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45 at 45: Madonna and Springsteen do David Bowie‘s Rebel Rebel

One night in Houston, Texas, in January 2016 Madonna followed up her earlier online response to the death of David Bowie by covering one of his seventies standards: Rebel Rebel, an an out-and-out Stonesy rocker which was the lead single from his eighth studio album, Diamond Dogs, a 45 which was released, conveniently, 45 years ago in February 1974.

It‘s a fitting choice, given that Madge was still on her Rebel Heart tour, though Bowie’s register is a tad low for his quavery fellow art-pop provocateur, but, like Bruce Springsteen‘s gruffer one-off rendition four days later in Pittsburgh, the heart (and the strut) is definitely there. Happily, the singer explained her love for the Starman to the crowd:

If you haven’t heard about David Bowie, then look him up motherfuckers… He was one of the geniuses of the music industry, one of the greatest singer/songwriters of the 20th century, and he changed my life when I went to see him in concert in Detroit. He showed me that it was OK to be different. And he’s the first rebel heart that I laid eyes on, OK?

Steve Pafford

Causing a Commotion: 30 Stupid Things Madonna’s Done is here

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