Madonna has paid tribute to Seymour Stein — the music executive responsible for kick-starting her career following his passing.
The Sire Records co-founder’s died in his Los Angeles home on Sunday, April 2, after a long battle with cancer, at age 80. In a lengthy, heartfelt tribute shared with millions of followers, Madonna reflected on how the late entrepreneur changed her life by signing her to his label in 1982.
Madonna Mourns The Loss Of Seymour Stein With Emotional Instagram Tribute
Even though Stein’s deep knowledge and appreciation of music made him an astute judge of talent during the ‘70s, signing record deals with Talking Heads, the Pretenders, and the Ramones, it was not till the ‘80s that his luck changed. That was the year he heard Madonna’s demo tape, eventually signing her to his record label.
Since then, the duo has maintained a cordial relationship, with the “4 Minutes” singer not unable to hold back the emotions as she addressed the passing of her longtime friend and first supporter. In a tribute shared alongside a series of heartwarming throwback images of the music exec and the singer-songwriter, she wrote:
“Seymour Stein has left us! I need to catch my breath. He was one of the most influential men in my life. He changed and shaped my world.”
The “Like a Prayer” artiste narrated how she met Stein, explaining that the talent nurturer had asked to see her after DJ Mark Kamins played a demo of her song, “Everybody,” during a night out at the New York nightclub Danceteria.
She recalled that even though the Warner Bros. Records vice president was “in hospital for a heart ailment,” he still kept to their appointment. In the Queen of Pop’s words:
“When I met him he was laying in a hospital bed wearing his boxer shorts and a wife beater! He had a cannula up his nose and a saline drip in his arm. He was grinning like the Cheshire Cat.”
The meeting went great, with the New York native asking the “Hung Up” singer if she “was related to the Virgin Mary.” The 64-year-old added that the “Siren Song: My Life in Music” author signed her to Sire Records that same day after she played her song “a few times.”
“This moment changed the course of my life forever. And was the beginning of my journey as a musical artist. Not only did Seymour hear me, but he saw me and my potential! For this, I will be eternally grateful! I am weeping as I write this down,” the seven-time Grammy Awards winner continued.
She further pointed out that Stein’s circle was aware of his “passion for music and impeccable taste,” concluding, “Dearest Seymour, you will never be forgotten!! Thank You! Thank you Thank you! Shine on!!!”
Madonna’s tribute touched the hearts of many, with nearly 5k people commenting on the post. This netizen thanked the MTV Video Music Awards winner for sharing “this amazing piece of your story.”
Another claimed it was “destiny that you two would find each other. Two musical geniuses, and the rest was magical.” “So this man gave us Madonna? We are so grateful [sic],” a third fan commented, and Andy Cohen chimed, “Thank God for Seymour Stein! He brought us YOU.”
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Asides from getting visibility through Stein’s label, the Juno Award winner was also a part of some music bands, such as The Breakfast Club and Emmy. According to The Things, Madonna joined TBC, where she played drums, when she began dating musician Dan Gilroy in the late ‘70s.
When that romance faded, the now-mother-of-six directed her energy towards Emmy, which she started with her then-boyfriend Stephen Bray in 1980. Even though they broke up shortly after, so the “Like a Virgin” hitmaker could focus on her solo career, the former couple worked on some of her first solo projects together.
The First Video Vanguard Award Recipient Reunites With Her Brother Before His Death
The Blast noted that the cause of Madonna’s brother, Anthony Ciccone’s death, was released one month after his passing. Per the death certificate, the “Papa Don’t Preach” singer’s older brother’s series of health problems, including oropharyngeal cancer, led to his passing.
Although cancer, most likely caused by his continuous tobacco use, was listed as a contributor, his demise was caused by throat cancer and respiratory failure. Ciccone died at a Michigan nursing facility in February 2022 at age 66.
It was reported that the deceased’s hospital bills were handled by his younger sister despite the long-standing bad blood between them. At some point during their public feud, the singer’s brother addressed their strained relationship revealing that they did not love each other.
However, Madonna’s final show of love alludes to the likelihood that something changed at some point in their relationship.