Today in Madonna History: March 15, 2014

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On March 15 2014, Madonna attended a Purim party dressed as Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, a fictional character from the Game of Thrones television series.

Madonna shared some photos of her costume on Instagram.

The cast from Game of Thrones reacted this way:

Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen):

“Oh my goodness. It’s insane. I thought I was asleep, I thought I was dreaming. It’s a huge moment. And, damn! She looks good.”

Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth):

“I got really, really excited. Madonna’s always been a favorite of mine. I love her strength and her transformative nature and the idea that she might be dressing up as a brilliant character in the TV show I’m in is pretty exciting.”

Kristian Nairn (Hodor):

“I kind of freaked out, slightly. That’s kind of a sign how big ‘Game of Thrones’ has got. The Queen of Pop is wearing a Daenerys costume. I completely freaked out.”

John Bradley (Samwell Tarly):

“She looks delighted, doesn’t she? Look at that. Things like this are just amazing. It’s when you know that you’re really kind of pressing the right kind of cultural buttons.”

Today in Madonna History: February 5, 2014

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On February 5 2014, Madonna introduced Pussy Riot at the Amnesty International’s human rights concert.

It was the first Amnesty International concert for the cause in 16 years, and took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

During her introduction, Madonna thanked Pussy Riot “for making pussy a ‘sayable’ word in my household. Now, my 8-year-olds say it all the time.”

More seriously, Madonna spoke of the death threats she received during the Russian portion of her MDNA World Tour, which took place at the same time as Pussy Riot’s trial.

“Eighty-seven of my fans were arrested for gay behavior — whatever that is,” she said.

The Pussy Riot members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, spoke in Russian with aggression and passion. A translator related the women’s speech.

“Freedom is not a given,” she translated. “It is something we have to fight for every day. It is our duty to speak for those who are still behind bars.”

Today in Madonna History: January 3, 2014

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On January 3 2014, it was announced that Hard Candy Fitness, the global luxury fitness brand in partnership with Madonna and New Evolution Ventures, would open a new facility in Toronto on February 11, 2014.

Are you a member of a Hard Candy gym? Any gym?

Today in Madonna History: December 21, 2014

On December 21 2014, Madonna hit #1 on iTunes in 36 countries around the world with the release of six songs from her forthcoming album, Rebel Heart. In virtually every country the songs were released, they held six of the ten slots on the iTunes Top 10 chart. In seven of those countries, she had multiple #1’s across various iTunes charts. The lead single Living for Love topped the iTunes chart in twenty counties.

The other tracks made available for immediate download were: Ghosttown, Devil Pray, Unapologetic Bitch, Illuminati & Bitch I’m Madonna.

News of the surprise drop came when Madonna posted a link on Instagram late the previous night announcing the release as “an early Christmas gift” to those who pre-ordered the album. Fans immediately went to iTunes and drove the songs to the top of iTunes charts around the globe. Instantaneously Rebel Heart exploded on social media with the album topping the Billboard Trending 140 chart.

The early release of six songs from Rebel Heart came on the heels of a series of leaks which forced Madonna and her team to quickly devise a new marketing plan for the album.

Today in Madonna History: December 3, 2014

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On December 3 2014, two photos for Donatella Versace’s 2015 spring/summer collection were revealed.  The photos were taken by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

Donatella said of Madonna:

“Madonna says it best herself: She is unapologetic.  She is her own woman, a role model who shows other women how we can do what we want, and get what we want, and do so for all of our lives, with no compromise.”

Today in Madonna History: September 15, 2014

On September 15 2014, Vice magazine’s blog THUMP published an article in which Stuart Price recalled his time spent collaborating with Madonna on her 2005 album, Confessions On A Dance Floor:

“Right before we made Confessions on a Dance Floor, I had made a record with a girl named Juliet [2005’s Random Order]; we had made that album over Thanksgiving in New York, when the city was completely dead, and it was just the two of us concentrating on working on it. [I went] straight from that to Madonna, and I assumed that would be a much different experience, but she completely surprised me.

The real eye-opener was about how focused she was on avoiding the kind of over-the-top, excessive, entourage-in-the-studio environment that I had expected. It was the total opposite, really. She helped to create an environment where we were like two kids working together in a studio. It was exactly the same feeling as it was when I was working with Juliet. She was really… I don’t want to say ‘smart,’ but she was really honest about music. She’s really instinctive in understanding that dance music comes from a very minimal way of working. It doesn’t come from throwing lots of money on a lavish production.

We spent five or six weeks in my apartment; the studio used to be upstairs in the loft. I would work on a track overnight, then she would come in and we’d start messing around. She would do vocal melodies and I would come up with a few ideas, and then she’d go, ‘Okay, I’m gonna go home and think about it.’ Then she’d come back the next day and have the hook for Hung Up or the chorus for Sorry. Then I would carry on working on more tracks to keep us going. It was more of a really fluid and almost childlike environment than anything that seemed too serious.

They always say that an album sounds like the time that you had making it. I know that with that album, it was a super-productive time, but it was also really fun and natural. And I think that comes across in the way it sounds.

It’s surprising that Madonna has such a simple work mode. I would have expected her to come in with her full entourage and play the diva, at least to some extent.

Well, don’t get me wrong—I think in a lot of parts of her life, she is the big-entourage person. But when it comes to being creative, she’s unexpectedly low-key. She’s great to work with, and I really mean that.”

Today in Madonna History: August 24, 2014

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On August 24 2014, Madonna was featured in a Forbes Magazine piece written by Hugh McIntyre examining the Most Expensive Music Videos Of All Time:

Of all the expensive music videos made over time (and there are quite a few), the top five are created by only two artists: Michael Jackson and Madonna. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as those two legends are some of the only ones who would have enough clout to rustle up millions for a four-minute movie. While other artists typically use music videos as a way of selling more copies of a certain song or album, these two turned the music video into an art form, attempting to top themselves with each new project. (*Adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars.)

5. Michael Jackson — “Black or White,” $6.9 million* (originally $4 million)
The lead single from Jackson’s Dangerous needed a video that would be many things all at once—fun, meaningful, and above all else, memorable.

4. Madonna — “Bedtime Story,” $7.7 million* (originally $5 million)
“Bedtime Story” is the first of three Madonna music videos on this list, though the single it was made to promote is not one of the singer’s greatest successes. Directed by Mark Romanek, who would also direct the music video that ends up surpassing “Bedtime” as the single most expensive of all time. Not one to miss a publicity opportunity, Madonna premiered the video at movie theatres in New York City, Chicago, and Santa Monica. These days, it is housed permanently in a collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

3. Madonna — “Die Another Day,” $7.9 million* (originally $6.1 million)
While the song received mixed reviews from critics, Madonna’s Bond song went on to be the best-selling dance song of 2002 and 2003, and its video was nominated for a Grammy. The James Bond-inspired video has the legendary pop star fighting herself, which was a mixture of green screens and intricate and expensive special effects. A few years ago, Billboard ranked the song the #6 song from the Bond franchise.

2. Madonna — “Express Yourself,” $9.4 million* (originally $5 million)
Madonna’s “Express Yourself” video cost $5 million to make back in 1989, making it the most expensive video ever made at the time. The clip, which was inspired by 1927 German science fiction film Metropolis was directed by David Fincher, who would go on to be nominated for Academy Awards for also directing both The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network. The video sees the singer dressing in a masculine fashion, yet being as sexual as ever.

1. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson — “Scream,” $10.7 million* (originally $7 million)
The video for “Scream,” the first single off Michael’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I album is really one for the books, and one of the few videos that everybody remembers seeing for the first time.

(Source: Forbes Magazine – The Most Expensive Music Videos of All Time)

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