At only 27 years old, Madonna released one of the world's biggest-selling albums of 1986.
The nine songs on True Blue, which celebrates its 35th anniversary June 30, signified her musical maturity, from the somber balladry of Live to Tell to the Latin syncopation embedded in La Isla Bonita.
The pressure of following the hit parade of Lucky Star, Like a Virgin, Material Girl and other fizzy dancefloor dazzlers might have daunted some artists as they embarked on their third release. But, true to her nature, Madonna zigged when most would have zagged. Madonna was also creatively inspired by then-husband Sean Penn (she dedicated the album to him), and the album's first single, Live to Tell, landed in his 1986 crime drama, "At Close Range."
"The music got more serious, so I think she got taken more seriously," Leonard, who also co-wrote five of the album's songs, told USA TODAY. "It was different, and to her credit, she took some chances that I don't know most people would have. There were things in there that weren't normal in pop music at the time."
Leonard was 30 at the time True Blue was recorded, and previously served as the music director for Madonna's The Virgin Tour in 1985. But their collaboration at a backyard barbecue on Love Makes the World Go Round, which would debut later that year at Live Aid before landing on True Blue, marked their first songwriting pairing.
Two of the album's five singles – the string-laden teen pregnancy drama Papa Don't Preach and sweet True Blue – were produced by Bray, who also co-wrote Where's The Party, Jimmy Jimmy and the title track. Leonard said he and Bray would assist each other, but the two producers primarily "kept to our own little worlds."
But even with different captains, the songs shared a common throughline.
"There's a chemical thing that contributes to that 'thing' and why those records are what they are," Leonard said. "They were relatively spontaneous for the most part. As legend has it, most of those vocals are the only time Madonna sang (the songs in the studio) and I can attest to that. It helped that neither she nor I are second guessers. Period."
Calling from his home studio in Connecticut, Leonard shared memories of making the iconic work.
The first single, Live to Tell, was Madonna's second ballad and followed the spirited hits Into the Groove and Dress You Up: "I know that there were some concerned parties, such as management, who thought it was a bit of a mistake as a first single. At that point in my career I wasn't thinking about singles. I never really did think about singles. And there were other agendas in there, like Sean's movie coming out, that conspired at the time. But it was a (gutsy) move for a first single coming off (dance hits).
(The longer story) is that I was trying to score a movie and my then-managers set me up with a director for his first movie and the music I had was 'Live to Tell.' I asked Madonna as a favor if she could write the lyrics because I figured it would give me a leg up (to get the job). As she was on her way to my house, my manager called and said they hired someone else. When she got there, I told her and she said, 'Oh, well, Sean just made a movie so maybe it can be used in his movie.' She sat on the floor with a legal pad, wrote the lyrics and we recorded it on an 8-track in my house… Sean Penn's director, James Foley, loved the song. Madonna said, 'Who is going to sing it?' and we said, 'You are!' We just transferred the demo (and that's the version on the record). Madonna also said, 'And you can score the movie.'"
Open Your Heart was the fourth single from "True Blue" and became Madonna's fifth No. 1 hit: "The demo of that song couldn't be more different than how it ended up. It wasn't aggressive 16th note synths. I don't remember what it was, but I remember Madonna gave me the demo and I worked on it and she said "No, no, no." So I redid the sequencing on the bass line because she wanted something aggressive. It was much better than where I was going with it."
La Isla Bonita – the fifth and final single from the album - marked a stylistic shift for Madonna: "Quincy (Jones) called me and said, 'I want to do something like Sade for Michael Jackson.' He didn't like (the song) so I showed it to Madonna and she liked it. I know that we sat around talking on the phone to a Hispanic housekeeper to get the translations correct. It wouldn't have occurred to me to do anything like that with her. But she liked it. My take on this stuff is it's a more visceral response than an intellectual one. In this moment, this feels good, let's put a vocal on it, and you get this thing that works so well."
Where's the Party wasn't an official single, but the fan favorite garnered plenty of radio play: "We probably could have kept going (with singles). There were four of us who made that record – Michael Verdick recorded and mixed it and he had great instincts about how it should sound – and it was so unified. If people bought the sound of the record and where she was going (musically), you were going to like (all of it). We wrote ('Party') while making the record. I think at that point we were all having fun."
In her latest Instagram post, Madonna has announced that the pictures from her Pride photoshoot with Ricardo Gomes will soon appear in Vogue Italia.
Earlier this week, our Creative Director Mel Ottenberg sat down with the Madonna collaborator Ricardo Gomes for a sneak peek of "No Fear, No Courage, Resist:" a multimedia art installation co-directed by Sasha Kasiuha that debuted in a Times Square takeover last night. They also sifted through tons of BTS Polaroids (you're welcome) and kiki'd about our darling M.
MEL OTTENBERG: Hi, Ricardo.
RICARDO GOMES: Hi, Mel.
OTTENBERG: Do you believe in the power of love?
GOMES: I definitely do.
OTTENBERG: Do you think Madonna does?
GOMES: For sure.
OTTENBERG: Do you think she partially invented it?
GOMES: Yes. And she keeps reinventing it.
OTTENBERG: She did for me. I've been a lifetime, insane Madonna fan. And I'm excited to be looking at all these new Madonna Polaroids that no one's seen yet and getting a sneak peek of her Pride video. So, thanks.
GOMES: You're welcome.
OTTENBERG: What was the concept for the video? Because it's really fab.
GOMES: The video started from an idea of expressing freedom and love. Everyone should be free to love who they love.
OTTENBERG: New York really does love Madonna. It's something that people are really talking about. Wait, what's the deal with Rita? I love how she styles Madonna. It's so cute.
GOMES: Rita has been in my life and in M's life since the beginning of the tour. She's great. M is very particular in who she brings into her creative life. And everyone that worked on this video, it's people that, to me, are super talented. Andy [Lecompte] is great with hair.
OTTENBERG: Oh, Andy did the hair?
OTTENBERG: Andy's great. The wig is laid with Andy.
GOMES: And Kali Kennedy did the makeup, she's also great.
OTTENBERG: Love. She's so good.
GOMES: Rita did the styling and Sasha [Kasiuha] directed the video with me. We all have different visions of things, but we all put it together in the right way with M. That's just so incredible, how creative minds can think in different ways, but everything comes together in one piece.
OTTENBERG: Did you guys have a clear vision of what you guys wanted to give with these Pride visuals, or did you guys just have fun, mix it up and give it to the people?
GOMES: My main request from the beginning was to be sexy and powerful because that's how I see her. Then I wanted a message behind it, not just a girl with her boobs out, dancing around.
OTTENBERG: The Hustler t-shirt she's wearing is genius because this motherfucker is still hustling the hardest. And she still has the best boobs in the world. I can't even believe I'm looking at these unretouched Polaroids and these boobs are still so beyond. As a fan that is very up on every Madonna look that she has ever worn, I'm feeling some self-referential moments in these looks. I'm feeling things like Susan in Penn Station bathroom mixed with the "Hollywood" video and V/Steven Klein/Katy Perry.
GOMES: It's very important to celebrate Pride, and the hustling for freedom, and expressing yourself the right way, and knowing the rights for all LGBTQ people. Pride is about a celebration of freedom.
OTTENBERG: It's cool that she got Times Square to turn off what they're doing and all of the commodities that they're running and give her message.
GOMES: With no advertisement.
OTTENBERG: Madonna does so much charitable work, and there's a lot of charity that is part of the mission this week. Can you tell me a little about that?
GOMES: We have three main ones which are Haus of Us, The Door, and Ali Forney. Those are the main charity institutions that we're working with. She's auctioning Polaroids, at least six, for these institutions. So we're auctioning three at the party and three online.
OTTENBERG: Amazing. What music were you guys listening to while you were making this?
GOMES: We were listening to a playlist on Spotify called "'90s House Classics."
OTTENBERG: What's the '90s house classic that M loves the most?
GOMES: "Good Life," by Inner City, for sure. That's the main one.
OTTENBERG: "LET ME TAKE YOU TO A PLACE I KNOW YOU WANT TO GO IS THE GOOD LIFE."
GOMES: Yep, that's it.
OTTENBERG: Okay. One more question. I've gotten in trouble on Instagram before trying to talk about this because everybody's got a serious opinion, but for you and the glam team, which do you think is the best Madonna album? There's no right answer, this is a safe space so tell me the answer.
OTTENBERG: I respect that. My favorite tour is Blonde Ambition because my parents took me and my siblings when we were 10, 11 and 14. Thank god, because they knew it was major and we had to see it. Speaking of gay pride, it was the first time I saw a bunch of gay people together and they were all wearing like Daisy Dukes. I was like, "Wow." My favorite Madonna album is a three-way tie between True Blue and Erotica and Confessions on a Dance Floor. How did you and Madonna meet?
GOMES: We met through Nuno Xico who is someone that's been working with her for about eight years.
GOMES: As a filmmaker, director, whatever you want to call it. He's been working with her for eight years. He did most edits from the big shoots that she did with all the photographers. He edited everything, all the videos. So he's behind her. He's an important person also in her life.He hired me to photograph the Madam X documentary that we filmed in Lisbon in 2019. And he hired me and then I worked with her for that shoot. I went back to Paris because I was living there at the time. They called me back in March and wanted to hire me to follow her on tour and photograph everything. Since then, I've been pretty much the only person that photographs and films all her daily life.
OTTENBERG: I love it. And thanks for breaking it down for us.
GOMES: Thank you for wanting me to break it down.
OTTENBERG: Okay, cool. Bye.
Jetsetter Madonna may be planning to spend more time out East.
The Material Girl's Bridgehampton home is getting the pop star treatment, with a recording studio in the works on her 58-acre estate, Page Six has exclusively learned.
A source tells us that designer and builder Jeffrey Collé — who specializes in ultra-luxury Hamptons homes — worked on the planning, designing and permitting of the project.
Colle also confirmed the news to us.
According to his bio, the design guru has worked with Wall Street moguls and celebs such as Alec Baldwin and Donna Karan. He also worked on a recording studio for Billy Joel in the Piano Man's Shelter Island home.
Madonna moved into her Hamptons manse in 2015. Farrell Building Co. started building the estate in 2013, with permits at the time showing the home would have eight bedrooms, a finished basement with two staff bedrooms, as well as a heated pool and spa.
The sprawling estate is located next to a horse farm she bought from photographer Kelly Klein, bringing the size of her property up to 58 acres.
The "True Blue" singer — who, at 62, played a wild Pride show in the Meatpacking District on Thursday night — is also an equestrian. She broke multiple bones in a horseback riding accident in 2005 and reportedly fell off a horse in the Hamptons in 2009. In April, she posted an image of herself back in the saddle captioned, "Never say never."
The Queen of Pop has lived in London and Lisbon and also has a penthouse on the Upper East Side.
She just plunked down a whopping $19.3 million for The Weeknd's sprawling Hidden Hills, Calif., spread this April. That home is set on three acres and features seven bedrooms, nine and a half bathrooms, a double-height ceiling, a chef's kitchen and an entertainer's bar.
The singing sensation wowed fans with her hour-long special and tweeted a clip of herself performing Madonna's 1989 song and stated: "I put the EX-tra in EX-press yourself!"
Miley Cyrus Presents Stand by You aired exclusively via streaming service Peacock from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
It featured Cyrus onstage with country music stars the Brothers Osborne, Orville Peck, Mickey Guyton, Little Big Town, and Maren Morris.
Highlights also included Miley Cyrus's renditions of queer anthems Believe, True Colors, We Belong, and Dancing Queen - a stirring duet with Morris.
Any question about how badly New Yorkers needed a good party was certainly answered by the hoards of people waiting outside on the cobblestone streets of the Meatpacking District last night. Rejection at the door was frequent and discouraging. Entrance to the festivities upstairs was slim to none. Yet, the chance of seeing Madonna perform within the dazzling walls of the Top of the Standard kept people desperately hopeful.
Orchestrated by Geordon Nicol of the Misshapes and the Corey Tuttle of The Standard, the festivities encased in that signature golden glow of the Boom Boom Room were something everyone wanted to be a part of. Downtown divas shared tables with Uptown darlings. Stylists, artists, and models flaunted their latex looks. A flurry of flashing lights illuminated the faces of Amanda Lepore, Aquaria, Emily Ratajkowski, and more. Powering the room's energy were beats by Kaytranada, Honey Dijon, Misshapes, and Eli Escobar. With the return of parties, so came tight-nit, shoulder to shoulder crowds. The euphoria of being back, partying like there's no tomorrow, bound attendees together like a big, glittering family.
"I think it says a lot about what we do and how we do it," Nicol told Vogue in a stairwell (the only space in the entire venue where one could hear another properly). According to both Nicol and Tuttle, the idea for the event began over a conversation via Instagram DM. Both, obviously very familiar with the aforementioned scenes, knew that this particular party would be a beacon towards a new age of nightlife. "We carefully curated the guest list to those who were here to have a good time, show creativity, and spread love," Tuttle added. Nicol and Tuttle's new generation of the guest list worked in tandem with the debut of an original three-piece '90s underground culture multimedia art installation created by Madonna, Ricardo Homes, and Sasha Kasuiha.
At around 1:30 AM, the lights in the room shifted to the stage and a sea of cellphone screens took to the air. A remix of Madonna's iconic "Vogue" began playing and featured voguing performances by some of the most influential ballroom house leaders atop the circular bar and throughout the room. When Madonna finally came on, people lost it. Cheering, screaming, and clapping echoed throughout. It seemed that every other party hosted in the past and potentially the future would always pale in comparison. Sporting electric blue hair, a vintage Jean Paul Gaultier denim corset, and mesh tee, the icon treated attendees to an electrifying performance of her hits "Hung Up" and "I Don't Search I Find."
But, of course, fun wasn't the only thing on the night's agenda. In celebration of Pride month, Madonna auctioned off three new original polaroids that were shot by Gomes at her Home in New York. With the help of Zachary Quinto, the duo raised over $100,000 for The Ali Forney Center and Haus of Us. Though the party might've ended (surely nearing the sunrise), the Boom Boom Room is continuing the charity with a 4-day silent auction which includes three new additional polaroids and an item list that consists of Nicol's brand favorites like Supreme, Moschino, Louis Vuitton, and More. The phrase "party of the year" is often overused. Yet, it seems to be the most accurate way to describe the night.
In a sign that New York City is back open, LGBTQ+ celebrities packed out The Standard hotel to kick off Pride and raise money for charity.
On Thursday night, Madonna headlined the Boom X Pride event in a 1:30AM performance in the Boom Boom Room at The Standard Hotel in New York City. Her appearance was preceded by long lines, eager party-goers, and spaces that at times reached capacity. RuPaul's Drag Race alumni were out in full force with the likes of Violet Chachki, Symone, Gottmik, Gigi Goode, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, and Kandy Muse all in attendance. Symone led her extended House of Avalone family past the huddled masses and directly into the event while others like Lance Bass sat online. Designers Christian Siriano and Prabal Gurung, as well as models Leyna Bloom, Dara Allen, and Valentina Sampaio were also there.
Inside, things got hectic as no more than 40 minutes after Boom Boom Room opened, the oversized golden door was shut as the space had reached capacity. The likes of Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, and Benjamin Maisani were kept outside of it as security hoped to shuttle an unmoving crowd into the neighboring Le Bain space. At one point things became contentious as security began to physically shove someone they may have presumed to be a crasher but who was, in reality, working the event and passing out VIP wristbands. With a bit of patience, others like Adam Lambert finally made it in to the space where Madonna was set to perform.
Prior to her performance, Honey Dijon, Misshapes, Kaytranada, and Eli Escobar all played music.
Splashed across screens inside the Boom Boom Room was a video installation that was a collaboration between Madonna, Ricardo Gomes, and Sasha Kasiuha. Titled "No fear, Courage, Resist," the video was also played on video screens in Times Square.
"To not celebrate pride without people would have been a tragedy for me," she said during the performance. "Take nothing for granted because you never know what's waiting for all of us around the corner."
After the performance, Zachary Quinto helped to auction off three polaroids of Madonna. By the end of the night, the event had raised $100,000 for the Ali Forney Center and Haus of US.
There's no brighter tourist destination than Times Square, and no bigger pop star than Madonna.
So it made sense for the Queen of Pop to use the famous Manhattan intersection on Thursday night (June 24) to premiere her "No fear, Courage, Resist" video.
The Pride Weekend-themed video was filmed with Ricardo Gomes, and it flashed up on the big screens of Times Square for the world to see.
The Queen of Pop teased the big show. "Tonight is not just a party to kick off Pride Weekend," she wrote on Instagram. At 10pm and midnight in Times Square, she continued, "you can watch a special video made by ME! Don't miss it! Let's POP the cheery on Pride with a bang."
The pop legend is also auctioning a selection of sexy Polaroids, proceeds from which benefit The Ali Forney Center, Haus of Us, and The Door, three NYC-based organizations dedicated to creating safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ youth.
Check out fan-filmed clips from Madonna's Times Square event.
A two-song performance by Madonna was the big surprise on Thursday night during a Pride party in New York City.
The evening, which took place at the Meatpacking District's The Standard hotel, was billed as Pride x Boom with appearances by Kaytranada and deejays Honey Dijon, Misshapes and Eli Escobar.
Madonna, dressed in Material Girl gloves and "Not My President" leather straps, made her appearance in the Boom Boom Room at about 1:30 a.m., performing "Hung Up" and "I Don't Search I Find" from the lounge's bar top.
At the top of the Standard, a heavy gold-plated door separates Le Bain — the Standard's night club — from the hotel's exclusive lounge, which Thursday night housed hundreds of New York pride guests awaiting Madonna's performance. Outside the door, a deep crowd of people fought to make their way into the party, where terms like deep red with "No Fear," "Courage" and "Resist" were projected around the room; earlier in the evening, she had premiered a video bearing that title a few dozen blocks uptown on Times Square jumbo screens.
Free bottles of champagne were offered to anyone willing to wait their turn.
Inside, guests like Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Billy Eichner, Zachary Quinto, Lance Bass, Adam Lambert, Jon Batiste and Lady Fag could be spotted around the room, dancing high above New York's skyline. A court of drag performers including Detox, Aquaria, Kandy Muse, Vanessa Vangie Matteo and Gottmik also assembled for the Queen of Pop.
"To not celebrate pride without people would have been a tragedy for me," Madonna said to the crowd, decreeing the return of New York City nightlife and voguish, raucous parties of legend, the likes of which New York City hasn't seen for 15 months. "Take nothing for granted because you never know what's waiting for all of us around the corner," she said. "Learn to love yourself."
There to raise money for the Ali Forney Center and the Haus of US — two LGBTQ advocacy and support groups — Madonna was joined by Quinto to auction off three original polaroid photographs for $10,000, $25,000 and $25,000 each. Together, the pair raised over $100,000, each pledging a personal donation of $25,000.
"Everybody in this room is here because you've been successful and are making a difference," said Quinto during the auction. "And now you're here at the best fucking pride party, in the best fucking city in the whole fucking world. Now it's time to make sure that other people get to be here, too."
Teasing the evening on Instagram earlier in the night, Madonna wrote, "We are here to celebrate our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters, support some amazing Queer initiatives, declare Pride NY weekend open and the return of NYC."
Thursday evening, Madonna appeared at the Boom Boom Room, the exclusive club at the top of The Standard Hotel in New York City. Her dancers introduced the set with a choreography to Vogue. Madonna then appeared to perform Hung Up and I Don't Search I Find. She wore a blue wig, pink gloves, a black leather shirt and a fishnet top.
Madonna auctioned off some polaroids of herself, as well as an exclusive selfie with her. A total of $100,000 was raised for The Ali Forney Center, Haus of Us, and The Door — three New York-based organizations dedicated to creating safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ youth.
She also premiered her Pride-themed video, directed by Ricardo Gomes, titled "No fear, Courage, Resist". At midnight, the video also played on the screens on Times Square.
Madonna texted us last night (we have the receipts to prove it) to let us know she's ready for Pride. M also sent us these hot Polaroids—taken in collaboration with Ricardo Gomes—that she's auctioning off online. Proceeds benefit The Ali Forney Center, Haus of Us, and The Door — three New York-based organizations dedicated to creating safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ youth to gather and thrive. Find more information on the online auction, the organizations involved, and what's up with our girl Madonna here.
The MADAME X documentary will stream on Netflix as from October
Today's event will be the launch of a Pride-themed video, titled "No fear, Courage, Resist."
Madonna will appear at a private party at The Standard Hotel in NYC where the video will be premiered
Ricardo Gomes explains in an interview with WWD:
Photographer Ricardo Gomes was on assignment in Lisbon shooting behind-the-scenes when he first met Madonna. She was filming the documentary "The World of Madame X" about her concert tour.
Fast forward two years and Gomes now spends his days following the Grammy winner and her family taking his own documentary footage of them. Madonna gave him the opportunity to get into video after seeing his photography. A self-described "world citizen," Gomes is based in Los Angeles but frequently travels with Madonna.
Their latest video is a Pride Month-themed one that will debut at 10 p.m. Thursday in Times Square on the NASDAQ screen, and again at midnight. (Stay-at-homers will be able to find the video online, after its release.) The video is called "No fear, Courage, Resist." Meanwhile, Gomes and Madonna (the guest of honor) are expected to be at The Top of the Standard at The Standard Hotel where guests at a private party will also see the film and installation.
Freedom is the theme of the short film, which will be shown to The Standard's guests upon arrival in their rooms as part of the welcome TV message. They can also catch clips of it in the hotel's elevators.
"M has been repeating and reinventing what she has been saying since Day One of her career. We're working around that [idea] — freedom, expressing yourself, being who you are, believing in what you want to be, trusting yourself, being mindful, powerful and love each other. Those are the most important messages. Love is love and everyone should just accept each other for who they are," Gomes said. "It's meant to be a celebratory video. It's the perfect moment to have this video. We worked on it for Pride for this message."
He continued, "But it's a message that should be relevant for everyday — not only for Pride."
Madonna teased the release on Instagram with a video of a neon frame that illuminated the names of Kaytranada, Honey Dijon, Misshapes and Eli Escobar with "Boom x Pride." They headline tonight at The Standard. Madonna also posted "God Is Cuming…" to her 16.1 million followers, as did Gomes on his Instagram. He, too, has been flagging the release.
Madonna and Gomes worked on the Pride-inspired video with help from Sasha Kasiuha, who directed it. The "Madame X" documentary, which is expected to be released after this summer via Netflix, is his directorial debut. The photographer got into video through Madonna, which was "amazing," he said. The length of the documentary hasn't been decided on.
In the meantime, Madonna and Gomes have teamed for another launch event that will take place at The Standard and in Times Square on the Nasdaq screen. After being approached by creatives at the hotel about the prospect of working with Madonna on something "amazing" for a post-lockdown Pride event, Gomes gave it some thought and talked to his boss. He said, "I believe as with any other idea with her, if you come up with the right idea, the right concept, the right message, she will be into it."
As for why they work so well together, he said, "Especially in a creative field, it's super important to be transparent, loyal, creative, speak your mind and just keep going. That's what we base our relationship on, I believe. That's how I try to deal with everyone I work with."
Given Madonna's global fame and the incessant attention from paparazzi and selfie-seeking fans, filming her sounds daunting.
"I have a different relationship than the paparazzi. I respect the space. I try to be creative and fun, because that's how she likes the work flow to be. Of course, when you're outside, she understands that there are paparazzi and people, who might recognize her and take her picture. I don't think she's against that. Actually, I believe that she has survived and gone through her life really well dealing with it. A lot of celebrities get damaged by that. I don't think she is at all because she's confident and has a powerful mind," he said.
Madonna pays attention to all the details – clothes, hair, makeup shoes, the stage, lighting. "To me, that's being a real artist — wanting to oversee everything."
Speaking cautiously, he said fashion is coming back slowly, but noted that there was a period in recent years that it was not really relevant to him, or in his personal life. "But it's coming back again. I would obviously love to do more fashion work with Madonna and with other people, talents and artists that I love. But I'm not hungry for it right now."
UPDATE: the article on WWD has been updated and no longer contains the mention of Netflix. Whether that means it is not yet confirmed, or can't yet be announced, is unclear. Stay tuned for more!
In recent social media posts, Madonna has been teasing an upcoming project, which will be launched on June 24.
The hashtag #pride indicates it's related to the New York City Pride. One of the video posts mentions the names of several DJ's: Kaytranada, Honey Dijon, Misshapes and Eli Escobar. There's also the hashtag #boom and the line "God is cuming".
In another post, Madonna tagged the full-service agency The Door as well as the Ali Forney Center, a non-profit that provides shelter and healthcare services to #LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness in New York. and
One of the rumours is that it could be the release of a set of remixes for one of the Madame X tracks.
A more exciting rumour is that M and the mentioned DJs will do a live set at the Boom Boom Room, also known as The Top of the Standard, which is an inclusive club in the Standard High Hotel in the Meatpacking District, with an amazing view on the New York skyline.
During an appearance on The Classic Metal Show, guitarist Monte Pittman talked about his longtime position in Madonna's band, looking back on how he joined the group over two decades ago.
Asked what it's like being in a superstar's band "on a guitar level, on a personal level, and all that kind of stuff," Monte replied (transcribed by UG):
"Well, it was a little different for me of how all this started because I became friends with her, I became friends with Madonna, and then she was going to go on tour again.
"It wasn't like I had auditioned for it - and I don't know if I would have, who knows - but at the time, I wouldn't think that that's something that I would have pursued. I probably wouldn't even think about it because I would have just wanted to try to get a gig playing for somebody in a heavy band.
"I moved to L.A. from Texas and so it was such a culture shock to come to such a big city. And there's so much nostalgia here. The first time I got here, I felt like I knew the place because everything looked familiar because you've seen it on TV, in movies, and in videos.
"So I got a job working at a music store - and I've sucked at selling guitars. And people used to come in looking for guitar teachers, and Steve Vai was down the street teaching lessons, or Marty's down the street teaching. But we didn't have anyone that we recommended in the store, and I was thinking about quitting and moving back to Texas.
"So anyway, I started teaching and so that led to me teaching Madonna's boyfriend at the time, and that's how we became friends. And then that's what led to me teaching her, thinking that she'll take a lesson and that was it.
"I gave her her first lesson and then the next day, her assistant wrote and said, 'She wants you to come over Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for two hours.' I'm like, 'OK!' So I was going over to her house almost every day and teaching her how to play guitar.
"And she was just really getting into it of being able to just write her own songs or be able to play her own songs, or songs that she's always liked. And then a month after I started teaching her, she said something I took as a joke, she said, 'You want to come to play with me on Letterman this Thursday?'
"And I'm just like, 'Oh, yeah, sure.' And then after the lesson, she goes, 'OK, my manager will sort out your travel and all this stuff.' And I was like, 'You're not joking?' And that's the moment now looking back - for me, I don't realize these things a lot of times when they're happening.
"Plus you have to put so much work into it, you don't have time to stop and think about what you're doing. But you look back, it was such a life-changing moment because we played on David Letterman, and that is a moment where I went on stage as one person, and when I walked off that stage, my life was completely different, forever."
"Yeah. She hadn't toured in seven years, so for all I knew, she had retired or maybe she just wasn't going to tour anymore. And so then she said, 'Hey, I'm going to go on tour, I want you to still teach me. So do you want to play guitar for me?' I'm like, 'Yeah, of course.'
"And then I figured maybe I'll do a tour and that would be it but she kept calling me. It's 21 years later now, which seems like it all went by in a flash...
"That's a great thing - getting to play such massive shows, but it's not the same as if you were a band member for a big band, and you're playing those shows, and it's your band doing it.
"But a great thing about that is you can play these big shows and you're there supporting the artists. Although everybody's creating, that's one thing about Madonna - she wants everyone to bring in their input but then you can leave and walk down the street, nobody knows who you are. And other people wouldn't be able to do that... It's the hardest that I've ever worked - working with her."
"It's the hours! It could be 12-hour days, sometimes 14-hour days. One thing that has been highlighted with working with her is the thing if it's not what you play, it's what you don't play.
"Sure, you could think like, 'OK, I'm gonna get on stage and just shred all over a song.' But that doesn't necessarily work. There are times it does, but it doesn't work on everything like with other bands.
"In a metal band - yeah, you play everything, you play as much as you can play. But it's not that case, it's having the space for all the other instruments.
"So then when you do something, let's say you get a solo, then it really shines, nothing else is going on and there's going to be a guitar solo here."
"That was part of the show. We did that and we rehearsed that from the setlist every day, we played it every day at soundcheck."
"Yeah, you would think that but every once in a while, there'd be a security guard that would be looking and just be like, 'What? Oh!' You always see fans with a lot of Dream Theater shirts, for whatever reason you see their shirts.
"So you'll see a rock band, someone wearing their shirts at a concert. But when I was working with her on her right hand for some guitar lesson stuff, and I was telling her this thing that Dimebag had said to me in a Prong show [Monte also played in Prong].
"He was asking if we played the song 'Cut-Rate,' and I was like, 'Yeah.' He's like, 'Oh, you do that part where it goes F-sharp and it does this?' And I was really impressed that he knew the whole song, he could play the whole song right then and there, and it's one of the fastest things at that time that I'd ever had to play.
"He's like, 'You got to stay on top of that string, you can't let your pick leave the string, you just got to relax.' I was like, 'Oh, wow, cool. Such great advice.' But to some people, it's one of those things you don't really think about. That's sort of one of the secrets.
"So I was showing that to her, and then the next day, she walked in, she had a bottle of wine and two glasses, sits them down, and she puts on her guitar, just goes, 'Check this out!' And I was like, 'Oh my god, I wish somebody could see this!' I was like, 'Now I got to show you a Pantera song!'
"And I showed her 'A New Level' because you could do drop D tuning where she could just do it with one finger. And then when we were at that point on the setlist, the song which we had done for the ending was her song 'Hung Up.'
"We just got a new musical director and he had this idea of doing that song where she's playing guitar because it would be almost like a polar opposite of the original.
"And so then when we would play that song at the end, she would just start playing the 'A New Level' riff, and then the rest of the band didn't know that song, they just thought she was playing that so they would just play to her.
"And then it's like, 'Wow, that was fun, got to jam some Pantera with Madonna today! Who would have ever thought that would happen?' And then you would see the tour manager coming in with some papers and someone comes and restocks the refrigerator with water, and everybody would start just showing up at that part of rehearsal just to see that! And it stayed in the setlist. So that's how that happens."
Madonna and her children Lola, David, Mercy, Estere and Stella went to visit Madonna's dad Silvio -Tony- Ciccone who was celebrating his 90th birthday. Several of Madonna's sisters and brothers joined the celebrations too. Pictures were taken at the wineyard of Ciccone in Michigan.