Words: Will Stroude
If there's one thing Madonna knows how to do, it's how to make scene, and the Queen of Pop has sparked fervoured speculation that new music could be on the way with a mysterious new post on social media.
The 'Living for Love singer, whose last album, the underrated Rebel Heart, was released more than four years ago, sent fans into a frenzy on Sunday after sharing a series of images on Instagram which together show a large red 'X' on a black background.
The 60-year-old superstar also updated her profile picture to an image of red lips and what looks like a cane between her teeth. So far, so Madonna.
Naturally, fans wanted to know what it all means, and the theories came thick and fast in the wake of the mystifying teasers.
It's no secret that Madonna has been working on new material in Lisbon over the last couple of years, and it could be that the 'Like a Prayer' singer is about to unleash her latest era on the world.
It was also reported in January that Madge was planning a new world tour, but while 'X' could mean 10, the star's next global outing would be her 11th tour.
One eagle-eyed fan spotted that the font the 'X' was written in is the same as the font used to spell outt the word 'SEX' in 1992's 'Erotica' video. Could it be that it means some kind of retrospective or fashion project is on the horizon?
So I’ve just noticed the X Madonna has posted matches the X from her spelling out ‘SEX’ in the Erotica video. pic.twitter.com/yWmrvZHOBc— Dan (@YankeeDandle85) April 1, 2019
Madonna has also been sharing some pretty cryptic messages on Twitter over the last few weeks of herself with apples - with one captioned "A taste of things to come".
All have included the hashtag 'Magic', which has been rumoured to be the title of the next record since Madonna began using it last year.
Whatever it means, one thing's for sure: Madonna has something up her sleeve, and we're already buckling up.
Meanwhile, if you can't wait for Ms. Ciccone to let the cat out of the the bag, you can tide yourself over with our retrospective of her groundbreaking fourth album, 1989's Like a Prayer, which turned 30 last month.