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Madonna Tops Field For Billboard Touring Honors


Madonna leads the finalists for Billboard’s inaugural Backstage Pass Awards. The veteran performer is contending in three of the six artist categories.
The awards recognize the top achievements in touring, according to box-office data gathered from Billboard Boxscore reports between November 2003 and September 2004. They will be presented during the Billboard Backstage Pass touring conference, set for Nov. 8-9 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.
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Matthew Vaugh – The Director’s Cut


Creative partnerships have a tendency to become strained, however, and none more so than those in the film business. In spite of being friends – Vaughn was best man when Ritchie married Madonna – they have had major disagreements. The notorious Swept Away almost brought them to blows. Ritchie wanted Madonna in the role of the heiress trapped on an island with her chauffeur while Vaughn preferred Penelope Cruz. Ritchie believed that Vaughn was implying that Madge wasn’t up to the job. In fact, he was taking the line of a producer which was simply that Cruz would sell the movie more easily to investors. Ritchie got his way, however, with the result that we have seen.
Clearly, Vaughn’s got the chops to continue producing movies in the UK, a terrifyingly difficult thing to do even with a successful track record. And while he produced Layer Cake, having acquired the rights from its author J J Connolly after meeting him on a train to Belgium, the opportunity to direct the movie has given him a taste for the creative side. In the four years it took to develop Layer Cake, Guy Ritchie pulled out of directing the film and Vaughn was reluctant to give it to anyone else.
“I had put so much effort into it that I wasn’t willing to let it go,” he said. “I thought, I am not going to run around town and find some director who will start doing things I wouldn’t want. I knew every shot of this movie. Why go through the hell of giving it to someone else?”
In the closed and jealously protective world that is the British film industry, Vaughn and Ritchie are still regarded as rogue upstarts, cinematic spivs who got lucky. But now that Vaughn has shown himself capable of being both the money and the talent, his detractors are going to have to start taking him seriously. Goodbye Mr Schiffer. Hello Mr de Vere Drummond.
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Madonna fans hit back at angry Elton


Madonna’s legion of fans have launched a vigorous defence of the singer following Sir Elton John’s recent verbal assault.
Sir Elton’s expletive-strewn tirade against Madonna at the Q Awards accused the singer of miming in her concerts.
However, Madge’s friend Rupert Everett has waded into the war of words, accusing Elt of being “bossy and cranky”.
And on Madonna’s website, fans have lined up to criticise Elt, one of pop’s elder statesmen. They label him a “fat frog” and dub him senile.
Speaking about Madonna’s nomination for Best Live Act, Sir Elton said anyone who lip-synchs at a L75 per person concert “should be shot”.
He said: “Madonna, best f****** live act? F*** off. Since when has lip-synching been live? That’s me off her f****** Christmas card list but do I give a toss? No.”
A spokeswoman for Madonna said Sir Elton remains on the star’s Christmas card list “whether he is nice … or naughty”
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Rupert Everett Defends Madonna from Elton John


Rupert Everett has accused Elton John of being “bossy and cranky” after he criticised his pal Madonna for lip-synching on her re-invention world tour.
The British actor became close friends with Madonna when the pair teamed up in film flop The Next Best Thing and he has stepped in to defend her after Elton attacked the singer during the Q Awards ceremony in London.
Bitchy Elton slammed Madonna for charging fans upwards of $75 (GBP41.60) to see her perform and then lip-synching certain songs – criticism Everett has taken to heart.
He fires back, “I don’t understand what he’s got against her because this is the second time he’s stuck into her a bit. That seems really unfair to me.
“Listen, any singer who dances all the time, you don’t have the breath to sing all the time. Everyone knows that. It’s unfair to make it a point. If you do a heavy dance routine, at some point you’re going to do a bit of lip-synch. But everybody does that.
“Madonna sings everything she can sing but, if she goes into a dance routine, she’s got to dance; you can’t breathe and dance and sing at the same time. She doesn’t lip-synch her whole performance.
“I bet Elton has lip-synched moments of his performance, even though he’s at a piano all the time.
“He’s very bossy these days, I think. I mean he’s lovely but he’s a bit bossy and he does seem a bit cranky.”
source : contactmusic

The Official Madonna Ringtones and Logos

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Hey Madonna fans,
Madonna is thrilled to announce the debut of her official ringtones & images service for your mobile phone!
Now you can take Madonna’s music and image with you wherever you go!
Eight of her greatest hits are now available as mobile phone ringtones as well as 16 of her most stunning live and studio shots.
Personalize your mobile now and turn it into an authentic Madonna devoted device!
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Sir Elton attacks ‘mime’ Madonna


Sir Elton John has accused Madonna of cheating fans by miming on stage, while collecting a Q Award for songwriting.
As he collected his Classic Songwriter prize in London on Tuesday, he criticised live award nominee Madonna.
“Anyone who lip-synchs in public on stage when you pay GBP75 to see them should be shot,” Sir Elton said.
Muse won best live act while the Red Hot Chili Peppers won best act in the world and Roxy Music took the Lifetime Achievement award from Q magazine.
Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s US press agent, denied that the star used lip-synching when performing live.
“Nor does she spend her time trashing other artists,” she said.
“She sang every note on her Re-invention tour live.”
Elton John said his comments would mean he would no longer be on Madonna’s Christmas card list.
But Ms Rosenberg added: “Elton John remains on her Christmas card list where he is nice…. or naughty.”
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Laura Pausini – The reasons Madonna gave me her song


Italian singer Laura Pausini admitted she feels very satisfied to have recorded a song written by Queen of Pop Madonna about spirituality, that is included on her forthcoming album Resta in Ascolto/Escucha Atento.
“Madonna wanted to give one of her compositions to a person that usually doesn’t sing in English and the fact that I’m Italian like her and that I sing in Spanish like she also does, in a language she adores… I think that’s what has bonded us together in music”, Pausini told yesterday a South American newspaper.
The song Pausini recorded is called Mi abbandono a te/Me abandono a ti and features some changes to the original Madonna song. Changes made by the Italian singer herself that were submitted to the Queen of Pop by e-mail as the two didn’t have the time to meet in person yet.
Laura’s new album also includes a song dedicated to the story of the Ali Smain, the Iraqui kid that lost both parents and both his arms after when a bomb was dropped on his house in Bagdad. “I would like that people would go on the internet and read his story”, said Pausini. “Some many things happened to this child and my songs talks about a kid, a soldier and an eagle.”
Mi abbandono a te/Me abandono a ti, a song produced by Rick Nowels is rumoured to be a new version of the famous (among Madonna diehard fans) song Like a Flower, that leaked on the internet a year ago in a demo version beautifully sung by Madonna herself in 1998, during the sessions of the Ray of Light album.
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Studying on the quiet


In the quest to find our inner selves, Kabbalah has become the buzz word for celebrity spiritual sampling, with Madonna its megawatt champion.
It has made the once obscure ancient mystical Jewish teaching for spiritual enlightenment a household word around the world, in what one publication called a “celebrity Kabbalah cult”.
But when the lapsed Material Girl made her tour of Israel last week in her new spiritual alter ego of Esther, the news reports hit home with Ben Ketang here in Jakarta.
“I have been living and breathing Kabbalah since 2002,” Ben said, not without pride. “It has done so much for me personally.”
Ben, who worked as a media and public opinion analyst for one of the presidential teams and is part of the Indonesia-Israel Cooperative Association (IICA) for business ties, said the spiritual tool provided him with a sense of direction in his life.
“I am now quite in control of myself. I am at peace with myself. It takes something to control oneself.”
Some critics have dismissed Kabbalah as a cult, with unscrupulous practitioners making a buck off lost souls searching for themselves.
Ben countered that in its teaching that the individual must overcome egoism and the yearnings of self, Kabbalah shows how to put a clamp on one’s thoughts.
“We have to eliminate all negative thinking, even if it concerns your enemy,” Ben said. “It is very hard not to think badly about people whom you know think (badly) about you. But, the main ingredient of the teaching is sharing. There are many things to share, which does not necessarily mean sharing on a financial level.”
It can take the form of sharing a good idea, or listening to someone’s complaints, for instance. Kabbalah is Hebrew for “to receive” and people are “vessels” to receive blessings, happiness and sustenance.
The ancient spiritual tool, which started about 2,000 years ago, became better known in Indonesia through former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres, a friend of former president Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid.
Ben said Peres sent several hundred copies of the Zohar, widely considered the most important work for the study of Kabbalah, for donation to whoever might be interested in learning more.
“That is when my interest in Kabbalah started,” Ben said. “It is not only practiced by the Jews, other Arabian countries also delved in this spiritual technology thousands of years ago.”
Kabbalists claim the spiritual tool can be used as a supplement to greater enlightenment for those from any religion.
They also say that it is a very powerful tool with mystical overtones (thus, each word of the Scriptures is believed to contain its own power). The word impossible does not exist in a practitioner’s dictionary; failures or difficulties are regarded as illusions; they are not real. Real is the Light of the Creator.
With its ties to Judaism and Israel, however, many Indonesians may be wary of Kabbalah’s mission.
Although Gus Dur, who is an international board member of the Shimon Peres Center for Peace, urged the opening of greater ties with Israel during his presidency, the need for presidential candidate (and likely winner) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to declare that he would not establish diplomatic relations with Israel during the campaign shows the continuing sensitivity on the subject among Muslims.
Ben said his personal hope was for the establishment of an Israeli embassy in Jakarta, to allow greater exploration of Kabbalah, but he realized it was not a possibility today.
“At the moment, we still don’t have enough members,” said Ben, who has visited Kabbalah centers in Israel. “Pakistan is advancing much better than us. They have had a study center since a couple of months ago. I’d like to set up a center here, too, to give those who are interested the opportunity to learn Kabbalah. It would be a branch of The Kabbalah Center in the USA.”
The center has more than 50 study centers spread around the globe and more than three million members worldwide, said Allan Harari, an American expatriate in the flour milling business who has studied Kabbalah for seven years.
In a bid to introduce the teachings to more people in the country, Harari organized a presentation on a recent Sunday. About 20 people showed up to listen to what benefits they could expect if they studied Kabbalah. The teaching promises protection, happiness, prosperity and well being, if you do not let your ego get the better of you, Harari said.
It is by no means an easy study. It boils down to correcting oneself most of the time, and students should expect to turn around their way of thinking order to tame their egos. The belief is that problems and chaos are mainly due to ego.
A recent practitioner of Kabbalah is Jeffrey Mogot. Out of work and suffering badly from asthma, he started to scan the “healing” word provided in a book named 72 Names Of God.
The healing words are in Aramaic print. Kabbalah claims that the letters radiate a healing force that will cure illness or make a person’s wishes come true.
Jeffrey said that the daily practice was of great help. His condition changed within a couple of weeks; coughing practically stopped altogether, the wheezing has also disappeared and he felt more energetic.
“It really is a blessing since I don’t have the means to get regular treatment at some expensive hospital or clinic,” he said.
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