Today in Madonna History: September 9, 2015

On September 9 2015, Huffington Post interviewed Patrick Leonard and asked about the possibility of them working together again:

If Madonna called you up for her next album, do you think you’re still in a mindset where you could direct her tour?

No. No, I couldn’t because the paths that our lives took are appropriate for what they are. When we met and did the work that we did, I was still in my 20s, or maybe my early 30s as we walked into Like a Prayer. I was still really interested in the pop form. I’m not disinterested in it now, but for the last few years I’ve been working with Leonard Cohen and writing piano music. I’m more of a composer. I just wouldn’t be interested in it, and I don’t think she’d be interested in my ideas anymore. I think we could still write a great song — I don’t think there’s any question about that. But my head just isn’t there at all. It would be fun to see her and fun to think together for a minute, because we were good at that at one point. But that was a long time ago, almost 30 years. I think she deserves better than what I would give her right now, for sure. If she wanted to write an opera, I’d be her guy.

Do you have a favorite Madonna memory?  

Yes. When we were on tour. We were in London and it was her birthday. There was a private party in a club, and all these people wanted to dance with her and hang out with her, and Jessie, my daughter, was with us on tour at that time. She was right around 2 years old. You can find things in the press that are still out there — Madonna sat her up on the bar and put half a glass of champagne in her, or a couple of sips or whatever it was, and danced with her pretty much all night. Jessie stood in the middle of the dance floor and spun in her dress, and the next day you saw all these things in all these tabloids with all these faces of celebrities who wanted to dance with her, and Jessie was their foil all night.That was really fun to just see her embrace my daughter and have fun like that. It was really, really special. There are a lot of memories. She’s a good girl. Madonna is a good girl.

Read the full interview here.

Today in Madonna History: July 20, 2015

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On July 20 2015, Madonna announced that Diplo would be the opening act for the launch of her Rebel Heart Tour on September 9 and 10th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec:

“To have Diplo open for me is my dream come true. Montreal is about to TURN UP!!!! We Go Hard or We Go Home!”

With Madonna, Diplo produced and co-wrote the songs Living For Love, Bitch I’m Madonna, Unapologetic Bitch, Veni Vidi Vici, Best Night and Hold Tight. 

Today in Madonna History: July 9, 2015

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On July 9 2015, Adi Lederman was sentenced to 14 months in prison for hacking Madonna’s song library and leaking early demos from her yet-to-be-released Rebel Heart album.

Under a plea bargain, Lederman confessed to computer trespassing and infringement of privacy and property rights.  Lederman was fined 15,000 shekels ($4,000 US dollars), in addition to his prison sentence.

The court released this statement:

“The ease with which crimes such as this can be committed by those who have skills in the field, such as the accused, require an appropriate punitive response that has a deterrent and uncompromising message.”

Madonna said the crime was an “invasion into my life – creatively, professionally and personally remains a deeply devastating and hurtful experience“.

Today in Madonna History: June 27, 2015

On June 27 2015, Bitch I’m Madonna earned Top Breakout and Most Added track on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart in the U.S.

Today in Madonna History: June 23, 1998

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On June 23 1998, the music video for Ray of Light was released by Warner Reprise Video as a limited edition video single of 40,000 VHS copies. It sold 7,381 copies within its first month of release, becoming one of the best-selling video singles of the Nielsen SoundScan era. Madonna’s previous video single release, Justify My Love, which predated SoundScan, was certified quadruple-Platinum by the RIAA (for shipment of over 200,000 copies).

The reason behind Ray of Light being issued as a video single were twofold. Madonna was very pleased with the outcome of her first collaboration with director Jonas Åkerlund and her record company felt that there would be enough interest to warrant its commercial release. Secondly, Warner’s marketing team correctly sensed that the song’s then-experimental sound would be a tough sell at radio, so the decision was made to pull out all the stops to ensure the release outperformed on the sales chart. Another prong in this strategy was the inclusion of album outtake Has To Be as the b-side to the two-track single, while excluding it from the maxi-single in an attempt to persuade fans to purchase the single in multiple formats. The strategy proved successful, with the song’s number-five debut and peak on the Billboard Hot 100 mainly due to its sales strength. According to Billboard, the music video single boosted its first-week sales by roughly 7%, helping it to secure its place in the top-five.

Shortly after Ray of Light‘s release as a video single, Billboard magazine published an article musing on whether renewed interest in the relatively obscure format could ever prove lucrative for the music industry. A video buyer for a major retail chained remarked:

“Madonna’s Ray of Light video single is a success because she has a fervent fan base. There are very few artists with videos that consistently get people’s attention, but Madonna is one of those artists. It’s too early to tell if there’s a true market for video singles. Right now, it seems like record companies are trying video singles to see what happens. I think we’re going to see the lines becoming more blurred in how audio and video singles are marketed.”

Indeed. Within the next five years (and two Madonna video singles later), the emergence of online file sharing would obliterate the physical singles market in North America, and video streaming sites would soon spell an end to the prospect of marketing music video singles as a physical format. In digital form, however, music video singles may be selling in larger numbers than ever due to increased availability through iTunes. Strangely, however, sales of music videos through iTunes are not reported to Billboard and no longer count towards a single’s chart position (reportedly due to iTunes’ monopoly on digital sales of the format), while streams of music videos through sites like YouTube and Vevo are used in Billboard’s chart methodology.

Today in Madonna History: May 27, 2015

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On May 27 2015, Forbes magazine announced that Madonna topped the annual list of top-earning musicians and also claimed the No. 28 spot on their list of America’s richest self-made women.

Here’s what Forbes had to say:

The wealthiest musician on the list, Madonna has an estimated net worth of $520 million, with her main source being from music, clothing, and real estate  One of the top pop divas of all time. Her tours have grossed an estimated $1.2 billion over the years, including $305 million from her 2012 MDNA tour. That helped her earn an estimated $125 million during the ensuing 12-month period during which Forbes calculated celebrity earnings, more than any other musician. Look for another bump when she goes on the road with her latest album, Rebel Heart, in August.

Today in Madonna History: May 15, 2015

On May 15 2015, Madonna introduced her pink hair tips from the set of the Bitch I’m Madonna music video.

Madonna’s message to her fans on Instagram:

“Rise and shine New York!”

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