Week in Rock History: Little Richard Finds God and Nancy Spungen Dies

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October 14, 1996: Madonna gives birth to daughter Lourdes shortly before the release of Evita
At the height of her film career, Madonna found personal joy as well with the birth of her first child, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon.

In 1996, Madonna starred in Evita, the biographical musical about controversial First Lady of Argentina, Eva Peròn. The period drama was an elaborate undertaking, breaking film records for its lavish staging (including hundreds of costumes that were complicated by Madonna’s discovery of her pregnancy by trainer Carlos Leon). Evita would prove a boon to Madonna’s career: she released three singles from the soundtrack and helped win an Academy Award for one, "You Must Love Me," as well as landed a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She also recorded a separate music video for "You Must Love Me" while eight months pregnant.

In October, two months before the wide release of Evita, Madonna gave birth to her daughter, Lourdes.  She now has four children (daughters Lourdes and Mercy and sons Rocco and David) and has collaborated with Lourdes on a fashion line, Material Girl for Macy’s.

October 13, 1998: Eric Clapton opens the Crossroads rehab center
Named after his incendiary cover of a blues staple, Eric Clapton’s non-profit Crossroads Centre is now a recognizable name in the rehab world. The musician, who publicly waged his own battles with addiction, founded the center on the West Indies island of Antigua in 1998. He has also since established the companion Crossroads Guitar Festival to raise funds for the international facility; in 2010, the Crossroads Festival featured B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Sheryl Crow and more.

Crossroads operates on a 29-day residential program, including a tiered program of "steps" not unlike other alcohol recovery programs. As the musician states on the website:

"As a recovering addict and alcoholic, many people over the years spoke with me about the problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse on the island…We believe that the majority of individuals suffering from addiction have the capacity for recovery if given the proper foundation to begin their journey."

Crossroads comes at a formidable cost: the four-week program runs $24,500 and the six-week extended program is $31,500. No wonder troubled celebrities flock to it – including, reportedly, Britney Spears in 2007.

LAST WEEK: Jerry Lee Lewis Records 'Great Balls of Fire'

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »