Leon produced daughter Lourdes.
The key man in her life, however, has been British film director Guy Ritchie, 10 years her junior. They are married and have a son, Rocco. They have settled in England, with a town house in central London and a £9m country estate in Wiltshire.
The tour schedule and ticket sale info on Madonna.com has been updated. As expected, most shows are now sold out. Right now there are still tickets available for the shows in Anaheim, Washington DC, Philadelphia, East Rutherford, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and London.
Two additional shows have been announced: a fourth and final concert in Boston on July 1st and a second concert in East Rutherford on July 8th. Tickets for these shows will go on sale on Monday, April 12th (Ticketmaster pre-sale on April 9th).
The concert in San Jose has been rescheduled to June 6th; ticket sale on Monday, April 12th (Ticketmaster pre-sale on April 8th).
And the b-side to Easy Ride should be Stuart Price's remix of X-Static Process which is also performed in the show. The maxi SHOULD contain the Mother and Father remixes. So far, that is what i have, but that could change. The live version could be used as a b-side also... so, i don't know.
Like a Prayer is FUCKED!!! Holy shit! DO NOT TAKE HEAVY DRUGS DURING THIS SHOW!!! ;-) "
After the famous 'Dieux du Stade' calendars and the 'Making Of' DVD, there will now also be a book featuring 152 pages with pictures of the gorgeous French rugby players. If you need yet another reason to buy this book, you'll be glad to hear that the 1000 first buyers will receive a copy signed by Madonna! The book will be released in mid-april and costs € 60. More details at Boutique du Stade Français.
Price, product, promotion, place - the four P's of marketing - are old school and should be set aside, a marketing research professor said yesterday at the Global Retailing Conference in Tucson.
Instead, look to the concepts of MINI-marketing and perhaps adopt some of Madonna's tactics - yes, pop diva Madonna - said Stephen Brown, a draw-outside-the-box professor at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.
MINI stands for mediability ("getting people talking"), inclusion, nostalgia and irony - marketing techniques used by leading companies such as Harley-Davidson, Versace, Levi's, and Nokia.
Brown said Madonna uses the seven S's: secrecy, scandal, storytelling, subversion, scarcity, sex and sublimity - but there's something to be learned from them, Brown insists.
"I think the key is to go against the flow," said Brown, who wore black shades for his talk to more than 100 retailers gathered at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa for the conference, hosted by the University of Arizona Southwest Retail Center.
"We tend to run with the herd. In today's overstored world, so many products are identical. So how do I stand out from the crowd?"
Brown suggested the secret to business success is not being customer savvy, but rather, leading the customer down a new path.
"Madonna in my opinion is a marketing genius on the line of P.T. Barnum," Brown said. "Anybody who strides the market for 20 years is a marketing genius. The fact of the matter is she has been a marketing empire from day one."
Madonna goes against the flow in almost every regard - and succeeds because of it. Turns down magazine cover spreads, rarely tours, keeps concerts short, refuses to play her most popular songs and flaunts alternative sexuality.
"She's a serial controversialist," Brown said, adding that this adds up to a net worth of perhaps $300 million.
He acknowledges Madonna's extreme approach won't work for everyone, but said retailers must find a way to be creative with today's sophisticated shopper.
"Everybody's a marketing expert these days." Brown said.
For the more traditional minded, Brown proposes a way to market to the marketing savvy consumer. How marketing savvy is the public?
An immigration officer once grilled Brown in Philadelphia: "What is the secret of marketing success?"
"The customer is always right, officer," Brown ventured.
"Wrong. The customer is king. The customer is K-I-N-G."
But the traditional four P's of marketing no longer work as well as Brown's new MINI system, he said.
Top music industry managers are girding for battle with new Warner Music Group lead partner Edgar Bronfman Jr. - and the money men behind him led by Thomas Lee - to protect their clients from the kind of rough treatment Madonna is getting.
The giant music company sued Madonna last week after months of bickering over the value of her label, Maverick Records, which is owned jointly with Warner Music. Bronfman tried to sugarcoat the bare-knuckle tactic by having his spokesman declare "the company's deep respect for Madonna."
But Madonna's manager, Caresse Henry, wasn't mollified. "The efforts by the Warner Music Group to publicly praise Madonna while privately suing her company are shameless," Henry said. "If this is the way the new regime treats artists, it's a sad, sad day in the history of Warner Music."
Madonna hit back the next day with her own lawsuit, which claims that Maverick generated $100 million in profits for Warner since it was founded in 1992 with such artists as Alanis Morrisette and Michelle Branch.
The fraud suit alleges that Warner Music CEO Roger Ames "engaged in a pattern of false promises and misrepresentations of fact" aimed, sources say, at pitting Madonna against Maverick CEO Guy Oseary.
"It's a free-for-all over there," said one music veteran. "There are a lot of big egos clashing. Artists are very unhappy."
"If the new regime is treating Madonna this way, then all other artists and managers need to read the sign on Edgar's door very, very clearly: beware," said one industry insider. "His 'music people' have become pawns to his accountants."
Warner Music, which laid off 800 recently, is in the same boat as EMI, which just cut 1,500 jobs, and the other record companies hurt by digital piracy.
"Business has been so bad, they don't have any choice," said another insider. "The big pay days are over. Artists aren't going to be coddled anymore. Music is as popular as ever. The music business is in trouble."
Warner Music Group had no comment.
PROFUSION OF HITS: To paraphrase Lionel Richie, Madonna is three times a lady on Billboard's Hot Dance Singles Sales chart, where she has a lock on the top three positions.
Love Profusion (Maverick) is in its second week at No. 1, after entering in pole position last week. Me Against the Music (Jive) by Britney Spears Featuring Madonna holds at No. 2 after formerly occupying the top slot. The two-sided Nothing Fails / Nobody Knows Me (Maverick) completes the hat trick by rebounding 5-3.
The last artist to dominate the top three positions on this survey was P. Diddy. The week of Aug. 2, 1997, he was No. 1 with "I'll Be Missing You" (with Faith Evans and 112), No. 2 with "Mo Money Mo Problems" (with the Notorious B.I.G. and Mase) and No. 3 with "Someone" (supporting SWV).
A new tour stop has been added to the tour schedule: Madonna will play the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, CA on June 2nd. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow, April 4th.
ICON has announced another pre-sale for their members: today at noon EST for the East Rutherford concert (July 7) and today at noon PST for the Anaheim concert (June 2).
Today also ticket sale for: Washington DC (June 13), Boston (June 30), Chicago (July 15), Atlanta (July 24), Fort Lauderdale (July 29) and Miami (August 2). Good luck!
The tickets for London's Wembley Arena on August 22 are now on sale. Though the website of Ticketmaster is already down, good luck to all fans trying to get hold of a ticket!
Tickets for the third date in Los Angeles will go on sale later today (10 am local time).
A fourth date for Paris Bercy is still being negociated.
Meanwhile, take a look at the new tour commercial at Madonna.com!
UPDATE: the first two Wembley dates are sold out; a 3rd on August 25th and a 4th on August 26 are now on sale. According to Madonna Electronica there won't be a 4th concert in Paris Bercy...
Bad Girl is going to be a totally different song from the original. Patrick Leonard did a totally new re-arrangment of it. Think Rain from the Girlie Show, very drummy with tons of piano. There is a big love theme in the song hence Nothing Really Matters and Crazy For You. They're trying different versions of Nothing Really Matters: the Peter Rauhofer club 69 and a new chill-out drummy version also arranged by Patrick Leonard.
We can reveal that X-Static Process has always been in the setlist... 2 versions are being trying together, starting with the acoustic version into the Jacques LuCont's edit of the track. They are still trying to see if they are going to use both or just one.
Madonna is going to rap in American Life, so far is indeed in the setlist. She is really strong about putting the track, but Jamie King is not so sure.
Bedtime Story is going to be the theme song of the tour! The Orbital mix is not going to be used, Madonna is not feeling it. Junior's cut might be it. Also Stuart Price is doing some remix of the song... to try it.
Like A Prayer has way more of a dark beat. They are rehearsing a more heavy version, which is more dancing too. Dancing is hard very athletic! Madonna is going full of dancing this time. Very Blond Ambition... hence all the rehearsals.
Just in case you hadn't noticed: yesterday's story about Britney's guest appearance was just a joke; April's fools! ;-)
Some might be disappointed; many will be relieved.
This morning at 10.30 am, the third concert in Paris, planned for September 4th, sold out. No details on a fourth concert yet.
Thanks to MadonnaTribe members Tony and John for scanning the new tour promo picture that appeared in People Magazine.
The picture, which is believed to be part of the Steven Klein photo shoot for the tour book, is accompanied by an article about Madonna's new life, inspired by the Kabbalah.
Madonna is returning to a video concept that she considered last year, but shelved due to controversy. Looks like Madonna's going to make that anti-war statement after all. Last year, the singer shelved her American Life video after worldwide controversy erupted when it was revealed that she planned to include anti-war images in it.
Now, says a source, Madonna is planning to return to an anti-war message for her upcoming Re-Invention Tour. The source says that Madonna and her dancers have been training with rifles, military style, and will "reenact battle scenes in a way that is meant to underscore the tragedy of war."
"Madonna has very strong feelings about the war in Iraq," says a source. "But last year, it was too controversial a thing to do, even for her. The climate has changed somewhat since then. Madonna's spokeswoman says there will be "drill team choreography" in the tour, but denies that there's any anti-war message.
A Britney fansite yesterday reported that Britney has been spotted at one of the rehearsals of the Re-Invention Tour, which fuels speculation she'll appear as a special guest during the show.
Since Britney's on tour herself this summer, it's likely she'll only join Madonna on stage on a few shows, not all. No official confirmation on this yet; stay tuned!↑ Back to top of page