Today in Madonna History: May 12, 1998

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On May 12 1998, Madonna’s Ray of Light music video premiered on MTV Live.

The video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund. Madonna’s scenes were shot in early April 1998 at MTV’s Times Square studios in New York and Los Angeles. The background images were shot in various cities, such as Los Angeles, New York, London, Las Vegas, and Stockholm.

Today in Madonna History: April 8, 2015

On April 8 2015, Madonna’s Ghosttown music video premiered on VEVO. The music video was filmed in Los Angeles, directed by Jonas Åkerlund and co-starred Terrence Howard.

Today in Madonna History: February 24, 1999

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On February 24 1999, Madonna performed Nothing Really Matters at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards. Madonna also took home 4 Grammies:

  • Best Pop Album – David Reitzas, Jon Ingoldsby, Pat McCarthy (engineers/mixers), William Orbit (producer) and Madonna (producer & artist) for Ray Of Light
  • Best Dance Recording – Pat McCarthy (mixer), William Orbit (producer) and Madonna (producer & artist) for Ray of Light
  • Best Short Form Music Video – Jonas Åkerlund (video director) and Madonna for Ray of Light
  • Best Recording Package – Kevin Reagan (art director) for Ray of Light performed by Madonna

Today in Madonna History: February 4, 2003

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On February 4 2003, filming for Madonna’s music video for American Life took place in Los Angeles with director by Jonas Åkerlund.

The casting call issued for the video sought the following:

Eastern European Man (30 – 60 yrs. old, Real people, THIN, interesting looking, great face, worn out looking, craggy). 4 Beautiful Models (drop dead gorgeous w. amazing legs and bodies). 10 soldiers (must have long hair and be willing to shave it for the video… good-looking, really good body). Hair stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, must be real hair stylists, think editorial type. Stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, 20’s, cool and interesting looking, think N.Y. 2 Babes (very voluptuous and buxom, bimbo types, b pin-up girls). Makeup artists (m or f, any ethnicity, a REAL makeup artist). 2 IRAQI kids (boys and girls, 4 – 7 yrs. old). African-American Male (35 – 50, THIN).

Åkerlund commented on the upcoming video to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet:

“It’s great that Madonna gives me the trust to do this video. The song is super cool and aimed for the dance floors. I especially love that she gives me the trust to do the first single from the new album. There is a special feeling and ambition around the first single and a hell of lot of secrets. I had to sign a paper even before I got to listen to the song! The shooting will take 3 days.”

Today in Madonna History: June 20, 2006

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On June 20 2006, Madonna’s first live album, I’m Going to Tell You a Secret, containing songs from the documentary of the same name, was released.

The two-disc set included a CD with 14 songs (including a previously unreleased Demo Rock Version of I Love New York), and a DVD with the documentary film.

The documentary provided a behind-the-scenes look at Madonna’s 2004 Re-Invention Tour. The documentary was directed by Jonas Åkerlund.

Today in Madonna History: June 12, 2015

On June 12 2015, Madonna’s Bitch I’m Madonna music video teaser premiered.

The video was shot in New York City at the Standard Hotel and was directed by long-time fan-favourite director, Jonas Åkerlund.

Jonas explained how the video evolved:

Madonna called me about Ghosttown. We hadn’t worked for a while because of different circumstances so when I heard all the songs from Rebel Heart, I was very excited about Ghosttown. I connected to it creatively. And, yeah, we enjoyed working together. I was supposed to start something else right after and that got pushed [back] and she asked me to do Bitch I’m Madonna. I saw it being so completely different from Ghosttown, something a little bit less serious, just fun and crazy.

Today in Madonna History: May 12, 1998

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On May 12 1998, Madonna’s Ray of Light video premiered on MTV.

The video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, with Madonna’s scenes being shot on March 25–26, 1998 at Raleigh Studios and Florentine Gardens nightclub in downtown Los Angeles. The images of various cities include Los Angeles, New York, London, Las Vegas and Stockholm.

The video was ranked No. 40 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Videos, listed No. 1 on Back In… 98’s Top 5 Best Videos, ranked No. 7 on Listed’s Top 40 Memorable Videos Pt. 1 & 2, on MuchMoreMusic, and ranked No. 26 on MuchMusic’s 100 Best Videos. It was ranked at number four on “The Top 100 Videos That Broke The Rules”, issued by MTV on the channel’s 25th anniversary in August 2006.

The video received a total of eight MTV Video Music Awards nominations, becoming Madonna’s second most-nominated video at the award show, after “Vogue” in 1990. It won five awards for Video of the Year, Best Female Video, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Choreography, becoming her most-winning song at the show.

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