Tapped by Billboard as woman of the year, accomplishments racked up by the enduring pop star and powerhouse that is Madonna include the most top ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the most No. 1 songs on a genre-specific chart (in her case, it’s 46 No. 1 singles on the Dance Club chart) and she is also the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time, having just banked $170 million for her 82-date Rebel Heart Tour, which wrapped up in March 2016.
As part of the recognition, she was interviewed by actress Elizabeth Banks about ageism, the election results and also her work in Malawi, wheretwo of her children were born.
While Madonna exists in upper echelons of famedom and has for her entire adult life, her responses are remarkably down-to-earth and clear-eyed. As always she speaks from her heart, which is pretty cool when you consider the intense level of push back she’s been subject to over her many years in the business.
Check out some of her more compelling quotes below:
On her age…“I don’t care. It’s the rest of society that cares. I don’t ever think about my age until someone says something about it. I feel that I have wisdom, experience, knowledge and a point of view that is important. Can a teenager relate to that? Probably not. But that’s OK. I understand that. ‘Relevance’ is a catchphrase that people throw out because we live in a world full of discrimination. Age is only brought up with regard to women. It’s connected to sexism, chauvinism and misogyny.”
On how she’s feeling about the election results…“It felt like someone died. It felt like a combination of the heartbreak and betrayal you feel when someone you love more than anything leaves you, and also a death. I feel that way every morning; I wake up and say, ‘Oh, wait, Donald Trump is still the president,’ and it wasn’t a bad dream that I had. It feels like women betrayed us. The percentage of women who voted for Trump was insanely high.”
On how Trump won the election…“Women hate women. That’s what I think it is. Women’s nature is not to support other women. It’s really sad. Men protect each other, and women protect their men and children. Women turn inward and men are more external. A lot of it has do with jealousy and some sort of tribal inability to accept that one of their kind could lead a nation.”
On meeting Trump…“I did a photo shoot years ago at [Trump’s] Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach [Fla.] for a Versace campaign. He’s a very friendly guy, charismatic in that boastful, macho, alpha-male way. I found his political incorrectness amusing. Of course, I didn’t know he was going to be running for president 20 years later. People like that exist in the world, I’m OK with it. They just can’t be heads of state. I just can’t put him and Barack Obama in the same sentence, same room, same job description.”
Check out the rest of the article at billboard.com.