Madonna and Mike Tyson — together? Has the aging pop diva hooked up with the eccentric ex-champ in a match made truly in celebrity hell? The answer to the question, shockingly enough — is yes.
— Madonna (@Madonna) October 29, 2014
But hold on a minute.
The 48-year-old former world heavyweight boxing champion, who more recently has been earning his keep reciting various versions of his colorful life story, and the 56-year-old music icon once known as the “Material Girl,” have indeed been together, but only in a professional capacity — albeit one which promises a bizarre and perhaps macabre result.
Turns out that, for reasons that not even Mike Tyson understands, Madonna recently summoned the boxer, legendary for biting off part of the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield during a heavyweight championship bout, to contribute vocals to a song on her upcoming album, Rebel Heart.
The song is titled, perhaps appropriately, “Iconic.”
Tyson, who at age 20 on November 22, 1986, knocked out reigning champion Trevor Berbick to become the youngest heavyweight champ in history, says he has not yet heard the finished mix of the song, but in an interview with the venerable music and entertainment magazine Rolling Stone, he described the experience of recording his voice on a Madonna track as “intense.”
“Madonna calls you and tells you to come somewhere, you go,” the onetime undisputed heavyweight king told the magazine. “I didn’t know what the hell I was going there for. I’m just there having a good time and hanging out with Madonna. She has her producer there and I go into the studio and I didn’t know if she wanted me to talk or rap. I just go in there and start talking. I’m talking about my life and things that I have endured. I’m saying some really crazy stuff. It was really intense.”
Tyson, who has been known for making off-the-wall controversial statements in the past, said that he drew inspiration for his performance on the track from a well-known historical figure, World War II-era Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
“I know people may say ‘this guy’s a fascist’ and all this stuff, but man, you can take positivity from watching him,” gushed Tyson. “No wonder why Hitler was attracted to him. This guy’s a hypnotic figure. There’s so much pride behind what he’s saying. I’m not even Italian and I feel the pride he’s projecting. He had that street swag. He was doing this stuff with his hands and moving his head before it was even hip-hop.”
Mike Tyson said that he first met Madonna in 1988, when she was married to actor Sean Penn and Tyson was wed to actress Robin Givens. The foursome went on a double date to a movie, Tyson recounted, but both men fell asleep.