On May 30 2003, Callaway Editions announced that Madonna would make publishing history as her children’s book, The English Roses, would be released simultaneously worldwide in 30 languages in 100 countries.
On April 8 2003, American Life was released digitally as the lead single from Madonna’s ninth studio album of the same name.
American Life was written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, and was released by Maverick Records.
On March 12 2003, Warner Bros. issued a press release for Madonna’s American Life album:
A new Madonna album, American Life, has been set for a worldwide release on April 22nd.
The enduring icon’s first new collection of original material since 2000’s multi-platinum smash Music, American Life is being hailed as Madonna’s most accomplished, original and intensely personal album to date; a resonant and revealing emotional journey that marks a new highpoint in a career that has for all time redefined the expressive potential of contemporary music.
Recorded over a full year in London and Los Angeles, American Life, the artist’s tenth studio album, features eleven new Madonna compositions, including the title track and debut single, which ships to radio March 25th.
“All of these songs reflect my current state of mind. I feel like I have just woken up out of a dream. They range from dismay and anger to joy and certainty. Hopefully, I have taken the personal and made it universal,” stated Madonna regarding her new album which she wrote and produced with Mirwais Ahmadzai with whom she also collaborated on her previous release Music.
The American Life CD includes the title track, as well as the following songs: Hollywood, I’m So Stupid, Love Profusion, Nobody Knows Me, Nothing Fails, Intervention, X-Static Process, Mother & Father, Easy Ride, and Die Another Day, the hit theme song from the James Bond film of the same name.
The American Life single is also the subject of a brilliant new video from the pioneering multi-media visionary, an artist who single handedly invented the short music film medium. In a stunning collaboration with director Jonas Akerlund, American Life expresses a panoramic view of our culture and looming war through the view of a female superhero portrayed by Madonna set against a backdrop of current cultural obsessions. It’s a penetrating examination of our national psyche. The video is scheduled to air the first week in April.
Remixes of the American Life single by, among others, mega-hot hip hop diva Missy Elliott, Peter Rauhofer, Felix da Housecat and Maverick Records artist Paul Oakenfold will be available in various configurations over the next several months.
An extensive schedule of appearances, performances and special events has been set in conjunction with the release of American Life including an appearance on an episode of the hit NBC-TV comedy Will And Grace.
One of the most original and innovative artists of the modern era, Madonna has sold hundreds of millions of albums, topped charts across two decades, created an enormously influential body of work in video and film and stood at the forefront of socially conscious artists worldwide. With American Life, Madonna has once again reached deeply into her own life as the source and substance of her extraordinary artistry.
On February 4 2003, filming for Madonna’s music video for American Life took place in Los Angeles with director Jonas Åkerlund.
The casting call issued for the video sought the following:
Eastern European Man (30 – 60 yrs. old, Real people, THIN, interesting looking, great face, worn out looking, craggy). 4 Beautiful Models (drop dead gorgeous w. amazing legs and bodies). 10 soldiers (must have long hair and be willing to shave it for the video… good-looking, really good body). Hair stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, must be real hair stylists, think editorial type. Stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, 20’s, cool and interesting looking, think N.Y. 2 Babes (very voluptuous and buxom, bimbo types, b pin-up girls). Makeup artists (m or f, any ethnicity, a REAL makeup artist). 2 IRAQI kids (boys and girls, 4 – 7 yrs. old). African-American Male (35 – 50, THIN).
Åkerlund commented on the upcoming video to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet:
“It’s great that Madonna gives me the trust to do this video. The song is super cool and aimed for the dance floors. I especially love that she gives me the trust to do the first single from the new album. There is a special feeling and ambition around the first single and a hell of lot of secrets. I had to sign a paper even before I got to listen to the song! The shooting will take 3 days.”
On December 27 2003, Madonna’s Nothing Fails/Nobody Knows Me single hit #1 and her collaboration with Britney Spears, Me Against The Music hit #2 on Hot Dance Singles Sales chart in US: it was the first time an artist had occupied the top 2 positions on the Singles Sales chart since Puff Daddy in 1997.