Pop Shop Podcast – Billboard
Written by GRB on 24/01/2024
Could a momentous Madonna reunion with two of her former longtime backing singers be in the works? This week, the Queen of Pop plays a trio of shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden for The Celebration Tour (Jan. 22, 23 and 29). And, perhaps not so coincidentally, Donna De Lory and Niki Haris – who were seen in the Madonna documentary Truth or Dare and in the iconic video for “Vogue” – are performing two of their own shows together just up the street from the Garden on Jan. 27-28.
While the ladies have not worked together in years, could there be any plans for Madonna to drop by one of De Lory and Haris’ gigs at The Green Room 42, or for them to appear onstage with Madonna at The Garden?
“I have no right to give any information that is not completely confirmed as of this moment,” Haris very carefully tells the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast with a laugh. “With that said, we take joy wherever we can find it — if it’s on our stage, at Madison Square Garden, wherever the joy is. In [Madonna’s] living room. … The bottom line is, we’re in town. … We may just go grab a coffee together. Who knows?”
De Lory adds: “No matter what, we’re just gonna have a great time.”
For years, De Lory and Haris were behind Madonna — supporting the superstar on the road, during television performances on the Grammy Awards and MTV Video Music Awards, and singing on many of her albums and singles. The pair joined Madonna on four tours between 1987 and 2001, with De Lory continuing to perform on two more Madonna tours in 2004-06. Their voices can be heard on many Madonna recordings released from 1987-98, including the Like a Prayer, I’m Breathless and Erotica albums, and singles such as “Vogue,” “Cherish,” “Deeper and Deeper” and “Nothing Really Matters.”
So, with so much recording history behind them, would De Lory and Haris be open to recording with Madonna, on record and in the studio for a song, if the opportunity presented itself?
“I feel for myself,” De Lory says, “and I feel for Niki as well, we would love that. We would love that. And I know that the magic that was always there would be there. … It would be sweet if that happened. … We just all have a great blend and great energy, and that will always be there.”
“I’d love to just sit around a room,” Haris says, “have [Madonna] grab her guitar, Donna go to the keyboard, and let’s just do what we love to do. … God, we just like to sing together. I would rather just sing without an agenda. Just sing.”
While De Lory and Haris are best-known for backing Madonna for years, they’ve also had their own solo careers, and also provided backing vocals individually on albums from the likes of Belinda Carlisle, Whitney Houston, Santana and Selena. In 2016, the pair came together to work on their first album, the Two Friends EP, which was released in 2017. Since then they have continued to release stand-alone tracks, and have hopes of releasing further new material, perhaps setting up camp in Nashville to work with a producer/songwriter to collaborate on new music.
During our chat with De Lory and Haris, we also asked the women about why they think “Vogue” has endured through the year, and influenced such artists as Beyoncé (with the “Vogue”-infused Queens Remix of “Break My Soul”) and Ariana Grande (with her house-inspired “Vogue” cousin “Yes, And?”).
De Lory says: “I knew when we went in to do those vocals at that session, it was a fresh sound… the music was so powerful.” Haris says that we’re in a “society that now is celebrating voguing, celebrating being a drag queen, celebrating [drag] houses … you just have a bigger audience that’s being more accepted” and adds that “‘Vogue’ is such an infectious kind of energy… it’s celebratory.”
Also on the new edition of the Pop Shop Podcast, we’ve got chart news on the debut of Grande’s “Yes, And?” atop the Billboard Hot 100, and how 21 Savage and Kali Uchis make splashy debuts on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Plus, we’re discussing news of Billy Joel soon dropping his first pop single in years, a new Justin Timberlake album on the horizon, and the music-related nominees at the 2024 Academy Awards.
The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard‘s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard‘s executive digital director, West Coast, Katie Atkinson and Billboard’s managing director, charts and data operations, Keith Caulfield every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on Billboard.com.)