Vanilla Ice Reflects on Marriage Proposal He Received from Madonna: 'Things Were Going... So Fast'

Vanilla Ice and Madonna dated for a little over a year in the early 1990s

Madonna and Vanilla Ice
Madonna and Vanilla Ice. Photo: Bei/Shutterstock

Vanilla Ice is reflecting on his memorable relationship with Madonna in the early 1990s.

The "Ice Ice Baby" rapper, 55, revealed that although their romance was short-lived, Madonna was ready to take the next step, and even once proposed to the hip-hop star.

"Things were going so crazy and fast, man. I was just like, 'What? I thought the guy was supposed to do that,'" he said on the Just Jenny with Jenny Hutt podcast. "'What do you mean? Wait a minute, this is too fast. I'm just getting started here and I'm way too young for this.'"

Ice explained that he and Madonna, 64, first met in the early '90s when she attended one of his shows in New York City. Though he was excited to spot her in the crowd "dancing her ass off," he found her "intimidating" due to her star power. At the time, he was in his early 20s and had just broken through, while Madonna was in her early 30s.

"I remember she came back to the dressing room and said hello to me, and she kind of gave me the sexy eyes and I was like… 'I must be way, way mistaken on that,'" he recalled.

A chat with SBK Records cofounder Charles Koppelman (who is host Hutt's father) revealed that he actually wasn't mistaken in thinking the "Like a Prayer" singer was interested in him, and Koppelman soon arranged a date at The Palm steakhouse.

"It got weird. And I didn't know what was going on… My whole life is a snowglobe," he said of publicly dating one of the world's most famous celebrities. "You think Justin Bieber had it crazy? You have no idea what I had to go through, holy moly… My snowglobe was shaken up."

Even with the whole world watching, Ice said he and Madonna had as much of a "normal relationship" as they could behind closed doors.

"When you take away the [celebrity] factor… you have two people that have to deal with two people. It's just basically her and I, and at that point, it wasn't anything different than any other normal relationship," he explained.

Things went south for the pair after the release of Madonna's erotic coffee table book Sex in 1992, which featured explicit photos of Ice and stars like Isabella Rossellini and Naomi Campbell.

The rapper told Hutt that he was not a fan of the book, and did not want to be a part of it — and once it was released, he felt it best for them to go their separate ways.

Madonna and Vanilla Ice
Madonna and Vanilla Ice. Bei/Shutterstock

"I said, 'How could you do that to me? And why did you do that to me?' I could've sued her. I didn't want to. I was like, I don't need that controversy. Let's just let it go and you go your way, I go mine," he said. "She was not happy with it and [was] upset."

Still, he had kind things to say of his ex, telling Hutt he thinks Madonna is "great," "a legend" and "one of the greatest ever."

Ice (born Robert Van Winkle) previously said on The Dan Patrick Show in 2017 that the relationship lasted a little over a year, and that the two were not in love.

Madonna, who recently announced a 35-date world tour, was fresh off a divorce from actor Sean Penn when they met, and a 2001 PEOPLE cover story featuring an excerpt from Andrew Morton's biography on the star included Ice saying she still spoke about Penn often.

"I felt that she still loved him," the rapper said at the time. "In fact, I know she did because she told me."

The "Like a Virgin" singer went on to marry director Guy Ritchie in 2000, and they split eight years later. Ice married Laura Giaritta in 1997, and they divorced in 2016.

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