On July 14 2008, Madonna and Guy Ritchie were featured on the cover of People Magazine with the caption: “Madonna & Guy Ritchie – Is It Over?”
Here’s a snippet of the article inside by Joe Artolomeo:
For the past five months, it’s been the same story: While Madonna is on one continent making music, working on her Malawi documentary or planning her upcoming tour, her husband, Guy Ritchie, is in another part of the world tending to his own needs. Every few months they reunite—for a photo op, at least. The weekend of June 28 was no different. Madonna was in New York City taking a break from rehearsals to attend services at the Kabbalah Centre with her kids Lourdes, Rocco and David; meanwhile, in London Ritchie was also attending Kabbalah services and spending time with family friend Trudie Styler. On Monday, June 30, he boarded a flight bound for New York City—and his wife. This time the reunion had a sense of urgency. The British press had spent the past five days reporting that Madonna, 49, and Ritchie, 39, had consulted separate divorce lawyers (she chose Fiona Shackleton, who represented Sir Paul McCartney, said The Times and the Daily Mirror), a story that had first surfaced in early June. They pointed out that neither was wearing a wedding band and noted that during their last public appearance at the Cannes Film Festival, the couple appeared unhappy. When asked if Madonna and Ritchie are breaking up or even just having problems, Madonna’s rep Liz Rosenberg—who only recently insisted the couple were still happily married—told PEOPLE, “No comment.”
On July 11 2008, Benny Benassi was announced to be the opening act for Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet shows in Rome on September 6th (2008).
On June 17 2008, Robyn announced that she would be opening for Madonna’s European Sticky & Sweet Tour.
“Having been a fan of Madonna since I was a little girl, I’m very excited about sharing a stage with her and playing to her audiences. I’m thrilled.”
On May 12 2008, Madonna’s Hard Candy album was released in the UK in a Limited Collector’s Edition Candy Box.
The Candy Box included a 14-track edition of the hit album (containing the standard version of the album and two bonus 4 Minutes remixes), a bag of Starlite Mint candies and a 16-page booklet.
The exact same version was released in North America on April 29 2008.
1. Candy Store
2. 4 Minutes
3. Give It 2 Me
5. Miles Away
6. Shes Not Me
8. Beat Goes On
9. Dance 2Night
10. Spanish Lesson
11. Devil Wouldn’t Recognize You
13. 4 Minutes – Tracy Young House Edit
14. 4 Minutes – Rebirth Remix Edit
On April 3 2008, the music video for 4 Minutes – the debut single from Madonna’s 11th studio album for Warner Bros. Records, Hard Candy – made its world premiere as a video single available to purchase through iTunes. The digital retailer held exclusive rights to the video for a period of 48 hours, after which it was made available for streaming and broadcast through digital and traditional channels.
The video was filmed in London in February, 2008 and was directed by French wunderkinds, Jonas & François (Justice & Kanye West). At the time of the video’s launch, the audio download of 4 Minutes was already holding the #1 position on iTunes. When asked about the “4 Minute Fever Phenomenon,” Madonna commented, “Goody goody gum drops.”
On March 21 2008, Billboard magazine reviewed the lead single for Madonna’s Hard Candy album, 4 Minutes:
It doesn’t take anywhere close to 4 Minutes to realize that Madonna is poised to score her first top 10 hit since 2005’s Hung Up. The launch single from upcoming Hard Candy – her 11th and final studio album for Warner Bros. – co – stars Justin Timberlake, with production props from Timbaland. There’s an awful lot going on in the busy dance track: sing – song verses, insistent foghorns, cowbells, chants of “tick – tock” and “Madonna, Madonna,” and a rap from Timbaland – but the trade – off chorus between Madge and Justin of “We’ve only got four minutes to save the world” is hooky enough unto itself to sell the song. “4” qualifies as an event record between superpowers who not only share equal billing, but sound gangbusters together. Expect instantaneous penetration for this spring break ’08 anthem.
On March 14 2008, Madonna’s official website revealed the artwork and release date for Hard Candy:
“We are happy to share the album artwork for Madonna’s upcoming album. Hard Candy is scheduled to have a global release on April 28th and a US release on April 29th on Warner Bros. Records.”
Hard Candy was eventually released on these dates in these regions:
- Germany, Ireland, Austria and Netherlands – April 25, 2008
- United Kingdom, Brazil and the rest of Europe – April 28, 2008
- United States, Mexico and Canada – April 29, 2008
Liz Rosenberg told Entertainment Weekly:
She loves candy. Hard Candy is about the juxtaposition of tough and sweetness, or as Madonna so eloquently expressed: ‘I’m gonna kick your ass, but it’s going to make you feel good.’
Notice that Madonna’s belt includes the inscription Give It to Me, the original title of the album.