Film Delay Blamed For Madonna Tour Cancellation

Meanwhile, pop diva plans to collaborate with ex-Menudo member on song and considers another greatest hits LP.

Madonna scotched plans for a fall tour in support of her Grammy-winning Ray of Light album due to the re-scheduled starting date of her upcoming film, "The Next Best Thing," according to the singer's spokesperson.

Meanwhile, she plans to team with former Menudo member and Grammy-winning Latin singer Ricky Martin soon, and to gather material for a second greatest hits album, including a few new songs.

"The starting date of the movie was postponed," said Liz Rosenberg, "and it created such a small window to turn things around and get into total tour mode and put together the kind of show Madonna does, with no stone unturned, that she thought it would be better to wait until 2000."

Rosenberg said current plans call for Madonna to hit the road "sometime after the millennium," although no timetable was given.

The outing would have been Madonna's first string of live dates since 1993's elaborate, five-date "Girlie Show" tour. Madonna won three Grammy awards last month for 1998's Ray of Light, which included the hit

title song (RealAudio excerpt). Rosenberg said Madonna had met with "a couple of production people" about plans for the nixed tour, and she speculated that coordinating the elaborate, Geisha-themed performance for the Grammys may have "reminded her of the volume of work she'd have to do for a tour."

In January, the singer told CNN talk-show host Larry King she was prepared to tour this year but intended to give up extensive touring in the near future, so she could spend time with her toddler daughter, Lourdes. The pop diva said she is so committed to raising her daughter, that she has decided not to travel outside the Los Angeles area once Lourdes turns 4. But that wasn't going to stop her from embarking on a world tour this year, she added.

As recently as Feb. 24, the night of the Grammys, Madonna appeared committed to the Ray of Light tour. But when questioned about how being a mother might affect her career, Madonna said that in the immediate future concert tours would take place in the summer, when her daughter is out of school.

Rosenberg said Madonna also is working on a collaboration with former Menudo member Martin, the Grammy-winning Latin singer with whom Madonna bonded publicly at the Grammys. Madonna is working on a song for Martin with Ray of Light producer William Orbit, Rosenberg said.

Following his Grammy win for Best Latin Pop Performance, Madonna rushed onstage and hugged the singer. First covering his eyes in a peekaboo gesture, Madonna told the assembled scribes she "just wanted to congratulate" Martin. She hugged and kissed the handsome singer before jumping back off the stage. Madonna stayed close to the podium and posed with Martin after his press appearance.

"She knows [Martin] and is a big, big fan," Rosenberg said. "She's working with [Ray of Light co-producer] William Orbit on a song for him." Rosenberg said Madonna also is contemplating recording a song for the upcoming soundtrack to the "Austin Powers" sequel, "The Spy Who Shagged Me," due in early summer on Madonna's Maverick Records.

Additional new material might be in the offing by year's end, Rosenberg said. "There's been discussion of an Immaculate Collection 2 with a few new cuts," the publicist said. Madonna released the greatest hits package The Immaculate Collection in 1990, which featured such '80s radio staples as

"Lucky Star" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Like a Prayer."

"The Next Best Thing," Madonna's first movie since the 1996 filming of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical "Evita," will co-star actor Rupert Everett, who also penned the script, and will be helmed by veteran director John Schlesinger ("Midnight Cowboy").