.

Madonna's "Life" Due in April

Album follows 2000's "Music"

March 5, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Madonna will release her ninth studio album, American Life, in April. The title track will be the first single from the eleven-song album, the singer's first since 2000's double platinum Music. The song has already drawn attention for its upcoming video, a clip directed by Jonas Akerlund (U2) that takes a strong anti-war stance.

"I feel lucky to be an American citizen for many reasons -- one of which is the right to express myself freely, especially in my work," Madonna said in the video's defense. "I am not Anti-Bush. I am not pro-Iraq. I am pro-peace. I have written a song and created a video which expresses my feelings about our culture and values and the illusions of what many people believe is the American dream -- the perfect life. As an artist, I hope that this provokes thought and dialogue. I don't expect everyone to agree with my point of view."

Also included will be "Die Another Day," Madonna's Golden Globe-nominated title track from last year's James Bond film. The song is a collaboration with Mirwais Ahmadzai, who played a significant role in shaping the sound of Music.

In other Madonna news, The English Roses, her first children's book, will be published in September. It is the first in a five-book deal she signed with Calloway Editions, which will pair her with a different illustrator for each book.

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“Vans”

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Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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