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 6, 1985

On September 6 1985, Desperately Seeking Susan was released to cinemas in the United Kingdom.

Today in Madonna History: January 6, 1996

On January 6 1996, You’ll See peaked at #10 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Airplay chart in the U.S.

With the help of the single’s Spanish version, Verás, the song would also reach #21 in Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks chart several weeks later, on January 20th.

Today in Madonna History: January 3, 2003

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On January 3 2003, Madonna.com announced: “Madonna’s next album is scheduled to be released in April, and there is no title as of yet. The video for the first single will be shot in February and will be directed by Jonas Akerlund. The album cover will be shot next week by Craig McDean (he also did the Vanity Fair Madonna cover).”

Today in Madonna History: December 3, 1990

On December 3 1990, ABC’s Nightline played the banned music video for Justify My Love video in its entirety followed by a live interview with Madonna by Forrest Sawyer regarding the video’s sexual content and censorship.

When asked whether she stood to make more money selling the video than airing it on MTV, she half-jokingly answered, “Yeah, so lucky me!”

She also expressed that she did not understand why the video was banned when videos containing violence and degradation to women continued to receive regular airplay.

Today in Madonna History: November 23, 1994

On November 23 1994, Madonna was interviewed by Jana Lynne White at the St. James hotel in Los Angeles for Canada’s long-running, award-winning series, TheNewMusic. Jana had previously interviewed Madonna in 1992 during promotion for the Erotica album.

Today in Madonna History: October 22, 1998

On October 22 1998, Madonna presented the GQ Solo Music Artist Of The Year award to Sting at the 1998 GQ Men Of The Year Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

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