Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott first met when one asked the other for a light at a party on the south coast of England way back when in the '90s. Together they have since built one of the most influential photographic practices in contemporary fashion by playing the perfect gloss of digital post-production against the who-the-hell-knows unpredictability of real-world image making. Campaigns galore and covers aplenty have followed, but last night, Phillips in London hosted the first major exhibition of their work—all of which was on sale in single-edition lots masterminded by Art Partner.
Of the 18 works on show, about half were dedicated to one model: Kate Moss. Alas explained: "She's a really close friend. And it's so much easier to make photos of someone you really know and you connect with. You can do things you couldn't do with someone you don't know."
Moss rolled up to the event, as did fellow Mert and Marcus subjects Madonna — looking very Marlon Brando in Moschino — and Lara Stone. Many arrived in Maserati cars—a partner sponsor of the event. As they inspected the images, Piggott explained: "This is a sneak preview of a broader portfolio of work. We're doing a book in March. So this is like a little teaser for a big exhibition we are going to do in March. We don't know what the name for it is yet."
A lot of the images on show are strictly NSFW but as Alas said, provocation and spontaneity are both fundamental elements in the Mert and Marcus formula: "Most of these images were an accidental moment. And most of them are of friends. We make a plan to do this idea; this character, in this location—and then some accident happens. Most of the images we chose here are images that we hadn't really prepared for."
After the preview, many of the guests headed across Berkeley Square to Mark's Club, where W Magazine's Edward Enninful was hosting a celebration dinner after being awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II earlier in the day.
Madonna is is one of the nominees for the 2017 Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The Songwriters Hall announced the list of nominees Thursday, a day ahead of its official announcement. Nominees that could be inducted next year are Madonna, George Michael, Bryan Adams, Vince Gill, Babyface, Max Martin, Kool & the Gang, Jay Z and more.
Eligible members can vote for three non-performing songwriters and two performing songwriters until Dec. 16. Five songwriters, or songwriting groups, will be officially inducted at a gala in New York on June 15, 2017.
Songwriters are eligible for induction after writing hit songs for at least 20 years.
Today, Showtime Networks and Madonna have announced that her highly-anticipated concert film, MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR will premiere on December 9 at 9p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME, on-air, on demand and over the internet. MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR was shot around the world and features a collection of live and behind these scenes footage culminating in performances at the Sydney Olympic Park in March of this year. The film is co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, both of whom have worked extensively with Madonna on her feature films and tour movies. Madonna will be honored later this year as Billboard magazine's 2016 Woman of the Year award, at a star-studded event held in conjunction with the publication of Billboard's Women in Music list, which identifies the 50 most powerful female executives in the industry each year.
"When it comes to putting on a show, there is only one Madonna - an iconic performer that we're thrilled to have on our air," said David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. "With her unique creative vision and unmatched stage presence, our viewers will see an arena show packed with visual theatrics, stunning costumes and intricate choreography, featuring new hits and beloved classic songs."
As the premier destination for the best concert films and music documentaries, MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR joins a growing list of Showtime Documentary Films featuring music's biggest names including recent concert films from The Who, The Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz, One Direction, Mumford & Sons, U2, The White Stripes and Paul McCartney, along with the documentary films featuring Michael Jackson, David Bowie, The Eagles, Nas, The Police, Elvis Costello, Public Enemy, Ozzy Osbourne, Kings of Leon and Billy Joel. For more information on the SHOWTIME Music Makers collection, go to SHO.com/documentaries.
The set list for MADONNA: REBEL HEART TOUR spans all decades of the iconic superstar's illustrious career, including songs from Rebel Heart (the No. 1 dance hits "Living for Love" and "Bitch I'm Madonna") to classic fan favorites like "Material Girl" and "Holiday" and a "Dress You Up" medley that included "Get Into The Groove," "Everybody" and "Lucky Star." Memorable highlights from the tour include her first-ever live concert performance of "Take a Bow," acoustic versions of "Like A Prayer," "Secret" and "Don't Tell Me." At each tour date during the song "Unapologetic Bitch," Madonna would bring someone up from the crowd to dance with her during the song. Some nights it was a fan, another night it was Katy Perry. Other guest dancers included: Amy Schumer, Ariana Grande, Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Diplo, Gwendoline Christie, Graham Norton and Anderson Cooper.
Produced by Live Nation Global Touring, the Rebel Heart Tour kicked off on September 9, 2015 in Montreal and visited arenas in 55 cities on four continents over seven months. Madonna performed 82 shows, plus a special fan club show in Melbourne. The tour grossed $169.8 Million with 1,045,479 in attendance, making her the top grossing touring female artist in the history of Billboard Boxscore with over $1.31 billion in ticket sales sold over the course of her career. Madonna is also the fourth top grossing touring act (behind The Rolling Stones, U2 and Bruce Springsteen) since tracking began in 1990.
The Rebel Heart Tour was directed by Jamie King with musical direction by Kevin Antunes (the band's keyboardist Ric'key Pageot, drummer Brian Frasier-Moore, guitarist Monte Pittman, and background vocalists Kiley Dean and Nicki Richards), lead choreography by Megan Lawson, hair by Andy LeCompte, makeup by Aaron Henrikson, and costume design by Arianne Phillips.
Madonna also recently announced special evening of music, art, mischief and a live performance on December 2, 2016 to benefit Raising Malawi, the non-profit she founded in 2006. Raising Malawi is currently constructing Malawi's first pediatric surgery and intensive care unit which will double the number of life-saving surgeries performed on children each year, provide intensive care after critical surgeries and train specialized Malawian medical staff. The facility, which will be called the Mercy James Institute of Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, will open in 2017.
Photography: Joshua Brandao
During the Rebel Heart Tour Amy opened for Madonna in that same venue and it seems M wanted to return the favour.
On stage Madonna promised the crowd blowjobs to everyone who voted for Hillary.
Madonna has announced on her Instagram that the recording of the Rebel Heart Tour will premiere on American TV network Showtime in December.
When the 11th annual Billboard Women In Music event hits New York City this winter, royalty will be present.
Following a year where she extended her record as the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time, Madonna will receive Billboard's 2016 Woman of the Year award.
"Madonna is one of a miniscule number of super-artists whose influence and career transcend music," said Janice Min, president and chief creative officer of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group. "With her creative vision, relentless innovation, and dedication to philanthropic causes, she is an inspiration to hundreds of millions of people around the world, all while shattering every career record out there. She is an important feminist on top of that, a one-of-a-kind artist who's used her influence to change the conversation around women, sexuality and equal rights."
From her Prince tribute alongside Stevie Wonder at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards to her political Met Gala appearance to her indelible commentary on the 2016 election, Madonna has remained a constant force in pop culture and source of cultural conversation over the past year.
Her Rebel Heart Tour, which wrapped in March, solidified her status as one of the biggest touring acts of all time. Madonna sold more than 1 million tickets and walked away with $170 million. That makes her the highest grossing solo touring artist in Billboard Boxscore history (the archives go back to 1990) with a staggering $1.31 billion in total concert grosses.
In addition to being the first female pop star with true control of her career and image, Madonna is the best-selling female recording artist of all time. She's earned 8 No. 1 albums (and 21 top 10 albums) on the Billboard 200 and 12 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. With her 46th No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart in 2015, she extended her own record for the most No. 1s on a single Billboard chart. She also holds the record for the most top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with 38.
In addition to her ongoing chart dominance, her philanthropic efforts are effecting real change in the world. Madonna's Raising Malawi organization is currently constructing Malawi's first pediatric surgery and intensive care unit, which will double the number of life-saving surgeries performed on children each year, provide intensive care after critical surgeries, and train specialized Malawian medical staff. The Mercy James Institute of Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care facility will open in 2017.
The seven-time Grammy winner will receive the honor at the 11th annual Women in Music event, held Dec. 9 in New York City and airing nationally on Lifetime on Dec.12. The star-studded event is held in conjunction with the publication of Billboard's Women in Music list, which identifies the 50 most powerful female executives in the industry each year.
Madonna has posted the program for her Art Basel fund raising event, which will take place at the Faena Forum in Miami Beach on December 2nd. It is announced as "An evening of music, art, mischief & live performance with Madonna to benefit Raising Malawi".
Judging from the picture, Madonna plans to repeat her 'Tears of a Clown' show, which she performed for the first time in March 2016 during her Australian tour leg. This also explains the rehearsal video she posted earlier this week.
There will be 400 exclusive tickets for the show, which will sell at a high price to raise money for Madonna's Raising Malawi project.