Today in Madonna History: September 19, 2000

madonna_music-release-0 madonna_music-release-6 madonna_music-release-8 madonna_music-release-2 madonna_music-release-7 madonna_music-release-1

On September 19 2000, Madonna’s eighth studio album Music was released by Maverick Records.  Music was released in some markets on September 18.

In anticipation of the release Madonna made this statement:

“Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on… Hi, it’s Madonna. You’ve probably been hearing about my new record, Music, for a while. Well, I just wanted to make sure you knew that the single is gonna drop very soon. I worked on it with a French guy named Mirwais, and he is the shit. The album will be released worldwide on September 19, and I hope you like my music.”

Today in Madonna History: August 28, 2000

On August 28 2000, Madonna appeared on the cover of People magazine with the headline: Labor Days! With Their Men Standing By, Madonna, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Iman Give Birth to New Little Scene-Stealers.

Here’s a snippet of the article inside:

August is often the busiest month for the nation’s maternity wards, but this year it was certainly the most glamorous. On Aug. 8 actress Catherine Zeta-Jones gave birth to son Dylan, with fiancé Michael Douglas nearby. Three days later, reportedly under more urgent circumstances, pop diva Madonna and film director Guy Ritchie welcomed son Rocco. And on Aug. 15 model-actress Iman and her husband, David Bowie, celebrated the arrival of daughter Alexandria. Here, the stories of those joyful beginnings. A Rocky Ride for Madonna’s Rocco There are limits even for those who like to have it all. With daughter Lourdes, 3, underfoot and another child on the way—an addition that she has said will add to her battalion of “nannies, housekeepers and assistants”—Madonna decided that life was getting a bit too hectic, shuttling between homes in Los Angeles, New York City and London, where she most recently shared a $15,000-a-month, four-story townhouse with Baby No. 2’s father, British director Guy Ritchie. Three weeks ago the Material Mom gave away two of her three Chihuahuas, letting Lourdes keep Evita while farming out Chiquita and Rosita to actor Glenn Shadix. “I e-mailed our mutual friend Rupert Everett in Italy to help convince Madonna that I would give the girls a proper home,” says Shadix, who owns two female terriers. “All four girls get along fabulously.”

Today in Madonna History: May 25, 2004

On May 25 2004, Rolling Stone magazine published a review of Madonna’s Re-Invention World Tour with the headline, “Madonna Reinvents herself. Amid images of war and peace, pop star shows she can sing.”

Here’s the review by Barry Walters:

After twenty years in the limelight, Madonna is expected to cause controversy and reinvent herself for every new tour. So for the May 24th Los Angeles opening of her Re-Invention world trek, Madonna did the most unexpected thing she could: She came back as a great concert singer.

Even the most diehard Madonna fan will concede that her live performances have almost without exception been plagued by a multitude of missed notes, breathy passages, and, as of late, fake British accents. But while Mariah and Whitney have of been losing the acrobatic vocal dexterity and lung power on which their reputations rest, forty-five-year-old Madonna, whom few have ever taken seriously as a musician, has never sounded better than she did during the first of several gigs in her adopted West Coast home. Whether rocking out with classic black Les Paul in hand during a metallic rendition of her early club hit “Burning Up,” or performing “Like a Prayer” behind a screen-projected gospel choir, Madonna belted, and did not once seemed strained. In the midst of a $1 million production festooned with a walkway that jutted out from the stage and over the audience, massive moving video screens, a dozen dancers, a bagpipe player, a stunt skateboarder and a whole lot of emotionally charged anti-war imagery, the focus was nevertheless on Madonna, and how she’s matured into a truly great pop singer.

Opening with a yoga-trained twist on her famous Louis XIV-inspired MTV Video Music Awards rendition of “Vogue” and ending on a kilt-wearing finale of “Holiday” against a video backdrop of national flags that eventually morphed into one, the show was thematically simpler and more focused than her last several productions.

The barbarism of war and the necessity of love were at the heart of the entire show, and both played off each other, sometimes for ironic and decidedly uneasy effect. The original military-themed video footage of “American Life” that the singer withheld at the start of the Iraq war was finally unveiled, and then expanded upon during “Express Yourself,” where Madonna sang her anthem of unbridled, intimate communication in front of dancers dressed as soldiers and goose-stepping with twirling rifles.

By contrast, Madonna closed an extended acoustic section of the show with a straightforward and thoroughly committed rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” as images of war and poverty-ravaged children eventually gave way to footage of a Muslim boy and his Israeli counterpart smiling as they walked with their arms wrapped around each other.

The heaviness of much of the imagery was balanced by Madonna’s own presence, which seemed remarkably fun-loving and self-assured for the opening night of her most technically complex production. Only when she strapped on an acoustic or electric guitar during several songs and repeatedly glanced at her left hand to make sure it was playing the proper chords did she seem at all nervous. “How many people out there really think that I am the Material Girl?” she asked during a break in her most iconic early smash as she strummed with much deliberation.

For the last several songs, Madonna and her dancers donned black and white kilts, an apparent nod to husband Guy Ritchie’s Scottish heritage, and black T-shirts that read “Kabbalists Do It Better,” a cheeky reference to both her religious studies and the “Italians Do It Better” T-shirt she wore during her video for “Papa Don’t Preach,” a song that was performed without the “near-naked pregnant women” described in pre-tour reports of the show. In a number dedicated for the “fans that’ve stood by me for the last twenty years,” she sang her earliest hit ballad, “Crazy For You,” earnestly and without contrivance.

Madonna’s continued relevance was impressive, but it was even more striking that she’s putting more love and genuine passion into her spectacle than ever.

 

Today In Madonna History: March 28, 2001

On March 28, 2001, Madonna began filming the BMW commercial Star in Los Angeles, California, co-starring Clive Owen and directed by Guy Ritchie.  Star was part of a series of short films (called The Hire) produced to promote BMW.

“I’m gracing this armpit of a town for one night, if you think I’m gonna know the name of the venue in El Arm-Pitto… You’re Sadly Mistaken” – Madonna’s character in Star

Today In Madonna History: March 16, 2001

On March 16 2001, MTV and VH1 networks announced that Madonna’s new video for What It Feels Like For A Girl would be broadcast only once on March 20 at 11:30 pm because of the controversy over its violent content.

Madonna later released What It Feels Like For A Girl as a DVD single.

Madonna biographer Andrew Morton had this to say about the video:

“The video is entirely consistent with the themes that she has been exploring for the last twenty years, namely the relationship between the sexes, the ambiguity of gender, and the unresolved conflict, for women in a patriarchal society of being fully female and sexual while exercising control over their lives.”

Today in Madonna History: February 13, 2001

mguywork-1

On February 13 2001, Guy Ritchie announced that he and Madonna were planning to work together on her new music video for What It Feels Like For A Girl.

Guy had this to say about Madonna: “Creatively, we like the same sort of things, so it just makes sense to work together.”

When asked if he and Madonna would work together on a full-length movie, Guy commented, “I’d like to work with the missus, but there’s nothing in the pipeline at the moment.”

mguywork-end

Today in Madonna History: December 21, 2000

roccochristening-1 roccochristening-2 roccochristening-3

On December 21 2000, Madonna and her then soon-to-be husband Guy Ritchie christened their son Rocco John Ritchie at Dornoch Cathedral in Dornoch, Scotland.

Madonna and Guy were married the following day at Skibo Castle.

roccochristeningend

%d bloggers like this: