Home / Twenty-Five Years After Her Debut, Madonna Still Leads The Way

Twenty-Five Years After Her Debut, Madonna Still Leads The Way

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The past couple of weeks have been really difficult for Madonna bashers. First, she garnered a nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which earned an angry condemnation from some. Now, Madonna’s near signing of a $120 million dollar deal from Live Nation has rocked the industry.

Some, like myself, believe this can end up to be the most significant music industry related event of the past twenty years. Yet, her critics are still trying to tell us how “irrelevant” she is, not realizing an artist 25 years into her career has never been given this type of deal before. While there certainly is a lot to criticize about Madonna’s likely deal, many bloggers have decided to criticize her hands, her age (something that is rarely seen among her male counterparts), her “baby buying,” her British accent, etc. It reminds me of when I was in Junior High school and everybody hated the smartest kid in the class because in reality, they were jealous of his success.

Perhaps a legitimate criticism of Madonna’s deal comes from Michael Savner – of Bank of America – who believes that Madonna simply cannot generate the revenue to make such a deal worthy. Her albums still sell well worldwide, but record sales are becoming close to non-existent. Madonna, like other artists, will need to capitalize on her touring success as much as possible.

Madonna’s most recent tour, The Confessions Tour, is the highest grossing tour ever by a female artist. Fans had no problem paying the crazy $350-$400 ticket prices for some of the better seats. But will they be willing to do this every two years? More importantly, will Madonna still be able to deliver the phenomenal concert experience she has on her two previous tours? Whether her critics are ageist or not, jumping all over the place and doing flip flops can be pretty difficult for someone in their 50s. Madonna has always been an over-achiever and I hope she doesn’t over achieve herself into an Arthritis Rehab Center.

Even if Live Nation doesn’t recoup the money they invested, music fans should be thrilled at this announcement. Major labels, such as Warner Brothers, have controlled artists in ways that aren’t always positive. Look at how much better off Prince has been since he left Warner Brothers! For years, Madonna fans have been arguing that Warner Brothers has not given her the control she deserves: the wrong singles have been chosen on many of her albums; there has not been much promotion going on – in the United States, at least; and her own label sued her three years ago. Warner Brothers has become a sinking ship and Madonna is jumping off at the right time.  

We are moving into a new era where the music will be controlled by artists, not record labels. Radio is becoming increasingly irrelevant because music fans don’t want to be told by a couple radio programmers – who likely decide on airplay based on compensation from major labels – what they should be listening to. I hope Madonna’s move from Warner Brothers encourages other artists to ditch major labels. Then, like Warner Brothers, all the labels will sink into irrelevancy.

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About Daryl D

  • She is one of my favourite singer .. anyway I think she lost a bit in last two/three years… Anycase for me is still one of the best!

  • She is one of my favourite singer .. anyway I think she lost a bit in last two/three years… Anycase for me is still one of the best!

  • Roger Friedman, Fox News

    Madonna only appeals to ageing homosexual crystal meth addicts. She’s not in the same league as two truly talented female artists, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Mariah actually sings meaningful songs while Madonna does nothing but sing about gay sex. I hope they shoot her before she gets put into the Rock Hall of Fame.

  • calin

    I have enjoy Madonna’s MUSIC since she first began 25 years ago. I never bought an album because any of her controversies, Sh simply makes great POP music, stop the madonna bashing and enjoy the MUSIC. I bet all those that say they hate MADONNA actually enjoy her music and are closeted MADONNA fans. LOVE CV

  • tommy

    she’s madonna!

    still leading the way

    she’s the most pirated music artist in the whole world. translate that to lost revenue.

    live concert experience can’t be pirated so fans pay to see her.

    now, who’s wise in business?

  • JC Mosquito

    Y’know – I really liked Ray of Light – the album was decent, but the song itself made up for every bad Madonna moment there ever was. Still, no matter how loud you play it, it’s not rock and roll.

  • Hplee

    I checked ! It’s true ! There really is an anti Madonna forum !!! It’s priceless ! the guy sounds like a nutcase, the whole thing is so grotesque it looks like a comedy skit from SNL or MadTv.
    Well thank you anyway for the biggest laugh i had in weeks.
    But devoting so much time and energy to someone you hate so much only proves how relevant and important Madonna is to you even negatively.

  • Hplee

    An anti Madonna forum ? Mwah ahahahahahah !!!
    Seriously seek medical help……

  • Rom

    Actually: Hung Up was Warner musics most successful single world wide ever! The Confessions album was huge world wide selling almost 10 mill, in the top 5 that year. #1 in America. Then The Confessions Live Album sold another couple of million. All of Madonnas songs are #1 Dance hits. Its all about satalite radio or energy dance stations. Thats for a whole different audience & thats the one Madonna is ontop of. This is a huge blow to Warner, they need to start finding someone big & fast.

  • to be fair, there is a big difference in this new deal she’s struck and that is that concert revenues are involved….something traditionally separate and distinct the the recording part of a contract.

  • daryl d

    I received an “anonymous” email from someone, supposedly at Warner Brothers, who said that they are planning to make Madonna’s next album flop by not promoting it, etc. and to get back at her, they are going to release pointless greatest hits albums. I can’t be sure if this source is legit, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is true. After all, their label has just been dealt the death sentence.

  • How’s that “Bono is the Anti-Christ” article coming along?

    heh. that reminds me of the joke about salmon rushdie and the supposed follow-on book to the satanic verses: “buddha, you fat fuck!”

  • daryl d


    I think I’ve used up my Bono bashing allowance for the year. But I’m working on some others:

    1. Did Britney Spears Help Plan 911?

    2. Why Anne Coulter Is A Goddess

    3. The Talentless Beatles

    4. Bob Dylan: Really a Drag Queen?

    Yeah, Mariah’s old record company paid a lot to get rid of her. But Madonna’s success, at this point of her career, is based on concert ticket sales. I think she’ll pull through.

  • JC Mosquito

    I’ll go you one better – didn’t Mariah Carey’s record company pay her over $90 million to NOT release a record?

  • duane

    A proud and shining moment, indeed.

    How’s that “Bono is the Anti-Christ” article coming along?

  • daryl d

    Oh, I’m so happy that I’m the subject of an “Anti-Madonna” forum.

  • Daryl D wrote:
    “He [Prince] may not sell a lot of albums but he’s way past the point where that matters.”

    Because of that, Prince is probably not making as much money as he did before.

    – and yet you seem giddy about the possibility of Madonna getting $120 million from the Live Nation deal. Either money/profit is impressive to a person or it is not.

    I’d say it matters: it is a *business*.

    Unless band/
    singers are happy with earning revenue by constant touring, they get their money from selling albums.

    They, like the rest of us, have to earn money to pay the bills – and in their case, to buy fancy mansions and cars.

    Madonna has never cared about the music. She’s all about the media attention and earning a buck.

    One article pointed out that she may not actually get $120 million; the figure might be lower, such as $60 million.

    (I’ve responded to the rest of Daryl D’s piece at the Anti Madonna board, and particulary to the odious, oft- repeated and incorrect nonsense that Madonna critics are “jealous” of Madonna.)

  • daryl d

    Yes, Prince has been better off. His career has completely resurged. He may not sell a lot of albums but he’s way past the point where that matters.

  • bongo masta

    Prince has been better off after leaving WB? Pur-lease, the guy still shops his new album to majors for a reason.

    And his fans certainly haven’t been better off.