Today in Madonna History: December 9, 2016

On December 9 2016, Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour premiered on SHOWTIME, on-air, on-demand and over the internet.

Here’s a snippet from the press release for the broadcast:

MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR was shot around the world and features a collection of live and behind these scenes footage culminating in performances at the Sydney Olympic Park in March of this year. The film is co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, both of whom have worked extensively with Madonna on her feature films and tour movies. Madonna will be honored later this year as Billboard magazine’s 2016 Woman of the Year award, at a star-studded event held in conjunction with the publication of Billboard’s Women in Music list, which identifies the 50 most powerful female executives in the industry each year.

“When it comes to putting on a show, there is only one Madonna – an iconic performer that we’re thrilled to have on our air,” said David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. “With her unique creative vision and unmatched stage presence, our viewers will see an arena show packed with visual theatrics, stunning costumes and intricate choreography, featuring new hits and beloved classic songs.”

The set list for MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR spans all decades of the iconic superstar’s illustrious career, including songs from Rebel Heart (the No. 1 dance hits “Living for Love” and “Bitch I’m Madonna“) to classic fan favorites like “Material Girl” and “Holiday” and a “Dress You Up” medley that included “Into The Groove,” “Everybody” and “Lucky Star.” Memorable highlights from the tour include her first-ever live concert performance of “Take a Bow,” acoustic versions of “Like A Prayer,” “Secret” and “Don’t Tell Me.”  At each tour date during the song “Unapologetic Bitch,” Madonna would bring someone up from the crowd to dance with her during the song. Some nights it was a fan, another night it was Katy Perry. Other guest dancers included: Amy Schumer, Ariana Grande, Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Diplo, Gwendoline Christie, Graham Norton and Anderson Cooper.

Produced by Live Nation Global Touring, the Rebel Heart Tour kicked off on September 9, 2015 in Montreal and visited arenas in 55 cities on four continents over seven months. Madonna performed 82 shows, plus a special fan club show in Melbourne. The tour grossed $169.8 Million with 1,045,479 in attendance, making her the top grossing touring female artist in the history of Billboard Boxscore with over $1.31 billion in ticket sales sold over the course of her career. Madonna is also the fourth top grossing touring act (behind The Rolling Stones, U2 and Bruce Springsteen) since tracking began in 1990.

The Rebel Heart Tour was directed by Jamie King with musical direction by Kevin Antunes (the band’s keyboardist Ric’key Pageot, drummer Brian Frasier-Moore, guitarist Monte Pittman, and background vocalists Kiley Dean and Nicki Richards), lead choreography by Megan Lawson, hair by Andy LeCompte, makeup by Aaron Henrikson, and costume design by Arianne Phillips.

Today in Madonna History: September 27, 2017

On September 27 2017, Madonna made headlines around the world for both the MDNA Skin launch at Barney’s as well as an impromptu comedy stand-up gig she performed with Amy Schumer at the Comedy Cellar in New York.

Here’s what Billboard magazine had to say:

She sings, she dances, she acts, she has a new skincare line. But does she kill in a comedy club? Madonna added another notch to her creative belt on Tuesday night (Sept. 26) when she took the stage alongside pal Amy Schumer at New York’s legendary Comedy Cellar. The singer posted several pics from the surprise set, including one in which she’s standing next to Schumer, writing “And the next minute i was tagging along with @amyschumer at @nycomedycellar Making my stand up debut! What a thrill. Finally busted my cherry thank you Amy!”

According to attendees, Aziz Ansari, Jon Stewart and Louis C.K. also performed during the set.

Today in Madonna History: January 21, 2017

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On January 21 2017, Madonna participated in the Women’s March on Washington. In addition to delivering a powerful speech (watch the full video below), Madonna also performed Express Yourself and Human Nature.

Here is the full transcript of the speech Madonna delivered to over 500,000 people:

“Hello.

“Are you still awake out there?

“Are you sure about that?

“Can you hear me?

“Are you ready to shake up up the world?

“Welcome to the revolution of love. To the rebellion. To our refusal as women to accept this new age of tyranny. Where not just women are in danger but all marginalized people. Where people uniquely different might be considered a crime. It took us this darkness to wake us the fuck up.

“It seems as though we had all slipped into a false sense of comfort. That justice would prevail and that good would win in the end. Well, good did not win this election but good will win in the end. So what today means is that we are far from the end. Today marks the beginning, the beginning of our story. The revolution starts here. The fight for the right to be free, to be who we are, to be equal. Let’s march together through this darkness and with each step. Know that we are not afraid. That we are not alone, that we will not back down. That there is power in our unity and that no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity.

“And to our detractors that insist that this March will never add up to anything, fuck you. Fuck you. It is the beginning of much needed change. Change that will require sacrifice, people. Change that will require many of us to make different choices in our lives, but this is the hallmark of revolution. So my question to you today is are you ready? I said, are you ready? Say yes, we are ready. Say, yes we are ready. One more time: you’re ready.

“Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot of blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet, W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II: We must love one another or die.

“I choose love. Are you with me? Say this with me: We choose love. We choose love. We choose love.”

Today in Madonna History: September 16, 2015

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On September 16 2015, Amy Schumer was the Unapologetic Bitch during Madonna’s Rebel Heart concert at Madison Square Gardens in New York.

Amy was also the Special Guest opening act, performing her comedy in front of a sold-out crowd of just over 14,000 Madonna fans.  Amy was the opening act for both Madison Square Gardens shows (September 16 and 17) and on September 19 at the Barclays Center.

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