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Madonna to launch fashion line this summer

madonnaAfter high profile-stints as the face of luxury labels like Dolce & Gabbana, it was only a matter of time before Madonna stepped behind the scenes to design her own label, and lo and behold, it was announced today that the Material Girl will be launching her very own fashion brand, MG icon, with Iconix Brand Group, Inc., starting with a juniors line for Macy’s this summer.

Why on earth would she start her new design career with a juniors line? Well, the inspiration came from her 13-year-old daughter Lourdes, who, judging by these pictures, has a raging interest in fashion herself. The aptly titled “Material Girl” line will be unveiled this August and include apparel, footwear, handbags, and jewelry priced from $12-40.

A low-priced line bucks the trend of high-end designers starting big and introducing diffusion lines later down the line, so it’s a bit perplexing that Madonna would follow the lead of someone like, say, Jennifer Lopez, whose J.Lo-brand has been at Macy’s for years.

This being the queen of Pop, I would’ve liked to have seen her start out with something a bit more abstract, since she is an artist after all. As December 2008 ads for Louis Vuitton proved, lady M certainly knows how to work her couture.

What do you guys think of Madonna’s venture into the fashion world? Would you buy something with her stamp of approval on it?

Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/PR Photos

Madonna and Beyoncé join 'Hope for Haiti Now': This telethon is now totally unavoidable

I generally don’t get into telethons. I mean, if I’m going to give, I’m just going to give—I don’t need a cheesy Regis Philbin or whoever trying to cajole me into donating dollars while Howie Mandel demonstrates how many different ways he can wash his hands and Goldie Hawn revives a forgettable sketch from Laugh-In.

But I must say: This Hope for Haiti Now telethon tonight is sounding like something that I can’t miss, especially now that divas extraordinaire Beyoncé and Madonna have come on board. Looks like B is gonna hit the stage in London, and M will be in NYC. Yes! Loving it. I’m in. And I’ll probably text in even more money than I already have.

In case you were wondering, those already slated to perform tonight at 8 p.m. on nearly ever network include Christina Aguilera, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Mary J., J-Hud, and Bruce Springsteen. Pretty A-list, clearly.

But what about you, PopWatchers? Does the prospect of Beyoncé and Madonna on screen entice you to tune in tonight? Will it entice you to give more money — or just enjoy the performances without forking over any dough? Were there other artists that immediately made tonight’s telethon a must watch/must give?

More from EW.com:
‘Hope for Haiti': New details for George Clooney telethon announced
George Clooney’s Haiti telethon to air on MTV, ABC, NBC, HBO, and CNN
Rihanna covers ‘Redemption Song’ for Haiti on ‘Oprah’

This Week's Cover: 'Sherlock Holmes' Director Guy Ritchie on Madonna divorce

With star Robert Downey Jr. in fighting form and enjoying an easy rapport with his costar, Jude Law, the filming of Sherlock Holmes in London last year was trouble-free. The only drama seemed to take place off the set, where the film’s director, Guy Ritchie (Snatch, RocknRolla), and his then-wife Madonna filed for divorce. The couple had been married since 2000, and the announcement made global headlines. But according to Holmes star Robert Downey Jr., the cast saw no evidence of strain on Ritchie, and the divorce had no impact on the production. “Guy is a country gentleman,” Downey says. “He doesn’t want to occupy his mind with things that may be unpleasant or may get him riled up. He was just doing what he would have been doing regardless of the situation.” When asked how he coped with all that tabloid noise, not to mention private emotion, while shooting a major studio film, Ritchie answers with just four simple words: “Head down, arms swinging.”

For more on the making of Sherlock Holmes, plus a look at how the character has been portrayed over time, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands today.

'Sound Bites': TV's best lines this week?

In this week’s episode of Sound Bites: The late-night hosts react to the Letterman situation, The Office has a wedding party and everybody comes…down the aisle, our Twitter followers go Swimfan levels of crazy for Glee, Jacko comes back to life on South Park, and…sandwiches. Sentences? SANDWICHES. Plus: I stick to my #1 policy: When there’s a will to relate anything/everything to Arrested Development, there’s a way. Can you blame me? Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken? Press play below.

[ewbrightcove “43635099001”, “42835421001”, “525”, “365”]

Nuns find Lady Gaga objectionable: Umm...duh

The NY Post‘s Page Six is reporting today that the nuns of the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic girls school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, are none-too-pleased with the antics of their former student, Stefani Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady Gaga. Specifically, the Post found that the sisters were appalled at Gaga’s blood-soaked performance piece at the VMAs last week. (The nuns want their MTV, do they?)

It got me thinking — aside from ‘duh’ — about other pop provocateurs who started out life as Catholic schoolgirls (or boys). Could it be that a solid, strict Catholic upbringing is almost necessary for the kind of intense, life-long acting out that rock ‘n roll requires? Madonna, of course, went to Catholic school at one point. Help me out and prove my theory — who else?

'Vh1 Divas' adds Paula. Now where are Madonna, Mariah, and Whitney?

Paula-Abdul_lA nation can let out its collective breath: After weeks of hand-wringing, pearl-clutching, and taking out our frustration on loved ones by asking them, “Am. I. A. Page. In. Your. Hiss. Tor. Ee. Book?we now know for certain when and in which capacity Paula Abdul will once again appear on TV. She’ll be hosting the ‘Vh1 2009 Divas’ concert, featuring Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, Leona Lewis, and Jordin Sparks, plus “additional performers” to be announced by Vh1 in the near future. You’ve already voiced your displeasure with the 2009 lineup (AHEM Miley) when PopWatch asked who’d be better to headline Vh1’s much-touted franchise revival. So does the addition of Paula to the scene help make Divas Live a can’t-miss event? Sure, Paula’s more of a Diva than any of the guests, but it still seems that even more than American Idol‘s former “nice judge,”  Vh1’s showcase event could use some A-list vocal firepower, no? Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Madonna all have albums dropping this fall and could add some heft to the performances. This was supposed to be a big deal, right? Where are all the divas?


Photo Credit: Black/startraksphoto.com

Adam Lambert and Madonna: Please work together now. Thanks.

Madonna-lambert_l When I read in Rolling Stone's Adam Lambert cover story that the American Idol runner-up was starstruck during a recent meeting with Madonna, my first reaction was "Awww, that's sweet." But the more I think about it, the more the Idol-obsessed voices in my head are howling: "Starstruck? Bah! These two ought to be working together!"

Think about it: Earlier this week, it was reported that Adam had logged studio time with Lady Gaga producer RedOne, so despite his rocker tendencies, the Idol runner-up is clearly not afraid of getting his dance on. And now, if you will, let your mind travel back to Madonna's seminal 1998 Ray of Light CD — yes, we are all that old — an electronica extravaganza that still managed to keep a foot in the guitar-rock genre. Suddenly, I'm thinking Adam and Madge could team up for a cover of "Candy Perfume Girl" or "Drowned World/Substitute for Love," or best of all "Swim" (embedded after the jump for the uninitiated).

Not only would the hookup make sense musically, but it would also be a smart career move. For Adam, a Madonna duet would give him instant credibility outside the Idol universe — something he'll need to break through the anti-Idol prejudice held by many a radio-station programmer. For Madonna, being the first superstar artist to hit the studio with Adam would attach her to a young, exciting artist without the appearance that she's suddenly become a follower instead of a leader (a problem that gave "Me Against the Music" and "4 Minutes to Save the World" a slight whiff of desperation). Plus, girlfriend could use some fresh gay-cred points, no?

What do you think? Would an Adam-Madonna collaboration be a match made in musical heaven, or an aural abomination? And which artist would benefit more from a duet?

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Madonna was 2008's biggest music earner: Surprised?

Madonna_lTicket prices for Madonna’s last tour might have seemed outrageous, but that didn’t stop her from becoming 2008’s top money-maker in the music biz, according to a new report from Billboard. Her Madgesty raked in $242 million last year, far outpacing runners-up Bon Jovi ($157 mil) and Bruce Springsteen ($156 mil). What’s more, she did it almost exclusively on the back of her tour revenue, since the album she put out last spring sold approximately squat. (Too bad, there were some dope songs on there!) Consider this a reminder before we rush to count her out as an artist past her prime: Madonna is still a very major power player. Maybe President Obama should urge Congress to pass an additional stimulus package that requires Madonna to tour again, ASAP? Just think of all the hot-dog vending and ticket-scalping jobs that could create!

More on Madonna:
Gallery: Her 27 best videos
Her Live Nation deal rocked the music biz
Margeaux Watson on her AIDS documentary
Attend Madonna concert or feed family this week?

addCredit(“Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images”)

eBay reveals top 10 items of '08: What did you bid on this year?

Sesamestreetwii_l Looking at eBay‘s top 10 items of 2008, I first thought "I am woefully out of touch with the world" and then realized a better declaration was simply, "I don’t spend much time on eBay." It turns out the only item I bid on this year was an "Our Gang" poster of the old-school Sesame Street crew. I’m really cool. I also forgot I had "agreed to buy" and ended up having my eBay account suspended for three months without even noticing, but let’s not dwell on that. It also turns out that when you try to play this poster on Wii (2008’s top-sold item by far), nothing happens (pictured).

eBay’s best-sellers of the year are listed below. Got any bidding war tales of triumph and/or woe from 2008? Let us know! The more embarrassing the better, and 500 extra points if you cried.

Nintendo Wii: 2,056,866 related items sold
Xbox 360: 1,297,903 related items sold
Apple’s iPod Touch: 281,361 related items sold
Hannah Montana: 223,139 related items sold
Apple’s iPhone 3G: 212,837 related items sold
Brett Favre: 199,832 related items sold
Barack Obama: 111,546 related items sold
High School Musical Cast: 109,813 related items sold
Guitar Hero III: 98,159 related items sold 
Madonna: 96,511 related items sold

Madonna + Britney + Justin = Sadness

Madonnabritneyjustin_lI am decidedly depressed by the news that Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears are both slated to appear during tonight’s Los Angeles stop on Madonna’s "Sticky & Sweet" tour.

I know, I know…back in March, I blogged about how, for the first time in Madge’s career, I was unexcited about one of her album releases. After all, Madonna’s always been at her best when she’s latched on to a slightly underground trend, co-opted it as her own, and foisted it onto an unsuspecting mainstream audience (think: vogueing, electronica, Mirwais). Madonna’s sudden reliance on Timberlake, Timbaland, and Kanye West to make 2008’s Hard Candy a sales success was tantamount to her nervously carrying her lunch tray into the pop-culture cafeteria and trying to score a seat with the cool kids when, really, she should’ve been sitting down at an empty table and confidently forming her own damn posse. And sure enough, seven months after its release, Hard Candy is barely on my radar, except for those occasions when the admittedly excellent "Beat Goes On" pops up on my cardio playlist.

Which makes tonight’s recruitment of Spears even more distressing. Madonna and Britney’s previous collaborations — the faux-lesbian smooch on MTV, the abhorrent "Me Against the Music" — did little to boost either singer’s fortunes. And (hello!) why would you think that fans shelling out hundreds of bucks for a ticket would be excited to have a notorious lip-syncher added to the bill?

What think you, PopWatchers? Am I crazy for expecting Madge to still be setting trends at this stage of her career? And if she really has reached the "follow the leader" stage of her career, could it be time for her to (blasphemy alert) follow Celine Dion and Cher’s leads, and get herself a residency in Vegas? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

More on Madonna:
Is anyone else unexpectedly unexcited about the new Madonna CD?
EW.com’s "All About Madonna" page
Madonna’s politically charged tour video: Is it any good?
Music Review: Madonna’s ‘Hard Candy’
Madonna’s 10 Most Underrated Songs

addCredit(“Madonna: Steve Jennings/WireImage; Spears: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images; Timberlake: Kevin Mazur/WireImage”)

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