What do Madonna, the Bee Gees, Chaka Khan, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Bananarama, Chaka Khan, Chesney Hawkes, Kylie Minogue and Madonna have in common? They all feature in the top ten classic party tunes according to a recent poll, that’s what.
Madonna is at number one with upbeat 1983 synth-fest Holiday, followed in second place by… Madonna with Hung Up and, in third, Into the Groove by – yep, that’s right – Madonna.
Having claimed the top three spots, the Material Girl makes way for the Bee Gees with Stayin’ Alive, Chaka Khan – popping up twice with Ain’t Nobody and I’m Every Woman – and Michael Jackson with Billie Jean.
Bananarama’s cover of Venus, and Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head also make the list – and what party would be complete without the One and Only Chesney Hawkes.
Ten more tracks – featuring artists ranging from Britney Spears to Shania Twain, Queen to Abba – feature in the top twenty, as decided by Magic 105.4’s online survey to find the world’s greatest party classics.
Madonna grew up wishing beloved actor James Stewart was her real father because she adored him in festive film It’s A Wonderful Life.
The pop superstar admits she always makes time to watch the Christmas-themed classic during the holidays – and it always takes her back to her childhood.
She says, “I love the message of it; I think it’s so beautiful. I grew up wishing that Jimmy Stewart was my father. The story of wanting it all and having it all and then losing it all and then realising what’s important, it’s like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – ‘There’s no place like home’.
“It’s kind of corny and cliche but, to me, it’s a classic story that stands the test of time. I love it. I cry every time I see it.”
We all know that Christmas is a time for giving, and with that in mind, we have kindly been given the gift of a sneak peek at Madonna’s first advert for her debut fragrance, Truth or Dare.
It’s sultry, sassy and savvy, (try saying that after a few glasses of mulled mine) and everything we would expect from one of the most influential women of our generation.
Even though the image wasn’t shot exclusively for the perfume and was in fact from the Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott photo-shoot Madonna did for Interview magazine earlier this year, we think it fits the essence of the perfume perfectly.
Two photographic geniuses and a queen of pop really is a winning combination.
Apparently there are more pictures where this one came from, so we’ll keep you posted when they reveal themselves!
What Madonna wants Madonna usually gets. So it came as something of a shock for the diva to be told she couldn’t do exactly what she wanted as she embarked on directing the film of a story that had fascinated her for years.
“I had to learn to deal with disappointment gracefully,” she recalls. “Every day I heard the word no a thousand times. ‘No, that can’t happen. No, we don’t have time for that. No, that’s too expensive. No, no, no.’ Trying to work with those kinds of restrictions and being creative too is a real challenge.”
She surmounted the challenge and the result is W.E., a lavish depiction of the love affair between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson set against the backdrop of the auction of items from their estate and told in conjunction with the story of Wally Winthrop, a contemporary New York woman who is obsessed with the life of the Duchess of Windsor, through whom she lives vicariously.
“I’ve long been intrigued by Wallis Simpson,” says Madonna, “but I didn’t want to make a straightforward biopic because I’m always disappointed when I watch movies about historical figures: they either don’t tell the whole story or they don’t tell the story I know. So I thought it was important to tell this story from the point of view of a contemporary woman who goes on her own journey in search of love and happiness.”
W.E. is Madonna’s second directorial effort; the first, 2008’s Filth and Wisdom, met with lukewarm reviews and had only a limited release. “I’m not sure what expectations people have of me as a director, but I think they are more critical of me because I’ve been successful in other areas if my life, and I feel the pressure.”
Madonna spent two years researching the life of Wallis Simpson and writing the script. She wallpapered an empty room in her house with pictures from auction catalogues and photographs of the Duke and Duchess throughout their lives.
“I was sitting in a room that was completely and utterly inundated with their images so I could soak up their energy. I was trying to understand the nature of their love story and trying to figure out for myself if there is such a thing as perfect love.”
Madonna, who has a daughter, Lourdes, by her former personal trainer Carlos Leon, a son Rocco by Guy Ritchie and an adopted son and daughter, last year ended a relationship with male model Jesus Luz and is currently involved romantically with Brahim Zaibat, a French break-dancer. “I know what it feels like to be loved a lot, but no one’s ever given up their kingdom for me,” she laughs.
For the role of Wallis Simpson Madonna saw scores of actresses before casting Andrea Riseborough, whom she had seen as the young Margaret Thatcher in the BBC film The Long Walk to Finchley. “I was looking for a certain quality: something fragile, androgynous and yet feminine in a really old-fashioned way. When I saw Andrea, I knew immediately she was the one.”
The Australian actress Abbie Cornish portrays Wally, whose obsession with the Duchess of Windsor leads her to question her own unhappy marriage. The British actor James D’Arcy plays Edward VIII.
Help and support came from Mohammad Fayed, who allowed Madonna to film on land in the Bois de Boulogne and gave his permission for his likeness to be used in the film.
“I also knew he was in possession of many of the letters between the Duke and Duchess, and he was extremely generous and forthcoming with them,” says Madonna. “As soon as I came into his office he opened up books and pages of letters for me to look at. I found them very insightful because people reveal a lot about themselves in a letter – things you don’t get from a book, like the way they speak to each other and the nicknames they gave each other.”
In return for Fayed’s assistance, Madonna helped his daughter’s charity for underprivileged and abused children. “It was a trade-off and I think it was a fair trade.”
Four bodyguards stand nearby as we talk in a hotel room. Wearing a red blouse and black pencil skirt by Yves Saint Laurent, the singer-cum-director is in a cheerful and upbeat mood. “He’s here? Excellent!” she declares when told that Antonio Banderas, whom she once expressed a desire for, was in the same hotel giving interviews. “I used to have a terrible crush on him, it’s true,” she laughs. “But I think he’s taken.”
She did, however, call on two previous husbands, Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie, both of whom have directed films, for help with W.E.
“I talked to Sean about making the film, and he’s always been supportive of me. I gave the screenplay to Guy and shared the concepts and the stories and the ideas with him because he was interested in it from a historical point of view.
“They never really gave me specific advice about telling the story, but Guy would give me technical advice about cameras or using digital versus film or one cinematographer being better than another – just technical things.”
Although W.E. has been taking up most of her time for the past three years, she has not abandoned her singing career, and her 12th studio album will be released early next year. She is also eager to make another film. “I’m thinking about possible subjects,” she says, “but I am a hopeless romantic, so I’m sure that romance and love will be part of the story.”
Pop star Madonna has reached agreement to pay K24 million to eight sacked school employees in Malawi who sued her over unpaid benefits and unjustified sackings after the collapse of her schools project.
The group of sacked workers included chief executive Anjimile Oponyo.
The singer contested that there was nothing unfair about the termination of the employees’ contracts, which was necessary due to genuine economic reasons.
The staff had claimed that they were being forced to sign a discriminatory termination agreement which was “unfair and unconstitutional”.
The industrial court in Blantyre however told Madonna to pay up.
Madonna had planned to build a $15 million school for girls, Raising Malawi Academy for Girls (RMAG), in Lilongwe Malawi three years ago, but the project was cancelled amid allegations of mismanagement including excessive spending on offices cars and golf membership. An audit found $3.8 million had been squandered.
Madonna, who has adopted two children from Malawi, announced in January 2011 that she was overhauling her plans for Malawi.
She said she wanted to build more community schools that would reach out to more girls than the academy, which would have offered scholarships to 500 girls from impoverished backgrounds.
However, she has not followed up her latest plans and her charity has been inactive in Malawi for more than a year.
Spanish police arrested a 31-year-old man Wednesday and charged him with illegally leaking an early recording of a new Madonna song on the internet.
At least one demo recording of “Give Me All Your Love” was posted on the web in November, two months before the planned release of Madonna’s first new album since 2008’s “Hard Candy.”
Police did not give the name of the man arrested in the city of Zaragoza in northern Spain, but said his initials were J.M.R. and that he was a big Madonna fan. He was charged and released, a police statement said.
The “Madonnaleaks” investigation began after lawyers for the singer — who said in November that she was very upset over the leak — traced the posting to Spain. Police said they found recordings of the song in a search of the suspect’s belongings.
Intellectual property watchdgos have targeted Spain as one of the world’s largest copyright violators. The Socialist government, which left office this week, prepared a bill aimed at shutting down file-sharing web sites providing copyrighted material. But the law was never sent to Parliament.