Posts tagged with "Madonna"

Homecoming

Netflix released Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, which presents an intimate look at her historic 2018 Coachella performance that paid homage to America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Interspersed with candid footage and interviews detailing the preparation and powerful intent behind her vision, Homecoming gives a peek into the process and emotional physical sacrifices it took to conceptualize and execute a performance of that magnitude that became a cultural movement. This stand-alone Netflix original is now available globally on Netflix.

As the first black woman to headline Coachella, Homecoming recognizes the African American visionaries who inspired Beyoncé, including HBCU alums Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, activist Marian Wright Edelman, and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, in addition to cultural luminaries such as Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Audre Lorde. Beyoncé’s personal knowledge of the relevance and celebration of HBCUs started with her father, Mathew Knowles, an alumnus of Fisk University.
Shot over eight months, the film follows the global entertainer as she returns to the stage after the birth of her twins, highlighting the comprehensive preparation involved in creating her groundbreaking performance, which included four months of band rehearsals followed by four months of dance rehearsals with over 150 musicians, dancers, and other creatives, — all of whom were hand-picked by the artist herself.
In juggling dual roles as both the director of her live performance and the film that captured the process of making it, Beyoncé says, “It was one of the hardest jobs I have taken on but I knew that I had to push myself and my team to go beyond great to legendary. We knew nothing like this was ever done on a festival level before and it needed to be iconic beyond compare. The performance was an homage to an important part of African American culture. It had to be true to those who know and entertaining and enlightening to those who needed to learn. In making the film and re-telling the story, the purpose remained the same.”
Many in the cast; band, singers, dancers and steppers are former HBCU students, immersed in the HBCU marching band tradition. They joined Beyoncé’s own group of performers, some who have toured with her for years. Viewers not only get to see the intense dance rehearsals and talent of these amazing artists, but hear their personal journey from HBCU student to artist and the lifelong impact that comes with performing alongside Beyoncé in this historic concert.
“So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates from historically black colleges and universities, including my father,” she says in the film. “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”
As a treat to her fans, the film also includes, in the end credits, her remake of “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze, a 1981 R&B classic that’s commonly performed at HBCU games. The single will be available on the film’s soundtrack, Homecoming: The Live Album, available today from Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. smarturl.it/BH9102
Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé was directed and produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Longtime collaborator Ed Burke served as co-director. Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams are executive producers.
Set List

“Crazy In Love”

“Freedom”

“Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing”

“Formation”

“Sorry”/”Me, Myself and I”

“Kitty Kat”

“Bow Down”

“I Been On”

“Drunk In Love”

“Diva”

“Flawless” (Remix)

“Feeling Myself”

“Top Off”

“7/11”

“Don’t Hurt Yourself”

“I Care”

“Partition”

“Yoncé”

“Mi Gente (Remix)”

“Mine”

“Baby Boy”

“You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)”

“Hold Up”

“Countdown”

“Check On It”

“Déjà Vu”(featuring JAY-Z)

“Run the World (Girls)”

“Lose My Breath” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)

“Say My Name” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)

“Soldier” (featuring Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams)

“Get Me Bodied” (With Solange Knowles dancing)

“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”

“Love On Top”

About Netflix
Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with over 148 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
About Parkwood Entertainment
Parkwood Entertainment is an entertainment and management company founded by entertainer and entrepreneur, Beyoncé in 2010. With headquarters in New York City the company houses departments in music and video production, management, marketing, digital, creative, philanthropy, fashion, publicity and a record label. Under its original name, Parkwood Pictures, in 2008, the company released the film Cadillac Records (2008), in which Beyoncé starred and co-produced. The company also released the film, Obsessed (2009), with Beyoncé as star and executive producer. Parkwood Entertainment produced The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (2013-2014) and The Formation World Tour (2016), and co-produced the ON THE RUN TOUR (2014) and ON THE RUN II (2018).

Beyoncé, netflix, Homecoming

Beyoncé’s Homecoming

Writers: Vaughn Lowery, Tara McDonough, Stella Iman Dugall

Every once in a while pop culture encounters a rip in its continuum. The latest breach comes from one of the most effervescent entertainers of all time, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter, as the first Black female to headline one of the most prolific festivals since the iconic Woodstock. Introspective yet intimate, Homecoming is positioned to be one of the most immersive concert series in the history of music and streaming services. Beyoncé, the Director and Executive Producer of the film, creates a visually captivating story from the beginning to end. The documentary answers a plethora of questions, at which the infamous Beyhive has had about the historical moment.

With intermittent quick cuts of her family before, during and after the epic performance, Beyoncé gives herself permission to exhibit her vulnerability. After all, she planned to take the stage at Coachella in 2017 before she was pregnant with her twins. The tour was postponed and we fast forward to ‘Mrs. Carter’ having to deal with the aftermath of a complicated pregnancy, which ultimately ends in a c-section. Similar to friend, and professional tennis superstar, Serena Williams, Beyoncé bounced back harder than ever after her tough pregnancy. Throughout the piece she digs deep and pummels through some of the most difficult days she has ever encountered. She even speaks to her weighing 218 lbs and how she was only able to zip her costume up after months of hard work alongside of a dedicated clean/raw food diet – no meats, carbs, sugars. The director of photography expertly captured an extremely intimate and vulnerable side to the strong and flawless Queen Bey.

Inspiration

Having family members as graduates of some of the prominent HBCU (historically black colleges and universities), Beyoncé was able to tap into the most celebrated moments of their collegiate life. Her full show not only highlighted the history of these schools but also their social networks and fraternal organizations; transforming the stage into one of the most dynamic Black Southern spaces of cultural legacy and pride. Much of it was enunciated with their boot dancing, a traditional dance style for HBCU called J-Setting, in between transitions. These dance formations visually anchored the performance. Contortionists contributed an urban Cirque du Soleil vibe to the display which can be more accurately described as an infused gumbo of Chicago (the musical), Moulin Rouge! and the Off-Broadway play Stomp. To date, the pyramid stage has been persevered onsite at this year’s Coachella as an art installation.

A group of 200 people shared the stage with Queen Bey including Jay Z, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams and Solange Knowles. The expansive crew that Beyonce worked and practiced with for 8 months is featured in the documentary, as each individual had their own part in making the event a success. The dancing in her set is not technical, but emotional. The crowd, as well as audiences watching the documentary at home, are meant to feel something from just the way Beyoncé and her dancers, who she handpicked herself, move with each other. The concert experience not only exhibits the immense talent of HBCU musicians but works towards using this heightened exposure to aid these institutions that have been struggling with little resources and grants since their establishment.

After the the release of Homecoming, Netflix will more than likely notice a spike in downloads/subscriptions; Beyonce will notice an increase in her fan base and HBCU enrollment rates will most likely skyrocket. Overall, most audience members will be thrashed into a world of black honor, history and preservation. While the Pew Report notes that there is a varying “black/white digital divide” concerning internet usage, (87% whites, 80% blacks), there is little divide when it comes to mobile platforms. The growth of black presence in media, such as on social media, in streaming services and more, will only continue due to the imminent success of Beyoncé’s partnership with Netflix. Her myriad of success as a dominant Black woman breaks down barriers in the same way Jordan Peele has done for young Black filmmakers across the diaspora. This will become one of the most treasured pieces of mass media and should offer encouragement to both women and minorities to bust through the glass ceiling on all fronts especially digitization and technology.

Beyoncé, Netflix, Homecoming

Illustrator: Alejandra Villagra

Shop Beyoncé

Holiday Destinations of Influential Women

8 Dream Holiday Destinations of Influential Women

Everybody needs to get away from time to time. And the rich and powerful are no exception! In fact, the stress and responsibility of holding an influential position and being constantly in the public eye can make the idea of a holiday even more appealing.

MyLateDeals has researched where the world’s most powerful women choose to go when they finally get a chance to let off some steam.

Queen Elizabeth II

You might think being the longest-reigning Queen of England would be an easy ride. But while Her Majesty may not have to worry about paying the bills each month, she has dealt admirably with personal trauma and national crises over the past seven decades – and remained adored by the national and international public the whole time.

Of course, no British royal is short of a holiday home or two. For Queen Elizabeth, 50,000 acres of moors, forests, and farmland at Balmoral Castle in Scotland provide both privacy and fresh air away from London life.

“I think Granny is the most happy there,” revealed Princess Eugenie a few years back. “I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”

Madonna

The Queen of Pop is the best selling female recording artist of all time and her influence on today’s music culture is inestimable. But rising to the top of the industry wasn’t easy – especially in the sexist atmosphere of the 1980s: “I’m tough, I’m ambitious and I know exactly what I want,” explains Madge. “If that makes me a bitch, okay.”

Madonna may be the archetypal urban woman, but when it’s time to get away nothing less than paradise will do. Soneva Fushi, an idyllic island in the Maldives, is the artist’s “definition of heaven – [a place for] riding bikes in the moonlight and watching movies under a starlit sky.”

With visitors able to reserve their own stretch of sun-baked sand far from the 24-hour news cycle, Soneva Fushi is a place where Madonna needn’t worry about reading, or becoming, hot gossip.

Oprah Winfrey

Talk show host, motivational speaker, philanthropist… president? Such are Oprah Winfrey’s levels of empathy and talent, it’s impossible to rule out quite what she’ll do next. And that’s just what you see on the surface: Winfrey’s business acumen is so sharp that they even teach college courses about it.

Like the Queen of England, Winfrey has an impressive property portfolio and holiday homes to spare. Her first choice destination is her ranch on Maui, Hawaii, where landscape and spirituality walk hand-in-hand: “The real substance and value of being in Hawaii is the unspoken “spirit” of the people and the surroundings,” she writes. “Hawaiians understand that the soul of the land is what matters.”

And what does a talk show host talk about on her time off? “We chat, laugh and rate the sunsets according to their magnificence.”

Pink

While her closest competitors embraced the hyper-sexualisation of early-noughties pop culture, Pink showed the world that it’s possible to stay true to who you are and still make a success of yourself. She has been a true ‘mainstream alternative’ in an age of mass production.

The singer and songwriter finds escape through a vastly different culture: that of the Indonesian island of Bali. She relaxes and has fun with her kids by attending cooking classes, chilling on the beach, and taking in traditional dance and music shows.

“Thank you to the people and the ocean and the energy of Bali,” Pink effuses on Instagram. “We love you.”

Beyoncé

They say the way to Carnegie hall is practice. For Beyoncé, building the stamina to blast stadium audiences with her formidable voice was apparently a matter of running around the block singing at the top of her voice by way of ‘working out’ in her youth. Her talent and hard work have won her 22 Grammy awards and a unique position in 21st-century western culture.

It’s Europe for Beyoncé and hubby Jay-Z when they want a break from the intensity of American living. The French Riviera (including Monaco, Cannes, and St. Tropez) may not be as remote as Bali or Soneva Fushi, but combining the deluxe privacy of a mega-yacht with the bustle and glamour of dining out along the Côte d’Azur seems to do it for the Knowleses.

Meghan Markle

Markle has brought a touch of reality to the royal family, and is becoming an important ambassador not just in diplomatic circles but between everyday people and the British elite. But even before she wooed Prince Harry, sixth in line to the throne, Markle was celebrated both for her acting and for her political activism.

So it’s no wonder her downtime with Harry is often spent in Africa, the continent where the couple pursue a great deal of charitable work. They keep things relatively real at the £580/night Mapula Lodge in Okavango Delta, Botswana, where thatched huts and outdoor showers overlook a stunning lagoon.

“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana,” said Harry of one of their early ‘dates.’ “We camped out with each other under the stars.”

Michelle Obama

‘First Lady’ was never a title that Michelle Obama was going to accept lightly. The Princeton and Harvard graduate worked as a lawyer and in prominent government positions before cutting back to raise her daughters and become an ambassador for human dignity and justice alongside her husband.

Obama’s holiday plans are as unpretentious as you would expect. Every year, she and her family arrive on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obamas cycle, play tennis, eat ice-cream, and spend quality time with their dogs, Sunny and Bo.

It’s more about wholesomeness than glamour – but you can be sure Obama returns to her daily routine refreshed and inspired.

Serena Williams

Some say Williams is the greatest female tennis player of all time. But the consensus errs towards her in fact being the greatest athlete of all time, regardless of gender. An astonishing 23 Grand Slam titles – including winning the Australian Open while two months pregnant – would be inspirational enough even if you didn’t consider the extent to which she’s set herself ahead of her rivals and the adversity she’s overcome to get there.

Romantic Rome is Williams’ destination of choice. She met her husband there while breakfasting with friends at the Cavalieri Hotel in 2015; he proposed to her on the same spot a year later.

As she told Traveller: “Rome is one of my favourite cities in the world! It’s such a magical place and I have so many wonderful memories there.”

Want to know which holiday destination is right for you? MyLateDeals has created  a quiz to determine which holiday and inspirational woman you have the most in common with, so prepare to find out.

Kandace Springs

“Prince’s protoge spreads her wings on breathtakingly eclectic second album

An accomplished pianist with a sensuous, smoky voice”

MOJO

the soulful pianist and vocalist is self-assured, distinctive and strikingly contemporary.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

Singer and pianist Kandace Springs has released her remarkable second album Indigo (Blue Note), a 13-track LP of originals and choice covers that showcases the full breadth of Kandace’s artistry from smoldering R&B (People Make the World Go Round , 6 8) to gorgeous jazz ballads (Unsophisticated, featuring Roy Hargrove) to the pop songcraft of “Breakdown” and Don’t Need The Real Thing. All but two tracks are produced by drummer/producer Karriem Riggins (Common, Erykah Badu) with additional production by Jamie Hartman (Rag’n’Bone Man), Jimmy Hogarth (Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae), Jimmy Harry (Madonna, P!nk), and Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken (Rihanna). Indigo is available on vinyl, CD, download, and streaming services.

For Kandace it boils down to a question that connects past to present: “What would Nina Simone do if she had the technology of today? You could never put Nina in a boxߞshe would do a blues followed a classical piece, a jazz standard and then a Beatles cover. This LP took a lot of inspiration from that it’s a mix of everything that I am.” Indigo offers a fairly plausible answer to that impossible query: songs that swirl classical composition with quiet-storm cool, jazz poise with hip-hop swing, tropical warmth with soulful depth, and earthen groove with airy psych.

Given that diverse palette, Karriem was exactly the right person to work with Kandace to catalyze the best parts of various interests into something new. “I love crossing genres and the direction on Indigo was to marry all the different things to tell her story”, says Karriem, who tracked his drums at various studios while on the road with Diana Krall, and chopped and reassembled his and Kandace’s recordings into what you hear. “It sounds organic because everything was built around the songwriting. She says so much on the piano, and her voice is amazing it’s the focal point of the whole sound.”

* * *

Kandace will embark on a U.S. headline tour beginning September 28 that includes album release shows in Los Angeles (Troubadour, October 1), New York (Sony Hall, October 28), and a hometown Nashville show (City Winery, November 4), followed by performances in Europe and Asia. See below for a full list of tour dates and visit kandacesprings.com for ticket info.

Kandace Springs ߝ Tour Dates:

September 28 Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, AZ

September 29 Voodoo Room @ House of Blues San Diego, CA

September 30 – The Parish @ House of Blues Anaheim, CA

October 1 The Troubadour Los Angeles, CA

October 2 Swedish American Hall San Francisco, CA

October 4 The Jack London Revue Portland, OR

October 5 Benaroya Hall Seattle, WA

October 7 – Vancouver International Jazz Festival Vancouver, BC

October 24 City Winery Boston, MA

October 25 Daryl’s House Club Pawling, NY

October 27 – Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton, MA

October 28 – Sony Hall New York, NY

October 29 World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA

October 30 The Hamilton Washington, DC

November 2 Stage Door Theater Charlotte, NC

November 3 City Winery Atlanta, GA

November 4 City Winery Nashville, TN

November 13 Forum Leverkusen Leverkusen, Germany **with WDR Big Band**

November 16 New Morning Paris, France

November 17 Queen Elizabeth Hall London, England

November 19 Paradiso Amsterdam, Netherlands

November 20 Quasimodo Berlin, Germany

November 27 Tokyo International Forum Tokyo, Japan

November 28 Sankei Hall Breeze Osaka, Japan

December 1 Blue Note Beijing Beijing, China

December 2 Blue Note Beijing Beijing, China

* * *

Prince once said that Kandace “has a voice that could melt snow.” The music icon heard her cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” online in 2014 and invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain, becoming a mentor to the young singer and pianist. Kandace’s 2014 self-titled EP turned even more heads and led to performances on Letterman, Kimmel and Fallon, as well as the Afropunk and Bonnaroo festivals. Okay player called her as “a vocal force to be reckoned with” and Afropunk dubbed her “a versatile and vital artist”

Kandace draws much of her musical inspiration from her father, Scat Springs, a respected session singer in Nashville. It was due to him that Kandace grew up surrounded by music, and he encouraged her to take piano lessons after he watched her peck out melodies on the instrument when she was 10. Yet as a girl, she was equally interested in other creative outlets, especially visual art and, more unexpectedly, automobiles. “My dad gave me a Matchbox car, and my mom gave me a Barbie,” she says. “I drew a mustache on the Barbie and never played with it again, and I still have the Matchbox car.” (Her obsession with cars, which she collects, rebuilds, and resells, continues to this day.)

Something deeper in the young musician was sparked when she heard Norah Jonesߣ 2002 Blue Note debut, Come Away With Me. “The last song on the record is ߢThe Nearness of Youߣ and that song really inspired me to learn to play piano and sing. It was just so soulful, simple and stripped down. That really moved me and touched me. It’s when I realized, This is what I wanna do.”

Kandace began gigging around Nashville, and eventually an early demo she recorded caught the ears of Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, the production team who have written hits for Shakira, Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Clarkson, and are best known for discovering Rihanna as a teen and signing her to their production company SRP. Rogers flew to Nashville with an offer to sign Kandace. Still only 17 years old at the time she and her family decided that it wasn’t the right time to pursue a recording career, instead taking a job at a downtown Nashville hotel where she valet parked cars by day and sang and played piano in the lounge at night.

A few years later, Kandace was talking about going to automotive design school, but her mother suggested that she get back in touch with Rogers and Sturken. She instead moved to New York and started working seriously on new songs and demo recordings. She eventually landed an audition with Blue Note President Don Was at the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, winning him over with a stunning performance of Bonnie Raitts “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (the original of which he had coincidentally produced).

If you listen closely to Indigo, you’ll hear a nod to Prince in the lyrics of “Fix Me” but the best tribute she could pay to him, Ms. Simone, and the humble legacy of the man who introduced her to music, her father, is by, as Karriem words it, “creating something that adds to the art form.” With Indigo, an album that couldn’t have been made by anyone but her, Kandace Springs does exactly that.

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Blue Man Group x Helen Castillo Fashion Collaboration

About Helen Castillo:

Beginning her fashion studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology at age 13, Helen Castillo continued to pursue her career in fashion fulfilling four years at FIT and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Occasion design/Couture studies. After numerous internships, some of which included Vera Wang Bridal House and Vivienne Westwood (London, UK) ambition took her on to bigger opportunities with becoming a finalist on back to back seasons of Project Runway Season 12 and Project Runway All Stars Season 4 and more recently Project Runway All Starts Season 6. Having designed Mary Lambert‘s 54th Grammy performance and red carpet gowns working with Madonna‘s stylist B. Akerlund to compliment her performance look. The exposure launched her career and she was personally recruited by Zac Posen to work for him as a designer after PRAS Season 4. Lifetime reached out to Helen again for PRAS Season 6 as a ‘Veteran’ designer to compete and rank as the last standing female designer. As of 2016 Helen is officially located in New York City’s garment district with the convenience to her clients being centrally located in the fashion capital of the world. Having participated in sponsored regional fashion events, Helen’s clientele is not restricted to the USA, but many clients are international with whom she documents most candid design experience and processed through her various Verified social media accounts. Helen Castillo has gained outstanding international support from fans and clients alike. Creating all private commissioned pieces in house, bespoke, made-to-measure, Helen’s Bridal and evening wear/red-carpet pieces are in constant production at the NYC atelier. Most recently Helen has pursued interests in becoming a Fashion Design Teacher and is completing her Master’s Degree in Education, this has sparked interest in her ambition to eventually become a college professor and share her design aesthetic and knowledge with international students.

About Blue Man Group:

Blue Man Group was created in 1991 by three long-time friends from New York City: Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman, who were determined they would achieve lives of meaning and purpose by following their own path. They created a ground-breaking performance centered on a bald and blue character they called Blue Man.

Blue Man Productions is now a global entertainment company best known for the award-winning Blue Man Group show, performed in over 20 countries and seen by more than 35 million people worldwide since 1991. A dynamic combination of art, music, comedy and technology, the show’s euphoric celebration of human connection has universal appeal for a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds.

Helen Castillo x Blue Man Group:

“After seeing Blue Man Group live in New York City, I was inspired by and particularly drawn to the overall aesthetic of the theatre and the industrial elements of the stage. Of course, Blue Man Group is an iconic part of New York City’s performance art history and a household name I grew up with. All of this, coupled with how the Blue Man Group originated in the 90’s, which is trending right now in fashion, felt like the perfect time to collaborate together on a limited edition, unisex garment.”

“One of my favorite parts of the performance is when the Blue Men grab an audience member, dress them in a coverall jumpsuit, and swing them against a canvas after being covered in paint. It’s so unexpected and served as the inspiration for my limited edition garment.  I created a coverall jumpsuit sourced from lightweight cotton canvas material to embody the literal canvas of the performance piece and then added hints of the iconic Blue Men blue for details on my design.  The idea of integrating an audience member into their performance and dressing him to be part of their ‘Group’ inspired me to make a piece that would almost leave a lasting mark as a ‘uniform’ for both the Blue Man Group and the audience to have a connection outside of the show.”

“In terms of the Blue Man Group-inspired jumpsuit I created, I knew I wanted the garment to be unisex, utilitarian and to create a sort of unity between the Blue Man Group and the audience. I love that with this Blue Man Group-inspired jumpsuit, I am helping to give fans a tangible piece of the show experience and a nod to 90’s trends with the color blocking of the collar, tuxedo stripe and pocket flaps. I’ve also wanted to dabble in menswear and have been recently researching more tailoring techniques, so this was the perfect opportunity to create a unisex piece that was not only trendy but iconic yet fresh and familiar. The limited edition Blue Man Group-inspired jumpsuit will be available online on my website, designerhelen.com, beginning in September!”

“This is also the first time in 27 years that Blue Man Group is participating in Fashion Week and they will be attending my show on September 9th.”

Madonna Launches Fundraiser for Malawian Orphans

Madonna today announced a partnership with Facebook and global payments company Ripple to activate her fans, kick off a month-long celebration of her 60th birthday, and raise funds for orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi. The fundraiser, which benefits Madonna’s foundation Raising Malawi, is hosted on her Facebook page and will run from July 30 through August 31. Fans can choose to donate directly to Madonna’s fundraiser and/or start Facebook Fundraisers of their own to mobilize their social networks in support of the cause.

The fundraiser utilizes Facebook’s charitable giving tools, which charge no processing fees, meaning 100% of every contribution goes directly to Raising Malawi’s work at Home of Hope orphanage, located in a rural, high-need area of Malawi.

As a company that cares deeply about giving back and eliminating barriers that keep marginalized populations from fully participating in our global digital economy, Ripple has announced it will be matching all donations to Madonna’s fundraiser.

“I have an unwavering commitment to providing vulnerable children with a loving home. For my birthday, I can think of no better gift than connecting my global family with this beautiful country and the children who need our help most,” said Madonna. “Every dollar raised will go directly to meals, schools, uniforms and healthcare. I want to come together with my friends, fans and supporters to change the lives of Malawian children and let them know they are nurtured, protected and loved. Through their generous match, Ripple is doubling the impact each individual can make.”

“We’re honored to be a part of Madonna’s amazing work with some of the world’s most underserved children and are grateful to our investors at Sound Ventures for making the introduction to us and this important cause,” said Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of Business Operations at Ripple.

In her 10+ years of working in Malawi, Madonna – through her foundation – has served 10,000+ children with schools and education, provided scholarship funding for high-potential youth, launched Malawi’s first paediatric surgery and intensive care unit, and supported 750+ vulernable children annually at Home of Hope.

Nearly one million children in Malawi have lost one or both parents to HIV. Life for these orphans and vulnerable children is about day-to-day survival. Inspired by a belief that orphans and vulnerable children deserve more than to “just survive,” Raising Malawi works with local partners to create opportunities for kids to learn, grow and transform their futures.

Madonna’s fundraiser will run through the month of August to mark the musician and philanthropist’s birthday on August 16.

Madonna In Malawi

Madonna is currently visiting Malawi, where she has worked since 2006 with her charitable organization, Raising Malawi. The musician and philanthropist is marking the first anniversary of the Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, an ambitious project undertaken by Raising Malawi to improve specialized paediatric healthcare in Malawi. Located on the campus of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) – the largest referral hospital in the country – the Mercy James Centre includes Malawi’s first paediatric intensive care unit, three operating theatres dedicated to surgery in children, a day clinic, and 50-bed ward.

“Malawi is a second home for me and my family, and every time we come here is a homecoming. It’s a thrill to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Mercy James Centre, its talented staff, and the committed partners who have worked with Raising Malawi to make this effort a success,” said Madonna. “Our achievements this past year have exceeded our expectations, and we will continue with our mission to better serve the children of this country.”

Raising Malawi funded the Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care (MJC) to provide Malawi’s youth with the best medical care possible. Since opening July 11, 2018, the talented staff of Mercy James Centre have:

  • Performed 1,690 paediatric surgeries – more than double the annual average before the Mercy James Centre
  • Admitted nearly 300 patients into the paediatric ICU
  • Seen 2,300 patients in the outpatient clinic
  • Admitted nearly 1,500 patients into the ward

 

The MJC is setting a new standard of paediatric surgical and intensive care in the region. Highlights from year one include Malawi’s first successful operation of conjoined twins. A team of 20+ doctors, nurses and anesthesia staff, led by long-time Raising Malawi partner Dr. Eric Borgstein, successfully separated two baby boys. The effort was a testament to spirit of collaboration and excellence that is imbedded in the culture of Mercy James Centre.

“We are able to tackle cases that we never could have done in the past. Because of the Mercy James Centre, we are saving more children’s lives, particularly those with complex medical issues. The support of Madonna and Raising Malawi has transformed paediatric surgical and intensive care in Malawi,” said Dr. Borgstein.

In addition to increasing paediatric surgical capacity, the Mercy James Centre is growing into its role as a training center of excellence. It houses the sole paediatric surgery training program in Malawi, supported by Raising Malawi. Partners like Physicians for Peace and Oslo University Hospital drive bedside education in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), the first PICU in Malawi.

Madonna is also a global leader in promoting education for the world’s most vulnerable children. In 2012, she launched a partnership between her foundation, Raising Malawi, and the global nonprofit buildOn. Today, Madonna has served nearly 10,000 Malawian students – fulfilling her commitment to making learning and school accessible to Malawian youth. During her latest trip, Madonna traveled to Northeast Kasungu Province to officially open four primary schools constructed with buildOn – in total Raising Malawi has built 14 schools in rural Malawi. As a part of the partnership, Raising Malawi and buildOn have educated community members about the importance of girls’ education, and as result, all schools have gender-parity (equal numbers of girls and boys enrolled).

Madonna concluded the trip with a meeting with His Excellency President Arthur Peter Mutharika, who appointed her Malawi’s Goodwill Ambassador for Child Welfare in 2014.

About Raising Malawi
Madonna founded Raising Malawi in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children. Raising Malawi partners with local organizations to provide Malawian children and their caregivers with critical resources including education and medical care. http://www.raisingmalawi.org

About buildOn
At home or abroad, buildOn’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. Across the U.S., buildOn empowers urban youth to transform their neighborhoods through intensive community service and to change the world by building schools in some of the economically poorest countries in the world. Since 1991, buildOn has constructed 864 schools worldwide, with more than 110,000 children, parents and grandparents attending these schools every day. For more information, visit www.buildon.org. buildOn has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Youngblood acoustic version

5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS), release an acoustic version of their new single, Youngblood; Download/stream Youngblood (Acoustic) HERE. Youngblood is the title track from the band’s third studio album, out June 15 on Capitol Records and now available for pre-order. Fans who pre-order the album will instantly receive Youngblood; and, Want You Back; See below for full album track listing.Youngblood hit #1 on Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits and has over 64 million streams. Rolling Stone says, 5 Seconds of Summer shred on Youngblood. The song has a relentless, thumping rhythm, around which (5SOS) move between delicate verses and a booming chorus. Nylon declares, Youngblood is great. Like, really, really great and Alternative Press calls the song, stunning. Watch the Youngblood live video, filmed across the band’s sold out 5SOS3Tour HERE.

Tickets for 5SOS Meet You There Tour, are on sale now at LiveNation.com. Each ticket purchased for the tour also includes a copy of the forthcoming album. The 25-city North American headline outing will launch on August 27 in Toronto, ON and include shows at several amphitheaters as well as Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, IL (September 8) and Los Angeles Greek Theatre (October 12). Full itinerary can be found HERE.

Following 5SOS five-plus years of recording and touring behind its first two albums both of which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 the band decamped across the hemisphere to Los Angeles to find a new set of collaborators, influences, and inspirations. While expanding its musical parameters on Youngblood, 5SOS retains the hooks and trademark DNA that’s always been a massive part of the band’s appeal. They wrote and recorded the bulk of the album with the Swedish producing-writing team Carl and Rami (Nicki Minaj, Madonna). Other collaborators include Andrew Watt and Ali Tamposi (Camilla Cabello), producer/instrumentalist Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Fiona Apple), producer/engineer Noah Passovoy (Maroon 5), J Kash (Maroon 5, Charlie Puth), Asia Whitacre (Hailee Steinfeld, Zedd) and Andrew Goldstein (Linkin Park, Simple Plan).

Hailed as the biggest new rock act in the world by Rolling Stone5SOS is the only band (not vocal group) in history to see its first two full-length studio albums enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1. 5SOS’s self-titled debut album has sold more than three million units worldwide, with 1.5 million albums and more than 4.5 million single tracks sold in the U.S. alone. 2015’s Sounds Good Feels Good charted at No. 1 in 12 countries, including the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. She’s Kinda Hot, the album’s first single, topped the iTunes charts in 44 countries. 5SOS comprising Luke Hemmings (vocals/guitar), Michael Clifford (vocals/guitar), Calum Hood (vocals/bass) and Ashton Irwin (vocals/drums) has won an American Music Award, a People’s Choice Award, an iHeartRadio Music Award, five MTV European Music Awards, two ARIA Awards and an MTV Video Music Award.

Young Blood

5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS), debut the live video for their new track, Youngblood today on Vevo. The video was filmed across the band’s sold out 5SOS3 Tour– watch it HERE.

Youngblood is the title track from the band’s third studio album, out June 22 on Capitol Records and now available for pre-order. Fans who pre-order the album will instantly receive Youngblood and the first single, Want You Back.

Tickets for 5SOS Meet You There Tour, are on sale now at LiveNation.com. Each ticket purchased for the Meet You There Tour also includes a copy of the forthcoming album. The 25-city North American headline outing will launch on August 27 in Toronto, ON and include shows at several amphitheaters as well as Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, IL (September 8) and Los Angeles Greek Theatre (October 12).

5SOS new single, Want You Back, debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in over 18 countries and has already amassed more than 60 million streams worldwide. Billboard calls the track, painstakingly catchy, while Idolator says, the Aussie hitmakers dive head-first into slick pop with a rhythmic edge on their best single to date. Check out their recent performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon HERE The official video, which was directed by James Larese (Eminem, Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons), can be seen HERE

Following 5SOS five-plus years of recording and touring behind its first two albums both of which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 the band decamped across the hemisphere to Los Angeles to find a new set of collaborators, influences, and inspirations. While expanding its musical parameters on Youngblood, 5SOS retains the hooks and trademark DNA that’s always been a massive part of the band’s appeal. They wrote and recorded the bulk of the album with the Swedish producing-writing team Carl and Rami (Nicki Minaj, Madonna). Other collaborators include Andrew Watt and Ali Tamposi (Camilla Cabello), producer/instrumentalist Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Fiona Apple), producer/engineer Noah Passovoy (Maroon 5), J Kash (Maroon 5, Charlie Puth), Asia Whitacre (Hailee Steinfeld, Zedd) and Andrew Goldstein (Linkin Park, Simple Plan).

Hailed as the biggest new rock act in the world by Rolling Stone5SOS is the only band (not vocal group) in history to see its first two full-length studio albums enter the Billboard 200 at No. 1. 5SOS’s self-titled debut album has sold more than three million units worldwide, with 1.5 million albums and more than 4.5 million single tracks sold in the U.S. alone. 2015’s Sounds Good Feels Good charted at No. 1 in 12 countries, including the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. She’s Kinda Hot  the album’s first single, topped the iTunes charts in 44 countries. 5SOS comprising Luke Hemmings(vocals/guitar), Michael Clifford (vocals/guitar), Calum Hood (vocals/bass) and Ashton Irwin (vocals/drums) has won an American Music Award, a People’s Choice Award, an iHeartRadio Music Award, five MTV European Music Awards, two ARIA Awards and an MTV Video Music Award.

Youngblood Track Listing:

1 Youngblood

2 Want You Back

3 Lie To Me

4 Valentine

5 Talk Fast

6 Moving Along

7 Walls Could Talk

8 Better Man

9 More Spike

10 Why Won’t You Love Me

11 Woke Up In Japan

12 Empty Wallets

13 Ghost Of You

14 Monster Among Men

15 Meet You There

16 Babylon

ANDREW LLOYD: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION

In celebration of his 70th birthday, ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER UNMASKED: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION was recently released through UMe / Polydor.

 

As one of the most successful composers of the modern era, Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s repertoire includes some of the world’s most celebrated musicals; Sunset Boulevard, Cats, Aspects Of Love, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Starlight Express, The Phantom of The OperaSchool of Rock and Love Never Dies – to name but a few.

Last year, Lloyd Webber became the only person to equal the record set in 1953 by Rodgers & Hammerstein with four shows running concurrently on Broadway (Sunset Boulevard, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and School of Rock). Two of his shows are currently running in both Broadway and the West End: School Of Rock and The Phantom of the Opera, and his musicals have grossed more than $13.6  billion and have been watched by 302 million people across 44 countries. He has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.

The collection is personally curated and overseen by Lloyd Webber to include classics from his earliest work starting with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat through his most recent School of Rock.

Of the new album, Lloyd Webber says: “I owe everyone involved in putting this compilation together a huge thank you.  A vast amount of thought has evidently gone into selecting tracks from my almost fifty year old career. This compilation brings back a heap of memories – it has made this ancient composer very happy.  I particularly love the new tracks and of course I love the orchestral suites. There’s nothing a composer likes more than hearing their melodies played by a cracking orchestra.”

Newly recorded songs from superstar artists Lana Del Rey (“You Must Love Me”, Evita), Nicole Scherzinger (“Memory”, Cats) and Gregory Porter (“Light at the End of the Tunnel”, Starlight Express) and add to the collection of his cherished works from the past five decades.

Of Lloyd Webber, Lana Del Rey says, “Andrew Lloyd Webber has been one of my primary inspirations in music, so to do a cover of one of his songs is a dream.”

Gregory Porter also expresses his admiration, “Andrew is an icon of not only musical theatre, but he’s an icon of music, our culture, and of our human experience.”

The Cats classic “Memory” by Nicole Scherzinger is available now as an instant grat track. Of being on the album, Scherzinger says, “Andrew’s music absolutely influenced me as an artist… It’s hard for me to fathom that I’m a part of one of Andrew’s career defining albums. That is in itself career defining for me. It’s a dream, and a lifelong accomplishment.”

The set also contains recordings by world-class performers such as Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Michael Ball, and released for the first time, Beyonce singing “Learn To Be Lonely” from the 2005 Academy Awards with Lloyd Webber accompanying on piano.

UNMASKED: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION is available as 2 CD and 4 CD editions. The 4-disc version contains an exclusive 40-page book with a personally penned introduction from Lloyd Webber and in-depth notes on each track, written by respected theatre critic and Lloyd Webber biographer Michael Coveney, together with tributes from Barbra Streisand and Glenn Close among others.

The fourth disc encompasses a mix of overtures and showstoppers from Lloyd Webber‘s key works, as well as newly created orchestral suites. The five new orchestral suites have been specially prepared from existing recordings, emphasising the grand orchestral aspects of his work. All CDs were mastered at Abbey Road Studios.

Lloyd Webber‘s productions have sold more than 330 million tickets worldwide. The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running show on Broadway and second longest-running show in West End history. Cats and The Phantom of the Opera are two of Broadway’s four highest grossing shows. The Phantom of the Opera original cast album is the No. 1 Broadway album of all time in the U.S. and the #175 biggest seller among ALL albums of the SoundScan era in the U.S.  In addition to his worldwide sales and audiences, Lloyd Webber has been recognised by critics and peers with numerous accolades and awards including seven Oliviers, seven Tonys, three Grammys, one Golden Globe and an Oscar.

 
“Andrew Lloyd Webber Tribute to a Superstar” airs TODAY –  Wednesday, March 28 on NBC


JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE IN CONCERT – airs Sunday, April 1 on NBC


Lloyd Webber’s new autobiography UNMASKED, was released by HarperCollins on March 6th.