Today in Madonna History: December 9, 2016

On December 9 2016, Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour premiered on SHOWTIME, on-air, on-demand and over the internet.

Here’s a snippet from the press release for the broadcast:

MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR was shot around the world and features a collection of live and behind these scenes footage culminating in performances at the Sydney Olympic Park in March of this year. The film is co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, both of whom have worked extensively with Madonna on her feature films and tour movies. Madonna will be honored later this year as Billboard magazine’s 2016 Woman of the Year award, at a star-studded event held in conjunction with the publication of Billboard’s Women in Music list, which identifies the 50 most powerful female executives in the industry each year.

“When it comes to putting on a show, there is only one Madonna – an iconic performer that we’re thrilled to have on our air,” said David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. “With her unique creative vision and unmatched stage presence, our viewers will see an arena show packed with visual theatrics, stunning costumes and intricate choreography, featuring new hits and beloved classic songs.”

The set list for MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR spans all decades of the iconic superstar’s illustrious career, including songs from Rebel Heart (the No. 1 dance hits “Living for Love” and “Bitch I’m Madonna“) to classic fan favorites like “Material Girl” and “Holiday” and a “Dress You Up” medley that included “Into The Groove,” “Everybody” and “Lucky Star.” Memorable highlights from the tour include her first-ever live concert performance of “Take a Bow,” acoustic versions of “Like A Prayer,” “Secret” and “Don’t Tell Me.”  At each tour date during the song “Unapologetic Bitch,” Madonna would bring someone up from the crowd to dance with her during the song. Some nights it was a fan, another night it was Katy Perry. Other guest dancers included: Amy Schumer, Ariana Grande, Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Diplo, Gwendoline Christie, Graham Norton and Anderson Cooper.

Produced by Live Nation Global Touring, the Rebel Heart Tour kicked off on September 9, 2015 in Montreal and visited arenas in 55 cities on four continents over seven months. Madonna performed 82 shows, plus a special fan club show in Melbourne. The tour grossed $169.8 Million with 1,045,479 in attendance, making her the top grossing touring female artist in the history of Billboard Boxscore with over $1.31 billion in ticket sales sold over the course of her career. Madonna is also the fourth top grossing touring act (behind The Rolling Stones, U2 and Bruce Springsteen) since tracking began in 1990.

The Rebel Heart Tour was directed by Jamie King with musical direction by Kevin Antunes (the band’s keyboardist Ric’key Pageot, drummer Brian Frasier-Moore, guitarist Monte Pittman, and background vocalists Kiley Dean and Nicki Richards), lead choreography by Megan Lawson, hair by Andy LeCompte, makeup by Aaron Henrikson, and costume design by Arianne Phillips.

Today in Madonna History: September 15, 2017

On September 15 2017, Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour was released on DVD, blu-ray and double-CD.

Here is the official press release:

Madonna today released her long-awaited REBEL HEART TOUR concert film on a variety of formats. REBEL HEART TOUR was recorded around the world and features both live and behind the scenes material, as well as previously unreleased footage culminating with performances at the Sydney Qudos Bank Arena (formerly known as the Allphones Arena) in Australia in March of 2016.

REBEL HEART TOUR is nearly two hours long and features Madonna’s most recent hits from the Rebel Heart album, and some of the biggest classics of her career including stunning reinterpretations of old favourites, which were unique to the tour. Bonus features on the DVD, blu-ray and iTunes version are Like A Prayer and ‘An Excerpt From Tears Of A Clown’ – incredibly rare footage of Madonna’s one-off Melbourne theatre show, which was completely different to the Rebel Heart shows in both scale, content and production. Featuring music, art and mischief, the exclusive fan club show was a celebration of Madonna’s return to Australia after 23 years.

Eagle Vision are releasing the film on DVD and blu-ray (both with an exclusive 14-track highlights CD) and digital download. Also released is a 22-track double CD, which is also available on all digital music services. In addition to the physicaland digital formats, madonna.com have exclusive fan merchandise bundles.

MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR was co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, both of whom have worked extensively with Madonna on her feature films and tour movies.

The tracklist for MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR film and live concert album span all decades of the iconic superstar’s illustrious career, including songs from her chart-topping Rebel Heart album to classic fan favorites.

Produced by Live Nation Global Touring, the Rebel Heart Tour kicked off on September 9, 2015 in Montreal and visited arenas in 55 cities on four continents over seven months. Madonna performed 82 shows, plus the special Tears Of A Clown fan club show in Melbourne.

Today in Madonna History: March 26, 2009

On March 26 2009, Madonna’s I Am Because We Are documentary premiered online via YouTube and Hulu. The documentary was directed by Nathan Rissman and narrated by Madonna.

According to the press release:

I Am Because We Are depicts a journey in the second poorest country in the world, Malawi. In a country of 12 million people, so many children without parents has caused irreparable damage. The film attempts to explore what is going on in the heads and hearts of these orphans, and what the future holds for them. Suffering from AIDS, infections and malnutrition, most of the children in Malawi are in need for food, medical care, but also for proper education and guidance. More than just a story about Malawi, I Am Because We Are provides the audience with keys to help changing the situation but also spreads hope for a better world.

Today in Madonna History: September 22, 2009

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On September 22 2009, Madonna and Nathan Rissman’s I Am Because We Are documentary was released on DVD.

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Today in Madonna History: August 2, 2008

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On August 2 2008, Madonna and Nathan Rissman introduced their film, I Am Because We Are at the Traverse City Film Festival in Traverse City, Michigan.

The film was directed by Nathan Rissman, produced by Madonna and Angela Becker, written by Madonna, narrated by Madonna with music by Patrick Leonard.

The 86-minute film focuses on the effects of AIDS on orphaned children living in Malawi.

The event was co-founded by filmmaker, author and fellow Michigan native Michael Moore.  Moore told the audience that he was humbled to be able to call Madonna a friend:

“She has such an incredible heart and such a generous spirit, she does so much out of the glare of the lights to make the world a better place.”

Madonna was happy to present her film in her home state:

“It’s great bringing my movie to a place that I feel familiar.  Not like the Cannes Film Festival, where nobody’s speaking English, or the Tribeca Film Festival, where no one sits down.  There’s something poetic about coming back to the place where I used to come for holidays – camping trips with my dad and stepmother and my very large family.”

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