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August 20, 2021 28 mins

Justin Timberlake shares how Madonna used her talent, business acumen and creativity to rule the music world and the charts. In Madonna’s humorous and poignant remarks make it clear that her drive, vision and Blond Ambition are what led to her “first name only” icon status.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
M H. Welcome to Induction Vault, a production of I
Heart Radio and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
m HM. The Queen of Pop. Madonna famously stated early

in her career that her goal was to rule the world.
In his rather cheeky induction speech, fellow pop superstar and
collaborator Justin Timberlake outlines how Madonna used her talent, business acumen,
and creativity to do just that, rule the music world
and the charts. In Madonna's humorous, poignant remarks, she thanks

her family, fans, and a number of industry colleagues who
helped her along the way. But it's clear that madonna
singular drive, vision and blonde ambition are what led her
to the first name only icon status in career. LONGEA uh, okay,

shut up, it's not about me tonight. Uh huh, Madonna.
Madonna will be out of the music business in six months.

Let's let me finish. Her voice is like a Minni
mouse on helium. Comparing Marilyn Monroe's Madonna is like comparing
Roquell Welch with the back of a bus. That's what
they were saying about Madonna years ago. I don't think

any of them are around to say it tonight. HM. See,
a strange thing happens when you're asked to induct Madonna
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. First, of course,
you're overwhelmingly honored, because there is and will only ever

be one Madonna. But then, but then you become aware
that every single word you can possibly imagine saying about
Madonna's suddenly sounds much hotter, much dirtier, and a whole

hell of a lot more fun in dubbed her. Well, yes,
I'd love to yeah, enter the Hall every chance I get.

With all due respect to the fine city of Cleveland,
even that place sounds slightly erotic knowing that Madonna is
going to be entering the hall just as soon as
I have the pleasure of personally inducting her. And though

I'm pretty sure little Richard would disagree, the truth is
that nobody has ever gotten into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame while still looking this, damn fine, Madonna,
you're taking your rightful place in this hall. But I'll
just go on record saying you are no old museum piece.

But tonight, tonight is not just a chance for me
to come on to Madonna. I said come on to
don't that's terrible. Tonight is a moment to pause and
consider the singular impact of this woman. Madonna has changed
the way our world sounded, She's changed the way our

world looked, and somehow she's still found time to publicly
kiss at least someone who I may or may not
have kissed myself while I was in the audience. Yeah,

of course, you all know how I'm talking about, Sean Penn.
They're jokes, They're they're jokes. For longer than I can remember,
back before breastfeeding, Madonna has been causing a stir, usually
well timed for the release of her latest album, and
making our culture a more provocative and interesting place. When

she first appeared on the scene, assultry dance pop act
dressed in lace and fishnet stockings, Madonna captured the attention
of women and men with a certain downtown thrift store
sheet that was all her own until millions tried to
jump on her bandwagon. Back then, few would have predicted
that all these years later, and she politely but firmly

forbid me to count, she would remain one of the
most popular and crowd pleasing acts all around the world.
Yet Madonna hasn't become one of music's greatest stories ever
told just by shocking us at regular intervals. She's done it.
She's done it by working harder and being smarter than
everybody else. As she made MTV the place to be seen,

she racked up the greatest track record in music history
forty seven top forty hits. That's almost one for every
year that she's been alive, give or take a few.
But all right, I told her I was going to
jabb her a little bit. Anyways. The point is this

is a singing, dancing, writing, promoting, achieving superstar who became
the biggest name on the planet the old fashioned way.
She earned it. YEA. The success story of Madonna Luis
Veronica Iconi, the daughter of Madonna Luise and Tony Pizzaconi

from Bay City, Michigan, is a one of a kind
and truly global. Like most great artists, Madonna didn't have
the easiest of childhoods, but she found her way to
New York City, a place that seemed to suit her
incredible style and energy. She studied dance with Alvin Ailey
and even tour with a disco act called the Patrick

Hernandez Review Madonna has always proudly let her dance music
roots show. Dance music often expresses joy and the joy
of sex, but Madonna drew upon its power to spread
a message that suggested she was never really a material girl.
Her tracks have always been fresh, with an ever changing

sense of style and groove, yet taken as a whole,
her shapely body of work told a story and offered
a transcendent message of hope and empowerment that managed to
be spiritual and sensual. Madonna. Madonna's music dared you hell.
It ordered you to express yourself, to open your heart,

to cherish and to justify her love. Whatever post she
whatever post she was striking at any given moment, Madonna
has remained both a familiar friend and a beautiful stranger.
She's consistently evoked the past with an edge that felt

shocking new. She bravely mixed and matched the sacred and
the profane. She may have been, in some way like
a virgin, but there was never any doubt this is
a woman of experience. Sex is not just the name
of some books she wrote, and there's never been any
question about who's running Madonna's career. She's always been a

woman on top. And I'm sure fully enjoying that position.
And that's true today, whether that's in her position as
a singer, songwriter, dancer, producer, author, director, wife or mother.

I co wrote and co produced half of the tracks
on her new record entitled Hard Candy and I and
and naturally, when I tell people that, they're always asking
me what it's really like to work with Madonna? Is
she the control freak that everyone says she is? And

I'm gonna tell ya, heil, yeah, as a matter of fact,
As a matter of fact, I want to tell a
little story really quick. One day in London, I showed
up to the studio and as probably because of the
freaking schedule she had us under, but I was feeling
a little ill. I was feeling under the weather and

she could tell. And she said, you're not feeling too
well today? And I said, no, no, well on the day.
And she said, well, would you like a beach well shot?
We can get a beach well shot. And I was like, yeah,
I love a beach well shot. That's the first thing
I thought of. And uh and and so I'm thinking,
I'm thinking right that, you know, we're gonna call a

doctor and he's gonna make a house called you know.
And uh. So then she proceeds to reach into her
designer handbag and uh pull a zip lock bag of
beach welveth syringes out. And then she looks at me
with that case that she looks at people with, and
she says to me, drop them. I don't. I don't

know what you say to that, So I immediately dropped
my pants. And this is a true story. By the way,
this I'm not I swear, I'm not making this up.
So so she gives me the beat roll shot in
my ass and uh. Then she looks at me and
she says, nice top shelf. And that was one of

the greatest days of my life. But I guess, I guess.
I guess in my own cheesy way. I got to
think and I would tell this story because I figured
that's exactly what Madonna is and will continue to be

for all of us, the shot in the ass when
we really needed it. Her upcoming single from her new
album is called four Minutes to Save the World, and
in a sense, that's what Madonna has always done, save
the world, one great four minutes song at a time.

Ladies and gentlemen, the world has long been full of
Madonna wannabes, and I might have even dated a couple,
but there is but there is only one Madonna. So
right now it is one of the true thrills and
privileges of my life to stand on this stage and

induct Madonna into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
After the break, we'll hear from Madonna herself on the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction vault. I can't

decide what I need to recover from all my bad
hairstyles in the previous video or all of Justin's innuendos.
Everything he said is basically true, but I didn't say
drop him. I said pull your pants down, okay, just
like to be accurate. As you know, I am a

control freak. Um. I'm not sure my speech will be
as entertaining, but I do mean it. Um. It is
a great honor to receive this award, and I'm grateful
and appreciative for for the acknowledgment that that this implies.

But there's something finite about an award, and I would
like to reflect for a moment on the things in
my life, on the things in my life which have
not been and continue to not be finite. I have
always been fortunate to have people around me who believed

in me, starting with my ballet teacher, Christopher Flynn in Detroit, Michigan,
who told me at the age of fourteen that I
was special, that I needed to believe in myself, that
I needed to go out into the world and pursue
my dreams. Those words meant everything to me, because I

can assure you, at the time, I didn't feel special.
And then there was Dan Gilroy. He lived in an
abandoned synagogue and Queens with his brother Ed. They played
in a band together. I was sick of being an
out of work dancer, so he taught me how to
play guitar. And every day when Dan and Ed would

go to work on or day jobs, I would sneak
down to the basement and I taught myself how to
play the drums, listening to Elvis Costello records, and I
practiced those four chords that Dan taught me over and
over and over again. I wrote my first song in
that synagogue. It was called Ironically Tell the Truth. I remember.

I remember that moment so so vividly. I remember the
hair standing up on the back of my arms and
I'm and I thought to myself, who just wrote that song?
That wasn't me? I felt like I had been possessed
by some magic. And luckily for me, I have been
miraculously and continuously possessed by some kind of magic. And

even now, my manager, guyos Siri, who's out there somewhere
in the audience watching right now, is says to me
almost every day, m anything is possible. Just tell me
what it is you want to achieve, and he really
means it. Thirty five years later, people are still encouraging

me to believe in my dreams. What more could I
ask for? There's a saying in the Talmud that for
every blade of that, for every blade of grass, there's
an angel that watches over it, and whispers grow grow.
And I can still hear those angels whispering. And even

the naysayers, the ones who said that I was talentless,
that I was chubby, that I couldn't sing, that I
was a one hit wonder, they helped me too. They

helped me because they made me question myself repeatedly, and
they pushed me to be better. And I am grateful
for their resistance. I know that I would not be
here right now without all of it, without all of you,
because life, like art, is a collaboration, and I did

not get here on my own, and why would I
want to. There's no way that I could ever imagined
that my life would on furl as it has. In
one way, it feels like a series of Suddenly. One
day I was a struggling dancer in Manhattan, and then

suddenly I was teaching myself how to play the drums
in a synagogue and queens. And then suddenly I was
in a band, and I was doing gigs at CBGBs
in Max's Kansas City and yeah, and then suddenly I
met seymour Stein hooked up to an ivy drip in
a hospital bed. And then suddenly I got signed to

Sire Records. And then suddenly I was rolling around on
the floor at the MTV Awards with my ass hanging out.
What nobody knows is that I lost one of my
high heels, and I dove to the ground to find it,
and suddenly it was a dance move. Yikes. And then

I had to go backstage and look at my manager,
who was white as a ghost, freaking out and telling
me I just ruined my career. What did he know?
Then suddenly I was on the stage at Madison Square
Garden and I looked out into the audience and every
girl was dressed like me. Freak me out any ways,

suddenly and suddenly and suddenly. That's one way of looking
at it. The other way of looking at it is
that everything happened exactly is it was supposed to happen.
That I worked with the amazing people I was supposed
to work with, that I traveled to the amazing places
I was supposed to travel to, that I made the
mistakes that I was supposed to make, that the universe

would conspire to help me and guide me all the
way up to this moment where I am standing in
front of you, and finally I have the chance to
say thank you to so many people. First and foremost,
I would like to thank my record company, Warner Brothers,
whom I have been signed to for my entire recording career.

That many people can say that. And then there's Michael Rosenblatt.
I wish he was here tonight. He the person that
more or less discovered me in a nightclub in Manhattan.
He told me what he was an a and R
guy at Sire Records. I had no idea what any
and R guy was, but it sounded important, so I

jammed my demo tape into his hand. We both did
a tab of ecstasy and then we danced the night away.
That's the truth, um, which leads me to the next
person I have to thank, and that is Seymour Stein.

And I do think he's here tonight, Seymour. Where are
you somewhere? The legendary Seymour Stein. Yeah. Um. To know
Seymour is to love Seymour. Yeah, who takes meetings with

people when they're hooked up to ivy droops in a
hospital bed? Okay, I mean I thought the guy was
going to die, but he asked me. He was wearing
boxer shorts, by the way, and a T shirt. Was
a little bit strange. He asked me to play my
demo tape for him, and I just happened to be
carrying a boom box with me, so yeah, so I

played my music and he seemed to like it. And anyways,
Seymour still alive and well, which is great news. Thank you, Seymour.
Does any of this sound strange? Hospitals, synagogues, ecstasy. I
don't know, believe me, it just gets stranger. Um. The

next person I have to thank is Liz Rosenberg. I
know she's also here somewhere. Yeah. Um, she's been and
still still is the head of publicity for my entire career. Now,
does anybody understand the insanity of being my publicist for

the last twenty five years? Yeah? Well, I think Liz
was smoking a joint when I first met her. Yeah. Yeah,
I walked into her office and she very politely stuffed
it out in the ash tree. I don't think she

thought I knew she was smoking a joint, but it
was a little bit obvious anyway. Um, we hit it
off right away. She was my kind of girl, tough,
irreverent and funny, and we've had a long and amazing
uh chunk of time together. God. Um, after dealing with

all the nutcases she's had to deal with and putting
out all the fires that she's had to put out,
it's kind of amazing that she's not shooting up heroin
m I don't mean to grasp everybody up and make
it sound like everybody I hooked up with was like
a drug addict or anything, but the fact of the

matter is. The reality is is that I ended up
with a group of very responsible and hard working people
who gave me an enormous amount of love and support,
along with everyone else at my record company. And I
don't have time to thank all of you, but thank you.
So then, of course I needed a manager, right, So

I asked myself self who is the most successful artist
in the business today, and self answered Michael Jackson. So
off I went to l A to find the man
who managed Michael Jackson to make him my manager. M

cut two, Freddy demand another man. I want to thank
the ultimate Matt Daddy manager, slicked back hair, tan, smelling
of expensive cologne, big desk, smoking a cigar. Yeah, he
drove a Porsche. He gave me a ride back to
my hotel on that Porsche. By the time we got there,

he was my manager and there was no monkey business.
Okay he gave me. I'm just kidding. Um see he

rubbed off on me. This speech was not meant to
have a lot of sexual innuendos. Somehow he's bringing sexy back. Okay,
I'll get you, sucker um. Okay. So we had an
amazing fifteen years together and I learned a lot from him,

so thank you, Freddie. To man. It is while I
was with Freddie that I met this incredibly cocky Israeli
teenager named Guy oh Siri. He was like Freddie step
and fetch it boy. Yeah. He was always putting his

two cents in, even when and especially when I didn't
ask for it. He was the most ambitious, confident, idealistic,
hungry for knowledge, obsessed with money eighteen year old I
had ever met. He kept pestering me with his ideas,
He never stopped scheming. He was relentless and today he's

my manager, okay, and I know that he would fly
to the ends of the earth for me. So thank
you Guy. And as you can see, everything kind of
goes full circle here, doesn't it. Um. But what's a

record without the music? Right? That's right, motherfucker's what's a
record without Nile Rodgers, Pat Leonard, Baby Face, Joe, Henry
William More, miraz Amat, Say, Stuart Price, Farrell and now

justin timber Lake and Timberland. I feel so lucky to
have been able to work with such amazing songwriters and producers.
I can't underestimate how grateful I am for that. I

would also like to thank all of my fans who
have stuck by me through thick and thin. God knows
they've stuck by me. Yes, now be quiet. Now they've

stuck by me through thick and thin, and God knows
there's been a lot of thick. M hm, that's not
an innuendo, okay. I'd also like to thank the sem
Text girls who are my soldiers and I know they
would walk through the fire with me. Thank you, ladies,

to my to my teachers, my friends, and my family.
I thank you all for facilitating this journey, which for
me has only just begun, and for reminding me that
I am only the manager of my talent, not the owner.
I've gone on to do so many things in my life,
from writing children's books to designing clothes, who directing a film.

But for me, it always does and it always will
come back to the music. So thank you very much.

Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault. For more on
your favorite inductees, to shop inductee merch or to plan
your trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
visit rock hall dot com plus Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame Induction Special on demand on HBO Max. Our
executive producers are Noel Brown, Shelby Morrison, and Re sigur Key.

Supervising producer is Taylor Shakog. Research and archival assistants from
Isabelle Keeper and Shannon Herb. Thanks again for joining us
on this week's episode of Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame Induction Vall Induction Ball is a production of I
Heart Radio in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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