Today in Madonna History: January 11, 2016

On January 11 2016, Madonna posted this message regarding David Bowie’s death on her social media channels:

I’m devastated. David Bowie changed the course of my life forever. I never felt like I fit in growing up in Michigan. Like an oddball or a freak. I went to see him in concert at Cobo Arena in Detroit. It was the first concert I’d ever been too. I snuck out of the house with my girlfriend wearing a cape. We got caught after and I was grounded for the summer. I didn’t care. I already had many of his records and was so inspired by the way he played with gender confusion. Was both masculine and feminine. Funny and serious. Clever and wise. His lyrics were witty ironic and mysterious. At the time he was the Thin White Duke and he had mime artists on stage with him and very specific choreography. And I saw how he created a persona and used different art forms within the arena of Rock and Roll to create entertainment. I found him so inspiring and innovative. Unique and provocative. A real genius. His music was always inspiring but seeing him live set me off on a journey that for me I hope will never end. His photographs are hanging all over my house today. He was so chic and beautiful and elegant. So ahead of his time. Thank you David Bowie. I owe you a lot. The world will miss you. Love M.”

David Bowie died of liver cancer at the age of 69 in New York on January 10, 2016.

Today in Madonna History: December 9, 2016

On December 9 2016, Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour premiered on SHOWTIME, on-air, on-demand and over the internet.

Here’s a snippet from the press release for the broadcast:

MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR was shot around the world and features a collection of live and behind these scenes footage culminating in performances at the Sydney Olympic Park in March of this year. The film is co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, both of whom have worked extensively with Madonna on her feature films and tour movies. Madonna will be honored later this year as Billboard magazine’s 2016 Woman of the Year award, at a star-studded event held in conjunction with the publication of Billboard’s Women in Music list, which identifies the 50 most powerful female executives in the industry each year.

“When it comes to putting on a show, there is only one Madonna – an iconic performer that we’re thrilled to have on our air,” said David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. “With her unique creative vision and unmatched stage presence, our viewers will see an arena show packed with visual theatrics, stunning costumes and intricate choreography, featuring new hits and beloved classic songs.”

The set list for MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR spans all decades of the iconic superstar’s illustrious career, including songs from Rebel Heart (the No. 1 dance hits “Living for Love” and “Bitch I’m Madonna“) to classic fan favorites like “Material Girl” and “Holiday” and a “Dress You Up” medley that included “Into The Groove,” “Everybody” and “Lucky Star.” Memorable highlights from the tour include her first-ever live concert performance of “Take a Bow,” acoustic versions of “Like A Prayer,” “Secret” and “Don’t Tell Me.”  At each tour date during the song “Unapologetic Bitch,” Madonna would bring someone up from the crowd to dance with her during the song. Some nights it was a fan, another night it was Katy Perry. Other guest dancers included: Amy Schumer, Ariana Grande, Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Diplo, Gwendoline Christie, Graham Norton and Anderson Cooper.

Produced by Live Nation Global Touring, the Rebel Heart Tour kicked off on September 9, 2015 in Montreal and visited arenas in 55 cities on four continents over seven months. Madonna performed 82 shows, plus a special fan club show in Melbourne. The tour grossed $169.8 Million with 1,045,479 in attendance, making her the top grossing touring female artist in the history of Billboard Boxscore with over $1.31 billion in ticket sales sold over the course of her career. Madonna is also the fourth top grossing touring act (behind The Rolling Stones, U2 and Bruce Springsteen) since tracking began in 1990.

The Rebel Heart Tour was directed by Jamie King with musical direction by Kevin Antunes (the band’s keyboardist Ric’key Pageot, drummer Brian Frasier-Moore, guitarist Monte Pittman, and background vocalists Kiley Dean and Nicki Richards), lead choreography by Megan Lawson, hair by Andy LeCompte, makeup by Aaron Henrikson, and costume design by Arianne Phillips.

Today in Madonna History: August 31, 2016

On August 31 2016, The New York Times profiled photographer Peter Lindbergh in which he recalled, among other works, his 1994 shoot with Madonna for Harper’s Bazaar magazine. Several outtakes from this stunningly beautiful session were featured along with the article.

“I worked only once with Madonna. What really struck me was her very strong motivation. We were doing a tribute to Martha Graham, her admired dance teacher. I discovered a dancer with a very rare talent: Madonna was moving in a very soulful and personal way, very touching and very much herself. At the same time, there was a feeling of perfection to everything she was doing. I was very interested in capturing some of this extraordinary contradiction, which I found absolutely stunning. Those images are as modern today as they were in 1994.”

– Peter Lindbergh, 2016.

 

Today In Madonna History: June 9, 2016

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.

Today in Madonna History: May 2, 2016

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!

Today in Madonna History: April 21, 2016

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.

Today in Madonna History: April 16, 2016

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

%d bloggers like this: