Today in Madonna History: July 1, 2019

On July 1 2019, Billboard’s Joe Lynch reported on Madonna’s performance at the World Pride festivities in New York City the previous night:

Madonna opened with her Harlem ballroom scene-indebted smash Vogue and the audience response was deafening. After that, the musical shapeshifter brought out a single it’s safe to say no one expected to hear as part of a limited-length set: American Life. That being said, while it’s not one of her, say, 20 most renowned songs, the message of American Life has only grown more timely in the 16 years since its release, and its strangely compelling melange of squelching synths, strings and folk had the crowd rapt — especially when she dove head-first into the “soy latte” rap (which reals Stans in the crowd parroted back to her perfectly).

Midway through her wind-whipped set, Madge spoke to the historicity of the moment and the significance to her life. “Fifty years, people,” Madonna said. “Fifty years of freedom fighting. Fifty years of putting up with discrimination, hatred and intemperance. Fifty years of blood, sweat and tears. Fifty years of not bowing down to fear. We have been on this journey together, and I am so proud and honored to share this historical evening with you.”

Before returning to performing, she shouted-out her early NYC days. “You really don’t know. Since I came to New York as a wee little girl, I have always been embraced by queer nation. I always felt like an outsider but you made me feel like an insider. You must know how much I love and appreciate everyone here tonight.”

After that, the cops busted in — well, at least the police-themed dancers Madonna employs. They helped her create a visually powerful live performance of her Madame X highlight God Control, replete with detailed choreography and a disco groove that had the crowd gyrating and shimmying. She closed with I Rise, a powerful anthem for both gun control and LGBTQ rights, after which fireworks exploded over Pride Island as starry-eyed attendees headed home.

Source: Billboard.com

Today in Madonna History: June 14, 2019

On June 14 2019, Madonna’s fourteenth studio album, Madame X, was released worldwide on Interscope Records.

In a 4-star (out of 5) review of the album, Slant Magazine’s Sal Cinquemani noted:

“Madonna has a reputation for being a trendsetter, but her true talent lies in bending those trends to her will, twisting them around until they’re barely recognizable, and creating something entirely new. Madame X is fearless, the sound of an artist unapologetically indulging all of her whims and quirks.”

Deluxe Album:

1. Medellín (feat. Maluma)
(Madonna, Mirwais Ahmadzai, Maluma Londono, Edgar Barrera) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
2. Dark Ballet
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
3. God Control
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna, Mirwais & Mike Dean
4. Future (feat. Quavo)
(Madonna, Thomas Pentz, Brittany Talia Hazzard, Quavious Keyate Marshall) produced by Madonna & Diplo
5. Batuka
(Madonna, Banda, Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
6. Killers Who Are Partying
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
7. Crave (feat. Swae Lee)
(Madonna, Khalif Malik Ibn Shaman Brown, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Billboard & Mike Dean
8. Crazy
(Jason Evigan, Madonna, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Mike Dean & Jason Evigan
9. Come Alive
(Jeff Bhasker, Madonna, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Jeff Bhasker & Mike Dean
10. Extreme Occident
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
11. Faz Gostoso (feat. Anitta)
(Carmo, Nuno, Oliveira, Seabra, Vieira, Rodrigues, Madonna) produced by Madonna, Billboard & Mike Dean
12. Bitch I’m Loca (feat. Maluma)
(Madonna, L D’Elia, Londono, Barrera, JAMES, Rodriguez, Stiven Rojas) produced by Madonna & Billboard
13. I Don’t Search I Find
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
14. Looking For Mercy
(Madonna & B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Jeff Bhasker & Mike Dean
15. I Rise
(Jason Evigan, Madonna, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna & Jason Evigan

Deluxe CD Edition (Bonus Disc):

1. Funana
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
2. Back That Up to the Beat
(Madonna, Pharrell Williams, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean & Pharrell Williams
3. Ciao Bella
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais

Today in Madonna History: June 10, 2019

On Monday June 10 2019, the official Madonna store added the following new Madonnabilia items for sale (available for FIVE days only – so get in there!) in in support/celebration of World Pride 2019:

  • Limited edition lithograph (hand-numbered poster)
  • Limited edition t-shirt
  • Limited edition Pride flag (bundled with the limited edition rainbow Madame X picture disc vinyl)

Here is the message from the official store:

Celebrate your PRIDE and help Madonna support a great cause with the Limited Edition Madame X Crave x World Pride Tee & Digital Download

In Honor of Pride, all of Madonna’s proceeds will go to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.

For more information about their life-affirming work, please visit www.thetrevorproject.org.

If you’re thinking about suicide, The Trevor Project is free, confidential and here for you 24/7 – call them at 1-866-488-7386 or text 678-678.

Today in Madonna History: May 19, 2019

On May 19 2019, Madonna was scolded in the international press for “making a political statement” during her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest held the previous day, which ended with performers wearing Israeli and Palestinian flags on their backs with arms interlocked in embrace and the words “wake up” appearing on a stage screens.

Madonna’s camp responded with what should be (but is apparently not) obvious: “A message of peace is not a political statement.”

Here is the common definition of the term political statement:

The term political statement is used to refer to any act or non-verbal form of communication that is intended to influence a decision to be made for or by a political party. A political statement can vary from a mass demonstration to the wearing of a badge with a political slogan.

How exactly Madonna’s performance constitutes a political statement in the eyes of the media is puzzling. She did not endorse the political advancement or agenda of either side; she simply reiterated her longstanding and widely expressed wish for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

A more reasonable argument would be that had she not included this symbolic gesture in her performance, it may have been construed as muted political support for Israel’s position. By making the gesture she did, she instead reiterated her political neutrality and her wish for peace.

Equally telling was the network’s response that its desire was to broadcast an entertainment special that essentially whitewashed the realities of the conflict. Clearly, they would have us believe that ignoring the conflict is the acceptable, non-partisan stance, while acknowledging the conflict and expressing one’s hope for its peaceful resolution should be viewed as provocational or controversial.

The irony is that it is only those who are trying to frame Madonna’s actions as a political statement that are, in fact, making one.

Today in Madonna History: December 17, 2019

On December 17 2019, Cyndi Lauper posted this message on Facebook about Tracy Young’s Grammy nomination for her remix of Madonna’s I Rise:

I’m so excited to hear that Tracy Young has been nominated for a Grammy! This is a BIG deal. Not only did she do a killer remix of “Shine” for me in 2002, but she has been breaking ground for women for years. I can’t wait to vote for her and I urge all Recording Academy / GRAMMYs voting members to join me.

Tracy’s nomination is for her remix of Madonna’s I Rise – a great song with a really powerful message. One of my faves off the Madame X album. Tracy’s nomination marks the FIRST time a female Producer/Remixer has EVER been nominated in the Best Remixed Recording category since its inception in 1998, despite Tracy being eligible in previous years. Tracy has had over 60 #1 Billboard Club Chart Hits. She also worked with Michelle Obama on her This is for my Girls song. Tracy is a true pioneer and I hope this inspires future generations of female Producers/Remixers. We NEED more of ya! #SheIsTheMusic

Today in Madonna History: December 13, 2019

On December 13 2019, it was announced that Danny Aiello, who played the part of Madonna’s father in her Papa Don’t Preach music video, had died the day before in New Jersey at the age of 86. Danny was best known for his roles in Do The Right Thing, Moonstruck and The Godfather Part II.

Today in Madonna History: November 29, 2019

On November 29 2019, Madonna’s I Rise from Madame X was released as a limited edition 12″ single as part of Black Friday Record Store Day.

The remixes included:

  • Tracy Young Pride Extended Remix
  • Kue Drops the Funk Remix
  • Daybreakers Remix
  • Thomas Gold Remix
  • DJLW Remix
  • Offer Nissim Remix

The IGA/UMB label release was limited to 4,000 copies, but some countries reported delays in receiving the I Rise 12″ vinyl release.

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