On January 3 2003, Madonna.com announced: “Madonna’s next album is scheduled to be released in April, and there is no title as of yet. The video for the first single will be shot in February and will be directed by Jonas Akerlund. The album cover will be shot next week by Craig McDean (he also did the Vanity Fair Madonna cover).”
On December 13 2003, “Nobody Knows Me (P. Rauhofer, Above & Beyond, Mount Sims Mixes)” hit #4 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the US.
The track from American Life had been serviced to clubs as a promo-only 12-inch, with the remixes being issued commercially in North America as part of the Nothing Fails maxi-single.
(Thanks to ElOr98 for sharing the video!)
((and to aviddiva for making it!!))
On August 28 2003, Madonna performed Hollywood with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera as the opening number for the 20th annual MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY and upstaged everyone at the ceremony when she shares a passionate open-mouth kiss with them. Missy Elliott also joined the ladies on stage – post-kiss.
Madonna commented on the uproar surrounding the infamous kiss during an appearance on Oprah several weeks later. “I don’t know why people are making such a big deal about it,” she said. “Hasn’t anyone seen two girls kiss before? It was a friendly kiss – it really was. If Britney looks as though she is kissing me in an aggressive way it was a surprise to me.” She added, “I’m a showgirl. After 20 years in the business, we learn to roll with the punches. If someone’s coming at you with lips slightly parted, you kiss them.”
On August 24 2006, clothing retailer H&M released its Madonna inspired tracksuit. Madonna and select members of her crew from The Confessions Tour were also featured in the accompanying print ad campaign, photographed by Rankin.
The success of the campaign led to more comprehensive Madonna co-branding ventures with H&M, D&G, and to the eventual launch of her own fashion brands – Material Girl and Truth or Dare by Madonna.
On July 26 2003, Hollywood hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Maxi-Single Sales chart (renamed Hot Dance Sales), where it would spend an incredible seven weeks.
After an initial five-week run at the top, the single began its descent only to return to #1 for an additional two weeks following Madonna’s performance of Hollywood/Like A Virgin at the MTV Video Music Awards, which incorporated Stuart Price’s remix of Hollywood (released under one of his many pseudonyms, Jacques Lu Cont) and spurred renewed interest in the maxi-single.
On July 22 2003, the first photos from the GAP jeans campaign featuring Madonna and Missy Elliot were released.
On June 17 2003, the single cover for Madonna’s Hollywood single was revealed. The photo was taken from the photo shoot by Steven Klein for W Magazine.
Hollywood was the second single from the American Life album, released on July 14, 2003.
In April 2003, in an interview with Q Magazine, Madonna described the allure of life in Hollywood:
“I’ve had 20 years of fame and fortune, and I feel that I have a right to an opinion on what it is and what it isn’t. All everyone is obsessed about at the moment is being a celebrity. I’m saying that’s bullshit and who knows better than me? Before it happens you have all kinds of notions about how wonderful celebrity is and how much joy it’s going to bring you. Then you arrive … Look like this you’re gonna be happy. Drive this car you’re gonna be popular. Wear these clothes and people are gonna wanna fuck you. It’s a very powerful illusion and people are caught up in it, including myself. Or I was.”