It turns out pop music queen Madonna may have some Acadian roots.
While the Material Girl probably isn’t singing French lullabies from Atlantic Canada to her children, it seems she can trace part of her ancestry back to Acadia, according to a New Brunswick genealogist.
“[Madonna] descends from the Fortin family, which is a Quebec family. Her mother was a Fortin,” said Stephen White, a genealogist with the University of Moncton’s Centre of Acadian Studies in New Brunswick.
From there, White can trace back six generations until he comes across a name that is familiar to the Acadian researcher.
“There was an article published in a Quebec periodical … where there was a mention of one of her Fortin ancestors having married an Orillon,” he said.
“The Orillon family is an Acadian family.”
Acadian heritage has been front and centre in the Maritimes this summer, as those with Acadian ancestry gather from around the world for the Acadian World Congress, a series of events celebrating the 400th anniversary of French settlement in the New World.
While White normally traces the history of everyday individuals, he said he understands people’s fascination with tracing the backgrounds of more famous folk.
“People are interested in knowing if they’re related to someone who’s known in one way or another,” he said.
source : globeandmail.com
The price of Madonna’s Beverly Hills, Calif., estate has been cut for a second time, to $9.75 million from an original $10.9 million, set slightly more than a year ago. The markdown brings the singer’s 1926 Spanish-style home more comfortably below the $10 million threshold that Realtors say has proven to be a sticking point for Beverly Hills buyers in recent months, amid an otherwise strong local real-estate market.
At 7,000 square feet, and with a pedigree from Wallace Neff (the master architect of Hollywood art deco), agents say the singer’s house shouldn’t be a hard sell, but they say there’s been a buildup of inventory in the $10-million-plus range.
Madonna bought the house from actress Diane Keaton in 2000 for about $6.5 million, then renovated it for an additional $2 million. Madonna, who spends much of her time in her other homes in New York and Britain, put the house up for sale not long after the renovations were completed.
Meanwhile, the house next door, owned by Woody Stuart, a scion of the family that founded the Carnation food company, is in contract. His 1920s Spanish-style home, on a slightly larger lot than Madonna’s, was listed this spring at $14 million, then reduced to $10.5 million. After three months, it sold slightly below that level, local brokers say. Stuart, who declined to comment through a spokeswoman, paid about $4.75 million for the property in 1999.
source : naplesnews.com
Pop diva Madonna was spotted at New York’s posh Kosher restaurant Solo, disguised under a wig and heavy makeup. The singer was reportedly dining with her husband Guy Ritchie and their Kabbalah friends.
However sources from ‘Star People’ magazine saw right through her disguise of an auburn wig, fake teeth, heavy makeup and a long black skirt.
Even when a woman recognised her and asked her for an autograph the star simply refused to reveal her identity.
source : ANI
Madonna’s 1994 hit I’ll Remember is featured on Reflections CD
100% of profits from the sale of Reflections will be donated directly to The Memory Foundation and The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
Compilation features : Madonna, Celine Dion, Enya, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Sarah McLachlan, Leann Rimes, Rod Stewart etc.
As Madonna’s agent and friend, I take care of everything that concerns her. Very often I act as a buffer between the Material Girl and the press even if it means having to get squashed against a glass wall while she walks up the steps at the Cannes festival followed by a mob of paparazzi. That was 15 years ago for the screening of In Bed With Madonna.
Madonna never reads any critics, which I think is an excellent idea. I, however, can’t keep from doing so. First it’s my job and it’s a way to know if after all these years we’re in tune with the press. Some people remain skeptical. But what artists, besides Elvis and the Beatles have had as many hits as what constitutes the soundtrack of our lives.
I remember it as if it were yesterday. In the middle of the summer a ball of fire stumbled into my office full with fabulous accessories. I haven’t forgotten anything-the hair ‘they look best when I haven’t washed them for 8 days.’ The black rubberband bracelets and the torn pantyhose – ‘what’s the problem, everyone wears them downtown.’ The crucifix (pl.) she was wearing or carried in a pillow case, ‘Jesus is sexy’, the attitude ‘nobody can tell me what to wear’, a still unknown Madonnna shouted during her 1st photo shoot with the famous Francesco Scavullo.
‘I love her style, let her wear whatever she wants’, he ordered the stylists who wanted to cover her in diamonds.
I see myself later, making her sit in my office to show her the Playboy issue with the nude photos she did for art students when she first arrived in NYC. We were all worried on the effect these photos would have on her emerging career. ‘Well, first of all, I’m not sorry about anything’ she said while reading the magazine ‘and I’d laugh about it if I just didn’t find myself so unattractive’. Recently asked about nudity in her career, Madonna simply laughed ‘most of the time it was pure exhibitionism. Who doesn’t show themselves naked these days?’
A few years ago I accompanied Madonna while she visited a hospital. She pushed a door open and in the room a very sick boy looked at her from head to foot from his bed and said ‘You know, I don’t like you’. Madonna laughed and answered, ‘Well, sometimes I don’t like myself either. But what matters is that I like you.’ I left them alone for a while. Later as I met the little boy’s mother she said ‘it’s the first time my boy is smiling in 3 weeks.’ Madonna told me never to talk about this incident or else she’d kill me.
What makes Madonna happpiest these days? ‘Oh probably my daughter’s voice when she reads me a poem in French.’ Is there something she still dreams about? ‘Many things. First of all, no more wars. And what if everyone went to see Michael Moore’s movie? And if my kids put their dirty plates in the sink?’
There’s no doubt that her happiness shines on the stage of the RIT. ‘Since everyone was looking back at my career, I decided to revisit myself with a new twist both musically and visually. I thought about all this with Caresse Henry, my manager and best friend. Then Jamie King showed us a model of the stage the way he imagined it. I wanted to introduce elements of the Kaballah, war in general, and George Bush in particular.
I wanted this show to be a visual assault. I wanted to perform in Israel in front of Jews and Palestinians. Unfortunately, Caresse didn’t allow me due to security reasons. One of my goals was that each person in the audience go home convinced that they can help change the world.’ Madonna said after drinking her 3rd cup of coffee of the morning.
What’s the most important lesson in life? I asked Madonna before one of her shows. ‘My Kabballah instructor taught me this: each time you doubt yourself, act like God. How would he act? With Love and altruism. I try to do both. That’s what I’d like to teach the world.’ Amen.
source : madonnaNATION
Pop legend Madonna may perform to some empty seats when she tours Britain because fans are refusing to pay extortionate prices to see her live.
The star is charging the equivalent of $288 for tickets to her Reinvention Tour in London and Manchester.
But some fans have snubbed the gigs and the singer has hundreds of unsold tickets.
A source tells Britain’s Daily Star newspaper, “The high price has put off a lot of her casual fans.
“The average concert ticket costs around GBP20 to GBP30 but the cheapest Madonna tickets are GBP75.”
source : southflorida.com
For 20 years, Madonna has lived on the hype that she could effortlessly shape-shift into the latest and greatest pop-culture trendsetter. After all, she made crucifixes a hot fashion item, turned underground house music into the beat of a thousand high school proms and helped refashion the obscure tenets of the kabbala into a fetish as fashionable as Scientology.
“She’s at the forefront of every new cultural psyche,” says Marian Salzman, chief strategy officer for marketers Euro RSCG. “First she was talking about sex, then she was talking about respect. She reemerged in 2000 with yoga and by 2003, she was into electronica and hip-hop.”
But as Madonna launched a six-night run at Madison Square Garden, there’s something about her latest incarnation that’s not quite in sync.
The writhing musical dominatrix in fishnets is selling children’s books. She now expresses herself as a wife, mother, political activist, moral spokesmodel and yoga fanatic.
She has dubbed her new tour “Re-Invention” and packed it full of images that reflect her newfound identity. For Madonna’s 2004 model, it could easily be the “Mixed-Message” tour. Many of her recent public moves have fallen as flat as her high notes.
Think about her highly touted tonsil hockey with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards.
It was meant to be outrageous and link the aging icon to the pop tarts of a new generation. But to many, it was one of the most cloying moves she ever made.
“It looked a little desperate,” says Rachel Weingarten, president of youth-oriented GTK Marketing. “If she’s trying to create the image of a comfortable, complacent mom, it sent another message to kiss a girl. It said, wait, you’re not interesting enough anymore if you still have to create that kind of controversy.”
What’s shakiest about Madonna’s current tour, however, is the fundamental lack of something she’s always had ” a hit.
The title track of “American Life” was the album’s only big single, and that barely cracked Billboard’s Top 40, peaking at No. 37.
The album itself is the singer’s least successful to date, reaching platinum status in three months but stalling soon after. Even 2000’s “Music” went double-platinum and sold nearly three times as many copies worldwide.
That’s largely because young people are the most avid record buyers and, Weingarten says, they see her as a “doyenne” who is “far from the epitome of hip.”
The singer has tried to stay connected, but it’s been something of an awkward fit. Can anybody really imagine Madonna heading to the mall to try on a pair of jeans?
“She wanted to stay relevant,” says Morris Reid, managing director of the marketing agency Blue Fusion. “So she appeared in a GAP ad with Missy Elliott.”
Perhaps that’s why “Re-Invention,” unlike previous tours, features so many of Madonna’s classic hits, giving older fans what they’ve long clamored for. Except that they’ll have to swallow the nostalgia with hefty doses of politics and religion.
“Madonna’s dogmatic kabbala babble, political propaganda and “Riverdance”moves are an utter bore to her hard-core fans,” says Mary Spio, pop culture editor of One2One magazine.
“Going to a Madonna concert riddled with cryptic Hebrew texts and images of war is like going to a strip joint only to find the strippers reading from the Book of Psalms,” she adds.
The $305 price of the top tour tickets is another sign that spirituality hasn’t altered Madonna’s penchant for profit.
These days when she sings “I am a material girl,” she likes to deflect her old image by saying “not anymore.”
But the concert merchandise tables are filled with kabbala trinkets and her Web site hawks discounted copies of the kids’ book ‘Mr. Peabody’s Apples.” Her new identity conveniently comes complete with a fully accessorized product line.
“She’s always at the center of things changing,” Salzman says. “And then she will make a business of it.”
source : thestate.com
Madonna is back on the cover of a magazine, and this time she does it at her best.
The French edition of Vogue features a full page cover with a stunning outtake from the Steven Klein photo session as well as an exclusive article:
“Madonna dans les yeux” (Madonna in the eyes).
The last time Madonna was on the cover of Vogue Paris was in October 1993 with previously unreleased portfolio by Photographer Ellen von Unwerth.