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15 June - Madonna outplayed by Edgar Bronfman Jr. in Maverick Records deal
The theme of Madonna's life story is that she gets her way - in love, life and business. But that was until she came up against Seagram's liquor fortune heir Edgar Bronfman Jr.
In "Fortune's Fool: Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music, and An Industry of Crisis," which Simon & Schuster will begin shipping to bookstores at the end of this month, investigative journalist Fred Goodman writes that Bronfman outplayed Her Madgesty after the pop star attempted to pressure him into paying a king's ransom for her stake in Maverick Records.
Madonna had founded Maverick at the height of her success in the '90s-to which she signed such hit artists as Alanis Morissette and Prodigy-but the label had seen better days by 2003, when the Material Girl began negotiating with Time Warner, which owned 40% of Maverick, to buy out her share. Madonna wanted $60 million, "at least twice what Time Warner said it was worth," Goodman writes. But that same week, Time Warner's board was meeting to decide whether to sell Warner Music, so, the author adds: "Placating Madonna was going to be someone else's headache."
Enter Bronfman, who, in March 2004, just three weeks after he closed the deal to buy Warner Music, got a call from Madonna's longtime attorney Allen Grubman, who told Warner Music's new owner he had 24 hours to solve the problem or Madonna was going to sue. "Allen, this is nuts," Bronfman said. "Give us some time."
"No, she's implacable," Grubman responded. Madonna's price tag had risen, too - from $60 million to $200 million. Bronfman was willing to pay only $15 million, however, and had the company's lawyers file a preemptive suit against the artist.
An angry Madonna accused Warner of "treason" and filed her own lawsuit. But, in the end, the author reports, she "sold her 30% interest in Maverick to Bronfman for $17 million - only $2 million more than he had offered in the first place and a figure that almost certainly could have been reached without any public posturing."
Three months later, Bronfman and Warner Music Group Chairman Lyor Cohen sought to mend fences with the artist by inviting her to meet with them. Bronfman greeted Madonna with a gift-wrapped box. "You've been incredibly important to this company for 20 years," Bronfman told her. Inside the box was a diamond bracelet.
"The gift," Goodman writes, "seemed to hit the right note. ‘She was like a little girl,' " Bronfman recalled. "'It broke the ice.'" Perhaps, but in 2007, Madonna announced she was leaving Warner to sign with concert promoter Live Nation in a 10-year, $120-million deal.
Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg declined to comment on this story, telling Gatecrasher, "I was not privy to the details of any of these negotiations." (source: New York Daily News)
13 June - Madonna boost for Lawnfest event at Sevenoaks school
Madonna dropped in to a charity music event at a Kent school, organised by the daughter of Mohamed Al Fayed.
The Lawnfest fundraiser was held on Friday night in aid of The New School at West Heath, Sevenoaks.
Pop star Lemar was the headline act at the event to boost the school's bursary fund, organised by Camilla Fayed.
Madonna's appearance was to help publicise the event, which also
included an art exhibition, although she did not perform.
The New School aims to rebuild young damaged lives through education.
Principal Christina Wells said: "This fundraiser will help grant a bursary for those young people whose lives have been damaged by abuse, bereavement, bullying or other trauma." (source: BBC)
11 June - Liz Smith on Gaga: Desperately copying Madonna
Lady Gaga's controversial new video, "Alejandro," is controversial only if you’ve never seen ... a Madonna video! (From the Big M's greatest era) S&M ... homoeroticism ... startling religious imagery, etc. Gaga's latest effort calls to mind at least five of Madonna videos, including the black-and-white masterpiece, Vogue. I guess this is Gaga's homage to Madonna. Just as Madonna's Material Girl was an homage to Marilyn Monroe?
As for Madonna herself, she says she is "working harder than I have ever worked in my life," to put together the movie she will direct, W.E. Actually, that worries me. One of Madonna's most famous songs is Holiday, but the woman has rarely taken one in 25 years. If she’s working harder than ever now, she is going to have to be hospitalized by the time the movie is finished! (source: WoWoWow)
02 June - Guetta: "I was unlucky with Madonna"
David Guetta has suggested that record label issues may prevent the release of his collaboration with Madonna.
The DJ and producer confirmed to The Guardian that he and Madonna recently wrote and recorded a track together.
Guetta said: "It's a tricky situation, because she's now out of a record deal. We don't even know what's going to happen with it. It's a huge record, so it's really frustrating.
"The track is part of the Warner deal, but it's not on the album, so why would they invest any money in it? I was really unlucky with that one." (source: Digital Spy)
01 June - Lady Gaga: "Madonna is wonderful"
Lady Gaga has opened up about her relationship with Madonna, declaring the Material Girl is a "wonderful, wonderful person".
"She is so full of the most wonderful freedom and spirit, and is so kind. Working with her has always been very exciting and very fun," the Paparazzi singer said in an interview with Show Studio.
"We have shared some wonderful honest moments together. She comes to my shows, I've asked her questions, she gives me advice." (source: Musicrooms.net)
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