Today In Madonna History: April 30, 2006

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On April 30 2006, Madonna made her festival debut at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California.

Madonna performed six songs in front of one of the largest crowds ever to witness an artist at the event. The set featured her latest hit single Hung Up, Get Together, I Love New York, Ray of Light, Let It Will Be and the vintage Everybody. The show served as a warm-up for the May 21 kick-off of her Confessions Tour in Los Angeles.

Today in Madonna History: April 29, 2002

On April 29 2002, Madonna was featured on the cover of People magazine, because she was a mother over the age of 40.

Today in Madonna History: April 28, 2001

On April 28 2001, Madonna’s What It Feels Like For A Girl was the Hot Shot Debut (highest new entry) at #38 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play chart. What It Feels Like For A Girl eventually became Madonna’s 25th #1 Dance hit in the U.S.

Despite the club success of the remixes, some fans and critics were displeased with the use of the Above & Beyond remix in the music video, and with the dark nature of the Guy Ritchie-directed clip, preferring the more subtle and restrained attack of the album version. Others felt that the more aggressive and confrontational feel of the remix and video were natural extensions of the emotions and experiences that Madonna was exploring within the song; feelings that were left bubbling beneath surface of the deceptively gentle and subdued album mix.

Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, in retrospect one thing is clear: when revisited through the lens of the current “Me Too” movement, the overarching themes that Madonna explored with the release of What It Feels Like For A Girl were ahead of the curve in terms of social discourse. Although the same could be said for so much of Madonna’s work.

 

Today in Madonna History: April 27, 1998

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On April 27 1998, Madonna made an unannounced appearance at the 9th annual Rainforest Foundation Benefit Concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, where she performed Frozen with the East Harlem Violin Project, while wearing a Versace dress.

Jon Pareles from The New York Times felt that during this performance Madonna had “turned herself into America’s answer to Björk”.

Later that night, she wore a cowboy hat and joined various artists in a rendition of The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends and Twist & Shout.

Today In Madonna History: April 26, 2001

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On April 26, 2001, one of Madonna’s eye-popping conical bras, designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, sold for $21,150 at a pop memorabilia auction in London. The bra was sold to a Chilean fashion museum.

The conical bra was worn by Madonna during the Blond Ambition Tour in 1990.

Madonna’s fans would very much like to see the Blond Ambition Tour released on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Today in Madonna History: April 25, 1988

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On April 25 1988, Spotlight was released as a single by Warner-Pioneer. Issued exclusively in Japan, it was the only commercial single release from the remix album You Can Dance. The song was written by Curtis Hudson, Madonna and Stephen Bray and was produced by Stephen Bray. Madonna wasn’t given a co-producer’s credit on the track – odd considering it was a leftover from the True Blue album sessions, for which she co-produced every song. The track was remixed by John “Jellybean” Benitez for its inclusion on You Can Dance.

In a 2012 interview with blogcritics.com writer Justin Kantor, Curtis Hudson recalled the circumstances surrounding the creation and release of Spotlight:

“During the time right after Holiday, when we’d go to her place and write, I presented Spotlight. I gave her a complete song, Spotlight. I had actually written it in case Warner Bros. asked her for another Holiday. She said she loved it and felt spiritual about it. But she didn’t use it or contact me again about it. It sort of popped up out of nowhere when she was getting ready to do You Can Dance. Her lawyer contacted our manager and said we needed to talk. We went over and met with him. She and Stephen Bray had already done the song; but I hadn’t even heard the version they had done.They took the demo I had given her and worked it into a different song. They gave me credit since I had the original song copyrighted. I would’ve collaborated and made changes. But I was told, ‘Well, she’s too busy. She’s overseas doing a movie.’ I was okay with it, though, because they gave me credit. But the original song had a certain magic, and the changes took that essence away. The original Spotlight was another Holiday—the rhythm, the basic groove. I think they were trying to get away from that sound. Sometimes artists don’t want their sound to be identified with specific writers.”

Today in Madonna History: April 24, 1993

On April 24 1993, Fever/Bad Girl hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart in America. It remained at #1 for two weeks.

Despite being marketed as Bad Girl, the release charted as Fever/Bad Girl on the Maxi-Singles Sales chart due to its b-side being the primary focus of the release in terms of content. Wisely, Bad Girl was left off of the accompanying promotional single that was serviced to clubs (on beautifully pressed transparent red vinyl), allowing it to top the Hot Dance/Club chart solely as Fever.

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