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Madonna: I'm happy Joyce Banda is Malawi's leader

Singer Madonna arrives at Macy's Herald Square to launch her new fragrance 'Truth or Dare By Madonna' on Thursday, April 12, 2012 in New York. Singer Madonna arrives at Macy's Herald Square to launch her new fragrance "Truth or Dare By Madonna" on Thursday, April 12, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
By Mesfin Fekadu
Associated Press / April 13, 2012
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NEW YORK—Madonna says she's happy that Malawi's former vice president is now leading the country.

Joyce Banda became president on April 7 and is the country's first female leader. Former President Bingu wa Mutharika died of a heart attack on April 5.

Madonna adopted two Malawian children and started the charity Raising Malawi in 2006. It assists orphanages and other aid programs in the country.

The singer called Banda "amazing" and said she interviewed the 62-year-old for her 2008 documentary, "I Am Because We Are," about Malawian orphans who lost family members to HIV/AIDS.

"She was really into girls being educated in Africa, which is a good thing," Madonna said in an interview Thursday night. "So I'm glad."

The pop star made the comments at Macy's in New York for the launch of her fragrance, Truth or Dare. She said she's "been trying to develop a fragrance for probably the last 15 years."

"It's never worked out with various companies and different people and trying different fragrances," she said. "They never turned out the way I wanted them to smell."

But Madonna says that was partially due to her expensive taste.

"It's the mass-producing part that always gets tricky because, for some reason, the fragrances that I like tend to be really expensive," the singer said. "One time I created a smell and I was told the amber ... was like a million dollars to ship from India or something."

She said an attempt at making a synthetic version of the fragrance didn't work because it didn't smell as good as she had wanted it to.

But, she says, "Finally, I got a smell I like that I can mass produce. Yay!"

Truth or Dare ranges in price from $39 to $68.

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Mesfin Fekadu covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/musicmesfin.

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