Madonna news - Nov. 2004

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Madonna goes trip hop? *rumour*

29 November 2004

Here's a small snippet from The Sun's Bizarre column:

"MADONNA is not one to rest on her laurels. Having conquered the music world, I hear the Queen Of Pop is in talks to model and design clothes for posh fashion house VERSACE. I also hear new material she is recording is trip hop."

Madonna's movie projects

29 November 2004

Lately we've been hearing a lot about movie projects Madonna will or might do in the future. We'll give you a summary of the facts so far.

Madonna's working on a musical, which carries the working title Hello Suckers. Madonna recently said: "I'm writing for this musical I'm working on, based on the life of Texas Guinan, a woman who was a silent movie star. It's a good story, but I don't know if it's acceptable or not."

IMDB lists the movie with a tentative release for 2005. Madonna is listed for the leading role of Texas Guinan, but no other cast members are mentioned. The movie will be produced by Madonna (Maverick Entertainment) and Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York, Casino, Cape Fear).

Another movie for 2005 is of course the documentary that was filmed during the Re-Invention Tour by Jonas Akerlund. The crew filmed a few hundred hours of footage. The movie is set to premiere on the Cannes Festival in May 2005, but isn't mentioned on IMDB yet.

Madonna is so far the only cast member of Arthur mentioned on IMDB. Arthur is an animation film by Luc Besson (director of Love Profusion video, co-producer of Guy Ritchie's Revolver, director of The Fifth Element, Léon and Le Grand Bleu). Madonna will lend her voice to Princess Selenia. Tentative release is set for 2006. More on Arthur at Hollywood Reporter.

In 2005, Madonna will also be producing some movies. She's listed as co-producer of This Is America and Hello Suckers, and as executive producer of She Rocks and Chasing Fate.

Versace shoot completed

28 November 2004

Various sources have confirmed that the photo shoot by Mario Testino for the Versace ads have been completed a few days ago.

Madonna, Testino and Donnatella Versace spent a few days shooting in an undisclosed location about 30 kilometers from London.

Madonna releases in 2005

24 November 2004

The MIR (Madonna Information Report) has reported a list of planned releases in the UK for 2005 and Madonna is in it a few times.

For the DVD releases there's only the mention "Madonna - Re:invention tour" without a release date specified.

For the music releases there are two (!) entries:
"Madonna - American Life Club Mixes (early Spring)"
"Madonna - TBA (mid 2005)"

So if this is true, we're getting those club mixes after all. What will the other one (To Be Announced) be? The new album? Or something else? For now we'll have to wait & see...

Madonna talks about new album, musical,...

24 November 2004

Fansite DrownedMadonna gives us some more exciting news:

"Madonna gives a revealing interview to next week's US People Magazine (December 6 issue) and discusses her new album, musical, not having a manager and more babies. The only pic they use is a photo from Wireimage of her from the Reinvention tour opening night party.

- On her new album: "I have to record a new album. But I really don't like the idea of just making another record. So, I'm throwing a lot of balls in the air and will see what happens"

- On the musical: "I'm writing for this musical I'm working on, based on the life of Texas Guinan, a woman who was a silent movie star. It's a good story, but I don't know if it's acceptable or not."

- On Caresse's departure: "I need to calm myself. I don't have a manager anymore, so now I'm my own everything."

- On Elton John's comments: "When I read about it, I was surprised because I have always though of Elton as a friend. I've had tea at his country house. I've had dinner at his house in the city. He was obviously having a bad day."

- On being inducted into the UK hall of fame: "It was very emotional. It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable in England, like it's my home and I am welcome here. And Gweyneth and Stella did a tribute that was hysterical, so I was surrounded by people I love."

- On having another baby: "I'm going to have fun with my husband and see what happens!"

The magazine hits stands tomorrow. Madonna is not on the cover."

~ UPDATE: you can now find scans of the interview at MadonnaMegaCollection.

Vogue video from Re-Invention Tour

24 November 2004

Yesterday fansite DrownedMadonna reported that the video backdrop from Vogue @ Re-Invention Tour was available online. The website of the video creator Pusher immediately got over 30.000 hits, which made it crash.

As DrownedMadonna explains, Pusher media is a group of video makers/effect/design artists. Miss Jones VFX adds Madonna to its list of celebrity divas who demand - and get - the best in concert visuals.

The Re-Invention Tour featured work by PUSHER director Stefan Smith and 3D elements from Joe Kosinski of KDLAB.

Madonna relaxes at N*E*R*D gig with celebrity pals

Source: ContactMusic - 24 November 2004

Queen of pop Madonna enjoyed herself at N*E*R*D's London gig last night (23 NOV 04), by partying with friends Craig David and Lionel Richie. The Material Girl left husband Guy Ritchie at home while she attended the concert at the capital's Hammersmith Apollo venue.

And it wasn't long before Madonna found herself at the bar with British R+B star David and soul legend Richie. An onlooker says, "She looked like she was having a ball, though the last thing anyone would have thought she would do is drink alcohol."

Madonna praises paparazzi

Source: ContactMusic - 24 November 2004

Madonna has shocked British paparazzi by declaring them polite. Unlike her celebrity pals Gwyneth Paltrow and Sir Elton John , who publicly slam the showbiz snappers, Madonna has hailed the British photographers for their "manners".

Madonna says, "I walk and ride my bike everywhere I go in London. Even the paparazzi have manners here - that has certainly been my experience so far. "If you say, 'Can you just take a few pictures and go?' then they do. Then they say thank you afterwards. "I mean what paparazzi in America says thank you then leaves? I think that's fantastic."

~ Madonna made this comment during the interview by Channel4's Richard and Judy. You can download this interview at Madonnalicious.

Madonna wooed by Choo's sexy shoes

Source: Channel4 - 22 November 2004

Madonna has revealed that Guy Ritchie buys her designer shoes to make up for when they have a row. The 46-year-old mother-of-two said she was once awarded with a glamorous pair of lavender Jimmy Choo sandals after one bust-up.

Madonna also said she prefers London to the Big Apple because New Yorkers are so rude. In an interview she said: "London is a much mellower version of New York.

"In New York everyone is in your face, even strangers who aren't interested in celebrities talk to you, make comments about what you're wearing, tell you to get out of their way, steal your taxis. There's charm in that but sometimes it can be quite exhausting."

Of Britain she said: "Even the paparazzi have manners. They take a few pictures of you, say thank you then leave. I mean, hello? What paparazzi in America says thanks?"

Madonna among 10 greatest music icons voted by Q

Source: RateTheMusic - 21 November 2004

Late BEATLE JOHN LENNON has been voted the Greatest Music Star Of All Time by a British music magazine. Lennon - who was murdered by deranged fan MARK CHAPMAN in New York in 1981 - beat legends ELVIS PRESLEY, MADONNA and BOB MARLEY in the poll by Q Magazine.

Photographs of the top 100 stars will be featured in an exhibition at London's Proud Gallery from 3 December (04).

The top ten are as follows:


Madonna would 'absolutely' perform at Live Aid II

Source: RateTheMusic - 21 November 2004

Madonna would love to repeat her LIVE AID performance next year (05) - 20 years after the first international concert raised millions in aid of the famine in Africa.

The blonde superstar, 46, would "absolutely" perform at LIVE AID II and recalls how overwhelmed she found singing at the seminal gig in Philadelphia, America, on 13 July (85) when she was 25-year-old and unused to such a large audience.

Madonna says, "If I was asked I would absolutely do it. My memories were that it was a very heady experience.

"I had never played to that many people before."

Versace shoot next week

20 November 2004

According to MadonnaTribe, the Versace photo shoot will take place next week (between the 25th and the 26th) in London. The pictures will be taken by Mario Testino.

Also on for next week is an interview with Madonna by Channel4's Richard & Judy to promote the release of 'The Adventures Of Abdi'. The interview will be broadcast on Monday at 5pm GMT.

'De Avonturen Van Abdi' released in Belgium

19 November 2004

De Avonturen Van Abdi I passed by the local bookstore today and yes, the Dutch translation of Madonna's book, titled 'De Avonturen Van Abdi' was released yesterday and is now available for 15 Euro. Just like 'De Engelse Rozen', 'De Appels van Meneer Peabody' and 'Jacob en de 7 Dieven' this book was translated by Mireille Vroege and published by Vassallucci.

Most translations are now available in the respective countries; several covers have already appeared online. In a press release, the German publisher Hanser announced that 'Die Abenteuer Von Abdi' will be released on March 5, 2005.

Meanwhile, I've read my own copy in English (the one with the Madonna signature ;-) and I quite liked it. Though I have yet to read Yakov, Abdi is my favorite so far, because the story is the most interesting ànd the least moralistic, while the language style is the most eloquent of her books so far. The art work by Andrej Dugin and Olga Dugina is stunning.

Depeche Mode songwriter pens tracks for new Madonna album

Source: Side-Line - 19 November 2004

Early September Side-Line was informed of a meeting between the Depeche Mode songwriter Martin Gore, Madonna and Stuart Price during Madonna's Re-invention tour. At that meeting Gore was given 2 songs to work on. At the time we had no extra details so decided to give it a rest until we were informed a few days ago by our dear friends at DrownedMadonna that Madonna had just joined up again with Martin Gore in London.

Apparently she was impressed by one of the tracks. Madonna is now going to rewrite some of the lyrics and she will also record some raw vocals for Martin. Officially the info has been dissed as not true but this morning it was confirmed by someone from the Depeche Mode innercircle who stressed "it is not sure whether the tracks Martin wrote will be used, but it looks like Madonna is under the impression of at least one of the submitted tracks".

Still according to this source unless the recording is really used, there will be no official announcement made. Recently Gore has been co-writing music with Claudia Brucken for her OneTwo project and with No Doubt's Gwen Stefani for her debut solo album. Only the track written together with Brucken, "Cloud 9", has been released so far. (You can read an extensive interview with Claudia Brucken on this matter in Side-Line 49, which you can order below.)

Madonna is currently also solliciting material from Lamb's Andy Barlow (apparently a track with a trip-hop feeling to it) and Goldfrapp. Also William Orbit is back in the picture for a re-work of an old song holding the working title "Liquid Love". According to a source close to the singer, Madonna has opted for this collaboration approach after her 2003 album American Life didn't exactly receive rave reviews.

In related news, Michael Colombier, the composer who composed the string arrangements for Madonna on Die Another Day, Don't Tell Me and Easy Ride as well as composing the soundtrack for Swept Away has died. More news as we get it.

More than 13m see Band Aid debut

Source: BBC - 19 November 2004

More than 13 million viewers tuned in to see the first airing of the Band Aid 20 video, Do They Know It's Christmas?, on the five main TV networks.

It was shown simultaneously on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five. The figures do not include Sky One or the other digital channels which showed it.

Pop star Madonna, who does not appear on the track, urged fans to "feed the world" before Thursday's screening.

The single is due to be released on Monday 29 November.

BBC One was the most watched terrestrial channel while the video aired, with 3.9m viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures.

ITV1 drew in 3.1m viewers and BBC Two was seen by 2.6m. Just over 1m tuned into Five and Channel 4 incorporated the screening into the end of the Richard and Judy programme, which attracted 2.6m people.

The video began with Coldplay's Chris Martin in the main hall of Air Studios, north London, where the song was recorded at the weekend.

It also featured some stars whose voices did not appear on the song - including Sir Paul McCartney playing bass, Radiohead's Thom Yorke on piano and Blur's Damon Albarn, who served tea.

The video included footage of organiser Bob Geldof in the studio playing the stars a video of an emaciated young girl in the 1984 Ethiopian famine. The girl, now a young woman, was then introduced to the singers, many of whom were moved to tears.

Madonna's introduction began: "Twenty years ago, I performed at Live Aid and the world watched. You saw me and my generation demanding a change. Once again, here we are 20 years later," she said, over images of starving African children.

"More people die of hunger in Africa than war and Aids put together. In a world of plenty, it is hard to imagine that most African children will go to bed tonight hungry. Bob Geldof and his friends are here to remind you that we can never forget. Not ever. Feed the world. I am honoured to introduce Band Aid 20."

No raunchy Lourdes

Source: Sky - 19 November 2004

Madonna has admitted that she would dissapprove of her daughter Lourdes following in her raunchy footsteps.

When asked if she would like her eight-year-old "prancing around the stage in her underwear, singing and hollering", the singer replied: "Probably not".

However, Madonna said she wouldn't mind Lourdes making a career out of pop.

Madonna, who has followed the Kabbalah faith for eight years, made her comments during an interview on CNN in America.

She added that she would love George Bush to convert to Kabbalah, a mystical Jewish religion.

Madonna is a class act

Source:ic SouthLondon - 19 November 2004

Pop queen Madonna took centre stage to entertain children with a reading from her new book.
Pupils from St Winifred's Junior School in Newstead Road, Lee, were invited to the launch of the superstar's book, The Adventures Of Abdi, on Thursday last week.

Madonna read the entire story to them at Selfridges department store in central London, followed by a question and answer session.

She thanked headteacher Mark Corrigan for the youngsters' excellent behaviour.

He said: "The children were excited and nervous before the event but once we arrived Madonna soon made them feel at ease."

He also thanked Penguin Books for allowing them to attend.

Revolver no, Roses yes

Source: MTV - 18 November 2004

Despite rumors to the contrary, Madonna told MTV Europe that she isn't planning to do a cameo in her husband Guy Ritchie's film 'Revolver,' currently shooting in London.

Madge, however, does have other movie plans in the works - for her book 'The English Roses.' She said it would hopefully go into production this year. 'It takes forever to get a movie made,' she said. 'So fingers crossed.'

As for her tour documentary that's supposed to hit theaters next year, she doesn't have a name for the project yet, but she hopes it'll be out by May.

Madonna: Bush should read Kabbalah

Source: Irish Examiner - 18 November 2004

Madonna has urged American President George W Bush to study the Kabbalah to make him a better leader.

The spiritual Material Girl is convinced the mystical Jewish teachings would give Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair an improved outlook on the world, in light of their handling of the war in Iraq.

When asked by CNN what she would like to change, she replied: "To get George Bush to study Kabbalah. Yes. It would be amazing."

When CNN host Richard Quest suggested: "Maybe Tony Blair could join him?" Madonna enthusiastically responded: "That's a very good idea."

Madonna, unplugged

Source: CBS News - 17 November 2004

If nothing else, Madonna is never at a loss for opinions, many of which she shared in an exclusive interview with Pat O'Brien of The Insider. He filled in viewers of The Early Show.

Among the topics they discussed: Iraq, her supposed feud with Elton John, Elton's charges she's lip-synched, and the Cameron Diaz flap with photographers.

Madonna has recently embraced her spirituality, authored a successful collection of children's books, and moved her family to London.

She told O'Brien one advantage to celebrity life in Great Britain is a polite paparazzi. O'Brien joked that she may want to pass that information on to Cameron Diaz, who recently had a flap with photographers in the United States.

"All that training in 'Charlie's Angels' finally paid off," Madonna said with a chuckle.

One of the shutterbugs claims Diaz hit him twice, something her lawyer denies.

Would Madonna ever do such a thing? "No. No way. No. As if it's gonna change anything. They're just going to demonize her now."

As for her supposed battle with Elton John: "That was a fictional feud."

What about his charges that she regularly lip-synchs during live shows? Is she angry about them? "Not at all. Please, if I start getting mad at people who criticize or poke at me, I'd be permanently mad."

Madonna told O'Brien there's another subject she does take very seriously, and that's the war in Iraq.

"My point of view is that this war is not founded in anything truthful. (But) we're in it so deep. How do we pull out now? How do we go backwards and right the wrongs? And, you know — I think it's gonna get worse before it gets better.

"I voted for Kerry, and I think everybody assumed that. And I'm sad that he lost, but I'm not paralyzed by it. In a way, it's a blessing in disguise. We need to come together, to unite. It's a call to action."

Madonna says she's philosophical about Iraq and President Bush — something she relates to life in general in her latest children's book, "The Adventures of Abdi."

She notes, "This is my way of trying to effect change in the world, by giving children some kind of tools to deal with adversity in their life in a peaceful way, and they grow up one day and become adults and, hopefully, they've held onto those tools."

O'Brien says Madonna is "a very smart woman, and more of a mother now than an entertainer. These children's books - she loves writing them."

After election, Madonna tries to stay upbeat

Source: ABC News - 17 November 2004

The moral of Madonna's new children's book is simple and positive: "Everything that happens is for the best." Now the singer who is constantly embroiled in controversy is trying to practice what she preaches to kids.

In an interview with ABC Radio, Madonna said she's doing her best to get over her disappointment at the outcome of the presidential election and focusing on her new book, "The Adventures of Abdi," the story of a little boy who must deliver the world's most precious necklace to the queen.

"In terms of the elections, I don't agree with so many things and the decisions that George Bush has made and I'm not happy with the situation in Iraq," she told ABC Radio's Andrea Dresdale. "I do believe that the American public has been manipulated to a great degree."Nevertheless, Madonna - who had urged fans at her concerts to see Michael Moore's controversial, anti-Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" - says she's not going to sit around "moaning and groaning."

"In the end, we have to say, 'OK, we didn't win, but there's other ways to fix the problems, so now what else can I do to help?' "

Madonna also says there's no need to bury the hatchet with Elton John, who recently accused her of charging concertgoers outrageous prices to see her lip-synch, an allegation she's denied. Madonna says there was never a rift between the two performers.

"There was never a hatchet for me in the first place," she said. "I always thought of him as a friend. I think he was just having a bad day when he said those things and I never really took it personally."

She said the media blew the whole thing out of proportion."The press made a bigger deal out of it than I did," she said. "I don't really care. I don't read the press."

Madonna, who's married to British director Guy Ritchie and lives in England these days, says she invited John to induct her into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, but he had a previous commitment. "I thought, that would be cool if Elton John gave me the award and then we could kiss and make up in front of everybody because everybody seems attached to the idea we're having this feud in the first place," she said.

Now the 46-year-old performer is focusing on her latest book, "The Adventures of Abdi," the story of a little boy who must deliver the world's most precious necklace to the queen.

In the story, Abdi is robbed in the desert, thrown in a dungeon, and has a surprising encounter with a snake. The book, aimed at readers ages 6 and older, aims to teach kids about the power of positive energy, Madonna says.

Her first children's book, "The English Roses," was an international best seller and made publishing history with a simultaneous release in 30 languages, becoming the fastest-selling book ever by a first-time children's author.

It was followed by "Mr. Peabody's Apples," and Madonna says she plans to write a sequel to "Roses."

The singer, famous for reinventing her look and sound so many times, is thrilled by the latest turn in her career. The children's books are bringing her new fans - and even winning over some people who weren't too crazy about her music. "Oh, I got tons of letters like, 'I never liked her records but I like her books.' I'm like, 'Thanks a lot," she said, laughing.

Her two children - Lourdes, 8, and Rocco, 4 - give her a lot of feedback on her writing, Madonna says. Lourdes is especially involved. "She comes in when I'm writing and says, 'That's a good idea, that's a stupid idea, that's boring, Mom, Oh, I like that. I want more of that.' And my son likes 'Yakov and the Seven Thieves' because he likes bad guys."

Lourdes has written a short story for a Christmas book that is being published for charity in Britain. "I'm incredibly proud," Madonna said. "She has an active imagination and she always writes in her journal."

Michel Colombier has passed away

Source: - 16 November 2004

French composer Michel Colombier died yesterday after a six month battle with cancer. He was 65. Colombier was one of the most prolific and versatile French musicians of his generation.

Michel Colombier

Besides his career as a film composer, scoring over 100 feature, cable and television films since the early 1960's, Colombier was a prolific song writer and arranger who worked with artists such as Madonna, Prince, The Beach Boys, Paul Anka, Barbra Streisand and Earth Wind and Fire.

As a film composer, Michel Colombier scored a lot of French and American films, including The Golden Child, Ruthless People, New Jack City, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and The Money Pit.

His background in jazz was evident in the majority of his film scores, and his ability to compose original score music that merged seamlessly with pop songs made him the perfect composer for 1980's films with song-heavy soundtracks, including White Nights, Against All Odds and Purple Rain (which won a Grammy Award as well as an Academy Award for Best Song Score).

~ Michel Colombier did fantastic string arrangements for Don't Tell Me, Die Another Day, Nothing Fails and Easy Ride. He was also responsable for the soundtrack for Swept Away. The Mad-Eyes team expresses his condolences to Michel's family and friends. May he rest in peace.

Selfridges report: Sam for short; what's for long?

15 November 2004

Here's the story of Saman who was in the queue at Selfridges. Sam sweetheart, you sound very insecure, but you did great; now you can cherish that Madonna moment forever!

"Hey I'm the girl that said i visit your site when i was in the queue. I was the one with the black and white tweedy coat and white hat. I hope you remember me. I just wanted to share my story with you:

My sister and I caught the same train yesterday morning as she was on her way to college and I was on my way to London Waterloo station. I was SO scared that my dad might see me (he works on the trains) i was shitting myself. We got to Waterloo where I kept my flat cap low on my head and my face buried in my scarf. I asked for assistance and was told where to go.

I was more relaxed when i was underground cos i know my dad doesn't work there. I came out the tubes and was standing in LONDON!!! All my life i really wanted to go to London on my own or with my sister and now i was here... it was surreal! What was even more surreal was the fact i was just about to meet my all time favourite idol... MADONNA!!! I was scared, but i went along to Selfridges and i saw a poster advertising the event. I kept getting "electrical vaults" swooching through my body. I was dead nervous.

I got inside Selfrides and there was an Information Desk ahead of me. I asked for details and I followed directions. I went out the back doors like I was told and then I was lost. I saw a security guard and asked for help. "I'm trying to get to the signing" i said. He looked me up and down and said "it's been cancelled," he had sucha serious face and I thought I came all the way from Woking taking so many fucking risks and you're telling me it's cancelled!?

I asked if he was joking and he said "no it has been cancelled, they're turning people away." My heart just sank but then a smile played across his face and he said "no, i'm just kidding!" I was so happy again and called him a "weirdo!" he helped me get to the queue and I was number 191.

Normally I am very quiet and I was so scared I would be all alone. For about 5 second I chatted to someone before finding out he was the founder of! I also heard people talking about Madonnalicious and Madonnatribe and it was cool because back in Woking I thought I was the only one that visited any Madonna website!

Also in the queue some American lady was saying that she had to go past Madonna's home to get to work and once she saw her through the window! She apparently lives by a hotel and her house number is 51 and her house has pillars and it is a beige colour.

After roughly 4 and a half hours of queueing we were allowed in the building bit by bit. My friend was come to meet me so we could go home together and I was so worried she might not make it but she phoned saying she was on her way. I was a bit more relaxed then. We paid and then exchanged our tickets for receips and went up to the second floor of Selfridges and queued again.

Some of Madonna's people were telling us to keep our voices down because Madonna was reading to children and the noise was going through. She was just on the other side of the wall beside us!!! Finally I saw my friend and I was happy she was there! We chatted to kill time.

I knew we were getting closer and I had such bad butterflies in my stomach. I kept looking around. On the screens they kept advertising Madonna and christmas Stories from celebrities and they featured Madonna's daughter's story too! The guard informed us we had 30 minutes left. I had bought a gift for Madonna but I thought we couldn't hand it in.

At this point i was about the fifth person to be in next! I cried twice before going in because i was so frightened now - this was it... no turning back. I was about to turn back twice but i stayed where i was.

There was a black curtain ahead of us... and she was behind it!!! Our bags were taken off us and I was freaking badly now! I was the third person and slowly, gradually it was my turn. Three people entered at a time. Because i'm short I couldn't really see. I tilted my head to the side and there she was, dressed in black and hair down. I kept pinching myself to wake me up! I was really scared. I hoped she would shake my hand and be the nice lady people say she is when they meet us.

Then it was MY turn to walk to the table. The electric shocks in me were getting stronger and my stomach was lurking and lurking! I gulped a million times. And now i was right in front of her and her assistant. I was as nervous as ever... it's unbelievable.

she looked at me and smiled and said "hi" I said "hi" back. She looked so thin and shrunken. People say she is tiny in reality but she was sitting down so i couldn't tell but then again i didnt look that closely! i was tooooo shy! Because it was such a surreal moment i can't remember EXACTLY what happened but it lasted about 45 seconds or a minute.

She asked my name to which i replied "Sam... for short" and because i'm ludacrously shy she didn't hear me. She strained her ears indicating that she hadn't heard me. So I said it louder "Sam" and she replied "Sam?" i said "Yes...for short" and she asked "what's for long?" to which i replied "saman" she said it back but i think it was like "Salmon" and i quickly said "yes but not like the fish!" and her assistant started laughing! I was SO EMBARRASED!!!

I didn't look at Madonna right in the eye, I did at one point but i KNOW that she had her eyes on me the entire time, making me even more nervous than i already was. I told Dad I was in college and would be back by eight and I had that to worry about too! i I was far too shy to do anything now and i think she then asked "Do you want the book?" and i said something like "yes" or "ok" and she gave it to me still her eyes fixated on me.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to shake her hand but that had flown out my head. If I wasn't so bloody shy I could have asked her! I said "thank you" and I think she said something like "ok" or "thank you" as i walked away and i turned back and said "thank you" again. That time I wanted to say "thanks for inspiring me and giving me confidence" but the words never came out! Ii walked away. I knew she was still looking at me! I was so shaken! I felt so uncomfortable all the way through!!!

Outside I grabbed a bag and burst into tears!!! Not because i had just met my idol and never (with a family like mine) thought it was possible but because she didn't talk to me as much as to the other fans, they had guts but i had had to be so damn shy! I hate it! Moreover because I had made a complete idiot of myself in front of her and I couldn't get rid of the embarassement!

I had taken too many damn risks to get to where i was, i would be dead if dad found out! it was so saddening. i didn't even get to shake her hand and i really wanted to! I cried all the way to the station with my friend, Marie. On the over ground i hoped dad would see me. It was about sixish now and I was still in a trance. I hadn't eaten for 14 hours but i wasn't hungry cos the nerves had taken over hunger!

On the train I took my book out and I looked at the autograph. The books were all presigned but i didn't care, at least she touched it! I was still really worried about the fact that i had made a complete bitch of myself in front of my idol. I couldn't help thinking "she probably thinks i'm so stupid! she probably thought "what the crap was that bitch!?"" but at the end of the book i learned a little lesson. A lesson I already knew but it had just been refreshed in my head.

Number one) most people probably walked out of that room and thought "i should not have done that"; number two) some people didn't get to go and I did so I should stop complaining (but those people have probably gone to gigs and I haven't and i never will do!) number three) WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ME WHILE I WAS STANDING OPPOSITE MADONNA... HAPPENED FOR THE BEST!!!

BEING me, i NEVER EVER EVER thought in my wildest dreams that i would EVER meet her! I don't think I will EVER EVER see her again and for that i'm glad she made this appearances and im glad i made this visit. "

Madonna backs new Band Aid single

Source: BBC - 15 November 2004

Madonna has lent her support to the new Band Aid single by recording an introduction to the song's music video.

The pop queen will tell fans to "feed the world" before the video gets its premiere on BBC One on Thursday.

Madonna was not among the stars who assembled to record Do They Know It's Christmas? in London at the weekend.

Bono re-recorded his famous line "Well, tonight thank God it's them instead of you" on Sunday but The Darkness' Justin Hawkins wants his version used instead.

Producers are even considering releasing two different versions of the single.

Bono flew back from Ireland late on Sunday to record the new rendition and said he took a different approach to his emotional 1984 contribution.

"Rather than that raw, I just tried it more of a whisper tonight," he said.

The Darkness' Justin Hawkins had earlier claimed: "I did it and I did it better than him.

"So his management kicked up a stink and it obviously means a lot to him.

"It's a valuable line for him, he needs it, so I think he's going to fly back and try again to beat me."

The single will get its first radio play on stations around the UK at 0800 GMT on Tuesday and will be released on 29 November. It will raise money for food aid in Darfur, Sudan.

When the video is unveiled at 1755 GMT on BBC One on Thursday, Madonna will be seen introducing it - as David Bowie did before the original.

"Twenty years ago I performed at Live Aid," she will tell viewers. "You saw me and my generation demanding a change.

"Once again, here we are 20 years later and more people die of hunger in Africa than war and Aids put together.

"In a world of plenty, it is hard to imagine that there are African children going to bed tonight hungry.

"Bob Geldof and his friends are here to remind you that none of us can forget. Not ever. Feed the world. I am honoured to introduce Band Aid 20."

The video will feature stars including Coldplay's Chris Martin, Will Young, Jamelia, Sugababes and Busted, who took part in the recording sessions at the weekend.

The single will be titled Band Aid 20 to mark the 20th anniversary of the original song, which featured stars such as George Michael, Duran Duran and Phil Collins.

It was organised by Geldof after he saw news footage of the starving in Ethiopia, and sold more than 3.5 million copies in the UK alone.

Sold on CD for £3.99 and also available as a download, the new version is hot favourite to be Christmas number one in the UK this year.

Retailers expect to sell about 500,000 copies in its first week. Woolworths and Virgin Megastores will give their proceeds to the Band Aid Trust charity, while Chancellor Gordon Brown has decided not to charge VAT.

Mad is crazy for UK

Source: The Mirror - 13 November 2004

She's one of the most together women in pop but Madonna showed her emotional side at the first ever UK Music Hall of Fame awards last night. Accepting a place as one of the founding members, alongside legends Bob Marley, The Beatles, U2 and Elvis Presley, the mother of two, 46, just couldn't stop talking about how happy she was.

Looking stunning in a black Yves Saint Laurent ensemble, she gushed: "If anybody had told me when I was a little girl growing up in the Mid-West that I would be married to a Brit, be living in England and be inducted into the Music Hall of Fame I would have said 'b*****ks to that!'"

And the profanities didn't stop there... she continued: "I have to thank Tracey Emin who truly is la grande fica (a colourful Italian insult), Jo Whiley, Stella McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow, who are truly formidable women.

"In spite of the title of this ceremony, I think this award is more to do with my accomplishments than my fame.

"Just because I am famous, doesn't mean I don't have anything to say."

Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney spoof around

We knew that already, thanks Madge.

She went on: "If I am grateful for anything in my career, it's the long, arduous, painstaking journey that started 20 years ago in the Mid-West.

"It is the voice I have been given, the voice to ask questions with, challenge with, explode with, create with, laugh with and cry with and I am also truly grateful my voice has given other people a voice.

"I am so grateful to the people who have stuck their neck out for me and taken the slaps. I've taken many slaps and I don't regret a thing.

"I'm grateful for those slaps. I'm grateful I had something to provoke them with.

"I'm grateful people were listening and are still listening."

OK, we've got the point, luv!

During last night's ceremony in London's Hackney Empire, Maddy's mates Gwyneth and Stella did a send-up of one of Madonna's songs, dressing like the Material Girl.

Madonna said: "It was really cool. I got pretty emotional up there but it was hysterical to see Stelly and Gwyneth really pull me off."

She also admitted what we've all known for ages. Choosing to ignore the autocue she said: "I'm too much of a control freak for that." We'll forgive you this time...

Madonna inducted to UK Hall of Fame

Source: ContactMusic - 13 November 2004

Superstar Madonna, pop hunk Robbie Williams and late rocker Elvis Presley were among the superstars inducted into the UK MUSIC HALL OF FAME last night (11 NOV 04).

The Material Girl and 'The King' joined U2, The Beatles and Bob Marley as the founders of the first ever induction at a star-studded ceremony at east London's Hackney Empire.

Madonna arrives at the Hackney Empire for the UK Hall Of Fame Madonna arrives at the Hackney Empire for the UK Hall Of Fame Madonna arrives at the Hackney Empire for the UK Hall Of Fame

Decade representatives include Sir Cliff Richard for the 1950s, the Rolling Stones for the 1960s, Queen for the 1970s, Michael Jackson for the 1980s and Williams as the top 1990s artist.

Madonna, U2 frontman Bono and Williams were all on hand to collect their awards, while Marley's widow Rita Marley and Presley's widow Priscilla Presley accepted the honour on behalf of their late husbands.

The Naked Gun actress enthused, "Elvis would be very proud. I wish that he could be here to enjoy this moment.

"His dream of a world tour was never realised. His fan base was so strong here, and because of that he would have been very proud to receive this."

Guitarist Ronnie Wood picked up the sixties honour for the Stones, joking, "I wasn't even there in the 1960s as you all know. But I'm here now."

Accepting his gong from movie star Dennis Hopper, Bono said, "I really didn't want to come. Only respect for the people who were running the show has me here. I hate the idea of being in the UK Hall of Fame to be honest with you. We don't want to be in any Hall of Fame until we're retired or dead."

Madonna's ex-manager seeking new clients

Source: Yahoo! Australia & NZ - 13 November 2004

Following her parting with longtime management client Madonna, Caresse Henry says she is still in discussions with Sanctuary Group to join the diversified music company, and is seeking other artists.

"Management is what I do best," she told Billboard, "and hope in a short time I will be fortunate to find other brilliant people to work with and endeavor to make the music business more profitable and interesting, culminating in success for all."

She declined to comment on Madonna other than "we had a remarkable span" together.

Henry, Madonna's former assistant, began managing the artist after Madonna split with Freddy DeMann in 1997. Henry co-managed Madonna with Q-Prime from 1997 through 1999, and then assumed full-time managerial duties. She has also briefly managed Paulina Rubio and co-managed Jessica Simpson.

London-based Sanctuary's management roster includes Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige, Nelly, Slipknot and the Von Bondies.

Madonna hits Jewish power list

Source: ContactMusic - 13 November 2004

Superstar Madonna has been named in America's 2004 Jewish power list in The Forward weekly newspaper - despite her protestations.

The Material Girl has been added to the 'Forward 50' - the publication's annual survey to the most powerful and influential Jewish Americans, due to her following of mystical Jewish offshoot The Kabbalah.

But Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg told The Forward repeatedly that "Madonna is not Jewish", explaining "it wouldn't be appropriate to include her on such a list".

The paper's editor JJ Goldberg says, "There are a lot of differences of opinion about the nature of the Jewish community - who's Jewish and who isn't.

"She's a practitioner of the Kabbalah, so she's practicing Judaism, for Christ's sake! Well, not really for Christ's sake. But she's probably the world's best-known practitioner of Judaism right now."

Other stars on the list include Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman, comedian Jon Stewart and baseball player Shawn Green. Madonna has been studying the Kabbalah since 1997 and introduced it to her film maker husband Guy Ritchie.

Madonna says wealth overrated in new book

Source: AP for Yahoo! - 13 November 2004

She is famed for being the Material Girl, but Madonna's next book is about how wealth is overrated.

The singer's publisher, Nicholas Callaway, said Wednesday that Madonna will release the illustrated children's book "Lotsa de Casha" next summer.

"All the characters in the book will be animals and Lotsa de Casha is an Italian greyhound who has all the money in the world but no happiness," said Callaway. "He thinks only of himself."

The book will be the last in Madonna's five-book children's series for Callaway Editions.

The millionaire pop star is currently promoting the fourth in the series, "The Adventures of Abdi." The other books are "The English Roses," "Mr. Peabody's Apples," and "Yakov and the Seven Thieves."

Madonna turns storyteller for her youngest fans

Source: Hello Magazine - 13 November 2004

Madonna delighted a group of British schoolchildren on Thursday with a reading from her latest book.

A large crowd of older fans queued up overnight for the chance to meet the Queen of Pop in Selfridges department store. But the pupils of Winifred's Junior School in south London were treated to a private audience, when Madge read extracts from the The Adventures Of Abdi in a specially prepared playroom.

Madonna reads Abdi for children

The tome, which is inspired by the singer's Kabbalah faith, is the fourth in a series of children's books written by the 46-year-old. It tells the story of a little boy who must deliver the world's most precious necklace to a queen. Along the way he is robbed, thrown in a dungeon and has a surprising encounter with a snake - but he never gives up hope.

Madonna reads Abdi for children

Madonna has been anxious that her stories should carry a positive message. And the next installment may come of something of a surprise to her fans, because the Material Girl is working on a tale about the pitfalls of being wealthy.

Madonna reads Abdi for children

Lotsa De Casha will follow the exploits of an uppercrust pooch who has plenty of money but not many friends. "All the characters in the book will be animals and Lotsa de Casha is an Italian greyhound who is very rich but very unhappy," revealed publisher Nicholas Callaway. "He thinks only of himself."

Fans wait in line to see Madonna

Source: AP for Yahoo! - 13 November 2004

Hundreds of Madonna fans lined up for 24 hours outside a central London bookstore where the pop singer signed copies of her new children's book Thursday. But only the first 250 hopefuls were allowed into Selfridges on Oxford St. to watch Madonna read from "The Adventures of Abdi" before signing copies.

Crowds who gathered on the shopping street for a glimpse of the singer were disappointed when she was smuggled into the store through an underground car park. Madonna later gave a 10-minute reading to a group of 30 schoolchildren, aged eight to 10, from St. Winifred's Catholic Junior School in south London. "The Adventures of Abdi," is the fourth book in a five-book children's series Madonna has penned for Callaway Editions.

Callaway has already published "The English Roses," "Mr. Peabody's Apples" and "Yakov and the Seven Thieves." Madonna's fifth book, "Lotsa de Casha," is due for release next summer.

Selfridges report: Bartie, what kind of name is that?

11 November 2004

Today Madonna did a book signing of her new childrens book The Adventures Of Abdi. I was fortunate to be able to attend and personally meet up with Madonna. Coincidently I had planned a trip to London for a few days and only learned afterwards about the book signing. So right after I arrived from the Eurostar yesterday evening, I met up with my friends Stijn and Marcin and checked out the queue at Selfridges.

Marcin and Bartie in the queue at Selfridges

Marcin and Bartie in the queue at Selfridges

Security had organised the queue at the back entrance (the shop windows announced this decision "due to overwhelming demand for this event"). There were a dozen die hard fans sleeping over and we decided to join them. It was a cold night but we managed to get through it. The company of great Madonnafans around helped a lot (thanks a lot Karen, Daniel, Jacob, Maurizio, Fabien and many others!).

The typical British queueing made sure there was no chaos as I experienced in Paris for the Re-Invention Tour. In the morning they brought barriers and later they gave everyone in the queue a ticket number. However it lasted almost until noon before the limit of 250 people was reached and the queue was closed. At 1pm we were escorted to the payment desk where we received a voucher in return for our 12,99 pounds.

Strangely enough they then let us walk feely in the store which of course caused a bit of chaos after all, but then we decided ourselves to form a new queue. Now the waiting was almost over and nerves were mounting as we came closer to 3pm, when the signing was supposed to begin. Beforehand we heard Madonna read the book to a group of children while the press filmed and made pictures.

At 3.45pm it was finally our turn. My night of waiting paid off as a number 14 in line. My heart was pounding in my throat as i was escorted to Madonna herself. My rehearsed lines were stuck in my mind as i stumbled a shy "hi". She looked ravishing in her black blouse and with her long blond curls. Her charisma is incredible and is reassuring and intimidating at the same time.

After al the rules the security had pointed out for us (no pictures, no dedications, no speeches, no gifts,etc.) I was surprised to see Madonna being completely relaxed and supportive. Surely she knows that most fans are too stunned to utter a decent conversation so she really was very sweet and patient. I actually got to talk to her for a bit. She asked my name and when i spelled out "Bartie" for her, she frowned and asked "what kind of name is that?!"

Madonna signature

I used that to my advantage, pointing out my friends, especially on the Internet call me that way and that I'm the webmaster of a fansite dedicated to her. I asked if she perhaps checks out her fansites and she replied "yeah, sometimes". Of course I asked her to check out Mad-Eyes and she said she would. I then congratulated her on the childrens books and her Re-Invention Tour and added a "thank you for your inspiration".

In the meantime she had signed the book in front of me. Only the first few dozen were signed personally; the others were presigned. So it was definitely worth spending the night in the queue! Funny detail, her pen didn't write well and she joked about that they had giveb her a bad pen. I received the book as she gave me a big smile. I was in heaven and I heard the security guard, who was escorting me out, whispering in my ear "stop shaking!" ;-) Once outside I couldn't help but bursting into tears. She really turned out to be the wonderful person I had hoped her to be.

As she had only 2 hours for 250 fans, she couldn't spend as much time with everyone and others further down the queue got a pre-signed book but still a few words and a handshake. Judging from the many happy tears around us, that was all we could wish for.

Thank you Madonna!

Caresse Henry resigns from Madonna's management

9 November 2004

Quite unexpectedly, Caresse Henry, Madonna's manager for 13 years has resigned! A short press statement didn't mention any reason or comment on the decision. Press release published on MarketWire:

"Madonna and her long time manager Caresse Henry have mutually agreed to go their separate ways, it was announced today by Liz Rosenberg, spokesperson for Madonna.

After 13 extraordinary years culminating in this summer's mega-successful Re-Invention Tour, they have decided to part ways.

Henry declined comment as did Madonna who is currently out of the country promoting the release of her new children's book 'The Adventures of Abdi.'"

~ Only days ago, Caresse received the top manager award at the Backstage Pass Awards. We want to thank her for guiding Madonna in her career throughout the past 13 years and wish her good luck on her own career decisions.

Madonna urges U.S. troop withdrawal

Source: AP / Yahoo! UK - 9 November 2004

Madonna has called on the US to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

The former Material Girl is known for her anti-war views - her recent tour featured images of children orphaned by war. She told Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show: "I just don't want American troops to be in Iraq, period. My feelings are 'can we just all get out?'"

The 46-year-old pop star said: "Global terror is everywhere. Global terror is down the street, around the block.

"Global terror is in California. There's global terror everywhere and it's absurd to think you can get it by going to one country and dropping tons of bombs on innocent people."

Some critics have attacked the singer, who lives in London with director husband Guy Ritchie, for not speaking out in the run-up to the conflict.

The Kabbalah devotee famously pulled the controversial anti-war video for her American Life single following the outbreak of war.

She said: "In the end it's great when anybody gets involved with what is going on in the world, whether it's Republican or Democrat.

"It's just really boring that everybody sits back and lets somebody else take charge. You don't have any right to complain when that happens and it's nice to see that people in the entertainment world care about what is happening outside of their careers."

She said American society was "becoming very divided". "People are becoming very polarised," she said. "We have people who don't want to think, and who just want to guard what is theirs, and they're selfish and limited in their thinking and they're very fearful in their choices."

She also said the idea that Americans voted for George Bush in the presidential election over moral issues was "spin".

Madonna interview on BBC Radio 2

9 November 2004

Today Madonna called in on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show. You can listen to the interview here. Thanks to fansite MadonnaTribe for following transcript:

With each of the children's book I wanted to have a specific theme. I wanted to deal with the subject of certainty, having certainty, and that's really the theme of this book. I've always been a fan of Arabian Nights and Ali baba and that whole magical world and I was excited to take that story and set it in that setting."

"Everything that happens is for the best - that is the theme of the book and that's the point I was trying to get across. When I say certainty I suppose that's what certainty is, that no matter what circumstances life throws in your direction you have to believe you can handle it. It's like the old saying if life hands you a lemon, make lemonade"

"When you really study Kabbalah you understand that it's actually just common sense."

"In retrospect when we look back at the things that have happened to us in our lives we can say "oh that thing that we perceived as really bad at the time was actually the best thing that ever happened to me'. All those things that have been perceived as bad are actually your real growing experiences in life."

"I didn't say that one is not supposed to have a feel of sad or feel a sense of loss or a sense of grief. I can use my own experience of my mother dying when I was a child, it's a terreble loss to lose your mother and I suffered immensely but looking back on it I also see that because I lost my mother I became a very independent person and it made me learn how to stand up for myself and to be adventurous so that was the blessing of it you have to see that everything that happens to you is coming in your life for a reason and that we are challenged in life because that's what life is all about. Life is about how we deal with the challenges."

"I think that the world on one hand is getting more chaotic and there's seems to be more and more people suffering but on the other hand I think there is also an equal ammount of people who are asking questions and searching, wanting to become more involved in their community and helping other people so I think it's a double edged sword."

"I had dinner last night with a fellow that was working on Kerry's campaign... Personally what I really believe, the reason because Bush won was that Kerry didn't managed to sort of charme enough people past that percentage he originally established and that was he really needed to do. Too many democrats voted because they didn't want Bush not because they wanted Kerry and that's not the way to win an election."

"I thought Wesley Clark had the best leadership qualities and if he had had the political experience like Kerry had he could have bridged that gap. He was too naive in those areas and didn't know how to deal with political situations, like Kerry but I think he was much better suited to be a leader."

On American Troups getting into the centre of Falluja - "Well I just don't want American troups to be in Iraq. Period! so my feeling are Can we just get out?

I think that global terror is everywhere, down the street, around the block and it's absurd to think you can get it by going to a country and dropping tons of bombs on innocent people but we digressed let's go back to the book and let's go back to "Saudi Arabia"

On future plans as a writer - I've got another one, actually I've got a few more, I've got one coming up in June, and I've got a new one and I've got a sequel to the English Roses that is coming out I think at the end of 2005.

Madonna launches The Adventures of Abdi in London

Source: Press Release Source Callaway Arts & Entertainment - 9 November 2004

Callaway Arts & Entertainment is pleased to announce today's release of The Adventures of Abdi, the fourth in a series of five books for children by Madonna.

Madonna's first children's book, The English Roses, made publishing history with its simultaneous release in 30 languages and over 100 countries on September 15, 2003.

It became the biggest and fastest-selling book ever by a first-time children's author, and is now available in 40 languages and more than 110 countries as diverse as England, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, China, Brazil, Slovenia, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.

The English Roses was followed in quick succession by Mr. Peabody's Apples, released on November 10, 2003, and Yakov and the Seven Thieves on June 21, 2004.

Cover of The Adventures of Abdi

Not only were Madonna's first three children's books launched within one year, but they also all debuted on The New York Times' best-seller list, and have sold in excess of 1.5 million copies worldwide.

To celebrate Madonna's unprecedented achievement, Callaway is releasing a boxed-set of her first three children's titles, The English Roses, Mr. Peabody's Apples, and Yakov and the Seven Thieves. A $59.85 value for only $39.95, this gift item comes just in time for the holiday season!

Madonna will launch her fourth children's title, The Adventures of Abdi, with a series of print, radio, and television interviews in London, followed by a book signing on November 11 at Selfridges.

The Adventures of Abdi, written for readers aged six and up, is a 32-page jacketed hardcover. The book's lavish and elaborate images were painted by husband-and-wife team Andrej Dugin and Olga Dugina, who also worked on the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The Adventures of Abdi is the story of a little boy who has been given a very big task: to deliver the most precious necklace in the world to the queen. Along the way he is robbed in the desert, thrown in a dungeon, and has a surprising encounter with a snake. But no matter what obstacles he faces, Abdi never gives up hope, guided by the words of his teacher, Eli: "Everything that happens is for the best."

Callaway Arts & Entertainment, founded in 1980 by Nicholas Callaway, is best known for its hugely successful Miss Spider book series. The firm specializes in family entertainment across all media-book publishing, 3-D computer animation for film and television, and product design.


Madonna's girl pens festive tale

Source: BBC - 8 November 2004

Pop star Madonna's daughter has written a story which is featured in a Christmas charity fund-raising book.

Lourdes Leon's contribution appears in Christmas Stories, which is being sold in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The eight-year-old is following in her mother's footsteps, after Madonna's first children's book The English Roses sold 500,000 copies worldwide.

Other contributors to the book - which is being launched on Tuesday - include Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff.

In the desert with Madonna

6 November 2004

The Times interviewed Madonna about her upcoming book 'The Adventures Of Abdi'. Madonna talks about family life, about the writing process and about how she finds the writing of books more rewarding then writing song lyrics. She has written a sequel to The English Roses and will continue writing childrens books.

"The star's latest book is an Arabian adventure: here we publish an exclusive extract, learn the story behind the fantastical illustrations and offer a rare glimpse into Mrs Ritchie’s private world

Can you tell us something about the inspiration for The Adventures of Abdi?

This book was inspired by a combination of things. I have always loved the backdrop and setting of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and One Thousand and One Arabian Nights so I wanted to write a story in that genre. In this setting I wanted to explain the Kabbalistic principle of "certainty", the idea that we can overcome all obstacles and challenges in our lives if we perceive them as blessings and not curses; if we accept that they have arrived in our lives to teach us something valuable.

What were your favourite books as a child?

Charlotte’s Web, The Giving Tree, The Little Prince, Pippi Longstocking, and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Do you read some of those childhood favourites to your own children?

Yes, all of them.

What are Lola’s and Rocco’s favourite books at the moment?

Lola's are Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park, Wayside School by Louis Sachar and Tom-Tom & Nana by Jacqueline Cohen. Rocco's are Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and Les Schtroumpfs.

What do your children think of the books you have written?

They love them, but The English Roses is Lola’s favourite as she was very involved in its creation.

Is there a bedtime story ritual in your house?

Yes, my children go to the Lycée so they get French and English books read to them. When I read to my son, my French nanny is reading to my daughter, then we switch. Although my daughter is getting to the point where she likes only to read by herself so she reads aloud to me.

What do you feel is the role of stories and books in children's lives?

Stories and books are everything. They were very important to me as a child and were instrumental in developing my imagination. I feel very fortunate that my children love books as much as they do.

Do you think you will continue to write after this series?

Yes, I have already written a sequel to The English Roses.

Have you any thoughts about writing for adults?

Well I have thought about it, but that is a much tougher crowd. Ask me again in a few years.

How does the process of writing books compare with writing song lyrics?

At this point in my life I have written so many songs and they tell only a part of a story. I find the process of writing books much more rewarding, as there is a beginning, middle and an end."

Continue the interview here.

Madonna sends Elton 'revenge' chocolates

Source: SFgate - 6 November 2004

Madonna has sent Sir Elton John a box of chocolates with a sarcastic note in retaliation to his comments blasting her for "lip-synching."

Last month, Elton hit the headlines when he criticized Madonna at the Q Awards in London, accusing her of not performing live. Elton has since apologized to Madonna.

But the Material Girl was determined to get her own revenge and sent him the luxury confectionary with a picture of herself inscribed, The Bitch Is Back, after Elton's song of the same name.

According to Britain's Daily Express newspaper, Madonna wrote on a note enclosed with the chocolates, "Obviously, just have too much time on your hands. I figure if you eat all of these you can spend the next six months in the gym trying to work them off.

"Of course, the easiest way for you to lose 10 pounds is to just take off your wig. Love, Madge."

Re-Invention Tour gets Top 'Backstage Pass' Honor

Source: Billboard - 6 November 2004

Madonna's Re-Invention Tour will be honored as the top tour of the year at the Backstage Pass Awards, to be presented Tuesday (Nov. 9) at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. The awards recognize the top performers of the just-completed touring season, and are based on box-office data gathered from Billboard Boxscore reports.

Produced by Clear Channel Entertainment (CCE), Re-Invention grossed $125 million from 56 performances, of which 55 were sold out. The trek was topped by a six-night stint at New York's Madison Square Garden that grossed nearly $13 million.

Additionally, Madonna's manager, Caresse Henry, will receive the top manager award, awarded to the person with the top-grossing artist or artists.

Prince's Musicology tour will be named as the top draw, in the award for attendance. Prince's total of 1.47 million tickets sold topped that of all other artists. The tour was routed, produced and promoted by AEG Live subsidiary Concerts West.

Josh Groban nails the honor for top small-venue tour, and Linkin Park will be named top breakthrough artist. The Red Hot Chili Peppers' summer shows at London's Hyde Park, which grossed $17.19 million, will be named Top Boxscore.

Among the other companies to be honored are CCE (top promoter), Jam Productions (top independent promoter), Creative Artists Agency (top agent/agency), Madison Square Garden (top arena), Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts in Mansfield, Mass. (top amphitheatre), House Of Blues Chicago (top club) and the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tenn. (top festival).

In special honors, Canadian promoter Michael Cohl will be presented with the inaugural Legend of Live Award -- bestowed to an individual who has made a significant impact on the touring industry. CCE will receive the Humanitarian Award, given to a person or company that has made a significant charitable contribution through music events.

The Backstage Pass Award will be the culmination of the first Backstage Pass conference, which begins Monday at the Roosevelt Hotel.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

Duff sisters to cover Material Girl

Source: TeenMusic - 6 November 2004

Hilary Duff and sister Haylie are to duet again on Madonna's signature Material Girl.

The Duffs, who teamed up to record a hit cover of another 1980s anthem - The Go-Gos' Our Lips Are Sealed, will revamp Material Girl for a film of the same name, which will feature the sisters.

Madonna and Guy's arguments on screen

Source: ContactMusic - 5 November 2004

Superstar Madonna's blistering arguments with director husband Guy Ritchie will be shown in a documentary on the famous couple next year (05).

The Material Girl enlisted pal Jonas Akerlund to film their day-to-day life in Madonna's adopted home of Britain with their son Rocco and the singer's daughter Lourdes.

The film will reportedly include footage of the couple's bizarre fight tactics - when they spell out profanities in order to protect their children from hearing foul language.

A friend tells British newspaper The Sun, "There is some really revealing stuff in the film. It shows lovely moments like Rocco's birthday party around the house.

"But Madonna is determined for it to be a warts-and-all so there's some pretty full-on footage as well.

"There's one argument between Guy and Madonna that is really full-on, quite disturbing really. The film shows how they spell out swear words at each other to keep bad language form the kids. That way they don't have to keep putting money in their swear box."

Madonna builds studio at country estate

Source: Female First - 5 November 2004

Madonna is building a recording studio at her British country estate.

The pop queen loves being in the English countryside so much that she is splashing out on the studio so she can spend more time at Ashcombe House in Wiltshire.

Earlier this year, the star won her battle to stop ramblers roaming on the estate.

The singer and her husband, director Guy Ritchie, had launched a bid to stop plans to open parts of their 9millionGBP home to public, claiming it would have violated their privacy and breached their human rights.

The Countryside Agency had designated 17 acres of the 1,132-acre estate as open countryside which, under the government's new law, would allow people to get within 100 yards of the couple's mansion.

Audio pros says fans expect a certain amount of canned material at concerts

5 November 2004

What's the most shocking thing about the news that Ashlee Simpson lip-synched during a Saturday Night Live performance last month?

That anyone's shocked at all.

Lip-synching goes back to the early days of American Bandstand, where performers simply mimed to their own records. But as pop stars create increasingly sophisticated shows with complicated dance numbers, they're relying more on taped vocals, backing tracks and sampled instruments.

Super Bowl halftime shows, national anthems at sports games, award shows and everyday arena concerts frequently make use of recorded music. And with the advent of portable computer technology, even low-budget bands playing at small clubs are using canned sounds onstage.

"A huge percentage of concerts use nonvocal backing tracks," says Paul Sandweiss, owner of Hollywood-based Sound Design Corp., which provides audio services for televised performances. "For lead vocals, it's used very minimally. And people that do it run the risk of being called lip-synchers."

Simpson's label, Geffen Records, referred to the singer's disembodied voice as a mistakenly cued "backing track." But Paul Liszewski, an independent producer who has managed audio operations for the past eight Super Bowl halftime shows, says that's unlikely. Backing tracks are typically harmonies or background vocals that come in during a chorus. "In all of my experience, I've never had a performer use a taped vocal and their own vocal," Liszewski says. "It never happens."

Audio professionals say fans today expect a certain amount of canned material at concerts. "It makes sense when it enhances the performance," Liszewski says. "It's when it replaces the performance that fans feel cheated."

Here's a look at singers whose words don't always match their actions:

MADONNA, queen of the high-concept arena show

The fake-out: During her 1990 Blond Ambition tour, Madonna clearly lip-synched many of her songs, never missing a beat or losing her breath despite running through hours of complicated, high-energy choreography. Fourteen years later, some still suspect Madonna of fakery: After she was nominated for best live act at England's Q Awards, Elton John scoffed, "Since when has lip-synching been live?"

The fallout: Though Madonna will always have detractors, she remains one of the most revered figures in pop music. As for John's accusation, Madonna's publicist insists, "She sang every note of her Re-Invention Tour live."

MILLI VANILLI, platinum-selling pair whose No. 1 hits included Blame It on the Rain and Baby Don't Forget My Number

The fake-out: At a 1989 MTV concert in Bristol, Conn., the dreadlocked duo's vocal track skipped, CD-like, during a performance of Girl You Know It's True. Horrified, Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan dropped their microphones and scurried off the stage. They still managed to win a Grammy for best new artist, but they later confessed that all their songs were recorded by others, including Charles Shaw, who first spilled the secret on a German radio program.

The fallout: Fans expressed outrage, radio stations dropped the group and, for the first time in history, the Grammys took back an award. Morvan attempted an unsuccessful comeback; Pilatus attempted several suicides (he died in 1998).

» Article continued at Sun Sentinel.

Madonna to be awarded at Music Hall of Fame

3 November 2004

Madonna is going to be awarded with a prestigious place at the UK Music Hall of Fame. The Queen of Pop will attend the ceremony which is going to be aired Live on UK's Channel 4 television on November 11th, 2004.

Madonna likes her Versace in green

Source: New York Daily News - 3 November 2004

Relations between Madonna and Donatella Versace have run hot and cold over the years. But the designer is said to be so besotted with Her Madgesty now that she's ready to pay a fortune to have her model Versace's spring collection.

Donatella proposed that Madonna star in her ad campaign last month at a Versace perfume launch in London. The early word was that Madonna might pose as a favor.

Madonna and Donatella Versace

But Madonna is apparently aware that, though the house of Versace has been struggling financially, it's still not a charity. Which is why, according to one insider, the Material One held out for $12 million.

That price could include TV as well as print ads. There's also talk of Madonna collaborating on a fashion line.

Madonna's rep confirmed that talks are underway.

The photo spread is due to be shot at the end of this month by Mario Testino.

"Madonna is coming up with ideas for the campaign," says a source. "She wants the ads to be provocative and sexy. She wants everyone to know how good she looks at 46."

Imagine a Christmas number 1

Source: readabet - 3 November 2004

Rumours have reached bookies William Hill that Madonna is considering releasing her version of the John Lennon classic Imagine, which she has been singing on her recent tour. As a result her odds have been cut from 16/1 to 12/1.

"Madonna has never had a Christmas No.1, I am sure she would like to add this coveted award to her impressive list of achievements. At present you can get 12/1 on her being No.1 this Christmas - a very good price as Hills do not include Band Aid III in their market and will be paying out on No.2 should they be in the top slot", said Hill's spokesman Rupert Adams.

Today has also seen a shake-up in the Christmas No.1 album market after a succession of bets were placed with Hills for Simon Cowell's opera band 'Il Divo' causing their odds to shorten dramatically from 50/1 to 10/1 joint second favourites.

Hills latest No.1 single odds: 7/4 Ronan Keating & Cat Stevens, 12/1 Madonna, Robbie Williams, 14/1 Ricky Gervais & Noel Gallagher, Tony Christie, 16/1 U2, Take That, Ice Cube, 20/1 Westlife, Kylie Minogue, Joss Stone, 40/1 Nadia Almada, Jordan, 50/1 Britney Spears.

Hills latest No.1 album prices : Evens Robbie Williams, 10/1 Il Divo, Westlife, U2, Ronan Keating, 14/1 Kylie Minogue, Eminem, 20/1 Bee Gees, 25/1 The Verve, REM, Elton John, Duran Duran, Blue, 33/1 Tina Turner, Girls Aloud, Busted, Brian Mc Fadden.

Madonna banned from Band Aid III

Source: Digital Spy - 2 November 2004

Sir Bob Geldof has banned Madonna from Band Aid III, because she is American.

Madonna had apparently hoped to record 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' alongside the likes of Noel Gallagher, Robbie Williams, Coldplay and The Darkness.

Midge Ure, who wrote the song alongside Geldof, told The People, "As Bob says, at the end of the day she's a Yank. We don't need her."

The track is expected to reach the Christmas number one spot.

Is Madonna the new face of Versace?

Source: Miami Herald - 2 November 2004

Madonna is close to signing 'a mega-bucks deal' to star in ads for Versace's 2005 Spring line, reports

A well-placed insider says that the plan is for the ad campaign to be photographed by Mario Testino, who also took the pictures when the Material Girl starred in ads for Versace in 1995.

"Madonna might be known more for wearing a red string these days than she is for wearing cutting-edge fashion," says the source. "But she's still a style icon."

Madonna's spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, confirmed the story, but downplayed the immediacy of it, saying, "This is in the conversation stage. Donatella [Versace] is talking to Madonna about it, but Madonna hasn't made a decision yet."

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