Queen of pop Madonna, who was banned from performing her controversial Girlie Show World Tour here in 1993, seems set to strut her stuff in Singapore for the very first time.
Home-grown concert promoter IMC Live told The Sunday Times it is in talks to bring the 57-year-old American star's ongoing Rebel Heart tour here for a one-night concert for 30,000 at the National Stadium.
The expected date is Feb 28, with tickets likely to go on sale in the middle of next month. "We are in the preliminary stage of working out details with the National Stadium," said an IMC Live spokesman.
Singapore Sports Hub spokesman Jose Raymond also confirmed that it is in talks with Madonna's management and a local event organiser "for an engagement" in February.
Responding to The Sunday Times' queries, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) said it has received an application for an arts entertainment licence to stage Madonna's concert in February.
Not in tune
DENIED ENTRY OVER LONG HAIR
Kitaro: Japanese new age musician Kitaro was forced to cancel his 1984 gig in Singapore after he was denied entry when he refused to cut his signature waist-length hair or tie it up. Led Zeppelin and the Bee Gees reportedly gave Singapore a miss too because of the ban. The long-hair ban was quietly eased in the late 1980s.
NO-GO FOR SONG
A-Mei: Taiwanese singer A-Mei was banned from singing her song Rainbow at an outdoor music festival here last year, as she had encouraged fans to openly show affection for their same-sex partners during a rendition of the song in her 2013 concert. Images of gay couples kissing among the audience were also projected on a big screen. Her Singapore performance went on without the song.
It said: "MDA is still in the process of assessing the application, and will inform the concert organisers once it has reached a decision."
If confirmed, Singapore will be the seventh and last stop in the tour's Asian leg, which includes Japan, Hong Kong, Taipei, Macau, Bangkok and Manila. Most shows are sold out.
Madonna was banned from performing here in 1993, when police said her performances in the Girlie Show "border on the obscene... (and are) known to be objectionable to many on moral and religious grounds".
For the Singapore gig to be given the go-ahead this time, The Sunday Times understands some songs may have to be dropped from the setlist.
The Rebel Heart tour, which has played to 300,000 fans in the United States and is now making its way around Europe, has reportedly grossed more than US$46 million (S$65 million) so far.
The show comes after Madonna released her 13th studio album Rebel Heart earlier this year.
But fans of Madonna - rated as the top touring female artist ever, with her concerts grossing over a billion dollars - can still expect the megastar to perform classics such as True Blue, Like A Virgin, Material Girl and Into The Groove. They will also be treated to an array of costume changes, as she dresses up as a 1920s cabaret coquette and a sexy matador, among other personas.
IMC Live, which has staged concerts in the region for the likes of Jay Chou, Faye Wong and Bon Jovi, is believed to have paid about $12 million to bring the Rebel Heart show here.
But its spokesman gave the assurance that ticket prices here "will be kept in the same range as pricing categories in the other Asian stops of the tour". Tickets for the Bangkok show start at $78 and go up to $630 while VIP tickets for the Taipei show cost $1,200.
Madonna fans like financial consultant Benjamin Soh are hoping to score front-row seats here. "It's already such a joy to watch her performances on YouTube and DVD, but to see her in the flesh is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said the 38-year-old.