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Ariel Rechtshaid on calling Madonna, Madonna

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“I kept calling her ‘Madonna’ — just, ‘Hey Madonna’ and whatever. Every time she would kind of look at me funny. After a while she was like, ‘Why do you keep calling me that?’ I’m like, ‘Calling you what?’ And she says, ‘Calling me Madonna, nobody calls me that.’ I was like, ‘What do you mean? What do people call you?’ She’s like, ‘Umm, M. People call me M.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, alright! Well, anyway, let’s do some vocals, Madonna.’” – Ariel Rechtshaid (“Living For Love” co-writer)

MTV

Mike Tyson talks working with Madonna

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When Madonna released the finished track list for her upcoming album Rebel Heart earlier this week, the most conspicuous guest star wasn’t Nicki Minaj, Nas or Chance the Rapper. That distinction fell to Mike Tyson, who appears with the singer and Chance the Rapper on new track “Iconic.”

And while Tyson hasn’t heard the finished track yet (a leaked demo of the song only featured Madonna), the former boxer-turned-actor tells Rolling Stone that his role was similar to his 1998 appearance as a hype man on battle rapper Canibus’ “Second Round K.O.”

“Madonna calls you and tells you to come somewhere, you go,” Tyson says. “I didn’t know what the hell I was going there for. I’m just there having a good time and hanging out with Madonna. She has her producer there and I go into the studio and I didn’t know if she wanted me to talk or rap. I just go in there and start talking. I’m talking about my life and things that I have endured. I’m saying some really crazy stuff. It was really intense.”

Tyson ad-libbed his part of the song — which he says was done in one take — and drew inspiration from an unlikely icon. “When I did it, I think about being some guy like [Benito] Mussolini and they’re really arrogant, but you try to come from a positive perspective and be uplifting. You watch Mussolini on television — even though we don’t understand what he’s saying — he is so mesmerizing. I look at myself in that way.

“I know people may say ‘this guy’s a fascist’ and all this stuff, but man, you can take positivity from watching him,” added Tyson. “No wonder why Hitler was attracted to him. This guy’s a hypnotic figure. There’s so much pride behind what he’s saying. I’m not even Italian and I feel the pride he’s projecting. He had that street swag; he was doing this stuff with his hands and moving his head before it was even hip-hop.”

While this is the first musical collaboration between the two stars, their history together goes back decades. Tyson says he first met Madonna in 1988 during a double date between himself, then-wife Robin Givens, Madonna and her then-husband Sean Penn. When the foursome went to see a Pee-wee Herman movie, Tyson and Penn both fell asleep midway through the film, leaving their dates time to bond.

“She’s an awesome, serene person,” Tyson says of Madonna. “She’s trying to do something that since the beginning of time has been the most difficult thing to do: Save the world. I commend her for that. She is a fighter in every sense of the word and from an intergalactic perspective,” he adds with a laugh.

The star of Adult Swim’s Mike Tyson Mysteries, the unexpected animated hit that was recently picked up for a second season, even weighed in on Adi Lederman, the 38-year-old Israeli man arrested for hacking into Madonna’s computer and attempting to sell the unreleased songs. “It’s an invasion of privacy,” says Tyson. “It’s totally counterproductive to what our so-called Constitution is all about. But I’m not in the position to pass judgment on somebody like that, but [what happens to him] shouldn’t be something nice.”

It’s unclear if Tyson, who contributed the dance-pop song “One Night in Bangkok” to the soundtrack to 2011’s The Hangover Part II, will try to parlay his “Iconic” appearance into a future career, but the multihyphenate is not ruling it out.

“Doing the song with Madonna makes me think this [music career] could really happen,” Tyson says. “Most guys that come in there drink a bunch of liquor or smoke 100 blunts. I just went in and boom, one take. Everyone thought it was cool.”

Rolling Stone

Julianne Moore talks slapping Madonna in ‘Body Of Evidence’

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While appearing on the late-night boozy programme, the 54-year-old actress recalled how nervous she was slapping Madonna in the 1993 flop Body of Evidence.
“I was super nervous. I was so, so nervous,” The Hunger Games star said, sipping her white wine.
“I didn’t actually make contact. It was a fake slap, but she wasn’t talking to me because she was being kind of method-y doing her thing so I felt nervous and scared. I didn’t want to hurt her at all.”
Host Andy Cohen then asked Julianne – born Julie Anne Smith – if the 56-year-old pop diva was still a method actor.
Moore said: “She was at that time, because she was playing the girlfriend and I was playing the wife. We were supposed to be enemies. She’s always been very nice to me other times. This was just on this movie, so I was very scared of her.”

Julianne Moore slapping Madonna

DailyMail

Iggy Azalea loves Madonna’s Confessions Tour

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“One tour I really love that I didn’t go to, unfortunately, was the Madonna Confessions tour. I love that tour so much. It was actually why I called up Jamie King, who’s working on the tour with me–because he left Madonna’s tour. I was like, ‘I’ve gotta have the people that were involved in creating this.’ I love when the stage changes and transforms.”

Billboard

Madonna on Kanye, Diplo, music influences

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Madonna has opened up for the first time about her expansive career in the music industry as she reveals all in the latest issue of MOJO magazine.

Her 13th album, ‘Rebel Heart’, features a number of collaborators including Kanye West, who Madge had only kind words to speak of.

“I like that he likes to push the envelope.” Madonna told MOJO. “He hears music in a different and unique way.”

She went on to add: “I think Diplo’s the same. I like people who think outside the box ‘cos they take a song I’ve written that’s quite straightforward and pop and deconstruct it. Rip it apart and turn it into something else.”

As for how she started making her own music and who she was inspired by, it’s all down to her love of dancing.

“All my friends were DJs so I wanted my records to sound like what I wanted to dance to,” Madonna told MOJO.

“I would go to clubs and I would listen to what would make me dance. And then I would go back and I would work on my music,” she said.

“I mean, I was influenced by Debbie Harry, Talking Heads, The B-52’s. So to me the line was very blurred between what I was working on and what I was dancing to.”

MOJO is on sale in the UK and online from Tuesday 27 January.

Madonna on the cover of Mojo magazine

MTV UK

Rolling Stone: Madonna Strikes Back

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Madonna was in Africa in late November, visiting schools built by her Raising Malawi nonprofit, when the first leak hit the Web: 40 seconds of “Rebel Heart,” a defiant, dance-y track she had recently been working on. Three weeks later, the leak became a flood. Madonna was back in New York on December 17th, when fans started alerting her via Instagram that 13 demos recorded for her unfinished 13th album, also called Rebel Heart, had been illegally posted online and were spreading like wildfire.

It was an unprecedented leak: Nearly a full album’s worth of work arrived four months before its planned April release date. “She was devastated,” the singer’s longtime manager Guy Oseary says.

Madonna’s response was swift and dramatic: She decided she would complete six tracks and get them up for sale on iTunes as soon as possible. The songs leaked on a Tuesday; they needed to be online by Friday if fans were going to buy them before 2015. “The deadline for getting this music out was a 50-yard dash,” Madonna says. Some in her camp urged her to not rush out the songs, but she insisted. “Starting Wednesday, it was like, ‘You’ve got to get this music out – I can’t take it,’ ” adds Oseary. “What could we do? You’ve got to just battle through it.”

With most of Apple about to go on holiday break, the challenge wasn’t simply mixing and mastering the tracks to Madonna’s satisfaction, but getting them loaded into the iTunes store, which can be a laborious process. (Oseary, who also manages U2, worked closely with Apple on the surprise release of U2’s Songs of Innocence last September.)

Madonna and her team worked for nearly 72 straight hours to make it happen, getting key help from Interscope’s Steve Berman and iTunes’ Robert Kondrk. She didn’t learn until 11:30 p.m. Friday that the finished songs were indeed going to reach fans before the new year. But the payoff was immediate: The songs, which Madonna called “an early Christmas gift,” shot to the top of the music service’s charts in 42 countries. “The fans are extremely loyal,” she says, “and I’m really supergrateful for that.” (The full 19-track album now has a March 9th release date.) “Every time a country would tweet about getting it, it put a smile on my face, because it meant it was working,” Oseary says of the iTunes rollout. …continue reading »

Sean Douglas on writing “Ghosttown” with Madonna

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…the recent high-water achievement for Douglas was working on “Ghosttown,” one of the songs featured on Madonna’s upcoming Rebel Heart studio album. The songwriter says that the song, which was released along with five other Madonna tracks following a demo leak last month, was written in three days after Madonna personally requested some studio time.

“She liked ‘Talk Dirty,’ actually, and so they put me and [co-writers] Jason Evigan and Evan Bogart in with her and we had this great session,” says Douglas. “I was incredibly nervous for obvious reasons, but she showed up, was super personable and was ready to work. I basically checked it off my life bucket list.”

Billboard

How Madonna Turned Her ‘Rebel Heart’ Leak Into a Global Hit

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On Dec. 16, Madonna was in her New York apartment when she received word that more than a dozen unfinished demos for her forthcoming album had leaked. Her manager, Guy Oseary, was just returning to his Beverly Hills estate when he got the news. The album, Rebel Heart, was set for a late-April release, and thanks to a meticulous marketing plan and an inspired group of collaborators (including Diplo, Kanye West and Avicii), buzz was strong on the singer’s 13th studio full-length.

But now, all bets were off. Madonna shot off a fiery post on her Instagram account lambasting the leak as “artistic rape,” Oseary got on the phone, and both sprung into action. “I don’t recall that phone coming off my ear from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.,” he says.

High-profile leaks and other security breaches have been a scourge of the entertainment industry for the past 15 years: from Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in 2001 and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III in 2007 to Madonna’s own “Give Me All Your Luvin'” in 2011 — which resulted in an unidentified fan’s arrest in Spain, although he was later released — not to mention the hacker group Anonymous’ threats to rapper Iggy Azalea in 2014’s final weeks. But this Madonna leak was unusually severe, including images and videos as well as music. However, the singer and her team’s quick response may have set a new precedent for how the industry can mobilize in an effort to combat them.

On the morning of Dec. 17, Steve Berman, vice chairman of Madonna’s label distributor Interscope, was on the phone with her and Oseary. “She was in a very angry, upset, emotional place,” Berman recalls. He had visited her in New York the week prior to hear some of the album’s first finished songs with label president/CEO John Janick. “She told me, ‘Steve, I care about my music. I can’t have the songs being heard the wrong way.’ ”

Berman was confident that Apple’s iTunes could be engaged to turn around an official release of finished Rebel Heart tracks on a dime, even though the digital retailer’s servers would effectively shut down for the year on Dec. 19, just two days later. But he faced two major hurdles: pushback from the upper rafters at Universal Music Group (“Should we just wait and do it all at the top of the year?” was the response from one executive) and the availability of iTunes vp content Robert Kondrk, who was already on vacation with his family in Mexico.

During the next 48 hours, Kondrk was able to help Apple greenlight a Rebel Heart preorder that would include six instant-gratification songs for download by midnight ET on Dec. 20 — including “Living for Love,” the set’s first single, which was initially intended for a Valentine’s Day release (and will now be promoted to radio on Feb. 10). However, Madonna had to make sure the six songs were in finished form, so she holed up in her New York studio working on the final mixes into the wee hours of the morning of Dec. 18. “There was no time to call any of the producers — nothing,” says Oseary. “Just her final mastering sessions.”

The result of Rebel Heart’s 48-hour turnaround? The album preorder topped the iTunes charts in more than 40 countries — including the United States, where three of the six released tracks entered Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart dated Jan. 3, despite just two days of eligibility. To date, the six tracks have sold a combined 131,000 downloads, according to Nielsen Music, with preorders for Rebel Heart at a robust (considering the situation) 50,000 to 60,000, according to industry estimates. “We know that in today’s world, having a top 10 album with no promotion is really hard,” Oseary says. “It’s pretty… exciting isn’t the right word, but it’s rewarding to see it so well-received.”

Still, Madonna’s work is far from over. There’s still at least one more preview track from Rebel Heart on its way before the album’s March 10 release (likely due Feb. 8, the night of the Grammy Awards, Oseary says), and an official video for “Living for Love,” to be filmed in late January. Plus, there’s an ongoing investigation into the source of the leaks (another 14 tracks hit the Internet on Dec. 24), which, given their volume, seem too far-reaching to emanate from a usual suspect like a studio staffer or a backing musician. Neither Oseary nor a UMG representative would confirm that the investigation has resulted in a police report. Oseary’s only comment on the matter was, “We are working really hard to solve this crime.”

Billboard

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