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Madonna scored three awards at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas last night, May 19th.
I couldn’t be happier for her - she truly deserved the recognition on those three categories: Top Touring Artist, Top Dance Artist and Top Dance Album with MDNA.
The MDNA Tour was the top grossing tour of 2012 (it also became the second highest grossing tour by a solo artist in history, behind another Madonna tour). As a dance music artist, all the singles off of her latest record went to the #1 position on the Billboard dance charts. The album itself (MDNA) became the best selling dance record of 2012.
In other words: no one else could have taken those awards home besides Madonna. It’s good to see the industry recognizing it, especially in this day and age, where awards are exchanged for favors (usually in the form of “live performances”).
Congrats to Madonna, and everybody who made the MDNA Tour the top tour of the year.
If you don’t get the joke, watch the following video:
Rumor has it that one of the reasons why ARTPOP has been delayed for (what will soon be) a year, is that Lady Gaga’s management is worried she will not be able to cope with questions about Born This Way and Madonna - they want people to forget it ever happened.
People close to the singer said that “Lady Gaga gets very frustrated with comparisons with Madonna.” They added that Lady Gaga is being coached on how to dodge questions about Madonna and not look bothered or annoyed.
In fact, reporters who managed to interview the singer before her fateful Born This Way Ball tour got cancelled, recently revealed that they were
politely rudely informed not to ask Lady Gaga any question related to Madonna.
According to a TV producer from Globo network in Brazil, Alvaro Junior (a reporter from TV show Fantastico) was asked not to ask anything regarding the comments Madonna made on the Born This Way/Express Yourself comparisons, otherwise his interview with Gaga would be “immediately over.”
In case you have been under a rock, the biggest hit Lady Gaga had on the news in 2012 was a comment made by Madonna: “it feels reductive” said the singer when asked about the comparisons between their songs.
One thing is fore sure: Lady Gaga is not the kind of woman who avoids free publicity - she wore a meat dress, for Christ’s sake! Gaga goes out of her way to get publicity by using other people’s names: she once said Madonna e-mailed her, approving of Born This Way - which was later denied by Madonna’s publicist. Lady Gaga also said Michael Jackson invited her to open his shows in London before he died. This, also, has never been confirmed by Michael Jackson’s people. The funny thing is: Michael Jackson died less than three weeks before his first concert date - if Gaga had been invited to open for his shows, logic says that it would have been announced by then, three weeks before opening night. But it never was.
Considering how desperate for (any kind of) publicity Lady Gaga is, one would think she would be okay with all the attention she got from Madonna’s remarks. But no, Lady Gaga had her publicists veto any questions about Madonna and her “reductive” comment. Sounds like Gaga really is not comfortable with the subject.
The interesting thing is that the same Brazilian TV show broadcast an interview with Madonna a few weeks before their interview with Lady Gaga. However, according to the producers of Fantastico, Madonna did not veto or censor reporter Zeca Camargo. In fact, they say that the only requests made by Madonna referred to her work: she would only be interviewed by a reporter who had seen the MDNA show. And that’s what Camargo did the night before the interview was granted.
That explains why nobody asked Lady Gaga about Madonna in the interviews she gave in 2012: she blackmailed reporters: no questions about Madonna, or the interview is over.
Madonna, on the other hand, couldn’t care less. That’s why everybody asked her about Lady Gaga in 2012: Madonna, a true believer of freedom of the press, did not direct reporters on what they could or could not ask her.
Here are the two interviews Fantastico aired in a little more than a month apart from each other:
You will see that Madonna was, indeed, asked about Gaga (just like she was on the Graham Norton show and so many others). You will see how secure and comfortable Madonna is, how she always knows what to say, whereas Lady Gaga, well, the most talked-about topic related to her in 2012 is not even mentioned - ever thought why that was?
In fact, if you know any Portuguese, you will see reporter Alvaro Junior narrating how difficult it was to interview Gaga, he mentions how he had to “overcome a mountain of demands and a wall of assistants.” The worst part, on his second question (“the difference between the ‘Born This Way Ball’ tour and her own previous tour”), her assistant interrupts from behind the camera and says this “question had not been allowed” either.
Sources close to the singer say that this behaviour has not changed: Lady Gaga still is not ready to face comparisons with Madonna. Despite music critics worldwide unanimously describing Born This Way as a copy of Madonna’s Express Yourself, Lady Gaga is said to be denying it to this day, forcing her friends and assistants to “tell her daily that she is a musical genius” and that “‘Born This Way’ is more relevant than Express Yourself ever was.”
They hope that the longer it takes for ARTPOP to come out, the more distant the memory of the Born This Way/Express Yourself issue will be. And maybe, by the time the singer is promoting the new material, no one will be interested in talking about Madonna, or Lady Gaga’s plagiarism. And if they do, they expect the singer to be emotionally prepared to talk about it after all these months of coaching.
EPIX announced this morning that Madonna’s record-breaking MDNA Tour will be broadcast on June 22.
This is not the first time EPIX broadcasts a Madonna concert. Her previous tour, Sticky & Sweet, lauched the network - premiering on its first day on air, four years ago.
The MDNA Tour became the #1 tour of 2012, and was seen by over 2.2 million people around the world in 88 sold out shows.
I cannot wait to see the motherfucking show again!
[Madonna revealed her look through her Instagram, before she hit the red carpet]
Madonna wowed the press and other celebrities present at the 2013 Met Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art earlier tonight in NYC.
The music icon wore one of the only truly jaw-dropping punk ensembles of the night, which celebrated the opening of this year’s exhibit: Punk: Chaos to Couture.
Have a look:
Remember the 80s?
If there is anyone who really represents punk in music, here she is. And I am not talking about her looks, I am talking about her attitude.
PURE PUNK ROCK.
Always have, always will be.
Click read more to check Madonna’s looks at the Met Gala in previous years:
Of all activities in the artistic field, music seems to be the one people couldn’t care less - at least when it comes to artistic authenticity and originality.
Had Lady Gaga been a painter, she would not have gone too far by doing what she currently does with her music:
Rehash and reproduce (in a much smaller and less perfected scale) what has been done before by so many other artists.
No one would be glorifying, giving awards, or praising a painter whose work is based on second-rate copies of other people’s creations. Art forgery is not glorified in other artistic fields - so why do we accept it with musicians? Why do we accept people copying other artist’s creations and presenting as their own in music?
Would you buy a fake Mona Lisa for the same price the original painting is worth? No? Well, that’s what we do with music: we pay full price for the work of plagiarists, people like Lady Gaga. Except when they sell their work for 0,99 cents, but that’s another story.
Is it okay to glorify untalented
artists people because they “sell”? It seems to me that the entertainment business has completely lost its values: “If it sells, make it famous” is the new motto. Or maybe that has always been their motto.
So the problem really is this trend of calling everyone in enterteinment an “artist”. And that’s how music is portrayed in the arts in the 21st century: with people like Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, and Beyoncé being considered artists - and not just celebrities or entertainers.
- and so Madonna ruled the world.
Oh, it must kill Lady Gaga, the self-proclaimed “biggest pop artist since Andy Warhol,” knowing that Madonna was not only good friends with Warhol himself, but she was his muse.
Andy Warhol collaborated with Keith Haring (another personal friend of Madonna’s) on a series that celebrated Madonna’s fame and attitude towards scandal:
Madonna: friend and muse of two of the most prominent names in American Pop Art.
Andy Warhol: “It was just the Most Exciting Weekend of My Life” on the Madonna & Sean Penn wedding:
Remember when Andy Warhol was a judge on a Madonna look-a-like contest at Madonnaland in Macy’s?
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga in drag appears in public, channeling Andy Warhol, adding more references to her catalog of rip-offs and unoriginal ideas. “Fake it till you make it” is still Gaga’s schtick.
Thanks Pud Whacker for such a vast collection of images.
Time Magazine made the unfortunate decision of naming Lady Gaga the “Queen of Pop” under their “Ten Years of Influence” article.
n.1. A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort: relaxed under the influence of the music; the influence of television on modern life.2. Power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability, or position: used her parent’s influence to get the job.3.a. A person who exerts influence: My parents considered my friend to be a bad influence on me.b. An effect or change produced by influence.4.a. A determining factor believed by some to affect individual tendencies and characteristics understood to be caused by the positions of the stars and planets at the time of one’s birth.b. Factors believed to be caused by the changing positions of the stars and planets in relation to their positions at the time of one’s birth.
Of all popstars that played an important role in music in the last 10 years, Lady Gaga is far from being the most influential one.
Do I need to remind you all that Adele’s latest album alone, “21”, has sold more copies than Lady Gaga’s entire discography put together?
Do I need to remind you that Katy Perry’s latest album scored five #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits while Lady Gaga has scored only three #1 hits with three albums in 5 years?
Still on influence: Lady Gaga certainly did not trigger the creation of a series of Gaga-wannabes. She certainly did not influence the music scene in the last 10 years - and if you think “Just Dance” set off the dance-oriented pop music of today, you need to remember that Rihanna has been having pop/dance hits since 2006.
Furthermore, “influence” should mean the artist has reached above and beyond their field. But I can’t remember the last time I saw someone dressed up like Lady Gaga on the streets - except during halloween, but not even then! Last time I saw someone dressed up like Lady Gaga for halloween was in 2010!
These are the things Time Magazine talked about Gaga:
a) ”2011: Launches the Born This Way Foundation, focusing on youth empowerment.”
Sorry, Time magazine, but you have got to do better than just naming a foundation created by a famous person to justify your choices.
What has Gaga accomplished with the Born This Way Foundation? How many lives has she saved? How many people has she helped?
Talking about the launch of her foundation seems to be all people can talk about, but no one ever mentions what it has actually accomplished.
In the meantime, in the last 10 years, Madonna has launched Raising Malawi. In 2012 alone, Madonna opened 10 schools - or school blocks (whatever makes you happy), and according to the AP, more than 4,000 children who previously were learning under trees, now attend classes in those new classrooms.That’s more than anything Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation has ever done. And don’t think Madonna is the only one. What about Cyndi Lauper? Who co-founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 and has provided housing for young gay kids for years.
b) “2011: Money raised by sales of Gaga-endorsed Viva Glam lipstick and lip gloss to fight HIV and AIDS crosses $200 million mark.”
Gaga DID NOT raise over $200 million. The MAC AIDS Fund has been around since 1994. She just happened to be the spokesperson for Viva Glam at the time the MAC AIDS Fund crossed $200 million mark since its inception in 1994. To date it’s raised over $275 million dollars.
c) ”2012: Her Born This Way Ball concert tour contributes to $52 million in earnings.”
Sorry, Time magazine, but Gaga’s Born this Way Ball tour wasn’t even on the top 5 biggest tours of 2012. You will have to do better than that to use it as an argument. Please, try again.
d) But the best thing Time magazine said, in my opinion, is the following:
“Inspired by one of her outrageous outfits, Duke University biologists name a genus of newly discovered ferns in her honor.”
They forgot to mention that Lady Gaga also inspired scientists to name a PARASITE after her. Researchers at the University of Thailand named a recently discovered parasitoid wasp Aleiodes gaga in honor of the singer.
Why? Because the newly discovered wasp survives through parasitism - just like Lady Gaga.
In other words: every little thing Time magazine said about Gaga is either a stretch, or a small achievement compared to the things other popstars have achieved at the same period of time.
So why name the ugly duckling of pop anything if she is undeserving?
Meanwhile, Madonna is among the 25 women who influenced our world the most this past century. No wonder why Lady Gaga is a Madonna-wannabe.
No? Me neither!
But that’s what the mainstream media wants you to believe: that Beyoncé’s outfit is among “the most controversial concert outfits” ever made. So controversial, that you never even heard of it.
And that’s how the press rolls… always pushing.
Too bad Beyoncé’s faux nipple flashing outfit did not create any buzz or made a quarter of the headlines Madonna got for flashing a single nipple during her MDNA Tour last year - now that is controversy.
In my humble opinion, when Beyoncé’s outfit does get some more media attention, VH1 and Mark Graham will get the chance of calling it controversial. But as of now, they should keep trying something else.
On another note: is anyone surprised that Beyoncé would pull the “nipple” card for press?
I mean, forget the fact that she is NOT showing her real nipples at all, but just think of the concept. Then think Madonna. Then think nipple on the MDNA Tour. Then think Super Bowl. Then think Janet Jackson. Then think Super Bowl again. Then think Madonna again:
I knew Beyoncé was up to something Madonna-esque as soon as I saw the ad for her tour, which, by the way, still has plenty of tickets available - even in high profile cities like NY and Miami.
When not even performing at the Super Bowl pushes your tour tickets, you know you need the press to sell it for you. I wonder how much Mark Graham made to add Beyoncé’s nipple-flashing outfit to that list.
Controversial? In Mark Graham’s dreams, and most likely, in his bank account as well.
Check out other moments Beyoncé copied other artists after the jump:
By GB - PDLM staff
Now, the Malawian government has used its State House Press Officer, Tusekele Mwanyongo, to issue a long statement (also full of grammatical mistakes) in which they try to vilify Madonna - saying she demanded VIP treatment in Malawi (without any evidence of it, obviously), and making it clear that she is not welcome in the country, ignoring the fact that she is one of thhe biggest private donors the country has.
In a clear and calculated move to vilify Madonna, the president of Malawi Joyce Banda has also made a carefull choice of words to discretely pull the race card on her vendetta against Madonna. That includes accusing Madonna of “making poor people dance for her”, and “Madonna wants Malawi forever chained to the obligation of gratitude”.
Making poor people do things for her? And these people (the Malawian people) are chained? Is it just me or do these words sound extremely well-placed (on a very distasteful manner) on the discourse of people who critiicize the “white woman who goes to Africa in a puplicity stunt”?
Sorry, president Banda, but despite your efforts to fabricate this story, I failed to notice Madonna using a whip to make poor people dance for her - and they weren’t chained to anything or anyone either, certainly not to obligations, nor to other people. What I saw was a group of people, children and adults, celebrating the opening of schools (or school blocks, as you will), I saw beautiful people celebrating something good that is happening in their lives.
You, president Joyce Banda, come off as a distasteful, ungrateful, and revengeful woman.
For the ever-hating anti-Madonna folks, whether you like her or not, here are the facts that cannot be overlooked:
She is donating her own money to build schools in Malawi, fund orphanages and hospitals there. And while some poor-spirited people think (and say) it’s easy to donate money when you have the amount of money she has in her bank account, do not ignore the fact that she is donating her time as well.The time she could be using to make more millions for herself promoting some product or performing somewhere, she is using to spend millions on people who actually need.
As for president Joyce Banda, she is the one whose leadership is knwon for its nepotism. The one oddly irritated that the millions of dollars Madonna is donating are going straight to the projects she believes are worthy - and not going through Banda’s government - where it would, most likely, magically disappear.
And speaking of money magically disappearing, president Joyce Banda appointed her own sister, Anjimile Oponyo, to a high position on the Ministry of Education. Yes, the same Anjimile Oponyo that used to be the head of Madonna’s Girl’s Academy project. The same one that got fired after Madonna and Global Philanthropy Group discovered that $3.8 million had been used for expenses on luxury cars, drivers, and gold club membership for other project managers. That includes Raising Malawi’s former executive director, Phillippe van de Bossche, who was also accused of mismanagement and use of funds for personal matters.
President Banda also insists in saying Madonna demanded VIP treatment in the country, and that the right to comply with it is reserved for the government. Granted. I do not disagree with that. But considering that Madonna is one of the largest private donors and benefactors of Malawi, an extremely empoverished nation (some news agencies actually say Madonna is the biggest private donor Malawi has), the least the Government can offer is the so-called VIP treatment they constantly talk about.
And, no, this VIP treatment does not include money, bags of goodies, or anything like that. It means State-level treatment, that’s all. Which means: a benefactor like Madonna would arrive with other philanthropists and not have to stand in line at customs at the airport. It means a car would be allowed to drive to the landing field and pick them up as they walked out the airplane. That’s all.
This kind of treatment is granted to many people, not because of their money, but because of the commotion they can cause at public places, including airports. And we don’t want to cause commotion and chaos at an airport, do we? Apparently, president Joyce Banda does. So she revoked Madonna’s “VIP treatment” before the singer left the country with her four kids - all underaged.
Let alone the fact that Madonna is one of the largest private donors that country has ever had. Her presence alone causes a commotion because she is a worldwide star. The press, photographers follow her around - that’s why the international press also flew into Malawi as soon as news she was there last week broke. Maybe, that’s why Madonna doesn’t announce the time and date she will be arriving at places (which is one of the points criticized by president Banda). But if you don’t understand this notion (like President Banda doesn’t), check what happens when a celebrity arrives at an airport without VIP treatment, at the time people expected them to land:
These videos show celebrities that don’t have the same amount of global fame as Madonna does. So can you imagine the chaos it would be had Madonna announced the date and time she would be lining up for her check-in at any airport? Press, photographers, fans, or simply curious people? Sorry, president Joyce Banda, alongside your nepotism, you clearly are a poor basic decision-maker.
In the meantime, while president Joyce Banda is busy criticizing Madonna’s work in Malawi and spreading lies about the singer, this is the kind of message Madonna has for her:
“The Revolution of Love starts with good actions, not evil tongue” - Madonna.
As Vogue or Die said:
I can completely understand an African nation’s reluctance to accept charity from a rich outsider. Interference and intervention have not always created positive outcomes for these countries.It seems to me though that as this situation progresses, Banda’s motives are becoming increasingly obviously personal. All you have to do is look at the way President Banda continually moves the markers for Madonna’s success. First it was: she didn’t build the school. Then it was: how dare she tell the press she wants to build 10 schools. Then: how dare she call these 10 buildings schools. Then: how dare she enjoy the fruits of her labor and write me a letter saying she would be of service in any way she could, etc. President Banda’s the first to criticize and the last to offer working solutions that will put Madonna’s money to the best use possible.
To me, that is not presidential. Again, I can understand any reluctance to accept Madonna’s help. I can understand why Banda would be displeased to be called “Joyce” in a personal letter. What I cannot abide by is deciding to make all sorts of remarks to the press instead of agreeing to meet with Madonna and expressly state how her money should be used and what the Malawian government would like specifically from her at this point in time. I cannot respect that choice, because when you look at Madonna’s behavior objectively, she has done quite a lot to show that she is willing to give, no matter the failures or difficulties she’s experienced, and that she is willing to work on the advice of other organizations (BuildOn) and most importantly the Malawians themselves… which is why she hired Banda’s sister to begin with.
You can read more about it on the Kelly Green Blog.
By GB - PDLM staff
President Joyce Banda revoked Madonna’s VIP status in Malawi following the singer’s visit to the nation - which means, from now on, Madonna cannot bypass check-in and security lines or have access to a private lounge while waiting for her flight. Oh, the horror!
President Banda also implied Madonna is using Malawians for her amusement: “She just came unannounced and proceeded to villages and made poor people dance for her.” That sounds very ominous, considering that President Banda said before she could not bar Madonna from visiting Malawi because “Malawi is a free nation.”
Needless to say, the newspapers are having a field day with this - there’s nothing they welcome more than free negative headlines about Madonna.
But what they don’t mention is that President Banda has a personal vendetta against Madonna.
President Joyce Banda’s sister, Anjimile Oponyo, used to work for Madonna’s charity in Malawi until she was fired for stealing charity money and spending it on herself.
And that, folks, is what a Global Philanthropy Group audit commissioned by Madonna discovered years ago, reporting “cost overruns for the school” that included “outlandish expenditures on salaries, cars, office space and a golf course membership, free housing and a car and driver for the school’s director and other management members”. The project’s head, at that time, was Philippe van den Bossche, who resigned immediately after Global Philanthropy Group released the audit’s report.
President Banda’s personal attacks on Madonna also include publishing a personal handwritten letter she received from Madonna in which the singer and phlilanthropist asked for a meeting (that Banda never agreed to).
It seems, President Banda found it disrespectful that Madonna addressed her as “Dear Joyce” and not “President Banda”.
Needless to say, Madonna’s relationship with Joyce Banda started before she became the President of Malawi, with Banda being part of Madonna’s documentary about Malawi - and that was before her sister’s shenanigans were discovered:
Joyce Banda appears on Madonna’s documentary I Am Because We Are
For me, President Banda’s actions say one thing about Malawi: it is the country you get VIP treatement as long as her sister can steal money from your charity.
In the meantime, Madonna visited some of the 10 schools she has built in the country - all built to the national standard (which has also been criticized by President Banda), some hospitals she helps fund, and even addressed the negative criticism her work in Malawi receives with this cute and non-confrontational video:
If anything, all Malawi needs is Madonna for President, not Joyce I-come-from-a-corrupt-family Banda.
Trevor Neilson, President of the Global Philanthropy Group, which manages Madonna’s charity work, said:
Madonna has no problem with the President of this country. But Anjimile Oponyo, who is the sister to the President, is demanding money and matters are in court. Her contract was terminated as head of Madonna’s girls’ school project in Malawi.
She is now using her position [as Principal Secretary] in the Education Ministry to create trouble for Madonna. She is using her office to avenge on her personal grudge with Madonna and pursue her personal financial interest. We are surprised that she is doing that.
If the Education Ministry sees it as their job to create problems instead of creating a good relationship, it’s very surprising.
Madonna can continue her work here [even] if the politicians don’t want to welcome her because her work is all about the children who are here. The politicians can stay. Even donors are also surprised that government is treating Madonna like this when she is the biggest private donor in the country.
As a blog visitor brilliantly put it in a comment below (he/she signs as “Bears are fat”):
Joyce Banda sounds like a piece of work, but if she wanted to irritate Madonna, she probably succeeded. The way the press is reporting this story is very much within the hackneyed ‘rich white woman do-gooder shows herself to be an idiot’ framework. Yet, why hasn’t anyone noticed how small, petty and vindictive Banda is being — by, for example, releasing a private letter to the press? I mean, what kind of President behaves this way? Moreover, the thing that I find amusing is the apparently damning quote about ‘making poor people dance for her.’ Um, sorry JOYCE, but Madonna spent the last year or so making hundreds of thousands of people dance for her in packed stadiums and arenas. She doesn’t need to go to Malawi for that. LOL. JOYCE clearly just wants revenge o n Madonn a for the fact that M refused to line the pockets of her avaricious and corrupt family (her sister). To my mind, Madonna comes off in this whole affair looking more compassionate, more humane, and frankly simply more adult than the so-called ‘President’ of Malawi. JOYCE Banda should be a character in ‘Malawi Mean Girls’.
—- I could not have said it any better.
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