Daily Beast Entertainment Writer Arrives on the Wings of George Michael, La La Land

Ira Madison III is moving over from MTV News

Senior entertainment editor Marlow Stern was particularly impressed by a pair of Ira Madison III's MTV contributions.
Headshot of Richard Horgan

Included in the announcement about Ira Madison III transitioning from MTV News to The Daily Beast was this quote from Daily Beast senior entertainment editor Marlow Stern: “Ira is one of those rare writers who doesn’t merely add to existing conversations but creates new ones. I’ve been a fan of his for quite some time and couldn’t be more excited to have him join our talented, award-winning entertainment team.” Madison’s last day at MTV is May 26; he starts at The Daily Beast June 5.

We wondered which pieces of writing by Madison had most stood out to Stern. The latter was kind enough to respond, pointing to an evaluation of La La Land and an essay titled “What George Michael Taught Me.”

Here’s the first paragraph from that second article:

These days, the preferred method of coming out for celebrities is a glossy magazine cover or, barring the adequate amount of fame, a meticulously worded social media post. But when George Michael divulged the secret of his sexuality to the world, he did it in a nearly seven-minute performance at MTV’s first Europe Music Awards and let the audience decide what they’d heard. The ceremony took place in Berlin on November 24, 1994, commemorating the Berlin Wall’s MTV-documented fall five years earlier. In a leather jacket and his trademark sunglasses, Michael performed “Freedom! ’90,” a rousing anthem of self-discovery that was malleable enough to play as a symbolic kiss-off to the Wall and the past it represented. But Michael’s most vital performance that evening in Berlin was “Jesus to a Child,” a new song that would go on to be the lead single from his third solo album, Older. Four years later, Michael confirmed that the performance, dedicated to his late lover, Anselmo Feleppa, was his quiet coming out ceremony.

We look forward to noting what Madison, based in L.A., covers as an entertainment writer for The Daily Beast. In many ways, he is taking over for Jen Yamato, who left at the beginning of the year for the Los Angeles Times. Madison has also worked as a columnist for GQ, Vulture and BuzzFeed.

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.