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Twenty-seven years ago, Madonna set the template for modern pop concerts with her Blond Ambition world tour.
From its hydraulic stage to Jean-Paul Gaultier’s iconic costumes, it raised the bar for stadium-sized spectacle.
Now, after seven huge world tours, the star tells the BBC she’s “exploring” a smaller-scale show in the future.
“I’ve done so many shows – world tours, stadiums, sports arenas, you name it – that I feel like I have to reinvent that now too,” she explains.
“I like doing intimate shows and being able to talk directly to the audience.
“This is something I’m exploring right now: the idea of doing a show that doesn’t travel the world, but stays in one place and utilises not only humour and the music in a more intimate setting but other people’s music, as well, and other entertainment.
“Kind of a revolving door of amazing, gifted, unique talent – dancers, musicians, singers, comedians, me, humour. I don’t know! Like, I’m trying to come up with all those ideas now.”
The concerts will presumably owe much to the vaudeville-style Tears of a Clown show that Madonna performed twice in 2016 – once as a gift to fans in Australia, and again at a fundraiser for her Raising Malawi charity.
The low-key gigs featured the pop icon dressed as a clown, riding a tricycle, chatting to the audience and telling jokes when not performing stripped-back renditions of some of her favourite songs.
Footage of the Australian concert appears on the star’s new DVD, released on Friday, which documents her 2015-16 Rebel Heart Tour.
In an exclusive interview with BBC News, she talked about touring life, changing attitudes to sex, and her recent dispute with a courier company.
Before we start, there’s one thing I need to know: Did your FedEx package ever arrive?
Ha ha! Yes, it has. FedEx is blaming customs, customs is blaming FedEx and we’ll never know what happened. But I have it now.
So, I saw the Rebel Heart tour when you were in London and the DVD does a really good job of capturing what it was like to be in the audience. How do you go about that?
I was there every step of the way, every day for months and months. It’s really hard to capture the true feeling of the excitement and the passion and the heat and the blood, sweat and tears. I’m pleased with the way it came out.
There’s a particularly touching sequence during True Blue, where everybody in the audience embraces each other.
I know, it’s a very sweet, emotional moment in the show. I didn’t expect it to be, but when I look back at the DVD it almost brings a tear to my eye because everyone seems so in love.
When the owners of New York City’s Studio 54 were indicted on federal income tax charges in 1979, Mark Fleischman knew he was next in line to take over the infamous nightclub.
“Studio 54 was the most famous club in the world during the late ‘70s and I knew it,” Fleischman recalled to Fox News. Fleischman eventually became the owner of the hotspot. He recently released his memoir, “Inside Studio 54,” which details the rise and fall of Manhattan’s champagne and cocaine-fueled lair.
He insisted Madonna was a diva long before she was a pop star.
“I don’t know when she first became a diva, but it was in her blood,” he said. “She was there one afternoon to do a soundcheck on her song ‘Holiday.’ She was meeting Frankie Crocker, who was the top DJ in the United States. Most performers really wanted to please him. And she was cursing at him because he was late. I found it interesting that was her attitude before she even became famous.”
Madonna is seen visiting the sprawling 1865 estate near Lisbon
The main house has four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, four garages and 20 parking places.
This collection features 22 smash songs from the “Material Girl.” It kicks off with “Iconic” and the unapologetic “Bitch I’m Madonna,” prior to her classic hit “Burning Up,” which had a retro vibe to it. The DVD includes an acoustic version of “True Blue” and a distinct version of “Like a Virgin.”
Equally fun was her “Living for Love” song, which was followed by such pop staples as “La Isla Bonita,” and “Dress You Up,” which was incorporated as a medley with “Lucky Star” and “Into the Groove.” Some of the highlight songs were “Like a Prayer,” “Music,” her namesake song “Material Girl” and her encore performance of “Holiday.” She commanded the stage for the duration of the “Rebel Heart Tour,” where she proved that the pop throne still belongs to her, well over 30 years into her accomplished career.
With her “Rebel Heart Tour,” Madonna was able to take the music fan on a journey of her hits over all the years from the 80’s until her latest radio singles today. It was a true labor of love, and for a viewer, a treat from a musical goddess.
Overall, this live DVD and Blu-ray of the “Rebel Heart Tour” is a must for any die-hard fan of Madonna, who is the best-selling female recording artist of all time; moreover, it is recommended for anybody who may have missed her “Rebel Heart Tour,” since it gives the viewer a front-row seat to that vivacious musical experience. Eagle Vision delivers once again. It garners an A rating.
Source : DigitalSource
Madonna may be the highest-selling female artist of all time, but at home she’s just Mom — or “Mambo,” as the four youngest of her six kids call her.
The pop icon, 59, offered a rare glimpse inside her private world, inviting PEOPLE to join her in Malawi on July 11, when she opened the Mercy James Centre for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, the nation’s first children’s hospital. A month later, at her home in London, she opened up about her emotional adoption journey, why she’s dedicated to helping the children of Malawi — and her busy, rewarding life as mom to Lourdes, 20, Rocco, 17, David, 11, Mercy, 11, and 5-year-old twins Estere and Stella.
Malawi — a beautiful but struggling country in southeast Africa — has become a “second home” for Madonna in recent years. After first visiting in 2006, she founded Raising Malawi, a nonprofit that aims to educate and support health services for countless orphans and children in the country. It’s also where she met four kids who would change her life forever.
Already mom to Lourdes (with former flame Carlos Leon) and Rocco (with ex-husband Guy Ritchie), the singer first saw son David Banda at Home of Hope, an orphanage in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city. He was a baby battling pneumonia and malaria at the time, and feeling an instant connection, she began the adoption process.
But when she brought him home to London in 2008, the reception wasn’t anything she’d imagined. “Every newspaper said I kidnapped him,” Madonna says. “In my mind, I was thinking, ‘Wait a minute. I’m trying to save somebody’s life. Why are you all s—-ing on me right now?’ I did everything by the book. That was a real low point for me. I would cry myself to sleep.”
Madonna met Mercy James around the same time as David, and adopting her was even more difficult. Because she had recently divorced Ritchie, Malawian officials told her “I was not capable of raising a child,” she says. “The way I was treated — that sexist behavior — was ridiculous,” adds Madonna, who successfully challenged the refusal in Malawi’s Supreme Court and brought home Mercy in 2009.
In February, the star brought home Estere and Stella, orphaned twins whom she met at Home of Hope 2½ years ago. Last summer, she again began the adoption process, which she says was just as rigorous: “Because I’m a public figure, people don’t want to be perceived as giving me any kind of special treatment, so I get the hard road.”
Adds the proud mom: “It’s complicated, but it’s so worth it.”
After seven months, Estere and Stella are acclimated. “It’s like they’ve always been here,” says Madonna of the precocious pair, who have become the stars of her latest Instagram posts.
Moana and Sing play on loop at her home, but when “Holiday” came on during dinner and David told the twins it was one of Mambo’s hits, “they were like, ‘Huh?’” Madonna says.
Of the fact that their mom is the Queen of Pop: “They don’t have a clue,” she says, “and that’s a good thing. I’m just their mother.”
Source : People Magazine
If you were to see someone tweet the phrase “Madonna is everything,” you might attribute it to a very 2017 type of online hyperbole. And yes, Madonna is everything in that sense, but from a pop perspective Madonna also feels like everything because in a career spanning four decades she has attacked, absorbed, and conquered pop music from every possible angle.
When Madonna’s referenced as the Queen of Reinvention, it tends to suggest the linear series of career moves, from album to album, sonic era to sonic era, hairstyle to hairstyle. In reality, her layered approach to pop domination has frequently seemed to consist of multiple Madonnas existing at the same time. Here are six of her best, key to understanding her work.
Madonna, The Controversialist
Many of Madonna’s supposedly controversial songs (like ‘80s hit “Papa Don’t Preach,” with its subtext of abortion) are now more clearly identified as feminist statements or expressions of self, but that’s not to say Madonna has never deliberately courted outright controversy.
It’s easy to mock the quaint ’80s reaction to the lyrics of “Like A Virgin,” but it’s also fair to say that if a mainstream 2017 pop act—Ariana Grande, for instance—released the video Madonna made for “Like A Prayer,” all hell would still break loose. That video tackled religion, race, and sex, with scenes depicting murder, burning crosses, and Madonna with stigmata-esque wounds. It led to predictable complaints from the American Family Association, a denouncement by the Vatican, and a $5 million Pepsi ad campaign being benched. It would have been disingenuous of Madonna to feign surprise at the reaction. And she didn’t. Her response? “Art should be controversial, and that’s all there is to it.”
Madonna upped the ante on her next formal album, 1992’s Erotica, and its accompanying artifacts, including the boundary-breaking “Justify My Love” video and a coffee table book called Sex, whose main shock value these days involves the inclusion of Vanilla Ice. Fast-forward to 2017, after decades of refusing to be silenced: Live on CNN from the Women’s March on Washington, Madonna delivered a passionate speech about change, sacrifice, rebellion, the tyranny of Trump, and the power of love. There was more, of course: “To our detractors that insist this march will never add up to anything: fuck you. Fuck. You.” Not great news for CNN’s switchboard but a fair point, well made.
Madonna, The Club Queen
When Madonna descended on New York in 1978, she’d just dropped out of a University of Michigan dance scholarship and was hell-bent on making it as a professional dancer. So, spoiler alert, she’s not averse to tripping the light fantastic, as her 1983 debut proved out the gate. Her discography is full of floorfillers, and she holds the record for the most No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Dance/Club Songs Chart, even if some of those chart-topping tracks—like the various mixes of the poignant gender-role assessment “What It Feels Like For A Girl”—make for a somewhat complex shimmy.
Peppered throughout Madonna’s career are more direct hints at what it might be like to actually—imagine this!—go dancing with Madonna. She likes to boogie woogie, this much we know from “Music.” On the 2000 album track “Impressive Instant,” Madonna reveals that her skills extend to both rhumba and samba (though bear in mind this was also the song where she declared, “I like to singy singy singy like a bird on a wingy wingy wingy,” so there’s that). Most significantly, Madonna’s belief in the dance floor as a sacred space is described in “Vogue” with words some will find as inspiring in 2017 as listeners almost three decades ago did: “When all else fails and you long to be something better than you are today, I know a place where you can get away—it’s called a dance floor.”
Released a few years earlier, True Blue album cut “Where’s The Party” was ostensibly a song about going out and losing control after a week at work. Madonna wistfully recalls that as a child she “couldn’t wait to get older,” before acknowledging that getting older hasn’t been everything she’d hoped, then looking ahead to the future: “Don’t want to grow old too fast, don’t want to let the system get me down.” Like some of the best pop songs, it’s about living in the moment, even if the importance of doing so only makes sense in the context of what came before, and what will come in the future. Which leads us to…
Madonna, The Clockwatcher
Madonna looked closer to home on another time-shifting track, “This Used to Be My Playground” from A League of Their Own, with further songs like “Oh Father” and “Live To Tell” also looking back on Madonna’s upbringing with themes of defiance, resolve, and closure.
A more literal timepiece motif emerged during the 2000s, when the lead singles from two successive Madonna albums each began with the sound of a clock ticking. In the first, 2005’s Abba-sampling behemoth “Hung Up,” the ticking clock was inspired by producer Stuart Price’s earlier remix of Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For,” and was followed by Madonna’s observation that “time goes by so slowly for those who wait, those who run seem to have all the fun.”
By 2008, it was Timbaland administering the ticks on “4 Minutes,” rather improbably Madonna’s second most-streamed song on Spotify. That song’s lyrics (“We only got four minutes to save the world… grab a boy, then grab a girl”) suggested procreation-based speed dating, but Madonna later explained that they hinged on “living on borrowed time essentially, and people are becoming much more aware of the environment and how we’re destroying the planet.” Madonna may have overestimated the urgency but, well, that clock’s still ticking.
Madonna, The Moviegoer
The are various words we might use to describe Madonna’s film career, one of the more generous being “lengthy.” Since the ’80s, Madonna’s screen credits have prompted a series of musical contributions whose quality has frequently, often mercifully, failed to correlate with that of the actual movie.
Were one to assemble those alongside songs contributed to films in which Madonna didn’t even appear, you’d have one of the modern pop era’s most surreal career retrospectives. It would include glossy pop jam “Who’s That Girl,” wistful ballad-banger “I’ll Remember” (from a dreadful Joe Pesci-Brendan Fraser vehicle), the William Orbit-produced, Austin Powers-soundtracking “Beautiful Stranger,” a peculiar cover of “American Pie” featuring Rupert Everett, the slightly mind-boggling “Hanky Panky” (and the rest of her *Dick Tracy* companion LP), futuristic Bond theme “Die Another Day,” and (on a technicality) “Into the Groove.”
By law, that compilation would also need to include Madonna’s take on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” but not the version she sang in Evita. Instead we’d have the castanet-strewn, 100 percent spectacular, seven-minute remix, for which Madonna recorded brand new vocals and a second chorus entirely in Spanish. Sadly, some may say criminally, this definitive version of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” is unavailable on streaming services, but it does live on via YouTube.
Madonna, The Pensive Chanteuse
Treat with deep suspicion anybody who links lyrical substance to low tempo. That said, while Madonna has definitely explored the extremes of human emotion via dance floor smashes, some of her most profound thoughts have arrived within her most elegant songs. On her wildly underrated American Life album, “Nothing Fails” boasts a tempo that barely reaches the status of mid, but for a truly downbeat masterpiece, try Ray Of Light’s “Drowned World/Substitute For Love,” a prelude to a reflective and immersive album whose sonic departure made it the riskiest move in a career built on the avoidance of safe decisions. It’s there that we found Madonna, who’d previously sung plenty about being a daughter, singing for the first time about being a parent (via sparse lullaby “Little Star”) while also, on mesmerizing album closer “Mer Girl,” reflecting on the death of her own mother.
Madonna, The Hopeful Romantic
Madonna undoubtedly defined the role of sex in modern pop, but just as prominently—in songs as diverse as “Take A Bow,” “Get Together,” and “Borderline”—are themes of romance, heartbreak, and optimism. “The thing is,” Madonna told Rolling Stone regarding 2015’s “Living For Love,” “lots of people write about being in love and being happy or they write about having a broken heart and being inconsolable. But nobody writes about having a broken heart and being hopeful and triumphant afterwards. I didn’t want to share the sentiment of being a victim. This scenario devastated me, but it just made me stronger.”
The survival spirit of “Living for Love“ came to life in an unexpected way. One of the song’s first performances took place at the 2015 Brit Awards, where, at a key moment, a dancer tugged Madonna’s cloak. The garment should have billowed away to reveal Madonna’s full performance outfit, but the clasp jammed. Madonna was abruptly yanked off the stage platform but was back on her feet within seconds, singing lines like, “Lifted me up, and watched me stumble… after the heartache, I’m gonna carry on.” She finished the song, conjuring a live TV victory where others would have conceded defeat.
The aftermath was Madonna in excelsis: She didn’t block the performance’s upload to the Brits’ YouTube channel. She didn’t hide the imperfection or pretend it had not happened. In fact, within a week, the full performance was on her official VEVO channel, where it remains. Elsewhere on Rebel Heart, Madonna sings, “I’m only human”—which is true, of course. Madonna definitely is a human being—she just happens to be one whose remarkable longevity and multifaceted creativity justify her reputation as the Queen of Pop.
Madonna and her adopted twin daughters have accepted undisclosed damages from Associated Newspapers over a “serious invasion of privacy”.
The singer adopted four-year-old twins Stella and Estere in February.
At the time she asked the media to “respect our privacy during this transitional time.”
Madonna brought the case at London’s High Court over a MailOnline article that caused her “considerable personal distress“, her solicitor said.
The article – which appeared in January, before Madonna had formally adopted the twins – revealed the girls’ names, race and age.
It also disclosed the fact they lived in an orphanage in Malawi and were the subject of pending applications for adoption by the singer.
“The MailOnline published it at a time when, as the journalist ought to have appreciated, Madonna would be powerless to protect the girls from harm,” solicitor Jenny Afia told Mrs Justice Nicola Davies on Thursday.
“Their actions could, in her view, have threatened the integrity and/or outcome of the adoption process which would have had potentially life-changing implications for the girls, as well as for Madonna and her family.”
“Many people in Malawi know of Madonna as an individual of fame and financial means,” she went on.
“In the circumstances, Madonna believes that it would (and should) have been self-evident to the reporter that the protection of the girls’ identities pending the decision about their potential adoption was likely to be vital for their safety and welfare.”
After the hearing, Ms Afia said: “Madonna brought this litigation because the newspaper threatened her girls’ safety by naming them before they were adopted.
“She will always take all possible steps to protect her family’s well-being.”
Ms Afia added that Madonna would donate the damages to The Mercy James Institute for Paediatric Surgery.
The children’s hospital in Malawi opened earlier this month and is named after one of the singer’s other adopted daughters.
“She is pleased that at least some good can come out of the situation,” Ms Afia said.
Leonardo DiCaprio can still draw a crowd while hauling in some major cash.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation played host at the 4th annual fundraising auction gala on Wednesday in St. Tropez where the Oscar-winning actor welcomed friends and allies who share LDF’s mission of “protecting the earth and all of its inhabitants through projects that build climate resiliency, protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, and restore balance to threatened ecosystems and communities.”
The event brought in a whopping $30 million thanks to table sales and the exclusive auction, which is always heavy on art. Though there is a ways to go to reach last year’s tally of $45 million. Wednesday’s auction, conducted by Simon de Pury, featured works by Paul McCarthy, Damien Hirst, Jonas Wood, Cecily Brown, Richard Prince and a special commission by Lawrence Weiner.
The experiences section has also snagged a fair share of headlines in the hours after the event thanks to the promise of a Titanic reunion over dinner. DiCaprio and Winslet will pair up for a dinner date with a winning bidder in New York this fall. Other auction items are now available online. Art featured in the auction was curated by Lisa Schiff of SFA Advistory with Andy Boose and AAB Productions handling event production duties.
Winslet was in attendance along with another Titanic star, Billy Zane. Joining them were Adrien Brody, Tobey Maguire, Anne Hidalgo, Doutzen Kroes, Taylor Hill, Iman Hamman and Gerard Butler. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was honored with the foundation’s “New World Leadership Award” for her commitment to bringing about sustainable policies and innovative climate resiliency programs in Paris.
There was another reunion worth noting. Sean Penn was there too, and he watched ex Madonna hit the stage to perform songs including “4 Minutes,” “Ray of Light,” “Ghosttown,” “Open Your Heart” and “La Isla Bonita.” Lenny Kravitz also rocked out for the jet set crowd.
DiCaprio, the LDF founder and chairman, presided over the festivities with foundation CEO Terry Tamminen and the global fundraising chairman Milutin Gatsby, who spearheaded the launch of the gala. “The health of our planet is grave – this crisis is real,” DiCaprio said in his remarks. “What we seem to lose sight of is that we are part of nature, in fact we depend on nature for our very survival. Our natural systems sustain us with all that is necessary for life – such as ample food, clean air and drinkable water.”
He also explained the impact his foundation has had with its environmental efforts. “We helped protect more than 1.6 million square kilometers of ocean – an area more than twice the size of Texas – including in the Ross Sea. Our work is helping save endangered species such as the wild jaguar and the Gray Wolf, which has made a comeback after being on the brink of extinction,” he noted. “We are active in Tanzania, restoring the wildlife of Mkomazi national park, and in the grasslands of Kenya, where we are helping jump start an important carbon sequestration project. These are just a few of the stories about the impact the generosity of our donors has helped make possible.”
Source : HollywoodReporter