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 March 5 2000, The Next Best Thing, starring Madonna and Rupert Everett hit #2 at the box-office in the USA generating $5.8 million during its opening weekend.
On December 9 1998, Madonna attended the Fire & Ice Ball at Universal Studios in Hollywood, benefitting the UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program.
On April 12 1998, the television special Madonna Rising premiered.
Produced as part of the promotional activities for the Ray Of Light album, the special featured Madonna reminiscing about her formative years in New York with pal Rupert Everett as they visited some of her pre-fame dwellings and hang-outs. Interview segments with Nile Rodgers, Debi Mazar, Seymour Stein, Maripol and others were also included for good measure.
On February 12 2000, Madonna’s American Pie video first aired on MTV. The video was directed by Philipp Stölzl, with Madonna’s parts being filmed in London.
What did Don McLean think about Madonna’s cover of his hit song?
“It is a gift for her to have recorded American Pie. I think it is sensual and mystical. I also feel that she’s chosen autobiographical verses that reflect her career and personal history. I have received many gifts from God but this is the first time I have ever received a gift from a goddess.”