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April 2011

Madonna opens legal defence against Malawi workers

US pop icon Madonna has begun her legal defence in a Malawian court as workers at one of the singer's charity projects attempt to sue for unfair dismissal, a tribunal official said Monday.
Eight staff at the failed $15 million Raising Malawi Academy for Girls (RMAG) lodged the action at the end of March claiming they were let go without proper procedures.
The star said 'there is nothing unfair about the termination of the applicants' employment given the termination of employment was necessitated by genuine economic reasons,' in documents filed last week by lawyer Davis Njobvu.
Madonna said the decision not to continue funding the academy project was taken by by her charity Raising Malawi Inc 'after carefully reviewing its financial commitments and future plans and was made in good faith.'
Led by Anjimile Oponya, the former head of the school, the workers allege they were forced to sign a termination agreement they describe as 'unfair and unconstitutional'.
Madonna, who adopted children David Banda and Mercy James from Malawian orphanages, said the charity had proposed to pay them more than they were due on the condition they signed a 'confidentiality agreement.'
The pop star also said Raising Malawi, a US-registered foundation providing funds for the school's construction, was not directly implicated in the affair and it was RMAG that 'would be responsible for any matters relating to the applicants' employment.'
She said RMAG was 'ready and willing to pay the applicants their retrenchments and redundancy benefits calculated in accordance with the Employment Act and the laws of Malawi.'
A hearing of the application to strike out Raising Malawi as a party to the action has been set for Wednesday in Blantyre.
Madonna announced in January that she was reviewing the direction of Raising Malawi, which had originally planned to establish an academy offering 500 scholarships to girls from impoverished backgrounds.
In a statement, she said she had realised the academy would not be enough as two-thirds of girls are not educated beyond primary school and she wanted to reach 'thousands and not hundreds of girls' by constructing several schools in the area.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News

Madonna goes back to the eighties

She's been a fashion trendsetter all her life - and it seems that Madonna has taken to following her own lead and re-visiting her favourite looks if her latest outfit is anything to go by.
The star was spotted out and about in New York last night wearing a hat that brought to mind her outfit at the end of the video for her 1986 classic hit Open Your Heart.
The 52-year-old singer had teamed her black trilby with a black leather jacket, ripped jeans and a checked shirt, which all seemed to hark back to the Eighties.

To read more and view the pictures visit

Madonna writing classical music for W.E.?

Pop superstar Madonna is putting her musical ability to good use by reportedly composing a classic score for her new film W.E.
The singer has directed a big screen epic about the romance between American socialite Wallis Simpson and British royal Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry the divorcee.
The movie is due to premiere at the later this year and reports now suggest Madonna is hard at work writing the soundtrack for W.E. with producer William Orbit ahead of the picture's big debut.
A source tells Britain's Mail on Sunday, 'Madonna is working with William Orbit, who produced her synth-electronica album Ray of Light, but it will be quite an adjustment for them. Abel Korzeniowski, who composed the soundtrack to (Colin Firth's movie) A Single Man, is on hand to help.'


Lady GaGa: Madonna rip-off claim 'retarded'

Lady GaGa has branded an interviewer's suggestion that her single 'Born This Way' is a rip-off of Madonna's 1989 hit 'Express Yourself' as 'retarded'.
In an interview with NME, the musician briskly responded to a question about the melodic resemblance between the two songs.
'I'm a songwriter. I've written loads of music,' GaGa asserted. 'Why would I try to put out a song and think I'm getting one over on everybody? That's retarded.'
She continued: 'What a completely ridiculous thing to even question me about....If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression.'
'It's the same one that's been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I'm the first f**king artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn't mean I'm a plagiarist, it means that I'm f**king smart. Sorry!'
The star went on to profess that 'Born This Way' was divinely inspired, remarking: 'I feel like, honestly, God sent me those lyrics and that melody....There's no way for something that pure to be wrong.'

From Digital Spy

And for added interest madonnalicious suggests listening to Brighton band Doll & The Kicks acoustic mash-up of Born This Way/Express Youself....

Madonna's True Blue album gets covered

PS I Love You, Young Galaxy, Winter Gloves and You Say Party! are some of the acts appearing on 'True Blue,' a free digital covers album of Madonna's 1986 smash album released this week through Paper Bag Records.
PS I Love You's Paul Saulnier says the band's version of 'Where's the Party?' seemed like a natural fit and they 'jumped at the opportunity to contribute to this project.'
'I have loved this song since I was a kid and I think it sums up my attitude towards partying and like, wondering where the party is and could possibly be,' Saulnier tells Spinner. 'Remember, no matter how s----y life can get, you have to keep asking, 'Where's the Party?''
Paper Bag Records announced Sunday via Twitter of a 'Post-Record Store Day gift for y'all....' The album celebrates the Canadian label's eighth anniversary.
Young Galaxy's Stephen Ramsay said Paper Bag Records' Trevor Larocque contacted the Montreal group not long after signing them with the idea of covering a song. The band said they immediately went with 'Open Your Heart.'
'I think we were the first ones he asked because we had our choice of any song off the album,' Ramsay tells Spinner, adding he's more of 'a Jellybean Benitez, early period Madge kind of guy' compared to 'True Blue' era Madonna.
'For this one, we thought it might be interesting to marry Madge to Krautrock - the sounds we used on the cover were purposefully reminiscent of Kraftwerk's 'Neon Lights' - to make it sound like the soundtrack to a retro-futuristic, coldly-lit midnight autobahn drive,' Ramsay adds. 'And the lyrics 'Open your heart with a key' - we imagined Catherine [McCandless] singing it as Robot Madonna!'
'In the end, we realized this song was actually about a love affair between two robots, which makes perfect sense, because Madonna was married to Sean Penn at the time 'True Blue' came out [laughs].'
Listeners have the option of listening to the album via Soundcloud or can download the record free of charge from Paper Bag Record's site. Songs covered include 'Open Your Heart' by Young Galaxy, 'Live to Tell' (We're Scared Version) by the Rural Alberta Advantage and 'Papa Don't Preach' by Woodhands, with the title track coming courtesy of Winter Gloves featuring Hannah Georgas.
'I was psyched to get on board,' Winter Gloves singer Charles F. tells Spinner. 'I thought of Hannah right away. She was playing Osheaga [Festival] that day - so I picked her up to record the vocals that night at my studio. We had no idea what we were doing.'
Meanwhile, Born Ruffians' Luke Lalonde says his band was left with 'Jimmy Jimmy' as all the other songs had been taken. As a result, the band seemed to glam their version up a bit.
'I'd never heard the song and when I listened, I knew we couldn't do anything along the lines of a conventional cover without it being a complete joke,' he tells Spinner. 'I decided to combine another song's feeling and emotion with it. Something truly cool to bring the Madonna song back down to earth a bit. I took the groove from a T.Rex song and started to play Madonna over it at home and, voila!'


Piers Don't Preach: Kelly Osbourne defends Madonna

On this evening's Piers Morgan Tonight, Sharon and Kelly Osbourne chatted with him about pretty much everything. When Morgan brought up his well-documented hatred for Madonna - and argued that she's a bad mother for thrusting daughter Lourdes into the spotlight - an annoyed Kelly did her best to put him in his place.

To watch the clip of Piers, Kelly and Sharon visit or click on the picture below.

Events: Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open a groundbreaking and provocative new exhibit that will illustrate the important roles women have played in rock and roll, from its inception through today. Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power will highlight the flashpoints, the firsts, the best, the celebrated - and sometimes lesser-known women - who moved rock and roll music and American culture forward.
The interactive exhibition will spotlight more than 70 artists and fill two entire floors of the museum. The exhibit will feature artifacts, video and listening stations, as well as a recording booth where visitors can film a short story or moment of inspiration related to women in rock. The exhibit will move through the rock and roll eras, weaving a powerful and engaging narrative that demonstrates how women have been the engines of creation and change in popular music, from the early years of the 20th century to the present.

Causing a Commotion: Madonna and the Pop Explosion
Madonna unapologetically celebrated and monetized her sexuality and physicality, paving the way for female performers to explore previously taboo roles and take control of their image and career. Highlighted artists will include Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Janet Jackson.

The exhibition will run from Friday 13 May 2011 to Sunday 26 February 2012.

More information can be found at

Thanks to Leo

UK TV: John Bishop's Britain Needs a Super-Fan

Rachael from Objective Productions is looking for a UK-based Madonna super-fan to take part in the new BBC1 series of John Bishop's Britain:

I am working on the second series of John Bishop’s Britain – the Saturday night entertainment show for BBC1. This show was a huge success last summer so we are making another series. The show is hosted by comedian John Bishop himself but with the involvement of the general public.
We are looking once again for lots of different people, from all walks of life, from all over Britain to take part in the show. We want them to tell us funny, interesting stories from their lives on various topics, from hobbies, to food, to Christmas! And we would really like to feature a super fan this time around.

Madonna 'would be great' for Sunset Boulevard remake

Andrew Lloyd Webber thinks Madonna would be a 'great Norma Desmond' in a remake of 'Sunset Boulevard'.
Madonna is being pursued for a role in a remake of 'Sunset Boulevard'.
The 52-year-old star - who will soon release her directorial debut 'W.E.', a two-tier tale about the relationship between Britain's King Edward VIII and his wife Wallis Simpson, and a modern day woman called Wally - is wanted by maestro Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber for a reimagining of the classic 1950 movie in the role of Norma Desmond, played by Gloria Swanson.
He told Piers Morgan: 'I bet you this never, ever, happens, but you know who would make a great Norma Desmond on screen? Madonna.'
'She's the right age. I've not got through to her. She hasn't taken my call this time.'
Andrew previously worked with Madonna as the composer and songwriter on 'Evita' - about the life of B-list Argentinean actress Eva Duarte - for which he won an Oscar for Best Music and Madonna picked up a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress.
The original 'Sunset Boulevard' tells the tale of a screenwriter who scripts a story for a faded silent-movie star.
It won three Oscars at the 1951 Academy Awards, including Best Music.


Vote: Most Attractive Woman of the Month

Following on from Madonna's victory as the Most Attractive Woman of the Week fans can now vote for Madonna in the Hello! magazine online poll to find the Most Attractive Woman of the Month.

Madonna is currently being beaten into second place by Angelina Jolie so fans need to vote now! Fans can vote in the poll once every ten minutes!

To vote for Madonna visit

Thanks to Didier and Dimitri

Liz Rosenberg makes Malawi statement

In recent days a number of wild and totally false rumors about Madonna's philanthropy - spread by bloggers and tabloids - have begun appearing on the internet. As we have said previously, Raising Malawi is currently undergoing a series of positive changes in an effort to serve more children. Neither Madonna nor Raising Malawi is being investigated by the FBI or the IRS. It is unfortunate that people have chosen to say things about Raising Malawi and Madonna that are not true. Madonna remains committed and focused on what matters helping the children of Malawi.

From Raising Malawi - thanks to Damon

Isaac: Madonna is so determined

Madonna is a 'formidable' filmmaker, Oscar Isaac has revealed.
The Sucker Punch actor stars in the Queen of Pop's new film, WE, and said it was surreal being directed by the music icon.
'She is definitely a formidable woman, she is such a determined and incredible woman that it never left my mind that this icon was directing us - yelling at me to make love better and things like that!' he said.
Oscar added: 'Anything she ever asked for was always right on. And she's very funny, that's what I wasn't expecting, she has a great self-deprecating humour and wit. I loved it, I love her.'
While his WE co-star Abbie Cornish had to Skype Madonna, Oscar - who plays Blue in Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch - had an easy-going encounter with the director in person.
'I was summoned to Madonna's 'lair', her house up in New York and met with her for a few hours. We just had a great conversation and off of that she hired me. It was awesome,' he recalled.
The 31-year-old plays security guard Evgeni, who has a love affair with Abbie's character Wally Winthrop in the drama.
'It's a modern day [story] and Abbie's character goes to Sotheby's to see them auctioning off all of Wallis Simpson's memorabilia. I'm a security guard that works there that she ends up having a romance with,' he revealed.


Madonna takes over the Raising Malawi reins

Madonna has removed the board of directors of her Raising Malawi charity amid accusations it wasted £2.4million on a project to build a school that never got off the ground.
The 52-year-old singer has herself now taken up the reins of the charity, which aims to help orphans and children with AIDS in the African state.
Among the board members axed is Kabbalah co-director Michael Berg.
Madonna took the decision after the charity’s £9 million flagship project – the Raising Malawi Girls’ Academy – was abandoned last week following an audit which discovered £2.4million had been frittered away by staff on golf memberships and chauffeur-driven cars.
And she has called in PR gurus Fabiani and Lehane – dubbed ‘The Masters of Disasters’ – to help her rebuild the charity’s image.
Madonna announced plans for the 500-pupil girls’ school in 2009 and flew into the country to lay the first brick. But two years on there is no further progress, and when The Mail on Sunday visited the site earlier this year it was still scrubland.
A spokesman for the singer confirmed a new interim board had been appointed which, it is understood, will include her manager Guy Oseary. Three of the four previous board members – Berg, John Larkin and Rachel Almog – had links to Kabbalah, the Jewish faith followed by Madonna.
The fourth board member, Philippe Van Den Bossche, was the executive director of Raising Malawi but left the charity last October. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing from any board members.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that Madonna has also hired a team of advisers after being hit by a string of lawsuits from former Raising Malawi employees and criticism over the charity’s handling of the Girls’ Academy project.
She drafted in Mark Fabiani and Chris Lehane, who earned their ‘Masters of Disasters’ sobriquet for their damage-control PR work when they worked for Bill Clinton in the White House.
They are reported to charge fees of £18,000 a month. In an email, Fabiani declined to comment on questions from The Mail on Sunday.
On March 23 – two days before the highly critical Raising Malawi audit was published – US law firm Bingham McCutchen announced they had also been hired by the singer. The firm said they had been appointed to handle ‘corporate, tax, intellectual property and employment work – as well as provide day-to-day legal advice regarding the nonprofit’s operations’.
A statement on the firm’s website said: ‘Madonna decided to change [Raising Malawi’s] focus and direction in order to increase its effectiveness.’
It is understood an internal investigation is still ongoing to establish exactly what happened with the Girls’ Academy project and how such large sums of money were spent without being accounted for.
The academy was planned to have housed 30 classrooms, 12 dormitories and 18 staff houses – including one for the head of the school, Anjimile Oponyo.
A source close to the singer said: ‘Madonna was misled by a series of people, and she was the first to call for an investigation as to how the school funds had been used by the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.
‘She is the single largest private donor to the country of Malawi, and the vast majority of her programmes have been an enormous success.’


Oscar Isaac Feared Gym Order From Madonna

Oscar Isaac feared Madonna would send him to exercise boot camp to prepare for his sex scenes in 'W.E.'.
The actor plays the part of bodyguard Evgeni in the new movie - a two-tier tale about Britain's King Edward VIII's romance with Wallis Simpson and a modern story about a woman named Wally - and he admits he was terrified about stripping off for his love scenes with co-star Abbie Cornish because the super-fit singer-turned-director was watching.
Speaking on the red carpet at the UK premiere of his new movie 'Sucker Punch' at the Vue cinema in London's Leicester Square, Oscar told BANG Showbiz: 'I play a security guard that Abbie's character Wally Winthrop falls in love with. We have a romance. That was one of the more intimidating moments. I had to take my clothes off in front of Madonna. I thought she was going to order me out of the room - 'Get out and get to the gym!' '
Despite his concerns, the 31-year-old hunk had a good time with Madonna - who has launched her own chain of gyms, entitled Hard Candy Fitness - on set after he got over his initial nerves.
Oscar - who stars alongside Vanessa Hudgens and Jena Malone in fantasy action movie 'Sucker Punch', which is directed by Zack Snyder - said: 'Madonna was great. It was intimidating but she's a pretty amazing woman. Is she a diva? I was hoping she would be one. She's actually very self-deprecating and really funny. She's actually very open.'


Madonna Donates Song To Japan Benefit Album

The Live version of Madonna's 'Miles Away' is included on the 'Songs For Japan' album to be released on iTunes.
Taken from her 2008 'Sticky & Sweet Tour', 'Miles Away' is featured along with songs by REM, U2, Sting, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Beyonce and many more.
All of the monies earned from 'Songs for Japan' will be directed to the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) to support its disaster relief efforts. The society will use the funds for the ongoing provision of immediate relief and for eventual recovery support to the affected population.
The artists participating on Songs for Japan, the major music labels - EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group - and music publishers have waived their royalties and proceeds from the worldwide sales of the album to ensure that the JRCS receives as much support as possible from this global initiative.
In addition, iTunes will donate all proceeds from the album's worldwide sales to the benefit of the JRCS.
Visit your local iTunes Store now to download.