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 24, 2006

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On August 24 2006, clothing retailer H&M released its Madonna inspired tracksuit. Madonna and select members of her crew from The Confessions Tour were also featured in the accompanying print ad campaign, photographed by Rankin.

The success of the campaign led to more comprehensive Madonna co-branding ventures with H&M, D&G, and to the eventual launch of her own fashion brands – Material Girl and Truth or Dare by Madonna.

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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 22, 2003

On July 22 2003, the first photos from the GAP jeans campaign featuring Madonna and Missy Elliot were released.

Today in Madonna History: June 17, 2003

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On June 17 2003, the single cover for Madonna’s Hollywood single was revealed. The photo was taken from the photo shoot by Steven Klein for W Magazine.

Hollywood was the second single from the American Life album, released on July 14, 2003.

In April 2003, in an interview with Q Magazine, Madonna described the allure of life in Hollywood:

“I’ve had 20 years of fame and fortune, and I feel that I have a right to an opinion on what it is and what it isn’t. All everyone is obsessed about at the moment is being a celebrity. I’m saying that’s bullshit and who knows better than me? Before it happens you have all kinds of notions about how wonderful celebrity is and how much joy it’s going to bring you. Then you arrive … Look like this you’re gonna be happy. Drive this car you’re gonna be popular. Wear these clothes and people are gonna wanna fuck you. It’s a very powerful illusion and people are caught up in it, including myself. Or I was.”

Today in Madonna History: February 4, 2003

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On February 4 2003, filming for Madonna’s music video for American Life took place in Los Angeles with director by Jonas Åkerlund.

The casting call issued for the video sought the following:

Eastern European Man (30 – 60 yrs. old, Real people, THIN, interesting looking, great face, worn out looking, craggy). 4 Beautiful Models (drop dead gorgeous w. amazing legs and bodies). 10 soldiers (must have long hair and be willing to shave it for the video… good-looking, really good body). Hair stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, must be real hair stylists, think editorial type. Stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, 20’s, cool and interesting looking, think N.Y. 2 Babes (very voluptuous and buxom, bimbo types, b pin-up girls). Makeup artists (m or f, any ethnicity, a REAL makeup artist). 2 IRAQI kids (boys and girls, 4 – 7 yrs. old). African-American Male (35 – 50, THIN).

Åkerlund commented on the upcoming video to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet:

“It’s great that Madonna gives me the trust to do this video. The song is super cool and aimed for the dance floors. I especially love that she gives me the trust to do the first single from the new album. There is a special feeling and ambition around the first single and a hell of lot of secrets. I had to sign a paper even before I got to listen to the song! The shooting will take 3 days.”

Today in Madonna History: December 27, 2003

On December 27 2003, Nothing Fails peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Hot Singles Sales chart.

Unfortunately this chart position owed more to the disappearing physical singles market in the U.S. at the time than it did to the song’s overall popularity. Despite the remixes being relatively well-received (the maxi-single included club mixes of Nobody Knows Me), with no accompanying music video and a complete lack of radio support Nothing Fails failed to crack the Hot 100 singles chart. This marked the first time in Billboard’s history that a single topped the Singles Sales chart in the U.S. without making an appearance on the Hot 100.

In more reassuring chart news, Billboard announced in the same issue that Madonna was being crowned Top Dance Singles Sales Artist for 2003. Madonna had previously achieved this honour in 1985 and 1987, and held the runner-up position in 2000 and 2001.

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