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‘She was and is the Queen’: Music Stars Pay Tribute to Madonna on her 60th Birthday

Diplo, Adele, Nile Rodgers on why the Material Girl will stay relevant forever

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Aug 16, 2018

Happy Birthday, Madonna! The Queen of Pop turns 60 today. Photo: Chris Weger/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

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Adele: ”˜There’s a Reason There’s Only One Madonna’

“There’s a reason there’s only one Madonna. For me, she’s the complete definition of evolving, and evolving, and evolving each time.”

Robyn: ”˜Just Her Energy and Her Savviness’

“I grew up listening to her. I grew up watching her talk about herself and her music. Just her energy and her savviness ”” she was and is the queen. She really is. “Like a Prayer” is my favorite Madonna song, because it’s an amazing song and it talks about the mystery of being alive. She’s really deep, and she’s always been deep. I was a part of her tour and got to say hi in 2010.”

Nile Rodgers: ”˜She Had That Magical Thing That Movie Stars Have’

“She had this sort of underground vibe. Madonna and I could go anywhere. And as a matter of fact, whenever we went somewhere”¦ remember, I was born in New York, I knew every club owner, I could get in anywhere free. I mean, we grew up together. Madonna and I would walk into a club and this is what I would hear. This was the den that would go on, ”˜Who’s that girl? Who’s that girl with Nile?’ People didn’t know her. She just had a thing and she had that magical thing that movie stars have–that Marilyn Monroe kind of magical thing.

Not only did she know it, there was such clarity.  I have never worked with the person that I respected more, that had such focus and such determination and such a work ethic. There was no amount of takes of a song that I could ask Madonna to do that she would not do.  She was tireless.

Day one in the studio, I turned up first, but that never happened again. She was never going to let me be first, ever. Madonna was effortless. The Madonna that we all know now is a woman of confidence, a woman of amazing accomplishments. She’s truly amazing, but you got to remember, when I met her, she was only on her first album, which had been out for more than a year.  She had only sold 375,000 units.  I loved her. Go back and look at early Madonna interviews, talking about Nile Rodgers. That’s the woman I know.

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My first formal meeting with her at my apartment, she comes in and she plays essentially what’s the Like A Virgin album, because she had collected all these demos and stuff. She said to me, in a very matter of fact kind of tone, “Nile, if you don’t like all these songs, I can’t work with you.” And I said, ”˜Well Madonna, I don’t like all the songs, but let me tell you this. By the time I get finished with them, I’m gonna love them.’ This must have been the right answer, because I didn’t get fired.”

Diplo: ”˜Madonna Invented What We All Have As a Pop Star’

“Madonna in one sentence? Elegance, professionalism, and complete awesomeness.  It’s not a real sentence, but you know, she is just a boss. As far as musicians I’ve ever worked with, she’s the number one. For history and what she’s accomplished, and how she works and how serious she takes her own music, it pushed me to really work even harder than I do ”” which is hard, I thought, but I can always do more. Memories of her were just how casual and how real it was to make music with her. It wasn’t a mechanical studio session. It was just real life and extremely fun, and we were there to write, and I felt like the pressure wasn’t on me to make giant hits, it was just like, let’s make the best moves that we can together.

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Madonna is going to be relevant forever. Madonna invented what we all have as a pop star. There wasn’t anything before her, in that capacity, of all encompassing. To keep it going for 30 years, and, also to be so in touch with the underground. She didn’t come from a musical family. She literally just was like, ”˜I’m going to go to New York and do my thing.’ And she did it, and she conquered it and she stayed one step ahead, all the time. She’s an icon. You’re always relevant if you’re an icon like that.

The Madonna tracks I love are “La Isla Bonita”– I love so much. I love “Like a Prayer,” I love “Cherish.” I love a lot of corny pop records, people probably don’t realize. I used to record “Cherish” off the radio in Florida on my cassette tapes, so I could listen to it over and over again. She’s awesome.”

Mike D: “I loved The Immaculate Collection

“The tradition we had was, once we got less than an hour away from our destination, I would put on Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection ”” don’t ask me why. I loved it, I’m not going to lie. I was a fan. The Immaculate Collection ”” that was the one. As soon as “Holiday” would come on, everyone in the back would be relieved, because they’re like, ”˜Oh, we’re almost there.’ There was one ridiculous drive where we had to go from Florida to Toronto, or something ”” that was the drive. When we were getting close to Toronto, everyone was getting so punch-drunk and delirious, and Madonna was what I was playing, for fun. Everyone started singing along, and I was like, ”˜Alright, Madonna’s going to be the last thing we play on every drive now.”

Artist quotes courtesy of Beats 1, Apple Music

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