There is no denying the fact that technically, Patti LuPone can sing circles (as well as any other shapes) around Madonna. After LuPone’s Grammy performance of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” Sunday evening, news media outlets, such as the Los Angeles Times, have pitted the two women against each other in the past week for absolute clickbait. Madonna — as usual — is the one criticized, even though she wasn’t even at the Grammy Awards.

Most praised LuPone’s performance. And technically, LuPone proved that age doesn’t hinder singing ability. But LuPone’s vocals were also all over the place, and unlike Madonna’s somewhat restrained performance of the same song in 1996, Lupone’s vocals made absolutely no connection with the song she was singing. Were all of those who praised LuPone’s performance listening to the same one this author was? It was as if LuPone was trying to remind the world that she is the one and only Evita. But the fact that people, even if negatively, brought Madonna’s name up when discussing the performance proves LuPone didn’t succeed.

Let’s go back in time a little bit. In 1996, Madonna shocked the world with her fantastic portrayal in the hit movie Evita. The film certainly was overhyped and didn’t become the blockbuster that Disney had expected. But the film, even in limited release, made over $50 million in the United States (Box Office Mojo figures). Evita made $141 internationally. Sorry, naysayers — that makes the film a success, especially by 1996 and 1997 standards. Overall, Madonna received positive notices from critics. There were those, blinded by their hatred of the star, that criticized Madonna. However, they only represented a small minority.

Madonna Evita 1996
Despite efforts from naysayers to rewrite her history, Madonna mostly received excellent reviews for her portrayal as Evita in 1996.Leonardo Cavallo / AP Images
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