Music

On This Day In Billboard History: Madonna Brought the Transcendence of 'Vogue' to No. 1

At the start of the '90s, Madonna had seven Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s under her boy-toy belt and could pretty readily make the case she was the defining female pop star of the '80s. The only thing arguably working against her was the embarrassment-of-riches issue of figuring out how to follow-up a career-defining smash such as 1989's "Like a Prayer."

She solved that problem by dropping another world-shifting pop hit. "Vogue," which became her eighth Hot 100 No. 1 30 years ago today (May 19, 1990), topped the chart for three consecutive weeks and remains one of her most enduring hits. Over the course of this lush, gradual ascent into thumping house-disco bliss aided by co-writer and co-producer Shep Pettibone, Madonna lays out yet another masterful manifesto about ecstatic liberation on the dancefloor.

Inspired by the visually dramatic dance style of voguing that grew out of Harlem ballroom culture (as depicted in the classic 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning), Madonna tapped dancers/choreographers Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and Luis Xtravaganza from that world to show America how it was done. While Madonna hardly invented the iconic moves, her global reach propelled voguing into the mainstream, a double-edged sword that season 2 of FX's Pose thoughtfully dealt with in 2019 (on one hand, it gave scene players an industry launch pad, but some queer people of color felt their culture had been appropriated, then discarded, after the craze went out of, well, vogue).

Thirty years after "Vogue" topped the chart, it's truly difficult to think about something related to the song that isn't iconic: There's the irresistible choreography; David Fincher's black-and-white art deco music video; her Marie Antoinette-styled VMAs performance of the song; the movie-star roll call near the end; and also every damn lyric. Really, the only thing "Vogue"-adjacent that isn't a clear victory is the album it first called home: I'm Breathless: Music From and Inspired By the Film Dick Tracy. It was a hit, certainly, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, but remains one of the more neglected titles in her otherwise essential catalog, in no small part because its biggest single shares almost nothing in common with the rest of the LP other than an affection for Golden Era Hollywood.

It probably wouldn't surprise anyone to learn "Vogue" wasn't even intended for that collection of Sondheim numbers and Jazz Age throwbacks. According to Pettibone, it was given a budget of $5,000 and slated as a b-side for "Keep It Together," but when execs heard it, the plan changed. "The attitude was like, ‘This isn't gonna be a b-side. How can we get this out there?’” Pettibone recalled to Billboard in 2015 of the decision to tack it on to the Dick Tracy companion album.

Regardless, three decades later, its power remains undiminished. When Madame X trotted out "Vogue" at Pride Island 2019 during New York City's 50th anniversary of Stonewall World Pride celebration, the response was deafening, with the crowd surging like a tsunami. But even then, it was so much deeper and deeper than just bumping and grinding: It was a magical, life's-a-ball moment of transcendence few dance songs dare to reach.

From Billboard.com


How Did Older Albums by Madonna, Mariah Carey & Janet Jackson All See Sales Gains This Week?

A sale promotion in the iTunes Store lifted a number of older albums to sales increases, and fans took notice. It might be the year 2020, but if you glanced at the U.S. iTunes Store’s Top Albums tally this past week, it’d be hard to tell what decade you were in.

Thanks to sale pricing and fan promotion, a trio of older albums by Mariah Carey, Madonna and Janet Jackson all jumped into the iTunes Store's always-updating Top Albums tally. On April 27 and 28, Carey’s 2008 album E=MC2 was No. 1 on the iTunes Store’s Top Albums tally, while Madonna’s 1994 set Bedtime Stories visited No. 1 on April 30. Meanwhile, Jackson’s 1986 album Control also visited the top 10 during the week -- and at one point, all three albums were together in the top 10.

According to initial sales reports to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, E=MC2 sold about 2,000 copies total across all retailers in the U.S. in the week ending April 30. About half of that sum was driven by digital sales on April 27, the day the album topped the iTunes tally. Traditionally, the album sells a negligible figure on a daily basis.

As for Bedtime Stories, it shifted a little over 1,000 copies for the week, while Control sold just under 1,000. Again, the bulk of each album’s sales were driven by digital sales - nearly 1,000 for Bedtime Stories on April 30 (the day it was No. 1 in the iTunes Store) and a little under, 1,000 for Control across three days (April 28-30). Like with E=MC2, both Bedtime Stories and Control generally sell a negligible figure on any normal day.

It doesn’t necessarily take a large number of sales to reach No. 1 on the iTunes Store’s Top Albums ranking, especially considering album sales have been on the decline for years, and it was a particularly soft week for new releases on April 24. The trio of albums were part of an iTunes Store promotion where more than 100 pop albums were discounted to $4.99 and advertised in a banner ad that appears at the top of the front page of the Store, directing consumers to “$4.99 Pop Albums at a Great Price.”

As generally happens with deeply discounted albums (most new titles sell for at least $9.99), they start to rise up the iTunes Store Top Albums list, since it reacts in real time to customers’ purchases. After that, fans of the divas took notice of the albums dotting the iTunes Store Top Albums list and began awareness campaigns on social media to drive attention to the albums. That promotion then helped engineer more sales for the albums, which brought them to the top 10 of the store. At that point, the albums got much wider attention, since the top 10 of the Top Albums list is visible on the front of the iTunes Store, and casual music fans likely saw the albums in the top 10 - perhaps encouraging even more sales.

E=MC2 debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart dated May 3, 2008. Bedtime Stories debuted and peaked at No. 3 (Nov. 12, 1994), and Control hit No. 1 on July 5, 1986. None of the albums are expected to re-enter next week’s Billboard 200 chart, despite their surge on the iTunes Store.

From Billboard.com


Happy 30th Birthday Vogue!

With its striking music video, empowering lyrics and a middle eight section name-checking some of the biggest stars to ever grace the silver screen, Madonna’s song Vogue had all the makings of an instant hit.

It’s now been 30 years since she released the track, which reached number one in more than 30 countries and gave the Queen of Pop a brand new signature tune.

But despite being a song that’s now recognised all over the world - and still has everyone recreating those famous moves - there’s a lot you probably don’t know about Vogue.

To read the 30 things you may not know about Vogue visit: uk.style.yahoo.com/madonna-vogue-music-video


Tracy Young, Madonna's Favorite DJ, Is Breaking the Grammy Glass Ceiling

Tracy Young has made herstory as the first woman nominated in the category of Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical at the Grammy Awards.

For Young - who has spent more than 25 years in the music industry, and who was recognized for her Pride radio remix of Madonna's "I Rise" - the nomination is "overwhelming."

"First of all just to be recognized, I feel like I won already," she told The Advocate in a recent interview. "If I do win, that would just be a bonus."

A win for Young would also be a major victory for women and LGBTQ people. For Young's entire career in the music industry, the lesbian DJ has worked in a field dominated by mostly straight men - particularly in music production and remixing.

This lack of representation reflects itself in her category. Since the Grammys first launched Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical in 1998 (that year, the trophy went to Frankie Knuckles, the "Godfather of House Music"), not a single woman has received a nod - a span of over 20 years.

"It's just hard for women to break through in this industry," Young said. "It's just very male-dominated and I think always been that way."

Young's commitment to her craft is one of the reasons she was able to have a breakthrough. She has worked to create remixes of hits by over 100 top artists, including Lady Gaga, Cher, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, and Madonna, with whom she has 14 collaborations. Over 50 of her tracks have reached the number 1 spot on the Billboard Club Chart Hits.

"Music for me is not an option. That's the only thing I know how to do. So it has to work for me," Young said.

To read the rest of the article visit: www.advocate.com/music


Madonna Adds 49th No. 1 on Dance Club Songs Chart With Swae Lee Collab 'Crave'

Madonna earns her record-extending 49th No. 1 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart, as "Crave," with Swae Lee, ascends 2-1 on the Nov. 16-dated list.

The chart, and all rankings dated Nov. 16, will refresh on Billboard.com Tuesday, Nov. 12.

"Crave," which marks Lee's first No. 1 on the ranking, was remixed for clubs by Tracy Young, Benny Benassi and DJLW, among a host of others.

With 49 toppers on Dance Club Songs, which measures reports submitted by a national sample of club DJs and which launched as a national survey in the Billboard issue dated Aug. 28, 1976, Madonna outpaces runner-up Rihanna (33 No. 1s), while Beyoncé and Janet Jackson follow with 22 and 20, respectively.

"Crave" is Madonna's third leader, all this year, from her album Madame X, following "Medellín," with Maluma (June 29), and "I Rise" (Aug. 31). Madonna adds her ninth No. 1 this decade and has earned three each from her last three studio albums, with each triple tallied in a single year. Madonna also scored three No. 1s each from 2015's Rebel Heart ("Living for Love," "Ghosttown" and "B**** I'm Madonna," featuring Nicki Minaj) and 2012's MDNA ("Give Me All Your Luvin'," featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., "Girl Gone Wild" and "Turn Up the Radio").

"Crave" additionally marks Madonna's ninth consecutive Dance Club Songs No. 1, her longest such streak. (Katy Perry holds the record with 18 straight No. 1s in 2009-17.) Twice before, Madonna managed seven straight No. 1s, first with "Causing a Commotion," from the Who's That Girl soundtrack (1987), through "Justify My Love," from her first greatest hits set, The Immaculate Collection (1991), and then with Ray of Light's "Nothing Really Matters" (1999) through Music's "Impressive Instant" (2001). Madonna's current run began with "Luvin' " in 2012.

From Billboard.com


Patrick Leonard publishes LAP demos online to thwart auction: 'Not theirs to sell'

Patrick Leonard has published three demos from the Like A Prayer album on YouTube in an attempt to thwart the sale of demo tapes at an online auction:

The demo of Cherish from the day it was written. I hope these posts stop the sale of that cassette at auction. Not cool at all that someone would sell it. Not theirs to sell.

This demo 'Angels With Dirty Faces' and others from Like a Prayer are being auctioned between 7/17-7/22-19. Here it is for free. PL


Madonna Introduces Mysterious 'Madame X' With Social Media Teaser

Madonna is greeting the weekend with an introduction to what seems to be a new project, or persona, named Madame X.

The pop icon unveiled the mysterious Madame X on Instagram and Twitter Saturday (April 13), offering a preview of what's to come.

Leaving fans wanting more, she did not confirm whether Madame X is the title of an upcoming song or album release, or if it's an alter ego.

In March, she gave another sneak peek at what she has up her sleeve, tweeting a cryptic photo of a hand cutting an apple with the caption 'A taste of things to come.'

From Billboard.com


‘We argued a lot’: Inside the making of Madonna’s ‘divorce album’

March 1989, I open a large record envelope and a waft of patchouli oil hits my nostrils. Inside is the new Madonna album. The cover art features hippy beads and her crotch in jeans. This image is a nod to her mother, a devout Catholic of French-Canadian stock, who covered up their Sacred Heart statue when a woman came round the house wearing zip-up jeans. 'In Catholicism you are born a sinner … the sin is within you the whole time,' Madonna said at the time. Dedicated to the memory of her mother, Like a Prayer explores the impact of her Catholic girlhood, disappointment in love and transformation of self. Compared to the sugar-sweet True Blue, this is a startling reinvention.

During recording, from September 1988 to January 1989 at Johnny Yuma studios in LA, Madonna was at the worst point in her marriage to Sean Penn. She had filed for divorce the previous year but was spending time with him trying to work things out. 'I remember some days she wore sunglasses all day in the studio,' recalls her then co-songwriter and co-producer Patrick Leonard. 'She was going through very hard times.' Making the record, however, was her salvation. After the bouncy grooves of 1984’s Like a Virgin and the upbeat celebration of her love for Penn in True Blue (1986), Madonna was in a more introspective mood. Penn had an explosive temper, and as their marriage foundered amid constant fighting, her career hit a stale patch with professional flops Shanghai Surprise, the film she starred in with Penn, and Who’s That Girl, a comedy heist movie with a patchy soundtrack. Madonna found a focus for her divorce madness in the new album.

'We knew she was going through a lot of personal stuff,' recalls Donna De Lory, who, along with Niki Haris, sang backing vocals. 'We were friends, and I knew that she was channelling all that emotion into the music. It was going to be a much more personal record for her.' Madonna had just turned 30 and approached the studio like a confessional. 'She was writing songs that were very truthful,' says her other co-songwriter and co-producer, Stephen Bray. 'She has an interesting relationship with fear in that she compartmentalises it and then it comes out in her ferocity of personality. True Blue was about feeling romantic and wanting to be unabashed about love. Then she changed chapters. ‘Things didn’t work out the way I thought.’ That’s how Madonna processes fear, in Freudian pop writing - free association turned into pop songs.'

To read the rest of the article visit: www.theguardian.com


Madonna Sends Fans Into a Frenzy With New Music Teasers

The art of teasing new music is one that many pop stars deal with on a regular basis - do you offer up a clip of a song, do you send out some new cover art, or do you just announce you have new projects on the way?

On Monday (March 18), Madonna tweeted out a cryptic photo of a hand cutting an apple with a knife, saying that fans could be expecting new music coming their way soon. 'A Taste of things to come...............' she captioned her photo. The singer followed up the teaser with another one on Tuesday (March 19), sharing a photo of herself with only an apple emoji as the caption.

Fans took to Twitter to express their curiosity and excitement surrounding the star’s mysterious announcement. Some simply expressed their glee at the thought of new Madonna music, while others attempted to decode her message and determine what it meant.

From Billboard.com


Maluma Shares Details of His Recording Session & 'Beautiful Connection' With Madonna

Meeting Madonna is something on many music fans' wish list. But to be able to record a song with the superstar is beyond anything Maluma could have imagined.

While in Miami promoting his 11:11 World Tour, Billboard caught up with the singer to talk about his experience of being in the studio with the pop music icon.

'I met Madona during the VMAs in New York,' Maluma says. 'After that, I had the opportunity to spend some time with her in Los Angeles. She was in the studio and I joined her.'

And how was the meeting between Maluma and Madonna? 'We just had a beautiful connection. She is one of my biggest inspirations,' he said.

Maluma really appreciated the time in the studio and he’s honored to say now that Madonna is a friend. The song that they were 'cooking' will be part of Madonna’s next project.

'After all, the best thing I could get is having her lessons,' Maluma concluded.

From Billboard.com


US radio sources comment on new Madonna tracks

Sources in US radio are saying they have heard three tracks from Madonna's new album, and are quoted as saying the tracks are 'very Madonna, portuguese/international influence....she's back!'

I know this information is vague, but it is still exciting! But no leaks please!

The first single is expected to drop in May with the album to follow in June.


Madonna records with female orchestra for new album

Madonna has recorded an all-female orchestra from Portugal for her new album.

The 60-year-old Queen of Pop took to Instagram to share a video of Orquestra Batukadeiras PT singing in the studio for an unknown track on her forthcoming 14th studio album.

Alongside the clip, she wrote: 'A prayer at the end of a magical recording session with the @orquestra.batukadeiras.pt So Lucky to have these Amazing Powerful Women on my record. #caboverde #lisbon #music #magic #mirwais @dinodsantiago (sic)'

From IOL Entertainment


One Song: Madonna's 'What It Feels Like For A Girl'

Chad Clark of Washington City Paper published this re-appreciation of Madonna's 'What It Feels Like For A Girl':

I wanna talk about Madonna’s elegiac 'What It Feels Like For A Girl.' At this post-Brett Kavanaugh juncture in American life, I think it’s a fine time to appreciate it.

'What It Feels Like For A Girl' was the low-key, musically understated third single from Madonna’s Music album.

Released in 2000, Music followed 1998’s ambitious, resplendent Ray Of Light. For Ray Of Light, Madonna selected William Orbit as a collaborator, which was at that time considered a left-field choice. Orbit was an eccentric, progressive composer and musician who was best-known for his own curious amalgam of classical and electronic music. Interesting stuff, but the dude definitely did not have any hits. Madonna adored his work and commissioned Orbit to produce, which was a nervy move. It paid off with a gorgeous masterpiece that, while not her greatest commercial success, certainly did sell well. Five million copies in the U.S. and 11 million globally.

When it came time to make a follow-up album, Madonna once again zigzagged. She chose yet another collaborative team, headed by French producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï. She didn’t rebuke Orbit—he was invited to participate in a minor, supporting role—but she did not attempt to duplicate the alchemy of Ray Of Light. When you’re a chart-topping artist like Madonna, there is a lot of incentive to play it safe: Last album worked out great! Let’s do that exact same thing again!

To read the rest of the article visit: www.washingtoncitypaper.com/arts/music/blog


Inspiration for my new Record all started here in Lisbon at Tejo bar!


Quavo Drops Debut Album With Epic Cardi B & Madonna Collaboration

Quavo just released his first solo album and the Migos member got some major stars to collaborate. Listen to his song along with Cardi B and Madonna, as well as collabs with Travis Scott and Drake.

Quavo‘s debut album is here and it is lit! The Migos member got assists from some of music’s biggest names as collaborators for the 19 song LP called Quavo Huncho. He raps alongside Offset on the track 'F**k 12' and Takeoff on 'Keep That S**t.' Not only were his Migos band mates there for him, he has the biggest female rapper in the game as well as pop icon joining him on 'Champagne Rose.' Cardi B drops several bars and Madonna sings throughout the tune in a high voice where if her name wasn’t featured as a player listeners might not realize it’s the superstar.

Cardi was so stoked she took to her Instagram to prop it up. 'QUAVO ALBUM ITS OUT NOW !!!!!!!! Who listening ? Make sure ya check me out on CHAMPAGNE Quavo ft Madonna and me !!! ISSA PARTY TONIGHT!!' she excitedly wrote. Since she’s married to Quavo’s bandmate Offset, she was probably happy to help out on a track.

Immediately Quavo’s name jumped near the top of Twitter as fans reacted to it. 'Quavo Huncho I love you,' one fan tweeted while another added 'Quavo’s Lost with Kid Cudi smooth af got me vibing.' 'Not gone this Quavo album is exceeding my expectations,' someone else wrote while another added 'Quavo goin off on his new album.'

From HollwoodLife.com


Madonna Says Her Next Album Is Coming in 2019

In an interview with WWD published Monday Madonna revealed that her next album is in the works for a 2019 release.

The 60-year-old pop icon was promoting the new beauty roller addition to her MDNA Skin lineup, but slyly alluded to the fact that she’s working on more than just skincare.

'I’m finishing my record, which I’m going to release next year,' Madonna told WWD. 'Yep, in between rose mist spray and serums, I’m actually making music. Can’t quit my day job.'

This currently unnamed album will be the Queen of Pop’s 14th LP and her first release since 2015’s Rebel Heart.

From Billboard.com


5 Things We Want From Madonna's Next Album

Hark! Celestial trumpets are sounding from the clouds hovering near the heavens! It can only mean one thing: Her Madgesty, the Queen Of Pop, has new material on the way.

Let’s reign it in a bit, though. With all due respect, we’re still waiting for Madonna to release a great album this decade. But the good news is that her 14th LP is on its way, and she’s absolutely got it in her to give us a batch of tunes to be reckoned with. After all, you don’t become the queen without capturing lightning in a bottle multiple times over.

Her unrivaled string of hit releases in the 1980s seemed to all be building toward the golden - actually, make that quadruple-Platinum - Like A Prayer in 1989, an album that would have been an enviable career best for any other artist if they’d simply stopped there. But this is Madonna! She proceeded to triumphantly march forward by eschewing the big, glossy sound that helped make her famous and stripping down - both the music and, um, herself - and giving us 1992’s brilliant, confessional house-pop hybrid Erotica. The Queen of Pop would end the second decade of her reign with her pièce de résistance, 1998's reflective Ray of Light. Her seventh studio album, it saw her pick up a staggering 10 statues between the Grammys and the MTV Video Music Awards alone.

Subsequent years have seen tireless Madge raise her kids, direct films, open schools, launch a chain of gyms and launch clothing and skincare lines. Those cosnistently fantastic full length releases, meanwhile, tapered off after 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, a bumping, peak-hour trek through clubland that earned the singer yet another Grammy. That’s not to say Madonna’s post-Confessions studio albums are all bad by any means - the urban thump of 2008's Hard Candy remains a mostly satisfying experience, thanks to the focus of collaborators Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams; while 2015's Rebel Heart, though spotty, contains about seven playlist-worthy tracks throughout.

Looking on the bright side, the best could very well still be to come with Madonna’s 14th studio release. What do we want from it? Nothing short of everything, of course. But we’d settle for any (or all!) of the following.

Let Madonna Sing

You know what needs to be hung up? Auto-Tune. At least in the Queen of Pop's case. This is Madonna, and she’s amassed a loyal army of fans, sold hundreds of millions of records and inspired countless Gwens, Britneys, Katys and Gagas by simply being herself.

Cuts from the last decade like 'Ghosttown' and 'Messiah' off Rebel Heart, MDNA’s 'Masterpiece' and Hard Candy single 'Miles Away' seem, for the most part, to be devoid of too much technical wizardry affecting her voice. And she sounds great on each one! Alas, for every one of those, there’s been a 'Bitch I’m Madonna,' 'Girl Gone Wild' or 'Give It 2 Me' - performances that find the singer coming off like she downed a vocoder smoothie before stepping to the mic.

Madonna, voice included, is a national treasure. Also, she kicked ass performing live at the Met Gala in New York three months ago. Just give it to us plain and simple going forward.

To read the other four things visit: www.billboard.com/articles


Ariana Grande Drops Epic 'God Is a Woman' Video - with Madonna as the Voice of God!

#Blessed!

Ariana Grande just answered pop fans’ prayers, dropping the music video for her sexy, empowering new single 'God Is a Woman' - which includes a surprise monologue from her pal Madonna.

Throughout the epic video, Grande serves cosmic vibes, bathing in a pool of paint, sitting atop a globe and weathering an onslaught of insults ('bitch,' 'fake,' 'annoying,' 'slut,' 'hoe,' 'stupid') from men.

Then, at the 2:24 mark, Madge - or rather, her voice! - appears, like manna from heaven.

The queen of pop portrays the voice of God, reciting scripture from Ezekiel 25:17: 'And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my sisters. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.'

A follow-up to 'No Tears Left to Cry,' 'God Is a Woman' is the second single off Grande’s upcoming fourth studio album, Sweetener, due Aug. 17.

From People.com


Ariana Grande Posts Cryptic Thank You Note to Madonna and Fans Have Theories

It looks like Ariana Grande might have had some tears left to cry during this special moment.

Grande posted a picture Wednesday (July 11) with Madonna, someone Grande has consistently cited as an inspiration and mentor. The caption on the photo read 'thank you @madonna... u know why,' with a heart emoji and an emoji of the Golden Gate Bridge - an emoji Grande has used often when posting about her new music. This is not the first time the two hitmakers have met, as Grande joined Madonna onstage in Miami during her Rebel Heart Tour and also performed at Madonna's 2016 charity event at Art Basel in Miami.

The picture excited Grande's fans and also sparked curiosity as to why the picture was posted now, and whether the pic is from a prior event or was taken recently. Grande has been finishing up her upcoming studio album Sweetener (due Aug. 17), and fans were quick to hope and wish - just like a prayer - that a Madonna collaboration will be on the album.

From Billboard.com


Madonna dancing with the Batukadera’s of Cabo Verde

Madonna has been dancing with the Batukadera’s of Cabo Verde along with musician Dino d’Santiago as she posted on her Instagram page.


Details of Madonna’s new album leak online

It’s not the start to a new album campaign that Madonna was hoping for. Currently readying up her fourteenth studio album - which forthcoming single Beautiful Game is set to feature on - Madge will be disappointed to discover that apparent details about the new record have already leaked online.

With no release date in sight, fans have been given their first glimpse of the new album - which is still untitled - through the leaked details. A source close to Madonna’s camp has spilled the beans, revealing the titles of a number of songs and details about some of the lyrics.

Those titles include Risky Places - which, it’s claimed, lists off the places where Madonna would like to have sex (which apparently includes Kendrick Lamar’s bathroom) - Dos Hermano (which is partly sung in Spanish) and Turn Back Time. Two other tracks - Smartgun, which tells the story of a black boy who is shot by police, and Persistence - have also been brought to light in the leak.

‘Madonna is desperate to make her 14th album her most cutting edge yet,’ the insider told The Sun newspaper. ‘She is going to be furious that her early work is already being leaked when the whole point is for it to have a shock impact.’ Metro.co.uk has contacted Madonna’s reps for comment.

From Metro.co.uk


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 … 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: 'It’s a beautiful plan, but I’m not concerned, it’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, ‘cause I’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 monk’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.

Madonna’s last album was 2015’s Rebel Heart which peaked at number two in the US and on the Official Albums Chart in the UK.

From The Irish Times


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? 1989’s 'Like a Prayer,' its music video featuring burning crosses, stigmata and Madonna kissing a black saint.

Still, Madonna’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, Madonna’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 Cohen’s 1984 song 'Hallelujah,' sung sitting on the Met’s stairs.

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

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

Image1

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'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 Madonna’s catalog. Listening to it now, it certainly bests Rebel Heart and MDNA, and from a lyrical standpoint, it probably beats 2008’s Hard Candy and maybe even 2005’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 Madonna’s better lyrical outings.

The strong lyrical perspective is complemented by the cohesive musical vision. Madonna worked with one producer, French electronic savant Mirwais Ahmadzaï, for the entire album - although there was additional production by Mark 'Spike' Spent on 'I’m So Stupid' and 'Nothing Fails' - and they expanded on the folktronica experimentation they did on 2000’s Music. Indeed, if there is one Music song that served as the biggest touchstone for American Life, it's 'Don’t Tell Me,' with its twangy trip-hop. Madonna and Mirwais - who are back in the studio working on new music together in 2018—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 “Die Another Day” 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 1998’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/It’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 Madonna’s career. The lyric nods to her notorious work ethic: 'I want the good life/But I don’t want an easy ride/What I want is to work for it/Feel the blood and sweat on my fingertips/That’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. It’s not a perfect album - 'I’m So Stupid' is still irritating - but it’s the sound of Madonna challenging herself, and us.

From Billboard.com


Madonna Teases Possible Reunion With Mirwais

Madonna took to Twitter on Tuesday (April 17) to share a clip of herself singing along to a poppy dance track, and one particular hashtag has fans thinking she's reunited with her longtime collaborator Mirwais.

'No This is NOT my new music. But I'm having fun in the studio in between takes! #music #mirwais #magic,' the singer wrote in the caption of the video.

The 'Ghosttown' singer confirmed in early 2018 that she has been in the studio working on her 14th record. She's remained cryptic about who she's working with, but by tagging the French record producer and songwriter, many fans are convinced that he's involved. 'Is this a hint Mirwais is back in the mix???' one tweeted. 'Are you working with #Mirwais again??? Yay!' another wrote.

Madonna and Mirwais previously worked together on three of her albums, including her 2000 record Music, which was nominated for three Grammy Awards and whose title track hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. They also collaborated for 2003's American Life and Confessions on a Dance Floor in 2005.

Billboard has reached out to Madonna's rep for confirmation that she's reuniting with Mirwais but hasn't heard back as of press time.

From Billboard.com


'Remember when....I was allowed to be a visionary?'

On Friday, Guy Oseary shared a post to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Madonna’s seminal album, ‘Ray Of Light’, noting:

'Love this woman. Love this album. One day she will hopefully do a tour for this album. It deserves to be performed from start to finish... respect to [music producer, William Orbit] for his brilliant work on this album... also two groundbreaking videos [‘Frozen’] by Chris Cunningham and [title track, ‘Ray Of Light’] by my dear friend [Jonas Akerlund]. Those were really fun times.'

Two days later, Madonna shared some comments on the post, which revealed things weren’t going so well behind the scenes of her latest musical offering.

Apparently comparing her current work with the making of ‘Ray Of Light’, she fumed: 'Remember when I made records with other artists from beginning to end and I was allowed to be a visionary and not have to go to song writing camps where no one can sit still for more than 15 minutes....'

She also joked to her manager: 'Can you help me now please!!'

Throughout her career, Madonna has notably worked with only one or two producers on each of her albums, such as Stuart Price on ‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’, William Orbit on ‘Ray Of Light’ and, more recently, ‘MDNA’ or Patrick Leonard on ‘Like A Prayer’.

Her most recent collection, ‘Rebel Heart’, featured a much more eclectic mix of collaborators, though the majority of tracks saw either Diplo or Avicii listed as co-producers, among several others.

From HuffPost