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Madonna Chooses A New Name

She was born Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone and has had many nicknames, including The Material Girl, but the entertainer, businesswoman, children's book author, wife and mother says she's ready for a new name: one reflecting her religious beliefs.

Madonna - who has for years been a believer in Kabbalah, a type of Jewish mysticism - says she has chosen the Hebrew name Esther.

"I was named after my mother. My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and... I wanted to attach myself to another name," the singer says in an interview on ABC television's "20/20," airing on Friday. "This is in no way a negation of who my mother is... I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name."

During the interview, Madonna wears the red string around her wrist that is a symbol of the Jewish mysticism, though she wears it beneath her watch. She says she's sensitive when critics suggest her interest in Kabbalah is just a trend.

"I'm a little bit irritated that people think that it's like some celebrity band wagon that I've jumped on, or that, say, somebody like Demi (Moore) has jumped on," the 45-year-old says. "We don't take it lightly."

"Paris Hilton did come to the Kabbalah Centre once, because her parents brought her," Madonna recalls, "They wanted to help her and they were desperate and they brought her there and she had a meeting and she left and she never came back and suddenly, Paris Hilton studies Kabbalah. I mean that's what happens and people... they don't know the whole story."

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