Today in Madonna History: April 12, 1998

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On April 12 1998, the television special Madonna Rising premiered.

Produced as part of the promotional activities for the Ray Of Light album, the special featured Madonna reminiscing about her formative years in New York with pal Rupert Everett as they visited some of her pre-fame dwellings and hang-outs. Interview segments with Nile Rodgers, Debi Mazar, Seymour Stein, Maripol and others were also included for good measure.

Today in Madonna History: April 11, 1998

On April 11 1998, Madonna appeared on the cover of TV Guide.

In the issue, Madonna explains the relationship she had with Lourdes’ father, Carlos Leon:

“I was in love with him. A lot of people think I walked out on the street and looked at him and said, `You’re going to be my sperm donor. I had a relationship with him. I still have a relationship with him. We are really good friends. . . . the last thing I want my daughter to do is grow up without a father. I grew up without a parent.”

Today in Madonna History: March 7, 1998

On March 7 1998, Madonna’s Frozen climbed to #2 on the Billboard Eurochart (in its second week), behind Celine Dion’s #1 My Heart Will Go On.

Today in Madonna History: February 23, 1998

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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.

Today In Madonna History: February 21, 1998

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On February 21 1998, Madonna performed Frozen on BBC1-TV’s National Lottery Show in London, England.

Today in Madonna History: November 7, 1998

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On November 7 1998, Sky Fits Heaven peaked at #41 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the US.

Although the song was not released commercially or promotionally in North America, remixes by Sasha and Victor Calderone released abroad on the Drowned World/Substitute For Love single managed to garner enough club play in the U.S. to merit a six-week run on the chart (plus one week on the Hot Dance Music Breakouts chart).

A remix video of Sky Fits Heaven (Sasha Remix) featuring outtakes from the Ray Of Light music video was serviced to select clubs, and this non-traditional form of promotion may have contributed to its chart placement.

Today in Madonna History: October 22, 1998

On October 22 1998, Madonna presented the GQ Solo Music Artist Of The Year award to Sting at the 1998 GQ Men Of The Year Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

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