Why Madonna’s Madame X Tour Is the Gloriously Insane Mess of Your Dreams
By Rob Sheffield
Madonna has never shied away from taking chances. Thirty years after she set fire to the Eighties with the disco basilica Like a Prayer , she’s as gloriously weird as ever. Hence her excellent new Madame X tour, a testament to the genius in her madness. Instead of a full-blown tour, she’s doing these shows as residencies in intimate venues, starting with 17 nights at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. The tiny rooms are the perfect place for Our Lady to strut her stuff. Like her Madame X album, the show is messy, but anyone who’s scared of a mess should avoid Ms. Ciccone entirely, because as any fan knows, her weirdness is where she finds her greatness.
The show follows Madonna’s adventures around the globe. “Everybody knows I moved to Lisbon to become a soccer mom,” she said on Thursday night. “I found myself alone, without friends, a little bit bored.” So after too many Sundays at her son’s soccer games, she started going out to Lisbon clubs and flipped for Portugal’s fado rhythms, which got her creative juices flowing again. As she announced, “From now on, I’m Madame X and Madame X loves to dance!”
The show started extremely late — she didn’t go on until nearly 11 p.m., which she kept joking about all night. “Forgive me if I kept you waiting too long this evening,” Madonna purred seductively, stretched out on top of a piano. “I don’t like to keep you waiting. But I have an injury. I have six kids. I have a LOT of wigs.” Then she had a couple of her dancers help her off the piano and improvised a pop melody: “I bet you had more sleep than meeee!” No rest for the wicked, indeed.
It was a cellphone-free show, with the audience’s phones locked into Yondr pouches that got unsealed at the end of the night. (Honestly, all shows should be this way.) Madonna kept mentioning how much she enjoyed looking into the audience and seeing our eyes as opposed to screens. “The eyes are the window of the soul. But there’s one window you’re forgetting.” She opened her legs, to a blast of orchestral music. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is what it’s like to have Mozart coming out of your pussy! I am one classy broad!”
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The Madame X songs work much better in a theater setting — the album has always felt more like a soundtrack to a stage spectacle, an Original Cast Recording, than an actual listening experience. She had a small army of dancers, plus scene-stealing musicians like trumpeter Jessica Pina and cellist Mariko Muranaka. One of the highlights came early on: “Human Nature,” one of her most enduringly great Nineties hits. She turned it into a stripped-down confession, writhing athletically before doing a bongo solo. It ended with Madonna surrounded by 11 black women — including three of her daughters, Stella, Estere and Mercy James — chanting, “I’m not your bitch!” Madonna yelled at the end, “Have we made ourselves cleeeear ?” Just in case, she handed the mic to the very young Stella, who said, “Hashtag #TimesUp!” For good measure, the ladies sang an a cappella chorus of “Express Yourself.”
The show opens with a motto from James Baldwin: “Art is here to prove that all safety is an illusion…Artists are here to disturb the peace.” Fighting words, but Madonna lived up to them in “God Control,” an elaborate production number with cops attacking the dancers under a video montage of news footage. Points were made, including gun control, police brutality and why Madonna doesn’t approve of smoking dope.
Her comic banter was as stellar as the music — she was loose, salty, spontaneous, thriving on her closeness with the crowd. At one point, she crashed in a vacant seat next to a London fan named Dan, flirted, drank his beer, apologized for going on so late, drank more of his beer (“I come from a long line of alcoholics”) and then said, “Dan, you’ve been a great crowd, but I need to get on with my journey.” As she explained, “Freedom is the theme of this show. And the theme of my life, for that matter.”
The night’s two big emotional powerhouses came near the end. She sang “Frozen” all alone, visible behind a video screen of her eldest daughter Lourdes doing an interpretive dance, with her “MOM” knuckle tattoo. It was a beautifully simple moment — just the singer, the daughter and that song, a show-stopper from the album ( Ray of Light ) where she fully embraced her hippie-mama spirituality. It also demonstrated that for all her love of theatrical excess, she’s a singer before she’s anything else. The night climaxed with a full-choir “Like a Prayer,” a moment that felt sacred yet also sleazy — the ultimate Madonna combination.
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Madame X has the global sprawl of her 2001 Drowned World Tour, which this fan would definitely have to pick as her best live show ever. She included a a fantastic fado interlude, starring the Portuguese guitarra of 16-year-old Gaspar Varela. Madonna sang a fado chestnut made famous by his great-grandmother, the late Celeste Rodrigues. There was also a showcase of Batuque musicians from Cape Verde, the all-female Orquestra Batukadeiras, working a centuries-old percussive tradition. She picked up her guitar to cover the Cesária Évora classic “Sodade” — a fangirl moment very much in the Madonna tradition, because what makes her a pop genius is the way she moves so fluidly between fangirling and creating her own art. It echoed her last tour, when she covered Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” which somehow wound up as Lady Gaga’s big drag-show performance in A Star Is Born . (Don’t be surprised if “Sodade” shows up in Gaga’s next Oscar-winning film?)
As always, she focused on new material, doing almost all of the erratic Madame X . (Alas, not “Bitch I’m Loca.”) But the most powerful moments came when she revamped her classics. “Vogue” became a B-movie fantasia with a troop of femme fatales in a black-and-white film noir cityscape, wearing blonde wigs, shades and trench coats. She strummed “La Isla Bonita” as a guitar cha-cha. “This is my striptease right here,” she announced. “This is as X-rated as it’s gonna get tonight.” Then she peeled off one glove, in homage to Rita Hayworth in Gilda and Natalie Wood in Gypsy . One of the night’s big musical surprises: “American Life,” which holds up remarkably well, as she vented her eccentric political rage with Mirwais Ahmadzaï’s vintage Francodisco frisson.
The stronger songs from Madame X came alive in this setting — especially “Extreme Occident,” “Crave” and “Crazy,” where she dropped to her knees before one of her dancers and sang, “I bend my knees for you like a prayer,” a foretaste of the “Like a Prayer” climax to come. She did “Medellin” with a video boost from Maluma. She did just one verse of “Papa Don’t Preach,” as an excuse to change the key line to “I’ve made up my mind / I’m not keeping my baby.” (The song could have used that tweak back in 1986, but better late.)
The crowd was camp as Christmas and twice as loud, gathering Madonna worshippers from all over the world, dressed to the nines. Shout out to the silver fox rocking his vintage “Frankie Say Relax” T-shirt. (Bet he’s the same guy wearing that shirt in the new Beastie Boys Book , in the photo of fans outside their 1985 NYC show as Madonna’s opening act.)
In some ways, this show is Madonna’s version of Springsteen on Broadway , scaling down to an intimate theatrical setting to tell one account of her life story. It’s yet another bond for these two oddly linked legends, who’ve been topping charts together since the days when Like a Virgin went up against Born in the U.S.A. In June, Madonna’s latest concept album debuted the same week as Bruce’s Western Stars cowboy trip , giving them the Number One and Two albums. How gratifying that these two Eighties icons are not only still topping the charts, they’re doing it with their wildest, most experimental work. We chose well when we picked these two as our heroes, right? As Madame X proves, Madonna will never be the kind of superstar who repeats her successes, sticks to her strengths, or plays it safe. Instead, she’s getting weirder with age. Thank all the angels and saints for that.
“God Control” “Dark Ballet” “Human Nature” “Vogue” “I Don’t Search I Find” “Papa Don’t Preach” “American Life” “Batuka” “Fado Pechincha” “Killers Who Are Partying” “Crazy” “La Isla Bonita” “Sodade” “Medellin” “Extreme Occident” “Frozen” “Come Alive” “Future” “Crave” “Like a Prayer” “I Rise”
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Madonna Announces Intimate ‘Madame X’ Tour Dates
Madonna announced a slate of Madame X tour dates on Monday (May 6).
By Gil Kaufman
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UPDATE: After this story was published, Madonna added nine more dates to her Madame X Tour. Find all the updated dates in the list below.
Madonna announced a slate of Madame X tour dates on Monday (May 6) that will bring the international superstar to intimate venues across the country for a series of residency-like multi-night runs in theaters.
The Live Nation-promoted tour will kick off on Sept. 12, with the first of seven nights at New York’s 2,100-capacity BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.
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The tour will feature multiple nights at the Chicago Theatre in October and five nights at The Wiltern in Los Angeles in November, with a press release promising dates in Las Vegas (The Colosseum), Boston (Boch Center Wang Theatre), Philadelphia (The Met) and Miami (Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre) to be announced at a later date. The Madame X tour will pick up again in early 2020 with shows in Lisbon (The Coliseum), London (The Palladium) and Paris (Grand Rex).
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The 15-track Madame X album is due out on June 14; fans have already gotten a taste of the eclectic sounds on the album via “Medellin” with Maluma and the just-released “I Rise.” “The chance for fans to see Madonna at these venues is incredibly special. We are proud and excited to be able to deliver this ultimate opportunity for her fans,” said Madonna’s long-time promoter Arthur Fogel , president – Global Touring and chairman – Global Music, Live Nation.
Ticket requests for all shows will be accepted from Monday through 11:59 p.m. on Friday (May 10) here . According to a release, fans will be able to select the city and show preference and preferred price points before completing their request and those whose requests are confirmed will be notified by May 17. There is a four ticket per person limit, with prices ranging from $60-$760 (plus service charges). Each show will also make 10 $10 tickets available for fans here .
Madame ? is excited to announce she is going on tour! — A theatre tour!! — ——! This Fall. #jonasakerlund @diplo pic.twitter.com/LR7W4LqXYj — Madonna (@Madonna) May 6, 2019
Madonna Quotes New 'Madame X' Song During Speech at GLAAD Media Awards: Watch
Madonna’s Icon official fan club’s Verified Lifetime Legacy members will get first access to tickets and VIP packages here to register for the show(s) of their choice. Citi is the official presale credit card of the tour, with Citi cardmembers getting special access to tickets by submitting their requests now through Friday (May 10) at 11:59 pm. EDT here .
Each ticket will include a physical copy of the album.
Check out the Madame X tour dates below.
Sept. 12 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 14 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 15 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 17 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 19 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 21 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 22 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 24 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 25 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 26 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Sept. 28 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Oct. 1 — New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Oct. 15 — Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Oct. 16 — Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Oct. 17 — Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Oct. 21 — Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
Nov. 12 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov. 13 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov. 14 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov. 16 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov. 17 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern?
Nov. 21 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov. 23 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov. 24 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
Nov. 25 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern?
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Madonna: Madame X review – tour doc prostrates itself before queen of pop
This film lays out the impressive staging of a dramatic tour but is intent on capturing its subject from only the best angles
T his documentary opens with the old James Baldwin quotation about artists being here to disturb the peace, alongside a montage of the many controversies Madonna has sparked over the course of her career. There’s the quaint outrage she provoked in the Like a Virgin era; the Like a Prayer video with its flaming crosses, stigmata and snogging of a Black saint; the Sex book; the New York Post devoting its front page to an op-ed piece proclaiming her the “degenerate queen of sleaze” with the headline: “WHAT A TRAMP!”
Of course, the Madame X tour generated disquiet too, but not of Madonna’s traditional conservatives-clutching-their-pearls kind. The album it promoted was, by her standards at least, a commercial disaster – it entered the US charts at No 1, dropped 76 places the following week and vanished entirely the next. There were hotly denied claims that ticket sales for her series of theatre residencies were sluggish. Before Covid brought it to a premature end, the tour itself was pockmarked with cancelled dates, 16 in all, thanks to technical problems and injuries sustained by the singer, which underlined that the schedule was perhaps too punishing for its own good. In the US, there were reports of fans booing her for arriving on stage hours late: this being America, one enterprising audience member attempted to sue her . When a show at London’s Palladium ran over its allotted time, the venue dropped the curtain and turned the house lights up, prompting the singer to yell, “Fuck you motherfuckers! Censorship! Censorship!”
Clearly there is a fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary to be made about the Madame X tour, and the wider issue of not merely maintaining a career for 39 years but doing so at the absolute centre of pop: a fickle, ever-changing space that’s changed more dramatically than ever in recent years thanks to the advent of streaming. But the Madame X film isn’t it: a straightforward concert movie, the closest it comes to Madonna’s revealing 1991 documentary Truth or Dare is when you see a brief clip from Truth or Dare between songs.
It’s beautifully shot – so beautifully, in fact, that you wonder how they filmed it without impeding the live audience’s enjoyment – and occasionally subject to a little light updating: the footage of protests featured during opener Gun Control now includes those provoked by the murder of George Floyd, killed a couple of months after the Madame X tour ended. It can’t capture the sense of occasion that attended the shows – the excitement that a star of Madonna’s stature was playing smaller venues than stadiums – but it does allow the viewer to boggle at the sheer bullishness of her set. Not many artists with a back catalogue as rich in beloved, surefire anthems would choose to perform 11 songs from their new album and only seven old hits.
The staging is impressive and wilfully arty. It’s beautifully choreographed – the closeups on Madonna herself reveal a woman working extremely hard indeed and, judging by the occasional grimace, pushing herself through considerable pain – and the appearance by Cape Verde’s all-female Orquestra Batukadeiras is an untrammelled delight. But without the buzz of being there in person to carry you along, there are moments when the documentary lags.
Intriguingly, it was filmed in Lisbon, which is both the singer’s adopted home town and one of the few places on Earth where Madonna performing a succession of fado-inspired songs with lyrics in Portuguese – an entire section of the show was given over to these – is guaranteed to go down as well as Madonna singing, say, Hung Up or Into The Groove. You find yourself admiring Madonna’s desire to focus forward artistically and to recast her music as expressly political, while wondering if the songs from Madame X are really good enough to warrant so much of the spotlight.
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Madonna Announces Madame X Tour
"The chance for fans to see Madonna at these venues is incredibly special," President of Global Touring and Chairman - Global Music, Live Nation Arthur Fogel said in a statement
GRAMMY-winning pop icon Madonna has announced a limited number of tour dates in support of her Latin music-inspired album Madame X , out everywhere on June 14. The Madame X Tour will be intimate performances to take place only in theatres in select cities.
The tour will launch Sept. 12 at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York and will include stops in Los Angeles' The Wiltern, the Chicago Theatre, The Met in Philadelphia and more. The tour will begin in 2020 again for a European leg.
Maverick Management and promoter Live Nation said the tour will give "fans an opportunity to see Madonna in an environment like they never have before."
"The chance for fans to see Madonna at these venues is incredibly special," President of Global Touring and Chairman - Global Music, Live Nation Arthur Fogel said in a statement. "We are proud and excited to be able to deliver this ultimate opportunity for her fans."
Fans will have to request tickets in order to have a chance at purchasing them. Fans who request tickets now through Friday (May 10, 11:59 p.m. EST) will be notified by May 17 if their requests have been confirmed.
For more information on how to request tickets, visit the Live Nation website .
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10 Ways Cher's "Believe" Changed Pop Music
As Cher's GRAMMY-winning hit celebrates its 25th anniversary, blast "Believe" and dig into the many ways it became one of pop's all-time classics.
The incomparable Cher had already achieved iconic status long before she dropped the title track from her 22nd studio effort, Believe , at the tail end of 1998. After all, this was an artist who'd forged one of the most successful pop duos of the '60s, scored a record-breaking trio of number ones in the '70s, and reinvented herself as an MTV goddess in the '80s. Not to mention her contributions outside of music: the hit variety shows, Broadway runs, and Hollywood moonlighting — the latter of which saw her win an Oscar.
But the success of "Believe" was still unlike anything else Cher had achieved during her illustrious 35 years in the business. It reached No. 1 in 21 different countries across the globe (including a four-week stint at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.), sold 11 million copies, and cleaned up at everything from the International Dance Music Awards to the Ivor Novellos. For a good 12 months, it was practically impossible to avoid hearing its dance-pop beats, lovelorn lyrics and, of course, that famous robotic vocal effect.
But "Believe" didn't just significantly impact Cher's already glittering career — it also changed the face of pop music as we know it. From inspiring other divas to get their groove on to pioneering a piece of now-ubiquitous studio technique, take a look at 10 ways "Believe" impacted pop.
It Smashed Multiple Chart Records
It would almost be quicker to list which chart records "Believe" didn't completely obliterate. The song spent 21 weeks atop Billboard's Hot Dance Singles Sales, and was still in the Top 10 a full year later. It was also crowned the year-end No. 1 on both the Dance Club Songs and Hot 100 charts. And it produced the longest-ever gap between chart-toppers on the latter — 33 years and seven months, to be exact — as Cher's first No. 1 on the chart came in 1965 with her Sonny Bono duet "I Got You Babe."
"Believe" was just as successful across the pond, beating George Michael , U2 , Culture Club , and Alanis Morisette in a famous five-way battle for No. 1. And with 1.8 million copies sold, it's still the U.K.'s highest-selling single by a female performer.
It Inspired Several Divas To Dance
Cher had initially resisted Warner UK label boss Rob Dickins' idea to pursue a dance direction, reportedly arguing that the genre wasn't conducive to " real songs ." It's unlikely many of her peers took much persuading, however, after witnessing the monumental success of "Believe."
In fact, pretty much every pop diva on the other side of 50 seemed to take to the dance floor over the following 12 months: see Diana Ross ' "Not Over You Yet," Tina Turner 's "When the Heartache Is Over," and Donna Summer 's "I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro)." Madonna ( Confessions on a Dancefloor ), Kylie Minogue ( Tension ), and Cyndi Lauper ( Bring Ya to the Brink ) have all since proved middle age and dance music needn't be mutually exclusive terms with entire albums tailor-made for the clubs.
It Finally Gave Cher A Grammy
It seems hard to believe that Cher had to wait until the turn of the millennium to pick up her first GRAMMY. The pop veteran had previously been nominated alongside then-husband Sonny Bono in the Best New Artist category in 1966. The pair also received a nod in the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group in 1972 for "All I Ever Need Is You," the same year Cher was recognized as a solo artist with a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance nomination for "Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves." But on all three occasions, Cher went home empty-handed.
The star finally emerged victorious in 2000, however, when "Believe" won Best Dance Recording. (The song and same-named parent LP had picked up nods for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album, respectively, too). Peter Rauhofer was also crowned Best Remixer of the Year for his work on the track under the guise of Club 69 .
It Paved The Way For An Exciting '00s Hit Factory
Nine different people, including Cher herself, are given songwriting/production credits on "Believe." But the most interesting behind-the-scenes name is Brian Higgins, the man who penned an early version of the track a full eight years before it was released. A virtual unknown when the finished product finally arrived, Higgins would go on to shape the following decade of British pop music thanks to his pioneering work as part of the production powerhouse known as Xenomania.
Best-known for guiding the career of their ultimate muses, Girls Aloud, the team also carved out weird and wonderful singles for Sugababes, The Saturdays, and Alesha Dixon. Pet Shop Boys , Kylie Minogue, and Saint Etienne were just a few of the more established names who turned to Xenomania for hit-making assistance, too.
It Made Cher Relevant Again
Cher looked to have been consigned to heritage act status before "Believe" came to the rescue. She'd only scored one U.S. Top 10 hit in the 1990s ("Just Like Jesse James") and that was at the very start of the decade; her last studio effort, covers album It's A Man's World , had peaked at a lowly No. 64 on the Billboard 200. But Cher isn't known as a comeback queen for nothing. The Believe campaign not only saved her from the musical wilderness, but it also kickstarted the most consistent, if undoubtedly sporadic, chapter of her career.
Indeed, although "Strong Enough" and "Song for the Lonely" are her only Hot 100 entries since (No. 57 and 85, respectively), 2001's Living Proof , 2013's Closer to the Truth, and 2018's ABBA tribute Dancing Queen have all reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200. And while Cher was always a powerful live draw, the Believe era took things to new heights: 2002's long-running (and misleadingly-named) The Farewell Tour , grossed $200 million across a whopping 325 dates to become the highest-grossing concert series by a female artist at the time.
It Proved Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number
Bette Midler , Aretha Franklin , and Tina Turner had all previously reached the top of the Hot 100 in their forties. But no female artist had ever achieved such a feat until "Believe" came along. Cher was aged 52 years and nine months when the dance-pop anthem took her number one tally to four in March 1999. And while the annual return of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" saw a 53-year-old Mariah Carey surpass this milestone in 2022, Cher can still lay claim to being the oldest chart-topping woman with a newly released song.
The star will have to score a fifth, however, if she's to break the all-time record : Louis Armstrong was three months shy of his 63rd birthday when he knocked The Beatles off pole position with 1963's "Hello Dolly."
It Introduced The World To Auto-Tune
According to Pitchfork , a remarkable 99 percent of all contemporary pop music utilizes the pitch-altering recording technique known as Auto-Tune. And that's pretty much all down to The Cher Effect. Although designed to subtly correct a wayward vocal, the producers of "Believe" decided to make it blatantly obvious that studio trickery had been at play, transforming one of pop's most easily identifiable voices into that of a wobbly android.
Cher had to fight to keep the song's unique selling point, telling unconvinced label bosses they'd have to remove it "over my dead body." And her instinct proved to be right. The pioneering use of Auto-Tune was undoubtedly the catalyst for the song's phenomenal success, ultimately paving the way for everyone from Lil Wayne and T-Pain to Daft Punk and Black Eyed Peas .
It Became A Pop Culture Fixture
You know a song has entered the nation's consciousness when it's been parodied by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. But South Park 's incomprehensible version of "Believe," which appeared in season 3 episode "Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub," isn't the only way in which the chart-topper has permeated pop culture over the past 25 years.
It was also given the spoof treatment by MADtv , has become a lip-sync battle regular, and featured in the star-studded medley in Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga . More recently, it was mashed up with "The Muffin Man" by Adam Lambert for a That's My Jam performance that went viral.
It Brought Back Crying At The Disco
Cher had asked many questions through the medium of pop during her illustrious career: "Am I Blue?" "Does Anybody Really Fall in Love Anymore?" "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" But it was undoubtedly "Believe" on which she posed her most pressing. "Do you believe in life after love?," she sings in the famously Auto-Tuned chorus, a clever turn of phrase which set the song up as the '90s answer to "I Will Survive"; follow-up single "Strong Enough" would go even further by essentially borrowing its string section.
The "crying at the disco" anthem had largely fallen out of favor since Gloria Gaynor 's heyday. But "Believe" proved once again it was possible to pour your heart out and throw some shapes at the same time. Robyn ("Dancing On My Own"), Pussycat Dolls ("Hush, Hush"), and Madonna ("Sorry") are just a few of the artists who appeared to be taking note.
It's Become A Part Of The Modern American Songbook
What do tween collective Kidz Bop , punk rock supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes , and Swedish synth-pop songstress Anna of the North all have in common? They've all put their own spin on the dance-pop masterpiece that is Cher's "Believe." And they're not the only ones, either.
In 2023, DMA's rendition was crowned the all-time best cover to emerge from Aussie radio station Triple J's feature Like a Version . Manchester Orchestra , Lucy Dacus , and Jessie Ware have all interpreted the smash hit in their own distinctive ways over the past 18 months, too. And it's become a talent show staple thanks to ballad versions by the likes of Adam Lambert , Jeffery Austin , and Sheldon Riley . Should the Great American Songbook ever get modernized, then "Believe" is a shoo-in.
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The concert film seems to be having a moment. From the Talking Heads to Queen, read on for 11 concert film experiences that will help keep the party going.
A lavender haze has descended upon movie theaters across America.
Taylor Swift ’s filmed version of her historic Eras tour is the movie-music event of the year, dominating the box office becoming highest grossing dometic concert film in Hollywood history after a single weekend. Byt the time the Eras credits roll, you know all too well that you’re going to want to keep the party going.
Luckily, there are a breadth of artists whose musical singularity is reflected on the silver screen. Swift's major influence notwithstanding, the concert film seems to be having a moment in recent years: Pop stars such as Lizzo ( Live in Concert ), Selena Gomez ( My Mind and Me ) and Lewis Capaldi have released popular concert films.
From Beyoncé ’s stunning Homecoming , to acclaimed concert films from Queen to Talking Heads and new entries like from the boys in BTS , read on for 11 excellent concert film experiences.
Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce (2019)
When Beyoncé headlined the Coachella Music and Arts Festival — the first Black woman to do so — in 2018, she didn’t just perform; she delivered a tour de force extravaganza that spurred a whole new moniker: Beychella.
Shot over two nights, the Netflix film Homecoming includes a discography-spanning retrospective and memorable performances of "Run the World," "Single Ladies" and "Formation." Layered in ware nods to the Historically Black College and University experience, legends like Nina Simone and dazzling array of choreography, wardrobe and vocal chops .
The New Yorker later hailed it a "triumphant self portrait" and " a spectacle of soul." Directed by Queen Bey herself, Homecoming took home the golden gramophone for Best Music Film at hte 62nd GRAMMYs.
Stop Making Sense (1984)
The filmmaker Jonathan Demme is known for classics like Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia , but he was also a major force in concert films. Among his achievements in this field is Stop Making Sense , his 1984 portrait of David Byrne and his Talking Heads.
Filmed at the peak of the band's popularity and following the release of Speaking in Tongues (which featured "This Must Be The Place" and "Burning Down the House,"), Stop Making Sense is a cult classic, from its array of hits to the band’s massive suits which became their calling card.
The film was re-released in theaters last month. "I'm kind of looking at it and thinking, who is that guy?," said David Byrne in a recent interview with NPR about watching his younger self. "I'm impressed with the film and impressed with our performance. But I'm also having this really jarring experience of thinking, ‘He's so serious .’"
BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas (2023)
While the GRAMMY-nominated South Korean superstars BTS may be on a break — Jung Kook recently announced that he will release his debut solo full-length - bask in the glow of the K-pop and their rollicking concert film earlier this year. In the film, Jung Kook alongside Jin, RM, Jimin, V, J-Hope as they smoothly perform their calvadace of hits, including "Butter" and"Dynamite" in a 2022 performance for Busan, South Korea’s rally to host the 2030 World Expo.
The boys are actually no stranger to the genre, with Yet To Come marking their fifth concert film in addition to BTS Permission to Dance on Stage — Seoul: Live Viewing and 2020’s Break the Silence: The Movie among others.
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)
With off-stage footage shot in black and white and performances in vivid color, this early '90s classic depicts Queen Madge at the height of her power. Taken from an actual game Madonna and friends play towards the end of the film (to scandalous results), Truth or Dare showcases the breadth of Madonna’s superstardom up until that point with performances of classics like "Holiday" and "Like a Virgin" with its artfully-shot juxtaposition of performance and documentary footage a trailblazer in the concert film genre.
" The surprise of Truth or Dare is just what a blast Madonna is," wrote the Guardian on the occasion of the film’s 30th anniversary. "Nastily funny, openly horny, undisguised in her contempt for anyone she deems less fabulous than herself and her blessed collaborators."
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)
Way before Swiftmania, there was Bieber Fever. In the wake of Justin Bieber ’s explosive rise, Never Say Never interspersed performances with snapshots of his journey from humble Canadian roots to global pop force to be reckoned with.
Helmed by Jon M. Chu (who’d go onto direct blockbusters like Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights ), Never Say Never is a time capsule of a younger, more innocent Bieber and his early earworm bubblegum hits. Until Swift's Eras is tallied it’s the top-grossing concert movie ever released in the USA.
Prince: Sign o’ the Times (1987)
This iconic concert film was once hard to come by; after its theatrical run, Sign o’ the Times was only issued on VHS and eventually went out of print. But thanks to the magic of streaming, one can now easily transport oneself back to the '80s and enjoy the magic that is Prince .
Directed by the artist and using his acclaimed 1987 album Sign o’ the Times as a jumping off point (the album itself was a 2017 inductee into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame), the film reminds viewers of the Purple One's magnetism. Under an array of colorful lights and performing to a raucous crowd, the icon may have died in 2016, but S ign o’ the Times serves as a deft time capsule of his royal talent.
Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012)
As Katy Perry was in the midst of releasing her acclaimed album Teenage Dream , the pop singer had the foresight to chronicle the ensuing pandemonium.
" I feel like it was, like, a big wave coming," she told ABC upon the release of Katy Perry: Part of Me , the 2012 concert film that documented her blockbuster California Dreams tour. "I thought to myself, 'Well, I think this is going to be a moment. Maybe I should catch it on tape. I'm either going to go completely mental, completely bankrupt, or have the best success of my life."
Fortunately the later wound up occurring, with the subsequent film a celebrity-packed (featuring everyone from Lady Gaga to Adele ) hit-filled ("Teenage Dream" and "California Girls") look into the life, times and music of the star.
Queen: Live at Wembley ‘86 (1986)
Freddie Mercury and Queen were staples of London's Wembley Stadium, performing many memorable shows, including an iconic turn at Live Aid in the early '80s and a Mercury tribute show in the '90s.
Songs like "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" fit right in on Wembley's massive stage, with the concert film depicting the thundering live versions of those classics. Relive those heady days with this film which showcases just what made Mercury and his band rock icons, and huge ones at that.
"Mercury was indeed a born ringmaster," wrote CNN in a piece about their status as stadium savants. "There was no alienating affectation, no wallowing in sentiment... Queen consciously wrote their songs as vehicles for theatrics."
Summer of Soul (2021)
Back in 1969, Stevie Wonder , Gladys Knight , Nina Simone and B.B. King joined forces for the Harlem Cultural Festival, a mostly forgotten multi-week legendary summit. That all changed when Roots frontman Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson obtained a treasure trove worth of footage and directed this stunning film, aptly dubbed Summer of Soul , which brought the event back to vivid life and subsequent acclaim including a GRAMMY Award for Best Music Film.
"It was gold," Thompson told Pitchfork of his process of sifting through the footage to create what would become a passion project. "If anything, it was an embarrassment of riches. It was too much. I kept this on a 24-hour loop for about six months straight. Slept to it. Traveled to it. It was the only thing I consumed."
Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids (2016)
Also directed by Jonathan Demme and released before his 2017 death, J ustin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids showcases Timberlake 's popular 20/20 Experience World Tour and litany of solo hits including "Sexyback" and "Suit & Tie."
"I don’t think anything can compete with live performance," admitted Demme to Rolling Stone before his death in 2017. "You can’t beat it. But we strive to provide the most exciting interpretation of that feeling, as filmmakers. We can provide a roving best seat in the house. We can linger on closeups. We can follow the dynamics of the music. I love shooting music."
The Last Waltz (1978)
One of the earliest projects of director Martin Scorsese ’s career was helping edit the monumental film version of Woodstock in 1970. But as that decade progressed and the auteur became known for narrative features including Mean Streets, he revisited his roots by directing The Last Waltz. A trailblazer in the genre, the film captures the last performance of The Band featuring frontman Robbie Robertson alongside a range of guests including Bob Dylan , Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton . Filmed on Thanksgiving Day in 1976, it’s a time capsule of the day’s biggest acts at the height of their artistry.
"It's a picture that kind of saved my life at the time," Scorsese told an audience at the Toronto International Film Festival during a 2019 screening. "It's very special to me. Forty years on, it's very special to a great number of us."
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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.
Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.
A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.
This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly . Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system.
"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."
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He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.
"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly .
"Hip-hop. Ice Cube . This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg , Doggystyle . This is for Illmatic , this is for Nas . We will live forever. Believe that."
To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal , Anna Wise and Thundercat ). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift 's "Bad Blood."
Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN ., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers .
Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes.
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Songbook: How Madonna Became The Queen Of Pop & Reinvention, From Her 'Boy Toy' Era To The Celebration Tour
As Madonna fans eagerly await the start of her highly anticipated The Celebration Tour, take a look back at the icon's four-decade legacy that changed pop music forever.
Seconds after making her television debut on American Bandstand in early 1984, Madonna announced her plans to "rule the world."
Nearly 40 years later, she's done just that: Selling 300 million albums worldwide, Madonna is one of the best-selling artists of all time. Her 14 studio albums have spawned 12 No. 1s and 63 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and she earned a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. But just her nickname alone proves she achieved her goal: the Queen of Pop.
Madonna's legacy is more than her music, too. The seven-time GRAMMY-winner has empowered several generations to own their sexuality and call their own shots; she dared to be different and bending the rules on and off stage, particularly with the merging of sexual freedom and religion. Her fearlessness helped open doors for individuality in pop music and beyond, becoming a star that didn't just rule the world — she changed culture.
As Madonna's self-titled debut LP turns 40 on July 27, GRAMMY.com is revisiting the most groundbreaking, exhilarating, and gasp-worthy moments of her extraordinary career.
Listen to GRAMMY.com's official Songbook: An Essential Guide To Madonna playlist on Spotify above and on Amazon Music , Apple Music and Pandora .
The '80s Reign
"Everybody" and "Burning Up," the first two singles off Madonna's 1983 eponymous solo debut, were instantaneous dance hits but failed to crack the Hot 100. Rooted in disco, "Holiday" not only became Madonna's first Hot 100 entry at No. 16, but it also topped the Dance Club Songs chart — her first of 50, a record no other artist holds to this day . It also spawned even bigger hits "Lucky Star" and "Borderline," which reached No. 4 and No. 10 on the Hot 100, respectively.
As "Borderline" climbed the charts, Madonna enlisted the legendary Nile Rogers to craft what would become the best-selling album of her career: Like a Virgin .
Selling over 21 million copies worldwide, 1984's Like a Virgin proved Madonna wasn't just another flash in the pan with a long string of hits, including "Material Girl," "Dress You Up," and her first chart-topper, "Like a Virgin." But her sexual assertiveness is what made the era truly iconic. The sepia-toned album cover featured the then 26-year-old wearing a corset wedding dress, accessorized with lace gloves and a hard-to-miss "Boy Toy" belt buckle.
"The photo was a statement of independence, if you wanna be a virgin, you are welcome. But if you wanna be a whore, it's your f—ing right to be so," Madonna reportedly said about the album's brow-raising imagery. Around this time, droves of "Madonna wannabes" copied her look, which incorporated jelly bracelets, rosaries, crucifixes, lace tights, and giant bow headbands — solidifying her as a fashion icon. (Earlier this year, Like a Virgin was added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.")
Fresh off tying the knot with then-husband Sean Penn in 1986, Madonna's True Blue featured her first image makeover and veered away from the bubblegum-pop sound she was known for. Lead single "Live to Tell" displayed artistic growth as she seemingly confronts a painful past. ("I have a tale to tell/ Sometimes it gets so hard to hide it well," she sings in the ballad's opening verse.)
In addition, True Blue found Madonna experimenting with new musical styles, including classical ("Papa Don't Preach," which shined a light on teen pregnancy), Latin ("La Isla Bonita"), and doo-wop ("True Blue"). Still, dance-pop is at forefront of "Open Your Heart," as well as sexual innuendos in the accompanying video, which shows the singer performing as an exotic dancer at a peep show.
By the time 1989's Like a Prayer arrived, Madonna had earned the title of "First Lady of Pop," holding her own alongside male counterparts Michael Jackson and Prince . Leading up to the album's release, Madonna was battling a lot behind the scenes — she and Sean Penn filed for divorce two months prior, she reached the age her mother was when she died, and she was struggling with her Catholic upbringing.
In turn, the 11-track LP is considered the first of Madonna's projects to feature deeply personal lyrics and themes, particularly on tracks like "Till Death Do Us Part," "Promise to Try," "Oh Father," and "Keep It Together," the latter of which features Prince on guitar. On the flip side, "Cherish" and feminist anthem "Express Yourself" serve as bright spots on Like a Prayer .
The title track earned Madonna her seventh Hot 100 chart-topper, but it's most synonymous with its accompanying video. The clip depicts a number of controversial images, including Madonna singing in front of burning crosses, which cost the entertainer her Pepsi sponsorship contract (more on that later). "Like a Prayer" set the tone for Madonna's "Justify My Love" and "Erotica" videos, which caused their own controversies for their boundary-pushing imagery.
The Shock Factor
It's impossible to revisit Madonna's catalog without reliving some of the performer's most jaw-dropping moments. From going on a profanity-filled rant on the Late Show with David Letterman in 1994 to kissing Britney Spears and Christinia Aguilera at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna is no stranger to shocking the world.
Only a year into her extraordinary career, Madonna stole the show at MTV's inaugural Video Music Awards . Donning a bridal gown reminiscent to the one she wore on the Like a Virgin album cover, the then 26-year-old unintentionally exposed her underwear while reaching for one of her heels that fell off as she made her way down from a 17-foot wedding cake. After the performance, Madonna was told by her manager that her career was over — but instead, it ended up catapulting her into superstardom.
To close out the '80s decade, Madonna was named Pepsi's spokesperson, but her $5 million sponsorship was revoked when the "Like a Prayer" video premiered a couple months later. The groundbreaking visuals depict racism against an interracial couple, stigmata, and Madonna herself kissing a Black saint — but its most provocative scene appears midway when Madonna sings in front of Ku Klux Klan-style burning crosses.
Unsurprisingly, it was largely seen as blasphemous by the Christian community, with the pope calling for Italy to boycott the singer. Though the controversial video cost Madonna her Pepsi deal, it paved the way for artists to merge religion with their art to make a bold statement — seemingly inspiring the videos Lady Gaga 's "Judas," Lil Nas X 's "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," and Sam Smith and Kim Petras ' "Unholy." (In the same vein, part of Madonna's 2006's Confessions Tour was condemned due to performing "Live to Tell" on a mirrored cross while wearing a crown of thorns, simulating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.)
Perhaps one of her most scandalous moments, though, belongs to the media frenzy and brilliance that was the "Justify My Love" video. Co-written with Lenny Kravitz , the song itself is raunchy enough to raise a few eyebrows, but still relatively tame by today's standards. "I want to run naked in a rainstorm/ Make love in a train cross-country," she coos over a Public Enemy -sampled drum beat.
Themes of nudity, sadomasochism, bisexuality, and androgyny run throughout the Jean-Baptiste Mondino-directed video, which Madonna defended as a "celebration of sex" after it was banned from MTV. Seizing the moment, Madonna released it as a video single, selling over a million copies at $9.98 — proof that Madonna could flip any potential career disaster into a shrewd business move.
Madonna: Truth or Dare premiered a mere six months later and received mostly positive reviews — though certain scenes sparked backlash, including Madonna performing fellatio on a glass bottle. The documentary chronicled the singer's 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour, but it's often hailed for championing the LGBTQIA+ community since it shows Madonna and her dancers attending a Pride parade and gay men casually discussing sex.
What followed next in Madonna's career was not for the faint-hearted: 1992's Erotica album examines every aspect of sexuality, from S&M and oral sex to the awareness of the AIDS epidemic.
Madonna's alter-ego named Dita takes center stage on lead single "Erotica," one of her most distinctive yet forgotten singles. "My name is Dita/ I'll be your mistress tonight," she declares over a slinky groove with hip-hop and Middle Eastern influences. The racy track and its follow-up single "Deeper and Deeper" claimed the No. 3 and No. 7 spots on the Hot 100, respectively, but the remaining Erotica -era singles didn't chart as high. "Bad Girl," which also appeared in the 1993 film Body of Evidence , peaked at No. 36 while "Fever" and "Bye Bye Baby" completely missed the Hot 100.
Gems like "Rain," "Words," "Waiting," and "In This Life" get buried in the controversy that surrounded the LP, but its impact still reigns three decades later, inspiring more female artists to flaunt their sexuality unapologetically; Beyoncé 's "Partition," Christina Aguilera 's "Not Myself Tonight," and Rihanna 's "S&M" serve as a prime examples.
The Blockbuster Hits
Madonna's acting chops weren't always well received by audiences, but her soundtrack hits came out swinging every time.
Originally recorded for 1985's Vision Quest film, "Crazy for You" marks Madonna's first time releasing a ballad as a single — flaunting her vocal abilities while appealing to more mature audiences. In addition to earning Madonna her second Hot 100 chart-topper, she picked up her first-ever GRAMMY nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
A couple months later, "Into the Groove" appeared in the comedy Desperately Seeking Susan , which co-stars Madonna in the titular role and marks her film debut. Backed by synthesizers and drum machines, the song itself showcases Madonna at the height of her popularity, making it that much more special to listen to. Ironically, though, the infectious track never saw the Hot 100; it was ineligible to chart due to her label's decision to not officially release it as a single, out of fear it could overshadow "Crazy For You."
While Madonna's performance in the screwball comedy Who's That Girl was panned by critics, she scored No. 1 and No. 2 hits with "Who's That Girl" and "Causing a Commotion," respectively.
Madonna's acting aspirations continued throughout the decade. Despite starring in back-to-back box office disaster bombs, including Shanghai Surprise , she tried her hand at acting again in 1990 with Dick Tracy . Not only was the Oscar-winning film the box office comeback Madonna needed, but it birthed "Vogue," one of the most iconic dance tunes to ever grace airwaves — despite never appearing in the film.
Topping the charts in over 30 countries, "Vogue" shined a light on a flamboyant style of dance stemming from Harlem's 1960s ballroom community led by Black and Latino gay men. From the spoken section (in which Madonna shouts out "Golden Age" Hollywood stars like Marlon Brando and Bette Davis) to the accompanying black-and-white video where Madonna debuts the now-legendary Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra , everything about "Vogue" is iconic and a cultural moment many artists can only dream of.
Madonna's film soundtrack success continued with 1992's A League of Their Own , 1996's Evita , and 1999's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me . All three films' soundtracks demonstrate Madonna's constant willingness to push herself beyond her own artistic boundaries. On the operatic "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and "You Must Love Me" from Evita, which earned her a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination, Madonna explores musical theater as her voice reaches new heights. Meanwhile, the GRAMMY-winning "Beautiful Stranger" revisits 1960s psychedelic pop, hence the Austin Powers theme. Back by a live string arrangement, the melancholy "This Used to Be My Playground" off A League of Their Own is a testament to Madonna's many hats.
Though met with mixed reviews at the time of its early aughts release, "Die Another Day" is now considered quintessential Madonna and one of the highest charting James Bond songs in the U.S. At a whopping $6 million, its accompanying video remains the second most expensive, just behind Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson 's 1995 "Scream" video.
The Reinvention Periods
By late 1994, Madonna dialed down her sexed-up image following the release of back-to-back sexually explicit projects, including the controversial coffee table Sex book that featured softcore pornographic images of Madonna herself — along with Big Daddy Kane , Vanilla Ice , Naomi Campbell, and other famous faces.
For Bedtime Stories , she tapped R&B hitmakers like Babyface and Dallas Austin as she explored themes of love and romance versus the sexual freedom heard on 1992's Erotica . Radio-friendly singles "Take a Bow" and "Secret" marked a new musical direction for Madonna that paid off: both showcased some of her finest vocal performances and received glowing reviews from music critics.
But the entertainer's rebellious nature reappears on the criminally underrated "Human Nature" — an answer to the backlash she faced for her hyper-sexualized persona from two years earlier. "Did I say something wrong?/ Oops, I didn't know I couldn't talk about sex/ Did I stay too long?/ Oops, I didn't know I couldn't speak my mind," she sings on the song's bridge before declaring "I'm not sorry."
After enjoying the success of starring in Evita and becoming a first-time mother, 1998's Ray of Light marked Madonna's longest gap in between studio albums at the time — but the wait was well worth it.
Hailed as her magnum opus and her greatest reinvention, Ray of Light saw Madonna at her most creative due to motherhood and her spiritual awakening, as she experimented with techno-pop, electronica, trip hop, Middle Eastern sounds, and mysticism. With each song, the then 39-year-old transforms from Material Girl to Madonna the Artist, as evidenced on the title track, "Frozen," "Drowned World/Substitute for Love," "Nothing Really Matters," "Shanti/Ashtangi," and "The Power of Goodbye." She takes the theme of self-reflection a step further with songs like "Swim," "Mer Girl," and "Little Star," the latter of which is dedicated to her first-born child, Lourdes Leon.
Ray of Light boasts the biggest first-week sales by any female artist at the time of its release — an impressive feat given that the late '90s music scene was dominated by a sea of younger artists, including Backstreet Boys , Lauryn Hill , and Jay-Z . The 13-track LP earned Madonna three more GRAMMYs at the 1999 ceremony: Best Pop Album, as well as Best Dance Recording and Best Short Form Music Video for "Ray of Light."
With the arrival of 2000's Music , Madonna embarked on yet another transformation. In the new millennium, fans were introduced to Madonna the Cowgirl. While the title track sounded like a callback to her earlier dance hits like "Everybody," "Holiday" and "Into the Groove," follow-up single "Don't Tell Me" is notable as the pop icon's first time incorporating country stylings into her artistry.
The album's final single "What It Feels Like for a Girl," which calls out the double standards women face in society, only peaked at No. 23 on the Hot 100, but it remains a fan favorite and still holds its relevance today thanks to its feminist theme. Receiving four GRAMMY nominations across 2001 and 2002, Music 's commercial success defied the music industry's limits on aging female entertainers — an issue Madonna is still confronting head-on today.
In 2003, following the 9/11 tragedy amid the Iraq war, Madonna felt moved to put out the politically driven American Life . It was a complete departure in both subject matter and sound, which leaned heavily toward "folktronica," a blend of folk and electronica music. "I'd like to express my extreme point of view/ I'm not a Christian and I'm not a Jew," she raps on the title track.
While Madonna's attempt to make a socially conscious record didn't produce the same payoff as other politically charged songs at the time (including Black Eyed Peas ' "Where Is The Love?" and Green Day 's "American Idiot"), the 11-track LP, if nothing else, displayed her willingness to take creative risks even two decades into her career.
The Dance Floor Classics
While Madonna got her start in New York City's club scene, her dance reign went into overdrive with the 1987 arrival of You Can Dance — which contains new track "Spotlight" plus a handful of remixed tracks off her first three studio albums. For You Can Dance , Madonna enlisted veteran DJs, including John "Jellybean" Benitez and Shep Pettibone. At a time when remixes were still uncharted territory, the club-ready LP remains the second best-selling remix album of all time and is considered the first album by a mainstream artist to be solely dedicated to the art of the remix.
While dance music lies at the core of Madonna's discography, her work shifted toward more of an adult-oriented sound after You Can Dance , beginning with 1989's Like a Prayer . After nearly two decades of musical experimentation, Madonna returned to her dance roots in a big way with 2005's Confessions on a Dance Floor .
The album's lead single "Hung Up" — built around a prominent sample of ABBA 's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" — smashed records when it skyrocketed to No. 1 in 41 countries . Its follow-up singles "Sorry," "Get Together," and "Jump" fared better internationally, but the LP's commercial success kicked off the 21st century's disco revival that later influenced the likes of Dua Lipa 's Future Nostalgia and Lizzo 's "About Damn Time."
In 2007, Confessions on a Dance Floor won a GRAMMY for Best Electronic/Dance Album, and its accompanying Confessions Tour took home another GRAMMY for Best Long Form Music Video the following year.
With contributions from Justin Timberlake , Timbaland , Pharrell Williams , and Nate "Danja" Hills , 2008's Hard Candy is one of Madonna's lowest-selling albums, despite housing the massive hit "4 Minutes" (a collaboration with Timberlake), which reached No. 3 on the Hot 100. "4 Minutes" also earned Madonna her 37th top 10 single, making her the artist with the most top 10 entries at the time. Other standout tracks from Hard Candy include "Give It 2 Me," "She's Not Me," "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You," and "Miles Away," the latter of which was inspired by her then-husband Guy Ritchie.
The Legacy Continues
Around the time when Madonna was crafting her 2011 directorial debut W.E. , she was laying down the foundation for her twelfth studio album MDNA , which arrived the following year.
Out of the four singles released, "Give Me All Your Luvin'" (featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. ) is the only song to enter the Hot 100, though "Girl Gone Wild" and "Turn Up the Radio" became her 42nd and 43rd No. 1 dance hits. The guitar-led ballad "Masterpiece," which also appears on W.E.' s soundtrack, won for Best Original Song at the 2012 Golden Globes.
Despite not being released as a single, "Gang Bang" quickly emerged as a fan favorite while receiving criticism from those who said it glorified violence. Inspired by Quentin Tarantino's films, the aggressive song's lyrics depict a woman who murders an ex-lover: "And I'm going straight to hell/ And I got a lot of friends there/ And if I see that b— in hell/ I'm gonna shoot him in the head again/ 'Cause I want to see him die," she sneers on the bridge.
Madonna's next two LPs, 2015's Rebel Heart and 2019's Madame X , didn't generate any massive hits, though Rebel Heart 's "Living for Love" and "B— I'm Madonna" are the most recognizable. The latter's accompanying video features cameos from Beyoncé, Katy Perry , and Miley Cyrus , to name a few. Both albums, however, spawned an additional six No. 1 dance hits for Madonna. With a whopping 50 No. 1s on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, Madonna cemented her status as the dancing queen.
At the top of 2023, Madonna announced her upcoming Celebration Tour to commemorate her 40th anniversary since her debut. With 45 stops spanning from Detroit and Los Angeles to Amsterdam and Barcelona, the Celebration Tour was scheduled for a July 15 kickoff before getting postponed after the 64-year-old superstar's recent health scare.
As the tour name suggests, Madonna is ready to honor the hit-filled legacy she's built. "I am excited to explore as many songs as possible, in hopes to give my fans the show they have been waiting for," she said at the time of announcing the tour, which is her first dedicated to her greatest hits. When the megastar makes her glorious return to the stage later this year, she'll remind the world of her relentless spirit — the same one that made her a North Star for nearly every female entertainer on the charts today regardless of genre.
Madonna has supported gay rights, pushed sexual freedom, implemented religious imagery, and reshaped feminism at a time when it wasn't trendy to do so. All the while, she never has apologized for her "rebel heart" — solidifying her legacy as the true Queen of Pop.
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“Madame X – Music from the Theater Xperience” Live Album Out Now!
Madonna has released the Madame X Tour live album titled “Madame X – Music From the Theater Xperience (Live).”
The full tracklist…
Intro God Control Dark Ballet Human Nature Vogue I Don’t Search, I Find American Life Batuka Fado Pechincha (feat. Gaspar Varela) Killers Who Are Partying Crazy Welcome To My Fado Club Extreme Occident Breathwork Medellin Frozen Come Alive Future Like A Prayer I Rise Note: Live at the Coliseu dos Recreios, Lisbon, Portugal, 1/12-23/2020
Check it out…
Madame X is available in Box Set, CD, Vinyl and Cassette! Get your copy HERE !
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Madonna brings freewheeling intimacy to Madame X tour
She also explained the reason for the show's tardy 11 p.m. start time: 'I have an injury. I have six children. I have a lot of wigs.'
Leah Greenblatt is the critic at large at Entertainment Weekly , covering movies, music, books, and theater. She is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, and has been writing for EW since 2004.
“You guys know who Madame X is by now, right?” Madonna asked the crowd midway through her set last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, her diamanté eyepatch glinting in the stage lights. “She’s an equestrian, a head of state, a cha cha instructor, a whore, a saint.”
She’s also Madonna Louise Ciccone, of course, and she is an entertainer; a job she’s held, essentially without pause, for nearly four decades. Though never quite as happy-go-loosely as she seems to be doing at this limited series of shows : a freewheeling two hours and 15 minutes of song and dance and conversation in a 2,000-seat venue so intimate, she might stop to steal a sip of your beer — which she did more than once, from a bedazzled fan.
It’s called the Madame X Tour , so it’s not surprising that the evening pulls largely from that album , her 14th, released this past June. But Madonna is nothing if not a canny keeper of her own flame, and several stone classics from her catalog made their way into the setlist, as well as several lesser but still beloved (particularly to this self-selected crowd) hits.
For nearly every “God Control” and “Killers Who Are Partying” from X , there was a segue to the past: “Dark Ballet” into 1995’s “Human Nature,” in which she spun herself like a gymnastic clock inside a circular wall inset, or “I Don’t Search I Find” yielding to a spare reprise of “Papa Don’t Preach,” its circa-1986 chorus defiantly changed to “I’m not keeping my baby,” and followed by a short, fierce disquisition on reproductive rights.
Though some two dozen songs manage to appear in whole or in part, she often stopped to interact during costume changes or between numbers, confiding that moving to Lisbon to become a soccer mom (her son David attended an intensive sports academy there) had left her bored and lonely, and then led her to the city’s fado clubs; dropping dirty jokes (“Amy Schumer told me to tell that one, so if you don’t like it, blame her”); and even dipping into the audience more than once for a get-to-know-you chat (Carol the accountant and Dan from Clapham, you live among immortals now).
As befitting an artist who has spent so much of her career exploring other cultures, there were touches of them everywhere: Gaspar Varela, the young grandson of fado legend Celeste Rodrigues, guesting on guitar; the all-female singing troupe from the island-nation of Cape Verde, known for centuries as a hub of the transatlantic slave trade, who joined her, joyfully, on the rhythmic celebration “Batuka.” A rotating cast of gorgeous multi-culti dancers and musicians appeared in everything from nun’s habits (for the string section) and Midsommar chic (white gowns, flower crowns) to something like Stork Club meets Latin disco (much of the show’s back half).
She paired those somewhat tangentially with her own costume changes, emerging first in winking, Dolly Parton-on-the-Potomac camp (Revolutionary War via 10,000 rhinestones) before morphing into various other looks: femme fatale trench coat with Veronica Lake hair; glitter-bombed Amadeus; a sort of couture Ice Capades in fluttery navy tulle. She drily apologized, too, for the show’s tardy start time, at nearly 11pm: “I have an injury. I have six children. I have a lot of wigs.”
It was her family, actually, who provided some of the night’s most genuinely moving moments — a rare glimpse of domestic life transported to the stage when her seven-year-old twins, Stella and Estere, joined her for a giddy snatch of group choreography, and teenage daughter Mercy slung her arm around her mother’s neck for an acapella “Express Yourself” singalong.
Most striking though was a full scrim late in the show that projected a black-and-white video of a dancer veiled in long curtains of dark hair, which lifted to reveal her firstborn, 22-year-old Lourdes. A trick of stagecraft allowed Madonna to sing her shimmering 1998 ballad “Frozen” both to her daughter and from inside her; the moment was mesmerizing, and exquisitely tender.
The show is hardly without flaws: her political messaging, though heartfelt, is often clumsily on the nose, and several set projections leaned toward the community-theater end of things. But in moments like these, when the construct of Madame X disappeared, what remained was something simpler and somehow much more satisfying than the equestrian or the cha-cha instructor or the saint (or even the mother, the magpie, the erstwhile standup comedian): Not just a pop star and perennial provocateur, but an artist in full.
- Madonna has a lot to say on the Latin pop-influenced Madame X
- Madonna cha-cha-chas to ninth No. 1 album with Madame X
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MADAME X TOUR 2019/2020
September 17 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 18 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 19 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 21 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 22 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 24 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 25 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 26 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 28 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House October 1 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House October 2 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House October 3 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House October 5 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House October 6 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House October 10 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House October 12 – New York, NY @ BAM Howard Gilman Opera House October 16 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre October 17 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre October 21 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre October 23 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre October 24 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre October 27 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre October 28 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre November 2 – San Francisco, CA @ The Golden Gate Theatre November 4 – San Francisco, CA @ The Golden Gate Theatre November 5 – San Francisco, CA @ The Golden Gate Theatre November 7 – Las Vegas, NV @ Colosseum at Caesars Palace November 9 – Las Vegas, NV @ Colosseum at Caesars Palace November 10 – Las Vegas, NV @ Colosseum at Caesars Palace November 13 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern November 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern November 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern November 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern November 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern November 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern November 21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern November 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern November 24 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern November 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern December 7 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Met Philadelphia December 8 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Met Philadelphia December 10 – Philadelphia PA @ The Met Philadelphia December 11 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Met Philadelphia December 14 – Miami, FL @ Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater December 15 – Miami, FL @ Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater December 17 – Miami, FL @ Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater December 18 – Miami, FL @ Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater December 19 – Miami, FL @ Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater December 21 – Miami, FL @ Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater
Jan. 12 2020 — Lisbon, Portugal @ Coliseum Jan. 14 2020 — Lisbon, Portugal @ Coliseum Jan. 16 2020 — Lisbon, Portugal @ Coliseum Jan. 18 2020 — Lisbon, Portugal @ Coliseum Jan. 21 2020 — Lisbon, Portugal @ Coliseum Jan. 23 2020 — Lisbon, Portugal @ Coliseum Jan. 29 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Jan. 30 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 1 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 2 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 5 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 6 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 8 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 9 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 12 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 13 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 15 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 16 2020 — London, U.K. @ Palladium Feb. 22 2020 — Paris, France @ Le Grand Rex Feb. 23 2020 — Paris, France @ Le Grand Rex Feb. 26 2020 — Paris, France @ Le Grand Rex Feb. 27 2020 — Paris, France @ Le Grand Rex Feb. 29 2020 — Paris, France @ Le Grand Rex Mar. 03 2020 — Paris, France @ Le Grand Rex Mar. 04 2020 — Paris, France @ Le Grand Rex Mar. 08 2020 — Paris, France @ Le Grand Rex
SHOW Created and directed by Madonna Jamie King – Creative Producer Megan Lawson – Co-Director and Lead Choreographer Damien Jalet – Creative Advisor Luigi Murenu & Iango Henzi – Creative Consultants Carla Kama – Associate Creative Producer Tiffany Olson – Associate Creative Producer Stephanie Roos – Associate Creative Producer Al Gurdon – Lighting Designer Stufish Entertainment Architects – Set Design
BAND Madonna Kevin Antunes – Musical Director Monte Pittman – Guitar Gaspar Varela – Guitar Rickey Pageot – Piano, Accordion & Percussion Jessica Pina – Trumpet & Background Vocalist Ademiro “Miroca” Paris – Percussion & Guitar Carlos Mil-Homens – Percussion Francesca Dardani – Violin Celia Hatton – Viola Mariko Muranaka – Cello Andrea “Munchie” Lanz – Background Vocalist Dana “Yahzarah” Williams – Background Vocalist
PERFORMERS Ahlamalik Williams – Dancer Marvin Gofin – Dancer Mccall Olsen – Dancer Baylie Olsen – Dancer Allaune Blegbo – Dancer Sasha Mallory – Dancer Loic Mabanza – Dancer Daniele Sibili – Dancer Sierra Herrera-Grey – Dancer Chaz Buzan – Dancer Nicolas Huchard – Dancer Ai Shimatsu – M Stand In
BATUKADEIRAS Jussara Spencer Anastacia Carvalho Edna Oliveira Jessica Eliane Tavares Irina Paula Carvalho Darlene Barreto Catia Ramos Antonia Tavares Keila Cabral Ellah Barbosa Iara Xavier Santos Jacira Duarte Etelvina “Bianina” Tavares Idilsa Tavares
CHOREOGRAPHERS Megan Lawson Matt Cady Marvin Gofin Damien Jalet Nicolas Huchard Baylie Olsen Mccall Olsen Ahlamalik Williams Derrell Bullock
ASSISTANT CHOREOGRAPHERS Nicolas Huchard Amilios Arapoglou Sierra Herrera Allaune Blegbo
COSTUME DEPARTMENT Eyob Yohannes – Costume Designer Taryn Shumway – Assistant Costume Designer Timothy Chernyaev – Assistant Costume Designer Kenberly Pierre-Paul – Assistant Costume Designer Mae Heidenreich – Assistant Costume Designer Aliyah Christmas – Assistant Costume Designer Amanda Kai Newman– Costume Department Coordinator Samuel Ososki – Madonna Cutter & Tailor Michael Velasquez – Tailor Lisa Krizner-George – Draper Brandon Brinkley – Shopper / Swatcher Alexa O’Neil – Shopper / Swatcher Toni Grant – Shopper Lucy Gaston – Shopper Raquel Castellanos – Shopper Lauren Lau – Shopper & Textile Artist Joya Cleveland – Costume Accounts Robert Christie – Illustrator Cindy Ke – Dressmaker Teri Lloyd – Dressmaker Mariana Ivanova – Dressmaker Olga Kim – Dressmaker Darya Fomina- Dressmaker Izabella Litvak – Dressmaker Anthony Garcia – Staff Stitcher Whitney Thayne – Staff Stitcher Viviana Barraza- Staff Stitcher Egle Paulauskaite- Staff Stitcher Sandra Nieto – Staff Stitcher Phillip Rolfe – Staff Stitcher Jay McCarroll- Staff Stitcher Noelle Rasco – Staff Stitcher Arielle Crawford – Staff Stitcher Anna Kate Reep – Staff Stitcher Dan Haggerty- Staff Stitcher Zunyda Watson- Staff Stitcher Luis Ferreira – Fashion PA Aran Simi – Fashion PA Geraldine Henriquez – Fashion PA Catherine Goba – Fashion PA
LIVE NATION Arthur Fogel – Tour Promoter and Producer Gerry Barad – Associate Promoter Tres Thomas – Tour Director Rick Sobkowiak – Tour Accountant and Operations Colleen Cozart – Production Accountant Tiffany Hilliard – Assistant to Arthur Fogel Staci Saari – Ticketing Cynthia Oknaian – Ticketing Sherine Sherman – VIP Program Coordinator Brian Samuelson – VIP Program Coordinator
THE TEAM Andy Lecompte – Hair Stylist for Madonna Aaron Henrikson – Make-Up Artist for Madonna Jean-Michel Ete – Nutritionist Tarin Graham – Esthetician Marlyn Ortiz – Madonna’s Trainer Hind Abdul Jabbar, Rita Melssen – Assistants to Madonna Jill McCutchan – Tour Manager Tori Fillat – Assistant Tour Manager Travis Dorsey – Chef Natalia Dyduch – Housekeeper Ricardo Gomes – Social Media Jeremy Childs – Road Manager Tony Villanueva – Head Dresser Diogo Varela Silva – Assistant Corvette Hunt – Hair & Makeup Supervisor Kamilah Gerestant – Braider Justin Heslop – Makeup Artist Jesse Mikalev – Hair Stylist and Colorist
TOUR CREW Jason “JD” Danter – Production Manager Brian Wares – Stage Manager Mike Morobitto – Theatrical Stage Manager Emma Cederblad – Production Coordinator Justin Mcquown – Director of Security Carla Vagland – Venue Security Harry Forster – Lighting Director Oli James – Lighting Crew Cheif James Jones III – Lighting Tech Mike Rothwell – Lighting Tech Dave Baxter – Lighting Tech Matt Levine – Lighting Tech Jason “Lew Lew” Lewis – Rigger Sean Mullarkey – Automation Rod “Rawd” Van Egmond – Head Carpenter Allen “A.J.” Haley – Carpenter Eric Cardoza – Props/Carpenter Tim Colvard – FOH Engineer Mike Dean – Audio Consultant Sean Solymar – Audio Consultant Demetrius Moore – M Audio Tech Sean Spuehler – Vocal Mix Engineer Lauren D’elia – Vocal Mix Engineer Matt Napier – Monitor Engineer Alistair “Ali” Viles – RF/Audio Engineer Lee Fox-Furnell – Monitor Tech Arno Voortman – Audio System Engineer Robert “Bongo” Longo – Head Backline Tech (Keys) Tommy Simpson – Backline Tech (Strings) Iain “Robbo” Robertson – Backline Tech (Drums/Percussion) Dan Roe – Programmer Gemma Daly – Ambiance Allison Sulock – Video Server Tech Dany Lambert – Video Projectionist Heken “Mel” Dykes – Wardrobe Supervisor Candice Lawrence – Wardrobe Noriko Kakihara – Wardrobe Michael Velasquez – Tailor John Spink – Merchandise
VIDEO CONTENT Danny Tull – Video Content Director Nuno Xico – Editor Russ Senzatimore – Editor Tom Watson – Editor Jerry Chia – Editor Ryan Drake – Editor Hamish Lyons – Editor
MANAGEMENT Guy Oseary – Manager Sara Zambreno – Manager Danielle Doll – Mgmt. Coordinator Maria Jose Gutierrez Reyes – Mgmt. Coordinator Rachel Gordh – Assistant to Guy Oseary Johann Delebarre – Webmaster
LIVE NATION MERCHANDISE Bruce Fingeret Alyssa Tobias Pete Weber Ben Rawling
TOUR BOOK DESIGN Anya Lange
TOUR BOOK PHOTOGRAPHY Ricardo Gomes Steven Klein
PARTICIPATING DESIGNERS Elizabeth Emanuel, Prada, Miu Miu, Burberry, Versace, Paula Rowan (Gloves), Mugler, Agent Provocateur, Francesco Scognamiglio, Fausto Puglisi, Swarovski, Lilly et Violetta
COSTUMING THANK YOUS London Fog, Doc Martens, Zana Bayne, Levi’s, Ray Bans, Dsquared, Converse, Adidas, Starter, Arel Studios, John Kristiansen Studios, Mio Design NYC, A Perdifiato, Olivier Theyskens, Carmesi Design Studio, Julia Clancey, Colleen Morris-Glennon, Kurt Geiger, Gaspar Gloves, Johnny Was, Uniqlo, Ann Morin, Jeff Fender, La Bourjoisie, Nicolas Jebran, Altuzara, Studmuffin, Youssef lahlou, In Vogue Studios, Wing & Weft
- The final two dates March 10+11 were cancelled on March 9 due to the Office of the Police prohibiting all events with an audience attendance of over 1000 in France because of the Coronavirus
- Madonna performed the full show on March 8 despite ongoing injuries
- The March 7 show in Paris was cancelled just a few hours before showtime due to ‘permanent injuries’
- The March 1 show was cancelled on the day due to ongoing and new injuries (from the fall at previous performance)
- Madonna fell during Vogue at the 4th Paris show (September 27) and cried during the polaroid moment due to severe pain from her injuries
- On the second show at Le Grand Rex the electricity went out right before ‘Batuka’. Madonna came on stage anyway and sang Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love. Thankfully after 15 minutes the show continued
- Madonna started her first French show at Le Grand Rex on February 22 at midnight due to technical difficulties. Jean Paul Gaultier was the beer bitch!
- February 20 + 25 Paris dates both cancelled on February 11. Meaning the first three originally scheduled Paris dates were either postponed or cancelled
- Full show on February 8 in London with Graham Norton as the beer bitch
- No beer bitch on February 6 again but Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’
- Madonna started the show without first section on February 6 explaining due to injuries every second show in a row will be cut. Either that or no show at all. No wig for ‘first’ section.
- Theater drew curtain on her show on February 5, still she performed ‘I Rise’ together with the audience
- No beer bitch on February 5 but a-cappella ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ instead. Andrew Lloyd Webber attended
- On January 31 Madonna cancelled another two dates on her European Madame X Tour in London: February 4th and 11th, again because of the same injuries
- Unfortunately she started late on her second night in London (Jan 30) leadig to cutting the first three songs from the setlist and opening with ‘Vogue’. Both ‘Sodade’ and ‘Crave’ had been axed previously
- Madonna opened her London shows on January 29 to rave reviews, she even started her show at 8.45pm!
- Opening night in London January 27 got cancelled
- January 22 show in Lisbon was also cancelled a few hours before showtime, the second show to be cancelled in Lisbon
- The fifth show in Lisbon was cancelled last minute (January 19) as Madonna was still struggling with her (knee and hip) injuries
- Final night in Miami (December 22) was cancelled 2 hours before it was supposed to start, no explanation given
- First London date (Jan 26) postponed to February 16
- First two Paris dates (February 18/19) were postponed until March 10/11) on November 29
- All three Boston dates were cancelled due to ‘health reasons’
- The October 7 date was canceled due to a knee injury, the affected dates were the originally postponed dates (opening night)
- Both the opening night of Chicago and San Francisco were postponed on October 4
- The audience was stunned when Madonna came off stage to dance with the audience not once but twice during the show (Medellin and I Rise)
- Madonna chats to an audience member during the show (mostly front row) known as the ‘beer moment’. The person chosen gets to have a little chat with Madonna (sitting in a chair next to him/her) and exchange beer
- Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with even the ever cranky Roger Friedman complimenting the show (it’s a miracle!)
- Madonna auctions off a selfie polaroid during the show to the highest bidder in the audience. Rosie O’Donnell ‘bought’ the one on opening night
- The tour opened in BAM NY on September 17, unfortunately started two hours late
- The tour made the news when Madonna issued a phone and camere ban
- On August 27 it was announced that the first three dates were either rescheduled and or cancelled. The opening night was changed from September 12 to September 17
- Madonna had to add more dates to Paris as it completely sold out in the pre-sale
- Lisbon sold out fairly quickly and a fourth date was added, two more dates were added on Monday May 27
- Additional U.S.A. cities and dates were announced on May 20
- Lisbon was announced on May 20, same time the ICON Legacy pre-sale for London was ongoing
- Paris dates at Le Grand Rex were unveiled on May 16
- There was a ‘Vogue’ flashmob at the London Palladium to celebrate the mini-residency announcement on May 13
- London dates at The Palladium were announced on May 13 with ticket request available
- The Madame X Tour was officially announced on May 6, Madonna’s first ever theater tour
- The first ad that revealed the title and announcement of the tour appeared in the Sunday edition of the New York Times on May 5
Madonna Madame X Tour Intimate Concert Experience Announced In Limited Number Of Cities Beginning September 12
Ticket Requests are now being accepted for North American Ticket Purchases
Register now through Friday, May 10 at Madonna.Livenation.com
Citi® is the official credit card of the Madame X Tour
LOS ANGELES , May 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Following her incredibly stunning performance at the Billboard Music Awards and the announcement of her highly anticipated new album Madame X available globally on June 14 , Madonna , Live Nation and Maverick have announced a series of rare and intimate performances to take place exclusively in theaters, giving fans an opportunity to see Madonna in an environment like they never have before.
The Madame X Tour will kick off September 12 th at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York and will feature multiple nights of shows in each city including performances at the Chicago Theatre, The Wiltern in Los Angeles , the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas , the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston , The Met Philadelphia and at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in 2019. The Madame X Tour will then resume in early 2020 with performances at the Coliseum in Lisbon , the Palladium in London and at the Grand Rex in Paris .
Madonna is the best-selling female solo touring artist of all time and has the highest-grossing concert tour ever by a female artist with her Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008-2009) at $408 million .
Influenced creatively by living in Lisbon , Portugal over the past several years, Madame X is a collection of 15 new songs that celebrate Madonna’s career-long affair with Latin music and culture as well as other global influences.
Madonna is releasing 5 songs before her highly-anticipated new studio album Madame X debuts globally on June 14 th . Following the release of the empowering ballad “I Rise” and the critically-acclaimed “Medellín,” additional songs to be shared with fans include the infectious pop gem “Crave” featuring Swae Lee and produced by Mike Dean on May 10 , the Jamaican dancehall vibes of “Future” featuring Quavo on May 17 , as well as the sonically innovative “Dark Ballet” on June 7.
Madonna’s long-time promoter Arthur Fogel , President – Global Touring and Chairman – Global Music, Live Nation said: “The chance for fans to see Madonna at these venues is incredibly special. We are proud and excited to be able to deliver this ultimate opportunity for her fans.”
To ensure fans have best access, ticket requests for all shows will be accepted now through Friday, May 10th ( 11:59pm EDT ) at madonna.livenation.com . Fans will be able to select city and show preference plus their preferred price points prior to completing their request. By Friday, May 17th , fans whose requests have been confirmed will be notified of fulfillment and informed of their ticket allocation(s) and corresponding show information. All fans will be notified even if we were unable to accommodate their request. Tickets will be fulfilled at Ticketmaster Secure Mobile Tickets. Every ticket purchased includes a CD of Madonna’s new release Madame X in stores June 14th . Event ticket limit is 4 per person. To submit ticket requests and for complete city & date, VIP and Travel Package information visit: Madonna.livenation.com .
Tickets for these very special Madame X performances will be scaled between $60.00 – $760.00 (plus applicable service fees). Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to enter to purchase tickets at $10.00 at Madonna.com . There will be 10 tickets available per show and fans will be notified on show date if they have been selected for this unique opportunity.
Icon is Madonna’s official fan club and Verified Lifetime Legacy members of Icon will receive first access to tickets and VIP Packages to these very special dates. Legacy Fan Club members will sign in at www.madonna.livenation.com and register for the show(s) of their choice. Verified Icon members will receive notification of their seat selection on Friday, May 17 th . Icon Fan Club members will be eligible to receive tickets for a single event in up to two cities.
Citi® is the official presale credit card of the Madame X tour. As such, Citi cardmembers will have special access to tickets by submitting their requests now through Friday, May 10th ( 11:59pm EDT ) at madonna.livenation.com . Citi cardmembers will be eligible to receive up to 4 tickets for a single event across the entire tour. If selected, Citi cardmembers will receive notification of their ticket allocation by Friday, May 17th . For complete cardmember details visit www.citientertainment.com .
Madame X VIP Packages will be available for fans to request as well. VIP packages may include great ticket locations, exclusive backstage tour, photo opportunity on stage, VIP pre-show reception, limited edition Madonna gift item, fast pass access to designated VIP merch and concessions lanes, and more! All fans wishing to access VIP Packages may register now through Friday, May 17 ( 11:59pm EDT ) at madonna.livenation.com . Additionally, fans can access Travel packages which include great ticket locations, exclusive merchandise, hotel accommodations and more!
Every ticket purchased includes a physical copy of Madonna’s new release Madame X available on Interscope Records and in stores on June 14 th . The tour is presented by Live Nation Global Touring.
Dates announced today include seven shows in New York at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House September 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22, four shows at the Chicago Theatre October 15 , 16, 17 and 21 and five shows at the Wiltern in Los Angeles November 12 , 13, 14, 16 and 17. Dates for the additional cities listed will be announced soon.
MADONNA MADAME X 2019 TOUR DATES
The Madame X Tour will also visit Las Vegas , Boston , Philadelphia , Miami , Lisbon , London and Paris . Show information to follow.
For complete ticket information, VIP and Travel Packages visit. www.madonna.livenation.com www.madonna.com
About Live Nation Entertainment Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV ) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, and Live Nation Media & Sponsorship. For additional information, visit www.livenationentertainment.com .
SOURCE Live Nation Entertainment
Madame X Tour
Lisbon – London – Paris 2020
a reflection by Dave Crombeen
London – Paris February/March 2020
Kimberly van Pinxteren
Le Grand Rex Paris February 27 2020
Le Grand Rex Paris February 23 2020
Glen van Looy
The London Palladium February 5+6 2020
The London Palladium January 30 2020
The Chicago Theater October 21 2019
BAM New York September 21 2019
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Here’s How to Watch Madonna’s ‘Madame X’ Concert For Free to See Her as Her Alter Ego
- Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again later. More content below
If you’re a Madonna superfan, you may want to know how to watch Madonna’s “Madame X” film online for free to see her as her secret agent alter ego.
Madonna ‘s “Madame X” concept film chronicles her worldwide Madame X Tour, which ran for 75 dates from 2019 to 2020. The film was shot at Madonna’s Madame X Tour stops in Lisbon, Portugal in 2020. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporte r in September 2021, Madonna explained why she decided to film her 11th concert tour for her fans. “There was nothing between me and the crowd, and that was an incredible experience,” she said. “I needed to document that — the process, the rehearsals, the show itself, what was in my mind, what inspires certain songs. It’s a different show, it’s a different time in my life.”
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Watch ‘Madonna: Madame X’ $0+
Nuno Xico, who directed the documentary alongside Sasha Kasiuha, also explained that concept film is more than just a concert, with songs about gun control, minorities, women and the LGBTQIA+ community. “If you distill the songs, those themes are already there, so to bring those themes [to the film] was easy,” Xico said. “Madonna is political.” As for what it was like to work with Madonna herself, Xico called the collaboration “intense” and “exciting.” “It’s great. You get to work with someone who has a unique point of view and a unique experience,” Xico said. “It’s really inspiring, honestly. We’re definitely lucky to be able to work with someone like Madonna.”
Madonna —who told THR that “artists are here to disturb the peace”—described her work ethic as leaving “no stone unturned” and explained that “Madame X” is essentially a story of her life. “Pay attention to detail, to leave no stone unturned, to keep pushing until you get to what you feel is the best possible,” she said.. “Madame X … is me telling a story about my life.”
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What is Madonna “Madame X” about?
“Madame X” is a documentary concert film that chronicles Madonna’s Madame X Tour, which consisted of 75 dates across the world and ran from September 2019 in New York City to March 2020 in Paris. The concept film—which supports Madonna’s 14th studio album, Madame X —was filmed in 2020 at Madonna’s Madame X Tour stops in Lisbon, Portugal. The movie—first premiered at the Paradise Club on top of the Times Square Edition hotel in New York City—sees Madonna take on the persona of Madame X, a secret agent who travels around the world as she fights for freedom. To celebrate the release of “Madame X”, which is co-directed by Nuno Xico and Sasha Kasiuha, Madonna also released a limited-edition merch collection that consists of hoodies, matching sets and more items.
Madonna “Madame X” T-Shirt
Madonna red “madame x” hoodie, madonna red “madame x” t-shirt, when does madonna “madame x” come out.
Madonna “Madame X” is available to stream on Paramount Plus on Friday, October 7, 2021.
How to watch Madonna “Madame X” online for free
So how can one watch Madonna “Madame X” online for free ? Lucky for you, Paramount Plus offers a free trial, which is more than enough time to stream Madonna “Madame X” at no cost. Read on for how to sign up for Paramount Plus’ free trial and what else comes with it.
Paramount+ Free Trial
Watch ‘Madonna: Madame X’ With… $0+
The best way to watch Madonna’s “Madame X” film online for free is with Paramount Plus’ seven-day free trial , which is more than enough time to watch “Madame X” at no cost. Along with “Madame X,” Paramount Plus, CBS’ exclusive streaming service, 30,000 episodes, 2,500 movies and 30-plus original series like The Good Fight and the iCarly reboot. After the trial ends, users can choose to subscribe for $4.99 per month for Paramount Plus’ ad-supported plan and $9.99 per month for its ad-free plan. Students also receive a 25 percent discount , which costs them $3.74 per month for the ad-supported plan and or $7.49 per month for the ad-free plan. Read on how for how to sign up for Paramount Plus’ seven-day free trial.
Visit Paramount Plus’ website .
Click “ TRY IT FREE .”
Click “Continue” and choose your plan: The Essential ad-supported plan for $4.99 per month / $49.99 per year (which saves users $10) or the Premium no-ads plan for $9.99 per month / $9.99 per year (which saves users $20.)
Enter your information and payment method.
Start watching with Paramount Plus’ free trial .
Paramount+ Free Trial With Amazon
If you’ve already used your Paramount Plus free trial, fans can also watch Madonna’s “Madame X” film online for free with Paramount Plus’ seven-day free trial on Amazon Prime Video. To score the free trial, users need to first sign up for Amazon Prime’s 30-day free trial, which comes with the same benefits of Amazon Prime, such as Prime Music and Prime Delivery (a.k.a. free two-day shipping, free same-day shipping, free release-date delivery and free no-rush shipping.) after the Paramount Plus free trial ends, users can choose to subscribe for $5.99 per month for its Limited Commercials ad-supported plan or $9l99 per month for its no-ads Premium plan Read on for how to sign up for Paramount Plus’ free trial with Amazon Prime.
Visit Amazon Prime Video’s Paramount Plus website
Click “Start your free trials”
Sign into your Amazon account
Choose your plan: The Limited Commercials plan for $5.99 per month after a seven-day free trial or the Premium plan for $9.99 per month after a seven-day free trial
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Category: Madame X Tour
Madame X Tour
16 Aug, 2023
‘Madame X: Music From The Theater Experience’ Vinyl Release
Available on September 22nd, MADAME X: MUSIC FROM THE THEATER XPERIENCE showcases on 3LP 22 powerful live performances of songs that span the remarkably different eras of Madonna’s iconic career, including her ninth #1 album, Madame X . The upcoming collection introduces exclusive live performances of Crave (featuring Swae Lee) and Sodade , two songs that did not appear on the digital soundtrack. Read More
9 Nov, 2021
Madame X Presents: Madame Xtra Q&A
Paramount+ announces Madonna’s Madame X Presents: Madame Xtra Q&A featuring questions from very special guests Ariana Grande, Amy Schumer, Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Drew Barrymore, David Letterman, FKA Twigs, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jimmy Fallon, Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Lil Nas X, Naomi Campbell, Snoop Dogg, Sarah Paulson and more. Read More
8 Oct, 2021
Madonna concert movie proves the Queen of Pop is still in her prime
Throughout Madame X , Madonna is in total command of the stage as she follows her own mantra: “Don’t go for second best, baby,” NME reports. Read More
Madame X Concept Film and Album Out Today
The concept film to Madonna’ s acclaimed Madame X Tour debuts today in the U.S., Latin America, Australia, the Nordics, and Canada, exclusively on Paramount+ , the streaming service from ViacomCBS. Fans outside these markets can watch the documentary on MTV . Read More
Madonna’s Madame X concert film is compelling and confounding
The advantages of the intimate environment Madonna cultivated throughout the tour – her first small-venue dates since 1985 – are showcased in her frequent interactions with the crowd. “I love to irritate people,” she tells fans with a wicked grin, USA Today reports. Read More
Madonna in Paramount+’s ‘Madame X’
An impressively designed production from a star hoping to convey the deep empathy she feels for pretty much every group suffering during these troubled times, Madonna’s Madame X showcases the eponymous album, in which she draws on new influences ranging from Colombian rap to Portuguese fado, writes The Hollywood Reporter . Read More
A Madonna Concert Film That’s Heavy on Message, Light on Euphoria
In Madame X , we see Madonna toggling between two poles, Variety reports. Read More
7 Oct, 2021
Madame X – Music From The Theater Xperience (Live)
Check out the details, the cover and the tracklisting of Madame X – Music From The Theater Xperience (Live) , now available on the digital platforms. Read More
6 Oct, 2021
Madame X – Music from the Theater Xperience
Madame X – Music from the Theater Xperience will available on all digital platforms this Friday. Read More
5 Oct, 2021
Madame X: This Friday!
Madonna’s Madame X movie, directed by Ricardo Gomes and SKNX , will exclusively stream on Paramount Plus and MTV from Friday, October 8.
Here is a recap of the broadcast times. Read More
22 Sep, 2021
Mission: World Premiere
The Madame X film premieres tonight in New York City. Read More
15 Jul, 2021
Madame X is also coming to MTV!
The concert documentary filmed last year during the European leg of Madonna’s Madame X Tour is coming to ParamountPlus and MTV in October, it was announced today. Read More
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“Listen to Mother and you won’t go wrong”
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Madonna unveils MADAME X Tour London shows
MADAME X TICKETS IN LONDON AVAILABLE VIA VERIFIED FAN REGISTRATION OPEN THROUGH NOW UNTIL 16-MAY (4PM BST) AT WWW.TICKETMASTER.CO.UK/MADONNA Citi® is the official credit card of the Madame X Tour Complete Tour & Ticket information at Madonna.Livenation.com (Monday 13 May 2019, London U.K.) Following last week’s heralded announcement that Madonna will perform a series of rare and intimate performances exclusively in theatres, Madonna, Live Nation and Maverick today unveiled the dates for her appearances at the iconic London Palladium giving fans the opportunity to see her like never before with shows confirmed on 26, 27, 29, 30 January and 1 and 2 February 2020. The Madame X Tour will kick off September 12th at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York and will feature multiple nights of shows in each city including performances at the Chicago Theatre, The Wiltern in Los Angeles, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston, The Met Philadelphia and at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in 2019. The Madame X Tour will then resume in early 2020 with performances at the Coliseum in Lisbon, The London Palladium and at the Grand Rex in Paris. Here is a link to a video from Madonna about the Tour: https://madonna.lnk.to/TourVid . Madonna is the best-selling female solo touring artist of all time and has the highest-grossing concert tour ever by a female artist with her Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008-2009) at $408 million. Influenced creatively by living in Lisbon, Portugal over the past several years, Madame X is a collection of 15 new songs that celebrate Madonna’s career-long affair with Latin music and culture as well as other global influences. Madonna is releasing 5 songs before her highly-anticipated new studio album Madame X debuts globally on June 14th. Following Friday’s release of the infectious pop gem “Crave” featuring Swae Lee and produced by Mike Dean, the empowering ballad “I Rise” and the critically-acclaimed “Medellín,” additional songs to be shared with fans include the Jamaican dancehall vibes of “Future” featuring Quavo on May 17, as well as the sonically innovative “Dark Ballet” on June 7. Madonna’s long-time promoter Arthur Fogel, President - Global Touring and Chairman - Global Music, Live Nation said: “The chance for fans to see Madonna at these venues is incredibly special. We are proud and excited to be able to deliver this ultimate opportunity for her fans.” To ensure fans have the best access, Verified Fan is in effect for Madonna’s Madame X tickets at the London Palladium. Fans may unlock ticket access by registering today through Thursday, 16 May (4pm BST) at ticketmaster.co.uk/Madonna . With Verified Fan, a simple registration is all it takes to get verified for the opportunity to access tickets when they become available to Verified Fans on Friday, 24-May at 9am BST. Verified Fan does not guarantee a ticket but does enable all fans an equal chance to access on a first come, first-served basis. Tickets will be limited to 4 tickets per person. Get more details on Verified Fan . ICON is Madonna's official fan club. Lifetime Legacy members of ICON may register from Monday, 13 May (6AM BST) through Thursday, 16 May (4PM BST) to become a Verified Fan and receive first access to tickets when they become available to Verified ICON members on Monday, 20 May at 9AM BST. Icon presale runs through Tuesday, 21 May (4PM BST). Complete details at: www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Madonna . Legacy members, click here for a detailed FAQ Citi is the official presale credit card of the Madame X tour. As such, Citi credit and debit cardholders can take advantage of a special Citi Presale powered by Verified Fan opportunity for tour dates in the United Kingdom. Citi cardholders can register now through Thursday, May 16 at 4PM to unlock access to tickets and use their Citi card to complete the ticket purchase if verified. The Citi Presale begins Wednesday May 22 at 9AM and will continue through Thursday, May 23 ant 4PM. To register for the Citi Presale powered by Verified Fan visit Citibank.co.uk . Tickets for these very special Madame X performances will be scaled between £60.00 - £480.00 (plus applicable service fees). Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to enter to purchase tickets at £10.00 at Madonna.com. There will be 10 tickets available per show and fans will be notified on show date if they have been selected for this unique opportunity. Madame X VIP & Hotel Packages will be available for all Verified Fans. VIP packages may include great seat locations, exclusive backstage tour, photo opportunity on stage, VIP pre-show reception, limited edition Madonna gift item, photo opportunity at the VIP red carpet and more! Additionally, fans can access Ticket & Hotel packages which include great ticket locations, exclusive merchandise, hotel accommodations and more. All fans wishing to access VIP & Hotel Packages may register now through Thursday, 16-May (4PM BST) and find full details more info at ticketmaster.co.uk/Madonna The tour is presented by Live Nation Global Touring. MADONNA MADAME X 2020 TOUR DATES
Sunday 26 January London, U.K. The London Palladium Monday 27 January London, U.K. The London Palladium Wednesday 29 January London, U.K. The London Palladium Thursday 30 January London, U.K. The London Palladium Saturday 1 February London, U.K. The London Palladium Sunday 2 February London U.K. The London Palladium The Madame X Tour will also visit Lisbon, and Paris in 2020. Show information to follow.
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6 November 2023 4:09 PM
How Madonna’s Celebration Tour was brought to life
As madonna's celebration tour continues across europe, the singer's creative team and set designers tell rolling stone uk how they brought her career-spanning triumph to life..
By Nick Reilly
As Madonna ‘s Celebration Tour continues to travel around Europe, the team that developed the show’s staggering, era-spanning stage design have told Rolling Stone UK how they brought the singer’s vision to life.
The show kicked off at London’s O2 Arena last month , with our review hailing it as “a masterclass in arena production”.
At one point in the show we see Madonna entering a vibrant gay NYC club to reflect her early days of stardom in the city, while another moment in the show takes a spiritual turn as muscle-clad dancers are positioned on a rotating platform for a powerful rendition of ‘Like A Prayer’. It’s the design concept of stage designer Ric Lipson of architecture firm Stufish, who headed up the vision for this show.
“Historically, Madonna’s tours are started by her saying, ‘Here’s the album that I’m writing, this is the mood of it and this is what I’m trying to say’. She’d work with her director and together they’d come up with a song order to sort the show,” explained Lipson.
But this latest tour proved something different entirely. Instead of theming it around a single album, the creative team were tasked with delivering the singer’s demands for a show that took stock of her groundbreaking career.
“She knew that she wanted to base the show through the eyes of her being spiritually born in New York City. From the early days of landing in Times Square and going down to the Lower East Side, CBGBs and the clubs, the places she hung out when she was young. Her concept of the show then evolved into a geography that would lay out the whole city,” explained Lipson.
“But she’s always wanting to do something different and asked how we could do an arena tour that didn’t feel like Madame X or previous arena tours. But also one that felt correct for the way people are touring at the moment. Since 2015, social media has completely changed in the way that people are consuming things through their phones and taking shots of things. So for us, it was all about how do we display and portray Madonna in a different way that also makes her feel more connected?”
The answer, it transpired, was to create a vast network of on-stage runways that allowed her to get up close and personal with nearly every section of the arena.
“On the Madame X tour, she really loved how connected to the audience she felt and the audience really loved that relationship that they felt they had with her because of the proximity,” said Lipson.
Lipson also speaks of the “banners that came out constantly with projections on”, allowing the singer’s image and key motifs of her career to be displayed to the entire crowd throughout the show.
But the banners are also responsible for one of the show’s most emotionally charged moments too. During ‘Live To Tell’, Madonna travels across the arena on a flying platform while photos of all the close friends she lost to AIDS – including Keith Haring and Freddie Mercury – are projected on drop-down screens.
“She knew she wanted to sing that song and she knew she wanted to sing it for those people,” Lipson reflects.
“It’s like a time machine,” he adds of the flying frame that the singer uses. “The first time she uses it is when she’s looking back at the eighties and it’s a very powerful moment, which for me is one of the most emotional things I’ve seen in a pop show. Ever.”
It makes a further appearance when the singer delivers an arena-stunning rendition of ‘Ray Of Light’, reflecting the entire theme of the show: celebration. That future-facing era, however, proved one of the trickiest for the team to fully create.
“That end section was hard because you’ve already shown the tricks of what the stage can do and that’s why we kept a cube from the Bedtime Stories section to raise the downtown stage up a whole five metres.
“We go into ‘Billie Jean’ / ‘Like A Virgin’ while getting into the outfits for all the cast for Bitch I’m Madonna. It was quite a lot of costume changes as they’ve just come out of ‘Ray of Light’ too, so there had to be a song in-between where they could all get changed, including Madonna. That’s where the Billie Jean video fitted in. Fundamentally that was the challenge because we’d done a lot already and then needed to deliver another fifteen minutes of staging that builds up to that energetic ending.”
Ultimately though, the hard work of Stufish and the rest of the creative team have paid off. As Rolling Stone UK said on the night, it’s a show that goes far in sufficiently celebrating each era of the singer’s career. Thanks to Madonna’s large team, this is a celebration well and truly delivered.
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Madonna wanted to “feel more connected” to audience on ‘Celebration Tour’, says stage designer
The Queen of Pop recently kicked off her greatest hits tour at The O2 in London
Madonna ‘s stage designer has said that she wanted “feel more connected” to the audience on her current ‘Celebration Tour’.
- READ MORE: Madonna live in London: pop queen grapples with her legacy
The Queen of Pop recently kicked off her greatest hits tour at The O2 in London last month which saw her perform over 40 songs from her back catalogue including her most famous hits and a number of deep cuts .
Speaking about the tour, Ric Lipson of architecture firm Stufish told Rolling Stone UK : “ She knew that she wanted to base the show through the eyes of her being spiritually born in New York City. From the early days of landing in Times Square and going down to the Lower East Side, CBGBs and the clubs, the places she hung out when she was young. Her concept of the show then evolved into a geography that would lay out the whole city.
“But she’s always wanting to do something different and asked how we could do an arena tour that didn’t feel like Madame X or previous arena tours. But also one that felt correct for the way people are touring at the moment. Since 2015, social media has completely changed in the way that people are consuming things through their phones and taking shots of things. So for us, it was all about how do we display and portray Madonna in a different way that also makes her feel more connected?”
As NME ‘s Nick Levine noted in his five star review of the show , it features “a series of spectacular set-pieces referencing iconic highlights from Madonna’s reign – ‘Vogue’ is presented as a raucous ballroom extravaganza; the Bjork-penned ‘Bedtime Story’ leads into ‘Ray Of Light’, spotlighting her ’90s electronica era. Coupled with a fiendishly detailed sound mix from producer Stuart Price, which fills each intro and segue with snippets of Madgebangers that didn’t make the setlist, there is a huge amount to take in.”
At one point during ‘Live To Tell’ she also travelled across the arena on a flying platform while photos of all the close friends she lost to AIDS were shown on the surrounding screens.
“She knew she wanted to sing that song and she knew she wanted to sing it for those people,” Lipson added. “It’s [the platform] like a time machine. The first time she uses it is when she’s looking back at the eighties and it’s a very powerful moment, which for me is one of the most emotional things I’ve seen in a pop show. Ever.”
Musical director Stuart Price previously said they felt it was important that the icon’s singing on her current tour is “all live vocal” .
He added at the time: “There’s a couple of spoken word sections in the show where we just use track. But it’s all live vocals; there’s backing singers – there always has been – but it’s all live vocals. I hope that you hear the humanness of the vocal coming across as well.”
Over the weekend, reports suggested Madonna will headline Glastonbury Festival next summer alongside Dua Lipa and Coldplay . Organiser, Emily Eavis has since responded saying the reports are “untrue” .
The icon is due to kick off the North America leg of her tour at Brooklyn Barclays Center in New York on December 13. You can find any remaining tickets here .
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Madonna’s World Tour Could Be Cancelled Again As She Admits Her Health Is Still In Decline
Posted: October 26, 2023 | Last updated: October 26, 2023
- Madonna admits she hasn't fully recovered from her recent health scare during a performance in Belgium, but expresses gratitude for being alive.
- The pop icon credits her children for getting her through the hospitalization and emphasizes the importance of being there for them.
- Madonna reflects on her mother's experience in the hospital and expresses sympathy for her loneliness, while also acknowledging the second chance at life she has been given.
Madonna just embarked on her world Celebration tour after it was postponed by months due to a life-threatening infection that left her hospitalized earlier this year. However, the pop icon has fans worrying again, as she admitted to the audience during a recent performance she wasn’t feeling well .
While performing in Belgium on Saturday, October 21, Madonna addressed her health scare from earlier in the year, admitting to still being on the mend.
RELATED: Here’s How Madonna Spends Her $850 Million Net Worth
Madonna Admits She Hasn’t Fully Recovered From Health Scare
"Less than four months ago, I was in a hospital and I was unconscious, and people were thinking, predicting that I might not make it,” she told the crowd. “It’s a f------ miracle that I’m here right now.”
"My mother, god bless her, she must be watching over me — she said, 'Girl, it’s not your time to go,” Madonna continued.
The singer also referenced her own mother, who died of breast cancer in 1963. "I had this strange thought. I suddenly had sympathy for my mother, not about the dying part, but how lonely she must have felt being in a hospital, knowing that she wasn’t going to live," Madonna, 65, went on. "I was given another chance, so I’m very grateful for that."
While the musician expressed gratitude, she also admitted she’s still not feeling 100% back to her normal self. "I must tell you I don’t feel very well right now, but I can’t complain, because I’m alive," Madonna said. "Thank god for my children and all of your love and support."
It was initially revealed in June that Madonna had been hospitalized after being found unconscious due to a bacterial infection that had rapidly developed. Her manager released a statement saying the Celebration tour was indefinitely postponed, despite being set to start the following month.
Madonna Credits Her Kids For Getting Her Through Hospitalization
“On Saturday, June 24, Madonna developed a serious bacterial infection which led to a several days stay in the ICU,” her manager explained. “Her health is improving, however, she is still under medical care. A full recovery is expected.”
“At this time we will need to pause all commitments, which includes the tour," she continued. “We will share more details with you as soon as we have them, including a new start date for the tour and for rescheduled shows.” Nevertheless, Madonna was released soon after and was reportedly back to rehearsing in August, the same month the Celebration tour was re-announced with additional dates.
RELATED: 8 Things Madonna And Daughter Lourdes Disagree On
During the first performance on her Celebration tour, Madonna touched on the health scare, revealing she forgot days at a time and credits her children for helping her through the crisis.
“I didn’t think I was gonna make it. I forgot five days of my life — or death, I didn’t really know where I was,” she shared to the London crowd. “But my children were there — and my children always save me every time. I have got to be there for my children – I have to survive for them.”
Madonna is a mom to six kids Lourdes, 27, Rocco, 23, David, 18, Mercy, 17, Estere, 11, and Stella, 11.
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