Today in Madonna History: September 6, 1989

vmas 1989 3 550vmas 1989 4 550

On September 6 1989, Madonna performed Express Yourself  at the 6th annual MTV Video Music Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA. The Express Yourself music video picked up awards for Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, while Like A Prayer won the Viewer’s Choice Award.

Serving as a sneak preview for 1990’s Blond Ambition Tour, the performance marked the first of many to feature the vocal trio of Madonna, Donna De Lory and Niki Haris. De Lory and Haris had previously toured with Madonna during the 1987 Who’s That Girl Tour, but had been joined by a third background vocalist, Debra Parsons. The pair would be more heavily featured as vocalist/dancers from this point forward, rather than simply band members who rarely left the confines of their microphone stand.

It was during rehearsals for the 1989 VMA performance that Niki Haris brought voguing to Madonna’s attention, and stylized poses were then fittingly incorporated into the performance’s choreography. While the performance is relatively simple compared to her numerous VMA performances in the years that followed, this puts the focus on the trio’s excellent live vocals and kick-ass choreography (keeping in mind that vocally, Express Yourself is quite a workout even without the dancing!). I consider this a great example of how sometimes less is more, and I would definitely consider this among her best awards show performances.

Today in Madonna History: August 11, 1989

On August 11 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself single was certified Gold by the R.I.A.A. for shipment of over 500,000 units in the U.S.

Today in Madonna History: June 2, 2005

live8_5 550 live8_backstage50 live8_backstage3 550 live8_4 550 live8_2 550 live8_1 550

On June 2 2005, Madonna.com confirmed Madonna’s participation of Live 8:

“Sir Bob Geldof confirmed in a press conference yesterday the details and confirmed the artists featuring in Live 8 – a series of five live shows in London, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome and Berlin on Saturday July 2nd. The concerts have been organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure as part of a campaign to force the world’s richest nations to relieve poverty in the third world. The concerts – which will be free – are aimed at raising awareness of poverty just before leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations meet in Scotland…”

Madonna went on to perform a three-song set from London’s Hyde Park consisting of Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light & Music.

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: March 1, 1998

March-1-Frozen_Australia_Picture_CD

On March 1 1998, the lead single from Madonna’s Ray of Light album, Frozen, debuted on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Singles Chart at its peak of number five.  The next week Frozen fell to number nine, but it returned to its peak of number five on March 15 1998 where it held steady for another three weeks.

Australia released Frozen with a unique picture CD (5-track).

Today in Madonna History: February 8, 2015

living-for-love-grammys-2015-0The 57th Annual Grammy Awards - Show living-for-love-grammys-2015-3 living-for-love-grammys-2015-5 living-for-love-grammys-2015-6 living-for-love-grammys-2015-7 living-for-love-grammys-2015-8 living-for-love-grammys-2015-9

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 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.

%d bloggers like this: