On January 27 2015, Madonna graced the cover of MOJO magazine.
This is how the magazine feature was promoted:
MADONNA WORLD EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! As her new album, Rebel Heart, hits the shops, the iron-willed but glass-hearted electro-dance divinity opens up to MOJO’s Tom Doyle about a roiling creative life that has kept her at the cutting-edge of music for more than 30 years.
To celebrate Madonna’s first time on the cover of MOJO magazine, two editions were released: the news-stand version and a Special Subscribers’ version with exclusive artwork.
On January 13 2015, Billboard revealed that Michael Keaton’ son, Sean Douglas, worked on Ghosttown, one of the songs to be featured on Madonna’s Rebel Heart album. The songwriter said that the track was written in three days, after Madonna had personally requested some studio time.
“Madonna liked ‘Talk Dirty,’ actually, and so they put me and [co-writers] Jason Evigan and Evan Bogart in with her and we had this great session. I was incredibly nervous for obvious reasons, but she showed up, was super personable and was ready to work. I basically checked it off my life bucket list.”
Douglas is a successful pop songwriter whose credits include Top 40 hits for Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato and Fifth Harmony, among many others.
On August 16 2015, singer/songwriter Joe Henry shared a touching birthday tribute to his sister-in-law, Madonna:
This is the young woman I met shortly after our family’s move to Michigan in 1975 – as I entered my sophomore year of high school and, she, her senior one. Together, we were in the Thespian Society; and in that winter’s first production, we were cast as mother and son – the wife and child of Ralph Waldo Emerson – in a play about Thoreau.
She was whip-smart and short on patience; and to tell the truth, she scared me more than a little, but along with her sister Paula, her presence upon my landscape nudged open a door through which I would pass and find my life utterly and forever changed…that unusual and sprawling family becoming, years later, my own.
No one is more surprised than I by the way our lives have expanded; by the way that our journeys have diverged and become entangled. Like anyone, I can sometimes forget to see the flesh and blood/heart and mind behind the parade float that is her public persona. But then I will find myself across the kitchen table from her, sharing a martini, and be additionally shocked to recognize anew the compact, terse-yet-compassionate human at the switches.
I have told this tale before, but it bears repeating: when Elvis Presley died on this date in 1977, this upstart professed in real-time that she felt his spirit had passed out of his body and through her own in exodus.
I laughed at her then for such outrageous self-possession, at the arrogance that I assumed must allow her to declare such publicly.
Today, when there is laughter, it is the laugh of recognition I hear – and it begins somewhere high above me, where things that once seemed implausible play with wild abandon and in broad daylight.
Happy Birthday, Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone.
On May 15 2015, Madonna’s Ghosttown (from the Rebel Heart album) hit the top spot on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart for the week ending May 30th.
Ghosttown became Madonna’s 45th #1 hit on the chart. She had this to say to her fans about the success of the song:
“Thanks to all my fans on & off the dance floor, I’ll always be your partner.”
On April 14 2015, Madonna appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine’s 50th anniversary cover, to celebrate 50 years of power, provocation and living the Comso-girl life. The May issue featured four different covers of Madonna, with photos by Ellen von Unwerth.
Here’s a snippet of the interview between Cosmopolitan and Madonna:
On longevity in her career: “Popularity comes and goes. You need to know who you are, what you stand for, and why you’re here.”
On sexuality and ageism: “Don’t be fooled, not much has changed — certainly not for women. We still live in a very sexist society that wants to limit people. Since I started, I’ve had people giving me a hard time because they didn’t think you could be sexual or have sexuality or sensuality in your work and be intelligent at the same time. For me, the fight has never ended.”
On Internet haters: “You can hide behind your computer or your phone and say whatever you want — you’re not known. Could you say it to my face? Would you say it to my face? I doubt it.”
On March 29 2015, Madonna performed Ghosttown with Taylor Swift at the iHeartRadio Music Awards.
Here’s what Rolling Stone magazine had to say about the performance:
The 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards promised there would be “unexpected collaborations” between the marquee artists attending the Los Angeles event, and the ceremony didn’t disappoint as Taylor Swift joined Madonna for an acoustic rendition of the Rebel Heart singer’s new single Ghosttown.
Following the performance, Madonna tweeted, “My new favorite guitar player! Thank you Taylor!”