Madame X has officially marked her spot.
The multi-hyphenate persona created for Madonna’s 14th studio album (set to drop June 14) made her debut Wednesday as the 60-year-old pop icon dropped the Maluma-assisted song “Medellín” — her first new single since 2015’s “Bitch I’m Madonna.”
Co-written by Madonna, Maluma, and the former’s Music and Confessions on a Dancefloor collaborator Mirwais, “Medellín” is a breezy, summer-ready anthem that sees its duet partners reflecting on past struggles while dreaming about a trip to the song’s titular Colombian city.
“I took a pill and had a dream. I went back to my seventeenth year, allowed myself to be naive, to be someone I’ve never been,” Madonna sings on the song’s opening verses. “Sipping my pain just like champagne, I found myself dancing in the rain with you. I felt so naked and alive. For once, I didn’t have to hide myself.”
She and Maluma then take turns crooning in Spanish over a light reggaeton beat throughout the rest of the song.
The track serves as the first official preview of Madame X, an album based around a character who works as “a secret agent traveling around the world, changing identity, fighting for freedom, and bringing light to dark places,” according to the singer-songwriter. Madonna, Maluma, and MTV will premiere the “Medellín” music video Wednesday, April 24 at 9:00 p.m. BST / 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. PT during a live, globally televised event.
Per a Forbes interview with Maluma, the pair hit it off after meeting for the first time at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards: “We were together again in London so I had a meeting again, we talked about a bunch of great things about her career, about my career,” the 25-year-old said. “Madonna and I are cooking there together, making some beautiful songs. I’m very excited. That’s a huge step for my culture, for Latin culture, it’s very, very big.”
In a 2018 interview with Vogue Italia, Madonna confirmed her new material would reflect inspiration from Latin cultures — primarily Portugal, where she lived throughout the process of the Madame X‘s creation.
“I’ve just met lots of really amazing musicians, and I’ve ended up working with a lot of these musicians on my new record, so Lisbon has influenced my music and my work. How could it not? I don’t see how I could have gone through that year without being informed by all this input of culture,” she told the publication. “It’s also such a nice antidote to what’s going on in the music business now where everything’s so formulaic, and every song has 20 guest artists on it, and everyone sounds the same. Something’s gotta give.”
Prior to that, the 60-year-old performed a new song during her surprise set at the 2018 Met Gala, during which she also belted subdued renditions of “Like a Prayer” and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s 1984 song “Hallelujah” before debuting an unreleased song reportedly called “Beautiful Game,” though a song by that title does not appear on the official Madame X track list.
Madame X marks Madonna’s first full-length LP since 2015’s Rebel Heart, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in anticipation of a world tour that grossed nearly $170 million globally. It is her 14th overall album.
Madame X releases on June 14. Listen to “Medellín” above and check out the album’s track listing below:
- “Medellín” (with Maluma)
- “Dark Ballet”
- “God Control”
- “Future” (feat. Quavo)
- “Killers Who Are Partying”
- “Crave” (feat. Swae Lee)
- “Come Alive”
- “Extreme Occident” (deluxe version only)
- “Faz Gostoso” (feat. Anitta)
- “Bitch I’m Loca” (feat. Maluma)
- “I Don’t Search I Find”
- “Looking for Mercy” (deluxe version only
- “I Rise”