Less than one month from now, the Queen of Pop will embark on her tenth world tour in support of her thirteenth studio album, Rebel Heart. Madonna, who just turned 57, has been in the headlines quite a lot in the past year. In late 2014, over a dozen of her early demos were leaked online, forcing her to make the best of a bad situation and release them prematurely.
Following that ordeal was a controversial decision by BBC’s Radio 1 to stop playing her music, out of fear that she was “too old” and young audiences would stop listening; even though she’s enlisted help from younger contemporaries like Nicki Minaj, Diplo and Avicii. The “Bitch I’m Madonna” singer even had cameos from Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé and Kanye West in the video for her latest single, which has peaked at 84 on the Billboard Hot 100. Interesting fact, Rebel Heart will be Madonna’s first major album release not to chart a song within the Top 10. This has led many fans and critics to say that Madonna may finally, after over thirty years in the industry, have a flop on her hands. Is Madonna running out of steam? Hardly.
She caught a lot of flak for her now-infamous lip lock with Drake at the Coachella Music Festival. Had any other young artist, like Miley or Nicki, done the same thing, it would have been a lot different. Would it have been front page news? Of course it would. But, would those comments have been derogatory of them because of their age? No. It also has a lot do with the fact that she’s a woman. Men like Lenny Kravitz and Prince are well-known womanizers within the music industry, neither are far away from Madonna’s age either. Yet, they are revered for their pushing the envelope, while Madonna is a “hag trying desperately to recapture her youth.” Hardly, I say. Hardly.
In a 1992 interview with Jonathon Ross, when Madonna was only 34, she was quoted as asking “Why is it that once you reach a certain age, you’re not allowed to be adventurous, you’re not allowed to be sexual… I think that’s rather hideous… I mean, is there a rule? Are you just supposed to die when you’re 40?” Eerie foreshadowing. 21 years later, in 2015, she’s still going against the grain. She’s no stranger to the road less traveled by, that’s for sure. Madonna has outlived many of her contemporaries, including Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, both of which were younger than her. Just like any other person, she will age, but why should a number keep anyone from doing what they want to do? Especially if they’re doing it well. Rebel Heart opened to mostly positive reviews, with fantastically produced singles like “Ghosttown” and “Living For Love.” Her performance of the latter at this year’s Grammy Awards proved to be the nights most talked about moment. The Queen is still getting it, so as she would say; “get off her pole.”