Madonna has been at the center of many a controversy during her 20-year career —in January of 1988, it was a sleepy little town in Italy called Pacentro that was the focus of a Madonna-related uproar.

A sculptor unveiled a model of a scantily clad statue of the pop star he hoped to erect in the town, near the birthplace of Madonna's grandparents.

The town was divided on the issue — while some citizens, including Madonna's cousins, were all for the 12-foot sculpture honoring Pacentro's most famous descendant, the town's mayor wasn't feeling it. (As far as we know, the statue was never erected.)

Britney Spears has acknowledged the influence of Madonna on her career, but she should also send some love in the direction of Debbie Gibson. The Britney of the '80s, Gibson blazed a trail for teen girl dance pop singers, and even wrote her own songs. This week back in 1988, the New York teenager shot a video for her single "Out of the Blue" and chatted about her music and her exploding career.

"Dance music has been known as a passing fad, but people have always danced, people have always looked for music with a good beat. It's just been kind of put into its own category, which I think is great because hey, it deserves recognition and it's a real big part of today's music. My music is more of a crossover because you can not only dance to it, but you can sit and listen to it. It's melodic because I come from a musical background."

Then she got all dreamy ... "Let's see. I hope to win a Grammy Award and I wanna do a duet with Billy Joel, so I hope that that will be next." (It wasn't.)After being huge in the mid-'70s, then hitting rock bottom due to drug problems and disappearing from sight for a bunch of years, Aerosmith returned to the limelight with their 1987 LP, Permanent Vacation. They were a few months into their big comeback this week in 1988, and quickly proved their fans didn't necessarily have to have big cans to get backstage. Any size cans would do.

"If I could talk the kids into bringing a can each and/or 100 cans each to meet the band, it would work, and it has," frontman Steven Tyler said about the band's effort to collect food for the homeless in Boston. "We got 10 tons of food the 28th and 30th, and we're hoping to up that to 20 tons tonight." Each fan who brought a can was able to meet the band and take pictures with their hometown heroes.

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