On April 29 1996, Madonna appeared on the cover of People Magazine, with the headline: Maternal Girl: Madonna’s with child.
On March 19 1996, Madonna’s cover of Rose Royce’s Love Don’t Live Here Anymore was released as the fourth single from her Something To Remember greatest ballads collection.
The song originally appeared on the Like A Virgin album.
The idea to cover the song was Michael Ostin’s (head of the A&R department at Warner Bros. Records).
In author Warren Zane’s book Revolutions in Sound: Warner Bros. Records, the First 50 Years, he recalled:
“I had the good fortune of finding material that Madonna really responded to, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore for instance, which was the old Rose Royce record. I was driving into work one day and heard it on the radio, I called producer Nile Rodgers and Madonna, they were in the studio. I said, ‘I have an idea, you know the old Rose Royce record, ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore‘? Why don’t you try and record a version of it for Like a Virgin?” Initially both Rodgers and Madonna were apprehensive of tackling an already well-known ballad, but in the last minute they decided that if Madonna wanted to bring diversity to the album, there could be no better song than ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’.
On January 17 1996, Madonna accepted David Bowie’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction on his behalf.
During her speech, Madonna described how as a “normal, dysfunctional, rebellious teenager from the Midwest,” a David Bowie concert in June 1974 at Cobo Arena in Detroit changed her life for good:
“I don’t think that I breathed for two hours. It was the most amazing show that I’d ever seen, not just because the music was great, but because it was great theater. Here’s this beautiful, androgynous man, just being so perverse … as David Byrne so beautifully put it … so unconventional, defying logic and basically blowing my mind. Anyway, I came home a changed woman, as you can see, and my father was not sleeping and he knew exactly where I went, and he grounded me for the rest of the summer. But it was worth every minute that I sat and suffered in my house that summer.”
On December 25 1996, EVITA was given a limited released in New York and Los Angeles.
Wide release for the film followed on January 10, 1997.
Critic Zach Conner commented:
“It’s a relief to say that EVITA is pretty damn fine, well-cast, and handsomely visualized. Madonna once again confounds our expectations. She plays Evita with a poignant weariness and has more than just a bit of star quality. Love or hate Madonna-Eva, she is a magnet for all eyes.”
Newsweek ’s David Ansen wrote:
“It’s gorgeous. It’s epic. It’s spectacular. But two hours later, it also proves to be emotionally impenetrable.”
On December 21 1996, Madonna’s You Must Love Me (the lead single from EVITA) spent its final week on Billboard’s Hot 100 Airplay Chart in the USA. The hit single spent a total of 9 weeks on the chart.
Peter Keough of the Boston Phoenix had this to say about the song:
“You Must Love Me is an aching farewell that dispels the illusion of a romance-of-convenience to reveal the inescapable love and tragedy beneath”.