Madonna is coming. On Sunday (April 14), the pop icon announced the title of her fourteenth studio album, Madame X, after two weeks of teasing the project on Instagram. While a release date has yet to be announced, here’s everything we know about Madge's first LP since 2015’s Rebel Heart.
Madame X Is An Album -- And a Persona
To announce the album, Madonna dropped a 90-second teaser video introducing fans to her latest alter ego, Madame X. Donning a variety of costumes and disguises, Madge explains in voiceover the basis of the new persona at the center of her upcoming LP.
“I decided to call my record Madame X,” she says in the video before listing off the enigmatic character’s many identities. “Madame X is a secret agent traveling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom. Bringing light to dark places. Madame X is a dancer. A professor. A head of state. A housekeeper. An equestrian. A prisoner. A student. A mother. A child. A teacher. A nun. A singer. A saint. A whore. A spy in the house of love. I’m Madame X.”
Snippets of new music accompany the teaser, with Madonna singing, "The thing that hurt the most/ Was that I wasn't lost" over vamping piano before transitioning to a more sinister instrumental crescendo.
The Lead Single Is a Collab With Maluma
Madonna announced the first single off Madame X on Monday (April 15) Instagram, confirming the track would be released just two days later on April 17. The song, “Medellin,” will be a collaboration with Maluma, which the Colombian singer hinted at when he shared a pair of photos on Instagram in the studio with Her Madgesty. The song’s title is a reference to the Colombian city where Maluma was born.
Madonna Will Perform a New Song at Eurovision Finals
Madonna is slated to take the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Live Nation Israel representatives Guy Beser and Shay Mor Yosef said that Madonna would “perform two songs, including a new song from her upcoming album.”
Two Producers Are Confirmed
While the rest of the production credits remain a mystery, two producers were revealed on her 'Gram for Madame X: Mirwais Ahmadzaï, who co-produced 2000’s Music and 2003’s American Life with Madonna, and Mike Dean, who served as a producer on 2015’s Rebel Heart.
She Finished Mixing Last Fall
Late last year, Madonna shared multiple posts from the recording studio as she wrapped up the album. In one clip, her daughter Estere toys with a keyboard while singing into a microphone, the six-year-old's voice reverberating throughout the studio. In another, Madonna appears hard at work on Madame X's final touches, captioning the post, "Final mixes.............Everything must be !" Though she tagged producers Mirwais and Mike Dean in the caption's hashtags, Madge muted the video's sound, leaving the final product shrouded in mystery.
In the days following the initial teaser, the superstar doled out a few more looks at her title character's many personas. "Madame X is a cha-cha instructor," Madonna shared on Tuesday (April 16) alongside a teaser from what looks to be the "Medellin" music video. In the clip, her alter-ego's shadow dances the cha-cha while she counts off the song's beats in a charged whisper. In another pair of posts the same day, Madonna introduced Madame X as a guitar-wielding cabaret singer and an eye-patch wearing professor.