On April 10 2017, TMZ reported that Shep Pettibone is taking legal action against WB Music Corp. for withholding his royalties (since 2012) for Madonna’s hit single, Vogue.
Here’s what TMZ reported:
The famed producer behind Madonna’s Vogue says he’s getting the short end of the stick — to the tune of half a million bucks — because the record label’s out for payback.
Shep Pettibone, producer extraordinaire — who’s worked with Madge, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul and a ton of other artists — says WB Music Corp owes him a ton of back royalties for the 1990 mega hit.
It appears everything was fine up until 2012 … when Shep and WB were sued for allegedly jacking Vogue from someone else. In his lawsuit, Shep says they both came out victorious in that case, but the label spent a ton on lawyers — more than $700k, according to docs.
The mega producer says WB’s been withholding royalties since then to cover that massive legal bill. Translation: we forked out the dough to defend your song … now you owe us.
Shep ain’t buyin’ that theory though, and says his contract with the label doesn’t give them the right to hold back his Vogue dollars.
He believes he’s been screwed out of as much as $500k, and wants a judge to force WB Music to hand over the loot.
On March 11 2015, Madonna was interviewed by Howard Stern on SiriusXM.
Here are some tidbits we learned about Madonna during the interview, according to Rolling Stone magazine:
- Her shocking VMA debut of “Like a Virgin” was an accident. “I had come down the wedding cake and my shoe fell off,” she said. “I was like ‘Oh shit, I can’t dance in one shoe!” The mishap prompted quick decision-making on Madonna’s end as to how to proceed with the performance and led to the controversial stage-humping that took place at the first Video Music Awards. “I didn’t know my skirt was up. I proceeded to sing the song laying down on the ground. I was just making the best of the situation.” She noted that her manager Freddy DeMann told her that her career would be over following the performance.
- She craves normalcy every once in a while. “Every 3 days I crave it,” she said. “Every three days I go, ‘That’s it. I’m moving to a cabin and living in the forest and no one’s gonna fuck with me anymore.'” Stern probed as to why she thinks she could never give up her career and life in the spotlight. “Because I’m an artist and I’m tortured. I’m a masochist and I like to create. I don’t know. Maybe one day I will.”
- Madonna’s first year in New York included multiple robberies, an assault and an unreported rape. “I needed money for the payphone and [a stranger] gave it to me,” she said. “He was a very friendly guy, and the phone was ringing. He was like, ‘Oh, I live right across the street if you’d like to make the phone call from my house.” The then 19-year-old Madonna agreed, blaming her “stupid friendliness” from her Midwestern roots. “I trusted everybody. The rest is not worth talking about.”
- She doesn’t hate David Letterman. Stern acknowledged some early interviews between the pop star and talk show host, noting he could never tell if she liked him or was annoyed. “Oh, that’s how I flirt with people,” she revealed. “One time I was mad at him, when I said the ‘f-word’ a lot, but the rest of the time was good.”
- She dated Tupac Shakur. The late rapper had actually been the reason Madonna was mad at Letterman. “I was dating Tupac Shakur at the time, and he had gotten me all riled up about life in general,” she said. “When I went on this show, I was feeling very gangster.” Stern revealed his surprise about the little-known past relationship. “I think people know, if you’re in the know,” said Madonna coyly.
- The misunderstood meaning of “Material Girl” gets on her nerves. “The song that irritated me the most about being associated with me is ‘Material Girl,'” she said. “It was an ironic song because I’m certainly not a materialistic person.” The topic came up as Stern had her clear up a rumor that she detested the success of “Like a Virgin” because other people had written it. The singer declared the rumor false, asserting that she loves the song and appreciates its writers.
- Upon making her first $1 million, she indulged in buying a Frida Kahlo painting. “That was always my goal,” she said on her art collection. “When I was married to Sean [Penn], I said ‘When I make my first million, I’m going to buy art.'” Madonna had been a huge fan of Frida Kahlo since she was young. “I bought a self-portrait of hers. At the time it was rather inexpensive because people didn’t know who she was.”
- Jean-Michel Basquiat destroyed all the paintings he had given to her. Madonna and Basquiat had dated when the singer was very young, but his heroin addiction ended up pulling them apart. “He was an amazing man and deeply talented. I loved him,” she said. “When I broke up with him, he made me give all [his paintings] back to him. And then he painted over them black.” She regrets giving the art back, but felt pressured to do so since it was something he had created.
- She wrote “Vogue” in a few hours. Madonna stands by the idea that her best songs are the ones she wrote in only a couple of hours, “Vogue” included. “I thought it was a very cool dance, very presentational and elegant and all about vanity,” she said about the dance of the same name. The song had been written for Dick Tracy, the film she made with ex-boyfriend Warren Beatty, and was inspired by all the classic movie stars. “[Warren] dated all of Hollywood, basically.” She would ask him questions about what the stars she admired — and he dated — were like, including Natalie Wood and Julie Christie. “I looked up to [these women] and admired them.”
On February 6 2005, BBC Radio One announced that Madonna was the most voted for female artist to be included in the UK’s Greatest Number One Singles of all-time.
Madonna had two songs in the top ten: Like A Prayer at #4 and Vogue at #5.
Music landed at #21.
BBC Radio One asked fans to vote for the Greatest UK Number One Single to celebrate the 1000th number one single.
The top ten included:
- Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
- Iron Maiden – Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
- Madonna – Like A Prayer
- Madonna – Vogue
- Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
- Oasis – Don’t Look Back In Anger
- Abba – Dancing Queen
- Mariah Carey – Without You
- John Lennon – Imagine
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.”
On October 29 2012, Madonna was the special guest on The Ellen Show.
During the show, Ellen told the story of how Madonna sent her an inspiring quote from Martha Graham when Ellen was in the process of coming out on her show. Below is the full quote that Madonna sent her:
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open… No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
On March 31 2004, the first teaser ad for Madonna’s upcoming Re-Invention World Tour appeared in London’s Evening Standard newspaper.
The first ad got readers wondering if Vogue would be performed in the show. Additional ads for Like A Prayer and Music also appeared in the paper.