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 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.
On July 24 1999, Beautiful Stranger reached its peak position of #19 on the Billboard Hot 100. This was based on the strength of airplay alone, as Maverick Records opted to boost sales of the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack album by not releasing the song as a physical single in the US. Had it been issued commercially, it would have easily given Madonna another Top 10 hit. The single was released in most major markets outside the US including Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan.