Madonna's Hometown Reaches Out With Key to City

A city that more than two decades ago declined to honor Madonna with a key to the city wants the singer to give it a second chance.

Mayor Charles M. Brunner has written a letter inviting Madonna, who grew up in Bay City and the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, to accept a key to the city, The Bay City Times reported Saturday.

"We have always been proud of your accomplishments but recently your induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reminded us that we need to honor you with the highest honor that Bay City can offer," the letter states.

An e-mail seeking comment from a publicist for Madonna was sent Saturday by The Associated Press.

The newspaper said Madonna was considered for the honor in 1985, but at the time some thought she was too risque. The paper reported that in the late 1980s the city also refused to accept a sculpture of Madonna from an Italian artist, citing a belief that her popularity would fade in time.

Now, Guy Greve, president of the Bay Arts Council, wants to commission an artist to sculpt a statue of Madonna.

"The local arts council would like to pay homage for her artistic contributions," he said. "I could see a sculpture of her in Bay City. One of Madonna's famous poses could be made into a sculpture."

And City Commissioner Christopher J. Shannon, who fronts a local rock band, is planning a Madonna tribute album. He hopes to recruit local musicians to cover hits such as "Like a Virgin" and "Express Yourself."

Madonna's new album "Hard Candy" arrives April 29.