On July 5 1987, Madonna was interviewed by Jane Pauley on NBC-TV’s “Today” and caused a controversy when she referred to her hometown of Bay City, Michigan as “a smelly little town” – a comment that enraged the citizens of Bay City. On July 7, Madonna performed at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan and apologized to 42,000 fans for the comments she made about her hometown during the interview.
On July 3, 1987, Madonna accepted a rare Canadian Diamond Award at a press conference in Toronto on the eve of her sold-out concert at CNE Stadium. The certification award was presented by WEA Music Canada president Stan Kulin to mark over one million units sold of the True Blue album in Canada.
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.
On July 1 1988, Madonna made a surprise unscheduled appearance on NBC-TV’s Late Night With David Letterman. Sandra Bernhard was David’s scheduled guest.
On June 30 1986, Madonna’s “True Blue” album was released by Sire Records. She worked with Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard on the album while co-writing and co-producing all the songs.
“True Blue” was an immediate global success, reaching number one in then record-breaking 28 countries across the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. It spent 34 consecutive weeks at the top of the European Top 100 Albums chart, longer than any other album in history. It became the world’s top-selling album of 1986, as well the biggest selling album of the 1980s by a woman and remains one of the best-selling albums of all time with sales of more than 25 million copies worldwide. All five singles released from the album reached the top five on theBillboard Hot 100, with “Live to Tell“, “Papa Don’t Preach“, and “Open Your Heart” peaking at number one.
On June 29 1985, Madonna’s “Angel/Into the Groove” single hit #5 in the USA.