Today in Madonna History: April 13, 1996

On April 13 1996, Madonna’s future manager, Caresse Norman called gossip columnist, Liz Smith, and confirmed the news that Madonna was pregnant with her first child.

Liz Smith’s article was published in newspapers around the world the next day.

“Surprise, surprise, the stork couldn’t wait. The happy news from Budapest has just arrived — that Madonna is indeed pregnant.”

Madonna’s publicist, Liz Rosenberg, told Liz Smith in a follow-up call:

“Madonna doesn’t want this to be a big thing, though I don’t know how she thinks it won’t be a big deal. But she is deliriously happy, and so is everybody close to her. I hate to resort to a cliche, especially about Madonna, but she is just radiant!”

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 15, 1999

On March 15 1999, Madonna’s publicist, Liz Rosenberg, confirmed to MTV News that a tour in support of Ray Of Light had been canceled.  Instead, Madonna would be working on a number of other projects including:

  • A new song with Ricky Martin for his next album
  • A new song for the Austin Powers 2 soundtrack
  • Assembling a new greatest hits album (Liz called it “The Immaculate Collection 2“) with a few new songs
  • Starring in a new film, The Next Best Thing, with Rupert Everett

Liz had this to say:

“The starting date of the movie was postponed, and it created such a small window to turn things around and get into total tour mode and put together the kind of show Madonna does, with no stone unturned, that she thought it would be better to wait until 2000.”

Today in Madonna History: February 26, 2008

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On February 26 2008, Entertainment Weekly magazine confirmed the title, cover art and release date of Madonna’s final studio album for Warner Bros., Hard Candy.

Madonna chose to stick with the sweet theme because “she loves candy,” said her longtime rep, Liz Rosenberg. “It’s about the juxtaposition of tough and sweetness, or as Madonna so eloquently expressed, ‘I’m gonna kick your ass, but it’s going to make you feel good.'”

The album, which would feature Justin Timberlake on multiple tracks and production by Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and Nate “Danja” Hills, was scheduled for release on April 29th in North America. The first single, 4 Minutes, would precede it in mid-March.

Today in Madonna History: January 30, 2004

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On January 30 2004, Madonna’s Official Fan Club (ICON) and Madonna.com published a fan club exclusive photo book titled, Nobody Knows Me. The 52-page soft cover photo book featured previously unreleased photos (spanning her career).

Here’s what Liz Rosenberg had to say when asked to comment on a highlight she witnessed in Madonna’s career:

“Highlights? There’s just too many.

It’s a highlight for me just to dance around the living room to Deeper and Deeper. And also when we played Vogue at a club for the first time.

The list goes on and on and I’m thrilled to have had a front row seat to most of it.”

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Today in Madonna History: December 14, 1987

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On December 14 1987, Madonna and Sean Penn appeared on the cover of People magazine.

Everyone Said It Wouldn’t Last… …And It Didn’t. After Two Years of Marriage, Madonna and Sean Penn Go Their Separate Ways.  

Well, you can’t blame Judge John Merrick. It was Merrick, now a retired justice of the peace, who performed the August 1985 marriage of Madonna Louise Ciccone and Sean “KO” Penn. “I felt they were serious about their vows,” says Merrick. “I remember a line from the ceremony: ‘Although there will be times that your moods may falter, and you’ll question each other’s motives, the faith and love that you share will help to show that your inconsistency is only for the moment.’ ”   Trouble is, for Sean, 27, and Madonna, 29, that moment seemed to persist for a little over two years. Now, after 27 months of holy matrimony and unholy acrimony, the material girl and her rebel without a pause are positively, absolutely, this-time-they’re-not-kidding headed for that crowded community called Splitsville. “The marriage is definitely over,” says Madonna’s spokesperson, Liz Rosenberg. Seconds Penn’s publicist, Lois Smith, “The two of them have called off the marriage.”

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Today in Madonna History: November 17, 1993

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On November 17 1993, Madonna arrived in Sydney, for the start of the Australian leg of her Girlie Show World Tour and it didn’t take long before she was making stirring up controversy over a gift she received.

Here’s a snippet of what ran in the Chicago Tribune the day after she arrived:

The didgeridoo is a long, tube-like wind instrument that is traditional among the Aborigines. Only men are allowed to play it.

Madonna, who offended some fans in Puerto Rico when she rubbed the island’s flag against her crotch, received a five-foot didgeridoo on her arrival in Sydney on Wednesday. It was a gift from the promoter of the Australian leg of her tour.

“The fact Madonna is a Westerner and the didgeridoo as a gift does not change the fact she should not be carrying it around,” said Badangthun Munmunyarrun, an Aboriginal elder.

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