Today in Madonna History: January 29, 2015

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On January 29 2015, Rob Sheffield reviewed Madonna’s Unapologetic Bitch for Rolling Stone magazine’s singles review section (even though it was never released as a single):

Bitch, she’s Madonna. The queen of queens has given a taste of her upcoming album, Rebel Heart, with a few songs dropped in advance after an early leak of unfinished versions. And the girl’s in a feisty mood these days – Madonna writing herself a theme song called “Unapologetic Bitch” is like Springsteen doing one called “Jersey Guy Who Sweats a Lot.” These new songs range from the Nicki Minaj collabo “Bitch I’m Madonna” to the gospel-house pieties of “Living for Love” to the Yeezus-style industrial Kanye grind “Illuminati.” But “Unapologetic Bitch” is the standout: a breakup rant over a Diplo-produced dancehall groove, with Madonna shooting a few poison arrows into the heart of some dude who’s done her wrong.

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Today in Madonna History: January 23, 2016

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On January 23 2016, Madonna’s daughter Mercy James was the ceremonial Unapologetic Bitch during the first of two sold-out Rebel Heart Tour shows in Miami.  Ariana Grande was the Unapologetic Bitch at the second Miami show.

Madonna stopped the show to present Mercy with a birthday cupcake.  The crowd of 13,234 joined Madonna in singing Mercy “Happy Birthday”.

 

Today in Madonna History: October 28, 2015

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On October 28 2015, Katy Perry was the Unapologetic Bitch during the Los Angeles Rebel Heart Tour stop. Instead of giving Perry a standard banana, Madonna treated her to a banana flask filled with an alcoholic drink.

Later on Instagram, Madonna declared Katy to be the “Best Unapologetic bitch ever!”

Katy shared her videos of the experience on Instagram saying, “Well, that was unrehearsed but I Love You Madonna my QUEEN.”

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Today in Madonna History: October 6, 2015

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On October 6 2015, Madonna had an amazing time on stage with Daniel, her honorary Unapologetic Bitch, during the Rebel Heart Tour stop in Toronto, Canada.

I couldn’t help but share some adorable screen caps of Daniel on stage with Madonna — Enjoy! – Jay

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Today in Madonna History: September 16, 2015

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On September 16 2015, Amy Schumer was the Unapologetic Bitch during Madonna’s Rebel Heart concert at Madison Square Gardens in New York.

Amy was also the Special Guest opening act, performing her comedy in front of a sold-out crowd of just over 14,000 Madonna fans.  Amy was the opening act for both Madison Square Gardens shows (September 16 and 17) and on September 19 at the Barclays Center.

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Today in Madonna History: March 27, 2015

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On March 27 2015, Madonna graced the cover of New York gay magazine Next.  The magazine included a four-page spread with an interview to the Queen of Queens by John Russell.

Here’s a snippet of the interview between Russell and Madonna:

I counted at least 13 different producers in the album’s liner notes, but it was never Madonna’s intention to work with so many different people on the album. The same health concerns that forced Avicii to cancel his tour in September also threw a wrench into his work on Rebel Heart. Madonna was forced to find other producers to work with on many of the songs they’d started writing together. Meanwhile, Diplo’s touring schedule and other projects meant that his time was limited as well.

“I ended up working with a lot of DJs—young DJs—and I naively didn’t think it through. Oh, it’s summertime, it’s the festivals, and they’re on tour, and I’ll be lucky if I get them for three days, so a lot of that had to factor in. OK, I can’t wait for three months for this dude to come back. I have to find somebody else.”

Of course, art never gets made in a vacuum, something Madonna knows and accepts. “I had to bend my knees and ride the waves.”

The result is an album that, at first, seems all over the map. But it’s tough to judge an album by an artist like Madonna after just one listen. Even if you’re only familiar with her hits, those past gems loom large in comparison to the new material. You’re listening for her next step and at the same time hoping she’ll retain whatever lighting in a bottle quality her early hits had. On first listen, Rebel Heart has its moments, sure. But it’s not until a week after hearing the full album, when I find myself humming Unapologetic Bitch and Ghosttown on the subway, that it really feels like the album clicks into place. Will anyone but diehard Madonna fans—and that’s not an insignificant demographic within her fanbase—listen to the whole album, start to finish, more than once or twice? Probably not. But I’m not sure that matters. Every pop album has to include some forgettable filler tracks—although with the way we consume music these days a la carte, who knows how much longer that model will last. But even at a whopping 19 tracks—23, plus two Living for Love remixes on the Super Deluxe edition—there’s not much fat to trim on Rebel Heart. As a whole, it’s probably Madonna’s most listenable since Confessions on a Dance Floor.

“I didn’t set out to write certain kinds of songs. I just set out to write good songs,” she says. There are dark turns on the album, also a bit of soul searching. And the ballads are particularly strong. Apparently, Madonna set out to write songs that, stripped of all their production, could also work on an acoustic level.

“When we run out of oil and we don’t have electricity, I can just light a candle and strum my guitar and sing you a song.”

Today in Madonna History: December 21, 2014

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On December 21 2014, Madonna’s Rebel Heart debuted at #1 in 36 countries around the world with the release of six songs from her forthcoming album.  In virtually every country the songs were released, they held six of the ten slots on the Top 10 iTunes chart. In seven of those countries, she had multiple No. 1’s. The single Living For Love debuted at  No. 1 in 20 countries. The six songs – Living For Love, Devil Pray, Ghosttown, Unapologetic Bitch, Illuminati and Bitch I’m Madonna (featuring Nicki Minaj) were made available for download only when fans pre-ordered the album.

Madonna made this statement regarding the early release of some tracks from the album:

“I was hoping to release my new single ‘Living For Love’ on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the album coming in the Spring. I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift.”

The news of the surprise drop came when Madonna posted a link late on December 19 on Instagram announcing the release of the six songs as, “an early Christmas gift” to those that preordered the album. Fans immediately went to iTunes and drove the songs to #1 around the globe. Instantaneously Rebel Heart exploded on social media with the album topping the Billboard Trending 140 Chart. On Facebook #Madonna was the #1 trending topic.

Rebel Heart will be released on March 10 2015 on Interscope Records. Producers include Madonna, Diplo (Living For Love, Bitch I’m Madonna, Unapologetic Bitch), Kanye West (Illuminati), Billboard (Ghosttown), DJ Dahi and Blood Diamonds (Devil Pray). The album was recorded in London, Los Angeles and New York.

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