She's expressing what she's got, and she's on the right path, baby. Or is she?
Just as Lady Gaga's tour hit a snag in Indonesia, Madonna was in Israel rehearsing for her upcoming world tour, where she had the "Oh no she didn't!" moment.
There's Madonna, grooving and gyrating in her usual "53 and still kicking butt" form to that anthem of female empowerment, Express Yourself. Then, the Material Girl takes a detour into a song in the same key, same rhythm, and trumpeting a very similar message of self-acceptance: Lady Gaga's Born This Way A video from the subsequent concert is shown above.
The transition from one song to the other is so smooth, you'd have to be really up on the lyrics of both songs to even notice it.
An homage from the Mother of Self-Reinvention to Mother Monster? Not likely.
Because what's really interesting here is the timing of Madonna's comment. The controversy over just how much Born This Way borrows from Express Yourself is more than a year old.
At the time Born This Way came out, Madge reacted, imperiously and from the position of creative superiority, by calling the song a "wonderful redo." Eventually the whole "being a bigger person" act wore thin, and Madonna just called the song "reductive."
And then there was a year of detente, during which Born This Way grew to be something bigger than it was:
- An anthem for bullied LGBT youth.
- A song cute little girls from Winnipeg learned to sing, becoming instant viral sensations.
Madonna, a shrewd navigator of waters of pop culture and public opinion, stayed silent.
But now, with the Born This Way boom over and Madonna's own MDNA tour about to start, I guess bringing up the whole "who sang it first?" controversy is fair game again.
Remember, Madonna does nothing accidentally. And the woman is averse to all things "old," including old controversies. But she's got much on the line:her new CD, MDNA, sold close to 400,000 copies in its first week, but dropped off by a staggering 88 per cent in sales in its second week. And her new perfume, Truth or Dare, seems to have the topnote of desperation to stay in the public eye.
For the woman who never denied working hard to stay in the spotlight, she suddenly seems to be....trying a little too hard.
Whether the Express Yourself/Born This Way medley will become a regular part of MDNA tour, we'll see.
But what do you think of Madge's jab at Gaga? Fair attempt to remind people she was the original blonde provocateur? Or a low blow?
Just ahead of a new tour, Madonna, seen at left in New York in April, has conveniently reignited the debate over similarities of her song Express Yourself with the hit Born This Way by Lady Gaga, seen outside of Tokyo in May. (Evan Agostini/AP, Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty)
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