Today in Madonna History: July 2, 2005

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On July 2 2005, Madonna performed Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light and Music in front of an audience of over 200,000 during the Live 8 benefit concert at London’s Hyde Park. Part of a series of concerts, many of which were held simultaneously at various locations around the world, Live 8 was broadcast live on television and radio to an estimated global audience of two billion.

Madonna is one of only eight acts – and the only female artist – to have been a headlining performer at both 1985’s Live Aid and 2005’s Live 8. Other returning performers were U2, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Sting, The Who, George Michael, and organizer, Bob Geldof. It took a bit of arm twisting on Geldof’s part to win Madonna’s commitment the second time around, as Madonna explained to MTV’s John Norris in a backstage interview after her performance:

Bob Geldof sent me a letter asking ‘will you do Live 8?’ and he didn’t really tell me anything and I went ‘Oh common dude, you gotta do better than that! Prove to me that it’s gonna make a difference and I’ll be there for you.’ And he did!”

In what turned out to be one of the event’s most moving moments, Madonna was introduced to the stage by Geldof with Birhan Woldu – the starving African child featured in the CBC News report twenty years earlier who had prompted Geldof to organize Live Aid. When Geldof had asked Woldu which artist she would like to appear with on stage, she immediately selected Madonna for the simple reason that she was the only artist on the bill that she had ever heard of. In a later interview, Woldu recalled the experience:

The crowd seemed to stretch for miles, but I’d been telling myself not to be nervous. There was just a huge picture of me as a child on the screen. That photo still upsets me. It was taken 20 years ago, when both my mother and sister died. I knew I must be strong for them but when I walked on I could feel my body shaking. Then Madonna took my hand and looked into my eyes, the crowd roared and I realised the world wanted to help my continent. I felt myself grow stronger.”

Madonna’s memorable performance at Live 8 was largely praised by mainstream media and fans alike.

Today in Madonna History: May 26, 2005

On May 26 2005, Madonna’s Official Fan Club (ICON), released this album teaser (for what would eventually be Confessions On A Dance Floor):

If you haven’t heard that Madonna is back in the studio recording, then you might be living under a rock! Chatter & speculation about the new album has been non-stop.

What will be the theme of the album? Who does Madonna collaborate with? When will the album be released? Fans everywhere are dying to find out the truth. At this time, Madonna.com can confirm that Madonna is busy in the studio collaborating with new producers that she has never worked with before. Can’t confirm any names yet, but stay tuned to Madonna.com for more insider information.

Today in Madonna History: May 18, 2005

On May 18 2005, Madonna issued a statement in support of fellow pop singer Kylie Minogue, wishing her a quick recovery from her battle with breast cancer:

“I was saddened to learn about Kylie Minogue’s breast cancer diagnosis. I’m so grateful that they found it early. (Yet another reminder for all women to have annual mammograms.) Aside from being tremendously talented, Kylie’s a fighter and I know this is a battle she will win. Let’s all pray for her speedy recovery and send all of our best wishes her way. With love and light to you Kylie…Madonna.”

Following her surgery and recovery, Kylie’s 2006 return to the stage was captured in the behind-the-scenes documentary, White Diamond. The film included Kylie’s version of an unreleased Madonna/Rick Nowels collaboration from the Ray Of Light sessions, titled Alone Again. Kylie had recorded the track as a potential b-side to her 2002 single, Come Into My World, but for unknown reasons it remained shelved until its use in the documentary several years later. Madonna received special thanks from Kylie in the film’s closing credits.

Today in Madonna History: April 2, 2005

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On April 2 2005, Madonna was featured in Q magazine as one of the Five Essential Acts in Music, along with The Beatles, Bob Dylan, U2 and The Velvet Underground.

Q magazine listed Like A Prayer as her definitive album:

If you only buy one album….Like A Prayer. Always more interesting when not seeking novelty, Madonna hit artistic and commercial gold with Like A Prayer, her best and least contrived album. The title track, all swirling choruses and kitchen – sink production, remains her major statement, but Express Yourself was ferocious dance, while on the rarely lauded Dear Jessie she had never sounded so human.

Q magazine also listed what they considered to be Madonna’s essential singles:

Holiday, Borderline, Material Girl, Like A Virgin, Crazy For You, Into The Groove, Papa Don’t Preach, La Isla Bonita, Open Your Heart, Live To Tell, Who’s That Girl, Causing A Commotion, Vogue, Justify My Love, Ray Of Light, Frozen, Drowned World/Substitute For Love, Beautiful Stranger, Music, Hollywood.

Today in Madonna History: December 20, 2005

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On December 20 2005, Madonna’s official website confirmed that Jamie King would direct the music video for Sorry, the second single from Confessions On A Dance Floor.

The video was conceived as a sequel to the album’s first single, Hung Up.

Today in Madonna History: December 14, 2005

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On December 14 2005, Madonna’s Confessions On A Dancefloor was certified Gold and Platinum by the RIAA for sales of 500,000 and 1,000,000 in the USA.

Today in Madonna History: October 14, 2005

On October 14 2005, Stuart Price was interviewed on BBC Radio 1 to promote the releases of Madonna’s Hung Up single and the Confessions On A Dance Floor album.

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