Madonna: Goddess of Pop (2012) - full transcript

This fascinating programme gives you a real insight into the life and the career of one of the greatest figures in popular music. Madonna deservedly has won the accolade of Goddess of Pop.

She is arguably the most talked
about woman on the planet.

With over 300 million albums
sold worldwide,

she is now, quite simply, the
top-selling artist of all time.

Every female pop star that has come out,
they're always hailed as "the next Madonna."

Her raunchy image
and catchy pop lyrics

have captivated fans
for nearly 30 years.

That was the game changer.

That was when people were like,
"Oh, my God, who is this girl?

She is going to be
the biggest star on the planet."

And her controversial
personal life

continues to make headlines
all around the world.

Can you tell us why
you're adopting again, Madonna?


she is one of entertainment's

wealthiest women.

Her ambition apparently
knows no bounds.

She is the master
of reinvention,

a true Renaissance woman.

Not content with just singing,

she is also a writer,
dancer, producer,

director, actor,

and businesswoman

She went after everything
she ever wanted.

She is the one and only...


Right in front of you,
please. Right in front of you. Right here.

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone

was born into a
large immigrant family

on August 16,
1958, near Detroit.

Her father, Tony,
was of Italian descent,

and her mother,
also called Madonna,

was French Canadian.

Both were devout Catholics.

They grew up at a
time when Michigan was...

Before it hit the
economic skids.

She grew up in a
relatively affluent household.

She identified really
early on with black culture.

She would love dancing
to The Temptations

and would dance with the
little girls in her neighborhood,

and she'd tell stories that they would
beat her and beat her and beat her,

but all she wanted to do was dance
with them, and eventually they were like,

"All right, you can do it."

And that's obviously a
theme of persistence that...

I think the one thing that no
one can take away from Madonna,

no matter how much you dislike her music,
is you kind of have to respect her ambition.

She was one of six children,
she was the third of six,

which is interesting, because if you
believe in anything about birth order,

usually you think it's the oldest
ones who are the high achievers.

But she was a middle child,
and maybe that had something to do with

why she was such an extrovert and
she sort of had to fight to get attention.

The kind of
Catholic upbringing she had

meant that it was rather strict
with very enforced parameters,

and there was a lot of
religious symbolism in her life.

Madonna said she grew up
surrounded by nuns and priests

who were always
over at the house,

And, of course, we see the
influences of that later on in her career.

Religion was never too far away

from her image,
from her lyrical themes,

and from her videos as well.

It got her in a lot of trouble,

There's a
lot of Catholic imagery

that showed up in very
subversive ways in her later work,

particularly and most famously
the "Like A Prayer" video

that ended up
almost getting banned

and resulted in a controversial
fallout with her Pepsi deal.

♪ When you call my
name it's like a little prayer ♪

♪ I'm down on my knees
I wanna take you there ♪

That video was full of all
sorts of Catholic imagery.

She's making out with a black Jesus statue
come to life, there's burning crosses,

and in her fashion as well,
like the crucifixes she'd wear.

You know, she definitely was
kind of like the bad Catholic girl.

To have that
kind of schism that young,

where you all of a sudden are
forced to question and stop believing,

and that's one of the themes
that runs through her music.

"Do you believe or not believe?
Are you a virgin or a whore?"

What's right, you know,
and what's bullshit?

Then in 1963,
when she was only five years old,

came the devastating
news that would have

an irrevocable impact
upon the rest of her life.

Her 30-year-old mother Madonna

was diagnosed
with breast cancer.

Her mother had
worked as an X-ray technician.

It was at a time where they
didn't really have lead aprons,

making it so you'd
block the radiation.

She'd developed breast cancer while she
was pregnant with Madonna's younger sister.

By the time she start treatment,
it was really too late.

The death of Madonna's mother,
she has said over and over again,

was kind of a very
pivotal point in her life.

Everything changed
from that point on.

Her father pretty
quickly remarried.

A woman who'd actually
been their housecleaner.

A woman that Madonna detested and
fought with throughout her childhood.

I think Madonna's rebellious
nature really began from that point.

By the time she
was an adolescent,

Madonna's subversive
attitude started to shine through.

It was an attitude which would
emerge time and time again

in her music.

What's interesting is probably
a lot of people would be surprised

to find out that Madonna
was actually an "A" student.

Because she has this rebellious
side and obviously what she went into,

people probably thought she was someone who was
always cutting class and was sort of a truant,

Rizzo from Greasetype of girl.

They say that she wasn't the
most charismatic person in the world,

which is weird because
you see Madonna now

and you think of her as poised and
confident and she knows what she wants.

When you're a teenager,
it's not necessarily like that,

and all the things that people
would say about her were...

She was a dancer,
she got straight A's,

she went from a
cheerleader to dance team,

but no one ever
pegged her for stardom.

By 1977,
Madonna had made it clear

that she couldn't wait
to get out of Michigan.

New York,
the mecca of art and culture beckoned,

and it wasn't long before she
got the opportunity to move there

on a six-week scholarship to the
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

She knew that
she had to be in New York.

It was the year The
Ramones are coming out.

The following year in England
The Sex Pistols blow up,

and everyone knows about that.

And then you have The Ramones,
you have the Talking Heads,

you have Blondie, you have all
these bands at CBGB's in New York.

It's this mecca. It's cheap,
it's grungy.

She got started the way a lot of,
unfortunately, young women

had to get started,

which was, you know,
to maybe do some, you know,

photography she may
not have been proud of,

to do some dancing that she
might not have been proud of,

just really ingratiating herself
in the disco and dance scenes

in New York City.

By 1979,
Madonna was dating Dan Gilroy

from the pop punk
band Breakfast Club,

and not surprisingly,
it wasn't long before she joined the group.

It's pretty amazing to think,
just knowing what we know about Madonna,

that she actually played
drums and guitar in that band.

They may have been lovers,
but Gilroy didn't pull any punches

when it came to Madonna.

There's a famous
quote where he goes to her,

"You're all naked
ambition and no talent."

And it goes, again,
back to Andy Warhol.

He was talented, but no one's gonna
be like, "Andy Warhol's a great painter."

But he had big ideas, and he knew
how to wrap them in a pop format,

and Madonna had the same thing.

But eventually she
decided to go out on her own

and move away from the rock
and punk thing she was doing

as a sort of, like, you know,
New York punk person,

and go into dance music.

And she connected
with Stephen Bray,

who was a fellow student of
hers at University of Michigan,

and they went on
to do a million hits.

Her big hits like "Into the Groove"
and "Express Yourself," you know.

He was one of her primary
songwriters for years.

New York music
producer Mark Kamins

then helped her to get a
record deal with Sire Records,

and with the help of Stephen Bray,
she wrote her first hit, "Everybody."

♪ Come on

♪ Everybody, come on,
dance and sing ♪

♪ Everybody,
get up and do your thing ♪

"Everybody" is still one of
my favorite Madonna songs.

It's really funny 'cause I recently read that
the video she did for that song cost $1500.

I'm like, "It cost that much? It
looks like it cost five dollars."

But it's great. It's just her.

She's not even looking
as sexy as she later did.

Her hair's short, it's brown. She's
dressed in these clothes from like Newsies.

Like these baggy
earth-tone clothes.

It's just her dancing with two people in
the background, as low budget as it can get,

but it's like a totally compelling video,
and the song is great.

♪ Dance and sing Get
up and do your thing ♪

It's not a very deep song.

It's not gonna bring
about world peace,

but it set the template that she
is great at doing these upbeat,

let's throw caution to the wind,
let's not give a crap about tomorrow,

let's dance all
night party songs.

It was perfect for a single.
Wasn't one of her bigger singles.

I think some of the stuff on her first album
is some of the best stuff she ever did.

♪ Get up and do your thing

"Everybody" proved the
springboard to success for Madonna,

and in 1982,
one of her first performances ever

was filmed at the hip
New York club Danceteria.

And now "No Entiendes"
is proud to present...

the world premiere
of Sire recording artist


♪ Everybody, come on,
dance and sing ♪

That was a legendary club where
LL Cool J was the elevator man,

the Beastie Boys and Keith
Haring are dishwashers.

It would go from 8:00 to
8:00 every night in New York,

and she would just dance there.

She'd dance at all the gay nightclubs.
She was going out every night.

She was seeing these cool girls and kind
of able to steal their style a little bit,

and she was able to mold herself into the
idea of the person that she wanted to be.

Buoyed by the
success of "Everybody,"

Madonna convinced Sire
to give her an album deal,

and her eponymous album
broke the music market in 1983.

Few realized at the time

that the girl with
the new poppy sound

would go down in history as one of
music's most famous female artists.

It was a disco diva record

at a time where there wasn't a
whole lot of disco music going around.

And she managed to write songs
that were commercial enough...

Co-writing with good partners...

So that they stood out as songs
as well as dance chart items.

The second single off
the album was "Holiday,"

and it really put
Madonna in the spotlight

as a force to be reckoned with.

♪ Holiday

♪ Celebrate

"Holiday" was Madonna's
first big hit single,

and it did so well that
it kind of launched her,

because she got on the hit TV show
American Bandstand with Dick Clark,

which was really afternoon
appointment viewing on the weekends.

And is she hot. This is Madonna!

She got a little
interview with Dick.

We are a couple of
weeks into the new year.

What do you hope will happen, not only in 1984
but for the rest of your professional life?

What are your
dreams? What's left?

To rule the world. There you go.

It was such an unusual thing to say, because
at that time, nobody knew who she was.

She had one hit
single to her name.

But looking back on it,
it's certainly interesting,

and it came true,
to some degree.

The first time I heard Madonna
was on radio, top-40 radio.

It was "Holiday," and I'm gonna
admit I thought she was black.

I thought it was
an R&B black artist.

I think a lot of
people thought that.

When they later saw the image that she
had... that she was blond and Italian...

People were surprised.

Then "Borderline" came out,

which is one of
her best songs ever

and the song that
broke her through.

♪ Stop playin' with my
heart Finish what you start ♪

♪ When you make
my love come down ♪

Everything was very
much tied to image.

I always will associate all those early
Madonna songs in my mind with the video.

And in that video, I actually literally
found a striped hat that my mom had,

and I found a bow and glued
it on and put it on my head

so I could have the hat
Madonna had in that video.

♪ You just keep on pushing
my love over the borderline ♪

Madonna's early pop songs, no matter,
like, whether you hate Madonna now,

whether you are the
biggest Madonna fan ever,

you kind of can't
deny those songs.

Because still to this day,
almost 30 years later,

you put on "Borderline"
and girls will dance to it.

At the end of the day, that's kind of
the general barometer for pop music.

If you can get girls to dance to it,
you will be popular.

There was something about her that, even
now, was what I think I liked about her.

From day one, no one told her, "Wear
rubber bracelets," or "Dress like this,"

or "Roll around on the floor."

I always felt everything
about her image...

The way she presented herself,

the songs,
whether she wrote them or not,

the songs she recorded
and chose to record...

Was 100 percent her.

I always felt she was authentic.

It was completely
coming from her.

♪ You just keep on pushing
my love over the borderline ♪

I was, like,
"I want to be this person,"

and I think a lot of little
girls wanted to be her

in a way that I don't think girls
necessarily wanted to be Britney Spears

or even Katy Perry.

Madonna just
always seemed like...

she came up from the streets
and she turned into, like,

the biggest pop
star on the planet.

It's like the ultimate
rags-to-riches story.

Madonna's arrival on
the pop music scene

coincided with that of
another great musical icon,

one that would change the
face of entertainment forever.

Right place, right time.

Television wants movement,

and Madonna is the first
great female mover in videos.

They're not songs.
They're mini epics.

Because the videos are what
ends up people remembering.

Those are the things,
and they're playing on MTV all the time.

She would appeal to everybody.

I remember going to parties
when I was eight or nine years old,

and every eight or nine-year-old
girl would sing every Madonna song.

In hindsight you're like, "Oh,
my God. These songs are so, like, sexual."

And if I was a parent,
I'd be freaking out,

but kids don't even know that, 'cause all
they know is that Madonna was pretty and cool

and danced well
and had good songs.

And ever courting controversy,

Madonna released the provocatively
titled Like A Virgin in 1985.

The album launched her
into the music stratosphere.

♪ I made it through
the wilderness ♪

♪ Somehow I made it through

"Like A Virgin" was a top
number one hit single for Madonna,

and in the video, of course,
we see her in Venice in a gondola.

♪ Like a virgin, hey

♪ Touched for
the very first time ♪

Having her in the
"Like A Virgin" garb...

with all of those bangles
and bracelets and crucifixes

and frilly clothes,

would have looked pretty
silly over 90 or 105 minutes,

but for four minutes,
it's charismatic.

And all of those image
changes that she went through

were perfect for
four-minute films.

♪ I'll be yours till
the end of time ♪

♪ 'Cause you make me feel

It's a really ambivalent song.

Like, this relationship makes
me feel brand-new and fresh,

but Madonna in her,

I guess her ability to
manipulate and be controversial,

used the imagery in her favor.

Just the use of the word
"virgin" set people on edge.

♪ Like a virgin, hey

♪ Touched for
the very first time ♪

Obviously there
was a total uproar.

She knew what she was
doing. She was a provocateur.

And I think, in America, if you can
provoke, if you can create headlines,

you can create controversy,
she knew that it would sell.

She was able to tap into these themes,
and she's always said

that she loved to play cat and mouse with
traditional gender and cultural stereotypes.

And that's sort of what
really "Like A Virgin" is.

A queen of music and motion,

and every biker's
dream guest rider,


There was the
MTV performance that did it.

The best, coolest, craziest

VMA performance of all time

was when she performed at the very
first one, opening the 1984 awards.

♪ I made it through
the wilderness ♪

♪ Somehow I made it through

That was the game changer.

That was when people were like,
"Oh, my God, who is this girl?

She is going to be the
biggest star on the planet."

♪ Like a virgin, hey

♪ Touched for
the very first time ♪

Her performance of that
song at the MTV Video Awards

is not just the definitive
moment for Madonna

but for MTV and for
pop culture as well.

♪ Oh, oh, oh

♪ Oh, oh, oh

When she rolled around
on the floor in her underwear...

That's kind of weird,
the way I'm talking about it now,

"Oh, she rolled around on
the floor in her underwear."

It sounds tame now because pop stars
have done so much more since then.

Lady Gaga, who's obviously
one of her logical successors,

But back then it was shocking.

She just was fearless. Like,
she was letting it all hang out literally.

I think at that point
people realized,

"Actually, no, this girl is going
to be around for a long time."

If she didn't have
that unerring belief in herself,

if she didn't have that ability to know
what is a hit and what would work,

then I'm sure it would have
gone to somebody else.

If you look at pop history,
it's really...

It's not necessarily who writes the
best songs but who gets the best songs

and who knows what to do
with them and market them.

That's one thing no one
had to teach Madonna.

She was a marketing
genius from square one.

Within weeks of the
release of the album,

the Madonna look was being mirrored
by teenage girls all around the States.

Her lace lingerie,
large crucifix necklaces

and fingerless gloves

became the fashion
statement of the moment,

and Madonna had achieved
one of her most ambitious goals:

she had become a trendsetter.

1985 and 1986

proved incredibly
successful years for Madonna,

and the hits just kept coming
and coming and coming.

"Material Girl" is a song where Madonna,
even more so than ever,

really establishes control of
her identity and her persona.

♪ Some boys kiss me,
some boys hug me ♪

♪ I think they're okay

♪ If they don't give
me proper credit ♪

♪ I just walk away

If "Like A Virgin" was kind of Madonna
renouncing her Catholic heritage,

then "Material Girl" was Madonna
kind of putting forth her credo

of what she values and
what's important in life.

Because you'd be hard pressed to look at
Madonna's personal life and financial decisions

and not say that this
is a very greedy woman

who really enjoys
amassing tremendous wealth.

♪ We are living in
a material world ♪

♪ And I am a material girl

It was a subversive song in just saying,
like, you know,

it was the '80s where,
you know, the "Me" decade

where people... You know,
greed is good.

And it was still,
for one thing, a major hit,

but it gave a lot of
people a lot to talk about.

There was, you know, a lot more weight to it
than what were typical pop stars at the time.

The video for "Material
Girl" is her... It's ironic.

She is being wooed
by a Hollywood director

who's trying to buy her
with money and gifts,

and she doesn't want him, so he
impersonates a poor person to get her.

♪ Material girl ♪ Material

♪ Living in a material world

♪ Living in a material world ♪

I never was
the Material Girl then.

It was meant to be ironic,

but no one ever seems to
understand my sense of irony,

except, possibly, the French.

You know, as life goes on,
you begin to understand and appreciate

things that are not material.

I have to live in the physical world,

and so, um,

you know,
when I said I am the Material Girl

when I sang that
song in the early '80s,

it was very... you know,
I considered it tongue in cheek.

In 1985,
she made her first movie appearance

in a film called Vision Quest.

Its soundtrack contained
her number one hit single

"Crazy For You."

♪ Swaying room
as the music starts ♪

"Crazy For You." My friend lost
her virginity to "Crazy For You."

Not me. My friend.

♪ ...bodies become one

Madonna recorded
"Crazy For You" in 1985,

and it was for a film that no one
remembers called Vision Quest,

and that was notable 'cause
it was her second big single

but also 'cause it
was her first ballad.

♪ What I'm dyin' to say
is that I'm crazy for you ♪

I don't think a lot of people,
especially who knew her from the early hits

like "Holiday" and "Lucky Star"
thought she'd ever go into ballads.

I mean, let's face it,
she's not Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey.

She's not known for having great vocals,
compared to some of the other pop divas,

but it did open
the doors for her.

I think it was a different
Madonna than we expected.

She wasn't this kind
of pop provocateur.

Rather she was singing this heartfelt
ballad where this kind of unrequited love.

♪ Because I'm crazy for you

♪ Touch me once and
you'll know it's true ♪

♪ I never wanted...
There's something

about her vocals, I think,
that she was able to convey emotion.

You know, she is, you know...

She might be capable of being one of
the unemotional people on the planet,

but I think when it comes
time to go into the vocal booth,

she knows how to kind of get that kind of
mixture of yearning or regret or sentiment,

and she knows
how to wring it out.

♪ I'm crazy for you

♪ Crazy for you, baby

And, again, it just established her as
something more than just a one-trick pony,

some who could be versatile and have different
types of music and different types of looks

and was gonna
have a lasting career.

And then came the low-budget motion
picture Desperately Seeking Susan,

a film theNew York Times called
one of the top ten movies of the year.

Prince had just done Purple
Rain. It was a massive hit.

Obviously the logical extension is Madonna
was the closest thing to a female Prince,

let's make her a movie star.

The Susan character
was clearly a Madonna character.

She actually doesn't have
that huge a part in the movie,

but when she is on the screen,
she lights it up.

She's just like so raw and
so earthy and so sexual

and just so real and, like, you know,
just a girl that guys would lust after,

but like a girl you might actually
know from around the way.

So different from her image now.

The Madonna we know now
would not be blow-drying her armpits

or, you know,
putting her feet up on the chair

while she eats popcorn with
her mouth open at the movie.

She was just, like, not a very
classy girl but a very cool girl.

And I will tell you that the idea
of having an iconic leather jacket

that you wear everywhere...

I spent years trying to find
the perfect leather jacket for me,

and it completely came from
the the fact that... it wasn't Fonzie.

It was the fact that Madonna had
this perfect jacket in that movie.

For me, at least, and for a lot of
girls who grew up with Madonna,

it was so much about her style,
and she just had the cool style.

Anything she wore, I bought,
or I would go into my mom's closet

and then cut up with scissors to make
look like something Madonna wore.

And in that movie,
the defined early iconic Madonna style,

the Wayfarer glasses,
the huge hair with the bow,

the cool jacket, the layered,
tattered clothes...

The idea that she just sort of,
like, took her entire suitcase

and it vomited on her, and here she is in all
these layers of clothes and she looks amazing.

It definitely came from that movie, and
it definitely established her as an icon,

I think a fashion icon as
well as just an all-around star.

It also produces
the song "Into the Groove."

Becomes another
one of her huge hits,

and it's kind of one of her last New
Wavey kind of freestyle kind of songs,

but it's a catchy dance smash.

♪ Get into the groove

♪ Boy, you've got to prove your love to me,
yeah ♪

It did point, I guess,
to her disco background.

It's not a disco song per se,

but it's a song that, you know,
it's about dancing that's a dance song.

So that always plays well,
and it really tied into the movie itself.

♪ We might be lovers
if the rhythm's right ♪

Another Stephen
Bray collaboration.

It's just like a
perfect dance song.

If I hear that anywhere, I will stop what I'm
doing and dance to it. I'm not exaggerating.

To me, it's up there with some
of the best Michael Jackson songs

like "Rock With You" and
"Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."

It's not deep; it's a
song about let's dance,

but sometimes all you need is
the perfect Saturday night club song.

Never short of admirers,

Madonna had always had a
preference for sexy dark men.

In the past, she had dated the likes
of graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

But in 1985,

she really got the
gossip columnists going

when she hooked up with one of the movie
world's most controversial young actors,

Sean Penn.

Amidst a blaze of publicity,

she married Penn on August 16,

At the time, the couple personified all
that was cool and cutting edge in Hollywood.

They'd become,
in the nicest possible sense of the word,

a freak show.

Their wedding was
covered by helicopter.

Now, usually people are just
worried about wedding crashers.

You and me on the street,
we get married.

We don't want people to
come in that we don't know.

Wait a minute. We
don't look to the skies.

Madonna's career continued
to go from strength to strength,

and true to form,
she continued to shock

with her latest controversial
hit "Papa Don't Preach."

♪ Papa,
I know you're going to be upset ♪

♪ 'Cause I was
always your little girl ♪

"Papa Don't Preach"
was a message,

an open letter, really, I think,
from Madonna to her father.

You know,
the whole thing was about this young girl

who'd sort of gotten herself in
trouble sexually, had gotten pregnant

and was having this
argument with her dad

about the fact that she didn't want to
give the baby up or have an abortion.

She was going to keep her baby.

♪ Please,
Papa don't preach I'm in trouble deep ♪

♪ Papa don't preach
I been losin' sleep ♪

In 2012, you know,
abortion is still a hot-button topic.

Some people don't want to touch it, so just
imagine what it was like in the mid-'80s

to have a song which message was,
you know, I'm keeping my baby.

♪ I'm keepin' my baby

It got mixed reactions.

There were family groups
that praised the song, saying,

"Okay, you know, Madonna is
preaching taking responsibility."

Not having an abortion or
giving up your baby for adoption,

but if you get pregnant,
doing the "right thing"

and marrying your boyfriend
and raising the baby.

Other people said, "No,
this is glamorizing teen pregnancy."

She couldn't win, you know?

♪ He says that he's
going to marry me ♪

It's really just a
Romeo and Juliet song,

but she's able to kind of
put it in an '80s context.

She wasn't writing a, you know,
Janis Joplin kind of song.

She's writing these songs that
appeal to American teenage girls.

dedicated this song to the Pope,

which, as you can imagine, caused
all kinds of headlines around the world.

Up until now she'd kind of been less,
perhaps not subtly, but taking digs at them

with "Like A Virgin" and some
of her Catholic iconography,

but this was kind of an open,
all-out declaration of war.

In the video, she was
very toned. She had a different look.

She'd cut off her hair and it was very short
and blond and she looked very sophisticated.

Sort of that boy toy look that
she had before was going away.

It was sort of the first time
we really saw Madonna

have one of her million persona
changes and body changes.

Madonna's wearing
this very provocative black bustier

and kind of bouncing around
quite a bit in this sexy outfit.

I was told that this
is when Guy Ritchie

actually started to develop
a bit of a crush on Madonna,

and he used to watch this
video again and again and again,

saying, you know,
"God, she's so hot."

So, ironically,
he later ended up marrying her,

but it was in that music video that he
first, I think, started to really fancy her.

Her career continued
with the release in 1986

ofShanghai Surprise,

co-starring her
husband Sean Penn.

Penn's popularity in
Hollywood had suggested

that the movie would
be a huge success,

but the reality
was very different.

Seeking Susan was a hit.

It gave us the number one song,
"Into the Groove."

You would have thought,
"Wow, film career awaits."

Nope. Duds.

Shanghai Surprise.

I would say that's Madonna's
first lead movie, and, um,

that generally was
not received very well.

You know, a lot of people wanted to do
whatever they could to bring Madonna down.

The fact that Shanghai Surprise
was not a good movie at all

allowed people to kind of
take their shots at Madonna.

And then a New York Times film critic,
Vincent Canby...

wrote the nail in the headpiece,
which was,

"Madonna has already
made her great films,

and they are all
four minutes long."

The movie had raised all kinds of
differences, both personal and artistic,

between Madonna and Sean,

and it was around this time
that news started to leak out

that the marriage
was in deep trouble.

When she
got together with Sean Penn,

I didn't think it was forever,
because we'd already known

that she'd been through a number
of men on her rise to the top.

Sean was incredibly aggressive
and violent at that point in his life.

Madonna has actually admitted or it's been
reported that he tied her up at one point,

you know,
threatened her with a baseball bat.

There had been all kinds of
unsubstantiated rumors that he hit her,

that he was violent
in the relationship.

It was a very ugly
relationship at points,

and I think Madonna who,
you know, loves to provoke,

loves to probably fight in
her personal relationships,

was like a match to a flame
when it came to Sean Penn,

who had very much
an out of control temper.

The marriage between
Madonna and Sean

had lasted just over two years.

Madonna later
admitted at that time,

"I was completely
obsessed with my career

and not ready to be
generous in any shape or form."

Her next big hit
was "Like a Prayer."

♪ Life is a mystery

♪ Everyone must stand alone

Once again, it incorporated
all the religious iconography

and references to
her Catholic religion.

♪ When you call my
name it's like a little prayer ♪

♪ I'm down on my knees
I wanna take you there ♪

And once again,
it caused controversy everywhere.

This is an example of, you know,

She had gone from being "Like a
Virgin" performing at the MTV Awards

and shocking and
scaring America,

and America loved her for it,
this controversial kind of icon.

By 1989,
Pepsi's giving her commercial deals.

She's already starting to become
absorbed in the mainstream.

But "Like a Prayer" ends up
having this kind of interracial video

and there was like
burning crosses in the south

and there was like
ideas of Ku Klux Klan.

♪ Just like a dream

♪ You are not what you seem

♪ Just like a prayer

♪ No choice,
your voice can take me there ♪

♪ Just like a prayer
I'll take you there ♪

Like I said,
she's a provocateur.

No matter what the taboo was, she would've
tried to break it whether it was right or wrong.

♪ You're here with
me It's like a dream ♪

♪ Let the choir sing

♪ When you call my
name it's like a little prayer ♪

It was so shocking to a lot of
people that Pepsi got shell-shocked

and wanted to
cancel the contract.

She never had anyone
feeling too comfortable.

And I think as her
career has progressed,

I think that's been the problem of
why she's had trouble being this figure.

At a certain point,
you break every single taboo,

there's nothing left to shock.

♪ It's like a dream to me

For the first
15 years of her career,

there was nobody that could
bottle up that combination

of these different themes of sex
and lust and rebellion and racial mixing

and all these different things that
were kind of like simmering in America,

and she kind of put
them out in the light.

Obviously there was political
things going on beneath it,

but no one never dealt
with it in a pop form.

You couldn't ignore her. She was able to
make you never be able to turn your head away

because if there was a car crash,
you'd kind of want to see what happened.

A new man was about
to enter Madonna's life,

and this time he
arrived in the form

of one of Hollywood's
greatest lotharios,

Warren Beatty.

They met while
filming Dick Tracy,

a movie written and
directed by Beatty,

and their 20-year age gap
became the talk of Tinseltown.

She actually did a good job,
in which, for the most part

was kind of a disaster
in a lot of ways.

It was sort of the beginning of a very
weird multimedia time for Madonna

And then came the
groundbreaking video

for one of Madonna's most memorable songs,

And with it came yet
another brand-new image.

♪ Look around

♪ Everywhere you
turn is heartache ♪

♪ It's everywhere that you go

♪ Look around

It was directed
by David Fincher,

who would later go on to mastermind
such Hollywood blockbusters

who would later go on t asFight
Club uch H andSocial Network. s

One of Madonna's
greatest skills as a pop star,

a mainstream pop star,

is taking underground trends

or things that are
soft of bubbling under

and turning them
into mainstream,

and "Vogue" was one of
the best examples of that.

♪ And here's what it's for, so ♪

♪ Come on, Vogue

Voguing came out of the 1960's
Harlem ballroom dance scene,

mostly underground,
mostly gay community,

and she turned it into one of the
biggest pop songs in 1989 or 1990,

and made doing this like a thing
that like your grandma would do,

even though she has no
idea where it comes from.

♪ Don't just stand
there Let's get to it ♪

♪ Strike a pose There's nothing to it,
Vogue ♪

Everyone knew it was eight years after
the fact that Vogue had its popularity,

but I don't think the average
person in middle America

knew what Voguing
was until Madonna did it.

It was a perfect
example of her...

With her ear picking up a frequency
that most people weren't hearing

and making it her own.

And it was also another
continuation in terms of the video

of her more glamorous,
more classy look,

the sort of Marilyn
Monroe-thing she started to do,

getting away more and more
from the kind of crassly, slutty look

that she had established
with her early albums.

They had a very
strong black and white video,

very highly stylized

and one of the best meetings
of message and music

in Madonna's career.

♪ Get up on the dance floor

♪ Vogue

Not only does she tie it in with
these themes of gay liberation,

which are all
kind of sublimated,

she's name-dropping Ginger Rogers,
Fred Astaire,

all these American icons.

♪ Marlon Brando,
Jimmy Dean on the cover of a magazine ♪

♪ Grace Kelly, Harlow, Jean

She's bringing all these
different ideas together

with kind of a subversive
idea beneath it,

and then, you know,
she's got a catchy video.

And the truth of the matter is, you know,
whether or not you know what Voguing is,

it comes down to the fact that everyone
remembers Madonna for being the person who Vogued

because it's not
necessarily who does it first.

It's always kind of
who does it best.

♪ Let your body
move to the music ♪

I saw her,
what may have been her live peak,

which was the Vogue tour,

and she was just so hot

that the heat of her
career was in itself sexy,

which she had a sense
for packaging each song

in a production number...

that was perfect
for the song itself.

And then they'd move to a
different point of the stage

and they'd do something else,

and you couldn't
take your eyes off her.

Madonna will always
have the sexiest dancers,

the newest fashions,

and she'll take credit for them.

Not because she's
being arrogant,

but because everybody
will give her credit for it

'cause they don't know who that
second beautiful dancer from the left is.

They'll just say it's
a Madonna show.

1991 was another
epic year for Madonna.

By now she had achieved a
staggering 32 top ten hits in the U.S.

and sold more than 17
million albums internationally,

generating an incredible
$1.2 billion in sales.

That same year she also
founded her own label,

Maverick Records,
with Time-Warner,

and brought out a
greatest hits album called

The Immaculate Collection.

A documentary about
her Blonde Ambition tour

also got the critics
talking once again.

In America,
it was called Truth or Dare.

In the rest of the world, it had the
provocative title In Bed with Madonna

I just think life is unfair. Here I am,
this person.

Everybody thinks I have everything I want,

But I want you,
and I can't have you.

It was the Truth or Daremovie
where it was one of the first times

where she went to her mother's
grave since she was a little girl.

And if you really want to mark Madonna's
career up in the paths or into spheres,

1991 is kind of where
she makes the sharp break.

She released The
Immaculate Collectionthat year,

and I think you could probably make a case
of that was when she finally had gotten

maybe the first bit of degree of
peace with her mother's passing.

I never really
understood why she was taken away from us.

It just seemed so unfair.

I never thought that she
had done something wrong,

so oftentimes I'd wonder
what I'd done wrong.

She never wants to leave.

She never wants to live any
of her life with the cameras off.

If it was ideal,
she'd have the cameras on at all times.

And they talk about
her early shows,

where she was one of the first
ones to realize that she was like...

She would let the audience
be the peeping tom.

The documentary film
also highlighted Madonna's

free-thinking attitude
toward sexual stereotypes,

revealing her bisexual
relationship with another woman.

I don't like her. I don't either.
Believe me, it's sickening.

I don't like any of the
people I sleep with either.

That's why I sleep with
them 'cause they're hideous.

It's very interesting
that Madonna...

didn't get more of a
reputation for being bisexual.

She famously hung out with
Sandra Bernhard as a gal pal.

But that's because she
went through so many people

that inevitably a couple of
them were gonna be women.

As if the documentary hadn't
been provocative enough,

a year later,

Madonna really went for
gold in pushing the boundaries

when she published a highly controversial
soft-core pornographic coffee book

featuring her in various
blatant erotic poses.

The book calledSex
sold 150,000 copies

on its release day
in the USA alone.

Three days later,
all 1.5 million copies of the first edition

were sold out worldwide,

making it the most successful
coffee table book of all time.

The one thing I would
say that she ever did controversial

that, like, hurt her career what
I'd say would be the Sexbook,

which was just
stupid and ridiculous.

I will come out
there and say it.

Nobody would've said,

"Hey, let's make a $150 coffee
table book of explicit photos."

I mean,
nobody said that to any pop star ever.

Can you imagine anybody
saying that to Barbra Streisand?

To me, I was like,
"What are you doing?"

Like it's one thing to
be sexual in your videos,

to be sexual in
your song lyrics,

but when you're actually
doing a soft-core porn book

where you're posing naked,
with Vanilla Ice,

with Vanilla Ice and Big Daddy
Kane and Naomi Campbell...

I'm proud to buy
it. I'm not ashamed.

Once again, you have to
realize this was 1991, let's say.

People were more easily
shocked then than they were now.

She had a
sense of how far she could take it

'cause this could've
potentially been a career ender.

And then she knew
intuitively when to cut it,

and she let the
book go out of print.

It came out, coincided with

what I think is one of her
weaker albums Erotica,

which, again, was just so hammering
you over the head with the sex thing.

There was just something about it
that I thought seemed very desperate

and very, um... yeah,
just trying too hard and silly

and just trying to shock like,
"Ooh, look how shocking I am."

By now even some of her most
ardent fans believed Madonna

had gone one step too far
with her overtly sexual image.

And for about five years,
she went under the publicity radar.

But then in 1996 came
the momentous news

that she had given birth to
a baby girl called Lourdes,

whom she had with her lover
and personal trainer Carlos Leon.

Madonna had said numerous
times she wanted to have a baby

with a Latin man,
a Puerto Rican particularly

'cause she thought they would
make beautiful babies together.

As if the birth of her daughter
weren't headlining enough,

news also broke in 1996
that Madonna had landed

one of the most coveted
roles in show business,

that of Eva Peron

in the movie version of
the smash hit musicalEvita.

She said at the time,

"I am prouder ofEvita than
anything else I have ever done."

Madonna's not gonna go
down in history as being a great actress.

But occasionally she gets
married to the right part,

and the reason why Desperately
Seeking Susan worked well for her

is because she was basically
playing a variation of herself,

and some people could say
with Evitashe sort of was, too,

this very ambitious woman
who came from nothing,

who is determined to
make something of herself.

Some would say
Madonna has used men

or used her feminine
wiles to get ahead.

Evitawas the
great musical hit on stage,

but of the late 70s.

And for some reason,
the film didn't get made,

even though an entire
generation of star females

were mentioned for the
part and seriously considered.

In the film,
she plays Evita Peron,

the wife of Juan Peron,
leader of Argentina.

And this is a role that
she'd always kind of wanted,

and obviously she found, I'm sure,
tons of emotional connection

with a woman that kind of
got everything that she wanted.

I was extremely
passionate about it.

I knew that it was
a chance for me

as an actress and a singer

to do things I'd
never done before,

and to push myself and to grow.

♪ It won't be easy

♪ You'll think it strange

Doing "Don't Cry For Me,

from the balcony
of the Casa Rosada,

she was charismatic.

♪ Don't cry for me, Argentina

♪ The truth is I
never left you ♪

That was her
first big film success,

kind of her only major,
major film success,

but I think it proved that she
was able to have that kind of...

She was able to
have that versatility.

She was able to kind of get in the
mind of a very, very powerful woman

who would stop at nothing to succeed,

Obviously a huge stretch.

It's an incredible
role for any actress to play,

and I felt that I could completely
understand her compassion

and her ambition and other
things that she experienced.

♪ I love you and
hope you love me ♪

I just feel that what's
happening to me

is a perfect example that
if you just keep on going

and you put your mind to something,
you can achieve anything.

♪ Look at me to know

♪ That every word is true

Not long after Lourdes' birth,
Madonna joined Kabbalah,

a religion reflecting the more
esoteric aspects of Judaism.

Her Kabbalah name is Esther.

And to this day,
she remains a firm believer.

In 1998,
she released an album calledRay of Light,

which proved a real
departure for her.

♪ Zephyr in the sky
at night I wonder ♪

Once again, it proved a whole new
chameleon-like reinvention of her image.

That was a real change of pace

because it wasn't
so much a pop album

as it was an attempt
to kind of negotiate

with the electronic music
that was going on at the time.

For most people in the music industry,

that catch always
sees the next big thing.

♪ And I feel

The structure is
like a dance record.

And she's somebody who really... as even
dance music continues to thrive in 2012...

It's probably the
biggest it's ever been,

Madonna was the first one.

♪ Quicker than a ray of light

She was the one that
kind of was able to do it

in a way with more style than
anybody had and more visual flair.

She was the first one to get that it
wasn't enough to just be a good singer,

not to have good songs.
You had to be an icon.

If you wanted to survive,
you had to, you know,

become not just a
conversation at the dinner table.

You had to be like the
conversation at the dinner table.

♪ Quicker than a ray of light

♪ I'm flying

She won four Grammys
forRay of Light,

including Best Video.

Amazingly, it was the first
time in Madonna's long career

that the Grammys
had recognized her.

I've been in the music
business 16 years.

This is my first Grammy,
and, uh...

Well, actually,
I've won four tonight, but...

you know,
it's worth the wait and all that.

The video was directed by
Swedish director Jonas Akerlund,

and it also won the
MTV Video of the Year.

They want to know if I
was difficult to work with.

No. It was great.

That same year,
Madonna's constant reinvention continued

when she married British
film director Guy Ritchie.

She moved from Los
Angeles to London

and later gave birth to
their son Rocco John.

I'm looking for a
place to live in London,

but only because I go there so much,
I work there so much.

I can't stand staying in hotels.

You know,
so it would be kind of like a second home.

It wouldn't be my primary home.

For a while,
she seemed content with London life,

even writing a children's
book calledThe English Roses.

this onetime sex siren

now started to promote an image of
a more wholesome English mother,

even adopting something of
a British accent along the way.

How much do
you enjoy being married?

Love it. Best thing I've
ever done. Thank you.

She reinvented
herself as this English rose,

writing a children's book, talking
about baking bread and staying at home,

wearing these,
like, day dresses.

It's absolutely ludicrous.

The problem with
the English roses

was that they were
all a little bit jealous

of a little girl in
the neighborhood.

I tried out all the
stories on my children,

and whenever they got
bored and started fidgeting or,

you know, complaining or
looking for other things to do,

I knew I had to fix
that part of the story.

It's like Madonna thinks that
the rest of us have such short memories

that nobody remembers the
whole S&M stuff from before

and were happily ready to accept
her as this, you know, English rose.

Now, of course what we see
more recently is another reinvention,

kind of something in the middle.

She still wants to be sexy.

She wants to prove that she can
be 53 and she can rock a body suit,

but at the same time, she's not quite
as seedy and naked as she used to be.

I think Kabbalah has played a large role in
some of the images we've seen of Madonna.

As she's kind of dabbled... at one time
very, very deeply involved in the religion,

I think lately a bit less so...

We've seen the kind of
influences of having a spiritual life

and how that has affected
her in terms of her public image.

She went on to write
several more children's books,

includingYacov and
the Seven Thieves.

So my throat is a bit sore,

and I'm supposed to actually
not be talking to very much

'cause I have a
concert tomorrow,

so Lola has volunteered
to read the story to you.

Once upon a time, the rose...

In 2003 came Madonna's
ninth studio album

American Life.

With only 4 million in sales,

it was the lowest-selling
album of her career.

And a few less successful
singles emerged later.

She had a couple of huge flops.

American Lifewas first and
foremost the biggest flop of them all.

That's the song
where she tries to rap.

And it went about as
well as you might imagine.

♪ I'm drinkin' a soy latte
I get a double shotte ♪

♪ It goes right through my
body And you know I'm satisfied ♪

Madonna's 10th album
Confessions on a Dance Floor

was released in 2005.

Confessions on
a Dance Floor from 2005

was probably, in my opinion,
the last great Madonna record.

We'll see how the new one is, but that was,
I think, her last real great record.

And in a way,
it was a full-circle achievement.

American Lifehad been kind of a
misstep of her trying to be all political,

and she got back to, actually,
what she did in the beginning,

her dance roots,
her Danceteria roots.

♪ Every little thing
that you say or do ♪

♪ I'm hung up

♪ I'm hung up on you

Her last great single
was "Hung Up",

- which sampled "Gimme! "Gimme!
- "Gimme! "by ABBA.

Brilliantly sampled that.

At that point, she had kind of gotten a
reputation as being very self-serious.

And Confessions on
a Dance Floortried...

It was designed to
be similar to a DJ mix.

And "Hung Up" was one of
her biggest hits in a long time.

♪ I can't keep on wait...

♪ But it'll be too late

♪ Every little thing
that you say or do ♪

It was a number one song in,
I believe, in forty-plus countries,

which made it the most widespread
number one single in pop history.

In 2006,
Madonna hit the headlines once again

when she funded an orphanage in Malawi,
East Africa,

and went on to adopt
a boy from the country.

His name was David Banda.

2008 proved another momentous
year for the goddess of pop,

not all of it good.

Things were not going
well in the Ritchie household.

Madonna and Guy fought a lot.

They had a very
difficult relationship,

and I've actually been around
them when they were fighting,

and what was interesting
was the way that they fought

was very much the way like
14-year-old boys would fight,

like, "No, you're stupid." "No,
you're stupid."

It was the most adolescent dynamic I have
ever seen in a relationship in my life.

I think what drew Madonna to
Guy was like a lot of strong women.

She was looking for
someone who was her equal,

who matched her,
who wasn't intimidated by her.

And I think Guy's very English
upbringing allowed him to be very reserved

and certainly not to show visibly that
he thought she was cool or impressive.

Madonna was
really drawn to that.

I think Guy mirrored at lot of her
own father's demeanor and behavior

in the sense that he was cold, he
was remote, he didn't give praise easily.

Madonna was very attracted to that,
but later, of course,

I think she felt very hurt by the
fact that he wasn't more supportive

or more complimentary
of her efforts.

That same year, Madonna had to face
the release of aNew York Times' bestseller

written by her brother and once-close
confidant Christopher Ciccone

calledLiving with Madonna.

It revealed some
unsavory stories about her.

But despite all this,
Christopher remained adamant

that he held no ill
will towards his sister.

There's no venom in this
book. None whatsoever.

I have to face myself every day

when I wake up and
look myself in the mirror,

and I do that with...

I can do that with honor
and respect held intact.

It became clear from the book
and to subsequent interviews

that there was no love lost

between Christopher and
Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie.

I don't dislike Guy Ritchie. He
disappoints me as a human being,

but I don't dislike him,
you know.

It's my sister's husband,

and I have no intention
of getting in between that.

As far as him being
a wedge between us,

his insecurities led him to
behave a certain way with me.

We were very close, her and I,

and that was not
an easy thing for him.

Is he homophobic? Probably.

But I think the combination
of what I was to my sister

connected with the
way that I have sex

was difficult for him to deal with.

And, you know, it was,
as Rupert Everett said,

sort of, you know, me or him.

Not long after
the book's release,

Madonna announced that she
and Guy were officially divorcing

after eight years of marriage.

Throughout the pain
of Madonna's divorce,

or "Lola" as she's now known,

became even
closer to her mother.

Madonna was always a very active
mother and a very strong mother,

but then I think as she went
through her divorce from Guy Ritchie,

she began to depend more and more on her
then, I think, 12 or 13-year-old daughter.

Their relationship now definitely
resembles more two girlfriends

than it does mother
and daughter,

If you look at Lola's life,
she's growing up so fast.

She has a clothing range,
a clothing line.

She had a cameo in
her mother's movie W.E.

She's been in
Madonna's music video.

She's at a
performing arts school.

She clearly wants
to be a performer,

and it looks like Madonna's almost
morphing from this performer herself

into probably the
stage mother from hell.

But she's getting to kind of vicariously, I
think, relive some things through Lourdes.

As she approached
her 50th birthday,

Madonna found herself
in Malawi's high court,

defending claims that she had flaunted the
adoption laws in the country over David Banda.

I went to Malawi in Africa

thinking that I was going
to save children's lives

and make a big
difference in their lives,

and I was going to affect
change in their lives.

And hopefully I have,
but the surprise to me

was how much they changed me.

This adoption
essentially created...

It was the beginning of the
creation of adoption laws in Malawi.

Up until this time,
there wasn't an adoption law.

So consequently I
was sort of the template

or the role model, so to speak,
for future adoptions.

But she won the case and later
went on to adopt another Malawi child,

Mercy James.

It was a tough time
for me... I won't lie...

Because the whole adoption period,
you know,

going through the bureaucracy of
it and everything was exhausting,

and then, you know,
to have to go there

and see the palpable
suffering of the children

and to feel like you were
doing something good,

and then to come home to
everyone screaming and outraged

and accusing you of kidnapping.

You know, it hurt,
I have to say.

But you know, time has gone by,

and I can look back at it and say, "Well,
you know, people didn't understand,

and often people jump to conclusions,
and they're not educated,

and they don't know
what's going on."

And I knew eventually that
people would understand the story

and you know,
obviously I had to go through that as well.

It all worked out
okay in the end.

How does it feel
to back in Malawi, Madonna?


That same year, Madonna released
a third greatest hits albumCelebration,

which became her 11th
number one album in the U.K.

She now tied with Elvis Presley

as the solo act with most
number one albums in the country.

In 2011, Madonna stepped
back into the movie business,

this time as a co-writer
director onW.E.

It told the story of American
divorcee Wallis Simpson,

who brought the British
monarchy to its knees

when she won the
heart of King Edward VIII,

and he was forced to abdicate.

The movie received
mixed reviews.

Basically all the
reviews have been universally bad,

apart from the fact that they've said,
in terms of the artistic direction,

basically like she was making
a music video, it looks good,

but everything else... the script,
how the movie flows...

There's a lot anachronistic stuff
where stuff from out of time, you know,

they've got Wallis Simpson dancing
to some punk song from The Cure,

stuff like that that Madonna
thought was very edgy

has been universally
reviled by critics.

despite her increasing years,

Madonna's live
performances are legendary.

As a live performer,
she is fantastic.

I had the privilege of going to
a very small concert she held.

I was in a VIP area standing next to Guy
Ritchie, and we were very close to the stage.

At the time, she was fantastic.

A lot of energy. She
really commands the room.

In fact, she reminded me of
Oprah Winfrey in a strange way

because I've been in a
situation with Oprah as well,

and she just has to stand
there and say anything banal,

and the whole
audience is riveted.

Madonna has that same
commanding presence.

They remind me of each other.

And she just had the
audience in the palm of her hand

from the minute she
came on the stage.

Her most recent live performance
was at the Super Bowl in 2012,

where she wowed an audience
of over 114 million viewers

with her highly energetic
and ever raunchy routine.

♪ Look around

♪ Everywhere you
turn is heartache ♪

♪ It's everywhere that you go ♪

I thought Madonna's performance at
the Super Bowl was a great spectacle.

It's a great show,
which is what Madonna is famous for.

If you looked at the way the
stage was lit and all kinds of...

You know, amazing graphics and
visuals and dancers and choreography.

It was very well done.

There was,
for example, this man on a tightrope.

There's a particular
name for what he did,

and he's the first person to
get national television doing that

because she was clever enough to spot,
"Hmm. This is new.

Get him to do this tightrope thing,
dance on a tightrope."

♪ Dance with me, baby

She knew that
M.I.A. was of a different ethnicity,

so that would expand the audience,
as Nicki Minaj did.

And she knew she
was controversial

because that's how they became
famous in the United States

was through controversy.


She had Nicki Minaj,
she had M.I.A. there.

Those were her
handpicked kind of children.

You know,
it was kind of a slap in the face.

I think Lady Gaga and I'm sure Katy
Perry would've killed to have had that,

but it's interesting that Madonna
picked Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.,

and I think if you really want to study
her career, that's not surprising at all

because she identified all
the stuff that she was taking

was from African-American,
you know, Caribbean culture.

She was taking all of
these different things.

You have somebody like M.I.A.
who's originally from Sri Lanka,

and her dad was Tamil Tiger.

She's a rebel, and she's flipping off the
camera, whether that was planned or not.

You have Nicki Minaj,
who's from Queens.

She's a rapper, she's a girl,
and she's still stealing everything from...

I mean,
everyone steals everything from Madonna.

If you saw Nicki Minaj's
recent Grammy performance,

you know,
she going against the Catholic Church.

The funny thing about it was everyone,
you know,

there was a priest there, and she
was playing all these different things,

and she's going wild,
and she's doing these sexual things,

and you're supposed to be like,
"Oh, my God. That's so awful."

But it's not awful because, like,
everyone saw that 20 years ago.


When M.I.A.,
you know, gave the middle finger,

it really irritated Madonna.

She said she felt it
was unnecessary.

The energy had been so positive.

But let's be honest.
That's not the reason.

The reason it irritated Madonna
is that people were talking

about that obscene gesture the next
day instead of Madonna's performance.

If anybody's gonna shock,
if anybody's gonna provoke,

it has to be her.

If you looked at her alone,

uh, the voice,
some of the dance moves,

the fact that she was actually holding
cheerleading pompoms at one point

was a little bit silly.

♪ Gimme all your lovin'

♪ Gimme your love

♪ Gimme all your love today

I think there is a fine line
between being an older woman

and being a fantastically sexy
performer and looking ridiculous.

And I think at points
she carried it off

when she came
in as the gladiator,

then at other points when she was a
cheerleader, it did look a little bit silly.

Nonetheless it put her single
into the top ten for the first week.

Incredibly, her latest albumMDNA

reached number
one in 43 countries

through iTunes preorder
before it was even released.

First of all,
the title MDNA is amazing.

It's a very clever title,
and it also gives a nod to rave culture

and shows that she's again
going in the dancey direction.

And "Gimme All Your
Luvin" is the new single.

It has M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj.

♪ I see you comin' and I
don't wanna know your name ♪

♪ L-U-V Madonna

Madonna's very good
about surrounding herself

with people that are young and
cool and will get her attention.

She's done duets with Justin Timberlake,
Britney Spears,

people like that.

It was a way for her
to just kind of re-establish, like,

"Hey, um,
I'm still the queen of all this stuff."

Ever contentious,
Madonna's love life continues to fascinate

an ever-greedy and
voracious media.

Most recently,
she's been linked with much younger men

like 26-year-old
Brazilian model Jesus Luz

and 25-year-old Brahim Zaibat.

You name a big male
star of the late 20th century,

and Madonna probably had some
affiliation with him in some way.

And if not, he wanted it, you know,
because she took men like trophies.

Despite being the most
famous woman in the world,

Madonna still manages to
lead a fairly private personal life.

So what is she really like?

When you meet Madonna,
the first thing that strikes you

and kind of shocks
you is how little she is.

She has this larger-than-life persona
and this huge iconic reputation,

and so when you see this woman
who's barely 5'4", this tiny little figure,

you find it hard to believe that so much
power came out of such a small being.

Madonna is not
particularly warm or friendly.

There's kind of a
frostiness about her,

and you have to work for it,
you know, to get her approval.

She notoriously hard on people.

She expects her staff to be available
to her at all hours, day or night,

for whatever she
needs or desires.

Additionally she expects
them to be in good shape.

She expects everyone to
take care of themselves or else.

But at the same time,
I don't think her standards

are any less on herself
than they are on other people.

She's a classic perfectionist, and she demands
that kind of stuff from everyone around her.

Another thing about
Madonna was like never into drugs.

She never really drank.
She would drink ginger ale.

And I think people
thought she was weird.

And I think it probably strikes back to the
fact that she never wanted to be out of control.

She never wanted to
feel weak or imperiled.

And when you drink or you smoke,
it's to lose yourself,

and I think the story of Madonna
is somebody who loves herself.

I know someone who had a
meeting with Madonna not too long ago,

and she arrived in her
pajamas. She just doesn't care.

Another thing about Madonna
is a lot of people don't realize

all her friends and family,
they never call her Madonna.

It's always "M,"
so it'll be like,

where's M? What time is M getting home?

Are you at M's house?"

It's kind of her
personal nickname.

Madonna actually doesn't
really like the "Maj" nickname.

That came from the
British tabloids: Her Majesty.

I've been told she
actually hates it.

I'm quite positive that although
she's called that frequently in the press,

nobody would dare to
call her that to her face.

People have been wondering
what the future holds for Madonna forever.

I remember when she turned 30, people were
like, "How long can she keep doing this?"

When she turned 40, it was like,
"Come on, you're already 40.

Can she still keep doing this?"

Now 50's behind her.
She's 53 years old,

and she's about to
release another album,

and she already has a
song that's a top 40 song,

and she's collaborating
with Nicki Minaj.

What does the future hold for Madonna?
I don't think she's ever gonna stop.

At the end of the day,
I love fancy clothes and sparkling diamonds

and parties and dressing up

and, you know,
all of those things,

but I don't need them to be happy,
and I never did.

She will never
stop trying to be the best.

She will never stop
trying to stay on top.

Her ambition apparently
knows no bounds.

I don't see Madonna ever stopping
until nobody wants to go see her anymore.

You know, her tickets,
very controversial for her new tour,

is something like $300.
And when she was asked,

"How do you justify, in this economy,
asking these kind of prices?"

And she said simply,
"I'm worth it."

And I think as long as she
has that kind of confidence,

that kind of self-belief,

and that kind of, you know,
incredible ability to captivate a room,

she's gonna keep going.