Album: American Life, 2003 Chic collaborators: If it aint 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 wasnt 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, thats a gimmick. Controversy: America apparently wasnt 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 generals 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 childrens 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 MTVs advance-music initiative, The Leak. Then in early 2004, Madonna continued to make headlines, endorsing Wesley Clark for president.