Today in Madonna History: September 21, 2005

On September 21 2005, legendary gossip columnist and longtime Madonna supporter Liz Smith continued to generate excitement for the release of Madonna’s album Confessions On A Dance Floor in her New York Post column: 

Disc Jockeys from all across the U.S. converged in a small, chic backroom down at 14th Street’s Lotus restaurant last Wednesday afternoon. They were there to listen to three tracks from Madonna’s soon-due ‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’ album, and to meet the CD’s brilliant British producer, Stuart Price. Although it was all very casual, with cocktails and munchies, the music men – and women – listened intently, in their own hectic, head-bobbing way. (And most of them looked like fresh-faced college students!) M’s sound went over big time, and Grammy-winner Price, only 30 years old, was mobbed. There were at least three dozen people in this confined space — Price could hardly move from all the handshaking, shoulder slaps and hearty hugs. He is worshiped in the dance community and uses another name on some work — Jacques Le Cont. He’s produced for No Doubt and many others. Talking about the songs, Price, who also has a very naughty sense of humor, said: ‘When dance music was young, there was a strong vocal, and the beat was underneath. Now, the vocal is not so prominent. Madonna and I wanted to make a dance album for today, which would satisfy everybody — those who want to really hear her voice and those for whom the driving thump-thump is the thing. I think we’ve succeeded.’ Music scribe Maggie Stein, who also writes under the nom de plume Odyssey Jones, said, ‘This is hopeful dance music. It has a positive message, in that it’s fun. Just fun. It’s what Madonna needed to do.’

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: June 8, 2005

On June 8 2005, Madonna appeared on The View to promote her new children’s book, Lotsa De Casha.

Watch the interview below:

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: March 24, 2005

On March 24 2005, Madonna completed a photoshoot at Farley’s Prop House in London with photographer Lorenzo Agius. The photos later appeared in Ladies Home Journal.

According to Agius, the concept of the shoot was “to see the subject steeped in the mystery and magic of an old world library where one can get lost in the discovery of knowledge.”

Today in Madonna History: February 6, 2005

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On February 6 2005, BBC Radio One announced that Madonna was the most voted for female artist to be included in the UK’s Greatest Number One Singles of all-time.

Madonna had two songs in the top ten: Like A Prayer at #4 and Vogue at #5.

Music landed at #21.

BBC Radio One asked fans to vote for the Greatest UK Number One Single to celebrate the 1000th number one single.

The top ten included:

  1. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. Iron Maiden – Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter
  3. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
  4. Madonna – Like A Prayer
  5. Madonna – Vogue
  6. Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
  7. Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger
  8. Abba – Dancing Queen
  9. Mariah Carey – Without You
  10. John Lennon – Imagine

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