On May 2 2019, Hello Magazine published a glowing review of Madonna & Maluma’s live performance of Medellin at the Billboard Music Awards (which aired on May 1).
Here’s a snippet of the review:
Madonna made a comeback like no other on Wednesday night as she broke boundaries once again on stage at the Billboard Music Awards. The American pop sensation took to the stage as she performed her new single Medellin with singer Maluma. Halfway into the performance, the pair were joined by four life-like holograms of Madonna, which appeared alongside them before quickly vanishing in puffs of smoke. Each hologram was wearing one of the costumes Madonna modelled in the music video for Medellin, and appeared again later in the performance, continuing to dance alone on the stage as Madonna and Maluma made their way into the crowds. The holograms were created by world-leading volumetric and 3D capture studio Dimension.
This was Madonna’s first performance at the Billboard Music Awards in over four years, and Maluma was only too happy to be sharing the stage with her. This was the Colombian star’s first-ever performance at the prestigious awards, and told E! on the red carpet how their collaboration came about. He said: “It was crazy, I went to the VMAs. I met her [Madonna] over there, then I was touring in Europe and in London she called me and she said she had a song for me called Medellín. I’m from Medellín, Columbia and it’s crazy that she said that she wanted me to be part of the project.” Madonna was just as happy to perform with Maluma, and said after the performance: “Madame X on stage performing with her favourite Papi – thank you @maluma.”
On April 18 2019, PopSugar published a review of Madonna’s Medellín featuring Maluma (review by Victoria Messina):
Madonna and Maluma Dropped a Spanglish Collab We’ll Have on Repeat All Summer Long
World, meet Madame X, a persona created by Madonna for her upcoming 14th studio album. The alter ego made her grand debut on Wednesday when the 60-year-old pop star dropped a collaborative single titled Medellín, featuring 25-year-old Colombian singer Maluma. The summery bop, which is Madonna’s first new single since 2015, combines both English and Spanish lyrics with easy-going Reggaeton beats as the two artists reflect on their pasts and imagine a trip to the Colombian city where Maluma was born. Madonna opens the song by singing, “I took a pill and had a dream. I went back to my 17th year. Allowed myself to be naïve . . . to be someone I’ve never been. I took a sip and had a dream . . . And I woke up in Medellín.”
Madonna and Maluma may seem like a random pairing at first, but the two actually met backstage at the 2018 MTV VMAs, where they hit it off and planned to team up on music afterward. Madonna’s entire Madame X album will debut on June 14, and the Medellín music video will be released on April 24. Watch a sneak peek clip below to catch an intriguing glimpse at Madonna — er, Madame X — and Maluma cha cha-ing to the beat for the video.
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.”