Today in Madonna History: May 26, 1997

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On May 26 1997, Madonna appeared on the cover of People magazine as part of the “New Sexy Moms” feature.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Even Madonna, who moved a month before Lourdes’s birth from her Hollywood Hills mansion to a more baby-friendly one-story spread in a quieter neighborhood, is becoming downright strait-laced. “TV is poison,” saying that she would forbid Lourdes to watch it. “To be plopped in front of a television instead of being read to or talked to or encouraged to interact with other human beings is a huge mistake.”

Today in Madonna History: May 9, 1985

On May 9 1985, Madonna and Rosanna Arquette appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, promoting their film, Desperately Seeking Susan, with photos by Herb Ritts.

Here’s a snippet from the interview featured in the magazine:

Rosanna has expressed resentment over the insertion into the movie of a Madonna song backing a quickly rewritten scene in which the Susan character gyrates around a New York club. A video clip using the unreleased tune, “Into the Groove,” spotlights Madonna. “It does take things out of context a bit,” says Madonna, “kinda calls attention to another facet, but…” What that “but” means is, it sells tickets, chumps. Still, it’s become an issue…

“Yeah, really?” says Madonna. “Who’s it become an issue with – besides Rosanna?” Her laugh is quick and not unkind. Insiders say the song found its way into the film on its own virtues. “Susan Seidelman was not out to make a pandering rock & roll movie,” says executive producer Michael Peyser, 31, who worked on Susan after serving as associate producer on Woody Allen’s film The Purple Rose of Cairo. One of the music coordinators, Danny Goldberg, had no time to compile a soundtrack LP when the film’s release date was pushed up, but in talks with MTV execs, he paved the way for “Into the Groove” to air, even though the song might never show up on vinyl.

Madonna is not naive about the studio’s gambit: “I have a big audience of kids for my music, and you know how they use soundtracks to push movies – I think they’re using me in the same way, and it’s really a drag, because I’m trying to establish myself as an actress, not as a singer making movies. But I’ll be happy if it becomes a commercial success, simply because it’s a different kind of movie than most of what’s out now. There are a few formulas people have been using the past five years, with Flashdance and Breakin’ and all that stuff; this movie is like a return to those simple, straightforward caper comedies Claudette Colbert and Carole Lombard made in the Thirties. They give you a taste of real life, some poignance, and leave you feeling up at the end – none of that adolescent-fantasy bullshit.”

Today in Madonna History: April 29, 2002

On April 29 2002, Madonna was featured on the cover of People magazine, because she was a mother over the age of 40.

Today in Madonna History: April 1, 2008

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On April 1 2008, Madonna was featured on the cover of Elle magazine to promote her Hard Candy album. Madonna explained to Elle how she stays at the top of her game and revealed how she keeps in such incredible shape:

‘There are no short cuts to being Madonna. It’s all about hard work. There is no easy way. If you want to know how I look like I do, it’s diet and exercise and constantly being careful.’ She also swears by oxygen facials and never goes in the sun, drinks rarely and works out for three hours a day.

When asked if she has a weakness, she revealed:

‘One of the worst things about Britain is that it has such fabulous candy. I love Cadbury Fruit and Nut, Crunchies and Maltesers. But my absolute favourite is a Cadbury Creme Egg. I bite straight in to it and suck all that good stuff right out!’

Today in Madonna History: March 27, 2015

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On March 27 2015, Madonna graced the cover of New York gay magazine Next.  The magazine included a four-page spread with an interview to the Queen of Queens by John Russell.

Here’s a snippet of the interview between Russell and Madonna:

I counted at least 13 different producers in the album’s liner notes, but it was never Madonna’s intention to work with so many different people on the album. The same health concerns that forced Avicii to cancel his tour in September also threw a wrench into his work on Rebel Heart. Madonna was forced to find other producers to work with on many of the songs they’d started writing together. Meanwhile, Diplo’s touring schedule and other projects meant that his time was limited as well.

“I ended up working with a lot of DJs—young DJs—and I naively didn’t think it through. Oh, it’s summertime, it’s the festivals, and they’re on tour, and I’ll be lucky if I get them for three days, so a lot of that had to factor in. OK, I can’t wait for three months for this dude to come back. I have to find somebody else.”

Of course, art never gets made in a vacuum, something Madonna knows and accepts. “I had to bend my knees and ride the waves.”

The result is an album that, at first, seems all over the map. But it’s tough to judge an album by an artist like Madonna after just one listen. Even if you’re only familiar with her hits, those past gems loom large in comparison to the new material. You’re listening for her next step and at the same time hoping she’ll retain whatever lighting in a bottle quality her early hits had. On first listen, Rebel Heart has its moments, sure. But it’s not until a week after hearing the full album, when I find myself humming Unapologetic Bitch and Ghosttown on the subway, that it really feels like the album clicks into place. Will anyone but diehard Madonna fans—and that’s not an insignificant demographic within her fanbase—listen to the whole album, start to finish, more than once or twice? Probably not. But I’m not sure that matters. Every pop album has to include some forgettable filler tracks—although with the way we consume music these days a la carte, who knows how much longer that model will last. But even at a whopping 19 tracks—23, plus two Living for Love remixes on the Super Deluxe edition—there’s not much fat to trim on Rebel Heart. As a whole, it’s probably Madonna’s most listenable since Confessions on a Dance Floor.

“I didn’t set out to write certain kinds of songs. I just set out to write good songs,” she says. There are dark turns on the album, also a bit of soul searching. And the ballads are particularly strong. Apparently, Madonna set out to write songs that, stripped of all their production, could also work on an acoustic level.

“When we run out of oil and we don’t have electricity, I can just light a candle and strum my guitar and sing you a song.”

Today in Madonna History: February 19, 2015

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On February 19 2015, Madonna appeared on the cover of Gala magazine.

Here’s a snippet of the interview included in the magazine:

What is the greatest misconception people have about Madonna?

Oh well, there are plenty. One, for sure is that I am not vulnerable. Some people think that I am never sad nor depressed or exhausted and that I never suffer from a broken heart. They think of me as bigger than life. Or they believe that I am cold-hearted and calculating. But you know what? I hate this question (pours tequila and hands it over).

Hold on for a second: you said I had to drink for every stupid question.

Well, I extend it with another category: annoying. Cheers. Drink it up!

And where is the salt and the lemon?

We didn’t have enough money for that (laughs).

Your answer to the question about misconception shows that you are also a vulnerable person. “Rebel Heart” shows this part of your personality. Have you grown softer in the last years?

In some ways, yes. But even 25 years ago I already was romantic and sensitive. The other part of me will always be a rebel.

How do you handle the hostility directed at you?

Sometimes I am very hurt, when I read the hateful and nasty comments people make about me on the Internet. I think it’s shocking how mean and vicious some people can be. It’s a very cowardly behaviour. Those people would never say these things to my face, if they met me in the streets.

You really read the nasty comments about you?

Every now and then, yes I do.

Why do you hurt yourself this way?

Because, I am a very curious person. And luckily, there are not only nasty comments, but a lot of positive things. For me it’s exciting to see what my fans are thinking. And, concerning the haters: I have grown a very thick skin. I have always been criticized. Some people think I am a superwoman. But I am not. Some comments directed at me really get under my skin and hurt me. After all, I am just a normal woman.

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Today in Madonna History: February 10, 1998

 

On February 10 1998, Madonna appeared on the March cover of Vanity Fair, with incredible photos by Mario Testino.

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