Co-Writer Behind Madonna’s Vogue Moves Forward With $500,000 Suit Against Warner/Chappell

Warner Music Group pays more to its own lawyers than it can to its songwriters.

Two years ago, the co-writer behind Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ filed a lawsuit against Warner Music Group (WMG).

Robert ‘Shep’ Pettibone claimed the major label illegally withheld royalties from the 1990 hit.

The move followed another lawsuit over another song.  VMG Salsoul sued Madonna and Pettibone for willfully infringing on a 1976 song, ‘Love Break.’

Siding with the artist and the songwriter, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision.  Yet, the appeals court overruled the lower court’s decision to award attorneys’ fees, totaling more than $500,000.

Filing his own lawsuit soon thereafter, Pettibone alleged WMG and Warner/Chappell “have admittedly withheld and failed to pay Pettibone royalties owed to Plaintiff for its defense of the VMG Salsoul lawsuit, despite Plaintiff’s demand that they pay these royalties to him, and despite giving them notice of breach.”

Read full article at Digital Music News

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Madonna: An Intimate Biography of an Icon at Sixty Paperback – 18 Apr 2019 (PRESS RELEASE)

Always provocative. Always talented. Always iconic and now finally understood.

For more than three decades Madonna has been generating headlines and topping music charts. J. Randy Taraborrelli has written the definitive biography of one of the most successful pop stars in the world, whose music has constantly evolved and who has remained relevant to a massive global fanbase throughout an epic career.

From the driven, ambitious young woman struggling to get a break in New York to the outrageous pop diva and more spiritual mother, the changing faces of Madonna are revealed. We see her relationships with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tupac, Prince, Warren Beatty and what happened in her marriages to Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie. We see her embracing motherhood and today with five children, still recording and touring and defiantly living life on her own terms.

Madonna is based on decades of research and exclusive interviews with people speaking of her publicly for the first time – including friends, business associates and even family members. J. Randy Taraborrelli has also interviewed the star herself on numerous occasions and he draws on first-hand experiences to bring Madonna to life as not merely a sensational tabloid delight but as a flesh-and-blood woman with human weaknesses, alongside great strengths and ambitions.

Reviews
‘A thoroughly professional job…makes her more, not less, fascinating.’ Lynn Barber, Daily Telegraph
‘A fascinating document of – ka-boom! – blonde ambition.’ Heat
‘A great read that’s as spirited as Madge herself…This is the Madonna biography.’ Daily Mirror
‘A book you will find yourself “just dipping into” for hours at a stretch.’ Evening Standard

J. Randy Taraborrelli is the bestselling and renowned celebrity biographer whose titles include Becoming Beyoncé, Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth, Call Her Miss Ross, Sinatra: The Man and the Myth and Once Upon a Time: The Story of Princess Grace, Prince Rainier and their Family. He regularly appears on TV as a news commentator and lives in Los Angeles.

Madonna by J. Randy Taraborrelli is published on 18th April 2019 (Macmillan, £9.99)
ISBN: 9781509842803 | Also available as an ebook.

Pre-order through Amazon.co.uk HERE
Or through Bol.com by clicking this below

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Behind one man’s effort to bring Madonna to Israel

Madonna, the iconic pop star, would seem to have little in common with Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli philanthropist. She’s outspoken; he’s mild-mannered. But they have a closer connection than you might first imagine. They’re both the same age and grew up just across the border from each other – Madonna in Michigan, and Adams in Canada.

Adams, who moved to Tel Aviv a few years ago, is currently spearheading an effort to bring the rock legend to his new adopted hometown to perform in May. After discussing it briefly while on stage at Keshet’s Innovative TV conference last week in Jerusalem, we caught up with Adams backstage to probe a little further.

In recent months, Adams helped bring a prestigious European cycling race known as the Giro to Israel and was also part of the team that launched a tiny spacecraft on a historic mission to the moon. So how does Madonna compare? He laughed. “It may not be as lofty, but it’s within the same theme.”

As the winner of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, Israel became the host nation for the 2019 outing, which is May 14-18 in Tel Aviv. The international singing competition enjoys a massive audience, with up to 600 million people watching the telecast worldwide. It launched the careers of ABBA and Celine Dion. But in the United States, which does not compete in the contest, it hasn’t taken on the same resonance.

“The Eurovision is a massive thing, but it’s not very well known in North America,” Adams said. “We’ve reached out to Madonna to try to add some glitz to the event and create more interest. It’s looking very good that she’s going to participate.”

And Madonna will do more than watch from the sidelines. “I decided to join forces with the Eurovision people here in Israel and to invite Madonna to come and sing during the competition and to coach some of the contestants and to make it more of a worldwide event, to make it more exciting and more impressive for an event that was already exciting and impressive.”

For Madonna, the trip to Israel this spring won’t be much of a stretch. She already has strong connections to the Mediterranean country. Since 2005, her manager has been Israeli producer Guy Oseary. He’s not only overseen her most recent albums and several very successful tours, he also released two books of his concert photography from those tours: Madonna Confessions and Madonna: Sticky & Sweet. The 46-year-old Jerusalem native also works with U2, Alicia Keys, Ashton Kutcher, Amy Schumer and baseball great A-Rod.

Read full article at From The Grapevine

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Madonna’s farewell from Portugal turns sour over row involving a horse

Madonna is at the center of a fresh controversy in Portugal, just as she is set to leave the country. The singer has accused the Portuguese of being ungrateful, an accusation that they have thrown right back at her. And the culprit behind this latest row? A horse, which was not allowed inside a palace for a music video.

Madonna, who has been living in Portugal since 2017, was set to film a video for the song “Indian Summer” in the Quinta Nova de Assunção palace in Sintra, a resort city near Lisbon.

The pop star’s attitude has incensed Portuguese authorities, who have reminded her of all the things they’ve done for her during her stay

Last week however, Sintra City Hall said the pop star could use the palace from March 15 to 20 but could not let a horse inside. The decision reportedly left her outraged.

In the script for the music video, Madonna was meant to pose next to the animal on the ground. But local authorities said a horse would threaten the safety of the building, given its wooden floor sits upon wooden beams and is “unstable, which prevents it from being used for activities that cause vibrations.”

Madonna called her agent to complain about what was happening. “My Queen, I am doing everything I can. I have called many people and sent various messages. Unfortunately the man who makes the decision is not available, but he will be,” he replied, according to messages revealed by the Portuguese newspaper Correioda Manhã.

Annoyed, Madonna responded that she didn’t have to wait and would film somewhere else. “I’ve already given a lot to this country and when I ask for a simple favor, one which will present Portugal to the world, the answer I get is negative,” she told her agent, adding: “This is your fault. You convinced me to come live here.”

It emerged in February that Madonna would be leaving Portugal in the next few months, to move to New York. A fleet of cars carrying suitcases was recently seen leaving the four-star Palacio Ramalhete hotel in Lisbon, where the singer has been staying for the last year.

The pop star’s attitude has incensed Portuguese authorities, who have reminded her of all the things they have done for her during her stay in the country. For example, Lisbon City Hall gave Madonna a reduced price on a parking spot; the soccer club S.L. Benfica welcomed her son so that he could practice regardless of his level; the international school Lycée Français Charles Lepierre accepted the singer’s twin girls even though there was a waiting list; and the Portuguese government fast-tracked her residency.

Read more at El Pais

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Madonna and Patti LuPone will apparently play big roles in ‘Pose’ season 2

Madonna Vogue

Season two of Ryan Murphy’s Pose, a groundbreaking TV series about New York City ballroom culture with a largely transgender cast, will apparently star beloved stage actress Patti LuPone and take place around March 1990, when Madonna released the “Vogue” track which introduced ballroom culture to the mainstream. (Though Madonna herself won’t actually star herself as a character in the show.)

At PaleyFest, the annual New York City TV festival, Murphy told trans actress MJ Rodriguez and gay actor Billy Porter that they’d both have plenty of scenes with LuPone, though Murphy stopped short of revealing what role the 69-year-old actress would play.

Murphy also revealed that trans journalist Janet Mock, Porter and trans musician and writer Our Lady J will all direct episodes in the upcoming season, reports Deadline.

The first episode of season two will take place on March 27, 1990, the day that Madonna released “Vogue.” Her song, which went on to become an international chart topper, featured several gay dancers and real-life ballroom performers in its music video including Luis Xtravaganza Camacho and Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza from the legendary ballroom House of Xtravaganza.

“Vogue” makes an interesting start to the show’s second season as it dropped near the height of the ongoing HIV epidemic and was seen as a major career landmark for Madonna. Madonna’s sexually charged and unapologetic performance in the music video flew in the face of ’80s-era sexual conservatism.

Some of her backup dancers on the Blonde Ambition world tour (which featured “Vogue” among other crowd-pleasing hits) later contracted HIV and sued Madonna for outing them as gay in the resulting tour documentary Truth or Dare.

Pose itself also has the largest LGBTQ cast in television history, with 140 trans actors and crew members and 35 non-trans LGBTQ characters. Its five main trans actresses of color overcame abuse, rejection, discrimination and poverty to become TV’s newest breakout stars.

Read more at Queerty.com

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Madonna Plots Comeback

She may be 60, but Madonna is plotting a comeback! Daisy and Rob Kendalldiscuss.

“I don’t think she’s an awesome singer. I never really have thought she was a great singer. But she’s a good entertainer and she’s really good at re-marketing herself. She’s a good marketer.” – Daisy

More at WIBC.com

 

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‘Like a Prayer’ Was Madonna’s First Masterpiece

By the time it was released in 1989, Madonna was already a bona fide superstar. Thirty years after its release, we look back at the album that established her as a meaningful artist

Madonna was already a superstar before she released Like a Prayer, which turns 30 years old this week. She had produced at least half-a-dozen era-defining hits (“Holiday,” “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl,” “Into the Groove,” “Papa Don’t Preach,” and “La Isla Bonita”), and her previous album, 1986’s True Blue, had sold more than 25 million copies. But, in a way, she was also strangely underrated. When Like a Prayer came out in 1989, six years after she hit the ground running with her infectious debut single, “Everybody,” critics lauded Madonna for changing our conceptions around how a female pop singer could present herself and conduct her career. But they didn’t necessarily regard her as a “great artist.”

“Critics flock to her uneven product the way liberal arts magnas flock to investment banking,” Robert Christgau, the self-styled “Dean of American Rock Critics,” wrote in his review of True Blue. “So desperate are they to connect to a zeitgeist that has nothing to do with them that they decide a little glamour and the right numbers add up to meaningful work, or at least ‘fun.’”

Like a Prayer certainly confirmed Madonna’s flair for fun; with its kindergarten-friendly lyrics about “pink elephants and lemonade” and treacle-sweet, Beatles-y psychedelia, “Dear Jessie” remains one of her most charming singles. But the album as a whole, Madonna’s first undisputed masterpiece, also proved once and for all that she was a meaningful artist, not just an uncommonly savvy and driven pop star. She bared her navel on the album’s cover, and her soul in its songs.

Even three decades later, it’s difficult to separate the album from the scandal that surrounded its release. When the brilliantly provocative “Like a Prayer” video debuted in February 1989, just a day after the release of a high-profile Pepsi commercial starring Madonna, the Vatican and various religious groups condemned the clip for including allegedly blasphemous imagery. Here was Madonna dancing in front of burning crosses, kissing a Black Saint, and displaying what looked like stigmata on her palms.

Read full article at Noisey

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It can still take you there: Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer’ turns 30

The opening still gives me chills.

A few seconds of a frenzied guitar, abruptly stopped by a slamming door. A hushed choir and a church organ give way to what sounds like an invocation.

Life is a mystery

 

Everyone must stand alone

I hear you call my name

And it feels like home

Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” album was released March 21, 1989 and forever altered her career and the course of pop music. Thirty years later, it remains a masterpiece and one of her crowning achievements.

The album revolutionized what it meant to be a woman in pop music and created a blueprint that every pop star has since followed. She wrote and sang brazenly about love and sex, religion and racism, family and freedom.

Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, Cardi B, Dua Lipa — they all owe a huge debt to Madonna.

The “Like a Prayer” album has sold 15 million copies worldwide. It was followed by the Blond Ambition World Tour, which kicked off May 4 and 5 at The Summit in Houston. The building now, ironically, is home to Lakewood Church.

It generated five U.S. singles but every song on the album is worth remembering and told its own story.

The title track elicited a firestorm of controversy because of the video, which prompted Pepsi to pull a commercial featuring the song. Madonna reportedly kept the $5 million advance.

The song itself is a whirlwind of religion, sex and a Prince guitar intro — and one of Madonna’s best.

 

“Express Yourself” and “Keep it Together” drew inspiration from Sly and the Family Stone. The “Express Yourself” video was inspired by the classic film “Metropolis” and at the time the most expensive ever made at $5 million. (Thanks, Pepsi.) They both placed Madonna in front of live instrumentation, a dramatic switch from her previously synth-heavy pop albums.

Read full article at HoustonChronicle

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Like a Prayer Dutch WEA promotional brochure (1989) – happy 30th

Happy 30th to masterpiece ‘Like a Prayer’! 

For this celebration Warner Music have a special 30th anniversary edition available through online streaming services (please see widgets). Unfortunately there is no physical remaster of this album out (yet), which is long overdue!

We have added this rare Dutch WEA promotional brochure to the Like a Prayer album promo page, dated March 17 1989. This brochure was sent out to inform on upcoming releases (we have previously shared the one that included the Like a Prayer single). In this brochure they inform on the various releases, promo ads and that this is without doubt the musical release of the year.

Check this out and much more in the Album Promo page

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Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer’ at 30: Here’s Where She Goes From Superstar to Artistic Great

As 1989 began, there was no question that Madonna was already a decade-defining superstar. But no one knew if she, like Bee Gees to the ‘70s or Beach Boys to the ‘60s, would prove a decade-constricted artist whose relevance would wane as a new decade turned over.

Like a Prayer, the magnum opus of her first decade and arguably her defining creative statement, came out 30 years ago today (March 21, 1989) and established that Madonna was not a pop star for her time, but for all time. And in the process, it gave us one of the most unlikely No. 1 smashes of her (or any career) and forced the world beyond her teenage fanbase to acknowledge her formidable vision.

Since history is written by the victors, Madonna maintaining her pop culture dominance well past the ‘80s seems like a historical inevitability these days. But in 1989, that was hardly the case. While she’d netted six Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s prior to Like A Prayer and released five smash albums (three studio LPs, a soundtrack and a remix album), her sound had remained decidedly of the era up until this point. Even as her subject matter deepened on 1986’s True Blue(dedicated to husband Sean Penn, from whom she’d file for divorce in Jan. 1989), the sonic palette was unmistakably ‘80s: bubbling dance-pop for the high-energy numbers, pounding beats and widescreen production for the ballads, and her voice only occasionally stretching for maturation (as on “Live to Tell”).

Read full article at Billboard

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Thirty Years Ago, Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’ Cemented Controversy As A Pop Star’s Greatest Weapon

If released in 2019, Madonna‘s “Like A Prayer” video would have ignited a different controversy than the one it stirred up in 1989. Throughout the clip, broadcast in advance of the album of the same name, the singer dances in a field of burning crosses, the instantly and viscerally recognizable motif of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s not exactly her symbol to appropriate. A generous reading of the video suggests she is deploying the inflammatory image toward a commentary on racism in the United States. In the video’s narrative, a black man is arrested by white cops for a crime he did not commit. It’s the same old story: He witnessed a gang of white men assault a white woman, ran over to help her, found himself the one in handcuffs. The stories nursed by white supremacy insist he must be responsible for the violence, so into the can he goes. And then there’s Madonna, dancing in front of the KKK’s crosses, hinting at a link between the racists in uniform and those cowering under white hoods. She presages Rage Against The Machine’s 1992 refrain: “Some of those who work forces / Are the same who burn crosses.”

Thirty years ago, Madonna came under fire not for flashing the burning cross and not even for suggesting that the police are racists but for being horny for God. Before you see the video’s instigating event — the assault, the arrest — you see Madonna rushing into a church, distraught. She finds a wax saint in a cage. He weeps and comes to life, and she falls for him, taking him into her arms until he becomes a real boy. By today’s metrics, it’s a benign enough image, but in 1989 it was enough to send the American Family Association into a tizzy. Madonna had an advertising deal with Pepsi, and the AFA, along with other right-wing Christian groups, furiously called for Pepsi boycotts. Reagan had just left office, succeeded by Reagan-lite (George H.W. Bush). Pop stars couldn’t simply f*ck saints without repercussions.

Read full article at UPPROX

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Sex. Religion. Death. Conical bras. Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’ and Blond Ambition Tour at 30

Provocative and – at the time – shocking, Madonna’s fourth album ‘Like A Prayer’ rocked the establishment, and set a new template for self-empowered women in pop. The Blond Ambition world tour that followed, meanwhile, changed the face of live music forever. On the 30th anniversary of the album’s release, El Hunt tells the story

Some albums are worth judging by their cover. With two thumbs poked defiantly into a denim waistband – like a bedazzled answer to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ – the artwork for ‘Like A Prayer’ is the perfect visual for Madonna’s audacious, unflinching fourth record. Released on March 21, 1989, this daring exploration of catholicism, desire, bereavement, superstardom and pleasure is an unparalleled totem of pop music 30 years on.

Arriving three years after ‘True Blue‘, a record of bright, loved-up bubblegum pop gold, ‘Like A Prayer’ is abrasive and raw. Moving the focus away from presenting a collection of immediate wall-to-wall bangers, Madonna’s 1989 release feels more concerned with exploration instead. Hulking great ballad ‘Oh Father’ cleverly alludes to her fractured relationship with her father and god at the same time; not your typical album fodder. ‘’Till Death Do Us Part’ also nods toward her split from her then-husband. “I’m not your friend, I’m just your little wife,” Madonna sings, atop jaunty, fidgeting melodies.

Read more at https://www.nme.com/features/sex-religion-death-conical-bras-madonnas-like-prayer-blond-ambition-tour-30-2463908#OzP2UMoql3val37H.99

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Like a Prayer turns 30! A personal memoir by Hans

 

Hans decided to spent the night in front of a local record store to camp out and be the first to be Madonna’s brand new album ‘Like a Prayer’ back in March 1989. There had been a load of negative publicity in Dutch press regarding the Like a Prayer video and Pepsi withdrawing their commercial and promotional campaign, so Hans wanted to turn things around and try to do something positive.

Well he did make the newspaper the next day but not really how he had planned it. Hans spent the entire night in front of the record store only to find out the very next morning that the album had been on sale since 4pm the previous day.

In the end he wasn’t the first Dutchie to buy the album, but he did succeed in creating some positive press for Madonna!

 

 

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