Madonna Is Billboard’s 2016 Woman of the Year

When the 11th annual Billboard Women In Music event hits New York City this winter, royalty will be present.

Following a year where she extended her record as the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time, Madonna will receive Billboard’s 2016 Woman of the Year award.

“Madonna is one of a miniscule number of super-artists whose influence and career transcend music,” said Janice Min, president and chief creative officer of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group. “With her creative vision, relentless innovation, and dedication to philanthropic causes, she is an inspiration to hundreds of millions of people around the world, all while shattering every career record out there. She is an important feminist on top of that, a one-of-a-kind artist who’s used her influence to change the conversation around women, sexuality and equal rights.”

Madonna performs a tribute to Prince onstage during the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas.

From her Prince tribute alongside Stevie Wonder at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards to her political Met Gala appearance to her indelible commentary on the 2016 election, Madonna has remained a constant force in pop culture and source of cultural conversation over the past year.

Her Rebel Heart Tour, which wrapped in March, solidified her status as one of the biggest touring acts of all time. Madonna sold more than 1 million tickets and walked away with $170 million. That makes her the highest grossing solo touring artist in Billboard Boxscore history (the archives go back to 1990) with a staggering $1.31 billion in total concert grosses.


Madonna’s 40 Biggest Billboard Hits

In addition to being the first female pop star with true control of her career and image, Madonna is the best-selling female recording artist of all time. She’s earned 8 No. 1 albums (and 21 top 10 albums) on the Billboard 200 and 12 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. With her 46th No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart in 2015, she extended her own record for the most No. 1s on a single Billboard chart. She also holds the record for the most top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with 38.

In addition to her ongoing chart dominance, her philanthropic efforts are effecting real change in the world. Madonna’s Raising Malawi organization is currently constructing Malawi’s first pediatric surgery and intensive care unit, which will double the number of life-saving surgeries performed on children each year, provide intensive care after critical surgeries, and train specialized Malawian medical staff. The Mercy James Institute of Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care facility will open in 2017.

The seven-time Grammy winner will receive the honor at the 11th annual Women in Music event, held Dec. 9 in New York City and airing nationally on Lifetime on Dec.12. The star-studded event is held in conjunction with the publication of Billboard’s Women in Music list, which identifies the 50 most powerful female executives in the industry each year.

More at Billboard

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Madonna opens Weibo account in China for first time

Madonna surprised her Chinese fans today by becoming the latest in a growing number of Western celebrities to open an account on Weibo, China’s equivalent to Twitter.

The legendary American pop star opened her first-ever official account just after midday Beijing time, making her debut with this message in English: “Hello weibo – yes it’s really me, i finally made it to China!”

Madonna has already amassed over 27,000 followers in just three hours.

In February earlier this year, Madonna performed her first-ever concert in Hong Kong, as part of her worldwide Rebel Heart Tour promoting her thirteenth studio album, Rebel Heart.

The singer’s Weibo account comes less than a week after actor Leonardo DiCaprio also joined on October 8.

Over the past year, the Chinese social media platform has also seen Stephen Hawking open a Weibo account, as well as footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

More at GBTimes


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When Madonna was new on the block


By 1983, disco had been officially declared dead. Pop hurriedly distanced itself from the genre’s glittery excess, and mainstream radio became segregated again. The Top 10 brimmed with slick corporate rock and cosmopolitan country hits, reflective of the conservatism sweeping the country’s sociopolitical scene.

But edgy dance music still thrived, especially in progressive nightclubs where marginalized people – blacks, Latinos, women, the LGBT community – were like blissful congregants in a funky secular sanctuary. Madonna Louise Ciccone, an aspiring dancer from Michigan who moved to New York City during disco’s peak in 1977, was a regular in the clubs. She was the proverbial sponge, soaking up the scene’s nuances and befriending or dating the movers and shakers there.

After performing in a few ill-fated disco groups, Madonna decided to fly solo, using just her first name professionally, and landed a recording contract with Sire Records in 1982. Her self-titled debut hit the streets in July of ’83. For the pop world, the album set a new precedent: It essentially repackaged disco for the masses, a funk-lite, pop-friendlier version of the kind of songs heard exclusively on black radio at the time. Innovative dance cuts by Evelyn “Champagne” King and Stephanie Mills, for instance, received regular spins on urban stations and in the New York City clubs Madonna frequented. But aggressive jams like “I’m in Love” by King or “Put Your Body in It” by Mills were seldom heard on pop radio.

On her debut album, Madonna gentrified that sound with the help of Reggie Lucas, who co-produced with James Mtume all of Mills’ big hits of the late ’70s and early ’80s, and Mark Kamins and Jellybean Benitez, respected New York City DJs and record producers. The album, which sold more than 10 million copies around the world, was a huge payoff for everyone involved.

It spawned several hits, all carrying an appealing effervescence. They included “Lucky Star,” “Holiday” and “Borderline,” songs with just enough palpable R&B in the sprightly, heavily synthesized pop mix to give Madonna an edge in the mainstream. Her sound wasn’t too “white” or too “black.” It was definitely urban, but her tinny yet charming vocals and suburban-girl-as-scrappy-fashion-plate image helped sell the music. With the concurrent rise of MTV, Madonna quickly became a darling of the channel with memorable videos that played up her dewy sex appeal.

She also, in a way, sonically extended what Michael Jackson had done the year before with “Thriller.” Madonna and her producers took shards of styles that had imploded by 1983 – punk and disco, specifically – and processed them into something sleek and contemporary. The music itself wasn’t threatening or too provocative, and neither was Madonna’s image at the time. But all of that would soon change as her larger-than-life, chameleonic personas would eventually overshadow the music but sell it by the truckloads nonetheless.

On the 1983 debut, however, the performer was still green but certainly ambitious, qualities captured in the album’s cover photo: a close-up shot of the 24-year-old Madonna, unsmiling with one hand holding the side of her face, the other clutching a chain around her neck. It’s a nervy pose, the look in her eyes focused and intense. But the music inside is pure irresistible ear candy that set the template for generations of envelope-pushing pop tarts, including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé.

In January 1984, six months after the debut’s release, Madonna lip-synced “Holiday” on “American Bandstand.” It’s a spirited performance – the artist resplendent in ’80s club gear, black off-the-shoulder cropped top, studded belt and bangles. She dances and spins in her own universe, seemingly oblivious to the crowd around her but definitely aware of the camera. During the interview portion, legendary host Dick Clark asks her, “What are your dreams, what’s left?”

“To rule the world,” Madonna says, her coquettish smile softening the cockiness of the answer.

She obviously knew something we didn’t. Madonna would soon become one of the biggest-selling artists of all time, an icon who for years successfully repackaged elements of underground club music for the masses, until the advent of the Internet made that world accessible to anyone. But pop in 1983 was a very different place, and Madonna’s debut felt like a revelation.

More at Pilotonline

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Madonna lauds Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s documentary on Qandeel Baloch



Renowned filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has created a number of documentaries mirroring Pakistani society and her upcoming documentary on internet sensation Qandeel Baloch is being welcomed by all around the world.

International pop star Madonna shared an Instagram post lauding Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for her upcoming documentary on the slain star titled, Qandeel Baloch: A Very Short Story.

Sharmeen Obaid’s documentary on this Pakistani Olympian is awe-inspiring

“Proud to narrate my friend #SharmeenObaidChinoy’s latest film about Qandeel Baloch, the Pakistani social media star who was murdered by her brother in an “honor killing,” the post said.

Gaurav Gera pays heartfelt tribute to Qandeel Baloch

Madonna expressed her grief over Baloch’s untimely death but was glad to see the positive change her sacrifices brought to society.

“The Pakistan government finally just passed the #antihonorkilling bill, closing the loophole that allows killers to walk free! So good to see positive change happen in the world. Too bad Qandeel and so many others had to die first,” she added.

The Pakistani model, who was murdered by her brother earlier this year in ‘honor killing’ case is remembered for her bravery in an attempt to shatter chauvinism and achieve sexual liberty.

Several international artists have condemned her tragic murder praising Baloch for her strength.

Watch the trailer here.

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SEE IT: Prince, Madonna, The Jackson 5 and others who rocked Dick Clark and ‘American Bandstand’

“Music is the soundtrack of your life.”

Dick Clark helped introduce us to countless iconic musicians each week on “American Bandstand” — the hit TV show that rocked on for 37 seasons with over 3,000 episodes.

“American Bandstand” premiered on Oct. 7, 1952, but Dick Clark didn’t take over as host until 1956. (AP)
To remember the premiere of “American Bandstand,” which hit the small screens 64 year ago this week, here are some of the best — standard definition — performances, including an up and coming Prince, a young Michael Jackson and the birth of the Beastie Boys.

“American Bandstand” not only featured the King of Pop, but the Queen of Pop also had a performance for the ages.

Madonna sang and danced her way all over the stage in 1984 as she performed her hit “Holiday.” The singer owned her performance on the show and was able to capture the entire audience who sang and clapped along to the song with her.

The music legend would only get bigger after this live performance, but by watching the way she put on a live show you could tell she was heading for great things.

More at NY daily News

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Follow the official Instagram for upcoming ‘Emmy and the Breakfast Club’ documentary

Guy Guido, the director of the forthcoming documentary ‘Emmy and the Breakfast Club’ has set up an official Instagram account for the production. To keep up to date please follow the account here.

Guy Guido is a massive Madonna fan himself and promises that this documentary will be done with ultimate respect for her. It surely will be an absolute must see for every Madonna (and film) fan out there.

Photo: Guy Guido’s Instagram


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Production Profiles Madonna – Rebel Heart Tour (behind the scenes)

After a successful first leg in North America, Madonna brought her Rebel Heart tour to Europe with the goal of maintaining consistency across the board. TPi headed down to one of the pop icon’s London dates to meet the crew and discover the intricacies involved in such a mammoth production.

With today’s highest-charting artists locked in seemingly perpetual battle to concoct the most elaborate and breathtaking stage shows imaginable, gig-goers can be forgiven for setting the bar particularly high when it comes to production values. One artist that continues to push the envelope, driven by her famously exacting standards, is Madonna. After all, nobody becomes the ‘Queen of Pop’ by working in half measures.

The Rebel Heart tour saw Production Manager Jason Danter working with Madonna for the first time, taking over from road veteran Jake Berry. He explained: “We met in September 2014 when they invited me to do the tour. We kicked off in January with the Rebel Heart promo, which went to the Grammys first and then to the Brit Awards. However, it was really mid-February by the time we started working on rehearsals and sales for the tour.”
In something of a break from the norm, Danter was personally interviewed by Madonna for the job: “This is the first time I’ve been interviewed by the artist. I’ve had telephone conversations and I met Beyonce once when I did some work for her, but most of my work comes via word of mouth and is agreed with management.”

Conveniently, Danter was on a short break from another tour at the time. He continued: “Madonna’s management invited me to New York for the interview. There were three of us in the room; myself, Sara from her management office, and Madonna. We chatted for around 45 minutes during which she asked what other stuff I’d done, who I’d worked with, my work ethic, and how I keep people motivated.

“We seemed to hit it off. We joked and laughed a little bit and I asked her a few questions. Two days later I was back on tour, so I didn’t really give it much thought after that. About three weeks later I got the call saying Madonna was happy for me to do it, if I was still available – and the rest is history!”

It is clear from talking to Danter and his touring colleagues that Madonna is a perfectionist, and he was keen to point out that it didn’t bother him in the slightest.
He explained: “She puts in a lot of time, more than a lot of other artists. She’s toured for long enough to know how she wants things to go. She sound checks and rehearses every day just to get used to the room, we have to be ready to go by midday. To achieve that, we do 30% of the work the day before show day and the remaining 70% on the day. There have been times where we haven’t been able to do that and we’ve had a couple of buildings where we’ve started at 2am and worked through until 5am – something I wouldn’t recommend!”

The gruelling schedule requires 90 touring crew, as well as 45 vehicles comprising 13 buses and 32 trucks, making 135 people all together with drivers, and other local crew being brought on at each venue.

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New! ‘The Year Of The Monkey’ Rebel Heart Tour in Hong Kong 2CD digipack

A new factory silver pressed (but unofficial) 2CD digipack has been released onto the collector’s market. This Rebel Heart Tour release was audio recorded in the Asiaworld-Arena, Hong Kong on February 17, 2016.

This is an audience recording and contains the full show, the quality is very good throughout and a bonus track has been added to CD2 (Madonna’s performance of Nothing Compares 2 U/Purple Rain). The digipack folds out and comes with 2 picture CD’s and a booklet.

This is not an official release and falls under the category ‘bootlegs’. We do not have a copy for sale, nor do we have information on where to buy.

This had been added to our Rebel Heart Tour page in the memorabilia section.

The official Rebel Heart Tour DVD shoud be upon us soon!

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Madonna mulled over becoming nun or movie star

A job application from 19-year-old Madonna – hoping for a starring role in an erotic thriller – has drawn applause from literature lovers.

The teenager was a drummer in 1978 and keen to make headlines in the movies when she wrote a covering letter asking to appear in A Certain Sacrifice – her first film role.

She told first-time film-maker Stephen Lewicki that she knew she wanted to be “a nun or a movie star” by the time she was in fifth grade.

Madonna in the 1996 film version of Evita,.


Madonna in the 1996 film version of Evita,.

The personal text, written decades before Madonna would go on to be the Queen of Pop, was read to an audience at the Letters Live evening in central London, an event which celebrates remarkable letters and the enduring power of correspondence.

Madonna states that her career began “in petulance and precociousness” in her home town of Detroit, Michigan.

Madonna states that her career began "in petulance and precociousness" in her home town of Detroit, Michigan.


Madonna states that her career began “in petulance and precociousness” in her home town of Detroit, Michigan.

Madonna tells Lewicki that she did unfulfilling dancing tours in Italy, sang in a New Wave band, worked with a filmmaker and modelled for artists and photographers before being spotted by French record producers in May 1979.

She worked across Europe but did not really like it.

Paris had a “sterility” and so she headed back to New York to play the drums, take dance classes and wait for her 20th birthday.

Madonna signed off the letter with her personal detail – including her height at 5ft 4ins, her weight at 102lbs, plus stating she had brown hair and hazel eyes.

She got the part, the audience heard.

 – AAP

MU note: to read Madonna’s letter to lewicki, visit our A Certain Sacrifice page (memorabilia section)

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New Hound Dawg Music Issue 4 including Madonna articles by Chris Wade

hounddawgThe author of Madonna: On Screen and The Music Of Madonna has just released a new version of Hound Dawg Music Issue 4. It contains a load of Madonna articles including:

  • The art of being Madonna
  • George DuBose on photographing Madonna
  • Dean Gant on Madonna’s first album
  • Bruce Gaitsch on songwriting with Madonna
  • Lucky Star: Madonna and the female pop icons of the 80’s
  • Promise To Try: saluting Madonna’s ballads
  • The Sex era: Madonna in the early 90’s
  • and more

Order link here

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“Diary of a Set Designer” new book with unseen M polaroids


Diary of a Set Designer is a book of Polaroids taken over 25 years by Happy Massee while traveling the world as a production designer. The photographic journal is a journey through time, with a collection of images taken with the now-defunct Polaroid camera–which, at the time, was essential to the art of designing for film.

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Damiani (September 27, 2016)
  • Language: English

More details on HERE

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Madonna is charging fans $150,000 to see her Art Basel concert this December

Madonna is charging fans $150,000 to see her in concert this December
Madonna is throwing a lavish party in Miami in December to raise funds for charity (Picture: EMPICS Entertainment)

Madonna is charging fans as much as $150,000 (over £115K) to see her perform in Miami this December.

However the Material Girl, 58, can justify the high price tag as it is all in the name of charity.

Madonna is the star performer at Art Basel Miami at Faena Forum on December 2nd with her show acting as a benefit for her Raising Malawi charity.


Only 400 guests will be able to attend the event with the cheapest tickets available at $5K (just under £4K).

Ticket prices go up from there and can include a meet and greet with the singer, and with the evening promising to be full of ‘music, art, mischief and a live performance with Madonna’.

The top price of £116K comes with a table for 10 at her gig, access for four to a VIP cocktail reception and photograph with Madonna.

The Raising Malawi charity vows to end ‘the extreme poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s 1.4 million orphans and vulnerable children,’ in the African country.

Updating fans with current projects in Malawi, Madonna (who adopted her daughter Mercy from the country in 2009) shared a photograph on Instagram of a pediatric hospital being built and urged fans to donate to the cause.

Madonna is charging fans $150,000 to see her in concert this December
Madge’s gig is all for a good cause (Picture: Getty Images)

Full details for the fund raiser in Miami this winter can be found by emailing – and there is an option to make a donation if the ticket price is too high.

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