4.06.2012

Why Madonna still leads, others follow

I thought she was over. Madonna, that is.

I thought she was too old to be referring to herself as a "girl." I thought pop music passed her by. I thought Lady Gaga had killed her.

And then I look at this week's Billboard chart and I see I thought wrong.

Her 12th CD, "MDNA" debuted No. 1 on the album chart and she has two singles on the dance-chart Top 10. She's 53 and the clubs are banging her new stuff, including "Give Me All Your Luvin," which became her 38th top 10 hit on the pop chart. For those of you keeping score, that's more than Elvis, more than The Beatles. I'm not saying she's better, but clearly she's done -- correction -- doing more.

This year she won another Golden Globe and her halftime performance at the Super Bowl drew more viewers than the game itself, according to Nielsen. I know the perception is that only gay men care about Madonna, but if that were true, given the 114 million viewers who tuned in to watch her at halftime, maybe "don't ask, don't tell" should have been called "just assume."

The reality is it's hard for pop music to leave behind someone who keeps leading the pack. Madonna had the highest grossing tour ever for a solo artist (2008) and has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. She's an '80s child whose 2005 single "Hung Up" holds the Guinness Book record for topping the charts in 41 countries, while 2012's MDNA was No. 1 on iTunes in 40 countries.

That's not "over," that's now.

When you look at where Madonna's career is today in the same week we learned Whitney Houston drowned in a foot of water, you're reminded that God truly does work in mysterious ways. The two pop icons released debut albums within two years of each other, Madonna in 1983 and Houston in 1985.

Of course, Houston was the former model with a voice for the ages, while Madonna was the thin-voiced tart rolling around on the floor of the MTV music awards in a wedding dress proclaiming that she felt like a virgin. If anyone might have been expected to meet a desperate, tragic end, back then the safe money would have been on Madonna. And yet Houston's gone, Michael Jackson's gone, Prince is semi-retired and everyone else, with the exception of U2, is making their money off nostalgia.

Meanwhile, Madonna has methodically become, arguably, the greatest recording artist of all time. Who would've thunk it?

http://www.wptz.com/news/national/Why-Madonna-still-leads-others-follow/-/8869978/10280838/-/dnbm0c/-/

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Thanks!
Jeannie

email: Madonnasworld@gmail.com
Website: www.madonnasworld.com