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Madonna visits Howard Stern: 6 things we learned

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Kevin Mazur

The Rebel Heart press tour continued Wednesday when Madonnna stopped by SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show. In just under an hour and a half, the singer touched on being a mother, dating Tupac Shakur, breaking up with late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, her next single, and more. Here are six things we learned. 

What her manager told her after her 1984 MTV movie awards “Like a Virgin” performance, during which the singer rolling around on the stage with her derriere exposed: “Your career is over.” 

Why she broke up with Basquiat: “He wouldn’t stop doing heroin. He was an amazing man and deeply talented, I loved him. When I broke up with him he made me give [the paintings he gave me] back to him. And then he painted over them black.” 

Her reaction to the public criticism she drew when adopting her children: “It crushed me. It was one of life’s great disappointments. It was really a bizarre experience. I don’t care if the Vatican thinks I’m ‘Catholic material’ or not, but I find it really strange that people gave me a hard time for adopting children.” 

Why that infamous Letterman interview didn’t go so well: “One time I was mad at him—when I said the f-word a lot. But… well, I was in a weird mood that day. I was dating Tupac Shakur at the time and he got me all riled up about life in general. So when I went on the show I was feeling very gangster.” 

The meaning behind her next single, “Ghosttown”: “This song is a post-apocalyptic love song. So if the world did collapse and there was one other person left—that would be all you had.” 

That she doesn’t fear death: “I’m going to live forever. If we’re artists we live forever because of what we leave behind.” 

You can listen to the entire interview below:

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