Today in Madonna History: April 25, 1998

For the weeks of April 25, and May 2, 1998, Madonna’s Frozen was the #1 dance single on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Today in Madonna History: April 23, 2015

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On April 23 2015, Tori Amos came to Madonna’s defense when questioned about the ageist undertones on social media – and by the media at large – in reaction to her “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2015 Brit Awards:

Madonna is an entertainer. There are very few people who could’ve gotten up off that floor. It wasn’t because of her that she fell, but it was because of her that the performance carried on. Some of the vilification comes from women as much as men. She’s making choices and she’s able to do things physically that a lot of people 25 years younger can’t; she got up and refused to allow that to shame her. I think people want her to be shamed into a role that they find acceptable for her age. It makes me sad that we can’t embrace Madonna and say, Wow, this is an artist who’s expressing herself in a certain way.”

— Tori Amos

Tori often incorporates one or two cover songs by other artists into her live shows, but there are only a handful of artists whom she has covered multiple songs, and Madonna is one of them. She has performed both Live To Tell and Like A Prayer at numerous concerts, with the most recent Madonna composition to join her live repertoire being Frozen, which made its debut in Amsterdam in 2014.

(Many thanks to YouTube user LittleQueenbee77 for the great live footage of this performance!)

Today in Madonna History: April 11, 1998

On April 11 1998, Madonna appeared on the cover of TV Guide.

In the issue, Madonna explains the relationship she had with Lourdes’ father, Carlos Leon:

“I was in love with him. A lot of people think I walked out on the street and looked at him and said, `You’re going to be my sperm donor. I had a relationship with him. I still have a relationship with him. We are really good friends. . . . the last thing I want my daughter to do is grow up without a father. I grew up without a parent.”

Today in Madonna History: March 7, 1998

On March 7 1998, Madonna’s Frozen climbed to #2 on the Billboard Eurochart (in its second week), behind Celine Dion’s #1 My Heart Will Go On.

Today in Madonna History: February 23, 1998

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On February 23 1998, Frozen was released by Maverick records as the lead single from Madonna’s seventh studio album, Ray of Light. The song was written by Madonna & Patrick Leonard and was produced by Madonna, Leonard & William Orbit.

Madonna has mentioned that she considers Frozen as part of a thematic trilogy with The Power Of Good-Bye and To Have And Not To Hold. In an interview with Barry Walters for Spin magazine, Madonna commented on the inspiration behind the song:

“I was so obsessed with the movie The Sheltering Sky and that whole Moroccan/orchestral/super-romantic/man-carrying-the-woman-he-loves-across-the-desert vibe. So I told [Patrick Leonard] that I wanted something with a tribal feel, something really lush and romantic. When he started playing some music, I just turned the DAT on and started free-associating and came up with the melody.”

Initially unsure of which song should be released as the album’s first single, Madonna was eventually convinced by Warner Bros. executives that Frozen would be a perfect way to bridge the Adult Contemporary leanings of her most recent hits (Take A Bow, You’ll See and the singles from Evita) with the more cutting-edge, electronic sounds of Ray Of Light.

Today In Madonna History: February 21, 1998

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On February 21 1998, Madonna performed Frozen on BBC1-TV’s National Lottery Show in London, England.

Today in Madonna History: July 4, 2009

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On July 4 2009, the Sticky & Sweet Tour‘s 2009 extension began with the first of two sold out dates at London’s O2 Arena.

In January 2009, following the completion of European, North American and South American legs of the massively successful 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour, it was confirmed that Madonna would extend the tour during the Summer of 2009 with a second European leg before concluding with two dates in Israel in September. The itinerary for the extension consisted largely of markets where Madonna either hadn’t previously performed or hadn’t visited in many years.

In a January 2009 interview with Billboard.com, Live Nation chairman Arthur Fogel commented on the extended run of the tour:

“It absolutely has not happened in the four tours I’ve been involved with, […] There has been talk [of extending] during each one, but it has never come to be. But with this one, she loves the show, she’s had a great time and she’s excited about playing new markets. […] We went to quite a few markets she has never played or hasn’t been to in 15-plus years. This [extension] is really a continuation of that in the sense of playing new and different markets. [The six-month break] is a long hiatus, but everybody was excited to continue. […] So we basically worked out the arrangements for all the performers, crew and equipment and we’ll be ready to go.”

The extension’s opening night and all subsequent dates featured three song changes to the original setlist: Holiday replaced Heartbeat, a guitar-heavy version of Dress You Up took the place of Borderline, and the non fan-favorite “rock version” of Hung Up was dropped in favour of a much more pleasing, club-ready mash-up of Frozen with I’m Not Alone by Calvin Harris (which also threw in snippets of Open Your Heart).

Madonna also included a special tribute to Michael Jackson during Holiday, as well as a quote attributed to him at the end of Frozen (the lyrics quoted from his song Man In The Mirror were in fact written by Madonna’s occasional backing singer, Siedah Garrett, if you want to get technical). At the time of his passing Jackson had been scheduled to begin a run of comeback concerts at the O2 Arena, beginning the week after Madonna’s shows at the venue.

(Thanks to Michael aka MykillICON for the video footage and pictures!)

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