It’s safe to say that B. Akerlund is having a very big year. After putting Beyoncé into that mustard-color Roberto Cavalli confection for Lemonade, the stylist was enlisted by Madonna to dress the icon for her tribute to Prince at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. And judging by the Instagrams issued by the Queen of Pop leading up to Sunday night’s event—from lace layered under dangling crucifixes, to paparazzi shots of the pair in matching shades of yellow from the late ’80s, to stage pictures of Prince clad in thigh-high socks, bikini briefs, lace arm-warmers, and a fringed, beaded top—this was not an affair in which the costume considerations would be taken lightly.
When dealing with figures that loom as large in the collective cultural psyche as Madonna and Prince—both with their own distinct sartorial codas (and bestowed with such particularly unique lore)—the fashion has a lot to live up to. And thanks to Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, it did. Madonna took to the stage for her emotional, intimate tribute, singing “Nothing Compares 2 U” before being joined by Stevie Wonder for a duet of “Purple Rain,” in an embroidered metallic brocade three-piece suit with swirling purple paisley print and underlying frilled blouse—a look that, thanks to the film adaptation, is as synonymous with Prince as the symbol he once took on as a name. (And it’s worth noting that suiting made a few appearances earlier in the evening, in Kesha’s purple and embroidered white Gram Parsons–inspired versions, both vintage Nudie, and the ladylike Chanel take worn by Demi Lovato.) Michele, who has worked with the Material Girl before, most notably on Latin-influenced costumes for her Rebel Heart tour, perhaps put it best in the note sent to Vogue.com accompanying his sketch: “It’s more than a performance, it’s a real act of love.”
You’ve called your new label, Sire Records, your “dream label.” And actually, Madonna’s self-titled debut was released on the same label in 1983. Do you think you and Madonna might have done a duet if you’d been on the same label back in the day? Was there ever talk of that happening?
Oh, not by business people. You know, I always felt for me, I would’ve loved to do “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” with her… ’cause I think that’s very funny! (Laughs hysterically)
Which part would you play?
Come on! Who do you think I’d play? I’d play Baby Jane – I’d be torturin’ her. Because she’s always viewed as the bad girl, you know! They’d make her the good girl and I’d be the bad one. Or (we could do Joan Crawford’s 1954 western-drama) “Johnny Guitar” – she’d be the righteous one (laughs). But whatever. Who knows! For me, all I wanna do is a good job. I wanna be a great singer. I wanna learn. I wanna always learn. I study music constantly. I try and listen to what’s happening. I try and listen to what’s happened, to what I might’ve missed. I think music is… I love it and I think it lifts people up. I think I finally did a record that makes people happy, ya know? Maybe I learned that from “Kinky Boots.”
Despite her bitter custody battle over teen son Rocco with her ex, Guy Ritchie, Madonna was “in a great mood” when she arrived at 11 p.m. at Omar’s in the West Village on Tuesday night with Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci.
Spies said she came in a “flowing white dress” and was “makeup-free.”
Madge and Tisci headed to a back room, where they met up with R&B singer Maxwell and “several male models.” One spy added, “She asked the chef to prepare special pasta for her with veggies, which was not on the menu.”
Maxwell DJ’d and got people dancing to his own tunes. Around 1:30 a.m., he put on Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” The group stayed until 3 a.m.
Madonna and Molly Meldrum’s first meeting didn’t go exactly how it was portrayed on Channel 7’s hit TV miniseries.
In the TV show Madonna, played by Jacinta Stapleton, was shocked when Meldrum abruptly ended their first interview in New York — he took a phone call mid-chat to tell him his house in Melbourne was on fire.
The fire did happen — and in the same year that first Madonna interview took place, 1984 — but Meldrum was in London and no interview was curtailed.
“I’d gone over to New York to interview Van Halen,” Meldrum recalled. “I’d gone to a club called the Ritz where Eurythmics were playing, and Real Life, the Australian band, were opening for them. In-between bands they played videos and they put on both Madonna’s Burning Up and Holiday. I remember thinking ‘These are great, who the f*** is this? How have I missed these songs?’
“Someone told me she was on Warner, so because I was over there I said I had to interview Madonna. I interviewed Real Life that day, presented them with an award, and I was running late to get back to the Rockefeller Centre to interview Madonna. When I got there I had a bit of a clash with Peter Ikin from the record label because I was late, so I apologised and said ‘Who the f*** is Madonna anyway?’
“And then this head poked around the corner and said ‘I’m Madonna. And what the f*** is a Molly?” …continue reading »
She has been fighting a bitter custody battle from her palatial penthouse apartment in Auckland, appearing in a New York courthouse today via video link, but Madonna and her inner sanctum have found time to relax and unwind ahead of her first ever concerts in New Zealand this weekend.
The 57-year-old Queen of Pop jetted in on Tuesday – four days ahead of her first concerts at Vector Arena.
She has brought an entourage of nearly 50, including a four-man security detail, as well as a personal staff of 15, including two make-up artists, a chef, a nutritionist, physical therapist, two trainers and an esthetician.
Her personal cook is on tour acting as her “backstage coordinator”. Chicago celebrity chef Jaime Laurita, who, like Madonna is a Michigan native, is on the Rebel Heart tour to “create a level of consistency that feels the most like home,” he told Michigan Ave magazine. …continue reading »
“I said something horrible about her that you should never say. I was in a restaurant in the south of France a couple of years ago and she walked in so I sent her a note saying, “You’ll probably never speak to me again but I am really sorry and ashamed of myself and can I buy you dinner.” She was very gracious and accepted and we talked. We are fine – it was just me and my big mouth.”
Appearing on the BBC One show last night, he added: ‘I can’t say it won’t happen again but not with Madonna!’
…The direct sonic influence is hard to find, but one of the chief inspirations for 25 was Madonna’s Ray of Light.
“You know what I found so amazing about that record?” Adele says. “That’s the record Madonna wrote after having her first child, and for me, it’s her best. I was so all over the place after having a child, just because my chemicals were just hitting the fucking roof and shit like that.” She felt detached from her artistic self. “I was just drifting away, and I couldn’t find that many examples for myself where I was like, ‘F*ck, they truly came back to themselves,’ until someone was like, ‘Well, obviously, Ray of Light.'” Adele listened to it over and over, and was particularly captivated by “Frozen.” “I took that song as ‘I’ve gotten my confidence to come and do me again.’ ”
It’s hard to believe the Material Girl has a daughter who’s the same age as she was when she first moved to NYC to become a star. That’s right—Madonna’s first child Lourdes Leon is already 19 years old.
Madonna & Co. celebrated Lourdes’ last year as a teenager in a style befitting the daughter of pop royalty, including dinner at Via Veneto restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif. And who made the guest list at the inherently star-studded family affair?
Lourdes’ three siblings, Rocco, 15; David, 10; and Mercy, 9; were on hand, of course, and in addition to her mom, brothers and sister the birthday girl was joined by friends. The group shared nearly two hours together dining in the VIP area of the restaurant, where waiters later delivered a birthday cake lit up with candles.
We wonder what she wished for!
While Lourdes might have been the 19-year-old, 57-year-old mom Madonna looked just as hip as she was spotted rocking a lace crop top, black blazer, shiny tuxedo pants and lace fingerless gloves on her way out of the trendy spot.
She welcomed Lourdes in 1996 with fitness trainer Carlos Leon. The couple split the following year in May.
Madonna‘s Rebel Heart tour is filled with surprises (like Amy Schumer’s hilarious opening standup and the lack of Madge’s nakedness on stage — seriously, she covers up more than usual!), but as fans who have already seen the show know, her performances are very nostalgic, celebrating the Queen of Pop’s various iconic career moments over the past 30+ years.
One of those moments is Madonna’s 1991 Oscars performance, when she channeled Marilyn Monroe for her performance of “Sooner or Later.” She also hit the red carpet with close friend Michael Jackson dressed like Marilyn’s Gentleman Prefer Blondes character.
Madonna brings back that look in her Rebel Heart tour book and for a special video played during her performances. And to help her create the Marilyn moment, celeb-loved jeweler Neil Lane provided $10 million worth of diamonds. (Because when you’re Madonna, anything is possible!)
“I sent hundreds of images of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. They also sent me the clip of the performance in 1991 so I could review it,” Lane tells PEOPLE of selecting the jewelry looks for the star. “Madonna circled what she liked. She was very involved in the process.” …continue reading »
An entire stadium’s worth of music fans saw Madonna perform Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.
A much, much smaller number of lucky bastards saw Madonna in the early hours of Friday, when the Queen of Pop popped into Prince’s Paisley Park studio/venue to see The Purple One play for “roughly 60” people, reports Andrea Swensson of 89.3 the Current.
Swensson was among “33 civilians” who were “summoned” to Chanhassen hours earlier with the promise of an “extra special” event. They wearily danced for two hours before Madonna strolled into Prince’s complex around 2 a.m., her dance crew in tow. …continue reading »