Madonna isn’t going to deny that she’s still the Queen of Pop, but she also wants the world to know that there’s one more than one throne. In her brand-new Rolling Stone cover story, the icon finally shares her thoughts on her long-rumored feud with Lady Gaga, saying she doesn’t believe there’s genuine beef between herself and the Artpop star.
"I don’t think [Gaga] wants my crown," Madonna explains to senior writer Brian Hiatt. "We live in a world where people like to pit women against each other. And this is why I love the idea of embracing other females who are doing what I’m doing."
Madonna admits she did have a gripe with Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” bearing so many similarities to her classic single “Express Yourself.” “The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs,” she says. “It’s got nothing to do with ‘she’s taking my crown’ or ‘she’s in some space of mine.’ I do think she’s a very talented singer and songwriter. It was just that one issue.”
The rumors of a feud are “really boring,” adds Madonna, who goes on to say that kind of gossip no longer concerns (or interests) her. “I don’t care anymore. Here’s the thing: one day everyone’s going to shut up about it.” She mysteriously adds, “You’ll see! I have a plan.”
Madonna also took a moment to discuss Kanye West, who has production credits on her new album Rebel Heart. “He’s a brilliant madman,” she says, noting that he would drive her “bonkers” because he had so many things going on while they were at work together. “He has to blurt things out — he’s always saying inappropriate stuff,” Madonna says. “But he also has brilliant ideas in the studio, if you can get him to pay attention long enough.”
As for West’s public antics, especially at awards shows — where he’s famously campaigned for Beyoncé at the expense of Taylor Swift and, most recently, Beck — Madonna does not always see eye-to-eye with her collaborator. “I never got too engaged with who wins awards or not, because I don’t honestly think it’s that important,” she says. “So that part of him I can’t relate to.” On the subject of who wins and loses at the events, the singer is similarly apathetic: “Don’t come to an award show looking for justice!”
In the cover story, Madonna goes on to talk about the kinship she feels with Taylor Swift. “People just want to give her a hard time all the time because they think she’s a goody-two-shoes, so of course I want to embrace her,” she tells RS.
Thirty-plus years into her incredible career, Madonna also takes a moment to assure fans that getting older will never slow her down — or stop her from being provocative. “Women, generally, when they reach a certain age, have accepted that they’re not allowed to behave a certain way,” she muses. “But I don’t follow the rules. I never did, and I’m not going to start.”
The Madonna issue of Rolling Stone hits newsstands on Friday, February 27th. Rebel Heart will be available on March 6th.