Entertainment behind the scenes
Sex, religion, now politics. Madonna, true to style, has kicked off her world concert tour “Sticky & Sweet” with controversy by juxtaposing images of Adolf Hitler with John McCain, the Republican senator running for president alongside Democratic Senator Barack Obama and with Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe. Obama was named in a sequence with Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon and Al Gore. ”Outrageous, unacceptable and crudely divisive,” said McCain’s camp.
Madonna, who turned 50 this month, is listed as one of the world’s most successful female recording artists of all time, having sold over 200 million records in a career spanning 25 years. Do you think she fuels controversy to keep fans coming back for more or is it a personal mission for The Material Girl?
It may not be exactly like their appearance together on the MTV Video Music Awards, but it will likely turn heads when pop singer Britney Spears again pairs up with Madonna in a filmed segment for The Material Girl’s upcoming Sticky & Sweet concert tour.
“Britney is going to film something for Madonna’s show in the next week or so,” Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s publicist, told celebrity magazine People in a story posted on its Web site, http://www.people.com/, on Monday.
As a mere reporter, it is not often I get to mix with the rich and famous on the red carpet. But I got a rare chance this week when the organisers of the annual amfAR AIDS charity bash asked me and a few other reporters along to cover their star-studded event just outside Cannes.
After waiting an hour in a traffic jam just outside Mougins, where the giant marquee for 700 dinner guests is put up, the short walk along the packed red carpet to the entrance felt almost as long. Rows of reporters, including several colleagues, shouted out to just about everyone except me, or so it seemed. When one cameraman I know did finally acknowledge my presence, it was not to take a picture of me but to ask if I would take a picture of him. With a sigh and a smile, I did.
Madonna is at it again. At a gig this week in Paris to promote her latest album “Hard Candy”, the 49-year-old lip-kissed an unidentified woman on stage, drawing comparisons with her infamous snog with Britney Spears five years ago at the MTV Video Awards.
Some in the media were less than impressed. Britain’s Sun tabloid, the country’s top-selling daily, called the stunt “a bit old hat”. Rival newspaper the Daily Mirror ran the story under the headline “Desperately seeking attention” and opened its piece with the words: “Move on Madge!” Having said that, it should be pointed out that the publication nonetheless saw it fit to feature a large picture of the embrace on page 3.
Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie has given less-than-sympathetic British newspapers more fodder to have a dig. The 39-year-old film director gave a recent interview in which he remarked at how the super-wealthy had priced locals out of the housing market in London and that it was now almost impossible to pick up a pad in the centre of town for less than $20 million.
Now, unless Ritchie was being deliberately ironic, it should not take a genius to work out that the comments might be seen as somewhat hypocritical. News reports say that he and his super-rich wife own a $14 million house in Marylebone, central London, and a $12 million house next door, not to mention at least two non-domestic properties in London and a $20 million country estate. And that’s just in the UK.