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Madonna News - October 2006

Gossip : Madge baby’s fairy godfather

Madonna is to ask gay actor pal Rupert Everett to be her African baby’s godfather, The Sun can reveal.
The 48-year-old has told friends she wants him to play a big part in little David Banda’s life.
Madonna picked Rupert, 47, because of his experience of working in Africa with Aids victims. The move is a sign that Madonna and hubby Guy Ritchie are confident the adoption will be approved.
A close source said: “Madonna and Rupert have been pals for years and he is one of her closest friends. But more than that her trip to Africa was partly inspired by Rupert’s work out there.
“She knows he spends a lot of time in the country through his work with Aids charities and that he knows the country well. She feels he knows the culture well and would be a great help to David as he grows up.”?
Madonna and Everett have been pals since the 1980s and starred in a film together, The Next Best Thing. The adoption has been surrounded by controversy and yesterday David’s father Yohane, 31, claimed he has not given approval for a permanent adoption.
He said he hoped David would return to him in Malawi after finishing schooling. African officials yesterday insisted the adoption HAD been handled correctly.
source :

Madonna to talk about adoption on Oprah Winfrey’s show

Madonna will speak to talk show host Oprah Winfrey about her decision to adopt a 13-month-old Malawian boy – the first television interview for the pop star since her adoption became an international controversy.
The interview is scheduled to tape Tuesday and air Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Harpo Productions Inc. said Monday.
Madonna traveled to the African country of Malawi on Oct. 4 with her husband, Guy Ritchie. Together, they spent eight days visiting orphanages she is funding through her charity.
The boy, named David Banda, was taken to London last week after Malawi’s High Court granted Madonna and her husband an interim adoption order.
The 48-year-old singer has said she acted according to the law, but the toddler’s father said Sunday he did not realize he was signing away custody of the boy “for good.”
Madonna, who rose to pop culture icon status in the 1980s, has two children – daughter Lourdes, 9, and son Rocco, 6.
source : ap

Madonna Defiant by Liz Smith

Hard for me to understand exactly what it is Madonna has done person ally to all who are so violently critical of her recent plunge into Third World child-caring, money-giving and adoption. The press continues to turn her into a monster.

Here’s my take. Madonna is sincere in her efforts, but she just doesn’t give a damn about how it all looks. Media relations are not her priority, and listening to astute p.r. advisers is not her long suit. She didn’t care that people would say she was up to some contrived, copycat-Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt kind of thing. Given her disdain for newspapers, she might not even be aware of how her actions are often perceived. She doesn’t do the things she does for “publicity” – that all just happens whenever she makes a move.

Madonna has a lot of power. And we have said over and over in this space that the ill-wishers who constantly pronounce her as “all washed up” are just wrong. Her last tour broke worldwide records and put her into a new cash category of top-grossing acts. This makes her more of a formidable target for those who want to tear down all success stories. (Somebody said to me, after the 1990 “Blonde Ambition” tour, “She won’t be doing this in 10 years.” Well, it’s 2006, and she’s still going strong.)

Now, personally, I think Madonna would have been better off attempting to adopt a parentless child, not a 1-year-old with a living (and probably soon to be demanding) father. And she’d have been far better off never bringing up the word “kabbalah” in connection with any of her announced good works for children left without families because of AIDS. I’m not much for charity with any proselytizing religion mixed in on top of it.

A better p.r. question for a positive outcome regarding giving away money and adopting children in the Third World might be to ask: Where did Angelina Jolie go right, and where did Madonna go wrong? I think both of these phenomenal women are warm-hearted and eager to do good deeds in a naughty world. Perhaps the answer is to take a leaf from the book of the amazing Bono before one jets off to Malawi or wherever. He knows how to do good deeds, make friends and influence people! The Bible says never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing, so perhaps it doesn’t really matter so long as these big stars have sincere intentions. How much money are you giving away to help children?

P.S. And lest we forget, the “trend” for adopting Third World babies seems to have begun with the remarkable Mia Farrow, who took nine or 10 children, some with disabilities. No big fuss was made over Mia’s adoption techniques. But then again, Mia is . . . small bosomed. She has never worn a vial of blood around her neck, broken Jennifer Aniston’s heart, written a sex book, hung herself on a cross, or, well – you get the picture. Mia had plenty of controversy in her time, but her soft, wistful manner always made it seem the scandal was being thrust upon her.

source : nypost

Madonna’s haven of hope

At first glance, Malawi’s Home of Hope is a rag-tag collection of ramshackle, dilapidated buildings in a hot, dusty field that would most likely give rise to despair. To the keener eye, however, the orphanage from which Madonna adopted 13-month-old David Banda is a lively hive of purposeful activity.

Students and teachers discuss lessons as they walk in the campus at Mchinji, in the foothills of the green mountains that separate Malawi from Zambia. A dozen youngsters are at work in a mill, grinding maize grown in nearby fields. Others carry freshly harvested tomatoes, onions and peanuts. Teenagers blow off steam after exams by playing spirited games of football and basketball in their bare feet and with makeshift balls. A dozen girls, in clothes frayed but clean, sit chatting on a log in the shade.

Outwardly shabby, perhaps, but clearly a place rich with inspiration, Home of Hope appears to be living up to its name as a haven for several hundred of Malawi’s one million children orphaned by Aids or malaria.

The orphanage is the work of 77-year-old Presbyterian minister Thomson Chipeta. In 1998 Chipeta started the facility because he had taken in so many children who had lost their parents. The orphan centre has grown in response to Malawi’s increasing need and also as a result of Chipeta’s vision and success in raising funds from Europe, Canada, South Africa and Malawi.

Chipeta is like the school he created, rough-hewn and impressive. His handshake is firm, his gaze is clear. ‘We have 500 young people here, ranging in age from one to 18. We have a primary school and a full secondary school. Some of our graduates go on to technical training colleges. Education is the way these youngsters can make something of their lives.’

But his face clouds over at the mention of Madonna’s recent visit. ‘The complaints, the court case, the trouble, the press,’ says Chipeta, furrows of worry suddenly creasing his brow. He is at pains to insist that the adoption has been done correctly, but is clearly concerned about the court case and the possibility that the government would think that Home of Hope has done anything wrong.

‘It has tainted everything. We have worked to do everything properly, but we cannot accept visitors freely now. We cannot afford to make matters worse.’ Clearly the controversy and glare of publicity has been an ordeal for Chipeta.

Despite the impending court battle, most Malawians say they are pleased by Madonna’s adoption and by the interest generated in helping the country deal with its burden of vulnerable children. ‘Home of Hope is a wonderful school, a very good place,’ said schoolteacher Sapensia Banda, who cycled 10 miles to invigilate at exams. ‘But the baby who was adopted, he will have even better opportunities. Let’s hope he will come back and help us all.’ Businessman Dik Mlenga agrees: ‘I was raised by my cousin, so I know how tough it can be. She has done a good thing for that boy.’

There is an air of expectancy in Malawi. Clouds are gathering and the annual rains are about to begin. Fields are ploughed and ready for the new maize crop. Malawians are hoping for good rains and good harvests. Likewise, they are hoping that the world’s unexpected attention will bring positive results. Love her or loathe her, Madonna’s foray has stimulated a lively international debate about how best to deal with the continent’s vulnerable children, more than 48 million, according to UN estimates.

Aids, malaria and other diseases create orphans and also prey on the small children. Malawi, one of Africa’s poorest countries is also one of the most densely populated. For more than 20 years, the country has had a problem of chronic malnutrition among an estimated 20 per cent of its children.

More significant for Malawi than Madonna’s headline-grabbing adoption is her pledge to establish an orphan care centre. About 20 miles down the road from Home of Hope, in Namitete, Madonna’s new organisation, Raising Malawi, is planning to build a centre that will assist thousands of parentless children. Working with Consol Homes, a community-based Malawian organisation, Madonna’s group plans to build a kitchen and feeding centre, a pre-school unit, a centre for older orphans, a separate centre for widows and grandmothers, play areas and a teaching garden. Phase two will see the establishment of a primary school.

The new centre will be surrounded by 26 villages with a population of 30,000 people, of whom 16,000 are children. It is estimated that the centre will assist more than 4,000 orphans.

‘We like to operate with the surrounding communities, to keep the children in their extended families,’ says Alfred Chapomba, who has won a reputation as one of Malawi’s most effective child care activists as director of Consol Homes. ‘This is a problem of critical, national importance,’ he says. ‘We must all work together: government, local communities and the international donors, all of us.’

Close to Namitete, on the tarred road to Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, stands a small naked boy with a swollen belly. He is dusty and glares at cars and trucks with fierce, disturbed eyes. He hops out of the way of hooting vehicles. Other children by the road shout at him. Could he be one of Malawi’s orphans, hungry and alienated and in need of assistance?

‘Home of Hope and Consol Homes are two outstanding institutions, but they are the exceptions. There are many more groups that are struggling to get enough food for children and are poorly equipped or cannot provide education. Many children are dying of hunger and disease,’ said Rob Jamieson, editor of Lilongwe’s Chronicle newspaper. ‘Madonna has focused international attention on our problem. We look forward to her sustained interest in our children. If she keeps at it down the years, I think it will really be something.

‘I don’t know why she picked Malawi, but thank God she did.’

source : the observer

Madonna on TV

Oct 25 – The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oct 30 – The Today Show
Oct 30 – The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Judge delays Madonna adoption hearing

A judge on Friday postponed a hearing on a lawsuit by human rights groups challenging the government”~s decision to allow Madonna to start adoption procedures for a motherless 13-month-old Malawian boy.
“We are ready for the case but the attorney general wants to consult with the Ministry of Gender on the whole adoption process,” said Alan Chinula, a lawyer representing Madonna. “Our position is all legal aspects were followed.”
Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie , have been given temporary custody as a step toward adopting David Banda, who has spent most of his young life in an orphanage after his mother died of complications from giving birth.
The singer said in a statement that she and her husband have followed the law in the adoption process that would be completed after an 18-month evaluation process by Malawian authorities. Normally, prospective parents in Malawi are given custody and required to be monitored in the country for 18 months to determine their fitness. The regulations make no special provisions for foreigners.
“Where were these people when David was struggling in the orphanage? These so-called human rights groups should leave my baby alone,” he said in an interview earlier this week. “As father I have okayed this, I have no problem. The village has no problem. Who are they to cause trouble? Please let them stop.”
“We note that laws were flouted and our concern is that government may set a precedent that can legalize human trafficking,” he said.
He said the committee wants to be a party to the adoption process to make sure the law is followed. He said current law bars international adoptions, saying adoptive parents must be residents in Malawi and must be assessed for between 18 and 24 months.
source : ap

Vinnie: Lay off Madge and Guy

Touched for the very first time – this is the moment Madonna met her adopted African tot and tenderly cradled him in her arms.
The Material Girl turned Maternal Girl as she fell for little Davie Banda at an orphanage in Malawi before plucking him from poverty.
Madge’s spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg said last night: “It was love at first sight.”? A witness to the scene told US mag People: “The look of pure joy on her face was beyond words – not unlike when her own kids Lourdes and Rocco were born.”?
Madonna and Davie have since returned to London – and a storm over her mercy mission. But last night close pal Vinnie Jones insisted Madge and hubby Guy Ritchie thought hard before adopting – and do not deserve flak.
Director Guy gave hardman Vinnie his first major movie break in Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels.
Vinnie said of Guy and Madge: “If you knew them, they probably wanted to adopt every one of those children at the orphanage.
“They don’t just wake in the morning and think, “~Let’s do this today.’ They will have completely thought it all over.
They’ve done a fantastic thing that should be applauded. They are the best thing that could have happened to the boy. It’s a massive thing they’ve done.
“It’s very bold. I’d love to do it but the way I’m working, it wouldn’t be fair.”?
Ex-Wimbledon and Chelsea soccer star Vinnie also suspects Madge and Guy took advice from Angelina Jolie and her husband Brad Pitt. Angelina has adopted kids from Cambodia then Ethiopia, in Africa.
Vinnie said: “They’re all good friends and had dinner at The Ivy recently – so maybe that was the conversation.”?

Madonna and David in Malawi

source :

Robbie Williams talks about Madonna and “She’s Madonna”

from The Sun : She’s Madonna is the talking track of the album. Written by Robbie and his pals Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, it’s got the signature chiming electro sound of the Pet Shop Boys all over, with witty lyrics about Guy Ritchie dumping ex Tania Strecker (also an ex of Robbie’s) for Madge.
Robbie explains: “I sent the track to Madonna and she really liked it. I also sent her Rudebox and she didn’t really like it. You could say that the track is a bit stalkerish. She wanted to know what it was about. I lied.
“She said, “~Is it the futility of being in love with Madonna? Is it the futility of being in a relationship with Madonna? Do you like Madonna in the track?’ It’s quite a day sending a song to Madonna about her. She’d heard I’d done it.”?
source :

NBC won’t show Madonna on the cross

Under pressure from Christian conservative groups accusing pop star Madonna of sacrilege, a U.S. television network said on Thursday it removed footage of the singer performing while suspended on a giant cross from her upcoming prime-time concert special.
Madonna had insisted that the mock crucifixion, a centerpiece of her “Confessions” world tour staged while she performed the hit song “Live to Tell,” be included in the two-hour special set to air on NBC on November 22.
But socially conservative organizations organized a campaign urging NBC affiliate stations to refuse to carry the special if the crucifix stunt remained in the show.
After weeks of uncertainty, the network said it decided it would not show the opening portion of the “Live to Tell” performance in which she sings suspended from a giant mirrored cross while wearing a crown of thorns.
Instead, cameras will cut away to other shots while Madonna is on the cross, then cut back to the singer when she steps down to finish the song.
“You hear the song, but you’re not seeing her on the cross,” one network source told Reuters. The special was filmed during her performance at Wembley Stadium in London.
Madonna’s New York-based spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, said the 48-year-old entertainer, an executive producer of the special, ultimately acquiesced to the revision of the broadcast, but suggested the singer was not happy about it.
“She wanted it in, and they wanted it out,” Rosenberg, a Warner Bros. Records executive, told Reuters. “You won’t see Madonna on a crucifix. That element of the song is no longer in the show. How they came to that conclusion I really don’t know.”
Madonna’s use of the cross in her concerts drew protests from the Roman Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church during her performances in Rome and Moscow, where leaders of the clergy condemned the act as blasphemy.
Madonna issued a statement last month insisting her act was “neither anti-Christian, sacrilegious or blasphemous. Rather it is a plea to the audience to encourage mankind to help one another and to see the world as a unified whole.
“I believe if Jesus were alive today, he would be doing the same thing,” she said, adding that her specific intent was to bring attention to the extreme poverty in Africa.
Madonna has been making headlines with her efforts to adopt a motherless year-old boy from Malawi.
The controversy over Madonna’s mock crucifixion is not the first time the Material Girl has drawn the ire of religious groups for her use of Christian imagery. In 1989, the video for her hit song “Like a Prayer” featured the scantily clad singer cavorting in front of burning crosses and statues crying blood.
source : reuters

Madonna on Billboard Charts – 10282006

Top Electronic Albums :
08 (08) Madonna – Confessions On A Dance Floor

Hot 100 Singles Sales :
18 (28) Madonna – Get Together
30 (40) Madonna – Sorry
41 (49) Madonna – Hung Up

Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks
25 (27) Madonna – Jump

Hot Dance Music/Club Play
10 (20) Madonna – Jump

Dance Radio Airplay :
06 (20) Madonna – Jump

Hot Dance Singles Sales :
03 (06) Madonna – Get Together
09 (09) Madonna – Sorry
11 (10) Madonna – Hung Up

Madonna stunned over adoption outcry

Pop diva Madonna has admitted to being stunned by the outcry over her adoption of a Malawian baby boy.
The 48-year-old US singer who has had a knack of ruffling feathers throughout her career told People magazine she had not expected the level of criticism levelled at her since the adoption.
“I expect to be given a hard time about many of the things I do,” Madonna told the celebrity news magazine in an interview to be published tomorrow.
“I know they are provocative and I prepare myself, but I did not expect the media, the government or any human rights organisations to take a stand against me trying to save a child’s life.”
Madonna was granted an interim order to adopt David Banda, a poor farmer’s son, by a high court in Malawi last week.
But the Human Rights Consultative Committee, an umbrella grouping of 67 local rights groups in Malawi, went to court on Tuesday to challenge the order allowing Madonna to adopt the boy.
Under Malawi laws, expatriates adopting a child have to live in the country for 18 months and are monitored by social workers before they get full adoption rights.
Madonna has also faced opposition from charities which say she could use her wealth more effectively, such as helping African parents fight AIDS and keeping orphaned children in their home communities.
Madonna insists the adoption was legal, saying she and her British filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie had begun the process several months ago and acted “according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child”.
And the baby’s father Yohane Banda has blasted Madonna’s critics.
“Where were these people when David was struggling in the orphanage?” he told British media.
“These so-called human rights groups should leave my baby alone.”
source : afp

Madonna gives baby Davie Ritchie name

Malawian baby David will keep his full surname Banda Mwale as his middle names, and will also take his new mother’s maiden name Ciccone as a third middle name.
Madonna, 48, made the decision out of respect for David’s family heritage, but also to welcome into her own family.
Yesterday (18.10.06) David’s father Yohane returned to his work spraying potato crops, for which he earns 54 pence a day.
Speaking from crop fields in blistering temperatures, Yohane said: “I’m not really missing David because we have agreed with Madonna that he will visit us here in three or four years time.
“I am not asking for anything from Madonna, but when David grows up and is brought here and sees our poverty, he will certainly ask his mum to help.” David’s father took the 13-month-old baby to an orphanage after his mother died and he could no longer afford to look after him properly.
While Madonna attended the gym yesterday she sent an assistant to buy clothes for David and demanded video footage be sent to her mobile phone so she could approve the outfits.
The singer and her director husband Guy already have a son together, six-year-old Rocco, and Madonna has a ten-year-old daughter Lourdes from her relationship with personal trainer Carlos Leon.
souce : pr-news