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Profiles of Paul McCartney, Madonna

Aired October 13, 2002 - 19:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, he's the 60-year-old legend who's showing no signs of slowing down.

PAUL MCCARTNEY, SINGER: I always joked that I would be like 90 and they'd be like wheeling me on, "yesterday."


ANNOUNCER: A rock'n'roll icon who was devastated by the death of his wife, Linda, but he soon discovered that all you need is love.


MCCARTNEY: So I feel very lucky to have found another great woman, who I'm in love with.


ANNOUNCER: Now he's on the road with his second smash tour this year.

Husband, rocker, and former Beatle Paul McCartney.

Then, she has seduced fans with her world tour and platinum albums, but is yet to seduce critics on screen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One thing she never really conquered was acting.


ANNOUNCER: From boy toy to material mom, and all the steps in between.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's living her life through a woman's eye now.


ANNOUNCER: Now she's teaming with her director husband in the new movie, "Swept Away."

The ever-evolving life of Madonna. Their stories and more, now on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Hi, welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn.

You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs, but 40 years after the Beatles released their first single, "Love Me Do," Paul McCartney looks around and finds it isn't so. At 60, McCartney is still making music, still recording, still touring, and he's still writing those love songs, thanks to renewed inspiration from his new wife, Heather Mills. Here's Kyra Phillips.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's hard to believe, but one of the most famous faces of the '60s has turned 60, and he's not showing any signs of slowing down. Last spring, Driving Rain USA, Paul McCartney's first American tour in almost 10 years sold out, stadium after stadium, in 19 cities, bringing in $53 million in just three months.

MCCARTNEY: I just play what I like and I try and please an audience, you know, I do my best. And we're just having a great time. But don't ask me why or how, it's just -- it's happening.

PHILLIPS: Now it's happening again. The rock legend has decided to give it another go.

MCCARTNEY: Toward the end of the tour, we were feeling so good with the band that I just thought, you know, it's rare when you get a really group of musicians together. So wait a minute, we're going to fold this? It was a pity, you know, hey,guys, that was great, see you. You don't do that with a good band normally.

PHILLIPS: Back in the U.S., part two of the top grossing tour kicked off in September and is still going strong.

But it's not just Sir Paul's professional life that is putting new wind in his sails.

MCCARTNEY: I think that my wife, Heather, has a lot to do with it, because it's great to have romance. You know, I'm a very romantic guy, and it really is nice to have a good woman.

PHILLIPS: The newlyweds are settling in now, happy to be done with the feeding frenzy their June wedding became.

But having the raft attention of the media and the public is nothing knew to this former Beatle. From the minute the shaggy haired British quartet deplaned in New York in 1964 with their matching black suits and impish grins, Beatle mania was born.

James Paul McCartney was dubbed the cute Beatle. Born in Liverpool on June 18, 1942, Paul was musically inclined from the very beginning. He taught himself to play the guitar by listening to records of his favorite American rock' n' rollers, but it was in 1957 at a church garden party in Liverpool that it all started to come together. There, Paul heard a 19-year-old playing American rock 'n' roll as the lead singer of a local band, The Quarrymen. His name was John Lennon.

That chance meeting led to a partnership that would last 13 years and produce a record number of number one singles.

MARTIN LEWIS, BEATLES BIOGRAPHER: They both benefited from each other. John's rough edges were varnished and polished by Paul's gift for entertainment and John's edginess rubbed off on Paul and gave him the ability to put some certain edginess into his own music.

PHILLIPS: Paul joined forces with John, and George Harrison, a young guitarist he rode the bus to school with every day, and in 1961, when drummer Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best, the Beatles as we know it was formed.

The Beatles became icons almost overnight.

LEWIS: All four Beatles were drawn to making music because they loved music. These days, it's hard to imagine, because the average pop star these days is drawn by the idea of fame or money, and making music is a pleasant third or fourth. For the Beatles, that was not the case.

PHILLIPS: The Fab Four's love of music came across in their first film, "A Hard Day's Night." It showcased the foursome's playful attitude, and convinced fans fame and fortune have not changed them at all.

LEWIS: They come across very naturally, and we just get the feeling of real guys who love each other very much. They are actually like four 8-year-old kids scampering around together. That's what they really are; four kids who were best friends.

PHILLIPS: When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, hard days ahead for the Beatles as that friendship begins to unravel.


ANNOUNCER: Also ahead on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, she is a hit on the Billboard charts, now Madonna is trying to score at the box office.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She cares very much about succeeding in everything she does.


ANNOUNCER: Get swept away with Madonna. That's later on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.


PHILLIPS: Between 1963 and 1967, every single released by the Beatles, from "She Loves You" to "All You Need is Love" went to number one.

But as time went on, there was friction building. The Lennon/McCartney songwriting team was like a pair of competing siblings -- always looking to one-up the other.

LEWIS: It's like playing tennis with somebody who's better than you. It constantly raises your level of game, and Paul and John were equals. So when John did a song of a certain kind, Paul would say, well, I'm going to equal him and maybe top him. And the same would happen. Paul would write an amazing song, and John would say, I've got to better that.

PHILLIPS: The duo was incredibly prolific, writing songs like "Ticket to Ride." At first, though, getting their new material down on paper was a bit of struggle, for both Paul and John, neither of them knew how to read music.

MCCARTNEY: Me and John always used to say, because we -- when we first started, it was before anything like tape cassettes, which we later used to just immediately put it down. Said OK, remember. And we said what if we forget it? We said, so you know, if we forget it, it can't be much good. How are going to expect them to remember if we just wrote it and we forgot it?

PHILLIPS: Fortunately for them, their technique worked, and the Beatles came out with a string of memorable hits. They traveled the globe and met some of the biggest celebrities of their time. Everyone wanted to meet the Liverpool lads who turned the world on its head.

In 1968, an American photographer was sent to capture some of the Beatle magic on film. Only on this assignment, Linda Eastman also captured the attention of one of her subjects.

PETER CASTRO, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: She photographed Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, you know, The Rolling Stones. She was a big name. And she photographed the Beatles at some event, met Paul. They started talking. They really clicked, and they never spent a day apart after that, essentially.

PHILLIPS: After a year-and-a-half, the two tried to wed quietly without much fanfare. Well, it didn't work. Paul and Linda were mobbed by paparazzi and sobbing girls mourning the loss of the last bachelor Beatle.

In 1969, Paul decided to take a little rest from the public eye to spend time with his new family. But his fans wondering where he had gone came to their own rather ominous conclusions.

LEWIS: The notion was that Paul had died in a car accident in 1966. And the Beatles, fearful that their popularity would waver, had drafted in a Scottish actor, given him plastic surgery to make him look like Paul and a voice to sound like Paul, and then miraculously, for some reason, he then continued to write songs like Paul. It was insane.

RINGO STARR, BEATLES' DRUMMER: We all thought, oh well; we'll do a photo with Paul. And everyone will just say, well, that's the fake Paul. You know, it is just a bit of crazy rubbish at the time.

PHILLIPS: Eventually, it took Paul posing on the cover of "Life" magazine to squash the rumor. Very much alive, Paul was at the height of success with the Beatles, but behind the scenes, tensions were brewing and the Fab Four could not agree on how to go forward.

CASTRO: They broke up over very different philosophies. Paul really kind of wanted to keep touring, and John wanted to be more of a recording artist in the studio. And lawyers got involved.

PHILLIPS: Pretty soon, the four close friends couldn't even be in the same room without fighting. In 1970, the Beatles, who had an unparalleled run at the top of the charts, called it quits. Even with 27 number one songs, and 18 years together as friends and partners, they could not mend the divide that had formed between them.

CASTRO: No one will ever know who instigated the break-up. It was ugly, though.

PHILLIPS: After the split, Paul was devastated, but Linda McCartney encouraged her husband to go back to doing what he did best.

DENNY SEIWELL, WINGS FORMER DRUMMER: She said, come on, you're a musician, you're a writer, you're an entertainer, let's go.

PHILLIPS: So in an attempt to forge a new identity with a band of his own, McCartney formed Wings in 1971 with wife Linda.

CASTRO: Paul loved Linda so much and was so devoted to her and they had such a strong marriage that they could not fathom life apart. That's how in love they were. And he said, if -- obviously, if I'm going to have a band and I'm going to tour and I can't live without you, you're going to have to be a part of the band.

LAURENCE JUBER, WINGS FORMER GUITARIST: It was their band. The billing might have gone, Paul McCartney & Wings, but Linda was very much a part of it, and very much part of the energy of the group.

PHILLIPS: To show her support, Linda put down her camera and picked up an instrument.

JUBER: Linda would be the first to admit that she wasn't a schooled musician, but what she had was a very rock' n' roll soul.

SEIWELL: She was really scared, and she did her best, you know. She really -- she was there because Paul needed her there.

PHILLIPS: Wings was truly a family affair. Kids and pets were always in tow, with Paul and earth mother Linda leading the pack. SEIWELL: They'd get a room and there wouldn't be a bed for little Stella or something, they'd open a drawer, draw a pillow in it, and that would be the bed for Stella. And the kids grew up with every respect in the world, you know. They didn't have things handed to them on a silver platter. They all had the right values established, and it was really neat to watch them as a couple and how they raised their family. It was as equally as well done as Paul's writing and singing abilities.

PHILLIPS: Defying the odds, Paul McCartney achieved success post-Beatles, but something still was not right. Paul wanted to reconcile with John Lennon, the person who had pushed him artistically and helped him reach his best.

In a cruel twist, just as the two began talking again, fate would intervene. On December 8, 1980, an assassin's bullet took the life of John Lennon, the founding member of the Beatles.

As he always did during the hard times, Paul leaned on his wife to help him recover from the loss of his friend, but eventually, there would come a time when the roles would be reversed, when he would have to be the strong one.

The feisty photographer who was so devoted to her husband and her children was diagnosed with breast cancer. The news was devastating to Paul, who also lost his mother to the disease. After a painful battle, Linda McCartney died in April of 1998.

CASTRO: He essentially cried for a straight year, wept, you know, uncontrollably.

PHILLIPS: Paul virtually disappeared in the months following Linda's death. Friends and fans wondered if he would ever recover.

PHILLIPS: When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, Paul McCartney tries to pick up the pieces and move on.





PHILLIPS (voice-over): Former Beatle Paul McCartney is still selling out arenas 40 years after hitting it big.

MCCARTNEY: It's really cool, you know. Let's face it, any band out there, any musician, that's what you want. You know, you rehearse all your life and you practice, and you want to go out and you want the people to enjoy what you do. So for me, it's fantastic.

PHILLIPS: The 60-year-old legend is having a great time now, but just four years ago, he was dealing with the death of his wife of 30 years, Linda. MCCARTNEY: A lot of people said to me, "OK, get very busy and throw yourself into work." And I thought well, I don't really want to do that. So for the first year, I just did what came naturally, and that involved a lot of crying, basically, and a lot of just letting it out.

PHILLIPS: After a period of mourning, the loving husband and devoted family man was asked the inevitable question -- would he find another great love?

MCCARTNEY: I just take things as they come. I think -- as I said before, I think Linda would want me to be happy whatever that involves, you know.

PHILLIPS: To help heal the wounds of losing Linda, McCartney immersed himself in something completely new, painting. A book of his paintings was published amid much fanfare.

MCCARTNEY: I'm still a musician. I love that. But I do love painting. And so, eventually, I was like persuaded to show them, you know, just to the people who might like it. And it just seems to have gone down pretty well except with a couple of snotty critics.

PHILLIPS: After about a year, Paul McCartney was ready to move on. In 1999, his life took a major turn when he met Heather Mills at a charity event. She was a vocal landmine and disability activist, issues that became painfully personal to her when the former model lost her leg after being run over by a police motorcycle. Paul and Heather developed a relationship, and soon he was helping her lobby to eliminate landmines.

After a year-long courtship, a diamond and sapphire ring from India sealed the deal. Paul and Heather became engaged.

MCCARTNEY: After my tragedy with Linda, that really knocked me, you know, like it would knock anyone. So I feel very lucky to have found another great woman, who I'm in love with.

PHILLIPS: But the gossip columns were not as optimist. They went into overdrive, portraying her as a gold-digging divorcee.

CASTRO: She had a very dicey reputation in London. She was sort of like a love'em-and-leave'em type. She had a series of broken engagements, and the man that she was with before Paul, she was engaged to and broke off the engagement two weeks before the wedding.

MCCARTNEY: Nonetheless, Sir Paul McCartney and his new love told the world they planned to wed.

MCCARTNEY: We are engaged, that's it. That's it.


MCCARTNEY: When it's all very private stuff, all that, you know. Anyway, we're standing here for the cameras and we're very happy and we'll get married sometime next year. That's about it. PHILLIPS: And with that, off they went, leaving the pack of buzz, begging for more information.

Even though they weren't divulging details on the upcoming weeding, the couple made lots of public appearances. They were at an awards banquet in New York City on September 10 of last year, planning to return home the next morning.

MCCARTNEY: And we were on the tarmac at JFK at quarter to nine when the captain just sort of stopped the plane and said there's been a terrible accident. And we could see it out of the window.

My dad had been a firefighter. That was kind of part of it. I was always seeing the firefighters and God; my dad did that in World War II. So it really brought it home for me, and I thought, well, I want to do something for these people and for New York and for the U.S.

PHILLIPS: The legendary songwriter was moved to write the 9/11 anthem, "Freedom."

MCCARTNEY: It was very quick, because some songs you don't want to mess around with too much, and in this particular case, it wasn't that I wanted to be quick, I wanted it to be simple. I thought, I want to come out there, and I want this to be like the debut of the song, and by the second chorus, I wanted them to know that it goes "Freedom," and I'll go, "I'm talking about freedom."

PHILLIPS: Throughout his long career, Paul McCartney has managed to face tragedy and move on.

LEWIS: Paul has always had a relentlessly optimistic slant on life, which is impressive bearing in mind the amount of tragedy he's had. I mean he lost his mother to breast cancer when he was 14. He lost his wife Linda to breast cancer. He lost John to a murderer and George recently. So he's dealt with a lot of sadness, but he's cheerful. He takes that attitude. He has a positivism, which I think is why he looks so sprightly for a man of his advanced years.

PHILLIPS: This past June, the eternal optimist was full of energy and vitality, preparing for his wedding to Heather Mills.

MCCARTNEY: What we're going to do is basically a family wedding, so we're going to have family and friends, and we're just going to have a bit of fun. And we (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Thank you very much for your support. We'll see you. Thank you. All right?

And if you didn't get that, you didn't get it.

PHILLIPS: After months of rumors and speculation on both sides of the Atlantic, the ceremony was finally held at remote Castle Leslie in Glaslough, Ireland.

The newlyweds are enjoying domestic bliss, with Sir Paul spending his mornings fixing breakfast and mid-day snacks for his new bride.

But Paul McCartney will never be a home-body.

SEIWELL: He can't stay off the road. He's a road dog. He loves to get up there and do what he does. I had to tell him, hey, you're 60, you're not supposed to be looking this good and playing as good.

PHILLIPS: Right now, he's on the road again. His U.S. tour continues through the end of October. Anything after that is a question mark.

MCCARTNEY: I always said, you know, people said, when will you retire? I mean, I think it's like everyone, you do that when you've had enough, when you're fed up. At the moment, I am not fed up, and I always do the joke that I would be like 90 and they'd be like wheeling me on, "yesterday." One person in the audience. Good. Thank you. I love you.


ZAHN: Next month, Paul McCartney will headline a tribute concert to his late friend, George Harrison. McCartney will be joined by fellow Beatle, Ringo Starr.

ANNOUNCER: When PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, Mr. and Mrs. Ritchie make a movie, but will it be a hit with the critics? Madonna's life with director husband Guy Ritchie, on and off the screen, coming up.


ZAHN: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. What's a material girl to do when international pop stardom, legions of fans and untold millions just aren't enough? Well, if you're Madonna, you do another movie, but not just any movie, a movie directed by your husband, a movie that calls for you to play, imagine this, an ultra-rich, ultra- intense dive. More on Madonna now from Sharon Collins.


SHARON COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just one year ago, it seemed a 43-year-old Madonna has reached her peak. Her "Drowned World Tour" grossed $75 million, and she had released her second greatest hits album. But Madonna was not quite content.

CASTRO: She just did a world tour. She just did an album. She has that down pat, but one thing she never really conquered was acting.

COLLINS: She tried and failed to conquer it on a London stage this summer. But this weekend, she gets another shot, with the opening of "Swept Away."

This time, especially with husband Guy Ritchie at the helm, it's likely that reviews will matter to Madonna.

CASTRO: She cares very much what people think of her, and she cares very much about succeeding in everything she does. COLLINS: Fortunately, for Madonna, nothing can change the fact that this married mother of two remains a pop icon. Through scandal, reinvention and redemption, she's kept fans and critics alike interested for nearly 20 years.

NILE RODGERS, PRODUCER, "LIKE A VIRGIN": She's what I call a true star. Even after all of these years, I still am curious as to -- I wonder what she eats for breakfast now, and that's because she's inherently interesting.

COLLINS: Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone was born to a homemaker and an automotive engineer on August 16, 1958. The family lived in an unremarkable suburb of Detroit.

MADONNA, MUSICIAN: I won't say that we were poor, but we definitely -- I would say we were lower middle class, and I come from a really big family.

COLLINS: Named after her mother, a young Madonna worked hard to stand out in a family of six kids. Legend has it she would dance and sing on tabletops when the mood struck here. But tragedy rocked the world of this bubbly girl at a young age.

J. RANDY TARABORRELLI, AUTHOR, "MADONNA: AN INTIMATE BIOGRAPHY": Many people know that her mother died when she was 5 years old. But what people don't know is just how terrible that last year of Madonna's mother's life was for Madonna.

COLLINS: At Adam's High School in Rochester, Michigan, Madonna lost herself in theater and dance.

MADONNA: I was more of a dancing kid than a singing kid. I mean I was -- I sang in school choirs and I sang in school musicals, but I was much more interested in dancing than singing.

COLLINS: Even as teenager, Madonna Ciccone made sure she wasn't overlooked.

TARABORRELLI: She would do stunts as a cheerleader that would, you know, by design, show her panties or she would wear flesh colored panties while she was doing cheers so that you would think she didn't have any on.

COLLINS: In high school, Madonna a straight A student. Even then, driven to succeed.

KAREN CRAVEN, MADONNA'S CHEERLEADING COACH: She was willing to practice a lot, study a lot. She wasn't a goof-off. And she didn't sluff off. She always worked hard.

COLLINS: That hard work landed her a dance scholarship to the University of Michigan. But one year of college was enough for Madonna. She was in a hurry to get on to bigger things. So in 1978, she arrived in the heart of New York's seedy Times Square with little money and no place to live. MADONNA: I danced in a lot of companies in New York for years and realized that I was going to be living a hand-to-mouth existence for the rest of my life.

COLLINS: As a fixture on the New York club scene, Madonna got an influential DJ to record a demo tape for her that featured a dance track called "Everybody."

MADONNA: People would hear me sing and they'd say, "Hey, your, you know, your voice isn't bad." And I'd say, "Oh really?" I mean I never had any training. I never wanted to be a singer. That's not how I started out.

COLLINS: The demo tape eventually landed in the hands of Seymour Stein...


COLLINS: ... chairman of London's Sire Records.

STEIN: She was singing with a lot of heart and that's what came across. I was in the hospital, so I played it over and over again and I really, really liked it. I wanted to sign her it immediately.

COLLINS: "Everybody" became a hit on dance floors, and in 1983, Madonna's self-titled debut was released. The single "Holiday" earned Madonna an appearance on "American Bandstand" and an infamous post performance interview with host Dick Clark.

DICK CLARK, CEO, DICK CLARK PRODUCTIONS: What are your dreams? What's left?

MADONNA: To rule the world.

CLARK: There you go. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Madonna.

People would say, but how did you know when you say you knew she was a star? It wasn't from my listening, hearing or seeing anything. I watched the kids and they loved her. She had a -- some sort of a -- kind of a bizarre outfit on and she looked different and she was different and they loved her.

COLLINS: Next came an unforgettable performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

MADONNA: ... shiny and new. Like a virgin, hey, touched for the very first time.

RODGERS: It was the perfect blend of theatrics as well as, you know, sort of like psychological warfare too. Nobody knew what to make of this new girl who was riding around on the floor in this wedding dress.

COLLINS: Madonna had invaded the public consciousness and set the stage for nearly 20 years of controversy and success. TARABORRELLI: I thought she was going to be one of these rock stars who would thumb her nose at the American public for a few years and then just slink off into obscurity, but apparently, she had bigger plans.

COLLINS: When Madonna's story continues, how she turned a steamy video banned by MTV into a marketing coupe.




COLLINS: By early 1985, Madonna's second album, "Like a Virgin," and its number one single had catapulted her to fame. It also established her as an artist out to push the public's buttons.

TARABORRELLI: At the beginning of her career, she was always one step ahead of her detractors, in the sense that she made a decision to present herself with a tongue-in-cheek sort of a wink and a nod sense of irony.

COLLINS: And her fans were eating it up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't have this happen, like, every day, do you? I mean it must get a little crazy.

MADONNA: Thank God, no.

COLLINS: In her critically acclaimed film debut, "Desperately Seeking Susan," Madonna essentially played herself.

MADONNA: Why don't I get some pizza and I'll meet you at home?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got a place?

MADONNA: Not exactly, but I'm working on it.

TARABORRELLI: You knew it was real. You knew that she really was this sort of boy-toy material girl.

COLLINS: On the set of her "Material Girl" video, Madonna met the man she once called the love of her life. Sean Penn was an interesting choice for a woman who loved the spotlight.

TARABORRELLI: During this time in her life, she was constantly surrounded by the media and by paparazzi. She loved it. She had worked very hard to get this kind of attention. Sean, on the other hand, as he explained to me, felt that it was a real intrusion.

COLLINS: So much so that more than once, Penn's fists landed on a photographer's face. But love won out, and on her 27th birthday in Malibu, California, Madonna became Mrs. Sean Penn in a ceremony off limits to the media. MADONNA: I didn't like the attention that, you know, the focus on the state of our marriage. I like attention when it's about the work, but not about relationships.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": And he didn't like it either.

MADONNA: No, he hated it.

COLLINS: And the critics hated them in the movie they did together, "Shanghai Surprise." Their off-screen relationship wasn't faring much better. Four years into the marriage, things fell apart. Madonna filed for divorce on January 5, 1989, amid rumors of physical abuse. The breakup left Madonna emotionally scarred.

TARABORRELLI: She wasn't used to failures. So that was a bitter pill to swallow. It was very difficult for her.

MADONNA: He's an incredible human being. He's intelligent. He's talented and even though, you know, things didn't work out for us in terms of our marriage, I don't regret marrying him for a moment.

COLLINS: In March of 1989, Madonna released a fourth album; her most artistically mature to date. It spawned three number one singles, including the self-penned "Like a Prayer."

MADONNA: When you call my name, it's like a little prayer.

COLLINS: The song's video came complete with burning crosses and sexual innuendo, awakening the ire of religious groups.

TARABORRELLI: Well, Madonna's always had sort of a love-hate relationship with the Catholic faith. You know, a lot of what she was doing back in those years was to get attention and also, to make a certain statement that these really are just symbols and that perhaps the Catholic faith is really about more than that.

COLLINS: The hype only added fuel to the fire of Madonna's stardom, a lesson the business savvy performer would not forget.

Her 1991 video, "Justify My Love," was even too steamy for MTV. The channel refused to air the video, and Madonna refused to re-edit it. Instead, she made the video available in stores, where it went on to sell more than half a million copies. Her detractors saw the successful turn of events as a thinly veiled exercise in shrewd marketing.

ALEK KESHISHIAN, DIRECTOR, "TRUTH OR DARE": I got the phone call the day that MTV banned the video. And it was not Madonna gleefully jumping up and down, saying, yeah, yeah, yeah, they fell right into it, at all. It was a woman saying, I've just spent three weeks of my life on this video, you know, and now it might not get seen at all. And then she figures out what to do, and that's what makes her a great businesswoman.

COLLINS: Madonna continued down the road to the dark side with the erotic thriller, "Body of Evidence," and the publication of her intensely graphic book of fantasies titled simply "Sex."

TARABORRELLI: She was pushing the envelope, but she was, at the same time, pushing it right down people's throats.

MADONNA: I don't know why I get so much (expletive deleted).

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE DAVID LETTERMAN SHOW": You realize this is being broadcast, don't you?

COLLINS: A supposedly playful appearance on "The David Letterman Show" backfired, and a string of high-profile romances didn't enhance her reputation. Even sales of her LP "Erotica" were sluggish by Madonna's standards.

TARABORRELLI: This was a time in her life when she was really distancing herself from her public in a way that could have proved completely damaging to a person's career, had it been anybody other than Madonna.

COLLINS: It was time for a reinvention.

STEIN: It's almost as if she, like, reached down, turned herself inside out, you know, like she's a real chameleon, and she can do it over and over again.

COLLINS: In the fall of 1994, Madonna released the romantic ballad "Take a Bow," appearing soft and vulnerable in the video.

MADONNA: This show is over. Say good-bye.

COLLINS: It was her most successful single ever, staying at number one for nine weeks. At the same time, a transformation was beginning to take place in Madonna's personal life.

During the filming of "Evita," a role Madonna had lobbied after for years, she discovered she was pregnant. Her personal trainer, Carlos Leon, was the father. In October of 1996, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, affectionately known as Lola, was born. At the age of 38, Madonna became a mother.

MADONNA: Every day, I'm in complete wonderment of her.

COLLINS: Shortly after Lourdes was born, "Evita" was released.

MADONNA: Don't cry for me Argentina.

COLLINS: Madonna's work on her voice and her acting paid off. In January of 1997, she was rewarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press with a Golden Globe.

NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTRESS: And the winner is Madonna, "Evita."

MADONNA: I just feel that what's happening to me is a perfect example that, of, you know, if you just keep on going and you put your mind to something, you can achieve anything.

COLLINS: Coming up, Madonna gets swept away by a new husband on and off screen.

MADONNA: It was totally weird, especially with the man I loved directing me.


ZAHN: Madonna gets swept away on screen and off when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues, but first, here's this week's passages.


ANNOUNCER: Late night host David Letterman had a stalker. Now, he's been robbed. Police say about $4,000 was taken out of Letterman's desk this week.

In Letterman's tradition, from the home offices in Salem, Massachusetts, here are the top three items not taken from the office. Number three, an autographed copy of a rare Paul Shaffer 8-track. Number two, dart board in the shape of Jay Leno's head. And the number one thing, a fruit basket from Ted Koppel.

He may live in a pineapple under the sea, but is he sharing it with a domestic life partner? It seems that SpongeBob SquarePants is the latest cartoon character whose sexuality is being questioned. Usually straight-edged "Wall Street Journal" reports SpongeBob has a big gay following. SpongeBob merchandise has been flying off the shelves in stores that cater to homosexuals. Producers of the Nickelodeon show have given no clear answer on SpongeBob's preference, and no word yet from Jerry Falwell.

For more celebrity news, just pick up a copy of "People" magazine this week. A profile of Madonna will continue after this.



MADONNA: ... when you're broken when your heart's not open. Mmmmm, if I could melt...

COLLINS: After more than 15 years in the public eye and almost as many incarnations, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone emerged in the late '90s as a woman and mother in search of the deeper meanings in life.

MADONNA: I've studied Hinduism. I studied Buddhism, Taoism.

KING: You believe in a supreme being?

MADONNA: Absolutely, but I also believe that all paths lead to God.

COLLINS: Madonna's newfound spirituality came through on her 1998 release, "Ray of Light." Critics called the album the best of her career.

MADONNA: And I feel like I just got home and I feel...

COLLINS: The new Madonna was a far cry from the hard-edged sexual expressionist of the early '90s.

TARABORRELLI: The popular conception about Madonna is that she has reinvented herself over and over and over again, and it's often put out there as a pejorative notion, in the sense that this is a woman who really has no identity.

STEIN: You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. It's 19 years, come on, give the girl credit. She's a star, she's, really -- come on.

NIKI HARIS, MADONNA BACKUP SINGER: It's just a journey. I mean I think she's just like everybody else. She's a work in progress. She just happens to be playing it out in front of cameras.

CASTRO: She never really got the critical acclaim that she craved, and she's -- for two decades, has been wrestling with issues of respect and do they really respect me, do they get me, do they understand me.

COLLINS: In 1999, Madonna finally got what she wanted.

KING: You win the Grammy. Let's say, you win the Grammy. I predict. Your lips to God.

MADONNA: Please.

COLLINS: "Ray of Light" won four Grammies. Her spiritual rebirth had been validated, and one year later, Madonna announced she was pregnant for the second time. Guy Ritchie, an edgy British film director, was the father. Rocco Ritchie was born in Los Angeles August 11, 2000; at the same time the title track from his mom's forthcoming album, "Music," had planted itself in the "Billboard" top 40.

MADONNA: Music makes the people come together.

COLLINS: "Music," the album, arrived to raves and hit number one in more than 40 countries. Madonna had taken chances artistically, using European producers to give her a fresh sound.

MADONNA: Yeah, I always want to write good music. And I always -- you know, every time I go in the studio, I always think of God, I hope I can keep coming up with the goods and somehow it just happens.

COLLINS: Madonna's private life was also flourishing. On December 21, 2000, Madonna christened Rocco and married his dad the next day at Skibo Castle in Scotland. However, the marriage wasn't a signal that Madonna was ready to settle down entirely.

Madonna stretched herself artistically on 2001's "Drowned" world tour, and this year, she has embarked on some of the biggest challenges of her career -- a starring role on a West End London stage in an art world satire titled "Up for Grabs" received tepid reviews, but was sold out every night.

And now comes her latest starring film role.

CASTRO: It's a remake of a movie called "Swept Away," which was a '70s film, an Italian movie.

COLLINS: Acting under her husband Guy Ritchie's direction presented a particular challenge for Madonna, particularly during the sex scenes.

MADONNA: It was totally weird, especially with the man I love directing me. It was strange, and Adriano felt strange too, but we tried to kind of jolly each other along through it all.

COLLINS: Early buzz, however, does not bode well for the team effort.

CASTRO: The test audiences hated it so much so that they took it off the list at the Cannes Film Festival. It's so bad that they don't even want to preview it there.

COLLINS: Luckily, Madonna has got another career to fall back on if the acting doesn't work out.

CASTRO: I actually don't think Madonna has peaked as a musical performer.

HARIS: I think the artist in her will want to tour again. I don't think that you can pick up an instrument and realize, oh, I can play this. I don't think you can -- as an artist, I don't think you can watch your voice start to blossom and not want to go share that with people.

STEIN: If you just look back at all the female superstars that have come and gone in the span of her career, I think it's just not a safe bet any more to bet against her.

CASTRO: I think that what Madonna wants and what she will get is 100 years from now, will people know who Madonna was the way they know who Mozart was and I think the answer to that is absolutely yes.

COLLINS: For her part, Madonna has no regrets.

MADONNA: I wouldn't trade my life for anyone's.


ZAHN: Madonna has just released a new single, her first since last spring. It's called "Die Another Day," and it's the title track for the latest James Bond film, the film in which Madonna makes a cameo appearance.

That is it for this edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Next week, comedy and controversy from film maker and author Michael Moore.

And coming up this week on "AMERICAN MORNING," baseball legend Cal Ripken. I'm Paula Zahn. Thanks so much for joining us.


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