Madonna's next album is to be entitled Hard Candy and released on April 29th, her publicist has confirmed.

Her final release for Warner Bros, Hard Candy is to feature production from Pharrell Williams, Timbaland and Nate 'Danja' Hills' while Justin Timberlake to feature on the album's first single, Four Minutes, due for release at the end of March.

Liz Rosenberg, the Hung Up star's representative, said the album title had been chosen because the 49-year-old "loves candy".

"It's about the juxtaposition of tough and sweetness, or as Madonna so eloquently expressed: 'I'm gonna kick your ass, but it's going to make you feel good'," she added.

The album - a follow-up to her number one 2005 album Confessions on a Dance Floor - will be her last release for Warner Bros before she embarks on a groundbreaking contract with concert promoter Live Nation.

In October last year, Madonna signed a ten-year deal worth a reported $120 million (£60.4 million) with the promoter, with the unique agreement covering all facets of the star's career and Live Nation holding the rights to her albums, tours, merchandise, website, DVDs, sponsorship, TV shows and films.

In announcing the end of her 25-year relationship with Warner Bros, she said the "paradigm in The Music business has shifted."

"For the first time in my career, the way that my music can reach my fans is unlimited," she added.

"I've never wanted to think in a limited way and with this new partnership, the possibilities are endless."

It was also announced on Tuesday that Timberlake, ahead of featuring on Madonna's new album, is to induct the Material Girl into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Other inductees to be honoured at the March 10th ceremony at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria hotel include Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp, the Dave Clark Five and the Ventures.

27/02/2008 11:25:42