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April 2010

Laying the First Brick at the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls

Madonna wrote this personal message on her blog at the Raising Malawi website ahead of the brick-laying ceremony today in Malawi:

On my first visit to Malawi, I was devastated to meet child after child who had been orphaned by AIDS. Having lost my mother at such a young age, I felt a close connection to these children. Their stories had touched my own.
In a country of 14 million, a staggering one million children have been left alone with the responsibility of raising each other. I returned home knowing the future of Malawi was resting on the shoulders of these orphaned children, and I had to act.
So it is with tremendous joy that I return to Malawi to lay the first brick in the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. By educating girls we will rebuild this community and raise this nation.
Our academy will educate, protect, and empower 450 young girls who are Malawi’s hope for the future. We will stop the brain drain happening in so many African nations - our students will receive an internationally competitive education while incorporating local values.
As an artist, I know the transformative power of art. Malawi’s culture will be preserved and passed on through the teaching of music, art, and dance in our academy. Once instilled with pride in their homeland, young women will understand the importance of remaining in Malawi and investing in their own communities.
I will share not only my own words of encouragement tomorrow at our ceremony, but also encouragement from women and men around the world who believe that the future of Malawi rests squarely on the shoulders of its girls.
As one Raising Malawi supporter wrote to Malawi's girls, 'You carry the future of your country in your school bags.'
Having seen the determination in the eyes of these children, I know they have the strength to save Malawi - they just need to be given the tools. I am so grateful for the many people who have partnered with me to provide the resources needed, including Jeffrey Sachs, with whom I am launching a new global initiative to provide access to education for all children on all continents.
It is with hope for a bright future that I am here. Tomorrow the brick I will lay is not just the bedrock to a school - it is the foundation for our shared future.

For more information visit www.raisingmalawi.org/blog


Poverty in Malawi 'pains' Madonna

US pop star Madonna Monday said poverty in Malawi 'pains' her during a visit to the birth country of her two adopted children where she will lay the first bricks of a girls' academy she is funding.
'As a mother, it pains me to see women having no access to potable water and good education,' Madonna said after visiting a poverty alleviation project in the Mchinji district where she controversially adopted David Banda in 2006.
Toddler Chifundo 'Mercy' James, adopted last year, and her biological daughter Lourdes accompanied the singer to visit the Millenium Village site.
'It's good to be back in my adopted country,' she told journalists.
The pop star was given a heroes welcome with villagers staging traditional dances and displays, and said she would 'ask friends and fans around the world to join us in making the difference' in Malawi.
Madonna, who funds several initiatives in Malawi, broke ground in October last year for the 15 million dollar school, which will admit 500 girls from poor backgrounds.
The brick-laying ceremony will take place on Tuesday.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Madonna 'most played' artist of decade

Madonna was the most played artist of the last decade in the UK, according to music licensing body PPL.
The singer, 51, who had her first UK hit with Holiday in 1984, beat The Beatles into second place and Robbie Williams into third.
Queen were fourth and Take That were fifth in the chart compiled for BBC Radio 2.
It was based on plays - between 2000 and 2009 - on TV, radio and in public places including pubs, clubs and shops.
Madonna was the only female solo singer to make the top 10.
The chart was revealed on Radio 2 show People's Artist Chart, presented by comedian Patrick Kielty.

Most-Played Of The Decade:

1 - Madonna
2 - The Beatles
3 - Robbie Williams
4 - Queen
5 - Take That
6 - Sugababes
7 - Elton John
8 - Elvis Presley
9 - Abba
10 - Coldplay

From BBC News / PPL


Madonna arrives in Malawi as building of academy starts

US pop star Madonna arrived in Malawi on Monday ahead of a brick-laying ceremony at the $15 million girls' academy that her charity is building.
'She will lay the first brick at the site' on Tuesday, Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, chief executive officer for the academy, told AFP.
The singer arrived with her biological children Rocco and Lourdes and two adopted Malawian children David Banda and Chifundo 'Mercy' James, Mtila-Oponyo said.
On Monday, she will visit a poverty alleviation project in the Mchinji district where she controversially adopted Banda from an orphanage in 2006.
The singer will be accompanied by American economist Jeffrey Sachs, a special advisor to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and founder of the project which has 14 villages in 10 African countries.
Madonna, who funds several initiatives in Malawi, broke the ground in October last year for the school, which will admit 500 girls from poor backgrounds.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Win The Ultimate Sticky & Sweet Tour Package!

Enter The Sticky & Sweet Tour contest, presented by Live Nation Merchandise and SPIN magazine, to win the ultimate Sticky & Sweet prize package! Two lucky Madonna fans will be selected to win the grand prize that includes:

Autographed copy of the Sticky & Sweet concert DVD
Official DVD T-shirt
The Sticky & Sweet Tour photo book
Sticky & Sweet tour program
One-year free subscription to SPIN Magazine

There will also be three runners-up, so don’t miss out on a great chance to win an incredible prize package. Contest ends Tuesday 20 April.

To enter visit http://madonna.com/stickyandsweetgiveaway

To check out all the great new Sticky & Sweet Tour merchandise visit Fanfire.com


Caresse Henry, former Madonna manager dies

Caresse Henry, who has managed the careers of Madonna, Ricky Martin and Paula Abdul, has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Orange County coroner's office said Friday.
Henry, died March 31 around 1 p.m. at her home in Irvine, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
A statement from publicist and longtime friend Liz Rosenberg says Henry was 44.
A suicide note was found at the scene, Amormino said, adding it was against the law to reveal the note's contents. Information was not available about whether police had responded to incidents at the address before or if neighbors had reported any unusual activity.
Lt. Henry Boggs of the Irvine Police Department said the department conducted an investigation alongside sheriff's deputies, but declined to say anything else about the matter.
The Los Angeles native managed Madonna for 10 years. Rosenberg says Henry also managed Ricky Martin, Abdul, Andrew Dice Clay and others.
Henry is survived by her two children, Honour Kristen Norman and Ava Caresse Hinojosa, as well as her brother, sister and parents. Funeral services will be held April 9 in Westwood, Calif.

Reports from AP / CBS /Orange County Register Via Yahoo! News


Madonna to visit Malawi school construction

US pop star Madonna jets into Malawi on Monday to inspect construction work of a 15-million-dollar girls' academy by her charity Raising Malawi, the academy's chief executive officer said on Friday.
The singer, who will travel with her biological children Rocco and Lourdes and two adopted Malawian children David Banda and Chifundo 'Mercy' James, will visit the academy on Tuesday, said CEO Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo in a statement.
Madonna broke the ground in October last year for the school, which will admit 500 girls from poor backgrounds on the outskirts of administrative capital Lilongwe.
On Monday, Madonna is also due to visit a poverty alleviation project in a village in the Mchinji district where she adopted Banda amid some controversy in 2006.
Construction of the academy was delayed over a dispute between her charity and some 200 villagers who claimed they were not adequately compensated for land used to build the school.
The government forcibly removed the villagers, who were paid 500,000 dollars in compensation by Madonna's charity.
Malawi is one of the world's poorest nations, with more than half of the population of 13 million living on less than one dollar a day.
The star is funding several charities in Malawi, including homes for children with AIDS. She has built a multi-purpose community centre 50 kilometres from Lilongwe which looks after more than 8000 orphans.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Madonna dines with Jesus and friends in London

Madonna and her boyfriend Jesus Luz had dinner with her friends Gwyneth Paltrow and Stella McCartney in London on Wednesday night.
The 51-year-old singer and the 23-year-old Brazilian model met up with the actress and fashion designer for a meal at a private members' club in Chelsea.
Italian fashion designer Valentino was also in attendance.
The `Celebration' hitmaker kept her signature look of an all-black ensemble for the evening, teaming a leather jacket with a pair of patterned black trousers and open toed shoes.
Pal Gwyneth copied the gothic look, with a pair of leather trousers and a dark pea-jacket.
Kabbalah follower Madonna arrived in the UK capital on Monday to take her children Lourdes, 13, Rocco, nine, and adopted youngsters David and Mercy, four, to a celebration of the Jewish festival of Passover.
On Easter Monday, she is planning to take the two adopted children back to their home country Malawi to meet with their families.

From contactmusic.com


Madonna and Degeneres are distant cousins

Madonna and Ellen Degeneres have more in common than blonde hair - the pair is distant cousins with Canadian roots, according to a genealogy website.
A genealogist for Ancestry.com has discovered that the Queen of Pop and the talk show host are related through a 10th great-grandfather - Martin Aucoin of France - whose daughters emigrated to Nova Scotia, Canada in the early 1600s.
The expert tells the New York Daily News, 'It's not every day you discover two celebrity icons are related, but it's their similarities that make the connection so extraordinary. Madonna and Ellen were born the same year, have both written books and been on tour, and are known for their impressive dance moves.'
The Material Girl and the funnywoman were both born in 1958.

From contactmusic.com


Events: Sticky & Sweet Tour DVD London Launch Party

STICKY & SWEET SIXTEEN PARTY
Saturday 03 April
2:00-10:00pm

G-A-Y Late, Goslett Yard
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road.

We're looking forward to seeing you on Saturday 03 April at the STICKY & SWEET SIXTEEN PARTY, its the 'Sticky & Sweet' DVD Launch Party. It's the 16th London Madonna Party (hence the name) and the first time we'll have partied together since October!

Free Entry / Free Raffle / Facebook Event: www.facebook.com

We're celebrating not just the release of the Sticky & Sweet dvd and of course Guy Oseary's accompanying book but the chance for fans to get together. In true Madonna Party style, we will bring you some video exclusives and favourites.
What are you waiting for? EIGHT HOURS of Madonna's GREATEST HITS and PERFORMANCES, Remix Videos EXCLUSIVE to the Party and as many of your requests that we can squeeze in.
Plenty of room to DANCE, plenty of room to sit and drink and catch up with your friends....just make sure you're there and don't be late!


More About the 'Material Girl' Collection In Us Magazine

Make sure to pick a copy of this week’s Us Magazine (on newstands now in the USA) as Madonna talks exclusively to Ian Drew about the 'Material Girl' clothing that she and her daughter Lola are collaborating on for Fall.
The fashion designs for juniors will be available exclusively at Macys and macys.com beginning in late July for back-to-school.

From Madonna.com