Long before Miley Cyrus made the headlines with her foam finger, or Rihanna’s provocative stage routines had us all talking, there was only one reigning Queen of Controversy, and that was Madonna.
Over her long career, she’s pushed the envelope as far as it will go, mixing sexual and religious imagery in her music videos and stage shows long before anyone was doing it.
Whether she was rolling around the stage at the VMAs, having her controversial ‘Justify My Love’ video banned from MTV or just snogging Jesus on an altar in ‘Like A Prayer’, Madonna was the undisputed champion of raising eyebrows – but there was one notable occasion she might have taken things a bit too far.
In fact, 25 years ago today, Madonna’s raunchy on-stage behaviour almost landed her in trouble with the law, due to a particularly provocative performance of her hit ‘Like A Virgin’.
For her Blonde Ambition tour, Madonna revamped the song with an Eastern vibe, performing it on a bed, alongside two male dancers – who were wearing conic bras, of course – while simulating masturbation on stage.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone was impressed with her not-exactly-family-friendly display, and she was even threatened by the police, before taking to the stage in Toronto, that they were prepared to arrest her if she included the faux masturbation sequence in her routine.
Of course, being Madonna, she went out and did it anyway… and the police, perhaps wisely, decided not to arrest her.
Check out the performance for yourself below…
Madonna Louise Ciccone
Estimated Net Worth:
Music, Clothing, Real Estate
One of the top pop divas of all time. Her tours have grossed an estimated $1.2 billion over the years, including $305 million from her 2012 MDNA tour. That helped her earn an estimated $125 million during the ensuing 12-month period during which FORBES calculated celebrity earnings, more than any other musician. Look for another bump when she goes on the road with her latest album, Rebel Heart, in August.
Source : Forbes
Suzanne Harrington takes a fan’s approach to hunting out the the elephant in the room. Madonna, she says has highlighted the fact that women after 50 are regarded as cultural castrati and should leave the sexual arena quietly — and to the young and beautiful.
RECENTLY on stage at Coachella, during the performance of a track titled ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’, there was an Ageist Kissing Incident. The pop queen of the same name (age 56, album sales 300 million) gave Canadian rapper Drake (age 28, album sales five million) an unscripted kiss — not a peck on the cheek, but an actual snog.
The rapper’s reaction was viscerally ungracious; it was as though he had been licked by ebola, his face curling in disgust as he wiped his hand across his mouth. Afterwards, having realised his epic faux pas, he backtracked on Twitter: “Don’t misinterpret my shock!! I got to make out with the queen Madonna and I feel 100 about that forever.” (100? What? Years old?)
But it was not so much the initial cloddish, uncouth reaction of the rapper as the wider response afterwards which howled of ageism and misogyny. Screams of ‘ugh’ echoed around the internet. An older woman had kissed a younger man — not like Mrs Robinson, or anything Oedipal, but just straightforward, age-irrelevant sexual intent — at least, for on-stage purposes anyway.
Piers Morgan waded straight in: “So Drake proves that kissing Madonna is about as ghastly as I always thought it would be.” (To which another tweeter crisply replied, “Stop crying. Nobody wants to kiss you.”)
Madonna was unimpressed, swiftly telling one fan, “Don’t kiss Drake. No matter how many times he begs you to”. Marilyn Manson added some ghoulish gallantry in i-D magazine by suggesting that Madonna “looks hotter than ever. I’d also like to let it be known that I still have a crush on Madonna and I would definitely fornicate with her.” Madonna’s response? “Um, thanks.”
This might all sound like a snog in a teacup, were it not representative of wider social attitudes. Madonna is a menopausal woman (or at least we presume she is, as she is biologically the right age), and menopausal women are cultural castrati. Display overt sexuality at your peril, ladies, and prepare to be tarred and feathered both online and off, with calls of put it away, Grandma go home, stop embarrassing your children, act your age, that’s disgusting, ewwww.
Here’s the thing. We allow a certain kind of middle aged female sexuality. Discreet, implied, covered up — but even by our forties our sexual selves become labelled as ‘cougar’, with all the predatory baggage that word entails.
This does not happen to men. So when Madonna, at a calendar age regarded as clinically dead when it comes to raunch, prances her sexuality the same as she has always done, she incurs that special kind of wrath reserved for women who refuse to yield to what is expected of them.
Interestingly, it’s not just the Piers Morgans or the twitchfork mobs shouting at Madonna to put it away. Some of her most vociferous critics have been feminists. When she got her nipples out — yes, aged 56 — for Interview magazine, Camille Paglia wrote in The Times how Madonna was “putting herself on the front line of an increasingly toxic war between young and middle-aged women. It is a fight she cannot win and she should learn to age well.”
Paglia continued that older women using Photoshop were a disservice to feminism: “The ultimate issue here is the media-fuelled nuclear arms race being waged between middle-aged women and the young women whose dewy nubility they vampirically covet. This is a war that ageing women can never win: cruel time conquers all.”
Or as an online commentator at Billboard magazine said of Madonna’s Interview shoot: “Those who find these ridiculous photos ‘hot’ are necrophiliac.”
Necrophiliac? Yikes. Madonna, as her job requires, looks better than most 36-year-olds, never mind 56-year-olds. Hers is not a typical 56-year-old face and body, thanks to mountains of work, internal and otherwise.
Yet Paglia urges her to follow convention, to “learn to age well”. That she is ‘competing’ with younger women over the prize of youth. What old-school nonsense. Why should you ever retire your sexuality because a calendar says so? Has anyone told similarly aged George Clooney, Lenny Kravitz, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and all the other men we regard as sexy without making vomiting noises because they are over 50?
Or as Madonna herself asked Jonathan Ross in 1992, when she was 34, “Is there a rule? Are people just supposed to die when they’re 40?”, crossly adding, “That’s just stupid.”
Obviously, no matter how hot someone is, age and generation has some influence. Madonna is not on my teenage daughter’s pop radar. BBC Radio 1,which appeals to a pop audience aged 15-30, caused a fuss in February when it refused to play tracks from her new album, based on her age and “relevance” to that age group (she’s not alone — they don’t play Kylie or Robbie Williams either). Her fans are older, and have grown up with her since her 1982 debut.
But this is not about pop, it’s about female sexuality and its built-in obsolescence. We have long decided that once a woman is no longer biologically fertile, she is no longer sexually desirable.
Check out how Hollywood casts female actors the same age as male actors to play their mothers. Older woman sexuality is almost regarded as a perversion (see the “necrophiliac” comment above). And Madonna, putting her best nipples forward, is challenging this clapped-out perception as only she can.
As someone who has long confronted dominant perceptions head on, initially helping to change our view of ‘feminist’ from bra-burner to bra-flaunter, she has always been subversive, operating from inside the corporate poptocracy.
She didn’t just prance about singing pop tunes — she has always been vocal about equality for women and gay men, her greatest fanbase. And now that she is older, she shows no signs of toning herself down until she is ready, rather than acquiescing to society’s wishes.
Could this pushing against the conservative boundaries of supposed end-stage, public, female sexuality (fellow performers Cher and Tina Turner never quite thrust like Madonna), make her a pioneer of the as-yet unknown cultural phenomenon, the hot menopausal minx?
We are all living far longer these days — do women really have to spend the second half of their lives pretending they are not still hot to trot?
“Of course women in their 50s are still sexual, but their sexualities, one would hope, have advanced beyond that professed by 20-year-olds,” writes Meghan Murphy in her Feminist Current blog. “And I wish, in her efforts to (supposedly) push boundaries, that Madonna would push past the conventional, inauthentic, superficial performance of sexuality presented by objectified 20-year-old girls. She knows better, I’m sure.”
Again, the should-know-better argument. We remain conditioned to categorise and pigeonhole anything connected with women, age and sexuality.
“Women are still the most marginalised group,” Madonna told Out magazine. “They’re still the group that people won’t let change.”
Perhaps her most authentic menopausal admission was during a recent interview — again with Jonathan Ross — when she spoke about her feelings of loss when her own teenage daughter moved out. A deeper loss than anything romantic, she said.
She may be world’s most successful female pop star, a cultural phenomenon, who, three decades into her career continues to challenge our ideas of female sexuality (her music is secondary, frankly), but she still acknowledges the ordinary everyday loss of children growing up and leaving.
Of all the incarnations of Madonna, perhaps Menopausal Madonna will help smash the last barriers for women — sex, ageing, and our real place in the world.
Source : IrishExaminer
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.
The producer/writer/remixer and DJ, now 55 years old, rose to prominence as a go-to remixer in the 1980s for such acts as Janet Jackson, New Order, Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, Whitney Houston and, most spectacularly, Madonna. His reworkings would often earn official promotion to radio, be used in an artist’s music videos, and be heard on tour. (A search for the phrase “Shep Pettibone” on YouTube turns up a treasure trove of sterling remixes.)
For Madonna, Pettibone reworked such classics as “Into the Groove” (his version is heard during Madonna’s Who’s That Girl Tour and on her You Can Dance album) and “Causing a Commotion,” in addition to crafting the popular single versions of “Like a Prayer” and “Express Yourself.”
His frequent work with Madonna led to her then-label, Warner Bros. Records, asking Pettibone if he would like to collaborate with her on an original song. The label’s then-head of dance music, Craig Kostich, “had this idea to see how we would work together, and he asked me to come up with a track for her,” says Pettibone. Assigned a budget of $5,000, he sent the diva the track’s “Philly Salsoul”-inspired music and within two weeks, she flew to New York to record her vocals to the track in a vocal booth in a “basement on West 56th Street.”
“They had converted a closet that had bi-fold doors on it and they had put a sliding glass door on it and that was the vocal booth,” Pettibone says.
They wasted little time in the studio (“She was always a first-take artist. She was pretty amazing that w Continue reading “SHEP PETTIBONE TALKS ABOUT “VOGUE””
Madonna has rescheduled the first five nights of her Rebel Heart Tour, delaying the international trek’s launch more than a week.
Rewinding the Charts: 25 Years Ago, Madonna Was in ‘Vogue’ Atop the Hot 100
Her planned concerts in Miami on Aug. 29 and 30, Atlanta on Sept. 2 and San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 5 and 6 have now been moved to January 2016. Tickets for those previously announced dates will be honored for the newly scheduled shows.
The tour’s new opening night is Sept. 9 in Montreal, Quebec.
“As my fans already know, the show has to be perfect,” said Madonna in a statement. “Assembling all the elements will require more time than we realized. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause my fans. I can promise you this show will be worth the wait. Can’t wait to share it with all my Rebel Hearts out there.”
See Madonna’s updated tour schedule below:
Sept. 9 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
Sept. 10 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
Sept. 12 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
Sept. 16 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
Sept. 17 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
Sept. 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
Sept. 21 – Quebec City, QC @ Centre Vidéotron
Sept. 24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
Sept. 26 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
Sept. 28 – Chicago, IL @ United Center
Oct. 1 – Detroit, MI @ Joe Louis Arena
Oct. 3 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Boardwalk Hall
Oct. 5 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
Oct. 6 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
Oct. 8 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
Oct. 11 – Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
Oct. 12 – Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
Oct. 14 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
Oct. 17 – Portland, OR @ MODA Center
Oct. 19 – San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose
Oct. 22 – Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena
Oct. 24 – Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
Oct. 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Forum
Nov. 4 – Koln, Germany @ Lanxess Arena
Nov. 5 – Koln, Germany @ Lanxess Arena
Nov. 7 – Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena
Nov. 8 – Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena
Nov. 10 – Berlin, Germany @ Mercedes-Benz Arena (O2 World)
Nov. 11 – Berlin, Germany @ Mercedes-Benz Arena (O2 World)
Nov. 14 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Tele 2 Arena
Nov. 17 – Herning, Denmark @ Jyske Bank Boxen
Nov. 19 – Turin, Italy @ Pala Alpitour
Nov. 21 – Turin, Italy @ Pala Alpitour
Nov. 22 – Turin, Italy @ Pala Alpitour
Nov. 24 – Barcelona, Spain @ Palau Sant Jordi
Nov. 25 – Barcelona, Spain @ Palau Sant Jordi
Nov. 28 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Sportpaleis
Nov. 29 – Mannheim, Germany @ SAP Arena
Dec. 1 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
Dec. 2 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
Dec. 5 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Ziggo Dome
Dec. 6 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Ziggo Dome
Dec. 9 – Paris, France @ Bercy
Dec. 10 – Paris, France @ Bercy
Dec. 12 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Hallenstadion
Dec. 14 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Arena
Dec. 16 – Birmingham, UK @ Barclaycard Arena
Dec. 20 – Glasgow, Scotland @ The SSE Hydro
Jan. 20 – Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
Jan. 23 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
Jan. 24 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena
Jan. 27 – San Juan, PR @ Coliseo de Puerto Rico
Jan. 28 – San Juan, PR @ Coliseo de Puerto Rico
This is Daniel Kellison’s memories of working for David Letterman in the 1990s about Madonna.
In 1994, if Julia Roberts was the biggest female movie star in the world, Madonna was arguably the biggest female star. At the same time, due to her pioneering promiscuity and her seemingly insatiable interest in surly actors, athletes, and rappers, she was also endless fodder for the tabloids — and late-night hosts. Dave loved her; she was the gift that kept giving. (As he was fond to repeat back then, “I have a theory about Madonna. I think she likes to shock us.”)
So we were very surprised when she agreed to come on the show.8 I spoke with her longtime rep, Liz Rosenberg, and she said Madonna was interested in coming on and basically giving it back to Dave — a little reciprocal ball-breaking, as it were.
This was, hypothetically, a problematic plan. Not that he couldn’t handle her, but Dave was a professional comedian. Madonna was a professional singer. This could go south quickly if un-reined. (Maybe you saw Madonna’s painful recent attempt at stand-up on Jimmy Fallon?)
After discussing it with Dave, I proposed a plan I thought was pretty bulletproof, that would make her look good, be “funny,” and satisfy her larger goal of making Dave squirm. I got on the phone with Madonna, who was surprisingly and truly lovely, and pitched my idea: How about you go on and complain that he’s been taking shots? He will say it’s exaggerated, he loves you, etc. — and then you say, “Oh yeah? I actually brought some tape from the show.” And then you show, in succession, three of the most horrible jokes he has told — and ask him to explain each one. That ensured his awkwardness — and the laugh. She signed off on the plan without hesitation. I then went and told Letterman I’d had a great talk with her and that she was super-engaged and receptive to the idea — and unless something went terribly wrong, I thought we were in good shape.
The day of the show, she arrived to much fanfare and press anticipation, but with no entourage. Her only accompaniment was her makeup person, Kevyn Aucoin. I walked up to her dressing room, knocked on the door, put out my hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Daniel.” She didn’t get up or offer her hand. Instead she said, “Suckmadick.” I took a beat. “Sorry?” She looked at Kevyn, smiled, and said it again, slower, like a petulant 8-year-old child challenging a parent: “Suck–ma–dick.” She and Kevyn began laughing hysterically. Immediately, I thought: We’re screwed. I smiled wanly and powered on: “Ha … OK, so this will pretty much go as we discussed. We’ve loaded up three pieces of video, each one worse than the other, and after each one …” She stopped me. “That’s too much to remember.”
Hmmm. I paused, now more annoyed than anything. “Uh, not really. It’s actually pretty simple — you show a tape. Get his reaction. Show another. Get his reaction. There are three …” “Yeah, I’m not going to remember all that.” Me, trying not to let my voice break and betray my now very urgent concerns: “Why not?” She started giggling again. “We smoked a little endo before we came here …”9 Fuccccckkkkkkk!!!!
I went down to Dave’s dressing room, which I tried not to do before the show. “We’re in trouble.” Very graciously, he didn’t tell me “I told you so,” instead, knotting his tie with a slight grimace, seemingly bracing himself for the storm.
The intro I wrote probably didn’t help matters: “Our first guest tonight is one of the biggest stars in the world, and in the past 10 years she has sold over 80 million albums, starred in countless films, and slept with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.” But there was no way we could have anticipated what followed. It was the most censored late-night broadcast in television history, with Madonna saying “fuck” 14 times. She took off her underpants and complained when Letterman wouldn’t smell them. And if you think Letterman was happy about all the subsequent attention and newspaper coverage the interview brought, you’d have guessed wrong. He always understood the privilege that came with the ability to broadcast, and the responsibility that accompanied it. Ratings and press were less a consideration.
Compounding matters was the fact that Madonna would not leave the stage. We bumped the next guest (a grocery bagger — an annual human interest competition winner that Dave, a former bagger himself, genuinely always enjoyed). Dave tried to say goodbye again. She wouldn’t leave. Counting Crows was just about to make its network television debut — and we were going to have to bump the band if Madonna didn’t budge. Sheila Rogers, the talent executive who has possibly given more bands their first breaks than anyone in the history of TV, went to Morty to ask what was happening. Morty then turned to me and said, “Get rid of her.” I said, “How am I supposed to get rid of her?” But the implication was clear: This was a problem I’d created, and now it was up to me to salvage the rest of the show. As Paul and the band blasted their mid-break song, I walked onstage and said loudly, “Say hi to the audience.” Madonna waved. As she waved, I took her hand, as if I was helping her up — and I did, in fact, lightly pull her up. And over the band I said loudly again, “Say goodbye …” Confused, she waved. Still holding her hand I led her offstage.
Click HERE for the full interview
Madonna’s Hard Candy Fitness, a boutique gym with locations in eight cities across the globe, is expanding. On Monday (May 18), Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary and New Evolution Ventures, announced a partnership with merchandising and licensing company Epic Rights to expand the Hard Candy Fitness brand into retail products. Epic Rights will reveal more details to potential partners at the 2015 Licensing Expo in Las Vegas June 9 to 11.
“We wanted to bring the brand to the public so if they never have a chance to join a Hard Candy Fitness club, they can still experience the Hard Candy Fitness workout wherever they are, and have the best-in-class tools,” says Dan Levin, head of Epic Rights’ Celebrity & Lifestyle division. “As Madonna is to music, pop culture and fashion, we believe Hard Candy Fitness will be the preeminent symbol for a fit, healthy and luxury-infused lifestyle.”
Founded in 2009 and inspired by Madonna’s 2008 album Hard Candy, Hard Candy Fitness currently has locations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Santiago, Sydney, Mexico City, Rome, Berlin, and Toronto. The company plans to expand in Asia in 2016, followed by the United States. Levin says Madonna and Oseary have been “very involved” in all aspects of the Hard Candy Fitness brand, “from the creation of the clubs to the design and implementation of all the categories and products.”
While she may be known as the Queen of Pop, it’s actually on the dance charts where Madonna has seen the most love for her work. With her latest single “Ghosttown”, the singer claims her 45th number one on the Dance/Club Songs ranking. That number is an unmatched accomplishment, and it gives her the distinction of having more number one songs on a single chart than any other artist in history. With its rise to the top, Madonna passes by country star George Strait, who previously held that record, thanks to his 44 leaders on the Hot Country Songs chart.
“Ghosttown” is the second official single from Madonna’s thirteenth album, Rebel Heart, which debuted at number two earlier this year. The song hasn’t charted on the Hot 100 (the tally that measures songs of all genres, combining sales and radio play), but it only took a few weeks to reach the summit of the dance chart. Madonna has such a massive following by many club-going audiences and dance lovers that almost every single she releases makes its way to the top, even if it doesn’t become well known by the general public.
Her number ones span four decades, and her road to this accomplishment began in 1983 with the two-sided “Holiday”/“Lucky Star”. That release ruled for five weeks, her longest time spent at the top. Years later, her song “Music” would match the time spent at the summit. Singles often work their way up and down the dance charts faster than on the Hot 100, so five weeks is actually a long time for any track to run the show.
Source : Forbes
Promoters are said to be deciding soon whether SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena or the Philippine Arena would be the best venue for the impending concert of pop goddess Madonna early next year, at least two sources told the Inquirer.
If it’s MOA Arena—whose capacity for concerts is about 12,000—the concert might be held for two successive nights, just like the Lady Gaga gigs in 2012.
The Philippine Arena could be a better choice, considering its 55,000 capacity. But traffic going in and out of the venue is a serious matter that needs immediate fixing.
In any case, either MOA or Philippine Arena would be no problem for longtime fans of the “Queen of Pop,” who is revered for her constant reinvention of her music and image.