Madonna on ageism in the music industry: I’m punished for turning 60

The pop star also said there are no living role models for her, because she is so unique.

Press Association
Last updated: 4 May 2019 - 9.10am

Madonna has said she is now fighting ageism in the music industry and that she is “being punished” for hitting 60.

The US pop star said the new hurdle comes after decades of taking on a number of other battles in order to succeed.

She told British Vogue magazine: “People have always been trying to silence me for one reason or another, whether it’s that I’m not pretty enough, I don’t sing well enough, I’m not talented enough, I’m not married enough, and now it’s that I’m not young enough.

“So, they just keep trying to find a hook to hang their beef about me being alive on.

“Now I’m fighting ageism, now I’m being punished for turning 60.”

The music star, who will release her long-awaited 14th album Madame X next month, also said she has felt unsupported by other women throughout her career.

She said: “There are no living role models for me. Because nobody does what I do. And that’s kind of scary.

“I can look back at women who I think were great and amazing – freedom fighters, like Simone de Beauvoir or Angela Davis – but they didn’t have kids.”

Madonna added: “Being a single parent of six children, I continue to be creative and be an artist and be politically active, to have a voice, to do all the things that I do. So, I mean, there isn’t anybody in my position.”

The Like A Prayer hit-maker, who appears on the cover of the magazine for the first time in 30 years, has two biological children, daughter Lourdes and son Rocco, and four adopted children from Malawi – David, Mercy and twins Estere and Stella.

She said that she feels her son David, 13, is the one she has the most in common with.

“What he has more than anything is focus and determination,” she said.

“I’m pretty sure he got it from me. He’s the one I have the most in common with.

“I feel like he gets me; he has more of my DNA than any of my children so far. Let’s see what happens – it’s still early days for everyone.”

She said her daughter Lourdes, 22, from her relationship with actor Carlos Leon, is “insanely talented”, but that she worries that she does not have enough drive to succeed on her own terms.

Madonna said: “She’s incredible at everything she does – she’s an incredible dancer, she’s a great actress, she plays the piano beautifully, she’s way better than me in the talent department.

“But she doesn’t have the same drive, and again, I feel social media plagues her and makes her feel like, ‘People are going to give me things because I’m her daughter’.”

The full feature appears in the June issue of British Vogue, available on May 10.

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