Actually, Madonna Was the First to Subvert Country Music Style

I remember seeing Madonna’s “Don’t Tell Me” on MTV in 2000 when I was 11 years old. It was mind-blowing. Growing up in New England, country music never hit close to home. It was all Garth Brooks singing about driving a truck with a fat engine and cracking a warm beer by the lake. But Madonna took the genre and spun it on its head in one of the most transportive videos of her career: steamy cowboys and a dark ranchero vibe, mixed up with a lot of sand-strewn cheek. (It was also the first time Madonna played guitar on an album.) It’s almost hard to believe that the music video is almost 20 years old. “Don’t Tell Me” was the OG beginnings of what we are now calling the “yeehaw agenda.” Subversive twang is going mainstream in the form of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” Orville Peck’s masked exploration of masculinity in country music, and Diplo brooding in a Nudie suit on Instagram. But let me remind you that Madonna was the first to pave the way for giddy-up pop.

We begin with Madonna walking down a desert highway; an 18-wheeler truck drives by, and her cowboy hat flies off. A few seconds later, the camera zooms out, and the viewers realize that Madonna is simply walking, hips cocking side-to-side, in front of an old-timey projector. Her dancers are ever-fabulous, muscular gyrating men, characters plucked out of that Vivienne Westwood “Cowboy” T-shirt. The sound is pared back but still addictive with an ironic plucking of a guitar.

Then the fashion! Madonna’s cowboy hat is pulled down past her eyes. In the first half, she wears a simple unbuttoned plaid shirt with a bedazzled grommet belt. The dark-wash flares are stained with mud. Another look: a black leather cowboy shirt with puffed-up shoulders that reveal a slice of her belly. Her pants have chaps. Looking back at it now, the video and its wardrobe were deliciously sassy: Madonna took a good-natured country look and flipped it completely.

The genius behind Madonna’s look was famed stylist and costume designer Arianne Phillips, who worked with the French director Jean-Baptiste Mondino to handle the Queen of Pop’s foray into Western surreality. It was a fated match: When Phillips learned of the music video’s theme, she had recently read Rodeo Girl by Lisa Eisner, a photography book that explored Eisner’s hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the colorful rodeo culture that thrived there. “t was one of those synchronistic moments when I showed the book to Madonna, and I showed it to Mondino, and she loved it,” says Phillips. “It was meant from a tongue-in-cheek place, and that really informed the video. [Madonna and Mondino], it was never literal. It was always with a wink and a nod.”

In the video, Madonna’s two Western outfits were made by Dsquared2, who were only making menswear at the time. “They were friends of ours, Dean and Dan [Caten], and they had yet to do anything for women,” says Phillips. “They did these incredible jeans with mud splatter with a kind of fake mud [for their men’s collection]. I asked if they would make a pair for Madonna, and they did.” The designers also provided Madonna’s “cowboy goth” look. “They also made the leather shirt, a Victorian kind of take on the cowboy shirt,” says Phillips. “That was new for the boys of Dsquared2.” That outfit appears in a pivotal moment: Once Madonna changes into it, she and her dancers let loose with a hypersexualized take on line dancing while a raccoon tail bounces from Madonna’s belt loops.

Of course, the most iconic item was Madonna’s cowboy hat. Aside from “Don’t Tell Me,” Madonna also wore it on the cover of Music and in the music video “Music,” a non-country hit. “Putting Madonna in a cowboy hat had to be tongue-in-cheek. It was something that I wanted to be short-lived. We used it in the music video, and it became this ironic prop in a way. Then her fans really grabbed on to it,” says Phillips. “I think, to this day, you can’t go to a Madonna concert without a cowboy hat.”

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The Arts Hour – Queen of Pop Madonna (listen now) BBC Sounds

On The Arts Hour this week, Madonna is back with her new album Madame X. She explains the Portuguese influences on it and why reinvention is in her blood. Actor Tom Hanks on the highs and lows of playing the beloved character of Woody from Toy Story for over twenty years. The British poet rapper Kate Tempest reveals what it was like working with the legendary Def Jam co-founder and producer Rick Rubin, and Cornelia Funke describes taking Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth from the big screen to the pages of her new novel. Actor Will Poulter on Ari Aster’s new horror film – Midsommar – while Haitian superstar DJ Michael Brun goes back to his roots for his debut album. Nikki Bedi’s guests in the studio are Trinidadian jazz musician Etienne Charles, who talks about his Carnival inspired new music, and the film critic Larushka Ivan-Zadeh.


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Madonna Blasts ‘Internet Police’ And Online Haters: ‘If I Am Not Relevant, Prove It’

Madonna has no time for haters, and on Sunday posted a silly video on Instagram that was accompanied by a harsh takedown of those who criticize her.

“Madame ❌ is a history professor,” she wrote in the caption, accompanying a NSFW video in which she goofs around with her stage crew, putting on various accents before declaring she’s the “first president of the United States of America” and insisting that “Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were gay — and they were lovers.”

“IG police other wise known as women-hating Misogynistic bigots can F**k off!!!!!” she wrote.

“Your fear of what I represent is palpable and the fact that you follow me and Take the time to make remarks is an advertisement for your stupidity -ignorance and intolerance for that which is different,” she continued, adding a middle-finger emoji.

“If i am not relevant then prove it,” she concluded. “Stop following me. Lol.”

This isn’t the first time Madonna has been critical of social media. Last month, she gave an interview to The Sun in which she proclaimed that the purpose of Instagram is to make people “feel bad” about themselves.

“You get caught up in comparing yourself to other people. Should I be like that, act like that, look like that? Will that make me more popular, or more successful?” she said.

RELATED: Madonna Thinks Her Kids Wish She Wasn’t Madonna: ‘It Would Be Less Challenging In Their Minds’

“I think Instagram is made to make you feel bad,” she continued. “People are really a slave to winning people’s approvals.”

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Madonna, fervent fan of the life and works of Frida Kahlo

Singer-songwriter Madonna says she is a fervent fan of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, the artistic symbol of female liberation worldwide, an admiration she has shown on many occasions and did so again with her latest music video and on the 112th anniversary last Saturday of the painter’s birth.

“God Control” is the latest musical work by Madonna, 60, and in it, besides seeking to raise awareness about arms control in the United States with a new look at the 2016 Pulse gay-bar slaughter, appears a picture of Frida (1907-1954) hung on the wall of a room where the singer is seated behind a typewriter.

Though the exact significance of that small image is unknown since the rest of the video has no relation to the Mexican artist nor anything from her world, the image gains importance because of the multiple gestures of admiration that the “Queen of Pop” has dedicated to Frida.

For example, last July 6 on the 112th anniversary of the birth of the artist who was married to another artist, Diego Rivera, Madonna posted a photomontage of the work “The Two Fridas” in which the two hold hands and their hearts are connected.

Together with that image is a photo of the daughter of the American singer dressed as Frida and a text that says “Happy Birthday Frida Kahlo…Madame X…eternal Muse.”

However, this fascination is nothing new in Madonna’s artistic career, who in the late 1980s began her claim to fame in Soho, the scene of New York’s avant-garde, and at the end of that decade acquired her first work by Frida Kahlo, the musical journalist Ricardo Pineda told EFE in an interview.

Even so, the attachment grew, according to the expert, with the release of the 2015 disc “Rebel Heart,” whose cover shows Madonna herself with multiple strings on her face, just like an image of Frida that the US singer shared on social networks.

“This is a revealing story. The cover is a very direct reference, she has never said it was that way but has given many hints. She’s been asked and she says it’s not a direct reference but yes, Frida is a real inspiration for what she wants to get across,” Pineda said.

The journalist thought the origin of her passion stemmed from Frida’s power of communication and the rebellion she exhibited throughout her life, both in breaking away from artistic tradition and an “intimate search” for the basis of feminism.

“Frida’s search is an awakening…and that made a click with Madonna,” he said.

But Madonna wasn’t the only one to mention Frida on social networks. Other figures from the world of the arts and entertainment like Mexican actress Salma Hayek showed their admiration for the painter, one of the Mexican women most famous and idolized around the world.

Not only for her art is she revered, but also “for her life and how she faced the pain” of her terrible and eventually fatal illness, Pineda said.

Madonna is an art collector with more than $100 million invested and always dreamed of buying works by the Mexican painter, whose work “My Birth” is hung on a wall of her home. EFE-EPA ia/cd

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“Everybody knows the damn truth

Our nation lied, we lost respect
When we wake up, what can we do?
Get the kids ready, take them to school
Everybody knows they don’t have a chance
To get a decent job, to have a normal life…”

The CHIMNEY Stockholm office was responsible for the complete sound design and VFX for Madonna’s newest music video ‘God Control’. The video has, not entirely unexpected, chalked up some 3.8 million clicks throughout the Net and has sparked a bit of controversy with its explicit imagery. The video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who had the honor of realizing the ‘American Life’ video for the Goddess of Pop back in 2003.

‘God Control’ was just released on Madonna’s 14th studio album entitled MADAME X. The song, similar to ‘I Rise’, is themed upon the catastrophic gun control policy in the United States. Featured on the track alongside a volley of gunfire, a typewriter and Madonna is also the Tiffin Children’s Choir, consisting of more than 80 children from Kingston.

Although the opening sequence establishes New York as the setting, the club scenes were filmed at the historic Globe Theatre in Los Angeles. In an interview with people magazine, Madonna shares the following about her song : “Seeing the reality, and the brutality of things makes you wake up. This is really happening. This is what it looks like. ‘Does it make you feel bad? Good, ’cause then maybe you will do something about it.”

About – Madame X is a secret agent. Traveling around the world. Changing identities. Fighting for freedom. Bringing light to dark places. She is a cha cha instructor, a professor, a head of state, a housekeeper, an equestrian, a prisoner, a student, a teacher, a nun, a cabaret singer, a saint, a prostitute… GoSee

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Madonna Spreads Legs Open In Fishnet Tights And Corset In Rehearsals

Madonna has been sharing numerous video clips and boomerangs of herself in rehearsals to her Instagram page to build anticipation for her upcoming tour. The show is named after her latest studio album, Madame X, which was released last month.

For her latest upload, Madonna is lying down on the floor with her legs and mouth wide open. The clip shows the light flickering on and off as she owns fishnet tights, a white shirt, and a black corset. She hashtagged the boomerang with “rehearsals,” teasing fans with little hints for what the show might consist of.

In another boomerang posted two days ago to her Instagram, she is lying down on some stairs, singing. Her caption references her number “X-Static Process,” a song from her album American Life, released in 2003.

“Shaking,” one fan commented, hoping she will perform the song.

“X-STATIC PROCESS IS LITERALLY ONE OF UR BEST SONGS,” another shared passionately in capital letters.


“X-static Process is my favorite song everrrrr,” a fourth user mentioned.

Her upcoming tour is scheduled to visit North America later this year and Europe next year.

On September 12, the “Material Girl” chart-topper will kick off her tour in New York City at the Howard Gilman Opera House and will continue in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, and Miami Beach.

The European leg will start on January 16 in Lisbon, Portugal at the Coliseu dos Recreios and will continue in London, U.K., and Paris, France.

Released worldwide on June 14 via Interscope Records, Madame X was an instant success.

Prior to charting, she was competing with “Born To Run” hitmaker Bruce Springsteen for the top spot, which The Inquisitr reported. In the U.K., Springsteen’s latest record, Western Stars, became his 11th No. 1 album in the U.K. That week, Madame X reached No. 2. However, in the U.S., the results were reversed. Madame X became Madonna’s ninth album to top the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart. Bruce has had 11 albums reach the No. 1 spot in the U.S., but Western Stars isn’t one yet.

Madame X consists of collaborations with Swae Lee, Anitta, Quavo, and Maluma. The lead single, “Medellin,” has racked up over 29 million streams on Spotify. With over 15 million monthly listeners, Madonna is currently the 161st most played artist on the app.

If you want to keep up with Madonna’s rehearsal posts, follow her on Instagram where she has over 14 million followers and updates her page regularly.

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ALBUM WAS RELEASED ON JUNE 14TH Thirty-seven years and 14 albums later, Madonna does the predictable on her latest release, Madame X … reinvent herself. After living in Portugal for several years, Madame X is heavily inspired by the country’s rich traditional and modern eclectic music. It’s far from perfect, but there’s beauty even in imperfections, and while it doesn’t stand up to Madonna’s best work, it is the best album she’s released in recent years.

Upon first hearing, the mix of musical styles shows Madonna, even at 60, is up to date on current musical trends, what the “kids are into these days”. Her voice, albeit a bit deeper, sounds as potent and sexy as it does from her Ray of Light days (arguably Madonna’s best album). Madonna performs each of the 13 tracks effortlessly and production-wise, Madame X doesn’t sound like a pop star trying to sound modern. It’s Madonna after all, claiming her rightful place and setting the trends, musically.

From the sounds coming from a sweaty hot downtown club in New York City, Spanish and Afro drumbeats, and plenty of Latin influences, Madonna returns to her dance music roots but also dwells into politics (maybe a little too political), introspection, and of course Madonna’s trademarked not giving a damn what people think of her or what they may think of Madame X. That’s made quite clear on “Come Alive” where Madonna doesn’t care about one’s opinion, or “I Rise”, the grand, closing track where Madonna declares there’s nothing anyone can do to keep her down, she’s been through it all and won the battle every time.

The beautiful ballad “Looking For Mercy” is a bit out of place on Madame X but again, it’s Madonna and the way the music sounds and passionate lyrics are standard Madonna love songs. Yet the politically uneven “Killers Who Are Partying” where Madonna claims she will be poorer if Africa falls seems empty especially when Madonna is one of the world’s richest entertainers.

But the real highlights such as “Come Alive”, a track that will be standard on every Madonna concert, and “Medellin” where Madonna performs with Colombian artist Maluma, is as Latin as you can get for a white pop star.

Madame X is a strong effort, showing that Madonna has no plans to give up her throne as the Queen of Pop. The few setbacks can’t override what is Madonna’s best work in years. Madonna is back! 

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Buddy and Julie Miller, Madonna, Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers with the new and noteworthy


Madonna, Madame X (Interscope) – Given her irregular television and stage appearances in recent months, Madonna could have made a much worse studio album than the surreal globe-hopping concept album here. Critics might perceive Madame X as a superficial romp through Latin American styles, but Madonna weaving a playful mystery tale offers far more choice moments than her recent albums that tried to reclaim sexuality in her sixth decade.

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