Last April, when the world collectively ruled Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" sounds extraordinarily similar to Madonna's "Express Yourself," Madonna cheekily uploaded her 1989 performance of the song at the MTV VMAs to her official YouTube account. Lady Gaga, backed into a corner, still told Jay Leno Madonna and "her people" e-mailed their "love and complete support" of "Born This Way" — a fact Madonna's team failed to confirm. So how does Madonna really feel about the controversy a year later? She's had plenty of time to craft the perfect soundbite and she finally got her Jerk Store moment in an upcoming interview with Newsweek during her media blitz for her film W.E.:
"I thought, this is a wonderful way to redo my song. I mean, I recognized the chord changes. I thought it was... interesting."
Lady Gaga did, actually, acknowledge the similarity in the chord progression during a really long, really weird interview with the NME last year. "What a completely ridiculous thing to even question me about," she said. "I will look you in your eyes and tell you that I am not dumb enough or moronic enough to think that you are dumb enough or moronic enough not to see that I would have stolen a melody. If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression. It's the same one that's been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I'm the first fucking artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn't mean I'm a plagiarist, it means that I'm fucking smart. Sorry." Enjoy one of the internet's many "Express This Way" mashups:
Madonna also told ABC News, "I certainly think she references me a lot in her work. And sometimes I think it's amusing and flattering and well-done." You can sense a "but" coming on, right? "When I heard ['Born This Way'] on the radio ... I said, 'That sounds very familiar' ... It felt reductive." "Reductive" as a compliment? Madonna replied, "Look it up."
The Queen of Pop had a few more good zingers in the excerpt of her ABC News interview that ran yesterday on Nightline — an interview that took place with a pug pillow conspicuously in the frame. A pug pillow! Regarding her rumored massive new record contract, she said, "Nobody's handed me $40 million, I don't know about that. It looks good on paper." On her relationship with a dancer half her age, she replied, "I didn't write down on a piece of paper, I'm now going to have a relationship with a younger man." Madge also suggested she wanted a 100-person drumline to emerge from the ceiling at February 5's Super Bowl halftime show and was dismayed to learn the building couldn't support the weight.
Madonna's 12th studio album, M.D.N.A., is due this spring.