On October 1 1990, Madonna was named the top-earning female entertainer of 1990 by Forbes magazine with an annual income of $39 million.
Here’s an excerpt from this issue:
By Matthew Schifrin with Peter Newcomb
October 1, 1990
SHE HAS JUST FINISHED a rigorous song and dance routine in Nice, France. Madonna Ciccone, the 32-year-old bleached-blonde pop star, walks across the stage and pretends to rough up her background vocalists. Clad in an ivory-colored bustier and trousers from a business suit, Madonna then looks out at the crowd of 35,000 fans, grabs her crotch, raises her fist and yells, “I’m the boss around here.” The crowd roars.
This routine was repeated at almost every Madonna performance this summer, but it’s more than play-acting. She is the boss. She is the president and sole owner of a multi-million-dollar corporate organization that in peak season has hundreds of employees and operates through nearly half a dozen entities, including Boy Toy Inc., Siren Films and Slutco.
Congratulations, Madonna. The critics may attack you, but you are one heck of a moneymaker. The nation’s top-earning female entertainer for 1990, Madonna brought in an estimated $39 million in pretax earnings. She has staying power, too. While performers like Whitney Houston and Cyndi Lauper rise fast and fade fast, Madonna has stayed near the top for all five years FORBES has compiled its list of America’s highest-earning entertainers. Since 1986 Madonna has earned at least $125 million.
On September 6 1990, Madonna performed “Vogue” at the 7th annual MTV Video Music Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, California. “Vogue” won Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography.
Greta Garbo, and Monroe
Deitrich and DiMaggio
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
On the cover of a magazine
Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
Picture of a beauty queen
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
Ginger Rodgers, dance on air
They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth gave good face
Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
Bette Davis, we love you
Ladies with an attitude
Fellows that were in the mood
Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it
On August 5 1990, “Madonna – Live! Blond Ambition World Tour 90” was broadcast live on HBO-TV from Stade de l’Ouest, Nice, France and seen in more than 4.3 million households – it was the most-watched entertainment special in the network’s 18-year history (at the time).
On August 1 1990, “Madonna In Concert” was taped by SACIS-RAI at Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, Spain on the second to last date of Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour.
The special was broadcast in Spain, Italy, the UK and Australia. It also aired on Canada’s MuchMusic on September 10, 1990. After being heavily promoted by the channel in the weeks leading up to the broadcast, the special aired in an edited version during its prime time slot, followed by an uncensored airing at midnight.
In addition to its intended use for broadcast, the recording also served as an unused safety net for her HBO special from the final date in Nice, France a few days later.
On July 15 1990, Madonna’s “Hanky Panky” single was released in the UK.
On July 2 1990, Roman Catholic groups condemned Madonna’s “Blond Ambition” concert as blasphemous due to her controversial show’s sex and religious themes and planned to cancel her concerts in Rome and Turin.
Madonna made this speech in response to the threats:
I am an ltalian-American, and I am proud of it.
Proud of being an American because it is the country I grew up in, the country that gave me the opportunities to be who I am today and a country that believes in freedom of speech and artistic expression.
My show is not a conventional rock show but a theatrical presentation of my music.
And, like theatre it asks questions, provokes thought and takes you on an emotional journey.
Portraying good and bad, light and dark, joy and sorrow, redemption and salvation.
I do not endorse a way of life but describe one, and the audience is left to make its own decisions and judgments.
This is what I consider freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of thought.
Every night, before I go onstage, I say a prayer not only that my show willl go well but that the audience will watch with an open heart and an open mind and see it as a celebration of love, life and humanity.
*This is an edited transcript of the speech. The full speech is included in the video posted above.