Today in Madonna History: June 24, 2015

On June 24 2015, Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s publicist since the very beginning of her professional career, announced her retirement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELIEF Liz Rosenberg Media will be closing our offices at the end of June. After more than two centuries of being in the publicity game, taking care of more than a few one-namers, a few thousand wanna-be’s, several not a chance in hell and lots in between, I’ve decided it’s time to take a very long, extended and well deserved break. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved all my adventures and I’ve had enough for many lifetimes. I’ve been unbelievably lucky to have a front row seat to some of the most incredible moments in music and pop-culture history. And let us not forget, I also had my share of begging, waiting, explaining, crying, juggling, keeping secrets, lying on very rare occasions – maybe twice tops, being punched by paparazzi, dancing on ceilings, scraping people off the floor – including myself and oh so much more. I send a huge, wet, juicy kiss from my lips to yours to all of the many people my heart beats for – you know who you are – a hug or warm handshake to those I don’t know as well and blessings to everybody. Shalom y’all. ^ ^ Liz Rosenberg

We’d like to send a huge, wet, juicy kiss and a long overdue tip of the hat to the incomparable, unbeatable and unstoppable Liz Rosenberg for her decades of hard work, guidance, dedication and loyalty – not only to Madonna and the many other artists she’s worked with, but also to us – Madonna’s fans. This fierce, firefighting wonder woman of “publicity” (to term it modestly) was instrumental in bringing Madonna’s music and message to the masses and keeping it there for the next thirty years and beyond. Cutting through mainstream media crap (not to mention paparazzi) like nobody’s business, Liz also took palpable pride in keeping fans informed of the real deal when the press got it wrong (which in Madonna’s case was more often than not), and she did it with style, smarts and a self-deprecating wit that allowed us – and we would suspect Madonna, too – to find levity during some brutally heavy shit-storms. While it clearly takes something extra special to not only survive but thrive in the eye of the unending judgement and scrutiny that such fame brings, the centre simply could not hold without the extra special support and mentorship of a grounding, stabilizing force. Don’t think for a second that we didn’t notice and appreciate all that you did, Liz. Thank you! This joint is for you! xx

Today in Madonna History: May 27, 1990

On May 27 1990, Madonna played the first of three shows at the Toronto Skydome during her Blond Ambition Tour. The shows were Madonna’s only Canadian dates for the tour.

I was fortunate enough to have attended this show when I was twelve years old. Not only was it my first Madonna live experience, it was my first live concert experience. The morning tickets went on sale my mom was working out-of-town so she let me skip sixth-grade for the morning and I headed downtown to Sunrise Records…I managed to score two 100-level tickets directly facing the stage. I don’t think the word “excited” would sufficiently describe how elated I was to be going to see Madonna. The next two months felt like the longest two months of my life, but I couldn’t have been happier. I watched the Ciao Italia! concert on VHS daily during the lead-up, hoping that the new tour would be equally good. Needless to say it far exceeded my expectations – and my mom’s as well! We had the best time dancing and singing and just being utterly blown away by the spectacle. I couldn’t have asked for a better first concert experience, or for a better memory. Much love to the two M’s for making it possible! – Justin

Today in Madonna History: April 24, 2007

Everybody US 7-inch single

On April 24 2007, Liz Rosenberg posted an article on Madonna.com remembering Madonna’s very first single that started it all:

It may seem like only yesterday but 25 years ago on April 24, 1982, Sire Records honcho Seymour Stein released a single called Everybody on Warner Bros. Records by an unknown singer from Rochester, Michigan by the name of Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. To say the world would never be the same is an understatement. The song went on to become a huge dancefloor hit and was heard all over the radio in the Summer of 1982. That little girl from Michigan would go on to become one of the most famous entertainers and cultural icons in history – selling close to 200 million records and remaining a star of enormous magnitude and influence for the next 25 years. She’s just getting started. Long Live the Queen and Happy Anniversary to Madonna.

The announcement came as a surprise to many fans who had always understood the release date of Everybody to be October 6, 1982. While the erroneous April date was likely just a simple mistake on Liz’s part, the lack of any official retraction/correction to the post has led to much confusion about the single’s release date in the years since, with the press often assuming the April date to be factual given its reputable source. However, the sequencing of the catalogue numbers for both the promotional and commercial releases of Everybody, as well as its charting chronology, offer clear evidence that its originally reported release date of October 6, 1982 is in fact the accurate one.

Today in Madonna History: April 5, 2011

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On April 5 2011, Madonna’s publicist Liz Rosenberg released this statement:

“In recent days a number of wild and totally false rumors about Madonna’s philanthropy–spread by bloggers and tabloids–have begun appearing on the internet. As we have said previously, Raising Malawi is currently undergoing a series of positive changes in an effort to serve more children. Neither Madonna nor Raising Malawi is being investigated by the FBI or the IRS. It is unfortunate that people have chosen to say things about Raising Malawi and Madonna that are not true. Madonna remains committed and focused on what matters helping the children of Malawi.”

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 24, 2012

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On March 24th 2012, The New York Post’s Page Six reported that Madonna’s video for Girl Gone Wild had been deemed too wild for general viewing on YouTube. It would be restricted to registered users over the age of eighteen in its uncensored form:

“Madonna’s steamy new video for Girl Gone Wild has been banned from open view on YouTube for being too raunchy, with scenes including nudity and a close-up of a man’s PVC-clad crotch. YouTube chiefs have restricted the video for those 18 years or above, and sources tell us they’ve told the superstar’s management that if they want it to be available for viewing by all, they must edit out shots of bare bottoms, a man rubbing his crotch and an implied masturbation scene where a man gyrates before a mirror. Madonna’s team was working yesterday on an edited version of the video for YouTube because, for the first time, it’s based its marketing strategy for her new album, MDNA, on social media, including a live Facebook interview with Jimmy Fallon today. A source told us, ‘YouTube has decided the video is too raunchy and should only be viewed by those 18 or over, and actually, the video is hard to find on the site. YouTube has sent Madonna’s team a list of shots that should be cut to make it appropriate for everyone.’ Fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott directed Girl Gone Wild, using much of the singer’s trademark erotic imagery, including topless men dancing in black tights (mantyhose) and platform heels. YouTube also took exception to an S&M-inspired scene of a silhouette in chains. The video was deemed ‘inappropriate for some users’ by YouTube, and viewers must verify they’re 18 or older and log in to watch it. Madonna’s rep, Liz Rosenberg, told us, ‘Some things never change. This is a throwback to [1990] when MTV refused to show Justify My Love.'”

A re-edited version of the Girl Gone Wild video was provided to YouTube several days later and was approved for general viewing.

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.

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