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: February 8, 2015

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On February 8 2015, Madonna performed Living For Love at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. The ceremony was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Hitfix.com considered Madonna’s performance to be one of the best at the 2015 Grammys:

Madonna recruited the muscle-bound minotaurs from her Living for Love video for her Grammy performance of the new single, and she proved she was still a charismatic gale-force as a performer. Twenty years after she played the jilted wife of a matador in her Take a Bow video, Madonna’s now the show-running matador waving a cape at horned gents.

Today in Madonna History: February 3, 2015

On February 3 2015, Billboard announced The 50 Greatest Grammy Moments. Madonna’s 2006 performance of Hung Up made the list at #13:

Holograms Get Down (2006) – Gorillaz are joined onstage first by De La Soul and then by Madonna, as the holograms segue into her song Hung Up.

Today in Madonna History: January 27, 2015

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On January 27 2015, Madonna graced the cover of MOJO magazine.

This is how the magazine feature was promoted:

MADONNA WORLD EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! As her new album, Rebel Heart, hits the shops, the iron-willed but glass-hearted electro-dance divinity opens up to MOJO’s Tom Doyle about a roiling creative life that has kept her at the cutting-edge of music for more than 30 years.

To celebrate Madonna’s first time on the cover of MOJO magazine, two editions were released: the news-stand version and a Special Subscribers’ version with exclusive artwork.

Today in Madonna History: January 13, 2015

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On January 13 2015, Billboard revealed that Michael Keaton’ son, Sean Douglas, worked on Ghosttown, one of the songs to be featured on Madonna’s Rebel Heart album. The songwriter said that the track was written in three days, after Madonna had personally requested some studio time.

“Madonna liked ‘Talk Dirty,’ actually, and so they put me and [co-writers] Jason Evigan and Evan Bogart in with her and we had this great session. I was incredibly nervous for obvious reasons, but she showed up, was super personable and was ready to work. I basically checked it off my life bucket list.”

Douglas is a successful pop songwriter whose credits include Top 40 hits for Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato and Fifth Harmony, among many others.

Today in Madonna History: August 16, 2015

On August 16 2015, singer/songwriter Joe Henry shared a touching birthday tribute to his sister-in-law, Madonna:

This is the young woman I met shortly after our family’s move to Michigan in 1975 – as I entered my sophomore year of high school and, she, her senior one. Together, we were in the Thespian Society; and in that winter’s first production, we were cast as mother and son – the wife and child of Ralph Waldo Emerson – in a play about Thoreau.

She was whip-smart and short on patience; and to tell the truth, she scared me more than a little, but along with her sister Paula, her presence upon my landscape nudged open a door through which I would pass and find my life utterly and forever changed…that unusual and sprawling family becoming, years later, my own.

No one is more surprised than I by the way our lives have expanded; by the way that our journeys have diverged and become entangled. Like anyone, I can sometimes forget to see the flesh and blood/heart and mind behind the parade float that is her public persona. But then I will find myself across the kitchen table from her, sharing a martini, and be additionally shocked to recognize anew the compact, terse-yet-compassionate human at the switches.

I have told this tale before, but it bears repeating: when Elvis Presley died on this date in 1977, this upstart professed in real-time that she felt his spirit had passed out of his body and through her own in exodus.

I laughed at her then for such outrageous self-possession, at the arrogance that I assumed must allow her to declare such publicly.

Today, when there is laughter, it is the laugh of recognition I hear – and it begins somewhere high above me, where things that once seemed implausible play with wild abandon and in broad daylight.

Happy Birthday, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone.

Today in Madonna History: May 15, 2015

On May 15 2015, Madonna’s Ghosttown (from the Rebel Heart album) hit the top spot on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart for the week ending May 30th.

Ghosttown became Madonna’s 45th #1 hit on the chart. She had this to say to her fans about the success of the song:

“Thanks to all my fans on & off the dance floor, I’ll always be your partner.”

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