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Madonna is overrated. Accept it.

Written by gaytourism

I once went on a Grindr hook up, and when I arrived, the guy was watching a live concert DVD of Madonna’s.

I couldn’t help myself.

‘Why are you watching this?’ I asked. ‘She’s rubbish’.

‘You don’t like Madonna?’ he replied. ‘Get out.’

He literally kicked me out. And this was before we even hooked up! We didn’t even get to do anything! That was it. We never spoke after that. Utterly ridiculous.

This was about 10 years ago, around the Sticky & Sweet Tour. The era when she did 4 Minutes with Justin Timberlake – just one of her many cringe-inducing moments.


Before I carry on, let me get one thing straight: I have the upmost respect for Madonna and what she’s done in her a career. She’s been around for a very long time.

I respect that when Like a Virgin and songs like it came out, she was bringing sex into music and breaking the mould.

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She also paved the way for LGBTI representation with the Vogue video. I respect that. To think, it came out during the HIV/AIDS crisis. When I hear it, I feel a sense of pride. When I’m in a club and I see all the other gay guys doing the moves, I stand aside and admire the effect she has on them. I’m not denying she’s an LGBTI ally.

Me Against the Music

However, personally, I feel Madonna is overrated.

I love music, so I respect singers. Singers who tick all the boxes. Singers who can perform live and sound good doing it, rather than have a studio do it all for them.

I don’t think she cuts it as a singer or a performer. Anyone who’s got a bit of talent can put on a show. Take Britney Spears for example, who I also think is totally overrated.

She can’t sing to save her life, but she puts on a good performance. It’s weird. When I saw her at Brighton Pride, the 11-year-old in me thought: ‘Oh my god – I was obsessed with her!’ (I also fancied her as my sexuality was a bit all over the place, but that’s another story…).

Be that as it may, Britney’s a performer, not a singer. And she’s robotic even when she performs…

Express Yourself

Who’s my idea of a great artist who ticks all the boxes? Well, Lady Gaga. Some people might say she hasn’t got the strongest voice, but I’d disagree. I’ve seen her live many times. She never uses playback. Her vocals and her performances are consistent.

I know people are going to say: ‘You hate Madonna because you’re a Lady Gaga fan’, but I don’t. It’s not about that. Gaga is an artist through and through.

Although when Madonna called Gaga ‘reductive’ – I haven’t forgotten that. She’s allowed her own opinion, of course. My point of view is Madonna’s always going to be Madonna. People know the name. But I think, when she saw Gaga come along – and Gaga’s always said she was influenced by her, idolized her when she was younger – she thought: ’This girl’s trying to take my place.’

But there’s room for both of them, isn’t there? I think she felt threatened, not that she had any reason to.

Perhaps I latch onto Gaga more because of my age. And because when I was coming to terms with my sexuality, Born This Way really helped me. I came out to my family because of that song. Perhaps it’s because I can’t remember Madonna’s stronger eras that I haven’t latched onto her as much.

Don’t Tell Me

There’s also forcefulness from other gay men and LGBTI people. I’ve had full on blow outs about it. I have older friends who say: ‘What? You don’t like Madonna? You’re a gay man!’

I’m entitled to be a gay man and not like Madonna. A musician may have helped me come out, but music doesn’t define my sexuality.

By the way, I’ll admit I haven’t seen Madonna live, and Rebel Heart is the only album of hers I’ve listened to in full. I don’t know why. I was curious. There are a couple of songs on there I’d dance to, but for me, it was overproduced and not thought through.

Bitch I’m Madonna had Nicki Minaj on it, and I’m a fan of hers, so I was interested to hear that. It was…awkward. Madonna was trying to make a statement to the ‘now’ generation, to people who don’t know her – 16, 17, 18-year-olds. It was cringey. It didn’t land.

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Every time Madonna tries to ‘reinvent’ her music career and brings out another album, I feel she’s clutching at straws. For me, it  doesn’t work. A lot of people feel this way. And I’m not exactly young, I’m 29.

By the way, I have no opinion on how she dresses as a 60-year-old woman. It’s not about how she looks or her image. That would be ageist, sexist. My opinions are about her music, her lyrics and her singing.


Do I like her as a person? Yes and no – I can’t put my finger on it, but something about her annoys me. Maybe it’s arrogance. She comes across as if she knows she’s on a pedestal. She’s overconfident and cold.

I don’t think she’s down to earth. What I’d like, as I think this would help me connect with her more, is for the new music to be stripped down. Her own lyrics, not produced by Timbaland or whatever, just stripped back.

Going back to Gaga, her last album Joanne was stripped back, and I liked that. It helped me to get to know her as a person.

If Madonna did that, I’d give her a shot. But if she comes back with some overproduced club banger, it’ll fall into that cringe category for me once again.

Interview by Jamie Tabberer

Madonna will never be over. Deal with it.


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