Madonna’s last studio effort, 2012’s MDNA, was the lowest-selling of her iconic career. However, having previously bounced back from the relative flops of Bedtime Stories and American Life with Ray of Light and Confessions on a Dancefloor, the Queen of Pop is unlikely to give up her throne without a fight.
With one of her representatives this week confirming that her 13th studio effort will hit the shelves in 2015, here’s a look at everything we know about the record so far.
Diplo is a key producer
The Major Lazer figurehead certainly isn’t averse to working with superstars, having lent his magic touch to tracks by the likes of Britney Spears, Beyonce and Usher.
But having confirmed that he’s worked on seven tracks with Madonna, three of which are apparently ‘amazing smashes,’ this is by far his most high-profile and most involved A-list role yet.
Renowned for his genre-hopping mix of electro, hip-hop and dancehall, it therefore seems unlikely that Madonna will be straying too far from the dancefloor.
Expect some formulaic EDM
Madonna: Everything we know so far about the new album(Picture: Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)
William Orbit, Mirwais, Stuart Price – Madonna once had a reputation for championing those producers unfamiliar to the general public. Sadly, the posting of two photos with ubiquitous superstar Swedish DJ Avicii on her Instagram account suggests that far from setting the trends, she’s now content to merely chase them.
Natalia Kills is on board
Once best-known for her performance as Jasper Carrott’s daughter in much-maligned sitcom All About Me and as the teen-pop rapper who scored a UK No.11 hit with the utterly infectious ‘Don’t Play Nice’, the artist formerly known as Verbalicious has since reinvented herself as a flamboyant Lady Gaga-esque diva named Natalia Kills.
Alongside her label boss Martin Kierszenbaum, she’s also become an unlikely Madonna ally, having contributed to seven tracks which may or may not make the cut on her forthcoming LP.
Alicia Keys is killing it
Madonna: Everything we know so far about the new album
The latest star to make an appearance on Madonna’s Instagram feed, Alicia Keys has apparently been ‘killing it’ in the studio.
It’s not clear yet whether Keys will appear on the record, or whether her role is a behind-the-scenes one, but as the writer behind Whitney Houston’s Million Dollar Bill, she’s already proved that she can bring the best out of a bona-fide pop legend.
But Disclosure aren’t involved
The Lawrence siblings were rumoured to be involved after Madonna posted a picture of her meeting with them at New York’s Governors Ball back in June.
However, Howard has since told Billboard that the reports aren’t true, although he didn’t rule out a future collaboration.
The London Community Church Gospel Choir are on board, as are hitmakers MoZella (Miley Cyrus), Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim), Toby Gad (One Direction) and Symbolyc One (Kanye West), while early song titles include Messiah, Rebel Heart and Bitch, I’m Madonna.
Zane Lowe talks to Diplo about his collaboration with Skrillex called Jack U, the new song featuring Kiesza and working with Madonna.
Sept. 16, 2000
Madonna scores her first Billboard Hot 100 since 1995 (and her 12th and most recent leader), as “Music” shimmies to the summit.
Madonna Album Update: 2015 Release, But She’s ‘Having a Lot of Fun’ With Diplo!
Madonna’s been hard at work on her upcoming new album — as evidenced by her prolific posts on Instagram — and is planning for it to be released in 2015, according to a representative.
Among those she’s working with is super-producer Diplo, who has turned up in multiple photos on the diva’s Instagram account. It’s unclear if Diplo (who recently graced the cover of Billboard magazine) is materializing as the album’s primary producer, but it would seem that he could play a significant role in the project.
When asked specifically about Diplo and his involvement in the album, Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary told Billboard, “She’s currently in the studio with Diplo and having a lot of fun,” but didn’t offer any further clues about the project. Alas.
Madonna’s next album is due out on Interscope Records, and — based on a glance at her Instagram feed — may also feature collaborations with Toby Gad, MoZella, S1, Ariel Rechtshaid, Avicii, Natalia Kills and Martin Kierszenbaum. On last week’s Pop Shop Podcast, Kierszenbaum — the head of Cherrytree Records who also records as Cherry Cherry Boom Boom — told Billboard that he was “very proud” of the work he completed with Madonna in the studio.
Madonna’s last release, 2012’s MDNA, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart — her fifth consecutive No. 1 studio album and her eighth chart-topper overall.
(@Keith Caulfield for Billboard.com)