By EW Staff
Updated December 22, 1995 at 05:00 AM EST
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Is Madonna hooked on phonics? At this month’s VH1 Fashion & Music Awards, the singer unveiled yet another new hairdo — Barbra Streisand, circa 1969 — and a speaking voice so far from her usual husky parlance you’d think she’d been ”raining in Spain” with Prof. Henry Higgins.

On stage to present a fashion award, a proper-sounding Material Girl gave her definition of style (”Have something to say and say it was well and as clearly as you can”), enunciating every long o and trilling every r. ”It’s a very snobbish, elegant accent that’s actually called ‘Classical or Elevated American English,”’ says New York-based dialect coach Sam Chwat. The singer’s spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, can justify Madonna’s diction. ”She’s been undergoing rigorous vocal coaching to strengthen her singing voice for the Evita soundtrack,” explains Rosenberg, ”and it may have affected her speech…She’s in her Evita mode.” Don’t elocute for me, Argentina…

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