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 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.”
On March 3 2000, American Pie was released as a single in the UK. The cover of the Don McLean classic would hit number-one on the UK singles chart the following week.
A huge international hit, American Pie also topped the charts in Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Finland. In the U.S. the track was not released commercially in a strategic move designed to maximize sales of The Next Best Thing soundtrack, however it managed to reach number twenty-nine on the Hot 100 based on the strength of airplay alone.
On March 5 2000, The Next Best Thing, starring Madonna and Rupert Everett hit #2 at the box-office in the USA with $5.8 million for its opening weekend.