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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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Madonna Tops the Book Charts for the Third Time!

Callaway Arts & Entertainment is pleased to announce that Madonna’s third children’s book, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, will debut at No. 7 on The New York Times’ July 11, 2004 best-seller list three weeks after its June 21 release. Yakov and the Seven Thieves will be Madonna’s third book in a row to hit The New York Times best-seller list in the children’s picture book category.
Madonna’s first two children’s books, The English Roses and Mr. Peabody’s Apples, both debuted at No. 1 on the best-seller list of The New York Times, and remained on the list for 18 and 10 weeks, respectively. Both books have appeared in 38 languages, plus a Braille edition, and in more than 110 countries worldwide, including England, France, Germany, China, Slovenia, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.
Yakov and the Seven Thieves, written for readers aged six and up, is a 32- page jacketed hardcover. The book’s evocative images were painted by Gennady Spirin, an award-winning artist, who has illustrated 33 previous
Madonna says Yakov and the Seven Thieves “is 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.”
Callaway Arts & Entertainment, headquartered in New York, is the originating publisher of Madonna’s children’s books and has licensed book rights through The Wylie Agency to 42 distinguished houses, including Gallimard Jeunesse in France, Penguin Books for Young Readers in the U.K., and Hanser Verlag in Germany. The book is distributed in the United States by the Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Publisher and CEO of Callaway Arts & Entertainment, Nicholas Callaway says, “The response to Madonna’s books has been overwhelming. She strikes a chord with both parents and children, creating stories that both speak to them and entertain them.”
Callaway Arts & Entertainment, founded in 1980 by Nicholas Callaway, is best known for its hugely successful Miss Spider book series. The firm specializes in family entertainment across all media — book publishing, 3-D computer animation for film and television, and product design.
Yakov and the Seven Thieves is the third of five children’s books by Madonna. “Each book deals with issues that all children confront,” she says. “Hopefully there is a lesson in each book that will help kids turn painful or scary situations into learning experiences. I hope [they] inspire kids of all ages — even grown-up ones.”
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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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Jennifer Lopez Named Top Diva

Singer Jennifer Lopez’s quest to abolish her diva tag has been dealt a massive blow – she’s topped a poll to find “the stroppiest madam of pop.”
The sexy Jenny From The Block star landed the number one spot in a survey by British satellite channel Flaunt, beating out other demanding singers Mariah Carey and Madonna.
Pop babe Christina Aguilera and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham completed the top five.
A spokesman for satellite broadcasters Sky says, “The viewers perceive that Jennifer makes the most outrageous demands – having the walls of her dressing room painted a certain colour before she can enter, for example, or having her own personal chef.”
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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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Cover of The Adventures of Abdi

Cover of The Adventures of Abdi

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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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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