Today in Madonna History: May 24, 1998

On May 24 1998, the Ray of Light single made its debut on Australia’s ARIA Singles Chart at its peak position of #6. It was present for a total of seventeen weeks on the chart, and was certified Gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipment of 35,000 copies of the single.

In ARIA’s year-end singles chart, Ray of Light ranked 57th for best-selling Australian single of 1998.

Today in Madonna History: May 16, 1998

On May 16 1998, Larry Flick’s glowing review of Madonna’s Ray Of Light single was published in Billboard magazine.

The single would debut at its peak position of #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

Today in Madonna History: May 12, 1998

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On May 12 1998, Madonna’s Ray of Light music video premiered on MTV Live.

The video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund. Madonna’s scenes were shot in early April 1998 at MTV’s Times Square studios in New York and Los Angeles. The background images were shot in various cities, such as Los Angeles, New York, London, Las Vegas, and Stockholm.

Today in Madonna History: April 27, 1998

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On April 27 1998, Madonna made an unannounced appearance at the 9th annual Rainforest Foundation Benefit Concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, where she performed Frozen with the East Harlem Violin Project, while wearing a Versace dress.

Jon Pareles from The New York Times felt that during this performance Madonna had “turned herself into America’s answer to Björk”.

Later that night, she wore a cowboy hat and joined various artists in a rendition of The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends and Twist & Shout.

Today in Madonna History: March 23, 1998

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On March 23 1998, Madonna attended 70th Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles where she presented the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Buoyed by the success of her new album, Ray Of Light, it was all about the music for Madonna on the red carpet as well, as she chatted and posed for photographs with an impressive assortment of musical divas: Fiona Apple, Cher, k.d. lang & Joni Mitchell.

Prior to her shared Rolling Stone cover with Courtney Love & Tina Turner the previous year, Madonna had – at least publicly – tended to shy away from aligning herself too closely with other musicians – particularly other women in the industry. Be it a result of a renewed sense of spirituality, motherhood, maturity, or simply shrewd self-marketing (perhaps all the above?), one thing is clear: Madonna’s newfound camaraderie and supportive attitude towards her peers felt refreshing and inspiring!

Today in Madonna History: March 17, 1998

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On March 17 1998, the maxi-single for Madonna’s Frozen single was released in North America.

The maxi-single included:

  • Album Version
  • Stereo MC’s Remix
  • Extended Club Mix
  • Meltdown Mix

Today in Madonna History: March 6, 1998

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On March 6 1998, Madonna spent the day in Toronto, Canada conducting a press conference and various print interviews to promote her new album, Ray Of Light, released earlier that week. She ended the day with a live, hour-long interview on Much Music hosted by VJ’s Master T (personally selected by Madonna herself after viewing reels of the station’s on-air personalities) and Geneviève Borne (a self-proclaimed Madonna fan and VJ from Much Music’s French-language sister station, Musique Plus).

The much-hyped event, which marked Madonna’s first and only visit to the Much Music studios, was prefaced by the Canadian music video channel’s second Madonnathon – a day of all-Madonna programming. The first, which featured her 1992 interview with Jonathan Ross and a then-recent press junket interview with The New Music’s Jana Lynne White (and all of her music videos), aired in January of 1993 at the height of the Sex/Erotica/Body Of Evidence backlash.

After the appearance was announced, fans seeking a limited hot spot inside the studio for the interview were asked to call in and were queried a series of Madonna-related trivia questions to prove their worthiness, while others who didn’t make it inside lined the streets of the Queen St W studios on the day of the event to welcome the Queen of Pop to Toronto.

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