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January 2013

Madonna's Super Bowl Halftime Show Named The Greatest

Rolling Stone ran an online poll to find out what readers thought was the greatest Super Bowl halftime show - and Madonna's 2012 halftime show came first!

The Super Bowl halftime show is a very tough gig. About 160 million people are watching, and the performers have about 14 minutes. Some opt to play three or four of their best songs, while others do a big medley that packs in as many of their hits as possible. No matter what they do, a good chunk of the crowd will hate it, or at least switch over to the Puppy Bowl midway.
If done right, however, it's a great way to revive a career, or at least sell a ton of tickets to the artist's next tour. We asked our readers last week to select their favorite halftime shows of all time.

#1 Madonna had a very ambitious tour plan for 2012, and the single best way to promote it was a Super Bowl halftime show. She went all out for the performance, bringing in Cee Lo Green, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A. and even acrobats. The set was wall-to-wall hits with her pretty flaccid new single 'Give Me All Your Luvin'' in the middle. M.I.A. tried to perk up the song by sticking her middle finger up on camera, which didn't exactly thrill Madonna or the NFL - though next to Nipplegate, it was a pretty tiny scandal. The next day, tickets went on sale for her world tour and sold out everywhere.

To find out who else followed Madonna on the top ten visit

Relive the performance below - madonnalicious remembers being up at a ridiculous time in the UK to watch this live on TV - but it was definitely worth it!

MDNA tour proven more successful than originally thought

Last week, Billboard released the updated final numbers for Madonna's MDNA tour, which was widely publicized to have made 296 million dollars. Apparently, all shows weren't accounted for and Madonna actually made almost 306 million dollars. This gives her the 10th biggest moneymaking tour of all time.
What's interesting about these numbers is the fact that Elton John and others have declared Madonna's career as 'over' this past year. Elton John, who played to mostly empty houses this past year, shouldn't be one to talk. There is no doubt he's had an amazing career, but to call someone far more successful than you 'over' seems a bit hypocritical.
This isn't to say that Madonna is perfect either. There has been a lot of bad publicity over her recent tour. Most of the bad publicity is unwarranted and sexist, but some is deserved. The fact that she started many of her shows at 10:30 p.m. (even one time 11:30 p.m.) is very disrespectful to fans who have paid so much money to see their idol.
We hear that there were many technical difficulties for the MDNA tour. We also hear that Madonna was not backstage laughing while crowds waited impatiently; she was making sure everything was perfect. In other words, Madonna thought she was caring for her fans by doing several vocal rehearsals, dance rehearsals, and analyzing everything to make sure her show was perfect for the fans, even if she came on stage late. Madonna does care about her fans, but not in a way that makes everybody happy.
2013 will - for the most part - be a peaceful year for the Queen of Pop. She deserves some time off. There may be a soundtrack song released and we hear she has been talking with Patrick Leonard, the man she cowrote 'Live to Tell,' 'Like a Prayer,' and many other classics with. There is also a big possibility that Madonna will perform at various events. Let's hope the Queen of Pop will show the world, once again, why she has earned her title.


Madonna To Open Hard Candy Gym In Rome

Madonna is planning to open a gym in the centre of Rome, across from the Colosseum Roman amphitheatre, this spring.
The Italian-American pop star and actress founded the Hard Candy Fitness global luxury fitness brand in partnership with New Evolution Ventures. The brand has entered into a partnership with Dabliu, one of largest Italian networks in the fitness industry, to develop the Rome market.
The gym will be housed in a 13,000 square foot location in the heart of Rome’s historic centre. The three-storey, amenity-packed club will include studios for yoga and group fitness. The brand’s ‘Addicted to Sweat’ programmes based on the same routines Madonna uses to stay fit, and which were recently released on DVD, will be featured.
The fitness centre will offer a selection of traditional group fitness classes, designated spaces for functional and personal training, and a coffee bar. Members can also enjoy a cycling studio resting in a balcony overlooking the club’s main floor.
Andrea Pambianchi, co-owner of Dabliu and project manager of Hard Candy Fitness Rome, said: 'After 16 years since our first step into the fitness industry, we are preparing to start a new and exciting adventure and once again revolutionising the concept of fitness. In early 2013, we will open Hard Candy Fitness Rome, the world’s most innovative fitness brand founded by Madonna.'
Mike Apple, SVP of International Business Development for Hard Candy Fitness said: 'We are thrilled to partner with Dabliu to bring the brand to the Italian market. Hard Candy Fitness Rome will showcase the brand’s unique fitness approach and luxury atmosphere in one of the most historic, famous neighborhoods in the world.'
Madonna opened the first Hard Candy Fitness in Mexico City in 2010. Since then, she has launched clubs in Moscow, Sydney, and Santiago in Chile. The pop icon is expected to announce the opening of several other gyms this year as the chain continues its expansion around the world.


'MDNA' Tour Makes Billboard Boxscore's All-Time Top 10

The final numbers are in, and Madonna's 2012 'MDNA' tour has retained her box office form, clocking in at $305,158,363 gross with 2,212,345 in attendance over 88 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore. The tour began in Israel last May 31 and finished in Argentina on Dec. 22, hitting Europe, Asia and North America in between.
The 'MDNA' final box office tally is enough to rank 'MDNA' No. 10 all-time in tours as reported to Boxscore, sandwiched between the Rolling Stones' 'Licks' tour of 2002-2003 ($311 million) and the Stones' 'Bridges To Babylon' tour of 1997-98 ($274 million).
This is Madonna's second time in the Boxscore Top 10; the 'Sticky & Sweet' tour of 2008-09 was third all-time at $408 million, the highest ever for a solo artist. Her 2006 'Confessions' tour came in at $194 million. All of these tours, including 'MDNA,' were produced by Live Nation's Global Touring division, headed by LNGT chairman Arthur Fogel, who offhandedly predicted to Billboard back in April that MDNA would end up a Boxscore Top 10 tour.
Had 'MDNA' played Australian stadiums, as was initially considered, the tour would have moved up a few notches up the all-time list. As it stood and as it stands, 'MDNA' was the highest-grossing tour for 2012 according to Boxscore, making it Madonna's third time closing a year at the top of the box office heap, the others being 2009 and 2004. Madonna joined the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Bon Jovi as the only acts to be Billboard's highest-grossing tour twice in a three-year span, and 'MDNA' gives Fogel and Live Nation their sixth top tour over the past 10 years.
'MDNA' is the second tour under a 10-year multi-rights deal between Madonna and Live Nation, signed in 2007. 'MDNA' is Madonna's fifth tour with Fogel's team, a run that marks the Material Girl's ascent into the elite ranks of touring artists and inarguably makes her the top touring female artist of all time.
'It seems like I have said this a number of times following Madonna tours - five times to be precise: the overwhelming global success of the 'MDNA' tour proves yet again that Madonna is the greatest female touring artist,' Fogel told Billboard as the tour came to a close. 'As this tour takes its place as one of the most successful in history, I can't help but enjoy the fact that it is the millions of fans who determine that. Thank you to [Madonna manager] Guy Oseary and the entire staff and crew of 'MDNA.''


Madonna inspires trainer

Madonna's personal trainer says the star's 'fit body' is the only thing that gets her through the day.
The Vogue songstress is launching a new DVD series called Addicted to Sweat with her trainer Nicole Winhoffer.
Nicole says that Madonna has been highly involved in all aspects of the workout DVD production, from the music, the routine and the final look of each volume in the series.
'Fitness is so important to her because she's one to empower people. She is an example - not just as a pop icon, but an example as a businesswoman, an entrepreneur, a woman that's in shape,' Nicole explained to The Huffington Post.
'The only way she is able to get through her day and schedule all her meetings and to be there for her children is to have a fit body. She makes time in her schedule for the workout. It gets her mind and body to connect. She always wants to be the best and everyone around her to be the best. Her fitness is the key. She's the perfect example to share her workout with people around the world.'
The famously toned pop legend has long been known for her love of working out. Nicole says the star is planning on bringing her branded gym studios, which are already up and running in Mexico, to the US in the future. It was through pursuing her Mexico gym dream that Madonna realised her desire to release an at home fitness DVD.
'In 2010 Madonna opened her first gym in Mexico City, and the idea for the opening was to teach a cardio class. She thought that would be a great idea, so we taught a class and the members loved it. She led the class and I was next to her,' Nicole continued. 'I always document the programs I do with her, and we went through my diary and she chose one of the programs to turn into the DVD, which she named Addicted to Sweat.'


Prince on Madonna: This is not a love song

In a wide-ranging interview in Billboard's latest issue, of which he graces the cover, Prince had some not-so kind words to say about his fellow performers.
Talking about his contract with Warner Bros. Records - over which he was so upset at what he considered the company's botched promotion of his albums that he changed his name to a symbol for several years in protest - the 54-year-old music legend lashed out at the Material Girl, whom he blamed for taking up much of the label's focus at his expense.
'It was also about Madonna,' Prince told the magazine (via Zap2it) regarding his decision to churn out a series of albums to fulfill his contractual obligation so he could declare his independence. 'She was getting paid, but at the time we were selling more records and selling out concerts on multiple nights.'
As it happened, Madonna also sought freedom from the heavy hand of the music giant when she exited Warner, which had distributed her Maverick Records label for 15 years, for a lucrative deal with Live Nation in 2007.
But the Queen of Pop wasn't only one in Prince's bad books.
The mercurial Minneapolis musician also took a shot at Maroon 5 for covering his classic hit 'Kiss.' While Prince himself said he has no problem covering other bands' tunes in his concerts and paying the requisite royalty for doing so, he questioned the point of recording another artist's track for actual release.
'Why do we need to hear another cover of a song someone else did? Art is about building a new foundation, not just laying something on top of what's already there,' he said.
Ouch. No word what Maroon 5, or Madonna for that matter, has to say about all of this.

From E! Online

Madonna close to settling legal battle over Brando shot

Madonna is close to settling her legal spat with the administrators of Marlon Brando's estate after using the late movie star's image on tour.
The pop star flashed a shot of the actor up on a big screen during performances of her name-dropping hit Vogue on her MDNA tour, upsetting Brando's estate bosses, who sued over the alleged illegal use of the photo.
Brando's licensing representatives demanded £62,500 for each non-wilful use and £625,000 for each wilful use of the image.
But it appears both sides are close to reaching a deal - lawyers have informed the court they have reached a settlement in principle but need time to execute full agreement.

From OK! Magazine

buildOn Schools Constructed in Partnership with Raising Malawi

buildOn partnered with Raising Malawi have released this statement to respond to quotes in the press from Malawi Education Minister Eunice Kazembe who argued that Madonna's charity didn't play such a big part in the project. She says: 'The schools Raising Malawi claims to have constructed were already in existence. Raising Malawi only built 10 classroom blocks and not schools. People should know the difference between the two and Malawi government officials were keen to clarify any misconceptions that may arise.'

Here is buildOn's response from

In January of 2012, buildOn partnered with Raising Malawi to build ten two-classroom schools for rural villages of the Kasungu District of Malawi. Each school was built with a corrugated metal roof and poured concrete floor.
The locations for each school were chosen in partnership with the District Education Manager’s Office in the Kasungu District. Each village that was selected had no adequate school structure; priority was given to villages with no school infrastructure at all. Prior to buildOn and Raising Malawi, children in these villages attended classes in either a temporary structure or outside under a tree. Each classroom is built to hold 50 children at any given time.
Each school was constructed in partnership with the communities who will benefit from the structures. buildOn and Raising Malawi provided the construction materials, transportation, skilled labor, project management, and construction plans. Each partnering community provides a gender-balanced leadership team, volunteer labor, land, local building materials, and authorization from the government to have a school. Each community also agrees that boys and girls will attend schools in equal numbers.
The District of Education Manager’s Office in Kasungu has provided 44 educators for the schools who are now teaching the Ministry’s approved curriculum. Once completed each community and school leadership team manages the use of each structure.
buildOn has constructed 72 two-classroom schools Malawi since 1993. In 2013, we plan to build 23 additional two-classroom schools in the Kasungu and Neno District of Malawi in partnership with each region’s District Education Manager’s office.

Madonna's No. 1 status is written in her MDNA

Hit the road, Jack.
That may well be the take-away for musicians when reading Calendar's annual Ultimate Top 10 list, a ranking that combines income from recordings as well as the concert box office to show who had the most lucrative years according to numbers reported by Nielsen SoundScan and the concert industry-tracking publication Pollstar.
Since the Ultimate Top 10 began in 1998, there's often been a sizable split between the acts that make their nut from touring and those earning most of their money at physical and virtual cash registers from recordings.
In 2012, however, all but one of the acts that finished in the Top 10 made it primarily - or exclusively - from their concerts. The exception was the ever-exceptional Adele, who, for the first time since SoundScan began tracking retail sales in 1991, claimed the same bestselling album two years in a row with '21.'
Among the top-selling pop musicians of the year, including Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Mumford & Sons, Jason Aldean, Maroon 5 and Carrie Underwood, only Bieber and Aldean made the Ultimate Top 10 because both spent significant quality time on the road during the year.
The trend is yet another troubling sign for the record industry, even as year-end Nielsen SoundScan reports held some areas of optimism for the many musicians, label execs and others in the industry who still put stock in digital downloads, CDs, vinyl and other forms of music that live on after the final notes of a concert have faded into the night.
Finally, the usual Ultimate Top 10 caveat: This isn't the final word on musicians' total financial picture, as it does not include merchandising, product endorsements, song placements in movies and TV shows, ring tones, website subscriptions and myriad other sources of income that artists and their management keep much closer to their vests.
Recording sales revenue is calculated using an average price of $10 per album and $1.14 cents per digital track, as more tracks are now being offered at $1.29 per download rather than the 99-cent price that initially was the iTunes standard.

The results:

1. Madonna, $144 million. The queen of reinvention had the highest-grossing tour worldwide (MDNA) with $296.1 million, so it's no surprise that she was tops in North America too, thanks to $133.7 million from 45 shows in 31 cities. Like other 1970s and '80s acts that made the Top 10, a much smaller share of her Ultimate total came from digital track sales - just $2.1 million compared with $8.2 million for physical and digital album sales.

To read the rest of the report and see who else made the top ten visit:

Thanks to Brian

Fan Memories: Madonna's Promo Show At HMV Oxford Street

With the sad news that the UK music retailer HMV has gone into administration madonnalicious looks back at a great highpoint for Madonna fans and HMV.

On Friday 09 May 2003 Madonna played a one-off free show at the Oxford Street store in London to promote her American Life album. Fans had to queue for a wristband on the Wednesday before the show, then come back and queue for the show on the Friday. As usual for Madonna lots of queuing was involved ;-)

Here is a picture madonnalicious took of the store front on the day of the show.

A totally chaotic BUT memorable event watching Madonna perform an intimate show while standing squashed in between all the racks of records and CDs! Everytime madonnalicious goes back into that store the memories come flooding back!

Below is an article from NME about the show - including a picture of the queue of fans waiting to get in and the setlist of the show.

Larry Gagosian talks about the days Madonna was his driver

He’s long been thought of as the most powerful man in the art world but even in his early days Larry Gagosian attracted star quality.
Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth was his first framer as he set up his fledgling poster business. And when he started making his living as an art dealer, Madonna was his driver.
Talking to Interview magazine, he recalls the time that his artist-client Jean-Michel Basquiat came to live with him in LA and dragged his girlfriend along.
'He said, ‘Her name is Madonna and she’s going to be huge...So Madonna came out and stayed for a few months and we all got along like one big, happy family… I lost my license at one point and Madonna actually became our driver for a while.'
'Madonna drove us around! But she was no joke. Even then you could see the discipline and focus and ambition. She’d go running every morning. She’d do yoga. She’d be on the phone with her people. You got the sense she was serious. I wouldn’t say that we’re really friends anymore, but whenever I see her, we have this nice history.'
He’s probably sold her a few paintings since then, too.


Madonna slashes asking price for California home

Pop superstar Madonna has lowered the asking price for her Beverly Hills mansion from £17.5 million to £14 million after it failed to sell.
The Material Girl quietly put the French Country-style California home on the market as a pocket listing last March, but the nine-bedroom pad remained unsold by the end of the year.
Madonna has now formally placed the pad up for sale at the reduced price in a bid to attract potential buyers, according to the RealEstalker blog.
The property also boasts a gym, an art studio, two guest houses and a full-sized screening room.

From OK! Magazine

Christopher Ciccone compares Madonna and Lady Gaga's style

Lady Gaga's style has been branded 'massively way over the top' by Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone.
The former artistic director has slammed the pop star for not emulating his sister's dress sense more.
Christopher designed the stages for some of the legendary performer's most memorable tours including Blonde Ambition and Girlie Show.
Rather than criticise Gaga for her 'borrowing' of Madonna's key looks in the past, Christopher has declared she has made a mistake in not following her example more carefully.
'What I would do with Gaga is stream it all down and get rid of all the c**p and make her a real person. It's cool on some level, but when you start out massively way over the top, there is nowhere to go,' Christopher told the Huffington Post. 'You get stuck there and you disconnect from the audience. You become this freak on the stage.'
Madonna’s outspoken sibling went on to explain why he thinks his sister has been so spot on with her image evolution. He declared that her trick is to present an aspirational yet attainable image to the public.
'You have to remember what really made Madonna really popular is that girls could dress like her. You can’t dress like Gaga, only on Halloween perhaps. It's a really big part of being a performer - getting your fans to follow you,' Christopher continued. 'You have to evolve. At one point with Madonna, it was time for the tights to go.'
Christopher has now turned his hand from designing tours to designing shoes. Never the less, the controversial fashion critic revealed there is one celebrity’s wardrobe he is desperate to get his hands on.
'I would love to overhaul Kelly Clarkson. I would certainly give her a style. She needs something,' Christopher admitted. 'The girl's got an amazing voice; it's just the girl comes onstage dowdy and there is no particular look to her. She could do so much better. I don't know if she doesn't care and that’s fine, I just feel there is so much more.'


Madonna, Bruce Springsteen biggest 2012 world tours

Pop and rock music legends bested their younger chart-topping competition on the concert trail in 2012, according to data released on Friday by trade publication Pollstar.
Pop matriarch Madonna, 54, led all competition, grossing some $296.1 million (184.2 million pounds) in ticket sales in her 88-show world tour. She topped Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band ($210.2 million) and Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters ($186.4 million).
The elder statesmen of the music world, while no longer topping the charts or scoring radio hits, are doing well because their older audiences can afford to pay higher ticket prices, Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar editor, told Reuters.
'Certainly the older acts charge more because they can get away with it,' he said.
The Rolling Stones were able to command an eye-popping $529.51 average ticket price. Their five-show tour in November and December grossed $35.5 million, good enough for No. 33 on the list.
British rockers Coldplay were No. 4 on the list, taking in $171.3 million. Lady Gaga placed fifth grossing $161.4 million while at No. 6 Cirque Du Soleil's tribute to late King of Pop Michael Jackson grossed $140.2 million during a 172-show tour.
Teen sensation Justin Bieber, who played a 35-show tour, failed to crack the top 20, taking in $40.2 million, at No. 23.
Acts that cemented their reputations decades ago dominated the top-grossing tours even while playing fewer shows.
Country stars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw placed seventh grossing $96.5 million in 23 shows, while heavy metal pioneers Metallica were one spot lower at $86.1 million over 30 shows.
Some artists have been enticed to jack-up their own ticket prices after seeing how much more re-sellers were able to command, Bongiovanni explained.
'Now it's a matter of how much money can I make,' he said. 'Some artists like Springsteen are very popular but if you look at their average ticket price it's nowhere near Roger Waters, Madonna and Lady Gaga.'
The average face-value ticket price for a Springsteen concert was $91.95, which was well below the $140.38 average for Madonna and $110.96 for Roger Waters.
Eight separate Cirque Du Soleil shows appeared in the top 50, which did not include the circus company's non-travelling shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere. All told, the Canadian company may have earned close to $1 billion in gross ticket sales, Bongiovanni said.
Elton John ($69.9 million) and Red Hot Chili Peppers ($57.8 million) rounded out the top 10.

From Reuters Via Yahoo! News

Madonna Stalker Handed Three Years Probation

A Madonna fan who was arrested outside the singer's New York home in 2010 has been sentenced to three years probation.
Former firefighter Robert Linhart reportedly spray-painted love notes to the Material Girl on poster boards near her Big Apple apartment in September 2010, before returning for a second time days later.
He was detained by cops and accused of resisting arrest.
At a trial in November (12), Linhart was convicted of the charge and on Wednesday (02Jan12), a judge ordered him to serve three years probation and attend anger management classes.


Be Involved In Monte's Kickstarter Project

Anyone who was lucky enough to meet Madonna's longtime guitarist Monte Pittman during the MDNA tour will know that he is very generous with all the fans he meets, so now you have a chance to pay it back and be a part of Monte's next project:

This is the Kickstarter project for my new upcoming album. It's heavy & you can be a part of it! MONTSTER WORLD DOMINATION 2013!
The world is getting smaller, the world as we know it is changing, and the 'Power' is in your hands...
As some say the music business is bleak and will never be what it was before, musicians have never had a more promising future for getting their music out there to the public. More and more bands, artists, and entrepreneurs are turning to Kickstarter to seek funding for their project. The artist has complete freedom and YOU are now the record label.
Almost 2 years ago now, I was completely blown away (and overwhelmed!) by the support of my first Kickstarter project for my second album 'Pain, Love, & Destiny'. Again, I want to thank everyone who supported that. The album was an incredible success for me mainly because people tell me how much both them and their kids love it or that it hasn't left their cd player since they first got it - over a year ago...
I wasn't sure if I was going to do another Kickstarter project for this album. The last one is still one of the most successfully funded albums from the rock music genre and it was a lot of work. After some people asked if I would do another one, I thought about it and it IS a great experience to have everyone involved.

To find out more about getting involved with the project visit