On January 16 2001, Don’t Tell Me was released commercially in North America as the second single from Music.
Written by Madonna, Mirwais & Joe Henry, the song was Madonna’s first collaboration with her brother-in-law, whom she had known since high school. Henry sent a demo (then titled Stop) to Madonna after his wife, Melanie, insisted that her sister would love the song. Madonna & Mirwais drastically altered the music and melody and renamed the song Don’t Tell Me. Henry released his version on his eighth studio album, Scar, in May 2001.
The maxi-single featured remixes by Thunderpuss, Timo Mass, Victor Calderone, Richard “Humpty” Vission and Tracy Young. Don’t Tell Me was the last Madonna release to be issued on cassette single in the U.S. and was also available on 2-track CD single, CD Maxi-Single (enhanced with the music video) and as a double 12″ vinyl set. In Canada, it was released only on CD maxi-single.
On January 8 2001, Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s wedding was featured on the cover of People magazine with the headline: Kilt by Association Amid Tears, Tiaras and Scottish Tartan, Madonna and Guy Ritchie Baptize Baby Rocco and Tie the Knot.
Here’s a snippet of the article inside:
Shortly after 6:30 on the evening of December 22, the guests were invited, without fanfare, to take their seats. Guided by the glow of hundreds of candles, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rupert Everett, Donatella Versace, a kilt-clad Sting and some 55 others gathered near the foot of the grand staircase in the Great Hall of Scotland’s 19th-century Skibo Castle. As the skirls of a lone bagpiper gave way to the music of French pianist Katia Labèque and a local organist, the wedding ceremony of Madonna Louise Ciccone, 42, and film director Guy Ritchie, 32, began. Madonna’s 4-year-old daughter, Lourdes, shoeless and draped in a long ivory dress with short sleeves and a high neck, led the processional. Descending the staircase—its balustrade laced with ivy and white orchids—she tossed handfuls of red rose petals from a basket, almost exhausting her supply by the time she reached the front row, where she sat in her nanny’s lap. “As soon as they saw Madonna’s daughter throwing rose petals,” says a guest, “people were crying.”
On December 29 2001, megamixes issued to promote Madonna’s second greatest hits collection, GHV2, made their debut on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the U.S. at #29.
Several promo-only singles were issued by Maverick/Warner featuring megamixes by Thunderpuss, Tracy Young and Johnny Rocks with Mac Quayle and charted collectively under the title Madonna Megamix.
An additional marketing push to club DJ’s came in the form of GHV2 Remixed: The Best of 1991-2001 – a promo-only companion collection issued on CD and vinyl that compiled full-length remixed versions of songs featured on GHV2.
On December 23 2001, a report by Amusement Business reported that Madonna’s Drowned World Tour generated $74 million worldwide from only 47 shows, landing her at #4 for top grossing tour in 2001. U2’s Elevation Tour took the top spot, selling $143 million in tickets from 113 arena shows worldwide.
On December 18 2001, the first of a two-part interview with Matt Lauer to promote GHV2 aired on the Today show in North America. The second part aired the following day.
Coming off a busy year for Madonna, her involvement in promoting the retrospective was limited, with this being her only television interview that tied in with its release.
On December 9 2001, Madonna presented the Turner Prize to artist Martin Creed at London’s Tate Britain gallery.
Madonna half-seriously plugged her greatest hits album, GHV2, before explaining her feelings of ambivalence towards the merit of awards in relation to the artistic process.
“Art is always at its best when there is no money, because art has nothing to do with money and everything to do with love. Like love, it can be inspiring, inexplicable, provocative and sometimes infuriating. Nevertheless, we can not live without it, so that is why I’m here – not because I think one artist is better than another, but because I want to support any artist who not only has something to say, but has the balls to say it. In a time when political correctness is valued over honesty, I would also like to say – right on motherfuckers! – everyone is a winner.”
Channel 4 unsuccessfully attempted to censor the speech during the live broadcast, and later issued an apology for Madonna’s choice of words, which aired prior to the 9pm watershed. Madonna later explained that she had not intended to use profanity until the producers asked to review the content of her speech prior to the broadcast, sparking her defiance.
On September 13 2001, Madonna resumed the final string of dates on her Drowned World Tour after having postponed the September 11th show due to the terrorist attacks in New York. She donated the proceeds from her second Los Angeles concert on the 13th to benefit children who were orphaned following the tragic attacks that killed thousands of parents.
Several changes were made to soften some of the show’s violent theatrics for the final three shows: at the end of the Geisha segment she was lowered from the stage with her arm around the dancer’s shoulder instead of shooting him; her kilt in the opening section was changed to an American flag design; she did not perform The Funny Song but instead took the opportunity to share some more serious thoughts with the audience.
Madonna told the crowd at the Staples Center:
“Any of you who purchased a ticket to the show tonight will be contributing to a fund that will be for children orphaned by this tragedy, so thank you all. Now on a personal note I think that each and every one of us should look inside our own hearts and examine our own personal acts of terrorism, hatred, intolerance, negativity, the list goes on and on, we’re all responsible. If you are homophobic or racist or hate, you contributed to this disaster. It’s not just Bin Laden, it’s all of us, we’ve all contributed to hatred in the world today. And I would like to have one minute of silence to say a prayer for those who have died; to say a prayer for the friends and families of those who have died; to say a prayer for the rescuers who have worked night and day to rescue people from the rubble. And most of all say a prayer for anyone who thinks that it is right to kill in the name of God. Where there is violence, there is no God. Let’s have a moment of silence. Hold hands with those around you. Or stay still and reflect.”
A minute of silence followed before Madonna launched into Secret, which she prefaced by adding:
“One more thing–if you want to change the world, you must first start with yourself!”