Madonna has shared footage from the studio showing the recording of her new album.
The clip, posted to Instagram, shows members of the Orquestra Batukadeiras PT chanting a prayer at the end of a recording session.
In a description accompanying the post, Madonna wrote: "A prayer at the end of a magical recording session with the @orquestra.batukadeiras.pt…So Lucky to have these Amazing Powerful Women on my record."
Three days ago, we saw Madonna experimenting with a black wig. It seems she liked the new look, as she has posted two more pictures on her Instagram sporting dark curls.
Could this be the look she's going for on the new album? Tell us what you think.
Before she became the Queen of Pop, Madonna was an unknown musician in New York City, who was a part of an '80s pop group called the Breakfast Club. An upcoming docudrama titled, Madonna and the Breakfast Club, will follow the life of a pre-fame Madonna before she became the pop legend that she is today.
The film starts with Madonna during her early days as a drummer, guitarist, keyboard player, and songwriter for the Breakfast Club. She had formed the group in 1979 with Dan Gilroy, who she had been dating at the time. As the film progresses, Madonna gets more involved with the band's music, and begins to develop her own identity as an artist.
The docudrama will be split between reenacted scenes from Madonna's time with the band, alongside recent interviews with Gilroy, his brother Ed, and bandmate Gary Burke scattered throughout the film. The film was produced by Guy Guido and Paul Castro Jr., and stars Jamie Auld as Madonna. Auld's uncanny resemblance to the pop icon is incredibly realistic, and is sure to intrigue longtime fans of the singer.
"We filmed in the same locations Madonna once walked and performed in, incorporating the exact instruments she played, including the real guitar she used to write her first songs," Guido said. "It was surreal to capture Jamie in the drama that would eventually lead to Madonna pursuing her solo career."
While Madonna left the Breakfast Club well before even their first single was released in 1984, the band would go on to some Billboard chart success with the release of their self-titled debut LP in 1987, which peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. That set featured the group's biggest hit, "Right on Track," which hit No. 7 in March 1987.
The film is set to release across digital and video on-demand platforms by The Orchard on March 12.
Madonna is going back to the basics. At least, she did so when posing for a recent photo alongside her daughter. The pop star ditched her now-trademark blonde locks for a wavy dark brunette hairstyle, teasing her followers that she's considering committing to the color. The look is not unlike the one her eldest daughter, Lourdes Leon, recently wore in a Miu Miu campaign.
Posing in front of wig heads—and possibly wearing hair that was lifted from one—Madonna wrote, "But what if…" Madonna has been almost consistently blonde for the past 20 years, one of the last times she wore a darker hair color having been in 1999 at Vanity Fair's Oscars party. At the time, she opted for an amber color.
Back in 1989, Madonna talked about her different experiences as both a blonde and brunette. "Being blonde is definitely a different state of mind," she told Rolling Stone. "I can't really put my finger on it, but the artifice of being blonde has some incredible sort of sexual connotation. Men really respond to it. I love blond hair, but it really does something different to you. I feel more grounded when I have dark hair, and I feel more ethereal when I have light hair. It's unexplainable. I also feel more Italian when my hair is dark."
Madonna is set to go on her first world tour in three years in late 2019 in support of her forthcoming album that, at this time, remains under wraps, with no news of a release date.
The 60-year-old singing legend is said to be planning a no-expenses-spared run of shows, which will feature pyrotechnics and her usual army of performers, and she will stun supporters in some amazing outfits.
An industry source said: 'Madonna is really excited about performing her new music and has spared no expense with the production.There will be the usual army of dancers, slick lighting and even some pyrotechnics. She might be 60 but she works incredibly hard to keep her body in the best shape possible and plans to show it off in some amazing outfits, so fans can expect an array of dramatic costume changes.'
The 'Like a Prayer' hitmaker is planning to drop her 14th album later this year, and fans who snap up a ticket for her tour will also be treated to some of her greatest hits, as well as a collection of her new songs.
The source added to The Sun newspaper: 'Of course she'll treat revellers to a few of her classic hits too. She adores performing and loves to see her fans. She's hugely professional and always puts on a mind-blowing show. It's going to be the hottest ticket in town.'
Last October, Madonna confirmed she was working on her 14th studio album, her first since 2015's Rebel Heart. The album is due for release sometime this year but no release date has been confirmed.
Madonna last hit the road on her Rebel Heart Tour, which consisted of 82 dates. Keep checking back for further information about her upcoming world tour and how to get tickets.
The Queen of Pop is reported to be in talks to attend the camp competition in Tel Aviv, Israel.
The annual event will be the 64th edition of the contest and running from Tuesday May 14 until the live final is broadcast around the world on Saturday May 18.
Local media in the country, notably Ynet claim "negotiations are underway between Eurovision producers and representatives for Madonna" but the deal has not yet formally agreed.
However, they add that Madge had "expressed her agreement in principle" but "there are financial gaps between the parties".
While Madonna performing at Eurovision may seem like a pie-in-the-sky dream to many, it wouldn't be the first time a global superstar has turned to the programme to promote new music.
In 2016, superstar Justin Timberlake played mid-way through the show, wowing the crowd with a medley of hits including his smash Can't Stop The Feeling.
Madonna is widely reported to be readying both a new single and her 14th studio album.
The record, which is thought to be influenced by her new life in Lisbon, Portugal, will be her first offering since 2015's Rebel Heart.
As whispers of Madge's Eurovision comeback spread across social media, fans were quick to discuss the theory.
One fan tweeted: "Honestly even though I would love for Madonna to be part of this year's Eurovision, I highly doubt it's true."
"What a huge promo it would be if Madonna performs at this year's Eurovision," a second added.
Meanwhile, a third continued: "I'm for it if Madonna hits Eurovision because it's a huge show in Europe which gets serious budget and an amazing staging! So she has to do it."
Last year's Eurovision Song Contest pulled in a global audience of a staggering 186 million viewers, making it the world's biggest live music event.
A rep for Madonna has been contacted by Daily Star Online for comment.
I wanna talk about Madonna's elegiac "What It Feels Like For A Girl." At this post-Brett Kavanaugh juncture in American life, I think it's a fine time to appreciate it.
Released in 2000, Music followed 1998's ambitious, resplendent Ray Of Light. For Ray Of Light, Madonna selected William Orbit as a collaborator, which was at that time considered a left-field choice. Orbit was an eccentric, progressive composer and musician who was best-known for his own curious amalgam of classical and electronic music. Interesting stuff, but the dude definitely did not have any hits. Madonna adored his work and commissioned Orbit to produce, which was a nervy move. It paid off with a gorgeous masterpiece that, while not her greatest commercial success, certainly did sell well. Five million copies in the U.S. and 11 million globally.
When it came time to make a follow-up album, Madonna once again zigzagged. She chose yet another collaborative team, headed by French producer Mirwais Ahmadzaï. She didn't rebuke Orbit—he was invited to participate in a minor, supporting role—but she did not attempt to duplicate the alchemy of Ray Of Light. When you're a chart-topping artist like Madonna, there is a lot of incentive to play it safe: Last album worked out great! Let's do that exact same thing again!
Madonna is known for her chameleonic fashion sense and her strong radio-pop instincts, but not many people credit her as a risk-taker. And not many people recognize that the only true throughline in Madonna's work is Madonna herself. This is not to detract from William Orbit's obvious brilliance—he's clearly key to what makes Ray Of Light great—but … Ray Of Light is a Madonna album, not an Orbit album. If you read some original reviews of Ray Of Light, you might not pick up on this distinction.
If Ray Of Light was suffused with a sprawling, gauzy, backlit mysticism—reportedly inspired by Madonna's new motherhood—Music was the more taut, confectionary, club-ready follow-up. Even the title seemed kind of no-nonsense and plain.
The opening "What It Feels Like For A Girl" unspools a spoken-word soliloquy. This dulcet sampled dialogue is Charlotte Gainsbourg in the 1993 film The Cement Garden. Pulsing, inviting textures envelop your ears as Gainsbourg intones "Secretly, you'd love to know what it's like, wouldn't you? What it feels like for a girl…" The tone of this introduction is soothing enough to pass as seduction.
But this song is decidedly not erotica. This song is a treatise of feminist dissent.
Feminism is a spectrum. Madonna's part of that spectrum is fraught with complexity. Because sexual allure is a part of her work, she wasn't always recognized as a feminist. But this much is inarguable: She has been a consistent advocate of female agency and self-determination.
"What It Feels Like For A Girl" discusses that curious, disempowering practice of girls being indoctrinated to deliberately diminish their presence in order not to threaten the culture of patriarchy.
The verse is bifurcated. It begins with an admiring (or predatory?) objectification of an alluring young woman. External traits are listed:
"Silky smooth, lips as sweet as candy/ Baby/ Tight blue jeans, skin that shows in patches…"
This dovetails with a darker portrait of what is happening internally, where there is distress and turmoil:
"Strong inside, but you don't know it/ Good little girls, they never show it…"
Which leads us to the bleak:
"When you open up your mouth to speak/ could you be a little weak?"
The line stings like sarcasm, though it is not sarcastic at all. That is precisely the straightforward request society makes of women. A covenant of diminishment. Be weak.
From here she drops us into the chorus:
"Do you know what it feels like for a girl?"
The premise is stripped of any playful or erotic connotations. The question is plainly stated: Have you, dear listener, considered that women all over the world endure this abject course of debasement?
And if so, what are you gonna do about it? What are we gonna do about it?
The next verse repeats the pattern: a brief optical tour of external femme traits followed by a darker assessment of the internal spirit and cultural circumstance. "Hair that twirls on fingertips so gently…" eventually cedes to the tragic "Hurt that's not supposed to show/ and tears that fall when no one knows…"
This is followed by the oppressive "When you're trying hard to be your best/ could you be a little less?" Again, same social covenant: Be weak, baby. And once again, she poses the question nakedly: "Do you know what it feels like for a girl?"
It is worth noting that the repeated trope of the word "baby" inserted in the verses has dual interpretations. One of them is affection, but the other is infantilization.
There are certainly more blunt feminist songs. And there are certainly more complex and abstract feminist songs (the Joni Mitchell oeuvre, for example). But I posit that this exact blend of daring, concision, and accessibility is a Madonna specialty.
Though Music, the album, was produced by Ahmadzaï, "What It Feels Like For A Girl" is a special collaboration with Guy Sigsworth, primarily known for his work with Björk. He is credited as co-writer and producer. It's reasonable to assume that some of the hybrid organic/synthetic textures in this song are his work. The song certainly seems to bear his aesthetic fingerprint. But, again, "What It Feels Like For A Girl" is a Madonna song, not a Guy Sigsworth song.
Still, reviewers tend to ascribe the savvy of her work to her male producers (the more sinister and inaccurate word is "handlers"). But it's Madonna's curatorial moxie that leads her to select these collaborators. That moxie is a huge part of her art. Dismissing that factor is ignorant. Madonna carved her own path. William Orbit is cool and all, but you know what's cooler? Selecting someone as idiosyncratic as William Orbit to produce a radio pop album… and pulling it off!
It's interesting that someone as powerful and enduring as Madonna (who turned 60 recently) still suffers the withering lacerations of sexism. Think about it: Despite more than 30 years of cunningly holding the world's attention, there are those who still doubt her artistic acumen!
Being relentlessly charismatic and influential for decades—through multiple aesthetic phases—while being persistently dismissed as a lightweight?
I guess that's what it feels like for a girl.
We women would sincerely like your advice.
We want to know, darling sexists, what you'd like us to do with our bodies. We are obviously incapable of making this decision ourselves.
You see, we've been backed into a bit of a Chinese box. We've become Russian dolls, shedding the layers of our bodily imperfections – each one flawed, not quite… right. We've peeled them off and we've reached our tiny, defenceless core. So now we turn to you. How shall we proceed?
Madonna – that multimillion-dollar popstar, business owner and actor with a career spanning almost four decades – has been forced to make a statement about the appearance of her body to appease you, sexist trolls. Her own body. That's the stage we've reached.
Appearing in front of New Year Eve revellers to surprise fans with a secret gig in New York, the singer prefaced her set with a rallying speech about the vital importance of standing up to discrimination and complacency in the face of hatred. Pictures of the spurring moment began to crop up online soon after – and as has become the brutal circadian rhythm of the internet, a process all too familiar, wax on, wax off – and within moments commenters miraculously forgot the megastar's message of positivity and solidarity, instead deciding to… discriminate against her.
Their focus was placed somewhere rather more south of her brain. Madonna's arse became the focus of the conversation.
Yes, there really is no escaping it, is there, charming chauvinists?
The singer's rear end, appearing to many larger and more pronounced than it has at other times in her life, became the focus of a fiery online debate, as people reacted to this rotund derrière with outrage. "Lord, what in the world did Madonna do to her behind????"; "she's destroyed herself"; "I'm so embarrassed for her"; "I think the saddest ending to 2018 is finding out that Madonna got butt implants." The irony seems to have been lost on this final commenter, that really, the saddest thing about women's position in 2018 is that we're still having this conversation at all.
Responding to the faux-concerned, Madonna posted a selfie on Instagram with the caption:
"Desperately seeking no one's approval … and entitled to free agency over my body like everyone else!!"
There was no need to respond. By responding at all, Madonna appeared to have finally reached boiling point. For this is a woman to whom bodily criticism comes as naturally as a pay check. Madonna is all too familiar with condemnation like this. Her body has been policed since she was 24. That she still even has a career at the age of 60 in an appearance obsessed industry is something worthy of celebration.
That she chose to keep fit and enjoy being strong made Madonna repulsive in the eyes of you misogynists, who think women's bodies should fit neatly within the parameters of toned but not muscular. Our bodies are here for you, after all, aren't they? Madonna's arms were always a focus for you dissenters. A 2008 TMZ article described her as having "monstrously sculpted and bloodcurdling veiny corpse arms". In 2012, chief woman-hater Piers Morgan said, "Grotesque. Why would any woman want to look like a caveman? I'm serious."
Are you happy? You have reduced one of the most powerful women in the world to her flesh. Why do you care if she has had implants? Is this not what you wanted? If she hadn't had surgery, she would have been "letting herself go", wouldn't she? And we couldn't bear to watch that.
You see, dear misogynists, we are doing what you wanted. We are keeping our bodies as pert and ageless as you've demanded. Plastic surgery is on the increase. Between 2016 and 2017 procedures were up by seven per cent. Women had their buttocks injected, implanted, fat transferred from one part of their bodies to another, their vaginas were cut and plumped, their breasts augmented and their necks lifted – all to feel comfortable within our own skin and remain within the tight parameters you have set.
We are unhappy with our bodies. A Loose Women survey of 5,000 women in 2016 found that a whopping 74 per cent of us agonise about our figures on a daily basis. And that's before we think about our stagnating post-baby careers, our male colleagues being paid more than us, our need to take on the lion's share of the domestic tasks. Our butts are already on our mind, dear misogynists. Madonna knows this better than most.
Women are virtually weaned on the idea that they will need to spend most of their adult life pruning, preening, chopping, scrubbing, waxing and doing other painful procedures in order to appear seal-smooth and hairless. Then when they do, they are criticised for overdoing it. There is a sweet spot of perfection and we must strive to fit within it.
The flawlessness of Madonna's response lies in her refusal to acknowledge whether or not she had had surgery on her behind and her unwillingness to fall prey to the disgusting speculation that paid no heed to her privacy or personal choices. She stood up for all women when she wrote that caption.
You have put us in this position, dear misogynists. So how do we find the sweet spot? Tell us and we shall obey – so we can focus on more pressing matters.
All women, desperately seeking to be left alone
In June 2018, photographers Mert & Marcus photographed Madonna in Lisbon, Portugal. The pictures appeared in the August edition of Vogue Italia.
A behind-the-scenes video, also directed by Mert & Marcus, has now been released on Madonna's Youtube account. Have a look at Madonna out and about in the streets and bars of the Portuguese capital.
After her surprise appearance at the Stonewall Inn on New Year's Eve, rumours soon circulated that Madonna has had butt implants. Many pictures and videos of the performance see her showing off a particularly extended backside.
As fans and press speculated over the past few days whether Madonna has had butt implants or had just stuffed something in her pants, Madonna posted what seems like a reply, stating:
Desperately Seeking No Ones Approval..................😂. And Entitled to Free Agency Over My Body Like Everyone Else!!
So does that mean she's admitting it? We'll have to wait for the next public appearance to know for sure.
Madonna herself has also been posting videos of her New Year's Eve appearance, both on stage and behind the scenes, including a video edited by Nuno Xico.
On New Year's Eve, Madonna made a surprise appearance to The Stonewall Inn. The famous gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City, announced a week ago that Madonna was named the Stonewall Ambassador for 2019, the year which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Madonna gave a speech, applauding the brave heroes who had started the gay movement back in 1969 and encouraged the audience to not only step in the footsteps of these giants but to be giants ourselves.
After her speech, Madonna was joined on stage by her son David, who accompanied her on guitar as she started performing Like A Prayer. The crowd soon followed in a singalong.
They continued with a rendition of Elvis Presley's 'Can't Help Falling In Love'.