Today in Madonna History: March 18, 2015

On March 18 2015, Madonna performed Joan Of Arc for the first time during her week as featured artist on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The performance, which featured a slower acoustic arrangement of the fan favorite from her album Rebel Heart (including Ellen’s own favorite), earned praise from critics:

Digital Journal reviewer Markos Papadatos wrote that it was “an outstanding vocal performance,” where Madonna “showcased tremendous control over her voice, and allows the lyrics to speak for themselves. Her delivery is emotional, vulnerable yet delicate.” Writing for The Inquisitr, Daryl Deino praised her vocal performance, saying that she “showed the world once again just what her voice is made of” and calling the version “beautiful.” Furthermore, Bradley Stern of MuuMuse also applauded the performance, calling it “really great…super vulnerable, super emotional…and that chilly guitar finish was a wonderful surprise.”

Today in Madonna History: March 11, 2015

On March 11 2015, Madonna was interviewed by Howard Stern on SiriusXM.

Here are some tidbits we learned about Madonna during the interview, according to Rolling Stone magazine:

  • Her shocking VMA debut of “Like a Virgin” was an accident. “I had come down the wedding cake and my shoe fell off,” she said. “I was like ‘Oh shit, I can’t dance in one shoe!” The mishap prompted quick decision-making on Madonna’s end as to how to proceed with the performance and led to the controversial stage-humping that took place at the first Video Music Awards. “I didn’t know my skirt was up. I proceeded to sing the song laying down on the ground. I was just making the best of the situation.” She noted that her manager Freddy DeMann told her that her career would be over following the performance.
  • She craves normalcy every once in a while. “Every 3 days I crave it,” she said. “Every three days I go, ‘That’s it. I’m moving to a cabin and living in the forest and no one’s gonna fuck with me anymore.'” Stern probed as to why she thinks she could never give up her career and life in the spotlight. “Because I’m an artist and I’m tortured. I’m a masochist and I like to create. I don’t know. Maybe one day I will.”
  • Madonna’s first year in New York included multiple robberies, an assault and an unreported rape. “I needed money for the payphone and [a stranger] gave it to me,” she said. “He was a very friendly guy, and the phone was ringing. He was like, ‘Oh, I live right across the street if you’d like to make the phone call from my house.” The then 19-year-old Madonna agreed, blaming her “stupid friendliness” from her Midwestern roots. “I trusted everybody. The rest is not worth talking about.”
  • She doesn’t hate David Letterman. Stern acknowledged some early interviews between the pop star and talk show host, noting he could never tell if she liked him or was annoyed. “Oh, that’s how I flirt with people,” she revealed. “One time I was mad at him, when I said the ‘f-word’ a lot, but the rest of the time was good.”
  • She dated Tupac Shakur. The late rapper had actually been the reason Madonna was mad at Letterman. “I was dating Tupac Shakur at the time, and he had gotten me all riled up about life in general,” she said. “When I went on this show, I was feeling very gangster.” Stern revealed his surprise about the little-known past relationship. “I think people know, if you’re in the know,” said Madonna coyly.
  • The misunderstood meaning of “Material Girl” gets on her nerves. “The song that irritated me the most about being associated with me is ‘Material Girl,'” she said. “It was an ironic song because I’m certainly not a materialistic person.” The topic came up as Stern had her clear up a rumor that she detested the success of “Like a Virgin” because other people had written it. The singer declared the rumor false, asserting that she loves the song and appreciates its writers.
  • Upon making her first $1 million, she indulged in buying a Frida Kahlo painting. “That was always my goal,” she said on her art collection. “When I was married to Sean [Penn], I said ‘When I make my first million, I’m going to buy art.'” Madonna had been a huge fan of Frida Kahlo since she was young. “I bought a self-portrait of hers. At the time it was rather inexpensive because people didn’t know who she was.”
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat destroyed all the paintings he had given to her. Madonna and Basquiat had dated when the singer was very young, but his heroin addiction ended up pulling them apart. “He was an amazing man and deeply talented. I loved him,” she said. “When I broke up with him, he made me give all [his paintings] back to him. And then he painted over them black.” She regrets giving the art back, but felt pressured to do so since it was something he had created.
  • She wrote “Vogue” in a few hours. Madonna stands by the idea that her best songs are the ones she wrote in only a couple of hours, “Vogue” included. “I thought it was a very cool dance, very presentational and elegant and all about vanity,” she said about the dance of the same name. The song had been written for Dick Tracy, the film she made with ex-boyfriend Warren Beatty, and was inspired by all the classic movie stars. “[Warren] dated all of Hollywood, basically.” She would ask him questions about what the stars she admired — and he dated — were like, including Natalie Wood and Julie Christie. “I looked up to [these women] and admired them.”

Today in Madonna History: March 1, 2015

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On March 1 2015, Madonna visited Italian talk show, Che tempo che fa, as part of her promotional tour for the Rebel Heart album.In addition to an interview with host Fabio Fazio, she performed Devil Pray for the first time, along with the album’s second single, Ghosttown.

Madonna’s appearance on the show aired on March 8th.

Today in Madonna History: February 19, 2015

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On February 19 2015, Madonna appeared on the cover of Gala magazine.

Here’s a snippet of the interview included in the magazine:

What is the greatest misconception people have about Madonna?

Oh well, there are plenty. One, for sure is that I am not vulnerable. Some people think that I am never sad nor depressed or exhausted and that I never suffer from a broken heart. They think of me as bigger than life. Or they believe that I am cold-hearted and calculating. But you know what? I hate this question (pours tequila and hands it over).

Hold on for a second: you said I had to drink for every stupid question.

Well, I extend it with another category: annoying. Cheers. Drink it up!

And where is the salt and the lemon?

We didn’t have enough money for that (laughs).

Your answer to the question about misconception shows that you are also a vulnerable person. “Rebel Heart” shows this part of your personality. Have you grown softer in the last years?

In some ways, yes. But even 25 years ago I already was romantic and sensitive. The other part of me will always be a rebel.

How do you handle the hostility directed at you?

Sometimes I am very hurt, when I read the hateful and nasty comments people make about me on the Internet. I think it’s shocking how mean and vicious some people can be. It’s a very cowardly behaviour. Those people would never say these things to my face, if they met me in the streets.

You really read the nasty comments about you?

Every now and then, yes I do.

Why do you hurt yourself this way?

Because, I am a very curious person. And luckily, there are not only nasty comments, but a lot of positive things. For me it’s exciting to see what my fans are thinking. And, concerning the haters: I have grown a very thick skin. I have always been criticized. Some people think I am a superwoman. But I am not. Some comments directed at me really get under my skin and hurt me. After all, I am just a normal woman.

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Today in Madonna History: February 18, 2015

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On February 18 2015, Madonna thanked her fans on Twitter for bombarding BBC Radio One to play her new single, Living For Love, despite the radio station’s refusal to play Madonna’s music because of her age.

It’s terribly concerning and sad that an industry that milked Madonna’s music for decades would turn its back on her because of age. 

Growing older is inevitable — and being young and quality of music do not always go hand in hand — so why discriminate  based on age? 

Forget about Madonna for a second — she’s had an incredible career — but what about the artists who develop their talent later in life? Think about all the artists whom will never be heard.

I’ll take a Tina Turner over another Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato — ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

The rules are changing and we need to remember the artists that created the soundtrack for our lives — they weren’t always 25. They were 40 and 50 and 60 and beyond. They weren’t always blonde and cute — they were raunchy and haggard and crazy looking and fucked up. Only Disney can produce the pretty – virgin-like, powder coated princesses.  

The real musicians came out hard and loud and proud .. with balls. You’ve gotta love balls!

Now think about Madonna again — why should she be be muted because she’s already had an incredible career? Why can’t that career continue? Someone or some conglomerate is writing the end of her radio career — without the involvement of music fans or radio listeners. Some guy or a board of guys has decided that she can’t have another Top 10, or Top 5 or #1 single because they say so. 

Fuck them.  FUCK THEM!

Will Madonna’s music ever find a home on the radio again? – Jay

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Today in Madonna History: January 29, 2015

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On January 29 2015, Rob Sheffield reviewed Madonna’s Unapologetic Bitch for Rolling Stone magazine’s singles review section (even though it was never released as a single):

Bitch, she’s Madonna. The queen of queens has given a taste of her upcoming album, Rebel Heart, with a few songs dropped in advance after an early leak of unfinished versions. And the girl’s in a feisty mood these days – Madonna writing herself a theme song called “Unapologetic Bitch” is like Springsteen doing one called “Jersey Guy Who Sweats a Lot.” These new songs range from the Nicki Minaj collabo “Bitch I’m Madonna” to the gospel-house pieties of “Living for Love” to the Yeezus-style industrial Kanye grind “Illuminati.” But “Unapologetic Bitch” is the standout: a breakup rant over a Diplo-produced dancehall groove, with Madonna shooting a few poison arrows into the heart of some dude who’s done her wrong.

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