In her first interview for Out, the most celebrated pop star explains it all — or at least the gays, the tour, the hot new video, and daughter Lourdes as a homo-spotter.
“I’m wearing a full-lengt mohair coat over my beaded dress, and 3 1/2-inch heels.”
That’s Madonna answering my creepy question. “What are you wearing?” The Queen of Pop. ultimate survivor, and gay icon has just called from London. “Are you really wearing a beaded dress and heels? Or is that just for me?”
“Honey, everything I do is for you. I made this video [“Sorry”] for you!” That little exchange is typical of the relationship I’ve had with Madonna over the many years I’ve interviewed her for different publications. She’s not so daunting once you get past the fact that you are talking to Madonna. She’s warm without projecting a phony intimacy, funny, gracious–even if the situation might warrant otherwise. I always come away from every encounter feeling oddly protective. Though her fame has reached near-mythic status, she is really a good girl trying to make sense of her life, tend to her family, and satisfy her restless artistic instincts as well as the demands of her fans. At any rate, this has been my Madonna experience over the past t6 years. To others who have found her less tractable? Leave her to heaven.
We’re speaking on the eve of the premiere of her new music video for “Sorry” as she continues once again to ride the crest of her latest international success. Confessions on a Dance Floor, released late last year, rocketed to number 1 in 29 countries, and has already sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. After the relative disappointment of her 2003 album, American Life (despite a killer single, “Hollywood,” and a fabulously over-the-top accompanying video), the unqualified hit status of Confessions is rich in satisfaction, even for the likes of Madonna. She even admitted that when word reached her that the album debuted at number 1 in the United States, she cried.
“Sorry’ is an amazing song. I think ifs kind of a gay anthem for…
Spurned lovers! But all spurned lovers. I dont think it is necessarily gay. But I don’t mind that gay embrace–when have I ever?
Although Confessions was recorded before your horse-riding accident, the promotion and your public appearances came after. You seem almost renewed in your enthusiasm ?
In many ways that is the correct observation. Being so physically immobilized… I had never been injured before, strangely enough, considering all my years of dancing. But to find myself on my back, without the use of my left arm, my upper body and shoulder, and to be in so much pain, for, like, more than a month, it gives you a fresh perspective on life, doesn’t it? You lie in bed making your bargains with God: “I’ll never be pointlessly depressed again… I’ll never be ungrateful… I’m never going to complain.”
And have you lived up to your promises?
[laughs] Well, I sure try. But I was trying all that before the accident. Basically, I found a new gratitude for the fact that I can do what I do and I have the strength I have. The accident fueled my energy and my desire to dance and to connect with people, and to be in a positive frame of mind–and to take the people with me!
Speaking of “the people,” Evita-
If only I was there to slap you!
You are a modest mother and wife now–
Oh. such a slap!
You don’t party or go clubbing, so how do you get into the mind of club kids and keep up musically?
That’s why Stuart Price comes in handy. He is a DJ, and he produced Confessions, and he is always sending me stuff. We send music to each other via the Internet, trade information that way. He keeps my ear to the ground. He put my iPod together. which I listen to at the gym. Mostly remixes–Gwen Stefani, Depeche Mode. And a lot of my own remixes.