Madonna

Published on December 1st, 2019

Madonna by Steven Klein

The woman born Madonna Louise Ciccone in suburban Michigan in the late 1950s is heading back to Miami on her 11th world tour as the reigning Queen of Pop, and fans in South Florida will get seven chances to see her before Christmastime. Her latest album is fittingly called “Madame X,” since after 36 years of making music, she has certainly earned the right to a title.

She started out as the perfect ’80s pop star: “Like a Virgin,” “Material Girl” and “Like a Prayer” all became top-charting hits that are still played in stores and restaurants, and sung at karaoke. She branched and became a pro at identifying musical trends of the moment, especially with 1992’s “Erotica” and 1998’s electronic-inspired “Ray of Light.”

At 61 she is still in the game, headlining tours and major festivals, and working with the top artists and producers of the day. Although the recent albums “Hard Candy”and “MDNA” got mixed reviews, “Madame X” reflects an ethic that isn’t trying too hard to be cool, but just is cool. Critics have praised its experimentation, and other artists are getting the message: Quavo of Migos had Madonna on guest vocals for his track “Champagne Rose,” and she featured him on the reggae-tinged, Diplo-produced “Future,” also from “Madame X.”

Miami has been news-making territory for the megastar, and not always to the good. In 2012, she turned up unannounced at Ultra Music Festival to introduce Avicii and, in a sly nod to “MDNA,” joked with the crowd about taking ecstasy. EDM artist Deadmau5 accused her of making light of drug abuse in electronic music and called her “a [expletive] idiot.” (Avicii took his own life in 2018.) The two resolved their spat over Twitter, but the episode proved, like many before it, that Madonna will speak her mind and has definitely partied it out like the rest of us.

In “Future,” she observes, “Not everyone is coming to the future/ Not everyone is learning from the past.” But ever-present Madonna has a past to draw on and a future that is still hers to shape. Sorry, haters; she isn’t going anywhere.

Madonna performs seven shows December 14-22 at the Fillmore Miami Beach. madonna.com ~ Olivia Feldman

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