Posted to Madonna's Instagram and Twitter, the iconic images have been tweaked to include the black string and been given captions like "This #rebelheart sang about ONE LOVE!" (for Marley) and "This #rebelheart had a dream!" for (MLK Jr.). Later, Madonna added an image of herself to the collection -- possibly the single artwork for new song "Living For Love" -- with the caption, "Shabbat Shalom from this #rebelheart."
Madonna On New 'Rebellious and Romantic' Music, Demo Leaks & More
In the hours since they were posted to Twitter and Instagram, the images have provoked hundreds of user comments from her 2.6 million Instagram followers and 524,000 Twitter followers, some decrying the pictures as insensitive and others defending Madonna's artistic license. Representatives for the superstar did not immediately return Billboard's request for comment on the images.
Rebel Heart, Madonna's 13th studio album, will be released on Mar. 10. The pop icon shared the album artwork and six tracks, including the lead single "Living For Love," on Dec. 19, days after the leak of more than 10 unreleased demos from the album; still more demos have leaked online in the interim.
"The reason I wanted to call the record Rebel Heart was because I felt like it explored two very distinct sides of my personality," Madonna told Billboard in a Q&A last month. "The rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me. In my mind, it was almost like I wanted to do a two-record set."