May 16, 1984 – Dressed by her friend, Madonna attends Keith Haring’s Birthday party at The Paradise Garage in New York, also performing ‘Dress You Up’ during the bash.#keithharing #dressyouup #madonnastory pic.twitter.com/TXCHTpCwyO— Madonna (@Madonna) May 16, 2021
This icebox is worth some cold, hard cash.
On Wednesday, Guernsey’s will auction off a refrigerator door that belonged to Keith Haring. The object - from the artist’s 1980s apartment at 325 Broome St. downtown - features more than 80 signatures and “tags,” including those believed to be by Madonna and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Even more amazing, the artifact nearly perished before the current owner - who lived in Haring’s old unit in the early 1990s - grabbed it from a back alley before a garbage crew could take it away.
“It’s a one in a million kind of thing,” Guernsey’s president Arlan Ettinger told The Post. (Ettinger said that the piece is being sold “without minimum reserve,” meaning it will go for whatever the highest bid is.)
Haring often had raucous get-togethers at his Soho apartment, and his artistic guests left their marks on every surface of his home, from the brightly painted walls to the front door to his white icebox.
“We tagged everything,” artist Cy Adams told The Post, recalling the crowded, celeb-filled parties Haring would throw at his apartment. “When you’re a young graffiti artist, you don’t even think twice about it.”
Haring moved out of the Broome Street apartment shortly before he died of AIDS in 1990. That’s when the fridge’s current owner, an artist who now lives in San Francisco and wished to remain anonymous, moved in.
She answered found a listing looking for a roommate to share a railroad apartment in Soho for $250 a month. “I was immediately struck by the beautiful light in the front of the flat and the amazing bathroom … [and] the funky kitchen with the fridge covered in graffiti,” the woman told The Post.
When her soon-to-be roommate informed her that the apartment had once belonged to Haring, “I was stunned,” she said. After she moved in, she and her friends would examine it for names they recognizes. When the appliance stopped working, she ran out to retrieve the door after the man who delivered a new one threw it away.
To read the rest of the article visit: nypost.com
Madonna has paid tribute to Nick Kamen, the model, actor and singer whose biggest hit was co-written by the star.
Kamen caught the eye in a 1985 Levi's jeans advert - baring his chest in a launderette - and the queen of pop invited him in on a track the following year. He died this week aged 59.
"Heartbreaking to know you are gone," the superstar posted online.
The pair had a top five hit with Each Time You Break My Heart, which featured Madonna on backing vocals.
"You were always such a kind, sweet human and you suffered too much," she added.
"Hope you are happier wherever you are Nick Kamen."
Kamen - real name Ivor Neville Kamen - rose to fame in the Levi's commercial, which showed him stripping down to his boxer shorts in a launderette as several women looked on.
The advert, soundtracked by Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through The Grapevine, helped to boost the company's denim sales and made him a sex symbol in the process.
It also caught the attention of Madonna, who told the BBC at the time she had been taken by Kamen's "charisma" and "beautiful voice".
She then contacted Kamen and asked him to record Each Time You Break My Heart - a synth-pop track left over from her third album True Blue.
From BBC News
It breaks my heart to know you are gone. You were always such a kind sweet human and you suffered too much. Hope you are happier wherever you are Nick Kamen. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/Cfk8vkM1Je— Madonna (@Madonna) May 5, 2021
Madonna has declared gun control the “new vaccination”, arguing that regulation would save lives.
The singer shared a video of herself erecting fly-posters featuring messages including “Wake up America” and “Gun control now”.
The Instagram clip showed Madonna wearing a Pussy Riot-style blue balaclava while shouting “wake up motherfuckers!” and demanding somebody hand her the glue. It was soundtracked by her 2019 song God Control, which is about mass shootings.
The video was captioned: “There’s a new Vaccination! It’s called GUN CONTROL! Should be mandatory. It will SAVE lives!”
Madonna urged fans to “join us next week”. She directed them to the campaign group Everytown For Gun Safety, which describes itself as “a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities”.
Her intervention comes after 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot dead by police in Chicago after appearing to drop a handgun and raise his hands, and Daunte Wright, 20, was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop.
In a separate post, in which she poses in front of the posters, she wrote: “Adam Toledo was 13 years old, Daunte Wright was 20.
“The officers who killed them are only being charged with manslaughter. This is insanity. Horrific. And yet it has become normalised in our society. Yes – people kill people, not guns. But the vast majority of people are not enlightened and guns are too easy to own.
“If they were outlawed then no one would feel the need to own a gun to protect themselves from those who have guns. As for police killing innocent children: shooting and suffocating and brutalising innocent people ... They should go immediately to jail for the rest of there [sic] lives. No trial, no corrupt justice system.”
The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is under way over the death of George Floyd, who was unarmed when he died after the officer kept a knee on his neck for nine minutes.
Last year Madonna was censured by Instagram after sharing a video which claimed a vaccine for Covid-19 had already been found, but was being hidden to “let the rich get richer”.
Instagram blurred out the video with a caption saying: “False Information”.
The video was later deleted from Madonna’s Instagram page, but not before fans protested at her decision to share the post.
Among them was the pop star Annie Lennox, who commented: “This is utter madness!!! I can’t believe that you are endorsing this dangerous quackery.”
From The Guardian
The OG Material Girl buys once again in the L.A. area, purchasing a 12,547-square-foot, nine-bedroom house on nearly 3 acres built in 2017.
She’s back! After a dozen years hopping around between New York City, the Hamptons and Lisbon, Portugal, Madonna has decided to set down some multimillion-dollar roots in Los Angeles.
Though she’s recently been on the East Coast, where she celebrated Easter in the Hamptons, the shape-shifting pop star returned to the City of Angels last year amid the Covid-19 quarantines, and while in town as been holed up in a lavish rented estate in the Coldwater Canyon area of Beverly Hills. Her decision to stay a while just might have something to do with the the biopic about her life that she's slated to direct and that she has co-written with Diablo Cody.
The mononymous 'Like A Virgin' singer, now 62, social media savvy and still pushing sociocultural buttons, turning out fashion trends and making hit records - her 14th studio album, 'Madame X,' released in 2019, was her ninth to debut at the top of the Billboard 200, looked far and wide for a suitable mansion to call home. In the end she eschewed her former real estate stomping grounds of Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills, where she’s owned homes in decades past, and instead headed for the suburbs, dropping $19.3 million on The Weeknd’s mansion in guard-gated and celeb-filled Hidden Hills.
The Weeknd purchased the then brand-new mansion almost four years ago for $18.2 million, and initially put it on the market amid piles of publicity with a much-too-optimistic ask of not quite $25 million. The price eventually dipped to almost $22 million before Madge came along and bargained another $2.7 million off the price.
With nine bedrooms and nine full and two half bathrooms spread over about 12,500 square feet between the seven-bedroom main house and two-bedroom guest house, there’s plenty of room for the gap-toothed OG Material Girl, who rolls deep with four of her six children along with a retinue of assistants, nannies and security personnel.
The Weeknd was represented by Angel Salvador at The Agency while Madonna was represented in the deal by Trevor Wright at The Beverly Hills Estates.
Reports swirled earlier this week that Diablo Cody had shown Madonna's self-directed biopic the power of goodbye, but EW can confirm that the pair turned in a finished, final draft of the script they spent months working on throughout 2020.
A studio source at Universal, where the film is gestating, tells EW that reports of the Oscar-winning Juno screenwriter's 'departure' from the movie have been exaggerated, and that Cody simply completed her work and moved on to her next project.
Cody and Madonna recently delivered a completed draft of the film to the studio, which is looking at developing the current version ahead of production. It's unclear whether additional work will be done on the version the women turned in, as big-budget productions normally go through rewrites, treatments, and polishing before shooting begins.
The Sun first reported news of Cody's alleged exit, indicating difficulties between the two reportedly leading to Cody's decision to walk away. Representatives for Cody and Madonna didn't respond to EW's requests for comment.
After months of teasing a secret project with Cody throughout 2020, Madonna announced in September that they had indeed been working on a biopic about her life that she would direct herself, and further revealed extensive plot details that the writer-director pair had included so far in the unfinished draft's first 107 pages.
Elsewhere, Cody is working in Atlanta to bring the CW's live-action Powerpuff Girls adaptation to life as the project's executive producer and writer. Chloe Bennet (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Dove Cameron (Descendants), and Yana Perrault (Jagged Little Pill) are set to star in the prospective series.
A release date for the currently untitled Madonna biopic has yet to be announced.
Why do I have to Explain Everything........,.......🐰 pic.twitter.com/lVjffHI1oB— Madonna (@Madonna) April 2, 2021
Madonna sent fans into a spin on Instagram as she indulged in a little self-reflection on Sunday. The music icon, 62, told fans she was taking some me time, but gave her Instagram followers a lot more than they bargained for with her outfit choice for her meditation session. Madonna shared a series of NSFW selfies that saw her kicking back in just her lingerie and thigh-high stockings. Rocking a Baker Boy cap with a metal chain across it, the Like A Prayer hit-maker wasn’t afraid to bare (almost) all and seemed to win a fan in none other than Snoop Dogg.
The rapper couldn’t get enough of Madonna’s saucy selfies and commented on her post: ‘I need u 💖💖. Hit. Guy. 🎥💕💃🏽💨💨.’ Snoop wasn’t the only one thirsting over the queen of pop, as a slew of celebrities and fans were seen showering Madonna with compliments.
Game Of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie and US television host Kelly Ripa had the same idea, as they commented with a string of fire emojis, while RuPaul’s Drag Race UK finalist Bimini Bon Boulash wrote: ‘YESSSSS MUMMA.’
And Now For A Moment of Self Reflection..............Madame ❌ pic.twitter.com/EDk7cUyBOv— Madonna (@Madonna) March 28, 2021
Madonna has suggested her 'Madame X' documentary could end up on OnlyFans.
The 62-year-old singer was believed to have signed a deal with Netflix to broadcast the film which will feature extensive footage from her 75-date 2019/2020 run.
It will also include behind-the-scenes clips of Madonna in action, and is set to detail the battles she had with hip and knee injuries, which forced her to cancel several of her tour dates.
However, the 'Like a Virgin' hitmaker has suggested it might be too X-rated for some platforms and admitted she would be thrilled if it did end up on the adult site.
She told fans on Instagram: 'You should definitely have had that woman get her t*** out in 'Like A Prayer'.'
'I mean if nobody wants to buy this show and we end up on a porn site, it would be good.'
'OnlyFans - do they have a format to show a whole show? All right, well that’s something to think about.'
'It could make people feel a little bit uncomfortable because art is art, here to disturb the peace.'
Last month, a source claimed: 'Madonna quite literally put blood, sweat and tears into the 'Madame X' tour and she wants this documentary to show it off for the spectacle that it was.'
'She’s never been the type to fade into the background, so viewers will definitely get to witness her dry sense of humour.'
'She has spent weeks watching previews and helping to edit the footage at home in the US and is very hands- on with it.'
The upcoming film will come 30 years after her ground-breaking documentary ‘Truth Or Dare’, which chronicled her life during her ‘Blond Ambition’ tour.
Meanwhile, Madonna is also working on a movie about her life, which she is directing and co-writing with Diablo Cody.
Madonna said: 'I want to convey the incredible journey that life has taken me on as an artist, a musician, a dancer - a human being, trying to make her way in this world. The focus of this film will always be music. Music has kept me going and art has kept me alive. There are so many untold and inspiring stories and who better to tell it than me. It’s essential to share the roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision.'
Rupert Everett has explained why he dubbed Madonna “an old whiny barmaid” in one of his memoirs.
The My Best Friend’s Wedding actor was formerly good friends with Madonna, having worked with her on the romantic comedy The Next Best Thing in 2000. He also performed background vocals on her cover version of Don McLean’s “American Pie”.
In Everett’s 2006 memoir Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, he referred to Madonna in what appeared to be slightly disparaging terms, which he has now denied during an appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories.
Asked by Morgan what he called Madonna in his book, Everett replied: “A screechy barmaid?”
“An old whiny barmaid,” corrected Morgan. “You didn’t finish there … You called her a curious little thing, Satan, a she-man. And you appear surprised that it put a little [cloud] over your relationship.”
Everett explained that he didn’t intend the comment to be offensive.
“The whiny old barmaid was meant to be a compliment,” he said, adding that he remembered the star speaking in a specific and slightly whiny voice when she was younger. “She really got guys like that. And she was really charming. That wasn’t meant to be rude actually … Are you sure I put ‘old’?”
From The Independent Via Yahoo! News
Even celebs get starstruck from time to time.
During an interview with The Tonight Show, Rita Ora shared her experience meeting Madonna for the first time, which she called "very awkward, but also very unbelievable."
"She really just made me find my light," the "Girls" singer told host Jimmy Fallon. "And doing that, we had to kneel on the floor. And I thought it was ‘Like A Prayer' in real life that was happening to me."
If you're confused, not to fret - Ora offered a bit more context. As she recalled, "I had to go and breathe in the bathroom before I actually did meet her. I mean, this was earlier in my career. And I was doing a campaign for her, a clothing line… then she, you know, came to meet me, and I loved it and I just couldn't breathe."
The 30-year-old star remembered the iconic singer exclaiming, "'This is not my light! Let's get down!'" and a confused Rita did what she was told without hesitation.
"I said, ‘Whatever she says,'" Ora noted, "'we're going to do.'" Fallon was in agreement. "I mean, well, she's Madonna," he added. "She's the one and only, man."
From E Online
Donald Trump’s lawyers have been mocked for using videos of Johnny Depp and Madonna at his impeachment trial
The former president is currently on trial for inciting a riot among protesters in Washington DC, who stormed the US Capitol on January 6. If he’s convicted, he could by voted by the Senate to be ineligible to run for office again in future.
During the trial, Trump’s lawyer Michael Van der Veen showed videos of the actor and musician, aiming to prove that Democrats have used the same kind of provocative language that the former president used ahead of the January 6 attack, according to Deadline.
The first clip was of Madonna, when she was at a Women’s March in 2017. She said: ‘Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.’ Meanwhile, a video of Depp was also shown, from an appearance at Glastonbury.
Van der Veen said afterwards: ‘I did not show you their robust speech to excuse or balance out the speech of my client, for I need not. ‘I showed you the video because in this political forum, all robust speech should be protected and it should be protected evenly.’
However, not everyone is convinced by the use of the videos in the trial, pointing out that Madonna and Depp were never elected. ‘Ok, they’ve finally convinced me. Johnny Depp and Madonna should be removed from office,’ one Twitter user joked. Another said: ‘IMPEACH MADONNA!’ while one more added: ‘Just spitballing here… maybe the President of the United States’ words should be held to a higher standard than Madonna?’
The one and only time I 'watched' the 'Superbowl'....
Despite coronavirus travel restrictions Madonna has reportedly flown to London, Malawi and Kenya in the past three weeks. On Christmas Eve, she is said to have flown from LA to London with her boyfriend, backing dancer Ahlamalik Williams, and four of her children, David Banda, 15, Mercy James, 14, and twins Estere and Stella, both eight. She then collected her son Rocco, 20, with the group making the journey to Malawi, and then on to Kenya in early January. According to The Sun, her travels to Africa also involved a stopover in Egypt. Sources close to the star told the publication that she and her family have been taking regular coronavirus tests. The mum-of-six has been sharing photos and videos from her travels on Instagram, sharing a video from a plane on December 30 and writing: ‘Warm Heart Of Africa.’
She then shared multiple videos and photos, captioning them with the Malawi flag, before writing on Instagram that she spent ‘the last day of 2020 in Lipunga [in Malawi]. Re-Connecting with David’s father and extended Family [sic].’ Madonna, 62, added a few hours later: ‘Happy New Year All the way from Africa.’ During her time in Malawi, she shared videos from her son David’s ‘ancestral village’, a paediatric hospital, and an orphanage. On January 9, she shared her first video from Kenya, writing: ‘Spending time with the Samburu tribe is always an honor.
‘They are nomadic warriors and here the men are singing, dancing and telling stories to attract the attention of the females. [Kenya flag emoji] ♥️ #samburu #inspiration #kenya.’ At the time of writing, Madonna still appears to be in Kenya. As of December 28, the USA advised travellers to avoid all travel to the UK. However, Madonna is thought to have flown to the UK before this. On December 20, London and a large proportion of the South East of England moved into strict tier four restrictions. When Madonna shared her video from the plane, overseas travel for leisure was banned.
Travelling abroad for essential reasons, such as work, was still permitted. Visitors from the UK to Malawi need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the 10 days prior to arrival. The UK government website guidance continues: ‘Passengers may be required to remain at the airport or a testing centre until their Covid-19 test results are known, usually within 24 hours. Individuals testing positive may be taken for treatment at a government facility. ‘All other individuals will be required to self-monitor for Covid-19 signs and symptoms for 14 days after arrival.’
Drag Race boasts an enviable alumni of A-list celebrity guest stars, including Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Khloe Kardashian.
But there is one star the show has never been able to convince.
“Just to let everybody know we have asked Dolly Parton for 11, 12, 13 years,” Visage revealed, per HuffPost.
“At the end of the day it’s scheduling, and it’s a very long day for these people.”
And Dolly isn’t the only one. Visage mentioned several other LGBT+ icons that Drag Race have tried and failed to get on the show.
“To just calm everybody down,” she continued, “We do ask Cher, we do ask Madonna, we do ask Liza, we do ask Dolly, we ask everybody, and scheduling is always the conflict.
“It took years to get Gaga, but we got her.”
January marks the start of an unprecedented torrent of Drag Race, with season 13 airing in the US and season two of Drag Race UK set to begin imminently.
Visage also mentioned in the interview who she would like to see guest judge on the show, naming Madonna, Victoria Beckham and Adele.
Dolly Parton was recently interviewed by RuPaul in Marie Claire, where she hit her with possibly the shadiest read of all time.
After the recent release of the US Drag Race on Netflix, Drag Race UK will return to BBC Three on 14 January.
From Yahoo! News
Visiting Mercy James Pediatric Hosptial........3 Years in and going strong. 💪🏾! Thanks to Dr. Borgstein and the incredible team of health care workers that make it possible to save childrens lives everyday! Thank you folks around the world that continue to support @RaisingMalawi pic.twitter.com/yxW81gwKuf— Madonna (@Madonna) January 3, 2021
Madonna has taken some of her family on a trip to Malawi, branding the adventure a "homecoming."
Four of the singer's six kids were born in the African nation before she adopted them.
David Banda, 15, Mercy James, 14 and eight-year-old twin girls Stella and Estere were all born there.
Madonna, 62, also shares Lourdes, 24, with former personal trainer Carlos Leon, and Rocco, 20, with ex-husband and film director Guy Ritchie.
Proud mum Madonna snapped one of the twins gazing out of a plane window on her Instagram Stories, captioning the cute photo with "#homecoming."
Once they'd touched down, Madge filmed Mercy playing on a swing out back of their holiday digs.
And teenager Mercy lends her name to the Mercy James Institute For Pediatric Surgery And Intensive Care, run through her mum's charity Raising Malawi.
The institute operates as part of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, the country's second city.
It's only one of Madonna's numerous altruistic ventures.
While Malawi's land borders are closed during the pandemic, the US Embassy in the country's capital, Lilongwe, says that flights from the States are permitted.
But Americans who intend on flying in have get tested within 10 days of their flight, and may be greeted with further testing at the airport gate.
From Daily Mirror
Indecision.......should I. stand on inside of door and go nowhere or outside in doorstep 🚪 and go nowhere.........😂 (not tears of joy) pic.twitter.com/tMJlwIIQhS— Madonna (@Madonna) December 22, 2020
Madonna has shared two very candid photos of herself, displaying her "beautiful scars" following a cupping treatment session.
Dressed in a black crop top and matching bikini bottoms, the 62-year-old happily flaunted her scar from her hip surgery and the circular cupping marks, which were dotted all over her legs.
Across the mirror selfies, Madonna added the hashtags "recovery", "cupping" and "beautiful scar" - a nod to her hit 2015 tune Beautiful Scars - as she continues with her post-operation recovery.
From Hello! Magazine
HD upgraded videos, original singles and remixes…. Check out https://t.co/hImZ75PRCv now for a full list of iconic Madonna songs and videos that were digitally (re)released over the past few months and create your own year-end playlist! https://t.co/B8JUpu2w0P pic.twitter.com/S2U3xV25wD— Madonna (@Madonna) December 19, 2020
Get dressed up. Pretend to have a party. Promise yourself you wont go insane being in lockdown for the 3rd time. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/We6GH90y0J— Madonna (@Madonna) December 4, 2020
Madonna has shared a rare video featuring all six of her children together.
The pop superstar offered a rare glimpse into her family life alongside boyfriend Ahlamalik Williams.
She can be seen posing with daughter Lourdes, 24, son David Banda, 15, twins Stella and Estere, eight, son Rocco, 20, and daughter Mercy James, 14, as they smile for photos in front of the fireplace at Thanksgiving.
The video also shows David strumming on the guitar, while Madonna snuggles up on Williams’ lap as they cuddle their dog.
She captioned the video: “A Beautiful Souvenir ………….Giving Thanks.”
It is unusual for the singer to share a look at all her children together.
She shares daughter Lourdes with ex-partner Carlos Leon, and son Rocco with ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
Meanwhile she adopted children David, Mercy, Stella and Estere from Malawi.
From Yahoo! News
Kylie Minogue thinks it would be "amazing" to record a duet with Madonna.
The 52-year-old pop star has admitted she'd love to work with the 'Frozen' hitmaker, as well as the likes of Dua Lipa, Lady GaGa and Miley Cyrus.
Asked about her collaboration ambitions, she shared: "I'd love to collaborate with more women, because I haven't done much of that. You could say any of the top girls right now: Dua is definitely having a great time. Lady Gaga. I love Miley [Cyrus]. I admire so many of these women.
"There's been talk about Madonna and I doing a duet for, it feels like, 20 years. If that were to happen, that would be amazing. I was dressing up in my bedroom to Madonna, to Whitney Houston, to Cyndi Lauper, and then Fleetwood Mac, ABBA, and Donna Summer."
Kylie released her new album 'Disco' earlier this month, but her mind has already turned towards her next record.
It was in the winter of 1993 that David Fincher murdered Madonna. The crime scene: a music video for one of the latter’s greatest singles, “Bad Girl”, and what would be the last of the pair’s four collaborations. In its wake, Fincher would become one of cinema’s most revered directors, the prickly genius behind Se7en (1995), The Social Network (2010), Gone Girl (2014) and the forthcoming Mank. But it’s “Bad Girl” that remains Fincher’s most important venture. It is a short, stylish erotic thriller that begins and ends with Madonna’s lifeless corpse; a video that nods toward the filmmaker Fincher would become, and a final act of artistic symbiosis between two titans of pop culture.
Back in the Nineties, Fincher was coming to the end of a luminous eight years as a music video visionary. The likes of Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got a Gun” and George Michael’s supermodel-filled “Freedom ‘90” were gorgeous exercises in style and short-form storytelling. Little was more thrilling, though, than his work with Madonna - from the grandiose myth-making of “Vogue” and “Express Yourself” to the richly personal “Oh Father”. They both recognised the cinematic potential of the form, even if it came at a cost - all of their collaborations rank among the most expensive videos ever made.
That trilogy of music videos – which came before “Bad Girl” and were shot over the course of 10 months between 1989 and 1990 – would reflect a fruitful creative tussle between the pair. Despite Fincher’s relative lack of clout in the industry at the time, and especially compared to Madonna’s cultural ubiquity, they would approach their work as somewhat begrudging - and almost flirtatious - equals.
In interviews, Fincher recalled expressing mock outrage when Madonna asked him if he had heard of Metropolis, the landmark sci-fi film she wanted to replicate for “Express Yourself”. Madonna sneered at his idea to have her crawl across the floor, lick milk from a bowl, and then pour it over herself in the same video, assuming it might look like a student film. It turned out to be one of the video’s most memorable set pieces. The visual for “Oh Father”, meanwhile, a psychological wormhole into Madonna’s childhood and the emotional toll of her mother’s death, only came about at Fincher’s insistence. Madonna had been unsure it would even work as a single. Fincher, though, saw it as ripe for visual accompaniment, and captured her vulnerability like no other.
Since then, Fincher’s work with Madonna has been all over his filmmaking, their music video collaborations regularly gesturing towards the movies that would make him internationally famous. The gorgeously monochrome “Oh Father” lifts a number of visual cues from Citizen Kane, which serves as the backdrop for Mank, starring Gary Oldman as its screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz. Mank also plunges into the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, much like the video for “Vogue”, while the industrial, dystopian cityscape of “Express Yourself” was recreated in Fincher’s feature debut Alien 3 (1992). But it is “Bad Girl”, full of the psychological depth, visual symbolism and pulpy thrills that would dominate much of Fincher’s filmography, that is his unheralded masterpiece.
“Bad Girl” was an unexpected final chapter in the Madonna/Fincher saga, occurring two years after they had apparently drifted apart. His hiring seemed to come about as a last resort, Madonna having already approached Tim Burton, Mark Romanek and photographer Ellen von Unwerth to direct. She envisioned something that teased the links betwen sex and death, inspired by Judith Rossner’s novel Looking for Mr Goodbar. Published in 1975, it is a provocative thriller about a schoolteacher drifting through New York bars sleeping with strange men and winding up murdered. While neither Madonna nor Fincher have ever spoken about the circumstances behind their final collaboration, or what had changed in their personal dynamic since 1991, it is presumed Fincher ran with the idea.
Like “Oh Father”, “Bad Girl” feels like a personal exorcism for Madonna, of a kind only Fincher seemed to be able to coax out of her. Speaking to the BBC in 1992, Madonna dismissed speculation that “Bad Girl” was about sex work, and instead about a woman embroiled in a toxic relationship. “She really cares for this person and she’s having a hard time saying goodbye,” she explained. “She’s unhappy with her situation and getting drunk, smoking too many cigarettes ... because she’s trying to distract herself from reality.”
To read the rest of the article visit: uk.style.yahoo.com/madonna-mank-why-david-fincher
Twenty years ago this month, Madonna released “Don’t Tell Me,” the second single from her triple-platinum, Grammy nominated “Music” album.
The song may be less remembered today than the title track from “Music,” but it arguably holds up even better, thanks not only to its minimalist production and forlorn lyrics, but also its fresh melding of country-and-folk with electronic music production (long before names such as Lil Nas X and Diplo won praise for doing the same in recent years). Co-writer and producer of the song, Mirwais Ahmadzai, has a few ideas as to why “Don’t Tell Me” still resonates with listeners, two decades on.
“I think ‘Don’t Tell Me’ has remained since that time as an iconic song for several reasons,” he says from France, where he is making music at home during the pandemic. “We can call this song the very first ‘Folktronica’ or ‘Cyberfolk’ song. I think Madonna and I invented this style. And the magnificent music video made by Jean Baptiste Mondino helped to crystallize the ‘Electronic Cowboy’ image, which was something totally new at the time,” he adds.
But the French producer thinks the main reason “Don’t Tell Me” has held up so well, is Madonna’s vocal delivery on the single.
“This song is one of the very rare singles Madonna performs with no effects on her vocals, and on this, everyone noticed it,” he says of the tune, which was recorded at London’s Sarm West Studio (minus the strings, which were done at AIR Studios).
The French producer confirms he borrowed heavily from the electronic music world for the drum programming on “Don’t Tell Me,” drawing inspiration from the UK’s jungle music scene, which was booming at the end of the last millennium.
“I loved the jungle programing vibe, this is why I incorporated it on ‘Don’t Tell Me.’ It sounded very ahead of the times with its rolls.”
As for the glitch-y start/stop guitar riff that anchors the song and repeats throughout, the hook comes from Ahmadzai not being able to play what he wanted. “I couldn’t play some parts that I had in mind, so I decided to ‘computerize’ the performance by creating this start/stop effects,” he says. (Ahmadzai recently released a new song, “2016 - My Generation” and premiered a short film collaboration at Amsterdam’s ADE conference last month).
Lyrically, Madonna got her inspiration for “Don’t Tell Me” via her sister Melanie’s husband, veteran singer-songwriter Joe Henry. Melanie sent Madonna Henry’s demo of a song called “Stop,” and she fell hard for the wistful, poetic lyrics.
“My [demo] version was written in about 20 minutes, and I did not revise it - I let it stand for the burst that it was,” says Henry. “I always hear its primary influence to be tango, [and] I was thinking about [Argentine composer] Astor Piazzolla, but Madonna heard its pop sensibility, and sculpted a chorus out of a passing stanza from my original take. That repetition gave it weight, and expanded it, sharpened a hook that I had barely gestured toward. That evidences her gift of taking something fairly obtuse, and translating into something memorable.”
Henry was wowed with Madonna’s take on his tune when he finally heard it, marveling at the juxtapositioning of his at-times dark lyrics (“Tell the bed not to lay/ Like the open mouth of a grave/ Not to stare up at me/ Like a calf down on its knees”) with heartfelt delivery grafted onto a sunny-sounding pop song.
“That verse is dark, but playfully so,” Henry says. “I was watching a lot of Luis Bunuel’s movies at the time, and relishing how darkly comic are many of the films from his so-called ‘Mexican period’ can be,” he adds. “I think as little as possible when i am initially writing [for a song].”
The song took its sweet time climbing the charts, finally peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 2001, some four months after its release as a single, and six after “Music” was released. Henry went onto release his version of the song (“Stop”) in 2001 on Mammoth Records, and it ended up being used in an episode of “The Sopranos.”
“I was most pleased to hear it appear within an episode of that seminal show,” he says of the sync.
Henry, who released his 15th solo album, “The Gospel According to Water,” last year, remembers the time “Don’t Tell Me” became a worldwide smash fondly, offering up a memory of Madonna playing the tune (which went top 5 in America) live in Southern California.
“Just after ‘Music’ was released, she invited Melanie and I down to see her concert in Anaheim,” he remembers. “It was very soon after 9-11, and I recall the air being very electrically charged, everyone in attendance hungry for a positive experience and for the kind of community that sharing music invariably invites. About midway through the performance, she dismissed the dancers and acrobats, the full band and backing singers, and came to the front of the stage with just her guitar player, Monte [Pittman]. They sat close together on stools and had only acoustic guitars and a beatbox, and I can recall how odd and wonderful it was that the intensely scripted evening stopped for a moment. She was off the grid of a very intricate production, and seemed to relish it. She let out a big breath, looked straight at me in the second row, and said, ‘This is for you’ - and then they launched into ‘Don’t Tell Me,’ and the whole room went up,” Henry recalls.
“I remember it as the most visceral and human moment of the whole show - and seemingly not just for me,” he concludes. “The entire audience seemed to understand that she had taken off the ‘Madonna’ mask - was less a persona and more a person. And at one point, she and Monte stopped playing and the entire arena of 20-some thousand people took over singing it. I don’t have to tell you that I am not the kind of artist that frequently experiences my songs being born aloft by the masses that way. It was incredibly affirming.”
It all began with a single image: a bikini-clad Madonna wrapped in an American flag.
"Truth is where you find it. Get up and vote," the artist broke it down "Vogue"-style as two dancers waved flags behind her. "Dr. King, Malcolm X, freedom of speech is as good as sex."
Then, she delivered her final tantalizing line: "And if you don't vote, you're going to get a spanking.''
And with that, Rock the Vote had released its first PSA.
If Madonna was hoping to elicit a reaction from the American people, she got her wish. The pop star set off a flurry of criticism, with the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization accusing her, according to The New York Times, of "desecration of the flag."
But, as the singer's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said at the time, ''That was certainly not Madonna's intention at all. My sense is that wrapping the American flag around her is not insulting. It is essential that people should vote. She's trying to get that message across in a humorous, dramatic way. But she's very serious about the issue.''
At first glance, it might seem like a bad idea to start a movement on such a sour note, but as they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
But Rock the Vote was started by people who were already known for being controversial. In fact, Virgin Records co-founder Jeff Ayeroff and other music executives were initially responding to the Parent Music Resource Center's goal to have Parental Advisory labels placed on every album on the market that contained so-called explicit content, a desire that a select group of politicians were happy to fulfill.
What the PMRC and its supporters failed to foresee though, was that musicians have thousands of fans, many of voting age - and that those fans would be called upon to vote against the politicians in favor of censoring their music.
That's why Madonna and other artists who were named in the PMRC's "Filthy 15" - a list of songs the group called "objectionable" - were at the forefront of this movement.
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Love what you do and do what you love 💕 . pic.twitter.com/TXIBG5FVJs— Madonna (@Madonna) October 27, 2020
Mirwais Ahmadzaï is trying to sum up his frequent collaborator Madonna. “You know bullfighting?” he begins ominously. “It works because the bull is so powerful that you have to weaken it.” Right. “Look, I’m not comparing Madonna to a bull,” he quickly adds, “but she was so powerful at that time.”
The Parisian, who turns 60 on Friday, peppers our 90-minute phone call with similar flights of fancy, ponderously linking Brexit to Baudrillard and dropping situationist truth bombs. And he has witnessed that power up close. A cult musician in France since the late 70s, and cited as an influence by the likes of Air and Daft Punk, Ahmadzaï was plucked from the sidelines by Madonna in 1999. He helped coax out her most experimental era, bolting his brand of heavily filtered, minimalist electrofunk on to the superstar’s 11m-selling album Music. His sonic fingerprints were all over two singles that immediately slotted into the already heaving Madge canon: the delicious electro-bounce of the title track and thigh-slapping country curio Don’t Tell Me.
Three years later came the politically-minded American Life, a divisive flop, before Ahmadzaï seemed to disappear into the pop wilderness. However, the pair reunited for last year’s album Madame X. How did she coax him back?
“Very simple – she called me,” he says. “It was after Donald Trump’s election and there were so many celebrities who were saying, ‘I’m leaving America [if he wins]’ and none of them left except her,” he says, referring to Madonna’s relocation to Portugal. “That’s why I have to defend her. It’s cool to have the courage of your convictions.”
Perhaps Madonna recognised that in Ahmadzaï, too. Twenty years after the release of his breakthrough solo album, Production, he’s back with a new single, 2016 – My Generation, and a forthcoming album, The Retrofuture. A mainly instrumental track, all chunky synths and trademark acid bass, 2016 – My Generation comes with an eye-popping animated video from Oscar-winning director Ludovic Houplain that offers up a panoramic view of modern life, from porn addiction (one section features skyscraping ejaculating phalluses), to the rise of the far right.
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