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Madonna News - January 2005

Actors, Singers Host Tsunami TV Benefit

With Norah Jones singing “we’re all in this thing together,” movie and music stars contributed their talents for a hastily arranged benefit for tsunami victims televised live on Saturday.
The two-hour program aired on NBC Universal-owned stations, with all donations going to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.
“We have a choice,” actor Clint Eastwood said. “We can either look away or we can help.”
The benefit wasn’t without a glitch: Singer John Mayer uttered an expletive that got on the air even though NBC was using a five-second delay to protect against such things.
Women had their choice of heartthrobs answering phones and taking pledges in the NBC Universal studios in Los Angeles: Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Tom Selleck and James Caan.
The concert was reminiscent of a similar benefit that ran on more than 30 television networks less than two weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. That benefit raised nearly $130 million for that cause.
In an echo of that concert three years ago, Madonna sang John Lennon’s “Imagine,” dressed in a black dress. Singer Neil Young performed the same song at the 2001 benefit.
Actors told stories about the tsunami, and NBC showed pictures of the effects of the devastating waves and the agony of children left behind.
Morgan Freeman told of a 60-year-old man in Sri Lanka who survived for two weeks before being found by rescuers.
“Miracles do happen,” he said. “You can be that miracle also.”
While he was singing “Bold as Love,” Mayer swore while backing away from the microphone during a guitar solo. The audio briefly cut out about a second or two after he had said it.
NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks acknowledged the incident and said NBC’s standards people had been too slow on the button to remove it. She said it would be bleeped out when NBC showed the telethon by tape delay on the West Coast.
NBC is only two weeks removed from a New Year’s Eve telecast where Motley Crue’s Vince Neil swore while wishing bandmate Tommy Lee a happy New Year — instigating a Federal Communications Commission investigation.
Appearing also was Fox News Channel commentator Bill O’Reilly, who had questioned on his show whether participating stars would follow through to see if the money made it to its intended beneficiaries. Clooney immediately challenged O’Reilly to do his part and participate.
When people are in trouble, “they turn to friends who become their lifeline,” O’Reilly said. “Who are their friends? You are.”
Gloria Estefan sang “There’s Always Tomorrow,” former Beach Boy Brian Wilson sang “Love and Mercy” and Lenny Kravitz sang “Let Love Rule.” In pre-taped performances from London, Elton John sang “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters sang “Wish You Were Here,” accompanied by Eric Clapton.
Viewers were continually urged to call 1-800-HELPNOW or log on to the Red Cross’ Web site. Besides NBC, the program was carried on CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo, Pax TV, Trio and the Sci-Fi Channel.
NBC said it had no immediate estimate on how much money was raised.
Sony’s Connect music store will offer downloads of live performances from the concert, with proceeds going to the American Red Cross. SBC Communications is underwriting the commercial-free program.
Madonna on Tsunami Aid

Spears to star in Madonna’s Movie

Madonna has persuaded Britney spears to appear in the animated film version of her children’s book The English Roses.
The Material Girl superstar pleaded with the Toxic singer to voice the story’s heroine Binah – and Spears was eager to accept.
Madonna, 46, has also managed to secure the vocal skills of David Bowieand rapper Snoop Dogg for the big-budget movie, which will be produced by her husband Guy Ritchie.
The pop veteran herself will voice the Fairy Godmother in the tale of a girl – based on her eight-year-old daughter Lourdes – excluded by a group of schoolmates who are jealous of her beauty.
source : contactmusic

Did Mary J. Blige Steal Madonna’s ‘Holiday?’

Madonna’s status as an international icon of fashion, film and music is undisputed, and her signature hit, “Holiday,” took the world by storm in 1983 and eventually became a classic.
Twenty years later, singer Mary J. Blige came out with “Not Today,” with rapper Eve and produced by Dr. Dre. The song was featured in “Barbershop 2.” But now Mary J, Eve, Dre and others connected to the song are being sued by the people who own the “Holiday” copyright, who think “Not Today” sounds a little too similar to Madonna’s song.
In court documents, the publishing company claims “Not Today” contains several unequivocal points of duplication, including sections of the rhythm and much of the harmonic content. But are they singing the right tune?
Judith Finnell, a New York musicologist and expert witness on copyright infringement who, in the past 20 years, has testified for the likes of Michael Jackson and Julio Iglesias, compared the two songs for “CJ.” “It sounds similar enough to bear further consideration,” she observed. “Both the pitches and the rhythms sound closely related. I don’t think they’re identical, because Madonna’s song is in what we call “~major key’ and Mary J Blige’s song is in a minor key.”
If this ever does go to a jury and jurors decide “Not Today” sounds significantly like “Holiday,” the plaintiffs could win at least $15 million.
source :

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Tsunami Aid Webcasts

The webcast will stream live at the time of the event at 8PM EST, Saturday, January 15th and will be repeated at 8pm PST to coincide with the West Coast airing. Watch it on Yahoo and MSNBC.

Tsunami Aid Webcasts

Tsunami Aid will be available for download on

Performances will be available for download on Sony Connect. In association with this event, Sony’s Connect music store will offer exclusive downloads of live performances from the concert. All proceeds from download sales will be donated to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, and Sony Corporation of America will match the first $100,000 raised through domestic download sales. Downloads will be available at

Madge gig for tsunami

Madonna is to appear in a TV benefit show for victims of the Asian tsunami. She will record a performance at BBC TV Centre today. And she has dipped into her own pocket to pay the band that accompanied her on her recent world tour.
A source said: “Madonna wanted to do something to help.”
Her performance will be screened on Saturday night during a two-hour telethon on US network NBC. Madonna’s involvement has led Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton and Elton John to volunteer. A broadcast after 9/11 raised £80million.

source : thesun

Madonna is the perfect funky flunkey

News that Madonna’s role- playing has extended to embrace the sexy secretary should come as no surprise – we’ve all seen her effortlessly transform from virgin bride to siren, and from respectable wife to bespectacled mother. This latest incarnation is, on paper, rather more demure – and even passive – than most, however. Still, good old Madge is stepping in to the breach – or did she do it for the money? – in an attemptto reverse the fortunes of her old muckerina Donatella Versace, who hasn’t had the easiest of times recently, both personally and professionally.
It’s no secret that the house that Gianni Versace founded has struggled with the best of them over the past few years. Donatella Versace no longer shows at the biannual Parisian haute-couture, the jewel in fashion’s crown, in a bid to redirect funds elsewhere. Similarly, the Versace monopoly on front-row celebrities and guest supermodel appearances is no longer – it was only a matter of time before the whippersnapper likes of Dolce& Gabbana would cotton on to this particular formula. Even the unashamedly flashy aesthetic for which Versace has always been famous has been exploited by more than a few other designers, Roberto Cavalli, to name just one.
It is heart-warming to note, then, that help is at hand. The March issues of the international fashion glossies will see the aforementioned World’s Most Famous Woman starring in a Versace advertising campaign photographed by none other than Mario Testino, Madonna’s and Donatella’s old muckerino, neatly enough – the photographer shot Madonna for another Versace campaign 10 years ago now.
And it is a resounding return to high-camp, high-octane form. Here is the pop icon poised for dictation, pen and paper in hand. There she is chatting on the phone. The distinct impression is that there’s no need for her to file her nails while she does so. Methinks this particular nine-to-fiver would have someone else to do that for her.
Because, Madonna being Madonna, the impression is not of a secretary as you or I might know one. Only very few of that profession are likely to write notes lying back on a pristine white day- bed, or lick envelopes lasciviously, kneeling, legs apart, on the equally white carpeted floor. That sort of behaviour is the preserve of a rather different profession, I think you’ll find. Equally, not many women have so many fabulous handbags – one for every day of the week – just for carrying to the office.
And then there are the clothes: a draped jersey dress split almost to the crotch and gathered at the waist with a gold Medusa buckle; a signature loud and proud Versace shirt worn with skin-tight blue jeans or cream tailored trousers and, of course, the highest metallic strappy sandals. These are not feet that have ever touched the ground. Public transport is anathema to them.
In the world according to Donatella Versace, however, Madonna is doubtless wholly convincing. This is not surprising given that the designer herself can sometimes be seen with her hairdresser in tow, brushing those trademark platinum tresses as she walks. With this in mind, one can well imagine the two of them dreaming the whole thing up in a close woman-to-woman kind of a way, Madonna choking on the endless stream of Marlboro reds on which La Versace famously puffs away. The lady doesn’t do Lights.
Whichever way you choose to look at it, their view of reality is hardly in line with that of the rest of us.
In the spring of 1998, just months after her brother died, I interviewed Donatella Versace in Gianni Versace’s former home, a town house on the Upper Westside of Manhattan. On arrival I was let in by the butler and left to ponder for a while the wall-to-wall black marble, wall-to-wall Picassos, and the fountain just beyond a first set of French windows, in which rose petals had been lovingly scattered, as they would continue to be until the lady of the house departed for Milan. Ms Versace would be with me in just a moment, I was told. She was downstairs in the kitchen swapping recipes with a member of staff, as you do.
When she appeared – dressed in black jeans and T-shirt, and wearing diamond rings so huge that she couldn’t bend her fingers – she was insistent that the main difference between herself and Gianni Versace was that she was a woman and therefore had an empathetic, even sisterly approach to clothing. She was, she insisted, very much the pragmatist. “I would like all women to be able to wear my clothes,” this woman of the people claimed. And to Donatella Versace, Madonna might indeed serve as some kind of Everywoman.
“She relates to women of all ages,” Versace said last week of her latest leading lady. Whatever she may be, however, Madonna is no secretary.
“Take a letter, Miss Ciccone. And take off those PVC handcuffs.”
by Susannah Frankel

source : new zeland herald

New Interview with Madonna in German Playboy

(Playboy Interviewer) : How do you want to be called?
Madonna: Madonna ! Or you can call me the Queen of England. Some people call me Mrs. Ritchie (but she seems not liking that), People from Germany call me often “M” . I like this, it reminds me of Fritz Lang’s movie “Metropolis”
I: You are a singer, actress and author of children books. What do you enjoy the most?
M: The most satisfying thing is creating live shows, I enjoy that even more than performing each evening on stage. I love to be the captain who is holding the whole team together. Also I enjoy writing, the stillness while doing it. On the other side writing music bores me. I’ve done this for a long time now. And what I don’t like at all is being in a recording studio.I have to get in, but there are things far more exciting to do.
I: You said you could have avoided lots of pain and sorrow if you only knew the principles of the universe earlier. What does this mean?
M: These principles say: “All you are doing is coming back to you” it’s a law of physics by Isaac Newton. He was also studying Kabbalah. Do you know this?
I: No.
M: He’s a brilliant scientist. Kabbalah unites spirituality and science. Every action is causing a reaction. That’s the science part, but it’s happening in our human lives, too.If you do something wrong, it will come back to you. maybe in the next 5 minutes, maybe ten years later. But in the Kabbalah as well as in the quantenphysics there’s no time, no space, you only see the beginning and the end.We all could live in a happier way, if we were following the rules of the universe.
I: And these rules you are following around the clock?
M: Exactly. I’m working on doing this each day. It Is an everlasting job.We should never stop to learn and to study.
I: Are you always following the principles of Kabbalah ?
M: Absolutely. We are all connected. If I lie to you, I’m lying to myself. If I’m hurting you I’m hurting myself. That’s exactly what Jesus Christ is telling us: Love the other the way you love yourself!The problem is: You read it, go to church and on your way home you are cheating your wife. Studying Kabbalah gives you the tools against your animal nature.
I: Sounds interesting…And you are also studying the “72 names”?
M: Kabbalah has a system of numbers, mathematical wisdom and is in harmony with nature.
I Now it’s getting confusing…
M: The whole world is based on numbers.If you talk with mathematics, astronoms or physics about numbers and the mathematical poesie of the universe, they’ll tell you Kabbalah is an uniting science.
I Is Guy Ritchie also a fan of Kabbalah?
M: He loves it the way I do. Our whole family! The kids can visit the foundation Spirituality for Kids when school is over.
I: How do you explain terror and war? Where is the better world?
M: There are always 2 sides: Bad and good, darkness and light.There are lots of people on this planet connected to the darkness. It’s our aim to change this. The way to fight the darkness is to turn on the light!
I: Will you ever write a novel?
M: I’m always reading novels, but I have not enough concentration to write one by myself.But I will never say never. I never wanted to be a singer.
I: Really?
M: I wanted to be a dancer.
I: Why did you become a singer? Accident?
M: There’s no accident at all. You are walking down a street, turn around and know you’ll be walking on the other side!
I: What can we expect next from the artist MADONNA?
M: I’m working on a musical, a movie. All is strictly secret. But I can tell you: It’s going to be really cool.The shooting has already begun. I’m not only playing the leading role, but I’m also writing the music. Beside Jonas Akerlund did a documentary about my last tour, it’s being on work right now and should be released in spring.
Madonna in Playboy

Guy Ritchie Reveals How He Won Madonna Over

Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie revealed how he won over the Material Girl in an interview with Hello magazine. “We met at lunch. She was with her boyfriend and he was sulking, and they were a few seats down in the restaurant from where I was sitting and I thought, [bleeping bleep], it’s Madonna. So I went up to her and made crap jokes,” Ritchie explained. “I think I said: ‘If you play your cards right, I’ll put you in a movie.’ She thought I was cocky and things went from there.”
source : popdirt

Tsunami TV Fund-Raiser in U.S. Runs Into Controversy

A television benefit show for victims of the Asian tsunami featuring Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Elton John and a string of Hollywood celebrities has run into controversy in the United States before a note has been played or a dollar pledged.
Fox TV conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly started the furor by suggesting that not all the money raised would aid tsunami victims.
Actor George Clooney, one of the organizers of the telethon scheduled for Saturday on NBC, hit back with a letter accusing O’Reilly of creating a fuss for his own personal gain.
“Because of it fewer people will donate money to help truly traumatized victims. they’ll be afraid that their money will do no good,” Clooney wrote.
He urged O’Reilly to take part as a presenter and followed up with a letter saying, “We’re not playing games here, we’re trying to save lives. It’s as simple as this; you’re either with this joint effort or against it.”
O’Reilly said before making a decision he wanted to know more about the format of the benefit and how donations would be distributed.
He said he would be “watching to see if the money gets to the tsunami victims” and warned that the celebrities taking part “had better be involved all the way down the line.”
The show is due be broadcast from studios in New York, Los Angeles and London, England to raise money for the work of the American Red Cross in the tsunami and earthquake devastated Indian Ocean region.
The broadcast, originally scheduled for one hour, has been extended to two hours.
Performers will include Diana Ross, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Annie Lennox and Brian Wilson. There will also be appearances by Actors Clint Eastwood, Halle Berry, Meg Ryan, Kevin Spacey and other stars.
“All the donations will go to support tsunami relief,” said American Red Cross spokesman Darren Irby. He said the organization had raised about $160 million so far but expected it will need to spend around $400 million on the disaster.
A similar telecast carried by all four main U.S. networks after the Sept. 11 2001 attacks raised more than $150 million.
source : reuters