Today in Madonna History: September 28, 1983

On September 28 1983, Billboard magazine reported that the music video for Madonna’s second single, Burning Up, had been added into MTV rotation during the preceding week. The video marked Madonna’s introduction to MTV audiences, as the channel had not previously aired the low-budget clip produced for Everybody.

Although the Burning Up/Physical Attraction single had already been out for six months by the time a video finally surfaced, it featured a new mix of the song (which differed from both the 12″ single and from the version that appeared on original vinyl pressings of the album) and was seemingly intended to promote her debut album as a whole rather than the song itself, given that Burning Up had not been actively promoted to radio by her label. Just weeks before the video’s release, Sire/Warner had issued promotional 12-inch copies of Lucky Star/Holiday to gauge public interest for her next single release, and were apparently caught off guard by the swift success of the latter track, as no video or remixes had been readied to promote it.

Indeed, the label’s somewhat haphazard early steps in marketing the album gave very little indication of its impending success.

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: September 3, 1983

On September 3 1983, as Madonna’s first album entered the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart at # 190 in the U.S., the album was profiled for the second week in a row by Billboard magazine – this time being featured in the New On The Charts section (pictured above).

Today in Madonna History: August 27, 1983

On August 27 1983, Madonna’s debut album was reviewed in Billboard magazine. In the same issue, the album made its chart debut at #201 on the Bubbling Under LP chart.

Today in Madonna History: November 6, 1982

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On November 6 1982, Madonna lost her chart virginity with her very first appearance in Billboard magazine, as Everybody made its debut on the Hot Dance/Club chart (then titled Dance/Disco Top 80). Fittingly foreshadowing her long-term, record-shattering success on the Dance chart, it was the week’s highest new entry.

Dance music commentator Brian Chin also gave a favorable nod to the song in the same chart’s editorial sidebar. Considering Sire Records’ initially stunted marketing strategy had its limited bets set on a faceless, imageless Madonna shrouded in mystery, Chin’s miscasting of her as “a young New York duo produced by DJ Mark Kamins” is humourously forgivable, if not ironic in retrospect.

We would venture to predict that Madonna was likely less amused by the gaffe. Enter Liz Rosenberg? 😉

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Today in Madonna History: October 8, 2004

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On October 8 2004, Billboard announced that Madonna was the lead finalist for Billboard’s inaugural Backstage Pass Awards, in three categories:

  • Top Tour (based on gross dollars): Re-Invention Tour
  • Top Draw (based on total tickets sold): Re-Invention Tour
  • Top Boxscore Event (for a show at Madison Square Garden): Re-Invention Tour

The Backstage Pass Awards recognize the top achievements in touring (according to box office data).

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Today in Madonna History: February 1, 1997

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On February 1 1997, Evita – The Complete Motion Picture Soundtrack peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the U.S. Meanwhile across the pond, the soundtrack simultaneously shot to the #1 position on the UK album chart. It had initially peaked at #6 in the U.S. and at #7 in the U.K. upon release in November, 1996.

The surge in sales was largely attributed to the film’s wide release in January and the heavy promotional push that accompanied it, along with the interest generated by the soundtrack’s second single, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.

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