On the eve of her sell-out Dubai concert, the one and only Madonna unveils the woman behind the icon. In this incredible Enigma exclusive, Madonna talks about life as she approaches 50, the pressures of juggling work and family life, and what she and Guy Ritchie really get up to in bed!

 

With her 20th album in almost as many years hitting the top spot, Madonna shows no signs of relinquishing her title as Queen of Pop as she approaches 50. After 26 years at the top, Madonna has just released Hard Candy, her final album for Warner Bros. And she cemented her status as the world’s biggest female star by becoming the first artist to sign a $120 million deal with the label Live Nation; which will see her recording and performing until she is 60.

 

Exploding onto the pop scene with Everybody in 1982, Madonna really hit the big time when she released Holiday the following year, scoring her first number one single. Although Madonna has experimented with dance, pop, electronica and R&B, one thing which hasn’t changed over the years is her determination, drive and self-belief.

 

 

 

The singer’s long-term publicist and friend Liz Rosenberg says: “People ask me if she’s changed and I can honestly say she’s still that same girl who walked into my office 26 years ago. To me she was lit up like a Christmas tree, it was so obvious she was something special but no-one wanted to know back then. When I got her first television performance, the producer started telling her what he wanted. She pulled a face and then told him what she wanted. I got pulled aside by him and asked: ‘Who the hell does this girl think she is?’ She’s still the same, she’s still fearless, she knows what

she wants and she’s still pushing. I’ve enjoyed this ride but it’s far from over.”

 

Where other big name artists of her generation have seen their careers flounder, Madonna has managed to stay at the top; reinventing herself time and time again with the best names in the business lining up to work with her. For Hard Candy, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Pharell Williams have all collaborated on tracks.

 

Her eight year marriage to director Guy Ritchie has also been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent months, with reports suggesting the couple were headed for divorce. With a disastrous three-year marriage to Sean Penn and failed romances with Warren Beatty, Vanilla Ice and Carlos Leon – the father of her daughter Lourdes – behind her, Madonna has had her share of relationships that turned sour