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Madonna, Annie Lennox and 'Acting Your Age'

It's far too common to pit women in popular music against one another. And, after Madonna and Annie Lennox delivered their respective performances on the 57th Grammy Awards on Sunday, that's exactly what happened. As both these strong female trailblazers came to prominence in the 1980s, many in the cyber sphere wanted to admonish one over the other.

But, first off, comparing Annie Lennox and Madonna musically is a false equivalence. They are, generally, two different types of artists, popular for different reasons, each with separate skill sets: one is a rock, blue-eyed soul vocalist about big vocal performances, the other is a dance-pop, self-proclaimed 'show girl' with a talent for theatrics, messages, dancing and spectacle. Both are entertainment masters in their own right.

But, simmering underneath their performances was a vitriolic conversation online and in the media about age. With just four years difference (Lennox, 60 and Madonna, 56), there were countless remarks on how one was acting 'appropriately,' and one was not. One was 'a class act' and one was not. But when it comes to aging - just like their musical careers - these women have two separate approaches and journeys entirely their own.

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the whole thing was dreadful the outfit the performance and song forget the age thing she has turned into a laughing stock ive been a fan for 30 years and even i can see this sadly people saying how great and sexy she looks is just going to make her worse.


There are simply cultural differences between them. Europeanan stars have a total different more down to earth approach to celebrity then american have in general.


what a very well written article


We don't have to stop things we enjoy and deserve.


Glad someone else mentioned it: I have not see ONE COMMENT about AC/DC who all I believe are older than Madonna rocking it out in their "Rocker Gear" and "not acting their age" or "aging gracefully". The Sexism and Ageism against women is horrible. Love Annie Lennox but Madonna she is NOT. Madonna was classy and sexy. PERIOD. Is it that she had 40 young hot buck "minotaurs" dancing and writhing around her? who knows...

the same horrible sexism and ageism prompted the beautiful Uma Thurman to destroy her face with plastic surgery to the point she is unrecognizable as "Uma Thurman" anymore! SAD and DEPRESSING isn't it folks?!? At least Madonna still looks like Madonna!

Also, when not performing.. and Madonna is an artist and performer folks.... she is usually dressed way down and covered up in glorified sweat tracksuits and no makeup.

As for "chasing the youth market"... WTF?! Is she only supposed to do classics and standards now? Acoustic solos? what??

I'm 48 years old now... am I supposed to suddenly get into "easy listening" and light jazz??

Madonna = POP music. Madonna IS DANCE music. DEAL with it folks!


@krystalkleer--hi-yes I am a fan & have been from day one--I meant sometimes ( as with all kids)-they find their parents embarrassing--& if the parent is doing things for the whole world to see-& sometimes when the kids are there(like getting your nipples out on stage)-then the kids are open to bullying!!weve seen this on social media with Rocco--im guessing strippers don't take their kids to work :0 so they wouldn't see certain!!her age at doing this is irrelevant--I agree with others about Tina,ac/dc etc.i was trying to state that the age thing shouldn't be a problem when its fine for others--but apparently not her! & ive no problem with her not 'acting' her age--you shouldn't curl up & die & stop having fun at any 43 & certainly don't act mine!! & she is entertaining--im one of the many that pay hundreds for a ticket every time she tours.ive no doubt shes a good mother--I was agreeing that the age shouldn't matter. :) I loved her grammy performance & cant wait for the brits!!peace & love......xx


M is not the everyday 56 year old grandma going grocery shopping and hang with grandkids. She is Madonna! She looks awesome in her Givenchy Couture. Not everyone can pull that off nicely like M. We all age, and yes some people act their age, and some people refuse to be constraint by it. Don't judge. She can be whatever she wants to be as long as she is happy!


Tracy...i totally agree with the Annie/Madonna comparison...outside of both of them being very influential artists for today's artists...they are completely different performers all together...BUT (sorry) the whole argument "inappropriate...for her kids sake"...that's irrelevant! so by that statement...i guess that means strippers...burlesque performers...and actresses who do nude scenes should STOP what they're doin if they have kids? i'm sure your a nice person and an obvious fan of Madonna's like myself...but your sounding like everyone else who condemns Madonna for not "acting" her age...Madonna is not pushing drugs...murdering anyone...starting any wars...MADONNA is doing her job that she loves...entertaining the masses...all while raising a family...simple as that!


Wonderful comments. Ryan is right. The problema with people is that can´t stand Madonna is still on top, and what I think is people hate successful women like Madonna, that´s the reason why they always try to attack her age, costumes, and so on. Nobody said anything againts Tina Turner singing and dansing with too high shoes and too short mini skirts at the age of 60. I love Madonna and is always great what she does. People has the age they feel.


Nice post.

Gary R.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Madonna continuing to put performances that are artistic, daring and thought provoking. If she still feels like she is 20 years old more power to her. She has a fantastic body, incredible wit and flair for fashion. She likes to make people think. She likes to push buttons. No one has said a thing that I have read about AC/DC up there on stage trying to recapture their youth, and they looked their age. Madonna still looks incredibly young. No one said anything about Paul McCartney working and performing with Rihanna and Kanye west at his age, and again he looks his age. The Rolling Stones continue to perform when they look like they should be in a retirement home. Let people do as they wish. Madonna has donated to many worthy causes throughout the years and has supported the gay community throughout. She has had schools built for children in a country that could not afford to educate their children. I think she looks and sounds great and I for one love her new music and her new video. Her performance at the grammys was incredible!!


Isn't is sad that the term "age appropriate" is used to criticise Madonna so often these days.

Thank heavens she doesn't let age control her, unlike do many of the judgmental fools out there.


I saw comments like this on facebook the same night.... annie is soooooo different to Madonna-not that I think that's bad--but she did also used to perform in her bras many years ago--granted not now--but she probably wouldn't have done that if Madonna hadn't led the way ;) the media sometimes forgets what a pioneer Madonna was/is--without her there'd be no gaga,pink,rhianna,katy,miley...the list goes on.they just focus on her age.dont get me wrong--I sometimes think some of the stuff she does is a bit inappropriate--not so much because of her age--but sometimes for her kids sake---anyways--I thought she did a great job & im looking forward to the brits & of course--hearing the album properly & the no doubt tour announcement!!!! ;) xxx

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