Twentyfive years after Madonna: Truth or Dare

Twenty-five years after Madonna: Truth or Dare‘s original theatrical run, its ostensible subject—Madonna’s worldwide Blond Ambition tour—is now one of its least interesting aspects. It was easy to recognize the tour, which premiered during the waning days of Tipper Gore’s war against the music industry, as a deliberate provocation, a salacious mix of Catholic imagery and overt sexuality, with a few Art Deco trimmings thrown in for good measure. Outfitted for much of the show in an iconic cone-bra corset designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, Madonna blared a commanding sexual power from the stage, performing muscular choreography that included crotch-grabbing, erotic flexions on her scantily clad male dancers, and, in the show’s most controversial moment, simulated masturbation. The idea of a female artist performing such defiantly sexual material proved so threatening to local authorities in Toronto and Rome that they threatened to shut down the show.

If the concert may not seem shocking to contemporary audiences used to strong, unapologetically sexual female performers, that’s because Madonna paved the way for so many singers interested in embracing their sexuality through their music. Still novel, though, is the sheer ambition and syncretic aesthetic of the tour, which drew its inspiration from Metropolis, hip-hop, S&M, and A Clockwork Orange, among other sources. In the context of the film, these performance excerpts, shot in richly hued color 35mm, exist not just for their own sake, but operate in dialogue with the film’s backstage scenes.

In essence, Truth or Dare is less of a concert film than an elaborately constructed exegesis on pop mythmaking and the construction of identity. One part of Madonna’s genius has consistently been the creation (and reinvention) of her persona. Rather than purporting to give an unvarnished look at the woman beneath the bustier, the Alek Keshishian film calls into question the very idea of a consistent identity. Filmed in high-contrast black-and-white 16mm, the backstage scenes intentionally evoke the vérité style of D.A. Pennebaker’s Bob Dylan documentary Don’t Look Back, but here the aesthetic is an ironic appropriation of the idea of observational cinema.

Truth or Dare is less of a concert film than an elaborately constructed exegesis on pop mythmaking.

Madonna’s decision to allow cameras to follow her around constantly during her tour wasn’t about capturing some unguarded moments, but rather the opposite. The camera offers an omnipresent excuse for performance, an opportunity to turn every interaction, no matter how dull or personal, into a work of art. As Warren Beatty, Madonna’s then-boyfriend, at one point famously observes: “She doesn’t want to live off camera, much less talk. There’s nothing to say off camera. Why would you say something if it’s off camera? What point is there existing?” Even in ostensibly private moments, Madonna cleverly plays to the camera, switching between a handful of personae, each incarnation amplified by hair, makeup, and costume: Marilyn Monroe for coquettish charm; Marie Antoinette for an air of luxurious decadence; brassy, streetwise Italian girl to suggest her roots.

Truth or Dare offers some particularly succulent red meat for Freudians, including Madonna’s patronizing descriptions of herself as the “mother” to her dance crew. Twenty-five years on, the film offers the opportunity to re-enter an emerging intellectual milieu, one that emphasized the centrality of performance to our identities, particularly our expressions of gender. Released a year after Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble and Camille Paglia’sSexual Personae, True or Dare is marinated in many of the same ideas surrounding gender, power, sexuality, and performance. (Paglia, who recognized in Madonna a fellow provocateur, even lauded her as “the future of feminism” in the pages of The New York Times.)

Truth or Dare aligns these ideas with a focus on gay rights. This film may very well have been the first time many straight Madonna fans saw two men kissing. At one point, several of her dancers attend a gay pride parade in New York City, which is interspersed with footage of Oliver Crumes, the only straight male dancer in Madonna’s troupe, expressing his discomfort around gay men. The scene recognizes the ubiquity of homophobia while simultaneously centering the fight against it. And in one of the film’s most poignant moments, Madonna tears up as she delivers a pre-show prayer in honor of Keith Haring, who died of AIDS in 1990. The singer appears caught in a rare candid moment, choking up over the untimely death of a friend, but the strength of the film’s detailed attention to the performative aspects of identity is such that one wonders if even this moment of seemingly unvarnished emotion is just another act. As Paglia wrote, “Madonna says we are nothing but masks.”

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Justifying Our Love: 25 Years Later, the Madonna Doc Still Delights — And Confounds

Justifying Our Love: 25 Years Later, the Madonna Doc Still Delights — And ConfoundsEXPAND


Outliving Michael Jackson and Prince, Madonna is the sole survivor of the holy triad of pop superstars born in 1958. She turned fifty-eight last week; also celebrating a (milestone) birthday is Alek Keshishian’s immensely pleasurable vérité backstager/concert doc Madonna: Truth or Dare, now twenty-five years old. Reviewing the film in the May 14, 1991, issue of the Voice, J. Hoberman praised Truth or Dare as “a remarkable portrait of a sacred monster in her prime.” The description remains unassailable — and is now all the more poignant, considering Madonna’s diminished stature today. Though she is still active in a variety of fields and endures as one of the most famous people on the planet, she has, of course, been eclipsed by others in the past quarter-century; Queen Bey has for several years worn the crown that once sat atop the head of Her Madgeness. Nor has Madonna, an artist in the decadent phase of her career, been immune to the ignominious imperatives of portfolio-diversifying: She repurposed the name of Keshishian’s documentary for a “lifestyle brand” that she launched in 2011 specializing in handbags, footwear, and fragrance.

And yet for this Gen X critic, the experience of revisiting Truth or Dare — which I returned to repeatedly in theaters during the spring and summer of 1991 — for the first time since its initial release prompted a flood of memories about Madonna’s enormous influence on American culture, and, by extension, on my life: Nearly every conversation (public or private), academic essay, and broadsheet op-ed about race, gender, and/or sexuality from roughly the mid-Eighties through the mid-Nineties inevitably involved the Material Girl. During these peak years of postmodernism, Madonna, unparalleled provocatrice and recycler of high and low iconography, operated, per Hoberman, “as a sign system” unto herself. She was excoriated by bell hooks in her 1992 book Black Looks: Race and Representation for her cannibalizing of African-American culture and lauded in 1990 by Camille Paglia in the New York Times as “the future of feminism.”

At the D.C. law firm where I had a miserable entry-level job, Madonna’s ’92 coffee-table book Sex was passed around like smutty samizdat among the senior partners, paralegals, and support staff; among my co-workers, she was either dismissed by the uptight and obtuse as narcissistic or looked to, primarily by secretaries living in the suburbs, as a model of aspirational bedroom practices. For a not-quite-out teen and young adult, as I was then, Madonna’s role as sapphic signifier — whether covert (as the object of Rosanna Arquette’s fascination in Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan from 1985; whatever she was up to with Sandra Bernhard on David Letterman’s show in 1988) or overt (evidenced in the infamous Steven Meisel photos that ran inRolling Stone shortly after Truth or Dare’s release; several tableaux in Sex) — functioned as both lure and repellent.

The Madonna captured in Truth or Dare is all and none of these things, a tiny, hard body bearing the weight of the symbols and symbolism ascribed to her (by herself, by others, by me), personas that she shrewdly dons or sheds at will. Keshishian’s documentary tracks Madonna in several different cities around the globe during her 1990 “Blond Ambition” tour, her third, mounted in support of her albums Like a Prayer and I’m Breathless, the soundtrack to Dick Tracy. (The 1990 Warren Beatty–directed project is one of seven titles showcasing the singer’s thespian skills — and limitations — that will screen in “Body of Work: A Madonna Retrospective,” which runs concurrently with Metrograph’s revival ofTruth or Dare. Beatty, Madonna’s romantic partner during the “Blond Ambition” tour, smugly skulks in the background in Keshishian’s film, the old guy getting his comeuppance when his girlfriend demands, “Get over here, you pussy.”)

In dressing rooms, hotel suites, and ladies’ lavatories, among other intimate locations, Madonna and her crew are filmed in black-and-white 16mm; onstage, their pulse-quickening numbers (“Express Yourself,” “Like a Virgin,” “Holiday,” and others) are rendered in effulgent, almost garish, color. Madonna is a machine; an ever-yammering, saucy mouth; and, most queasily, a “mother,” a self-designated role she remarks on several times in voiceover (and for which she was especially rebuked in hooks’s essay). “I think I’ve chosen people who are emotionally crippled or need mothering in some way,” says the superstar, who lost her own mom at age five — and whose Truth or Dare visit to Ma’s gravesite, scored to “Promise to Try,” reveals the singer’s talent for the unbearably maudlin.

Among those “cripples” are her seven backup dancers, mostly gay black and Latino men, all of whom, along with supporting singers Niki Haris and Donna De Lory, first reached wide visibility in Madonna’s “Vogue” video from 1990. (That septet is the focus of Strike a Pose, a doc that screened at Tribeca in April and that will open in theaters early next year.) Auditioning for the singer at a nightclub to land the “Blond Ambition” gig, two of the dancers, Luis Camacho and Jose Gutierez, were members of the House of Xtravaganza, one of the ballroom clans immortalized in Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris Is Burning, released the same year as Truth or Dare, with which it forms a crucial diptych. Livingston’s film, like Keshishian’s, is an essential investigation of queerness, race, and stardom — as lived by those whom Madonna flagrantly cribbed from and who, in turn, have achieved a kind of immortality that may forever elude her.

Madonna: Truth or Dare
Directed by Alek Keshishian
Opens August 26, Metrograph


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The legend of Madonna goes like this: She became a big star with “Like a Virgin,” a superstar with True Blue, a firebrand with Like a Prayer and the banned video for “Justify My Love,” and finally a Herculean sorceress of untouchable power on her 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour. That’s when her wildest cone bras came into play, not to mention a delirious masturbation act (set to a sinister new version of “Like a Virgin”) and a whole lot of vogueing. It was the rare moment when a pop star was both the biggest and boldest celebrity on the planet.

Thankfully director Alek Keshishian chronicled this commanding moment in Madonna’s career, the essential juncture when she graduated from pop hero to mythological wonder. In Keshishian’s 1991 movie Truth or Dare, which wowed critics and became the highest-grossing documentary ever released up to that time, he granted viewers backstage access to her vivacious stage spectacle, complete with thundering performances of “Express Yourself,” “Holiday,” and “Live to Tell.” Perhaps more importantly, he seemed to answer the essential fan question: Is Madonna really as rad as the wannabes wanted her to be? The answer — proven by her naughty repartee with her gay dancers, snark aimed at then-beau Warren Beatty, some infamous Evian bottle fellatio, an altercation with Toronto authorities, and even some snide remarks about contemporaries like Belinda Carlisle — was a resounding (and slightly fearful) yes.

It’s been 25 years since Keshishian’s film became a Bible for the most devout of Madonna disciples. The Metrograph theater in Manhattan will run seven straight nights of Truth or Dare screenings beginning August 26, when Keshishian will take part in a Q&A hosted by guest moderator Chelsea Handler.

We caught up with Keshishian, who also co-wrote Madonna’s 2011 directorial feature W.E., to discuss the movie’s tremendous impact, how gay fans reacted (and still react) to the film, and why you can’t hold him responsible for the rise of reality television.

Fore more visit Papermag

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BODY OF WORK: A MADONNA RETROSPECTIVE August 27 to September 1 New York – buy tickets

Iconoclast, provocateur, pop-priestess, showgirl, Madonna’s film roles are extensions of her self-perpetuating, highly-stylized brand: street savvy disco punk, comic book gangster’s moll, and insatiable femme fatale. She is the auteur of her singular oeuvre, both the Svengali and muse of her enigmatic persona. Her calculated, cohesive canon embodies a 20th Century Narcissus who elicits adoration and antipathy equally. Ultimately, the most captivating role she ever plays is Madonna. All titles will be paired with select Madonna music videos.

Body of Work: A Madonna Retrospective at the Metrograph in New York from August 27 to September 1


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Is Madonna’s acting really that bad? A career retrospective lets you be the judge (more on film festival)

As a pop star, Madonna is the undisputed queen. Her recent albums Rebel Heart and MDNA may have sold poorly, but she’s still the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time. As an actor, however, most critics agree that Madonna has got some way to go before she makes it into the royal family. Or even, some would say, the servants’ quarters.

It’s not for want of trying. Back in 1979, four years before the release of her self-titled debut album, Madonna starred in barebones indie drama A Certain Sacrifice. She played a Lower East Side resident living with three “love slaves” (one male, one female, one transgender). Capitalising on her first flush of fame, the film-makers rushed it out in 1985, but it’s safe to say that it wasn’t exactly acclaimed as a lost classic.

Nonetheless, for years Madonna maintained an acting career alongside her musical one. Some of of her films performed decently at the box office and – shock horror – even got good reviews, like the 1985 comedy Desperately Seeking Susan. More frequently however, her efforts were widely ridiculed. Besides voicing a character in 2006’s family cartoon Arthur and the Invisibles and appearing opposite Lady Gaga on a Saturday Night Live skit, Madonna has laid her acting career to rest after enduring a weapons-grade trashing for her turn as a snooty socialite in then husband Guy Ritchie’s 2002 romance Swept Away.

It’s therefore little wonder that Swept Away isn’t included in Body of Work: A Madonna Retrospective, a season of films at New York’s Metrograph purporting to showcase Madonna’s “calculated, cohesive canon”. Together, the seven selections (Desperately Seeking Susan, Who’s That Girl, Dick Tracy, Shadows and Fog, A League of Their Own, Body of Evidence and Dangerous Game) prove that while she never threatened to become the next Meryl Streep, Madonna’s acting might not actually be that bad.

Her first major vehicle, Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan, makes the most of her megastar charisma. Released when she was in peak Like a Virgin mode, Madonna plays Susan, a free-spirited live wire whose identity gets usurped by a bored housewife (Rosanna Arquette). It capitalized on her edgy public persona; the role essentially required Madonna to be the same brassy pop starlet the world knew her as anyway. Susan’s ragtag-chic wardrobe meant that she barely even had to get changed.

Yes, she plays herself (in the non hip-hop sense) – but maybe that’s not as easy as she makes it look. Skating over 1986’s Shanghai Surprise, a notorious bomb in which Madonna played – of all things – a missionary, the season next alights on 1987’s Who’s That Girl. OK, the 1987 comedy from director James Foley (he’s helming the upcoming two sequels to Fifty Shades of Grey) is pretty awful, but Madonna emerges more or less intact. In her comfort zone as another street-smart girl, she’s effortlessly engaging, even as the convoluted hijinks can’t keep pace with her zany energy.

Madonna slowly gravitated to more mannered performances, beginning with Dick Tracy in 1990. As sultry club singer Breathless Mahoney, Madonna relied upon all the glamour from her Express Yourself era to conjure a textbook femme fatale: erotic (“I sweat a lot better in the dark,” she coos to Dick Tracy) and mysterious. Director Warren Beatty was wise to afford her a handful of original musical numbers, written by Stephen Sondheim, that proved she could sell a show tune with the best of them.

The following year, Shadows and Fog saw her collaborate with Woody Allen. While her role as a seductive tightrope walker in his sideshow murder-mystery only amounts to a cameo, Madonna holds her own opposite John Malkovich and a raging Mia Farrow, brashly delivering the line: “Nothing wakes Peter up, certainly not the sound of two people moaning.”

Madonna returned to the tough city broad type in Penny Marshall’s hit baseball comedy A League of Their Own (1992), bringing a ton of zest and a thick Westchesta accent to no-nonsense player Mae Mordabito. However, disaster was soon to strike. Uli Edel’s Body of Evidence (1993), part of a three-pronged sex fest that also included her Erotica album and softcore photobook Sex, is unadulterated trash with none of the sly wit of its inspiration, Basic Instinct.

Madonna is as flat as a cycling holiday in the low countries as Rebecca Carlson, a sex-crazed gold-digger with murderous tendencies, but the the film’s failure can’t be entirely laid at her door. Brad Mirman’s script is a true clunker. It’s hard to imagine any actor who has ever lived convincingly delivering lines such as: “Have you ever seen animals make love? It’s intense, it’s violent. But they never really hurt each other.”
Both Madonna’s performance and the film overall were lambasted by critics: Roger Ebert declared it as one of his most hated movies of all time. (“It has to be seen to be believed – something I do not advise,” he wrote.) But give the girl some credit – few celebrities would throw themselves into the sex scenes with the kind of gusto Madonna exhibits. The infamous scene in which she drips candlewax on a naked Willem Defoe is sexy because it’s done with such conviction. And hats and everything else off to the opening scene, in which she rides her supposed victim like a bull – stark naked.


In fact, Madonna is at her best in Body of Evidence when she’s relying upon her body language to do the job rather than the atrocious dialogue. She also gets slapped across the face by Julianne Moore in a bathroom – so there’s that.

She’s equally as unhinged – though clothed – in Dangerous Game, which came out the same year as Body of Evidence, though with considerably less fanfare. Directed by Abel Ferrara, Dangerous Game is inscrutable and defiantly messy, starring Harvey Keitel as a director shooting a marital-crisis drama as his own marriage implodes in real-life.

Madonna stars as Sarah Jennings, a Hollywood star forced to plumb new depths as one half of the warring couple in his film. Ferrara’s untamed approach suits Madonna, who is emotionally raw in ways she only hinted at in her climactic Dick Tracy scene, where Breathless Mahoney desperately pleads for Dick Tracy’s affection. Right through Dangerous Game, Madonna’s on edge, reacting viscerally to the abuse hurled her way. A scene where she’s left crawling on the floor after being raped by her onscreen partner is deeply unsettling.

The grueling experience of confronting her demons in such a public forum purportedly proved too much for Madonna, who according to Ferrara “killed” the film by badmouthing it. It’s a shame, because the film proves that although Madonna is frequently heralded as the mother of reinvention, it’s her ability to dig deep and connect emotionally with her audience which has made her records, if not her films, endure.

Curiously, the Metrograph has opted not to showcase Evita (1996), in which Madonna proved her many detractors wrong with a full-blooded star turn as Eva Perón. She even got a Golden Globe. However, there’s no surprise that the series ignores The Next Best Thing (2000), her misjudged pair-up with then pal Rupert Everett. Madonna was indulging in her fantasies of being part of the English aristocracy, and her Downton Abbey-style tones are grounds alone for the movie to be consigned to the trash can (or dustbin, as she would no doubt then have said).Swept Away was, if anything, even worse, a critical and commercial disaster which torpedoed her reputation as an actor once and for all.

The scorn probably accounts for why in 2008 she tried her luck at entering another door in Hollywood by directing the London-set comedy Filth and Wisdom, followed by WE, her romance detailing the affair King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, in 2011. Unlike so many actors-turned-directors, Madonna opted never to star in her own features, probably fearful of how she’d be received. She needn’t be – Body of Work: A Madonna Retrospective shows that given the right material, Madonna could steal a scene for all the right reasons.

  • Body of Work: A Madonna Retrospective, runs 27 August to 1 September at The Metrograph in New York.

More at The Guardian

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Exclusive: More on new documentary ‘Emmy and the Breakfast Club’ by Guy Guido

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01bb092c0ca2970d-800wiWidely published in the media these past few days was the news that Madonna’s ‘bedroom’ tapes during her time with Dan Gilroy would be made available. As with most stories in the media, things have been blown out of proportion just to attract readers.

Guy Guido, who is a Madonna fan himself wants to show nothing but respect for Madonna, he states that it is very important that the fans understand that this is being done more authentically than anything they have ever seen and that it is being done with admiration for Madonna. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t be promoting it.

The film will include intimate notes and original recordings done by Madonna with Dan Gilroy (whom she dated at the time), so this is nothing but amazing news for every Madonna fan out there.

Jamie Auld who is portraying Madonna looks absolutely stunning and makes a remarkable resemblance to the early ‘Emmy’ Madonna (as seen in the promotional shots below). Matthew Rettenmund also wrote on this on his BoyCulture blog.

What’s important to know is that we will finally learn more on her days in ‘The Breakfast Club’ and hear some of the recordings she did with Dan Gilroy. Not only that but once again, Guido is a huge fan himself and it is all done with a huge amount of respect for her. No need to worry.

We will be updating you once more news becomes available.

All pictures posted with permission by Guy Guido


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‘Swept Away’ re-issue in Japan on DVD December 2, 2016

131‘Swept Away’ will be re-issued in Japan on December 2, 2016. Swept Away was directed by Madonna’s husband at the time Guy Ritchie, to read more about Swept Away click here.

To pre-order the new Japanse DVD visit HMV

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66 long-lost polaroids of madonna in ’83 show a mega star on the verge

Photographer Richard Corman looks back on meeting and shooting the charismatic East Village club kid as she was poised for stratospheric stardom.

Richard corman 83g

In June 1983, Madonna was an ambitious 24-year-old getting some heat on the club charts. When photographer Richard Corman met the young singer, she served him bubblegum and espresso on a silver tray at her beyond-bohemian walkup on East Fourth Street between A and B. It was, as he puts it, “literally right before she stepped out and ran into the stratosphere.” The month after they took some casual casting Polaroids, she released her debut album, Madonna, which produced three top-ten hits (“Holiday”, “Lucky Star”, “Borderline”). One year later, she was writhing around a wedding cake in her career-making MTV VMA performance of ‘Like A Virgin.’ But when Corman took these gorgeous, stripped-down SX-70 Polaroids, she was still DJ Jellybean Benitez’s girlfriend, the good dancer from Funhouse and Danceteria, and a hustler who paid the rent by waitressing and posing nude for art students. As she wrote of that time, “I felt like a warrior plunging my way through the crowds to survive.”

Richard Corman was well-connected in the early 80s. He had assisted Avedon, and his mother Cis was a casting director who worked on films like Raging Bull and The Deer Hunter. When Corman photographed Madonna, he was also taking pictures of Keith Haring in Soho and Jean-Michel Basquiat at his Great Jones Street studio. But nothing prepared him for the young woman who looked to him like she “was going to rule the world.” After 30 years of languishing in a warehouse, the 66 polaroids will finally get their due this fall as a book and an exhibition. Corman shares the story with i-D.

Richard corman 83a

Read the full story HERE

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Madonna Launches Fundraising Campaign With Omaze To Support The Children Of Malawi – Press Release



LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Madonna’s birthday wish this year is to further help the children of Malawi, and today the international, award-winning musician and philanthropist has teamed up with Omaze, an online giving platform, to launch a global campaign to support her charity, Raising Malawi and its project to build Malawi’s first pediatric surgery and intensive care unit. The 5-week campaign kicks off on August 16, 2016 – Madonna’s birthday – and will help create a “Rebel Heart” playroom in the pediatric facility. The campaign concludes on September 15, 2016, at which time a grand prize winner will be randomly selected to join Madonna in Miami.


“Being a Rebel Heart means fighting for what you believe in, with love,” said Madonna. “For my birthday, I’m asking all of my Rebel Hearts to join me in bringing health and happiness to the children of Malawi.”

A hospital can be an unfamiliar and worrying environment for children and their families. The Rebel Heart playroom will provide a calm, joyful space for the children to play and learn, which will help improve both their physical and emotional health.

In July, Madonna visited Malawi to review construction progress of the pediatric facility which will double the number of pediatric surgeries performed in a country where 50% of the population is under 15 years old.

“Madonna’s had such an extraordinary impact on the world,” said Matt Pohlson, Omaze co-founder and co-CEO. “We’re so excited to work with her and look forward to a successful Omaze campaign benefiting Raising Malawi. It’s an honor to partner with this incredible organization and support them as they change children’s lives through health, education and community programs.”

The campaign is a special way for fans to join Madonna as she gives back, and in doing so, fans can earn rewards, including exclusive signed memorabilia and merchandise for their donations. Through the Omaze platform (, fans can donate as little as $10 for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend time with Madonna in Miami. Proceeds from the campaign will benefit the Rebel Heart playroom.

Visit to learn more and enter for your chance to win and support Madonna’s birthday wish.

About Raising Malawi
Founded by Madonna in 2006, Raising Malawi addresses the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children. Raising Malawi partners with local organizations to provide Malawian children and their caregivers with critical resources including medical care and education.

About Omaze
Founded by writer/filmmakers and friends from college, Matt Pohlson and Ryan Cummins, Omaze is an experience-driven fundraising platform that leverages the power of storytelling and technology to radically change charitable giving. Since launching in 2012, Omaze has impacted more than 125 charities and received donations from over 175 countries. For more information, visit

SOURCE Raising Malawi

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Madonna celebrates 58th birthday in Havana

US pop diva Madonna, pictured on July 10, 2016, celebrated her 58th birthday in Cuba


US pop diva Madonna, pictured on July 10, 2016, celebrated her 58th birthday in Cuba (AFP Photo/Eldson Chagara)

Havana (AFP) – Madonna celebrated her 58th birthday Tuesday in Havana, dancing to Cuban beats during a night on the town and drawing crowds as she toured the city.

The Material Girl’s visit got a write-up in the Cuban Communist party’s official newspaper, Granma, which reported that she “toured different city squares to start the first day of her visit, which will last until Wednesday.”

It said the US pop superstar was in Cuba with her eldest daughter, Lourdes, a 19-year-old model whose father is Cuban dancer and fitness trainer Carlos Leon.

American photographer Steven Klein and stylists B. Akerlund and Andy Lecompte are traveling with them, it said.

Madonna posted a picture of herself to her Twitter account with the caption “Cuba Libre.” It shows her wearing a revealing black dress with yellow flowers and smiling as she tips a black hat.

Videos posted online by fans show her dressed in the same outfit strolling through the streets of Old Havana and dancing to Cuban beats at a restaurant in the historic city center as onlookers cheer.

The news site Cubadebate said Madonna was planning a “big party” Tuesday with the “rhythms and flavors” of Cuba.

Madonna is the latest in a string of US celebrities to visit Cuba since its historic rapprochement with long-time enemy the United States was announced in December 2014.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Usher, Paris Hilton, and Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have all toured the Caribbean island recently.

US citizens are still officially banned from traveling to Cuba as tourists under the embargo Washington has maintained on Havana since the 1960s.

But President Barack Obama’s administration has loosened travel restrictions, enabling more Americans to make the trip under permitted categories such as “cultural exchanges.”

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Madonna’s Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles

It’s the ultimate Madge chart. We count down Madonna’s big ones – her Top 40 best sellers of all time.

She made it through the wilderness, somehow she made it through… and 32 years after her very first hit Holiday, Madonna still gets everybody talking.

There’s plenty to say about her performances, her fashion sense, her pushing of boundaries and buttons when it comes to sex and ageing and religion and art, but to do any of that, Madonna has needed one thing – her massive collection of hits.

And what a back catalogue it is – her Top 40 biggest sellers alone amounts to over 15 million singles sales.

Jump to the full Top 40, or stick with us as we look over her Top 10, and, yes, we’re doing it in reverse order…

To see the result click HERE

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