The media has had a field day assessing Madonna's alleged feud with Lady Gaga, which fermented when the latter's 2011 hit "Born This Way" faced accusations of ripping off "Express Yourself." In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Madonna dismisses the notion that the two singers are at odds, saying any conflict perpetuated beyond that one song is promoting sexism.
"I don't think she wants my crown," Madonna said. "We live in a world where people like to pit women against each other. And this is why I love the idea of embracing other females who are doing what I'm doing. The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs. It's got nothing to do with 'she's taking my crown' or 'she's in some space of mine.' She has her thing. I do think she's a very talented singer and songwriter. It was just that one issue. And everybody's obviously run with it and turned it into a huge feud, which I think is really boring, quite frankly. And you know what? I don't care anymore. Here's the thing: one day everyone's going to shut up about it. You'll see! I have a plan."
Of course, this is hardly the only recent example of two female pop stars getting caught up in a supposed imbroglio. That narrative defined Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera's ascent to fame, and similar ones have surfaced regarding Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, Lorde and Selena Gomez, Perry and Taylor Swift and Bette Midler and Ariana Grande. Some accused the Madonna-Gaga battle of raging on late last year when a leaked demo from Madonna's forthcoming album, "Rebel Heart," contained the lyrics "You're a copycat, get back / I'm always on your mind." Madonna has taken multiple measures to squash the rumors since famously calling Gaga's music "reductive" in 2012, including appearing in a tongue-in-cheek "Saturday Night Live" sketch and posting a "Rebel Heart"-inspired photo of the younger singer on Instagram in December.
“It's still the one area where you can totally discriminate against somebody and talk shit," Madonna, 56, told Rolling Stone. "Because of their age. Only females, though. Not males. So in that respect we still live in a very sexist society."
For more from the interview, head to Rolling Stone.