Her Madgesty is celebrating her 60th birthday this month so we’re dedicating August to the Queen of Pop. Today we highlight five of her most memorable live performances.
1. MTV Awards 2003
At 2003’s MTV Awards, the crowd looked on with anticipation as two flower girls began scattering petals on stage before a giant wedding cake was revealed by a rising curtain. The unmistakable opening bars of Like A Virgin blared from the speakers and a veiled bride stood atop the cake and sang ‘I made it through the wilderness’. If the vocals didn’t give the game away, the crowd went wild when the bride lifted her veil to reveal it was Britney Spears. When the song reached the chorus section, a second veiled bride appeared on stage and began singing in that deep throaty power voice that could only belong to Christina Aguilera. That’s right, the two ex-Mouseketeers on stage together – unbelievable in itself! As if this couldn’t get any more surprising the song stops and the wedding march plays loud. If the crowd weren’t hyped enough, they were about to get much crazier. Madonna slowly rises out of the wedding cake dressed in her version of black top and tails. She belts out the opening to her hit Hollywood before descending the stairs to meet her two brides for a dance routine Strictly would be proud of. Just when we think we’ve seen it all Madonna kisses both brides in turn before welcoming Missy Elliott to the stage. It doesn’t get much better than this for pop lovers!
2. Superbowl 2012
Madonna proved she was the Queen of Pop as she was carried onto the pitch on an Eygptian inspired throne pulled by lots of hunky centurions at the 2012 Superbowl Halftime Show. She belted out a medley of hits starting with Vogue before moving on to Music complete with LMFAO and including Party Rock Anthem and Sexy and I Know It elements. She was then joined by MIA and Nicki Minaj for the first live performance of Give Me All Your Luvin. Surprisingly it was MIA and not Madonna for once, that caused the controversy by flicking the bird. Open Your Heart, Express Yourself and Like A Prayer were all represented with Cee-Lo joining Madge on the stage too.
3. MTV Awards 1990
The above performance with Christina, Britney and Missy wasn’t the first time Madonna owned the MTV Awards. Back in 1990 she took to the stage donned in Marie Antoinette style dress, complete with wig and painted face. She performed a choreographed dance routine with some fun knickerbocker flashing moments to the single Vogue. Her obvious miming only added to the throwback theatre feel of the performance. Not a Black Adder in sight!
4. Oscars 1997
Madonna gave an emotional performance of her track You Must Love Me at the 69h annual Academy Awards in 1997. The song was the only new track written for the film adaptation of Evita, in which Madonna starred as Eva Perón. In stark contrast to the other performances here, this is Madonna simply showing her vocal prowess. She had singing lessons for the film to train her voice to the more musical theatre style needed. A beautiful performance.
5. BRIT Awards 2015
This performance is perhaps her most infamous when a wardrobe malfunction with a cape that wouldn’t unfasten, sent Madonna tumbling. We’ve included it in our top 5 as we have so much respect for how Madonna didn’t let a little thing like being pulled down a small flight of stairs, get in the way of her performance. We fear many younger performers would have fled the stage in tears but as Jinx Monsoon might say it was all “water off a duck’s back” for Madonna. It was a show-stealing performance whichever way you look at it. Bow down bitches!
What is your favourite Madonna live performance? Let us know @entfocusmusic.