Today in Madonna History: March 18, 2015

On March 18 2015, Madonna performed Joan Of Arc for the first time during her week as featured artist on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The performance, which featured a slower acoustic arrangement of the fan favorite from her album Rebel Heart (including Ellen’s own favorite), earned praise from critics:

Digital Journal reviewer Markos Papadatos wrote that it was “an outstanding vocal performance,” where Madonna “showcased tremendous control over her voice, and allows the lyrics to speak for themselves. Her delivery is emotional, vulnerable yet delicate.” Writing for The Inquisitr, Daryl Deino praised her vocal performance, saying that she “showed the world once again just what her voice is made of” and calling the version “beautiful.” Furthermore, Bradley Stern of MuuMuse also applauded the performance, calling it “really great…super vulnerable, super emotional…and that chilly guitar finish was a wonderful surprise.”

Today in Madonna History: February 8, 2015

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On February 8 2015, Madonna performed Living For Love at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. The ceremony was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Hitfix.com considered Madonna’s performance to be one of the best at the 2015 Grammys:

Madonna recruited the muscle-bound minotaurs from her Living for Love video for her Grammy performance of the new single, and she proved she was still a charismatic gale-force as a performer. Twenty years after she played the jilted wife of a matador in her Take a Bow video, Madonna’s now the show-running matador waving a cape at horned gents.

Today in Madonna History: February 7, 2007

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On February 7 2007, Madonna’s live CD/DVD set The Confessions Tour bowed in the Billboard 200 album chart at #15 in the U.S. with sales of 40,000 copies. Its first week sales were nearly double the opening numbers of her previous live release, 2006’s I’m Going To Tell You A Secret, which had peaked at #33. It was Madonna’s 18th Top 20 album in the U.S.

Meanwhile, on the Canadian album charts The Confessions Tour entered at #2, also besting Secret which had peaked at #4.

Today in Madonna History: February 3, 2015

On February 3 2015, Billboard announced The 50 Greatest Grammy Moments. Madonna’s 2006 performance of Hung Up made the list at #13:

Holograms Get Down (2006) – Gorillaz are joined onstage first by De La Soul and then by Madonna, as the holograms segue into her song Hung Up.

Today in Madonna History: January 27, 2015

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On January 27 2015, Madonna graced the cover of MOJO magazine.

This is how the magazine feature was promoted:

MADONNA WORLD EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! As her new album, Rebel Heart, hits the shops, the iron-willed but glass-hearted electro-dance divinity opens up to MOJO’s Tom Doyle about a roiling creative life that has kept her at the cutting-edge of music for more than 30 years.

To celebrate Madonna’s first time on the cover of MOJO magazine, two editions were released: the news-stand version and a Special Subscribers’ version with exclusive artwork.

Today in Madonna History: January 16, 1993

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On January 16 1993, Madonna was musical guest on NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live, performing Fever and Bad Girl. She also appeared in the show’s opening skit – a humorous homage to Marilyn Monroe – alongside the late comedians Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks.

Perhaps a little too into character or, more likely, a little too nervous – she managed to flub the show’s signature intro tag line during the live broadcast, with the mistake being subsequently edited out of all repeated airings of the episode.

Fortunately any nervous energy quickly dissipated once Madonna took to the musical stage, where she delivered a stunningly confident and nuanced vocal performance backed by an equally impressive new band (which included several members that would be recruited for her Girlie Show tour later in the year). It was Madonna’s only live performance of Bad Girl to date, and despite many appearances on SNL, her only inclusion as featured musical guest.

The episode was hosted by Harvey Keitel, who was only weeks away from working with Madonna again in the film Dangerous Game (then known as Snake Eyes) which began shooting in February.

Would you like to see Madonna return to SNL as musical guest?

Today in Madonna History: January 11, 2007

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On January 11 2007, Warner Bros. Records announced the release of The Confessions Tour live CD+DVD on January 30, 2007 in North America with the following press statement:

Madonna’s record-breaking Confessions Tour filmed at London’s Wembley Arena during her worldwide sold-out 25-City run in 2006 is scheduled to be released as a DVD/CD on sale January 30th, it was announced today by Warner Bros. Records. The highest-grossing tour ever by a female artist, ‘The Confessions Tour – Live from London’ DVD, first broadcast on NBC last November, includes songs that span the course of Madonna’s extraordinary career. ‘Like A Virgin,’ ‘Hung Up,’ ‘Erotica’ and ‘Music’ are just a few of the hits that can be seen on the DVD and heard on the bonus CD included in the package as well as several songs from her ‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’ CD which debuted at No. 1 in 29 countries. In addition, ‘The Confessions Tour’ DVD includes bonus footage, which did not appear on the broadcast, including Madonna’s early classic hit ‘Lucky Star’ as well as the full unedited version of the controversial performance of ‘Live To Tell.’ The ‘Confessions’ DVD will have never before seen rehearsal footage and a unique photo gallery. The DVD was directed by Jonas Åkerlund. The show was directed for the stage by Jamie King. Musical Director was Stuart Price. ‘The pop spectacle of the year – a politically charged combination of Cirque du Soleil, performance-art commentary and dance party explosion that more or less sums up everything she has been striving to say and show this decade….it’s quite possibly the best production she’s ever concocted,’ raved the Orange County Register in their review of Madonna’s show. Madonna is scheduled to appear on tomorrow’s (January 11th) airing of ‘The Late Show with David Letterman,’ make a live appearance on the ‘Today’ Show and ‘Live with Regis and Kelly’ – to promote the film, ‘Arthur and The Invisibles’ – and will also host a screening of the film in Tribecca. ‘I want to turn the world into one big dance floor,’ claimed the Material Girl when The Confessions Tour began. Now, the singer, songwriter, video visionary, designer, producer, children’s book author and artist, who has enthralled millions of fans all over the world and has sold 200 million plus CDs, is extending that commitment to the living rooms of the world.

The CD+DVD edition was packaged as a double-disc digipak. The show was also issued as a stand-alone DVD packaged in a keep case without the accompanying live CD in many countries outside North America.

The concert film was the first release associated with Madonna’s production company, Semtex Films. It went on to win a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video in 2008.

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