Over the past three decades, Madonna has set and broken her own records, most recently wrapping the highest-grossing tour ever by a solo artist with her Sticky & Sweet show. And now that the 51-year-old mother of four has released the two-disc retrospective Celebration, the Queen of Pop sat down with Rolling Stone for a revealing look into her life after divorcing Guy Ritchie, her take on today’s rising pop stars and how David might be walking in mama’s footsteps one day.
On divorcing Guy Ritchie last year: “What can you say? It was a challenging year. I think work saved me, and I’m very grateful that I had work to do. I may have thrown myself off a building. Life is an adjustment. It’s different. My sons aren’t with me right now, they’re with their father, and I’m not very comfortable with the idea of my children not living together. There are pros and cons, but I feel good now.”
On her son David being her biggest fan: “Everybody says that when he watches [my concerts], he stays frozen from beginning to end, and he studies everything, and he knows every dance step.”
Click below to read why the Material Girl calls herself a “geek”:
On her multicultural staff: “My house is like a Benetton ad. I have French nannies, my security guards are Israeli, I have assistants from Argentina and Puerto Rico as well as a Japanese assistant and chef, and another chef from Italy. It’s wonderful I love it.”
On who she’s listening to: “I think Lady Gaga is great. When [she and daughter Lourdes] saw her, I actually felt a kind of recognition. I thought, “She’s got something.” There’s something quirky about her. She’s fearless and funny, and when she spoke to the audience, she sounded intelligent and clever. She’s unique.”
On if she can sense an artist’s ambition: “Yes. There’s people like Justin Timberlake, who’s really good-looking and laid back. He’s sort of a Cary Grant. I love him, I love working with him, but I don’t recognize myself in him. But I can see myself in Lady Gaga. In the early part of my career, for sure. When I saw her, she didn’t have a lot of money for her production, she’s got holes in her fishnets, and there’s mistakes everywhere. It was kind of a mess, but I can see that she’s got that It factor. It’s nice to see that at a raw stage.”
On being a geek: “I was a geek in high school. I didn’t really have a drink until I got divorced for the first time [from Sean Penn] when I was 30,” she said. “‘Geek’ is not a word anyone uses to describe me, except perhaps [‘Confessions on a Dance Floor’ producer] Stuart Price, who once said, ‘You know, you’re a nerd at heart, nobody knows it.’ I took it as a compliment.”