Today in Madonna History: December 10, 1991

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On December 10 1991, Madonna was honoured with the Award Of Courage by the American Foundation For AIDS Research (AMFAR) at a Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel dinner, in Beverly Hills, California.

At the event, Madonna discussed the rumours that she had tested positive for AIDS:

“When the rumors surfaced that I was HIV-positive, I thought, well, someone’s really bored today . . . let’s make up a real juicy story. I tried to ignore it but it wouldn’t go away. . . .

Instead of pointing the finger at people and having witch hunts and ostracizing each other for lifestyles and sexual preferences, we should all be uniting to fight this disease . . . but we’re not. Because we’re afraid. We’re scared out of our skins to face the truth that AIDS is not a gay disease, it’s a human disease.

Now I’m not HIV-positive, but what if I were? I would be more afraid of how society would treat me for having the disease than the actual disease itself. If this is what I have to deal with for my involvement in fighting this epidemic, then so be it.

I’m not afraid to be associated with people who are HIV-positive, and I am not afraid to love people who are HIV-positive. Because their ordeal is more important than mine, because their courage is larger than mine, because what they’re facing is real. And if we can learn to deal with real, and our fears, then I’m hopeful that we can conquer this disease.”

The event drew 850 guests, and raised $750,000 for AmFAR. Performers included Patti Austin, k.d. lang, Barry Manilow, Michael McDonald, David Pack and Rosie O’Donnell, who did a hilarious send-up of the Madonna’s Vogue.

Today in Madonna History: October 1, 1990

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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.