Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gives Good Face...1993


Stylist Arianne Phillips Dishes On Dressing Madonna!

For the last 15 years, Arianne Phillips has been in charge of making sure Madonna looks like the queen that she is every time she steps on stage, but the MDNA world tour was a different animal!
The Oscar nominated stylist said of the 12 week preparation:
"There were an epic amount, a tsunami, of costumes. And we aren’t talking tennis shoes and sneakers—it’s costume and fashion."
A tsunami of clothes? That sounds like a dream!
In case you didn't have the privilege to see the concert in the flesh, the show was broken down into four acts, each requiring a different costume for both her Madgesty and the dancers.
Arianne explained:
"The costumes are part of the choreography, so we have a lot of quick changes, and people are literally changing clothes under the stage. Madonna changes full costumes about four times. But then, for instance, for the Vogue act, she comes out in the Gaultier corset and then she disrobes. So by the end of the act, when she sings Like a Virgin she is in a corset and a bra, and she has done different songs in different deconstructions of the outfit. So her costumes change for almost every song."
So why bring back the legendary conic bra? The stylist extraordinaire said:
"The great thing about her is that she is not nostalgic; she is not looking to redo something she has done in the past… That whole piece is about gender-bending, and you know, both Gaultier and Madonna are provocateurs. Gaultier is such an important person in our fashion history and culture, and the things he and Madonna have deserve to live on as part of her visual legacy."
Just hearing about all of this takes us back! But if you’re having difficulty visualizing it, just watch Madonna: The MDNA Tour!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Out and About with Mercy in NYC

Swollen: The star's left eye looked a little sore
Madonna revealed her spectacular physique while on a stroll with her daughter in Manhattan. The 54-year-old fitness lover showed off her bulging biceps and toned abs while she walked in New York holding her daughter's hand on Saturday.  The pop icon's outfit featured a sheer lace vest and black bra with a printed scarf.  She also wore flat ballerina shoes and a pair of sporty trousers with leather-like pockets and frayed bottoms.Her hair was tied back from her face in a bun and she carried a large black bag with bamboo handles.

She protectively held the hand of her eight-year-old daughter Mercy, who she adopted from Malawi. Prior to adopting Mercy in 2008 and her son David, 8, in 2006, Madonna has supported charity work in the developing southeast African country.

It seems the hardworking star has been putting effort into her figure as well as her humanitarian work. Her personal trainer has recently appeared on Good Morning America talking about the singer’s fitness regime.  Trainer Nicole Winhoffer said that the star achieved her physique through self-discipline, a strict diet, exercise, creativity, good health and plenty of rest.

Muscles: Madonna has clearly been putting lots of effort into her body but seems to have a swollen eyeMaternal: Madonna holds daughter Mercy's hand

Friday, June 28, 2013

MDNA Tour - Review

So, I just spent two hours watching the MDNA tour film from Epix. And quite frankly, wow.
For a person who didn’t have the option of seeing this show, I can say that after watching this show, I feel like I have missed out.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I’m going to be a hypocrite. I’m mentioning Madonna’s age. 54. At this age, most singers/ artists when they put on a show, they begin to slow down, walk around the stage and shake a hip here and there if it’s a boppy number (see Tina Turner or Cher). At 54, Madonna should be commended for her ability to still put on such a thoughtful, detailed and high-energy show. Not to mention her ability to perform this show 88 times.
I did all I could to not watch the whole show on YouTube when people started posting their videos. I looked at some clips, and absorbed dozens of photos, but nothing really prepared me for the whole thing.
Madonna said of the show that it was “a journey from darkness to light”. That said, the show starts off quite…rough. Even by Madonna’s standards. She’s been known in previous tours to be edgy, or poignant on matters of human nature (not the song, though it does appear this tour) and spirituality. The first section of the show is dark. Darker than Madonna’s come up with for a long time. When I say dark, I mean thematically. And when I say rough, I mean physically. It is violent. Labelled ‘Transgression’, the first section of the show sees Madonna fighting/ killing off assassins in ‘Gang Bang’ and succumbing to torture by captors through ‘Hung Up’. You almost begin to feel the darkness.
The next section, ‘Prophecy’ sees Madonna expressing love, as in finding love in someone else as something that can save her from the darkness. She does this in a more uplifting way from throwing cheerleader’s baton and pom-poms, to guitar riffs, to doing a mash-up with French-Basque band Kalakan Trio.
The third section, my favourite section, ‘Masculine/Feminine’, begs the audience to question the roles people have in relationships and what role does sex play in society? Simplified, this section is classic Madonna reminiscent of the Blond Ambition tour (1990) or the Girlie Show (1993). This time, it’s sexier, classier and surprisingly more emotional. For me this is the emotional high-point of the show. ‘Vogue’ and the sexy mash-up of ‘Candy Shop’ and ‘Erotica’ are playful and sexy. But it moves quickly onto ‘Human Nature’ where Madonna starts tearing off her clothes, ending in a haunting rendition of ‘Like A Virgin’ and ‘Love Spent’. It feels like just the right amount of dramatic tension for the show. It would almost be as if Bette Davis had a song to sing at a piano bar in the film ‘All About Eve’, lamenting all that she no longer has, as a result of her femininity.
The interlude, a remix of ‘Nobody Knows Me’ brings us back momentarily to the first section of the show. Violence, emotional, packed in a socio-political punch. I found this interlude, both disturbing and poignant. Words I’ve already used to describe past Madonna in this review. Quite frankly, Madonna at her best.
The final section of the show, ‘Redemption’ is the culmination of the previous hour and a half. It is the light we were searching for.  It is what comes after the violence and the darkness, it is what happens once we express our love for one another, it is what’s left after breaking down the boundaries of what society tells us we are. Happiness, Joy, Spirituality. All these things bound together in amazing choreography, and high-energy.
I’ve clearly thought about the show too much. But, onto the practical aspects of the show that I picked up throughout my watching. Okay, after the schamozzle of the vocal editing that happened with the Sticky & Sweet Tour DVD, I was a bit antsy about how they were going to edit the vocals this time. As adoring fans, we must accept that as time goes on, our voice…changes. And every tour, Madonna’s voice gets a little more dubbed or auto-tuned each time. We can accept that. But while her voice is good, by the Miami show of this tour, her voice was getting close to cactus. Which is why I’m glad that this time around, there was a healthy mix between her actual voice, her purposely altered voice (such as Revolver, Hung Up etc.) and plain old editing out her vocals with the studio recording. Good work there guys. My only complaint in relation to sound is that Madonna’s vocals were too loud, as a result you couldn’t hear the music very well. Lucky for us, we already know the music by heart.
My main issue of the film and what will soon (not soon enough!) be the DVD, is the visual editing. Now I knew going in that the footage wasn’t all going to be used from the Miami shows. I guess you could say that the MDNA tour is a proper film of the show, because it takes in shots from almost all the shows. But, I honestly don’t think this has worked in Madonna’s favour. First of all, it’s confusing to see shots from Miami, an arena where 15-20,000 people are watching, and then cutting to a shot from a stadium in France, where 60,000+ people are watching. I am all about consistency, and I thought the filming of the Confessions Tour DVD was the zenith of seamless cutting between shows to create a perfect DVD.
I guess the problem with Madonna is that she is too much of a perfectionist. Trying to use as much footage as possible. It’s like she’s cutting between 5 different shots for the same 3 seconds, just so we know that the footage is there.
Speaking of using footage, I was horrified to see my favourite performance/song of the show be mutilated in editing. The song of course was Candy Shop/Erotica. I cannot understand why they used footage from the L’Olympia show in Paris. The stage and set pieces were different to the rest of the tour, and so the endless cutting between the two gave me a headache. The stage for the L’Olympia show was tiny in comparison to the rest of the shows, ruining the atmosphere the stage was supposed to create. I guess the use of the L’Olympia show footage annoyed me more because it’s footage we have already seen. Everyone who is a fan of Madonna has seen the L’Olympia show. Recycling that for the DVD seems…cheap? I want my DVD to have footage that I haven’t seen before.
The only other real complaint I have in relation to the footage, is the insertion of the photo stills from ‘Like A Virgin’ and ‘Love Spent’. All I’m going to say is unnecessary. We’re already watching you do your thing, if we want photo stills of it, we’ll screencap it and reblog it endlessly on Tumblr.
Editing aside, I love this show. Madonna once said that her job was not done if people didn’t leave her show feeling any different; that if people needed to wake up. “It’s not enough to wake people up, they have to be given a direction. If they aren’t given a direction, they’re just going to fall asleep again.”
I think this could be her most consistent show to date and her most brutal attempt at waking us up.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How Madonna is Forbes’s biggest moneymaker?

It's not surprising that Oprah Winfrey has topped Forbes's Celebrity 100 list, which ranks the world's most powerful stars. What is surprising, however, is that in the past year, the Queen of Daytime TV has actually earned lessthan the Queen of Pop.
Based on the past year's earnings, media mentions, Internet presence (including social networking), and marketability, Forbes found Oprah (who ranked No. 2 in 2012, behind Jennifer Lopez) to be the most powerful 2013 celeb.
But while Oprah made an estimated $77 million between June 2012 and this month (a "drastic" fall from the $165 million she made the year before), Madonna topped the moneymakers on the top 100 with $125 million -- this despite the fact that she only appeared in fifth place on Forbes's list.
According to the magazine, the 54-year-old "Superstar" singer's money comes from her MDNA Tour, which reportedly grossed $305 million. Madonna also boosted her earnings by selling merchandise as well as her Material Girl clothing line and Truth or Dare fragrance, not to mention her various investments.
Included in the top five between Oprah and Madge are Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg, and Beyoncé. Gaga may have injured her hip earlier this year, causing her to abruptly cancel her Born This Way Tour, but the tour still brought in $168 million -- and Gaga earned $80 million; she also dominated Twitter. Spielberg earned $100 million thanks to his hit film "Lincoln," not to mention his production credits on "Men in Black 3." Beyoncé, meanwhile, made $53 million thanks to her Mrs. Carter World Tour and her deals with the likes of Pepsi and H&M.
As for the Canadian contingent, Justin Bieber managed to squeak into the top 10 at No. 9, earning $58 million in the past year (landing the top spot for social networking). The 19-year-old "Believe" singer, who nabbed the third position last year, reportedly achieved his rank through Twitter and by buying into startups like Spotify.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The 5 best moments in Madonna's MDNA concert film

The Material Girl can still get into the groove.  Since her self-titled first album dropped in 1983, Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and embarked on 10 concert tours, including last year’s The MDNA Tour.

Tomorrow at 8 p.m., cable’s Epix network will premiere the film “Madonna: The MDNA Tour,” which showcases footage from New York, Miami and some of the other 88 tour stops.  “Three decades is a long time to have a job,” Madonna told the audience at the movie’s New York premiere Tuesday night. But the exhaustive — and exhausting — film proves she’s still going strong.

At 54, Madonna keeps pace with her youngest peers in the two-hour spectacle; even hardened non-fans will marvel as she performs strenuous choreography alongside the show’s 27 nubile, youthful dancers.

The documentary (or is it one long music video?) showcases her knack for religious iconography, politically-tinged lyrics and sexual wattage.

Here are our picks for the film’s top five moments.
1. “Gang Bang”

Set in a seedy motel room, Madonna exacts revenge on ex-lovers using a stash of guns. With each shot, disturbingly realistic “blood” splashes across a video screen towering behind her. It’s a bit much in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings last December, but the ultra violent message is loud and clear: guys, don’t piss off Madonna.
Really good fan made of the "Gang Bang" performance:

2. “Express Yourself”

Wearing a majorette uniform, Madonna swings a verbal slap at her pop nemesis, Lady Gaga, whose 2011 gay rights anthem, “Born This Way,” is suspiciously similar to this 1989 hit. Madonna samples Gaga’s lyrics in lock step with her own song’s backing track, while video behind her depicts Pac Man-esque “little monsters” (as Gaga fans are called) gobbling up conical bras, blond ponytails and other props Gaga seemingly procured from the Material Girl.

3. “Vogue”

A Madonna concert wouldn’t be the same without her iconic 1990 club hit. Her body moves to the music and as she strikes many a pose in a gender-bending black-and-white fashion show with couture by Jean Paul Gaultier (who designed many of the tour’s 1,500 costumes). Ladies with an attitude, indeed.

4. “Like A Virgin”

Madonna spins a melancholy take on her perky 1984 hit. Wearing butt-baring lingerie and fishnets, she drapes herself atop an upright piano, flashes her barely-covered private parts and tells the crowd, “If you’re gonna look up the crack of my a--, you might as well give me a tip.” The audience litters the stage with cash, which was later donated to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. A down-tempo version of her “MDNA” album track “Love Spent” — a snipe at ex-husband Guy Ritchie — follows with a dancer excruciatingly tightening a corset around her waist.

5. “Nobody Knows Me”

Projected on stage as a musical interlude, this controversial video that includes swastikas and other Nazi imagery steals the show with a message about intolerance. Lyrics like “It’s no good when you’re misunderstood” send viewers a jolt when melded with portraits of gay teens — including Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi — who have committed suicide.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rihanna the new Madonna? In her own way

OPINION: In the music industry, there have long been comparisons to Madonna thrown around - a pop single here, a fashion look there - but to encompass the scope and success, and global fame of Madonna? That's another league entirely.
Figures came out this week that Rihanna is now the most watched artist on YouTube, with her official channel RihannaVEVO reaching more than 3.47 billion views, nudging aside Justin Bieber who was considered the king of social media.
It's an impressive achievement in its own right. But it also seemed to cement Rihanna as the female artist who has achieved the near impossible - genuinely replicating the global and musical reach of Madonna, but in her own way, with her own sound.
It's to an entirely different generation of course. At a time when the internet rules all else. But the similarities between the two women are quite striking: their prowess in harnessing the power of music clips, combined with genuine star power and sexual allure (and their enjoyment in showing it).
We won't even go near the troubled relationships, or the bad film roles. (Although Madonna was ultra-cool in Desperately Seeking Susan, it was all downhill from there. Rihanna's cameo role in Battleship was not exactly groundbreaking).
For both women though, it is the music - and truly great songs - which keep fans coming back for more.
You often hear older music fans, some groups of men in particular, rubbish Madonna's most-loved pop songs as though they were nothing more than a bubbly, meaningless slice of the 1980s. But there are millions of people who can sing them word-for-word to this day. Or leap to their feet at a dancefloor when they hear the opening chords. To deny the power of that is deluded.
The same will happen with Rihanna's songs. Sure, her break-out hit Umbrella felt like a one-hit wonder (although it strongly defined her distinctive sound which followed) but her 2011 release We Found Love (recorded with Calvin Harris) is one of the most compelling songs released in the last decade.
Rihanna is undoubtedly the musical icon of her generation. Her sound, her clips, her videos, her look - they are viewed and copied and talked about by millions of fans worldwide, every day.
Madonna would be proud

Madonna on Good Morning America

Like an Interview...1991

Good Morning America 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Madonna Booty Pops to 'Crazy in Love'

They don't call Madonna the Queen of Pop for nothing.

On Tuesday night, the Cinema Society and Epix hosted the world premiere of Madonna: The MDNA Tour movie in New York City and the icon's very famous friends were all in tow.

Martha Stewart, Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen, Debi Mazar and Kelly Osbourne came out to support the star, but her biggest fans were her daughter Lourdes Leon and son Rocco Ritchie – who joined her onstage during the tour.

After the screening, it was time for the after-party at hotspot Harlow where the superstar and her dancers quickly got things started as guests sipped on a properly themed MDNA cocktail from DeLeon. 

Guests including John Travolta and Adam Lambert all cheered on and watched as her son Rocco broke out into his break-dancing moves.

Meanwhile, Lourdes danced with friends, including boyfriend – and Homeland star – Timothée Chalamet while Cohen and E!'s Alicia Quarles also joined in on the action.

With Madonna mimicking Beyoncé's dance moves when "Crazy In Love" was played while her dancers took center stage on the floor, the group boogied through the night until after 2 a.m.

Strike a Pose...1990


Good Morning Madonna!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gives Good Face...

Madonna 'sparks Botox rumours'

Madonna's appearance at the Chime For Change: The Sound Of Change Live Concert earlier this month has sparked concern from experts.
Madonna's frozen face at the recent Sound Of Change London concert has roused speculation she's had surgery.
The Material Girl singer gave a speech at the Chime For Change female empowering event held in London, which aimed to raise money for vulnerable women.
Madonna shocked the crowd when she emerged on stage with her usually-flawless complexion looking "plastic" and "unrecognisable".
Dr. Giorgio Netri from Transform Cosmetic Surgery has come forward to analyse the pictures from the event.
He believes Madonna's strange face is the result of "too much" Botox and dermal fillers.
"This isn't a great look," he told UK magazine Look. "It seems to me she has too much product in her face and needs to lay off the treatments for six months."
The 54-year-old is thought to have had an excess amount of face-freezing Botox injected into the frown line, forehead and around the eyes. Dr. Netri also added that closer examination of Madonna's face reveals signs she's had other treatments in the past.
"There's some slight puckering close to her jaw line, which may be a sign of a contour thread lift, and this can last a couple of years. The surface of her skin also looks flawless - this may be down to some kind of skin surfacing treatment," he analysed, before offering some hope.
"Things may settle down over the coming weeks, giving her a much better result."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lucky Star: Madonna's Debut Album, 30 Years On

Blane [Andrew McArthy]: "I dunno, Madonna's pretty deep..."
Andie [Molly Ringwald]: "I know but she has such great style"
(A Record store exchange in John Hughes' Pretty In Pink)
Matthew Lindsay studies the blonde's ambition to become one of the biggest stars of the 80s with her self-titled album of 1983
Disco didn't die with the mass record burning at Chicago's Comiskey Park in 1979. Its glitterball merely splintered into myriad directions. It was incorporated once more by soul/R&B (the Chic-produced Ross album Diana, Michael Jackson's Thriller). It rubbed shoulders with its supposed arch nemesis, punk (Blondie, Donna Summer-fans PiL). In the UK, its fingerprints were all over the synth pop boom (Mark II Human League went further than PiL, they wanted to be Donna Summer). In New York, a city so integral to disco's evolution, the emerging hip-hop scene adapted its grooves (the Chic-referencing Sugarhill Gang).

20 songs that were covers from Cyndi, Madonna, Kylie and more

Originally by: Curtiss Maldoon                             Hit for: Madonna

WHO? Curtiss Maldoon were a folky UK duo - a bit like Mumford & Son's grandfathers. In 1971 they released an album that didn't trouble the chart. It contained the song Sepheryn. Clive Maldoon's niece Christine Leach re-recorded Sepheryn in 1997, and played it to a producer she had worked with, William Orbit. Orbit was in the midst of making an album with Madonna. Madonna loved Leach's remake and kept almost all the lyrics and some of the melodies. The lyrics also provided the title `Ray of Light'. Orbit totally de-folked Madonna's version, but there's a reason why Leach, Curtiss Maldoon got some very lucrative co-writing credits - the album they indirectly helped name has sold over 16 million copies and rebooted Madonna's then-ailing career.

Where are they now? Clive Maldoon passed away in 1978, Dave Curtiss is still making music and having his bills paid by Madge.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Madge was mad I DIDN’T want to bed her

FUNK legend Nile Rodgers has revealed he sent Madonna into a fury — by NOT trying to bed her.
Nile, 60, told how Madge, 54, was upset that he never made a pass at her when producing her 20 million-selling Like A Virgin album in the 1980s.
The legendary guitarist — who features on Daft Punk’s No 1 hit Get Lucky — revealed: “I was standing at an elevator when she goes, ‘Why don’t you want to f*** me?’
“I was like, ‘What did you just say to me?’ She was wondering why I had not propositioned her. She couldn’t understand that. It was like, ‘Everybody wants me’.”
Explaining his position, he added: “One time I slept with a really beautiful artist I was working with and it was a really wrong thing to do. So, I didn’t work like that.”
But he said Madonna was always one of his best pals, adding: “I grew as close to Madonna as I’ve ever been to a woman without being romantically involved.
“She was the most driven person. The day I met her she said, ‘I’m going to be a really big superstar’.”
The US musician also revealed that Madge inspired him to quit booze and drugs — after he passed out at her 38th birthday party.
He said: “I don’t remember any of this. But I was told I was carried out of Madonna’s house.
“It was the most embarrassing night of my life. I have never had a drink or taken drugs since.”

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I'll Remember...1984


Madonna Banned: Countries, Institutions And People Who've Given Her the Boot

With the constant travel that's part of life on tour, many celebrities have faced visa problems and outright bans from countries and venues across the globe. But Madonna takes the cake for the sheer number of countries, people, and institutions that have explicitly wanted nothing to do with her. Looks like the controversial Queen of Pop is also the Queen of Blacklists.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Strike a Pose

Katie Price: I’d rather be Her Maj ... than Madge

The Queen and Madonna

TWO mega-famous Queens stepped on to the world stage this week.

Katie Price
Sun columnist ... Katie Price
In the Overdone Surgery corner we have the Queen of Pop. In the Classy Corner we have the Queen of England.
Madonna, 54, appeared at Twickenham Stadium for the Sound Of Change concert on Saturday night, while Elizabeth II, 87, was celebrating 60 years since her Coronation at Westminster Abbey.
Let’s focus on — or should I say freeze frame — Madonna’s face first.
All my life I’ve considered her stunning and gorgeous, but what is going on with her now?
When she walked out on to the stage at the weekend I couldn’t even concentrate on what she was saying because I was mesmerised by her puffy cheeks and stretched eyes.
She looks like a swollen blancmange.
It looks to me like she’s had way too much filler because of the creases under her eyes and God knows what has been injected in the rest of her face.
I hope my childhood idol will look at these pictures and realise there is a time to grow old gracefully for all of us.
I’m one of the best-known fans of plastic surgery in Britain and the sight of Madonna has stopped me in my tracks.
There are many times when I have my lips injected and think I look “ducky”.
It’s hard to admit it but the other reality is that all us surgery fans end up looking the same in the end. That’s the really sad part about Madonna.
The woman who has always prided herself on leading the way and being different now just looks like all the other 50-year-old filler fanatics trying to fight the ageing process.
So what a breath of fresh air to watch the Queen of England gliding gracefully into her Coronation ceremony on Tuesday looking so beautiful and radiant at the grand old age of 87.
No Botox or implants for Her Majesty. She’s about as likely to give surgery the royal seal of approval as she is to shop in Primark.
Instead, she has grown old gracefully on a diet of hard work, horses, corgis, fresh air and probably a few dabs of good old Astral cream before she pops on her hairnet at night.
I’ve always said to myself that the reason I have Botox is to look fresher, not younger.
But looking at the two Queens this week, I know which one I would prefer to look like when I’m pushing round my pink Zimmer frame.
I might even launch a range of crowns to match.