Today in Madonna History: May 29, 1998

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On May 29 1998, Madonna visited The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote her album, Ray Of Light.

Madonna sat down for a lengthy interview and performed two songs from her new album, the title track, Ray Of Light, and Little Star – both for the first time on television.

The episode marked Madonna’s second visit to Oprah, following a 1996 appearance to promote her film, Evita.

Today in Madonna History: May 24, 2004

On May 24 2004, Madonna launched her sixth concert tour – the Re-Invention World Tour – with the first of three sold-out concerts at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Madonna was scheduled to perform at The Forum on May 24th, 25th and 27th, however the May 25th show was rescheduled to May 26th due to illness. A brief statement posted on Madonna’s website on May 25th read:

“Madonna has the stomach flu and was ordered by her doctor to rest this evening. She will be back at 100% [on May 26th] and can’t wait to entertain her fans.”

All subsequent dates on the Re-Invention World Tour proceeded as scheduled.

Today in Madonna History: May 20, 1996

On May 20 1996, Madonna’s Take A Bow was honored as one of the Most Performed Songs of 1995 at the 13th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Ironically, Madonna herself has rarely performed the song live. It had only a single live vocal performance at the American Music Awards in 1995, a handful of mimed television performances during the same period, and was not performed on tour until being added on select dates towards the end of the Rebel Heart Tour.

Today in Madonna History: May 17, 1991

On May 17 1991, Madonna: Truth Or Dare was released in 538 U.S. movie theatres.

Madonna: Truth or Dare chronicled the life of Madonna during her 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour.  The film was well received by critics and was successful at the box office, at that point becoming the highest-grossing documentary of all time with a worldwide gross of $29,012,935.

Outside of North America, where the game that inspired the documentary’s title was not well known at the time, the film was marketed under the title In Bed with Madonna – despite protests from Madonna herself who found the alternate title unoriginal.

A Blu-Ray edition of the documentary was recently announced for the UK market and interestingly it uses the film’s original, Madonna-approved title, Madonna: Truth or DareIf the release pans out as announced, it will be the first domestic UK release of the film to use this title.

Today in Madonna History: May 7, 2003

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On May 7 2003, Madonna performed a small club show at La Cantine Du Faubourg in Paris, France as part of her American Life promo tour. The seven-song set list was broadcast live on French radio station NRJ, the show’s sponsor. The audience consisted mainly of contest winners selected by NRJ, along with VIP guests which included Madonna collaborators Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Jean Paul Gauthier.

Set list:

  • American Life
  • Hollywood
  • Nothing Fails
  • X-Static Process
  • Mother and Father
  • Like A Virgin
  • Don’t Tell Me

Today in Madonna History: April 26, 1994

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On April 26 1994, The Girlie Show – Live Down Under was released by Warner-Reprise Video on VHS and laserdisc.

The concert – recorded on November 19, 1993 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia – was a re-edited version of the concert special that had aired live on HBO. It was directed by Mark “Aldo” Miceli, who directed the live screens on Madonna’s 1990 and 1993 tours, as well as the Blond Ambition Japan Tour 90 VHS/laserdisc release. The Girlie Show – Live Down Under was nominated for a Grammy in 1995 for Best Long Form Music Video and was also one of the first concerts to be commercially issued on DVD in 1998.

Today in Madonna History: March 28, 1987

On March 28 1987, the final single from Madonna’s True Blue album, La Isla Bonita, was briefly reviewed in Billboard magazine.

The now-classic song was Madonna’s first sonic exploration into her love of Latin music and culture which would become a recurring inspiration in her body of work.

While Madonna has said that La Isla Bonita took inspiration from “the beauty and mystery of Latin American people,” she has remained more elusive about the song’s geographical references. Years later, she teasingly commented in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine:

“I don’t know where San Pedro is. At that point, I wasn’t a person who went on holidays to beautiful islands. I may have been on the way to the studio and seen an exit ramp for San Pedro.”

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