Madonna has reportedly been lined up to headline Glastonbury 2019, according to 'sources'.
The 'Like A Virgin' icon has long been rumoured to top the bill at Worthy Farm next year, but now insiders have told The Sun that she is among the first to be booked during Glasto's fallow year.
"Preparations are already well under way after they've taken this year off, and Michael and his daughter Emily Eavis want to make it better than ever," they reportedly told the tabloid. "They have always been massive fans of Madonna and know she would put on an unforgettable show.
"It was really important that they had a diverse line-up for the 2019 festival after criticism of previous ones."
The source added: "With this being a fallow year they want to secure a really big name to drive ticket sales.
"Thanks to all her huge hits, they are convinced that she would be a real crowd pleaser on the Pyramid Stage."
NME has approached representatives for both Madonna and Glastonbury for comment.
Michael Eavis has been very vocal about wanting to book the Queen Of Pop for some time, saying in the year 2000 after Bowie played: "I would really like to get Madonna, I tell you that. I might spend a bit of time working on that actually . . .
"I'd be very keen on getting Madonna. That's the one to do."
Madonna shared a Pride Month message to her fans via Instagram on Sunday (June 24), posting a video of her lip syncing to Clean Bandit's song "Solo" featuring Demi Lovato.
"Missing NY and the fierceness of the LGBT community that gave me life from the moment I landed there," she wrote. "For Me, Pride Month is every month! This [crown emoji] Bows down to every Gay Boy that taught me a. New dance, how to dress, how to drag, how to slay, To stand tall in the face of adversity, to not give up hope, to own my inner bitch and to love my flaws!"
Lovato reposted the video to her own account, writing, "THE QUEEN HERSELF SINGING SOLO!!!!! What is life...?!?!!!!"
Madonna is currently working on her fourteenth studio album. Check out her latest Instagram post below.
Until I can Share MY music....... I’m sending Love from Lisbon! 🌈💕🌈💕🌈💕missing NY and the fierceness of the LGBT community that gave me life from the moment I landed there!! For Me, Pride Month is every month! This 👑 Bows down to every Gay Boy that taught me a. New dance, how to dress, how to drag, how to slay, To stand tall in the face of adversity, to not give up hope, to own my inner bitch and to love my flaws! 🌈🎉🌈🎉🌈🎉 #loveislove #gratitude #pride 🌈 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈
The rumours started earlier this week: several of Madonna's collaborators, including photographer Mert Alas, hairdresser Andy Lecompte and make-up artist Aaron Henrikson, were seen arriving in Lisbon. Madonna herself posted a mysterious video with her kids, with the caption "Cooking up Something F U N in Lisbon".
A make-up video made everything clear: the hashtag #italianvogue gives away that our Queen is preparing a photoshoot for the Italian edition of Vogue magazine.
Matt Ziedman, manager of record label Maverick which was previously owned by Madonna, celebrated Pride Month with a social media post, hailing Madonna as the ultimate icon of the LGBTQ+ community.
Seymour Stein is indisputably one of the greatest A&R men in music-business history: As chief of Sire Records, which he cofounded with Richard Gottehrer in 1966, he presided over a label that for decades had not only massive hits — from Madonna, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Seal and others — but also acts that may not have had multiplatinum sales but shaped the sound of the last quarter of the 20th century: the Ramones, Lou Reed, the Pretenders, the Smiths, the Cure, the Replacements, Aphex Twin and so many more. A well-curated mixtape of Sire releases from the '80s and '90s is like the soundtrack to an era.
Yet Stein's career stretches back to the 1950s: He began at Billboard and soon moved over to Syd Nathan's King Records — home of James Brown — and several other gigs before cofounding Sire. And he's still at it: He remains Sire's chairman and on any given day is jetting across the globe to speak at conferences and find talent (he's big on China and India these days), or he's in the office, fielding calls from his mind-boggling circle of friends.
Stein (pictured below with Madonna and, far left, David Byrne) has had an astonishing life, and he's finally penned an autobiography (with cowriter Gareth Murphy), which publishes today, called "Siren Song: My Life in Music." Variety is honored to present a lightly edited excerpt from the chapter where he meets Madonna for the first time.
I was blowtorching the candle at both ends, and in mid-1982, I started getting pains in my chest. I thought I was getting a heart attack, so I didn't waste any time seeing a doc. An EKG showed that the hole between the left and right ventricles was infected. My rare condition had a name: subacute endocarditis. The good news, however, was that it was fixable with open-heart surgery. I was checked straight into Lenox Hill Hospital for four weeks of penicillin to clear up the infection before they decided what to do about the deformation. And right there, feeling sorry for myself in that ass-numbing bed, was where the record man's equivalent of Florence Nightingale walked in. Yes, you guessed it, she wasn't really a nurse, though sometimes I do wonder if singers are types of faith healers.
The series of events that brought Madonna to my hospital bed began months earlier when Mark Kamins started dropping hints. Danceteria was still the number-one downtown club, and Mark was arguably New York's hottest deejay. Unfortunately, he wasn't making enough money and knew he had to broaden his professional horizons while he was in such demand. We'd asked him to remix a David Byrne solo track called "Big Business," but Mark was dreaming of becoming a real-deal producer and asked me for help. I told him flat out that no big artist would ever risk working with an unproven producer, even if he was New York's hippest deejay. Like everyone else, he'd have to earn his stripes by finding nobodies and making them sound like stars.
One night in Danceteria, he had been approached by this dancing beauty who introduced herself. Madonna charmed the pants off him, literally, and played him a self-made demo of a song she wrote called "Everybody," which she'd made with a guy called Steve Bray. Mark then reworked and revamped the whole tune from scratch in a better studio with better musicians. He even had the sense to test his mix on the dance floor before shopping it around. The crowd seemed to respond enthusiastically, so he made copies and went hustling.
I couldn't believe that I hadn't been played this demo yet, so I arranged for my secretary to send the cassette into Lenox Hill Hospital, where I duly slotted it into my Sony Walkman. As penicillin dripped into my heart, I lay there and listened to Mark's first find. I'm sure I was going nuts in that little room, but I immediately felt an excitement. I liked the hook, I liked Madonna's voice, I liked the feel, and I liked the name Madonna. I liked it all and played it again. I never overanalyze or suck the life out of whatever I instinctively enjoy. I reached over and called up Mark. "Can I meet you and Madonna?"
He called back saying they'd drop by the hospital that evening. "What?"
"I know. I told her you were sick, but she really wants this."
I just said, "Okay, see you this evening," and hit all the panic buttons. "Get me a pair of pajamas," I told my secretary. "Oh, and send me in a hairdresser as quickly as you can." I then pushed the buzzer for nurse assistance. "Someone important is coming in. I need to wash. Can you unplug this drip while I have a shower?"
By the time Madonna walked in with Mark Kamins that evening, I had been fully briefed and tidied up by a team of ladies. Not that she really cared about my predicament. She'd come to get a record deal before some old record guy croaked, along with his check-signing hand.
She was all dolled up in cheap punky gear, the kind of club kid who looked absurdly out of place in a cardiac ward. She wasn't even interested in hearing me explain how much I liked her demo. "The thing to do now," she said, "is sign me to a record deal." She then opened her arms and laughed. "Take me, I'm yours!" She was goofing around doing a Lolita routine because I was twice her age. Or maybe I really was smiling back at her like a dirty old man, because she didn't take long to cut through all the small talk and go straight for the kill. Peering into the back of my head with those Madonna eyes, she said, "And now, you give me the money."
"What?" I snapped back, which was unusual for me. As a rule, I'm always careful around artists, but Madonna had bigger balls than the four men in the room put together.
"Look, just tell me what I have to do to get a f—ing record deal in this town!" she hit back, sounding deflated. "Don't worry, you've got a deal," I assured her.
And with that exchange, we finally met each other on level ground. Madonna had a power over men, a power over everyone that I think she was too young to control or even realize. For obvious reasons, her magic didn't work the same way on me, which I think was a good thing for us both. I doubt she knew I was gay, and all I knew about her was the tape I'd heard. I had no idea she was stone broke and secretly hoping to leave the hospital with a check.
Lots of people have written about Madonna's natural star power, and it's absolutely true that even when she was still a complete unknown, she filled up every room and oozed a dazzling aura that even a hardened vet like me wasn't immune to. I gave her my promise and told her to go find a lawyer, but I still had to get the money and all the passport stamps from Burbank, which, under the circumstances, was not a foregone conclusion. The deal we agreed to was modest: Madonna would get an advance of $15,000 per single, for a total of three singles, with an option for an album. On top of that, there was an additional publishing deal by which she'd get a $2,500 advance for every song she wrote. It was more of a test run than a full deal, but that's all she needed, and under the circumstances, that's about all I could offer.
Knowing what we know today, that tiny agreement looks rather comical. However, all she had right then was one clubby song that you couldn't get on Top 40 radio. She wasn't a musician, she didn't have a band, all she really had was the name and sound of Mark Kamins behind her. He'd produced "Everybody" as a six-minute twelve-inch for clubs like Danceteria, so, in real terms, I was taking a small bet on Mark's first studio production for the sheer interest of seeing where it would go. To be honest, I was doing him the good turn; there was no reason to believe I was looking at a female Elvis. The fact Madonna wasn't even on the cover of her very first single tells you how much it all began as a downtown dance experiment. I would eventually see Madonna as a regular pop artist—we all would—but at that first meeting point, my job was to get both Mark Kamins and her in the net before anyone else. We'd get to the next bridge when we came to it.
I'd break out in a rash whenever I heard this nasty myth about how Madonna somehow screwed her way to the top. I could see she was the real deal. I certainly didn't know then just how big she would be, but I did believe with all my heart she would be really big. I defy anyone to screw their way to number one and stay there for well over three decades. It can't be done. But please, be my guest — have fun trying!
As for the men in her life, she did have something going with Mark Kamins when "Everybody" was made. However, both Mark and her next boyfriend, Jellybean Benitez, were just club deejays. She may have had other flings around that time, but trust me, no big shot picked her up and sprinkled her with stardust. Not Mark, not me, not Svengali, not the Wizard of Oz. She was just a very passionate young lady, living it, and who knows, maybe she thrived on falling in love. But hey, she was just twenty-four. It's funny how we don't cry foul when a twenty-four-year-old male rocker turns a trail of pretty women into a storyboard of high-voltage songs. Okay, now a girl was chasing her mojo through all these handsome, talented guys. Do you have any idea how much I would have loved to do that at her age?
The thing to remember about Madonna's early days is that she was stone broke in New York City without any safety nets. Just look at her early photos; it's all dime-store junk, wristbands, hair- spray, heavy makeup. She was certainly a looker, but I was not interested in her appearance, no more than I signed the Ramones because I liked their ripped jeans and All Star sneakers. The only reason so many young punks ran out and dressed up like the Ramones was because of the music, and it was the exact same for
Madonna. Her first believers were music geeks like Steve Bray, Mark Kamins, me, Michael Rosenblatt, Jellybean Benitez, and a few others. What we all heard was something in her voice.
Loyal Madonna fans have been waiting years for her to reunite with French record producer/songwriter Mirwais, and yesterday (June 13) was the day their wishes were granted.
Posting a selfie of her and longtime collaborator Mirwais on social media, Madonna captioned it, "Session # 3 finished with Disco God Mirwais #music #magic #method #mothership."
The two have cooked up some of the pop queen's biggest hits to date, including collaborations on albums Music, American Life and Confessions on a Dance Floor. All of those albums landed at the top of the Billboard 200 Chart, featuring songwriting and production credits from Mirwais.
It has been three years since a new Madonna full-album release, with 2015's Rebel Heart peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 Chart, spawning a successful eighty-two tour date international tour Rebel Heart Tour.
The "Vogue" star has been teasing new music for quite some time, including an instagram post in May with the caption, "Coming soon! #music."
Madonna has been tagging Mirwais for quite a while now, but today she posted for the first time a selfie with him together, confirming they finish a third studio session, recording tracks for the new album.
In the post, Madonna refers to Mirwais as a "Disco God", which is hopefully an indication for the genre of the album. Apart from the much used hashtag #magic, M also mentioned #music, #method and #mothership.
In 1996, Antonio Banderas starred with pop icon Madonna in the musical drama Evita, in which Madonna starred in the role of Eva Péron and Banderas played Argentinian everyman Ché. While Madonna's casting was controversial, Banderas had nothing but love reflecting back on his costar. "She was totally into this character. It was actually great working with her," he tells Lola Ogunnaike, host of PeopleTV's Couch Surfing.
The actor recalls a day filming at La Casa Rosada—the residence of the Argentinian President, akin to the White House, where Madonna showed her commitment to the film: "She got an idea with [director] Alan Parker: we have 5,000 extras in the Plaza de Mayo where she has to give a speech — "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina." So she came dressed as Eva Duarte de Perón, shooting with no rehearsal, no nothing, and the extras' reaction was extraordinary. All of the extras started crying, and the cameras were shooting, so we captured all of that. It was one of those magic moments I will never forget."
A musical multi-hyphenate with a diverse resume that includes co-writing credits with everyone from Leonard Cohen to Jewel, Patrick Leonard's greatest commercial success came writing songs (and frequently co-producing them) alongside a pop star who kind of, sort of made a splash in the '80s: Madonna.
First teaming up with the nascent icon for 1985's The Virgin Tour, their ongoing creative partnership eventually yielded 20-some songs, including three Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s ("Live to Tell," "Who's That Girl" and "Like a Prayer") and beloved classics like "La Isla Bonita," "Oh Father" and "Frozen."
And while Leonard, like Madge herself, isn't one to fixate on the past, he recently found himself returning to those songs thanks to an unlikely source: Instagram.
Joining the social media service at the behest of his kids, he was surprised at the enduring interest in his work with Madonna. That led to him playing a show at Joe's Pub in New York City in late 2017, and following the enthusiastic fan response to that concert, he began toying with the idea of recording reimagined versions of those classic hits.
Today, Leonard launched a Kickstarter for Bring the Circus Home, an album of new versions of many of the songs he co-wrote with Madonna; the tracklist isn't fully set, and fans are encouraged to weigh in on what they're hoping to hear. But it's not just Leonard returning to these songs: Many of the original studio personnel (Guy Pratt, Bruce Gaitsch and Michael Verdick) are teaming up with him to create new takes on these beloved classics. Kickstarter contributions range from $10 (which gets you a digital download) to $100 (nets you a vinyl edition) to $10,000 (at that level, you snag an in-person studio session with Leonard himself).
Ahead of the Kickstarter announcement, Leonard hopped on the phone with Billboard to discuss everything from his first meeting with Madonna to his hopes for this new project to why "Live to Tell" is like their own Beethoven's Fifth.
So with Bring the Circus Home, you're reteaming with a number of the original musicians on these songs. And what would you call them – reworked versions?
They're reimaginings, new versions; full electronic productions. I'm working with Guy Pratt, who played bass on the Like a Prayer album; Bruce Gaitsch who played on Ray of Light and True Blue; Bill Bottrell, who engineered and mixed Like a Prayer; and Michael Verdick, who mixed True Blue.
Like a Prayer in my bathrobe. This is the original score from the day it was written. Found a few things different from how I remembered them. Thinking of doing some of these songs solo piano as a sort of bonus disk. Thoughts? Please go to the Kickstarter link in the bio and pledge. We’ve got a record to make! So grateful to you all. I love going back to these old songs for you. #likeaprayer #bringthecircushome #madonna #fans #kickstarter #piano #bathrobes #predawnpiano
Have you seen those guys over the years?
There was the occasional thing. Bill and I worked with Leonard Cohen, before he passed, together, and Guy Pratt, I was always in touch with him. But it's the first time we've done this since we did it 30 years ago
And what was the impetus for it?
It was a bit of a surprise, really. My friend John Lee put together a show at Joe's Pub in New York, directed at Madonna fans discovered via Instagram. I joined Instagram via a dare from my kids and discovered a whole world of Madonna fans. It opened my eyes to the loyalty people have to the music and those songs and subsequently, myself. From that, I thought of many ways of doing it. Right now we're engaged in the process and finding it's lovely to work with the material. It's really good material, and it's nice to have material the fans are familiar with for us to play with -- but to play with it in a way that feels new. It doesn't feel nostalgic at all to me. It's exciting to find a way to realize them in a way that's satisfying.
I'm surprised you didn't realize the hunger for this material until you joined Instagram. These are such big hits, you really weren't aware?
No, not really. (Laughs) What I occurred to me, and I hadn't framed it this way, but the fans that were in their young teenage years when these records came out, those records were as important to them as records that came out in my teenage years. I don't why that hadn't occurred to me, but it hadn't.
I'm so pleased there's so many fans, I can't tell you. It's lovely to know when I finish this record, there's people who are excited to hear it. It's a luxurious position to be in. I don't have to write hits—I have 16 of them. It's an embarrassment of riches.
And it's material that's part of your life.
I realized at Joe's Pub, I'm not covering this music. It was apparent to me sitting at the piano playing "Live to Tell" that it's an authentic version of "Live to Tell." That hadn't occurred to me (before then).
Which songs are you working on – the hits mainly, or any deep cuts?
It bounces around. Madonna and I wrote 23 songs in total and 16 were hits; I'll choose from the 16, but songs that weren't necessarily hits but were really fun and cool to do, I'll play with them and see if they have a place. And I'm not necessarily doing full songs. Because I can do what I want – for a change – and I'm having fun experimenting. I'm seeing it as something that can be presented as a live show – from that standpoint, whatever music serves the moment I'll use.
You have complete control over this project. When you were working on these songs with Madonna, what was the studio situation? How much say did you ultimately have?
We collaborated well and I certainly have always held to the mutual respect we show each other. Like any collaboration, there are moments where somebody wants one thing and somebody wants another. But also, having been a studio pro as they say, it's ultimately the artist's record. That's where the final decision always rests and I would never push that envelope. But I don't really remember too many things we disagreed on. We worked fast: I would start something in the studio, then we would work on it together, then by the end of the day or two at most, the song was done.
In past interviews you've said your tastes skew toward prog-rock – do you see any of that in these songs?
Revisiting these songs, as much as they were in the dance-pop market, I don't think I wrote any dance-pop songs. Look at "Live to Tell," "Oh Father," "Like a Prayer" -- these are not dance-pop songs, even though people dance to them. This record is a lot of years later, and I think in all fairness to progressive rock and its devotees, there hasn't been any new progressive rock that I've listened to or come across in 35 years. It's a root for me, but so was James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Cole Porter, and Gershwin -- they were all part of my background. The prog-rock thing, yeah, I'd rather see Pink Floyd than Red Hot Chili Peppers. If I'm gearing it toward a show, I'm gearing it toward a thread and concept that tells an emotional story. I find that more interesting than a collection of ten songs unrelated.
And what of taking to the stage – will it be all instrumental, or might you have guest vocalists?
Maybe occasionally, but there will be vocals – not a lot – but there will be vocals, and I'll leave it at that. Some human, some not.
Is Madonna aware of this project?
I don't know, I think she might be. I haven't been secretive about it but I don't know. I intend on reaching out to her and inviting her to participate if she'd like to, even if just to observe. Whatever role she takes is fine with me. I'm fascinated with how fun it is to play with these songs. That's where I am right now.
"Skin" is one of my favorites of your co-writes that's not a hit. Might that make the album?
We recently unearthed all the demos for Ray of Light, and I was listening to them, and "Skin" -- the melody, chord changes, that weird little guitar part -- was all there. And I'm fairly certain that one will be part of this.
When you worked with her on Ray of Light, there had been a bit of a gap in between collaborations. And certainly the songs on that one are more contemplative. Did you notice anything different with her around that time?
I wouldn't say I noticed anything one way or the other. We worked on, I don't know, four or five records and took all those years in between, and then we did that, and then there was a project called Hello Suckers [unfinished] from a decade ago we worked on together. When you do that much collaborating, you just fall right back into it. Wherever you are, you are. The one thing I noticed when we were doing Ray of Light was her singing. She was in a slightly different place singing-wise because of Evita, and I think that influenced some of this stuff for her. There had been a lot of focus on singing for her, and it changed things -- but not better or worst, just different.
Were you surprised to hear from her after the gap?
Finding the demos, I found a folder with all of our faxes (from then). The premise was, "this worked really well before, let's try it again." It was just that, it was kind of innocent. If it goes well, we'll do it, and if it doesn't, fine.
"Frozen" is certainly in the "Live to Tell" vein. Do you ever think "let's try to recapture something about that hit?"
When you're writing something, in my career, the word hit never comes into it. You just can't say that word. It's a bad word to say. I remember she asked me if I could write something that was somewhere between The English Patient and Nine Inch Nails, and that's what "Frozen" was.
Revisiting these songs, does it seem like so much time has passed, or are they still fairly familiar to you?
Yeah it's been an interesting thing looking at these songs, I wouldn't have looked at them again… but to be able to play the music for the fans is the main motivation for this. It took me some time, months, to see the music as raw material. The initial reaction to the music was verse-chorus-bridge, and I'm now seeing it as a chef's kitchen. It's a treasure trove of moments, and to select the moments and look at them individually is fun. I'm getting a kick out of this. I've never gone back to material like this. Some of them, "Live to Tell," I wrote 33 years ago. That's a long time ago, man.
Do you remember writing it, or is the memory muddy?
I remember the moment of sitting at the piano and playing the chords. I remember getting up and playing that at the piano and going, "oh that's cool," and writing it down and developing it. At the time I was developing it for a film. The rest of it… I remember recording a demo a little bit, it was a very simple process, and I remember recording with Michael Verdick, and there was something about that one that was special and different than the other ones. Thematically it's like our Beethoven's Fifth – you hear those three notes and you got it. It identifies itself the quickest. I'm looking for intense drama (on this reworking); I really want it to be dramatic. The record is going to be pretty electronic. I'm playing around with those things, playing around with "Cherish" a bit, looking for a way to do that.
So you aren't set on how many songs will be on this, or which songs will be included?
The record is called Bring the Circus Home and I've written a song called "Bring the Circus Home" that will help tell the story and appear a few different times in little versions. I'm doing this as a vinyl-length record, which means 36 minutes. That's when I realized I don't need to do full songs. You don't need an instrumental version of "Live to Tell" with four verses. We'll bend and twist our way through this stuff. It's early in the process and it may change considerably. But with "Oh Father" the musical sequence (on the new version) is different from the record and I expect the same of all of them. Some I might do a narrative version, one of the soft ballads like "Something to Remember," I'll probably stay true to that, that's one of my favorites. A song like that, you can make big, but you shouldn't mess with it too much. It's melodic and lyrical, and that should stay.
Do you see some of them appearing in medley form?
Not like a medley, more like a narrative. Also one of the ways I'm seeing this is like a live performance. So there's the songs, but what I'm hoping to achieve, is when you come to see it live, that's the experience -- it's not just a bunch of different songs. In a live situation, things can be expanded upon, but conceptually it's still the same flow. So that's what I'm working on now, the flow. And playing around with intensity -- how intense can this be? It's fun. (laughs)
By request. I like to play the song through a few times to see what I find. Spanish Eyes has, what I feel is one of M’s great choruses. I’ll have a look at every song you request. Promise. And if you haven’t pledged yet please do so at the link in my bio. Help me spread the word. So, grateful to you all, PL #spanisheyes #goingtowork #bringthecircushome #kickstarter #piano
Madonna's team continues to fill her official Youtube channel with older music videos. This week several videos were added, that were previously only available on Warner Music's channel. Recent additions include American Pie, Love Don't Live Here Anymore, I Want You, Human Nature, Into The Groove and Material Girl.
We've created a handy playlist for you to keep track of all of Madonna's official music videos online.