Madonna (entertainer)

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There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon, and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath. Life is very sweet, brother; who would wish to die?
George Borrow
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Madonna Louise Ciccone (born 16 August, 1958), known simply by her first name, is an American pop singer-songwriter, record and film producer, dancer, actress, author and fashion icon. Guinness World Records listed Madonna as the most successful female recording artist of all time. Madonna is often referred to, by the media, as the 'Queen of pop'. [1] Madonna's record company credited her as having sold over 232 million albums and 150 million singles worldwide. [2]

General quotes

  • "In a time when political correctness is valued over honesty, I would also like to say: ride on motherfuckers...!"
  • "A falcon."
    • When asked by a fan what kind of animal she would be; she then performed the song "Hollywood" which contains the line "This bird has flown," and quipped mid-lyric "Told you I was a falcon!"
  • "I was sacked from Dunkin' Donuts for squirting the donuts jelly all over the customers." (About working in Dunkin' Donuts in New York before becoming famous).
  • "I miss New York. I still love how people talk to you on the street - just assault you and tell you what they think of your jacket."
  • "I hate polite conversation. I hate it when people stand around and go, 'Hi, how are you?' I hate words that don't have any reason or meaning. Also I hate it when people smoke in elevators and closed in places. It's just so rude."
  • "I don't take drugs: I never did. All the feelings that drugs are supposed to produce in you - confidence or energy - I can produce naturally. The only problem is going to sleep. But I never take pills... I drink herbal teas."
  • "I just like the idea of pills. I like to collect them but not actually take them. When I fell off my horse, I got tons of stuff: Demerol and Vicodin and Xanax and Valium and OxyContin, which is supposed to be like heroin. And I'm quite scared to take them. I'm a control freak." [3]
  • "I love horses. I think I may have been one of Henry VIII’s knights in another life, riding through a great forest."
  • "When I got my first paycheck, $5'000 or something. I bought a Leger and I bought a Frida Kahlo self-portrait, but I don't know which came first. But I remember buying it and I had just gotten married and it looked completely out of place in my house in Malibu." (When asked what was the first painting she bought).
  • "In everyday life I am quiet and reserved, not the housekeeper type but cool and relaxed. I don't get up in the morning wearing false eyelashes and I don't wear fancy underwear when I'm cooking popcorn. I'm a nice little ducky."
  • "I think that life is a paradox and you have to embrace that in your work and your belief systems... you can't be a literalist, and that's the trouble that people always find themselves in. That's why people always hit a wall with any of my stuff, because you can't take it literally."
  • "With the crucifixes I was exorcising the extremes that my upbringing dwelt on. Putting them up on the wall and throwing darts at them. And the 'Boy Toy' thing was a joke, a tag name given to me when I first arrived in New York because I flirted with the boys. All the graffiti artists wore their nicknames on their belt buckles."
  • "It's psedo-Puerto Rican punk rock freak out. A Motorcycle baby. It's a combination of my two oldest fantasies. One was to be Nancy Sinatra; the other was to be a nun." (Describing her style when she just started her career).
  • "I must have been Japanese in a previous life. I'm pretty sure I was a warrioress. I can't explain it, I just know. I'm good at fighting - fighting with a big sword." [4]
  • "I've always been kind of obsessed with Frida Kahlo, so I was really into the idea of getting something that belonged to her. And then from Frida Kahlo I found out about Tina Modotti and then I started collecting her stuff and Edward Weston, and one person always leads to another person with me, because for me it started with Diego Rivera, then it went to Frida Kahlo, then it went to Tina, and Edward and... Also, if you're into Picasso, and you want to find out about him and that whole area of art and European culture, then you start reading about Man Ray and the surrealists and Andre Breton, and all of a sudden you're in that whole world and you start having interests in other people. It's like a disease."
  • "One of my all-time favourite poets is Charles Bukowski. I think he's the coollest guy in the world."
  • "Listen, everyone is entitled to my opinion."
  • "Life's too short to be bitter, I'm too short to be bitter."


  • "That consciousness is everything and that all things begin with a thought. That we are responsible for our own fate, we reap what we sow, we get what we give, we pull in what we put out. I know these things for sure."
  • "I think you can be defiant and rebellious and still be strong and positive."
  • "I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in, and going after your dreams."
  • "Never forget to dream."
  • "I want to be like Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, and John Lennon... but I want to stay alive."
  • "Be strong, believe in freedom and in God, love yourself, understand your sexuality, have a sense of humor, masturbate, don't judge people by their religion, color or sexual habits, love life and your family."
  • "I'd like to think I am taking people on a journey; I am not just entertaining people, but giving them something to think about when they leave."
  • "I don't care anymore if people dress like me, now I want them to think like me."
  • "To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage, because we don't want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt."
  • "beauty is where you find it."
  • "When in doubt act like god".
  • "Better to live one year as a tiger, then a hundred as sheep."
  • "I refer to an entity called 'The Beast'. I feel I am describing the world that we live in right now. To me 'The Beast' is the modern world that we live in."
  • "I don't think you can ever love enough."
  • "I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanist." (at American Life MTV special)
  • "Not only does society suffer from racism and sexism but it also suffers from ageism. Once you reach a certain age you're not allowed to be adventurous, you're not allowed to be sexual. I mean, is there a rule? Are you supposed to just die?"
  • "Absolutely no regrets."
  • "When I experienced what was going on first hand, I just got sucked into the whole thing. Thank God I did. I met some amazing people and, hopefully, I’ve changed the lives of a lot of children. Just as important, I think it’s been an incredible growing and learning experience for me." (About her work in Malawi).
  • "Humiliating someone for gain will haunt you. God will have his revenge."


  • "When I came to New York it was the first time I'd ever taken a plane, the first time I'd ever gotten a taxi-cab, the first time for everything. And I came here with 35 dollars in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I'd ever done."
  • "I went to New York. I had a dream. I wanted to be a big star. I didn’t know anybody. I wanted to dance. I wanted to sing. I wanted to do all those things. I wanted to make people happy. I wanted to be famous. I wanted everybody to love me. I wanted to be a star. I worked really hard and my dream came true." (Spoken at the beginning of the "Virgin Tour" concert video).
  • "I wouldn't have turned out the way I was if I didn't have all those old-fashioned values to rebel against."
  • "I wanted to do everything everybody told me I couldn't ever do."
  • "I think passive beauties have their place in the world. It's hard for me to relate to that."
  • "Fantasies are essential. Without fantasies I would have died of starvation."
  • "I'm ambitious. But if I weren't as talented as I am ambitious, I would be a gross monstrosity."
  • "If I was a girl again, I would like to be like my fans, I would like to be like Madonna."
  • "I feel just as hungry today as I did the day I left home."
  • "There's no borderline for the things that I can say, do, and create."
  • "People think they will wake up one day and I'll be gone. But I'm never going away."
  • "I have the same goal I've had ever since I was a girl. I want to rule the world."
  • "I'm not going to compromise my artistic integrity." (Spoken in her documentary "Truth or Dare".)
  • "I became an overachiever to get approval from the world."
  • "I always thought I should be treated like a star."
  • "Now that I got everyone's attention, what do I have to say?" (Behind The Music on VH1)
  • "If at first you don't succeed, you're obviously not me."
  • "I'm like a cockroach you just can't get rid of me!"
  • "You have to be patient. I'm not."
  • "I won't be happy till I'm as famous as God." (In the very begining of her career).
  • "To me, the whole process of being a brush stroke in someone else's painting is a little difficult."
  • " rule the world." (When asked what she wanted to do, on "American Bandstand".)
  • "I'm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay."
  • "Sometimes you have to be a bitch to get things done."
  • "haven't got much time to waste; It's time to make my way; I'm not afraid of what I'll face; But I'm afraid to stay." (Lyrics from "Jump")
  • "When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it."
  • "There are moments when I can't believe I'm as old as I am. But I feel better physically than I did 10 years ago. I don't think, Oh God, I'm missing something."
  • "What else is there for me to conquer? Hopefully my ego. How will I know when I've succeeded? When I stop caring what anyone thinks."
  • "I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art."
  • "One must dare to show what he wants. You have to go and ask for things rather than wait for them to happen." (Crillon Hotel, Paris, November 1998).
  • "Every time I do a show, I die a little bit, but no shit is worth doing unless you're willing to die for it." (From the book 'Madonna Confessions').
  • "I pay attention to what’s going on around me. I’m always looking for new energy, new talent, new voices. When you do that I think it’s easier to come up with fresh ideas. It's not that my career has been based on surprising people, but it’s been about challenging myself — to constantly do new things that are going to broaden my own mind and in the process, hopefully, connect with other people."

About family

  • "Obviously, my tastes and my priorities have changed, Just because I'm a mother doesn't mean I'm not still a rebel and that I don't want to go in the face of convention and challenge the system. I never wanted to think in a robotic way, and I don't want my children to think that way, either. I think parents should be constantly questioning society."
  • "Family is everything. Family comes first. It's not what I expected it to be, but nothing ever is."
  • "I understand that gossip sells papers, but I am dissapointed because it discourages others from doing the same thing. The media is doing a great disservice to all the orphans in Africa by turning it into a negative thing. I beg them to go to Africa and see what I saw. It's a state of emergency. Anyone who went there would want to bring one of those children home and give them a chance to have a future and better life." (About the adoption of her son, David)
  • "Children always understand. They have open minds. They have built-in shit detectors."
  • "The last thing I want is to raise a brat. We could definitely go down the wrong road. I don't want Lola to have everything she wants. I want her to appreciate things, and not to be presumptuous. I want her to have manners and social graces."
  • "I could probably bring up a child as normal as I can live my life. I surround myself with people who don't treat me like a celebrity or a freak or whatever, and I would do the same with my child."
  • "I think it's important for children to stay in one place, to socialize with other children."
  • "We get up with them in the morning. I get my daughter ready for school. I spend time with my son before he goes off to his daycare. Either Guy or I am always with them at dinner, and we spend evenings together". (On her children)
  • "My father was very strong. I don't agree with a lot of the ways he brought me up. I don't agree with a lot of his values, but he did have a lot of integrity, and if he told us not to do something, he didn't do it either."
  • "Have I ever been totally and completely intimidated by another person? Yes - my husband's mother."
  • "It only took me 40 years to get it right." (Talking about her husband, Guy Ritchie)
  • "He actually knows a guy who fed people to pigs! Go on, tell how you got this scar." (About her husband, Guy Ritchie)
  • "Well, he sometimes wears a kilt." (Said jokily when asked who wears the pants in her relationship with Guy)
  • "The scar on his face is one of my favorite things about him. I thought he got into a fight or something when we started dating." (About her hubby, Guy)
  • "I love Guy's confidence and his director's charm. The first time I met him, I was most certainly intrigued by his masculinity. He's my wonderful disciplinarian. He's so amazing with the kids; he's also mellow and a Virgo of course."

Sex, sexuality & gender

  • "Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another." (Lyrics from "Justify my love")
  • "Rejection is the greatest aphrodisiac."
  • "It takes a Real man to fill my shoes."
  • "I wanted to be a boy when I was growing up because I was in love with all of the male dancer I know and they were all gay. And I thought, Well, if I was a boy, they'd love me. So I got into role-playing then. That's where it began. I remember when I was still in high school, I had cut my hair off really short, and I was totally anorexic - I had no boobs - and I would dress like a boy and go to gay clubs and my goal was to trick men into thinking I was a boy." [5]
  • "I mean that whole crotch-grabbing thing was just so like, OK every other rock star in the universe has done it, so I'm going to do it. And you know how freaked-out people got about it. Whatever. But we got off the subject."
  • "Maybe I'm just a gay man inside a womans body!" (Talking to Michael Parkinson in November 2005)
  • "Gay men are perfect men for girls who are tough. They're not threatened by strong women, and they're usually very in touch with their feelings and pay attention to details. I've always had an affinity with gay men."
  • "From the dance world to the music world, my social strata was mostly gay men. That's who my audience was, that's who I hung out with, that's who inspired me. For me, it freed me, because I could do whatever I wanted and be whatever I wanted."
  • "For me, a male image that I'm really moved by is somewhere between of Oscar Wilde type of a male: the fop, the long hair, the suits, too witty for his own good, incredibly smart, scathingly funny - all that. But then my other ideal is more like the Buddhist monk - the shaved head, actually someone who sublimates their sexuality."
  • "Strong women leave big hickies."
  • "I'm not interested in being Wonder Woman in the delivery room. Give me drugs."
  • "She never had public favor; it was a bit like the Hillary Clinton thing. She did all the right things for her country, but she wasn't ultimately revered. So she had a conversation with her confidant-adviser. She asked him, when have they ever looked up to or idolized a woman? Only one, he told her, the Virgin Mary. So she said, Then I will become like the Virgin Mary, and she did. She created a facade for herself; she stopped having lovers; she became like a virgin. She became sexless, and painted her face in a white alabaster way, and turned herself into an icon that was untouchable and sexless, and then she had everybody's respect." (About Queen of England, Elizabeth I). [6]
  • "Because I've taken my clothes off in public doesn't mean I've revealed every inch of my soul."
  • "Why did God create men? Because vibrators can't mow the lawn."
  • "David Bowie has a huge influence on me because his was his first concert I went to see. I rememer watching him and thinking I didn't know what sex he was, and it didn't matter. Because one minute he was wearing body stockings - the whole Ziggy Stardust thing - and the next minute he was the Thin White Duke in white double-breasted suits, and there's something so androgynous about him. And I think androgyny, whether it's David Bowie or Helmut Berger, that has really really influenced my work more than anything."
  • "I saw losing my virginity as a career move."
  • "Everybody loves you when they are about to come."
  • "When I get down on my knees, it is not to pray"
  • "Most priests are gay."
  • "Condoms saved my life."
  • "If you have to ask for something more than once or twice it wasn't yours in the first place."
  • "Come on girls! Do you believe in love? Cause I got something to say about it." (From the song Express yourself).
  • "Hey you! Don't be silly! Put a rubber on your willie!" (Poem written for AIDS P.S.A.)
  • "So what?" (In response to nude photos published early in career.)
  • "I don't trust any man who hasn't kissed another man."
  • "I don't care if you have a small dick, as long as you know how to use that stick."
  • "I am attracted to a thug. I like that quality, but I like the other side of it, too. Because all guys who go around behaving in macho ways are really scared little girls. So you have to look beneath the surface. There's a difference between my ideal man and a man that I'm sexually attracted to, believe me. Therein lies the rub."
  • "No man can have sex with anyone but me and since I don't have that kind of time on my hands, you might as well all be gay!" (Joked during 'John Jay and Rich interview', on April 11th 08').
  • "Phallic symbols. You know Catholics. I used to draw people naked all the time in my art class and my nun teachers used to tell me I had to put clothes on them. So I just drew lines around their bodies. See-through clothes." (When asked what she used to draw as a kid). [7]
  • "I'll flirt with anyone from garbagemen to grandmothers."

On fame

  • "Fame can be very disruptive. It can be like a drug. It gives you the feeling that you’re happy, it gives you the feeling of self-importance, it gives you the feeling of fulfillment... but it can distract you from what is really important."
  • "The worst thing about being famous? I think it's what everybody says.. the lack of privacy and the idea that you're not really allowed to make mistakes and everything that you do is viewed under a microscope."
  • "Hollywood is about playing the game, and I can't think of any successful actresses who didn't play the game. there's a lot more renegades in the music business, from Patti Smith to Janis Joplin."
  • "Before you're famous, you don't know what you're getting yourself into and you don't know until you're in the middle of it what you have sort of asked for."
  • "I like to show off when I'm onstage, but I don't like to show on, like, 'Come in and check it out. Look how rich I am.' That's not my style."
  • "I was publicly flogged." (RE: the "Sex" book phase of her career)
  • "I'm saying celebrity is bullshit. And who knows that better than me?"
  • I have a cage
    It's called the stage
    When I'm let out
    I run about
    And sing and dance and sweat and yell
    I have so many tales to tell
    I like to push things to the edge
    And inch my way along the ledge
    I feel like God, I feel like shit
    The paradox, an even split
    It's just a job, I always say
    I should be grateful everyday
    Sometimes I think I just can't do it
    But I persist and I get through it
    And I console myself each night
    At least my cage is filled with light. (Short poem from "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret")
  • "I've been popular and unpopular, successful and unsuccessful, loved and loathed, and I know how meaningless it all is. Therefore, I feel free to take whatever risks I want."

About politics

  • "I fear the future I wish for my children is at risk, so I'm taking action. Please join me. Our greatest risk is not terrorism, and it's not Iraq or the "Axis of Evil". Our greatest risk is a lack of leadership, a lack of honesty and a complete lack of consciousness. Unfortunately our current government cannot see the big picture. They think too small. They suffer from the “what's in it for me?” syndrome. The simple truth is that the current administration has squandered incredible opportunities to bring the world together, to promote peace in regions that have only known war, to encourage health in places that are ravaged with disease, to make us more secure by living up to our principles at home and abroad. The simple truth is that the policies of our current administration do not reflect what is great about America." (About the War in Iraq & the Bush administration).
  • "I am not anti-Bush. I am not pro-Iraq. I am pro-peace. I have written a song and created a video which expresses my feelings about our culture and values and illusions of what many people believe is the American dream - the perfect life."
  • "If you don't like my attitude, then you can fuck off, just go to Texas and suck George Bush's dick!" (Singing 'I Love New York' at Coachella Festival 2006)
  • "This is a historical evening. This is fucking important evening ... We are lucky to be sharing it with each other. This is the beginning of a whole new world. Open your fucking head!"
    • Madonna Onstage in San Diego on election night, congratulated President-elect Barack Obama before a giant projected backdrop of an Obama campaign poster that read, “WE WON.” It ended with Madonna getting the crowd to chant “We are one!” [8]
  • "If we can elect an African American as president, we can support gay marriage! Defeat prop 8! We will not give up!" [9]

On religion

  • "Catholicism is not a soothing religion. It's a painful religion. We're all gluttons for punishment."
  • "It is difficult to believe in a religion that places such a high premium on chastity and virginity."
  • "If I was to change my name, I'd used my confimation name, Veronica. I chose her because she wiped the face of Jesus, which I thought was really romantic."
  • "I sometimes think I was born to live up to my name. How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna? I would either have ended up a nun or this."
  • "I loved nuns when I was growing up. I thought they were beautiful. For several years I wanted to be a nun. I saw them as really pure, disciplined, above average people. They had these serene faces. Nuns are sexy."
  • "Crucifixes are sexy because there's a naked man on them!"
  • "I would like to see the Pope wearing my T-shirt."
  • "I pray when I'm in trouble or when I'm happy. When I feel any sort of extreme. I pray when I feel so great that I'll think I need to check with myself and recognize how good life is. But when it seems there's so much bullshit around, it's important to remind myself of the things I have to be grateful for."
  • "As soon as you tell me I can't do something - And that's how I've always been, starting from when I was a little girl. The boys could wear pants to church and the girls couldn't. And I used to say, But why? Is God going to love me less if I don't wear a dress? It just irked me - the rules. So I would put pants on under my dress, just to f*ck with my father. And after church, I would tell him I had pants and I'd say, See, lightning did not strike me. And I guess I've been doing that ever since."
  • "The cross is a very powerful symbol and it symbolises suffering, but it also is connected to a person who was loving and sharing and his message was about unconditional love. I tried to take a powerful image and use it to draw attention to a situation that needs attention. "For me, we all need to be Jesus in our time. Jesus's message was to love your neighbour as yourself and these are people in need." (About the controversial crucifixion scene in her Confessions tour)
  • "One is that we are all responsible for our actions, our behavior, and our words, and we must take responsibility for everything we say and do. When you get your head wrapped around that, you can no longer think of life as a series of random events - you participate in life in a way you didn't previously. I am the architect of my destiny. I am in charge. I bring that to me, or I push that away. You can no longer blame other people for things that happened to you. The other is that there is order in the universe, even though it looks like chaos. We separate the world into categories: this is good and this is bad. But life is set up to trick us. It's a series of illusions we invest in. And ultimately those investments don't serve our understanding, because physicality is always going to let you down, because physicality doesn't last." (About Kabbalah) [10]

From "Sex" book

  • "Straight men need to be emasculated. I'm sorry. They all need to be slapped around. Women have been kept down for too long. Every straight guy should have a man's tongue in his mouth at least once."
  • "Then there are guys who say 'I have never fantasized about being with a man.' They are lying. And the least offensive men I've been with in terms of their sexual politics and how they view me as a woman, have been men who have either slept with men, or at least kissed or held a man once. It opens up your thinking. You don't think that women are less-than you are."
  • "My pussy has nine lives."
  • "A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That's why they don't get what they want."
  • "I think I have a dick in my brain. I don't need to have one between my legs."

On The Late Show with David Letterman

  • Madonna: "Is that a rug?" (referring to David Letterman's hair)
  • Letterman: after the singer brands him a "sick fuck": "You realize this is being broadcast don't you?"
  • Madonna: "Listen, all you do is talk about my sex life on your show, so now you don't want to talk about my sex life when I'm on your show?!"
  • Letterman: "I want to thank you folks for coming out for this run-through show. Thank you very much. This, of course, will never see the light of day. You won't miss a thing tonight."
  • Letterman: "Oh, stop it! Will you stop? Ladies and gentlemen, turn down your volume. Turn down the volume immediately! She can't be stopped! There's something wrong with her!"
  • Madonna: I am a sick fuck I have my nose in everybodies sexlife!

About Madonna

  • "She's outrageous, she's provocative, she's inscrutable. And over the years, we've all been witnessed to her evolution, from street smart kid sister to virgin bride, from sex goddess to a yogi. Her mind is as celebrated as her body, she's as feared as she's desired, she leads while other's follow...a woman who is all woman, and all women." [11] Sting

  • "That woman has more sensuality in her ear than most women have anywhere on their bodies." Stephen Jon Lewicki [12]

  • "I proposed to Madonna three times, but she refused all the time. Always in very a polite way. She's the only woman I would ever have married. I find her attractive sexsually."

[13] Jean-Paul Gaultier

  • "Madonna is a tremendous example of someone who went to NY with couple of dollars in her pocket and an enormous dream to conquer the world. She did whatever she had to do until she hit the big time. I admired her commitment and determination. She clearly understood what her market wanted in a performer. She's a great example of someone who developed a unique style, look, and brand and then marketed herself as a total package, filling a void that everyone else bought in to and tried to copy. She's an innovative genius."
    • Criss Angel, from his autobiography: "Mindfreak - Secret Revalations". [14]

  • "I watched a screening of her [Madonna's] film and I was sitting right next to her, which to me was exciting still. I’m not jaded enough to not be excited by that." [15] Marilyn Manson

  • "Madonna is the only modern celebrity who is truly a style icon. Who else has the audacity to dress like her these days? "She really influenced how I wanted to look when I was growing up, and made me realise that I didn’t have to look like a blonde beach bunny or a Playboy model." Dita Von Teese[16]

  • "I get surprised by the venom that I hear expressed about Kabbalah. I think part of it is Madonna-envy." Esther Rantzen [17]

  • "When we had a break Guy asked if I'd like to meet the wife as she was in the car park and he knew I was a fan. So off we trotted. To be honest, I had the shock of my life. There she was in the back of her Range Rover administering a shot of B12 into the arse of Gerald Butler. Believe me. I was completely stunned to be quite honest, stunned - I mean to throw open the door and see that... I knew it would be magnificent to meet her because she's cult - I mean like Elvis - but the last thing I expected to see was her giving Gerard a shot in his bare arse because he wasn't very well. She does it for her dancers, she's trained doing it, so she decided to do it for the actors as well. She was so cool. She just said to Gerard, "There you go - bosh! That does it." And while she was doing that she was talking to me about a load of books I should be reading. I was really thrown." [18] [19] Tom Hardy

  • "She was awesome. She was very, very cool. She played a bit of nurse to me, because I got sick in the middle of the film. She turned up with all these medications. In fact, the first day I met her, she was like, 'So you're the sick one. Take this, take this, take this.' The infection was in my throat and chest and I was really run down. Madonna thought the whole thing out and helped me get better."
    • Gerard Butler on how Madonna nursed him back to health after the actor fell ill on the set of Guy Ritchie's film. [20]

  • "Madonna is one of the only people in the world that can make a straight woman become gay, or a gay man become straight." [21] Benjamin Bratt

  • "She's quite extraordinary. When I was 14, the first single I ever bought was LIKE A VIRGIN. She was kind of my sexual awakening. I had some full-on posters of her on my wall. I don't know what my parents thought. She still looks damn fit." [22] David Tennant.

  • "I was in the hospital, I had her come see me in the hospital, we talked a deal in the hospital and we did the deal in the hospital. Within days, even before I got out of the hospital, she was starting to record what became her first single, Everybody, and we were off and running. I saw her staunch determination and I knew she would work as hard as I did and much harder, in fact. And that's what you need in an artist. She worked harder than anybody. I just saw her perform in Berlin, and she still works harder than anybody." Seymour Stein [23]

  • "You can't imagine how small she is... really small! But she is a sex bomb, believe me."
    • John Kennedy Jr to William Noonan after hearing a message from Madonna on the phone.

  • "The history of women in popular music can, pretty much, be divided into before and after Madonna." Susan Sarandon

  • "She is very natural. I did not get to know her as a person but she is down-to-earth and straightforward. She just speaks her mind." [24] DJ Gordon Edge

  • "Whenever I was with her I always knew I was around a woman who had power and knew how to wield it. She is a big-time businesswoman, and she knows exactly what she wants.
  • "She's a great lady. If you watch her on TV or in her videos, you get the perception of her as a real hard person who says "Fuck" for twenty minutes on David Letterman. In person, she's nothing like that. I don't remember her swearing to excess when we were out together. She always handled herself elegantly."

  • "In a way I respect Madonna for the things she introduced because she introduced some subversive things and it has nothing to do with sex as far as I'm concern, I'm talking about the introduction to the vogue dance which originated in the gay clubs in 80', and she was always supportive of stuff like that which I think is really cool." Kurt Cobain

  • "She was in the process of becoming the biggest star in the world. I just wanted to make my films and hide. I was an angry young man. I had a lot of demons and don't really know who could've lived with me at the time. I was just as badly behaved as her, so I can't point the finger of blame." [26]
  • "I met her on the shoot of that video (Material Girl). Madonna had done Like a Virgin, so she was a phenom, but nothing could have told anybody what would happen next. I describe that marriage as loud. That's how I remember it. And frankly, I don't recall having a single conversation in four years of marriage. I've talked to her a couple of times since, and there's a whole person there. I just didn't know it. I was just living in my own head. Who was it that said 'Men are vain, particularly young men'? That was me, and I liked to drink a lot." [27]
  • "She's someone who I have really high regard for, she's an upstart. In a world that lacks boldness she's bold. There're times when I think 'OMG what she's doing?' just like everybody else think, but then when I run in to her I would see that she's a very spontaneous person in a certain ways and a good person."

  • "After our kiss, Sean texted Madonna and said 'I just popped my cherry kissing a guy. I thought of you. I don't know why.'" [28]
    • James Franco about Sean Penn texting Madonna after filming a scene for the movie Milk.

  • "She would hang around naked in the locker room."
    • Amy Arbus about Madonna in the early days.

  • "I turned round and it's Madonna, and I'm thinking, 'Fucking hell, it's Madonna!' But I say 'hi' and she grabs my hand and she gives me the famous blink and says, 'I think you're amazing' in that tiny voice she has. And I'm thinking, 'OK, try and be cool, this is possibly the biggest pop icon of our life, be cool'. I tried to say something even remotely understandable and instead just garbled my words. I had high heels on and I hardly ever wear high heels, and I lurched towards her, and I could see the alarm on her face, thinking 'who the hell is this?' And I lurched off flustered without even saying goodbye." Shirley Manson

  • "I was letting people dictate who should be my friends. I felt like because I was this big Black Panther type of nigga, I couldn't be friends with Madonna. And so I dissed her, even though she showed me nothing but love. I felt bad, because when I went to jail, I called her and she was the only person that was willing to help me." Tupac Shakur [29] (April 1995 VIBE)

  • "Pipe bands greeted the Queen and the Queen mother when they visited us and a few people turned out. But everybody appeared to see this woman Madonna. She had them all in the palm of her hand." [30] Jim Matheson.

  • "She wasn't at all Madonna-ish, in a predatory way. She was warm and affectionate and womanly. She's really very normal: a lovely, traditional, sweet person"
  • "We were holding hands, she was taking my arm, pretty much from the outset. It all seemed very natural. I'm a romantic anyway, and she's got a very big heart." [31]
  • "I used to joke with my friends, 'What do you buy the woman who has everything?' but she was actually really easy to buy presents for. She was always really gracious when she received gifts."
  • "She could wear the tattiest pair of jeans and still look good in them. Often she'd walk round the house in just a Hennes vest and look fantastic. She once said to me if she didn't do what she did, she would love to have been in fashion journalism. She is very creative."


  • "She's certainly not one for regrets, She's very forward-looking and positive, as you can see from what she's achieved in her life." [33]

  • "Oh, God! Yes, I had a sense that they'd really like each other and really complement each other and I think they do - they're fantastic parents, and they sparkle when they're together. But I'm not a kiss and tell!"

  • "I can understand that the whole world is interested in my wife. That's even why I married her." [35]
  • "We are not that flash, me or the missus. In fact, we are quite low-maintenance." [36]
  • "We [he and Madonna] don’t watch telly. We listen to music and watch films, write a bit and read a lot." [37]
  • "Funnily enough, we took out the bits that my wife recommended we take out the first time she saw it." (About his film, Revolver) [38]
  • "She's definitely the stronger side of the family."
  • "It works because, first, I love her. That helps in a marriage. I actually like her, which is even more rare in a marriage." (About being married to Madonna) [39]
  • Inerviewer: "who’s in charge at home?"
    Guy Ritchie: "I’ve got to tell you, we’re just like any other married couple."
    Interviewer: "So she’s in charge?"
    Guy Ritchie: "Yes!"
  • "She is brilliant and brilliant at what she does." [40]

  • "I was born my mother's son, but I will die my sister's brother. I no longer balk at the truth, because when all is said and done and written, I am truly proud that Madonna is my sister and always will be." Christopher Ciccone, Madonna's brother. [41]

  • "I really like Madonna. What I admire is she's made it on her own terms." [42] Ayumi Hamasaki

  • "She's incredibly brave and she's got a real mischievous quality about her. I find her very compelling, really daring." (SPIN, Interview 98/04)
  • "Just the fact that she made it look good to control your own life when that was something that was not supposed to be very sexy for a woman. She's one of the few women who has remained true to herself and been a character." [43] (Rolling Stone, #695 17 november 1994)

  • "Madonna’s sound was made for the dance floor when she epitomized the New York club kid; it got a bit closer to rock when she started presenting herself that way, connected with R&B when her image became softer again, went New Age techno when she got into spirituality, and so on. Fashion has become a part of the musical exploration and experience."
  • "I'd like to fix her a big plate of spaghetti."
  • "In her kind, she is very strong."
  • "I am in her line, so I feel a fraternity between us!" [44]

  • "I love Madonna. I do! Definitely."
  • "It all works for Madonna. I mean, I couldn’t do a lot of the things she does, but it works for her. I watched ‘Human Nature’ [the video] for the ‘Check On It’ video even though it didn’t come out anything like it. I wanted to do something like that but we didn’t have time to do it because it was just a 12-hour shoot. But absolutely!"

  • "I want to be the black Madonna." [46]
  • "When I did that Metallic stuff for my Umbrella video, I didn't do it to show my body. I didn't do it for people to like me. I did it because it was a cool visual, unexpected and I looked hot. I just find myself leaning towards stuff that only Madonna can pull off." [47]

  • "Madonna always reinvents herself, and that's what I want to do. Whatever comes my way that sounds good, that's what I want to do. Whether it's designing clothes or photography or whatever."

  • "I got to meet her one time and she’s so beautiful in person. I’ve never seen her in concert but I would love to, on her tour. But she’s amazing and I hope that she goes for many, many more years." [49] Dakota Fanning

  • "Madonna has a project in Malawi where she has genuinely affected the lives of about 250,000 children who are orphaned. I think that's a pretty generous person, not someone who should be criticised. That sort of generosity is pretty admirable." [50]Ashton Kutcher

  • "I think she's done wonderful things. She's done great things in her career, in her life, and more power to her."[51] Janet Jackson

  • "I love that Madonna adopted this baby and has brought so much attention to Malawi. She's my hero." Ricki Lake [52]

  • "I'd like to do something with Madonna in Malawi. I see what she does and I think it's fantastic. I'd like to help in any way I can." Sean Combs [53]

  • "I know Madonna as a mother, and she’s exemplary, the love she gives her kids is a dream, and I know that her heart is big enough to adopt not just one child but to adopt 20." [54] Ricky Martin

  • "He couldn’t be in better hands - but it won’t surprise me if he develops a bit of an Oedipus complex, where he fancies his mum."

  • "Madonna should be applauded for helping to take a child out of the worst poverty imaginable and giving him a better chance in life. Baby David is lucky to have been adopted by someone who can give him a chance of survival in this world and I don't think it's fair that people are criticising her." [55] Bono

  • *At lot of people make her out to be arrogant, and not fan friendly, but I can say otherwise, for such a superstar, she makes you feel as if you’re talking to an old friend. Eric West [56]

  • "I'm a big fan of Madonna, I love her music a lot. I like her persona, her ways to reinvent herself, not being the same all the time. I think it's vital and creative for an artist to look for new ways, new looks, different ways to sing but at the same time keeping those qualities that make you unique. Madonna is also a controversial artist that tends to amaze people in every possibile way and the same time I think she's a very authentic person. She looks very visceral to me, also in her quests. She has become quite sophisticated over the years but she stays true to herself and still capable to push people's buttons. I think that's the key of her success." Emanuela Rossi [57]

  • "The following song was not made famous by me, though the woman who made it famous was also a blonde, and we both have religious names." Bernadette Peters
    • Said before performing Madonna's "Sooner or Later".

  • "No one knows how to work this business like she does."
  • "She could afford to be a little more magnanimous and a little less of a cunt."
  • "I see what she does and I say "Nice try honey, but you're not doing anything I didn't do twenty years ago."

  • I'd rather do it with Madonna
    She's what a woman's supposed to be
    Oh Madonna won't you do it with me?
    The only girl I'll ever need
    She's really got me on my knees
    Have you seen that film clip where she's wearing the cowboy hat and she's kicking the dirt
    • From the song "Do It With Madonna" by the Androids. [58]

  • "I just want to say how much I enjoyed Madonna's performance. She is an absolute professional and she makes us all look like amateurs." (On EMA's 2005).
  • "Madonna is the ultimate in our day and age of the grass being greenest. Guy Ritchie is a lucky man. I do happen to fancy Madonna. She rehearses her arse off. Goes to the gym every day. She does all that stuff to get it spot-on and then she delivers. I'm in awe of her drive." [59]

  • "She's one of the most loyal friends I have. When my brother died, the first person that I got a phone from was Madonna; she said she's there for me in anything I need." (VH1 Behind The Music)
  • "She inspires me a lot. I made all my Winter collection listening to "Confessions on a Dance Floor."
  • "The word 'icon' is overused, but in the case of Madonna I believe it has some meaning. She is a true icon. She has become a symbol of modern womanhood - confident, ambitious, dynamic, constantly reinventing herself. She is also a friend of mine and my late brother Gianni so there is a sense in which she symbolised the way in which Versace was staying true to its DNA, while evolving for the 21st century." [60]

  • "When I was a child I use to think she was my real mother."
  • "Madonna is the Queen, she cooed, I'm honoured to be in her presence."

  • "I would really, really, really like to be a legend like Madonna. Madonna knows what to do next, and when she's performing, the audience is just in awe of her."
  • "I performed at Mom and Dad's party when I was four. Oh my gosh, I was singing a Madonna song and I peed myself."
  • " I think she's amazing, I just love her."

  • "I’m fascinated by Madonna of all the famous people I‘ve ever been introduced to, she was the only person who had that thing you imagine that Elvis or Marilyn Monroe had where you walk into a room and all the oxygen disappears in their direction."
  • "She was incredibly gracious and more polite than everybody else in that room. She made Richard (his partner) and I feel like we were important. I’ve never met a person as enigmatic as her."
  • "She’s a massive flirt. She’s like Bono in the respect she’s amazingly intelligent, but in an instant they know what you expect them to be and they will be that for you. That shows an incredible emotional intelligence."
  • "She’s a pretty extraordinary thing."
  • "What impressed me most? Her stamina, dedication and perfection. Her precision and respect for her body and the craft. What an icon! What a role model for women! I bow down to the one I truly serve!!"
  • "You know what? Everyone always talks about her image or her personality or her political stance. But for me it’s actually the voice and the songs. I think she is totally underrated as a vocalist and as a songwriter. She deserves so much more credit for her melodic sense and her emotive voice. I don’t know why people haven’t joined the dots yet but you can pretty much put her in a room with anyone and she’ll come up with the goods. That’s a producer right there. That’s a talent." [61]

  • "...the world needs more women like her and men even more!!"
  • "She’s always straight with everyone. And today it’s hard to find celebrities of her kind."
  • "It’s different than any other job that I’ve done in the past of course, it’s also an honour. Not only because she is Madonna, but also because when she hired us, she didn’t ask us to change a bit of what we were. She accepted us the way we were already with no conditions… and for what we could possibly bring of positive in her show. And trust me, there are not a lot of artists who do that!" [62]
    • All by Steve Nestar, Madonna's dancer.

  • "Amazing. It was really hard work, but it has helped me to know myself a little bit more, I really like Madonna because she is a tireless worker." [63]
    • Sofía Boutella, Madonna's dancer, about her working experience with Madonna.

  • "I feel that she has constantly conveyed a message of empowerment to women - that women don't have to seek approval before doing something, that they can be bold and brave and fulfill their potential - and that's very inspiring. She has also been vocal in her support of gay politics and latterly, has become involved in the fight against global poverty. In pop culture terms, she has been hugely influential - very few pop artists are so determined and outspoken." [64] Lucy O'Brien, biographer.

  • "She is no symbol. She is human. More brilliant than most. The real deal." (Rosie's blog)
  • "Amazing; inspiring; magnificent; fan freaking tastic. That woman; direct connect; a ray of light, again and again." (About Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour, from Rosie's blog)
  • "When you don't have a mother, you do everything in your power to be a good mother; it's like the goal of your life. And I think she succeeding, definitely do." (Vh1 behind the music)

  • "I admire Madonna because she always did whatever she felt like doing. She went through some controversial periods when people rejected her, but she kept on reinventing herself." [65] Shakira

  • "She's a genius, she can do no wrong." (Vh1 behind the music) Lenny Kravitz

  • "I'd die if I was Madonna. I'd die. God, what a horrible way to live. And Michael Jackson! To be so famous and to feel so isolated. I feel so bad for them. I don't know how it feels, and I hope it never happens to me." [66] Alicia Silverstone

  • "I think she's really great. I respect and admire her and think she's really talented." Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles

  • "It's so inspiring to see her work and she's got some spunk." [67] Cyndi Lauper

  • "Is Madonna prepared to take on everything else that goes with wearing a crown of thorns?" [68]
  • "Why would someone with so much talent feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?" [69]
    • Both by Spokesman of the Church of England.

  • "There's this sexual energy about her. I was totally aroused when I met her."
  • "Her work ethic is very infectious in the studio. I was kind like, man, I'm too slow. She's a workhorse. I'm just a fan. I'm basically just a fan who, like, tricked Madonna."[70]
  • "She's a very talented lady, There are definitely moments when I think, wow, I'm singing with Madonna. But she's so cool. She's very clever, very innovative. I was humbled working with her. She's fun to work with and she takes advice. Plus she has an amazing mind." [71]
  • "There’s only one Madonna. It was amazing. I’m still trying to figure out if she knew we were there, cause I was just constantly staring at her. I became like the weird stalker in the corner!" [72]
  • "The world is full of Madonna wannabes. I might have even dated a couple. But there truly is only one Madonna. Though I’m pretty sure Little Richard would disagree, the truth is that nobody has ever gotten into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while still looking this damn fine."
  • "People always ask if she is the control freak people say she is. Hell yeah! We had a recording session in London and I wasn't feeling well. She said: 'Would you like a B12 shot?' She reached into her handbag, pulled a ziplock bag of B12 syringes and says: 'Drop 'em.' I don't know what you say to that, so I dropped my pants. She gave me the shot in my ass and then she looks at me and she says, 'Nice top shelf.' It was one of the greatest days of my life. That is what Madonna will always be to us. The shot in the ass when we really need it."
  • She has still found time to kiss someone I may or may not have publicly kissed myself while I was in the audience. Of course you know I was talking about Sean Penn."
  • "As we were rehearsing she was running circles around me." [73]

  • "Madonna is in really good shape. I actually get a sexy chill every time I think about Madonna." Will Smith [74]

  • "Madonna has made it difficult for the rest of us but even if I gave myself another five years I'd never be able to fit into that bloody leotard!" [75] George Michael

  • "She was doing a dance and she was naked under her coat. Over the course of the dance, she became inspired and opened her coat, and there she was. She has an extraordinarily beautiful body, like cut out of ivory. One day, when I'm old and I'm wheeled out on my porch wrapped in a blanket, if I have a beatific smile on my face, I'll probably be thinking of that." Al Pacino [76] [77]

  • "At 18 I sniffed poppers with Hardy Amies, danced at a nightclub with Rudolf Nureyev and dined in Paris with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger. I knew what it was to be drunk on fame by association. Yet everything was a pale imitation of the impact Madonna made on me. We met by chance."
  • "When I first met Madonna she really was one of the only women that whether you were gay or straight or an animal she demanded a sexual response some how, something inside her and everybody was turned on by her, everybody!"
  • "She was raucous but poised, elegant but common. She had the cupid-bow lips of a silent screen star, and it was obvious that she was playing with Sean underneath the table throughout the meal."
  • "She was tiny and luscious with long auburn hair, slightly curled. She sat down. Sean’s forget-me-not eyes watered with adoration. Hers were the palest blue, strangely wide-set, any further and she would look insane, or inbred. When they looked in your direction, you froze."
  • "In no way was she conventionally beautiful. She was a bit like a Picasso. When she fixed you with her regard, there was a tenderness and warmth that made your skin bump, but when she looked away, it was like sunbathing on a cold day and suddenly a cloud comes."
  • "She was mesmerising. She oozed sex and demanded a sexual response from everyone. It didn’t matter if you were gay. You were swept up all the same. In those early years there was no male who would not want to bed her."
  • "...I lost myself in Madonna’s attention and by the end I had fallen in love." [78]

  • "Madonna is the speedboat, and the rest of us are just the Go-Go's on water skis." [79] Liz Phair

  • "I love Madonna very much, I think she had an amazing career and a wonderful family; she’s a good mother but still has the passion on work. She knows exactly what she wants, she’s a smart woman. She’s doing her best all the time. She gives her children good education, she’s capable, she’s confident as well, she may suffer some setbacks or hurt, you know, people always suffer a lot, but I think she’ll get through these, she’ll get the ultimate. Take a look at her, I mean, you’ll know she’s strong enough. I think she’s active. I’d like to get to know her and find out what’s she like in her daily life, I think Madonna is an excellent example for every woman." Gongli

  • "She's like an older sister. Everything I have gone through, she went through ten times worse and ten times longer. She gives me good advice about how to say no and take care of myself." [80]
  • "She’s always been committed to helping. In a big picture way, she’s the most generous person in the world and she’s always thinking about how she can help. Malawi’s become very close to her heart, obviously as her son is from Malawi, and she’s spent a lot of time and dedication doing what she can." [81]
  • "She's a great woman. She's got a lot of wisdom. We just have fun together. She works on herself harder than anybody else I've met. We do share that and we're both public women. We are both perfectionists." [82]

  • "The thing that was imposed on me from the outside was crude and vulgar and distressful to me, and disturbing - that big tits, blonde hair, Diana Dors, blowsy kind of thing. (But) I think Madonna got it right. Madonna claimed it for herself, and I've always admired her for that. I loved that 'Sex' book she did. I thought it was fantastic, because it was a big two fingers up, 'This is my sexuality, it's not what you put on me, it's mine." [83] Helen Mirren

  • "She's an aggressive person to achieve anything like she's achieve. Her lyrics are not, 'Hit me again. I love it.' They're more, 'Come here baby, this is it.' She's very timely, she's right on time."
  • "We’ve met, but we kind of travel in different worlds. She’s such a big star. I really do like her music. I think she’s had some great hits... some really great songs." [84]

  • "I think she glows, she's an amazing performer and her work inspires me. There will be no other Madonna." Mariquita Robinson

  • "The Mercer. It's just nice. Really cool. I turned up there last time, and there were about 20 paparazzi going, 'Ricky,' 'Ricky,' 'Ricky.' And I said, 'What are you doin' here?' 'We're here to see you.' I said, 'What [are] you really here for?' And they went, 'Madonna.' They were nice, but I knew the truth. Why would they be there for me?" [85] Ricky Gervais

  • "Madonna inspires creativity and expressions beyond gender, religion, race, nationality, culture and all borders. "Madonna’s philosophy and originality always invigorates the world audience every time she produces a new album. Conventions and trends are challenged and redefined for the new values. "Madonna is in sync with nature and balances her lifestyle to achieve her best physical and mental conditions. Her ever innovative spirits are in tune with her respect of nature. Despite her celebrity and never ending professional activities, Madonna always says FAMILY FIRST. Love and respect for all those who are dear to her are the most important values in life."
    • Yuki Matsumoto, producer of Madonna’s Ariake commercial.[86]

  • "I jokingly refer to Madonna being my template in making my decisions, because she’s the best at reinventing herself. Every two years she reinvents herself. [That's why] she still is where she is after 20 years. I think that that’s a smart thing." Anthony LaPaglia [87]

  • "Madonna's the Queen of Pop, I'm the princess. I'm quite happy with that." Kylie Minogue [88]

  • "I like her boss and ultrafeminist side. I hate the concept of "femme-objet", and the idea that women are still maltreated in certain parts of the world irritates me." Emmanuelle Seigner[89]

  • "I want to be around the way Madonna has done it. She’s had her life but still maintained her career." Avril Lavigne [90]

  • "Madonna's a funky lady, she's up for everything." Timbaland [91]

  • "She's confident, sensual and strong, but I like to bring out her vulnerability as well." Jamie king [93]

  • "She worked out her moves in the mirror the night before we’d shoot. She would work so hard. She was not someone who went out clubbing every night. She was the one who said, ‘I want to be there at 5.30 in the morning so I have enough time to get the hair and make-up right.’ So before the crew had even arrived, she would be there. By the time she arrived at the set she was smiling and she did her job. And she did her job brilliantly." Alan Parker [94]

  • "Madonna's probably the most disciplined person around and so I can only pale in comparison. It's just too impressive." [95]
  • "Madonna’s line for H&M is extremely directional, provocative and sexy!" [96]

  • "I'd like to work on collaborations with some other artists like Madonna. She would be my first choice." [97]
  • "...I think Madonna might be the only person my girlfriend would forgive me for straying away just overnight with -- because I think she'd do the same." [98]

  • "Madonna's my idol and the incarnation of the ultimate star, with what we can imagine of requirement, dictatorship."
  • "Each year, I wait for three rendez-vous with same impatience: Woody Allen's last movie, the CD or the concert by Madonna and the new book by Philippe Djan."
  • "Since I am a teenager, I am a fan of Madonna. I admire her determination, her talent, I know her career by heart. To prepare this parody, I saw a documentary again, in order to prepare the expressions of her face. I put the accent on her Diva side, whose desires are orders. A little jacket, a leotard, shoes, I copied her look from her album "Confessions on a Dance Floor", inspired by the beginning of the eighties. Dressed as my idol, I was happy as a kid who put a costume of Superman!"

  • "she has this ability to have you in the palm of her hand again. I went to see her last year in the Confessions on a Dance Floor and it was brilliant, it was really inspiring."
  • "I think the thing that Madonna does, which I hope I can do, is that she has this ability to come across as quite austere at the beginning …not cold exactly but a little detached. But at the end of it she looks like she’s having a great time - she’s dancing, and you’re dancing, and it’s all great. I think that’s really clever how she gets that dynamic to work. You always feel at the end of it that you’ve somehow won her over. I don’t know, that’s a real…you know what I mean? Not everyone has that."

  • "Madonna was incredibly quick and professional. I was unable to say anything else than 'Hello', 'I’ll listen to it' and 'Good-bye'. That was incredibly stupid of me. Madonna was the idol of my youth and I grew up listening to her music."
    • Charlotte Ginsbourg reveals that she was unable to talk when Madonna called to ask her if she could use a few lines from her movie "The Cement Garden" for her song "What it Feels Like for a Girl." [101]

  • "She was very exact and particular about what she wanted as a director and she was very impressive."[102]
  • "She is somebody who is so determined to stretch in every direction and I really admire that. Believe me, the number of directors that I have worked with who don't have half her ability makes me believe she has a real talent."[103]
    • Richard E.Grant about Madonna directing her short film, "Filth and wisdom".

  • "Madonna is a funny person, respectful and collaborative. I've been aware for a year that Madonna was a Gogol Bordello fan and in the end, we met trough mutual friends and we spoke a lot."
  • "I think she was very good and most of all she was scrupulous, that's something I think it's essential for a director. She knew what she wanted and she gave me total creative freedom, so for me it was an incredible experience." [104]
    • Both by Eugene Hutz frontman of Gogol Bordello about Madonna & working with her on Filth & Wisdom.

  • "It was a hell-hole. There were prostitutes upstairs, junkies downstairs and it was a bare room with a bed, nylon sheets, and a kitchenette with dirty plates and a lamp. I’ve always felt ashamed she stayed in such a pit. If I’d known in 1983 how big she’d become, I'd have cut up the sheets and sold them on ebay." [105][106]
    • Marc Almond, frontman of Soft Cell reveals he still hasn’t gotten over the shame of hosting Madonna in his filthy apartment.

  • "Ooh, Madonna’s thighs! She reminds me of my old dance teacher, who I used to have a crush on. Who didn’t have a huge crush on Madonna when they were a kid? "I’d marry her. If she came for me, I really would."
    • Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan was so thrilled with Madonna’s sexy show at Saturday’s Live Earth concert he wants to marry the her. [107]

  • "For the first time I saw Madonna when she first came out and she was on television talking and singing songs about her mother and how her mother had passed and how sad she was. And it dawned on me 'oh that's what happened to me, my mother died'. And it makes you terribly sad and that's why I'm so unhappy and it's okay to talk about it and it's okay to grieve and I should be sad and I should be upset and I should be allowed to go through these things. So I did go through that process because of Madonna, because I saw her talking about it and singing about it, I was able to understand what happened to me and work through it and use my experiences in my favour to give me a lot of what I draw from when I act."

  • "Madonna is a colossus in the music industry and she is going to be considered an important historical figure as well. She is a fine singer, a fine songwriter and record producer, and she has the power to guarantee success with any song she chooses to record. It is a gift for her to have recorded 'American Pie.'I have heard her version and I think it is sensual and mystical. I also feel that she's chosen autobiographical verses that reflect her career and personal history. I hope it will cause people to ask what's happening to music in America. I have received many gifts from God but this is the first time I have ever received a gift from a goddess." Don McLean [109]

  • "She's the kind of person that really does get up at five in the morning to go swimming. She wasn't at all prima donna-ish. She wasn't one of those people that want to be alone and sit in their trailer the whole time. I think she has much more of a sense of humour that people give her credit for. Too many people take that femme fetale stuff at face value." Susan seidelman, director of Desperately Seeking Susan.

  • "If people feel exploited by Madonna - that's resentment of someone who's got drive. It seems like you're leaving people behind or you're stepping on them, and the fact is you're moving and they're not... Madonna doesn't care if she ruffles someone's feathers." Steve Bray [110]

  • "Madonna always looks ahead, both for looks and sounds, just like we do." Pet Shop Boys [111]

  • "I had a massive crush on Madonna when I was a kid, I mean it was huge. It was worrying. I just thought she was amazing." Fran Healy, from the band Travis. [112]

  • "...It could be Madonna, if she wants to come do a couple of shots of Jagermeister with her friend Dave she's more than welcome to come into the room and I'll pour her some chilli shots of whisky, it'll be great!"

  • "She's so strong, beautiful and manipulative. All of which means she writes great songs." Kim of Sonic Youth

  • "My first impression on meeting Madonna? I thought she had a lot of style. And she crossed over a lot of boundaries 'cos everyone in the rock clubs played her, the black clubs, the gay, the straight... and very few records have that appeal." John 'Jellybean' Benitez

  • "...I run into her (Madonna) all the time, so it's not like there's any irresolvable strangeness. I like to think of the time when we were hanging out as the end of an era. We played out our friendship in the public forum, but it wasn't drunken or irresponsible airheads hanging out - she's a smart lady and I'm obviously my own brand of intellectual." Sandra Bernhard [114]

  • "I have so much respect for Madonna after learning how hard it is to sing that song. She has an amazing voice - the range you need to sing the song is incredible."

  • "Lo and behold, Madonna's track came back and she'd sung the second verse, which was a huge bonus. I was really touched - for Madonna is very rigorous in what she gets involved in and for her to do that for me, I was thrilled to bits." [116]
    • Annie Lennox about Madonna recording Annie's track, "Sing".

  • "There is only one thing to do with someone as special as Madonna....celebrate her. She told us so in one of her very first songs! But, mostly, she gives us something more to adore every year, and aside from making huge hits, her work in Malawi is something for everyone to emulate. Working with her is a dream come true!!! She has Never ever treated me in any other way but professionally, and with respect. I mean, gosh when the Queen of Pop loves what you do, there's no better feeling!! I really concentrate on the fact that these books are bringing a better life to those most in need in the world, and until more celebrities (and celebrity photographers) step up and do the charitable works she is doing, they cannot speak an ill word about her. People need to stop copying her videos and performances, and copy what really means the most to her...'Raising Malawi'! That's what it's all about!"
    • Jeffrey Fulvimari, Illustrator of Madonna's "The English Roses" books. [118]

  • "I think she's used to people gushing over her and all of that, but I think she quickly sort of came to realize that yes, in fact I do go to every concert. The last concert she did, we made eye contact. Okay, in my mind it was eye contact. Madonna has no recollection, but I know she stared at me. There's something about her. I think she's very clever and witty. She's really funny. She's really down to earth when she's here. And I just love that about her. And I love looking at her because she's a physical specimen. Kelly Ripa[119]

  • "Madonna and I were very, very close for 20, 25 years, and I felt that the media adds so much pressure to celebrities' personal lives that it's really destructive." [121]
  • "Madonna is a very dear friend of mine, and shared her knowledge of Kabbalah with me." [122]

  • "I once had dinner with Madonna and I wasn't nervous but within about a minute I found myself talking about underwear." [123] Randy Newman

  • "I've always said that if you didn't know Madonna necessarily, you'd still be curious about the woman in the photograph." [124] Herb Ritts

  • "Madonna is gorgeous, the most beautiful eyes you ever saw. A little rough around the edges. She's a tough chick. She spits it out. She has her own agenda. It manifests in the pictures." Bert Stern [125]

  • "Being able to work with Madonna... she's a legend in the music industry and she's so beautiful, so I couldn't ask for anything else." [126] Verne Troyer

  • "It was terrifying, It was like kissing the Eiffel Tower in terms of how famous she is."

  • "I think Madonna’s amazing. She constantly reinvents herself and I just went to see her art show in New York the other day and that was great." [128] Rachel Weisz

  • "I've known her since I was 15 and she was 17, longer than I've known my wife. We have had a great relationship, and part of that was because I never needed anything from her. I recognised that we were in two different occupations. Not to disparage one ounce of her musicality, I was always of the belief that her persona was her career. Whether she was making a movie or writing a song or punching a photographer, it was all pushing a persona forward, and that was the real body of work. I was never tempted to slip a song to her at thanksgiving." Joe Henry, Madonna's brother-in-low. [129]

  • "Remember when Madonna was first on American Bandstand and she told Dick Clark she wanted to rule the world? Well I don't want to rule the world, but I want to make my mark on the world... You know what? I'm lying. I do want to rule the world." [130]
    • Korean-American actor Rex Lee, best known for his role on HBO's "Entourage".

  • "Madonna was so low key and so incognito that I hardly noticed her, and when I did it kinda caught me by storm. But honestly speaking, she's a really down to earth, really cool individual. I'm glad I got a chance to meet her – rub some of that energy off!"

  • "Oh MADONNA! You know, I saw her after her concert and I wanted to give her some positive words but I didn't want to talk too much to her because I understand what it feels like after a show when there's a lot of people in the room who want to see you. I wanted to give her some kind words but I didn't want to take up her time. I really wanted to ask her some more questions but I doubt it would have been as exciting for her as it was for me! But if I ever got the chance to sit down with her I think I'd want to ask her some advice questions and I would love to collaborate with her. That would be amazing."
    • Fergie, when asked if she was ever star-struck by someone. [133]

  • "She's been nothing but nice to me. She's invited me to her house for dinner and clearly she's a huge inspiration to me musically." [134]
  • "Some people say that I copy her, But show me one girl my age who was not influenced by her." [135]
  • "My grandpa first moved to Detroit from Rome. And my dad's mom's younger sister's husband's mother is a Ciccone [like Madonna]." (Gwen Stefani claiming to be related to Madonna.) [136]
  • "A lot of my influence came from her early work, like directly, like a Xerox." [137]

  • "Pat knew our voices were going to be really good together so he asked us to do the bridge together and we started. She turned her back on me and at one point turned around and was like: “Why aren’t you singing?” and I told her I was and Pat then told her that I was singing and that our voices were in harmony. She then said: “Will you sing on all my records then….” And I was just standing there wondering if I had the job. I got it!" (About auditioning for Madonna).
  • "I’ve learnt so much from working with her – the power aspect about how to use what you have is an amazing thing. I learn more stuff about myself as I go along."
  • "When I first started working with her I just wanted to be like her – I think I misinterpreted a lot of things. The fame. I just tried to be like her and didn’t do things my own way. It was funny looking back on it."
  • "Madonna gave me some great advice about my own career and really helped me to go for what I wanted to do – not what a record company told me. She always said I could do it."
  • "Madonna wants to make people be a better person now. In the old days it was about her and nothing else – just like I was. We were all self centered. You have to be like that and take those steps to be a better person later down the line. To me you have to grow as you work your way through your life – that’s why we are here. It’s amazing that she can come from that sort of place where she started to being a humanitarian like she is now. Coming from just wanting to be famous and be adored by everything to wanting to love everybody. She’s incredible. It’s a complete turnaround. She wanted to be served by everyone and now she’s serving everyone."

  • "I get to meet some very, very beautiful ladies through my job. Madonna is very sexy and she really flirted with me, which was amazing." [139] Tim Vincent

  • "She's a tough lady! She's a megastar, and that goes with the territory, But she's definitely put her foot down as a woman over the years and she's proven to be one of the best to me." Ciara [140]

  • "Believe me, if I got asked to work with her, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down. Of all the women I’m fascinated by, she’s certainly up there." [141] Mika

  • "She's a little baby tiger cub on the inside but outside she's as tough as anything. Once you are fighting with her you can't let your guard down, she'd beat your ass to a pulp. She could definetely beat me up. But you know, making Madonna cry has just cemented our relationship. We're tight now. Seriously tight. She's probably the best person I've ever collaborated with." Pharrell (Manchester Free Magazine) [142]

  • "She was cool. She had a dark sense of humor that I can’t explain. She might just say something crazy that you might feel is out of line. But it’s not. It’s just her sense of humor. She was in the studio chilling with us, being open and the whole nine." [143] Danja

  • "Meeting Madonna for the very first time was a shock. She was a myth to me. She was the first poster I hung on my room's wall when I was 14. And then I found herself in front of me, shook her hand. Her immense mediatic power still impresses me. Only to mention that the laminated jacket we made in twelve different versions for her last tour ended up being one of the season's best-sellers would be enough". Gucci's creative director, Frida Giannini. [144]

  • "It suddenly just exploded overnight; you know, she was everywhere. And they started kind of rewriting the script for that, to tailor-make it for her in those moments. And here she is, still at it. She's 50 years old – almost 50 and rocking on. I think that's great." [145] Rosanna Arquette

  • "I had the top of the charts two years before Madonna came on the scene and stole my thunder. I remember seeing her and thinking, 'Here's trouble'! I'd be lying if I said it didn't get to me, but I never disliked her. And I look at her now and think she's amazing. When I started doing yoga, I was inspired to look after my body. Now I love going for long walks, eating healthily and working out with a trainer." [146] Kim Wilde

  • "She's the Queen, super theatrical and dramatic on stage, just like Pop Opera. And Madonna...I mean who can really mess with Madonna? Nobody! No, her stage, her videos are always amazing, and her visuals. It's about more than just the music. It's about the passion, it's about the whole package." [147] Lady Gaga

  • "Having been a fan of Madonna since I was a little girl, I'm very excited about sharing a stage with her and playing to her audiences…I'm thrilled."
    • Robyn about opening for Madonna on a few European dates on her Sticky & Sweet Tour. [148]

  • "You feel lazy watching her because you gotta get off your butt and just work, [She] is really an inspiration for everyone." [149] Denise Richards

  • "Of course I'd have Madonna's. She is the ultimate in female pop music, and she's like the Energizer bunny. Plus, she's got years on me and she looks my age still. She must have sacrificed something or sold her soul in exchange for continuing to be a world dominator in all things pop culture." (When asked if she could have any musician's career other than her own, whose would it be.) [150]
  • "I really wanna have a sit-down dinner with Madonna, I'm waiting for that open invitation. I wanna ask her how she's made it through all of this and still continues. It's probably a lot of centring, diet and focus, and self-control, but if she would just give me a little advice - I really wanna pick her brain."
  • "It was insane. I freaked out. My eyes swelled up with fluid, with tears, but I didn't cry. I was just very excited." (About when she heard that Madonna is a fan of her track 'Ur So Gay') [151]
  • "Madonna invited me to one of her shows - I was summoned by the queen herself. I went backstage and I am never usually nervous but I lost it. I got so weak in the knees and I thought I was going to throw up. But I needn't have worried. She was cool. She was so petite. She comes up to my chest and I thought she was supposed to be a giant." [152]

  • "I'm a fan of Madonna's. I've followed her since I was 10. I'm a huge fan of hers - which woman isn't? She's such a strong person, she's just so different from anybody else. She's sustained herself in this business. I go to everything that is Madonna, she is just an amazing human being." [153] Natassia Malthe

  • It was amazing working with Madonna. She does everything 100 per cent, and so to be involved in what she was doing, for her to let me go forward and make this project was amazing. She's been involved creatively on every aspect. She knows pictures, she knows sound, she's really, really good. The most memorable thing about working with Madonna is seeing her in the village - seeing her really letting go of that celebrity status, really spending time with people, getting her feet dirty, and dancing, singing and crying with people. It was amazing to see her take on that new character. Madonna really wanted to bring some awareness to Malawi, and she really believed in me."
    • The director of "I Am because we Are", Nathan Rissman, about working with Madonna. [154]

  • "She turned out to be so bright, frank and funny it made you wonder what the previous debate had been about. Hers is an extraordinary story of determination and hard work and the perfect antidote to the celebrity pap fed to today's wannabes. Anyone wanting to succeed in the music business, or indeed any other business, should watch the interview and learn what it really takes to get to the top." [157] Michael Parkinson

  • "I was trying to make a case for Madonna the other day, saying that she's to be admired for her longevity in a genre that has mostly been for younger acts. Men are able to sustain a career into their 50s and 60s and still present themselves as sex symbols. With women on the other hand, people say, 'Why doesn't she retire?' It's just so unfair. So I have to give props to Madonna." [158] Tracy Chapman

  • "If you look into Madonna's eyes - or Whitney Houston's when she was at her peak - you see something there that other people haven't got. It's a steel, a sense of 'I am going to do it, whatever happens'. It's not necessarily a good character trait to have, but if you are going to make it in this business, you need it." [160]
  • "When I look at the people who come into the X Factor auditions, what I’m looking for possibly even more than vocal talent is that work ethic. I always look at the eyes, because I can tell everything in a person’s eyes. If you look at Madonna’s eyes you can see steel. Look at anyone right at the top of their game and you’ll see the same steel." [161]

  • "Today is late Sunday and I just returned from the show of Madonna. And what did I see? A young 50 year-old dancing like a child, a queen, a teenager. It got me thinking about the fact that I believe we are aging differently from the previous generations. I remember for instance my parents at the age of 50 and they were already old, and more importantly they considered themselves as already old." [162] Paulo Coelho

  • "NATO should follow the Madonna-curve, and not wait till its controversies escalate into public wrangles. The argument that tinkering on the edges will do since all challenges can be dealt with one at a time simply does not hold. To be successful, NATO needs a package-deal of painful compromises, where each member state has to give and take. This requires a comprehensive reform effort which only a new strategic concept offers. The quality of adapting to new tasks whilst staying true to one’s own principles is something which business analysts qualify as the Madonna-curve. This curve is named after the legendary pop-diva who reinvented herself each time her style and stardom went into inevitable decline, but whose audacity has lifted her up to ever higher levels of relevance and fame."
    • Dr. Peter van Ham, s director of global governance research at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations “Clingendael” in The Hague, about using Madonna as a role model of self-reinvention in NATO. [163]

  • "If we had a royal system she'd be the queen of Michigan and all the Michiganders would Bow down to her, and I'm not kidding. She's a person with a good heart; she does a lot of good for other people. I really admire her." (From E! News).
  • "She's sort of entered my realm. When I saw it ("I Am Because We Are"), I thought, 'Wow, it's like she's been making these films for years." [164]
  • "She spent the past couple of years filming what the people go through, and the efforts to help them, I saw the film about a month ago. It's a fantastic, powerful movie." (About the film "I Am Because We Are")
  • "She's one of the most caring and generous people I've met." [165]
  • "[She's] one of the smartest people I know." [I'm] humbled to be able to call Madonna a friend. She has such an incredible heart and such a generous spirit. She does so much out of the glare of the lights to make the world a better place."

[166] [167]

  • "I appreciate and respect her as an artist and as a person." Al Gore [168]

  • "I think Madonna has a great deal of intelligence and capability. I have a lot of respect for her. She's taken her career and maximized it with intelligence and creativity." [170] Carole King

See also

External links

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