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LL COOL J Praises Madonna’s Kids Books

Rapper LL COOL J has slammed critics for attacking Madonna’s children books.
The Material Girl published the first of five books,The English Roses, last year (03) but received bad reviews for her literary debut, but the Phenomenon rapper – who penned “rap and read” children’s book and the winner is … – fiercely defends the pop-queen.
He says, “I don’t know why people didn’t like Madonna’s books, maybe they don’t think it’s a valid art form, maybe they don’t like kids.
“Why not be rich and famous and take time to inspire kids? That would embarrass whoever said you cannot do it! I don’t understand it at all!”
source : contactmusic


Who’s That Girl

As Madonna prepares to reinvent herself (once again) at Slane this weekend, Nick Duerden takes a critical look back through her startling career, evaluating the hits and the misses during her 20 years in the public eye
The pop star
In the past 20 years, Madonna has sold more than 250m records. From the pure pop of her 1983 debut Madonna to the sophisticated majesty of her finest album, Like a Prayer (1989), and with several bizarre diversions – such as 1992’s Erotica, in which she panted, sexually, towards hyperventilation – Madonna has always been music’s most forward-thinking visionary.
But most fans will only ever associate her greatest moment with the point in 1983 when she burst through the celebrity stratosphere as the decade’s quintessential ‘Material Girl’. For all the sophistries of her later incarnations, many remember her most fondly, and with no small amount of nostalgia, for the days in which her sartorial ensemble consisted of nothing more designer than a DIY dye job and a yard or so of tulle.
Others champion 1986’s True Blue as her finest moment: for this, she sheared her frazzled locks and sported a short platinum crop. The album, which included the seminal Papa Don’t Preach, sold 19m copies and made No 1 in 27 countries. And where, artistically, she may have failed to score points for the lyrical poignancy of Erotica, Madonna still managed to win most critics round by judicious disrobing.
In musical terms, it’s hard to pinpoint anything where she got it completely wrong, although most would agree that her decision to record American Pie was perhaps the most misdirected decision of her career so far. Ray of Light would have been a very respectable point at which to retire gracefully from the music scene, but last year’s American Life heralded yet another new beginning for the Material Girl – as white rapper.
While she may not be selling records in the same vast quantities, she remains the most interesting, challenging and innovative artist of her generation. Each album features another cutting- edge producer taking her in new directions. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but whatever she comes up with is worth listening to. That is no small achievement.
The film star
Back in 1985, it seemed as if Madonna could do no wrong. Having performed so seductively in the videos for Like a Virgin and Papa Don’t Preach, she thought she’d do likewise on the big screen. Desperately Seeking Susan, however, suggested that she’d be wiser sticking to pop videos.
But Madonna was never going to be so easily thwarted. She married an actor (Sean Penn) and appeared in a string of films – Shanghai Surprise (ghastly), Body of Evidence (gruesome) and Dick Tracy (grim) – turning in performances that suggested she was no more an actress than a zoologist. But Evita brought a modicum of actorly respect, and dreams of Oscar glory never quite receded.
When she married Guy Ritchie, many feared they would do what married couples should never do: work together. Temptation proved too much. Madonna was apparently convinced that Swept Away, billed by some fool as a “romantic comedy”, would be the role of her life. Instead, it was a gossamer- light tale of a rich socialite’s wife who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with an unctuous but handsome Italian man.
It is difficult to say anything positive about Swept Away, because it’s the worst movie ever made.
The wife and mother
Once pilloried by church and state for her wanton sexuality and evil ways, Madonna’s reinvention in 1996 after the birth of her daughter Lourdes marked one of the most spectacular image transformations ever.
Meanwhile, the role of the child’s father, Madonna’s personal trainer Carlos Leon, was played down by the Madonna team. Her single-parent status culminated in a Vanity Fair spread, in March 1998, in which she resembled Mother Earth made flesh.
Her subsequent marriage to Guy Ritchie, with whom she had a second child, Rocco, effectively sealed her status as the ultimate celebrity family woman, making her the UK’s official spokesperson on motherhood, education, the NHS, child-rearing and shearing (she dictates how children’s hair should be styled).
The religious guru
Madonna Louise Ciccone must be one of the world’s most famous lapsed Catholics. Ever since she pleasured herself on stage in 1990 with a crucifix, the Pope has taken a very dim view of her art. She has since taken her spirituality elsewhere, stopping temporarily at the temple of Buddhism before settling upon the teachings of the kabbalah, as taught by the 4,000-year-old religion’s self-styled “world’s foremost authority”, one Rabbi Philip Berg, a former insurance salesman. Under a headscarf and the pseudonym Ethel, she attends weekly teachings of the kabbalah in London. She is now as recognisable for her faith as she was, 10 years ago, as John Paul Gaultier’s conical-bosomed muse.
Madonna plays Slane on Sunday. Some tickets, GBP61.94, may still be available from Ticketmaster outlets or online. A link bus is also available from Belfast. For details, see
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Madonna interested in Onassis isle

Madonna has her sights set on buying a Greek island from multibillionairess Athina Onassis, according to reports.
The pop superstar has allegedly visited remote Skorpios, where tycoon Aristotle Onassis famously romanced opera diva Maria Callas and Jackie Kennedy.
The Ionian isle is now owned by Aristotle’s granddaughter Athina, who is planning to sell the Greek paradise for a whopping $355m (€294m) – $340m (€281.8m) more than the businessman paid for the land in 1962.
And, according to American tabloid the Globe, Madonna is interested in buying the island, which features three villas and a small chapel.
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Tour documentary and DVD: London, Paris and Lisbon

Here’s some exciting exclusive news about the re-invention tour documentary and dvd. MadonnaTribe’s close friends Sharon and Jamesy had the chance to talk to the crew of the documentary today at wembley arena that gave out some more details about the releases from this tour.
They told them that the London and Paris shows are being filmed to be used in the documentary, more or less like for Truth or Dare. The release date of the film is at moment scheduled for August 2005.
The dvd release, as Madonna Tribe announced a while back, will be a “live in Lisbon” which accoring the documentary crew that spoke to our friends has a release date set for March 2005.
Please note that this are the schedules the documentary team is aware of at the moment as they told our friends, we thought it was a very interesting piece of news. Keep in mind things are subject to change.
source : madonnatribe


Madonna and child

Proud mum Madonna looks on intently as daughter Lourdes gets stuck into her pop superstar mum’s latest book.
The seven-year-old read out excerpts from the book, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, when the pair visited London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. Madonna took Lourdes along on a trip to the wards earlier this week during a break from her current Reinvention tour.
They met some of the children being treated at the hospital and gave out copies of Madonna’s children’s books – she has written five so far.
A hospital source said: “All the kids were delighted to see her. They chatted with Madonna and Lourdes and seemed to really enjoy their visit.”
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Madonna fans donate tickets in aid of Sudan

Music legend Madonna and two of her biggest fans have come together to help the Final Hour Appeal.
Marie-Claude de Bourgonniere, left, and Tessa Flattery are putting up for auction tickets to see Madonna in concert tomorrow to help raise money for the Final Hour Appeal. The two tickets were selling for GBP175 this morning. Bids can be registered with Island FM before noon today on 242000.
Tessa Flattery, 31, and Marie-Claude de Bourgonniere, 29, have decided to auction front-seat tickets for the Thursday performance of the artist’s worldwide Re-Invention tour. The thrilled fans were given the complimentary tickets when they went to Madonna’s opening night at Wembley on Sunday.
“We were just chatting in our seats and we noticed this American security guard with a Madonna-style cowboy hat around the back of the stage,” said Mrs Flattery. Ten minutes later he was walking up the stairs where we were sitting. Everybody let him through and he came up to us and said: “These are for you, courtesy of Madonna.”
Both were sceptical at first but they realised it was true and their emotions took over.
Mrs Flattery said her friend was “bawling her eyes out”.
“She’s obsessed with Madonna.”
But the friends quickly realised that they could not use the courtesy tickets because they would be unable to get flights to England on the Thursday. Despite offers of money from fans around them, they kept hold of the tickets until they decided what to do.
“I would love to go back on Thursday, but I’ve got a little daughter to look after,” said Ms de Bourgonniere, a mother of three. “I just hope we can give somebody the same buzz we had.”
Mrs Flattery said it was a chance not to be missed.
“You don’t let this slip by. If anybody idolises Madonna the way my friend does, then this is giving them a chance to experience what they’ve always wanted. Whoever gets those tickets is not going to be disappointed.”
Mrs Flattery, a mother of four, bought the tickets in April in advance of her friend’s 30th birthday. She was on the telephone as soon as the ticket hotline opened. After 20 minutes, she got through. The only seats left cost GBP150.
“It was now or never. I said to Marie-Claude: “Do you want them or not?”.”
It was lucky for them that Ms De Bourgonniere said yes ” all the Wembley tickets were sold out half an hour later. Both of them said the tickets were worth every penny. Their memories will stick with them forever.
“It was just mind-blowing,” said Ms de Bourgonniere. “It was the best day of my life, apart from when I had children. If I could thank Madonna personally, I would.”
Mrs Flattery has been an avid fan since the beginning of the singer’s musical career in the 80s. The artist, who reportedly arrived in New York in 1978 in search of fame with only $35 dollars in her pocket, is never one to shy away from controversy. Both friends said she was the biggest female superstar of the modern era.
They could see the performer backstage with her children and film director husband Guy Ritchie. They also saw her kiss her dancers goodbye before being ushered off at the end of the show.
“She was just fantastic,” said Ms de Bourgonniere.
“She was in great shape and was absolutely beautiful. There was so much adrenaline there and the crowd was buzzing. I’ll never forget it.”
source :


More on

Songs on the album include “Little Star” from Madonna and “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” by Maroon 5.


Madonna takes the herbal route

Madonna’s herbalist has put her on a strict regime of natural remedies in order to help her perform well during the UK leg of her tour.
The 46-year-old star worried her guru when she turned down a photo shoot aboard a London bus because it would make her feel sick.
A source said: “Madonna is a perfectionist and she gives her everything when she performs.
“She has got the body of someone in their 20s but can’t forget that she’s four years off 50 in reality so she has to look after her joints.
“Her fabulous routines really push her and she needs to keep healthy. Motion sickness indicates a person feels rundown and worn out but there are many remedies to combat this.”
The 56-date Re-Invention tour has so far taken the pop icon across the US and Canada, and she is now performing in the UK.
BENADRYL has some top tips to help you have fun in the sun and still fight hayfever.
To prevent hayfever affecting your holiday always remember to take your hayfever treatments with you.
When choosing your holiday destination think about how you are sensitive to pollen and avoid the times where it is at its peak.
The sea breeze helps you, so if you’re designated near the coast it will help to distribute the pollen into the air.
With wrap around sun glasses there is a chance to stop your eyes being itchy and red, but if these symptoms occur do not scratch your eyes as it will make them worse.
The cooler periods of the day like midmorning and late evening means more pollen so try to avoid being outside at these times.
WORRY is the main emotion parents feel when their children are starting school.
Their exposure to different types of germs means their body’s won’t have experienced much resistance from them and this may come as a shock to some parents and children. Sambucol For Kids will help see them through winter as it is specially formulated to boost the immune system. This boost was brought to us by Dr Madeleine Mumcuoglu Ph.D who is a world renowned virologist.
It’s a black elderberry extract but also includes Vitamin C and Propolis which both help support the immune system. Sambucol For Kids is sold at GBP8.25 for a 120ml size bottle.
THE party girls essential Triple Dry Quick Dry Cream, below, priced GBP7.49 at boots is all you need if your one of those people who find it impossible to go straight from work to a night on the town and stay fresh until the early hours of the morning. To reduce the horror even more Triple Dry is also available as a roll on at GBP6.99 or as a spray at GBP4.99.
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Madonna’s Millions

This documentary has no redeeming features. Writer and director Max Flint sets out to uncover how much Madonna is worth, using a corny cash register graphic to tally his spurious calculations. It’s cheap, bitchy and dull. Financial planners, ex-managers with axes to grind, sad fans and alleged “friends” offer a series of worthless insights, while Flint takes us through a house in which Madonna once lived and makes an unsuccessful fly-over of her current abode.
We learn nothing about Madonna; in fact, we barely see her. Just a couple of unflattering stills, one early interview and some grainy footage that supposedly shows her auditioning for a New York dance school. There’s not even any of her music. That would have cost $6000 a minute, Flint explains. So instead the soundtrack is provided by Kylie, Dido and a string of other female singers.
At the conclusion of this tawdry exercise, Flint’s “exclusive finding after months of research” is that Madonna is worth $US213 million after tax. So now you have absolutely no excuse to watch.
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River warning for Madonna fans

Madonna fans were told to keep clear of the dangerous waters of the Boyne River today by the owner of Slane Castle.
The Irish coastguard unit Gardai will patrolling the flooded waters to ensure there is no trouble as 80,000 fans gather for the queen of pop first ever concert.
Lord Henry Mount Charles, the owner of the historic County Meath Castle said: “The Boyne is a hungry river, it is reputed to claim 12 lives a year, not I might add, on concert days.
“Though we have had some very unfortunate incidents.
“People look at it and admire it, but don’t go near it. At some of the previous tragedies people have had tickets in their pockets and that is just crazy stuff.”
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Comments calls shots on ring tone offer

Madonna and m-Qube have made it possible for the star’s North American fans to download polyphonic ring tones and other licensed mobile content from her official Web site, across most major carriers and without the need for a credit card.
The mobile company said this was the first artist-driven online store of its kind.
“Madonna sees the future of the music business tied intimately to the wireless space and doing this deal is the first step of many to utilize the robust capabilities of mobile phones,” Madonna’s manager Caresse Henry said.
Visitors to can purchase the handset-personalization products just by providing their mobile phone number and handset type. The charges appear on their wireless bill.
Andrew Miller, m-Qube’s senior vp business development, said being chosen by an artist like Madonna validated his company’s mobile storefront strategy and the importance of cross-carrier premium billing solutions.
“It’s Madonna’s music, so the store is going to be her way, on her terms,” he said. “This is not through the label. This is working directly through the artist. When fans think of Madonna, they will think of the music and her Web site, not their phone company.”
This approach is not suitable for all artists, he added, but is particularly appropriate for someone of Madonna’s iconic stature. Participating in her own store also gives her a larger share of the proceeds because there is no label involvement.
Direct premium billing means that consumers who do not have or choose not to use a credit card are able to purchase the products. “In some territories we offer customers both credit card and carrier-billed options, and about 90% choose carrier-billed,” Miller said.
M-Qube is headquartered in Boston with offices in Redmond, Wash., and Toronto. The company’s strategic wireless partners include Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless, Sprint PCS, AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile USA, Nextel Communications, Cincinnati Bell Wireless, Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility, Microcell, SaskTel, MTS and Aliant Mobility.
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