She may not stir quite as much instant outrage anymore. The Top 10 hits may not come as consistently as they used to. There’s a new generation of pop starlets grabbing the headlines and social-media oxygen.
But don’t go betting against Madonna.
Having kicked off her Rebel Heart Tour earlier this month in Montreal — launching a global jaunt scheduled to run through the spring — the Michigan-born pop star will swing into Joe Louis Arena Thursday, scene of her hometown tour stop in 2012.
At 57, Madonna seems to have moved into the stage of her career where she reigns as a kind of confident, impervious pop matriarch, grabbing what she pleases from the music of the day, still happy to titillate when she can — even if she’s no longer single-handedly reshaping the boundaries of popular culture.
The Joe show brings Madonna home to a region that’s been very much on her mind this past year. In summer 2014, she pledged funding to three Detroit organizations — Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, Detroit Achievement Academy and the Empowerment Plan — after touring a host of community groups in the city.
It was the start of what she called a long-term commitment to Detroit, where “a piece of my heart will always be,” as the Rochester Hills-bred star said.
It was about that time when word emerged that her teen daughter, Lourdes Leon, had enrolled at the University of Michigan — the school Madonna briefly attended before heading off to New York to kindle her dance career. (Lourdes and Madonna’s father, 84-year-old Silvio Ciccone, are expected to be on hand Thursday, a source close to the Joe Louis show tells the Free Press.)
And then there was the Rochester Hills dustup in March, when she took to “The Howard Stern Show” and criticized her hometown as straitlaced and stifling. Those remarks — later reiterated in an US Weekly interview — prompted rebukes from the city’s mayor and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell.
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