Madonna Performs A Reductive Version Of ‘Born This Way’ During Tour Rehearsals

Madonna Expresses Herself on Stage

Remember back in January when Madonna sat down for an interview with ABC News and she expressed her belief that Lady Gaga not only “refrences” her a lot in her music but does so in a “reductive” way? Yeah, well, Maddy is these days having a little fun with that belief. Madonna famously commented that Gaga‘s song Born this Way is a reductive version of her 1989 song Express Yourself. During tour rehearsals in Tel Aviv this weekend, Madonna soundchecked a performance of Express Yourself and segued into a short rendition of Born this Way. It’s unknown if the Born this Way segue will be featured during Madonna‘s concert performance but at least know that during rehearsals, she is having a bit of fun with the fact that Gaga‘s song sounds exactly like her own song. Click below to watch video and hear Maddy‘s Express Yourself/Born this Way mash-up.

In a leaked video from Madonna’s May 27 tour rehearsal in Tel Aviv, Israel, the “Express Yourself” singer mashed up her classic hit with a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” Madge has previously commented on Gaga’s song, which is often compared to the 1989 smash “Express Yourself,” in several interviews. After telling Newsweek that it was a “wonderful way to redo” her own song and that she “recognized the chord changes,” she told ABC’s “20/20″ that “Born This Way” “felt reductive.” “I certainly think [Gaga] references me a lot in her work,” Madonna said in the ABC interview. “And sometimes I think it’s amusing and flattering and well-done. When I heard ['Born This Way'] on the radio … I said, ‘that sounds very familiar.” About a minute into the shaky video above, Madonna’s performance of “Express Yourself” becomes a cover of “Born This Way,” as she rehearses for her MDNA world tour, which kicks off May 31 in Tel Aviv and wraps at the end of December.

LMAOOO! Normally, I’m really annoyed when celebs continue to drag out public “feuds” but this is pretty hilarious. I find it highly unlikely that Madonna decided to sing a few bars of Born this Way as a compliment … tho, I’m sure some Gaga fans will take it as such (but many others will take it as an insult, undoubtedly). This kind of behavior is totally Madonna. She can throw shade better than almost anyone but in the most entertaining way possible. We’ll have to wait and see if this Born this Way homage will surface again when the MDNA World Tour kicks off this week but even if not, this video from rehearsals is humorous enough. I love this so much, even tho I prolly shouldn’t.

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  1. Mark

    LUV it too Trent :)

  2. rYan

    I saw it as more of an olive branch to Gaga and her fans, but maybe Im giving Madge too much credit here. Trent: I guess the theory of it being a slight is more credible when you hear her end with “She’s not me and she never will be”. Lol!

  3. Lou

    The Queen of Shade strikes again. Well-played, Madge!!

  4. MM

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – too too funny! Was waiting for your take on this Trent.

    I swear I never like bitchiness on anyone but Madonna. She is just so hilarious about it and always totally owns it.

    What better way to shut down the debate about whether the songs sound alike then to perform a mashup herself? Absolutely brilliant!

    LOL – I am going to be laughing about this forever.

    I wish I knew her just so I could high-five her!

  5. Virginia

    I freaking love the end of this when she starts singing “She’s Not Me” a few times. Epic.

  6. John

    I honestly don’t think it’s meant as a jab to GaGa…she does sing, “She’s Not Me” but she does not add the “and she never will” be part. I think her jab is directed at the press/media who keep comparing the two of them. It’d be sad if she got permission from GaGa for the song only to blatantly diss her. I think she means it be a nice wink to Mother Monster. And let’s clarify: she never ever said BTW was “reductive.” That interview was manipulated and edited…Cynthia asked her what she thought of the press/media comparing BTW to EY and M’s comment was that it amde her feel reductive. Not GaGa or the song.

    • Regarding the reductive comment: I saw the interview and it was clear to me that she was speaking of Gaga and her song and it was not meant as a compliment.

    • cutitout

      Its definitely a slap & Drag. The song sounds so much like madonnas song and when she was confronted about it, gaga claimed that Madonna gave her blessing which was not true according to madonna. All she had to do was contact madonna, say it was a tribute and clear it beforehand instead of pretending it was original.

  7. So, I kinda love this – not only because I totally called the EY/BTW concert mash up right here on this blog (well, in the comments of course) when the MDNA tour setlist was leaked and it said the EY performance would have some surprises – but I also love this because Madonna said to ABC that she doesn’t feel it’s a rip-off nor does she feel insulted. I don’t think she’d bother touring one of her classics as an insult to another artist.
    I don’t think the final edit of the interview with ABC makes it crystal clear if Madge said the song itself is reductive or if she said the arguments and comparisons of the two songs are reductive. But either way, it was a GREAT statement from the Queen of Pop.
    I’ve always loved BOTH songs. EY was/is a timeless pop masterpiece, both lyrically and musically. And BTW has such a beautiful, bold, all-inclusive message in its lyrics that it cannot be ignored either. In that sense, Gaga’s song is timeless too in my opinion.
    And the idea that it sounds like EW, well who the fuck cares? EY was already a GREAT song, so why would anyone who likes EY even care that another song sounds like it?? I just don’t understand that. If anything, it makes me happy that both songs sound similar because it gives me twice as much song to love. The fact that I can sing along to the amazing lyrics of BTW and to a melody that sounds like EY is pure heaven to me. Seriously. I do love both songs.
    Madge also said to ABC that “she’s she and I’m me”. I think that sentiment is exactly what the “She’s not me” reference at the end of this leaked rehearsal clip is all about.

    • MM

      I could care less that the 2 songs sound alike – in fact it’s one of the reasons I like Born This Way when I don’t like most other Gaga songs. If she had intentionally used the same beat and melody as an homage to Madonna, I would have thought it was genius.

      Instead, Gaga still to this day insists that the song is 100% original in every way and that it doesn’t sound like Express Yourself whatsoever. It’s so ridiculous. I’m reminded of Vanilla Ice stomping his feet and claiming that he didn’t sample Queen’s Under Pressure in Ice Ice Baby, when it would have been so cool of him to say that he did!

      Madonna has never pretended that she’s all original – she clearly has many influences and is always about collaborating with talented people who she respects. Gaga on the other hand has such a huge ego that she keeps on claiming that she was just magically born a genius with this singular vision that just had to get out. She refuses to even acknowledge that she wouldn’t be here without Madonna’s contribution and I think that’s lame.

  8. Krissy

    Oh, maybe she can add in a clip of Staples Sister’s “Respect Yourself” and it will all come around full circle?

  9. rYan

    Wouldn’t Madge need permission from Gaga to do this? Why are her little monsters screaming “bloody murder” over this? I doubt M is doing this as an insult, and if it was meant that way then why would Gaga’s camp sign off on it? Has Gaga made any statements about the mashup yet? I hope she does soon because her monsters are going apeshit over this. Lol

    • Krissy

      You don’t need permission to do covers. You do have to pay publishing, though. You need permission to use the exact recording.

    • rYan

      I guess that makes sense. But to me it almos sounds like Gaga is singing the BTW lines. Maybe I need to listen to it again.

    • Mitchell

      To perform the song for commercial purposes Madge’s camp would have to seek a license for a live performance synchronization use (i.e, a live performance cover) from the writer(s) of the song. Lady Gaga would *have* to approve this license since she’s a writer on the song. Madonna could perform an unlicensed cover though, garnering the potential for a lawsuit of unlawful use of copyrighted material. If that happens, it’s likely Madonna would argue her rights are infringed upon by Gaga for ripping off “Express Yourself” (“Respect Yourself” aside). Or Lady Gaga will ignore the whole situation and Madonna will get free, pro-Madge promo, much how Gaga will when she comments on the fiasco during her next album cycle. My money’s on the final option.

  10. Curtis

    Madonna is a hypocrite. Enough said.

  11. Nico

    I love Gaga but this is pure GENIUS !!! Very Madonna indeed !

  12. Balito

    It is removed!!! D: Im sad…

  13. Dana

    Gaga should take lesson from that other copycat artist Beyonce and say I was Inspired…Remember how Gaga Rip-Off Bette Midler Mermaid Performance…All she said was Maybe we’re cut from the same cloth.LOL!!

  14. PetaF

    Haha I may be a complete idiot, I still can’t see the similarities and I do love both the songs. I’m more of a Gaga fan, in fact I thoroughly can’t stand Madonna herself. But meh, can’t see why people are going crazy over it. Madonna knew this would get attention and she succeeded.

  15. JCZ

    She defs has a great sense of humour. I don’t think she dislikes Gaga, can’t believe I’m defending Gaga, but I just think it’s more of a poke fun at the situation thing.

    I just look back at the video of Madge and the flowers parody she created. Lose my shit!

  16. cupcakes in my pocket

    trent can you find me another copy? I gotta see this.

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