TIME Music

Madonna: I Found Out That I’d Been Hacked From My Instagram Followers

In a new interview, the queen of pop says her millions of Instagram followers lent her a hand — by letting her know that her music had leaked online

Madonna took a nasty tumble last night while performing at the Brit Awards — but it was far from the first ordeal she’s had to endure while promoting her new album, Rebel Heart. Consider what happened in December, when a nasty hack of her personal computer led to dozens of the demos she had recorded leaking online. Quickly, she finished several of those songs and rushed out a six-track EP on iTunes, then got to work prepping the rest of her album for a March 10 release. On Jan. 21, an Israeli man was arrested in connection with the hack, helping bring resolution what she described as “artistic rape.”

MORE: Read our profile of Madonna in the March 9 issue of TIME.

In an interview in the March 9 issue of TIME, on newsstands Friday, Madonna opens up about the fallout from the hack, which she says she learned about from a surprising source: her fans. “It was through Instagram that I found out my songs were leaking, because my fans were warning me,” she says. “Aside from the violation of having something stolen from me, suddenly, people were making comments on songs I had no intention of releasing. I thought, ‘Oh my God,’ I have to push myself into overdrive.’ I didn’t sleep for weeks. I didn’t see my kids. It was pandemonium, confusion, paranoia, hysteria.”

In the wake of the unprecedented hacking of Sony, cybersecurity is a hot-button issue, and Madonna says she only expects it to get worse. “I think it’s going to become pervasive in our society,” she says. “People make a living off it. It’s not like you’re a bank robber — there’s some kind of honesty to that crime. With cybercrime, you don’t know who they are. People can hide so easily, and it’s really dangerous. What it represents to an artist to not be able to finish your work, to never know when someone is going to steal something off a server — what does that mean for artists in the future? The fact that this guy was arrested, and that there will be a prosecution, is extremely important to me. Not just because of my stolen art, but for what it means for other artists. I think it will send a very strong message to the world.”

Click here for more with Madonna — including her thoughts on how the art world has changed, getting back to her roots as a songwriter and how the queen of reinvention considers herself surprisingly “predictable.”

TIME Music

Nicki Minaj: What It’s Like When Beyoncé and I Are in the Studio Together

Recording artist Nicki Minaj performs onstage during the 2014 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Tran—Getty Images Recording artist Nicki Minaj performs onstage during the 2014 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

"I knew girls were going to be posting pictures on Instagram saying '#feelingmyself,'" the rapper says. "I told Beyoncé that"

Nicki Minaj’s collaboration with Beyoncé on a remix of “Flawless” was one of the most electrifying musical moments of 2014. So when Minaj was recording her third album, The Pinkprint, Beyoncé was happy to return the favor by guesting on Minaj’s song “Feeling Myself” — lending that distinctive Yoncé swagger to Minaj’s ode to self-celebration of all kinds. (Good luck finding a better put-down than this one, courtesy of Minaj: “Bitches ain’t got punchlines or flow / I have both, and an empire, also.”)

In a new interview with TIME, on stands Feb. 6, Minaj opens up about the challenges of building her business, body image pressures in the music industry and the abortion she had as a teenager. But she also has a lot to say about her work with Bey.

“When I did ‘Flawless,’ she said that she would do something for The Pinkprint,” Minaj says. “I was ecstatic. She had ‘Feeling Myself’ — she wanted to know how I felt about it. I said, ‘I love it.’ I knew girls were going to be posting pictures on Instagram saying ‘#feelingmyself.’ I told Beyoncé that. I was like, ‘You already know what’s going to happen.'”

But both performers wanted to recreate the magic. “There was pressure,” Minaj says. “‘Flawless’ impacted so hard. But people seemed to love ‘Feeling Myself,’ too. I was excited that we got another one. With ‘Flawless,’ it makes girls feel good about themselves. You could say, ‘I’m feeling myself’ or ‘I’m flawless.’ It’s something every girl wants to say.”

Since the two never made a video for the “Flawless” remix, the song seems primed for a video treatment, but Minaj says there’s nothing in the works yet. “We never talked about it,” Minaj says. “‘Flawless Remix’ went No. 1 on urban radio without a video. Which is crazy! It wasn’t even on iTunes. So I don’t know that we need to do a video. But I would — of course — love to do one.”

As for their process together in the studio, Minaj found the experience very educational. “I always feel like I learn so much when I work with her. I don’t normally work with people like me. I’m always the one feeling like I’m a lunatic.” Minaj laughs. “Like I’m over-thinking everything. But she’s very, very hands-on. So whenever I work with her, I feel maybe I’m not so bad after all.”

For more with Minaj, pick up the new issue of TIME, on stands Feb. 6.

TIME movies

Channing Tatum on Magic Mike XXL: ‘We Got Joe Manganiello Naked as Much as Possible”

Tatum, photographed in Los Angeles
Carlos Serrao for TIME Tatum, photographed in Los Angeles.

The Foxcatcher star is aiming to please

The dark drama Foxcatcher (out Nov. 14) features Channing Tatum showing his acting chops with a muted performance as the wrestler Mark Schultz. In this week’s issue of TIME, Tatum sat down to discuss the making of the film and the shape of his increasingly ambitious career.

Next up? Magic Mike XXL — the sequel to the 2012 male stripper pic Magic Mike — which just wrapped production in Georgia. While Matthew McConaughey won’t be returning for the second installment, stars Joe Manganiello, Alex Pettyfer and Matt Bomer are all reprising their roles. And with Tatum co-writing and producing XXL in addition to starring in the film, he’s giving viewers more of exactly what they want, as he explained:

Channing Tatum: It sucks that we do these movies for such efficient means and time. The first movie took 22 or 23 days, and this movie took 29 days. Those guys are so much fun — they’re the whole reason why I wanted to make a second one. They were a discovery for me. They just filled this world out — that I think you feel in [Magic Mike], but you don’t get to be with them and hang out in the movie like you want to. I was like, ‘If we get to make a second one, that’s what it will be. It will just be a guy’s story, but made for women.’

TIME: And gay men, surely.

Tatum: True. It’s for all! You’ll see — we serviced that as well, in a way. [pauses] I’m choosing my words very stupidly. [laughs] One of our first stops is at a drag club on our odyssey. We call it a stripper odyssey because it’s a traveling band of strippers. This movie is a lot more fun. In the first movie, we were obligated to show the underbelly — the pitfalls and dangers of being in that world. In this one, we kicked off a lot of the darkness. We’re going to have a lot of fun on the road together. Hopefully you’re going to care about these guys, and then get to see a lot of ridiculous nakedness and stupidity.

TIME: That’s what America wants.

Tatum: We got Joe Manganiello naked as much as possible. Everyone in the world: you’re welcome.

Read the full interview this week in TIME.

TIME Music

Review: 1989 Marks a Paradigm Swift

2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival - Night 1 - Show
Denise Truscello—WireImage/Getty Images

On her new album, Taylor Swift goes full-throttle pop

“Took our broken hearts and put them in a drawer,” Taylor Swift sings on “Welcome to New York,” the opening track on her fifth and sharpest album, 1989. Coming from Swift, a superstar who built a global empire penning hits about matters of the heart, this sounds like a threat–stowing her sorrow away after it brought so much success seems borderline irresponsible.

But Swift has gambled before and won. After writing every song solo on her blockbuster 2010 country-crossover album, Speak Now, she teamed up with a varied roster of top-shelf tunesmiths for 2012’s sprawling, genre-spanning opus, Red. That album went quadruple platinum, earned rapt critical acclaim and four Grammy nods and made her an icon.

On 1989, out Oct. 27, she sounds like one. Leaner and keener than those on Red, her new songs fizz and crackle with electricity and self-aware wit. Driven by synths and drums in lieu of guitars, all trace of country abandoned, 1989 holds together sonically as a tribute to the electro-pop that dominated radio 25 years ago. Swift executive-produced the album alongside Swedish hit machine Max Martin, who lends pop shellack to her nimble lyrics. Winding choruses have been whittled down to their stickiest essence.

Thematically, too, Swift breaks with the past, skirting victimhood and takedowns of maddening exes, critics and romantic competitors. Instead, there’s a newfound levity. Not only is Swift in on the joke; she also relishes it. The bouncy “Blank Space” hyperbolizes her portrayal in the media as an overly attached man-eater who dates for songwriting material: “Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane/ But I’ve got a blank space,” she coos before, incredibly, a clicking sound like that of a pen, “and I’ll write your name.” The skronky, horn-driven lead single “Shake It Off” communicates a cheerful disinterest in being critiqued, and a panicked, operatic vocal sample of Swift singing the word “Stay!” gives the swerving “All You Had to Do Was Stay” an oddball kick. The angriest song here is “Bad Blood,” a chanting call to arms over a dispute with a frenemy, and even it feels tongue-in-cheek.

Instead of pain, the songs about romance vibrate with fluttering lust or wistful nostalgia. The winking disco anthem “Style” packs a nasty ’70s groove, while strings and a lush refrain lend “Wildest Dreams” a cinematic grandeur: “He’s so tall, and handsome as hell,” she exhales. Surging drums and a jagged bassline, courtesy of fun. rocker Jack Antonoff, mitigate the longing of “I Wish You Would.” Even the atmospheric electro-ballad “This Love” is more hopeful than anguished, enlivened by a catchy chorus and Swift’s breathless delivery.

Though Swift is skilled with melody, her deadliest weapon is a superhuman knack for tight, evocative images–a skill she employs sparingly here. On the tense “Out of the Woods,” she ruefully recounts deciding “to move the furniture so we could dance,” while the feathery “Clean,” a collaboration with English composer Imogen Heap, sees her comparing a relationship to “a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore.” But the most potent statements are sonic, like “I Know Places,” a thrillingly paranoid cut with a drum-and-bass-like intensity. It’s the album’s darkest moment, until the chorus fills the song with light.

As long as Swift writes autobiographically, her romantic affairs will be the subject of speculation, but it’s the expertly crafted sound of 1989 that marks her most impressive sleight of hand yet–shifting the focus away from her past and onto her music, which is as smart and confident as it’s ever been. Who are these songs about? When they sound this good, who cares?

TIME Music

Listen to Taylor Swift’s Hypnotic New Song ‘Out of the Woods’

Singer Taylor Swift performs during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas
Steve Marcus—Reuters Singer Taylor Swift performs during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada Sept. 19, 2014.

It's out with the guitars and in with the drums on the singer's new 1989 track

Taylor Swift rang in her most recent album era with “Shake It Off,” a cheerfully flip pop confection that reads as an act of defiance to everyone from the haters to country-radio programmers. For “Out of the Woods,” the second offering from her upcoming LP 1989 (out Oct. 27), Swift’s rebellion takes a slyer shape, and a darker one.

Swift wrote the song with fun.’s Jack Antonoff, and the sounds of his ’80s-inspired solo project Bleachers reverberate here: a distorted vocal sample, crunchy drums, echoing harmonies. Lyrically, though, it’s still classic Swift, capturing the anxiety of a volatile romance with poignant little details — there are paper airplanes flying, and Swift and her would-be-beau have to move the furniture so they can dance; and, of course, there’s that much-discussed bridge about an accident that landed the unlucky couple in the hospital.

But it’s the furious chant of that anthemic chorus, all breathless urgency, and the left-of-center production that help Swift perform the niftiest sleight of hand: Even with lyrics that include some of her most headline-grabbing autobiographical admissions to date, the most interesting thing here isn’t who it’s about, but rather, how different it sounds.

Listen here.

Read next: Taylor Swift Finally Explains Why She’s a Feminist and How Lena Dunham Helped

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