The greatest co-headlining superstar tour of all time almost happened. Until Prince decided the world wasn't ready for that much awesome. The story of the never-to-be Royalty Tour came from Madonna/U2 manager Guy Oseary on Thursday night, in a loving Instagram tribute to Prince, who died earlier in the day at age 57 at his Minneapolis home.
"I met Prince when I was 12 years old. I asked for his autograph. He wrote 'Love God,'" wrote Oseary, who rose from a teenage A&R gig at Madonna's Maverick Records to his current position as one of the biggest managers in the business, with a client list that includes comedy superstar Amy Schumer. Oseary described the walls of his teenage room as being covered with Prince posters, visible from the street outside the two-bedroom apartment he shared with his dad.
Flash forward many years later and Oseary said he reconnected with Prince, with whom he'd become friendly. "I called him a few years back with the idea of @Madonna and Prince going on tour together," Oseary wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. "I pitched it to Madonna and within a second she said 'I like it, we can call it the Royalty Tour... The Queen and The Prince'.... I love the way she thinks... When I told Prince the idea he said: 'the world isn't ready for this, it's too big.'"
The hook-up made sense, and not only because the pair were two of the most pioneering video music artists of all time, practically helping to invent the genre (along with Michael Jackson) in the 1980s. Prince appeared twice on Madonna's 1989 album Like a Prayer, on the distorted guitar into to the title track, as well as on the duet "Love Song."
Despite Prince's shut-down of the idea, Oseary said he always thought he might still pull off the double bill one day. "@Madonna performed in #stpaul last year and Prince was generous enough to host us and perform for us after that show at his home #paisleypark," he recalled. "He didn't go on stage until 3am, and per usual the show performance was mindblowing.. He joined me this last New Years in St Bart's and performed for my friends party at what will now be the last time I saw him.. It's the one and only time I was able to actually work with him directly.. I won't forget that electrifying performance.. Or the smile on his face that night.. And the love that he gave me."
Oseary said Prince always treated him kindly, even if they didn't always agree and they sometimes argued for hours. "But he understood that I respected him dearly and cared for him," he wrote. "I tried my best to help him on record business matters.. And even in his passing I'm here to help.. I would have done anything I could and wish I achieved more for him on his very clear issues.. The man had the strongest of opinions on contracts and on artists rights."
The post was accompanied by a photo taken in the summer of 1999, in which Oseary is seated next to a chatty Madonna, who is right next to fashion icon Donatella Versace. On the far end of the table is Prince, who Guy clearly has his eyes locked on. "I have the original lyrics to 'purple rain' on my wall and I was always too embarrassed to tell him," he said. "Maybe he would think I was crazy for paying so much years back for those lyrics or maybe he would just take it off my wall and say 'thank you, I was looking for this'... Who would stop him?.. Not me.. Today not only will doves cry, we all cry.. You will be missed.. I love you.. Rest in peace."
I met Prince when I was 12 years old. I asked for his autograph. He wrote "Love God"... My walls were covered with prince posters.. I lived in a two bedroom apartment with my dad and you could see my Prince posters from the street.. Many many years later I connected back with Prince.. And we have remained friends.. I called him a few years back with the idea of @Madonna and Prince going on tour together. I pitched it to Madonna and within a second she said "I like it, we can call it the Royalty Tour... The Queen and The Prince".... I love the way she thinks... When I told Prince the idea he said: "the world isn't ready for this, it's too big".. I always felt like one day I would pull it off.. @Madonna performed in #stpaul last year and Prince was generous enough to host us and perform for us after that show at his home #paisleypark .. He didn't go on stage until 3am, and per usual the show performance was mindblowing.. He joined me this last New Years in St Bart's and performed for my friends party at what will now be the last time I saw him.. It's the one and only time I was able to actually work with him directly.. I won't forget that electrifying performance.. Or the smile on his face that night.. And the love that he gave me.. He always treated me with kindness.. We didn't always agree.. We would argue for hours... But he understood that I respected him dearly and cared for him.. I tried my best to help him on record business matters.. And even in his passing I'm here to help.. I would have done anything I could and wish I achieved more for him on his very clear issues.. The man had the strongest of opinions on contracts and on artists rights.. This photo was taken summer of 1999.. Yes.. "1999".. You can see from the photo that I'm focused on one thing... Prince!!.. I have the original lyrics to "purple rain" on my wall and I was always too embarrassed to tell him.. Maybe he would think I was crazy for paying so much years back for those lyrics or maybe he would just take it off my wall and say "thank you, I was looking for this".. Who would stop him?.. Not me.. Today not only will doves cry, we all cry.. You will be missed.. I love you.. Rest in peace..
Another Icon has left this world. Today, Prince died at the age of 57. Just like Michael Jackson and Madonna, Prince was born in 1958. Now the King and Prince have left, it's only the Queen left.
Madonna herself reminisced over their friendship and collaboration with the following post:
Of course she was referencing Love Song, their duet on the Like A Prayer album.
Throughout the years they had a few fallouts but recently they had expressed their mutual admiration for one another. Last October, Prince attended Madonna's Rebel Heart show in Miami. That night, Madonna dedicated La Vie en Rose to "her good friend Prince". Later that week, she and her dancers went to an intimate gig at Paisley Park, where Prince jammed in front of her.
'Strike A Pose', the new documentary that follows the six remaining dancers from the Blond Ambition Tour, will hit Dutch theatres on May 26th. The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, and will be screened at Tribeca on April 24th. The official trailer is now also available online (see below).
In 1990, seven young male dancers - 6 gay, 1 straight - joined Madonna on her most controversial tour. On stage and in the iconic film Truth or Dare they showed the world how to express yourself. Now, 25 years later, they reveal the truth about life during and after the tour. Strike a Pose is a dramatic tale about overcoming shame and finding the courage to be who you are.
Dutch directors Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan looked up Luis, Oliver, Salim, Jose, Kevin & Carlton to see how they spent the past 25 years and what the Blond Ambition Tour and the documentary Truth or Dare meant for them.
Among many articles regarding the movie, were the specials from Attitude Magazine, who interviewed each of the dancers. Click the links below to read the full interviews.
Slam: "I still get letters about my gay kiss in the film".
"I think it's amazing that she just keeps going and going – the woman doesn't stop! I don't really follow the tours that she does any more, maybe here and there. But kudos to her, she still does what she loves to do. She seems to be happy on stage, despite all the criticism she gets about her age and stuff like that. I hope she is happy."
Kevin: "I didn't accept I was gay until I saw the documentary"
"I've enjoyed seeing her have a family. She really wanted a family, and she was heartfelt about that, and she opened up with us on the tour about it. It really made me glow, knowing that she has a family now."
Carlton: "I hid my HIV status from everyone on tour"
"She's always compelling and exciting. As far as my understanding goes, what she stands for is getting people to raise their consciousness. I think she's still been doing that, even as an older artist in the industry. She makes certain moves, and people want to say she shouldn't be doing that anymore, and why shouldn't she? She's a human being, she's got a life, she's not hurting anybody. She's an underground artist that has been given a lot of money to fund her projects. So the way she goes at things is like this fearless, raw, edgy street kid, doing her art. Now she just has tonnes of money to put into her stage shows. I love it that she has not abandoned that balls out way of doing things.
She and I are both actors and we shared a lot of that conversation, certainly by the time it got to The Girlie Show. I know how much she cares about being an actress, and how much she has really wanted to have a viable position in that medium, and it hasn't really happened for her yet. So I keep watching to see if that's going to happen for her. I really hope she gets that opportunity to have that on a really big level, in a really critical role."
Oliver: "The tour taught me to appreciate gay people"
"I'll tell you, after the tour when she did 'Justify My Love', I wasn't too fond of that. I thought it was too much. I thought she didn't need to do that because she was Madonna. But I have to say this: the dopest thing that she has done, from 1990 to now, was when she did 'Vogue' at the Superbowl. Oh my god. I got up and I applauded. She was incredible. And I actually don't think an artist should ever change the choreography of something that iconic, but the way she did that. I thought it was the most incredible thing. It was as good as the 'Vogue' video."
José: "People still tell me that documentary saved their lives".
"I think she's still being creative of course. From a dancer's point of view, I went to a couple of shows since the Blond Ambition Tour, but I think that her latest stuff got repetitive, you know? A little bit. As far as having 30 something dancers, and trapeze artists and big LCD screens. When we did it it was just 7 of us, and 2 singers, and that was it, and so everything else was creativity from within. It was more theatre, I think, and the dancers had more importance in the actual show. And I guess that's why we're still remembered."
Billboard has announced the finalists for the Billboard Music Awards 2016. Madonna is nominated in the category Top Touring Artist, together with One Direction, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift and U2.
Ludacris and Ciara will host the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on May 22.
Billboard Music Awards finalists are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital songs sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music. These measurements are tracked year-round by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound. The awards are based on the reporting period of tracking dates March 23, 2015 through March 17, 2016 and Billboard chart dates April 11, 2015 through April 2, 2016. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of a musician's success.
See the full list of finalists at Billboard.↑ Back to top of page