Madonna pays tribute to producer

Madonna has paid tribute and expressed her sadness following the death of Grammy-winning musician Reggie Lucas, saying he was 'an important part of my musical past'.

Lucas, who produced the bulk of Madonna's eponymous debut album, died in New York on Saturday at the age of 65. His daughter, Lisa Lucas, told the Associated Press her father died from complications with his heart.

Madonna shared a picture of Lucas on her social media pages and wrote: 'Sad to hear that Reggie Lucas is Gone. An important part of my musical past! RIP #gratitude #luckystar'

Lucas was also known for playing with legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis in the 1970s, before beginning a musical partnership with percussionist James Mtume.

Together they wrote hits such as Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway's The Closer I Get To You and Stephanie Mills's Never Knew Love Like This Before, which won the duo a Grammy for best R&B song.

Lucas went on to produce the majority of Madonna's 1983 debut album, which sold more than five million copies and included the hits Borderline and Lucky Star.

His daughter Lisa said on Facebook: 'After a long and arduous struggle with his physical heart (his emotional one was perfect) he was called home. I wish he'd had more time, I wish we'd all had more time with him, but he left this world absolutely covered in love, with his hands held and his family beside him. I'm glad he's at peace now.'

From RTE News


Madonna set to release first single in three years

Madonna has announced her first single for three years will be released soon and will be called Beautiful Game.

The singer has also released what appears to be accompanying artwork for the song via her social media platforms.

The picture features Madonna wearing a crown of thorns under the words Beautiful Game.

In a caption alongside the photo the singer wrote: 'That I never Learned โ€ฆ Coming Soon! #music #magic #mirwais'

In the message Madonna appears to be alluding to the lyrics of the song, which she performed live at the Met Gala.

During her performance on May 8 she sang: 'Itโ€™s a beautiful plan, but Iโ€™m not concerned, itโ€™s a beautiful game, that I never learned, you have taught me to shut my mouth, that I not get burned, keep your beautiful lies, โ€˜cause Iโ€™m not concerned.'

Madonna also performed her 1989 number one single Like A Prayer during her appearance on stage at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

On the night she again wore a crown of thorns and was flanked by a choir dressed in monkโ€™s robes.

Announcing her new music Madonna, 59, also mentioned the producer Mirwais (full name Mirwais Ahmadzai) who she has been collaborating with on her new record.

Mirwais previously worked on her albums Music and American Life.

Madonna has been working on what will be her 14th studio album for some time and has been posting regular studio updates on social media.

Madonnaโ€™s last album was 2015โ€™s Rebel Heart which peaked at number two in the US and on the Official Albums Chart in the UK.

From The Irish Times


Jean-Paul Gaultier's Met Gala designs come to life

Madonna shared this video clip of Jean-Paul Gaultier's preparation for her two Met Gala dresses:

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Madonna wears vintage Versace 'Bedtime Story' gown to afterparty

Itโ€™s official - Madonna has never looked better! She put her cleavage on display in a sultry new video, where she danced seductively in a vintage Versace dress! The music icon even bared her booty for the camera and itโ€™s epic!

How does she do it? - Madonna, 59, turned up the sex appeal in brand new video on Instagram! The legendary singer put her cleavage and behind on display as she danced in a breathtaking vintage Versace gown. Madonna was dripping in gold chains as she posed seductively in numerous videos she labeled as 'bedtime story.' It seems as though Madonna fell asleep in the plunging grey gown with front pleats after the Met Gala. 'Collapsing in Vintage Versace,' she captioned the sultry video, using a sleepy emoji.

After the 2018 Met Gala, which took place on May 7, Madonna attended Donatella Versaceโ€˜s afterparty in the same dress as she wore in the below video. And, that dress is also the same vintage Versace look she previously wore to perform 'Bedtime Story' at the 1995 Brit Awards. Wow! - After more than two decades since she slipped into the stunning silver dress, Madonna still owned the look!

From People.com

Pictured below at the Met Gala after party:

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Pictured below in the same dress at the 1995 Brit Awards:

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Madonna Delivers Surprise Performance at 2018 Met Gala and Premieres New Song!

With a theme of 'Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,' it was only logical that Madonna would take the stage at the 2018 Met Gala.

After all, the 59-year-old singer - who carried the namesake of Mary, mother of Jesus, from her own mother - has long used Catholic imagery in her music videos and stage shows. Most notably? 1989โ€™s 'Like a Prayer,' its music video featuring burning crosses, stigmata and Madonna kissing a black saint.

Still, Madonnaโ€™s performance at the Costume Institute benefit came as a surprise for attendees. Though the annual affair has had musical performances by stars like Bruno Mars and Katy Perry in the past, Madonnaโ€™s turn on Monday night was completely unannounced.

Among the songs in her set was a reimagined version of 'Like a Prayer' - performed with singers dressed as monks, naturally - and a cover of Leonard Cohenโ€™s 1984 song 'Hallelujah,' sung sitting on the Metโ€™s stairs.

She also appeared to premiere a new song off her upcoming album called 'Beautiful Game' with the lyrics, 'Itโ€™s a beautiful plan, but Iโ€™m not concerned / Itโ€™s a beautiful game, that I never learned / You have taught me to shut my mouth, so I donโ€™t get burned / Keep your beautiful lies, โ€˜cause Iโ€™m not concerned.'

Videos of her songs were shared by Vogue as well as various attendees, who quickly spread them on social media.

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As for her costume, Madonna began her performance in a monk robe before stripping it off in exchange for a flowing white ensemble.

On the red carpet, she wore a Jean Paul Gaultier black ball gown that featured a fitted bodice, a sheer cross cutout, and a full ball skirt. Stylist Eyob Yohannes accessorized the look with a black veil, cross-adorned crown and a black flower which she carried in her hand.

Yohannes described her look in three words: 'Immaculate Goth Queen.'

From People.com


Madonna arrives at the Met Gala

Madonna wowed the crowds at the Met Gala 'Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination' last night in a black dress by Jean Paul Gaultier.

The bespoke design featured a black mesh cross on the bodice as well as oversized sleeves and a full skirt. Madonna accessorised with some Miu Miu boots, a net veil and a custom made crown by Rinaldy Yunardi.

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Madonna Sings 'Like a Prayer' in Surprise 2018 Met Gala Performance

Madonna loves to court controversy within the Catholic Church.

The 59-year-old entertainer gave a surprise performance Monday in honor of the 2018 Met Gala exhibit, 'Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.' After walking the red carpet in black Jean Paul Gaultier gown and veil, she joined the other guests inside for dinner.

Later, Madonna changed into a monastic cloak and appeared at the top of the stairs of the Great Hall. With church bells tolling, she opened her set with 'Like a Prayer' (the song that outraged Church leaders in the '80s), then segued into a cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah.'

Jimmy Fallon, Kim Kardashian and more celebrities shared snippets of the performance on Instagram, while Donatella Versace, one of the gala's co-chairs, live-streamed it in its entirety.

Madonna, who was raised Roman Catholic and later became a devotee of Kabbalah, has often claimed in interviews she's been excommunicated from the Church. 'No matter what spiritual path I might go down, I always feel some kind of inexplicable connection with Catholicism,' she told Rolling Stone in late 2015. 'It kind of shows up in all of my work, as you may have noticed.'

Vogue shared a clip of Madonna's performance on Instagram, which she re-posted on her own account. 'Stairway to Heaven! #metgala #epic. #jeannedarc #catholicimagination,' the singer told her fans. '@jpgaultierofficial thank you all who helped make it happen! @voguemagazine.'

From E! Online


Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination #MetGala2018


Time For Mambo to Switch Gears!


Madonna loses bid to keep Tupac's breakup letter from being auctioned off

Whatโ€™ll ya bid for Tupacโ€™s breakup letter with Madonna?

The Dear Madge letter and other personal items can be sold at auction, a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge ruled Monday.

The Material Girl had sued her former friend, Darlene Lutz, last July to prevent her from profiting off Madonnaโ€™s letters, cassette tapes and photos.

On Monday, Judge Gerald Lebovits ruled that under a 2004 kiss-off agreement with Lutz, Madge forfeited her right to claw back her private items.

'(Madonna) knew that throughout her relationship with Lutz, Lutz was in possession of various pieces of (Madonnaโ€™s) personal property,' the judge wrote in his decision. 'Yet before this action began, the plaintiff did not make any demand to return her possessions.'

The judge suggested that the singer should have sued her brother Christopher Ciccone, who gave Lutz some of the items.

'It's a clear cut victory for us,' Gotta Have It! auction house co-owner Ed Kosinski said.

He had no sympathy for the Vogue performer's bid for privacy in the case.

'She shouldn't have signed a settlement agreement relinquishing the right to all property in Darlene's possession.'

Lawyers for the 'Lucky Star' singer did not return calls for comment.

From NY Daily News


Madonna's 'American Life': Revisiting the Divisive Album 15 Years Later

While American Life certainly wasn't the kiss of death for Madonna, her ninth studio album did end one of the winningest streaks in the history of pop. Although the LP - which was released 15 years ago on April 21, 2003 - did debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, it became the lowest-selling studio LP of her career up to that point. And the reviews were mixed at best.

But revisiting American Life 15 years later, it deserves more love than it has gotten - it's perhaps the most underappreciated album of Madonnaโ€™s catalog. Listening to it now, it certainly bests Rebel Heart and MDNA, and from a lyrical standpoint, it probably beats 2008โ€™s Hard Candy and maybe even 2005โ€™s beloved Confessions on a Dance Floor. In fact, with its confessional tone and commentary on the American Dream in the President George W. Bush era, American Life is easily one of Madonnaโ€™s better lyrical outings.

The strong lyrical perspective is complemented by the cohesive musical vision. Madonna worked with one producer, French electronic savant Mirwais Ahmadzaรฏ, for the entire album - although there was additional production by Mark 'Spike' Spent on 'Iโ€™m So Stupid' and 'Nothing Fails' - and they expanded on the folktronica experimentation they did on 2000โ€™s Music. Indeed, if there is one Music song that served as the biggest touchstone for American Life, it's 'Donโ€™t Tell Me,' with its twangy trip-hop. Madonna and Mirwais - who are back in the studio working on new music together in 2018โ€”also co-wrote all but three of 11 songs together. With such a tight team, not one of the songs feels out of place (although the dramatic โ€œDie Another Dayโ€ from the James Bond film of the same name feels like it should have been sequenced earlier in the record).

In retrospect, American Life - the last truly ambitious album that Madonna has made - also marked the end of a very important phase of her career. Having achieved new artistic depth with 1998โ€™s Ray of Light and continued that creative spirit with Music, she was very much still in risk-taking mode on American Life. You might say those three albums - starting from an electronica base but veering in different directions - amounted to her Berlin Trilogy. On an aesthetic level, this period was Madonna at her Bowie-est.

'Love Profusion,' 'Nobody Knows Me' and 'Nothing Fails' make for a thrilling three-song sequence that displays varied moods and styles. While glowing with its sweet strumminess, 'Love Profusion' faces some troubling uncertainties: 'There are too many questions/There is not one solution/There is no resurrection/There is so much confusion.' The zig-zagging 'Nobody Knows Me' packs a rock thump and a sense of disillusionment: 'This world is not so kind/People trap your mind/Itโ€™s so hard to find/Someone to admire.' And 'Nothing Fails' - the glorious, gospel-infused centerpiece of American Life - is nothing short of a latter-day 'Like a Prayer.'

Elsewhere, 'X-Static Process' - co-written by Stuart Price, who Madonna would go on to work with for much of Confessions on a Dance Floor - is a beautiful ballad rich in harmony and emotional directness. You can almost hear echoes of R.E.M. on that and the previous track, 'Intervention.' Meanwhile, the solemn, string-laden 'Easy Ride' may be one of the best album closers of Madonnaโ€™s career. The lyric nods to her notorious work ethic: 'I want the good life/But I donโ€™t want an easy ride/What I want is to work for it/Feel the blood and sweat on my fingertips/Thatโ€™s what I want for me.'

American Life - which still sounds very modern and, in some ways, seems eerily prescient of Trump-era despair - feels more like the Madonna album for now than her recent efforts. Itโ€™s not a perfect album - 'Iโ€™m So Stupid' is still irritating - but itโ€™s the sound of Madonna challenging herself, and us.

From Billboard.com


Good Bye Dear Sweet Tim

Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday. He was 28.

Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish performer, born Tim Bergling, was found dead in Muscat, Oman.

'It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,' the statement read. 'The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.'

No more details about the death were provided. Oman police and state media had no immediate report late Friday night on the artist's death.

From Associated Press