home page | news index | 2004 News » Page 7

News and professional editorials

Fans snub 'greedy' Madonna

July 22, 2004

Pop legend Madonna will be forced to perform to hundreds of empty seats when she tours Britain - because fans are refusing to pay extortionate prices to see her live.

Pop legend Madonna will be forced to perform to hundreds of empty seats when she tours Britain - because fans are refusing to pay extortionate prices to see her live.

The Material Girl star is charging a staggering £160 (€239.80) for tickets to her Re-invention Tour in London and Manchester.

But frugal fans have snubbed the gigs rather than pay up, and now the singer is left with hundreds of un-sold tickets.

A source tells Britain's Daily Star newspaper: "The high price has put off a lot of her casual fans.

"The average concert ticket costs around £20 (€30) to £30 (€45) but the cheapest Madonna tickets are £75 (€112.40)."

» Same story also from South Florida.com:

World Entertainment News Network
Posted July 21 2004

Pop legend Madonna may perform to some empty seats when she tours Britain because fans are refusing to pay extortionate prices to see her live.

The star is charging the equivalent of $288 for tickets to her Reinvention Tour in London and Manchester.

But some fans have snubbed the gigs and the singer has hundreds of unsold tickets.

A source tells Britain's Daily Star newspaper, "The high price has put off a lot of her casual fans.

"The average concert ticket costs around GBP20 to GBP30 but the cheapest Madonna tickets are GBP75."

Madonna Slane gig security headache for locals

July 24, 2004

HUNDREDS of Slane residents will have to apply for police passes to get around the village when music superstar Madonna comes to visit next month.

The Garda have announced there will be checkpoints all around the quiet Co Meath village on the day before the huge concert on Sunday, August 29, and only those residents with passes will be allowed through.

Garda chief Michael Flanagan also warned Madonna fans that there is no need or reason to travel early as all the local accommodation has been fully booked, there are no camping facilities available and "there will be nothing for them to do in Slane and we would ask them not to come near it".

The massive gig at Slane Castle is the first to be held on a Sunday for over 20 years and while many residents of the villages signed a petition objecting to it, Meath County Council has given MCD Promotions a licence for it, albeit with some stringent conditions.

Although it is thought that the first act will not appear until late in the afternoon, the controversial queen of pop has to be off stage by no later than 10.30pm, with the 80,000 revellers out of the venue by midnight.

The council has also demanded that the promoters lodge an Event Management Plan no later than two weeks before the concert, a plan that must take account of the extra traffic, necessary toilet facilities and the impact on the local environment.

Another aspect which must be finalised with the Garda is the totally free movement of people who are attending Mass or other religious services on the Sunday morning.

Jewish leaders blast Madonna's Kabbalah for being material

July 29, 2004

Orthodox Jewish leaders have reportedly raised a hue and cry over Kaballah, the religion currently being espoused by stars like Madonna, Demi Moore and Britney Spears.
They claim that the religion has become more of a marketable venture rather than a spiritual cult.

According to The New York Post, the fashion accessories store Target in NY is making money by selling red Kabbalah strings, which are imitations of the ones Madonna, Demi Moore and Britney Spears wear.

Many orthodox Jewish leaders say that the Kabbalah Center's money minting ventures are like selling the strings and "Kabbalah water."

Listed as a "hot buy" on Target's Web site, the string is "believed to protect against the evil eye." Each is said to have "traveled to Israel, to the ancient tomb of Rachel the Matriarch, and returned imbued with the essence of protection." (ANI)

Madonna's Bike Crash

July 30, 2004

Keen cyclist MADONNA screamed in anger at a taxi driver after she collided with the vehicle while riding in New York City's Central Park.

The MATERIAL GIRL crashed her bicycle as the passenger opened the cab door without looking, but fortunately she wasn't seriously injured, just shocked.

Madonna shouted at the cab driver, "Learn how to drive, you moron!", as the passenger offered to help her, but she declined his assistance and rode home.

Russian duo TaTu abandons lesbian image

August 2004

Excerpt:

Before Madonna and Britney shocked the world with a kiss, there was TaTu.

.... Now, as they get set to record their follow-up CD in Great Britain, a new element has popped into the mix. One of the girls, 19-year-old Volkova, is pregnant by her married lover.

And the girls who once claimed they had sex three times a day with each other are playing coy.

"If I stroke Lena's hand, does it necessarily mean we're lesbians," Volkova told CTV News. "Would you say the same thing if I kissed my mother?"

But the love in their racy videos looks far from familial. Some music critics have even branded the them pedophilic pop.

Though many saw the whole sexual message as a PR move, some young fans bought it.

"I believed they were lesbians," one fan said. "There was so much buzz after their first video. I believed they were two girls doing something new."

So Who's A Mummy's Boy [Mama's Boy]?

by Alison Boshoff, from The Daily Mail (UK)

August 7, 2004

No TV or sweets, a faddy diet and Kabbalah - how the 'Ordinary' English childhood Guy Ritchie wanted for his son was hijacked by Madonna

Summaries from pages of article:

Page 1 says that Ritchie (as in Guy) does the 'lion's share of the parenting.'

Page 2 says that Madonna's pregnancy with Rocco was difficult because she had a history of health problems. It says that the rumor that Mandonna 'trapped' Guy into marrying her by getting pregnant is false.

Photo of Daily Mail article
click image to enlarge

The article gets into what an abnormal, fast paced life Rocco led from a baby onwards, being shuffled around from location to location all over the world, with bodyguards surrounding him, etc.

One page says that Madonna and Guy are concerned that both kids (Lourdes and Rocco) are kidnap targets, since they themselves are worth a fortune.

The article further states that Madonna Madonna leaves her children with nannies while she attends Kabbalah meetings.

The author discusses how Madonna makes her kids adhere to Kabblah-inspired morality etc.:

"Madonna who does not cook claims that she makes them [Lourdes and Rocco] take their dirty dishes to the sink and say please and thank you."

(I love how the author manages to fit in that while MaNdonna makes her kids take their plates to the sink that she wasn't even the one who cooked for them.)

The nannies and other employees are not allowed to give the kids snacks that are sweet or contain any sugar.

"Personality Parade" section in the August 8, 2004 issue of Parade magazine

August 8, 2004

Q: People once dismissed Prince as a bizarre has-been. Now he's in the midst of a great musical comeback. How do you account for his sudden new popularity? -- Talia T., Washington, D.C.

A: Dazzling musicianship, brilliant marketing (he funds his own projects, presses his own CDs and sells his music directly to fans) and a new-found spirituality (the singer converted to the Jehovah's Witness faith). And we'd add another factor: Unlike Madonna -- who turns 46 this month and is still trying to woo audiences with showmanship and sexuality -- Prince Rogers Nelson, also 46, is making beautiful music.

Chilis hotter than Madonna: Madge fails to sell out at Slane

by John McGurk

August 8, 2004

POP queen, Madonna, is still in 'Vogue' with local music fans - even though promoters for her spectacular Irish live debut admit that they can't yet put up those 'sold-out' signs.

Organisers for the US music icon's Slane Castle appearance, on August 29, have hit back at allegations that the concert has been a relative pop flop.

According to UK media claims, Irish ticket sales for the former Material Girl, turned maternal megastar, have been "far slower than expected".

One report said: "The show was predicted to sell-out in record time. But not even half of the tickets were sold by the end of the first day.

"Last year, the Red Hot Chili Peppers sold-out the same venue in two-and-a-half hours."

However, MCD spokesman, Justin Green, dismissed allegations that Madonna's Irish ticket sales had been disappointing and pointed out that there are now "only a limited number" left for the 80,000 capacity gig.

He said: "We are delighted with the sales to date and only wish every artist could sell tickets and break box office records like Madonna has done this year.

"There are only a limited number of tickets available at this stage and thus, this has allowed us to reduce our planned advertising spend by 50pc."

When tickets for the 45-year-old singer's Re-invention tour show at Slane went on sale Ireland's main outlet, Ticketmaster, hired an extra 300 staff to cope with the expected deluge of demand.

More than 30,000 tickets were snapped up within 30 minutes of going on sale on June 18 - with 70pc sold within five days.

But surprisingly, Madonna - the biggest selling female artist of all time - has not measured up to the astonishing Slane box office records set by U2.

In 2001, Bono and the boys sold TWO shows out in 40 minutes and 94 minutes, respectively.

Last year, US funk metallers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, also proved to be a Slane sell-out in just two-and-a-half hours.

It is thought that the 88.50 euro (£58.40) price tag for the Madonna show may have put some concert punters off - costing £19 (29 euro) more than the Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2 Slane gigs.

Tickets for indoor Madonna Re-invention concerts in Holland this September cost between £37 to £57.

The 120-date Re-invention World Tour is expected to gross a whopping £70m.

Madonna - 46 years old on August 16 - will take away an estimated two million euro profit from just one night's work at Slane.

Author Slams Madonna's 'Preachy' Writing Attempts'

August 9, 2004

Best-selling children's author JULIA DONALDSON has slammed MADONNA's attempts at writing books for kids, labelling the singer's stories "preachy" and "novelty".

The British writer, whose books SPINDERELLA, THE GRUFFALO and FOLLOW THE SWALLOW have an army of young fans across the UK, believes the MATERIAL GIRL only got a publishing deal because of her fame.

Madonna has just released her third book YAKOV AND THE SEVEN THIEVES, based on the teachings of the controversial Kabbalah - a mystical offshoot of Judaism.

The pop queen entered the literary foray in September 2003 with her first kids story THE ENGLISH ROSES.

Donaldson says, "I've only had a glance at Madonna's books but they didn't leave me wanting to read more. I didn't think, 'Wow'.

"I doubt if an unknown had sent that script to the publishers, it would have been accepted. It doesn't seem a grabbing or must-have text.

"I think the books are a bit preachy. There's a novelty element to them.

"The first book generated a lot of interest but that was mainly down to who Madonna is. There's no plot or clever structure."

Kabbalah Expert Shuns Madonna

August 11, 2004

Top Kabbalah experts in Israel have slammed MADONNA's attempts to follow the offshoot of Judaism - because only men and born-Jews can practice it.

The MATERIAL GIRL is planning to tour holy sites of the troubled Middle Eastern country in September (04) and celebrate the Jewish New Year there, just days after her RE-INVENTION world tour concludes.

But RABBI YITZHAK KEDURI, one of the country's most respected Kabbalist, has dashed the superstar's hopes of meeting him.

Rabbi Keduri told local newspaper MAARIV, "I don't know her, I don't know of her and I won't see her."

The religious leader added the study of Kabbalah was not open to women or non-Jews - making the singer ineligible on both conditions of her sex and the fact she was raised a Catholic.

RABBI SHLOMO RIFKIN, chief rabbi of the Efrat settlement in the southern West Bank, explains, "Kabbalah is an added mystical tier to Judaism which comes after there is a total acceptance of a religious lifestyle and a religious value system.

"The traditional idea is that anyone studying Kabbalah must first be a mature, practicing Jew.

"Maturity is important because some people can get wrapped up in the esoteric spirituality which can sometimes be cheapened into general love fests, or debauchery.

"In the Hollywood sense, the people who are accepting Kabbalah with such alacrity, such as Madonna, are taking many of the mystical concepts but not necessarily the unique lifestyle."

While Rabbi Rifkin acknowledges Madonna may be seeking a more meaningful life through the Kabbalah, he does see evidence of it in her sexy image.

Rabbi Rifkin adds, "As an actress and a singer, if the quality of her shows has changed fundamentally since she's found Kabbalah, and if sex is not paraded publicly then I would say its positive.

"If it hasn't influenced these things, then it's just a Hollywood fad that is meaningless in terms of Judaism."

Madonna has been studying the Kabbalah since 1997 and has converted her director husband GUY RITCHIE and introduced her famous pal BRITNEY SPEARS, who has demonstrated an on/off interest it.

In the past year (begs03) DEMI MOORE, ASHTON KUTCHER, LINDSAY LOHAN, WILMER VALDERRAMA and PARIS HILTON have all expressed varying degrees of interest in the Kabbalah.