NEW YORK, NY (BBC AMERICA) - She is one of the biggest stars in the world and has dominated the charts for three decades. The queen of pop, Madonna, stops by BBC AMERICA to join Michael Parkinson, the king of British talk shows. She performs songs from her new disc, "Confessions on a Dancefloor," and talks about her phenomenal career as a singer, writer, performer and actress, as well as her life in London as a wife, mother and "lady of the manor." "Madonna: Live" premieres Saturday, April 15, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Madonna speaks about her marriage, being a gay icon, her early years in New York City, her Kabbalah study, her book "Sex" and sings a bar from the very first song she wrote, "Tell the Truth." She also performs two songs, "Hung Up" and "Get Together." During the interview, taped last November, Madonna admits that she is not the easiest person to get along with: "I'm a very dramatic person. When I do things, I can do them in a very big and spectacular way. So, yes, I've probably had some very big spectacular tantrums." But talk show host Parkinson was delighted to have the tantrum- prone star on board: "Madonna is arguably the most famous woman on the planet. For the past twenty years or more she has defined the sound, the look, the sexuality of pop music and its surrounding culture."
Madonna also talks about her first impression of film director husband Guy Ritchie: "I saw him with his shirt off playing tennis, and that was a big plus. And then I sat next to him at a lunch and he was incredibly witty, which was another big plus. And finally I saw his first movie and I thought 'God, he is incredibly talented,' so those three things put together were a huge aphrodisiac." While talking about her "man's man" husband, and how he's introduced her to British pub culture, she sets the record straight on her choice: "Timothy Taylor is the champagne of ales." She also reveals the secret to what makes a marriage work: "You do have to learn to say 'I'm sorry,' even when you don't mean it. And I'm telling you, if you say it, even when you don't mean it, it really gets you a long way, okay? Just a little secret for everybody." As a struggling artist in New York, "the loneliest time of my life," she talks about her cockroach-infested apartment and how she paid the bills: "Well, you're not going to believe this, but I did nude modeling. It was for drawing and painting classes and I was a dancer at the time. So modeling for art schools gave me freedom. I'd run in, pose for a couple of hours in some fantastic sort of ballet poses, and then run off to another class."
When asked why gay men find her so appealing, she guesses: "Maybe I'm a gay man trapped in a woman's body?" Madonna also speaks about her relationship with her father: "I don't get any special treatment from him. When I go home, I have to do my laundry and my own cooking." And jokes that she is not even her father's favorite singer: "I'm sorry to say it's a toss up between Tony Bennett and Celine Dion." But some of those parenting skills must have rubbed off on the megastar, since her children have to do their share at home, as well: "I realize people were shocked and horrified that I made my daughter pick her clothes up off the floor, but I don't really know why." On her Kabbalah study: "I used to be incredibly self-obsessed. I think it has helped me come to terms with the idea that there is a bigger world out there, that I am not the center of the universe."
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