The past few days, Madonna treated us with many social media pictures and videos from her tour workshop. As usual, she organises such a workshop, where she experiments and tries out different ideas for tour song performances and dance routines.
While it's not always sure if the songs on the workshop make the final cut for the tour setlist, it's a very interesting insight for fans. At this workshop, we see songs from different eras being performed: Human Nature, Like A Prayer and I Rise. Another video was set to the tones of Vogue, while yet another had the hashtag #justifymylove.
Director Dexter Fletcher has said he would be up for shooting a film about Madonna's life.
Of course, the filmmaker already has a track record for rock biopics.
As well as this month's Rocketman, which details the life of Elton John, he directed part of last year's blockbuster Queen/Freddie Mercury picture, Bohemian Rhapsody.
We spoke to Dexter last month ahead of the London premiere of Rocketman earlier this month, and asked him: 'Would you consider a return to the rock biopic genre – and would you please do Madonna or Cher'?
Dexter replied: 'I'd do Madonna! That sounds like a real rollercoaster ride! It would be extraordinary.'
Asked if thought of a film on the Material Girl's life had occurred to him before, he said: 'No… no it hasn't. I don't know how happy she'd be about that [idea]… But what an extraordinary life that would be.
'If I was to tackle any other icon like that, it would be her. She's extraordinary.'
Repots circulated in 2017 that a Universal biopic of Madonna called Blonde Ambition was in the works.
She wrote: 'Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story. Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool. Looking for instant gratification without doing the work. This is a disease in our society.'
Madonna albums from this century fall into two categories: the playing-it-safe ones, and the "WTF is she thinking?" ones. You might be tempted to assume the mega-weird ones are better, but nothing is ever that straightforward in the Madonna universe.
Confessions on a Dance Floor was her totally safe execution of an obvious idea - why doesn't history's greatest disco mastermind just make a damn disco record? - but it was also brilliant. Whereas the certifiably flaky American Life was certifiably ass. That's just one of the many reasons Madonna remains the queen of all pop queens.
She dips into a melting pot of Latin-pop styles, complete with a reggaeton jam called "Bitch I'm Loca." It's for fans of her loca edge only, full of experiments no other pop star on Earth would try.
She teamed up with Colombian superstar Maluma for the scandal-bait single "Medellin," learning to cha-cha-cha in her mysterious new accent. There's a lot more where "Medellin" came from. Like a vocoder singing The Nutcracker in "Dark Ballet." Or the moment when she chants, "People think that I'm insane/The only gun is in my brain/Each new birth, it gives me hope/That's why I don't smoke that dope." She throws down with Quavo, Diplo and Rae Sremmurd's Swae Lee.
Weirdest of all, there are truly great Madonna moments. Especially "Crave," a love song with florid acoustic guitar where she plays down the accent and gets lost in emotion, or the trip-hop "Crazy." But with her typical nerve, she buries the strongest songs deep in Madame X. To reach them, you have to endure "Killers Who Are Partying," where she ponders political oppression: "I'll be Islam if Islam is hated/I'll be Israel if they're incarcerated."
There's something gratifying about the way the music can trigger that familiar "worried about Madonna" feeling. Let's face it, aren't we proud of our Eighties mega-pop idols for still being willing to act up like this? Imagine going back in time to the Eighties and saying, "Someday, Madonna will chant 'Bitch, I'm loca' the same week Bruce Springsteen releases his concept album about horses." These two legends never let us down, in their very different ways. Time will tell if Madame X has staying power or not. But if you love Madonna for her shamelessness - bitch, she's loca.
Celebrate your PRIDE and help Madonna support a great cause with the Limited Edition Madame X Rainbow Vinyl & Flag:
The 15-track Rainbow 2LP vinyl edition of the Madame X album features M and X graphic logos on 2 sides of the vinyls with the reverse side of each displaying the stripes of the rainbow flag.
The Madame X Rainbow Flag is a 3'x5' stitched cotton flag featuring the iconic MX logo appliquéd onto the Rainbow stripes. Proudly made in the USA.
In Honor of Pride, all of Madonna's proceeds will go to The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.
For more information about their life-affirming work, please visit www.thetrevorproject.org.
If you're thinking about suicide, The Trevor Project is free, confidential and here for you 24/7 - call them at 1-866-488-7386 or text 678-678.
During a radio interview, Madonna talks about the meaning of Crave, about motherhood (her twins Esther and Stella say Madame X is their mum), about her Billboard Awards performance and about performing in New York City.
During an interview with French LGBTQ magazine Tetu, the legendary singer-songwriter and forever Queen of Pop spoke about her new album Madame X, which is due out 14 June, and made a comparison that may leave fans divided.
"In many ways, this new album is actually a continuation of American Life," she said.
American Life remains one of Madonna's most controversial and political albums of all time – when it was released in 2003, it received a mixed response from critics and fans, however it's now often remembered as a key moment in her career.
The military-themed music video for lead single and title track American Life was famously pulled following concerns over its anti-war message, violent imagery and a final scene involving a George W. Bush look-a-like.
It makes sense that Madonna would reflect on the album, as Mirwais, who co-produced and co-wrote almost the entirety of American Life (as well as several songs on Music and Confessions On A Dancefloor), is heavily involved in her new record Madame X.
The French producer co-wrote seven tracks from the new album, and while production credits haven't been released yet, we're assuming he's produced just as many. It's the first time they've formally worked together since 2005, so anticipation is high.
So far we've heard one of Mirwais' productions from the album: lead single Medellín. Other tracks he has songwriting credits on are Dark Ballet, God Control, Batuka, Killers Who Are Partying, Extreme Occident, and I Don't Search I Find.
The Queen of Pop is known for her incredible live performance almost as much as her chart-topping music, so fans will be ecstatic to know that she's announced a new tour to support her upcoming album Madame X.
Never one to follow tradition, Madonna is swapping stadiums and arenas (which she's proven she can sell out with ease) for several dates at intimate theatre venues, providing a rare once-in-a-lifetime experience for fans.
Madonna has premiered the music video for Crave during a short live chat.
Due to overwhelming demand, Madonna's Madame X Tour has announced additional dates in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Newly added New York shows will take place October 2 through October 7; Chicago shows October 23 and October 24; Los Angeles shows November 19 and November 20.
Show dates for the remainder of the Madame X concerts in North America have now been confirmed with 3 shows on November 7, 9 and 10 at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas; 3 shows November 30, December 1 and 2 at the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston; 3 shows at The Met in Philadelphia December 7, 8 and 11; and 5 shows at The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater on December 14, 15, 17, 18 & 19. Complete itinerary available here.
As with the original dates announced and to ensure fans have best access, ticket requests for the newly announced dates will be accepted immediately through Friday, May 24th at 12:00 noon ET at madonna.livenation.com. Fans will be able to select city and show preference plus their preferred price points prior to completing their request.
Any fan who has not already received four tickets to these very special events may submit new requests for the added dates now through Friday, May 24th at noon ET. Fans may sign in and select shows and price levels for the show(s) they hope to attend at madonna.livenation.com. Credit cards will only be charged if the ticket request is fulfilled. All tickets will be confirmed by Sunday June 2nd will be fulfilled using Secure Mobile Tickets. Your ticket barcode will be available 24-48 hours prior to each show for entry. Confirmed ticket requests include one CD of Madonna's upcoming album, Madame X (due out June 14), with each confirmed ticket. Event ticket limit is 4 per person. For more information please visit madonna.livenation.com. For complete itinerary and all tour, ticket, VIP and Travel packages, please visit www.madonna.com/tour.
In North America, tickets for these very special Madame X performances will be scaled between $60.00 - $760.00 (plus applicable service fees). Every ticket purchased includes a physical copy of Madonna's new release Madame X available on Interscope Records and in stores on June 14th. Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to enter to purchase tickets at $10.00 at Madonna.com. There will be 10 tickets available per show and fans will be notified on show date if they have been selected for this unique opportunity.
Following last week's heralded announcement that Madonna will perform a series of rare and intimate performances exclusively in theatres, Madonna, Live Nation, Everything Is New and Maverick today unveiled the dates for the first of the European shows in Lisbon, 16, 18 & 19 January, 2020 at the Lisbon Coliseum.Tickets for these very special performances go on sale Saturday, 25-May (10am) at everythingisnew.pt.
Tickets for these very special Madame X performances are available at €75.00 - €300.00 (plus applicable service fees). Fans may also access Ticket & Hotel packages which include great ticket locations, exclusive merchandise, hotel accommodations and more.
Verified Legacy Icon members can now book tickets for the shows at the London Palladium. Due to popular demand, Live Nation added 6 more dates, which brings the total for London to 12 shows. The new dates are on on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 11 February 2020. Check Ticketmaster for further details.
On Saturday evening, Madonna performed during the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. She opened with Like A Prayer, to celebrate its 30th aniversary. The performance had similarities with the 2018 Met Gala performance, with Madonna coming down a staircase, flanked by her dancers dressed as monks.
An interlude had Madonna speaking lyrics from Dark Ballet, but set to a classical song. Quavo then joined her on stage for a rendition of the new track Future. At the end of the performance, Madonna sneaked in a statement of peace, with two of her dancers wearing the Israeli and Palestine flag on their back, and leaving the stage embracing each other. The European Broadcasting Union later issued a statement that this had not been part of the cleared performance.
Pollstar has interviewed Arthur Fogel, Madonna's tour promoter at Live Nation. He announces that the tour will only visit the cities mentioned in the original press release: 7 in the US and 3 in Europe.
How many tours have you done with Madonna?
This will be my sixth. I started with her in 2001. Prior to that, she had toured, I think twice in 15 years? So, this is the sixth in whatever 18 years. She's Madonna, right? This particular tour is a bit of a twist because she's going to play multiple nights in smaller venues. It is not an arena tour or stadium tour.
What kinds of places will she play?
For instance, in New York, we're playing Brooklyn Academy of Music. Basically, we're going to do eight or nine cities over the course of the tour. Really, it comes from this album, it's just a different kind of vibe. It lends itself more to intimacy. As we talked about it, it seemed to make sense to go this route rather than into bigger buildings. That's what we're going to do.
Is she doing multiple nights at each spot?
Yes. We're playing three cities in Europe – London, Paris, and Lisbon. That's it over there, and here, we're doing LA [The Wiltern], New York [BAM], Chicago [The Chicago Theater], Miami [Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre], Vegas [Caesars Palace], Boston [the Boch Center Wang Theatre], Philly [The Met Philadelphia]. Multiple nights in each of those cities.
If she's doing BAM I'm guessing it's going to be fairly theatrical?
Listen, Madonna's shows always have that dimension to them, but I would say it's much more about the musical tone and vibe than it is pure theatrics. Maybe you've heard the first single? It's definitely sort of Spanish influenced, world music-y, as much as a pop record.
Madonna doing BAM and the Wiltern and all these smaller theaters sounds like another innovative approach and iteration of the business. I would never have expected to see Madonna play those places in a million years.
I think it's important, over a touring career, to change things up. It's a part of what excites fans, keeps artists energized. I mean if you go out and do the same thing every tour, eventually that catches up to you. I think it's great when people change it up, do different things, certainly, as it relates to creating music. There used to be a lot more tolerance for people changing things up and trying different things. I think doing that live is really important to longevity as well.
What do you do as her promoter now when you've announced the tour? What does that mean for your year ahead?
I would say most of the heavy lifting is done. We've been working on it for several months. Obviously, putting together the routing and the venues and putting all the pieces together on the marketing side, and the onsale. With Madonna, U2, my longtime clients, Gaga, I'm also the producer, so there's both sides of the equation, right? There's this kind of traditional promoter side, but there's also the producer, production side. So, there's a lot of pieces to put together, which we've been doing over the last several months. By the time this is announced, things will be in place. We'll go on sale, and then it's just sort of waiting to start in September.
Two new songs for us today.
First of all, there is Future, which is now available for streaming on Spotify and other digital platforms. An audio video has been added to Youtube and fans who pre-ordered Madame X can download the track. Future is the second collaboration between Madonna and Quavo, which makes us forget about Champagne Rosé. The song sees Madonna experimenting with reggae. Read the lyrics here.
Following last week's heralded announcement that Madonna will perform a series of rare and intimate performances exclusively in theatres, Madonna, Live Nation and Maverick today unveiled the dates for her appearances at historic Le Grand Rex Feb. 18, 19, 20, 22 and 23, 2020.
Tickets for these very special Madame X performances are available at €84.00 - €386.50 (plus applicable service fees). Madame X VIP & Hotel Packages will be available for all Verified Fans.
Fans may register starting today through Monday, 20 May (11:59pm CEST) at ticketmaster.fr for their chance to access tickets to these very special events. Tickets will be limited to 4 tickets per person.
It's been a wild couple months for Maluma.
With a new album in the pipeline, the Colombian singer and songwriter got the call of a lifetime when Madonna invited him to assist on her Madame X single 'Medellín,' which the pair performed at the Billboard Music Awards. Oh, and he also went under the knife, hung out with Taylor Swift, announced a tour of the Americas. It's been busy.
On Tuesday night, Maluma was the musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he performed the new release "HP" with his full band, just days out from his fourth album release.
Earlier in the show, the 25-year-old artist sat for a chat with Fallon about his BBMAs appearance with the Queen of Pop and her holograms.
For the one-off routine, Maluma had to over-prepare and learn every single one of Madonna's steps. "That was crazy," he explained. "It was like, one week of doing rehearsals." But he cherished his time with her on stage. "She's amazing. I love her so much."
Maluma also recounted his first meeting with Madonna in the studio ("she's a perfectionist"), talked his recovery from knee surgery, touring plans, and he brazenly asked Fallon to team him up with Justin Timberlake.
At age 23, the Latin star became the sixth act -- and the youngest ever -- to concurrently hold the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the Latin Airplay chart with "Sin contrato" and "Chantaje."
"HP" is lifted from Maluma's new studio 11:11, which features collabs with Madonna, Ricky Martin, Ty Dolla $ign and others, and is due out on Friday (May 17).
Madonna has arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday, where she's rehearsing for her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest. She will likely perform during the break, which is after the performances of the contestants and before the announcement of the points.
As she teases her performance with pictures and videos, it seems more and more likely that Saturday's performance will be inspired by the one at the 2018 Met Gala.
Costumes for Saturday are design by Jean-Paul Gaultier, who also took care of the 2018 Met Gala outfits. In one of the posts, Madonna writes "Madame X is inspired by Joan of Arc.", which was also the inspiration in 2018.
In her posts, Madonna uses the hashtags #future and #darkballet. A credit sheet from Eurovision also mentions Like A Prayer and Hallelujah. At the Met Gala, Madonna performed exactly those songs too (the lines we used to call Beautiful Game are actually from the song Dark Ballet). It's possible that the two new tracks are not sung in their entirety.
Madonna is rehearsing with a large choir, dressed as munks, on a staircase. That is surely for Like A Prayer, and seems familiar too.
We're very excited to see how Madonna will rework that previous performance into something from the Madame X era!
The 64th Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Tel Aviv and will be broadcast to more than 200 million viewers worldwide, and streamed live on the Eurovision website.
Following last week's heralded announcement that Madonna will perform a series of rare and intimate performances exclusively in theatres, Madonna, Live Nation and Maverick today unveiled the dates for her appearances at the iconic London Palladium giving fans the opportunity to see her like never before with shows confirmed on 26, 27, 29, 30 January and 1 and 2 February 2020.
Tickets for these very special Madame X performances will be scaled between £60.00 - £480.00 (plus applicable service fees).
Fans may unlock ticket access by registering today through Thursday, 16 May (4pm BST) at ticketmaster.co.uk/Madonna.
Icon Lifetime Legacy Member presale:
Start: Monday 20 May at 09:00 London time.
End: Tuesday 21 May at 16:00 London time.
#VerifiedFan General Public on sale:
Start: Friday 24 May at 09:00 London time.
End: Saturday 25 May at 08:00 London time.
For full details on the ticket sale, check the Verified Fan FAQ.
In a telephone interview with Mario Lopez for iHeartRadio, Madonna talked about the inspiration for and meaning of the songs I Rise and Crave. She also explains why she chose to do a theater tour. She says the tour setlist will consist for 70% of new material.
The next album track 'Crave' is now available on streaming services, such as Spotify. Those who have pre-ordered the album Madame X on iTunes can now download the track. It has also been added to the Youtube channels of Madonna and the one of rapper Swae Lee, who features on the track.
You can read the lyrics for Crave here.
Medellín has been remixed by Israeli DJ Offer Nissim. Both official remixes are now available on Madonna's Youtube account. What do you think?
Madonna has opened up about her longstanding relationship with the LGBTQ community, and the impact she felt receiving GLAAD's Advocate for Change Award at the organization's media awards this past Saturday in New York City.
'A big part of my history is intertwined with being an advocate for change,' the 60-year-old Medellín artist told the Today show Monday.
'It meant a lot to me, cause it's not superficial ... I had to try and stop crying a few times,' she said. 'I have a lot of memories over the last 30 years and fighting for change and being in the trenches.'
The Grammy-winner recalled the tragic times of the 1980s amid the rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
'I lived through a lot of painful moments and lost a lot of friends,' the Take A Bow singer said. 'It was not an easy journey, when you look back and remember that, those things, and also the people that you loved that you lost and wish they were there with you - that sort of thing.'
The Material Girl said she 'felt compelled to come to the rescue of the LGBTQ community back in the very beginning because they were always there for' her.
In giving Madonna the award, GLAAD commended her for using her powerful platform to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS amid a critical time in the 1980s and 1990s; among those included performing in benefit shows and putting a Facts about AIDS sheet in each copy of her top-selling 1989 record Like A Prayer.
Asked about her speech, the singer stressed the lesson to glean from it was to 'never give up … no matter what.'
The Express Yourself songstress was introduced by Rosie O'Donnell in accepting the honors at the GLAAD Media Awards New York held at New York Hilton.
The Beautiful Stranger singer, addressing the crowd at the award show, paid homage to her mentor Christopher Flynn, who she said was the first gay man she ever met.
'He was my ballet teacher in high school and he was the first person that believed in me,' the pop icon said. 'That made me feel special as a dancer, as an artist and as a human being.
She continued, 'I know this sounds trivial and superficial but he was the first man to tell me that I was beautiful. He took me to my first gay club in downtown Detroit. I told my dad I was having a sleepover at a girlfriend's house - that got me grounded for the rest of the summer.'
She said that she 'decided to take up the bullhorn and really fight back' following the deaths of Martin Burgoyne, who she described as 'my best friend and roommate;' and her friend, the late artist Keith Haring.
In her interview with British Vogue, Madonna talks about the strong and independent women that inspire her. On Instagram she gives us a preview.
DUE TO OVERWHELMING DEMAND ADDITIONAL SHOWS JUST ANNOUNCED IN NEW YORK & LOS ANGELES
Following this morning's announcement that Madonna's Madame X Tour will be a series of rare and intimate performances taking place exclusively in theaters in select cities in North America this fall, demand has been overwhelming and Live Nation has just confirmed additional shows will be available for ticket request alongside the original shows now through Friday, May 10th at 11:59pm ET.
In New York, in addition to the shows previously confirmed at the the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on September 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22, new dates have just been announced on September 24, 25, 26, 28 and October 1 making a total of twelve shows available for fan request. In Los Angeles, adding to the 5 performances already confirmed at The Wiltern on November 12, 13, 14, 16, & 17, four additional shows have now been announced on November 21, 23, 24, and 25.
INTIMATE CONCERT EXPERIENCE ANNOUNCED IN LIMITED NUMBER OF CITIES BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 12
Following her incredibly stunning performance at the Billboard Music Awards and the announcement of her highly anticipated new album Madame X available globally on June 14, Madonna, Live Nation and Maverick have announced a series of rare and intimate performances to take place exclusively in theaters, giving fans an opportunity to see Madonna in an environment like they never have before.
The Madame X Tour will kick off September 12th at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York and will feature multiple nights of shows in each city including performances at the Chicago Theatre, The Wiltern in Los Angeles, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston, The Met Philadelphia and at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in 2019. The Madame X Tour will then resume in early 2020 with performances at the Coliseum in Lisbon, the Palladium in London and at the Grand Rex in Paris.
Madonna is the best-selling female solo touring artist of all time and has the highest-grossing concert tour ever by a female artist with her Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008-2009) at $408 million.
Influenced creatively by living in Lisbon, Portugal over the past several years, Madame X is a collection of 15 new songs that celebrate Madonna's career-long affair with Latin music and culture as well as other global influences.
Madonna is releasing 5 songs before her highly-anticipated new studio album Madame X debuts globally on June 14th. Following the release of the empowering ballad "I Rise" and the critically-acclaimed "Medellín," additional songs to be shared with fans include the infectious pop gem "Crave" featuring Swae Lee and produced by Mike Dean on May 10, the Jamaican dancehall vibes of "Future" featuring Quavo on May 17, as well as the sonically innovative "Dark Ballet" on June 7.
Madonna's long-time promoter Arthur Fogel, President - Global Touring and Chairman - Global Music, Live Nation said: "The chance for fans to see Madonna at these venues is incredibly special. We are proud and excited to be able to deliver this ultimate opportunity for her fans."
To ensure fans have best access, ticket requests for all shows will be accepted now through Friday, May 10th (11:59pm EDT) at madonna.livenation.com. Fans will be able to select city and show preference plus their preferred price points prior to completing their request. By Friday, May 17th, fans whose requests have been confirmed will be notified of fulfillment and informed of their ticket allocation(s) and corresponding show information. All fans will be notified even if we were unable to accommodate their request. Tickets will be fulfilled at Ticketmaster Secure Mobile Tickets. Every ticket purchased includes a CD of Madonna's new release Madame X in stores June 14th. Event ticket limit is 4 per person. To submit ticket requests and for complete city & date, VIP and Travel Package information visit: Madonna.livenation.com.
Tickets for these very special Madame X performances will be scaled between $60.00 - $760.00 (plus applicable service fees). Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to enter to purchase tickets at $10.00 at Madonna.com. There will be 10 tickets available per show and fans will be notified on show date if they have been selected for this unique opportunity.
Every ticket purchased includes a physical copy of Madonna's new release Madame X available on Interscope Records and in stores on June 14th. The tour is presented by Live Nation Global Touring.
Dates announced today include seven shows in New York at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22, four shows at the Chicago Theatre October 15, 16, 17 and 21 and five shows at the Wiltern in Los Angeles November 12, 13, 14, 16 and 17. Dates for the additional cities listed will be announced soon.
This might just be Madonna's most meaningful award yet.
On Saturday, the pop icon was named the newest recipient of the Advocate for Change Award at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards ceremony in honor of a lifetime of accelerating LGBTQ acceptance in popular culture and beyond.
"Growing up I always felt like an outsider, like I didn't fit in. It wasn't because I didn't shave under my armpits, I just didn't fit in," Madonna, 60, said in her acceptance speech, after being introduced by A League of Their Own costar Rosie O'Donnell.
In her speech, the singer also paid tribute to her first dance teacher and mentor.
"The first gay man I ever met was named Christopher Flynn," she said. "He was my ballet teacher in high school and he was the first person that believed in me. That made me feel special as a dancer, as an artist and as a human being. I know this sounds trivial and superficial but he was the first man to tell me that I was beautiful."
Madonna added, "He took me to my first gay club in downtown Detroit. I told my dad I was having a sleepover at a girlfriend's house — that got me grounded for the rest of the summer."
And later the star honored her other close friends who died.
"After I lost my best friend and roommate Martin Burgoyne and then Keith Haring, happy birthday Keith, I decided to take up the bullhorn and really fight back," Madonna said.
GLAAD is the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer media advocacy organization.
Other honorees at the event, hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race alum and A Star Is Born's Shangela, included Andy Cohen, Don Lemon, Janelle Monáe, Samantha Bee and the FX series Pose.
News of Madonna's meaningful accolade was first announced last month.
A GLAAD press release cited the superstar's lasting commitment to raising awareness about the HIV/AIDS crisis — particularly the inclusion of a "Facts about AIDS" leaflet inside her 1989 album Like a Prayer.
Over the years, the singer also performed at numerous AIDS benefit concerts, established a benefit dance marathon, and proved her willingness to speak out against anti-LGBT policies and practices around the globe, particularly in the United States, Romania, Malawi, and Russia.
Recently, while ringing in the start of 2019, Madonna gave a speech about equal rights at New York City's famed Stonewall Inn.
"I stand here proudly at the place where pride began, the legendary Stonewall Inn, on the birth of a new year," the singer said. "We come together tonight to celebrate 50 years of revolution."
According to Variety, Madonna has been named Stonewall's ambassador for their 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, which launched the gay rights movement.
"If we truly look and we truly take the time to get to know one another, we would find that we all bleed the same color and we all need to love and be loved. As we stand here together tonight, let's remember who we are fighting for and what we are fighting for," she added. "We are fighting for ourselves. We are fighting for each other. But truly and most importantly, what are you fighting for? We are fighting for love!"
An advertisement in the New York Times has announced that details on the upcoming 'Madame X Tour' will follow as soon as Monday! Are you ready, boys & girls?
When it comes to genuine icons who sit at the crossroads of fashion and music, this month's cover star has outlasted them all. In a career straddling two centuries, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone has surfed every genre, set trend after trend, and been loved, loathed and debated like no woman before her. Yet what amazes me most about the Queen of Pop is that she never stops moving forward.
The highest-selling female artist of all time, she has, of course, been showered with adulation. But, boy, does she divide opinion. From Sex, her seminal 1992 book of S&M-infused photography, to her current battles with the media that refuse to allow her to age on her own terms, at 60, Madonna continues to dominate the conversation.
I believe it's important that we pay a little respect: for much of her life, she was probably the most high-profile feminist on the planet. In a pre-social-media world, her ceaseless stream of hits, from 'Express Yourself' to 'What it Feels Like for a Girl', pushed the discussion of female empowerment into corners of the world only music can touch – especially when coupled with a series of radical fashion statements.
Like most of you, I remain fascinated by Madonna the style chameleon. It is never just about her look – it is about her commitment. She truly lives each of her reincarnations, even when the cameras are off: English aristo, hip-hop diva, country-music maven, corporate warrior, earth mother, disco yogi, Marilyn, Eva, lace gloves and Gaultier corsetry. She has done it all.
This month, she collaborated with photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, and fashion editor Benjamin Bruno, on a series of images influenced by leading feminists of the mid-20th century, whose legacy Madonna not only admires but relates to. As she releases her 14th studio album, she has plenty to say to a new generation, too. On typically unabashed form, she tells interviewer Decca Aitkenhead, "I hope they appreciate it."
The beat can be heard through the rest of the June issue – from the sizzle and snap of the perfect summer wardrobe on our Trends pages, to previously unpublished photographs by Steven Meisel of the late, great Whitney Houston. Meanwhile, musician Kelsey Lu models the work of this year's BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund finalists. This project, which we run annually in collaboration with the British Fashion Council, is so important to me. Last year's winner, Molly Goddard, has gone on to do great things with her label, and I am excited to reveal the recipient of this year's award. As our society continues to evolve at breakneck speed, it is ever more crucial to support the talents of tomorrow. In fashion – as in music – the beat goes on.
Less than an hour after she delivered one of the most imaginative awards show performances in a career full of them, Madonna stood backstage in an eye patch at the Billboard Music Awards, explaining how the seeds of her forthcoming album, Madame X, were planted more than three decades ago.
"[Madame X] was a name given to me when I was 19 and I first moved to New York, by a woman who I looked up to and admired," Madonna told Billboard's Senior Director of Charts Keith Caulfield. The woman she was referring to was modern dance genius Martha Graham, who influenced Madonna's choreography as a mentor, prior to her death in 1991. "And she gave me that name because she said she couldn't recognize all my different personas, because I kept changing the way I looked.
"And that was in the beginning of my career, when I didn't think about who I should be or what I should be -- I was experimenting," Madonna continued. "And so I felt like I had come full circle, and gave the record that name, because I'm in the same frame of mind."
If the title of Madame X, Madonna's fourteenth studio album due out June 14, reflects the complex, multifaceted nature of her pop aesthetic, so will the way in which the full-length is unfurled. There's already been "Medellín," the mid-tempo, multi-lingual Latin pop confection alongside Colombian heartthrob Maluma released last month, as well as its opulent, cinematic music video for the track, which clocks in at nearly seven minutes.
Then there was the pair's Billboard Music Awards showcase of the song, which combined live dancers and light BDSM play with augmented reality technology, which allowed multiple avatars of Madonna to seemingly grace the stage on the ceremony's telecast. Madonna says that she came up with the concept for the eye-popping set piece "many, many months ago," and required weeks of rehearsals to properly configure her AR personas for the green screen.
Yet as ambitious as the visual presentations of "Medellín" have been, the song represents just the first piece of the multi-track pre-album rollout that Madonna has planned over the next six weeks. The Maluma collaboration has already been followed by "I Rise," the theatrical solo song that closes out the Madame X track list and was unveiled on Friday (May 3). The inspirational track features a sample of speech made by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School school shooting survivor Emma González.
Next up is "Crave," the combustible team-up with Swae Lee, on May 10; the Rae Sremmurd rapper is currently riding a hot streak as a featured artist thanks to his appearance on French Montana's "Unforgettable," Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode" and Ellie Goulding and Diplo's "Close to Me." After "Crave" comes "Future," a Quavo collaboration that was also produced by Diplo, on May 17, and finally June 7 will bring "Dark Ballet," one of the more multi-dimensional songs on the new album, according to President of Maverick Music Greg Thompson.
"[The album] is a journey, and there are a lot of chapters," Thompson explains of the decision to slowly trickle out five tracks ahead of the release, a deviation from Madonna's previous rollouts. Her last album, 2015's Rebel Heart, suffered leaks months ahead of release, resulting in six songs being rushed out early for an iTunes pre-order. "In a world where we're more song-driven than we've been in a long time as an industry, it became a real question and a challenge: How do we make sure that people really understand this album by the time it comes out, but still have songs that can be hit singles in certain areas?"
To that end, "Crave" with Swae Lee will become the de facto pop radio single upon its release, with an official music video to soon follow. Meanwhile, "Medellín" -- which received a global television launch across Viacom networks in April -- will continue being pushed in Latin markets. The decision to lead with "Medellín" instead of "Crave" came down to the belief that it was "the signature track to the body of work, and the right place to start telling the story," says Thompson. He adds, "I think we have a good shot to get a top five club record with some ['Medellín'] remixes, and get that song into people's spaces that they might not anticipate." (Madonna has notched a record 57 top five-charting hits on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart.)
Aside from the upcoming song and video releases, Madonna confirmed to Billboard that there have already been production meetings for her next tour, which would follow the 82-date run in support of Rebel Heart. The Madame X campaign will also feature a few more surprises -- including further use of the growing short form video platform TikTok, where Madonna launched the "Medellín cha cha cha challenge" earlier this week. "She started playing with it," Thompson says with a laugh, "and we're having some fun with it. We think it's cool."
Above all, the rollout is designed to capture the multi-continent creation of Madame X, after Madonna relocated to Lisbon in 2017. "Crave" was one of the songs that was conceived in Portugal as the pop superstar started to focus on the follow-up to Rebel Heart, while other tracks -- which range in language, from English to Spanish to Portuguese -- were birthed in Colombia, Brazil and the States, among other locations.
So out of that 13-song track list, what do those five pre-release tracks represent to Madonna? "A little smorgasbord of delights," she says with a wide smile. "Appetizers from around the world."
In Billboard's backstage chat with Madonna at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, the conversation turned from her new music on her forthcoming album Madame X (out June 14) to the possibility of a new concert tour. (Watch the interview above; tour chat starts at the 5:55 point.)
Billboard asked about the possibility of a tour maybe happening at some point, though also wondered aloud to the diva if she is even allowed to say anything about a tour right now.
"Uh, it's… it's been spoken about in such a deep way," Madonna said, "that I'm actually having production meetings."
So, the tour is probably happening? "Yes!"
Billboard then made an appeal to have Madonna consider adding in one of her three top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits (out of a record 38) that she's yet to play live: 'Rescue Me' (No. 9 in 1991), 'This Used to Be My Playground' (No. 1 in 1992) and 'I'll Remember' (No. 2 in 1994).
"I'll tell you why [they haven't been performed]: Because they're very laidback dreamy songs," she said, suggesting that they don't fit into her very high-energy, kick-butt shows.
Billboard countered: "'Rescue Me''s kinda punchy."
Madonna: "'Rescue Me''s kinda dope! I've actually… I'll consider that one. Your love has given me hope, OK? To quote the song."
We closed the interview by bidding Madonna farewell, letting her know how we're looking forward to seeing her on whatever that tour is that may or may not be announced soon. "Whatever dressing room I might be performing in," Madonna says, jokingly, adding: "You'll come anywhere, right? Small cabaret? A stadium?"
Billboard: "Starbucks down the street? I'm there."
Madonna: "OK, see you there!"
Fans who have pre-ordered the album Madame X on iTunes can now download the track 'I Rise'. The track is also available on Spotify and other streaming services. On Youtube, Madonna has uploaded a video which sees her dancing in slow motion.
You can find the lyrics to 'I Rise' here.
Madonna spoke with Billboard's Keith Caulfield backstage at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday (May 1), chatting about preparing for her performance with Maluma, the process of creating her new album Madame X, and from where she drew the inspiration for its title.
To prepare for their BBMAs performance of their collaborative song 'Medellin,' Madonna told Billboard that she started rehearsing many months ago to nail down the technology, the green screen personas, and the actual performance with Maluma.
She also opened up about how she joined forces with Maluma in the first place, explaining that 'Medellin' was one of the first songs she had written when she first started on her new record, but she put it on the backburner when she began working with other musicians in Lisbon.
"I thought I need to sing with a man on this song cause it's a song about desire and longing," she said of listening to it when she returned to the song. "I liked the tone of his voice, so I asked him to be on it with me."
"I had no idea how many songs I was gonna end up with," she said of narrowing down the tracks on the album. "The record was born in Lisbon…originally, I'd worked with a lot of Portuguese musicians, and sang several songs in Portuguese, and then it kind of expanded to different countries, to Brazil, to Colombia, and then interspersed working with Mirwais, the French producer, so the song kind of, it's really a global album."
When asked if the record is a concept album, seeing as she takes on different personas, such as equestrian rider and teacher, she downplayed it.
"I do all those things," she noted. "Believe it or not, I do clean my house, so I consider myself a housekeeper. And I ride horses and I love it. And I can teach you how to do the cha cha if you want. So it's saying that I am all these things."
Madonna also revealed how she decided upon the title, Madame X, explaining that it was a name given to her when she was 19 years old and first moved to New York City.
"A woman who I looked up to and admired [Martha Graham] gave me that name because she said she couldn't recognize all my different personas because I kept changing the way I looked," Madonna recounted. "That was in the beginning of my career when I didn't think about who I should be or what I should be. I was experimenting. And so I felt like I had come full circle and gave the record that name, cause I'm in the same frame of mind."
Madonna never stops reinventing herself. And tonight, at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, the Queen of Pop lifted the veil on her latest persona, Madame X, for the first time live.
Performing her new dancehall-inflected track 'Medellín' alongside Colombian reggaeton singer Maluma, the 60-year-old singer's lips were painted crimson and her peroxide lengths styled into retro pin-curled waves, a bedazzled X-emblazoned eye patch obscuring one eye. And while there was lots going on above the neck, it was Madge's perfectly toned legs that ultimately stole the show.
Doing the #MedellinChaChaChaChallenge, which she announced on Twitter yesterday, her garter and fishnet tights-clad legs looked as sculpted as ever as she danced the cha cha cha with sultry allure. Said to be the handiwork of circuit, interval, and resistance training, her hard-won physique is evidence enough that enviable limbs are achievable at any age.
Demonstrating that she's still got the best legs in the business while having as much fun as she wants, Madonna remains an iconoclastic disrupter who just keeps defying expectations.
Madonna features on the track 'Soltera', which will be available on Maluma's new album 11.11, to be released on May 17th. The track was written by Madonna, Maluma, Mike Dean, Edgar Barrera, Giencarlos Rivera and Jonathan Rivera.↑ Back to top of page