Monday, June 30, 2014

I'll Remember...1987

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I'll Remember...1987

Grammy Rehearsal 2014

Madonna Dines 'With the First Family' in NYC

All in the family! Madonna may have split from her ex Carlos Leon more than 15 years ago, but she met him for dinner with their daughter Lourdes just this week. 

The trio reunited in New York City on Thursday, June 19, dining at Manhattan's trendy downtown lounge and restaurant, Beauty & Essex. Madonna, 55, arrived in a NYC-chic look, an onlooker tells Us, wearing a black top, black pants, and horn-rimmed glasses. See pics of Lourdes and Madonna through the years.

Madonna's eldest child Lourdes, 17, who graduates from LaGuardia High School this month, kept it casual in a T-shirt and shorts, and slung a backpack over her shoulder. Hunky trainier and actor Leon, 47, rocked a silver pendant on a chain over a blue T-shirt with a pair of jeans. 

Leon and Madonna were together in the mid-1990s and split in 1997, after the October 1996 birth of Lourdes.

An observer tells Us that the modern family "looked like they were having a great time," and spent the evening "laughing, joking, and enjoying each other's company." 

During their Beauty & Essex feast, the trio dined on basil pesto ravioli, the restaurant's take on a New York pretzel, salt & vinegar fries, kale and apple salad, and a crispy eggplant pizzetta. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Is Madonna about to release a surprise album? No!

I’ve had several Madonna fans ask me about Madonna’s upcoming album. I, as well as many others, surely thought that she would unleash a surprise single next week. In fact, people from Interscope never denied the rumors. But it ends up being completely false.
The rumors were fueled by fat slob and psychotic douchebag Roger Friedman of Showbiz411, who was fired from several news outlets in the past because of his poor reporting. His article (and I won’t link to him so he could get another page hit) was just the beginning in a Madonna bashing campaign he talked about during a Music Cares event earlier this year with Elton John. Incidentally, Friedman allegedly started another Madonna bashing campaign in 2006 according to these leaked emails, which he has denied even though both email addresses are legit and the information in them is 100 percent accurate. I can’t say that I’ve liked everything Madonna has done and have criticized her myself, but am shocked that her legal team has done nothing about this man, who has the face only a mother can appreciate.
Now, back to the album. It isn’t done. It isn’t even close to being done. Madonna has recorded enough songs to make two or three albums, but like a photographer, more is better since there is more to choose from in the end. All I know is that Interscope is very impressed with what they have heard, and that’s not just PR hype. We often hear of how “great” an album is by an artist’s PR team and when the album is released, it’s not so good. Madonna’s MDNA is a good example.Early hype and early reviews had the album compared to Ray of Light. But when reality hit, it wasn’t nearly as well received.
However, the good buzz for Madonna’s next project comes from within Interscope. But they are concerned and confused about how the album should be marketed. Should it concentrate on the adult contemporary songs she has recorded (there are quite a few)? If nothing but EDM songs make the final cut, will she be accused of recording another MDNA? Interscope knows that radio won’t play the songs, so they are looking to market the songs in other ways.
One of the songs will likely be used for an upcoming movie. Given how Interscope turned the fortunes of Lady Gaga’s “Applause” around by featuring it in a KIA commercial, you can bet they will use the same method for Madonna. There will be some performances, but not many; Madonna’s management and Interscope are aware of how much Madonna is bashed after any performance she gives these days.
Madonna would be wise to learn from the mistakes of Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and other divas, who face an increasingly ageist music industry. If she wants the album to be any type of success, she has to tone down her image. She has been stuck in a “Look at Me!” rut that is turning off some fans who have stood with her since the beginning. This isn’t about ageism, which I admit Madonna is a victim of more than any other pop star in music history. This is about creativity. Madonna ‘s biggest strength has always been the ability to reinvent herself so much that she comes across as fresh both musically and aesthetically. Her current incarnation has run its course into the ground.
She also has to market the album to her audience, which is largely made up of adults in their 40s and 50s. Marketing the album to teenagers (which she has done for her past two albums) will be a nail in the album’s coffin.
In any case, Madonna is no doubt putting more effort into her latest album than she has in years. Let’s just hope the efforts pay off.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Madonna tops the list of most influential women EVER

The head of the Commonwealth nations and the Mother of Christ, could not match the Queen of pop for clout according to a new analysis of online information database Wikipedia.

Whitney Houston came in at number 11 and Beyonce Knowles was 12.Meanwhile Princess Diana came in at number 17 and Marilyn Monroe was ranked 19.The study, which examined Wikipedia links, was conducted by Young Ho Eom at the University of Toulouse in France.He applied Google PageRank algorithm which is used to determine how important webpages are and applied that to people, using Wikipedia to produce a list of history’s most influential.

The analysis, which counts both incoming and outgoing links connected to the person online, spat out an overall list which was topped by Adolf Hitler, Michael Jackson and Madonna as the most influential people worldwide.
Jesus Christ came in at number 4 followed by musical maestros Beethoven and Mozart at 6 and 7 respectively.

The top ten was rounded up by Pope Benedict XVI, Alexander the Great and Charles Darwin.Irishmen Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and James Joyce made an appearance on the global list but no Irish females ranked.As Wikipedia is constantly evolving, the lists change ever so often. In 2010 when a similar analysis was conducted, Jesus came up on top followed by Napoleon and William Shakespeare.

Lourdes Blogs About Graduating High School

Madonna's 17-year-old daughter Lourdes "Lola" Leon is graduating high school later this month -- and, in a blog post that makes us all feel ancient, is reflecting on her teen years ahead of commencement.

"I feel like High School Graduation is something I’ve been talking about forever and now its finally here," she writes on the Material Girl Collection website. "I was so excited about 'being done with school' and now that I’m actually done I’m like clammy and sweating and nervous."

"Knowing that I’ m going to have to wake myself up for class, and not someone banging vigorously at my door for 5 full minutes, relieves me and worries me a little," she continues.

"I know that I was lucky enough to go to a truly exceptional High School that produces high quality shows and actually teaches you the craft of what you’re studying," she adds. "Of course I’ll miss the friends that I’ve made and the family that makes up the drama department, but it’s really beautiful to be able to see all of the people I dearly love and care for, people that I grew up with for four years, go on and pursue their passions, whatever they may be, and find their place."

No word yet on what the Queen of Pop's daughter will be doing after graduation, but considering she's already got a fashion line with her mother and what seems like a good head on her shoulders, we're sure she'll be fine wherever she ends up.

Monday, June 9, 2014

I'll Remember...1993

Convict tells story of growing up with ‘older sister’ Madonna

Convict tells story of growing up with ‘older sister’ MadonnaPosing on the Lower East Side rooftop with his posse and their kooky pal, a diminutive Pied Piper figure known as Flaca, tough 14-year-old street kid Lamont Clarke tried to stare down the camera.
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Clarke, 44, recognized his 14-year-old self in a recent Post article about Madonna’s early life in New York — he and his pals saw her as a big sister.
It was the spring of 1983, and Flaca, an up-and-coming actress, dancer and singer whose nickname was the Spanish word for skinny, had asked the teenage crew to join in a photo session at her building.
Just a few months after the shoot, she would be known all over the world as Madonna.
“You guys are my family,” she affectionately told the gang. “Did you think I’d leave you out?”
As far as the streetwise teens were concerned, Flaca was their fun older sister — a bubbly confidante who played guitar on the sidewalk and grooved to the music that blared from her beloved boombox.
They knew she had talent, but never imagined she’d become an international superstar.
Three decades on, the early portraits of the pop diva have resurfaced in photographer Richard Corman’s book “Madonna NYC 83” and were featured in a recent exhibition.
But it was only after The Post published an article about Corman’s work that Clarke, now serving a prolonged prison term for robbery, saw himself in the pictures and recalled the shoot.
(Read a letter from Clarke to Madonna.)
“I’m a humble guy and never told no one that I knew Madonna,” Clarke, 44, told The Post in an exclusive jailhouse interview at the Eastern Correctional Facility upstate in Napanoch, NY.
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Madonna (in an early publicity shot) lived on the fifth floor of this tenement building at 232 E. Fourth St., where she hung out with Clarke before hitting it big.Photo: Brian Zak/NY Post; Getty Images (inset)
“But fellas kept coming to me with the paper and asking if one of those kids was me. I couldn’t lie and told them the truth.”
He hopes Madonna, whom he called Sis, will get in touch so he can hand her a personal letter explaining how much she meant to the gang and how much pride they take in her success.
“I am happy for her because she is a beautiful person,” says Clarke. “She didn’t judge or discriminate and helped all the people she could.
“She had a lot of love in her heart, and she’ll always be my older sister.”
Clarke, an orphan who was raised in poverty by his grandmother, first met Madonna in the early ’80s after she moved to Alphabet City from her native Michigan. She rented a walk-up at 232 E. Fourth St., a stone’s throw from his tenement building.
They were introduced by a pair of brothers named Danny and Junito, who lived in Madonna’s apartment building. “There was a lot of racism with the whites, blacks and Puerto Ricans, but Sis didn’t care about the color of your skin,” says Clarke. “She was this mad cool girl, and she fitted in.”
At the time, Madonna was dating Bronx DJ John “Jellybean” Benitez, a friend of Danny’s, who told the teens to look out for his girl when she came home late from the recording studio or after performing gigs at nightclubs. “We policed the block,” says Clarke, whose five-strong gang TFK was an acronym for “Those F–king Kids.”
“We’d be out on our skateboards or playing skellies [a street game] and, if any outsiders came in, we was skeptical and on their case.”
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Mid-’80s: As Madonna shoots to fame in the ’80s with global hits such as “Like a Virgin,” Clarke, posing below with pals (second from right), spends his days hanging out on the Lower East Side. He drops out of high school after 10th grade and, as he describes it, starts “hustling on the streets.”Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection
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1990: Around the time that Madonna is selling out concert halls across America, Europe and Asia with her “Blonde Ambition” tour, a carefree, 21-year-old Clarke is working in construction.Photo: Getty Images
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1995: Madonna’s star continues to soar with an honor at MTV’s Video Music Awards. Clarke poses with his adorable 1-year-old son, Lamont Jr., at a photo studio on Delancey Street on the Lower East Side.Photo: Getty Images
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2002: Madonna and daughter Lourdes at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Clarke poses for a family shot during a prison visit with his wife, Tanya, and a 7-year-old Lamont Jr.Photo: Dave Benett/Getty Images
The youngsters quickly bonded with Madge, who would hang out with them for hours at a time on their rooftop and stoop. “Sis kept the radio right there, by her side,” recalls Clarke. “If she didn’t have her radio, she had her guitar and she was singing and dancing.
“On summer nights, Danny’s mom would call to us: ‘Hey, go get your friend Flaca! Tell her to come sing for us.’ ”
Other times, they would sit on the floor in Madonna’s sparsely furnished apartment and eat pizza.
“We were tough dudes, and you didn’t want no one to see your weak side, but Sis listened to me,” says Clarke. “I got into a lot of arguments with Danny, and she’d say, ‘C’mon fellas,’ and calm it down.
“We were poor. We didn’t have the latest fashion or the latest jewelry, but she liked our style. We didn’t have much, but we had a whole lot because we had each other.”
He believes she included them in Corman’s photo shoot because she wanted to share the experience with her “little brothers.”
Although Madonna didn’t talk much about her burgeoning showbiz career, they knew she was destined for bigger things.
“We just didn’t know how big,” recalls Clarke. “She was 100 percent committed to making it. Sis was successful on the inside, so currency was surely to come.”
Madonna left the Lower East Side in the fall of 1983, around the time of the release of her self-titled debut album.
Clarke has bittersweet memories about her departure because he never got to say goodbye.
“One day, Junito was sitting on the stoop and the dude looked down,” he recalls. “ ‘Sis broke out,’ he said. ‘Sis left.’
“I tried to cushion the shock, saying that maybe she’d be back. Maybe one day she’d come in a limousine, and the door would open, and she’d say, ‘Get in,’ and give us tickets to her show.
“As a kid, you hope for that kind of thing. But none of it ever happened. We just went on with life.”
The gang broke up in the mid-’80s, after three members moved out of Manhattan. One has since passed away, and Clarke, who started his 20-years-to-life sentence in 1999 for second-degree robbery of a factory, has lost touch with the others.
“I got into the negative lifestyle, hustling on the streets,” admits Clarke, whose rap sheet included firearms possession. “I’m not dead, but I’m buried alive here in jail.”
The father of one is eligible for parole in 2017 and, if Madonna agrees to a meeting, hopes to catch up with her and her family for old times’ sake.
“I don’t want anything from you, Sis, but I hope you get to read this article,” adds Clarke, directly stating his message to Madonna. “Loyalty over royalty. I know the love you had for us kids is still true.”