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.
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.
On February 24 1999, Madonna performed Nothing Really Matters at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards. Madonna also took home 4 Grammies:
- Best Pop Album – David Reitzas, Jon Ingoldsby, Pat McCarthy (engineers/mixers), William Orbit (producer) and Madonna (producer & artist) for Ray Of Light
- Best Dance Recording – Pat McCarthy (mixer), William Orbit (producer) and Madonna (producer & artist) for Ray of Light
- Best Short Form Music Video – Jonas Åkerlund (video director) and Madonna for Ray of Light
- Best Recording Package – Kevin Reagan (art director) for Ray of Light performed by Madonna
On February 23 1998, Frozen was released by Maverick records as the lead single from Madonna’s seventh studio album, Ray of Light. The song was written by Madonna & Patrick Leonard and was produced by Madonna, Leonard & William Orbit.
Madonna has mentioned that she considers Frozen as part of a thematic trilogy with The Power Of Good-Bye and To Have And Not To Hold. In an interview with Barry Walters for Spin magazine, Madonna commented on the inspiration behind the song:
“I was so obsessed with the movie The Sheltering Sky and that whole Moroccan/orchestral/super-romantic/man-carrying-the-woman-he-loves-across-the-desert vibe. So I told [Patrick Leonard] that I wanted something with a tribal feel, something really lush and romantic. When he started playing some music, I just turned the DAT on and started free-associating and came up with the melody.”
Initially unsure of which song should be released as the album’s first single, Madonna was eventually convinced by Warner Bros. executives that Frozen would be a perfect way to bridge the Adult Contemporary leanings of her most recent hits (Take A Bow, You’ll See and the singles from Evita) with the more cutting-edge, electronic sounds of Ray Of Light.