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Pop finds its groove on memory lane

by Suzanne Fields

June 9, 2003

Excerpts:

Madonna hasn't been "like a virgin" for a long time, but the Material Girl is desperate for new material to keep her warm in a cooling spotlight. Sean Penn, her ex, is in trouble, too. He needs a pen name. Both have been eclipsed by events that have cast them deep into the shadows.

Madonna lost her direction and edge looking for the zeitgeist. Her new album dropped off Billboard's Top Twenty after only three weeks. Her pop vulgarity once tapped into the rebellious spirit of the times, but her current sensibility is more suited to the '60s.

Her ex is in the wrong decade, too. He's locked in lawsuits with the language of the 1950s, accusing movie producer Steve Bing of "blacklisting" him because he spoke out against the war in Baghdad.

Penn is an "oldcomer" to bad publicity, but Madonna managed to get out of the marriage unscathed by his bad press. She even profited it by it, by looking sympathetic.

But now the national mood has changed and she's getting bad publicity on her own. She cancelled a music video of herself decked out in army fatigues, aping Che Guevara, throwing a hand-grenade at a George W. Bush lookalike.

One music insider calls her persona a "tired shtick," and she offended the lefties by trying to capitalize on one of their cherished revolutionary heroes, selling nothing more than herself.

Trendsetters with a sharp ear for the buzz hear another message in the decline of Madonna's pop appeal. The newest generation of teenagers and young adults are discovering - horrors! - music their parents and even grandparents enjoy.

Madonna: Keep Off the Grass, from E! Online

by Lia Haberman

July 2, 2003

Excerpts:

Madonna's music may be loved by the masses, but the singer herself isn't too eager to mingle with the hoi polloi.

Brit-based Madge has successfully campaigned to prevent people from rambling through the pastoral land near her country mansion.

As such, the Countryside Agency, which advises Britain's government on issues affecting the English countryside, has scuttled its plans to create a footpath 100 yards away from Madonna and Guy Ritchie's eight-bedroom Ashcombe House in Wiltshire, in the south of England.

The power couple sent a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair registering their concern that the walkway would become a yellow brick road leading looky-loos and paparazzi straight to the diva's dwelling.

. . . . This isn't the first time Madonna has taken extreme precautions to protect her privacy. She has previously complained about low-flying airplanes and had earlier installed a 12-foot-high security gate at her central London house but was told to take it down because she failed to apply for a planning permit [ha ha!]

Meanwhile, the Material One hopes the unwashed masses will make the trek to bookstores September 15 to pick up a copy of her newest venture, a children's book titled The English Roses.

» Also available from:

» Madonna Bans Pedestrians Near English Mansion, FOX News

» http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/entertainment/6214021.htm

» http://launch.yahoo.com/read/news.asp?contentID=214004

» http://news.ninemsn.com.au/Entertainment/story_47789.asp

Beyonce sees off Madonna to stay top of UK single chart

http://www.nme.com/news/105574.htm

July 13, 2003

Excerpts:

Beyonce today (July 13) won the battle of the giants holding onto the top spot on the UK single chart with 'Crazy In Love' seeing off Madonna who enters at two with her new single 'Hollywood'.

And there was double celebration for Beyonce as she held onto the top spot on the album chart for a second week with 'Dangerously In Love' scoring a double double.

Madonna Makes Millions From Gap Ad

from TeenMusic.com

July 24, 2003

Excerpts:

Pop superstar Madonna's 30-second TV commercial for clothing giants GAP has earned her a reported $10 million as well as a deal to sell her children's book at the chain's stores.

The Material Girl will hit American screens starting July 30th in the ad, in which she'll appear alongside chart-topping rapper Missy Elliot - but sources say the huge pay-check wasn't enough for the pop icon.

A source tells US Weekly, "As part of the deal, she also insisted that her new children's book, The English Roses, be sold at The Gap's children stores.

Madonna and Missy Elliot in Gap Advertisement

Madonna Endorses Sweat Shops

by Colleen Smith of The Uncoveror

(cached by google; otherwise available as a .doc download. This article may be parody or satire)

Excerpts:

Famous pop divas Madonna and Missy Elliott seem proud to endorse clothing sold at The Gap, as they can be seen wearing it and singing about it in a new commercial.

The Gap hopes that their superstar appeal will get teens to rush out and buy, but how many will consider that Gap clothes (including Banana Republic, Old Navy, and baby Gap) are usually made in third world sweatshops, many of which are guilty of exploiting children? How is it that these two pop culture icons could endorse such an unscrupulous bunch?

Could it be greed, the same kind that motivated former Gap CEO, Millard Drexler to pay himself over 39 million dollars in 2000? Could it be ignorance? Maybe these two wealthy and pampered celebs are so out of touch, that they are unaware of how The Gap treats workers.

The Gap claims they are not responsible for the conditions in textile mills, as they do not own or operate them. The Gap contracts with the mills, and the mills hire workers.

This stale old excuse doesn't hold up. The Gap could easily require contractors to establish safe working conditions, reasonable hours, and living wages, but refuses to.