A nice year-end wrap-up:
http://kwbe.com/abc_classicr/the-year-in-music-2015-madonna-shows-the-world-her-rebel-heart-abcid35570759/ The Year in Music 2015 — Madonna Shows the World Her "Rebel Heart"BY ABC News Radio | December 30, 2015
2015 turned out to be a decent year for Madonna, but based on the events of December 2014, you may not have predicted that. That month found her scrambing to get ahead of an unauthorized leak of the new music she’d been working on for months.
On December 20, 2014, the Queen of Pop officially released six new songs, months earlier than intended. Madonna, who was furious over the leak, said in a statement, “I was hoping to release my new single ‘Living For Love’ on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the album coming in the spring. I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift.”
Adi Lederman, a former contestant on the Israeli version of American Idol, was arrested in January and charged with the leak. In July, he accepted a plea deal and was convicted of computer trespassing and infringement of privacy and property rights. In addition to the time behind bars, he was fined $4,000.
February of 2015, Madonna released some additional tracks, and the full album, Rebel Heart, finally arrived in March. She worked with a number of producers and contributors on the disc, including OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, Kanye West, deejay/producers Avicii and Diplo, rappers Nas and Nicki Minaj, and even Mike Tyson. Unusually, several of the songs featured Madonna looking back on her life and career, and one of them, “Veni Vidi Vici,” even namechecked her old hits. Rebel Heart received generally favorable reviews, and debuted at #2 on the Billboard chart.
As far singles from the album, the only one to reach the Billboard Hot 100 was “B***h I’m Madonna.” However, all three singles released from the album — that one, “Ghosttown” and “Living For Love” — topped Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart. “B***I’m Madonna” became her 46th #1 on that chart, and she extended her own record as the artist with the most number-ones ever on a single Billboard chart.
To promote the album, Madonna appeared for a week on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and performed a bullfight-themed routine on the Grammys and on the Brit Awards in the U.K. During her performance on the latter show, she made headlines when she fell offstage and sustained what she described as “a little bit of a whiplash.”
Madonna also used the latest technology trends to promote Rebel Heart: She was the first artist to promote an album on the gay dating app Grinder, the first artist to premiere a video on Snapchat, and the first to premiere a video on the live video-streaming app Meerkat. The Meerkat video, “Ghosttown,” starred Empire’s Terence Howard. The video for “B**h, I’m Madonna,” took the guest star concept even further: it featured cameos from Chris Rock, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Katy Perry and Kanye West, among others.
Madonna launched her Rebel Heart world tour in September in Montreal, and throughout the tour, she’s made it a point to bring different celebrities onstage and spank them during the song “Unapologetic Bitch.” Among her special guests: Katy Perry, Amy Schumer, Anderson Cooper, Jessica Chastain, Diplo, Nelly Furtado and Stella McCartney. In Europe, she tapped another famous pal — actor and deejay Idris Elba — to open some shows for her.
The tour itself, featuring Madonna’s common themes of sex, salvation, religion and oppression, featured pole-dancing nuns, a Last Supper tableau, and Madonna swigging from a bottle while stretched out on a car hood. She sang the classic French song “La Vie en Rose,” and performed reworked versions of hits like “True Blue,” “Like a Virgin,” “Dress You Up,” “Holiday,” “La Isla Bonita” and “Material Girl.” The tour garnered great reviews and raked in millions. It’s set to wrap up in Australia in March.
Madonna performed in Stockholm, Sweden in November, a few days after the terrorist attacks in Paris, and told the audience that she had considered canceling the show. “In many ways I feel torn,” she told the crowd. “Why am I up here dancing and having fun when people are crying over the loss of their loved ones?” But she said she decided the show must go on because canceling “is exactly what these people want us to do. They want to shut us up. They want to silence us. And we won’t let them…Why should I allow them to stop me, and to stop us, from enjoying freedom?”
Early in December, following her sold-out concert in Paris, Madonna gave a surprise outdoor performance to honor the victims of the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks. The mini-concert took place at Place De La Republique. She sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” and a few of her own hits, telling the crowd, “We just want to sing a few songs about peace, just to spread love and joy…And…light — we all need it.”
As for controversy, Madonna, believe it or not, largely avoided it in 2015. She did get some flak, though, for posting photos of famous figures throughout history — Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela among them — with ribbons tied around their faces in the same way her face appears on the Rebel Heart album cover. Twitter users, who assumed that Madonna created these images, took her to task for seemingly equating herself with these men and their accomplishments as a way to promote her album.
Madonna fired back, “I’m sorry. I’m not comparing myself to anyone. I’m admiring and acknowledging their Rebel Hearts. This is neither a crime or an insult or racist!… Am I saying I am them. NO. I’m saying they are Rebel Hearts too. And I didn’t do it. My fans did. And I just re posted those photos. My fans aren’t racist either.”
On the lighter side of controversy, Madonna caused an uproar when she appeared onstage and kissed Drake during the Coachella Music Festival. After the kiss, which took place while Drake was seated onstage, he responded by leaning forward and covering his mouth. Many fans interpreted this as the rapper recoiling in disgust, but as he explained in an Instagram post, “Don’t misinterpret my shock!! I got to make out with the queen Madonna and I feel  about that forever. Thank you @Madonna.”
Later, though, Madonna appeared to throw shade at Drake, telling a fan during an online question and answer session, “Don’t kiss Drake, no matter how many times he begs you to.”