Weigh In: Should Madonna Sue BBC Radio 1 For Age Discrimination?

Published: Wednesday 18th Feb 2015 by Rashad

Let’s face it:  Madonna‘s ‘Living For Love’ is slowly, but surely, dying on pop charts.

The ‘Lucky Star’ singer, who’s notched five consecutive #1 albums since the turn of the century and a top ten single preceding four of those releases, may be seeing her luck run out as the tune has yet found footing inside the Billboard Hot 100.  This, despite a revolutionary rollout for the its official music video release and a much-talked about Grammy performance.

Then, as if it wasn’t already clinging to life, ‘Living for Love’ was dealt a crushing blow when reports surfaced indicating BBC Radio 1 blacklisted the tune for lacking “audience relevance” and “musical merit.”  Let us tell it, that’s just sugarcoat for “she’s too old and out of touch.”

Be that as it may, could the unceremonious exclusion be grounds for legal action?  Some stars seem to think yes. Tuck in below to hear their assessment and tell us if you agree:

Screen shot 2015-02-18 at 1.20.54 AM

The above was lifted to the official Facebook page of BBC1 radio after the story gained traction across media outlets worldwide earlier this week.  Yet, despite the issued statement, celebs continued to come to the defense of the Grammy winning pop icon, namely Garbage singer Shirley Manson who stated:

Screen shot 2015-02-18 at 1.19.17 AM

The statements this week are not a far cry from a 2012 interview where Manson’s quoted saying (source):

“The tabloids complain about [Madonna] looking old, and people laugh at her for that. Then [she] goes and fixes her face, and they laugh at her for that. Even though they begrudgingly say she looks amazing, they’ll still laugh at her for trying to look young. Then she steps out, looking amazing, and the tabloids go and blow up a picture of her aging hand. Nobody’s doing that to George Clooney, blowing up pictures of his hands! I look at these magazines, and I want to say to them, What’s your point? That she’s aged? Does that surprise you? Or is your ‘point’ an attempt to undercut what she’s achieved? I think it is, even if it’s on a subconscious level. And you probably wouldn’t turn down those hands if they were grabbing you under the table, you fucking idiots.”

Tuesday, Madonna took to Facebook to share:


Watch the 1992 clip (start at 6:15):

It’s one thing for the exclusion to be implied, it’s another for it to be stated.  So tell us:

Do you think Madge should consider legal action against BBC Radio 1?

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  1. I STAN(D) FOR TALENT February 18, 2015

    LMFAO!!!!!! What a great way to start the day. LMAO!!! 😆

  2. Navy Kat February 18, 2015

    If it can happen to Madonnasaurus Rex. It will happen to our faves.

    • Jansel February 18, 2015

      Can I sue this gap toothed broad for continuing to display her fossilized titteez? The nerve of these disrespectful hags nowadays smh. Whitney Houston did NOT die on the cross to have this bastardized queef to take her spot on the Legends Panel

    • FutureCIARA February 18, 2015

      Not JANET!


  3. Musika February 18, 2015

    Damn Shirley Manson actually spoke up! 😮 but I don’t think she should….it would create more tension..I mean Madge’s just here Living for Love anyways..

  4. DTME February 18, 2015

    The laws in the UK parallel the laws in the US pertaining to discrimination. But I must admit that this is unspeakable.

    While Madonna isn’t the litigating type (see Lady Gaga’s royalty
    and writing credit free remake of Express Yourself); this isn’t about Madonna wanting to be heard anymore as much as it is the public’s right to listen to whomever they wish to. Irregardless of whether or not they are black or white, Jewish or Muslim, gay or straight or how many candles they had to blow out on their last birthday.

    #Music makes the people come together. BBCR is breeding hatred when it should be #Living for love.

    By the way if I were Rhianna, Katie Perry, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Britney Spears or Lady Gaga I wouldn’t be sitting too snug in my chair about this. Today’s “Princesses of Pop” can very well become tomorrow’s next victims of ageism.

    They should all boycott not only Radio 1 but also those “influential stations” here in the US such as KIIS, Z100 and the many others where they see (or hear) #Living for love on high rotation.

    That should be their indicator; if #Living for love is not among that station’s Top 10 Played Songs then they should boycott those stations especially those of them who intend on keeping their day jobs for many years to come.

    If many of these Princesses think they are working hard now, they ain’t seen nothing yet if they decide to ride their tide through. Indeed they will be in store for a major rude awakening in the coming years if they refuse to use their influence to nip ageism in its ever growing bud.

    • BLACKOUT TBH February 18, 2015


      • rita ora February 18, 2015

        Beyonce career will be like Sade. Sade made more money than Adele in 2011 and Adele was the big pop star of that year.

        Sade puts out albums, but not radio singled, yet….she sells big. Her tours are hist and she tops highest earning singers of the year. No promo; no gimmicks or nada.

        That is beyonce and beyond is great businesswoman.

        Rihanna will lose the most to agism.

    • rita ora February 18, 2015

      Not beyonce. She knows whats up, that is why she set up a formula to bypass the radio. She winning .

      Rihanna is the one who will suffer the most, cos like maddonna and JLO, their career is built on image and not talent.

  5. Al February 18, 2015

    No one cares or gives a f***. She’s had her day made her mark. She still can’t be hip at 196 making kids music no ones checking and no one cares give it up child along with our granny gear and s*** #BYE

  6. DEL BEY February 18, 2015

    I won’t lie, Living For Love is kinda a jam! giving me that 90’s madonna that propelled her further… so much better than Gimmi Your Lovin, that mess… as for BBC they shouldn’t really age discriminate..

  7. BLACKOUT TBH February 18, 2015

    She most certainly should pursue legal action against Radio 1. This is nothing more than ageism, sexism and downright discrimination disguised as concern for their audience’s demands. You’re seriously telling me that people in their 20’s aren’t checking for Madonna? C’mon now! I know 16 year olds who are huge Madonna fans. Since when do you have to be there from the beginning to know and/or check and/or stan for someone? I’m 23 and Madonna has had two incredibly successful eras in my teens: Confessions & Hard Candy. So how exactly is she irrelevant to my generation? The mere fact that you have mouth-breathers on this and other websites making fun of her age and current relevancy disgusts me. ALL your faves, with absolutely NO exceptions whatsoever have pulled from Madonna above any other artist in history, in literally any medium. Period. Madonna could literally sell 2 copies of her record and still be more relevant than any of these girls simply due to the fact that her influence lives on through every current, poppin’ popstar’s work. It’s undeniable. None of these girls have done anything half as innovative, timeless, iconic or game-changing as many of Madonna’s career highlights. And everything they do is nothing more than a by-product of Madonna’s blueprint. Not to mention the fact that for many young pop fans not to do their research yet feel as if they know enough to have a valid opinion is laughable to say the least. Particularly all the young, LGBT fans. This woman has done more for this community than any other artist alive or dead. How dare this generation turn their backs on the one person without whom our voice in pop culture, our culture’s influence in pop culture as well as the formula on which literally all current pop artists careers sit on, would be practically non-existent. You should all be ashamed of yourselves and most importantly, grow up! You’ll be 56 someday too! Since when are the 50’s the end of you anyway? Ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous.

  8. Rihyonce February 18, 2015

    Absolutely ! this b**** is a legend …

  9. TheElusiveLamb February 18, 2015

    She should. It would be a great wake up call for radio. Aging is already hard, but to have your artistry banned is probably even harder.

  10. Indie February 18, 2015

    I don’t know if taking legal action is the answer but i do believe tha people should boycott Radio 1 for being agest and sexist. Living For love is an anthem that should be played on the merit of being a great song, to ban Madonna from the station cos of her age is pathetic, it\s artist like Madonna who made that station what it is!

    • BLACKOUT TBH February 18, 2015

      Furthermore, may I remind the older folk among us (not including myself as I wasn’t around but I know about it regardless) that Radio 1 already did this once when they tried to ban Queen in the late 70’s and it lasted a couple of months before people simply boycotted the station and tuned in elsewhere forcing them to do their job and play music regardless of the heads of the BBC’s personal preferences.
      Unfortunately, we live in a much more passive, far less Rock N’ Roll society these days and our generation quite simply isn’t as badass or willing to fight for what’s right like past generations were. Let alone when it comes to issues pertaining to people of an age group that isn’t our own. How sad.

    • DTME February 18, 2015


      She did make all these stations what they are today! There are atleast 300 million examples of that!!!!


  11. ENOUGH ONIKA (NEW & IMPROVED) February 18, 2015

    No, BBC is right, no one wants to hear her mess on radio. Leave her sh*t for the retirement homes and gay clubs. Only gays and 50+ old woman care about this ol’ dinosaurs music…

    • DTME February 18, 2015

      I never thought I ever call another person this but there is no other word more appropriate to call you other than STUPID.

      There I said it! You’re stupid.

      Thank you. Now allow me to go back to #Living for love

      • ENOUGH ONIKA (NEW & IMPROVED) February 18, 2015


  12. Stephy. February 18, 2015

    Madonna is a Queen. Such a bad ass.

    • FutureCIARA February 18, 2015

      U mean JANET sis???

      This is blasphemy with that ICON in your avi, you should be shamed

  13. February 18, 2015

    yup something should be done,what they did to madonna is mess up big time.

  14. SMH February 18, 2015

    Boo hoo, boo hoo. Madonna and her fans just need to accept reality. She’s not God. She’s a human being (and I used that term loosely) that gets old just like everybody else. She needs to accept that her time has passed. The ONLY thing that has been carrying her on radio since the turn of the century is her features with younger artists. Her first single would be a hit because of the collabo, then any singles she releases after would all flop hard. Her ego is under assault right now because the masses are no longer kissing her ass and buying into her bullshiit, and she can’t manipulate the music buying public into buying her stuff anymore. She can’t sue them for ageism because like they said, Paul McCartney is currently on their playlist with 2 songs, albeit features, but regardless he’s still being played. Her problem is that throughout her career the world made her believe that she is better and above all other artists when she’s NOT. She has a shelf life just like every artists in the business, she was just lucky enough to know how to keep resetting the 15-minute clock. The difference now is that the clock has gotten too old to reset. Suing BBC radio would only make her look like a foolish old crybaby and cost her millions in legal fees when she loses. Madonna needs to realize that despite how powerful she has convinced herself into believing she is, she can’t defeat Father Time. Or Industry politics.

    • BLACKOUT TBH February 18, 2015

      What bullshiit is that exactly? Are you familiar with her work? She has a history of challenging commonly held taboos and ideologies that kept people back from expressing their rights as human beings through art AKA the exact same thing countless others have copied & pasted in the years following her debut. She didn’t manipulate anybody into doing jack shiit. She was the first to do what she does successfully and that’s why she’s had her success. You must be confusing her with the gimmicks of today who exploit things like racial prejudice, LGBT rights and feminism to get ahead ie. Beyonce, Lady Gaga etc. Madonna is above and beyond any of those women. It’s not due to any sort of bias that I’m telling you that. I’m not a huge Madonna stan but you have to give credit where credit’s due and current chart positions or current age aside, Madonna is in large part responsible for what pop culture is today and it’s simply outrageous for pop fans, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation to deny someone who has worked for over 3 decades for what she has, of her right to be respected as a trailblazer for any and all pop artists that followed AND their respective fanbases. You don’t have to like her, her music, let alone stan for her – but for you to disrespect her accomplishments is disgusting.
      Resetting a 15 minute clock is for the likes of Kim Kardashian, whose eternal stardom is far from solidified other than having a baby by Kanye. Madonna’s stardom was solidified in the 80’s. The only clock ticking is the biological one that’ll cause her to die one day much like the rest of us, but just like Michael Jackson’s legacy will forever live on – so will Madonna’s. Don’t get it twisted by comparing a pop royal to whatever featured artists she is kind enough to grant the pleasure of working with her. They’re not doing her any favours by getting her on the charts bb. She’s been there, done that with nothing left to prove. She could leave the charts forever and still be the Queen. Look at Tina Turner – when was the last time she had a hit? Yet, is she still more legendary than her low-rent tribute act Beyonce? Yes. There’s levels to this shiit.

  15. LOL February 18, 2015



  16. Suicide Blonde February 18, 2015

    She won’t take legal actions against them, that’s not the way. I’m glad she acknowledged that famous interview in which she literally predicted her future. No one understand what Madonna is doing until time tells you, it happened during the Erotica era, at the time she was empowering women to take control of their sexuality by being as sexual as men are, it took years for people to understand that, now she’s fighting against ageism but people make fun of her for being too old, for what she should be doing at her age, etc, what none of you understand is that she is opening the doors for women in music ONCE AGAIN, let’s be honest, she’s doing this for herself but in the process she’s helping others, in 10 years things will be easier for female musicians past their 40s/50s, especially for pop girls like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Gaga and Katy Perry who want to have long careers, in the future young people will make fun of Beyoncé and the rest for their age and the Beyhive, the Navi, Monsters etc will use Madonna as an example to defend their Queen, that a woman in her 50s can still be s*** and relevant in the industry, she’s doing what she has always done, being ten steps ahead of everyone else, she’s breaking the rules, challenging people’s mind, being provocative never fails when it comes to grab people’s attention, she’s feared as much as she wants. That’s power.

    • BLACKOUT TBH February 18, 2015

      I couldn’t agree more.
      Eventually the tables will turn and our generation will be the “old” audience the youth will mock for listening to the likes of Beyonce, Katy Perry etc. I wonder how the naysayers of today will feel then.
      P.S. – It may be naive of me to say this, but I do have a bit of hope that over the next two decades we will evolve on this issue enough that the youth then won’t be so judgemental but in any case – she is, in true Madonna fashion, challenging BS stereotypes and God bless her for it. That’s why she became the Queen and that’s why it’ll stay that way. The mere fact that people think that after 30 odd years of her title being challenged yet never overthrown that all of a sudden it could happen now is hilarious to me. That’s like a fashion designer walking in to Donatella’s office and being like “You may have worked for decades on this & proven yourself to be worthy etc BUT I’m younger so the company’s mine now. Here’s a retirement home leaflet! Bye!” No. It doesn’t work like that, I’m afraid.

  17. ENOUGH ONIKA (NEW & IMPROVED) February 18, 2015

    This sh*t is probably all a publicity stunt anyway with Madonna pulling the strings so people feel bad for her and buy her music cause no one did with the last album.

    • BLACKOUT TBH February 18, 2015

      The BBC is one of, if not the most powerful media outlet in the world bb. They don’t play that way. Also, I’m sure Madonna is much more concerned with concert tickets than album/single sales. That’s where the money is these days plus she’s sold enough music for 3 more decades.

  18. FROOTJOOCE February 18, 2015

    TGJ do your homework. ‘Living For Love’ has a 70% increase in sales this week. Not to mention it just jumped 7 places on US Radio. #45 – #38

    Radio 1 have got backlash for this. EVERY comment on thier facebook is about Madonna. This song is growing legs not loosing them.

    She is the BEST SELLING FEMALE ARTIST OF ALL TIME, there is noone that can discredit that especially not some hoodrats on this site.

    • BLACKOUT TBH February 18, 2015

      Emphasis on “hoodrats” tbh.
      Highlight it, stick it up on a billboard, underline it and then play it on next year’s Superbowl. Thank you and goodnight.

    • pu$$iePopstress February 18, 2015

      girl stfu

      what the hell is the “radio chart”? the article clearly says BILLBOARD HOT 1OO. it doesn’t matter if it’s #1 on the radio chart, if the s*** aint touched the hot 100, then dammit it aint no where.

      u queens celebrate even the simplest of achievements like they matter

      • FROOTJOOCE February 18, 2015

        B**** SIT THE F*** DOWN. Its US radio, you know the RADIO. Get a hint. It’ll debut next week if not this week. H**

  19. Dev February 18, 2015

    I honestly don’t care for Madonna but I think the BBC should be sued because it’s funded by people and they then dictate to is what we are going to listen to.
    Take away the licence fee and they can do what the hell they want, charge me money every month and if a request a tune regardless of what unknown artist it is, b****** you’d better play it.

  20. Casual-T February 18, 2015

    Suing a radio station (even a public one) for not playing your music is a really slippery slope. Many artists never get radio airplay – what makes Madonna special? Is everyone guaranteed to have their music played?

    • pu$$iePopstress February 18, 2015

      i agree, but the difference is, the reason is implied.

      with BBC, they directly stated they dont play her music because she’s old. no matter how fancy they worded it, it remains that her age is the primary factor.

  21. FutureCIARA February 18, 2015

    Janet Slayson would never have these issues!

    • Tranet February 19, 2015

      Because Flopnet has been flopping since the’00s & reduced to selling her p**** to Arab men. How inspiring she is

  22. Dossome February 18, 2015

    I don’t know what the big deal is tbh.She’s still played on BBC Radio 2.They played the song on Radio 1 but the call out scores were low thus pulled out the song off their playlist.What would you have the radio station do?Shove the Madonna song down the throats of its young listeners who care very little for her thus risking losing out on that audience who would rather move on to another station that’ll play the kind of music they like.Surveys are carried out and each station knows and understand who their core audience is and what they like to hear.It sounds unfair but Madonna,Mariah and Celine fans are mostly aged over 25 with bigger priorities and responsibilities than listening to radio,requesting music,downloading music,streaming songs etc and with massive decline in physical sales,these artists are bound to suffer commercially.Again,Radio 1 caters to listeners mostly in their late teens who are very picky on what they want.It’s business,nothing personal

  23. obsidian February 18, 2015

    If Madonna can sue BBC radio on the merit of discrimination based on age, then the myriad of minority performers should be able to sue radio stations for discrimination based on race!!! Performers who are apart of marginalized racial groups are constantly told they aren’t relevant to the white mainstream due to race!

  24. Dossome February 18, 2015

    Interesting information I got from Wikipedia (I’m not sure how reliable they are):-

    [b] “Its (BBC) work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee which is charged to all British households, companies, and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts.The fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament”[/b]

    Obviously this is run alot differently than Clear Channel.Should she sue BBC then she’s basically suing the British Public (who own BBC btw) for not playing her song in one of the stations.It’s therefore upto the listeners to dictate what’s played on their station

  25. Mark111 February 18, 2015

    Hahahaha, you all bragged that she was 156 and still making childish pop music. Granny never grew and matured (musically). Since 1990’s she been sucking the soul out the younger pop stars insteading of growing. Should Britney and Miley sue Disney for not playing their music? No, Why? Because they out grew that demographic. It happens, look at Tina, her music still get played, but not on the pop/youth stations. Pual, Gaga’s father, Franklin, Dion and so many others grew up and is played on the adult stations. Sorry that Granny still try to make music for teenage gay boys and 30 something gay men that still think they’re 18.
    Mariah has the same problem, never growing, trying so hard to please the youth that don’t give a crap about her or know her. It’s like as if Backstreet Boys still trying to get played on MTV, these kids don’t know them and shouldn’t. We need to learn that we cherish the 90’s because it was when we was young, same as our parents did with the 80’s and our grandparents did with the 60’s and 70’s. Time to grow up and move on.

    • TheElusiveLamb February 18, 2015

      How did Mariah never grow when Butterfly is musically better than her first albums and Charmbracelet, TEOM, & MIAMTEC are mature albums?

      • Mark111 February 18, 2015

        Most of those album are older. Her last few albums are try hards. At least with her singles choices. Her doing a song with Trey and Mugel? Dream and Neyo? She’s way too talented to be working with the new kids, she has (I mean it’s Mariah) what it takes to make great timeless music. I think as of late she been chasing the charts. Look at Mariah’s whole career and then look at Whitney and Dion’s. Night and day.

      • TheElusiveLamb February 18, 2015

        What does Celine and Whitney have to do with Mariah’s artistry? If she was chasing a chart position, she would have been promoting and made more albums like Memoirs. She can’t control her singles. No artist does, so it just sounds like you need to find some way to hate on Mariah. If we apply the same logic you’re using, then how does Janet singing “Oh… misbehaved
        And my punishment should fit my crime
        Tie me to something
        Take off all my clothes
        Daddy I want you to take your time (I’m scared)” compare to Whitney singing “As I lay me down,
        Heaven hear me now.
        I’m lost without a cause
        After giving it my all.”??

      • Mark111 February 18, 2015

        Oh please, Mariah cling to new rappers the most. You’re a stan, so I get how you can’t see it, but Mariah’s music is in reverse mode. She seemed more grown on her first two albums than on her last two. That’s chasing the charts buddy. She clings to the new instead of being a boss or her work.
        Janet was all about s** on her 2000’s albums, but even then her music was grown and s***. Janet never sounded like a kid or tried to fit in with the new girls. Sure MC and Granny’s career may had lasted a lil longer than her’s, but as of late, they just been getting by, playing a young girl’s game.

      • TheElusiveLamb February 18, 2015

        I see you can’t answer the questions. Mariah has been about Hip-Pop since Fantasy, so her having the newest or most relevant rapper doesn’t apply the same as Janet and her sexual lyrics?? If Mariah was chasing a chart, she would have taken the Usher route and did a song with Ariana Grande the same way he did with Chris Brown. Memoirs and E=MC2 are amazing albums regardless of the ‘chart chasing’ as you claim. Her sound changes EVERY album, so there is no such thing as chart chasing. She’s been way too lazy to be chart chasing, but thanks for your concern. I see you live by these artists, bc this was a MADONNA post, yet you made it into a Celine & Whitney vs Mariah and a Janet vs. Madonna post. Sad. 🙁

  26. Mark111 February 18, 2015

    I say Control, Nation, Janet and Rope all by Janet did more to empowered women (and men) than ANY of Madonna’s music. Being a w**** is NOT empowering, it’s an excuse to be a w****. But making albums about taking control of your life, education, sexual expression (yes, expression, not trying to be just as a w**** as men. And yes, men can be wh0res as well), and the pain of depression does. That’s why I find Janet the greatest, she checked more boxes than just s3x.

  27. CS February 18, 2015

    and so what? must we conclude that an artist that doesn’t sell millions must stop working and make room for others? We must stop looking at only numbers … an artist is revealed with its evolution, you should enjoy his work, to thank and encourage them to go further. Madonna presents a new part of herself, enjoy and live for love xXx

  28. rita ora February 18, 2015

    The British tax payer has to pay for RADIO 1; they don’t hAVE THE right to do this with their money


  29. Edwin Evans January 23, 2018

    I have listened to Radio 1 since it’s start in 1967, But It has now become Age Discriminative … If your over the age of 30, you have no hope of winning anything. They should be Reported & Fined.

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