The young girl grins at her mother as she stands, elbow-deep in flour in the kitchen of a magnificent English manor house. Looking on indulgently, her mother reads aloud from a recipe book.
"Next we need to break an egg into the bowl," she recites. Not for this lady, however, the messy business of breaking eggs. A housekeeper is summoned.
"Very good, Mrs R," comes the deferential reply, as a maid steps forward and cracks an egg into the mixture.
Mrs R, of course, is Mrs Guy Ritchie, global superstar. This is country living, Madonna-style.
Gone are the outrageous bustiers and conical brassieres. Today's wardrobe is all hardy tweed and sensible shoes.
Such has been the transformation, that her friends, Stella McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow in particular, have taken to calling her Miss Marple, claiming Agatha Christie's detective now is Madonna's fashion icon.
To her household staff, who are legion, she is simply Mrs R, devoted wife to the local squire, film director Guy Ritchie, 36.
Following her publicised fall from a horse last week, this idyllic country existence has come under the spotlight.
The fall – on her 47th birthday – left her injured and led to a heated row with her husband, sparking suggestions their rural idyll is heading for the rocks.
"Rubbish," says one source close to the couple. "The argument was because Madonna was desperate to get straight back on the horse so she wouldn't be scared of riding. Guy, who had given her the horse as a birthday present, felt dreadful she'd hurt herself and didn't want her to make her injuries any worse. The truth is Madonna couldn't be happier – with Guy, or with her new life in the country."
Madonna's own account of country life would echo this. Appearing in this month's American Vogue in a lemon twinset and full 1950s skirt, she looks every inch the Lady of the Manor.
"Since I met Guy, the scope of my world has changed," she says. "Now I love England and want to be here and not in America. I see England as my home. Now I know how to ride. I know how to shoot. I know how to fish. I could be a connoisseur of ales if I wanted. I never used to like the stuff but when you're married to Guy Ritchie, you spend a lot of time in pubs and I learned to like it.
"This has been her toughest transformation," the friend says. "Getting up at the crack of dawn to feed the chickens is a very long way from the seedy clubs of New York where she started out." Nobody doubts is she is committed to this.
"She also loves it for the children (Lourdes, eight, and Rocco, four). Los Angeles is no place to bring up children, but Ashcombe, with all its fresh air and hearty food, is perfect," the friend says.
Ashcombe is Ashcombe House in Wiltshire, former home of royal photographer Sir Cecil Beaton, which the couple first went to visit on a whim. They were smitten and immediately offered $24 million for the estate.
Friends insist there is a touching honesty to Madonna's English infatuation. "She has staff, but she is very much hands-on – up to a point," one says. "She has a butler, a housekeeper, estate keeper, the whole lot. She loves all that. And she only wants English staff.
"It's funny, because she wants to get involved, but she has a housekeeper to do the dirty work, like actually touching food. Madonna stands there with a recipe book and tells them what to do.
"For years people used to joke she was a food Nazi, banning anything vaguely pleasurable from her plate but, at Ashcombe, she has developed a passion for sticky toffee pudding."
Many suspect Madonna is milking her new image in the run-up to a renewed period of activity in her career. Her new album comes out in November and a documentary about her recent Re-Invention world tour (I'm Going To Tell You A Secret) is soon to be released.
With this in mind, say industry sources, she is determined to capitalise on her (supposedly) enhanced social status.
"It plays tremendously well in the U.S.," one says. "The Americans just love it. It's a great way of keeping her very current at an important time for her, professionally speaking. She is 47, which is pretty old for a pop princess".
Fansite Madonnalicious has received this information about the Motorola commercial that Madonna is rumoured to be featured in:
The filming of the Motorola commercial has been taking place today at a studio in the UK and will continue tomorrow. Here is a snippet from the script prompts:
Open on a phone booth in a village in the mountain desert of the Middle East. A teenager is talking on the phone with his girlfriend. He's speaking a foreign language; so what he's saying is subtitled.
Madonna walks up and into the phone booth. She puts her hand on his cheek and kisses the teenager.
Madonna asks the teenager 'Who's that girl?'
We then hear his girlfriend’s voice screaming through the receiver: 'Who's that girl?'
An instrumental version of Madonna's new single Hung Up will then play over the end of the commercial. Other stars will also be filming their own segments for the commercial.
From DrownedMadonna: "Our dear friend Khuram asked Angela Becker, Madonna's new manager, if the Live Show DVD of the Re-Invention Tour is set to be released.
"The documentary of the Re-Invention Tour will be released by year’s end," Miss Becker says, clarifying "AT THIS POINT, the Live Show of the Re-Invention Tour will not be released."
Angela kindly explained that AT THE MOMENT there's not a release date set for THIS YEAR, "as Madonna has put all of her efforts into the Documentary," says Becker.
We hope that Miss Becker's words make you understand that this doesn't mean that the Live Show DVD won't ever be released.
"As with everything she does, I can assure you that you will be inspired and I am very excited for the world to see the Documentary. It is simply beautiful," adds Angela.
Check Madonna.com for the Documentary exact release date."
The new Madonna.com splash page is a flash animation anticipating the release of Confessions On A Dance Floor, the word "confess" appearing in several languages plus the release dates: November 15th for the USA, November 14th for the rest of the world. With the clock ticking, a musical loop can be heard, could it be from Hung Up?
"I want people to jump out of their seats". Never one to understate, those were the exact words Madonna used to describe the songs on her upcoming album, - Confessions On A Dance Floor.
The 12 delicious tunes of pure 'unapologetic dance music' including the single Hung Up (out Oct.17th) is scheduled to be released on November 15th on Warner Bros. Records. This time out, the original Queen of Dance Music returns to where she began and kicks it up a few extra notches.
"It's in her blood" says Madonna's co-producer/partner in crime, DJ and Madonna musical director, Stuart Price. "She has a dance halo over her head. We made this record without any preconceived notions. It was straight from the gut - unencumbered -not over edited - very spontaneous, concluded Price.
If 'Confessions' were equated to a new dance step, it would a stunning blend of musical styles with one foot in the roots of early disco (a la Girogio Moroder/Abba on ecstacy) and the other foot gloriously ensconced in the future of music - a dance step that could only be accomplished by one artist.
Confessions On A Dance Floor is all about having a good time straight through and non stop." says America's ultimate Dancing Queen.
Remember the day the world came together and showed that music and people can make a difference?
On November 7, the official Live 8 Live DVD, crammed with amazing performances by the biggest artists in the world — a who’s who in music with exclusive rehearsal and unseen footage will be released.
Excerpt from Steven Klein interview in the New York Times:
"[...] The foray into video began after Mr. Klein met Madonna in 2002 and agreed to photograph her for W. Those images became the genesis of X-STaTIC PRO=CeSS, an installation of combined images of video and still photography at Deitch Projects in SoHo in 2003.
Mr. Klein said he wanted to portray the singer not as a pop icon but as a performance artist. "I presented her with objects and ideas that had been important in her career: the wedding dress, the strip pole, the yogi, the queen, the bed," he said.
He photographed Madonna on large elaborate sets while videotaping her for the Re-Invention Tour videos. For the Deitch show, he said, "I worked in a way where I introduced one element at a time."
In one image, he used a still photograph of the singer lying on a small wooden table just to the left of a door, her left leg curled underneath her shoulder and around the back of her neck. To the right of the door was a poster of a kidney; Mr. Klein used computer animation to make the kidney pulsate. Then he overlaid the sound of gunshots. Black scuff marks on the door suggest violence.
"People are fixed either on still images or live action," he said. "I was interested in the space between the two," he said.
This month Mr. Klein photographed and videotaped Madonna on 12 elaborate sets for the cover of her next album, Confessions On A Dance Floor. But as much as the photographer appreciates an iconic face, he likes to play with what the notion of who the subject is and isn't."
Rumour has it that a promo disc with Madonna's single Hung Up is being distributed in the music business.
According to some sources, there are two versions of the song and Madonna has yet to decide which one she'll use for the release.
During yesterdays MTV VMA preshow, they showed a sneak preview of Madonna's upcoming tour documentary 'I'm Going To Tell You A Secret'.
The one-minute clip shows Madonna's amazing performance of Nobody Knows Me during her gig in Paris Bercy. Download it at Madonna-tv.
From chart specialist Zheng Wang (thx to MIR): "Launch.com is having a VMA special with past winners.
Madonna has the highest number of winning videos listed for 84-89 (3), 90-94 (2, tied with REM), and 95-99 (4). Unfortunately, she has none for 00-04.
I verified that all of Madonna's winning videos are listed (a total of nine), but I don't think that's true for other artists. So, does anyone know if anyone else has 9 or more VMA winning VIDEOS? (We already know that Madonna's total of 19 WINS is a record.)"
From MadonnaTribe: "According to the latest news coming from sources close to Warner Music France, Madonna's first single from her upcoming up album Confessions On A Dance Floor might receive a very special kind of premiere in France, as Warner is considering releasing a 30 second snippet of the song and offering it as an exclusive ring tone. We've been told that a tentative date for this sneak preview of Hung Up has been set for September 15."
Ricky Gervais, the actor and co-writer of the hit comedy The Office, yesterday mocked Hollywood star Jude Law for pulling out of Extras, his latest series, writes David Smith.
The show's first series, which ended last week, featured high-profile actors such as Samuel L Jackson, Ben Stiller and Kate Winslet sending themselves up. Law had been expected to appear in the second series but has now withdrawn.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Gervais joked about Law's recent affair with his nanny, which reportedly caused the end of his relationship with Sienna Miller. He told the audience: 'We were beginning to think we were the only thing he said no to.'
The comedian, who stars in and co-writes Extras, has produced a documentary-style recording of his attempts to get celebrities into the show. In the footage, which will be featured on the Extras DVD, he is seen trying to contact actor Leonardo DiCaprio after Law pulls out. 'We have got to find an A-List celebrity who is willing to make a twit of themselves,' he says.
Gervais confirmed that he was talking to Madonna and Brad Pitt's agents about cameos in the next series, which has just been commissioned by BBC2. But he said that the Hollywood stars were not as important as the regular ensemble cast. 'The only reason we had the A-List stars was to add a certain realism,' he said.
Asked about other stars on the approach-list, he said: 'Tom Cruise is on the list, everyone you can think of is on the list ... but they are peripheral.
'I'm much more excited in [the characters] Darren, Maggie and Barry from EastEnders. In 10 years' time, it won't matter that Madonna turned up. Hopefully they will remember these characters.'
London theatre bosses are touting Madonna to reprise her film role of Argentina's first lady Eva Peron in a new production of Evita.
The Material Girl fought off a host of Hollywood actresses to play the glamorous wife of corrupt Argentine president Juan Peron in the 1996 film.
Previous plans to resurrect the musical in the British capital collapsed in 2003 when its authors Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber decided the city was not in the mood for serious musicals.
However, now the same creative team, comprising of director Michael Grandage, choreographer Rob Ashford and designer Christopher Oram, are in discussions to launch Evita in the West End next year (06), and hope Madonna will step into Peron's expensive shoes.
Spin magazine has built a veritable rock star Frankenstein, composed of Michael Stipe's skull, Elvis Presley's pelvis and Madonna's bellybutton. Spin charts the 25 "most incredible" rock star body parts in its September issue, now on newsstands. Madonna's navel tops the list. "It's what first marked her as a mainstream provocateur," seni or Spin writer Marc Spitz writes.
At No. 2 is the liver of Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, which is so durable, Spitz writes, that "when Richards finally passes, they'll line the exterior of the space shuttle with his liver tissue." REM singer Michael Stipe's oft-shaved skull comes in third, due to a hairline that's "not too high like Moby's or too low" like Sinead O'Connor's.
Other body parts include Presley's hip-shaking pelvis, Gene Simmons' tongue, Tina Turner's legs, 50 Cent's chest, Bruce Springsteen's butt and Tommy Lee's — well, you know, it's that body part below the waist.
Madonna needs a body double for her new music video because it's too painful for her to dance.
Filming has been put back while Madge recovers from a broken hand, collarbone and cracked ribs she got from falling off a horse. Producers are considering hiring a lookalike to perform the rigorous dance routines planned for the promo of her new single Hung Up.
Madonna took a tumble while out riding on her 47th birthday last Tuesday. She had been doing promotional work for her new album Confessions On A Dance Floor, due out in November. But an insider said: "This is a club-friendly album, very dancey - and she wanted the video to reflect that. It hasn't been shot yet, so they've gone back to the drawing board to rethink it.
"Madonna's got her arm in a sling and her hand is plastered. She's not going to be dancing for a while."
Smiling through the pain with her arm in a sling, Madonna yesterday made her first appearance since her horrific horse fall.
The singer - wearing a tracksuit and baseball cap - was determined to show the world she is back on her feet after breaking three ribs, her hand and collarbone last week.
She put on a brave face as she left the Kabbalah Centre, base of the religious sect to which she belongs, in Central London with husband Guy Ritchie at 1.30pm. A waiting fan said: "It's not like Madge to sulk around in bed. She's now acquired that country-girl stiff upper lip and went out of her way to act as though nothing had happened."
Meanwhile the horse which threw her was in hiding last night - after Madonna had sent an SOS from her hospital bed to save it.
The Queen of Pop, thrown by the thoroughbred bay mare during her 47th birthday celebrations on Tuesday, was so worried the incident would give the animal a bad reputation she ordered neighbours to rush it into hiding away from her Wiltshire estate.
Una Harley, who lives next to Madonna's £9million country pile said: "She knows the horse was not to blame for what happened to her. It was an accident, pure and simple. It can be terrible when a horse gets an ill-deserved reputation for being trouble - so she sent a message that nobody was to reveal its name. The people who own it got it scurried away into stables and everyone in our community knows never to tell anyone what it was called."
Una, 66, who runs a stables in the village, added: "It's delightful she has shown such concern for the poor horse, and it shows what a lovely person she is.
"Animals like these can be worth up to £500,000 - and although there may be some value in being the horse that Madonna fell off, if it got a reputation for being a danger its value could plummet."
Madonna, who pioneered the pointy bra on stage, has called in lawyers over a range of skimpy bras and briefs adorned with her name and face.
As she convalesces at home this weekend after falling from a horse on her Wiltshire estate, they are gathering evidence for possible legal action.
The lingerie range, Madonna Nude 1979, will be launched in Britain in November by Figleaves.com, an internet lingerie retailer.
It has been created by Rosanna Ansaloni, a Milan designer, and according to the UK retailers, is based on naked pictures of Madonna taken by Martin Schreiber, an American photographer, in 1979.
Diana Whitehead, communications manager at Figleaves.com, said that although the design was called Nude 1979, it had been adapted to reflect the singer's 1980s look.
"This lingerie is misleading the public because Madonna is in no way affiliated with it," said Liz Rosenberg, a spokeswoman for Madonna in New York. "Her attorneys are starting to gather information now because a line of lingerie is implying that Madonna is associated with it, and that could not be further from the truth."
This is not the first time Madonna has tried to crack down on use of the Schreiber pictures. In 2001, her lawyers unsuccessfully attempted to stop Adam Glickman, an American condom salesman, from producing a range of contraceptives using the same images. Last week, Glickman said he had sold "hundreds of thousands" of the condoms since his clash with the singer, but would be discontinuing the line next month because of falling demand.
The underwear, which will be made by Pielle - an Italian lingerie manufacturer, features transparent pants decorated with tickly ribbons and crystals. Items included in the range, which have names such as Love Healing and Sensuality, also include what figleaves.com calls "a super sexy shiny satin baby doll with detachable garter belt".
T-shirts are printed with a motif of Madonna's face and a crucifix necklace on the front and back. The knickers are embellished with the rock star's initial in crystals.
The range for men includes black lace Y-fronts and "micro-fibre" briefs bearing Madonna's name. Prices for women's items are £70 for a bra and £30 for knickers. Pants in the men's collection will cost £40.
Whitehead added: "The range is really high end - it's not something that has been produced quite cheaply with a logo slapped on it. The quality of the fabric is beautiful - there is a whole design ethos that has been put into it.
"We are aiming for women who want an aspirational take on underwear. They love celebrity, they love the link with the underwear and it is a way of buying into that person's lifestyle."
Neither Ansaloni nor Pielle could be reached for comment this weekend.
A number of female stars, including Kylie Minogue, Elizabeth Hurley and Elle Macpherson, have launched lucrative underwear ranges but Madonna, long known for her keen business sense, will not receive a penny from the range bearing her name.
She was an unknown dancer when the nude photos were taken. She was paid $30 (£16.70) for the three-hour photo session with Schreiber and she signed over the rights to the photos, a decision she has come to regret.
Crocked Madonna last night vowed to carry on horse-riding - despite her horror fall this week. She is recovering after breaking a collarbone, hand and three ribs in an accident that has left husband Guy Ritchie in anguish.
But the pop queen, 47, insisted: "As soon as the doctors give me the OK, I expect to be right back on a horse and ride again."
She also thanked fans who had sent messages of support and said: "I'm grateful and overwhelmed by everyone's good wishes."
Novice rider Madonna tumbled on her Ashcombe House estate near Tollard Royal, Wilts, on Tuesday.
She was on a riding outing that was a birthday gift from Guy, 36.
He is said to be "absolutely mortified" by the mishap and has been helping her recover. A friend said: "He's giving her lots of TLC."
Madonna.com is updated with a brand new splash page. The picture shows Madonna and her band rehearsing the performance for the Live 8 concert.
Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie had a heated row after she was injured in a riding accident earlier this week - because she was so determined to get straight back into the saddle.
The singer insisted she wanted only to sit on her horse again. But sources close to the couple say her furious husband told her she had to wait at least a few days to recover.
Madonna and Richie are said to have discussed the matter during her belated birthday dinner on Tuesday night, hours after her release from hospital - where she was treated for three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand.
"Madonna was going on and on about how she wanted to get straight back on the horse so that she would not be scared of doing it," said a family friend.
"But Guy said she was too injured to even be thinking about it. It wasn't one of their major rows, but both were determined to win the argument."
The thoroughbred bay was a 47th birthday present for the singer from 36-year-old Ritchie and was delivered to the couple's £10million Wiltshire mansion, Ashcombe House, only hours before the accident.
Sources say Madonna 'could not wait' to get into the saddle. But minutes after she rode out, the horse reared up and threw her.
'She was riding alongside a female assistant at the time,' said a source. "She fell to the ground with quite a clatter and was in a lot of pain and badly shaken. It was clear she needed to go to hospital."
The star walked back to the house and was driven to Salisbury District Hospital by an assistant. Her film director husband and children Lourdes, eight, and Rocco, five, followed in a car.
Madonna left hospital a few hours later in a neck brace. Last night, one expert expressed surprise that such an inexperienced horsewoman had tried to ride a thoroughbred. Julie Aylen, who runs the Tollard Park Livery and Teaching Centre, near Salisbury, said: "Madonna's injuries would indicate that she was thrown off the horse and possibly had her hands trampled on.
"I am surprised that she chose to ride a thoroughbred considering she is only a novice."
But the star's trainer, Richard Turner, of Stag Lodge Stables, near Richmond Park, South-West London, said she is a 'pretty good rider' and the fall would not have been her fault.
Doctors say Madonna's ribs should heal in six weeks, and her collarbone in up to 12 weeks.
Her spokesman said: "She is already hobbling around and is coming along really well."
She and Ritchie have a famously volatile relationship but Madonna credits the success of their marriage on the fact that they row so much.
Madonna faces a battle to be fully fit in time for the release of her new album after a horse riding accident, according to health and dance experts.
The singer suffered three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand.
The album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, is due out on 15 November - but she is not expected to be able to perform properly for about three months.
Her UK spokeswoman Barbara Charone said: "As far as we know, everything [with the album] is unaffected."
Madonna is famed for her energetic stage routines and is expected to go on tour next summer.
It is not yet known whether any video shoots or promotional appearances will be delayed or changed.
Her US spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg said she was "walking and talking" but added: "I don't know if she's going to be hanging from a disco ball anytime soon."
Aicha McKenzie from Vibes UK, billed as the country's top dance agency, which has worked with Madonna, said dancers normally took three months off after an injury.
"Obviously she's got her new album coming out so she should be just maybe back in time to do the promotion for that," she said.
"But I'd imagine it might kill a few massive, mad dance routines she might have had planned. "You often see her doing splits in her music videos and yoga positions and whatever else - that might have been toned down. The ideas for the promotion might change slightly due to her injuries."
But Madonna has a big advantage because she is so fit and has so much presence she could "just stand on the stage", Ms McKenzie said.
The star should make a full recovery, though, and it is unlikely to force her to slow down in the future, she said.
Physiotherapist Elizabeth Sharp, whose company ES Physical Health treats West End performers, said it would take "a couple of months at least" before the singer was able to do an energetic stage show.
And it may be longer, depending on how bad the injuries are, according to Ms Sharp and her team.
The cracked ribs mean Madonna will be "pretty uncomfortable" for the first three weeks, she said, and it will be hard to sing.
"It's going to be really hard for her to take a deep breath because of those ribs so she isn't going to want to belt out," she said.
"But of course she can sing gently and hum to keep the vocal chords working."
Madonna may also be at risk of a collapsed lung if the three cracked ribs are next to each other, she said.
"She's got a medical problem here and needs to be well looked after by a doctor to make sure that lung is actually expanding."
The singer must try to keep the lung "moving through the pain but obviously to rest at the same time", Ms Sharp added.
And Leela Biant, an orthopaedic surgeon at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, said the star was unlikely to need surgery.
"The fact that Madonna is very fit and healthy will help her recovery and because she does a lot of yoga she will be used to deep breathing," she said.
"It will be more painful than taking small, shallow breaths, because it moves the ribs more - but it is important."
Pop star Madonna is recovering after breaking several bones in a horse-riding accident on her country estate on Tuesday.
"I can tell you Madonna is doing well," the singer's spokeswoman said.
Madonna suffered three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand in the fall. A gamekeeper said she left her home by helicopter on Wednesday.
UK spokeswoman Barbara Charone also said the accident would not delay the release of her new album in November.
"Her LP is finished and is on course to come out in November with a single prior," she told the BBC News website.
The star is also expected to go on tour next summer.
The accident happened when she fell off a new horse in the grounds of her Ashcombe House on the border of Wiltshire and Dorset on her 47th birthday.
She was treated at hospital in Salisbury, 90 miles (150 kilometres) south-west of London.
Her US spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg said the singer had been riding for four or five months.
"She's spent a lot of time riding when she's out in the country," she said.
The 1,200-acre Ashcombe estate, the former home of photographer Cecil Beaton, has been described as one of Britain's finest sporting estates.
Madonna and Ritchie bought it in 2001 and she told Vogue she wore sensible shoes, went hunting and fishing and looked after chickens. She also reportedly took up shooting.
"Now I love England and want to be here and not in America. I see England as my home," she told the magazine last month.
"In the summertime, it [Ashcombe] is the most beautiful place in the world."
Last year she won her battle to have ramblers banned from the estate for half the year because of the risk of them being shot during the shooting season.
During the rest of the year, a small section of land is open.
British film-maker Guy Ritchie is looking for a new star to light up the premiere of his new movie REVOLVER, because his wife Madonna's horse-riding accident has forced her to pull out.
Ritchie had recruited the singer to take part in a poker match at the after party for next month's (SEP05) exclusive screening of the gambling film.
But Madonna's injuries, which include a broken hand, collar bone and three cracked ribs, are too severe for her to participate.
A source tells British newspaper The Independent, "An online poker firm wanted to sponsor a celebrity card table at the premiere of Revolver.
"It would have been a cracking photo opportunity, but Madonna will do well to turn up at all now - let alone play poker."
Madonna was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital in southern England after breaking several bones in a horse-riding accident on her sprawling country estate, Ashcombe Manor.
The pop superstar was celebrating her 47th birthday with her husband, Guy Ritchie, and their two children, Lourdes and Rocco, when she fell off the horse at their 1,200-acre country estate in Wiltshire, outside London. She was riding with her assistant at the time.
Madonna sustained three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone, and a broken hand.
Ruth Hilton, show business editor of OK! Magazine, told The Early Show co-editor Hannah Storm Wednesday that Madonna was "recovering well with her husband and children by her side. And obviously, her team."
Hilton adds that, "Everyone has been incredibly worried about her, not the least, herself. Initially, you never know what this kind of accident might mean. Immediately, to all of us, thoughts of Christopher Reeve flashed up."
Reeve's fall from a horse paralyzed him, and he eventually died from complications related to his injuries.
"She was fully tested at a hospital a couple of hours outside of London, close to her estate. Doctors were satisfied with her condition, although she's in an awful lot of pain. … It looks like she's going to recover very well, providing she rests."
And that recovery is likely to be aided by Madonna's overall condition, Hilton points out: "I think the fact that she does a minimum of two hours of yoga and exercise a day is really helping. …
Now, of all 47-year-olds on the planet, she's one of the best turned-out, most fit. And certainly the fact that she's a very fit person, a very spiritual person, I think will help her overcome this."
It appears Madonna is in for a six- to 12-week recovery period, Hilton notes.
Madonna has a tour not far down the road, and her performances are physically demanding with lots of dancing. She also has an album coming out.
"The album will definitely go ahead as planned," Hilton says. "Her team is pretty adamant that Madonna is the queen of the bounce backs. She is one of the most sturdy people in show business in terms of her career. She's worked very hard for it. If she can do that tour, she absolutely will keep to that. Her fans are hugely important to her."
Hilton observes that Madonna's new home, England, has shown "a huge amount of sympathy. The British newspapers are working very hard on being very supportiv of her.
"Britain loves poking fun at all of its favorite people. And Madonna is one of Britain's favorite people. Initially, of course, there are some raised eyebrows about the accident.
"But Britain loves Madonna, as the world loves Madonna. No one would wish such a horrible thing to befall her. The British people are waiting for her to get better as soon as possible."
According to Robster from Madonnamad, there will be a song called Get Together on the album Confessions On A Dance Floor, which is also produced by Stuart Price, just like Hung Up.
Pop queen Madonna was unfamiliar with the horse she was riding when she fell and fractured several bones on Tuesday. The mount was a birthday present from her husband Guy Ritchie.
The Like A Virgin singer was delighted when film-maker Ritchie presented her with the bay mare on her 47th birthday, but Madonna's joy turned to agony when she broke her hand and collarbone and cracked three ribs in the accident at their English country estate.
An insider tells The Sun: "Madonna was totally chuffed with the mare. She couldn't wait to go out for a ride on it."
Madonna discovered a passion for riding when Ritchie introduced her to countryside pursuits, and has been taking riding lessons over the past year.
Her riding instructor, Richard Turner, is surprised his star pupil suffered such severe injuries. "Madonna is a pretty good rider and very fit and agile," he said.
"Being thrown off is just one of the risks of riding."
Madonna is "in great spirits" Wednesday after breaking several bones during a horse-riding accident the previous day, her rep tells People.
"Madonna is doing great. She's up and in great spirits. She's not feeling that bad. She's getting around," her publicist Liz Rosenberg says.
On Tuesday – the singer's on her 47th birthday – she cracked three ribs and broke her collarbone and her hand. The injuries occurred during a horse-riding accident at Ashcombe, the entertainer's country estate outside London.
Madonna and an assistant were riding, when the singer, on a new horse she wasn't accustomed to, took a tumble. Her children, Rocco, 5, and Lourdes, 8, were at the home but were not with their mother at the time, Rosenberg said, adding: "The whole family was out in the country, celebrating her birthday."
Madonna's husband, film director Guy Ritchie, took Madonna to an undisclosed hospital, where she was treated and released later that evening.
Madonna reportedly started riding in late spring and is still categorized as a novice.
She has a dance CD due for release this November. It's not anticipated that the spill will prevent her from promoting it, said Rosenberg, who told People: "I'm sure she'll be very restless. She's usually doing lots of things at once."
So will she get back on the horse and ride again? "Knowing her, she'll be riding next week," says Rosenberg. "She is a fearless girl."
Pop star Madonna was recovering at home on Wednesday after suffering several broken bones in a riding accident at her country estate, her spokeswoman said.
The singer sustained three cracked ribs, a broken collar bone and a broken hand when she fell off her horse on Tuesday at Ashcombe House, where she was celebrating her 47th birthday with husband Guy Ritchie and two children Lourdes and Rocco.
"She is recovering at home," Barbara Charone said. "We don't have any other update at this stage."
Madonna's New York publicist said the American artist, famous around the world for hits including Material Girl and Like A Virgin, was riding a new horse at the time of the fall.
She was rushed to a local hospital in Salisbury by film director Ritchie and later discharged.
Madonna is due to release her new album Confessions On A Dance Floor in November. Charone said she did not expect Madonna's injuries, which will take weeks to heal, to affect the launch or promotion of the record.
"As far as I know, nothing's been affected," Charone said.
Madonna has been an avid fan of English country life since marrying Ritchie, director of the hit London gangster movie "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels."
Bought by the celebrity couple three years ago, Ashcombe House is a six-bedroom, 18th century mansion near the picturesque village of Tollard Royal.
Last year, Madonna won the right to exclude hikers from much of the nine-million-pound estate. The singer and her husband argued that unrestricted public access would destroy their right to a private family life.
Pop superstar Madonna was in a severe state of shock when she arrived at her local English hospital after suffering a shock horse riding accident yesterday afternoon (16 AUG 05).
The Like A Virgin singer was celebrating her 47th birthday with a canter around her English country estate when she fell from her mount and broke her hand, collar bone and cracked three ribs.
Madonna was rushed to Salisbury District Hospital where staff were shocked to see her in such severe pain, she was visibly shaken.
A hospital source says, "Madonna's voice was shaking when she gave her name. She was wearing her riding gear and trembling.
"She was obviously in a lot of pain, but she was lucid. Guy (Ritchie) arrived about ten minutes later looking very worried."
Madonna was immediately given a private room where she was treated by a fracture specialist.
The latest reports suggest Madonna's children Rocco, five, and Lourdes, ten, did not witness the accident.
Jacques Lu Cont is rumored to be playing exclusive tracks from Madonna's upcoming 10th studio album Confessions On A Dance Floor this Thursday at Thursdays@SPACE.
The Queen of pop was also rumored to be visiting the white island to coincide with Lu Cont gig at SPACE. this following a stint in Los Angeles mixing the album with Lu Cont, who was also her musical director the 2004 Re-Invention Tour and a co-writer on American Life's X-Static Process.
However, during the stars 47th birthday celebration she suffered several broken bones in a horse riding accident at her country home outside London.
The superstar was hospitalized with three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand, according to Liz Rosenberg, her spokeswoman based in New York.
The accident occurred Tuesday at Ashcombe house, her estate outside of London.
Madonna is reported to have turned down an offer of $82 million to appear in her own show in Las Vegas.
The Queen of Pop is said to have been received the gargantuan approach from Vegas deal-maker Jack Wishna.
Wishna is understood to have attempted to woo Madonna with the promise of a show-stopping billing to compete with previous Vegas headliners Celine Dion and Elton John.
However, the New York Post reports that Madonna, who is celebrating her 47th birthday today, has rejected the deal, as she prepares to release a new album and take the record on tour.
The new LP, Confessions On A Dance Floor, is due out in November, and is set to be precede by a single, Hung Up.
Madonna's horse-riding injuries mean she will have to stop dancing for several months and lay off her beloved yoga, an expert said today.
But the singer can use skills from the relaxation technique to help her recovery, because deep breathing is key to avoiding chest infections after suffering cracked ribs and a broken collar bone.
Leela Biant, an orthopaedic surgeon at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, said the star was unlikely to need surgery and would be fully mobile.
But she will currently be in some discomfort and will need to take painkillers for about a fortnight.
Singing will be painful during that time.
She will also be likely to be wearing a sling and will take about three months to recover fully from the accident, after which she can resume normal activities - including dancing.
"You don't treat broken ribs, they heal by themselves," Ms Biant said.
"But people are encouraged to take deep breaths because the lung underneath can be bruised and it can leave you a bit more susceptible to chest infections if you don't breathe deeply.
"The fact that Madonna is very fit and healthy will help her recovery and because she does a lot of yoga she will be used to deep breathing.
"It will be more painful than taking small, shallow breaths, because it moves the ribs more but it is important.
"Broken collar bones usually heal by themselves as well – only a few per cent of people need an operation. They will probably let it try to heal and if it doesn’t then it might require surgery.
"She will need painkillers and it’s going to be uncomfortable, especially trying to sleep. Sleeping on one side will be hard, particularly for the first two weeks.
"She will be completely mobile, but the yoga is going to have to wait for a while. She’s not going to want to put her arm above the level of her shoulder so she won’t be able to reach up. And she won’t be on her horse again for three months.
"But people with an upper limb injury are encouraged to get up and walk around so she won’t be confined to bed by any means."
Ms Biant said without knowing what part of Madonna’s hand was broken, it was hard to say how that injury would affect the star.
While her broken ribs should heal in about six weeks, and be more comfortable after two or three weeks, the broken collar bone will take eight to 12 weeks to get better.
It should cause less discomfort after four to six weeks.
In an exclusive statement to Access Hollywood, Rosenberg, said "It happened around 4 p.m. London time. Madonna is pretty banged up… Her new disc is due this Novemeber and she is set to tour next summer. It's too soon to tell if the tour will be affected, but the press for the disc will definitely be affected.
Latest news from the Sky News reporter from Salisbury District Hospital, 15 miles away from Madonna's country house.
He reports that Madonna has been sent home and that the doctors advised she will have to layoff the yoga she is very much into and to layoff singing as well for some time.
The reporter also says Madonna will have of course to layoff dance and touring and reminds that Madonna has a single coming up and her husband has a film coming up. He says that the doctors' advice is to "take it easy" for the next few months.
Madonna's fall has made the front page of tommorrow's edition of The Sun with an article named: Madonna With Ze big Bruises - Star breaks ribs in fall from horse.
~ It's quite normal for the doctors to advise Madonna to take it easy for a while. However, we shouldn't dramatize too much. We all know Madonna has very strong physics. Right after her difficult birth of Rocco, she released her Music album and a few months later she was in perfect shape on stage for the Drowned World Tour.
She has also kept fit through yoga, fitness and a strict diet; this will help her with a quick recovery. The only thing left we can do is keep our fingers crossed and let our thoughts be with her. [Mad-Eyes comment]
US pop diva Madonna was discharged from hospital where she had been treated for injuries suffered in a horse riding accident in southwest England, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The singer had been taken to Salisbury District Hospital in Wiltshire after falling off her horse while celebrating her 47th birthday.
Madonna's spokeswoman, Barbara Charone, earlier said the songstress had broken her collar bone and a hand, and cracked three ribs, but her condition was not serious.
"Madonna fell off a new horse she was riding late this afternoon at Ashcombe House, her country house outside London," Charone said.
The songstress was marking her birthday with her two children, Lourdes, eight, and five-year-old Rocco, as well as her film director husband Guy Ritchie, at their sprawling 1,200-acre (485-hectare) country estate in Wiltshire, southwest England, when the accident happened.
But one orthopaedic surgeon, Leela Biant, said Madonna's fitness would help her to make a full recovery, noting that this should take about three months.
"You don't treat broken ribs, they heal by themselves," Biant said.
"The fact that Madonna is very fit and healthy will help her recovery and because she does a lot of yoga she will be used to deep breathing," she told Britain's domestic Press Association.
Biant said, however, that the Material Girl would find it painful to sing during the first couple of weeks.
Madonna has reinvented herself as an English country wife since meeting Ritchie, a celebrated director in his own right with movies such as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels".
Madonna fell off a new horse she was riding late this afternoon at Ashcombe House, her country house outside of London, it was confirmed today. She sustained three cracked ribs, a broken collar bone and a broken hand but is expected to be released from hospital later this evening.
The star was celebrating her 47th birthday with her husband, film director Guy Ritchie and her two children Lourdes and Rocco.
Madonna's 47th birthday celebration was marred Tuesday when she suffered several broken bones in a horse riding accident at her country home outside London, her publicist told The Associated Press.
The superstar was treated and released from a hospital after sustaining three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand, according to Liz Rosenberg, her spokeswoman based in New York.
Madonna's husband, director Guy Ritchie, took her to the hospital, Rosenberg said.
The accident occurred Tuesday at Ashcombe house, the couple's 1,354-acre estate about 100 miles southwest of London.
Madonna and an assistant were riding when Madonna, on a horse she wasn't accustomed to riding, took a tumble. Her children, Rocco and Lourdes, were at the home but weren't with her at the time, Rosenberg said.
"The whole family was out in the country, celebrating her birthday," Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg said she didn't know if Madonna was returning to her Ashcombe estate after her release from the hospital.
Horseback riding has been a relatively recent hobby for the star.
"I think she had been riding for about four or five months," Rosenberg told the AP. "She's spent a lot of time riding when she was out in the country."
Madonna latest album is scheduled for release in November. When asked if the mishap would affect the singer's plans to promote the album, Rosenberg quipped: "She's walking and talking. I don't know if she's going to be hanging from a disco ball anytime soon."
~ The Mad-Eyes team wishes Madonna a quick and painless recovery.
I am sure you get a ton of Madonna questions every week, but there has always been one question that I can never find the answer for.
What has been Madonna's biggest selling album? I have heard people say that it was "Like A Virgin," but then other people tell me it was "Like A Prayer." Can you clarify this?
With her anticipated new album and single out soon, I was wondering if you could give me the breakdown in sales of all of Madonna's previous efforts.
Oh sure, I do get quite a few Madonna-related questions each week. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy getting them!
What is Madonna's biggest selling album in the United States? That depends on how you slice up the numbers -- isn't that always the case?
Her biggest seller since 1991 (when SoundScan began tracking data) is "The Immaculate Collection" with 5.3 million sold in the United States. The runner-up is "Ray Of Light" with 3.8 million.
But you probably are wondering about her pre-1991 releases, and that means we have to rely on gold and platinum certification data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "Like A Virgin" and "The Immaculate Collection" are diamond certified for shipments of 10 million copies to U.S. retailers. So, it's a tie.
What's her biggest selling album worldwide? Tough call, since no one organization tabulates worldwide sales.
Madonna's new album, "Confessions On A Dance Floor," is due through Warner Bros. in November. The first single, Hung Up, will hit radio in October.
Below is the rundown of Madonna's albums and how much they have sold in the U.S., along with their peak on The Billboard 200 albums chart. I am listing her pre-1991 albums with their RIAA certification information.
"Madonna" (1983; No. 8; 5x platinum)
"Like A Virgin" (1984; No. 1; 10x platinum)
"True Blue" (1986; No. 1; 8x platinum)
"Who's That Girl" [Soundtrack] (1987; No. 7; platinum)
"You Can Dance" [Remix Album] (1987; No. 14; platinum)
"Like A Prayer" (1989; No. 1; 4x platinum)
"I'm Breathless" (1990; No. 2; 2x platinum)
"The Immaculate Collection" (1990; No. 2; 10x platinum)
"Erotica" (1992; No. 2; 1.9 million)
"Bedtime Stories" (1994; No. 3; 2.3 million)
"Something to Remember" (1995; No. 6; 2.1 million)
"Evita" [Soundtrack] (1996; No. 2; 2.0 million)
"Ray Of Light" (1998; No. 2; 3.8 million)
"Music" (2000; No. 1; 2.9 million)
"GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2" (2001; No. 7; 1.3 million)
"American Life" (2003; No. 1; 658,000)
"Remixed & Revisited" [Remix EP] (2003; No. 115; 114,000)
It is sometimes hard to find the right words when you love someone. You've always found those we were waiting for. You are the one to entertain us on a daily basis. Today is a very special one but it is also our turn to express ourselves. Time to thank you for being part of our lives and to wish you the most wonderful birthday! Please don't ever ever stop!
Lotsa de Love xxx
Pop queen Madonna has teamed up with producer Stuart Price to create a brand new sound for her upcoming album Confessions On A Dance Floor.
The so-called queen of reinvention believes working closely with the musician has spawned a catchy style she calls "future disco", which is set to rock the club scene when it hits shelves later this year (NOV 05).
And the pair found each other so inspiring, they simply couldn't stop writing songs.
Price says, "We live real near each other in London, and we could just send ideas back and forth and get together and work on stuff.
"The creative process was very short. There were a couple of weeks in London at my studio where we were doing a song every day.
"Every few months, a club record comes along that hits a nerve with people, and they connect to it. They don't know why, but there is something magical in it. That's what we were trying to make."
Madonna has persuaded Britney Spears to donate $32,000 (€26,000) to leaders of mystical Jewish offshoot Kabbalah - so the Toxic star's unborn baby will be accepted into the controversial religion.
The 23-year-old singer is due to give birth next month and donated money to Spirituality For Kids - a Kabbalah club for children - at her mentor's request.
The Material Girl is the world's most famous devotee to the mystical offshoot of Judaism, and she has used her influence to garner members for the group.
A source tells British newspaper The Daily Mirror: "Britney made the charity donation last month. Madonna suggested Spirituality For Kids because she thinks it's amazing.
"She has told her that introducing her baby to Kabbalah as soon as possible will be greatly beneficial to everyone involved in the child's upbringing. She thinks Madonna's a great role model and would never question her advice."
Madonnafan Walter Macioci informed us of the following event in Rome:
"For the fourth consecutive year the Karma B will be shown to the Gay Village of Rome the next Saturday, 20 August with an all performance dedicated to Madonna. "Madonna Black & Blond" is the title of the show. More info at www.gayvillage.it and www.karmab.com."
Today, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone turns 47 years young! In the name of the Mad-Eyes collaborators and its visitors, we would like to wish Madonna a happy birthday and a long, successful life, filled with joy, happiness, and great music!
As you can see from the paparazzi pix on Madonna.nu, it seems Madonna has died her hair carrot-red! Who knows she'll have that colour in the Steven Klein photo shoot?
According to DrownedMadonna sources, the musical Hello Suckers "is not happening at the moment". Now, is that good or bad news?
Madonnafan Brad Keirse informs us that during Little Richard's August 13 concert in Portland, Oregon, he told the audience that on August 18 he will be filming a Motorola Phone commercial with Madonna in Los Angeles. This story also appeared on other fansites and forums, however it seems rather odd. Whether it's true should be cleared out soon.
Madonna is returning to her roots with the club-friendly Confessions On A Dance Floor, due November 15th. For her tenth studio album, the follow-up to 2003's American Life, the pop legend worked closely with British producer Stuart Price (a.k.a. DJ Jacques Lu Cont) at his London apartment.
Price met Madonna later in her career, playing keyboards on her last two tours -- "I was a bit too young to be a fan in the Eighties," he says, laughing. She approached him after last year's Re-Invention Tour, when she began work on a music-driven screenplay, bringing him onboard to create a sound she called "future disco." The idea for Confessions came from those sessions.
"We live real near each other in London, and we could just send ideas back and forth and get together and work on stuff," Price says. "The creative process was very short. There were a couple of weeks in London at my studio where we were doing a song every day."
At night, the producer would test out the tracks during his club gigs. "Whenever I was DJ'ing, I'd take dub or instrumental versions out with me," Price says. "I had my camera with me, and the next day I'd tell Madonna, 'This is what a thousand people in Liverpool looked like last night dancing to our song.' You can work on a song for twelve hours, but I guarantee you'll know within the first ten seconds of putting it on at a club whether it works or not. So these songs were tested on unwitting subjects throughout Europe."
But Price insists that he and Madonna did not blindly trust the club scene, wanting to create something more lasting. "There's a bit of a danger with dance music that you can create something that's cool but doesn't have much substance to it," he admits. "Every few months, a club record comes along that hits a nerve with people, and they connect to it. They don't know why, but there is something magical in it. That's what we were trying to make."
The first single is the uptempo synth-disco jam Hung Up, which Price calls "a big feel-good song. You put it on and you want to get in your car, turn it up and drive around smiling."
Brazilian fansite Madonnaonline.com.br states that the Hung Up single will be released on November 3rd, while Madonna's new DVD release is set for December 5th.
That release will contain two DVDs; one of them will be the tour documentary 'I'm Going To Tell You A Secret', and the other will be the Lisbon show of the Re-Invention Tour.
According to fansites Madonnalicious and DrownedMadonna, Liz Rosenberg has already denied the rumour about a collaboration between Madonna and Outkast's Andre 3000.
Sire Records, the label that nurtured such acts as the Ramones, Madonna and the Smiths, will celebrate its upcoming 30th anniversary this fall with a four-disc boxed set.
Due Sept. 13 via Sire/Rhino, "Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story" rounds up 61 tracks on three audio CDs and another 20 music videos on a DVD.
Sire was founded in 1966 by former Billboard staffer Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer. The label is perhaps best known for revealing the New York underground rock scene (the Ramones, Television, the Talking Heads) to a worldwide audience in the mid and late 1970s and, years later, rearing the careers of such acts Madonna, the Pretenders and the Smiths.
All of those acts are represented on "Just Say Sire," as are Morrissey, Erasure, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, the Tom Tom Club, Seal, the Cult, Ice-T, k.d. lang, Primal Scream, the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, My Bloody Valentine, the Replacements, Dinosaur Jr. and Wilco. Stein, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, oversaw the remastering of all the tracks.
The DVD features such clips as Madonna's Like A Prayer, the Ramones' "Rock'n'Roll High School," the Pretenders' "Brass in Pocket," Echo & the Bunnymen's "The Cutter" and the Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime."
A previously unreleased remix of Easy Ride will be available August 9th on Tracy Young's new compilation Dance Culture. Source: Madonna.com)
Madonna has enlisted the talents of Andre 3000 on her new album, after meeting the Outkast star on the set of her husband Guy Ritchie's forthcoming movie Revolver.
Material Girl Madonna is set to unleash her latest record, Confessions On A Dance Floor, in November.
The album will contain a collaborative track that she has been working on with Andre 3000, real name Andre Benjamin.
Andre says: "Madonna showed up on the set of Revolver and made me really nervous. She walked around the corner and I forgot all my lines.
"She asked me what I thought about music and where it was going. Then we talked about something on her new album."
British designer Matthew Williamson was so star-struck when he met Madonna he had to take a walk to calm down.
The flamboyant style guru regularly creates clothes for celebrities like Sienna Miller and R+B beauty Kelis, but became a starstruck mute in the presence of the queen of pop.
And he was surprised to discover she is much milder than her fearsome reputation lead him to believe.
He says, "I went to dinner with Madonna at Le Caprice (London restaurant) and I was s**ting myself. I had to walk round the block to get my bearings.
"Afterwards she took me to a private screening of Angela's Ashes. I was touching her knees!
"She is not this brazen, crazy, over-bearing character. She's diminutive, laid back but in control, very sharp. And, she remembers everything."
This week's splash page of Madonna.com is in the style of the Vogue Magazine cover, with the beautiful picture of Madonna and her children Lola and Rocco.
Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri is impressed by Madonna's directness when she wants to get to know somebody, because she simply phones them.
The Ray Of Light superstar hates relying on celebrity parties to meet new pals - she prefers to invite stars she has admired from afar to an evening of fine cuisine and conversation, and Spiteri was on her list.
Spiteri recalls, "Madonna just rang up and said, 'Do you want to come to dinner?' and it was either a yes or a no and I said, 'Yes.'
"That's just an easier way for her to meet people she thinks she might want to meet because there is always such a fuss around her when she is in a public place.
"I enjoy her company, her conversation. She's lovely."
Sir Elton John ended his bitter feud with George Michael by taking him out to dinner, but the outspoken singer is finding it harder to win back the affections of Madonna.
John and Michael fell out in November last year (04) after John accused his fellow homosexual of being an unhappy drug-user and branded his album Patience "disappointing".
Rocket man singer John also angered Madonna when he accused her of lip-synching at Britain's Q Awards last year (04).
He says, "That one's slightly more difficult. I did send her two Christmas cards and they both came back.
"It was just one of those off-the-cuff things.
"(But) George and I are fine. We've had dinner, and I've apologised to him if I hurt his feelings.
"It was handbags at 50 paces. We like each other too much to fall out."
A few weeks ago Madonna.com reported that HUNG UP is going to be the first single off the new album. We are now happy to tell you that HUNG UP will debut at radio on October 17th!
Not only that, but Madonna.com is pleased to announce the release date for Madonna's new All Dance Album. Madonna fans all over the world can rejoice, because the album release date is currently scheduled for November 15, 2005!
Put your dancing shoes on and plan a date with your best friends to the clubs, because October & November are going to rule!
Who are the happiest music executives in the land these days? The big guys at Warner Records. All who have heard Madonna's coming CD, "Confessions On A Dance Floor," have been blown away. (Including WR's movie-star handsome CEO Tom Whalley.)
"Confessions" is entirely a dance-driven pop disc. No message. No ballads. All fun. These days M seems serene as the chatelaine of an English manor, feeding the chickens, riding, tending to her children, etc. (She, her home and her kids are gorgeous in Vogue for August.)
But the once-shocking icon can still get into the groove. And she wants her fans to know it. The album hits stores in November.
Madonna.com is updated with a gorgeous splash page showing Madonna's pictures from 2005 so far, with the Live 8 quote "Ready to start a revolution?"
According to fansite Madonnatribe, the photoshoot for the album artwork is still confirmed for August 11th, but the videoshoot is pushed back to the end of September.
Yesterday we reported that the single Hung Up will be released in the UK on November 7th. Today, MTV Germany reports that the single will be out in their country on November 14.
They add that the album should follow "shortly after" and that the Hung Up video will be shot by Steven Klein in London later this month.
However, the photoshoot and video by Steven Klein will be held in Los Angeles instead of London, and these would take place on August 11th.
Madonna's new single, Hung Up, will be released on November 7.
The track is taken from Madonna's new album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, expected a week later.
Hung Up has been produced by Stuart Price, aka Jacques Lu Cont, the musical director on the Material Girl's 2004 Re-Invention Tour.
A DVD of onstage and behind-the-scenes footage of that tour is also due later in the year.
Ramona from the PeterRauhofer forum has posted the following rumours on the new album (thanx to David Figueiredo from MIR):
"The demo master has 16 tracks, only 13 of them will make it to the album:
Again the final album tracks (13) is not ready yet. Madonna and Warner are still in meetings... It's from the guy who works at Warner.
There is going to be a casting call for dancers and actors for the shooting of Hung Up, the agents breakdown is going out next monday.
MTV will be full of Madonna in the fall. Makng the video will premier on MTV with Madonnas new video... as I heard.
Madonna has asked her gal-pal Ingrid Casares to be in charge of a national promotional tour. Ingrid is part owner of a Miami based dance Club promoting company, and Madonna wants her to put together a promotional tour. The theme of this tour would be to have Official Album release parties in selected clubs nationally, and Madonna would attend some of them.
Very possible that Madonna is coming to Miami for MTV VMA to promote the new single and perform it live... I think it's just a rumour, because Ingrid Casares is doing the MTV Video Music Awards party... but I like it.
Madonna WILL NOT, AGAIN, WILL NOT sample an ABBA song . "Ring Ring" has nothing to do with Madonna's new single or album... Creepy.
The first single Hung Up (to hit radio stations very soon, planned for her Bday) is going to be A BIG BIG -Techno/disco stomper, a very old Madonna feeling track, but revolutionary new at the same time, like it was with Frozen, Ray Of Light, Music, Nobody Knows Me at the time... WOOOOOOW.
The album is going to be Warner's biggest release of the year..."
Many Madonnafans have wondered whatever happened to Niki Haris and why she stopped working for Madonna. Here's a recent interview with Niki from the Sunday Times, in which she also discusses her collaboration with Madonna:
After 17 years as the star's backing singer Niki Haris is ready to reveal an inherited gift for showing the world the soul of jazz, writes Claire Prentice
She swaps make-up tips and motherhood advice with Madonna, has Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Mick Jagger on speed dial but today Niki Haris is feeding porridge to a squirming two-year old.
Sitting in the kitchen of her Californian home, 20 minutes north of Los Angeles, Haris and her daughter Jordan Ann are enjoying breakfast while watching Changing Rooms on cable. "I think I must have been British in a previous life," laughs the singer, "I spend all my free time watching the BBC. We've just been watching Cash in the Attic."
Haris is enjoying a rare day at home — she has spent so little time there in recent months that she still hasn't got round to buying a stick of furniture for her living room. In the past fortnight she has clocked up thousands of air miles, performing in Switzerland, Milan, Chicago, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico.
"I love Puerto Rico," says Haris with a smile. "They like their women with hips."
This week she and Jordan Ann are travelling to Edinburgh for the international jazz festival, where Haris is performing for three nights (husband Jay King is too busy running a record label to join them). She was a huge hit last year, providing a welcome dose of old-style glamour in a line-up that often seems packed with beer bellies and bald heads.
But then with her good looks and vibrant stage presence Haris, 43, would stand out anywhere, and not just among the crowds in Scotland. She does not fit the image of a brooding musician, hunched on stage and frowning in concentration; nor does she fit with the image of Mr Acker Bilk, who too often has seemed to personify the genre for the organisers of the Edinburgh event.
Of course Haris has the enviable advantage of having picked up performance tips from the queen of entertainment, Madonna. For 17 years she toured the world as one of Madonna's backing singers and dancers when the material girl was at the top of her game.
Haris was performing backing vocals for the Righteous Brothers when she got a call asking her to audition alongside 200 other girls on Madonna's Who's That Girl Tour.
"As I'd been recommended I was first up. I did my stuff and she sent everyone else home. Working with her was hard — a constant aerobic workout. I spent every day in dance class and the gym and did the whole scene thing. It was good though. I've learnt from her and I like to think she's learnt from me."
She and Madonna remain friends and try to meet up whenever their touring schedules coincide but they see less of each other since Madonna moved to England. “Seventeen years is long enough with any job, it was just time to move on," says Haris, who quit her job with Madonna in 2002, when she had her daughter.
Although she is too smart to criticise one of the most powerful women in show business, one senses from her comments on the industry and her dislike of celebrity that she was not always entirely approving of her former employer's occasional shock tactics in the world of pop. “A lot of the music we hear now, especially contemporary music, is really vulgar," reckons Haris. “ I think people want romance back in their lives in a way that isn't lewd and crude, and jazz represents that."
Although her reluctance to embrace the limelight means she is not yet a household name in Britain, Haris is well established in America and mainland Europe; her past collaborations read like a Who's Who of Hollywood. She has choreographed Sharon Stone and Whoopi Goldberg and sung with Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight and Luther Vandross. She had a No 1 chart hit in the UK (with dance group Snap), has acted with De Niro, Al Pacino and Bruce Willis (she found acting "boring") and sang in Disney's Anastasia.
This is a singer who was never going to be allowed to blend into the background in America, partly owing to the legendary status of her father, Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Gene Harris. "Growing up I didn't think of him as famous, I just knew that people loved him wherever we went. We all went with him on tour, us four girls and mum, in this 36ft-long motor home.
I remember the first time we drove through the Rocky Mountains, these little black kids from Michigan driving through these incredible sculptures of God. It was great being able to camp, go fishing and really appreciate mother nature. We met people from all walks of life because we were driving around all these different cities. Nobody really does that anymore — you just fly over them."
She sees herself as continuing the family tradition, taking her daughter with her wherever she goes. "My life is one big tour, especially in summer, and Jordan Ann comes everywhere. She can't get a better education than travelling around to all these different countries."
Even during the years that she worked with Madonna, Haris pursued her own career tirelessly.
"I remember once in New York I was on stage with Madonna at Madison Square Garden during the early part of the night, then I would head off to sit in on a jazz set at a club. Finally, at two or three in the morning I'd make an appearance at a dance club to sing a few songs."
She lists singing with Ray Charles and Gladys Knight among her career highlights but adds that none of them came close to the thrill she felt when touring and recording with her father during the last seven years of his life. "Performing with my father was amazing. He loved my singing."↑ Back to top of page