Mayor writes open letter to Madonna after she criticises home city

The singer had described Rochester Hills, Michigan as being full of 'basic, provincial thinking people'

The mayor of Rochester Hills, Michigan has criticised Madonna after she publicly insulted the city.

The pop star grew up in the Detroit suburb, but recently told radio host Howard Stern that the place was full of “basic, provincial thinking people”. She added that she would not like to return to the place where she grew up.

In response, the city’s mayor Bryan Barnett has penned an open letter directed at Madonna and defending Rochester Hills.

“I read with great interest your recent comments about growing up in Rochester Hills and your description of our residents as ‘basic, provincial thinking people.’ As the Mayor of Rochester Hills, I feel compelled to respond,” Barnett writes, continuing: “Admittedly, I don’t know what experiences led you to that opinion, but let me assure you, our community is anything but basic or narrow minded. In fact, we are and have been home to some of the brightest minds shaping our world. Our school district is one of the top performing in the state and boasts two Blue Ribbon Schools, the most in Michigan. Our Universities are among the fastest growing in the Midwest and are rich with cultural and ethnic diversity.”

Barnett adds: “Despite your distaste for us, we actually have enshrined you on our Community Wall of Fame at the Van Hoosen Museum. Your portrait sits alongside Bertha Van Hoosen, one of the first women to graduate from the University of Michigan in 1888 and one of the world’s leading surgeons for nearly 60 years. A female trailblazer in the field of medicine at the University your daughter now attends.

“Your picture hangs just a few feet from Helen Southgate Williams. A renowned author of children’s literature who was ultimately appointed to the International Board of Books, an agency of the United Nations and one of the highest recognitions possible in the field. I assume that would be of some interest to a fellow children’s author like yourself.

“Madonna, you have achieved unbelievable success and while we appreciate your talent and achievement, we expect you to appreciate ours… I invite you back to Rochester Hills to see who we are and what we believe in. While we certainly don’t need your stamp of approval, I am quite confident we would earn it.”

Read the full letter here. Madonna has yet to respond to the mayor’s comments.

Last week, in the same interview with Howard Stern, Madonna confirmed that she once dated late rapper Tupac Shakur.

Madonna’s new album Rebel Heart was released earlier this month. The singer tours the UK in December.

Madonna will play:

London O2 (December 1)
Manchester Arena (14)
Birmingham Barclaycard Arena (16)
Glasgow SSE Hydro (20)