Madonna: Society is obsessed with celebrity - it's easy to become famous now

NEXT year Madonna will celebrate 30 years in the music business. And despite Lady Gaga, Adele and Rihanna biting at her heels she's still the female singer to beat. What's her secret? Never looking back. She admitted: "I don't think much about me in the past, to tell you the truth. I'm too busy looking forward." 
Although her debut single Everybody in 1982 was only a dance hit in America, her third single Holiday went to No2 in the UK and she has become the world's top selling recording artist of all time, selling 300 million records. In the UK, the musical magpie has had 11 No1 albums, tying her with Elvis Presley as a solo act with most No1s. She's also had 13 chart-topping one singles, including True Blue, Like a Prayer and Music.
Of course, Madonna didn't stop at music. She is an award-winning actress, starring in films like Evita and Desperately Seeking Susan. She has written children's books and is now a film director, helming W.E. about the romance between King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Madonna has gone from the trashy girl, wearing skirts over capri pants and with arms covered in bracelets, to a sophisticated 53-year-old wearing expensive well-fitted dresses.
Her career has certainly inspired almost any female singer of the past 30 years from Gwen Stefani, Kylie Minogue and Pink to Beyonce, Britney Spears and of course Lady Gaga. What does she think of that? Speaking to promote her W.E. film, Madonna laughed: "Oh well, I would just say what the Duchess says: 'Get a life'."
 She also has no truck with the current trend for perfection - whether through cosmetic surgery, or celebrities in photoshoots, or just wanting the perfect relationship. Madonna warned: "Stop striving for perfection because there is no such thing. 
“We have to look beneath the surface and I think that we can’t take it personally and literally. “We can’t judge a book by its cover, you have to read the book. “How do you get to know a person? You can’t expect to know who they are by reading an article in a ­magazine about them. 
“We live in a society that is obsessed with celebrities and it’s pretty easy to get famous very quickly now. So I think there is an obsession with celebrity and people mistake getting to photograph somebody in their backyard, playing on the swings with their children, as actually some kind of intimacy. 
“You don’t really get to know a person that way, because their lives have been intruded upon. “It’s an illusion.”
It has been three years since her last album Hard Candy, which included 4 Minutes, but it seems she’ll soon start work on her 12th album to be released next spring. She joked: “First I have to go to the studio and record it. For that, I need some free time.” 
Madonna has been in the public eye for so long now she’s been loved and hated, admired and derided, especially when it comes to acting. She won a Golden Globe award as Eva Peron in Evita and was well received in Desperately Seeking Susan, but there were also howlers like Shanghai Express and Swept Away, directed by her then hubby Guy Ritchie.
Despite having a fortune - rumoured to be half a billion dollars - the mother of four still worries about what people think of W.E., which is the second film she has directed. She admitted: “It would be great if people perceived my work well.” But the critics at the Venice Film Festival ripped it apart - it seems some want her to stick to music.


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