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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 07:21 GMT 08:21 UK
Madonna to open tour in Cardiff
Madonna has never played in Wales during her career
Superstar Madonna has confirmed she will open her European tour at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

The Confessions Tour will start on 30 July, followed by two other UK dates at the Wembley Area.

It is the first time the 47-year-old singer - who has had 12 UK number one hits under her belt - has played in Wales.

Tickets for the Cardiff gig will go on sale at 0900 BST on 21 April with prices starting at 80.

Madonna is the latest in a long line of bands and singers due to play at the venue this year including Take That, The Eagles and the Rolling Stones.

"This is a major coup, when we found out that Madonna wanted to play here we knew this would be huge," said Paul Sergeant, chief executive of the Millennium Stadium.

"We are delighted to have such an icon play at the Millennium Stadium and it is fantastic that we as a venue have been chosen to open Madonna's European leg of her World Tour."

Mr Sergeant told BBC News that staff at the stadium had been in negotiations over the gig "for months".

Millennium Stadium
Madonna is the latest in a long line of top acts playing at the stadium

"A lot of the time we don't know who the act is when we first start talking - it only becomes apparent as time goes by as it was in this case," he said.

"We've got some big names this year, Take That, the Rolling Stones, The Eagles - we had Oasis in December, but having Madonna is just fantastic.

"She is arguably the biggest act in the world and it's a major achievement for us to have secured her.

"I think the tickets are going to sell out in record time and I wouldn't be surprised to see people camping out for them because they are such hot tickets."

In recent years, the stadium has become one of the major venues for sporting and music events.

In January 2005, more than 60,000 people attended a charity raising concert for the victims of the Asian Tsunami at the stadium.

Other major concerts have followed with world famous bands such as U2, REM and Oasis playing there.

It has also hosted a number of major sporting events such as the Six Nations Rugby competitions and since 2001 it has hosted the FA Cup final and other English football league finals.

In May, the 2006 FA Cup final is due to be played at the venue following delays to building work at the new Wembley Stadium.

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