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 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.
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.
Madonna has been dancing with the Batukadera’s of Cabo Verde along with musician Dino d’Santiago as she posted on her Instagram page.
Madonna has been back in the studio making new music as these posts from her Instagram account show:
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.
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 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
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.
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.'
Madonna did two surprise live performances last night at the Met Gala, Like A Prayer and a cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.
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.
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.
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.
'Traveling, traveling / In the arms of unconsciousness,' Madonna cooed on the Björk-assisted single 'Bedtime Story,' released in 1995. Overexposed and castigated after the ruckus surrounding 'Erotica' and the carnal coffee-table book Sex, she’d forged a reverie about disconnecting from reality. 'Today is the last day that I’m using words / They’ve gone out, lost their meaning.'
But by 1998, Madonna had awoken again. On 'Sky Fits Heaven,' the seventh track from the enlightened electro-rock masterpiece 'Ray of Light,' she repeated a familiar phrase - except here it ended on an upbeat: 'Traveling, traveling / Watching the signs as I go.' This time, pop music’s doyenne of reinvention was anything but unconscious.
Her footpath from the 'Bedtime Story' era to 'Ray of Light,' which turns 20 on Feb. 22, places Madonna at the nexus of celebrity culture circa 1997 (when she spent five months writing and recording the album) and early 1998 (when she released and promoted the album, which went on to win three Grammys and six MTV Video Music Awards). Nearing 40 and competing with a fresh generation of A&R-packaged teenyboppers, Madonna had risked aging out of mainstream stardom, one of the many sectors of society that isn’t kind to mature women. Instead, the ambient fizzes and mystical flurries on 'Ray of Light' formed a cutting-edge benediction that rehabilitated Madonna’s image - a coup few legacy acts could hope for today. She was a new mother, animated by Kabbalah and Ashtanga yoga, but uninterested in maternity leave.
Madonna’s late ’90s eminence can be further distilled through one morsel about the creation of 'Ray of Light,' her seventh studio disc: On July 15, 1997, the day she recorded the gritty meditation 'Swim,' Donatella Versace called Madonna to report that her brother Gianni had been shot outside his Miami mansion.
William Orbit, the English producer who helped shape 'Ray of Light,' has related this anecdote at least twice. The first time was in 1998, during an interview with Music Week.
'The day she [recorded ‘Swim’] she got a call on the way to the studio that her next-door neighbor Versace had been murdered,' he said. 'Lyrically it was written before that, but it is topical.'
To read the rest of the article visit: huffingtonpost.co.uk/madonna-ray-of-light
'👑+⚡️=🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥& ❣️ @whereisstarrah ❣️talented and amazing songwriter and human being! ❣️ Some people see a woman of color with a baseball cap and assume I am making a hip hop record with rappers And that is just some racist, stereotypical B.S.!!! That said, I will make the record I want to make and do not have to explain or ask permission to do what i want as an artist. 🎶💃🏿🎨🎤🎥! Never have and never will. 1. Do your research before you make assumptions ! 2. Nothing Good to Say?? Then say Nothing. 😷 Positive Vibes only please! 🌈💕🌸🎉😂'
Rolling Stone magazine published a list of the 54 most anticipated albums due in 2018:
Release Date: TBA
Now living outside Lisbon, Portugal, the shape-shifting superstar hinted that she'd be returning to the pop world when she dropped by Live with Kelly and Ryan in December. '2017 was soccer mom in Portugal - 2018, I'm coming back, baby,' she told fellow guest Anderson Cooper, who asked about her tour plans. 'I'm traveling the world right now and listening to lots of different music,' she told Entertainment Weekly in September. 'I'm getting inspired by people and I'm just soaking things up right now. ... It's time for me to take a different approach and really get back down to the beauty and simplicity of music and lyrics and intimacy.'
Madonna‘s children get the best lullabies at bed time, if the singer’s latest video is any indication.
The Grammy winner, 59, shared a cover of Elliott Smith‘s 'Between the Bars' on her Twitter page, where she’s softly singing and playing guitar during a late-night music session.
'Strumming my favorite song when everyone else is asleep,' she captioned the black and white video posted early Thursday, adding the hashtags #prayer #lullaby and #love.
This isn’t the first time Madonna has expressed her love for the track off Smith’s 1997 album Either/Or. In a 2006 interview with Q magazine, she named 'Between the Bars' as the song from the last 20 years she wished she’d written.
She also covered the tune at a 2013 screening of the short film #SecretProjectRevolution. The singer was dragged into the room by men dressed as prison guards. Halfway through the performance, she was accompanied by a masked dancer dressed head-to-toe in black—who just happened to be her son Rocco.
From 'Vogue' to 'Take a Bow' to 'Ray of Light,' Madonna scored some of her signature hits in the '90s. While most of her '80s pop compatriots struggled to stay on the radio, Madonna more-or-less maintained the same level of stardom throughout the decade, earning just two fewer Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits in the '90s than she did in the '80s.
But between Bedtime Stories and Evita, Madonna experienced her first real career dip. After several years of hypersexual imagery and songwriting (from the 'Justify My Love' video to the Sex book) and some family-unfriendly public appearances (her 1994 Letterman interview in particular), a portion of the American public was exhausted with her by 1995. Puritanical pop listeners might be OK with a heartfelt plea for keeping a baby, but leather and whips is just too much.
While she soon got back on track with a prestige motion picture (Evita) and an elegant ballad collection (Something to Remember), there was one unfortunate musical casualty of her brief lull: 'Human Nature.'
One of the few hip-hop-inflected singles in her discography (it samples a song from Main Source, the same rap group that gave Nas his first on-wax appearance), 'Human Nature' has a deeply funk foundation while maintaining the spacious, thin production common to many '90s R&B hits.
To read the rest of the article visit: http://www.billboard.com/articles
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of the True Blue album, Madonna posted this message alongside a picture of her performing True Blue on the Rebel Heart Tour.
Still True Blue to all my fans! Thanks for all your support! 💙 30 years later! 🙏🏻🎉😂 pic.twitter.com/MCxDAm74J1— Madonna (@Madonna) 1 July 2016
Pop singer Madonna prevailed on Thursday in a copyright lawsuit over her song 'Vogue' that alleged a producer copied a fraction-of-a-second segment of horns from an earlier song.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a general audience would not recognize the 0.23-second snippet in 'Vogue' as originating from the song "Love Break."
Attorneys for the plaintiff, VMG Salsoul LLC, could not immediately be reached for comment.
A producer of 'Vogue,' Shep Pettibone, also recorded 'Love Break' in the early 1980's, according to the court ruling.
VMG Salsoul owns the copyright to 'Love Break' and alleged Pettibone sampled the 'horn hit' from the earlier work and added it to 'Vogue.'
The three-judge 9th Circuit panel ruled 2-1 in favor of Madonna, Pettibone and other defendants including Warner Bros Records. Dissenting Judge Barry Silverman said even a small sample of music, used without a license, should be a copyright violation.
'In any other context, this would be called theft,' Silverman wrote.
An attorney for Madonna could not immediately be reached for comment.
From Reuters Via Yahoo! News
There’s no way around it: Diplo - known equally for his music and for his Twitter jabs at celebs like Taylor Swift - had a massively successful 2015. From earning the most streamed song of the year with Major Lazer’s 'Lean On' to winning an American Music Award for his work with Justin Bieber and Skrillex on the Jack U track 'Where Are U Now,' to working with Madonna on her latest release Rebel Heart - it’s been a good year.
Diplo’s choosing to shine a spotlight on his relationship with Madonna in particular, praising her for the way she fully integrated him in the recording process and extended herself as a friend in a way he didn’t think possible. Diplo posted a photo of the two attending the 2015 Met Gala together to Instagram along with the following lengthy caption:
'When I first got a chance to work with @madonna I didn’t expect much to come from it. Maybe because she is one of the biggest pop stars of all time. I didn’t think she would take me serious just another producer working on a huge album. I didn’t expect to make a great friend for life and didn’t expect to be such a big part of her record. She showed me a whole other level of dedication and old school work ethic when it comes to writing. I’m proud of the work we did. Those sessions were some of the most fun I have done to date. I played some shows and shot videos with her later in the year but going to the Met ball with Madonna was a highlight of 2015.'
And it’s not the first time Diplo’s publicly praised Madonna. Back in July, Diplo spoke with Rolling Stone about the ageism even a living legend like Madonna faces.
He said, 'She created the world we live in. It already sucks to be a woman in the music industry, but to be a boss woman is even harder. She sold out her tour in minutes, but no one seems to want her to succeed - ‘Madonna, we’ve been there, done that, now we’re about Kim Kardashian.’ Her song ‘Ghosttown’ was a guaranteed Number One for anybody else, but she didn’t get a fair shot. With ‘Bitch I’m Madonna,’ everyone said there’s no way it will go anywhere, but I’m like, ‘Screw it, it represents you more than anything.’-
Thanks to Readers Poll @RollingStone Magazine for voting for my song Ghostown As the # ONE song if the year! I'm so grateful‼️💘💘💘🙏🏻🎉🎉💯😀— Madonna (@Madonna) December 17, 2015
Patrick Leonard can say he knew Madonna way back when - at least as 'back when' as her first two tours, on which he served as the musical director. Approached to work with Madonna after directing The Jacksons' 1984 Victory Tour, Leonard became one of her most trusted collaborators both in and out of the studio, co-writing and producing such hits as 'Like a Prayer,' 'Cherish' and 'La Isla Bonita.' Two decades after 1985's inaugural Virgin Tour and several self-reinventions later, Madonna is launching the Rebel Heart Tour in Montreal on Wednesday. The Huffington Post called up Leonard to reflect on the early days with pop's biggest star.
Coming off a huge tour with established artists like The Jacksons, how did you view Madonna’s persona at the very start of her career?
Madonna is someone who experienced instant fame, but there's no doubt that her stature escalated by the time the Who's That Girl Tour launched in 1987. What had changed about her by then?
Coming off a huge tour with established artists like The Jacksons, how did you view Madonna’s persona at the very start of her career?
She did not get in the way at all where she did not know what was going on. Where she didn’t know what was going on, she allowed it to be, and yet kept her own vision very much intact. And that’s tough for people to do. Most people need to control everything, and she did not need to control everything. That was one of the first things I noticed. She was a total pro. Like our relationship remained, it was always real open and real simple - you do what you do and I do what I do, and it’s good. She knew how to allow space for things that she didn’t understand.
Madonna is someone who experienced instant fame, but there's no doubt that her stature escalated by the time the Who's That Girl Tour launched in 1987. What had changed about her by then?
You know, 'change' is a dangerous word. I never saw change. She remained the same. The work ethic remained the same. Where there were things she knew that she wanted, she demanded them at the highest level, as we all do. And from there to working on her documentary film about Malawi some years ago - and I think we did some things after that with a musical that was a potential - nothing changed. I’m not in touch with her very much, but my communication with her is not through the press. I don’t care what people say. I’ve seen her be exactly the same human being and consistent as can be. She’s present and generous about what’s real. Even as it got bigger and bigger, she remained consistent. She really did.
To read the rest of the article visit: www.huffingtonpost.com
The song, featuring Nicki Minaj, bows at No. 84, bringing Madonna back to the chart for the first time since 2012. Her Madgesty is back on the Billboard Hot 100. Madonna's playfully self-celebratory 'Bitch I'm Madonna,' featuring Nicki Minaj, debuts on the Hot 100 (dated July 4) at No. 84, powered most heavily by its 1,454 percent gain to 2.6 million U.S. streams in the week ending June 21, according to Nielsen Music. The song's official video premiered June 17 (first exclusively on Tidal for 24 hours) and includes cameos by Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Chris Rock, Kanye West and other stars.
The third single from Madonna's album Rebel Heart becomes the set's first Hot 100 hit, preventing the LP from becoming her first studio album not to generate a Hot 100 entry. Lead single 'Living for Love' and follow-up 'Ghosttown' both fell shy of the list. Still, both songs crowned the Dance Club Songs chart, with the latter becoming her 45th No. 1 on the survey and rewriting the record for the most leaders an artist has notched on any Billboard ranking. ('Bitch' debuts at No. 26 on Dance Club Songs this week.)
'Bitch' arrives as Madonna's 57th Hot 100 hit and first since 'Give Me All Your Luvin'' (also featuring Minaj, as well as M.I.A.) became her record-extending 38th top 10 in 2012. The Beatles follow with 34 Hot 100 top 10s.
In a new interview with the U.K. S Daily Star, the 25-year-old deejay and music producer Avicii recalls butting heads with the 56-year-old 'Living for Love' singer when they worked on the track together months and months ago.
'At the beginning we were all on the same page and then...I wasn't....happy with the final product,' he said.
Avicii's version of the song leaked early. He says he still prefers his version over the final cut Madonna eventually released. 'I thought it was better. It was more me,' he said.
Despite butting heads, Avicii isn't on a mission to diss the Queen of Pop. After the Daily Star published their article with the original headline 'Madonna ruined my track: Avicii slams the Queen of Pop,' the deejay quickly took to social media to blast the tabloid
And it worked! The site softened their headline to 'LISTEN: ‘My demos were better' Hear Avicii on Madonna's latest album.' Avicii thanked the Daily Star for correcting their story. 'Thank you @daily_star for correcting the headline - and rest of article - after hearing the actual audio recording of the interview!' he wrote on Instagram.
Good to know there's no bad blood here.
Meanwhile, Avicii did reveal to the Daily Star who he would like to work with next. 'I'd love to work with Adele and Rihanna,' he said. 'I'm super excited for Rihanna's record, I haven't heard any of it yet either. She is one of the most talented artists of our time.'
From E! Online
Disclosure have addressed the reason why their potential collaboration with Madonna failed to surface.
Rumours began last year that the British dance duo were working with the pop star after Madonna posted a picture of herself with the pair backstage at the Governors Ball festival in New York during June 2014. While Disclosure denied that they were producing Madonna's next album ('Rebel Heart', which was released in March), they didn't at the time rule out a potential collaboration with the singer in the future.
Now, speaking to NME in this week's issue, available digitally and on newsstands now, the electronic duo explained that they 'did discuss maybe working together' but '[we] never really got our hopes up'.
'We never really had any indication that we were going to be working together,' Howard Lawrence said. 'We met her and hung out and she's a lovely person and she's a fan - and I mean, who's not a fan of Madonna? We did discuss maybe working together one day but we never tried to put dates in or anything like that. But I wouldn't say we were disappointed because we never really got our hopes up.'
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Madonna’s 'Vogue' reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, we reached out to the song’s co-producer and co-writer, dance legend Shep Pettibone, for - amazingly - his first interview in 20 years.
We talked to Pettibone, of course, about the genesis and making of 'Vogue,' but also his later work with the diva on The Immaculate Collection and Erotica, the sampling lawsuit against him and Madonna over 'Vogue,' and why he stepped away from the music business nearly 20 years ago.
To read the full interview visit www.billboard.com/vogue-producer-shep-pettibone-interview
The Queen of Pop reigns with 'Ghosttown,' giving her the most No. 1s of any artist on a single Billboard chart. 'Thanks to all my fans on & off the dancefloor,' she tells Billboard.
The Queen of Pop is now unequaled chart royalty. Madonna makes momentous Billboard chart history, as she now has the most No. 1s ever, 45, by an act on a singular Billboard chart. She earns her 45th No. 1 on Dance Club Songs, where 'Ghosttown' lifts 3-1.
(The chart, dated May 30, will refresh on Billboard.com Thursday, May 21.)
With the coronation, Madonna passes another icon, George Strait, who's logged 44 No. 1s on Hot Country Songs.
'Thanks to all my fans on and off the dancefloor,' Madonna said in an exclusive statement to Billboard. 'I'll (always) be your partner.'
With her 45th leader on Dance Club Songs, which measures reports submitted by a national sample of club DJs, Madonna pulls further ahead of runners-up Beyonce and Rihanna. In fact, Madonna has tallied more No. 1s as they have combined: 22 each. (The chart launched as a national survey in the Billboard issue dated Aug. 28, 1976.)
Madonna bests Strait (still, and always, the King of Country), who's sent 44 singles to No. 1 on Hot Country Songs between 1982 and 2009. He first reigned with 'Fool Hearted Memory' (Aug. 28, 1982) and most recently ruled with 'River of Love' (April 18, 2009).
Madonna's 'Ghosttown' moves up seven to #6 on Billboard's Dance/Club Play Chart (16 May 2015).
'Ghosttown' again is the 'Greatest Gainer' of the week. For the 3rd week in a row!
From Billboard.com - thanks to Micheal
When Madonna’s Rebel Heart album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 last month, it continued the diva’s hot streak in the top 10, which has been going strong since her self-titled debut hit the region in 1984. In total, Madonna has earned 21 top 10 albums, including all 13 of her studio efforts. Among women, only Barbra Streisand has more top 10s (with 33).
Let’s take a closer look at all 21 of Madonna’s top 10 albums - from Madonna to Rebel Heart - and dive into their chart histories at www.billboard.com/madonna-21-top-10-albums
Madonna posted a series of messages and pictures about her involvement of the TIDAL music streaming launch yesterday:
'Here comes the Tidal Wave!!! Who Runs The World???????? #rebelhearts'
'Bad Girls of Tidal!! #Unapologeticbitches #rebelhearts'
'Tidal is not about consumption and greed! Its about protecting an art-form that is beloved to all of us MUSIC! #rebelhearts stand together for what they believe in!'
'Everything will be explained and revealed in time! Have Faith! And remember nothing is for free! This is a universal LAW. Somewhere-Somehow-Someone has to pay. There is always an exchange. #truth. #tidal'
'If you refer to Tidal as Illuminati, you are paying us the highest of compliments. As I've stated before it is another name for "The Enlightened Ones" a group of scientists, philosophers and artists that emerged after the dark ages. They changed and shaped the world for the better! Do the research and find out for yourself! #knowledge is power #rebelheart'
Madonna, Rihanna, Beyonce and Jay Z are among the A-list musicians who are co-owners of Tidal, a streaming service being billed as the first artist-owned platform for music and video.
The membership-based service - similar to subscription service Spotify - will provide music and video content that users can stream on computers, tablets and smartphones or listen to offline. It is being offered in two formats: standard sound quality, and 'lossless high fidelity sound quality'.
Kanye West, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jack White and Nicki Minaj were among the artists who announced at last night's New York event that they are co-owners of the service that launched quietly in October.
The celebrities, who also included Jason Aldean, Usher, members of Arcade Fire and deadmau5, stood in a line onstage as Keys spoke to the audience. Most of them wore black as a sign of solidarity. Keys called the event 'a graduation'.
She said the artists hope Tidal will 'forever change the course of music history' and ensure the viability of the industry.
Keys said: "So we come together before you on this day, March 30 2015, with one voice in unity in the hopes that today will be another one of those moments in time, a moment that will forever change the course of music history. For today we announce of Tidal, the first ever artist-owned, global music and entertainment platform.
'Our mission goes beyond commerce, it goes beyond technology. Our intent is to preserve music's importance in our lives. Music is the language of love, of laughter, of heartbreak, of mystery. It's the world's true, true, without question, universal language.'
Each of the owners signed documents at the event as the audience screamed when they walked to a table in the centre of the stage.
From Press Association Via Yahoo! News
Madonna has written a song for Kanye West's next album.
The controversial hip-hop star helped produce several tracks on the Material Girl's new record Rebel Heart, and she returned the favour by penning a song for his next release.
She tells Complex magazine, 'He ended up only working on four songs, and then we wrote another song together, which is going to be on his record.'
Madonna also revealed she has future plans to team up with Drake, adding, 'We're gonna work together. Yeah, baby, it's in the pipeline.'
Madonna's Living For Love lands at #26 in a welcome return to the Official Single Charts in the UK. It is her 71st Top 40 hit!
Madonna's 'Living For Love' hits #1 on the UK iTunes chart just hours ahead of her BRIT Awards performance tonight!
Hopefully a great performance of the track tonight will push her downloads even higher!
Madonna has shot up to number two on the UK iTunes chart with her new single.
The star's latest release 'Living For Love' was made available in the UK earlier today (February 25), and has quickly scaled the iTunes sales chart.
It is only currently behind Noel Gallagher's promotional track 'Lock All The Doors', which has been released to promote his new album Chasing Yesterday.
'Living For Love's high sales have been achieved despite Radio 1 refusing to playlist the track as they deemed it irrelevant for their younger demographic - a decision which was protested by Madonna's fans.
'Living For Love' has been released in the UK today ahead of Madonna's performance at the Brit Awards this evening.
The star will take to the stage at London's O2 arena for the ceremony, which will be broadcast live on ITV from 8pm.
From Digital Spy
Madonna debuts on Pop Songs at No. 36 with 'Living for Love,' aided by concentrated on plays on several iHeartMedia-owned stations; for instance, WHTZ New York played it 19 times in the week ending Feb. 22, according to Nielsen Music, and KIIS Los Angeles spun it 16 times. She makes her 29th visit (dating to the chart's October 1992 launch) and first since 2012, when 'Give Me All Your Luvin',' featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., and 'Girl Gone Wild' reached Nos. 24 and 38, respectively (sparked by notable plays at iHeartMedia; 'Luvin' ' aired hourly for nearly three days at the chain leading up to her Super Bowl halftime appearance that year).
As previously reported, 'Living,' which Madonna performed at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8, makes esteemed history on Dance Club Songs, where it reaches No. 1, becoming Madonna's 44th leader on the list. She ties George Strait, who's logged 44 No. 1s on Hot Country Songs, for the most toppers by an artist ever on any Billboard chart. 'Living' also debuts on Dance/Mix Show Airplay at No. 35.
From Billboard.com - thanks to Micheal
Madonna is still breaking records. Her latest single 'Living for Love' has topped Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs chart, making it her 44th No. 1 song on the Dance charts. Billboard describes the Queen of Pop‘s latest achievement.
'The Queen of Pop reigns again with ‘Living for Love,’ tying with George Strait, the King of Country, for the most leaders on a single Billboard chart. Madonna makes Billboard chart history, as she earns her 44th No. 1 on Dance Club Songs, where ‘Living for Love’ lifts 2-1.'
There is more good news for the former material girl. Her single 'Living for Love' is finally exploding at pop radio. It is currently No. 37 and is gaining more than a million listener impressions a day. Many thought that Madonna’s new single was gaining airplay because of a radio pay deal, but it has been confirmed that radio stations are playing it out of their own will - that means Ms. Ciccone is getting a lot of requests and great call-out research.
Madonna has yet to debut on the Billboard Hot 100, but that should change now that 'Living for Love' is getting a lot of exposure. The success of 'Living for Love' will help Madonna’s next single 'Ghosttown,' which probably won’t have to be released for a long time now that 'Living for Love' is here for the long term. The folks at American radio obviously still care about the Queen of Pop. However, there have been rumors that the BBC’s Radio 1 has banned Madonna from their playlist because she is 'too old.' The Inquisitr spoke to Radio 1, who denied the claims.
Perhaps Radio 1 will see how successful Madonna has been in the United States with her new single and add it to their playlist. Madonna is scheduled to perform at the Brit Awards next week. Madonna will release Rebel Heart on March 10. Around that time, dates for her upcoming tour should be announced as well. The year 2015 is going to be a great year for Madonna fans.
From: www.inquisitr.com - thanks to David
Madonna has achieved another career milestone tying with country crooner George Strait for logging the most No. 1 singles on Billboard charts.
The Queen of Pop’s latest single 'Living for Love' marks her 44th No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart.
Strait, also called the King of Country, also logged 44 chart toppers between 1982 and 2009 on Hot Country Songs.
Madonna’s 13th studio album, 'Rebel Heart' is due out March 10.
From Relax News Via Yahoo! News
Giorgio Moroder insists Madonna will be very 'big again' if she releases the right album.
The legendary producer-and-DJ is excited to hear the 56-year-old singer's next LP - which leaked earlier this month but is due for release next year - and is very pleased she is has been recording dance tracks with Avicii because he believes that is the best genre for her.
He told BANG Showbiz: 'Madonna is still relevant, people still love her and she's still good. She's getting older of course but she still has a great voice. I think if she makes the right dance album I think she could become quite big again. I know she's working with very young people and I think she could do well with the right record.'
Madonna is an admirer of Moroder and her track 'Future Lovers' - which featured on her 2005 album 'Confessions on a Dance Floor' - has a bass line inspired by Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love', which Moroder produced and she opened her 2006 'Confessions Tour' with a medley of 'Future Lovers' and 'I Feel Love'.
Moroder is releasing his own new album in 2015, his first studio LP for more than 30 years, and the record features collaborations with Britney Spears, Sia, Charli XCX, Kylie Minogue, Mikky Ekko and Foxes, among others.
As well as his album, the 74-year-old musician still DJs all over the world and admits he was pleased when the EDM movement took off because he started to earn more money.
Moroder - who was a pioneer of dance music in the 70s and 80s - quipped: 'I love EDM because there's a lot of money around and I'm a DJ too so I'm making nice money! It is the pop music of the world now, the music that is considered dance.'
Leave it to Madonna to rhyme 'illuminati' with 'party,' as she does on 'Illuminati,' from her upcoming album, 'Rebel Heart.'
Like Prince, she has always been obsessed with both earthly pleasures and spiritual transcendence. But rarely have these two themes collided in such a head-on manner as they do on the six 'Rebel Heart' tracks she recently released after unfinished versions of some album tracks leaked; since then, 14 more unauthorized songs have surfaced on the Internet.
So what’s on Madonna’s mind? Just about everything. On 'Devil Pray,' a song about trying to overcome addiction, she sings 'Take my sins and wash them away/Teach me how to pray.' Yet 'Bitch I’m Madonna,' which features a guest rap from Nicki Minaj, is one of the most simplistic party anthems she’s ever done: 'We’ll be drinking, ain’t nobody gonna stop us/And well be kissing everyone that’s around us.'
'Unapologetic Bitch' is an angry breakup song, while 'Living for Love' is a gospel-inflected anthem about the healing power of love, and 'Ghosttown' is about retreating from the harshness of the world with your lover.
Granted, Madonna, 56, has never been particularly interested in thematic coherence on her albums. But these tracks are really all over the place. 'The reason I wanted to call the record ‘Rebel Heart’ was because I felt like it explored two very distinct sides of my personality,' Madonna told Billboard.com. 'The rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me. In my mind, it was almost like I wanted to do a two-record set.'
'The music leads me - so I get lost in the sound of the music, and that creates a kind of emotional palate,' she elaborated to RollingStone.com. 'I found as I would look back at my songs and witness what I had written, I was coming from two very distinct places. I was observing, ‘Oh, these are two very strong sides of me that I need to express.’ '
Not including Madonna, who co-wrote and co-produced each song, 14 co-writers and 10 co-producers are credited on these six tracks. Alicia Keys co-wrote and played piano on 'Living for Love,' and Kanye West co-produced 'Illuminati.' Diplo - whose co-produced M.I.A.’s 'Paper Planes' as well as hits by Usher, Chris Brown and Alex Clare - is the dominant collaborator, with four co-writing and three co-producing credits.
Each song lives in a stylistic world of its own. 'Living for Love' is the most ecstatic dance number, 'Devil Pray' is moody mid-tempo semi-acoustic pop, and 'Ghosttown' is an atmospheric, warmly crooned ballad. 'Unapologetic Bitch' is ska-rap, and on the chilly 'Illuminati,' Madonna’s voice is processed to the point where it doesn’t really sound human. 'Bitch I’m Madonna' has a swirling, futuristic sound, and Madonna sings here with a childish sing-song quality, punctuated by angry outbursts.
And yet, despite their differences, these tracks have one thing in common: With their strong hooks, they all have the potential to be successful singles. And that kind of consistency hasn’t really been a hallmark of Madonna’s most recent albums.
Madonna may have been forced into releasing these songs, and she’s not happy about it, having called it 'a form of terrorism' and 'artistic rape.' But it’s going to work to her advantage, since these six tracks create a very good first impression of the 'Rebel Heart' album.
Madonna catapults onto Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart with three tracks from her upcoming Rebel Heart album: 'Bitch I'm Madonna' (No. 14), 'Living for Love' (No. 16) and 'Unapologetic Bitch' (No. 26).
The songs, available for instant download upon pre-ordering the album (due March 10) or as a la carte purchases, were made available digitally in a surprise move at midnight on Friday (Dec. 19), following massive demo leaks earlier in the week. (An additional 14 demos leaked on Dec. 23.) The songs soar onto the chart, therefore, on the strength of only a partial week of sales and with only small benefits from other metrics (streaming, radio airplay and club play).
The cuts mark Madonna's first entries on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, which premiered on Jan. 26, 2013.
'Bitch I'm Madonna,' featuring Nicki Minaj, leads with sales of 12,000 downloads, according to Nielsen Music. 'Living,' the album's first proper single, starts with 10,000 sold and 'Unapologetic,' 7,000. The tracks begin on Dance/Electronic Digital Songs at Nos. 9, 12 and 14, respectively. (She notches her first top 10 on the list, which launched in January 2010.)
Two versions of 'Living,' the album original and an instrumental, shipped to club DJs on the evening of Dec. 21. Remixes are currently in production and, once approved by Madonna, will be sent out.
Madonna leads all acts with 43 Dance Club Songs No. 1s, with her most recent, 'Turn Up the Radio,' ruling on Sept. 8, 2012.
Madonna told Billboard on Dec. 21 that 'Living' went through more than 10 incarnations during the recording process, including ones with vocals from British singer MNEK. 'There will be remixes with MNEK's voice,' she confirmed.
As for radio airplay, top 40 has so far not warmed to 'Living.' It's received a mere 10 plays at the format (through Dec. 23) (led by KMXV Kansas City, which has sampled it three times). Then again, Interscope Records serviced the song at midnight, Monday morning (Dec. 22) as a soft sell. An Interscope source tells Billboard that the label will re-service the song after New Year's and decide on an official 'add' date shortly thereafter. (Surely the song's rush release and Christmas week timing, when many programmers are on vacation, play into radio's general lack of interest in the song so far.)
Madonna last reached the Pop Songs airplay chart in 2012, when 'Give Me All Your Luvin' ' (featuring Minaj and M.I.A.) and 'Girl Gone Wild' reached Nos. 24 and 38, respectively. 'Luvin' 'was aided by coordinated first-day plays on iHeartMedia-owned stations, as well as Madonna's performance of it during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVI.
'The reason I wanted to call the record Rebel Heart was because I felt like it explores two very distinct sides of my personality,' Madonna says. (The album's buzz spurred Madonna to top the Billboard + Twitter real-time Trending 140 chart on Dec. 22.) 'The rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me.'
'(Fans will) just get my rebellious and romantic side all mixed in together.'
From Billboard.com - thanks to Micheal
Fourteen more Madonna tracks have leaked, following the 13 demos that appeared online without the performer’s permission last week.
The leak comes in the wake of Madonna’s attempt to circumvent her previous unfinished work appearing online by releasing six tracks from her upcoming album Rebel Heart earlier than she intended to distribute them.
The new leak first appeared on Dec. 23 and includes 14 songs. According to Idolator, the tracks, including a collaboration with Pharrell, are: 'Veni Vidi Vici,' 'Beautiful Scars,' 'Freedom,' 'God Is Love,' 'Hold Tight,' 'Best Night,' 'Inside Out,' 'Tragic Girl,' 'Nothing Lasts Forever,' 'Holy Water,' 'Graffiti Heart,' 'Body Shop,' and 'Back That Up (Do It) feat. Pharrell.'
Madonna posted the upcoming album to her Instagram, writing, 'Real Rebels think for themselves! Real Rebels respect ART! Real Rebels are Rebels in their #rebelheart.' After the last leak, she also posted to her Instagram account and thanked those fans who have not listened to the leaked tracks.