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I've always wanted to see Madonna perform in concert, and considering that the Material Girl turned 50 this year, her recent concert in Las Vegas seemed like a good opportunity.  

I drove to Vegas for the show, arriving with plenty of time to spare. The MGM stadium was packed with fans anxiously awaiting her appearance. Like a true diva, however, she kept them waiting, showing up an hour and fifteen minutes late. I was probably the only one put off by that because the crowd went wild as soon as she took the stage.

Madonna

At 50 years old, Madonna has the body of a thirteen-year-old boy, and probably the same energy. For the next two hours she jumped, danced and twirled all over the stage without missing a step or losing the beat. Her show was all about making statements—she incorporated politics, her spiritual beliefs and plenty of profanity (screamed at the top of her lungs) to let her fans know how she really feels.

As I stood there listening and observing, I realized that while I enjoyed some of her songs, I could in no way relate to Madonna or her message. She was always best at being vulgar and in- your-face, and clearly the years, children, marriages, and several divorces have not humbled her in the least. She is still trying to prove something to everyone.

I couldn't help comparing her performance with the Tina Turner concert I attended a few weeks earlier. At 69 years old, Tina remains as graceful, classy and genuine as ever. Rather than trying to make some sort of statement, her show was all about the music and her fans. She thanked all her staff - everyone from the little guy all the way to her manager - for making each performance possible.  And she even thanked Denzel Washington for coming out that night to see her.

tina turner

Madonna's performance was like watching a high-intensity aerobic workout with a spin. If she wasn't doing leg lifts she was humping something, kissing girls on stage, screaming profanity or making out with the guys. At times I felt like I was watching a cheap adult movie. In contrast, watching Tina move gracefully around the stage was inspiring, heartwarming and engaging.  

I couldn't help wondering, when did it become okay for performers to be vulgar, political and obnoxious?  Is it purely a generation gap or is there something else motivating today's in-your-face performers?

After contemplating the answer, I decided that it's not the generation gap, nor is it the difference between R&B and pop music. Instead, it's the performer and their style and class (or lack of) that dictate who their fans are and what they want to see on stage.

Madonna is a smart, talented woman who figured out early in her career that she would have to continually reinvent herself in order to stay on top of the charts. In doing so she uses politics, religion, sex and whatever else she can think of to get media attention and capture her audience. Tina Turner, on the other hand, needs to just show up on stage and be her classy self.  

I appreciate artists, musicians and performers for their talent and creativity. But regardless of whether I agree or disagree with them, I don't attend concerts to have the performer's politics, religion and sexual preferences shoved down my throat.

Madonna and Tina Turner: two legends, two different approaches. Only one works for me.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • I so totally agree Yana.  Tina Turner had me in her corner when I read her biography and saw her movie years ago.  She had a tough life, a horrible marriage-yet she always was a classy, talented, heart-warming person.
      while I do enjoy some of Madonna’s songs, I have always wondered why she has always felt the need to be so obnoxious.  I feel sorry for her kids.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • My father in law plays a Tina Turner concert DVD all the time and I watched some of it the other day. Wow! She is 100% class! And those legs!
      Madonna, on the other hand, will not enjoy Tinas’ longevity. Will she really have the stamina (much less the audience) in 20 years? I think not.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michelle Rowe wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • I don’t understand what’s going on with Mdonna’s body. She has muscular arms but they aren’t attractive. At 69, Tina is beautiful and has a beatiful body.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Darla5 wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • Tina rocks... I have never been a fan of Madonna.  

      Years ago a friend got me front role tickets  for my birthday to Lionel Richie and Tina Turner. I could not  believe how good she looked. Her figure is awesome. I think this lady always shows class.  

      It is one of the best shows I have ever seen.  

      Proud Mary!!!!! Is the Best....

      Rolling,  Rolling, Rolling on the river.....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Shopgirl1960 wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • Interesting “read” Yana. And I have never been a fan of Madonna. There has never been ANYTHING that draws me to her as an artist. I doubt I would go see her even if I had free tickets. (Unless she were only a couple blocks from me... then perhaps.)



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      Michelle Rowe wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • Proud Mary was my mom’s favorite song!



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      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • Tina Turner... OMG I love her and I havent dated a man that would not go out with her if given a chance.. Hot legs, and what a wonderful story of sucess.

      Tina Rocks !!!

      I havent seen Madonna in Concert but Tina is more my music.. wow.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Robinesque wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • Never liked Madonna.  Oh, some of her songs I can’t help sing along with if I happen to hear them on the radio, but, that’s where it ends for me.  I have always found her vulgar.  I sing LOUDLY in my car with my Tina cd! My favorite is “Simply the Best.”  I’m a sucker for the sax solo and the video on MTV (way back when) with the sax player only SEALED the deal!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Peejay64 wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • I have never heard a Tina Turner song I didn’t like.  Every time I’ve seen an interview or piece on her, I am impressed with her humility, professionalism and class.  Tina has aged gracefully and shown us that life is limitless!  At 69, and still performing and looking great....WOW!

      On the other hand...Madonna is the polar opposite.  She honestly doesn’t have one iota of talent.  It’s all in the marketing, packaging, and the flashy-trashy things she’ll do to attract attention to herself.  I’m amazed that she’s done as well as she has for as long as she has.  I pity the kids, what kind of parental example is that?

      Rock on, Tina!  Take a seat, Madonna!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Meshell Forest wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • I used to like Madonna back in the 80’s, in fact her Song Crazy for you is the first slow song my husband and I danced to.  Its one of our favorites to this day.  

      But after saying all that, I have not cared for Madonna in a long long time.  In fact, she really disgust me.  I agree with you Yana,  I would take Tina Turner over her any day.  

      Tina is still gorgeous, and sexy, where as Madonna is not... Her poor kids.



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      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • Madonna is kind of skanky but Tina, now there’s a woman with some class!



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      Feathermaye wrote Nov 11, 2008
    • Fantastic article, Yana!! I loved how I could “feel” the shift in your opinions and preferences as you went back and forth in your comparisons.

      I was a child of the 80’s, so I’m still affectionate towards Madonna of the 80’s. I really don’t believe, though, that today’s Madonna is the same performer. I think that’s exactly what you were referring to when you said she must constantly reinvent herself.
      I, too, enjoy the classy Ms. Turner. Amazingly, I still find her to be as enjoyable as I did way back when. I’m glad she never saw or felt the need to reinvent herself. She will always remain a classic.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Raysa Santana wrote Nov 11, 2008
    • I’m also a fan of the Madonna of the 80’s, but I have no interest in paying to see her.  Now Tina, I would go anywhere to see her in concert.  She is a real classy woman and an AWESOME performer.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenni0811 wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • Whether or not you like Madonna’s music or shows, she must be given props for continually pushing the envelope and brilliantly managing her career. She is one strong bitch who has contributed and changed the face of music. She is part of music history. I believe that she is an example of a super-power woman whom somehow isn’t given the support from her fellow sisters. We women need to erase the double standard we have set for powerful women ~ they deserve our support just as much as powerful men. We don’t need to agree with or even like them, but we do need to praise the contribution they have made to society in our name.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • Jenni,

      I think she was given more props than she deserves from me personally,  

      “Madonna is a smart, talented woman who figured out early in her career that she would have to continually reinvent herself in order to stay on top of the charts. In doing so she uses politics, religion, sex and whatever else she can think of to get media attention and capture her audience.” (from above blog)

      There is no double standard here, I think you need to re read the blog in its entirety.

      Vulgarity and profanity should have no place on stage of performer



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandy Ochoa-West wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • Madonna and Tina Turner: two legends, two different approaches

      I agree: one trashy and one classy. I just saw a movie about Ike & Tina Turner and she went through so much that I believe she appreciates her life. Madonna on the other hand is a loud selfish obnoxious women and a total hypocrite. This is a women who is so strict with her children that they can’t watch T.V. and can only drink Kahalla blessed water. She on the other hand has no restraint with her dress, her language or anything else. I feel sad for her. Two marriages, her body looks horrible. She is constantly searching and it just makes the statement “money can’t by you happiness” all that much truer to me.



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      Sandy Ochoa-West wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • We don't need to agree with or even like them, but we do need to praise the contribution they have made to society in our name.

      I don’t want my name to be associated with any contribution Madonna has made. Yes, she is a great business women but at what cost. Two marriages, drama around every corner. At odds with her brother and her dad. She preaches Kaballa and love and light and then goes on stage and bashes anything and anyone she doesn’t agree with. What saddens me the most is that so many people look up to her. They put her on a pedestal and want to be like her. One word: SCARY



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      Sandy Ochoa-West wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • Oh and just another thought. I have no double standard. Men who will step on anyone to achieve their goals and in the name of money are just as low in my book.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lovehearts wrote Nov 23, 2008
    • i just recently saw madonna in philly and i came away with the exact impression of her concert as you did yana...she was also an hour late on stage and my ears didn’t stop ringing until the next day (lol)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Donni De-Ville wrote Jul 8, 2009
    • I loved your review of the Madonna show, Yana!  

      Has anyone wondered why Madonna is so popular still, to have sell-out shows? Is the audience full of men or what? Is soft-porn, (or maybe it is more that that?)still so interesting, even when a skeletal, boyish figure of a woman is trying to portray sex? Are there mostly lesbians in her audience?  

      I am in the singing business myself, but have never come upon anyone who liked Madonna, apart from liking the odd song or two. It seems Madonna has the wrong idea of what ‘performing’ means, as she should only be doing the films! But even then, she is a bit scrawny for that!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Faye43 wrote Oct 17, 2009
    • Tina Turner is ok. I do not like Madonna, never did. The way she looks, she was trying to be like Marilynn Monroe but ended up much worse. I like Pat Benatar. I see her as a very strong woman with a great voice. She actually had her voice professionally trained and it showed.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joyousone wrote May 15, 2010
    • Tina Turner is the ultimate lady and performer.  Far beats out any of these younger gals by a big margin.  And she can still belt out a tune and looks great!!!!  Rock on Tina!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Msj wrote May 23, 2010
    • I loved the article. I used to love Madonna. I do not know what has happened to her! she seems lost - kinda sad if ya ask me.

      Tina now - oooh girrrrl - she is one talented class act!
      Always loved her, always will!



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