Category: madonna

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Newlyweds Madonna and Sean Penn photographed by Herb Ritts, September 1985.

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Madonna and Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Glenn O’Brien, 1982.

In Love In the 80s

– Couples In Vanity Fair

Keith Richards and Patti Hansen by Annie Leibovitz for the April 1984 issue.

Louis Malle and Candice Bergen by Annie Leibovitz for the May 1985 issue.

Sylvester Stallone and Bridget Nielsen by Herb Ritts for the November 1985 issue.

Madonna and Sean Penn by Herb Ritts for the March 1986 issue.

Calvin and Kelly Klein by Herb Ritts for the May 1987 issue.

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore by Annie Leibovitz for the May 1988 issue.

Mike Tyson and Robin Givens by Annie Leibovitz for the November 1988 issue.

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell by Herb Ritts for the September 1989 issue.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and Madonna photographed by Stephen Torton, 1982.

Madonna and Basquiat dated for a while, 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. (The Howard Stern Show, March 2015)

Madonna: “Basquiat was my boyfriend for a while, and I remember getting up in the middle of the night and he wouldn’t be in bed lying next to me; he’d be standing, painting, at four in the morning, this close to the canvas, in a trance. I was blown away by that, that he worked when he felt moved. And they gave jobs to everyone. Keith would meet kids on the street and ask them to come stretch his canvases for him. Basquiat had every B-boy and every graffiti artist in his loft. He was constantly giving everything away. I think they felt guilty that they became successful and were surrounded by people who were penniless, so they shared what they had. They were incredibly generous people, and that rubbed off on me. You stay inspired that way. I could never work in a recording studio where you have this lovely view and a beach and the waves are crashing. For me, it’s all about being in a tiny room with little windows. It’s almost like you have to be in a prison. And you can create beauty when you’re in that sort of deprived environment, which is a re-creation of your formative years.”

“I remember having conversations with Keith [Haring] and with Basquiat about the importance of your art being accessible to people,“ she recalled. “That was their big thing—it should be available to everyone. It was so important for Keith to be able to draw on subways and walls. And Basquiat used to say to me, ‘You’re so lucky that you make music, because music comes out of radios everywhere.’ He thought that what I did was more pop, more connected to pop culture than what he did. Little did he know that his art would become pop culture. But it’s not like we really had discussions about the meaning of art. I remember hearing them talk about those things.”

(Interview Magazine, December 2014)

On this day in music history: August 22, 1987 – “Who’s That Girl” by Madonna hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, it is the sixth chart topping single for the pop music superstar. Director James Foley (“At Close Range”) asks Madonna to record some new songs for the films soundtrack. Madonna in turn calls upon her collaborators Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray to write “some uptempo material” that might work in the film. Madonna later writes the melody and lyrics for the songs they have written. Inspired by her own recent top five hit “La Isla Bonita”, she writes based on the Latin feel of that song. Recorded as the theme song to her third film (originally titled “Slammer”), the films title is changed before its release to “Who’s That Girl”. Issued as the first single from the soundtrack on June 30, 1987, it quickly becomes another smash for Madonna. Entering the Hot 100 at #43 on July 11, 1987, it rockets to the top of the chart six weeks later. Though the film opens to bad reviews and disappointing box office, the success of “Who’s That Girl”, and its follow up single “Causing A Commotion” propel the soundtrack album to 2x Platinum status in the US.

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Madonna photographed by Steven Klein, 2005.

On this day in music history: August 16, 1986 – “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also peaking at #4 on the Club Play chart. Written by Brian Elliot (w/ additional lyrics by Madonna), it is the fourth chart topping single for the pop music superstar. In the Fall of 1985, Madonna begins work on her third album “True Blue” with co-producers Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray. Songwriter Brian Elliot is inspired to write “Papa Don’t Preach” while working on a record for a singer named Cristina Dent. His studio is located near North Hollywood High School which has a large picture window in front that also doubles as a two way mirror. One day, he overhears a group of female students hanging out in front of the studio, gossiping about a fellow classmate that has become pregnant by her boyfriend. From that, he quickly writes the song and records a demo. Elliot plays it for Michael Ostin (son of Warner Bros. Records chairman Mo Ostin), the head of A&R at Warner Bros. Ostin immediately likes the song, then asks Elliot if he can play it for Madonna. She also likes the song, identifying with its narrative about a young girl becoming pregnant (and wanting to have the child) and how it relates to her own Roman Catholic upbringing. Before recording it, Madonna asks Elliot if she can make a few revisions to the lyrics and he gives his consent. Released as the second single from “True Blue” on June 11, 1986, the song attracts controversy from conservative religious groups, feeling that the song condones pre-martial sex and teenage pregnancy. The controversy does not stop the record from becoming an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #42 on June 26, 1986, it leaps to the top of the chart seven weeks later. The song is supported by a memorable music video directed by James Foley featuring Madonna with actor Danny Aiello (“Do The Right Thing”, “Moonstruck”) playing her father. PMRC co-founder Tipper Gore, having previously denounced Madonna publicly, praises her for bringing an important social issue to light. In a small bit of irony, the music video shows a brief moment of unintentional nudity when Madonna’s left breast pops out of her top while dancing (you’ll have to look closely for yourself, because I’m not telling you where it is 😀 ). “Papa Don’t Preach” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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Born on this day: August 16, 1958 – Pop music icon Madonna (born Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone in Bay City, MI). Happy 61st Birthday, Madonna!!!

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Jean-Michel Basquiat and Madonna while they were dating, circa 1983.

Photo by Maripol

On this day in music history: August 8, 1992 – “This Used To Be My Playground” by Madonna hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also peaking at #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart on the same date. Written and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone, it is the tenth chart topping single for the pop music icon born Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. The song is written as the end theme for the Penny Marshall directed film “A League Of Their Own” which co-stars Madonna, Tom Hanks and Rosie O’Donnell. After she’s cast in the film, Marshall asks Madonna if she’ll write a song for the film, and she agrees to do so. Two days later, Madonna and Pettibone write “Playground” and play it for the director who loves the song and green lights it for inclusion in the film. The ballad is the first non-dance oriented track that Madonna and Pettibone write together. When they record the track, it is the first time that Pettibone works with live musicians in the studio. Veteran arranger Jeremy Lubbock (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand) is brought in to write the string arrangement for the song. In an ironic twist, when the soundtrack album for “A League Of Their Own” is released, “This Used To Be My Playground” is not included on it. Madonna’s label Warner Bros does not grant permission for the song to appear on the album due to licensing restrictions in her contract. The song first appears on an album on the Olympics compilation “Barcelona Gold” in 1992, and on the Madonna ballads compilation “Something To Remember” in 1995. Entering the Hot 100 at #35 on July 4, 1992, it streaks to the top of the chart five weeks later. “This Used To Be My Playground” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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