Madonna Called Out For Using Altered ‘Rebel Heart’ Photos Of King and Mandela To Promote New Album

Madonna’s about to drop a new album, Rebel Heart. For the promo pic, a black string, which she calls a rebel heart “ribbon” is tied around her face. She recently posted altered photos of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Bob Marley similar to hers on Twitter and was called out for seemingly comparing herself to King and Mandela.

But Madge explained on Twitter that she wasn’t comparing herself to anyone, and it was fans who created the Rebel Heart photos of King, Mandela, Marley, John Lennon and others.

Madonna goes on to describe anyone who fights for freedom and change as a “rebel heart.” She included Princess Diana and Michael Jackson on the list.

Although some say Madonna struggles to remain relevant in a youth-obsessed American culture, the fact that there is buzz surrounding Rebel Heart speaks to her staying power after 30 years in the music business. Claiming 13 songs from Rebel Heart were leaked “unfinished demos,” she then decided to release six of the 13 tracks on iTunes. The entire album will be released in early March 2015.

The themes on the album’s song range from breakup (“Living for Love”) to drug use (“Devil Pray”) to the fall of civilization (“Ghosttown”). Madonna’s effort is an ambitious one, and some of the big names in the music business, including Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Diplo worked on the collaborative effort.

It was Madonna’s goal that every song on the album be able to stand on its own–without embellishments. She said she could perform them by using her voice and a guitar, period.

Yes. If it’s just me and the guitar, can I still do it? All the songs, I needed to be able to break them down on the most simple level and be able to impart what I have to say with my voice and a guitar.

One day after the tracks were released on iTunes, Madonna hit Number One on digital music charts in 41 countries, including the U.S, Israel and the Philippines. That’s not bad for a baby boomer who has been in the music business since 1979.

Back to the Rebel Heart photos, some accused Madonna of being racist and disrespectful, but it seems that wasn’t her intention. In fact, acknowledgment, admiration and we can’t rule out–controversy and buzz–to surround the release of the first six Rebel Heart songs were on Madonna’s to-do list.

Do you think Madonna was being disrespectful toward the greats or was she simply posting her fans’ photoshopped pics and standing in solidarity with the mindsets of some who changed the world?

[Image: The Wrap]