But MDNA also works as a transition record, of sorts. Though she was able to pull and extend her commercial fortunes far longer than her 1980s peers, MDNA would be the last album that would earn a gold certification. It would also feature her last US top 10 single. In the ensuing decade, it’s been fascinating to watch an artist like Madonna, so tied to an earlier generation, navigate a new music industry. Questions of her relevance remain as she grows older. Though her male peers have mainly been able to escape this constant reminder of aging, in the same way, Madonna has been dogged and tenacious in her quest to remain relevant.

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