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Tag: Madonna (11-20 of 93)

Malawi vs. Madonna: Singer stripped of VIP status, accused of making 'poor people dance for her'

The nation of Malawi has expressed itself — and it isn’t too happy with Madonna, who recently capped a weeklong visit to the country where her children David and Mercy (both 8 years old) were born.

When Madge, her four kids, and her entourage first arrived in the African nation on Monday, they were treated as VIPs — given heavy security, the right to breeze past checkpoints, and, presumably, a wide berth from any and all hydrangeas.

By the time they returned to Malawi’s Kamuzu International Airport on Saturday, things had changed. The Telegraph writes that the music icon and her crew saw their VIP status revoked. (According to Global Philanthropy Group president Trevor Neilson, the story is “a complete fabrication.” He told EW via e-mail, “Madonna hasn’t been stripped of any status.”)

“There was a directive that Miss Louise Ciccone… and her children should use the ordinary passenger terminal on their way to their jet,” an airport source told the paper. “Each and every person on her entourage went through the normal security checkpoints…. All their luggage went through security screening which never happened before.” Adding insult to injury, “We told them we can’t open the VIP lounge without authorization.”

According to Malawi’s chief immigration officer, visitors can be afforded VIP treatment only if authorities are notified of their visit in advance; Her Madgesty apparently neglected to follow this protocol.  READ FULL STORY

The ultimate Phil Ramone playlist: Hear definitive tracks from Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Dusty Springfield, and Paul McCartney

Over five-plus decades, album producer, engineering whiz, and recording innovator Phil Ramone won 14 Grammys and collaborated with some of the biggest lights in pop and rock: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Lesley Gore, Dusty Springfield, Tony Bennett, Madonna, and Lady Gaga, just to name some of the bigger stars.

One of his most notable partnerships was with Billy Joel, whose sound Ramone helped hone on his mainstream pop crossover hit with 1977’s The Stranger. Over the course of Joel’s career, he became one of his most trusted collaborators. “I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band,” Joel said in a statement on Ramone’s passing. “He was the guy that no one ever, ever saw on stage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with—longer than most. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him.”

Ramone passed away at age 79 on Saturday, but his epic recorded legacy will live on. Check out our definitive Spotify playlist below, which includes hits from all points of his resume.  READ FULL STORY

Madonna rips Boy Scouts at GLAAD Awards -- VIDEO

Madonna has never been a stranger to controversy, and she once again dipped her toe into those waters at last night’s GLAAD Awards, where she was presenting an award to Anderson Cooper.

Dressed in an oversized Boy Scout uniform, Madonna took the organization to task for its policy that bans gay people from joining. “I wanted to be a Boy Scout, but they wouldn’t let me join,” she said during a 10-minute speech. “I think that’s f–ked up. I know how to build a fire. I can pitch a tent … most importantly, I know how to scout for boys.”

The singer claimed/joked she was a Girl Scout and got kicked out for wearing a skirt that was too short and not selling enough cookies. (“I ate the cookies.”) Concluded the singer, “I think [the Boy Scouts] should change their stupid rules.” UPDATE: When asked for comment about Madonna’s remarks, a spokesperson for the Boy Scouts said, “The BSA does not have a reaction.”

The Scouts have gotten a lot of heat from musicians recently, as both Carly Rae Jepsen and Train pulled out of the organization’s annual jamboree because of their anti-gay policies.

The Boy Scouts weren’t the only target for Madonna. (“I have a few axes to grind,” she said at one point.) She also spoke about bullying, religious tolerance, and the imprisonment of the female punk music group Pussy Riot in Russia. “If President Putin sat in a room with Pussy Riot — he’d probably want to f–k all of them, but anyways. If he did [meet with them] and he had an open dialogue with them about their point of view as young, creative women growing up in modern-day Russia, would he really have allowed them to be dragged away to prison for three years? I mean, think about it, this is insane.”

Check out all of the Material Girl’s semi-NSFW speech below. READ FULL STORY

Madonna reprimands smokers at concert in Chile

Image Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Madonna didn’t score the highest-grossing tour of 2012 by putting up with shenanigans.

During the sound check for a show in Santiago, Chile on Wednesday, Madge voiced her displeasure with members of the audience who were smoking cigarettes, TMZ reports.

“If you’re gonna smoke cigarettes, I’m not doing a show,” she said. “I can’t sing if you smoke. Entiendes?”

READ FULL STORY

Madonna had the top-grossing tour of 2012

Call it the Super Bowl bump?

Billboard has announced the list of the 2012’s top-grossing tours, and it looks like Madonna is at the top. Her Madgesty sold out all 72 of the shows she played this year, grossing a grand total of $228,406,085 over the year. Interestingly, her new album  MDNA only landed at No. 44 on the year-end Billboard 200 chart, moving 521,000 units in the U.S. as of December.

After Madonna on the top-grossing tours list is Bruce Springsteen, whose raked in just shy $200 million this year with his Wrecking Ball tour. (He did, however, beat Madonna in overall attendance by about 500,000 people. Like Madonna, he also played 72 shows.) Roger Waters came in third with roughly $186 million (and nearly 50,000 more in attendance than Madge). Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil came in fourth place with about $147 million for the year, which just edged No. 5 Coldplay by roughly $100,000.

READ FULL STORY

Madonna and PSY mash up 'Gangnam Style,' 'Give It 2 Me' live -- VIDEO

Nobody is safe from “Gangnam Style.” Not Hugh Jackman, not Jar Jar Binks, not you.

And not Madonna, either. Her Madgesty, ever keen on remaining relevant, teamed up with PSY at a live concert to perform the unstoppable “Gangnam Style” song-and-dance routine on stage. The twist? She blended it in with her own (if less popular) single “Give It 2 Me.”

Take a look at the clip below:

READ FULL STORY

Madonna booed after urging fans to vote for Obama

Madonna drew boos and triggered a walkout by several concertgoers after she touted President Barack Obama on her “MDNA Tour” in New Orleans.

The Material Girl asked during Saturday night’s performance: “Who’s registered to vote?” She added: “I don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote for Obama.” Drawing boos in touting Obama over Republican Mitt Romney, Madonna followed: “Seriously, I don’t care who you vote for … Do not take this privilege for granted. Go vote.”

Madonna is often outspoken. Some Colorado fans, mindful of a mass shooting there, complained she used a fake gun to shoot a masked gunman in a recent concert act in Denver. A Madonna concert in Paris in July drew ire when a video showed a swastika on a politician’s forehead.

Related:
Madonna: ‘For better or for worse, we have a black Muslim in the White House’ — VIDEO
Madonna zings Lady Gaga: ‘Imitation is the highest form of flattery’
Madonna forgives Elton John, sort of

Madonna: 'For better or for worse, we have a black Muslim in the White House' -- VIDEO

Does Madonna actually think Barack Obama, a practicing Christian, is secretly Muslim? Or does she just enjoy poking fun at those who do? Regardless, she’s on the president’s side — though Obama’s campaign might not want her to be.

At a concert in Washington, D.C. last night, Madonna refrained from taking swipes at Elton John or Lady Gaga. Instead, she took a cue from her politically-charged surroundings, pausing at one point to drink some water and muse about the sorry state of our government. After name-checking Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. — “They killed him, as they do,” she said about both men — Madge got a little more optimistic: “It is so incredible to think that we have an African-American in the White House,” she said enthusiastically as the crowd cheered. “Those fine human beings did not die for nothing!”

That would have been the perfect time to stop talking. Instead, Madonna elected to say this: “So y’all better vote for f–ing Obama, okay? For better or for worse, all right, we have a black Muslim in the White House, okay? Now that is some sh–. That’s some amazing sh–. It means there is hope in this country. And Obama is fighting for gay rights, okay? So support the man, goddamnit!”

Er… yeah. Again, it’s tough to tell whether Madonna meant the “black Muslim” thing to be sarcastic — but either way, her comments are pushing our love over the borderline. Check out a video of Madonna’s speech (including some NSFW language) after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Madonna zings Lady Gaga: 'Imitation is the highest form of flattery'

“I’m going to dedicate this next song … to Lady Gaga.”

Uh-oh! The last time Madonna began a sentence like that onstage, she ended up taking a catty swipe at nemesis Elton John. And as it happens, she went on to give Gaga — a noted Elton John partisan — the same treatment when dedicating the song “Masterpiece” to her at an Atlantic City concert last Saturday.

“You wanna know something? I love her,” the Material Girl said of Mother Monster. “I love her. I do love her.” But wait for it… “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” Zing!

But Madge followed up her backhanded compliment by prophesying that “one day, very soon, we’re going to be on stage together. Just you wait. You think I’m kidding? I love Lady Gaga.”

READ FULL STORY

Taylor Swift in tears, Axl gone AWOL, Britney breaking out in a rash: MTV's top exec tells EW the stories behind the wildest moments in VMA history

Last week’s MTV Video Music Awards may have suffered from disappointing ratings (this year’s viewership was only half of last year’s all-time high 12.45 million) and a dearth of big wow moments, but there’s no shortage of bonkers events to look back on in the show’s past.

In fact, we recently caught up with MTV Music Group President Van Toffler to discuss some of the wildest, wooliest, and most unforgettable water-cooler moments from the VMAs’ nearly three-decade run — and got some previously unpublished revelations on everyone from Britney Spears (did you know that she wasn’t actually Madonna’s first-kiss choice back in 2003? Or that her 2001 snake-charming had a seriously unfortunate side effect?) to Kanye’s infamous speechus interruptus. Read on (with video links in the headers, when available).

Kanye Storms the Stage and Interrupts Taylor Swift (2009)
Toffler: “There’s no way any of us could have predicted that — we didn’t orchestrate it. He came with a bottle of alcohol, so he was in a festive mood to begin with. But we all were in shock in the [production] truck when he walked up on stage and took the mic from Taylor. I remember turning to one of the producers and going, ‘Do we not have security?’ [But] we don’t put those big bulky guys on camera in front of the talent. Maybe this guy thought Kanye belonged on the stage.

I said to our line producer, ‘You need to go talk to Kanye and probably have him exit the building, and I will go deal with Taylor.’ And she was about to perform right after that break! She was a champ. I would be lying if I said she and her mom weren’t crying when I saw them, but she pulled it together. This was one of the most absurd VMA moments for me, having to talk to her and her mom, and they’re crying and upset, and this was her first time on the VMAs, and she had been used to working on country shows with polite artists. This was a little bit more chaotic than she was used to. And then I walked back behind the stage to find Beyoncé crying about the incident. Ultimately I talked to her and her dad and then went back to Taylor after her performance, and an hour later Beyoncé brought Taylor back out so she could have her moment.

It all played out okay in the end, but there was a lot of drama in between. Beyoncé had the wisdom to bring Taylor out on stage, and Taylor stayed to have her moment instead of leaving.”

READ FULL STORY

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