Madonna’s got a little extra help to get her through the Met Gala.
ET’s Carly Steel caught up with the 58-year-old singer on the red carpet ahead of the event in New York City on Monday, where she revealed that her army-inspired look came with a canteen of rosé.
“I am of legal age. I know I look young,” Madonna joked, before explaining the thought process behind her unique ensemble.
“We knew we wanted to go with camouflage from the very start. We started with the flak jacket, and then we worked our way down inside,” she said of her Moschino look. “So, you know, we’re ready. We’re ready to go to fashion war.”
“Combat Barbie,” designer Jeremy Scott added.
Wasn’t just a collaboration between Madonna and Scott — her newly adopted daughters, Stelle and Estere, gave their mom the OK.
“They’re great. They also approve of my outfit,” the mother of six revealed. “It’s very important.”
With the kids at home, however, Madonna and her canteen are ready to party.
“It’s going to be a fun night,” she shared. “As long as I drink the rest of my canteen.”
Madonna’s army-inspired look is a little more covered up (and family friendly) than the lacy Givenchy number she wore last year.
See the racy gown — and more outrageous Met Gala ensembles — in the video below.
The pop icon on election-night prayers, aging, and bad wine.
Madonna has no patience for bad wine. I learned this while sitting in a well-appointed living room at her New York City home, with Nina Simone playing softly in the background. I must tell you, Madonna’s house smells amazing—something delicious, maybe roasted chicken, was cooking in a kitchen elsewhere in the manse, and there was a gentle fragrance in the air, jasmine, perhaps. While I waited for Madonna, her day-to-day manager, her publicist, and I chatted while reclining on gorgeous cream-colored furniture set upon the largest rug I’d ever seen, on top of immaculate black wood floors. On the wall behind me was a black-and-white photograph of a woman perched on the edge of a mussed bed, scantily clad, sucking on a gun, it’s Helmut Newton’s “Girl with Gun” photograph. Of course.
Madonna was late, but that didn’t matter because she is Madonna. What is time, really? She was all apologies when she arrived, and we quickly got down to business. She was in the process of planning a fund-raiser at Art Basel in Miami Beach, and like any perfectionist she wanted to taste the wines that could be served. She knelt on the floor as she considered various reds and whites and a rosé—or “summer water,” as she called it. “Roxane,” Madonna said. “You don’t have to wear that dress tonight. …” That’s when I exhaled. This was familiar territory. My name is part of a well-known song or two. I smiled and said, “No, I do not.” At one point she asked me for my opinion on a particularly troublesome wine, handed me her glass, and swore she didn’t have anything contagious. I believed her and took a sip. To be fair, the wine was terrible—it tasted like vinegar—and the year on the bottle said 2016, so it wasn’t really wine yet. It was the suggestion of wine.
Madonna is very good at multitasking. While she was considering the wines, she held forth with me, and before long she was done with the bad wine. “Take the mediocre out of here,” she tells Dustin, the strapping young man who served all the wine and apologized for its mediocrity even though that mediocrity was not his fault. “I’ll go broke before I drink bad wine,” she declared, and I was entirely in agreement. I wanted nothing more than for Madonna to offer her opinions on wine for the rest of the evening. Dustin promptly brought us the good wine, served in a crystal decanter. I drank it, and it was, indeed, good.
In the early days of September 2001, I was driving down Santa Monica Boulevard on my way to a call-back for Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of Swept Away, starring his then-wife Madonna, when it dawned on me: Instead of turning left toward the office buildings, I would be veering into the residential area. I was going to Madonna’s house. Her music had been the soundtrack to my preteen angst, and she was my idol as a feminist and as an artist. Naturally, I pulled the car over, called my sister and had a mini-freak-out.
When Madonna walked into Guy’s home office that day, her little son, Rocco, was perched on her hip. She told me that my audition was funny and that I’d be good in the movie, and I just tried to keep breathing. I assume it was in that moment that Guy concluded I’d be the perfect, nubile idiot to cast in Swept Away. I won the part. The next few weeks were surreal for all of us. I had seen Madonna in concert as a teenager and had splurged on tickets for her Staples Center show scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001. Needless to say, that concert was postponed as the world came undone. But a couple of weeks after we met, I watched Madonna finish her Drowned World Tour. Before the music began that night, she started with a prayer for peace: “If you want to change the world, change yourself,” she told the crowd. Through tears, I sang along for the entire show.
Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to work alongside her — as I did in Malta during those next couple of months — understands why Madonna is Madonna. She works harder than anyone I’ve ever met; she exists in this world by her own rules; she has remained in control of her own voice, paving the way for the Taylor Swifts and Adeles of the world to do their thing in the process. During the course of her more than three-decades-long career, all of those instincts have helped her land the most top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and hold the record for the most No. 1s by any act on a single Billboard list (46 No. 1s on Dance Club Songs). With more than $1.3 billion earned from her groundbreaking concert tours through the years, as reported to Billboard Boxscore, she now reigns, at age 58, as the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time. Her most recent trek, the Rebel Heart Tour, grossed $170 million during the course of 82 performances, concluding in March 2016. (A concert film chronicling the tour, Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour, premieres Dec. 9 on Showtime.)
On a recent Monday afternoon in between parent/teacher conferences for my kids and meetings for Pitch Perfect 3 — a film that focuses on young women finding harmony through music — Madonna and I reconnected over the phone. Since there is no shortage of Madonna books, articles, blog posts and career analyses, I just wanted a snapshot of Madonna right now, in this moment, because she is a woman who lives in the present and never looks back.
Andy Cohen: Madonna! Hi! How are you?
Madonna: I’m tired, not gonna lie.
Andy Cohen: You’re working your ass off, aren’t you?
Madonna: I am. We work really late hours, and I got into the vicious cycle of working late then sleeping late.
Andy Cohen: Where are you right now?
Madonna: I’m in New York.
Andy Cohen: I mean, are you in your tub? In your bed?
Madonna: Ha, no. I wish I was in my bed. If I got in my bed, though, I wouldn’t get out. I’m in my office.
Andy Cohen: And are you in sweats?
Madonna: I’m in silk pajama shorts, if you must know. They were made for me by Dolce & Gabbana, I don’t know, eight years ago, so there’s sort of tattered, vintage look about me.
Andy Cohen: Perfect, you’re giving me full Madonna now! I can’t wait for you get to get back on tour – I love screaming your name at the top of my lungs. Am I going to see dancing nuns on stripper poles?
Madonna: Did somebody tell you that?
Andy Cohen: I saw the trailer.
Madonna: Oops, so I guess the cat’s out of the bag.
Andy Cohen: Was that your idea?
Madonna: I mean, yeah. It was. I just like the juxtaposition. I’m very immersed in deconstructing the concept of sexuality and religion and how it’s not supposed to get together, but in my world it goes together.
Andy Cohen: That’s one of the reasons that I love you. I assume we’ll be hearing “Bitch, get off my pole” while the nuns are on the stripper poles.
Madonna: Mmmm, you might. I don’t want to give away the details. I want people to be surprised.
Andy Cohen: How many hours a day are you rehearsing at this point?
Madonna: Well, I consider meeting for video and fittings all part of the rehearsal process, so that’s, I don’t know, 10 to 12 hours a day.
Andy Cohen: What are you eating?
Madonna: [Laughs] Anything I can get my hands on.
Andy Cohen: Come on!
Madonna: No, really, I have to keep eating so I have energy. I eat food, you know, normal food. Omelets for breakfast, healthy lunches, and things like that, but i’m also supplementing that with power shakes and those energy bars. I have a woman who follows me around. I call her the food police. “Aare you eating? Did you drink enough water?”
I’m like, “Bitch, get off my pole!”
Andy Cohen: By the way, can you cook?
Madonna: Wow, we’re really jumping around.
Andy Cohen: I’m just curious!
Madonna: No, it’s not one of my talents, I’m sorry to say. Everyone asks me that, including my 14-year-old son [Rocco], who is absolutely not satisfied with all of my accomplishments. He just wants me to cook for him. I’m like, “Okay, I’ll get to that. I promise you, when this tour’s over with, I’m gonna cook for you.”
Andy Cohen: I loved seeing Rocco on the last tour. Are we gonna see him doing anything on this one?
Madonna: I think he’s probably gonna work behind the scenes. He’s not interested in performing on stage with me right now. There’s cooler things. Your mom is not that cool when you’re 14.
Andy Cohen: So do you still have the Truth or Dare mother-hen thing going on with the dancers?
Madonna: Of course. Yep. Every day. They’re my little babies.
Andy Cohen: Tell me how you balance hits and new material on your set list.
Madonna: Well it’s tricky. Of course, the thing I’m most excited about doing is my new stuff, because I haven’t done it yet and it’s fresh.
But I realize that people want to hear my older stuff, so for me it’s always a tricky balance trying to keep some kind of continuity, not only with sound, sonically, but also thematically. Because when I first started writing music, I was a young girl, and I didn’t write about very deep things. And now I do. Although going from what I consider to be slightly superficial topics to more profound ways of thinking is also a challenge. That’s why a lot of times I have to take the songs and turn them inside out and make them more ironic than straightforward, so that they work for me.
Andy Cohen: You’ve been teasing your set list on Instagram.
Madonna:Yeah, of course I have.
Andy Cohen: So will I hear “Dress You up”?
Andy Cohen: “Who’s That Girl”?
Andy Cohen: “Vogue”?
Andy Cohen: “Holiday”?
Andy Cohen: Wow, you’re giving me good info!
Now stop right there!
Andy Cohen: Let me ask you this, do you read the comments under your Instagram posts?
Madonna: Sometimes. Like whenever I’m on holiday.
Andy Cohen: What’s your reaction to them?
Madonna: Sometimes people are really supportive and nice, but you can’t get attached to people saying nice things because then when people say mean things it will bother you. So you just have to take it all in stride, and I really don’t take any of it seriously. I can’t afford to.
The most illuminating thing about reading comments on Instagram is how literal people are, and how people have no sense of humor and no sense of irony; [they] don’t read between the lines. It’s interesting
Andy Cohen: Are you addicted to Instagram a little bit?
Madonna: No, not really. I could live without it. But it’s an important part of my work now. I like to think of it as a kind of art gallery for my thoughts, my dreams, my wishes, my state of mind. Can’t ignore social media.
Andy Cohen: I love that you share old photos of you with your fans. You seem like someone who doesn’t like to look back, but I love it when you do?
Madonna: I love to look back and see the great art and artists that I’ve had the privilege to collaborate with, whether it’s [Jean Paul] Gaultier or Keith Haring or Steven Meisel or Herb Ritts or whomever. I worked with the greatest and the best and the finest. It also feels like a time that will never happen again. Do you know what I mean? So it makes me feel really blessed.
Andy Cohen: It’s trite at this point to say that you reinvent yourself every few years. But I wonder, why is it important for you to keep creating new stuff?
Madonna: Because as an artist I have something new to say every time I make a record. I think that’s kind of a no-brainer. I’m not a “greatest hits” kind of girl. You could say it’s reinventing, but a real artist is continuously changing and evolving because the art is continuously changing and evolving. I mean, Picasso didn’t paint the same paintings over and over again.
Andy Cohen: What is the best and worst part of touring?
Madonna: You’re like, “Yeah, just shut the f— up.”
Andy Cohen: No, no, I got it! I got it!
Madonna: That’s the endless question I get: “Why do you keep doing it?”
Andy Cohen: You obviously don’t have to.
Madonna: But to me, that’s a sexist thing to say. No one said to Picasso when he was 80, “Why are you painting?”
Andy Cohen: Why is that sexist, though?
Madonna: Because he’s a man and nobody asked him that, okay? But because I’m a woman, people ask me. Does anyone ask Mick Jagger why he keeps going on tour?
Andy Cohen: Yeah, I actually think they do. What I’m getting at is, you could probably park it at Madison Square Garden and do a residency twice a month for the next 20 years.
Madonna: I don’t think so.
Andy Cohen: Really?
Madonna: No, people in New York are sick of me.
Andy Cohen: Are you f—ing kidding me? You’re the queen of New York.
Madonna: No. I don’t know.
Andy Cohen: Do you have a favorite city to perform in?
Madonna: Well, in America, my favourite city is New York, obviously. Cause it’s my hometown.
Andy Cohen: Even though they’re over you?
Madonna: You know the old saying: You’re a prophet everywhere but in your own country.
Andy Cohen: Is there a city where you’ve performed that you will not return to?
Madonna: I don’t think I should go back to Moscow or St. Petersburg.
Andy Cohen: You stirred some s— there, but God bless you for doing it. Do you think they would have you back?
Madonna: No. But that’s okay. Why would I even want to perform in a place where being gay is [criminalized]?
Andy Cohen: What’s your current favorite song on Rebel Heart?
Madonna: Well, I love “Ghosttown.” I love “Bitch I’m Madonna,” and I love “Illuminati,” “Holy Water.” The darker, crazier, more controversial songs.
Andy Cohen: Have you seen any tours in the past year that have inspired you? On Instagram, you welcomed Taylor Swift to New York when she was here.
Madonna: I didn’t get the chance to go see her show. I was bummed. We were actually gonna do something together on stage, but I didn’t go to the show because I was rehearsing and I had to shoot a video the next day. Going to shows requires free time. Who’s the last person I saw?…
Andy Cohen: I remember you really heaped a lot of praise on Beyoncé’s last tour.
Madonna: Oh! That’s probably the last big show I’ve seen, and that was really good.
Andy Cohen: What was good about it?
Madonna: She’s a great performer and she puts on a show. She’s a professional, you know what I mean? She ticks all the boxes. She’s great live, and all the stuff around her, it’s complete entertainment. And she gives it her all, so I appreciate that.
Andy Cohen: By the way, what were you gonna do with Taylor Swift on stage?
Madonna: I’m not gonna tell you, because we might still do it. You’re very nosy. You just want to know everything.
Andy Cohen: I really do!
Madonna: I’m just gonna send my diary over to your house, okay? With a key. Open it up, read it, send it back to me, okay?
Andy Cohen: Please do. I want to know f—ing everything!
Madonna: Skip over all the parts about who I have crushes on and things like that.
Andy Cohen: Oh my God. There’s no way I’m skipping that part. Well, now I want to know, do you have a crush on any of your dancers at this current moment in time?
Madonna: I mean. I always do. You have to. I call them my “stage baes”.
Andy Cohen: Perfect.
Madonna: But that’s it, it’s just on the stage.
Andy Cohen: You keep it on the stage. That would be messy, right?
Madonna: Yeah, of course, and that actually makes it more electric, you know?
Andy Cohen: When was the last time you saw your 1991 doc Truth or Dare?
Madonna: Jeez, I don’t know. Several years ago. I’ve seen bits and pieces from it. I sort of gag when I watch it, ’cause I’m like, “Oh my God, I can’t” It’s hard to watch myself do anything. I can’t even stand to watch myself in concert, like my last tour.
Andy Cohen: Really? Why?
Madonna: I just don’t like to watch it. But I think maybe Truth or Dare, I could possibly revisit it right now.
Andy Cohen: Can you call me when you do that, please?
Madonna: Let’s watch it together.
Andy Cohen: I want to film you watching Truth or Dare and release that.
Madonna: Me just going, “I can’t believe I said that. Oh my God, I can’t believe I did that.” The arrogance…
Andy Cohen: Well, the arrogance was brilliant. The shade, the arrogance…
Madonna: The shade was thrown! I’m afraid to watch it. I just think I was a horrible brat, that’s what I’m afraid of.
Andy Cohen: As a student of yours, it seems like you’re having more fun on stage recently. Am I right? Maybe just that you smile more.
Madonna: That could be it. I don’t know. I’m very invested in having a good time with this show. You know, not beating myself up if I make a mistake.
Andy Cohen: So… grill or no grill on stage?
Madonna: It’s really hard to sing with a grill in your mouth. You end up lisping, and putting your teeth together is actually essential to singing well. So as much as I love a grill, it probably won’t be in my mouth when I’m singing.
Andy Cohen: I will be there both nights of Madison Square Garden. I cannot wait.
Madonna: Thank you so much. Make yourself noticeable in the audience so I can bump and grind you.
Thanks to Madonnarama
You know Andy Cohen as the executive producer of the insanely addictive Real Housewives franchise and the host of the cable’s late-night talk show Watch What Happens Live—but what happens when Bravo’s bad-ass bon vivant takes over the pages of EW?
…Cohen, who has made no secret about wanting to interview Madonna on WWHL, sat down with the Queen of Pop as she gets set to launch her Rebel Heart tour in September. It’s the first time he has ever interviewed his favorite singer—and no question was off limits. The two discuss everything from her setlist to her thoughts on Taylor Swift and Beyonce to why she loves using Instagram. “It’s an important part of my work now,” she says of the social media platform. “I like to think of it as a kind of art gallery for my thoughts, my dreams, my wishes, my state of mind. Can’t ignore social media.”
Madonna, who co-owns Tidal with Jay Z, Beyonce and others, says it’s just the beginning for the streaming service that’s had some troubles since its launch in March.
“It’s just the beginning, so we’re working out a lot of kinks and hopefully we’re going to build something unique and amazing that’s going to attract a lot of people,” the 56-year-old singer said in a recent interview.
Tidal, which offers a basic subscription for $10 and a high-quality audio one for $20, hasn’t made a splash like its announcement did a few months ago, when Rihanna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Nicki Minaj, Jack White and others stood onstage in solidarity along with Madonna, Beyonce and Jay Z.
Since then, Tidal announced a family plan and discount for students. The company also lost its interim CEO last month.
“It’s important that people understand we didn’t create Tidal, we didn’t put this together, we didn’t all join forces because we’re broke and we want more money. The idea is we want to support other artists and we want people to understand this is our heart, this is our work, and we want people to recognize that and we want other artists to have a chance,” Madonna said.
“We live in a society now where everybody just expects everything to be for free, but you don’t get a house for free; you have to pay somebody to build it,” she added.
Madonna thinks artists deep into their careers should stop if they don’t have anything more to say. But at 56, the singer says she still has things to talk about, and in short, she feels like Pablo Picasso.
“I like to compare myself to other kinds of artists like Picasso. He kept painting and painting until the day he died. Why? Because I guess he felt inspired to do so,” she said. “Life inspired him, so he had to keep expressing himself, and that’s how I feel.”
Madonna released her self-titled debut album in 1983, and her latest album, “Rebel Heart,” earlier this year. She said the key to sticking around is her continual desire to inspire others.
“I don’t think there’s a time, a date, an expiration date for being creative,” she said. “I think you go until you don’t have any more to say.”
The pop icon will launch her Rebel Heart Tour on Sept. 9 in Montreal. The tour includes more than 60 shows across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
“The theme I really truly explore in this show more than anything is love and romance,” she said in a phone interview from her home in New York City last week. “I want people to walk out like they’re feeling inspired and like they’ve seen something they’ve never seen before (and) felt something they’ve never felt before.”
Comedian Amy Schumer, whose new movie “Trainwreck” opened impressively at No. 2 with $30.2 million last weekend, will open for three Madonna shows in New York.
“She’s a role model for women, and I am too, and I think it’s a good match,” said Madonna, who added that the idea to bring Schumer on board came from the singer’s management team. “I love her and … I just thought, ‘That’s interesting.’ (I’ll) try something new and different rather than the usual run-of-the-mill — have a band, have a DJ. It’s definitely a new thing. I hope it works — fingers crossed.”
Madonna says picking the set list for her upcoming tour has been hard, mainly because she wants to sing her newest songs but also satisfy her longtime, die-hard fans.
“I realize I have 32 years of other songs, so I have to pick and choose. I sit there for weeks and weeks and weeks trying to figure out which of my old catalogue I want to do,” she said. “It’s a puzzle that we have to put together ’cause thematically the songs — the old and the new — they have to go together; sonically they have to go together.”
She’s even picky about the costumes onstage.
“What people wear, from their footwear to the buttons on their jacket, is all very important to me,” she said.