Today in Madonna History: August 29, 2004

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On August 29 2004, Madonna played to over 62,000 fans at Ireland’s Slane Castle during the only open-air performance of The Re-Invention Tour.

A fan who attended the show shared their review with Madonna fan-site Mad-Eyes.net:

“I can’t believe I’ve finally come to Ireland. Jesus Christ, what took me so fucking long!” Yesterday evening Madonna gave her first open air concert in 11 years. And Madonna didn’t disappoint. Even though it rained and she had to cover herself with a jumper sometimes, she put on a magnificent show. During the first part of the show, she wore the golden corset again. Later, while spinning during Papa Don’t Preach, she said “I’m just trying to keep myself warm!” while wearing an “Irish Do It Better” shirt. The crowd was certainly warmed up and gave her a lot of energy. When it was raining during Nothing Fails, a crew member sat on his knees on stage, covering Madonna under an umbrella while she was playing the guitar. Madonna laughed and sang “rain, rain, go away”. Because of the open air, the catwalk was present all the time and even much lower than usual, giving Madonna the chance to skim hands of the fans. The confetti for Holiday was blown into the air. As the message “Re-Invent Yourself” appeared on screen, Madonna thanked the crowd “thank you goodnight” and added “Ireland you’re the best!” Afterwards, huge fireworks broke out over the place.

Madonna herself recalled the performance in her tour documentary I’m Going To Tell You A Secret, although her recollection of the show’s attendance appeared to be slightly hazy. Billboard magazine reported ticket sales of 62,275 for the event rather than the 80,000 people capacity of the grounds.

(Thanks to Madonnalicious & their readers for the pics and to Mad-Eyes.net!)

Today in Madonna History: August 27, 1983

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On August 27 1983, Holiday/Lucky Star made its debut on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in the U.S., entering at #31.

The promo-only double A-side single was serviced to clubs by Sire/Warner in order to gauge public interest before deciding which track should be promoted to radio. Although technically serving as the B-side, Holiday was given top billing for its chart entry when it proved to be the more popular selection with club DJ’s. It was subsequently issued as Madonna’s third commercial single in North America, while Lucky Star was released as her fifth single a year later.

Today in Madonna History: August 24, 2014

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On August 24 2014, Madonna was featured in a Forbes Magazine piece written by Hugh McIntyre examining the Most Expensive Music Videos Of All Time.

Of all the expensive music videos made over time (and there are quite a few), the top five are created by only two artists: Michael Jackson and Madonna. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as those two legends are some of the only ones who would have enough clout to rustle up millions for a four-minute movie. While other artists typically use music videos as a way of selling more copies of a certain song or album, these two turned the music video into an art form, attempting to top themselves with each new project. (*Adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars.)

5. Michael Jackson — “Black or White,” $6.9 million* (originally $4 million)
The lead single from Jackson’s Dangerous needed a video that would be many things all at once—fun, meaningful, and above all else, memorable.

4. Madonna — “Bedtime Story,” $7.7 million* (originally $5 million)
“Bedtime Story” is the first of three Madonna music videos on this list, though the single it was made to promote is not one of the singer’s greatest successes. Directed by Mark Romanek, who would also direct the music video that ends up surpassing “Bedtime” as the single most expensive of all time. Not one to miss a publicity opportunity, Madonna premiered the video at movie theatres in New York City, Chicago, and Santa Monica. These days, it is housed permanently in a collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

3. Madonna — “Die Another Day,” $7.9 million* (originally $6.1 million)
While the song received mixed reviews from critics, Madonna’s Bond song went on to be the best-selling dance song of 2002 and 2003, and its video was nominated for a Grammy. The James Bond-inspired video has the legendary pop star fighting herself, which was a mixture of green screens and intricate and expensive special effects. A few years ago, Billboard ranked the song the #6 song from the Bond franchise.

2. Madonna — “Express Yourself,” $9.4 million* (originally $5 million)
Madonna’s “Express Yourself” video cost $5 million to make back in 1989, making it the most expensive video ever made at the time. The clip, which was inspired by 1927 German science fiction film Metropolis was directed by David Fincher, who would go on to be nominated for Academy Awards for also directing both The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network. The video sees the singer dressing in a masculine fashion, yet being as sexual as ever.

1. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson — “Scream,” $10.7 million* (originally $7 million)
The video for “Scream,” the first single off Michael’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I album is really one for the books, and one of the few videos that everybody remembers seeing for the first time.

(Source: Forbes Magazine – The Most Expensive Music Videos of All Time)

Today in Madonna History: August 21, 1989

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On August 21 1989, the music video for Cherish premiered on MTV in the U.S.  The video was the directed by Madonna’s frequent collaborator and friend, photographer Herb Ritts.

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While the single from the Like A Prayer album went on to become another hit single, it’s interesting to note that Madonna had previously written an entirely different song using the title Cherish. Her handwritten lyrics for the unreleased track – along with several others that have yet to surface in musical form – turned up at an auction in 2011.

Today in Madonna History: August 20, 1995

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On August 20 1995, Human Nature was released in Europe as the final single from the Bedtime Stories album.

In North America, Human Nature had been rush-released two months earlier in an attempt to re-engage radio programmers after a particularly poor reception to the Bedtime Story single – which had been virtually ignored by most stations who instead kept their focus on Madonna’s previous radio smash hit, Take A Bow.

Today in Madonna History: August 17, 1995

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On August 17 1995, Madonna attended a private party at the Delano Hotel in Miami, Florida in celebration of her 37th birthday.

South Florida daily newspaper the Sun-Sentinel covered the bash:

Last Thursday night one of the most famous women in the world had a glittering birthday party in what is probably by now one of the most famous hotels in the world. Madonna, uber pop singing sensation, strolled into the lobby of Miami Beach’s Delano Hotel for her big bash in a tight long pink Versace dress with a big smile on her face and a new beau on her arm.

Among the guests waiting inside were Gloria and Emilio Estefan, actor Andy Garcia, Cuban musician Cachao, Donatella Versace and Estefan protegee Albita, who sang a rousing Latino version of Happy Birthday. Ms Ciccone uncharacteristically stopped and chatted with the press, who had all been alerted about the private party, causing crowds to close down the surrounding streets.

Among her revelations were the favorite gift so far (a diamond-and-gold name bracelet from her beau, Carlito); and the pleasure she was getting from having her birthday party in her very own restaurant, the Blue Door, located in the rear lobby of the Delano. News of the party, with the chic new hotel as a stunning backdrop, was seen on every national entertainment and tabloid show in America, and perhaps the world.