On June 9 2016, Madonna appeared as musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, singing a soulfully spot-on take of her classic 1984 hit, Borderline.
With nothing in particular to promote, Madonna accepted the offer to perform as a means of meeting the featured guest, U.S. President Barrack Obama. An uncharacteristically starstruck Madonna posing for a picture with Obama backstage offered proof that Madonna’s wish was indeed granted.
Forgivably opportunistic photo ops aside, there was a poetic twist behind the nostalgia of her rare throwback performance that went typically unnoticed: Madonna’s very first appearance on the The Tonight Show had occurred exactly twenty-nine years earlier to the day – on June 9, 1987 – with late-night legend of the era, Johnny Carson. In that flirtatious first appearance she effortlessly accomplished her modest goal of having a smitten Carson in the palm of her hand.
Twenty-nine years, three hosts and four Presidents later, Madonna returned to The Tonight Show to deliver the definitive performance of an under-performed classic, and capped it off with a spontaneous roll on the floor with Fallon and some snapshots with Obama. Cuz that’s just how she rolls.
On May 2 2016, three of Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour dancers – Jose Gutierez, Kevin Stea & Oliver Crumes – were interviewed by Gill Deacon for CBC-Radio’s arts and culture show, Q.
The dancers were in Toronto to promote their documentary, Strike A Pose, which was being screened during the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival between April 27–May 7 and the Inside Out Toronto film festival from May 27–June 5, 2016.
For anyone who hasn’t yet watched Strike A Pose, be sure to check it out! It’s a beautiful film!
On April 21 2016, Prince passed away at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Minnesota, at the age of 57.
In response to his death, Madonna shared this message:
He Changed The World!! A True Visionary. What a loss. I’m Devastated. This is Not A Love Song.
On April 16 2016, Madonna’s 1985 Japanese mini-album, Like A Virgin & Other Big Hits, was re-issued on pink vinyl for Record Store Day.
The four track collection included the following:
- Like A Virgin (Extended Dance Remix)
- Holiday (Original Version)
- Lucky Star (Extended Dance Remix)
- Borderline (Extended Dance Remix)
Were you in the line-ups like I was? How festive was it to see so many vinyl fans? Did you score a copy of Like A Virgin & Other Big Hits on Record Store Day, or did you have to order through eBay? – Jay
On March 10 2016, Madonna performed the first Tears Of A Clown show at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. Since Madonna had not performed in Australia since 1993, she decided to put on a unique show for her Australian fans. The show included some of her lesser performed songs, covers, hits and some fan favourites that were not being performed during the Rebel Heart Tour (which was going on a the same time as the Tears Of A Clown show).
Madonna wanted the show to combine music, comedy and storytelling, with a circus or clown theme in mind.
Only members of Madonna’s official fan club, Icon, were able to acquire tickets. 1500 fans attended the show.
Madonna performed the following songs:
- Send In The Clowns
- Drowned World/Substitute For Love
- X-Static Process
- Between The Bars (Elliot Smith cover)
- Nobody’s Perfect
- Easy Ride
- I’m So Stupid
- Paradise (Not For Me)
- Joan Of Arc
- Don’t Tell Me
- Mer Girl
- Take A Bow
Cameron Adams (News.com.au) had this to say about the show:
“Madonna poured much of her sadness into her intimate two-hour Tears Of A Clown show, peppering emotional renditions of her hits with cheeky jokes and banter. It’s the sort of thing you never thought you’d see a superstar do. The show was fascinating — and difficult — to watch. We’re not used to Madonna on stage doing anything less than a fully rehearsed, slick stage show.”
On February 24 2016, Madonna performed in the Philippines for the very first time. Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour made a stop at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, performing for a sold out crowd of 15,710 fans.
Ticket prices were above average and ranged from $70 to $1300.
Madonna added Like A Prayer to the set during the first show and added Crazy For You during the second show (February 25).