Today in Madonna History: May 26, 1997

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On May 26 1997, Madonna appeared on the cover of People magazine as part of the “New Sexy Moms” feature.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Even Madonna, who moved a month before Lourdes’s birth from her Hollywood Hills mansion to a more baby-friendly one-story spread in a quieter neighborhood, is becoming downright strait-laced. “TV is poison,” saying that she would forbid Lourdes to watch it. “To be plopped in front of a television instead of being read to or talked to or encouraged to interact with other human beings is a huge mistake.”

Today in Madonna History: May 7, 1990

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On May 7 1990, Madonna graced the cover of People magazine.

The headline: Madonna’s new tour: her most outrageous act yet

A sample of the article by Montgomery Brower and Todd Gold:

After routinely violating almost every taboo about sex, sacrilege and the public display of underwear, what’s a girl to do for new material? Madonna revealed her answer in Japan, where she kicked off a four-month tour that will no doubt delight fans, fetishists, cross-dressers and topic-starved conservative columnists the world over. Mimed masturbation? Madonna’s got it, during “Like a Virgin.” Topless guys in foot-long pointy brassieres? They pop up a third of the way through the show. A hint of discipline? “You may not know the song, but you all know the pleasures of a good spanking,” Madonna cooed after “Hanky Panky,” an ode to the joy of the slap. Granted, there are quieter moments—Madonna as housewife in curlers, Madonna with fish-tailed mermen—but before you know it, there she goes again, confessing in song to a guy dressed as a priest. The 105-minute hullabaloo is amazing for its breadth of controversy. Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that, so far as can be determined, not one of the show’s seven dancers has been sidelined with a groin injury.

“She said, ‘Let’s break every rule we can,’ ” says choreographer Vince Paterson. “She wanted to make statements about sexuality, cross-sexuality, the church and the like. But the biggest thing we tried to do is change the shape of concerts. Instead of just presenting songs, we wanted to combine fashion, Broadway, rock and performance art.”

Today in Madonna History: April 28, 2003

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On April 28 2003, Madonna graced the cover of People Magazine: Madonna’s Real Life

Here’s a snippet of the article that went with the cover:

Once a naughty material girl, the pop icon has turned into a doting mom and devoted wife. But she’s still making waves. Visitors to Madonna’s $6.5 million Beverly Hills mansion on a recent afternoon could stroll through and behold master-works by Picasso, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and…resident artist Lourdes Leon, age 6. Alas, Lourdes belongs to the enfant terrible school of art, which has her famous mom clenching her teeth in frustration. “My daughter spilled black paint on the bedroom rug,” says a stressed Madonna. “We’re not really sure how it happened. She was left alone for two minutes, and, well, it’s not pretty.” So where is her husband, British film director Guy Ritchie? “He’s upstairs, working on a script,” she says. “I’m much more the disciplinarian of the house, although Guy is getting more involved.” Then, flashing a playful grin, she adds, “I’d have to fire him as a dad if he didn’t get more involved. I can’t be the hard one all the time.”

Today in Madonna History: March 13, 2000

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On March 13 2000, Madonna was featured on the cover of People magazine.

Here’s an excerpt of the article about Madonna as a mother:

With the Sexcapades, Scandals and Wild Times Behind Her, Pop’s Former Boy Toy Tackles the Roles of Adoring Mother and Mature Woman in Love.

“This is Lola,” Madonna announces as Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon bounds into the sitting room of her mother’s four-story mansion, a reported $15,000-a-month rented home in Kensington, London, where the singer is currently recording her 13th album.

“No,” the wide-eyed 3-year-old declares. “I’m an alien.” Madonna scoops up Lourdes (whom she always calls by her nickname, Lola) for a kiss and a hug and joyfully enters her world of make-believe. When Lourdes tells Madonna she’s wearing “alien gloves” with magic powers, Mom uses them to turn her daughter first into a princess, then a frog, then back into a princess. Madonna now wants her little girl to return the favor: “Can you turn me into something?” she asks.

By most accounts she already has. Lourdes, whose father is Madonna’s ex-lover Carlos Leon, has transformed Madonna into her most fulfilling role yet—adoring single mother—after 17 years of restless shape-shifting across the pop-culture landscape. At 41, her body—in a clingy, black Chloé T-shirt and teal-blue Maharishi cargo pants—is supple and taut from Ashtanga yoga, and she radiates serene contentment.

“She’s so much calmer, so much more centered than she used to be,” says talk show host Rosie O’Donnell, a friend of Madonna’s since the two starred in the 1992 comedy A League of Their Own. And while Lourdes is one reason for Madonna’s joyful reinvention, the other may be the singer’s boyfriend, British director Guy Ritchie. According to O’Donnell, the bonds with Lourdes and Ritchie are hardly unrelated. “Madonna fell in love with her daughter, and that taught her how to fall in love for real,” she says. “When you’re ready, it comes to you. She’s definitely ready. I’ve never seen her happier. Lola has helped her to become more grounded, to leave the star part behind.”

Today in Madonna History: December 28, 1992

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On December 28 1992, Madonna was named one of the 25 Most Intriguing People In The World For 1992 by People magazine.

Here’s what People had to say about Madonna in 1992:

The Movies! The Album! The Naughty Pictures! Once Again Madonna Was Everywhere, Shouting, “Look at Me—Every Inch of Me!”

Intriguing: suggests an air of mystery. Madonna: does everything in public but floss her teeth.

Intriguing: wrapped in enigma. Madonna: not wrapped in anything.

Intriguing: means doesn’t appear on-camera in romantic encounters with Evian water bottles. Madonna: does.

OK—so what’s so intriguing about somebody who lets you know that her lovers require a five-cent deposit?

For one thing, she made ya look. Consider Sex, the photo book in which she had her picture taken doing everything but blushing. Besides proving that a naked Madonna could arch backward over a pinball machine without mussing her hair, it also pushed the envelope out to the size of a circus tent. And when the crowds came pouring in, there she was at center ring, cracking her whip.

It only served her purposes that Sex earned sniffy reviews like “The Empress Has No Clothes” and that it was banned in places such as Japan and Ireland. Coming on the heels of her summer film hit, A League of Their Own, the fuss over her book helped to launch her new album, Erotica, and primed the movie audience for her next assault on their sensibilities, Body of Evidence. Her success at getting the world to subsidize her sexual preoccupations—to say nothing of her mammoth self-absorption—is what makes her worth the $60 million deal she cut this year with Time Warner (the parent company of PEOPLE). Madonna is not the first star to find the bucks in buck nakedness. But no one before her has capitalized so well on human willingness to have our fears and desires repackaged and sold back to us.

Yet this most public of women still strains to be a mystery. This year she went through more faces than Lon Chaney—one minute in Baby Jane pigtails, a cupcake from hell; the next in sour milkmaid gear, Heidi with a mean streak. Her changing gallery of faces is one reason that she’s a sex symbol who inspires a lot of heavy breathing from intellectuals. One landmark of the 1992 publishing list—The Madonna Connection: Representational Politics, Sub-cultural Identities and Cultural Theory. You didn’t get this sort of thing for Petula Clark.

But does she really throw such a mysterious light on our culture? More likely it’s just the glinting gears of a giant publicity machine. Yet the sheer magnitude of her achievement in that regard is, well, intriguing. And the grinding of those gears is surely too loud to be ignored. “I’m a revolutionary,” she once sighed. “And yes. it’s a burden.”

Sometimes it’s a burden for her, we sigh in return, and sometimes for us.

Madonna was a busy woman in 1992! What did you enjoy most? A League Of Their Own? This Used To Be My Playground? Erotica? Sex? Body Of Evidence?