Madonna took to her Instagram yesterday to post what could be some new music, along with a hashtag that referenced Miley ["Wash all over me" could reference Miley's song Burn Up The Night].
Then, just an hour later, Miley tagged Madonna in a selfie [in Madonna shirt] with her tongue sticking out. Classic.
While the interaction may be nothing more than some fun between celebs, we wouldn't be surprised if this back-and-forth was an indicator of some new music.
After just working with Katy Perry, it seems as though Madonna is trying to get in with every current pop star!
That's a really smart way to stay relevant, even if she doesn't necessarily need any help with that!
Do you feel that? Feel it on your fingertips? It's rain!
Not actual rain, though — a pair of unreleased session takes from what is arguably Queen Of Everything Madonna's most immaculate record ever (aside from The Immaculate Collection, of course), Erotica, just dropped from the sky.
While the new-but-actually-very-very-old demos from the Erotica sessions, crafted alongside Shep Pettibone and Tony Shimkin, both appeared in bits and pieces on the fanmade Rain Tapes, these songs have taken over 22 years (!) to surface in full.
That's right: They're both older than Ariana Grande.
The first, You Are The One, plays like the eager younger cousin to Erotica's Deeper And Deeper and, truly, sounds like a lost club classic in the making. “You are the one (are the one!)/Make me feel our love is alive/You are the one (are the one!)/Make me feel these feelings inside.” It's M at her most enraptured, complimented by some oh-so-very-'90's record scratches and club beats. In fact, it's so vintage, this sound is already back in vogue (REFERENCE).
Then there's Shame, a self-empowerment anthem hot off the heels of Express Yourself — and an early LGBT anthem that never was. “It's a shame/The way you live your life is a shame,” Madonna laments on repeat. “Hold on to your heart, you can make a brand new start/Just believe in your dreams, make yourself feel love and be happy!”
While both tracks never went beyond the demo stage (a shame indeed!), that unmistakable Erotica -era gritty magic is still very much embedded in their DNA.
It's been two years since Madonna's chart-topping 12th studio album MDNA, but if you've been following the Queen of Pop on Instagram, you will be more than aware that she is currently working on the follow-up.
There's always been an air rife with anticipation when it comes to a new Madonna album. During her 31-year career she has kept her multi-generational fanbase second guessing what she's going to do next.
Let's take a look at some of the hints we have so far for album number 13, which include biblical references, numerous super producers and the prospect of some truly pop-tastic collaborations.
What's it going to sound like?
Since Madonna discovered Instagram, we've been teased with a multitude of 15-second clips from the studio. We know that she has recorded with a full orchestra, as well as the London Community Gospel Choir. Madonna has always put the orchestral side of pop to good use (see Like A Prayer and the intro to Sorry), so we could be in for some more rolling-around-in-a-church moments on the next record.
Looking at the list of producers for album number 13, Madonna has roped in some of the world's biggest hit-makers. Avicii will surely cook up an EDM-tinted banger for her, while Diplo is going to add his booty-shaking brand of squiggles and beats into the mix, right? The super-producer has worked on seven songs for the collection, saying:
"I do not usually feel pressured to write hits, but when it's an artist of this calibre, it's obvious that I want to push the boundaries a little bit further and surpass myself."
What's more, Madonna has been in the studio with MoZella , who co-wrote Miley's naked ballad 'Wrecking Ball'. The iconic star has delivered some memorable serenades in her time, so we could be in for another sky-soaring slowie. Grammy-winning record producer Ariel Rechtshaid is also on board, so considering his previous credits with Kylie, Sky Ferreira, Charli XCX and Haim, he's bound to add a healthy dollop of #EdgyPop. In our humble opinion, Madonna is at her finest when she's pushing those boundaries.
Let's not forget the brilliance of Madonna teaming up with Natalia Kills. We've been a fan of the Bradford singer-songwriter for a number of years now, and the prospect of Madonna recording something in the vein of 'Wonderland', 'Zombie' or 'Acid Annie' is, quite frankly, very exciting.
Who else has she been in the studio with? Bonafide pop guru Toby Gad has been sprinkling his magic over the album. The German producer has previously worked with the likes of Beyoncé, One Direction, Fergie and Miley Cyrus. Symbolic One has also been spotted in the studio with Madge. He worked on Kanye West's 'Power', so is likely to be adding a touch of alternative hip-hop grit to the soundscape.
That's a lot of people, we know, but if any popstar can pull all of those influences together, it's Madonna.
Do we know any song titles yet?
The only song title that has been confirmed by Madonna's spokesperson is 'Messiah' . Religious undertones, game-ruling bravado and a potential orchestral opening; the title alone has got our head spinning.
We don't want to speak too early because at the moment it's just an idea continuously speculated about on the internet, but our expectations can't help be sky high.
Other titles knocking around on the web - mainly down to Madonna's Instagram hashtagging - are 'Unapologetic Bitch', 'Bitch, I'm Madonna' and 'Trust No Bitch'. It's all a bit bitchy, really.
Can we expect any collaborations?
Madonna has always thrown a few zeitgeist-y collaborations on to her albums. Whether she's jumping over car bonnets with Justin Timberlake, strutting around a bamboo maze with Britney or cheerleading with Nicki Minaj, the Queen of Pop isn't averse to sharing the stage every now and then. But who could she have her eye on this time?
Madge kicked off the year performing a mash-up of 'We Can't Stop' and 'Don't Tell Me' with Miley Cyrus for an MTV special. Teaming up with pop's current wild child wouldn't be out of character for Madonna, and considering they have been working with a few of the same producers, at this point it seems the most likely of team-ups.
Let's not forget Madonna's suggestive photoshoot with Katy Perry, though. The latter has been cat-walking the stage to 'Vogue' during her Prismatic world tour, possibly indicating a future collaboration. If Madonna's looking for a sparkly pop hit to damage the charts with, Katy Perry would be the prime candidate.
Aside from pop's premier females, Madonna could be eyeing up a collaboration with British duo Disclosure . They recently denied that they have already recorded material with her , but when pushed on a future hook-up, it all got a bit coy. Madge made sure she was side of stage for two of their shows in New York City earlier this year, and the prospect of a beatific house anthem on the next album is appealing.
When is it going to come out?
We don't actually know yet. Madonna hasn't released an album in Q4 (the lucrative Christmas period between September - December) since 2005's Confessions On A Dance Floor. That was also the last time one of her albums sold over 10 million copies, so maybe Madge is pulling out all of the stops to get another multi-million hit on her hands. Can Madonna still compete in the over-saturated Christmas market? Of course she can. And with loads of promo potential (let's get that X Factor final booked in now, yeah?), it could be one of the most exciting Madonna album campaigns in years.
All in all, the signs are pointing towards a potentially great new album from Madonna. We liked MDNA, but the spark that has been present on most of her previous material seemed lacking. What's more, producer William Orbit - who famously worked with Madonna on her 1998 album Ray Of Light - has heard some of the new stuff and tweeted that it "sounds good". We'll take that praise at this stage and continue to be teased by Madonna's Instagram account until we get some concrete news.
Madonna fans! On August 16th, we'll be celebrating The Queen of Pop's Birthday and we want for you all to join the party!
Back in September 2013, Madonna launched her Art For Freedom platform for all of us to share our own definition of Freedom but also to encourage creative expression that brings awareness to human rights violations. With thousands of submissions, (including photos, videos, music and poetry) the project has grown into a strong online community fighting for the universal right to be free.
Since the initiative is a cause close to Madonna's heart, we would like for you to wish her a Happy Birthday by adding your stone to the Freedom building! To do so, just visit artforfreedom.com before August 15 at 11am EST and submit a picture that illustrates your own vision of what our world should be all about if we all had the same rights and freedom to be who we are. The picture can be a portrait, a landscape, a selfie, or whatever you think it should be. Make sure to include a description and feel free to add your Birthday message for Madonna as part of it.
On August 16th, we invite you to post your submitted picture to your favorite social network(s), using the #MadonnaDay and #ArtForFreedom hashtags for your friends, fellow Madonna fans, our girl herself and the whole world to see! Some of Madonna's favorite pics will be highlighted on artforfreedom.com and/or be mailed branded goodies :)
Happiness, love, joy, peace, etc,.. Let's make your picture something that will bring a smile to Madonna's face and make her feel we are all one on her special day!
Madonna instagrammed a video of a studio recording with the London Community Gospel Choir, who previously backed her Like A Prayer performance at Live8 in 2005. Her comment seems to indicate the recording will be part of her new album:
"London Community Gospel Choir make my new music sound triller! #livingforlove"
On the Twitter account of the Choir, they excitingly reacted with:
"Today we recorded with the one and only MADONNA"
Singer Geneta Crooke added:
A few hours later, Madonna added a picture of herself in the studio, reminding of her Evita look:
It was a sunny day in the studio. #livingforlove #lovesgonnaliftmeup
In news that's sure to make all of Madonna's past producers jealous, Diplo just revealed he got Madonna to re-record the vocals to one of her '80s classics in the midst of working on her upcoming album. Even cooler? She changed the lyrics to sing about him. Yes, Diplo is one of the luckiest people on the planet.
Madge sang new vocals for the True Blue single La Isla Bonita, changing the lyrics to, "Last night I dreamt of Major Lazer" (which is one of Diplo's side projects). Diplo showed off the recording on an episode of the British series "Superstar DJs," which premieres tomorrow on BBC's Channel 4.
When he plays the track for host Annie Mac, she understandably loses it. Apparently being a "slave driver" while working on her new album is the best way to win her respect.
Diplo isn't the only one manning the boards on Madge's latest. She also hit the studio with Avicii back in March, which means her brand of dance-pop might be taking an EDM turn on her upcoming record.
In the images, the Firework singer is seen tying up and preparing to punch the Queen of Pop.
V Magazine, the publication behind the bondage-themed spread, is releasing the photos as part of a Digital Deluxe Edition of the issue, available on their website and app.
Playing up their rivalry, in one shot the two stars wear matching outfits of black rompers embellished with giant crystals, leather gloves and thigh-high stiletto boots.
In the provocative image, Katy looks like she's about to punch Madge, who's holding on to Katy's skirt and looking unperturbed.
Both women sport pin-up Bettie Page inspired hairstyles and the bright red lipstick and defined eyebrows made popular by the sexy cult figure.
As if socking the woman who defined a generation of female music was not enough, in another image the 29-year-old star makes the 55 year old her captive.
The rest of the spread, which came out on Memorial Day, is equally as provocative.
Bound and lying on a leather couch, Madonna wears a saucy pair of black corseted high waisted knickers with a matching black bra, stay-up stockings and leather gloves.
The younger pop star meanwhile, wears a nude coloured all-in one girdle from which her famously full chest spills.
Also wearing stay-up garter stockings, Katy accessorises her look with short leather zip gloves.
The shoot was styled by Madonna's tour stylist Arianne Phillip and shot by the star's photographer of choice Steven Klein.
And looking this sexy comes at a price, as the shoot, according to Katy, was very physical.
She said: 'I was sore in my upper body and in my butt area from all that squatting.'
Not missing a beat Madonna replied: 'It's good to be sore in your butt. My neck is sore from that wonderful moment when I was sucking on your heel.'
It is the star's ability to bring sexual innuendo into art that Katy hopes to be able to master with the help of her new friend.
However, Katy whose parents are evangelical Christians, better be prepared, according to Madonna.
Even after decades of performing, the star said her father, Tony Ciccone, is still getting used to do what she does.
Madonna told V: I would always say, ''Dad, I'm an artist, I have to express myself. You don't understand.''
'I think he's finally come to terms with it. It's only taken 30 years. He's like, ''Do you have to simulate masturbation on the bed? Do you have to?'' Yes, Dad, I do.'
Unperturbed Katy said: 'I haven't gone that far yet, but maybe under your great mentorship I might reach that point.'
Before the magazine's official release, the pop stars revealed teaser pictures on their Instagrams promoting the provocative shoot.
Madonna captioned her image: 'V magazine got me like…..,……… Kneel down for what??????? @vmagazine This week. #artforfreedom #unapologeticb***h.'
'Mmmmm my baby's got a secret… @vmagazine,' Katy wrote in her caption.
Katy does not just have to play catch up in terms of raunchiness to compare to her idol.
Madonna has sold more than 300 million albums worldwide and is considered the best-selling female singer of all time.
Meanwhile, Katy, who has sold nearly 11 million albums, earlier this month launched The Prismatic World Tour in Northern Ireland.
"Salvation through Art! #heart #messiah #livingforlove" -Madonna
The lyrics read:
I am the promise
that you cannot keep
reep what you sow
find what you seek
I am the sorceress
down in the deep
I am the earth
under your feet
I am the moon with no light of my own
You are the sun guarding your throne
I heard the angels whisper to me
look for the signs
he is the one
I'll light a candle here in the dark
making my way
to your heart
Last week, Madonna also teased part of the music sheet for the song, and a video of a string orchestra playing part of a song.
UPDATE: Madonna's publicist Liz Rosenberg posted a link to the lyrics on her own Facebook page, thereby confirming that they are indeed the lyrics of Madonna's new song "Messiah"! Read Billboard's story about it here.
Meanwhile in Diplo World, he's going wherever the creativity takes him.
The new Madonna album will (hopefully) have Blondre3000's DNA all over it, as Diplo and Madge have spent a good amount of time in the studio making tracks together, which the producer describes as “pushing the envelope.”
There's much more in the collaborative pipeline, though, for Diplo and he checks in to discuss what he's got going on, what's next for Major Lazer, and how the perfect song formula involves proper chemistry.
Speaking of chameleons, you're working with Madonna who is known for consistently reinventing herself. For you as a producer, is that a good thing because you're able to do whatever you want or is it a challenge?
DIPLO: I think with her I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if we were going to actually make records or not. It was kind of like I'd give her a week to see if the chemistry was there, but she was up for anything. I love when an artist gives a producer the confidence he needs to work with them, and Madonna was very, very open-minded to my ideas. I really love that. A lot of times I'm having to sell my projects and my ideas to them, but she was down from day one.
We've written about seven songs now, and hopefully maybe four or five will make it to the album. I've done about three weeks with her, and we're gonna do some more projects at the end of July. She's just really cool.
I think as far as artists reinventing themselves, she did it before anybody else. She kind of began that trend of actually coming back with a whole new look and style and sound and winning it and hitting the top of the charts. I don't think anybody had done it to that level. She works hard. In the studio, I was Googling her while I was working with her, and she's literally sold like 300 million copies of songs. She's a force to be reckoned with.
We had a lot of fun. Those records are gonna be crazy sounding. We really pushed the envelope with some of the stuff we were doing. The last night we were just having fun, and she was like, “Yo, give me some of the craziest shit you've got right now,” and we literally wrote a song that night on the craziest record I had. And it worked. All of the best songs happen on a whim. When I made Alex Clare's “Too Close,” that record didn't make the album, he got dropped, and it became a #1 record in America. It was like the biggest Rock record of 2012. We made that high on mushrooms, not even thinking about it making the record. With Usher, we made “Climax” in literally like ten minutes. With M.I.A., I made “Paper Planes” on a roof in the Caribbean. No microphone covers, just recording right there outside. Every time we do something you never can expect when the magical stuff's gonna happen.
The image was accompanied by the caption "Coming soon........#promise #keep #sorceress #deep"
Soon after, the singer posted a video on her official Instagram account of a classical orchestra performing in a recording studio.
Its caption reads: "Magic makes the people come together yaaaaaaaasssssssssss. #messiah"
Madonna confirmed earlier this year that she was working on the follow-up to 2012's MDNA with the singer recently telling her Instagram followers that she was "on my way to the studio to work with Avicii."
Diplo, Toby Gad, S1 and Miley Cyrus songwriter MoZella, singer/songwriter Natalia Kills and Martin Kierszenbaum, the founder and chairman of Cherrytree Records and senior executive of A&R for Interscope Records, are also attached to the project.
MDNA debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and has sold 536,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Representatives for Madonna have not responded to Billboard's request for comment.
When Madonna turned up at a couple of Disclosure shows earlier this month -- and shared multiple Instagram photos of her encounters -- fans immediately began to speculate if the Queen of Pop was working with the British duo on her next album.
After all, Madonna has been sharing numerous photos on Instagram all year of likely musical collaborators, ranging from Diplo and Toby Gad to MoZella and Natalia Kills.
"She came to our gig at Governors Ball," Disclosure's Howard Lawrence tells Billboard, "and within a few hours, there were articles being written about how we were producing her album -- and we had met her that day. How could we even have done that?"
Certainly, Disclosure probably didn't produce an entire album overnight for the singer. (Who is "really cool" and "very chill," says Guy Lawrence -- Howard's brother and the other half of Disclosure.) But, the duo hasn't said that a collaboration is off the table with the singer either, so expect further rumors to develop.
Madonna announced today the first phase of a long-term commitment to help her Detroit hometown.
As part of the efforts to rescue and revitalize the city and inspired by the progress she's witnessed thus far after a recent visit to Detroit, the former resident of Bay City and Rochester Michigan will begin by contributing to three extraordinary organizations that have already begun to bring hope and change to the city.
Madonna will provide funding for a new facility for the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym (DYBG) which provides free after-school boxing and educational mentoring to 65 kids in Detroit's Eastside community. In addition, she will support the Detroit Achievement Academy (DAA) to enhance the students' classroom learning experience by supplying new equipment, art and music supplies. DAA is a free public charter school located in the poorest zip code of Michigan but with the highest performing students in Detroit. A third component of Madonna's support to Detroit will be helping The Empowerment Plan, a nonprofit organization which employs homeless women to sew garments that serve as both a coat and a sleeping bag which are distributed to homeless individuals within the Detroit community and throughout the country.
"I was deeply inspired by the efforts of so many people who I met who have dedicated themselves to helping the kids and adults in Detroit elevate themselves from the cycle of poverty. I have seen the results their commitment and hard work have already accomplished. From meeting the kids at Downtown Youth Boxing Gym who have a 100% high school graduation rate, to seeing how eager the students at the Detroit Achievement Academy are to learn about the arts, to understanding the value of giving homeless women the opportunity to become self-sufficient through The Empowerment Plan, it was obvious to me that I had to get involved and be part of the solution to help Detroit recover. A piece of my heart will always be in Detroit and I'm humbled to be able to give back to my community," commented Madonna.
The city of Detroit is trying to emerge from the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history with 60% of Detroit's children living in poverty.
DOWNTOWN YOUTH BOXING GYM (DYBG) - Madonna is making a significant donation toward the building of a new facility for DYBG which provides a safe haven for neighborhood kids and provides free after-school boxing and educational mentoring to 65 kids per year in Detroit's eastside community. The DYBG'S current building has been condemned. Graduation rates in this community average between 17-32%. However, 100% of DYBG students have graduated high school. DYBG provides mentoring, guidance, life-skills and hope. All kids are required to do their school work before boxing. "I am thrilled for our kids and our program that Madonna has chosen us as part of her effort to rebuild Detroit," said founder and head coach Khali Sweeney. "Her support of the Youth Program helps us move forward with our plans for a new building and expanding our reach to help more Detroit students pursue their education."
DETROIT ACHIEVEMENT ACADEMY (DAA)- Madonna will be providing DAA with new equipment, art and music supplies including speakers, iPods, iPads and Smart Boards for each classroom. DAA currently serves 45 kindergarten and first grade students with plans to continue curriculum up to 12th grade in the years ahead. "Madonna's generous gift will help create a level of arts enrichment that is only found in the highest performing schools in the country. We're incredibly thrilled by her kindness," commented DAA's founder Kyle Smitley.
THE EMPOWERMENT PLAN serves the homeless community by providing job training as full-time seamstresses, financial security, self-esteem and steady employment to 13 homeless women while giving them an opportunity to transition out of the shelter into secure housing. These women are taught to create a garment that serves as both a coat and a sleeping bag for the homeless. Commented Veronika Scott, the organization's CEO/founder, "Madonna's contribution will support the job training and education for three additional homeless women to join The Empowerment Plan. Through steady employment and financial security, her generosity will make a lasting impact on these women as they become self-sufficient, rediscover their confidence and independence and provide stability for their children."↑ Back to top of page