Africa left out of upcoming Madonna tour

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Madonna’s big year got even bigger this week with the announcement of her most ambitious world tour ever, hot on the heels of her record-setting Super Bowl halftime show.

The Material Girl will hopscotch around the globe in support of her 12th studio album “MDNA” which comes out March 26, even as her second feature film, the romantic drama “W.E.”, struggles to impress critics and draw audiences.

In a statement, concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment said the as-yet unnamed tour — Madonna’s first since her wildly successful “Sticky and Sweet” outing in 2008 and 2009 — would kick off March 29 in Tel Aviv.

She will go on to perform in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul, before starting a 22-city swing through Europe in Zagreb on June 11 that will include Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Moscow and Milan.

Madonna will be in Oslo on August 15, the day before her 54th birthday.

The 26-city North American leg begins August 28 in Philadelphia, and includes open-air gigs in Quebec City’s Plains of Abraham park on September 1 and New York’s Yankee Stadium on September 6.

“The tour will also visit South America and Australia,” Live Nation said, with dates to be announced. There was no mention of any gigs in Asia.

“It will be big and can get bigger,” Live Nation’s chief executive Arthur Fogel told music news website Billboard.com, adding that production for the tour was in the conceptual stages.

Curiously, Madonna’s hometown Detroit was missing from the list, although Live Nation teased that “additional cities and venues” are in the pipeline.

Fogel told Billboard.com that the tour — to wrap up in Australia early next year — would be Madonna’s biggest yet with close to 90 concerts, compared with 85 for “Sticky and Sweet.”

With her 2008 divorce from British film-maker Guy Ritchie a distant memory, Madonna marked a return to top form Sunday in a 12-minute, four-song performance midway through the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, Indiana.

It was the most-watched halftime show in Super Bowl history, watched by 114 million viewers in the United States alone — more than the record 111.3 million who tuned in for the National Football League championship itself.

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