Today in Madonna History: October 17, 1987

On October 17 1987, Billboard magazine featured a two-page spread taken out by Madonna’s manager, Freddy DeMann, thanking everyone involved with Madonna’s massively successful Who’s That Girl World Tour, which had wrapped up in Europe the month before.

In the same issue of Billboard, Chart Beat columnist Paul Grein marked Madonna’s 13th consecutive top-5 hit as Causing A Commotion moved into the #5 position on the Hot 100. Speculating on how long Madonna’s winning streak could last, he warned of the dangers of over-exposure and artistic complacency. Without the benefit of hindsight, the back-handed compliment and slightly patronizing advice is not altogether unreasonable, and is certainly not unusual for the time.

Less reasonable, however, is his summation that the severity of Madonna’s potential fall from grace would be compounded by the abundance of female singers of the era who “sound like Madonna”.

Because you know, all female singers are only that – female singers. Even though you’re co-writing and co-producing your own songs and radio can’t get enough, neither can your audience or even your peers, you’re breaking records set by top male and female artists alike, you’re selling out stadiums around the world and earning high praise as a live performer – don’t think any of these things should afford you any respect. You may not have entered the business through the back door and you may have paid your dues and then some, but you’ve still just been lucky, that’s all. You couldn’t possibly possess the talent or the drive to evolve or the insight to be able to stay in the game once your luck runs out. Even though you are the one that everyone is copying – you’re still just another female singer, and they’re a dime a dozen.

While we no longer need hindsight to spot the glaring absurdity and blatant sexism of such an argument today, would it be as obvious if Madonna hadn’t stuck around to dispel it?

Today in Madonna History: September 4, 1987

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On September 4 1987, Madonna performed the second-to-last show of her Who’s That Girl World Tour at the Stadio Comunale in Turin, Italy. Broadcast live in Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Spain, the television special also aired at a later date in Australia and The Netherlands. The commercially released Ciao Italia! combined the Turin & Tokyo broadcasts with additional footage from the tour’s final concert in Florence, Italy.

Today in Madonna History: July 18, 1987

On July 18 1987, Madonna appeared on the cover of Scotland’s No. 1 magazine, with the headline: Madonna Mania! A Mega Who’s Who Of That Girl.

Today in Madonna History: July 13, 1987

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On July 13 1987, Madonna performed an AIDS benefit concert in memory of her friend Martin Burgoyne at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The concert raised $400,00 for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR).

The show was part of Madonna’s Who’s That Girl World Tour and she performed in front 14,000 fans.

Today in Madonna History: July 9, 1987

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On July 9 1987, Madonna performed her Who’s That Girl World Tour to a sold out crowd of approximately 60,000 fans at the Sullivan Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Today in Madonna History: July 6, 1987


On July 6 1987, Madonna played the first of two sold-out shows at the Forum in Montreal, Québec, Canada during the Who’s That Girl World Tour.

The gigs marked Madonna’s first concert in the city. The local press gave the shows glowing reviews and complimented Madonna’s sincere efforts in speaking French with her audience.

While the majority of the tour played to stadiums, a handful of arena dates in North America – including the shows at the Forum – required the use of a less sprawling stage configuration.

Thanks to Tonytheturtle, FYO PIX for the video clips & Caroline Duval for the images!

Today in Madonna History: November 26, 1987

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On November 26 1987, Who’s That Girl – Live In Japan was released on VHS and LaserDisc by Warner-Pioneer Video, exclusively for the Japanese market. Recorded in Tokyo on June 22 1987, the show initially aired as a television special in Japan in conjunction with Madonna’s sponsorship agreement with Mitsubishi. The special was the first ever television broadcast to make use of Dolby Surround Sound technology.

Elements of the Japanese release were also incorporated into the international 1988 release of the Who’s That Girl World Tour, Ciao Italia: Live From Italy, which was also released in Japan on LaserDisc in 1988 and on DVD in 2001. Meanwhile, the complete Live In Japan release has since been deleted from circulation.

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