Is Madonna Still Relevant?

Dave Iannacone

This past week, Madonna broke her own record for most top-10 singles by any artist ever, 38, with her new single “Give Me All Your Luvin’.” In addition, she continued her own streak of sending at least one song from every one of her studio albums to the top-10 on the Billboard Hot 100. It really seems as though Madonna is, once again, re-invented, back in action, and solidifying her royal title as the Queen of Pop.

The question really is, though, is she still actually relevant? A couple of tiny details I forgot to mention were that two current rappers, Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., are featured on the track, and she’s still coming off of a highly talked about Super Bowl performance. Similarly, a popular remix by (and featuring) LMFAO was also released to download. This is semi-comparable to her last top-10 single, “4 Minutes,” which was a duet with Justin Timberlake and featured Timbaland. So is this just a series of desperate moves, or is she just brilliant in knowing how to stay relevant? Well, if you ask me, it’s more of the latter than the former.

There’s a difference between Madonna and other pop stars who found their way to the top of the charts post-50 (Cher, for example.) Madonna was popular the whole time leading up to it. You could argue desperation had she not been consistently successful, but just a few years prior to “4 Minutes,” she sent “Hung Up” to the top-10 all on its own accord. In addition, she’s still selling albums in a big way. In fact, with all of the Little Monsters and Beliebers out there, Madonna’s upcoming album, MDNA set the record for largest selling one-day pre-order in iTunes history. That’s not bad considering it pretty much sold enough to hit #1 in just that one day.

The point is, though, is that Madonna isn’t as popular as she was in the 80’s and 90’s, and that’s expected. She’s in her 50’s now, and her relevancy is bound to wane. However, say what you want about her, she’s finding ways to make hits. She’s a pop act, after all. Many have tried to do what she’s doing and failed miserably; so it’s obvious that her being Madonna has something to do with it. She’s never been irrelevant, she’s never faltered, and she’s going to keep going until she flat out just can’t anymore. She’s still the reigning Queen of Pop.

Finally, in a fun tidbit, Madonna and the late Whitney Houston are currently sharing the top-10 together for the first time since 1996. Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” was allowed to re-chart after Billboard changed their rules.