Thursday, January 30, 2014
Madonna will introduce Masha and Nadya, two members of Russia’s Pussy Riot art collective, at Amnesty International’s Bringing Human Rights Home concert taking place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday February 5, it was announced today by Amnesty International.
“I am honored to introduce my fellow freedom fighters Masha and Nadya from Pussy Riot. I have admired their courage and have long supported their commitment and the sacrifices they have made in the name of freedom of expression and human rights,” commented Madonna.
Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster. Other confirmed acts include Imagine Dragons, The Flaming Lips, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tegan and Sara, The Fray, Cold War Kids, Colbie Caillat and Cake. Masha and Nadya were imprisoned for their participation in the Pussy Riot art collective. Hundreds of thousands of online actions by Amnesty International supporters helped bring about their freedom.
Madonna, a longstanding defender of the Pussy Riot art collective’s right to speak out in defiance of restrictions in their homeland, is part of a star-studded tradition of prominent artists using the power of music to articulate their support for human rights on behalf of Amnesty International.
More information on the upcoming concert can be found at http://
www.amnestyusa.org/Feb5concert. Follow #AmnestyConcert for live updates.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
From E!Online: Get ready for the pop music world to implode!
I can exclusively reveal that Miley Cyrus’ surprise guest performer for her upcoming MTV Unplugged special is none other than Madonna!
Yes, Miley and Madonna singing together!
Sources tell me that the two were on a Hollywood soundstage earlier today rehearsing the collaboration.
Miley Cyrus: MTV Unplugged tapes tomorrow (I’ll be there!) and will air on the music network Wednesday night at 9 p.m.
“The performance will showcase a more intimate side of Cyrus and feature surprise guests for an unexpected re-invention of the songs that have defined her career, including several from her #1 critically acclaimed album, Bangerz,” MTV said in a press release last week. “Miley and her fans have always had an intimate and direct connection through her music, personality and no-holds-barred attitude and the Unplugged stage will serve as the perfect platform for her to show viewers what inspires and ignites her music and her passions.”
Monday, January 27, 2014
MADONNA – QUEEN AT THE GRAMMYS
Madonna rocked up dressed as a highway man with a penchant for sparkling gloves at these Grammy Awards. She didn’t bag any awards but she did take to the stage with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert and Queen Latifah to perform ‘Same Love’ while 34 couples got married.
“We’re both working the Ralph Lauren angle,” Madonna told host Ryan Seacrest. Madge wonderfully blurred gender lines in a dapper Ralph Lauren suit. “He dressed me tonight,” Madge said of her son David choosing her Grammys look. “He wanted me to dress like him, so I obeyed him,” Lets hear it for the boys!
Vogue Magazine called Madonna one of the best-dressed celebrities at yesterday Grammy Awards: “The awards wouldn’t be the same without red-carpet risk takers like Madonna (who else could make a walking cane and fingerless gloves their best accessories?)” .
The “Rolling Stone” Review: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis had a pretty good night, taking home the Best New Artist trophy as well as sweeping Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album. But the independent duo’s most heartwarming Grammys moment came when they performed “Same Love,” their pro-marriage equality hit, with Seattle singer Mary Lambert and a gospel choir. They were joined by 33 real-life couples, gay and straight, each of whom were united in love during an onstage wedding ceremony officiated by Queen Latifah. Also on hand: Madonna, who made a special cameo to sing a little of her own “Open Your Heart.” That’s one way to make sure everyone remembers your wedding.
Audience members participate in a same sex wedding during a performance of "Same Love" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Dozens of couples said "I do" Sunday night live at the Grammy Awards, as they were serenaded by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Madonna.
Thirty-three couples -- some of them same-sex -- were married during the awards ceremony as the rap duo performed their gay rights anthem "Same Love."
Queen Latifah officiated the nuptials, saying, "Do you each declare that you take each other as spouses?"
Madonna, wearing an all-white suit and cowboy hat, then came out and serenaded the newlyweds with "Open Your Heart" and parts of "Same Love." Keith Urban cried and Katy Perry caught a bouquet during the performance.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
In 1991, a triumphant Madonna memorialized her domination of pop culture with the tour film “Truth or Dare,” a documentary so prescient about today’s entertainment landscape it’s eerie.
Madonna had spent the previous eight years creating a role that previously hadn’t existed, but now is everywhere: The pop diva auteur. Through her eponymous disco debut, the provocative “Like a Virgin,” iconic “True Blue” and Artistic Statement “Like a Prayer,” she had accrued, by tooth and nail, the kind of prestige, control and respect not before afforded to women who make dance hits.
In this moment of glory, she took to the road with her “Blond Ambition” tour, film crew in tow. The resulting documentary is fascinating to watch now, an uneven, but hugely watchable mishmash of live performances, celebrity worship, and an embryonic version of the reality television that rules our culture today.
The film is fairly unprecedented. Most previous concert documentaries focused on performances, like Prince’s “Sign of the Times,” or were myth-making exercises, such as Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Look Back.” This has a little of both, but also has Madonna pleading with her dad to come watch her show, playing mother hen to her back up singers, and being accused of harassing a dancer based on his sexual identity.
The performance segments, filmed in color, set the template, in a way, for the modern concert spectacle. At the time, rock music, especially hair metal, ruled MTV. Performance videos, even by pop artists, featured singers fronting a band on a large, unadorned stage, as though proximity to someone holding a guitar equaled credibility. Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana,” Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional,” and George Michael’s “Monkey” all fit this mold.
Madonna turned this convention on its ear, making the concert stage more like a video, rather than vice versa. Sets and costumes change based on the song in the movie, and the choreography tells a story. De rigueur now, this approach was then quite novel.
While appreciated at the time, though, “Truth or Dare’s” music is not what captured the critics’ (and public’s) attention. Rather it was the backstage scenes, shot in black and white, which captured a narcissistic exhibitionism previously unseen, but now ubiquitous. The cameras follow Madonna as she interacts with everyone in a chaotic, confrontational, and ultimately, fascinating way.
At a time when Michael Jackson and Prince hardly gave interviews, and Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston projected the studied blandness of politicians, here was catty Madonna, routinely half-undressed, getting up in everybody’s crap.
While this is something every Ke$ha-level performer partakes in today, it’s astounding to realize it’s a form Madonna seems to have intuitively invented. Her movie premiered in 1991. “The Real World,” generally considered the first reality tv show, debuted in 1993. In this way watching “Truth or Dare” is like somehow discovering a rap song from 1965.
Consider the famous scene backstage at her Los Angeles concert. In a snotty voice over she disingenuously claims not to know why famous people act like they’re all friends, when they really aren’t, while, on camera she chats, intimidatingly, with various celebrities. Kevin Costner awkwardly tells her the show was “neat,” and she disses him as soon as he walks out.
Why would she include this? It’s riveting, but so inflammatory. It’s something one would see on “Real Housewives,” but Madonna at the time was as big as Beyonce, who, as we know from “Life is but a Dream,” does not dis movie stars in her documentaries. Madonna contains masses, though, and her movie managed to give everyone everything they didn’t even know they already wanted.
The movie was directed by Alex Keshishian, who went on to make a few un-noteworthy features. At one point “Fight Club” and “Social Network” director David Fincher, who had filmed the videos for Madonna’s “Express Yourself” and “Vogue” was slated for the job, but dropped out because of scheduling conflicts. The idea of his having made this movie is too confusing, not to mention disruptive to the cinematic space-time continuum, to imagine.
Madonna’s voice over, so saccharine, faux-innocent, and just plain phony, is the film’s most jarring component. She’s clearly attempting to shape the viewer’s opinions, which seems completely at odds with her warts and all persona, leading one to wonder who she really is: The manipulative control freak? The backstage mean girl? The wounded child? Looked at through this lens, “Truth or Dare” becomes a more superficial, danceable “Citizen Kane.”
“Truth or Dare” even includes an embedded meta-critique of its revolutionary anti-privacy aesthetic, in the form grumpy, camera-shy movie star Warren Beatty’s complaints. Her boyfriend at the time, Beatty lingers miserably in the background on occasion, sarcastically commenting on Madonna seeming compulsion to document and share her every waking moment. While his thoughts seemed insightful at the time, in terms of pop cultural behavior, he was clearly on the wrong side of history.
Madonna’s documentary made a big splash at Cannes in ’91, and performed respectably in the theaters, but has been largely lost in our discussion of her, which is a shame. She was clearly onto something here, inventing a language of entertainment we’ve all slowly become fluent in.
While it doesn’t contain the power and perfection of her best hits, its imperfections–the sloppiness, sensationalism, bad behavior, and desperate need for recognition–were all decades ahead of their time.
The woman deserves her due: It’s her documentary–we’re just living in it.
Leela Ginelle, PQ Monthly
Thursday, January 23, 2014
It’s no secret that record labels have been on the skids ever since mixed tapes, MP3s and iTunes disrupted their musical monopoly. But, why then, do some artists such as Madonna have staying power for decades no matter which way trends blow in the music business?
Seymour Stein, co-founder of Sire Records and vice president of Warner Bros. Records, has seen the ups and downs of the music industry first hand. Stein helped mold the punk and New Wave genres by cultivating artists such as The Smiths, the Ramones, Ice-T, The Cure, and Madonna. But perhaps Stein’s greatest accomplishment is that he’s been able to sustain a label through turbulent music industry headwinds.
Stein’s knack for knowing good music when he hears it and his instinct to sign artists brought about his partnership with Madonna. He was in a New York hospital in 1982 with an infection when he heard her demo for the song “Everybody.” Instantly he wanted to sign her, so he called her producer, a DJ friend of his. Madonna came to the hospital and signed with Sire Records. During a 2009 President’s Lecture at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, Stein said his onetime client, Madonna, illustrates a few key points about marketing success. Here are some takeaways:
1) Don’t lose determination. It still counts for success.
“First of all, Madonna is one of the smartest people I’ve ever encountered,” Stein said. “She’s one of the most determined, driven.”
2) Care about the creativity and the craft, not just the cash
Madonna “knows a lot about music,” Stein says. “She’s on the cutting edge of it. She follows it. She always has been, and she continues to be.”
3) Change or die but don’t be redundant
“Every one of her records she makes is different from the last one,” Stein says. “She just reaches in and turns herself inside out like a chameleon. And I think she’ll continue to be able to do so in the future as well…I think that the thing I most admire about her is that she always seems to be ahead of the curve — well ahead of it.”
Stein concedes that labels don’t mean as much as they once did. “… when I was growing up there were labels like Atlantic, and Chess and Vee-Jay and King and Imperial,” he said. “You know when a new Imperial record came out — ‘That’s Fats Domino’s label – I’ve got to hear what it is.’”
Music shoppers used to know labels and trust those labels to bring them good music. A label was a stamp of credibility. But things don’t work that way anymore. Now more than ever musicians are working independently. One of the ways in which a label used to serve the artist is through A&R (Artist and Repertoire). The job of the A&R was to match the artist with songs. But we are now in the age of the “singer/songwriter.” Artists are writing their own songs, and the role of A&R is increasingly irrelevant.
Nevertheless, Stein thinks that a label sends out a signal, and that people respect Sire Records for its ongoing durability. He’s been with the label since it started, which speaks to his commitment to the idea of music labels. But, Stein says, today it’s more about the song.
When asked what makes an artist successful he says, “Singing, musicianship, stage presence — and they’re all very important. Very important. But they mean nothing without a good song.”
Since the song is king, artists must innovate the song over time. He points to Madonna as an example of someone who will survive the ups and downs of the business because of her ability to reboot and update with new sounds and hit songs.
Stein, himself, is an example of serious staying power. He doesn’t question the trends hubristically. He accepts them. Meanwhile, he focuses on enjoying the music rather than just the “music business” and he still goes to rock shows, keeping an ear out for that next hit song.
Source : Forbes
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Madonna is expected to pop up and lend guest vocals during a performance from one of the night’s nominees, an additional source confirmed.
The list of this year’s Grammy performers includes Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr; Daft Punk with Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder; Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons; Lorde; Katy Perry; Pink and Fun’s Nate Ruess; Robin Thicke and Chicago; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis; Kacey Musgraves; John Legend; Taylor Swift; Keith Urban and Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Blake Shelton.
The Grammy awards are on January 26th.
Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
“I don’t know if I called her or if it was one time that we ran into each other but, I said, ‘Would you like to come down?’” the Milk actor told me at his J/P Haiti Relief Organization benefit. “She said she would. She came down with her son Rocco and it was great to have them down there.”
The Queen of Pop made the trip to the Caribbean country in November.
While the Haiti earthquake may have happened four years ago, Penn says there’s no time to stop working to rebuild the country.
“The value of what was done in the first place ends up at zero if we don’t continue and finish the support aspect of it that allows Haiti to be independent,” he said. “We’re moving there.”
Media coverage of Madonna and other celeb visits helps the world see “the enormous amount of change that’s happened in Haiti,” Penn said.
Anderson Cooper, who emceed the star-studded event, said, “I’ve seen the work that Sean and J/P HRO does in Haiti and it’s remarkable. I don’t think anyone could have predicted when Sean showed up just days after the earthquake with a plane full of supplies that four years later that he would be on the ground when so many others aren’t.”
The night raised $6 million for the organization. Cooper won a Jeff Koons sculpture made from Penn’s decommissioned gun collection during the live auction for $1.4
Source : EOnline
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Kylie Minogue cites Barbra Streisand and Madonna as her references, in an interview with LOOK Magazine. She would love to direct movies.
"I don’t even know how many [music] videos I’ve made, but they are very different to making a film.
I’m not ready to do that, but perhaps one day I will be.
I’ve had an inkling for a while that maybe [I could] in the future."
"I look at people like Barbra Streisand, she did it all.
She’s someone very inspiring to me – directing your own films and starring in them is pretty admirable."
"(I also admire) Madonna.
She is still the Madonna she was when she was 17;
She’s never going to be anyone else. She’s amazing."
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Madonna has tapped Katy Perry as the latest guest curator for her Art for Freedom initiative. Throughout January, Perry will help Madonna choose daily, user-generated submissions to be showcased on the project's website, which promotes art and free speech as a means to address persecution and injustice across the globe. Art for Freedom has received over 3,000 submissions since it launched in September 2013, and last month David Blaine served as the project's guest curator.
As part of her curatorial duties, Perry will help select one artist at the end of the month whose "creative expression demonstrates a unique view of the fight for human rights," according to a statement. A nonprofit organization of the winner's choice will receive a $10,000 grant from Madonna.
"I am so fortunate to have the freedom to express myself through music," Perry said in a statement. "Now Im calling all of my incredibly creative KatyCats to use their talent to show Madonna and me how they express their freedom. I believe that 2014 can be a year of great social change. Together we can all stand up for Human Rights."
Working with Vice Media, Madonna kicked off the Art for Freedom campaign with a 17-minute film secretprojectrevolution, which was co-directed by the pop star and Steven Klein and released as a free download through the file-sharing service BitTorrent. You can also check out a clip of Madonna covering Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars" at the Art for Freedom launch event in New York City.
Perry released her fourth studio album, Prism, back in October and scored her eighth number one with the record's first single, "Roar." That track is up for two Grammys this year for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance and Perry will also perform during this year's telecast on January 26th.
Friday, January 3, 2014
TORONTO — The Material Girl is coming to Canada for the official launch of her new luxury fitness facility.
Madonna will host the official grand opening of Hard Candy Fitness Toronto on Feb. 11.
The music icon is also slated to lead her signature Addicted to Sweat cardio-based dance class.
In addition to a select group of Toronto club members, Hard Candy Fitness clubs from around the world will hold auditions to send members to work out with Madonna live at the event.
Auditions for the Toronto members will take place on Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, with final cut auditions on Feb. 10.
The Toronto club opened for workouts in October and is billed as the brand’s largest in North America
Source : ctvnews