On January 12 2012, Cynthia McFadden asked Madonna, during a Good Morning America interview, for her opinion of the Lady Gaga song, Born This Way.
McFadden started by asking if Madonna felt that Lady Gaga was “copying” her. Madonna’s first reply was complimentary. She called Gaga “a very talented artist” and said she admired her songwriting abilities.
Madonna went on to say, “I certainly think she references me a lot in her work. And sometimes I think it’s amusing and flattering and well done.”
Madonna said that Gaga’s work also appeared to be a “statement about taking something that was in the Zeitgeist, you know, 20 years ago and turning it inside out and reinterpreting it.”
Madonna continued, “There’s a lot of ways to look at it. I can’t really be annoyed by it …because, obviously, I’ve influenced her.”
But Madonna became coy when the conversation turned to Born This Way.
“When I heard it on the radio …I said ….that sounds very familiar. It felt reductive.”
Pressed as to whether that was a good or bad thing, Madonna told Cynthia to “look it up” – before smiling slyly and taking a sip from her tea cup.
On September 1 2012, Madonna performed an “MDNA Tour” concert on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. A sold out crowd of 72,000 fans attended the outdoor event.
On August 30 2012, “Turn Up The Radio” jumped to the top position on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play Chart, earning her a record-extending 43rd number-one single on the chart.
Marking a sign of the times, the single and remixes were sold exclusively to digital retailers and were sadly not given a physical release on any format (aside from scarce promotional copies), in any country. This was the first time in Madonna’s career that an international commercial single was unavailable to record shops and collectors either through domestic distribution or as an import.
We hope that Interscope realizes that there are many old-school Madonna fans who still enjoy collecting physical releases – and we’re willing to pay for them. So what will it be Interscope? Would you like to earn some extra bucks with the singles from Madonna’s next album, or are you going to leave collectors with padded pockets?
On August 20 2012, a law suit was filed by nine Russians who were offended that Madonna had asked fans to raise their hands to show their support for the Russian LGBT community during a concert stop in St. Petersburg, Russia—where it is illegal to promote homosexuality to minors.
In her speech during the concert, Madonna called for members of Russia’s LGBT community to be “treated with dignity, with respect, with compassion, with love,” and took the country to task for crackdowns on those who expressed opposition against the country’s oppressive laws.
“I feel people are becoming more and more afraid of people who are different; people are becoming more intolerant,” she said. “It’s a very scary time, but we can make a difference. We can change this. We have the power. And we don’t have to do it with violence; we just have to do it with love.”
Although the suit did make it to trial in November 2012, it was promptly dismissed by the presiding judge after briefly questioning the plaintiffs about the arbitrary nature of the case given the volume of contemporary entertainment which contains “positive references to homosexuality.” The suit had sought damages of approximately $10.5 million from Madonna, the organizer of her concert, and the hall where it was held.
On August 10 2012, a senior ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin used a Twitter post to attack Madonna after she called for the release of three women who faced prison over an irreverent performance in Moscow’s main cathedral.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, a nationalist politician and former envoy to NATO, posted the tweet after Madonna told a Moscow concert audience the jailed members of punk band Pussy Riot were “courageous” and deserved to be free.
“Every ex-wh*re tends to lecture everybody with age. Especially during world tours and concerts,” Rogozin, who lead Russia’s drive to upgrade the army and defense industry, wrote in a tweet in English.
On August 9 2012, Madonna spoke out for gay rights at an “MDNA” concert in St Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s home town, where a law was adopted to curb homosexual “propaganda.”
Performing in black lingerie with the words “No Fear” scrawled on her bare back, Madonna urged the audience – most wearing pink wrist bands distributed at the door – to “show your love and appreciation to the gay community”.
“We want to fight for the right to be free,” she said.