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Madonna News - October 2013

Nile Rodgers on not working with Madonna after 1984

…why he hasn’t worked with Madonna since Like a Virgin in 1984:

There were two things going on at the time that she would probably deny, but it’s absolutely the truth. She didn’t want to go out [on tour] without me as her musical director. Which is impossible, because I make records. So maybe in some strange way, she felt a little bit slighted or betrayed. That was a little bit of it.

Also, she had just married Sean [Penn], and Sean had a huge problem with my girlfriend at the time, even though, when they got engaged, they did it at her apartment. They were living at her apartment, all that sort of stuff. But sometimes that can backfire on you, and that’s what happened. So that had a little bit to do with it. She was incredibly loyal to Sean at the time. Of course, I’m going to be loyal to my girlfriend. So this is all stuff that nobody would think about, nobody would admit to. But it really is the absolute truth.

And then, probably, the biggest impediment was my deal, which was a massive deal, and it guaranteed that the next record would absolutely be the same. If you think about it from my point of view, I earned that. And I certainly had no reason to back down. “I just gave you a 20-something-million-selling record! Why should I take less?” But why should she pay more, now that she’s got a 20-something-million-record? That doesn’t make any sense.

So you put all of those things together. She and I have never talked about it, because I know I would stick to my guns. I’ve spoken to many people who were involved in the deal, and they said, “Oh, Nile, just be a bigger person.” And I’m saying, “Guys, it’s just technical. You have to put in context.” At the time, no one believed in her but me and a couple other people. I would love to work with Madonna again, but I certainly would absolutely say, “Here’s the contract, it’s already done. Let’s do this.” And she would probably say no, and I would understand that. I guarantee you she’s not paid anything like that ever since. But we never had a falling out, and we’re totally great friends. I don’t lament not working with Madonna at all. I don’t even think about it, until other people mention it.

Rolling Stone

Madonna Announces Art For Freedom Grants Program

Madonna has announced a grants program in coordination with Art For Freedom, the global digital initiative designed to fuel free speech, to address, respond and protest persecution around the world.

Madonna kicked off Art For Freedom on September 24, 2013 by posting Secretprojectrevolution, a 17-minute video she created with Steven Klein. The film – ‘a call to action’ – originally premiered on Vice and remains downloadable on Bit Torrent. Artists are encouraged to submit their own work on in the form of video, music, poetry or photography to express their personal meaning of freedom and revolution.

As part of the Art For Freedom initiative, Madonna has launched a grants program to support individuals and organizations working to advance social justice. Over the course of the next year she will select one artist each month whose creative expression helps fight oppression, intolerance and complacency. Madonna will award $10,000 to a nonprofit organization or project of the winning artist’s choice. All projects must be focused on a social justice issue and exemplify the values of Art For Freedom.

Madonna will select the winning submission each month with the help of a guest curator beginning with Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“I want to help give a creative voice to those who have been silenced and denied their human rights. Art for Freedom is a platform that gives artists a chance to define freedom through their art. We have already received many incredible submissions. I am inviting all people to express their thoughts on the subject of freedom whether it’s describing specific persecution they have experienced, sharing how their rights have been violated and / or sharing their ideas creatively regarding fighting injustice,” commented Madonna.

Art For Freedom, launched in partnership with Vice, received over 1000 submissions in the first 48 hours of its inception. These submissions and the ones that follow will become part of the Art For Freedom platform and will be eligible for the Arts For Freedom grants program. Contributors can join the project by uploading original artwork at or tagging original posts #artforfreedom.