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Numerous female pop stars have taken inspiration from Madonna — and sometimes that pissed Madonna off. The Queen of Pop was surprised to hear that a particular female artist from the 1980s could mimic her vocals so well. Interestingly, this vocalist seems to have fallen into obscurity.
In 1989, Bill Zehme of Rolling Stone asked Madonna about her contemporaries. Specifically, Zehme wanted to know if she was upset that so many other artists modeled themselves on her. In addition, he wondered which artist Madonna felt came the closest to capturing her sound.
“When [artists] first started [copying me], I kind of got pissed off,” Madonna said. “You know, if you create a sound, then you want to have dibs on it. But then I felt flattered. But it is confusing sometimes because I’ll hear a song on the radio and for a second I’ll think it’s me. It’s uncanny sometimes.
“There’s one girl, in particular, a girl named Alisha, who’s had a couple of songs that ripped off the chord progressions of some of my songs,” Madonna added. “And her voice sounds so much like mine when I sing in a higher register. I was shocked! She’s definitely one who stunned me.”
Who was Alisha? AllMusic reports she was one of the many so-called “Madonna wannabes” from the 1980s. She had some club hits during that decade. However, it goes without saying that just because a song becomes a hit in clubs doesn’t mean it’s a hit with the public at large.
Alisha might be most known for her single “Baby Talk.” ‘Baby Talk” bears some of the hallmarks of Madonna’s early work. The song’s mix of stuttering synths, funk elements, and authoritative vocals make it reminiscent of the music from Madonna’s first two albums. Alisha’s vocals are so similar to the Queen of Pop’s that Alisha would have been the perfect actor to play Madonna in an episode of Saturday Night Live. Even Alisha’s choice to perform under a single name make her similar to the Queen of Pop.
Those club hits did propel Alisha from a minor label to a major label: MCA. MCA released her third album, 1990’s Bounce Back. The move didn’t seem to work for her. Last.fm reports Alisha would never release another album after Bounce Back. She languishes in obscurity, whereas other minor pop stars from her era like Toni Basil still receive airplay.
Alisha released a total of three singles since 1990. None of these songs are very famous, but the track “You Wanna Be a Star” was used in the 1990s cult comedy Superstar. Alisha never became a superstar, but she did manage to shock Madonna with her music.
More at Cheatsheet
In 1989, Bill Zehme of Rolling Stone interviewed Madonna. Zehme asked Madonna about vocalists she admired. Madonna expressed her love of Prince’s singing. She then discussed her Prince collaboration: “Love Song.”
“[W]e’ve been friends for years and admirers of each other’s work,” Madonna said. “So we’d always talked about getting together to write. And, in fact, there was a moment last year when we were possibly going to write a musical together. I went to his studio in Minnesota and worked on some stuff, just to get the feel of what it would be like to collaborate.”
Madonna said writing songs with others is an intimate process for her. She recalled how she’d tried to write songs with a number of other people and sometimes was not able to do so. Madonna’s first attempts to work with Prince did not result in any completed songs. After working with Prince a few days, she left his studio. She was no longer interested in writing a musical with him.
Later, Madonna played a role in the Broadway play Speed-the-Plow. Prince came to see her perform. Then, he brought her a demo of one of their collaborations. Madonna liked the song and wanted to complete it for her album Like a Prayer. The two worked on “Love Song” when they were far apart because Madonna didn’t want to go to Minneapolis to work with the Purple One.
“We ended up writing it long-distance, because I had to be in L.A. and he couldn’t leave Minneapolis, and quite frankly I couldn’t stand Minneapolis,” Madonna told Yahoo! News. “When I went there, it was like 20 degrees below zero, and it was really desolate. I was miserable and I couldn’t write or work under those circumstances.”
Madonna and Prince were two of the biggest stars of the 1980s, so a duet between them could certainly have been a big hit. However, Billboard reports “Love Song” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s amazing to think a video vanguard like the Queen of Pop never made a video with Prince after creating a song with him. Regardless, Madonna had some fond memories of working with the Purple One.
“He’s very private, you know, and very shy,” she told Rolling Stone. “He’s great when you get to know him. Charming and funny, in his own way. More than anything, he really comes alive when he’s working.”
More at Cheatsheet
Dua Lipa has announced a new Club Future Nostalgia the Remix album, which will comprise remixes of songs from her sophomore album, Future Nostalgia. The set, which she worked on with the Blessed Madonna (formerly known as the Black Madonna), drops on August 21st.
The singer shared the news on Instagram. “All Future Nostalgia tracks n then sum remixed by ur faves and many many more surprises!!!,” she wrote. “C ya soon.” The previously announced remix of “Levitating” featuring Missy Elliott and Madonna arrives on August 14th. “Physical” also gets a remix by Mark Ronson, which features Gwen Stefani.
Named on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far, the LP also made the 2020 Mercury Prize shortlist with Future Nostalgia among the 12 albums being considered for the prestigious award honoring the year’s best record from a British musician.
Released in March, the dance-driven album dropped at a time when many began sheltering at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, the singer addressed the difficult decision she faced in releasing the album at that time.
“I guess that was kind of the thing I was maybe the most conflicted about,” she said. “It’s such an upbeat, high-tempo album that you would just want to dance to. I wasn’t sure if it was really the time to put it out — to celebrate, I guess, during a time of so much suffering.”
Dua Lipa has revealed she is releasing a deluxe edition of her second studio album ‘Future Nostalgia’, with a myriad of producers and featured artists, on Friday August 21.
“CLUB FUTURE NOSTALGIA THE REMIX ALBUM W THE BLESSED MADONNA COMING AUGUST 21ST,” she wrote.
“LEVITATING AUGUST 14TH – FEATURING MISSY ELLIOTT & MADONNA – PHYSICAL FT. GWEN STEFANI REMIXED BY MARK RONSON +++ ALL FUTURE NOSTALGIA TRACKS N THEN SUM REMIXED BY UR FAVES.”
Replying to the original tweet, Lipa said, “AND MANY MANY MORE SURPRISES!!! C YA SOON.”
In addition to the remix album, Lipa also revealed to a fan on Twitter there’s a B-Sides album release coming.
When a fan commented saying they needed a ‘Future Nostalgia’ B-Sides album, she responded saying, “don’t worry I got that n then some coming your way. Hold tight i’ve got enough to hold you all the way through till 2022.”
More at NME
CLUB FUTURE NOSTALGIA THE REMIX ALBUM W THE BLESSED MADONNA COMING AUGUST 21ST – LEVITATING AUGUST 14TH – FEATURING MISSY ELLIOTT & MADONNA – PHYSICAL FT. GWEN STEFANI REMIXED BY MARK RONSON +++ ALL FUTURE NOSTALGIA TRACKS N THEN SUM REMIXED BY UR FAVES AND MANY MANY MORE SURPRISES!!! C YA SOON ❤️
Dua Lipa’s Instagram
Alan Parker, the cutting-edge British director who was known to film and music fans alike, died at age 76 on Friday. Capping his directorial career with 2003’s “The Life of David Gale,” Parker leaves behind a canon that defined the look and feel of the four decades in which he was active.
Whether you were a lifelong fan or are just learning about his oeuvre, below are 10 films that showcase Parker at his best.
‘Evita’ (1996): Taking an Oscar for Best Original Song (“You Must Love Me”), “Evita” was the first attempt at a film adaptation of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical since 1973’s “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Madonna took on the lead role of Argentina’s Eva Peron opposite Jonathan Pryce and Antonio Banderas.
The film received mixed reviews, but, as with many Parker projects, moved songs from the 1978 rock opera into the public consciousness. Remixes of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” topped club charts in the U.S. and Madonna earned critical praise for her vocal performance. At the very least, most critics agree it’s better than last year’s “Cats.”
Full article at YorkDispatch
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In 1995, Madonna was on top of the world.
Her first three records had set a formula, playing with sex and R&B and religious iconography. Then Like A Prayer had taken that formula to its natural endpoint, spawning hit after hit and coating her career in platinum.
But refused to stay still. Erotica came next, and blew that early formula up, a collection of soulful bangers released alongside of coffee table book of nudes. The press was in a stir. But even then, Madonna kept moving. Before the impact of Erotica had been measured, the singer dropped Bedtime Stories, one of her biggest commercial successes ever.
It was Bedtime Stories that sealed the deal. The press that for so long had treated her with snooty derision could deny her no longer. She wasn’t just a popstar — she was the popstar, as big as musicians got. Everything she did made news. Which is why when she and Courtney Love messily crossed paths at the ’95 VMAs, it wasn’t just an interview gone wrong. It was a moment in the culture.
Courtney Love’s 1995 was very different. Her band Hole had just released their masterpiece, Live Through This. But Love didn’t have the respect of Madonna. She was seen as trouble, perpetually in the process of falling into new scandals and tabloid blow-ups.
Love appeared to relish that chaos, too. Her reputation in the press was as an antic mischief-maker. She was the person you called up when you wanted an easy, loud headline. If Madonna was the artist, stunning the public with her work, then Love was the anarchist, dredging up dirt and sewing trouble in her wake.
Of course, both of those reputations were somewhat artificial. Madonna could make her own kind of trouble — the Erotica coffee table book proved that — and Love was a talented and heartfelt singer-songwriter. A track like ‘Violet’ was as complicated, intelligent and soulful as commercial radio of the time ever got. And all the tabloid nonsense distracted from that.
But still, those were the two personas that came crashing into one another that fateful night at the ’95 VMAs, when Madonna sat on a balcony, chatting with MTV’s Kurt Loder, and got a compact thrown at her.
“Hi Courtney,” Loder says in a video of the incident, turning to see the Hole frontwoman in the crowd below, the culprit who had slung the weapon. “That’s Courtney Love, everybody’s favourite –” He doesn’t finish the sentence. But the aborted description does all the talking for him. “Everybody’s favourite” what? You can fill in your own blank.
Almost immediately, Madonna looks uncomfortable. “Courtney Love is in dire need of attention right now,” she says. But Loder presses on.
“Come on up, Courtney” Loder says, presumably sensing an opportunity for more trouble. And so Courtney Love does.
The rest of the interview is chaos. Poking fun at Loder, Love apologises for the interruption, calling herself “feisty”. But she doesn’t leave. Instead, she and Madonna circle each other, half in an argument. Love says being a rockstar isn’t working out for her, a brief moment of vulnerability that sours into a dig, when she asks Madonna if the ‘Like a Virgin’ singer even counts as a rockstar anyway.
“You dip into the population, as Michael Stipe would say,” Love says to Madonna, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
A little later, after more attempts to start a disagreement, Madonna asks them to compare which one has better shoes. Eventually, perhaps sensing that the interview is more awkward than conversation-generating, Loder ushers them both away.
“Thanks Madonna,” he says, sounding almost bored. Love stays up on the platform, talking to Loder. But the camera strays down, into the crowd, watching Madonna and her silk jacket walk off, disappearing into the throng.
The clash allowed the mainstream press to strengthen the stereotypes of both women. It made Love look trashy, they wrote; Madonna look aloof and somewhat alien. Neither of the popstars got out with their reputation improved.
That was very typical of the music press at the time. Talking heads like Loder didn’t understand women unless they could cast them as either a Madonna — literally, in the case — or a whore. You could either be a diva or a danger to society, nothing in-between. PJ Harvey, an artist with an aesthetic that deliberately combined both images, was utterly incomprehensible to journalists of the era. All anybody asked Harvey about was her wardrobes and outfits. Anything beyond that was totally alien.
That’s clearly what Loder thought he was going to get when he invited Love up to the platform — the Two Kinds of Women, at war with each other. Which explains his disappointment. For all their surface level differences, the pair of performers share a lot in common. Both use their music to explore a vulnerability that their public personas don’t allow. Both have a rich and nuanced sonic vocabulary. And both were being put into a box and used by a shallow industry.
Indeed, that similarity between the two is only clearer now. Love tried to make fun of Madonna for not being a popstar. Now, such ersatz distinctions fail to exist. The “mainstream”, whatever that means, is more multitudinous now than ever before. We listen to pop; rock; rap; whatever. The faultlines that Loder thought he was tip-toeing across by pushing the two women into conflict either didn’t exist, or would stop existing in a matter of years.
Now, watching the clip back, it feels almost quaint. It’s nothing on the level of Cardi B and Nicki Minaj and their scrapes, or Minaj asking Miley Cyrus what’s good. It’s the sight of two personas rubbing against one another; the machine of the ’90s music industry and the sexism that lay under the press of the time turned inwards. And awkwardly. There are no sparks, and the interview inadvertently revealed why Loder shouldn’t have even expected them — because such distinctions were fake. Madonna and Love weren’t two polar opposites. They only seemed that way because of failures of the imagination of powerful men.
THE TREATMENT OF WOMEN IN THE PRESS IS STILL EMBARRASSINGLY REDUCTIVE.
The music industry still has artificial battle lines drawn, of course. The treatment of women in the press is still embarrassingly reductive. But the non-starter of Madonna and Love’s chat proves that we can and should continue to question how we make such distinctions. The things we hold as gospel now — the compartments we put popstars in — will seem silly in decades. So let’s start unpacking them. Things will be more fun if we do.
That, in fact, the joy of the Courtney Love and Madonna clash. Not that those two women hated each other. But that so many people — mostly men — had so much riding on the myth that they did.
Read more at JUNKEE
Sir Alan Parker, the acclaimed British director of such films as Fame, Evita and Bugsy Malone, has died aged 76.
His many other credits include Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning, The Commitments, Angela’s Ashes and Birdy.
A founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, he was also chairman of the UK Film Council.
He died on Friday after a lengthy illness and is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, five children and seven grandchildren.
Sir Alan received the CBE in 1995 and a knighthood in 2002.
Born in London in 1944, he began his career in advertising as a copywriter but quickly graduated to writing and directing commercials.
In 1974 he directed BBC film The Evacuees, winning a Bafta for direction – the first of seven awards he received from the British Academy.
In 1984 Bafta honoured him with the prestigious Michael Balcon Award for outstanding contribution to British cinema.
Yet he was never honoured at the Oscars, despite being nominated twice for best director.
Film director David Puttnam remembered Parker as his “oldest and closest friend,” adding: “I was always in awe of his talent.
“My life and those of many others who loved and respected him will never be the same again.”
More at BBC
Desperately Seeking Susan has been released on blu-ray format in Germany back in March, unfortunately due to Covid-19 we weren’t able to organise this giveaway sooner.
The German release is available in 3 formats:
Extra’s + Details:
Want to win a copy? Send an e-mail including your full name and address to: firstname.lastname@example.org before August 3.
Due to a random lottery we cannot guarantee who will receive the mediabook, blu-ray or DVD.
Don’t want to wait? You can order your copy at Amazon Germany now.
Many thanks to Rough Trade Distribution GmbH
Dua Lipa’s wens om ooit met Madonna te werken is razendsnel in vervulling gegaan. De Queen of Pop doet, net als Missy Elliott en The Blessed Madonna, mee op een speciale remix van het nummer Levitating afkomstig van haar laatste album Future Nostalgia. De single komt op 14 augustus uit, zo maakte de zangeres bekend. Op sociale media noemt Dua Lipa het “een droom die uitkomt”.
Begin deze maand kwam naar buiten dat het team van Dua Lipa contact had opgenomen met Madonna over een eventuele samenwerking. “We proberen Madonna te vragen voor een nummer. Ik ga een e-mail sturen om te kijken of ze op een track van Dua te horen wil zijn”, zo liet Dua’s manager Ben Mawson doorschemeren.
Madonna is al jaren het grote voorbeeld van de Britse zangeres. Dua’s album Future Nostalgia is bovendien “sterk beïnvloed” door de Amerikaanse zangeres.
Consider this atonement for what Madonna did to one of her best songs in the name of a Missy Elliott feature on a Gap commercial. Dua Lipa will join forces with two other queens of the dance floor, Madonna and Missy Elliott, to remix her current single “Levitating.” Lipa, one of the busiest pop stars in quarantine since releasing second album Future Nostalgia, announced on Instagram that the song will be released on August 14. The song will be remixed by the Blessed Madonna — a producer formerly known as the Black Madonna who recently changed her name because it “has been a point of controversy, confusion, pain and frustration” (the Blessed Madonna is white). There may be room for more than one Madonna on this remix, but we still know who the real blessed one is.
More at VULTURE.COM
Dua Lipa has announced Levitating as the fifth single from her Number 1 album Future Nostalgia, and its new remix will feature Madonna and Missy Elliott.
Levitating will be reworked by American DJ The Blessed Madonna for its official single release, and features two of Dua’s self-proclaimed “idols” Madonna and Missy Elliott. Dua confirmed on social media that Levitating (Remix) will be released on Friday August 14.
It was announced last month by Dua’s managers in an interview that they had reached out to Madonna for a potential collaboration, and it looks like Madonna replied to that email! It’s not the first big collab for the Queen of Pop, who has previously collaborated with the likes of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Madonna is of course no stranger to the Official Chart, with more Number 1 singles and albums than any other female artist in history.
Levitating follows the longest-reigning Top 10 hit ever by a female artist Don’t Start Now, Top 10 smashes Physical and Break My Heart and latest single Hallucinate as releases from Future Nostalgia, which topped the Official Albums Chart in April.
Future Nostalgia is the biggest album release of 2020 so far by a British act, the most popular British solo artist album on cassette in the first six months of the year, and is 2020’s bestselling British female release on vinyl.
More at Official Charts Company
Dua Lipa will release a new collaboration with Madonna and Missy Elliott. Levitating will be the fifth single taken overall from Dua’s sophomore LP Future Nostalgia, which dropped earlier this year. The new remix takes after the chart-topping smash Don’t Start Now, which kickstarted a disco revivial, as well as the ultimate bop Physical, the INXS-interpolating Break My Heart and the trance-influenced Hallucinate.
Announcing the news on Twitter, Dua revealed the new track will be remixed by DJ The Blessed Madonna.
‘Levitating remixed by The Blessed Madonna,’ she wrote. ‘Featuring my idols Madonna and Missy Elliott. Dreams come true, let’s go!’ Let’s go indeed. Alexa, play Levitating! Quite a flex after just being nominated for the Mercury Prize as well, if you ask us. Dua’s second album Future Nostalgia was released this year.
The news of a collaboration with Madge, however, won’t be news to anyone who was paying attention. Just last month, Dua’s manager hinted he had already hit up the Queen of Pop herself to feature on a new track. Well, at least we know Madonna replies to emails quickly, right? And if all this wasn’t enough, the stars do certainly seem to be aligning for a diva duet, as Dua recently admitted she would like to ‘do a Madonna’ and reach her creative peak in her 40s. This was the age, of course, that Madonna released Ray of Light. ‘I want to do this for as long as I can,’ she told The Sun. ‘I feel Madonna peaked [in her 40s] and made the best pop album known.’ Basically, the other girls just couldn’t.
We’re ready, Dua! Levitating drops 14 August. Future Nostalgia available now via Warner.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
.@DUALIPA will release a remix to ‘Levitating’ with @Madonna and @MissyElliott on 14 Aug – and it’s going to be one of the biggest moments in pop music this year! We can’t wait for you to hear this 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/97jXCLJhBQ
— Warner Music SA (@WarnerMusicSA) July 27, 2020
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