WHO IS MADAME X? IS IT YOU OR MADONNA?

What does it mean for one to be woke in 2019? Does it mean shouting your traumas and pain out of the street or to the front-view of your iPhone camera as a means of being a freedom-fighter and warrior for change and to be seen?  Madame X, also known as Madonna, is in the same world as us, and gulp— to your shock, she is thinking deeply of all the things that you think about, too.

A lot of people have always been repulsed by the idea of Madonna having any deeper thoughts about spirituality, existentialism or cultural commentary because of her point of privilege in society (being one of the most elevated living pop icons in the world, and all that) but in her most powerful work to date, Madame X, she knows this, and she deals with this conflicted anger by coming to place of acceptance that she can only be herself, and to be herself is “to dance.” The Maluma-assisted “Medellin” opens the record through a dream-sequence of a world where Madonna has dissociated from the reality of her fame and drifted into a world where she is being viewed as someone for her soul, cha-cha-ing in a ballroom with a hot Latin singer. We learn Madame X is not a nihilist. “For once, I didn’t have to hide myself…”

This is also a heartbreaking reminder that Madonna has had to fight to show her pain to the world in a way that will always be perceived as opportunist, corporate or manipulative. Everything she does is not enough – which she seems to be perplexed by, because all she wants is people to listen to her and to help others. And that’s how she has courted so much purposeful publicity around using shock in her career, to raise consciousness around everything from AIDS to LGBTQ rights, and to the tools of the magickal belief-system of Kabbalah.

Full article at V Magazine

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Madonna: ‘Wat de MeToo-beweging zegt, vertel ik al mijn hele leven’ (Dutch interview)

Er wordt vooral gezwegen. En wie wil praten, fluistert. Wie toch geluid maakt, krijgt een nerveuze blik toegeworpen. De sfeer in de statige members club The Home House in Londen is vanavond op z’n best die van koffie en cake in een crematorium.

In de wachtruimte – lederen canapés, obers in driedelig zwart – werpt de ontmoeting met Madonna zijn schaduw vooruit. Interviewers uit heel Europa ijsbe­ren door het vertrek. Mummelend repeteren ze hun vragen voor de Queen of pop

Haar kroon mag dan iets minder glanzen dan in haar vroegere regeerperiode, haar status als het bekendste mondiale merk van de popmuziek staat nog fier overeind. Net als haar reputatie als ’s werelds onmogelijkste interviewkandidaat. Wie haar mag ondervragen – het laatste Nederlandse een-op-eeninterview dateert uit 2008 – treft steevast een gesprekspartner die sociale codes als ballast beschouwt tijdens een wedstrijdje verbaal worstelen.

Tien hele minuten zijn er vanavond ­– Madonna werkt bij voorkeur ’s avonds en ’s nachts – om de zangeres te bevragen over haar 14de studioalbum Madame X. Een album bijna net zo gevarieerd als de talloze gedaantes die Madonna in haar 36-jarige loopbaan heeft aangenomen. Van Colombiaanse reggaeton tot Jamaicaanse dancehall en van Kaapverdische Butaka tot een fragment uit het Noten­kraker­ballet.

 

Een album ook dat een herlancering betekent van Madonna als politiek activiste. Al zal ze straks op strenge toon doceren dat van ‘hernieuwde’ strijdbaarheid helemaal geen sprake is. “Ik ben nooit opgehouden. Toen ik in de jaren 80 voor de rechten van de homogemeenschap opkwam, was dat óók politiek.”

Een Amerikaanse pr-dame laat de verslaggever binnen in een aanpalende kamer en knikt naar een stoeltje tegenover een fauteuil waarop iemand met het hoofd op de leuning ligt. Het blijkt Madonna zelf. Een visagist brengt een verse poederlaag op haar voorhoofd aan. “Ga zitten. Ik rust intussen uit. Ik ben doodmoe van dat gepraat over mezelf,” klinkt het niet onvriendelijk vanaf de leuning.

Eenmaal rechtop is Madonna onmiskenbaar Madon­na. Haar blonde haar in een krul tegen het gelaat geplakt, sleufje tussen haar tanden en ondanks de tientallen zilveren kruizen om haar hals een ruim uitzicht op het beroemdste decolleté uit de popmuziek.

Schittert Madonna op sociale ­media tegenwoordig als strakgeretoucheerde ­versie van zichzelf, in levenden lijve is ze simpelweg een knappe vrouw. Vandaag gehuld in een zomer­jurk waarvan een modeverslaggever meteen de designer had kunnen raden. Ze draagt lange lede­ren handschoenen en geeft een minder stevige handdruk dan verwacht.

Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone, 1958) legde het fundament voor Madame X toen ze in 2017 in Lissabon woonde, samen met haar vier jongste kinderen. Reden voor de verhuizing was haar uit Malawi geadopteerde zoon David Banda (13), die werd ingelijfd door de jeugdvoetbalacademie van Benfica. Inmiddels is ze terug in Londen met haar dochter Mercy (13) en de tweeling Esterre en Stella (6), allen geboren in Malawi. Madonna’s oudste dochter Lourdes (23 ) en zoon Rocco (18) zijn het huis uit.

U was in Lissabon wat u eerder ‘een voetbalmoeder’ noemde. Maar u speelde ook met lokale muzikanten. Was u gelukkig daar?

“Zo zou ik het niet noemen, nee. Het was best eenzaam soms. Ik kende er niemand. Ik was een single mom met vier kinderen om voor te zorgen.”

Waarom ging u er dan wonen?

“Om mijn zoon de kans te geven profvoetballer te worden. Het leek me ook wel tijd voor een avontuur voor de Cicconeclan. Dus daar gingen we. Ik heb eerst goed onderzoek gedaan. Er zijn drie steden die goede voetbalacademies hebben. Barcelona en Turijn met Juventus waren de andere. Turijn leek me een heel intellectuele stad, minder plezierig voor kleine kinderen. Barcelona vond ik te veel een partyplek. Lissabon is kleiner, multicultureler ook. Daar zag ik ons sneller wennen.”

Uiteindelijk leidde jamsessies in lokale fadocafés tot de eerste liedjes voor wat Madame X zou worden. Behalve wereldmuziek is ook de wereldpolitiek nadrukkelijk vertegenwoordigd. Madonna neemt het op voor vrijwel elke denkbare verdrukte groep op Killers Who are Partying en brengt op Dark Ballet een ode aan Jeanne d’Arc.

(Tekst loopt door onder video)

Ook Batuka is politiek geladen. U gebruikt de metafoor van een naderende storm. Wat behelst die?

“Niets anders dan fascisme. Noem het extreemrechts, noem het ultraconservatief. Het is in elk geval eng. En het rukt steeds meer op. We moeten daar tegen opstaan.”

In hetzelfde lied gaat het over een oude man die wat u betreft de gevangenis ingaat.

“Dat is een metafoor voor verschillende politici. Ik kan een heel stel oude mannen opnoemen die achter tralies thuishoren.”

U had het niet over Donald Trump?

“Hij is er één van. Absoluut. Ik heb een fragment van de speech van een van de overlevers van de school shooting in Florida voor de song I Rise ­gebruikt. De wapenwetgeving in de VS moet echt veranderen. Ik kon niets anders dan er een liedje over schrijven.”

Het activisme lijkt weer helemaal terug in uw ­muziek.

Afgemeten: “Weer terug? Er is niets veranderd. Ook niet op politiek vlak, nee. Strijden voor mijn eigen rechten, mijn seksuele vrijheid als vrouw was ook erg politiek. Net als mijn werk voor de vrouwenemancipatie.”

Heeft de MeToo-beweging van uw werk geprofiteerd, denkt u?

“Dat denk ik wel, ja. Wat de MeToo-beweging zegt, vertel ik al mijn hele leven. Er zijn ongelijke machtsverhoudingen. Het is ontzettend belangrijk wat er nu op gang is gekomen.”

Was u verrast door de omvang?

“Toch wel, ja. Maar het is geweldig dat vrouwen nu eindelijk een stem hebben om dit te zeggen. Maar: we moeten verder, we moeten harder duwen. Vrouwen moeten ook gelijke kansen krijgen op de arbeidsmarkt, gelijke salarissen. Er is nog een lange weg te gaan.’

Een ander deel van uw activisme is wat u ‘ageism’ noemt.

“Het is een andere vloek van het vrouw zijn, ja. Je wordt geacht geen lol meer te hebben nadat je een bepaalde leeftijd hebt bereikt, heb ik gemerkt. Mijn leeftijd wordt tegenwoordig altijd in één adem genoemd met mijn naam, als een beperkende factor. Het is niets meer dan een nieuwe vorm van discriminatie en seksisme. Het leek wel een misdaad toen ik vorig jaar 60 werd. Die houding ga ik bevechten.”

We naderen het einde van ons gesprek. De pr-dame achter Madonna seint ‘laatste vraag’. Die zal dan over Madonna’s recente Songfestivaloptreden gaan. Haar show tijdens de finale in Tel Aviv zorgde zoals zo vaak voor rumoer. Dit keer niet vanwege de controversiële inhoud, maar omdat ze tijdens haar klassieker Like a Prayer vrijwel het hele lied vals zong. Op haar eigen YouTubekanaal plaatste de zangeres later een versie met recht­getrokken vocalen.

De kwaliteit van uw optreden werd ter discussie gesteld. Hoe beoordeelde u die zelf?

“Ik was er ontzettend blij mee. Ik heb precies gedaan wat ik bedacht had. Ik heb precies de show gegeven die ik had willen geven. En ik ben erg trots op de boodschap die ik heb overgebracht. Namelijk die van vrede tussen de Palestijnen en Israël (Twee van Madonna’s dansers droegen vlaggen op de rug, red.) Dáár was ik voor gekomen.”

Het interview zit erop. Nog een snelle vraag bij het afscheid dan.

Heeft u meegekregen wie het Songfestival heeft gewonnen?

“Zeker. Duncan. A Dutch dude. Net als jij.”

Kent u zijn liedje?

“Ik heb hem zien optreden nadat hij had gewonnen, ja. Hij heeft een goede stem. And he’s cute.”

Een handdruk. En dan heeft Madonna ineens nog zin in smalltalk. “Dus het Songfestival komt naar jouw land volgend jaar. Welke stad?”

Ik gok Rotterdam. Of waarschijnlijker: Amsterdam. Wilt u weer wil komen?

Voor het eerst is er een volle lach: “Ik denk dat ik deze keer even oversla. En daarbij: you don’t need any more trouble in Amsterdam.”

This interview appears in the Saturday edition of Het Parool

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Madonna’s ‘Madame X’ Is Bizarre And Brilliant: Review

Madonna’s Madame X is a prime example of an A-list artist who knows she can do what the heck she wants – and boy, she does.

Her 14th studio album could just play it safe with the sort of infectious music that has taken dance floors by storm since the 1980s. It doesn’t, though this was implied by the first single, a duet with Colombian reggaeton singer and songwriter Maluma. “Medellín” came blasting out with so-fashionable Latin pop. The track pretty much defies you to keep still. You think Luis Fonsi had the market nailed? On the album,, we find Madonna, again with Maluma, doing a Latino workout on “Bitch I’m Loca.” Songs like this are straightforward enough.

Madame X is not Madonna playing it safe after four years away. Instead, she takes risks, some of which pay off brilliantly. While it may baffle some and not be so commercially-friendly as some predecessors, Madonna has been here before. Hands up, those who remember American Life in 2003 which mixed the mainstream, even her Bond theme “Die Another Day,” with daring concepts that were perplexing to some and misunderstood by others.

Straight after the “Medellín” opener, Madonna kicks into her “strange days” mode with the next two tracks.

First, “Dark Ballet” has a six-minute video with images of Joan of Arc. The lyric is incendiary too: “people tell me to shut my mouth, that I might get burned.”

 

Then “God Control” is also six minutes, starting with a languid rap and then breaking into choral backing, strings and lyrics such as “This is your wake-up call/ I’m like your nightmare/ I’m here to start your day… 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.”

Madonna feels free to add some serious political comment with “Killers Who Are Partying.”

We perhaps had inklings that this was going to be a challenging Madonna album, from the time she announced that the Madame X persona was its cornerstone concept. For those who don’t know, Madonna has explained that “Madame X” was a nickname given to her by her dance teacher Martha Graham, who told the 19-year-old Madonna Louise Ciccone: “Every day, you come to school, and I don’t recognize you.” Madonna says that it gives her the chance to be a chameleon: anybody from a mother to a head of state, saint, nun or whore. These are roles she has played for years of course, and Madame X is being inevitably compared with Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce persona.

Madonna, at 60, is definitely not stuck in a rut and is always interesting even with the flaws. Anyone who expects her to be making another Like A Virgin is both misguided and outdated. This is not a classic album to sit alongside Like A Prayer or Ray Of Light, may not win her many new fans and may not set the charts alight, but that’s not what this is about.

At its best Madame X has some moments that rate with her finest, such as the mid-pace, catchy Spanish-guitar tinged “Crave.” She croons “you’re the one I crave, and my cravings get dangerous.” Long may she remain a dangerous lady.

More at Forbes
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Madame X Releaseparty @ Concerto report

I know I’m late….well not that late, believe me I won’t be giving birth again anytime soon.

But here I finally present to you the report of last night’s Madame X Releaseparty in Concerto Amsterdam. We have been part of the organisation of the approved releaseparties ever since Confessions on a Dance Floor in 2005 and they have become quite the tradition.

This was the first time Concerto was hosting the party, FAME (where all the previous releaseparties were hosted) decided not to host one this time. Concerto is a legendary store in the heart of Amsterdam and has been serving our collector’s dreams for quite a while. 

Yesterday we (moi, Dave and Amon) made sure to arrive on time in order to set things up, put up some posters, have some drinks, do a little dance, make a little love so we could get down that night. Madame X’s face was gazing at us from every corner of the Concerto Cafe. Some fans turned up quite early and others already grabbed a goodie-bag, but were quickly told to wait.

The sale of the incredible Madame X album went live at 19.00 while our own DJ Amon pushed play, or actually put the needle on it. With Madonna on the wall through a beamer and dancing the cha-cha-cha to Medellin the party was officially a go. There was a huge turn-up so unfortunately in the end there wasn’t enough goodies to put in all the bags and also we had to cut down on the free posters (not two but one per person). But in the end everyone went home with their items and free goodies.

It was a great opportunity for a lot of people to catch up, discuss the upcoming Madame X Tour and dance to the fantastic new tracks. A little before 20.00 yours truly had to depart as she had a date with Mariah Carey in the Ziggo Dome. While she’s absolutely fabulous I couldn’t stop thinking about the mindblowing new album, sorry Mimi. 

I truly hope everyone had a great time at the one and only Dutch Madame X releaseparty and I thank you all for coming!

Onto the next one!

Check out the photo gallery HERE

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Madonna on Graham Norton tonight on BBC One

Host Graham Norton with (seated left to right) Sir Ian McKellen, Madonna, Danny Boyle, Lily James, Himesh Patel and Sheryl Crow during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: PA Images on behalf of So TV

Pop superstar Madonna chats about her new album Madame X and upcoming shows at the London Palladium, while actor Ian McKellen talks to Graham about touring and turning 80. Director Danny Boyle and actors Lily James and Himesh Patel discuss their new comedy fantasy Yesterday, which tells of a struggling musician who realises something unexpected after an accident, and Sheryl Crow performs her new single Still the Good Old Days.

Vr 14 juni 2019

Tijd 23:40 to 23:59 (local time)

BBC One

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The Big Read – Madonna: ”People pick on me. That’s just the way it is”

Controversy has followed Madonna through her entire career. Too loud, too outrageous, too provocative, too everything. But if you ever thought she’d slow down, think again. Her latest reincarnation, Madame X, is an eye-patch-wearing alter-ego bent on saying the unsayable, pushing the boundaries and cha-cha-cha-ing her way to pop glory. NME Editor Charlotte Gunn has an audience with the Queen Of Pop in London. 

It’s 11PM in a low-key Marylebone hotel and, in the bar, a small cabal of journalists wait for an audience with an icon, each one slightly sick with nerves, some drinking to steady them, others silently reading through their notes.

Down a corridor and inside a large suite, a quite-perfect figure sits on the couch. Dressed in a polka-dot, flamenco-style dress, fitted black military jacket and – most notably – wearing an elaborate eyepatch which we now know to be synonymous with the latest era of her career, there, right there, is Madonna.

“Je suis fatigué,” she says, with movie-star drama. It’s been a long day.

Now, if there’s one way for a major music icon to disarm an already-flustered journalist, it’s by dressing like a pirate. Do I mention the eyepatch? Do I not? I decide it’s unwise and spend the 30 minutes that follow trying desperately not to stare. Turns out, the eyewear is the signature garb of Madame X, a multi-faceted persona the world will become familiar with in the coming weeks, thanks not least to a controversial appearance at Eurovision in Tel Aviv, but, at the time of our meeting, is having her first semi-public outing. I should have guessed there was more to it – Madonna doesn’t get pink eye.

Earlier that day, NME is summoned to Universal’s offices in London to hear Madonna’s very-very-strictly-under-lock-and-key 14th studio album, ‘Madame X’. The record, out today (June 14), is not a one-listen beast: a brilliant, surprising and, at points, utterly baffling collection of songs inspired by Madonna’s move to Lisbon to become a “soccer mom” in 2017, and the eclectic music scene she found herself immersed in after upping sticks.

Madonna’s third child (of six), 13-year-old David Banda, has aspirations of being a professional footballer, and with Lisbon home to some of the best football academies in the world, and Madonna taking a liking to the “charming” city, they decided to move the family out there. When we meet, Madame X, the mother, is feeling homesick: “David has a week off from school right now but he has a tournament so he couldn’t be here. I call him up, like: ‘I’m really sorry, I miss you so much, I love you so much’ and he’s like, ‘Mom! I love it, stop apologising, it’s great.’”

But David is not the only one to benefit from the move to Portugal. The culture has been key in shaping this phase of Madonna’s sound, with Latinate flavours accenting a broadly political record (with some epic Madge party bangers on there too in the shape of ‘Faz Gostoso’, ‘Medellin’ and ‘Bitch, I’m Loca’).

“I didn’t make a Latin record intentionally” Madonna explains. “It just sort of happened because I was living there. The first group of friends I met were all musicians but they were from all over the world, not just Portugal. It was a melting point of so many different cultures and musical genres which started percolating in my brain. I wanted to take the folk music I was listening to but make it more modern sounding, something you could dance to. I was first inspired by it, then I turned it into a challenge.”

Challenging herself is something Madonna has done at every point of her career. Whether it was her days hustling for fame in New York, the game-changing Blond Ambition tour 30 years ago, which set the bar for pop performers with its ambitious (and hella raunchy) stage show, or simply every time she’s reinvented herself, Madonna’s boundary-pushing approach to her art is just one of the things that has helped her outsell Whitney, Beyoncé, Mariah and Rihanna to be the biggest solo female recording artist of all time.

Alongside peers such as Michael Jackson and Prince, Madonna was – and is still – one of the most famous people on the planet. In a world obsessed with fame, how does a person begin to handle that?

“It has its pluses and minuses,” she says. “The great thing about being famous is that you have a voice and you can spread messages and fight for people who don’t have the ability to fight for themselves, and share your wealth with people who need help.

Along with a back catalogue including many of the world’s most brilliant pop songs, Madonna’s legacy – and a core trait of the Madame X alter-ego – is about fighting for change. Being an early advocate of the LGBTQ community, Madonna’s support for equal rights dates back decades, but gained particular notoriety when highlighting the plight of the gay community during the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York. Madonna lost two close friends to the syndrome: ballet teacher and mentor Christopher Flynn and her friend Keith Haring, the celebrated artist. The backlash to fighting for equality at that time was harsh.

“During the AIDS epidemic, I was getting involved with a lot of groups and speaking up and I was enraged by how I saw people being treated. I came to the LGBTQ community and put my arms around them. While everyone else was running away from them, I was running towards them.”

But Madonna’s association with the community, combined with an ignorance about the disease, led to rumours in the press that she herself had been diagnosed with HIV. She remembers this as a particularly upsetting time.

“It was so crazy. For months I was going around saying I wasn’t HIV positive but then I thought, What if I was? Does that make me a bad person? And are you going to treat me differently? It was a crazy time and it really hurt me a lot. That’s just one circumstance where people – ‘scuse me for swearing – really tried to fuck with me.”

Do people still try and fuck with you?

“Yes. People pick on me. That’s just the way it is. People like to pick on me. I don’t take it as personally as I used to, or it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. But if you have an opinion in this day and age, you have to be prepared to take a beating.”

Madonna and the press have had a long, tumultuous relationship. In the weeks since our meeting, an article is published which focuses heavily on her most recent milestone. Now 60, the star is battling ageism as well as sexism, and it rightly infuriates her. She called out the journalist’s focus, saying it “wouldn’t happen if she was a man.” A valid objection, and likely true, but it’s the turn of phrase – Madonna says she feels “raped” by the piece (“and yes I’m allowed to use that analogy having been raped at the age of 19”) which fuels even more controversy. The media fires are stoked. Twitter is offended. The cycle continues.

But true to form, Madonna carries on regardless, never silenced, always outspoken. On ‘Madame X’ the album, produced largely by French producer Mirwais (with whom she co-produced the whole of ‘American Life’ – the pair last worked together on ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’) she tackles issues of sexism, gun control, freedom of speech, racism and gay rights.

“A lot of the music I make with Mirwais ends up being political because we have very similar minds and we think about what’s going on in the world a lot,” Madonna says. “He’s very philosophical. We get into debates about what’s right and what’s wrong and somehow, it just sparks things inside of us.”

Controversy does seem to follow Madge around, and by no coincidence, but on the track ‘Killers Who Are Partying’ she reels off a list of persecuted minorities, suggesting an affinity with each and every one. The intention is good – Madame X in freedom fighter mode – but as a white woman of privilege, can she really claim to know what it’s like to be African, Palestinian, a gay man or Native American?

“But I’m a human being,” she responds sharply. “And they’re human beings. And I’ve always fought for the rights of marginalised people so it’s not like I woke up one day and decided I was going to be the voice of a certain minority. I consider myself a marginalised person, I feel like I’ve been discriminated against my whole life because of the fact that I’m a female and now I am discriminated against because of my age. I am saying ‘no, we belong together’ and it’s a song about unifying the soul of all humans. And I have the right to say that I want to do that.”

There’s no denying the sentiment is one of love and unity, which is more than can be said for a lot of people in the world today; namely, one Donald Trump who is reverting on LGBTQ rights at an alarming rate.

“I’m horrified, for all the things we fought for and won and now it does seem like everything is turning back to where we were in the ‘50s. It’s quite disturbing but we haven’t lost the war yet. We do need a new president, though.”

In the run-up to the release of the record, mysterious social media trailers have tease Madonna’s enigmatic eye-patched alter-ego, somewhere between Eva Peron, a Romany gypsy and a radical general. In the run-up to the album, fans heard five songs, among them the cha-cha-cha-ing ‘Medellin’, the Stanley Kubrick and Joan of Arc-inspired ‘Dark Ballet’ and the trap-heavy ‘Crave’ and ‘Future’.”

Madame X has set out her stall from the off: she is described as a “secret agent, travelling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom, bringing light to dark places. She is a dancer, a professor, a head of state, a housekeeper, an equestrian, a prisoner, a student, a mother, a child, a teacher, a nun, a singer, a saint, a whore.” Sounds exhausting, but perhaps being the most famous woman in the world does leave you with quite a lot to do.

We talk about what it was like for Madonna starting out, as the kid from Michigan, moving to New York with no money but a lot of determination and a dream of being a star. It was her dance teacher who first gave her the name Madame X, for she looked different every time she came to class – an ’80s Madge, often not living up to the school’s ideas of how their students should present themselves.

‘Madame X’ the record is reflective, almost nostalgic at points, for that time when all of this was still ahead of her, when she wasn’t constantly fighting to dispel that “other version” of Madonna: the one “that’s out in the world that has nothing to do with who you are.” The Madonna with a naivety that manifests itself as fearlessness. For all the talk about how the music industry is yet to catch up with #MeToo, it’s come a long way since the ’80s when things were impossibly tough for young female artists.

“I would say there were plenty of situations where men were wanting to abuse their power. I was the starting-out artist begging for help and I would go to people who ran labels or influential DJs saying: ‘Can you help me out? Can you listen to this song? Can you hook me up?’ Can you sign me to your record label?’ and, a lot of people said: ‘Yeah, if you’ll do this,’ and usually it was a sexual favour.”

That explicitly?

“Oh yeah, for sure. And there was one time where I was so broke and I was so sick of being broke I thought, ‘Wait, could I do it?’ But I didn’t do it in the end. I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I knew I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I did, so I just kept going on as I had, being a starving artist and waiting for my ship to come in and – ironically – I was signed by a gay man who didn’t want anything to do with me in that way and he just really appreciated my music.”

Madonna, then. Nothing if not principled. On that birthday milestone that we won’t dwell on, earlier in the year, which she spent in Morocco with those closest to her, she gave a speech: “Women have a life span and at a certain age they’re expected to go away. I’m not interested in that.”

Observing the resilient, intimidating, brilliantly-talented woman who sits on the fancy sofa in front of me – one eye looking right at me – I consider how easy it would have been for her to bow out, having already achieved more in one fraction of her career than anyone could hope to in a lifetime, but how incredibly dull a world without Madonna would be.

“The pressure to be silenced comes and goes,” she muses. “Let’s see what happens when my record comes out.”

And with that, it’s nearly midnight and our time is up. It’s hard to imagine what the rest of Madonna’s evening involves, all dressed up for our benefit, but tired – or fatigué, as she had it – and missing her boy. Bed and a cup of camomile? A night cha-cha-ing her way around London?

Earlier, Madonna spoke about the preconceived notions about her. This latest incarnation seems, perhaps, more intentionally unknowable than any version of the original superstar we’ve seen before. The eyepatch is armour, the name a defence. I leave feeling as flustered as when I arrived, but clearer on Madame X’s message: empowerment, righteousness, multiculturalism, voicing the voiceless. Madonna’s always been fearless. Madame X is fearsome, too. Long live the queen.

Madonna’s ‘Madame X’ is out now

Read more at https://www.nme.com/the-big-read-madonna-madame-x-nme-interview#mJqD3J72THwtR8tj.99

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Medellin Remixes Part 2 EP

Check out Medellin EP Remixes Part 2 now HERE

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Madonna Opens Up About Bringing Her Children Into The Music World

Article heading image for EXCLUSIVE: Madonna Opens Up About Bringing Her Children Into The Music World
She is the undeniable Queen of Pop and now Madonna has had her Aussie fans in cheers after sitting down with Kate Langbroek for a one on one chat.

Joining Hughesy and Kate for her only Australian radio interview, Madonna revealed all sorts of details about her upcoming album ‘Madame X’ including the anger she wanted to vent in her work. Madonna also opened up about her personal family time with her kids and how she encourages them to be musical…

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‘Nice to listen to good Madonna music again’ Dutch review ****

Madonna was na het Eurovisie Songfestival, waar ze dit jaar optrad, weer even wereldnieuws. Alleen niet op de manier waarop ze hoopte. In plaats van lof wekte de vertoning van de 60-jarige leedvermaak op. Wat één grote reclamespot had moeten worden voor haar vandaag verschijnende nieuwe album Madame X werd het tegenovergestelde. Dat dit haar beste in plaat in jaren is, wie had dat nog verwacht?

Madonna (60) brengt vandaag haar veertiende studioalbum uit.Madame X is Madonna’s veertiende en de opvolger van Rebel Heart uit 2015. Ter herinnering: daarop was nog deels de clubberige toon van het afgrijselijke MDMA te horen, maar ook veel van de Queen of Pop van vroeger. Die zit dit keer in dik aangezette, bombastische poptracks als I riseMercy, de lome heupwieger Crave en de Daft Punk-achtige disco in God control. Niet revolutionair, wel herkenbaar Madonna.

Hetzelfde kan gezegd worden over de portie reggaeton, cha cha cha en andere exotische dansstijlen die madam toevoegde aan deze plaat. Die stijlen zijn al een tijdje in zwang, dus het is enigszins achter de meute aansloffen, maar ze doet het overtuigend. Eerst al in Medellín, de eerste single die ze vooruitstuurde. Maar ook in nummers als BatukaFaz gostoso en Bitch I’m loca. In die laatste zit de gebruikelijke dosis seks, voor wie er vandaag naar gaat zoeken. Politiek? Die zit in Killers who are playing: ,,I’ll be Islam, if Islam is hated. I’ll be Israel, if they’re incarcerated. I’ll be native Indian, if the Indian has been taken. I’ll be a woman, if she’s raped and her heart is breaking.” Ja, ze heeft nog wat te zeggen ook!

Maar waar Madonna dit keer écht excelleert is toch het waanzinnige Dark ballet. Letterlijk waanzinnig, want wat hier allemaal in zit is even onnavolgbaar als moeilijk te beschrijven. Het begint nog als een van vette beat voorziene popballad, over hoe ze zichzelf is gebleven, ondanks de razende wereld om haar heen. Vervolgens volgt er een geheel onverwachte klassieke piano. Het mafste moet dan nog komen, want dat is het flard uit De notenkraker van Tsjaikovski met een onheilspellend stukje spoken word via autotune. Ja, gedurfd! En of het mooi is, is ook weer de vraag. Maar het over dit knotsgekke experiment hebben is beter dan haar vocale capaciteiten live bespreken. Veel meer des Madonna’s ook.

Titel: Madame X

Artiest: Madonna

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De Telegraaf

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Madonna: very pleased with my Eurovision performance (Dutch article AD, interview tomorrow)

Controverse over haar valse zang of niet, Madonna kijkt met een voldaan gevoel terug op haar optreden tijdens de finale van het Eurovisie Songfestival in Tel Aviv. 

In een interview dat morgen op deze site verschijnt, zegt ze over haar afgekraakte versie van Like a Prayer: ,,Ik was er ontzettend blij mee. Ik heb precies gedaan wat ik bedacht had te doen. Ik heb precies de show gegeven die ik had willen geven. En ik ben erg trots op de boodschap die ik heb overgebracht. Namelijk die van vrede tussen de Palestijnen en Israël (twee van Madonna’s dansers droegen Palestijnse en Israëlische vlaggen op de rug, red.) Dáár was ik voor gekomen.’’
Ook spreekt Madonna over de Nederlandse winnaar van het Eurovisie Songfestival: Duncan Laurence. Ze heeft zijn optreden in Tel Aviv gezien en was erover te spreken. ,,Hij heeft een goede stem. And he’s cute.’’

In het interview, naar aanleiding van het vandaag verschenen 14de studioalbum Madame X, vertelt ze verder over haar tijd als voetbalmoeder in Lissabon, haar gedachten over Donald Trump (‘Die moet de gevangenis in’) en haar nieuwe strijd tegen leeftijdsdiscriminatie. ,,Als vrouw word je blijkbaar geacht na een bepaalde leeftijd geen lol meer te maken. Het is simpelweg seksisme. Toen ik vorig jaar 60 werd, leek het wel alsof ik een misdaad had begaan. Tegen die houding wil ik vechten.’’

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Madonna: It would be easier for my kids if they had another mother

Madonna has said it would be “less challenging” for her children if they didn’t have her as a mother.

The Queen of Pop, 60, said her six children sometimes found it difficult having a world-famous musician as a parent.

Madonna with Graham Norton, Sir Ian McKellen, Danny Boyle, Lily James, Himesh Patel and Sheryl Crow (PA)

Madonna has two biological children, daughter Lourdes and son Rocco, and four adopted children from Malawi – David, Mercy and twins Estere and Stella.

She also admitted to feeling anxious ahead of her upcoming world tour, which includes a string of shows at the London Palladium.

Asked if she felt excited, she replied: “Of course. I’m feeling anxiety right now. Every time feels like the first time.”

“I can see everyone (in London) and they can see me, which you can’t in a stadium or sports arena.

“I want to do something different. It’s very theatrical and intimate. I’m nervous.”

She also rubbished rumours that a biopic of her life is in the works.

She said: “If there ever is one, I’ll be directing it. I warn any director who tries to make one, there will be a mysterious death!”

The Like A Prayer singer is preparing to release Madame X on June 14.

Last month, she played a two-song set at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel amid calls for her to boycott the event.

Madame X, her 14th album, was conceived in Lisbon, Portal, after she moved there so her son David could attend a football academy.

She said she had unexpectedly found herself becoming a “soccer mum”.

“I surprised myself,” she said.

“Barcelona and Turin were an option, but I couldn’t see myself living there. It would have been a lot easier if he’d liked music!”

Asked if she watches her son’s games, she said, “I admit I only watch when he’s playing. If he’s on the bench, I’m on my phone.”

The Graham Norton Show is on BBC One at 10.35pm on Friday.

– Press Association

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