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Shakira talks about Madonna

Interviewer: “What have you learned about success from Madonna and Michael Jackson?”
Shakira: “Both are marketing geniuses and strategists. If you want this kind of career and you have that kind of ambition, you have to be a very good planner and have a strategy.”
I: “Madonna or Michael?”
S: “Madonna. She’s in her 40s and she’s still making the top of the charts. I admire her because she always did whatever she felt like doing.”
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Madonna hires back expert for tour

Madonna has hired a chiropractor to help her straighten her posture following the nightly strenuous dance moves on her current Re-Invention tour.
The Vogue singer, 45, has splashed out $252,000 (GBP140,000) for the Los Angeles back expert to ensure her spine remains in perfect condition.
A source says, “Madonna’s back is causing her serious problems.
“After performances, the chiropractor will crack her bones and straighten her spine.”

Story of redemption is Madonna’s best work

Madonna is getting the hang of this kiddie-book thing.
“Yakov and the Seven Thieves” is the third installment of Madonna’s five-book series for Callaway Editions, and it’s the best, mostly because there is nothing Material Girlish about it. (Her first book, the rather boring “The English Roses,” focused on a catty group of girls illustrated in a very fashion-forward manner.)
The fairy-tale artwork here, by Russian painter Gennady Spirin, brings authenticity to the story about a sick boy, desperate dad and wise old man in an eastern European village in the 18th century.
Madonna, who cites the influence of cabala, or Jewish mysticism, in all her books, says “Yakov” was inspired by the Baal Shem Tov, a Ukrainian teacher.
“It’s a story about how all of us have the ability to unlock the gates of heaven – no matter how unworthy we think we are. For when we go against our selfish natures, we make miracles happen, in our lives and in the lives of others,” Madonna writes on the cover jacket.
That’s an exaggeration of how important and symbolic this book really is, but the story moves along nicely and gets its message about redemption across without being too preachy. It’s also appropriately written for its target audience of 6-year-olds.
Yakov is the father of Mikhail, who is literally on his death bed. With few options left, Yakov goes to visit the mysterious old man who lives on the outskirts of the village and is rumored to perform miracles. Unfortunately, the old man’s first attempt to help the boy fails. He has an idea, though, to ask all the town’s thieves, pickpockets and criminals to put their rather usual talents toward a good cause.
Of course, being a children’s picture book, there is a happy ending with a healthy Mikhail and reformed rascals.
And it’s worth noting that the only female scoundrel, Petra the Pickpocket, bears a striking resemblance to Madonna herself.

Madonna cancels Portugal concert following row with church

Pop superstar Madonna has cancelled what would have been her first-ever concert in Portugal after a row with an evangelical church, local media reported.
The superstar was scheduled to bring her “ReInvention” concert tour to the 12,000-seat Atlantic Pavilion in Lisbon on September 12, according to concert promoters Tournee who booked the space in April for September 9-13.
But after the concert had been announced, the Lisbon-based Mana Christian Church said it had already booked the grounds for September 8-11 to hold a “Convention of Faith.”
The church said it had reserved the grounds in February and it has refused to change the booking despite pleas from fans and an offer of a 25,000 euro (30,000 dollar) donation from Tournee.
Jorge Tadeu, a self-proclaimed apostle and founder of the church, told daily tabloid Correio da Manha last month he was “revolted” by those who “want to exchange Jesus for Madonna”.
“In our understanding God is moving the Christian church to defeat Goliath,” he added.
“We feel the pressure from Madonna is not restricted to the Mana church, but is part of a wider battle between the devil and Christ.”
The Mana Church said in a statement issued Friday to national news agency Lusa that it had been informed by the singer’s legal representative in Europe, John Giddings, that the concert would no longer take place.
Madonna kicked off her latest world tour, her first in three years, in May in Los Angeles.
Her return to the concert stage has received mixed reviews, with some suggesting the 45-year-old mother of two had erred by swapping her trademark sexuality for a new-found spirituality.
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Yakov and the seven Thieves EMedia Review

A small, sick boy lies in bed waiting for death. “He is leaving this world … I can see it in his eyes,” says the mother. But Yakov, the father, has not given up. A visit to the wise old man who lives in the last house at the edge of the village (“a very small village tucked away between two mountains”), brings him hope. What happens? You’ll just have to read the book.
In this book, the third instalment of a five-part series, Madonna weaves a tale of miracles set in old-fashioned times. Inspired by “a great teacher who lived in the Ukraine in the 18th century”, this book carries more moral lessons and values, an already familiar facet from the singer’s first two books.
Written in the style of traditional fables, it is, at times, a little in-your-face preachy. This worked while we were still reading Aesop’s Fables, but it can be a little hard to swallow now that we are all “grown-up”: “The thieves represent the things in us that are bad or wrong or selfish ” the parts we need to change to be happy. When we want to make miracles happen, we have to recognise and acknowledge our bad traits.” Then again, it is useful for children who will probably be more open to the good lessons as told by a superstar rather than a Greek slave (Aesop was said to be a slave who gained freedom by his wit ” though some say his history appears to be just a legend).
One thing that can be said of all Madonna’s books are that the illustrations are beautiful. With the first book, The English Roses, the touch was modern. The second, Mr Peabody’s Apples, has an American feel. With Yakov, Russian painter Gennady Spirin gives your imagination enough fodder to recreate old Eastern Europe. The details evoke a sense of nostalgia, and you might find yourself picking it up just to drool over the pictures. Go ahead. You won’t be disappointed.
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Madonna to expose the shady side of the fashion world !

Madonna, has decided to expose the shady wing of the fashion world by buying the film rights to the book Model: The Ugly Business Of Beautiful Women, which she will produce under her own production company.
“The screenplay has been written by David Brendel and the film is tentatively being given a release date of next year (05). At the moment Madonna is looking around for beautiful women who can play some of the world’s most famous supermodels, while she is obviously hoping as many of them as possible can be prevailed upon to appear in cameo roles.” Rate the music quoted a source as saying.
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Madonna Skin Care - MDNA Skin

Madonna – powerfull actress

Commanding a fee of around $20 million per film, actress Julia Roberts is the most powerful actress in Hollywood. She is also the third most powerful in the US entertainment industry, according to the trade paper The Hollywood Reporter. The actress won an Oscar for her performance in “Erin Brokovich” a decade after she was first nominated for her title role in “Pretty Woman”. Her box office status rivals those of male stars like Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks and she derives her power from the “ability to get projects made”, said the paper. The list was topped by Universal Pictures chief Stacey Snider, followed by Sherry Lansing, head of Paramount Pictures.
The only other performer on the list was Madonna.
The list of Hollywood’s five most powerful women:
1. Stacey Snider: chairman, Universal Pictures
2. Sherry Lansing: chairman, chief executive of Paramount Pictures motion picture group
3. Julia Roberts: actress, head of Shoelace Productions
4. Gail Berman: president of entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company
5. Nancy Tellem: president, CBS Entertainment
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Madonna performs on blessed stage

Madonna reportedly refuses to perform until her concert stages have been blessed by Kabbalah leader Rabbi Philip Berg.
According to American gossip website The Scoop, the singer – an avid follower of the mystic branch of Judaism – is taking the Los Angeles-based Rabbi everywhere she travels on her current Reinvention Tour. A source tells The Scoop: “He goes out there and chants and does his routine. He blessed Madison Square Garden. He blesses them all.” The source also claims Madonna gets special treatment when worshipping at LA’s Kabbalah Centre, and sits behind a giant screen so other followers can’t see her: “The men and the women sit separately, following Orthodox tradition. But Madonna sits in front, behind a screen so that people can’t look at her. The place where she sits happens to be on the men’s side.”
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Explosion Rocks Madonna in New York

Pop superstar Madonna and her family were left stunned after a taxi exploded outside their New York home over the weekend. The yellow cab burst into flames and the petrol tank blew up as it pulled up outside the singer’s Upper West Side property.
Madonna, who is staying in the apartment while she performs her Reinvention Tour, was nowhere to be seen, but her husband, director Guy Ritchie, was spotted watching the action from a balcony with three-year old son Rocco and stepdaughter Lourdes. Manhattan firefighters managed to put out the fire before it spread, and no one was hurt. An onlooker says, “There was obviously something wrong with the taxi when it pulled up outside Madonna’s house. “Then smoke started pouring out of it and you could see flames coming from underneath it. A few minutes later there was a loud bang and the whole thing went on fire. It was very scary.”
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Re-Invention Tour Boston Concert Review

Even before the mohawked skateboarder began riding the half-pipe during “Hollywood,” interest in the thin red string circling Madonna’s left wrist had vanished. As well it should have. With a two-hour show this gorgeous and this artful, Madonna hardly needed to rely on a spiritual stunt to generate the sort of excitement that, 20 years into her iconic pop career, she’s still capable of conceiving brilliantly and executing it masterfully.
That said, she takes pleasure in keeping us guessing. Or maybe she’s just an equal-opportunity disciple, happy to give props to Hebrew script and Jesus on the cross, which were both featured prominently on video screens.
More to the point — this is a concert, not a celebrity inquest — in the era of over-the-top arena spectacles, Madonna has taken the concept to a new level. Without a unifying thread and in defiance of every aesthetic law known to man, she wove elements of burlesque, extreme sports, rock concerts, Cirque du Soleil, military drills, art installations, dance theater, yoga, and antiwar rallies into a whole. And seamlessness was merely the icing.
The “Re-Invention” tour, which sounded so desperately self-referential on paper, turns out to be impossibly accurate. Madonna manages to reinvent her reinventions. She gilded “Vogue” with a French court twist, delivered an irony-free “Material Girl,” deepened “Into the Groove’ with bagpipes and kilts, and redefined “Express Yourself” as a drummer boy’s march into battle. The latter tune featured the fatigues and rifles from the proceeding number “American Life,” but the jarring image neatly summed up what Madonna’s career has been about: Mindful confrontation, artful provocation, and the use of every part of her body and mind to spark her own little culture wars.
She’s never sounded better. The treated chirp of her early years, which morphed into the dreadful earnestness of the “Evita” era, has matured into a strong, clear singing voice. A few years ago the idea of Madonna standing alone at a microphone singing “Frozen” would have been a dubious one. Last night she commanded her spectacle and her music with equal clarity.
Describing the breath of the pageantry during “American Life,” her most blatant political statements, images of firestorms, screaming helicopters, and wounded children flashed on video screens while dancers dressed in religious frocks (this being a Madonna show, the habits and burkas were minis) traversed a massive V-shaped catwalk above the audience. Sure it was preachy. Timely, too.
She’s traded in her bullet bra for spangled hot pants, disco beats for finger popping, and transformed “Hanky Panky” and “Deeper and Deeper” into noir numbers. Likewise, the abstract ballroom choreography of “Die Another Day’ was an elegant antidote to the rote gyrations favored by the next generation of pop stars.
A blipping, bloated take on John Lennon’s “Imagine” was the evening’s one misstep. But her heart was in the right place. And for the first time in a long time, so were all the artistic pieces.
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Basinger beats out Madonna for ‘Door’ role

Two words Madonna never heard from director Tod Williams: You’re hired!
The man behind the camera for the upcoming film “The Door in the Floor” met with Madonna and “just about every other actress in the world over 40,” he says, for the coveted role of an older woman who seduces her teenage summer helper.
“Madonna really wanted to do the part,” Williams said. “I wasn’t really even considering her, but I called her in because I just wanted to meet Madonna.”
So how was it?
“It was a strange meeting,” he says. “She asked me about techniques, how all the shots would happen in the movie.”
Williams met withother A-listers, each of whom had their own problems with a role that includes seducing a teen, lots and lots of nudity and passionate lovemaking scenes. “I very seriously considered Kristin Scott Thomas,” says Williams. “But she wouldn’t even stand on the beach in a bathing suit in this film, let alone get naked.”
He thought about Frances McDormand. “She really knows what the heck she’s doing, but I wasn’t sure about casting her. The part calls for someone who is stunningly beautiful.” What about Susan Sarandon? “”She’s just so sexual to me,” Williams says. “She owns her sexuality. She’s connected to herself in that way. This character — a mother grieving the loss of her child who has this affair — isn’t so sure of herself.”
Sigourney Weaver was dubbed “interesting” by Williams. So was a Chicago legend. “Joan Allen is a great, great actress,” Williams says. “But she didn’t seem right.” He liked Michelle Pfeiffer and Robin Wright Penn. “Both loved the script, but they were uncomfortable with the idea of sleeping with a young man.”
Not so for Kim Basinger, who eventually got the coveted role and now is enjoying early Oscar buzz. “She was fearless during the nude scenes,” says Williams. “Yes, she was scared of the darkness of this role, but because it scared her, she did it.”
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