The Popdust 40: The World’s Greatest Pop Stars, From Big Bang to Justin Bieber

Madonna Style

Posted by on 08/24/2012 at 3:14 PM

The Popdust Files: 2012 popdust 40

#29 Madonna

2011 Ranking: 22

The Material Girl has entered her fourth decade as a pop icon with relative grace, remaining a worldwide touring sensation and a marquee name big enough to headline the country’s most watched TV event of the year. She’s taken a couple PR hits in recent days, and her singles aren’t guaranteed hits the way they used to be, but she remains an unimpeachable figure in the world of popular music, and the consensus bearer of the DiMaggio-esque title of the World’s Greatest Living Pop Star.

By the beginning of the 2010s, Madonna had amassed the back catalogue to be considered an all-time legend no matter what she did or where she went from there.

Still, some of her more recent musical efforts proved that even as an established pop immortal, Madonna was still prone to the occasional misstep.

PD40 Madonna

Madonna also saw her film directorial debut come and go with W.E., a British (of course) romance tale based around the story of Wallis Simpson, the American commoner that King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to be with. The movie was received poorly by audiences and critics alike, though Madonna did win a Golden Globe for “Masterpiece,” her contribution to the movie’s soundtrack.

PD40 Madonna

Madonna left the director’s chair for her first single of the 2010′s, “Give Me All Luvin.” The Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.-featuring single was one of the pop star’s breeziest, most fun singles in ages, lacking the 21st-century trend-hopping trappings of some of her other recent lead singles, and sounding like Madge at the most care-free she’d been since “Beautiful Stranger.” The song debuted to strong sales and radio play, though it quickly fell off after.

“Luvin” was one of the songs Madonna played at halftime of Super Bowl XLVI, her “still got it” preview for her impending world tour. The performance featured appearances from collaborators LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, and M.I.A. among others and was the most watched show in Super Bowl Halftime history—though Madonna’s own efforts were overshadowed some by M.I.A.’s controversial bird-flipping to the camera during the “Luvin” performance.

The exposure from the Super Bowl halftime show—plus some creative discounting of the album and packaging of it with concert tickets—resulted in very strong initial sales for MDNA, with 359,000 copies moved in the album’s first week. The album failed to generate a second hit, however, and as of posting has still yet to go Gold in the United States.

PD40 Madonna

The MDNA Tour has been a relative commercial success, but has been the subject of a good deal of controversy—first for a mini-medley in the set which appeared to dis Lady Gaga, blending “Express Yourself” with Gaga’s similar-sounding “Born This Way,” but tellingly concluding with Hard Candy album track “She’s Not Me.”

Madonna also caught some attention for baring her nipple during a performance of “Human Nature” in Istanbul—tame stuff for a woman who literally wrote the book on Sex, perhaps, but something that many thought, fairly or no, that Madge would have moved beyond once into her 50s.

PD40 Madonna

The controversy mounted for Madonna as the tour progressed, especially attracting attention for a picture of French right-wing politician Marine Le Pen with a swastika over her face flashed during the concert, which resulted in Le Pen threatening the singer with a lawsuit. This arguably contributed to the low point of the tour, in which Madonna was booed by fans at a gig in Paris–either due to her Le Pen comments, the short nature of the set, or some combination of both, depending on who you believe.

PD40 Madonna

It’s been an up-and-down year for Madonna, but in between the celebrity feuds and petty controversies, she still reigns supreme over popular music, her Super Bowl set reaffirming her Queenly status, and her tour setlist speaking volumes in the songs it doesn’t include—pop classics like “Borderline,” “Crazy for You,” “Live to Tell,” “Take a Bow” and “Don’t Tell Me”—that 99.999% of pop artists would kill to be able to include in their sets. As long as she’s around and making music, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll still find a place for her on this list. And hey, the new record does have some serious jams:

Check Us Out On

Email Us Tips!

Send Us the Tips!

MOST RECENT

Kanye West Rick Rubin Acceptance Speech Video Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Strangest

Kanye West And Rick Rubin Make Strangest Acceptance Speech Video Ever

By Yeezus.... Kanye's outdone even himself....

Human Barbie Selfie Video Photos Plastic Surgery Valeria Lukyanova

Human Barbie Valeria Lukyanova’s Bizarre Selfie Video Is Truly A Spectacle To Behold

Oh... this makes her seem SOOOO much more normal.....NOT....

Glee Season 5 - The BackUp Plan Episode 1

'Glee's 'The Back-Up Plan' Episode—Listen To All The Songs Now!

Our beloved characters must take risks, but will they be worth it?

real housewives botox crying montage video plastic surgery

The Real Housewives Attempting To Cry Through Botox Is A Cinematic Masterpiece

An epic battle between fake faces and real emotion...

Douche Day Photos Hipsters Mustaches Beards Tattoos Rajah

Douche Of The Day—Vote On Thursday’s Candidate—Rajah Douche

He's been sporting a scary beard and challenging glare for years...

SWEET ... MORE POPDUST!

Sign Up for the Popdust Daily

Signing up means you have accepted our Privacy Policy

 
jQuery(document).ready(function($){ function hash_ready(){ if (!location.hash) { //loading empty state - show about page window.location.hash = "#!/"; } else { //directly loading icon loadPage(location.hash); } } hash_ready(); });