Forget her role as fashion plate. And businesswoman. And dancer. And sexual contrarian. And video groundbreaker. And PR powerhouse. And shock queen. And even as icon.
Yes, all those roles play their parts in the global juggernaut, and aesthetic nexus, that is Madonna, but, collectively, they offer one big distraction from the key element that anchors them all: the music.
Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage; Bob Gruen