U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich) rebuked fellow Michigander Madonna Ciccone (a.k.a. Madonna) for comments that the famous singer has made about her native state. The 56-year-old singer, who was born in Bay City MI, told US weekly recently that she missed “nothing at all” about her formative years in Michigan. When she appeared on The Howard Stern Show, she described the residents of Rochester Hills – a wealthy Detroit suburb – as "basic, provincial thinking people." Madonna’s father, Silvio “Tony” Ciccone, once worked as a designer for Chrysler Motors, which is based nearby.
Rep. Dingell, who is the wife of retired Rep. John Dingell, said on her Facebook page on March 23, “Enough already, Madonna," adding, "I am probably not being politically correct in someway (sic) … but I am tired of Madonna and her cheap shots at Michigan and her hometown. … I love this state."
Dingell wrote, "Michigan contributed to her success … we don't take shots at her, her style, her life… so something good must have happened here … I am and always will be a Michigan girl, quit bad mouthing us," Dingell wrote.
The mayor of Rochester Hill, Bryan Barnett, recently wrote an open letter addressed to the singer. Barnett applauded his city’s schools, diversity, and economy. Barnett wrote, "We are growing in many ways including in our economic, racial, and religious diversity," … "We are home to one of the largest mosques in metro Detroit and the largest Albanian Catholic church in the world outside of Albania. We have a growing senior population with a vibrant college town feel. In fact, these are just some of the factors Money Magazine used to select Rochester Hills as one of the top ten best places to live in America." The mayor has since been engaged in a social media frenzy as critics have burned up the telephone lines at his office defending their pop idol.
Madonna grew up in Pontiac and Rochester Hills, following the death of her mother at an early age. Her image appears at Rochester Hills’ Community Wall of Fame.
The singer attended, but did not graduate from the prestigious University of Michigan. However, her daughter is now attending the institution. Before her daughter enrolled, Madonna made sizeable financial contribution to several local groups.
Madonna stated that she felt like an “outsider,” in what she called “all-white” suburban Pontiac. Once she left for New York City as a teenager, she never wanted to go back. "I felt like they were members of country clubs and they had manicures and they wore nice clothes, and I didn't fit in," she said. "I felt like a country bumpkin."
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