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Madonna News - August 2006

No way to stop Madonna

A German Catholic spokesperson criticised popular singer Madonna on Monday over the crucifixion scene in her current stage act, saying he regretted it was not possible to ban it under German law.
Manfred Becker-Huberti, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cologne, said: “If someone had tried to portray Mohammed this way, there would have been a revolt.”
Madonna, 47, is set to perform on Sunday in the German city of Dusseldorf.
There were protests last week in Italy against a scene in which Madonna wears a crown of thorns and is raised on a cross.
Becker-Huberti said, “It’s particularly dreadful that Christian symbols can be distorted like this in a Christian nation. But the legal situation is appalling. There is no way to stop such blasphemy.”
Source : News24

Builders give Madonna sleepless nights

Madonna nearly cancelled one of her performances in London last week because builders working on houses either side of her residence in the capital are stopping her from sleeping.
The usually sprightly pop queen surprised fans at one of her Confessions tour shows at Wembley Arena when she sat down to rest, and told of her fatigue.
She said, “I only got three hours sleep last night because I have got construction work going on in stereo at my house.
“This morning I was so tired I thought: ‘F**k, I can’t do my show.’ But I’m getting lots of energy from the smiles on your faces.”
The site manager for one of the construction firms says, ‘Usually we work from 8.30am, but we agreed to be quiet before 10am so Madonna could get her lie-in.
“We have a job to do. I am surprised she has decided to complain.”
Source : Yahoo

Madonna breaks ticket sales record in Russia

All 30,000 tickets for Madonna’s debut show in Moscow sold out in four days, a record for Russian rock concerts, according to the company that organized the show.
For her Prague concert, the same company sold all 36,000 tickets a bit quicker — in nine minutes.
The disparity was a result of the old technology used to sell tickets in Russia, said Serge Grimaux, founder of Czech company Ticketpro, which distributed tickets for both concerts. He promised to close the gap by the end of the year and bring the latest technology, a move that could revolutionize the local market.
Ticketpro sold its tickets though local partner 19-00.ru, with most delivered to sales points or directly to consumers by couriers, who collect payment from those who file requests by phone on online. In Prague, tickets payment is taken directly over the phone, on the Internet or in shops with direct links to a centralized computer system.
“Currently, there is a lot of human processing in Russia, which slows the process down,” he said.
19-00.ru president Ildar Bakeyev said the Madonna sales marked a record for the Russian market in terms of speed and the value of tickets sold, although neither Ticketpro nor 19-00.ru would say how much all sales were worth.
Bakeyev said the fastest concert his company had previously sold out was Ramstein, which sold out in 20 days. He said the landmark Paul McCartney concert on Red Square in 2003 took about four weeks to sell out.
If Russia had 300 outlets linked to a central server, plus proper Internet sales, there is no doubt that tickets would sell out as fast as they do in other markets, Grimaux said. “Within a year, we will be able to do this.”
The vast majority of Internet and phone ticket sales in Russia today merely register bookings for couriers who deliver the tickets and collect the payment. Other tickets are printed and then resold to ticket offices for resale.
The technological and legal problems that have prevented direct ticket sales in Russia have been overcome, but credit card penetration remains an issue, Grimaux said.
Experience in other markets has shown that one major concert can prove the tipping point for credit card sales, Grimaux said. In Greece, a Rolling Stones concert led to average credit card sales surging from about 5 percent to 30 percent. In Russia, 3 percent to 4 percent of pop concert tickets are booked — but not paid for — via the Internet
Grimaux said he would try to avoid direct conflict with established local players in Ticketpro’s move into the Russian market.
“To make strategic alliances with already established people and bring them my international network, technology and expertise is something I would much prefer to get into instead of getting into fierce competition,” he said. “I’m a believer in peace.”
Source : Moscow Times

Madge & Guy make an ice pair

Madonna and Guy Ritchie hold on tight in a crowd of onlookers after taking son Rocco ice-skating for his sixth birthday.
The mega-rich couple opted to pop along to the Queens Ice and Bowl in Bayswater, West London.
Madonna, 47, broke off from her controversial Confessions world tour for Rocco’s big day.
But the superstar sparked Catholic outrage for the second time in a week after a giant poster of her was pasted on an Italian cathedral. Last week the Vatican slammed the star for “blasphemy and profanity” in her Rome show when she was suspended from a crucifix.
Now churchmen have protested after the 60ft advert for clothing chain H&M was used to cover scaffolding at the Milan Duomo.
Although she is fully clothed in the poster, officials say Madonna is not an appropriate person to appear on their building.
Source : Sunday Mirror

Tickets to Madonna’s show in Moscow sold out

Tickets to Madonna’s concert in Moscow have been sold out a month before the scheduled concert in Moscow, PR manager of the US singer in Russia Anton Atrashkin told Tass.
A total of 34,000 people will be present at the Confessions show that will be held in Vorobyovy Hills in Moscow on September 11.
Thousands of tickets to the show were booked by the singer’s Fan Club on the Internet, so that people from many countries will arrive in Moscow to enjoy Madonna’s show. Most of the singers’ foreign fans are from the Baltic and Scandinavian countries.
Russia will watch the show of the US pop star after the Czech Republic, where Madonna will perform on September 6.
Source : Itar Tass

Madonna on Billboard Charts – 08192006

Hot 200 Albums :
— (174) Madonna – Confessions On A Dancefloor

Billboard Comprehensive Albums :
— (199) Madonna – Confessions On A Dancefloor

Hot 100 Singles Sales :
10 (08) Madonna – Get Together
29 (22) Madonna – Sorry
33 (35) Madonna – Hung Up

Hot Dance Music/Club Play :
43 (36) Madonna – Get Together

Dance Radio Airplay :
07 (02) Madonna – Get Together

Hot Dance Singles Sales :
03 (02) Madonna – Get Together
06 (04) Madonna – Sorry
07 (08) Madonna – Hung Up

Top Music Video :
21 (11) Madonna – I’m Going To Tell You A Secret

Billboard Comprehensive Music Videos
21 (11) Madonna – I’m Going To Tell You A Secret

Wedding couple’s Madonna surprise

A couple celebrating their wedding were unexpectedly joined by pop icon Madonna at their reception.
Neil and Imogen McCarthy from Cardiff, had flown to Rome with 70 guests to get married and were holding their reception at a five-star hotel.
The singer, who was performing in Rome, was in the hotel with husband Guy Ritchie. When she spotted the reception, she joined them for a chat.
The DJ played Madonna’s single Hung Up which apparently failed to amuse her.
Madonna played Rome earlier this week as part of her Confessions tour, where she staged a mock-crucifixion which had been condemned by religious leaders.
As she dined with her husband at the city’s Hotel De Russie, she was spotted by wedding DJ Valeria De Luca who promptly played one of her hit singles.
Luca Lacovello, who helped organise the party, said guests had recognised Madonna but thought it impolite to draw attention to her.
But when the star discovered that a British wedding party was on the hotel’s terrace, she went out to join them.
“When Madonna walked into the reception with her husband everybody recognised them,” Luca Lacovello said.
“The DJ put on one of her records, Hung Up, which she wasn’t happy about but all the party at the wedding behaved with typical British reserve.
“If it had been an Italian wedding and Madonna walked in there would have been mass hysteria, but no-one raised an eyelid although everyone knew she was there.
“Madonna and Guy had their dinner and the wedding party continued and at the end Madonna walked up and congratulated the couple and wished them luck for their wedding.
“It was completely unexpected and was an added bonus for their wedding day.”
The McCarthys, who are currently on their honeymoon, were unavailable for comment.
Jason Harding, general manager at St David’s Hotel in Cardiff, where Mrs McCarthy works, said: “I can confirm Imogen is a member of staff and got married in Rome at the weekend.
“This is the first I have heard about this – we shall have to ask her all about it when she gets back.”
A spokeswoman at the Hotel De Russie in Rome said: “I can confirm that Madonna and her husband had dinner at our terrace restaurant.
“I can also confirm that at the same time there was a wedding reception taking place with a British bride and groom, but I cannot say anything else.
“I have to respect the privacy of our clients both famous and not famous.”

Madonna fans line up all night for Moscow concert tickets

About 300 Madonna fans gathered in central Moscow in the small hours of Tuesday to buy tickets for the pop diva’s concert on September 11.
The first fan appeared on Monday afternoon and by 7 p.m. (3p.m. GMT) people had started signing up to a long list for their chance to make it to the ticket office, Kazinform quotes RIA Novosti.
About 2,000 cheapest tickets will be sold for the dance floor Tuesday for 1,500 rubles ($56), well under the European-low of $90, said Mikhail Shurygin, president of St. Petersburg’s concert agency NCA organizing the concert.
The other 40,000 tickets for the show, part of the controversial Confessions tour, fall into six price categories, from 3,000 rubles ($110) to 25,000 rubles ($935).
Organizers of Madonna’s tour in Prague, where the pop icon will perform on September 6, said the 36,000 tickets sold out in nine minutes.
Shurygin said that free tickets would be provided for disabled people, but the singer’s management would set the number available.
A total of 200 metric tons of Madonna’s stage equipment will arrive in Moscow in 57 trucks. The singer will be accompanied by a staff of 200 and will perform onstage with a team of 27 people.
Shurygin said, “The newest security equipment from Europe will be used during Madonna’s show in Moscow.” He added that the stage, which will be set up in front of the huge Moscow University building on a hill overlooking the capital, would be protected with police cordon and a fence.
source : Inform.kz

Madonna Hits Rome Stage On ‘Crucifix’

Madonna insists she meant no disrespect to the Catholic Church by beginning her concert near the Vatican on Sunday night by rising to the stage on a mirrored cross, wearing a crown of thorns.
It wasn’t the only religious symbolism of the performance.
Two dancers with a Star of David and a Muslim crescent painted on their torsos embraced and held hands during their routine.
Religious leaders snubbed the “Confessions Tour” concert, but fans seemed thrilled and wildly cheered the pop diva’s entrance.
One fan wearing a T-shirt with an image of Madonna on the cross said that if authorities allow the stage show, they must also play by her rules.
source : reuters

Madonna ‘crucified’ in Rome

Madonna staged a mock crucifixion in the Italian capital on Sunday, ignoring a storm of protest and accusations of blasphemy from the Roman Catholic Church.
In a sold-out stadium a mile from Vatican City, the lapsed-Catholic diva wore a fake crown of thorns as she was raised on a glittery cross during the Rome stop of her worldwide Confessions Tour.
The singer performed the song Forbidden Love between two dancers, with the Star of David and the crescent moon, a symbol of Islam, painted on their bodies in a clear message to the escalating conflict.
Then, in a sold-out stadium not far from Vatican City, the lapsed-Catholic diva wore a fake crown of thorns as she was raised on a glittery cross.
The Vatican had accused her of blasphemy and provocation for even considering staging the sham crucifixion on its doorstep, anger Madonna further enflamed prior to the show by inviting Pope Benedict to come and watch.
The self-styled Queen of Pop went on to pepper her two-and-a-half hour show with more controversial imagery, at one point showing photographs of the Pope after those of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
“Did you know two miracles have taken place in Rome?” the star, dressed in skin skimming black, later joked with the crowd. “Italy won the World Cup and the rain stopped before my show.”
The 70,000 fans, crammed into the Olympic Stadium, shrugged off the scandal, by dancing, singing and jumping as she performed songs from her latest album Confessions on a Dance Floor and classics, such as Like a Virgin.
Yet, the cheering lulled when she was raised on the cross and some fans from predominantly Roman Catholic Italy confessed their disappointment.
“The crucifixion was unnecessary and provocative. Because this is Rome, I wish she’d cut it out. But it’s Madonna, she’s an icon, and that balances out her need to provoke,” said 39-year old Roman, Tonia Valerio.
It is not the first time Madonna, whose father is a Catholic Italian American, has caused religious anger for her controversial religious and sexual imagery.
Catholic leaders condemned as blasphemous her 1989 video for hit song Like a Prayer, featuring burning crosses, statues crying blood and Madonna seducing a black Jesus.
In 2004, a Vatican group warned that her latest religious belief Kabbalah, a mystical from of Judaism, was a potential threat to the Roman Catholic faithful.
And she looks likely to face another storm when the tour reaches Moscow in September, where the Russian Orthodox Church has advised its followers to boycott the show because of the crucifixion stunt, agency Interfax reported on Saturday.
source : reuters