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Madonna reinvents herself again

May 26, 2004

Madonna arrives at the Cannes festival palace to attend the NRJ music awards ceremony in Cannes January 2004
Photo - AFP
LOS ANGELES — The queen of pop, Madonna, has kicked off her new world tour in Los Angeles in a show peppered with anti-war images as she cancelled her Israeli concert dates amid fears of terror attacks.

The musical icon launched her 50-concert tour in energetic style before a capacity crowd at the Inglewood Forum late Monday, switching seamlessly from jewelled costumes to military fatigues that evoked war in the Middle East.

But as the queen of the revamp began her Reinvention tour, the mother of two announced she had been forced to pull the plug on her Israeli tour as violence racks the West Bank and Gaza.

"It's not a good idea to go there and do concerts," she told the US television entertainment show Access Hollywood in an exclusive interview aired late Monday.

The British tabloid newspaper The Sun reported Monday that Madonna had cancelled her three Israeli dates after she received threats against her and her children, seven-year-old Lourdes and three-year-old Rocco.

But Madonna denied she or her brood had been threatened, saying: "No, if I had my way, I'd go. My manager wouldn't let me." She said her manager scrapped the Israeli concerts scheduled for September because of the "attack on the leader of Hamas."

Israeli forces killed the Hamas founder, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, in March and his successor, Abdelaziz Rantissi, in April amid an escalation of violence in the region.

Under the shadow of Middle East violence and the war in Iraq, the 45-year-old Madonna kicked off her politically fuelled Reinvention tour with the energy that made her world famous more than two decades ago.

A video backdrop showing tough images of US soldiers at war and injured children popped up during her camouflage-clad rendition of American Life, drawing ire from some members of the audience.

Images of a Palestinian boy walking arm in arm with an Israeli were shown, and pictures of ill or injured children formed the backdrop as Madonna sang John Lennon's Imagine.

She belted out both new and classic songs, including Vogue, Get Into the Groove, Crazy for You and Papa Don't Preach, as well as her mega-hit Material Girl.

But some fans, who paid up to 200 dollars for their tickets, were bitterly disappointed that she did not perform one of her trademark numbers, Like a Virgin.

While there were around 12 costume changes, gone were the conical bras of her 1980s heyday, replaced by more sober and less sexually provocative duds.

Over the next four months, some 750,000 fans are expected to see Madonna perform in concert in venues including London, New York, Paris and Toronto. – Sapa-AFP

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Madonna kisses her way back into MTV hearts [30/08/2003]




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