Madonna choreographer pushes Drag Race queen through injury in exclusive preview

Queens of the main stage, meet the queen of pop.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is going all out for its upcoming production of Madonna: The Unauthorized Rusical, and EW has an exclusive sneak peek at the remaining contestants preparing for the celebratory stage revue with the iconic singer’s Sticky & Sweet Tour choreographer (and RuPaul’s Drag Race Live! director) Jamal Sims.

For Widow Von’Du, the impending song-and-dance challenge initially sounds exciting: “The b—es that were like ‘I’m a singer!’ Guess what, b—? I’m a dancer!” she says with confidence as the queens line up in front of Sims for their first lesson.

“One thing I know about working with Madonna is that she don’t play, so, we can’t f— this up,” Sims tells the girls, though a nagging gash on Widow’s knee — sustained during a slide-split during week one’s Nicki Minaj-themed rap challenge — causes her to wince in pain through a move that requires her to land on her leg. She later rolls up her pants to reveal a deep cut, which Sims quickly notices and asks if she’s ok.

 

“I can do it, I just need to switch knees. Or, I need a knee pad or I’m going to just bleed all over the place and make it do what it does!” Widow says before the camera cuts to fellow competitor Jackie Cox casting a shady glance.

“It seems to me that Widow has trouble rolling with the punches,” Brita observes in a confessional. “I understand that your leg is cut up, but also that was challenge one and that should be healed by now, sis. Why are you complaining?”

See how Widow’s injury holds up throughout Madonna: The Unauthorized Rusical when RuPaul’s Drag Race airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. on VH1. Until then, watch EW’s exclusive preview above and keep up with our running ranking of season 12‘s best runway looks here.

More at EW.com

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How Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ Transformed The Dance Floor

In spring of 1990, Madonna‘s career and creativity was on an upward trajectory. She was already an international icon and had successfully made the transition from ’80s pop star to global megabrand. The singer’s visual component played an arguably huge role in helping her become a phenomenon, as she questioned, pushed and confronted many accepted societal norms. In the early part of her career, this was mainly via her own overt sexuality. Yet unlike many other female artists, Madonna was not simply eye candy.

Madonna’s Coat of Armour

While she became synonymous with wearing ‘underwear as outerwear’ – I have never seen a white men’s tank top and boxers look better than when she dons this combo in 1985’s Desperately Seeking Susan – it was her ability to transform these then daring looks not into something to simply be consumed by the masses, but to make them a coat of armour. I was seized with the overwhelming urge to appear at my junior high school wearing one of my dad’s oversized dress shirt with garters (note: this would not have gone down well with my Italian Catholic mother)- not because I wanted people (boys) to look at me, but because Madonna made her fashion and attitude about showing strength, confidence and a celebration of being a thinking, authentic self.

Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan
This last part is the hardest to grapple with, as if you dressed like Madge, it was easy to be seen as a blind acolyte helping fuel the multi-million dollar Ciccone machine. But if you were brave enough to scratch below the surface, Madonna was all about questioning gender and expectations, whether that was strutting around proudly in masculine attire or piling on yet another rosary on an already bead-ladled neck. Madonna taught me acceptance, not by TELLING me I had to be different, but by SHOWING. In the aforementioned boxer outfit, she never says, ‘LOOK AT ME BEING SO TRANSGRESSIVE!’ She simply flops around doing her daily Madonna things, as if she was wearing a T-shirt and jeans, not men’s underwear, and a holy piece of jewelry from the Catholic church. This made the [engaged] fan ask themselves, WHY NOT?, or maybe more importantly, WHY? to not question tradition.

Full article HERE

Thanks to Marc

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Dance pop track features Madonna’s longtime backing vocalist duo Niki Haris and Donna De Lory

This wasn’t supposed to be how it went down. For the past four years, Rod Thomas, who performs under the alias Bright Light Bright Light, has DJ’d an afternoon dance party called “Romy & Michele’s Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance” in New York City at Manhattan’s Club Cumming and Brooklyn’s C’Mon Everybody. Last month, he released the first track, “This Was My House,” a fantastically fun disco bop off his forthcoming album, Fun City (due out in September). And for the video, which debuts today, he involved a slew of New York performers — Glow Job, the Illustrious Blacks, Angelica Torres — as well as other activists, philanthropists, and friends to share their joy of nightlife. Instead, every club in the country is shuttered and queer people around the globe are attempting to forge virtual party bonds.

“It’s really strange balance between not trying to contextualize and do too much overthinking about putting out in a time of crisis,” Thomas explains by phone from his apartment in the East Village of Manhattan. “I’m being mindful about wanting to share with people about how they can stay safe and — listen to my new song! At least it’s an upbeat song people have enjoyed dancing to at home.”

The video for “This Was My House” opens with Thomas lounging on a sofa in his living room, a big glittering disco ball between his thighs as he calls up his pals on a pink phone while playing a board game. “This was my house and I was not supposed to worry ’bout it/ This was the place that I was not supposed to fear,” he sings. The lyrics are meant as an ode to LGBTQ+ safe spaces, and should be a new staple for Pride events everywhere, but it’s easy to now interpret public health crisis with millions urged to shelter at home while social distancing. “It’s cold outside/ And this should be my shelter/ Nothing here is comfort to me/ Oh it’s cold outside/ But I can brave the weather,” it continues in its bittersweet vein.

Thomas says he’s grateful he’s a “mom-type” artist, planning and prepping way in advance, so he actually filmed the video (which is directed, shot, and edited by Tyler Jensen) in February and had it ready to go. While he used his own apartment for the at-home scenes, the party shots were captured at Bedlam, an East Village club staple. “Finally it’s paid off, all that planning!” he says with relief. But he’s quick to share his concern for the clubs and bars and staff who are all struggling economically. “These spaces have been threatened and they feel even more attacked than ever.”

While firmly rooted in our contemporary world — the song was produced by Initial Talk, best known for his remixes of songs like Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” and Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” — the throwback references are also strong (and not just because of those pink leg warmers). Thomas credits Madonna’s “Truth or Dare” and its ensemble for introducing him to queer culture, so having Niki Harris and Donna De Lory — Madge’s longtime backup singer duo — on it meant the “world to me.”

At the moment it seems a disco vibe has seeped into the mainstream, with pop artists such as Dua Lipa and the Weeknd releasing their own take on the catalog. And Bright Light Bright Light’s latest song offers its own buoyant beat to dance through pain and trouble. “For me, it’s sort of dancing through pain and struggle; the subject matter of disco is turmoil and defiance,” Thomas explains. “You have this call to arms: don’t give up, push on through, find the joy where you can.”

Check out video at RollingStone

Thanks to Marc

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Drag Race Sneak Peek: Which Queen Doesn’t Have a Prayer of Winning the Madonna Musical Challenge?

With Aiden Zhane out of the game, her feud with Brita has been squashed (for now), but there’s still plenty of drama in the RuPaul’s Drag Race workroom this Friday (VH1, 8/7c).

As revealed in the preview clip above, the queens still have a few “unresolved issues” from last week’s Untucked, particularly Heidi N. Closet and Widow Von’Du feeling like some of the queens went too far with their unsolicited, hurtful critiques. “You’re going to have to call me the umpire, because I’m about to call these bitches out,” Heidi tells the cameras.

Gigi Goode apologizes, insisting she would never imply that Heidi is ugly. Other queens like Jackie Cox and Sherry Pie follow suit, but not everyone is interested to hear what they have to say.

After saying that she hopes they fall down during the next dance challenge, Widow tells the queens, “I hope someone tears you down just as much as you tore us down.”

Needless to say, the energy in the workroom is tense when the queens come back together for this week’s challenge, Madonna: The Unauthorized Rusical. And that tension only escalates when the queens start casting roles, especially when Brita’s limited vocal range leads to her stealing Gigi’s No. 1 pick.

At least Jan seems to have the right attitude going into this challenge. She isn’t thrilled to be portraying “early” Madonna, nor does she want to have to be the first queen on the stage, but she accepts it and moves on with a hearty, “Yeah, I’ll sing my t–ts off!”

More at TVLine

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Madonna Remembers Dance Music Champion Orlando Puerta: ‘I Am Forever Indebted To Orlando’

As news of Puerta’s death ripples through the music industry, Madonna, Diane Warren and more share their recollections of the beloved dance music promotions and marketing exec.

As news of Orlando Puerta’s death ripples through the music industry, those who knew the longtime dance music marketing and promotions executive are mourning his loss.

“I am forever indebted to Orlando and he will be sorely missed,” Madonna tells Billboard. “His passion and commitment to dance and club music had no limits and he was a very big reason I had 50 number ones on the dance charts.  Thank you Orlando. RIP.”

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Puerta began working with Madonna when he joined the marketing team at Warner Brothers Records in the late 1990s. He did marketing and promotions for Madonna albums including Music, Confessions On a DancefloorHard Candy, Rebel Heart and her most recent LP Madame X, delivering songs and remixes to the top of worldwide charts. In 2009, Puerta left Warner Brothers to start his own promotions company, Citrusonic, although he continued working with Madonna and her team until his death.

“Orlando was part of our Madonna family,” says Madonna’s longtime manager Guy Oseary. “No one loved dance music more or worked harder or more joyously to promote it. I spoke with him in February when Madonna reached her 50th #1 on the dance charts. He was so proud of Madonna. He was a force of nature who will be missed.”

Puerta passed away on Saturday, April 4 from an upper respiratory infection. He was 55.  It is currently unknown whether the infection was caused by COVID-19, although a test is forthcoming. A dance music advocate since the early ’90s, he worked with artists including Madonna, Bette Midler, Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Depeche Mode, New Order, Orgy, Static X, Michael Bublé and Seal. His work on Cher’s “Believe,” helped make the song a global smash and Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit in 1999.

Puerta also became close with songwriting legend Diane Warren through his work on “‘Til It Happens To You,” the 2016 single she co-wrote with Lady Gaga. “At the time, the label wouldn’t let it come out, and her team was against it coming out,” Warren tells Billboard. “Orlando was like, ‘Let me do some dance mixes.'” Puerta commissioned 30 edits by a group of producers including Dave Audé, Dirty Pop and Tracy Young, with Young’s remix hitting No. 1 on Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs chart in January of 2016.

“He was so passionate about that song that on his own he went and got everyone to do mixes for it, and really with no budget,” Warren recalls. It was the power of the remixes, Warren says, that helped convince various teams to release the original, which became the first to be nominated for a Grammy, Emmy and Oscar award in the same year. Puerta and Warren remained friends since the collaboration.

“I loved him,” she says. “He was so kind, so lovely and lovable. Just a sweet guy. He went with his heart. We need more people like that. We can’t afford to lose people like that.”

Warren says a mutual friend sent an ambulance to Puerta’s house in Los Angeles this past Friday night (April 3), because they knew he was in poor health, although Puerta declined to go to the hospital. “He [didn’t] really take care of himself,” says Warren. “He [cared] so much about the music, and his company, and his friends, and his animals, but he [didn’t] put that same care into himself.” He passed away the following day, with Citrusonic announcing his death earlier today (April 6.)

A prolific animal lover, Puerta had recently sent his pet pig, Charlotte, to live on Warren’s animal rescue ranch. His five chihuahuas also arrived at her ranch today, just around the time Warren learned of his passing.

“In a time when we need kindness and we need good people,” she says, “to lose such a kind, good person is just tragic.”

More at Billboard

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The Confessions Tour discography online – 16 different items

New in our discography is The Confessions Tour release from early 2007!

This was Madonna’s first full live recording on DVD since the Drowned World Tour from 2001 as the Re-Invention Tour was unfortunately never released on DVD in full.

The concert film was released as a DVD+CD set but also a single DVD was available.

To promote the release Warner pressed some promotional singles such as for Jump (Japan) and Music Inferno (Sweden) these have also been included in the discography. 

Also included are some of the original Dutch press releases sent out by Warner back at the time and the original Dutch trailer.

Check it all out HERE

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A League of Their Own included in Columbia Classics box set 4K Blu-ray (June release)

A League Of Their Own will be part of Columbia Classics Collection: Volume 1 4K Blu-ray. This will be released on June 16.

Video
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: HDR10
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

TBA

Subtitles

None

Disc
4K Ultra HD
Blu-ray Disc

Digital
Digital copy included

Playback
4K Blu-ray: Region free
2K Blu-ray: Region A (B, C untested)

Pre-order through Amazon HERE

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Madonna Donates $1 Million to Gates Philanthropy Partners’ Coronavirus-Relief Efforts

Madonna has donated $1 million to the Gates Philanthropy Partners’ COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a rep for the organization confirmed to Variety.

“Her contribution is alongside the commitments by the Gates Foundation, Wellcome, Mastercard, U.K. Government and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – all partners in the initiative,” the rep said, clarifying that “The money will go through the COVID-19 Response Fund operated by Gates Philanthropy Partners, so not directly to the Gates Foundation.”

In a statement on her website, Madonna — seen above accepting Advocate for Change honor at last year’s GLAAD Awards — wrote:

“I’m joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation effort to find a drug that will prevent or treat COVID-19. We need this to protect our health workers, the most vulnerable, and all of our friends and families.

“I’m talking about this: I am so impressed by the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator’s urgent efforts to find new or existing drugs that could effectively prevent or treat the disease. Harnessing the strength and knowledge of the research community, the Accelerator’s critical scientific progress will inform how we end this pandemic and prevent future impact from the virus. I send enormous gratitude and strength to the courageous first responders, medical professionals and scientists who are protecting our communities, those suffering and our most vulnerable.”

An excerpt from an update on the Accelerator’s progress posted on its website reads: “There are two trials starting pretty much simultaneously, using chloroquine and a drug with a slightly different structure, hydroxychloroquine. Now, you may have heard of the WHO SOLIDARITY Trial that was announced two weeks ago, which will look at chloroquine as a treatment for people who are sick, to see if it shortens the duration of their sickness. The two Accelerator studies are looking instead at prophylaxis — stopping people exposed to the virus from getting sick.

“From the existing data, which need validation in a trial, it looks like hydroxychloroquine could be a good agent for prophylaxis. It actually blocks the entry of the virus into the cell, so the hypothesis makes a lot of sense: if you have the drug in your system and you get exposed, you won’t let the virus get into your cells and you won’t get onset of disease. That is what the trials are aimed at showing.”

For the full report, go to: https://gates.ly/2V1ALzJ

More at Variety

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Madonna’s 10 Best (and Worst) Songs of All Time

There’s no denying Madonna’s seismic impact on music. For nearly four decades now, she’s been a trendsetter, shape-shifter, and innovator—a provocateur of pop and fashion and culture. But this is a double-edged sword. Because Madonna is so bold when it comes to her music, that means it’s never safe. Translation? She’s produced some brilliant songs…and some misfires. Oftentimes, these are intermixed on the same album, which makes listening to her work a very polarizing experience. Diehard fans get this. They know that one of her best tracks can sometimes be followed by something they feel is unlistenable. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Madonna’s refusal to play by music’s rules is one of the things I love most about her. The fact that she continues to push boundaries—even up to her most recent album, 2019’s Madame X—is awe-inspiring. Because the thing is, when Madonna does make a hit, it’s not just a hit: It’s transcendent.

These 10 songs, below, are the brightest examples of that. I consider them to be the best in her discography, and you’ve no doubt heard many of them. Most of these songs are more than just dance floor-ready bops: They’re real pieces of music history that will stand the test of time. As for her worst songs, which I’ve also listed? Well, let’s hope we forget about those.
Best
 

10. “Like a Virgin” (1984)

Madonna could have easily been a one-album wonder after her debut, but she followed it up with something the world couldn’t ignore: a splashy, synth-y jam called “Like a Virgin,” complete with a music video in which she wears a wedding dress. Pair this with a headline-making VMAs performance—where she rolled around the floor, also in a wedding dress—and you have one of pop’s most potent moments. Ever.

9. “Music” (2000)

 

Following 1998’s introspective, haunting Ray of Light album, Madonna went bright, colorful, and fun. “Music” is one of her most widely-celebrated tracks, with a sledgehammer chorus and fresh electronic production that could easily work on a 2020 Charli XCX record.

8. “Holiday” (1983)

There’s no way this song couldn’t make the cut. By far the standout on Madonna’s debut album, “Holiday” is effortlessly joyous, with a chant-like refrain that never once feels cringe-y. It’s pure light.

7. “Into the Groove” (1985)

“Into the Grove” may have been our first glimpse into the music Madonna would come to be known for: grimy club delights with just enough froth to make top 40 radio. The song sounds very much of its era, but make no mistake: It can still move a room of even the most unbothered millennials. I’ve seen it many times.

6. “Live to Tell” (1986)

Madonna isn’t necessarily known as a balladeer, but her more downtempo moments shouldn’t be overlooked. Exhibit A: “Live to Tell,” a melodramatic shot of emotion that highlights her signature throaty vocals.

5. “Hung Up” (2005)

ABBA has only let one artist sample their music: Madonna, and thank God they did. No reinvention of M’s is more beloved by fans than 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, a nonstop, wall-to-wall dance record that soundtracks like a night out. (On the original CD, there were no gaps in between the songs, so it literally played like a DJ set.) It kicks off with the shiny, disco-fied “Hung Up,” which topped the charts worldwide. The track is Europop bliss: pulsating and primal, with a bridge that begs to be shouted from the top of your lungs.

4. “Express Yourself” (1989)

 

Madonna has always been a feminist figure, but that’s presented perhaps most directly on “Express Yourself,” a stomping ode to recognizing your worth. “Don’t go for second best, baby,” she exclaims on the thumping chorus, as shimmery bells and whistles swirl in the background. It’s yet another example of M’s impact on modern radio: There’s a current wave of retro-sounding pop happening in top 40, and it all harkens back to “Express Yourself.”

3. “Ray of Light” (1998)

When I used the word “transcendent” earlier, I had one song in mind: “Ray of Light,” the title track off Madonna’s most acclaimed record to date. Widely credited for helping drive electronica into mainstream pop, “Ray of Light” is an absolute rush of techno euphoria, a spinning, sparkly ode to the universe and all its wonderment. It’s a song that doesn’t just compel you to dance but feel everything around you, like ecstasy without the drugs. And you’ll never want the high to end.

2. “Vogue” (1990)

Two songs are largely viewed as Madonna’s most essential. This is one of them, and it’s obvious why. It’s a near-perfect dance tune, complete with easy-to-learn choreography and a hook that literally commands you to “move to the music.” If one phrase could some up Madonna’s discography, that would be it. Of course, the conversations around the accompanying video’s appropriative nature are absolutely valid—and they’ve been argued at length many times—but there’s no denying the omnipresence of this song, both in clubs and culture.

1. “Like a Prayer” (1989)

If, “Move to the music” sums up Madonna’s discography, then “Like a Prayer” sums up her entire career. It was, and always will be, her sonic, artistic, and cultural climax, which is no shade to the albums that followed it. (Please see: Confessions and Ray of Light.) But there’s something undeniably special about “Like a Prayer.” Not only is the song a pop gem of the highest degree, the video—with its sexual and religious themes—set the stage for what Madonna would do in the next two decades. She would challenge how the world viewed Christianity and talked about sex—and the role women played in both those ideas. She would push buttons and piss people off but get them to have necessary conversations. That all started with “Like a Prayer.” It really was groundbreaking, and its effects can still be seen and heard today.

Find out the worst songs at GLAMOUR
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‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’ Revisited: Looking Back On Madonna’s Iconic Era

Toss on your fanciest leotards, grab your supersized boom boxes and get ready to dance. Why? Because today’s the day to revisit one of the Queen of Pop’s most beloved eras to date. Yes, I’m talking about Confessions On A Dance Floor. Released in 2005 (get ready to celebrate the 15th anniversary this November), Madonna’s tenth album is a nonstop party from start to finish. Literally. Inspired by a DJ set, each of the 12 tracks runs into the next. That includes the ABBA-sampling lead single “Hung Up,” which rocketed into the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped charts across the globe.

After experimenting with her sound on 2003’s polarizing American Life, the living legend’s return to the dance floor was unanimously embraced. And it’s easy to see why. Aside from being irresistibly fun, this was also one of Madge’s most memorable eras. The hitmaker’s signature look included a body-baring leotard, and she flaunted her physique on stages across the world during an accompanying tour. That’s not all, either. Madonna had several other projects going on at the time. That included the release of a documentary charting her Re-Invention World Tour and a children’s book.

Of course, the icon spiced things up. On tour she wore a crown of thorns and hung herself from a cross. What Madonna era is complete without a little bit of controversy? Through it all, she continued to drop singles off the chart-topping opus. Although follow-up tracks experienced diminishing returns on the Hot 100 (Americans lack taste sometimes, what can I say?), global markets continued to laud her creative genius. To this day, Confessions remains one of the most influential pop albums of the early aughts with releases like Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia drawing comparisons.

Imagine being 10 albums in and remaining as iconic as Madonna. That’s pretty much the definition of a timeless trendsetter. Scroll through a gallery of some of her most memorable looks from the era up top. After doing that make sure to feast your eyes on all the videos she dropped below.

“Hung Up”

“Sorry”

“Get Together”

“Jump”

What was your favorite moment from the Confessions era? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

More at IDOLATOR

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Official Madonna Fanclub Kit from 1987!

Here is a very rare original and official fanclub kit for Madonna from 1987! The beautiful folder with the famous Herb Ritts photo on the front opens to a number of content including:

  • membership card
  • sticker
  • postcard (nothing on the back though)
  • two large photo cards
  • one ‘signed’ large photo
  • welcome letter
  • welcome letter handwritten by Madonna (not the original of course) on very thin paper in blue ink

Madonna welcomes you to her fanclub in her handwritten letter, talks about filming the movie ‘Slammer’ and the songs she has just recorded for that. This is a very interesting and very hard to find original piece of genuine Madonna memorabilia.

It has been added to our True Blue page. Pictured are the content and front and back of the folder

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‘Jump’ discography online – 15 different pressings

The final single to be released off the very succesful ‘Confesssions on a Dance Floor’ was ‘Jump’.

Madonna filmed the music video while in Japan for The Confessions Tour and decided to wear the same wig on stage she’s seen wearing in the video. The single became another hit single for Madonna. 

We have collected 15 different pressings for you to view in our discography HERE

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