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"Furious" Madonna forced to release new album tracks six months early

The Material Girl was due to release the album in March, but unfinished tracks leaked online.

Image: Twitter

MADONNA HAS SUDDENLY released six new songs months ahead of schedule, furious that early versions had leaked online in what she had described as “artistic rape.”

The songs will appear on the pop icon’s first album in three years, “Rebel Heart,” which comes out in March. The six tracks show Madonna going further in a hip-hop direction and include a collaboration with rapper Nicki Minaj.

The Material Girl said she decided to put the songs on sale online after in-studio versions of her tracks dripped onto the Internet.

“I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift,” Madonna said in a statement.

Madonna earlier took a more livid tone on social media. On Instagram, she called the distribution of her unfinished songs “artistic rape” and “a form of terrorism” against the creative process.

Madonna deleted the message but in a series of further postings — including one accompanied by a scantily clad photo of herself off the Internet that she said had not intended to release — she asked for leads to figure out how her demos got out.

The leaks came as entertainment giant Sony suffered a major hack, linked by US investigators to North Koreans upset over mockery of their leader in the since-cancelled film “The Interview.”

The leaks of Madonna’s music are unlikely to be connected as she is distributed by rival music group Universal.

Leaking has become an increasingly common problem for artists in an age where copying music takes little technical skill. Lady Gaga last year also released music early after leaks, while Beyonce avoided the problem by releasing an album with no prior publicity.

Going in an R&B direction, ‘bitch’

The new songs show Madonna further going into an R&B style, which she had touched on going as far back as 1989′s Like a Prayer and embraced on her 2008 album “Hard Candy.”

Madonna, whose purported romances have provided tabloid fodder since her eight-year marriage to British filmmaker Guy Ritchie ended in 2008, unleashes anger to an unnamed ex-lover in the evocatively titled “Unapologetic Bitch.”

As reggae guitars back up a hip-hop beat, Madonna blares:

You know you never really knew how much you loved me until you lost me, did you? / You know you never really knew how much your selfish bullshit cost me? / Well, f**k you.

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Pursuing a lyrical theme, another song is called “Bitch, I’m Madonna” as the 56-year-old pop icon raps with the younger Minaj in a hip-hop anthem on the joys of unabashed late-night partying.

Madonna shows her warmer side on the ballad “Ghost Town” and goes in a completely different lyrical direction on Illuminati, in which she plays on the 18th-century conspiracy theory of a global secret society.

“It’s the Enlightenment that started it all / The Founding Fathers wrote it down on the wall / And now the media’s misleading us all,” Madonna sings as she name-checks everyone from Steve Jobs to Queen Elizabeth II to ISIS.

The songs come after what had been a quiet 2014 for Madonna, who dropped off Forbes’ annual list of the highest-earning female musicians after topping it a year earlier.

- © AFP, 2014

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