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Madonna News - July 2004

Billie Jean voted greatest Number One

The 1983 hit was chosen ahead of John Lennon’s Imagine and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
Music channel VH1 polled more than 25,000 people for their ultimate number one.
Oasis came fourth in the poll with Don’t Look Back In Anger, just ahead of Vogue by Madonna.
Bryan Adams’ (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, which topped the charts for a record-breaking 16 weeks in 1991, was sixth.
Will Young was a surprise entry at number seven with his recent hit Leave Right Now.
Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and Madonna’s Like A Prayer were at number eight and nine.
And Mariah Carey sneaked into the Top 10 with the gushy ballad Without You.
Records making the top 20 included Every Breath You Take by the Police, Careless Whisper by George Michael and True by Spandau Ballet.
Britney Spears appears twice in the top 20 – but VH1 viewers voted her last hit Toxic ahead of Baby One More Time.
A VH1 spokeswoman said: “The poll has thrown up some surprising results – who would have thought Britney would lose out to Mariah Carey or Will Young’s Leave Right Now would beat George Michael’s Careless Whisper.
“Michael Jackson won by a landslide, which just goes to show people still love his music despite what’s going on in his life.”
Top 20:
1 Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
2 John Lennon – Imagine
3 Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
4 Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger
5 Madonna – Vogue
6 Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
7 Will Young – Leave Right Now
8 Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
9 Madonna – Like A Prayer
10 Mariah Carey – Without You
11 Britney Spears – Toxic
12 Westlife – Flying Without Wings
13 Police – Every Breath You Take
14 No Doubt – Don’t Speak
15 Britney Spears – Baby One More Time
16 George Michael – Careless Whisper
17 Celine Dion – Think Twice
18 Puff Daddy and Faith Evans – I’ll Be Missing You
19 Spandau Ballet – True
20 Spice Girls – Wannabe
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Madonna matures in “Re-Invention

The Material Girl rematerialized, reinvented and reinvigorated, Wednesday night at the Office Depot Center in Sunrise.
Madonna wowed the sell-out crowd of close to 20,000 with a dynamic two-hour set sampling a couple dozen songs from throughout her 20-year career.
Although the concert started 45 minutes late “with some kind of mystical and barely decipherable incantation” Madonna quickly roused the arena with a vintage take on the dance classic “Vogue.”
Throughout the concert, large video screens shifted around the stage, offering glimpses of artfully composed and edited video that complemented the music. Whether it was a montage of combat scenes to introduce “American Life,” a romantic embrace between two men during “Frozen” or just fresh film of the Boy Toy herself, the video added depth and freshness to tunes well ingrained in the public consciousness. Two massive screens also flanked the stage with live video images of the star, so even $100 ticketholders in the nose-bleed seats got their money’s worth.
Still clad in Army fatigues from the combat rock section that began with the violently choreographed “American Life,” Madonna turned the ’80s anthem “Express Yourself” into a new, searing indictment of war. “What you need is a big, strong hand to lift you to a higher ground,” she sang, raising a rifle in one hand.
There was message in the music all night long.
Spirituality took center stage ” not surprising considering Madonna’s well-documented devotion to the mystical branch of Judaism known as Kabbalah. “Papa, Don’t Preach” had her sporting a “Kabbalists do it better” T-shirt.
That’s not to say the show wasn’t a nonstop parade of entertainment performed by a cast of dozens.
At times, the staging took on a Cirque du Soleil feel, with aerialists soaring above the stage on swings, fire dancers twirling flames, skateboarders half-piping, a bagpipe-and-drum corps marching and on and on. Madonna’s corps of male and female dancers ran through every style of movement from tap to jazz to break dance.
For more intimate moments, Madonna performed with a few musicians and her backup singers. She was in fine voice throughout the evening, offering clear, confident renditions of power ballads such as “Crazy for You” as well as a rocking “Like a Prayer.”
“Reinvent yourself” was the final message of the night, displayed in elegant script on the video screens as the crowd screamed futilely for an encore. Madonna certainly has reinvented herself this time as a mature, articulate entertainer.
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Couples follow Madonna up aisle

Record numbers of foreign couples are marrying in Scotland, following the trend set four years ago by Madonna’s Highland wedding. Nearly 31,000 couples were married last year north of the border, and neither the bride nor groom was a Scot in 8,900 ceremonies.
Duncan Macniven, the Registrar General for Scotland, said the “Madonna effect” had been good for the country. “Celebrity weddings have raised the profile of Scotland,” he added.
Madonna and the film director Guy Ritchie were married at Skibo Castle in December 2000. The increase in the total number of weddings, to a 10-year high, was recorded in the Registrar General’s annual review.
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Jewish leaders blast Madonna’s Kabbalah for being materialistic!

Orthodox Jewish leaders have reportedly raised a hue and cry over Kaballah, the religion currently being espoused by stars like Madonna, Demi Moore and Britney Spears.
They claim that the religion has become more of a marketable venture rather than a spiritual cult.
According to The New York Post, the fashion accessories store Target in NY is making money by selling red Kabbalah strings, which are imitations of the ones Madonna, Demi Moore and Britney Spears wear.
Many orthodox Jewish leaders say that the Kabbalah Center’s money minting ventures are like selling the strings and “Kabbalah water.”
Listed as a “hot buy” on Target’s Web site, the string is “believed to protect against the evil eye.” Each is said to have “traveled to Israel, to the ancient tomb of Rachel the Matriarch, and returned imbued with the essence of protection.”
source : ANI

Interactive Wireless Promotions at Madonna’s Concerts

mBlox, the premier provider of mobile messaging infrastructure, and wireless marketing leader YellowPepper Wireless, launched a series of in-stadium wireless promotions earlier this month at the Madonna and Eric Clapton concerts.
Fans inside the Philips Arena won instant seat upgrades by participating in wireless promotions. The audience was invited to call a free telephone number or send a text message to a dedicated shortcode. Just before the concert, lucky winners were informed via mobile phone and given their seat upgrades.
“These groundbreaking campaigns demonstrate that entertainment venues can use the power of mobile and premium solutions to reach and engage their audiences in new and exciting ways,” said Michael Erickson, Chief Information Officer of YellowPepper Wireless. “High response rates indicate the popularity of this medium.”
This technology allows the Philips Arena to conduct one-to-one interactions with their visitors and will enable it to create affinity programs in the near future. Supported by mBlox and YellowPepper Wireless, arenas are entertaining plans to launch wireless ticketing services and wireless loyalty programs for season ticket holders.
“We are pleased to power the launch of these highly innovative wireless promotions,” said Jay Emmet, President of the Americas at mBlox. “This campaign clearly demonstrates how text messaging allows audiences to interact in more rich and compelling ways with the event, the artist and the arena.”
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Madonna rocks the crowd at the Office Depot Center in Sunrise

Madonna has spent the past 20 years looking at herself for a living. That she still likes what she sees, professionally speaking, is remarkable, since few among us don’t occasionally tire of the face staring back in the mirror. Narcissism has been very good to Madonna, and she to it.
The “Re-Invention Tour” that brought her to a sold-out Office Depot Center on Wednesday night offered clues as to how Madonna stays fascinated and in the process keeps the rest of us entranced.
The trick appears to be to keep everything changing, everything in constant motion. The Re-Invention stage production did exactly that, balancing and juggling numerous visual and acoustical elements, as Madonna rolled out a battery of selves.
“I’ve had so many lives,” she sang on the dance-floor track Nobody Knows Me, her voice a filtered, robotic ripple. She would spend the 90-minute, 24-song set revisiting several of those lives. With a band and multiple dancers, Madonna posed and juxtaposed her way through history — hers.
After a fully re-mixed version of her old stand-by, Vogue, and a less-altered take on the graceful ballad Frozen, she expanded on the anti-war chic of her recent single and video, American Life. Pvt. Madonna stepped out in Army fatigues with a chorus of dancers dressed as troops, a sheik, a nun, an Afghan woman in a racy mini-burka. Footage of wartime death and wounding flashed across the screen in a way that made the line between principled opposition and showbiz exploitation hard to divine.
That number handed off to the more durable single, Express Yourself, which became one of the show’s most witty and entertaining collisions of multiple Madonnas. She stayed in the fatigues, doing rifle drills, while the band gave the song a compressed, techno workout, and the war footage turned to military cartoon graphics. It could almost have passed for a U.S.O. routine, except for not-so-veiled dig at war as self-expression.
Vocally, Madonna was in fine, flexible form, able to summon the excitement in Burning Up, the vampy humor of Hanky Panky — a Bette Midler moment if ever Madonna had one — and the pleading affection of Like a Prayer. Her interaction with the production was never anything less than confident and assured — although the Moulin-Rouge-dressing-room getup in which she opened the show looked a bit scruffy against a sharp, sleek video tableau.
The choreography, both of dancers and of projected visuals, was energizing and erotic in a playfully grown-up way that would never occur to Britney Spears.
If Madonna, reinvented, has also evolved, it would be from a champion of sex to an advocate for love. Songs from the newer albums Ray of Light, Music and American Life speak often of love’s saving power, and to the extent they deal in sex it’s as an expression of love.
As if to herald this progress, Madonna covered John Lennon’s Imagine near the end of the evening. No doubt she is already imagining the next version of herself.
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Madonna set to celebrate Rosh Hashanah in Israel

American singer Madonna will make a “private” visit to Israel and spend the High Holidays in Tel Aviv at a Kabbalah spiritual retreat, Yediot Aharonot reported today. Officials at the Los Angeles Kabbalah Centre said Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie would participate in a delegation of some 3,000 Kabbalah students and teachers led by Rabbi Philip Berg, the paper said.
Madonna, 45, had originally been scheduled to perform twice at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium in September as part of her Reinvention World Tour. Those concerts were canceled after Palestinian terrorists reportedly threatened to kill the singer and her two young children. According to a report in The Sun, Madonna was said to be terrified when she received threatening letters from an unnamed Palestinian group which mentioned details about her children, Lourdes, 7, and three-year-old Rocco.
“Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie will come to Israel for a private visit on Rosh Hashanah, after Madonna completes a concert tour in Europe,” Eitan Yardeni from the Kabbalah Centre told Yediot Aharonot.
According to reports in Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz, the Kabbalah retreat organizers have already fully booked Tel Aviv’s Intercontinental and Dan Panorama hotels.
“As of now, we’re talking about a large group of people involved in Kabbalah who are supposed to come to Israel,” tourism officials told Yediot Aharonot. “We are very happy if celebrities will also come. There is no doubt that this is excellent public relations encouraging tourism to Israel,” the officials said.
According to the Yediot Aharonot report, actress Demi Moore, 42, who is also involved in Kabbalah studies, may accompany Madonna on the upcoming trip to Israel. The newspaper speculated that Moore’s boyfriend, actor Ashton Kutcher, 26, may also visit. The latest rumors, the paper said, suggest that Moore and Kutcher may tie the knot during their Israel visit.
MSNBC reported two weeks ago that Madonna, her husband and 4,000 other followers of Kabbalah would make a three-day pilgrimage to Israel in mid-September. “The faithful will be staying at three hotels. Madonna has booked one hotel where she and her friends and family will stay,” an insider said, according to the report.
In recent media interviews, Madonna said critics have no right to poke fun at her interest in Kabbalah.
“I’m a little bit irritated that people think that it’s like some celebrity bandwagon that I’ve jumped on, or that, say, somebody like Demi [Moore] has jumped on,” Madonna told ABC-TV’s 20-20 program. “We don’t take it lightly.”
During the interview, Madonna wore the red string around her wrist that is a symbol of Jewish mysticism, though she wore it beneath her watch. Madonna is writing children’s books based on Kabbalah and has reportedly stopped performing on Friday nights, the start of the Jewish Sabbath.
Last month Madonna announced that she’s changed her name to Esther, saying she identifies with the biblical queen and wants the “energy of a new name”
“I was named after my mother. My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and I wanted to attach myself to another name. This is in no way a negation of who my mother is. I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name,” Madonna told ABC.
Madonna has never publicly mentioned any desire to convert to Judaism, media reports stated.
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