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Madonna: the Evolution to Madame X

No one compares to Madonna - simple as!


With a career spanning over 30 years, it is easy to understand why she was and still remains the Queen of Pop. Taylor, Rihanna, Arianna take notes - though of course they think they know it all.... we'll see in 2040 what they will be up to.... to use a religious nod in true Madonna style: 'Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing'.


Now being a Madonna fan comes with it's own hardships! Especially this last decade... with more than one a musical faux-pas, an actual bad step, a cloak - and let's not start about that Eurovision performance! But no pop superstar has reinvented herself more times than Madonna and at 61 she is setting off to another world tour - not take up a lazy residence in Las Vegas (as Peter a fellow fan pointed out!)


Madame X the album dropped today, and it is the album we have been waiting for. She has shed the craving for commercial credibility (Which is useless when UK Radio stations don't play her because of an age demographic - which is ridiculous) but instead it is more theatrical , more experimental and clearly made for the Tour (with a hefty price tag I may add) - but Bitch it's Madonna!


Let's remind ourselves what has brought is to this point......


1984





Of course we can't possibly start with her looks without the iconic Like a Virgin look.

She rocked up at the MTV awards (remember when those were huge) with the questionable wedding dress and infamous 'BOYTOY' belt, to perform 'Like a Virgin' live for the first time, and the whole world turned it's head and noticed! This look still remains one of her most iconic.


1985







In just one year, the whole world knew who Madonna was. This look might not strike as so iconic, but in it are subtle nods of things to come. Firstly it is a Jean-Paul Gaultier number, who as we know she will go on to have a lengthy collaboration with, but also a touch of elegance (up till now it was all lace layering, teased hair, and New York neon club kid look) which she will eventually dip in and out with ease.

But also the trade mark rosary beads and crosses - but also already a nod to different faiths if you look closer!


1986







The first full on shock and re-invention - gone are the teased up locks and returns with a short messy crop and bad girl-next-door look in her video to Papa don't Preach, with the subject of teenage pregnancy which sounds crazy now, but was very much ground-breaking and verging on taboo at the time.


The video also gave us the now iconic 'Italians Do It Better' t-shirt.



1987





During the 'Who's that Girl?' Tour as well as the video to 'Open your Heart' we could see the love of bustiers and corsets developing.....


1990


1990 was a great year for Madonna Looks... firstly she served this....





'The Blonde Ambition Tour' was definitely the most daring from her so far, with her collaboration with Jean-Paul Gaultier taking new heights This now iconic Cone Bra also went out with a killer soundtrack to go with it in the form of 'Express Yourself' - it was Girl Power before the term was invented by a bunch of guys who fabricated a girl band in the UK.....


That same year....






Madonna performed Vogue at the 1990 MTV music awards in full Marie Antoinette mode with a choreography to die for.


Fun fact: The dress she wears is the same one Meryl Streep wore in Dangerous Liasons.



1991





The King and Queen of Pop on a night out! Madonna and Michael Jackson at Spago for the Academy Awards' after party . Channeling Silver Screen Siren Marilyn Monroe, she is literally dripping in diamonds $20 million dollars worth in fact!



1992






And her most controversial era ensues , with the release of her 'Erotica' album and the infamous 'Sex' Coffee Table book, she was out to shake things up, and of course in the process make many many enemies...






Here she is rocking up at the launch of 'Sex' looking like Little Bo Peep that does S&M in her free time.... as one does....





Her 1992 Character of Dita (I'll be your mistress tonight) was inspired by Dita Parlo who was a German actress in the 1920s (real name: Gerthe Gerda Kornstadt) who incidentaly is also the inspiration fro Burlesque Star Dita Von Teese.


Parlo achieved even greater success when she moved to France in the 30's with her role in Jean Vigo's L'Atlante being the most well known.


It is unknown howcome a pop star and a burlesque star of future years took such inspiration in the actress as she definitely was not known for flashing her knickers in any way, however the Weimar era of German History is known for it's Saucy, Kinky and darkly erotic love.



1996






In 1996 Madonna landed her dream role of portraying Eva Peron in the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical Evita's film adaptation. All of a sudden we had the most demure Madonna we had ever seen.

She shone in the flick getting her a Golden Globe award and critical acclaim, and probably quite a sigh of relief, as her previous acting roles...... well.... were not quite as well received.


And it continued in her videos too, beautiful in 'take a bow'






1998









Madonna returned to the charts in 1998 with Frozen from Ray of Light (arguably her best album) under the capable hands of William Orbit on the mixing desk she gave us a sound that was all ground-breaking. As always a reinvention was on the cards too - the brand new Gothic look was something we had not seen from her and the moody video with it's at the time state of the art cgi was an exciting time for music, videos and fans alike.


and everyone thought this was a grown up Madonna....


think again....












2005





Madonna's 10th studio album 'Confessions on a dance floor' is easily her best album of the noughties, it not only had great tracks to dance too, but a barand new glammed up look. After her flirt with the Military in 2003 this was back to being fun, empowered as always, and hold on a second - Abba?


Abba are famous of course for their amazing pop song craftsmanship, but also (at the time) for not allowing their music to be sampled in any way.


Hung Up was the first single and sampling Abba's 'A man after midnight' it was clear Madonna was back in full force and quite simply back to dance floor, some may argue where she belongs.





At the MTV Europe music awards in Lisbon





Bicep Envy at Live8 London


'Confessions' started at music producer Mirwais Ahmadzai's studio, but it wasn't going in the direction she desired and continued with Stuart Price.


Mirwais Ahmadzai has co-produced Music and American Life too.... and now Madame X.



2006







Most of this year was spent on tour.... but arrived at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in a Versace gown that's more pretty than shocking - out of character for both pop star and fashion house...


This was also the last time we would see the face we were used to for the previous 2 decades....



2008






A long time coming....but in 2008 Madonna was inducted in the Rock n Roll Hall of fame which was held at the New York Waldorf Astoria. Dazzling in her Chanel sheer number she was presented her award by Justin Timberlake.


'I felt like I had been possessed by some magic and luckily for me I have miraculously and continuously possessed by some kind of magic' - she said at the Hall of Fame.



2011






A rare mother - daughter moment on the red carpet, Madonna and Lourdes at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in West Hollywood - Madge in signature black lace and fishnets, but Lourdes in an All Saints Aztec inspired mini dress.


The next years that followed we got to see Madonna in some of her most glamarous gown-tastic moments...






2012






In 2012 everyone's eyes were fixed on the 50 yard line when Madonna was performing at the super-bowl half-time show with a medley of her hits.


Designed by Riccardo Tisci the Givenchy gown topped with an Egyptian style head-dress reminded the 114 million viewers why she still remains the reigning queen.



2013






Another collaboration with Ricardo Tisci saw her rocking the billboard awards in shredded fishnet and garter belt to accept the top touring artist award... making sure everyone knew who was the top artist there!



2015







Bullfighting and looking for love.


The Grammy awards 2015, A Matador inspired outfit - once again Givenchy - We will become quite accustomed to have a bullfighter look from Madonna in 2015. The album was received with mixed views - but the show that followed was critically acclaimed cementing her as one of the best acts to see live and for production.









But far more coverage was given to the famous tumble on British soil during the 2015 Brit awards when a wardrobe malfunction with her cape meant that one of her dancers brought her down at the beginning of the performance....which of course got all the Gay's knickers in a twist!







Like a true professional she of course continued as though nothing happend.


The dancer was never seen ever again....



2016





We could talk about this look, but in reality it is nowhere close as powerful as her words on this day..


If you have never seen Madonna's acceptanace speech for Billboard's Woman of the year award, do yourself a favour and click the link below....




2018






Arriving at the Met Gala...


At 60 Madonna does not give a shit.... why? Because she is still winning at pop's Game Of Thrones!

She does not care what the tabloids are saying about her, she doesn't even care what Gaga has to say about her, because she is always a step ahead.

A lot of people forget that she has a habit of taking risks before others even take note.


and that brings us to the present day...






The album Madame X was dropped today...


and her Alter Ego Madame X is not gonna disappoint with the looks either...








'Madame X is a secret agent travelling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom

Bringing light to dark places. She is a dancer, a professor, a head of state.

A Housekeeper, an equestrian, a prisoner, a student, a child , a teacher, a nun, a singer, a whore,

A spy in the house of Love'



(apparently the name came from her days as a ballet student and it was the monicker given to her by her teacher)



But about the album....there is a bit of every kind of Madonna in here, but most importantly it is not what we expected, there clearly has been a strong influence from living in Lisbon where she went originally for son David who is pursuing a football career... to become a 'soccer mum' - but the pull back to music was clearly still strong.


Part concept album for her theatre production part political statement, this is quite easily her best album since Confessions.


As Rolling Stone explains perfectly it is 'Admirably Bizarre'


Every song brimming with experimental sounds and collaborations that today's 'safe It-Crowd' would never have the cohones to try......


All together now...


'Bitch she's Madonna...'






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