Stern asked Madonna "are you happy?"
“I am happy at times. There are lots of different gradations. Happy is a big word…When you get exhausted and get in the cycle of HAVING to do things, sometimes you get tired, sometimes you don’t feel well, but there are 20,000 people waiting for you in a sports arena, the show must go on… I wouldn’t say I’m miserable, but I do feel trapped sometimes. When you go on tour and sell tickets, you have to show up and give people the greatest show.”
On Michael Jackson:
“I could certainly relate to him on many levels, but he was also a very shy person. He was famous since he was a child and didn’t really have a childhood. He was painfully shy. We didn’t really have a relationship about me revealing myself to him, but making fun of the crazy world we were living and working in. We didn’t talk about our childhoods…I think he felt eternally tortured. It was hard for him to look into people’s eyes.”
On falling at the BRIT Awards:
“I rehearse everything to death. I never do anything live that I haven’t rehearsed…I had a long beautiful cape made for me by Armani, I was walking down this long runway to the stage at the O2 in London. I entered in the middle of the audience and had to walk up these steps, the cape was placed on me at the bottom of the stage. I had two Japanese girls holding the train of my cape and I could barely see. We rehearsed this 1,000 times. And how the cape is secured, I had magnets going all the way up but the one at the top kept coming undone because the cape is so heavy and I wanted to be obscured. So I tied it with a silk string, we rehearsed in 20,000 times…I pulled the string that time (during the show) and it didn’t come undone, it turned into a knot. (What happened was that) the director or stage manager of the show at the last minute said you can’t walk out in the middle of all these people. So now I had to walk farther so my stylist said, I’m worried that the cape isn’t going to stay on your neck, so let’s tie it tight.”
After she fell, “Honestly, I was in shock. I had so much adrenaline pumping through my body. The first thing that flashed through my mind was I have to start this all over again and then I realized it’s live TV…then I just danced like an angry matador for the next 30 seconds…No one beats up on me more than me, I have a lot of pride in doing shows well and not messing up and I did and that’s really what I did, beat up on myself. That lasted pretty much the week.”
It's hard to fit all the best bits of Madonna's Stern interview into one post because it's a beautiful hour and 20-minute glimpse into the mind of one of the most famous people on the planet. So, we'll let Madonna do the talking on this one, and believe me there's a lot of it:
She's not Joan of Arc.