Mayor of Madonna's 'provincial' hometown hits back
The mayor of Rochester Hills, Michigan — a city of some 80,000 people around 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Detroit — invited the 56-year-old star to come back for a fresh look after she told an interviewer that she “can’t be around basic, provincial-thinking people” there.
“We are many things, Madonna, but ‘basic and provincial-minded’ we are not!” Mayor Bryan Barnett wrote in an open letter published Tuesday in Detroit-area media.
Barnett said that Madonna was enshrined in the community wall of fame at the Van Hoosen Museum, named after an early female surgeon.
“Madonna, you have achieved unbelievable success and while we appreciate your talent and achievement, we expect you to appreciate ours,” Barnett wrote.
“While we certainly don’t need your stamp of approval, I am quite confident we would earn it,” he wrote.
Making the case that his town was not provincial, Barnett noted that Rochester Hills is a major hub for the robotics industry.
He also pointed to the community’s diversity, saying that Rochester Hills was home to a prominent mosque and “the largest Albanian Catholic church in the world outside of Albania.”
Madonna, speaking last week on entertainer Howard Stern’s radio show to promote her latest album “Rebel Heart,” said she had no desire to return to Rochester Hills which she described as all-white and wealthy.
“I just felt like I was with rich people, and I wasn’t, and I felt out of place,” Madonna said.
The singer, born as Madonna Louise Ciccone, made a name for herself after dropping out of the University of Michigan and moving to New York to be a dancer.
Madonna has long had a testy relationship with Michigan.
The Michigan town where she was born, Bay City, in 1985 reversed its decision to present her an honorary key after she posed naked in Playboy magazine.
Madonna later remembered Bay City as a “smelly little town.” -AFP