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Madonna in Intensive Care / Madonna's 31 Fans (satire)

Circa April 2004

...A statement by the Buenos Aries clinic described Maradona's [Madonna] condition as "Unstable". It said, "Maradona is is receiving medication to strengthen her acting ability. She has developed acute ego failure and therefore is heavily sedated".

The Spoof's South American correspondent said Maradona's lousy acting has been a concern for many years.

"She's put on a lot of weight and when, hopefully she recovers from this, she really does need to be offered a part that reflects her mediocre stage presence".

Despite her well-publicised problems, Madonna still has a widespread fan club with 31 members as far afield as Luton and Southend.

Madonna's Label a $66 Million Loser - Court Documents Reveal

April 12, 2004

Excerpts:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Madonna's Maverick Records label, home to the Material Girl as well as Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch, has lost $66 million since 1999, according to recently unsealed court documents filed by its adversary and partner, Warner Music Group.

....he documents claim that in order for Maverick to get out of its joint venture with Warner Music, which is up at the end of the year, Maverick will have to pay $92.5 million, in addition to the value of Warner's interest in the label. The price tag includes the $66 million in losses, a $20 million loan and $6.5 million in unrecouped fees.

According to Warner Music's filing, if Maverick cannot raise the money needed to buy itself out the joint venture, Warner can convert the label into a "purely passive economic interest," taking all control of the label away from Maverick. In this case, Maverick would reap no profits from the label until the losses were repaid.

A Warner Music spokesman declined to comment. Maverick could not be immediately reached...

See also

Entertainment News Article (re: Maverick Being a Money Loser)

Music labels quietly use file-sharing data to boost sales

By DAWN C. CHMIELEWSKI, from Knight-Ridder Tribune News

April 6, 2004

For all of Madonna's complaints about people downloading her music off the web for free, she's making something off it anyway.

(Maverick, Madonna, and Guy Oseary are mentioned in this article; I have highlighted as many Madona-related names, or important names, in the article as I could find):

It was one of those sunglasses-required days in Los Angeles when Eric Garland, a leading expert on music downloading, arrived for his meeting with a senior media company executive. Rather than talking in the company's air-conditioned offices, the executive led Garland and his partner through a fetid back alley to a secluded courtyard.

Only then did the executive ask his question: Which songs, exactly, are the millions of Internet users illegally downloading? "I just thought, this is crazy," recalled Garland, who had to prop his laptop on a dumpster to give his presentation.

The reason for the cloak-and-dagger theatrics: While the music industry publicly flays Kazaa and other file-swapping services for aiding piracy, those same services provide an excellent view of what's really popular with fans.

Record-label executives discreetly use Garland's research firm, BigChampagne, and other services to track which songs are traded online and help pick which new singles to release. They increasingly use such file-sharing data to convince radio stations and MTV to give new songs a spin or boost airplay for those that are popular with downloaders.

Some labels even monitor what people do with their music after they download it to better structure deals with licensed downloading services. The ultimate goal is what it always has been in the record business: Sell more music.

"I know of a case where an artist had obviously gone with the wrong single, and everyone loved this other song they had on their record," said Guy Oseary, Madonna's business partner and head of her label, Maverick Records. "In the world of what we do, it's always good to have real information from real fans."

Maverick used BigChampagne's 100-city breakdown of popularly downloaded songs to convince radio stations to start playing a new band, Story of the Year, during prime daytime listening hours instead of at night.

The online data revealed that despite Story of the Year's lunar rotation, its single Until the Day I Die ranked among the top 20 most popular downloads, alongside tracks from Blink-182, Audioslave and Hoobastank that received significantly more airplay.

And when the band performed in a city, "we didn't necessarily see the phones blowing up at radio, but we saw download requests for the song skyrocket as they went through," said Jeremy Welt, Maverick's head of new media.

Armed with this data, Maverick fought for more airtime at radio, which translated into more CD sales. Story of the Year's album, Page Avenue, just went gold, selling more than half a million copies.

Warner Bros. used data from songs pirated off the Internet to form a strategy to promote Headstrong, the new single from Trapt.

"I definitely don't like to spin it that piracy is OK because we get to look at the data. It's too bad that people are stealing so much music," said Welt. "That said, we would be very foolish if we didn't look and pay attention to what's going on."

It's not an isolated example. Garland said Warner Bros. followed a similar promotional strategy with Headstrong, the new single from the Los Gatos rock band Trapt. Indeed, nearly all the labels work with BigChampagne on a project or subscription basis, he said.

Some promoters at the major labels have gone a step further, using advertising agencies or other intermediaries to place ads on popular file-swapping networks to promote new acts.

Before the music industry effectively shut down AudioGalaxy in 2002, the labels would pay the file-swapping service to sponsor search terms to direct fans looking to download songs from, say, Radiohead, to an emerging band with a similar style.

"We'd promote it to you right there," said AudioGalaxy founder Michael Merhej, whose account was confirmed by two independent sources. "The link took you to a third-party Web site done by the label, but you couldn't tell it was done by the label. This went on for a long time."

"My feeling is there's a promotional value to exposure," said Artemis Records chairman Danny Goldberg, an influential industry player who previously headed Mercury Records, now part of giant Universal Music. "Give something away for free, and hope they fall in love."

August 6, 2004

A rigger who was working as part of Madonna's production crew has been injured in an accident during preparations for her latest tour.

The man suffered a broken arm and leg in the accident at Earl's Court.

Madonna leaves fans cherishing provocateur of old

August 7, 2004

Madonna’s not singing “Like a Virgin” anymore.

.... But singing “you make me feel shiny and new” [on her Reinvention Tour] was out of the question, apparently. After all, Madonna’s shimmying into middle age.

It is hard to believe — and painful to accept — that it’s been 20 years since she first started pushing our buttons.

.... A couple decades later, she has moved on from the sexual to the spiritual and the political – with mixed results.

Despite media interest, her lip-lock last year with pop tart Britney Spears raised few eyebrows. Like Janet Jackson’s flash-in-the-pan breast-baring at the Super Bowl, Madonna’s cross-generational girl-on-girl action seemed unseemly rather than sexy — a desperate grab for attention, a creepily exploitative display along the lines of a mother frenching her daughter.

The sponsors of Madonna’s voyeuristic peep show all these years, through ticket sales and CD purchases, can understandably feel wistful and disappointed as the curtain falls on her “girlie show” era.

Even as her music continues to explore new territory thematically and stylistically, one can’t help longing for the racy Madonna of old.

Madonna's Label a $66 Million Loser - Court Documents Reveal

April 12, 2004

Excerpts:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Madonna's Maverick Records label, home to the Material Girl as well as Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch, has lost $66 million since 1999, according to recently unsealed court documents filed by its adversary and partner, Warner Music Group.

....he documents claim that in order for Maverick to get out of its joint venture with Warner Music, which is up at the end of the year, Maverick will have to pay $92.5 million, in addition to the value of Warner's interest in the label. The price tag includes the $66 million in losses, a $20 million loan and $6.5 million in unrecouped fees.

According to Warner Music's filing, if Maverick cannot raise the money needed to buy itself out the joint venture, Warner can convert the label into a "purely passive economic interest," taking all control of the label away from Maverick. In this case, Maverick would reap no profits from the label until the losses were repaid.

A Warner Music spokesman declined to comment. Maverick could not be immediately reached...

» See also

» Entertainment News Article (re: Maverick Being a Money Loser)

Madonna Immortalises Kylie Minogue

from Herald Sun

April 15, 2004

Not content to rip off one person at a time as was the case way back when, Madonna is going try and keep her name in the papers this time by clinging on to the names of several different famous types. Check this out:

KYLIE Minogue [who is very famous in Europe and Australia and not so much in the United States] has become pop folklore after being written into the lyrics of a Madonna classic.

The pop princess has been immortalised in a rehashing of the Material Girl's Vogue, rehearsal spies say.

The spoken verse of the 1990 smash hit, in which Madonna harks back to the glamour days of Hollywood, originally begins with the line "Greta Garbo and Monroe".

But that's all been changed for Madge's latest world tour, and now the verse starts with Australia's finest pop export in the line "Britney Spears and Minogue".

The entire verse has been changed to:

Britney Spears and Minogue,
Aguilera and J-Lo,
Jessica Simpson, Avril Lavigne,
On the cover of a magazine.
They have style, they have sass
Missy E kicks some ass.

Madonna famously donned a Kylie Minogue T-shirt in November 2000 for a performance at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Stockholm, suggesting she might be a fan.

There has been no doubting Madonna's affection for Britney ["Affection?" Er, no, try "I'm an aging pop dinosaur who is using Britney to maintain an illusion of relevancy in today's pop culture," says Madonna] over the past few months, and not only because of the steamy kiss they shared at another MTV Awards bash last year.

After all, Christina Aguilera also got a "peck", but wasn't afforded the privilege of a duet with Madonna in the same way Britney was.

The pair collaborated on last year's hit Me Against The Music, which featured on Britney's album In The Zone.

Britney has also been accused of morphing into Madonna of late, with increasingly risque film clips and a current tour - The Onyx Hotel tour - that is making headlines for its raunchy dance routines and Britney's scanty costumes.

As for Kylie, the only danger she faces of being compared to Madonna would be by giving birth.

....As for Madonna, she embarks on her Reinvention tour on May 24 in LA and will play to sold out venues across the United States and Europe.

Australia is not on her itinerary, but Kylie could catch her in Paris on September 1, 2 or 4.

Madonna Fires Male Dancers from Reinvention Tour for Calling Her Old

April 20, 2004

Excerpt:

Sounding like Donald Trump on "The Apprentice," Madonna screamed, "You're fired!" at three male dancers hired for her upcoming tour. They were gossiping during a break, commenting that at age 45 Madonna doesn't have the energy she once had, and one cattily remarked: "She's no spring chicken anymore."

Well, cluck, cluck ... the ex-spring chicken was within earshot! Madonna went ballistic, storming over and lashing into the lads as they turned beet red. Then she pointed to the exit and ordered all three to waltz outta there!

In the "Music News" section of Rate The Music

May 2004

Excerpts:

Age Tells as Madona Heads Off On Tour

Madonna's age is beginning to tell as she opens her REINVENTION tour.

[Madonna injured knee while rehearsing for show]

She says, "I'm a mess... it's exhausting. I had no idea, actually, what I'd got myself into."

In another story on ratethemusic.com:

.. Madonna, 45, complained of sore knees and a stiff back after Monday night's show...

Slane Says "No" To Madonna

from the Drogheada Leader

May 19, 2004

Anti Madonna grafitti
Above: Anti- Madonna grafitti in Slane, Ireland; click image to enlarge

Three hundred Slane [Irleand] residents have signed a petition saying "no" to the Madonna [Reinvention] concert.

The petition is among submissions lodged with Meath Co. Council to which promoters have applied for a license.

Slane resident Edward Hudson lodged the petition, along with a copy of a 1986 agreement between Lord Henry Mountcharles and residents in which it was agreed that no concerts would be staged on a Sunday.

.... A Kildare woman, Florence Craven, has also lodged an objection to Madonna "marching into the country and demanding exorbitant fees for a song."

She said that it was remarkable that €4 million could materialise for the Material Girl at a time when hospitals were closing down. She said, "Hospitals are more necessary than flying visits from over-sexed and overpaid drama queens."

The objector also said that while she wasn't religious herself, she objected to Madonna having such a big concert on a Sunday. While Madonna had only recently converted to a form of Judaism, she expected Slane to compromise its long-standing Catholicism "in the name of her greed and egotism."

Ratoath Councillor Nick Killian has also lodged an objection, saying he was supporting his Slane colleagues in opposing the holding of the concert on a Sunday. He said it was unfair of Madonna to dictate to the people of Slane on religious grounds.