On March 17 1999, CBS-TV’s news magazine, 60 Minutes II, aired a Madonna interview conducted by Charlie Rose. The segment was titled “Madonna at 40”.
“I refused to wear makeup – and that’s when girls are, sort of, going out of their way to be attractive and please boys at school. I said, ‘Well I’ll be damned! They’re going to have to like me with hairy armpits or they’re not worthy of me!'”
On March 15 1999, Madonna’s publicist, Liz Rosenberg, confirmed to MTV News that a tour in support of Ray Of Light had been canceled. Instead, Madonna would be working on a number of other projects including:
- A new song with Ricky Martin for his next album
- A new song for the Austin Powers 2 soundtrack
- Assembling a new greatest hits album (Liz called it “The Immaculate Collection 2“) with a few new songs
- Starring in a new film, The Next Best Thing, with Rupert Everett
Liz had this to say:
“The starting date of the movie was postponed, and it created such a small window to turn things around and get into total tour mode and put together the kind of show Madonna does, with no stone unturned, that she thought it would be better to wait until 2000.”
On January 9 1999, Madonna began filming the music video for Nothing Really Matters at Silvercup Studios in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens in NYC.
The imagery in the video was inspired by Arthur Golden’s 1997 bestselling novel, Memoirs Of A Geisha. It marked Madonna’s first collaboration with Swedish director Johan Renck, who had been introduced to Madonna by Ray Of Light video director, Jonas Åkerlund.
On June 26 1999, Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger debuted and peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot Dance Play chart in the USA.
On June 8 1999, Madonna’s Immaculate Collection video collection was released on DVD.
On May 1 1999, the music video for Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger was shot at Universal Studios in Universal City, California.
Beautiful Stranger was directed by Brett Ratner, and went on to win an MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film.
On April 8 1999, American TV newsmagazine Entertainment Tonight (aka ET) revealed the title of the new song Madonna had recorded for the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack: Beautiful Stranger.
Beautiful Stranger launched to radio in mid-May and quickly became a sizeable summertime hit along with the Maverick Records issued soundtrack album which landed in North American record stores on June 1st, 1999.