Madonna is pulling out all the stops in advance of her new album's release. The singer took to the stage Saturday at Miami's Ultra Music Festival, one of the biggest electronic dance music events in the United States.
"How many people in this crowd have seen molly?" Madge asked the crowd before introducing Avicii, the night's headlining act. "Molly" is the slang term for MDMA, or ecstasy, a drug that's popular among rave goers.
Avicii, the 22-year-old house music phenom behind the cross-genre hit song "Levels," then debuted a new remix of "Girl's Gone Wild," a new cut of Madonna's upcoming album, MDNA.
The album is due out in stores Monday, and the pop icon's surprise appearance at an event that was not only attended by as many as 150,000 dance music fans but simultaneously streamed online certainly can't hurt sales.
"I've been here in spirit for many years, but it's good to finally be standing on the stage, looking at all you people who have come here from all around the world," she added. "In my world the words 'music' and 'dance' are not separated. Electronic music has been a part of my life since the beginning of my career. I can honestly say that a DJ saved my life."
While the fact that she showed up in person was unexpected, Madonna's ties to the electronic dance community span decades. The entirety of her catalogue has a strong electro current running through it, and classics like "Vogue" still fit comfortably in any contemporary DJ's set. For MDNA, Madonna even corralled French house music producer Martin Solveig (of "Hello" fame) to provide the instrumentals for a number of songs.
Just last week, Madge released the visuals for "Girls Gone Wild." The video begins with Madonna reciting the Catholic Act of Contrition, a prayer of repentance, and quickly moves to a group of nearly-naked male dancers grinding up on the singer. Later, one dancer dons a crown of thorns.
YouTube put an age restriction on the video, a move which Madonna brushed aside as petty in a live chat with Jimmy Fallon. "I'm supposed to be a girl gone wild in the video," she said. "How could you go wild and not grind? This is the question that people should be asking."
So far, the album has received mixed reviews. Entertainment Weekly called it "exhausting," bashing tracks such as "I Don't Give A" as "ridiculous." Still, it's unlikely that the queen of pop's album will be a total flop.
And with song titles like "I F----d Up," at least she's still making waves.
Avicii, the DJ and producer Madonna was introducing, just announced his first batch of summer tour dates. The young artist is embarking on his first all-arena tour. He will also be playing at Coachella.
How did Madonna do at Ultra? Watch her performance below and let us know what you think in the comments.
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