On April 20 1992, Madonna signed a $60 million, seven-year contract with Time Warner Inc. as a joint venture to form a new multi-media entertainment company: Maverick.
Madonna was made CEO of Maverick (her own record and music publishing company), which included TV, film, merchandising and book publishing divisions.
The contract re-negotiated and extended Madonna’s contract with Sire Records: a $5 million advance per album & a 20% royalty rate for her next seven albums. The future recordings would all be released by Maverick/Sire Records.
On April 19 2003, Madonna.com was hacked by some “fans” that didn’t agree with her anti-download policy.
Madonna’s official website was hacked and replaced by a page with links to download the complete American Life album as well as some remixes. The hack occurred only days after Madonna tried to combat illegal trading of songs from her American Life album, by flooding the Internet with fake MP3s.
The hacker defaced the homepage with the words, “This is what the fuck I think I’m doing” — a response to MP3s circulated to confuse file traders that included only a tape-looped message from Madonna herself saying, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” MP3s of every song from American Life were posted along with the hackers’ message.
Madonna.com was taken offline for an nearly fifteen hours after the hack.
On April 17 1986, Madonna and Sean Penn attended the Los Angeles premiere of his film At Close Range at the Bruin Theater.
Sporting a new cropped, platinum blonde hairstyle, Madonna and her notoriously media-shy husband paused to speak with various media outlets as they made their way down the red carpet.
The film, which co-starred Christopher Walken and Mary Stuart Masterson, featured Madonna’s latest single, Live To Tell, along with an original musical score by Patrick Leonard comprising mostly of motifs inspired by Live To Tell‘s minor chord changes. Its director, James Foley, helmed several of Madonna’s music videos for the True Blue album and directed her next film, Who’s That Girl.
On April 16 2009, Niki Haris dismissed Madonna fallout rumours in Bay Windows, New England’s largest gay newspaper. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Niki, to start: why the fallout? Diva drama?
“Maybe there was some drama, but I didn’t buy into it. We were sisters for years. At the end of the day, really she is a gem and I’m so grateful. She threw my baby shower for me!” Haris gave birth to her daughter in 2003. It was shortly thereafter that Madonna launched her Re-Invention Tour, the first time she staged a show without Haris in over 15 years.
“People can talk all the crap they want, but we both knew by that last tour [Drowned World Tour, 2001],” says Haris. “I had broken my legs, learned how to walk again, how to dance again, and did that tour with really bad injuries. It was okay, but painful. Now, I was 41 and pregnant. … Of course, my ego was involved: ‘Oh, she don’t want me no more!’ But at the end of the day, she gave me the greatest gift. Because of her, I got to spend every freaking day with my kid, doing the music I love to do. I’m close to ‘the family’ still. She knows I love her and she loves me.”
Coincidentally, Madonna’s last two tours have featured similarly named singer Nicki Richards as a backing vocalist. Haris doesn’t mind.
“She can get Niki Two, if she wants to,” she chuckles.