Madonna’s six-track surprise to her fans has topped iTunes downloads worldwide. The ‘early Christmas gift’ from her new Rebel Heart album was originally set to release on March 10th of 2015. However, after unfinished songs from the album were leaked on the internet, Madonna decided to formally release tracks one through six of the album.
The leak occurred in November and was, according to Madonna, “artistic rape” and “form of terrorism.” After fans expressed concern that Madonna’s comments were insensitive and extreme, Madonna responded in defense via Instagram. Captioned on a photo of a smashed iPod, Madonna wrote “Obviously there is a person, or a group of people behind this that were essentially terrorizing me. I don’t want to sound alarming, but certainly that’s how I felt. It’s one thing if someone comes into your house and steals a painting off your wall: that’s also a violation, but, your work, as an artist, that’s devastating.” She later added to her defense, stating, “I’m an artistic person, I’m very expensive. I’m sorry if words alarm people, but that’s what it felt like. It was not a consensual agreement. I did not say ‘Hey, here’s my music, and it’s finished.’ It was theft.”
Madonna has expressed that the leak was untimely above all else, saying, “My new single ‘Living for Love’ was supposed to be released on the Valentine’s Day in 2015, while all other songs on the album in spring. Just please consider these six tracks as my early Christmas gift.” Fans accepted the gift gratefully, considering a statement from Madonna’s spokesperson, Liz Rosenberg. Liz stated “In almost all countries that the tracks were released, it topped the iTunes chart – all gaining the top most 6 spots.” She also explained that the gift completely topped the iTunes chart in 20 countries.
Madonna’s tracks have caused a surge of preordering for Rebel Heart, specifically in the United States and Canada, where her unreleased album is at number five in both countries. The album is also reached number one in Italy, Greece, Spain, and number two in Portugal; where she comes second only to NOW That’s What I Call Christmas. Madonna’s Rebel Heart is one of the most-anticipated albums in Mediterranean Europe.