Team Madonna or Team Elton? [Update – Cher picks a side]

Madonna in an effort to promote her new movie W.E. and album M.D.N.A has been in public sounding bitter, entitled and more arrogant than ever. Elton for his part is sounding like his usual self–a bitter queen. Madonna’s behavior has set off a feud with Elton John, his hubby and his baby’s God mother Lady Gaga. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Lets look at the facts before we decide.

Recently Madonna won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song over Elton John. Before the winner was announced Elton John told Carson Daly, “Madonna had no fucking chance” (starts at the :50 Mark).

After Madonna wins Best Original Song, Elton’s husband David Furnish feverishly posts to Facebook:

“Madonna. Best song???? Fuck off!!!!”

“Madonna winning Best Original Song truly shows how these awards have nothing to do with merit. Her acceptance speech was embarrassing in its narcissism. And her criticism of Gaga shows how desperate she really is.”

David Furnish is not the only celebrity who took to social media to comment on Madonna’s speech Cher also responded a fan’s tweet about Madonna a few weeks later tweeting “…Didn’t care much 4 the speech though…”

Mr. Furnish articulated what a lot of us have always thought about the Golden Globes.

Did you ever notice the Foreign Press almost always nominates Hollywood’s royalty like George Cloony, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp no matter what movie they appear in or how bad it is? Why you ask? Because the Hollywood Foreign Press are a bunch of star-fuckers, just looking for a chance to hobnob with A-list celebrities.

The Best Original Song category came down to a contest of who is hotter now, Madonna with a movie, a Super Bowl half time show and a new album wins—sorry Elton. Elton’s “Hello Hello” is not one of his greatest, but it’s superior to Madonna’s Masterpiece. But, I’ll let you decided for yourself:

Elton John’s Hello Hello

01 Hello Hello – Gnomeo & Juliet – Elton John by 77sevenseven

Madonna’s Masterpiece

Remix DJ Mikeb3000 Masterpiece by DJ mikeb3000

Madonna’s acceptance speech was completely narcissistic; her two co-writers, Julie Frost and Jimmy Harry, had to stand two paces behind her and weren’t allowed to speak a word as Madonna basked in her own glory (can’t really fault Madonna here since they would have had no chance in hell of winning if her name wasn’t attached to that horrible song).

The speech goes on to be all about Madonna, including telling us how she was so busy with the film that her manager had to twist her arm to write the song. Something tells me it didn’t go down that way. The manager probably realized the film would be a stinker and the only way the movie had a chance of winning any type of award was if Madonna sang something.

In Madonna’s defense, she was gracious to Elton in the back stage interview saying, “He’s brilliant and I adore him.”  (starts at 1:20 mark)

In Feberary 2011, Elton won a European music award where he dogged Madonna in his acceptance speech for not singing live. (starts at :54 mark)

Elton is waging an all-out assault against Madonna, but Madonna seems to be taking the high road with Elton.  However, Madonna seems to be trying to draw Lady Gaga into a feud. The media, naturally, tries as hard as they can to pit Madonna against Lady Gaga because that sells magazines and attracts viewers, but Madonna doesn’t always have to take the bait.

In her interview with Cynthia McFadden, Madonna delivers the long-awaited blow to Lady Gaga. Mcfadden asked Madonna if Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” is a copy of Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” Madonna has now famously answered the song is “reductive”—translation: oversimplifying.

If you were the average listener you would never even think one song was a copy of the other. Madonna’s “Express Yourself” is about expressing yourself to a man, a rather trivial song as compared to Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” that is about accepting yourself for being gay. The initial brouhaha was caused by people thinking “Express Yourself” was a metaphor for all types of expression (including being gay). But listening to the song it’s clearly not and it’s just simply about the trials of being in love.

“Born this Way” was ground breaking in so many ways from being the first song to be in the Billboards top 100 that has the words “gay, straight or bi, lesbian transgender life” to being banned in countries not tolerant of gay people. Lady Gaga’s sophomore album would have been a hit no matter what she sang, but Gaga chose to make a statement and she did. “Born this Way” infiltrated countries where it was banned through the internet opening minds, and encouraged bullied gay teens with a postivite message all around the world.

The detractors may say Lady Gaga copied the song because it has a similar chord change (whatever that means), but the impact of “Born this Way” can’t be denied.

Madonna would have been much classier saying, “I respect the good work Lady Gaga is trying to do with the song and if I in any way inspired it, I’m honored.”

But of course that is not what Madonna said – she tried to trivialize the song by saying it’s reductive or oversimplified. Madonna needs to go back to her ‘Big Word of the Day’ calendar and find another sesquipedalian word to describe Lady Gaga’s song [Look it up Madonna].

Madonna will always have her place as an icon. This media/self-driven squabble she is getting into with Lady Gaga is unbecoming of someone of her stature.

The combination of Madonna winning the Golden Globe, her sense of self-entitlement and her trashing Elton’s baby’s God mother is what sent Elton into such a tizzy. I find it refreshing when Elton speaks his mind, especially when I agree with him. If Madonna had been a bit more humble and gracious people wouldn’t be so quick to root for her demise or failure, but instead come to her defense.

Will Elton change? Will Madonna change? Probably not on both accounts. If I’m being honest I don’t want them to change. I prefer two people being really who they are over two Hollywood phonies.

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8 thoughts on “Team Madonna or Team Elton? [Update – Cher picks a side]

  1. Mark

    I’m not interested in gossip or the general ugliness people seem to have towards these artists. It’s too easy to turn something into something ugly on the web. I’m only interested in the facts!
    Your post made me want to listen to all the clips and look at the exact facts!

    This is what Madonna said on 20/20:

    Q: What do you think of lady gaga and do you feel she’s copying you?
    I certainly think that she references me a lot in her work. Sometimes I think it’s amusing and flattering and well done. I can’t really be annoyed by it or insulted by it because obviously I’ve influenced her.

    Q: It doesn’t feel like a rip off?
    M: No because she is she and I am me.

    Q: Would you ever do a duet with her?
    M: It hasn’t occurred to me but never say never.

    Q: And when you saw Born This Way did you think…
    M: When I heard it on the radio? Yes I did, I said that sounds very familiar.

    Q: And that doesn’t feel annoying?
    M: It feels reductive

    Q: Is that good?
    M: Look it up

    And this is what she said a few days later on Graham Norton in the UK:

    Q: In my head I’m thinking, you’ve seen them come, you’ve seen them go, so when somebody like Lady Gaga comes along, do you just think good luck to you girl or is a bit of you kind of going (pulls an annoyed face)
    M: Actually neither. When I first saw her, I saw her performing in a very small club in Manhattan a couple of years ago, maybe it was like three years ago, I don’t know.
    I actually was really impressed by her, I thought she was really cool and she did remind me of me back in the day. I loved her rawness and there was something fresh about her and ballsy and when she spoke to the audience she sounded like she had a similar sense of humour to me, quite ironic and I liked her.
    I liked her, I do think that she’s very talented.

    Once Born This Way was released and the whole Express Yourself controversy started, Gaga was questioned about it on Jay Leno where she stated the following:

    LG: …the good news is that I got an email from her people and her, sending me their love and complete support on behalf of the single and if the Queen says it shall be, than it shall be.

    Soon after Liz Rosenberg (Madonna’s publicist) said:
    I am not aware that Madonna sent Gaga an email. That’s all I have to say on the matter.

    So, was Lady Gaga lying?

    I love Gaga myself, but I’ve got a mind of my own and always question things so I have to be honest and I cannot deny the fact that she has referenced Madonna a lot in her work… The way I see it, Madonna didn’t diss Gaga at all and in a way I’m glad she said those things because it will push Gaga to do even better!
    Gaga is very smart and I’m sure she will see Madonna’s words for what they are, constructive criticism. I hope that she will take it all on board and use it to better herself as an artist and performer! I for one prefer Gaga when she doesn’t remind me of other artists, when she sticks to be her original and unique self.
    I wish people stopped the hating on all parties, it’s so unfair. They are both amazing artists.

    1. markatlarge Post author

      I did include the clips so people could form their own opinion.

      My biggest gripe is the disrespect Gaga gets over “Born this Way”–it was ground braking and far from a copy. Madonna should have acknowledge that. The song sends a positive message few other artist deal with, if any.

      But as I said–I like Madonna and her pomposity. I much prefer it over the phoniness in Hollywood.

  2. Leslie

    To quote a blog I found, and where I agree with:

    “You know what’s strange? In recent years it has become more fashionable to mock Madonna, especially since the rise of GaGa. There is almost this revisionist history of how Madonna was never cool and how her only talents were manipulating people and promoting herself, whereas GaGa is this innovative and legendary trendsetter who is better in every way than Madonna ever was. I think that’s bullshit. And what David and Elton did was bullshit, too. I never once heard of Madonna stooping to that low of a level, even at her most controversial. And she’s a woman who’s said some controversial and often insulting things in her day, though age and being a mother to now four children has softened her (and of course, she’s gotten flack for having two children out of wedlock [including her second child, Rocco, who was born to her and Guy Ritchie before they married] and adopting two more from Malawi). Of course, Madonna can’t take a shit in her bathroom without someone criticizing her for it.

    From the bit that I heard during the telecast, “Masterpiece” is a step and then some above Madonna’s most recent material. “Hello Hello” seems to be a Beatles rip-off, and I’m not even a Beatles fan. I only have their 1 album because of subliminal obligation/pressure to have a Beatles song on my iPod.

    Dame Elton should take heart that “Masterpiece” is ineligible for an Oscar nomination because of some messed-up technicality, and that his song and the three other nominated tracks (including one by Mary J. Blige for her song “The Living Proof” from The Help) are still in contention. (By the by, Mary J. seemed to have a bitch-face of her own throughout the ceremony.) It is likely, however, that none of the five Golden Globe-nominated songs will get an Oscar nod. In recent years, the Oscars and Golden Globes for Best Original Song have been wildly different. For instance, last year, the Diane Warren-penned showpiece for Cher in Burlesque, “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me”, took the GG, but did not receive an Oscar nod. In fact, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been extremely strict with its Best Original Song Oscar selection, even more than in other categories, even more than the Best Picture category.

    I bet that even if Dame Elton got an Oscar nomination for “Hello Hello” and ended up winning his second Oscar (his first came for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” from The Lion King), he’ll still take the time to blast Madonna in his acceptance speech. Whatever. Let Madonna have her moment, Sir/Dame Elton Hercules John and David Furnish. It’s not like you’re hurting for recognition anyway. “

  3. markatlarge Post author

    I have to disagree with this, you can’t pin this on the rise of Gaga. Anytime a star is so huge the media tries to tear them down. If you go back in history Madonna’s Album American Life was flop, at that time everyone said she was over. But obviously Madonna will never be over, will never be forgotten and always be loved. Even her H8ers are peeved by the fact that she is a living Icon and that will not change.

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