Today in Madonna History: September 29, 2003

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On September 29 2003, Madonna promoted her first children’s book, The English Roses, at the Barnes & Noble store at the Rockefeller Center store in New York, with a meet and greet.

Today in Madonna History: August 28, 2003

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On August 28 2003, Madonna performed Hollywood with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera as the opening number for the 20th annual MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY and upstaged everyone at the ceremony when she shares a passionate open-mouth kiss with them. Missy Elliott also joined the ladies on stage – post-kiss.

Madonna commented on the uproar surrounding the infamous kiss during an appearance on Oprah several weeks later.  “I don’t know why people are making such a big deal about it,” she said. “Hasn’t anyone seen two girls kiss before? It was a friendly kiss – it really was. If Britney looks as though she is kissing me in an aggressive way it was a surprise to me.” She added, “I’m a showgirl. After 20 years in the business, we learn to roll with the punches. If someone’s coming at you with lips slightly parted, you kiss them.”

Today in Madonna History: August 12, 2003

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On August 12 2003, Madonna was honoured with the Greatest Female Singer Of The Video Age award by VH1 (based on a viewer’s poll).

Today in Madonna History: July 26, 2003

On July 26 2003, Hollywood hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Maxi-Single Sales chart (renamed Hot Dance Sales), where it would spend an incredible seven weeks.

After an initial five-week run at the top, the single began its descent only to return to #1 for an additional two weeks following Madonna’s performance of Hollywood/Like A Virgin at the MTV Video Music Awards, which incorporated Stuart Price’s remix of Hollywood (released under one of his many pseudonyms, Jacques Lu Cont) and spurred renewed interest in the maxi-single.

Today in Madonna History: July 14, 2003

On July 14 2003, Madonna’s Hollywood was released as the second single (excluding Die Another Day, which was released as a single to promote the soundtrack of the same name) from the American Life album.

Hollywood was written and produced by Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzaï. The music video was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

Today in Madonna History: May 10, 2003

On May 10 2003, Madonna’s American Life album reached #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart in the USA.

In 2008, Sal Cinquemani had this to say about American Life in Slant magazine:

In hindsight, American Life isn’t the masterpiece that Erotica so quickly revealed itself to be. It’s frequently self-indulgent, misguided, unpleasant, difficult to listen to, silly yet somehow humorless, but it’s also consistent, uncompromising, and unapologetic. The album is a testament to the artist’s willingness to take risks and her refusal to stay inside her comfort zone. In the grand scheme of things, the album might rank as one of the weakest in Madonna’s extensive catalog, and the ones that followed have been as good, if not better, but American Life stands as the last time Madonna seemed to make music without the primary objective of scoring a hit. It’s interesting to imagine what Madonna’s career would look like today had American Life been a success: For better or worse, that pink leotard and Justin duet might never have existed.

Today in Madonna History: January 3, 2003

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On January 3 2003, Madonna.com announced: “Madonna’s next album is scheduled to be released in April, and there is no title as of yet. The video for the first single will be shot in February and will be directed by Jonas Akerlund. The album cover will be shot next week by Craig McDean (he also did the Vanity Fair Madonna cover).”

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