Madonna Nabs Her Ninth No. 1 Album With ‘Madame X’

Pop icon Madonna is back at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with her new album Madame X, which easily snags the top spot on the all-encompassing tally, beating a handful of debuts, including one from another legend: rocker Bruce Springsteen.

Madame X opens in the peak spot thanks to 95,000 equivalent units, with 90,000 of those being pure sales.

Throughout her career, Madonna has now charted nine No. 1 albums, with over 30 years passing from the first time she led the charge until now. The singer’s 1984 sophomore full-length Like A Virgin was her first to hit No. 1, and since then, she’s reached the top more often than not, with eight subsequent albums—True Blue (1986), Like a Prayer (1989), Music(2000), American Life (2003), Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005), Hard Candy (2008) and MDNA (2012)—also ruling for at least one frame.

In between all her chart-topping full-lengths, Madonna has placed an additional 13 titles inside the top 10 on the Billboard 200, including studio albums—Madonna (No. 8, 1983), Erotica (No. 2, 1992), Bedtime Stories(No. 3, 1994), Ray of Light (No. 2, 1998) and Rebel Heart (No. 2, 2015)—soundtracks that accompanied films—Who’s That Girl (No. 7, 1987), I’m Breathless (No. 2, 1990) and Evita (No. 2, 1996)—compilations of her greatest hits—The Immaculate Collection (No. 2, 1990), Something to Remember (No. 6, 1995), GHV2 (No. 7, 2001) and Celebration (No. 7, 2009)—and even a live recording—Sticky & Sweet Tour (No. 10, 2010).

Madame X was preceded by two proper singles, “Medellin” with Maluma and “Crave” with Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd fame. Three additional promotional singles—“I Rise,” “Future” with Quavo and “Dark Ballet”—were also shared before the album was available in full. So far, none of those songs have reached the Hot 100, though that may change when that tally is refreshed.

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Madonna Achieves Ninth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With ‘Madame X’

X marks the No. 1 spot.

Madonna lands her ninth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart as Madame X enters atop the tally. The set, released via Interscope Records on June 14, launches with 95,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending June 20, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 90,000 were in album sales.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new June 29-dated chart, where Madame X bows at No. 1, will be posted in full on Billboard‘s websites on June 25.

Overall, Madame X’s debut sum of 95,000 equivalent album units is comprised of 90,000 in album sales, 1,000 in TEA units and 4,000 in SEA units.

Madame X grants Madonna her ninth leader on the Billboard 200. She last led the list in 2012, with MDNA. Here’s a look at all of Madonna’s No. 1 albums: Madame XMDNAHard Candy (2008), Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005), American Life (2003), Music (2000), Like a Prayer (1989), True Blue (1986) and Like a Virgin (1985).

Madonna continues to have the second-most No. 1 albums among female artists, trailing only Barbra Streisand, who has 11. Among all acts, The Beatles have the most No. 1s, with 19. They are followed by Jay-Z (14), Streisand and Bruce Springsteen (both with 11), Elvis Presley (10), EminemGarth Brooks, Madonna and The Rolling Stones (all with nine).

Madonna is a frequent visitor to the top 10 of the Billboard 200, having notched at least four top 10 albums in each of the last four decades (‘80s, ‘90s, ‘00s and ‘10s). Madame X marks her 22nd top 10, and fourth of the ‘10s. Earlier in the decade, she reached the region with her last studio effort, Rebel Heart (No. 2 in 2015), MDNA (No. 1, 2012) and the live album Sticky & Sweet Tour (No. 10, 2010).

Madonna’s first top 10 came nearly 35 years ago, when her self-titled debut album climbed 12-10 on the Oct. 6, 1984-dated chart. It eventually peaked at No. 8 two weeks later (Oct. 20). The diva would place five top 10s in the ‘80s, seven in the ‘90s, six in the ‘00s and now four in the ‘10s.

The Rolling Stones have the most top 10s in the history of the Billboard 200, with 37. They are followed by Streisand (34), The Beatles (32), Frank Sinatra (32), Presley (27), Bob Dylan (22), Madonna (22), George Strait (21), Elton John (20), Paul McCartney/Wings (20) and Springsteen (20).

Madame X’s debut week was comprised of 90,000 in album sales, which is the fourth-largest sales week for an album in 2019 by a woman. The album’s sales were bolstered by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with the Queen of Pop’s upcoming theater tour (starting on Sept. 12 in New York at Brooklyn’s Howard Gilman Opera House), as well as an array of merchandise/album bundles sold via her official website.

Madame X was led by the track “Medellín,” with Maluma, which climbs 2-1 on the Dance Club Songs chart dated June 29, marking Madonna’s 47th leader on the tally. (The chart, like the Billboard 200, will refresh on Billboard’s website on Tuesday, June 25.) “Medellín” also reached the top 20 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.

Before Madame X dropped, four more preview cuts were issued: “I Rise,” “Future,” with Quavo, “Crave,” with Swae Lee, and “Dark Ballet.” “Crave” recently debuted on the Adult Contemporary airplay chart, and holds at No. 15 on the most recently published list (dated June 22). 

At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Springsteen’s Western Stars debuts, marking his 20th top 10 effort. The set begins with 66,000 equivalent album units (of which 62,000 were in album sales). Springsteen first hit the top 10 back in 1975, when Born to Run sprinted 84-8 in its second week on the list (dated Sept. 20, 1975). The Boss last hit the top 10 in 2016 with the retrospective compilation release Chapter and Verse (debuting and peaking at No. 5).

Western Stars was led by the radio-promoted single “Hello Sunshine,” which has peaked at No. 23 on the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart.

Fun fact for chart watchers: With Madonna and Springsteen at Nos. 1 and 2 on the new Billboard 200, it’s the first time the Queen of Pop and The Boss have been in the top two together since 1985. The last time they were buddies in the top two (and the only time before this week) was for four weeks in January and February that year. On the charts dated Jan. 26 and Feb. 2, 1985, Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. and Madonna’s Like a Virgin were Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Then, the titles flipped ranks on Feb. 9 and Feb. 16. (Born spent a total of seven weeks at No. 1 and Virgin ruled for three weeks.)

Back on the new Billboard 200, a pair of former No. 1s are at Nos. 3 and 4, as Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? dips 2-3 (58,000 units; down 1%) and Jonas Brothers’ Happiness Begins falls 1-4 in its second week (52,000 units; down 87%).

Alt-rock band Bastille collects its second top 10 album, as the group’s new studio effort, Doom Days, bows at No. 5 with 41,000 equivalent album units earned (34,000 in album sales). Like Madame X, Bastille’s first week was also encouraged by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer for its upcoming tour (starting in September). Bastille clocked its first top 10 effort with its last studio effort, 2016’s Wild World, which debuted and peaked at No. 4.

Khalid’s former No. 1 Free Spirit climbs one spot to No. 6 with 37,000 equivalent album units (up 2%), Polo G’s Die a Legend slips 6-7 with 29,000 units (down 25%) and DaBaby’s Baby On Baby steps 9-8 with a 28,000 units (down 3%).

Rounding out the top 10 are Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You (rising 14-9 with a little more than 27,000 units; up 3%) and Ariana Grande’s former No. 1 Thank U, Next (12-10 with 27,000 units; down 2%).

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Madame X Dutch goodiebag winners

With over 700 entries it took us a while to check them all. Unfortunately a lot of entries didn’t include a full address so were discarded.

Through a random draw the following three people win a goodiebag:

  • Javid Suleymanli
  • Steve Hernandez
  • Stephan Harms

I will notify you personally through your entry.

If I manage to find a few more for the giveaway, you will read it here first!

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Madonna’s Madame X is allerminst een album van een uitgebluste popdiva (Dutch review ****)

Als Madonna geen voetbalmoeder was geworden, zou haar nieuwe album een heel andere plaat zijn geworden. Omdat haar zoon David een voetbalopleiding wilde volgen, verhuisde de queen of pop met haar gezin naar Lissabon. Daar kende ze niemand en dus vroeg ze aan haar enige vriendin ter plaatse om haar aan Portugese kunstenaars voor te stellen. Zo kwam ze in contact met de rijke Portugese muziektraditie. 

Madame X van Madonna. © .

Portugese muziek, maar ook de muziek uit voormalige Portugese koloniën in Afrika en Zuid-Amerika, speelt een grote rol op ‘Madame X’. Vooral de nummers ‘Medellín’ en ‘Bitch I’m Loca’, die ze opnam met de Braziliaanse zanger Maluma, maken met hun opzwepende reggaeton-ritmes stilzitten onmogelijk. Ook de samenwerking met de Braziliaanse zangeres Anitta op ‘Faz Gostoso’ is een voltreffer.

Maar ‘Madame X’ is veel meer dan Madonna’s ‘Portugese plaat’. Vanaf het moment dat ze vorig jaar zestig werd, werd ze naar eigen zeggen geconfronteerd met leeftijdsdiscriminatie: mensen die riepen dat het tijd voor haar was om te stoppen. In dit licht beschouwd is het verleidelijk om ‘Madame X’ te zien als een dikke middelvinger naar iedereen die van mening is dat ze achter de geraniums moet gaan zitten. Het veertiende studioalbum van de Amerikaanse is namelijk haar avontuurlijkste plaat in lange tijd.


Verdwenen is de wat bonkige dancepop, die de albums ‘Hard Candy’ (2008) en ‘MDNA’ (2012) kenmerkte. ‘Madame X’ is een album dat overloopt van de surprises. De dolste rit biedt ‘Dark Ballet’, dat van een popsong overgaat in een theatraal circusmuziekje om via een pianosolo uit de Notenkraker weer als popsong te eindigen.

De enige miskleun is ‘Killers Who Are Partying’, waarop Madonna haar solidariteit betuigt met iedereen die in de hoek zit waar de klappen vallen. Een nobel streven, maar zinsneden als “Ik zal homo zijn, als homo’s worden verbrand. Ik zal Afrika zijn als Afrika wordt stilgelegd” ademen een soort grootheidswaanzin die nogal potsierlijk aandoet.

Los daarvan onderscheidt ‘Madame X’ zich door vele geslaagde muzikale experimenten. ‘God Control’ is een lekkere discostamper, terwijl ‘Batuka’ met zijn Kaapverdiaanse percussie een hypnotiserende sfeer oproept. En ‘Extreme Occident’ wordt met zijn ratelende tabla’s van hoogtepunt naar hoogtepunt gezweept. 

Gedurende haar loopbaan heeft Madonna enkele albums uitgebracht die met kop en schouders boven de rest van haar oeuvre uitsteken. Het r&b-geïnspireerde ‘Bedtime Stories’ was er zo een en ook ‘Ray of Light’ neemt met een vooruitstrevende mix van pop en elektronische muziek een bijzondere plaats in haar discografie in. Ook ‘Madame X’ verdient een plek in dat rijtje. Het is allerminst een album van een uitgebluste popdiva, maar een uiterst avontuurlijke plaat, die je niet snel kunt doorgronden en waarop steeds weer nieuwe muzikale verrassingen te ontdekken zijn. 


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Madonna Talks ‘Madame X,’ Classic Hits and Running for President at Intimate Fan Event

Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio
During an iHeartRadio listening party in New York, the pop superstar shared more stories about the making of her latest album, the songs that came before it and laughed off the idea of a 2020 campaign: “Oh God, you don’t want me in the White House.”

Nearly a week after Madonna released her 14th studio album, Madame X — which is expected to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 200 chart — the pop superstar took the stage at New York’s iHeartRadio Theater on Thursday night to talk with an intimate group of fans and press about the genesis of her latest body of work.

In a conversation moderated by co-hosts Cubby Bryant and Christine Nagy, from iHeartRadio’s 106.7 Lite fm, Her Madgesty offered more insight into her creative process, while waxing nostalgic about beloved hits such as “Vogue” and “Like a Virgin.”

But music wasn’t the only topic on the table. A lively, warm and candid Madonna, 60 — fueled by rosé champagne and dressed in a sparkling blazer, bustier, silk shorts and her signature Madame Xeyepatch — spoke about using art as activism in 2019’s divisive sociopolitical climate and joked about the possibility of running for president. However, the performer did her best not to bring up current POTUS Donald Trump, whom she has publicly criticized in the past. “Let’s not go there,” she said at one point when his name slipped out of her mouth.

Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio

Here, The Hollywood Reporter rounds up the highlights from Madonna’s wide-ranging discussion — which also included interesting commentary about relocating from the U.S. to Portugal, her relationship with social media, collaborating with Latin artists and her role as a mother of six.  

Finding inspiration in Lisbon

Madonna admitted that she didn’t think she would record another album after 2015’s Rebel Heart — but she changed her mind after moving to Portugal’s capital nearly two years ago. She originally settled in Lisbon so her 13-year-old son, David Banda, could pursue his dreams of becoming a soccer player, but she unexpectedly found her creative juices flowing again in the scenic coastal city.

“I never in a million years would have imagined that I would live in Lisbon. But it really was about supporting my son’s passion for soccer and wanting to have an adventure and to get outside of America for a minute,” said Madonna, who has homes in New York and London. “So I did go there. And it was a confusing, crazy experience for me specifically in the beginning, because I didn’t know anybody. And the culture is very different. It’s very much slower than New York.”

After the initial culture shock, the entertainer found herself connecting with local musicians who helped her lay the foundation for Madame X. “In my moments of loneliness, and not having a friend which reminded me of my early days in New York, I met a few people who led me to meeting other people who introduced me to amazing musicians who invited me to parties and small bars and clubs. I was truly, truly inspired. I had no intention of recording another album, but somehow it just happened.”

Still, while recording Madame X, Madonna made sure to never miss one of David’s soccer games — often wearing “sneakers, you know, normal-type clothes. Maybe designed by Gucci? I don’t know.”

Paying tribute to Martha Graham

Asked how she named her new album, Madonna said that “Madame X” is the nickname modern dance pioneer Martha Graham gave her decades ago as a student in New York.

“[Graham’s dance school] had a very strict dress code,” she said. ”I, of course, couldn’t help myself, I broke all the rules. I refused to dress like everybody else. Shocker. And I kept getting called into [Graham’s] office.”

During one of her meetings with Graham, Madonna said that her teacher — who died at age 96 in April 1991 — “was not having” her sartorial deviancy but was impressed nonetheless. The Grammy winner continued, “[Graham] said, ‘I’m going to have a new name for you,’ and I said, ‘What’s that?’ And she said, ‘Madame X…Madame X is the name of a spy, a secret agent. That’s what you are — because every time you come here, I don’t recognize you. You look like someone else.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, cool.'”

Madonna said that when her friend and fashion designer Jeremy Scott came to visit her in Lisbon, it dawned on her that she should name her album Madame X. “I told him the story about my program,” she said. “And he said, ‘That’s the name of this record!’ So thank you, Jeremy.”

Madonna went on to say that her reputation as the queen of reinvention is much in thanks to the seed that Graham planted. “You can blame Martha Graham,” she joked, referencing the distinctly different looks and sounds that she has introduced alongside each era of her lengthy career.

Taking a few trips down memory lane

In between listening to tracks from Madame X, co-hosts Cubby and Christine played a few gems from Madonna’s beginning ascent to stardom, including “Vogue,” “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Material Girl.”

Minutes before dancing in her seat to 1990’s “Vogue” — which has recently found new life in the season two narrative of FX’s groundbreaking series Pose — Madonna recounted the moment she first witnessed the legendary House of Xtravaganza voguing at a Manhattan nightclub, which ultimately prompted her to record the song and bring New York’s LGBTQ ballroom community into the mainstream. “It was just the most amazing thing,” she said.

While she moved along to “Vogue” and “Papa Don’t Preach,” Madonna seemed less enthused to listen to her iconic tune “Material Girl.” Taking a sip from her champagne class, she shrugged and laughed, “I don’t even know how to dance to this.”

Involving her kids in her craft

Asked about the emotional lyrics of her Madame X cut “Come Alive,” Madonna said that the song was inspired by her children. “[I wanted] to instill in them the idea that they never have to stand in the back and that they are important human beings — and that each and every one of us matters equally,” she said. “That’s why it was also important for me to have a children’s choir singing on it.”

Madonna also said that her kids’ “excellent taste” in music has influenced her current sound — “They’ve turned me on to a lot of things I probably wouldn’t have heard if it weren’t for them ” — and revealed that some of them were even involved in recording Madame X. For instance, her six-year-old twin daughters, Stelle and Estere, offered their talents to “Dark Ballet.” She explained, “[The sound of] someone blowing on the flames…that’s my daughters. So somehow [my children are] always involved in some way or another.”

Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio

Her favorite songs from Madame X

Though Madonna said that every Madame X track feels like her “baby,” she did mention a few standouts when asked to name her favorite. “It’s a toss-up between ‘Extreme Occident’ and ‘God Control,'” she said, later detailing why “Extreme Occident’s” lyrics are particularly meaningful to her. “I say, ‘I guess I’m lost, I had to pay the cost / The thing that hurt me most, was that I wasn’t lost.’ That doesn’t make sense, right? But it really does to me because I spent my entire life listening to the noise and people’s commenting, ideas, judgments, criticisms and advice, what I should do and what I shouldn’t do…and that’s such a waste of time.”

She added, “I realized that I should have always paid attention to my own intuition. To thine self be true. I realized all that time, I wasn’t lost.”

Her struggle with social media

Sharing her thoughts about Instagram, Madonna said that she enjoys posting a “shameless selfie” here and there but is happy she grew into her fame at a time when cell phones didn’t even exist.

“Instagram is great, but it’s a lie. It’s not reality,” she said of what she considers a “confusing” social media trend. “I didn’t grow up with a phone. I didn’t grow up as an artist with social media. So I feel really lucky to have been able to develop as an artist without having to feel like I had to be like somebody else, look like somebody else or dress like somebody else. I was allowed to develop and be my own person and be unique. That’s a privilege that a lot of kids don’t have now. They don’t even know it, like my own kids.”

Creating fire with Latin artists

On Madame X, Madonna has several collaborations, including ones with Latin artists like Colombian heartthrob Maluma (“Medellin,” “Bitch I’m Loca”) and Brazilian songstress Anitta (“Faz Gostoso”). Next, she hopes to get in the recording studio with Spanish pop princess and flamenco singer Rosalia.

“I’m very intrigued,” Madonna said. “I would like to say that I heard about her about a year and a half ago, and I tried to get her to perform at my birthday party. And she was not well-known at the time…I love flamenco. I was really moved by her, but it didn’t happen. But now she’s huge. I think she’s a very unique and very outspoken, strong woman. I love her style. And I love how she has managed to take the folk music of Spain and bring it into the pop arena.”

Playing theaters instead of stadiums and arenas

Last month, Madonna announced a residency-like Madame X tour that will see her playing small venues across multiple dates in big cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Of her decision to forgo arenas and stadiums for this set of shows, she said, “I want to be close to people. I want to look into people’s eyes…I want people to really focus on the music and I want people to focus on the lyrics. I want to present it in a theatrical way, so you really do pay attention to the words and music and intimacy and humanity.”

Reliving her messy but memorable “Like a Virgin” performance at the 1984 VMAs

Toward the end of the event, Madonna played a game that involved her picking random items out of a box that each sparked a memory. One of the items as a white high heel that resembled the one she lost onstage while performing “Like a Virgin” at the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards.

As fans will remember, Madonna bounced back from the shoe snafu by writhing around on the floor — no footwear required! — but accidentally flashed her undergarments to the audience, one of the first of many controversies throughout her career. Recalling the number, Madonna said that her manager at the time told her that the mishap had “ruined” her career. “But fuck him,” she said with a dismissive wave of her hand. Madonna took another swig of champagne as the crowd cheered loudly and a few fans shouted, “Yas, queen!”

Activism through art

The listening party closed out with Madonna’s powerful Madame X anthem, “I Rise,” which she wrote in response to today’s divisive sociopolitical climate. On Thursday, she dropped an accompanying music video that does not feature the star herself but instead weaves together footage of the survivors of the Parkland shooting, supporters of LGBTQ equality, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman’s testimony about sexual abuse, first responders to natural disasters and more pushes for social justice across the globe.

“This song is really about feeling responsible and/or connected to all marginalized people who have been discriminated against in any way, shape or form,” she said of the song and its visual counterpart. “They’re really stories about resiliency. I’m really attracted to the idea that people can rise no matter what happens, rise up against all odds and say, ‘I will not be afraid. I do not bow down to fear and I will survive. I will do more than survive. I will rise.'”

Madonna for president?

As Madonna spoke about the political undertones of “I Rise,” one galvanized fan exclaimed, “Madonna for president!”

But, as she explained, “Oh God, you don’t want me in the White House. I really feel like being the president is not a good way to get things done. And you have to be so diplomatic that you can’t actually — I mean maybe I would change all that. People don’t want to offend anyone that they just, I guess, no, no Donald Trump hasn’t really thought about that.”

Curtailing herself, Madonna ended the night by saying, “Let’s not go there.”

Madonna’s Madame X listening party is available to stream on on Friday evening, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. Additionally, iHeartRadio’s AC and Hot AC stations will air special radio broadcasts of the event at the same time. 

Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio
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13 Things We Learned From Madonna’s iHeartRadio Icons Interview

One of the most famous people on the planet yet an enigma of sorts for 36 years, the restlessly creative Madonna sat down at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York City on Thursday evening (June 20) for a wide-ranging interview with iHeartRadio’s 103.5 KTU hosts Cubby and Christine. The 45-minute chat, which streams on and on iHeartMedia’s AC and Hot AC stations on Friday (June 21), covers a range of topics, from the dance teacher who created the moniker ‘Madame X’ (the title of Madonna’s 14th studio album) to why she ended up with Maluma’s toe in her mouth in the “Medellin” video (shout-out to an audience heckler for asking that question).

Here are 13 things we learned about Madonna and her latest album during the broadcast of iHeartRadio Icons with Madonna: In Celebration of Madame X.

What She’s Drinking These Days

Prior to Madonna’s entrance, Cubby and Christine told the crowd they shared a backstage champagne toast with her — and flute in hand, Madonna kept the bubbly flowing during her interview. As per the title of her Quavo/Cardi B collab, rosé champagne is what she’s imbibing these days — “it’s Dutch courage,” she told the crowd.

The Music of Lisbon Reminded Her of Another Famous Moment In Her Life

Madame X is heavily inspired by the local music she heard while living in Lisbon, where she’s been for nearly two years as a soccer mom to her son, David Banda. Madonna said aside from Lisbon, New York is the only other city that ever inspired her to write. “Living in New York always makes me feel… turnt,” she deadpanned. In fact, encountering fado and morna in Lisbon reminded her of another watershed moment in her life: “‘Vogue’ was inspired by seeing the Xtravaganza crew vogueing — I was like WHOA. What the hell is that?” For her, Lisbon was the same.

Katherine Tyler

She Dresses the Soccer Mom Part… Sort Of

“I went to soccer matches on Sunday. I didn’t meet any other soccer moms,” Madonna says of watching her son play. “No one gave a shit about me there.” She says the Sunday matches are bereft of bleachers, so she watches perched on a cement ledge. “I wear a hoodie and sneakers. Normal clothes. Maybe designed by Gucci, I don’t know.”

Her Dance Teacher Inspired Madame X

When she arrived in New York City in the late ‘70s, Madonna studied movement at the school of Martha Graham, who reshaped modern choreography and was an idol to the aspiring dancer. Unfortunately, Madge’s refusal to comply with the school’s strict dress code got her sent to Graham’s office regularly. Eventually, Graham whimsically decided Madonna was “a spy, a secret agent” in her school named “Madame X.” Madonna recalls Graham telling her, “Every time you come here, you look like a different person.” Even pre-fame, Madonna was the queen of reinvention.

Her Favorite Songs on Madame X Are…

“God Control” and “Extreme Occident,” the latter of which was the second song she wrote on the album. Influenced by morna, she calls it “indicative and reflective” of her time in Lisbon.

The Lost/Not Lost Lyric Is Extremely Personal

In “Extreme Occident,” Madonna sings, “I guess I’m lost / I paid the handsome cost / The thing that hurt the most / Was that I wasn’t lost.” While she admitted the lyric sounds like a nonsense “riddle,” she explained it was in reference to having the right intuition but letting naysayers throw you off your course. Looking back on the times she beat herself up over others’ critiques, she says it “hurts” her to think “I wasted all that time caring what people think.”

Swae Lee Is a ‘Pigeon Whisperer’

The video for her collab with Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee, “Crave,” shows the two of them releasing pigeons into the sky from a rooftop in NYC. She says Swae held sway over the flock: “He tamed them, got them to be calm, chill. He’s a pigeon whisperer.” She wasn’t so lucky. “It’s amazing how strong they are,” she noted. “That bird almost ripped my skin off.”

Here’s Who She Wants to Work With Next

“I’m intrigued by Spanish flamenco singer Rosalía,” Madonna said, noting she asked Rosalía to sing at her birthday a year and a half ago but it didn’t pan out. “I like that she takes the folk music of Spain and brings it to the pop arena.”

She Doesn’t’ Mind Hearing Her Own Music In Public, Except When…

“Some people think I WANT to get into the groove while I’m eating spaghetti, but I don’t. I just don’t,” she says of restaurants playing her music.

What Do 1986 Madonna and 2019 Madonna Have In Common?

Speaking on the controversy her “Papa Don’t Preach” song and video created, Madonna quipped, “Nothing has changed — I’m still in trouble,” obliquely referencing her recent Eurovision performance and New York Times interview.

Her Sleep Schedule Is Crazy

A self-professed insomniac, Madonna says 4-11am “is my window of sleep,” the time frame when she gets shut-eye if she’s lucky. From 2-4am is the window she describes as “magic” for writing.

Her Daughters Are Featured On Madame X

She says her kids Stella and Estere are the ones making the wind noises at the end of “Dark Ballet,” which signifies blowing into the fire that consumed Joan of Arc.

Toeing the Company Line

Thanks to a heckler shouting out a question, we finally learned why Madonna licks Maluma’s toe in the “Medellin” video… kind of. “I never planned to lick his toe. Shit just happens,” she said. “He’s a beautiful man, head to toe. If he had ugly feet, I wouldn’t have.”

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Why Madonna Is Performing at Smaller Venues for Her Upcoming Tour

Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio – Madonna 2019

Despite Madonna’s high-profile stardom, the pop queen has decided to play smaller venues for her “Madame X” tour starting this fall, a decision she attributed to her desire to maintain intimacy with her fans.

“I like the idea of staying in one place and people coming to me. I also like the idea of being in a small theater,” the singer, who’s playing 17 shows at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, 11 at LA’s Wiltern, and six at the Chicago Theatre, among others, explained. “Intimacy… the thing we’ve become allergic to thanks to social media. I want to be close to people. I want to look into people’s eyes. I want to feel that energy. I found that when I was on tours in my very — thank god — long career, I always did small shows here and there. Every time I did a small theater after playing huge places like stadiums and sports arenas I was like ‘oh my god, so great.’ I can see people and I can talk to people.”

Madonna is no stranger to breaking free from convention and influencing pop-culture through her tunes over the past three decades. During a talk on Thursday at iHeartRadio Theater in New York where she wore her new signature eye-patch and drank rosé champagne, she talked about her legacy and the making of “Madame X” with Cubby and Christine of iHeartRadio’s 103.5 KTU. When asked about her appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in 1984 saying that she wanted “to rule the world,” Cubby asked if she’d made it to world domination.

“I was being provocative, as always,” said Madonna of the quote. “I would like to think that since I’ve said that, I’ve been a source of inspiration and an influence in culture.”

Cultured, she is. For “Madame X,” she drew on her time in Lisbon, Portugal, where she’s lived for the past two years after she moved there to support her son’s passion for soccer. While attending soccer games, she said she sat on cinder blocks and wore a hoodie and sneakers and that “nobody gave a s–t about her” being a star. While exploring Latin countries, she was inspired by reggaeton beats and flamenco, collaborating with Colombian artist Maluma on her single “Medallín” and speaking in Spanish and Portuguese throughout the album.

“Madame X” was a name that Madonna’s dance teacher, Martha Graham, gave her. She said that Graham revolutionized dance and was “a force to be reckoned with.” The persona, she said, is a “spy, a secret agent,” “a riddle, an open book,” a paradox of human personalities. Designer Jeremy Scott came to visit her while she finished the record, and told her that she should name the record “Madame X.”

“[Madame X] must have stayed with me unconsciously because everyone’s always talking to me about how I reinvent myself,” said Madonna.

The lyrics on “Madame X” are political, philosophical, and related to humankind accessing their personal power. On the track “Dark Ballet” she draws from the story of Joan of Arc being burned at the stake because of discrimination and fear. She called it a “Dark Ballet” because she said it is the dance we are all dancing today.

“They accused her of being a heretic, a lesbian, a witch, a boy, a freak, and of course I can relate to all of those things,” said Madonna. “And so, in the end, she was burned at the stake, and then she became a saint, and of course, this is what we always do. We destroy our profits and our sages and then we put them on pedestals. We have to stop doing that and appreciate people while they’re still alive.”

More at Variety


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Is Another One Of Madame X’s Incarnations A DJ?-The Remixes Say Yes…

Whatever your individual review of Madonna’s latest album “Madame X” is, one fact is undeniable; the remixes for some of the singles on the ultra-experimental album that are poised to arrive this summer will have us on the dance floor absolutely living for Madge’s latest incarnation.


As she prepares to take the stage at New York City Pride on Pride Island, the remixes for her Pride-inspired anthem “I Rise” are already being buzzed about, especially after the resistance and protest inspired video she released late yesterday. In partnership with TIME Studios, the video conjures up images that embody the true spirit of standing up and fighting back. Directed by Peter Matkiwsky, the video merges footage of Parkland school shooting survivors, LGBTQ supporters and allies, women’s rights protesters, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman’s testimony about sexual abuse and numerous other haunting images of social justice movements and people, all truly defining the spirit of the “resistance”

Already, Madonna is looking at her post-New York City Pride material from “Madame X” and what could possibly be the next single officially released. All arrows are pointing to the radio-friendly, Swae Lee duet “Crave” as the possible next single to be chosen, with the video dropping late last month. Yesterday, Madonna was shown on her Instagram teasing the remix that Miami based DJ Tracy Young has done, simply saying- it’s “fire”!

Young historically has had a series of home runs with Madge, with her remixes of “Music”, “Don’t Tell Me” and “What It Feels Like For A Girl” (from the album Music) all keeping dance floors packed in 2000. Speaking of Young, it’s already been confirmed that she has put her magic touch on remixes for “I Rise”, which are sure to take the song from impassioned resistance torch song to definitive summer dance anthem.

It looks like Madonna & Tracy Young are going to be giving us one more mix to “Crave” this summer…

BONUS: While we eagerly anticipate Tracy Young’s remix of “Crave”, the remix that Dario Xavier did for the song & released on his Soundcloud is a definite banger on its own. A consistent and throbbing beat behind Madge’s vocals along with drop outs at seemingly just the right times make this one the perfect remix to whet our appetites for the flurry of remixes we will be getting from our favorite Material Girl.

(Art Courtesy of YouTube)

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Music reviews: Madonna takes listeners on a weird, wild ride on Madame X


Ay yi yi. Or to put it another way: It’s a weird kind of energy. Or to put it yet another way: Bitch, she’s loca.

That’s not me talking. That’s Madame X herself. She’s got a helluva point: Madonna’s 14th studio album and first full-length in four years isn’t just her latest stylistic departure or artistic reinvention: It’s one of the flat-out loopiest releases of her career. And not just because of the eyepatch she’s been sporting lately.

The weirdness goes far deeper than that. And comes from a far more exotic place. Much of the disc was birthed, written and recorded in Lisbon, where Madonna relocated in 2017 so her son could pursue his soccer-star dreams. Turned out his mom was the one who ended up chasing goals, creating a disc inspired by the cultural melting pot in the Portuguese capital.

Of course, Madonna being Madonna, she takes everything one step beyond the norm. So if you’re expecting upbeat, sunny Latin-pop reminiscent of La Isla Bonita, forget it. The 13-track Madame X (or the 15-track Deluxe Edition) is a moody, thoughtful and decidedly intimate affair. Grooves tend to be slow-burning and sultry. The tastefully minimalist arrangements balance electronic beats and basslines with acoustic and traditional instruments.

Lyrics toggle between English, Spanish and Portuguese. And there are all manner of eccentric little touches and surprises peppered throughout the cuts. Like, for instance, the Vocorder-treated portions of The Nutcracker that suddenly intrude into Dark Ballet. The guest spots by Migos’ Quavo, Diplo, Colombian singer Maluma and Rae Sremmerd’s Swae Lee. The low-key cha-cha weirdness of leadoff single Medellin. The minor-key dissonance and Asian tabla drums of Extreme Occident. The trip-hop undertones of Crazy.

And the reggaeton grind of Bitch I’m Loca. If you’re starting to notice a theme in those last few titles, you’re not alone — Madonna seems very preoccupied with her mental health on this album. Sometimes she brags about being crazy.

Sometimes she accuses someone of trying to drive her crazy. And sometimes she complains that people think she’s crazy. Granted, it doesn’t exactly help her case when she writes lyrics like: “People think that I’m insane / The only gun is in my brain / Each new birth, it gives me hope / That’s why I don’t smoke that dope.”

But I guess we should thank our lucky stars for that; one can only imagine how nutso Madame X would have turned out if she were high.

More at MontrealGazette

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Watch Madonna And Jimmy Fallon Face Off In Neon Dance Battle On ‘The Tonight Show’

The Queen of Pop also indulged Fallon in a cha-cha lesson, inviting the entire studio audience to have a dance with her.
Madonna Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show

      Madonna and Jimmy Fallon donned glow-in-the-dark jumpsuits on Thursday night for a neon dance battle on The Tonight Show. With the show’s house band, The Roots, providing a funky beat, Fallon managed to hold his own against the Queen of Pop in the contest, which you can see in full below.

      In her interview with Fallon, Madonna talked about her upcoming small-theater shows , which include a 17-night residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and recalled getting flustered (and a little flirty) when Fallon introduced her to President Barack Obama the last time she was on The Tonight Show. “You’re the only reason I’m doing this,” she allegedly told the former president backstage.

      Madonna started off the couch chat by jokingly putting Roots drummer Questlove on the spot, asking him if he was mad at her during the dance segment and then forcing him to reveal whether she or Fallon were the better dancer.

      “Your physical comedy is unparalleled,” she told Fallon. “That’s what you call my dancing? Physical comedy?” Fallon snapped back. “A good comedian has to be able to dance. You do need a new hairstylist, but that’s another story,” she zinged. The pair’s chemistry was clearly on view, with Madonna also teasing Fallon about his “manly” beard and his powder blue tie, which led to a spontaneous duet on the George Gershwin classic ‘Summertime.’

      Wearing a bedazzled short dress accented by a black hat with a veil featuring the word “art” embroidered in red, the singer indulged Fallon in a cha-cha lesson, inviting the entire studio audience to have a dance with her. And, as it turns out, Madonna was wearing her veil because the two jokingly decided they are going to get married. “I gotta talk to my wife and figure this out,” Fallon said.

      “The more marriage I have the shorter my veil gets,” Madonna shot back, before leading the audience in a cha-cha dance, inspired by her song ‘Medellín’ with Maluma.

      Madonna released her hotly-anticipated new album Madame X on 14 June. She recently performed her song ‘Future’ with Migos‘ Quavo at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

More at UDiscoverMusic

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