On April 16 2009, Niki Haris dismissed Madonna fallout rumours in Bay Windows, New England’s largest gay newspaper. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Niki, to start: why the fallout? Diva drama?
“Maybe there was some drama, but I didn’t buy into it. We were sisters for years. At the end of the day, really she is a gem and I’m so grateful. She threw my baby shower for me!” Haris gave birth to her daughter in 2003. It was shortly thereafter that Madonna launched her Re-Invention Tour, the first time she staged a show without Haris in over 15 years.
“People can talk all the crap they want, but we both knew by that last tour [Drowned World Tour, 2001],” says Haris. “I had broken my legs, learned how to walk again, how to dance again, and did that tour with really bad injuries. It was okay, but painful. Now, I was 41 and pregnant. … Of course, my ego was involved: ‘Oh, she don’t want me no more!’ But at the end of the day, she gave me the greatest gift. Because of her, I got to spend every freaking day with my kid, doing the music I love to do. I’m close to ‘the family’ still. She knows I love her and she loves me.”
Coincidentally, Madonna’s last two tours have featured similarly named singer Nicki Richards as a backing vocalist. Haris doesn’t mind.
“She can get Niki Two, if she wants to,” she chuckles.
On April 14 2009, Steven Meisel was featured in Vogue magazine, and the article described him as the man that taught Madonna about re-invention.
In the article, Madonna shared some nice thoughts on Meisel:
Even Madonna agrees that there is, indeed, “a great sense of mystery” about Meisel – so much so that after all these years she feels she still doesn’t really know him very well. “I know that I love him,” she says. “You get sucked into his aura. He knows things.”
She learned this from one of their first collaborations, which was for the cover of Like A Virgin. “Before I worked with Steven,” says Madonna, “I just showed up in the clothes I was wearing, stood in front of the lights, and got my picture taken. With Steven, a team of people descended on me, started to undress me. Someone grabbed my hair, another grabbed my face, another started helping me try on various bits of clothes, and they all seemed to be speaking a language I didn’t understand – the language of Steven Meisel.”
To hear Madonna talk about working with Meisel is like being let in on a long-held secret. She goes on, “Steven had a vision. He had done his research. He had very specific references. I really respected the care that he took with his work, how seriously he approached it, but at the same time he has a great sense of irony. He made me feel like I was part of something important. He treated each photo shoot like it was a small film and insisted that we create a character each time we worked but then would make fun of the archetypes we created. He was the first person to introduce me to the idea of reinvention.”
On October 4 2009, the media reported on the Saturday Night Live skit with Madonna and Lady Gaga from the night before.
Gaga was the musical guest, the show host was Ryan Reynolds.
On September 29 2009, Madonna and Warner Bros. released “Celebration: The Video Collection“. The greatest videos DVD collection accompanied the “Celebration” greatest hits collection.
“Celebration: The Video Collection” continued on from Madonna’s other video compilations “The Immaculate Collection” and “The Video Collection 93:99“.
“Celebration: The Video Collection” debuted at the top of the Billboard Top Music Videos chart. It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of 100,000 copies across United States.
The cover for “Celebration: The Video Collection” was created by street pop artist Mr. Brainwash who is best known for “throwing modern cultural icons into a blender and turning it up to eleven”.
The DVD collection was released in two different versions, both are double disc releases:
- Keep case — DVD size packaging
- DVD Digipak — CD size packaging
This video collection received mixed reviews from critics and fans when it was released. Did you like this release or would you have made some changes to it?
On September 26 2009, “Celebration” became Madonna’s 40th number-one song on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart in the US.
The remixes by Benny Benassi in particular were so well received that Madonna chose to use his version for the song’s music video instead of the Oakenfold produced album version. During her 2012 MDNA Tour, Benassi’s remix of “Celebration” was featured again when it was used for the show’s closing number.
Following in the tradition of Shep Pettibone and William Orbit, Benassi was promoted from remixer to co-songwriter/producer status when Madonna agreed to collaborate with him on several tracks for her MDNA album, including the set’s second single “Girl Gone Wild.”
On September 3 2009, Madonna’s “Sticky And Sweet” world tour was named the highest-grossing for a solo artist ever.
The tour, which finished in Tel Aviv on September 2 2009, made $408 million (£250m), according to promoters Live Nation. During the tour, Madonna played 85 shows, drawing in more than 3.5 million fans from 32 countries.
The “Sticky And Sweet” tour broke Madonna’s previous record for the most successful outing by a solo artist with her 2006 “Confessions Tour“, which grossed $194 million.