Madonna has hit back at newlywed Sir Elton John after he criticised her for not attending his pre-wedding party on Monday (19 DEC 05).
British newspaper the Daily Mirror reported John labelled the Material Girl a "miserable cow" after she snubbed his star-studded bachelor party at London nightspot Too2Much, which was held ahead of the Rocket Man hitmaker's civil partnership ceremony with DAVID FURNISH yesterday (21 DEC 05).
In response, Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg tells PageSix.com, "Madonna wishes Elton all the best, and hopes married life will make him a happier person."
Fansite MadonnaTribe has some extra information about the earlier rumoured release dates:
"M-Tribe reader Andrea has just received news from sources close to Warner Brasil about teo upcoming Madonna releases for the first half of the new year.
He reports that the DVD for I'm Going To Tell You a Secret has indeed a tentative date set for February 2006, as MadonnaTribe exclusively reported yesterday. The current listing are as follows:
February 7, 2006: European Release Date
February 8, 2006: Rest of the World Release Date
It also looks like that the long awaited DVD for Madonna's most recent tour - currently titled "The Re-Invention World Tour 2004 Live From Portugal" has now a tentative release date set for March 13, 2006 worldwide.
Please note that none of the above information has been officially announced so far."
Fansite MadonnaTribe has heard some cool news about some upcoming Madonna releases for the next year.
On January 10, 2006, a mysterious US Promo will be released, currently labelled as "Confessions Double Mix Pack". There's no news at the moment about what is going to be included - whether there will be mixes for the new single or something different.
A tentative release date for I'm Going To Tell You A Secret has now been set for February 2006. Interestingly enough, it seems that this release is currently listed as a DVD+CD set.
As usual, let's keep in mind that nothing as been officially announced - finger crossed for a brilliant start of an even better year 2006.
The hotly anticipated new album from Madonna, Confessions On A Dance Floor, has sold a remarkable two million copies across Europe within its first two weeks of release, the IFPI reports.
This is yet another top-seller from the 47-year-old, who continues to thrill fans with her energetic performances and rejuvenated sounds. This album marks a return to her disco roots, and the first single release Hung Up - featuring a rarely granted Abba sample - is a hit across Europe.
Albums published after January 1, 1994 are the only ones eligible for the European Platinum Award. Madonna has a stunning 24 Platinum discs throughout Europe with eight albums, starting with Bedtime Stories, and ranks as the second female artist following Celine Dion with 34 Platinums and nine albums.
Title/Year of certification
Bedtime Stories: 2xPlatinum (2,000,000) (1998)
Something to Remember: 3xPlatinum (3,000,000) (1997)
Evita: 2xPlatinum (2,000,000) (1997)
Ray Of Light: 7xPlatinum (7,000,000) (2002)
Music: 5xPlatinum (5,000,000) (2002)
GHV2: 2xPlatinum (2,000,000) (2001)
American Life: 1xPlatinum (1,000,000) (2003)
Confessions On A Dance Floor: 2xPlatinum (2,000,000) (2005)
Plans by pop star Madonna and Guy Ritchie, her film director husband, to celebrate their wedding anniversary in the exclusive Highland castle where they exchanged their marriage vows five years ago, were scuppered yesterday because of aircraft problems.
The couple had been due to fly into Inverness airport on a private jet at lunchtime, before heading for the luxurious surroundings of Skibo Castle, near Dornoch, where they married in 2000 in a lavish ceremony which cost a reputed £2 million.
But their romantic Highland celebrations had to be abandoned after their private plane developed an apparent technical problem prior to its scheduled take-off from an airport near the couple's home at Ashcombe House in Wiltshire.
The Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, the Coldplay singer Chris Martin, had also been expected to be joining the first lady of pop and her husband at Skibo for the strictly private celebrations. But a source at Skibo Castle claimed: "The whole trip has now been cancelled."
Madonna and Ritchie were married at Skibo Castle on 22 December 2000 and had been planning to return to the £1,000-a-night retreat on their own, leaving behind their children, Lourdes, nine, and five-year-old Rocco with relatives.
Madonna's latest single Hung Up has topped a GaydarRadio poll to find the best gay hits of 2005.
Almost half of all voters named the track, which samples ABBA's 'Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight)', their favourite of the past year.
"It's amazing how a woman old enough to be the mother of most of our listeners still holds the admiration and affection of so many gay men," said station manager Robin Crowley.
"It's been an amazing year for gay music and a tough choice to choose the top 10 hits, but Madonna proves again why she is such a world wide mega star despite the naff hair and dodgy outfits on her recent video - maybe she'll pick up some more sensible clothes in the M&S sales in January."
The top ten in full:
1. Madonna: 'Hung Up' (44%)
2. Bodyrockers: 'I Like The Way' (11%)
3. Charlotte Church: 'Crazy Chick' (8%)
4. Inaya Day: 'Nasty Girl' (7%)
5. Deux: 'Sun Rising Up' (6%)
6. Faith Evans: 'Mesmerized' (6%)
7. Tom Novy: 'Your Body' (5%)
8. Freemasons: 'Love On My Mind' (5%)
9. Barbara Tucker: 'Most Precious Love' (4%)
10. Gadjo: 'So Many Times' (4%)
The Radio Edit version of Madonna's next single, Sorry, was officially sent out to UK radio stations today, so fans should be hearing it over the airwaves soon.
The radio edit version of the song is at 3:43 a whole minute shorter than the album version. The beginning of the radio edit is slightly different with 'Forgive me' being sang under the 'I heard it all before' introduction.
The musical interlude in the middle is shortened and the 'I heard it all before' album ending has been removed.
You can download some recent Madonna interviews here (for RapidShare, click FREE to get a download ticket, then fill in the code):
The exclusive Madonna interview on Swedish TV SV1 done during the promotion of Confession On A Dance Floor has just aired. This nice half hour tv special also had interviews of Johan Renck, the director of the Hung Up and Nothing Really Matters videos. Watch 15 minutes of the interview here.
Madonna on going to New York for the first time:
"The number one priority that I had when I went to New York was that I wanted to be in a dance company, a professional dance company. I wanted to make a living as a dancer."
On music coming around:
"Music came in after years struggling as a dancer and being poor and thinking: oh God I can't keep living my life this way, I'm always broke. So I met a girl, actually she was Dutch. Her name was Angie she played the bass, she was in my ballet class and she said: Hey let's start a band! So that was the first time I got into thinking about music."
On "making a difference":
"I that making a difference in the world has got to do with your own development, with your own growth and change. And you own point of view about your place in the world. And I think that comes in time. I didn't start out with my music thinking: I'm going to make a difference in the world. I thought: I'm gonna be somebody but I didn't think oh God I wanna make the world a better place. That's how I was thinking."
On success and fame:
"I don't think anyone starts out their careers thinking about the things that are going to come to them when they become famous. Most people just say I wanna make it, I want to be successful. You don't think about anything that success brings. And it's a double edged sword. With success and fame comes and enormous responsibility. And an enormous ammount of scrutiny so there is an upside and a downside and you have to have a sense of humor to get through it all."
On controversy of in the 90s:
"Well I feel that controversy is always swirling around me anyways, so I don't point an area of my life versus another as being controversial. How do I feel about it looking back to the nineties? Well that was a tough time for me but I also felt like the world misunderstood what I was trying to say and do. And people gave me a hard time unnecessarely.
Now if I had done now what I did then I'm sure I would have never gotten such a hard time from people. Times change and people often react in a very way towards things that are unfamiliar or different. And obviously when you are challenged and you have a tough time you learn and grow a lot. Ultimately I have to look back at that time as the best thing that ever happened to me.
That's where I truly learned the huge responsability that comes with being famous. People absolutely listen to everything you say and do. Scrutinize you, give meaning to things you never meant to give meaning to, that often the things you say can often be taken out of context and I learned what big influece I have on people and I think that was an important lesson."
On Bloodshy & Avant:
"I liked the records they did with other people. My daughter was listening to Rachel Stevens and also Britney Sprears and they worked on tracks for both those girl's records and I felt they were really catchy and danceable and I like them so I wanted to work with them."
During this TV special, a snippet of an interesting interview from 2001 with composer Patrick Leonard was shown among other things. Speaking about the Like A Prayer album he said that "none of the songs took more than more than two or three hours to write".
Incredible songs such as Like A Prayer, Cherish, Spanish Eyes, Oh Father, Dear Jessie were done in the first five days of writing, Leonard to the interviewer, the same journalist that asked Madonna to look back at that amazing 1989 album during the Confessions interview.
Madonna on Like A Prayer:
"I think that's the record I started to write more serious lyrics. With Like A Prayer and Live To Tell, I think that was the first time I started writing songs that were more soul searching and deeper, asking questions about life, dealing with my relationships, with my family, my parents, my husband, life in general. I think it was a turning point for me as a song writer."
Madonna's 1986 film Shanghai Surprise is finally getting a Region 2 DVD release. The DVD is scheduled to be released in the UK on Monday 27 February 2006 and comes as a widescreen edition, which is probably superior to the previously available full screen Region 1 release version.
To ultimately please the fans, the author Dirk Timmerman has added an extra chapter about the Confessions promo tour. Under the new title 'Madonna Live! Secret Re-Inventions and Confessions On Tour' it also received a brand new Confessions-inspired cover.
Madonna reigns supreme at the top of the European pop charts, with the biggest-selling album and single. Single Hung Up and LP Confessions On A Dance Floor have topped their respective charts for five and four weeks respectively.
The Material Girl edges out The Pussycat Dolls' 'Stickwitu' in the singles chart, followed by The Black Eyed Peas' 'My Humps', Star Academy 5's Santiano and Sugababes' 'Push The Button'.
Her album beat Robbie Williams' 'Intensive Care', Enya's 'Amarantine', Eminem's 'Curtain Call' and Il Divo's 'Ancora'.
Elton John slammed Madonna as a "miserable cow" after she failed to attend his pre-wedding cabaret on Monday night, according to The Daily Mirror.
The Candle In The Wind hitmaker, 58, reportedly hit out at the pop superstar during a speech thanking guests and performers for attending the lavish London bash.
John will exchange vows with longterm love David Furnish later today, taking advantage of new British laws affording gay unions the same legal protection enjoyed within traditional marriages.
John reportedly said: "Madonna, the miserable cow, wouldn't do it. David asked her three times."
In Belgium, there are many charity actions today to raise money to help people in Pakistan survive the winter after the earthquake.
TV channels Eén and VTM are doing a live fund raising show tonight. Radio station Studio Brussel has recorded the charity song 'kippensoep voor iedereen' and is selling soup everywhere in the country.
Radio Donna allows you to adopt a song; for only 30 Euro (250 Euro for companies) you can request a song. Among the songs in the request list is also Madonna's Hung Up. The donations are given to Doctors Without Frontiers and the Red Cross.
Request here and help the people in Pakistan!
Between Christmas and New Year, Belgian Radio Donna will be broadcasting their Top 2005. You can now vote for your favorite songs on their Top 2005 website. Be sure to get Madonna's songs high on the list!
Interesting details: there are already people calling in to ask what they'll do with Frozen in their list [because of the plagiarism case they're officially not allowed to play it]. If we all place Frozen at no. 1 in our favorites, we can give it a high place in the list! Let's see how they'll solve the issue. Vote now!
Madonna's reteaming with her longtime choreographer, Jamie King, to direct her next video, Sorry, which she'll shoot in January most likely in London, according to her rep.
Madonna fans in France will be treated with some sort of special Christmas gift as Warner Music France has planned to release of a limited edition CD of Madonna's Hung Up coming out on December 26.
This new release has no unreleased mixes on - and it actually has the same tracklisting of the regular 3-tracks European/UK CD single:
1. Hung up - Radio Version
2. Hung up - Tracy Young's Get Up And Dance Groove Edit
3. Hung up - SDP Extended Vocal
What makes this new release special is the fact that the CD will come out in a carboard sleeve, just like the typical French "2 Titres" - and it will also be priced as a standard 3.99 euro 2-track CD. Promotion for this new release reads indeed "Get 3 tracks for the price of 2" and is most likely meant to keep the already fantastic sales of Hung Up at the top of the French charts for longer.
Speaking of France, online retailers have started listing Sorry to be released on January 25, 2006 in a Maxi Single format. No further details are available at the moment.
Another Madonna-related item will also come out next year, as the NRJ Music Awards 2006 compilation is set to be released on January 9, 2006. There is no tracklisting for the album available at the moment, but Madonna is rumoured to be one of the featured artists, also because of her nomination at this coming edition of the French music awards.
What is also interesting is that the NRJ compilation also comes out as a limited edition that includes a DVD video, so let's keep our finger crossed for some nice surprises...
Vanity Fair Italia is holding a poll among its readers for the best magazine cover of 2005. You can vote for the cover of the issue 46/47 (1 December 2005) which was graced with a picture of Madonna, Lola and Rocco.
Currently this cover is in second place, so get your votes out now!
Age and motherhood have done little to dull the rebel streak in Madonna, as Christine Sams discovers.
It's Madonna at her sensual best. In one section of her video clip for Hung Up she is handed from man to man, arching her back, offering up her lips.
"I had a great time, it's the ultimate fantasy," she says with a hearty laugh, sitting inside a suite in Tokyo's luxurious Grand Hyatt Hotel. "Just because I'm married and have kids doesn't mean I don't like to have fun."
Meet Madonna in 2005 - hotter than ever on the charts because of her new album Confessions On A Dance Floor, the undisputed superstar of the year, the woman affectionately known as "the missus" by her husband Guy Ritchie and a loving mum to Lourdes, 9, and Rocco, 5.
But don't think for a minute she wants to be known as mainstream or "settled down". For Madonna, being perceived as a cultural rebel is as important as ever.
"I still think that I'm pushing the envelope," she says, leaning forward in her chair, eyes sparkling. "I don't think many people have had the kind of career I've had, spanning the amount of time it's spanned and, you know, continuously pushing the envelope. Asking questions and defying convention, things like that. That makes me a rebel right there. I'm not afraid to speak my mind, I have opinions. I don't think I think in a conventional way, so that makes me a rebel too."
It's strange what people will ask about Madonna. When they find out you've met one of the world's biggest superstars - a woman who has had more No. 1 singles than the Beatles and Elvis - they ask two main questions: does she have a fake English accent? And what was her skin like?
Madonna, in real life, is nothing like what you'd expect. Small and lean, with a dancer's physique, she seems softer and warmer in person. Her skin is pale, to the point of being almost translucent, but at 47 she looks about 40 - perhaps not out of the ordinary for a longtime fitness fanatic.
But let's not pretend her superstar status is not on show wherever she goes. When Madonna enters the room there's a sizeable entourage (about 15 people to be exact, including stylists, security, publicists and lighting men) but there's a one-on-one vulnerability about the singer that is genuinely surprising.
"I think when you reach a certain level of notoriety a lot of people take away the idea, or the fact, that you're still a human being," she says, matter-of-factly, in her straightforward American accent (no British lilt on show).
"I still have to get up out of bed and put both feet on the ground and brush my teeth and deal with all sorts of things, like the car stalling, you know?
"I have the same issues [as other people]. You know... my children waking me in the middle of the night repeatedly," she says, with an exasperated smile.
Madonna's love for her children Lourdes and Rocco seems to filter through everything she talks about. Rather than being reticent about discussing her family life, she brings them up first during our interview, saying her kids have helped her move beyond the self-consciousness of being in the celebrity "fishbowl".
"I think having my children, my family, you know they keep it real for me," she says. "When I get home at night, I'm their 'Mom' - I have to read books to them and help my daughter with her homework. They don't care about my superstar status and that's good.
"They've taught me patience, tolerance. A lot of the things that I find my children doing that really bug me, I realise they're just doing what I do. So it's a great way to learn about yourself, having children. They're the great equalisers. They tell the truth - which is amazing, sometimes you don't want to hear it. But they're very inspiring."
Madonna might have wowed the world again this year with her Hung Up clip, by donning a sexy leotard and showing off her lithe physique at 47, but she candidly admits she prefers dancing around the loungeroom with Lourdes and Rocco.
"I love to dance with my kids," she says, smiling. But Madonna insists she's not the one showing them the dance moves. "No, no, they show me the moves," she adds, with a laugh. "They're very good."
It's this warmer, funnier side of Madonna that is rarely on show. She admits her level of celebrity leads to a catch-22 situation of influence and invasion. "It's great to be in the position I'm in because it means I have a lot of influence, I have a voice - people listen to me," she says.
"But it's also challenging because it means that everybody is constantly analysing everything I do and attaching meanings to it that don't exist... you know, I have to be responsible for every little thing I say, what I wear when I walk out of the house. My life becomes a fishbowl and that's something of a challenge."
Fortunately, for this incredibly famous, iconic woman, there are plenty of laughs behind the scenes. "My son cracks me up on a regular basis. He's the clown of the family, he's just so funny," she says. "My husband's pretty funny too - they've got this English humour thing going, so they make me laugh.
And believe it or not, despite the current family warmth, Madonna says she's not afraid of her own children eventually rebelling against her.
"A little rebellion is good," says Madonna, with a gleam in her eyes. "It's good, yeah."
Not only did she produce the video clip of the year with Hung Up, but her album Confessions On A Dance Floor is a winner in every sense of the word. And when we told Madonna she was The Sun-Herald's superstar of the year, the singer was genuinely pleased: "Yay! That's nice,'' she said. "I think it's a compliment.''
Madonna's Confessions On A Dance Floor is available nationally, through Warner Music.
Madonna is busy preparing for her new photoshoot that will be featured in an upcoming issue of Harper's Bazaar. She will be collaborating with photographer Solve Sundsbo. This is a brand new photographer collaboration for Madonna.
Fansite Madonnalicious adds that the shoot is due to take place around 15/16 December and is a move away from her current 'disco' look. They also reveal that very high platform shoes have been requested for the shoot.
Last Thursday December 15th, Madonna and Stuart Price attended Coldplay's concert at Earls Court in London. As an interlude during the performance of 'God Put A Smile Upon Your Face', Coldplay played their own version of Hung Up (as they had done the night before as well).
Check fansite Madonnalicious for fan report and a snapshot of Madonna and Stuart. You can also download an audio clip of Coldplay's Hung Up.
Have you ever wanted to share a bottle of wine with Madonna? Delicious & flavorful bottles of Cabarnet Sauvignon, Barbera, Pinot Grigio, and UnWine are now available with Madonna's artwork to commemorate the amazing success of her latest album, Confessions On A Dance Floor.
This is a great time to be a Madonna fan! Celebrate with a bottle of Madonna wine. Click here to buy now!
Pop superstar Madonna has inspired retired supermodel Tyra Banks to take up yoga.
Madonna, 47, has one of the most toned bodies in the celebrity world thanks to her chosen workout regime - and Banks is now eager to get herself in similar shape in the New Year (06).
She says, "I've never done (yoga), and I'm nervous about it. It's literally hard for me to touch my toes, and then I see Madonna. She's almost 50 years old and that body?
"I have cellulite - I'm 32. She's 50 and has muscles. Something's wrong here."
Britney Spears has hired Madonna's writers and producers in an attempt to reinvent her pop career.
The Toxic singer has recruited hit-making duo Bloodshy And Avant and producer Peer Astrom after being impressed with the sound of Madonna's new album Confessions On A Dance Floor.
Spears, who gave birth to her first child Sean Preston in September, is desperate to re-brand herself as a more sophisticated pop singer on her return to the charts next year.
A close source says: "After hearing Confessions Britney immediately decided she wanted to return to the pop sound that made her a huge star in the beginning.
"She's done the R&B thing and rock chick thing, but her first love has always been pop."
Madonna is being plagued by nightmares - about
The sexy singer, who is a keen horse rider, claims her sleep has been haunted by equine night terrors since she was thrown from a horse on her 47th birthday in August.
The pop beauty, who was left with a broken hand and collar bone as well as three cracked three ribs after the accident, said: "I've been having a lot of bad dreams lately about horses and horse riding. It's been a recurring theme."
Despite the accident, Madonna revealed she has been horse riding since and wasn't daunted at all by getting back in the saddle.
She told Britain's Radio One: "It was good. I love ripping across the fields really fast."
Last month, Madonna admitted falling off a horse was the most painful thing that has ever happened to her.
She said: "It was the most painful thing that ever happened to me in my life, but it was a great learning experience."
Officially, the limited edition of Confessions On A Dance Floor was released on tuesday 13th. However, in some countries there was some delay. We just got confirmation that this special box is now also available in Belgian music store Fnac and other music stores should normally have it on their shelves today or tomorrow.
As you probably already know, the box contains the album with the bonus track Fighting Spirit, a 40-page picture book, a journal with some entries by Madonna, and a one month trial membership to ICON. Buy it now in your local music store or at Amazon.
For the past 2 weeks, Mad-Eyes visitors could vote for the song which they thought should be released as third single (after Hung Up and Sorry). The album sticker mentions Hung Up, Sorry and Jump, which could hint that the 8th track will get a commercial release. And our readers seem to agree with this choice; with 28% of the votes Jump was chosen as favorite third single.
Strong second place for club-sweeper Get Together, which received 22% of the votes. The other votes were divided over the rest of the tracks, with a shared third place for Push and Let It Will Be (9% each). Although half the votes went to two songs, the poll indicates that the album contains many tracks with single potential.
Madonna's fashion sense has come under fire from her daughter Lourdes - she is embarrassed when her mum collects her from school dressed like a pop star.
Lourdes is so keen for the Hung Up hitmaker to blend in with the other mums when she waits for her outside London's Lycee Francais School, the nine-year-old has started telling her mum what to wear.
Madonna says, "My daughter is critical. Sometimes she totally disapproves of what I wear. She doesn't want me to look too strange.
"If I pick her up from school she instructs me to dress normally... My daughter has a new routine too. She goes, 'Why can't you just be like normal mothers?'"
But Madonna still has one fan who never lets her down - her son Rocco, five. She adds, "He tells me I look beautiful no matter what."
No surprise here: another #1 album from a Madonna who's never let anything - not even motherhood or her fascination with Jewish mysticism - shake her bionic grip on the pulse of pop culture.
This time her partner in crime is Stuart Price of Les Rhythms Digitales, a producer who's well acquainted with the '80s nostalgia that's fueling everything from the neo new wave of Franz Ferdinand and the Killers to a larger movement back to the dance floor.
This is familiar territory for the material girl, though it's not as vacuous as titles like Hung Up, Get Together, Jump, and How High might suggest. "I'm going to tell you about love... would you like to try," she whispers over a minimalist electro groove on Future Lovers before a deep bass masses beneath her, lifting her voice higher and higher, until it disappears again as a whisper.
Like much of Confessions, it's an invitation to lose oneself on the dance floor that recognizes the spirituality of giving oneself over to the beat of the DJ; it's even like a continuous-mix disc in that each song segues into the next.
Anyone offended by the way the pillowy synths fade directly into the sampled incantations of a cantor on the one explicitly Kabbalah-inspired track here (Isaac) hasn't noticed how "world music" has been making its way into contemporary dance music.
Besides, it's not half as silly as 47-year-old Madonna speak-singing zingers like "if you don't like my attitude, then you can eff off" and "New York is not for little pussies who scream" on I Love New York, the only track that tries too hard on an album that otherwise makes a point of being effortlessly brilliant.
Congratulations to Stuart Price for receiving 2 Grammy Nominations! Stuart was nominated for the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for Mr. Brightside Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix.
His second nomination was for the Best Dance Recording for Guilt Is A Useless Emotion. Stuart Price is Madonna's current producing partner and musical director her last two world tours.
The Recording Academy is finally catching on to what Madonna.com has known for years, Stuart's a genius!
Madonna is considered one of the hottest performers around for many reasons.
Physically, she's in great shape and, professionally, her latest album, Confessions On A Dance Floor is No. 1 in 29 countries, including Japan, where co-anchor Harry Smith recently had an exclusive interview with her.
In Part One of the interview, seen on The Early Show Monday, Madonna and Smith chatted about how driven she still is to be the best she can possibly be and give her fans all she has to offer.
In the portion of their talk shown Tuesday, Madonna explained to Smith how she stays so physically fit.
"It's hard work, bro," she chuckled. "I exercise. I take good care of myself. I get facials. I get massages. I eat very healthy. I stay out of the sun. I don't drink very much, except when I come to Japan. And, I don't know. It's - it takes a lot of work."
Told by Smith her new album is perceived to be "frothy," meant to be danced to, and fun, Madonna came up with some descriptions of her own: a celebration, and ebullient.
Smith read the lyrics of one of the new songs: "It's funny. I spent my whole life wanting to be talked about. I did it; just about everything to see my name in lights. Was it all worth it?"
"Yop," quipped Madonna.
"And how did I earn it?" Smith continued. "Nobody's perfect. I guess I deserve it."
"That's celebratory," Madonna said.
"That's celebratory?" Smith said. "There's meat inside the -"
"Of course," Madonna said. "But that's why it's called Confessions On A Dance Floor.
Because, somewhere in the, what you call froth, is truth. … And they're rhetorical questions. … I mean, hopefully, what I like to do is make everybody ask those questions. … But, at the end of the day, you know, I have to be grateful for all the choices I made, because they landed me where I am."
Smith noted that Madonna's 36 top-10 singles ties her with Elvis. Madonna said: "I think I'm in good company."
She added that she can't name them all.
When asked which are her favorites, Madonna cited Holiday, but Smith noted that it only got to No. 16 on the charts.
Madonna said she also particularly likes, Like A Virgin, which went to No. 1.
She pointed to Material Girl as another favorite of hers. It hit No. 2.
Another fave? Like A Prayer, which also became a chart-topper.
Smith told Madonna two of his favorites from Elvis are "Heartbreak Hotel," which Madonna called "a good one," and "Kentucky Rain," which Madonna agreed "is a beautiful one."
"I like his ballads," Madonna said.
When Smith referred to Madonna's daughter as a "budding ballerina," Madonna said: "She wants to do her own thing, and she doesn't want me coming to her rehearsals either. … She's in 'The Nutcracker' in a couple of weeks, actually, in a week.
And her whole thing has been, 'Please don't come to the rehearsals. I wanna surprise you. I wanna surprise you.' And she's very dedicated to what she does. She has a very clear idea of what she wants to do. She doesn't wanna be a singer."
Madonna, Smith said, has some "very clear ideas" about child-rearing. Her kids aren't allowed to watch TV.
"If they don't watch television, they use their imagination," she said. "They read. They interact. They play interactive games. They get outside of the house. They have hobbies. … And we have discussions. … It's not like, oh, you know, 'TV's terrible. It's a drug. Turn it off.' It's just not something anyone does in our house."
Smith held up Madonna's first two albums, which were on vinyl.
He asked Madonna if, at the time, she saw herself where she is now and she shot back, "Absolutely not. No way. I never imagined what my life, how it would unfold, and how my career would take shape and the journeys I would go on and, you know, the fact that I would be living in Europe. … I couldn't even have fathomed it in a million years. I was just so grateful to make one record."
And, 36 top ten hits later, Madonna said, "I'm very lucky."
She says she'd like to make another movie, or step behind the camera and direct. She'd like to be part of another big musical like Evita.
Most of you have already heard the ICON bonus track Super Pop. In this fun disco song, Madonna encourages everyone to be ambitious, as she is. But as happened many times before (Material Girl, anyone?) many critics don't get her sense of humour and got offended by her "lack of modesty". American website MSNBC clearly doesn't appreciate how she slams their president:
"Madonna believes that if she were a man, she'd be president.
At least that's what the diva sings in a song that was left off her latest album. Super Pop was originally recorded as the 13th track for Madonna's Confessions On A Dance Floor - but it was kept off and is available for download only to members of her official fan club.
Some folks are saying that's because only Madonna's fans would forgive her for the less-than-humble lyrics. In the song, Madonna says that she would always be the top in her field: "If I was a car, I'd be an Aston Martin."
She continues: "If I was a star, I would be who I am today/If I was a fighter, I'd be Cassius Clay/If I was emotion, I would be intense/If I was a man, I would be president." And she says, if she were president, "I'll be different."
Some have defended the rather self-lauding lyrics as ironic or humorous. Not all agree. "If you thought the rap in American Life [was] painful to the ears," laments one listener, "wait until you hear this"."
Madonna's latest album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, has already sold over 4 million copies worldwide.
As part of the promotion, Madonna made her first trip to Tokyo in 12 years, and she asked The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith to come along for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at things.
Wherever she goes, Smith says, it's an international event. Photographers catch her every move.
The Japanese journalists wanted to know every detail, from what Madonna missed about their country to what she likes about herself.
On the former, she said she missed the heated toilet seats, among other things. As for the latter, she told the Japanese press corps, "I'm resilient. Does that translate, resiliency? No, not stubborn, resilient; that's the wrong way to describe it."
But, says Smith, Madonna is the ultimate performer and her latest album is a celebration of dance.
The highlight of the trip was a special club show, and Smith caught up with her backstage before she went on.
"The invitation that I got was, I could come to Tokyo as long as I would dance," Smith reminded Madonna.
"Are you ready to do your disco roll?" she asked Smith. Then Madonna showed him some basic moves, and Smith responded by rolling his arms.
"You gotta pump your hip. … Go, Harry!" Madonna told Smith. "Just wave your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care."
Smith admitted he didn't get "the whole thing with the hands" but, undaunted, Madonna showed him some more moves.
Getting serious, Smith asked what it means to her to "go out in front of 12 or 13 or 14 or 15 hundred people. This place is just jammed tonight."
"I like that," Madonna replied.
"They're here for really, literally, a once in a lifetime experience," Smith said.
"I like these gigs," Madonna said. "I like these small, tiny, intimate gigs, where I can feel everybody."
Madonna told Smith she "always" rehearses, and had gone through the entire show earlier in the day.
Turning to the camera to address viewers of The Early Show, Madonna kidded, "There's a rumor going around that I'm a perfectionist. But it's just a rumor."
Of a performance the night before, Smith said, "You blew the doors off the place. … Literally, when I was watching you onstage, I thought to myself there, 'You put everything you have into that performance.' "
"There's nothing left to decide," Smith said.
"It's true," Madonna said. "Yes. This is true. I push myself 'till there's nothing left."
Noting that Madonna's been at it more than 20 years, and this time around with an album that's No. 1 in 29 countries, Smith wondered, "What's inside of you that says, 'I still have to put every ounce of what I have on the stage?' "
"Well," Madonna said, "I mean, the fact that my - my record is No. 1 in 29 countries is - it means that I'm connecting to people. So, when I go to a city and I do a show, I'm gonna give them my all. 'Cause they're giving me their all, by buying my record."
Smith says he's come to know Madonna as someone who "Leaves nothing to chance, who lives every day as if it's her last day on earth."
"Well," Madonna said, "that's the way I should be living my life. … I would love to get to the end of every one of my days and think, 'Did I do everything I meant to achieve? Am I happy this is - if - if this were the last day of my life on Earth, would I be happy about it?' I'd say, 75 percent of the time I'm - is a 'Yes.' But 25, 'No.' "
Where does that come from?
"Being aware," she said. "Being more conscious of the way I am with people; being more responsible for myself, and how I interact with people, and being more grateful. I think that's the main thing, being more grateful and appreciative."
What is she most grateful for?
"My family," she said. "Yeah. 'Cause my family keeps me grounded and keeps it all real."
"Yeah," Smith said, "in a sense, you're also grateful for this response to this record."
"Oh, yes. I'm grateful for that too. Yes."
"From the standpoint that you're an artist," Smith said. "You work. You clearly put everything you have into what you do. … Sometimes it's wildly successful."
"And," Madonna said, "sometimes it's not. And I'm grateful for the ability to be able to ride that, ride the waves, ride the rollercoaster of success because, you know, there's another side to success. And that's, well, what's perceived as a failure. But I don't perceive it that way."
Madonna's previous CD, American Life was "the worst-selling album of my career, but one of my favorite records ever. But what I'm grateful for is the ability to just keep - keep doing what I do. And … OK, people weren't, you know, people didn't accept that. Fine. Pick my crown up off the floor, put it back on my head and keep going. It's alright."
Madonna says there's a good possibility she'll do a scaled-down concert tour next summer.
On Tuesday, Smith will have much more of his conversation with Madonna. She'll talk about parenting and what she has in common with Elvis.
Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie are planning a romantic wedding anniversary - at the Scottish castle where they tied the knot.
The couple are jetting to swanky Skibo Castle - which boasts thousands of acres of stunning countryside in the Scottish Highlands - to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary next week.
The pair are reportedly leaving Madonna's daughter Lourdes, nine, and Rocco, her five-year-old son with film director Guy, with relatives so they can focus on each other.
A source is quoted in Britain's The People newspaper as saying: "Madonna and Guy have both been so busy lately they decided to do something really special for their anniversary.
"Madge has been all over the world promoting her new single and album and has had a really hectic time."
The insider added: "She's also been outspoken about her marriage in the last few months. Skibo Castle is the perfect place for the couple to celebrate because it's where their married life began. And it's the perfect place for romance."
Australia: COADF drops from #7 to #9, but Hung Up holds on to #5.
Belgium: both album and single stay steady at #1 in the album/single/dance charts of Flanders and Wallonia.
UK: the album falls from #3 to #5, while Hung Up climbs back to #2, behind the Pussycat Dolls.
US: the album drops from #4 to #8, while the single exits the Top10, from #7 to #14.
And some more from Paul Sexton from Billboard (via DrownedMadonna:)
Madonna's reign over Billboard's pan-European sales charts extends into another week, as she maintains her No. 1 rankings with the Warner Bros. releases Confessions On A Dance Floor on European Top 100 Albums and Hung Up on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles.
The album loses top spot in the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden, but is still the bestseller in France, Portugal, Norway and Greece.
The single, meanwhile, falls from the peak in the United Kingdom and Holland, but still rules in a string of territories, including Germany, Italy, Austria, Norway, Sweden, France, Spain.
When it comes to watching a superstar up close, it doesn't get any better than this: Madonna performing a secret club gig in Tokyo to an audience of about 1500 people.
And yes, I was lucky enough to be in the audience inside Studio Coast - Tokyo's hottest nightclub - on Wednesday night, watching the singer perform five tracks off her new album Confessions On A Dance Floor.
So has Madonna still got it? You better believe it. Dressed in a leotard and low-slung pants, Madonna belted out a terrific, energetic version of her single Hung Up (surely the best dance track of the year) plus tracks off her album including I Love New York,and Let It Will Be.
That's not to mention her upbeat finale: a reprisal of the first song Madonna released, the track titled Everybody from 1982 that was an underground dance club hit in New York.
Apart from the powerful and exciting delivery of the songs themselves, the highlight was watching Madonna dance.
Backed by a small group of dancers, the 47-year-old looked truly amazing as she busted her moves on stage. (In a nod to the 1980s, there was even some crotch-grabbing at one point as Madonna teased and taunted her Japanese fans.)
"I feel very liberated when I dance," Madonna told S during an exclusive interview before the nightclub performance. "I have to say it is one of my greatest passions, it's how I started out. My career began as a dancer obviously and I use my dance training in everything I do.
"I think that's one of the reasons I called my record Confessions On A Dance Floor, because I feel like when I'm dancing I'm free. And I can be who I want to be - there's a kind of truth to that."
In person, Madonna is everything you'd imagine and more. Not only is she lightning sharp with a noticeable sense of humour, she's warmer than you'd expect and strikingly intelligent. It's hard not be inspired by such an extraordinary icon.
At the moment Madonna is not committing herself to an Australian tour. But insiders say that if she makes it back to Japan for a full-blown tour next year as part of a global concert schedule, she may just tack on dates in Australia and New Zealand. If her Tokyo showcase was any indication, those concerts would be mind-blowing.
Pop music icon Madonna says she is still trying to live each day as though it was her last on Earth.
As some proof of that, the 47-year-old performer is currently far from home, on tour in Japan to promote her new album, Confessions On A Dance Floor. Co-anchor Harry Smith goes behind the scenes with Madonna on the road in Tokyo for an exclusive two-part interview to be broadcast on The Early Show Monday, Dec. 12, and Tuesday, Dec. 13 (7 AM-9 AM. ET/PT).
This intimate look at the life of the "material mom" features exclusive footage from her Tokyo performance, her first in that city in 12 years.
In the interview, Smith tells Madonna that she strikes him as the kind of person who lives every day as if it's her last. She agrees, with reservations. "I'd like to think I live my life that way, and we should all live our lives that way," she says.
"But there are days that I don't, and I regret that I don't. But I think it's a good motto to live by. I would love to get to the end of every one of my days and think, 'Did I do everything I meant to achieve? If this were the last day of my life on Earth would I be happy about it?' I'd say 75 percent of the time, yes, but 25, no."
The pop icon's new album has been number one in 29 countries. She thinks that means that she still is connecting to people. "So when I go to that city and I do a show, I'm going to give them my all, because they're giving me their all by buying my record. And there's some kind of circuitry there," she says. "And I don't ever do a show half-assed. That's just not the way I am.”
Madonna Louise Ciccone has traveled a long road from her roots in Bay City, Mich., and even from her early successes in the 1980s as the queen of "Truth or Dare"-style pop. She now lives primarily in London with her husband, director Guy Ritchie, and two children, daughter Lourdes and son Rocco.
Madonna tells Smith that Lourdes does not want to be a singer. She wants to be a dancer, and refuses to let her mother watch rehearsals of her upcoming performance in "The Nutcracker."
"Her whole thing has been, 'Please don't come to the rehearsals. I want to surprise you.' She's very dedicated to what she does. She has a very clear idea of what she wants to do," says Madonna.
Pop queen Madonna is expected to be the star turn at next year's (FEB 06) glittering Brit Awards.
The organisers of Britain's equivalent of the Grammys are currently discussing the superstar's presence at the extravaganza - where they hope she will perform new single Sorry.
A source says, "The Brits is being talked about but nothing has been signed. It's been a great year for Madonna and she will be a strong contender for awards. It's ten years since she last performed there and she wants to make sure that she steals the show."
Pop superstar Madonna was left speechless on Japanese television, when presenter Dave Spector gave her an extra special present for her daughter Lourdes.
The nine-year-old is a huge fan of kids style sensation Hello Kitty, so Madonna was thrilled with the limited edition doll, one of only 300 made to celebrate the feline favourite.
Madonna told Spector on Fuji TV's Tokudane show - which airs next week - she was excited to be back in Japan after a 12 year break and promised to return when she takes her new album Confessions On A Dance Floor on tour next year.
Madonna has revealed she is praying for Kylie Minogue, while the Melbourne-born pop singer battles breast cancer.
"I think about her all the time," Madonna said. "She's always in my prayers."
Madonna's mother, Madonna Louise Ciccone snr, died of breast cancer when the singer was a child. The reigning queen of music, now 47, said she had thought about writing personally to Minogue, but had not yet found out the best way to contact her in France.
"I keep meaning to write her letters, but I don't know how to get in touch. Obviously there's a way to," Madonna said. "(But) I do wish her all the best."
The singer said she believed in Minogue's fighting spirit. "I think that she's a tough cookie and I think she's going to be all right," she said.
Madonna's candid comments about Minogue came during a visit last week to Japan, where she was promoting her new album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, which debuted at No. 1 in more than 25 countries, including Australia.
Madonna's association with Minogue stretches back a number of years. Minogue has always named Madonna as a role model.
Madonna, who enjoys supporting younger artists, famously showed her interest in Minogue's career by wearing a "Kylie" T-shirt on stage. The outfit started something of a trend for slogan T-shirts among some of the world's biggest artists.
Both women are among the few musicians in the world to have No. 1 hits in three separate decades.
It is unlikely Minogue will be able to return to Melbourne for Christmas, as she had hoped, because of continuing treatment in France.
But she plans to release a Christmas single via digital download - a cover version of the classic Somewhere over the Rainbow, recorded during a live performance in London.
Madonna received two honors, as her 1994 release, Bedtime Stories, and her 2000 release, Music, both went triple-Platinum, bolstering the second highest top-grossing female artist's sales to 62 million records sold to date.
I usually don't write letters like this, but this so-called "writer" just ticked me off. I've worked for Billboard Magazine for over 10 years. For Camille to tell us that "Madonna's album received bad word of mouth" is absolutely insane. In fact, due to good word of mouth, her album sales only dropped 39.5 percent from the first week.
Most albums that debut at number 1 see a 50 to 60 percent drop. Any album that's in the top 10 during holiday season is selling more than any number one album usually does during the rest of the year. Please, Camille. Do us a favor and do some fact checking before you tell us that we are being given "bad word of mouth."
Madonna made a major breakthrough this week by scoring her 36th top 10 single. Not only did she tie a record set by Elvis Presley (when it was a lot easier to score a top 10 hit... no offense Elvis fans), but she pulled a miracle: It is almost statistically impossible for a dance record to hit the top 10.
Because the sales market in America is low for singles, we have to rely, in large, on radio airplay. Most radio stations, which are dominated by r & B, stay away from dance music. Therefore, a dance record must sell incredible amounts to hit the top 10. This is just what happened in Madonna's case.
One more thing: If you decide to review a dance album next time, please don't tell us you don't dance to this type of music. That statement was laugheable. To Camille's supporters: It's not Camille's opinion that we are against, but it's her effort to feed people with completely false information that we find wrong.
In your recent article on Madonna's Hung Up single, you incorrectly stated that Elvis Presley had 36 top 10 hits. Elvis had 38 top 10 hits on the Billboard singles charts. I am not sure where you came up with 36.
Jason Edge, President - Elvis International Fan Club
You were the first person to send me an e-mail about the stats reported in last week's 'Chart Beat' -- but you weren't the last, not by a longshot. This item has generated more letters to "Chart Beat Chat" than almost any other subject in 2005.
I understand why I've received so many missives about Madonna tying Elvis Presley's record number of top 10 hits. Joel Whitburn has long reported that Elvis has 38 top 10 hits. My respect and admiration for Joel knows no bounds, but it's important to know how he comes up with that number or any of the statistics reported in his books.
For example, in his latest edition of "Top Pop Singles," Joel counts songs that did not chart on Billboard's Hot 100 as Hot 100 hits if they made the Hot 100 Airplay or Hot 100 Sales charts. The same goes for songs that made a holiday chart but not the Hot 100.
On the R&B charts, which were not published between November 1963 and January 1965, Joel uses data from Cash Box, a now-defunct trade magazine that was a competitor to Billboard at the time. That data can't be used when citing Billboard stats -- for example, if I report the number of songs charted by Stevie Wonder on Billboard's R&B survey, I can't use the number of songs Joel reports because it includes titles that never charted in Billboard.
The Elvis "discrepancy" is because Joel counts things differently on pre-Hot 100 charts. Before there was a Hot 100, there were four different weekly charts. The main chart was Best Sellers in Stores, and that's the list Billboard uses as THE pre-Hot 100 chart. Joel counts information from all four charts. When he lists a peak position, for example, he picks the highest position from any one of the four charts. He will list more than one song at No. 1 in a particular week, because he counts all four charts.
Another reason for the Elvis "discrepancy" is that rules for how a two-sided single is charted has changed many times over the years.
On Best Sellers in Stores, a two-sided single counted as one hit and charted in one position. Thus, "Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog" is one top 10 single, not two. The same goes for the early 1958 single "Don't" / "I Beg of You." Counting these two double-sided hits as four top 10 hits instead of two gives you the figure of 38 instead of 36.
When the Hot 100 was introduced, the two sides of a single charted separately. So some of Elvis' later top 10 singles DO count as two top 10 hits, if both sides made the top 10 separately.
In late 1969, Hot 100 rules were changed and two-sided hits again charted as one hit, occupying the same position. Later, the rules were changed again and they were separated once more. Then they counted as one again. Today, they are separate again (you think it's easy keeping track of all this?).
I've been consistent in my books and columns in using only the Best Sellers in Stores chart when compiling pre-Hot 100 stats, and following whatever two-sided single rule was in effect at the time. I don't favor Madonna over Elvis Presley, I just report the facts.
Having said all of this, I did shortchange Madonna in last week's column. Hung Up is her 47th top 40 hit, not her 45th. That pushes her past Stevie Wonder (with 46 top 40 hits) into fourth place among artists with the most top 40 hits in the rock era, behind Elvis, Elton John and the Beatles.
By the way, I could have avoided offending Elvis fans if I had just cited the number of top 10 hits collected by Madonna on the Hot 100. Since 12 of Presley's 36 top 10 hits occurred before the Hot 100 was introduced, Madonna would be the undisputed champion. However, I think it's more relevant to use the entire rock era to measure success.
Fansite MadonnaTribe reports that Madonna had a press junket yesterday at her hotel room meeting the Japanese press for several interviews.
She also recorded an interview that will be broadcast friday morning on Japanese TV program "MezamashiTV" - the early morning show of Fuji-TV.
We can now give you the lyrics of the song, which features a medium-tempo disco beat and some church bells, supporting the chorus 'Keep the fighting spirit of love'.
Belgium's most popular gay website GayBelgium has held a poll among its readers to find out who is their favorite (female) gay icon. The result showed how Madonna was without a doubt the number one in gayland.
Coincidently, the poll started one day before a Belgian judge announced a ban on the sale and distribution of Madonna's hit Frozen. That could explain some sympathy votes. But the release of Madge's fabulous new record Confessions On A Dance Floor and the performance at the MTV Music Awards also influenced the choice of the website visitors.
What exactly drove them to vote for Madonna can't be traced, but the result doesn't come as a surprise. For over 20 years Madonna can be seen as the ultimate gay icon and even on her 47th she holds on to that reputation.
Madonna scored 35% of the votes, leaving Kylie, Belgian Idol Natalia, Cher and Britney way behind her. Visit GayBelgium for the original poll results and lots more gay news and lifestyle.
GET INTO THE GROOVE...
She's back! Well, Madonna was never really missing in gay clubland of course -- no other contemporary singer has even half as much unalloyed power over the gays. How to explain it? But Madonna has her first bona fide hit in clubland (and everywhere pop music gets play) in half a decade with her ABBA-sampling Hung Up.
Not since Music in 2000 made the bourgeoisie and the rebel come together has pop culture been so -- what's the phrase? -- hung up on her. With Hung Up at No. 7, she's snared her highest-charting Top Ten hit on the main Billboard Hot 100 Chart in four years, since 2001's No. 4 peak of Don't Tell Me. And she dominates all three Billboard dance singles charts, with Hung Up atop the constantly shifting Club Play Chart for a month now.
Madonna also hasn't experienced in years the kind of commercial and critical success that her new album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, has registered. And you can see the results all over her face. In promoting the album she hasn't looked or sounded happier and more in her element in ages.
Which is why a tour in support of the album next summer seems exceedingly likely, and exceedingly like a can't-miss proposition. Even more so given her thoughts on how she'd approach a new tour. ''It would be all out disco, with lots of disco balls. I would focus on dance music and the new record,'' she told Billboard.
ON THE MOVE...
While Madonna has a lock on the top spot, other dance heavyweights are congregating around her on the Billboard Club Play Chart, for old times' sake. The Eurythmics, Simply Red, even Donna Summer are all in the current Top 5.
That just makes it all the harder for newer dance singers to break through, although Rachel Panay did just fine for herself with her second chart hit, "I Still Believe".
Last night, Madonna performed at Studio Coast, a nightclub in Tokyo, as part of her promo tour in Japan.
People attending were chosen by a system of lottery, which unfortunately left out many true fans.
Madonna swept back into Japan for the first time for 12 years to promote her new album, revealing a love of all things Japanese: food, fashion, men and -- most of all -- heated toilet seats.
The pop icon, whose glitterball disco album Confessions On A Dance Floor debuted at number one in 25 countries including the United States, Britain and Japan, also said she hoped to return here on any future tour.
"I've always been interested in Japanese culture. Some of my videos and my performances on stage have been influence by Japanese music, fashion, martial arts," the American diva said this week.
"I love Japanese food," she added. "I probably eat more Japanese food than you do." She even learnt a sprinkling of the local lingo for the trip: "Gomennasai" (sorry), she said. "My Japanese cook taught me that."
But above all, "I've missed the heated toilet seats," she told the few hundred star-struck journalists who quizzed the pop diva on her inspirations, ideas on parenting, advice for young Japanese and views on Japanese boys.
"You're very cute," she replied to a male reporter who plucked up the courage to ask this last question.
Madonna took a break from the pop scene earlier this year after breaking several bones falling from her horse on her 47th birthday.
But she looked fully recovered as she posed for the paparazzi in knee-high, lace-up black leather boots and burgundy sequined trousers and matching top.
The 'Queen of Pop' arrived in Japan on Tuesday with a few dozen strong entourage and was met by a couple of hundred fans at the airport. While here she is due to perform at some club events to drum up interest in her album.
She said she wanted to make a record that "from beginning to end, you just want to dance to for an hour."
The multi-Grammy Award winning singer, composer and actress has reinvented herself more times than perhaps any other artist and since meeting film director husband Guy Ritchie has embraced the image of an English country wife.
"Like a cat with nine lives, I keep coming back," she quipped. Madonna also has ambitions to direct a film.
But, unlike her husband who is known for his black comedies set in the London underworld such as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", she says she would prefer to make a love story.
"I want to make a story that will really inspire people," she added.
Just as soon as she is finished with that heated toilet.
Madonna has broken the download chart record by staying at number one for six weeks in a row with Hung Up. U2 have spent longer at number one with Vertigo, but that wasn't all in one go.
Black Eyed Peas are at number two with Humps and Pussycat Dolls are at three with their ballad Stickwitu. Gorillaz are still at four with Dirty Harry.
Christmas is having an effect on downloaders too, with three old festive classics appearing in the chart, including Last Christmas by Wham!
Madonna is back in Japan for the first time in 12 years to promote her new album Confessions On A Dance Floor. The album is already a big hit around the globe and has taken over the #1 spot in charts in 28 countries, including Japan. A rare opportunity was given to the press to meet with the 47-year-old so-called queen of pop and throw questions at her during her stay in Japan.
What is the concept for the album?
I wanted to make a record that people could put on when they are getting ready to go out, having a party, working out, and driving in a car. From beginning to end, you just want to keep dancing for one hour non-stop.
Why is it a glittery disco?
I wanted to make a dance record. I don't think the songs are superficial. I think there are a lot of songs especially towards the end that are quite insightful and confessional. If you look from the surface, you might think that it's superficial, but if you listen to lyrics all the way through from beginning to end, I don't think you will have that opinion.
There is a noticeable European influence on this album. What were the inspirations?
I take my inspiration from everywhere. In this record in particular, I was inspired by the music of Giorgio Moroder, Abba, Chic, Pet Shop Boys, Cerrone, and a lot of other people, but those are the main inspirations and I guess most of those artists are Europeans.
Do you think about fans when making music? Or do you just do as you want?
My music and my ideas for my music come from inside and from whoever I am collaborating with. It's not that I sit around consciously thinking about my fans. On the other hand, I do think when I am writing music - Will people understand this? Will this appeal to people so that it touches their heart? Will it inspire them? So I am somewhere in the middle between being true to myself and thinking about what the outside world would think about.
There is a rumor that your husband, Guy Ritchie, walked out of the room when he heard the single Hung Up.
My husband did not walk out of the room when he heard the song. That is a lie. He likes the song very much.
There is the line "Gomennasai" (sorry) in the song. Why did you pick Japanese? Are you interested in Japanese or Asian cultures?
I've always been interested in the Japanese culture. The line "Gomennasai" comes from my Japanese cook. I just asked him how to say I'm sorry in Japanese. I've always been influenced in many ways. Some of my videos and some of my performances on stage have been inspired by Japanese cinema, martial arts, music, fashion, and food. So I could say honestly that it's been a big influence in my life in many areas. My work has always been influenced by Japanese culture.
It's been a very long while since you last came to Japan, 12 years. What makes you feel you are back in Japan.
I've missed the heated toilet seats.
What are some things you want to do during your stay in Japan?
I would like to buy presents for my children at Kiddyland. The best toys are in Japan.
Have you eaten Japanese food?
I've only eaten Japanese food. I love Japanese food. I have a Japanese cook in London that travels with me everywhere. I probably eat more Japanese food than you do.
If there ever will be any star like you to come in future, it would be your daughter without a doubt. Do you have any plans for your daughter?
I don't need to teach my daughter how to be a superstar; she's already acting like one. My daughter loves to dance. She studies classic ballet. You could say she's a diva already. She doesn't say to me she wants to be a singer. She tells me she wants to be an actress and ballerina. I encourage her to do those things as long as she takes it seriously and works hard and has a lot of discipline.
Is there anything you keep in mind or a certain way to act toward your children to keep them in the right direction?
I like to teach them the things that I believe in, that is, we are all responsible for our actions and words. So we need to think before we speak and before we act. Once you accept that responsibility, I think you become more a conscious person. And so to say that is the first thing. I try to remember that myself and teach it to my children.
Are you planning any movie-related work?
The next thing I want to do in regard to film is direct. It would be a love story that will inspire many people.
Are you planning any tours in near future?
If I go on tour, I will come here. Hopefully it would be around the end of the summer.
Any last words for your fans in Japan?
I just want to say thank you for all of your support throughout the 20 years of my career. I hope you can forgive me for staying away for so long. And I look forward to come back very soon.
U.S. pop star Madonna on Wednesday shrugged off criticism of a song on her smash hit new album, Confessions On A Dance Floor, saying that all she did was ask questions and challenge authority.
The new album, which hit the top of the U.S. and British album charts following its release last month, includes a song which prompted rabbis in Israel to accuse her of sacrilege.
Madonna, 47, who has frequently courted censure with her racy lyrics and on-stage antics, said it didn't take much to be considered controversial.
"I think as soon as you have an opinion that is outside... what is considered to be the conventional way of thinking -- as soon as you think outside of that you're considered controversial," she told a news conference in Tokyo, where she is promoting the new album.
"I think that I like to ask questions, I like to challenge authority, and a lot of people perceive that as controversial."
In October, the rabbis who guard the legacy of Rabbi Isaac Luria -- founder of the Kabbalah school of mysticism which counts Madonna as one of its devotees -- accused Madonna of breaking a taboo by using his name for profit in the song Isaac.
Dressed in a body-hugging maroon top with red sequins on the sleeves and matching pants, Madonna said she was glad to be back in Japan, a place that has had a significant influence on her life and her work, particularly in this current album.
Sorry, one of the songs on the new album, includes the words "gomen nasai" -- Japanese for "I'm sorry" -- which Madonna said she learned from her Japanese cook, who travels with her.
"I've always been very interested in Japanese culture," she said.
"Some of my videos, some of my performances on stage have been inspired by Japanese cinema, martial arts, Japanese music, Japanese fashion, Japanese food," she added.
Asked how she kept in shape -- a form showed off to good advantage in the video for the hit single "Hung Up," which features strenuous dancing -- Madonna indicated that Japanese food played a large part in her healthy lifestyle.
"I love Japanese food. I have a Japanese cook in London that travels everywhere with me," she said, laughing. "I probably eat more Japanese food than you do."
Madonna repeated that she would like to try her hand at directing films, adding that she wanted to make "a love story -- a story that will really inspire people."
Asked if it would have a soundtrack, she replied: "Absolutely!"
A confession of my own: 1994's Secret was the last Madonna single to keep me up at night, and my longtime obsession has since cooled into something like cultural appreciation. (Yay, Britney kiss.) I say this as someone who tried to love 2003's Love Profusion, but in the end couldn't help noticing it was called Love Profusion ("Love Protrusion," per my girlfriend).
But Confessions On A Dance Floor is the first Madonna album in 11 years to contain that essential quality no graduate thesis paper has yet put a finger on. Part of the equation is sass.
"I don't like cities but I like New York/Other places make me feel like a dork" will no doubt be the most quoted rhyme from the album, partly because it dares to be stupid, partly because you can't miss it -- it's delivered over a Stereolab-like guitar riff and slow-building bass line straight out of the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog."
The line's also funny, and the follow-up is funnier: "If you don't like my attitude, then you can 'F' off/Just go to Texas/Isn't that where they golf?"
Even better are the three opening disco tracks, which each capture unmistakable sentiments in simple phrases over lush rather than brassy synths -- more Everything But the Girl with balls than Gwen Stefani with anxiety.
"Do you believe in love at first sight?/It's an illusion/I don't care" will carve its slow-burn mark on your mind's dance floor whether Get Together gets you out there or not, and no matter how clichéd those phrases read in print. The ABBA sample on Hung Up is a vast improvement over the Swedish original, "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)."
And Sorry actually has something to say (hint: It's not "sorry"). As for the rest, co-producer Stuart Price/Les Rhythmes Digitales helps wring beauty from even the well-rehearsed riffs on fame (How High), motivational songwriting (Push, the very pretty Jump), and critic-proofing (Like It Or Not).
It helps that the songs are spread out in a continuous dance mix, where Madonna's voice sounds like the abstract, rhythmically exact plastic instrument it is. I'll take it over a vocoder any night.
In a telephone interview with CNN, Bjorn Ulvaeus comments on the Abba sample in Hung Up:
"[...] Ulvaeus said the music industry had only come to appreciate ABBA in recent years, and that during its heyday, the best selling pop act was widely derided.
"In the 1980s we were so distinctly uncool, it was incredible. But still we had been working so hard and putting our lives into every track, and people didn't appreciate that.
"The fans did of course, and the public who bought the records, but critics, no way."
Yet today, none other than Madonna is borrowing from ABBA hit "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" on her chart-topping 2005 dance single Hung Up.
"I see that as a tribute," said Ulvaeus. "We almost always say no to these things," he added.
"Madonna's assistant came over to Sweden and played the track, and it was so catchy that Benny and I immediately said 'Yes.' We have loads of offers like that but we never say yes, but in this case it was so cleverly done."
It's no secret that when Madonna married Guy Richie, she took on all the trappings of country living, lock, stock and barrel. But a truly, ahem, unpheasant incident has prompted her Madge to give up on her hunting and shooting hobby.
The Material Girl admits that she threw herself into country sports at her estate when she first moved to England. "I was mad for shooting a couple of years ago. I loved my bespoke outfits and everything," she told Tatler magazine. But one day she had a rude awakening. "A bird dropped in front of me that I'd shot. It wasn't dead. It was really suffering. Blood was gushing out of it's mouth. I haven't shot since.
"I realised that I had a kind of bloodlust and was manically shooting as many birds as possible."
Madonna, 47, also suffered broken bones in a horse-riding accident at her Dorset home in August. Now, instead of splashing out on tailor-made shooting gear, it seems she has turned her sights back to high fasion.
The outfit she wore to the premiere of her fly-on-the-wall documentary I'm Going To Tell You a Secret cost more than the film did, she revealed.
Now that's more like it!
American singer Madonna arrived in Japan Monday for a five-day visit to promote her newest album, Confessions On A Dance Floor.
Accompanied by an entourage of 42, the 47-year-old singer, who is making her first visit to Japan in 12 years, was greeted at Narita airport by about 200 fans, holding a sign that read "Your majesty, queen of pop."
The pop star told her fans, "I'm so happy to see you all here." During her stay in Japan, Madonna will hold a press conference on Wednesday and perform at some club events.
Despite being available for only two days in the sales period covered by the new album chart, the Eminem retrospective "Curtain Call -- The Hits" (Interscope) replaced Madonna's Confessions On A Dance Floor (Warner Bros.) at No. 1. It's the rapper's fourth consecutive chart-topping album in the U.K.
It was a bad day at the office for Madonna, who also lost her grip on the singles crown with Hung Up, as Pussycat Dolls scored a second straight British chart-topper with "Stickwitu" (A&M).
Oasis was also out of luck on the singles chart, on which "Let There Be Love," the third single from the Big Brother album "Don't Believe the Truth," had been leading the way in midweek sales data, only to be overtaken by Pussycat Dolls and land at No. 2. Also new in the top 10 were Kelly Clarkson's "Because of You" at No. 7 and Babyshambles' "Albion" (Rough Trade) at No. 8.
Just outside the top tier, Rihanna's "If It's Lovin' That You Want" (Def Jam) came in at No. 11, followed by Sean Paul's "Ever Blazin'" (VIP/Atlantic) at No. 12.
Madonna's album fell to No. 3, also outsold by Robbie Williams' "Intensive Care" (Chrysalis), which bounced back 4-2. Pop/opera act G4 came in at No. 6 with "G4 & Friends" (Sony Music), but the Darkness made a less than explosive return to the tally with its sophomore set "One Way Ticket To Hell ... And Back" (Atlantic), which arrived at No. 11.
By way of consolation, Madonna retains supremacy on both the European Top 100 Albums chart and Eurochart Hot 100 Singles survey.
Madonna arrived at Narita international airport in Narita, east of Tokyo today, where she was welcomed by a hord of Japanese fans. She will spend five days in the country promoting Confessions On A Dance Floor.
The newsletter of Spotlight, the French magazine about Madonna - has been mailed out and celebrates the success of Confessions On A Dance Floor that made the #1 in the charts of 25 countries - and of course in France for the second week selling more than 200,000 copies.
There are great chances that Madonna will be attending the NRJ Music Awards 2006 in Cannes on Saturday January 21 to promote her new single.
According to DrownedMadonna, Madonna is scheduled for one playback performance and one live performance (like the one at G.A.Y. London).
Madge goes disco -- again. Gay clubbers rejoice. Others, not so much.
Madonna and George W. Bush may have less in common than Kabbalah strings and W.W.J.D. wristbands, but the pop politician seems to have learned a lesson from the president: When things are bleak on the home front, make waves abroad and appeal to your core constituency.
After two remarkable albums of progressive, synth-driven throb rock, Madonna unleashed her flat meditation on the state of the union with 2003's American Life, which received a chilly reception. So for her latest studio album, Madge has generated 12 tracks of pure dance music sure to please the international club community and her most unshakable supporters: gay men.
With its surges and dips, Confessions mimics the rising/falling action of, say, a DJ set, a hit of Ecstasy, or Madonna's own career. The killer single Hung Up spins a trilly Abba keyboard sample into a four-on-the-floor disco reverie. Producer Mirwais Ahmadzai crams layers of funky effects into the bass-buzzing Future Lovers and Stuart Price transforms Sorry into a bouncy talk-to-the-hand groovefest.
But Confessions also has a few missteps: I Love New York -- which rhymes the titular city with "dork," and "beat" with "street" -- is a love note so lame it might as well be posted on the side of a municipal bus. And the "Fever"-biting closer, Like It or Not, offers a neutered retread of the singer's raison d'être: "This is who I am / You can like it or not."
That last sentiment packed a far bigger wallop when Madonna was a Sex model, not a children's author -- though she can still occasionally piss us off. The savvy chameleon should know better than to lob ethnic signifiers and rehash her own triumphant moments, as she does on Isaac, which is essentially the Middle Eastern Frozen.
And she nearly admits as much on Confessions' standout, the bumpy How High (on which Price joins Bloodshy & Avant, the pair behind Britney Spears' "Toxic"). As her clear voice cuts through seesawing synthesizers, she asks, "Should I carry on / Will it matter when I'm gone?" We won't tell her to stop, but if she doesn't put a different spin on her message, it might be time to call in James Carville.
Fansite MadonnaTribe reports a few more details about the upcoming promo tour in Japan.
The official website of Warner Music Japan is holding a competition that will let 20 lucky fans win a ticket valid for two to attend a special event that will take place in Tokyo on Wednesday, December 7 2005 in a still undisclosed location.
To enter the competition you have to answer a question based on the Japanese text on the lyrics booklet which is included in the local pressing of Confessions On A Dance Floor.
In its 5th week on the Billboard Singles chart, Hung Up stays at #7. The video is at #1 at TRL and radio station Z100 has added the song to their playlist; this should give it some extra exposure. But remember to keep requesting!
Meanwhile, the album drops from #1 to #4 after selling 210.605 copies in its second week.↑ Back to top of page