Madonna -
a closet fan
a kate west confession

It's easy to disparage Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie. But go ahead - she won't mind. She's rich and successful and doesn't take any crap from anyone. She enjoys controversy and the spotlight and changing styles as often as her underwear. She works damn hard and whether or not you care (and why should you care about celebrity goings on, the American version of royalty, sort of - there are much more important things to follow on planet earth), she's not going anywhere. Spoiled yes, and self-indulgent certainly, and while I can admire her tenacity, I'm not assigning her more importance than world leaders or policy changers.

Still, her music gets in my head and won't let go. Her voice has the warmth that she can't or won't show. Sure, the lyrics are often inane, but for some reason it gives me strength when I need it and hours of contemplation on road trips. Maybe it's because she works so ferociously on herself, molding her body and spirit to her every whim. I played "Ray of Light" a million and one times during my big break up and it sustained me and kept me going. Her first experimental album will always feel special to me, obligating me to collect each new album with youthful anticipation. She makes great power workout songs too (try "Jump" when going for a run). So many of her songs are go get 'em self respect chats. It's not easy to achieve rock longevity.

I can't explain it. My musical theater friends are appalled that I enjoyed "Evita". I know, I know, she didn't have the range, but did increase her own and as usual, worked her ass off during filming. A fitting role, I thought, and possibly the only acting she ever did well. As I keep telling people, I don't attribute logic to my favorites. I often love bad movies no one else likes (and rightly so - I get why it's bad, but am still a fan, i.e. "Alien 3"). And didn't Linda Hamilton model her "T2" Sarah Connor role after Madge?

Maybe I just like the balance of the sweetness of her vocals with the toughness of her exterior and wish I could emulate that. In spite of growing up without a mother, her single-mindedness got her everything she wanted. I understand musical sophistication - I love old and modern jazz and classical music and have attended scores of operas. I even dig the Kingston Trio. Aside from my sentimental 80's indulgence, Madonna doesn't really fit into my musical library, yet I am fiercely loyal to her Highness. But I would never want to meet her. I'm not advocating all this overexposed oversharing either. In other words, I don't read about her (or anyone's) personal life. I'm just quietly trying to be bad ass for as long as I can and mind my own beeswax.

Besides, she's 5'2", as is Yours Truly. And now she's older, as am I. And still going strong. As am I. So sue me.

More Madonna:

Hard Candy

Confessions on a Dance Floor


American Life

Ray of Light

Madonna - Drowned World Tour 2001

Madonna - Video Collection 1993-99


Bedtime Stories

The Immaculate Collection

I'm Breathless

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