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Madonna mini-show wows London

Star sings before just 1,500 people at scene of 1983 London concert

The concert was held where Madonna first peformed in London as an unknown singer back in 1983.
start quoteShe is still the Dancing Queen -- live and at her glittering best.end quote
-- The Times of London


Born: August 16, 1958, in Bay City, Michigan

No. 1 songs include: "Like a Virgin," 1984; "Crazy for You," 1985; "Papa Don't Preach," 1986; "Like a Prayer," 1989; "Justify My Love," 1990; "Vogue," 1991; "This Used to Be My Playground," 1992; "Take a Bow," 1994; "Music," 2000.

Albums include: "Madonna," 1983; "Like a Virgin," 1984; "True Blue," 1986; "Like a Prayer," 1989; "Erotica," 1992; "Bedtime Stories," 1994; "Ray of Light," 1998; "Music," 2000; "American Life," 2003; "Confessions on a Dance Floor," 2005.

Films include: "Desperately Seeking Susan," 1985; "Shanghai Surprise," 1986; "Who's That Girl?", 1987; "Dick Tracy," 1990; "Madonna: Truth or Dare," 1991; "Shadows and Fog," 1992; "A League of Their Own," 1992; "Body of Evidence," 1993; "Four Rooms," 1995; "Evita," 1996; "The Next Best Thing," 2000; "Swept Away," 2002.

Allegedly turned down the Michelle Pfeiffer role in "The Fabulous Baker Boys" (1989).

Sources:, Internet Movie Database


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Great Britain

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Madonna turned back the years with a one-off gig for just hundreds of fans at the same spot where she first performed in Britain 22 years ago.

The 47-year-old star launched her new album, "Confessions On A Dance Floor," in front of 1,500 people at London's Koko Club.

The undersize venue -- formerly known as the Camden Palace -- was where Madonna gave her first live UK performance in June 1983.

Fans camped out for more than 24 hours to get into the club -- once an old-style theatre played by Charlie Chaplin and where the BBC, in the 1950s, recorded the Goon Show. Most of the crowd consisted of contest winners.

When she last performed at the north London venue -- two miles from London's center -- she was an unknown singer who had just released the underground U.S. club hit "Everybody."

In 2005 the gig by the woman dubbed "Queen of Pop" was described by British media "the hottest ticket in town."

Of the 1,500-strong audience, 200 had queued overnight in freezing temperatures to bag the last batch of free tickets.

British newspapers admitted to being star-struck.

"She is still the Dancing Queen -- live and at her glittering best," said the Times.

"Pelvic thrusts, high kicks.. they went wild," said the Daily Mail calling the show "noisy, panting and mildly pornographic."

"Never let it be said Madonna doesn't work for her millions," said The Guardian, adding that the star "is certainly one of the few forty something women on earth who could stand onstage playing air guitar."

Four of Madonna's songs were tracks from the new album, including her current and 11th number one hit "Hung Up."

The fifth was "Everybody" -- the song that started it all.

She told the audience: "The last time I played Camden Palace was 22 years ago.

"It was my first show in London and I've got to tell you it's so great to be back."

Among the crowd were celebrities including Stella McCartney, Bob Geldof and his daughter Peaches, and Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant.

The club was a far cry from the huge venues Madonna normally plays -- her last London performance was at Live 8 in the capital's Hyde Park before tens of thousands.

After arriving on stage 40 minutes late, Madonna emerged from a giant glitter ball to sing the first number dressed in an all-purple ensemble of jacket, velvet pedal pushers and knee-high boots.

She took off her jacket to reveal a tight vest and when one fan threw his shirt at the stage she remonstrated: "Don't throw your clothes at me -- I took my shirt off, I don't want to put another one on."

"Confessions on a Dance Floor" is a return to Madonna's disco roots and she performed with a four-piece band dressed in Saturday Night Fever-style white suits.

Introducing her last song, "Everybody," she referred to the riding accident three months ago when she suffered three cracked ribs, telling the crowd: "I feel like I'm really out of shape right now, I don't like falling off horses, so I'm going to do one more song."

One of the new songs she performed was "I Love New York" -- a title which prompted her to apologize to the audience at the north London club.

She explained: "This next song is called 'I Love New York.' But I love London too -- if I didn't, why do you think I'd live here?

"I wrote a song about New York because New York for me was about survival. It is more a state of mind than a place."

And she added: "I want to thank all of my fans who camped out all night in the freezing cold so they could see me. That's what I'm talking about. That's a New York state of mind."

The gig was broadcast live on the Internet to a worldwide audience.

British media were quick to point out that the performance was also a chance for Madonna to prove she could sing live.

Elton John sparked a war of words at the Q Awards when he accused her of lip-synching during her last tour -- a charge she denies.

According to The Guardian, this was no place to find the answer.

Wrote its reviewer: "A guttural scream in the middle of 'I Love New York' certainly suggests that her microphone is switched on, but, in reality, no one comes to see Madonna in a venue this small in order to marvel at her vocal prowess."

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