On May 23 1985, Madonna performed her Virgin Tour concert in front of a sold-out crowd of 16,000 fans at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. The show generated $238,264 in ticket sales.
Here’s a great photo of the Beastie Boys hanging outside Maple Leaf Gardens before the show (on Church Street just north of Carlton):
Maple Leaf Gardens was primarily a hockey and concert venue from 1931 until 2001. The building sat dormant until November 2011, when it reopened as a Loblaws grocery store. To celebrate the history of the building, Loblaws kept centre ice, created art out of some of the seats and commemorated important dates on some of the supporting columns. Here is one of those columns:
Jay’s note: I’d like to say that I made a special trip to Loblaws just to take this photo, but it’s the long-weekend here in Canada — and I really wanted one of their amazing chocolate dip donuts!
On May 22 2002, the real-life All The Way Mae died. Faye Dancer was a member of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and an inspiration for the character (Mae Mordabito) Madonna played in the 1992 hit film, A League of Their Own.
On May 21 2001, the U.S. leg of Madonna’s Drowned World Tour continued to sell out performances in the final seven markets that went on sale the previous weekend. A press release stated that the tour, promoted by SFX, promised to be the most extravagant stage spectacle of Madonna’s career thus far. The last batch of cities announced for the tour included sold-out dates in New York, New Jersey, Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It was also announced that due to overwhelming demand, an additional three shows in New York and two in Los Angeles had been added to the itinerary, with tickets to go on sale May 30th.
On May 20 2015, Madonna acknowledged David Letterman’s retirement on Twitter:
@letterman Awww Dave I’m gonna miss you! Where am i gonna go on T.V. When I wanna say the F word? do you still have my panties???? this ❤#rebelheart loves you! – Madonna
On May 19 2013, Madonna received the Top Touring Artist Award at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Madonna told the audience:
“They say that it takes a village to raise a child, it took several international villages to put my show together.”
The 88-show MDNA World Tour grossed $305 million, according to Billboard Boxscore.
On May 18 1994, Madonna made a surprise appearance on NBC-TV’s The Tonight Show, hosted by Jay Leno.
Watch this classic Madonna interview here: