Today in Madonna History: May 27, 2015

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On May 27 2015, Forbes magazine announced that Madonna topped the annual list of top-earning musicians and also claimed the No. 28 spot on their list of America’s richest self-made women.

Here’s what Forbes had to say:

The wealthiest musician on the list, Madonna has an estimated net worth of $520 million, with her main source being from music, clothing, and real estate  One of the top pop divas of all time. Her tours have grossed an estimated $1.2 billion over the years, including $305 million from her 2012 MDNA tour. That helped her earn an estimated $125 million during the ensuing 12-month period during which Forbes calculated celebrity earnings, more than any other musician. Look for another bump when she goes on the road with her latest album, Rebel Heart, in August.

TODAY IN MADONNA HISTORY: JANUARY 31, 2008

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On January 31 2008, Forbes announced that Madonna was the richest woman in music.

Forbest.com predicted that Madonna earned $72 million between June 2006 and June 2007. Madonna made her millions with the concert grosses from the Confessions Tour, merchandising revenue, fragrance deals, album sales, her fashion line with H&M and a deal with NBC to broadcast her concert performance at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Barbra Streisand ranked No. 2 with $60 million in earnings thanks to her comeback tour of Europe and North America.

Celine Dion ranked No. 3 with $45 million in earnings thanks to her successful residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Today in Madonna History: August 24, 2014

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On August 24 2014, Madonna was featured in a Forbes Magazine piece written by Hugh McIntyre examining the Most Expensive Music Videos Of All Time.

Of all the expensive music videos made over time (and there are quite a few), the top five are created by only two artists: Michael Jackson and Madonna. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as those two legends are some of the only ones who would have enough clout to rustle up millions for a four-minute movie. While other artists typically use music videos as a way of selling more copies of a certain song or album, these two turned the music video into an art form, attempting to top themselves with each new project. (*Adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars.)

5. Michael Jackson — “Black or White,” $6.9 million* (originally $4 million)
The lead single from Jackson’s Dangerous needed a video that would be many things all at once—fun, meaningful, and above all else, memorable.

4. Madonna — “Bedtime Story,” $7.7 million* (originally $5 million)
“Bedtime Story” is the first of three Madonna music videos on this list, though the single it was made to promote is not one of the singer’s greatest successes. Directed by Mark Romanek, who would also direct the music video that ends up surpassing “Bedtime” as the single most expensive of all time. Not one to miss a publicity opportunity, Madonna premiered the video at movie theatres in New York City, Chicago, and Santa Monica. These days, it is housed permanently in a collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

3. Madonna — “Die Another Day,” $7.9 million* (originally $6.1 million)
While the song received mixed reviews from critics, Madonna’s Bond song went on to be the best-selling dance song of 2002 and 2003, and its video was nominated for a Grammy. The James Bond-inspired video has the legendary pop star fighting herself, which was a mixture of green screens and intricate and expensive special effects. A few years ago, Billboard ranked the song the #6 song from the Bond franchise.

2. Madonna — “Express Yourself,” $9.4 million* (originally $5 million)
Madonna’s “Express Yourself” video cost $5 million to make back in 1989, making it the most expensive video ever made at the time. The clip, which was inspired by 1927 German science fiction film Metropolis was directed by David Fincher, who would go on to be nominated for Academy Awards for also directing both The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network. The video sees the singer dressing in a masculine fashion, yet being as sexual as ever.

1. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson — “Scream,” $10.7 million* (originally $7 million)
The video for “Scream,” the first single off Michael’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I album is really one for the books, and one of the few videos that everybody remembers seeing for the first time.

(Source: Forbes Magazine – The Most Expensive Music Videos of All Time)

Today in Madonna History: June 29, 2010

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On June 29 2010, Forbes announced that Madonna was listed as the #10 most powerful celebrity, down from #3 in 2009.

Today in Madonna History: October 1, 1990

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On October 1 1990, Madonna was named the top-earning female entertainer of 1990 by Forbes magazine with an annual income of $39 million.

Here’s an excerpt from this issue:

By Matthew Schifrin with Peter Newcomb

October 1, 1990

SHE HAS JUST FINISHED a rigorous song and dance routine in Nice, France.  Madonna Ciccone, the 32-year-old bleached-blonde pop star, walks across the stage and pretends to rough up her background vocalists.  Clad in an ivory-colored bustier and trousers from a business suit, Madonna then looks out at the crowd of 35,000 fans, grabs her crotch, raises her fist and yells, “I’m the boss around here.” The crowd roars.

This routine was repeated at almost every Madonna performance this summer, but it’s more than play-acting.  She is the boss.  She is the president and sole owner of a multi-million-dollar corporate organization that in peak season has hundreds of employees and operates through nearly half a dozen entities, including Boy Toy Inc., Siren Films and Slutco.

Congratulations, Madonna.  The critics may attack you, but you are one heck of a moneymaker. The nation’s top-earning female entertainer for 1990, Madonna brought in an estimated $39 million in pretax earnings.  She has staying power, too.  While performers like Whitney Houston and Cyndi Lauper rise fast and fade fast, Madonna has stayed near the top for all five years FORBES has compiled its list of America’s highest-earning entertainers.  Since 1986 Madonna has earned at least $125 million.

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