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

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 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.

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