Today in Madonna History: May 3, 2010

On May 3 2010, Madonna was featured on the cover of Interview magazine, with photos by Mert Atlas and Marcus Piggott.

Here’s a snippet of the interview between Gus Van Sant and Madonna featured in Interview:

MADONNA: Did you like working with my ex-husband? [laughs]

VAN SANT: I did. Sean [Penn] was amazing.

MADONNA: He is amazing.

VAN SANT: I haven’t really caught up with Sean since he’s been going to Haiti. I mean, it’s incredible, what he’s been doing.

MADONNA: Yup. He’s got a fire under his ass, that’s for sure. A bee in his bonnet.

VAN SANT: When I called him to see whether he would play the role in Milk, he took half a second to say yes. I guess he knew the elements were there.

MADONNA: I could see why he would be attracted to the role and be able to say yes in two seconds. Watching Milk was such a trip down memory lane for me.

VAN SANT: Yeah? Did you go to the Castro a lot?

MADONNA: I did when I was younger. But you know, what the movie triggered for me was all my early days in New York and the scene that I came up in-you know, with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf. It was just so alive with art and politics and this wonderful spirit. So many of those people are dead now. I think that’s one of the reasons I cried. In fact, the character that Richard E. Grant plays in the film I directed, Filth and Wisdom [2008], is this blind professor who was based on my ballet teacher, Christopher Flynn. Growing up in Michigan, I didn’t really know what a gay man was. He was the first man-the first human being-who made me feel good about myself and special. He was the first person who told me that I was beautiful or that I had something to offer the world, and he encouraged me to believe in my dreams, to go to New York. He was such an important person in my life. He died of AIDS, but he went blind toward the end of his life. He was such a lover of art, classical music, literature, opera. You know, I grew up in the Midwest, and it was really because of him that I was exposed to so many of those things. He brought me to my first gay club-it was this club in Detroit. I always felt like I was a freak when I was growing up and that there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t fit in anywhere. But when he took me to that club, he brought me to a place where I finally felt at home. So that character in Filth and Wisdom was dedicated to him and inspired by him. I don’t know why I’m bringing all this up, but I guess it’s just coming from that world in Michigan and the trajectory of my life: after going to New York and being a dancer when the whole AIDS epidemic started and nobody knew what it was. And then suddenly, all these beautiful men around me, people who I loved so dearly, were dying-just one after the next. It was just such a crazy time. And watching the world freak out-the gay community was so ostracized. But it was also when I was beginning my career. . . . I don’t know. Your movie really struck a chord for me and made me remember all that. It’s a time I don’t think many people have captured on film. It’s a time that people don’t talk about much. And even though there was so much death, for me, New York was so alive.

VAN SANT: It’s amazing that you had a person like that in your life who was such an influence.

MADONNA: Thank god! Otherwise, I don’t know if I would’ve gotten out of Michigan. I think it was Christopher and my Russian history teacher, Marilyn Fellows. The two of them, I think they were a conspiracy that god sent to me. The conspiracy of angels that gave me the confidence and helped me turn my lemons into lemonade, if you know what I’m saying. Because when you grow up in a really conservative place and you don’t fit in, it’s kind of hard. . . . You can go one way or the other.

 

Today In Madonna History: March 31, 2010

On March 31 2010, Madonna’s former manager, Caresse Henry, passed away at the age of 44. Her death was later ruled a suicide.

Caresse had initially worked as an assistant to Madonna’s former manager, Freddy DeMann, before becoming Madonna’s personal assistant. When Madonna parted ways with DeMann in 1997, Caresse took the reigns as Madonna’s manager and remained in the role until late 2004. Caresse had also managed the careers of Ricky Martin, Jessica Simpson, Paula Abdul and Joss Stone, among others.

Caresse was credited as an artistic manager and executive producer for the HBO special: Madonna: Drowned World Tour 2001.

Liz Rosenberg (Madonna’s publicist at the time) released a statement to the press explaining that Caresse died of a self-inflicted gunshot at her home in Irvine, California. She was survived by her two children, a sister, a brother and her parents.

Today in Madonna History: February 5, 2010

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On February 5 2010, Madonna’s Revolver (the second single from Celebration) was released on 12″ vinyl in Europe.

The vinyl release included the following mixes of Revolver:

  • Madonna vs. David Guetta One Love Club Remix
  • Paul van Dyk Remix
  • Tracy Young’s Shoot To Kill Remix
  • Paul van Dyk Dub
  • Madonna vs. David Guetta One Love Remix featuring Lil Wayne

And the following bonus remixes of Celebration:

  • Celebration featuring Akon
  • Felguk Love Remix

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Today in Madonna History: January 14, 2010

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On January 14 2010, Madonna sent her condolences to the people in Haiti:

“My prayers are with the people of Haiti. I can’t imagine the terrible pain and suffering they are experiencing. Sadly the depths of the tragedy are just becoming known and the need for our support grows more urgent with every passing moment. I have given a donation of $250,000 to assist Haiti’s earthquake victims through Partner’s in Health (www.pih.org) one of Haiti’s leading health care providers. I urge all of my friends and fans around the world to join me collectively to match my contribution or give in any way you can. We must act now. Thank you for your support.”

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Today in Madonna History: January 12, 2010

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On January 12 2010, Live Nation and Warner Bros. announced that Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour would be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and CD on March 30 2010:

Madonna’s most recent stage extravaganza, the “Sticky & Sweet” concert, will be released on March 30th, it was announced today by Live Nation, the world’s largest live music company.

“Sticky & Sweet”, which was produced by Live Nation, was the most successful tour by a solo artist in history and was seen by over 3.5 million fans in 32 countries around the world. The show, which will be distributed by Warner Bros Records, will be available on DVD, Blu-Ray and CD and will include many of the Material Girl’s hits from the course of her unprecedented career including, “4 Minutes,” “Like a Prayer,” “Hung Up” and “Ray of Light”. Filmed in Buenos Aires, over four days to a crowd exceeding 256,000 fans, the concert also includes a show stopping moment when Madonna performs a historic “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” to a thunderous audience response from her Argentine fans. Also included are several hits from the multi-Grammy winner’s most recent CD “Hard Candy” which debuted at No. 1 in 37 countries. The DVD also includes 30 minutes of exclusive footage filmed behind the scenes during the course of the tour.

“Part concert, part block party and all fun, there is still only one Madonna,” raved the Oakland Press in their review of the “Sticky & Sweet” Tour. “A night of triumph and defiance… A two hour multi-media juggernaut,” glowed the LA Times. “Our lady of perpetual motion…This may be the best tour she’s ever stitched together,” claimed the NY Post.

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Today in Madonna History: July 5, 2010

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On July 5 2010, principal photography on W.E., Madonna’s directorial feature debut began in the UK.

Madonna had this to say about her decision to direct W.E.:

“I directed Filth & Wisdom to teach myself about filmmaking… and now, with this self-punishing process of being a producer and a writer and a director, I’m taking the next step.”