One of Madonna’s long-time collaborators has posted previously unheard demos from the Like A Prayer album online, in an attempt to thwart an unauthorised auction of memorabilia.
The demos for Like A Prayer, Cherish and unreleased song Angels With Dirty Faces, recorded during the same period before the album was released in 1989, were posted by Patrick Leonard on YouTube earlier this week.
Leonard is hoping to stop fans bidding on cassettes of Madonna‘s unreleased recordings at an auction organised by the star’s former art adviser and friend, Darlene Lutz.
Personal items such as a love letter written to the singer by the late rapper Tupac Shakur while he was in prison, a “stage-worn” bra, earrings from the Desperately Seeking Susan era and a cheque book are also being sold.
In the caption for the Cherish demo, Leonard said he hoped posts would “stop the sale of that cassette at auction. Not cool at all that someone would sell it. Not theirs to sell.”
Underneath the Angels With Dirty Faces demo, he referenced the music being auctioned, adding: “Here it is for free.”
Leonard worked with Madonna on the Like A Prayer album, as well as on other records including True Blue and Who’s That Girl in the ’80s, and I’m Breathless and Ray Of Light in the ’90s.
The singer had tried to stop the auction, filing an emergency court order in 2017, saying her trust had been betrayed and that she was not aware the items were in Lutz’s possession.
After winning a temporary block on the sale, a judge ruled earlier this year that it could go ahead.
Due to end on Friday, current auction bids on the unreleased music have reached $1,283 (£1,027), while a golden glove and shoulder cover worn for Harper’s Bazaar magazine has received one bid of $6,000 (£4,804).
However, the Tupac letter – written the year before his death in 1996, and with a minimum amount set at $100,000 (£80,100) – has received no bids so far.