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Microsoft is selling music


Microsoft is releasing a preview version of its MSN Music service, which will sell songs for 99 cents each or $9.99 per album — the same prices charged by Apple and several online music providers. Microsoft secured the rights to songs from artists not found on other services, like Madonna, Metallica and Dave Matthews Band, by agreeing to demands such as only selling entire CDs instead of individual tracks.
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Magical Mystical Tour For Madonna


In hot-pants or battledress, recently reborn Madonna wowed French fans with her new-found mysticism at the first of a string of concerts in Paris on Wednesday night.
Images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and words in Hebrew flitted across the stage while the T-Shirt she threw into the ecstatic crowd of 15,000 fans read “Kabbalists Do It Better”.
The 46-year-old artist, who recently changed her name to Esther after converting to the ancient mysticism of Kabbalah, threw the spotlight on the material worries of the world as an apparent reflection of her concerns for personal as well as global peace.
For hits such as “Vogue” and Frozen” at the first of four Paris concerts, Madonna wore hot-pants, thigh boots and a silver top. For “American Life” a beret and battledress.
But throughout the duration of the one-hour-40-minute show, came anti-war video images of helicopters, tanks, atomic blasts and wounded children as well as dummies of George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein.
Famished African children featured in the backdrop to accompany her version of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, which closed with a Palestinian and Israeli child walking side by side.
Once her current “Re-Invention” world tour is closed this month, Madonna plans a pilgrimage-retreat to Israel in observance of her new Kabbalah faith.
The pop diva began looking into Kabbalah — or at least a modern version of it — in 1997, and is now one of its most high-profile proponents.
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Top concert grosses


#1 Madonna – Wembley – Aug. 22-23, 25-26, 2004 – London, England – $9,809,717 – Attend : 45,267
#3 Madonna – Earls Court – Aug. 18-19, 2004 – London, England – $6,356,207 – Attend : 34,087
#4 Madonna – MEN Arena – Aug. 14-15, 2004 – Manchester, England – $5,136,114 – Attend : 27,320
source : billboard

Madonna aka Esther is still style icon


When spiritually-reborn “Material Girl” Madonna hits the stage in the world’s couture capital from Wednesday, style gurus are likely to be out in force to appraise exactly what she’s wearing.
Faithful to her reputation as global fashionista icon, Madonna, who recently changed her name to Esther after converting to Kabbalah, has called on the top names in fashion to design the costumes for her current “Re-Invention” world tour – Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Stella McCartney etc.
In Paris, where she was originally due to play two nights, 15,000 tickets sold out in only 30 minutes for the opening show and organisers added two concerts. Her four concerts are totally sold out, with some holders offering seats on the Internet for sums of EUR 200 up.
But then Madonna, now 46, has been wowing crowds and setting fashion trends for two decades, from raunchy sex-symbol to hippie-style earth-mother. Big names such as Prada or Dolce and Gabbana have cashed in on her name, as have little known designers such as Belgian Olivier Theyskens, who first won fame when she turned out for the Oscars sporting one of his creations.
Stella McCartney, one of her friends, designed the once-in-a-lifetime dress for her wedding with Guy Ritchie, which was both a good deed and a good plug. In 1990 for her Blond Ambition Tour she turned Jean-Paul Gaultier into a household name because of his conicle-cupped corset.
Houses that succeed in getting Madonna – or even better Madonna plus daughter Lourdes – into the front row for their catwalk collections, such as Gaultier or Versace, know the paparazzi will fly into a frenzy, ensuring plenty of media footage for the label.
“She remains a strong fashion icon because she’s got a real fashion culture and knows what she wants,” Patrick Cabasset, deputy editor of fashion magazine L’Official, told AFP.
“She’s a chameleon with as much feeling for her image as someone like (designer) Jean-Paul Gaultier or Jean-Baptiste Mondino”, he added.
“If you were to give her a mark for either just being or keeping up appearances, you’d give her 100 percent for keeping up appearances. She’s first and foremost just image, despite the fact that nowadays she wants to show she has soul by writing children’s books and taking up spirituality.”
In September, with the world tour behind her, Esther/Madonna plans a pilgrimage to Israel in observance of her new Kabbalah faith and in recent concerts castigates war, or sings John Lennon’s “Imagine” to images of an Israeli and a Palestinian child walking side by side.
The pop diva began looking into Kabbalah – or at least a modern version of it – in 1997, and is now one of its most high-profile proponents. Jewish symbols and Hebrew letters feature in recent videos, and she is rarely seen without the trademark red string around her wrist to ward off the evil eye.
Yet “Re-Invention”, her first world tour since 2001, features lots of quite earthly garb. In European concerts ahead of the Paris stops, Madonna has stepped out in black hotpants, a sequinned silver top and knee-high black boots.
French couturier Christian Lacroix has specially designed a tight pale pink satin corset, a rembroidered gold-leaf-covered number inspired by a Lacroix red wedding dress she squeezed into for a series of pictures for the US “W” magazine last year.
“She wanted a corset that was a little more flexible for the dance numbers but that visually looked like the fitted whalebone original,” the couturier said.
source : afp

Madonna’s Father Slams Reports


Madonna’s father Tony Ciccone has dismissed reports his daughter gave him nearly a million dollars to bail out his wine business as ‘totally untrue’.
Ciccone Vineyards in Michigan – owned and run by Ciccone and his wife Joan

Madonna’s fans send death threats to website manager!


Madonna’s recent show at Wembley Arena turned chaotic as the police had to be called in when 70 fans, who had spent hundreds of pounds on tickets, found that there were no seats for them.
Michael James, the manager of said that 20 customers did not get tickets because of a mistake, and added that furious fans turned on him and two other firms before they had time to buy tickets from touts.
“I feared for my life. I have received death threats. But we are not a fraudulent company,” The Mirror quoted James as saying.
Lawyer Alain Gavin, meanwhile, revealed that he had paid an agency 150 pounds to see the pop diva’s performance but had to return back disappointed.
“Some of the people had flown in from far away and they were very disappointed. Some paid 1,700 pounds for three tickets. There were kids of seven or eight-years-old who were most disappointed,” added Gavin.
source : ANI

Great to be in Ireland, Material Girl tells fans


It took 20 years for Madonna to play in Ireland but for her 80,000 fans who packed into the grounds of Slane Castle it was well worth the wait.
Any pretender to her throne was left in no doubt that Madonna is the undisputed Queen of Pop as she belted out hit after hit in a high-octane performance which left the crowd panting for more.
She may be 46 but the superstar showed no signs of slowing down. “I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to play here”, she told her delighted fans “It’s great to be in Ireland at last”.
Even the downpours failed to dampen the spirits of fans, though at one stage Madonna, whose arrival on stage was delayed by the weather, did plead with the rain to stop. The singer’s career has spanned two decades so there was plenty of material for the Material Girl to choose from. All the hit singles were there – Papa Don’t Preach, American Life, Into the Groove and a jazzed-up version of Deeper And Deeper.
There were several costume changes too, from black sequined hotpants to a kilt, but it was a teeshirt emblazoned with the words Irish Do It Better which won the fans’ approval. Crowd favourites Music and Like A Prayer had the Slane audience singing along in unison while she saved her early hit Holiday for the last song of the night.
While most fans hailed her debut Irish appearance a major success, the event ended on a sour note for a group of Ulster fans. Up to 40 people were left stranded when a bus organised to convey them down to Slane and home left without them. A number of people had to fork out GBP150 for a taxi back to Belfast, while others were forced to sleep overnight in Slane.
One angry concert-goer, Clare Jackson from east Belfast, said somebody had to take responsibility. “We were told to be back at the bus by midnight but the concert didn’t finish to 11.20pm and by the time we had walked from the Castle to where the buses were parked through the hordes of fans it was nearly 1am. “But we were convinced at least one of the seven buses which brought us down would still be there. “I couldn’t believe it when we realised that we had been abandoned in Slane.
“It’s not the type of place where you can pick up hotel accommodation or get a taxi.”
source : belfast telegraph

Madonna fans shut out of gig


Police were called to calm angry fans who were turned away from Madonna’s London concert although they had already purchased tickets.
About 70 people who paid hundreds of dollars for tickets through an agency arrived Thursday at Wembley Arena to find their seats were unavailable, resulting in an angry scene, Britain’s Mirror said Monday.
Some of the people had flown in from far away and they were very disappointed. Some paid $3,000 for three tickets. There were kids of 7 or 8 years old who were most disappointed, said Alain Gavin, an attorney who paid an agency more than $250 for a ticket, but did not get in to the concert.
Approximately 20 of the disgruntled fans bought tickets through
I feared for my life. I have received death threats. But we are not a fraudulent company, said Michael James, manager of online firm.
British police were investigating the incident.
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