Madonna, Britney, Christina, American Life

Album: “American Life,” 2003 Chic collaborators: If it ain’t broke … After their successful pairing on “Music,” Madonna collaborated even further with Mirais Ahmadzai, going for a harder mix of European techno sounds. Yet this wasn’t a full-on dance record, as Madonna attempted to respond to the socio-political climate of the time – with guitars. Cross-platform branding: Forget spy movie parodies like “Austin Powers.” That was kid stuff to the 2002 Madonna. “American Life” was launched with a little help from Bond, James Bond, as the 2002 Bond film, “Die Another Day,” helped launch “American Life” promotional efforts. Fashion/beauty partner: The Gap. Hoping to capitalize on her past, and sell some pants, Madonna melded single “Hollywood” with “Into the Groove.” Gimmick: Does kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the MTV Video Music Awards during a performance of “Hollywood” count as a gimmick? Show of hands? Yeah, that’s a gimmick. Controversy: America apparently wasn’t ready for its No. 1 pop star to start taking swipes at the war and President Bush. Her video for “American Life,” in which images of a militaristic fashion show are interspersed with Madonna in a general’s outfit, caused such a tizzy that the artist was forced to issue a press release declaring her patriotism. Getting out the youth vote: All her bases were covered in 2003, thanks to the release of her children’s book, “The English Roses,” which came complete with an apparel and doll line, and an appearance on the NBC hit “Will & Grace.” Going straight to those Web-abusin’ kids, “American Life” was the first album to be a part of MTV’s advance-music initiative, “The Leak.” Then in early 2004, Madonna continued to make headlines, endorsing Wesley Clark for president.
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