On February 26 2008, Entertainment Weekly magazine confirmed the title, cover art and release date of Madonna’s final studio album for Warner Bros., Hard Candy.
Madonna chose to stick with the sweet theme because “she loves candy,” said her longtime rep, Liz Rosenberg. “It’s 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.'”
The album, which would feature Justin Timberlake on multiple tracks and production by Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and Nate “Danja” Hills, was scheduled for release on April 29th in North America. The first single, 4 Minutes, would precede it in mid-March.
On February 10 2008, Madonna won her 7th Grammy Award. The Confessions Tour film, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, took home the award for Best Long Form Music Video.
It marked Madonna’s fourth Grammy nomination for Best Long Form Music Video, and her second win in the category:
- Blond Ambition World Tour Live – Won (1992)
- The Girlie Show: Live Down Under – Nominated (1995)
- I’m Going To Tell You A Secret – Nominated (2007)
- The Confessions Tour – Won (2008)
On August 5 2008, Madonna’s Give It 2 Me was released as a 8-track CD maxi-single by Warner Bros. Records in the U.S. It included amazing club remixes by Eddie Amador, Paul Oakenfold, Fedde Le Grand, Tong & Spoon, Jody den Broeder, as well as a ragga version of the song by Sly & Robbie.
The single was also issued in the U.S. as a double-vinyl 12-inch set, a 12-inch vinyl picture disc and as a double-vinyl 7-inch set coupled with her previous single, 4 Minutes. Though no Canadian pressings of the single were issued, the U.S. CD maxi-single was distributed to Canadian retailers with a Warner Music Canada special import sticker.
Give It 2 Me was the second single from Hard Candy. It was written by Madonna & Pharrell Williams with production by Madonna & The Neptunes.
On August 2 2008, Madonna and Nathan Rissman introduced their film, I Am Because We Are at the Traverse City Film Festival in Traverse City, Michigan.
The film was directed by Nathan Rissman, produced by Madonna and Angela Becker, written by Madonna, narrated by Madonna with music by Patrick Leonard.
The 86-minute film focuses on the effects of AIDS on orphaned children living in Malawi.
The event was co-founded by filmmaker, author and fellow Michigan native Michael Moore. Moore told the audience that he was humbled to be able to call Madonna a friend:
“She has such an incredible heart and such a generous spirit, she does so much out of the glare of the lights to make the world a better place.”
Madonna was happy to present her film in her home state:
“It’s great bringing my movie to a place that I feel familiar. Not like the Cannes Film Festival, where nobody’s speaking English, or the Tribeca Film Festival, where no one sits down. There’s something poetic about coming back to the place where I used to come for holidays – camping trips with my dad and stepmother and my very large family.”
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).