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When Madonna takes the stage this week in Chicago for her Re-Invention tour, it’s a safe bet that most of the fans in the audience will recognize the greatest hits she performs, know the words and sing along to them.
Then there are her uberfans.
A group apart, these fans are united in their love of all things Madonna. They’re the ones who pay big bucks for up-close concert seats, dress up like her and scream their hearts out the moment she comes out for the start of the show. Not only do they know the words to every song, but they also can pinpoint exactly what they were doing in their lives when that particular song was released.
From the teased hair and “Boy Toy” jewelry to the red Kabbalah string bracelet and motherhood, these superfans have stayed true blue to their Material Girl through her 20-year career. It doesn’t matter if her latest album sells 10 million or 2 million copies, or if her movies bomb. To them, Madonna can do no wrong.
“Each time, she’s more fabulous,” said Michelle Flores, 29, at Berlin nightclub in Boystown for a monthly Madonna theme night. “I’ve followed her since the beginning, and the trends she sets are just incredible.”
Flores plans to imitate one of Madonna’s looks – her cone-shaped bustier – when she goes to the Chicago show. Unable to afford couture, Flores and her mother have fashioned a look-alike top out of chicken wire and fabric.

Madonna on cover of RedEye Magazine

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Madonna reinvents her hits

The engine of Madonna’s 21-year career is reinvention. Look back and her lineage of videos and concert tours is lined with shifting selves — from disco boy-toy all the way up to children’s book author.
By naming her current tour “Re-Invention,” the 45-year-old is not so much trying anything new as she is, for the first time, collecting all her former selves and seeing if they can co-exist together.
Some call it nostalgia, but Madonna has never been that obvious. At the United Center Sunday, the first of four sold-out nights, she tried to make sense out of everything she’s done in the past, but in the exhilarating collage, she demonstrated some previous lives live up to the present and a few do not. Some reinvention was musical and on these songs, Madonna and her eight-piece band and core of dancers celebrated their durability. “Into the Groove,” an early hit, was remixed with a more complex beat, rapping interludes from a recorded Missy Elliott and, strangely, a live bagpiper and drum corps. “Like a Prayer,” part of her disco folk set, swelled with spiritual uplift with the help of a recorded gospel choir.
Unlike her dark and condensed “Drowned World” tour in 2001, this outing joyfully interchanged past with present. The best moments blurred images and toyed with mixed messages.
She and her dancers performed “Express Yourself,” an infectious dance pop statement of individuality, dressed in military gear and twirling rifles. For “Burning Up,” her earliest dance hit, and “Material Girl,” Madonna posed as a serious guitar rocker, hitting chords and transforming the songs’ adolescent whine into adult certitude.
The flow of imagery had its chinks when Madonna revisited weaker material — notably “Hanky Panky,” a vaudeville jazz send-up from “Dick Tracy.” And no matter what you think of Andrew Lloyd Webber, his material (“Lament”) doesn’t sound good being sung when the singer is strapped to a fake electric chair.
Unlike the past, the show was not designed to provoke but was filled with more moments where she tried to present herself as a serious songwriter.
She slipped into that mode during the show’s third act, a short acoustic set that ended with a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The choice may have been in protest, since Clear Channel Entertainment, her tour’s producer and promoter, is the same company that banned the song from its 1,200 radio stations after Sept. 11.But since she was singing in front of a backdrop of televised starving children, it’s more likely she was using the song to signal her altruism. Her shrill rendition didn’t do that. Instead, it felt like another reinvention, just that this one was empty and presumptuous.
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Yakov climbs to No 6

Madonna’s new book “Yakov and the seven Thieves” climbs to #6 on NY Times children’s picture book chart .
source : nytimes

Schlesinger blamed heart failure on Madonna

John Schlesinger, the Oscar-winning director of Billy Liar and Midnight Cowboy, blamed Madonna’s “outrageous” behaviour on the set of a film they were making for contributing to his heart attack.
His damning comments about the pop singer turned actress are contained in a collection of letters and production notes bequeathed to the British Film Institute by the veteran film-maker after his death in July 2003.
The papers reveal that Schlesinger, who worked with Madonna in 1999 on his last film, The Next Best Thing (released in 2000), became enraged by her attempts to change numerous scenes. They also show that Madonna demanded that special effects be used to “beautify” her appearance.
In the film, a comedy, Madonna plays a yoga instructor who becomes pregnant after a drunken one-night stand with her homosexual best friend, played by Rupert Everett.
Shortly after completing what was one of the unhappiest shoots of his career, Schlesinger, then 73, collapsed on the doorstep of his London home. He was diagnosed with heart failure and underwent a quadruple heart bypass operation.
His workload before he was admitted to hospital had been particularly heavy and he had complained of being “exhausted” before he left Los Angeles at the end of the film shoot.
In a letter written from the Royal Brompton Hospital on December 2, 1999, to Andrew Cannava, his agent, however, Schlesinger put some of the blame for his collapse on Madonna’s collaboration with Tom Rosenberg, the film’s producer, to change the film.
“I am f***ing angry with Tom being influenced by Madonna,” Schlesinger wrote. “We have tried all of these changes before . . . I do not for one moment think that their behaviour has not added to the reasons I have ended up here.”
His letters, along with his production notes, complain that Madonna tried to influence every aspect of the production, from the music to the final cut.
One unsigned memo suggests that the actress, then 41, wanted producers to “beautify” 34 shots of her with computer generated imagery, the special effects technique pioneered in fantasy epics such as Jurassic Park and Titanic. It appears that the money was eventually found to improve just nine of the scenes.
Surprisingly, the singer, who appeared naked in her controversial 1992 book Sex, also balked at the idea of appearing fully nude in the film. An unsigned memo which relates to production meetings held in 1998 states: “Madonna doesn’t want her bare arse to be seen.”
Later, Madonna lobbied for the removal of a pivotal scene which she felt was too “gay”, much to the disgust of Schlesinger, who was himself homosexual.
These constant demands infuriated the director, who had previously worked with such actors as Lord Olivier, Dustin Hoffman and Glenda Jackson. In a letter to Mr Rosenberg on November 30, 1999, dictated from his hospital bed, he wrote: “I am outraged that Madonna is starting to express an opinion of what works and what doesn’t and what is too gay when she wasn’t even present at the previews. In any case, she is not the director; so far as I am concerned I want the scene to remain as it is.”
He also complained to Sherry Lansing, the head of Paramount, saying: “I am lying here feeling very frustrated because the completion of the film is taking place without me and it seems to me that Tom Rosenberg is very much listening to Madonna’s opinion, which is affecting the cut and the choice of music.”
One handwritten six-page letter from Madonna, who was also executive producer of the film’s soundtrack, to Schlesinger in July 1999 reveals that she lobbied hard for the inclusion of particular kinds of music in the film itself.
She claims that she does “not mean to be presumptuous” or to “overstep the bounds”, before outlining the case for more Indian- influenced music in the film. After reminding the director that she does have a “lot of experience” in the field of film scores, she urges him to listen to a selection of tracks that she has put on a CD.
“Even if you don’t like the music perhaps it will inspire you and get your gears going . . . Please listen in a quiet place with no interruptions. Turn off the phone, light a candle and think about the love story of Robert and Abbie and their world and sadness and the hope. Enjoy. I hope to hear from you soon.” She signs off: “All My Love, M xxx.”
The Next Best Thing, which cost $25 million (P13.5 million) to make, was a commercial and artistic disaster, taking just $23 million worldwide. Madonna’s performance was savaged by critics and earned her a “Golden Raspberry” award for worst actress. Entertainment Weekly said that she could “barely muster even the rudiments of human expression” and urged her to “quit while she is behind”.
Schlesinger was discharged from hospital in January, 2000. The following December he suffered a debilitating stroke. His condition grew steadily worse until he was admitted to hospital in Palm Springs last July. He died a year ago, aged 77.
Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s publicist, said last week that she was surprised by Mr Schlesinger’s remarks: “People say many, many things about Madonna but no one has ever questioned her level of professional behaviour. I know Madonna had great respect for John Schlesinger as a director. I believe that John Schlesinger had control over this film and Madonna behaved as a salaried actress.”
A spokesman for Mr Rosenberg said that the producer had found it an “honour to work with Mr Schlesinger who he had considered to be one of the greatest directors in the history of the movie business”.
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Making-up Madonna

The UK edition of hello! magazine (Issue 824 – July 13 2004) features an article on make-up artist Laura Mercier: A meeting with famed photographer Steven Meisel meant that Laura Mercier was soon in demand in America and a move to New York soon became a necessity. ‘It was also Steven who helped me to make my name,’ she says. He also introduced Laura to her very first, very famous client, Madonna.
‘I was so frightened of working with her that I put it off for two years, but eventually went to her New York apartment to meet her,’ Laura explains. ‘I was so very nervous, but you know what? She is totally professional, totally inspirational and she pushes the people around her to be as creative as she is. We ended up getting along so well that I worked with her on every video, magazine cover, album photoshoot and red-carpet event for eight years.’
Laura started working with Madonna on her Take A Bow video shoot and never looked back. ‘I found her completely wonderful to work with and always so compelling.’
So when Laura decided to launch her own make-up range in 1996, she was delighted that Madonna allowed her to name a classic red lipstick after her. ‘I remember I had my laboratory mix for the perfect burgundy-red lip colour for her, and then got them to pour it into an antique lip case for her birthday. She was delighted and said that I should name it after her. That was how ‘M’ was born. It was my gift to her, and her gift to me.’
Madonna’s other gift to Laura was a supreme boost to her confidence. ‘Once you have worked with her you realise that you can do your job well. But at the end of the day, it is not about the make-up artist, it is about the person being made up. And to this day I like to work with people whose company I really enjoy.’
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A family affair in Chicago

Even though Madonna couldn’t make time for a stop in her hometown of Detroit this tour it isn’t stopping Madonna’s family from attending one of the shows. Members of the Ciccone family will be attending the Sunday 11 July show in Chicago….wonder if she will invite her Dad on stage again like in previous tours?
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ICON Re-Invent Yourself contest

Madonna has an unbelievable gift for ICON members! The chance to win a Gibson Guitar identical to the one that she plays in the Re-Invention Tour except for you it’s signed by the lady herself!
It’s time to put your love for Madonna to the test and Re-Invent yourself! Here is the contest: Madonna has had many faces and looks through the years. Sometimes brunette, sometimes girlie blond sometimes dressed with highly sophisticated outfits but also sometimes very pure and natural.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be to pick up one of those looks and re-invent yourself by turning your own appearance into Madonna’s! No, you are not dreaming, we are asking you to try and look like Madonna herself!
No matter if you’re a boy or a girl, strike a pose dressed like Madonna and sending us your Re-Invented shot, as well as the original Madonna image you decided to copy.For more details about the competition please visit ICON – the closing date is 31 July

ICON Re-Invent Yourself contest

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Madonna Skin Care - MDNA Skin

Madonna takes baby steps

She’s turning 46 next month, but Madonna is determined to try for one more child.
“She has it all planned out to a T,” a friend tells us. “She began visiting her fertility doctor in Los Angeles in late March. Her tour was already planned for the summer, but Madonna wanted to undergo tests to find out if she would be able to get pregnant and carry a baby at her age.”
The singer admitted in a recent interview that she worried that “because of my exercising and this, that and the other, I’ve kind of screwed up my cycle a bit.” But source says her doctors have now told her she’s in good shape to conceive.
Her Madgesty is also said to have sought the blessing of her kabbala counselor, Rabbi Yehuda Berg . Berg told her “that more kids would be a great thing for her spiritual growth,” according to our source. “He said, ‘Go for it.'”
The singer, who has taken the Hebrew name Esther, has one daughter, Lourdes , 7, by former lover Carlos Leon , and a son, Rocco , 3, by husband Guy Ritchie .
All of her little ones stand to be well-dressed: In the fall, Mom is coming out with a line of children’s clothing inspired by her storybook “The English Roses.”
She’s also working on an animated film based on that book, a CBS concert special and a theatrical-release documentary about her tour.
Let’s hope she schedules some baby-making time with Guy.
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Denis Rodman talks about Madonna

In case you’ve been wondering what Dennis Rodman is up to, the YES Network tonight presents an exhaustive interview in which the eccentric 43-year-old hoopster dishes on everything from his romances with Madonna and Carmen Electra to his new gig promoting Enjoy RX, a so-called “sexual enhancement spray.”
On his famous fling with Madonna, Rodman reveals: “I told her that I never liked her music, she sucks, and all this stuff like that.”
Interviewer Michael Kay asks: “She was cool with that?”
Rodman: “She was like, ‘What? I suck?’ I said, ‘Yeah, your music is too commercial, it’s too candy, too bubblegum,’ you know, and stuff like that. And she said, ‘Well, you know, you’re honest.’ I said, ‘Yeah, well, I don’t like it. You know, so, it doesn’t mean I don’t like having sex with you, but I don’t like your music.’
source : nydailynews

Kylie Minogue opening act for Madonna ?

…we do know, that the final (and secret) support act to be announced for Madonna’s Slane concert is none other than mini-Madge herself, Kylie…
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Yakov @ No7

New York Times, children picture books, this week on list:

7 YAKOV AND THE SEVEN THIEVES, by Madonna. Illustrated by Gennady Spirin. (Callaway, $19.95.) A tale about “how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven.” ( Ages 5 to 8 ) new entry

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The Corrs as Madonna’s special guests ?

According to Asia’s Channel V, Madonna wants The Corrs to be her Special Guest for her Ireland gig, which takes place in Slane Castle on August 27th. The only source at this moment is Channel V, but if something comes out of this, we’ll let you know!
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