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The New More Wholesome Madonna? - Shunning Britney Spears' Immodesty- from LifeSiteNews.com

July 20, 2005


.... In the upcoming August edition of Vogue, Madonna admits regret about her more tumultuous years: “I was a very selfish person,” she said. “You go through periods of your life where the world does revolve around you, but you can't live your whole life that way.” The issue focuses on her life with director husband Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) at their English country-side estate.

.... Although in the past the aging but ever popular pop-star rode with, and largely defined the cultural movement towards the scantily clad, sex-selling bubble-gum pop-star, her most recent makeover, to all appearances, is shockingly wholesome.

Many have speculated recently that the sexy pop-star trend is reaching the end of its tether as various stars shamelessly attempt to outdo each other in scandal to grab tabloid headlines.

.... It is ironic that just as Madonna’s new-found respectability is receiving the public eye, Sarah Hampson of the Globe and Mail, in a full-length article, described Rebecca St. James as “an alternate pop-icon—the Other Madonna.”

.... Skeptics will probably point out that Madonna’s new makeover is little more than a publicity stunt, and considering Madonna’s past, that seems most likely; but that hardly makes a difference.

What many find encouraging is that Madonna is clearly tapping into a growing cultural movement that is distancing itself from the raunchy publicity stunts of the mainstream pop-icons, and moving towards a more wholesome image that recognizes that there is more to life than sex and money.

Madonna and Madonna's Former Record Company ("Maverick") and Payola Scandals & Related Info

» Pay For Play - from Salon.com

March 14, 2001

Listeners may not realize it, but radio today is largely bought by the record companies. Most rock and Top 40 stations get paid to play the songs they spin by the companies that manufacture the records.

But it's not payola -- exactly. Here's how it works.

.... Standing between the record companies and the radio stations is a legendary team of industry players called independent record promoters, or "indies."

The indies are the shadowy middlemen record companies will pay hundreds of millions of dollars to this year to get songs played on the radio. Indies align themselves with certain radio stations by promising the stations "promotional payments" in the six figures. Then, every time the radio station adds a Shaggy or Madonna or Janet Jackson song to its playlist, the indie gets paid by the record label.

Indies are not the guys U2 or Destiny's Child thanked on Grammys night, but everyone in the business, artists included, understands that the indies make or break careers.

"It's a big f***ing mudball," complains one radio veteran.

» Hustle and Flow - from Stomp and Stammer:

When Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill first came out, there was a widespread rumor that Madonna's Maverick Records label hired hookers as payola to hype the album to program directors.

» Tired of the Same Old "Oldies?"

The first name that pops up as a root to the problem is Clear Channel. They own over 1200 radio stations and 37 television stations, with investments in 240 radio stations globally, and Clear Channel Entertainment owns and operates over 200 venues nationwide. They are in 248 of the top 250 radio markets, controlling 60% of all rock programming.

They outright own the tours of musicians like Janet Jackson, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, Madonna and N‘Sync. They own the network which airs Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, Casey Kasem, and the Fox Sports Radio Network. With 103,000,000 listeners in the U.S. and 1,000,000,000 globally (1/6 of the world population), this powerful company has grown unchecked, using their monopoly to control the entire music industry.

How does this effect you? Their consultants have decided what songs have the most advertising and ear-appeal. Unfortunately they’ve summed it down to approx. 300 songs for most oldies stations. At an average of 14 songs an hour, you will be hearing the same artists & songs every 21 hours. As I write this, I’m hearing the same artists within a 2 hour rotation.

Sexiest Music Video Poll: Madonna Loses to Christina Aguilera

July 29, 2005

Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty has clinched the title of sexiest music video. Madonna’s erotic black-and-white video Justify My Love came sixth, followed by Kylie Minogue’s Spinning Around, in the online poll for FHM Music TV.

Here is the Top Ten:

1. Christina Aguilera - Dirrty
2. Eric Prydz - Call On Me
3. Benny Benassi - Satisfaction
4. NERD - Lapdance
5. TATU - All the Things She Said
6. Madonna - Justify My Love

The Stars' Singular Inspiration?

August 2, 2005

By Joal Ryan Tue

Without Hildegarde, Madonna might have had to achieve icon status as Madonna Ciccone. Cher might have had to take the stage as Mrs. Bono, or even Ms. Sarkisian La Piere.

But perhaps fortunately for them, Hildegarde came first. The cabaret singer, who died Friday in New York City at the age of 99, dropped her surname in the 1930s. The Los Angeles Times declared the former Hildegarde Loretta Sell to be the "first of the single-name stars."

Socrates, Homer and Moses could argue Hildegarde's place in singular name history, but the point is taken: Among celebrities of the mass-media age, Hildegarde popularized the mono-monogram.

"I can't think of anybody before that," said Robert J. Thompson, professor and founding director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University.

After Hildegarde, there were plenty who, knowingly or not, followed her lead: Cher, Madonna, Sting, Bono, Beck, Beyonce and Aaliyah, to single out just a handful of the single-named bunch.

Out of Madonna’s shadow - The Sunday Times

July 31, 2005

For 17 years she [Haris] toured the world as one of Madonna’s backing singers and dancers when the material girl was at the top of her game.

Haris was performing backing vocals for the Righteous Brothers when she got a call asking her to audition alongside 200 other girls on Madonna’s Who’s That Girl tour.

“As I’d been recommended I was first up. I did my stuff and she sent everyone else home. Working with her was hard — a constant aerobic workout. I spent every day in dance class and the gym and did the whole scene thing. It was good though. I’ve learnt from her and I like to think she’s learnt from me.”

She and Madonna remain friends and try to meet up whenever their touring schedules coincide but they see less of each other since Madonna moved to England. “Seventeen years is long enough with any job, it was just time to move on,” says Haris, who quit her job with Madonna in 2002, when she had her daughter.

.... She lists singing with Ray Charles and Gladys Knight among her career highlights but adds that none of them came close to the thrill she felt when touring and recording with her father during the last seven years of his life. “Performing with my father was amazing. He loved my singing.”

“...I think we did the best we could in the ‘Blonde Ambition’ and ‘Girlie Show’ tours. From then on it was kind of regurgitation. I loved the ‘Drowned World Tour’ but I think we started to move to a darker side, even though Madonna thought it was a more spiritual side. It didn’t feel that way to me, so that’s when I knew it was time to step off.” [Source]

USA Today music writer Ken Barnes took part in an online chat on Tuesday August 2 with readers, and was asked about a message making the rounds alleging that Mariah Carey fans ganging up to help make Madonna's new album a flop by calling radio stations and saying the new single is bad (though many suspect that the stunt was started by enemies of Carey, purposely making the singer and her fans look bad by spreading the phony message).

"Interesting concept. Is Madonna supposed to be such a threat to Mariah that her album must be discredited in order to keep Mariah on the airwaves," Barnes asked. "Loony tunes. Hardly the same audience, anyway, not much in common outside of their gender. Can't imagine anything like this, even if it gets going, will have any discernible effect."

Elton John Mends Feud With George Michael but not with Madonna

August 4, 2005

SIR ELTON JOHN ended his bitter feud with GEORGE MICHAEL by taking him out to dinner, but the outspoken singer is finding it harder to win back the affections of MADONNA.

John and Michael fell out in November last year (04) after John accused his fellow homosexual of being an unhappy drug-user and branded his album PATIENCE "disappointing".

ROCKET MAN singer John also angered Madonna when he accused her of lip-synching at Britain's Q Awards last year (04).

He says, "That one's slightly more difficult. I did send her two Christmas cards and they both came back.

"It was just one of those off-the-cuff things.

"(But) George and I are fine. We've had dinner, and I've apologised to him if I hurt his feelings.

"It was handbags at 50 paces. We like each other too much to fall out."

Promoters Must Pay Concert Policing Costs

August 8, 2005

The cost of policing concerts and public events should not be borne by taxpayers, the Labour Party today claimed.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell revealed recently that promoters only paid 20% of the Garda bill for last year’s Madonna gig at Slane Castle.

Labour warned that the Government must not allow ordinary taxpayers foot the cost of such services.

Justice spokesman Joe Costello TD, asked: “Why should the taxpayer be forced to cover security costs and promoters get away with such a piecemeal contribution?

“Concert-goers are already paying through the nose to see international acts.

“With the huge profits that promoters – often operating in a near monopolistic fashion – generate from such events, it is clear that once again the public is being exploited.”

$ A Prima Donna

August 10, 2005

From the Daily Star

Like A Prayer bassist, Guy Pratt, 43, whose career includes stints with Pink Floyd, Roxy Music and Jacko, says the pop diva [Madonna] was 'unforgettable'.

The guitarist, who's at the Edinburgh Fringe with a one-man show said: She [Madonna] used to brighten our morning with....'Time is money....and the money is mine.'

August 15, 2005

Veteran rocker ELVIS COSTELLO has dismissed the talents of MADONNA, insisting she makes a convincing performer but has a limited range as a musician.

The outspoken OLIVER'S ARMY star, 50, admits the pop queen can dance well enough, but she is less in control when she starts singing.

He says, "Madonna's a dancer, not a singer.

"She's a very good song and dance woman, but it's about the whole package and what you can persuade people to believe."

15/08/2005 13:31

» See Also:

» Madonna's A Dancer, Says Costello

Richard Hell On Madonna - The Independent

August 19, 2005

By the time it was released, Hell felt spent, burnt-out at 33. "I'd tired of it all," he recalls. "I was in a serious decline". The second and last Voidoids album, Destiny Street (1982), showed a deep slump barely arrested by a one-off project with Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Dim Stars, a decade later.

Perhaps his most high-profile and unlikely job of the period came playing the murdered rock-star lover of another adopted New Yorker, Madonna, in Desperately Seeking Susan.

"You know, it always pisses me off when I see in my credits anywhere that I was in that," he sighs.

"It's insulting! I was on screen for in total maybe 30 seconds! And I didn't have a single line of dialogue. But I guess my career is so impoverished that they have to put that in. It's really obnoxious. It's humiliating. I can't relate to Madonna. It actually annoys me when I see these guys who are friends, like Sonic Youth, seeming to adore her. To me, she's the enemy. I can't help it. She gives me the creeps."

Madonna looks at taking legal action against new lingerie range -Brand Republic Bulletin

August 21, 2005

From The Times Online, excerpts:

Madonna: take your hands off my pants
Will Iredale and John Elliott
MADONNA, who pioneered the pointy bra on stage, has called in lawyers over a range of skimpy bras and briefs adorned with her name and face.

As she convalesces at home this weekend after falling from a horse on her Wiltshire estate, they are gathering evidence for possible legal action.

The lingerie range, Madonna Nude 1979, will be launched in Britain in November by Figleaves.com, an internet lingerie retailer.

It has been created by Rosanna Ansaloni, a Milan designer, and according to the UK retailers, is based on naked pictures of Madonna taken by Martin Schreiber, an American photographer, in 1979.

.... This is not the first time Madonna has tried to crack down on use of the Schreiber pictures. In 2001, her lawyers unsuccessfully attempted to stop Adam Glickman, an American condom salesman, from producing a range of contraceptives using the same images. Last week, Glickman said he had sold “hundreds of thousands” of the condoms since his clash with the singer, but would be discontinuing the line next month because of falling demand.

.... She was an unknown dancer when the nude photos were taken. She was paid $30 (£16.70) for the three-hour photo session with Schreiber and she signed over the rights to the photos, a decision she has come to regret.

The underwear uses the images to hark back to a stage in Madonna’s career when she was happy to flaunt herself.

She wore conical bras over her clothes on stage, simulated masturbation while singing and writhed around with scantily clad male dancers.

Three decades later and with a fortune of about £235m, she has put the raunchiness behind her and nurtured her new persona as a jodhpur-wearing English country lady.

In the August edition of American Vogue she was photographed tending chickens on an immaculate lawn and relaxing in front of a collection of pony club rosettes.

» See Also:

» Madonna Takes Action Against "Nude" Lingerie Range - Contactmusic.com

» Madonna has knickers in a twist - This Is London

Madonna Injured in Fall From Horse

August 15/16, 2005

From The Times Online:

August 16, 2005

Madonna in hospital after birthday riding accident
By Simon Freeman and Adam Luck for Times Online

Madonna, the American pop star turned quintessentially English lady of the manor, has suffered serious injuries including a broken collar bone after falling from a new horse on her 47th birthday.

The singer was riding in the 1,200-acre grounds of her £9 million country estate Ashcombe House, accompanied by her personal assistant, when she tumbled from the unfamiliar horse.

Her husband Guy Ritchie, the film director, and her two children Rocco, 5, and Lourdes, 8, were all at home in Tollard Royal, on the Wiltshire-Dorset border, for the star's birthday when the accident happened in the late afternoon.

Mr Ritchie drove his wife to a nearby hospital where she was being treated tonight for a series of fractures. As well as her collar bone, she broke bones in one hand and suffered three cracked ribs. She was expected to be released later tonight.

Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's publicist based in New York, said that the singer had been riding a horse to which she was not accustomed when she took the fall. "The whole family was out in the country, celebrating her birthday," she said.

Barbara Charone, her spokeswoman, added: "Madonna fell off a new horse she was riding late this afternoon at Ashcombe House, her country house outside of London.

"She sustained three cracked ribs, a broken collar bone and a broken hand but is expected to be released from hospital later this evening.

"The star was celebrating her 47th birthday with her husband, film director

Guy Ritchie and her two children, Lourdes and Rocco."

Madonna has professed her passion for her new-found life as member of the landed gentry and is more frequently seen sporting jodhpurs and tweeds than the dazzling Jean Paul Gaultier garments with which she made her name as the material girl.

The accident came just as Vogue magazine featured a series of glamorous shots designed to secure Madonna's makeover as the chatelaine of the manor.

One of the centrepiece pictures is of the American pop legend perched on her horse.

Madonna is elsewhere seen cuddling her husband, who with his beard, flat cap and woolly jumper, looks every inch the lord of the manor.

Once home to the society photographer Cecil Beaton, Ashcombe is famous for its pheasant and partridge hunt and recently played host to its first weekend "shoot" since the couple took up residence.

Since they have moved into the mid-18th century estate the couple have waged a protracted legal action to prevent walkers from having right of way across their land.

But the latest transformation from the 47-year-old mother of two has not stopped her musical ambitions in their tracks. Her Reinvention tour last year was spectacular and well received even if her new album saw disappointing sales.

Madonna has only recently taken up riding, booking lessons in south-west London. Notorious for her ability for re-invention she will no doubt take the advice given to all junior equestrians after their first tumble: get back on.

» See Also:

» Madonna Hurt in Fall From Horse - Australian Weekend

» Madonna in hospital after fall from horse -IOL

» Madonna injured in riding accident - Reuters Canada

» Singer Madonna injured in riding accident -Reuters.uk

» Madonna hurt in fall from horse - BBC

» Madonna's Birthday's a Bust

» Madonna's Bad B-Day Break - E! Online

» Madonna breaks bones in horse-riding accident - MSNBC

» Madonna falls from horse

» Madonna suffers broken bones in accident

» Madonna discharged from hospital after fall from horse- Yahoo News

From Yahoo News:

Tue Aug 16, 5:15 PM ET

LONDON (AFP) - US pop diva Madonna was discharged from hospital where she had been treated for injuries suffered in a horse riding accident in southwest England, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The singer had been taken to Salisbury District Hospital in Wiltshire after falling off her horse while celebrating her 47th birthday.

Madonna's spokeswoman, Barbara Charone, earlier said the songstress had broken her collar bone and a hand, and cracked three ribs, but her condition was not serious.

"Madonna fell off a new horse she was riding late this afternoon at Ashcombe House, her country house outside London," Charone said.

The songstress was marking her birthday with her two children, Lourdes, eight, and five-year-old Rocco, as well as her film director husband Guy Ritchie, at their sprawling 1,200-acre (485-hectare) country estate in Wiltshire, southwest England, when the accident happened.

But one orthopaedic surgeon, Leela Biant, said Madonna's fitness would help her to make a full recovery, noting that this should take about three months.

"You don't treat broken ribs, they heal by themselves," Biant said.

"The fact that Madonna is very fit and healthy will help her recovery and because she does a lot of yoga she will be used to deep breathing," she told Britain's domestic Press Association.

Biant said, however, that the Material Girl would find it painful to sing during the first couple of weeks.

Madonna has reinvented herself as an English country wife since meeting Ritchie, a celebrated director in his own right with movies such as "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels".

Madonna To Blame For Horse Fall, Says Camille Paglia

September 9, 2005

» Madonna to Blame for Horse Fall - IOL

IOL Excerpts:

Madonna was to blame for the horse-riding accident that left her with a broken hand, a broken collar bone and three cracked ribs - because she uses horses as fashion accessories, according to author Camille Paglia.

The social critic claims she predicted the accident after she saw Madonna's Vogue magazine covershoot last month (AUG05), which showed her on the back of her horse, because she was "ostentatiously posing in riding habit and boots on a horse whose reins she is awkwardly and incorrectly holding".

She adds: "We are told she has been throwing herself into country pursuits to please her macho husband Guy Ritchie. As a professionally trained dancer, tireless jogger and practitioner of extreme yoga, Madonna is an accomplished athlete. But riding is not just another routine challenge she can master through sheer willpower.

"Along with physical skills, riding requires relaxation and self-subordination, an intuitive opening to the horse. Knowledge of horses needs to be accumulated by riders over a lifetime.

"She will surely persist and may well triumph as a rider. But until then, let's hope she avoids the facile, disrespectful use of horses as props and fashion statements."

» See Also:

» Madonna accountable for horse-riding accident - FemaleFirst.co.uk

Madonna uses secret nightclub 'focus groups' to pick songs for new album, from the Telegraph.co.uk

August 28, 2005

Madonna uses secret nightclub 'focus groups' to pick songs for new album
By Chris Hastings, Arts Correspondent
(Filed: 28/08/2005)

They have been used to sell everything from washing powder to New Labour. But now it seems that even Madonna has woken up to the power of focus groups.

The most successful female artist in chart history has chosen songs for her next album after secretly trying them out on nightclubbers.

The tunes, with her distinctive vocals removed, were played in clubs from Liverpool to Ibiza throughout June. The reaction of the crowds were filmed and used by the 47-year-old mother of two to determine the final track listing for Confessions On A Dancefloor, her 10th studio album.

.... The idea of Madonna seeking affirmation for her work before it has been released has surprised many in the worlds of advertising and music. After all, she has sold more than 175 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide.

Claire Beale, the editor of Campaign magazine, said the research could be seen as a crisis of confidence for someone normally known for their business acumen.

"This is a new one on me," she said. "In the advertising world, creative people tend to distrust focus groups precisely because they can undermine originality and bring everything down to the lowest common denominator.

"Having said that, people in the advertising industry are becoming increasingly reliant on them because there is a growing lack of confidence about what people want.

"Madonna is obviously running her material past a very niche audience rather than a focus group. But it still suggests she feels a need for endorsement. Like a lot of people who work in advertising she is far older than her target audience. She may feel this is a useful way of reconnecting with a younger generation."

.... Madonna, who has 16 albums to her name, believes that a return to her dancefloor roots will re-establish her as one of the world's most successful artists. Her last album, American Life, topped the charts in 14 countries including Britain and America, but ended up as her lowest-selling release, selling just four million copies worldwide.

Too many ballads and the lack of any credible dance hits were cited as reasons why it failed to emulate the success of previous offerings such as Music, which sold 15 million copies when it was released in 2000.

Others in the music industry, however, are not convinced by the new approach. Paul Rees, the editor of Q music magazine, said: "It all depends how honest they have been with her. Have they just shown her the positive reaction from the clubs? Or have they said, 'Look Madonna, here is some film of one of our songs emptying a dancefloor?' I somehow doubt they will have done that."

» See Also:

» Rolling Stone: Madonna Used Focus Groups for New Record

Madonna Relied on Ghostwriter for Children's Books

July 7, 2005

» From Contact Music:

Pop queen MADONNA's Kabbalah-focused children's books were ghostwritten by somebody else, according to reports.

A writer working for the Kabbalah Centre wrote MR PEABODY'S APPLES, YAKOV AND THE SEVEN THIEVES and most recently LOTSA DE CASHA, allowing Madonna to take all the praise - claims PageSix.com.

A source tells the New York-based site, "All of Madonna's books are written by the Kabbalah Centre's official ghostwriter, EITAN YARDENI.

"Eitan also writes all of YEHUDA and PHILLIP BERG's books and the Kabbalah Books for the Centre.

"Last summer, he flew to London to help Madonna write the last book, but she didn't really do anything."
11/07/2005 05:24

» See Also:

» Madonna's Kids Books May Be A Fraud - AZ Central

» The Bosh

» Teen Today

» From Sept 4, 2005 "Parade" magazine supplement:

Q: Is it true that Madonna didn't really write her best-selling kids' books? - Dean F., Padadena, Calif.

A: Hard to know for sure.

Her literary agents insist the Material Girl turned Maternal Storyteller - now recovering from a riding accident - penned her Kabbalah-themed series.

But published reports say they really were written by Eitan Yardeni, as Kabbalah Centre ghostwriter, who flew to London to work with Madonna, 47, on her latest kids' book, Lotsa de Casha.