Feature

Madonna's midlife tour

At 50, can the Queen of Pop still rock?

Madonna has triumphed over time, said Cindy Martin in Reuters. A week after turning 50, Madonna kicked off her “Sticky & Sweet” world tour in Cardiff, Wales. She "defied her age with athletic dance routines before tens of thousands of screaming fans.” At 50, she is still drawing in new fans and old, proving herself “the musical master of reinvention.”

Not all the feedback will “make comfortable reading for the 50-year-old pop legend,” said Paul Rowland in the Wales Western Mail. Some reviews noted that she appeared to be showing her age in some of the numbers. Others “bristled with contempt” at the two hours she kept fans waiting.

Say what you want about her stage show, said A. Pawlu in Germany’s Bilde, but Madonna “hasn’t lost any of her sex appeal with age.” Her “toned and muscular physique” put her in same league as 25-year-old Olympic athletes, and it’s clear “that turning 50 hasn’t slowed her down.”

It’s true that, like fellow 50-year-old Barbie, “Madonna’s face and figure seem eternally youthful,” said Helen Brown in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, and after a rough start, she threw herself into the two-hour show “with impressive vigor.” But she still hit some wrong notes, such as a heavy-handed political video montage and too much time spent playing mediocre guitar.

On top of all her other iconoclastic accomplishments, said Carola Long in Britain’s The Independent, Madonna is now “subverting one of the most widely held preconceptions of all: how a woman should be, look, and behave when she reaches middle age.” Many people think she should dress less provocatively now, or stop singing about sex, but at 50, “her refusal to slide into mild invisibility should be applauded.”

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