Today in Madonna History: October 15, 1992

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On October 15 1992, Madonna threw a Sex book pre-release party at New York City’s Industria Super Studio, and signed all the invitations under her alter ego “Dita”.

During the party, Madonna showed up dressed as Little Bo Peep and carried with her a stuffed toy lamb. 

Madonna’s publicist Liz Rosenberg showed concern at first worrying “what the parents of America’s impressionable teens will soon be thinking” but later said that it “all depends on your idea of lovemaking, which in Madonna’s case, should give new meaning to the word erotic.”

Both Walden Books and Barnes & Noble prepared corporate statements that their store managers could share with customers who were offended by Sex. Both statements defended the right of bookstores to provide “diversity and choice” to customers and say censorship is not the role of bookstores.

Bookstore owner David Epstein stated that “The feeling of most people who have ordered the book is that Madonna is something special, that this is cutting-edge art, they’re not the kind of people who are buying it because it’s smut and dirty pictures. People are interested in it as art.”

Today in Madonna History: April 3, 2000

On April 3 2000, Madonna appeared on the cover of People magazine with the headline, “Madonna’s Surprise: I’m Pregnant.”

Here’s a snippet from the article inside People:

When British filmmaker Guy Ritchie dropped by his dad and stepmum’s London home last week, he didn’t waste time with small talk. “Guy just told us straight out,” recalls retired advertising executive John Ritchie. Guy said, “Look, I think I should tell you this: Madonna’s pregnant.”

And so the elder Ritchie, 71, and his wife, Shireen, a charity worker, found themselves at ground zero for the bombshell that the rest of the world would soon hear.

“We’re happy to confirm rumors that we’re expecting a child at the end of this year,” Madonna, 41, and her 31-year-old paramour said in a joint statement issued March 20 from London, where the singer and her 3-year-old daughter Lourdes (nicknamed Lola) share a rented town-house in tony Kensington, about a mile from Ritchie’s home.

The announcement ended rumors that had been swirling on both sides of the Atlantic for months: that Madonna wanted to repeat her favorite role yet—motherhood.

“Are you pregnant? That’s the question everyone wants to hear,” Matt Lauer bluntly asked Madonna in a March 3 Today show interview to promote her recent film The Next Best Thing, about an unmarried woman who becomes pregnant by her gay best friend.

Though her answer was a flat no, Madonna herself fueled speculation when she told an interviewer for Jane magazine earlier this year that she would like to have another child. “I think Lola should have a brother or sister,” she said. “I think she’s incredibly spoiled. She needs a bit of competition.”

And on March 17, Britain’s Mirror, tipped by paparazzi that Madonna had made repeated visits to a London women’s clinic, predicted that a formal announcement of the pregnancy was imminent. When it came, it was with an appeal for privacy. “This is not a public pregnancy,” says Madonna’s publicist Liz Rosenberg. “It’s going to be as private as she can keep it.”

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 22, 1992

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On February 22 1992, Madonna made a surprise guest appearance on NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live, where she lovingly spoofed longtime publicist Liz Rosenberg (and herself as well) in the recurring skit “Coffee Talk” alongside her favorite SNL alum Mike Myers and host Roseanne.

But the biggest surprise turned out to be reserved for Madonna, Myers and Roseanne when the subject of their adoration in the skit, Barbra Streisand, made a rare public appearance by sauntering on-set as they were finishing up the sketch.

Today in Madonna History: February 8, 2015

On February 8 2015, Madonna strutted her stuff and bared her amazing ass on the red carpet at the Grammys before an incredible live performance of Living For Love, to promote her forthcoming album, Rebel Heart.

I love the shot of Madonna and Liz Rosenberg having a good laugh! – Jay

Today in Madonna History: October 30, 2006

On October 30 2006, Madonna appeared on the cover of People magazine with the headline: Madonna’s Adoption Drama.

Here’s a snippet of the article:

Bringing Home David By Karen S. Schneider

As Madonna and Her Husband, Guy Ritchie Welcome Home Their New 13-Month-Old Son from Malawi, Local Human Rights Groups—and Some of the Boy’s Relatives—Raise Questions Over the Legality of the Adoption.

Madonna had only seen a snapshot of David Banda and had learned only basic information about him when she and her husband, Guy Ritchie flew to the African nation of Malawi on Oct. 3. But when the singer arrived at the Home of Hope Orphanage Centre and met the 13-month-old boy, says Madonna’s spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg, “It was love at first sight.” Adds a witness: “The look of pure joy on her face was beyond words, not unlike when her children [Lourdes, 10, and Rocco, 6] were born.”

About a week later—even as a storm of controversy was brewing over the planned adoption—Madonna’s happiness was echoed in a dimly lit room of the High Court in the Malawian capital of Lilongwe. The pop superstar, 48, and her director husband, 38, met, for the first time, with David’s dad, a farmer named Yohane Banda. Through a translator who spoke Banda’s Chichewa language, “she asked lots of questions,” says Banda, 32. “How old I am, what I do for a living, everything.”

Madonna also made promises—to provide Banda’s only child with a loving home, and to bring him back to Malawi to visit. For the singer, the face-to-face with Banda marked a turning point in an almost year-long effort to adopt a child from an impoverished nation where she helps fund six orphanages. (She has also pledged to sponsor improvements through the Millennium Promise program.) For Banda—who ekes out a living farming onions and cabbage, and placed David in the church-run Home of Hope when his wife died—it was a chance to give his son, he tells PEOPLE, “a brighter future.” Adds David’s grandmother Asineti Mwale, 56: “God has heard our prayer. May he bless this kindhearted woman abundantly.”

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

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