Today in Madonna History: December 1, 2018

On December 1 2018, Madonna shared this photo and message through her social media channels:

With My Good Friend Keith Haring. He was a big AIDS activist when everyone was calling it GAY cancer. I was with him the day he died of AIDS. He said what hurt him the most was how people did not want to touch door knobs after he touched them. The discrimination then was next level. #worldaidsday.

Today in Madonna History: October 27, 1990

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On October 27 1990, Madonna’s first dance teacher and mentor from Michigan, Christopher Flynn, passed away from an AIDS-related illness. On the news of his death, Madonna issued the statement: “Christopher Flynn was my mentor, is my higher power, and will remain an eternal inspiration.”

Indeed, Flynn would later serve as the inspiration for one of the characters from Madonna’s directorial debut, Filth And Wisdom, as she explained to Gus Van Sant in the October 2010 issue of Interview magazine:

The character that Richard E. Grant plays in the film I directed, Filth and Wisdom, 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.”

Madonna would also recall Christopher’s influence in the second verse of the lyrics of the song, In This Life.

Today in Madonna History: September 7, 1990

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On September 7 1990, Madonna was honored with the Commitment To Life Award and performed Vogue at the Commitment To Life IV benefit for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Today In Madonna History: March 12, 1994

On March 12, 1994, Madonna made a surprise appearance at the AIDS Dance-A-Thon benefit in San Francisco, California.

Today in Madonna History: April 3, 2008

On April 3 2008, it was announced that Madonna would join Sharon Stone and Harvey Weinstein at the annual Amfar Fundraising Gala in Cannes on May 22:

Madonna, Sharon Stone, Harvey Weinstein, Michelle Yeoh, Michel Litvak, Carine Roitfeld, Caroline Gruosi – Scheufele, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole will serve as chairs of amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS, to be held on May 22 during the 61st annual Cannes International Film Festival. The evening will be presented by Bold Films, Chopard, and the Weinstein Company. The annual star – studded event, which will benefit amfAR, will take place at Le Moulin de Mougins and will feature a formal dinner, along with amfAR’s world – renowned live auction and a special performance by Seal.

In addition, this year’s event will feature a short clip of I Am Because We Are, the Madonna – produced and – narrated documentary about children orphaned by AIDS in Malawi. The full screening of I Am Because We Are is scheduled to take place the evening before, May 21, in Cannes and will be associated with amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS event. Madonna’s long history with amfAR began in 1992, when she received the Foundation’s Award of Courage.

Harvey Weinstein and Sharon Stone, tireless advocates for AIDS research and amfAR, will conduct the highly anticipated live auction with the assistance of several of the event chairs and other celebrities who will be present. In Past years, the auction has seen legendary impromptu performances by Sir Elton John, Robin Williams, Natalie Cole, Liza Minnelli, Sheryl Crow, Ringo Starr, Macy Gray, Milla Jovovich, and Lionel Ritchie. Last year’s live auction raised million, bringing the evening’s fundraising total to million. amfAR’s annual Cinema Against AIDS gala has been an important and successful fundraising event for the Foundation since 1993, generating more than million for essential AIDS research. Past events have been hosted by Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, and Sir Elton John.

Today in Madonna History: October 27, 1990

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On October 27 1990, Madonna’s first dance teacher and mentor from Michigan, Christopher Flynn, passed away from an AIDS-related illness. With the news of his death, Madonna issued the statement: “Christopher Flynn was my mentor, is my higher power, and will remain an eternal inspiration.”

Indeed, Flynn would later serve as the inspiration for one of the characters from Madonna’s directorial debut, Filth And Wisdom, as she explained to Gus Van Sant in the October 2010 issue of Interview magazine:

The character that Richard E. Grant plays in the film I directed, Filth and Wisdom, 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.”

Madonna would also recall Christopher’s influence in the second verse of the lyrics to her song, In This Life.

Today in Madonna History: August 28, 1987

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On August 28 1987, Madonna arrived in Paris and attended a reception at City Hall to meet French prime minister Jacques Chirac and his family; she presented him with a cheque for $85,000 to benefit AIDS charities in France.

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