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More Madonna shows after UK sell-out

Madonna unveils her latest album Music
Madonna unveils her latest album Music  

LONDON, England -- The sell-out of what was to be Madonna's only UK tour date has prompted the announcement of five extra shows.

The show sold out in minutes as hotlines jammed with callers clamouring for tickets to her Drowned World tour, despite seats costing between 40 and 85.

Hundreds of devoted fans had camped outside Earl's Court indoor arena in west London, which holds about 18,000 people, to ensure their places in the queue.

Promoters told Reuters that all 16,000 tickets for the first show had sold out within 15 minutes.

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Madonna was initially scheduled to play just one date in the UK on July 4, but now five further performances have been announced for following evenings at the same venue.

The dates are part of her first world tour since the Girlie Show in 1993. Promoters from SFX Entertainment told Reuters the Drowned World tour will be the most extravagant stage spectacle of the singer's 17-year career.

The tour starts in Cologne, Germany on June 5 and ends in Los Angeles three months later on September 9.

Tickets changed hands for hundreds of pounds last year when Madonna played a one-off show at the Brixton Academy in south London, performing just a handful of songs from her new album Music.

Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie at premiere of his film Snatch
Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie at premiere of his film Snatch  

The performance attracted a record Webcast audience of nine million, Reuters reported.

Her publicist said on Thursday the surprise dates were good news for the fans camped outside, who would now be sure to get hold of a ticket.

Madonna has come under fire from critics who say the price of her tickets is too high, especially when the cost of travel is added for those arriving from elsewhere in the UK.

But her spokeswoman said they compared favourably with other acts.

The concert promises material from Madonna's latest albums Music and Ray of Light, as well as songs from earlier in her career.

The star married British film director Guy Ritchie in a Christmas wedding last year and currently divides her time between Britain and the United States.

The tour commences less than a year after the birth of her second child Rocco in August 2000.

Her current single "What it feels like for a girl" is Madonna's 51st British top 10 hit.

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