Madonna Is Billboard's Woman Of The Year & That's Not Exactly Surprising
Whatever your stance on Madonna, you've got to admit: the high priestess of pop music is a force to be reckoned with. And, in 2016, the 58-year-old shows no signs of slowing down — which is why it's so completely unsurprising (and welcome news) that Madonna is Billboard's Woman Of The Year. While you might associate her peak with the '80s, arguably this has been the most successful year of all time for Madonna.
Janice Min, president and and chief creative officer of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group listed a few reasons why Madonna is more compelling than ever in her statement accompanying the news:
“Madonna is one of a minuscule number of super-artists whose influence and career transcend music. With her creative vision, relentless innovation, and dedication to philanthropic causes, she is an inspiration to hundreds of millions of people around the world, all while shattering every career record out there. She is an important feminist on top of that, a one-of-a-kind artist who’s used her influence to change the conversation around women, sexuality, and equal rights.”
This is all smart and true. However, I'd argue there's a few more specific facts that we could lay down to support the decision. Let's explore what Madonna got up to in 2016.
She's Still A Force To Be Reckoned With When Touring
In March, she wrapped up her Rebel Heart tour, on which she sold over a million tickets and made $170 million. According to Billboard, " That makes her the highest grossing solo touring artist in Billboard Boxscore history (the archives go back to 1990) with a staggering $1.31 billion in total concert grosses." Can't argue with the figures: nobody irrelevant shifts that many tickets. The tour was also nominated for Tour of the Year in the 2016 American Music Awards; if you caught the tour and want to give it your vote, head here.
She Commemorated The Passing Of Prince Like Nobody Else
She and Stevie Wonder performed a Prince tribute at the Billboard Music Awards. Prince and Madonna weren't just friends, but also collaborators. Prince co-wrote and sang on the track "Love Song," from Madonna's Like A Prayer album.
But even cooler than the tribute was Madonna's response to her haters, who followed the singularly toxic line of argument, which is who Prince would and wouldn't have approved of covering his songs:
Amen to that.
She Takes A Stance On Political Issues
It took a while, but she did it; she proclaimed her allegiance to Hilary Clinton. Since Clinton is a divisive figure to both far left (who might still be wishing for Bernie Sanders) and right wing voters, it's still a bold move. Besides which, she lent her voice to narrating a very short film about Qandeel Baloch, a Pakistani model who was tragically murdered in an honor killing. It's encouraging to see Madonna using her notoriety to give this horrific event more of a spotlight.
She's Still Finding Inventive Ways Of Fundraising For Her Non-Profit, Raising Malawi
Madonna fundraised at this year's Art Basel for Raising Malawi, which she started when she "discovered that there were over a million children orphaned by AIDS, living in one of the poorest countries in Africa." According to the non-profit's website, Raising Malawi is constructing a "pediatric surgery and intensive care unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital" which will "double the number of surgeries performed on children each year and will provide an intensive care unit which will increase the chance of survival after critical surgeries."
Madonna isn't just exciting and inspiring because of her uncanny ability to continually reinvent herself and stay relevant. She's a big-hearted, passionate celebrity, who's not afraid to put herself out there to lend funds or a voice to causes she's passionate about. So here's to Billboard for celebrating a woman who gives her all to everything she does.
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