The Genius : 6 Sides of Madonna

MADONNA-NET-WORTH4If you were to see someone tweet the phrase “Madonna is everything,” you might attribute it to a very 2017 type of online hyperbole. And yes, Madonna is everything in that sense, but from a pop perspective Madonna also feels like everything because in a career spanning four decades she has attacked, absorbed, and conquered pop music from every possible angle.

When Madonna’s referenced as the Queen of Reinvention, it tends to suggest the linear series of career moves, from album to album, sonic era to sonic era, hairstyle to hairstyle. In reality, her layered approach to pop domination has frequently seemed to consist of multiple Madonnas existing at the same time. Here are six of her best, key to understanding her work.

Madonna, The Controversialist
Many of Madonna’s supposedly controversial songs (like ‘80s hit “Papa Don’t Preach,” with its subtext of abortion) are now more clearly identified as feminist statements or expressions of self, but that’s not to say Madonna has never deliberately courted outright controversy.

It’s easy to mock the quaint ’80s reaction to the lyrics of “Like A Virgin,” but it’s also fair to say that if a mainstream 2017 pop act—Ariana Grande, for instance—released the video Madonna made for “Like A Prayer,” all hell would still break loose. That video tackled religion, race, and sex, with scenes depicting murder, burning crosses, and Madonna with stigmata-esque wounds. It led to predictable complaints from the American Family Association, a denouncement by the Vatican, and a $5 million Pepsi ad campaign being benched. It would have been disingenuous of Madonna to feign surprise at the reaction. And she didn’t. Her response? “Art should be controversial, and that’s all there is to it.”

Madonna upped the ante on her next formal album, 1992’s Erotica, and its accompanying artifacts, including the boundary-breaking “Justify My Love” video and a coffee table book called Sex, whose main shock value these days involves the inclusion of Vanilla Ice. Fast-forward to 2017, after decades of refusing to be silenced: Live on CNN from the Women’s March on Washington, Madonna delivered a passionate speech about change, sacrifice, rebellion, the tyranny of Trump, and the power of love. There was more, of course: “To our detractors that insist this march will never add up to anything: fuck you. Fuck. You.” Not great news for CNN’s switchboard but a fair point, well made.

Madonna, The Club Queen
When Madonna descended on New York in 1978, she’d just dropped out of a University of Michigan dance scholarship and was hell-bent on making it as a professional dancer. So, spoiler alert, she’s not averse to tripping the light fantastic, as her 1983 debut proved out the gate. Her discography is full of floorfillers, and she holds the record for the most No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Dance/Club Songs Chart, even if some of those chart-topping tracks—like the various mixes of the poignant gender-role assessment “What It Feels Like For A Girl”—make for a somewhat complex shimmy.

Peppered throughout Madonna’s career are more direct hints at what it might be like to actually—imagine this!—go dancing with Madonna. She likes to boogie woogie, this much we know from “Music.” On the 2000 album track “Impressive Instant,” Madonna reveals that her skills extend to both rhumba and samba (though bear in mind this was also the song where she declared, “I like to singy singy singy like a bird on a wingy wingy wingy,” so there’s that). Most significantly, Madonna’s belief in the dance floor as a sacred space is described in “Vogue” with words some will find as inspiring in 2017 as listeners almost three decades ago did: “When all else fails and you long to be something better than you are today, I know a place where you can get away—it’s called a dance floor.”

Released a few years earlier, True Blue album cut “Where’s The Party” was ostensibly a song about going out and losing control after a week at work. Madonna wistfully recalls that as a child she “couldn’t wait to get older,” before acknowledging that getting older hasn’t been everything she’d hoped, then looking ahead to the future: “Don’t want to grow old too fast, don’t want to let the system get me down.” Like some of the best pop songs, it’s about living in the moment, even if the importance of doing so only makes sense in the context of what came before, and what will come in the future. Which leads us to…

Madonna, The Clockwatcher
Madonna looked closer to home on another time-shifting track, “This Used to Be My Playground” from A League of Their Own, with further songs like “Oh Father” and “Live To Tell” also looking back on Madonna’s upbringing with themes of defiance, resolve, and closure.

A more literal timepiece motif emerged during the 2000s, when the lead singles from two successive Madonna albums each began with the sound of a clock ticking. In the first, 2005’s Abba-sampling behemoth “Hung Up,” the ticking clock was inspired by producer Stuart Price’s earlier remix of Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For,” and was followed by Madonna’s observation that “time goes by so slowly for those who wait, those who run seem to have all the fun.”

By 2008, it was Timbaland administering the ticks on “4 Minutes,” rather improbably Madonna’s second most-streamed song on Spotify. That song’s lyrics (“We only got four minutes to save the world… grab a boy, then grab a girl”) suggested procreation-based speed dating, but Madonna later explained that they hinged on “living on borrowed time essentially, and people are becoming much more aware of the environment and how we’re destroying the planet.” Madonna may have overestimated the urgency but, well, that clock’s still ticking.

Madonna, The Moviegoer
The are various words we might use to describe Madonna’s film career, one of the more generous being “lengthy.” Since the ’80s, Madonna’s screen credits have prompted a series of musical contributions whose quality has frequently, often mercifully, failed to correlate with that of the actual movie.

Were one to assemble those alongside songs contributed to films in which Madonna didn’t even appear, you’d have one of the modern pop era’s most surreal career retrospectives. It would include glossy pop jam “Who’s That Girl,” wistful ballad-banger “I’ll Remember” (from a dreadful Joe Pesci-Brendan Fraser vehicle), the William Orbit-produced, Austin Powers-soundtracking “Beautiful Stranger,” a peculiar cover of “American Pie” featuring Rupert Everett, the slightly mind-boggling “Hanky Panky” (and the rest of her *Dick Tracy* companion LP), futuristic Bond theme “Die Another Day,” and (on a technicality) “Into the Groove.”

By law, that compilation would also need to include Madonna’s take on “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” but not the version she sang in Evita. Instead we’d have the castanet-strewn, 100 percent spectacular, seven-minute remix, for which Madonna recorded brand new vocals and a second chorus entirely in Spanish. Sadly, some may say criminally, this definitive version of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” is unavailable on streaming services, but it does live on via YouTube.

Madonna, The Pensive Chanteuse
Treat with deep suspicion anybody who links lyrical substance to low tempo. That said, while Madonna has definitely explored the extremes of human emotion via dance floor smashes, some of her most profound thoughts have arrived within her most elegant songs. On her wildly underrated American Life album, “Nothing Fails” boasts a tempo that barely reaches the status of mid, but for a truly downbeat masterpiece, try Ray Of Light’s “Drowned World/Substitute For Love,” a prelude to a reflective and immersive album whose sonic departure made it the riskiest move in a career built on the avoidance of safe decisions. It’s there that we found Madonna, who’d previously sung plenty about being a daughter, singing for the first time about being a parent (via sparse lullaby “Little Star”) while also, on mesmerizing album closer “Mer Girl,” reflecting on the death of her own mother.

Madonna, The Hopeful Romantic
Madonna undoubtedly defined the role of sex in modern pop, but just as prominently—in songs as diverse as “Take A Bow,” “Get Together,” and “Borderline”—are themes of romance, heartbreak, and optimism. “The thing is,” Madonna told Rolling Stone regarding 2015’s “Living For Love,” “lots of people write about being in love and being happy or they write about having a broken heart and being inconsolable. But nobody writes about having a broken heart and being hopeful and triumphant afterwards. I didn’t want to share the sentiment of being a victim. This scenario devastated me, but it just made me stronger.”

The survival spirit of “Living for Love“ came to life in an unexpected way. One of the song’s first performances took place at the 2015 Brit Awards, where, at a key moment, a dancer tugged Madonna’s cloak. The garment should have billowed away to reveal Madonna’s full performance outfit, but the clasp jammed. Madonna was abruptly yanked off the stage platform but was back on her feet within seconds, singing lines like, “Lifted me up, and watched me stumble… after the heartache, I’m gonna carry on.” She finished the song, conjuring a live TV victory where others would have conceded defeat.

The aftermath was Madonna in excelsis: She didn’t block the performance’s upload to the Brits’ YouTube channel. She didn’t hide the imperfection or pretend it had not happened. In fact, within a week, the full performance was on her official VEVO channel, where it remains. Elsewhere on Rebel Heart, Madonna sings, “I’m only human”—which is true, of course. Madonna definitely is a human being—she just happens to be one whose remarkable longevity and multifaceted creativity justify her reputation as the Queen of Pop.

Madonna Accepts Damages Over ‘Invasion Of Privacy’

17-02-23-madonna-malawi-01.jpgMadonna and her adopted twin daughters have accepted undisclosed damages from Associated Newspapers over a “serious invasion of privacy”.
The singer adopted four-year-old twins Stella and Estere in February.
At the time she asked the media to “respect our privacy during this transitional time.
Madonna brought the case at London’s High Court over a MailOnline article that caused her “considerable personal distress“, her solicitor said.
The article – which appeared in January, before Madonna had formally adopted the twins – revealed the girls’ names, race and age.
It also disclosed the fact they lived in an orphanage in Malawi and were the subject of pending applications for adoption by the singer.

The MailOnline published it at a time when, as the journalist ought to have appreciated, Madonna would be powerless to protect the girls from harm,” solicitor Jenny Afia told Mrs Justice Nicola Davies on Thursday.
“Their actions could, in her view, have threatened the integrity and/or outcome of the adoption process which would have had potentially life-changing implications for the girls, as well as for Madonna and her family.”
Many people in Malawi know of Madonna as an individual of fame and financial means,” she went on.
In the circumstances, Madonna believes that it would (and should) have been self-evident to the reporter that the protection of the girls’ identities pending the decision about their potential adoption was likely to be vital for their safety and welfare.”

After the hearing, Ms Afia said: “Madonna brought this litigation because the newspaper threatened her girls’ safety by naming them before they were adopted.
“She will always take all possible steps to protect her family’s well-being.”

Ms Afia added that Madonna would donate the damages to The Mercy James Institute for Paediatric Surgery.
The children’s hospital in Malawi opened earlier this month and is named after one of the singer’s other adopted daughters.
“She is pleased that at least some good can come out of the situation,” Ms Afia said.

Source: BBC

Madonna Makes Surprise Appearance at DiCaprio’s Fundraiser in St. Tropez

St.Tropez (9).jpgLeonardo DiCaprio can still draw a crowd while hauling in some major cash.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation played host at the 4th annual fundraising auction gala on Wednesday in St. Tropez where the Oscar-winning actor welcomed friends and allies who share LDF’s mission of “protecting the earth and all of its inhabitants through projects that build climate resiliency, protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, and restore balance to threatened ecosystems and communities.”

The event brought in a whopping $30 million thanks to table sales and the exclusive auction, which is always heavy on art. Though there is a ways to go to reach last year’s tally of $45 million. Wednesday’s auction, conducted by Simon de Pury, featured works by Paul McCarthy, Damien Hirst, Jonas Wood, Cecily Brown, Richard Prince and a special commission by Lawrence Weiner.

The experiences section has also snagged a fair share of headlines in the hours after the event thanks to the promise of a Titanic reunion over dinner. DiCaprio and Winslet will pair up for a dinner date with a winning bidder in New York this fall. Other auction items are now available online. Art featured in the auction was curated by Lisa Schiff of SFA Advistory with Andy Boose and AAB Productions handling event production duties.

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Winslet was in attendance along with another Titanic star, Billy Zane. Joining them were Adrien Brody, Tobey Maguire, Anne Hidalgo, Doutzen Kroes, Taylor Hill, Iman Hamman and Gerard Butler. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was honored with the foundation’s “New World Leadership Award” for her commitment to bringing about sustainable policies and innovative climate resiliency programs in Paris.

There was another reunion worth noting. Sean Penn was there too, and he watched ex Madonna hit the stage to perform songs including “4 Minutes,” “Ray of Light,” “Ghosttown,” “Open Your Heart” and “La Isla Bonita.” Lenny Kravitz also rocked out for the jet set crowd.

DiCaprio, the LDF founder and chairman, presided over the festivities with foundation CEO Terry Tamminen and the global fundraising chairman Milutin Gatsby, who spearheaded the launch of the gala. “The health of our planet is grave – this crisis is real,” DiCaprio said in his remarks. “What we seem to lose sight of is that we are part of nature, in fact we depend on nature for our very survival. Our natural systems sustain us with all that is necessary for life – such as ample food, clean air and drinkable water.”

He also explained the impact his foundation has had with its environmental efforts. “We helped protect more than 1.6 million square kilometers of ocean – an area more than twice the size of Texas – including in the Ross Sea. Our work is helping save endangered species such as the wild jaguar and the Gray Wolf, which has made a comeback after being on the brink of extinction,” he noted. “We are active in Tanzania, restoring the wildlife of Mkomazi national park, and in the grasslands of Kenya, where we are helping jump start an important carbon sequestration project. These are just a few of the stories about the impact the generosity of our donors has helped make possible.”

Source : HollywoodReporter

Madonna At the Foundation Gala 2017 in St. Tropez

Since 1998, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) has been on a mission to protect the Earth’s last wild places, implementing solutions that restore balance to threatened ecosystems, and ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of all its inhabitants. The LDF brings attention and needed funding to three areas: protecting biodiversity, ocean & forest conservation, and climate change. Currently LDF supports over 70 high-impact projects in more than 40 countries around the world.

The 2016 Foundation Gala raised nearly $45 Million to help support the foundation’s mission of protecting the earth from climate change and environmental crisis. The event was hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio (founder and chairman of the foundation), Mulutin Gatsby (concept creator for the evening), Terry Tamminen (LDF Chief Executive Officer) and Justin Winters (LDF Executive Director). Albert II, Prince of Monaco was honored with the foundation’s first “New World Leadership Award,” which recognizes the legacy of environmental conservation displayed by its recipient.

Simon de Pury conducted the live auction, which was filled with unique experiences, luxury collectibles and memorabilia – including personal items given by DiCaprio, and a collection of fine art from universally renowned artists Jeff Koons, Pablo Picasso, Urs Fischer, Olafur Eliasson, and Adrian Villar Rojas, among many others. Event Chairs included Boris F.J. Collardi, CEO of Julius Baer, Philippe Cousteau, Jonah Hill, Kate Hudson, Tobey Maguire, Edward Norton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Caroline Scheufele, Kevin Spacey, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Scarlett Johansson, and Charlize Theron.

The 2015 Foundation Gala raised $40 Million to benefit LDF, with the live auction presented by long-term partner Julius Baer and co-sponsors Chopard and Armani. The auction opened with Leonardo offering several personal items up for bid, including his own Rolex Daytona Cosmograph watch, and Andy Warhol and Bansky artworks from his personal collection, which raised $2 million. The event also featured an extensive live auction of fine art, luxury items, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences conducted by Simon de Pury, some highlights of which included:

Ownership of an estate home on Leonardo DiCaprio’s own Belize island, Blackadore Caye
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco donated several once-in-a-lifetime experiences to the auction, offering to accompany the winning bidder on each, including An arctic expedition, and private diving at Monaco’s unique protected Larvotto Marine Reserve
A private concert with Elton John
Movie producer Harvey Weinstein donated a stunning collection of experiences, offering to have the winning bidder be his personal guest at the most coveted events in the world for an entire year. This included the Academy Awards, screenings and events, Cannes Film Festival, Met Gala Ball and The White House Correspondents Dinner, a visit to a Weinstein Company movie set, and more.
Venue: The Domain Bertraud Belieu Vineyard in St. Tropez, France

Madonna claims auction house is ‘selling her DNA’

img_1593Madonna is suing an auction house to block the sale of some of her “highly personal items”– including a love letter to a former boyfriend, the late rapper Tupac Shakur, a pair of underwear and a hairbrush containing her hair.
I understand that my DNA could be extracted from a piece of my hair. It is outrageous and grossly offensive that my DNA could be auctioned for sale to the general public ,” Madonna says in court papers.
Madonna says auctioneer Gotta Have It! Collectibles should not be allowed to sell the 22 items at a special, rock and roll themed-auction later this month.
I was shocked to learn of the planned auctioning of the Shakur letter, as I had no idea that the Shakur letter was no longer in my possession,” the Material Girl says in the lawsuit.
The Shakur letter is expected to fetch up to $400,000, according to court papers.
She says a “former friend” and art consultant named Darlene Luz “would have had access to these items on numerous occasions” including as a “frequent overnight guest” in her homes when she was “not in residence.”
Other items on the auction block include personal photographs, unreleased sound recordings and unsent, “intimate love letters” involving other past boyfriends including John Enos and Peter Shue.
The fact that I have attained celebrity status as a result of success in my career does not obviate my right to maintain my privacy, including with regard to highly personal items,” Madonna says in the suit.

President Mutharika’s Speech Upon Opening Madonna’s Children Hospital

Malawi Voice Reporter – July 11, 2017

Children are our most precious part of society. We measure our care for any society in our care for children. And that is why we are here. We are here because a loving mother of humanity came to show care for our children. We are here because Ms. Madonna Ciccone pledged her loving spirit for Malawi. Madonna led the idea and the work of constructing the Mercy James Centre and the Intensive Care Unit for pediatric surgery.

Above all, we are here because we value our children. In this country, 50 percent of our population is under 15 years. Half of our population is made up of children. It is therefore important for us to invest in children’s health care because children are the future. If we are to raise our children with a better quality of life, then we must invest in them.

It is pleasing that Raising Malawi has invested their resources, energy and time in search of a better quality of life for Malawian children. Since 2008, Raising Malawi has been working closely with Government to help more Malawian children in need of surgery. Now we can perform up 700 paediatric surgeries per year. These surgeries include Malawi’s most complex cases, such as tumor removals, correcting congenital deformities, treating abdominal conditions and major burns.

Raising Malawi has inspired us towards becoming the first and the best in child health care. And we are set to walk that path.
As a country, we are also proud to note Malawi offers a paediatric surgery training program that cannot be found anywhere in the region. We must now proceed to have a world-class training centre for medical staff in the whole of Southern Africa. Malawi deserves the best. We have the ability to be the best. Above all, children deserve the best.

With the Mercy James Centre, we can now handle large numbers of children in critical condition after undergoing surgery. We can now treat critical cases of malaria which accounts for 40 percent of hospitalization in children under five. In addition, this facility will promote advanced research in malaria, which is taking away most of Malawi’s children. This Centre is our national pride.
It is pleasing that the Mercy James Centre has been constructed with our full participation as a country. Together, we have built an environment where our children will feel loved and cared for, even when they are in pain.

We have shown a global sense of community in putting together our hands and hearts. In a communal spirit, every artist brought a hand to paint the soul uplifting environment seen here. Let every local or international artist know that we are thankful.
I am further encouraged to note that the Mercy James Centre has been built in a communal spirit that has involved more than 20 local and international partners apart from Malawi Government. I thank every one of you on behalf of the people of Malawi.

In our desire to raise the quality of life for our children, we have worked as a true African community. In our African culture, every child belongs to the community. We are all children of our communities. Therefore, we care for every child even we are not their parent. In fact, we are all parents of our community of children.

I am here to tell the world that what Madonna has done is what Africa has always done. Madonna is a symbol of a motherly spirit and an African communal spirit. In Africa, we have always lived by the collective spirit of supporting those in need.

Madonna came and offered to be the mother of four children from Malawi. She came, she saw a need, and she found a cause. Today, she has offered more like a mother for the rest of our children. She has given us a Centre that will provide and care for the rest of our children.

To Madonna, I say – you began by adopting four of our children. And I end by offering to adopt you as a daughter of the land.

And I declare the Mercy James Centre officially opened.

Thank you!

God bless you!
And God bless our country!

“REBEL HEART TOUR” Amazon Info

Madonna’s record-breaking Rebel Heart Tour comes to Blu-ray on September 15, featuring 24 tracks performed around the world on her 10th global trek. Co-directed by Danny B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, this two hour spectacular is everything (and more) you d expect from The Queen Of Pop. Also included is a 14-track CD with selections from the show.
The tracklist spans Madonna’s entire career, including songs from her chart-topping Rebel Heart album and classic fan favorites. Reimagined versions of some of her biggest hits make this the latest unmissable chapter in a lifetime of breathtaking creative achievements.

The Rebel Heart Tour played arenas in 55 cities on 4 continents over 7 months, totaling 82 shows, plus the special Tears Of A Clown fan club show in Melbourne. The envelope-pushing performances and production drew over a million fans, making Madonna the highest grossing solo touring artist and top female solo artist of all time.

BONUS FEATURES
Extras include An Excerpt from Tears of a Clown and a performance of Like A Prayer .

TRACKLIST

Blu-ray
01. Rebel Heart Tour Intro
02. Iconic
03. Bitch I’m Madonna
04. Burning Up
05. Holy Water / Vogue
06. Devil Pray
07. Messiah (Video Interlude)
08. Body Shop
09. True Blue
10. Deeper and Deeper
11. HeartBreakCity
12. Like A Virgin
13. S.E.X. (Video Interlude)
14. Living For Love
15. La Isla Bonita
16. Dress You Up / Into The Groove
17. Rebel Heart
18. Illuminati (Video Interlude)
19. Music
20. Candy Shop
21. Material Girl
22. La Vie En Rose
23. Unapologetic Bitch
24. Holiday

CD
01. Rebel Heart Tour Intro
02. Iconic
03. Bitch I’m Madonna
04. Burning Up
05. Holy Water / Vogue
06. Devil Pray
07. Deeper and Deeper
08. HeartBreakCity
09. Living For Love
10. La Isla Bonita
11. Rebel Heart
12. Candy Shop
13. Unapologetic Bitch
14. Holiday

All the Biggest Moments From Madonna’s Decade-Plus of Charity Work in Malawi

More than a decade of charity work in Malawi came full-circle for Madonna on Tuesday (July 11) when, after opening a children’s hospital wing in the impoverished South African country, its president named the pop star “the daughter of this nation.”
And while President Peter Mutharika’s phrasing was meant to reference Madonna’s own adoption of four children from Malawi, the singer has tight enough connections of her own to the country for it to feel like home.

Since founding the nonprofit Raising Malawi in 2006, the charitable star has led a continuous effort to support the nation’s orphaned or otherwise vulnerable children — whether through hosting benefits, producing a documentary and, now, opening the Mercy James Institute of Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, the first of its kind in the country.
The singer’s efforts haven’t come without inevitable road blocks — not to mention a few controversies. But if our roundup of the landmark moments in Madonna’s charity efforts in the African country is any indication, the singer will continue to be a “daughter” of Malawi for years to come.

2006: Madonna makes her first trip to Malawi

Madonna was first spurred to visit the South African nation after a Malawian businesswoman, admiring Madonna’s previous work with the nonprofit Spirituality for Kids, reached out to the pop star in hopes that she’d be willing to offer a hand in Malawi too. Madonna did much more than that — shortly after taking up the invitation, the singer made a second trip to Malawi, where she adopted her son David. It wasn’t long before Madonna would take a bigger step toward aiding the poverty-stricken country with the founding of Raising Malawi.

2008: Raising Malawi holds star-packed fundraiser at United Nations headquarters

Celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez and Tom Cruise forked over up to $10,000 each to attend a Madonna-fronted fundraiser at the United Nations’ New York headquarters back in 2008. Though the pop star faced backlash for her choice of event partner — Gucci, which was promoting a new store in the city at the time — the event reportedly raised $3.7 million, which was split between benefiting Raising Malawi and Unicef, the children’s arm of the UN.

2008: Madonna presents I Am Because We Are documentary

That same year, the pop star took her charity work to the big screen with I Am Because We Are, a documentary she wrote and produced for the Tribeca Film Festival. Directed by first-timer Nathan Rissman, the film follows Madonna as she journeys through Malawi, introducing viewers to the country’s orphaned children and gleaning insights from interviews with professors, experts and even former President Bill Clinton.

2013: Madonna opens 10 schools in Malawi in partnership with buildOn

In January 2012, international youth-serving nonprofit buildOn announced a partnership with Madonna and her foundation to construct 10 primary schools in rural Malawi within 18 months. In fact, the schools were completed in just 12 months. Raising Malawi provided $300,000 to buildOn for the project, which aimed to serve about 1,000 boys and girls in the nation. The success came after a string of setbacks — earlier in 2011, Madonna’s organization had scrapped plans to build a $15 million girls’ school in the country due to financial mismanagement.

2014: Malawi President Peter Mutharika appoints Madonna the country’s Goodwill ambassador for child welfare

Shortly after Madonna spent Thanksgiving in Malawi with her adopted Malawian children, Mercy James and David Banda, Mutharika added a new title to Madonna’s belt: the nation’s Goodwill ambassador for child welfare. At the time, the singer had also just launched her now-fulfilled goal to open the Mercy James Institute — and was still recovering from the tabloid mess that ensued after her very public falling-out with Malawi’s former president, Joyce Banda.

2016: Madonna flies to Malawi to check in on Mercy James Institute construction

The singer and several Rising Malawi team members took a trip to Malawi last year to ensure that the Mercy James Institute was coming along smoothly. During the trip, they also met with Muthrika to discuss girls’ education and visited the Home of Hope orphanage, where they played soccer with the school’s children. “Children are the future,” Madonna says in a video documenting the trip (below). “Ultimately, my children have been my teachers.”

2016: Madonna’s “Evening of Art, Mischief, and Music” rakes in $7.5 million for Raising Malawi

A benefit held by Madonna in Miami last winter — and held smack in the middle of the city’s annual Art Basel fair — invited 450 guests to bid on art and experiences in a live auction. The event raised $7.5 million toward Raising Malawi’s goal to open the Mercy James Institute. To thank attendees for their donations, the glamorous party closed with a performance by Madonna herself.

2017: Raising Malawi’s Mercy James Institute children’s hospital wing opens its doors

The pediatric surgery and intensive care unit, named after one of Madonna’s adopted Malawian children, finally celebrated its official opening July 11. Located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, the institute has already completed its first surgery, Madonna said at the ceremony, where she was praised by Mutharika for her service. “You started by adopting four Malawian children,” he explained. “Now we are adopting you as the daughter of this nation.”


Source: Billboard

Gallery : Madonna In Malawi

BLANTYRE, Malawi

Madonna was welcomed in Malawi on Tuesday for the official opening of a hospital children’s wing funded by her charity and named after one of the four children the pop star has adopted from the impoverished southern African nation.

You started by adopting four Malawian children, now we are adopting you as the daughter of this nation,” President Peter Mutharika declared at the ceremony.

“There are so many things I never imagined I will do. I never imagined one day I will build this kind of a hospital,” said Madonna, who explained that she grew up without a mother and wanted to give the best to Malawian children.

“Never give up on your dreams,” she added.

The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, was built in collaboration with Malawi’s health ministry. It has already started some activities, and Madonna said last week that the institute had completed its first surgery.

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The four children she adopted from Malawi are David Banda, Mercy James, Stelle and Estere. The children’s wing was named after 11-year-old Mercy.

Madonna’s charity, Raising Malawi, was founded in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by the country’s orphans and other vulnerable children. It has built schools and funded the new pediatric unit, which began construction in 2015 and includes three operating rooms dedicated to children’s surgery, a day clinic and a 45-bed ward.

Madonna, 58, visited the site last year.

“When you look into the eyes of children in need, wherever they may be, a human being wants to do anything and everything they can to help, and on my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that,” Madonna said in a statement to The Associated Press last week.

Patrick Leonard About The “LAP Demo Cassette”

I’d better break down the cassette before somebody losses their mind. They’re first day versions. So the day we wrote it. They have a lead vocal and some backgrounds. We worked from these versions and they became the records. The titles you recognize are what they say they are. Not produced. Without live players and strings and choirs etc. “Angels” is a song called Angels with dirty faces. It’s complete. And was never released. Good too. LIttle Girl is Promise to Try. Piano vocal like the record but not that version. Out of Time is Till Death do us Part. Boss’s Nova is a Latin feel idea that never got there. No vocal. Just an idea. 20’s jazz, the same, as is Mid Tempo. Sparks that made no fire. It happens. Side two of the tape is blank so #11, 12 and dance don’t exist. I can NOT release or put up snippets. I’d be drawn and quartered. Maybe I’ll try and organize some kind of private listening. It would have to be in space so let’s hit up Elon Musk. Wish I could release it all because I know how happy it would make you all. But, I can not. Respectfully. PL