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In her first Q&A about the surprise launch of her 13th album, the Queen of Pop opens up about working with Nicki and Kanye and who’s really in the Illuminati
For the past year, Madonna has been updating fans on the progress of her 13th studio album through Instagram posts picturing collaborators (Nicki Minaj, Avicii, Diplo) and inspirations (children in Malawi, Miley Cyrus, placards reading “I need more money and power and less shit from you people”). But last week her creative process was interrupted by the leak of 13 songs she characterized as “unfinished demos.” Faced with a potential calamity, her team made a quick decision: finish and release six of the tracks immediately on iTunes and set a firm early-March 2015 release date for the full LP, titled Rebel Heart.
The day after the tracks hit iTunes, Madonna was Number One on the digital music service’s charts in 41 countries — everywhere from the U.S. and Israel to Russia and the Philippines. And she gave her first interview about the surprise launch to Rolling Stone:
It’s safe to presume you’ve had a busy couple of days?
Oh my goodness. So busy. Let’s talk about something good.
The album focuses on two themes: listening to your heart and being a rebel. When you sat down to write, were you guided by these ideas above any musical plans?
I never sit down and consciously think I want to write a song about a subject. Music leads me to ideas and to where I want to go emotionally. When I first started, I was writing with Avicii’s team of writers and they were separated into two different groups. One of them had a much more upbeat approach to songwriting, sonically speaking, and the other team chose darker chords. The music leads me – so I get lost in the sound of the music, and that creates a kind of emotional palate. I found as I would look back at my songs and witness what I had written, I was coming from two very distinct places. That happened organically, not planned out, and I was observing, “Oh, these are two very strong sides of me that I need to express.”
Read full article: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/rebel-heart-madonna-reveals-the-story-behind-six-surprise-songs-20141221#ixzz3MZxW8mQg
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Madonna Q&A: On Her New ‘Rebellious and Romantic’ Music, Demo Leaks, ‘Possibly’ Crashing the Grammys & the ‘Crazy’ Sony Hack
“It’s kind of like the old me and the new me all mixed in together,” Madonna tells Billboard of her stunning new single “Living For Love.”
It’s a rather large understatement to say that it’s been a crazy couple of weeks for Madonna.
On Tuesday night, more than 10 of the singer’s unreleased demo recordings turned up on the Internet, causing the singer and her team to go into “overdrive” to combat the stolen leaks. (“I haven’t slept in a week,” she says.) The songs were from the sessions for her forthcoming 13th studio album, which at the time, had not been announced (and is still not finished).
To counter the leak, Madonna accelerated the release of new music: On Friday night (Dec. 19), she announced that her album, Rebel Heart, would be released on March 10, 2015 through Interscope Records, and six of its tracks would become immediately available to purchase. Among those tracks are the set’s lead single, the Diplo-produced soul-meets-house jam “Living For Love.” How far ahead of schedule was the release? The single wasn’t supposed to premiere until Feb. 14, 2015.
The album — which features a collaboration with Nicki Minaj — is also available to pre-order, and has topped the iTunes Store’s top albums tally in more than 40 countries, including the United States. She also dominated the real time Billboard + Twitter Trending 140 chart on Saturday night (Dec. 20), where two of the album’s songs (“Living For Love” and “Bitch, I’m Madonna”) were concurrently in the top three.
Billboard spoke to Madonna on Sunday morning via phone, to talk about her new album, its “chaotic” recording process, and how her day-to-day business has changed because of the leaks. She also discusses her fondness of Diplo (he’s a “badass”), a possible Grammy Awards performance, and how no one has ever called her an “Unapologetic Bitch.”
Billboard: How are you doing?
Madonna: I’m good. I’m good, I haven’t slept in a week, but I’m good.
I can only imagine the week that you’ve had so far.
Yeah. It’s been a very intense couple of weeks.
Are you OK right now? As OK as you can be considering what’s been happening?
Yeah. I mean, you know, I’m not happy that unreleased demos are out there in the world for people to hear, listen, judge, etcetera, etcetera. Once that happened we went into overdrive. A) Trying to figure out where the leaks were coming from, and then B) Trying to combat that with putting out finished music that people could focus on versus demos that were never meant for anyone to hear. So, that led to no sleep.
Click HERE to read full Q&A by Billboard
Madonna has defended her description of the leak of 13 unfinished demos from her forthcoming album as “a form of terrorism” and “artistic rape”.
Speaking to the Guardian on Sunday, the singer said she was “living in a state of terror” following the leak, adding that there was “a big possibility” that they were the result of her personal computer being hacked.
“Obviously there is a person, or a group of people behind this that were essentially terrorising me. I don’t want to sound alarming, but certainly that’s how I felt. It’s one thing if someone comes into your house and steals a painting off your wall – that’s also a violation – but your work, as an artist, that’s devastating. I’m an artistic person, I’m very expressive. I’m sorry if words alarm people, but that’s what it felt like. It was not a consensual agreement. I did not say, ‘Hey, here’s my music, and it’s finished.’ It was theft.”
On Saturday, Madonna unexpectedly released six tracks from Rebel Heart on iTunes, following the leak of the unfinished songs earlier in the week; the album itself is not due for release until March. She immediately reached No 1 in the iTunes chart in 36 countries, a situation she described as “a miracle”.
Click HERE to read full article by The Guardian
Rebel Heart salutes The Pinkprint! Here’s to another great collab! @nickiminaj @madonna Best of luck with your new record! #rebelheart #pinkprint #unapologeticbitches
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Madonna Returns To The Top Of The Charts Around The World With Surprise Release Of Six Songs From Her Upcoming Rebel Heart Album
Madonna is currently #1 in 36 countries around the world with the release of six songs from her forthcoming album Rebel Heart. In virtually every country the songs were released, they held six of the ten slots on the Top 10 iTunes chart. In seven of those countries, she had multiple No. 1’s. The single Living for Love is currently No. 1 in 20 countries.
The news of the surprise drop came when Madonna posted a link late last night on Instagram announcing the release of the six songs as, “an early Christmas gift” to those that preordered the album. Fans immediately went to iTunes and drove the songs to #1 around the globe. Instantaneously Rebel Heart exploded on social media with the album topping the Billboard Trending 140 Chart. On Facebook #Madonna was the #1 trending topic and continues to trend there. Additionally, #Madonna and #RebelHeart have been trending on Twitter in the US all day.
Rebel Heart will be released in March 2015 on Interscope Records. Producers include Madonna, Diplo (Living For Love, Bitch I’m Madonna, Unapologetic Bitch), Kanye West (Illuminati), Billboard (Ghosttown), DJ Dahi and Blood Diamonds (Devil Pray). The album was recorded in London, Los Angeles and New York.
NEW YORK (AP) — In a surprise preview of her new album, Madonna released six songs Saturday on iTunes and various streaming services.
The songs were released because several in-progress demos were leaked earlier this week, publicist Liz Rosenberg said.
Madonna said in a statement that she had wanted to wait until a different holiday season.
“I was hoping to release my new single ‘Living For Love’ on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the album coming in the spring,” she said. “I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift.”
Songs available Saturday also include the plaintive, anti-drug “Devil Pray”; the secretive, name-checking dance track “Illuminati”; and a duet with Nicki Minaj, “B—h I’m Madonna.” Additional music will be released on Feb. 9, Rosenberg said.
The full album, “Rebel Heart,” is Madonna’s 13th and is set for release in March. Producers include Madonna, Diplo and Kanye West.
New York (AFP) – Madonna on Saturday suddenly released six new songs months ahead of schedule, furious that early versions had leaked online in what she had described as “artistic rape.”
The songs will appear on the pop icon’s first album in three years, “Rebel Heart,” which comes out in March. The six tracks show Madonna going further in a hip-hop direction and include a collaboration with leading female rapper Nicki Minaj.
The Material Girl said she decided to put the songs on sale online after in-studio versions of her tracks dripped onto the Internet.
“I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift,” Madonna said in a statement.
Madonna earlier took a more livid tone on social media. On Instagram, she called the distribution of her unfinished songs “artistic rape” and “a form of terrorism” against the creative process.
Madonna deleted the message but in a series of further postings — including one accompanied by a scantily clad photo of herself off the Internet that she said had not intended to release — she asked for leads to figure out how her demos got out.
The leaks came as entertainment giant Sony suffered a major hack, linked by US investigators to North Koreans upset over mockery of their leader in the since-cancelled film “The Interview.”
The leaks of Madonna’s music are unlikely to be connected as she is distributed by rival music group Universal.
Leaking has become an increasingly common problem for artists in an age where copying music takes little technical skill. Lady Gaga last year also released music early after leaks, while Beyonce avoided the problem by releasing an album with no prior publicity.
– Going in an R&B direction, ‘bitch’ –
The new songs show Madonna — the creator of some of the most recognizable dance pop of the 1980s — further going into an R&B style, which she had touched on going as far back as 1989’s “Like a Prayer” and embraced on her 2008 album “Hard Candy.”
One of the new songs, “Living for Love,” merges elements from Madonna’s career. Her vocals show clear R&B influence as a funky urban beat builds into club-packing house music.
The song could be read as delving into Madonna’s notoriously turbulent love life, with the anthem-like lyrics, “Lifted me up, and watched me stumble / After the heartache, I’m gonna carry on.”
Madonna, whose purported romances have provided tabloid fodder since her eight-year marriage to British filmmaker Guy Ritchie ended in 2008, unleashes anger to an unnamed ex-lover in the evocatively titled “Unapologetic Bitch.”
As reggae guitars back up a hip-hop beat, Madonna blares: “You know you never really knew how much you loved me until you lost me, did you? / You know you never really knew how much your selfish bullshit cost me? / Well, fuck you.”
Pursuing a lyrical theme, another song is called “Bitch, I’m Madonna” as the 56-year-old pop icon raps with the younger Minaj in a hip-hop anthem on the joys of unabashed late-night partying.
Madonna shows her warmer side on the ballad “Ghost Town” and goes in a completely different lyrical direction on “Illuminati,” in which she plays on the 18th-century conspiracy theory of a global secret society.
“It’s the Enlightenment that started it all / The Founding Fathers wrote it down on the wall / And now the media’s misleading us all,” Madonna sings as she name-checks everyone from Steve Jobs to Queen Elizabeth II to ISIS.
The songs come after what had been a quiet 2014 for Madonna, who dropped off Forbes’ annual list of the highest-earning female musicians after topping it a year earlier.
Madonna has yet to announce concert plans. “MDNA” was accompanied by an extensive global tour that grossed more than $300 million and generated controversy as she raised her voice on issues from gun control to gay rights to Europe’s far right.
When listening to Madonna sing a line like “Took me to heaven, let me fall down/Now that it’s over, I’m gonna carry on” on new single “Living For Love,” it’s hard not to think of the disappointment the pop queen felt earlier this week, when her thirteenth album leaked online in demo form before it was even officially announced. Fortunately for fans, that initial shock is over, and Madge is carrying on with an album release — “Living For Love” previews Rebel Heart, now due out in March, and hints at the defiant pose that the follow-up to 2012’s MDNA may strike after a few overstuffed dance projects.
Unlike Madonna’s previous two lead singles, the pre-EDM banger “4 Minutes” and the cheerleader pep talk “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” “Living For Love” leaves its focus on its lyrics, with the singer beginning over a regal piano line that’s eventually joined by pulsing percussion. The confidence Madonna displays on the track recalls singular classics like “Express Yourself” and “Like A Prayer,” and when the song weaves its way toward a throbbing drop, Madonna continues crooning, refusing to be relegated to the background. “Living For Love” sounds like a giddy combination of Madonna’s past and present, and represents an encouraging sign for a 2015 project that was unexpectedly thrown into jeopardy at the end of 2014.
Living For Love | Madonna Ciccone, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Alicia Keys, MoZella, Ariel Rechtstaid, Toby Gad, Nick Rowe
Devil Pray | Madonna Ciccone, Ryan Tedder
Ghosttown | Madonna Ciccone
Unapologetic Bitch | Madonna Ciccone, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Sophie
Illuminati | Madonna Ciccone, Thomas Wesley Pentz
Bitch I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj) | Madonna Ciccone, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Sophie, Onika Maraj
Joan of Arc | Madonna Ciccone, S1, Toby Gad, Maureen McDonald
The Queen of Pop went and pulled a Beyoncé.
Madonna has released the first six songs off 13th album Rebel Heart, set for release March 10.
The reigning diva tweeted out the announcement early Saturday morning, along with album cover art
The release is in response a leak earlier this week, which resulted in early mixes of 13 of the album’s tracks making their way online, according to Rolling Stone.
“I was hoping to release my new single Living for Love on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the album coming in the spring,” Madonna said in a statement. “I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift.”
Producers on the new songs include Kanye West, Diplo, Blood Diamonds, Dahi, Billboard, and Madonna. Nicki Minaj is also featured on track B**** I’m Madonna.
The album has 19 tracks listed on iTunes, most of which are still untitled, save for one called Joan of Arc that is not available yet. More music will become available Feb. 9 before the full album is released March 10.
The tracklist so far:
1. Living for Love
2. Devil Pray
4. Unapologetic B****
6. B**** I’m Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj)
Read full article by USA Today here
MADONNA RELEASES SIX SONGS FROM NEW ‘REBEL HEART’ ALBUM AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW
Full Album Scheduled for Release in March
Pre-order the album on iTunes now: https://smarturl.it/RebelHeart
December 20, 2014. For immediate release….New York, NY…..Madonna has just released six songs from her new studio album ‘Rebel Heart’. The six songs are currently available for purchase now via preorder at iTunes and other music outlets with purchase of the album and a la carte as well. The music will also be available on all streaming services. Additional music will be released on Feb. 9th. The full album of “Rebel Heart” on Interscope Records is scheduled to be released the first week in March 2015.
Song titles that are currently available from the new album are Living For Love, Devil Pray, Ghosttown, Unapologetic Bitch, Illuminati and Bitch I’m Madonna which was recorded with Nicki Minaj. Producers include Madonna, Diplo, Kanye West, Billboard, was recorded in NY, LA and London.
The decision to release the songs much earlier than anticipated was due to the leaking of several work-in-progress demos earlier this week.
“I was hoping to release my new single ‘Living For Love’ on Valentine’s Day with the rest of the album coming in the Spring. I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift,” commented Madonna.