Madonna turns 62: Iconic singer shows her ‘resting birthday b***h face’, performs Dua Lipa’s ‘Levitating’
It was first offered online through Concerto (platomania.nl) and they still have it available HERE
Here’s a chunk of chart history from 35 years ago this week, when Madonna became the first female artist to hold the top two positions in the UK chart simultaneously.
She was in fact only the fourth artist in history to do so, after The Beatles, John Lennon and Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
‘Into The Groove’, co-written by Madonna and Stephen Bray for the film ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’, gave Madonna her first UK number one but was never released as a 7″ single in the US.
Instead, it featured as the B side on the 12″ version of ‘Angel’ in the US market, helping in no small way to propel that single into the top 5 in the Billboard Hot 100.
While ‘Into The Groove’ is often lauded as an eighties pop gem, and is the singer’s top-selling song in the UK, Madonna is not a big fan and rarely sings it live. She has said that she feels ‘dorky’ while performing it and is surprised at its popularity, telling Rolling Stone in one interview she is ‘not a good judge of what things are going to be huge or not.’
On the other hand, Madonna has said that ‘Holiday’ is one of her favourite hits and she regularly includes the party tune in her live setlist.
Though never a No. 1, it has the distinction of giving Madonna a top ten hit on three separate occasions in the UK.
By the time of its 1985 battle with ‘Into The Groove’ for the UK top spot, ‘Holiday’ was already two years old. It had originally appeared on Madonna’s self-titled debut album in 1983, reaching 16 in the US and 6 in the UK.
The song was re-released in the UK in 1985 in support of ‘Madonna – The First Album’, a newly-packaged version of her debut album for non-US markets. It was released as a single in the UK for the third time in 1991 to promote the greatest hits compilation ‘The Immaculate Collection’, this time reaching number 5.
‘Holiday’ was written by Curtis Hudson and Lisa Stevens of disco group Pure Energy and its success provided a real financial boost at a time when they were living in a boarding house.
In a 2015 interview, Hudson said that the song still generated money for them.
‘Can you live off of one hit? Yes, you can if you get the right hit. It can last you a lifetime. We’ve been living proof of that.’
1 Into The Groove Madonna
2 Holiday Madonna
3 I Got You Babe UB40 featuring Chrissie Hynde
4 We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) Tina Turner
5 Money For Nothing Dire Straits
6 There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) Eurythmics
7 White Wedding Billy Idol
8 Drive The Cars
9 Running Up That Hill Kate Bush
10 Don Quixote Nik Kershaw
More at Independent.ie
Madonna has duetted with superstars such as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears but some fans don’t know one of her biggest hits was co-written by rock idol Lenny Kravitz. Kravitz wrote a “hot” song he thought was suitable for Madonna. Interestingly, the song became a huge pop smash even though it isn’t really a pop song.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Kravitz recalled crafting “Justify My Love.” He felt it didn’t suit him but he liked it because it was “hot.” In addition, he felt “Justify My Love” might work for Madonna, who he’d previously met in the club scene.
He called Madonna and told her he had a No. 1 hit for her. Madonna was skeptical. Kravitz insisted “Justify My Love” would be a huge success if she recorded it. The Queen of Pop said she was willing to hear it.
“So I went to the studio,” Kravitz told Rolling Stone, “popped in my cassette, blasted the track and played it again and again and she’s like, ‘Let’s do it.’ Everyone in the room was like, ‘Oh, sh*t.’ It was so different.” According to AllMusic, Madonna and Kravitz co-wrote the final version of “Justify My Love.”
Rolling Stone reports Jean-Baptiste Mondino, the director of the “Justify My Love” video, was taken with the song, calling it “very, very progressive, very unusual. It was Lenny Kravitz who wrote it, he was singing, but he was almost talking, and he had that strange beat. You couldn’t really dance to it. It was all whispering — it sounds more like an experience. Nobody would pick up a song like this and try to make a hit out of it, don’t you think so?”
Although Mondino didn’t think someone would try to make “Justify My Love” a hit, Madonna did. Not only did Madonna release it, but she also released it as the first single from her initial greatest hits album, The Immaculate Collection. That was arguably a gamble given that “Justify My Love” is pretty avant-garde for a pop song. After that, the risk paid off, as the track became of one Madonna’s biggest hits of all time, the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s interesting how Madonna’s change in musical style from her early dance-pop hits to the minimalist trip-hop of “Justify My Love” didn’t alienate the public.
Although Kravitz later had hits of his own, he told Rolling Stone he considers “Justify My Love” his first No. 1 single. In addition, Kravitz cited the track as one of the songs which defined his life alongside his own hits like “Fly Away” and “American Woman.” It’s certainly one of Kravitz’s many iconic songs.
More at Cheatsheet
Unfortunately there won’t be any physical releases of the Levitating remix track featuring Madonna and Missy Elliott as ‘Hallucinate’ is the focus single.
The 12″ vinyl is being released on The Blessed Madonna’s official label.
Since ‘Hallucinate’ is the focus single there won’t be any radio campaigns to support the track.
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Madonna is writing a screenplay based on her rise to the top of pop.
The 61-year-old star is reportedly working on the project alongside Diablo Cody, who wrote the 2007 comedy-drama ‘Juno’, and Madonna has turned to her diaries and archives of notes in search of some inspiration.
A source told The Sun newspaper’s Bizarre column: “Madonna is undoubtedly one of the biggest superstars of all time so a movie about her life would be explosive, scandalous and intriguing.
“As an artist she wants to have full control of it so is getting really involved in the entire thing.
“In 2023 she will be marking the 40th anniversary of her debut album and this would be the perfect way to do it.”
Speculation about the movie comes shortly after Madonna was said to be on the cusp of signing an eight-figure deal to return to Warner Records.
The iconic pop star was recently rumoured to be set to rejoin the label which helped launch her career, after releasing three albums via Interscope.
An insider said earlier this month: “Madonna is still a force to be reckoned with.
“The fact is, she sells records, people around the world adore her and every label would love to have her on their books.
“Now that her deal with Interscope has come to an end, she is a free agent and can choose where to go next – and Warner feels like the best place given their history.”
However, Madonna – who is one of the best-selling artists of all time – is set to “command big money”.
The source explained: “Madonna comes at a hefty price. She can command big money and wants to make sure whatever deal she signs is the best thing for her and her music.”
More at Celebretainment.com
It’s my party and I’ll fly if I want to!
Page Six has learned that Madonna has decided to hop on a plane to celebrate her birthday in a balmy tropical paradise, in spite of the pandemic — but it’s left some of her pals out in the cold.
Sources tell us that Madge is having a party for her 62nd birthday at the stunning Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which is the island home of boldface names including Ralph Lauren and Paul McCartney. It has also hosted guests from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to Grace Kelly.
But insiders tell us that some friends, including her BFF and longtime manager Guy Oseary, won’t be making the trip to “La Isla Bonita.”
“Guy’s skipping it because of COVID,” said a source.
The Material Girl’s birthday is Sunday, but we’re told it’ll be a weekend-long affair.
Madonna, of course, has been a controversial figure in the pandemic. After calling the virus “the great equalizer” in an infamous bathtub soliloquy back in March, she flew — as Page Six first reported — from London to New York at the height of the state’s lockdown to attend a birthday party for Steven Klein in the Hamptons. Folks quarantining at home were shocked to see the pop icon snuggling up to Klein at his Bridgehampton estate.
Meanwhile, she also tested positive for antibodies in April, and declared on Instagram she was going out “to breathe in the COVID-19 air.”
Oseary, meanwhile, has been much more cautious about his reveling.
As we reported in May, the power manager — who has hosted an Oscars party with Madonna for years — rivaled WME’s Richard Weitz for hottest Zoom party in Hollywood. Oseary’s bash attracted Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Leo DiCaprio, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and David Spade, among others.
Reps did not respond to a request for comment.
More at PageSix
Levitating will be released on 12″ vinyl!
Giel Beelen discusses the infamous kiss between Madonna and Britney in 2003.
LISTEN HERE (Dutch)
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HOW DO YOU HANDLE A PROBLEM LIKE MADONNA? —Stellar exclusive from Roger Friedman/Showbiz 411: Madonna is at a crossroads now. Her record deal with Interscope is over after a decade of not selling records, CD’s, downloads, or streams.Variety first reported this news last week.
It’s a situation not uncommon to older artists. Madonna was once a bestselling pop star with Warner Music. Then she moved into the Interscope phase, which was tied to her concert tours. The albums were bundled with tickets to make it look like they were selling.
But in recent years, the record sales have dried up as radio stations don’t play new music by legacy stars. It’s hard to believe that the woman whose records are ubiquitous on oldies and disco stations can’t get arrested now on radio. The one time Material Girl turns 62 in a couple of weeks.
Madonna’s total sales this year, according to Buzz Angle/Alpha Data, comes to 28,300 albums in CD sales and paid downloads. Her last album, Madame X, has sold 170,000 copies since it was released on June 14, 2019. Of that number 125K was CD’s and downloads. The rest came from streaming. I’m sorry to say, but that’s not enough to engage a contract from a major label.
Madonna could go the way of a lot of older artists and sign a vanity deal with BMG. But they just rubber stamp the release and do no marketing or distribution. (Ask Chrissie Hynde.) Warner’s could make a distribution deal with her since they have her biggest catalog. But there’s no money there for new Madonna music.
What Madonna could do is revive her Maverick Records as indie, use an outside distributor, and hire PR, radio, ad, social marketing etc people. What Madonna hasn’t really explored are box sets, taking old albums and making anniversary packages, finding lost recordings. For some legacy artists, that’s become a good business. (See Paul McCartney.)
But Madonna just posted to Instagram that she did everything to make her career, she had help from no one. She did it her way. So she may not find a lot of people who want to help her now when she needs it.
Having been intimately involved in Madonna’s early-career (The Funhouse; Mark Kamins; Jellybean; Sire) I can tell you Roger has really hit the nail-on –the-head this time. Madonna has re-invented her image (or, at least tried to) so many times … I bet even she’s a bit confused now.
Watching the Go Go’s documentary I really zeroed in on the problem: Is Madonna relevant anymore? Sure, she, along with Cyndi Lauper, was at the forefront of femme-artists who would go onto making, not only major record sales, but major pop culture changes. Remember when Madonna wore those cheesy black-rubber bracelets? All the gals did back then … and, even some of the guys.
She was, for better or worse, a major, pop-culture phenomenon. Her music was first and foremost, but the way she looked and acted, just totally unique. Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Katy Perry owe a lot to Ms. Madonna.
Truth be told, before Madonna, there really hadn’t been such an iconic female figure figure since Cher.
She changed culture for sure. Remember her singing “Like A Virgin” in a wedding dress at the VMA’s at Radio City? Right?
Can she get back in the saddle? Of course. Though last week she practically dismissed everyone who had helped her along the way in an Instagram post, believe me, there are literally dozens who’d help her out in a New York-minute. From Shep Pettibone to Nile Rogers, Bobby Shaw and Seymour Stein too … they’d all be there. The reason why? They made some great music … and, boy, do we need it now more than ever.
Read more at Times Square CHRONICLES
Madonna has left Universal Music Group’s Interscope, her record label for nearly a decade, according to reports.
The Queen of Pop is considering returning to Warner Music Group, where she launched her self-titled debut album, “Madonna,” in 1983 and went on to crank out hits including “Like a Virgin” (1984), “True Blue” (1986) and “Ray of Light” (1998). Music trade publication Billboard said Madonna has not yet inked a new deal with any label and that talks with Warner Music are “in the early stages.”
Reps for Warner Music, Madonna and Universal Music Group did not return requests seeking comment.
Madonna first inked a three-album deal with Interscope in 2011 at a base of $1 million per record. Under that contract, Madonna released “MDNA” (2012), “Rebel Heart” (2015) and “Madame X” (2019), which have been some of the Material Girl’s worst-selling albums.
The pop star, who has released 14 studio albums, three soundtracks, five live albums, six compilations and 35 other limited releases, is set to team up with Missy Elliot on Aug. 14. The duo will join forces for a remix of Dua Lipa’s “Levitating.”
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