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Has the World Finally Caught Up With Madonna?


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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-toussaint/has-the-world-finally-cau_b_8512692.html

It's not always easy being a Madonna fan. Her occasional slip-ups notwithstanding -- even I cringe at the opening lines to Rebel Heart's "S.E.X." -- the real challenge is listening to and reading the criticism that's been riding the Queen of Pop's coattails for 30 years.

Pretty much no one wants to admit they like Madonna, and any fan who's paid attention knows the drill: Madonna does something, anything, and the nasty words come rolling in. Period. The end. Eye roll. Get a life, lady. Contrary to what you might believe from commentary over the past 10 years, which has focused primarily on how old, redundant and retouched she is, back when she was "semi-" all those things, the words still hurt the one we love.

As for her older music, which is now considered iconic pop, 1998's "Ray of Light" did get Madonna a Grammy for Best Pop Album, but Lauryn (#shewasimPORTANT) Hill got the coveted Album of the Year prize. "Like a Prayer," released in 1989 and widely cited as one of the best pop albums of all time, as well as Madge's best, wasn't nominated for a single Grammy. Anyone too young to know about the woman who rolled on the floor in a wedding dress or displayed her self-stimulant ambitions onstage should know that, even when she was cranking out hits like a beach babe cranks out mermen, her songs were never "good." But, as some were loathe to admit, "fun to dance to."

The I Hate Madonna Handbook came out in 1994 -- proof that pre-Internet trolls existed in the 20th century -- and the following year "The Advocate" gave her their Sissy of the Year award (with her "I am not a lesbian" cover quote she was, apparently, a bigger menace to same-sex equality than Jesse Helms or The 700 Club). She might have graced the cover of every magazine from Life to TV Guide, but she was as putrid as patchouli.

So after another year of bad press and vitriolic reactions to "Rebel Flop" I hit the tour at Madison Square Garden, lucky to see it early on before I read the inevitable has-been recaps. I -- we -- had a great time, savoring the Queen of Pop's updated versions of "Like a Virgin, "True Blue," and "Who's That Girl" in a show that only got better as it progressed. By the time she sang "Material Girl" with a wink (literally) to her Marilyn-reinvented past, it was obvious that Madonna didn't just build the house; she owned it.

What happened next was like a prayer. Within days, weeks and happening still, I started reading good things about Madonna. Really good things. Like Sally Field accepting her Oscar good. I expected to roll my own eyes at the ceaseless "she's singing old songs cause her new ones suck" intellectual notices, amid the scattering of "she's sitting down a lot because the old broad needs a cane to move" constructive criticisms, and instead got flooded with a ton of articles on just how fantastic Madonna really, really is!

Writing a rave for VH1 and changing his new-album tune, Christopher Rosa said, "theRebel Heart era is, hands down, Madonna's most personal to date. The smiling, fan drawings, warm musings and recognition of old hits -- she's never been this transparent before." Philip Cosores of "CoS" wrote that "Her songs are cultural touchstones, distinct musical memories, and can often completely stand on their own without the frills of lights, dancers and choreography." And "The Inquisitr" did an entire piece called "Madonna Opens Up 'Rebel Heart Tour' to Fantastic Reviews."

My favorite piece came from Lizzy Acker, from "Willamette Week," who subtitled her review "Consider this my formal apology for any negative thing I have ever said about Madonna." Acker nails the show, and Madonna's popularity, to perfection, speckled with observations like "She missed some notes and that made it so much better. She's 57. She's putting on a show that would make an 8-year-old with ADD tire." It's an especially sweet valentine, because women tend to be Madonna's nastiest critics.

Almost as shocking as the thrilling notices were the remarks defending -- no, applauding -- her age and sex appeal, even her voice. Jon Pareles of The New York Times noted early on in his review that "she hasn't allowed herself to become an oldies act," and adding, "The Lesson: Madonna, the indomitable sexpot would prevail."

Since even I had criticisms of the concert -- the show gets off to a slow start and the omission, on the night I went, of "Ghosttown," made for an uncomfortable, Music-Interruptus ending -- it made the stream of, deservedly, great reactions baffling. And it can't just be attributed to the nostalgia factor.

Yes, Madonna played a lot of old hits in the show, a long overdue treat. She made references to being nostalgic in her patter and in her early 80's song choices, but she ignored (once again, on the night I went) "Like a Prayer" and "Ray of Light" completely. If there were complaints on that front, they were minimal. Among the highlights were the brand-new "HeartBreakCity," "Unapologetic Bitch" and the Rebel Heart title track. When she sang a somewhat ironic "La Vie en Rose" you could almost hear the critics murmuring, "I gotta admit; she sounds pretty good."

The ultimate concert shock had to be how un-shocking her blasphemy came across. Placed near the beginning of the show, Madonna sang the deliciously dirty new song "Holy Water" with nun-stripper pole-dancers, and a "Vogue" interlude complete with Last Supper bacchanal rap that ended with Madonna as the table's feast, right in time for the last line of the song, "Jesus loves my pussy best."

It's not the "New Liberal Pope" that kept this section out of the headlines and boycott calls; it's because in today's pop world we've seen it all. The difference between Madonna and the (mostly pour) imitations is how well she did it/does it and her choice to present that section as theatrical license, not enjoyment ultimatum.

As far as the new album goes, the merciless bad press on Rebel Heart has been absurd, much of it coming from bloggers who are furious that she's still singing songs about sex and silly pleasures -- never mind the introspective tracks and ballads. It's easily one of her best albums to date and another example of Madonna's refusal to rest on her laurels.

Even when Madonna interrupted her show the night after the Paris massacres to deliver a speech about the need for tolerance and love, I read nary a comment telling her to "shut up and pretend to sing." Has America gone to the dark side? Or did the media turn into the Grinch at Christmas; opening its heart so much it couldn't help but bubble over with love? I suspect the answer lies elsewhere.

Performing in Brooklyn, Madonna mentioned Sean Penn's reaction to her MSG concert three decades back. "He'd been to my shows 30 years earlier when I was at Madison Square Garden, and he was very upset with me for wearing a costume that was too revealing... Anyway, after the show he wrote me a letter and said he finally appreciates my art. And that's what I have to say about marriage, okay. Thirty fucking years later."

Madonna's grown up, Sean's grown up and perhaps our own rocky relationship with the world's most frustrating star has grown up too. Happy Holiday!

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As sad as it sounds the world will finally catch up when she is dead.

Couldn't be more grateful that I got to grow up with her (and hopefully grow older and older with her) and experience the brilliance of this woman first hand, and appreciate her for all that she does and continues to do as an artist and as a human being, and wont only get to appreciate her through a "history book" so to speak.

I can say I was AT the party the whole time while most will sadly show up when the party is over.

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As sad as it sounds the world will finally catch up when she is dead.

Couldn't be more grateful that I got to grow up with her (and hopefully grow older and older with her) and experience the brilliance of this woman first hand, and appreciate her for all that she does and continues to do as an artist and as a human being, and wont only get to appreciate her through a "history book" so to speak.

I can say I was AT the party the whole time while most will sadly show up when the party is over.

This is the best thing you've ever written in this forum. :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

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This is the best thing you've ever written in this forum. :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

Really? You mean my posts about men sitting on my face and sticking up for Howard Stern and Wendy the Retard don't compare? :lol:

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As sad as it sounds the world will finally catch up when she is dead.

Couldn't be more grateful that I got to grow up with her (and hopefully grow older and older with her) and experience the brilliance of this woman first hand, and appreciate her for all that she does and continues to do as an artist and as a human being, and wont only get to appreciate her through a "history book" so to speak.

I can say I was AT the party the whole time while most will sadly show up when the party is over.

Perfect and true.

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Use to care a bit more when homos I knew or even if elitist journalists harshly criticized Madonna for minor bullshit, but learned now not to read or listen to other people's "opinions" on her. The turning point for me was during this era because I honestly love the music and that's what most important!

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I totally blame the press and their relentless put downs of Madonna in making some of the General Public do the same. Since the 80's, she was been torn apart in every way and also never received the critical recognition she truly deserved. Her fans know how great her music is, how artistic and wonderful her videos and performances are and what a charismatic beautiful star she is. People who have been fans from the very start, fans that arrived throughout her career and also the many new fans she continues to attract every year, know we have seen the star of a lifetime. She still is the most successful and influential female pop singer of all time and nothing will ever change that. It is about time she receives the acknowledgement of being the most consistent and brilliant pop singer of all time.

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Really? You mean my posts about men sitting on my face and sticking up for Howard Stern and Wendy the Retard don't compare? :lol:

Oh you write plenty of good stuff, but I had to give extra special props for nailing this topic right on the head. I am going to slap every single person who tells me how great Madonna was when she dies because all I hear from people is how "tired" she is. Fuck those bastards. I still love Rebel Heart every single day. Bitch is relevant. Always will be.

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As sad as it sounds the world will finally catch up when she is dead.

Couldn't be more grateful that I got to grow up with her (and hopefully grow older and older with her) and experience the brilliance of this woman first hand, and appreciate her for all that she does and continues to do as an artist and as a human being, and wont only get to appreciate her through a "history book" so to speak.

I can say I was AT the party the whole time while most will sadly show up when the party is over.

Brilliant post :clap:

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As sad as it sounds the world will finally catch up when she is dead.

Couldn't be more grateful that I got to grow up with her (and hopefully grow older and older with her) and experience the brilliance of this woman first hand, and appreciate her for all that she does and continues to do as an artist and as a human being, and wont only get to appreciate her through a "history book" so to speak.

I can say I was AT the party the whole time while most will sadly show up when the party is over.

Amen.

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I'm only 31 but I'm so glad I got to grow up during her golden era. I was too young for the 80's Madonna but I was there for the hysteria of the 90's and I'm an Aussie so her peak period never ended in the mid 90's like it did elsewhere. It seemed to go right through to after the Music era and then kick in again for Confessions and 4 Minutes. The constant criticism of the last 5 years is just noise and like Madonna does, you just need to block it out. It's about YOUR personal enjoyment of this amazing woman, not the critics, not the GP. You have to block it out. Rebel Heart is a fucking epic album, EASILY one of her best by a stretch and one that has made me really happy as a fan, the tour is a success and is entertaining and amazing to watch, it's Madonna at her best and she's proved she's still relevant and can keep up with the pack, the videos and promo were some of her best also. Just enjoy the ride, you can't be on top forever. She's had a great run and things will continue to slow down now, just enjoy the music and enjoy the woman. There is more to come just with gradually less and less commercial success and that is ok, it's normal. It will happen to you in your own lives as you get older just obviously not to the scale of a superstar like Madonna and you too will find happiness like she has.

Fuck the haters

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Guest Rocco Papa

"Well, when I'm dead they'll finally kiss my ass!"

9:55

You would think that after Michael Jackson died, people would've learned to appreciate someone like Madonna still doing what she does. But no. All they can do is get on her case for being "old" and "desperate." She's one of the last pop icons of her era still here. I think that's pretty special.

I'll tell you this: when I went to Yankee Stadium and Barclays, there were young 20-something fans in the audience. She's not desperate to reach the younger audience. She naturally attracts them. She IS relevant.

On the other hand, and I've said this before, part of the reason I resonate with Madonna is because she divides people. It speaks to that part of me that doesn't quite fit in with everybody else. When I was in high school, I felt like Madonna was an outsider like I was! When I saw how she was able to survive the shit she got for the Sex book, I felt like I could survive the bullying I experienced!

"Why aren't people inspired by everything I've accomplished? Why is everyone afraid?"

9:09

Not everyone is inspired by her surviving, but I certainly am.

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"Why aren't people inspired by everything I've accomplished? Why is everyone afraid?"

9:09

Not everyone is inspired by her surviving, but I certainly am.

I also love the moment at the 10:45 mark where she says "I'll always take the road less traveled by" :bow:

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IRL I never hear anyone criticising Madonna... even my 74 year old mom likes her.. and listening to Madonna and Adele a few days back she said that Madonna's music is way better than Adel's. The only place I see or hear anything bad about Madonna is in the media, both spoken and written media. People in general seems to like Madonna :-)

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As sad as it sounds the world will finally catch up when she is dead.

Couldn't be more grateful that I got to grow up with her (and hopefully grow older and older with her) and experience the brilliance of this woman first hand, and appreciate her for all that she does and continues to do as an artist and as a human being, and wont only get to appreciate her through a "history book" so to speak.

I can say I was AT the party the whole time while most will sadly show up when the party is over.

giphy.gif

:clap: :clap: :clap:

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As sad as it sounds the world will finally catch up when she is dead.

Couldn't be more grateful that I got to grow up with her (and hopefully grow older and older with her) and experience the brilliance of this woman first hand, and appreciate her for all that she does and continues to do as an artist and as a human being, and wont only get to appreciate her through a "history book" so to speak.

I can say I was AT the party the whole time while most will sadly show up when the party is over.

:clap::clap::bow:

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I totally blame the press and their relentless put downs of Madonna in making some of the General Public do the same. Since the 80's, she was been torn apart in every way and also never received the critical recognition she truly deserved. Her fans know how great her music is, how artistic and wonderful her videos and performances are and what a charismatic beautiful star she is.

People who have been fans from the very start, fans that arrived throughout her career and also the many new fans she continues to attract every year, know we have seen the star of a lifetime. She still is the most successful and influential female pop singer of all time and nothing will ever change that. It is about time she receives the acknowledgement of being the most consistent and brilliant pop singer of all time.

Totally

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-toussaint/has-the-world-finally-cau_b_8512692.html

The difference between Madonna and the (mostly pour) imitations is how well she did it/does it and her choice to present that section as theatrical license, not enjoyment ultimatum.

As far as the new album goes, the merciless bad press on Rebel Heart has been absurd, much of it coming from bloggers who are furious that she's still singing songs about sex and silly pleasures -- never mind the introspective tracks and ballads. It's easily one of her best albums to date and another example of Madonna's refusal to rest on her laurels

Love this part

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As sad as it sounds the world will finally catch up when she is dead.

Couldn't be more grateful that I got to grow up with her (and hopefully grow older and older with her) and experience the brilliance of this woman first hand, and appreciate her for all that she does and continues to do as an artist and as a human being, and wont only get to appreciate her through a "history book" so to speak.

I can say I was AT the party the whole time while most will sadly show up when the party is over.

Just had to echo the :clap: for this great post. 100 percent this.
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The history ain't over yet though. Even though she may be slowing down in terms of huge success and will continue to do so, fans who have jumped on board during MDNA or Rebel Heart eras have also come at the right time as even though she is still coming towards the closing stages, she isn't quite finished yet so still have the chance to experience the eras and publicity live plus she still has things to say. It's only jumping on board after history when her career has finished like retirement etc. it's like jumping on the train at the very last station or completely missing out on the train and learning about where it stopped and who was on board and where it is currently heading to etc.

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The Huffington Post used to be a Madonna-hating site a couple years back (I think they fired their entertaiment editor, Kia something). Now, the site is like a Madonna fan site. I wish other liberal sites would jump on.

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The history ain't over yet though. Even though she may be slowing down in terms of huge success and will continue to do so, fans who have jumped on board during MDNA or Rebel Heart eras have also come at the right time as even though she is still coming towards the closing stages, she isn't quite finished yet so still have the chance to experience the eras and publicity live plus she still has things to say. It's only jumping on board after history when her career has finished like retirement etc. it's like jumping on the train at the very last station or completely missing out on the train and learning about where it stopped and who was on board and where it is currently heading to etc.

She's only 57 years old. Cher is more than 10 years older and still doing it. Tina Turner also did it until really late. I can see Madonna doing the same. Her voice is still here, she's healthy, probably healthier than everyone else.

I think we have a lot of Madonna in years to come :D

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She's only 57 years old. Cher is more than 10 years older and still doing it. Tina Turner also did it until really late. I can see Madonna doing the same. Her voice is still here, she's healthy, probably healthier than everyone else.

I think we have a lot of Madonna in years to come :D

Exactly. If Cher or anyone is able to tour while in their late 60's and 70s, Madonna can definitely do it. We haven't seen the last of her just yet. It's fortunate she's one of those stars who's very lucky to still be in the music in this day and age instead of fading out many years ago and some of those who haven't faded out have died of drug overdose etc. We are very fortunate to have her here with us <3

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Guest Rocco Papa

She's only 57 years old. Cher is more than 10 years older and still doing it. Tina Turner also did it until really late. I can see Madonna doing the same. Her voice is still here, she's healthy, probably healthier than everyone else.

I think we have a lot of Madonna in years to come :D

Exactly.

And let's not forget that Madonna does things other than music. She writes books, designs clothes, directs films, etc. Even if she's not able to perform the way she does, I'm sure she'll still be working and expressing herself creatively.

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