Wednesday, September 25, 2013

All the Details of Madonna’s Surprise Police-Themed Performance in New York

by Bennett Marcus

Madonna released her Secret Project Revolution film in cities around the world on Monday. On Tuesday, the Material Girl herself, along with Vice and BitTorrent, hosted the film’s premiere and the official launch of Art for Freedom with a dazzling event in New York City.

The invitation advised that guests arrive at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea as close to 10 p.m. as possible and that the doors would be closed at 10:45 p.m. promptly. Madge turned up on time, stepped onto a marked-off stage area on one side of the gallery, and instructed everyone to sit on the polished-concrete floor.

She requested silence—no mean feat at a party of a few hundred—and the crowd obeyed. Then she started off with a 12-minute speech, mixing in a few jokes with her rather serious message about political and artistic freedom. Some highlights:

“The reason I’ve asked you to sit down—well, there’s a few reasons,” began Madonna. “One is that when you find yourself fighting for a revolution, you find yourself paying for everything, and we have to prioritize when we pay for things. So if it’s between a sound system and chairs, we choose the sound system. If it’s between a fully stocked bar and good lights, we choose lights, right? [Pause.] That was a joke.”

There was, in fact, an open bar, with bartenders in gas masks. She continued on a more serious note, underlining the importance of creative expression.

“The word ‘freedom’ is very important to me,” she said. “I’m a little bit nervous. I think it’s because I care, maybe too much. This film, aside from my children, is, to me, the most important thing I’ve ever done, because the idea of being free, and being able to freely express myself, not only as an artist but as a human being, is extremely important.

“It’s not just that you can be killed for being gay in Iran or that you can be imprisoned for insulting Mr. Putin . . . I want to start a movement of people, of artists, who are not worried about winning popularity contests, who are not worried about approval, who are not worried about whether their ass looks good—although it is important to have a good-looking ass.”

After this introduction, the movie played (you can now see it online here). Afterward, the same dancers who appeared in the film performed, accompanied by a pianist and saxophonist.

A couple of uniformed police officers, who had menacingly lined the edges of the stage during the performance, made their way into the center of the seated crowd and began manhandling someone who turned out to be Madonna. They pulled her from the floor and shoved her onto the stage, where she sank to her knees, and then sang Elliott Smith’s “Between the Bars.”

A masked dancer joined her. He turned out to be her son, Rocco Ritchie. Madonna’s performance was a surprise, even to the event’s organizers.

There were celebrities everywhere around the room. We spotted Anderson Cooper, Lucy Liu, Donna Karan, Lee Daniels, and Chuck Close, to name a few. At one point, we got up off the floor and stood at the edge of the crowd and turned our head to discover Sean Penn puffing an e-cigarette next to us.

At the end, Madonna made her way directly into the crowd, greeting high-profile attendees like Giancarlo Giammetti and Zac Posen, while allowing the guests to swarm around her, pressing in, camera phones snapping. Surrounded by a cloud of people, she continued in this way through the space, air-kissing pals right to the doors, and left.

Madonna Sings "Between The Bars" At The Secret Project Premier 9/24/13

Vice Meets Madonna: The Secret Project Interview!

The Secret Project! The Film!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Madonna Secret Project Screening Locations Details!

Secret Project Locations

London – September 23
Where will you be?
1) 9PM – Exhibition Road: Exhibition Road London SW7 2DD
2) 10PM – Gerrard Place/Chinatown: Chinatown London WC2H 7PR
3) 11PM – Tate Modern: Holland St, London SE1 9TG
4) MIDNIGHT – Shoreditch High St Station: London E1 6GY
Los Angeles – September 23
Where will you be?
1) 9PM – Hillhurst Ave
2) 10PM – 6060 Wilshire Blvd
3) 11PM – 652 N La Peer Dr
4) Midnight – 1855 Main St
Toronto – September 23
Where will you be?
1) 9PM – 9 Trinity St # 200
2) 10PM – 317 Dundas St W
3) 11PM – 327 Bloor St W
4) Midnight – 273 Bloor St W
New York – September 23
Where will you be?
1) 306 West 31st Street
2) 11 W 53rd Street
Berlin – September 23
Where will you be?
1) 9PM – Oranienburger Straße 60
2) 10PM – Galeria Kaufhof – Alexanderplatz 9
3) 11PM – Friedrichstraße 43-45
4) Midnight – Stralauer Platz
more to be announced

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Madonna Then & Now! Even More Fantastic!

Left in 84, right 2013! Now that's Hot!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Madonna's 10 Best Reddit AMA Moments

6:09 PM PDT 9/16/2013 by Philiana Ng, Stephanie Chan

The Queen of Pop took to the social news and entertainment website to answer fans' questions, hinting that "there might be" a new album in 2014, her next "ambitious" project and possibly working with Daft Punk.

On Monday afternoon, Madonna connected with fans on Reddit for a free-wheeling AMA session.

Madonna Admits She Was 'a Mess' on Physically Grueling MDNA Tour

Madonna's 'W.E.' Producer Ramps Up U.K. Operation
The Queen of Pop, who in March 2012 joined Twitter for one day to field queries about her MDNA album, answered questions that ranged from upcoming projects, collaborations and censorship.

THR compiled the highlights from the session:
1. A new album may be in the works
Again, not many details were divulged but Madonna shared that "there might be" a new album coming in 2014. "my creative juices are flowing....," she wrote, but don't expect a rock album. She later replied to another user's inquiry about whether she'd go that route: "full-on no," Madonna wrote.

2. Her next project is "ambitious"
When Reddit user 94jump asked Madonna about her upcoming project, the 55-year-old was cryptic: "secretprojectrevolution artforfreedom. coming soon." When another asked about more specifics, Madonna explained that the "ambitious project .... deals with very controversial issues...both global and personal. im extremely passionate about it. it means more to me than anything i have ever done before." Just when will details of this new project come out? "in one week it wont be a secret," she wrote.

3. She'd like to work with Daft Punk
When a Reddit user relayed that Pharrell Williams had suggested at one point in time that the reclusive French pop duo Daft Punk produce for Madonna, she was all for it. "I would love to work with Daft Punk, just waiting for them to return my call," the singer wrote in her response.

4. Madonna: The Autobiography?
She seemed open to the idea of putting pen to paper and writing about her experiences and career, "but i feel like i need to live more of my life," Madonna wrote in response to a Reddit user's question. She did tease that "a short one is coming out in Harpers Bazaar."

STORY: Madonna Admits She Was 'a Mess' on Physically Grueling MDNA Tour
5. She hopes to direct another film
After stepping behind the camera for 2011 romantic drama W.E., which starred Andrea Riseborough, James D'Arcy and Abbie Cornish, Madonna has her eye on returning to directing in the near future, telling a Reddit user "thats next on my to-do list. direct a film."

6. She takes a stand against censorship
"Throughout your career you've taken a stand against homophobia, sexism, ageism etc. but what current issues drive you to voice your opinion creatively ?," asked Reddit user bazayer. "Censoring of artists, around the world," Madonna answered, saying, "for instance Pussy Riot." She stressed the importance of the artists' "responsibility to reflect society and have the freedom to express themselves."

7. She addresses the mixed reception for American Life
A user asked Madonna why she thought her 2003 album wasn't received well: "because i dealt with alot [sic] of controversial issues in it. i criticized american politics, the entertainment business in hollywood..i was in an angry mood when i was making it. maybe that came across. but i was in an angry mood when i made my last album too."

8. Frida Kahlo inspires her
Madonna expressed interest in making a film about the Mexican artist, "but one was already made." She revealed how important of a role Kahlo's art played for her: "she was the subject of her art all of her work is a self portrait and yet she shared universal stories and feelings by sharing her personal story," Madonna wrote. "also she was a freedom fighter and she lived a controversial life and was a survivor so i admire her life story and art the way she lived her life as well as her art."

9. She's not above tech issues on her DVDs
When a user asked Madonna if she's heard of the mastering issues on the MDNA World Tour DVD and Blu-rays in the Europe, the singer said she was "absolutely horrified" and promised that her record label was "looking into it." "i spent 6 months editing and doing the sound mix for the DVD the last thing I want to hear is that the fans arent getting the fruits of my labor," Madonna replied to another user.

10. Her last dream
A Reddit user asked about her last dream and Madonna had this to say: "Brad Pitt and I were living together and there was a small blonde child in the bed. Sorry Angelina, it was only a dream." Later, when someone asked about the last time she laughed, Madonna wrote: "the fact that i had a dream about brad pitt."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Madonna On Reddit Q&A Transcript!

Q: You're coming over for dinner. What the hell do I make?
A: make me a dirty martini

Q: Pharell Williams once said he suggested to Daft Punk that they should produce for you. Frankly, it would be the ultimate fucking collaboration, ever. Would you consider it?
A: I would love to work with Daft Punk. just waiting for them to return my call

Q: Is there a new album coming in 2014?
A: there might creative juices are flowing....

Q: Madonna do you ever think of writing an autobiography?
A: yup. but i feel like i need to live more of my life. a short one is coming out in Harpers Bazaar

Q: hello Queen!!! what is your next project?
A: secretprojectrevolution artforfreedom. coming soon.

Q: Did you heard about technical mastering issues on some "MDNA World Tour" DVD & Blu-Rays in Europe ?
A: yes and im absolutely horrified. my label is looking into it...trying to get to the bottom of it. it might be a case of old technology not working with new technology. please be patient. i spent 6 months editing and doing the sound mix for the DVD the last thing I want to hear is that the fans arent getting the fruits of my labor

Q: Is #secretproject your more ambitious project?
A: its a very ambitious project because it deals with very controversial issues...both global and personal. im extremely passionate about it. it means more to me than anything i have ever done before. in one week it wont be a secret.

Q: Madonna what are you going to do tonight?
A: test the projection of secretprojectrevolution on a wall

Q: Hi, M! I hope you're doing well. ♥ What is the last dream you remember that you're willing to share?
A: Brad Pitt and I were living together and there was a small blonde child in the bed. Sorry Angelina, it was only a dream.

Q: Big fan and current University of Michigan student here. What is the craziest thing that has ever happened during one of your concerts?
A: all the power went out in the middle of the show for an hour in a stadium in Cordoba. That was fun

Q: My love! I know many a gay man (including myself) have performed to one of your songs, but I must ask, when was the last time you saw a good drag show? Sending you a zillion kisses from Vancouver! XOXO
A: every night of my concert in the golden triangle

Q: Good afternoon Queen, i'm from México, i want to ask you if you have ever think about doing a movie about Frida Kahlo?
Also i want to ask if you're gonna write a memoir at some point in your life?
Thank you for everything you have done for LGBT, Israel, Syria and minorities.
A: i would love to make a movie about Frida Kahlo but one was already made

Q: Madonna, I heard you visited an amusement park in Helsinki, Finland while on MDNA tour there last year. How was it?
A: i got really sick to my stomach. but the rides werent long enough. i felt cheated.

Q: Are you fan of reddit?
A: HUGE... ill be sleeping with my alien tonight

Q: Throughout your career you've taken a stand against homophobia, sexism, ageism etc. but what current issues drive you to voice your opinion creatively ?
A: Censoring of artists, around the world. Censorship - for instance Pussy Riot.

Q: Where have you not yet traveled that you would like to?
A: Egypt and an island off the coast of east Africa called Lamu

Q: Good evening Madonna! Do you want us to ask intelligent questions?
A: Duh

Q: If you could describe the Harpers Bazaar photo shoot in one word what would it be ?
A: quick and painless

Q: Madonna, I'm trying to make a 2013 playlist, what is the song this year that you have playing on repeat nonstop? I could use the help. =]
A: On of my favorites songs out right is "Oceans" by Jay Z and Frank Ocean

Q: Madonna, what is the most embarrassing moment of your life?
A: there's so many. when i went out on stage and said hello to the wrong city. sleep deprivation.

Q: In your MDNA tour DVD you talk about how much you appreciate the love of your fans, and at the end of masterpiece i can see the emotion in your eyes. What do your fans mean to you? You mean so much to use. we really truly love you
A: we exist because of one another so its circuitry its totally reciprocated.

Q: Welcome M! As W.E. was STUNNING, looking to direct another movie?
A: yes thats next on my to-do list. direct a film.

Q: whats your favourite method of procrastination?
A: plucking my eyebrows

Q: No questions. Just saying thanks for being so fucking badass.
A: thanks for noticing

Q: I know you love soundtracks. Which ones have you been listening to recently?
A: The soundtrack to The Skin I Live In.

Q: “American Life” was an unfairly maligned album and many of you fans rank it as one of your best. What do you think critics and casual listeners “didn’t get” about that album?
A: because i dealt with alot of controversial issues in it. i criticized american politics, the entertainment business in hollywood..i was in an angry mood when i was making it. maybe that came across. but i was in an angry mood when i made my last album too

Q: Hi Madonna, how do you calm down when you get angry? Love.
A: i dont its a hot mess

Q: When will you release a sequel to Sex? I believe we've waited long enough.
A: probably never there is no sequel one time only

Q: Which music video was your favorite to make?
A: justify my love in paris

Q: Hey M, what's the first thing that comes to your mind when you enter on stage to a roaring crowd?
A: what city am i in again? and then....breathe....

Q: Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina has unfortunately been denied parole and a Russian news outlet’s headline “No Russian Feels Any Respect for Pussy Riot” is less than progressive. How important do you feel it is an artist’s duty to voice forth a statement of equity between such issues and do you feel it’s being used enough in the current year 2013?
(I want to sincerely thank you for your support for social and political justice, specifically the Pussy Riot movement. I’ve been a fan since I was 4 years old. I’m 24 now. “You’ll See” was the first proper single I’d ever owned. Thank you also for the great music & being an inspiration to generations upon generations).
A: its essential its the artsts responsibility to reflect society and have the freedom to express themselves

Q: Hi Madonna! When is Blond Ambition Tour coming to DVD?
A: when i can find the tapes in the archives

Q: Do you believe in Astrology? What is your rising sign? Do you feel more your sun sign or moon sign or rising sign?
A: i believe in the sciene of astrology i do not know my rising because you need to know your time of birth but my moon is in Virgo and i feel equally split down the middle 50% leo 50% virgo

Q: What is your favorite dessert?
A: A lemon tart or the rose lycee macaroon cake from La Duree

Q: ⭐☀Madonna ☀⭐ I love everything you do, and I love you of course. So do millions, as you know, and you have fans in all walks of life. What would you tell the ones who will probably never meet you and can't ever afford to see you live?
A: thats the great thing about making music and films. it reaches people you havent met yet. i can still connect with people thru my art.

Q: Hi Madonna. If you decide to write a book for women, what is the first subject that comes to your mind?
A: dont give to a man what he doesnt give you first

Q: Why u do not have any pet at home?
A: i have fish and some cockroaches

Q: Are you coming to the Hard Candy Fitness opening in Berlin? I wanna work out with u
A: yes, see you there

Q: M why didn't you sing Love Spent in São Paulo? We missed it a lot. You had to spend your luv on us.
A: i think i cut it out because it was raining and i was on the edge of the stage naked and i wasnt feeling well

Q: ... if you met someone that had never listened to one of your albums as a whole, which one would you personally recommend that they listen to? What is the quintessential Madonna album according to you?
A: yes. ray of light

Q: hello God! Would you ever fight and talk about LGBT rights in Africa? We need you!
A: of course and i have. I made a statement about the law in malawi for people being arrested and sent to jail for being gay.

Q: Whose idea was to re-invent the famous JPG corset?
A: it was gaultiers idea to re-create the black patent leather cage

Q: Madonna I want to apologize for booing at your concert oct 16th 2008. You mentioned Obama and I booed . I have felt bad for years after. I think you are a wonderful person and an amazing artist. Thank you for inspiring me all these years.
A: i forgive you

Q: Can you name one gay guy you wish you could turn straight?
A: frank ocean

Q: how can the planets affect our behavior? me and my sister were born the same day and we are very different #AskMadonnaAnything @Reddit
A: the same year? are you twins? if you are not born the same year, its totally different. the planets the moon the suns the stars were all lined up in different ways. If you are twins you were born at different times.

Q: what mood are you in right now?
A: feeling pulled in a million directions

Q: bold WE ALL KNOW DETROIT IS A TOUGH CROWD!!! WE LOVE YOU DONT GIVE UP ON US!!! PLEASE KEEP COMING BACK!!! p.s. what did guy do with the photos of all the tattoos of you?
A: i cant tell you, its x-rated

Q: What should religion and politics do to help World PEACE?
A: not get involved with one another. separate church and state

Q: Where should I put these hydrangeas?
A: up your ass

Q: Where do u keep your award trophies?
A: i dont, they are in my award closet

Q: why do you think people have such a hard time wrapping their head around everything you do? it seems like people are so confused by you.
A: because i dont explain everything nor do i feel the need to.

Q: You have accomplished pretty much everything. What's your proudest achievement as an artist?
A: secretprojectrevolution

Q: Hi Madonna! Would you consider doing a full-on rock album?
A: full-on no

Q: In Die Another Day (love this song !) you say : "Sigmund Freud, analyse this". Can you explain why ? You like his work ?
A: actually im not a big fan of Sigmund Freud, it was meant to be ironic because i dont think everything can be analyzed i think he was too celebral and a misogynist. im a fan of carl jung.

A: if i could find the right venue to play in

Q: Hello Madonna, I was wondering what was it like to watch yourself during the MDNA movie screening in NYC? What were you thinking, what were you feeling?
A: exhilarating and exhausting

Q: Madonna is true that Rocco will release an album??
A: he wishes! Just need to get him thru the 8th grade right now. get him to do his math homework!

Q: loveu Hi, Honestly how much pain you felt for the wound you received in the face on the show in Medellin?
A: i felt no pain i had too much adrenaline pumping through my veins it was hours afterwards

Q: Would you consider ever doing a small fan tour with less known songs (but very loved) like Skin, Falling Free, Time Stood Still etc for the real fans?
A: sounds like fun - who is going to pay my overhead?

Q: what do I need to do to make you go on a date with me?
A: send photo
Q: madonna please my beauty is on the inside xox
A: I still need to see it. show me your internal beauty then

Q: What is the best present you got for Your B-day?
A: i got a bong in the shape of a penis

Q: Will you be my boo?
A: yes ill be your boo

Q: Did you get to do anything exciting in Pittsburgh, like visit the Warhol museum?
A: no i wish i love Pittsburgh i didnt get out

Q: If you would have a tattoo what would it be?
A: if i knew what i wanted to have as a tattoo, i would have one

Q: Hi Madonna!! Listen, I go through a rough breakup after a 3 year relationship with my bf...what should I do to ease the pain?? Which of your songs should I play repeatedly???
A: gang bang

Q: If I twerk for you, would you twerk for me?
A: send photo

Q: I've missed your iconic backhanded replies
A: ive missed sharing them with you. keep asking questions you know the answers to.

Q: Have you ever considered going into politics?
A: i have gone into politics. my work is political.

Q: Have you tried making out with the grills on?
A: yup it works

Q: Define hate. Is having a difference of opinion considered hate nowadays?
A: no having a different of opinion is right hate is intolerance hate is discrimination hate is when you think youre better than someone else

Q: What comes to mind when I say Erotica?
A: great record

Q: Are you still horse riding/show jumping much?
A: horse riding yes show jumping never

Q: Theres something or someone that you miss?
A: i miss free time and more sleep

Q: if you were a gay man, would you be a top or bottom
A: i am a gay man

Q: How did you get in to character for Evita? :-)
A: did a lot of research spent a lot of time in Argentina interviewing very old people that knew her learned how to tango read every book i could about her

Q: Are you bringing out any more fragrances /perfumes? I have Truth or Dare but is there another called Naked as I cant seem to find it in any retailer's in the UK ??
A: dont get me started on that tired ass subject

Q: Is your publicist or an intern typing everything for you? Be honest. This is still awesome. Thank you!
A: my housekeeper im vaccuming the housekeeper is typing

Q: Would you go back to school?
A: if i had the time. school is fun you just get to learn

Q: Hello Miss Madonna, So, I just got back from Europe. Had the most amazing experience in Santorini. What's your favourite place in Europe (i.e. culture, people, food)? And, please don't say France b/c your boo is French! lol xo
A: my boo is not french, number one. and my favorite country in Europe is Italy.

Q: Do you have any plans to begin any new charities? If so, what?
A: go to ive started a lot of different projects

Q: If I invited you to come to Mexico to see Frida Kahlo’s house, would you come?
A: ive seen it twice already but thanks for thinking of me

Q: I don't really have any question for you. I love your music. Acknowledge me.
A: send photo

Q: In the song "I Dont Give A" are the lyrics "baby Jesus on the stairs..." or is it "baby Jesus understands"?? Please settle this bet for me. I love you.
A: Baby jesus on the stairs

Q: If you had to live on a stranded island with two other people for the rest of your life, what two people would you choose?
A: I can't leave my kids behind so there will have to be room for 4.

Q: Ray of Light album helped me come into my own in small town Nebraska, and know that there was love and acceptance in my future. So many of us have had similar experiences through your music. I can't imagine what that must feel like for you. How often do you think about who your art is reaching?
A: only when i hear comments like this from people do i think about it the rest of the time i only think of how i would like to explress myself i think about expression not results

Q: Would you ever wear a disguise and go to Walmart or some place ordinary people go?
A: id just go to walmart and not wear a disguise.

Q: how long will you be on reddit for ?? I am a huge fan from pakistan ! Thanks for your efforts to spread education here !
A: yes when secretproject comes please go to and share any story you might have its good to know my message is getting out there

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when your having "me time"??
A: pluck my eyebrows

Q: What is it about Frida Kahlo that inspires you the most?
A: that she was the subject of her art all of her work is a self portrait and yet she shared universal stories and feelings by sharing her personal story also she was a freedom fighter and she lived a controversial life and was a survivor so i admire her life story and art the way she lived her life as well as her art

Q: The pleasures of life are food, sex, sleep, among other. I have three questions: What is your favorite food, your perfect sexual position and how many hours do you sleep a day?
A: beg your pardon

Q: Ever tried a ouija board?
A: yeah when i was younger

Q: What's your favourite french movie?
A: breathless la piscine last year at marienbad

Q: What does it mean to be reductive?
A: look it up like i said i dont like to explain everything

Q: Last concert you went to?
A: The Labeque Sisters and Kalakan in Menton

Q: Which is the first song you've ever heard? (that you remember)
A: something by Harry Belafonte because my mother was obssessed with him when i was a child

Q: Are you easily distracted? How do you cut out the "noise"? I struggle with this.
A: so do i concentration staying focused

Q: Hi Madonna, years ago during an interview on Italian television, while answering a question about the relationship you have with your fans you said:"it's like a love relationship, sometime they love me, sometime they hate me". Is is still so?
A: i dont remember saying that and if someones your fan i dont see where hate comes into the picture

Q: What is the last thing you laughed about?
A: the fact that i had a dream about brad pitt

Q: What super power would you like to have and why?
A: clone myself get more done that way sleep more work more

Q: OMG Madonna I love you!!!!! <3 Have you concidered of studying anymore religions?
A: im studying the Quran

Q: In W/E there is a place called Zabloshki. This word is not exist in russian! Just to let u know
A: i didnt name it the name was already there

Q: Which famous woman would u want to kiss? luv
A: dead or alive? send photo

Q: what does Marlene dietrich means for you?
A: she is the archetype of an iconic strong female equal pats masculine and feminine

Q: I love the guys in "Girl Gone Wild" how did you find them?
A: i saw their clip on youtube they are called Kazaky

Q: Hi Madonna, A lot of your philanthropic work focus mainly on Malawi and the Middle East. Do you have plans of expanding the aids to other impoverished regions like Latin America?
A: yes hopefully ray of light will expand globally.

Q: if you could talk to your 20-year-old self, what would you say?
A: don't take any of this personally

Q: The triangle brought so many of your fans together and also brought us closer to you...will you do another pit for your next tour??
A: i think i need to change shapes. maybe a silver rectangle. rose gold circle.

Q: M I love the MDNA Tour DVD/Bluray cover and i like to know what was the concept used?
A: thats me a photograph i took of myself

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Neuroscience of Madonna's Enduring Success!


The Neuroscience of Madonna's Enduring Success

Madonna was the top-earning celebrity of 2013. What’s her secret?
Published on September 7, 2013 by Christopher Bergland in The Athlete's Way

On a rainy night in 1983 I went to see Madonna perform at a small nightclub in Boston called the Metro and it changed my life. In my book, The Athlete’s Way: Sweat and the Biology of Bliss, I thank Madonna in the acknowledgments saying, “Thank you for laying the brain chips of excellence and fearlessness in my head when I was seventeen and for being rocket fuel during every workout ever since.”

Madonna has stayed on top for three decades. On August 25, 2013 Forbes magazine named Madonna the top-earning celebrity of 2013. Between June of 2012 and June of 2013 Madonna raked in an estimated $125 million. While other pop stars of the 80s have tragically imploded, Madonna remains a supernova. What is the neuroscience behind her daily routines that has given her the resilience, chutzpah, and creative juice to keep going strong for over 30 years?

Madonna is the Queen of Superfluidity

Madonna has always had the ability to take regular "flow" to it’s highest tier of superfluidity. Superfluidity is created when all four hemispheres of your brain are working symmetrically without any friction or viscosity. The ability to create superfluidity makes Madonna an incredible performer and overall powerhouse. One interesting clue to how Madonna is able to create superfluidity can be found in the sound checks she does religiously before every concert.

During the afternoon before each of the 88 performances of the MDNA tour Madonna would run through the entire show so that her muscle memory and proprioception held in the cerebellum (down brain) would be at ease and allow her to tap into a superfluid state of performance in front of the paying audience each night. Madonna practices harder than almost any other celebrity and always has.

Practice makes perfect because it allows your cerebellum to go into autopilot mode, which frees up the cerebrum (up brain). The harmony of all brain hemispheres allows anyone to achieve superfluidity. This performance of Vogue from the 1990 MTV awards is superfluidity in action.

I remember the Sunday night in 1983 when my friend Paula called me to ask if I wanted to go see Madonna at the Metro. Madonna had a song called ‘Everybody’ playing on urban radio, but ‘Holiday’ wasn’t a single yet. I had a high school term paper on Joseph Conrad’s book “Lord Jim” due that week and was hesitant to go out clubbing, but Paula twisted my arm and we headed to Lansdowne Street just next to Fenway Park with fake ID’s in hand.

The club was only half full. It was a rainy night and Madonna was still unknown. She only sang 4 songs from her first album with a live microphone and a prerecorded backing track. Her brother Christopher and her friend Erica were the background dancers. You can hear Madonna say to someone offstage "I can't hear myself" in this rare clip of the show Madonna @ Metro 1983. Clearly Madonna is having trouble with the sound. A mistake I’m sure that she realized made it difficult for her to create flow and superfluidity, hence the rigorous sound checks in following years.

From the moment Madonna took the stage back in 1983, I knew there was something extraordinary about her. I was in the front row and completely mesmerized. Her charisma radiated and literally filled the room. I had never heard anyone drop the F-bomb publicly, and as a gay teenager her boldness lined with a certain vulnerability was something that I identified with and wanted to emulate.

The morning after the show I went directly to the Strawberries record store in Kenmore Square and bought her album. Anyone who had the pleasure of living near me until her next album, Like a Virgin, came out in November of 1984 knows that I blasted that first album non-stop for basically two years. (I apologize to my dorm mates btw!)

The song “Holiday” playing on my Walkman, kick-started every run as a teenager and all of Madonna’s subsequent songs became anthems for me on and off the competitive playing field. When I was breaking the Guinness World Record by running 153.76-miles on the treadmill at the Flagship Kiehl’s store in the East Village I made sure to have a DJ blasting Shep Pettibone extended Madonna dance remixes at regular intervals throughout the 24 hour run. Madonna’s music was a part of my winning formula as an athlete from the beginning.

Madonna’s Physicality and Exercise Regimen Sets Her Mind and Body Apart

I have a few quotes in The Athlete's Way by Madonna. One of them is, “I’ve never been a very passive person. Physicality, feeling strong, feeling empowered was my ticket out of middle-class Midwest culture. So I equate movement and strength with freedom.” The fact that Madonna’s roots are as a dancer and a drummer make sense from a neuroscientific perspective. Both of these activities are primarily cerebellar (of or pertaining to the cerebellum) but each also require the strong executive function of the cerebrum.

Madonna has always been known as an exercise fanatic. It’s no coincidence that Madonna is one of the healthiest, and most fit celebrities and also tops the Forbes list of 2013's highest earners. When you look at the daily routines of highly successful people who don’t burn out, regular physical activity is most often a key ingredient to their longevity. If you don’t exercise a little bit most days of the week your body and brain will atrophy.

From a neurochemical perspective Madonna’s body and brain are a well oiled and finely tuned machine. The daily choices Madonna has made to maintain intimate bonds with family and friends, move her body regularly, practice mindfulness, and eat right for the past thirty years has created the perfect neurochemical recipe for optimism, resilience, and enduring success.

Madonna regularly exposes herself to enriched environments both physically and intellectually which creates neurogenesis (growth of new neurons) in the gray and white matter of both the cerebrum and the cerebellum. Madonna’s intelligence is often underestimated. Watching an interview she gave at the Warner Bros. offices in early 1984 makes it clear that Madonna has a perfect blend of intuition and intelligence and did from the beginning of her career.

Besides her MDNA tour being the highest grossing tour of 2012, Madonna’s savvy investments have paid off. I have no doubt that during her daily workouts Madonna is strategizing and problem solving in a way that has given her an enduring advantage when making wise investment decisions.

Limousines Are a Creative Death Trap

I love that Madonna tries to take to the streets when she can and absorb the world around her either by walking, jogging or biking. You can see her soaking up the world and bulking up her cerebellar 'street smarts' while jogging in this vintage shot from the early 90s. If you look at the daily routines of creative greats throughout the ages, some type of physical activity is always going to be a part of the origin of one’s imagination and eureka moments.

Madonna is incredibly prolific. She has always written the majority of her own lyrics and music. While other singers and songwriters seem to run out of new ideas or inspiration — Madonna’s creative juices are still going strong. The fact that Madonna didn’t become a drug addict helped her stay alive and maintain her enduring success. Sweat has always been Madonna’s drug of choice.

Being driven around in a limousine causes your cerebellum to shrink because you don’t have to use it to monitor your body’s position in space (proprioception), balance or coordination of muscle movements.

Madonna is the queen of coordinated muscle movement and probably has the bulkiest and most robust cerebellum of any pop star. This makes her cerebrum and executive function stronger, too. The fact Lady Gaga was sidelined by a hip injury and was wheelchair bound and sequestered creates a double whammy by shriveling the cerebellum and street level connectedness.

Conclusion: Revolution of Love

At a time in the 80s when it wasn’t popular to talk about HIV/AIDS Madonna stuck her neck out and showed fierce compassion and advocacy. At the zenith of her career she had the courage to include a pale blue “The Facts About AIDS” insert in every patchouli scented “Like a Prayer” album, CD and cassette. She continues to advocate for the underdog and be outspoken politically as she made clear with Anderson Cooper at the 24th annual GLAAD awards.

In terms of loving-kindness, Madonna is much more generous and magnanimous than most people realize. Her charity and volunteer work is impressive. There is abundant research that altruistism and fighting for the underdog creates neurobiological changes that increase resilience and longevity. Madonna’s latest Secret Project will be released September 24, 2013 and is all about art, freedom, and a revolution of love.

The neuroscience behind Madonna’s enduring success is founded in daily choices that over a lifetime reshape the electrical, chemical and architecture of the brain. We all have the power to make choices every day that will make our bodies and minds healthier, stronger and more resilient over the long haul.

Many studies have shown that listening to our favorite music is good for our health. Luckily, if you like Madonna’s music you can use it as a tool to help you achieve some of the success she has by inspiring you to move your body. Even if you don’t like her music, you can learn from her lifestyle choices and create daily habits to maximize your potential, create superfluidity and achieve enduring success.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Camille Paglia : “Todays singers are simply aping feeble imitations of Madonna at 10th removed"

Billy Riegelmann August 28, 2013

Camille Paglia, who many years ago dubbed Madonna “The Future of Feminists” continues to celebrate Madonna’s impact on the entertainment world by comparing age of Madonna’s reign to the dismal pop acts that have become mainstream – most notably comparing the controversy over Miley Cyrus’s MTV Video Music Award performance.

The Cyrus fiasco, however, is symptomatic of the still heavy influence of Madonna, who sprang to world fame in the 1980s with sophisticated videos that were suffused with a daring European art-film eroticism and that were arguably among the best artworks of the decade. Madonna’s provocations were smolderingly sexy because she had a good Catholic girl’s keen sense of transgression. Subversion requires limits to violate.

Young performers will probably never equal or surpass the genuine shocks delivered by the young Madonna, as when she sensually rolled around in a lacy wedding dress and thumped her chest with the mic while singing “Like a Virgin” at the first MTV awards show in 1984. Her influence was massive and profound, on a global scale

But more important, Madonna, a trained modern dancer, was originally inspired by work of tremendous quality — above all, Marlene Dietrich’s glamorous movie roles as a bisexual blond dominatrix and Bob Fosse’s stunningly forceful strip-club choreography for the 1972 film Cabaret, set in decadent Weimar-era Berlin. Today’s aspiring singers, teethed on frenetically edited small-screen videos, rarely have direct contact with those superb precursors and are simply aping feeble imitations of Madonna at 10th remove.

You can read Paglia’s full article at

Official Madonna - Superstar (the Bimbo jones remix)

Happy 30th Birthday To Madonna's Holiday!

One of the hottest songs ever recorded!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pictures: Madonna in London (September 03 2013)

Madonna with her kids at the airport in London, leaving for New York (September 03 2013)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Madonna In Paris Pics!

Madonna was in Paris last Thursday 29th and Friday 30th August. During her short stay, she was seen at the Palais des Congrès in Paris to attend the rehearsals of musical Robin Hood, directed by her friend Michel Laprise, collaborator of Super Bowl Halftime Show and MDNA tour.