Today in Madonna History: July 1, 2019

On July 1 2019, Billboard’s Joe Lynch reported on Madonna’s performance at the World Pride festivities in New York City the previous night:

Madonna opened with her Harlem ballroom scene-indebted smash Vogue and the audience response was deafening. After that, the musical shapeshifter brought out a single it’s safe to say no one expected to hear as part of a limited-length set: American Life. That being said, while it’s not one of her, say, 20 most renowned songs, the message of American Life has only grown more timely in the 16 years since its release, and its strangely compelling melange of squelching synths, strings and folk had the crowd rapt — especially when she dove head-first into the “soy latte” rap (which reals Stans in the crowd parroted back to her perfectly).

Midway through her wind-whipped set, Madge spoke to the historicity of the moment and the significance to her life. “Fifty years, people,” Madonna said. “Fifty years of freedom fighting. Fifty years of putting up with discrimination, hatred and intemperance. Fifty years of blood, sweat and tears. Fifty years of not bowing down to fear. We have been on this journey together, and I am so proud and honored to share this historical evening with you.”

Before returning to performing, she shouted-out her early NYC days. “You really don’t know. Since I came to New York as a wee little girl, I have always been embraced by queer nation. I always felt like an outsider but you made me feel like an insider. You must know how much I love and appreciate everyone here tonight.”

After that, the cops busted in — well, at least the police-themed dancers Madonna employs. They helped her create a visually powerful live performance of her Madame X highlight God Control, replete with detailed choreography and a disco groove that had the crowd gyrating and shimmying. She closed with I Rise, a powerful anthem for both gun control and LGBTQ rights, after which fireworks exploded over Pride Island as starry-eyed attendees headed home.

Source: Billboard.com

 

Today in Madonna History: June 21, 2019

On June 21 2019, Madonna’s Medellín reached #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart for the issue dated June 29.

The upbeat gem of a summer song featuring Maluma is Madonna’s 47th No. 1 hit on the Dance Club Play chart. Woo!

Here is a list of Madonna’s 47 number one Dance hits so far (June 2019):

1983 – Holiday/Lucky Star
1984 – Like A Virgin
1985 – Material Girl
1985 – Angel/Into the Groove
1987 – Open Your Heart
1987 – Causing a Commotion (Remix)
1988 – You Can Dance (LP Cuts)
1989 – Like A Prayer
1989 – Express Yourself
1990 – Keep It Together
1990 – Vogue
1991 – Justify My Love
1992 – Erotica
1993 – Deeper and Deeper
1993 – Fever
1994 – Secret
1995 – Bedtime Story
1997 – Don’t Cry for Me Argentina
1998 – Frozen
1998 – Ray of Light
1999 – Nothing Really Matters
1999 – Beautiful Stranger
2000 – American Pie
2000 – Music
2001 – Don’t Tell Me
2001 – What It Feels Like for a Girl
2001 – Impressive Instant
2002 – Die Another Day
2003 – American Life
2003 – Hollywood
2003 – Me Against the Music – Britney Spears featuring Madonna
2004 – Nothing Fails
2004 – Love Profusion
2005 – Hung Up
2006 – Sorry
2006 – Get Together
2006 – Jump
2008 – 4 Minutes
2008 – Give It 2 Me
2009 – Celebration
2012 – Give Me All Your Luvin’
2012 – Girl Gone Wild
2012 – Turn Up the Radio
2015 – Living for Love
2015 – Ghosttown
2015 – Bitch I’m Madonna
2019 – Medellín

Today in Madonna History: June 14, 2019

On June 14 2019, Madonna’s fourteenth studio album, Madame X, was released worldwide on Interscope Records.

In a 4-star (out of 5) review of the album, Slant Magazine’s Sal Cinquemani noted:

“Madonna has a reputation for being a trendsetter, but her true talent lies in bending those trends to her will, twisting them around until they’re barely recognizable, and creating something entirely new. Madame X is fearless, the sound of an artist unapologetically indulging all of her whims and quirks.”

Deluxe Album:

1. Medellín (feat. Maluma)
(Madonna, Mirwais Ahmadzai, Maluma Londono, Edgar Barrera) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
2. Dark Ballet
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
3. God Control
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna, Mirwais & Mike Dean
4. Future (feat. Quavo)
(Madonna, Thomas Pentz, Brittany Talia Hazzard, Quavious Keyate Marshall) produced by Madonna & Diplo
5. Batuka
(Madonna, Banda, Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
6. Killers Who Are Partying
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
7. Crave (feat. Swae Lee)
(Madonna, Khalif Malik Ibn Shaman Brown, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Billboard & Mike Dean
8. Crazy
(Jason Evigan, Madonna, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Mike Dean & Jason Evigan
9. Come Alive
(Jeff Bhasker, Madonna, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Jeff Bhasker & Mike Dean
10. Extreme Occident
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
11. Faz Gostoso (feat. Anitta)
(Carmo, Nuno, Oliveira, Seabra, Vieira, Rodrigues, Madonna) produced by Madonna, Billboard & Mike Dean
12. Bitch I’m Loca (feat. Maluma)
(Madonna, L D’Elia, Londono, Barrera, JAMES, Rodriguez, Stiven Rojas) produced by Madonna & Billboard
13. I Don’t Search I Find
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
14. Looking For Mercy
(Madonna & B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Jeff Bhasker & Mike Dean
15. I Rise
(Jason Evigan, Madonna, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna & Jason Evigan

Deluxe CD Edition (Bonus Disc):

1. Funana
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais
2. Back That Up to the Beat
(Madonna, Pharrell Williams, B T Hazzard) produced by Madonna, Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean & Pharrell Williams
3. Ciao Bella
(Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai) produced by Madonna & Mirwais

Today in Madonna History: June 10, 2019

On Monday June 10 2019, the official Madonna store added the following new Madonnabilia items for sale (available for FIVE days only – so get in there!) in in support/celebration of World Pride 2019:

  • Limited edition lithograph (hand-numbered poster)
  • Limited edition t-shirt
  • Limited edition Pride flag (bundled with the limited edition rainbow Madame X picture disc vinyl)

Here is the message from the official store:

Celebrate your PRIDE and help Madonna support a great cause with the Limited Edition Madame X Crave x World Pride Tee & Digital Download

In Honor of Pride, all of Madonna’s proceeds will go to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.

For more information about their life-affirming work, please visit www.thetrevorproject.org.

If you’re thinking about suicide, The Trevor Project is free, confidential and here for you 24/7 – call them at 1-866-488-7386 or text 678-678.

Today in Madonna History: June 7, 2019

On June 7 2019,  Gay Times published a review of Madonna’s Dark Ballet music video:

Madonna has released her powerful music video for new single Dark Ballet.

The song, which the Queen of Pop first teased during her Met Gala performance in 2018, is the final track to be released ahead of her highly-anticipated 14th studio album Madame X, which is due out on Friday 14 June.

“They are so naive, they think we are not aware of their crimes. We know, but we are just not ready to act. The storm isn’t in the air, it’s inside of us,” she declares on the experimental track, which also samples the Nutcracker in its autotune-laden bridge.

Queer rapper Mykki Blanco stars in the Emmanuel Adjei-directed video as Joan of Arc, who was famously burned at the stake following numerous charges including cross-dressing – a scene which is powerfully recreated in the clip.

“They judged her. They said she was a man, they said she was a lesbian, they said she was a witch, and, in the end, they burned her at the stake, and she feared nothing. I admire that,” Madonna says of Joan, the inspiration for the video.

The video also begins with a quote from Joan, and ends with a quote from Mykki, which reads: “I have walked this earth, black, queer and HIV positive, but no transgression against me has been as powerful as the hope I hold within.”

After months of speculation, Madonna has been confirmed as the headliner of WorldPride 2019 in New York City.

On 30 June, the Queen of Pop will perform at the Hudson River Park Pier 97 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, alongside several other legendary acts such as Cyndi Lauper, Ciara and Grace Jones.

Today in Madonna History: May 4, 2019

On May 4 2019, a Live Nation web page promoting Madonna’s forthcoming Madame X Tour appeared online.

Additional details to be revealed on Monday May 6 at 9am Eastern Daylight Time.

Jay’s Note: Woo! And get your credit cards ready!

Today in Madonna History: May 3, 2019

On May 3 2019, British Vogue revealed that Madonna would be gracing their June cover, with photos by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott.

Vogue also published a fantastic article about Madonna’s fight against ageism:

Is The Fight Against Ageism Madonna’s Biggest Revolution Ever?

With her new album Madame X, out June 14th, Madonna stages another reinvention in her revolutionary career. But in a new era of self-expression, individual freedom and all-encompassing diversity, it’s perplexing that her age remains her biggest barrier, argues Anders Christian Madsen.

The morning after Madonna’s red-blooded performance at the Billboard Awards on Wednesday evening, entertainment websites quoted the court of Twitter. It was the same old story: granny emojis, ageist slurs and chauvinist memes. At the release of Madame X, her fourteenth studio album, 60-year-old rebel Madonna is still facing the toughest of all her revolutions: making the world accept that women at sixty can create, perform and make an impact with the same freedom of expression as a thirty-year-old. Regardless of her artistic merit, age and ageism have formed the background noise to every album Madonna has released since she turned fifty; perhaps even forty. What seems to be society’s issue with her is that she refuses to abide by the unwritten rules of age pertaining to everything from behaviour to dress codes and humour. The implication is that Madonna is in denial of her age; that she wants to trick us into thinking she’s young. The nerve!

Yet, on the contrary, Madonna’s music and performances in recent years have owned and celebrated her age and legacy, from the way she proudly references every reinvention of her career on her every tour, to her nostalgically reflective lyrics and samples of her own evergreens on her last album Rebel Heart, and her new single Medellín, which opens with verses that entirely embrace where she’s at in life: “I took a pill and had a dream, I went back to my seventeenth year. Allowed myself to be naïve, to be someone I’ve never been.” At sixty, Madonna is anything but old news. Medellín, a duet with Maluma, is the most experimental work she’s written since Ray of Light: a multi-layered, mostly Spanish-language song that breaks all the conventions of pop music, yet echoes in your ear like the catchiest of Generation Z radio hits. So why is BBC’s Radio 1 – home to all the pop stars for whom Madonna paved the way – not adding Medellín to its playlist?

Their actions echo the statement made by the station’s head of music, George Ergatoudis, when Madonna released Rebel Heart in 2015: “The BBC Trust have asked us to go after a young audience. We’ve got to concentrate on [people aged] fifteen to thirty. We have to bring our average age down. That’s something we’re very conscious of. The vast majority of people who like Madonna, who like her music now, are over thirty and frankly, we’ve moved on from Madonna.” It was a sad message to stand by in a time when all the things Madonna has spent her life fighting for finally seem to be materialising in our shared mentality. Madame X is the first album Madonna has released since Time’s Up changed the world in 2017. Those waves made a lot of the causes she has worked for throughout her career come true. But they also brought with them a heightened sense of the witch-hunts Madonna has been subjected to since she hit the scene in the 1980s.

Her fearless tackling of sex as a topic in the public forum, refusal of sexual and gender-specific categorisation, and inexhaustible fight against racism, sexism, homophobia, religious suppression and ageism in the post-modern world should have made her the most celebrated pop star alive. And yet, by denying Madonna the same platform to promote her music as Rihanna, Beyoncé and Ariana Grande, we seem to forget the invaluable part she has played in creating the culture of individuality and diversity so attributed to the new generations. The destruction of icons has never been more practised than in this moment in time. There’s no knowing when the next accusations will hit the people you admire most, dead or alive, and tarnish their legacies with the indefinite effect that deems public defence temporarily unadvisable.

It’s why the opening scene in Madonna’s video for Medellín is so pertinent. “How could I trust anyone after years of disappointment and betrayal? How could I not want to run away?” she asks, confiding in her god the way she’s done it publicly so many times in her career. “I will never be what society expects me to be. I have been kidnapped, tortured, humiliated and abused. In the end I still have hope. I still believe in the goodness of humans.” Cynics will say her words are self-pitying and conceited, but for those of us to whom Madonna has served as an inspiration, an educator and a revolutionary for three or four decades, her prayer is as haunting as it is relevant. After all, it’s hard to think of a living person with a continuous platform as big as hers, who has persistently used it to inspire and improve the world around her. The provocative nature of Madonna’s behaviour is a very small part of her total sum as a freedom fighter.

But perhaps she’s met her match in what we all fear more than the battles she won in the past, which revolved around sexual and cultural differences and views different to our own. Age is the threat that hits us all, a fact that explains the existence of ageism. It’s why it’s such a towering barrier to climb, even for Madonna and her age-defying racehorse physique. But shouldn’t the #MeToo era, with all its morals and ethics, inevitably result in a better climate for a woman like Madonna? At the end of the day, she’s putting her 60-year-old, scanty-clad ass on the line for future generations to experience less societal limits than she did once she passed the 40-year mark. Rather than pointing out her age, every person on social media – young or old – should be celebrating it, thanking Madonna for continuously going where no one else dares to go. Because while all of Madonna’s revolutions have gained her attention, it’s nothing compared to what she’s done for the rest of us.

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