Madonna's Mark on Miami
August 29, 2012 | by —KEN RIVADENEIRA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MANNY HERNANDEZ PHOTO COLLECTION | Talk of the Town
Madonna gets friendly with music mogul David Geffen at the Delano (with Ingrid Casares in the background), during the Underworld book-release party, 1995
On November 19 and 20, Madonna will return to the American Airlines Arena on her MDNA Tour, and no doubt the sold-out concerts will dazzle with a mixture of artistry, politicizing, and plenty of sex. The latter, in fact, is what brought Em to the Magic City on February 14, 1992, when she and her entourage checked into the 16th floor of The Alexander hotel for a six-day sexual exploration to be photographed for the book she’d release later that year—Sex. For the notorious tome, Madonna frolicked in the buff at the Brickell Avenue home of Burdines’s then-president, James E. Gray; four months later, she bought it and became one of us.
It was a turning point for Miami—the queen of pop had deemed our city sexy enough to live in, catapulting our image as a sultry celebrity hot spot. Her nightly romps at legendary haunts such as Paragon, Warsaw, and Liquid—with her local personal accessory, Ingrid Casares, in tow—are still fodder for tour-guide spiels, as is her onetime co-ownership of the recently defunct Blue Door at the Delano. In this image, taken on November 25, 1995, she’s kissy-kissy at the Delano with music mogul David Geffen. He and other notables had flown in earlier that week for the opening of Liquid, and stayed for the book signing of (then-Mrs. Calvin) Kelly Klein’s Underworld—a sexified photographic ode to unmentionables. Another Madonna influence? In that golden age of South Beach, all roads seemingly led back to her.
Madonna left the Miami scene in 2000 to become Madge: stale, faux-Brit Mrs. Ritchie. Now Guy-less, she surprised us this year at Ultra Music Festival looking for “Molly.” Regardless of whether she found her, in Miami, the party still goes on.
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.