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Madonna News - August 2006

Madonna ‘Crucifixion’ Doesn’t Deter Fans

Desperately seeking Madonna. Hundreds of Italians have gathered in front of her hotel and rushed to Rome’s most chic street in hopes of getting a glimpse of the American pop star, who is to perform in a concert Sunday night at the Olympic stadium.
Fans started pouring in to the stadium since early afternoon, while some had camped out to get a spot right in front of the stage. Some 70,000 people were expected at the concert, which is the only Italian date of her “Confessions” tour.
A few hundred people also have gathered in front of Madonna’s hotel in downtown Rome since Saturday. A rumor that she was shopping on Via Condotti, Rome’s fashion street, sent hundreds of fans there, newspaper Il Messaggero and other dailies reported Sunday.
The concert has drawn criticism in Roman Catholic Italy, especially for Madonna’s plans to appear crucified on a mirrored cross while wearing a crown of thorns.
Religious leaders have condemned the mock crucifixion as an act of hostility toward the Roman Catholic Church and as a publicity stunt in bad taste.
But Madonna’s New York-based spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, said in an e-mail that “the context of Madonna’s performance on the crucifix is not negative nor disrespectful toward the church.”
source : ap

Russian Orthodox Church calls for boycott of Madonna concert

Russia’s Orthodox Church accused US superstar Madonna of exploiting Christian symbols for her own ends and called for a boycott of her first-ever concert in Moscow.
“The US singer Madonna exploits Christian symbols — the cross, rosary beads and the crucifix — and tries to equate human passions, including her own personal passions, with something sacred,” the spokesman for the patriarch of Moscow said.
“I don’t think that Orthodox believers should support this lady by going to her concert,” father Vsevolod Chaplin said on Echo of Moscow radio station.
She “needs spiritual help because she swings between Christianity and Kabbalah,” he said, referring to a branch of Jewish mysticism that the singer follows.
Madonna will perform in Russia for the first time on September 11 as part of her “Confessions” world tour. The concert will take place on a specially constructed stage on Sparrow Hills overlooking the city centre, close to Moscow State University.
The pop diva will arrive in the Russian capital with 57 trucks and 200 tonnes of equipment in tow, the organisers said. Tickets cost between 1,500 rubles (55 dollars, 45 euros) and a hefty 25,000 rubles (930 dollars, 730 euros).
Madonna kicked off the European leg of her world tour in the Welsh city of Cardiff on July 30 where she gyrated on a saddle floating above the stage and sang from a crucifix in a performance involving provocative dance routines.
She has often sparked outrage among religious leaders with raunchy video clips, notably when she kissed a black Christ in front of a burning cross in her 1989 hit “Like a Prayer”.
source : afp

Liz Rosenberg on crucifix controversy

Liz Rosenberg, mouthpiece for the ecumenical hate object, tells us: “I think the Pope would enjoy the show and would applaud her performance. He has an open invitation to see for himself the eloquence and beauty that Madonna expresses for humanity while performing her poignant song ‘Live to Tell.'”
source : nydailynews

Vatican fury at ‘blasphemous’ Madonna

The Vatican accused Madonna of “blasphemy and profanity” yesterday – and even suggested that she should be excommunicated over a scene in her current Confessions Tour.
The so-called Queen of Pop brings her show to Rome on Sunday, and Roman Catholic leaders are furious at part of her performance in which she wears a crown of thorns and is apparently crucified.
Cardinal Ersilio Tonino, speaking with the Pope’s approval, said: “This is a blasphemous challenge to the faith and a profanation of the Cross. She should be excommunicated. To crucify herself “

Time Magazine : Madonna Speaks About Her “Big, Big Project”

Malawi, a Pennsylvania-sized country in southeast Africa, has four things in abundance: AIDS, malaria, drought and tobacco (its major crop). It also has a functioning democracy and little conflict. To date, therefore, it has not attracted much attention from the rest of the world. But that’s about to change. Malawi is about to be hit by a force that has thrown much more robust countries for a loop. Her name is Madonna.
And being Madonna, she’s not arriving in Malawi by halves. She has already committed to raising at least $3 million to fund programs particularly aimed at orphans there. Of Malawi’s population of 12 million, about a million are orphans. Ground has just been broken on an orphan care center, which aims to feed and educate as many as 1,000 children a day. She has also formed a partnership with developing-world economic guru Jeffrey Sachs on programs to improve the health, agriculture and economy of a village nearby. She’s financingto the tune of about $1 milliona documentary about the plight of children there. And she has met with Bill Clinton to see if they can work together to bring low-cost medicines to the area, as well as partnering with several aid organizations. This, mind you, is all before Madonna has ever even set foot in Africa. (She plans to go in October.)
“For the last few yearsnow that I have children and now that I have what I consider to be a better perspective on lifeI have felt responsible for the children of the world,” says Madonna, taking a break between London concert dates . “I’ve been doing bits and bobs about it and I suppose I was looking for a big, big project I could sink my teeth into.” The “better perspective” she attributes to Kabbalah, the study of Jewish mysticism. Her co-founder in the Raising Malawi project is Michael Berg, founder of the Kabbalah center in Los Angeles and one of the driving forces behind its growing popularity. And although it has no religious affiliation, the orphan-care centerwhich will be like a day camp for orphans, who often have relatives who will give them a place to sleep but cannot feed themwill offer programs based on Spirituality for Kids, Kabbalah’s children’s program. “One of the main precepts of Kabbalah is that we’re put on this earth to help people,” says Madonna. “And your job is to figure out how you can help, and what it is that you can do.”
Madonna is the latest in a line of major stars who have been trying to cast some of their limelight onto the situation in Africa. Sachs, who Madonna called after she read his book The End of Poverty, has already worked closely with Bono and Angelina Jolie, among others. He knows people are cynical about celebrities’ philanthropic efforts, but having met with Madonna (they had lunch and then he went to his first-ever Madonna concert), he’s not. “Of course there are no doubt people who on a fling say something, but that’s not what Madonna’s doing, it’s not what Angelina’s doing, it’s not what Bono’s doing,” he says. “In the very noisy and complicated world that we have, people that reach large numbers of people, like Madonna does, have an extraordinarily important role to play. When they’re devoting their time, their money, their name, a lot of effort, a lot of organization skill to all of this, it makes a huge difference. The cynics are just wrong. They don’t get it.”

Rome Church condemns Madonna’s crucifixion stunt

Rome’s Catholic, Muslim and Jewish leaders have united to condemn pop star Madonna’s decision to stage a mock-crucifixion when she performs in the Italian capital on Sunday a stone’s throw away from Vatican City.
The lapsed-Catholic diva’s latest irreverent performance sees her wearing a fake crown of thorns and descending on a suspended, glittery cross as part of her worldwide “Confessions Tour.”
Having already been criticized in the United States, Catholics priests from across the Eternal City have gone one further saying the act “comes close to blasphemy.”
“It is disrespectful, in bad taste and provocative,” Father Manfredo Leone from Rome’s Santa Maria Liberatrice church said late on Wednesday about the star’s latest stage stunt.
“Being raised on a cross with a crown of thorns like a modern Christ is absurd. Doing it in the cradle of Christianity comes close to blasphemy.”
In an unusual show of religious solidarity, Muslim and Jewish leaders added their condemnation of the self-styled Queen of Pop, famous for peppering her concerts and videos with controversial religious and sexual imagery.
“I think her idea is in the worst taste and she’d do better to go home,” Mario Scialoja, head of Italy’s Muslim League said.
Riccardo Pacifici, spokesman and vice president of the Roman Jewish community, added Madonna should have pulled the routine considering where she was performing — a stadium a mile from the gates of Vatican City.
It is not the first time Madonna, who has a Catholic Italian-American father, has raised the ire of the Catholic Church.
Catholic leaders condemned as blasphemous her controversial 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 form of Judaism, was a potential threat to the Roman Catholic faithful.
Madonna, 47, has refused to kowtow to Italy’s Catholic sensibilities, but in an interview published on Thursday she had nothing but praise for her Italian background.
She told Italy’s edition of Vanity Fair her “good Italian genes” were the reason for her staying in shape, famously allowing her to writhe in a leotard in a recent video.
source : reuters

Madonna bawls out Blue star during show

Madonna gave former Blue star Duncan James a shock during her Confessions show in London on Tuesday – because she singled him out for not dancing.
James insists he was enjoying the show, but he found her dazzling onstage presence so hypnotic he just stood there gaping.
He says, “I couldn’t believe she was pointing at me! I was so embarrassed.
“I’d never seen Madonna live before and I was mesmerised by her amazing body and performance.
“It was exactly at that point, when she was dancing right in front of me, that I couldn’t do anything but stare because she looks so incredible. That’s why I wasn’t dancing.”
source : pr-inside

Madonna’s Moscow Concert Press Announcement

Madonna’s Confessions Tour which has already been seen by well over half a million US fans and received critical raves around the world is headed to Russia’s Vorobievy Gory in Moscow on September 11th. A long time dream come true for one of the most successful artists and cultural innovators of our time, this appearance marks The Material GIrl’s concert debut in Russia.
The September 11th performance follows the opening of the European leg of her tour in Cardiff on July 30th, eight sold out shows in London’s Wembley Arena and additional stops in Germany, Denmark, France, Holland and the Czech Republic.
“A spectacle of epic proportions. The best Madonna tour since Blonde Ambition” raved the UK’s Attitude Magazine after seeing Madonna’s most recent spectacle. “Still at her controversial best. Yes, Madonna IS the queen of pop” echoed London’s The Sun newspaper.
The multi-Grammy award winning artist has made musical history many times over. In the UK alone, Madonna is the most successful female artist in UK Chart history with a staggering 60 Top Ten singles and 9 Number 1 albums. A video visionary and children’s book author, Madonna has an unrivaled reputation for astonishing stage spectacles. Her current CD “Confessions on a Dance Floor” debuted at No. 1 in 29 countries and she has sold over 200 million albums.
The Moscow performance is sponsored by H&M and Beeline. Alexander Izosimov, CEO of VImpelCom (Beeline Trademark) commented, “This show is the beginning of Beeline’s long-term music projects with further details to be announced shortly. The vision of our company is to provide our clients with the best. Madonna is the brightest light in the music world. We admire her work, her many talents and her ability to continue to create new and exciting music. She is No. 1 on the world stage. We are happy that the dream of Russians to see the star live on stage is coming true.”
The Confessions Tour, directed by Jamie King, features long time Madonna collaborator and coproducer Stuart Price as Musical Director. The show’s costumes are created by fashion icon Jean Paul Gaultier and Arianne Phillips. The unique stage which includes three runways that stretch out into the audience for Madonna and her troupe of stunning dancers also includes state of the art sound and video screens and a moving turntable stage.
Madonna tickets for the September 11th performance at Vorobievy Gory will go on sale Friday, August 4th at TicketPro, and 648-6161.
Madonna Confession Tour is produced and promoted by The Next Adventure (A Live Nation Company) in association with CEE and NCA.
source : ticketpro

Simpson influenced by Madonna

Jessica Simpson has confessed her latest single was accidentally influenced by pop superstar Madonna’s Holiday.
After posting A Public Affair on her website in June, Simpson has received a barrage of criticism claiming the song is too close to Madonna’s 1984 hit.
But Simpson retorts that’s exactly what her fans need and is refusing to apologise for the retro sound.
source : irishexaminer

Madonna on Billboard Charts – 08122006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Italian genes are Madonna’s secret

Pop superstar Madonna, who celebrates her 48th birthday on August 18, has claimed her enduring beauty is down to her Italian roots .
When asked by Vanity Fair how come she still looks so great, Madonna replied: “I take care of myself, I don’t abuse my energy and fortunately, I have good Italian genes” .
The family of the American singer’s father, Silvio “Tony” P. Ciccone, come from the central Italian region of Abruzzo .
Madonna gave the interview to the Italian edition of the magazine ahead of next Sunday’s massive concert at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.
The gig is the only one on the Confessions Tour that she will play in Italy .
She also told Vanity Fair that the horse-riding accident she had last year, in which she broke her hand, collarbone and fractured three ribs, has given her a new outlook on life .
“While I was lying in bed (convalescing after the fall), I promised God that I wouldn’t get depressed for no reason any more, I wouldn’t be ungrateful or moan .
“I’ve tried to keep the promise, although I did before the accident too. “But what has changed is that I have a new sense of awareness and gratitude for the possibilities I have to do what I do and for this energy I have” .
As well as being proud of her Italian roots, Madonna is also a fan of the country’s fashion .
Dolce & Gabbana have been working with the singer for 14 years and they designed several of the costumes she wears during the Confessions set .
Stefano Gabbana told another Italian magazine, Grazia, that making clothes for the star can be a stressful experience .
“She made us crazy with the costumes she and the dancers wore for the song Holiday while on tour in 1992,” he said .
“First she wanted blue outfits, then she wanted them to be red. After she wanted them shortened and then lengthened again .
“In the end she drove me to despair and I told her to ‘go to hell’. I said it in Italian, but she understood perfectly”. Another favourite designer, Donatella Versace, painted a different picture of Madonna, describing how the star helped her get over her brother Gianni’s death .
“She was the first person to phone me and when I arrived in Miami (where Gianni Versace was murdered), she was there waiting for me” .
Grazia also reported on some of Madonna’s demands for her hotel room during her stay in Rome .
One of these is that a brand new lavatory be installed in her bathroom .
source :