Today in Madonna History: October 15, 1998

On October 15 1998, an article by Chuck Philips ran in the LA Times regarding a dispute between the principal shareholders of Maverick Records – Freddy DeMann, Guy Oseary and Madonna.

A feud between the founders of Madonna’s Maverick Records, one of the most successful start-up labels of the decade, is threatening to undercut the label’s value if it goes up for sale next year. Sources said Maverick co-Chairman Freddy DeMann might leave the company before January with a buyout package worth more than $20 million. Representatives for Madonna, DeMann and Maverick minority owner Guy Oseary have been meeting regularly in Burbank to resolve the matter with senior brass at Time Warner’s Warner Music Group, which owns 50% of Maverick. None of the principals involved in the discussions would comment, but sources said Madonna and Oseary have wanted DeMann to leave for more than a year and have asked Warner to underwrite his exit. The disagreement is likely to undercut the trio’s bargaining power when its joint-venture deal with Warner runs out in July.

Maverick could command as much as $200 million on the open market if Warner chooses not to exercise its option to buy the company next year, sources said. The label has generated more than $750 million in revenue since 1992 selling music by such acts as Alanis Morissette, Prodigy and Candlebox. Discord among Maverick’s principals, however, has hampered the trio’s ability to attract suitors and has given Warner the upper hand in the negotiations, sources said. Indeed, one proposal on the table calls for Warner to put up the money to finance DeMann’s exit and possibly give Madonna and Oseary a higher stake in the label in exchange for a commitment from them to extend their joint venture with Warner for five to seven years, sources said.

The size of DeMann’s exit package will depend on what value the parties assign Maverick, sources said. DeMann is likely to walk away with at least $20 million to cover his 20% stake in Maverick but could be paid twice that amount before the talks conclude, sources said. DeMann is being represented in the negotiations by financier Jerry Perenchio, a longtime friend. One source said the 59-year-old DeMann is upset because he wants to sell Maverick in July and cash out, but Oseary and Madonna prefer to negotiate for a bigger stake in the company, with plans to sell in six years. Other sources, however, said DeMann is being forced out by Madonna and Oseary–who, until recently, have relied on his expertise to navigate their careers, as well as manage the record label now at the center of the dispute.

Madonna and DeMann launched Maverick in 1992 as a joint venture with Warner, which put up about $10 million to finance the partnership. Initially, the company was viewed as little more than a vanity label–a bargaining chip used by Warner to sweeten its offer during contract renegotiations with Madonna, who is signed to the company as a recording artist. DeMann had pitched the label concept to Madonna, whose career he had managed since her arrival on the pop music scene in the early 1980s. He then built the label from scratch, hired its staff and even came up with the company’s name–a combination of letters culled from Madonna, Veronica (the singer’s middle name) and Frederick (his first name).

One of DeMann’s first hires at Maverick was Oseary, a 19-year-old with virtually no experience in the music business who was a friend of DeMann’s daughter. DeMann took Oseary under his wing and gave him a job as Maverick’s artist and repertoire man, the employee responsible for discovering musical talent. Oseary delivered his first hit in 1993 with the Seattle rock act Candlebox, whose debut album sold 4 million copies. Oseary then came across a tape of Morissette, an unknown Canadian singer whose demo had been rejected by every major record company. He liked what he heard and played it for DeMann, who agreed to sign her to Maverick. The album eventually sold more than 28 million copies worldwide. Following Morissette’s success, Oseary’s profile rose dramatically. The young executive was rewarded with a minority stake in Maverick and tensions soon began to mount within the company, sources said.

In 1996, Madonna dumped DeMann as her manager and ultimately hired Q-Prime’s Cliff Bernstein and Peter Mench to represent her. A friend of Oseary’s is said to have helped facilitate the singer’s move to Q-Prime, sources said. Within a year, representatives for Madonna and Oseary began to lobby Warner for help in financing an exit package for DeMann, sources said. Warner turned the request down last October but resumed discussions with representatives for the trio a few months ago after rumors surfaced that Sony Music might be interested in acquiring Maverick or hiring Oseary and Madonna next year to start a new label, sources said.

It is unclear why Madonna, Oseary and DeMann couldn’t maintain a united front until after their Warner deal runs out in July. The dispute, however, appears to be heating up as Maverick prepares for the Nov. 3 release of Morissette’s follow-up album, one of the most widely anticipated projects of the year. During the last few weeks, executives from Warner have held meetings with Madonna’s attorney Allen Grubman, Oseary’s lawyer John Branca and DeMann’s representatives Perenchio and attorney Larry Kartiganer. While nothing has been decided, sources said the matter is expected to be resolved by the end of the year and possibly even before Morissette’s album hits the street.

Today in Madonna History: June 5, 2017

On June 5 2017, Madonna showed support to her friend Ariana Grande for organizing the One Love Manchester Benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the terrorist attack on her concert in May.

Congratulation to my brave and beautiful friend Ariana 🏅 for organizing the benefit concert in Manchester! Last night 🙏🏻. Gathering so many great artists and bringing everyone together in the spirit of ❤️ and Peace and not bowing down to F.E.A.R. Im so Proud of you! 💘💕and I would like to make a donation along with my manager Guy Oseary and encourage others to do the same!! 😂🎉💯♥️🙏🏻 We ♥️Manchester Www.Welovemcrcharity.org

We encourage all of our readers to make a donation for this great cause, thank you.

Today in Madonna History: April 5, 2017

On April 5 2017, Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary, Tweeted the following message to Pharrel Williams:

Happy Birthday @pharrel … need to get you back in the studio with the blonde in the photo.. have a great one.

What do you think? Should Madonna and Pharrel work together again? What is your favourite collaboration from them? 

Today in Madonna History: January 21, 2015

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On January 21 2015, an undercover investigation by the Internet crime unit of Israel’s anti-fraud police resulted in the arrest of a Tel Aviv man suspected of hacking into Madonna’s home computer, stealing unreleased music and selling the tracks online.

The investigation began after a complaint by Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary.  With the cooperation of the FBI, the hack was found to be larger in scale and involved more musicians than just Madonna.

An expert in Internet crime was sent to New York City to inspect Madonna’s computers, where he confirmed a hack originating in Israel. Police searched the suspect’s home, seizing computers and media storage devices.

Madonna had this to say about the Rebel Heart album leaks incident:

“I am profoundly grateful to the FBI, the Israeli Police investigators and anyone else who helped lead to the arrest of this hacker. I deeply appreciate my fans who have provided us with pertinent information and continue to do so regarding leaks of my music. Like any citizen, I have the right to privacy. This invasion into my life – creatively, professionally, and personally remains a deeply devastating and hurtful experience, as it must be for all artists who are victims of this type of crime.”

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Today in Madonna History: October 30, 2014

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On October 30 2014, Madonna and Guy Oseary attended Keep A Child Alive’s 11th Annual Black Ball at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.

Madonna appeared in photos with Alicia Keys, Kanye West and a few other handsome men.

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Today in Madonna History: May 3, 2011

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On May 3 2011, Madonna attended the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Madonna wore a Stella McCartney dress, vintage Cartier jewels and carried a Christian Dior clutch.

Today in Madonna History: October 1, 2008

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On October 1 2008, Guy Oseary’s MADONNA CONFESSIONS book was released.

From the press release:

With over 250 never-before-seen images taken by Guy Oseary and personally approved by Madonna, the book showcases the provocative themes of her live performances—from equestrian to urban Bedouin, and from glam punk to disco fever—and celebrates what The New York Times calls “the sheer spectacularity of her physical form.” Enhanced with Madonna’s short, sassy interspersed quotes, CONFESSIONS is a matchless, must-have record of one of the highlights of her career.

Guy Oseary is the CEO of Maverick and Madonna’s manager. He has worked closely with Madonna for two decades. As Oseary was the only photographer allowed access to capture every single concert, this book contains the quintessential moments from the Confessions Tour.

All author proceeds were donated to Raising Malawi.

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