Reggie Lucas, the Grammy-winning musician who played with Miles Davis in the 1970s and produced the bulk of Madonna's debut album, has died. He was 65.
The performer's daughter, Lisa Lucas, told The Associated Press that her father died from complications with his heart early Saturday (May 19) in New York City.
"After a long and arduous struggle with his physical heart (his emotional one was perfect) he was called home. I wish he'd had more time, I wish we'd all had more time with him, but he left this world absolutely covered in love, with his hands held and his family beside him. I'm glad he's at peace now," Lisa Lucas wrote on her Facebook page.
#RIPReggieLucas. I've just heard from his daughter that my old friend, brilliant guitarist w #MilesDavis and co-producer of @Madonna 1st album has passed away. My sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends.— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) May 19, 2018
Lucas was born on Feb. 25, 1953 in the Queens borough of New York City. After playing with Davis in the '70s, Lucas began a musical partnership with percussionist James Mtume. Together they wrote hits like Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway's "The Closer I Get to You" -- later covered by Beyonce and Luther Vandross -- and Stephanie Mills' "Never Knew Love Like This Before," which won the duo the Grammy for best R&B song.
In addition to his daughter, Lucas is survived by his wife Leslie Lucas; his son Julian Lucas; his mother Annie Wolinsky; and his brother Greg Lucas.
Reggie Lucas, my adored and beloved father, passed away early this morning at the age of 65. He made beautiful music, a beautiful family, a beautiful life and I will miss him every single day that I live on this earth. pic.twitter.com/Oo1dc2XHG6— Lisa Lucas (@likaluca) May 19, 2018
Madonna herself also paid tribute on Instagram.
After premiering part of the song during her performance at the Met Gala, Madonna has today confirmed that her new single 'Beautiful Game' is 'coming soon'. The comment comes with a fan-made cover.
Madonna used the hashtag #mirwais, which probably means he produced the track. There's also the popular hashtag #magic, which might refer to an album title. In an earlier post, Madonna talked about "finishing her album", which could mean it is almost ready.
From the Met Gala performance we know a few lines of the lyrics:
It's a beautiful plan, but I'm not concerned
It's a beautiful game that I've never learned
People tell me to shut my mouth, that I might get burned
Keep your beautiful lies, cause I'm not concerned
French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier has shared the costume sketches for the Met Gala outfits he designed for Madonna.
When you ask Madonna to perform at something called "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," you know what to expect.
When Madonna arrived at the Met Gala on Monday night wearing a black Jean Paul Gaultier gown with netted veil and cross-decorated crown, she was the object of everyone's attention. At the top of the red carpet, photographers shouted the pop star's name as much as any crazed 1980s fan might have. "Madonna, come back!" one shouted as she made her way toward the party. But Madge was on a mission.
Once inside, the singer, who turns 60 this year, performed "Like a Prayer," her 1989 hit. Surrounded by a choir of monks, Madonna, also dressed in a monk's robe, took down her hood to reveal her identity. A video shows the crowd screaming with joy.
With a name like Madonna, religion is inevitably going to be part of your life, and the singer has made Catholicism, in particular, a touchstone of her career, from "Papa Don't Preach" onwards.
Guests at the Met Gala were perfectly aware; several people on the red carpet told reporters that they hoped Madonna sang "Like a Prayer" that evening. Released in 1989, the song and its video—which featured everything from stigmata to burning crosses—was condemned by the Vatican and protested by family groups. Thirty years later, it's earned its rightful place in a museum.
Wearing white once inside, Madonna also sang Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"—just to be sure everything that night was as exactly on theme as Rihanna's miter.
Jean-Paul Gaultier posted a behind-the-scenes video of the preparations before the MET Gala.
Jimmy Fallon recapped his night at the Met Gala in New York, where he clowned with his late-night rival Stephen Colbert on the red carpet before heading in. The event was themed "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," and it featured a performance from the most biblical pop star of them all: Madonna.
Fallon said he had a suspicion she would sing, but his hopes were dashed when she showed up next to him in the audience. (When he complimented her outfit, her reply was: "Bless you.")
At yesterday's Met Gala, Madonna performed 'Like A Prayer' and a cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah', but also teased part of a new song. Based on the few lyrics, people are guessing it could be titled 'Beautiful Game'.
Nicki Minaj revealed that she and Madonna have a secret - but wouldn't say any more on the red carpet at the Met Gala in New York. Is it a collaboration? A feature by Nicki on one of Madonna's new songs? Or is it MDNA Skin related?
Madonna was the only one who could do this year's Met Gala exhibit, "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," justice—and she delivered with a surprise performance that was nothing short of divine. Never one to shy away from a religious reference, the material girl wowed earlier in the evening on the red carpet in a regal black Jean Paul Gaultier gown which she paired with a black net veil over her face that was held in place by jeweled crosses and rosaries. Her blonde hair was parted down the center and two braids flanked her face.
Post-dinner, the fashion icon made a dramatic wardrobe change. Appearing in a monastic cloak, she descended the stairs of the Great Hall and made her grand entrance on stage to the tolls of church bells. Fittingly, she opened her set with her "Like a Prayer" and segued into a bone-chilling version of "Hallelujah." Walking through the crowd and then suddenly rising above guests, the goddess shutdown the gala, and for that, we bow down to the Queen of Pop—now and forever!
This year's Met Gala was decades in the making for Madonna.
As soon as the 2018 theme — "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" — was announced, the fashion world was on the edge of its seat waiting to see what outrageous look Madonna, 59, would wear. And true to her daring self, the superstar went all out. After all, she was born for this red carpet.
As someone who's already dressed "Like a Virgin," she went in the opposite direction with her Jean Paul Gaultier look and collaborated with stylist Eyob Yohannes on her Met moment, which he describes in three words as: "Immaculate Goth Queen."
"The religious theme most certainly played into the look however we wanted to put a twist on it so we decided to make it all black," Yohannes tells PEOPLE exclusively. "Madonna has always woven in religion and spirituality into her music and image throughout her career. This years theme could not have better suited her."
Her black ball gown featured a fitted bodice and a sheer cross cutout, a full ball skirt, black veil, cross-adorned crown and she finished the look off carrying a black flower in her hand.
"Madonna and Jean Paul have had quite a history together so it was a wonderful family reunion and quite the fashion throwback," Yohannes said. "It was lovely to work with Jean Paul who has such a creative eye."
This year's theme celebrates an exhibit showcasing 40 pieces on loan from the Vatican as well as designs from Coco Chanel, John Galliano and Cristóbal Balenciaga that spotlight the influence religious iconography has on fashion. The event is hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintor, as well as this year's special co-hosts Amal Clooney, Rihanna and Donatella Versace.
Catholicism has been an important factor of Madonna's personal brand (she was raised Catholic but later became a devotee of Kabbalah), which has caused plenty of controversy for her in the past.
During the singer's 2006 Confessions Tour, Madonna infamously hung from mirrored cross and wearing a fake crown of thorns, referencing Jesus Christ's crucifixion during a performance of "Live To Tell."
Madonna's "Like a Prayer" is a stone-cold classic. It's a ballad sung at bars and karaoke gatherings, and a feel-good, pump-you-up tune for everywhere in between. Even people born a decade after the song's 1989 release know the words by heart. And while the song has solidified its place in the pop music canon with its unforgettable melody and lyrics, the Mary Lambert–directed "Like a Prayer" video is equally memorable. The controversial music video showed a buxom 30-year-old Madonna with a mop of inky black curls, barely clad for scenes that explored sexual, religious, and racial themes.
The story goes as follows: Madonna witnesses a crime, and a black man is falsely accused. She hides in a church, where she prays to a black saint, presumably Saint Martin de Porres, who resembles the accused man. She then falls asleep on a pew and has a dream in which the saint comes to life and kisses her forehead. In the dream, Madonna also encounters an uplifting, all-black gospel choir, later, and for an even more heated moment, she dances in front of burning crosses. At times, lines are blurred between Madonna reaching an ecstatic state of religious enlightenment or, well, an orgasm. (Also, the saint kisses her on the mouth, almost like a lover.) To make matters more sensitive, Madonna shimmies and grooves in a cleavage-baring slip dress with the straps louche-ly sliding off.
Soon after its release, the video came under fire. It was reportedly banned on state television in Italy, and condemned by the Vatican. Madonna's Pepsi ad featuring the song, which was relatively tame and showed the entertainer going back to her childhood, was protested by several family and religious groups after airing only twice in the U.S. (It depicted the jumpsuit-clad entertainer dancing with Catholic schoolgirls.)
According to Madonna's costume designer at the time, Marlene Stewart—who also worked with the singer on music videos including "Material Girl" (1984) and "Vogue" (1990)—Madonna's use of religious imagery all tied back to her Catholic upbringing. "From the beginning, she really had her cultural heritage steeped in Italian Catholicism and the Catholic Church. It has been a big part of her artistic expression," she says. "I think this song shows a certain reverence and it consumes her life and being, but at the same time, she commingles it with ideas of sexual ecstasy and religious ecstasy."
As always with Madonna, clothing plays a central part in the video. In the first scene, Madonna wears a coat that was from Stewart's own wardrobe, which she notes had a religious significance: "The idea was that it was a priest's robe, or of a religious order." One of the most memorable pieces was Madonna's structured slip dress. According to Stewart, she had found the chocolate-brown piece at Los Angeles's Western Costume Company. "She used to wear lingerie as outerwear," she says. "So I found this incredible slip with built-in boning, and it had 'Natalie Wood' the name inside of it, who it was made for. At the time, people used to make costumes and it had the name [of the celebrity] inside of it. It was used as an undergarment, but it was built like a dress because of the way they used to create costumes and slips. They had a lot more structure to them." The lingerie was symbolic, she adds. "I think what it translates to is wanting to be provocative. It is the whole idea of having rules, like, 'You can't do this,' " she says. "If you follow the tenets of the religion, there is something about showing lingerie, wearing lingerie as outerwear, which is very sinful in some way. She was playing with and pushing that boundary."
The timelessness of the looks was intentional. "What was wonderful for me was that it was pre-commercial," Stewart says. "I used to get designers sending me literally just closets full of clothes, wanting to put them on her. But as long as you just have things that are iconic and simple, it will always be about you and you aren't a hanger for someone else." In the case of Madonna, that's an understatement.
Another batch of Madonna videos has been added to Madonna's official Youtube channel, this time rather rare ones: Celebration (fan version - 2009), Get Together (European version - 2006), Hey You (2007), Paradise (Not For Me) (Drowned World Tour backdrop - 2001).