Madonna’s ‘Ray of Light’ still shines quite bright

“Ray of Light” was an album that seemed to change things, from music to fashion to pursuits of enlightenment and religious understanding. And it didn’t sacrifice the joys of life in the process.

In 1998, there was a lot of music out that I just didn’t care about. Britney Spears, Sugar Ray and boy bands — it just didn’t resonate with me.

Out of the blue came something I didn’t expect: An important, career-defining work from Madonna.

As a teen male, my Madonna fandom was more rooted in her looks and her antics than in her music. I liked a handful of songs a lot, but I dismissed her as a dancer who got lucky with the right songs at the right time.

I’m pleased to say that I outgrew that outlook long ago.

But in 1998, I generally saw Madonna as a person who made headlines for who she was dating or what she was (or wasn’t) wearing.

So I was totally unprepared for the brilliance that was “Ray of Light.”

Read full blog by Chris Shields for SCTimes HERE

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2nd Manila concert announced!

By overwhelming demand, Madonna is adding a second night in Manila! The second night of her Rebel Heart Tour is set for February 25, 2016 at Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila!
Our pre-sale for Manila is open to all registered Week #10 Icon Live Pass holders. Lifetime Legacy member priority access will begin at 10am PHT. On the morning of the pre-sale, login to madonna.com and go to the Tour page. You will see your unique passcode displayed at the top of the page.

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ICON PRE-SALE FOR FEB. 25 • MANILA #2
WED., JULY 29, @ 10am-4pm PHT

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A$AP Ferg in the Studio With Madonna & Pharrell, Working on New Album

A$AP Ferg’s next album is crazy — or so says Madonna, Pharrell, and Missy Elliott. In a recent interview with Revolt TV, the Trap Lord artist announced his next album release. “I’m working on my album. The album is coming out this year, definitely,” he said. 

Definitely is a strong word coming from the artist who also claimed the album would be coming out this summer. Yet, we’re willing to hold off for a little longer. From what we’ve heard so far, it looks like the wait will pay off.

“I got a lot of collaborations on there, I got a lot of my own songs on there. So far, everybody I played it for said it’s crazy. I was in the studio with Pharrell, I was in the studio with Madonna, and they said, ‘oh, this is crazy.’ Missy said it’s crazy,” he told Revolt TV. 

With an A-list crew like this, we don’t blame Ferg for taking his time. This year or next, crazy or not, it’s safe to say that Ferg is getting his fans excited for this next release.

Read more on Billboard

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Even the Rehearsal Footage From Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour Is Spellbinding

By now we all know that Madonna in a live setting is an unstoppable force and one that few other pop performers even come close to.

She sings — no lip-synching here, honey — dances exquisitely, and plays electric guitar. Each new tweak to her stage costume is thrilling. Somehow all of it has a message and often subtext too.

Her backup dancers are also legendary and a huge part of the cornucopia of stage delights.

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Two just-released teasers for Madonna’s upcoming Rebel Heart world tour are each only 30 seconds long, but together they show that in this tour, like all her tours since the early 1980s, Madonna just may outdo herself — again. This footage of the tour’s new choreography, as well as a sneak peek of some costumes (nuns, anyone?), should get fans old and new excited.

RELATED: Madonna’s 13 Studio Albums Ranked

Enjoy the rehearsal footage for yourself — and rejoice if you’ve got a ticket to one of the shows!

The Rebel Heart tour was supposed to kick off in August in Miami, but Madonna postponed that to add more rehearsal time. “As my fans already know, my show has to be perfect,” she explained in a statement. Now the festivities begin September 9 in Montreal.

Read more on Advocate.com

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Madonna Defends Tidal: ‘We’re Working Out a Lot of Kinks’

Madonna

Madonna attends the “China: Through The Looking Glass” Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Tidal has seemingly been under fire ever since launching in March: the streaming music service is co-owned by some of the medium’s biggest stars, but its pricing has been criticized, its interim CEO recently left and Birdman is reportedly suing the company for $50 million. In a new interview with the Associated Press,Madonna — one of the company’s many famous co-owners — defended Tidal by pointing to the company’s core ideals and hinting at more upcoming changes.

“It’s just the beginning, so we’re working out a lot of kinks and hopefully we’re going to build something unique and amazing that’s going to attract a lot of people,” says Madonna.

One of the “kinks” that Tidal has been working out has been an overall image problem, especially when compared to cheaper subscription services like Apple Music. Earlier this month, Tidal announced a family plan with discounted prices for multiple subscribers using the same account.

Madonna Compares Herself to Picasso, Says Creativity Doesn’t Have an ‘Expiration Date’

“It’s important that people understand we didn’t create Tidal, we didn’t put this together, we didn’t all join forces because we’re broke and we want more money,” says Madonna, who has worked with Jay Z, Beyonce, Jack White, Arcade Fireand several other artists on the new endeavor. “The idea is we want to support other artists and we want people to understand this is our heart, this is our work, and we want people to recognize that and we want other artists to have a chance.

“We live in a society now where everybody just expects everything to be for free, but you don’t get a house for free; you have to pay somebody to build it,” she continued.

Last month, Madonna premiered her video for “Bitch I’m Madonna” exclusively on Tidal, but the service was mired in technical problems and was forced to tweet an apology. Watch the video below:

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Watch Madonna and Her Dancers Rehearse for Rebel Heart Tour

Madonna doesn’t embark on her Rebel Heart World Tour until September, but the singer has shared a pair of teaser videos that give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the intense, high-energy rehearsals for the six-month-long international trek.

In the first teaser, soundtracked by Rebel Heart‘s “Devil Pray,” fans get a peak at the various costumes – nuns on stripper poles, a flamenco-inspired routine – and sophisticated dance moves that will go into each show. There’s also a glimpse of Madonna herself preparing for the string of performances. In the second video, featuring “Iconic,” fans witness the epic scope of the touring production as dozens of dancers rehearse atop elaborate sets armed with props.

Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour will kick off September 9th at Montreal’s Bell Centre. She’ll continue to hit North American arenas throughout September and October before heading to Europe for two months. Diplo will serve as Madonna’s opening act for the Quebec gigs, while comedian Amy Schumer will open for the singer’s New York-area shows. In January, Madonna will return stateside to fulfill her five postponed concerts and then chart course to Asia and Australasia. The Rebel Heart Tour will conclude March 27th, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia.

The tour was originally scheduled to begin on August 29th in Miami, but Madonna postponed the first five shows in order to add more rehearsal time. “As my fans already know, the show has to be perfect,” Madonna said in a statement. “Assembling all the elements will require more time than we realized. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause my fans. I can promise you this show will be worth the wait. Can’t wait to share it with all my Rebel Hearts out there.”

Read more: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-madonna-and-her-dancers-rehearse-for-rebel-heart-tour-20150727#ixzz3h6WBys67
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

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My Blond Ambition Tour in Rotterdam experience – by Romano van der Steen (English & Dutch)

batromano

(scroll down for Dutch version)

MADONNA BLOND AMBITION TOUR 1990 ROTTERDAM

July 24 1990….today exactly 25 years ago. When it comes to music and show I witnessed one of the most beautiful experiences ever. After becoming a fan in 1984 (her performance at Live Aid in 1985 sealed the deal for me) I was thrilled that she embarked on a world tour in 1987 and made a stop in Rotterdam. With her Who’s That Girl Tour she put on a show as never seen before. But as usual we had to wait and see whether she would be repeating this or that this was just common for artists such as her. Well…by now we know better.

she kept on scoring hits and her albums (back then known as long play records) blew up the speakers, creating a feeling of euphoria unknown up to this point. She was about to go on tour again. In 1990 she traveled all over the world with her Blond Ambition Tour. Rotterdam was included again. July 24 marked the day. I knew from experience that Madonna was capable of putting on a grand show, but was she able to top her previous show? She couldn’t….she truly outdid her previous show from 1987 and topped it in an almost impossible way.

From when the lights were dimmed and the thumping sounds of the opening I was in such ecstacy that I remained frozen in my seat and just watched in awe. An indescribable feeling. When she finally appeared and asked her famous question “Do you believe in love!!’ to the stadium, there was no holding back. As lifted by an angel I suddenly stood up and lost myself as a young God in the enormous musical spectacle that was happening on stage. I remained standing and dancing since (I might have taken my seat during a ballad) and I surrendered to the unexplainable feeling that this woman delivered to the stadium. A show (especially back then) on such a high level that you instantly forgot all your worries and experienced a phenomenal beautiful evening. I even shed a few tears during Oh Father and goosebumps all over during Like a Prayer. The bed scene in Like a Virgin completely took my breath away and completely lost it during Vogue and Holiday.

Thirty minutes after the last song I was still gazing at that deserted stage, where something phenomenal had just happened. With in the lead a woman that proved to be in a whole new level and that she was not just any other performer that would be lost in anonimity after her first tour. This was all too unique….too unusual…too good. The huge spectacle of the Blond Ambition Tour was overwhelming and again completely ahead of it’s time.

That same woman is still here in 2015. Still unique…still unusual..still too good. Doing her thing despite all the criticism in a way of such a level of class, that after 25 years you still get that same feeling with every new album and every new tour as back on July 24 1990. When you are able to achieve this as a woman in a music world that is dominated by men, you are one of a kind. I know for sure that I will experience the same feeling during the upcoming Rebel Heart Tour as I did during the Blond Ambition Tour in 1990. Because we are talking about Madonna here….the phenomenal woman who constantly succeeds. I am very proud to have been her fan for the past 32 years, the woman who 25 years after the Blond Ambition Tour still has the same ambition to give her loyal followers a breathtakingly experience.


 

Dutch – Nederlands

MADONNA BLOND AMBITION TOUR 1990 ROTTERDAM

24 juli 1990…vandaag exact 25 jaar geleden.Op muzikaal-en showgebied was ik getuige van één van de allermooiste ervaringen die ik ooit beleefde. Nadat ik in 1984 fan van Madonna was geworden (na haar optreden op Live Aid in 1985 was ik helemaal definitief om) was ik dolgelukkig dat zij in 1987 op wereldtoernee ging en ook Rotterdam aandeed.Met haar Who’s That Girl Tour zette ze iets formidabel groots neer wat nog nooit eerder was gedaan. Maar zoals altijd moest maar worden afgewacht of ze dit ooit nog zou herhalen of dat dit het zoals bij zoveel artiesten gewoon was.Nou…inmiddels weten we beter.

Ze bleef hits aan de lopende band scoren en haar albums (toen nog langspeelplaten genoemd) spatten uit de boxen en zorgden voor een uitzinnig gevoel en een euforie die ongekend was. Ze zou weer op toernee gaan.In 1990 was het zover en reisde ze de wereld over met haar Blond Ambition Tour.En ook Rotterdam werd niet overgeslagen. Op 24 juli was het zover. Weliswaar wist ik dat Madonna tot grote dingen in staat was na haar vorige tour maar of ze dat nu zou kunnen evenaren was nog maar de vraag.En dat kon ze niet.Sterker…ze overtrof haar prestatie uit 1987 op een welhaast onmogelijke manier.

Vanaf het dimmen van het licht en de bonkende tonen van de opening was ik in een dusdanige extase dat ik verstijfd van ongeloof en spanning op mijn stoel bleef zitten en die zinderende opening over mij heen liet komen.Een onbeschrijfelijk gevoel. En toen ze daar dat eindelijk tevoorschijn kwam en haar bekende regel “Do you believe in love!!!” het stadion ingooide was het hek van de dam.Als door een engel opgetild kwam ik plotsteling overeind en ging als een jonge God mee in het enorme zang-en dansspektakel wat zich op het podium voltrok. Geen minuut heb ik meer gezeten (misschien af en toe tijdens één van de ballads) en ik gaf mij over aan dat onverklaarbare gevoel dat deze vrouw het stadion in bracht. Een show (zéker voor die tijd) van een ongekend hoog niveau waarbij je al je zorgen vergat en als een blij kind een fenomenaal mooie avond beleefde. Zelfs nog enkele tranen latend bij “Oh Father” en met zwaar kippevel over het hele lichaam meedeinsde op “Like A Prayer”.Ademloos toekijkend naar de beroemde bedscene tijdens “Like A Virgin” en tijdens “Vogue” en “Holiday” weer compleet uit je dak gaan.

En een half uur na de laatste klanken zat ik nog steeds ademloos naar dat inmiddels verlaten podium te kijken waar zich zojuist iets fenomenaals had afgespeeld. Met in de hoofdrol een vrouw die definitief bewees van een ongekend hoog niveau te zijn en niet zomaar een zangeres die na haar eerste tour in de anonimiteit zou verdwijnen.Daarvoor was dit allemaal te uniek…te ongewoon…te goed. Het grote spektakel van de Blond Ambition Tour was overwelmend en voor die tijd nogmaals ongekend.

En anno 2015 is diezelfde vrouw er nog steeds.Nog steeds uniek…nog steeds ongewoon…nog steeds te goed. Tegen ladingen kritiek inzwemmend gewoon haar weg blijven gaan op een manier van een zeldzaam hoog niveau waardoor je 25 jaar na dato nog steeds bij elk album en elke tour datzelfde gevoel over je heen krijgt als op 24 juli 1990. En wanneer je dat,als vrouw in een door mannen gedomineerde muziekwereld,nog steeds voor elkaar weet te krijgen ben je unieker dan uniek en ben je beter dan de overtreffende trap van goed. Ik weet zeker dat ik bij de Rebel Heart Tour straks weer overladen wordt met diezelfde gevoelens als toen in 1990. Want het betreft hier Madonna…die fenomenale vrouw die dit telkens weer weet te bewerkstelligen. Ik ben apetrots mijzelf al 32 jaar fan te mogen noemen van die vrouw die 25 jaar na de Blond Ambition Tour nog steeds diezelfde ambition heeft om haar trouwe volgers een adembenemende ervaring te bezorgen.

Written by Romano van der Steen for MadonnaUnderground

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Show us your Basquiat!

Calling all Rebel Hearts artists! Your online fan art has really caught Madonna’s eye and moved her. She has asked if you can submit your best creations, from any era, style and look. Madonna has been inspired by your creativity and would like to display a digital gallery of your artwork live during the upcoming Rebel Heart tour. To be eligible to participate, you must be at least 18 years old and the sole owner and creator of the artwork and other modifications to the photograph, and you must sign your creation with your name — we want to make sure to give credit where deserved!

Upload your creation as a high quality TIFF or JPEG file that is 800 x 960 pixels minimum in size (larger formats welcome) to your favorite file sharing service and e-mail us the link to it at art4madonna@gmail.com before July 30th 2015.

Looking forward to seeing your works of art! What do you got, Show us your Basquiat!

By submitting, posting or uploading your artwork to us, you are confirming that  (1) you are the only owner and creator of your submission and no one else owns any rights to your submission; (2) the only name on your submission is your name and you are 18 years or older; (3) you grant us and our designee(s) a royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, fully sub-licensable, irrevocable, transferable, non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, modify, create derivative works from, distribute, digitally perform, publicly perform and publicly display and otherwise exploit in any manner your submission, and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, without compensation to or prior approval by you ,and you have all rights necessary to make this grant of rights to us; (4) your submission is not subject to any obligation  of confidentiality, attribution or otherwise and does not violate any applicable laws, rules or regulations; (5) you indemnify us and our designees, and we are not and will not be liable, for any use or disclosure of your submission and (6) your submission is and will be exclusively governed by and subject to the laws of the State of New York, United States of America (including, without limitation, its laws pertaining to copyright) and you irrevocably waive any “moral rights” or other similar rights or claims regarding attribution of authorship or integrity of your submission pursuant to any law throughout the world.

Madonna.com

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