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Madonna Inducted Into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at The Waldorf Astoria in New York
By Allison Kugel, Senior Editor - March 11, 2008

Iggy Pop, Madonna, & Justin Timberlake
Iggy Pop, Madonna, & Justin Timberlake
 
Patti Labelle
Patti LaBelle
 
Tom Hanks & Dave Clark Five
Tom Hanks & Dave Clark Five
 
Patti LaBelle
Patti LaBelle
Madonna was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, March 10, 2008 at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City, among a crowd of A list stars and legendary musical artists such as Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ed Burns, and Justin Timberlake. Timberlake gave the artful introduction of Madonna where he recalled the material girl giving him a shot of vitamin B-12 in the derriere in a recording studio in London when he complained of being under the weather. Her reaction to seeing his naked rear end, “Nice top shelf!” Timberlake also took the opportunity of his induction duties to further display his bitterness towards his ex, Britney Spears, calling her a Madonna wannabe to which he got an uproarious reaction from the crowd. The introduction was also a promotional stunt to hype Madonna’s latest recording effort, Hard Candy, much of which is being produced by Timberlake.

Madonna’s acceptance speech was gracious and wistful as she recalled her childhood in Michigan, her days as a struggling dancer in New York and her early recording career through Sire Records (under the Warner Brothers label). She of course, referenced the Talmud – a scrolling of Jewish laws, ethics and customs – in her speech, paying homage to her adopted religion of Kabbalah. Though in the next breath Madonna reminisced about days of using recreational drugs and followed that up with sexual innuendo to rival Justin Timberlake’s sexually charged introduction. Madonna let the four letter words fly, and mindful of the VH1 cameras, it was a bit surreal to hear her drop some gratuitous F bombs. When you’re at these events in person, there is no “bleeping.”

The part of the evening that seemed out of left field was Madonna’s choice to have “another kick ass Michigan born” artist, Iggy Pop, do his tribute rendition of Madonna’s hit singles “Ray of Light” and “Burning Up.” A shirtless Iggy Pop slithered around the stage making possessed looking facial expressions and slurring the lyrics that Madonna made so legendary into the microphone in strange psychedelic fashion that made everyone in the audience first deadpan and then sway to the music in a polite manner. When cameras panned to Madonna and Justin Timberlake in the front row, they were captured looking amused, horrified, dumbfounded and then putting on a good face by bopping their heads to the beat. Back in the press room you’d have thought we were watching a skit straight out of Saturday Night Live. The entire press room sat there with their mouths hanging open, whispers in the air and then escaped spurts of laughter which eventually burst into hysterics. Those of us at the event saw footage on the monitors of Iggy Pop sauntering around backstage and into what looked like a kitchen area, still in a strange daze and still shirtless.

When the famous trio, Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Iggy Pop, came backstage for their photo op, arranged by Madonna’s longtime publicist Liz Rosenberg, the press room developed an electric energy and flashbulbs popped like wildfire. Madonna looked radiantly beautiful with a blonde fluffy bob and smoky eyes. She was in a jovial mood as Timberlake protectively kept his arm around her throughout the picture taking frenzy.

Tom Hanks was on hand to introduce fellow Hall of Fame inductees Dave Clark Five. Backstage they reminisced about “getting stuck in the lift” with Tom Hanks and how that gave them time to talk and bond before their elevator got moving again. Billy Joel introduced John Mellencamp who was also inducted into the Hall of Fame, using his platform to lament the drowning record sales of late and a “dying” music industry.

Perhaps Patti LaBelle, who performed during the ceremony was the most lively backstage as she giggled, grinned and waved to journalists in the crowd. Patti talked of taking up yoga and meditation in the coming year and cited 50 Cent, Dr. Dre and Tupac as some of her favorite artists. Patti LaBelle said, “California Love with Dr. Dre and Tupac” was her favorite song to dance to. She then spoke of younger female artists wearing next to nothing on stage and noted that “they think it will make them famous faster.”

Madonna Inducted Into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at The Waldorf Astoria in New York


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