#Madonna

Madonna and The Fat Jewish Hold 'Ee-rotic' Dance Auditions in New Skincare Promo. It's Really Bizarre.

Madonna is still tirelessly promoting her mega-expensive though well-reviewed skincare line MDNA Skin. In her latest online commercial, she’s joined once again by The Fat Jewish (Josh Ostrovksy)

In a six-minute segment cheekily called “Roll Call,” the Queen of Pop is advertising a $200 infrared “beauty roller” that honestly looks a bit phallic. Maybe that’s not accidental. She and Ostrovsky see several world-class dancers accomplish amazing feats with their bodies—but it always comes back to this wand that’s supposed to—well, what exactly is this thing supposed to do again? I’ve seen several commercials for this thing, and I still don’t know what it does.

I can totally respect Madonna’s many side hustles. 100%. But after the release of a lousy track yesterday (Madonna was a featured artist on Quavo’s confusing “Champagne Rose,” along with Cardi B, who confuses me), I’m starting to worry.

Earlier this year, she made ripples with an interview about her upcoming fourteenth studio album, criticizing current popular music for sounding homogenous-- singling out tracks with tons of guests on them. Like…? Isn’t that exactly what this “Champagne Rose” track is? A confused mess of too many cooks?

Historically, Madonna is the Mistress of Innovation. But since 2008’s Hard Candy, her records and other artistic output have copied what’s trendy, with mixed results. At worst, her recent material has sounded downright lifeless. Which is just insane-- Madonna has more personality and spirit in her pinky than most music stars do in their entire bodies.

Related: All 13 Madonna Albums, Ranked

The best part of this new skincare promo video is the last few seconds. Madonna sings the “Erotica” chorus into one of her beauty products, a makeshift mic. Just watching her sing that takes me there. Erotica was so ahead of its time. A lot of people hated it when it came out; it’s now seen as an influential classic, one of the best pop albums of the 1990s. That album is Madonna the uncompromising artist at her most vital-- a far cry from the new track or promotional vids with the Fat Jewish.

I’m fine with Madonna doing bizarre adverts for beauty products I don’t even understand, and I’ll abide her having some fun guesting on forgettable hip-hop tracks, but I don’t want Madonna to lose her edge. I don’t want her to follow trends instead of experimenting.

I do not want her to sell out. One the best songs of her entire catalogue, a ballad called “Gone” that closes the great album Music, begins with the line,

“Selling out, is not my thing…”

I adore Madonna. Madonna is actually one of my personal heroes. Her contribution to pop culture cannot be overestimated, and she’s been an outspoken gay ally since long, long before it was cool— something we should never forget and never take for granted.

As a diehard, though, I really, really, really want her to deliver in 2019. I know she has a surprising, exhilarating album in her somewhere. I know she has the raw materials to keep being great for decades to come.

Watch Roll Call below. Do you think I’m being too sensitive? Should I just sit back and let Madonna have her fun on the internet? Or do you share some of my concerns? Please let us know in the comments.

 

Madonna Just Changed the Release Date of Her Fourteenth Studio Album.

The Queen of Pop is, as always, hard at work. She’s currently traveling the globe to promote her expensive but well-reviewed MDNA Skin line of skincare products.

In a new interview with WWD published on Monday, Madonna was promoting a $200 beauty roller. She also informed fans that her fourteenth studio album won’t be out until 2019.

“I’m finishing my record, which I’m going to release next year. Yep, in between rose mist spray and serums, I’m actually making music. Can’t quit my day job.”

It was previously reported that her new album would drop by the end of 2019.

This sounds like bad news, but maybe it isn’t. I am a hardcore, diehard, live-it-and-breathe-it Madonna fan, and as hard as it is for me to wait, I’m fine with the pushback if it means she’s really taking her time with it to make it something special.

Madonna is a multitasking businesswoman, and that’s fine. There’s less than nothing wrong with a side hustle or twelve.

But aside from being a mother of six, this fan wishes the music to be Madonna’s top priority. It’s what put her on the map, and she remains the best-selling female recording artist in history, per the Guinness Book of World Records.

Her worst studio album ever, though it definitely had its moments, was 2012’s MDNA. Producer William Orbit (he also worked on Ray of Light) said in the press that the album didn’t turn out great because Madonna was focused on other business ventures.

Related: Instinct Ranked Madonna's 13 Studio Albums

If spending a few more months on #14 is a matter of really honing in and making it shine, that’s just splendid.

The first single from the new album is rumored to be “Beautiful Game.” She performed the track at this year’s Met Ball.

 

I love how aggressive she still sounds at 60, and I love the phrase “Because your world is such a shame/Because your world’s obsessed with fame/Because your world’s in so much pain.” There’s no question that she’s still got it. The life force we’ve fallen for since the 80s is still there in plain sight.

Madonna’s most underrated talent, even though it’s the one that she’s perhaps best-known for, is her gifts as a singer-songwriter. She has written incredible, breathtaking lyrics on numerous occasions. She is best when she’s not following trends but rather experimenting.

In 2018, the world has officially gone insane (or at least the wool isn’t over our eyes anymore and the insanity is just more visible), and men are out of control. We need a great, biting, hard-hitting and hopeful pop record from this feminist icon now more than ever. I am certain that she has it in her.

Interview: WWD


Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or the fellow contributors.

Cher's $40 Million-Dollar Malibu Mansion Raided By Police on Felony Drug Charges

Could this be karma for rudely shading Madonna on Ellen? After all, how many cross the Queen of Pop and get away with it?

Just before her well-reviewed ABBA tribute album Dancing Queen was released [today], Cher’s Malibu mansion was raided by police on Thursday, as reported by TMZ.

The 72-year-old wasn’t home at the time of the raid; she’s on an international tour.

Police executed a search warrant after a Ventura County resident’s drug-related death earlier this month was traced to 23-year-old Donovan Ruiz, the son of one of Cher’s assistants. He was living at Cher's pad at the time. 

Cher’s $40 million-dollar home was a spectacle on Thursday, with a massive swarming of law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics on the scene. Paramedics were on hand in case violence erupted, which apparently it didn’t.

Ruiz was taken into custody for a felony: supplying drugs to someone who dies.

This story is still developing. For more, go to TMZ.

Don’t do drugs, kids! On a more upbeat note, Dancing Queen is available to stream or purchase now.

Cher On Possible Duet Partners: "Adele, Pink, And...Not Madonna"

During a recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote her new album, Dancing Queen, Cher took part in a game of “5 Second Rule” and the always-unfiltered music icon did not hold back.

Asked to name three celebrities she would want to do a duet with, Cher responded, “Adele, Pink, and… uh, um, not Madonna.”

Bam!

Ellen took the Oscar winner to task for not answering the question properly: “Well, alright Miss Negative! He said who you’d want to, not who you wouldn’t want to!”

In true Cher fashion,  she replied with a smile, “Well, I took a little license.”

 

 

Actually, Cher has had a problem with Madonna going back decades.

In a 1991 interview, Cher praised Madge for her creativity but critiqued the Queen of Pop’s manners and limited abilities.

 “I think she’s unbelievably creative, because she’s not unbelievably talented, she’s not beautiful and she’s kind of rude!,” said Cher. “She’s creative but she’s rude.”

She would later admit to CBS that her dim view of Madonna actually came from an incident at Cher’s house when Madonna apparently wasn’t on her best behavior.

“There’s something about her that I don’t like. She’s mean, and I don’t like that.

“I had her over to my house once, and she was so rude to everybody. It seems to me that she’s got so much that she doesn’t have to act the way that she acts, like a spoiled brat all the time.

“It seems to me that when you’ve reached the kind of acclaim that she’s reached, and can do whatever you want to do, you should be a little more magnanimous and be a little less of a c**t.”

But in a 2013 Q&A for Reddit, Cher gave Madonna credit for keeping her finger on the pulse of pop culture, writing, “I never hated her, I just thought she was a bitch. Actually I quite respect her. Actually I think Madge might be one of the most amazing artists I’ve known. I don’t like everything she does, for sure, but she is always riding the crest of the wave. She always saw trends WAY before anyone else, and had great videos."

Madonna hasn't responded to Cher's latest critique, so staying tuned for that.

In any case, this whole Cher/Madonna feud thing apparently took the hosts of ET Canada by surprise. Watch below.

 

 

At the end of the day, we love both of the trailblazing icons.

And truth be told, they wouldn’t be the celebs we adore if they didn’t have their opinions, would we?

Cher’s new ABBA covers album, Dancing Queen, drops on Friday, September 28.

(h/t Billboard)

Madonna's MDNA Skin Commercials Are Weird, Wonderful, and Oh-So Madonna

While we wait impatiently for the Queen of Pop’s upcoming 14th studio album, Madonna is keeping us at least a little bit satiated--and certainly entertained--with video advertisements for her MDNA Skin line.

Madge has been all over to promote her highly scientific, mega-expensive products. For instance, last year she serenaded Jimmy Fallon while giving him a clay facial on NBC.

One of the staples of the skincare line is a $600 chrome clay face mask set complete with a magnetic tool that removes the product from your face without rinsing.

Right now, The Queen of Pop is promoting a toning rose mist spray. Something that should surprise no one: the commercials she’s been releasing online are eye-catching, dramatic and theatrical.

 

In the latest, Madonna delivers a soliloquy about her obsession with roses, cooing, “I want to live in a world of roses,” while serving impressively razor-sharp vogue moves in closeup, then dancing provocatively in a structured outfit that shows off her famously fit bum. 

She then sprays the mist all over herself and looks a little bit like she's climaxing.

Never change, Mom. Please just keep being you.

While we're on this topic, check out the MDNA promo from last year with “The Fat Jew” Josh Ostrovsky.

And for the record, there is a cheaper alternative to that MDNA face mask set, a battery-free option that runs for $200. We try to be helpful. 

MDNA Skin

Britney Spears Puts on a Fake British Accent During London Show

Britney Spears' time overseas in England during her Piece of Me tour has been quite confusing, for lack of the better word.

Earlier this month, she actually forgot what area she was in while on stage. It happened to be Brighton, where the "Toxic" singer was performing during their annual Pride weekend. 

She was back in England on Friday night at the 02 Arena in London (where she'll be for the next two days), where Britney actually spoke in a fake British accent while on stage.

A fan video caught Britney going from hometown Louisiana gal to full-blown Spice Girl in a matter of seconds when she started talking to her audience during the performance (see the clip here). 

"Are you guys ready? Do you think you can do this?" she asked them in her fake British accent when trying to figure out which side of the crowd was louder. "One, two, three!" 

The fakery continued, when she said to the other side, "What the hell is wrong with you? You've got to do better than that. Let's try it again." Is she channeling Madonna from yesteryear?

This isn't the first time that Britney has been caught speaking in a fake British accent. She used to do it to the paparazzi back in 2007 and 2008 following her nights out in Los Angeles. This was during the time when she was going through major turmoil that preceded her mental health crisis. That eventually led to her father Jamie Spears obtaining a conservatorship over her, which remains in tact to this day.

Fans from the clip were left confused and amused by her accent, saying things like "Britishney is back" and "Why is she talking like Adele?"

She only has one other country stop on her tour before heading back to the states: Paris, France. Will she all of a sudden turn into a Parisian girl on August 28th and 29th? Only time will tell. 

 

Was Madonna's Tribute To Aretha Franklin Insensitive? 

Was Madonna's Tribute To Aretha Franklin Insensitive? 


Social Media, Of Course, Is Flaming The Pop Icon.

Oh boy, here we go again. At this point, can we all agree that award shows should just be canceled? Hear me out: Each time they air, social media decides to bury one of the attendees due to a minute of the entire production. The keyboard warriors will be career suicide for every celebrity or influencer. The latest celebrity being attacked by social media is none other than the hottest 60-year-old Goddess, Madonna


According to Entertainment Weekly, Madonna recently paid tribute to the late Aretha Franklin at the 2018 MTV Music Video Awards held yesterday. Everyone is uproaring because Madonna chose to share a story of her life which involved Franklin inspiring her during an audition where she had to sing for French Producers. She sang Franklin's legendary hit: Natural Woman. Madonna concluded:

"...None of this would have happened, could have happened without our Lady of Soul. She led me to where I am today. And I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight. I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T."


An Icon paying homage to another Icon. Doesn't sound too bad to me? It's so rare that Nicki Minaj will even acknowledge Lil Kim as the first female Rapper...so I think this gesture was pretty appropriate. What was more weird is that someone who I barely know, Camilla DeBello, was standing up on stage being presented an award by Madonna...like, what?! But, social media is taking shots at Madonna...calling her narcissistic, rude, and race is now getting involved. Check out a few tweets below:






Do you believe Madonna was being insensitive while trying to pay homage to Franklin? Let me know in the comments below!


Writer's Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine Contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or the fellow Contributors. 

Why Madonna Deserves Our Birthday Wishes

 
Lover her or hate her, you have to agree that Madonna works really hard, is a savvy businesswoman and very good at making a public statement. Let’s put her talent of performing and creating a dazzling show aside for a moment and break down how the Material Girl has kept her name a buzz throughout pop culture history for the past 30+ years, and why you should take a moment to think about it. Through decades of publicity stunts, magazine covers and now online chatter, Madonna continues to create a sense of controversy, but also what I believe to be an important discussion for our society, especially for women.
 
With an upcoming new album on the horizon, Madonna is still holding the throne of being the queen at making waves in the press and causing people to roll their eyes (I’ll get to that in a minute). Whether she is wearing a grill, dating a younger guy, or posing topless, Madonna’s actions continue to be in the headlines. If you sit back and look at the bigger picture though, there is always a message behind what she does and says, including her oh-so famous provocative ways.
 
Yes, her goal is to sell music (that is a given), but she is also driven to make a statement of some kind to stir up conversation and make people think. Such statements at times, like kissing Britney Spears on stage or releasing her Sex book, may seem unnecessary to some people at first, but in the end, Madonna is doing these things to open up the minds of the current time.
 
Today, seeing two women kiss on television is not that big of deal and being naked or showing skin in the media is practically everywhere. I’m not giving Madonna all the credit in completely revolutionizing the freedom of self-expression, but she certainly has played a big part with just using her own music platform. I believe that is her main focus, and it is something courageous for a person to do. Madonna is always on a mission to revolutionize the way people think. She encourages rebelling against what is considered to be “wrong.” She may come off as the loudest, raunchiest and most daring at times, but if you zero in on what she is trying to communicate, then her actions should take less of the spotlight and her message should take the center stage.
 
What has my mind ticking is the opinionated backlash she (still) gets, especially on social media, for being “too old” to be doing what she does. Not one to keep quiet, Madonna has gone on the defense in past interviews expressing that she is a victim of ageism and sexism. So, I have to ask, are Madonna’s current provocative ways “not appropriate” for the masses just because she is sixty years old? Is it ageism at its best?
 
I think, yes! When Britney, Beyoncé, and Gaga are up on stage gyrating, nobody makes a big stink about it, so why is society so hung up on bashing Madonna? Why is there an expiration date for women and their expression of sexuality?
 
Madonna is also a mother, in impeccable shape, employs many people and has achieved success on many different levels. You would think her drive, talent and healthy physique would be an inspiration. Sure, she can upset people and goes to the extreme in many cases to make a point, but her motive is to get people to create conversation. That is a success all on its own. The more interaction she creates and the more thought provoking she is, the more awareness is in the air. That awakens our minds.
 
Madonna has also been a strong supporter for human rights, equality and numerous charities for decades. Did I also mention the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care she recently built? That is inspiring to me and those are qualities of somebody with compassion and wanting to make a change.
 
So, here we are in 2018 and Madonna is still being hated on. It does not make a whole lot of sense to me. She has paved the way for so many young artists and contributed to shifting and bending the norms of society. If the way she went about it was too much for some people, I can understand that, but perhaps the focus should be directed towards her positive intentions and forward thinking.
 
I don’t want to convince people to be Madonna fans because that is not what is important. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion (especially with music). But, I do think the negative words being said about her on social media are overly harsh, and there is a disconnect between how she is viewed and the points she has made.
 
Society can be so strict about women wanting to express themselves, whether it is through artistic expression, fashion or music. The judgment meter has always been sky-high when it comes to women being bold in history. So I have to again ask. What type of message do you want to send to the young women in your life: to stay quiet, not express what they think, not stand up for themselves and that when a woman reaches a certain age, she must dial down her creative thoughts? That just sounds so backwards to me.
 
So, perhaps take a moment and reflect on what Madonna has done for our culture as a whole. I think she deserves a “Happy Birthday” tweet from each and every one of us. 
 
With Gratitude,
 
Matt Jacobi 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matt Jacobi is a writer and COO for an award-winning creative agency. Jacobi has been a voice of truth on various world topics such as women’s rights, religion, mental health, bullying and equality. His current mission is to get more men to stand with women so that they can work together to make equality more of a reality. Jacobi was inspired to be an advocate for women’s rights since the birth of his two nieces.

Jacobi previously worked side by side with international entrepreneurs traveling the globe and assisting in bringing their various brands to life. This experience allowed him to work alongside New York City’s top publishing company, Simon & Schuster and PR powerhouse, Rubenstein Public Relations.

His earlier career began in television after graduating from Arizona State University where he landed his first job at ABC News in Phoenix, Arizona. He later made the move to Hollywood where he worked at the celebrity news show, E! News. Shortly after, The Style Network went on to feature him in a television wedding special capturing his lifestyle expertise. Jacobi continued his on-camera career as a television personality where he starred in two reality shows for the E! Network.

You can follow his daily adventures by visiting MattJacobi.com.

@MattJacobi (Instagram & Twitter)

Madonna's 13 Studio Albums, Ranked. Happy Birthday to the LGBT Icon!

Today, Madonna is putting the “sex” in sexagenarian. The Queen of Pop is 60. In addition to entertaining and thrilling us for over 30 years, Madonna has been outspoken about LGBTQ+ rights in her work and life since long, long before it was trendy, or even acceptable.

To celebrate the big day, Instinct has ranked all 13 of her albums, from least memorable to most unforgettable.

Note: we are only pulling from studio LPs— no soundtracks, compilations or greatest hits packages.

Here they are. All of Madonna’s albums, ranked.

 

13.  MDNA (2012)

William Orbit, who also produced Ray of Light, has said that MDNA suffered in part because of Madonna’s preoccupation with other business ventures. That checks out: there is very little to connect to here, so unusual when Madonna albums are generally such spirited affairs. MDNA feels like a product, like we’re going through the motions. The LP definitely has its moments: Madonna sounds furious and heartbroken on “Gang Bang” and “Love Spent,” far and away the two best tracks. “Girl Gone Wild” is a lot of fun (it should have been the lead single over the confusing “Give Me All Your Luvin’”), and she sings beautifully on album closer “Falling Free.” There is no such thing as a bad Madonna album; MDNA is the closest thing there is to a lifeless one.

 

12. Hard Candy (2008)

Guest artists on a Madonna record are usually not a good idea; it rarely works. Plain and simple, no one can match Madonna’s spirit and personality, and bringing younger, perhaps trendier stars into the mix comes off as forced. Hard Candy is the first album since Like a Virgin where Madonna doesn’t have a writing and/or producing credit on every song, and it’s kind of an orgy of guest stars. Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Kanye West and Timbaland bring what you’d expect from them to the table, but as a result this barely feels like a Madonna record. The best tracks (“Give It 2 Me,” “Miles Away,” “Voices”) are the ones where she is front and center, telling us what’s up.

 

11. American Life (2003)

The response to American Life echoed the response Erotica received a decade earlier; it was largely dismissed and didn’t sell many copies. Erotica was misunderstood, overshadowed by the backlash surrounding Madonna’s coffee table book Sex, and has since been reappraised.

It’s still hard to warm up to American Life. The rapping in the lead single is still nails-on-a-chalkboard, and the album never really takes off, only partially committing to a stripped-down singer/songwriter aesthetic. There are moments of brilliance: “Nobody Knows Me” has great spirit, “Mother and Father” has a rousing chorus, and “Die Another Day” is a terrific dance track, just a weird fit for Bond…but ultimately American Life is a downer, and not in a good way.

10. Like a Virgin (1984)

Make no mistake: This is the moment Madonna proved she wasn’t a flash in the pan, and became a pop culture giant.

“Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl” are two of the catchiest, not to mention most iconic tracks in pop music— and they overshadow the rest of the album, which is otherwise mostly filler, save for “Dress You Up” and, to a lesser extent, “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “Angel.”

9. Rebel Heart  (2015)

First thing’s first: Lead single Living For Love is one of Madonna’s best tracks ever, and Rebel Heart might have been something like a home run if it were a few tracks shorter. The lyrics on “Heartbreak City” are uninspired and goofy, and the song stops the album dead for a moment. Though it’s not as intrusive as on MDNA and Hard Candy, Rebel Heart suffers from too many cooks in the kitchen, too many trendy references, etc. Madonna, you’re the trendsetter. There’s a lot to appreciate here, though: “Ghost Town” is gorgeous, and folky “Body Shop” sounds so experimental and appealing it’s easy to overlook the fact that it’s one big sex/car repair innuendo.

8. Madonna (1983)

The album that got this whole thing going is, not unlike Like a Virgin, uneven overall but with sky-high highs. “Borderline,” “Everybody,” “Holiday,” “Burning Up,” and “Lucky Star” are essential Madonna, bona fide pop classics. How about the rest of the tracks, though? Do you remember “Think of Me” and “I Know It?”

7. True Blue (1986)

True Blue is the highest-selling album by a female artist of the 1980s, and one of the best-selling records of all time. This is when Madonna took the reins and reinvented herself head-to-toe for the first time.

“Live to Tell” is Madonna’s greatest ballad, and maybe even her best song, period. She wrote all of the words herself. Who else could rock a pop song about child neglect?

 

6. Confessions on a Dance Floor (2005)

Madonna got on the horse after the disappointment of American Life but quick, with an all-dance record that has unlimited replay value. The lyrics are often breathtakingly beautiful (“Connect to the sky/ Future lovers ride/ Their ambitions high/ Would you like to try”) and occasionally dopey (“I don’t like cities but I like New York/ Other places make me feel like a dork”).

Truth be told, there’s very little confessing on Confessions. But boy(s) is it a blast.

 

5. Bedtime Stories (1994)

Madonna’s foray into R&B has gotten better with age. This is in many ways Madonna’s softest record, but it displays some of her most effortless, appealing songwriting craft. “Secret” never fails to fill a listener with intrigue. “Human Nature” barely even charted when it was released, but has since become a signature track. It is just fantastic every time she performs it live. The album closes with tremendous strength: “Sanctuary” and “Bedtime Story” haunt and thrill. “Take a Bow” is one of her most successful ventures into balladry.

 

4. Erotica (1992)

Unfairly dismissed 26 years ago, Erotica now at long last seems to finally be getting some of the respect it deserves. Rolling Stone can pride themselves on getting it right; awarding Erotica one of its only glowing reviews at the time. In fact, RS nailed it, calling this dark, jazz-heavy LP “a post-AIDS album about romance.”

This is Madonna The Artist at her most uncompromising and vital. God knows this thing was ahead of its time. So much of the output of Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Britney Spears,

X-Tina et al. WOULD NOT EXIST WERE IT NOT FOR THIS RECORD.

It’s not like every track is a masterpiece—that’s not the case—but album closer “Secret Garden” sure as hell is. And "Deeper and Deeper" has arguably held up as well or better than "Vogue."

This writer is 28. I was two years old when this was released. Even I say this thing is damn required listening for all the young gays. Know your history.

3. Music (2000)

It’s tempting to tie this with Ray of Light because they’re so connected. That album was the biggest success of Madonna’s career. Two years later, Music is Madonna the musician at her most confident and instinctive. It’s like she went into the studio, said “f*ck it,” and just made noise, just let it rip. I heard the title track for the first time when I was ten years old, and I honestly think that’s when I knew I was gay, even if I wasn’t even sure what gay even meant at the time. That track still feels as funky and fresh as it did 18 years ago. “What It Feels Like For A Girl” has gained all new resonance in light of the #MeToo movement. 

Album closer “Gone” is the song you play for anyone who says Madonna can’t go deep. There’s no artifice; it’s Madonna with a guitar singing about fame, survival and life--straight from her heart and her brain. It’s Madonna at her most haunting.

2. Ray of Light (1998)

Ray of Light is widely considered a pop masterwork these days. After extensive vocal training for the lead role in Evita, Madonna’s pipes were stronger than ever. A sampling of many genres of world music and a bold foray into electronica that’s lyrically fixated on mortality and motherhood, Ray of Light is spiritually deep and musically adventurous.

After ruling the airwaves and the Billboard Hot 100 for 15 years, Madonna finally won her first Grammys, a total of four, for Ray of Light.

Here's a cruel injustice: "Ray of Light" lost Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the Grammys to that goofy, hilarious song from Titanic. Yeesh.

1. Like a Prayer (1989)

One listen nearly three decades after the fact, and it’s undeniable that this is still Madonna’s finest album. This was the moment she silenced critics who questioned her musical talents.

A concise yet eclectic mix, Like a Prayer shows off Madonna’s astonishing versatility: there’s rock (“Like a Prayer”), soul (“Express Yourself”), romantic doo-wop (“Cherish”) and even a children’s lullaby (“Dear Jessie”). And the entire package is a focused, moving and autobiographical take on religion, spirituality, sexuality and growing up.

On “Spanish Eyes,” Madonna mourns the loss of friends who died of AIDS, extremely taboo at the time.

The LP’s most poignant moment is “Oh Father.” A lot of gay men have adopted this tearjerker as an anthem for the fathers we love even though they perhaps didn’t really understand us or weren’t really there.

Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments. Long live The Queen of Pop!

Madonna Will Release Her Fourteenth Studio Album Later This Year

If you’re as big a Madonna fan as this writer, you may need to sit down for this news:

The Queen of Pop will release a new album sometime in 2018.

She recently sat down with Vogue Italia to chat about her new life in Lisbon with her children, upcoming projects and more. Among the biggest bombs dropped: she announced that her fourteenth LP will be released “by the end of the year.”

Madonna has been living in Portugal for about a year, and she says the music scene there has inspired her deeply, calling it “a nice antidote to what’s going on in the music business now where everything’s so formulaic, and every song has 20 guest artists on it, and everyone sounds the same.”

OMG PREACH, MADONNA.

She continues: “In Alfama [the oldest district of Lisbon], you’ll hear people singing and playing fado music everywhere. There are these weekly sessions called living room sessions which pop up in people’s beautiful homes that are 500 years old, and you walk up the marble steps which are lined with candles into the living room which is also dimly lit with candles, and there’s this rolling, very intimate performance happening where people play, they sing, they recite poetry.”

“It’s like a salon; something which doesn’t really exist in many places anymore – people elsewhere say, ‘Call my manager, this is how much I charge.’ I’m pretty sure in Lisbon people would do these shows and not get paid, they just do them for the love of what they do, and for me, this is glorious and inspiring.”

Madonna’s key collaborator on her new record will be producer Mirwais, who produced Music (one of the best pop albums ever by anyone) and American Life (one of Madonna’s least successful records).

As for her most recent albums. 2012’s MDNA had its moments (“Gang Bang” and “Love Spent” are great) and Rebel Heart might have been a home run if it were three our four tracks shorter.

Madonna also told Vogue Italia she left America for Lisbon to help her son David pursue soccer dreams—and also to get her kids away from Trump. “This isn’t America’s finest hour,” she says.

h/t: NME

Madonna’s Vogue Italia Cover Story

 

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