Today in Madonna History: April 25, 1988

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On April 25 1988, Spotlight was released as a single by Warner-Pioneer. Issued exclusively in Japan, it was the only commercial single release from the remix album You Can Dance. The song was written by Curtis Hudson, Madonna and Stephen Bray and was produced by Stephen Bray. Madonna wasn’t given a co-producer’s credit on the track – odd considering it was a leftover from the True Blue album sessions, for which she co-produced every song. The track was remixed by John “Jellybean” Benitez for its inclusion on You Can Dance.

In a 2012 interview with blogcritics.com writer Justin Kantor, Curtis Hudson recalled the circumstances surrounding the creation and release of Spotlight:

“During the time right after Holiday, when we’d go to her place and write, I presented Spotlight. I gave her a complete song, Spotlight. I had actually written it in case Warner Bros. asked her for another Holiday. She said she loved it and felt spiritual about it. But she didn’t use it or contact me again about it. It sort of popped up out of nowhere when she was getting ready to do You Can Dance. Her lawyer contacted our manager and said we needed to talk. We went over and met with him. She and Stephen Bray had already done the song; but I hadn’t even heard the version they had done.They took the demo I had given her and worked it into a different song. They gave me credit since I had the original song copyrighted. I would’ve collaborated and made changes. But I was told, ‘Well, she’s too busy. She’s overseas doing a movie.’ I was okay with it, though, because they gave me credit. But the original song had a certain magic, and the changes took that essence away. The original Spotlight was another Holiday—the rhythm, the basic groove. I think they were trying to get away from that sound. Sometimes artists don’t want their sound to be identified with specific writers.”

Today in Madonna History: April 24, 2019

On April 24 2019, Madonna’s music video for Medellín, featuring Maluma, premiered during an MTV special. The music video was directed by Diana Kunst and Mao Morco.

During the intro to the video, Madonna whispers:

“I will never be what society expects me to be. I have seen too much… I cannot turn back. I have been kidnapped, tortured, humiliated and abused. But I still have hope. I still believe in the goodness of humans. Thank god for nature. For the angels that surround me. For the spirit of my mother, who is always protecting. From now on, I am Madame X. And Madame X loves to dance… Because you cannot hit a moving target.”

Today in Madonna History: April 22, 1989

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Starting April 22 1989, and continuing for the weeks of April 29, May 6, May 13, May 20 and May 27, Madonna’s Like A Prayer album became and remained the number-one album in Canada!

Today in Madonna History: April 21, 2003

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On April 21, 2003, Madonna’s ninth studio album, American Life was released by Maverick Records and distributed by Warner Bros. Records.

The album, produced in its entirety by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, features references to many parts of American culture. The album is considered a concept album, with recurring themes of the American Dream and materialism.

Tracklisting:

American Life
Hollywood
I’m So Stupid
Love Profusion
Nobody Knows Me
Nothing Fails
Intervention
X-Static Process
Mother and Father
Die Another Day
Easy Ride

Today in Madonna History: April 20, 1998

On April 20 1998, Madonna’s Frozen single peaked at #2 on the RPM Canadian Top 100 Singles chart.

Frozen would be bumped to #3 the following week before creeping back into the runner-up position for another two weeks, making it her biggest hit in Canada since Take A Bow in 1995.

You’ll See had spent a single week at #2 in early 1996.

Today in Madonna History: April 19, 2019

On April 19 2019, Billboard announced that Madonna and Maluma would perform Medellín at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards:

Madonna and Maluma are bringing the worldwide television debut performance of their single Medellín to the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. The appearance, announced on Friday (April 19), will be Madonna’s first performance of new music on TV in more than four years. The pair will take the stage on May 1 at the Kelly Clarkson-hosted show, which will air on NBC at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

The first taste of Madonna’s upcoming 14th studio album, Madame X (June 14), is a mid-tempo Spanish pop burner that finds the pair flirting over a skittering cha-cha beat, with Maluma telling the pop superstar, “Excuse me, I know you are Madonna/ But I’m going to show you how this perro (dog) will make you fall in love.” Madonna last performed at the BBMA’s in 2016 during a tribute to Prince.

They join a previously announced group of performers at this year’s show, which include: the Jonas Brothers, BTS with Halsey, Kelly Clarkson, Lauren Daigle, Khalid, Panic! at the Disco and Sam Smith and Normani. The show from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas will also feature a special performance from 2019 ICON Award recipient Mariah Carey.

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