Monday, August 31, 2015


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Madonna and Sean Penn

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Madonna’s 11 Greatest VMA Moments
The histories of the VMAs and Madonna are so intertwined that it’s impossible to think of one without the other, and both should be celebrated with equal exaltation. That brings us to today’s journey: Madonna’s 11 Best VMA Moments. Tighten your bustier and pump your Moonman in the air, MTV generation.

11. Madonna kisses Britney and Christina, respectfully marries them both.
I’m the devoutest of Madonna devotees, but even I think the momentousness of her kiss with Britney Spears (and a PR-jilted Christina Aguilera) seemed more ridiculous than right. I get that Britney was a big pop star, but nothing about her is the rightful heiress to Madonna’s throne — and this number tried to prove the opposite. Still, it’s an unforgettable performance, and Missy Elliott‘s vaudevillian contributions shouldn’t be understated. If Madonna had waited six years to perform this same act with Lady Gaga, her Madgesty’s power-anointing kiss would’ve felt more appropriate. Plus, Gaga would’ve worn a wedding dress made of cold cuts or something. Sigh.

10. Madonna destroys Aerosmith with the comeback quip of the year. year was 1994. Madonna and David Letterman butted heads on his talk show and made up at that year’s VMAs. But afterward is when the real magic happened: Aerosmith won Video of the Year honors for “Cryin’,” and a wisecracking Steven Tyler took to the VMA microphone and tossed out a veeeeery lewd joke about Madonna, who stood feet away. “Why does Madonna use these two fingers to masturbate?” he pondered, before answering, “Because they’re mine.” Madonna allowed the audience’s shocked laughter to subside before she stole the microphone and responded, “If I used your fingers, then it’s not masturbation. It’s sexual abuse.” YES. Moral: Don’t mess with Madonna or her masturbation habits.

9. Madonna wins Video of the Year for “Ray of Light,” 1998 
Madonna has a trove of Moonmen to call her own, but she didn’t score a Video of the Year win until 1998 when “Ray of Light” won the rightful honor. Never forget how kickass Madonna looked with straight, dark hair. It’s so… ashtangi!

8. Madonna dreams of Dietrich with “Bye Bye Baby” in 1993
Madonna has often invoked Marilyn Monroe’s image, but true fans know she’s much closer in identity and attitude to Marlene Dietrich. With this cabaret-style, chair-straddling performance of “Bye Bye Baby” from ’93, she took a ride on the Shanghai Express to a killer cinematic throwback.

7. Madonna gives the Video Vanguard Award to her favorite “diva” George Michael
I love most moments involving Madonna and her backup dancers Niki Harris and Donna De Lory, but this one may be best. In 1989, Madonna presented George Michael with the coveted Video Vanguard Award (a trophy she picked up in 1986 from presenter Robert Palmer), and after some cheeky line-readings and puffs on a cigarette, she proclaimed — in what I’m assuming was her own contribution to the speech — “Ladies and gentlemen, the diva himself, George Michael!” OK. Perfect.

6. The queen toasts the king at the 2009 ceremony.
Two superstars were born in August of 1958, and the surviving one toasted her fallen comrade (and 1991 Oscars date!) during a tense, but loving speech at the 2009 VMAs. Janet Jackson followed up with an “Unforgettable”-style duet with Michael Jackson on “Scream,” but Madonna’s articulate somberness was an appropriate and cool opening. The idea of Madonna trying to get Michael Jackson to eat French Fries is pretty great.

5. The only kind of Madonna tribute that matters: a drag one.
The 1999 VMAs ranks among the greatest award shows ever: At the Metropolitan Opera House, an operatic choir chanted Kid Rock‘s “Bawitdaba,” Prince introduced a performance by TLC, and Lauryn Hill walked off with Video of the Year for her stellar clip “Doo Wop (That Thing).” But better yet, Madonna — who presented Video of the Year with Sir Paul McCartney — won a Moonman for “Beautiful Stranger” and got to watch a dozen drag queens vamp in fabulously classic Madge costuming. After examining the gents in their over-the-top attire (My favorite is still the “Bedtime Story” queen with the floating birds surrounding him), Madonna stepped up to the mic and deadpanned, “All I have to say is it takes a real man to fill my shoes.”

4. Madonna successfully convinces you to “Express Yourself” at the ’89 ceremony.
One of Madonna’s greatest looks: that industrial-hard bustier paired with baggy men’s slacks. Hell yes. Madonna sold the hell out of “Express Yourself” at the ’89 ceremony, where she also accepted the Viewer’s Choice Award for “Like A Prayer.” Famously, that award was sponsored by Pepsi, the same company that cut her loose (with pay!) after she debuted her blasphemously hot video for “Like a Prayer."

3. Madonna survives and conquers Courtney Love at the ’95 VMAs
This is one of Madonna’s funniest moments, and it just may be Kurt Loder‘s finest hour: As the MTV newsman interviewed Madonna about her upcoming ballad collection Something to Remember at the 1995 ceremony, Courtney Love interjected from the red carpet by throwing her compact at the confused Ciccone. After Loder invited Love up to chat, Madonna braced herself for their confrontation, but it wasn’t long before Madonna unleashed a deadly medley of perfect putdowns. The best line? After Courtney Love says she doesn’t want to leave the “hospital” of entertainment because of the “nice clothes and good money,” Madonna retorts, “And plenty of available drugs.” I mean, fire. That’s how it’s done. As in: It will never be done better.

2. “Like a Virgin” for the very first time.
 Everything great about the MTV Video Music Awards stems from this: Madonna’s extreme, paralyzingly naughty, and hilarious performance from the 1984 ceremony. The budding superstar had a new album to sell, and she thought she’d do it by wearing a wedding dress, humping the floor, and staring at the camera like a horny wolf. It is still eye-popping television. It is still spellbinding to watch Madonna pretend not to know her dress has stopped covering her body. It’s the best. Except, of course, for…

1. “Vogue” starts a Revolution for Frenchy men.
“Vogue” remains the quintessential Madonna moment. It’s an amazing song, but the video (and her performance of the song at the VMAs) showcased her best assets: cheeky glamor, nervy sexuality, awareness of pop iconography, and her proud domination of gay minions. In her Marie Antoinette getup at the ’90 ceremony, Madonna hustled around that stage ordering boys in booty shorts to eat cake, and God, do they. So outrageous, so marvelously choreographed, so fun, and so a spectacle only Madonna could pull off. Maybe “Like A Virgin” was more instrumental in making the VMAs a music institution, but “Vogue” was a Madonna-specific triumph. Put your opera glasses down and applaud.

Friday, August 28, 2015

For the Record...You Can Dance

Released: November 17, 1987
“You Can Dance” by Madonna is released. Produced by Madonna, Stephen Bray, Nile Rodgers, Reggie Lucas, Mark Kamins, and John “Jellybean” Benitez, it is recorded from May 1982 - September 1987. The seven track compilation is the first remix album from Madonna and features tracks from her first three albums remixed by John “Jellybean” Benitez, Shep Pettibone, Bruce Forest, and Frank Heller and Steve Thompson & Michael Barbiero. The set is filled out by the track “Spotlight” which is an outtake from the “True Blue” sessions. The album is sequenced so that the tracks are mixed together in a continuous sequence on both sides to emulate a DJ’s club set. A promotional version of the album will be released to radio that features edited versions of the tracks with cue banding between the songs. Warner Bros will also issue three promo 12” singles to club DJ’s that will become heavily sought after by collectors. “You Can Dance” will peak at number fourteen on the Billboard Top 200, spending one week at number one on the Club Play chart, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

'You Can Dance' TV Commercial 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For the Record: Into the Groove

With two hit albums, “Like a Virgin” rising on the charts, and a mesmerizing MTV wedding cake performance behind her, Madonna’s career was in a very sweet spot in 1985. So it’s no wonder the ‘It Girl’ would make moves in Hollywood, starring in Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan. “Into the Groove”, penned by Madonna and songwriter Steve Bray, was written for the film and it’s there, in the closing credits of the movie, that a demo version of “Into the Groove” was not just heard, but also essentially released.

Into The Groove also managed to keep Madonna herself off Number 1 – the rerelease of Holiday sat right behind it from 11–17 August 1985. Coincidentally, that was the week of Madonna’s 27th birthday.

Madonna’s music has always felt as though she’s playing on a completely different field than everyone else, and “Into the Groove” is her ultimate anthem. Although “Holiday” is technically her most popular and mainstream song, recognizable to everyone the world over, “Into the Groove” is the hit that maintains the essence of what makes Madonna so amazing—she’s cooler than you, and you know it.

The fact that Madonna would give the song such an unconventional debut shows how strong her popularity was at the time and how big of a hit the song really is. With filming finishing right before “Like a Virgin” was out, Desperately Seeking Susan swiftly became a Madonna vehicle before its release. Ratings were lowered specifically to accommodate the star’s teen fan base and lead Rosanna Arquette was seen as a supporting actress in Madonna’s shadow. The unpolished demo didn’t even land on the film’s soundtrack and was only available as the B-side to “Angel” in the U.S., but it’s still regarded as one of Madonna’s best dance tracks

It is Madonna’s finest single simply because it epitomizes exactly why she’s maintained such a long and significant career, she’s the queen of the dancefloor. She has made many remarks about it being a very simple tune that she wrote in less than five minutes, and has never understood why it’s become so popular. The songs inspiration was the dance floor, and she wrote it while watching a handsome Puerto Rican man, across her balcony. Initially written for her friend Mark Kamins, Madonna later decided to use it as the soundtrack of her filmDesperately Seeking Susan.
The song was a commercial success, reaching the top of the charts in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom, where it was Madonna's first number-one single and started off a run of 13 Number 1 singles, more than any other female artist in British chart history. Despite not having a proper video and thanks in part to not being available on Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” album – until a reissue solved that problem later on – “Into The Groove” stormed to the top of the Official Singles Chart and refused to budge for a month.
In the United States, the song was only available as the B-side of the 12-inch single of "Angel", therefore it was ineligible to chart on theBillboard Hot 100 according to the rules at the time.

The end of the 1980s honored “Into the Groove” honored by Billboard magazine as the Dance Single of the Decade. The end of the 1980s honored “Into the Groove” honored by Billboard magazine as the "Dance Single of the Decade". In 2003, Madonna fans were asked to vote for their top-twenty Madonna singles of all-time by Q magazine; "Into the Groove" was allocated the number-three spot. In 2009, the song was ranked at ninety on Blender magazine's "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born". Billboard ranked the song number three on a 2015 list of Madonna's top 15 best songs, calling it "the Madonna club track." In 2015 the British public as the nation’s 19th favorite 1980s number one in a poll voted the song for ITV.

The music video is made up of clips from the film, with the lyrics often matching the images. Doug Dowdle of Parallax Productions, a company that pioneered in movie tie-in music videos during the 1980s, created this video from edited footage of the movie, directed by Susan Seidelman. This was done because there were five Madonna videos already on power rotation on MTV, and Warner Bros. did not want the audience to be saturated with any new video. Hence, they decided to use the shots from the film and made a music video. During a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna commented: "'Into the Groove' is another song I feel retarded singing, but everybody seems to like it."

Mystified by its serendipitous success, she has tried many times to duplicate the phenomenon that hit with “Into the Groove”—“Vogue”, “Music”, “Deeper and Deeper”, “Where’s the Party?”, “Hung Up”, and “Give it to Me” can all claim to be produced in the hopes of duplicating “Groove’s” brilliance.

RELEASED:  July 23, 1985

SALES: 871,300. Yep, that’s right, it’s not a million-seller. Madonna is one of the most successful acts of all time to still not nab a million-selling single.

CHART FACTS: Into The Groove is tied with Vogue for her longest stint at Number 1 – four weeks. It knocked Eurythmics’ There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) off the top. It was eventually toppled by UB40 and Chrissie Hynde with their cover of I Got You Babe.

MADGE FACT: Into The Groove would later feature in a jeans commercial, with a guest appearance from Missy Elliott and with refreshed lyrics. Missy would later team up with Madonna, Britney and Christina on that MTV VMAs performance in 2003.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tupac Shakur's Brother Talks Madonna

"Madonna is the homie. He used to take 2Pac to Madonna's place. Their relationship wasn't serious, but Madonna and 2Pac respected each other and that's why they never actually talked about it in public (until Madonna herself confirmed they were dating in an interview to Howard Stern in March 2015)".

Madonna revealed during Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday that she dated late rapper, Tupac Shakur.
The revelation came out when Madonna was sharing with Stern why she had so much aggression during her 1994 appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman. “Well I was mad at him [David Letterman], when I said the F-word a lot. I was in a weird mood that day. I was dating Tupac Shakur at the time and the thing is he got me all riled up on life in general. So when I went on the show I was feeling very gangster.”

In an unauthorized 2007 biography called Madonna: Like an Icon, it was written that the duo romantically dated one year before Shakur’s death, but apparently it was never verbally confirmed … Until now.

2Pac was shot on Sept. 7, 1996, in Las Vegas following the Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon boxing match. He died six days later.

Strike a Pose...2014