Published June 17, 2004
NEW YORK – Don't call her Madonna (search) anymore - call her Esther.
In the most bizarre name change since Puff Daddy (search) became P. Diddy, the Material Girl has adopted the ancient Hebrew name of Esther.
The pop queen, whose six-night stand at Madison Square Garden (search) started last night, says she's spooked by the fact that her mom, who was also named Madonna, died at the age of 30, when the superstar-to-be was 5.
"My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and I wanted to attach myself to an other name," Madonna, 45, told ABC News.
"This is in no way a negation of who my mother was. I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name."
While she hasn't yet asked her friends to use the new moniker, Madonna is apparently called Esther when she studies the ancient Jewish mystical practices of Kabbalah.
"In her Kabbalah world, the leaders may call her that during spiritual services," said her spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg.
"But while we still bow to her, we don't call her Queen Esther," Rosenberg joked, referring to the Book of Esther (search) in the Old Testament, which tells of the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. Queen Esther used her position to save other Jews from persecution.
It remains to be seen if Madonna's millions of fans will begin referring to her as Esther, which translates as "star."
Meanwhile, Madonna also tells ABC, in an interview airing Friday, that she's got her children, Lourdes, 7, and Rocco, 3, regularly doing the household chores.
"My children have to clean up their mess, clean up their rooms," she says.
Madonna, who wed British director Guy Ritchie (search) in 2000, years after her marriage to Sean Penn fell apart, also says the key to a successful marriage is "learning to apologize."
One thing the entertainer regrets is some of her past actions on the way to stardom.
While she doesn't go into detail, she says, "I brought a lot of chaos to people's lives because of my selfish behavior."