Madonna Slams M.I.A.'s Middle Finger Stunt at Super Bowl

Entertainment Feb. 10, 2012 AT 2:17PM
Madonna Slams M.I.A.'s Middle Finger Stunt at Super Bowl Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Sounds like M.I.A. made a very powerful enemy in Madonna.

Backing up the pop legend alongside Nicki Minaj at last Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show, the British/Sri Lankan rapper nearly hijacked the spectacle when she flipped her middle finger; the obscene gesture aired on live TV as over 100 million viewers watched.

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But this wasn't a provocative move planned in advance with Madonna a la her infamous VMAs kiss with Britney Spears. "I was really surprised. I didn't know anything about it," Madonna, 53, told Ryan Seacrest Friday during a radio chat for On Air With Ryan Seacrest. "I wasn't happy about it."

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Explained the singer, who invited M.I.A. (real name: Mathangi Arulpragasamand) and Minaj to perform on "Gimme All Your Luvin'," the lead single off her album MDNA: "I understand it's punk rock and everything, but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy, and positivity it seemed negative."

"It's such a teenager…irrelevant thing to do," she sniped. "There was such a feeling of love and unity there. What was the point? It was just out of place."

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Besides, Madonna was nervous enough for her big moment without M.I.A.'s unexpected gesture. Her most stressful moments? "When my throne docked on the stage," she said of her dramatic entrance.  "Then getting my cartwheels on the bleachers right."

By the time the 12-minute set concluded with "Like a Prayer" (with Cee Lo Green singing alongside her), "I was overwhelmed," she said. "I started crying. I felt an incredible sense of warmth, love, and support. To see an entire stadium light up like candles it was…like a religious experience."

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