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. The first single (“Medellín”), album artwork, release date and track listing were then unveiled on Wednesday (April 17).
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) via Instagram, confirming the track would be released just two days later on April 17. The song, “Medellín,” is 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.
Madame X Will Drop June 14
On Wednesday (April 17), Madonna took to Instagram to reveal the LP’s release date — June 14, 2019 — and album art. The striking album cover features a close-up of Madonna-as-Madame X, with the character’s name and album title etched across her ruby red lips to give the allusion of her mouth being sewn shut.
MTV Will Unveil the World Premiere of the “Medellín” Video
The official visual for Madame X‘s lead single will premiere with the globally-televised music event “MTV Presents Madonna Live & Exclusive: ‘Medellín’ Video World Premiere.” On Wednesday, April 24, the superstar will join British DJ Trevor Nelson live in London for a discussion of the inspiration behind the album, questions from fans and the music video’s world premiere. Maluma will join the action live from Miami, and MTV will be holding additional fan events throughout the world in New York City, Sao Paulo and Milan.
The Track List Includes Collabs With Quavo, Swae Lee and Anitta
Madame X will contain 13 tracks (plus two more on the deluxe edition) and includes guest features by stars like Swae Lee, Quavo and Anitta, as well as a second track with Maluma titled “Bitch I’m Loca.” Inspired by her time living in Lisbon, Portugal, the album will feature Madonna singing in Portuguese, Spanish and English. Here’s the full track list:
“Medellin” feat. Maluma
“Future” feat. Quavo
“Killers Who Are Partying”
“Crave” feat. Swae Lee
“Faz Gostoso” feat. Anitta
“Bitch I’m Local” feat. Maluma
“I Don’t Search I Find”
“Extreme Occident” (deluxe version only)
“Looking for Mercy” (deluxe version only)
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.”
Three 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. Diplo has also been confirmed as a producer on the project.
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.
Who Is Madame X?
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.