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Madonna dishes out gin and kabbalah cocktails!

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Guests at Madonna’s Re-Invention tour launch party literally got a taste of the pop diva’s newly adopted religion, kabbalah, as she served them cocktail’s mixed with kabbalah water.
According to Ratethemusic.com, at the “American Life” singer’s party, guests were served with a cocktail called “Damn,” which was a mix of gin and soda lime. However, Madonna made sure that all the ice cubes in the drinks were made out of special kabbalah water.
source : newkerala.com

Madonna adopts Kabbalah and new wave of controversy

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The Jewish Madonna?
As the Material Girl well knows from her many incarnations, the path to spiritual provocation is marked with sacred signs.
On the road with her Re-invention World Tour, Madonna seemingly has moved from the New Testament to the Hebrew Bible, incorporating signs and symbols from Judaism and kabbalah, a mystical and esoteric study of the faith.
On a recent news-magazine show, she discussed her interest in kabbalah and how she has adopted a Hebrew name, Esther. She has worn a red string on her wrist to ward off the “evil eye,” and used sacred prayer accessories and symbolic Hebrew letters in music videos and concerts.
“What Madonna is doing ” whether or not she wants to do it ” is making certain aspects of Judaism more well known in the public,” said Rabbi Barry Gelman of United Orthodox Synagogues. “She is probably the anti-Joe Lieberman.”
As Gelman sees it, Lieberman is an example of Jewish values, and his 2000 vice presidential nomination raised public awareness about Judaism, including rituals of the Sabbath and the high holy days.
For some Houston-area rabbis, Madonna’s contribution as a Jewish representative is cause for concern. There’s the history of men; there’s Britney; there’s the nudity.
“If she were a woman of valor, that might be one issue,” said Rabbi Yakov Polatsek, executive director of TORCH, Torah Outreach Resource Center of Houston. “But she is Madonna.”
Madonna is a student of the Kabbalah Centre, a worldwide education organization with a center in Houston. The center does not require students to be Jewish, and the study can be incorporated into any faith, said Robin Davis, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles-based organization.
“The aims of the center are to help people navigate through the wisdom of kabbalah and to help them understand it and embrace it and help them incorporate it into their lives so their lives can be more meaningful,” she said.
Madonna has been a serious student for more than eight years, Davis said.
“This is not a trendy thing she has picked up as a whim for the moment,” she said.
But Gelman and other local rabbis are concerned that such study is rooted less in traditional Judaism than in New Age spirituality.
Rabbi Daniel Plotkin of Congregation Beth Tikvah in the Clear Lake area is a self-described child of the 1980s and owns Madonna’s album The Immaculate Collection ” a remnant from a different time and faith. Of course, he has not personally peered into the pop star’s thoughts and deeds, he said, but he doubts she is working on repentance, t’shubah in Hebrew.
Her interest, however, may have a silver lining, said Plotkin, who is leaving the synagogue for St. Louis next week.
“Certainly, anything that causes a young Jewish teenager or an adult to say to his parents or rabbi or her cantor, ‘I saw this. What is it?’ that can’t hurt,” he said. “But at the same time, it is important not to cheapen the value of it.”

Here’s a guide to the Jewish Madonna.
– Esther: A very important woman in Judaism. Esther has her own book of the Bible, and her story is the basis for the holiday Purim. She was a queen of Persia who revealed her Jewish identity to save the Jews within the kingdom from a plot to exterminate them.
– Tefillin: Worn for morning prayers, usually by Orthodox and Conservative Jewish men, as a reminder of the presence of God. Tefillin consists of two black leather boxes containing four portions of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. The boxes are attached to the head and to the arm with black leather straps.
Plotkin said he is familiar with Jewish feminist artists who have used symbols such as Tefillin in their work. But to use them in a video or concert is “an odd decision, at the least,” he said. Gelman doesn’t see it only as odd. “To use that in a pop concert or any way is highly offensive,” Gelman said.
– Kabbalah: The study and practice of a form of Jewish mysticism. The origins of kabbalah are disputed, Gelman said. Many date the development of kabbalah to the 11th or 12th century, Plotkin said. It became more widespread in the 13th century, especially in Spain, he said. According to Gelman, kabbalah isa secret branch of Judaism, and those who study it are supposed to be older than 40 ” some say male ” and must have extensively studied the Torah, the Talmud and many other Jewish texts before delving into the mystical practice.
“Kabbalah outside the rooted traditions of Judaism, kabbalah in a vacuum, is not real Jewish spirituality,” Gelman said. “When you have people who are studying kabbalah who don’t know the ABCs of Judaism, you have to really wonder what they are doing.”
– 72 names of God: A concept from kabbalah, Plotkin said. There are also 70 unpronounceable names of God. Those who seriously practice kabbalah meditate on the Hebrew letters that make up the names, reciting mantras, he said. “It is something you would do in a room alone or in the woods or a desert,” Plotkin said, “not on a stage at a rock concert.”
– Red string: Protection against the evil eye. It serves as a reminder to others not to think negative thoughts about the person wearing it, lest those thoughts reverberate and become bad luck, Polatsek said. Some say it protects the negative force of ill will from others.
source : Houston Chronicle

Vatican raps Madonna over Kabbalah

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The Vatican has been holding a special conference of international Catholic leaders to deal with the challenges that New Age spirituality poses to traditional Christian beliefs. Special attention was reportedly given to “kabbala as espoused by Madonna.”
The Catholic-born singer’s public involvement with the Los Angeles-based Kabbala Center, accused by some of being a cult-like distortion of Jewish mystical beliefs, has intensified in recent months. It has been reported that Madonna had decided to observe kashrut dietary restrictions, and not to perform on Friday nights (Shabbat eve). Last week, the entertainer announced that she was adopting “Esther” as an additional name in honor of the heroine of the Purim saga.
“I don’t go by the name of Esther, but yes, that is my Hebrew name. I chose it,” she told the ABC-TV news show 20/20. “I was named after my mother. My mother died when she was very young. I wanted to attach myself to another name. So I read about all the women in the Old Testament, and I love the story of Queen Esther.”
This week the singer released her third children’s book, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, about the travails of a Jewish family in 18th century Russia.
In the on again, off again saga of Madonna’s planned visit to Israel, the latest news according to a well-informed member of the local entertainment industry is that she will be coming – but in a private capacity.
“She’ll fly in when she’s somewhere in the region,” he said, “but she won’t be performing here.”
Madonna will be performing in Europe from mid-August as part of her new “Reinvention” tour.
source : jpost.com

Madonna steals the show at Kabbalah guru’s birthday bash!

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Instead of the birthday boy, it was Madonna who hogged the limelight at Rabbi Michael Berg’s 31st birthday bash.
According to New York Daily News,a host of celebrities came to wish The co-director of the Kabbalah center in a private room gathering at the kosher midtown restaurant Solo.
However it was Maddona, one of the most ardent followers of the cult who got the most attention, so much so that it even sidelined the host.
source : newkerala.com

Madonna and Gwyneth’s Kabbalah Fight

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Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna have allegedly had an argument after the actress refused to join the trendy Kabbalah religion.
Sources claim mother-of-two Madonna called Gwyneth as soon as she gave birth to baby Apple, insisting she join the Jewish faith, popular with the Hollywood jet-set.
But, according to Britain’s News of the World newspaper, the blonde beauty and her Coldplay husband, Chris Martin, refused Madonna’s plea.
A friend revealed to the paper: “Madonna barely congratulated Gwyneth on Apple before she was going on and on about Kabbalah. She said that now Gwyneth was a mom, the time was right for her to join. But Gwyneth just doesn’t want to get involved and told her that in no uncertain terms.”
Madonna has successfully converted a host of celebrities, including Britney Spears and Demi Moore, to the mystic Jewish faith.
source : BANG Showbiz

Madonna Interview : The Advocate (March 2012)

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Madonna - The Advocate / March 2012

Nearly 30 years into her reign as the greatest gay icon, Madonna is back in a big way with her new film, W.E., and her first studio album in four years, reminding us why so many adore her.

The temptation to apply layers of meaning to the story Madonna tells in her new film, the cryptically titled W.E., is irresistible.

The pop superstar’s second feature film as a director, W.E. is a tale of two women, two cultures, and two eras. Wallis Simpson was a real-life American socialite of the 1930s who was vilified for falling in love with England’s King Edward VIII; he abdicated the throne to marry the divorcée. Madonna’s movie attempts to reclaim Wallis’s image by turning a polarizing woman often perceived as a villain into a sympathetic figure.

And then there’s Wally Winthrop, the other woman — this one fictional — in New York City in the late 1990s, at a time when Simpson’s jewels and other possessions were being auctioned off for charity. Trapped in an abusive marriage that appeared to be fairy-tale perfect, Wally obsesses over Wallis, her bygone namesake, and turns to her for support.

Like Madonna’s best videos and music, W.E. is a pastiche of eras past and present, with a heavy emphasis on style, fashion, and design. Her presence is clearly felt. More oblique is the connection to Madonna’s own life. The movie depicts Wallis as a dramatically different person than she was in her private, tortured reality. Wally’s fantasy facade, concealing a darker truth, invites comparison to Madonna’s now-dissolved marriage to filmmaker Guy Ritchie and raises the question of whether Madonna feels as vilified as Wallis.

“I was intrigued,” Madonna says of the royals. She had a vague awareness of Wallis but only really got to know her story when she moved to England. “Like Wallis Simpson, I felt like an outsider. I thought, Life is so different here, and I’m used to being a New Yorker, and I have to learn how to drive on the other side of the road. Suddenly, I found myself living out in an English country house and trying to find my way in this world, so I decided to really take it on and do research and find out about English history and learn about the royal family.”

Madonna read every book she could find about Simpson and her time. She became obsessed with the tragic notion that a woman then was only as good as the man she would marry. “The idea of making a choice for love wasn’t really part of their world,” says Madonna. “The fact that they eventually found each other and were willing to jump into this fishbowl of scandal and rile people up, even though Wallis knew, as she says in the film, that she would become the most hated woman in the world” — that’s what captivated Madonna.



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Madonna - The Advocate / March 2012

While she doesn’t claim the title “most hated” for herself, she feels a connection to Simpson. “I mean, I certainly don’t engage [with the media] as much as I did,” she says. “When people are writing about you in the beginning and they’re saying nice things, you’re like, ‘Oh!’ You feel this lift of energy. Then they say bad things, and of course, you’re affected by that too.”

Madonna spent a lot of time caring about the bad, but she claims to have moved on. “I don’t really dwell on it anymore. I used to be kind of fixated on it and think, It’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair, but it is what it is, and I just have to get on with my life.”

But Madonna’s passion for this topic belies that resolute attitude: “If you are threatened by me as a female or you think I’m doing too much or saying too much or being too much of a provocateur, then no matter how great of a song I write or how amazing of a film I make, you’re not going to allow yourself to enjoy it, because you’re going to be too entrenched in being angry with me or putting me in my place or punishing me.”

Meeting Madonna in person can be a little jarring. For someone so larger-than-life, she’s surprisingly petite. Sitting down and launching into conversation, she is disarmingly engaged, and she slouches a bit, like any mere mortal. But she’s not, of course. A burly man is guarding the door of the suite at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel where she has settled in for the afternoon. And she’s dressed eccentrically — black leather fingerless Chanel gloves cover her hands, silver bracelets of varying shapes run up both forearms (and, predictably, a red kabbalah string), and a royal blue asymmetrical shift hugs her taut figure.

Her experience of feeling burned by the press has made her particularly deft at dodging questions, discussing what she wants to discuss. But after a few tangential monologues about duchesses and dowagers, the most famous woman in the world offers a bit of insight into the connection she feels to Wallis Simpson. “It’s intriguing because we are raised to believe in the fairy-tale kind of love, that we are going to be swept off our feet by … you know, in both of our cases, Mr. Right, and our knight in shining armor is going to come along and save us, pick us up, and put us on the back of his beautiful steed, and we’re going to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.” She pauses. “God knows, that doesn’t happen.”

Now she’s on a roll. “There are so many things about her. The fact that she said he left his prison” — Madonna’s talking about King Edward feeling imprisoned by the monarchy — “only to incarcerate me in a prison of my own.” And with that, Madonna answers the question. And doesn’t. “In spite of it all, I think she lived her life in a very dignified manner. And she wasn’t a victim.”



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Madonna - The Advocate / March 2012

When Madonna first became famous, almost 30 years ago, she was defined by that very quality: She was no victim.
For the gay men who were there in the beginning, when she was shaking it on the dance floors of New York City, the men who reveled in her early hits, Madonna was the ultimate expression of in-your-face sexuality. She was self-possessed and uninhibited. She dressed up for the party, and she took it all off for the after-party.

Her impact wasn’t limited to gay men. Madonna boldly toyed with transgender imagery on a grand stage: She co-opted the Harlem drag balls for the “Vogue” video, she featured trans people and cross-dressers of all stripes in her banned “Justify My Love” video, and her coffee-table tome, Sex, posited couples in all sorts of configurations. Her high profile are-they-or-aren’t-they friendships with such queer women as Sandra Bernhard, Rosie O’Donnell, and Ingrid Casares as well as her promotion of bisexual artists like Meshell Ndegeocello helped to take queer sensibility into the mainstream.

In the midst of the AIDS crisis, when fear was rampant and gay men were dying at a horrifying rate, Madonna was among the first to take a stand, to say, as she did in the tour documentary Truth or Dare, that it’s OK to be a gay man who is openly sexual.

“That it’s OK to be gay, period,” Madonna says emphatically before launching into an impassioned recounting of her experience of the AIDS onslaught. “I was extremely affected by it. I remember lying on a bed with a friend of mine who was a musician, and he had been diagnosed with this kind of cancer, but nobody knew what it was. He was this beautiful man, and I watched him kind of waste away, and then another gay friend, and then another gay friend, and then another gay friend. They were all artists and all truly special and dear to me.”

In retrospect, Madonna sees that as the moment when her sense of self became entangled with that of gay men. “I saw how people treated them differently,” she says. “I saw the prejudices, and I think probably I got that confused with, intertwined with, you know, maybe things that…ways that people treated me differently.”
As Madonna reinvented herself, gay fans hung on through thick and thin, through Who’s That Girl and Body of Evidence, weathering reported flings with Dennis Rodman and Vanilla Ice. Fans bowed down at the sight of her as Evita and shored up support upon hearing Ray of Light, only to have to endure Swept Away and American Life and that British accent. It’s been a bumpy ride for Madonna fans.

Perhaps Madonna wasn’t the only one to “confuse” her personal treatment with that of gay men. The feeling was mutual. As she exploded in popularity Madonna became identified with the collective gay male sense of self. So when she moved on, devoting less and less time to her gay compatriots, many felt a twinge of abandonment. That’s when bitching about Madonna became the great gay pastime.

“I never left them,” insists Madonna, echoing a lyric from Evita. “When you’re single, you certainly have more time to socialize and hang out with your gay friends, but then you get married and you have a husband and you have children, and your husband wants you to spend time with him. I’m not married anymore, but I have four kids, and I don’t have a lot of time for socializing.” She’s been back in New York for two years, after splitting with Ritchie.
“I hope nobody’s taking that personally. It certainly was not a conscious decision. As it stands, most of my friends in England are gay. But I’m back,” she says, adding reassuringly, “Never fear.”

© The Advocate

Madonna & Katy Perry on the Power of Pop : V Magazine (Summer 2014)

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Madonna - V Magazine / Summer 2014

Bow down to two of pop’s biggest icons as Madonna and Katy Perry unapologetically demonstrate the power move that have taked them to the top. But millions of albums sold and the love of billions aren’t all the duo have in common. They rap about tour strategies, religious upbringings, and what it means to rule the world.

Madonna: Have you recovered from the photo shoot? Because I have a sore neck.

Katy Perry: I was sore in my upper body and my butt area from all that squatting.

Madonna: It’s good to be sore in your butt. My neck is sore from that wonderful moment when I was sucking on your heel. I kept thinking, How many bacteria do you think there are on the heel of a shoe? Then I thought, There’s no point. Do they have Purell mouthwash?

Katy Perry: Why don’t they have that? I feel like I want to live in a Purell world. This sounds very first-world problem, but we meet so many people a night on tour, and you never want to cancel a show because you caught a cold.

Madonna: Yeah. It’s something I think about. I load up on B12 shots and things like that.

Katy Perry: I actually have a B12 shot sitting outside my room, ready to jab me in the butt.

Madonna: I think you should learn to do it on your own, so you don’t have to deal with strangers coming into your dressing room. What you do is you just turn. I put my knee up on a chair and put all my weight onto the leg I’m not shooting it into and squeeze the fat together so that it goes into the fatty tissue.

Katy Perry: Right. Madonna and Katy Perry shoot up! Yeah!

Madonna: Let’s face it, the person who has the least amount of fun on tour is the artist. Because after the show everybody else can go out and party and not worry if they get a cold or whatever, but the artist has to go home and recover and prepare for the next one. So speaking of being on tour, it’s such a massive undertaking for me, but when I saw you the other day, you looked so chilled and relaxed and beautiful. A couple of weeks before my production rehearsals I look and feel like a truck ran me over.

Katy Perry: Oh, thank you, but I look like that now.

Madonna: (laughs) I want to know what your secret is. Because you didn’t look like that.

Katy Perry: Now I definitely look a little bit stressed. I’m actually sitting on the couch and I’m into my fourth day of production rehearsals. I’ve already ordered a doctor.

Madonna: (laughs) It is the ultimate immune destroyer, being on tour. Aside from long hours and dancing and singing, you’re also in places where it’s freezing cold or insanely hot or dry or the air-conditioning is crazy…

Katy Perry: Don’t do AC…

Madonna: I don’t either. It drives everybody insane.

Katy Perry: I’ve done some preventive stuff. I went to Chinese doctor about a year ago and all the vitamins I take are curated to my blood. And then the thing that I do that I really believe in is Transcedental Meditation.

Madonna: Really? I didn’t know that you meditated.



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Madonna - V Magazine / Summer 2014

Katy Perry: Yeah. I do TM, and it saves my life.

Madonna: And you do it in morning or at night?

Katy Perry: I usually do it in morning. You’re supposed to do it twice, but I just wake up and plop right into it. The trick is to do it before you look at your phone, because once you look at your phone, you’re done.

Madonna: Yeah. Good idea. I used to do it, but I would sometimes fall back asleep.

Katy Perry: But that means you’re already exhausted. I feel a hundred times better when I do iy.

Madonna: Do you do two run-through a day?

Katy Perry: Not every day, if I’m being honest, but we definitely do one, and a lot of clean up.

Madonna: But you’re also doing a lot of tech stuff, so there’s probably a lot of stop and start.

Katy Perry: I’m doing lights. I’m doing video. I’m doing edits. I’m picking my next single.

Madonna: Oh my good. It’s too much. It’s just too much.

Katy Perry: Sometimes you wish you were a girl group, so you could delegate more, you know?

Madonna: Yeah. It’s kind of like being a single perent. (laughs)

Katy Perry: Yeah, I can imagine. You’ve got a lot of kids. They all have different attitudes.

Madonna: Oh yeah. We all went to see the New York City Ballet last night. It was fun to see my children’s reactions to ballet and the theater in general.

Katy Perry: Who liked it the most?

Madonna: Lola. She had ballet and dance training and could appreciate the discipline of everything.

Katy Perry: And I’m sure she has the understanding and the consciousness to really be able to love that kind of approach.

Madonna: Yeah. Totally. So getting back to the rehearsals and the process, the fact that you even have the patience to do the interview is amazing to me, because when I start doing rehearsals and my manager comes to me to stop for a photo shoot or an interview, I’m like, “Get out! Get out of here!”

Katy Perry: That’s what I did last night… I never said that in my life. I’ve never blown off Madonna.

Madonna: I get it. I’m sure you’re very involved with your lighting design and your rear-screen projections and the costumes. All of it is so time-consuming.

Katy Perry: Oh yeah. I’m picking the shoes for dancers!

Madonna: Of course you are. You have to. You can’t leave that up to other people, because then when you see them on stage and you don’t like them, it’s too late and you have no one to blame but yourself.

Katy Perry: Do you have little things that you carry around for protection? Like, I have crystals and little tchotchkes around my dressing room.

Madonna: Yes, I do. I carry 22 volumes of the Zohar with me everywhere.

Katy Perry: Oh wow.

Madonna: That’s one thing that I do. I’ve been studying Kabbalah for 18 years. And I feel like it protects me. So wherever I go and they set up my dressing room, I have a bookshelf with the Zohar. But I also take miniature copies of one of them and my crew guys tape them up inside of every lift and any mechanism that has potential to fail.

Katy Perry: Really ?

Madonna: Yes. I’m so superstitious and don’t trust stages. You know, people are human, they make mistakes sometimes. They don’t set things up properly. So I drive everyone insane, because if there are mechanisms and moving parts in the show, I make them test everything and show it to me during the sound checks.



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Madonna - V Magazine / Summer 2014

Katy Perry: All the serials and stuff.

Madonna: Absolutely everything, and I drive people nuts. But, you know, that’s manifestation of OCD and just having things go wrong in the past and having people get hurt. I can’t afford that.

Katy Perry: I’m so OCD I want these letters in alphabetical order. C-D-O would be my preference.

Madonna: Details.

Katy Perry: God is in the details. I really appreciate people being the best they can be in whatever field they’re in.

Madonna: Speaking of people who are the best. You have the best dresser. I love Tony.

Katy Perry: Oh, Tony! He’s such a great, hard worker. I don’t know if Lisa was ever on tour with you as well? Because he brought her.

Madonna: They’re a great team. I hope they’re both dressing you in your quick change. You’re in very good hands with those two.

Katy Perry: I love that that’s exactly what they do and I can yell at them and at the end of the night there are no hard feelings.

Madonna: They got thick skin. I’ve had some major temper tantrums in my dressing room.

Katy Perry: Having your flesh zipped up in your boots before you’re supposed to go act spritely on stage is the worst thing ever.

Madonna: Yes. So many things can go wrong. It’s all about the quick change. It’s kind of like in Formula One when the drivers stop and the crew takes the car apart and then puts it back together again. You better hope and pray that they do it in right order.

Katy Perry: That’s great analogy.

Madonna: Okay, who’s your director ? Do you work with the same person every time ?

Katy Perry: Yeah, I do. His name is Baz Halpin. He did Pink, Taylor Swift, Cher.

Madonna: Pink’s show was great.

Katy Perry: Amazing. That’s excruciatingly hard looking show. I don’t know how she does it.

Madonna: She’s a little toughie. She’s an athlete.

Katy Perry: When did you start dancing ?

Madonna: When I was in junior high. I’m sure that’s what saved me. My dance training and my super catholic upbringing. The combination of discipline and rigor and stick-to-the-plan and don’t be a flake.

Katy Perry: Are you always on time then ?

Madonna: No, no. Unfortunately. I expect everyone else to be, of course.

Katy Perry: Sure! I understand.

Madonna: But I’m only a few hours late. (laughs) I want to be on time. I try to be on time.

Katy Perry: There are many variables.

Madonna: Well, when you have four children, everything goes out of window. They slow me down enormously with their surprises. But in terms of my show, we got major aggro from my management for being late. But I have this set amount of time between sound check and the show. I need exactly three hours to get ready.

Katy Perry: That’s about as much time as I need. Even if you are a little bit late, it’s not like you’re sitting backstage drinking champagne and watching your favorite TV show.

Madonna: Right. I’m not partying. I’m not being frivolous or lazy. there’s no time to waste.

Katy Perry: Right.

Madonna: So… the thing about touring is that it’s the one thing left that nobody can mess with. People can download your music and you can make a video and create a whole new version of yourself, but when you get on tour, you have to pay your piper. When you go on stage, you have to do it, and there’s no faking. You could lip-synch, that’s true, but I feel like there’s something about live performance where it’s the one thing left for an artist that’s living on the edge and there’s no way to cheat it. It’s the one risk we’re still allowed to take. Do you feel like that too ?

Katy Perry: I feel like that’s where the true connection with music comes from. I still believe that you reap what you sow on tour. If you’re touring, you’re really planting personal seeds in the fans. I’m very one-on-one.

Madonna: Do you stop during your sets sometimes and talk to them ?

Katy Perry: Oh, yeah. There’s nothing more boring than an artist coming to a city and saying “Hi, City Center” and that’s the only thing they say. I like to go outside the palace walls, put on a hat, get on a bike. being a real observer and ingesting the vibe of a city so that when I walk on the stage I have something to say. Otherwise it feels like you’re just using the fans in some ways.

Madonna: Yeah, I think it’s super important. Does it bother you that you can’t just think about making music and being an artist? You have to think about branding and selling products as well?

Katy Perry: I am a healthy percentage left- and right- brained, so I can dream dreams and be very pragmatic and that has server me well. Everything has to pass through my eyes and my ears, but I think that’s why in a time of short-span pop-up careers I’ve had a longer one than most people would have bet on for me.

Madonna: If you get down to betting, no one’s going to bet on you. Unfortunately we don’t live in a world where people support or encourage longevity or people doing well. You have to manufacture that yourself.

Katy Perry: I’ve done things for creative reasons and also to make sure that I can have the type of tour that I want. I have to pay the bills, because there are a lot of them to pay. We’ve got over 120 people on this tour, not counting our openers. I always say, I’m the biggest domino and if I fall then everybody falls.

Madonna: It’s a huge responsibility, when you think about how it used to be and how it is now.

Madonna - V Magazine / Summer 2014

Katy Perry: It seems everybody expects so much transparency these days. Like when someone at the photo shoot was talking about Google contact lenses, I just thought, I’m never leaving my house when that thing comes out.

Madonna: It’s too much. I don’t want everybody to know where I am all of the time. I don’t understand people who say “I’m here now” and how they leave bread crumbs and say “I’m in the city and now I’m on the plane. Now I’ve landed.” Like, Okay, alright, stop telling everybody.

Katy Perry: We get it!

Madonna: I don’t want to see the inside of the plane you’re on.

Katy Perry: We live in a really self-important time. People want complete transparency, but I don’t think we understand that when we get it there are all kinds of faults that I don’t think we want to see. It’s weird saying this, because I like to be an encouragement and a light, but everyone is in a state of self-indulgence. I think it’s a by-product of social media. Everybody is encouraged to…

Madonna: …to just put their shit out there.

Katy Perry: Yeah. I’m at fault for it too, so it’s hard to even comment about it.

Madonna: We all are, to a certain extent. The internet is the greatest invention of all time. It’s incredibly helpful and you can start revolutions with it, but it’s also absolutely the most dangerous thing in the world. The same amount of darkness and the same amount of light are in the same place.

Katy Perry: All just made out of zeros and ones.

Madonna: (laughs) Okay, another question. Can you think of situations or people that inspire you or inspired you to begin with or that keep you going? It could be anyone from your parents to some artist or a teacher.

Katy Perry: An artist? Oooh.

Madonna: My big inspiration when I first started out was teachers. Teachers that believed in me, or painters, or writers, or people who don’t have anything to do with the business that I am in.

Katy Perry: I would say it would be the love of music that I had when I was really young. It was like finding another language. Music touched me, like I had someone that I could finally speak to like a therapist or a friend. It was finding solace in lyrics.

Madonna: So you found words…

Katy Perry: Words are so powerful to me. There was a real connectedness with lyrics, so I picked up a guitar at 13 and started writing my way then.

Madonna: So I imagine reading and writing were important to you when you were growing up. That method of transporting, transmuting, transmitting information.

Katy Perry: Reading and writing were important, but I didn’t have the formal education to continue that into the end of my teenage years, when things were supposed to be really developing. I was homeschooled sometimes. I was always being taken out of school. I was in quote-unquote Christian schools, which weren’t always focused on the education. I never really went to high school.

Madonna: You didn’t? You didn’t go to high school, but you were homeschooled to get your GED?

Katy Perry: Yeah, I only ever went to one semester of my freshman year of high school, but now more than ever I’m thirsty for education in any way, shape, or form that it comes. I’m soaking up information constantly. I want to know more. I never want to stop learning.

Madonna: I think you have to, in order to stay relevant and continue to be creative. I’m a big ballbuster about people reading and asking questions. I don’t see how there can be any other way. It’s about information and digging deeper and investigating. Pending back the layers. Speaking of Christianity. Like where it started or how it began.

Katy Perry: My dad is very Pentecostal and emotional and excited and dramatic with his preaching, but my mother studied at Berkeley and speaks French. The approach with her style was more educational, and I was always more drawn to that. I liked knowing the true hard facts, because it took more than just the idea of faith for me. I wanted more.

Madonna: There needs to be a balance of both, and I think that works in all areas of life. You need the heart and the brain to be married. At a certain point you have to have faith. You can’t explain everything. Some things are inexplicable. You need to intellectually understand things, and I think that’s a big problem with religion. The idea of religion and science. People feel like there has to be a separation.

Katy Perry: No. I wish they would be married.

Madonna: I agree. I think if they were married and if people did understand that there was an interface between religion and science, we wouldn’t be in the situations that we’re constantly in. Wars over religion. I believe that the evolution of our species can coexist with the story of Genesis, Adam and Eve.

Katy Perry: When people don’t know the facts, they feel inferior and get defensive. Then they react in a way where they’re more passionate about something they don’t understand.

Madonna: I agree. So are your parents supportive of your work?

Katy Perry: It’s very strange dichotomy. They love me and support me, of course. But I think they do a turn bit of a blind eye and don’t necessarily agree with everything I do. Thankfully we have come to a wonderful place of agreeing to disagree.

Madonna - V Magazine / Summer 2014

Madonna: Yeah, that’s where I am with my dad too. He spent many years just freaking out. Being a very traditional Italian Catholic father and not really understanding why I had to do the things I had to do. I would always say, “Dad, I’m an artist, I have to express myself. You don’t understand.” I think he finally come to terms with it. It’s only taken 30 years. He’s like, Do you have to simulate masturbation on the bed? Do you have to? Yes, Dad, I do.

Katy Perry:I haven’t gone that far yet, but maybe under your great mentorship I might reach that point.

Madonna: [laughs] Well, one doesn’t discover these things until becoming a parent. Now I have huge amounts of admiration, respect, and sympathy for my father. So the last question, which is kind of connected. Obviously you were the curator for Art for Freedom for a month, which I hugely appreciate. I don’t know how much of a dent it is making on the world, but I do believe that we are responsible as artists to not only reflect what’s going on in the world but also to shape it. I believe that wholeheartedly. Do you agree ?

Katy Perry: I do. I think that it’s something that you realize along the way. Sometimes that’s the initiative for becoming an artist, and then sometimes you are… what’s the word… a messenger, and you don’t even know it.

Madonna: You’re the channel.

Katy Perry: Yeah, you’re channeling and you’re not conscious of it and then suddenly you become conscious of it. I feel that my music is more on the inspiring-joyful-light front. Not light as in lighthearted, but bringing light to a dark world. I believe that we can offer light, love, inspiration, and equality through these songs.

Madonna: I think of all the art forms music is the most accessible and healing and universal.

Katy Perry: One hundred percent healing.

Madonna: Alright, let’s end on that note. The healing energy and capacity of music. Whilst looking at pictures of the heel of your shoe in my mouth. I love the paradox. I really enjoyed working with you on the photo shoot. People always expect when two divas get together that there might be weird vibes or a strange competitiveness, but this was nice and easy and fun.

Katy Perry: If you ever come to the show, there’s a little wink for you. I’m paying my dues!

Madonna: I’m looking forward to it.

© V Magazine

“Truth or Dare ?” by Madonna : Harper’s Bazaar (November 2013)

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Madonna - Harper's Bazaar / November 2013

Madonna’s Back. But she never went away. After 30 years of ruling pop, she tells the truth about daring.

Truth or Dare ?

That is a catchphrase that’s often associated with me. I made a documentary film with this title, and it has stuck to me like flypaper ever since. It’s a fun game to play if you’re in the mood to take risks, and usually I am. However, you have to play with a clever group of people. Otherwise you’ll find yourself French-kissing everyone in the room or giving blow jobs to Evian bottles!

People usually choose “truth” when it’s their turn because you can tell a lie about yourself and no one will be the wiser, but when you are dared to do something, you have to actually do it. And doing something daring is a rather scary proposition for most people. Yet for some strange reason, it has become my raison d’être.

If I can’t be daring in my work or the way I live my life, then I don’t really see the point of being on this planet.

That may sound rather extremist, but growing up in a suburb in the Midwest was all I needed to understand that the world was divided into two categories: people who followed the status quo and played it safe, and people who threw convention out the window and danced to the beat of a different drum. I hurled myself into the second category, and soon discovered that being a rebel and not conforming doesn’t make you very popular. In fact, it does the opposite. You are viewed as a suspicious character. A troublemaker. Someone dangerous.

When you’re 15, this can feel a little uncomfortable. Teenagers want to fit in on one hand and be rebellious on the other. Drinking beer and smoking weed in the parking lot of my high school was not my idea of being rebellious, because that’s what everybody did. And I never wanted to do what everybody did. I thought it was cooler to not shave my legs or under my arms. I mean, why did God give us hair there anyways? Why didn’t guys have to shave there? Why was it accepted in Europe but not in America? No one could answer my questions in a satisfactory manner, so I pushed the envelope even further. I refused to wear makeup and tied scarves around my head like a Russian peasant. I did the opposite of what all the other girls were doing, and I turned myself into a real man repeller. I dared people to like me and my nonconformity.



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Madonna - Harper's Bazaar / November 2013

That didn’t go very well. Most people thought I was strange. I didn’t have many friends; I might not have had any friends. But it all turned out good in the end, because when you aren’t popular and you don’t have a social life, it gives you more time to focus on your future. And for me, that was going to New York to become a REAL artist. To be able to express myself in a city of nonconformists. To revel and shimmy and shake in a world and be surrounded by daring people.

New York wasn’t everything I thought it would be. It did not welcome me with open arms. The first year, I was held up at gunpoint. Raped on the roof of a building I was dragged up to with a knife in my back, and had my apartment broken into three times. I don’t know why; I had nothing of value after they took my radio the first time.

The tall buildings and the massive scale of New York took my breath away. The sizzling-hot sidewalks and the noise of the traffic and the electricity of the people rushing by me on the streets was a shock to my neurotransmitters. I felt like I had plugged into another universe. I felt like a warrior plunging my way through the crowds to survive. Blood pumping through my veins, I was poised for survival. I felt alive.

But I was also scared shitless and freaked out by the smell of piss and vomit everywhere, especially in the entryway of my third-floor walk-up.

And all the homeless people on the street. This wasn’t anything I prepared for in Rochester, Michigan. Trying to be a professional dancer, paying my rent by posing nude for art classes, staring at people staring at me naked. Daring them to think of me as anything but a form they were trying to capture with their pencils and charcoal. I was defiant. Hell-bent on surviving. On making it. But it was hard and it was lonely, and I had to dare myself every day to keep going. Sometimes I would play the victim and cry in my shoe box of a bedroom with a window that faced a wall, watching the pigeons shit on my windowsill. And I wondered if it was all worth it, but then I would pull myself together and look at a postcard of Frida Kahlo taped to my wall, and the sight of her mustache consoled me. Because she was an artist who didn’t care what people thought. I admired her. She was daring. People gave her a hard time. Life gave her a hard time. If she could do it, then so could I.

When you’re 25, it’s a little bit easier to be daring, especially if you are a pop star, because eccentric behavior is expected from you. By then I was shaving under my arms, but I was also wearing as many crucifixes around my neck as I could carry, and telling people in interviews that I did it because I thought Jesus was sexy. Well, he was sexy to me, but I also said it to be provocative. I have a funny relationship with religion. I’m a big believer in ritualistic behavior as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody. But I’m not a big fan of rules. And yet we cannot live in a world without order. But for me, there is a difference between rules and order. Rules people follow without question. Order is what happens when words and actions bring people together, not tear them apart. Yes, I like to provoke; it’s in my DNA. But nine times out of 10, there’s a reason for it.



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Madonna - Harper's Bazaar / November 2013

At 35, I was divorced and looking for love in all the wrong places. I decided that I needed to be more than a girl with gold teeth and gangster boyfriends. More than a sexual provocateur imploring girls not to go for second-best baby. I began to search for meaning and a real sense of purpose in life. I wanted to be a mother, but I realized that just because I was a freedom fighter didn’t mean I was qualified to raise a child. I decided I needed to have a spiritual life. That’s when I discovered Kabbalah.

They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears, and I’m afraid that cliché applied to me as well. That was the next daring period of my life. In the beginning I sat at the back of the classroom. I was usually the only female. Everyone looked very serious. Most of the men wore suits and kippahs. No one noticed me and no one seemed to care, and that suited me just fine. What the teacher was saying blew my mind. Resonated with me. Inspired me. We were talking about God and heaven and hell, but I didn’t feel like religious dogma was being shoved down my throat. I was learning about science and quantum physics. I was reading Aramaic. I was studying history. I was introduced to an ancient wisdom that I could apply to my life in a practical way. And for once, questions and debate were encouraged. This was my kind of place.

When the world discovered I was studying Kabbalah, I was accused of joining a cult. I was accused of being brainwashed. Of giving away all my money. I was accused of all sorts of crazy things. If I became a Buddhist—put an altar in my house and started chanting “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo”—no one would have bothered me at all. I mean no disrespect to Buddhists, but Kabbalah really freaked people out. It still does. Now, you would think that studying the mystical interpretation of the Old Testament and trying to understand the secrets of the universe was a harmless thing to do. I wasn’t hurting anybody. Just going to class, taking notes in my spiral notebook, contemplating my future. I was actually trying to become a better person.

For some reason, that made people nervous. It made people mad. Was I doing something dangerous? It forced me to ask myself, Is trying to have a relationship with God daring? Maybe it is.

Madonna - Harper's Bazaar / November 2013

When I was 45, I was married again, with two children and living in England. I consider moving to a foreign country to be a very daring act. It wasn’t easy for me. Just because we speak the same language doesn’t mean we speak the same language. I didn’t understand that there was still a class system. I didn’t understand pub culture. I didn’t understand that being openly ambitious was frowned upon. Once again I felt alone. But I stuck it out and I found my way, and I grew to love English wit, Georgian architecture, sticky toffee pudding, and the English countryside. There is nothing more beautiful than the English countryside.

Then I decided that I had an embarrassment of riches and that there were too many children in the world without parents or families to love them. I applied to an international adoption agency and went through all the bureaucracy, testing, and waiting that everyone else goes through when they adopt. As fate would have it, in the middle of this process a woman reached out to me from a small country in Africa called Malawi, and told me about the millions of children orphaned by AIDS. Before you could say “Zikomo Kwambiri,” I was in the airport in Lilongwe heading to an orphanage in Mchinji, where I met my son David. And that was the beginning of another daring chapter of my life. I didn’t know that trying to adopt a child was going to land me in another shit storm. But it did. I was accused of kidnapping, child trafficking, using my celebrity muscle to jump ahead in the line, bribing government officials, witchcraft, you name it. Certainly I had done something illegal!

This was an eye-opening experience. A real low point in my life. I could get my head around people giving me a hard time for simulating masturbation onstage or publishing my Sex book, even kissing Britney Spears at an awards show, but trying to save a child’s life was not something I thought I would be punished for. Friends tried to cheer me up by telling me to think of it all as labor pains that we all have to go through when we give birth. This was vaguely comforting. In any case, I got through it. I survived.

When I adopted Mercy James, I put my armor on. I tried to be more prepared. I braced myself. This time I was accused by a female Malawian judge that because I was divorced, I was an unfit mother. I fought the supreme court and I won. It took almost another year and many lawyers. I still got the shit kicked out of me, but it didn’t hurt as much. And looking back, I do not regret one moment of the fight.

One of the many things I learned from all of this: If you aren’t willing to fight for what you believe in, then don’t even enter the ring.

Madonna - Harper's Bazaar / November 2013

Ten years later, here I am, divorced and living in New York. I have been blessed with four amazing children. I try to teach them to think outside the box. To be daring. To choose to do things because they are the right thing to do, not because everybody else is doing them. I have started making films, which is probably the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done. I am building schools for girls in Islamic countries and studying the Qur’an. I think it is important to study all the holy books. As my friend Yaman always tells me, a good Muslim is a good Jew, and a good Jew is a good Christian, and so forth. I couldn’t agree more. To some people this is a very daring thought.

As life goes on (and thank goodness it has), the idea of being daring has become the norm for me. Of course, this is all about perception because asking questions, challenging people’s ideas and belief systems, and defending those who don’t have a voice have become a part of my everyday life. In my book, it is normal.

In my book, everyone is doing something daring. Please open this book. I dare you.

by Madonna

© Harper’s Bazaar

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