Bedtime Stories, Madonna's 6th studio album that came out more than 25 years ago, has made a comeback to the #1 spot on the iTunes album chart in the US.
This is likely due to calls on Madonna groups to buy and stream the album to get it back into the charts. Hashtags such as #justiceforbedtimestories aimed to reach this top position, which didn't happen back in 1994, when the album stranded at #3.
Madonna is partnering with Meek Mill's advocacy group REFORM Alliance to send much-needed personal protective equipment to jails and prisons which have become coronavirus hotspots across the country.
More than 50,000 surgical masks will be donated to Chicago's Cook County Jail, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. Six inmates have died, while 210 staffers and 235 inmates have tested positive, according to the county sheriff's department. Another 192 detainees and 120 staffers have recovered from the virus.
The Louisiana Department of Corrections will also receive 20,000 masks, while another 30,000 will be sent to California's Vacaville Prison, FCI Ray Brook in New York and the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department in Massachusetts.
REFORM and Madonna's Ray of Light Foundation worked with several activist groups for the initiative, including apparel company Pair of Thieves, The Bail Project and #cut50.
"More than 2 million lives in prisons across America are currently at stake due to the COVID-19 pandemic," REFORM co-chair Michael Rubin said in a statement. "It's absolutely crucial that we protect our inmates and prison staff, especially since social distancing guidelines are difficult to abide by in these facilities."
Earlier this month, REFORM sent 100,000 face masks to facilities including the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman and Rikers Island jail complex in New York City.
Madonna is joining the viral #AllInChallenge, which raises money to combat food insecurity caused by the coronavirus pandemic. With a donation of $10 or more, you can enter to win Madonna's Madame X Tour jacket, worn during the opening segment and personally signed by M. On top of that, Madonna will call the winner on his birthday and serenade him with a 'Happy Birthday'.
The challenge is a virtual fundraising tool where performers and athletes offer up items or experiences in an auction or giveaway. All of the proceeds go to nonprofit organizations that combat food insecurity, including Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen, and No Kid Hungry.
Fans can bid on a celebrity's prized possession or enter to win an in-person experience with them on the official All In Challenge website. Participants may buy 10 entries for $10 and up to 200 entries for $200. There is no limit on how much money you can donate. Winners will be notified via phone or email after the drawing or bidding period has ended. Celebrities have been announcing their All In challenges in videos on social media and nominating other celebs to join the effort.
Madonna announced her participation with a video on her social media channels, which shows her 4 youngest children explaining the challenge. Madonna also nominated Ariana Grande to carry on the #AllInChallenge.
Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram
I’ve accepted the #ALLINCHALLENGE and I’m all in to raise money for the millions in need right now – our most vulnerable communities who are experiencing food insecurity children out of school and individuals who have lost their jobs 100% of proceeds will go to @nokidhungry @mealsonwheelsamerica @leonardodicaprio #AmericasFoodFund which benefits @feedingamerica and @wckitchen I challenge @arianagrande to go ALL IN. https://bit.ly/Madonna-AllinChallenge @ncrfilms
Unfortunately this auction is only open to US residents.
On this day 30 years ago, Madonna kicked off her Blond Ambition Tour in Makuhari, Japan. Not only would it set the standard for all future Madonna tours, it also changed the touring industry.
The 1990 tour was the third stage tour by Madonna. The 1985 Virgin Tour had seen her performing in small venues in North America. The 1987 Who's That Girl Tour also included tour stops in Europe and Japan. But both tours were relatively simple in concept, staging and choreographies.
With Blond Ambition, everything changed. As choreographer Vincent Paterson recalled, it was Madonna's goal to "break every rule we can. She wanted to make statements about sexuality, cross-sexuality and the church. And she did". For the first time, huge stage decors were used to represent several of her music videos, something that would become a standard in her other tours. Many fashion statements were made throughout the show, with Jean-Paul Gaultier designing most of the tour costumes. The golden corset worn for the Like A Virgin performance would become one of Madonna's most iconic outfits.
More than just a series of song performances, Madonna introduced a new concept of a pop concert. She combined her music with theatre, art and fashion, mixed with sexual and political statements. It was the first time she divided her show into segments, adding new dimensions to her existing songs.
Rolling Stone has noted that Madonna had "reinvented the pop megatour itself", setting the example for many pop artists today. When we see concerts by past and current pop princesses, we can notice the many influences from Blond Ambition and the Madonna tours that followed.
And of course, we all know the impact the tour had on gay culture, touring with 6 gay Vogue dancers and chronicling it in the infamous documentary Truth or Dare / In Bed with Madonna.
The documentary is the best known recording of this tour. Unfortunately, there was never an official DVD/Blu-ray release for this tour. The show in Nice, France was recorded and broadcast by HBO and later released on Laserdisc. It earned Madonna her very first Grammy win for Best Long Form Music Video. One of the Yokohama dates was also recorded and released exclusively in Japan under the title Blond Ambition - Japan Tour 90.
Watch the Nice show below.
In last night's episode of Untucked, the U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez proclaimed that season 12's Ru-sical, centered on Madonna, was the best in the history of RuPaul's Drag Race. She's a Drag Race superfan, having used the show as her bit of relaxation back in her bartending days, but continued her fandom well into her tenure as a politician. And she was not wrong!
Madonna: The Unofficial Ru-sical was quite the performance by the remaining queens on the show. Was it perfect? No, not quite. Brita and Jackie Cox were low points of the night, but both were still fairly decent!
The mainstage showing came amid a pretty standout episode overall. There was the bit of drama with Heidi N Closet, Gigi Goode, Widow Von'Du, Sherry Pie, and Jackie Cox for those who are into that. We had a little uncertainty about how the mainstage might go because of the rehearsals featuring Cox's ... interesting hip rolls and Goode's lack of confidence about her performance. There was also Crystal Methyd and Heidi's extremely personal moments of talking about their family — Heidi told the story of her uncle who died of complications related to AIDS, while Methyd revealed that her father, with whom she has a close relationship with, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Add to that Ru bringing out the good drag, and the contestants recreating iconic Michelle Visage moments on the runway while Cortez judged ... it was a night for the books.
In the Ru-sical, the tops were clear to all: Jan, Goode, and Jaida Essence Hall. Yeah, I said it! Jaida should have been in the top — that was a woman up there on that stage. A female impersonator indeed.
It'll be interesting to see how things go from this point. With Brita gone, we won't have to be reminded how much she thinks she's the queen to beat, but hopefully losing out on the Rusical doesn't cause Jan to take the spot of "bitter queen from The City." We could hear the Kill Bill sequence playing as Goode was announced as the winner.
But also, Goode seems like the girl to beat! Her win last night was historic in that she is the fastest queen in herstory to win three maxi-challenge as noted by journalist Kevin O'Keeffe. It also should be noted that she is the youngest to ever compete on America's version of Drag Race.
Go Gigi, go!
As news of Orlando Puerta's death ripples through the music industry, those who knew the longtime dance music marketing and promotions executive are mourning his loss.
"I am forever indebted to Orlando and he will be sorely missed," Madonna tells Billboard. "His passion and commitment to dance and club music had no limits and he was a very big reason I had 50 number ones on the dance charts. Thank you Orlando. RIP."
Puerta began working with Madonna when he joined the marketing team at Warner Brothers Records in the late 1990s. He did marketing and promotions for Madonna albums including Music, Confessions On a Dance Floor, Hard Candy, Rebel Heart and her most recent LP Madame X, delivering songs and remixes to the top of worldwide charts. In 2009, Puerta left Warner Brothers to start his own promotions company, Citrusonic, although he continued working with Madonna and her team until his death.
"Orlando was part of our Madonna family," says Madonna's longtime manager Guy Oseary. "No one loved dance music more or worked harder or more joyously to promote it. I spoke with him in February when Madonna reached her 50th #1 on the dance charts. He was so proud of Madonna. He was a force of nature who will be missed."
Puerta passed away on Saturday, April 4 from an upper respiratory infection. He was 55. It is currently unknown whether the infection was caused by COVID-19, although a test is forthcoming. A dance music advocate since the early '90s, he worked with artists including Madonna, Bette Midler, Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Depeche Mode, New Order, Orgy, Static X, Michael Bublé and Seal.
Madonna took to Instagram to announce her partnership with Bill Gates, donating $1 million to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations' Therapeutics Accelerator program, which is looking to find a drug to cure or treat COVID-19.
The singer, who recently canceled her final Madame X shows due to the pandemic, began by sharing her own experience with the crisis. "I must admit, it took me time to accept and process and modify my own lifestyle so I can protect the lives of my family, myself and the rest of the human race," she said. "I cannot express enough the importance of people taking this virus seriously."
"I'm talking about this: I am so impressed by the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator's urgent efforts to find new or existing drugs that could effectively prevent or treat the disease," she wrote on her website. "Harnessing the strength and knowledge of the research community, the Accelerator's critical scientific progress will inform how we end this pandemic and prevent future impact from the virus."
Madonna's contribution will go toward the COVID-19 Response Fund operated by Gates Philanthropy Partners.
Other partners in the initiative include Wellcome, Mastercard, U.K. Government and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. "I have enormous respect for Bill Gates and the work he has done all his life," Madonna added on Instagram. "He warned us of a global pandemic in 2015, and I wish to God we had listened."
Madonna also took the time to thank the healthcare workers consistently risking their lives during the crisis and exposing themselves to the virus. "I have enormous gratitude for you," she said.
She concluded her statement with advice: "I know many of you have heard this one trillion billion times," she prefaced. "But I'm going to say it again: stay safe. Stay home. Don't panic. Fear will get us nowhere. I have faith in the human race that we are gonna pull through."
Gates went on The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah on Thursday to speak about his 2015 Ted Talk, which predicted the pandemic. "One thing I feel good about is — this is such a big change to the world — that this time it won't be like Ebola, which was just there in West Africa or Central Africa," he said. "This time, the tens of billions [of dollars] to have the diagnostics standing by, the manufacturing standing by, this time we will get ready for the next epidemic."
Vogue - 1990 Blond Ambition Tour
Vogue - 2004 Re-Invention Tour