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Madonna: Hot or Has-Been?

6/17/2006 4:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

MadonnaThe Hater-
It happens to every artist. It happened to The Stones, The Ramones, Whitney Houston and now, it has happened to Madonna. It's sad but true... Madonna has lost her relevance as a pop artist.

Oh she'll still sell out large sports arenas and her album will still chart when it hits the streets., but you're not gonna hear the average 12 year-old  say they wanna be like Madonna, like they did in droves in the '80s. They're more likely to emulate Xtina, Kelly Clarkson, or (god forbid) Fergie.

Now our beloved Madonna didn't just fall off the relevant radar over night. It was a long, painful process that took years to complete.  

Lets break it down:

She became religious
It didn't work for Bob Dylan, why would it work for you.

She chose the Kaballah
Say what you want about this ancient Jewish mysticism, but to the average American it's nothing more then a Hollywood fad. With its red string bracelet and cancer-curing water, it's hard for folks to support a theology propped up by a woman who coos us to "Justify Her Love."

She moved to the UK
She married Brit director Guy Richie, you know, the guy who did the "Snatch" movie. Within what seemed like hours, she was conducting interviews with a British accent. We're all just happy she didn't move to France, then she would be unintelligible.

She released "American Life"
Or as it's otherwise known, the album that jumped the shark. She appeared on the cover as Ché and suddenly she was a revolutionary who rapped- yes, rapped- about lattés and pilates. The accompanying video was reedited to remove Madonna throwing a hand grenade at George Bush. Who did the re-editing? MTV? The record label? No. Madonna did. It was filled with images of war and she didn't want to offend anyone. The whole situation may have been a bit more controversial if the video and song weren't completely unwatchable and unlistenable.

She got on the light up cross
Years ago. Madonna had this song "Like A Prayer." It pissed off everyone. The video had burning crosses, a black Jesus making out with Madonna and unnecessary bowing at the end. The Church hated it, your parents hated it, teachers told you how horrible Madonna was to disrespect religion and we, well, we loved it. It was a great song with a compelling video. (Hell, I'm humming it right now.) Now Madonna brings out a huge light up cross on her tour. Sure, a few church groups got upset. but these are the people who think Harry Potter is leading us to hell, one book at a time. But, for the most part, no one cared. A collective yawn filled the land and we moved on. Been there, done that.

Madonna will still sell huge amounts of records and sell out venues, but please keep in mind so does Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand. Her relevancy is on the wane. Relax Madonna, you deserve a rest- you've earned it. Let us remember the good times and not the image of a woman struggling to to stay in the limelight at any cost.

madonnaThe Celebrater-
Here we go again.  Every time Madonna has a new album or tour, inevitably the question of 'is she still relevant' is raised.  The fact that we are still having this conversation is proof alone that we still care.

Madonna's first album came out in 1983, making her career almost as old as Britney Spears, and she's still topping the charts. Her latest album "Confessions on a Dance Floor" debuted at #1 and her tour is destined to be the top-selling tour of the year. 12-year-olds may be a large chunk of the record buying public, but they're about as fickle with their musical tastes as Paris Hilton is with boyfriends.  While singers like Kelly Clarkson and Fergie may have the kids' attention now, see where those ladies are in 23 years - then we'll talk.

Kaballah isn't a fad, it's been around for thousands of years.  Madonna didn't join Kaballah because it was trendy; Madonna joined Kaballah - that's why it's trendy.  From wearing rosaries to vogueing to Kaballah, what Madonna does - people follow.  Maybe 12-year-olds aren't signing up, but their mothers are.

Madonna's British accent may not be your cup of tea, but it makes much more sense than Xtina's, Timberlake's or Fergie's. Nothing says fraud like a blonde hair, blue-eyed suburbanite touting the latest gangsta slang like it's their own. Talk about sounding unintelligible, yo!

Madge's rapping was not the highlight of her career, but "American Life" still debuted at #1.  Further proving she still had her finger on the pulse, Madonna filmed the Bush-bashing video in February of 2003, a month before the Dixie Chicks lashed out and several years before polls made it ok for even the reddest of conservatives to do so. Madonna may have edited her video before anyone could ban it, but let's not forget we were on the eve of war.  People proclaimed Madonna had softened, in actuality the mother of two was just showing the world she had grown up.

If Madonna isn't causing uproars like she was twenty years ago then you can blame...Madonna.  From sex to religious controversies to gay visibility, the Material Girl pushed issues and topics that at one-time were considered taboo but today don't even raise an eyebrow.  Thank God Madonna has been there and done that, it's because of people like her that today we have a more tolerant society. So the next time you find yourself bored by Lady M's latest endeavor, no need to yawn - a thank you will suffice.

At 47, Madonna's body is in the best shape of her life. While other pop stars from the 80s have faded or remained in the press solely for their legal woes (Can you say Jacko, Boy George, George Michael or Whitney?), Madonna is still kickin' ass.  Maybe if people stopped wanting her to be something she used to be, they'd realize just how much fun they could be having dancing to her latest hit.

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who was the jerk that thought this article made sense...Madonna is an ICON...hello...over 20years and still commands attention in whatever she does...hello no one has done that...not the rolling stones, etc etc. Sells out arenas...I don't think 12years olds want to be her...but what does that have to do with anything...hello!!! 12year olds want to be someone else every 2 minutes of the day....No one has caused a commontion the way Ms. M one...end of story

3016 days ago


Im the 1st to comment I hope and hopefully the last. This debate should not be being had anymore! Of course as people get older their relevance as exciting changes and people of 12 are hardly gonna think that their most exciting 'role models' are going to be nearly 50. How rediculous! However, Madonna STILL manages to be relevant in one way shape or form and make it good. Her latest album is amazing and very with the times. Even if annoying America don't play it very much (because their taste is crap unlike in the UK).

I wish people would just lay off Madonna. Lets see how many other criticisers reach 47 and then can bend their legs over their head, look in fabulous shape as her, be as sexy and successful! I think NOT!

3016 days ago


Madonna is probably the most overrated artist ever... I like her and her music, but the hard-core fans justgive the woman too much credit. Before Madonna there was Donna Summer, Bette Midler, Grace Jones etc. etc. They did the shocking in the 70's and early 80's and paved the way for her... The only difference is, they were original...

but... Give the woman credit for still being here and still selling shitloads of albums... so a has been.. not really...

3016 days ago


I beg to differ. It never happened to The Ramones.

3015 days ago

Aaron Darc    

TMZ..... "never was". And never will be, with ridiculous pieces like this. I mean, really, love her or hate her, Madonna has managed to be in more newspapers and tv segments later than any of those artists you mention. And I would think that selling out huge stadiums and making number one recirds would confirm that. But how do you measure "relevancy"?? By how many 12 year olds want to be like her!!!! Please, this is laughable journalism (but calling it "journalism" gives it way too much credit). Put your personal bias away, and stop trying to rubbish her just because YOU don't like her. That's the very worst kind of reporting or opinion there is, and it's a disgrace TMZ published this rubbish (thus ends me ever coming here anymore). Say you don't like her if you don't like her, but don't project your taste onto the entire globe, and her "relevancy" as an artist.

3015 days ago


Hey TMZ I dont always agree with you(or anybody else) but I sure give you the ok to speak your mind freely! As long as I can speak mine that way too! Thanks!

3015 days ago

Beth Halle    

I have to agree. Madonna was and is a great what ever she is calling her self (entertainer?), but yes she is the same age as the mothers of the kids coming up (an no she DID NOT pass on magical powers to Britney, as we all know what is happening to her).
So to Madonna at 47 soon to be 48, get over your self, time for another re invention and hopefully it will show some class. I am voting for the lady of castle look that has her helping the poor and staying a quiet home body.

3015 days ago


She is almost 50 and a Mom. Give it up, Madonna. The latest "cross" stunt is completely ridiculous. She is close to becoming pathetic.

3015 days ago



3015 days ago

Ronald Rodriguez    

Madonna remains the most talked about entertainer in the world! She's a polarizing figure. While Madonna fans celbrate her being the greatest female recoridng artisdt of all time others can't wait for her going down the hill. But it's not moot that she's a living legend. The Queen of Pop reigns!

3015 days ago

Black Ink    

I really never understood all the hating that follows Madonna and what she does on and off the stage. To the poster who said Donna Summer, Bette Midler and Grace Jones were original while Madonna is not...I want you to really think about that comment. People give the woman a break, seriously, there seems to be so many people who comment about her age and say she should settle down or that she's embarrassing herself or whatever. Where does it say that anybody in their 40's, 50's or whatever age can't entertain anymore and trust me the woman is still entertaining. Her Confessions tour is enjoying glowing reviews and it will be the highest grossing tour of the year. We should be celebrating her and her accomplishments not trying to tear her down because you don't like her latest song, CD, look, stage stunt or whatever. No wonder society is coming apart at the seams. People need to stop drinking the Haterade.

3015 days ago


Shes old, shes ugly and she needs to go away already! I am sick of her and her scary looking pictures and her stupid music *cough* if thats what you call it.

3015 days ago


I have to agree, the reporting for this article is very on sided and obviously written by a madonna hater. I have been a madonna fan since 1983 and i have to say didnt always like the things she did like around early 90's with the sex thing, i thought was too much, and her movies arent the best, But as an artist and performer, she is outright awesome, I have seen other artist (Donna Summer, Cher, Gwen Stefani, Bette Midler) and i have to say i am not as entertained by them like madonna, I have seen madonna's last three concert tours, and were out right awesome and very entertaining. If madonna is over and the world is sick of her, then why are we even discussing her. The fact that she is still being talked about shows a true icon and has made a huge impression on Society. She is still the queen. It don't matter if 12 year olds don't want to be like her, i believe even madonna herself doesnt want her own daughter to be like her. She is one the greatest entertainers of our time and always will be

3015 days ago

sasha mitchell    

Nobody wants to see an almost 50 yr old woman prancing about like she's hot. It's ridiculous, gross and oh so pathetic!!! the sight of her in a "argh" leotard gives me the ibby gibbys "blech". She has kids for god sake... Its time to put her in the pasture. Nobody wants to look at the ol' time bicycle that EVERYBODY has had a ride on...Gimme a break!!!

3015 days ago


I think I can sum this whole thing up in one word: CHER

3015 days ago
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