Madonna and Beyonce — even pop goddesses need the unconditional love of children

By Liz Smith

Tribune Content Agency

“DEMOCRATIC CIVILIZATION has turned out to be even more fragile than we imagined; the resources of civil society have turned out to be even deeper than we knew. The battle between these two shaping forces — between the axman assaulting the old growth and the still firm soil and deep roots that support the tree of liberty — will now shape the future of us all.”

So writes Adam Gopnik in the current The New Yorker’s Talk of The Town.

There are — as usual — so many wonderful things to read and then have what you’ve read stick in your mind for days in this issue. (Several weeks back, in a fiction piece, I caught this phrase — a woman describing her mate: “He was the tofu of husbands; he absorbed anything you threw at him.” I’m waiting to use that at a dinner party. I tore out the page with this sentence on it, stupidly without jotting down the author’s name. If anybody recognizes it, let me know. I want to give the writer credit.)

In this current issue (Feb. 13) two big pieces stood out. One was Patrick Radden Keefe’s massive take on Anthony Bourdain, chef, adventurer, man-of-the-world (literally). I’ve always enjoyed Bourdain’s globe-spanning shows and sexy, laconic manner. But who knew that he reads Michel de Montaigne, and has adopted the French writer’s motto, “I suspend judgment”? He even has it tattooed (in ancient Greek) on his arm. Or that he is “pathologically punctual”? He admits: “I judge other people on it. Today, you’re just late, but eventually you will betray me.”

He’s led quite a life, perhaps a bit self-dramatized, but fascinating even with a bit of heady overemphasis.

He’s mellowed marginally now, but still frantically ambitious and holding onto certain values. For example, don’t mention Henry Kissinger to Bourdain: “Any journalist who has ever been polite to Henry Kissinger, you know, f–k that person. I’m a big believer in moral gray areas, but when it comes to that guy, in my view he should not be able to eat at a restaurant in New York.”

When the writer gently points out that the volatile Bourdain had made similar statements about others, and eventually relented, the peripatetic chef replied, “Emeril Lagasse didn’t bomb Cambodia!”

THE OTHER New Yorker piece of great note is Hilton Als’ “Fade to Black,” a review of the new Raoul Peck-directed documentary about the writer James Baldwin, titled “I Am Not Your Negro.” This is perhaps the 10th rave review I have read on this film. What makes this one different is that writer Als also incorporates Baldwin’s love of movies, his inability to become a filmmaker and that “I Am Not Your Negro” is as much about the brilliant, tragic realism and prescience of Baldwin on matters of race, as it is, in some ways, the director’s effort to “step in and make the film that Baldwin couldn’t.”

There’s much more, of course, and every quote from Baldwin himself is exquisite, powerful and, frankly, could have been made to reference what is happening (still happening!) today.

There are few films out there right now, that I don’t simply want to see, but feel I must. I also hope this movie revives an interest in Baldwin’s work — “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” ”Giovanni’s Room,” ”No Name in the Street,” ”Just Above My Head,” ”Blues for Mister Charlie,” ”Notes of a Native Son,” etc.

MOTHERHOOD is everywhere in pop goddess land right now. Beyonce has announced, in typical low-key fashion, that she is expecting twins. On the outrageously wicked gossip site, D Listed, an admitted guilty pleasure (Oh, all right — I don’t feel guilty when I read it, satisfied?), the photos Beyonce released to alert the world to her coming bundles of joy are described as: “Seemingly, an homage to trailer park teen moms, the Sears Portrait Studio, the automotive industry and funeral flowers.” I laughed — sue me.

The other new mom is Madonna, who has adopted two more children, siblings from Malawi where she has performed remarkable charity work for more than 10 years. This is also the homeland of her two youngest, David and Mercy, bringing her entire brood to six. Some people have expressed surprise. Not me. It isn’t that I knew it was happening; it’s that I know Madonna. I’ve seen her with her children and heard her talk about them when she is not with them. The issues she had with her teenage son, Rocco, who decided (for the time being) that he’d rather spend more time in London with his father, Guy Ritchie, shattered her. Even though, in her heart, she knew this was fairly typical teenage boy stuff when a family is broken — after an 11-year marriage that, believe me, Madonna put her heart and soul into — it hardly assuaged her agony.

I’m glad for Beyonce, who I don’t know, but admire. I’m thrilled for Madonna, who I do know and love. Even though sometimes I want to take her by the shoulders and give her a tremendous Bette Davis/Miriam Hopkins “Old Acquaintance” shake-up, she is really — so prosaic — a truly nice person and a good girl

I sure don’t think, as others have suggested, that she is trying to “compete” with Angelina Jolie. She is just being her basic self — an old-fashioned Italian mama who wants a big family.

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LILONGWE, Malawi (AP) — Madonna was asked “uncomfortable questions” by a judge in Malawi during the pop star’s successful application to adopt more children from the southern African country, according to a court document obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Judge Fiona Mwale detailed her reasons for letting Madonna adopt the 4-year-old twin girls in a ruling on Tuesday, saying she was satisfied that Madonna “is motivated by her desire to offer a home, love, protection and guidance to the infants.”

Madonna, who has two other adopted children from Malawi, previously described reports of a new adoption process as false, saying she was in the country for charity work. She filed for adoption in a high court in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, on Jan. 25, court and government officials said.

“The petitioner is a professional performer and I guarded myself against the danger of her merely reciting a well-rehearsed speech by asking her some rather uncomfortable questions to which she gave very candid answers,” Mwale said in her ruling.

“There is no doubt that the petitioner can offer the infants not only the best education money can buy, but also guidance with a high likelihood of ensuring that the two infants grow to be self-sufficient adults,” the judge said.

Mwale said she didn’t challenge Madonna, 58, on Malawi’s residency requirements for adoption, saying the country’s Supreme Court of Appeal had addressed the issue in the pop star’s previous adoption.

“In determining her motives, I questioned the petitioner at length about the impact of her decision which could be construed as robbing Malawi of its most precious resource, its children,” the judge wrote.

Madonna said the children will keep their birth names as part of an effort to preserve their identity as Malawians, and a Malawian carer will travel with the children to the United States to ease their transition, according to the ruling.

The twins were delivered by cesarean section and the mother died within a week because of complications from the birth, the court document said. The children have five older siblings and the father, who was at the Jan. 25 court hearing attended by Madonna, had remarried and was unable to provide for all his dependents, it said.

In 2006, Madonna founded the charity Raising Malawi to address the poverty and hardship endured by the country’s orphans and vulnerable children.

In 2013, Malawi accused Madonna of exaggerating her contributions to the impoverished country and unreasonably demanding special treatment during a tour there. The pop star denied the accusations. On a visit to Malawi in late 2014, she met newly elected President Peter Mutharika as well as the father of her adopted, Malawi-born son.

Mwale noted that the pop star has raised $7.5 million for her latest project in Malawi, the construction of a pediatric surgery ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. The ward is scheduled to open early next year.

More at Beloitdailynews

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Madonna’s Burning Up – new discography online! various foreign releases and rare artwork

Next up in our Discography is Madonna’s second single off her debut album (and was her debut single in Japan); Burning Up!

We have scanned and photographed a total of 19 different pressings of the single (7″, 12″ and CD) for you, including the original rare Spanish pressing ‘Ardiendo’ and various rare 7″!

Direct link HERE

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Madonna granted permission to adopt two children from Malawi

LILONGWE (Reuters) – Madonna has been granted permission to adopt two more children from Malawi after the High Court in the impoverished southern African country gave its approval.

The U.S. singer’s previous adoptions stirred anger among some Malawians who accused the government of allowing the pop star to skirt laws that ban non-residents from adopting children.

Madonna was inside the courtroom when the approval ruling was delivered, Mlenga Mvula, a spokesman for Malawi’s judiciary said on Tuesday.

“Today the High Court made a ruling that she should go ahead and adopt the two children,” Mvula told Reuters, adding that the singer was smiling after the court’s ruling.

Mvula could not provide details on the children Madonna will adopting, saying it was against the law to divulge such particulars at this stage.

“Within a year she should provide us with a home survey report which the court has ordered her to provide,” Mvula said, referring to one of the conditions of the adoption.

Madonna, 58, adopted Malawian children David Banda and Mercy James in 2006 and 2009. The mega-selling pop singer has two other children, Lourdes and Rocco, from previous relationships.

Madonna had denied reports that she wanted to adopt again after she visited Malawi last month, at the time saying her trip was for her charity work.

Madonna established the non-profit Raising Malawi in 2006 to provide health and education programs, particularly for girls, in the southeast African country.

(Reporting by Mabvuto Banda; Writing by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia and Richard Lough)


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Madonna’s debut single ‘EVERYBODY’ brand new discography added!

New in our discography is Madonna’s debut single ‘EVERYBODY’ released on October 6, 1982 by Sire Records. The 12″ Maxi Single to ‘Everybody’ failed to make it onto the Billboard Hot 100 in America, however it did chart in 1983 on the Billboard Hot Dance / Club Play chart peaking at number 3. 

We have included a total of 17 different pressings of Madonna’s debut single in its discography.

Check out through direct link HERE, or go to the discography now.


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Madonna The First Album re-release in our Discography now! NEW

first-album-australia-frontHere is the discography for the following release in our brand new updated section: the first album!

The First Album was re-issued in Europe after the popularity of Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ in 1985, originally simply titled ‘Madonna’ this new release was given new artwork but the tracklisting remained the same.

To check out various CD/Vinyl/Cassette releases of The First Album check out our discography, or enter direct link HERE.

Once again; every item in here has been thoroughly photographed and scanned by us from our own collection.


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The Immaculate Collection Rhino SYEOR 2017 2LP colored vinyl – a closer look

Now that the record has finally reached Holland we can take a closer look at the fabulous colored 2LP limited edition by Rhino.

Rhino has stated that this is a limited edition of 6500 copies only and only available in the US and Canada, but have since find out that Amazon in the UK has been selling it as well. Upon closer inspection of the sleeve of the record we find that the record has actually been manufactured in The Netherlands!

We have added this to our Immaculate Collection album promo page, soon to be added to our brand new discography!

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Classic Pop Magazine Madonna issue – preview

Classic Pop Presents: Madonna Special is out NOW!

In this special edition 132-page magazine, we turn our attention to Madonna – still the undisputed Queen Of Pop – and examine her monumental career decade by decade from her humble, cult beginnings in Eighties clubland right through to the pioneering albums, bold artistic statements and humanitarian concerns of the present day.

More than just an entertainer, Madonna has always tackled political issues head on from sexuality and misogyny through to race and ageism.
She shocked the world in a wedding dress at the very first MTV Awards and continues to make her voice heard to the present day as Billboard’s Woman Of The Year 2016.

Elsewhere in the issue we take a detailed look at her many different collaborations – with Stephen Bray, Prince, William Orbit, Stuart Price and Mirwais – and offer our top ten choice cuts from the lesser known corners of her discography.

On sale from 2nd February, for £6.99 (UK). Find it in Easons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, or independent newsagents in the UK, and Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and Book World in the US.

Also available to buy direct from us here (hurry, while stocks last!), or as a digital edition for £4.99 (UK) within the Classic Pop app (search in your app store for Classic Pop and download the app for free) or via Pocketmags here.

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Madonna Discography now online – new and improved!

We finally present to you the return of our new and improved Discography! The discography was one of our most beloved sections on our old website, when we had every single release available in PDF format.

However we decided to scan and photograph everything thoroughly and therefore everything you see in our discography is new, HQ and most of all it is all from our own collection.

If you’re missing a certain item, it is because we do not have it here (yet) to photograph. All of the items in our discography will be updated once more items come in, we have some terrific exclusive items in here. 

First we start off with ‘MADONNA’, we hope you enjoy while we work on the other releases. The discography has been added to our menu under ‘Music’, however HERE is the direct link.

Stay tuned!


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In Defense of Madonna

You know you struck a cultural and political nerve when a week after a stirring and defiant speech at the historic Women’s March on Washington January 21, people are still talking, debating, and pissed off about it. Love it or hate it, Madonna’s speech was a rousing success.


As a gay man in my 40s, I have followed (sometimes rabidly) Madonna’s career since its immaculate conception. I’m not embarrassed to admit I once had my entire teenage bedroom plastered with floor-to-ceiling Madonna pictures and posters. There is no pre-Madonna era in my memories. Her songs have scored each decade of my life, and her provocative antics have joyfully titillated and shocked me.

I’m a fan of not just her music, not just her talent, but of the person. I love that she challenges unrighteous authority, takes risks in expressing views contrary to unjust social norms, and is unapologetically herself. She is a rebel in the best sense of the word.

Madonna being under fire for her language, her music, her videos, her imagery, her performances, you name it, really, is nothing new. This is a woman whose career has always ridden the precarious wave of both critique and praise. What is new, however, is how Madonna is now using her legendary status as an entertainment icon to boldly lead a newly founded rebellion against President Trump and his administration.

Madonna’s address at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., has moved well beyond that one triumphant moment. Her speech has now seeped into our cultural divide; it has become more than just the words she uttered. It has transcended just that one protest on that one Saturday in front of hundreds of thousands of protesters. It’s now become a global taking point, a direct reflection of two political schools of thought.

Because if there is one thing misogynistic men in power hate most — men who minimize and dehumanize women by summing up their entire worth based on their genitals and one’s ability to grab said genitals at will — is a woman who dares to stand up and speak out. 

We need a mouthpiece strong enough to offend and inspire, uplift and challenge, and excite and energize a movement still in its infancy. Because of these very reasons, I’d like to assign Madonna a title, as homage to the late, great, never forgotten Princess Leia. A title that is not linked to her Queen of Pop or Material Girl monikers, but one that is more that reflective of the Madonna today: General Madonna, Voice of the Trump Resistance.

I realize she was not and is not the only voice at the protest worthy of assuming the title, but in the interest of this essay, it fits.

To the various dissenters, I offer the following defense on behalf of my new general. To former 1980s pop rival Cyndi Lauper, who took to the airwavess to critize Madonna, I say, girl, couldn’t you have discussed your issues diva to diva rather than through the media?

I mean, I get and agree that “clarity and humanity” is usually better than anger any day, as Cyndi put it. Thoughtful discussion is always a better way than screaming and yelling. Except, you know, in a budding movement meant to fire up the participants. In this instance a more measured and gentle approach would probably not have generated the attention Madonna’s bomb-laden “rebellion of love” did. In this moment, at this rally, a rousing, angry speech, crass as it was, is totally acceptable.

Read full article at

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Donald Trump Once Started a Rumor That Madonna Wanted to Date Him — Relive Their Longstanding Feud

Before Donald Trump blasted Madonna’s Women’s March speech as “disgusting,” the 45th President of the United States once reportedly started a rumor that the Grammy winner was into him.

In a resurfaced Washington Post report that was first published in May 2016, Trump was reportedly caught pretending to be a publicist for himself named “John Miller” and spreading rumors about his love life back in 1991. When a People magazine reporter called Trump’s office to verify a report that he’d split with Marla Maples, a man claiming to be Trump’s PR person “John Miller” called back five minutes later and started spinning claims that Madonna and Kim Basinger wanted to date the real estate mogul. During the call, the reporter realized “John Miller” was actually Trump, a belief that was later shared by both Maples and one of Trump’s employees.

In the audio of the phone call obtained by the Post, Trump aka “John Miller” can be heard telling the People reporter that “[Madonna] called and wanted to go out with him, that I can tell you” and that Trump had “zero interest in her.” According to the People columnist, after playing the audio back to someone in Trump’s camp, they told People: “There is no John Miller. That’s Donald. Is [Trump] whacked out, or what?”

The embarrassing moment has resurfaced in light of Trump slamming Madonna during his interview with Fox NewsSean Hannity on Thursday, January 26, in which he called the iconic singer “disgusting” and dubbed her Women’s March speech “disgraceful to our country.”

For the record, Madonna’s never been a fan of Trump. During a 1990 chat with Interview magazine she called the newly elected president a “wimp” and unattractive. 

More at US Weekly

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Madonna has not responded to Donald Trump calling her “disgusting” for saying she thought about blowing up the White House, but she has the option of making the next move by recording what could become the rallying cry against the prez.

Sources tell TMZ legendary songwriter Bruce Roberts, who wrote “Enough is Enough” for Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, is reaching out to Madonna to record a track he will lay over the song.

The song shot to #6 on Billboard Dance Club Charts Friday … but the track is stripped down, using only the chorus of “Enough is Enough.”

We’re told Roberts wants Madonna to rewrite and sing the lyrics, stylizing it to express disdain for Trump’s policies. Our sources say Roberts doesn’t want to make this a personal attack on Trump, but rather a statement that he’s taking the country in the wrong direction.

We’re told Roberts wants Madonna in the studio STAT. He will keep Streisand and Summer’s track on the song for the hook. Madonna would be added to the hook as well.

We reached out to Roberts, who has written for Whitney Houston, Elton John, Alice Cooper, and Dolly Parton but he did not respond. Ditto Madonna. But we know the call is in.

More at TMZ

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