Today in Madonna History: July 4, 2009

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On July 4 2009, the Sticky & Sweet Tour‘s 2009 extension began with the first of two sold out dates at London’s O2 Arena.

In January 2009, following the completion of European, North American and South American legs of the massively successful 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour, it was confirmed that Madonna would extend the tour during the Summer of 2009 with a second European leg before concluding with two dates in Israel in September. The itinerary for the extension consisted largely of markets where Madonna either hadn’t previously performed or hadn’t visited in many years.

In a January 2009 interview with Billboard.com, Live Nation chairman Arthur Fogel commented on the extended run of the tour:

“It absolutely has not happened in the four tours I’ve been involved with, […] There has been talk [of extending] during each one, but it has never come to be. But with this one, she loves the show, she’s had a great time and she’s excited about playing new markets. […] We went to quite a few markets she has never played or hasn’t been to in 15-plus years. This [extension] is really a continuation of that in the sense of playing new and different markets. [The six-month break] is a long hiatus, but everybody was excited to continue. […] So we basically worked out the arrangements for all the performers, crew and equipment and we’ll be ready to go.”

The extension’s opening night and all subsequent dates featured three song changes to the original setlist: Holiday replaced Heartbeat, a guitar-heavy version of Dress You Up took the place of Borderline, and the non fan-favorite “rock version” of Hung Up was dropped in favour of a much more pleasing, club-ready mash-up of Frozen with I’m Not Alone by Calvin Harris (which also threw in snippets of Open Your Heart).

Madonna also included a special tribute to Michael Jackson during Holiday, as well as a quote attributed to him at the end of Frozen (the lyrics quoted from his song Man In The Mirror were in fact written by Madonna’s occasional backing singer, Siedah Garrett, if you want to get technical). At the time of his passing Jackson had been scheduled to begin a run of comeback concerts at the O2 Arena, beginning the week after Madonna’s shows at the venue.

(Thanks to Michael aka MykillICON for the video footage and pictures!)

Today in Madonna History: April 15, 1991

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On April 15 1991, Madonna and Michael Jackson were featured on the cover of People magazine as The Oddest Couple.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

It may have been just a one-night stand, but when Pop’s Billion Dollar Boy and the Queen of Steam strutted their stuff at the Oscars, they were, for one brief moment, the brightest star couple of all.

As anyone burdened with stardom knows, finding a date for the Oscars can be an enormo pain. After all, really famous folk simply can’t be seen with some sweet nobody who waves “Hi Mom” at the camera and spends the evening worrying about credit-card approval at Spago.

And so it was, when Madonna and Michael Jackson, Earth’s top pop stars, faced the who-is-famous-enough-to-be-seen-with-me quandary, they hit on the perfect solution. Since they were already planning a duet for Michael’s upcoming album, Dangerous, and since they both happened to be on all Hollywood’s collagen-enhanced lips anyway—he for his ballyhooed “billion-dollar” contract with Sony, she for her upcoming, already controversial self-ploitation film, Truth or Dare-why not date…each other?

Big dates can also become big disasters, however. So a week before the Oscars, the couple met at L.A.’s Ivy restaurant to plan and, perhaps, trade makeup tips. By Oscar night, all was ready. Michael looked positively legendary in gold-tipped cowboy boots, a blinding diamond brooch and—in a dramatic sartorial departure—two gloves. Madonna, awash in peroxide and pluck, diverted at least some of the attention from her low-cut, pearl-encrusted Bob Mackie gown with $20 million in diamonds, on loan from jeweler Harry Winston. They entered L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium and promptly collected their well-deserved Best Seat honors—front row, two on the aisle.

Today In Madonna History: March 25, 1991

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On March 25 1991, Madonna performed Sooner Or Later from Dick Tracy at the 63rd annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Sooner Or Later won the Oscar for Best Original Song by Stephen Sondheim; her escort at the awards was Michael Jackson.

Sooner or later you’re gonna be mine
Sooner or later you’re gonna be fine
Baby it’s time that you faced it
I always get my man