Madonna and Celine Dion were the biggest worldwide concert draws in 2008, each selling more than $200 million worth of tickets to their slickly produced shows, trade publication Pollstar said on Tuesday.
The pop singers also took the top two spots in North America, which accounts for an estimated 40 percent of the concert business, Pollstar said.
Madonna's Sticky & Sweet world tour, which finished in Brazil last week, tallied $281.6 million from 17 countries. North American fans ponied up $105.3 million.
French-Canadian balladeer Dion, launching her first world tour in more than eight years, earned $236.6 million from 24 countries, with North America contributing $94 million.
This year marks the first time that Pollstar has compiled foreign data. Among the all-time North American tours, Madonna's ranks at No. 8 and Dion's at No. 12. The Rolling Stones hold the record with $162 million from their 2005 trek.
Dion, 40, might well be the hardest working woman in show business, having made Pollstar's list of top 10 acts every year since 2003. That year she began a 700-plus show residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and grossed more than $385 million by the time it wrapped last December.
Rounding out the top five of Pollstar's worldwide list were Bon Jovi ($176.3 million), Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band ($165.8 million), and last year's North American champs the Police ($120.6 million).
Pollstar said fewer people went to concerts in North America this year, and despite the incipient recession those who went were prepared to sharply pay more for their tickets.
"We've had a better year than we really should have expected given the economic environment," said Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the Fresno, California-based publication.
Ticket sales for the top 100 acts in North America rose 4.3 percent to $2.38 billion. The number of tickets sold fell three percent to 35.59 million, and the average ticket price rose nearly eight percent to a record $66.90.
Timing played a part. Acts that hit the road earlier in the year escaped the deepening economic abyss in the fall. Top-tier artists are also fairly recession-proof. Bongiovanni said tickets have sold briskly for Britney Spears' comeback tour, which begins next March, and he predicted sales would be strong for as-yet-unannounced treks by U2 and Springsteen.
Ticket sales data do not include revenue from merchandise, such as T-shirts, which can make up a sizable chunk of tour earnings.
Now that the year is coming to an end, it's time to look back at what turned out to be quite a bittersweet Madonna year. 2008 was the first year that Madonna released a new studio album, immediately followed by a world tour, spanning 3 continents.
Another important highlight, as pointed out by a majority of voters in our current poll, was Madonna's induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, the perfect celebration of her successful 25-year old career.
Unfortunately, 2008 will also be remembered as the year that Madonna's 8-year marriage with film director Guy Ritchie ended in a bitter divorce.
Let's have a closer look at what happened the past 12 months.
01: Madonna & Guy ring in the new year in India.
07: Madonna hosts a fund raising for Malawi orphans at a Gucci event.
10: The Confessions Tour DVD wins a Grammy in the category Best Long Form Music Video.
13: Madonna introduces her director debut Filth and Wisdom at the Berlin film festival.
01: 4 Minutes leaks on the web.
10: Madonna is inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame by Justin Timberlake.
17: 4 Minutes premieres on radio and is released on UK iTunes the next day.
23: 4 Minutes becomes 60th UK Top 10 hit.
01: Madonna graces the cover of ELLE magazine.
02: 4 Minutes becomes Madonna's 37th US Top 10 hit, breaking Elvis' record.
03: The video for 4 Minutes premieres, featuring Timbaland and Justin Timberlake.
20: 4 Minutes becomes Madonna's 13th UK #1 hit.
25: Madonna appears on the red carpet of the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC for the premiere of her Malawi documentary 'I Am Because We Are'.
28: Madonna's 12th studio album Hard Candy is released worldwide.
30: Madonna performs at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC.
04: Hard Candy becomes her 10th UK #1 album.
06: Madonna performs at the Olympia in Paris.
07: Hard Candy becomes her 7th US #1 album.
08: The Sticky & Sweet Tour is announced.
10: Madonna performs at Radio 1's Big Weeken in London.
20: Madonna & Guy appear at the Cannes Film Festival.
22: Madonna & Sharon Stone appear at an aids fund raising in Cannes.
30: The video for second single Give It 2 Me premieres online.
15: Madonna breaks into the UK Top 40 for the 66th time with Give It 2 Me.
01: Liz Rosenberg denies the divorce rumours that circulate in the media.
14: Second single Give It 2 Me is released.
27: Madonna's debut album and start of her brilliant career celebrates its 25th anniversary
03: Madonna shows 'I Am Because We Are' at the Traverse City Film Festival in birthtown Detroit.
16: Guy Ritchie pays tribute to his wife Madonna on her 50th birthday.
21: 4 Minutes is certified Double Platinum, making it her biggest selling US single, next to Vogue.
23: Madonna kicks off her 8th world tour, the Sticky & Sweet Tour, in Cardiff, UK.
01: Madonna attends the premiere of RocknRolla with Guy in London. It would turn out to be their last public appearance together as a married couple.
06: Madonna dedicates Like A Virgin to the Pope at the show in Rome.
04: Madonna disses Sarah Palin at the opening show of the US leg of the tour, and will continue to do so on several other shows.
11: Pharrell joins Madonna on stage during the show in NYC.
13: Madonna appears at the NYC premiere of Filth and Wisdom. At her side appears her manager Guy Oseary, but no Guy Ritchie.
15: Liz Rosenberg officially confirms the rumours: Madonna and Guy Ritchie are getting divorced after 8 years of marriage.
04: Madonna honours the newly elected president Barack Obama at the show in San Diego.
06: Britney and Justin join Madonna on stage for the show in LA.
21: Madonna and Guy are granted a 'quickie divorce'.
24: Third single Miles Away is released.
26: Timbaland and Pharrell join Madonna on stage for the Miami show.
30: Miles Away breaks string of Top 20 hits.
03: Madonna postpones a concert in Argentina.
04: Madonna sings Don't Cry For Me Argentina live for the first time.
08: The Argentine leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour is attended by more than 260,000 fans.
16: Steven Klein does a photoshoot in Rio with Madonna and 4 Brazilian hunks.
21: Madonna concludes her Sticky & Sweet Tour after 58 shows in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
22: The Sticky & Sweet Tour becomes the #1 largest grossing solo tour.
The first boxscore numbers for the Latin America leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour have been revealed. The 4 shows in Argentina were attended by more than a quarter million people! The shows in Mexico and Chile attracted another quarter million. Numbers for Brazil have not yet been released, but we can already say that this tour leg was incredibly popular as well.
Foro Sol, Mexico City, Mexico
Nov. 29-30, 2008
104,270 / 104,270
Estadio River Plate, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dec. 4-5, 7-8, 2008
263,693 / 263,693
Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile
Dec. 10-11, 2008
146,242 / 146,242
In 2000, Madonna and William Orbit provided a lovely humming theme song for the TV series Wonderland. Unfortunately, the show was pulled off the air after only two episodes, deemed too dark and intense.
DIRECTV's The 101 Network is now bringing back those two initial airings, plus 6 never-seen episodes. All eight episodes of the series will air Wednesday nights at 10 pm ET/PT beginning Jan. 14, 2009, only on DIRECTV's The 101 Network and DIRECTV on DEMAND. Full press release here. (thx to Miguel)
Madonna was the queen of the road during 2008 thanks to ticket sales of more than $105 million for her Sticky and Sweet tour.
The Material Girl was the top concert attraction in North America during the year according to Pollstar, the concert-tracking magazine, although Billboard recently put Bon Jovi atop its annual ranking of the year's biggest grossing tours.
Billboard looks at worldwide results as reported from Nov. 14, 2007, to Nov. 11 of this year, while Pollstar measures only box-office results in North America during the 2008 calendar year.
At No. 2 on Pollstar's list is Celine Dion, who earned $94 million from her first tour since ending her long residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and returning to the concert trail with her "Taking Chances" tour.
The Eagles claim the No. 3 spot with tour receipts of $73.4 million, followed by Kenny Chesney in fourth place with $72.2 million and Bon Jovi in fifth with $70.4 million.
Right behind Bon Jovi is Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, which tallied $69.3 million on the group's "Magic" tour.
Springsteen ranked No. 2 on Billboard's list, which reported nearly triple the tour grosses worldwide for both he and Bon Jovi -- $204.5 million and $210.6 million, respectively -- that Pollstar totaled for each act in North America during the year.
"All I can say [about the differences] is we have 100% of the individual show data to support these tour numbers," Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni told The Times.
Pollstar's Top 10 is dominated as it has been for years by rock and pop veterans. Rounding the list are Neil Diamond ($59.8 million), Rascal Flatts ($55.8 million), the Police ($48 million) and Tina Turner ($47.7 million).
Eartha Kitt, the singer who performed the original version of the Christmas song Santa Baby, has died yesterday. The song was covered by Madonna in 1987 as a contribution to the album 'A Very Special Christmas'. Kitt died from colon cancer at the age of 81.
The Mad-Eyes team wishes for all Madonna fans Christmas days filled with warmth, love and tenderness. We hope that Madonna and her family will be able to enjoy this time of the year, even at this difficult moment in her personal life. Merry Xmas!
A 20-year-old unknown Brazilian male model has got a shot at the big time in New York, thanks to a media frenzy over him kissing Madonna.
Jesus Luz has had his face splashed all over US and British publications -- often under cute headlines playing up the tryst between "Madonna" and "Jesus" -- according to Brazil's G1 news website on Tuesday.
Luz, who turns 21 on January 15, was spotted sucking face with the 50-year-old US pop star in a Rio de Janeiro hotel following one of her concerts during the last legs of her Sticky and Sweet world tour.
The two were said to have met during a photo shoot for a US magazine. The photographer on that shoot, Steven Klein, has reportedly invited Luz to New York to work. "We still don't know what we're going to do. I need to sit down calmly and talk, see what he wants to do with his life," Luz's current Brazilian agent, Sergio Mattos of the firm 40 Graus, said.
He claimed his model's break was not entirely thanks to kissing Madonna, but also because Klein was impressed with his work. Brazilian media said Luz's career had been nascent before his lips found those of one of the most famous women on the planet.
He had mainly done catwalk parades for local labels and appeared in Rio's fashion show for only 170 dollars a pop. Now, he could hope to pocket three times that, specialists said.
The social pages of a Rio daily, O Dia, affirmed Madonna was "passionate" about Luz and had kept him by her side for the rest of her stay in Brazil, including for a post-concert party last Sunday night.
Madonna has been granted permission for a quickie divorce from husband Guy Ritchie that should be decreed in early January. She has been romantically linked to a US baseball star, Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez, for the past few months.
Madonna once again obliterated all her competition as she finished her 4 month long tour last night in Brazil with a bang and Live Nation issued a press release about the tour becoming the biggest tour by a solo artist ever. Congratulations Madonna, with a tour like this, you totally deserve it!
With the completion of Madonna's final show in Sao Paulo, Brazil last evening -- one of eleven record-breaking performances in South America -- the 'Material Girl's' Sticky & Sweet Tour reigns supreme by becoming the Number One Largest Grossing Tour in history by a solo artist, it was confirmed today by Live Nation, the tour's international producer.
Her 58 shows in Europe, the US, Canada, Mexico and South America played for a staggering 2,350,282 fans and sold over $280,000,000 in tickets. "Madonna has yet again demonstrated her true global appeal as a live performer whether in stadiums or arenas.
Not only will this tour be the top selling tour of all time for a solo artist and a female artist (eclipsing her own record), but it will position her as one of the top selling touring artists of all time," said Arthur Fogel, Live Nation's Chairman of Global Music and CEO of Global Touring.
Along with record breaking ticket sales in South America with a total 650,000 tickets sold, the Sticky & Sweet Tour sold 72,000 tickets at Zurich's Military Airfield Dubendorf -- the largest audience ever assembled for a show in Switzerland.
In London, where she performed in front of 74,000 fans with over 12 million dollars in ticket sales, Madonna surpassed all previous records at both the old and new Wembley Stadiums.
In New York City, Madonna's four sell-outs at Madison Square Garden shows added up to a record breaking 23 sold out performances since 2001 at that venue -- a record for most appearances for a single artist in this decade.
Madonna's multi Grammy-nominated CD Hard Candy debuted at number one early this year in over 37 countries.
~ The Sticky & Sweet Tour ends at the highest note, but you can still relive the memories with our tour diary, picture galleries, press reviews and fan reports pages. Even though the show is over, do not hesitate to send us your reports or pictures of any of the 58 shows!
Warner Music Group Corp. said it will remove all its videos and songs from Google Inc.'s YouTube Web site after renegotiations over royalties failed yesterday.
Hundreds of thousands of videos from artists including Madonna and Metallica, as well as content from Warner's music- publishing division, will be taken down, Warner said. Under an agreement reached in September 2006, New York based-Warner received revenue from advertisements and other royalty payments from video streaming.
"We simply cannot accept terms that fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide," Warner Music said today in a statement. Warner Spokesman Will Tanous declined to comment further.
Warner Music counts on digital revenue to offset Internet piracy and declining demand for CDs. The growth of digital song sales slowed to 28 percent this year compared with 2007's 45 percent jump and a 65 percent rise in 2006.
Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and EMI Group Ltd. are in renegotiation talks with YouTube.
Warner Music fell 2 cents to $3.06 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading and has dropped 50 percent this year. Google fell 11 cents to $310.17 and has declined 55 percent this year.
~ Question is, will it affect the tour clips as well? If so, congratulations to Warner for giving one last big punch in the face to Madonna fans...
As we reach the end of the year, we look back on 2008, which was easily the most eventful year of recent Madonna history! Pick the biggest one in our new poll!
Previously, we asked our visitors about their favourite parts of our Sticky & Sweet Tour section. The winner is the info & details page, with picture galleries coming in second and the diary being third.
Keep sending us your reports and pictures of the tour to make the tour section even more extensive!
There could be more bad news coming from another of the company's marquee acts: Madonna. In April, Madonna is eligible to sell $25 million of stock under the terms of her contract, even though the stock's market value has plunged 83% since she struck her deal in October 2007.
Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino sought to play down the significance of the stock sales. "Madonna and U2 are the only two deals that did contain this provision," he said. "The Madonna business is great, and we look forward to monetizing our investment in U2 next year."
Madonna's current Sticky & Sweet world tour is the pop star's first outing since she signed her 10-year, $120 million deal with Live Nation.
Live Nation expects to start recouping its investment in U2 when the band begins a planned tour next year and releases its 12th album.
Reached in London, where U2 is wrapping up work on the forthcoming album, band manager Paul McGuinness said: "We're very much in business with [Live Nation] and we're planning to tour in 2009."
Madonna and U2 were the first of six superstar acts whom Live Nation has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars each for several years' worth of revenues. Jay-Z, Nickelback and Shakira are among the other artists with whom Live Nation has deals.
So Madonna's in Brazil shooting a spread and cover for W magazine with Steven Klein. Made in Brazil is reporting she'll appear with a slew of hot Brazilian male models, two of which we've pictured here.
Pictured above is Felipe Anibal, and below is Miro Moreira in D&G's spring 2007 campaign and Armani Exchange's spring 2008 underwear ads. At least two more boys like this will reportedly appear with Madge in the spread, shot at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro and a bar in Ipanema. See, this is why we love Madonna. She doesn't get divorced and have a lame 4 p.m. Champagne and cake menopause fest. She flings herself to the tropics to rub up on (can you imagine?) Brazil's finest-looking younger men for all the world to see. After all, why settle for one beefy, too tan baseball player when you can have four ideal specimens of foreigner?
Two songs that we got to hear long before their official release, Candy Shop & Beat Goes On, tracks from Hard Candy, brought to life by The Neptunes, seem to have just become the most famous Madonna single releases that never happened.
"If 50 Cent and Lil Wayne can make sugar filthy, the Queen of Pop can, too. Pharrell brings a delicately thunky beat, Madonna brings the sticky sweet."
"No amount of fake scandal and misbehavior (A-Rod! McCain=Hitler!) can make up for the fact that Madonna's bid for hip-hop relevance flopped. So it's fitting that Hard Candy's best song, Beat Goes On (a Pharrell-derived, note-perfect hybrid of "Ring My Bell" disco and darkwave tech-hop that also features Kanye West's best rap of the year), hasn't even been officially released as a single yet despite garnering substantial airplay on the nation's biggest dance station. Three cheers for the counterintuitive!"
Interestingly, none of the actual Hard Candy singles feature on either lists and obviously the term 'single' is loosely used these days. Both of these tracks are famous in the fan community for leaking online in 2007, and while Madonna called Candy Shop as her favourite on the record and was her original choice for the lead-off single, Beat Goes On, in its reworked form topped the list of fans' favourites and single-wishlists. Even though neither single release materialized in the end, fortunately both tracks were immortalized by Madonna when she opened her Sticky & Sweet Tour with Candy Shop & Beat Goes On, her most stomping one-two punch concert kick-off ever!
U.S. pop star Madonna and ex-husband Guy Ritchie said on Wednesday that a statement released on the singer's behalf detailing terms of their divorce was "misleading and inaccurate."
Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's spokeswoman in New York, said on Monday the singer had given British film director Ritchie between 50 and 60 million pounds ($76-92 million) as part of their divorce.
Both Associated Press (AP) and Reuters reported the figures, but now the couple are distancing themselves from the accuracy of the details.
"We have tried to maintain a dignified silence regarding the details of our divorce for the last few months whilst accepting the obvious media interest," said a joint statement from the pair.
"A misleading and inaccurate statement, specifically in relation to the sums of money involved, was wrongly issued to AP this week," it added.
"The financial details of the settlement will remain private, save to say that both of us are happy with our agreement. Our primary concern, like any co-parents, is the care and well being of our children." Rosenberg said on Monday that custody arrangements for the couple's children had not been finalized.
Madonna and Ritchie have an eight-year-old son, Rocco, and three-year-old son David, adopted from Malawi. The singer also has a daughter Lourdes, born in 1996, from her relationship with fitness trainer Carlos Leon.
Madonna, one of the most successful singers of all time with estimated album sales of more than 200 million, was married once before, to actor Sean Penn, in the 1980s.
Madonna and Ritchie announced their split in October, nearly eight years after their wedding at Skibo Castle in Scotland.
Ritchie is a British film director who is making Hollywood blockbuster "Sherlock Holmes" starring Robert Downey Jr. as the Victorian-era super sleuth.
The couple's combined wealth has been estimated at about $525 million, but Madonna accounts for most of it.
Madonna's ex-partner Carlos Leon has offered his love and support to the singer and her ex-husband Guy Ritchie in the wake of their divorce.
Leon, the father of Madonna's 12-year-old daughter Lourdes, insists he is sad about the collapse of her marriage - and reveals he became close to director Ritchie, who he describes as an "inspiration".
The 42-year-old tells Hello magazine, "It is a bad situation for both Guy and Madonna and I send them a lot of love and all the children involved. I think it is too early to say if the divorce will make things better or worse for the family.
"(Guy) is the gent. He always treats me with respect. Of the film work of the two, I like Ritchie better. He is incredibly talented as a director and producer and he inspires me."
Leon adds of Lourdes, "I speak to her every day. She is very talented, she gets that from her mum. She has had advantages I never had. But it is up to her to take it to a new level in singing or acting."
Madonna has reached a divorce settlement with Guy Ritchie, according to the singer's rep.
The pop star will pay her ex between $76 million and $92 million, her spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg tells the Associated Press.
Rosenberg says the figure includes the value of their country home Ashcombe, in western England, as well as the couple's London pub, the Punchbowl.
"I'd assume it's one of the largest payouts ever in a divorce settlement," Rosenberg told the AP.
While the financial details of the settlement have been ironed out, Madonna, 50, and Ritchie, 40, are still finalizing custodial arrangements for their children.
Madonna filed for divorce citing Ritchie's "unreasonable behavior" as a cause. The two were granted a preliminary "quickie divorce" on Nov. 21 in the High Court of London.
Ritchie's rep declined to comment to the AP.
US pop star Madonna arrived in Brazil Friday ahead of the final concerts of her worldwide Sticky and Sweet Tour that showed that, at age 50, she can still sell out top-notch venues.
The entertainer, who is undergoing divorce proceedings from her British filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie, landed in Rio de Janeiro where she was met by a security detail that whisked her to a five-star Copacabana beach hotel.
She is to perform two concerts in Rio, on Sunday and Monday, before going to Brazil's biggest city of Sao Paulo for gigs next week on December 18, 20 and 21.
The concerts are the last in her four-month tour across Europe, North America and Latin America, which kicked off August 23 in Wales, Britain.
In all she will have played 58 shows that raked in more than 200 million dollars, according to Billboard magazine.
During her spin around the globe, she has had to oversee divorce proceedings handled by her lawyers.
On November 21, a London court granted a provisional "quickie" divorce to Madonna -- full name Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone -- on the grounds her husband Ritchie had acted unreasonably.
The court released a document in which Madonna stated that she and Ritchie, 40, had not lived together at the same address for six months.
A decree formally dissolving the marriage is expected by early January.
Contradictory accounts in Britain's tabloids over the bust-up said either that Madonna thought Ritchie was lazy, tight-fisted and preferred the pub to his family, or that Ritchie thought she was a control freak obsessed with her Kabbalah faith.
It was also variously reported that Ritchie either received a lot of money from the split -- or none at all.
Madonna is regarded as the world's highest-earning female singer -- Forbes.com put her at the top of its latest "cash queens of music" list with earnings of 72 million dollars between June 2006 and June 2007.
The pair are reportedly fighting over whether their two sons should live in Britain or the United States -- and over who gets them for Christmas.
Two weeks ago, we already reported Madonna's positions in the Donna Top 5000. Today they're broadcasting the 100 highest hits. Like A Prayer was the Madonna song that scored best, ending up with a #52. This is the song's best performance in the top since 2002, when it reached #33. Last year, it was at #89.
The 2nd highest song, Frozen at #143, caused quite some commotion. Since 2005, this song can't be played on Belgian radio anymore, because an unknown composer Salvatore Acquaviva claims Madonna plagiarised his song Ma Vie Fout Le Camp. Ever since, Frozen is the only song of the annual Donna top that can't be played.
This year, the listeners were asked for suggestions to compensate for the lack of this beautiful ballad. Some suggested to sing or hum it on the phone or to play an instrumental version, but the DJs chose a more radical solution. They told people to look for Frozen on YouTube and to start playing after a countdown. Then the radio broadcast was interrupted for a full 5'22, nothing but silence! A true protest against a ridiculous court decision.
Brazilian officials in a Sao Paulo suburb where US pop star Madonna is to give three concerts next week have ordered some 20 fans to break up a makeshift camp they set up to grab good spots once doors open.
The municipality of Butanta, home to the giant Morumbi stadium that will host Madonna's shows on December 18, 19 and 21, have warned hardy fans hunkered down in front of the landmark that their tents and sleeping bags face confiscation. They will be fined 200 dollars if they want them back.
"This is a public area where it is prohibited to camp. They will be treated in the same way as street salesman are," the deputy mayor, Mauricio Pinterich, told the Estado news agency. Madonna is currently making her Sticky and Sweet concert tour in Latin America.
Madonna is causing "crazy enthusiasm" and "impure thoughts" on her first concert visit to Chile, a prominent retired cardinal complained on Wednesday, as he paused in a tribute to a late dictator to denounce the pop star.
Roman Catholic Cardinal Jorge Medina criticized the flamboyant singer during his homily at a Mass in honor of the late dictator Augusto Pinochet, who oversaw the deaths of some 3,200 dissidents during his 1973-1990 rule.
"This woman comes here and in an incredibly shameless manner, she provokes a crazy enthusiasm, an enthusiasm of lust, lustful thoughts, impure thoughts," said Medina, the cardinal who was chosen to announce the election of Pope Benedict XV.
Hundreds of fans spent three days camping outside the National Stadium in Santiago to get good spots for Wednesday's concert, the first of two. About 60,000 people were expected at each performance. One of those waiting in line, Roberto Lopez, told local reporters that he had quit his job in the southern city of Punta Arenas because his boss hadn't given him time off to attend the concert.
Pinochet died Dec. 10, 2006, at age 91. Medina said that some of those who claim to seek justice for violations of human rights under the dictator are actually seeking revenge.
Madonna is claiming more than £5m damages over publication of private photographs of her wedding to film director Guy Ritchie, it has emerged at the High Court.
A judge in London heard that pictures of the "wholly private" event on December 22, 2000, were copied "surreptitiously" by an interior designer during work at her home in Beverly Hills.
The star's barrister, Matthew Nicklin, told Mr Justice Eady that no photographs of the wedding had ever been published anywhere in the world until October 19 this year.
On that date the Mail On Sunday published 11 photographs over the front page and a double-page inside spread.
Madonna, who recently divorced Ritchie, was given no warning, said Mr Nicklin.
He said: "She was ambushed, for the simple reason that if the Mail On Sunday had told her what they intended to do, the claimant would have sought and obtained an injunction."
He said that after publication Madonna launched legal proceedings seeking damages "in excess of £5m, being the estimated value of the photographs".
Mr Nicklin said the newspaper, which paid £5,000 for the photographs, "makes no attempt to defend what it did" and admitted breach of privacy and copyright.
The judge entered judgment in Madonna's favour on the issue of liability.
Further proceedings to assess the damages to be paid are expected to be heard at the High Court next year.
It's 1996 all over again! Eva Peron's spirit came back when Madonna changed up the setlist and sang Don't Cry For Me Argentina right after You Must Love Me last night at the first Sticky & Sweet show in Buenos Aires.
It's the first time that Madonna sang the famous musical number live onstage, and it was worth the wait, because her gorgeous vocals not only brought tears to many fans' eyes, but Madonna herself got emotional as well, no doubt feeling the appreciation of the Argentine fans and remembering her role from the movie 12 years ago. You can watch a great recording of the Evita medley on our intro page.
To find out more on the Sticky & Sweet Tour, visit our diary to read a summary on every single show or check out the fan reviews of the tour. For the first time in years, tonight Madonna is going to perform on a Friday, hopefully she's gonna reprise yesterday's surprise as well. Moreover, the tour DVD is being recorded at the Buenos Aires shows.
When Marc Jacobs found himself in a meeting on a recent Monday morning to brainstorm about Louis Vuitton's next fashion advertising campaign, inspiration struck.
"I just blurted out, 'I think we should do Madonna,'" said the designer, Vuitton's creative director, mentioning he'd attended a concert by the pop icon the night before in Paris. "I was totally just blown away by it, and moved by her performance, by what she had to say, and her energy."
As the meeting went on, Jacobs tapped out a message to Madonna on his BlackBerry, and within about five minutes came the reply: "I'd love to."
The result is six atmospheric pictures of a smoldering Madonna by Steven Meisel that will break in a range of fashion magazines in February. "It's a big change from what we were doing. It tells a story," said Antoine Arnault, Vuitton's director of communications. "This I think is an amazing coup, but more than that, there's real logic behind it. It's very linked to Marc's fashion show."
Although Arnault declined to give figures, he said media budgets for the fashion campaign would be on par with a year ago. And he dismissed as "absurd" reports pegging Madonna's fees at $10 million. "It's very far away from that," he assured.
The campaign marks the end of Vuitton's six-year collaboration with photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, with the parting characterized as amicable, and another reunion for long-time collaborators Madonna and Meisel. Jacobs last worked with Meisel in his Perry Ellis days. (Arnault noted it's "very probable" Vuitton's association with Meisel will continue.)
The campaign takes the very Parisian theme of Jacobs' hit spring Vuitton collection, with a smoky French bistro the setting, and the sepia-toned images evoking a Brassai atmosphere. "As cliché as they are, I love all these French references," the designer said. (Although the restaurant, Figaro, is on North Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles).
"I still feel it looks like beautiful, gorgeous Madonna," Jacobs said about the images. "Excepting the references and excepting the clichés, this still feels very today. And it didn't feel so much like a fashion shoot, it feels like portraits."
The shoot wrapped up in less than a day and without incident, although Jacobs said hordes of paparazzi literally "appeared out of the bushes" the moment Madonna arrived. "It went from a quiet street to complete chaos," he said.
The designer also marveled at the singer's incredible fitness that allowed her to recline, her back arched, on bentwood chairs, or shoot a leg straight up in the air, no sweat. "She's so sure of herself as an icon and as a woman. It was her idea to do the fishnets," Jacobs said. "What fascinates me the most about her is her never-ending energy, and the idea of becoming and changing. She's an artist who's unafraid to use her voice."
Arnault said the fashion campaign would appear "very strongly" in February and March issues and with few changes in media placements. "We're staying on target," he stressed.
The first visuals will spotlight slouchy bags in monogram canvas and monogram-embossed leather, along with ethnic-inspired sandals, bangles and sexy ready-to-wear. In tandem, Vuitton will continue to run its "core values" campaign, with spots featuring Sean Connery, the latest celebrity spokesman, continuing into next year. Analysts have estimated Vuitton spends more than $250 million annually on advertising, most of it print-driven.
Madonna personally sends this message to her fans on Madonna.com:
"I am so disappointed that I had to cancel my show tonight. I've been so looking forward to these four shows in Argentina. When I found out my stage was not going to arrive due to plane delays, I started to cry.
Fortunately I am able to make up the show and I am very sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused anyone. I look forward to seeing you all at River Plate Stadium tomorrow night and this weekend."
The nominations for the 51st Grammy Awards have just been announced and Madonna got nominated in the following categories:
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
Alicia Keys and John Mayer - Lessons Learned
Madonna and Justin Timberlake - 4 Minutes
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Rich Woman
Rihanna and Maroon 5 - If I Never See Your Face Again
Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown - No Air
Best Dance Recording
Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger
Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor
Lady Gaga & Colby O'Donis - Just Dance
Madonna - Give It 2 Me
Rihanna - Disturbia
Sam Sparro - Black & Gold
The competition is tough in both categories, but Madonna might get lucky. Unfortunately the Hard Candy album did not get any nominations. It's only the second time in 15 years when a Madonna album is ignored by the Grammy Awards (the other being American Life). Junkie XL got a nomination for his 4 Minutes remix in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category. The awards will be handed out on February 8th, 2009.
Billboard Boxscore reveals the last remaining shows of the North American leg of the Sticky & Sweet Tour, which brings fantastic news: all of the US & Canada shows sold out, without exception! Even the late addition, Detroit is labeled as a sellout, which got a lot of criticism and bad press that it wouldn't sell out because of economy problems. Congratulations to Madonna, and let's hope the Latin American leg brings the same success!
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Nov. 16, 2008
41,498 / 41,498
Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
Nov. 18, 2008
30,119 / 30,119
Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
Nov. 20, 2008
13,790 / 13,790
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, N.J.
Nov. 22, 2008
13,293 / 13,293
Philips Arena, Atlanta, Ga.
Nov. 24, 2008
14,843 / 14,843
Dolphin Stadium, Miami, Fla.
Nov. 26, 2008
47,998 / 47,998
Madonna has postponed the first of four shows in Argentina.
Representatives of River Plate Stadium say they have postponed the pop star's opening concert at the request of the production company. She will still perform as scheduled in Buenos Aires on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Local news media are reporting that some of Madonna's sound equipment hasn't arrived due to flight delays, so the concert could be rescheduled for Monday.
Local production company Time 4 Fun wouldn't comment when contacted by The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Madonna kicked off the Latin American leg of her Sticky & Sweet world tour last week in Mexico City.
From Buenos Aires she heads to Chile and Brazil.
Madonna.com posts the following clarification:
T4F has announced that tonight's engagement of Madonna on December 3 at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires has been postponed due to unforeseen technical difficulties.
However, in order not to disappoint any of her fans, Madonna has moved around her schedule so that all four shows in Buenos Aires will be performed.
The new schedule will be as follows: Madonna will perform at River Plate Stadium on December 4, 5, 7 and 8. Please note that tickets for tonight's performance, December 3, will be honored on Friday, December 5. In addition, please note that tickets for Saturday, December 6 will be honored on Monday, December 8.
With this revised schedule, Madonna is happy to accommodate her many fans. The shows will continue to be filmed for later broadcast. The support and understanding of the many fans of Madonna is most greatly appreciated. She looks forward to performing all four shows on this historic run at the famous River Plate Stadium.
Just to recap:
- Fans holding tickets for Wednesday, December 3 will attend the show on Friday, December 5.
- Fans holding tickets for Thursday, December 4 will attend the show on Thursday, December 4.
- Fans holding tickets for Saturday, December 6 will attend the show on Monday, December 8.
- Fans holding tickets for Sunday, December 7 will attend the show on Sunday, December 7.
Madonna met with a president and a former guerrilla-held hostage Tuesday at Argentina's presidential palace, where she filmed Evita 12 years ago.
The pop star, in Buenos Aires on the Latin America leg of her Sticky & Sweet world tour, showed up early for a visit Argentine President Cristina Fernandez - who was then meeting with one of the world's best-known ex-hostages.
Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt was freed in July after being held more than six years in jungle camps by leftist rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. She was visiting Argentina to thank its government for working to free hundreds of other hostages left behind.
Fernandez brought Madonna and Betancourt together for a brief meeting that was closed to the press. The trip marks Madonna's third visit to Buenos Aires, where in 1996 she played Eva Peron, the first lady of Argentina from 1946-52, in the musiscal film Evita.
Then-President Carlos Menem permitted her to film one of the movie's most famous scenes on the balcony of the palace, where she sang Don't Cry for Me Argentina. Madonna arrived in Buenos Aires with her three children and 200 dancers, technicians and other crew members. She gives the first of four concerts on Wednesday.
Madonna teamed up with Justin Timberlake for the top 10 Hot 100 smash 4 Minutes. She had a No. 1 Hot Dance Club Play hit with Give It 2 Me, but that single didn't strike a cord with radio (and only peaked at No. 57 on the Hot 100).
Now does Madonna have any plans to release anything else from the Hard Candy album? I read on the Internet that Miles Away was released to radio in the U.K., along with a handful of dance remixes. Does she have plans to release that single or any other tracks from her latest CD while she's on tour?
Mitchell, South Dakota
I'm listening to the dance mixes of Miles Away right now on my iTunes. They were commercially released this week both in the U.S. and the U.K. through digital download services (and possibly in many other global territories).
The producers enlisted to remix the tune for dance floors include Thin White Duke, Johnny Vicious, Morgan Page, Rebirth (Demacio "Demo" Castellon, Vincent di Pasquale, Larry Grant), Aaron LaCrate and Debonair Samir.
I don't believe the single has been promoted to U.S. radio stations yet. Right now, the focus is on dance clubs here in the States. (On the Hot Dance Club Play chart out next week, dated Dec. 13, Miles will move from No. 35 to No. 20 in its second week on the chart. It is her 55th Hot Dance Club Play hit.)
In Europe, Miles Away moves up to No. 13 on the Nielsen Music Control Euro Radio Airplay chart (dated Nov. 20).
However, it would seem that, at least in the U.K., the favorable radio support isn't translating into success with digital downloads. It's looking like the song is selling rather poorly and it may miss the top 40 of the Official U.K. Singles Chart this Sunday (Nov. 30) when the new chart is released.
A few chart-geek notes:
If Miles misses the top 40, it will be her first single to miss the top 10 in the U.K. since 2003 (Love Profusion) and her first single to miss the top 20 since 1984 (with the original release of Borderline).
Not exactly records you'd want to set.
The 28 dates on Madonna's just-concluded North American jaunt grossed about $91.5 million and moved about 550,000 tickets, according to tour producer Arthur Fogel, chairman of global music for Live Nation.
The venerable performer wrapped the North American leg of her Sticky & Sweet tour Wednesday in front of 50,000 people at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. She then headed to Mexico City for shows Saturday and Sunday.
Counting her European run, Madonna is at about $207.5 million in ticket sales and on a pace to hit about $282 million when the Mexico/South America leg of the tour wraps. That would make Sticky & Sweet the top-grossing tour ever by a female artist or solo artist.
The tour, supporting her album Hard Candy, concludes with three nights December 18-21 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.↑ Back to top of page