- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 8, 2001

In a town frequently rocked by scandal and controversy, this weekend's two sold-out Madonna concerts at the MCI Center should heats things up even more.
Washington is just one of the material girl's stops during a 12-city, 29-date American tour that sold out within hours earlier this year.
The Drowned World Tour 2001, loosely inspired by British author J.G. Ballard's apocalyptic 1962 novel "The Drowned World," is Madonna's first tour since 1993's Girlie Show.
Most recently, the queen of pop, 42, married British director Guy Ritchie soon after the birth of their son, Rocco. Add 4-year-old daughter Lourdes, 14 records, numerous movies and Grammy awards, a book and a trail of ruffled religious and political feathers, and you've got just a snapshot of her turbulent but fantastic career which is still unfolding.
Madonna fans span an arc of almost 20 years, putting the artist next to icons Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones. Tickets for the latter go for as much as $1,000; floor tickets for Madonna have hit as high as $5,000, according to some reports.
In fact, Madonna tickets — priced in the hundreds — have sold out even as the concert business is declining, reflecting the nation's overall economic slump.
Ticket sales fell by nearly 16 percent in the first half of 2001, according to Pollstar, a trade magazine that tracks the industry, but Madonna has remained untouched by such troubles.
While touring in Europe, she even added extra dates to meet demand for her performances.
The girl from Michigan has come a long way.
In the 1980s, gum-smacking girls with gelled-up hair swooned to the hits "Like a Virgin," "Crazy for You" and "Dress You Up." Then the last turn of the decade of the 20th century saw Madonna dedicate her "Immaculate Collection" album to the pope, saw her write the controversial "Sex" book and further explore sexuality in two consecutive records.
In 1996, she showed yet another face of her chameleon nature by playing Argentina's beloved Evita Peron in Hollywood's stab at re-creating history in "Evita."
Now Madonna has reinvented herself again via techno with some country-Western, Geisha, flamenco and punk motifs thrown in just to keep you from thinking you have her figured out.
No matter how much she changes, though, Madonna remains the same. Yet her lyrics speak to the children of the 80s — the now professionals in the grown-up worlds of banking or science — and teen-age girls hooked on 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys alike.
"Music may make the bourgeoisie and the rebel come together," she sings in "Music."
In this town, those two worlds will gather this weekend at the MCI Center to take a bow to one of the greatest musicians of our times.

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