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Over the course of her 36-year career, Madonna has refused to let age define her.
In a February interview with Rolling Stone, she spoke out against the issue of ageism for all women over the age of 50, saying, “Women, generally, when they reach a certain age, have accepted that they’re not allowed to behave a certain way … But I don’t follow the rules. I never did, and I’m not going to start.”
As the pop icon turns one year older, THR looks at five times music’s leading rule breaker made a statement this year.
1. Coachella Kiss
Madonna shocked festivalgoers when she made a surprise appearance during Drake‘s headlining set at Coachella. After performing her hits “Hung Up” and “Express Yourself,” she seated the rapper on a chair onstage and leaned in for a kiss. The shock factor that followed was reminiscent of the singer’s onstage smooch with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera during their performance at the 2003 MTV VMAs.
2. “Bitch I’m Madonna”
The singer performed a number of wild antics in the music video for her Rebel Heart single “Bitch I’m Madonna,” including kissing strangers, gyrating with her dancers and crawling on the floor. The majority of the video featured Madonna — dressed in a pink studded jacket, leopard-print dress and fishnet stockings — getting unruly at a wild dance party.
3. Fashion Statements
Though Madonna isn’t new to sporting gold grills (she’s been wearing them on occasion since 2013), it seems she permanently brought back her teeth accessories to promote her latest album Rebel Heart. Not only was she seen wearing them in her music video for “Bitch I’m Madonna,” but she also showed them off during interviews on The Howard Stern Show and Jimmy Fallon‘s Tonight Show. Madonna also turned heads earlier this year when she hit the red carpet (and flashed her butt to the press) at the 2015 Grammy Awards wearing a cleavage-baring matador outfit. When later asked about her wardrobe by Rolling Stone, she proudly expressed, “This is what a 56-year-old ass looks like, motherf—ers!”
4. The Tonight Show Performance
The singer gave a rowdy performance of “Bitch I’m Madonna” on The Tonight Show in April, during which she danced suggestively atop host Fallon’s desk and ran herself out of breath from the song’s elaborate dance routine.
5. Tidal Press Conference
Madonna joined Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West and other big music names at a press conference in March for the official launch of Jay Z‘s streaming service Tidal. During the conference, each stakeholder was expected to sign the Tidal declaration placed on a table in the center of the stage. In true Madonna fashion, the singer straddled the table as she signed her name, sparking cheers from the audience in attendance (around the 01:19 mark in the above video).
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