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Entertainment behind the scenes

Is opinion turning against Madonna over adoption?


Madonna in Malawi courtmadonna3How much she actually cares only Madonna can say. But there are signs that opinion is turning against the singer over her bid to adopt a second child from Malawi. The 50-year-old appeared in court in the southern African country on Monday seeking to adopt four-year-old Mercy James, having already adopted David Banda.

The first case caused some controversy amid accusations that Madonna was given special treatment in Malawi allowing her to bend adoption rules. A similar outcry has met her latest adoption attempt with human rights activists in Malawi threatening to challenge the move and describing it as “child trafficking or kidnapping”. International aid groups have expressed concern over Madonna’s actions in Malawi and in the Western press there has been no shortage of negative reaction, largely in the form of opinion pieces.

In the Daily Mail, Allison Pearson, who defended Madonna when she adopted David, opines that Madonna’s recent divorce from British director Guy Ritchie and decision to move back to New York with the kids may not be good for David. She also described Mercy as a “prop in her (Madonna’s) ongoing mid-life crisis”. Reflecting the other side of the debate, Liz Hunt in the Telegraph supports the pop star, saying that whatever we think about Madonna and her lifestyle she deserves our admiration, not abuse.

Madonna and her team do seem to be aware of the criticism. In a statement released to Reuters on Tuesday, her spokeswoman mentioned “a lot of misinformation out in the press”, said that she is “not skirting any legal issues” and explained that Madonna “is looking to provide a loving family environment” for Mercy.

Stars auction iPods, playlists for hurricane charity


Curious about what your favorite singer listens to on their iPod?ipod-mariah-carey-back1

Here comes a chance not only to find out, but to buy the personal playlist and the autographed iPod of 70 celebrities ranging from Madonna and Beyonce to Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears and fashion designer Marc Jacob.

Philanthropic Web site is auctioning off  between one and five of  the signed iPods every week from now until August and sending all the money directly to benefit Music Rising — an organization that replaces musical instruments that were lost or destroyed by Katrina and other hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region.

Stars align for Grammys, but clouds overshadow music biz


Music royalty will gather in Los Angeles on Sunday for the 51st annual neoGrammys but despite a dazzling star line-up, few big labels are throwing the glitzy after-parties of yesteryear given the recession and industry’s years-long malaise.

Some industry watchers even think the Grammys, which have seen viewership slide, need a facelift to revamp several award categories and change the show’s format to stay current with a generation of fans who have long bypassed mainstream music events.

Madonna said moving the kids to the U.S.


PEOPLE-MADONNAU.S. pop star Madonna has won a bid to move her children to the United States from Britain, ending a battle in her brutal divorce with British director Guy Ritchie, London’s Evening Standard newspaper reported on Friday.

The paper reported that Ritchie had wanted the couple’s biological son Rocco, 8, to be educated in Britain, but that Madonna’s lawyers argued he should not be split up from his siblings, Lourdes, 12, Madonna’s daughter from a previous relationship, and David, 3, who was adopted from an orphanage in Malawi.

Material Girl plugs for Louis Vuitton


Newly-divorced Madonna is back in the spotlight as the latest celebrity to star in a series of advertisements for Louis Vuitton. Following in the footsteps of unlikely models Keith Richards, Sean Connery, Andre Agassi and Mikhail Gorbachev, Madonna is featured in Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer fashion campaign, photographed by her long-time collaborator Steven Meisel. The ads have 50-year-old Madonna in a sepia-toned setting reminiscent of a smokey, Paris cafe in the 1940s.

“I wanted the campaign to be very bold, very sensual and very atmospheric. To carry off all these references and all this sophistication, we needed the ultimate performer – and for me, that is Madonna,” Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs said in a statement.

“Just friends” says A-Rod of Madonna


(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)
If tabloid rumors are to be believed,  baseball star Alex Rodriguez and pop diva Madonna have been spending a lot of time together, flying around the  country, planning to buy an apartment together and generally getting very up close and personal since their recent twin divorces.

But Rodriguez, 33, is not playing ball with all that talk.  After weeks of  silence about their  relationship,  the sports star  is trying to dispel talk of romance with Madonna, 50.

Madonna reunites Justin, Britney but Obama gets big roar


 So the rumors of a Madonna-orchestrated Britney and Justin reunion were true… kinda.  The former teen sweethearts both performed with the Material Girl during her Thursday night concert in L.A.’s Dodger Stadium, but not together.

In fact, there was at least an hour between their respective appearances, so it’s anybody’s guess whether they even ran into each other backstage.

Britney, Justin to perform with Madonna?


Britney Spears and former teen sweetheart Justin Timberlake are apparently headed for a very public reunion — at the Madonna concert in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Los Angeles radio DJ Ryan Seacrest, who seems to know everyone in Hollywood, told listeners on his show that Britney and Justin are “going to be onstage performing with Madonna at some point”.

Madonna/Ritchie divorce – media guessing game begins


madonna2.jpgDepending on who you listen to or read, Guy Ritchie may look to get up to $260 million in any divorce settlement with his wife Madonna, or he may try to get nothing and live off his own fortune,  variously estimated at anywhere between $30-50 million.

When big celebrity divorces are announced, as Ritchie and Madonna’s was on Wednesday, a frenzied bout of speculation by media and lawyers alike tends to follow, and more often than not it ends up being a load of rubbish.

Jeremy Piven starts rehearsals for Broadway debut


jeremy-piven.jpg“Entourage” star Jeremy Piven started rehearsals this week on another show about the inside world of show-business, only this time it’s on a Broadway stage.

Piven is starring in a revival of David Mamet’s play “Speed-the-Plow,” billed as a “scathing portrait of the film industry and the people who are willing to sell their souls for sex, fame and fortune.”