Like a Virgin Is 30

Today – November 12 – is the 30 anniversary of the release of Madonna’s second album, Like a Virgin. Thirty years – digest that for a moment. If you’re shrugging and asking “What’s to digest?”, you’re probably under 30 and have never known a world without Madonna – you don’t know how different life was for young women before she became a lightning rod for debate on Western female sexuality, and changed the way women view sex, love and ambition.

If her only achievement had been to expand what was considered possible for women in pop music, she still would have been remarkable. Her influence is felt so far beyond pop, however, that she even inspired a strand of academia known as Madonna Studies, which examined her effect on sexuality and feminism. She’s sold 300 million records – more than any other female singer – and may be the only pop star to have generated a new word, “wannabe” – coined in the ’80s, when the aspirations of every teenage girl were summed up by the phrase “I wannabe Madonna”. Though not a conventionally gifted singer, she’s pushed through every barrier that stood between her and success, showing what can be accomplished by unyielding determination and a gift for being one step ahead of the zeitgeist. During her golden years – 1983 – 89, say – she was the zeitgeist.

Around 10 years ago, she was asked by an interviewer how she thought she was seen by the public. “I guess I’m known for being disciplined,” she replied, but she could also have said “controlling”, “independent” and “tough” – traits female singers weren’t supposed to possess, at least not openly, when she started out. It’s now routine for women musicians to call the shots in their careers – or to claim they do – but when Like a Virgin appeared, her insistence on making her own decisions was unique.

It was the album that made her commercially and culturally unstoppable. The cover photo of Madonna acting out the virgin/whore dichotomy by wearing a wedding dress and a belt that spelled out “Boy Toy” was only the start. The album’s title track – which spent six weeks at the top of the American chart – went where no pop single had gone before, equating the experience of falling in love to being sexually untouched. No other female singer had ever shoehorned the subject virginity into a pop song so bluntly, or made it clear that no matter what you were – virgin or sexually experienced – it was absolutely fine.

One of the album’s other massive hits, Material Girl, was about her being motivated by money rather than love (which greatly riled middle american parents, as did almost everything about her). The song was a typical mix of bluntness and coquettish sweetness – boys were okay, the song said, but the one she really wanted was “the boy with the cold hard cash.”

From the start, she knew exactly what buttons to push to be the centre of outraged attention. While writing a new biography of her, Madonna: Ambition. Music. Style, I was struck by the rage she incited in the ’80s: the religious right hated her for saying she found crucifixes sexy because there was a naked man on them; feminists were angered by the Boy Toy belt and others were concerned by her blithe habit of cultural appropriation.

She also lost an endorsement deal with Pepsi by dancing in front of burning crosses and kissing a black Jesus in the video for Like a Prayer. At times, her main occupation seemed to be breaking taboos – “If you want to be a whore, it’s your fucking right to be so” was a typical edict, one of many that encouraged women to celebrate and control their sexuality.

Her own celebration of her unquenchable appetites peaked with the 1992 book Sex, which featured explicit photos of her and male and female partners. To her undoubted delight, many bookshops refused to stock it. “Is it degrading to women? Well, sure, and to men, too,” said the New York Times. Naturally, that didn’t stop it selling 1.5 million copies.

Thirty years later, she’s not going gentle into that good night.

Madonna: Ambition, Music, Style is published by Carlton and out now.

From an article by Huffington Post

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10 years ago today! Madonna signs at Selfridges in London

It has been exactly ten years ago today that Madonna did her one and only signing session at Selfridges in London to promote her childrens’ book The Adventures Of Abdi.

It was a very very cold couple of hours but sooooo worth it. A total of 250 fans (yep no children) got to meet Madonna face to face, shake her hand and have a brief conversation. A day some of us won’t ever forget

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Madonna’s clothes sell for millions at celebrity auction

Madonna’s clothing included the Material Girl video dress and stole and her wedding dress from her first marriage

A collection of dresses and outfits worn by Madonna during her career in music and film helped a celebrity auction raise $3.2m (£2m).

The highest lot was a jacket from Desperately Seeking Susan, which fetched $252,000, while a gown from her Material Girl video reached $73,125.

The Californian auction also saw lots from Michael Jackson, Cher and The Beatles.

A red sequinned cape worn by James Brown sold for $41,600.

The wedding dress Madonna wore when she wed actor Sean Penn in 1985 sold for $81,250 (£51,192), while a dress she wore on her Who’s That Girl tour reached bids of $50,000 (£31,503).

Other lots which attracted the bidders were a pair of John Lennon’s spectacles which sold for $25,000 (£15,751) and a ring worn by Elvis Presley for $57,600 (£36,291).

Guitars from a host of rock greats formed part of the two-day sale including Prince’s Sign of the Times Love guitar and a 1940 Gibson J200 owned by Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, which sold for $43,750 (£27,565).

Michael Jackson memorabilia continues to attract bidders


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Like a Virgin 30 Year Celebration Madonna Fan Party London


This Saturday – the first London Madonna Party since March! The Like a Virgin 30 Year Celebration kicks off at 2.30pm sharp and goes on til late. Free Entry, Prize Draws including signed item and over 8 hours of non stop Madonna. Highlights will include the Like a Virgin album Video Event, the Virgin Tour performances, plus – a Decade In The Making – the Reinvention Tour – kicks off the party!
Don’t be late, get your best Like A Virgin era fancy dress out if you like, and we’ll see you on Saturday!
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DJ Dahi: Working on Madonna’s forthcoming album


“I’ve been in with her for the last month. Me and my friend Blood Diamonds have worked on a good portion of the album. It’s been dope. It’s a new experience for me. Working with Madonna has put me in a new creative space, because I’ve produced a big chunk of the album. It’s not just like one track or like I’m just submitting beats. It’s like we’ve been in the studio together and we’ve been working together. It’s all collaborative. It’s made me realize that I want to be there more and more working with the artists and crafting something together. Making beats and sending them in is cool, but it’s kind of disconnected. That’s something I’m focused on more and more after working with Madonna. That album is supposed to be coming next year. Hopefully, everybody loves it. It’s cool, because it’s so different from what people would expect. People are going to be like, “What the hell?” The opportunity came about through word of mouth. She liked my music and was a fan of my style. She had told me she appreciated the mindset that I take with my music. Most of the records that have come out that I’ve done have been with rappers and R&B artists, but there’s still something alternative about the records. There are other elements and she appreciates that, so it was cool for her to say that and then for her to say, ‘Okay, let’s go work.’ I’m working with Madonna and all I have to do is be myself.”

Complete article here:

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When is the X Factor live final and is Madonna singing?

THE X Factor Live Final is drawing near.

When the clocks go back and the nights draw in, you know it’s nearing that time of year when the X Factor judges and contestants take to the stage for the last time.

Heading into week five this weekend means we are almost halfway through the annual ITV singing competition, and a very special performer could be lined up for this year’s live final celebrity guest spot.

This year, none other than the Queen Pop herself, Madonna, could be brought in to boost the show’s flagging ratings.

But she has a strange condition – she will only perform if she approves of the final acts.

According the rumour-mill, the 56-year-old star has taken exception to the show’s format where celebrity guests sing with one of the contestants, and it seems Madonna is not keen to team up with just anyone.

Who will she approve of, we can’t help but wonder?

It the appearance goes ahead, she will appear on stage at the live finals on Saturday, December 13, and Sunday, December 14, when the winner and runner-up will be announced.

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WSJ Innovators Have Star Power

…’Even Madonna, who presented dancer and protégé Lil Buck with an award, remarked at the interesting mix. “This is really weird. Only for you [Lil Buck],” said the megastar, who delivered a charming, yet quirky speech. “The light is strange here because I can’t see my speech. I’ll just stand here and you can guess what I’m thinking. ‘I wish I had more Champagne. I wish the podium was shorter. I wish I had eaten dinner and I don’t have that shaky feeling I have right now.’ OK, comedy over.”

But the comedy was just beginning. Equating Lil Buck to her “little brother,” she then instructed the audience when to applaud.

“I’ll show you when there are applause moments. I can see you need help. This is a museum audience,” she deadpanned. “Applause moment.”

Her antics continued, as she talked to Lil Buck and audience members. “How did I meet you at a Smirnoff contest? That’s pretty weird. I think you should put your phone down, sir,” she said, then continued her monologue about how she discovered Buck.

“Everyone knows I have an affinity for dancers — that’s not an applause moment,” she laughed, before the dancer came to the stage, wowing the crowd with a heartfelt acceptance speech and a dance performance that drew a standing ovation.

Taken from an article by WWD

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Madonna bosses around crowd at MoMA event

Madonna managed to boss around the entire crowd at MoMA on Wednesday night — even instructing guests including Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany, Grace Coddington, Doutzen Kroes, David Chang and Jimmy Iovine on when to put their hands together by barking, “Applause moment!”

Madge was at the museum to present a WSJ Innovator Award to dancer Lil Buck, 26, whom she discovered in a contest and brought on tour.

But when the Material Girl — looking sexy at 56 in Miu Miu — didn’t get the glowing reception she apparently wanted at the beginning of her remarks, she finally sighed, “I’ll tell you when there are applause moments. You need help. This is a museum crowd.”

She then peppered her presentation with the “applause moment” command, which effectively coaxed clapping. She also warned Valentino’s partner in the audience, expert Instagrammer Giancarlo Giammetti, to “please put your phone away, sir.” And she poked fun at her predilection for seducing backup dancers by saying with a wink, “Everybody knows I have an affinity for dancers — a sympathetic nerve, so to speak.”

Buck then made a gracious, heartfelt speech and brought the house down with his moves.

Iovine and his Beats Electronics partner Dr. Dre were given an award by reclusive rapper Eminem, who explained, “Dre and Jimmy are a force of nature . . . They got me to fly here all the way from Detroit to speak publicly. And I really hate public speaking. My palms are sweaty.”

Connelly presented an award to Louis Vuitton designer Nicolas Ghesquière in front of guests Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss and the night’s host, WSJ magazine editor Kristina O’Neill.

Guests were later invited to tour MoMA’s hot Matisse exhibition upstairs, where honoree Kara Walker, fresh from her own acclaimed Domino Sugar Factory show, briefly took off her towering heels and walked about the works in bare feet, with LA MOCA director Philippe Vergne.

Lil Buck was last seen in an intense dance-off at a Doubles after-party.

Taken from an article by Page Six

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