Photography That’s me in the picture (The Guardian)

That's me: David Connor

 

That’s me in the picture: David Connor watching Madonna at the Hacienda, 1984

‘I thought she was quite boring. It wasn’t my thing. I was into indie bands and her being a pop star was everything I was against at the time’

As Madonna’s career took off, I would always be bragging about this story. I can’t count the number of times I’ve told people I saw Madonna at the Hacienda and how it was one of the most intimate gigs I’ve been to. And every now and then I would add, “Yeah, but she was rubbish.”

I got into the Manchester music scene from quite a young age. Luckily, my best friend, Andy, had got a job at the Hacienda. He was a barman/pot collector, but as he was a signwriter they used him for odd jobs around the place, like painting the columns with those yellow and black stripes. (Andy is still my best friend and does the decorating in my house. I like to say that my house is painted by the guy who painted the Hacienda.) Through Andy I got on the guest list for all sorts of gigs. I remember one Smiths gig when I got so crushed at the front, I ended up lying on the stage watching the show upside down. It was excellent.

I was 20 and I’d been going for a couple of years when I heard about the Madonna gig through Andy. He told me the TV programme The Tube was going to be there filming one night and asked if I wanted to come along. I was working as an electrician on a building site nearby, and I told him I’d be there. I hadn’t heard of Madonna, but the Factory All Stars were also playing and I really went to see them. Plus, I just like a freebie.

We were told Madonna was going to be doing two songs on the dancefloor, as opposed to the stage, and were directed to stand around her. I will be honest, I thought she was quite boring. It really wasn’t my thing. I was into the indie bands and her being a pop star was everything I was against at the time. I could see she was miming and it was just a dance routine. I can’t speak for everyone, but I got the sense that the crowd thought the same as me. No one was that fussed about seeing her. It was just like, what’s next?

They filmed the show quite early in the evening and I decided to stay for the club night. Madonna was actually meant to be staying, too, as the headline act. I remember seeing her leave around 6pm with her dancers, after the TV shoot was over. They had all their stuff with them and I had a feeling that was it, she was gone for the night. And, sure enough she was, she didn’t reappear. I think all she wanted was the TV publicity. I don’t think she was interested in playing for 500 Mancunians.

I first saw photos from this gig in the local press shortly after, and over the years I’ve since seen them in various music magazines. I never kept a copy. It dawned on me that maybe I should have. The Urbis museum in Manchester had a Hacienda exhibition in 2007, and as I walked in I saw a really big print of it – and there was me, nearly lifesize. That was a shock.

This story still definitely impresses people. I now teach electrical installation to 16- to 19-year-olds and, whenever I’ve mentioned it, they ask, “Who’s Madonna?” Although one of them once piped up, “I know who she is – she’s that old bird.”

(Interview by Abigail Radnor)

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Order your Dutch tickets for upcoming world tour through Bol.com with Rebel Heart! #rebelheart

Next to the German announcement through German Amazon this morning. Dutch Bol.com has a similar promotion running:

Reserve Madonna’s brand new album now and be the first to get access on ticketsales for the live shows in Holland and/or Belgium. Be certain of a concert ticket and reserve the album now. Reserve this before March 4 and be included in this promotion. You will receive an email on March 5 with the unique link to the ticket sale. Exact dates of the live shows will be announced on a later date. If you made the pre-order already, you’re automatically included.

Reserveer nu het nieuwste album van Madonna en krijg voorrang op de kaartverkoop voor de concerten in Nederland en/of Belgie. Zorg ervoor dat je verzekerd bent van een kaart en reserveer nu alvast het album. Reserveer hem VOOR 4 maart en maak gebruik van de actie. Op 5 maart zal je dan een mail toegestuurd krijgen met daarin een unieke link naar de kaartverkoop. Exacte data van de concerten worden later bekend gemaakt. Als je het album al eerder gereserveerd hebt krijg je ook automatisch de mail met unieke link toegestuurd.

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Order tickets for upcoming Madonna tour through Amazon.de! #rebelheart #madonna

If you pre-order one of the Rebel Heart editions through German Amazon (standard, mp3, deluxe, Super Deluxe, vinyl) you will receive an email on March 7 with all the details how to purchase your tickets for Madonna’s stops in Germany during the upcoming world tour. You can pre-order until March 5!

If you have already made your pre-order, you will automatically get the email as well. More news will be made available on the German stops of her upcoming tour in the next two weeks.

More info HERE

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The Queen of Pop reigns again with ‘Living for Love,’ tying with George Strait, the King of Country, for the most leaders on a single Billboard chart.

Madonna makes Billboard chart history, as she earns her 44th No. 1 on Dance Club Songs, where “Living for Love” lifts 2-1. (The ranking, dated March 7, will refresh on Billboard.com on Thursday, Feb. 26.)

With the coronation, Madonna equals George Strait, who’s logged 44 No. 1s on Hot Country Songs, for the most leaders ever by an act on a singular Billboard chart.

It’s fitting history for the artists also known, respectively, and reverently, as the Queen of Pop and the King of Country.

Complete article HERE

(@https://www.billboard.com/)

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Sign up for official Dutch Rebel Heart release party March 5 Amsterdam

You can sign up later today at 20.00 to attend the official Dutch Rebel Heart release party in FAME Amsterdam on March 5 at 20.30. Here is the link through Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/tickets-release-party-rebel-heart-madonna-15803958064

Let everyone know through the event page on Facebook that you will be there: https://www.facebook.com/events/649794605132845/?source=1&sid_create=3378684502

The first 200 entries will receive a free DVD with the purchase of one of the Rebel Heart products! Please don’t forget to tick the box when you sign up! The Free DVD is something you cannot miss out on, this is a goodie that we at MadonnaUnderground are happy to include with your purchase.

There will be a pre-order available for the Rebel Heart Vinyl LP.

More info to follow!

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Madonna goes ‘Blond’ with PRECIOSA Crystals

PRWEB New York, NY (PRWEB) February 19, 2015

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but crystals are the ‘Queen of Pop’s.’ In her newly premiered “Livin’ for Love” music video, Madonna steals the screen in a custom corset by The Blonds with thousands of precision-cut Czech crystals.

Madonna is just one of many music moguls to recently turn to fashion design duo The Blonds, and thus, the beautiful Preciosa crystal components they use. “It’s an incredible honor to see one of music’s greatest icons wear a Blonds piece,” says David Trujillo of The Blonds, whose Fall/Winter collection featured Preciosa this February during New York Fashion Week. “You could say designing her outfit with Preciosa was just ‘Blond Ambition!’”

Madge isn’t the first to shine in Preciosa. Teen dream Ariana Grande performed at the 2014 MTV Music Awards in a Preciosa diamond-encrusted bodice, and singing sensation Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson captivated California in a multi-colored Preciosa piece while hosting the west coast version of 2015 New Years’ Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.

“Our crystals get used in such interesting ways,” says Klara Kasparova, Area Trade Marketing Manager of Preciosa, “From decorating custom chandeliers in world-class hotels, to covering costumes at major ballroom competitions, and now, to outfitting Madonna!”

The Czech brand Preciosa entered into the American fashion world in 1950. The company is best known for its fine, lead-free MAXIMA crystals, on top of its broad range of precision-cut crystals, beads, and nacre pearls. Their crystal components are a hit among many well-renowned U.S. fashion and jewelry designers due to their ease, grace and beauty.

For more information on the brand, please visit preciosa.com.

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Iconic Celebrity (“1010 WINS Iconic New York Series”)

Known for her ever-changing, chameleon-like persona, Madonna is as much a brand as an individual. A media–savvy trendsetter, Madonna’s uncanny business sense is matched only by her talent. A veritable force of nature, Madonna’s ability to control her image, career and destiny was honed from an early age.

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A Little Girl Grows Up Too Fast

The third child to Michigan residents and Italian immigrants Madonna and Tony Ciccone, Madonna Louise Ciccone was nicknamed Nonni to differentiate her from her young mother. When Madonna was 6 years old, her mother lost a battle with breast cancer, leaving the young girl confused and bereft of a maternal figure.
Despite her early heartbreak, Madonna excelled in school, getting good marks and gravitating towards dance studies in high school. Madonna’s dance talent was undeniable, and she was awarded a dance scholarship to study at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. She did not graduate, instead choosing to come to New York and study with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

An Unkind Welcome to City Life

Life in New York was difficult. She began waitressing at Dunkin’ Donuts, but she was unable to pay the bills. Already quite at ease with her physical self, Madonna opted to earn rent money by posing for art students in the nude.
She lived in ramshackle and dangerous apartments and was raped on a rooftop by two men at knifepoint She was also held-up at gun point and was the victim of several apartment robberies. All of this understandably left her shell shocked. However, she was undeterred from her professional goals.

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Turning Hardship Into Triumph

Madonna took up the drums and started to sing pop music in the band Breakfast Club. During that time, Madonna also made the rounds as a backup singer and dancer in the New York club and then-thriving disco scene. Eventually, Madonna started to craft her own lyrics, writing songs in partnership with an old college flame. Mark Kamins, a popular DJ, was spinning at New York’s trendy Danceteria club and played her tapes for the crowd, who went wild. Kamins then brought Madonna to the attention of record producer and founder of Sire Records, Seymour Stein, who helped jump start Madonna’s wild ride to stardom. Kamins would produce her first hit, the dance anthem, “Everybody.”

(…)

An Icon, a Legacy and a Woman

Currently, Madonna continues to turn heads, make trends and she’s doing it all her way. A clothing line, Material Girl, is designed with her daughter, Lourdes, and her health clubs, Hard Candy Fitness, have expanded internationally.
She has sold over 300 million records throughout her career and paved the way for generations of women new to the music business.
Her social conscience has expanded, leading to benefit performances for Malawi and Haiti.

Complete article HERE

(CBS New York / Corey Whelan)

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Madonna – Rebel Heart review by Matthew Harden for Same Same #rebelheart

SAME SAME posts a great review on Rebel Heart, here is an excerpt:

‘No one has matched the endurance of Madonna in pop. No one has had a career of consistency to compare to her achievements. ‘Rebel Heart’ can be enjoyed as a testament to her continuance. Usually, persistent success in one’s career, over a lengthy period, is societally regarded as an achievement worthy of applause. Therefore, it seems contradictory for cynics to drag her for prolonging a career. The alternative perception is to simply appreciate the music, as it so easily is, with ‘Rebel Heart’.

Inarguably it’s her best release in ten years. This is Madonna’s new era. If attention looks beyond the music, perhaps it’s time to notice that what she’s doing, as a 56-year-old female in pop, is shifting the paradigm for what it means to be middle-aged. We’re all living longer lives, let this central part in our life become more abundant. Let’s look to Madonna as an example on how to express freely.’

Click HERE to read the full review

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Press Release: Madonna Launches Hard Candy Fitness Classes in New York City

HARD CANDY FITNESS® LAUNCHES EXCLUSIVE NEW DANCE CLASS SERIES AT NEW YORK’S BROADWAY DANCE CENTER ALONG WITH  AN INSIDE LOOK AT MADONNA’S WORKOUT

New York, NY, February 17, 2015   For Immediate Release – Hard Candy Fitness®, the global luxury fitness brand founded by Madonna in partnership with New Evolution Ventures (NeV), will launch an exclusive new dance class series at the Broadway Dance Center in New York titled Dancers’ Access. This dance series marks the first US offering of classes under the Hard Candy Fitness brand, which currently has a growing portfolio of luxury full-service fitness centers in destination cities around the globe.  The 20-week series features tour-caliber choreography created and taught by the Hard Candy Fitness Sweat Crew, who also act as Madonna’s personal trainers.  It will be the first time the general public will have access to these trainers and content outside of the brand’s international health and fitness club network.

“As the Creative Director of Hard Candy Fitness and the leader of the Sweat Crew, I am thrilled to bring the heart and soul of this brand to the US for the first time and to New York City in particular.  It’s especially gratifying that the series of classes will take place at one of the most prominent dance centers in the world,” says Craig Smith, Hard Candy Fitness Creative Director and lead personal trainer for Madonna. “Based on Madonna’s love and passion for dance, we are excited to launch this program as a way for dance lovers of all skill levels to learn what inspires and keeps our global star fit and able to perform on such a high level.”

Each week, participants will learn choreography inspired by Madonna’s on-stage performances. Dancers’ Access brings innovative, professional-level content on a weekly basis to dancers at one of the biggest dance companies in the world, Broadway Dance Center in Manhattan, which Madonna herself once attended. Elements of the class will include an extensive warm up, performance conditioning, flexibility and cardio needed to perform day after day while on tour, along with learning and performing choreographed content.

Classes begin Monday March 2, 2015 and are scheduled every Monday and Wednesday at 6:30 PM. Visit The Broadway Dance Center online to reserve your spot and find out more about the Hard Candy Fitness Sweat Crew and Dancers’ Access program. Also, get an inside look at the program with an exclusive video created by our friends at DanceOn, the leading platform for dance-focused video content across social channels with more than 15 million subscribers worldwide.

 

About Hard Candy Fitness:

Hard Candy Fitness® is a global, luxury fitness brand with fitness club locations in destination cities around the world. The brand was created in 2010 with Madonna, the world’s leading female pop icon and well-known fitness enthusiast, and New Evolution Ventures, the world’s leading operator and developer of fitness brands.

Hard Candy Fitness club members enjoy an experience where entertainment and fitness intersect.  The brand is best known for innovative group fitness programming, the best and most dynamic instructors, and the unique fusion of entertainment, music, dance and fitness.  Madonna’s dedication to excellence and commitment to hard work inspires the brand, and the club members approach fitness the way they approach everything in life – with the mantra ‘Harder is Better’. Constantly innovating, influenced by ideas from around the world, Hard Candy Fitness is Madonna inspired, fitness fueled, and totally unique.

Hard Candy Fitness currently has club locations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Santiago, Sydney, Mexico City, Rome, Berlin, and Toronto. Hard Candy Fitness is aggressively expanding its footprint into destination cities around the world.

For more information, please visit www.hardcandyfitness.com.

About the Broadway Dance Center:

Since 1984, Broadway Dance Center has earned a reputation in the global dance community as a beacon of excellence in dance education. BDC is renowned for its unparalleled Faculty and for offering a diverse array of dance disciplines under one roof. Our tremendous experience, cultivated through our years in the dance community, our state-of-the-art studios, and our ideal location in the heart of the Broadway Theater District in New York City make us the ultimate destination for dancers around the globe.

For more information visit www.broadwaydancecenter.com.

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