Finally, after months of speculation about new music in 2018, Madonna has today confirmed that she's back in the studio!
In an Instagram story she said:
feels so good to be working on music again
Later today, she was seen leaving a recording studio in London.
The news comes a month after Madonna declared, during an interview at 'Live with Kelly & Ryan', that she would be coming back to the music scene in 2018.
The new material will be Madonna's 14th studio album and will serve as a follow-up on her #1 album Rebel Heart, which was released in March 2015.
Madonna is getting "Into the Groove" of 2018 — with some charity work!
On Thursday, the pop icon announced that her philanthropic foundation, Raising Malawi, will build four new schools in the southeast African country, where the organization has already built 10 schools.
"Let's start 2018 off right!" Madonna, 59, captioned an Instagram post. "I'm challenging you all to stand up, come together and BE the CHANGE you want to SEE in the World!! This year we'll begin by building 4 brand new schools in the Kasungu District of #Malawi with @RaisingMalawi and @buildOn!! That's 14 schools in total that will help thousands of kids get the education they so rightfully deserve!"
Let’s start 2018 off right! 🎉🌈💕! I’m challenging you all to stand up, come together and BE the CHANGE you want to SEE in the World! 🌍 ♥️🌍! This year we’ll begin by building 4 brand new schools in the Kasungu District of #Malawi 🇲🇼. with @RaisingMalawi and @buildOn!! That’s 14 schools in total that will help thousands of kids get the education they so rightfully deserve! 📚📚📚Now is the time! Join the #revolutionoflove! ♥️📚♥️📚 #RaisingMalawi ❤️🇲🇼💃🏽📚#knowlege #power #education children #life #love ♥️
Madonna has a long history with the nation, as she adopted four of her six children from Malawi: David Banda, 12, Mercy James, 11, and 6-year-old twins Stella and Estere, whom she brought home last February. (The Grammy winner is also mom to Lourdes Leon, 21, and Rocco Ritchie, 17.)
The "Living for Love" singer's relationship with the African country began in 2006, when she launched Raising Malawi. And this summer, all of Madonna's efforts culminated in the charity's biggest undertaking yet. In July, the pop star asked PEOPLE to join her and her family in Malawi for the opening of the Mercy James Centre for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, the first children's hospital in the nation.
"I'm here to save lives," she previously told PEOPLE of her work in Malawi, which in 2017 Global Financial Magazine ranked as the sixth-poorest country in the world. "I don't want to be the outsider that comes in. I want to help them help themselves."
Charity advisor Trevor Neilson — who has helped manage the philanthropic efforts of everyone from Bill Gates and Bill Clinton to Bono — has worked with Madonna for six years.
"A lot of people thought she might lessen her involvement," he previously told PEOPLE, "but instead she has dramatically increased it and has now — with the completion of the pediatric surgery unit — done something that no one has ever done before in Malawi or, really, anywhere in Africa … She is engaged on a daily basis in a way that people who just write checks are not. She is tough, smart and extremely committed to this country."
Madonna's children are with her wherever she goes, thanks to Lana Jewelry.
The pop superstar, 59, has shared multiple snaps of herself rocking a nameplate necklace that reads "MAMBO": the nickname her kids Estere and Stella, 5, Mercy James, 11, and David Banda, 12, call her. (She is also mom to son Rocco John, 17, and Lourdes, 21.)
The brand's founder and designer Lana Bramlette spoke with PEOPLE about her new Get Personal collection that the Material Girl's necklace is from, as well as the inspiration behind Madonna's particular piece that she made as part of the collection's launch.
"My publicist coordinated with [Madonna's] stylist, Eyob Yohannes, to design the piece," says Bramlette, whose personalized nameplate necklace is also worn by Jennifer Lopez. "I think she is excited to wear something meaningful, and I love watching her proudly rock it every day on social media."
"I want to give my clients pieces to wear that make them feel good about themselves and that express their values. She also wears my diamond Crossary necklace daily," Bramlette explains, adding with a laugh, "I tell my clients, 'If Madonna wears her necklace around the world and back daily without damaging it, you don't have an excuse for a repair.' "
Of all the New Year's Eve parties we'd want to attend, Madonna's ranks pretty high up there. But somehow Internet trolls found a way to rain on the pop star's 2018 parade — and attack her college-age daughter Lourdes in the process.
It all started when Madonna posted a mother-daughter NYE selfie with Lourdes, who is following in her mom's footsteps and skipping shaving. Unlike a Gigi Hadid "Is that really armpit hair?" situation, there's definitely no mistaking in this photo that Lourdes is going au naturel. She's been photographed before with hairy underarms, so clearly it's a personal preference.
Nonetheless, rude commenters jumped in saying how "nasty" it is for women to have underarm hair. (Other people disagreed, writing things such as "It's more disgusting to think that this is disgusting" and "Its just hair.") Despite being unnecessarily mean, do any of them actually think that Madge cares what their opinion is on the matter? Doubtful!
Here's what Madonna has to say about online meanies in general — or basically anyone judging her, ever. Yesterday she posted this on Twitter, clapping back at all the haters:
"Oh Wait! What was my New Years Resolution? ......................." she wrote "Oh Yeah......To Give many less F**ks about what people think! #thinkforyourself #dontbeasheep #thecheesestandsalone." Then she posted an Instagram with a unicorn meme expressing a sentiment along those same lines.
Good for you, Madonna!
Mad-Eyes wishes all Madonna fans a wonderful 2018, filled with many great Madonna moments!
Before going into the new year, Madonna shared a video with some of her best moments of 2017, including her travels to Italy and Malawi. She thanked her friends and family, because "Life would be empty and meaningless without each and every one of you."
As she partied on New Year's Eve, she shared pictures and video from her daughters Lola, Stella and Esther, as well as her dancer friends Sofia Boutella, Loïc Mabanza, and Lil' Buck Riley, who all celebrated with her.
Madonna's selfie with her eldest daughter got criticised because Lola hadn't shaved her armpits. Those fans seemingly have forgotten Madonna herself didn't shave her armpits in high school, as part of her rebellion.