Madonna On Stage - The Drowned World Tour 2001

After the release of her seventh studio album «Ray Of Light» (1998), Madonna stated in a live interview with Larry King on January 19, 1999 that «I am going to do a movie in April («The Next Best Thing») and then I am going to rehearse to go on tour. And then I’ll probably play up until the millennium, New Year’s Eve».

The tour was delayed until 2001, as she had, in her own words, «been distracted by having children and filming movies». She also began a serious relationship with Guy Ritchie in 1999. By 2000, she had become pregnant with her son Rocco Ritchie, released her eighth studio album «Music» that year, and married Ritchie in December 2000.

When Madonna finally decided to go on the tour, time was short and she had to prepare the show within three months. Auditioning for the dancers started around March 2001. Jamie King was signed up as the creative director and the choreographer of the show. King said in an interview that the tour «was so hectic that I suffered from depressions and fell considerably ill».

Rehearsals continued for thirteen hours a day, five days a week, with more and more dancers joining for the show. In the end, ten dancers and two backup singers were used. Madonna had her guitarist Monte Pittman teach her to play the instrument, and she played both acoustic and electric guitar live in the show. French house music expert Stuart Price, who had worked with Madonna on her album «Music», was signed as bassist and keyboard player. Clair Brothers Audio support was roped in for providing a mixture of high-tech techno sound and fusion of acoustic and trance. Madonna released a statement saying,

«I don’t see the point of doing a show unless you offer something that is going to mind-boggle the senses. It’s not enough to get on stage and sing a song. It’s all about theatre and drama and surprises and suspenses.»

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