New York Magazine

Merci, Madame

Madonna reasserts her relevance and unpredictability.



WE HONOR THE first 20 years of music legends’ careers for the drive that elevates them from anonymity to celebrity and the vision that keeps them in flight throughout the best years. We spend the next 20 years weaponizing their own standards against them, calling each album a “radical departure” or a “return to form,” or else quietly losing interest in everything but the classics. There’s more love for “Taxman” and “Drive My Car” than “Say Say Say” or “Got My Mind Set on You.” People want to remember their favorite figures at their best, but the miscalculations and recalibrations that happen afterward are just as integral to the story of a brilliant career as

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