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April 2014

Jojo Zolina on dancing with Madonna at her fitness centre

He's the Filipino Canadian who danced his way into Madonna's kingdom. Jojo Zolina - in Mumbai to conduct dance workshops - was amongst the 100 who auditioned last year to be a dance instructor at Hard Candy, the pop icon's fitness centre in Toronto. Only 10 were picked and he was one of them. And then, after a month of intense six-hour training sessions every day, he was finally dancing alongside his idol at the grand opening of the centre.

'Madonna is amazing to work with. Her spirit, talent, energy, intelligence, business sense and sheer class is inspiring. She's organised and knows what she wants. Her team knows what to expect of her and she knows what to expect from them. Madonna connects with each of the dancers and doesn't even need to speak. She just has to look at them and she knows if they need help or if they have nailed the routine,' says Jojo, whose training sessions at Mumbai's Temperance India were presented by the Kundu House Project.

An instructor for the 'heels class' and 'addicted to sweat', Jojo teaches people who want to lose weight, be active, de-stress as well as those 'who just want to dance to Madonna music'.

Madonna and Nicole Winhoffer, her personal trainer for 10 years, select the DJ for the sessions, but Jojo makes a mix of the diva's songs so people are inspired, feel energised and can sing along while working out.

So how often does Jojo interact with Madonna? It all depends on what she is doing at that point in time. If she is working on an album and is busy in the studio, he may not see much of her. After an album is released, she tours with pre-selected dancers. But she still remains very involved with the fitness centre, as she and Nicole create the content and programmes for Hard Candy Fitness gyms worldwide. Though Madonna lives in New York, she stays connected with her team on an online video forum. 'They fly down to teach us new choreography. She is open to change as long as the choreography is the same around the world,' says the dancer, dressed in shorts, a black tank top, a sleeveless jacket and sporting a bowler hat.

Jojo has choreographed music videos for Cory Lee and Brock Zanrosso, performed with Michael Buble, K-OS and Nelly Furtado and also in the films Pacific Rim, Dr Doolittle 3 and Catwoman. He would also like to work with Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. He did audition once, for Janet Jackson's Super Bowl. 'There were 300 guys auditioning and she was only looking for 15 guys. I made it to the top 50, killing the freestyle and choreography sections, but lost out on technique. That's when I realised I needed dance classes.'

In the next five years, he plans to travel and do more productions. Or he might take a trip down under, not to dance, but to snowboard, surf and explore the mountains.


UNIQLO Music Icons Madonna Tshirts

UNIQLO are launching three new Madonna tshirts as part of their UT Music Icons collection. All the Madonna styles are men’s - but obviously can we worn by women too! The tshirts will be available at and instore from Monday 28 April and are priced at £12.90.

UPDATE: We have been informed by UNIQLO UK that these tshirts have now been delayed by one week - so should be available week commencing Monday 05 May.

madonnalicious reader Ben spotted the tshirts already instore in Japan and shares these pictures showing the Madonna Music Icons labels.

UNIQLO are also running a contest to win an entire new UT wardrobe worth £260 and ten runners up will get to pick a UT of their choice – this obviously includes the music icons range.

All you have to do is simply upload a Selfie inspired by the UT campaign imagery (your best UT inspired pose) onto instagram using hashtag #SelfieUT and tag us @uniqlo_uk – you don't even have to be wearing any UT to enter!

Madonna Calls Kale 'Gay', World Totally Overreacts

What a commotion over leafy vegetables. Madonna called kale ‘gay’ and now a whole load of people are offended. OK, you need some context with that? Well, here it is:

Madge was playing a game of word association in which she associated Hillary Clinton 'angry' and the Crocs shoe as 'effective'.

Then, when confronted with kale (the world reknowned andmuch respected superfood) she associated it with ‘gay’. Well, it is rather fabulous.

And now the world is all up in arms with some sections of it suggesting Madonna is a big ol’ homophobe and was using the term as an insult. Maybe Madge just hates kale because it’s biggest advocate is her arch enemy Gwyneth Paltrow?

Seriously though, we think that this is rather a jump considering the woman is a well know AIDS/HIV activist and just provided the soundtrack to a mass wedding of (yep, you guessed it) gays at the Grammys.

However, even if she did use the word in a negative sense (which would have been a bit silly, granted) we reckon it’s still not justifiable to call her homophobic. Don’t forget that Putin and the Russians almost sued her because of her support of gay people.

Saying this, some people will continue to be outraged. We suppose it’s best to let them stew.

From Amy Nickell / Yahoo! Celebrity

Madonna criticised over 'gay' tag

Madonna has been criticised after she used the word 'gay' as an insult. The singer used the term despite being considered a gay icon and having spoken out on equal rights in the past.

The singer, 55, was taking part in a word association game for Buzzfeed when she made the comment.

She labelled Hillary Clinton 'angry' and the Crocs shoe as 'effective'.

When presented with the leafy vegetable kale, she wrote 'gay' - she also used the term to describe Russian President Vladimir Putin.

One fan said: 'I am surprised she is using the word 'gay' as an insult. I thought she was more sensitive than that.' Another wrote on the site: 'Could have done without the 'gay' comments but otherwise funny.'

In January, Madonna apologised for using a racial slur to refer to her white son on Instagram. She posted a picture of her 13-year-old son Rocco boxing and used a hashtag that contained a variation of the n-word. She said she used the word as a term of endearment.

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News

Mert Alas Claims To Be 'Listening To The New Album'

Mert Alas, one half of the fashion photography pair Mert + Marcus and a frequent Madonna collaborator, caused quite the online kerfuffle by posting a photo of Madge on Instagram on Monday with a caption in which he claimed to be 'listening to the new album.'

'In my room listening to the NEW ALBUM!!!!! Im DYING!!!!!! LET ME LOVE YOU FROM INSIDE OUT @madonna.'

Could the follow-up to 2012's 'MDNA' be upon us? A rep for Madonna has declined a request for comment, but sources tell Billboard that the pop superstar's next full-length is not yet completed, and that she is still writing and recording new music for the set, presumably in Los Angeles.

Last month, Madonna told her Instagram followers that she was 'on my way to the studio to work with Avicii,' and hit the studio earlier this month to work with Natalia Kills and Martin Kierszenbaum. Toby Gad, S1 and MoZella are also attached to the new project.


Whatever the real story is (and he could be listening to songs from the album), this post by Mert Alas got social media alight last night with some very excited fans looking forward to new music from Madonna and getting #Madonna13IsComing (it will be her 13th studio album) trending worldwide on Twitter.

Jean-Paul Gaultier In Conversation: A Brief Report

JPG was in conversation with Susy Menkes (from Vogue) last night at the Barbican Centre in London. The entire conversation was filmed and should be available later via the Barbican website.

madonnalicious has always loved JPG from our early days watching him on UK TV on Eurotrash (and of course his fashion!), but after watching him in conversation for about 90 minutes last night, we think we love him even more. He spoke of his childhood (designing bras for his teddy bear), his grandfather who inspired JPG's love for Britishness (being that he had a 'little-bit of Brit in him), how he got into the world of couture and how a mean teacher showed him he could be loved by drawing.

As a boy JPG was drawing a fashion design in class, his teacher was not pleased that he was not listening to the lesson, so tried to humiliate him. The teacher pinned the drawing to JPG's back and made his parade around all the other classes BUT this punishment didn't have the desired effect and JPG found people loving his picture and even asking him to draw for them. He realised he could find love through his art. Naturally Madonna was brought up in the conversation, and he explained how he had loved her from the beginning of her career.

He spoke of how he saw her on Top of the Pops (or 'Pop of the Tops' as he called it) performing Holiday. He described being inspired by her clothes, string vest, bra showing, cut-off leggings, bracelets and feeling that she had such an unusual style that she must be English. Later he found out she was American and was surprised! He was in NYC when he saw Madonna perform Like A Virgin in the wedding dress on the MTV awards and noted that the fans loved her, but the industry in the audience were not so sure and only politely applauded. Later after she sold millions of records, he noted how the industry became a lot more enthusiastic.

JPG was very excited when Madonna wore one of his dresses to the premiere of Desperately Seeking Susan. After this he got to meet her and work with her. He laughed when talking about the iconic cone bras for the Blond Ambition tour, saying that Madonna was behind-the-times as these had first been designed for a collection four or five years earlier. He also stated that she was a great business women but that they don't talk business.

Later during the audience Q&A session someone asked what he thought about the new generation of female pop stars (Miley and Lady Gaga). JPG explained that he felt Lady Gaga's fashion is eccentricity more than style. Girls wanted to and could emulate Madonna's style but it is much harder to copy Lady Gaga as her fashion is more like a piece of art. And Miley, well he said 'I don't know what happens to these Disney girls. It must be Mickey!'

Madonna Invades BuzzFeed Offices for Art For Freedom

Madonna dropped in at BuzzFeed's New York offices Monday evening and commandeered one of their computers to comment on submissions to ArtForFreedom, a 'platform to define what freedom means to them and to allow them to express their right for freedom of expression.'

Earlier in the month, she called upon the BuzzFeed community to share with her their 'artistic expressions of freedom.' She sat at a desk and commented on various submissions.

Here are a few of her comments:

The Body Is Not An Apology
'this one is my favorite. we waste far too much time trying to conform to what society expects us to look like. In fact the body is temporary and its kind of amazing how much time we waste on something that is impermanent.'

'don't quit your day job. however its a very good point. people don't know how to listen its a lost artform. mostly because everyone is on their phone.'

Is It A Crime To Be A WOMAN?
'in some societies it is a crime to be a woman…women are still treated like second class citizens in many parts of the world. Hopefully that will end one day soon. I love this art, its really good.'

Why Juggalos Inspire Me
'i love the idea of family, but i'm worried about everyone's health.'

From The Wrap / Yahoo! Celebrity

Madonna's Instagram: 'I dare you to read a book!'

Madonna just posted this on her Instagram account daring her fans to read a life-changing book this weekend:

I dare you to read a book this weekend! War and Peace? To Kill a Mocking Bird? Catcher in the Rye? The Heart is a Lonely Hunter? For Whom the Bell Tolls? As i lay Dying? Giovanni's Room? The Bell Jar? These books changed my life. #artforfreedom #rebelheart

Madonna Hits The Studio With Natalia Kills

Madonna's in the studio with Natalia Kills and Martin Kierszenbaum.

The Queen of Pop shared an image on Instagram late in the evening on Wednesday with the caption 'Working the midnight shift with Natalia Kills. 2 girls on a couch… don't it taste like Holy Water? #artforfreedom #rebelheart #revolutionoflove'

In the photo, Madonna is sitting with pop singer/songwriter Kills, in front of two microphones. In the foreground is Martin Kierszenbaum, the founder and chairman of Cherrytree Records (Kills' label) and senior executive of A&R for Interscope Records.

Among his many credits, Kierszenbaum A&R'd Lady Gaga's debut album 'The Fame,' and co-wrote and produced four of the songs on the set. He also did A&R for Gaga's 'The Fame Monster' EP.



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Madonna's Instagram: Education for girls!

Madonna posted these two pictures of Humaira and Sharmeen who are risking their lives to build a school in Karachi:

'2 freedom fighters from Pakistan risking there lives to build a school in Karachi against all odds! Humaira and Sharmeen iI'm so proud of you. School is almost finished. #rayoflight #revolutionoflove #rebelhearts'

'Mercy James and Humaira dream about girls being able to go to school everywhere! Knowledge is Power! #revolutionoflove #rebelheart #artforfreedom'

Madonna To Host Live Art For Freedom Curation

Freedom Fighters! Make sure to join Madonna on BuzzFeed on April 14th (exact time to be announced later on) for a live Art For Freedom curation!

After starting in September 2013, Madonna is now asking for you to share your artistic expression of Freedom with her and the BuzzFeed community.

For more info and to submit your entry, please visit the devoted BuzzFeed page before April 14.

Also, Madonna created a list of some of the freedom fighters who have guided her along the way with their actions and art, so go ahead and check it out now at


Madonna's $2,500 Bra Goes Missing From Shoot

Madonna has always been known for her brazen choice of brassieres. And decades after her infamous cone bra took flight, the Material Girl is embroiled in a bra scandal after a pricey underpinning went missing from the set of a New York photo shoot last month.

According to, a $2,545 bra designed by New York-based lingerie designer Deborah Marquit was stolen after the performer's photo shoot with L'uomo Vogue. Marquit staffers told the NYPD that a $345 thong and a $515 brief were among the other expensive pieces taken around midnight after being stowed under a chair around 4 p.m. on March 20.

When reached by email, a rep for the fashion label tells Pret-a-Reporter that the pull consisted of 'a large amount of lingerie samples' that were borrowed for the shoot.

'We received only 13 pieces back of the 34 that were loaned to the shoot, and the rest were either lost or stolen because we never got them back,' the Marquit rep writes. 'Deborah would just like the samples found and returned.'

According to Marquit's website, the designer's pieces have been worn by Britney Spears, Hilary Swank and Rihanna, with everyday lace items starting at $65 for a thong and going up to $295 for a leopard bra.

Pret-a-Reporter has reached out to Madonna's rep for comment.


Mantegna Saved Madonna From Fan During Broadway Play

Actor Joe Mantegna raced to Madonna's rescue when an eager fan jumped on stage during their Broadway play in 1988. The Tony Award winner shared the stage with actor Ron Silver and the Material Girl during her Broadway debut in David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow. Mantegna recalls a scary moment when an eager Madonna fan attempted to get close to his idol. He explains, 'We were doing the play one night, we'd been doing it quite a while at that point. It's a three character play. So I said a line to her, and all of a sudden I saw this look on her face and it looked like fright! I'm thinking, 'Well, she's making an odd choice tonight with how she's doing this line.''

'I notice she's looking over my shoulder and as I turned I saw a guy had come up out of the audience, jumped up on the stage and he's coming toward her. All I could think of was, 'This is a three character play, and you're not in it. We don't need a fourth.''

He continues, 'My instinct was to turn around, so I grabbed him, I pulled him over and threw him into the wings, because by now the stagehands (were) all waiting to see what he'd do. I came back up on stage and we got back into the play.'


Miley Cyrus named as next curator for Art For Freedom

Madonna is set to team up with Miley Cyrus again after asking the Wrecking Ball singer to guest curate her latest Art for Freedom online project. The two pop superstars will collaborate to choose the daily featured submission on the website.

Announcing the news on Wednesday, Madonna said, 'There has never been a more crucial time to participate and help create change in the world. I’ve been so inspired by people’s submissions since we began and I welcome Miley’s input along with her fans to express themselves artistically and to share their creative ideas on the subject of human rights and freedom of speech. Miley and I look forward to hearing your voices in the format of your choice throughout the month of April and onward.'

Thrilled Miley added, 'I’m glad to join Madonna in encouraging people to have their voices heard at It’s an ideal home to see how each of us can participate in changing the world for the better.'

The singers will select a winning submission from all those tendered and present a $10,000 grant to a charity of the winner's choice.