Today In Madonna History: March 9, 2020

On March 9 2020, Madonna was forced to cancel the remaining Madame X Tour shows in Paris after French authorities banned events of more than 1,000 people to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

A statement posted on Madonna’s official website states that her March 10-11 shows in Paris would no longer take place:

“Following official notification from the Office of the Police this morning prohibiting all events with an audience attendance of over 1000, Live Nation regrets to announce the final two Madame X performances previously re-scheduled to 10-March and 11-March are forced to be cancelled. Tickets are refundable at point of purchase. We regret the disappointment to fans.”

Today in Madonna History: January 31, 2020

On January 31 2020, Madonna shared this announcement with her fans through social media channels:

A note to all my fans:

As you all know I have multiple injuries and have had to cancel shows to give me time to recover.

So as not to surprise you, I want to let you know ahead of time that I will be cancelling 2 shows – on Feb 4 and Feb 11th at the Palladium in London. Because doing 3 shows in a row is too much on my body and in fact my doctors insist I take a day off after every show but I believe can manage if I do 2 shows then I rest!

It’s a miracle I have gotten this far but a-lot has to do with the fact that I do 6 hours of rehab every day.  3 hours before each show and 3 after with multiple therapies. I have also switched to flat shoes and modified difficult parts of the show. This has helped enormously but I still need to be careful and of course rest is the best medicine.

Of course I never want to cancel any show and I’m determined that I will make it to the end if I pace myself.

God Willing 🙏🏼

Refunds will be automatically issued to the credit card on which tickets were ordered.

I appreciate your understanding and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you!! Madame X

Today in Madonna History: January 30, 2020

On January 30 2020, glowing reviews of Madonna’s first Madame X show in London were published:

Music critic Neil McCormick (The Telegraph) had this to say: Anarchic and experimental – her best show ever? 5 STARS (out of 5)

I’m not sure who was having more fun at the opening of Madonna’s London residency, the audience or the star. She sang, she danced, she joked and she beamed with almost childlike glee at the crowd’s adoring response.

“How happy I am to have made it this far,” she declared, calling London “my second home”.

Madonna first played the city in 1983 to 1,500 early adopters at the Camden Palace. Her next London gig was Wembley Stadium. She was clearly delighted to be back in a venue where she could not just reach out and touch the audience, she could descend from the stage and sit in their laps. “It’s so intimate. It’s gorgeous and a thrill for me to be able to see all your faces.”

David Smyth of the Evening Standard gave the show 4 STARS (out of 5): Madame X is tireless, imaginative and powerfully intimate.

Such drama before Madonna could even take to the stage for her first theatre tour since 1985! Would she arrive drastically late? Would she cancel at the last minute? Tenterhooks all round.

Monday was supposed to be the first of a planned 15 nights at the Palladium, cancelled on doctor’s orders. It was the 10th dropped concert of the Madame X Tour, which began in New York in September and gathered complaints for its late start times.

But tonight at 8.45pm, there she was, dressed as a bloodstained, eyepatch-wearing revolutionary soldier. She was also a spy, a protest marcher and a Portuguese fado singer in the course of a tireless, imaginative show that was far from shrunken arena pop. Thanks especially to an extraordinary troupe of dancers, it was a spectacle that felt more powerful up close.

Like Bruce Springsteen, who showed a different side of himself in his recent Broadway run, and Kate Bush, whose live comeback was more theatre than concert, the 61-year-old has unearthed something new late in her career. The Madame X album may have plummeted out of the charts in an instant, but here its songs dominated and found their purpose.

Batuka, tuneless on record, was euphoric when performed with a mass of smiling, rump-shaking Batuque drummers from Cape Verde. I Rise was far more powerful when backed by footage of anti-gun protests and gay pride marches.

Alexis Petridis of The Guardian, also gave the show 4 STARS (out of 5) and noted: London residency short on hits but big on British banter.

She sings the bare minimum of big hits – Vogue, Like a Prayer, Human Nature – with Express Yourself and La Isla Bonita reduced to interstitial roles (the former performed as a sweet, but brief a cappella duet with her daughter Mercy), and American Life performed in full.

Still, it occasionally serves to remind you that some of Madame X is better than its relatively muted commercial response might suggest – Medellín sounds like the hit single it wasn’t, as does the gorgeous album track Crazy. This is presumably part of the point – the other part being a certain screw-you intransigence designed to underline that we are in the presence of an artiste, not a pop star.

And the BBC had a few fun notes to add in their review:

The audience were required to store mobile phones in sealed pouches as “an intervention for us all”. However, Madonna admitted that even she was getting anxious without a phone nearby.

“I’m having little panic attacks,” she joked. “I’m like, ‘Why is no-one taking my picture?'”

But the gambit worked: Freed from distractions, the audience gave the concert their undiluted attention; while Madonna seemed to relax and have fun without a phalanx of tiny cameras recording her every move.

At one point, she slipped into a British accent and recalled how she’d been ridiculed for developing similarly plummy vowels during her marriage to Guy Ritchie.

“I didn’t know what anyone was talking about until I heard old interviews of myself,” she said. “And then I was horrified and flabbergasted. Why did you let me do that to myself? I’m from Michigan!”

“It’s all Guy Ritchie’s fault,” she decided. “He made me to it.”

Today in Madonna History: January 18, 2020

For the week ending January 18, 2020, Madonna’s I Don’t Search I Find climbs from #15 to #10 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart in the USA.

Year-End Review: Top 10 Posts of 2019

Happy New Year and thank you for your continued support of Today in Madonna History – we very much appreciate that you’re on this exciting journey with us!

Thank you for sharing our posts with your Madonna friends across the social media world.

These are our Top 10 Posts for 2019 (based on page views):

#1 – September 2, 1993 – Madonna performed Bye Bye Baby at the MTV Video Music Awards. Stunning!

#2 – May 4, 2019 – the Madame X Tour was announced.

Did you get to go? Are you waiting to attend a show in 2020? Thoughts? Are residency shows the future for Madonna? Or was this an experiment she had to get out of her system and now it’s time for a classic hits arena tour?

#3 – September 24, 1992 – Madonna went topless on the runway at a Jean-Paul Gautier fashion show. Gotta love a good boob!

#4 – July 8, 1993 – Madonna began rehearsals for The Girlie Show World Tour.

A remastered release of this tour with an audio CD component is due — let’s make it happen!

#5 – November 13 1997, the Rolling Stone magazine Women of Rock issue, featuring Madonna, Tina Turner and Courtney Love on its cover was released.

Imagine how difficult it was to get these three women in the same room? LOVE the photos!

#6 – April 17 2019, Madonna issued the press release for her forthcoming album, Madame X.

There were so many different releases for this album. Was it a collector’s dream or a collector’s nightmare? Did you get the BLUE Madame X on vinyl?

#7 – January 25, 1989, Pepsi announced they signed Madonna to a year-long endorsement contract, for which they would pay her $5 million. In return, Madonna would appear in a series of television commercials and Pepsi would sponsor the Like A Prayer World Tour, tentatively slated for later that year.

Imagine the set-list for a Like A Prayer World Tour? If you had to remove all the Dick Tracy songs and Vogue from the Blond Ambition Tour, what would you add in to fill the gaps?

#8 – February 19 2015, Living For Love became Madonna’s 44th #1 Billboard Dance Club hit in the USA.

Would you support a boxset release of Madonna’s Top Dance Club hits — full-on classic remixes that took the songs to the top? Or would you want NEW remixes? This could be a cheap and cheerful digital release with a limited edition vinyl Record Store Day boxset. Who’s in?

#9 – June 11 2015, a Rick Nowels interview was featured at songwriteruniverse.com in which he spoke about how he came to collaborate with Madonna for the Ray Of Light sessions:

“I always wanted to work with Madonna. I loved her voice, her songwriting, and the great records she made with Pat Leonard, Stephen Bray and Nile Rodgers. In 1997 I was in New York for the Grammys. I was up for Album of the Year (as one of the producers) for Celine Dion’s Falling Into You. I was in Barney’s (store) getting a tie for the Grammys and I saw Madonna there. I introduced myself, and I told her that she didn’t get the credit she deserved as a songwriter. Which is true, but it’s also an awkward thing to tell a huge superstar! She was very cool and gracious. I ended up getting a meeting with her in L.A. a few weeks later. We wrote nine songs together — three made the Ray of Light album: The Power of Good-bye, Little Star and To Have and Not To Hold. The Power of Good-bye was a number one song in U.K. and Europe. It was a career-changing experience for me. Before that I had always done my co-writing with friends. But working with Madonna…it was the first time I had ever written one-on-one with a great artist/writer. After that I changed gears a little, and now I mostly collaborate directly with artists.”

Check out another one of Justin’s amazing video posts. His remixes and remastered archival footage is second to none! THANK YOU JUSTIN – we all appreciate your mixes and videos – the amount of work you pour into these is clear — no short-cuts. Brilliant!

#10 – May 30th 1987, Breakfast Club scored their biggest hit as Right On Track peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Madonna became a member of Breakfast Club in late 1979, first as a drummer before branching out to keyboards and guitar, all the while sharing vocal duties (and living quarters) with her boyfriend, Dan Gilroy, and his brother Ed.

It’s funny how we think of guitar as a rather new instrument for Madonna, but she was rocking the guitar back in the late 70’s, along with many other instruments. Would you want to see Madonna do a drum solo on her next tour? I can HEAR YOUR EYES ROLLING from here! LOL ..

Happy New Year! 

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