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: May 31, 2003

On May 31 2003, Madonna’s American Life single hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the USA, spending one week at the top.

If you could go back in time and change one thing about the American Life single release, what would you change?

Today in Madonna History: April 5, 2003

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On April 5 2003, an Australian interview aired that demonstrated Madonna’s quick change of heart regarding the American Life music video.

During the interview with Richard Wilkins, the following dialog takes place:

Wilkins: “You’re going to get all sorts of criticism I think.”

Madonna: “Why. Tell me why!”

W: “People are going to say it’s inappropriate to show bombs going off and planes bombing people.”

M: “Why? That’s on the news every five minutes! I’m just using news footage that’s already been seen by everyone.”

W: “I’m suggesting that some people are going to think maybe it’s ill-timed.”

M: “But in a way it’s perfect timing, because it’s what we are experiencing right now – so, it’s American life. It’s very current and appropriate I think.”

Wilkins may have convinced Madonna to go cold on the idea.

“Maybe I did, perhaps I caused her to think again,” he said. “She is very proud of the video, as she should be because it’s incredible.”

By the time the interview aired (a week later), Madonna had already pulled the American Life video and made a statement regarding her choice.

You can read the statement and watch the full music video here.

Today in Madonna History: January 7, 2004

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On January 7 2004, Rolling Stone magazine reviewed Madonna’s Remixed & Revisited EP:

Instead of the twenty-year retrospective originally planned for the holiday season, Madonna fans get a measly half-hour of mishmash marginalia. Of the four remixes from American Life, only one clicks: Headcleanr’s rock mix of Love Profusion, which replaces Mirwais’ electrofolk with Strokes-like guitars and drums that flatter an overlooked but fantastic song. The live medley of Like a Virgin and Hollywood, with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, falls flat without the infamous kisses, and the Gap commercial with Missy Elliott just sounds cheap and nasty. Your Honesty, an outtake from 1994’s Bedtime Stories, recalls the post-disco funkiness of Madonna’s 1983 debut. Bet it would’ve worked better in a box set. – Barry Walters

Today in Madonna History: May 31, 2003

On May 31 2003, Madonna’s American Life single hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the USA, spending one week at the top.

If you could go back in time and change one thing about the American Life single release, what would you change?

Today in Madonna History: April 26, 2003

On April 26 2003, Madonna’s American Life single spent the first of two weeks at #1 on the Soundscan Canadian Singles chart.

American Life was the final two-track physical Madonna single issued by Warner Music Canada, while production of CD maxi-singles would continue domestically until the 2006 release of Jump.

Today in Madonna History: April 8, 2003

On April 8 2003, American Life was released digitally as the lead single from Madonna’s ninth studio album of the same name.

American Life was written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzaï, and was released by Maverick Records.

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