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Madonna concert likely in Abu Dhabi in June

Anticipation builds as rumours persist that Madonna's 2012 tour will include Abu Dhabi performance.

ABU DHABI // Madonna's 2012 world tour is due to be announced this morning and is expected to include a stop in the capital in June.

Live Nation, the promoter, yesterday confirmed it would be announcing full details of the tour after the singer’s performance at the NFL Super Bowl in Indiana.

Tyler Mervyn, the managing director of Live Nation Middle East, said the company was “very excited to be producing and promoting Madonna’s 2012 World Tour” in support of her new album, MDNA.

A source at Universal Music, which owns Madonna’s label Interscope, said: “Live Nation haven’t given us the details yet; I heard she was coming to Abu Dhabi.”

Another Dubai industry insider, who is on the promoter’s private mailing list, added: “It’s in Live Nation’s schedule but there hasn’t been an official comment yet.”

Rumours about the tour have been rife over the past few months, started by the apparent leak of an itinerary in October.
The document, printed on the  Live Nation letterhead, listed a concert in the UAE on June 6.

At the time, Live Nation Middle East insisted it was not genuine: “As much as we would love it to be real, the Madonna article going around is a hoax.”

But a music industry insider in Dubai, who was close to the concert negotiations, confirmed Madonna has been booked to play in Abu Dhabi on that date and will be paid US$5 million (Dh18.4m) by the Abu Dhabi promoter Flash Entertainment.

“The itinerary was originally leaked by an employee at the Live Nation office in Sydney, who was boasting about the Madonna tour to a journalist,” the insider said.

He said the employee had been heralding the end of the Sydney office’s long drought of major shows.
After the itinerary leak, a Spanish hacker, 31, was arrested in November for leaking Give me all your Luvin’, the first single from MDNA.

The song has appearances from the British-Sri Lankan rapper MIA and the US hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj. The single was officially released on Friday, and the album will be out March 26.

According to Interscope, MDNA was recorded in New York and LA, and reunited Madonna with William Orbit, the producer behind her 1998 album Ray of Light.

MDNA will be the singer’s debut release from her new $120m partnership with Live Nation, and her first not released through Warner Bros, with whom she had been signed since 1982.


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