25 years ! Madonna saves the world.
Madonna: A true blue rock star
She might play pop, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be in the Rock Hall
Madonna may not be a “hopeful” anymore, but with her March 10 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inching closer, people are again arguing about what kind of music she makes. In a recent msnbc.com commentary, Michael Ventre claimed Madonna’s music wasn’t rock and her induction would “undermine the credibility” of the Rock Hall. But that’s not a feeling shared by all rock fans. Madonna might not be your standard rock performer, but she’s rock-oriented enough to justify getting inducted (we’ll get to the topic of the Hall’s “credibility” later).
Contrary to Ventre’s assertions, Madonna’s early career trajectory did, in fact, follow that of rock bands like the Beatles. She started out playing New York clubs in 1979 as the drummer for the rock band Breakfast Club, before moving to lead vocals. In 1980 and 1981, she fronted the dance rock band Emmy. You don’t play rock for three years without it having some influence.
After Madonna signed with Sire Records, she continued working with Breakfast Club keyboardist Pat Leonard and Emmy drummer Stephen Bray to write some of her biggest hits, including “Into the Groove,” “Express Yourself,” “Cherish” and “Like a Prayer.” None are rock per se, but all use rock as a jumping off point. Audible evidence of Madonna’s rock roots can be found on the collection of early demos “Pre-Madonna.”
Madonna’s vocals are the key to her rock roots. Pop vocalists usually sing songs “straight,” but Madonna employs subtext, irony, aggression and all sorts of vocal idiosyncrasies in the ways John Lennon and Bob Dylan did. The ambiguity she brought to songs like “Like a Virgin” and “Holiday” never lets you know whether they were supposed to be happy, sad, satirical or all of the above. Even Madonna’s early “Minnie Mouse singing” style can be traced back to rock: the Beatles made use of similar sped-up vocals starting in 1966.
When Madonna hit the big time, her shock-your-mama presentation incited outrage like it was Elvis’ hip shakin’ heyday all over again. This caused Baby Boomers to dismiss her music as lightweight in much the same way the generation before them dismissed early rock and rollers. But in retrospect, there’s little that’s lightweight in the social commentary of “Material Girl” or “Like a Virgin,” or in the personal issues Madonna tackles in “Live to Tell,” “Keep it Together” and countless other tunes.
A corporate affair
Now let’s look at the Rock Hall. And let’s admit that it’s largely a high-level corporate soiree for record industry business people and their top-earning employees and associates.
To find out why this is, look to the Hall’s governing “foundation” (a word, by the way, that should never be used in conjunction with the phrase “rock and roll”). In 2001, Fox News’ Roger Friedman reported on how foundation director Suzan Evans was looking to get big names inducted so the Hall could sell tickets to the dinner. That explains why Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Paul McCartney have been inducted multiple times as band members and solo acts.
As Ventre correctly noted, the Rock Hall has also gone from inducting rock pioneers (Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly) to celebrating major label acts that have sold lots of product. Michael Jackson is a member. So are Billy Joel, James Taylor and the Bee Gees. Yet influential rockers like Iggy Pop, Wanda Jackson and Joan Jett are left out in the cold. Hardcore punk and progressive rock are unrepresented.
This is because the induction process is influenced by Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner, who helped conceive the Rock Hall. Last year there were accusations of Wenner engaging in vote fixing in order to ensure rappers Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five an induction.
So any questions of Madonna’s ruining the Rock Hall’s “credibility” are beside the point. What credibility is there, really? Critic Joel Selvin has pointed out that selections are also based on the personal tastes of a bunch of East Coast industry types. More and more, these people have given us a Rock Hall filled with critically correct “artists,” who thrill Baby Boomers but bore everyone else. Just in case anyone was wondering why Black Flag hasn’t been inducted yet, there’s your answer.
Considering all of this, Madonna’s induction is refreshing. Unlike some of the above names, her induction (and exhibit) should bring a sense of excitement to the Rock Hall. Will she say something crazy in her speech? Wonder what her performance will be like?
It’s this spirit that rock and rollers — not pop stars — brought to mainstream culture back in the day. Madonna’ persona has been called calculated, but if you do a little research, you’ll find there was also calculation in the way the Rolling Stones and countless other “scandalous” bands were presented to the public. The difference is there was less behind-the-scenes media documentation of celebrities back then.
Having the nerve to title an album “Like a Virgin” in the conservative early 1980s is the type of thing rockers do, not pop artists. A lot of Madonna’s career moves seem, in retrospect, logical or inevitable, but at the time they were anything but. By mapping out her work on her own terms (another rocker characteristic) Madonna often risked commercial and artistic disaster. That’s likely a big reason Madonna has served as a touchstone for so many performers that followed her and it has gotten her songs covered by artists from John Wesley Harding to Sonic Youth to Tori Amos.
It’s ironic that Madonna’s Rock Hall induction stands a better chance of causing a commotion than would appearances by any numbers of bona fide rockers. But then, that’s the sort of thing that made the one-time “disco/pop/rock crossover” a definitive rock star.
Tony Sclafani is an East Coast entertainment writer and music critic.
© 2008 MSNBC Interactive
MADONNA WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE IN DAZED & CONFUSED
"I have moments where I feel incredibly invincible and know that I have the audience in my hand… and then I have panic attacks, where I feel like everyone is breathing my air, and I might just die on stage" – Madonna
In the April issue of the magazine, out March 13th, undisputed heavyweight champ of reinvention Madonna talks exclusively to Dazed & Confused's Jefferson Hack about her latest incarnation.
In her first interview about her new album Hard Candy, worked on with Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, and Timbaland, Madonna discusses her many different, and occasionally contradictory, roles – as performer and provocateur, mother and artist, style icon and campaigner. Photographed by long-time collaborator Steven Klein, the queen of pop looks as uncompromising, tough and sexy as ever.
This unique tribute issue also features 70 pages of Madonna-inspired fashion and art, including contributions from Katy England and Alasdair McLellan, Emile Larsson, Nicola Formichetti and Benjamin Alexander Huseby, plus new works from artists such as Matthew Stone, Alex Rose, and Daniel Sannwald.
Keep watching Dazed Digital over the next fortnight for exclusive Madonna previews and extras from the interview and shoot.
LOS ANGELES — Madonna says she is not done with filmmaking after the first movie she directed, Filth and Wisdom, had its debut at the Berlin Film Festival last month.
"I would like to direct more films and write them and you know I've only done one, so to me that's the beginning of that career," Madonna told Sun Media yesterday.
As for her 11-year-old daughter, Lourdes, it turns out she wants to be in front of the camera and Madonna, whose own acting career has never matched her success in music, doesn't have a problem with it.
"She says she wants to be an actress, I don't mind," she said.
As for the plight of the current crop of Hollywood twentysomethings — Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, etc. — Madonna said she has sympathy for them.
"Yes, I do feel for them but I think we're all responsible for it as well," she said. "We buy the magazines. We are hungrily devouring all the information.
"So we all have to take responsibility for it and I think it's all tragic and I feel for the girls but you can't think it's their fault, you can't think it's the paparazzi's fault. Everybody's responsible for it and because of the Internet there's a lot of competition now with magazines — and you just have to do the math. Now people have to do more and more and more to get attention, to sell their product, to sell their magazines so now they have no limits, no boundaries. It's a kind of madness."
She said she's not still in touch with Spears, with whom she collaborated on a song previously, but thinks Spears can come back from her current downward spiral.
"I think anything is possible," said Madonna.
And as for who she's supporting for the Democratic presidential nomination in the U.S., Madonna wouldn't say, other than, "I'm just very happy that it's a woman and an African-American."
LOS ANGELES — Madonna says she has "come around" to the idea of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a March 10 ceremony in New York City.
Initially, the 49-year-old Material Girl was hesitant about the tribute that will see her career honoured alongside fellow 2008 inductees such as Canadian Leonard Cohen.
"I heard about it and I kind of felt ambivalent, like, 'What is that, the place they put musical dinosaurs?' " Madonna told reporters from around the globe yesterday, including Sun Media in a Canadian print exclusive. She has just started promoting her new hip-hop and R&B-drenched dance album, Hard Candy, due in stores April 29.
"I didn't really know what to think of it," she said, "but then lots of people explained to me that it's an acknowledgement of singers and songwriters who have made a contribution in the world of music for 25 years, and so eventually I came around to the idea that it was flattering."
And she's pleased that she will be inducted by one of her Hard Candy collaborators, Justin Timberlake, who co-wrote many of the songs and sings on the new album, including the Timbaland-produced first single, Four Minutes. Timberlake also appears in the video alongside her as two superheroes trying to save the world.
"It was Justin who offered and kind of surprised me, when we were shooting the video — he said he wanted to be the person to induct me, so to speak, so I said, 'Okay,' " said Madonna, who added how the rest of the induction evening will unfold is up in the air.
"It's supposed to be a surprise for me — somebody sings one of my songs," she said before adding, "Yikes! No, I'm just kidding. I don't know."
The Material Girl — dressed in a snug-fitting, low-cut black top, black pants and large yellow hoop earrings and yellow high heels — entered a small conference room at a Beverly Hills hotel late yesterday afternoon and uttered a quiet "hi" before being seated. And for the next 35 minutes, she proved to be a challenging, if funny and thoughtful, interview subject.
For example, if she didn't like a question — such as the one about how her views on life and music had changed in her 20s, 30s, 40s — she'd take a pass.
"That's like a gigantic question — I'm not answering that question, be more specific," Madonna said, before getting the journalist to narrow it down to music. "We'll be here for six hours if you want to know how my views on life have changed over the past 30 years."
One popular topic was of her turning 50 on Aug. 16, which seemed to be a much bigger deal for reporters than Madonna herself.
"It's not a bad word, you can say it," she said when one reporter whispered "5-0."
And when the same reporter asked her about reaching "a landmark for a lady," she made the journalist clarify that to it's "a landmark for everybody."
She said she doesn't see turning 50 as a milestone.
"No, but everybody else keeps mentioning it," she said. "I see it as another excuse to have a birthday party."
In fact, Madonna said physically, "I feel stronger now than, maybe, 20 years ago — but I think your physicality is connected to your consciousness so if your mind is strong, your body will be strong."
She also bristled when asked how much longer she wants to make music.
"I haven't the slightest idea, everyone wants to know the numbers," Madonna said.
Speaking of which, Hard Candy will be her final studio record with Warner after a 26-year relationship. But she says it's neither scary nor liberating to leave.
Her new, reported $120-million deal with Live Nation includes albums, touring and merchandising.
"It's just the end of my contract and the record industry is changing. And so the way that I make music and the way that I get it out to the people and the way that we market it and release it will also have to change," she said. "I'm excited about my new deal because it's more of a partnership, and after 25 years I feel like I deserve to be a partner."
Where Madonna Does it Better
I had a VERY late
night last night � a combination of the Madonna interview and the fact
that I stayed up calling pretty much everyone in my phone to tell them
about how excited I was after the interview meant that I got very
little sleep (it was worth it though...at the time)!
Madonna interview went great � she was in a fantastic mood and we
literally could have spoken for days. I found Madonna to be very
grounded and despite being on top of the entertainment world she told
me about dealing with everyday issues. I guess that you can sometimes
forget that no matter how important someone is they�re ultimately still
human beings. After I left I was in a bizarre mood � a mix of a lack of
sleep, adrenalin and nerves. My producer Brenden kept reminding me that
Madonna�s people said that it was the best interview of the day
(whether it�s true or not it helped me feel better!)
SOURCE: MIX 106.5 RADIO
Dispatch from Supervising Producer Sean Lee:
Note to Madonna’s A&R/Marketing folks: if you want to get a real
opinion on Madge’s new music, don’t ask the MTV News execs graciously
nodding their heads in your closed-door, super-secretive listening
session. Ask us young, hardcore music geeks who are all gathered
outside the big exec’s two-inch thick door, eavesdropping. Then you
won’t have the cool kids, tastemakers and early adopters giving your
baby less than its full due in blogs like this because it sounded all
Not that label reps of A-listers like Madonna really care about
MTV’s opinion, per se…it’s sort of like big liquor distributors
dropping off Hennessey at your local bar (oops did I just give my race
away?). They aren’t asking if it will sell, they’re telling you where
to position it for optimal lighting. And not that we can really give
TOO much of an opinion anyway, because of the larger corporate issues
still inherent in the “MTV” part of “MTV News.” Unless of course we’re
talking about the Hottest MC’s in hip-hop…and thank goodness Madonna’s
not attempting to rap these days because then I would truly be licensed
to spank her still-amazingly well toned behind. Which she would
probably like…but I digress. Or do I?
Album thoughts after the jump…
I am pleased to report that, as best as I could tell through a
relatively thick door, Madonna still sounds like she enjoys an
occasional spanking, working some attitude over hard bangers from
Timbaland and Skateboard P. Again, it was hard for my co-workers and I
to really get a feel for the music, not only because we were
eavesdropping through a damn door but because every time a track would
stop and we could really discuss it, someone in the office would move
and we’d all scramble back to our work stations like roaches when the
kitchen light comes on (more a memory from my formative years than a
current reference…thank you, Tila Tequila!).
I will say that, overall, the comments we did share were mixed: one
person pointed out that the Timbo track was a bit dated by his
standards and would’ve been great for Nelly Furtado two years ago. Not
mention that it sounded a bit more like Justin featuring Madonna, not
vice versa. A hook from another song sounded dangerously close to
something recent from Britney, and someone else called out a dead-on
Gwen Stefani reference in a third, acoustic guitar-driven number. Now
this could all be good based on the way the copycat music industry
works these days but, this being Madonna, I’m not so sure. But
just like when you’re listening through your parents door and it sounds
like they might be fighting, don’t take all of this too much to
heart…they could just be sharing a bottle of Merlot and playing rough.
Plus, on a larger level who cares about what was actually said about
Madonna’s new music; the most important thing to note from this rude
bit of office non-etiquette was the scene: you had the musical
theater/American Idol kids, the emo hipster kids, the hip-hop kids, the
Choose or Lose political kids, black and white, men and women, all
huddled around shirking their actual job duties to share a common
cultural moment (remember those?). And therein lies the real power of
Filed Under: Sneak Peek
Forget Elle and Vanity Fair!
The winner is Dazed & Confused.
The British magazine is the first publication to get her Madgesty on a new cover.
The Queen of Pop is set to attack us with a media onslaught to promote her upcoming album, Hard Candy, out April 29th.
For Dazed & Confused, M. teamed up with longtime collaborator Steven Klein.
And, judging just by the cover shot, the results are exquisite!
Madonna at 50 Candy Tour
Book securely online
and the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams on her upcoming album, 'Hard
Candy,' due April 29.
singer's follow-up to 2005's disco smash 'Confessions on a Dancefloor'
brings her back to the clubs, but this time with a hip-hop/R&B
vibe. The expected first single, 'Four Minutes,' features vocals from
Justin Timberlake, who will induct Madonna into the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame on March 10. Madge once again delves into rapping (see the
awkward "latte" and "Pilates" rhymes on 'American Life'), but this time
out the singer rhymes about "reinvention" over a tough, bass-heavy
track, courtesy of Timbaland and Nate "Danja" Hills.
adds some flavor to the diva's new project on the track 'Give It to
Me,' which features a signature Neptunes spacecraft breakdown
mid-track. The singer mellows out on the acoustic-tinged ballad 'Miles
Away.' As the title suggests, the pop star sings about long-distance
love and cries, "When I'm gone, you realize I'm the best thing that's
happened to you."
While there are no official tour plans, fans
can expect the superstar to unveil new material at intimate venues in
Paris, London and New York.
Give it 2 Me
She's Not Me
Beat Goes On
Here's what Sonia had to say about the album:
"I quite enjoyed the new album – lots of songs that are relationship-based and there's this one particular track which is a classic dance track. The first single "4 Minutes" has a great marching band feel to it – loved it! All the tracks have fantastic energy and there's not a single track on the album that's not a winner – brilliant stuff. The single will be released in late March and the album hits stores on the 29th of April."
thanks to drowneddmadonna
Where Madonna Does it Better
Induction Year: 2008
Induction Category: Performer
December 3, 2005: Confessions on a Dance Floor, by Madonna, is released. It is the artist's tenth album of new material and sixth to reach #1.March 10, 2008: Madonna is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 23rd annual induction dinner. tk is her presenter.
Where Madonna Does it Better
I HAD TO SHARE MY HAPPINESS WITH YOU GUYS, I FINALLY GOT A PERSONALIZED AUTOGRAPH FROM MADONNA! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! CAN YOU TELL I'M EXCITED? SPECIAL THANKS TO VENNY AND THE POWERS THAT BE, ITS REALLY A GREAT DAY , THANK YOU MADONNA FOR BEING THE BEST.- JEANNIE
JT will induct Madonna into hall of fame
2 hours, 9 minutes ago
The "Sexyback" singer has been working with the Material Mom on her upcoming album, expected to be released this year.
Madonna will be among those honored March 10 at the Waldorf-Astoria
Hotel in Manhattan. Other inductees include Leonard Cohen, John
Mellencamp, The Dave Clark Five, The Ventures and Little Walter.
Tom Hanks will induct The Dave Clark Five, the '60s British pop band
behind the hit "Glad All Over." Billy Joel will pay tribute to
Mellencamp, and Lou Reed will honor Cohen.
Ben Harper will
induct Little Walter, who produced 14 Top 10 hits on the R&B charts
before his death in 1968 at 37. John Fogerty will induct The Ventures,
whose hits include "Walk Don't Run" and "Hawaii Five-O."
Singer-songwriter Jerry Butler will induct Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff,
founders of the Philadelphia International record label that
collaborated with R&B artists such as Butler, The O'Jays, Patti
LaBelle and Lou Rawls.
On the Net:
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
Special thanks to KATIE WAGNER for sending this in to madonnasworld.
SOURCE: ACCESS HOLLYWOOD
Where Madonna Does it Better
Madonna Shows Up For Jury Duty
Beverly Hills Court Officials Deny Reports Her Mere Presence Caused A Ruckus
(CBS) Only hours after hosting an Oscars party, Madonna appeared for jury duty.
As Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman
reports, The Material Girl reported to court to fulfill her civic duty
-- in a sweatshirt and sunglasses.
The mega-pop star was among some 60 potential jurors called for a simple driving-under-the-influence case.
Lawyers had mixed feelings about the prospect of Madonna on a jury.
"Sometimes," says attorney Richard Falk, "a very famous actor or
actress or celebrity, I would imagine, would cause a distraction to the
"I would think," says legal eagle Bill Reich, "she would be a fine juror."
She wasn't picked for the panel.
Madonna spent the day sequestered, busy on her blackberry -- and
she changed during the lunch break into a sleek black pant suit.
Sources close to the singer tell The Early Show that
the jury room was infiltrated by paparazzi and became a circus. They
say a defense lawyer complained that she was a distraction, leading to
her dismissal. They also claim a court officer accused Madonna of
disturbing the peace -- just by being present.
However, court officials say there weren't any problems, and it was just business as usual.
We are, Kauffman pointed out, entitled to a jury of our peers, and you'd hardly think Madonna is a peer.
But, it was the Beverly Hills courthouse, where celebrities
sometimes go on trial, and where other celebs have been called to serve
-- celebs such as Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, and even Calif. Gov.
"Remember," says CBS News legal analyst Trent Copeland,
"we're in Beverly Hills, California, a place that's highly-populated by
celebrities. So, it's not unusual to have a celebrity called into court
as either a defendant or to sit on a jury pool."
Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg tells CBS News, "She was happy to serve her civic duty, even though she didn't get onto a case."
Apparently, Kauffman notes, Madonna, whose many hits include
"Express Yourself," knows jury duty is as American as -- the freedom of
from cbs news
Madonna has not been picked for a jury and has been officially dismissed from jury duty.
She exited through the judge's elevator, escorted by four uniformed deputies and one woman in plain clothes.
There was only one jury panel picked this morning -- and she wasn't on it. Madge, like the rest of the potential jurors, is free to go.
Where Madonna Does it Better
Madonna's hotly-anticipated new album has a title - and it's official.
The new disc will be called Hard Candy. And there is also now an official release date as well!
record will drop April 29th and the lead single, 4 Minutes To Save The
World featuring Justin Timberlake, will be out at the end of March.
Hard Candy features a track called Candy Store (produced by Pharell).
chose to stick with the sweet theme because "she loves candy," her
longtime rep Liz Rosenberg tells Entertainment Weekly. "It's about the
juxtaposition of tough and sweetness, or as Madonna so eloquently
expressed 'I'm gonna kick your ass, but it's
going to make you feel good.'"
In addition to Timberlake and Pharell, the album features production by Timbaland and Nate "Danja" Hills.
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Where Madonna Does it Better
I'm talking about CAA superagent Bryan Lourde's pre-Oscar party at his L.A.-area manse.
I'm told all the star power, however, didn't exactly add up to fireworks. It was pretty subdued, according to a partygoer. "It felt like a business cocktail party with a bunch of suits just standing around," the partygoer said.
It was elbow-to-elbow inside Lourde's house, because it was a bit too chilly outside, I'm told, despite the placement of several outdoor heaters.
The attendees munched on a wide variety of appetizers and took advantage of a couple of bars set up throughout the locale. And just in case anyone feared having bad breath, Lourde had put out bowls of Tic Tacs and Altoids.
Where Madonna Does it Better
Guy Ritchie unhappy over Madonna's partying
Guy Ritchie (pic:getty)
Guy Ritchie has been in a strop all week because his missus is making the most of the pre-Oscars parties without him.
Madonna, who has only just came out of intense sessions in the recording studio with Justin Timberlake, was out voguing at Soho House in LA twice last week.
Guy, meanwhile, is putting the finishing touches to his movie RocknRolla and pals say he "wasn't best pleased that his missus decided to go partying alone".
Where Madonna Does it Better
Well, as you know tonight is Hollywoods biggest night of the year , and they just showed a video montage of the 'BEST of' from the Oscars over the 80 years of this Awards show. They showed a clip of Madonna performing (a la Marilyn) her Oscar winning song 'SOONER OR LATER'.
Where Madonna Does it Better
Madonna spent Friday and Saturday shooting the cover of an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair.
Her Madgesty teamed up with photographer Steven Meisel, whom shot her infamous Sex book in the '90s.
The new pics are said to be quite steamy.
Almost 50 and still sexy!
Where Madonna Does it Better
Madonna Hopes to Stay Healthy
The Material Girl is among a list of celebrities recently advised to get a hepatitis shot as soon as possible after it emerged that "a barman working at Ashton Kutcher's birthday party may have passed the liver disease onto them."
Madge, along with Demi Moore, Bruce Willis and Gwyneth Paltrow all helped the Punk'd hunk celebrate his 30th at New York's Socialista club on February 7th.
Since then, the New York City Health Department has warned them that an unnamed barman worked three nights at the venue when he was infectious with Hepatitis A - including Kutcher's festivities.Academy Awards
Enjoy the pictures of Madonna out for her workout on Friday (February 22).
Article Pictures (Click to enlarge):
Where Madonna Does it Better
U2, Madonna, Led Zeppelin in talks for World Peace gigs
Justin Timberlake, Aerosmith, ZZ Top also on the cards
Feb 22, 2008
World Peace One is in talks with many of the world's top acts to stage a series of international concerts to bring peace to the world.
The shows, which are scheduled to kick off May 17 could feature performances from U2, Madonna, Led Zeppelin and Justin Timberlake, among others.
The not-for-profit group is attempting to bring peace through a 10-year campaign via concerts, education and government initiatives, reports , ZZ Top, Lionel Richie, Celine Dion, INXS, Velvet Revolver, , and Timbaland, are among the acts in talks with the organisation, according to the group's founder Doug Ivanovich.
The concerts will kick off May 17 with shows in Beijing, Istanbul, Turkey, London, Johannesburg; and Miami, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Colombia and India, the report says.
Concert organisers at World Peace One include former executives from Woodstock and Live Earth and the group are currently building relationships with the world's top promoters to make the shows happen.
--By our New York staff.
Find out more about NME.
Where Madonna Does it Better
Iconers, the next issue of Icon Magazine will include a new "Express Yourself" column. It's now time for you to submit your messages to Madonna so we can include them in the new issue of the magazine. Wanna share your thoughts about our queen's forthcoming projects or just tell her how much you love her? E-mail us your message and full member info (including your full name and platinum membership username) at firstname.lastname@example.org before February 29. Don't forget to use "EXPRESS YOURSELF" as your e-mail's subject line. Thank you!
Where Madonna Does it Better
New options for Oscar goers
Talk about all dressed up with no place to go: Oscar night is going to see a surplus of guests and a dearth of hosts.
14-week writers strike took a toll, both emotional and economic, on
Hollywood, but some have used it as an excuse to make cuts -- in deals,
in holiday gifts and, apparently, in parties.
party scene was getting to be pretty predictable, and this is the year
that longtime traditions are taking a sabbatical. The net result is
that with no Vanity Fair party and other cancelled events, and only
about half of those at the Academy Awards invited to the Governors
Ball, there will be quite the black-tie mob shuffling in their Jimmy Choo slingbacks seeking food and diversion.
years past, the Governors Ball was the first stop on a serious round of
party-hopping. But this year, there simply aren't many places to hop.
Beyond Vanity Fair's one-year hiatus, other party no-shows include People mag's fiesta; Dani Janssen's affair at her home, which has drawn the likes of Jack Nicholson and Clint Eastwood; and the latenight affair hosted by Rick Yorn and Patrick Whitesell.
For the second year, the Elton John
AIDS fund-raiser is a viewing dinner followed by a John performance
with no after-party (though about 75 nominees and execs have received
invites to attend the perf).
Whether this affair becomes an annual event hasn't been decided.
party, to be held in a home in the Westside hills, will begin around 9
p.m. A few hundred people are invited, although this number will
probably expand. One person who's seen the guest list said,
"Everybody's on it. It gives the A-list Vanity Fair crowd someplace to
go to. It will probably be pared down to where it's 85% talent, not a
lot of suits."
But even if this party skims off some of the
celebrity cream, the Governors Ball will still be the major draw. "It's
the biggest game in town," said one exec. "This is going to put the
glamour back into the ball."
In the past quarter century, the
Governors Ball sometimes hosted cameo appearances by stars who then
headed elsewhere: For a decade, Irving "Swifty" Lazar's affair was the
hot ticket, followed by Vanity Fair's event.
However, out of the
roughly 3,300 attending the Oscars, only 1,500 go to the ball. Plus the
Academy's after-party has returned to the sitdown format after last
year, when there was no assigned seating -- making it more difficult to
slip in a few more guests this time around.
Conventional wisdom among studio event planners is that the impromptu parties at the hotels are going to fill the gap.
Four Seasons, L'Ermitage, the Chateau Marmont -- these are the natural
locales," said one studio event planner. "The Oscar winners go to the
ball and maybe there's something later at their hotel. The losers go
planners and publicists are coy about these private parties. There's an
"I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you" aspect to the
"It's going to be a low-key, private year with a lot
of viewing parties," said one publicist. "But remember the context.
This isn't the most exciting Oscars in years. A lot of wind was taken
out of the sails by the strike, not to talk about the depressing movies
that are being honored."
One studio event planner pointed out
that since most of the nominees are pics from specialty labels, there
isn't as much demand for the kind of large party that would be de
rigueur for a major.
"If it's a major, you'd have all these
creative execs to worry about," said the planner. "Plus the nominated
films don't have huge casts. I think the demand is covered by the ball."
For those wanting to socialize on Oscar weekend, the solution may be to go out before Sunday.
Tonight is when the agents shine: CAA's Bryan Lourd
hosts a well-attended party at his home, and Endeavor has a cocktail
reception at a West Hollywood restaurant (this will be much smaller
than the party that topper Ari Emanuel has thrown at his home in years
Women in Film is having a reception at Peter Guber's
house for the female nominees. Warners and Fox Searchlight will be
having dinners for their respective contenders. AMPAS hosts a reception
for the foreign-language nominees at the Academy. BAFTA/LA has an
afternoon reception for U.K. nominees at the British consul general's
residence. And the Night Before the Night Before party is held.
daytime's big event is the Independent Spirit Awards, with the IFC
throwing an after-party at Shutters. The sound editors present their
Golden Reel awards downtown at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. The Intl. Documentary Assn. hosts its annual DocuDay screenings at the WGA. Both Miramax and Focus/Universal
will be having dinner parties for their nominees. And Academy governor
Charles Bernstein chairs the Society of Composers & Lyricists
annual reception at a member's BevHills home for the music nominees.
The major event on Oscar eve will be the Night Before party, co-sponsored by Variety, at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
SOURCE: Variety Magazine
Madonna Explains Why She Schnubbed the Chupi
"What a strange question!" Madonna laughed when we asked her about the Palazzo Chupi. So we laughed too, like "Ha-ha-ha-ha, we're not psycho." "How did you know that?" she asked. Er, we have our ways. Madge confirmed she had looked at the Chupi and decided not to move in. But not, it turned out, for fear of seeing a Schnaked Schnabel slipping into the swimming pool. "I love the house," she explained. "But it's not child-friendly, which is why I didn't end up moving there." Also, she was able to iron out the issues she was having with her co-op board at Harperly Hall. I bought the apartment upstairs, so now everything's A-OK," she said. She and Schnabel will continue to be friends. "I love [Julian]," she gushed. "He's awesome." We think so too! Maybe we can all be friends! Madge? —Lawrence Ferber
Where Madonna Does it Better
source: International Herald Tribune
Madonna has reportedly settled her lawsuit with a New York co-op board, which refused to allow her to buy her neighbor's apartment. "I bought the apartment upstairs, so now everything's A-OK," she told New York magazine.
For those who don't follow her exploits, the artistic force behind "Like a Virgin"—who, oddly, tends to slip into a British accent these days—is something of a property mogul. She and her husband, director Guy Ritchie, own several properties in London alone, in addition to property in Miami, New York and Los Angeles. In the industry, she is known as a savvy operator, who usually buys in top-end neighborhoods. Her deals have even been known to bump property values, according to this New York Times article.
In New York, a half-dozen blogs and columnists track the Material Girl's every real estate whim. It was big news when she (and Bono) decided not to buy in Julian Schnabel's much-discussed Palazzo Chupi.
Where Madonna Does it Better
A-List Celebs Need Hep A Shot After NY Birthday Bash
New York Health Officials Worried Bartender May Have Passed Infection
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Celebrities Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and Madonna are among hundreds of patrons of a New York bar being urged by New York health officials Thursday to get a Hepatitis A vaccination after a bartender was found to be infected.
The city health department issued a statement, warning anyone who visited Socialista in Manhattan's West Village on Feb. 7, 8 or 11 to get a vaccination.
Local media reports said Moore hosted a 30th birthday bash for her husband Kutcher at the venue on Feb. 7 after a star-studded dinner at Gemma restaurant.
Entertainment photo agency WireImage showed guests at the Socialista event, including Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ivanka Trump, Liv Tyler, Catherine Keener, Lucy Liu and Salma Hayek.
Other celebrities reported at Socialista were Javier Bardem, nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar, Eric Dane, Rebecca Gayheart and fashion designer Roberto Cavalli.
Socialista was not immediately available for comment, nor were representatives of Moore, Kutcher or Madonna.
"Any patron who visited the establishment after 8 p.m. on February 7th or 8th, or after 10 p.m. on February 11th (the times the infected person worked after becoming infectious), is considered to be at risk and needs a preventive shot," the health department said.
It said the bar owners were cooperating fully and estimated between 700 and 800 people had visited the bar on those nights, but added that no cases of illness had yet been identified.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus and is spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with traces of fecal matter from an infected person, the department said.
Symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
Where Madonna Does it Better
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Where Madonna Does it Better
Where Madonna Does it Better
A "classic" Madonna album...
Producer Nate 'Danja' Hills has been working on the next Madonna release. Danja has said to expect "a classic Madonna album".
Danja, who is co-producing some of the tracks with Timbaland, says that the album is "very up-tempo, upbeat and urban".
The first single, featuring Justin Timberlake, is called "4 Minutes To
Save The World". Madonna and Timberlake made a video for the single in
London last month. In it, Madonna plays a pimp who rescues the planet.
The album will be Madonna's 11th studio record. Word leaked late last year that the record would be called Licorice, but that has since been canned. It's due in April
A Low-Key Escape for the Singer on Manhattan’s Upper West Side
Interior Design by Christopher G. Ciccone
I wanted most was just to love my environment,” says Madonna of her
apartment in an unassuming brick building on Manhattan’s Upper West
Side. As conceived and executed by the creative hand of Christopher G.
Ciccone, her younger brother and most trusted confidant, the apartment
is a low-key yet glamorous sanctuary, a place that allows her, once
inside, a temporary escape.
Madonna entrusted her brother with the design of her Los Angeles
house (she gave him ten days to do it) and never thought of having
anyone else envision and execute the New York space. “Who could I have
more in common with than someone I grew up with?” Madonna says of her
choice of designer. “We like the same things, from music to what we
eat.” Although Ciccone has no formal art training, he designed the
stage sets for the Blonde Ambition tour, which was the setting for the
documentary Truth or Dare, and he is an artist in his own right. But he is wholly self-taught in the area of interior design.
Ciccone knew early on what he wanted to do. “I wanted to create a New York
apartment. In Los Angeles the living spaces are big, wide open. There
are loftlike attributes to them, and also the feeling of living in a
penthouse. In New York I wanted to make a space for her that was
elegant without being weak, peaceful without being boring. She prefers
New York to Los Angeles because when she’s here she can relax. There’s
a city here—you feel you are with people, living with the rest of the
world, not confined to an automobile. But it still had to be a place
she would feel safe in. Even though there’s a view of Central Park, you
don’t feel exposed to anything.”
The apartment, he explains, had originally been three separate
units. “Madonna and Sean [Penn] bought the first apartment—the living
room, dining room, a much smaller kitchen and two small bedrooms—maybe
five or six years ago,” he says. “A second one was purchased after
their divorce a couple of years ago, and a third—which constitutes the
back sitting room and bath—was acquired six months later when the place
had been gutted, which of course made it necessary to change the plans.”
Ciccone made virtually all the major design decisions, talking with
Madonna once a week, while architect Stephen Wang, a partner of the New
York firm Procter and Wang, carried them out. The style that emerged is
a classic early Art Déco look. Ciccone kept as many original details of
the 1915 building as possible, such as moldings and fireplaces, and
paid attention to all-new minutiae, including the doorknobs and the
color of screws. “I wanted to stay away from American Déco and late
Déco,” he says, “because I felt this style was easier to live with and
would age well.”
The main problem was to make the three apartments feel as though
they had always been one. Working with Stephen Wang, Ciccone got the
effects he wanted, especially in the hallway, a long barrel-vaulted
space that runs from the living and dining rooms down to Madonna’s
bedroom and dressing room at the end of the apartment. “A hallway is a
very important part of a New York apartment,” says Ciccone. “If you’ve
got one, it means you have lots of room. It’s something grand and
should be given a certain amount of elegance. A castle is not a castle
without a moat. A New York apartment should have a great hallway.”
There were problems installing the central air conditioning (which
Madonna never uses anyway because she prefers open windows) and the
lighting, but in this instance Ciccone decided it had to be his way.
Says Wang, “With his artistic background, Christopher has fewer
constraints than an architect.”
The spaces are breezily cozy rather than sweeping or grand, and the
colors subdued, even in the vestibule, where a Picasso-inspired rug is
complemented by a Süe et Mare chandelier and an 18th-century Irish oval
mirror. The living room, where Ciccone left the original molding, is a
comfortable amalgam of dark blues, deep purples and some mossy greens.
Madonna owns four paintings by Tamara de Lempicka, in which female
figures are refracted against deep-colored geometric patterns, and the
room reflects that angled elegance. The sofa was made from photos of
Coco Chanel’s studio; Mondrian inspired bookshelves, designed by
Ciccone when the first apartment was purchased, flank a fireplace; and
alabaster sconces cast a soft glow over a Steinway baby grand piano.
Madonna“s art collection, however, is the key to the apartment.
Vintage photographs, mostly of female nudes, including works by André
Kertész, look more like a series of abstract shapes than human figures.
A Salvador Dalí depicts a veiled red heart, somehow fitting for this
comfortable yet completely stylized environment. “I get strength from
my art—all the paintings I own are powerful,” says Madonna. “As an
artist myself, I know what it's like to put your heart and soul into
something. You can feel the presence of another person.”
Darlene Lutz, who for five years has advised Madonna on her art
collection (which includes two coveted Frida Kahlo paintings that hang
in California) and helped shop for many of her furnishings and objects
from Paris to Los Angeles, takes it one step further. “It’s no secret
that Madonna is an appropriator of images,” says Lutz. “Everything she
does tells a story. She takes the narrative out of the art and puts it
into her work. When she was collecting de Lempicka, for instance, you
could see those forms in the videos, as in the one for Express Yourself.
A recent series of portraits of her by Steven Meisel was much like the
photographic work by Brassaï." Lutz adds that Madonna’s collecting is a
learning process. “She’s not big on three-dimensional work, but
sometimes I still show it to her. We go constantly to exhibitions and
to see collections, and that gives me the opportunity to see how she is
looking at things, which changes all the time. I’ve never gone out with
a checklist of artwork from a certain period. That has never been my—or
Some of Christopher Ciccone’s designs were influenced by the
furniture of the lesser known Art Déco designer Eugène Printz. “I
consider him a grandfather of decorative arts,” he says. “He was doing
a familiar thing at the time, but always with a twist. His work was
never perfectly streamlined.” One of Printz’s signature design
motifs—accordion-folded doors (portes ciccordéon) on
cabinets—was adapted by Ciccione for the cabinet doors in the dining
room and the head- and footboards of Madonna’s bed. “I didn’t like him
in his purest form,” says Ciccone. “It was too much of one thing, which
I feel gets boring. It may be great to look at once, but to continue to
reenter a room over and over and not get tired of it… That’s why this
apartment is made the way it is.”
The kitchen is in direct contrast to the main living areas, a
combination of white tile and stainless steel. Although the majority of
the apartment was designed by Ciccone, he says the kitchen was the most
“collaborative effort.” One specific Madonna request: a breakfast nook
that was made to resemble a booth in a 1950s diner. Over this booth,
however, instead of a jukebox, is a 1927 photograph by Jacques-Henri
Lartigue of two women called The Rowe Twins. The space is
useful but small, made for intimate gatherings. “I don’t like rooms you
never use or that are wasted space,” says Madonna, “but I also like a
sparseness and a cleanness.” But, Ciccone adds, “Madonna doesn't cook
much. I think she has a couple of cookbooks, and now and then she makes
Rice Krispies treats, but I wanted to give her the option if she wanted
to,” he jokes.
The same intimacy is true of the dining room across the vestibule.
The highly burnished Art Déco table was one of the first pieces bought
by Penn and Madonna. The kitchen was even smaller then, so they ate
breakfast there, not wanting to eat standing over the stove.
Off the hallway is a guest bedroom, with a central square of
recessed lighting almost tracing the perimeter of the bed, and
Madonna’s office, where Ciccone devised Indian rosewood shelving and a
multifaceted desk that folds open and closed.
Taking center stage in Madonna’s bedroom is a king-size bed, with
Ciccone’s version of Printz’s accordion-folded head- and footboards, in
front of a series of tied-back draperies. “The bed is theatrical but
subdued, very appropriate to my client,” says Ciccone, laughing. “And
she wanted yellow in the room, but I didn’t exactly want to put lemon
on the walls. I wanted something that glowed in a serene way.” What he
found was a shade of yellowish beige that every piece of fabric and
every object in the room picks up on and reflects. He devised an oval
ceiling light fixture, also inspired by a Printz design, which lights
indirectly, softening the room’s edges. The six-sided dressing room
(“This is where she hides,” says Ciccone), which continues the same
colors and has the same oval ceiling lighting, features a small vanity
table flanked by two closets with built-in drawers because, as her
brother explains, “Madonna doesn’t like dressers standing around.”
One of the most striking rooms is the bath, where a series of
repeating pointed Moorish arches—an appropriated Casbah of sorts—echoes
the vaulted hallway. One arched doorway separates the front part of the
room where the tub is located from the marble-lined steam shower with a
marble seat (“I think everyone connected with the apartment has tried
the shower,” Ciccone says). The windows, which open with white tassel
pulls, are also arched; even the medicine cabinet is a double-doored
arch. And everything is covered in white Italian marble with a hint of
rose vein, except in the shower, where the vein is a deep gray.
For the shower, which has a marble frame, Stephen Wang had to figure
out how to “work out a door with a vaulted head and make the hardware
work too,” he points out. “A frameless shower door and a vault may look
simple, but they’re not easy to achieve.” Adds Christopher Ciccone,
“Stephen was great in letting my creativity take precedence. I would
submit poor drawings, which would be corrected. I learned a lot from
watching him work.”
Meanwhile, Ciccone can’t seem to let go of this job. Like his
sister, he is constantly changing, rearranging, adjusting, reinventing.
“I don’t think you ever truly finish a job like this,” he says.
“People’s tastes continue to evolve and change. I would be surprised if
Madonna was content with this for the next ten years.” Madonna, of
course, knows her own mind about these things. “We call Christopher the
pope because everything has to get his seal of approval,” she says.
“But I wouldn’t say the apartment is one hundred percent finished. I
like to change. A new lamp, a piece of art, can transform a room. I
reserve the right to do that.”