Years ago, I used to like and admire Madonna. I really did.
Hell, her first album was released during my early years as a radio DJ, and I would play a track from it almost every shift.
But, as she has matured, Madonna has gone from a pop singer that was almost always innovative and interesting to someone who isn’t quite 60 yet (she’ll be 60 next week), but is more of an old fogey in attitude sometimes than my 80-year-old mom.
And someone who should probably look at the music she herself has produced in the last few years (Rebel Heart anyone?), before she starts to put other musicians down.
Because it’s the whining and the moaning, and the lack of support for other artists from Madonna that sometimes just gets old.
Case in point, Madonna’s latest magazine interview.
This time with Vogue Italia, and another instance where she’s slamming modern pop music and the artists that produce it. (Remember her gigantic whinge about not being invited to meet Obama, and calling out artists like Jay-Z and Beyonce because of it?)
This time Madonna starts the conversation by talking about how amazing the music is in Lisbon, Portugal, where she and her four children are currently living. She adores the fado, the jazz, the gypsy music, and she loves that there is always superb live music being performed somewhere in the city, and a lot of the time it is free.
But then she has to spoil this adoration of the Lisbon music scene by comparing it to modern pop music and modern pop artists.
“It’s also such 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,” she muses. “Something’s gotta give.”
And I just leave reading the Madonna Vogue Italia interview thinking “Why couldn’t you have just left it at Portugal? Why do you have to try to drag other artists down? Why do you always seem to have a whine at the end of everything you talk about? As if this ridiculously privileged life you lead just doesn’t really make you happy”.
And I just have to remind myself, it’s Madonna.
And while she may be “Queen of Pop” (although that hasn’t been true for a while — even Rolling Stone gave Gaga that title a few years back — and, btw, Gaga is an artist Madonna has slammed in the past too), Madonna is just about to turn 60, and is probably realizing she is now on the downward slide away from the enormous popularity she has had in the past, no matter what music she produces.
Hence, the bitterness.
So, yes, while I admire that Madonna is still at one of the highest levels in the music industry it is possible to be decades after she first began making music, and I love that she is still that feminist she has always been, I just wish sometimes she would think before she speaks.
Then make an extra effort to give other musicians some support.