AOL Sponsors Madonna Trek, Offers Advance Tix

The U.S. leg of Madonna's upcoming Drowned World Tour will be sponsored by America Online (AOL). Thanks to a recently formed alliance with ticketing giant Ticketmaster, AOL will offer its subscribers

The U.S. leg of Madonna's upcoming Drowned World Tour will be sponsored by America Online (AOL). Thanks to a recently formed alliance with ticketing giant Ticketmaster, AOL will offer its subscribers advance ticket sales and ongoing feature coverage of the tour, which kicks off July 21 in Philadelphia.

Beginning Sunday (May 6), new AOL subscribers will have an exclusive opportunity to purchase up to two tickets for any U.S. stop on the tour (except Sept. 5-6 in Oakland) on a first-come, first-sold basis, before they go on sale to the general public. Fans will be able to call special regional toll-free Ticketmaster numbers to join the Internet service and secure tickets to their local show. Current AOL subscribers will have a similar ticket buying opportunity beginning May 7, as well as the chance to win tickets through a series of online promotions (AOL Keyword: Madonna).

AOL's coverage of the Drowned World Tour will include concert highlights, chats, and tours of the backstage area. AOL's Music Channel also will feature exclusive downloads from the concerts, tour pictures, video clips, and interviews.

Madonna's voice was revealed yesterday (May 2) in AOL's just launched "Celebrity You've Got Mail" contest (AOL Keyword: You've Got Mail). Participants are challenged to guess the identity of celebrities saying the service's famous three-word E-mail tagline to qualify to win cars, trips to the Blockbuster Movie Awards, and other prizes. The month-long contest will feature the voices of music stars, actors, and sports celebrities.

Madonna's latest Maverick/Warner Bros. album, "Music," debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 last fall. The album is currently No. 85 in its 32nd week on the chart.

Here are Madonna's U.S. tour dates and regional toll-free Ticketmaster numbers (to be activated May 6):
July 21-22: Philadelphia (First Union Center/888-316-8595)
July 25-26: New York (Madison Square Garden/888-318-6646)
Aug. 2-3: East Rutherford, N.J. (Continental Airlines Arena/888-449-0095)
Aug. 6, 8: Boston (Fleet Center/888-298-2321)
Aug. 10-11: Washington, D.C. (MCI Center/888-449-3644)
Aug. 14-15: Miami (National Car Rental Center/888-298-5852)
Aug. 19-20: Atlanta (Philips Arena/888-449-6564)
Aug. 25-26: Auburn Hills, Mich. (Palace at Auburn Hills/888-449-7733)
Aug. 28-29: Chicago (United Center/888-449-7755)
Sept. 1-2: Las Vegas (MGM Grand Hotel/888-449-7970)
Sept. 5-6: Oakland (Oakland Arena; not included in AOL promotion)
Sept. 9, 11: Los Angeles (Staples Center/888-303-2121)