Today in Madonna History: August 18, 1987

On August 18 1987, Madonna performed the first of three sold-out Who’s That Girl Tour concerts at Wembley Stadium in London.

In total, Madonna performed for 216,000 fans during the three nights at Wembley.

Today in Madonna History: August 17, 1995

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On August 17 1995, Madonna attended a private party at the Delano Hotel in Miami, Florida in celebration of her 37th birthday.

South Florida daily newspaper the Sun-Sentinel covered the bash:

Last Thursday night one of the most famous women in the world had a glittering birthday party in what is probably by now one of the most famous hotels in the world. Madonna, uber pop singing sensation, strolled into the lobby of Miami Beach’s Delano Hotel for her big bash in a tight long pink Versace dress with a big smile on her face and a new beau on her arm.

Among the guests waiting inside were Gloria and Emilio Estefan, actor Andy Garcia, Cuban musician Cachao, Donatella Versace and Estefan protegee Albita, who sang a rousing Latino version of Happy Birthday. Ms Ciccone uncharacteristically stopped and chatted with the press, who had all been alerted about the private party, causing crowds to close down the surrounding streets.

Among her revelations were the favorite gift so far (a diamond-and-gold name bracelet from her beau, Carlito); and the pleasure she was getting from having her birthday party in her very own restaurant, the Blue Door, located in the rear lobby of the Delano. News of the party, with the chic new hotel as a stunning backdrop, was seen on every national entertainment and tabloid show in America, and perhaps the world.

Today in Madonna History: August 16, 2015

On August 16 2015, singer/songwriter Joe Henry shared a touching birthday tribute to his sister-in-law, Madonna:

This is the young woman I met shortly after our family’s move to Michigan in 1975 – as I entered my sophomore year of high school and, she, her senior one. Together, we were in the Thespian Society; and in that winter’s first production, we were cast as mother and son – the wife and child of Ralph Waldo Emerson – in a play about Thoreau.

She was whip-smart and short on patience; and to tell the truth, she scared me more than a little, but along with her sister Paula, her presence upon my landscape nudged open a door through which I would pass and find my life utterly and forever changed…that unusual and sprawling family becoming, years later, my own.

No one is more surprised than I by the way our lives have expanded; by the way that our journeys have diverged and become entangled. Like anyone, I can sometimes forget to see the flesh and blood/heart and mind behind the parade float that is her public persona. But then I will find myself across the kitchen table from her, sharing a martini, and be additionally shocked to recognize anew the compact, terse-yet-compassionate human at the switches.

I have told this tale before, but it bears repeating: when Elvis Presley died on this date in 1977, this upstart professed in real-time that she felt his spirit had passed out of his body and through her own in exodus.

I laughed at her then for such outrageous self-possession, at the arrogance that I assumed must allow her to declare such publicly.

Today, when there is laughter, it is the laugh of recognition I hear – and it begins somewhere high above me, where things that once seemed implausible play with wild abandon and in broad daylight.

Happy Birthday, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone.

Today in Madonna History: August 15, 1987

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On August 15 1987, Madonna opened the European leg of the Who’s That Girl World Tour 1987 at Roundhay Park in Leeds, England.  Madonna performed for 73,000 fans during the show.

The title Who’s That Girl Tour came to Madonna during rehearsals when she looked at a gigantic image of herself, projected on a screen on the stage. She commented,

“Oh god, what have I done? What have I created? Is that me, or is this me, this small person standing down here on the stage? That’s why I call the tour ‘Who’s That Girl?’; because I play a lot of characters, and every time I do a video or a song, people go, ‘Oh, that’s what she’s like.’ And I’m not like any of them. I’m all of them. I’m none of them. You know what I mean.?”

Today in Madonna History: August 13, 1985

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On August 13 1985, Madonna’s Angel/Into the Groove single spent a 6th week at #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi Single Sales chart in the USA.

Check out the rare Into the Groove/Angel releases from the Philippines we’ve included above!

Today in Madonna History: August 12, 1989

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On August 12 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself spent a fourth week at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music and Maxi Single Sales chart.

Madonna explained to Becky Johnston in the May 1989 issue of Interview magazine:

“The ultimate thing behind the song is that if you don’t express yourself, if you don’t say what you want, then you’re not going to get it. And in effect you are chained down by your inability to say what you feel or go after what you want. No matter how in control you think are about sexuality in a relationship there is always the power struggle… always a certain amount of compromise. Of being beholden, if you love them. You do it because you choose to. No one put the chain around this neck but me. I wrote Express Yourself to tell women around the world that pick and choose the best for yourself, before that chain around your neck, kills you instead. It’s my take on how man can express what they want, the same prerogative should be there for a woman too.”

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