Madonna news - June 2021

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Madonna to auction polaroids tonight to benefit LGBTQIA+ organizations

Source: Interview Mag - 24 June 2021

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.

One of Madonna's polaroids that will be auctioned for Pride One of Madonna's polaroids that will be auctioned for Pride One of Madonna's polaroids that will be auctioned for Pride

Madonna's text message announcing her Pride auction

Confirmed: Madame X docu on Netflix, and Pride video to premiere tonight

Source: WWD - 24 June 2021

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.

DJ Honey Dijon, Ricardo Gomes and Madonna

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!

Madonna teases secret Pride project for June 24

Source: Instagram - 18 June 2021

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.

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Guitarist Monte talks what's hard about being in pop superstar's band

Source: Ultimate - 5 June 2021

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. 

Monte Pittman first went on tour with Madonna on the 2001 Drowned World Tour

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."

So she liked your playing and after Letterman she wanted you to keep doing more stuff with her?

"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."

What's hard about it?

"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."

The cool thing about Madonna is she lets you contribute your own stuff and your own style, you do your own guitar solos. And there is a segment in one of the shows, or I don't know if it was through the whole tour, you did Pantera! Both you and Madonna were jamming to Pantera!

"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."

I'm sure a lot of the Madonna fans didn't know what was going on, or who the hell that was, but a lot of metalheads are like, 'Whoa!'

"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 family celebrate their dad's 90th birthday

Source: Social media - 5 June 2021

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.

Madonna poses with her dad Tony and her children Lola, David, Mercy, Estere and Stella

One of the twins congratulates grandfather Tony with his birthday Madonna with her sisters Paula, Jennifer, Melanie, and their dad Tony Madonna with her sister Melanie Madonna checks one of her dad's wines Madonna and her daughter Lola

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