Today in Madonna History: March 3, 2000

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On March 3 2000, American Pie was released as a single in the UK. The cover of the Don McLean classic would hit number-one on the UK singles chart the following week.

A huge international hit, American Pie also topped the charts in Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Finland. In the U.S. the track was not released commercially in a strategic move designed to maximize sales of The Next Best Thing soundtrack, however it managed to reach number twenty-nine on the Hot 100 based on the strength of airplay alone.

Today in Madonna History: March 2, 1989

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On March 2 1989, Madonna’s “Make A Wish” commercial for Pepsi premiered during an episode NBC-TV’s The Cosby Show.

A teaser ad had begun airing in the week leading up to the prime-time reveal of the full two-minute spot, which promised viewers the first opportunity to hear Madonna’s new single, Like A Prayer. Unbeknownst to fans at the time, the teaser featured a brief preview of the 12″ Club Version of the song (excluding any Madonna vocals).

An estimated 250 million viewers in over 40 countries tuned in to watch the only airing of “Make A Wish” – which marked the first time that a mainstream artist had launched a lead single in a promotional campaign before its official release to radio or MTV.

A brief but foretelling comment made by Madonna prior to the airing of the commercial was published in Rolling Stone magazine:

“I like the challenge of merging art and commerce. As far as I’m concerned, making a video is also a commercial. But the treatment for the video is a lot more controversial. It’s probably going to touch a lot of nerves in a lot of people. And the treatment for the commercial is…I mean, it’s a commercial. It’s very, very sweet. It’s very sentimental. The Pepsi spot is a great and different way to expose the record. Record companies just don’t have the money to finance that kind of publicity.”

The remark appeared to go conveniently unnoticed by the executives at Pepsi, who later claimed to have had no previous knowledge about the content of the Like A Prayer music video, despite the fact that it was already completed when the commercial was shot.

Banking on the buzz generated by the “Make A Wish” commercial, Sire Records issued the Like A Prayer single and its accompanying music video to radio and MTV the day after the commercial aired.

As for the ensuing controversy–that’s just another day in Madonna history.

Today in Madonna History: March 1, 2015

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On March 1 2015, Madonna visited Italian talk show, Che tempo che fa, as part of her promotional tour for the Rebel Heart album. In addition to an interview with host Fabio Fazio, she performed Devil Pray for the first time, along with the album’s second single, Ghosttown.

Madonna’s appearance on the show aired on March 8th.

Today in Madonna History: February 28, 2015

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On February 28 2015, JK Rowling tweeted in response to “the fall” during Madonna’s performance of Living For Love at the Brit Awards:

are you the sort of person who gloats when they see a woman fall, or the kind that celebrates a magnificent recovery? #TeamMadonna

Today in Madonna History: February 27, 1995

On February 27 1995, Madonna’s Bedtime Stories album was certified double platinum for shipment of over two million units in the U.S.

Today in Madonna History: February 26, 2008

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On February 26 2008, Entertainment Weekly magazine confirmed the title, cover art and release date of Madonna’s final studio album for Warner Bros., Hard Candy.

Madonna chose to stick with the sweet theme because “she loves candy,” said her longtime rep, Liz Rosenberg. “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.'”

The album, which would feature Justin Timberlake on multiple tracks and production by Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and Nate “Danja” Hills, was scheduled for release on April 29th in North America. The first single, 4 Minutes, would precede it in mid-March.

Today in Madonna History: February 25, 1992

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On February 25 1992, the Pioneer LaserDisc-only release Madonna: Blond Ambition World Tour Live won Best Music Video–Long Form at the 34th annual Grammy Awards at Radio City Music Hall, New York.

Although Madonna had received four Grammy nominations in previous years (Best Female Pop Vocal in 1986 & 1987; Best Original Song From A Motion Picture in 1988; Best Music Video–Short Form in 1991 for Oh Father), Madonna: Blond Ambition Tour Live represented her very first Grammy Award win. Ironically, the lack of a VHS edition or of any subsequent DVD/Blu-Ray reissue of the title meant that only those in possession a pricey LaserDisc player were afforded the opportunity to purchase and enjoy the award-winning release.

Madonna would receive three more Grammy nominations for Best Music Video–Long Form in the years that followed; she was nominated in 1995 and 2007 for The Girlie Show–Live Down Under and I’m Going To Tell You A Secret, respectively, before finally winning the award a second time for The Confessions Tour in 2008.

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