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Madonna Quotes

1958 -

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Madonna at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, 2008

Madonna at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, 2008

Getty Images / Bryan Bedder
Madonna on

Madonna on "The Virgin Tour" - Radio City Music Hall, New York City, June 6, 1985

Getty Images / Frank Micelotta

Much-acclaimed and controversial Madonna has lived a public life deliberately outrageous, and her words reinforce and further define her public image. Madonna has also spoken out on how she relates family and a private life to her carefully-crafted public image. Here are some Madonna quotes to help illuminate this successful singer, actress, and self-proclaimed self-made woman:

Selected Madonna Quotations

• I am rich and famous. I have a talented and gorgeous husband and two beautiful children. I could go on.

• To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage; because we don't want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt.

• Never forget to dream.

• A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That's why they don't get what they want.

• I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.

• Sometimes you have to be a bitch to get things done.

• I became an overachiever to get approval from the world.

• I won't be happy till I'm as famous as God.

• I always thought I should be treated like a star.

• I have the same goal I've had ever since I was a girl. I want to rule the world.

• I sometimes think I was born to live up to my name. How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna? I would either have ended up a nun or this.

• To me, the whole process of being a brush stroke in someone else's painting is a little difficult.

• Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.

• Unlike the others, I'd do anything / I'm not the same; I have no shame (from a song on her first album)

• I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in, and going after your dreams.

• When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it.

• That we are responsible for our own fate, we reap what we sow, we get what we give, we pull in what we put out. I know these things for sure.

• I'd like to think I am taking people on a journey; I am not just entertaining people, but giving them something to think about when they leave.

• I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.

• I try to have thick skin, but every once in a while I read something that someone says about me, and it's so slanderous and moralistic and it has nothing to do with my music.

• I want to be like Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, and John Lennon... but I want to stay alive.

• I'd love to be a memorable figure in the history of entertainment in some sexual, comic, tragic way. I'd like to leave the impression that Marilyn Monroe did, to be able to arouse so many different feelings in people.

• I think the ultimate challenge is to have some kind of style and grace, even though you haven't got money, or standing in society, or formal education. I had a very middle, lower-middle class sort of upbringing, but I identify with people who've had, at some point in their lives to struggle to survive. It adds another color to your character.

• I think you can be defiant and rebellious and still be strong and positive.

• Be strong, believe in freedom and in God, love yourself, understand your sexuality, have a sense of humor, masturbate, don't judge people by their religion, color or sexual habits, love life and your family.

• I laugh at myself. I don't take myself completely seriously. I think that's another quality that people have to hold on to... you have to laugh, especially at yourself. I do it in most of the things I do, and most of the videos that I make and most of my performances. Even in my concerts there are so many moments when I just stood still and laughed at myself.

• In everyday life I am quiet and reserved, not the housekeeper type but cool and relaxed. I don't get up in the morning wearing false eyelashes and I don't wear fancy underwear when I'm cooking popcorn. I'm a nice little ducky.

• Everyone probably thinks that I'm a raving nymphomaniac, that I have an insatiable sexual appetite, when the truth is I'd rather read a book.

• Because I've taken my clothes off in public doesn't mean that I've revealed every inch of my soul.

• Sometimes I look back at myself and remember things I used to say, or my hairstyle, and I cringe.

• I hate polite conversation. I hate it when people stand around and go, "Hi, how are you?" I hate words that don't have any reason or meaning. Also I hate it when people smoke in elevators and closed in places. It's just so rude.

• You have to be patient. I'm not.

• I miss New York. I still love how people talk to you on the street - just assault you and tell you what they think of your jacket

• I know the aspect of my personality, being the vixen, the heartbreaker and the incredibly provocative girl is a very marketable image -- but it's not insincere. You just can't take it seriously.

• The worst thing about being famous? I think it's what everybody says.. the lack of privacy and the idea that you're not really allowed to make mistakes and everything that you do is viewed under a microscope.

• I think my biggest flaw is my insecurity. I'm terribly insecure. I'm plagued with insecurities 24/7.

• I have had many challenges in my life, including some very big ones when I was young and I've learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way. I have seen life from just about every angle you can see it from.

• I was sacked from Dunkin' Donuts for squirting the donuts jelly all over the customers.

• I wouldn't have turned out the way I was if I didn't have all those old-fashioned values to rebel against.

• Not only does society suffer from racism and sexism but it also suffers from ageism. Once you reach a certain age you're not allowed to be adventurous, you're not allowed to be sexual. I mean, is there a rule? Are you supposed to just die?

• I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanist.

• Straight men need to be emasculated. I'm sorry. They all need to be slapped around. Women have been kept down for too long. Every straight guy should have a man's tongue in his mouth at least once.

• My father was very strong. I don't agree with a lot of the ways he brought me up. I don't agree with a lot of his values, but he did have a lot of integrity, and if he told us not to do something, he didn't do it either.

• I'm anal retentive. I'm a workaholic. I have insomnia. And I'm a control freak. That's why I'm not married. Who could stand me?

• I'm a very old-fashioned girl. Marriage is a great thing when it's right. And I did celebrate it and embrace it, and I wanted the whole world to know that this was the man I loved more than anything. But there's a price to pay for that, which is something I realize now. Ever since I was in high school, when I was madly in love with someone, I was so proud of that person. I wanted the world to know that I loved him. But once you reveal it to the world -- and you're in the public eye -- you give it up, and it's not your own anymore. I began to realize how important it is to hold on to privacy and keeping things to yourself as much as possible. It's like a runaway train afterwards.

• I could probably bring up a child as normal as I can live my life. I surround myself with people who don't treat me like a celebrity or a freak or whatever, and I would do the same with my child.

• I'm not interested in being Wonder Woman in the delivery room. Give me drugs.

• My having a child is not for public consumption. It's not a career move. It's not a performance to be judged or rated. Nor is my role as a mother.

• Family is everything. Family comes first. It's not what I expected it to be, but nothing ever is.

• The last thing I want is to raise a brat. We could definately go down the wrong road. I don't want Lola to have everything she wants. I want her to appreciate things, and not to be presumptuous. I want her to have manners and social graces.

• Ever since my daughter was born I feel the fleetingness of time. And I don't want to waste it on getting the perfect lip color.

• Lourdes really is the love of my life. I don't want to traipse around with nannies and tutors. I think it's important for children to stay in one place, to socialize with other children.

• Obviously, my tastes and my priorities have changed, Just because I'm a mother doesn't mean I'm not still a rebel and that I don't want to go in the face of convention and challenge the system. I never wanted to think in a robotic way, and I don't want my children to think that way, either. I think parents should be constantly questioning society.

• Gay men are perfect men for girls who are tough. They're not threatened by strong women, and they're usually very in touch with their feelings and pay attention to details. I've always had an affinity with gay men.

• I don't trust any man who hasn't kissed another man.

• I liked my body growing up and I wasn't ashamed of it. I liked boys and didn't feel inhibited by them. Maybe it comes from having brothers and sharing a bathroom. The boys got the wrong impression of me at high school. They mistook forwardness for promiscuity. When they don't get what they want, they turn on you. I went through this period when all the girls thought I was loose and the boys said I was a nymphomaniac. The first boy I ever slept with was my boyfriend and we'd been going out a long time.

About singer Prince: He reeks of lavender. It turned me on, actually.

• With the crucifixes I was exorcising the extremes that my upbringing dwelt on. Putting them up on the wall and throwing darts at them. And the "Boy Toy" thing was a joke, a tag name given to me when I first arrived in New York because I flirted with the boys. All the graffiti artists wore their nicknames on their belt buckles.

• Catholicism is not a soothing religion. It's a painful religion. We're all gluttons for punishment.

• It is difficult to believe in a religion that places such a high premium on chastity and virginity.

• When I get down on my knees, it is not to pray.

• I would like to see the Pope wearing my T-shirt.

• I loved nuns when I was growing up. I thought they were beautiful. For several years I wanted to be a nun. I saw them as really pure, disciplined, above average people. They had these serene faces. Nuns are sexy

• I think that life is a paradox and you have to embrace that in your work and your belief systems ... you can't be a literalist, and that's the trouble that people always find themselves in. That's why people always hit a wall with any of my stuff, because you can't take it literally.

• The fact of the matter is that you can use your beauty and use your charm and be flirtatious, and you can get people interested in your beauty. But you cannot maintain that. In the end, talent is the only thing. My work is the only thing that's going to change any minds.

• I love horses. I think I may have been one of Henry VIII’s knights in another life, riding through a great forest.

• Listen, everyone is entitled to my opinion.

• I don't care anymore if people dress like me, now I want them to think like me.

• If I was a girl again, I would like to be like my fans, I would like to be like Madonna.

• Better to live one year as a tiger, then a hundred as sheep.

• I never wish I had a different life. I am lucky to be in the position of power that I am in and to be intelligent.

• Being blonde is definitely a different state of mind. I can't really put my finger on it, but the artifice of being blonde has some incredible sort of sexual connotation. Men really respond to it. I love blonde hair but it really does something different to you. I feel more grounded when I have dark hair, and I feel more ethereal when I have light hair. It's unexplainable. I also feel more Italian when my hair is dark.

• There are moments when I can't believe I'm as old as I am. But I feel better physically than I did 10 years ago. I don't think, Oh God, I'm missing something.

• I have the most perfect belly button. When I stick my fingers in it, I feel a nerve in the center of my body shoot up my spine.

• I've always wanted to be taller. I feel like a shrimp, but that's the way it goes. I'm five-foot four-and-a-half-inches -- that's actually average. Everything about me is average. Everything's normal, in the books. It's the things inside me that make me not average.

• It's not my nature to just kick back.

• I think passive beauties have their place in the world. It's hard for me to relate to that.

• People think they will wake up one day and I'll be gone. But I'm never going away.

Quotes About Madonna

From Britney Spears: I would really, really, really like to be a legend like Madonna. Madonna knows what to do next, and when she's performing, the audience is just in awe of her.

From Britney Spears: I performed at Mom and Dad's party when I was four. Oh my gosh, I was singing a Madonna song and I peed myself.

From Cher: No one knows how to work this business like she does.

From Susan Sarandon: The history of women in popular music can, pretty much, be divided into before and after Madonna.

From Rosie O'Donnell: She is no symbol. She is human. More brilliant than most. The real deal.

From Miley Cyrus: Madonna always reinvents herself, and that's what I want to do. Whatever comes my way that sounds good, that's what I want to do. Whether it's designing clothes or photography or whatever.

From Gwyneth Paltrow: She's like an older sister. Everything I have gone through, she went through ten times worse and ten times longer. She gives me good advice about how to say no and take care of myself.

From Tori Amos: Madonna’s sound was made for the dance floor when she epitomized the New York club kid; it got a bit closer to rock when she started presenting herself that way, connected with R&B when her image became softer again, went New Age techno when she got into spirituality, and so on. Fashion has become a part of the musical exploration and experience.

From Sean Penn: She was in the process of becoming the biggest star in the world. I just wanted to make my films and hide. I was an angry young man. I had a lot of demons and don't really know who could've lived with me at the time. I was just as badly behaved as her, so I can't point the finger of blame.

From Sarah Jessica Parker: Madonna's probably the most disciplined person around and so I can only pale in comparison. It's just too impressive.

From Michael Moore: If we had a royal system she'd be the queen of Michigan and all the Michiganders would bow down to her, and I'm not kidding. She's a person with a good heart; she does a lot of good for other people. I really admire her.

From Beyonce: It all works for Madonna. I mean, I couldn’t do a lot of the things she does, but it works for her.

More Women's Quotes:

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Madonna Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/madonna.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

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