Madonna Apologizes for Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela Comparisons: See What She Said

Madonna apologized for comparing herself to Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela in a Facebook post on Friday, Jan. 3 -- see what she had to say Mike Marsland/WireImage

Truce? Madonna apologized for seemingly comparing herself to Martin Luther King Jr. and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela — while arguably promoting her new album — on Friday, Jan. 2.

"I'm sorry I'm not comparing my self to anyone. I'm admiring and acknowledging [their] Rebel Hearts. This is neither a crime or an insult or racist!" the 56-year-old wrote on Facebook. "Also did it with Michael jackson and frida khalo and marilyn monroe. Am I saying I am them NO. I'm saying they are Rebel Hearts too."

Earlier in the day, Madonna sparked an outrage on social media when she Photoshopped her cover art for her 13th studio album Rebel Hearts onto the faces of King and Mandela, two of the most important black civil rights activists of the 20th century. Their faces were bound in black rope and were accompanied by captions. "This #rebelheart had a dream!" she wrote about MLK Jr. She added of Mandela: "This #rebelheart fought for freedom!"

The "Living For Love" singer at first teased her "haters" with the photos, but ultimately defended herself once she received the negative attention.

Madonna Album Cover
Madonna's Rebel Hearts cover art

"I didn't do it. My fans did. And I just re posted those photos. My fans aren't racist either," she continued via Facebook. "If they put me in the same category as these other people Thank you. I'm very flattered and I hope one day to live up to 1 100th of what those people accomplished."

Despite the controversy, Madonna continued to post the same types of photos, this time of Princess Diana and her late ex Jean-Michel Basquiat. "Yes Princess Diana was. #rebelheart! Anyone who fights for freedom is a #rebelheart," she wrote on Saturday, Jan. 3. "Basquiat…Another person i look up to and admire."

Madonna first endured backlash while teasing her upcoming new studio album Rebel Heart last month. At the time, she compared the online leaks of songs to "artistic rape." In response, she released six songs from the album on iTunes on Dec. 19.

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