Madonna Makes First Stop in Philadelphia
BY CHRISTINA PELLEGRINI
Madonna visits the Wells Fargo Center on August 28.
Before Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga, there was the mother of all pop stars. Whether you think of Madonna as the honorific Queen of Pop or the more affectionate Madge, the triple-threat singer, dancer, and actress has been steering the course of pop culture since she performed her breakout hit “Like a Virgin” at 1984’s inaugural MTV Video Music Awards. Now, on her MDNA World Tour, she’s bringing her performing prowess to the Wells Fargo Center on August 28—the first stop on the US leg.
With a sometimes-controversial career, involving indecent exposures and onstage girl-on-girl kisses with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, Madonna has commanded the spotlight and dominated the pop scene for nearly three decades, furthering her relevance by collaborating with of-the-moment artists such as Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake. “She really was the original pop goddess to push the envelope,” says Marilyn Russell, a 95.7 Ben FM host.
Russell’s radio career took off in the ’90s, the same decade that exposed a more stripped-down phase of Madonna’s career when she released Ray of Light. The album is Russell’s favorite from the star’s expansive catalogue. “It just brought a different side of her. She just seemed really confident and comfortable and you could really hear her talents.”
Although she has yet to catch Madge on tour, Russell says, “She’ll always be spectacular; I want to see her just once. There are only a few other people in that category for me—Neil Diamond, even Mick Jagger. I think if you can still do it, you should still do it at any age. But do it appropriately within the boundaries for which your age still works.”
As this visit will be Madonna’s first to Philadelphia in four years, Russell notes it will be the perfect place for her to gauge the public’s reaction. “Philly is a music town through and through,” she says. “If you can get the love of Philly, you’re going to get the love of the US.” Madonna will perform at the Wells Fargo Center on August 28, and at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on September 15. Tickets can be purchased at livenation.com.
photography by getty images