On September 27 2002, the theme and title-track for the twentieth film in the James Bond franchise, Die Another Day, received its world premiere on New York radio station Z100. The song had been due to hit the airwaves on October 10th, but when Z100 got their hands on the track ahead of schedule they immediately added it to their heavy rotation playlist. Other stations quickly followed suit, prompting an early but very strong debut at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and becoming the chart’s highest first-week entry of the year.
Die Another Day was written and produced by Madonna and Mirwais with string arrangement by the late, great Michel Colombier. After being introduced to Madonna through Mirwais, Colombier arranged strings for Madonna’s 2000 hit Don’t Tell Me, scored her film Swept Away and arranged the American Life tracks Nothing Fails and Easy Ride. Colombier sadly lost a brief battle with cancer in 2004, leaving behind a legacy of celebrated collaborations with the likes of Serge Gainsbourg, Prince and Joni Mitchell, to name only a few.
Madonna’s Bond theme was first performed during 2004’s Re-Invention Tour, where it became a visual showstopper with its ambitious and impressively executed tango-influenced choreography.
On September 11 1987, Madonna won Best Female Video for Papa Don’t Preach at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.
Having just completed her Who’s That Girl World Tour in Europe, Madonna did not attend the ceremony in person. Instead, a performance of Causing A Commotion recorded the week before in Turin, Italy was featured during the broadcast.
On September 4 1987, Madonna performed the second-to-last show of her Who’s That Girl World Tour at the Stadio Comunale in Turin, Italy. Broadcast live in Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Spain, the television special also aired at a later date in Australia and The Netherlands. The commercially released Ciao Italia! combined the Turin & Tokyo broadcasts with additional footage from the tour’s final concert in Florence, Italy.
On August 26 2001, Madonna Live! Drowned World Tour 2001 was broadcast live on HBO and The Movie Network in Canada from The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI. It was seen by 5.7 million viewers – the network’s third highest rated prime-time concert special since 1997.
The broadcast marked the second time Madonna had selected her hometown as a location to record one of her shows, the first being The Virgin Tour home video/laserdisc release, filmed in 1985 at Cobo Arena in Detroit.
With the Drowned World Tour itinerary not including any dates in Canada, many Canadian fans who purchased tickets for one of the two shows in Detroit were pleasantly surprised when it was announced that the second show would be broadcast live in both countries. Madonna’s previous HBO specials for the Blond Ambition and Girlie Show tours did not receive a live broadcast in Canada, although the latter did air on MuchMusic at a later date.
On August 18 1987, Madonna performed the first of three sold-out Who’s That Girl Tour concerts at Wembley Stadium in London.
In total, Madonna performed for 216,000 fans during the three nights at Wembley.
On August 10 1985, Into The Groove spent the first of four weeks in the number-one position on the UK Singles Chart. It was Madonna’s first chart-topping single in the UK, where she has collected a total of thirteen number-one hits to date.
As an added validation, Into the Groove was Madonna’s first attempt at co-producing a song. While artists co-producing their own work is common today, it was relatively unusual at the time, particularly for female artists. The immense success of the single undoubtedly helped convince the powers at Sire/Warner to grant Madonna the artistic freedom to co-produce her next album, True Blue, together with her collaborators Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard.