After Madonna accepted her Top Touring Artist prize at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, the superstar sat down exclusively with “Extra’s” Jerry Penacoli, and opened up about her family, her Met Gala photo with Kim Kardashian and her feud with Elton John.
Rocking a bodysuit and thigh-high tights, Madonna talked with Penacoli about her MDNA Tour and working with her children, Lourdes, 16, and Rocco, 12. “It was great to have a working family… to me that’s my idea of fun, to be creative, to do what I love to do and see my kids working around me and earning their way in life. My daughter worked in the costume department and she loved it. My son was in the show, and he loved it.”
Madonna explained how she juggles raising her four children, including son David Banda and daughter Mercy James, both 8. “I try to find the right balance between being there for them and guiding them and also being an artist. I’m trying to find enough time in the day to do those jobs well.”
The mom continued, “I try to be very clear with them. This is my persona for work. What we aspire to do is to work and to be good people. If you don't have those two things, fame is nothing, so I try to drill that into their heads.”
Madonna also loves fashion and told Jerry that when she posed with Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala it was the second time she had met the reality TV star. “I met her years and years ago when she was a little girl, believe it or not. She told me she was a huge fan of mine, and it was during the time I was wearing all of the rubber bracelets on my arms. I took off all of the bracelets and gave them to her and then I completely forgot about it. She reminded me when I saw her the other night. Now she's a pregnant lady!”
As for her infamous feud with Elton John, John recently confirmed to “Extra” the two made up. Madonna confirmed the reconciliation at a restaurant in Nice, France. “After we kissed and hugged, he paid for my dinner, as he should.”
For those who did not catch Madonna’s MDNA Tour in person, a TV special will air June 22 on the Epix movie channel. She also announced to Penacoli that the tour special is being released on DVD and Blu-ray in September.
Madonna has confirmed her participation as presenter in 'The Sound of Change Live' concert, presented by CHIME FOR CHANGE. Recently founded by Gucci, the organization hosts campaigns for improved Education, Health and Justice for women and girls worldwide. The four-hour concert, which takes place at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 1 June, is supported by an impressive line-up of world-class artists and internationally renowned presenters, lending their voices to CHIME FOR CHANGE.
The confirmed line-up is: Aishwarya Rai * Archbishop Desmond Tutu * Beyonce * Blake Lively * Ellie Goulding * Florence + the Machine * Freida Pinto * Gloria Steinman * Gordon and Sarah Brown * HAIM * Humaira Bachal * Iggy Azalea * Jada Pinkett Smith * James Franco * Jennifer Lopez * Jessica Chastain * John Legend * Laura Pausini * Leymah Gbowee * Madonna * Mpho Tutu * Rita Ora * Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy * Timbaland * Zoe Saldana *
Madonna said, "60 percent of the children in the world NOT in school, are girls! 2/3 of the world's illiterate are WOMEN! I Do NOT accept this. We need to change this and we WILL CHANGE THIS!"
The concert will start at 5.30pm and finish at 10:00pm and each artist will perform special sets with some exciting collaborations expected. Throughout the concert short films will be shown highlighting issues such as: 60% of children not in school are girls, 800 women die daily in pregnancy or childbirth - most of whom would live with access to proper care, and despite gains, just 21% of seats in national parliaments are held by women.
Tickets for the concert are available from:
Tel: +44 (0) 844-847 1693
At yesterday's Billboard Music Awards, the new trailer for Madonna's MDNA Tour DVD premiered. Have a look at the spectacle below!
It's not news that Madonna likes to dress outrageously.
But even Will.i.am appeared to be taken aback as the Queen of Pop took to the stage to accept her award for Top Touring Artist at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday night.
The 54-year-old once dispensed with trousers or skirt as she graced the podium at the MGM Grand Hotel.
Instead the Like A Prayer star wore lingerie in the form of a garter belt and black stay-up stockings.
In contrast, Madonna covered up her top half by slipping on a black patterned jacket featuring a fur trim collar.
Underneath she had slipped on a fishnet body sheath, which ran all the way down her arms and looped over her fingers.
The flimsy fabric just covered her derriere, but the see-through nature of the fabric seemed to make the piece somewhat pointless.
Completing her somewhat bondage style was some chains which she had attached to a studded belt and a padlock necklace which was engraved with the letter 'M'.
Madonna tottered on stage wearing a pair of sky high heels and some black-rimmed sunglasses that she later took off.
She wore her hair in a classic style however, bundling her blonde hair up in a chic chignon.
Madonna scooped the pool at Sunday's awards show, winning three gongs on the night including her coveted Top Touring Artist award as well as scoring Top Dance Album for MDNA and Top Dance Artist.
Madge's outfit was very similar to one she had worn earlier this month for another big name event.
Madonna forwent her trousers in true punk fashion as she attended the 2013 Met Gala in New York.
At the event, she also seemed to be revelling in the attention as she posed on the red carpet, flaunting herself to the maximum by posing from all angles.
And no wonder, for the ageing pop star really pushed the boat out for the annual opening of the Metropolitan Museum's fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute.
Wearing just a grey studded tartan jacket, she again eschewed a skirt or trousers for the same fishnet body stocking, hold-up stockings and pink suede stilettos by Casadei.
And the canny campaigner also wheeled out her favourite shock tactic by hanging a crucifix over her rear.
Just to top off her Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci look she wore a brown wig, which seemed to have come straight from Uma Thurman's Pulp Fiction wardrobe.
She also shared some of her trademark rapier wit with reporters, and when asked what her most rebellious moment was, she said: 'It changes by the day, by the hour!'
And when another media acolyte asked her what is punk, she added: 'It's not caring what people think!'
Thanks to the worldwide success of her MDNA Tour, Madonna was honored as the Top Touring Artist at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, held on Sunday night (May 19) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The legendary diva took the stage with a touch of sass, following an introduction by Will.i.am that was set to the tune of Like a Virgin. Referring to a preceding montage of MDNA footage, she proclaimed, "It took longer to negotiate whether I could show my ass in that trailer than it took to negotiate that tour!"
With that out of the way, Madge delved into a laundry list of thank you's, including choreographers Rich and Tone Talauega, costume designer Arianne Phillips, musical director Kevin Antunes, set designer Mark Fisher, Live Nation's Arthur Fogel, and of course, her fans. She also thanked her four children, two of which accompanied her on the blockbuster tour.
"They say that it takes a village to raise a child," Madonna said, with her notecards humbly visible. "It took several international villages to put my show together."
The 88-show MDNA Tour grossed $305 million, according to Billboard Boxscore. It's the pop icon's latest chart landmark in a career full of them, including records for Hot 100 top 10 singles (38 of her overall 56 Hot 100 hits) and Dance Club Songs No. 1s (43).
Madonna accepting the Top Touring Award from Will.i.am:
Madonna interviewed by Billboard's Keith Caulfield:
Sunday night Madonna received a Billboard Music Award for the Top Touring Artist of 2012. Her MDNA Tour, which brought in $305 million, was a musical and visual extravaganza. Madonna performed with 140,000 pounds of gear suspended above her head. She danced on 42-square-inch squares undulating up and down, reaching eight feet above the stage. What's more, at each of the 88 stops of the tour, the stage had been built in a few short hours by a local crew who has never seen it (or the traveling roadies) before. Rock concerts descend upon a host site and then quickly disappear. The only certainty is that of unforeseen obstacles. How do they get the show to go on every night, no matter what?
The people who know the answer to that question work for TAIT, the company behind Madonna's stage set. TAIT has built the sets for all ten highest grossing tours of all time, including for Roger Waters, The Rolling Stones, and U2. TAIT has developed expertise in designing complex stage sets that can be safely, quickly, and cost effectively put together and taken apart.
I recently spoke with the project manager who worked on the MDNA tour, James Erwin, about how the MDNA stage was designed to deliver consistent performance despite vastly differing circumstances on each of the tour's stops.
TAIT prepares for worst-case scenarios. In that sense, it is a high-reliability organization, like an aircraft carrier or nuclear power plant. Research on organizations in dangerous industries shows that worrying about the worst thing that can happen is healthy. When you're paranoid about failure, you pick up on close calls and learn. You see near misses as opportunities to understand the system better.
The MDNA stage was made up of 36 lifts with LED displays on three of the sides and also on the top. "They're a really beautiful machine," Erwin proudly says, "but every precaution must be taken, with dozens of performers moving through an ever-changing forest of heavy machinery. The lift matrix's most potentially harmful hazards are the 146 discrete shear edges where the lift decks pass one another." Traditionally, a lift like this would have a bump strip on the underside of the edge that would electrically stop motion on the lift in time to not injure a foot that got under it. "We decided that wasn't good enough for something that Madonna and all of her entourage were going to be dancing on," said Erwin, "So we just made the top surface of the lift removable. If the surface would land on your foot, it would just pop right off. It's made of 3/8 inch polycarbonate and it only weighs about 20 pounds. I stuck my hand down there to demonstrate for the safety inspector in Tel Aviv that it is not possible for it to be dangerous in the course of its normal operation."
A problem with the undulating lifts system was that if one of the lifts became stuck in the raised position, the show would come to a complete stop. "It's like trying to get fixed fishing lines to cast perfectly every time for a year," Erwin says. "They get rained on and they get banged around in terrible trucks. But they have to be reliable to a bombproof level to keep from downing a show because there is no opportunity to repair them." If one of the lifts were to fail in the middle of a show, Erwin estimates that the cost to the tour promoter would exceed the entire fee paid to TAIT to work on the project. To prevent these failures during a show, the lifts are tested beforehand. If at any point the lift is an eighth of an inch off from where it is supposed to be, it stops so that whatever caused the problem can be removed.
Another challenge was that Madonna is such a reliable performer, she creates her own tripping hazard. "She hit the same four-by-four inch square of the stage with her heel every time," said Erwin. "She is extremely consistent." So the stage was built from scratch-proof high-capacity phenolis laminate that was designed to reciprocate her level of consistency.
Choreographing the Dance of Stage Construction
In addition to safety and reliability, cost was a major factor designing the MDNA stage set. Two of the biggest expenses for a tour are transportation costs and local labor costs. In fact, the local workers who put together the stage cost more than the rent on the venue.
This is why TAIT designs sets by thinking about the choreography of how the stage will be put together. The goal is to do it as fast as possible, with as few people as possible, and using, at most, one tool. TAIT stages are composed of lines of magnets built into corners that lock together quickly with a single tool. In contrast, most stages are built from platforms that are framed with wooden 2X4s that somebody has to screw together manually with a handful of drywall screws. "By providing scenery that bangs up very quickly we reduce the need for local labor in a given city. You need fewer guys, you need them for less time and that's a huge cost savings for a tour right off the bat." Shortening set up time also means that the crew gets more sleep, which also improves safety.
Learning from the Front Line
In high-reliability organizations, the people with the most valuable expertise are often the front line workers, in this case the roadies who travel with the show. TAIT works with the roadies by having them come into the shop to provide input into stage construction and packaging. "Spending that much time with the end user is an excellent master class for us. They point out things that we might not think of," said Erwin. Likewise, the TAIT guys come to rehearsals and the first few performances to help the crew troubleshoot and gain mastery of the system.
Madonna put on the same spectacular show every night, no matter what surprises and setbacks came along the way. "We're all very proud of what we achieved on that tour," Jake Berry, the production manager on the MDNA tour, told me, "And she came home in one piece!"
RITA ORA should get used to wearing cone bras and leotards.
She's signed a £500,000 deal to be the face of MADONNA's clothing brand, Material Girl.
The singer has already shot campaign photos for the label, which is run by Madge and her daughter LOURDES.
And the endorsement from the veteran star could help Rita crack the US, where she still needs a big break. A source said: "Lourdes has been a fan of Rita for a while and has been to many of her gigs. She persuaded her mum to see her.
"They met at the Met Ball in New York last week and Madonna admired Rita's attitude so signed the idea off.
"Rita jumped at the chance because she's such a fan of the Queen Of Pop.
"She also hopes it will help her crack the States in the same way she has the UK." Rita already has an influential mentor in JAY-Z. He signed her to his label Roc Nation when she was just a teenager.
Rita's in good company posing in Madonna and Lourdes's clobber.
KELLY OSBOURNE, GEORGIA MAY JAGGER and American singer, actress and model TAYLOR MOMSEN have all modelled for Material Girl.
The brand, sold in Macy's stores in the US, is 1980s inspired and is aimed at teenagers.
It means a lot of the creative direction comes from young Lourdes.
That will please Rita when the pics are plastered all over billboards.
Premium network EPIX will premiere Madonna's MDNA Tour - an EPIX Original Concert Event - on June 22 at 8:00 pm ET. One of the most spectacular and controversial extravaganzas of 2012, Madonna: the MDNA Tour was filmed primarily in Miami as well as other locations. The MDNA Tour was the most successful and highest grossing tour of 2012 and was seen by over 2.2 million Madonna fans during the course of the 88 sold-out shows around the globe.
The concert includes performances of several of her biggest hits including Vogue, Like A Prayer and Hung Up. She also performs songs from her MDNA album including Give Me All Your Luvin', Girl Gone Wild, Gang Bang and Turn Up the Radio. The album debuted at No.1 in over 30 countries. Madonna, along with her seven member band, outstanding troupe of 27 dancers (all clothed in 1500 costumes) and state of the art visuals and sound electrified crowds around internationally with what the Material Girl termed "the hardest but most thrilling and challenging show I've ever done."
"My show is a journey... the journey of a soul from darkness to light. It is part cinematic musical theatre - part spectacle and sometimes intimate performance art. It is journey from anger to love and from chaos to order. There are good guys and bad guys to help illustrate this point. Sometimes I play both. It must be watched with an open heart from beginning to end. I am sure if it is viewed this way, you will walk away feeling inspired, invigorated and will want to make the world a better place." concluded Madonna in describing the show's intent.
EPIX CEO and President Mark Greenberg commented, "Madonna's stunning musical performance and show-stopping moves continue to prove that she is truly a timeless entertainer. We launched the EPIX network with Madonna's previous tour, Sticky and Sweet, premiering the concert the first night that EPIX was on air. We are very excited to have her back on the network."
The MDNA Show was directed by Danny Tull and Stephane Sennour. Tull has worked with Madonna editing previous shows and her feature film W.E.
MDNA Tour back drop for Best Friend/Heartbeat interlude:
MDNA Tour back drop for Nobody Knows Me interlude:
Madonna will be honored with the Top Touring Artist award at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards, an achievement earned by the worldwide success of her MDNA Tour.
The sold out 88-date run was 2012's top-grossing tour with $305 million. It's the pop icon's latest chart landmark in a career full of them, including records for Hot 100 top 10 singles (38 of her overall 56 Hot 100 hits) and Dance Club Songs No. 1s (43). Her MDNA album bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 -- her eighth trip to the penthouse -- with sales of 359,000.
The 2013 Billboard Music Awards will air Sunday, May 19 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, live from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. "30 Rock" alum Tracy Morgan will host, with Don Mischer producing.
Madonna will take the stage to accept her award, with superstars from Prince to Taylor Swift to Lil Wayne set to perform. Other performers joining the ceremony include Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Miguel, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera, Selena Gomez, the Band Perry, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Chris Brown, Ed Sheeran, Akon, Ne-Yo, David Guetta and Icona Pop.
NEW YORK — A French painting owned by Madonna has sold at a New York City auction for more than $7 million.
Sotheby's auction house hasn't said who bought Fernand Leger's (lay-ZHAYZ') “Three Women at the Red Table” for $7.2 million on Tuesday. The abstract work had a pre-sale estimate of $5 million to $7 million.
Proceeds of the sale will benefit the Ray of Light Foundation, which supports girls' education in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries.
Madonna says she wanted to “trade something valuable for something invaluable” in countries where female education is rare or nonexistent. She bought the work at Sotheby's in 1990 for $3.4 million.
Leger created the work in 1921 as part of a series depicting women with still-life compositions.
Madonna reclaimed her throne as the queen of wild style at tonight's Met Gala.
Arriving late to the red carpet, the pop singer wore one of the only truly jaw-dropping punk ensembles of the night.
Prancing around in a shredded fishnet mini (although we're not exactly sure a hemline that high qualifies as a dress) and matching tights the pop star topped her bottom-less look with a black and grey tartan jacket embroidered with silver metal studs. Adding even more heavy metal, she also layered on a metal chain choker necklace and studded belt. Her entire look was Givenchy Haute Coutour by Riccardo Tisci, including her pink pumps.
To complete her costume, the singer even sported a blunt black bob wig with bangs.
Just another reason you gotta love Madge: Even in a sea of see-through gown and Mohawks, she still finds a way to steal the spotlight.