Madonna | Rolling Stone Music | Lists

100Greatest Artists of All Time

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36

Madonnaby Britney Spears

I'm sorry, but I'd rather meet Madonna than the president of the United States. Madonna has this thing about her that you can't explain — the thing that makes somebody a star. When she walks into the room, you just have to take notice. She's so comfortable withherself, and she's not afraid to live life to the fullest and to say whatever she feels, no matter what anyone thinks. There's something kind of childlike about that; it's a beautiful, amazing thing.

Madonna was the first female pop star to take control of every aspect of her career and to take responsibility for creating her image, no matter how much flak she might get. She's proved that she can do so many different things — music and movies and being a parent, too. Her music has become iconic: Songs like "Holiday" or "Live to Tell" are timeless — not just disposable hits. They feel like home. She has her spells of being moody and vibey and spiritual, but her words are so easy to relate to. She's a diva and does what she wants, but she's a loving person.

The first time I met her was when I flew to visit her at one of her shows in 2001. I walked into her dressing room, and her daughter, Lola, was there, and I felt really nervous. I said to Madonna, "Can I just hug you?" I was so stupid! But she was so nice about it. I would definitely not be here, doing what I'm doing, if it wasn't for Madonna. I remember being eight or nine years old, running around my living room singing and dancing and wanting so much to be like her. All my girlfriends still listen to her stuff. We're all mesmerized by her. Madonna's stage presence has inspired so many artists — you can see her influence in some of the younger generation like Kelly Clarkson and Shakira, who have picked up some of her moves.

As part of the generation that's coming up, you look at Madonna and you don't want to let her down. That's such a motivation for me. I lovedoing what I do, but when Madonna comes around — like when we were making the video for "Me Against the Music" — it's like, "Everybody get your act together — the godmother is here."

Madonna has done so much, and she's been around so long, and the bitch still looks good! She's spent years in the public eye, and that can be really hard for anyone to deal with. But she dug deep and started writing from her heart, and that's therapy to keep you going. Madonna has so much light inside her, and she's so much more noticeable than all of the rest of us. She stuck to what she believed in and did what she felt, and that was part of her art — to just be herself.

Illustration by Cynthia Von Buhler

Comments (48)

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173
mike6866
June 13, 2010 11:47 P.M. EDT
I actually had to go back and re-check the list several times, but, sure enough, NO PINK FLOYD! Really? Roxy Music and Nine Inch Nails, but no Pink Floyd? This is an egregious omission.Also, although not as egregious an omission, the one group/artist that could have been included for their seminal i...Read More

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GESM123
September 19, 2010 3:31 P.M. EDT
So I can just assume that you have no knowledge about the progression of rock music and you've decided to denigrate Roxy Music and Nine Inch Nails because they aren't constantly played on your classic rock radio stations? The only greatly influential Floyd album was Piper at the Gates of Dawn. They may've put out some classics in the '70s, ...Read More
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Jochi
October 2, 2010 1:43 A.M. EDT
GESM123: Are you insane? Pink Floyd is so much better than a lot of artists in this list, and why do you think that "The Pipers At The Gate Of Dawn" is the only important CD? It's not even the best one... You should start listening more music, specially from Pink Floyd. Read More
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Ferran
June 14, 2010 3:53 P.M. EDT
I don't think you can make a top 100 without Pink Floyd and Red Hot Chili Peppers, nowadays.

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aaxander
June 30, 2010 3:06 A.M. EDT
The omission of Pink Floyd is truly amazing. And where is Queen? Abba? Pearl Jam? Billy Joel? Scorpions? Journey? Deep Purple? If I had owned Rolling Stone at the time this "Immortals" list was published, heads would have rolled.

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HenryisAwesome
July 17, 2010 4:35 P.M. EDT
I'd have to agree with some of what you say, but disagree with other bits.Yes, Iwas also amazed that Pink Floyd wasn't on the list. And Queen? Freddie Mercury was a talented vocalist a performer. But that doesn't always make up for their music. They have released really good albums and songs but have also released ones that aren't very ...Read More
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timburt08
July 1, 2010 10:50 P.M. EDT
This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen..Eminem and Tupac make the list, while Journey is left out??

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kontakte
July 2, 2010 8:12 P.M. EDT
I agree Pink Floyd and Billy Joel not making the list is insane, but what about The Kinks? The Beatles would've been nowhere without them... It pains me to see everyone fawn all over The Beatles ALL THE TIME like everything they ever did was groundbreaking and spectacular. I agree (even though I'm d...Read More

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31ddahc
July 17, 2010 12:43 A.M. EDT
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mac54
August 9, 2010 4:04 P.M. EDT

Hey moron, The Beatles have the right to be fawned upon, they're the greatest band ever. you probably have no idea what you're talking about, as The Beatles were the greatest singers, songwriters, and musicians ever. They have not made one bad song as long as they've been around. I agree with you about pink floyd and billy joel, but don't smash the beatles, because they were the most groundbreaking and spectacular thing to ever happen to music.

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