Madonna remains the Queen of Pop more than 35 years into her career. To celebrate her illustrious life and upcoming 14th studio album, Madame X, the legendary performer sat down for a wide-ranging interview about everything from her music to motherhood to turning 60 last summer.
Here are five revelations from Madonna’s extensive chat with The New York Times Magazine.
On Her Flop Album Rebel Heart
The majority of the pop star’s 2015 album, Rebel Heart, leaked online months before its scheduled release date. To make matters worse, the demos were largely unfinished. As a result, the finished album sold much less than her previous works once it finally hit shelves. “There are no words to describe how devastated I was. It took me a while to recover, and put such a bad taste in my mouth [that] I wasn’t really interested in making music,” she admitted to the publication, adding that she “felt raped” by the leak.
On Donald Trump Date Rumors
In 1991, long before Donald Trump became president, his publicist claimed that Madonna had asked the real estate mogul on a date. She insists that never happened, but she did talk to Trump, now 72, on the phone at the time. “I did a Versace campaign with [photographer] Steven Meisel at his house in Palm Beach,” she said. “[Trump] kept going: ‘Hey, is everything OK? Finding yourself comfortable? Are the beds comfortable? Is everything good? Are you happy?’”
The “Vogue” singer has six children; she shares Lourdes, 22, with ex-boyfriend Carlos Leon and Rocco, 18, with ex-husband Guy Ritchie, and she adopted Mercy and David, both 13, and twins Estere and Stella, 6, from Malawi. “If somebody said, ‘OK, you’ve got to give one thing up,’ I would say, ‘OK, I’ll stop working,’” she told the Times. “But they like that I work. They love to come visit me and watch me work. My older children, my son, he’s a painter, and my daughter’s a dancer and choreographer — I can see how my work has influenced them, though they probably wouldn’t like to say so. I like it. It makes me proud.”
On Hearing Her Old Hits
Madonna’s music is known around the world, but she is tired of her back catalog. “If I’m in a car or I go into a restaurant, I’m out somewhere, and one of my songs starts playing, I just go, ‘Ugh,’” she confessed. “Probably because I’ve had to hear it five billion times already, and I want to escape that.”
Whenever the seven-time Grammy winner finds herself thinking about her age, she reminds herself to cut it out. “Stop thinking, just live your life and don’t be influenced by society trying to make you feel some type of way about your age or what it is you’re supposed to be doing,” she said. “We are a marginalized group, women. And just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you stop fighting against it or defying it or refusing to be pigeonholed or put in a box or labeled or told you can and can’t do things.”
Madame X is out Friday, June 14.