Today in Madonna History: January 1, 2019

On January 1 2019, Madonna rang in the New Year with a surprise appearance at New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn.

A heartfelt speech about the gay rights movement was followed by a sing-along performance of Like A Prayer and a cover of Elvis Presley’s hit, Can’t Help Falling in Love, with her son David Banda providing musical accompaniment on acoustic guitar.

“I stand here proudly at the place where pride began, the legendary Stonewall Inn, on the birth of a New Year. We come together tonight to celebrate fifty years of revolution, fifty years of freedom fighting, fifty years of blood, sweat, and tears. Fifty years of sacrifice, fifty years of standing up to discrimination, hatred, and worst of all, indifference. And it started here, at Stonewall. Let us never forget the Stonewall riots and those who bravely stood up and said ‘enough!’

A half a century later, Stonewall has become a defying moment and a critical turning point in history, catapulting LGBT rights into public conversation and consciousness and awakening gay activism, giving birth to the civil rights movement of the 21st century.

Now you can’t imagine how happy I am to return home, to New York City, my beautiful city, where dreams are born and forged out of fire and brought to life, where I am proud to say that my journey as an artist began, and my commitment to equality for all people took root. As a lifelong ally, I have had the privilege of using my art as a vehicle for change, to provoke, to inspire, to wake people up and to bring the LGBTQ community with me.

There is so much destruction in the world, but you cannot stop art. And creation always wins in the end. So as we move forward, let’s not forget the work that we had to do from the ground up. We must never forget where we’ve been, the challenges and the road blocks along the way. We must never forget where we came from. This movement was born out of the need to survive discrimination and hatred. But why do people hate? Yes – fear of the unknown. But if we look and we truly take the time to get to know one another we will find that we all bleed the same color and we all need to love and be loved. When we stand here together tonight let’s remember who we are fighting for and what we are fighting for. We are fighting for ourselves, yes, we are fighting for each other, yes, but truly and most importantly, what are we fighting for? We are fighting for love! Thank you, people – we are fighting for love!

So let’s take a moment to reflect on how we can bring more love and peace into 2019. In this New Year let’s commit to disarming people with unexpected acts of kindness. Let’s become more intuitive. Share what you know with someone you don’t agree with. Think about that. Try it. Get outside of your comfort zone. Let’s try to be more forgiving. Maybe we can find an opening to let the light come in. Let’s close up the distance between one human being and another.

I walk in the shadow of giants, our freedom fighters who have gone before me. But let’s be giants ourselves! Let’s be giants and carry each other on our shoulders into the New Year and into a future of love and understanding. Are you ready?”

– Madonna

Today in Madonna History: June 3, 1989

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On June 3 1989, Madonna’s Like A Prayer earned its 11th week at #1, and its 12th week in the Top 10 of the United World Chart (tracks).

Today in Madonna History: June 1, 1990

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On June 1 1990, Madonna was controversially featured grabbing her crotch and breast on the cover of Interview magazine.

Madonna was interviewed by Glenn O’Brien at the Disney Studios, where she was rehearsing the Blond Ambition Tour. Here’s a snippet from the interview:

Glenn: Let’s talk about your show.

Madonna: Let’s not. Today was a horrible day. That was the worst rehearsal.

Glenn: Well, I liked it, but I haven’t seen it when you thought it was good. I loved the number where you’re lying on the piano singing a torch song.

Madonna: You saw only one segment of the show. I’ve created five different worlds, and the set is all based on hydraulics. One is going down and another is coming up. The world changes completely. I think of it more as a musical than as a rock concert. There is a straightforward Metropolis section, like my Express Yourself video – that set with all the gears and machinery; it’s very hard and metallic. That’s the heavy-duty dance music. Then the set changes and it’s like a church. We call it the temple ruins. It’s all these columns, trays of votive candles, a cross. I do Like a Virgin on a bed, but we changed the arrangement, so it sounds Indian. Then I’m being punished for masturbation on this bed, which is, as you know, what happens. Then we do the more serious, religious-type material – Like a Prayer, Papa Don’t Preach… Then it changes to what you saw, this Art Deco ’50s-musical set. That’s when we do three songs from Dick Tracy, and then after that we do what I call the camp section. Then it gets really serious again and we go into our Clockwork Orange cabaret set.

Today in Madonna History: May 22, 2001

On May 22 2001, VH1 published their list of 100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock ‘N Roll. Madonna appeared on the list twice:

#87 – Madonna scandalizes with her Like A Prayer video (1989)

  • #11 – Madonna bares all in her racy SEX book (1992)

Today in Madonna History: May 13, 1989

On May 13 1989, Madonna’s Like A Prayer single peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary chart in the USA. The hit single also peaked on the Hot R&B Single Sales at #18 and the Hot R&B Singles & Tracks chart at #20 during the same week.

 

Today in Madonna History: May 1, 1989

 

On May 1 1989, Like A Prayer spent its second week at #1 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart published by RPM magazine.

The Like A Prayer single would spend four consecutive weeks in the top spot, becoming Madonna’s longest-running #1 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart until 1994 when I’ll Remember spent five consecutive weeks at #1.

 

Today in Madonna History: April 15, 1989

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On April 15 1989, Madonna’s Like A Prayer became the number one dance single on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Like A Prayer remained number one for the week of April 22.

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