Today In Madonna History: March 31, 2010

On March 31 2010, Madonna’s former manager, Caresse Henry, passed away at the age of 44. Her death was later ruled a suicide.

Caresse had initially worked as an assistant to Madonna’s former manager, Freddy DeMann, before becoming Madonna’s personal assistant. When Madonna parted ways with DeMann in 1997, Caresse took the reigns as Madonna’s manager and remained in the role until late 2004. Caresse had also managed the careers of Ricky Martin, Jessica Simpson, Paula Abdul and Joss Stone, among others.

Caresse was credited as an artistic manager and executive producer for the HBO special: Madonna: Drowned World Tour 2001.

Liz Rosenberg (Madonna’s publicist at the time) released a statement to the press explaining that Caresse died of a self-inflicted gunshot at her home in Irvine, California. She was survived by her two children, a sister, a brother and her parents.

Today In Madonna History: March 30, 2001

On March 30 2001, Madonna’s Drowned World Tour was confirmed via this announcement:

For the first time in eight years since The Girlie Show, Madonna promises to take the stage live in a extensive international concert tour this summer. The exhilarating itinerary promises to take her in a series of shows in Europe beginning in June and all across America starting in July. The tour will be promoted by SFX. A complete schedule of these landmark events will be announced within weeks. Madonna is expected to perform material from her smash hit electrifying Cowboy Punk album Music as well as signature songs spanning the length of her incredible stunning career in a cutting edge concert setting that will continue the tradition of trend setting innovation that Madonna is famous and known for on the stage!

Today in Madonna History: February 20, 2001

On February 20 2001, Madonna’s official website announced that Madonna planned to record a Spanish version of her next single, What It Feels Like For A Girl, with a tentative release date of late March.

While the Spanish version (titled Lo Que Siente La Mujer) featured on the maxi-single and serviced to Latin radio stations was set to the album version of the song, Madonna would blend the Spanish lyrics with the music from the Calderone & Quayle Dark Side Mix for the live version performed during the Drowned World Tour.

Today in Madonna History: September 13, 2001

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On September 13 2001, Madonna resumed the final string of dates on her Drowned World Tour after having postponed the September 11th show due to the terrorist attacks in New York. She donated the proceeds from her second Los Angeles concert on the 13th to benefit children who were orphaned following the tragic attacks that killed thousands of parents.

Several changes were made to soften some of the show’s violent theatrics for the final three shows: at the end of the Geisha segment she was lowered from the stage with her arm around the dancer’s shoulder instead of shooting him; her kilt in the opening section was changed to an American flag design; she did not perform The Funny Song but instead took the opportunity to share some more serious thoughts with the audience.

Madonna told the crowd at the Staples Center:

“Any of you who purchased a ticket to the show tonight will be contributing to a fund that will be for children orphaned by this tragedy, so thank you all. Now on a personal note I think that each and every one of us should look inside our own hearts and examine our own personal acts of terrorism, hatred, intolerance, negativity, the list goes on and on, we’re all responsible. If you are homophobic or racist or hate, you contributed to this disaster. It’s not just Bin Laden, it’s all of us, we’ve all contributed to hatred in the world today. And I would like to have one minute of silence to say a prayer for those who have died; to say a prayer for the friends and families of those who have died; to say a prayer for the rescuers who have worked night and day to rescue people from the rubble. And most of all say a prayer for anyone who thinks that it is right to kill in the name of God. Where there is violence, there is no God. Let’s have a moment of silence. Hold hands with those around you. Or stay still and reflect.”

A minute of silence followed before Madonna launched into Secret, which she prefaced by adding:

“One more thing–if you want to change the world, you must first start with yourself!”

Today in Madonna History: July 21, 2001

Madonna performing during the first show in the North American leg of her 'Drowned World Tour 2001' at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pa., 7/21/01. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.

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Madonna performing during the first show in the North American leg of her 'Drowned World Tour 2001' at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pa., 7/21/01. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.

On July 21 2001, Madonna kicked off the U.S. leg of her Drowned World Tour with the first of two sold-out concerts at the First Union Centre (now the Wells Fargo Centre) in Philadelphia.

For the first time in her career, Madonna altered one of her tour set lists by performing You’ll See in the place Gone at select shows during the U.S. leg of the tour. You’ll See made its live debut at the July 21st show in Philadelphia and was performed again the following night. The decision to alter the set list was rumoured to have been made in response to European reviews of the tour, which despite being generally favorable, often lamented the show’s overabundance of new material and lack of hits.

Personally, we were pleased that the Ray Of Light and Music albums were the primary focus of the Drowned World Tour. If she had instead focused on hits, it is likely that these two essential Madonna albums would have been treated similarly to Bedtime Stories–an album from which she has yet to perform anything other than its four released singles.

Were you disappointed at the time by the lack of hits and the focus on recent album cuts during the Drowned World Tour? Have your views shifted at all in retrospect?

Today in Madonna History: May 21, 2001

On May 21 2001, the U.S. leg of Madonna’s Drowned World Tour continued to sell out performances in the final seven markets that went on sale the previous weekend. A press release stated that the tour, promoted by SFX, promised to be the most extravagant stage spectacle of Madonna’s career thus far. The last batch of cities announced for the tour included sold-out dates in New York, New Jersey, Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It was also announced that due to overwhelming demand, an additional three shows in New York and two in Los Angeles had been added to the itinerary, with tickets to go on sale May 30th.