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Madonna News - April 2020

Madonna’s 1994 Album Hit No. 1 Last Night

Madonna’s career has always been about being in conversation with the moment, but her oft-forgotten 1994 R&B-tinged album Bedtime Stories feels more like a compromise to a particular moment than a mastery of it. So, it’s a bit surprising that, of all the collections in her catalogue, this should be the one to have a sudden commercial resurgence.

Then again, time has never felt less relevant than right now. The fact that last night Bedtime Stories hit no. 1 on the U.S. iTunes chart seems almost fitting.

Of course, the iTunes charts, unlike the Billboard charts, are more a reflection of by-the-hour sales trends. The algorithm is a bit mysterious, but devoted fans know how to manipulate it. Madonna fans noticed that the album was marked down to $4.99, and launched a campaign to purchase and stream the album to send it rocketing up the charts (in fact, it was the first time the album had even entered that particular chart). Once there, the fan campaign got an acknowledgement from Madonna herself. read more →

Madonna Teams With Reform Alliance to Donate 100,000 Masks to Jails & Prisons

With jails and prisons struggling to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay, on Wednesday (April 22), Madonna’s Ray of Light Foundation and REFORM Alliance announced plans to curb the issue by donating 100,000 surgical masks.

“We teamed up with @Madonna @PairOfThieves @bailproject and @cut_50 to secure 100k MORE MASKS FOR PEOPLE BEHIND BARS,” REFORM Alliance tweeted. “We need to stop #COVID19 from spreading inside of prisons if we want to stop it from spreading outside of prison walls, too #NoPrisonPandemic.”

The lofty donation will include a distribution of 50,000 masks for the Cook County Jail and the Illinois Department of Corrections. An additional 20,000 will be heading to the Louisiana Department of Corrections, while the remaining 30,000 will head over to Vacaville Prison in California, FCI Ray Brook in New York, and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department in Massachusetts.

“More than 2 million lives in prisons across America are currently at stake due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” REFORM co-chair Michael Rubin said in a press release. “It’s absolutely crucial that we protect our inmates and prison staff, especially since social distancing guidelines are difficult to abide by in these facilities. REFORM remains committed to protecting one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations, many of whom are currently incarcerated for technical probation violations (not committing a crime), and we’re grateful for the support of our partners in this endeavor.”

Earlier this month, REFORM provided 100,000 masks to Rikers Island, the Tennessee Department of Corrections, and the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss.

Billboard

Babyface: Madonna told Michael Jackson to dress like a girl for video

Madonna suggested Michael Jackson dress as a girl for his 1991 “In the Closet” video, according to Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.

He said Jackson told him, “‘Babyface, can you believe she wants me to dress like a girl?’ He was like, ‘I’d never do that.’ He said, ‘She was trying to change it all up. It was crazy’ … He was really mad about it.”

Edmonds reminisced with Teddy Riley, who produced the song, during their music battle for Verzuz TV on Instagram Live. Madonna ended up not appearing on the song, and Naomi Campbell was cast in the video.

Babyface on Madonna

New York Post

The Story Behind Madonna’s Iconic Jean Paul Gaultier Cone Bra

On the first night of Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour, held in April 1990 in Chiba, Japan, few in the audience could have prepared themselves for the spectacle about to unfold. With its $2 million dollar stage set, explosive choreography by voguing legends from the New York City ballroom scene, and headline-grabbing aesthetic fusion of Catholic imagery and BDSM, the show solidified Madonna’s position at the top of music’s pantheon. In less than two hours, she was no longer just a pop star—she had graduated to become a fully-fledged pop culture icon.

For her fans, though, it was less of a surprise: Madonna was merely following up on the string of controversies that accompanied her latest album, Like a Prayer, a year earlier. A $5 million sponsorship deal with Pepsi was swiftly pulled after she debuted the video for her lead single, “Like a Prayer,” the plot of which implicitly drew a link between racial injustice and organized religion. Featuring Ku Klux Klan-style burning crosses and Madonna receiving the stigmata, it led to a direct call from the Vatican to boycott Pepsi and its subsidiaries. “Art should be controversial, and that’s all there is to it,” Madonna told the New York Times with nonchalance in the lead-up to the album’s release. (This laid-back response may have been due to the fact that Pepsi, eager to extricate themselves from the kerfuffle, let Madonna keep the $5 million check.)

Yet outside of the pearl-clutching backlash that followed the tour’s debut, the image that would come to define it was far more modest, arriving within the first few minutes of the show. Sporting an artfully slashed pinstripe suit, Madonna levitated to the stage on a hydraulic platform. She held a monocle hanging off her necklace up to her eye, before launching into “Express Yourself.” Then, moments later, she and her backup dancers whipped off their jackets to reveal something a little more sexy.

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A League of Their Own to get a 4k Ultra HD Blu-Ray Release *Update*

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is set to release “Columbia Classics Collection: Volume 1” box set on June 16, 2020.
The box set will include 6 movies: A League of Their Own (Madonna, Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell), Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Gandhi, Jerry Maguire, Lawrence of Arabia (Restored Version) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
Pre-order is now available at Amazon.com

4K Blu-ray Technical Specs:
Feature presented in 4K resolution with HDR10, fully restored from the original camera negative
Dolby Atmos English audio
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
Domestic Theatrical Trailer
NEW: 5 International Teasers & Trailers

Blu-ray Technical Specs and Special Features:
Feature presented in high definition, sourced from the 4K master
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
NEW: 3 episodes from the 1993 TV series, “A League of Their Own”
Feature Commentary with Director Penny Marshall and Actresses Lori Petty, Tracy Reiner, and Megan Cavanagh
Nine Memorable Innings Documentary
Deleted Scenes
The Enduring Legacy of A League of Their Own
“This Used to Be My Playground” Music Video by Madonna

Madonna's A League of Their Own in Columbia Classics Collection: Volume 1
Madonna's A League of Their Own in Columbia Classics Collection: Volume 1
Madonna's A League of Their Own in Columbia Classics Collection: Volume 1

Madonna in Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert Documentary

A documentary feature two decades in the making, “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” opens up the vault for the very first time to present the legendary performances and behind-the-scenes stories that shaped the seminal music festival.
The film provides a rare look at Coachella’s colorful beginning, presents exclusive, never-before-seen footage, interviews, and key performances from some of the biggest names in music.

Produced and directed by Chris Perkel. Executive Produced by Raymond Leon Roker and Paul Tollett.

Madonna footage starts at 33:10 :

Inside The Groove – Madonna’s Music Podcast

There’s an excellent new podcast about Madonna’s songs called “Inside The Groove”. So far there are two episodes – about “Vogue” and “Open Your Heart”.

“A podcast that dissects Madonna’s most famous songs, discussing how they were written and recorded, often referring to demos and outtakes”

Listen/download at: Apple Music or Podbean

Madonna Inside the Groove