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: March 30, 2010

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On March 30 2010, Live Nation and Warner Bros. released Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour on DVD, Blu-Ray and CD. From the Live Nation press release:

“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.

Today in Madonna History: March 29, 1988

On March 29 1988, Madonna Live: The Virgin Tour home video was certified multi-platinum for sales of over 100,000 units in the U.S.

Today in Madonna History: March 28, 1987

On March 28 1987, the final single from Madonna’s True Blue album, La Isla Bonita, was briefly reviewed in Billboard magazine.

The now-classic song was Madonna’s first sonic exploration into her love of Latin music and culture which would become a recurring inspiration in her body of work. Written by Madonna, Patrick Leonard, and frequent Leonard collaborator, guitarist Bruce Gaitsch, it has been reported that the instrumental demo of the song was initially offered to Michael Jackson, who passed on the track.

While Madonna has said that La Isla Bonita took inspiration from “the beauty and mystery of Latin American people,” she has remained more elusive about the song’s geographical references. Years later, she teasingly commented in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine:

“I don’t know where San Pedro is. At that point, I wasn’t a person who went on holidays to beautiful islands. I may have been on the way to the studio and seen an exit ramp for San Pedro.”

Today in Madonna History: March 27, 1993

On March 27 1993, Bad Girl peaked at #20 on the Canadian Top 100 Singles chart (RPM).

Although the single fared better in Canada than it did south of the border (it peaked at #36 on the Hot 100), Bad Girl nevertheless earned the undesirable distinction of being Madonna’s lowest charting Canadian single since Borderline at the time, which had peaked at #25 in September, 1984.

The Bad Girl single was backed with the album version of Fever in North America (both songs were released separately in Europe), while the Bad Girl maxi-single focused primarily on remixes of Fever along with an extended version of Bad Girl. Strangely, a music video for Fever was produced only after the single had run its course on the European charts, set to a remix that was not issued was not included on the North American maxi-single of Bad Girl or the Fever 12-inch promo set that was serviced to DJ’s in the U.S.

Despite the unusual promotion, Fever managed to top the U.S. Club chart and the video was put into regular rotation on MTV and MuchMusic in Canada.

Today in Madonna History: March 26, 1983

On March 26 1983, the music video for Madonna’s Everybody was briefly mentioned in Billboard magazine along side the music video for Konk’s Konk Party, noting that both videos were directed by Ed Steinberg of Soft Focus Productions. What is not mentioned and likely not known to the columnist (considering they think Madonna is the name of a group!) is that Madonna appears as an extra in Konk Party along with her pals Erika Belle and Martin Burgoyne. Original Sonic Youth drummer and member of Konk, Richard Edson, is also featured in the video. Edson would later appear in the film Desperately Seeking Susan, holding open a newspaper box for Madonna, and is pictured prominently next to Madonna in the film’s cast photo – which is unusual considering the brevity of his time on-screen. He worked with Madonna again in 1988, playing the character of Johnny Crackow in the film, Bloodhounds Of Broadway.

Sonic Youth would explore their own fascination with Madonna with their side project, Ciccone Youth. In liner notes for Sonic Youth’s reissue of their landmark album, Daydream Nation (1988), the band revealed that they had given an advance copy of Ciccone Youth’s The Whitey Album (1988) to Madonna’s sister, who was working in Warner’s art department at the time, seeking Madonna’s approval for the use of her image on the album cover (her songs Into The Groove & Burning Up were also covered & sampled). Word came back that Madonna had no issues with it, adding that she remembered the band from their early days in New York.

Sonic Youth made humourous references to Madonna’s place in popular culture in their promotional artwork throughout the 80’s – typically designed by bassist/vocalist/guitarist and visual artist, Kim Gordon. They were even known to use Madonna’s music as interludes during guitar changes at their shows in the 80’s, bewildering audience members who were not privy to their shared origins as part of the early 80’s underground music scene in NYC.

In another connection, Sonic Youth’s 2004 album, Sonic Nurse, featured artwork from Richard Prince’s acclaimed Nurse Paintings series. In 2015, Madonna used a rotating selection of paintings from her own art collection as backdrops for a series of press junket interviews to promote her Rebel Heart album. One of the paintings displayed was Prince’s Heartbreak Nurse from his Nurse Paintings series.

Today In Madonna History: March 25, 1991

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On March 25 1991, Madonna performed Sooner Or Later from Dick Tracy at the 63rd annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Sooner Or Later won the Oscar for Best Original Song by Stephen Sondheim; her escort at the awards was Michael Jackson.

Sooner or later you’re gonna be mine
Sooner or later you’re gonna be fine
Baby it’s time that you faced it
I always get my man

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