Madonna news - Feb. 2015

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Madonna got WHIPLASH after "horror show" Brits fall: Singer says "it was a nightmare"

Source: The Mirror - 27 February 2015

The singer managed to carry on despite falling down three HUGE stairs in the painful stumble and has recalled the horrifying fall on Jonathan Ross.

Madonna has revealed how she has whiplash after her Brits fall and described her own performance as "a nightmare".

Madonna performs at the Brit Awards

Appearing on the Jonathan Ross Show, Madonna said: "I'm a creature of habit I rehearse everything, everything, everything.

"I was thrown a wrench at the beginning of the performance. I was told to tie my cape and start much further back and I had to walk further and everyone was worried my cape was slide off so they tied it really tight around my neck.

"So here I am marching in like the queen, I got to the top of the stairs and I pulled the silky string and it wouldn't come undone.

Madonna performs at the Brit Awards

"My two lovely Japanese dancers they basically strangled me off the stage. I had two choices, I could either be strangled or fall, and I chose to fall."

Wossy then tried to show a clip of the incident at the Brits, but Madonna said: "I don't want to see it, don't make me watch." 

She added: "It was a nightmare, I like to be amazing, I rehearse and rehearse so when I do a show it is effortless and I create magic. I did the opposite, I actually created a horror show for everyone."

Wossy then asked if it was a stunt and she shook her head.

She added: "I'm never writing lyrics like that again the universe was trying to teach me a lesson.

"I didn't hurt my butt but I hurt my head.

"I know how to fall, I have fallen off my horse many times.

"I had little bit of whiplash, I smacked the back of my head. And I had a man standing over me with a flashlight until about 3am to make  sure I was compos mentis.

"I am always nervous of live TV, when you singing you can't make any mistakes, the worst thing is you fall down stairs.

"I like to make my shows dangerous but then there is danger."

Asked about the cape, she added: "No more capes, cape fear is over."

Shortly after the terrifying fall down a flight of stairs on stage during her live show, Madonna took to Instagram, where she wrote: "Armani hooked me up! My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I'm fine! #livingforlove."

The star added a snap of that soon-to-be-famous cape next to the explanation.

Twitter exploded as Madonna went absolutely flying after climbing the stage in a giant cape.

She was ironically singing the lyrics: "Not gonna stop, gonna carry on."

Madonna seemed to be in agony following the fall, but despite her obvious pain, she continued after a brief pause and some obvious heavy breaths as she recovered.

Following her performance, several members of her team ran to her aid, having been watching and waiting very closely in the wings.

The thump noise from her fall echoed throughout the arena, and members of the audience could clearly hear the microphone hitting the floor.

Having fallen to the floor, the star had trouble getting the cape off and someone eventually managed to yank it off, as she carried on singing.

The singer completed the performance, singing the lyrics: "Lifted me up, and watched me stumble.

"After the heartache I'm gonna carry on."

As expected, Twitter wasn't exactly sympathetic with their reactions.

Alan Carr wrote: "That Minotaur that dragged Madonna down the stairs is SO unemployed right now."

"I've just realised Madonna is only 10 years younger than my mother," tweeted one. "Older people are more susceptible to falls. # brits"

One tweeted: "The irony of that song: let me fall down...watched me stumble. #Madonna #BRITs2015"

The Jonathan Ross Show Madonna special will broadcast on ITV on Saturday March 14.

Madonna talks about Brits and tour plans with Jonathan Ross

26 February 2015

Tonight the taping of the Jonathan Ross Show finished in London. It will be broadcast on March 14th.

Fansite Madonnatribe reports some interesting details:

Madonna performed two song: a remix of Living For Love and Ghosttown.
She spoke about her tour plans and that she will tour until February 2016.
She will take the summer of 2016 off and then wants to direct another movie. After the movie she'd like to do a sit down comedy tour and she already has ideas for it.
She didn't watch the Brits performance, but felt heartbroken that the performance wasn't as magical as she'd wanted. The problem was that some things changed last minute, the final cape was heavier and she hadn't rehearsed the taking off. She fell of her head, but she managed to control the fall from her experience with falling off horses.
Madonna also confirmed she's single at the moment, and she discussed her divorce from Guy Ritchie, and spoke as well about her children.

Slant reviews Rebel Heart

Source: Slant Magazine - 26 February 2015

3,5 stars out of 5

Perhaps more so than that of any other pop artist, living or dead, Madonna's career can be handily split into distinct eras, and further subdivided into periods or phases: her commercial peak in the '80s, her provocateur years in the early '90s, her electronic renaissance in the late '90s and early aughts, and so on. It's the evolution, or so-called reinventions, that these shifts represent that many wholly credit, erroneously, for the singer's unprecedented longevity.

Rebel Heart

But when the final history is written on one Madonna Louise Ciccone, with the benefit of distance and hindsight, it's likely her career will be viewed in just two halves: the pair of decades leading up to and including 2003's American Life, a 20-year big bang of ubiquitous, propulsive forward momentum that culminated in the deconstruction and rejection of the material world that created the biggest female pop star of all time; and the years that followed, which have found the queen uncertain about how to maintain her throne, often looking back rather than toward the future.

Case in point: Of her 13th studio album's myriad pleasures are its numerous reminders of Madonnas past, from the '90s-house throwback of lead single "Living for Love" to samples and lyrical nods to "Vogue," "Justify My Love," and Truth or Dare. Madonna's fans are as varied as her countless visual and sonic diversions have been over the years, and there's a little something for everyone here, including those pining for a return to the lush, spiritual introspection of Ray of Light (specifically, on the exquisite "Wash All Over Me" and the regal "Messiah"). Madonna has always been ironically self-referential, repeating formulas and quoting past hits, but in recent years those winks and nods have seemed more like tics, the side effect of an artist who's simply said and done it all, and whose effective banishment from an increasingly ageist radio industry has led her to believe she needs to remind us that, bitch, she's Madonna.

There are moments throughout Rebel Heart where Madonna carves out new, exhilarating territory for both herself and mainstream pop at large. "Devil Pray," perhaps her best song in 15 years, reimagines the Animals as a folktronica band with witch-house tendencies, her ruminations on salvation and the existential pitfalls of sniffing glue riding an unexpected low-end groove. Armed with an Arp bass synth, some barking alarms, and copious amounts of Auto-Tune, co-producer Kanye West (who's also name-checked in the lyrics) gives "Illuminati" the Yeezus treatment, lending Madge's treatise on the age of enlightenment a portentous industrial edge; her rapped verses about the titular secret society are clean and tight enough to make you forget about "American Life."

Though less inventive, other songs, too, find Madonna exploring new sounds or revisiting them in novel ways, like the Eastern-flavored "Body Shop," a reminder of how agile both her vocals and lyrics can be; as extended metaphors for sex organs go, the track is the clever, more sophisticated cousin to 2008's crass "Candy Shop." Espousing the power of art in a practical sense as a vehicle for change and a symbol of freedom, "Graffiti Heart" is what Artpop aspired to be. Drawing on Madonna's connection to pre-fame friends Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring in order to authenticate the kind of inspirational anthem that only an artist who emerged from the rubble of Warhol and AIDS could, its personalized missive is far more effective than the more general platitudes of, say, "4 Minutes": "Whattya got? Show me your Basquiat/He didn't keep it all to himself/Even with Keith, out on the street he died/Fighting so you can do it as well."

Rarely have stars as big as Madonna made themselves so accessible to both the media and public, and she's often spoken of the challenges of sussing out the starfuckers from those worthy of her company. But she's never addressed the subject as frankly as she does in "HeartBreakCity," a piano ballad that builds to a inconsolable frenzy of chanted background vocals, martial drums, and, perhaps not coincidentally, a sample of "They Don't Care About Us" by Michael Jackson, an icon who, unlike Madonna, succumbed to the traps of fame. Her survival is, no doubt, partly credited to the hardened exterior she's erected over the years, transforming from the soft, vulnerable vixen of Bedtime Stories into the pop-music equivalent of Joan Crawford. Finally, "Inside Out," which juxtaposes her sensual invitations and supple vocals with an industrial soundscape of ominous, sinuous bass and crackling hip-hop loops, gives us a glimpse of the unabashed romantic hidden beneath the maschinenmensch. She might as well be serenading herself when she begs, "Cynical smile, time to take off your mask."

It's these moments that render the album's fumbles all the more frustrating. Like its predecessor, 2012's MDNARebel Heart is all over the map, not just musically, but lyrically and vocally. Madonna has always been a versatile artist, but also a surprisingly coherent one, adept at threading seemingly disparate styles together using lyrical themes or sonic continuity, and thus setting an incredibly high standard for both herself and pop music as a whole. She was wise to largely abandon Avicii's chintzy (yet admittedly infectious) synth hooks in favor of more forward-minded production from the likes of DJ Dahi and Blood Diamonds, but the album would have benefited from more of those up-and-comers and less of established names like the overrated Diplo.

With so many producers with disparate modes at the helm, Rebel Heart feels overworked, the duality of its title muddied by the inclusion of garish party jams like the infuriatingly catchy but lyrically cringe-inducing "Bitch I'm Madonna" and sex songs like "Holy Water," ostensibly lumped under the "rebel" banner using only the broadest of interpretations. The latter track is a welcome bit of percolating electronica, and she deserves props for effortlessly deploying the word "genuflect" in a pop song, but Madonna's Catholic baiting feels like a reflex at this point. Despite her well-documented reputation, you could count her sexually provocative songs on one hand up to this point, so the fact that she nearly doubles that number here in one fell swoop suggests she's either consciously taking the piss out of her Dita Parlo persona or making some kind of comment about women of a certain age unapologetically flexing their libidos. Which would be all well and good if the lyrics rose above Janet-grade ("Oh my God, you're so hot, pull my hair, let me get on top," she sings on the lazily titled romp "S.E.X.").

The sheer number of songs on the album (19, not counting six more on the "super-deluxe" edition) practically guarantees these missteps; an apparent lack of internal editing would suggest a lack of vision. From "Hold Tight" to "Borrowed Time," however, there's a timely recurring theme of love triumphing even during the end times. A decade of disco-Madonna makes it easy to forget that she's a skilled balladeer, and the post-apocalyptic "Ghosttown," about the last two lovers on Earth, takes a generic, contemporary-pop template (think "Halo") and stamps it with her singular style a la 1994's Babyface-penned "Take a Bow." Rebel Heartis too long, too unnecessarily fussed over, to join the ranks of Like a PrayerErotica, and Ray of Light, but tucked inside this lumbering mass of songs are 10 to 12 tracks that would, under any other circumstances, make for Madonna's best album in at least a decade.

Madonna is superhuman. She has to be to survive the ugly abuse

Source: The Guardian - 26 February 2015

No wonder Madonna took her Brit awards fall in her stride – she deals with much worse just for being a 56-year-old woman.

Madonna was at the Brits, performing her totally boss I Will Survive-style single Living for Love, when it happened. "Took me to heaven, let me fall down … lifted me up and watched me stumble."

So she prophesied it, and so it came to pass. It wasn't a trip or a tumble. It wasn't funny; it was terrifying and so brutal that the audience fell silent. It was the kind of accident that breaks necks, damages brains and haunts Cirque du Soleil performers' nightmares. The Armani cape Madonna was wearing as she approached the podium was tied too tight and didn't fall undone when her dancers pulled it. She was yanked back by the neck and flew through the air over three steps, landed hard at the base of the podium and for a split second didn't move.

Madonna performs at the Brit Awards

Watching at home, my heart stopped. Is that all it takes to kill a queen? Milanese outerwear?

The hateful hashtags #shefellover, #Fallenmadonna, immediately began toxifying Twitter: "I get it, Madonna. My grandma is exactly the same." "I hope grandma's ok. A broken hip at her age could be a death sentence."

But as Madonna also sang last night, "I picked up my crown, put it back on my head. I can forgive, but I will never forget." After a fall like that, anyone else would roll around screaming in agony then look for someone to blame.

She drew on a higher power: herself. Showing her famous mental and physical strength, she got to her feet, picked up the choreography and tune, un-lip-synced and note perfect – as the isolated vocals from her performance at the Grammys show – and finished triumphantly.

That is the Madonna I've loved for ever, starting with the flamenco moves of La Isla Bonita. They say you're not supposed to believe the hype. But with some people, the mythos is real. She has mystique, the rare bulletproof real-deal charisma. She has never been defined by men and has always advocated for other women, pointing out in her upcoming Rolling Stone cover interview that "people like to pit women against each other".

But it's not just about individualistic survival ability, sisterliness or externals like Vogue style or Desperately Seeking Susan attitude. Madonna is not worthy of respect simply for surviving, having sass or cannily working out how to play every capitalist angle. She has a brilliant and indeed record-breaking talent in her discipline, which is music. She's been making great albums including Like A Prayer, Ray of Light and Confessions on a Dancefloor throughout her career, and the latest, Rebel Heart, is up there with them; she is "in the game again", as The Telegraph says.

But how many times does Madonna have to prove that she's a worthy player? How many times does she have to break records by selling more, touring more lucratively, flexing harder than everyone else on the planet? Her many colleagues have paid tribute to her exceptional skills as a producer, songwriter, lyricist; but whenever Madonna successfully works with a male producer it is he who is given the credit.

Where her abilities are not ignored, imputed to men or praised in passing as though they have now faded, they are actively mocked. I loved her film WE, comparing it favourably with the risible King's Speech, where the women were two doting wives with barely a line between them and Wallis Simpson was a depraved shrew. I saw WE with a historian friend who was astounded by its accuracy and detail; I loved the women characters, the aesthetic, the mournful realism behind the romance. It's a feminist film, psychologically acute.

But she was brutally mocked in the reviews. And that laughter is growing louder and crueller and uglier, as the Twitter response to her fall illustrated. Madonna's longevity was first admired and is now actively sabotaged by editorials which never fail to mention her age, as though it is something to be ashamed of. I am shocked by the uninflected scorn, the derision and foul-mouthed trashing she is dealt, and how much of it is grossly visceral: hatred of her flesh, physicality, sexual confidence, athleticism, ambition, her preference for Latin spunkbots, her alternating bossiness and vulnerability and romanticism and eroticism and playfulness, her performance ability and hunger. All the things which were once admired about her are now used to bash her and make her appear laughable or monstrous or desperate.

Madonna is no stranger to misogyny. She is a rape survivor and a domestic assault survivor. How much worse is this going to get?

Madonna is only 56. She is in the prime of her life, she has power, talent, experience and wisdom, in addition to her natural intelligence and rigour. She is about to release her 13th album – one of her best yet. The things she is ordered to do – age gracefully, put it away, retire, crawl away and die – have behind them a desire to shame, permanently destroy and negate this woman who dares to be vocal and visible, physical and political.

In order to withstand this, one would have to be superhuman. Luckily, Madonna is.

But why should anyone have to swallow the world's unstinting hatred when she wants to be remembered for her brilliant artistry?

Madonna fights back: Inside Rolling Stone's new issue

Source: Rolling Stone - 26 February 2015

Madonna gets fiery and introspective, discussing ageism, Gaga and more in our cover story

Madonna returns to the cover of Rolling Stone in our latest issue (on stands Friday) giving her most revealing, introspective and fiery interview in years. In the in-depth Q&A with senior writer Brian Hiatt, Madonna discusses her real feelings about Lady Gaga, her marriage to Guy Ritchie, her relationship with Judaism, her assessment of Kanye West, her love for Whiplash and much more.

Madonna on the cover of Rolling Stone

"I don't think she wants my crown," Madonna says, referring to Gaga. "We live in a world where people like to pit women against each other. And this is why I love the idea of embracing other females who are doing what I'm doing... The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs. It's got nothing to do with 'she's taking my crown' or 'she's in some space of mine.'

She has her thing. I do think she's a very talented singer and songwriter. It was just that one issue. And everybody's obviously running with it and turned it into a huge feud, which I think is really boring, quite frankly. And you know what? I don't care anymore. Here's the thing: one day everyone's going to shut up about it. You'll see! I have a plan."

But Madonna, who will release her new album Rebel Heart on March 6th (read our review of the album here), reserves her most passionate and eloquent remarks for the topic of ageism, in pop writing and in society. "It's still the one area where you can totally discriminate against somebody," she says, "and talk shit. Because of their age. Only females, though. Not males. So in that respect we still live in a very sexist society."

Madonna in Rolling Stone

"No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black or dare to say a degrading remark on Instagram about someone being gay," Madonna continues. "But my age - anybody and everybody would say something degrading to me. And I always think to myself, why is that accepted? What's the difference between that and racism, or any discrimination? They're judging me by my age. I don't understand. I'm trying to get my head around it. Because women, generally, when they reach a certain age, have accepted that they're not allowed to behave a certain way. But I don't follow the rules. I never did, and I'm not going to start."

And if you're wondering if there was a message behind showing off her bare butt on the Grammys' red carpet: "This is what a 56-year-old ass looks like, motherfuckers!" she says. And to the suggestion that her awe-inspiring physique isn't exactly average, she retorts, "You know what? It could be the average some day! That's the thing." (Listen to Madonna's entire statement on ageism in pop culture below.)

"When I did my sex book, it wasn't the average," Madonna says. "When I performed 'Like a Virgin' on the MTV Awards and my dress went up and my ass was showing, it was considered a total scandal. It was never the average, and now it's the average. When I did Truth or Dare and the cameras followed me around, it was not the average. So if I have to be the person who opens the door for women to believe and understand and embrace the idea that they can be sexual and look good and be as relevant in their fifties or their sixties or whatever as they were in their twenties, then so be it."

Look for the issue on stands and in the iTunes App Store this Friday, February 27th.

Promo tour & Tour announcement

Source: MadonnaTribe - 26 February 2015

Madonna's promo tour is on full throttle. After her Grammy and Brits performances, she will be appearing on the Jonathan Ross show tomorrow. Supposedly, the promo tour will continue over the next few weeks, with appearances and performances in Italy, NYC, London, Paris and Madrid.

Madonna: Loves Gonna Lift Me Up!  #livingforlove

According to our friends at MadonnaTribe, we can expect an official tour announcement next Monday! This is in line with the pre-order information we saw a couple of days ago, which already revealed that Germany, Denmark, Spain and The Netherlands and/or Belgium will be part of the tour.

It is rumoured that the tour will start late summer in the US, then continue in Europe during the fall.

Madonna comments on her fall: 'Amani hooked me up!'

Source: Instagram - 25 February 2015

Madonna took her fall like a true trooper, commenting on Instagram:

Armani hooked me up! My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I'm fine! ❤️#livingforlove

Madonna: Armani hooked me up! My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I'm fine! ❤️#livingforlove

Madonna falls hard, drops mic during Brit Awards performance

Source: Billboard - 25 February 2015

Madonna returned to the Brit Awards for the first time in 20 years to perform her Rebel Heart single "Living For Love." But it wasn't an entirely seamless return to her one-time adopted home country.

At the beginning of her performance, she fell down a staircase when the lengthy cape she was wearing was tugged by a backup dancer/minotaur; it appeared that the cape was supposed to be easily removed but pulled Madonna along with it instead. Madge was yanked backward hard and fell down the stairs. (Yes, she fell during a song that features the line "watched me stumble".) 

Yes, that looked like it hurt. Even worse, Madonna dropped her mic and missed singing several of the song's lyrics entirely. When she picked the mic back up, her voice still seemed shaky, like the fall had knocked the wind out of her. On the plus side: those who accuse her of lip-syncing (Elton John) can sod off.

Ever the pro, though, she recovered by the end of the number and looked triumphant, and maybe a little relieved, when she wrapped.

Note to Kanye: This would have been the perfect time to rush the stage. You coulda caught her if you'd been quick enough!

Madonna takes catastrophic fall during Brit Awards performance

Source: Hollywood Reporter - 25 February 2015

Madonna took a nasty spill during her performance on the U.K.'s Brit Awards.

The singer was accidentally pulled backwards down a flight of stairs. It appears a dancer was trying to remove her cape.

Madonna takes catastrophic fall during Brit Awards performance

The performance of her song "Living for Love," off her new Rebel Heart album, was the big finale at the end of the awards show. Funny coincidence, the song contains the lyric, "Watched my stumble."

Madonna looked visibly upset by the mishap, but continued the song without further disruption.

This was Madonna's first Brit Awards performance in 20 years. Her appearance was hyped several times throughout the awards broadcast.

The Brit Awards — which was streamed live on YouTube before its telecast on Fuse — also featured performances by Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Paloma Faith, George Ezra, Royal Blood and Take That, plus a surprise performance by Kanye West.

Express Yourself: The making of Madonna's 20 greatest music videos

Source: Rolling Stone - 25 February 2015

Since first storming MTV in 1983 with the poetic, lo-fi "Burning Up," Madonna's music videos have spent more than 20 years sparking conversations about fashion, feminism, sex, religion and what you could and could not show on television. To help her realize these 67 clips — one of the most rapidly changing visions in pop history — she teamed up with some video and photography's most celebrated artists, including David Fincher, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Herb Ritts, Mark Romanek, Chris Cunningham, Stéphane Sednaoui, Jonas Åkerlund, Luc Besson and more.

"Madonna was the one you had to get," says Michael Hausmann, director of her mid-Nineties clips for "Take a Bow" and "You'll See." "That was the video that would be the most airtime. It was, in some ways, kind of more important than having a movie out. More people were watching it, that's for damn sure."

To celebrate our cover star, we caught up with many of the directors behind some of the most iconic (and controversial) images in music history.

20. "Hung Up" (2005)

Weeks before Madonna was scheduled to shoot the clip for the ABBA-borrowing lead single from Confessions on a Dance Floor, she had a horseback-riding mishap that resulted in her breaking eight bones. This didn't deter her from turning her section of the "Hung Up" video into a John Travolta homage. Wearing a long-sleeved pink leotard, she danced around a rehearsal studio with gusto in scenes culled from a three-hour shoot in which she had to frequently take breaks because she was in pain. "She was such a trooper," director Jonah Renck (a last-minute stand-in for David LaChapelle) told MTV News in 2006. "She just fell off a horse!" The rest of the video pays tribute to the idea of music as a unifying force, with restaurant employees, bus-stop congregants and parkour enthusiasts grooving to the sinuous track. "I kind of liked that we didn't have time to overthink this and be too clever," Renck said. "I like being out on a limb and not know what we're doing and why. Just deal with it, the mayhem, you know?"

19. "Fever" (1993)

"The idea came that I wanted, basically, to burn her," says director Stéphane Sednaoui. "My concept was that she was kind of Joan of Arc. I wanted her like a provocative saint, somebody that speaks out and tells the truth, and is ready to burn for it. I remember the big boss at Maverick — [Madonna] was the big boss, but she had somebody else with her — was really worried that I would burn her. He thought it was a very negative image for her." While Madonna doesn't catch on fire in the clip ("she was more like…incandescent?" says Sednaoui), after a two-day shoot in Miami, she was run through a gauntlet of hallucinogenic, high-contrast post-production from the eye-searing director of the Chili Peppers' "Give it Away" and U2's "Mysterious Ways." The clip — full of dizzying zooms — bursts with color, from her red wig, to her gold dress, to getting her entire body painted silver.

Stéphane Sednaoui, director: It was the first time she filmed, I think, in front of a blue screen. We spent the entire day. She can be like, "OK, you know what I'm leaving at 7 and that's it." But she didn't pressure me at all; she was like, "Oh my God, he's so young and so full of energy." So, she was very, very sweet with me. 

I do like the silver image of her. I think she wanted to do something very "clubbing," the mix was very "clubbing." I used to work a lot for The Face magazine and I have this image of being a very "pop culture" artist. And I think they thought, "OK, Stéphane would be perfect to do something that is not the Madonna we know, but another kind of Madonna; more pop, more disco, more club." So, I think that's why she went all the way, like, "OK, let's paint."

18. "Music" (2000)

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was just starting to make a splash as the swagger-filled Brit hip-hop fan Ali G when Madonna tapped him to star as a limo driver in the "Music" video. But when she initally called, he couldn't believe his ears — in an out-of-character interview with Howard Stern, he recalled how he thought Madonna was actually a very convincing impersonator, and that it took him about 10 minutes to realize just who he was on the phone with. "Madonna loves him," manager Carissa Howard told the Daily Record at the time of the clip's release. "He is such a doll. She still can't stop laughing. She watched the tape and thought he was brilliant — the Peter Sellers of his generation." The video for the spaced-out "Music" was shot in April 2000, when Madonna was pregnant with her son Rocco. Director Jonas Åkerlund's resulting product works around that fact thanks to its back-of-the-limo setting and quick cuts — although the clip does nod to its star's condition at the end, when Madonna flaunts a big necklace reading "Mommy." 

Jonas Åkerlund, director: The treatment had dialogue and stuff like music videos usually didn't have back then. We wanted to have a comedian and Madonna was really good friends with Chris Rock and some of these other great comedians here. But I had just caught the attention of Sacha Baron Cohen, the Ali G character, out of London. And I talked to her, "Please, you got to check this guy out. He's awesome" And nobody in America had heard of him. They actually ended up meeting, which was great because that kind of sold it right away.

She was pretty pregnant. I didn't think it was a problem, like, "That's cool! Go out and party and being pregnant." I thought that was awesome. But of course, she wanted to cover it up….That's why we had that big nice fur on her! She kept that on and then it was a lot of close-ups on her face, you know?

I remember one thing, we had the big discussion on the shoot day: "Fedora or cowboy hat? Fedora or cowboy hat?" Back and forth, back and forth. I think we even shot a couple scenes with a fedora. I think about it every time I go to a Madonna show, up to this day, when I see all the people in the cowboy hats. I think about that moment. "That could have been a fedora, dude!"

When we're inside the limo, it's all green screen. The real limo we had, the gold one, the big one? It was so shitty it didn't have any interior — it was just all fucked up. But the one where she's with her friends, partying out, we shot that on the stage here in L.A. We actually shot it at the Charlie Chaplin studio which is right across the street from the…strip club. It was very convenient! We just walked across the street to do the strip scene!...I'm kind of known for my strip clubs. [Laughs] I think it was [my idea]. But, I mean, what's a party night without a strip club? I wouldn't say that now, but back then, I thought that was [an] important part of the night.

17. "Frozen" (1998)

The frosty video for the first single off Ray Of Light was directed by Chris Cunningham, whose work on the creepy clip for Aphex Twin's "Come To Daddy" caught Madonna's attention. "We were thinking of shooting it in Iceland," Madonna told MTV in 1998. "But then I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to be freezing. I'm going to be miserable, I'll be complaining all day, I'll be sorry that I ever chose a cold place. So I said, 'Let's do it in the desert, it'll be warm.'" The weather, however, didn't cooperate: "But then we got there and it was like 20 degrees below zero, it was bitterly cold, and I was barefoot. I was barefoot for the entire video, and then it started pouring rain and everyone got really sick, and it just actually turned out to be a really miserable experience." Cunningham, too, was frustrated by the experience; he originally wanted the clip to be much more elaborate, effects-wise. "The original treatment was, like, massive piles of bodies in the desert. All these figurative sculptures made up of bodies that were all multiple Madonnas," he said in the book accompanying his Director's Label DVD. "They were all going to split and break up and change into ravens and then change into dogs. Just a performance video, but a really elaborate one using her, her clothes, and any shapes that would come out of her clothes." Despite the frustrations, "Frozen" emerged visually stunning: Madonna clad in billowing black, mehndi covering her hands, shape-shifting against a stark desert tableau.

16. "Burning Up" (1983)

Steve Barron was one of the most in-demand music video directors of 1983 after helming Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" and Toto's "Africa." Madonna had one single — "Everybody"— to her name, which didn't chart on the Hot 100, though Warner Bros. knew a superstar when they had one. Barron was going to stay on vacation rather than meet the virtually unknown singer about her latest song, "Burning Up," a track he says "didn't speak to me." "If something came along that was poppier, I wouldn't even know what to do," says the director, who recently released, Egg n Chips & Billie Jean, his memoirs of the video age. "It would just be all about pop, and I wasn't about pop." Nonetheless, his video stands as a great testament to the anything-goes era of early MTV, juxtaposing disparate images of illuminated busts and cars driving on water with Madonna writhing in the middle of the road. At the end, of course, she takes control of the wheel. 

Steve Barron, director: I got a call from [producer] Simon [Fields] in Los Angeles and he said there's a video to do for a reasonable budget and that this is going to be really big. I was on vacation and didn't really want to get my head into something at that time. But [Madonna] was really keen on the "Billie Jean" video and I eventually agreed, begrudgingly. I had gotten the track and said I wouldn't know what to do for that, because it didn't have the atmosphere that I always look for in a song.

The piece of paper was addressed as the "penthouse suite" so I thought she was rich or had a rich family. When the doors opened [on the top floor of her building], it was crumbled staircases and a paper plate that said "Penthouse Suite" with an arrow pointing up the stairs stuck with tape to a cracked wall. Music was pumping out of that top floor; it was so loud, I yelled out, "Hello!" and yelled again a couple of more times. I pushed a door down the hallway open and there she was, naked except for a pair of knickers, on the floor doing exercises in front of this massive speaker and amp. That was the only furniture in the place really. She seemed very confident with herself.

We shot for two nights in Los Angeles. I basically ended up doing a bunch of ideas from my ideas book as opposed to from the song mainly because I didn't connect with it too much. It was a bit of a mish-mash of a video. She trusted me, definitely. She handed it over, which she probably shouldn't have done in retrospect. But she obviously wanted to be very much in control of how she looked and how she was dressed. Her dress was the most important thing that she wanted to talk about.

We were doing shots of her at night lying in a boat as she was singing. We had a seven-ton crane that stretched out over the lake with a camera on it, me and a grip. I was arranging to go right out over the top of her so that we could look straight down on her. The boat was anchored into position and the base of the crane was sitting sloped on this little boat ramp with massive wheels. I was asking, "Let's get out right over the eyes" and we were about 15 feet above Madonna. I looked back at the ramp and the two back wheels had lifted off by about a foot and a half. No one had noticed. I looked back at it and yelled at the crane operator to stop. The thing teetered; just dropped backwards-and-forth, and he quickly jumped on the switch and started pushing us back, but he didn't move very fast because you felt if you made any kind of movement, it would have taken that crane down. We were right on the midpoint balance and we would've come down on her. She would have been 100 percent dead. It was so close, and I never told her that night because I didn't want to scare her. We would've been in a hospital for six months and she would've been dead. Definitely.

15. "Human Nature " (1995)

"When I first called up [Jean-Baptiste] Mondino and I said I wanted to do the video, I said that I wanted it to be more dance-oriented than the things that I had done before," said Madonna. "Mondino found this book by this illustrator named [Eric] Stanton who does kinda S&M drawings and stuff — but we didn't want to go for the straight S&M; we wanted to have it be more about making fun of it." Following a half-decade of sexually charged work — the banned "Justify My Love" video, the explicit Sex book, the thriller Body of Evidence, the entire Erotica album — Madonna and Mondino made a simple statement ("it's human nature") with a wink, a smile and some choreography. Dressed in bondage gear, Madonna laughs, makes funny faces and disciplines her Chihuahua with a riding crop in a video that's kind of like 50 Shades of Busby Berkeley. "The song is about basically saying don't put me in a box, don't pin me down, don't tell me what I can and can't say. It's about breaking out of the restraints, " she said. "So that's basically the point of the costume."

Jean-Baptiste Mondino, director: All I know main problem is I don't like videos when somebody's dancing, that the camera is moving a lot. I'm more like an old-time, classic guy, because I remember most of the video you had shot with the crane, some Steadicam, plus some panning. So you have about five different cameras shooting a performance, and after they edit like crazy. It gives you a lot of freedom, but I feel very frustrated because I like to see somebody dancing. I hate when there's too much editing. I like the steadiness of the performance because then you can really enjoy the movement of the body. You see the skill.

I like to shrink — as much as I can — the stage because I can grab her. If not, everyone is running around and I'm not good with this. So I came up with the boxes [laughs] and I knew that with the boxes I had to do with something quite un-expect-able because there's not too much stage to dance in. So there's something beautiful about it and they looked like bees or something.

And the rest of it was how to create some kind of choreography and some graphic imagery with the S&M outfits, but with humor. So she has a little dog and she has some funny moments where she drops down, there's some Charlie Chaplin-esque moments into in it. Because S&M is game, you know? It's dark, it looks dark, but I think people have fun. When you wear rubber like this, you better have fun. If not, you stop using it for sex and you become a diver, you know?

14. "Bedtime Story" (1995)

The genesis for this clip came when Madonna approached director Mark Romanek about helming the clip for the Erotica track "Bad Girl." When they met, Madonna brought a single piece of artwork for inspiration. "It was this very surreal, dark, kind of amber-colored, somewhat disturbing painting — and I didn't know Madonna, so I was really surprised that this was her taste in art," Romanek recalled on his Director's Label DVD. Madonna eventually had frequent collaborator David Fincher direct the "Bad Girl" clip, but when Romanek heard the pulsing, Björk-penned "Bedtime Story," he knew he had found a video vehicle to show off what he called "painterly surrealism." Romanek delved into the history of female surrealists, and the end result — which paid particular tribute to painters Carrington and the Remedios Varo — was launched with a splashy pajama party at New York's Webster Hall in the spring of 1995 and placed in the Museum of Modern Art's archives. That big launch was commensurate with its budget, thanks to the elaborate visual effects sprinkled throughout. "Bedtime Story" cost a reported $5 million in 1995 dollars, and remains one of the form's priciest offerings.

13. "Oh Father" (1989)

You have to respect a video that opens with a nod to Citizen Kane and gets more ambitious from there. Working for the second time with director David Fincher, Madonna dug deep for this mini-epic about her mother's death, her troubled relationship with her father and her tempestuous marriage to Sean Penn. "It's my most autobiographical work — with a little bit of drama thrown in," she would tell Cosmopolitan, adding, "It's boring to be completely autobiographical." "Oh Father" offers some of the most evocative and disturbing images in all of Madonna's oeuvre, among them the sight of a young girl stepping up to her mother's coffin to find that the dead woman's lips have been sewn shut — which reportedly came from the singer's memories of her own mother's funeral.

The song and the video were very personal for Madonna, but, interestingly, it didn't appear to be her idea to release it as a single. "I had kinda talked Madonna into releasing 'Oh Father' as a single and we did this video and we were very happy with the video and nobody ever saw it because the song wasn't a hit," Fincher told The Guardian, "so she came back to me and said, 'You screwed me up. You wanted to make this video for the song and no one liked the song and I went to bat for you and now I have to make a video by Tuesday.' And I said, 'What's the song called?' And she said, 'Vogue.'"

12. "Justify My Love" (1990)

"When I did my 'Vogue' video'...I'm wearing a see-through dress and you can clearly see my breasts," Madonna told ABC's Nightline in 1990. "Now, [MTV] told me that they wanted me to take that out, but I said I wouldn't and they played it anyways. So I thought that once again I was going to be able to bend the rules a little bit." She was definitely wrong. The Jean-Baptiste Mondino-directed clip for "Justify My Love" toyed with S&M, group sex and even some bare-breasts in an outfit reminiscent of Nazisploitation flick The Night Porter — but all filmed with a gorgeous, gauzy, dreamlike black-and-white Euro art-house vibe. "We respect her work as an artist and think she makes great videos," said MTV executives in a statement about the clip. "This one is not for us." The resourceful Madonna spun the controversy into the best-selling "video single" of all time. "You know, she's a very clever woman and she said nothing could stop it," says Mondino. "I remember, at Tower Records, there were piles of the video being on sale. So, she even made money off with it — so it's brilliant."

Jean-Baptiste Mondino, director: That video was very special. That song was very, very progressive, very unusual. It was Lenny Kravitz who wrote it, he was singing, but he was almost talking, and he had that strange beat. You couldn't really dance to it. It was all whispering — it sounds more like an experience. Nobody would pick up a song like this and try to make a hit out of it, don't you think so? So it forces me—or it seduced me, in that sense—to be as courageous as the song is.

In fact what I did with that video, I did an experience. The whole idea was to lock ourselves into this  hotel for three days and two nights. Without out any rules. We rent the whole top floor of that hotel. You know usually when you do a shoot, you have timing… So we didn't have none of this. This is the rooms that we were sleeping in, living in. Maybe 15 rooms. One room was [the] makeup room, one was the wardrobe. Nobody was allowed to go out. There were tables with food in it, and when people were starving, they were eating. There were no rules — we had alcohol, we could smoke. 

I didn't have any concept at all, except the idea that she was arriving in the hotel tired, broken; and when she was going to leave the hotel, she was full of life, she was full of energy, full of everything. It was a very strange experience; very interesting. For instance, the cinematographer, we said, "We're not going to use anything like we use usually when we shoot….It was very strange because we didn't know when we were doing the film or when it was real, you know? The whole thing was mixed up. The last morning when I woke up and had to go back home, I felt very strange on the sidewalk. I said, "Do I have to go home or not?" It was the first time in my life I didn't know what to do, because I had like a dream — it was not a shoot. You could tell that some of the scenes, they smell real. There's something about it. Things were just happening.

When are you free like this, you don't become savage — you become even more nicer. If you go to a sex club, where people are making sex, you would see less tension than you would get if you go in a normal club. There's less frustration. So it was very quiet, it was very gentle, we were all very sweet to each other....It was not like, "Madonna has a certain treatment" where you couldn't talk to her. She was very comfortable with people around. We were talking, chatting, laughing, playing the music, shooting and when people were tired they went to bed. That's all….Maybe there is more behind-the-scenes story to tell when you see a normal video [laughs].

Honestly, I was surprised that that video was that shocking because we don't see anything: We don't see any pubes hair, we don't see any tits almost, they don't do anything wrong. We're all here on Earth because our parents they make sex, right? So, I don't get it. I mean, porn for me is when people are killing each other. You go to see a movie, we see blood everywhere, but we never see a dick or a pair of tits. We are here because people fuck, so, we should be proud of the fucking thing.

11. "Material Girl" (1985)

"Marilyn was made into something not human in a way, and I can relate to that," said Madonna. "Her sexuality was something everyone was obsessed with, and that I can relate to. And there were certain things about her vulnerability that I'm curious about and attracted to." This homage to Marilyn Monroe's 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes probably ended up being homaged even more than the original: Taylor Swift's recent performance of "Shake it Off" at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards may have been more Madge than Norma Jean. (Says director Mary Lambert of Swift, "I think she's amazing and I was flattered"). Though Madonna would soon venture into movies like Vision Quest,Desperately Seeking Susan and Who's That Girl, "Material Girl" was shot like a stand alone film with a music video it its core: the Hollywood backlot exteriors looking cinematic, the "stage" interiors glossy and fun. Her cadre of tuxedo'd dancers took their share of choreographed slaps and spills on camera, but no one was hurt. "And anyway," says Lambert, "they were all so infatuated with Madonna, they wouldn't have felt a thing.

Mary Lambert, director: I have always been extremely interested in Marilyn Monroe — her life and persona. Madonna and I shared that fascination. I watched the dance sequence from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes about a million times with [choreographer] Kenny Ortega, who brilliantly reinterpreted it for the film. "Material Girl" was my first collaboration with costume designer Marlene Stewart, who brilliantly reinterpreted the dress. If you have a very specific vision in mind, work with talented people, that's my advice.

10. "Cherish" (1989)

The photographer Herb Ritts and Madonna struck up a friendship early in Madonna's career, with Ritts shooting the glammed-out cover for the 1986 album True Blue and photographs for Rolling Stone — including the cover for the September 10, 1987 issue. But what Madonna really wanted Ritts to do was direct. "She kept asking me, and I said I really didn't know the first thing about moving imagery," Ritts told the art curator François Quintin in a 1999 interview. "Finally, I practiced with a little Super 8 camera when I was on a job in Hawaii, and came back and said I could do it. Two weeks later, I was filming 'Cherish.' I directed it and did the camera work as well. It was invigorating." Madonna was pretty invigorated by the black-and-white, mermen-filled shoot as well: "I made her dive into the freezing ocean. She was a real trooper," the late Ritts told the Toronto Star in 1990. The playful video became an MTV staple, a light jaunt on the beach after the controversy-drenched "Like A Prayer" and the future-shocked "Express Yourself." Ritts went back to the beach when he directed the videos for Janet Jackson's joyful "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" and Chris Isaak's brooding "Wicked Game."

9. "Like A Virgin" (1984)

By that point Madonna was on the cover of Rolling Stone," Warner Bros. creative director Jeff Ayeroff said in I Want My MTV. "So we went to Venice, like a bunch of fucking whack jobs. I don't know what we spent — $150,000? $175,000? — but it was way more than we'd ever spent on a video." For their second collaboration (after 1984's "Borderline") director Mary Lambert shot the pop star on gondolas in Venetian canals (with Ayeroff telling her to duck when the bridges approached). A man in a lion's mask stalked her like prey, but an actual lion ended up stealing the spotlight.

Mary Lambert, director: This was the first time I worked with a big cat, although I've worked with them since. It wasn't even a trained lion! The local line producer made a deal with a guy from the circus. It was a circus lion! I didn't find this out until Madonna and the cinematographer and I were alone in a fenced off area with the animal and the trainer was standing on the perimeter with a rifle, "Just in case"…. At one point the lion started sniffing Madonna's crotch and I thought she might be a goner.

8. "Vogue" (1990)

Madonna's third collaboration with then-wunderkind David Fincher is an eye-popping kaleidoscope of classic movie star iconography and an energetic display of the titular dance which had emerged in the underground gay club scene. Of course, voguing is no ordinary dance, consisting as it does of highly mannered movements, baroque hand gestures and sharply struck poses — the catwalk ethos taken to absurdist extremes. That gives Fincher's camera the chance to move elegantly around statues, paintings and frozen, statuesque humans, bringing out the curious melancholy undercurrent to a song that, at first listen, seems like pure bubblegum. Watch the infectious way the video develops – from unsettling stillness to sinewy movements to full-on dance freakout. It's structured like a vogue dance itself. (And, really, did anyone shoot Madonna's back better than David Fincher?)

Remarkably, this iconic video was prepared in record time, as the song was not originally considered a single  and was only belatedly put out into the market. "We cut this thing together as quickly as we could," recalled Fincher to The Guardian. "It was one of those things where the DP, Pascal Lebegue, who's brilliant, literally showed up off the plane with his light meter and it was semi-pre-lit and he walked in and said, 'This, this, this, this,' and we shot the video for like 16 hours and we were done, that was it, she got on the plane and went on her world tour." 

Madonna had quickly auditioned hundreds of dancers in Los Angeles for the clip, whittling them down within a matter of days and inviting them out to clubs to make sure they could deliver. "I'd just finished ballet school, and this was my second video," dancer Salim "Slam" Gauwloos said. "I remember David said, 'Put him in this tuxedo jacket. So I wore that, and they put me on some steps, and I was doing some poses, and it took like 15 minutes, and I was like, 'OK, is that it?' I thought, This is not a good beginning. But then when the 'Vogue' video came out, I was like, 'Ah OK! Now I get it!'"

7. "Papa DOn't Preach" (1986)

"Papa Don't Preach" finds Madonna treating the music video concept as more of a short film than promotional clip, imbuing her character — a teenager who discloses an unplanned pregnancy to her strict father (played by Danny Aiello) — with a mature, sympathetic tone far removed from her sex-symbol image. Shot over three days in Staten Island and Manhattan, director James Foley says that despite the seriousness of the song, the vibe was "pure fun." "No one was getting down about the message or social importance of it," he says. "We just liked to blast it as loud as possible."

James Foley, director: I was a bit spoiled because she had absolute creative freedom and could do whatever she wanted. We talked about wanting to tap into a working-class environment, because by that time she had done "Material Girl" and "Like a Virgin" and other stuff that was very glamorous and stylized. She wanted to do something a bit more grounded and "drama." I said, "You know a great place to shoot is Staten Island in New York." She said, "Why?" I said, "Well, I grew up there, and If I go back and make a video there with you, then I'll be the conquering hero and all my friends from high school can see what I've accomplished." It turned out to actually be the case. [Laughs]

We took the script literally from the lyrics of the song, and I remember having a moment's hesitation about doing that because most videos are not literal interpretations. But I just felt like it was something that tied into her desire to dip into the working-class world. I did have the idea that there should be a segment of the video where she was Madonna — not the character in the story — and that's where it cuts to the black and white stuff of her dancing around for the chorus.

I wanted to do a scene on the Staten Island Ferry just because it was such a big part of my growing up. We had to rent the ferry for the night and we finished early and had a couple of hours left. The captain said, "Well, you own it for the next two hours. Do you want to go anywhere?" So me, the crew and her just drove around the harbor to places that I had never seen in my life. It was a magical memory.

It was her idea to cast Danny Aiello as her father. She was just so blazingly hot that anybody involved felt very excited and happy. When we were shooting in Staten Island, there were thousands of people and paparazzi and everything. The whole thing had the air of a pleasurable circus to it and Danny just played right into that. A couple weeks after the video was released and was a huge hit, he recorded an answer song called "Papa Wants the Best for You." He has an incredible, booming voice, but it was a ludicrous song. He called me up and wanted her to be in his video and said, "She owes me this." That didn't go very far.

I've made a bunch of films and videos and it's one of the five things that I've done that I feel unequivocally good about. The strongest thing I came away from was the value of creative freedom, and that she used that in a very smart way. She's extremely focused and mature and had a work ethic. It was a good lesson to me: what to do with absolute, creative power. She's respectful of people's jobs and sees herself where she fits into it very well. I always thought, whenever I get total final cut on the movie, I will remember how she handled that freedom.

6. "Rain" (1993)

Director Mark Romanek's clips for Lenny Kravitz and En Vogue were high-volume, high-energy affairs that caught the eye of Madonna, who asked him to go behind the camera for this lush Erotica track. "I actually turned her down, because I thought the song was really romantic and I didn't really know what to do with something romantic at that point in my life," Romanek said on his Director's Label DVD. He eventually accepted, and decided to change things up by warping Madonna into the future. "Everything was looking back, and I said, 'Well, maybe it would be kind of interesting to be something futuristic with Madonna.' Her knee-jerk to that was, 'But this song is kind of like Wuthering Heights — it should be black and white, romantic. And I said, 'Well, that's a little too kind of on the nose.'" The resulting clip, with Madonna clad in big headphones and being attended to by makeup artists, had a chilly feel, thanks to its high-contrast look and meta-narrative concept. Picking the clip-within-a-clip's director was a bit of a challenge: "First I think we wanted to have Jean-Luc Godard — and when you're working with someone like Madonna, that's a possibility," Romanek recalled. She reached out to the French New Wave pioneer as well as the Italian director Federico Fellini, but both declined. Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto got the nod, thanks to him being what Romanek called "the most iconic and famous and attractive Japanese icon."

5. "Like A Prayer" (1989)

"'Like a Prayer,'" Madonna told the New York Times shortly after this video for the gospel-tinged track came out, "is the song of a passionate young girl so in love with God that it is almost as though He were the male figure in her life." But thanks to the Mary Lambert-directed clip's heady imagery, which included burning crosses, stigmata and a saint's icon not only made flesh but succumbing to its pleasures, "Like a Prayer" wound up becoming about a lot more — the role of religion in popular culture, racism and the way large corporations react when confronted with controversy. ("I think when you fool around with stigmata it's a fairly dangerous area," Rolling Stone then-music editor David Wild quipped to Reuters.) The clip caused such a commotion upon its release that Pepsi pulled a $5 million ad campaign featuring the song, albeit with substantially different imagery attached. Still, Madonna remained undaunted: "Art should be controversial, and that's all there is to it," Madonna told the Times in 1989, as fundamentalist groups raged and Italian television banned the clip. That philosophy has animated the Material Girl's work since her earlier days, but the manner in which the "Like a Prayer" clip artfully imbued its ebullient song with her matter-of-fact, yet lightning-rod view of the world around her makes it one of the most iconic videos of MTV's first decade. 

"'Like a Prayer,'" Madonna told the New York Times shortly after this video for the gospel-tinged track came out, "is the song of a passionate young girl so in love with God that it is almost as though He were the male figure in her life." But thanks to the Mary Lambert-directed clip's heady imagery, which included burning crosses, stigmata and a saint's icon not only made flesh but succumbing to its pleasures, "Like a Prayer" wound up becoming about a lot more — the role of religion in popular culture, racism and the way large corporations react when confronted with controversy. ("I think when you fool around with stigmata it's a fairly dangerous area," Rolling Stone then-music editor David Wild quipped to Reuters.) The clip caused such a commotion upon its release that Pepsi pulled a $5 million ad campaign featuring the song, albeit with substantially different imagery attached. Still, Madonna remained undaunted: "Art should be controversial, and that's all there is to it," Madonna told the Times in 1989, as fundamentalist groups raged and Italian television banned the clip. That philosophy has animated the Material Girl's work since her earlier days, but the manner in which the "Like a Prayer" clip artfully imbued its ebullient song with her matter-of-fact, yet lightning-rod view of the world around her makes it one of the most iconic videos of MTV's first decade. 

4. "Take A Bow" (1994)

Remembers director Michael Haussman about this love story filmed in Spain, "She said, 'OK, Here's the song: It's about a girl in love with a public figure. Write something, but just don't make it dark.' So, of course I went and wrote something really dark." Madonna and the director met at The Ritz in Paris, tabled the discussion about his dark idea until dinner and started making small talk. "She says, 'Well, what have you been doing?' And I said, 'Well, I've been really into filming bullfights and stuff.' And I just saw this sparkle in her eye and suddenly I just kind of went with it. Pretty sure the while thing was written [that] night." The sepia tinged video mixes shots of real life bullfighter Emilio Muñoz with Madonna for a clip that's sensual, majestic and features steamy footage of the pop star writhing in front of a TV. "I thought it was going to be [difficult to direct] but then it was one of the sexiest things that I've ever seen," says Haussman. "She would just play the song through and go for it."

Michael Haussman, director: It became epic in proportions to try and actually do that video because it was such a taboo subject. There were several times when it was gonna be cancelled because of PETA getting involved, saying, "We understand you're going to film a bullfight?" And originally I was. I was gonna try to film a bullfight where the bull gets killed and everything, and that was kind of the idea to stay true to it. And [it] became kind of obvious…we can't stage a bullfight for a Madonna video, that's not going to go across too well….And sure enough, it was such a fiery topic that we had to have to have the police in my office in London opening our mail because a lot of animal rights groups send letterbombs to scientists and things. The producer had a rose taped to his door and it said, "Hasta la vista, baby!" All kinds of really scary shit. I had to check under hotel under different names, which I've never had to do, when I was in Spain.

The bullfighting world didn't want anything to do with someone that's gonna come in and [try to be] commercializing them. What helped was that I had a super passion about it…I knew enough that I could say, "Listen: I want Emilio Muñoz and I can tell you about every fight he had last year, every outfit he wore and where he fought." It was kind of funny because everyone said, "Well, he'll never do it, Emilio Muñoz — why don't you look at these other guys that are seeking publicity. And those are the guys you didn't want! So that was a whole trip in itself — literally sitting in hotels in Seville, waiting to meet this guy. Waiting for four days passing — and it's only his guys coming to scope you out and see if it's real and it wasn't some television show where they do pranks on people.

One thing we had to promise was that we'd never harm the bull in any way. And that became a real touchy subject because a bullfighter can't really fight a bull unless he's been harmed in some way. Usually they do a pick to his shoulder and that makes his head go down so that he could go use the smaller, red cloth called a muleta. So, if suddenly, we were not able to pick him or have any trace of blood on the bull, so how is he supposed to use this red cloth? She was set to fly out in two days and he was set to come the following day — it was right down to the wire. So I posed him the problem and he didn't really say anything except, "OK, let me think about this." And he just kind of of disappeared for two days. No one could get him on the phone. She gets on an airplane to come out. So, the drama was just fantastic! So he finally arrives and says, to the Spanish press, "I'm going to fight this bull, I'm not going to pick or bandeira him. it's going to be the first time it's ever done and I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it for my friend Michael."

I don't think [the bullfighting community] ever really wanted it to get out because he was able to fight that bull fine and it was beautiful and the bull never got hurt…at all. But you have to understand the reason that can't happen is, unfortunately, [bullfighting is] about the celebration about killing of a bull. So it kind of took away the reason it why it exists for the Spanish. And also, when you're looking at the footage, it's pretty outstanding what he does. He's not just fighting it — he's fighting it beautifully. It's gorgeous. It was all cloaked in secrecy. He wouldn't do it unless no one saw. It was just too weird that a bullfighter's fighting a bull that's not picked or bandeira'd.

3. "Open Your Heart" (1986)

"At the time, we were into a period where we were experimenting [with] some kind of freedom about the body, about sexuality and stuff. So the peep show was an idea that I had," says "Open Your Heat" director Jean-Baptiste Mondino. "But there was something sweet about this little boy waiting for her outside — something very naïve and sweet."

Clad in a black bustier and stripping off her gloves and wig, "Open Your Heart" was Madonna's first overtly risqué clip. But this was no shock piece: An even mix of Fellini and Fosse, "Open Your Heart" was gorgeous, from the paintings of art deco artist Tamara de Lempicka on the club exterior, to the colorfully cold cast of characters. At one point, in a brilliant piece of synergy, Madonna leans back and mimics the now-iconic Herb Ritts cover photo of "Open Your Heart"'s album, True Blue. "Because she makes the picture, you know?" says Mondino. "She gives you the stuff. You've got to be ready to grab it."

Jean-Baptiste Mondino, director: [The set was built] from scratch. We found this place where we could actually build it. We just built the front of it and the little booth where the old man was inside. I guess it was my Hollywood period where I was in [a] Hollywood state of mind with my cranes, the building....We were very young [laughs] and everything was possible, I guess. I like the fakeness of it. I haven't seen it for a long time, but when I saw it once again, I said, "It's so naïve." It's kind of badly done, which I like, compared to today. We didn't have the same equipment, people are more skillful today, but there's something sweet about it. I love the ending; like a Charlie Chaplin ending when they run after each other. That little moment is very touching.

The good story about this video is that it was the first one I did with Madonna, and I said to her, "You know it could be nice maybe if you wear a black wig," because she was kind of blonde. Very well known as being the blonde with short hair. So a few days before the shoot, we had the meeting with hair and makeup and they work on her and they prepare her with the outfit and the wig and stuff. And I came in and they were all raving about, "Oh my God, she's so beautiful" and stuff. Then she turns around and she looks at me with the wig on and says, "OK, Mondino — tell me what do you think." And when Madonna asks you something, she asks you something, you know? It's not just like a sentence; she really meant it.

So I look at her and say, "Well, you look great, but to be honest, I prefer you in blonde." She looked and me and that day, she trusted me because she knew more than anyone else that she was better in blonde….And I think that day, maybe that's when I gained her confidence. 

2. "Ray Of Light" (1998)

"It's probably, to this day, the longest shoot ever for a music video," remembers "Ray of Light" director Jonas Åkerlund, who traveled to New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas to shoot this fast-forward pastiche. "I think we shot 14 shoot days or so. But, we were the smallest crew. My idea was to fit the crew into one car. We found an angle, then we set it up, and then and we were talking shit for a half-hour, waiting for it because it took forever to do these shots." The clip's stationary shots with a flurry of activity had a similar feel to 1982 art-house favorite Koyaanisqatsi (which he hadn't seen) and provided a frantic energy for Madonna's embrace of contemporary house music. Åkerlund would become the only collaborator in Madonna's monumental run to garner the pop star an VMA for Video of the Year. 

Jonas Åkerlund, director: We did a few tests in Stockholm with a film camera so I could to show her the technique I was talking about, and the test actually came out so good, that it ended up the final video. So there's a lot of shots from Stockholm in there. 

Of course, we didn't shoot digital — we shot with a big, 35mm camera. We had this diagram that I had in my pocket for the whole production where it said how many frames per minute or per second that we needed to do in order to get the certain amount of footage. So let's say you shoot one frame every 10 seconds or so? Then you have to do that for 30 minutes to get like five seconds. Stuff like that.

We mounted the camera on a bus, I remember, driving around in New York. That was like a pretty big effort for a 20-frame thing [laughs]. Everything was like a huge thing considering how much that actually ended up in the video because it's happening so fast. Every shot was just like such a big deal. I think we ended up using everything we shot, too. The song was long — I remember in the edit thinking that the song was too long because I used up all the footage.

"At the time, I really didn't think about [winning the VMAs]. I was there with my Swedish friends, just drinking beer and though it was great that the beer was for free. But looking back, it was a life-changing moment for me."

1. "Express Yourself" (1989)

The first of Madonna's collaborations with David Fincher is also her best — and one of the priciest (at $5 million, it was the most expensive video ever made at the time). Heavily influenced by Fritz Lang's Metropolis, with its sci-fi cityscape and surreal factory scenes featuring men struggling with giant machines, "Express Yourself" is a perfect melding of Fincher's expressionist impulses with Madonna's shape-shifting allure. Here, we see her juxtaposed against various versions of herself, each representing a different kind of seduction: A pantsuit-wearing, Marlene Dietrich-like figure with a monocle; a shimmying coquette in a corset; a submissive wife chained naked to a bed. Meanwhile, Fincher's camera swoops and cranes and tracks around the impressive sets and through fields of blown-out light, expressive shadow, and thick layers of steam. (The director's feature film debut, Alien 3, would actually repurpose some of this aesthetic.)

"This one I had the most amount of input," said Madonna. "I oversaw everything — the building of the sets, everyone's costumes, I had meetings with make-up and hair and the cinematographer, everybody. Casting, finding the right cat — just every aspect. Kind of like making a little movie. We basically sat down and just threw out all every idea we could possibly conceive of and of all the things we wanted. All the imagery we wanted — and I had a few set ideas, for instance the cat and the idea of Metropolis. I definitely wanted to have that influence, that look on all the men — the workers, diligently, methodically working away."

Both Metropolis and "Express Yourself" end with the same epigraph: "Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind." But what was for Lang a plea for reconciliation between workers and bosses becomes, for Madonna, a creative credo.

Rolling Stone reviews Rebel Heart

Source: Rolling Stone - 25 February 2015

3,5 stars out of 5

Madonna gets down with Kanye, Avicii and more on a supercatchy, sexed-up album.

For many years, Madonna avoided the Internet like gluten. But in December, the Internet decided to stop waiting for Madonna, and everything went wrong: Her music was stolen and leaked; her hasty, emotional responses on Instagram used terms like "rape" and "terrorism," provoking (you guessed it) Internet outrage. Her swift solution was to put six songs online immediately, with a promise that 13 more would follow in March. But some of those 13 new songs have turned what might have been a modern-day pop treasure into a diamond struggling to escape the rough.

Rebel Heart

Rebel Heart is a long, passionate, self-referential meditation on losing love and finding purpose in chilling times. It's also a chance for the Queen of Pop to floss a bit and reflect on how she painstakingly carved a path others have happily twerked down in the years since her 1983 debut. The über-fit 56-year-old star gleefully enunciates "bitch" on the refreshing, reggae-tinged "Unapologetic Bitch" and the frenetic, Nicki Minaj-assisted "Bitch I'm Madonna," both featuring Diplo's ear-tingling airhorn blasts. She quotes herself on three songs, calling back to iconic passages from "Vogue" and "Justify My Love" before whisper-rapping about her past hits in "Veni Vidi Vici."

The album opens with another kind of flashback — the classic-sounding house jam "Living for Love," a buoyant song about moving on after a breakup. The stellar "HeartBreakCity," meanwhile, is a dramatic plunge into post-relationship hell. The singer grappled with her divorce from Guy Ritchie on her past two albums, but now that she's back on the market, there are new fools to smack down.

Her co-pilots this time aren't the electro mavens who assisted on 2012's glossy MDNA nor the pop titans who lent a hand on 2008's dancier Hard Candy they're trendier talents like Blood Diamonds and established hitmakers like Kanye West. Sometimes these collaborations gel perfectly, like on"Illuminati,"West's grimy take on the Internet's favorite conspiracy theory, and "Devil Pray," where Avicii helps Madonna revive the strums-and-beats vibe of 2000's Music. And Minaj's verse on "Bitch I'm Madonna" is pure fire.

Unfortunately, cameos from Nas, Chance the Rapper and Mike Tyson don't elevate their respective songs. And Madonna lets her own appetite for over-the-top sex songs run wild on a handful of cringy tracks like "Holy Water" (an ode to oral sex featuring the unfortunate line "Yeezus loves my pussy best") and "S.E.X.," which spells out an unconventional list of bedroom aids including "chopsticks, underwear, bar of soap, dental chair."

The album is at its strongest when Madonna shoves everyone to the side and just tells it to us straight. So it's fitting that she wraps up the deluxe edition with the title track, recalling how she went from weird kid to narcissist to spiritual thinker over Avicii's bright, orchestrated production. Deep down, Madonna does have a rebel heart — and you can't fault her for reminding us that pop music is all the better for it.

Madonna will perform on The Voice - but only if BBC provides a giant bullring

Source: The Mirror - 22 February 2015

The singer's extravagant stage production demands include a 24ft by 24ft mocked-up arena for herself, 10 dancers and 12 gospel singers.

Madonna is set to perform on BBC talent show The Voice – but only if bosses can squeeze a 24ft by 24ft bullring into the studio.

Madge's extravagant stage production demands include the mocked-up arena for herself, 10 dancers and 12 gospel singers.

Madonna performs at the Grammies

Producers fear the show's HQ at Elstree Studios in Herts is too small to accommodate such a large stage and are frantically trying to solve the problem in time for the show's live finals.

A source said: "Getting Madonna on The Voice would be a major coup.

"She's not going to do anything by halves. So if the Beeb want her, they're going to have to accommodate her – and her bullring – whether it's in the usual studio or they find something temporary.

"It's got to be a huge spectacle or it won't happen."

US star Madonna, 56, was dressed as a matador when she performed at the Grammys in LA this month and wants to continue the theme in Britain while she promotes her new album here.

Signing her up would give The Voice a huge victory over ITV rival The X Factor.

X Factor chief Simon Cowell revealed last year that Madonna is the one artist who has not appeared on the show, who he would most like to secure.

The Sun album review: Madonna's raunchy rebellion

Source: The Sun - 21 February 2015

World Exclusive: First review of Madonna's new Rebel Heart album

THE Queen of Pop will reign again – MADONNA is about to release her best album in 17 years and one of the greatest of her career.

Not since Ray of Light in 1998 has Madge come up with such a perfect collection of pop belters, while managing to remain at the cutting edge of music trends.

Rebel Heart, her 13th studio album, is deeply personal, exposing her darkest secrets, sexual desires and fears for the future.

It's provocative, sexy, emotionally raw and self-referential.

But above all else, it features melodies and hooks that should send her back to the top of the charts.

New Rebel Heart picture revealed by The Sun

While the 56-year-old has had to deal with almost constant leaks over the past two months, this is the first official review of the album.

If you were one of the few who has listened to the tracks illegally released online, then discount what you've heard.

Nine songs are now officially available through Apple's iTunes store but ten more will be released on March 9.

I've had a world exclusive First Listen for Bizarre and am excited to bring you my top ten countdown of the unreleased new songs.

Yes, Madonna most definitely still loves sex — or "the purest form of ecstasy" as she describes it on this track.

Eroticism and romance collide here as she stops singing to gasp: "I want to love you from the inside out." Later she makes it clear the song is actually more about revealing your deepest feelings to your lover.

She sings: "Every scar you try to hide. Every dark corner of your mind. Show me yours and I'll show you mine."

One of four tracks co-produced by KANYE WEST. His influence is immediately evident, with "Yeezus" even getting a nod in the lyrics. The stripped-back instrumentation is very modern. But there's still a cheeky reference to Vogue when Madge says: "Strike a pose, there's nothing to it."

Top DJ DIPLO worked with Madonna on this feelgood and chilled-out party song about a one-night stand. A rap from Madonna, where she references the recent phenomenon of sex tapes, is the highlight here.

She seductively whispers: "Surrender to the pleasure when we breathe in together. It's either now or never. No sex tapes on camera. Just you and me together."

The most traditional ballad on the album has similarities to Madonna's brilliant Nineties hit You'll See. There's an impressive string section and very little dance production compared to the rest of the album. It's one of five songs Swedish DJ AVICII has contributed to.

6 S.E.X.
Madonna shows why she was so scornful of Fifty Shades of Grey, with her own X-rated mission statement that puts EL James to shame. Her "lesson in sexology" includes handcuffs, blindfolds, high heels, perfume, fishnets, leather belts, thigh highs, silk scarfs and, er, a bar of soap.

Oh, there's also audio of a woman, we presume to be Madge, making love . . .

This is how you write and perform a break-up ballad. Madonna sounds angry here. Like, you-don't-want-to-mess-with-me angry.

Her vocals are on point too as she builds to a soaring chorus, singing: "Cut me down the middle. F***ed me up a little. You said I was your queen. I tried to give you everything. And now you want your freedom. You got what you came for — a bit of fame and fortune. And I'm no longer needed."

"I came, I saw, I conquered," Madonna sings as she takes an exhilarating look back on her impressive career.

In a spoken word verse referencing some of her most famous songs of old, she explains how she's impacted pop culture, saying in part: "I expressed myself, came like a virgin down the aisle. Exposed my naked ass and I did it with a smile. And when it came to sex, I know I walked the borderline. When I struck a pose, all the gay boys lost their mind. I saw a ray of light. Music saved my life."

The guest appearance from NAS is brilliant too and proof he should be back in the charts in his own right.

One of the most experimental moments, this track is completely joyful and a strong contender to be a future single. There's an eastern influence instrumentally and fast-paced verses, fused perfectly with background dance beats. Unlike most of the deep lyrics on the album, Madge has some fun here. "You can polish the headlights. You can start the ignition," she sings happily.

An incredibly powerful and pretty emotionally traumatic song ends the main version of the album, with an intense church-like organ overlaid with modern house beats. Madonna looks at her place in the world, opening with the line: "In a world that's changing, I'm a stranger in a strange land." She also talks about "running away from all this madness".

Surprisingly, the brilliant title track — my favourite moment of the album — doesn't find a place on the main tracklisting, instead closing the deluxe version.

The lyrics are autobiographical — and she admits to being a "narcissist" and "provocative".

The first verse is my favourite lyrically as she sings: "I live my life like a masochist. Hear-ing my father say: 'I told you so, I told you so. Why can't you be like the other girls?' I said: 'Oh no, that's no me. And I don't think it will ever be.'"

Thank God for that.

Denmark added to tour pre-sales

Source: - 21 February 2015

Denmark is the next country that can look forward to a tour date, as online music store has added similar info to their album pre-order page.

Also tour pre-sales info for Belgium & The Netherlands

Source: - 20 February 2015

After, a similar message has appeared on the online store for Belgium and The Netherlands.

Rebel Heart

When you pre-order Rebel Heart before March 4th, you will receive an e-mail on March 5th, containing details and a direct link to the ticket pre-sale for concerts in Belgium and/or The Netherlands.

The text mentions that exact tour dates will be announced "later".

Madonna is skipping her own Oscar party

Source: Page Six - 20 February 2015

Madonna's post-Oscars party, with its no-press rule, has been Hollywood's hottest in recent years. But Page Six has exclusively learned the Material Girl won't be at her own bash this year, thrown with manager Guy Oseary.

Instead, she'll be in rehearsals for an upcoming performance on the Brit Awards on Wednesday at London's O2 arena. But sources close to the singer, 56, promise the LA party "is still happening" and "will be as star-studded and private as ever."

Madonna at her Oscars Party last year

Past guests have included Jennifer Lawrence (who threw up at last year's installment in front of Miley Cyrus, and then told Seth Meyers, "If you get invited you're, like, super important"), Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and Sean Penn — who reportedly spent last year's bash making out with Charlize Theron.

A former guest explains, "People go to the Vanity Fair party to be photographed — then they go to Madonna's to party in private."

But in cutthroat Hollywood, some sour grapes have surrounded the fête because of its super-tight guest list. So some other parties are gunning to take Madonna's crown in her absence.

"Madonna's managed to usurp the Oscars, and she's not from the film business," sniffed a movie vet. "Some people are annoyed that her party has skimmed the most famous people from the top." We hear there are some other hush-hush Hollywood bashes launching this year as alternatives.

Away from the Oscars, Madonna's readying for the March release of her album, "Rebel Heart." So, along with playing at the Brit Awards — where she hasn't performed in 20 years — "Madonna has been committed to performing on 'The Jonathan Ross Show' as well as various other promotion for months," her rep explained of her Oscars absence. Plus, "Any Madonna performance naturally requires a lot of rehearsal — like Tina Turner says, 'We never do nothin' nice and easy.' " And, "I'm told that there will be as many stars as ever at mega manager [Oseary's] party."

Madge's new single, "Living for Love," hit No. 1 on Billboard's Dance Charts , marking her ‎ 44th, tying a record with George Strait.

News on tour tickets pre-sales on March 7th

Source: - 20 February 2015 has revealed that fans who pre-ordered Rebel Heart will receive exclusive details about the pre-sales of Madonna's upcoming tour!

Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards

Everyone who pre-ordered the album (Standard, Deluxe, Super Deluxe, Vinyl or MP3) before March 5th will receive an e-mail on March 7th with details on the ticket pre-sales of Madonna's upcoming tour. It's not known if this counts only for the pre-orders of Amazon Germany, or all pre-orders everywhere. adds that they will be announcing further details on the German tour stops in the coming two weeks.

Stay tuned, because a tour announcement is really close!

Madonna notches historic 44th no. 1 on Dance Club Songs chart

Source: Billboard - 20 February 2015

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. (The ranking, dated March 7, will refresh on on Thursday, Feb. 26.)

With the coronation, Madonna equals George Strait, who's logged 44 No. 1s on Hot Country Songs, for the most leaders ever by an act on a singular Billboard chart.

It's fitting history for the artists also known, respectively, and reverently, as the Queen of Pop and the King of Country.

Living For Love video

With her 44th leading title 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 as many No. 1s as they have combined : 22 each. (The chart launched as a national survey in the Billboard issue dated Aug. 28, 1976.)

Madonna, who performed "Love" at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8, matches Strait's esteemed honor, with the latter icon having stood at the Hot Country Songs summit with 44 smashes between 1982 and 2009. He first reigned with "Fool Hearted Memory" (Aug. 28, 1982) and most recentlyruled with "River of Love" (April 18, 2009.)

"Love" introduces Madonna's 13th studio album, Rebel Heart, due March 10.

"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's Keith Caulfield in December. "The rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me."

Specifically of the house music-infused "Love," the ever-youthful Material Girl similarly said, "It's kind of like the old me and the new me all mixed in together."

Looking ahead, all Madonna needs is one more leader, perhaps also from Rebel Heart, to pass Strait and claim vaunted chart history -- 45 No. 1s on one ranking -- all to herself.

For now, at least, Madonna and Strait make for unparalleled Billboard chart royalty.

Here is an updated look at Madonna's 44 Dance Club Songs No. 1s, beginning with the double-sided single "Holiday"/"Lucky Star," which reached the top the week of Sept. 24, 1983. You'll notice that one of her No. 1s is an entire album: You Can Dance (1988), a collection of mostly remixes of previously released songs (and one new cut, "Spotlight"). Prior to Feb. 23, 1991, the chart wasn't always song-specific and full albums were, at some points, allowed to chart.

(For titles that spent multiple weeks at No. 1, total frames in the lead are noted in parentheses.)

1983, "Holiday"/"Lucky Star" (five weeks at No. 1)
1984, "Like a Virgin" (three)
1985, "Material Girl"
1985, "Angel"/"Into the Groove"
1987, "Open Your Heart"
1987, "Causing a Commotion (Remix)"
1988, You Can Dance (LP Cuts)
1989, "Like a Prayer" (two)
1989, "Express Yourself" (three)
1990, "Keep It Together"
1990, "Vogue" (two)
1991, "Justify My Love" (two)
1992, "Erotica"
1993, "Deeper and Deeper"
1993, "Fever"
1994, "Secret" (two)
1995, "Bedtime Story"
1997, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
1998, "Frozen" (two)
1998, "Ray of Light" (four)
1999, "Nothing Really Matters" (two)
1999, "Beautiful Stranger" (two)
2000, "American Pie"
2000, "Music" (five)
2001, "Don't Tell Me"
2001, "What It Feels Like for a Girl"
2001, "Impressive Instant" (two)
2002, "Die Another Day" (two)
2003, "American Life"
2003, "Hollywood"
2003, "Me Against the Music," Britney Spears featuring Madonna (two)
2004, "Nothing Fails"
2004, "Love Profusion"
2005, "Hung Up" (four)
2006, "Sorry" (two)
2006, "Get Together"
2006, "Jump" (two)
2008, "4 Minutes," Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland (two)
2008, "Give It 2 Me"
2009, "Celebration"
2012, "Give Me All Your Luvin'," Madonna featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.
2012, "Girl Gone Wild"
2012, "Turn Up the Radio"
2015, "Living for Love"

Radio 1 denies Madonna's age ban; Shirley Manson suggests legal action

Source: Idolator - 18 February 2015

BBC Radio 1 sparked a major controversy last week when they reportedly refused to play Madonna's new single Living for Love because of her age. The influential British radio station has since denied the accusations, saying: "The tracks played on Radio 1 are chosen on musical merit… an artist's age is never a factor." However, that hasn't stopped Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson recommending legal action.

"If I was @madonna I would seriously contemplate suing BBC Radio 1 for discrimination in the workplace," the rock queen tweeted. "In all seriousness, Radio 1's policy of discrimination against age is bordering on, if not actively, unlawful. Beware intolerance. It spreads."

While Shirley was quick to leap to Madonna's defense, La Roux 's Elly Jackson wasn't as compassionate — or concerned. "Age is actually a less offensive alternative to being branded too shit to be on the radio," she wrote. "Lol cry."

As for the 56-year-old pop icon? Well, she jumped on Instagram and posted a picture comprised of quotes from an old interview with Jonathon Ross. "Not only do we suffer from sexism and racism, but we also suffer from ageism," Madonna lamented. "Once you reach a certain age, you're not allowed to be adventurous, you're not allowed to be sexual." The eerily prophetic comments ends in a typically #unapologetic manner. "Are you supposed to just die when you're 40?" See the fall-out below.

Shirley Manson's thoughts:

Elly Jackson's failed attempt at humor:

Madonna's Instagram response:

Predicting the future with Jonathan Ross so many years ago! ❤️#rebelheart @jrossshow

Een foto die is geplaatst door Madonna (@madonna) op

Madonna to appear & perform on The Jonathan Ross Show

Source: Digital Spy - 17 February 2015

Madonna: Mr. Ross we meet. again..........see you next week! I might be wearing a different hat! @JRossShow #livingforloveMadonna has been confirmed to appear on a special edition of The Jonathan Ross Show.

The 'Living for Love' singer will be interviewed by Ross for the first time since 2003 in March.

The special edition of the chat show will focus exclusively on Madonna, as she sits down to discuss her new album Rebel Heart.

She will also perform two songs from her forthcoming record on the show.

On her Instagram, Madonna confirmed the appearance:

"Mr. Ross we meet. again..........see you next week! I might be wearing a different hat! @JRossShow. ❤️ #livingforlove"

Ross said: "Madonna is remarkable. A bold, daring, uncompromising superstar who shot to the top back in the '80s and has remained there ever since.

"I am hoping this interview will be as memorable and revealing as the first time I sat down with her over 20 years ago."

Meanwhile, BBC Radio 1 has denied banning Madonna from its playlists over her age, saying that tracks are "chosen on musical merit".

Madonna will perform at the 2015 Brit Awards on Wednesday, February 25.

Madonna talks 'Fifty Shades of Grey' ('not very sexy'), the Pope and why the 'word police can f--- off'

Source: Billboard - 15 February 2015

Strutting into Universal's Manhattan headquarters on a bleak, frigid evening, Madonna looks like a naughty princess come to toss off some knowledge to the peons. It's an image enhanced not only by her outfit -- a form-fitting black blazer with arm poufs; a silver Chanel whistle, hanging low on a necklace; and aubergine-hued lace gloves topped with a diamond skull ring -- but also the servant that trails in her wake, carrying an old-timey glass bottle with a black ribbon tied around the neck. It looks like a vessel from a cartoon -- it might have smoke billowing out the top and the caption, "Drink to Grow Strong," but it's just good old tequila. "We're playing a drinking game," announces Madonna, plunking two shot glasses on a coffee table. "If you ask a stupid question, you have to drink a shot. But if you ask an amazing question, I have to drink a shot." Pause for effect. "I'm the judge of stupid and good, though."

Illustration by Diego Patiño

Madonna never did take a shot, but we didn't get drunk either. Instead, after unfolding herself on a white leather horseshoe-shaped couch, upon which the 56-year-old often stretched like a cat -- the body, as always, is in tip-top shape, and her cool blue eyes never break their gaze -- she engaged in a rapid-fire chat about sex, motherhood, religion and Rebel Heart(Live Nation/Interscope), her 13th studio album. A return to pop after 2012's EDM-flavored MDNA (which has sold 539,000 copies, according to Nielsen Music), Rebel Heart features special guests Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Nas and Mike Tyson, and producers like Diplo and Avicii. Its tracks are named after her lifelong obsessions, like "S.E.X." and "Holy Water," in which she whispers, "Yeezus loves my p---- best." (Billboard tells her we misheard this as "Jesus loves my p---- best," at which she dryly remarks, "Whole different context.")

Madonna has been married twice, to actor Sean Penn and director Guy Ritchie, and is still focused on parenting her four children (Lourdes, 18; Rocco, 14; and Malawi-born David and Mercy James, both 9). But today she's a free woman, living in New York and enjoying herself (she dated 26-year-old choreographer Timor Steffens last summer). Performing Rebel Heart's lead single, "Living for Love," at the Grammys, dressed as a sexy matador, is the fun part of her job; making the album was the hard work. "I felt like a schoolmarm," she explains, referring to the large cast of contributors that she corralled. "Kanye, for instance, has excellent ideas, but it's hard to get him to pay attention. So my job was to keep him focused. I was the mistress walking around with the clipboard going, 'Guys, can you please -- can you guys come back in the room? Let's just finish the song. What do you mean you're going to a photo shoot? What do you mean you have to go to a red carpet event? Get off your phone! Will you stop tweeting? Wait, we haven't finished!' "

You name-check some of your most famous songs -- "Like a Virgin," "Justify My Love," "Ray of Light," to cite just a few -- on Rebel Heart's "Veni Vidi Vici," and you reference "Vogue" on the song "Holy Water." Why quote your own work?

I reference many things in pop culture, and I've written so many songs and had such a long career, that I end up referencing myself, too. If I can rip anybody off, I can rip me off.

On the title track, you talk about shedding your skin and never looking back. Do you really have no regrets?

Everyone has regrets. I have regrets for the smaller things, which ultimately are the bigger things in life. For instance, I regret not being more grateful certain times in my life. I regret not being more compassionate. I regret not saying I'm sorry. I don't have any career regrets. I have human-being regrets.

A lot of the songs on Rebel Heart feel incredibly intimate -- more intimate than the Madonna who usually comes off like a superhero.

As I say in the song "Joan of Arc," "even hearts made of steel can break down." Even people we look up to have their moments where they are fragile, vulnerable, scared, fearful, not sure, hurt. You can't be a superhero unless you have the other side.

But culturally, Madonna's platform is, "This is what a strong woman is, and I claim my space."

But I never said what a strong woman isn't. People have that notion of me as invincible, and that doesn't mean I'm not also vulnerable. I never said I was just one thing.

On the album, you use the word "bitch" a lot ("Bitch I'm Madonna," "Unapologetic Bitch"), which some bloggers have suggested should be banned.

I think that's bullshit. The word police can f--- off. I don't want to be policed! I'm not interested in political correctness. The word "bitch" means a lot of different things. Everything is about context. When I first moved to England and heard the word "c--t," I was horrified. People were calling each other c--ts! And then I realized that, in that culture, it was different -- they slapped each other on the back and said, "Who's the c--t, right, you're my best mate!" The word "f---" doesn't just mean sexual intercourse. I mean, "You're a stupid f---," "Are you going to f--- with me?" "F-- off!" (Laughs.) Sex has nothing to do with any of those expressions, and the same goes for "bitch." If I say to you, "I'm a badass bitch," I'm owning myself, I'm saying, "I'm strong, I'm tough, and don't mess with me." If I say, "Why are you being such a bitch to me?," well, that means something else.

But isn't attention to language an important part of the new online discourse about race, gender and power?

OK, but that's another story. Language, and the use of language, is different than one human physically abusing somebody or bullying somebody, or killing somebody because of the color of their skin or their sexual preference or their religious beliefs. I don't think the two should get mixed up.

Why did you decide to write so much about sex and religion?

When have I not explored the politics of sex and religion? I'm just continuing with my studies.

What's your relationship with Catholicism at this point?

Catholicism feels like my alma mater. It's the school I used to go to, and I can go back any time I want and take whatever I want from it because I suffered all the oppression, and all the abuse -- and also enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance, the drama and the confusion and the hypocrisy and the craziness. I feel like I can say whatever I want and do whatever I want. I've been ex-communicated by the Catholic Church a few times. But I also feel like this new pope is kind of groovy, and I think we might be able to get together and have a chat about sex.

Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?

Yes, I have. It's pulp fiction. It's not very sexy, maybe for someone who has never had sex before. I kept waiting for something exciting and crazy to happen in that red room thing, and I was like, "Hmm, a lot of spanking." I also thought, "This is so unrealistic because no guy goes down on a girl that much." I'm sorry, but no one eats p---- as much as the guy in that book.

Do you think your views on sex have changed during the last, say, 25 years?

Absolutely not. Nope. Sex is a wonderful, necessary part of life.

Many of the songs on this album are so romantic. Do you see yourself getting married again?

Wait, what does romance have to do with getting married?

Don't they go hand in hand? That's what everybody says in America.

No, no. Stupid question! You can have a drink. (Pours shot.) First of all, everybody says it in America. What? Who are you talking about? Down it!

Are you serious?

Yup, it's just like water. Water for chocolate. Holy water! Bless yourself, and genuflect.

(Billboard drinks.) Yuck. Are you in love now?


Do you want to be in love again?

I do. I'm a hopeless romantic. I love being in love. I mean, I'm in love with my children, but that's a different kind of love. It's the love that never ends.

Which of your songs do your kids like?

Lola is obsessed with "Bitch I'm Madonna" -- that's her favorite. She and Rocco like the Diplo tracks. Rocco is a huge fan of '90s rap, so he likes "Veni Vidi Vici," because he loves Nas. David is a guitar player and a singer himself, so he likes the more acoustic-style songs. He's a real romantic.

You invented this idea of revealing yourself fully to the audience at a time when critics sniffed, "Real artists don't reveal themselves in that way." Now it's mandatory for artists to overshare.

You must have a reality show.

Right. If you were 22, would you be addicted to Instagram?

I am addicted to Instagram. I don't know what I woulddo if I was 22.

But do you think social media is a viable means of self-expression, or is it just marketing?

It's both. You can take 1,000 selfies every time you have something to sell and use it as shameless self-promotion, or you can use it as an art form to express and share things that inspire you. I find it very revealing about people, what they choose to show about themselves.

What do you binge watch?

I watch Game of Thrones with my kids. That's a good family bonding experience. My own personal obsession is True Detective, because Matthew McConaughey is so brilliant and the writing is genius. And an Irish series, The Fall. I mostly watch old movies, over and over again. All of Godard's, and Visconti, Fellini, Pasolini. I love Alain Resnais.

Do you miss going to clubs and dancing?

I do go to clubs! I went to Ibiza with my daughter -- it was like our last time together before she went off to college -- and I was in several nightclubs with her, dancing, smashing into other people, everybody sweating all over me.

Do you think young women have it easier today?

Hmm... It depends on what you mean by "easier." I guess it's easier on the one hand because it's no-holds-barred and you can do whatever you like. On the other hand, if you're a pop star and want to get your records played and reach the masses, you have to play it very safe. You have to be very politically correct. There aren't a lot of young pop stars who actually have opinions -- or, they have them but they don't express them. Individuality is not encouraged. Keeping your brand going and not rocking the boat -- that's what is encouraged.

What do you make of Miley Cyrus?

I like her. She seems like she doesn't care what people think. People are always telling her she's dirty or crazy or trashy, and she doesn't care. I love that about her. In her peer group, she stands out.

When you look back on your career, what part do you think you played in changing taboos about growing up female in America?

I don't think there was one part. I think it's an ongoing activity in my life. I'm continuing to open doors for the women behind me. I don't know many women who have had a successful career in pop music as long as I've had. And I waited until I was older to have children. I raised children and wasn't married. And I continue to express myself -- my sexuality -- in my 50s, even though that's also considered taboo, and I get a lot of shit for it. But in 20 years, Miley Cyrus probably won't get shit for it. Then, it'll be like, "Oh, yeah, that's nothing new."

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 21 issue of Billboard.

Drake sings about Madonna on surprise mixtape

13 February 2015

Drake has pulled a Beyonce and released a surprise mixtape last night, titled 'If You're Reading This It's Too Late'. Track no. 6 is titled 'Madonna' and he sings to a girl about how she could be "as big as Madonna".

Drake: I wanna ride with you Drake: What if I pick you up from your house? We should get out. Madonna: If you're reading this it's too late.............#bitchimmadonna

In the past few weeks, Drake had given hints on his Instagram account, posting pictures of Madonna with parts of the lyrics, which seemed like flirtatious blurbs.

"I wanna ride with you"

"What if I pick you up from your house? We should get out."

Madonna responded today:

"If you're reading this it's too late.............#bitchimmadonna"

"There's only one Queen! #bitchimmadonna ❤️<3 U 2! "

Madonna's isolated Grammy vocals are absolutely flawless, just like her

Source: Newnownext - 13 February 2015

Madonna didn't become the undisputed Queen of Pop coincidentally.

She's been slaying the music industry since her self-titled album debut in 1983, and more than 30 years later at last weekend's Grammys, she proved her worth once again by blessing an International audience with one of her greatest Grammy performances in history.

Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards

Below, hear the Queen's isolated vocals from her Living for Love" performance last weekend. And for kicks, go ahead and compare it to Beyonce and Taylor Swift at last year's VMAs.

Here are the isolated vocals:

And here's the performance with music on VEVO.

Bare-arsed, bold, glorious Madonna – light years away from acting her age

Source: The Guardian - 12 February 2015

The age-shaming of Madge is relentless and constant, like some kind of sport. Why should anyone be told to act their age when it comes to getting dressed?

Now that we've calmed down after Kanye's tanty over Beck winning best album at the Grammys , I think we can safely agree that although Kanye might have some valid points, until he holds his own personal awards ceremony he is not in a position to decide who gets what gong. End of.

All this kerfuffle has distracted us from something else that happens each year at the Grammys: the relentless and constant age-shaming of Madonna. It's become some sort of sport.

Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards

Madge turned up to the ceremony in her usual garb, ie something tight, excruciatingly short and topped off with a pair of unwearable shoes . No real surprises there. Although I did enjoy the Napoleon-slash-Spanish matador vibe of her whole ensemble. She flounced about in her now de rigueur corsetry with boobs proudly on show, legs encased in saucy fishnets. On first glance, most people thought "Nice hat" and went back to their lives.

Then she flashed her backside. At the paparazzi. Who deserve it just as much as that degrading manicam box into which celebs are forced to shove their hands to have their cuticles filmed up close. Moon them both, I say.

Of course, Madonna's rear wasn't encased in a comfortable pair of sensible control-top cottontail undies like most women of most ages would wear. Her backside was bare, encased only by some sort of sporty jock strap that worked as a cheek hammock (where can I get one? The lift was extraordinary). Glorious Madge. Glorious 50-something-year-old Madge. Who refuses to put it away.

Cue the naysayers on socials saying Madonna should act her age. These normally rational people, who clearly all now hold a university degree in sitting on their own backsides and having opinions of 140 characters or less, were deeply concerned that Madge really needs a friend right now who'll be honest and tell her the truth about her clothing choices. Others worried for her children. Some stated that she has more arse than class.

To think an older person wearing revealing clothes can still get folk in a lather, yet when Taylor Swift at the age of 25 turns up dressing like a 45-year-old movie star no one bats an eye! And that is so sad. Why should anyone be told to act their age when it comes to getting dressed? And as an aside, what on earth does acting your age really mean in this context? I assume the answer is covering it all up. And as Tay would say: shake it off.

I attended a product launch years ago that was hosted by an octogenarian artist who has a history of pulling practical jokes and pranks. Once her speech was done she then proceeded to pour the champagne all over the place, including on herself, then hoik her skirt up to flash her undies too. It was both shocking and joyful.

This moment always serves as a reminder that I wasn't used to people over a certain age enjoying themselves, their bodies, and just generally mucking about with societal norms. It also showed me what a terrible bunch of conservatives we've become. Self-expression is not only for the young.

Telling Madonna what you think she can and can't wear at her age has a hint of the Kanyes about it. And if we all agree that Yeezus doesn't have that right to tell someone else who deserves to win, nor do we have the right to tell someone over a certain vintage to dress their age. Isn't it the same?

Madonna, Annie Lennox and 'Acting Your Age'

Source: Huffington Post - 12 February 2015

It's far too common to pit women in popular music against one another. And, after Madonna and Annie Lennox delivered their respective performances on the 57th Grammy Awards on Sunday, that's exactly what happened. As both these strong female trailblazers came to prominence in the 1980s, many in the cyber sphere wanted to admonish one over the other.

Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards

But, first off, comparing Annie Lennox and Madonna musically is a false equivalence. They are, generally, two different types of artists, popular for different reasons, each with separate skill sets: one is a rock, blue-eyed soul vocalist about big vocal performances, the other is a dance-pop, self-proclaimed "show girl" with a talent for theatrics, messages, dancing and spectacle. Both are entertainment masters in their own right.

But, simmering underneath their performances was a vitriolic conversation online and in the media about age. With just four years difference (Lennox, 60 and Madonna, 56), there were countless remarks on how one was acting "appropriately," and one was not. One was "a class act" and one was not. But when it comes to aging -- just like their musical careers -- these women have two separate approaches and journeys entirely their own.

Annie Lennox is a spectacular musical talent, and she's pushed identity roles throughout her career through strong feminist activism. As she's matured, she has also, in many respects, "followed the rules" of aging as dictated by society: She doesn't try and disguise her age, she wears nice "age appropriate" attire on the red carpet, covering most her body (omitting the outrageousness of her neon-orange crew cut, 80s-breakout, Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams" era, and the dramatics of her 90s diva days), her "current" song "I Put a Spell on You" is a stunning rendition of a 1956 standard and her latest album of jazz standards is called Nostalgia . It's very comforting on a certain level because it's what we're used to experiencing with people "of that age." It meets our collective expectation. We've seen mothers and grandmothers like this. And there's a certain glorious-ness to Lennox seemingly accepting herself and meeting herself at her own age (or what being that age means to her).

Madonna has opted to go a more modern and, dare I say, subversive route. Physically, she tries to look the best she possibly can for her age, even decades younger (utilizing everything from intense workouts to diet to alleged surgery), and she dresses unconventionally and scantily ( even cheekily flashing the Grammy red carpet her bare bum).

Musically, she works with younger producers and continues creating modern music. And she is not about to stop being the same provocative artist she's always been. "Is there a rule? Are people just supposed to die when they're 40?" she famously said in a 1992 interview at age 34 , lamenting how people aren't supposed to be "adventurous" or "sexual" after maxing their 30s. Madonna has always challenged culture norms and "rules" about behavior, particularly rules in relation to women and how people are told they can and can't express themselves.

And rules about age are rapidly changing. Marianne Williamson in her book, The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife , makes an invaluable point: While a rapidly growing segment of our population is living to be over 100, it's not that our lives are getting extended at the end, but in the middle . With the help of modern medicine, cosmetics and a better understanding of diet and exercise, we are staying healthier and looking better longer, and we are becoming more fully ourselves -- or, at least, we have the potential to do so.

This creates a new space to recreate what it means to be "you" in those middle years of life. Williamson says:

If we allow ourselves the power of an independent imagination -- thought-forms that don't flow in aperfunctory manner from ancient assumptions merely handed down to us, but rather flower into newarchetypal images of a humanity just getting startedat 45 or 50.

Madonna might actually be helping reshape the paradigm for what it means for people to self-express in their 50s and beyond. Her unparalleled success as a global cultural icon means she charts territory no one has quite navigated before at such huge level. It makes us initially uncomfortable. It pushes buttons. But, ultimately, it creates a path for people to choose outside what's expected and what current norms allow.

Her ability to do this throughout her career, to create paths for people previously untraveled, has been one of her greatest gifts. In the 1980s and 90s with her sexual politics, she helped redefine what it meant to be a "feminist," from the 70s stereotypical "bra-burner" into a woman who could be sexy and overtly sexual (even wear bras as outerwear !), yet still very much in control of her own destiny. It was a new way of being. She also deeply pushed boundaries of comfort by embracing gay rights at a time when nearly no celebrity would touch the topic (much less show it on stage, TV or in movies) and she was an AIDS activist and safe sex advocate in the early days of the 80s and 90s AIDS crisis -- she contributed to the advocacy of gays becoming commonplace as she played a role, remodeling minds and attitudes.

And in the 90s and 2000s -- from Catholicism to Kabbalah -- she has helped audiences rethink religion and spirituality and their ties to patriarchy and sexuality. Her hallmark has always been subversion. She is part of the system, of mainstream corporate pop -- which is her platform -- yet, she is often subverting it and its ingrained misogyny, homophobia and ageism.

There's a reason the current crop of pop princesses (Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and even queen Beyoncé ) all have made a point to pay respects: Madonna helped create the model of sustaining relevancy in a pop music career for over four decades. According to TiVO , Madonna's performance was the most-watched part of the entire Grammy night, and the day following the Grammys, three songs from her new album Rebel Heart hit the top three slots of the iTunes music chart, and her single "Living For Love" reemerged into the Top 40 after previously reaching the top in December.

She -- more than 30 years after her debut single in 1982 -- remains the definition of relevant. Madonna opened her Grammy performance with a quote that highlights her career-long message: Be who you are, "someone unique and rare and fearless." And part of her enduring appeal is people like witnessing someone fearlessly (and rebelliously) doing something outside the standards of conventions and cultural expectations. Even if some are keen on slagging it off in the press and on social media. After all, those that dare go against convention are often the most maligned and criticized.

Annie Lennox and Madonna have different paths. BOTH of these remarkable, self-empowered ladies' paths are valid. And we can honor and respect the choices each of the these women have made for themselves. Some will find it silly that one "doesn't act her age," but others will wonder why the other "acts so old" when people live past 100 these days. Both women have chosen what works for them. And let us celebrate them both for giving us all options.

Madonna is using Grindr to promote Rebel Heart

Source: Muumuuse, Grindr - 11 February 2015

Madonna is using Grindr to promote Rebel HeartHey. R U #Mascdonna looking for same? (Sorry…no Little Monsters, no Swifties. Just a preference.)

That's awesome dude, because The Queen Of Pop(pers) is looking to have some hot NSA Rebel Heart fun with you.

It's real and it's actual: Madonna will be living for love with a few lucky shirtless torsos on Grindr this Valentine's Day.

Madonna is using Grindr to promote Rebel Heart The gay "networking" app announced the very special Valentine's Day contest today: Three winners will win a copy of Rebel Heart , another three will win a signed copy of the album — and five winners will have the opportunity to chat with Powertopdonna herself on Grindr.

Into? It's easy! You simply recreate the album's occasionally problematic black lash-wrapped album cover, make it your profile photo and change your headline to #LivingForLove by midnight on Valentine's Day, and then keep it there until the next day when the winners are selected.

This really takes "Where's the parTy?" to a whole new level. Lord, lift me up, up, up, up!

Hey, this #UnapologeticBitch certainly knows her audience…

Madonna supports Marvin's i-art project

Source: Facebook, Instagram, i-Art - 11 February 2015

We're sure that many of you are as thrilled as we are to see talented MDNA dancer Marvin Gofin working with Madonna again in her Living for Love video and on the Grammy performance..

Madonna performs with dancer Marvin Gofin at the Grammy Awards Marvin: @madonna we Made it BIIITCHES💃😈!!!!!! It was Mooooood !!!! Always dope to Perform with u..#noPainnoGain Marvin: Costume made by @bcompleted #backstage #beforeGrammys57th #livingforLove Marvin: Costume made by @bcompleted #backstage #beforeGrammys57th #livingforLove

Marvin Gofin and Alexandre Da Silva have launched the i-Art project (short for Intelligence Artistique) and got Madonna on board.

Marvin on his Facebook commented:

@madonna Endorse Our project "INTELLIGENCE ARTISTIQUE" with my bro @woowalex !! Run to see I-art Episode 0!! More Respect for this Woman fighter, we always fight each other but that make us good friend!! Haha
I learn a lot with her.. !!Thanks for support!! ‪#‎HelpUsToDoit‬ ‪#‎WeshGroMotherFucker‬ ‪#‎GiveUsSOme ‪#‎MakeOurDreamsComeTrue‬ ‪#‎Peace‬

Madonna's performance is most watched Grammy moment

Source: Forbes - 10 February 2015

Kanye West would not be happy: Beyonce's performance at the end of last night's Grammy Awards didn't make the top five most-watched moments, according to TiVo. How is that possible? Did the Beyhive turn the show off in protest after Beck won Album of the Year? It's possible.

Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards

Kanye rushed the stage (or pretended to) when Beck's name was called instead of Beyonce's, but she did win Best R&B Performance and Song for "Drunk in Love," and her angelic performance of the gospel song "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" was a showstopper, as always, so it's not like she lost the night.

So who did make TiVo's top five most-watched moments of last night Grammys? Here's a rundown:

1. Madonna's performance of "Living for Love" came in at number one. The woman will probably still be rocking fishnet stockings and corsets on stage when she's 75 years old – and that's why we love her. Her matador number might not have been the best performance of her career (or of last night's Grammys) but she's Madonna. It's not like she needs to prove herself anymore. She appears on a stage, we watch.

Check Forbes for the other most-watched moments.

Also vote for Madonna's performance in the polls of Billboard and Hollywood Reporter.

Madonna drops 3 new songs, including Chance the Rapper/Mike Tyson track

Source: Billboard - 9 February 2015

Rebel Heart Just hours after Madonna took the 2015 Grammys stage with a herd of masked minotaurs to perform "Living for Love," the pop icon released three more tracks from her forthcoming Rebel Heart album.

Now available for those who pre-ordered the album are "Hold Tight," "Joan of Arc" and her Chance the Rapper/Mike Tyson collaboration "Iconic."

"Hold Tight" is the best of the bunch, an immediately familiar track with an epic, arresting chorus and martial drumming.

The studio version of "Joan of Arc" is a massive improvement on the illegally leaked demo that preceded news of the album itself. On the Grammy red carpet Sunday night, Madonna said the worst part of the Rebel Heart leaks was that fans heard incomplete/rejected versions of her new material. Nowhere is this more apparent than on "Joan of Arc," a solid album track that sounds 10 times better than the leaked version.

"Iconic," Madonna's Chance the Rapper and Mike Tyson collaboration, is just about as odd as you'd expect. Mike Tyson introduces the song with a boastful spoken word segment that might inspire hubristic listeners if not for the fact that it's actually a quote from blood-stained Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

Fortunately, the Axis shout-outs end there -- Chance doesn't reference Mein Kampf in his verse -- but the rest of the song is a fairly overwrought affair. Chance's verse is fire, but the intense, busy production ultimately adds up to very little.

You can listen to the new Rebel Heart tracks if you pre-order it on iTunes, and watch Madonna's "Living for LoveGrammy performance here.

Grammy performance causes iTunes sales increase

Source: Inquisitr - 9 February 2015

Madonna and Kanye West didn't exactly light the world on fire with their latest singles when initially released. It's important to note that Madonna's Rebel Heart single "Living for Love" hadn't been officially promoted as a single until last week, when Madonna made the music video for the song available. However, Kanye West's duet with Paul McCartney, "Only One," wasn't initially clicking with people. Fortunately, Kanye West (who produces some of Madonna's Rebel Heart by the way), gave a stellar Grammy performance that has pushed "Only One" to No. 20 on iTunes.

Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards

Madonna needed even more to prove than Kanye this evening after several songs were leaked months before her Rebel Heart release date. As Hardeep Phull of the New York Post notes, Madonna proved to everyone at the Grammy Awards why she's still the Queen of Pop.

"The 56-year-old dispatched with the shock tactics for once, choosing instead to lead a vibrant, Matador-themed production, complete with dancers wearing bullhorns. The gospel-influenced dance track also happens to be her best in years, a fact that was reflected in the way the buttoned-up music industry crowd inside the Staples Center danced with something approaching pleasure."

Within hours of Madonna performing Rebel Heart's first single, "Living for Love" went from nowhere to No. 39 on iTunes. Even better, the pre-order of Rebel Heart went from nowhere to No. 29 on iTunes. Both Madonna's single and album should rise even higher as the day goes on. "Living for Love" was thought to be dead, but it is now back on life support. Madonna recently spoke to Billboard about "Living for Love" and the rumor it had 20 incarnations.

"20 might be a little too high. But definitely more than 10. A lot of different versions. We knew we wanted to make a dance record. But you know, there's so many different levels of dance music and even different categories of house music. So, it was really like, what's the bass line gonna sound like? Is it gonna be really stripped down and sparse, or is it going to be loaded up?"

Madonna is getting ready to start preparations for her world tour in support of Rebel Heart. She is going to play arenas instead of stadiums. She is also scheduled to play Australia for the first time in 22 years. Kanye West, who has produced Rebel Heart tracks "Holy Water," "Illuminati," and "Wash All Over Me," will also tour around the same time Madonna does on a joint gig with Rihanna. Thanks to Madonna and Kanye West, 2015 is going to be a great year for music.

Madonna surprised the hell out of everyone with her amazing Grammy performance

Source: - 9 February 2015

Shortly after Madonna mooned the paparazzi on the red carpet, the pop legend took to the Grammy stage to perform "Living for Love" dressed as a sexy matador and flanked by half-naked, bejeweled bulls. 

Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards

After her recent history of strange antics and hit-or-miss performances, we weren't quite sure what to expect from Madonna this time around. But it looks like Madge is back.

Madonna had everyone in the crowd standing and dancing along — Taylor Swift included — before she was lifted off the stage by a wire.

The 56-year-old pop star has won seven Grammys in her long, illustrious career, and her new album, Rebel Heart is set to be released March 6. That means the album wasn't eligible for this year's Grammys, but it could be in the running next year, especially given that awesome performance.

Luckily, no one was impaled.

Hold Tight, Joan Of Arc & Iconic now available on iTunes

Source: iTunes - 9 February 2015

Fans who pre-ordered Rebel Heart on iTunes, have now access to download the next three tracks:

7. Hold Tight
8. Joan Of Arc
9. Iconic

Amazon reveals cover of Super Deluxe album

Source: Amazon - 9 February 2015

Amazon has revealed the cover of the Super Deluxe version of the Rebel Heart album.

Rebel Heart - Super Deluxe

As tracklist for the second disc, they list:

20. Beautiful Scars
21. Borrowed Time
22. Addicted
23. Graffiti Heart
24. Living For Love: Paulo & Jackinsky Full Vocal Mix
25. Living For Love: Funk Generation & H3drush Dub

It's not clear at this point whether all Super Deluxe versions will have this tracklist, or if there are different versions which contain the tracks Queen and Autotune Baby instead of the two remixes.

The 3 album covers:

Rebel Heart Rebel Heart Rebel Heart - Super Deluxe

Exclusive: Riccardo Tisci and B. Akerlund on Madonna's Grammy Outfits

Source: Style - 9 February 2015

During a mostly dull Grammy awards, Madonna provided a ray of high-fashion light. We have designer Riccardo Tisci and stylist B. Akerlund to thank. Tisci collaborated with Akerlund and Madonna on two custom Givenchy Haute Couture looks—a pastel and black corset dress for the red carpet and a crimson leotard, jacket, and cape for the stage—that brought something extra to the ceremony in a way only Madonna can.

Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards

"Madonna is a real life friend and working with her is always effortless, like collaborating with family," Tisci explained. "We created a Matador inspired set of Haute Couture pieces to match her theme of "Living for Love." I loved the idea of her as this Givenchy warrior in full Couture embroidery and color blocking." Tisci's creations took 50 people 2500 hours of hand-beading the couture tradition, according to Akerlund, but it was worth it. "M is famous for knowing how to take a risk in multiple fields at the same time, and as usual, we all saw how it pays off," Tisci said of the performance.

A sketch for Madonna's red carpet look. Photo: Courtesy of B. Akerlund

"Me and Madonna love collaborating with [Givenchy] because we did the Super Bowl together, and we thought that it would be perfect to call Riccardo again," Akerlund told "They're really good friends and we thought he'd be perfect to do the iconic [Matador look], and we wanted him both for the performance and the red carpet to do the theme." The matador inspiration is a continuation from Madonna's "Living for Love" video, and although toreadors appeared on the Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2015 runway and in Madge's 1994 "Take a Bow" video, Akerlund wasn't looking to current or past events for inspiration. "I think the whole relationship between the matador and the bulls is something that we find a beautiful relationship, and [we] played with that—how she's killing off the bulls and she's the matador standing in the end. There's a beautiful story for why the matadors fight the bulls and that also reflects life."

In addition to Givenchy, Madonna wore Miu Miu shoes, Lynn Ban earrings, and rings by Loree Rodkin and Elise Dray to perform and earrings and ring cuff by Yeprem and rings by Lyn Bann on the red carpet. Akerlund explained that even with shimmering Givenchy couture, there's no such thing as too much sparkle for the Queen of Pop. "I love bling, so we always have lots of bling up to the last minute. I always like to do bling last because it's hard to predict what might work for the performance and what she can dance with and all those things factor in the decision making of adding jewelry— everything goes down to the performance, if it works or not."

A sketch for Madonna's performance look. Photo: Courtesy of B. Akerlund

Madonna's team and the Givenchy team had been working together on the Grammy looks since Christmastime—"We and the Givenchy team are closely married," admitted Akerlund of the process—and though they had other options for the night, the choice to go with Givenchy was clear. "It's a gut feeling. I always go with my gut. I like it, she likes it. If I don't like it she doesn't like it. That's how I weigh it. I've worked with her for like nine years now, so I feel like I understand what she likes and it goes along with my personal taste and what I like," said Aklerund. "We're definitely in a matador world," the stylist proclaimed, "and we're owning it."

Interview by Ryan Seacrest

9 February 2015

Ryan Seacrest interviewed Madonna on "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" the morning after her Grammy performance. Listen to it below.

Madonna performs Living For Love at the 2015 Grammy Awards

9 February 2015

Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards Madonna performs Living For Love at the Grammy Awards

Madonna literally mooned the entire Grammys Red Carpet

Source: Popsugar - 9 February 2015

If you thought Madonna wouldn't shock you until her performance at Sunday's Grammy Awards in LA, she proved you wrong.

Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards

After making a flirty and feisty arrival in a revealing outfit that can only be described as matador chic, the singer picked up the backside of her corset and dress combo, flashing her butt at all the cameras on the star-studded red carpet.

Cheeky stunts aside, it was a massive night for the singer, as she returned to the Grammy stage one year after giving us heartfelt moments with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

The queen of reinvention gave a high-energy performance of her new single "Living For Love," the confusing music video for which she released on Snapchat this week.

Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards

9 February 2015

Madonna appeared in a daring Givenchy outfit that reminded her 1994 Take A Bow look.

She arrived with album collaborators Nas and Diplo. At the after party she posed for pictures with Taylor Swift.

Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards, with collaborators Nas and Diplo Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards Madonna: Shaking it up back stage at the Grammy's with Taylor!! ❤️#livingforlove Madonna: Holding on to MY Grammy's! ❤️#livingforlove #bitchimmadonna Madonna on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards, with Diplo

Exclusive: Madonna's new favorite designer on that Matador bustier

Source: Style - 8 February 2015

Chances are you don't know the name Shady Zeineldine. The Kuwait-based designer known for dramatic lace and embellished gowns hasn't made much of a mark outside the Middle East, but that's all about to change, thanks to a little collaboration with Madonna.

Sketch from Shady Zeineldine Madge's "Living For Love" video (you missed it because it was released exclusively on Snapchat yesterday and has since disappeared) features an embellished nude bustier by the designer worn for most of the dance sequences. The piece is a masculine-feminine mix of corsetry and a tuxedo-like top—it's the sort of tight, sexy, gender-bending thing we've come to expect from the Queen of Pop. (The Minotaur-horned, nearly nude male dancers who thrust around her, too, are sort of a Madonna signature.) For Zeineldine, it was a career first. "I'm a longtime, big fan of her," he told "She's everything for me." After Madonna and her team sent a brief of matador references (presumably including Dolce & Gabbana's Spring collection), he was given free rein to design. "I tried to do something matador-inspired but with a touch of femininity, something more delicate," Zeineldine said. "I used many kinds of lace and [decided on the] nude color for the lining to show her sexy body."

The collaboration came about through Madonna's longtime stylist, B. Akerlund, and Zeineldine's public relations team. After visiting the designer's press showroom in Los Angeles, Akerlund requested he send sketches for the video. After a couple of months of re-sketching and getting approval from Madonna's team, the deal was sealed.

So can we expect to see more of Zeineldine's creations during Madonna's performance this weekend at the Grammys? He's made a few pieces for the performer, but even he won't know until Madonna takes the stage if they'll be worn. All the more reason to tune in this Sunday night.

Behind the scenes of the 'Living For Love' video

7 February 2015

Madonna debuts new video 'Living For Love' on SnapChat

Source: NY Daily News - 7 February 2015

The new clip was released on the phone messaging app on Thursday, and depicts the Material Girl as a matador in a video reminscent of her classic video 'Take a Bow.'

The name of Madonna's new single may be "Living For Love," but, in its just-released video, love looks more like a battlefield.

Living For Love video Living For Love video Living For Love video Living For Love video

The clip — which the star debuted Thursday afternoon via the picture messaging app Snapchat — depicts Maddy as a matador. The styling, by B. Akerlund, references her get-up from the "Take A Bow" video from 20 years ago.

As she battles a man dressed as a sexy bull, a sprawling cast of black-clad dancers, choreographed by Megan Lawson, writhe around the two through their erotic dance of death.

The shadowy S&M video, directed by Julien Choquart and Camille Hirigoyen, picks up on the song's angry lyrics, while strongly contrasting the uplifting music. "Living For Love," the first single from Madonna's upcoming "Rebel Heart" album, has the kind of rousing gospel-soul chorus that highlighted classic songs from the singer's catalogue like "Express Yourself" or "Like A Prayer."

Madonna's 'Living For Love' video is the singer's best work in a decade

Source: Huffington Post - 6 February 2015

Living For Love video Madonna dropped off the music video for "Living For Love" on Snapchat's doorstep Thursday afternoon, inching closer toward the ( official ) release of her 13th studio album, "Rebel Heart," on March 10.

The clip finds Madonna playing matador to a host of men dressed as bulls in a red arena that glitters like a Latin-infused "Moulin Rouge!" Its imagery matches the anthemic heft for which many applauded the track when it hit iTunes in December. For a song that carries the torch of "Express Yourself," the singer dons a leotard reminiscent of 2005's iconic "Hung Up" and emerges victorious amid an army that stands no chance against a warrior who "picked up my crown [and] put it back on my head" -- a sentiment especially potent in the wake of the multiple leaks that have plagued her new music.

Living For Love video This is Madonna's theater, after all. Football players fawned over her in "Give Me All Your Luvin'" and she gyrated her way through a callback to the provocateur years in the black-and-white "Girl Gone Wild," sleek videos whose self-referential undertones did not double as suitable extensions of Madonna's legacy. Here, no matter the aforementioned comparisons to her 33-year career, she channels the new breakup anthem for something else: Madonna presents herself as queen of the big top without relying on allusions to her own résumé to prove she is the master of the postmodern pop scene. She uses her ongoing prowess to vanquish the beasts who grunt and shove their way across her stage. This is the Madonna video we've waited a decade for, and it hails from what sounds like the makings of the Madonna album we've anticipated for just as long.

Living For Love video As of now, you'll have to head to Snapchat's Discover page to watch the "Living For Love" clip, which was directed by French duo Julien Choquart and Camille Hirigoyen, otherwise known as J.A.C.K., and edited by Danny B. Tull, who worked on "4 Minutes" and several other Madonna videos. HuffPost Entertainment will embed the video here as soon as it appears online.

You can also catch Madonna performing "Living for Love" at Sunday's Grammy Awards .

Exclusive: Madonna to premiere music video from 'Rebel Heart' on Snapchat Discover today

Source: Billboard - 5 February 2015

The "Living For Love" music video is the first to premiere on the app's Snap Channel.

Living For Love Today, Madonna is set to premiere the first music video from her new album, Rebel Heart , on Snapchat, the picture messaging app that was recently valued at $10 billion. The video accompanies "Living for Love," the album's first single, and will be viewable on the app's "Snap Channel."

It's been a rocky album campaign for the pop star, 56, who has endured two devastating album leaks, the second of which happened on Monday and included the 25-track deluxe version. Rebel Heart will go on sale Tuesday, March 10th, after Madonna performs at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8th, and the Brit Awards on Feb. 25th.

The video was directed by the French duo Julien Choquart and Camille Hirigoyen , together known as J.A.C.K., was edited by longtime Madonna collaborator Danny B. Tull , and styled by B. Akerlund -- who also works wth Beyonce, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga . It was choreographed by Megan Lawson.

To state the obvious, it's a major coup for the three-year-old Snapchat, which boasts an estimated 200 million users. CEO Evan Spiegel made headlines during last year's Sony hack when a series of uncovered e-mails revealed that he was at work on an in-app music feature, including negotiations with Vevo to bring music video viewing inside Snapchat's interface. Those talks reported stalled, but the music feature being discussed was likely tied to Discover, which was announced last month.

Discover feeds news and entertainment from 12 different companies directly to the user. Participating organizations include Warner Music Group, National Geographic, People magazine, ESPN an Vice, who enlist editors to select stories (which can include photo essays and videos) that are shared and refreshed every 24 hours.

Mert Alas reveals alternative album cover

Source: Instagram - 5 February 2015

Photographer Mert Alas has posted one of the alternative album covers for Rebel Heart on his Instagram account.

Rebel Heart

New video teaser for LFL video

Source: Facebook - 5 February 2015

With a second video teaser, Madonna seems to indicate we're seeing part of the upcoming Living For Love video, rather than the Grammy performance.

Let's go behind the scenes of the ‪#‎ LivingForLove‬ video...
Get ready for the real thing!

Different cover artwork for Rebel Heart formats

Source: Madonnatribe - 4 February 2015

Good news from our friends at Madonnatribe:

Rebel Heart

The Standard, DeLuxe and Super DeLuxe packages will be joined by more additional formats, which will carry different designs and will vary according to the different local markets, with some dedicated versions possibly released locally and not worldwide.

The Rebel Heart covers will be based on three completely different artworks.

The main cover will be based on the image you are already familiar with, and in pure Rebel/Heart style the two additional artworks will head to two different directions. One will be the "safer" version aimed to retailers that usually carry clean versions of the CD and are not comfortable with edgy imagery, and another one will once again push the envelope with a strong and daring artwork that will bring you back to the imagery of Madonna's Sex book.

Madonna posts video teaser of Grammy rehearsals

Source: Facebook - 4 February 2015

Madonna is busy rehearsing for her upcoming Grammy performance. On her Facebook she teased with a short video, showing a dancer dressed as a minotaur, dancing to a backlight to the tones of Living For Love.

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